2019: Saturday 20th April

In the car yesterday Ryan kept asking “Why did glasses spill his drink?” and finally Stefan clicked he was talking about the invisible man from Hotel Transylvania. He has been watching the movie over and over and all you can see is his glasses and in one part he does spill his drink!

Julie came to pick Ryan up for the morning and he was sound asleep again. He seems to be waking super early, eating breakfast and then sleeping some more a lot over the past week.

Ryan tried another new food today – boiled egg! He liked the white but not the yolk. I don’t know how Julie gets him to try so many new things but I’m not complaining! 🙂

They went for a drive and watched some Motocross out by South Beach. Sounds like they had a fun morning 🙂

Ryan asked to go for a walk at Virginia Lake so Stefan took him… But Ryan decided to throw painted rocks into the lake (which he knows is a BIG no-no!) so they didn’t stay to watch the fountain.

When they got home Ryan had a nice long bubble bath.

He helped in the laundry and then spent some time playing in his bedroom. He played with his wooden washing machine, his expandable ball, the Thomas Action Point book, and reading books. I’m not sure why but Ryan insists his curtains are closed during the day so it was nice to have the open for a while… But then he closed them again.

Our Easter activities was reading ‘There was an old lady who swallowed a chick’ which ends in meeting the Easter Bunny, and colouring in a Dora the Explorer Easter card.

The large water bottle is STILL a favourite activity and when it started to get dark Ryan was watching outside to see the street lights come on, while balancing on his Watsit. This kid was full of beans and pretty happy today 🙂

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2019: Friday 19th April

Today is Good Friday (a public holiday in New Zealand) and Stefan had the day off work. We had a lazy morning – Ryan slept most of it… And then we headed out of town on an adventure!

Thankfully most of the traffic was heading in the opposite direction to us so it was an easy trip over to Palmerston North. We had tickets for Dinofest!

It was held at the Esplanade so Ryan had a play at the playground before it began.

Dinofest was a show with dinosaurs that came around so you could pat them. The “Ranger” told us lots of interesting information about the history of dinosaurs in New Zealand. Ryan loved the teenage T Rex and said “good boy, good boy” as he patted him (the lady said to be gentle like when you pat a dog).

They had quite a few different dinosaurs and Ryan wasn’t scared of them at all.

After the main show you could walk through the fernery and see other dinosaurs. Ryan was wanting to go on the train by that stage but a few of the dinosaurs in the bush caught his eye.

The queues for the train were really long and amazingly Ryan did really well waiting. The train stopped at the station and left 3 times before we got to our turn. Ryan was very happy when they had a carriage empty for us. Part way along the track the train stopped… And the Easter Bunny came along handing out Easter eggs! When she got to Ryan he said “no thanks, can the train move again?” lol.

On the way back to the car we snuck past a wedding happening in the rose gardens so Ryan could have a look at the fountains.

It was a pretty busy afternoon with lots of people and noise. Ryan coped so well and we had no meltdowns, just a few bits of frustration but once he knew what was happening (lots of us saying “first…, then…) he was OK.

We got home in time for bath, dinner and bed.

2019: Thursday 18th April

After an early breakfast Ryan crashed out sound asleep. I tried to wake him, as Julie was due to arrive to take him out for the morning, but he was out cold.

Julie arrived and came into the lounge. Ryan sat bolt upright talking and ready to go lol.

They had a great morning with lots of laughs and hugs… And chocolate 🙂

As soon as he got home he asked Stefan to take him for a walk around Virginia Lake, so off they went. He got to watch the fountain do its 10 min cycle twice 🙂 On their walk they found a painted rock from Appliance Repair Care Ltd and it was a prize rock. Later in the afternoon we went to claim Ryan’s prize… a boxed chocolate egg… But Ryan was more interested in the washing machines they had for sale lol. The lady at the counter told him he could choose an egg and he asked her if she had any washing he could do. It was quite funny! Stefan chose an egg for him and Ryan let them take his photo for their facebook page 🙂

We dropped David off for youth group Easter camp and then Ryan asked for a walk at Gordons Bush! A busy boy today!

