At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Friday, January 30, 2015

Not Done,...

Before Isaac arrived in our lives in 2010, I had already raised and homeschooled my two oldest sons, they were 18 and 21 years old when Isaac was born.

In fact when my former youngest, Michael graduated high school, my husband and I were doing High Fives, celebrating that we had successfully accomplished what we set out to do,...all the while as I counted on my fingers, months later,...I was unknowingly pregnant with Isaac at the time. When I say unknowing - I mean unknowing, really unknowing as I missed my entire first trimester as when you are 44 years old,...menopause not pregnancy is more on your mind, but I was preggers, and how, with Isaac,...

WOW, about irony, Mommyhood task was not done and with Isaac it's been a most different journey and not just because of his special needs, but as older parents we have perspectives that younger parents have not experienced yet,...and that can be a two sided coin.

On one hand, I am nonplused when Isaac climbs waaaaaay up into the pantry to secure some non-authoriazed fruit snacks,...can't see in the pix, but our little guy is at least three feet off the floor and precariously balanced - it's just life with I.I. and we deal with it, appropriately.  On the other hand, having raised two sons, I am all too aware at times how delayed some of Isaac's development is, and that knowledge can sucker punch you at times. I'll be honest, when those blows come, usually unexpectedly it's hard to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and take a perspective break - to evaluate - exactly what is important. 

What is important is Isaac, and we are so grateful that despite his many challenges Isaac is healthy, happy and has the greatest sense of humor in the world, our little guy is aptly named, because we laugh a lot around here!!!

Speaking of laughter, excuse me for sounding doting but Isaac is soooooo cute - even when he's naughty - which is never malice or mean, it usually his strong will or consuming curiosity getting him in trouble, and at those times, it can be difficult to keep a straight face when discipline is warranted. 

For discipline we start with a warning - making sure to make eye contact for full comprehension, or as full as Isaac can comprehend - Second warning is a little sterner voiced, and there is no third warning - as timeout - in timeout are the consequences - and usually most effective as Isaac is always sooooo "Sor."- sorry. After a minute or two, we count to ten, and try to talk about the reasonableness of rules, how they keep us safe and how EVERYONE has to follow rules, much Isaac takes in? I have no idea, but consistency is key and we keep spilling the spill as the occasion warrants with some success - I think.

Or rather, this past week Isaac tattled on himself. He came to me with a woebegone little face, and signed and said, "Sor." - sorry. Then he pointed to a stool and said, "Sit." - and he sat for a moment or two in an attitude of dejection, melodramatic enough for me not to worry as I was biting my inner lip to keep from laughing. After a couple of seconds, as Isaac's self-imposed timeout is seconds not minutes, his face brightened, he counted to ten, and gave me a huge hug saying, "That's better!"

Yeah, I guess so,...only I have no idea what Isaac was 'Sor' for,...oh dear, perhaps I find out, or perhaps not, forgiven is forgotten in our home. 

Not done with motherhood means adventures every day with Isaac,...let life not be dull,...even while buying groceries!!!!

Being an older parent means staying healthy is even more important than ever as we have Isaac to keep up with,...a task that would daunt an even much younger parent, Isaac's big brothers can testify!!!

Last year was not the best year - health-wise - for me, and as a caretaker of a special needs child, which adds on to the already encompassing duties and tasks of just parenting, it's a rough row to hoe when you are not feeling well. Throw in a little sleep deprivation, and allergies and asthma, not to mention stress, and it's time to get serious about simplifying our lifestyle. Thus the uber-organized closet bins to keep out dust, as we have all of our clothes in our garage/laundry room. 

Keeping dust at bay is the purpose of the bins, that everything is organized is a bonus, as is the fact that Isaac adores the signage,...and we can throw a little therapy into our laundry tasks.

On the sleep issue, Isaac's sleep issues have greatly improved meaning EVERYONE is getting more sleep, which has been really helpful to my recovery - six months of asthma and sinus nonsense - will motivate anyone to take drastic measures. Our house has been decluttered, pictures off the walls, mini-blinds - goodbye - also cleaning chemicals. 

Cleaning without chemicals? Hello, I am from the 20th century where we were raised to clean, clean, clean and more chemicals the merrier. A steam cleaner, not the carpet kind, as we don't have carpets, but the blasting car detailing type of steam cleaner that sanitizes with hot steam has been a revelation as it not just cleans, but super cleans and sanitizes, and me and my lungs don't have to fear the fumes. Nor do I have to worry about Isaac and fumes, which was a huge concern before. 

Anyway so far, the decluttering and nixing chemicals, for us works: a healthier Mama and a healthier home can only be a good thing for our little guy - he needs both,...and we need him!

