Friday, February 29, 2008

Hello, meet Mr. Smiley Hydeman

No...not the child, the egg in her hand. She LOVES doing crafts...more than breathing I suppose, but we try and stress the importance of doing that LOL. One of her most favorite so far is creating her friend, Smiley Hydeman. He was an egg, but we boiled him and ate his insides (oooh, grimm) then ever so carefully cleaned him out. We painted him a lovely shade of pinkish peach and Trinity gave him his personality. He is SUPER smiley, with green eyes, and we planted grass seeds in him for hair. She cuts his hair every week....Really fun craft for anyone interested.

Autism, learning more everyday

I think that when you are parent of a child with a diagnosis, whatever it may be, you tend to try and learn more and more about it. In that quest for knowledge, you almost always end up finding out more about yourself and the others around you rather than the affliction leads to a wonderful road of discovery and eventually, if you are receptive to it, healing. So far on this path I have discovered that I am a little bit of a control freak, not like "Mommy Dearest" control freak or anything, so don't go calling CPS...but I do tend to like things a certain way...I am learning to let go. and let me tell you, it feels good, like I am on vacation and don't have to worry about cleaning up, you know what I mean? I am also learning that Trinity is smarter than we gave her credit for, and trust me, we gave her plenty of props! She helps Tristan when he feels overwhelmed, hugs him if he is sad, and always comes to get me if he is in "trouble" and needs rescuing. She really is the epitomy of the term "little mother hen". I am learning that relationships between fathers/daughters and fathers/sons are completely different from the better or worse, just different. I also learned that Tristan is really no different than any other kid...he just has certain little quirks that may already be present in your child, just exaggerated in mine. For instance, this morning, I walked into the pantry to find this:

Now, stacking things and lining them up in of itself is not abnormal at all....but, if left to his own device, he would do it all day. Also, he is starting to show more of a preference in music, he loves it, always has since he was a little babe. I hummed or rocked him to a beat, if I skipped a beat of a song he would know and look at me like, "hey, that is not how it goes". He loves to play the drums and piano, strums the guitar and does it almost rythmically. Now we are seeing that it is more than that. Today, when I was brushing my teeth, he was in the closet playing with a detachable xylophone...I heard from the other room beating on a note and then followed by Tristan singing "AAAAAAAA" then beating on another note followed by Tristan singing "EEEEEEEEE" over and over this happened until I went in to get him. What I saw amazed me. Sitting there on the floor were two keys to the xylophone, the notes 'A' and 'E'.
He is learning to distinguish tones in music and has done so by his own teaching. We first noticed this when he was around 11 months old. I had music on the radio, and he was playing with his little doggy xylophone. When the song would change key, he would pause, listen then play a note...amazingly enough, they were in the same key as the song on the radio. I was floored, got it on video of course, and just couldn't believe that he was able to do this. I am pretty musically inclined, as is my father, so maybe this is just his exaggerated version of our talents? Whatever the case may be, I am enjoying learning more about all of us, and about this little thing that we sometimes forget he even has, called autism.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Getting step at a time

We were approved! First speech therapy now Occupational Therapy...Tristan had his first REAL day of treatment with Mrs. Mary on Wednesday. She is amazing, he loves her, I like her too. Next week he is going to start one on one without me present, I am however apprehensive about leaving him, but I know that he will do alright. Really, whatever is going to be best for Tristan's development is best with me. This week he worked on getting to know Mrs. Mary, she talked with him, shared toys, tried to learn about his way of was nice to see him connecting with someone else. I will blog more as it happens, one day at a time.

We're eating Mexico Food?!

First I will start off saying that I like to think we submerse our children in other cultures, offer them chances to see and hear things from other countries, including eating different foods. Here is one recant of a recent encounter with "culture" that I will never forget.

