Monthly Archives: July 2015

Pink Nails and Pirate Masks

What are little boys made of? Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.

David pirate eye

And what are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice.

Alexandra and Yana

I had the pleasure of having my sister and her three kids visit for a few days this week.  They live on the other side of the world, so it’s always very special to see them.  The girls had fun playing dress ups and spraying “fairy dust” (perfumed body glitter) all about the house.  Meanwhile, the boys drove trucks around, built with their Legos and drew dinosaurs.  As for me?  I had fun painting all the girls’ nails 🙂

nails

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Parenting/Teaching the Special Needs Child

Also posted on my other site: Homeschooling the Minds of Tomorrow

I have seven children, two of whom are autistic: my 14 year old and my 3.5 year old. My homeschooling journey actually began with my oldest and my lack of confidence in the public school system to meet his needs and protect him. I found that as a family, those needs and protection were better met. Of course we struggled, but I never regretted the choice of having him/them home. We all schooled together, through the good and bad and all the changes of life.

My greatest challenge is finding a math program and reading comprehension program that is not to overwhelming. He can read and understand quite well; it’s how he spends all his free time! But to extract that knowledge in written question and answer form is a struggle for him. So I have him do what he can math wise (we use Teaching Textbooks). He reads alone and we discuss what he’s read together, using the given questions as more of a guide for me rather than a worksheet for him.

My 3 year old is not necessarily school age yet, although he would qualify because of his autism for part time preschool, should I choose to place him. Regardless of how rigorous his schoolwork or learning time is, he does need something to keep him little mind active.

He is very sweet and also quite gentle with his 7 week old sister. But with other children, he wants to play and doesn’t know how. He pushes and hits in excitement and in what he believes is play. But it’s not and other kids are quickly turned off and don’t want him around. It breaks my heart to see this and to scold him when another child is hurt. He simply doesn’t understand. And because communication is at a very minimum, I cannot effectively tell him he’s not playing, but hurting.

Autistic children oftentimes seem stronger because they cannot gauge their own strength and lack control of how much force or ease they must use. For this child of mine, the best thing is to remove him completely from the other kids for a bit. He’s having fun but they are not. So until the adrenaline of my son and the frustration from the others wears off, separation is best. I hate doing this. But it’s also for everyone’s safety, unfortunately.

Another thing that helps is to have activities for him. He likes lining up number cards. God forbid, however, someone disrupts the line! He also likes books in a quiet, safe space. He enjoys letters the most. Being outside where he can run wild without injury to himself or others is vital. But sometimes a walk in the fresh air is all he needs. Adequate sleep, a proper nap schedule, use of essential oils, and avoidance of certain foods also help. And as much safe hands on activities as possible. Yes, this can all be very draining. But it’s what he needs now. And as his parent, I know this better than any teacher or therapist because it is I who am with him throughout all times of the day and different scenarios. I’m not perfect and I do lose patience, but I’m learning to take each day at a time.

Matthew 6:34 – Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


Chaos

My eyes are twitching.

Number seven has done me in.

My nature is, well, borderline neurotic when it comes to order and cleanliness. I can’t stand messes and stacks of stuff  (unless it’s my stack that I neatly stacked). Things must have a place and that place is not the floor. I can’t stand the kitchen being gross or kids running around with breakfast still on their faces and shirts. Neurotic.

But now that I have seven, five of which are 7 and under, with a toddler that’s active enough for three toddlers, a newborn and a very active 18 month old, my organized way of life is upside down.

The new order is two toddlers without clothes, covered in popsicle goop running around in the backyard shrieking. Forts upstairs made from every piece of furniture and blanket available. A kitchen completely wrecked and covered in the ingredients from my latest raw creation. Laundry piles all over my room – I don’t remember which are clean and dirty. Oh, and it’s 3 and I’m still in my bathrobe.

So what am I doing while chaos ensues about me? Blogging. Because otherwise I’d lose my marbles 🙂


Six Weeks

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Today baby dear is six weeks. Six weeks! Where does the time go?

Terribly slow when waiting for baby’s arrival.

Slow when watching the clock on the hospital wall.

But somehow, as soon as baby is born, time changes.

The nights are long and quiet, despite the up and down of mom and baby. Yet the mornings come and quickly are gone, giving way to the busyness of the day and all the things that need to be done but are not.

And sometimes, despite all the unconditional love a mother has for her brand new baby and her siblings… sometimes despite all she tries to accomplish and the strength she tries to carry when tired and battling hormones… sometimes a sadness of unknown origin creeps in.

It can be blamed on the fleeting of time. The dishes piled in the sink. The activities planned a day before now lost to the hours passed. Or maybe not really anything at all.

It’s somewhere in all of that that I find myself. Between tears I can’t explain. A heavy heart for a baby I lost seven years ago, even though I now have seven living children. Things I want to do but can’t get done. The watching of a clock I’d now rather curse than read.

The others come in and out as I try to squeeze in a shower…. calm a baby… reminding me of the plans I’d made to take them out for the morning. And even as I fight against them, the tears find their way. I remind myself that these weeks are quiet ones. Slow ones. Ones in which time should not matter. These are precious moments out of time that can never be reclaimed. And I try to remind myself to be grateful for all I have… The rest will be there to worry over another day.


Looking Fancy

It’s always nice to throw on my skirt for the long grocery run, only to discover a child had (unbeknown to me) thought it would be the perfect thing to wipe toothpaste all over. No biggie. I mean it IS the only thing I can feel presentable in five weeks postpartum. But at least when I was throwing kids in the car moments earlier and met the neighbor, I was not wearing said skirt. Instead, I was wearing the yoga pants I wore everyday of pregnancy that now have a huge hole way too high on my inner thigh. I think all was good – I strategically held the three year old in such a way to cover the embarrassment 🙂


Isaac’s Video from Kids Rhyme Box

Reblogged:

Congratulations to contest winners – ISSAC & MOM LAURA

Contest Question: What do your kids prefer at bedtime … a story or a song?

Let us now their favorite song or story and we will make an animated video featuring your kid “look-alike”.

And the winner is Issac from Texas. Thank you Mom Laura for participating in the contest.

Enjoy the customized rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” featuring a little boy Issac from Texas.

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Four weeks?!

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Where does time go?! Four weeks already? Technically, yesterday marked the date, but we were busy packing and cleaning before heading out for a week with family in the beautiful Hill Country. Baby’s first vacation!

I was a little nervous about coming because baby can still have long, wakeful nights, and my three year old has been difficult lately.

But so far we’ve had a nice dinner; kids are enjoying the pool, and my dad pulled out some very old family pictures for my sister and I to view.