At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Friday, May 30, 2014

What To Do When The AC Is Out,...

Our air conditioner motor went out on us this hot and humid week,...which made our house less than comfortable to be in,...took two days to have the AC motor replaced,...and in the meantime Isaac found plenty to do outside,....such as turning into a MUD MONKEY,...

This pix is the final result before Isaac was hosed down!!!


What a muddy little mess Isaac turned into,...but he had fun,...and this is what he is up to,...water play at his water table,...and in the far left-hand corner of the pix,...you can jusssst barely make out big brother Teddy working on that super-deluxe sandpit,...that was postponed a bit while we saw about getting our air conditioning fixed,...because in the Deep South,...you NEED air conditioning as it gets very hot and very humid from May until October,...


We're grateful our repairman was able to be so prompt and order our AC motor so quickly,...and also that the Isaac was sooooo happy to play outside for most of the afternoon,...



Isaac loves to play in water,...but let's get real there are sensory issues that go along with the territory,...check out that face staring at that little hand,...it says it all!


But sensory issues weren't going to keep Isaac from having fun,...and goodness did he have fun washing all his toys,...and then rolling them in the dirt to get them muddy so he could wash them again,...and of course the obligatory spilling of water,...into cup,...onto the ground,...and most important,...onto himself,...but then it was rather warm,....


For over two hours,...this was Isaac's focus,...busy,....busy,...busy,...and we are blessed to have at least a quarter of our backyard deeply shaded at all times,...very glen-like and pleasant on a hot day. 


That little artificial turf rug is new and Isaac absolutely adores it,...even before we got out his water table,...and I can already see what a boom it is going to be this summer for Isaac's interactive play,...with water or with just his cars and trucks,...or even reading books,...because it is very soft and squishy,...and easily hosed down and dried on our fence,...we'll store it in our shed and pull out as needed for Isaac's outdoor fun. Also,...it wasn't expensive,...so if it only last one season of Isaac's love it won't be a heartbreak if we need to replace it. 


Despite all the verbal/social challenges that Isaac faces,...it's very important for us to remember that he's still just a little guy,...who needs a break from all the therapy and routines,...and NOTHING breaks a routine more than having your air conditioner conk out,...but even without AC,...Isaac manages to find a way to have a good time,....

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















Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Love You - Ti-angle

Preschool is out and summer vacation is here for Isaac and he's celebrating by sleeping in each morning,...which is fine for this week,...but next week we'll get back onto our school schedule so we can keep to a routine,...and besides it's MUCH cooler in the early morning to play outside than mid-day,...and when summer temps really hit,...mid-day play won't be an option,...so it is best for Mr. Isaac to learn to get his outdoor fun as early as possible,...and that it will help with transitioning back to school in August, which is a bonus,...


Outside, Isaac is helping to keep our vegetable garden watered, picking peas and turning into a worm wrangler,...because when Isaac finds a worm,...he gently,...oh so gently,...with really remarkable gentleness,...because you can tell on a sensory level the wiggly worm is freaking him out,...but sensory ick, or not,...Isaac knows his duty and he gently transports the worm to a garden bed,...and then vigorously scrubs his hands,...

When not wrangling worms, zooming around the garden beds, or trying to climb a free-standing dolly-cart, Isaac is in his sandpit,...alas a tiny sandpit and one situated too near our patio and backdoor,...which is navigating all that scattered sand into our house, but our downstairs is not about to become a beachhead,....no, no, no, no,...this Mama has too much fun stuff to do with her little guy this summer than spending time sweeping and vacuuming sand!!! Thus, a super-delux sandpit is in the process of being built,...at this juncture we're still hauling bricks, blocks and sand,...'cause it is: Go Big or Go Home,...and as Isaac has soooooo enjoyed playing in his teeny-sand pit,...it only stands to reason he is absolutely going to LOVE,...this labor of love,...and also a good hint is that all those bags of sand are driving him crazy,...like any other four year old,...Isaac wants them open and he wants them open, NOW!!!