In 2010, Isaac was a most unexpected blessing and he's not done shaping our lives in the 21st century style,...bringing Mama and Daddy up to speed with technology and innovation,...and his own way of experiencing the world,...because Isaac experiences the world in a different way,...and he makes sure YOU do too!

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Now We Are Five,...

Half a decade spent with Isaac, seems like a watch in the night,...

So five years with I.I.,...and you learn a thing or two, don't have ANY expectations for celebrations,...just enjoy the journey wherever it takes you,...'cause with Isaac you are going off-road, and his fifth birthday was no exception. 

Did Isaac know it was HIS birthday? Honestly, I am not sure,...we sang Happy Birthday all day, and hung a banner, and of course had cake and presents and supper at his favorite restaurant,...but Isaac's reaction wasn't 'typical' with excitement and 'me-me-me-ism' of most five year olds on their birthdays. Isaac had a pretty quiet day mostly playing outside with Teddy and totally ignoring the uber-cool wooden birthday cake with velcro candles and decoration which we thought he would LOVE as we had some much success with his wooden food gift at Christmas.

Uber-cool, and need I add expensive wooden birthday cake = FAIL, but hopefully it is the thought that counts,...we tried, it's all we can do, and more than likely Isaac will take a shine to that really cool wooden birthday cake when he is good and ready,...I mean, he wasn't that enthusiastic about his real birthday cake,....

Check out that expression, says it ALL,...I don't want to have anything to do with that cake!!!!

But, Isaac is a nice guy and he humored us once the candles were lit! WHAT a 280 from last year's birthday when Isaac was soooooooo excited about blowing out birthday candles. Can a child truly get that jaded in one year? 

If I have to,...I'll blow,...kinda,....

You can't figure this stuff out,...last year Isaac was ALL about blowing out the candles, fact we lit  and relit the birthday candles until they were stubs, but this year,.....naaaaah!!!!

We get happy face and giggles once all the candles are blown out,...'cause he's ALL DONE,...which Isaac made a point of signing as well,....

Need I even add that Isaac didn't so much as touch his birthday cake, much less take a taste, but that was totally expected and we compensated with a birthday treat of popcorn from Target,...Isaac's favorite!!!!

Watching "Planes" on his tablet more interesting than checking out his loot,....

Note,...Isaac didn't unwrap any of his presents,'s a real sensory issue with him and we respect his aversion, because it's real and it's serious-stuff, very serious if a child doesn't like unwrapping a present,...and I am not sure Isaac even understood the presents were birthday presents, but he did know they were for him,...and he did warm up to them, his own time,'s important not to overwhelm Isaac,...we let the presents sit on the table for a good hour until I.I. got curious,...

 And then precious,...our little guy was like,..."For ME?"

Mr. Serious-Face means Isaac is trying to figure out,...something,...and sometimes we can interpret his intent,...and sometime we have no clue, but we know the wheels of that little mind are whirling for some purpose,....

OK,...uber expensive and uber cool wooden birthday cake,...totally ignored, but Isaac LOVED the el-cheapo plastic birthday cake play-dough maker, which I hope last longer than a week, 'cause Isaac really, really, really liked it a lot,....SCORE!!!!!

Let's have fun,....

The Birthday Boy is totally absorbed in his task,...

Happy Birthday means that Isaac can be happy in his own way,....

Five years down with Isaac and you really do learn a thing or two, hiding behind boxes across the table can garner a great vantage point to watch and snap a few pix of our little guy's enjoyment,...and that's without the play-dough!!!!

Five years old in 2015,...graduating pre-school, starting kindergarten,...helping Mama garden this summer,...maybe another trip to the beach,...learning to write and read,...Isaac is going to have his plate full, but he's growing quickly and maturing fast. Lots of GREAT developmental thresholds are being passed, perhaps not on time, but who cares about that as long as Isaac continues to develop? We're thrilled with his progress and if he is two years behind in development that means when Isaac is 40 years old, he'll act like a 38 year old, big deal, or at least that's how we like to view the situation, because no one knows what the future holds.

That's where our faith comes in,...because we know the LORD has a plan and purpose for Isaac,...a purpose that is perhaps not down a 'typical' path, but that's OK the past few years have shown us that being Different is NOT Less, is merely different, and different can be unique and adventurous and totally not boring.

We are so blessed to have been blessed with Isaac for the past five years,...he has rocked our lives, and our hearts and minds,...Isaac experiences the world in a different way (including birthdays) and he makes sure YOU do too,...and that's really a wonderful thing. 

Thank you I.I. for the past five years,....WE LOVE YOU!!!!

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

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Four For Now,...

Getting a picture of Isaac in 2015 hasn't been an easy task,...he's wary of cameras in Mama's hands, but I had to try this morning as Isaac's days of being four years old are waning fast, his BIG FIVE  YEAR OLD BIRTHDAY approaches,...

