Friday, July 16, 2010


Apparently it's a Jonah week. Here he is giving Daddy a little love. In the three plus years we have been in the autism club, we have learned so very much. The biggest thing I have learned is that just like no two typically developing children are alike, so too are all kids on the spectrum very different. The thing about Jonah that sometimes surprises people is how tender and loving he can be. He is so very affectionate. He loves on Sammy, mom and dad, his teachers at school, grandparents, aunts and uncles, even occasionally a friendly looking stranger. It is a wonderful quality, and one that, especially on difficult days, is an amazing blessing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Remember last week when I mentioned the weeds? Remember how I said that was only the beginning? It gets worse. 32010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Jonah loves pajamas. Every afternoon, around 2 PM he appears naked, carrying his PJs, excited for the comfort that will soon envelop him. Here he is, mid-day, all PJed out, happy as can be. He has climbed up onto the backside of his wading pool; I think he is dreaming of all the swimming days to come. Pictures of those will be up soon! 31910

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Jonah is our puzzle champ. He opened this puzzle for the first time less than two minutes before this picture was taken. He did the same puzzle five times, I think so that he could memorize it. Next time it comes out, he can do it without even thinking about it. He has been known to do puzzles upside down to make them more challenging. He is so super amazing and smart! 31810

Monday, July 12, 2010


Sammers in his St. Patrick's Day green shirt. Looking at him makes me feel lucky. 31710

Sunday, July 11, 2010


With Rex gone, Jonah got moved to the middle seat in the van. New views, much to see, little patience for the camera, oh so handsome :) 31610

Saturday, July 10, 2010


We took Jonah's birthday slow this year, giving him a gift a day for three days. This was the final day, and his last gift was the Ron Burgundy of the lot: it's kind of a big deal. The deluxe marble run we purchased had many special appeals to J. When Jonah was really little he would drop puzzle pieces, blocks, crayons, whatever really, behind the couch just to listen to them fall, bumping up against the wall as the tumbled down. We thought it was kind of funny and cute (except when we had to pull the couch out and found 82 tiny toys back there.) After he was diagosed, we found out that sound thing is totally an autism thing. He loves the auditory input falling things give him, and the marbles falling into this thing make a great sound. He also has always loved building things, and putting the marble run together is kind of like a puzzle. Forgive the fuzzy pictures, but I love how intense he is in building his marble maze. Unfortunately, it appears his future as an architect looks grim-unless Dr. Seuss calls and needs a tower built that is.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Jonah loves water, and he really loves the bath. Trouble is, when you have two brothers, you don't typically get to spread out and really enjoy your tub time. Every once in a while though fate smiles on you, like when your little brother goes out of town and your baby brother sleeps through bathtime. Then, you get sweet bathtime bliss. You can spread out, let the bubbles fill the tub and smile. 31410

Thursday, July 8, 2010


My sister recently uprooted her family and headed up north so her hubby could go back to school. Exciting for them, sad for us. One reason I was so sad was that Rexie and his cousin, Ainsley, had developed such a sweet, almost sibling, friendship/love. Having spent some time together pretty much everyday of thier lives, they were quite an adorable pair. A few weeks before my parents headed up to Idaho to visit my sister and her family, she jokingly mentioned that she wanted Rex to come up with them. I laughed it off; I couldn't imagine sending my precious, barely three-year-old baby on a thousand mile voyage without me. However, the idea took root, first in my sister, then in Grandma, and finally we relented. Here is Rex all loaded up in Grandma's car ready to head up to Idaho. He had a super fun time; I missed him like crazy; we were amazed at how quiet our house suddenly became. Grandma reported that he was the best traveler of the lot, a group that included his grandparents and his thirteen and twelve year old cousins. He can't wait to see his cousins again in a couple of weeks when we load up to head to the Gem State altogether. 31310

