2019: Saturday 19th Januaryย 

Ryan woke us at 8am and we were so surprised that we all got a sleep in… Until David told us Ryan woke him at 4am so he gave him Peppa Pig on his phone to watch lol. We packed up the car, said goodbye to the motel and headed to Pukekura Park to see the giant water wheel. Ryan loved it last time we came, in July, but we didn’t see it last night. 

We also missed the kids playground last night and discovered that they have revamped it. Ryan loved the water play spinning cups!

We decided to find a geocache while we were here, not realising the one we picked was up a hill (zigzagging steps) to a lookout. We were sweating but Ryan was happy because he could see the fountain from up there ๐Ÿ™‚ And we found, signed and rehid the geocache ๐Ÿ™‚

At the playground Ryan had a jump, swing and a turn on a very interesting slide! 

Ryan has been asking to go on a Flying Fox for a while but everytime we see one it’s very high or he says no, when we offer a turn. Today we found the perfect size one and Ryan LOVED it!

Then it was off for a drive… To Te Rewa Rewa bridge. What an awesome sight this was! And Stefan and David raced off and found a geocache, while Ryan said hello to everyone who came past. It’s a very busy place so lots of hellos! As we were leaving I noticed a view of the mountain and asked Ryan to stand on the seat so I could take a photo. He jumped up and yelled “I’m the king of the world” making a few people laugh ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Lunchtime was at Burger King and Ryan found the TimeZone area. He was very pleased when he won some chocolate bars from a claw machine! 

We popped into a clearance shop and I picked up some games and books for Ryan’s homeschooling activities. Ryan was sitting in the trolley and saying hello to everyone we passed, even getting a high five from a guy, and we headed for the checkout. For some reason Ryan’s impulse control disappeared and he grabbed a plastic toy from a display box and threw it, hitting the poor checkout girl in the forehead! I was mortified! Stefan quickly exited the store with Ryan, and David and I apologized and asked if she was OK. She said it really hurt, but she was OK. We finished paying, apologised again and left. When I asked Stefan why he didn’t wait for Ryan to apologize he said Ryan was starting to laugh and he thought it would be worse to stay and have Ryan laughing at what he had done. I agreed, and we talked to Ryan about the lady being upset, and that he had hurt her. He said he was sorry, and was quiet for a while. I hate situations like that, and it came totally out of the blue! 

Our last stop was a walk along the waterfront and Ryan asked to sit in the pushchair. He liked the crashing waves and we all got some fresh air before we started the 3hr drive home. 

At the petrol station Ryan was excited to see the car wash going. 

Ryan started getting carsick every half hour or so, dry retching, so we had to stop often for a walk or sit under a tree until his tummy settled. He was having a few short absence seizures and saying his head was “doing funny things”. Stopping often was a good excuse to find a few more geocaches,  and a play at the park in Hawera. We even discovered an Elvis Presley museum in Hawera so we will go back one day to look inside – it was open by appointment only. 

We were home with time to do a load of washing (Ryan’s first request), then a shower, dinner and bed. We did a lot in 2 days but it is very good to be home again ๐Ÿ™‚


2019: Friday 18th Januaryย 

Ryan was up unwell during the night. He resettled about 4am and we let him sleep until he woke again at 8.30am. Then we left for our “Hot tub holiday!” Ryan has a favorite motel in New Plymouth called The Flamingo, that has an indoor swimming pool that is very warm. This will be our 3rd stay here.

We stopped to stretch our legs in Patea – and hunt for a geocache but didn’t find it. Ryan did find an “R for Ryan” on the Memorial Gardens sign though, and had a game of tag with David ๐Ÿ™‚

Next stop was Hawera and Ryan got a bit carsick. King Edward park was fun and Ryan brightened up again. And we found a geocache ๐Ÿ™‚

The seesaw and swings were fun for all the boys, Stefan included ๐Ÿ™‚

Next stop was the Taranaki Pioneer Village train ride. Ryan found a piano to play and held David’s hand on the train. Ryan has been very attached to David the last few days. 

