Unbirthday

Today was a bit rough for our girl.

One of her close friends messaged her and said; “I sent an invite for my birthday with Max, can you be sure your Mum sees it?” So, of course, she got excited and ran down to check.

Sure enough, Max brought home an invite but it was only addressed to him.

Sophia asked her friend if it was meant to be for both of them, and she replied, “No, just Max.”

Needless to say, she was devastated and burst into tears and was sobbing with her little paws up over her face.

I had to move her away from her computer and explain to the girl that it was not nice to have Sophia look for the invite when she was not invited and that she could have just messaged me or Max.

She did not think about how Sophia would feel, she felt sorry and apologised, but the blow had been dealt.

She was so distraught over not being invited it took me a really long time to calm her down and then came the anger, “I am so stupid, I am too emotional!” I explained, she was not, that emotions are healthy, and we need to be able to express them. We just don’t lash out at people or try and make them feel bad too if they hurt us by accident.

I explained that the girl likely didn’t think she would come or want an invite because sometimes people don’t understand that people with Asperger’s do like being invited and going to parties. (even if it is with Mom & Dad in tow.)

Max felt so bad for his little sis and he felt a bit upset that it was only for him, he did not understand either.

You see, before yesterday this was her friend, but last night she decided she wanted to be Max’s girlfriend, and told Max she wants to be a couple.

Max asked Sophia how she felt and of course, she said that is fine Max, as long as we can still be friends -not knowing how these things work. 😉

So now she feels like the girl used her to get to her brother, and is upset that she has been replaced by Max. (Many girls with siblings know this feeling well.)

I am sure this is also due to not really being invited to Birthday parties. She was invited to two this year, one we all went to; we had a great time, it was her nephew’s 2nd birthday party and she had so much fun.

The second was a friend of mine’s boy, he is a bit younger and they don’t really talk, so she didn’t go although she was so happy just to receive the invitation. She fully planned on going but decided she couldn’t do it on the day.

Our boys don’t like parties for themselves, but we do a Gluten Free cake and celebrate each of ours at home or go out to dinner with family.

Many of our family and friends don’t think of her as a child who loves birthday parties. Most of the other kids have grown now and don’t have family parties anymore, which was the few time they actually see her.

No one does family birthdays that we are invited to, because all of my family is back home and it is heartbreaking to see her so sad about this.

The girl later contacted Sophia and said her Mum said it was too late to invite anyone else and apologised again for hurting her.

This set her into another meltdown as the invite just came, and the party is a week away. She was saying she thinks she just never liked her and only pretended to and she was not a real friend because a real friend would want her there too.

I told her sometimes parents don’t allow more than a few friends over and since the girl wanted it to be ‘couples’ she chose Max. I also made a funny face and told her she is not allowed to date yet. This made her laugh through her tears and she said she could take her stuffed cat as a date. I had also found out it is only four people; Max, her and their other ‘couple’ friends.

She could not understand, because we always make last minute additions to her party so she knows they could if they wanted to.

Her big bro Dev heard all about it and just said, “That’s cool, we can just take Soph to McDonald’s or something else, have our own party.”

Her eyes lit up and she said, “It wouldn’t be the same as a party, but it would be nice.”

Finally, Daddy came home and asked how everyone was and he was filled in on the whole thing and he said the same, “Well, it sounds like we need to have our own party then!”

So we have decided Max can go and we will take Dev and Soph to do something fun while he is gone. I will even make an unbirthday cake.

They all gave her support, listened to her, and showed her she can feel whatever she wants and share her feelings and we, as a family will figure it out.

Max also learned that he can still have fun and not cancel just because Sophia was hurt, even though he offered to.

Devin told Max, don’t let girls come before your sister. Make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Brent and I are very proud of them all.

 

Foxton Windmill

We took a trip to the Foxton Windmill / deMolen Foxton today.

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It was really awesome seeing this up close. This is a working windmill.

We went to the second floor, but didn’t want to go up to the very top, Brent did though and he loved it. He had a really, really long chat with the fellow working there.

The stairs were quite small and scary and I will likely never go up them again, Sophia said the same thing. We both had some anxiety kick in on the stairs so nope, no more.

They had a the story of the Windmill being brought here in pieces and put together and a photo storyboard of it.

They also had a video about how they are built using wooden dowels, it was really interesting! There were models as well as maps of where they originated.

They had other cool items too, like bags that held the flour and grain and tools for dressing the mill stones.

It was a really interesting visit and we also bought some treats in the shop to test out.

