I took Friday off to have my car worked on and it worked out perfect as we were meeting up with friends to have drinks and watch the Cardinals play game 2 of the World Series. Sara’s mom watched Jackson for us and he stayed the night, so that meant we would get a chance to sleep in. Even though the Cardinals lost, the game was good and it was nice to catch up on some us time with friends. Since Jackson is an earlier riser my internal alarm clock goes off every morning even when my actual alarm clock is not set. So I was awake at 4:45 AM naturally and it took me just over an hour to fall back asleep. Does everyone do this? Then when grandma called to let us know she was on her way at 7:30 AM it scared the bejeebus out of me. I was not ready to get out bed that is for sure. Jackson had ABA in the morning and later in the afternoon, so after his morning session we went to the mall. Jackson was great at the mall, rode along in his stroller with no melt downs. He didn’t want to get back in his car seat though for the ride home. This is common when he has been from car, to stroller, back to car. Luckily we grabbed Auntie Anne’s pretzels on our way out of the mall and it helped us coax Jackson into his seat. He also took a cat nap on the way home.
Jackson’s afternoon ABA session we could take the therapist with us for an outing. I don’t usually get to experience this because I am at work all day, but I think it is awesome the therapists go with us to help us if Jackson is having a behavior. Sara wanted to go the pumpkin patch out by our house and since it was during the afternoon on a Friday I figured it wouldn’t be too crowded. We found front row parking which was great and there was hardly anyone there. The pumpkin patch has a huge playground area. They have a cornstalk maze, wooden characters with the faces cut out so you can stick your head/face through, slides, and climbing walls. Jackson was excited for slide. He is getting really good at landing on his feet and standing up at the end when he goes down. We found an empty wagon and Jackson sat right in it as I pulled him to the patch. I think he really enjoyed riding the wagon along the gravel road, I am sure it was like sitting in a massage chair. When we got the patch there were a lot pumpkins still there to my amazement with Halloween being a little over a week away. We didn’t see any pumpkins in the patch that we liked, so we headed to the already picked and priced pumpkins. Sara found 3 awesome pumpkins while I entertained Jackson who was having a meltdown. Jackson wanted to run down the very big concrete slope that leads down to the playground. I tried to calm him by putting him on my shoulders which always has worked in the past. That just ended in throwing my sunglasses, yanking off my hat, and pulling my hair. I finally freed his both of his hands which were not easy to do while he was on my shoulders and got him down; he threw himself on the ground. I am sure Jackson was able to read my frustration because then he started crying. I don’t think anyone saw this melt down as it took me awhile to get anyone’s attention to come help me. By the time Sara reached us, Jackson calmed down a little bit enough and I was able to pick him up so we could pay for our pumpkins and leave. Trying to get him in the car was not an easy task either. It was also a bad ride home because Jackson kept putting his fingers down this throat. I was able to get him to stop by telling him hands ready and luckily it was a short ride home.
Saturday is my flag football day where I go watch my team, Mich Light, play. I retried several years ago, but love watching the games. Plus my team is like a close nit family and I always have so much fun during and after the games. Last weekend I brought Jackson with me since Sara volunteered to work the Fragile X booth at the Autism walk. The team couldn’t believe how big Jackson had grown since last season. Since my car was in the shop this weekend, Sara and Jackson had to chauffeur me to the game so they wouldn’t be without a car in case of an emergency. Sara also needed to return something in the city, so Jackson and I watched the 2nd half of the 1st game together. Well sort of, we really didn’t get to watch, it was more like me chasing him along the side lines and everyone saying how cute he is. He is shy for the first 5 or 10 minutes and then he is good to go. He gave a few high fives, slapped Junior and Trishie in the face (they had sunglasses on), and got some lovens from Marque. Sara returned from her errand and contemplated staying or leaving since there was a game in-between Mich Lights next one. These games are 45 – 50 minutes long, but we live 35 – 45 minutes away…so it didn’t really make sense for them to go home to just have to turn around and come back. Sara took Jackson over to an open field and they played push and case, a made up game that Jackson loves to play. He will push your butt and you either run in the direction he has you pointed, or if you are Sara you dramatically act as though you are going to face plant into the ground. Jackson loves this game. I think it gives him some sensory input on his joints. When he chases you around he laughs so hard and sometimes falls down, it is very adorable. He played this with her until just before the 2nd game started. I could tell Jackson was just about done with being in the park and watched until half time before we said good bye to everyone. We were all exhausted on the way home.
