2018: Sat 20th Jan

It’s Vintage Weekend in Wanganui and lots of things are happening. I carefully looked at all the events advertised and we chose what we thought Ryan would enjoy and made a plan for when we would go, with back up plans for if things went belly-up.

Ryan was first awake and not long after Button Bot required a button to be sewn back on. We need to keep working on how to undo buttons!

Stefan was reading in bed and Ryan bounced up and said “what do the words say Dad?” so Stefan started reading aloud. Ryan did some acrobats on the bed but listened longer than I expected lol.

David made the kittens a frozen ball of water and Ryan showed them how to spin it, with supervision by Alex. They were all engrossed in it for a while lol.

When we were all ready we headed out to fill our water bottles and Ryan had a quick chat about the ceiling fan with the friendly people there and we were on our way again. In town we found a carpark not far from the main street. We walked all the blocks of the Avenue and looked at the vintage cars parked up. Ryan wasn’t overly interested except to point out the wipers, if they were left up, and said the cars with bonnets open were “broken” – an interesting observation!

We found the Library bus and Ryan asked for the window wipers to turn on. And they very kindly did for him, and again when he was standing outside right by them! He was super excited by the huge wipers! Our local library staff are fantastic 🙂 I wish I had got a photo but I was busy stopping him from grabbing the wipers.

Ryan washed his hands in the Majestic Square waterfall, put money in parking meters, checked out the ATM, got a sour gumball from a machine (David ate it) – Ryan just wanted to watch it spin down the spiral chute, sat in Noodle Canteen and watched them cook food (didn’t want any, just loves watching them fire up the woks), chose an ice cream at the dairy, and used the crossing buttons at each road. He also checked every shop door to see if it would open, watching the automatic doors open and shut. It was very busy and noisy and he coped amazingly well with it all.

Before heading home we watched the traction engines drive around the block. You could pay to go on them but Ryan was happy watching them steam past. We have been on them a couple of years ago and he got quite agitated by the line waiting and having to sit still on the wagon so we didn’t attempt it this year.

After finding the older boys, who had wandered to look at things in their own time, we headed home for lunch. Ryan asked to go out again so Stefan and I took him for a walk around Virginia Lake and he sat in the pushchair. Good timeout for him after a sensory overload morning. We watched the fountain after our walk, hiding and finding rocks, and Ryan pushed the pushchair to the car. We saw some of the vintage planes fly over and one was quite loud, so that was interesting too!

On the way home, as we came down St John’s Hill the barrier arms came down and bells rang at the railway crossing. Ryan was happy a train was coming and then words can’t describe his face when he saw a real live Steam train puffing smoke and tooting past! Lucky I got a photo (top left)!

We did a walk around Gordon’s Bush to hide some more rocks and Ryan pushed the pushchair and talked at the top of his voice the whole way round.

At home he has been repeating “I saw a steam train, didn’t I? Why did I see a steam train? Why was it chugging along the tracks? Why did it say drrrruppp?” over and over and over … Highlight of his day, I think!

And absolutely busy day but Ryan had a really good time, coped extremely well and has hopefully made some amazing memories.

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2018: Fri 19th Jan

Stefan and I booked in a childfree break and went out for coffee and lunch.

Donna came over and Ryan was very excited to show her his new toy washing machine. They made ‘Porridge” (rolled oats, water, cooking pots and utensils), played outside (Ryan got up close and personal with poor Mr Septapus lol – look at that cheeky grin!) and did washing. Ryan was very hyper and busy and practically dragged Stefan out the door for a drive, when we got home.

They went for a walk twice around Gordon’s Bush.

Ryan played with the split peas/lentils sensory tray, tipping and pouring. David blew a balloon up for Ryan and he used it as a “Boulder” on the train tracks. Havoc came to investigate the balloon too.

Alex went to get a pear and Ryan decided to take a few bites! Alex was annoyed but I was quietly happy. I’ve never seen him eat pear!

He did some writing practise and spent time playing with his old toy washing machine.

Ryan asked for an early bath and was in bed nice and early for a change, but still chattering away.

2018: Thurs 18th Jan

Oh my, what a day!

I made up a sensory tray of split peas/lentils, scoops, funnels and glass vases. Ryan tipped, poured, used his hands and moved the funnels around.

