Sunday, January 27, 2008

January 27, 2008...all is great

I'm really tired but all is well. Actually, all is great. Jakob has been amazing. The kid is doing so many things that I've never seen before and he's so happy, so connected. As he falls asleep at night , without having to watch a movie, he just looks me in the eye and smiles. The look of peace and joy in his eyes is priceless. I go to bed every night with a smile on my face. I much prefer that to the way I used to go to big ball of stress, heart pounding with an uncontollable urge to cry. I don't miss that.

One thing's for sure...I gotta get some people lined up to spend time with him in the playroom. I've been doing anywhere from 4-6 hours a day in there with him and it's starting to catch up with me. I can easily pull off 4, maybe even 6 but where I'm running into a challenge is when we come up out of the room. Believe me...I'm not fact, it's awesome. Instead of him just hanging out doing his own thing and not wanting to be bothered, he's pulling me all over the house to play with him!! It's unreal. I love it! I just can't get anything done. I still have Christmas decorations up for crying out loud!

He's totally capable of spending 10-12 hours in the playroom every day. He'd happily go in at 7:30am and not come out til after 8pm. He's done it more than a few times. He loves that playroom. And what could be better than having him spend one-on-one time with somebody who loves and accepts him and just wants to be with him doing all the things he loves to do? Nothing can compare to that. looking for loving, accepting, non-judgmental people I go.

So far, I do have one good one. He's young, cute, full of energy and perfect. I love him...and I need 3 or 4 more just like him. It's funny, he was the first person I thought of when I decided that we were gonna do a Son-Rise Program. A mother's instinct, I guess. From the moment I put him in the playroom with Jakob, I knew. He was the kind of person I want Jakob to be with. Easy to describe...but I think you gotta see it to understand. He's somebody who accepts people just the way they judgments, no discomfort. I wish there were more people like him in the world. I know there are some...just gotta find 'em.

And until I have a full schedule of wonderful people, I'll just keep working on my list of things to thing at a time. I actually made a's around 56 things long. No problem, no worries, all is well. The most important thing is being taken care son is going to sleep smiling.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

January 13, that room

Another few days, a few more lessons learned. The big one...I definitely need more than 5 hours of sleep a night. I just don't function at my best on that much sleep and that's what I got every night this week. I do ok for a couple of days but then I really feel it. I move very slow, I think slow, I don't have as much patience, my judgment becomes slightly impaired and I get a little crabby. I still get by ok......I just find myself sticking my fingers in a 5-pound bag of M&M's every time I walk by. Gotta get that crap out of the house.

Jakob's cool. Really cool. I keep getting asked what changes I've seen in him. Well, he looks at us...a lot. Right in the eyes, not through us. There's a sparkle there too, he's liking looking at us and connecting with us. The eyes are the window to the soul and for the first time, I feel like we're looking into each other's souls. It's amazing. The best is when he's looking into my eyes, I see the sparkle and he smiles. The bestest smile ever.

Another big change is he's trying to talk more. We're getting tons of verbalizations. There are sounds we've never heard before and they're even spontanious. Out of nowhere, he'll try to say stuff. Now granted, only a trained ear can understand what he's saying but it's so much more than we've ever heard from him before. He told me "lights off" the other night. I about wet my pants...and I turned those lights off faster than you can imagine, after I threw a huge celebration in his honor for trying to say the words. I've never felt more hopeful about him
learning to speak than I do right now. I can't even express how excited I am. Every day, we're a little bit closer to my dream of he and I having a conversation.

Other stuff I'm noticing...he's calmer, more flexible, more connected, understanding more, bringing us into activities instead of just ignoring us...he's with us. My little guy is with us.

