Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Best of 2015

So long 2015 – My Year In Review

Miami - New Years Eve 2014
Miami – New Years Eve 2014
Last year around this time I received an e-mail from WordPress of my year in review. I haven’t received that yet so I decided to just wing it. I do realize that the stats are a bit off because my Instagram friends have to hit my home page for each post and there is no way to determine what posts were there at the time.  “Home Page/ Archives” being number 1 (technically) – let’s move on….
#10:  A post from the very first #1000speak
“And those whose names were never called when choosing sides for basketball” #1000speak
I was not going to participate in #1000speak today because and only because, if given a subject and then told; “Okay write!”, I draw a blank. I was sure that in a week or two I would think of a hundred different posts that I could have written, but they were not coming to me when I first heard about this. [..]
#9: A post about DC’s love of cake ….apparently.
As I wrote in a comment; I thought that was going to be a quick post to write but it turned out to be very difficult. I wanted to give enough information so people would not come away thinking that DC is afraid of his Dad, which is absolutely not the case. But again I didn’t want the post to go on and on. It was a struggle from beginning to end.
“Will there be Cake?”
DC’s father was in Florida for the winter. He left in mid-November. DC did get to see him on the day after Christmas for dinner when DC, Doug and I were in Florida on vacation. [..]
#8: Written to clarify one of my posts that created a bit of a “#%&* Storm” (a minor one) over on the Mighty.
In this case I was glad to have read the comments so that the whole thing could be corrected.
Clarification, The Mighty and Airport Security
A little over a week ago as I was preparing for a trip to Paris and London, I wrote a post about the preparations and the issue we had with my son during a security check on one of our recent trips.
At the same time, the Mighty was asking for travel, airline and airport stories. I submitted a portion of the story I had just written about DC and the TSA Agent at the Charlotte Airport back in October [..]
#7 – A rerun, basically.
I was surprised that this made it into the top 10. It was really just a rerun with the addition of a bit of a vent.
Holy Inappropriate Conversation, Batman! – Stories from the Dental Chair
I had a dental appointment last week. Years ago, I requested never to be scheduled with one particular hygienist. The first time I saw her, I left there feeling as if my mouth had been ripped apart. As it turned out, she has a child with autism. I made the mistake of telling her that DC also has autism. Mistake? Yes! Mistake! This was the most uncomfortable and painful appointment I have ever had! [..]
#6 – One of my favorites!
This was the first “official” post in my “Everything is Related” Series – and there are so many more that I have yet to write (7 months later; I still have not written “Everything is Related – The UK Edition”, but I did manage to cover the Dr. Who portion – Priorities!)
Everything is related – Mary Poppins to New York City
I threatened in an earlier post – a few of them as a matter of fact – I would someday write about how, in DC’s world, everything is somehow related to Disney or some of the other movies he enjoyed as a child and still enjoys now as an adult. Originally I thought this would just be a fun post to write, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized: [..]
#5 – Another post for #1000speak.
According to the “My Top Posts and Pages” feed on the sidebar of my page, this one comes in at #1 (I do not really understand the difference in the feed and the stats – maybe someone who understands this will explain it to me)
…and sometimes a smile is all that we need #1000speak #Compassion
Compassion comes in many forms and at times just the smallest thing – a glance or a smile can mean more than the grand gesture.
I was away and not able to participate in the May 20th #1000speak and due to some unplanned/unforeseen issues going on at the moment, I thought I wouldn’t have the opportunity to participate this time around…..
Then I saw this post from a friend of mine and it made me smile. It made me smile each and every time I read it and on a day when I really needed a smile. [..]
#4 – Remembering the torture that used to be – Birthday Parties
“Arrival Anxiety”
“Arrival Anxiety” – that is what I have always called it. It is, in my mind the best way to describe it.
It does not matter where we are going or how often we have or haven’t been there – it happens. I see the change in his demeanor immediately. It happens so quickly – like walking though a door; on one side he is happy and the other side he is full of anxiety.
I always dreaded the birthday party invitation when he was little. [..]
#3 – No explanation required….
“Logic is the beginning of wisdom; not the end.”
Logic is the beginning of wisdom; not the end.” ~ Mr. Spock
From the post that I re-blogged yesterday: To Boldly Go…..
I admit it…
I am just a big old Sci-fi geek from way back. I watched the first episode of Star Trek back in 1966/1967 (?) and I was hooked – for life.
The first “sign” that DC learned when he was very young (for those of you that may not know, DC was non-verbal until he was 7 years old) was the “Live Long and Prosper” sign. If and when he saw a picture of Mr. Spock or heard him mentioned, he used that sign.
I’ve been in love with Star Trek and Mr. Spock since the very first episode aired back in the 60’s. [..]
#2 – A post about the way DC’s mind works
and the realization that I am still guilty of taking for granted that he will just automatically understand something – for example… after years of wearing goggles for Special Olympics Swimming he finally realized that he could open his eyes in the water. It never occurred to me to tell him that – but that was another story…
Please pass the garlic bread…
It is always funny when I realize something that has never occurred to DC,  until it does finally does occur to him.
For those that may not be aware – DC LOVES bread! Bread, bread, bread, bread and more bread. Bagels, rolls, toast, breadsticks……BREAD!
He is very picky about everything else he eats – not that you would know that by looking at him – believe me he is very picky, but bread is one of the few constants on the very limited list of foods that he will eat. [..]
And coming in at #1 – A miserable experience at the airport….
Off we go….. (almost)
I just finished reading a post from Autism-Mom, PREPARATION AND PANIC about the preparations for their big trip coming up – or should I say the “mind-race while one is trying to sleep” -preparations she is making for her family trip.
I had to laugh out loud as I have been doing the same thing. Our trip is just a couple of days away and along with the “mind-race” and the anxiety about being the absolute worst packer in the world, there is work to contend with. [..]
So there you have my 2015 blogging year in review but now just a quick look back a little further…

