Saturday, January 2, 2010

Top Ten for 2010

Holy cow! I haven't written a blog since December 12! How can that be? December is one of those months that is for sure. We had a pretty low key Christmas here. I didn't go crazy this year for once but everyone, mostly, came out happy.

Daniel has taken a big jump, language wise, and we are overjoyed every day about it. I decided as a summary for the last several weeks to give a count down of what we have been up too. Sort of a shout out to the new year countdown and a few things I'm thankful for.

10. December is finished. Besides the obvious holidays December included TWO count them two full moons. In our house that means very heightened yelling and uncontrolled emotions. The thing that is frustrating for Daniel is he has no idea why he is feeling so completely uncontrolled and out of sorts. It's frustrating for everyone. He really scared Zachary on this last one and didn't hurt him physically, although he "poked his foot" hard and pulled up from an all on attack at the last second. Since Daniel now has 100 pounds and considerable size on Zach, it is easy to understand how this scared him. On the way to Daniel's time out, he scratched Todd. I, as usual, was left unscathed. He definitely is particular about who he goes after....this is going under the category of, "thank goodness that's done".

9. My dad came over for his usual Christmas Eve overnight. My boys really really look forward to this. I made a lovely dinner (Rosemary pork tenderloin at Zachary's request). I knew Daniel wouldn't eat the main part of the dinner but would consume all of the "sides", the roasted potatoes and squash as well as his "salad". (Which is just plain romaine lettuce, but hey, he eats it and it's the healthiest part of a salad.) He had frozen waffles instead of a perfectly prepared (if I do say so myself) tenderloin that melted in your mouth. At dinner Daniel made the announcement that, "I HATE PORK". I did mention to him that no he really doesn't hate pork because he eats bacon at every single breakfast of his entire life...He either didn't believe me that bacon is pork or he doesn't care, because he just repeated that he hates it, with feeling. Teenager.
8. On Christmas morning a very groggy husband got up at 6:30 am with Zachary after mutually agreeing the night before that that was the earliest he could arise. Zachary had been awake until at least 12:30 the night before too excited to sleep. That left Todd and I up until 2:00 am wrapping presents and getting things "ready". Daniel got up about 8:30. He is more of a teenager every day.

7. Later that day in Grand Rapids at the grandparents, Daniel was opening a gift from his aunt and uncle. It was a Wii game "Carnival games". He very enthusiastically said, "Look ANOTHER Carnival Games!" He wasn't rude or anything, he seemed quite thrilled, but clearly stated, we already owned it. It was rather humorous.

6. Several days after Christmas I asked Daniel if he got everything he wanted this year. He replied, "I STILL want the Vtech Little Smart Alphabet Picture Desk." I said, "you got that from Santa." He said, "no, it should have the LCD screen and two pictures for every letter." Oh no. I got the wrong one. It took him two days but he found the words to explain it to me. He then began perseverating about it. I, of course, could only find one in an auction and the comments on the auction were all what a terrible seller this guy is and people had never received the items they ordered after paying. I can't buy from him! My first thought was why wasn't Daniel that specific when he asked for the VTech Little Smart Alphabet Picture Desk for Christmas? My second thought was WOW. Amazing job verbalizing that! He could never have done that, even a few months ago. My next thought was DOH!!! Damn, I screwed up the thing he wanted most of all! Still searching....
the correct but not yet acquired toy...

5. Even though it wasn't on his list I found a great gift for Daniel, Disney's Pixar Short Films. He absolutely loves it. It may be one of his favorite gifts and it is a bonus because it was a total surprise. It features "shorts" from the geniuses at Pixar. Some of our favorites, are "For the Birds", "Mikes New Car" and "Luxo Junior".

4. On December 30 we had several families from our neighborhood to our house to celebrate the holidays and to see one of the families who left us to move to Florida this summer. It ended up being about 35 people for dinner. Yes, you heard me. (now you are understanding why I haven't been blogging). I made the entrees and people brought sides. It turned out wonderful. Daniel came down to see people and noticed that Lily, the oldest of one of the families, and is one of the girls who walks to the bus stop with him every day wasn't there. Later he asked my husband, "Dad, Lily wasn't here?" No. "Where was she?" Working at a basketball game at Breslin (Michigan State's facility) . "A men's or women's game". Men's. "I was sorry she wasn't here". That was an impressive string of questions for fact finding don't you think? This is what I mean by a language explosion! :)

3. New Years Eve, for the second consecutive year, we stayed at a local hotel with friends. This year we had 5 rooms in a block. The boys went swimming on two separate occasions. We brought the Wii, along with several games, including Rockband, Beatles Rockband, and Lego Rockband and rocked it out with our friends. I had talked to Daniel ahead of time about some of the traditions of NYE. Last year he didn't stay up with everyone as he was too concerned about his usual schedule. Since we get a suite this isn't a problem and he can go to bed when he wants and avoid the noise when necessary (which is 95% of the time). I talked with him extensively about the countdown (which I knew he'd like). He stayed up and came out of the bedroom early and helped all 5 families countdown to the ball dropping. He went around and hugged everyone wishing them Happy New Year. He LOVED it. Success. The next morning however we were all tired and the boys had been moved to the pull out couch in the "living room" of the suite while Todd and I were in the bedroom. At about 9:00 am Todd looked out to check on the boys. Daniel sat up and with some anger in his voice said, "are you waking us up?" Todd said "no". Daniel said "GOOD" and laid back down and went to sleep. Teenager! The amazing thing is that this is the kid who, if he woke up at 3:00 am for some reason, he was up for the day. He could never go back to sleep. The hormones are really kicking in.

2. While eating dinner last night, Daniel (as he does at virtually every meal) said to Zachary, "chew with your lips together Zachary". (He tends to smack and it makes Daniel NUTS). After a few minutes, Daniel said with a slightly sarcastic tone, "I thought we were eating with our lips together...." Is sarcasm entering my autistic teens repertoire? That seems hard to believe, but you can't ignore the evidence. I admit I laughed out loud when I heard this comment. It makes it easier to take the snide comments when you are just happy it sounds somewhat normal. Zachary responded, "ok if WE are, you need to too...." ahhh the sound of sibling bickering, I've never heard that before, it's actually music to my ears.

1. Since I'm doing numbers I'll mention that this is post number 150. When I first started this blog it was to communicate with the therapists at Daniel's school. Then they could find out what he is up too, ask him appropriate questions and help him with his language. Funny that on number 150, I'm talking about how far his language has come. It sounds like a great way to start the year to me. Happy New Year Everyone!!!! I know one thing, living with autism you know there will be highs and lows, but it will always be interesting. I can't wait to see what the year brings to us!


Adelaide Dupont said...

Romaine lettuce is yummy!

I hope you do get the computer-type toy.

And it's interesting to see Daniel's reactions with the full moon.

Adelaide Dupont said...

And bacon now has very little to do with pork, these days.

It has not much sizzle in it and a lot of processed stuff.

Take him to a deli/provedore. Or even to a market, if you don't already go.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Happy New Year, Happy 150, and Happy Language Explosion! Truly wonderful!