Saturday grumps

Ryan has been in a pretty foul mood today… and he is still making the grunty/throat clearing noise (day 4).

We popped into the Toy Library and Ryan asked his usual “why are the rolling doors up?” and I chose a few puzzles for him. Then we headed out for a walk at Gordon’s Bush. It was a beautiful sunny day and we found a few cool rocks (in photo) and hid some. Ryan asked to push the pushchair and he only ran over my foot 3x so not too bad lol. The giant puddle he splashed in yesterday had dried up to a shallow mud puddle so he ran through that a few times before trying to run across the cattlestop at the gate. I managed to grab him in time before he fell in it.

Back home we tried to get him to settle and distract with activities but he was just miserable and grumpy. We tried food, pain relief (because often he can’t/doesn’t say if he is in pain), and eventually decided to go out again. We drove out to the airport and watched dirt bikes racing, collected some more rocks for painting and looked at the beach/river. Ryan was a mixture of happy and not about the bumpy road. He said it was fun, then complained it was too bumpy, then asked to stop now.

He asked to see if the train was running at Kowhai Park. It was the right time and day it usually runs so we headed there. As we pulled into the park Ryan saw the train and started screaming “Put it away, put the train away. I don’t want to go on the train!” What!?!?! Thats not like him!

So we kept driving and suggested another walk at Gordon’s Bush (which is not far from the park) and Ryan agreed. 

We did another few loops walking Gordon’s Bush, finding and hiding more rocks, with Ryan pushing the pushchair. Then we went to the lake and watched the fountain, which Ryan enjoyed. That used up most of the afternoon and we went home for bath-time. 

I started Ryan’s bath running, put the bubble bath in and it was about half run when he reached in, pulled the plug and started screaming he didn’t want a bath. That’s not Ryan either! He had a shower then got PJ’s on. Nuggets for tea and Beat Bugs on Netflix. Poor little man has a sore face with blotchy dry skin too which isn’t helping his mood, I’m sure 😦

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Day 3 of the grunting noise…

Day 3 of the non-stop grunting/ throat clearing is driving us all bananas! Fingers crossed it stops soon. Ryan did bead threading, played with mini slinkies ($1 for 6 at Kmart), a bubble shaker bottle (water bottle half full of water then add food colour, glitter and a squirt of dishwash- seal well before shaking), and a play dough and toy bowl. Ryan likes pressing the toys into the dough and calls it ‘sticky mud’.

We went up to the lake and watched the fountain. Ryan watched Alex lay trails of rolled oats for the ducks (he was trying to tempt them out of the water) then we got ice creams – a new thing Ryan had started asking for everytime we go to the lake. The staff at the cafe are getting to know his order of a small “chocolate ice cream please” and then Ryan gives them a winning smile and says “I’m lucky, so lucky to get an ice cream.” We sit outside under the sun umbrellas and Ryan licks only one side of the ice cream. Today he got a bit panicky because a ride on mower was close by. He gets very startled by some trucks, motorbikes, loud cars and lawn mowers. I covered his ears but everytime it went past his eyes got wide and he says “help me, help me!”. Slight meltdown as we walked to the car, dropping to the ground every few steps but we got there.

Ryan asked to go for a walk at Gordons Bush so even though it had started to rain we went. He insisted on pushing the pushchair and got very loud when he came across branches across the path yelling “Tree down!” When we got back to the car he took the opportunity to jump in a puddle when Stefan put the pushchair away. Ahhhh you only live once and he had fun but did end up driving home in his jacket and a pull-up 🙂

Home for a bath and then a quiet afternoon watching claw machines on YouTube. 

What is that noise???

Since Ryan woke yesterday morning he has been making this grunty/throat clearing noise. Non-stop … all day. I would worry except this is the fourth time he had done this. It starts and then about 3-5 days later it stops. The first few times I took him to the doctor to check his throat in case it was sore but our doctor said it was more likely a new tic. I panicked, thinking it would never stop, but then it did and we forgot about it…  till the next time! 

Today I sent him out, with his support worker, for a few hours to give us a break but it is the end of day 2 and we are all feeling grated by it. Thankfully he doesn’t do it in his sleep! 

