Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas fast approaches...



Christmas is fast approaching and I have been so slack all year in my blogging.  I really want to do a better job in 2011 so I will try to buckle down.  Things have been really strange this year in that money has been extremely scarce, but I am feeling so happy and content.  I do worry at times, but not like I have in the past.  My life journey this year has taken a turn for the better.  I find myself on a wonderful path surrounded by an extraordinary group of friends.  I don't always talk to all of them as much as I would like, but their presence in my life inspires me none the less.  Some of them I see more often than others due to work, but all of them have a special place in my heart.  As far as our journey with Greyson, I have found myself in a different place with that too.  I have always felt that a person needs to go to extremes before finding a happy place midway.  When Greyson first got diagnosed I filled my days and nights with reading books, web sites, articles, and anything I could put my hands on regarding Autism/Aspergers.  I needed that information to have a basic understanding of it.  Through the years I have come to understand that the most important thing to study and understand was right in front of me.  Greyson was the best way to learn.  Mainly because if I was a student to him, who he was and how he ticked, then all the rest would fall into place.  Especially since the Autistic spectrum is soooooo broad.  Greyson fits all the general characteristic of Aspergers, yet, then again, he is so different.  He seems so atypical at times and so extravagant at others.  He is just Greyson and we would have him no other way.  He recently turned 10 and is showing alot of I am 10 and I know everything behaviors.  Mr Sassy pants some days then so gentle and kind hearted the next.  He has always been very sensitive and tender hearted.  One of his classmates lost his mother to cancer recently and he insisted on going to the funeral.  I wasn't sure it was such a good idea but he was fine.  He internalizes so much and his feelings run so deep that he can really worry us. I have never seen such a young person have such intense feelings as he can have from just hearing about a death, or listening closely to the words of a song.  He seems to spiral into a place almost untouchable at times and it scares me. To be so young yet so deeply in thought.  He had alot of questions and was worried for his friend but he handled himself well. 
Today we went finally and got a Christmas tree.  We weren't sure we were going to be able to get one so we managed to find a "Charlie Brown Special". Greyson had been hounding us to get the house decorated.  I was close to putting lights on the damn vacuum cleaner and calling it a day.  hahahahahaaa  Can't you hear us now..."Oh hoover tree, oh hoover tree, why has thou lost thy suction? Your big long hoses...reaching out. To find the crumbs that lie about...oh hoover tree oh hoover tree..." Blah blah blah...you get the picture! (Sense of humor still intact!)  so...We now have our tree and it's only fitting that while we were decorating it Greyson said, "It doesn't matter if our tree is small.  What matters most at Christmas is our family."  Enough said big man...enough said! Hears to you all extended family and a cast of most wonderful and supportive friends! We heart all of you!

On a side note, we actually saw the batmobile on our way home.  Definitely a sign from those on high.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mister Sassy Frass

Greyson has been mister "Sassy Frass" here lately.  He is full of himself and feeling his oates and pushing limits.  Some of it is just developmentally where he is and some of it is exacerbated by his Aspergers.  It makes for a fun time I tell you.  His temper is about as short as I have ever seen it and it is starting to make Michele and I crazy in the head.  He is in a place where he is wanting to be a big boy, yet he is also still alot clingy so he is teetering back & forth from big boy to mamma's boy.  He is quick to fly back with smart answers or just yell about something.  we have been talking to him about it but it's obvious that he is where he is right now.  It's hard for him to figure out what to do with his frustrations and emotions.  He doesn't recognize them normally until it is too late and he has blown his top. We are discussing appropriate behaviors for when he is angry/frustrated but he isn't always aware of it in time. I am thinking some cognitive behavior therapy may be in order...We shall see.  Needless to say we love the stew out of him but he is feeling big in his britches for sure. I am also thinking of finally talking with him about dietary changes too.  I have always felt that the GF/CF diet or possibly the Feingold diet would be beneficial as well.  He definitely has issues with his gut and allergies so I know either of those diets would be effective.  I just need to talk with him and feel him out, along with doing more research about the two diets.  I will figure it out soon enough.  For now we need to lay down some solid boundaries.  His pushing the limits cannot become too crazy.  For the time being we are enjoying Thanksgiving at the beach with grandma. Once we return home we will find our way, we always do.  Until then we will look for a little bit of peace here by the ocean.  Walking on the shore and listening to the waves does wonders for the soul.   We are Love x's 3 and we all are looking to replenish our souls. Hugs to all of our friends/extended family.  We are thankful and grateful for each of you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Greyson...10 years!!!

 It's fall....a time of change. Another season in another year in the life cycle of all things. In this time of change I see many changes in our son. Not just the obvious physical changes but changes that occur much deeper than that.  He is coming of an age where he is much more independent, yet still in need of not getting too far from his mom. He shows some rebellion at times, goes off on his own more to take care of himself, but never strays too far. Greyson is definitely becoming a young man.  It pains me in some ways but I am proud of him and who is is becoming. He isn't our baby anymore.  Then again, he always will be. What a guy! This post is in honor of him and his 10th birthday.


Greyson turned 10 years old Saturday, November 20th so we played some in the park.  We didn't have a big party as things are a little tighter these days. Even though we didn't whoop it up big we still had a blast playing together, eating some cake, and opening a few gifts.  He had a good time I think so that is all that matters.  These last 10 years have flown by for us.  It seems like just yesterday that he was born. A bit cliche' but it is the truth.  He still never ceases to amaze us and to crack us up on a regular basis.  These days he seems more self aware than ever.  I am glad of that but also worry that he may start being to hard on himself.  He was really cute the other day on the way home from school.  We got to talking about how people have different strengths and weaknesses.  He has been getting frustrated that he isn't that good at sports when it is time for P.E. and stuff.  He also had an episode at school where he got upset because the kids had moved the tables around and they did not put the table back exactly where it had been.  As we talked int he car I explained how he just has a really good eye for details, like where the table usually stays, a great sense of smell, great hearing, and a wonderful memory.  I explained those were some of his strengths.  He has that while other kids may be great athletes and run well, or play sports well.  He is slightly weaker in those areas and they may be weaker in the areas of saving an eye for details and such.  I said that kids like him tend to have strengths in playing video games, working with computers, memory, drama, music and the arts.  those things make him special.  He said, "so you and momom really do think I am special?" and I said, "Of course we do! Did you not think we meant it when we have said that before?"  He tells me, "I just thought you told me that because that is what parents say to their kids."  I told him, "No sir! We have always thought you were extra special and we meant it when we told you that."  What a silly boy I have.  I am glad I could clear that up for him though. I would never want him walking around thinking we were just saying it because everyone else did.  Lord... He is one in a million in our eyes. A handful yes...but one in a million no less! hahahahaaaa  Happy Birthday Gman.  You really are special to us and to the world.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Huge Accomplishment for Greyson


