Thursday, January 28, 2010

They grow up so fast

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Birthday celebration continues

On Monday night we have another party for Nathan. We went to Golfland. They give you a free round of golf - for up to 8 kids - a couple pitchers of soda, all the paper supplies and 45 minutes in the upstairs arcade. Its totally free! Thanks for the tip on that one Becky! You cant bring in your own food, but you can bring in a cake. I made a really cool rainbow cake. I saw this on a blog called Food for Thought and I thought it would be fun to try... and it was! Everbody loved it so I am passing on the tutorial to you.
How to make a Rainbow Cake:

Divide your white cake batter into 6 bowls equally.

Add color. I used food coloring on all the colors except purple. Purple always turns out kind of gray when using food coloring so I used the Wilton color. If you used the Wilton colors for all of them you would definitely have a more vibrant rainbow. I just wasnt in the mood to spend more money.

Then layer the colors in your pans. Pour the colors directly into the middle of the pan and then spread them out. It will look thicker in the middle but when it cooks it seems to work out. Because the red and purple looked so thin I dug a little of a well in the middle before adding the second color. I think it helped with the outside layer.

Bake as directed.
Frost as wanted :)

This is how it looks when you cut into it. I wish I could figure out how to make it actually look like a rainbow inside... you know all the colors in order, but it still looks neat. I think you would have to pour all six colors in each pan and I am just not up for that!

P.S. Thanks for all the thoughts and comments on the last post. Changes are underway and we will share later!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A moment of wallowing then moving on.

It can be laughable
It can be aggrevating
It can be sweet
It can be cute
It can be frustrating
It can be repetative
It can be entertaining
Autism can be a lot of things

but this week it has been overwhelming and saddening.

Here's the saddening part. A couple of days ago I was parked outside of Caitlyn's dance lessons waiting for her to come out. Her teacher, a friend of mine, lives in a cute cul-de-sac where a group of boys were outside playing and riding on their bikes. I was attending to Alison (I got out of the car to do so) and I was also helping Nathan learn how to do a basic maneauver with a cup to clean up spilled lemonade on the top of the lid. As I was teaching Nathan this basic task a little boy rode up on his bike on the opposite side of the car. I will never forget his inquisitive look. He looked sweet and innocent in his inquiry to know what was going on inside. I simply waved to him and he waved back. In that moment I felt the distance, cognitively, between this boy and mine. He looked to be about the same age as Nathan. and it made me sad. I so badly want to have that for him. He needs a friend. I good group of boys that will understand that he is different and love him for it. Play with him and includ him. Hes hard to include. I understand that. I guess I am looking for a Christ-like, heaven sent child to take him under his wing and help him be a part of things. Everyone is so nice to him. All the kids at church treat him with kindness. I am very grateful that we havent been confronted with unkindness yet. I fear for that day. I dread that day. I feel like it is unevitable. I would love for him to have someone there to defend him. Parents can only do so much. Then it just becomes uncool. :)
Here's the overwhelming part. Chad and I visited a doctor yesterday, and after a huge batch of blood work done on Nathan we have been advised to go on a gluten-free, casein-free(anything dairy), soy-free diet, corn-free, rice-free, potato - free diet. That doesnt even include the other 40 foods that we need to avoid to due to allergies. No joke. That is not overexaggerated. Basically, think of the Atkins diet - to an extreme and then erase another 35 foods. At first glance it may seem easy, doable tomorrow. It is not easy. I have tried gluten free with Nathan before. It didnt yield earth- changing results. Im sure it is because I didnt remove all of the other things, but it was HARD. What this means is NO eating out, no fruit snacks, no cheese - thats a staple in his diet, and everything has to be purchased organically, and with evrything needing to be "free" of things just say "Ca-ching". I know, I know, take it one step at a time. Tackle one then move to the next. That totally makes sense and I've said it to myself at least a dozen times. Its just a lot, and its one more way to make him different from all the other kids.
It seems like I have been writing a lot lately about the woes of Autism. Its probably because we are going through changes in our household. I dont do well with change. I feel secure in a routine and with systems. Blame it on childhood issues. Comfort, as of late, has not been my friend. I have not been able to find it. Or maybe I havent wanted to accept it. Thats more likely. Chad has been awesome. He has found the positive and that is admirable. I have wanted to wallow in the face of this change. I think everyone deserves an amount of time to wallow, but I fear that mine is coming to the point of annoying. I will need to abandon it soon. Decide on a plan and go... with a good attitude.

