Friday, June 20, 2008

An exercise in containment: Success!

It has a mirror, mesh, and a see-thru plastic wall. We hand him soft toys to soothe himself with. We don't use this as punishment, per say. But rather as a safe place for him to go and calm down.
He seems to like it and I am no longer held hostage in my living room!
I posted a while back about my order from
http://www.ecmdstore.com/product/ProductDetail.aspx?product=4519&category=512 of the Children's Factory Baby Corral. It arrived safely and has been in use for the past month. I love it!!! Kaeleb is so aggressive that there are times when it is unsafe to leave him in the same room with the younger girls. I got to the point that I was unable to even run a load of laundry because I could not leave the room! Now we have a "Quiet Spot" for him.

How cute is that?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Natures Playground

We have been exploring the islands in search of a fun playground for all of our children. Our search yesterday landed us in a beautiful forest of huge climbing trees. That's the best playground of all!!!
Kaelyn and Ashlyn are perched up high:
All three of the older girls pose for a photo:
Even Abbi is attempting to scale these large trees:
Ashlyn, the dare devil:
My whole gang:

Unfortunately, we all woke up this morning covered head to toe in bugs bites. Nature's playground was fun, but the costs are high and you pay to play. LOL! I guess we haven't found our perfect playground yet.

Killer Tomato Turns Four!

Happy Birthday, Abbi!!!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Shoe Tree of St. Simon's Island

While exploring the island today, we stumbled across a large tree which adorned some very unusual ornaments. This tree was massive and clearly very old. It stood off the beaten path and provided much needed shade to passer-byers who'd grown weary of the southern Georgia sun. While resting for a moment in the shade, we noticed that this tree was filled with shoes. Not just a few shoes, strewn here or there. But rather 50 to 60 shoes flung over it's massive branches, high above our heads.
We searched the internet for the origin of the Shoe Tree, but came up empty. So, for now, the Shoe Tree and it's purpose, will remain a mystery to us.

A World of His Own

A little man, who introduced himself as "Alec", tried to close the gap between two worlds. With a twinkle in his eye and a bounce in his step, he confidently told Kaeleb that he "was a boy too!" Alec informed him that he loves trucks. Alec inquired of Kaeleb what his likes are. He got no response. Without skipping a beat, Alec explained how we were passengers on his pirate ship and that he steered us away from danger. Kaeleb just look away.

"You are my friend! Do you want to play?" It fell on deaf ears.

Alec was the same size as Kaeleb. He was the same gender. He was even the same age. Alec reached out with childhood ignorance to my little boy who didn't even see him.

I have my moments, as the mother of a profoundly autistic child, where I feel secure in his normalcy. He smiles. He laughs. He snuggles. He even has a sign now, which is used in spontaneous communication and not through mere imitation. Almost normal, in my own head. Somedays, I even forget. Then, there are days like today. Alec tried and tried to reach into Kaeleb's world. And I just sat silently, in awe. No words to explain to this little man that his attempts were in vain.

Our Beachfront Park

We went exploring St. Simons Island this afternoon and found a playground on the waterfront. How great is that???
Aoife is the most adventurous of the trio, so she got to hang with the big girls.
Kaedence was very unsure of her footing on the wooden blanks.
Kaeleb was quite content to just walk up and down the ramps.
Ouch!!! That sand is hot! Ashlyn seeks refuge in the shade.

My whole gang stops for a photo shoot. This is truly a rare opportunity!

From left to right: Ashlyn (11), Aoife (2), Kaeleb (2), Kaelyn (9), Kaedence (2), and Abbi (4).

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wii, this is fun!

Grandma and Grandpop McCarthy bought the older girls a Nintendo Wii for their birthdays. It arrived yesterday, and it's been none stop Wii fun since then.
Ashlyn is attempting to float a bubble down the river without bopping it:

Kaelyn is bouncing soccer balls off her dome:
Abbi is doing a little yoga. This is the tree pose:
Abbi and Kaelyn in the yoga pose "Half Moon":
Ashlyn is taking up a Wii bit of golf:
I think combined Wii have logged over 9 playing hours and it's only been in the home for 15! LOL! (And did I mention how sore my arms are from boxing???)