Then Emily, a support worker, came and took him out for a picnic watching the waves at the beach.

After lunch Ryan opened a courier parcel and discovered a mini washing machine that spins, makes water filling, agitating and spinning noises. He was beside himself with excitement and played with it until dinner time.

We finally got a picture of Flash and the kittens in one space. He is okay with Havoc and seems to like Jasper but hisses and growls at Dipper. This afternoon he tolerated them all and only got grumpy when Dipper tried to get close to him. I had to laugh when I saw Flash and Toby watching Jasper licking the metal chair leg as “we don’t lick door handles” (cold metal) was something said multiple times a day when Ryan was at kindy.

Ryan was still extra chatty and bouncy at bedtime so it may be a long evening!

2018: Wed 17th Jan

Ryan still isn’t quite himself so we decided on a home day. He emptied the kitchen sink again and I found him holding the pipes under the sink feeling the water draining. He asked me why he couldn’t see the water going down the pipes. I said because the pipes are not see-through. He seemed happy with that answer.

We played with playdough and then made popcorn to eat while watching Peppa Pig.

Jasper and Ryan played with Percy the train for ages. Jasper is such a character and was dancing around on his back legs which had Ryan laughing his head off. He would knock Percy off the track and then wait for Ryan to set him going again. They must have played for about 20 minutes!

I brought an educational toy at the last Paua Products sale – a Button Bot. It’s a soft toy robot that you can add and remove arms, face, chest plate and legs by doing big yellow buttons. This is a skill we are working on with Ryan so Button Bot is perfect for practising, and hopefully might save me having to mend ripped pyjama tops all winter!

Ryan painted a Peppa Pig mould while I painted rocks for our weekend walks. And of course, Ryan helped with the daily washing.

We made some lavender scented coloured salt for future activities. Ryan had fun squeezing and squishing the bag and smelling the lavender. It was supposed to be purple but went green, not quite sure what happened! Will see what it looks like when it’s dry.

When there was a break in the rain we went outside for some fresh air. It’s so much cooler today than the last few days so I’m hoping we can all catch up on some sleep. Even with all the fans going we have all been up and down during the night and that makes for grumpy children and tired parents.

We have done name writing practise, colouring in, and read books. Ryan refused a shower or bath and I’m sure it’s the first time in his life I can remember that happening! Eventually he asked David to run him a bath at 6pm and he was in and out very quickly. 

After some chatting to Stefan about our day Ryan had stories, lullabies and was tucked in. It’s much cooler tonight so fingers crossed for a settled night!

2018: Tues 16th Jan

Ryan was very pale and not himself this morning. He perked up a bit after breakfast but kept climbing on my knee and sucking his thumb. He wasn’t really interested in anything but watching TV (The Polar Express again).

We had visitors late morning but he just watched TV and sat by me.

Around lunchtime Ryan decided we needed to take our old car for a drive so we went to a local primary school that has nice shaded playgrounds. The weather is so hot and muggy and the cool air in the trees was lovely.

We said hello to the chickens, and tried each play area.

On the way home we saw a train, which Ryan really liked! Then he played with Percy watching him go around and around.

A few more repeats of The Polar Express during the afternoon and then we went and got Stefan from work. On the way home we stopped at a friend’s place to pick something up, which Ryan hasn’t been to before, and Ryan found their washing machine and got a load started lol. 

At home he fed Toby his dinner one biscuit at a time – lucky he’s a lovely natured patient dog! And Dipper came to play trains for a while before bedtime. 

Another long hot muggy day! I feel like we are still very much in “go slow” holiday mode. I have been washing and naming new uniform for the older boys this week and Ryan asked me today where his uniform is for school. He was happy with my answer that he doesn’t need one for homeschool, but questions like that always make me think on ifs, buts and maybes… but I keep coming to the conclusion that homeschooling is still best for him for now. 

2018: Mon 15th Jan

So Ryan has a new annoying obsession with emptying my dish washing water everytime I walk away from the sink in the kitchen. And because of 3 kids, 4 cats, 1 dog, 1 rabbit and a husband it’s not often that I start the dishes and stay at the sink until they are finished. Now I have to make sure the sink water isn’t too hot and no sharp knives are in the sink at all times because he senses me walk away and is in! Since we don’t have a dishwasher and I do lots of baking/meal prep/fruit cutting etc the sink often has water in it and there is always dishes to do. I guess Ryan letting the plug out isn’t the end of the world but it’s just one more thing to be aware of. 

