"Look At Me"

"Look At Me"
monotype and screenprint

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Week at the Lake

"You Say it Best, When You Say Nothing At All..."
Derek's eyes freak me out a little.  They are identical to mine.  It's almost as if everything I've been through in my life, he's been through too.  When he looks at me, and I mean REALLY looks at me (like in this picture) it makes my heart melt.  He says so much with his eyes...who needs words when you have eyes that say everything???? 

Derek and Tyler at Lake McConaughy

Tyler eating breakfast...he looks like his father.  :)
 We just got back from a week at the lake.  We didn't quite "Rough It."  We had a Lake House to stay in...otherwise I'm not sure I would have survived.  I like showers.  :)  The boys did pretty well.  Tyler had a BLAST.  He discovered how much fun it was to jump off the dock into the water, jet-ski, roast marshmallows, look for snakes (yes, snakes), and play in the sand.  Derek...well, Derek was Derek.  He did well, considering it was his first time spending more than a weekend there.  He wasn't overly fond of the 100+ temperatures.  He swam for a little while every day, but definitely didn't want to spend all day in the water.  He wasn't into lake food, so he survived on dry cereal, juice, and chips.  Uggghh.  He also didn't like having to wear a lifejacket.  Too bad, son.  On the plus side, he learned two new words.  "Shoe" and "Ski."  He said "shoe" (he pronounce it "sue") when he wanted me to take his sandals off and he pointed and said "ski" when he saw someone on a jet-ski.  :)  Yay for new words!!!!!  

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Add Another Kid!

Add another kid to the project!  :)  While we were on vacation at Lake McConaughy last week, I met another parent of an autistic kid!  I had a great time discussing therapies and food and just life in general with someone who actually UNDERSTANDS the demands and challenges and rewards of raising a special child. 

So add Riley Fogarty, age 8 to the project!  He is from Bismarck, North Dakota.  I now have 11 kids from 7 different states!!!!!  And I should be able to start my next piece within the next week or two!  Pictures to come (of course)!  And I'll probably post some lake pictures this week too.  I got a few good ones of my boys. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

DDD: 2nd Anniversary

I really should have written yesterday.  It was the 2nd anniversary of Derek's diagnosis.  I call it Triple D Day.  Derek's Diagnosis Day.  :)  I have mixed emotions about the day.  I can't help but remember how painful the day was.  But I'm trying to focus on the positive--how far my son has come in the past two years.  It has been quite a journey.  Maybe this day will get easier and easier as years go by.  It's really the day my old life ended and my new life began.  Two years ago autism wasn't even a blip on my radar.  Now my life revolves around it.  I have to remember what time therapy sessions are, think about situations and whether or not my son will be able to handle them, and prepare for meltdowns.  But on the positive side, my perception has changed entirely.  I don't take a single milestone for granted and I notice EVERYTHING!!!  Derek sees ladybugs on flowers, hears the buzz of fluorescent lights, and feels the grass between his toes. So I do too.  :)  Derek is the very definition of innocence and beauty.

This picture was taken July 17, 2009...two days after his diagnosis.  I had no idea at the time how much it would come to represent.  I have it hanging in the house in a frame I found that reads "The Road Ahead Lies Within."  PERFECT. 

Yesterday I tried to have a "Celebration Day."  I wanted to have a good day...I didn't want to dwell on the fact that it was DDD.  So I loaded up the kids, took them to McDonald's (Derek didn't eat anything except the french fries, but so what???) took them to the pool, and then attempted to go to the movie theater for the first time.  Well, it was actually Tyler's 2nd time, but it was Derek's 1st.  COLOSSAL MISTAKE.  For once, I forgot to put myself in Derek's shoes.  And I wanted to kick myself in the face for it.  He freaked.  The movie theater was too loud, too dark, and there were too many people.  I thought that once Winnie the Pooh came on the screen he'd be ok, but nope.  He wanted OUT and he wanted out immediately.  Poor kid.  I felt terrible.  I guess movies are out of the question...

On another note, the art studio is coming along GREAT!!!  The French Doors are up and stained.  The tile is done.  The walls are painted.  The trim is done and the chair rail is up.  I got the plexiglass for my table.  All I need to do is bevel the corners of the plexiglass and duct tape it down (so I don't slice up my forearms) and I'll be ready to get to work.  That and unpack some supplies.  I've been waiting 6 years for this!!  Actually, I've been waiting most of my life...