At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hats On For The New Year,...

The nice thing about Isaac is that I never have to search for blog-post material as our little guy is always up to something,...like starting off the new year with a Happy 2017 hat,...


I.I. picked out the hat himself,...trust me,...if we had suggested such,...these pix would not exist!


"Happa New 'ear!" says I.I.,...



While out shopping, Isaac's made a point to fuel up for the New Year,
sausage, shrimp, eggs, french fries, biscuits, and Diet Coke,...



Also,...Isaac's had fun spending some 'Christmas money"
Toss-Across, anyone? 
It is rare, very, very rare for Isaac to ever ask for anything,
aside from Diet Coke,
so we did make an effort to hunt down this rather 'difficult' to find game 
without resorting to ordering it off the internet.
Needless to say,...Isaac was very pleased,...and we've been playing lots of Toss-Across!!!
And yes,...I.I. usually wins!!!



2016 is in the history books,
a historic year for us,...Isaac's speech and social development has taken off,
and everyone who works with I.I. agrees the leaps have been pretty dramatic.




Or maybe I.I. has just been holding out on us.
"Talk? Oh,...was that what you've been wanting me to do?" 


Wish it was that easy,...our little guy does still have very real challenges.
Apraxia is very real,...
Speech is not easy for Isaac,
yet, it's amazing how I.I. can work around the disconnects to get his messages across.
Is his speech like a 'typical' child,
no, no it's not, but it is always unique,
and usually incomparably charming,
and most important
 it works.


Social stuff takes time,
lot of it is very silly once you look at it through the lens of autism.
"Why can't we all be nice to one another?"
Try explaining that to a child on the spectrum.


Isaac is usually very gracious to put up with us,
he's got this,
and he knows we'll catch up sooner or later,
on what's really important. 


Until then,...I.I. will patiently wait,...


And think up a scheme or two,...


Or contemplate the universe,...



Our little guy has a VERY busy little mind,...




2016,..everything has been turned into an adventure,.


No doubt, 2017 will be just as exciting,...



Just a very little guy with very real challenges,
but Isaac already knows that life is to be lived,
and lived to the fullest,
with faith, hope and love,
and the greatest of these is LOVE!

Happy New Year!


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




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"More Christmast,..."

What a Holly Jolly Christmas,...Isaac has had this year!!!! 
The shared interest, excitement and all out enthusiasm for the holidays exhibited by our little guy was our Christmas gift!!!

Here is Isaac's first ever gingerbread house, more on this at the end of the post, but I.I. was so pleased with this festive activity!!!


This year,...we didn't have to worry about if Isaac would open his presents or not. 
Not a single sensory problem arose,
as I.I. happily dove into his holiday trove.


We feel very confident that Isaac liked his viewfinder. 


Just don't tell Isaac,...the view finder is actually a very good for speech therapy.

"What do you see, I.I.?"
"Wallee!" 
"What is Wallee doing, I.I..?"
"Look for Eva."
"Where is Eva, I.I.?" 

- you get the picture, but it really does work for enhancing verbal description. 


Obligatory silly face while taking Christmas pix with big brothers.


First yo-yo lesson,
or rather an introductory course in physics. 
"It's called gravity, I.I." 


Of course Isaac received puzzles for Christmas,...



But we need to up I.I.'s puzzle game.
Isaac put this puzzle together in record time, (like five minutes) without even looking at the box.
100 piece puzzles here we come!!!


Getting presents is nice, 
but Isaac learned the pleasures of giving presents this year. 
The Eve of Christmas Eve, Teddy took Isaac shopping and when they got home, Daddy asked,
"What do you have, I.I.?"
"I've got STUFF!" said Isaac with a beaming smile, and he helped wrapped each present,
proving to be very precise with scissors and tape. 


"This for you," Isaac loved to say,...so happy to share his joy with one and all. 



More than one family member made a point of supporting Autism with their Christmas gifts,
and our family was so very touched,...bless them. 
Acceptance is the greatest gift. 