We had a friend drop in before dinner and Ryan brought her and her son inside to see the power lines out the lounge window. And the circus! Yes, a circus has set up at the park across the road and Ryan is very excited. He asks everyday if we can go and have a turn at the circus.

The large water bottle is still getting lots of attention. Today Ryan decided to post blocks into it and then he had to shake it really hard to get them out. He did it over and over, while talking non-stop, for about an hour before bed.

2019: Wednesday 17th April

Ryan slept so well last night! 9pm until 7.30am!!!

We had a cruisey morning, taking it slow. Ryan had cuddles with Dipper and spent ages posting rocks and pebbles into the large empty water bottle. He said he likes the bang as it hits the bottom.

One of our first Easter crafts was painting by rolling plastic eggs. Lots of fun. Much concentration – note the tongue sticking out as he works lol. Once dry it will make a nice piece of wrapping paper for a gift 🙂

Ryan did lots of helping in the laundry as we sorted clothes and helped David pack for his youth group Easter camp.

Our new book today was a Mrs Wishy-washy story from the library. Ryan spent more time in the afternoon posting into the bottle again.

At the Paua Products clearance sale yesterday I picked up a really cool Thomas the Tank Engine Active Point book. On each page it follows a story and has counting, matching, and music games that you point to with the special pen and it talks to you. Very cool!

Stefan was out most of the day and Ryan was very happy to see him at dinner time 🙂 I had offered Ryan a drive, the park, a walk during the day and he said no each time, but then as soon as Stefan got home he asked to go out. Unfortunately it was getting dark and cold by then but he seemed OK when told not today.

He had his bedtime stories and I remembered to rub his back with essential oils tonight. I have forgotten the last 3-4 nights and we can definitely tell. It takes him a lot longer to stop talking and settle without his “smellies” he calls them 🙂

2019: Monday 15th April

I feel like its been ages since I last wrote a daily blog, but it was only 3 days ago. Unfortunately I spent the weekend unwell (a flare up of my chronic health conditions so thankfully not something the rest of the family can catch) but thankfully was well enough today to drive to Palmerston North hospital for Ryan’s long awaited EEG appointment. David came too, which was great to have the extra help.

We squeezed in a stop at Kmart because you just have to when you’re so close 🙂 I got some more cool books for Ryan. I love there $4 range of stories.

We arrived at the hospital nice and early and took a walk, going up and down in some elevators because Ryan wanted to. Each person who got in with us got asked their name and where they were going? And each person was nice and politely answered him – even the man in a fancy suit going to the top floor 🙂

We checked in and Ryan had a man in the waiting room silently splitting his sides with laughter at Ryan’s repeating questions that I was answering. I was wearing my autism awareness T-shirt so I hope that explained that it wasn’t groundhog day lol.

Finally Ryan’s name was called. Between us and the lovely “lady doctor” (as Ryan called her) she got all the little electrodes stuck on (takes about 20mins) and they stayed on long enough to get some readings (about another 20mins). I didn’t get any photos as we had to hold his hands and distract him the entire time or he tried to pull the leads off … or push the emergency button right beside him on the wall.

He blew windmills, watched strobe lights and the hardest part was getting him to close his eyes for 30secs. We tried many times and only got to about 10secs. I totally forgot they did that or we would have practised.

He coped really well overall and when she said it was done she went to get some wipes to unstick the leads but Ryan had already ripped them all off! I was pleased I managed to give Ryan a haircut yesterday as it made it a lot easier to get the leads on and off.

Photos are from his first EEG years ago for those who haven’t seen what EEG leads etc look like.