Greyson has been taking karate for several years now at MATI in Huntersville.  He has been going twice a week for most of that time and has worked very hard at advancing through the belts.  He started as a white belt and moved through all of the colors until this past April he made it to Red Stripe, the last belt before black.  Once he made red stripe he had to spend the next 6 months preparing for his black belt test. For the last 5 weeks every Sunday from 2-4 was spent doing extra training to prepare him even further for what he would face on his test.  He had a partner and mentor who was a black belt already and she helped him during this time.  Each red stripe had someone to help them along in there quest for black belt.  I was so very worried that he may not be able to have the proper coordination to pull it off.  He knew all he needed to know, but it didn't necessarily look pretty.   Michele and I both were worried too because he seemed to be burnt out on karate too.  He has wanted so badly to quit the past 4 months but we would not allow it.  I didn't want to push too much but I didn't want him to think he could just quit easily either.  So.....we forced him to at least go until he achieved black belt.  this past Saturday morning, October 23rd, 2010 @ 10 am he did just that.  He, along with 5 other classmates successfully passed their black belt exams.  we could not be prouder of him.  He not only passed his test, but he did it while feeling bad.  He has a terrible cold and possibly an ear infection yet he managed to pull it off.  What a guy.  He never ceases to amaze me in the things he can accomplish.  He is always protesting going somewhere or doing something and acting like he is totally uninterested, then he will freak us out later by showing that he was absorbing or interested the whole time.  He wanders around in circles and looks like he could care less but is taking in everything.  I don;t get it but that is how he works.  He does the same thing at school.  It has always driven me somewhat mad but I am trying to realize it is his way of coping in new or fearful situations.  You see, he is a perfectionist so new things pose a threat to him.  That's where the fear comes from.  So...anyway...I digress.  He received the amazing achievement of black belt. We will allow him about 5 months off and then as spring approaches we will continue again, hoping he will want to do some of the new things that he will be allowed to try now.  Flips, rolls, weapons and so on.  I am hoping that the new challenges will spark an interest again.  Next October he will go back to the karate award ceremony to receive his certificate form the Shorinji Kempo Karate Association. Way to go Greyson. You are unbelievable. Thank you for being such a blessing to us and teaching us to be the best parents we can be each and every day.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Halloween approaches...much to my dismay

Last Halloween picking a pumpkin at the Corn Maize...Pumpkin Carving=fun   Corn Maize=near meltdown for Greyson (see the love on momom's face?) hahahaaaaaa
So....that being said...
Halloween is a horrible time for Greyson.  As it is for most children with Autism.  The whole damn thing is a sensory overload full of scary scary things in their eyes.  He nearly took out a lady in Target running away from the Halloween display with his hand over his face trying to escape the horrors there.  Poor guy.  Even his favorite TV channels focus on the event  and he inevitably get s the crap scared out of him right before bedtime.  This results in him having a panic attack and needing the TV on (on NICK Jr.) late into the night.  He becomes inconsolable and is totally freaking out once he has seen or heard something "scary".  Zombies, skeletons, werewolves, devils, etc...are not his friends.  Fake or not...And he loathes spiders which everyone seems to think are a good idea to hang on their homes this time of year...great big ones that cover the entire front porch!  Our lives become a living hell in October.  To top it off, Michele loves Halloween.  She wants to trick or treat with Greyson, mostly for his candy, and go look at all the scary stuff.  He on the other hand will tell you. "Can't we just skip on to thanksgiving and eat some turkey legs!"  hahahahaaaaa this is the first year he has spoken up and said, "NO trick or treating!" :( poor momom... I will have to buy them bags of candy to eat to make up for it. So....we plug along.  No scary stories, no scary house decorations, no scary trick or treating...No sir reeeeee! I would go to a carnival in the day time...but people still dress scary there.  If I could just convince all of Charlotte to dress in Star Wars attire and keep the houses decorated like Tattoine, Degoba or Mustafar we would be golden.  We all know that ain't happening.  haahahaaaaaaa "Go trick or treating...we will not" as Yoda would say. Come on November...it's Greyson's birthday, turkey leg time and the ghouls will be gone.  (Until next year anyway.) Yay!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mommy is struggling

Well here it is October and I can't seem to keep up with my postings on here.  I like keeping updates of how things are going etc...and I find the days turning into weeks, months and so on.  Where does the time go?  Right now things seem to be going well for Greyson.  At school he is doing well, at home, OT, play therapy, everywhere really.  I find myself worrying though.  He has been taking karate for approximatley 2years and he has finally reached the big one.  He tests for his black belt on October 23rd.  he has been working very hard for the past 2 years and now it is down to the wire.  He is burnt out on karate and wants to quit.  We will allow that but first he must try for his black belt.  He has come to far to throw in the towel now.  Karate has been a blessing for his self esteem, focus, self control amoung other things.  He has accomplished so much and I want to see him succeed.  I worry though because I know his overall coordination isn't the best.  This test will be tough.  He has spent 2 hours every Sunday for the past 5 Sundays preparing for it.  This coming Sunday will be his pre-test.  If he can't pass that he will not be allowed to go to the big test. His instructor has given him compliments saying he had worred the most about him and has been very proud of him.  He said he has done the best at learning and remembering all of his 10 formal techniques.  It makes me proud but I do not want him to fail.  I worry about it and think about it.  It makes me want to cry.  I know he can do it.  Either way we will love and support him but I so want to see him cross this next hurdle.  I am going to cry either way, belt or not.  He has accomplished a great deal and has come so far.  I couldn't be prouder of him if I tried.  We truly have been blessed to have him in our lives and I cherish the moments we have.  I love you Greyson.  You are a black belt in my eyes already sweet boy!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Catching up on our world...

