Posted in Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick

Blog #47~Easter thru the Years

Blog #47~ Easter thru the Years

I love holiday traditions.  Growing up each holiday was filled with many rituals that I carried over with my own family.  At Easter, Mom would pull out all the coffee mugs and prepare each by dropping in a tablet out of the Paas egg dye kit.

Paas Easter Dye

Our tiny, shaking hands would carefully balance the egg on the wire ring and dip it into the rainbow of colors filled in each mug. I always made one like the Sprite “limon” commercials.

Sprite limon

Of course my older brother, Tom would always take one egg and be sure to dip it in every single mug.  The end result was a gross, olive hued mess that he was quite proud of.

The next morning we would put on our Easter outfits.  After church we would pause for a quick photograph before we started the egg hunt in our backyard. Mom’s handy work as a seamstress is unmatched.  Of course, no outfit would be complete without the white, patent leather shoes. Just don’t wear them after Labor day. 🙂

Me and sis in matching dresses my mom sewed.  That’s Bo, our Border Collie in the background…

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The Easter bunny would leave a basket for each of us filled with plastic, green grass.  Mom hated that fake grass. It would get all over the house and she probably cursed it for months afterwards.  The baskets would brim with  jelly beans, tiny bright colored chocolate eggs and the hallowed Russell Stover filled eggs….

Nummy…..

Russell Stover egg

After raiding the baskets, we would change into shorts and spend all afternoon hiding and re-hiding the eggs.

Years later with my own boys in Houston, I carried on the traditions of dying eggs and Easter egg hunts. Here is the first Easter for Nick who is two months old.  I had to hold him up in a coccon because he was so floppy.  You can really see the low muscle tone (a trait of having Down syndrome) in his scrawny legs. His brother, Hank (21 months old) looks thrilled to be wearing that stuffy bow tie and suspenders.

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Nick just over a year old with Easter Bunny, he’s growing…..

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Hank with Paw Paw Tommy and Grandma Babs, all prepped for egg coloring….. Yes I still made the  “limon” egg and Hank took over making the gross egg like my brother use to do.

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Hank (5) and Nick (3)….

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After Texas, we moved to California and still had our holiday rituals….

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Easter Morning in California, Nick is getting bigger!

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This Easter egg hunt was the following year.  We had it out amongst the dunes at Hilton Head Island, SC. with the cousins……

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This is the first time that Nick hunted and found and egg on his own.  Way to go Nick! 🙂

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Since we moved up to the Chicagoland area the egg hunts look a lot different. The egg hunts are usually indoors because the temps are below 40 degrees.  Hank and Nick are searching at their grandparent’s house before mass….

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Hank scores some eggs! Now where is the shiny, golden egg with the $5 bill in it?

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Miss Mellie looks purr-fectly wonderful!

mellie with ears

I hope you enjoyed a look back at our Easter traditions and memories with the boys.  That’s what is in my noggin this week.

Have a blessed Easter!

~ Teresa 

Easter for Jesus

 

 

Posted in Autism, Behavior/ ABA, Down syndrome

Blog #1~ Spring, Nick and Me

Blog #1~ Spring, Nick and Me

Spring is in the air, glorious pink and white blooms opening up in the pear and cherry trees as a green canvas spreads across the yard.  Last week, I watched the Robins take flight with twigs in their beaks to prepare their nests.  The symphony has begun as they sing. It’s been at least four years since I got up into the crawl space to dig out the Easter tote. This year I decided to set up the Easter village.  I carefully opened each delicate piece out its cocoon of bubble wrap and set it up in the formal living room.  As I placed the pastel, porcelain pieces on the table, there is a sudden crashing sound coming from the kitchen.

“Uh oh, Nick not nice,” he says, standing there grinning at the imploded Emu egg he dug out of the tote and smashed on the ground.  I make no eye contact, simply hand him the kitchen trash can and tell him to clean up.  Everyday something gets dumped on the ground or dropped in the toilet.  Better a hollowed out green Emu egg. The day before, it was his iPod touch which he plunged into the toilet.  That’s his shtick these days.  Trying to grab my attention with that grin on his face as if to say, look what I just did?  I have some control of my life.

This grin says, “I’ve been up to no good.” 🙂

Control, isn’t that something we all want?  I get what Nick needs to feel. Down syndrome and autism has left his speech very limited.   When he pushes intercom to make the phone beep along with the popcorn button on the microwave and flips the light switch on and off multitudes of times he wields power. After all, every behavior, even a bad behavior is trying to communicate something. I give him chores such as emptying the dishwasher, and loading the washing machine.  He is so happy to help and proud (not your typical teenager in that respect.)  But in the down times, usually when I am trying to get something done, that’s when he strikes. You name it he has probably emptied it out or chucked it. More on this later as the dump list and buttons he pushes are way too long for this piece.

Here’s a tease….Special preview of a blog to come soon……

Uh oh, woopsie” as Nick would say!

I walked back to finish the Easter village.  Tada…..It is perfection.

That’s my boys Hank and Nick in the background 🙂

I love this space with its warm tones and pristine furniture.  It looks like a room in a model home.  It is the first room you see when you walk in the front door.  The carpet is still in good shape and I love it after the cleaning people come in and leave the vacuum mark prints in linear fashion like the grass at U.S. Cellular Field ballpark.  This room, untouched is close to perfection and where I feel I have some control in my life.

It’s just an illusion because once you move past it expect to enter chaos.  You see Nick is fast and he can grab a coffee mug and knock it to the floor in a nano second. Both my  peripheral vision and reflexes have improved significantly thanks to Nick!  Today, it’s not just Nick and the Emu egg and coffee mug but also a line of carpenter ants marching along the patio door and the guttural sounds of our bulimic cat, Miss Mellie. There she goes again letting out her high pitch meow and contorting her neck.  I sprint into the living room and scoop her up before she heaves all over the carpet.  Swiftly, I toss her into the bathroom and shut the pocket door.  Better to clean up the wood floor than carpet any day.

Speaking of looking oh so innocent…..Miss Mellie is purrr-fect….

Purrrr-haps I will keep putting up with her cat barfing.

Later that evening while Nick is content watching a movie, I do a quick check on Facebook to see my older son Hank who started college last fall, has just updated his status.  “I never realized how many hot girls go to Northern until the warm weather rolled in.  Here’s to booty shorts!’  I had to laugh and hit the “like” button. Looks like the girls have come out of hibernation.  I guess that is yet another sign of spring and something I have no control over. That’s what is in my noggin, until next week I hope you enjoy these first signs of spring!

~Teresa