All good things to those that wait,...a lesson Isaac is learning this summer,...and so are we,...because last summer Isaac could barely say: Mama,...but now the sound rings all day, "Mama, dink," - "Mama, help!" - "Mama, whatdoyoudo?" - "Mama, wherediditgo." - "Mama, luv you."

Cherish those: "Mama, luv you." - and we are grateful that Isaac is so loving and affectionate: he's all about hugs and kisses and cuddles,...and that's a joy to our hearts. But, of course Apraxia/Autism likes to take a twist at every aspect of our lives,...even in expressions of love. Usually when we say, "Love you, Isaac," - we get, "Luv, you," back, complete with sign as those little hands and arms hug his heart, and it is a constant refrain in our home,...but occasionally just to keep life interesting we'll get a different response - just as loving - but a tad perplexing,...like this past week when I said to Isaac, "I love you, I.I." (I.I. is his nickname) and for a response - my little guy solemnly formed a triangle out of his little fingers and replied, "Ti-angle."  

"Yes, that is a triangle!" I praised making my own finger triangle, "And, I love you!"

"Ti-angle!" - with a kiss this time, so our little guy got the gist of the exchange, but obviously he felt compelled to add his own matchless twist,...and although perplexing,...it's fine,...it's Isaac,...and Isaac is Isaac,...and he is 'fearfully and wonderfully made' - and we are so blessed to have him in our lives,...he is so full of joy and love,...and mischief too,...let's be clear,...I.I. is curiosity personified, and the vast majority of his mischief,...like the container of Kosher salt, he dumped in the kitchen and living room this week,...is based on his curiosity,...and Isaac did spend some time in the corner after he helped to clean up the mess,...but after redirection,...comes time on Mama's lap,...talking about why we don't make sensory 'sand piles' our of Kosher salt in the house. Then hugs and kisses, and from me: "I love you!"

Isaac's reply?

"Ti-angle." 

But, this Mama got a hug and kiss,...so maybe for now 'ti-angle' means: "I love you, Mama." - and that's just fine by me!

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













Thursday, May 22, 2014

Last Day Preschool,....

Is Isaac really upset about today being his last day of preschool for this school year?


Nah,...not really,...it's just sooooooo early in the morning for our late-night-loving guy,...he ain't never got the hang of this 'get-up-get-ready-for-school-business' -- and that's a challenge we can take up fresh in August,...since sleep issues are sleep issues,...and hopefully over the summer vacation the remaining of Isaac's sleep issues will sort themselves out,...



Sleep issues aside, we're so proud of Isaac's accomplishments this school year,...he's really grown socially and verbally and academically,...such nice tracing on the alphabet letters and such nice cutting with scissors,...and as for all that school routine-stuff,...well,...that is a lot of a little guy to take in and assimilate,...and Isaac has made strides,...he can take turns and listen to a story!!!!



As for being sleepy,...at least when Isaac wakes,...he is AWAKE!!!!

Yes,...this is the same child,...and yes these pix were only taken a few minutes apart!!!


We're looking forward to lots of fun adventures this summer,...our first summer since Isaac's diagnosis without being dragged here and there to multiple classes and therapy,...although we'll still have some therapy,...but as for special needs summer classes for preschoolers - over three years old and under five years old - those are few and far between and the few, very few that I did locate were sooooooooooo expensive,...it's hello,...how can people afford to pay HUNDREDS of dollars for one or two social classes a week? Private therapy stretches out budget enough as it is,...so we'll just wing it this summer,...and that's OK,...because Isaac has a genius for finding fun,...and we are guaranteed not to have a dull summer!



With a backyard to play in,...swimming lessons,...a puppy to adopt,...a deluxe sandpile to build,...books to read,...puzzles to solve,...bubbles to blow,...cookies to bake,...a garden to water,...tomatoes and cucumbers to pick and pickle,...and maybe even a trip to the beach,...Isaac is set to have ONE GREAT SUMMER,...