Greyson has been working really hard lately at school and at karate.  His black belt test is coming up so he has spent the past several weeks on Sundays at his karate dojo preparing to take his exam.  He spends two hours every Sunday working on his techniques, kicks, blocks, punches, strikes and his kata. He has alot of stuff to remember to be able to qualify to test.  It has been more nerve racking for me than for him I believe.  I know he knows this stuff but his coordination isn't as great as most kids his age and that is where my worry comes in.  He so badly wants to get his black belt so he can quit for a while and we agreed to that.  He is very focused and trying his best so that is all I care about.  Whatever happens will happen.  Part of me does worry though and fret that his coordination may limit his ability to do what needs to be done.  We shall see.  It will break his heart if he isn't able to pass this.  He has worked so very hard.  To be honest, my heart will be broken too.  He deserves it and I hope he can pull it off.  I have confidence that he can if his nerves don't get the best of him. He has a great older girl as his mentor and black belt coach/partner.  She plays a part in his performance of the 10 formal techniques and she has been a blessing to us.  Thank you Mary Stewart for being such a light and positive force for Greyson in his quest for the black belt.  At school his teacher has been wonderful and he is in great hands.  We have alot of homework but we do what we can without causing him a complete breakdown.  He has made a good friend who also loves Star Wars. They have had some play dates and done very well together.  He still misses his pal that left for home schooling but he has done great in adjusting.  At OT he has been doing a phenomenal job with Ms Mary Alice his OT.  She continues to brag on his growth socially and physically.  We couldn't be prouder of him and his accomplishments these past few years.  He continues to prove to us he is an awesome guy capable of almost anything when he puts his mind to it. Hooray for Greyson.  You can do it son...we believe in you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Catching up...

Greyson has been doing great in school, OT and in karate.  His teacher really seems to get him and that is great for us.  since we last posted we have done alot of fun things.  We took Greyson to his first concert to see KISS.  We were ready with his shooters ear muffs just in case things got too crazy loud for him.  He did really well staying for several opening bands and then for at least 10 songs once KISS came on stage.  We left before it was over but he did pretty well.  Of course we were on the lawn outside so that helped.  Inside somewhere would have been out of the question.  After that we took our camping trip that we do on Labor Day each year to River Creek Campground.  we have alot of other girlfriends with children and they all gather there for a great time.  Several of our CCS parents went with this year as well for the fun.  He had a great time playing with his buddies, swimming int he broad river, playing Star Wars, making s'mores by the campfire, and just hanging out.  We stayed until Monday and then headed back home.  He had a shortened week at school last week and ended the week with a visit from grandma on her birthday.  She came to the school to eat lunch with him on grandparent's day which also happened to be her birthday.  They had a blast and he had made a special card for her and picked a necklace for her as well that he gave her before she returned home to Monroe.  It was a great week.  this weekend he and I hung out while momom went for a visit to Ohio.  He had Karate Black Belt practice on Sunday for 2 hours and was a trooper.  he has been trying his best so that he can get his black belt in October.  He tests then for it and it is going to be really hard.  I am hoping he will continue to work hard so that he can get it and be done for a while.  That is his goal.  He has come to far to quit now so we are pushing him to get this done.  It's hard but he can do it if he puts his mind to it.  He has a partner to help him through it who is a black belt already.  She is an older girl and I think she will be a great asset to him in his training for his test.   Throw up a prayer everyone and keep your fingers crossed for him.  For now he is doing well.  Trying to get back into the school routine of homework, which he loathes, and just doing what he has to do to succeed. He has come so very far and we are so very proud of his accomplishments thus far.  His struggles become less and less.  He is an amazing guy who tends to beat himself up way to much when he makes a mistake.  I just hope he can see just how amazing he really is and trust in that.  We wouldn't trade him for a thing. What a great boy!  Here's to you sweet boy, for all you have done and for all you will do.  You rock!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week One of School Recap

Greyson finished his first week at school and he did really well.  The only day he had any trouble was Thursday.  it was mainly due to some horrendous thunder storms we had Wednesday night.  He is really afraid of them and worries alot about the safety of us when it is lightening and thundering badly out.  Of course the news stories of flash flooding and lightening strikes helps none.  He takes head when they say, "Don't go out unless you absolutely have to."  He felt as though we should skip school that next day.  We had OT so we headed up to Mooresville to his occupational therapy facility.  It poured buckets on the way making him very nervous.  We got there and to top things off, his therapist wasn't going to see him.  he was with another nice girl and they were dong his yearly eval.  all of those changes paired with the weather from hell caused him to have a melt down once OT was over with.  He cried all the way back to school begging to go home instead of going to school.  I knew we had to go and that he had to reel himself in.  Those are the moments where you cannot give in to his fears.  Don't get me wrong, there are moments when I must give in and help him regroup, but only if he has crossed point of no return.  I have to allow him the power & confidence to do it himself whenever possible.  He went to school, his teacher sat with him for a while to calm him about the weather situation and he finished the day out just fine.  His first week was a great success and I hope the others will follow suit.  We take it one day at a time. As it should be.  We are very proud of his progress. Hooray for a great week and many more to follow. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day of 4th Grade