This is the newest saying from our little observer Trinity. She loves Sesame Street, which makes me HAPPY...since, I secretly adore the show myself. Well, the latest one that she watched was an episode where Rosita talks about Mexico and all the wonderful things from her country, one of the things being food. So, she keeps asking about the dishes, if we can make some...I say, sure, why not. Well, on the way to a friends house a day or so later, I had an amazingly strong craving for a burrito at Ramiro's. Trinity is hilarious, I am ordering the food and paying for it....she says, in a rather LOUD voice, "Oh, mama...we are eating MEXICO food!, I love Mexico food that man from Mexico too?" The man at the window looked at me like I was a nut. But hey, she is was cute, and, by the way, the burrito, was AMAZING! I love Mexico food.

A little boy and his shadow

Tristan LOVES chasing his shadow, this is his newest favorite thing to do. I remember seeing my shadow, and thinking it was just was a surreal feeling, like a little peice of yourself visible without a mirror..hard to explain, but easy to understand I am sure. I could watch him watch his shadow for hours.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Newsletter for Big T - Month 53

Holy personality are full of imagination. This month you were probably Batman Beyond more days than you were Trinity, but we love it. You have been helping me sew things for the store, and you love using your creative mind in making your own crafts. You have been helping me so much with your brother, I don't think you will ever really know how much it means to me when you console him if he is sad...I love you Trinity, thank you for being you, however crazy and cooky, you are my little bean, and I adore you.

Newsletter for litte t - Month 19

19 months, already....slow down time, I have to slow you down! Tristan, you are keeping me on my toes buddy...trying more adventurous things, standing on tables, climbing up stairs and hanging your toes off the edge. Your balance is improving ever so slightly, but you are still a little weeble wobble. You started your therapy this month, both speech and occupational therapy...I know that probably doesn't make much sense to you now, but know that they are things that are going to help you use your body better, to be able to walk steadier, to play with toys you have trouble working. Ultimately, I want you to feel confident when you do things, I know that you get frustrated, just as any child would when you try and try and just can't do a certain task...I know it is even harder since you can't talk to me, so we are going to help you learn to communicate to us in other ways...through pictures and sign, until you are ready to talk. Your sessions will help you learn to understand the way that things work, include you! You are so cute. I love watching you sleep...your underbite smile melts my heart and I just adore the way that you cling to me. You are my sunshine, and I look forward to every day that I learn more about you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

ECing...harmonious with CDing

Yes, I know, we are hippies...but, with good reason..have you seen the world in it's current condition???? SCARY stuff! Our children are homeschooled, free to nurse for as long as they so choose, sleep with us when they want, run around the house naked, eat organic foods, verging on vegetarian....we cloth diaper, wear our babies and now...ECing. Elimination Communication. I don't know if you have ever heard of this, but really, it is just common sense. It is the reason that Trinity was potty trained so early, and I had no idea that it had a "name". It is trusting your childs instincts and reading their cues as to when they need to go potty. We all know that most kiddos pee in the tub, so why not take them out and put them on the potty? Etc. Etc... We have been searching for a perfect potty and located the right one. We change him often through out the day and offer the potty after naps, before baths, after baths, right when he gets up etc. If he doesn't go or does not show an interest, we move on..but, it is amazing how the babies respond and actually are so much happier. If you have babies, you can start this at infancy and it really increases the bond between the caregiver and child. Check out this blog, it has a ton of info on the subject.

"It's your choice Tristan..."

In this house it is all about choices. I think it is important to allow the children to make decisions and we respect their choices. Trinity knows this all too well and it was ABSOLUTELY the cutest thing today that I overheard her saying to Tristan. I will set it up for you. Tristan was sitting at the top of the slide (oh yeah, by the way, he goes down the slide ALL BY HIMSELF now!!!!) anyway, back on track, he was sitting at the top of the slide and he had a lolli pop in his mouth. Trinity saw that and said "OH no, that is dangerous" and asked him to drop it...surprisingly, he did. Then, he just sat at the top of the slide. So, Trinity started with this.

Big T - "Tristan, you have 3 choices...
ME - laughing quietly so she can't hear
Big T - "You can come down the slide now and get your lollipop."
little t - "doo doo" *drooling profusely*
Big T - "You can sit up there and I will EAT your lollipop"
little t - *smiling and laughing at how serious sissy is being*
Big T - *looking over at me* " or, I can help you down and we can share it."

