Sunday, September 30, 2018

Autism Speaks Walk 2018

We had another great year at the Autism Speaks Walk on Saturday.  It was at US Bank Stadium again.  We arrived just after 9, checked in, and headed down to the field.  It will always be a blast getting to hang out on professional football turf.
After a quick snack the first thing we saw was Moana!  They had a bunch of Disney princesses on hand.  I was so excited for Esme to see her since she LOVES Moana.  It didn't go as well as I hoped.  She gave a reluctant high five and posed for a picture, but that was it.  I think she was just very confused to see Moana in real life.  Parker, on the other hand, wouldn't leave her alone.  
The kids enjoyed hanging out and running around before the walk started.
Another good crowd this year.  In addition to my parents, we were joined by my brother's girlfriend and her son.
We were one of the top 10 teams, so I got to participate in the walk countdown.  We used pompoms instead of applause to cheer since loud noises can be a bother to some on the spectrum.  
In the end, we raised $2995 for our cause!  Thanks for your support!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

New(ish) Ridgedale Play Area

We haven't been to Ridgedale Mall in a while.  Partly because the play area got a lot smaller the last time they remodeled and partly because they no longer have a viable food option for Parker.  We went back yesterday and noticed the previous play area was gone.  I took a look at the directory and saw there was one one in the newer wing.  

We dropped Jimmy off at the Apple Store and went to check it out.  You guys, IT IS AMAZING!  This place has been open over 9 months and I am just hearing about it now.  First, it's huge!  Second, there are 6 distinct play areas for all ages.  We spent most of our time in the ladybug vehicle/spaceship thing and the dance zone.  They have a seating area with tables for eating and a counter with stools that looks in to the play area.  There is a bathroom in the back as well, so you don't even have to leave.  We will be spending a lot more time here in the future!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Lightbulbs are hot...

This is a lesson most of us over 13 were taught as kids.  Compact fluorescents and now LED bulbs rule the market.  They an be hot, but not typically hot enough to burn.  We also don't have many opportunities for exposed bulbs at our house.  We were elsewhere a couple weeks ago and Parker turned on a lamp that was sitting on the floor.  Esme got a little curious and touched the bulb.  We are lucky she didn't get her whole palm on it, but he finger got burned pretty bad.

She was very upset at first, but was able to calmed down.  This picture was taken about 24 hours after.  The first blister popped the first night and part of the skin ripped off.  The second blister popped during the next day.
 We stocked up on triple antibiotic cream and knuckles bandaids to keep it well covered.  She was a trooper with it all, only fussingwhen we changed the bandage.
 By 5 days in she was ready to go without a bandaid.  She kept asking us to put one on and didn't understand she didn't need it anymore.
 We are a couple weeks out now and it is totally healed.  I know it could have been much worse and am grateful she was so brave.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Other Summer Adventures

We've had a lot of other stuff going on the last month and a half, so here is a quick synopsis.  We checked out the new Pizza Ranch in Crystal a few weeks after it opened.  They also have a new dessert, chocolate cactus bread.  Parker immediately asked for it instead when I handed him the regular stuff.
We've taken lots of walks, including a couple to a nearby grocery store.  The kids have quickly learned they hand out dum dum suckers at the checkout and they love it!
A huge milestone at the beginning of August was Parker trying out the traditional zip line.  Perhaps he was inspired by our trip to Madison's Place because he hopped right on one evening and asked me to push him.  It's one of his favorites at the park now.
We met a couple of our ECFE friend's that same evening and had a great time playing.
Summer adventure club kept Parker very busy during the day.  We got a few pictures from his amazing one to one para.
 He often got hugs from friends at the end of each day and they really looked forward to seeing him each day.  I love how accepting they are even though Parker doesn't communicate in a traditional way.
There was a lot of park exploration this summer.  Esme is becoming more adventurous each day at our home park and we found a lot of things to spin at Schaper Park.  It's a new park we checked out last week that has a ninja warrior style training course and is handicap accessible.
 We closed out unofficial summer by grilling.  I was able to grill on the Weber quite a few times this summer.  I even perfectly cooked thick cut bone-in pork chops.  Just dogs and brats this time.  I hope to fire it up a couple more times before winter.
Another quick summer in the rear view mirror.  Fall is always a busy time for us, but I am looking forward to it.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

First Week of First Grade

Once again, we started the week with out annual labor day breakfast at Panera!  I brought the kids food from home, I got a quiche and Jimmy got a breakfast sandwich.  Then, we all shared a bearclaw.
School started on Tuesday.  It seems like just yesterday he was starting Kindergarten and here we are with a big first grader!  I cheated a bit and took his first day pictures the evening before because rain was forecasted in the morning.  

Kindergarten is on the left and first grade is on the right.
This comparison is a little deceiving, but he definitely looks taller!
 He had a phenomenal first week!  He has the same teacher as last year and that he had over the summer, which helps with the transition back to school.  I vividly remember how difficult starting all day school was for him behaviorally.  It took months for him to figure out the routine, but once he did, he excelled.  He is already making great strides just 4 days in.  His teacher sent the pictures below.  The one on the right is from Thursday.  He typically needs a lot of support and redirection for worksheets, but he was doing it independently already!  We also got a sweet message that he has been able to complete his calendar math worksheets without needing highlighter to trace.  He just looks at the sample and do it. 
I have always been so proud of this guy, but this week has me beaming especially bright!  Way to go Parker!