Well, Greyson had his first day of 4th grade today.  It seemed to go over without a hitch.  I think he likes his new teacher and his class.  It is always interesting to see how things are going to go for him at school, especially in a new class.  He was really paying close attention when I went to check on him.  His teacher said he had been fine all day.  Wow!  I was elated. I was there from 8-12ish and he didn't once run down for me.  I will keep my fingers crossed that things run smoothly for him in there all year. That would be great since he will have his teacher until he graduates from Community charter.  He will be in there for his 4th & 5th grade years.  Then it is off to a new adventure.  I asked him how his day went and he said,"Good."  That's Greyson, never lets much out of the bag.  We rode home after that in silence while he read his comic book.  i am fine with that to some degree.  I would love to know more about his day, but once I see he is not distraught about things I am good.  If he is at peace, then so am I.  I let him have his 30 minutes of silence and I reflected on my day.  I felt a little numb.  We have 27 children in our class of kindergarten & first graders.  That makes for a most interesting day.  Chatty ones, crying ones, some with little tiny attitudes,  cute ones, smiley ones, and a few that duck tape couldn't fix but that's life huh?  I myself left not knowing if I was coming, going or fixing to pass out.  The newness not only overwhelms them, but Ms Lynn too!  Whew...we shall how the week pans out for me and for Greyson.  I may be the one walking in circles and laying on the couch before it is over with.  As for now, things are great for my man and that makes Michele and I extremely happy. I will roll with it. You go Greyson.  We love you tons.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday night and the weekend is approaching quickly

Well...swimming did not happen today. Greyson was having a day of I don't want to...poor me.  He must be sensing that school is nearing fast.  School is not his comfort zone, nor is it his cup of tea.  Don't get me wrong, he is smart but he does not like all the craziness that school brings.  it is truly a nightmare for Aspergers/Autistic kids.  Just too much "stuff" going on.  I watched him walk in circles alot in his class last year.  It seemed like after Christmas before he started to settle down some.  He walks and walks...round and round. Usually ending up on the sofa if the class has one. We shall see this year.  Tomorrow he will head over to the school with me for kindergarten orientation.  I am sure he would rather run off somewhere but he will manage.  DS and toys in hand.  He may get lucky enough to go with Ms Jen to Imaginon while I finish out my last day before school officially starts.  I so wanted to take him swimming today so I will try again tomorrow once I am done at 12.  That gives us plenty of time to play together if I can twist his arm.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  I love to swim and he does too.  it offers a sense of peace for him I have noticed.  If that boy could breath under water he would stay forever...so peaceful and quiet.  All the things he loves.  Funny though, he is loud like me. You would never know he can't stand loud noises, especially sudden ones.  The loud boy who couldn't stand noise...hahahaaaaa that's it though.  Loud and noise can be totally different I guess.  We got him a great pair of ear muffs like shooters where so that helps in places like the movies, swim meets, & concerts...anywhere that might be loud.  (Not that we frequent such places but hey...better safe than sorry) Well...Greyson just ran in here in a panic.  He cannot sleep without both of us on either side. He yelled at me and said, "Get in here! I need you! Momom is falling asleep and your not in here yet!" Lord...one day Michele and I will enjoy our bed together again...for now, it's attachment parenting at its best! I hear Presby can surgically remove just about anything....How about a 9 year old boy form my hip? Hugs to all...goodnight

End of Summer Fun...

Here we are at the very end of our summer vacation. We spent last week in Ohio watching Greyson's cousin show her hog and steer she raised for 4H Club. She showed them at the Columbiana County Fair and won alot of awards. It was amazing to see even though it is normally not my cup of tea if you will. Greyson did well. We were worried he may have a huge sensory overload but he managed since he was able to play with his cousins away form the "stink". Pigs DO NOT smell very good let me tell you. We stayed for about 5 days which is a long time for G man. I could tell he was starting to need his home space even though he claimed he was mad and wanted to stay 2 more days. We normally keep our visits to 3 or 4 days for everyone's sanity. Greyson did OK and we made it home safely. Now we have been preparing ourselves for the start of school. He will be in 4th grade in Ms Ainsworth's class. Hopefully he will do well with her. She is used to kids like Greyson so she at least has an idea already of the behaviors that may arise. We haven't been swimming in quite a while so I am going to try and take him today. He needs to go for several reasons. He has been a little scared to go because he was scared of one of his friends. I reassured him that he need not be afraid so I think things will be fine now. He needs the exercise too so off we will go. To be continued...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer 2010 continued...

As you all know, we have been having soooo much fun this summer. Greyson and I swim alot at the pool but we have also done other stuff as well. Some days are just "stay at home" days and he plays LEGO'S, watches TV and just chills in his room. On Friday we got to go play with Ms Suzy and a group of kids at her house. Greyson was very excited. They made cupcakes, decorated them themselves, and then jumped on the trampoline with the hose on to relieve this unbelievable heat. I stayed and hung out too and it was so much fun. We love Ms Suzy. She was his second grade teacher and was a blessing for him. After we got done at Ms Suzy's house we headed straight to the swim club to swim a while with his newly found buddy Samuel. Greyson has had a time making new friends at the pool. He was doing his usual "stalking" of some older boys there, following them everywhere, yet never talking. He just listens to, and laughs at, everything they say following along trying desperately to fit in. He hasn't the social skills to do this effectively and it can be painful to watch. I see that they are thinking he is different and somewhat strange but he is clueless to their observations and reactions to him. I no longer allow him to follow along because of this. If he can;t protect himself...then damn it, I will. He met Samuel thank goodness who can at times also be a target for the cruelties of children and so they have been playing at the pool. So....we played at the pool with his buddy Samuel until 5pm. After that we headed home to change and then back out to Sonic for "Silly band night". We met Samuel and his family there and he had a blast there trading silly bands and eating his cheese burger. He was sooooo tired that day. He was pitiful once we got home and crashed immediately. Thank goodness too. Michele had to go out of town and had he not been sooooo tired he would have been balling that he missed her. He wasn't even able to be upset he fell asleep so fast. Saturday we went to a friends birthday party and had fun in their pool. We were there all day playing, eating, and playing some more. Greyson was doing great with the other kids until the end of the night. Things got a little too rough and some of the other kids got carried away. They were playing some animal game and Greyson ended up getting whacked with some plastic swords . He ran to me balling. He had been hit pretty hard because he had a welt on his arm so needless to say, several of the kids got a stern talking to from their moms. Poor guy. He was sooooo upset so we went ahead and left. Overall it was a great time and a great day. I think the main thing that I keep realizing in all of this is that no matter what, kids are going to see him as different. They may or may not realize it but he always is outside the group to some degree. Kids instinctively know this with any child who doesn't fall into that "norm". We always have to watch a little more closely to ensure things aren't turning ugly when he is with a group. Not that they intentionally do that necessarily but it does happen whether intentionally or not and things at that point can go south quickly. Worse is the feeling that it will only become more and more complicated as he gets older. He has to learn to protect himself, and we can't keep him in a bubble, but we do need to monitor situations and him closely. There is a fine line there for sure. His independence and being able to handle situations himself with us remaining just far enough away to help if need be. It continues to add to my craziness. Teaching him life skills and independence comes in slow steps. We move forward some and back some in hopes of moving forward more times than back. As summer winds down we keep stepping. Stepping until we reach 4th grade. I dread it to some degree because school is such an adjustment for him. New teacher, new room, new friends with some old mixed in, and so on. It can take up until Christmas for him to adjust and get into a comfort zone. the good news is he should have the same teacher for both 4th & 5th grades making life and transition into 5th grade hopefully easier. He has excelled so this summer. I think having NO school is such a relief for him and he is in such a better place during that time of year. For now...we will cherish the summer and what it holds for him and take school one day at a time once it comes. Summer, friend of Greyson,...please don't go soooo soon!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Last few days...Mid July

