Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Birthday, Joey!

Our mighty little man turns eight today. Happy Birthday, Buddha Buddy.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Autism Bazaar

Come support the shop. It's autism awareness month. You know you want a bumper sticker or a button or something with this on it. Come on by.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Before the Rain

So today was the last of the heat wave, before we return to normal spring temperatures. Tonight, we are expected to have some whopper storms as the cold front comes through. Tomorrow, wet and chilly. So I decided to take advantage of the sunshine, the warm, and get the boys up out of bed and to the zoo.

Then Andy decided to sleep in, for once. Until 9. If you know anything about the zoo, you know that you kinda need to be there at 8:30 to get a parking spot, which would have meant getting up at 7 for us, the usual time my boys are bouncing into their clothes. So, no zoo. But very rested, very bouncy children. What to do, what to do.

My mom came up with an idea of pure brilliance- one of the parks we don't usually use had some new play equipment up, why don't we grab some lunch and check it out? And I would just like to say, thank you, Mom. Because it was an absolutely glorious afternoon.

We grabbed some sandwiches from the downtown deli, something I don't plan to repeat. They turned out to be expensive and not very good. But kids don't care when there is New Park To Be Explored. Fortunately, I also had chips and sodas in the back of the van, so it was totally awesome. We went down, munched our lunches, and ran around like wild things. The equipment is gorgeous... and dinosaur-themed. Totally. Rocked. Then they discovered there is a little creek running through the park neat the equipment, and that mommy doesn't mind boys getting muddy and dirty, so there were Adventures To Be Had. There were also plenty of kids (we almost didn't get a parking spot there, either!), and I had plenty of little ones to watch and families to be entertained by. I usually do some "writing" when we go to the park, but I never managed to get my pen out today, too much to see, so many little ones being so adorable.

When we got bored with that, we took a stroll, and discovered another little playground with slightly older equipment just out of sight- fewer kids, but that meant it was quieter, and it turns out the other kids who had discovered the area were ones that liked playing with my kids. More adventures! More exploration! More bouncing!

We were at the New Park for over four hours. We went through half a case of soda, and would have gone through more if we had taken some on our stroll (which we would have done if we had known there was more equipment). Next time, I'll know to come equipped with water and apples. We'll see how long the charm lasts of having this park in the Regular Visit rotation.

But now, the rain. So tomorrow, the library.

As an aside, I've been doing some cooking. Kinda.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

WhyMommy Virtual Science Fair Edition

We support the Team WhyMommy Virtual Science Fair, because WhyMommy totally totally rocks, and we want her to know: we love you. Thank you for being an awesome mom and a cool person. We haven't actually met, but you've been a huge help to me and to my family. Thank you.

I had out some other experiments to do with my guys for the WhyMommy Virtual Science Fair, and we'll do those, but it may be Thursday. Or Friday. Or maybe next week. Because today was too beautiful to be inside doing boxed science experiments- it was sunny, it was warm, and the petting zoo called to us. Oh, and Yoder's Store. So instead of learning about magnets and stuff, we went out into the world and learned about some of our favorite things: goats, chickens, and ducks (and other assorted fowl).

What did we learn today? Well, we learned that goat tongues stick tickle when they lick corn off your hand. We learned that baby goats know better than to get in the way of big goats when there is a prospect of corn involved. We learned that if you feed enough corn to the big goats, they get full enough that they make room for the baby goats. Oh, and Andy decided he really loves baby goats. That's my boy!

Joey learned that chickens make noise, and there are lots of different kinds of chickens; including one with feathers all over its head, like a big mop! He also learned not to throw corn at the chickens, but to toss it in. He learned that chickens also like to eat grass and chickweed (the boys also learned that ducks LOVE to eat grass and chickweed- much more than they like corn). He learned that if you bark at a rooster, it might crow at you. He also learned that it is not easy to pet a chicken.

Andy learned that if you put a quarter into the vending machine, it gives you cracked corn. He learned that Mommy is smart enough to bring a whole roll of quarters with her when she knows they are going to go feed goats. He also learned how to reach into Mommy's pocket himself when she was busy in order to get a quarter.

