Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Monday, August 13, 2018
Saturday, August 11, 2018
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Most of you know that Daddy is a yoga teacher. Many years ago, he was given this set of frogs, and they've been out since. Dominic has ignored them.
Last night, I was attempting to corral him for bed (like the Dr Who Jammies?) and he went into the guest room (where the frogs live. I caught up with him and found this.
So of course, I got the frogs out for him to try all 3 poses:
Looks like we need to work on his flexibility.....
Sunday, June 17, 2018
We decided to have a Family Play day yesterday. We went to breakfast, the Renaissance faire (opening weekend!) and to see the Incredibles 2.
We started at our favorite little breakfast diner, Gunther Toody's. Dominic ate his breakfast, demonstrated good knife skills for the first time ever, then ate 2/3 of my breakfast and half of Daddy's.
Then we made our way up the road to the Renaissance faire's opening day and spent about 4 hours wandering around...
|Elephant on his arm|
|all done. He washed it off when he went to the bathroom a few hours later....|
|Happiness is riding an elephant|
|annual cuddle with the crane....|
|And of course, riding the Camel|
|Petting zoo... the Zebu's are tiny cows with shoulder humps.|
|annual fountain pic....|
So we came home and cooled off for a little bit then headed to the movies. Dominic has been anxiously awaiting Incredibles 2 for MONTHS and he LOVED it. He loved it so much that after we got home and i was putting him to bed, he INITIATED a conversation. I got him to do it again for the camera, but guys... HE INITIATED IT!!!!
Monday, June 11, 2018
Oh my have we been busy...
- 2 weeks after that post, Alyssa moved to Texas and We got a new OT, Miss A, who I need to ask if I can post about and Dominic seems to be handling the transition beautifully.
- School ended. 7th grade is a wrap. He made A's and C's, which baffles me because he is most assuredly academically way behind, but I pay more attention to him than the numbers. He had a choir concert the end of the year in which we captured him ACTUALLY singing. He has been attempting to sing along with his movies a lot recently too.
note the super chill teenage pose his teacher got a picture of between sets...
- After said concert we took him out for chicken wings for a special dinner. He ate 30, along with a pile of fries. We are going to go broke getting him through teenagerhood.
- our Kama has had a rough spring - in late April he got bitten on the tail by a spider (we suspect recluse), and after 3 weeks of antibiotics and bandages we had to have half of his tail amputated because it had gotten necrotic. After a full 6 weeks in bandages, we got them off on Friday. Dominic has been keeping a close eye to make sure that Kama doesn't chew on it, and has been saying "its all better now"
- We have gotten 1 week and 1 day into our summer schedule. Miss Courtney, Dominic's favorite camp counselor from last summer, is being his companion (because he's too old for a nanny) and they have been super busy. His weekdays go like this:
1. Before Breakfast: Clean the duck pond and feed the ducks
2. Make his own breakfast (this involves only reheating egg cups and making oatmeal)
3. Do chores (2 out of the following list each day, we have a chart: pick up dog poop, take out the trash, vacuum, sweep, wash the windows)
4. Walk a dog (we do this to settle him before the next)
5. Academics (they are doing math, reading and practicing cursive each day. The workbook they are using right now is a 1st grade level, and i'm so proud that he's actually getting it)
6. Make his own lunch (last week it was clean out leftovers from the freezer week and there were a lot of random sandwiches)
they will do other stuff too.
I am so pleased at how well its going. I knew the first week would be rough, but its actually been better than I expected. The funny part of this is that Thursday (so day 4 of this experiment), Dominic literally turned the whiteboard with his schedule around so that he didn't have to do it. Spoiler - we turned it back around.
- He's started doing this weird "Me want" phrasing. I was annoyed by it and worried that it was a regression (we've been trying for "I want" for along time) until I mentioned it to Miss Sarah, our speech therapist and she pointed out that is a developmental stage that toddlers go through as they learn to talk. That makes me excited that he's filling in a developmental hole there. :) She told me this morning that he has been super focused the last 3-4 weeks for her, which coincides with adding this particular homeopathic blend our Chiropractor recommends (he gets kids off ritialin with it). While D has NEVER been on RItalin, increased focus was super nice. Contemplating reintroducing coffee to him for the same reason.....