Greyson has been obsessed with treasures, archaeology & temples like this one pictured in Angkor Cambodia. He wants to be an archaeologist and the other day he read all about this particular temple online. He insisted that I find some temples for him to read about and this was the first one that came up. It really freaked me out that he was so interested in it. Then he wanted me to show him where Cambodia was on the map. Good lord. He is 9 years old and planning his first expedition. Complete with planes, treasures, booby traps and all. No spiders though...absolutely NO spiders! (Eight legged freaks!) Enough about that though...on with the rest of the story...
Greyson and momom and I received an invitation to go play at the lake this past Sunday. For those of you who don't know it, Michele is not a fan of water, boats, or anything to do with the two together and that's putting it lightly. She agreed we could go and take Greyson and I was floored. She is loosing up the grip some on the water thing now that he is proving he is a pretty good swimmer. So....off we went to Lake Norman. Our friends were very kind and patient with Greyson, and Michele... :) It turned out the tub wouldn't hold two people so G man was gonna have to go it alone on the lake if he rode at all. I have to admit that even made me a little nervous since his safety senses aren't always the best. We went over basic boat safety before getting there and told him some thing s he should be aware of so he was at least somewhat prepared. He got on the tub at first with Ms Trish but it just wasn't working with two people...so...it was decided he would ride alone and he agreed. That in itself was huge. He is branching out these days away from the womb. It usually happens in moments when I least expect it too. Our driver of the boat did a great job keeping him safe but making sure he had fun. He wiped out the first time after a very long ride and got a little choked but he was fine. Mostly just pissed off. He didn't take long getting over it and was pestering the tar out of us to ride again. We took a rest and played in a cove for a while swimming and then just before coming in gave him one last ride. He was quite the dare devil trying to get Deedee to turn him in circles and go faster...and faster...little dickens! Sometimes even riding with his hands behind his head while I motioned frantically for him to hang on! hahahahaaaaa It was a great time. Michele and I had a few loving glances at each other sitting on the back of that boat in between watching him so closely. The glances that said without words, "Our little boy is growing up fast." He is definitely becoming more and more confident as time goes by. Finding his way, testing the waters of what he can do, and building the confidence he needs to succeed in life. His come a little slower at times, but it comes. And when it does it is a wonderful feeling for us to know he has taken another step. He has been doing great at karate and will test in October for his black belt. Once he has done that we will let him take a brake from it for a while. He has been swimming better and better and is now taking lessons to improve his strokes. He is a really good and strong swimmer and I am going to try and encourage his joining the swim team next year. He told me no today due to him needing time to learn about archeology and build more LEGOS. He is serious and has decided he is going to be an archaeologist. Giving Michele serious heartburn. She prefers doctor, lawyer, etc...some money making field. I think she worries we will need him to be taking care of us. hahahahaaaaa I took him today to the book store and he chose a book about treasure, and another about rocks and minerals. i told Michele I need to research the colleges that specialize in archeology just in case. We need to know who will be taking all of our money soon. :) So...that being said, I will continue to lobby for swim team as I swam when I was younger and loved it. He will continue learning how to be an archaeologist and building LEGO temples. But hopefully we can find a way for both of those world to mesh so he can swim too and have a great time. He is the best...and personally I hope he is an archaeologist one day. I think he would be a damn good one. Goodnight all. Thanks for sharing in our little piece of this enormous world.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ocracoke Trip 2010

Michele, Greyson and I went to Ocracoke Island, NC thanks to our good friend and had a wonderful time. We arrived last Saturday and stayed a week. We quickly rented a tandem and a single bicycle as that is the best way to get around there and began exploring the island. Greyson got to ride on the back with momom while I pedaled behind them on my bike. We saw Springer's trail where Blackbeard and his pirates once stomped, the beautiful harbor, the ferry, Pamlico Sound, the village of shops and restaurants and last but not least the beaches. Greyson did great with all that exercises since normally he spends most of the day chillin inside. We rode all over and I took over 500 pictures. Thank goodness for the digital age. Greyson had some issues since he didn't have all of the luxuries he is used to. (Tons of satellite channels, hahahahaaaaa) But he handled it pretty well...complaining minimally. It is trying at times just how he has to go back to his comfort zone. We would be at the beach and he would suddenly want to go back to the house. I know he needs his routine and we have to roll with that, but sometimes we both wanted to scream. Somehow we always manage to maintain and things turn out fine. Thank goodness. we got to spend about 3 days at the beach. The ocean was a little rough for him due to the wind there, but he had a great time in the shallows. I dug our big hole in the sand, as usual, and we made a huge sand castle. That's our ritual at the beach each time we go. He and I dig a hole and build a huge castle that he usually tears down if the tide doesn't get it first. :) It really was fun. He did go out to jump waves with momom only to wipe out and snort up a wave. He was NOT happy and we almost lost him for the day on that one. He recovered well and continued to play once he had time to calm down. We ate out at some wonderful places. One night he refused to take off his bike helmet. It's a big red one and he wore it proudly to the restaurant and wore it during the entire meal. Michele and I just laughed. No need to get uptight about things like that. People may stare but whatever...they are clueless. We kinda love that about him and he keeps us grounded for sure. He has also been known to sport his googles at the spray grounds as well. It's just a giant fountain at the park that they have for the kids to play in...he never goes in unprotected. Who knows...he may wear his bike helmet in there next week. He played Lego's alot while we were there and cracked us up one night in particular. He threw his Lego plane across the room complete with Indiana Jones in it and screamed (like he was the little Lego Indiana)..."Oh no! I think I ruptured by toxix!" hahaaaaa He has said this before and it cracks us up every time. This kid is a trip to say the least. Then again...most kids are. We are back and he was so relieved to see his kitty cats and dogs. I think he definitely loves coming home again to his calm familiar space with his things. Hooray for familiar and our little place in the world. Enjoy the pics from Ocracoke! Hugs...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Time for us...