WOW,...five years of Isaac's awesomeness,'s been a journey and an adventure and NOT DULL for a second, never know what you are going to get from Isaac,...except that it is going to be totally unique and unexpected!!!!

Verbal explosions are still occurring with Isaac struggling to express himself in more a complex manner. A huge achievement this past week,...for THE very first time, Isaac verbally express an emotional state,...he told me, "I sad," - and indeed, Isaac was very, very sad, but Mama was unrelenting about letting him go outside and play in the freezing rain,...and Isaac being Isaac he didn't stay sad very long, is too interesting. 

According to Isaac Mama and Daddy are both adorably 'cute', "You cute!" - he tells us, no doubt mimicking what he is constantly being told,...and need I add that a wildly grinning Isaac had a blast mimicking our hacking cough while we were in the middle of our bronchitis - the little monkey - we loved it, it brighten some very sick days. 

I am very please to report that Isaac is really becoming a helper around the house, from helping clean-up toys to bringing in grocery bags and even running errands, "Take this to Daddy," or "Put this on the kitchen table" - commands are instantly understood and obeyed,...and our hearts melt with gratitude for such developmental growth,...

Lots of birthday talk being bantered, I am not sure how much Isaac comprehends that it is HIS birthday next week,...but this morning Isaac wanted me to sing the birthday song to him,...we were cuddling and he caught my gaze and sang, "Happy Birth-day" - which translated, "Sing to me, Mama," - he can't express such a complete thought 'yet' - but there is a new level of sophistication in Isaac's communication. 

Last week,...Isaac said, "Car! Door! Tablet!!!!" - while frantically signing 'tablet' which translated, "My iPad is in the car, please open the door so I can play with it," - that's pretty complex motor processing for our little guy,...

"WOW" is still Isaac's favorite interjection at the moment, when I handed him his breakfast oatmeal this morning, he said, "WOW food," - such a marvel, as if he doesn't eat oatmeal nearly every day, but hey I am not going to knock my little guy finding fascination in every aspect of life,...that's a WOW to us, and it is so much fun watching Isaac enjoy life,....

Big Birthday coming up this week,...and no doubt, Isaac won't eat his birthday cake, I mean he hasn't yet, but he'll still have one to redecorate,...and his presents WON'T be wrapped as Isaac does not like unwrapping presents,...why? I don't know, and I don't even think Isaac knows,...he jussssst doesn't like it,...thank you very much, no wrapping on his awesome presents,...

Tonight we'll be celebrating a little early with fireworks,...Isaac's favorite,...he LOVED,...the Fourth of July fireworks,...and everyone in our household was too sick to have fireworks over the New Year, kicking off Isaac's birthday week with fireworks will be a fun way to celebrate the wonder of having Isaac in our lives,...he is such a blessing,, love, love this little guy!!!

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

Monday, January 12, 2015

Update 2015

No pix on the blog today,...and indication of the craziness of our lives the past few weeks as we have been a very sick household over the holidays,...starting with Isaac's croup over Christmas and accumulating into bronchitis for my husband and myself as we spent NewYear's Eve at a very busy medical clinic waiting for a diagnosis, shots and meds,...which seemed a very apropos end to 2014, the past year was a very difficult one in regard to health and stressful life situations.

BUT,....2015 is here and we are recovering, husband has started a new job and Isaac is doing just fine and dandy as he enjoys life in his own matchless style....

No doubt we'll have lots of adventures during 2015 to record,...the first being Isaac's fifth birthday that is fast approaching.

Last night I asked Isaac if he wanted a birthday cake for his birthday,...he answered, "Yes." - and I think he understood what I was asking or at least I hope he did,...or rather I am going on the assumption that Isaac understood.

It's still mind-boggling not to know what your child comprehends, yet we're grateful for what verbal skills Isaac does possess as he is trying so hard to communicate with us within the confines of his limitations.

You know what Isaac is wanting to say,...Isaac knows what he is wanting to say,...but it is soooooo hard for him to form those motor pathways to get a coherent message out,....

Example: Isaac says, "Car." - "Door" - "Tablet" - frantically signing tablet, to indicate his iPad is in the car and he WANTS it,...instead of being able to say, "My iPad is in the car, and I want to play with it." - that's Apraxia with a twist of Autism and that's Isaac's reality for 2015, but our little guy is clearly up for the challenge.

Perhaps Isaac can't speak in a typical manner, but he CAN get his message across, and no doubt as Isaac matures his ability to communicate with whatever means he has available will become more sophisticated and probably be totally cool, 'cause that's the way Isaac rocks and rolls through life,......

Hopefully I can get some pictures of Isaac this week,...and post a real post,...but I didn't want to leave this blog lagging with the question mark of our absence,...we're good and Isaac's good,...and we hope everyone who is kind enough to log onto this site is good as well.

A little belated,...but HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

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