After here we left and drove to the Himatangi Beach because we have not been yet, but unfortunately it was storming too much to wander about. We really loved the giant mosaic near the beach though.

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This was a nice little field trip and it was great seeing Sophia so interested in learning more about the windmill.

We will go back to the beach one day and likely stop in for some more of the delicious treats and maybe some rye bread.

After Foxton we carried on to Palmerston North to take Sophia to dinner at one of her favourite stops; Wendy’s. She was quick to point out the word Mom in the neckline of Wendy.

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We had a great conversation about subliminal programming and social programming and how they use psychology in advertising. She was both amazed and appalled.

She did think it very clever how they make you think of your mom to make it seem more like home made. Now you know the secret to Wendy’s subliminal programming. 😉

ISIS is a Goddess

Tonight at dinner we were having our usual talks with the kids where we discuss things they have been thinking about.

Max told dad he thought that ISIS was a horrible group of terrorists and asked why they were so evil.

We started to answer him, but before I could set him straight, Sophia had a talk with him.

“Max, they are called ISIL or Daesh not ISIS. ISIS is the name of a Goddess. It is not cool when people take the names of beautiful things and turn them ugly. Please stop using that to describe them.”

Brent and I agreed and explained to Max that we do agree with his thoughts, but that he should definitely not use ISIS anymore when referring to them.

We also explained the implications of labeling them with only using ‘Islamic terrorists’ as the media does, as it is not the whole religion that feels as they do.

It is only a small faction of extremists who are causing such hatred and bloodshed, not the religion of Islam or all of its followers.

Our kids are always surprising us with their clarity and their compassion.

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Isis – Hathor in Goddess Card Pack by Juni Parkhurst stylised on contemporary images

 

 

 

A Rough Day

Today was one of the rough ones. We have them occasionally, usually when Sophia and I have somewhere to go, or when she has had a rough sleep, which she has the past two nights.

They also happen with the boys, after they have spent the weekend at their mother’s house, since they get very little sleep and eat things they don’t usually have.

Also we get the ‘Your not my Mum or real sister’ arrogant attitude that accompanies their lack of sleep and nutrition, which last from the minute they walk in the door Sunday evening, until they crash, usually on a Tuesday. They usually sleep for a few hours then they are themselves again.

They come home emotionally confused, sad and physically exhausted, and it affects Sophia and I, especially as we are so empathic. They see her every two weeks, this is her choice, we would be happy to have her see them more, but it is not up to us.

Unfortunately, she has their younger brothers the other two weekends so they were not seeing them until their father transferred them to the same school as Max. Sadly, next year he will rarely see them again, like Devin does now, as he will also be in high school.

The only one living there full time is the youngest, a two year old girl, so the boys also only see their Mum and little sister, four days per month (unless she has ‘other plans’), and a couple more if it is school holidays, but not much.

So, as luck would have it, Max just came home Sunday and then had an event today, an inter-school soccer game so it was a field trip as well.

Both Max and Sophia react similar when they have something different to their regular schedule coming up; they become angry and stubborn. They each show it in their own way, but you can definitely tell. On days like today, they happen to both be out of sorts.

We will start with Max’s morning, as Sophia watched it all and thinks Max is a bit silly, hopefully she still feels this way when she is his age.

Max was suppose to wear his school polo and black or white shorts or pants. I reminded him twice yesterday as did dad, that he should get his uniform ready, to which he replied, “Yep, it is all ready.”

Now this morning he walks out in his polo shirt, but wearing green shorts. I reminded him it was to be white or black as per the notice they sent home.

He began to argue, that is did not say that which it does and that he would be fine in green. I told him to go change into his white shorts, which he had laid out the night before.

“They don’t fit because I got taller!’ He replied in his best snarky teen tone.

“This is why we said to get everything ready last night,  aye” I replied. “Ok, so go find some other black or white shorts or pants then.”

He stomps off for his bedroom and begins opening and slamming his drawers one by one, my patience thinning with each loud whack of the wood.

Ten minutes later, he returns holding a pair of green and yellow shorts. “I found these.” he huffs.

To which I reply, “Max, those are still not black or white. Keep looking or try on these jeans.” (I had set aside a pair of black jeans just in case he had a Max moment, the kind I have come to expect on such occasions.)

“But I want to wear shorts!” he replies, half tearing up with anger and frustration.

“Sorry Max, find some black or white shorts, wear these or don’t go to sport, as the bus will be here soon.”

