Monday was the Great American Eclipse, but the world kept spinning. (See what I did there?) Anyways, Rowan had ABA with his new therapist, Shay. Sad to lose his old therapists but life goes on. As long as she treats him kindly and we continue to see progress, I think it'll work.
We were going to make a cereal pinhole box, but I forgot to. I felt bad that Heidi Anne was going to miss this event due to my lack of foresight. Then I found a cheater way to make a pinhole box (thanks to Google). You wrap aluminum foil around a colander, leaving the bottom uncovered. Put your back to the sun , holding up the bottom towards the sun. TA-DA! Now you have several pinholes to view the eclipse with.
We got 91% totality, which meant we only got a little dim. Not the cool twilight in the middle of the day that places like Idaho Falls experienced. All my pictures of the sun or the cool colander pinhole eclipses turned out horribly.
On Monday evening Heidi Anne had back to school night. Since we had time, we took a picture by the school mascot, which is a Raptor. We got to meet her teachers, (she has 2), find her classroom, her desk, discovered whose in her class this year. We found out she's going to have a ton of homework this year (4 pages a night, a handwriting assignment, plus 20 minutes minimum of reading) and a diorama project due in March.
Tuesday was Heidi Anne's first day of 4th Grade. I feel old!! She is going to have a lot on her plate this year. She's into Harry Potter right now and found a few other kids that have read some of the books, too. She had a good first day and the babies missed her.
Anastasia is learning to drink through a straw! Just a month ago she would choke if she used a straw, but now she can pace herself. Anastasia now has her own water bottle to use anytime she wants.
On Wednesday for 4.5 hours I only had 1 baby in the house. As luck would have it, Anastasia is coming down with a cold or suffering from allergies. Either way, she wanted attention. It was like she realized "Gee, I can have mommy ALL to myself! Let's have her play with me, pull out every single toy, and get nothing else accomplished today!" To her credit, the last time she got 1 on 1 time with just me, she was in the NICU.
You have no idea how many pictures it takes to get Anastasia or Rowan to look towards the camera. It's somewhere around 30-40 shots to get 1 good-ish picture. I would be doomed if I had to use film with only 24 chances to get it right. Most of my pictures would turn out like this: Cute, but no cigar.
I discovered that Rowan is in the pre-school program by default at ABA. He still has his therapist, Shay, with him the whole time. He just attends their pre-school program 3 times a week from 9:30-12:00. They started a school for those with autism at his ABA clinic. Currently, there are 3 other kids in his age group and they all signed up for pre-school. They like to keep certain ages together, so he attends pre-school with the other kids. I discovered all this when I got a note saying what school supplies he needs. Don't get me wrong, not at all upset. Just wish I had a little more warning.
We learned that Rowan knows the song and some of the actions to "The Wheels on the Bus". We kept singing that song and "Old MacDonald". To the point I lost track of time and everyone went to bed late. Ooops, going to pay for that in the morning.
We got Rowan a new back-pack that is Construction themed (he loves vehicles, planes, and trains right now, but Construction things are the winner by far!) Since he's now a big boy in pre-school, he needed a real back pack.
Well, this year I didn't take First Day of School pictures for Heidi Anne...I know, big mistake. I thought I could do 3rd day of school pictures and no one would be the wiser. But my phone decided to die and her friend that she walks to school with was leaving. However, I did manage to get a picture of the 1st homework assignment of the year. It works. Why, yes! That is a Pikachu-Pokemon shirt.
After school Grandma dropped by for a quick visit. She's been in Australia for the last month and hadn't seen the kids since we were up at the cabin.
We decided to let Rowan play outside with his water table. He had a blast and kept splashing the water everywhere and even pretended to drink the water! Although, he did drink some of the water by accident. He was soaking wet and won a bath after we got back inside. Oddly enough, he HATES bath time. Can't figure out why he has this love / hate relationship with water.
I tried to put Anastasia on the grass to play with the water table, too. But she wouldn't stand for it, literally. She wouldn't even crawl on the grass. We set a towel out for her to sit on but she just wanted to be held, by me.
Over the weekend my phone officially died. It wouldn't even turn on it was that dead. It had been giving me warning signs (like turning off while having a full battery, not charging, dying while taking pictures). This is the last picture it took.
We choose to participate in an autism research program called SPARK. (A friend of mine told me about it). They take Char's and my DNA, look for any of the hundreds of known autism genes / mutations. They'll do the same with Rowan's DNA, plus put it in a database for future reference, in case they discover a new gene / mutation down the road. That way they can have it to compare to other samples. The program also wanted to sample Heidi Anne's DNA to contrast with Rowan's DNA to see why she doesn't have autism.
It could take months and they might not discover anything. We did it more to add to the research aspect down the road. Why not contribute to science and medicine if we can? It won't change our minds about being done with having babies. But it could possibly answer where the autism came from and tell Heidi Anne IF she carries those genes that could be passed on.
All the supplies are mailed to you with a pre-postage box to send back. All the testing and results are free of charge. The only downside is they have to collect 1 ML of saliva (that way they have a lot of DNA to play with). We have found out that Rowan has dry mouth and hates being swabbed. So it's taking sometime to collect his sample (which is likely the important one). We're doing our best.
Here's their website if anyone with autism in their family wants to join in the research project.