2018: Saturday 18th August

Ryan was up bright and early and wanting to go out. This weekend was the annual Wanganui Home Show. It has over 150 exhibitors with home solutions, crafts and food. Generally a very busy environment but one Ryan enjoys for a short time.

He found spa pools, roof gutter guards, Venetian blinds, window squeegee cleaners which a nice lady let him try, and he met Claire Deeks from Dom’s Kitchen, who Ryan and I watch her facebook videos about doterra oils (I may have been a little bit star struck lol)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/domskitchenoilscommunity/

I got side-tracked at one point and found Stefan carrying Ryan … and Ryan was stroking a man’s beard. Ryan finds facial hair interesting and thankfully this guy (a friend of Stefan’s) didn’t mind. We have now had conversations about asking “may I touch your beard?” and waiting for an answer, but we are not sure if Ryan will remember to ask as the impulse seems very strong to just touch.

Ryan held our hands, walked most of the time and kept his hood up to cut some of the noise. He did really well and in less than an hour we were walking back to the car.

We needed a quick stop at The Warehouse and Ryan asked for the pushchair. As we found the garden hose we came to buy Ryan exclaimed in a loud voice “I wanna buy a lawnmower for 500 bucks” which made a lady near us burst out laughing 🙂 Funny thing was we couldn’t see any lawnmowers!

Our other big job for today was hiring a carpet cleaner. Ryan was fascinated by it and even helped do some of the cleaning.

Late afternoon Ryan asked to come for a drive to return the cleaner and we got him some nuggets. It was perfect timing because we got to watch them replace the golden arches at McDonalds!

At home Ryan had a surprise visit from Julie who brought him an early birthday gift. The new hat and socks went on, Freddo Frogs were eaten (just one before dinner), and the light up “Ryan” was a big hit 🙂 Very lucky boy 🙂

Only one sleep to go until Ryan is 9 years old!

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2018: Friday 17th August

Ryan had me up for a number of hours in the middle of the night. And then he slept in and everyone slept in, making the older boys rush to get to school on time.

Julie came and took Ryan out for the morning, giving Stefan and I time to sit and drink coffee, and drink more coffee and drink more coffee lol. It’s been a long time since we just sat and did nothing. Didn’t get the town jobs we needed to get done but we figured they could wait.

Ryan came home at lunch ready to sort washing and turn the washing machine on. He had a great time with Julie, going to the lake, playing cards and eating chicken nuggets 🙂 In fact he had such a good time he kept asking me all afternoon if Julie had gone home and can she come back again? 🙂

Only 2 sleeps to go until his birthday… Ryan reminded me at bed time 🙂 He got an early present today – a large diamond painting I did of Lightening McQueen and Mater. He loves it and after Stefan hung it in his room we found him standing staring at it grinning for ages 🙂

2018: Thursday 16th August

Ryan is much better today. It’s been a whole week of having a head cold for him but he seems to have got through it without needing antibiotics (usually he ends up with a chest or ear infection). He still has a bit of a runny nose and a cough but I’ve only heard it a couple of times today.

He was reading again this morning and then asked me to “take a photo of my hat”. I don’t know why he wanted that but he giggled when he looked at the photos, strange child lol.

Today was a bit sad as it was the last day of Emily coming to “hang out” with Ryan – “Hang out” is what we call it when a support worker comes to spend time with Ryan and give me/us some respite time. She has been amazing with Ryan and he will miss her. We have spent the last week reminding him that Emily has a new job and is moving away, and so today he was prepared and said goodbye with a big hug (and a wee gift and card).

They went out for the morning and went through the car wash, walked around Virginia Lake, watched the fountain and had a picnic of chicken nuggets and frozen coke. Funnily it was exactly what they did the first time they went out together, over 2 years ago!

Ryan asked me this afternoon if I had had a photo of Emily, and I found some they took together at the beach in March.

During the afternoon we did more reading, some housework and Ryan asked lots of new questions. He asked where Emily was moving to? We have a map of New Zealand on the lounge wall so we spent a while looking at it and I showed him where we live, where Emily is moving to, where different aunts and uncles live, and places he knows like New Plymouth is where the hot tub holidays are and Auckland is where Dad goes on a plane for work. It was really interesting and I could almost see it sinking in. He went back to the map a few times and repeated back to me what I had told him, pointing at the places! He’s a smart cookie alright!

I decided to see if I could put a new TV show on. This is often met with resistance as he likes watching things over and over. I turned Netflix on and found a cartoon series of Garfield. It was a win! Ryan loved it! He laughed and laughed and was still watching it when Stefan got home.