He did some bead threading on a pipecleaner tree and sensory play with diggers and a split pea/lentil/barley mix. We read books… lot of books… and played music. A pretty laid back day…. apart from the never-ending grunting/throat clearing lol.

Brothers day!

Alex and Ryan decided a loud bouncy game of chase with the Swiss ball in the hallway at 7am was a good idea. It was all fun and games until Alex crashed backwards into the linen cupboard door handle and now has a circle doorhandle shaped bruise on his back, sigh.

Ryan matched the numbers on his Velcro page and wrote his name with whiteboard marker on a laminated page.

Ryan got Mr Potato Head out and made “Billy” (Ryan named him) and Billy has turned up at every meal and in random places during the day.

I made a busy tray with assorted dried peas, lentils and barley and diggers. He had a great time beeping everytime he drove them in reverse, saying “dig dig dump” as he scooped and transfered into an ice cream container. Then we watered his Little Gardens. 

Ryan pushed magnet letters into an old watch display (soft foam with slits) as we named each letter and said what it sounds like from a phonics song he listens to on Youtube (ie “D is for dog.. d d d dog”), and talked about what colour it is.

After lunch Ryan spend ages hanging out with his brothers, watching them play computer games (they gave him a controller that has no batteries and he thinks he’s playing and gets really excited), getting the hiccups from laughing so much at their antics. 

Ryan came and watched ‘Bob the Builder the big dino dig’ with me and every 5mins I played a quick ‘This little piggie’ with his toes – changing the places the piggie goes each time. He hates people touching his toes but the more we play it the more he relaxes when we need to trim his nails. Last time was a nightmare and I realised afterwards we haven’t done ‘This little piggie’ in ages.

“David can we laaa la laaaa la laa la?” as he side steps side-to-side. 

David “Um, do you want to dance?”

Ryan “Da dum, daaa dum…”

And that folks is photo-proof of an awesome big brother! He even threw in a twirl and a hug at the end 🙂

Ryan must have worked up an appetite because he asked for a cheese sandwich… which he has never had before! I got out the bread and grated cheese and showed him. He said yes. I made it… and he ate it! Toby sat in “the drop zone” and was very pleased Ryan didn’t hold his sandwich very tight and some cheese escaped (Tobys favourite food).

I brought painting bits last time I was at the Warehouse so decided we would get brave and give it a go. I’m not a fan of messy play but Ryan did really well and didn’t get any on himself or even his hands! His painting is “a rollercoaster” (his words). He painted 3 pages (that all look quite similar) and then told me he was done. The easel is a Pinterest idea… I got a cardboard box, cut it down to 3 sides, taped the two big sides at the top, to form a triangle, and then durosealed over it. It worked really well!

Before dinner we had a quick go at Minion Operation but Ryan just wanted to make it buzz so we just let him play. 

Tuesday mayhem!

Ryan found a chocolate Freddo Frog in the lounge this morning (Stefan got it at work) and it was quickly eaten, then he spent all day telling me “I just need more Freddo Mum”. Freddos used to be his currency and we kept a stash everywhere but he hasn’t wanted them for quite a while now so it was interesting to see him devour it so quickly and want more. 

He spent some time playing in the laundry sink while I planted some seeds and did laundry. Playdoh was played with and I put out a tray of paper, stickers, hole punches, a glue stick, and a till/receipt roll.

Alex came in and said he could show us something cool using a till roll… and he did! Ryan loved it! 

Late morning Ryan went into meltdown mode. Nothing and everything set him off and the best we could do was minimise the space (lock doors to rooms like the kitchen/our bedrooms) and keep out of the firing line. I had to raincheck an outing a we had planned for after lunch. After he finally calmed and helped clean up the trail of distruction (ripped up pool noodle letters we use for alphabet work, broken toys, the soap holder from the shower was snapped off…) he was very tired and subdued. I made him some lunch and we watched a bit of the movie Frozen.

We read the Farmer in the Dell – I put the CD on but Ryan wasn’t keen so I just read the book. Ryan read The Barbeque, his favourite page is “the corn”. We looked at his My Body book and learnt about feelings. I used a blank page to cover up so we only looked at 2 at a time. Ryan did his pre-writing worksheet – butterfly to rose – and counted the numbers along the Magic Schoolbus deskpad.

