We slept, we slept, we slept. I was thankful we slept. I heard Owen coming to my bedroom right around six. I was wondering what emotion he would talk about this morning but instead, he said, “tablet.” Before I could get anything else out he said, “good morning mommy” and off he ran to the potty. In a way, I was glad he wasn’t talking about emotions first because it made me think he was feeling better. I got up and fixed his milk and cereal. I poured my cup of coffee and I took our temperatures. First morning that both of us were normal in a week. A relief washed over me. There’s still the congestion, coughs, and sneezing but to have the fever behind us is a great feeling. Today felt like a lot of little victories built from a lot of building block days. There were many new skills learned and applied throughout the day. He has learned how to take the sled in one of his apps and break it. It’s pretty wild to me. This is the same app that he would get so upset with because he can’t go into the clouds now but he has figured out how to completely stretch the sled out by taking it off the screen in the wrong direction. He’s finding all these hidden treasures in the apps. He came to show me something else and started to walk away. I said, “I love you” and he bent his head over for me to kiss the top of it. I kept thinking all day that if we had to be sick I’m thankful it wasn’t while he should have been in school. As hard as this has been he didn’t miss going to one of his favorite places for the entire week and that was a relief. I have been working with him to understand the process of why we do or don’t do something. He continues to bite his tablet cover for the sensory input of it or maybe to get in control of the moment. I explained to him that he can’t bite his tablet because it will hurt his teeth and jaw. I want him to know that he can use other techniques to calm himself or help with the input he might be seeking. I told him he can count to ten to help himself through this as well. I started moving my fingers to count and he started counting to ten using his fingers. This delights me and is so incredible. He can do his left hand more fluidly than his right. I’m beyond ecstatic about his love of books. He wanted to read numerous books with me and “Eric Carle gorilla book” was one that he brought me to read with him. He said, “mommy’s turn” and handed me the book to read. I still had him read part of it but since he wanted me to read I let him decide what pages he wanted to read. He is connecting so many details now. This makes me even prouder knowing the doctors told me my baby probably wouldn’t talk. Not only does he talk but he says incredible things in many languages. The descriptions are incredible. “That’s a tail,” he said, “he flies eyes beak feathers” referring to the bluebird on the screen. “It’s an iguana kinda like a lizard he eats bugs yum,” he said on the next screen that came up. He watched numerous videos today and then he came up with this story. “There’s a ghost in my bed woohoo woohoo oh no,” he said. “He needs my pillow Curious George,” he continued. He got in his bed and covered up. He started doing the fake snoring and then said, “boo.” He came to me and said, “it’s an owl.” This was a story of his own combination between a Mickey Mouse video and a Curious George one I believe, adding his own twist. He’s becoming quite the storyteller. He keeps hiding his alarm clock. I’m not quite sure why. I understand he didn’t want Alexa in his room but not sure why he didn’t want her either besides maybe she talks too much for him. He fell asleep quickly after a very full day. I’m thankful for his growth and a day full of accomplishments. The victory of progress is something to celebrate. Any step forward is a step. Celebrate the little steps that lead to big victories. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I feel like I should put one of those Gone Fishing signs out. Exhaustion does not even begin to cover it. I technically think I’ve lost the concept of time this week and especially in the last twenty-four hours, maybe it’s forty-eight or somewhere in between. It seems as soon as I was finally ready for bed is when Owen woke up for the day so I’ve been up since about five in the morning yesterday. I tried numerous times to get him back to sleep so maybe I slept an hour or so here and there when I tried to convince him to go back to sleep but to say I’m tired is an understatement. He woke up because he told me his tooth was angry and it needed to be twisted. His dentist explained that she felt he was probably more sensitive to all the movements so the new tooth was causing him so much distress. Once he was awake explaining it I tried to convince him to go back to sleep or stay in his bed or my bed but nothing sounded good to him. He did however scream a lot and I had to figure out what was happening with his mouth. Thankfully his mouth was fine and the tooth he was concerned about it growing back in. I do believe he wanted a lollipop as well. The day is all blending together. I know there was a lot of eating, no sleeping, a lot of screaming, and requests to go to grandma’s. I really hope he