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Friday, July 13, 2012

Thoughtful Hayden

Well it's official Hayden is now 5 years old.  He has been showing me just how "mature" he is this week.

On his birthday I decorated his playroom and placed two wrapped gifts on the shelf and waited for him to notice.  Hayden was super excited and had the biggest grin on his face.  He asked for one of the gifts and un-wrapped it.  Hayden noticed that Ruby was slightly upset that she didn't get a gift.  He asked for the second gift and gave it to Ruby with out Brandon and I saying one word to him or Ruby asking him for it.  It was a very sweet moment for all of us.

Hayden has amazed me lately with all the social skills he is picking up on.  What a miracle in progress he is!!  Hayden is now talking in complete sentences  not only to get needs met but just to talk.  He is compassionate when someone gets hurt.  Hayden wants to be with us instead of in the other room playing by himself.  He follows directions and is able to choose to be happy when things don't go his way.

Tonight in the playroom I did not join him in any isim because he didn't isim.  He was completely interactive the entire session.

We went shopping for the food for his birthday party tonight.  At the store he had a pretty significant tantrum because I would not buy him a certain toy.  He had a typical tantrum as my Mom quickly pointed out.  I was so PROUD that my son was tantruming because he was not getting his way :)  He recovered from the tantrum with in 5 minutes and we continued WITH OUT the toy he wanted.

We got home and we carried in the groceries.  I went to run the bath water and came back to find Hayden putting the groceries away.  This was one of those moments that took my breath away and my mouth hung open.  I couldn't believe it.  I didn't ask him to put them away.  I didn't even say anything about putting them away.  I mean HOLY CRAP my 5 year old autistic son put the groceries away with out me asking.

Hayden is so present in our world these days.  Simply amazing!!!

Hayden and Gaige at the ocean

Painting Sea Shells

Painting Gaige...he only paints those he loves

Ooops.....painting the walls.  Got a little excited with the finger paints tonight ;)

My sweet, sweet boy who is no longer scary skinny :)

Getting the groceries out of the bags to put away

Putting the groceries in the fridge

Going back for more

He put every last grocery away

So AWESOME!!  WTG Hayden :)  Great teamwork!!

Sweet Ruby

Ruby has been cracking me up lately with things that she says and has been doing :)

A couple weeks ago she stepped on our wiener dog Winston and he whined.  She went running to Daddy and told him, "I squeaked Winston."

We were outside playing on her new playground at Grammie and Papa's and Ruby was too busy to toilet she she pooped in her panties.  We went inside to get cleaned up.  She took her panties off and placed them on the floor.  I picked the panties up and the poop fell out.  Ruby said, "Mommy did you poop your panties too?'

We were at a stop light.  I looked back at Ruby to find her waving and blowing kisses at a man on a motorcycle next to us.  I asked her if she was flirting with the man on the motorcycle and she said, "Yep, I sure am Mommy."

We went on a road trip to visit friends and had to stop at a sort of getto gas station to get gas and toilet.  Ruby picked the scariest looking man to talk to to in complete paragraphs.  I was slightly terrified!!

We were driving down the interstate and Ruby states that she has to pee for the 100 hundredth time and that she will pee in the grass.  I told her that there were snakes in the grass and she says, "so, I have to pee."  I told her the snakes will bite her butt.  Ruby said, " Well I will go Pee, Pee, Pee on them."

Oh how I love my sweet little girl :)

Ruby and her bff

Ruby LOVED the little potty at the rest stop

First trip to the ocean

Painting sea shells

My princess even if she claims she is Grammie's Princess

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday Day Hayden

Every year on my kids birthday I write them a letter reflecting back on the years happenings and what I am feeling.  My sweet little man turns 5 on July 11th.

Dear Hayden James,

Wow it is hard to believe that another year has passed and we are getting ready to celebrate your 5th birthday.  You have had an incredible year.  There have been NO emergency room visits and no trips to the doctor for illness.  This means you have not had any stitches or staples, antibiotics or steroids.  This is pretty big stuff for you and we are thrilled that you are finally getting healthier.

