Thursday, July 29, 2010

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things

For those of you familiar with the autism spectrum, you know how your kiddos can develop favorite things.  Actually, any parent can understand this.

I distinctly remember my oldest daughter's obsession with Barney, the big purple dinosaur.  What she saw in him, I'll never know.  What I do know is I can still sing all the words to his hit song, "Please and Thank You".  Please and thank you... they're called the magic words.... if animals could talk, you'd hear the fishes and the birds... saying please and thank you... they're called the magic words.... use 'em in the morning at noon at night cause it's a great way to be polite.... please and thank you... they're the magic words!

Told you so - just be glad there's no audio here!

Anyway, Lily has two favorites right now - showers and yogurt.

When she comes in from school, her immediate goal is to get in the shower.  Using soap and shampoo is definitely not important to a good showering experience.  What is most important is at least one fillable cup that you can catch water in and drink - yum!  It's also nice to be able to lay on the floor of the shower just letting the water lightly spray you - so relaxing after a hard day of therapy.  And plenty of toys are a given.

After a refreshing shower, it's supper time!  And for Lily, nothing says supper like yogurt.  Vanilla is the best flavor but strawberry is acceptable in a pinch.

A couple nights ago, I had a meeting to attend and my husband was in charge.  He actually fed Lily vanilla yogurt while in the shower... sheer heaven.

I sometimes worry about these strange obsessions and how fixated on certain things Lily can become.  But then I remind myself that all of us have little quirks.  For example....

Ryley loves books.  And when I say, loves books, I mean with a passion that cannot be fully expressed in words.  She will drum her fingers lightly on the covers to hear the tapping sound, she fans the pages so they softly blow on her face, she opens and closes them repetitively to hear that crinkly sound in the spine, and... are you ready for this?... she smells them!  

Now you might think this is just something she does in the privacy of her own home.  But you would be wrong... 

I will come around the corner of a bookstore shelf and she will be standing there, looking around furtively (probably trying to see if there are any men in white coats around!), and then she will take a quick smell.  Bizarre, right???

Well, there's more...

Reagan is our knitter and this has quickly become an obsession.  It started last summer when I innocently suggested taking a couple classes at a craft store, not having any idea where it would lead.  I don't believe I've seen that child without yarn and needles in her hands since.  It is the only thing she asks for for Christmas and birthdays - yarn, yarn, and more yarn.

For her, it's not just the actual knitting that she enjoys so much - it's the entire process.  The endless searching for perfect patterns, then the choosing of the perfect yarns for those perfect patterns, chatting with the enormous knitting community online.... 

We drove to Aspen from Texas this summer for our vacation and Reagan wanted to know the exact route we were taking.  I thought she was calculating gas mileage or something useful like that, but no...she made a list of every yarn store from here to Aspen!  And worse - we stopped at two of them!  We're such enablers... 

No, my older daughters are not on the autism spectrum.  And while Lily may be, it just goes to show you that all of us have favorites.  All of us are a little quirky - that's just what makes us who we are!

Now, you'll have to excuse me - I hear the shower running and I need to chill the yogurt.


Monday, July 26, 2010

And That's Who I Am

My name is Lana.  I am a wife and a mom.  Here's a picture of my family:

Now, you may be looking at my gorgeous family and thinking, "Wow! They sure do look good in red!"  But more than likely, you're probably noticing a little.... ahem.... gap in my children.  Yes, we were four for quite a few years - 10 years to be exact.  And then.... well, let me just make some proper introductions.

Ryan is my handsome husband.  He's a pastor, a writer and a radio show host.  Busy man...

Ryley is my oldest daughter.  She's a junior in high school, a basketball player and an excellent new driver.

Reagan is my middle daughter.  She's a freshman in high school, a prima ballerina, and is quite "crafty".

Then, along came The Bird.  Actually, her name is not Bird.  It's Lily.  But for some reason, she has been called Lily Bird since birth, with several variations through the years:  The Bird, Bird, Birdie; you get the idea.  She came as a surprise, entered the world with a bang, and for the past three years, nothing has been the same.  She is most definitely the exclamation point at the end of our family!

Lily is almost 4 years old and pretty much rules the roost.  She has an extremely colorful medical history and more hospital ID bracelets than any kid I know.  Instead of a baby book documenting her first year, Lily has a large file box.  And we continue to add to her box even today.

While each person in my family has their own unique special need (mine being naps.... can I get an amen???), Lily is the only one with an actual diagnosis.  She is... get ready for some important medical lingo now.... somewhere on the autism spectrum.  She is speech delayed and does not speak proper words but she definitely communicates!  Mostly by grabbing our hands and pulling us towards what she wants, with the occasional sign language thrown in.

So there you have it.  My family.  Nice to meet you!
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