He snatches the jeans from my hand as I remind myself he is just stressed and not thinking clearly. “Do not put those over the green shorts.” I say, knowing full well he is about to do just that.

He goes in his room and comes out with the jeans on, “Yep, these will work.” he says, as I notice the bunched up material around his thighs.

“Max, do you have the green shorts under there?” I ask, knowing he will lie.

“No.” he says looking down and to the left (his main lie face.)

“Come here Max.” I say smiling as I see his cockiness fall from his face, he knows he is busted. I check the waistband and show him, “Hmmmm… this looks like your green shorts to me Max!” I say getting angry. I really do not like lying, especially from my children.

“Get in there now and take off those shorts.” I say very loudly through a clenched jaw.

He growls and stomps off with his fists clenched.

Five minutes later total silence, “Max, have you taken off the shorts?”

“Yes!” he yells angrily.

“Good, put on a belt please.” I reply.

“Fine!” he yells again.

Silence for five more minutes.

“Max have you put the belt on?” I ask. “YES!”he says.

“Max, have you brushed your teeth?” NO! He says.

After a couple more minutes, “Max go brush your teeth please.”

“FINE!” as he stomps into the washroom, then proceeds to brush his teeth.

Now, I know my son, and he gets this tone in his voice, and this look on his face, when he is about to do something, and he had both, as he walked out and said, “Gotta go, the bus is coming.” and tried to rush out the door.

Now, I had him pull up his shirt, and yep, no shorts peeking out. (his backpack was on the couch, so he couldn’t have stuffed them in it – I thought of that.)

“Great Max, have a great game and enjoy yourself. See you after school.” I say knowing this is not quite over.

“I will, thanks, see you after school.” he says as he heads out the door and goes the wrong direction….

So I get up and open the door, knowing what he is doing. I see him look at me like a deer in headlights as he slowly drops the shorts and tries to kick them in the bushes.

I pretend I don’t see, and say, “Oh Max, I was going to ask you to check the mail when you go out to the bus.”

“Yeah, I can do that.” he says nervously, thinking he may have gotten away with it.

“Oh, and Max, can you hand me those shorts before you go.” I say flatly, as I point to them.

He sighs and bends over to pick them up, hands them to me as I say, “Dad will speak with you tonight about this.” Then he stomps off to the bus, huffing and mumbling.

I call out, “You should know better by now, remember I have six brothers, three sisters and a heap of nieces and nephews, not to mention I was your age once. I have seen pretty much anything you can come up with. Nice try mate.”

I came in  and texted Brent and laughed so much my side hurt. What a character he is, and fully a Gemini.

Afterwards I began to get Sophia started with her countdown to getting ready.

I told her yesterday, that we would be going out to eat for Nana’s Birthday. As expected, she acted out, as she does before doing something different, especially in an unfamiliar place where there will be a lot of people and noise and activity.

I got clawed; numerous times while her jaw was clenching and she was saying mean things as I started un-braiding her hair. (This is when I know she is completely out of touch with her emotions and stressing.)

Getting her into the shower and into clothes are battles all by themselves, so she was not in a very good mood by the time she started her book work. Fortunately, that went really smoothly and she had time to upload a video and do some digital art while I took my shower, so that calmed her quite a bit.

Then she discovered her recorder (flute type thingy) and played some music and calmed even more.

This was good until I said it was time to begin getting ready to leave, then the sassy Sophia came out to play.

Sophia was ravaging through the library box for a book to take along. “I can’t find a fucking book!”she yelled.

“Oy, watch your language, you.” I said.

“What? You swear, Dad swears.” she replies in a sweet, innocent voice, while batting her lashes, as the corner of her mouth goes up, forming her evil sneer she when she is about to challenge me.

“Yes, we do and we try not to. However, I am an adult so I can swear.” I say, feeling a combination of both fear and anticipation, as to what will come out of her mouth next.

“Wow Mum, you are being ageist.” she says, with a look of pride, her eyes glowing with the twinkle of the fires of hell.

“You, my child, are way to clever. I need to discuss this with Dad, but no swearing for either of us, ok?”

“But I like swearing.” she says, being cheeky.

“Fair enough. Well, I guess you better decide if you like your computer or swearing more, because you can have one or the other, make a choice.” I say triumphantly.

“Ugh! Fine!” she grunts as she slithers away to plot another strategy.

This conversation was just before we left to meet everyone for lunch.

We drove to Dad’s work, and rode with him as he is our rock, and makes everything more bearable. Plus we both feel more secure with daddy’s awesome energy around us.