Greyson, Michele and I are in the Outer banks at Ocracoke Island. (Thank you special friend-you know who you are. smiles & Hugs) We have only been here one day and it is wonderful. Beautiful views, laid back atmosphere...just lovin' it. We hung out in the harbor area last night, getting dinner, watching the sunset, and taking pictures. Greyson had a moment at the restaurant we chose due to it being right beside the docks and seafood market. Yes...you could smell fish and he was freaking. hahahahaaaa It really wasn't that bad but for him it is. We found a spot by a huge fan so he was fine after that. We ate and then took in the sites while the sun was setting. It was so beautiful with the sail boats, kayakers, water, docks and pink, orange & yellow skies. We had to take a ferry over to the island and I thought Michele was gonna have a heart attack. We chose the 40 minute ride over the 2.5 hour one from Cedar Island. She would have never made that without a panic attack and Greyson and I would probably have been right behind her. hahahahaaaa I have a history with water, beaches...and panic attacks. I used to have reoccurring dreams about tidal waves and so every now and again my mind gets the best of me. When I say re-occurring, we are talking hundreds of times in my childhood. Always pretty much the same and pretty darn freaky. But I shall think about something different right now since I am on an Island where you can pretty much see water on both sides easily. Greyson is having fun, we will be heading to the beach...the one with a lifeguard...and having some fun today. Digging in the sand, making castles and riding waves. For now we will walk around and see some more sites on this cute and beautiful Island. Hugs...we will be checking in later with updates.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

So very proud...as always!

This is Greyson with his buddy "A" from karate class. They will test together in October for black belts if all goes well.
Greyson has been on a kick lately of claiming he doesn't like karate anymore and complains and/or lobbies to skip his bi-weekly session all the way there. Once there he always does a great job and I can tell he usually has a very good time doing it. So I have grown accustomed to ignoring his rants about why he wishes he didn't have to go. (Being the bad mommy I am and all-hahahaaaaa) Last night he had karate again. He is preparing for his black belt test in October so we are adamant that he stick with a pretty regular schedule there right now so he gets a good review of what he needs to know. Sparring in red man gear for protection is one of the things he has to do and know. Sparring happens at the end of each class for 15 minutes and again he lobbies to opt out. In sparring they either pair off in groups while his master watches and practice sparring, or they pair off just two at a time, while the rest sit and wait their turn, and do an actual sparring match. In the sparring match points are awarded. 1 point for each accurate hit to the opponent (targets are head, chest, sides) They can use one tap to the head for a point, a double punch to the chest, or a kick to the sides or chest. Greyson was up first and won his match. He then faced the next opponent, then the next and the next and the next. He went through the entire class until he was down to the last little boy. This little boy is literally half Greyson's size and I was curious to see what he would do. He has already had problems with not liking to hit his friends/classmates so his master had to talk with him about it letting him know that in this case it's OK. All the students are protected and in a controlled situation and he wants them to do that. That being said, here stood this tiny little boy against Greyson who looked even bigger than normal. Needless to say Greyson won that match too, but his master praised him for being so gentle, and giving his hits very lightly. Greyson said I tried to hit very lightly on purpose. His master was very proud of his self control, his technique, and his overall performance. He won every match (about 7 of them) straight...the whole class! It was awesome to see his confidence level grow with each match he took. He was proud, but not arrogant about it which was huge. He obviously had thought it through and decided to spar a particular way using the same technique each time. It worked! Come to find out...it's the same technique master Hartsell uses. Funny thing though...he has never shown them that to my knowledge. Greyson is a master at observing, figuring things out, and then using whatever knowledge he gained once he is confident to do so. He never ceases to amaze me doing this. It happens constantly at school and it, as I have said before, is maddening. His way of seeming to be off in the distance somewhere, yet listening and focused in on everything around him. Sometimes it backfires as Michele and I have a heck of a time finding a place to talk without him zeroing in on our conversations. Ol' bionic ears is always listening...always! As he said himself to us once before, "Mommy Lynn my ears are so good, I just heard a fly break wind in Africa!" hahahahaaaaaa That boy ain't right...he just ain't right.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Observations of "B"...