Memorial Weekend is this weekend,...and we'll be getting our flag out,...letting our little guy know that the first of summer is more than just being out of school for a couple months. 

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










Saturday, May 17, 2014

Oh No!

This evening Isaac noticed the puppies crate was empty and dramatically proclaimed:
 "Oh no,...all gone!


It took all day for Isaac to notice, but at least he did notice that the puppies are no longer in our home as we returned them, this afternoon to the Rescue Mission,...a very sad, but necessary decision,...as we were misled about the puppies breed,...when we adopted the puppies two weeks ago,...we were told they were Labrador/Boxer Mix,...but when the puppies official medical papers arrived in the mail this week we were alarmed to learn that the puppies are NOT Lab/Boxer Mix,...they are PIT BULL MIX,...oh dear,...oh dear,...what a bait and switch, and what a heart break for our family,...and such sweet puppies too,...but we understand as these dogs mature their aggression tendencies can become more apparent and with a special needs child, THAT is not a risk, we are willing to take.  

Yet in many ways our two weeks with Little Lady and Buster was VERY positive,...it showed us that our household and Isaac could adapt very well to having dogs,...and that Isaac responded very positively and appropriately to the puppies,...


A bittersweet day for us,...but our perfect puppy search is just beginning and sooner or later,...Isaac will have another enthusiastic playmate in our backyard!!!

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





Thursday, May 15, 2014

Finding Fun,...

It is such a blessing that Isaac has a genius for finding fun wherever he is,....such as shopping at the local hardware store and Mama'a taking a long time,...no problem...Isaac will find something to do.


 And not alone,...either,...Isaac is generous and always makes sure to share his fun!!!


When you are four years old...popping in and out of display carpets just doesn't get old,...



Who knew it could be so much fun?



That's one of the wonderful things about Isaac,...he is so full of joy,....



And curiosity,...he's always searching for new venues to explore,...



And share,...in his matchless way,...which defies description as his speech is so limited,...but limited by Apraxia or not,... Isaac always knows how to get his message across,... 


And his observations are always so unique and so interesting,...we can't help wishing our little guy had the facilities to fully express all that's within that amazing little mind,...


But that's not possibly - yet - and it's tough at times, for us, but not for Isaac and that's a true blessing he is such a happy little guy,...he spends his days finding fun,...usually in the most unlikely places,...but our intrepid little guy,...is most aptly named for Isaac means: LAUGHTER!!!

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











Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Outside,...

One of Isaac's favorite words and venues is, 'Outside',.....specifically in our backyard,...


Check out that smile,...Isaac's very happy he has puppies to play with after school each day and boy do that three-some have fun together,...lots and lots of giggles....


There are rules to playing outside,...the first rule is that someone has to supervise be it Mama, Daddy or big brothers,...no independent play for our little guy,...he still likes to wander a bit too much for our comfort and his safety,...so needless to say the gates are all extra, extra safety locked.

Next is pant protection,...to keep scrapes and bruises at a minimum,...and I've been able to find,...very thin, but sturdy pants for Isaac to play in,...because with Autism,...a cut or a bruise takes on new dimensions,...and from what I understand Isaac is not the only child that has trouble letting a scrap or cut heal,...because Band-aids are not an option for Isaac and his sensory issues,...it's just not happening so the only defenses I have are prevention, very short finger nails for Mr. Isaac and thankfully he tolerates having his nails regularly clipped,...and for those boo-boos that are going to happen, no matter what with an active little guy,...I've found liquid bandage to be a boom,...Isaac HATES it,...and I don't blame him,...it stings, I know it stings,...and it's cuddles and rewards galore when the doctoring is complete,...but the stuff effectively seal the boo-boo,...so it can heal without being picked to pieces,...it's just another element of autism,...you never consider until you are faced with the reality. 


