Monday, August 29, 2011

Follow-Up - That Warm Fuzzy Feeling

Wanted to do a quick little follow-up on an earlier post of mine "That Warm Fuzzy Feeling".

A local family that I had sent some of my boys used clothing and shoes with to Ghana have now returned home from their trip. I loved following their blog and checking out photos on facebook while they were away. And even recognized a few outfits and pairs of shoes! It felt wonderful to be a small part of this incredible experience.

Here is a little video collection of some favorite memories from their trip. It's beautiful!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hang On...

Needless to say when Autism is a part of your life you can expect a roller coaster ride!
That definitely has been my week! we go...

Sunday I returned home from my trip to Manitoba with the boys. Although very enjoyable, the 12 hour drive home (nine hours on Day 1, three hours on Day 2) left me very tired. And as Monday rolled around I was finding myself desperately seeking some personal space and time. I LOVE my boys, but needless to say (for any Mom, not just an Autism Mom) sometimes I just need a break!

...going down...

Tuesday we were back to the grind, and I loaded up Gavin to go to his Music Therapy Summer Group. He had a week off from therapy and group, so I knew we could have some issues reintroducing him to the routine. "Some issues" was a major understatement! fast...hold on...

The WHINING started as soon as we entered the door and I was signing in at reception. The CRYING started as soon as we entered the gym/playroom. The FREAK OUT started when he refused to sit on the mat for puzzle/book time (begins every group meeting while we wait for all kids to arrive). He went to his back pack looking for his iPad (which was left at home - on purpose). The absolute MELT DOWN started when he did not find it!


I spent the next 45 minutes physically restraining him, while attempting to get him to participate in signing, dancing, etc. Which was basically me holding him, while singing, rocking, or walking around the room. He eventually settled in a bit when it was time to have his juice at snack time. He will not eat what the other kids eat, and we do not give him an alternative in this environment. Even his special juice (straw sippy) cup gains a little too much attention from the other kids drinking from their styrofoam cups. We put whatever food is served on his plate, and try to get him to play or show some interest in it while the others eat.

...slowing down...

Upon returning home the iPad was put away in the cupboard, and a new house rule was introduced. The iPad is only to be used as a tool (not a toy) to work on pointing, turn taking, etc and only with adult supervision. Over the summer holidays, and our many travels, it had become too much of a toy, and even a babysitter, and far too preferred of an activity for him. It is our own fault. But it was now time to make the correction!

...and climbing back up...

Thursday we returned to Music camp, the last day. Once again as we entered the room he began crying. But this time he warmed up more quickly, and we sat and worked on a puzzle he likes.  As the singing began he got agitated again, but when the parachute came out for song #2 he was all smiles! When snack time rolled around I realized I forgot his straw cup at home (gasp!). So I took the opportunity to see if he would drink from the styrofoam cup like the rest of the kids. I held the cup, brought it to his mouth, and he opened wide and drank! He drank his whole cup of juice! I was elated!

...and WEEEEEEEEE! This is fun! 

And finally on Friday I received an e-mail from his OT. She was working on a program to deal with Gavin's excessive drool, fingers in his mouth, oral motor skills issues. She also asked if we would be interested in pursuing a referral to the Developmental Clinic at Calgary Children's hospital. Just to further investigate some of his oral issues, and rule out an medical issues. I nearly cried. Due to Gavin's medical history (lack of oxygen and resuscitation at birth, tube fed in NICU, etc) I have continually had questions about this. He's been a noisy breather and had feeding issues from Day 1. Is it all just Autism/Sensory issues or are there physical issues we can't see? FINALLY someone was listening to me, and agreed with my concern. The emotion I had reading that e-mail cannot be described. Needless to say I LOVE his OT!

And...I love Gavin!

"Life is like a roller coaster, too many unexpected turns but at the end you just want to ride it again." - Unknown

*roller coaster image Courtesy of Google Images. Unable to track original source.

Friday Feature - Miche Mozaix's

Today's Friday Feature is Miche Mosaic's.

The shop owner Debbie, is a fellow Autism Mom and her 16 year old son (on the spectrum), is "my best 'employee' when it comes to producing my line of mosaic jewelry". 

The above Puzzle Piece tile, is sold on their Etsy Shop and 50% of the sales from this piece is donated to employment training  for young adults on the spectrum.

An excerpt from Debbie's shop:
My style is totally different from 'traditional' mosaics and my tiles are NEVER broken. Every piece I make begins as soft clay which is then cut to fit my original designs. Glazes are then added and the pieces are fired. Finally, I connect the bits and pieces with grout to make a necklace or a mirror, or a pair of earrings or a fountain or WHATEVER !! This process allows me to get a variety of really cool shapes, textures, etc. and I love the chance to share all my creations with YOU!

Beautiful work Debbie! Thank you for sharing your shop & your story with us!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A favorite Pic!

                                Grady helping "Papa" with chores.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New adventures!

I'll start sharing some photos from our adventures in Manitoba. The boys were definitely kept busy, and got to do and see a bunch of new things.

Gavin LOVED rides on Grandpa's ATV. Grady on the other hand was not such a big fan.

Friday, August 5, 2011

No Friday Feature - Another Road Trip!

Sorry, No Friday Feature Today...

I'm super busy trying to get packed up for yet another road trip. Off to Manitoba with the boys tomorrow AM. Going to visit Grandma & Grandpa C (my parents), my brother, and hopefully some other family we do not get to see often enough.

I was quite stressed about the drive (12 hours!). I was planning on making the trip on my own since hubby is away for a week playing ball in Ontario. But my Mom has made her way out to Alberta to spend a few days, and make the drive with me! We have a hotel booked in Regina, SK to help break the trip up. It has a great pool and water park, so we can let the boys have some fun during our break.

I'll take lots of pictures and share when I get back. Not sure how much I'll get online while I'm away. Their so called "high-speed" internet in rural Manitoba is not super speedy! lol

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

GFCF Butternut Squash Soup

Been a while since I shared a GFCF recipe. This is one of Gav's favorites! The addition of white kidney beans sounds odd, but it helps with the creaminess, and adds a punch of protein!

Butternut Squash Soup

4 cups lightly salted water
1 cup chopped Carrot (or about 1/2 small bag of baby carrots)
2 large Russet Potatoes, cubed
2 1/2 cups Butternut Squash, cubed (a 20 oz bag of pre-prepared)
1 Tbsp ClubHouse Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper Seasoning (or your favorite seasoning blend)
1 - 19oz Can White Kidney Beans, drained
1/2 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk (optional)

In a large saucepan on high heat, bring water to a boil. Add carrots and potatoes and boil for 5 minutes. Now add Butternut Squash. At this point you may need to add a little more water to ensure vegetables are JUST covered. Note: Do not add too much, vegetables will not be drained prior to pureeing. Too much water will make your soup runny.

Boil for another 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are VERY soft (almost falling apart). Remove from heat. Stir in the can of kidney beans, and add seasoning. Let mixture stand 5 minutes.

Puree mixture with hand blender until smooth. Or transfer to a blender and puree.

1/2 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk can be added at this point for a creamier soup - or leave out for soy-free diets.

Serve with Gluten Free crackers. Enjoy!