And….

Ryan is still excitedly counting down sleeps until his birthday… 3 sleeps to go!

2018: Wednesday 15th August

Ryan did lots of reading today. He recited books he had memorised, looked at pictures, asked me “what do the words say?” and every so often he asked me to read a whole book. Today’s new book was ‘Old Mother Hubbard’ but it was a funny version with lift-the-flap on each page. Ryan’s favourite page was when Old Mother Hubbard went to the tailors to buy her dog a coat… And when she got home he was riding a goat! He practised writing number 10 in his Thomas the Tank Engine wipe clean numbers book and we flicked through his common words flash cards.

The kittens came to play with Percy on the train set. Jasper sat on the track, Havoc paced back and forth… And Dipper sat in the hallway and peeked around the door lol (you can see him in the bottom right hand photo).

Mid afternoon Ryan came and asked for a hug, and then sat and had huge tears rolling down his face. He didn’t/couldn’t tell me why he was so sad so I just sat and hugged him and waited for him to move away first. Ryan doesn’t often cry tears, in fact I can’t remember when he last did. He asked for a bath and seemed quite relaxed in the scented bubbles. He was fine for the rest of the day but did ask me just before bed “why did I cry?” and I had to answer “I don’t know.” Maybe one day he might know or it may just be another one of the “mysteries of Ryan”.

I always have some sort of sensory play tray set up in the kitchen and about once a week (or sooner if I think Ryan is bored of it) I switch it around. The last few months he has shown very little interest in them and I had decided I needed to look for some new ideas. But on a whim I chucked a bag of brown rice, red lentils, yellow and green split peas, plus a glass bottle, a vase and a clean laundry powder scoop, in the tray. While I cooked Ryan’s dinner he went to the bookshelf in the kitchen and was looking at the colouring books but then got the sensory tray out! He tipped, poured, ran his fingers through it, and talked for the Cookie Time monster on the bottle saying “Mmmm… I’m hungry, feed me!”.

Ryan is getting excited now, only 4 sleeps until he is 9yrs old! 🙂

2018: Tuesday 14th August

Another day home with sick kids, snotty and coughing. We have used sooo many tissues it’s not funny!

Havoc gave Ryan some excitement when he decided to jump on top of the fridge, and then just sit there and look at him as Ryan pointed and shrieked “Mum, Mum, Havoc’s on the fridge!!!” lol.

We watched many hours of Thomas the Tank Engine, Mr Bean, and Danby washing machines.

Buddy and Mr Conductor hung out with us all day. When you stick your finger in Buddy’s mouth he says “mmm, meat!” or “my teeth are really sharp” and I’ve heard it so many times since he got new batteries yesterday that I will probably have it repeating in my sleep.

Thankfully Ryan has been quite relaxed and calm even though he isn’t well. One of the problems we have had in the past is keeping him quiet if he isn’t the only sick person home needing rest.

He wasn’t too pleased I didn’t take him to horse riding but he said he didn’t “want Chester to catch his sick”. I’m so pleased Ryan was thinking of the horse, I was more concerned about the coaches and other riders lol.

2018: Monday 13th August

Ryan has been very unwell over the weekend, all snotty and coughing. He has improved a little today but now David and Alex have a touch of it.

Today I got out his train set and he was very happy to see Percy again. He had been put away for a while because Ryan kept throwing him.

Jasper sat and they watched Percy go around and around and around, before he climbed into an empty box which Ryan found entertaining 🙂

Ryan had an appointment with a specialist and they have a giant whiteboard in the waiting room. Stefan and Ryan were writing ‘Ryan’ and drawing smiley faces on it 🙂 They also have a water cooler so Ryan decided he needed a drink. But he ended up wearing a cup of freezing cold water that soaked 3 layers of clothing… And the usual spares were not in the car, sigh! We took the under shirts off and put his hoodie back on for the appointment, and explained to the doctor (who has known Ryan since he was 8mths old) why I was carrying a handful of wet clothing. He didn’t seem surprised at all lol.

Ryan was his normal super busy self, so much that the doctor asked if we had remembered to give him his ADHD meds today lol.

Appointment done and we drove through McDonalds for lunch and dropped Stefan back to work. Dropping Stefan back to work after appointments usually causes Ryan to scream all the way home and for at least an hour afterwards, no matter how much I prep him with what we are doing. Today he was fine!! He just said “will Dad be home at dinner time?” and was satisfied with my reply of “yes”.

