Thursday, December 26, 2019

And So It Was Christmas....

We had finally made it to the "Main Event".

My worries over DC getting so overly excited that he would not enjoy the day were for nothing.

He was fabulous! 

We last left you on Christmas Eve "Eve" over on the other blog 

As you may remember, DC began calling the restaurant we would be going to on Christmas Eve "The Place" because he had given up trying to pronounce the name.

Christmas Eve was finally here. I had already talked him into sleeping in his bed (he's been on the couch since last Christmas) because Santa would not come if he was sleeping in the living room. He was a little apprehensive about that but agreeable.

We went to pick up 'Grandmother' and we were off to have dinner at "The Place".

DC was in his glory. All of his favorites AND 'Fam-a-LEE'.

We skipped dessert at 'The Place' and headed home for cake, cookies and the opening of the Christmas Eve Gifts.

Christmas Eve gifts are normally a few gifts from me, gifts from Fam-a-LEE and a few friends. 

But there seemed to be an awful lot of gifts....

The Christmas Eve band-aid haul.
I’m sure there’s more to come tomorrow.
His arms are already covered.

DC went to bed (not to sleep, though) pretty early on Christmas Eve.
Unfortunately he was wide awake around 3:30 (so was I for some reason). I was a little bit concerned that he was getting sick because he was up so early.
Yes, he was excited about Christmas but this was REALLY early, even for him. I finally gave up getting him to go back to sleep at about 5:45.
He seemed fine (fingers crossed because he does not really ever tell me when he doesn’t feel well) but time will tell. In the meantime, Santa came and all is well with the world.
(Santa brought him 18 markers - one more than he’s been asking for; a bonus of sorts.... also because they just happen to come in a pack of 18)
            -   I think I may have predicted that back in early December. 

And yes, there would be more band-aids...

We had a quiet day at home as has been our tradition over the last few years and then out for Chinese food for dinner which has also become a tradition.

DC: "Just like A Christmas Story Live!" (Everything is Related, you know)

It has only been the last 3 years or so that we were actually able to stay home on Christmas Day and if I get a vote (I do), I don't see that changing anytime soon.


Merry Christmas!

(It IS looking like he's catching a cold....)

If you are having trouble following our December posts because I keep bouncing from one blog to another, here they all are in something close to "in order" :

Christmas List Negotiations (aka 17 Markers)

Hey Santa, Don't Pass By The Older "Kids"

Christmas Preparations - Wins and Losses

Christmas, The Schedule and 'Fam-a-LEE'

The Christmas Countdown Continues
Still Counting The Days Until Christmas
These two cover the same time period in different ways 

And So It Was Christmas 

And The Week After


This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Face book statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Still Counting the Days Until Christmas

My Christmas cards have not arrived (yes, I could have ordered them earlier).

There were also certain stamps that I wanted that were not available at the post office, so I had to order them on-line - so when the cards do arrive I will still be waiting on the stamps... 

Meanwhile, all of the cards we have received remain unopened because..... that's a thing with me
😂😂😂 Go ahead, laugh, I know!).

December 14, 2019


DC received a letter from Santa a few days ago. After he read it, he hung it on the refrigerator. This morning I saw him writing on a hanging paper and thinking he was adding something to the grocery list, I asked him what he was writing.
DC: “Last Name!”
Apparently this was bothering him.... #FirstANDLastNameAlways

December 15, 2019


He was able to go to "Straw"Bridge, his Camp party and his Work party so were are now officially talking about Christmas Eve and Christmas (with a few twists)


Taking a short break from "reminding" me about Christmas Eve... DC woke up this morning with "Happy Thursday" (not anything he's ever said before)
I guess every day is a holiday in December.
(I did get a "days until Christmas eve" countdown very shortly afterward)

December 19, 2019


Closer and closer - Now we would really only be talking about Christmas Eve and Christmas ......