Mama didn't just eat dark chocolate pecans,...she also ate crow.
Daddy suggested getting a remote control car,
but this Mama didn't think it would go over very well, 
as last year I.I. completely ignored every single super cool toy.
But this year, Aunt C,...score THE best present of the Christmas season,
I.I.  absolutely LOVED his remote control car,


Thankfully I.I. really liked his dinosaurs and blocks, too. 
"Let's do this," says Isaac as we build castles. 


Of course, Isaac is in truth,...a man of action. 
Christmas Day spent on Papa's farm was a perfect way for him to celebrate,
doesn't everyone want to go fishing on Christmas Day?
I.I. caught a fish, too!


How much did I.I. understand about the Christmas season?
We don't exactly know.
Communication disconnects are still there, 
but we're getting closer to understanding what I.I. understands. 
Santa is for play.
Yep, I.I. seemed to understand that fact.
Baby Jesus was real.
Yeah,...Isaac seemed to understand that as well,
when I got out a nativity,
Isaac also wanted me to get out the Resurrection eggs,
connecting Calvary with Christmas,
not bad for a six year old. 

Isaac fully understands the beauty of giving to others. 
Everyone who met him was greeted with a sunshine smile, and
 "Merra Christmast!" 
And boy did I.I. LOVE giving out his gifts. 
"For YOU!" said I.I. 



We even started a few new traditions,...like the Eve of Christmas Eve shopping, and making a gingerbread house. Oh was that fun! But, of course, Isaac didn't touch the icing.
Let's get real, sensory is sensory and 'gooey' sensory doesn't stop for the holiday.
Still Isaac directed every step,
"Gumball here."
"Candy here." 
"Tiny balls, here."
And then let's eat,...one would assume?
Nope,...
"Happy Birthday,...Teddy." 
Never mind big brother's birthday is in September,
Isaac loved doing something special for someone he loves.  



The holiday season is coming to a close with the end of the 2016,
but this year, Isaac wants, "More Christmast!"



Something to look forward to for the next twelve months.

A new year is only days away, 
no doubt we'll have lots of adventures to share.



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











Friday, December 23, 2016

Another Christmas Post?

Another Christmas post?
Yep, Isaac has totally gotten into the Christmas spirit this year,...and Mama's got the pix to prove it.  
For about twenty minutes I dithered whether to publish another post,...as I know I am bordering the fine line of --- gushing about my child, but then I re-read last year's Christmas post, and I was utterly blown away by the miraculous strides Isaac has made in the past year. 
Living day-to-day - it is easy to forget, but last year Isaac was still 'barely' verbal!!!!!
Now, oh-my-goodness, our little guy has such a larger vocabulary and wider command upon his verbal skills. And social skills. 

There was a time our little guy didn't acknowledge others, but now he acts like Mayor of the World, greeting one and all with his unique charm, "Hi, how are you, today?" -- maybe a little scripted, but I.I. makes it work, because he's genuinely interested. 

Last year - there is NO WAY we would have let our prone-to-wander/nonverbal child out of our arms-reach in a busy holiday laden store, but this year,...Isaac wanted to go on the carousel by himself, and we were totally comfortable to let I.I. manage the ride on his own. 


To get his turn at the suction: bow-and-arrow Isaac had to very patiently wait his turn,...


Of course,...it helps, I.I. if you open your eyes,...


Too bad,...there is no sound bite for the giggles,...Isaac loved this activity. 


The sporting goods store we were at had the coolest holiday section for children with visits to Santa, which we passed on as that line was longer than the zoo train, the festive carousel, and (free!!!) holiday games, like the suction-arrow, and present stacking. Of course the store is filled with natural-history like scenes with stuffed bears, deer, wolves,...ect. Very cool, for a little guy, especially the huge fish tank with live fish. 
But all the fun made our little guy hungry.

"Lunch, please," says Isaac. "I hungry." 
How about a holiday lunch?
We made it to a local seafood restaurant jusssssssst in time before the lunch hour rush began. We had not been to this restaurant since June, but Isaac remembered two police cars had been in the parking lot our last visit. No  police-officers on lunch this time, but there was a whole table of firefighters, whom Isaac made a point of greeting. Then Isaac turned his charm onto our waitress, and ordered his own meal without glancing at the menu,...although it had been over six months since our last visit!!!!

