Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sad Face Sam

Why is Sam so upset? Well, just look at that pink kitty cake below him - and notice where the eyes are. Sam was deeply offended by the placement of the eyes, started crying the moment I scraped off the first set of eyes and redrew them in their wall-eyed placement. He almost couldn't eat that cake, but in the end his desire for frosting was too strong.
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Awyn's Pink Kitty Cat Cake

Yes, it's a tad walleyed. That's how Awyn wanted it. I put the eyes towards the center initially, and she fussed at me to put them off to the sides, so a quick swoop of pink frosting, a tad more black icing, and *poof* wall-eyed cat cake. Yes, I'm well aware that it's a candidate for that 'cake disasters' blog that a friend showed me, but hey, Awyn thought her cake was beautiful.

And yes, I still have WA pictures to post. I'm missing some PA pictures, and of course, Dave and Steph's wedding. I'll get them up, eventually.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009


As you can see from some of the pictures I've posted recently, we went back to Washington for my brother Dave's wedding. We also saw a lot of family, including the Leonards, the Rupps, and the Downeys.  We had a lot of fun, which is good because it won't happen again any time soon. I will be posting more pictures from this trip soon.

Sam's last day of Kindergarten was May 19th. He is sorry not to be going to school, and doesn't much care for the disruption in his schedule. He never did care for the snow days or really any day that was a school holiday. Sam will start 1st grade in mid-August, and Awyn will start pre-K.

On May 20th I took him to OCU (University of Central Oklahoma) for testing. His school had started some tests but didn't feel comfortable making any diagnosis or giving him a label, and Sam's SLP recommended OCU's program. I put him on the waiting list for testing, expected to be 4-6 months of waiting. When we got back from Washington, I got a call bumping him to the top of the list.

To shorten a long story/journey, Sam now has a label, Asperger's. It wasn't kinda maybe sorta; he falls very clearly into that category and everyone who met him agreed with the diagnosis. Where do we go from here? Well, once I get the official paperwork from OCU I call a meeting at Sam's school to create a new IEP.  The wonderful ladies who tested Sam will come down to make sure any questions get answered and Sam's school program addresses  his needs. Sam tested to a very high IQ level, which doesn't surprise any of us. He reads so well that there's no doubt about his having a great brain. Now we just need to teach him how to use it.

Some people have asked how we feel about this. I think I can speak for Eric too when I say that Sam hasn't changed in our eyes. He's still our lovable little boy, and we haven't changed our expectations for where we think he'll go when he grows up. As far as we're concerned, this new label is just a label. Sam is not defined by this label; it is instead a tool. With this tool we can get Sam any extra help he needs at school, including better funding for the therapy he's going to need.  Asperger's is a type of autism, for those who don't know. I would encourage any and all of you to do your research on both autism and Asperger's. I know I am. 

I would further say that I do not blame the world at large for Asperger's or Autism. I do not believe it was caused by immunizations or heavy metals, or my eating tuna or too many jalepeno poppers while pregnant, or even the rough delivery he had. I'm fairly certain there's a strong genetic component, from both of  his parents. ahem. Anyway, I do not believe that a special diet will cure him, or in drugging him. Just as no poison pill caused this, no magic pill will make it go away. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sam and Salt Creek

The kids had a blast out at Salt Creek, and I know I enjoyed getting back out there. We went without much planning, and managed to hit it at low tide. We really had fun poking at tide pools and walking along the beach.
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See the loon?

Well, it's a waterfowl of some sort up on that rock above Awyn's head. If you blow up this picture, it's obviously nesting up there.
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Awyn and Grandma Debbie

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On the Ferry

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Dave and Chloe

Sometimes it was hard to tell just who was getting married - Dave and Steph or Dave and Chloe. She's a very sweet dog, but I think I prefer Steph as a sister.
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Uncle Dave and Awyn

Awyn decided to pour on the charm for Uncle Dave and had him tossing her in the air until his arms were about to fall off.
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Tired after a long morning of taking pictures

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Easter Baskets

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Sam likes to build things with Dominos. I think he's got a good tower there.
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Couch Potatoes 4

Chill out time for parents and kids alike. Cole, Sam, Awyn, and Ella were watching a movie.
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Playtime in the hot tub

Uncle Chad supervised hot tub time for the kids. Ella, Sam, Awyn, and Cole loved getting to splash around and play with the toys.
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Legos in the solarium

All the kids liked the suitcase of legos in the solarium.
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Breakfast in Pullman

We had an excellent breakfast in Pullman with the arrival of the Montana Leonards - we hadn't seen them since our boys were babies, so it was wonderful that they drove through the night - arriving in time for breakfast.
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Breakfast in Bothell

Sam is reaching for the chocolate I brought from Oklahoma - Bedre' makes excellent chocolate covered potato chips.
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Downey Swing Time

This is in Bothell, on the swing in the backyard. Sam and Awyn loved getting to know their cousins again. Collin, Awyn, Jeremy, and Sam.
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Leonard Family Portrait

While visiting the Leonard side of the state of Washington we had some family portraits taken. I rather like them.
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