Monday, November 30, 2009

Braeden as Smiling Slade

I actually didn't take my own photos of this show, but I got a couple from the former photography teacher and the current one, so I thought I would post. We didn't really realize that Braeden was in a lead role in this play, bowing last and by himself, but he was amazing. It is so much fun to see him, and a lot of the other kids, as they grow up on stage.

Some of the kids are really fabulous, especially for being so young and in front of an audience. There was one girl that really knocked my socks off, not that I ever actually wear socks, because she has just grown so much on stage and her voice was wonderful. Another of the older girls just always looks like she is having so much fun, you can't help but smile whenever she is on stage. Anyway, Westward Whoa! was wonderful and here are some pictures of Braeden, age 11, as Smiling Slade Claggett.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Swine Flu

Poor Thane was the unlucky family member who got H1N1 . . . he was diagnosed 10 days ago. I remember that specifically because I am just about to take my final dose of Tamiflu.

None of us are vaccinated against it. I was going to get it because I have lung issues and asthma, but apparently I am not high risk enough yet. I am still supposed to get it whenever it becomes available to folks like me around here – which is probably in the next week or so.

It was pretty miserable for little Thaney. He ran a fever of 102-104 even with medication to bring it down. He didn’t eat or drink much for days – we really had to push him to get any fluid in. He didn’t nap much the first few days, but he did next to nothing. He watched a lot of television. Then Monday and Tuesday it must have caught up with him more as he napped for 5 hours on Monday and 3-4 on Tuesday, and he has taken naps most days since. I think he can go back to school tomorrow, but I am concerned that a full day may be too much. He also still has quite a cough.

Mostly I have been worried about secondary infection. Between his celiac and his immune deficiency, it is always a little extra scary when he gets sick. I thought he might have pneumonia on Wednesday, but then on Thanksgiving he was more himself and has been showing steady improvement.

Now Braeden is a bit feverish, so I am not sure where that will lead. I hope that if he was going to have swine flu it would have started by now. I guess Dave and I are in one of the age groups that is less likely to be impacted, but the doctor said I really needed to take the Tamiflu. I have to say it is miserable stuff and I don’t really recommend it. At least I have taken my last pill!

Halloween 2009

I have been meaning to post these photographs for about a month. I am partial to the first one and the last one! The extra child is a good friend of Braeden's who spend part of Halloween with us and is a frequent visitor at our house.

The only disappointment on Halloween was that the Waldoboro Fire Department went all out and decorated the old middle school as a haunted house . . . but we never got in because the lines were too long. Thane really thought he wanted to go, but it was probably just as well.

This year Thane really understood Halloween much better, kept his costume on (he was a witch, while Braeden was a necormancer), and visited quite a few houses. It was even easy to switch candy with him so he only got items that were gluten free and egg free. I have to say it was considerably more successful all the way around than it has been in several years.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 02, 2009

PixOs are Gluten Free

Thane decided the other day that he really wanted to work with PixOs which is wonderful for his fine motor skills . . . but we were concerned that whatever sticks them together might contain gluten. I emailed the company and got confirmation that they are gluten free. Yay! Another thing Thaney can play with.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Horseback Riding

This is a little video of Thane really working hard at Freedom Riders, a therapeutic horseback riding program. It is the second year he has worked at Freedom Riders and I find it sad when the season ends. I wonder if I might miss it more than he does!?! It's just so nice to see him doing these tasks.

The biggest benefit this year has been with fine motor skills. Strange as it may sound, he was able to write his name without stress while on a horse. It seems to have carried over to his day reasonably well, so the therapist moved on to more strengthening skills. Thane is clearly having difficulty with the task, but enjoying it and really trying hard.