The charm factor was so high as Isaac interacted with the wait-staff, our little guy gained, not one, but three, extra Diet Cokes by the time we left. 

No pix of Isaac shopping at the dollar store, or rather we shopped while our little guy had other things to do, like help one of the clerks - untangle - some shopping carts. "All better," says Isaac with more oozing charm, which earned him a quarter for the gum ball machine from the clerk. 

The quarter was a conundrum. Isaac doesn't chew gum, but the clerk didn't know that, and she urged him to get his 'treat' - which Isaac, eventually did, after minutely inspecting the gumball machine trying to figure out how it works. 

In went the coin, and voila, out came a gum ball. Cool! Then our little guy took the gumball to the clerk, "Here, for you!" 

So genuine, so precious. 

Of course, the clerk, who was amused and touched, didn't take the gum, so Isaac gave it to Daddy, who tried to get him to try a piece.

"No, thanks," Isaac waved away the treat, he had other things on his mind, like: DONUTS!



Six years with our little guy and we've learned a thing or two about perspective and what's really important. Celebrating with 'traditional' candy canes, hot chocolate, sugar cookies,...ect,...isn't on our little guy's radar. Boohooing over lost traditions only makes your nose stuffy and eyes red. What doesn't work, doesn't work. Thus, work with what does work, and make NEW TRADITIONS,...like donuts! Unlike traditional Christmas fare, donuts are a different matter,...they are a TREAT,...and according to Isaac a great way to celebrate!!!!


Getting to see the assembly line making Christmas donuts,...makes the outing only that much cooler. 


Double the fun,...could the world take TWO Isaacs?
Does the universe have that much oxygen?
 Luckily he's one-of-a-kind, kinda guy.

After our donut adventure we had to stop into Walmart for something as mundane as paper plates, but Isaac kept that little white baker's cap on his head,...and DOFFED THE CAP -- to one and all he met,...too adorable for words,...what a little gentleman!!! And YES, I AM GUSHING!!!! But come on,...last year I.I. barely knew it was the Christmas season!!!


Yes, our six year old is attempting to figure out exactly how those donuts are made. 





The scrutiny was very intense. 


And took about ten minutes. 


Then,...yes,...Isaac figured it out,...and was attempting to get the workers attention, so he could tell them EXACTLY how to do their jobs,...in a better and faster way. And no doubt, his ideas were probably spot-on,...it's a little scary how quickly our little guy can figure stuff out,...and the spot-on observation is not a joke,...you can't make this stuff up,...but, I.I. just wants to be helpful. 


Perhaps because he knows the rewards are so sweet,
and not just the donuts. 


Isaac is truly such a happy person,
he wants others to be happy too,
and if they are not,
he can help that,
with his sunshine smile, 
and genuine concern. 
Spot on, concern.?
Somehow Isaac seems to reach out to those who really need his brand of charm,
like that harried clerk trying to untangle those carts.
No one, but I.I. seemed to notice her need.
That's a true gift. 




Love one another.
Be kind to one another.
a VERY Christmasy message. 


or as Isaac would say, and I quote:
"Have a Merra Christmast,
and a Happa New 'ear!"



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















Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What A Gift,...

The blog title really should be: Still "Patiently" Waiting On Christmas,...because Isaac has actually been very patient these past few days. 

Perhaps it is resignation. 
Or perhaps it is all the fun Isaac has been having,...despite the wait.


Yes,...Isaac at six years old,..is really THAT tall!


Or obstacles. 


Oh dear,...this Santa and Isaac were NOT simpatico! 
Perhaps it was the awkwardness Autism can create,...Isaac looks soooooo typical, but our little guy has his social challenges, and Santa didn't understand that Isaac didn't WANT on his knee,...nor could I.I. answer any 'typical' - "What do you want for Christmas" questions. And what do you do? Whisper, "Santa, he's on the spectrum?" Or try to explain about Apraxia, "Our little guy can't alway talk, I mean, sometime he can talk a blue streak, but when Apraxia kicks in, and you NEVER know when it will show up -- he can't readily answer." -- AWKWARD - Although, no doubt Santa would have been understanding, most people are, and very helpful and accommodating, but sometimes as parents you just aren't 'feeling' the whole explaining to strangers stuff.  -- so we just took pixs. 