We made breadrolls in the breadmaker, watered the Little Garden seedlings, Ryan ‘hid’ in a basket and asked me to find him, played with the wooden nuts and bolts, and read some more stories. The Enormous Elephant Show had Ryan in fits of giggles at Elvin the elephant eating an enormous pile of peas!

After dinner Ryan went manic running up and down the hallway, jumping on beds, laughing his head off at some joke we obviously all missed… and then he snapped back into quiet, strumming his ukelele, reading a book to himself Ryan! And I almost forgot… this morning I woke before Ryan, heard him turn his light on at 6.04am …. and he didn’t come into our room until 6.30am! That has NEVER happened! He sure keeps us on our toes and no day is ever the same as the last!

Non-stop talking!!

Ryan woke up with a stream of non-stop questions. It’s really starting to get a bit crazy! It’s like he just doesn’t know when to stop talking. He doesn’t stop when you walk away, or answer him, or ignore him, or nicely ask him to stop, growl at him to “please stop talking!” or “be quiet”, or give him food or drink… nothing works! And it’s the same questions everyday. I’m not sure if it’s a stage (he also says “Mum watch this/me” all the time too) or if it’s a form of verbal stimming. 

Yes, that’s a thing! I recently read about where, instead of hand flicking when he is anxious or excited, he asks questions over and over. It’s also the 3rd day of watching Frozen on repeat – more same/same seeking. So if it’s anxiety related I’ve been trying to figure out what’s upsetting him. He has asked a few times (in his stream of questions) “can I go to school?”, “why didn’t the teachers look after me?”, “why did I cry?” “is the train running today?” and that just breaks my heart. I often answer (if he takes a breathe long enough to get a word in) “Yes, you can go to school. Which school do you go to?” and he answers “I go to homeschool. You are my teacher now” and he smiles. A lot of conversations have been had lately about Alex homeschooling this term and his options for next year. I’m wondering if Ryan, who listens to everything going on around him even when he seems oblivious, thinks he will be going back to school and that is causing some anxiety. Or maybe it’s because David is home on school holidays, which school holidays/change in routine and who’s home, has always caused some unsettling and anxiety. For now I will just keep reassuring him that he goes to “homeschool” and see what happens.

The morning involved reading, a spinning toy, curtain hooks (great fidget item!), and playdoh.

Ryan watered his Little Gardens and watched some Magic School Bus while balancing and rolling the Swiss ball around.

Ryan went out for a couple of hours with a support worker, which was a lovely break. When he got home he asked to go to the Winter Gardens so we did. We watched the fountain, checked on Mr Crocodile (who had turned around!), and then we got an ice-cream. Ryan choose chocolate and then got quite bothered when it dropped on his pants. He hasn’t quite got the hang of lick and turn, and the man at the cafe made his a lot larger than usual. Luckily I carry tissues and wet wipes!

Ryan wasn’t so keen to get back in the car so David pretended he was going to “throw” him in the lake and scooped him up and ran, Ryan shrieking and giggling which made people look! It took a while of Ryan protesting before he would do his seatbelt up and he tried to bite David on the way home. Thankfully David was on alert and moved quickly! When we got home Ryan helped with some gardening and then needed a bath 🙂

A very tired boy come dinner time! He asked for nuggets and when I had cooked dinner he looked at his plate and said “I had nuggets at Emilys” with a cheeky look on his face… he thought it was funny because he doesn’t normally get them if he’s already had some that day and he must have thought he tricked me lol.

Sunday – all season’s in one day!

Ryan and I played taxi today – dropped Stefan to work then we came home, dropped David to church then we came home. Picked David up from church and home. 

Between trips we threaded beads on skewers, read books, played with a Little Men mask, rearranged the Ryan name train, did the meal plan for the week, and repotted some of our Little Garden seedlings that have grown quite big very quickly! The poor cat had his tail pulled so Ryan was told no frozen coke today… and he remembered and didn’t ask – not that he has them everyday but they are often a treat when we are in and out of the car a lot.