(Counting on fingers)
“Monday: Go to work - Come home if Doug feels better (Doug is not feeling well and he’s worried he won’t see him today)
Tuesday: Christmas Eve see Grandmother, go to “the place” (restaurant - he’s given up trying to pronounce the name)
I Want Presents! (He knows he can open a few gifts on Christmas Eve)
Wednesday:  Christmas Santa will come - 17 Markers.
Thursday: Back to work”
We are now officially scheduling for after Christmas.....

December 23, 2019


My Cards arrived and so did the stamps on December 23rd.
I should have made the New Year Cards

Happy Holidays!


This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Face book statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Christmas, The Schedule and "Fam-a-LEEE"

We have officially reached that time of the year when there are just too many things going on for DC to "remind" me about.

Normally DC will remind me (967 times) of the closest event or holiday coming up on the calendar.
As soon as that date hits, he moves on to reminding me of the next event or holiday, sometimes even before we have attended the event that he had been "reminding" me of over the last week or more.

This time of year is exciting for him but it is also a little bit hard for him.

I worry (it has happened) because sometimes he gets himself so worked up and excited for something that by the time we reach that date, he doesn't want anything to do with it anymore.

Like everyone, DC is very excited about Christmas.

Normally our Christmas Eve is spent at my mother's with the rest of, as DC puts it: "My Fam-a-LEEE". We have been there every Christmas Eve for his entire life.

This year she decided that she was not going to do Christmas Eve anymore. I don't blame her.
It's a lot of work, her condo is small and everyone has grown up so there are no longer any little kids in the family.

So what we decided to do is to take my mother out to dinner and then come back to our house (which is also too small to hold the whole "Fam-a-LEEE") so DC can give her his gifts.

He took this much better than I imagined he would. As long as he will be seeing "Grandmother", as he calls her, everything is fine.

His reminders began on "Calendar Flip Day" (December 1st).

"Mom, I am so excited for Christmas Eve with my "Fam-a-LEE" (before we knew that Christmas Eve was cancelled)
"Mom, I am so excited for camp party"
(Repeat 437 times)

When other items were added to the calendar, it did not slow him down:

"Mom, I am so excited for Christmas Eve with "Grandmother"
"Mom, I am so excited for camp party with my friends"
"Mom, I am so excited to go to "Straw-Bridge" with my friend, BB"
"BB, DC, Mom, Doug, Donna and John going to "Straw-Bridge on Sunday"

Then there was more:

"Mom, I am so excited for Christmas Eve with "Grandmother"
"Mom, I am so excited for camp party"
"Mom, I am so excited to go to "Straw-Bridge" with my friend, BB"
"Mom, I am so excited to go to Auntie Kim's"
"Mom, I am so excited for work party."

When he wasn't reciting the whole list to me, he was pointing at the dates on the calendar so that I could recite it all back to him.

There are other tactics that he employs when he just HAS to talk about his schedule but might have the impression that I am tired of hearing it.

"Mom, I miss my Grandmother"
"Mom, I miss my Best Friend, BB"
"Mom, I miss my Autie Kim"

It will then be necessary to tell him when he will see Grandmother, BB or Auntie Kim.

He went to get a haircut this week and as you may or may not know, no matter how much of a fuss you make over his haircut (or anything that he has done), he still wants more.
After prompting to to tell him once again just how handsome he looks with his haircut, he said:

"Auntie Kim will LOVE this"
- his way of confirming, once again that he is indeed going to Auntie Kim's, but it was different because this is not his everyday manner of speaking or thinking (which is pretty cool.)
He is REALLY excited about going to Auntie Kim's.
(She has already been informed and will certainly mention his haircut when he sees her today - not that she wouldn't have mentioned it anyway)

Included in all of the excitement, there is at times a undercurrent of anxiety. I can see it in his eyes. It IS a lot of schedule for him, which leads me back to my original worry about him becoming overly excited to the point of either not caring when he gets to each event on the calendar or him just being too anxious to enjoy them.

Over the next three days, three of the items on his calendar will be moved in to the completed column.
He will get his dose of Dad's "Fam-a-LEEE" at Auntie Kim's today, fun with his best friend, BB tomorrow and fun at the camp party on Monday night. This will leave only "Work Party and Christmas Eve" to remind me about.

