Tuesday, July 12, 2011

She can read! Kind of.

Yesterday we discovered that Abby has memorized how to "read" certain words. Like when we wrote pig, fox, dog, cat, owl, and about a dozen other words on her magna doodle she could read them. Cool! Pretty good for a four year old.

My hunnybee

When Abby comes upon another kid I never know what to expect. In the past she would usually say, "Bye Bye Baby!" or "Bye Bye Child" repetitively until they would leave. In the past week she has come across two girls that she as doted on and been so affectionate to. The first was Cielo my new niece who Abby tried to kiss and then on Sunday a little girl visiting our ward from Utah who had a cast. It has melted my heart to see her so loving. So she's my little honeybee; you never know if you're going to get the stinger or the honey.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just what I've been waiting for.

Yesterday I got a special surprise. Abigail came up to me at the end of the day and said, "I lav foo." Let me interpret for you, "I love you." Then she hugged me. I was so happy I wanted to laugh and cry. It was spontaneous and so sweet. Wow, after these four years of me telling her that I love her, she tells me. Good day.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Panic must be the worst feeling

Abigail recently figured out how to unlock the front door. So naturally I thought I would add another lock much higher on the door that she couldn't reach. The problem is, the door is hollow so the screw won't catch and the panel that the other piece of the lock needs to be screwed into is metal. So, that plan did not work. We did a temporary fix: we put a 55 lb weight in front of the door so she couldn't get out. Well, while Mom was cooking dinner I noticed that Abby was being quiet. Too quiet! I don't know how but she had moved the weight and gotten outside. I panicked. We have a pool (with a fence around it) and many many many acres of forest behind us with a pond. The dangers to her were unlimited. I panicked running down the street calling her name. What a terrible feeling! Finally in the backyard I hear a "No". It was her! She had crawled all the way under our very large deck and was playing in the mud. I have never felt so happy hearing someone tell me "no" in my life. So now we have 110 lbs. in front of the door.
I wish we could sell our house and have a small townhouse built especially to suit Abby's needs full of safety features. But the way the market is, it would ruin us financially to sell and we don't need any more stress in our lives right now.
I have thought that lately Sacrament meeting has been going well with Abby. She has at least been able to sit through the whole meeting. The thing is, she is four and just starting to talk. She gets so excited when she recognizes something she can label. So, she yells it out. Plus, she doesn't understand the concept of, "Be quiet!" This makes for an irreverent Abby. The combined Sunday School lesson today was on Reverence and my husband who does not get offended easily felt that some of the comments by some of the older people might have been directed at Abby's behavior. (I was in nursery so I wasn't there.) He felt hurt and a bit unwelcome.
From earlier posts you will read that I considered putting Abby in daycare on Sundays. But a good brother in our ward reminded me in his testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is about families. It is about bringing people unto Christ, even my Abby.

Missed the Fish

My husband has been craving a fun family outing. We do so few these days because it is difficult to take Abby places. After much persistence, Bryant talked me into taking Abigail and Lincoln to the Baltimore aquarium. We invited Grandpa along for the adventure.
Children with Autism are drawn to water and my Abby is no different. As soon as she saw the bay the meltdown began. It took all of my strength to restrain her from jumping in. Being a Saturday there were onlookers everywhere. Abby was crying; Mom was crying. Grandpa suggested Abby be medicated. Poor Grandpa, the tension was high and I really snapped at him for that suggestion. We took her back to the car and she happily ate snacks and played games on the iPad. Grandpa stayed with Abby in the car and it turned out to be a nice afternoon and we had a date with our seven year old son at the aquarium. It was so crowded that you had to wait in line to view the fish. There was no way Abby could have handled that.
On the positive side, Grandpa experienced what it is like for us so maybe he will be more understanding. Also, I am the type of person that does not like attention brought to myself. Having to deal with so many people staring at me had to have made me a lot stronger. And that I am thankful.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby!

Tomorrow is Abigail's fourth birthday. I feel so blessed to be her mom. Despite our challenges, I am so lucky to have this bright eyed spunky girl who challenges me and teaches me. Having experience working with children for 10 years I thought I knew it all. Abby has taught me that there is so much I didn't know. I have so much excitement and anticipation at connecting with her, and her little by little letting me in to her world, her thoughts, and how she sees things around her. I am now appreciating more and more the opportunity I have to see the world through a whole knew light. I love you Abby! Thank you for enriching my life with new experiences. Love, Mommy

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Taking for granted the simple things

Last night Abby knocked a huge glass serving dish off the counter and it shattered. I had hand washed it and set it on the counter to dry. I cried, not because of the dish but because of the concept of her constantly breaking things on purpose. This sounds so stupid but when I go to other people's houses I feel so envious that they can put things on coffee tables, side tables, consoles, kitchen counters, in baskets, and have floor plants. We can't put anything under 4 feet unless we want it destroyed. There are some simple things that I miss. I am going to try to make an effort to enjoy the simple things that I AM able to enjoy and try not to take things for granted.