Finally New Plymouth! Burger King has pour your own frozen cokes, and Ryan spotted a laundromat lol. Got to the motel and of course Ryan was first to try out the beds. He was off to have a swing and a slide in no time ๐Ÿ™‚

The museum, Puke Ariki, had a free exhibition called Illusions. The boys went in the glass elevator to get there, but I took the stairs, to their amusement lol. The kids were all fascinated by the different things to look at. It was dark so hard to get photos but have a look at their facebook page if you want to see more, or check it out in person. Very cool! Outside we found a rather interesting seat and a tall spinning wheel art piece ๐Ÿ™‚

Back at the motel Ryan, Stefan and David tried out the outdoor pool and then the indoor hot pool. Ryan loved both and was very very happy ๐Ÿ™‚ Poor Alex has a broken wrist in a cast, which means no swimming, so we walked over to the dairy and brought some treats. 

Then came the main reason for our trip – the Festival of Lights at Pukekura Park. We made use of Ryan’s mobility parking permit and got a nice close park,  otherwise the nearest parks were up to 15-20mins walk away. Stefan took the boys on a boat ride and again Ryan had a great time. Thankfully Julie had taken him on a boat earlier in the week so he was happy to put a life jacket on and knew to sit still. 

We walked a bit and Ryan sat in the pushchair. We knew after his long day and the time of night he wouldn’t be up to much walking. He loved the colour changing waterfall, and found a sleeping giant up in a tree! 

At about 8.15pm I suggested an ice cream while we waited for the lights to come on at 8.30pm. Ryan said he wanted one so I got him a small vanilla cone… and he licked all the ice-cream out and asked for more when he was done!!! 

The lights came on and we walked and looked. Ryan had headphones on and Peppa Pig on Stefan’s phone and he was happy. He looked around at the cool displays as we went. We left around 9.45pm and Ryan was tucked up in bed at the motel and sound asleep within 5 minutes. 

A really big day and we had no meltdowns, no grumping and most of the day a very calm happy boy. What a superstar! 

2019: Thursday 17th Januaryย 

Ryan played with his spinning cogs (see yesterday’s blog), did lots of laundry, and had numerous showers. He was very quiet for much of the day and was super “spacey” – having lots of short seizures. 

Mid afternoon we went for a drive and Alex found a geocache down by the river. Ryan held my hand very tightly and asked to go back to the car very soon after we got out of it. He really wasn’t himself today ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

2019: Wednesday 16th Januaryย 

It was just Ryan and I for the morning and we did lots of housework. I put a roast chicken in the slow cooker and Ryan asked me what I was cooking. I said “chicken for dinner” and he said “can I have some?” He asked me a few times over the day if the chicken was ready yet (it smelt amazing!) and I told him it would be ready at dinner time. It’s great he is showing interest in other foods and how they are made. 

Ryan enjoyed watching a new oil timer, and we read a new early reader book called “Jack in the Box” about Sam and his baby brother Jack who wanted everything Sam had, so Sam put him in a box.

The weather looked like it was about to rain all day so I got a new Building Blocks cogs set out. I uploaded a video earlier today of it going, as its hard to see in photos, but it has many spinning parts and it kept Ryan entertained for most of the day! It plays music and has a switch to turn it off and on. Ryan enjoyed moving the cogs around too, and working out what was wrong if one wasn’t turning (usually not close enough to another cog). So much learning in one activity! 

Late afternoon we went to the park for some fresh air, then a drive to find a geocache. Today’s adventure took us down a very bumpy road that Ryan loved! He was a bit unsure of the long grass but made his way to where David was and Ryan found the geocache ๐Ÿ™‚ Back in the car Ryan was laughing because he couldn’t shut the door without getting grass caught in it. 

At home Ryan saw a School Journal on my pile of books and asked “Can you read the pizza story?” – I assumed that was what he thought was in the cover picture. I found a story called “Eating Worms” that was 6 pages long and read it to him. He really enjoyed it, asking questions as I read. Turns out the worms were spaghetti which Ryan thought was funny ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s the first time I have read him a story with so many words and only a few pictures but he sat and listened and understood the story, which I could tell by the questions he asked. 

He spent some more time with the cogs and then dinner was ready. Stefan looked surprised when I dished up 5 of the same roast chicken dinner, and Ryan sat at the table with us. He ate 1 bite of chicken and spat the next mouthful out, but I praised him for the chicken he did eat! He had waited all day for it to cook and did try some ๐Ÿ™‚ Baby steps! I did make him his usual toast because we are not having food battles, just working with him in his time to add variety to his foods he can manage. 

After dinner we went and did the recycling. Ryan helped put the glass bottles down the chutes – that’s his favourite job. He did help with some of the plastics but accidentally overshot the basket with a frozen coke cup and hit the lady working there on the head. I apologised and thankfully Ryan didn’t laugh like he usually does at those kind of moments! 