Needless to say - both - were glad to get out of this 'awkward' moment. 


Isaac had too much to do at the zoo at night!!!!
Like greeting EVERYONE (but that poor Santa) with "Merra Christmast"


Can't see the snow-storm in the picture, but Isaac was fascinate by the 'bubble' snow blizzard, which was really cool, especially with the festive music blaring from speakers. 


Then our fearless little Santa, with his zoo map, ushered us straight to the train. Train rides are very expensive at the zoo, and as we visit the zoo a great deal, Isaac understands that we only get to ride the train when we attend night events like Christmas Zoo Lights. 



Needless to say the line for the train was looooooooong! So long, we were very disheartened as it seemed it would take three hours to get a spot on the train because HUNDREDS of people were ahead of us. 
What to do?
Survival-mode.
Mama waited in line, while Daddy and Isaac wandered about, but not far. Isaac is a true leader, he keeps up with his tribe, and kept coming back to the line to 'check-up' on Mama. 
SO SWEET!!!!! 
And, of course, Isaac made friends with the other people waiting in line with us. We have no idea, why Isaac's charm didn't work on that Santa, because he charmed the socks off everyone in that line, from the people immediately in front of us,...to the helping 'elves' -- to the conductor himself, because after our ride, Isaac made a point of making his way to the front of the train, and he gave the conductor  a high five, and said, "Good job!"
Thankfully the zoo was running both trains, so our wait was only forty minutes or so. 


More teeth have been lost this Christmas season, but Isaac hasn't wanted to do the 'tooth fairy' deal, again. Obviously I.I. was one-and-done for that rite, but the gappy-smile is still Christmasy cute. 



Mini-road trip over the past weekend was very Christmasy, and again, Isaac was totally patient with the seven HOUR car ride,...which was three and half hours going and coming. Of course, stopping at a state-of-the-art McDonalds helped, as did the books and tablets our little guy had in the backseat. 
However coming home, Isaac decided that we would get home 'quicker' - if HE DROVE. 
"Isaac drive, Daddy," says our little guy, while we try to explain to I.I. the he has to wait until he's much older to drive a car,...which at that time, ten years hence, should make for some very interesting blog posts!


For the time being Isaac will have to be content to drive around in a shopping cart with Mama. 



This is Isaac's reaction to the loooooooong lines at Walmart. 

Actually these pixs are a real testament to how far our little guy has come over the past year. Before I would have NEVER considered going into such a crowded store during the holiday season with I.I. - But, Isaac actually LOVED all the bustle,...more people to say, "Merra Christmast," to, and workers to cheer with his queries, "Whatcha doing?" -- and the 'high fives' Isaac passes out like candy. 


What a change from the past few years,...where Isaac wasn't interested in the holidays. 
Or the festivities.
Or even the gifts. 
Hello?
A child not interested in getting toys?
Yeah, that's a side of Autism. 
Or at least it was our side for the previous Christmases. 
Isaac is more interested,
although he still doesn't totally 'get' the presents-part. 
A very nice lunch-room lady, whom Isaac has no doubt charmed, despite then fact he usually takes his own lunch, presented him with a gift bag filled with coloring books, crayons, and ABC blocks (does she know our little guy or what?)
What do you think Isaac did with his gift bag when he got home?
Rip into it and start playing?
Nope,
Isaac put the gift under his little tree. 
Why?
We don't know. 


Perhaps Isaac is waiting on Christmas until he plays. 
Or perhaps he just likes the way the gift looks under the tree. 
Or maybe he already knows that 'relationships' are more important than gifts. 
No doubt, the lunchroom lady got a high five, a hug, and a "Merra Christmast!" 
Isaac always seems to have a handle upon the important things,
and he helps us have a better perspective on the world at large as well.

What a gift
we get to appreciate every day. 


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