At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Strides,...

 Wow, a lot going on this week with Isaac with lots of strides being made in speech and socialization, at home and at school. Our little guy has worked hard,...and this is a long post,...just so you know.

But a post about a lots of cuteness, and believe me, Isaac was CUTE when he was wowing us with his observations about our new garage floor.

A few months ago we had major water damage to our basement and garage, resulting in ALL those floors being ripped out. The basement is scheduled for new flooring to be installed soon, but for the garage we opted to just paint the cement slab with epoxy garage paint, which after much prep, I did this week while Isaac was at preschool.

Epoxy paint is the thick paint on floors with sprinkled flakes added, our floor is tile red, or rather a deep raspberry red with granite colored flakes,...very cool looking and SUCH an improvement over the scarred cement slab. I painted while Isaac was at preschool and then closed the garage doors to let it dry, so Isaac had no idea about the transformation. And you can see the difference is STARK!


When my husband got home from work that evening we all went outside so I could show him how 
GREAT the basement looks, and when my husband opened the garage door he was properly impressed, but Isaac was HORRIFIED!!!

Oh the look on that little face, and Isaac cries, "OH NO!" 
Pointing to the scattered flakes, Isaac says, "It broken," and then he starts to sing:
"Clean up, Clean up,...Everybody!!!"
Soooooo cute, but worrisome too, as Isaac was dead serious. 

The paint was still tacky, but Isaac was wanting to pick up every single flake in the garage,
and instance of Autism at work, because I NEVER even considered how he would react
to the newly painted garage floor,...no problem with the color, Isaac thought that was cool,
"It red," he says and signs,
but those FLAKES,...oh dear, I went to bed a worried woman because epoxy paint is
suppose to last 15 to 20 YEARS!!!

Next morning, the paint is dry enough to walk on,
and I take Isaac downstairs, hoping to acclimate our little guy to the newness,
The flakes are still bugging his sense of order,
but with an inspiration I start trying to sell Isaac on the idea that the flakes aren't flakes, but stars.
Stars?
Uhm, that's a red universe,
yeah, I know, but I was desperate, and clutching at straws,
and you know,...I grabbed the right one.
Isaac's face lit up,
"3-2-1 Penguins?"

Whew!
Isaac understood, he COMPLETELY understood,
as 3-2-1 Penguins is a cartoon with penguins in outer space!!!!
For the next twenty minutes Isaac and I zoomed around a red universe
with pretend space ships.

Now Isaac is totally cool with the garage,
in fact he LOVES it,
and since it's just a garage floor,
I had the idea of writing positive quotes in our red universe:
Different NOT Less
was one of the first,
when I complete the floor with a clear coat, 
when this rainy weather permits,
the quotes will be sealed beneath,
kinda cool,
and Isaac is acting like they are planets,
jumping from one quote to another,
while I have the hopes with the strides our little guy is making
that one day he'll not only be able to read those positive messages,
but fully understand, 

Sorry that was a long tale, but pretend play is another stride Isaac is making,
and we are thrilled to play store, and restaurant and outer space with our little guy,
anything and everything to help him.

Lots of rain this spring, last week Isaac's Miracle League game was rained out.
This week, Isaac had new volunteers,
and I am assuming the volunteers change up every week with this league,
but when the coach suggested that Isaac come and pick-out a Buddy,
there was an eager pool of teens ready to be chosen,
and I was the first to speak:
"Who here is the fastest?"
Two guys immediately raised their hands.
"Ok," I said, "This is Isaac, he is very fast, and I mean very, very fast,
and he doesn't get tired. Last game he ran for 60 minutes straight and didn't get tired,
are ya'll good with that?"
"Oh yeah, totally!" the two chorused, while my husband and I exchanged knowing glances.
Oh course Isaac was delighted to meet his two newest buddies,
and put them through their paces,
and it was all my husband and I could do to keep straight faces,
as Isaac, once again, totally schooled two teenagers three times his size.
From the outfield we could hear snatches:
"Man, he's fast!"
"She said, he was, he IS!"
"Gosh, he doesn't slow down!"
And of course, Isaac's giggles came through loud and clear,
as he wasn't even breathing hard, 
as his buddies panted to keep up and took to tagging one another.
But everyone had fun, 
and that's the purpose of the Miracle League,
and again thank you to all who support and volunteer with the Miracle League,
we are so grateful.  