can go soon. I said, “I love you” and he said, “I love you too.” I was quite pleased with that. The rollercoaster sleep keeps going. Out with the lights on. It was after six. He has been playing a lot in his room so I’ve been trying to give him the independence to play alone. He went into his room and then I waited a few minutes before I walked in there. He was out. He woke up when I stood next to his bed and he said, “mommy go to the bathroom.” I said, no you need to go to the bathroom. He said, “no lights on” and he was out again. It didn’t last for long but he was asleep. Progress happened. He woke up and wanted all the lights out. I told him not in my bedroom because I was using them as he was turning them off, screaming at me. I said ok we can have all the lights out but you have to turn your bedroom light off too. I walked him to his room and told him that it was the same thing. I wanted my bedroom light on and he wanted his on. Before I could explain any more he said, “sorry mommy light on” and I think he’s got it. The night is young. I pray he sleeps all night. His eyes were very heavy but he kept fighting it. I think he woke because I went to the bathroom, did a few things in the kitchen, and then he got up to go to the bathroom which was a good thing. I pray we sleep tonight. I pray he stays asleep. I’m thankful for his progress today. Cherish the gifts that you are giving and believe in the miracle of tomorrow. Smiles to all and donut daze!
We woke with temps once again. They were both low grade but any grade at this point is for the birds. Owen didn’t have as much congestion but he still had a lot of drainage. I’m hoping it is coming to an end for us. He slept all night and for that I am thankful. When he woke he came to me with his next new emotion. He told me he was mad. “I mad grr,” he said and continued to tell me he was mad over and over with the growl continuing. These connections to emotions are great but they are hard for me to watch him go through. It has been an incredible learning experience for him over the last few days. After the initial wake up of being mad things shifted and he was pretty calm. He wanted to play in his room again and closed the door. Doors have become a thing again. It almost feels like my ten year old is becoming a teenager with the slamming of doors. What’s old is new again. When he was younger the doors would be opened and shut constantly, partly because my house is old and the doors only stay shut if you do it exactly the right way. He was full of tiny tidbits all day, filled with knowledge that both amuses and amazes me all in one. Siri and Alexa both played big roles in his day, responding to his many requests for the knowledge he seeks. “I want chocolate milk please in Arabic,” he asked Alexa. He knows how to say it and in all the other languages she can translate into but he still asks her. He wanted all kinds of songs too. He pointed to my phone and said, “Toy Blast on your phone downloading.” I told him what I always tell him that I don’t have it on my phone and I’m not going to put it on there. He laughs and shows me he has it on his tablet. He has his books scattered everywhere. Every time I put them up out they come again. He started bringing his books to me and he said, “it’s mommy’s turn” wanting me to read with him. I love his love for books. I was trying to get him to drink more water today and that does not always go over well. I handed him a cup and it’s like he because a water faucet. There was water everywhere. He dribbles it out of his mouth and keeps talking about it being almost done and hasn’t even drank one swig. The hard part is when he gets any liquid on anything it upset him. He is the one that is spilling the water and then he is screaming that “it will dry” but clearly upset that anything is wet. My head spins on how to get him to understand it’s ok and he will be fine. And this is from the dude that loves baths and thinks it’s hilarious to get the whole bathroom wet with his “splash splash splish” method in the tub. It’s so hard for me to explain to him what splashing is like when it is raining. I’m hoping the visual therapy will continue to help him with this concept. He wanted pancakes for breakfast and second breakfast, my dude eats a lot. The thing is today one of those pancakes slipped away without me noticing. When he got into bed he pulled out a pancake. It was under his pillow and his “pancake hand” told him to put it under his pillow like his “tooth hand” put his tooth under his pillow so he could get lollipops and new hats. So for his pancake, he wanted an Octopus hat as a present and more lollipops both of which he got for Christmas. I made sure to look under my pillows and the couch pillows and thankfully nothing else this time. My king commentator fell asleep quoting a story that I’m sure he heard somewhere earlier in the day, “I can’t do that yet please try again it will be fixed soon.” The knowledge he has stored is beyond incredible. I’m thankful for his amazing gifts and his smile that warms my heart. The victory comes in the patience we show during the challenges we walk through. You are stronger than you ever imagined. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen slept all night long and I was once again very thankful for this. When he woke he didn’t sound any better than he had the last few days and seemed to be more congested. He was also extremely sad because he wasn’t going to see his grandma. He was crying out to me and saying that he was sad. He was so sad about it but to see him express his emotions is amazing. But it’s with mixed feelings for me because I hate to see him sad but I’m thankful that he is learning about his emotions and that he is allowed to have his own emotions and to express them. He didn’t stop requesting grandma all day. It’s hard explaining that our fevers are causing us to not be able to go. And the fever is holding on to both of us. When he first woke up his nose was continuously running. He’s never really understood how to wipe his nose but today was the day. He still didn’t get it perfectly but he was really doing great with it. He would come to me numerous times to help him and then he started doing it. I’m thankful he is making the connection. He was very playful but he was also high-strung. He showed me a lot of his videos and reacted in many new ways. He kept bringing the pillow for Curious George again and he was ready for pirates and astronauts again. Someone parked in front of our house but they weren’t coming to see us. He looked out the window and kept trying to say hi to the lady but she wasn’t coming here. He got very upset when she wouldn’t come to him. But there are so many times he gets extremely upset when people try to come to our house. It all depends on the routine of our day too. After the initial start to our day, he was happy. There were moments in time when he was sad especially when I told him it would be several days before we could see his grandma but I’m thankful for his growth and all the connections he is making. Find your strength, know that you are amazing, and remember you can change the world with your smile. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen slept all night. I was quite shocked but quite happy. And he was happy as a lark once again. The fever would not let go but I felt like he was making progress. I was torn about taking him to the doctor because I thought it was a cold but the temperature part made me call to take him in. We had a great morning. He did so many incredible things. He was watching a video where the kid was role playing and it was a rocket ship video. The kid had a colander on his head and Owen started talking about his hat. He said he wanted a rocket ship. I told him after he ate breakfast we could make a rocket ship. He then was watching pirates and he talked to me about the gold doubloons in the pirate's hat. I made a rocket ship and a pirate ship out of a couple of boxes we had. He wanted to sit with them but he didn’t want the hats or colander on for more than a second and he wanted his blankets everywhere. After a few minutes, he moved on and ate second, third, or fourth breakfast. I lost count. He went to his room and he was watching a video where Curious George was in his bed but he didn’t have a pillow. He talked to me about it numerous times and then he went to his bed and started bringing me his pillow for me to give to Curious George. This was an amazing connection for him to make between the video he was watching not having a pillow and his wanting to give his pillow to Curious George. I was thrilled with how much he was doing today and how far he has come. He was talking to Alexa, asking her for music, and he said, “by uncle wich music.” I’m amazed at how often he brings my brother up. I started preparing him early in the morning that we were going and that his doctor may not be wearing blue pants. By the afternoon I was starting to feel sick too. I had a slight fever so hopefully, I won’t get any sicker. His appointment went great. His doctor wasn’t expecting us but she said she was thankful she wore blue pants today. He looked fine except for his nose and lips from the drainage. She said it was good to check since the fever was lingering but thankfully there was no infection and to keep watching him. I felt like this was going to be the outcome but it was a relief to have him checked. As soon as we walked out of the doctor’s office and all the way home, he was having a huge meltdown about not seeing his teacher until January. He said he was going to see grandma on Thursday. I know he is confused with his routine and the sickness does not help this. I told him we had to wait until our fevers broke. He said, “break them.” I asked him if he wanted chicken or fish for dinner and he said, “waffles please.” I’m hoping that in another day he will feel better again and the doctor thought the fever should be gone soon. Through it all, I’m thankful for his growth. I’m amazed at all the connections and the role playing is fabulous. Life is full of challenges but each day we can continue to grow and move forward. Today is the first day of the rest of your life so let’s make it grand. Smiles to all and donut daze!