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


The common enemy of moms everywhere is laundry. I honestly only know one woman who claims to enjoy the chore, and although said woman is one of the most extraordinary and wonderful people I know, I think she is, at least insofar as laundry is concerned, a bit crazy, or maybe just overly optimistic. For me, laundry is a chore I despise, but the boys like it. Maybe this is why I can't ever get it done as fast as I think I should be able to. 31210


Jonah turned five, and to celebrate we decided to forego a big party which would have been overwhelming for him anyway, and plan a day with all the thing our precious Pete loves. We headed out to Stillman-McCormick Park where they have a little train, lots of room to run, a playground and a carousel. Throw in some pizza, donuta and Capri-Suns and top it off with some plastic animals and I think it was one of the best days of his life, pretty appropriate considering his birthday is the celebration of the happiest day of mine. Love you, Jojo! 31110

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


There is a theory that for some reason kids with autism are, on the whole, better looking than the average random sampling of kids. Good looks to make up for weak social skills? Interesting theory. At any rate, he is gorgeous. 31010


Layne has long lamented that all three of our kids are total Mama's boys. Pretty much from the beginning, they want me all the time. However, Rex is starting to turn his allegiance. One thing he loves about Daddy is talking softball. Here he is discussing the merits of the Matador as a mascot. (That sissy looking figure he's pointing to on Layne's shirt is a Matador.) The end conclusion of the conversation, as I recall, is that Hawks are way better than sissy bull fighters.


I love how babies sleep with their little bums up in the air. So cute, right? 3810

Monday, July 5, 2010


In Phoenix this spring we had TONS of rain. I absolutely LOVE Phoenix rain, but what I do not love is the aftermath of the rain: the weeds. Tall, ferocious, stubborn and sure to turn brown once it gets hot, the weeds come with a vengence. This year, in the new house, the weeds had quadruple the room to grow, and they did. More of this later, as this photo is merely the beginning of weed season. 3610 (missed a day)


Jonah loves Elmo's World, as in loves, loves, loves Elmo's World. He wants to watch it 20 times a day. Somehow, Sammy got ahold of the DVD case for precious Elmo. The pictures tell the rest of the story. I love the second picture where they are sharing. Jonah is a kind and caring big brother. I am always amazed at his sweet disposition. He has so many limitations and difficulties, but he really cares about others, and this is doubly true for our little Sammers. 3410


Have I mentioned that Rex is kind of a goofball? It seems odd to see him with his pacifier in, we've been without it now for so long, but this picture is pure typical Rex: a little bit crazy, a lot hilarious and always putting on a bit of a show.

The Return of the Mean Queen

(Rex actually called me The Mean Queen the other day. Lovely title, huh?)

Now don't faint. I'm back. I really have no good excuse for my extended absence. I got behind; I got discouraged; I had to give my sister back her awesome camera, and I felt bad for my poor quality images. Yet, week after week, I always intended to come back. So here I am, back in the saddle. I have been less than perfect about my photo-a-day goal, but hopefully I can recover that too. At any rate, on with the show.

Friday, April 2, 2010


I am writing this post on Autism Awareness Day, and it features some pretty amazing pictures of our little autie (as they say in the Autism community :) I love to look into Jonah's eyes. The kid is five, but his eyes are so deep and so full. When you lock eyes with him, his soul speaks to your soul. I know that sounds a bit hippyish and new-agey, and before Jonah was mine, I'd probably roll my eyes at a myself, but I swear, this kid--there is wisdom and depth, love and joy in his eyes. I love this picture of him looking right into the camera. I love the other picture too because it reminds me of how far our guy has come. When Rex was born, Jonah was still 3 months away from his diagnosis, but we knew at that point that something was up. He could not even stand to look at Rex. We have plenty of pictures of the two together, Jonah crying, turning his back on his baby brother. Rex didn't let it phase him. He is his brother's biggest fan and greatest asset. As soon as he learned to get around, Rex got around to Jonah. Rex drew him out of his world and into ours. He forced Jonah to acknowledge him, to play with him, and eventually to love him. Jonah now seeks Rex out, and he loves Sammy too. He'll often stop what he's doing as he runs by Sam, turns around and pushes his lips to the top of Sammy's head, giving him a special Jonah kiss. I love this picture of my big boys playing together. I keep saying it, brothers are the best.