Sorry about the venting today but it feels good to get it out.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Years Eve

This picture pretty much sums up our New Years Eve : Awesome. You cant tell but she was in the middle of doing a soda happy dance. It almost made me pee my pants.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas - FINALLY!

Okay. Get ready for a long post. This is all of Christmas.
Glad to have this done!
Temple Christmas Lights:

Yearly Christmas photo. It was the best one I promise.
Harmon/Standage Family Home Evening:

We started the tradition of having a Family Home Evening before Christmas with the Harmon/Standage clan. Who's in charge of it goes down by age. This year it was Abby and Jeff. They did a great job and provided some awesome enchiladas.

Cole boy. I love the smile. Abby is in the back Skyping with Miki and Jake. We also Skyped with Aaron and Summer earlier. It was good to get them included in on the party!

Great Grandma's Breakfast:
Every year we have a breakfast with Great Grandma Vance and all he extended cousins. We act out the Nativity and sing Christmas songs. Its a lot of fun.
Caitlyn had her turn of playing Mary this year

Mas the shepard - what a ham.

Nathan was also a shepard

The "shepards hooks" soon became weapons

Our three angels. So cute

The whole crew - minus a couple wandering shepards :)

I love this picture. I'm so glad a thought to take it.

Christmas Eve:

Our great neighbors Bob and Sandy had their daughter knit these hats for Caitlyn and Nathan. They love them and wore them all night!
We watched Polar Express and earlier in the day we watched A Christmas Story - this must be done every year.
We also ordered TGIFridays. It has become a tradition. Usually we go there on Christmas night when all of the family stuff is over , but this year schedules did not permit, so we carried on the tradition by getting it Christmas Eve. I think it counts.

Christmas Morning:

The kids have to wait until we say we are ready for them to come in. Thats how it was when I was growing up. We were not allowed in until the video camera was set up, camera ready, fire lit, and Christmas music was playing. I loved it and its a tradition I like to carry on. It makes it more special. Plus I love the pictures of them running into the room.

Chad did well. Two words: Banana Republic.

The one and only thing Chad wanted for Christmas. Chad also likes to spoil Christmas by figuring out all of his gifts. He resorts to all sorts of childish ways of shaking and feeling all of his gifts. So when Sarah came up with a grand idea of wrapping up a book about guns instead I knew I had to do it. When he opened it we couldnt stop laughing. I dont think he knew what to do next. I wish I had a picture of it, but we do have video.

Alison with one of her new toys.
Here's a tip: Want good infant toys? Check out Good will. They put a bunch of them in one bag and price them at $1.99 or $2.99. Then go there on Thursdays when they have dollar day and get the corresponding week for one buck! I got a ton of toys of $4.00. Put a little elbow grease in (scouring them) and voila! new baby toys that didnt cost an arm and a leg.

Wow. This got a great reaction.

The best toy of the day for Nathan. He LOVES this thing.
Harmon/Standage Gathering:

Little Miss Katie. What else can you say.

I couldnt resist taking a picture of Cole in his shirt of choice. Its awesome.

We had a great lunch provided by mom. This picture is mainly posted because it contains Randy. Not only to tick him off a little but to show that his is real. He is really good a dodging a camera or ruining a picture so you will delete it.

We gave Grandma Vance bath stuff. She thought it was great to use for bopping kids on the head.
O'Loughlin gathering:
Nathan still loves his Rocket.

Cute right? Love the shirt. (shout out Sarah!) Did you notice Nathan's corrdinating shirt as well?

A special gift from Grandma O'Loughlin. It is Ariel on a carousel horse. She will get a new one every year until the carousel is finished. How adorable is that! I love it - and so does Caitlyn.

We were REALLY spoiled by Brian and Norma. Caitlyn got this Fancy Nancy doll from them as well as a Fancy Nancy telephone.

Alison got this great floor play tower - I dont know exactly what they are called, but they are THE BEST! I had been wanting one of these for a couple of weeks but couldnt bring myself to buy it. How Norma knew that I have no idea but I was so excited to have this for her. She loves it and plays with it everyday.
So that it. A complete synopsis of our Christmas festivites. We hope you had a great holiday season as well.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What just happened here!?

She rolled over. Thats what.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday Nathan!

As per our tradition... Nathan waking up on his birthday!
Happy Birthday!
(more birthday pictures to come - arent you so excited!)