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Jun 25, 2012

Eggs...and Unintended Sensory Fun

As an autism mom...I'm grateful for eggs.   This is said with sarcasm because I just found Jason kneeling in a pile of cracked eggs in my kitchen.  I guess I'm grateful for the fact that I was forced to clean up the kitchen floor and give Jason a bath.  Two clean things by 6 a.m.  Hooray.  This is not a new experience (as seen in the above picture of Caiti 4 or 5 years ago).  This is how I know the trick a friend of mine told me of pouring salt on the egg splatter to help it solidify a little bit and make it easier to clean up.  Reminds me of when Kevin was a custodian at a school and used saw dust to clean up vomit...same concept.  Ewww.   My kids are enthralled with throwing eggs on the ground, watching the shells crack and the yolk splatter all over the place.  It is such sensory delight to crinkle the shells up into little bits for mommy to clean up. What fun to run your fingers through the eggy, gooey texture of the yolk!  HEAVEN!!!  Too bad it's not okay to eat raw eggs...which is why occupational therapists everywhere haven't figured out the delight found in smashing eggs and playing in the crunchy shells and gooey yolk for instant sensory fulfillment. 

Jun 23, 2012

Pet Odor Removal

As an autism mom, I'm grateful  for ideas on how to remove pet odors...or potty training kid odors at my house.  I have combined recipes from different sources I read online and came up with the recipe below:

1 part distilled vinegar
1 part Listerine
2 parts water
2 drops dish soap.

I put some in a spray bottle for the furniture and put the rest in the carpet shampooer.  I had tried vinegar before to get out the smell, but vinegar really smells almost as bad.  This combination leaves a nice, minty-ish smell that is much more pleasant.  I was very happy with the results.  Hooray!  I'm sure I will get plenty of use out of this recipe.

Jun 21, 2012

Autism Apps for Android and Kindle Fire

As an autism mom, i'm very grateful for all the apps out there for children with autism.  I loved when I could use my iPad for a choice board or for learning games for my kids.  However; as previously noted, one of my iPads was stolen, and my children broke the other one.
I decided to try the Kindle Fire because it's $199 compared to $400-$800 for another ipad.  At first, I was pretty dissapointed with the selection of autism apps, but after taking the time to look, I have compiled a Pinterest board full of available apps for autism.  I'm pretty excited.  There are numerous free apps on there too.  These apps will work with any android device, not just with the Kindle Fire.
My Pinterest board is open to the public, so feel free to check it out.  Also, if you are not familiar with Pinterest, if you click on the picture of what you are looking at, it will lead you to the website that has the information.  All of my pins on that board are from Amazon or Google Play, where you can purchase the different apps.  From there, they will instantly transfer to your device.

Dish Soap

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for dish soap.  Yes, I'm glad I have it to clean the dishes...but I also learned long ago that the only way to get peanut butter out of the carpet, the couch, etc., is to squirt some dish soap on it and scrub it with a damp cloth.  Why am I telling you about this today?  Well, I made Jason peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.  Then I was my typical forgetful self and forgot to put the peanut butter up.  So when I checked on him a few minutes later, there was peanut butter smeared all over my house...and all over his body.  So not fun.  P.S.  Don't clean peanut butter off your child in the bath.  It's much easier to clean off in the shower.  You'll thank me later.
Jason's peanut butter fiasco reminded me of my cute Garrett when he was Jason's age and would do the same thing any chance he got.  I was always super annoyed and pretty mad.  Good thing Aunt Michelle was around to think it was funny and take cute pics/videos.  This one is my favorite.  We had semi cleaned him up by then:

Jun 18, 2012

Hey Girl!

As an autism mom, I'm thankful for the little things out there that make me laugh cause they are so relateable:
For example, there are all those funny "Hey Girl" things out there.  My favorites, of course, are autism-mom related.

...and of course, my favorite!  

Jun 16, 2012

Jerri Lynn :)