|Getting splashed by a penguin.|
Sunday was Zoo day with the Hamilton’s. My mom wanted to get everyone together for Boo at the Zoo and perhaps lunch or dinner. I explained to my mom beforehand that the last few times we had been to the zoo, Jackson was done after about an hour, so I suggested we all drive separate in case my nephews wanted to stay longer. She picked a date and time to meet up, but one problem Boo at the Zoo is at night and the Saturday before. We went last year and lines were so long that we didn’t really participate in the tables or booths they had set up. Since it wasn’t Boot at the Zoo the kids couldn’t wear their costumes, but no one seemed to be too disappointed in that. Everyone met up at our house and followed us to the Zoo. It was crowded and we had 3 cars to park, so it was nice walk to get in. Luckily it was another gorgeous day. Jackson really enjoyed the Penguin house, he got splashed by one of the penguins. When we went to leave the penguins he started pulling Sara’s hair.
The zoo had a bunch of ghosts, pumpkins, and skeletons in trees. They also had this grave site that had funny tombstone names. Jackson was obsessed with following his cousin Owen around; Owen on the other was not amused. Eventually we put Jackson back into his stroller and he did well for awhile. He did start putting his figures down his throat, but we had some crunchy snacks on hand that deterred that. Andrew really wanted to see the tigers, so we headed to Big Cat Country. It was around that time Jackson was done with the stroller and with the zoo. I told my mom and sister-in-law that we had to go and if they wanted to stay they could, but it seemed everyone was hungry and ready to eat. So we headed back to the car. This is when I wish we had the ability to teleport because we had 15 people in our group and not everyone understands that when Jackson is done, we have to high tail it. Jackson was getting frustrated and he was slamming himself back and forth in his stroller. If we took him out of the stroller he took off running and when you tried to get him to go the direction you wanted or hold his hand, he melted like a wet noodle. If you picked him up, hair pulling and head banging into your head or face was the next behavior. There are only so many snacks you can give him before he is over that too. As long as Sara was moving the stroller, he seemed to be doing OK. We also took off his Pujos jersey because it was getting warm. Since we have been to the zoo more than the rest of the crew and knew our way out I had Sara go ahead with the front of the group and I rallied up the back of the group. We made it out of the zoo and to the cars in one piece.
Jackson took a quick cat nap in the car while we drove over to Fitz’s. It wasn’t very crowded there with it being late in the afternoon and they were bottling soda, so my nephews got to see that. They took our large crowd upstairs. It was really hot up stairs though. There were several TV’s playing the Rams game and some videos games for the boys to play. Jackson was doing really well until poopy diaper time. There were no changing tables upstairs, so we had to take him to the downstairs restroom. The stairwell there is very long, high, and steel like the kind from a fire escape, not ideal for Jackson. I picked him up and he did not like that and head butted me, but we hurried down the stairs. After we got him changed, I had to use the restroom myself, so Sara took him back up. Jackson did not want to go back into the highchair, so by the time I got up there I could Sara was really upset. She was redoing her ponytail. My mom came down from the other end of the table to talk to us and said if one of us kids would have ever pulled her hair like that, she would be in tears. She told Sara she was amazed at how she handled it. If it were her she would have pulled the child’s hair back. I tried to explain to my mom that is the old way of disciplining and with Jackson that would not work. Then our food was there, so we would have to discuss that topic another time.
After meal time the boys were running around and we let Jackson out, he of course wanted to go back to the suicide stairs. So I had to keep him corralled in the area where we were. If he wasn’t trying to make it over to the stairs he was chasing his cousin around. Owen is only 7 and it is hard to explain to him why Jackson keeps getting so close and why Jackson won’t leave him alone. Jackson is almost as tall as Owen and we were back at the table when Owen looked at Jackson and Jackson smacked him in the face. Luckily it wasn’t hard and my sister-in-law told Owen not to worry about that, then not a minute later Jackson smacks him again this time hard enough to bring Owen to tears. I redirect Jackson away. Sara and my sister-in-law talk with Owen. Owen is really upset and doesn’t understand. I think Sara did an amazing job and explaining to Owen that when Jackson gets really excited he don’t know how to express it, that he wasn’t trying to hurt Owen. I think Owen accepted that, at least until the next visit. Everyone settled their bills and we were all heading home. Jackson did not want to go in his car seat, but once we got him in everything was fine. Sara sat back with him on the ride home. I think the Fitz’s environment was not ideal for Jackson, but all things considering he did a really good job. I think I zoned out most the way home because I don’t remember too much of that.