What to do after a ballgame, but go the a local fair.




More strides and Isaac ROCKED waiting in line,
with more patience than some typical children. 


Isaac adores a carousel,...


And speed cars,...


Daddy's a sport to ride shot-gun,...


No fear for Isaac,...the faster the better!!!


Solo?
WOW,...what a stride for our little guy to ride a ride,...solo,
and yes, I was biting my nails between taking pictures,
but Isaac was a CHAMP,
sat still,
and giggled,
and grinned,
He LOVED it!!!!


So successful was that little green truck ride, we tried the buggy-go-around solo.


That face,...says it all,...


After ride cheering was indication,...Isaac was having fun!!!


Isaac's first view of a Ferris Wheel,....


Yes, it's very big and very tall, Isaac, but you can't ride it,...yet. 

However, bumper cars are a YES!!!


What a fun evening,....



So the visit to the fair wasn't exactly planned,
at the Miracle League they announced where and when the fair was taking place,
it was near,
so we gave it a shot,
and it was a GRAND SLAM success,
and a little worrisome,
For big events with crowds I always put contact information on Isaac,
just in case, as my child has made great strides,
but he is still not functionally verbal,
for the fair, we winged it,
and kept vigilance eyes on our little man at all times,
and of course, Isaac did great,
but again, it's a part of Autism that you don't automatically consider. 
But Autism and Apraxia are part of our lives,
and Isaac is making strides to put both those disorders - in their - place,
and he is succeeding!!!

LOOK at Isaac meeting new people like his buddies at the Miracle League,
and schooling them, 
but all in fun, 
LOOK,...just LOOK at our little guy standing in line at a fair,
better than some typical kids,
sorry typical parents, but your kids were running wild,
Isaac was mesmerized by that Ferris Wheel,
and happily waiting his turn for the bumper cars. 
LOOK at Isaac request a toy at a toy story this past week,
a FIRST,
and you bet, Isaac got that Melissa and Doug wooden fruit set,
a set he did not have, but needed, 
for his Isaac Cafe, (post coming soon on this)
Not only has Isaac played and played with his new wooden food,
and we take non-electronic play, especially pretend play any day,
but the VERY next day,
we went into Toys-R-Us,...and Isaac was delighted,
but he did not ask for a single toy,
and we were curious about that, 
because Isaac was adamant about getting that wooden food set.
"Home, play," said Isaac clutching that box in his arms. 
Toys-R-Us,
Nope, not a single toy moved him. 


Strides,
another word for maturity,
which is another word for growth.
For Isaac and us.


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










Friday, April 17, 2015

Springing Into Spring,...

Isaac is five years old and celebrating his fifth spring,... 


With a little dirt on his hand,...which is a HUGE development,
talk about springing forward with sensory issues,...

Mud?
Isaac and mud?
Icky, gooey, ooey, mud?
Yep,...Isaac's been all about playing in mud 
this very wet spring we're experiencing.


And yes, I have to hose our little guy down after a play session in the yard,
but who cares,...little boys and mud are made for each other.


When's he's not been playing in the mud,
Isaac's been helping in the yard,...kinda.

Pssssst,...don't tell Isaac put the lawn mower is broken,
that's the only reason he's getting to play with it,
but he thinks he's mowing,
and pretend play,
YES, PLEASE,....we'll take that developmental development all day long!!!



Here is Isaac either pretending to take Mama's picture,
or mocking Mama,...'cause she's always taking pictures,
but again,...pretend, pretend, pretend,
it is a HUGE developmental milestone,
which has taken our little guy quite a while to reach,...


Shared experiences are becoming more and more common,
and yes, I tear up,...having my little guy bring me flowers,
and dandelions,...is something I didn't think would ever happen,...
we are so very, very grateful for every single advance our little guy is making!


Discovering dandelions,....priceless!!!


