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Nov 23, 2011

My Marriage

As an autism mom, I'm thankful that today I have been marrie for 9 years to my honey.  I'm grateful that even though we have both gone through so much, we endured it, and we never gave up on our marriage.  Marriage is very hard work, but I'm happy to have that support and the love of my husband.

Nov 18, 2011

Fridge and Cabinet Locks

As an autism mom, I'm thankful for fridge and cabinet locks, so I still have groceries the day after I go shopping. :)  Let's not forget the fact that these locks prevent my kids from cracking eggs all over the house, pouring the spices out onto the floor, drinking medications they shouldn't be taking...the list goes on and on.
I used to use the Safety First fridge locks (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Safety-1st-Fridge-Lock/16383404), but after Garrett figured those out, I shelled out some money and bought these locks that have adhesive on the back (http://www.marinelock.com/White-Refrigerator-Lock_p_8.html).  Of course, adhesive isn't enough, I do use super glue as well, so the kids don't just yank the adhesive part off of the fridge.  I also decided to use combination locks instead of the key locks that come with the kit, because my kids figured out that the key opened the fridge, and they would carry it around and bring it to me all day.  I finally lost it after they carried it off somewhere... 
 
For the cupboard locks, we ended up drilling holes in our cabinets to make a spot for handles because the best cabinet locks for our needs go around the door handles.  (http://www.amazon.com/Safety-1st-Grip-Cabinet-Lock/dp/B001CWQT46)  However, the reviews for this product say that it is too hard for adults to open.  It is pretty hard to open, but we figured it out, and luckily, our kids didn't.  :)
 

Rhythm

As an autism mom, I'm grateful for Garrett's awesome sense of rhythm. He's always had a need to beat on the walls, his tummy, whatever. This morning he was pounding on the big exercise ball Aunt Michelle brought, and he was "rapping." He'd pound a beat and then say different words, like "cookie monster!" and "spongebob." It made my morning.
 

Echolalia

As an autism mom, I'm thankful for Garrett's silly echolalia (repeating stuff from TV, etc).  He always makes smile when he says, "We solved the puzzle!" or "Better ingredients, better pizza, Papa Johns." It makes my day a lot less boring to hear the cute little things that are going through his brain.


**Disclaimer - I'm not grateful that Garrett picks up any cuss words we say without thinking and says them all day in front of everyone else...that can be quite embarrassing.  It has helped us to watch our mouths though...so maybe I'm thankful after all.

Showing Affection

As an autism mom, I'm thankful for the ways my kids show my affection. I love when Garrett says, "Want the mommy show," or when Caiti slaps my lips with her hand over and over as her way of giving me kisses. I love how Jason moves my head to the side so that he can nestle his head on my shoulder when he's giving me snuggles.
 

Nov 14, 2011

Sensory Integration Products

As an autism mom, today I'm thankful for all the things that help my kids with their sensory issues: Garrett's body sack, the yoga ball, the trampoline, the disk swing...etc.  It's so nice that they have ways to regulate their little bodies.  A good book on Sensory Processing Disorder is The Out of Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, by Carol Kranowitz (http://www.amazon.com/Out---Sync-Child-Recognizing-Processing/dp/0399531653/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323101769&sr=1-1 ).  It was a blessing to find out through occupational therapy how to meet my children's sensory needs.

Nov 13, 2011

Tutors/Therapists


As an autism mom, I'm so thankful for all of the wonderful tutors/therapists who have worked so diligently with my kids Not only have they helped my children on their journey to reaching their fullest potential, but they have done it with love and compassion and also have become some of my dearest friends.

Carpet Shampooers


As an autism mom, I'm thankful for our carpet shampooer. It is a necessity when you are potty training some cute kids.  That is $150 well spent,  considering it costs just about that much to have a carpet cleaning company come clean the carpets one time.  I am on my second shampooer, and I use it at least twice a week.