He is getting ready for "Auntie Kim's" right now and so far he's still anxiety free.

Hopefully the next three days will go smoothly and he has as good a time as he has imagined.

Photo: DC dressed in his Christmas sweater, ready to go to Auntie Kim's.
He informed me that he is Matthew Broderick from "A Christmas Story Live".


This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Face book statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Christmas Preparations: Wins and Losses - This Week

It has been another busy week in DC-land.


Facebook Status December 7, 2019
DC went to see Frozen 2 with *Salli and his camp friends. They both gave it two thumbs up. (I got to have coffee in peace with *Tonya while they were in the theater - also two thumbs up)

Instagram December 7, 2019
We really don’t have a lot of room here.
The tree, when it goes up, just takes over the living room.
It takes up so much room that I can hardly wait to take it down, once it's up.
This year I decided to buy one of those new trees that are flat in the back and take up less room. 
I should have opted for the flat in the back that hangs on the wall instead of the one that stands because this is laughable.
It keeps falling over, and I can’t get it to stand straight (not to mention the gaping holes all over it ).
DC could only hang his very light ornaments on it (that doesn't keep him from randomly trying to hang some of the heavier ones that I put on a shelf so he could at least look at them - This should be fun).
It is hideous!

Facebook Status December 8, 2019
DC met up with Santa again today unexpectedly while we were out shopping.
This exchange went far better than the last one.
He asked for Toy Story 4, Jelly Beans and 17 markers 😂😂😂😂😂
#ThatIsNeverGoingToGetOld #17MarkersPlease


Facebook Status December 8, 2019 
Yesterday I decided to suck it up and wrap some gifts.
I am not a fan of wrapping.
I put everything I need on the floor (or so I think), then get up 4 to five times to find the tape, a pen, scissors and whatever else I have forgotten.
By the time I am ready to wrap, a half hour has passed. Because I am so not a fan of wrapping, I can only get through maybe two a sitting.
I wrap a couple and leave everything on the floor and do other things before I am ready to do a few more.That's the way it works.
The stuff is on the floor a good portion of the day before I decide I am finished for the day.
Making my disgruntlement over wrapping that much worse was having to listen to:"Mom, you have to clean up this mess", "Mom, the mess", "Mom, you have to clean up this mess",all day until I finally gave it up. (Twist My Arm).
But.... all I could think about was the fact that the items I was trying to wrap yesterday had been purchased in the same shop when we were away for Thanksgiving weekend.
The woman was in the middle of asking if I needed any of the items wrapped when DC distracted/interrupted both of us with his concern over Doug waiting outside the store (she thought he was worried about his dog because that is the way he pronounces "Doug").
We both lost our train of thought. She just went directly to bagging everything and I did not think about her partial offer to wrap until I left the store. #TheMessIsNotMyFault #BlameItOnDoug

Facebook Status December 12, 2019
DC had a work delay yesterday due to the snow.Because we were up and almost ready before the delay was called and I had some extra time, I decided to wrap a few more gifts. I only had three left for one family, which meant I could get them out of the house (no room here, remember?) and deliver them when they were finished.
I started wrapping and realized that I had forgotten to buy one small item, so I left everything neatly on the couch so I could finish after I stopped on my way home from work to pick up that last item.
When Mrs. H texted me at 3 pm to tell me she had arrived at my house to wait for DC to come home, I told her that I had left some wrapping on the couch and please ask him not to move it, I would finish it and put it away when I got home (she knows him very well and knew this might be an issue for him).
I arrived home as they were getting ready to leave for the library, when DC's medical alert bracelet got caught on his coat. He got much more upset about this than I would have thought.
Finally he turned to me and said: "Mom put the stuff away".
Mrs. H explained that she told him that I would take care of the "stuff" when I came home but to please "give Mom a minute" (before he started asking me).
Apparently the anxiousness was more about trying to "give me a minute" than his bracelet getting caught on his coat.
He assessed the situation the moment he returned home after the library..... All Clear.   #wrapping #HaveIMentionedThatIHateWrapping


This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Face book statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time 

Friday, December 6, 2019

The Phone, Mustaches and Bandaids - This Week

We have had quite a busy week here in DC-land.