One of the hardest things in the entire world is when my baby is sick. He can’t always tell me what hurts or how bad he is feeling. I have to guess. I have to compare it to all the other times he’s been sick. And then I second-guess it all. This morning Owen woke very early but didn’t seem to be feeling any worse than he did yesterday. One of the things we’ve got going for is now is he knows all his doctors’ names and he will say he is going to the doctor even if he can’t explain. He never mentioned his doctor’s name and he stayed pretty consistent most of the day. His energy level and the amount of food he ate both were up there. I was really surprised by how much he ate and he was trying a couple of new things for me. Right before dinner time, he started getting snotty. I’m praying that it goes away overnight. Throughout the day he has been very interactive with me but he was also wanting to follow only his rules. This morning he was attempting to sit on the vents again and I told him that he especially didn’t want to do this right now while he was sick. I told him “it will cost you your tablet with that behavior.” He said, “it cost money can’t have funny foods no coins.” He made the connection that when he wants different apps that cost money I won’t always let him have them, especially because I know sometimes he is only going to play with them for a few minutes. I always like to check out the apps that he wants before we spend money on them; unless a meltdown is happening over an app and then I know I can always delete it later. He did amazing with his spelling and associations. He was spelling words all day and telling me about them. “Five is like fire,” he said and spelled both words right after each other. I spent most of the day reflecting on my own childhood and how much my mom would watch me like a hawk when I was sick. I can remember sitting in the waiting room before going back to see the doctor. It’s amazing how vivid those memories are for me. I pray that Owen will always feel my love and know that I’m doing my best for him. It is an emotional journey to the acceptance of where we are at and where we have come from. I always say it is as much about how I handle it as it is about Owen having autism. And it is hard. You have this beautiful child and he screams at you a lot, a lot. It’s hard. But there is also so much my heart has gotten from this incredible journey and the happiness he shared with me. There were so many victories today and I’m thankful for his connections. My prayers are for him to be feeling much better tomorrow so that we can have some fun on his Christmas break. Never give up on the dream of tomorrow. Success isn’t always an overnight success story but rather a journey of completing it right. Be proud of the steps you take and the journey to your success. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Merry Christmas. I cling to yesteryear. I cling to yesterday. I heard a sneeze and a cough coming from Owen’s room sometime after midnight. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. My heart breaks when he is sick. I was hoping when he woke up it would have been a figment of my imagination or a passing thing. He woke at four and there was no convincing him to go back to sleep. He kept telling me to set the timer so we could get up. He understands more about Santa and presents than he ever has but his waking up early had nothing to do with presents. Instead, it had all to do with his tablet, routine, and not feeling great. He was very clingy this morning when we woke but once we got past the first couple hours it then changed to still not feeling great but full of energy. I gave him his presents and they were the books he asked for plus a couple he hadn’t requested. He put them with the rest of his books on the floor instead of in the bins. I also got him a couple of other things that all got hidden away. He liked them but he can’t process them yet so away they went for another day. He said, “Santa brings me present.” I was happy how all the connections to church and Santa were coming together for him. He told me “Santa goes back to the pole tonight.” He loved watching the musicians play last night. He talks about violins and can pick them out of songs he hears. I tried to see if he wanted to play his violin tonight but he said, “squeaky” so I think he knows he is not an expert yet because when he hears it in songs he likes it and tells me about it. I had him hold his violin and I think that helped him process it. I am amazed at how he can pick out the different instruments in songs. The more he is exposed to concerts and music the more I see growth in him when he is playing and singing. He fell asleep quickly tonight. It’s hard not knowing what is troubling him but I’m thankful he was able to have a good day despite him not feeling well. Hopefully, he will feel better tomorrow and he can enjoy the rest of his Christmas break. He really wants to go to the big slides and out to dinner with our friends. Plus he told me he was going to breakfast with grandma on Wednesday. My emotions covered the map today. Any and all of them were on my sleeves. I pray for peace tomorrow in my soul, I pray Owen feels better, and I pray for all that felt alone today on this beautiful holiday. The memories splashed across my face as the day wore on but I didn’t cry, yet. I’ll leave that until I lay quietly in my bed. Through those tears, I find peace and focus on tomorrow. Even when emotions take over know that you are not alone and that this is one moment in time. Keep moving forward. Smiles to all and donut daze!
