Sep 30, 2014

Fitting it all in

In this home, our kitchen is multipurpose, it serves as our kitchen, our classroom, our laundry room and a storage room for our deep freeze.  I hated the idea of not having a dedicated space to use as our classroom, but even without a dedicated space, I have managed to make a corner of our kitchen feel like our classroom.

Here are some pics of that show my corner of the kitchen doesn't even look like a kitchen.  It is like I carved a classroom out of niche.  The first pics were  before I put up the chalkboard and arranged everything. 

Here is the chalkboard up on the wall with our posters.

Here are two of my sweet students, Princess Magpie and Princess Snifflefritz.

Sep 29, 2014

A Way

People have been talking about whether or not they would change their autistic child if they were given the chance, would they take their autism away.  In Princess Belle's case I have always said that I wouldn't.  I love all the parts of the person that she is and I am afraid that taking away the autism would mess up that fine balance.  She is high-functioning and her difficulties are less pronounced a lot of the time.  I think that leads to people expecting too much of her sometimes, of not giving her the little bit of understanding that she needs, but I think in her case, I would rather choose to change them instead of changing her.

But I think there is more to it than that.  She has every opportunity to lead a full and wonderful life without limits as far as I can see.  She is wonderful.

Little Prince is a different story.  Don't get me wrong. He is completely wonderful and I adore every little inch of his little body and the feeling of his arms around my neck as I carry him up the stairs to bed is a feeling that can't be matched.  I am so blessed that I was the person that was chosen to be his mommy.  I am grateful for him every single day.  But I worry for him.  I worry about his ability to make himself understood.  Sometimes he wants something or doesn't want something and there is no way for him to let me know other than to panic and scream.  Usually I figure it out quickly, but not always.  It must be so frustrating in his little mind.  He can't make me see what he wants, he doesn't know how to tell me.  I wonder if he is lonely, sad, frustrated, or even if he is hungry.  Would he eat my cupboards bare if only I could know the right foods to put on his plate?

So in his case, I don't know if I would take his autism away and bring him into our world, or just figure out a way into his so that we could understand each other a little better. I love my baby boy with my every fiber of my soul and I just want to know how to make his world a happy place to be. 


Sep 28, 2014

Gratitude Sunday

Gratitude Sunday
Sunday's heart felt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.

Here are some things I am grateful for this week:

1. Quiet moments with my Princess Magpie

2. Princess Play always makes me happy

3. Dressup play and sweet moments

4. My girls who love each other

5. And my girls who pile up on each other just to relax and watch a show.

6. My new vintage classroom supplies!  I LOVE my desks and chalkboard.  I only wish I had an actual classroom to put them like in our other homes.

7. How excited my girls were to see the desks and chalkboard.  They have been playing with the chalkboard ever since and start each day begging to "do school" in the new desks.

8. Having a washer and dryer!  Even if it is small and even if it is has to live in my kitchen, a momma with 4 babies NEEDS a washer and dryer!

9. Having a kitchen of sufficient size that I can manage to fit all the regular kitchen stuff, plus our microwave stand, our classroom (desks and chalkboard on the wall), a freezer, our washer and dryer.  And our kitchen still looks big and bright and airy.

10. Spending the afternoon getting Princess Belle supplies for her first ever camping trip and seeing how helpful she was with her siblings while we shopped. 

Sep 27, 2014

Saturday Photohunt: Morning and Fairs, Festivals

The Saturday PhotoHunts for this week are: Morning and Fairs, Festivals.  I have LOTS of pictures of fairs and festivals.  It is one of my favorite things to do as a family.  I had to think about combining that theme with mornings.  Then I remembered one festival we went to that was pretty early in the morning and it was a dull dreary morning and then after we left and went elsewhere, in the afternoon the day brightened up and turned sunny.  So here are some pictures I took at a community festival a couple of years ago early in the morning!

Sep 26, 2014

This Moment: sisters

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

Sep 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Tots and Me

I went back to late September 2012 for my Throwback Thursday Post today.  Little Prince was only about 6 months old, Princess Belle was about 10 and developing her own sense of style, Princess Magpie was about 4 and Princess Snifflefritz was about 2 1/2.

In these pictures, Princess Belle and I were on a field trip for homeschool and we had so much fun!

Princess Magpie and Princess Snifflefritz were inseperable and felt that being at home was clothing optional.  I still have this problem with them LOL!