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for the first friend I made when I moved here 4 years ago, Jerri Lynn.  She was my next door neighbor for the first while we lived here, but when her husband made chief they moved.  Luckily, it was just down the road.  Jerri Lynn's family is so awesome.  They always look out for my family.  I love how they just accept my kids how they are, accept the chaos in my house for what it is.  I love that I can go months without hanging out with Jerri Lynn, and she doesn't hold it against me. She gets it, because she is a mother of a child with special needs too.  Our children's special needs are different, but she understands so completely the worry, stress, unconditional love that comes being a parent, especially one of special needs children. I appreciated that Jerri Lynn encouraged me to get going on all the programs, etc., that could benefit my children when I moved here and didn't know what to do.  I appreciate that when I can't reach my sister/babysitters in an emergency, she is the first person I think to call.  She is so dependable and loyal.
Of course, one of the things I am grateful for is that she has documented my family's history with her photography.  I remember when she offered to take family pictures for us the first time, and I didn't have high hopes because my kids can't sit still, don't understand what's going pictures had always been a painful experience while taking them with blurry results.  I loved that she got some "normal" pics of my kids but also caught them in the moments that totally show their personalities and the funny side of our lives. 
I already posted this one on an earlier post, but I LOVE it, so I have to share it again.  This is our ICONIC family picture that was taken back in 2009:
I love that she can get their personalities in her pictures.  It is because she lets them do their thing.  She makes them happy too.  They all love Jerri Lynn.  These pics from 2010 are some examples:
 This picture catches Caiti's sweetness, but you can also see that little mischievous twinkle in her eye.
 This picture captures my cutie pie baby boy who is so cute when he does his "eensie weensie spider" hands.
This is one of my all-time favorites because it shows how much I love my Garrett.  Plus, he thinks I'm hillarious.  That is always a good thing.  This epitomizes Garrett's joyful personality.

I love that Jerri Lynn makes me take pictures with Kevin so that we have proof that we were in the same place, at the same time, and that we still like each other. 

I'm so thankful to Jerri Lynn for capturing all the sweet moments in the middle of all the crazy.


Six More Years

As an autism mom, I'm so grateful for the benefits that my kids get since their daddy is in the military.  Not only do I have the security of a roof over their heads, but I also get the wonderful medical benefits that cover all of their various therapies, their specialists for autism and epilepsy, the pediatric dentist, and the medications that would put me in the poor house.  ABA therapy alone would cost $30,000 per kid a year without insurance.  That is close to $100,000 a year when you have three kids.  I'm so grateful that the government takes care of its military families.
The Navy has been trimming down a little bit in the last year, and I have met quite a few people who were either let go or did not get the chance to reenlist, and it hurt my heart and made me so anxious for our future.  My husband's current enlistment ends next March, and we were starting to feel the pressure.  Luckily, he worked really hard and studied really hard to pass the test required to make E5 (rank advancement).  Being an E5 basically guaranteed him the chance to reenlist.
This last week was his pinning ceremony, along with all the other people from his ship who were able to advance.  I got to go to the ceremony.  This was my first time being there for one of his advancement ceremonies because he usually advances when he is deployed.  I was so proud of him.  He has given up so many things, as most parents do, to make sure that his kids are taken care of.  I love him so much for putting his family first, and for striving for excellence at work so that we can have the security of another 6 years.

Jun 9, 2012

Photography Tips ;)

As an autism mom, I'm thankful for Jason's unintentional photography tip.  He found my Mod Podge (glue mixture) on the counter and got it ALL OVER always.  When am I going to learn to put it away when I'm not using it???  Anyway, I had him in the shower and I made Kevin get the camera because he had the perfect milk mustache.  So, here's a photography tip, learned from Jason.  If you need a believable milk mustache, just rub a little Mod Podge above your lip, and Ta Da!

The Car

As an autism mom, I am so grateful for this invention called a car.  I forget that it is a valuable asset sometimes. After all, if your kids are all in the car, you know where they are.  I've definitely had my own struggles with the car, i.e., Caiti's earlier Houdini acts of getting out of her seatbelt.  Also, Garrett pretty much thinks any time we get in the car that means we are going to get "fries and chicken" at McDonalds...which I have to blame myself for.  Ooops...
Anyway, today was a little crazy.  I could tell my kids were soooooo bored and hot.  I had put out our little swimming pool in the backyard and was using the hose to fill it up.  I stepped inside for a couple minutes, and when I got back outside, Garrett was sitting in the pool in his regular clothes and both Caiti and Jason were naked.  Yippeee...  Also, Caiti thought she should take control of the hose and make a huge mud puddle.  Soooo fun.  She and Jason were splashing around in the mud.  Let's just say, I wasn't in the mood, and I was disappointed that my brilliant idea of swimming didn't work how I imagined.  You'd think I'd be used to that and  expect that kind of thing.
I made them all come inside and clean off.  I couldn't find the window stopper that I use on the sliding glass door, so every time I turned around, another little naked bum would be heading back for the fun mud puddle.
That is when I remembered I had a car and could drive them far away from that temptation.  I didn't want to actually do anything but take them on a ride...I'm not crazy enough to take all three kids somewhere and actually do something by myself, but I thought maybe if I turned on some calming music and just drove around in pretty San Diego, we would all feel much calmer.  Yes, this was mostly so I would feel much calmer.

We ended up driving to the San Diego temple.  I love it.  It is so pretty and peaceful.  We drove around San Diego for 2 hours, and I tried not to think about how much money in gas I was using.  I was just glad to have them all in one place, feeling happy...especially when they got their "chicken and fries."