Saturday, May 30, 2009

Autism Walk Update

I'm happy to say that when I recieved my ASM newsletter yesterday in the mail, and when I opened it up, there was a wonderful picture of "Team Bri-Guy" in there- along with other pictures of the walk! They also listed our team's total and I want to say Way to go guys! Though I have to say that I don't think they had our total correct because I know we raised more than that- but it's okay :)

Also if you go to and go to their photo gallery there is a picture of Corbin, myself, Grandpa & Grammie (Leroy & Patty) signing in as well as our team picture.

Everyone that joined us, pat yourselves on the back, and get ready for next year :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pomp and Circumstance

Today was Brian's preschool graduation :). They were having an all day celebration but unfortunately I could only sneak out of work for about half-an-hour so I timed it so I could watch him get his diploma.

When Josh, Corbin, & I first arrived they were singing some songs for their parents. Brian was singing along, a song about body parts in spanish. Was doing a wonderful job- then he spotted me. That was it- eyes were fixated on me for the duration of the time.

I went and sat with him and sang a few songs with them. Then they all got their diplomas. Brian went right up when his name was called, shook hands with Jen, and smiled for the camera. I think he was just so happy to have his family there with him!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

He don't know anything.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the tee-ball season. Brian decided to sit on the bench with the players and as they all slid down the bench, as each one batted, he would slide along with them. He was laughing, babbling, and smiling. It was so wonderful seeing him, WANTING to be with the other kids, following what they were doing, and just seeing him stay in one spot- as usual I'm chasing him all around the adjacent field.

One girl was particularly interested in him and kept asking him questions. She started to get frustrated as he wasn't answering. She then asked Corbin, "Is this your brother?" Corbin answered, "Yeah- he my brother, Brian. He don't talk- he don't know anything."

It stung to hear that come from Corbin. I know that it was just his simplistic way of trying to explain his brother and I know the girl didn't take it like I did, as she continued to talk to him. It only hurt me because I really worry that most people think that of him. I have worked for years drilling this through Brian's teachers and therapists heads- that his lack of language does not equal his cognitive abilities.

I know that Corbin doesn't think that about his brother- or he wouldn't ask him to build a fort with him, or show him how to dry the dishes, or take the time to practice colors and numbers with him. So I tried to look at it as he was just happy to share his brother and he wanted to spread the word on autism, as well, just in his own way.

Monday, May 25, 2009

He's a baller...

Corbin has enjoyed tee-ball very much this year. He is really quite the little athlete when he focuses, which surprises me, because he is a little bit ackward and clumsy in his own skin. The season is almost over so thought I'd share some of my favorite pictures from this month.

Growth Measured In Years

Often I find myself measuring Brian's growth in years. As in, comparing this years Christmas to last years. Sometimes day-to-day we don't see all those little milestones that he picks up- but definitely looking back over a whole year I will notice some changes.

We took the boys mini-golfing on Friday. We attempted this several times last summer. Our biggest mistake last year was taking them to the course that involves a lot of water. Brian was hooked, obsessed, stimming off of that water. I believe him and I had to leave the course in the middle and let our family finish out on their own.

Later in the summer we took them to a little one that involves NO water. He did MUCH better on that course but still by about the 9th hole he just lost interest. He also stimmed off the windmill there and was very upset when we had to leave that hole. He wanted to hit everyone's balls, not wait for turns, and jump and dance on the green while others were having their turns.

As always, we learn from our mistakes- and this year did not even think about going to the water course but went back to the one that he had some success at. First sign of change- when asked what color ball he wanted he shouted "YELLOW". Never, in my wildest dreams, last year would I think he would've answered that question.

During the course, Brian successfully only hit his ball, actually getting a couple of twos in the beginning. He waited for all of us before venturing to the next hole. He sure was excited about that windmill- I let him stim for a couple minutes- then said, "Okay, no more stimming, time to hit the ball." And he complied, no questions asked, or tantrums thrown. He finished out the whole course, interest never waned. At the end of the course the lady gave us a ticket for a free game because the boys were such good sports! Last year I think we left there getting nasty glares from the same lady as I carried out my screaming four-year-old.