Little Prince was an easy going, sweet and funny 6 month old baby.

Looking at these pics, I remember that he used to look at me.  I used to be able to get his attention.  I wonder when exactly autism took that away from me?  I can't remember.  At least he is still that funny, sweet little boy.


Sep 23, 2014

Breaking His Limits

I know I have mentioned that Little Prince's diet is limited.  Honestly since our move, his diet has been mostly limited to peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches and chocolate milk.  I have been working with him to at least get the foods he used to eat back into his food repertoire. Now I know that even there we have limits.  He needs things to be of a bread-like texture and they need to seem familiar.  And I have found that I can slip things in if I am creative.  If I break his chicken nuggets in half he will sometimes eat one or two.  And if I cut waffles in quarters and them pile them up so that they look like sandwiches, he will occasionally eat half a waffle.  That is only a little bit, but it is two more foods that I can sometimes get him to eat.

TWO WHOLE foods that he used to eat and will sometimes eat again now!  To me that is a breakthrough.



Every time I can, I try to do a little more to get settled in and make this place mine.

This weekend, I put together our new end tables and I have to say, I love the red with the chocolate brown curtains and the new lamps.  It makes me happy.  There is so much more I want to do, but I am finding frugal, inexpensive ways to make this place look like home. 

Princess Magpie helped me decorate Little Prince's room and while not every sticker is where I would have put it, I like the overall effect and I love that his room now looks settled.  I don't have a picture but I also put a matching curtain over his closet, which has no doors.  

Since the overall theme is pirate monkeys (or a combination of nautical and monkeys LOL) I loved the effect of hanging a few of his monkeys over his crib.  That cement block wall is hard and none of the stickers seem to stick on it, so I got creative and I kind of like the effect.

I replaced his mattress and the first thing he did on his first nap in it was tear off all the bedding and lift up the mattress to walk underneath it!!!  Crazy kid!

I put some Anne Geddes pictures up in the bathroom.  I LOVE the effect.  

Sep 22, 2014

Two of them

We had two Autism Moments with Little Prince yesterday.  Moments where you have to rearrange your thinking to remember that this little boy sees things differently and to remember that sometimes you need to adjust your thinking a little to understand.

1. When he got up from his nap it never occurred to us that he would notice that we had put our new end tables in the living room while he was sleeping. 

But he sat in his chair with his snack in front of him, not touching it, just looking.  He looked worried, pensive, unsure.  He sat their staring and not doing anything else.  Then after about 20 minutes, he started to cry.  It was different, we had changed things and he is autistic and just wasn't comfortable with it yet.

2. Later on, when we had settled him down with a nice bottle of chocolate milk, he still wasn't eating.  He would look at his food, some of the very food that he had eaten before and touched it, but he wouldn't eat it.  Suddenly it occurred to me that it was wrong!  It wasn't cut the right way.  So, I hopped up, cut the food and he started to eat.  He was hungry and he was shoveling it in so fast that he was almost gagging on it.  I made a mistake, I didn't cut it the way I usually do and he is autistic, if it looks wrong, he can't eat it.

My poor little boy.  It doesn't take much to reassure him, just a few little things.  But it doesn't take much to throw him off his game either and that is something I need to remember. 



The best thing about living here in the city is that taking the kids out is no big deal.  I just put their shoes on them, take their hands, we hop on the bus and a new adventure awaits.  They are equally excited to be going out no matter what our destination is.

This weekend I was going out for a quick trip to the dollar store at the mall and at the last minute I decided to take the little girls with me. 

When we got their they wanted to take the ramp instead of the stairs and since that was so very exciting to them, I let them.  Next they discovered a mirror that called out for their cute little reflections. 

And when they discovered an absolutely adorable shoe-shaped chair, they had to test it out. 

The Halloween decorations were too much for the girls to miss, they had to be carefully touched and investigated. 

Since we were having such a fun time, I treated them both to an ice cream and milk. 

On our way back to the bus, we took the sky-walk instead of crossing the road.  The girls were so excited by this simple little change and couldn't wait to look out the window at the road below.

Princess Magpie took the tooth fairy money she got this week and bought a present for herself and her sister (isn't she sweet?) 

Aren't they cute?!

Princess Magpie even went up to put on the proper dress for the occasion.