At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Meet Binky and Bob

 No, two snowmen are made alike,....


Take Bob and Binky,...for instance,...
Bob is tall, and made of glass, metal, fabric scraps, marshmallows, cocoa and sweets,
while Binky is short and squishy.
Binky has chocolate arms, a cupcake base, and is entirely made of icing.

Both are snowmen. 
Neither are made of snow,
but both were made with love. 
They each have worth.
They each have a purpose. 
They are NOT the same, but they are both snowmen. 
Notice the smiles on Bob and Binky's faces.
They are happy being the snowmen - they are. 
Neither is weeping because they are not made of snow. 
They are happy and content - as is.
Lesson learned for 2013. 


Now Christmas 2013,...Isaac wasn't feeling well. 
The worst of the worst is when your nonverbal child cannot tell you what is wrong!
They cling and hug and hold and whimper,...while you frantically guess.
Tugging ears,...made us guess an ear infection,...
oh dear, to be sick during Christmas,...no fun for our sweet little guy. 

A subdued, Isaac did like his indoor tent,...
He liked his ABC tower,
and number tiles,
and books,
but Isaac didn't 'get' Christmas, nor opening presents.
Not this year, at least,....
but my husband and I agreed Isaac felt loved,
and that's what Christmas is really about the gift of love




While I type this post,...Isaac is feeling much better,...not completely recovered,
but he's zooming around the house with his new LeapPad.
He's jumped on the bed,
 and scaled our tall dining room chairs. 
He's eaten an enormous breakfast,
and happily explored the rest of his presents. 

Isaac makes us examine everything in its purest elements. 
Like Christmas. 
He experiences the world in a different way,
and makes sure you do too.
Christmas 2013 for us was unique.
Not traditional. 
But still Christmas. 
After all,...no two snowmen are the same.


Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas,...Isaac style

Merry Christmas!

Uniquely unique,...Isaac explores the world with his own unique style,...
and that includes the Christmas season,..



You see, he's just a little bitty guy in a great big world,...trying to figure it all out,...



So much to explore,...


And experience,...like a box of Christmas donuts,....



Yep,...they pass his finger-tip taste test,....


Hot and fresh,...


Donut:  a new sign to learn,...
along with Christmas, Christmas Tree, Santa, and most important:
Baby Jesus,...



So, can Isaac tell us,...we went to the donut shop, saw donuts made and bought a couple boxes to eat, to share, and to have for Christmas morning? Or can he tell us about sitting in Santa's lap at his preschool and receiving a teddy bear? Or even,...why there are sooooo many wrapped presents in our Christmas closet? 

The answer, of course, is not what one would wish to answer,...for Apraxia and Autism,...are realities,...that seem to block other realities,...especially expressive communication, but that doesn't matter. Whether we are getting feedback or not, Isaac IS experiencing Christmas,...he's giving gifts, and getting gifts,...he's eating Christmas donuts,...he's wearing that Santa hat everywhere and garnering smiles and greetings, and learning how to sign: Christmas, Santa, and most important: Baby Jesus.  

Also,...outside the donut shop, Isaac gave us an early Christmas present,...here in the deep South,...the weather has been stormy with strong winds,...and in his Daddy's arms,...Isaac pointed at the blowing tree branches,...and said, "Windy,...windy,...windy."

Wow! Where did that come from? We haven't talked about the wind,...in weeks,...but what confirmation,...that input is being inputed,...and while Apraxia and Autism,...make it tough,...for our little guy to express,...what he wants to express, when he wants to express,...he has a font of experiences to draw from,...and that makes this Mama do a happy dance,...we will continue to learn, and grow,...and mature,...and communicate...via verbal, via sign, via a machine,...if necessary....whatever it takes....






Wise men still seek him!
Matthew 2: 1-12

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ,
from our family to yours
may you have a blessed holiday season

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Forget Cookies,...Santa Likes Popcorn!


Christmas is coming,...only days away and last weekend our little guy was shopped out!!!!


Isaac's dreaming,...but not of sugarplums, nor cookies,....I am sure he must be dreaming of what occurred only hours earlier,...while he was impersonating Santa,...


Shopping cart, of course, instead of a sleigh,....


Festively rigged out,...preschool style,.......


This year the Santa hat has been a hit,...Isaac actually likes wearing it,...