- Speaking of the chiropractor.... The change that started when we added the VoxxLife technology, where Dominic didn't scream / complain during an adjustment has held. Every appointment now, Dominic goes back alone (WOW), and is completely compliant. Doc is just blown away.
- we are about 14 months into braces and we have accomplished our primary objective - which was to make room in his mouth for all his teeth. We are at the point where everything else is gravy and we are about to start trying to fix his underbite.
- Over Memorial day weekend, we had a duck (same one that had a kidney infection last fall and antibiotics) start breathing weird. The only vet in town that takes waterfowl was closed, of course, so all i could do was home remedies. I think she couldn't handle the heat due to her kidney stuff. Anyway, she did this for a few days and ended up dying. What was remarkable is that Dominic came inside after putting the ducks in their house for bed and told "Duck.... dead?" I didn't actually know he understood the concept of death.
In a moment that is totally the harbringer of teenagerhood.... note the manchild tweezing his unibrow.... i was in the bedroom loosely supervising shower and it was too quiet....
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Monday, April 23, 2018
When I was pregnant with Dominic, I joined my due date club at Mothering.com, and followed several of those ladies over to the less politically correct group, MamaDrama. We posted there for a long time, those ladies got me through Dominic's regression and our new reality. And not a one of them lived near me.
When Facebook came along and killed off the message boards, we moved ourselves to facebook and continue to share our daily lives with each other. Many of us have special needs kids in a variety of flavors. We support each other through life - we've done virtual birthday parties, baby showers, and funerals. We've evolved far past an online group of random women - we are a community.
So when my friend Jenn told me she wanted to bring her 17 year old son Ben (spectrum, epilepsy, violence, aggression) to visit for a weekend, I had zero hesitation and cleared my schedule. They spent this last weekend - a CLASSIC Colorado spring weather weekend - in town and we had a lovely time.
I want to point out a couple of things first...
- that all those folks who say that individuals with Autism don't want friends - is in both of our cases, very wrong.
- at different parts of the weekend, both Jenn and I noted how nice it was to be spending time with people who "got" our kids quirks and weren't phased.
We started the weekend on Friday, meeting Ben and Jenn at their hotel for swimming....
|Obligatory Mom Selfie|
|The Boys hit it off really well and were frolicking pretty quickly after meeting each other. Ben is much more Verbal than Dominic, so that helped.|
These folks are from Atlanta, so they were... nonplussed that Saturday we had enough snow to go sledding. So we went sledding... (refer back to my statement about Classic Colorado spring weather)
Then, after a purposeful break time to allow both boys some breathing space, we went back to the hotel and swam again before dinner, which is when I learned exactly how much Shepherds pie 2 teenage boys can inhale. (Hint: ALOT)
Sunday dawned beautifully - as only Colorado can in the spring. Sunny skies, and warm air.... So we did one more swim in the morning and went to Garden of the Gods after lunch. By this swim, Dominic and Ben were BEST FRIENDS.
I always start showing out of towners Garden of the Gods from the scenic overlook, because of how amazing the view is,. and how big the rocks are up close comparatively.
|A Random stranger took this picture. I'm rather pleased with it...|
|First MIGHTY EAGLE post of the day...|
The remainder of these we snapped as we followed the boys through the park... I'm super pleased at how well behaved Dominic was, how interactive and accepting of a peer, and how much fun we had.
And there we have a double mighty eagle!
There were a couple of conflicts between them over the weekend, so it wasn't perfect. BUT - none of those conflicts required more than the moms negotiating a compromise. It felt... oddly normal. We don't get that very often.
In the end, the verdict is that the weekend was a raging success and we have a standing invitation to visit them in Atlanta. And they've lost their status of "Imaginary friends"
Monday, April 16, 2018
One of those recipes is egg cups. You take any combo of veggies/meats, put in a muffin cup, top with beaten egg and bake into a little hand sized frittatta. We love them around here. Tonight, Alyssa stood back and didn't say a word, letting Dominic just make them. He got the steps way out of order, but the end product is delicious, and i'm eating it as I type
Of 10 steps, Dominic needed minimal verbal curing on 5 of them. Mostly around the stove and safety.
