Autism question

During a school project my class wrote down questions about having autism for me to answer.  I decided to post the questions and answers on my blog as well.

Q: Does the way you see things differ from the way someone without autism sees them?

A: When I first saw this question I thought, “I don’t know, how do you see things?”  I guess the way I see things is different from the way someone without autism would see things, but to me the way I see things is just normal.  It is the way I have seen things my entire life.  It is just the way the world is to me.

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Tot school

For tot school today we read Oh My, Oh My, Oh Dinosaurs.  After I took Mingli’s dinosaur costume from Halloween and we danced around the kitchen listening the the song We Are The Dinosaurs.  This wasn’t planned, but it wasn’t good weather so we couldn’t do our planned activity.  It was a gross motor activity, so I decided last minute that dancing was a good substitute.

Next was a counting activity found here.  I wrote a number and the corresponding number of circles on each card.  We used a cookie sheet and some magnets to put on each of the circles.  Mingli counted as we did this and identified some of the numbers.  As we were starting this activity Ebo came and joined us.  After doing some counting we let the two kids just play with the magnets, which they had a lot of fun doing.

 

After that we did another gross motor activity.  Mingli got a bunch of balls for his 2nd birthday and I got them and helped the kids practice throwing the balls into a basket.  They loved this, and after a while we started throwing the balls to each other, then they just started playing with them.

Getting adjusted

Lately I have been trying to get more done during the day.  Up until now I have been resting and recovering, which has been really nice, but I am trying to get back into real life.  The problem is I will have a huge to do list at the beginning of the day, then feel like I am super busy all day, but when I look back at the end of the day I can’t figure out what I have actually done.  I’m realizing that this is part of motherhood.  With just one child I was actually able to accomplish things, even though it wasn’t as much as I wanted, but now that I have 2 I feel like keeping them alive and fed is all I do all day.  Part of that is having a newborn.  Iella is still so little, and she was early, so it is expected that she will need a lot of attention.  Mingli is little as well, and he also still needs a lot of time and attention.  I am working on settling into a rhythm that will work for me, and until then I am so glad to have the help of my family.  Kaanas has been trying to help, but isn’t able to much.  He had a little more than a week off work for Iella’s birth, but then between the time I was in the hospital before the induction and then the time Iella was in the NICU Kaanas only had 2 days off with Iella home, so he wasn’t able to help me adjust to having 2 kids instead of 1.  I also was never given time to recover after Iella was born, because less than 24 hours after she was born I was discharged and went to the children’s hospital that Iella was in where I had to sleep in a chair, do a ton of walking, and overall just wasn’t able to focus on any of my needs.  My family has kind of filled in the gaps and let me have some time to recover and helped me figure out having 2 kids, and I am really grateful for it.

It has still been a tough transition, though.  One night Kaanas was working, my mom wasn’t feeling well, my siblings were at a church activity, and my dad had gone to bed because he was leaving for work at 4-5 in the morning not not getting home until at least 7 at night, sometimes as late as 10.  This meant that when it was time to get Mingli ready for bed I was the only one doing it.  It was my first time doing the whole bedtime routine by myself, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.  I got Iella’s little bath seat and put that on the floor so she could sit in that while I gave Mingli his bath.  As I was getting Mingli in the bath Iella started crying and acting hungry, so I quickly got Mingli settled, brushed his teeth, washed his hair, and then just let him play in the bath while I sat in the bathroom nursing Iella.  A couple of minutes in Mingli decided that it would be fun to use his boats to dump water all over the floor, which meant bath time was over, so I had to stop nursing, but Iella, who was now screaming, back in her seat, and get Mingi out of the tub.  I quickly dried him off, got him dressed, and put him in his crib, then sat in his room nursing Iella while reading stories to Mingli and hoping Shand, who Mingli shares a room with, didn’t come home.  I am ok nursing in front of other girls, but I don’t use a cover so I really don’t want to nurse in front of my 12 year old brother.  Typing it out doesn’t sound that bad, but it was super stressful at the time.

I am slowly getting the hang of this, and loving my new life.  Everyday I am so glad I have both of my kids, and the more I settle into my new normal the better it becomes.  It is much harder than I thought it would be, and some days I feel like crying, even with help, but it is wonderful.