I spent 4 hours with him in the playroom this morning. Four hours feels like 40 minutes. The time just flies. I love that darn playroom. I love his trampoline, his blankie, his markers and whiteboard. It's fun being a kid again and being a kid like Jakob. His world is wonderful. I think everybody should spend a little time in the Autsim world...I definitely think the world would be a better place if more people could see things from a different perspective. A perspective where rolling a marker along the floor is so cool and exciting, where there's so much
joy in the little things. Love that darn playroom.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

January 6, has begun

January 6, 2008

So far, so great! We've officially begun our Son Rise Program. As of right now, it's just for several hours a day until I get all my volunteers and a schedule set. So for now, it's been primarily me in the playroom with him. The last couple of days, we've been down there for 5-6 hours each day. He doesn't want to leave. He loves it. And so do I.

I can honestly say, it's been the best time that Jakob and I have ever had together. And we'd had some pretty good times before. But this is different. This is all about him. I have no agenda. I'm enjoying, completely and without any distraction, being a part of his world. And what a beautiful world it is. It's a simple, joyful place with a lot of letters, numbers, markers and a trampoline. The big blue ball and the mirror are quite popular too. And it wouldn't be Jakob's Playroom without his blankie....and a blankie for me too. All of his favorite things are there and they're quickly becoming my favorite things as well.

Time flies in the playroom. I have to wear a watch to make sure that he eats and goes to the bathroom on schedule. An hour feels like 5 minutes...unless we're jumping. I learned a big lesson the other day...always wear good jumping shoes and a bra. They're must-haves. Also, be sure to have enough cookies and water...for him and for me.

Meanwhile, all my Christmas decorations are still up and probably will be til March. Happy Holidays!! The spirit of Christmas remains alive and well in this house, in more ways than one.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

January 1, 2008...New Year, New Playroom!

It's a New Year and here we go!! Tons and tons of great stuff is in store for 2008. This is the year that it all makes sense and lives will change for the better. Lots of lives.

It's already begun in my basement. Jakob's Son-Rise Playroom is up and running. We've been spending a couple of hours a day down there over the holidays and I have to say, wow. WOW. I can't wait to be down there all-day, every day. He loves it. I took him down there about 9 this morning and he didn't come up until 1:00. I left a couple of times, but he stayed. We jump on the trampoline, play with letters, do some writing, play with puppets (I need some practice with those...not much experience there), bounce on a ball and giggle a lot. The eye contact is unbelievable and the interaction is amazing. He pulls me into every activity and enjoys playing with me. And he likes it so much, he doesn't wanna leave! How 'bout that?? Have I ever written anything like that before?? I don't think so!! My kid with Autism wants to play with me!!!!!

The only thing that I still need to run the best program I can run is volunteers. I'm gonna go searching this week...churches, yoga clubs, places like that. I'm not too concerned. I know there are tons of people out there who want to be a part of creating a miracle, which is exactly what we're doing here. It feels so right and so great.

It feels so good to finally have a handle on everything. I get it. I get why I'm here and what I'm supposed to do. I know where I'm headed and I know what I want. And I know that in order to find the peace and happiness that I want for myself and for Jakob, it all starts with gratitude. Gratitude needs to be the attitude of every moment of every day. I'm grateful for all the little things as well as the big things. I'm grateful for the little grins, the big smiles, the giggles, the hugs, the unsolicted kisses. I'm grateful for sleeping in til 7:00, the electric toothbrush, the trampoline and the swing. I'm grateful for the alphabet and for numbers 1-100. I'm grateful for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and really grateful for Dr. Seuss. I'm so grateful that Jakob chose me to be his Mom.

I'm also grateful to have ever known my friend, Theresa. She came into my life to teach me something and she did. She also taught me a lot by leaving so abruptly and unexpectedly. She validated what I had already is short and meant to be spent joyously. And that's not easy for everybody, especially families living with Autism. It's so easy to get caught up in the prognosis and trying to fix things that we forget to have fun, experience joy and love each other just the way we are. That's where our focus needs to be and everything else just falls into place. The tough part is figuring out how to do that...and it all starts with gratitude. Being grateful is the most powerful thing anyone can do.

So that's my resolution for grateful, always.