Christian had Spring Break this week. Being out of routine is not necessarily easy for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for those on the autism spectrum. We have had our share of difficult “vacations” in the past. Many have consisted of screaming, endless crying, and major “tantrums” about not being able to be at school. It becomes an extraordinarily hard time for EVERYONE in the house. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t concerned how we would handle this long week that laid bare in front of us.

But this week, this week of Spring Break, an entire week with NO school, turned out so different from all of our breaks in the past. I think that it is safe to say that this has been the best break from school that Christian has ever had! No joke!

Here are some things that I have learned during this week…

  • We can survive and thrive during a break. Whew! This makes the thought of summer vacation not quite so scary a thought anymore.
  • There is a Catch-22 to Christian sleeping later into the morning. I have learned this week that if he sleeps past 6am, I will probably end up washing any and everything that was on his bed. As much as I like being able to “sleep-in”, I would prefer to see my boy by 5am.
  • With the help of two of his therapists, Christian learned that being at the Children’s Museum in town with me and Liv is OK. We can have fun together as a family while there. My heart smiles.
  • Christian can walk his service dog, Pixar, really excellently by himself (if he has her on a hands-free leash), as long as I’m not around. Pixar has become too reliant on me. I have to distance myself from her so that she can lean on Christian more.
  • An obsession focus on WordWorld combining with Legos makes for some interesting days. I think I need a Lego intern to move in with us for awhile. (See pictures of our creations at the bottom of this post.)
  • Christian knows his bedtime prayer. He wandered into Olivia’s room when I was putting her to bed last night and started praying along. I was near tears of joy. 🙂
  • Christian spontaneously told Brian that he loves him a few days ago. I melted. Such fantastic words to hear, especially when offered so freely.
  • Christian and I can do a HUGE grocery shopping trip by ourselves with the help of a cart called the “Shop Along.” These carts have a bench seat behind the actual cart. Christian sat awesomely on the bench while I overfilled our cart. 🙂 (I have also learned that pushing an 80+ lb. child in a Shop Along with it overflowing should be considered an Olympic sport. I’m only half kidding. 😉 )
  • Christian is a technology master. One example of that this week — he found a word processing program on Grandma’s computer that she didn’t even know that she had. (He found it so that he could type credits at her house, of course.) He has also been using our “Movie Maker” program to create his own scrolling credits and inserting pictures that are saved on the computer. He can just about type as fast as I can. Incredible! 😀

Our favorite -- "DOG"

Our Cast of WordWorld friends -- "DOG", "FROG", "PIG", and "SHEEP" (We added "DUCK" a little bit later. He hasn't made the leap from the camera to the computer yet. 😉 )

I have shared many of the positive notes that have come home from Christian’s classroom this year. I have been excited that there have been so many of them. 🙂

This week has been a hard one for Christian, though. Here are the notes from the last two days…

[Yesterday] Christian has been going to first grade math sweep. The tasks that they do are a challenge to him and his behaviors are not good. Today we had to leave because of headbutting, screaming, and crying. Part of me thinks that he should be able to do the work, but he really isn’t even trying and becomes frustrated with trying to keep up with the fast pace.

[Today] Christian was MAD today. He was obsessed with [Bus Driver R] and Mom topics. He cried several time and lunged at me several times. I did not try first grade math because of his mood.

Christian has been struggling with sleep lately and maybe cutting some new teeth. The weather has been all over the place, which never helps sleep or mood. I just wish that he had the words to tell me what is going on and how I can help him.

Doing all that I can for now and just praying for “happier” notes tomorrow.

We’ve been fortunate this year.  We made it to the last day of November to get our first “real” snowfall.  You know, the kind that actually stays on the ground (even if it’s just a dusting).

I have to admit that it’s pretty.  This dusting of snow.  A light blanket of white.  Little flakes dancing through the air.  Beautiful.

