Monday, December 31, 2012

5 reasons to be cheerful



My dear friend Di  told me about a blog hop that is being hosted by Mummy from the heart 

If you have time do join the blog hop

She is one of those people who always look on the bright side of things - but is still realistic ( kind of like me )

When I read her post -

 I thought, what a lovely way to end the year

On a note of gratitude

What a year its been for us !!

So much change - new house, new job, new school, new city

And yet its been a year with many gifts in it -

( though I have had to work hard to see them )

Reason 1 : A Stay-TV-cation

DH , I and R are all so drained that we decide that we will do a true this is different from a staycation as a staycation implies that you go around the city and do things.

Even that sounds too energetic for we are just drained and so we basically stay around the house

We cook, clean and eat

Snuggle on the couch

And watch movies

( R is not well and I am so glad he is unwell while we are all at home so we can take it easy )


Reason 2: The child

A child who is blossoming in his own slow and steady way and who keeps us amused with his originality and charm

Here he is- cooing and singing to the "microphone" -
Having an impromptu picnic at our unfurnished dining room ( as its raining - as per usual )

He changes our screensavers with these cartoons so dear to him
I see signs of him experiments - here is he having found an icepack from the freezer and he has staged a scene with the book "Ice is Nice" and this "Ice"

( the ice pack leaks eventually owing to R's ministrations but I don't mind:-) )

He makes little sensory breaks for himself in noisy places


Reason 3 : A new kind of beautiful place

The Pacific Northwest has its own kind of beauty - no less stunning with the grey, the fog and the rain

Here is the lake, I talk about to you, right next to our house


Reason 4: A family that loves R unconditionally

This year as I get Birthday Cards from his grandparents and his aunt  - I am so touched

 They  are trying so much  to connect with him -

His cards are always in the shape of a number as that is what he likes -

 In these cards, they try to write the few phrases he had when he saw them last

He is so far away and so much in their hearts.

Even without understanding Autism, they have a full hearted acceptance and love for R


Reason 5 A DH that loves the big adventures and the small

The love of my life has shaped my life so much -

As we enjoy the little adventures of cooking

And fireplaces and movies



 And snuggles and lounging around


And the big adventures of moving homes, and jobs and school .

The bigger adventure of autism.

And the biggest adventure yet of life

Wish you a wonderful new year .

May we all look for reasons to be cheerful in 2013

May we find those moments

And when we find those moments , may we be grateful for them

Sunday, December 23, 2012

An ordinary week

Do you know who enjoys reading this blog the most?

Its me

Just by writing down my days, I feel like I can go back to them later and enjoy the awesome bits

And so for that reason I am chronicling the ordinary bits of our daily lives - DH , R and I

This week I have been incredibly busy -

My team and I had deadlines and presentation everyday

There has been so much going on and yet every evening by not simply being mindless. I have managed to quite enjoy myself

Saturday

We decide to go to Ikea - We must be the only people who literally go to IKEA so that they can eat in their crappy restaurant

R for some reason LOVES their chicken

When you have a child that eats fear factor style - its such a treat to see them gobble something down
Plus he also loves their play area

Unfortunately he exceeds their requirement to go to the ballpit - but fortunately he has reached the stage where we can reason with him

The mega tantrums that were part of summer  have gone and they were a result of the stress that we all were under

We go to Sams Club - as its close by so we can get our Christmas cards

OMG its so rainy and windy

Our umbrellas that DH was so smug about ( that he has spare ones in his car- unlike in my car where there are none  ) are no use as they turn upside down and try to make us fly in the sky !!!

We get our holiday cards and I would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year


Sunday

We have a team meeting

Its finny to be sitting around the same table that we used to sit around with this team

I am so glad we finally have a team in place again - we really like all three of them very much

They are smart and sweet and positive

One of them even has a child with ASD which you can imagine is a huge advantage as a therapist to have that intuitive understanding

Monday

After his morning snuggles



R- suddenly burst into tears - I asked him why

I gave him my phone to type -- he typed in "the baby is crying because" then he erased it and wrote that "the boy is crying .."

I am happy that he changed "baby" to "boy" but I still don't understand why he would could not complete the sentence

Why is it so hard for him to explain what he is feeling in words ?

Usually we offer him multiple choice options but I want to stop doing that - as I always wonder if I am putting words in his mouth

I am very depressed at the CT stuff and have been trying to avoid the news

Someone sends me this article though and this line about one child who died who had autism breaks my heart

Dylan Hockley, 6, was found wrapped in the arms of Ann Marie Murphy, 52, who pulled the boy close to her as she tried to shield him from the spray of bullets that killed them both. 
"We take great comfort in knowing that Dylan was not alone when he died,"

There is also  story about a terrible assault on a woman in Delhi that is making the rounds.