While Greyson swims at the pool I usually watch him closely. Not that he can't swim, he can, I just watch him as he interacts with others. Then again maybe "interacts" is pushing it. I will give him credit. He will at least get around the crowd of kids playing and stay in close proximity. More like a stalker. I say this in jest. Its sad to see him and be able to see that he really wants to join in but doesn't ever ask or talk to them. He just tends to laugh hysterically at anything and everything they say, and follows them any and everywhere they go, watching them from the outskirts. I realize more and more how hard social interactions are for these kids. He is doing quite well but still struggles. He has no clue when they aren't being friendly or when they are being mean, making fun, etc...unless it is painfully obvious. Let me add painfully obvious to you or me is not something that would be painfully obvious to him. For him to clue in it has to be "really" obvious if you know what I mean. He does know two other boys at the pool, so that helps, but he is "the new guy". That adds a level of toughness to fitting in. The crowd of boys are all very athletic and I can tell they have realized right away he is not like them. So I sit and watch, letting him have some rope and freedom to try to learn life and survival skills, but not letting him get too far. We can't allow him to be totally thrown to the wolves without the same defenses and skills that come naturally to most. It's not always easy to watch. To see the longing on his face to go and play. To be invited into the game without mommy having to ask for him. I see it all over his face. I have tried to discuss with him some boundaries of what is OK and what isn't OK to allow someone to say or do to you. His response is pretty much always the same. "Can we not talk about this." We have to find a way to ensure he understands boundaries for himself and others so he doesn't get hurt by anyone and so he doesn't hurt anyone either. That would apply physically and emotionally and it is crucial to him surviving in life. We love him so much just as he is, and couldn't be happier that his autism is so mild. Unfortunately that in itself can be the biggest nightmare at times. Looking so perfectly normal yet acting, at times, so strangely. Well...this summer has definitely allowed me the time to really observe him around friends more closely to get better insight into how to teach him these things. I am so thankful for that and for just the time itself to be with him, swimming and having fun. Thank you summer! Until next post...bring on the sun and water!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer time 2010...




Getting into summer...laid back & peaceful

Greyson and I have been having a great time already this summer. We made a trip to the beach to visit grandma for a long weekend, and since then, have been swimming at the Oakdale Pool almost daily. At the beach we dug our normal giant hole in the sand and built a castle that surrounded it. We played in the waves on his boogie board, tried to catch little fish playing in the surf, met some friends for him to hang out with and just plain had a great time. At the pool he has had a great time too. Making friends, playing 4 square, swimming non-stop and having a grand time. I believe swimming offers him a peace that he can find no where else in his life. Underwater is solitude, quiet, peaceful nothingness that he loves. If he could breath under there I would probably never see him again. He only comes up long enough to take in air and back under he goes. Twisting and twirling in the water, flipping frontwards and then back again. he loves it and so do I. I watch him constantly while we are there. How he interacts or lack there of. How he enjoys being in "Greyson land" even though no one else is there necessarily. How he longs to join in with the others at times but obviously lacks the social awareness and skills to do it gracefully. I sometimes intervene, other times I let him figure it out. His growth is a wonderful thing to observe although i do see that as he gets older his challenges at times seem more obvious. Don't get me wrong though, he is doing great. He has grown and progressed in school and in life quite well. we are very proud of all he has accomplished in his 9 years here. He is only 4 months away from a black belt in karate. Wow! You go "G man". All that said our summer has been fantastic and we are continuing the roll. Lots of swimming daily for exercise because I made a vow to get him out and about and away form the TV, computer and his games. So far...I am doing great. Although in my later years I may have skin that looks like shoe leather...I am using sunscreen but am still getting sun and cooking on a regular basis. He is a little brownie too. With all that said, the other day I laid off the pool because we had overloaded and needed a break. My head was hurting and I decided to lay down on the couch before I took him to karate. I said, "Sweetie, wake mommy up at 2:30 OK?" He says, "OK." and goes back to playing wii. I feel into a deep sleep and all of the sudden I hear,"CUH CAW! CUH CAW!!!!!!!" right into my ear...Seriously...mouth to ear drum close! He decided that would be a great way to wake me up. I nearly had a heart attack! I jumped up flailing about screaming, "what's going on?" ...He then exclaimed, "It's 2:30 mommy Lynn...time to wake up...you told me to wake you up mommy Lynn." Good Lord...I have been awake ever since. Well not really...but you get the idea. hahahhaaaaa Never a dull moment with kids huh?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Great start to summer

Flashback to Isle of Palms 2005...I love this picture of Greyson...peace at the beach, building castles and playing in the surf.
We have had a great start to summer. Everyday this week we have been visiting with friends at the splash park in Dilworth as well as going to the pool for the afternoon. Greyson is loving the start to summer and so are we. We will be at the beach by tomorrow lunch time just for the weekend and we are excited. Well except for the fact that momom is staying behind to work and keep our family floating along in this world. We love her for that but we sure will miss her being with us. Many pictures and texts will be flying her way via phone and facebook.
Greyson got to see his buddy U at the spray park the other day which was very exciting. U is home schooled and Greyson has missed him dearly. He loves him to death and gets soooo excited when we get a play date. We will have many more hopefully this summer. I myself am making a promise to Greyson, but he doesn't know it. I am promising to ensure he is outside as much as possible this summer vacation for his health, physical and mental well being. He is showing me that he would be happy to stay in the pool 24/7 if I will allow that. hahahaaaaa He loves being underwater and I think it is due to the peacefulness found there. SO....that being said...summertime here we come!

Friday, June 4, 2010

School's Out for Summer!

Sand & Surf...LOOKOUT!
School is out now. Greyson has officially been released to go on to the 4th grade next year. He finished up today at 1pm and we headed home. What a great year it was, starting a little shaky as it always does, then ending on a great note. Greyson has been lucky to have had wonderful teachers to assist him along the way. He has come so far and we are very very proud of his accomplishments. I sat reading his work today feeling so proud of him. He is so funny and such a good story teller. I couldn't believe what he had done throughout the year. Enough of my bragging and being a sappy mommy though. We are glad his school year has come to an end and that his summer is quickly here. Yay for summertime, beach trips, ice cream, Popsicles, sprinklers, parks, friends, play dates, swimming pools, fireworks, spray grounds, theme parks, and just plain fun. Yay for us and great family memories! Summertime...here we come! Keep an eye out for us...we will be seeing you all, friends and family, soon! Hugs...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fear of Spiders...

