It's All Okay

Just a mom blogging about life with an autistic child.

Location: Canada

I'm a stay at home mom with two boys. Patrick is my youngest and has ASD.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

We never used to celebrate halloween. But, since we caved to the pressure about 3 years ago I should have some pictures of my cute little bats to post sometime tomorrow. You wouldn't believe how thrilled I was to hear they wanted to be bats. I think it was Patrick's idea. He watched a show on bats and promptly announced he was going to be a bat. Older brother fell right in line. Yay, now those were easy costumes.

Trick or treating. Hmmm. There's something that used to scare the pants off me. Walking down a street (we don't go here where the houses are miles apart, we go to a friends house), knocking on doors, converstation with strangers, sometimes getting to choose your own candy, etc, etc, etc. He's even ducked past the person at the door and made himself comfy in their home.

But this year I think we're fine. Year after year of practice and talking about the "do's" and "don'ts" are going to pay off. He KNOWS not to go into someone's house. He KNOWS if you're told to take what you want that doesn't really mean take what you want. He KNOWS to hold my hand on the street. He KNOWS to say "trick or treat" and then "thank you".

So it should be fine right? Cause kids always practice what they know. Now all we have to worry about is the seniors home that invites the kids into the parlour so they can all admire them and give them pop. *sigh*

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Because Maddy said so-Stolen from another blog

1. How old will you be in five years? --35
2. Who did you spend at least two hours with today? --My boys
3. How tall are you? --5'5" ish
4. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks? --My birthday
5. What's the last movie you saw? --I'm not sure...I really don't remember. Hubby and did go out to a movie...maybe the lastest Harry Potter?
6. Who was the last person you called? --Char
7. Who was the last person to call you? --Hubby
8. What was the last text message you received? --no texts here
9. Who was the last person to leave you a voicemail? --hubby I think
10. Do you prefer to call or text? --Call...see above.
11. What were you doing at 12am last night? --SLEEPING
12. Are your parents married/separated/divorced? --married
13. When is the last time you saw your mom? --a couple of weeks ago
14. What color are your eyes? --Hazel
15. What time did you wake up today? --6:30 when the boys got up
16. What are you wearing right now? T- Shirt and Jeans
17. What is your favorite Christmas song? --The First Noel.
18. Where is your favorite place to be? --driving in the truck...but only if hubby is there for support with the kids.
19. Where is your least favourite place to be? --Emptying the scrapings into the compost heap.
20. Where would you go if you could go anywhere? --Scotland or Prince Edward Island
21. Where do you think you'll be in 10 years? --Raising teenagers....oi!
22. Do you tan or burn? --neither, I stay white...fearfully pale.
23. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? --a hand reaching out from under the bed.
24. What was the last thing that REALLY made you laugh? --Maddy
25. How many TVs do you have in your house? --2
26. How big is your bed? --Queen
27. Do you have a laptop or desktop computer? --Desktop
28. Do you sleep with or without clothes on? --partially dressed
29. What color are your sheets? --plaid
30. How many pillows do you sleep with? --2 for me and 2 for hubby
31. What is your favorite season? --Fall/Autumn.
32. What do you like about fall? --the colours.
33. What do you like about winter? --wood stove
34. What do you like about the summer? --swimming in a neighbour's pool.
35. What do you like about spring? --the smell.
36. How many states/provinces have you lived in? --2-Ontario and Newfoundland..oh and Bermuda as a child...guess that makes 3.
37. What cities/towns have you lived in? --Ottawa, Kingston, Gander, not sure where in Bermuda.
38. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet? --bare feet unless I'm cold, then socks and shoes.
39. Are you a social person? --not really.
40. What was the last thing you ate? --vanilla yogurt.
41. What is your favorite restaurant? --Baton Rouge.
42. What is your favorite ice cream? --Chocolate.
43. What is your favorite dessert? --don't really have a favorite...I like most desserts.
44. What is your favorite kind of soup? --French Onion or Potato Leek.
45. What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich? --Blueberry.
46. Do you like Chinese food? --real Chinese food...not so much the stuff in the restaurants.
47. Do you like coffee? --No
48. How many glasses of water a day? --2 to 4.
49. What do you drink in the morning? --Cranberry Juice.
51. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed? --usually the left side, but every once in a while I take the other side just to keep things interesting. :)
52. Do you know how to play poker? --yes
53. Do you like to cuddle? --only sometimes.
54. Have you ever been to Canada? --I've never been anywhere else. *grin*
55. Do you have an addictive personality? --no
56. Do you eat out or at home more often? --at home...probably 98% of the time.
58. Do you know anyone with the same birthday as you? --no
59. Do you want kids? --I've always wanted them and I have two.
60. Do you speak any other languages? --French and German.
61. Have you ever gotten stitches? --no
62. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? --yes, with my son.
63. Do you prefer an ocean or a pool? --I'm not sure, they both have plus's and minus's.
64. Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seats? --I tend not to fly. On a train I prefer window.
65. Do you know how to drive stick? --Yes.
66. What is your favorite thing to spend money on? --food and surprises for the boys.
67. Do you wear any jewelry 24/7? --my wedding ring and my anniversary earrings.
68. What is your favorite TV show? --Criminal Minds
69. Can you roll your tongue?--no
71. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?--no
72. What is the main ring tone on your phone? --normal ring
73. Do you still have clothes from when you were little? --Yes, I have little dresses from before I could walk.
74. What red object is closest to you right now? --red pencil.
75. Do you turn off the water while you brush your teeth? --yes
76. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? --open...we don't have enough storage. The boys' closets are closed.
77. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees? --a bear.
79. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?--I don't eat nuggets anymore, but I usually dip in ketchup.
80. What is your favorite food? --Lasagne.
81. Can you change the oil on a car? --Yes
82. Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket? --no
83. Have you ever run out of gas? --no
84. What is your usual bedtime? --as soon as the boys fall asleep
85. What was the last book you read? --Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
86. Do you read the newspaper? --no, we don't get a paper.
87. Do you have any magazine subscriptions? --no
89. Do you watch soap operas? --sometimes, GH comes on just before the boys come home and sometimes it's nice to relax with it on.
90. Do you dance in the car? --absolutely.
91. What radio station did you last listen to? --Country
92. Who is in the picture frame closest to you? --Patrick
93. What was the last note you scribbled on a piece of paper? --Date of next parent's council meeting.
94. What is your favorite candle scent? --Apple Cinnamon
95. What is your favorite board game? --I don't have one.
98. Who was your favorite teacher in high school?--My music teachers
99. What is the longest you have ever camped out in a tent? --4 days.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's his lucky day!

