Wednesday, June 22, 2011

KIDS are mean!

I guess some things never change! Kids were mean to me when I was little and today kids are still mean. Am I overly sensitive or overly protective?

After school today Alyssa was really excited about staying and playing at the school playground because for once we didn't have to run over and pick Nathan up from his school. Nathan's last day of preschool was yesterday and I usually have a 15 minute window between the time she gets out and the time Nathan gets out. Anyway, so I promised Alyssa we could play at the school playgrond after school today. That playground is my nightmare because the kids play rough and they could care less about who's around.
Nathan of course is excited by the playground and can't wait to go exploring, the problem is that he has no concept of danger ( walking in front of swings, walking under monkey bars etc.) so I am forever chasing him. A far cry from all the other parents who get to sit and gab while their kids are playing. Then there's my sweet little Jack. Poor Jack gets to watch from the stroller as I have no way of keeping him safe. I'm afraid he'll get trampled on... okay I'll get to the point now.

As I was following Nathan around the playground, I heard my daughter Alyssa say, " I'm running way from Nathan, quick he can't catch up with us here." My blood started to boil. So I called her over and explained to her that although she thinks it's a game, Nathan is completely unaware of her presents and all of the kids playing with Alyssa were actually teasing and making fun of Nathan. This is not okay. I explained that Nathan has feelings too and asked her how she would feel if the roles were reversed. She got it right away and changed her ways. I was most impressed.
A few minutes later, I noticed three boys (about 8 years old I'd say) staring at Nathan, trying to get in his way. Then they started making fun of him. ( Nathan was giggling to himself and amusing himself, then of course he started to lick surfaces- This is the part of autism that I can't stand!) I really didn't like what was happening, as the circle got tighter around Nathan, I piped up. "Hey " I said. "I really don't find what your doing funny" They stopped laughing. "Instead of staring at him and making fun of him why don't you actually talk to him. He's a person with feelings you know." " Instead of staring why don't you ask me what's up with Nathan, do you have a question or not?" The boys just said they weren't doing anything and then took off.

Unlike my friends Teri and Jessica, I am not as tactful. I'm sure they would have found some better way, some nicer way to talk to those boys but in the moment, I was hurt and Mama bear came barrelling through.
How should I have dealt with this? I'm curious to know your thoughts.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


We celebrated Sean's birthday this weekend
and I surprised him with the BEST cake EVER!

Anyone who know's Sean knows that he LOVES Apple.

So it seemed fitting to make him a
cake he really would enjoy!

(oh yes, this is me being silly)

Only I didn't make the cake... I had every intention on making it but then I somehow ran out of time so I asked The lighthouse bakery to do it.

What a great job they did!
(white fondant icing with a dusting of silver - inside was chocolate)

Sean was super surprised.
Just look at how happy he is!

He told me it was the "best birthday cake"

I loved that I got to surprise him like that.

ohhhhhhh and the best part about this past weekend was ......

not Sean's birthday.... or his birthday cake

......not father's day..... not presents...

the best part of this weekend was when Jack said "mama" on father's day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flashback Friday!!

35 years ago
a picture of a cute little boy was taken

That little boy became my best friend
and the love of my life.

I love you!

Happy 41st Birthday baby!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Schools wearing me out!!!!

I went to pick Nathan up from school and his aid told me he fell asleep reading books!

This is the picture she took!
He just fell asleep- like he just fell over and started sleeping!!!!
Do you think my kid is tired?
Notice what he was reading.... I think that means he liked camping!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tuned in with Nature!

Six weeks ago, Sean and I purchased a huge 10 man tent with the intent of doing some family camping trips over the summer. We booked three separate sites over the summer and the first three day trip was this past weekend.

I had a lot of anxiety and excitement attached to this event. Our Grabber didn't really know what to make of the tent when we set it up, so you can just imagine what it might be like to ask him to sleep in the tent. On the other hand, if all goes well then it's all very exciting because it's the start of a new adventure for our family.

So many people told me that I was brave for camping with young children. I really don't understand whats so brave about it. It's not like I'm out there fighting off bears and hunting for food. It's simply camping...and yes camping is a lot of work.... but it's also a lot of fun, the key for me was just to let go... don't sweat the small stuff and just go with it.