Home for stories and bedtime!

2019: Tuesday 15th Januaryย 

It was an unexpectedly busy day with Ryan spending half the day with Julie and half the day with David. After I was home we went for a drive, found a geocache and stopped at the bakery for afternoon tea but Ryan didn’t want anything. I tried to talk him into a large round donut, that he has eaten before, but he said “no thanks”.

The top photos are Ryan eagerly waiting for Julie walk up the steps to the front door. 

The bottom pictures are of Ryan filling in rectangles on a worksheet with stickers. He did really well ๐Ÿ™‚

Even though it has been a bit of a messy day for me, Ryan has been really calm and relaxed, which has made it a lot easier ๐Ÿ™‚

2019: Monday 14th Januaryย 

Today has been a very wet rainy day, and the cooler weather is a lovely change from the sticky heat we have had lately. 

Ryan has enjoyed watching cars using lights and wipers, splashing around the roundabout most of the day, … and our overflowing gutters that really need cleaning out.

I blew up the air mattress again to burn off some energy, and we read a new book called “Goodnight, Little Bear”. The Warehouse recently had “buy one, get one free” on their $3 books so I got a few new ones we didn’t have. 

Playing “Where’s my water?” on the touchpad has been another thing Ryan has been doing on and off today, as well as helping in the laundry. 

It’s been ages since I have done sensory play trays and I know I should do them more as it really helps Ryan relax. Today he had coloured rice, a scoop, a car, boat and train playdoh moulds, a glass bottle with a paint lid to use as a funnel (normal ones are too small and the rice gets stuck)  and some containers. He played for ages before blowing it and sending some rice across the floor. No problem, he cleaned it up with the vacuum ๐Ÿ™‚

There was a break in the rain so we jumped in the car and drove to find a geocache approx 3kms from home. We did end up getting rained on but that just added to the fun. We found it, signed the log and grabbed some chicken nuggets on the way home ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m slowing getting Ryan back into homeschooling activities. Today he stuck smiley face stickers in a large R outline. My little tip for stickers, if your child has troubles with fine motor skills, is to remove the outer sticker part so they just have the actual stickers on the sheet. It makes it much easier from them to remove the stickers without ripping them. Ryan really enjoyed doing this and stayed with it until he had used every sticker on the sheet! And he told me it was “R for Ryan” without any prompting. I was also impressed he followed my instructions to “put the stickers inside the R”.

And then it was time for our usual shower, bath, shower then dinner routine. Ryan watched some Handy Manny on TV and then had his evening chat with Stefan before tuck in. Overall a very pleasant day ๐Ÿ™‚

2019: Sunday 13th Januaryย 

Ryan was super relaxed this morning, watching TV, and then doing some washing. 

Julie came to take him out and he had the most awesome time! They went to Lake Wiritoa with Julie’s brother and his family – totally spontaneous and Ryan loved it! He got to paddle, then go a bit deeper in the water… And then had a turn in a boat!  He didn’t want to get out ๐Ÿ™‚ How lucky is he to have these awesome opportunities with people who accept Ryan for being Ryan ๐Ÿ™‚

The afternoon was spent just relaxing watching Handy Manny – Ryan has just discovered this show after Stefan found some old dvds from when Alex was little and loved it. Ryan helped with washing and had his usual bath/shower.

We went for a drive to get dinner and Ryan had a chat with another customer about the screen door and if it was open or shut. 

Stefan blew up the old air mattress and Ryan burnt off some energy before bedtime. He really got some height in his bounces!

2019: Friday 11th/Saturday 12th Januaryย 

Another sleepless night, no idea why! 

Stefan got a Quad Copter for Christmas from the older boys and Ryan enjoyed having a go with it this morning. 

Julie came and took Ryan out for a couple of hours. 

In the afternoon we took Stefan geocaching to try and find the one we couldn’t find yesterday… And sure enough he did ๐Ÿ™‚ Ryan loves watching the river,  stomped over the “troll bridges” and looked for trains. He asked to hold Stefan’s hand and “do good balancing”.

Later in the day Stefan took him for a walk around the lake and they hid painted rocks. 

A pretty calm day ๐Ÿ™‚


David, Alex and I went on a spontaneous road trip to Auckland Friday night and Stefan said Ryan Ryan slept from 8.30pm till 7am!!! Good boy!!! 