At school they have a "guessing bag". Each kid has a turn and they bring something to school. It's kind of like show and tell except they give clues and the other kids try and guess what it is.

So today's Patrick's lucky day...that's what the teachers call it and the kids get so excited. He's chosen to bring a red pom pom from a hockey game. He's a huge fan and watches most of our local team's games.

Anyway, he thought of the clues and I wrote them down. He proudly wrote his name at the top of the's mostly recognizable too I think.

I'm a volunteer in his class today. I guess that makes it my lucky day too. *grin*

Monday, October 22, 2007

Red and Yellow and Pink and Green

Imagine spending a whole day trying to get your kids to leave you alone. They have to stay in the house with you (for safety of course) but they may not be in the room you're in at any given time. Crazy?

Nope, painting! I finally got to paint my living room and hallway yesterday. I'm so happy. And the kids were pretty good. They, of course, kept being pulled towards us by some invisible magnet but we were able to keep them from creating body shaped prints on the walls as they dried.

It was a beautiful day for it. Warm and lovely with a nice breeze to run through all the open windows. Hubby wanted to go play outside.

In the spring we're painting older brother's room camouflauge and Patrick's room either with Lightening McQueen red with a lightning bolt or Sens colours.(our hockey team, red/black/gold)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Not enough time in the day

I am thankful for this. Because the fact that I can't get everything done (including blogging) means that I've spent as much time as possible playing with Patrick. Not doing therapy...just playing. Enjoying each other's company. Maybe a little printing of his name on some artwork...cause I just can't seem to help turning everything into a teaching moment.

Ok, being thankful. I'm not always thankful. It's hard work to be thankful. But I WANT to be thankful for everything. Yep, that's the master plan.

It's easy to be thankful for the good stuff. Thankful for my children. Thankful for the roof over my head.

But I'm also thankful for autism. It's a wonderful insight into the differences of the human brain. I enjoy Patrick's uniqueness. There are some things in him that nobody else has. Wonderful things. Good things.

Being thankful doesn't always mean being happy. I wasn't happy when I had to literally hang on with 2-3 hours of sleep every night...for years. I wasn't happy when I was cleaning up poop or sitting in emergency the first time he had a seizure. I wasn't happy when I was embarassed or harrassed out in public.