It's so nice to enjoy family activities like that with all of our family members. So nice to see him happy and WANT to participate with us. It was a very fun day for all!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Corbin's First Musical

We attended his school's musical last Thursday. Corbin told me he was nervous but I think he did a great job :) He's the cute little blonde in the white sweater w/the brown stripes. And for anyone that is local the musical will be on Channel 11 (our local channel)- not sure what times but they always replay things on there a million times so if you just check every now and then you should get a glimpse of it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Reasons I Loved Mother's Day

* I was actually able to wake up in the same house as my own mother on Mother's Day- she had spent the night before so she could attend Brian's pool party.

* The boys were included in planting flowers at my gram's grave.

* Josh's words at the end of the card he got for me- "Babe, you are one of the most amazing mothers I've ever known. Your commitment to your children is unsurpassed."

* Flowers, flowers, flowers. Real ones, potted ones, paper ones.

* We got in a chance to visit my other grandmother and Corbin helped weed out her flowerbeds.

* Homemade gifts.

* Opening the local newspaper to read "Why I love my mom...." and Corbin's printed response, "She is fun."

* A new scrapbook album!

to the incredible moms in our community

**please click on the picture to get the full effect**

Sunday, May 10, 2009

...:::pool party:::...

Brian absolutely loves being in water- so what better idea than to have his birthday party at a pool :) Brian fell asleep on the car ride there and I was so upset thinking his party was going to be ruined. I carried him in, jostling him, talking loud, and he was responding so "grumpily" at me. As soon as we entered the room with the pool, his face lit up, he squirmed down, and started getting butt-naked right then and there!

I had originally hoped to do the cake & presents first thing as I knew he would have a hard time transitioning out of the pool but that idea went out the window as he hurried into the pool.

When Grandpa showed up he yelled to Brian, "Hey Brian!! Happy Birthday!", and Brian looked up with a huge smile and shouted "Grandpa!" He has never said that independently, always only in imitation. It definitely made Grandpa's day (or maybe year!).

All the kids, and the grown-ups, had so much fun!! Brian did actually remove himself on his own for cake & ice cream and was immediately back into the pool at the end. About fifteen minutes before our time was up, I called everyone out of the pool to do the pinata. I told Brian his time was up in the pool, he yelled, and next thing I knew he was stark naked again lol. I put on his underwear and he finished his party, doing the pinata and presents, in his underwear.

Friday, May 8, 2009

{{Birthday Pictures}}

Brian covering his ears while we whisper the birthday song to him

Blowing out the candles on his birthday dinosaur pancakes

This was the priceless smile on his face as he watched me wheel out his new bike

He immediately jumped on and rode back & forth throughout the house until it was time for school.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Time to Reflect

Tomorrow my baby turns five.

It doesn't even seem possible. Time really does fly when you are having fun :)

Yes, fun. Because even though I may talk a lot about our struggles, regressions, and difficulties we endure the one thing that has always stayed true about me and my boys is the love we have for one another and the fun we have together.

Brian has taught me so much about myself and about how I view the world. He puts things into perspective for me.

He doesn't talk much but I know just by the way he pulls my cheeks towards him, the way he gazes so deep into my eyes just how much he loves me.

He may not have the typical brother relationship with Corbin but we know how much he loves him by the way he yells "Cor-cor" when he arrives off the school bus in the afternoon.

He may struggle with learning new things but he doesn't give up, he pushes through it and tries his hardest.

He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He accepts others as they are. He doesn't care what others think about him. He will never lie to me.

He may not be able to tell jokes but he makes everyone he knows laugh. The way he gets excited about a movie, the way he jumped on his new big boy bed with such glee, when he acts out his favorite movies with his toys, watching him roll all the balls he can find down the stairs.

Brian is such an amazing gift to me. I know he was meant for me and that he was chosen for me.

He has made so much progress since his diagnosis and I love seeing more and more glimpses of him and seeing him become so proud of his accomplishments. I can not wait to see what his future holds- because I know it will hold many opportunities for him.

Happy 5th Birthday Bri-Guy- here's to many, many more!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Walk for Autism 2009

So many pictures from my walk- I just wanted to do something a little different than this long row of pictures- so I made a slideshow of them! The walk went wonderful- I love watching how it evolves every year! Our first year our team consisted of six people, last year it was 15, and then this year we had 26! The first year Brian didn't have a stroller and he did wonderfully! He walked most of the way and rode on Grandpa's shoulders for the last stretch. Afterwards we went to Pizzeria Uno where Brian got to enjoy a gigantic gluten-free pizza all to himself! It was a wonderful day!