Halloween

We didn’t do a ton for Halloween this year.  Mingli is still young so didn’t really know what was going on.  Kaanas had to work, but we decided that me and my dad were going to take Mingli trick or treating.  Kaanas got to do the trunk or treating, so he was ok missing the trick or treating, especially since we really thought Mingli would have a lot of fun.

Once my dad got home from work we got Mingli all dressed up and ready.  He seemed to remember the trunk or treating, so he was actually excited when we dressed him up and gave him his bag.  I never could get him to say trick or treat, but he had fun going from house to house and dragging his bag behind him.  He had the most fun at the houses where he was able to pick out his own candy instead of just having candy put in his bag.  Although his favorite part was when we got home and I let him pick out 2 pieces of candy to eat.

One house was so funny.  They let him pick out a piece of candy, then told him to get another, then another.  By this time Mingli seemed to think he was just supposed to take all the candy, so before I could grab him he reach out to grab a 4th piece of candy.  The person handing out the candy thought this was really funny and told him he could have as much as he wanted.  I did stop it at 4 because I didn’t want him taking all the candy.

Even though we weren’t out long it was a lot of fun.  Mingli wasn’t ready to come back, but he really didn’t need more candy, and I knew that he would start getting tired soon.  I love that Mingli is getting old enough to start enjoying the holidays, because they are a big deal to me.  Holidays are going to start getting more and more fun.

A newborn

I have noticed a few changes in Iella lately, in her eating habits, her sleeping habits, and a few other things.  I realized that she is acting more like a typical newborn.  For example, she is now eating every 2-3 hours instead of every 1-2 hours.  When I started thinking about it, it really makes sense.  If I was still pregnant I would be 39 weeks right now, which is about when she should be born.  It makes sense that she is starting to act like a newborn, because that is what she is supposed to be.

Trunk or treat

Every year at our church we have what we call trunk or treat.  One evening everyone comes, decorates their cars, and the kids go from car to car trick or treating.  Saturday was our trunk or treating for the year and it was a lot of fun.  The first part of the night was a chili cook off, and I honestly wish that we had just skipped that part.  Everyone who wanted to brought chili that they had made and it was set on a table with numbers.  That was the dinner for the night as everyone went around trying different chilis and voting on which one they liked best.  I have been to several chili cook offs, and they are fun, except for the fact that I don’t like tomatoes, I don’t like onions, I don’t like peppers/chilies, and I don’t like anything spicy.  All of that combined usually means that I don’t like hardly any chili.  It was ok, though, and I had fun showing Iella off to people in my church.

After the chili cook off was what we were really there for, trunk or treating.  This year for costumes I crocheted Mingli a dinosaur costume, and decided to have Mingli and Iella match.  Mingli was a blue dinosaur with purple spikes, and Iella was a purple dinosaur with blue spikes.  They were so cute together.

Right at first Mingli did not want to go trick or treat.  Kaanas had to drag him to the first car, but as soon as that first car let him pick a chocolate and put it in his bag he decided that he really liked it.  After that he was dragging Kaanas to the cars then standing very patiently and waiting his turn for candy before moving on to the next car.  I was really impressed with how patient he was waiting for the kids who were in front of him to get their candy.  The only problem he had then was that he was not ready to stop when we ran out of cars.

I was really glad that Mingli had so much fun.  The best part was the Kaanas was able to be there.  He is working Halloween night, and I was really sad that he wouldn’t be able to take Mingli trick or treating.  It was great that he got to be there this time.

Being a mother of 2

It has been so strange becoming the mother of 2.  I thought I had prepared myself for it, and I had in every way that I could.  I was prepared for trying to juggle the needs of 2 children.  I had thought out practical ways of handling things like bedtime, meals, and other times that I thought both kids might need me.  I am living with my parents so I knew I would have help when I needed it.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the way my heart would feel.  I wasn’t prepared for how torn I would feel.  All I want to do is hold Iella, love on her, soak in every minute of her being a newborn.  All I want to do is play with Mingli, do school with him, take him outside, make him laugh.  Each of my kids has my whole heart, all of my love, but they can’t each have all of my time.  This is the part of having another child that I didn’t expect, and it is the hardest part.  I guess all I can do is make sure to spend individual time with each of them every day and try and let go of the regret I feel over not being able to give them each more.

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