We did some reading… ‘Thomas and the Sticky Toffee’ was a hit and after about the 6th time reading it I found a YouTube video of a guy reading the same book, phew! We then had to watch it another dozen times while building towers with Jenga blocks. At one point Ryan stood up and ran to his room and raced back with a book. He then sat and “read” me The Very Cranky Bear! 🙂 And I read him ‘Oodles of Noodles’.

After we did some laundry Ryan did painting with the paint-filled deodorant roller bottles.

Ryan asked for a shower not a bath today, which is very odd but I went with it! They say a singing child is a happy child and Ryan has been singing to himself during the afternoon. Warms my heart 🙂

When Alex got home from school Ryan asked him to put new batteries in Percy. Then Havoc had a turn knocking Percy off the tracks.

After dinner Ryan found that I had put out a few toy boxes that he hadn’t had for a while. He spent ages looking through them and was very excited when Stefan put new batteries in his Buddy toy (from Dinosaur Train). I wish I had got a photo of the smile, it was the biggest grin I have seen from Ryan in a long time! 🙂

2018: Thursday 9th August

Poor little guy has been really sick last night and today. He was awake every hour or so during the night. And today there was lots of sneezing, coughing and asking “When can Dad come home?” and “My head hurts” 😦

He sat on the couch watching washing machines on one touchpad and playing “Where’s my water?” on my smaller touchpad when his head felt OK. And just sitting wanting hugs the rest of the time.

He went to bed at the usual time and has only woken once so far (it’s now 11pm). Everyone else is well, touch wood, so here’s hoping it stays that way – although I wore more than my fair share of sneezes and coughs today, as unfortunately Ryan still hasn’t managed to react quick enough to cover his face before its everywhere – so watch this space :/

2018: Wednesday 8th August

Ryan was up and wanting to go out with Julie very early. He was very excited when her car pulled into the driveway 🙂

I got sent some awesome photos from their morning – they visited Aunty Trixie and Ryan managed to give himself a fully clothed shower before helping with the washing lol. He tried his cousins crutches, and the “thing that made me shake” (his words when I asked him about the picture) and had some Nutella toast (which was impressive because he doesn’t really eat anywhere but home or the car). He even managed to be cheeky and take a photo of Julie having a cuppa lol. I hope he gave Julie some laughs today since its her birthday and didn’t cause too much stress 🙂

Julie mentioned that he had the sniffles, which he didn’t have at breakfast time but in true Ryan form he can go from totally fine to sick as a dog in no time. Over the afternoon it developed into a nasty cough, LOTS of sniffing and “Mum, my head hurts” 😦 I really hope he didn’t pass his germs onto Julie and family!

Poor kid is miserable but on the upside, it’s only the 2nd cold he has had in the 18mths homeschooling, compared to every second week with ear infections, coughs, tummy bugs… you name it, he caught it when he was at school.

He still managed to scoff a dozen chicken nuggets at dinner time but has quietly sat watching washing machines on YouTube most of the afternoon and has tucked off to bed nice and early. I’ve heard there are some super nasty cold/flu viruses around Wanganui at the moment so really hope this is just a mild winter cold and he bounces back fast. It’s very very odd seeing him so quiet and hardly moving around.

2018: Tuesday 7th August

This morning we got out a rarely used (and a bit old) appliance – the Juicer! We juiced apple, orange and carrots and then made it into ice blocks. Ryan didn’t want to taste the juice but maybe he might try an ice block 🙂

Ryan asked me to fix a book that was losing pages – the Berenstain Bears ‘In the dark’. So we taped the pages back in and then Ryan “read” it to me. I was surprised how much he recalled correctly from each page as I’ve only read it to him a handful of times but I have heard Stefan reading it at bedtime.

Ryan made a pretend pizza from the foam pieces of pizza toppings and we talked about what each shape was and it’s colour.

We spent some time outside, in the sunshine, pulling weeds to unearth a concrete crocodile. Ryan loves going to check on the “tick-tock croc” but it had been a while so he was well hidden. He fed Clover and bounced on the trampoline.

Time for horse riding and Ryan insisted we drive over so rather than risk a meltdown near the busy road I agreed. Chester was saddled and ready so after a check of the washing machine Ryan went happily to get on Chester. He rode with a Western saddle for the first time. It’s smaller than his usual one and has a little handle at the front. He did lots of trotting, learning to tap his feet to go and say “Woah” to stop. He asked to get off after about 20mins, checked on the washing again and then happy lead me out to our car. A perfect session.