David looked after Ryan while I popped some magazines up to a friend in hospital (less than 3 minutes drive from our house) and neither of them had moved from the movie they were watching, in the 23 minutes I was out lol.

Our next trip out was taking the older boys to EB games, then we went to see if the train was running at Kowhai Park as the rain had stopped and Ryan was hopeful. But the sheds were all locked and he had a massive meltdown, that at one point had him undo his seatbelt and try to climb around in the car while I was driving (I very quickly pulled over!). At home Ryan did some flour sifting (which he couldn’t do without his tongue sticking out – concentrating), had a nice long shower and then played with playdoh and his Sherriff Callie figurines. These activities all helped calm him and that was nice. It didn’t stop him talking though… he has been non-stop questions and babbling since before 6am! During the day he had some bleeding, off and on, from one side of his nose that he keeps licking, and it looks quite sore 😦 

Saturday – another rainy day but we went out anyway!

We decided to go for a drive and needed some gardening bits from The Warehouse. The carpark was completely full and we quickly realised it would be loud and busy (sensory overload) so moved to Plan B and went a walk as it wasn’t raining too heavily. Ryan is still not 100% so we offered him the pushchair but he wanted to push it instead. All good, kept him focussed and not too fast 🙂 

It was quite sheltered under the trees so we didn’t get too wet and to Ryan’s delight there was a “tree down” which he yelled at the top of his voice over and over.

There’s nothing like a walk in the rain to blow out the cobwebs!

Friday – it’s supposed to be summer!

Today it rained… all day! So our usual Friday coffees and walking were put on hold and Ryan had a pyjama day. He did some drawing on the whiteboard and the fridge, played with the magnets and watched Beat Bugs.

I ducked out to a second hand book sale and found a HUGE stash of school books/journals/early readers from a recently closed primary school for 50c each. And most of them are brand new! I filled a bag and was quite pleased with my selection.

Later in the day I dropped the older boys at the movies and decided to pop back to the book sale for another look… and I found treasure! A washing machine book!!! I was so excited I brought 2 copies and read it to Ryan as soon as I got home 🙂

A slow Thursday!

We started the day with Reading Eggs. Then a page in Learning Express My Body book tracing over the names of parts of the face. Ryan did really well at this. His shaky hands have improved a lot and we hope it is the reduction of one specific epilepsy drug that has helped. We looked at a Magic School Bus table mat that has shapes, numbers, and days of the week on it. And that was about all the “schoolwork” we did today. 

For the last few days I have been trying to  get Ryan to let me trim his fingernails. It has never been a problem… until recently. Toes nails, on the other hand, are a mini workout and often takes 2 adults. After a couple of bribes that were rejected Ryan asked for a bath. I told him “yes.. after a nail trim” which didn’t go down to well. I decided to make a coffee and give him some space when I heard David talking to him. Next thing I hear David trimming Ryan’s nails! With no fighting or screaming from Ryan!!! We have never asked the boys to do any of Ryan’s personal cares/toileting except for the odd time they have run a bath or helped Ryan change a wet pull-up … which Ryan can do himself, he justs needs a hand to straighten his clothes. So to have David do this, without it being his responsibility or job, in a nice calm way absolutely blew me away … and brought a few tears that he accepts Ryan needs help with these things and steps in to help when he can, which is a situation a lot of siblings don’t have… and in some ways I wish David didn’t have to experience but can see what an amazing young man he is and part of that is because of his brothers extra needs.

The afternoon was colouring and movies. Ryan watched Frozen a couple of times, which used to be a favourite and played on repeat for almost a year but I haven’t seen him watch it in months. I decided to do some cross-stitch since the housework was pretty much caught up and I felt like a quiet afternoon was needed. Ryan’s popcorn craze is still on and he ate a huge bag of it over the afternoon. 

I was going to write that I feel like we didn’t achieve much today … but on reflection we did. We had a nice quiet slow relaxing day… and it was just what we all needed. Ryan wasn’t as demanding as he has been lately and wasn’t as busy/bouncy/energiser bunny as usual so it worked. Fingers crossed he’s not getting sick since his behaviour was oddly calm today :/