A Braceless Face

Over one year and $3,000 later, Ashlyn has completed phase one and her braces are off....for now.
She received her retainer this morning which she will wear 24 hours a day (unless eating or playing sports) for the next six months. After that, she will only be obligated to a metal mouth at night.
She's so happy that she is finally brace-free, I don't have the heart to tell her that in a year or so, we'll enter phase two. LOL! She still has baby teeth to lose and then she will be sporting a full mouth of metal, on her upper and lower chompers.
But for today, right now, she is enjoying her smooth, straight teeth!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A very, very expensive doggie bed

We are not a household of couches. We have tried. Oh, have we tried. With six children, six animals (well 8 if you count those hamsters), and four ages three and under, there is no way to keep a couch clean. Finally, I gave in and moved the couches out of our living room. They were replaced by four love sacs. The love sac is a large bean bag chair stuffed with memory foam. The best part? The outer covers can be removed and tossed into the washing machine!!! Genius!!!
Unfortunately, my dog feels quite entitled to make herself at home on our love sac too. Try as I may, there is no removing her. I think she might actually outweigh me. Ahh, well. How can you get mad at that face???

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Drop Your Weapons

Is this something I really have to say to my 11 year old?? Ashlyn looks all too comfortable with that rocket launcher perched on her shoulder!
Abbi gives the name "Killer Tomato" a whole new meaning!
Bored with the rocket launcher, Ashlyn decides that the RPG suits her better.
Geez, with that kinda fire power in the hands of our youth, Abbi is one smart cookie to find protection! LOL!

Long, long summer dayz

When you limit the tv and video games so your children's brains don't rot out of their skulls, you then have to dance around the "I'm bored!!" statement. It was in the high 90's outside and as humid as a sauna, so bikes, sidewalk art, turtle feeding at the lake, and our local playground were not options I was willing to entertain. What to do, what to do!!! Time to raid the game closet. Guess what my older monkeys found?

150 piece dinosaur bone puzzle!!! A solid hour and a half of quiet and happiness. Nothing like a little sanity in a box.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

An Aversion To Clothing

Kaedence struggles with sensory issue and clothing is apparently her enemy. Try as I may, I can not get that child dressed! Kaelyn decided that she had powers beyond that of my own, and that she would be able to dress Kaedence for the day. My response? Have at it!!! (and then I got the camera!)
So she tried...
And she tried...
And finally she has success with the shirt!!!
Feeling accomplished, she left to go find shorts. Unfortunately, Kaedence had another idea...
The end result?
Naked is good, right? We will simply have to adopt the "free to be, you and me" attitude around our home! LOL!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

An Evening At The Beach

It's so hot here during the day that no one wants to do anything! After a lazy day around the house, we decided to hit the beach for some sunset fun.
Although Aoife and Kaedence have ventured to the water in previous trips, this was Kaeleb's first time in the ocean!
Getting the older girls to stand still for a photo is like asking them to clean their rooms!!!
Three little monkeys, sittin' in the sea...
Awww...Aoife is just tickled by her own shadow!
It was beautiful and warm. It was sandy and wet. All in all, it was the perfect evening out.

The Haircut

I walked into my living room to investigate the screams, and this is what I found!!!
Why in the world does my husband think he is a barber??? It never turns out well. You'd think he'd learn...
It was such a hack job that we ended up shaving it all off and calling it a "Summer Cut"! Yikes!!
Okay, so the end result wasn't awful. But I am still hiding the scissors!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Escaping the Southern Heat

With two monkeys down and out from the stomach flu, the older girls and I went to the pool to beat the heat. Even Aoife tagged along for the fun.