Also good motor control therapy,....


But, I didn't tell Isaac,...he was actually working on his speech skills.


I jus kept snapping pictures,...and he kept trying to blow the downey seeds into the wind,...


It took a while,...


Quite a while,...


You have to admire tenacity,...


Even in the face of a stubborn dandelion,...


But, Isaac is Isaac,...and he doesn't give up,...



Even when he's running out of breath,...he keeps on,...


And then climbs a tree,...


Oh dear,...Isaac is a climber and has already mastered every tree in our backyard,
within his height and grasp, 
and a few that aren't,...
Still climbing exercises motor processing skills,...i.e. therapy,
Great therapy as with motor processing,
one skills, laps onto another,...
and as we plan to eliminate, a couple handhold branches on more precarious trees,
once all this rain stops,...Isaac will be safe enough to climb all he pleases,
it's therapy and FUN!!!!

Hoping everyone out there is Springing into Spring with as much fun as Isaac,...

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




Saturday, April 11, 2015

Baseball Will Never Be The Same

Isaac's on deck with the Athletics Team for Miracle League Baseball,...last night was his first game.


Totally prepared and ready to play: hat, shirt, baseball pants, socks, non-cleat/like-cleat sneakers, and brand new glove!!!



"Me, Isaac," - says Isaac to introduce himself,
while Mama tries not to cry in the dugout,
so grateful for the strides our little guy has made,
and is making,....as he made new friends, last night. 

Observe Isaac in the outfield, pre-game,...
this is the only time, for the entire event, he was semi-still!!!!!




Miracle League is a special needs baseball organization,
with a special field, special rules - more on this later,
and lots and lots of volunteers,
who work tirelessly to make the miracle of baseball happen.

THANK YOU,
to every single person who supports the Miracle League,
through fundraisers and giving of yourself and your time.
We are so grateful.

Baseball players in the Miracle League are paired with a Buddy (volunteers)
who give whatever assistance is needed,
usually the Buddy system is one-on-one basis,
but Isaac turned out to be a 'special' - special needs child,
as it took THREE teen-age Buddies 
to keep up with him - barely - more on this in a sec.



First, Isaac is up to bat.


Our little guy chose the purple ball,...and gave it a good ol' swing.


Running to the bases was confusing to Isaac,
he didn't 'get' the game,
but fortunately the only rule in Miracle League seems to be
Let the kids have FUN!!!!
As long as everyone was being respectful and safe,
everything and anything goes,
Isaac LOVED it.
He didn't have to stand still.
Nor did he.



Criteria for Isaac's Buddies follows thus:

1. Are you in good shape?
              2. Are you wearing running shoes?
  3. Do you have fast reflexes.
                                              4. Can you run, at top speeds for 60 minutes straight?
                                   5. Can you handle adorably adorable cuteness?



Oh dear,...Isaac literally ran his Buddies ragged, to the point they were begging him to slow down.
Only our supersonic little guy has only two speeds: FAST and FASTER.
Of course, we did warn the youth that Isaac was fast and tireless,
and very, very bright.
At first they just smiled at us with an, "Oh sure," expression.
But, after forty-five minutes of nonstop running, 
and I do mean running like sprint speeds running,
one of the buddies,
said to me, "Ma'am,...I respect you!"

Respect works both ways,
I respect the fact those teenagers gave a Friday evening to the Miracle League,
and selflessly chased after our little guy,
who was having a BLAST,
and won every single race 
either by sheer speed, 
or guile.

Let's be clear,...our little guy is a smart cookie,
and he wanted to win every race around the field,
but he was out numbered by those teens.
What to do?
Try tactics, which Mama would have NEVER fell for,
such as hurling your baseball glove to the left,
with full expectations the Buddies are going to retrieve it,
and they did, all three,
while Isaac darted like a rocket to the right,
kicked it in and was nearly out of sight,
and out of the ball field too,
but Big Brother Teddy was guarding one gate,
while Mama and Daddy guarded the other.
We're not Rookies. 

