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.

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

Keith Olbermann on Proposition 8 Issue