But with retrospections I'm thankful for it all. It is who he is. It is who I am. And I'm happy now. Right now, in this moment. We are our histories. That's important somewhere I think.

So can we be thankful for bad things in the moment? Possibly. Can we be thankful for them later. Absolutely. And more importantly, I think it's imperative. We need to be thankful for the negative things in least when we look back on them. Surely there's always something to learn.

There are other things in my life not related to autism. Some of them are bad things. Am I thankful for them also? We had an end of first trimester miscarriage early in our marriage. I was pretty traumatized. Looking back now, though, all I remember is the love in my husband's eyes as he held me. I remember the long walks and talks we had together talking about our future. And I feel the bond that has helped create in our marriage (along with other strife) that has given me the kind of relationship I value. We are not fairweather partners and the proof is in the pudding.

So if we're thankful for the pain would we go back and erase it if we could? I've asked myself this question before. If I had a time maching would I go back and not have Patrick? Make different choices? Erase autism from my life?

Hmmmm. If I'd asked that question a few years ago I'm afraid I might have said yes. I was in the middle of the most difficult times of my life. It was hard. Sometimes I wanted out. I cried.

If I ask myself that question that we've come so far. Now that I can look back and see the value in what we experienced. Now that I can see the good mixed in there somewhere. I'm glad I didn't have the chance to bail.

My answer and your answer will not always be the same. But for me this is it. I choose to be thankful for all in my life, good and bad, and for me that means that I would not go back and change a thing. Our experiences make up who we are. And who we are is good.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Still thinking

I'm still planning to write about being thankful. I havn't forgotten but I just don't have the post fully formed yet. I will say that I've decided I'm definately happier when I'm thankful for everything....even the tough stuff. More on this at a later date.

Yesterday was a surprising day. We went on a school field trip with no incident. I didn't think I'd have a lot of fun but I did. Patrick always has fun. Then in the evening we went to the fire hall. He was so happy and excited. I was really proud at the self-restraint he showed at not touching everything. The firefighters were fabulous with the kids. They really seemed to enjoy showing them everything and answering their questions.

I'm frustrated that the highlight of my week is grocery shopping alone. There are times when hubby and I go out on dates and those are fun but I really think I need something fun to do alone. I havn't found that something yet but I'm planning to spend some serious time looking. Soon. Soon as I get some serious time.

I've always wanted to paint...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Giving of Thanks

It's often automatic. Someone gives you something, you say "thank you". Our kids are very well trained in this. And please don't get me wrong. I think politeness and manners are important. But my question is this...are we really thankful?

Am I thankful for my children? For what they bring into my life? Am I thankful for my husband and all the things he does for me? Am I thankful that I have breath in my lungs and a beating heart in my chest? Am I thankful for the rain? The snow? Disability? Death? Pain?

This weekend I'm going to ponder these things. I'm going to take a few moments when I can and consider what being thankful really is. And how we achieve it. And how we should express it. What should we be thankful for?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I don't take enough pics.

I need to start remembering my camera when we go out. Actually, I need to use it when we're home too. I never seem to remember.

Patrick loves smiling for pictures. He thinks it's fantastic. So much so that I'm concerned that we won't get the proper 'blank look' they want when we get his passport photo taken. Could be interesting!

Hubby and I are going to a hockey game. We've never done that before. I'm pretty excited and the boys will stay home with our worker and watch the game on tv. :) Patrick loves hockey...especially smashing players from the other team against the boards (we've been explaining to him that if he plays hockey he won't be allowed to "check" until he's an adult). I'm going to get him (and his brother) posters or something for their rooms.

Monday, October 01, 2007


So, Patrick takes his last anti-seizure pill tonight. Perhaps this would be a good time for me to start taking anti-anxiety meds? I'm kidding...kind of.

The school seems calm about the possibility of seizures. We've put as many preventative measures in place to make sure if he does have one he'll be safe. I've seen enough seizures by now to not be phased by him having one while home with me.

It seems to be a much bigger thing though. I keep thinking about his future. If he has more seizures he'll probably be on the meds long term. The side effects are scary (if you want to know about them, google phenobarbital) and I hate meds. If he doesn't have any more seizures I'll be a walking maniac at least until a year goes by seizure free. Then I can relax.

Deep Breath. I know it'll be fine and that we can handle whatever happens. It helps to vent it all here. I think this might be part of the reason Autism isn't such a big deal in the Grand Scheme of things. Seizures are much scarier!