The third defense is BOOTS,...honky big, clunky loud, nice and protective hiking boots,...because part of our backyard is very wooded,...and who KNOWS what's in the weeds and Isaac likes to tramp everywhere,...so thick boots are peace of mind for Mama,...and Isaac ADORES wearing boots,...the boots in the pictures above are new and he wanted me to take pictures of them,...it's the blue tabs,...and I was thrilled Isaac was so happy with his new boots,...because generally Isaac takes no notice of his clothes or shoes,...no matter HOW cute or HOW many rockets, or cars, or trucks are on his shirts,...he's never noticed,...but these boots must be extra special,...'cause they got their own selfie!!!!



Of course if you are an outdoor guy you are going to have your own little red lawn chair to lounge in,...or rather stop for a quick drink before its off to new adventures....

For the past few weeks,...we've been VERY busy putting in a new garden,...we're talking building the garden beds from scratch and planting,...and we're almost done,...we've a garden fence to complete to keep the puppies out,...and a few trellis to finish,...then our attention is going to be turned upon Isaac's playground,...he already has trucks and cars, and a water table and a quasi-sand box,...but we are going to build Isaac some climbing equipment and a slide and swing and ball-thingy...and of course we've dog houses to build as well,...and Isaac will happily be in the midst because he LOVES outside and never wants to go in,...not even for Veggie Tales,...so we are planning on a very active and very fresh-air summer with our little guy,...fun galore!!!

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







Friday, May 9, 2014

Learning To Live,...

Understandably I thought I knew all there was to know about motherhood, and quite a bit about life before Isaac came into our lives as I was nearly 45 when Isaac was born, not exactly a spring chicken, and I had raised and homeschooled two sons to the threshold and beyond of adulthood. But, then our most intrepid Isaac, most unexpectedly arrived and my views on motherhood and child raising were forever changed because there is a reason: special needs children are said to have special needs for their unique needs and the rhythms of daily life is not typical which means often the most simplest of tasks can be mind-bogglingly complex, but on the flip side some of the most perplexing complexities of life are simplified into the most elemental terms,...



I whisper into Isaac's ear and he whispers back to my heart and we both say the same thing, "I love you." 

And love does truly does encompass all, for with Isaac there are so many unknowns: will he ever be able to fully communicate, will he ever truly get this mumbo-jumbo social stuff, which if you look at it through Isaac's eyes,...it is pretty weird,...why can't people just say: I like you,...without the posturing and posing and pecking orders? Isaac doesn't want to one-up anyone, he just wants to play and be friends and have fun. Or in other words, Isaac just wants to: love one another and be kind to one another,...

At all times, Isaac is undiluted,...what you see is what you get,...and one of the most important lessons Isaac's taught me,...is to live in the moment. 

To Isaac the future doesn't exist and the past is but a fading memory,...ALL that matters is NOW,...NOW is ALL the time we truly have. Pretty profound stuff from a four year with a severe expressive speech disorder. Thus, each day I am learning to live,...and appreciate each moment: rejoicing in successes and evaluating challenges,...and accepting each in the balance of humanity,...for life is not perfect,...and guess what? That's OK. 

My Isaac experiences the world in a different way and he makes sure you do too,...and that is our reality,...it is not typical, but it is very wonderful,...




Thank you LORD for blessing us with our sweet boy!
We love you Isaac!!!
You are our laughter and our joy!!!

Happy Mother's Day to every Mother,...
may you have a blessed day!


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











Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Isaac's been busy

Ultra short post today,...because Isaac and our entire household have been busy with these cuties!!!


Meet Buster and Little Lady,...seven week old Lab/Boxer mix (Boxadors),...with almost as much energy as our little guy!!! Buster is the dark pup,...Little Lady has the pretty little brown and white face,...aren't they cute!!!!

When we walked into the PetSmart,...Saturday afternoon we were suppose to be investigating the possibility of adopting ONE puppy with no intention of adopting immediately,...but two hours later we walked out of the pet store with TWO puppies,...but it was just one of those things when everything came together sooooo perfectly,...these pups are a good fit for Isaac and our home,...and our enormous back yard!!!!