It was super cute. She helped him down and they are going back and forth sharing it. I love it. I am so pleased with the way that we have raised our children, that that have no fear in choices, that they know that they are respected to speak their minds, and that in turn, they are respectful. Don't get me wrong, every child has their moments, and Trinity being 4 is in her "exerting independence....sometimes bossy stage" but, she is respectful and she is kind. I love watching them grow together, what an amazing journey we have ahead of us!!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Scratch and Sniff

Today we had lots of fun with our school craft. We made paintings with watercolors, but not just ANY watercolor, no, no...we made SCRATCH and SNIFF watercolorings!!! Yes, you read it right...SCRATCH and SNIFF! It is SUPER easy, and really...smells great. The recipe is at the end of the blog! Enjoy the pictures.
You will need something to hold the watercolors, an icecube tray works perfectly.
Fruit Drink Mix
(1 TSP of Water for each TSP of fruitty drink mix (kool aid, flavor aide etc.))
Just mix them together, and watercolor as you normally would!! When the paint dries, it smells like the fruit that the drink mix was supposed to it!!! ENJOY

Babble on little boy...we are listening!

WOW...he is really trying HARD to talk. Within the last few days we have noticed some great strides in his language. He went from only saying half a handful of words to really trying to use more and more. Last night, we went to dinner with our inlaws, he was eating and out of no where..unprompted he said "Ah done", he has said this before, but mainly only after I have modeled the language for him...this time, it was by his own doing!!!! Then, he looked over at Shannon's mom and said very plainly..."G.G." which is what we call her. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT...what a wonderful sound. His little voice, formulating real words. My heart was leaping out of my chest. Then, we get home and get the kids ready for bed. I asked him "Do you want to go Night Night?" He looked at me as if to say "YES MAMA!!!!!" But, he said "Bye Bye" which, if you think about it, is like Night Night...he is going Bye Bye in a sense? So, we walk down the halway and he says "Bye Bye" to Shannon and Trinity. I am happy. I have this overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, eventhough it wasn't me that did it, I still feel so happy for Tristan. So, babble on little t, we are all listening!!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bad Dog, Don't eat the Kitty.....

So, for those who follow our blog, you know that we recently "adopted" a Great Dane that we stumbled upon in the desert. She is amazing, beautiful, graceful (when she is not running on tile that is...)...and sweet to my entire family...that is...until she met Kitty. They have been fine, Demetri (Kitty) hisses at her, but really, nothing horrible, until last Friday. Last Friday will FOREVER stick in my head, it is one of those kinda days. Shannon, Trinity, Tristan, ALL the dogs and the cat were upstairs playing "Pet Shop". Trinity had Demetri in the tent with her, and apparently, Kitty had enough for the night and darted out to go back to her safe haven, under Trin's bed. Out of nowhere, Maxine pounces on her, grabbing her in her jaws and shaking her...I didn't have the "pleasure" of witnessing it, but I heard it all while I was downstairs making dinner...I started screaming "NOOOOOO, NOOOOOO" I thought for sure it was one of the kids, Trinity was screaming..yes, she unfortunately, DID see it happen.

Shannon pinned the dog on the ground and I came up and swooped Demetri in my arms. I didn't see it then, but when I got her into Trin's room I noticed it...a puncture, a BIG puncture. It wasn't bleeding, so I cleaned the wound with peroxide and water and packed it with guaze. I gave her 1/4 of Shyanne's pain meds (feline safe of course) and put her in her carrier with bedding and water. The next morning we called the vet immediately and they said that they could squeeze us in. I checked her wound and it quadrupled over night...what was once a puncture was now a hole and I was really starting to get worried. The vets were wonderful and able to stitch her up very well..the muscle was seperated so she required inner stitches to reattach them, 2 drains, and outside staples. My poor kitty is shaved halfway and is not happy. Needless to say, we are needing now to find a new home for Maxine, which is a shame since we loved her so much.