The kittens are back to their normal bouncy energetic selves and they are often roaming the house – actually more like thundering up and down the hallway like mini elephants chasing each other or Toby. When we can’t watch them or they get tired we put them back into their enclosure for some rest. I made them a hammock bed this morning and they all loved it so much I had to make a second one because they kept pushing each other off. Ryan thought it was really funny and watched them for ages.

We spent a long time outside during the  morning and it was nice and cool until about 11am when it got really hot! Ryan played with Toby, fed Clover flowers from the lawn, and chatted with Flash … but Flash swiped at him when he tried to rub his tummy the wrong way. Lots of water play with the sprinklers.

Ryan read his early reader ‘Run’ and we did some counting down from 10 … ending in “blast off” each time lol.

At lunchtime Ryan asked for toast but then left all the corners on the table and asked for more. He did the same with the next 2 pieces. Not sure what’s wrong with corners but I’m sure he has a reason, he just wasn’t telling me.

Donna came for a few hours and they played outside most of the time Alex and I were out. When it was time for Donna to leave Ryan suddenly wanted to make “porridge” (one of their usual activities) so Donna kindly set it up before she left. Ryan checked the calendar to make sure Donna was coming back this week 🙂 She also gave us a kitten tunnel so that was fun to watch them explore this afternoon. Ryan stood it up and was impressed it was taller than him!

Ryan got a bit grumpy around dinner-time and after “The Lorax” he was tucked in for the night… Last night he only bounced around for an hour or so, hopefully tonight he settles quicker after all the fresh air he got today 🙂

2018: Sun 14th Jan

Ryan had breakfast while watching “the engineer” (his name for The Polar Express), and then we read a new early reader ‘Run!’ We will be repeating this one for the week. He played with the Peppa Pig bath and cleaning sets with coloured pasta for a while – fine motor skills and imaginative play.

The boys all went outside late morning and Ryan had the hose. He sprayed Alex and laughed but when Alex grabbed the hose off him he accidentally hit Ryan’s arm with the end of the hose. Ryan cried about it off and on for over an hour. He kept saying sorry to Alex for spraying him and then growling at him for hurting him. Alex got quite upset that Ryan kept bringing it up and I tried telling him Ryan was just processing what happened but that didn’t make Alex feel any better. 

We all came inside for lunch and Ryan looked very tired while he was eating his toast. I made an egg toastie for me and when I was almost done eating Ryan looked at my plate and said “There’s vomit.” 

“That’s not vomit. It’s yolk from in my egg.” I told him but he didn’t look convinced.

It was super hot outside so we stayed in and opened a game Ryan got for Christmas ‘Bugs building’. Ryan was looking super serious so I started making the bricks talk in silly voices since they all have eyes on the ends. “Don’t put me on there, it’s too high!”, “I’m Mr Red and that’s Mr Blue under me”, “Help, I’m going to fall!” Ryan was rolling around laughing and could hardly build his towers lol.

Then we matched colours and made patterns. Ryan got all serious again and said “Did the other eye broke?” looking at the bricks with only one eyebrow! Very observant Ryan! Then he started packing up telling me “I’m done. I’ll put them away for another day.”

He asked to watch The Polar Express again and was acting very tired so I thought it was a good idea to chill out with a movie.

When it finished we headed outside and Ryan played with water pistols watering the trees, my car and the shed. He swung on the swing, moved the mini tramp and set up the octopus sprinkler… and then watched it spraying as he sucked his thumb (a recent development that I’d rather didn’t become a regular thing!).

He spent time transferring water between containers then hopped in for a splash before tidying up for shower-time. He did it all in his own timing and I just watched and chatted with him, hung out washing and played with Toby.

For the 4th day in a row he asked for a shower, not his usual bath, and then asked for his dinner at 4pm so I made it thinking he may need an early night since he’s been not quite himself today. Mrs Wishy-Washy came to dinner and was read over and over but he hardly touched his food :/

About 5.15pm he had a long absence seizure, which made me realise we haven’t seen any for quite a while! He went a horrible pasty colour afterwards. He had a pile of stories and was tucked up in bed by 6.30pm. Hopefully he has a good sleep.