This place also has one of those fun goat ramps where you put the corn in a little cup and run it up to a platform where the goat awaits the feast. and get plenty of exercise and climbing in to get to said platform. Andy thought this was hilarious. My mom noted that a goat is supposed to eat about two cups of grain a day. The goat that braved the ramp while Andy was there got about two cups of food in about fifteen minutes.

We did learn that you pull on one side to the rope to send the cup up, and the other side to bring it back down, so we got to learn about pulleys. Kind of. Sending the cup up and down was the most fun ever. I finally had to encourage him to go feed some of the other poor, starving goats.

Joey is getting bolder about petting the goats and being near the animals. He loves animals, and he loves touching them, but they move in unpredictable (for him) and sudden ways, and that can make Joey very anxious. Today, he actually patted the goats' heads and ears without a lot of fuss, and held his hand steady to feed them without my help or prompting. That was pretty exciting, because tickling goat tongues on your palm can be pretty intense. Joey learned that some goats have soft heads and velvety noses, and that the noses of goats are not wet.

He learned that if you have a hand full of corn, the goats come over to see you faster. He learned that goats also like grass and chickweed. He was impressed that some of the goats had horns. He was very quiet and gentle with the animals today, not squealing and pulling back and making sudden jumps like he used to. We had zero tracking of the fences today!

Andy learned that chickens are soft and feathery. When Grandma asked him what they felt like, he answered, "meat." I assume that means they felt delicious... (?) He was very excited to actually touch a chicken. He also had a look at the turkeys and pheasants, though they are harder to get good pics because of all the chicken wire (to keep the foxes out). My guys are still a bit traumatized by turkeys.

Hey mom, can I have another quarter?

Hi, Stimey! (Peepie visits his ancestral home)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Autism is...

Answering questions all day, such as "What's 40 plus 100?" and "Do you like the number zeeeee-ro?" (Answer: no. Why? Because there's nothing to it!)

Understanding that sometimes you have to give a little extra time to get an answer, or ignore words that seem to slip out in frustration.

Time. I never have to worry about not knowing what time it is, ever again. I just ask my walking scheduler; and if we miss an important time, we hear about it.

Interesting pretend play- mixes of scripts from shows, movies, games, even books, stitched together to create new scenarios. He's being Buzz Lightyear and Scud at the same time, while watching out for the snappity-snap fish, using teamwork.

Small things done in great ways- such as having little fingers eagerly buttoning my coat, that first time he came up the stairs and called me Mommy, that first point across the room at a pumpkin. The pride he takes him his accomplishments, in meeting his challenges, in knowing he is moving forward.

Making the world around him smile, because he just beams his joy in being. Joey loves everybody, and makes sure they know it.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Fun

The dyeing of the eggs.

Joey kept getting put off by the term "egg dyeing." We finally had to just go with "egg coloring." Death is a bit of a trigger around here these days.

Hunting for the eggs

Both guys did a pretty good job with the egg hunt this year. Visual scanning is not Joey's strong suit, so egg hunts are a bit of a challenge. I did a mixed bag of hidden eggs and eggs just sitting out, and they got a pretty even share of eggs between them, with minimal help for Joey.

After all that hard work, a boy gets his just reward. Don't worry, Andy did the same thing, the photos just didn't turn out as well.

Then we worked off that candy with a good round of toss-the-ball-on-the-roof. He tosses it as high as he can onto the roof, and then catches it when it rolls back down. Should be good practice for basketball season.

A Boy and His Dad.

Happy Easter!

If your guides claim
that the Kingdom is in the sky,
The birds of the sky will be there before you.
If they say it is in the sea,
The fishes of the sea will be there before you.
The Kingdom is within you and without you.
When you know yourselves, you will be known.
Then you shall know that you are
Sons of the Living Father.
But if you do not know yourselves
You are in poverty, and you are poverty.

(Thomas 3)

Happy Easter.