All the moments in time lead up to the moment in time where the connections are made. I see them. I feel them. And I love them. Owen is making incredible progress and it is a beautiful thing to watch. He woke up early but he was excited; it was church day. All week I prepared him for it being on Saturday so he woke this morning on a mission. He slept until five and came to me. I told him to go to the bathroom first and then he could have his tablet. He went to the bathroom and then he went back to his room for a few minutes. I’m not sure why he went back to his room but I attempted to sleep a little longer. Our morning went fast. He was listening to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and he said, “that’s uncle wichard he in the sky” as the lyrics “up above the world so high” continued in the background. Whenever I wonder something about my son he answers it. I wasn’t sure how to explain that Richard is in our hearts but I don’t have to. He knows, Owen knows, and he reminded me that each of us can leave behind gifts of memories for the people we love. We got ready for church and he talked the whole way there. He told me that Santa was coming in a sled and I had to look in the sky. Santa is bringing him books he told me. He is getting several that he asked for and several that he didn't. He also told me he is getting his bike in January and it has pedals. He said he was going to ride it around the parking lot to the pirate ship which is what he calls the playground at church. We got to church and he went to his classroom and I went to the first service. He had told me several times he wanted to go in the little red wagon to hear the songs. When I got him from his classroom I asked him if he wanted to go see them singing. He said yes so we watched the whole second service. I wasn’t sure how long he would last but he picked a spot where he wanted to sit and we stayed. He asked for a hymnal like we had at the singalong and one of the pastors brought us one. It made him happy. He thought he saw or maybe he did see his eye therapist. He started yelling “delish delish” and got so excited. He calls her delish because he can’t pronounce her first name. He was a antsy and spoke out a few times when there was talking in different parts but he didn't want to leave. I made sure he knew we could at any time. He loved the singing. He smiled, squirmed, put his hands on his ears, and screamed with delight. Every time the music would stop he would say, “do it one more time.” I worried about being too loud or antsy but he's God's child and they encourage kids in the service so I reminded him several times to keep his voice low and I distracted him by signing the letters to the words in his hands. He likes the sensation of the letters being spelled. He was very excited all day about going and for him to sit there was amazing. I’m thankful for my Christmas miracle. I’m thankful he loves music so much and it moves his soul. When we got home he sat down in the middle of the floor where all his books were surrounding him and started reading them. His appetite was big when we got home and he ate country-fried steak for dinner. Calling everything chicken helps to make sure he likes something. When we left he said, “it’s nighttime” and made the fake snoring sounds. And when he went to bed he fell asleep making the fake snoring sounds. My heart is full tonight as I fall asleep. The gladness washes away my sadness and brings good cheer to my heart. I am thankful for today and the miracle of tomorrow. Your story is not written in stone. The first chapter may be complete but the end still has a story to be told. Smiles to all and donut daze!
It’s cold. It’s like winter is trying to win an award for the best representation of interpretive cold. Owen’s concern for the week ahead continued this morning before five, maybe it was four. He got his tablet and I sent him back to his room but he sat in the living room laughing and singing with the videos he was watching. Some time went by and he was at the table saying, “chocolate milk and cereal please.” I really wasn’t awake but I certainly wasn’t asleep either at this point. I got up and went to the bathroom and then fixed first breakfast. He asked about his teacher and then he asked about his teacher again and then he asked about his teacher again and then he asked about the bus and then he asked about his teacher. After asking for his teacher again he asked about church and then he asked about his teacher again. He also tells me that he is not going to see her again. I remind him of her words. She made sure to go through it with him before we left yesterday. She reminded him that she would see him on January 4th. We talked a lot about the date. My heart is all over the map today. I can’t stop thinking about my brother. This is the second Christmas without him. It