They spent all of Saturday out walking. They went to Westmere Lake, Virginia Lake, Gordon’s Bush and then they walked around Virginia Lake again! Stefan said Ryan chatted to lots of people on their travels and ate lots of chicken nuggets ๐Ÿ™‚

Stefan let Ryan jump on an air mattress that had a few leaks and I’m sure it has a few more leaks now lol. And made some silly photos with a dinosaur app. Looks like they had a fun Saturday ๐Ÿ™‚

2019: Thursday 10th Januaryย 

I’m pretty tired so hope today’s blog doesn’t sound to garbled lol. Ryan was awake most of the night, and very loud. There was naked dancing, complaining about not wanting to sleep, asking why it was dark, and knocking on doors trying to disturb his brothers. By morning Stefan and I were pretty grumpy. Stefan went to work and I made Ryan breakfast. He asked to go for a drive and I said “after breakfast you and I are having a nap!”
We were back in bed asleep by 7.40am until 10.30am.

Ryan asked me to read him ‘The Very Cranky Bear’ and to watch it on YouTube. He also wanted me to read ‘Safely Ever After’. 

When David woke we went for a drive to find a geocache.  Today’s adventure lead us to the river and train tracks!  The clue mentioned the three billy goats gruff and sure enough, Ryan found a bridge to stomp over and check under for trolls. We didn’t find the cache but will bring Stefan back another day, as he is good at finding ones hidden well. It was quite windy on the walk – see top right pic where his hair is standing straight up lol!

We drove some more and found a train! We are lucky there are lots of train tracks in Wanganui ๐Ÿ™‚

Our next attempt to find a geocache was further long the river and David found this one ๐Ÿ™‚

Off home we went to wash some blankets, have a shower (Ryan didn’t want a bath today) and cook dinner. Ryan sat and played Where’s my water? and talked to me while I cooked. He asked what each thing was and what I was doing. He asked for nuggets but I decided to dish him up Honey Soy Chicken and rice when I dished up for the boys. He ate 6 big mouthfuls, while playing “in the tunnel” with flying trains from Thomas the Tank Engine – hey, if it helps him eat I’m willing to do it!. Havoc came and sat by him, hoping for some dropped chicken ๐Ÿ™‚

No idea why last night was a no sleep night but hopefully tonight is much better! 

2019: Wednesday 9th Januaryย 

Wahoo! Ryan slept in until 8am! Only downside was he was quite upset when he couldn’t find Stefan because he had already left for work. 

Ryan climbed on the foam rocker and was balancing on it, while watching cars out the window this morning. The Watsit got a workout too as Ryan spun in it, balanced it on his head, and held my hand then let go to balance on top of it! 

Most days, when I need a shower, I ask whoever is up and around to “keep an ear on Ryan” if he is calm and happy. Generally right after breakfast he is OK to sit with my touchpad, and all the doors are double-locked, … and I’m super quick. This is huge progress from even a year ago when he needed eyes on him at all times, for his own safety.  

Today he was really calm and he climbed into my bed after breakfast. The teenagers were sound asleep but Toby (the dog) was on Stefan’s side so I asked Toby to “keep an eye on Ryan” and Ryan thought that was really funny lol. Neither of them had moved when I got out of the bathroom ๐Ÿ™‚

Julie picked Ryan up for a few hours and Alex and I went into town to do jobs. It was surprisingly busy, and really hot. Ryan brought a cute friend home with him called Tama ๐Ÿ™‚

David had a friend visiting. Ryan decided he was hanging out with the boys too so I got to eat some lunch in peace ๐Ÿ™‚

Then Ryan and I convinced the teens to leave the Xbox and come out with us. First stop was the park for a swing. Ryan asked David and Cory to “have a turn on the Up Down thingy” and then laughed his head off when they fell off it lol. 

Ryan bounced one side of the up down thingy looped over the pole, then ran at me asking for a hug, as David unhooked it. (bottom left hand in 5th photo). Next it was off to find our daily Geocache (9 days in a row so far!) Ryan wanted to get out of the car this time and David quickly found the cache. Last stop, Ryan wanted to take Cory for a frozen coke. I think Cory has a fan lol… and Cory gave permission to use his photos in the blog ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Home for bath and shower time before dinner. Today we only had an Xbox controller, Ryan’s glasses and a book go out windows, in 3 separate incidents. Lots of laughs from kids and happiness today, which makes me feel good ๐Ÿ™‚