At home we did reading with some old favourites – ‘Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose’, ‘The Fantastic Washing Machine’, and ‘The Hungry Giant’s Lunch’. Ryan asked to do a worksheet so he did tracing lines from spiders to webs. We read through his common words flash cards and I gave him some blank paper and he drew smiley faces and wrote lots of ‘Ry’ for Ryan.

At dinner time Ryan said to me, over his touchpad, “Cheese me Mum, I’m watching Mr Bean getting up to mischief” lol.

Today I had someone ask me which school Ryan goes to. I replied that we homeschool and they exclaimed “You what? Don’t know how you could do that. You must be crazy!!”

And I just smiled 🙂

There’s ups and downs but seriously, it’s fantastic! I get to see the successes, the joyful moments, the realisation on his face when he understands something, the “look at me Mum!” as he proudly rides a horse, climbs a ladder or dances to a song.

I get to tell him it’s going to be okay when he is upset, I get to hold his hand and be there when his head is hurting, I get to high five him when he gets the right answer, I get to hug him when he needs it and says “squeeze me Mum”, I get to answer his questions (yes, over and over but if he needs that to be calm then I’m happy to help), I get to prepare him for going out and teach him how to manage his emotions.

I get to share moments like opening a block of chocolate or watching a fountain with him, I get to teach him life skills, social skills and best of all we get to have fun together.

and I get to do all this and more EVERYDAY! The years will pass quickly and he will grow up and may not need as much from us, but for now I am happy to teach him, guide him, love him and be what he needs to have a good life. And if that makes people think I’m crazy, then I don’t care! As Ryan often quotes from Finding Dory “I’m ok with crazy” 🙂

2018: Monday 6th August

Ryan has been super active energiser bunny today. Swimming was first thing and poor Donna had a splash-happy child who managed, in about 40mins, to get everyone (in and out of the pool) splashed at least once. The lifeguards were good and laughed it off, but I’m sure not everyone was amused. He knows he isn’t supposed to splash others, which is one reason why we swim when the pool is fairly quiet, but today he didn’t have much impulse control but did have many cheeky grins.

After a shower we fed Clover and Ryan played on the big and mini tramps, swung the tyre swing and tipped out all the containers (peg bucket, recycling buckets, ice cream containers from water play…) around the yard that had collected rain water.

A friend came over for coffee and Ryan was very friendly, showing her his Danby washer on YouTube and our washing going in the laundry.

A new Fidget toy came in the post and Ryan loves it. It has switches and buttons that click and looks like a mini Xbox controller. We made popcorn and Ryan ate the whole bowl full!

We read a new book from our Food theme, ‘When the toast popped up!’ about The Baron using his 5 senses to find his breakfast.

Ryan put some new food magnets on the fridge and we read through his common words flash cards.

Another exciting thing came in the post (I have just discovered Wish and Ali express!) – a fibre optic light toy. We took it in Ryan’s room and pulled the curtains. We used to have one years ago that was pink. This one changes colours! So cool! Both the fidget toy and light were free on Wish plus $5 postage- bargain!

Ryan wanted to go out so we went to Peat Park. Those who have followed our blog a while will know we used to find a park everyday or go for a walk or do something out of the house. Ryan’s meltdowns and behaviours got so bad that I was having trouble managing him and he was being unsafe like trying to run onto roads etc. Because of this I only took him out with a “second pair of hands” and eventually Stefan took some extended leave, medications were adjusted and new strategies were found so we could try and get out and about more.

It was so nice today to get out in the sunshine and we had the whole park to ourselves. Although we did find some “Icky squishy mud” that prompted us singing “going on a bear hunt” as we wandered. Ryan tried most parts of the playground and checked if he could see a gorilla in the shed (what he says about the old locked up toilet block lol).

When it was time to leave he picked a daisy to bring home for Clover and he happily got in the car. AND… He didn’t even ask for a frozen coke! He hasn’t had one in over a week as we realised he was expecting them every time we went out (he didn’t always get one but often it was a way to get him to leave somewhere or get into the car when we needed him to) and the sugar highs and lows were possibly/probably contributing to his unmanagable behaviour.

Ryan did some drawing in a Wipe off book, had a bubble bath, watched some Blippi on YouTube, and played Where’s my water? on the touchpad. He loves it when he gets the water to “Mr Croc” for his shower (Ryan’s name for the crocodile). And ate 2 pieces of “raw toast” after 10 nuggets for dinner!