Autism Watch: 2007

Posts Tagged ‘movie

So I’ve been gone a while. Took a break. No real reason other than living and breathing autism 24/7 was too much. I would turn on Facebook and see an overwhelming number of status updates about autism: articles, stories, news, etc. It was all I saw on some pages. That’s nothing bad about those people — but it’s just more than I could do. We’re in the midst of this move and BB is having issues at school. Keeping on top of all that was enough…or more than enough. Neighbor issues with little guy, meanies out and about, and I just wanted to move on.

The holidays were good. We had a lot of gatherings, and I also was fortunate enough to be able to fly out to the Carolinas to help my sister-in-law after her surgery. I was gone nine days — I was having a “can you really do this without me??” moment…or several…but it’s husband’s sister, and he really wanted me to go, in a non-pushy kind of way. “You’ll like this. You can bond. You need the break. You can help while having fun.” And in one of those “man, I hate to acknowledge it, but…” moments, he was right. I did like it. We did bond. I did need the break. I think I helped, and I know I had fun. It reaffirmed my feelings about moving out there, and it allowed me the opportunity to just live out there — driving my niece to school, shopping, getting gas, and working. (I worked all but one day of that time. Saving my days off for the move.) I got to know my niece and nephew much better (I miss them!), I checked out the local places to shop and found that the Wal-Marts of the south are nothing like the hellholes crowded whiny employee dirty buildings I’ve experienced out here. I learned how to put gas in a car, even if it was an old-timey nozzle that we actually had to TOUCH, and I enjoyed working while looking out at trees that were changing color, with nature making its beautiful sounds. Gorgeous. Just driving to school in the mornings, I loved seeing the Christmas decorations all over. They do it right there! None of this political-correctedness of SoCal, where saying “Merry Christmas” can earn you a nasty look. In fact, I came back and challenged anyone to hassle me when I said it, loudly and often. Not a single challenge! I felt better, ahhh.

Anyway, I returned a few days before Christmas and jumped full-bore into celebration mode. I’d finished shopping and was able to just spend the time with the family and friends. Cookie-baking, Christmas light tours, fun dinners, open-houses, all that stuff and more. Little guy did wonderful at the holidays and only had a few meltdowns. He’s working harder to be aware and we’re working harder to not flip-flop on how we handle him. We did a lot of fun things while on vacation — like cleaning out BB’s desk, decluttering the rest of the kitchen cabinets, putting away Christmas gifts — and also threw in a New Year’s Eve bash. And by bash, I mean bash. So many items were bashed in the trash can at the end of the night..everyone left happy and safe, and quite a few slept here. We get to leave California on a high note!

And on that note, the For Sale sign is in the front yard. The realtor is assured the house will sell quick. Phew. We also experienced an amazing blessing that words can’t quite convey. Several months ago, a dog trainer for service dogs visited our therapy group. We listened to his talk with much interest, but that interest turned into disappointment the next morning when we learned just how expensive they are. We don’t begrudge the cost — the dogs are beautiful and take a lot of time/equipment to train — but it was money we didn’t have. Then stepped in a woman with a huge heart and a  beautiful soul. She donated a dog to BB, a trained dog. Therapy and service-trained, he is so darn cute. BB is thrilled, but learning how to handle him while handling himself. It goes hand-in-hand, as the dog is a calming device. He’s cuddly, loving and a re-direct when BB’s upset. And, just for fun, we threw in a Yorkie; we’ve never had house dogs, and now we have two. We don’t mess around!

I don’t normally whine about my health, or at least I try not to, but I got the MRI results for my back: two herniated discs, and two bulging discs. Then, just for fun, I had to get an ultrasound on Christmas eve because they found a lesion on my kidney. Great. It’s really cut into my running time, which has kept me feeling healthy, but I managed to get back on the horse today and run a 5k in under 31 minutes. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

School’s back in session tomorrow, and BB is nervous and anxious. He is concerned that his one friend there won’t be allowed to play with him anymore; we tried to invite him over the holidays, twice, but each time he was busy “all week long.” Then he’d show up playing at another boy’s house in the neighborhood. Two moms get together, one blabs and a little boy with a disability pays the price for others’ ignorance. At least we’re moving soon!

It’s time for Family Movie Night now. Another Scooby-Doo movie is on tap. I’m ready to fall asleep after a late-night yesterday — BB’s friend celebrated his birthday, and BB was his guest for the night. Wahoooooo! He did wonderful, not a single problem, and we went out to lunch, shopping, dinner, and saw Avatar. Amazing movie, though I did doze for about five minutes early on until the pace picked up. Then I was glued. Go see it. Just plan your potty breaks well and settle in for the long-haul with shoes that haven’t caused blisters. Taking off boots during the movie, with people walkin back and forth to the snack bar and bathroom, is not something you want to have to do. Trust me.