How we deal with spiders for Greyson...although it isn't real good for the sheet rock.
For those who do not know it Greyson is deathly afraid of spiders. He recently has done a great job of managing his fear but still has it lingering in the background. The last week of school brought research reports due. Each child picked an animal to do his/her research on. Unfortunately one of his classmates chose spiders. Greyson was reportedly lingering around in the hall upstairs so I went to check on him not knowing about the spider report. He advised that his buddy had chosen spiders and that he had opted out of listening to an part of that so he was just hanging out in the office until the boy's turn was done. At least he wasn't freaking out and flailing about the school screaming. All of which have been done at some point in time before and in his repertoire of tricks. Instead he patiently awaited the whole ordeal to be over. I left him there since he seemed fine and went back to help with our class. He did not need me as no tears were being shed etc... Thank goodness! Tonight however he came running in from the trampoline screaming, panting and gasping for air. There had been a giant grandaddy long legs lurking on the trampoline awaiting Greyson's arrival. This triggered a story about his buddy, the spider report, and the nightmare it all creates for him. hahahaaaaaa Oh well. The spiders are haunting him...even from afar. Eight legged freaks!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Talent Show at CCS 2010 (Karate Kid)

Greyson shown here with Master Hartsell at the dojo after recieving his red stripe belt. He takes Shorinji Kempo Karate at MATI in Huntersville NC.
Today was the talent show at CCS. Greyson decided he wanted to do the kata which is a synchronized group of karate moves used to demonstrate technique. He has to know it for his black belt test. He is now a red stripe belt so all he has left is to test for his black belt. I was a little worried that he might get scared or freeze up but he did it successfully. I have to admit I had tears in my eyes. Knowing his fears, and seeing him do it anyway is huge. He didn't want to wear his karate belt, and he wouldn't yell at the moments when he should have but he did all the moves he should have done. All the blocks, punches, etc... Unfortunately he is very hard on himself and according to his assessment his wasn't that good in comparison to the other children. I myself beg to differ. Don't get me wrong, the other children are talented and very special but him being up there in front of all his classmates, teachers and some parents takes alot for him. Therefore I thought his was performance was extra extra special and extraordinary to say the least. Yes...I have no shame...I am his mom, (one of them), and one of his biggest fans. Two proud mommies, it just doesn't get any better than that! School is winding down. Fun is being had by all and summer is just around the corner. Today I shed a small tear for who Greyson is and who he is becoming. A wonderful guy that's full of surprises. Hugs to all.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fun at Freedom Park-May 2010

3rd Grade coming to a close...

Greyson's third grade year is coming to a close and needless to say time feels like it is flying by. School for him has always been a challenge and somewhat of a burden in his eyes. He is smart and does well but has always given up what he knows in his own sweet time. Therefore it can be a mystery as to how much is really getting in there. I worry but then again...I don't. He always comes through in the clutch. Once again he surprised us this year. This was the year for the start of the EOG's. We had already decided that more than likely he would not test to his capabilities. Well...thanks to a wonderful staff and EC team at his school he passed with flying colors. He worked so hard and we all were very proud of his accomplishment. He claims it was the peppermint he was given during the test which made me laugh. But heck...if he thinks the peppermint helped so be it. I myself could care less about this whole testing thing. But, the test requires it and it is an important measure for the state to ensure that our school is meeting the standards set forth. (:p) whatever...I think it is an inaccurate measure but then again, they do not care what I think. I'm just glad that a boy, that we think is phenomenal, showed just what he is capable of despite his challenges. He has been doing great lately, at school, at karate, and at home. He complains that he hates karate, yet when he gets there and gets going he does a great job. He also complains about school and yet once he is there he does fine. Because of this I just listen to his complaints, tell him I hear what he is saying but still enforce he has to do the job at hand. It all seems to work but it can be very tiring mentally and physically. Whew...boy....you wear us out! hahahaaaaaa We also got a new trampoline for him. He has been jumping regularly at night when he comes home. Michele and I go out there with him some and I have to tell you, that thing is gonna be the death of me. The other night I jumped with him until my heart felt like it was gonna pound out of my chest. I thought I was having a stroke. Every few minutes I have to rest and lay on the damn thing while he jumps around me. Sometimes he lays beside me saying..."My hearts not beeping at all mommy Lynn!" Thanks kid for reminding mommy just how out of shape she is and how you could jump for days without your heart rate even elevating any. I think it smart to keep the cell phone near by when jumping on that darn thing. Rampart we have a victim here...Caucasian female approximately 48 years of age, heart beeping out of control, eyes bugged out, dizzy, red faced, tongue hanging out, panting uncontrollably, asking for wine, mumbling something about playing popcorn...Ahhhhhhh yes, the fun one has on a trampoline! Well, summer is just around the corner. Two weeks left of school and we will be well on our way to a great summer vacation. I can't wait to spend it with Greyson & Momom. He never ceases to amaze me so I am sure the summer will be full of fun times and adventure.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Funny thing...

This boy is special...not your average bear I tell you, and we love him dearly!
I have been sick lately and Greyson does not want any part of that. In his mind, for some reason, me being sick translates into "Mommy is about to die". I'm not sure why this is, but he has been worried to death. He screamed at me the other day to go to the doctor and I have to admit...he was right. I had waited too long to go and so I unfortunately had bronchitis as well as an ear infection. He went with me to ensure the doctor took good care of me. hahahaaaaa He also wanted to ensure that she did not give me any shots. He said so before we got there. Anyway, I do worry that he is so attached. God forbid anything serious ever happen to me because he would flip. I have been out of school for several days and i will return tomorrow. He has hovered over me and worried himself crazy so hopefully some return to a normal schedule will ease his mind...I hope. He did well at school and has been doing well for a while. I have been getting good reports from teachers regarding his math and even his spelling which was causing him some trouble for a while. So....I am so proud of him. he is truly capable of so much. it's just getting him interested and/or motivated to doing whatever the task at hand is. Sometimes that is very hard. Regardless, we plug along and work it out in one way or another. Another year of school is about to come to an end and I overall have to say it has been a successful one for him. It may start out as a struggle but he always seems to find a norm and comfort in his new space each year. Taking longer than most...but it happens and we are thankful. Hugs to you Greyson...here's to a great third grade year winding to a close!

Prop 8 declared Unconstitutional! ...Hooray! It's about time!!!!

Keith Olbermann on Proposition 8 Issue