So we went to lunch and finally found something she could eat after a partial meltdown because… “Everything has cheese or Gluten!”

Thankfully Daddy found something she would try and to her delight (and our relief) it was amazing.

We then drove through a local nature reserve, but our walking path was closed, so we came home and played Animal Jam together, we did an adventure, dressed our animals up alike and then watched the fireworks display together.

I have been trying to stay awake as days like this really exhaust me, but I know they also exhaust her and Max. Max ate a snack when he got home and then went to sleep. He has been sleeping for a couple of hours now. Sophia is happily playing in her room now and we are getting ready for tea.

 

 

Here are some pictures from our Animal Jam play.

I hope you had a great day.

 

 

 

 

 

4th of July

Today after our studies, we made a Gluten free apple pie for the 4th of July and watched fireworks together on Animal Jam!

We got Sophia a hand guard for slicing that she is able to use quite easily, great buy.

The apples were a gift from a friend, and the peels and cores went in the mulch pile.

We had so much fun, we played together for a while and then made some looks that matched to wear to the fireworks party on Animal Jam. It was really neat how they made it so real and you could set off the fireworks yourself and sit on little blankets, just like back home.

I love spending quality time with my Kit. What an amazing day.

 

1000 pages in two days

This picture below, was from a post: 510 pages in roughly 3 hours  last year.

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Sophia 3 July 2015

I was just telling Brent last night that Sophia has already finished all three of the books I got her at the Davis Library, and the one I got her at the Autism Resource Library on Friday afternoon!

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Sophia read these in two days – July 2016

So about 1000 pages in two days. This girl is a reading machine!

Sophia reckons that this series (6 books in series) Wolves Of The Beyond by Kathryn Lasky is the best she has read so far, just above the Warrior Cats series by Erin Hunter.

To see more of the books Sophia has read go to Sophia’s Goodreads Page and check out her READ shelf.

This is in addition to her workbooks, music, our library trips, Mommy & Me Readers & Writers group on Friday. We also had Autism Family Gym club, visited our friends at their home, did our Sushi & Bowl lunch date and shopping on Saturday with Daddy (boys were at their Mum’s this Saturday for a sleepover.)

Right now she is upstairs acting in a YouTube Animal Jam series with her buddy Rosey AJ and a group of other Jammers.

All on her own, she sought out and asked for the part, figured out the time exchange from EST to NZ time, made contact and got the script from one of her online pals. (After getting permission of course, we closely monitor her activity online and are interactive so she can do more socially, but still be safe and aware.)

This is Awesome Aut[odidactic]ism and we a very proud Mama and Daddy.

She wants to start saving for a GoPro or small video camera so she can start a VLOG. I think it is a fantastic idea!

My Little Pony Mad Libs

This morning we met the Mommy & Me Readers & Writers Group at our other local library.

Yes, we are very fortunate to have two amazing local libraries as well as a mobile library bus that travels throughout our district.

We had a great time, this week I brought along some My Little Pony Mad Libs, I had made copies for Sophia from our book from 2005.

The other children had not seen these before. Sophia started out a but rough and angry, which happens when we do something with groups. She said they were stupid and didn’t want to do them. I reminded her of her manners and asked her what she would like to do instead, she chose to write her own story.

With our group, we allow the kids to do what they want as long as they are reading or writing, so I let Sophia write her own story and gave the sheets to the others.

The other children started them, and began giggling, and it didn’t take long until Sophia was asking to do one as well. We all used pencil as I only had brought five sets and the took photos, erased and wrote them again and shared each set.

At one point an elder gentleman shushed us all, because some of the kids laugh quite heartily, and though adorable, it is still a library after all.

We all turned a bit red and tried so muffle our laughter into snorts and chuckles. There were lots of tears and hands over mouths to hold in our laughs. The children and adults took turns reading them.

Here are some of the silly stories Sophia had written.

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I have also put some of the Mad Libs blank sheets, on the Resources Page so you can print them and try them out.

I encourage parents to use these or any Mad Libs, or even make your own, as they are a great way for children to understand parts of speech, creative writing, social skills, group work and storytelling without being told ‘how’ and it makes learning self-motivated and fun instead of work. The variety of skills learned through this activity is quite amazing.

After we wrote we had reading time, and then Sophia and I headed to our local Autism Resource Library (Autism NZ) and grabbed a couple more books.

 

Here are a couple pics from our day, the other kids families do not want them photographed, so here are Sophia and Kaya.