Lots of stuff to do, some weather and a complete change in his regularity scheduled activities.

Between some of the fun (and angst), there was some progress and a few Ah Ha Moments!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - Face Book Status:

Did you know that it’s only one more day until Thanksgiving? Did ya?I have someone here who can remind you of that every five minutes if you need it.

We generally go away for Thanksgiving weekend where we meet my brother and sister-in-law for dinner, hang out with them in their room for a bit afterwards and then move on to our room.
DC looks forward to this weekend every year. 

He loves having dinner with his "fam-a-lee".
As you know, he also loves a hotel room.

Thursday, November 28, 2019 - Facebook Status:

DC happily in his “spot” in the hotel room. He doesn’t even care that I have the air conditioner blasting.#IsItHotInHereOrIsItJustMe #YesItsWinter


Friday, November 29, 2019 Face Book Status

A Thanksgiving weekend tradition. Always our first stop on Friday morning...

(We had another "sort of" breakthrough in the next store: I wrote about that one here: Christmas List Negotiations)

We came home on Saturday evening (more about our Saturday adventures later)

We had some weather on Monday and a dental appointment to further interfere with his schedule. DC was disappointed that he could not go "back to work".

Tuesday was more of the same (no dental appointment, but he had to work his volunteer job at the theater). He was really itching to get back to a regular schedule.


Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - Face Book Status:

“I’m so excited to go back to work tomorrow!” - said no one, ever...except DC#HesHadEnoughTimeOff


Wednesday, December 4, 2019 - Face Book Status

He’s been busy..#Bandaids #WhosCleaningUpTheWrapperMountain

He finally go to break out his new band-aids.

Thursday, December 5, 2019 - Face Book Status

It’s been a busy week for DC. We were away 3 days over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the weather when we got home, two days of work being “cancelled”, and working until 11pm at his theater job on Tuesday night. I knew the mustache would be coming out eventually. #coping #SomeDaysWeJustNeedAMustache

Friday, December 6, 2019 - Facebook Status

Yesterday DC needed to wear a mustache. He told me he was "Jim Dear". He put a different one on again this morning and told me he was "Mr. Disney". Then, I guess he decided he did not need his mustache today and took it off. He told me he was "Dimitri" (from Anastasia). #ThatWorks#NoMustacheToday

I saved the best for last:

Friday, December 6, 2019 - Face book Status:

Unprompted phone use update:
I am now really convinced that he has "got it"! 
This week he walked into the living room and announced that he wanted to call his friend, BB!
He did.
He got his voicemail (we are still working on understanding voicemail) and left a message.
On Tuesday after working his theater job with Mrs. H, he decided he needed to ask her about going to the library the next day and told me he was going to call her.
It was after 11 pm and although she was probably just arriving home and not sleeping, I couldn't be sure so I had to tell him it was late and we could call her in the morning.
I didn't want to say "no" because that might be the end of his unprompted calling, but I had to take a chance.
Even though I had to say no, I explained over and over again that he can call anyone he wants it was just too late right now, but if it is an emergency he can call anyone at any hour.
This is where it gets hairy because I don't want him to think that if the house is burning down or there is some other emergency late at night, that he can't use the phone. .
So now I am hoping that I didn't ruin his progress by adding those pesky "grey areas". Fingers crossed, please.


You can read more about our progress (or sometimes, lack there of) over the years, right here: The Telephone


In case you are new here: “I tell stories, most of the time; single individual stories about this or that. Some may be written with humor and some may come across as “Oh, look at the cute thing DC did or said” (he does crack me up at times) but my object is always to make people understand how his mind works, never to "make fun of him"

It is difficult to explain “his” autism to anyone without resorting to 1000 examples and 1000 stories. So I tell 1000 stories to make clear that there are other sides to autism than the characters seen in TV or movies."


This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Face book statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time