A very happy boy this evening 😍

2019: Friday 12th April

This morning Ryan decided to see if he could fit in the paper bag Jasper was playing in yesterday… And laughed when he discovered he was too big 🙂

The net and ball game has been a total winner! He was doing it for hours yesterday and back into it before breakfast today! Amazing how the simplest made up game (over-door clothes airer, netting, pegs and soft plastic balls) can be so great. I think it is meeting his desire to throw things as we have had nothing thrown out windows for a few days now.

Julie came and picked Ryan up for the morning and he came home with Banoffee for dessert that he helped make! Julie said he crushed the biscuits, chopped up the bananas and whipped the cream. Yum!

Our end-of-term treat was a trip to the movies to see Wonder Park. I tried to take Ryan yesterday but he decided he didn’t want to go. He was very keen today. Ryan chose us seats at the front and there was only 3 adults and 3 children in the whole theatre. Some parts of the movie were quite sad and Ryan kept asking me why they were sad. Ryan really enjoyed the roller coaster scenes and Peanuts the monkey. He did ask to go home about an hour in but made it to the end. He polished off his popcorn, Pepsi and some Freddo Frogs I had stashed in my bag for emergencies 🙂 As we were leaving Ryan saw the man who sold us our tickets walking up the stairs with a vacuum backpack on and asked him what he was doing. He said he had his jet pack on and was going to go and fly around the theatre lol.

At home it was bath time, more playing with the throwing ball game, watching Blippi on YouTube, and helping with the washing in the laundry.

The older boys are on school holidays now and Stefan has some annual leave coming up too so Ryan will love that 🙂 We pretty much homeschool year round because Ryan does such a mix of learning (worksheets, reading, online education apps, with life skills and social skills being a priority) it fits in with our everyday life, whether it’s holidays or not, but we do more outings and outdoor stuff when I have more helpers to keep Ryan safe 🙂

2019: Thursday 11th April

Ryan was right back into the car ramp activity after breakfast. I pegged a net to the over-door clothes airer and Ryan had fun throwing plastic balls into it. The plan was for them to roll out and into the paper bag I drew a face on but Jasper jumped in the bag first lol.

We were watching music videos and Ryan found a pool noodle. He spent ages twisting it, balancing on it, spinning it… and teasing Jasper with it.

I asked Ryan if he wanted to go to the movies. We watched the trailer for a new kids film and I thought it would be good to go before school let’s out for the holidays this weekend. He said yes and I told him its on after lunch. He was quite happy about that. He has really enjoyed going to the movies. We just have to time it for quieter times like during the school term not holidays (and I often ring ahead to see if they have any group bookings so we can avoid a packed theatre), a good time of day (earlier in the day the better), and judge if Ryan is in the kind of headspace to sit for nearly 2 hours and not talk too much (yeah right lol). And also be willing to leave if it’s too much for him. Today ticked all the boxes so that was our afternoon planned 🙂

We got out a new book called “Noddy – Mr Plod Paints the Police Station”. Ryan has seen Noddy on TV and enjoyed it and he loved this book too, especially when Mr Plod fell off the ladder and went CRASH!

He did a tracing worksheet and coloured in the fish, and we worked together to sort “sense of touch” picture stickers into hard, soft, rough and smooth boxes in his The Body workbook.

We had an hour before the movie was beginning and Ryan asked for a bath. And then when he was in the bath he said he didn’t want to go to the movies today! I was surprised because he was very keen earlier. I asked him again when he was dressed and he still said he didn’t want to go! I suggested we could go tomorrow and he agreed. I totally expected him to ask to go once it was too late but he didn’t.

He played with the balls and net for ages and then “attacked” David with the pool noodle till they were both laughing 🙂

Mid afternoon we dropped Alex off at the movies to see a film he had been wanting to see, and I totally expected a meltdown from Ryan if he decided he was going too. But he was perfectly fine! A year ago we could never have done that, there would have been a complete meltdown at each transition (getting in the car, stopping to drop Alex off, and getting out of the car at home). Going out for drop offs and pick ups of the teenagers was a nightmare. I have to remind myself of the huge progress we have made in some areas like this, especially when I’m struggling with other behaviours.