Happy new year!

Next week, dd graduates from 8th grade (a big deal here apparently) and she completes confirmation. Her schedule rivals that of an executive’s right now, and I’m tired of just thinking of getting her everywhere she needs to be, though I am relieved that all the shopping is completed. Now, to choose a bible verse for the ceremony…

Because of the upcoming events, we decided to have a relaxed weekend, one without a lot of plans. We had the pleasure of attending a birthday party for a 98-year-old neighbor, and spent the rest of the time doing things around the house, with the most strenuous being washing the two cars and the truck. How did we get uninterrupted time to do that? Dd took BB out to see Star Trek, and he loved it! Aside from extreme adhd behavior, and a last-minute “I have to go potty NOW” trip five minutes before the movie ended…oh, and the insistence that he had to have sour candy during the movie…he did really well. I think the movie was a bit over his head, resulting in his inability to sit completely still, but he enjoyed it and it was a good time with his sister, so we’ll call it a success. He also played outside during the birthday party, and had no incidents!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a HUGE achievement for him — he played baseball with another family for about an hour, and did great! He’s not a team sports person, yet. Dh tries to get him to play, but he doesn’t respond often. I guess the key is playing with someone else, so now he wants to practice. I can’t tell you how awesome it was to watch him play, with other kids, with a smile on his face. (I did give him a ‘the bat is not a weapon’ speech after, and he did the “Mo-om, I know that” (duh) reply.) Can’t wait to see if he follows through and keeps up the interest!

Recently, we’re in flux a bit about our worship situation, so we didn’t attend yesterday. We’re not sure ds is getting what he needs, yet we weren’t sure how he’d react if we didn’t go, as it’s routine for him — if we are home on Sunday, we go to church. I told him and he sighed in relief. So much for worrying about him reacting if we stop going, which more solidifies my concerns that he’s no longer happy there. Sad but definitely something for us to think about.

Pretty boring blog entry, I know, but sometimes, boring is good, right? Eight more days of school left, and summer is here. He’s got summer camp, an experiment, and I have high hopes he’ll do well. (If not, I’m not out too much money at least.) No VBS this year — dates were changed and it coincides with camp, so he can’t go. Good thing that when I told him, he gave another sigh of relief. One less battle.

I’ll try not to be boring next time. 😉

We took Barnacle Boy to see this today. I will pay any amount of money to listen to him giggle, and Dreamworks didn’t disappoint. This movie was every bit as good as part one, and is one we’ll be buying when it comes out on DVD. Funny for adults, and hilarious for kids, with a story line that’s easy to follow. And, it’s not too long. Perfect score…and we’re picky. 😉  (And a bag of licorice in my purse didn’t hurt!)

Ds has been asking to see Wall-E since it came out, which is when we were in SC/NC/VA in early July, and seeing a movie on vacation just wasn’t in the cards. (But mini-golf, beach’ing and other fun stuff definitely was!) Youngest dd left this morning for a mission trip for the next six days, and ds was uncharacteristically loving towards her, giving her (stuffed) animals aka ‘friends’ to take on the trip, hugging her, and sleeping on her floor last night. We promised him a lot of activities during the time she was away, because what else will he do with the time he normally spends fighting with her?

Hence, tickets to Wall-E. Disney did it again — a movie that’s entertaining for adults (though nothing beats Monsters, Inc. or The Incredibles, imo) and kept ds happy the whole time. He LOVED this movie. He felt adequately empathetic when necessary, and it was ironic to me that these were robots, people with no facial cues and only voice tones and arms to gesture when they were upset. He was sad when appropriate, and excited the rest of the time, including giggling hysterically several times, even when it was only moderately funny to the rest of us. But, he stayed awake, the entire time! (It’s such a reminder that 3 years ago, he’d have slept through 3/4 of it because he was too overwhelmed to do anythin else.) He was double-fisting the popcorn, and squirming in his seat as long as he could last, not wanting to miss the movie until he absolutely had to. He also chewed has his weight in bubble gum, but whatever it takes, right?

Wall-E’s a great movie for little guys like ds. Not overwhelmingly loud/bright/confusing, with basic characters and a cute plot to follow. And just the right length! Well-worth the overpriced movie tickets and crumbly popcorn. (And it was sure better than sitting home bemoaning the sudden expense of having to replace my SUV windshield this morning after a flying rock took it out.)


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