Plus in each of these cases, everybody is jumping on their favorite sandbox ( guns, videogames etc in the case of the former ) and some articles on how women should act and dress in order to prevent being assaulted - that are making me so sad :-(


Sometimes the world makes no sense at all


Tuesday

I get my new Microsoft Surface - it is FANTASTIC and I am in love with it

I used to have an IPAD and there is really no going back to it -

The kickstand and keyboard are major points in its favor

And the fact that it has Word, Excel , One note etc makes it kind of more than a tablet

( though I cannot type on the touch keyboard and DH and I later in the week go to the Microsoft store at the Bellevue mall to get the type keyboard )

Plus you can attach a mouse to it ( as it has a USB port)

I am blogging for it right now and it feels light and beautiful and effortless

Its main cons are that
  1. IE is slower,
  2. I really needed the type keyboard,
  3. I wish there was a proper mail client- something seriously awesome like the outlook that comes with office
 But that is about it -I have to remember to compare it with an Ipad or a Android Tablet ( both of which we have )

And the Microsoft Surface beats them hands down

For all the things that I use a tablet for - blogging, doing some office work , facebooking, reading books - it really could not be more perfect


Also it comes with  Office

I spend the evening fawning on it )





Wednesday

When I come home I am so dead tired - I take a bath and get into my nightgown and wooly-mammoth robe

DH and R are out at his OT ( we LOVE his new OT )

She has given him a Christmas present - which he smells clearly - its so interesting as how he tries to get a clue is inside!


 he likes it quite a bit - its a microwaveable bear ( I have to say the being able to cuddle up with a warm bear is awesome ...but the sight of the bear going round and round in the microwave - makes me feel a little creepy)




Thursday

When you are out of ideas, there are always bubble baths and balloons and swing

Sensory is the refuge of the lazy floortimer.

But my standards have been sooo low these past 6 months with so much going on in our lives with all the changes that even sensory is a baby step in the right direction

R's tummy is not good and we are kind of worried- we are going to explore allergies once again   - he is  quite a thin  child and any little illness gets each rib showing

Friday

All my deadlines for this week are behind me and they have been all gone well

Most of my colleagues are out and so I have very few emails

The sun is out and I go up to the window area to work

This is what I can look at  if I sit there

Even though its been cloudy for months - its so stunning today it almost makes up for it

I am so ridiculously relaxed and stress free today  - it feel like the best most awesme most relaxed day of the past 6 months

We will be back to madness in 10 more days but this is joy

I go home and we play with R's train that DH has set up - I try some real Floortime


 You guys the going is so hard

He gets me to get the scrabble board game down from the high shelf

I try an interactive game and of course its such a hard going -

I remember when DH was doing Hanen ( YEARS ago ) the therapist had done a home visit and come and showed us how we should write down the number of turns we are going to take with R - - and cross out each turn as we go past it



My dear reader- I am sometimes taken aback as to how R keeps making progress on so many things and none at all in some others

Anyway I use that technique today and with much whining we get a few turns around

The word knowledge is not the problem at all as you can see - so he gets that he can convert a word like "MAD" ( mine ) to "MADE " but he wont do it without a major whine fest

Saturday

I am still so relaxed - its bizzare how little email I have got today

We wake up late -lounge around in bed reading, snuggling with R - all of us on our respective tablets and devices

We have a  super late brunch -

R thankfully eats  good meal of veggies and I am so grateful for that

R's social skills class is at 1.30 but we barely make it ,so unwound are we all

Its in the library and its for two hours so DH and I go off to the Mall where we browse, get the keyboard  for Surface and DH points out Steve Ballmer at the Microsoft store

OMG I am so excited

As we leave, I ask one of the employees if he knows Ballmer is here - and he says ( very cool and relaxed and not at all swooning )  that Steve B is here a lot and that just the other day both Bill Gates and Steve B were there

DH and I share a frozen yogurt

( mostly me as DH does not believe in Frozen yogurt - ie he believes in its existence - but he feels that Frozen yogurt is pretending to be icecream and this hypocrisy along with other fake things like fat - free cream and turkey bacon are things that he has strong principles about )  and

The library has this AMAZING quaint old tyme display for Christmas that I am entranced by

oh how I adore dollhouses

This sign in the display makes me laugh out loud


R's old  therapists have had a team meetings with another child and they text me a picture of them
They are as nostalgic for us as we are for them

We text back a picture  of me and R saying "we love u " and we are all too mushy for words

This dear reader was a week in my life

I am writing this post sitting in bed with  glass of sparkling water and I am wondering where you are reading it from

I am struck by the magic of  the online world .

