I originally started this blog a few years ago to chronicle Noah's daily struggles with autism. It was a dark time in my life - a time when I felt that things would never get better. It was a time when I felt that all my hopes and dreams for my son and for our family had died. In my efforts to help Noah recover from autism, I began a journey that inadvertently led me to rediscover myself. I learned how to laugh again. How to dream again. How to live again. How to love again.

Autism Schmaustism. He's still our son.

This is a blog celebrating our family. Our kids. Our life.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Celebrate the Small Stuff

When we first realized that Noah had autism, I went to a seminar and met a mom who was telling me that I should never give up on Noah. She said it takes a long time for our kids to learn a new skill, but that they can learn. And then she proudly proceeded to tell me a story about teaching her son how to ride a bike. When I asked her how long it took him to learn, she replied, "Four years."

Four years??


I have to admit, I was so arrogant back then. I thought I knew everything about autism and I remember silently telling myself, "Well, that won't be Noah. He's going to be recovered by then."

He was 22 months old at the time. He had 5 months of therapy already under his belt. I knew he'd be recovered by the time he was 3.

Fast forward to August 2011. Noah will be 10 in October. He's had 8 and 1/2 years of nonstop therapy under his belt. We're beginning a new one next week. He still hasn't recovered.

But he did just learn learn how to catch a ball. How long did it take? Seven years.

Seven years.

Yes. Seven years.

And I proclaim it proudly.

Mama's proud of you, Noah Bear! You give me the gift of seeing miracles every day.

And to the woman who I scoffed at all those years ago? I'm so sorry. Thank you for teaching me to never give up.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Repurposing Food Jars (A Kid's Craft on the Cheap!)

I can't believe it's been nearly two months since I last blogged! So much has been going on, but I've developed quite the lazy streak and found it's much easier to just pop onto Facebook and post a quick status update. I'm sure things will calm down a bit (maybe!) when school starts back up in two weeks.

Anyway, in the meantime, I thought I'd show ya'll what the kids have been up to lately.

We have tons and tons and tons of empty glass food jars laying around. They're stored everywhere - in drawers, in cabinets, on shelves, on top of the fridge. I can't bear to throw them away and we don't have any sort of glass recycling in our town. So, I nurture my pack rat tendencies and keep them for "just in case".

Finally, that "just in case" arrived. I'm not sure what rock I've been living under, but it finally occurred to me that you can spray paint glass jars. So we went to my mom's house with a box full of old glass jars, a box of ribbon that I've had laying around for a couple of years from back in my "I-fancy-myself-being-the-second-coming-of-Martha-Stewart" days (which, incidentally, only lasted approximately 4 hours because a) I'm not crafty and b) I don't know how to sew and c) did I mention I'm not crafty??) and we used my mom's spray paint to create these....

This was a pickle jar in its former life. It's my favorite!

Ignore the half-dead flowers and, uh, grayish water. It looked soooo pretty a week ago. But you get the gist. This was a Pace Picante Sauce bottle.

And old olive jar (again... half-dead flowers and stained butcher's block ... but isn't the jar pretty?)
This has nothing to do with repurposing glass jars, but Nandi wanted to show you how crafty she is by giving her one-eyed dog a new eye. You see, instead of throwing it out because he lost an eye, you just....
Hot glue in a marble!

Girl's got skillz.

This was a salsa jar from mine and Noah's FAVORITE salsa in the whole wide world.. Texas-Texas Restaurant Style. That's the actual name. And we go through about 2-3 jars a week. Just the two of us. Which means we have plenty of jars to create dish scrubbing holders and....

Toothbrush holders! Although, to be fair, one is an old jelly jar.

And I can't remember what kind of jar this is, but doesn't it make a cute pencil holder?

We have a ton more jars, but ran out of paint and ribbon, so I'm waiting to find some on sale. Sim's under the impression that we won't be able to find any more uses for old jars and that maybe I should just trash them. But I'm sure we can come up with some ideas. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

Next time, I'll have to show you what we did to Eli's bedroom furniture. It's the summer of decorating on the cheap!