It has been raining quite steadily since about lunchtime so Ryan was excited we got to use the windscreen wipers in the car. And he loves watching out the lounge windows to see other vehicles using lights and wipers – almost more entertaining than TV!

Another thing we have been working on today is prep for Ryan’s next EEG appointment. We are counting down sleeps, looking at photos from previous visits, and talking about what we need to do (get a haircut this weekend, sit still for the stickys to go on, keep the hat on until the lady says he can take it off, listen to the ladys instructions when she says to blow on things and look at things). This will be the 4th (or 5th, can’t quite remember) time he has had an EEG (photos are from his first one many years ago).

While we were waiting for Stefan to get home from work Ryan played with Percy the train and Jasper got some love 🙂 and a Diesel balanced on him lol.

Ryan asked for some more balls and was very proud when he got them all in the net! He emptied it and refilled it a number of times! He told me “I’m doing good exercise!” and he was right, he worked up a sweat!

An interesting day that didn’t really go how I thought it would but that’s OK 🙂

2019: Wednesday 10th April

Ryan was a bit clingy this morning and said he just wanted to stay home today. After breakfast he had a shower and then was back to his normal talking a “100 miles per hour” and full of smiles.

Julie came and took him out. She said they did lots of walking. Ryan likes to ask lots of questions and so Julie teaches as they walk. Numbers, letters, explaining what things are and how they work, the Maori word for things… Ryan has learnt so much from her 🙂

They went to collect feijoas (and a little birdie told me some disappeared over the fence to the neighbours, eek!)

When he got home he wanted a bubble bath and he was reading books before he even got dressed! He has been looking at books a lot today.

He found the racing car ramp was still out from yesterday and had fun making “traffic jams” and then throwing the cars back into the container.

Ryan asked me to put the “water tracks” in his train track but then wasn’t happy and swapped it back to a plain track. He has lots of fancy tracks but always goes back to a simple with a tunnel.

Sensory play was a Hidden Toy Bath Bomb from ExperiSense NZ. Rather than use it in the bath Ryan put it in a tub of warm water. It foamed heaps and Ryan had great fun swishing (all over my table and floor!) and searching in it for the toy. He found a red plastic lion… And threw it behind the washing machine, sigh! We got 2 bath bombs in the April box and they smelt amazing! The kitchen smelt lovely for hours after we cleaned up 🙂

After dinner we had the first major meltdown in a while but after we moved him away from anything breakable, and stopped him from throwing painted rocks, I gave him tight hugs and he eventually calmed down. Then it was into the bedtime routine. Today had a LOT of Ryan asking repeating questions, which I know is something he does when his anxiety is high. Just not sure what is causing it though. Hopefully it settles soon.

2019: Tuesday 9th April

Ryan had a huge breakfast (8 pieces of nutella wheatmeal toast!!) and then nearly fell asleep again but kept saying his head was very sore. When the pamol kicked in he was wide awake again. We did some morning tidy-up jobs then sat to do some worksheets etc.

First up was Steps to Counting book. It said to add more dots and circles to the ladybird and count them. Ryan’s circles had smiley faces added to them 🙂

The expanding ball (from our April ExperiSense box) has been used a lot, and it’s safe to throw around in the house because it shrinks as it goes through the air and it’s quite light.

Another 50c book sale bargain was the book ‘Double the fun – Alphabet’. Each page has a flap to lift and Ryan loved it. Huge grins at each page 🙂

Doing worksheets is something that Ryan goes in phases of asking to do but I never force it. Lately he has been really keen to do them so you may have noticed we are doing them more often at the moment. I have a range of kindergarten/preschool books that I photocopy pages from, and that means he can redo them if he wants rather than writing in the books.

Ryan’s Pre-writing skills worksheet was a change from the ‘up and overs’ that Ryan has done for a while and now he is working on ‘down and unders’.