He even practices a few,..."Ho, Ho, Ho's."


A bag of goodies is procured,...via Daddy,...


And here is the secret to this little Santa,...forget the cookies!!!!


This Santa likes POP CORN,....


Or rather, "Pop,..pop..."


Popcorn,...aside,...we are trying to help Isaac understand the true meaning of Christmas:

Isaiah 9:6-7

New King James Version (NKJV)
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.



That's a lot of a preschooler to take in, but Isaac is understanding that the Christmas season is special and festive with lights and decorations,...he plays with a nativity scene,...we talk about Baby Jesus,...and the donkey and sheep and star,...he likes pointing out Christmas trees,...and watching Frosty the Snowman,...and putting coins in the kettle,...and counting Christmas cookies,...and seeing a 'real' Santa at his preschool,...and wearing a Santa hat,...and giving presents,...and eating popcorn!

Merry Christmas


Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!











Friday, December 13, 2013

Festive: Flair and Fare

Last weekend, a rainy Friday night kept us from the Christmas Display Lights at the zoo,...and while we were disappointed, we were in a festive mood, and hurriedly made other plans.

As it was so wet and frigidly cold, we didn't have many options, and were only too thankful to visit the local mall for some indoor festive fun,...

Although I have to sadly admit that the Christmas carousal was the only festive note in the entire mall,...

SUCH a disappointment!!!

 Especially when we can remember that this regional mall used to be known for their 'flair' and literally 'drip' with festive garlands and colorful lights and enormous bows and whimsical ornaments, we're talking glitz overload,...but this year we were astonished, absolutely astonished that all they had displayed  was one 'teeny' Christmas tree barely decorated,... and some very 'tiny' bows on a couple posts,...oh and santa on a side aisle to take your picture for a fixed price,...oh joy!

Again,...SUCH a disappointment, but nevertheless as always Isaac had fun!!!


Isaac chose to ride in Santa's sled with Daddy.


It was ├╝ber-cool to him,...although he didn't know carousels usually have festive music, this one didn't and again,...Mama wasn't happy with the mall directors, but Isaac didn't care,....he was riding in  Santa's Sled!!!


Oh, did our little Isaac ever like going round and round on that carousel!!!


So much fun,...it got a second ride and chose a reindeer,...


So if the mall directors were Grinches,....
then the cafeteria ladies at Isaac's preschool were absolute
Christmas Sweethearts 
full of festive Christmas cheer for the annual Holiday Dinner,
which guests were invited to partake in the festive fare,
such as us!!!



Isaac had no idea, Mommy and Daddy and Big Brother Teddy would eat with him.
Lots of "There you are!" 
And giggles!!!


Daddy had to make a very special effort to be able to attend!!!


But anything for his little buddy!!


Big brother Teddy was there too,...and Michael would have been, 
but he had to go to something called, "work."


Was Isaac ever happy to have lunch with his Teddy!!!


Mommy was there too,...
only she took pictures and fetched food and held Isaac in her lap 
when she wasn't snapping pictures. 


Turkey and dressing, or ham, sweet potato casserole, 
green beans, roll, and strawberry short cake,...yum!

Notice the festively decorated cafeteria!!! 
Talk about flair, it out did the mall 100%
and this picture barely shows what was on display,
but out of respect to the other students, parents and teachers,
I didn't take full pictures of the cafeteria, since it was crowded,
 but believe me, from top to toe, it was decked out,...
Thank You Cafeteria Ladies!!!


Did Isaac eat?
Not really,...he was too excited to have his posse in the lunch room,
and everything but the ham and rolls
were sensory overload for him
(Isaac doesn't do: soft, smooshy, moist, or runny)
So he ate bread, and ham, but he did attempt to taste everything I offered,
so good try Isaac!!!


Needless to say, we had a very festive week!!!!

Rejoice, rejoice, this year,...

Isaac can say: 
"Snowman."
"Christmas Tree."
And
"Amen."

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, 
Isaac has done great decorating his felt Christmas tree,
his eyes also got absolutely enormous and round and he grinned from ear-to-ear 
when he spied
all the wrapped Christmas presents,
 I've store away in our Christmas Closet,
aka: my craft/therapy closet that's been temporarily clean out,
but better a mess, 
than prematurely opened presents!!!