isn’t easier than the first. What I want to remember is his giving heart. That’s what I’m going to focus on over the next few days. Owen has mentioned “uncle wichard” numerous times in the last few days. How do I ever explain something I don’t even understand myself? I pray a lot, a lot -a lot. It’s what gets me through the days. I watched Owen as he stood, listening to a song, holding his hands back to his ears, singing a completely different song than he is watching. He did this numerous times. He kind of does this dance with it where he pushes himself back from his tablet and then moves really close to it again. I walked into the kitchen and I told him I loved when I hear him singing. He said, “little red wagon.” I knew as soon as he said it that he was thinking about church and singing from the hymnals. His classroom will be open for the first service but I’m going to see if he wants to sit and watch the second service or at least a portion of it. Or at least that is the plan. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate with us. He mentioned singing at church again as he was falling asleep. I’m glad he likes to sing and he wants to do it at church. He was having a hard time processing it all but I’m thankful that he is making more connections to Christmas. I’m thankful for his new interest in Santa and that he loves going to church to learn about the reason we celebrate for the season. I pray he sleeps tonight and so do I. I’m thankful for his smile and his songs. Sing your songs from the rooftops and know that miracles happen every day. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Thankfully, thank-ful-ly Owen slept, thankfully. I was worried that he was going to get on a non-sleeping trend since he was so upset about his routine but he seems to be pushing forward. I hope. I cling to the hope of good sleep always. But I still question every single night how it is going to go. We were both in a pretty good mood this morning. He wanted me to hurry up and get my coffee so we could sit in the dark but otherwise he was happy. I remember when I was his age I always wanted dark too. Now I like the dark but I can’t see a thing. We laughed a lot this morning and he kept telling me he wanted me to play his game but then he wouldn’t let me play it. He wanted me to make the exact same choices he was using but I wanted something different. He didn’t find it amusing so he kept taking his tablet back from me and restarting the game. He finally let me select the sled I wanted and then when I put the little characters in the sled he took it away and changed it to a video. I had to laugh. We got ready for the bus and we went outside. He wanted to have Siri translate “Merry Christmas” into several languages but he was also talking about all the days he will be missing from school. He repeats all of this throughout the day and night. When the school bus came around the corner he was thrilled. I got the call about halfway through the day that there would be no school tomorrow because of the cold weather moving in. As much as I totally understand the decision it also breaks my heart for Owen. I’m thankful his teacher works through this with him. He is starting to understand it better now than he ever has. I’m hoping that we will still be able to go to church on Saturday for the Christmas Eve service. He keeps telling me he wants to sing songs from the book. My heart leaps for joy when I hear him talking about music and singing. When I picked him up from school I took the gifts he made for his teacher and other support staff. Plus I took the Christmas cookie books tree. I always ask Owen what he wants to give his teacher. I feel it is important for him to make that choice and whatever he decides I know it is from his heart and generally I can make the connection of why he wants it. What’s funny is he really isn’t much of a sweet eater but always talks about sweet things. Somehow he decided his teacher needed Oreos and it went from there. He wanted me to go to therapy with him today and we took them the gifts he made. I like going with him so I can see how he reacts to each therapist and learn what we can work on at home. I also like watching how they redirect him to the task at hand. He gets stuck on wanting to do the next task before he is even done with the first one. It’s a good learning experience for both of us. Blue pants were his focus for one of his therapists and I’m not sure why it is harder on him some days than others. It is always something he mentions but some days it is all he can focus on. When we left there he didn’t want to go anywhere besides to see the windows. When we came home he wanted to make sure about his schedule and when he would see his teacher again. Next week he doesn’t have therapy either so I’m praying for a good week and hopefully, we can stay busy with other activities. The night went fast and he was in a good mood with a side of anxiousness for the week ahead. His smile is my joy. In a world of chaos remember to breathe and know that it is ok to sit in the moment and let your heart be reminded of the reason for the season. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.