No pix of Isaac and the puppies because they've been soooo cute playing together I keep forgetting to get my camera out,...but to say the least Isaac and the pups ADORE each other,...and Isaac finally has some playmates that can keep up with his super-sonic speeds!!!!

So on a Mama-Front,...it does seem like madness that I will be potty training THREE,...but I am already anticipating that Isaac observing how the 'flow-of-nature' shall we say works for all creatures,...and that ALL creatures have expectations on where-and-when they eliminate,...will be beneficial,...and I have to say our pups are very well crate trained,...so that is a big help!

The very first night we crated the pups for the night,...Isaac was heard gently saying prayers to the puppies,...teaching them, "Thank you, God Amen!" and after they went to sleep he put a finger to his little lips and shhhhhhhed,....very positive reinforcements that all God's creatures have value.

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

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rescuing O's,...

Storms this week have left us in a soggy world which means getting to play outside hasn't been an option,...oh dear,...what to do?

Puzzles of course,...in a rash act,...I dragged out every single puzzle Isaac owns,...and this picture doesn't depict all the other puzzles out of the camera range,...and YES,...it's a glorious mess, but it was also fantastic entertainment that kept Isaac engage ALL day long,...he dearly loves a puzzle and for once our little guy got his fill,...but from time to time,...he needed a little help!


"Mama,...Mama,...the O in the alphabet puzzle is stuck and I can't get it out,...will you come to the living room and help me!!!!"  - a constant refrain,...only that's not exactly what Isaac said,...because he can't. Instead, Isaac would run into my office, climb into my lap and say and sign, "Help." - he'd jump off my lap and tug at my arm, "Down" -- wanting me down from the chair. He'd take my hand, "Go." and usher me down the hall into the living room and show me the puzzle in question, "Help, Mama, help!"  - knowing my role, I would give what assistance was needed, and it was usually that O in the alphabet puzzle that would get stuck pretty good and be in need of rescuing,...and I would then take Perspective Breaks,...because it is hard that our little guy can't say exactly what he wants to say and some of that is the Apraxia and some of that is the Autism. 


Each day we are grateful for what Isaac is able to accomplish,...and its HUGE to us that he can say Mama, and Daddy and Teddy and Michael,...we are his family and we love him. Isaac can say: Isick, and he can pray, "Thank you God, Amen." -- Isaac can tell us when he is hungry and thirsty and he's not shy about letting us know his pleasure or displeasure,...but most of his communication is in one word utterances or signs or set phrases: Idon'tknow, wherediditgo, thereitis,...because having a 'typical' conversation is not yet a skill our little guy has mastered,...and it is hard not being able to talk to your child,...I only know if Isaac likes the cookies I bake,...if he eats them,...but I don't know why he likes them, is it the oatmeal, or chocolate chips or would he rather have raisins or cranberries? Unknowns, and there are no answers,...none, nada, absolutely a blank screen,...and for all we know,...we may never know,...and that's just a reality we live with. 

Isaac is Isaac and he communicates to the best of his ability,...and hugs and kisses and smiles and giggles go a long way toward smoothing any disconnects. Yet, it is still all very puzzling,...and the only thing we know to do is keep on keeping on: modeling speech, teaching signs,...and just loving the little guy,...'cause he's sooooo cute,...even when he gibber gabbers and he knows exactly what he's saying but it sounds hungarian for all I know,...but he's so intent on communicating and sooooo cute, that I gibber gabber back to his delight,...and that's a conversation,...in his book. 



Isaac's biggest asset is that sunshine smile of his,...it lets us know he's happy and that's all that really matters,...I want to talk to my son,...but even more I want him to be happy and comfortable with his level of communication,...if he's not puzzled,...this Mama is good,...I'll get out of my office chair a hundred times a day,...if necessary to rescue O's,...because if it is important to Isaac,...it is important to me!

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