To start off our very first camping adventure with the Grabber our plan was to stay close to home. That's exactly what we did, stayed close to home, in fact 8 minutes from home... We camped at Goldstream Provincial Park. We got away without going to far... it was indeed a perfect spot for a perfect weekend.

This was our campsite

I cannot emphasize how impressed and blown away I am with Nathan. On a daily basis, I find myself observing Nathan from the outside. Never quite being able to connect with him on the same level. This weekend was different. Nathan was tuned in. He is a nature kid. He was aware of everything around him and smiled and laughed a lot. I've never seen him so happy. His eyes told me so much about what he was feeling. It was amazing!!

Our weekend was filled with activities. We hiked....

and played

and had so much fun

then we found this trail...
which led us to these stairs

Here is the view of the stairs from the bottom.
It was a workout!

and as we got lower down this is what we saw.

a beautiful waterfall

My brother-in-law Mike joined us on our camping trip.
He takes amazing photos.

Our family photo by the waterfall

Poor Grabber, his legs quit working after the stair climb back to camp!
NO energy left at all... He's asleep...

We had cuddles by the fire.

Played with our favorite toys

Played ball

Took a nap

Cheering on

while Dad and Uncle Mike play badminton

We played frisbee

and had excellent coaches
teaching us

We played inside

and outside the tent

We ate pancakes- YUM !

Made S'mores!

We had a great time!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Report Card Time

Nathan got his report card on Friday and I have to say I was pretty happy! I have seen big changes in Nathan since he started attending preschool. This montessori school is helping Nathan be the best that he can be and along the way have helped me so much with communication, toilet training and eating. Nathan has two preschool teachers and he has two aids who work with him 1:1. The staff at this school are phenomenal. I can't thank them enough for their hard work and dedication to Nathan's education and well being. I'm excited for next year as he starts kindergarden at Island Montessori.

Here's some of what his teachers had to say about his school year:

Nathan has been a delight to have in the classroom with his inquisitive nature and enchanting smile. It is wonderful to see him taking part in the classroom routines such as participating in circle time by placing the numbers on the calendar, listening to a story with the other children in the quiet corner, or finding a partner to work with at clean up time. Nathan has become very aware of what the other children are doing in the classroom and observes their activities. He has been included by the other children this year and many will seek him out to play silly games or dance with him when music is playing in the afternoon.
Nathan has made huge progress when it comes to taking materials off the shelf and putting them back. A huge change from last year when he used to just take things off the shelf and dump them on the floor. He will often just put things back unassisted.
Nathan's aids have been working hard on setting up a bathroom routine with Nathan and he has made huge progress in this area, and will follow through the routine when working with other teachers.
At lunch time, he has made huge progress with his eating. The other children are very interested in what his aid is working on with him and they will often sing the alphabet song with him or play the clapping game in between bites.
We are looking forward to seeing Nathan returning in the fall.

Nathan continues to be a pleasure to work with, consistently surprising us with his abilities. He has been working very hard and it shows.
Nathan is working though all areas of the classroom, and is mostly drawn to number and letter work. Nathan now recognizes the name and phonetic sounds of each letter in the alphabet. Nathan recognizes numbers 1-30 and can put them in numerical order with very little assistance.
Nathan continues to expand his vocabulary with PEC's and is quite interested in any new pictures that are in his PEC's binder. Nathan has been working through a series of flashcards, as well, to expand his vocabulary. We feel Nathan would not be at the point that he is had he not picked up on PEC's so quickly. Nathan is visibly proud of himself whenever he is using PEC's to communicate. It is a form of communication that he enjoys very much. We feel that the more he is asked to request for things, the more he is going to b inclined to do so by himself without prompting.
Nathan participates in most of the physical activities in the gym and outside. He does, however, need assistance to move on to new activities and to try things at outside time, and has in the past few months had a hard time stopping what he was doing at clean up time.
Nathan is a bright little boy who brings an amazing presence to the classroom. Nathan has an enormous amount of potential with the PEC's program