Every day you continue to amaze me with your strength and determination to recover from autism.  I use to feel that it was up to me to recover you from autism but it is all you.  You have to want to be present in our world and see the value in communicating with others.  It is my job to give you every tool possible to recover from autism and let me tell you your tool box if full of tools.

In September of this past year Daddy and I made the decision to take you out of school to run a full time therapy program out of our home for you.  The program that we are implementing is called Son-Rise.  Son-Rise has been absolutely, hands down the biggest tool in your tool box.  You spend on average 40 hours a week in your therapy room.  In a couple weeks that time will increase to 65 hours a week.  I landed us an externship with a local community college and will students coming to work with you.

You absolutely love being in your therapy room.  The biggest change I have seen since starting Son-Rise is your happiness.  You smile and laugh all the time now.  Every word you say and every ounce of eye contact you give is celebrated.  Sometimes I scare you with how much I celebrate.  I have a hard time containing excitement at times.  I am beyond proud of you.  There are times that you honestly take my breath away with all the great, amazing, wonderful things you do.

Your language has also exploded this past year.  You went from saying one word sentences to getting your needs met to talking spontaneously in full sentences.  You ask and answer questions and make random comments.  We have also seen a huge increase in eye contact.

Just tonight at dinner (which you sat at the table and ate with us) I was talking to you.  You were giving me great eye contact and having several loops of conversation.  Papa then joined the conversation.  You continued to look at me.  I said to you that Papa was talking to you and your turned and gave him eye contact and talked back and forth with Papa.  This was one of those moments that took my breath away.  I am one PROUD, PROUD, Mommy!!!  You work so hard Hayden and I am as proud as can be.

We started a new yeast treatment protocol in December and have seen some great changes with that.  This protocol started the removal of grains and sugar from your diet.  The protocol consist of biotic silver and hard hitting probiotics.  The biotic silver is an anti-fungal, anti-biotic, and anti-viral.  It actually killed a huge wart you had growing on your wrist.  This protocol has been very helpful to you. I have noticed a huge decrease in stimming, increased attention span, and a decrease in hyperactivity and agitation.

The next big change was in May when we switched diets to GAPS.  You now eat refined sugar free, lactose free, and grain free.  This was a HUGE adjustment for all of us.  You and Ruby did not eat for 4 days.  It was horrible seeing you and Ruby so sick looking but well worth it.  You sleep better, you poop better, your attention span is better, and you eat 100 times better.  We no longer consume processed foods.  I make everything from scratch.  One of your favorite foods is meatballs.  I make them with ground beef, liver, and vegetables.  For awhile you were consuming 3 lbs of meatballs a day!!  You still love fruit and that continues to worry Mommy.  Fruit has its fair amount of sugar so that  tells me we still have some work to do with your gut.  Your love for fruit is more like an addiction.  You crave it and will do whatever it takes to get your hands on it.

You still love disney pixar cars and thomas the train.  You love Ruby and enjoy spending time with her.  One of your favorite things to do together is wrestle or run through the house playing tag with Mommy and Ruby.  It amazes me that when ever Ruby is hurt you rush to her side and try to comfort her.  You are such a sweet and loving big brother.  Don't get me wrong you still bicker and argue like typical a brother and sister but you understand each other.  Ruby gets that you have special needs and respects your space the majority of the time.

This year has been a big year for you showing affection and recognizing emotions.  You love giving hugs and kisses and enjoy being cuddled.  You often ask me to cuddle you.  I must say I love to hold you tight and snuggle my little muffin man and you actually enjoy it too.

You learned to ride your bike with training wheels this year.  You also started drawing pictures of people and things.  You enjoy math and learned how to do simple addition and subtraction. You love to sing songs and enjoy slapstick humor.

There is so much in life that you love and enjoy these days.  As the days go bye we see more and more of who you really are and less and less of autism.  I have complete 100% faith in you and there is not one doubt in my mind that you will recover from autism.  You want to be with us so badly.  I see the spark in your eye and every day you work harder and harder.

I want you to know whatever happens over the years that Mommy and Daddy will always love you and accept you for who you are.  You are such an amazing young man with a spark for life.  There are so many people cheering you on and supporting you and our family.  We are truly blessed to have you in our lives just the way you are.

