He Finally Ate A Vegetable!

Some call it a starch but I call it a vegetable! A couple of days ago MJ ate some sweet potato! MJ has always been extremely finicky about vegetables.   He doesn’t even want me to have them on his plate next to the other foods he eats.  I try to introduce different foods but if the texture and taste are different or not to his liking, he protests and takes it off of his plate.  For this reason I always have to make sure he takes his vitamins etc.  a few days ago I decided to try again with him.  When he was a baby he LOVED the sweet potato baby food and I thought that would continue as he got older, but it hasn’t! I put a baked potato in the oven for a little over an hour.   I took it out, mashed it up, and added a little butter and a dash of brown sugar.  I took a plate of it to MJ at the dinner table.  I said “MJ look at this sweet potato! It’s just like the sweet potato pie that I bake.  Do you want to try some? Its delicious!”  To my surprise he said yes! I gave him one spoonful and asked him if he wanted more.   He said YES! I scooped some on his plate and ran to get my phone to take a pic of him eating it.  Well he ate it so fast that I didn’t get a chance to take a pic! I’m thrilled that he finally tried it and I will most definitely continue to make it for him.  Maybe he has turned a corner and is willing to try more foods. I’m going to continue to try and introduce more veggies into his diet.

#TBT Pic of MJ :-)

This pic wants taken when MJ was just 3 and a half years old.  He was the student of the month at the special needs pre-k in Georgia.  I was recently sent this pic by a friend and was so excited because I had lost this pic in our move to Florida. I’m very grateful to have it again. I love this kid😊

  

Successful #Staymarriedvacation!

My husband and I have returned from our “stay married vacation” and we have checked all the boxes:

  • Rest…check
  • Sleep…Check
  • Relaxation…Check
  • Have sex without the kids interrupting…CHECK!
  • Rejuvenation…Check
  • Miss the kids but prevent ourselves from calling them 3 times a day…Check
  • Have fun…check
  • Reconnect and fall in love again…check
  • Come back refreshed and in a better position to parent…check!

We really did have a wonderful time and I am already planning next year’s vacation.  I hope we have inspired someone to take their own “stay married vacation”  🙂

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Ok, So Camp Is Going Well!

last week I wrote about an incident that happened with my son at camp. My daughter ended up seeing kids being mean to MJ and told me about it.  Since that day I spoke with the camp director and thankfully things seem to be going well. He is excited to go to camp in the mornings and has a smile on his face in the afternoons.  I sure hope this continues but my antennae are up!

  

 

MJ Is Swimming :-)

Two years ago after private swim lessons, MJ would cling to us in the water and scream bloody murder! I was so excited yesterday after taking my kids to the pool.  MJ began to swim and I quickly had to capture it on video.  This is an example of how determination and patience pays off!  He absolutely loves the water and I’m so happy for his improvement!

#TBT Pic of MJ :-)

  

This pic was taken a few years ago when MJ was 9.  This was early one morning on his way to school.  I had to wake him up very early for him to go on the school bus.   He was doing his best to smile for me 😊. 

Our Annual “Stay Married Vacation”

Haven’t we all heard that 50% of all marriages end in divorce? Well add a special needs child and that rate goes up to 80%.  Many people say that rate is untrue.   Regardless of your own personal view I think most people agree that marriage can be difficult. Even if you are swinging from the chandeliers every night, there are still difficult moments and seasons in a marriage.   About 6 years ago my husband and I began taking what I call a “stay married vacation” once a year.  It has become a  priority in our marriage to take this vacation. This is a KIDLESS vacation! This is our time to relax, reconnect, have sex without a child knocking on the door and asking us to open the door, and just have a REAL break!  It has been amazing for us.  We return home rejuvenated and better prepared to handle our daily lives.  My dad and stepmom have stayed with our kids for all of these vacations.  It is wonderful for the kids as well because they know it’s their special time with granddad and grandma.  I am forever grateful to them for this.  We are able to go away and not worry about the kids at all.  Soon we will be going on this vacation. This is one thing that we do as a couple to make sure we maintain a happy marriage and a happy home. 

  
Last year’s stay married vacation in Puerto Rico 😊

Made It Through Our First Week of Camp…Kinda

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MJ went to camp this past week.  It was not the camp that he is accustomed to going to.  This is his first time not attending a camp for kids with special needs.  As I said in an earlier post, his special needs camp was full so we had to find different placement for him.  We decided to have him attend the camp that was run by his aftercare program.  We felt more comfortable because the teachers and students know MJ better now as he has been attending the aftercare for 2 years.  We were also pleased that his sister would be able to look out for him as well. We were still a bit reluctant because we knew that this meant more students per class and not as much supervision as we would like.  On Monday he was excited and couldn’t wait to get to camp.  I gave the camp director the “watch my son and make sure nobody messes with him talk” and went about my day.  When I returned to pick the kids up I studied MJ’s face.  Autism parents know to look at all nonverbal communication! Sometimes It is the only way to figure out what is going on.  By looking at his face I can tell whether he has had a good or bad day.  MJ had a huge smile on his face and said “hi mommy!”  I was super relieved that his day went well.  On Tuesday they went on a field trip.  Again I gave the talk and went about my day.  When I returned to pick the kids up MJ was again very happy.  When we got in the car my daughter began to tell me how tired she was from “watching MJ”.  I had to explain to her that it is not her job to watch MJ all day.  I waited until we got home and had a heart to heart talk with her.  The last thing I want is for her to feel burdened with looking after her brother and not having fun with her friends.  I explained that the teachers should be looking after MJ and that she needs to play and have fun.  Wednesday and Thursday went well and MJ was in a great mood when I picked him up.  On Friday they went on another field trip.  I returned just in time to see them come off of the school bus.  As we got in the car to head home, my daughter began telling me about something she saw. “Mommy, MJ’s friends weren’t acting very nice to him.  They were grabbing him and MJ was saying let me go.”  I immediately got this ache in my stomach.   I wanted to pull the car over and get more information but I didn’t want to have this conversation in the car in front of MJ.  I told her to wait until we got home to finish explaining it to me. When she continued she said that they were mostly having fun and that was the only bad incident she saw.  She is only 8 years old but I have to listen and believe what she is telling me.  I tried calling the camp after we had our conversation but there was no answer.  I will definitely be speaking to the director on Monday and will request demand that they speak with the other boys.  My husband and I tried talking to MJ about it but with the limited communication we could not get any information from him.  The only thing he did say was that he had fun.  I am trying not to overreact but it bothered me for half of the weekend.  I asked MJ if he wanted to go back to camp tomorrow and he said yes.  All I really want to do is keep him home with me everyday all day but I know that is not good for him.  I am a total “helicopter mom” and I am trying to slowly give him more freedom but it is So Darn Hard!

#TBT Pic Of MJ :-)

MJ was 2 and a half years old in this pic.  If you look at his hands you can almost tell that he was stimming.  At that age he would always flap his arms or make his right fingertips touch his left fingertips repeatedly.  They managed to get that picture before he ran off!   I’m so grateful that he has always been a happy little boy.