Teaching the true meaning of Christmas in such a commercialize world
is difficult even with children that don't have challenges,
but we're trying to help Isaac
learn the true meaning of Christmas.
We tell him the Christmas story,
he likes hearing about Baby Jesus.
Isaac plays with his little people, nativity set,
and he will be helping to 'give' out gifts to others.



"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him
shall to perish but have eternal life."
John 3: 16



Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!





Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Apple, Cookie, Cheese,...

My sleepy little Santa was up late last night,
giggling and counting,
and having his brand of conversations,
which usually include a running list of every sign he knows,
which means quite late last night,
Isaac and I were discussing,
Apple, Cookie, Cheese,...etc


From what I've read and gleaned from other parents
 sleep issues are fairly common, 
if not completely common with children on the autism spectrum.

At a recent event we attended,
over half of the mothers in the room had been up past midnight,
and as I usually have dark circles under my eyes, as well,
I could relate. 


Taking a long-view,...patience and lots of coffee are needed to work through sleep issues,...
as with everything else with autism, I am learning,...it's not cut and dry.
Nor do traditional, 'night-time' rituals work, 
at least not for us,...not yet.
Our little guy is uniquely unique
 and that
 includes his sleep patterns. 

But he's such a happy little guy,...
And useful too,...he's likes to wash dishes!
Ok, he plays,...but sensory, sensory, sensory,...voluntarily too!


And he's dexterous,...and creative,...



And musical!
Isaac has a set of handbells,...oh yes,...nice and loud,
but the secret to handbells and preschoolers, 
is to actually purchase 'real' handbells,
pricy,
but perfectly tuned. 
They sound glorious,...loud,...but glorious, 
and just recently Isaac has had a 'renewed' interest in them.
We get them out and ring, ring, ring,....

Isaac sings too.
Thanksgiving weekend,
for the first time ever, he sang
Row, Row, Row Your Boat,
with signs,...
but the tune was right,
and he could sing, "Row, Row, Row,
and, "Meriwy, Meriwy, Meriwy,"

Oh yes, the cuteness factor was high,...and I wished I had had my camera,
but it was too precious a moment to miss.

 Nana's piano?

Isaac says, "Hmmmmmm," before diving right in!!!


Oh yes,...it was a joyful noise!!!!


Perspective, perspective, perspective,....
in the long view
it makes you wants to make you say,
sleep is really over-rated,
but perhaps I am only typing that because I am sleepy. 

However, 
sleepy or not, 
these sleep/sensory issues are real,
and to be perfectly honest,
I don't have any answers,
just a cup of coffee,
and a love for a little guy that's willing to help him
through his challenges.

And I do know, 
Love covers a lot,
 such as:
sleeplessness,
worry,
reciting your little one's vocabulary at midnight,
mopping the kitchen floor,
after Isaac finishes his chores.
Ringing bells,
and a sleepy Santa begging to be held before school. 

And, you know,
it's really not so bad,
OK, I don't get much sleep, 
but I do get great hugs and kisses.

And Isaac sings for me,
isn't that a miracle?
My baby singing,
not perfectly,
apraxia doesn't let him get every word,
or even every syllable, 
but who cares,
It still makes our life,...very meriwy, meriwy, meriwy,...


Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!



Thursday, December 5, 2013

Enough To Be,...

There are so many unknowns with Isaac and his double diagnoses:
Apraxia and Autism,...


No one knows his future,....


But I know the Isaac of today,...he says, "Hug." and hugs with all his little might. 


He wonders about this wonderful world,...trying to figure it out,...
unhampered by his limitations,
because to him,...he doesn't have any. 



For Isaac,...it is enough to be,...



Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!



Monday, December 2, 2013

Leaves, Leaves, And More Leaves,...

 Thanksgiving 2013,...and Isaac was thankful we have such a big backyard with so many leaves,...



  It also helps to have a big brother to rake the leaves for you








                                                   HERE, COMES ISAAC,....






Thankfully Apraxia doesn't affect Isaac's giggles,...



Big brother, Teddy is funner than fun,...but Isaac also wanted his Daddy in on the act,...




And brother Michael too,...everyone had to watch Isaac in the
 leaves, leaves, leaves and more leaves,...



Yes,...there was a lot of laughter,....
and thankfulness for all our blessings,...


Living in the moment,...enjoying each moment,...life lessons 2013,...

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!