I don't regret you having autism one bit.  Autism has been a blessing in our lives and has showed me what truly matters.  Autism also has forced me to dig deep inside myself to become a happier person.

I am excited to see what this year will bring us.  I love you with all my heart.

XOXO,

Mommy

P.S

You totally and completely ROCK!!!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pieces of Us: Doing what is best for Hayden.............

Pieces of Us: Doing what is best for Hayden.............: Ahh....what a roller coast ride the last couple of weeks have been.  I worked super hard to prepare for a vacation to the ocean 12.5 hours a...

Doing what is best for Hayden.............

Ahh....what a roller coast ride the last couple of weeks have been.  I worked super hard to prepare for a vacation to the ocean 12.5 hours away from our home.   When you are on the GAPS diet this means that you have to take every single item of food that your family will consume.  There was a lot of cooking and planning involved.

Brandon stayed home due to having to work.  I drove the 12.5 hours with my 2, year old, 4 year old, and 11 year old nephew.  All in all the drive went well.  Yes, there was some screaming and crying on the kids part but we did it and we did it together.  I was nervous about driving that far by myself and now feel that I have another item to check off on my been there done that list.

Hayden loved the ocean.  He was so happy playing in the sand and water.  Ruby was not a big fan of the beach and fell asleep while I held her.  It was such a peaceful moment on the beach holding my sweet daughter, watching my little boy play in the sand, and hearing the waves crash in.  It was the highlight of our very short vacation.

We stayed with another family that graciously invited us on their vacation.  Their son has autism as well and are utilizing the Son-Rise Program too.  Hayden tantrumed more than normal.  He was tired, in a new location, and well there is only one of me to go around.  Hayden asked me several times to go home.  So after being there less than 24 hours I made the decision to pack up and head home.

I have to admit I was nervous about driving another 12.5 hours so soon.  The kids did great for the most  part.  Hayden was an absolute angel.  I think he was relived to be going home to where he is loved, safe, and 100% accepted.  The last hour of the drive was hard on me.  My vision began to blur and Ruby was screaming on and off.  I don't blame her.  She wanted out of her carseat.  We made it home about 1am.  I put Ruby to bed, gave Hayden a bath, and put the food away.  Then I crashed hard until my sweet brown eyed alarm clock went off at 6am.

So here we are tanking it up in the borrowed hbot.  Hayden is playing his iPad and I am blogging.  I can't help to look at Hayden and see what an amazing gift he is.  I am also thinking enjoy your iPad buddy because today is the last time you are going to play with it.

The iPad just supplies him with things to script and takes his attention away from the world.  I want to make reading books our new fun way to spend time in hbot.

During the drive I had a lot of time to reflect on the trip and what I learned.  So here it goes................

1) The BEST place for Hayden is in his therapy room and there will be NO more breaks from Son-Rise for him.

2) I want breaks and vacations for myself.  I am already working on taking an overnight trip to visit a dear friend.

3) I am a FREAKING awesome Mom.  The love I have for my kids is like no other.  I love my kids enough that I am starting to see to be the best Mom that I can be I have to take care of myself.

4) I CAN drive 12.5 hours in the car with my children with NO help from anyone.

5) Hayden's I pad is going to be a item of the past.  He only uses it in hbot but that is going to stop.

6) That I can choose to be happy no matter the situation.  This is what I WANT.

7) I am strong and determined and I don't let bumps in the road stop me.

8) I am phasing fruit back out of our diet.  It is too hard to monitor Hayden's fruit intake (it is only suppose to be 15% of his daily intake).  I want him to develop a deeper love for vegetables and the sugar in fruit is NOT Hayden's friend.

9) Ruby is an amazingly gifted child.  She is such a ray of sunshine in my life.  Even when she is screaming that she has to potty for the 100th time in the car.  My nephew and I actually turned it into a game and laughed hysterically about it ;)

10) Modern medicine tried to kill of my husband this week.  He is on the mend but still not up to par.

Happy to be home in our very user friendly environment and my hubby at my side :)

XOXO,
Brandi