However, along with the snow comes horrible sleep for C.  Even with two patches on last night, he was up (and wildly so) from 1-4am.  Seriously.  [Sigh]  While, I’m thankful that he went back to sleep and that he seems up and going (as usual) for the day, this mama is a walking zombie.  My brain is in a terrible fog.  My body is aching all over.  My eyes feel like they need toothpicks to stay open.  Yeah.  It’s going to be one of those kind of days.

And this is why I loathe the snow.  And it’s not even officially winter yet.  [sigh]  I guess I’ll just have to sit back with a (MEGA) cup of coffee today and enjoy the beauty of it…

We had a fabulous family reunion at our house yesterday.  While it was a rush to prepare our home for that many people, it was nice to have it here because “here” is Christian-proofed.  Brian and I were able to visit with everyone.  Lovely!  😀

Unfortunately, piles of gluten also visited our house yesterday.  Usually, gluten is not that big of a deal as Christian will avoid most gluten-laced foods.  Ironically, Christian was attracted to some store bought, nothing fancy gluten-stuffed chocolate chip cookies.  Sigh.  I don’t understand why those were the draw (especially since he has been on a full-forced cookie strike since our “cookie company” went out of business), but he had (at least) two of them (from what we saw). 

The cookies were not big, but made a big impact.  Sleep is horrible — both falling asleep and staying asleep.  The aggression is back — mostly because I will not let him surf “youtube” for production companies after 8pm at night and I won’t let him downstairs.  And I’m just beat.  I want to sleep (not possible when you have a child literally bouncing off of walls (and doors)). 

Sigh.

I wonder how long this will take to pass…

Christian is a man of few words.  He still doesn’t request many things by asking (especially when he is not prompted).  He would just prefer to grab a hand and drag someone to whatever it is that he wants.  An eternal work in progress.

However, the last couple of days he has made two very clear requests!

First, he has started requesting, “Mom. Dad. Bed.”  This means, “Mom and Dad, please come with me, tuck me in, pray with me, and turn off the light.”  Seriously.  THIS IS SOOO COOL!!! 😀  And, this has happened, not once, but twice!  We could NOT be any happier!!!!  😀

OK. Second request.  “Milkshake.”  Yep, my 6-year-old, who has NEVER had a milkshake in his entire life or even a glass of milk (because he refuses to drink any beverage that he can’t see through) clearly asked for a “Milkshake!”  Crazy.  So, I got out the rice cream (non-dairy ice cream), soy milk, and the Magic Bullet.  Christian watched carefully and filled with excitement.  He LOVED it!  😀  Wow.  I. am. amazed.

Christian enjoying his milkshake. (He DOES have clothes on. Well, his swimsuit anyway. 🙂 )

This is Lennie.

Olivia likes to sleep with Lennie most nights.  Last night, she went to bed with out her. 

Unfortunately, Liv woke at 2 am and insisted that we find her NOW!  So, we searched and searched and searched.  In bedrooms, bathrooms, drawers, under furniture, etc.  Lennie was nowhere to be found.  We I had now spent a 1/2 hour in the middle of the night looking for this cat.

I was starting to think she has left it at Neighbor Girl’s house.  I mentioned that to Liv and she started wailing.  Sigh.

But there was one last hope.  The girls had been playing by the sandbox.  Could Lennie be there?  So, Liv and I ran out there in the dark, toes getting wet with dew (which only upset Liv even more), and there in the grass was Lennie!  Whew.  Thank goodness. 

Of course, then Liv was upset that Lennie was wet, you know, from the dew on the grass.  Oh well.  At least we found her and Liv went back to sleep almost immediately.  (Too bad I couldn’t do the same! 😦 )

I think that my kidney stones finally passed today.  Two weeks from the start of my pain.  🙂

I could NOT be happier!!!  🙂

Now, I’m hoping that I can finally sleep comfortably again tonight.  🙂

For those of you who wonder what they felt like, compare them to labor.  Now, I was more uncomfortable during labor than in sheer pain.  This was a pretty similar experience for me.  Except that this time it didn’t end in surgery! 😉