Nov 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

On Veteran's Day, as an autism mom and a military wife, I'm so thankful for the benefits that being in the military gives our family.  They take such good care of us, making sure we have a home and that our children get the best services for their autism.

Nov 10, 2011

Bedtime

As an autism mom, I'm thankful that my kids are so cute when I put them to bed and Jason chooses the same song every night and Garrett helps me say prayers. I love to hear Caiti repeat, “Love you! Nigh Nigh!”
 

Nov 9, 2011

Comfy Clothes

As an autism mom, I'm thankful for comfy clothes so my kids won't walk around naked. :) Garrett loves the soccer shirts and basketball shorts. I think it's funny cause all the soccer shirts have these statements on them that are so not his personality, but he loves how they feel. 
Caiti will only wear knit/stretchy stuff. I had to give away all her jeans...dang it. She will only wear trouser socks too. I'm grateful I figured out what they like best so I don't feel like I live in a nudist colony.

 

Nov 8, 2011

Door Chimes

Today as an autism mom, I'm beyond thankful that housing has a free alarm system, so our door chimes really loud any time my kids open it. We got the chime activated a couple months ago after Garrett figured out our safety latch at the top of the door and decided to go swimming by himself one day and to walk to McDonalds the other day. At least now, there's a really loud noise to let me know when he's feeling adventurous.
For those of you that don't have an alarm system, you can find several different types of door chimes/window chimes at your local hardware store or on Amazon.com.  The best deal that I found was on Amazon:

YouTube Playlists

Today, as an autism mom, I'm thankful for YouTube playlists. They are a great teaching tool (i.e., a playlist for Caiti on seatbelt safety, video modeling to help them learn some skills or videos of their daddy to watch while he's deployed so they know he's still around). They are also great because they allow them to see a bunch of short clips of things they love. Garrett loves all the beginning movie logo things, i.e., fox, pixar, and all those others. Each of those last about 10 seconds, and he has a playlist of so many of those that make him happy. Jason loves the playlist of Sesame Street songs. :) I love that they can be occupied with their playlists if I need some me time.
Here are some links to our favorite ones:
Seatbelt safety:  www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF9507714A89BBC45&feature=viewall
Sesame Street: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL36DABA929C8FDB72&feature=viewall
PBS beginning songs: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL44C5C6DAB5AACDC2&feature=viewall
Movie Intros: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF24CF64277A2DF24&feature=viewall
Muppets:  www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1EDEA696350F9674&feature=edit_ok

Nov 7, 2011

Shower Curtains

As an autism mom, I am thankful for shower curtains with pockets in them so I don't keep finding dumped shampoo bottles.  In case you want one for yourself, I got mine in the shower curtain section at Wal-Mart.  I also found the link on their website.
www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Mesh-Pockets-PEVA-Storage-Shower-Curtain-Frosty/12167653

Autism Dad

Today as an autism mom, I'm thankful for my husband, who is my companion in raising these kids. I'm thankful that he loves them and cherishes them so much.

Help at Church

As an autism mom, I'm so thankful for the two wonderful women who work with my children and are willing to attend church with us. I am so glad they sit with my kids and help them learn how to act at church. It is such a good way to start my week when I am able to attend my own classes and actually get something out of them because I know my children are in good hands. :)

EZ vest

As an autism mom, today I'm thankful for EZ vests (harnesses) for the school bus. I need to get one for my car. We call Caiti Houdini because she can get out of any seatbelt and walk around and do whatever in vehicles, but she can't with the EZ vest. Hooray. (She hates it, but the rest of us like it.)
www.ezonpro.com/products/schoolBus/adjustableVest/103z.shtml
For other issues with car safety, there are buckle guards so that your child can't unbuckle their seatbelt.  I found them online at: www.mypreciouskid.com/seat-belt-cover-angel-guard.html  This website has buckle guards for both types of safety belt buttons.
I also have a playlist about seatbelts on YouTube:  www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF9507714A89BBC45