His shapes worksheet said to colour the ovals yellow. We verbally went through and Ryan pointed at each shape and told me if it was an oval or not, getting them all correct. Then giggling he coloured in the square then triangle. I asked if he was tricking me because they are not ovals and he said yes lol … and then coloured in 3 ovals. When he was done he discovered the clipboard spins well on the table which was fun 🙂

We also got some laminated mats with shapes and glitter playdough in the ExperiSense box. It had a hidden animal in the dough that Ryan found when he squished it. The only downside was loose glitter in the tub when Ryan tipped the dough out – I’m sure I’ll find pink glitter around for a while lol.

Ryan asked to use Khan Academy for Kids app and did activities on measuring, ordering pictures for a story, and helping friends.

We went to RDA and Ryan made sure the washing machine was doing its job. He asked if he could turn the sprinklers on and was told he could AFTER his ride. I guess he missed the words AFTER because he had people chasing him as he ran around the arena turning the sprinklers on, knocking over obstacle courses and throwing mini bean bags – giggling the whole time while Tama (the horse) waited patiently. They eventually got him on Tama and he had a good ride.

We went to the park on the way home and Ryan was really interested in his shadow. This was a new thing I haven’t seen him notice before.

When we got home Ryan had a bubble bath, and a shower.

A $2 roll of road sticky tape from Kmart + an old box opened up + tub of cars = hours of fun! This filled in most of the rest of the day!

Percy and the train tracks came out for a while and we read some books.

When it got dark Ryan asked Stefan to sit outside on the porch to see the streetlights. Ryan quickly realised it was pretty cold outside and he came back in. And in between all the activities today Ryan helped with 4 loads of washing! A busy day in the “rinse and spin” world 🙂

2019: Saturday 6th – Monday 8th April

The weekend flew by. Ryan spent time with Julie (it was super cold and Ryan enjoyed watching the fire being lit – we don’t have a fireplace so it was a novelty), and we spent most of Sunday visiting family.

He did a couple of lake walks with Stefan. We opened a new game – Lawn Darts. It has hoops you place on the ground and what Ryan called “bullets” (large weighted plastic darts) that you throw into the hoops. David and Ryan played and discovered that Ryan can throw higher and further when he flung the “bullet” backwards over his shoulder than when he aimed and threw facing the way he wanted it to go! Either way he got some distance, he has a very strong arm!

We read a new book (50c from the last book sale I went to) ‘Curious George and the Dinosaur’. It tied in nicely with our trip to the museum last Friday. Ryan liked the part where George climbed up the dinosaur tail!

Monday (today) Stefan had the day off work. Ryan fell asleep after breakfast and slept for a couple of hours! It’s the second day in a row he has done that after quite a while of no day sleeps.

The weather was rainy off and on so Stefan only took Ryan to Gordon’s Bush today.

Ryan and I spent some time on Khan Academy for Kids. He did activities on matching letters, The Muffin Man song, a Teddy Bear counting story/activity, reading a book called “Why?”, and learning about loud and quiet.

We read a new book I found at the library while they were at Gordon’s Bush – “The Hungry Giants Baby”. Ryan loves the Hungry Giant books by Joy Cowley. I got the whiteboard out to practise writing but Ryan would only draw smiley faces and then rub them out, which is still drawing and practise using a pen so it’s all good 🙂

I got out the stacking blocks from the April box we ordered from ExperiSense NZ (see Friday’s blog for more info on Experisense or check out their Facebook page). Ryan really enjoyed working out how to stack them in a pyramid… and knock them down, stack them inside each other and count them. They are see-through, awesome bright colours and a good size. I’m sure we will find many uses for these.

The rest of the day was spent watching movies, having baths and showers, and playing Angry Birds.

Tonight’s bedtime story was one recommended by the lovely Donna ages ago but I only found at the library today – ‘Piranhas don’t eat bananas’ … and of course, Ryan and Stefan laughed at the eating bums page lol.

And in BIG news… we have had 2 days with no posting things out windows!!! Wahoo!!!