The top post from 2013 was written about the first season of summer camp post high school.
This was the first season that DC was not able to attend camp for the entire summer due to his work program. It made me sad. It was a milestone that I was not ready to reach.
We can’t have it both ways…. but it’s still a little bit sad.
Today was my son’s first day attending day camp this summer. He has attended this camp since he was 5 – he’s 22 now.
Every summer he was able to attend camp all summer long, even staying after until 8pm for a special after camp program they hold twice a week. He loves it there. [..]
The Top Post from 2014 and according to WordPress, the day it was posted is still my all-time “best day ever” – A post about the end of another era….
Dc’s Letter to His Best Buddy, Steve
DC has been involved in the Best Buddy program, since he was in middle school. Steve has been DC’s Buddy for the past three years. As I’ve told him many times, he is the best, most involved Buddy DC has ever had. Steve will be graduating from college this May. He will be either heading to Boston or back home. In either case, he will not be living close by any more. We will be sorry to lose him. DC will be assigned a new Buddy next year and that buddy has very big shoes to fill! [..]
Just to make this post even more ridiculously long…. a few of my favorites.
My favorites change quite often, but right now – “these are them” in no particular order and from no particular year:
“To Sami, Love Daddy” 
File under: “Rules I thought I would never have to make”
But does he know?
“Hi Mom! Did you have a nice day?”
And just to end the year on an even happier note – search engine referrals; search terms that bring people to my page?
Still reigning as the number 1 search term (s) for 2015 – many combinations regarding Star Trek and Mr. Spock!
So, Happy New Year everyone. Thank you so much for reading over these past 3 years.
DC and I wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2016!