What blew Alyssa's mind is that he didn't wander off at all the entire time. His focus was laser. Turns out all the chatting was distracting him. Here we thought we were giving direction. Ooops. What blew my mind is that after he got the egg cups in the oven he asked to cook asparagus and pasta.
Alyssa and I are officially impressed and suprised.
We're bouncing around ideas for helping increase his independence WHILE working on reading without giving him an easy way out. Thinking maybe TYPED, large instructions with a picture of each step a la pioneer woman. Would love any ideas / already made resources.....
Sunday, April 15, 2018
I know I’m having a hard time keeping this blog up to date but there’re multiple reasons for that. Being too busy isn’t one of them. Enjoying watching Dominic blossom and just doing stuff with him are. Today I wanted to share a couple of stories about last week because they are really cool examples of the things we’re starting to see as we peel more layers back and his speech (and subsequently personality) emerge more and more.
Backstory – very early – 4am - Thursday morning, I woke up to the sounds of a dog crying. I thought it was Kumar who sleeps in his crate crying to be let out to go to the bathroom, so I staggered out of bed and opened his crate. He looked at me with a very confused look on his face. I went back to bed, assuming I had dreamed it, not even thinking about Kama because while Kama sleeps on his own bed in our walk in closet, he has access to go in and out as needed so that made no sense. Fast forward to right around dinner time Thursday evening and I was petting Kama. I petted all the way down his tail and he cried. It was obvious he was in pain. A closer examination determined that his tail was very inflamed and he’d been licking it. I didn’t see any blood or broken skin but the level of tenderness was concerning enough that I called our vet, talked about a couple of options and ended up giving him a doggie anti-inflammatory we had left over and made an appointment for Friday morning in case he still needed it. At this point I didn’t have any idea what could be wrong. After a vet visit, xray to determine that his tail was NOT broken, professional exam, we theorize that he got bitten by a spider in the night and that’s why I heard him cry. They shaved his tail to determine that there’s a place of more localized swelling. So he’s got a big bandage on it, antibiotics (a lot. Like a gram 2x a day) in case it was a brown recluse and more anti inflammatories. We go back for a bandage change next week. Also, we own a 72lb poodle.
Point of the story – Dominic got off the bus on Friday after school and his first words were “Kama, feeling better???” and he proceeded to love all over Kama. Super sweet. And showing concern, cognition, memory, and appropriate behavior. Plus – empathy.
Backstory – Ya’ll know that for a long time Dominic’s breakfast was 3 fried eggs and a bowl of oatmeal. I taught him how to cook his eggs fried before I taught him how to cook them scrambled and these days he prefers scrambled eggs with grated manchego (sheeps milk cheese, which he CAN have)
Point of the story – Saturday morning Dominic was plugging along getting his breakfast together. He got out 3 duck eggs, washed them, and proceeded to crack them into a hot skillet. I just watched, assuming he’d decided he wanted fried eggs. No more than 2 minutes later he turned to me with a look of absolute horror on his face – and said “Mommy, SCRAMBLED??” He realized he had forgotten a step and panicked a little bit. He got to learn how to scramble them in the pan instead of whipping them first.
Chores and teenagerhood
We are continuing them, and every day there is SOMETHING that Dominic does around the house. It ranges from picking up dog poop, to taking out the trash, to folding his laundry, to vacuuming. What is hilarious to me is that every single thing I ask of him is met with a drawn out NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. And then 10 minutes later he goes and does it. Its such a glimpse into a typical teenager’s response that it makes my breath catch every time. The other typical teenager thing we’re seeing *every* morning is that he wants to lounge on the couch in his pajamas watching videos (he’s totally figured out how to get to Netflix and amazon on our tv. Better than we have), and does NOT want to get dressed. I get up at 5:30am most mornings to walk on my treadmill which is right by the aforementioned sofa and every time I say “Dominic, go get dressed”, I get the “NOOOOOOOOO” in response. Until I tell him I’m going to take care of the ducks without him. That gets him moving.
And all of these are bookended with the knowledge that we have a long way to go – as evidenced by his toy choice from Target today. Granted, he is playing with them entirely appropriately …..