This kid loves to be where the action is. I've been amazed at how quickly he gets from one end of the house to another. Since we're all on one story in the new house he pretty much has free reign on the place. Every once in a while, I get busy and have to go looking for him. Usually, he can be found wherever Jonah and Rex are, but sometimes he has found something all by himself to keep him occupied. In this picture, I found him standing by the front door, staring out skinny little window there, checking out the world, and happy as always.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Today was Rexie's big day! It is his third birthday. We planned a super fun day that we knew he would love. After church, where he brought yummy snacks to share with his friends, we went to Roadrunner Park to feed the ducks and eat lunch. After that, we headed to Grandma and Grandpa's to eat cupcakes and open presents. Rexie got a train set which he absolutely loves. He had such a super fun day, and as a mom, that is all I want for my kids on their birthday, pure happiness. I'm posting a couple of pictures with this entry because there were just to many to choose only one :) My favorite is the one of the goose attacking Jonah. No worries, Layne was able to protect us all as he chased off geese and pigeons alike, as seen in another picture.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Today was a fun day! The girls' 4A State Basketball Finals was today, and the top two teams? Apollo and Shadow Mountain! This is the first year the school Layne works and and the school I work at have been in the same region, so it has been fun going to the games, and rooting against each other. The state championship is, of course, a big deal, so it is held at the arena in Glendale where the Coyotes play. We brought Sammy, Rex and Grandpa along for the fun. I hadn't been to the arena since Apollo won the first of their three consecutive boys' state championships in 2005. Back then, I was coaching cheer and was 9 months pregnant with Jonah. My original due date was the night of the game, and I remember wearing a shirt which had a basketball perfectly placed on my gigantic belly. Of course, Jonah did not appear on his original due date, or his recalculated due date, or the second recalculated due date, but arrive he did. Back to the present day, we had a good time going down memory lane and at the present day game, and the winner of the game? Well, that's not really important :)


Another bath picture! Seems like there are a lot of these and I'll be honest about the reason. Sometimes, the day ends and no pictures have been snapped. I remember this as the boys are splashing around, so I grab the camera and hope for a cute shot. I tried to get a good shot of Sammer's chubbiness in this one. He is perfectly
squeezable here as his Buddah belly lays across his thunder thighs. I absolutely LOVE how chubby this kid is, but as of late, he is moving around so much and so quickly, the baby fat is sure to start disappearing soon. 22610

Monday, March 29, 2010


Something I love about my boys is that they love each other. Even with all Jonah's limitations, his love for his family is truly evident, even if he expresses it in sometimes strange ways. (Like hugs that are actually painful and an odd need to touch his mouth to your cheeck in violent ways) Rex's love for his brothers is also extremely evident (and sometimes painful to Sammy whose head nearly gets squeezed off from Rexie hugs) Rex worships Jonah, and I love that even though in many ways, Jonah is not a typical big brother, in this way, he always is: Rex follows Jonah around like a puppy. Here they are playing together at my school. I love these images of Rex being Jonah's little shadow. Being a brother is such a blessing for me and my boys. 22510


Layne's computer charger broke, so we made a rare family outing to the mall, so he could get a replacement. The boys LOVED running through the play area. I took at least a dozen pictures and pretty much all of them are a total blur as one or the other rockets past the camera on their way to something new. It's funny how different they are, Jonah rushing from one thing to the next, Rexie rushing to follow brother, getting nervous whenever he lost sight of him, and Sammy barely able to keep his eyes open and so happy to watch. What a fabulous life we all lead. 22410

Sunday, March 28, 2010


No doubt he loves the tub :)I love getting a shot of this kid looking at the camera; the smile is a bonus.