I have now received the WordPress email. My top 5 (as far as they go) matches theirs.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Christmas List

The “Chip” Cup

homemade chip
There once was a pretty little Easter Cup.
This cup went unnoticed for many years until one day when DC decided that all this cup needed was a face. This cup with its new face was to be named “Chip”. Chip, of course being the chipped cup and son to the tea-pot, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast. Every day Chip’s face washed off in the sink and every day DC drew it back on.
He used this cup every single day.
Last year around Christmas time I thought how great would it be if I could find him a real Chip Cup. My first stop, as always was Amazon and there is was. It was quite expensive for a cup, but in comparison to DC’s usual requests for items that don’t exist or items that I have to find on EBay (usually a collectables), costing a fortune – was a deal.
I read the description and the reviews to be sure that this was something that was intended to be used as a cup and not just decorative and purchased it.
He was so excited to open the gift and find this cup on Christmas morning. He loved it and like the old Easter/Chip cup, used it every day.
One day in August not too long after DC had his second seizure, I was washing his Chip cup and happened to notice it said “Made in China” on the bottom.
Me, being me panicked.
Me, being me completely went over the top with my panic.
I bought this from Amazon. What if the person selling this cup had it in stock or sitting around for years? What if the cup contained lead paint – because, of course everything that goes wrong HAS to be completely my fault. Yes, I know that this is highly unlikely and yes I know that they would not allow a seller to sell this item with lead paint, but..
me, being me threw his beloved Chip cup away right there and then.
This did not go over very well…… at all.
It took a few months, but I thought he had finally gotten over the loss of his Chip cup. Then December came and it was time to make his Christmas list and there it was……

2015 list
He had not forgotten….
Not really thinking I would find another until possibly the next time we were actually in Disney World, I went to the Disney Store site and there it was. Once again, I read the description and the reviews to be sure that it was not for decoration only and purchased it – directly from Disney; no third sellers involved. I felt much more at ease about that.
He was ecstatic and has not let it out of his sight since.
And the poor lonely Easter cup has been relegated to the back of “Cup-board” (DC-speak) never to be drawn on again….

If the cup was not of such a decorative nature, I would not thought anything about the “made in China” label. Most of our other cups were made in China.

Monday, December 21, 2015

They are growing up

These Three

Best BuddiesThese Three…. they are truly amazing. As their parents, my friends and I know this. We know the progress they have all made.  Sometimes though in dealing with the day-to-day, we do not always remember the journey until someone who has not seen them in quite a while points it out.
We lived it all but we tend to concentrate on the here and now and the future – how we got here is not always uppermost in our minds. We deal with today.
Last week we ran into our kids’ Special Olympics swimming coach at a Best Buddies Christmas Party. She was there with another friend of ours. She has recently moved out-of-state so she was filling us in on what she has been up to since her move. She was also their volleyball and golf coach for many years as well so she has been a part of our kids’ lives for quite a long time – since they were very young.

As she was watching our kids at the party, she commented on just how much progress they had made over the years. DC’s friends stories are not mine to tell, but her comments about DC made me sit back and really think about just how far he (and his friends) have come. As she watched him socialize in this crowded room she said “Who would have ever thought that he would be able to sit in this room and tolerate the crowd and the noise?”  She was right; attending this activity would not have been a pretty sight back then. Never mind the noise, he would have never been so social with anyone of his own age or anyone but me for that matter. Then there were the times when I really should have just thrown in the towel and not taken him to practice at all. Now-a-days we can pretty much go anywhere with out too much of an issue.
She knew us and she knew our kids inside out. She always went out of her way to make the process as easy as possible for us and most importantly, for our kids. Special Olympics lost a fantastic coach, when they lost her due to her work and school commitments.

These Three have been through a lot both separately and together. We have all hit some potholes along the way; some deeper than others, but for the most part we have traveled this road together. It is nice to sit back and remember this very long journey that they have taken with each other. They have grown into amazing young adults and yes, we know this, but it is always nice to have someone point it out and bring it all back for you.
Although the stories of his friends are not mine to tell,  I will say that I am as proud of them as I am of him. As we live with new and different struggles and challenges, we should take the time to remember just where we all started and all that These Three have accomplished over the years.
There has been so very much.
Sometimes is just takes someone else to help us remember.
And we should remember and we should be proud of all of it.
These Three………….
They are impressive.
They are amazing.