2018: Sat 13th Jan

By 6.30am Stefan was starting the morning breakfast/medication routine and I got a sleep in. Ryan was asking to go out and came in with undies on his head when Stefan told him to go and find some clothes lol. Then he played with his toy washing  machines and said he just wanted to stay home. 

Not long after that he was dressed and out the door. They went to Burger King then Virginia Lake and Ryan sat in the pushchair eating nuggets as they went around the lake. Afterwards Ryan put $1 to turn the fountain on and it didn’t work! Ryan noticed the fountain had been moved in the lake, so we wonder if that why it wasn’t going. Stefan said Ryan coped really well and didn’t cry or get upset!! 

They came home and David and I joined them to go to Gordon’s Bush. On the way we passed a laundromat and Ryan said “Is that a $15 laundromat?” The $15 reference is because he knows that is the cost of a car wash and so now everything that costs money is $15 to him.

He pushed the pushchair half way round then sat in it and yelled at David to “run David, RUN!” We found some cool rocks and hid a pile.

We did a quick stop at the Rose Gardens and hid/found some painted rocks. Ryan saw the train going at Kowhai Park and said he just wanted to go home! Very odd for him! Big raindrops started and David and Ryan ran to the car laughing!

I got out a couple a small Peppa Pig playsets (freebies from kids magazines) and some coloured pasta and Ryan played with it for a while filling the bathtub, tipping from basket to tub, and pretending to give the pigs baths. Lots of fine motor skills practise and imaginative play. The occupational therapist we had a while ago mentioned setting up activities that require Ryan to squat to help strengthen his core so it worked on this too.

I spent some time working on my plan for Ryan’s homeschooling this year but the kittens were in a playful mood and decided my pen was a toy! Ryan thought it was funny! Even Toby came to see what was going on!

Ryan called me and said “Mum, it’s going to rain” and he was right. The really dark clouds moved overhead and Ryan got very excited to see cars with lights on and wipers going!

Dr Suess’ The Lorax was Ryan’s bedtime story of choice and he told me when I went into kiss him goodnight that he was “very very tired Mummy” – sounds promising for a quiet evening!

2018: Fri 12th Jan

Started the day rather early and we read books – Alphatales Gg, Duck on a bike, the Cranky Bear. We played with Pop the Pig, “kitten barn” (the travel cage), sequin pillow, and toy washing machine. We watched an episode of The Magic School Bus. Then Ryan put Pop the Pig in the “kitten barn”! Lol

Then came a massive mood swing and a very angry boy who was screaming, kicking, biting and impossible to calm down. Stefan decided to chuck some clothes on Ryan and head out for a drive and a walk to blow some steam off. Ryan was very calm an hour later when they returned and in Stefan’s words “I took out a grumpy little s@#t and brought back a much more manageable child” And that’s one of the many reasons I love my husband 🙂

In the afternoon we did a bit of Geocaching but Ryan got grumpy very quickly so we found a park and he ran and swung. Even Stefan had a swing 🙂

We did the recycling and Ryan smashed the glass down the chutes. The toy washing machine came with us and Ryan spun the front nearly all day. He had a couple of painted rocks in it and by dinner time we were all over the banging noise as he spun it. We went out to Gordon’s Bush and Ryan ran and stamped his feet on all the bridges. Responding to “stop/slow down” wasn’t happening so luckily I had my running shoes on and I power walked most of the way.

We stopped at the Crazy Pumpkin (fruit and vegetables shop) and Ryan asked to come in. He usually waits with one of us in the car since round things get thrown and bins of apples and oranges are too tempting. Stefan said he would take him in while I pushed our trolley. I heard them looking and naming all the fruit and vegetables. Ryan only tried to throw a few things and Stefan caught him in time, while he was chatting away to the shop owner (I think). Ryan asked the man if he could shut the automatic doors and he said yes. When they shut Ryan yelled “oh no, we’re locked in” and jumped up and down with a huge grin on his face, which made the lady at the counter smile. As we finished shopping the same man came and asked Ryan if he had been good today. Ryan said yes and he gave him a banana 🙂 Once I had unloaded our shopping on the counter Ryan pushed the trolley outside (with Stefan close behind) and the automatic doors opened for them which got Ryan excited again.