Abigail has been doing GREAT during sacrament Meeting. There is the occasional yelling out like during ward conference when the Bishop said we had 230 people in attendance and she yelled out "yay!". But that, Mom and Dad can get over. On Sunday Mom attempted to take Abby into Primary. Our goal: to stay for 4 minutes. We didn't even make it through the door. When we got to Nursery, Abby walked in and socked a little girl in the face. Her mother just happened to be sitting right there and despite my apologizing she did not look very forgiving. This family had not been to church in two months. Sometimes I just wish Abby could wear a shirt or something that said, "Please forgive me for whatever it is I just did, I have Autism."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Who is this child who sits through sacrament meeting and what has she done with my Abbsy?

Well, for the past two Sundays I haven't felt it necessary to run home and extinguish my frustrations by venting on my blog. Abigail was "well behaved for Abigail" two weeks ago and almost darn perfect this past Sunday. It 's a miracle! She must have heard me tell Daddy that January 23rd was a probationary day. If she failed then she would be spending her Sundays at a day care center. She must have remembered Toy Story 3 and imagined her experience would be like the frightening toddlers in the Caterpillar Room. My husband was just released from the Bishopric and he credits the "new" Abby with him being able to sit with us. Shyeah! Guys love to take credit at any opportunity that arises. So, as the new Ward Mission Leader we had investigators sitting w/ us in Sacrament meeting. I was a little on edge with how Abby would react. Abby was noisy and I had to take her out but that was the extent of any difficulties. Right On Little Mama! keep it up!
Then this past Sunday Abby hit the jackpot with all new sticker books and activities in Mom's magic Sunday bag. She was perfect! A lot of members of our ward noticed and complimented her good behavior. There was one humorous time that the whole congregation heard her. The sister sitting in front of us cell phone rang during the sacrament quite loudly. Abby said, "Hello! Hello!" I even saw the Bishop chuckle.
After church my husband was going to be set apart in the Bishop's office. Abby walked in,went over to the Bishop's desk, and in one swipe hit two large glass candy jars off the desk. From that point it was like the slow motion you see in movies as the jars hit the floor and shattered. I am so used to these type of things happening that I wasn't even phased by this. I still though it was a great Sunday for Abby and Mommy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Just Another Manic Sunday

My Abby and Sunday morning Sacrament Meetings don't mix. So out of Mom's frustration and desperation comes my first blog. I searched the Internet in hopes of connecting with families in similar situations with no luck. Any advice or ideas would be appreciated. Here is a run down of our typical church-going experience. Before leaving home I show Abby a schedule board so she knows just what to expect at church. Next we usually have a melt down in front of the chapel doors. Dad is in the Bishopric so like a spectator at a sporting event he watches from the stand on the edge of his seat. Once we make it to the pew Mom pulls her bag of Magic tricks. Favorite snacks, stickers, markers, the iPad, and small animal figurines that Abs loves. She usually tries to grab the toys of the kids sitting close to us. As the sacrament is passed she usually loudly and excitedly identifies one by one her animal figurines. (It is sad to say but older people usually thow back scowls.) I realize that because my Abby looks like any other kid, they expect her to behave as such. It almost breaks my heart to "shhh" her because we have waited so long for her to speak. She is three and language is coming so slowly. So right after sacrament I usually have to take her out. I try to lure her to the Nursery which has speakers so that I can hear the rest of the meeting but she fights to get away from me and darts down the hall. Occasionally after my class I'll find her escaped from Nursery in the hall. This week was her first in Sunbeams. After about 15 minutes in Primary her teacher took her back to the Nursery. I don't mind her staying in Nursery and not moving up but she doesn't like children littler than her and tends to get a little aggressive towards them. In Primary today she started making her "hissing" sound after the first song because she doesn't like anyone singing but her. Then at the end of the first song she clapped. My six year old was giving a talk and Abby kept interrupting throughout by shouting "amen". She thinks by saying "amen" it will end a talk, prayer, or FHE. The rest of her short experience in Primary she just ran around the room. I was told her teacher left the room for 10 minutes in feeling a bit overwhelmed and Abby escaped from Primary once. Once back in Nursery, my BFF who is The Nursery leader takes good care of my Abby. She has the innocence of a lamb and an unbreakable spirit. Safety is a HUGE concern. I am so afraid that she will get outside alone and get lost or be hit by a car. S.O.S. Send advice soon.