Good night  dear reader
 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

7 things in December


1. How fast time has flown - is it Christmas already ?- We have a lovely Christmas tree
I and R have added even more decorations than this - but I am too lazy to go down and get a new picture
( also here is the red bookshelf from IKEA - that I am mad about )


2. R  has been whining to go back to the downtown apartment that we lived in - we think its because in the new house , DH and I have been super busy unpacking and have not given him the attention he is used to
We think he is lonely as me misses his wonderful therapists . so do we :-(

So I am focusing on making time with R and so is DH
3. We go out a LOT - if it does not rain ( for that is the definition of good weather here ) I and R are in the park. One day the sun came out for a couple of hours and we ran out
( not complaining - you really cannot move to Seattle and complain about the rain )
4.Even though it rains a lot there is a ton to do in Seattle -

 Winterfestival in Downtown Seattle features these adorable "towns" that kids can "operate" a train in

Look at the town

How real and charming it looks

But its all a miniature toy version
 5 R's current obsession is face painting - Some day we get a chance to combine 2 of his passions - face painting AND Santa
6. He still loves the Diet Coke and Menthos Experiment

7. He can be naughty all day and look like an angel when he sleeps
There is not one night that goes by when I don't say the silent prayer of gratitude by his bedside and feel the great luck of being his mum


 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The last days of November

How will  it be December tomorrow ?

 I rush to chronicle what I can of the past 2 weeks ( Thanks to the pictures on my phone - seriously what did we do before phones on our cameras)

It has been rather a good couple of weeks as right in the middle of it was a 4 day weekend

 Thanksgiving Weekend

This is to be our greet weekend of settling in .

I have 4 days off and have decided to do no office work these 4 days

Settling his playroom is always so bittersweet for me

I am made so aware of how fast the time is passing - we declutter a little bit but I cannot throw away some very babyish books as they have such memories attached to them

For instance this book is when we discovered he was hyperlexic -

DH asked R to point out the "elephant" and instead of pointing to the pictures, R pointed to the word


Or the book he was obsessed with that first year of Preschool...

"Barney's 12 days of Christmas"  - eventually his teacher Xeroxed and laminated it for us so he would not have to do without it over Christmas

Such kindness
We unpack a lot


and snuggle a lot( R will usually sit like a cat on the arm of my/DH's arm chair )



 DH puts together a red ( what else for it is my favorite color ) book shelf that we saw at IKEA that I "must have"( I will take a picture of it finished next time and you will see why I love it so much )


Good bye to Miss Judith

On Friday - we decide to spend the morning working and so we take R to meet Miss Judith for a last day of babysitting

R is perishing to meet Miss Judith - so we ask her to babysit for the day

OMG he is so excited that he is going to see her !! he is literally jumping up and down

He has packed his bag with his essentials - his current obsession Chica Chica boom boom , the numbers and his cap with 5 stuck on it ( in the book 5 is wearing a "top hat" and so this must be dramatized )

They will go to our temporary housing apartment complex  ( for that is where she stays ) .

R loved this place with the Pizza and the mall and the elevators

She sends me a text saying that " I just love R . Having him is a blessing. He gives me so many hugs

We are really broken hearted that miss Judith is leaving for Florida - forever:-(

I don't know how to break this to R as there have been too many goodbyes these past few months and not enough hellos

( So when he tells me in the night that "Miss Judith will come from Florida later" - I don't contradict him)



Zumba

I have started to go to Zumba once a week  -

I dance all my stress away for an hour every Friday , while DH and go swimming at our health club and its very nice to have this hour of pleasure every week 

Planning

One of the things that DH and I do always is plan meals .

One of my friends said that she never plans her meals as she likes to only cook what she is in the mood to eat.

But we hate the hassle of cooking and thinking about what's for dinner.

So DH shops and chops and I cook and plan



The new house

I am so glad to be in a proper house again with all our cooking gadgets  .

I love this kitchen - after the tiny apartment we stayed in for 2 months this is such a nice change !
it does rain ALL the time so you can rarely go outside but this house know this and has many many windows to make up for it( these pictures are from the realtors website and make it look much nicer than it is )

Back on track with the home program

We are still hunting for the therapists that we want to work for R

I also am FINALLY I am trying to get back in the routine of playing with R in the evenings  -

But its not easy - I recognize that anything that is not on his own terms - we have a very hard time getting a back and forth connection going

He loves being with us - just as long as its on his terms

When we try to change the game - he just ignores

Such is his passive aggression

We compensate with atleast creating lots of fun new experiences

Outside ( on the 1 in 10 days that it does not rain )


And in stores when it rains

IKEA is one of our faves

It has a place where you can leave your child to play under supervision and he is simply perishing to go there ( I take a picture of him from outside  - what a lovely thing it is to see your child enjoying themselves while you can shop in peace )


It feels harder than before and I feel guilty about this

Its as though he wants to stay in his comfort zone as much as possible and we have to keep expanding it
Still as I watch DH and R snuggled up in an arm chair (ironically watching Max and his Dad in Parenthood ) -

I think how lucky we are that R is so emotionally connected with us

I think we have a ways to go - in settling in still, finding the right home therapists, getting some leisure in our lives

Getting that rhythm and routine that is essential to a calm and peaceful life

But I think we are on our way

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