Neither are the Buddies,
not after being initiated by Isaac into the wonders of Autism. 
But never fear,
the exhausted Buddies were having fun too.
They never did catch on to the bait and switch tactic,
but
Isaac's made a point of making sure his new friends were amused.
Lots of laughter,
and exclamations, "HE'S FUN!"


From others at the ball-field, the general consensus:
"He's soooooo CUTE!!!"




Dripping sweat, Isaac looked like he had played a double header by the time
the game was over,...



Our little guy learned how to shake hands after the game,




One game down,...the rest of the season to go.

Again, we are so grateful to organizations like the Miracle League,
which places recreation in the reach of special needs children,
they need fun too,
and a chance to just be children.

God bless and keep you!












Thursday, April 9, 2015

New Traditions For Easter,...

Fifth Easter for Isaac,...our third Easter with an Autism diagnosis, which is a blessing, because it is so helpful to at least have an inkling why your child has such a different perspective on traditional holidays. 

Holidays are hard, there is not getting around this reality, it is supremely disappointing when you cannot share 'traditional-traditions' with your child, like coloring Easter eggs and hunting Easter eggs, but thankfully Isaac is Isaac, and he has a way of making his own traditions like his Resurrection Eggs.

Resurrection Eggs are plastic eggs filled with items that help to tell the Resurrection Story: a teeny-tiny donkey, a piece of cloth, dice, coins, a cross,...and one egg is empty to represent the risen Savior's empty tomb. 

It's been a year since I've taken the purple carton out of the closet, but Isaac immediately remembered EVERY SINGLE ITEM,...that was discovered and discussed last year. And again, we discovered and discussed the Easter Story, to his level, of course,...and Isaac was much more engaged in our activity,...so that was VERY encouraging.



Pix for prosperity not so much fun as Resurrection Eggs.



To get what pix are posted,...this Mama took over 200 photos,...
with a high speed camera, of course. 


Yes, lots of pictures, but I wanted to capture that sunshine smile,...


After church,...playing on the boulders, or "Rock" as Isaac says, is a tradition. 


So is Daddy being nearby,...


Our little guy is fearless and FAST,...


But also intensely curious,...


Isaac notices,...minute details


Very important to figure it out,...


This year we didn't bother coloring eggs, although I did purchase dye cups,
ONLY Isaac was more interested the colored 'cups' than dying eggs, 
so we rolled with his preference.
Mama's learning,
If our little guy doesn't color eggs, the world is not going to collapse,
Isaac was happy with little pail and plastic eggs with toy prizes.
No candy, Isaac doesn't eat candy,
he'd rather have popcorn and steak - more on that later.

We didn't hunt eggs either,
Isaac doesn't 'get' hunting eggs,
any more than he 'get's coloring eggs,
and again,...it's not the end of the world.

After all the Easter Bunny, is not what Easter is truly about,
at least not for people of faith,
and Isaac did 'get' the Resurrection Eggs,
so maybe our little guy's different perspective is the right perspective,
and we'll take that any day over Peter Cotton Tail.  





Here is Isaac's version of taking a pretend picture and saying, 'Cheese'  -
and I confess, Mama pushed the photo opts, a tad, too much, 
Isaac was done, I knew Isaac was done, and should have put the camera away,
but come on, it's such a beautiful afternoon, and Isaac was being so cute, 
I couldn't resist encouraging, "Cheese," for just a few more pix,
and I am not the only one,
Daddy got in on it too, saying,
"Come on, Isaac,...say Cheese, just one more time."

DONE, Completely DONE
was Isaac,
yet, he's such a sport, he reluctantly droned:
"Cheese,...just one more time!"

FIVE WORDS!!!!
For a child with Apraxia that's practically a speech!
What a gift for Easter.
And I did get a one more priceless pix,



Then it was home to play with our Easter Eggs,...


And grill out, as grilling out for Easter is also a new tradition,
and one Isaac hardily approves.
Our little guy's very first taste of rib-eye steak,
his face burst into a smile,
and he exclaimed, "WOW!"

For Isaac rib-eye over jelly beans, that's the way he rocks and rolls!

New traditions for Easter made for a very happy holiday,...

God bless and keep you!