If the embedded video doesn't show up, follow the link.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Thane's First Day of Kindergarten

Thane started Kindergarten on September 8th. He had been worried about switching schools because somehow he thought it would mean everything would change, even his family. Dave went to two activities at school with him the week before he started, so he was comfortable with someone coming and staying, but I was worried that our leaving would stress him out so I made him a schedule of his day that he could refer to. It showed that I was going to pick him up, and had a photo of him and I smiling. It seemed to help, he referred to it for a little while, and then was thrilled when I picked him up at noon.

Taking his waffle on the road to finish on the way to school, and checking out his schedule for the day.

Being greeted in front of school by the resource room teacher. She greets him every day and guides him to his classroom.

Posing closer to the door.

Showing his schedule to the teacher.

Heading inside for his first day of Kindergarten.

At the end of the day, he was rewarded with this certificate.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

"The Full Monty"

I should have posted this sooner since the last show is being performed while I type this, but I am not really keeping up with anything these days.

Braeden and Dave have both been appearing in "The Full Monty" and The Waldo Theatre. Braeden is the one child actor in it, playing the son of the lead character. He's gotten some nice press from reviews. This is his 25th unique show, which is also pretty good for a child of only eleven years.

An excerpt from The Lincoln County News:
An equally big hand goes to young Braeden Waddell who plays Lukowski's son, Nathan, and who also gave a fine and solid performance.

And from Village Soup:

Jerry and his ex have their differences, but they both love their son. Braeden Waddell is really good and at ease as young Nathan, a straight shooter of a kid who excels in nonchalant affectionate sparring with his dad and, when the story demands it, turns on some believable tears. Too bad his buddies can't come to see him on stage.

The connection between Waddell and Coombs is believable too, and bedside song "Breeze on the River" is particularly effective. We believe Jerry wants to do the right thing; we also believe that, in general, that's the path less taken for this guy.

I'm proud of Braeden. This one has been more work and less fun for him in many ways as he is the only child in the production, but he did a great a job!

Free GF Mix from Bette Crocker

A couple of my friends have mentioned calling Bette Crocker for a free coupon for their new gluten free mixes. Call 1-800-446-1898 and select option 4 and talk with a live operator, answer a few questions, and get a coupon in the mail.

I will call and get it, but I wonder about shared lines, other ingredients, etc., but it is worth a try. I wonder if it might be less expensive than some of the Gluten Free brands?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Home Graduation Portraits

I convinced Thane that he loves me enough to put his cap and gown back on for some pictures. He tried the judge approach and wasn't wearing anything under the robe! He was trying to figure out if there was a way to peel the diploma open, but his thoughtful looks are just as cute as his smiles.

Thane's Preschool Graduation

Thane graduated from Coastal Kids Preschool this morning. He was cheerful, but overwhelmed. I felt kind of bad for him since he was really excited and proud, but lots of people, lots of noise, lots of flashes going off. He needed support, but he did pretty well considering . . . and he looked cute!

Walking in . . .

Getting nervous, starting to hide behind sleeve.

Needing support from Miss Laurie.

Off with his hat and trying to be calm.

Getting his diploma from Miss Priscilla.

The diploma made him look proud!

And happy!

It's hard to capture in a still image, but he was waving it around and then doing visual stims with his diploma.

Here's the diploma!

Braeden as Milo

Photos of Braeden and friends on stage at The Waldo Theatre in "The Phantom Tollbooth." Braeden played Milo and is below in the red shirt and jeans.


I am trying to upload photos, but satellite internet is not cooperating (for the record, HughesNet is awful). So since I am trying to update my blog a bit, probably the biggest news around here is that Thane's place on the autism spectrum has been refined to Asperger's Syndrome.

It's nice to have a more targeted diagnosis than PDD-NOS, and Asperger's is something we've wondered about for awhile now. When he was 2 years and 8 months, he was moderately speech delayed and that generally rules out an Aspie diagnosis. When re-evaluated at 5 years and 5 months, his language is no longer delayed other than as it relates to social speech. He continues to be very concrete, and will still say, "No, I'm Thaney," if you refer to him by anything other than Thane, Thaney, or if I call him Lovey.