Our next/last stop was a new fish and chip shop we wanted to try. (JJ Takeaways). As I ordered Ryan was investigating switches and asking for the fan to be turned on. The lady serving us (again, someone Stefan knew) said the fan wasn’t working. Ryan was sure he could reach it and even pulled a plastic chair over to try and reach it! He wasn’t interested in the colouring in set up where you wait and tried to get behind the counter twice but otherwise was quite good waiting while our dinner was cooked. Ryan didn’t eat any of it but the rest of us all very much enjoyed our meal 🙂

Second night of Ryan wanting a shower not a bath, which is not a problem, it’s just interesting to note that he has made this change himself but is usually so resistant to change and loves his same/same routine.

We are back into the bedtime routine of getting up and down at tuck in time, stripping his bed, calling out, sometimes peeing in his bed… until it’s nearly our bedtime. It’s frustrating and takes up our whole evening. We have tried medication changes, being super quiet, going about what we are doing and ignoring him, earlier bedtimes, later bedtimes, responding and resettling him and a mixture of all that … but nothing has worked. It could be the muggy weather, routines changes with Christmas/New Year holidays, dynamic changes in the house with new kittens, and a mixture of the above or none of the above. Who knows. But hopefully this phase ends sooner rather than later… and we just keep reminding ourselves “this too shall pass” and pray it does!

2018: Thurs 11th Jan

8.48am!!! That’s what time Ryan slept in till 8.48am!!!

In that time Stefan got up, showered and went to work, I got up and showered, wrangled 3 kittens into a cat carrier, woke David to tell him Ryan was still asleep and I was going out, took the kittens to the vet, checked them all in for jabs and surgery, came home, opened curtains, made a coffee… and then a little voice came up behind me “Good morning Mum, good morning!” 🙂

I did wake at 2am to Ryan in our bed stroking my hair, which was kinda creepy because he hasn’t done that before lol. I took his hand and led him back to his bed. He said “it’s dark, it’s not time to be awake yet” and snuggled down under his duvet! Usually that would be us awake for the day so I was very surprised when my alarm went off and he was still in his own bed. 

After breakfast we needed to refill our water bottles and Ryan was itching to get out of the house. I thought he would be pleased to see the rolling doors open but he wanted to use the vending machine like we did last week. I tried explaining it doesn’t work when they are open but that just made him kick and scream louder. He asked me to read the words on it so I did, thinking that may be all he wanted. The lovely lady from the water place ended up convincing him he could have a Freddo Frog from her chocolate jar if he got in the car. After I finished reading all the vending machine instructions one more time, and our full containers were in the car, Ryan got in and did his seatbelt up … and said a very nice “thank you” for his Freddo. Sigh!

David made Ryan lunch while Alex and I did a quick supermarket shop (I wasn’t in the mood for another meltdown) and they were both cheerful when we got back.

The wonderful Donna came after lunch and they played Pop the Pig – although I don’t think washing the burgers in the toy washing machine and Deputy Peck causing mischief is in the actual game rules lol. They made “porridge” – rolled oats, water, hand mixer, funnel and jars in a large tray. And fed Clover, played with the water sprinklers and hung out washing. 

We had got the phone call to say the kittens were all awake from their surgery and ready to come home. Today they were desexed, microchipped, wormed and vaccinated. We have been talking to Ryan about the kittens needing some extra rest and they can play tomorrow. Ryan was very very excited they we’re coming home again and David walked him around at the vets before taking him across the road to have a swing at the playground, while I sorted paperwork and got the kittens in the car.

When we got home and the kittens back into their enclosure Ryan took the car crate into the lounge and wanted to take the vet name label off. So I gave him some scissors and he carefully cut the tag off into many many pieces. I think this was his way of saying they are home now, by putting the cage back how it usually is.

Ryan insisted on a shower, no bath tonight, which was odd … but I just went with it. Lots of book reading and Ryan asking repeating questions during dinner and his bedtime routine. Phew, tired mum tonight!