The team suggested that he attend public school. He does require extra support, which generally isn't available in private schools nearby, unless the school is specifically for special needs children. The problem with a special needs school is the lack of typical peers.

One of the reason's I haven't posted here in awhile is that I couldn't think of much positive to say about the thought of transitioning Thane to Kindergarten. I don't think Child Development Services nor the school district prepare parents well (though, in fairness, it is more the job of a case manager, which we don't have because we don't have MaineCare and can't get one without it. This is something I find really stupid because it means I have to accept subsidizing in order to get services, rather than allowing me to pay out of pocket.)

Thane visited the school where Braeden goes and that was a bad fit. I really should have known beforehand that it was a bad idea, but the thought of both children in the same place was so appealing. It was a bad experience for Thane, and one that has left me feeling guilty and questioning whether he was even safe there. Obviously he survived, but I want more for my little guy.

So it looks like as much as I dislike public school and it's factory mentality, our district seems to be offering the right things. He'll have a one-on-one, he'll be allowed to arrive late after the crowds. A one-on-one will meet us out front to walk him in from the car. He'll get speech and occupational therapy. We will keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. It has taken a long time to reach this decision because there are so many pros and cons related to the various schools around here. I just hope we've made the right choice!

Catching Up - 1st the Award

I was given this award by a friend who is also one of Thane's former teachers. She has a son with an autism spectrum disorder as well and I like reading her blog when I am not spending my life in my car. I have found I can read email and check Facebook from my Blackberry, but blogs are harder to do.

In turn, I will pass this award along to my friends . . .

Alicia, Jettison Junk
Ginger, Adventures in Autism
Kimberly, Altering Life by Holding It Still
Michelle, Welcome to O-Ville
Liz, One Silly Mama

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

It may sound silly, but I am very proud of Braeden today . . . he went to school today dressed like this. It takes a very fun-loving person to be confident enough to pull this off. He's made me smile a bunch of times today while he isn't even home.

It was cute, he got out of the car at school and put on his stove-pipe hat. There is always a teacher outside at the driveway at school as a greeter. Today it was Sarah, someone who thoroughly enjoys Braeden's humor. She totally lit up when she saw him, so it was fun to see that.

I think he is adorable. He tells me I am not supposed to say that anymore!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Especially from Braeden!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Ten years, 10 months, and 10 days . . . that's how long I have been a mom. It is hard to believe that Braeden will be eleven soon, and that Thane is the same age Braeden was when we told him there was going to going to a baby brother. I really worried about the age difference between them, but they are pretty close and genuinely love each other, and even like each other too.

I think I should have stepped up to the plate and moved away from carpooling to school awhile ago. It is so much better for Braeden, and when things are better for him they are generally better for me as well. He is just so much more relaxed and upbeat. He often sleeps in the car, but he has always been like that. It just seems like there is much less time until he is relaxed and ready to go about the things he needs to do to help out around here.

I laughed this morning because there are some frost heaves from which it really feel like the minivan is going to take flight.

Braeden said, “That was fun! Let’s do it again!”

Thane had a different response yesterday to the same frost heave,“¡Cuidado, Mama! ¡CUIDADO! That means WATCH OUT!” he went on to tell me that he would keep an eye out and yell “¡Cuidado!” when he saw heaves coming. He did it for about 10 minutes, then relaxed and fell asleep in the car. I picked up Braeden, who also went to sleep in the car, and we had a very quiet ride home (where I fell asleep in a recliner!).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More Snow

I am adding two more photos from today. The first one I took off the side of our turnaround thinking it might show the depth of the snow better. The stonewall is the edge of an old foundation. It looks like there is 3 feet of snow there, and it is someplace where I would expect some of the snow to drift from, not to.

This image was taken at Dave's request. After all the plowing, climbing on the roof, etc., he wondered if the tree was telling the sky something. Forgive me for this one, but it is kind of humorous!

Got Snow?