Games, Toys, and Autism

If you are reading this at the beginning of your Autism diagnosis journey, know that your child will have many joys. I began this post a year ago Games, Toys, and Autism and I hope to be more detailed with this post.

2 years old:
At this age my son loved Curious George. He brought it with him to preschool to give him comfort. Even though he had many other stuffed animals, this was one that he grew attached to! It will be a couple years later that other plushes come into the picture. One of his aunts had given this to him.

He started to develop his love of basketball at this age also and loved the repetitive motion of shooting the ball. We have videos of him practicing his shooting skills. So definitely purchase a basketball hoop. We did have him join a typical basketball team when he was in kinder. The noise was too much for him but he survived the season. It wouldn’t be till 4th grade that he would try it again.

We had this inside our home and he had a bin full of balls.

Bowling was another activity he enjoyed. My sister had given him a gigantic bowling set and was absolutely entertained by it. Whenever we visited my parents, he would use empty water bottles as pins and use any ball he could get his hands on to play bowling. I would say that for him “imaginary” play was more like substitution play.

His love for bowling allowed him to later enjoy himself at bowling birthday parties.

3 years old:
This year was definitely marked by a love of balloons. My mom and I were repeat customers at Party City. We learned that you could just bring your previously purchased balloons and refill it. Who knew that I would be visiting the grocery store to buy random balloons also. The Dollar Tree became our go to store when his obsession with it grew even more.

See his balloon themed party here

At this age, he also started to develop a love for Disney cars like Lightning McQueen. With many of his likes (didn’t know at this time) there would be a need to start a collection.

I am certain it was during this time he discovered the Disney store.

Age 4
My mom had a Baby Channel station. He loved watching EggBird. I am not sure if that eventually led to his love for Angry Birds. Looking back on my Facebook posts, at one time, he wanted his dad to go to Party City to buy him ten Angry Birds balloons. Once he loved something, he had to have several. His love for Angry Birds was not just balloons but also towels, plushes, and t-shirts.

Age 5
At this age he started developing a love for building with Angry Birds Jenga pieces. He loved toys like the following

This eventually led to his love for Star Wars.

Age 6-8
Definitely full blown love of Legos
He was building over 1000 pieces on his own. Explaining Some Lego Figures

Texas to White Sands National Monument

Our winter road trip this year led us to New Mexico were the kids had the chance to snow tube and play around at White Sands National Monument. But first, we visited family and made a stop at Hamilton Pool in Austin, TX. Though we frequent Austin, this was a first for all of us. I’ve seen too many beautiful pictures of this place to not see it in person. It is in the west part of Austin in Dripping Springs. This is a great place because you don’t need to hike very long to reach the pool! However, it is rocky and can get slippery if there is even a little bit of rain. So be sure to have proper shoes. The entrance was $15 per car. The view was amazing!

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Before leaving Austin, I had to stop by a favorite store, Nature’s Treasures. There are way too many interesting finds there.

@vivalaviviana it’s so tempting !!!

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We spent that night in Killen, which is about an hour north of Austin to visit the grandparents. Then we started our long drive to New Mexico in the morning. The boys saw cotton fields, wind mills, and many oil drills. There were also trees with branches covered in ice. It looked magical.

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Our eldest asked to snow tube so we took them to Ruidoso Winter Park. They had a blast. There were various lanes and some steeper than the others. At the age of 7 and 9, they did get scared on the steep ones. Admission allows you three hours of park use.

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It was steep

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A little over an hour away, you will reach White Sands National Monument. It was beautiful! The boys loved it! The fee was 10.00 for both adults. Kids were free. Definitely many picture moments!

Meditation in the desert

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Austin Steam Train North Pole Flyer

It was our first time trying the Austin Steam Train: North Pole Flyer. We were able to reserve the Nambe section 3 months ahead of time. It seats 12 people. It is a 2 hour ride in the train and you get to partake in Christmas Caroling, story time with elves, cookies from Mrs. Clause and Santa himself. You get juice and hot cocoa. There is also a balloon artist.

It is a great way to be with family and to get those photos with Santa!

Here are some of our pictures.

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Austin steam train look who came !!!

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Look who stopped by !!

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Just drinking riding a train

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From my sister’s cam!

The boys with #Santa

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13th Wedding Anniversary!

This year we decided to have formal family pictorials for our 13th wedding anniversary. Our son has been looking at our wedding albums and wished he could have been part of it. This year also marked our 20th year together plus we both turned 40. So formal pictorials seemed timely.

Our group photos were taken by MJ Tabush Photography

Various photos from my sister and sister-in-law.

#6 #blackandwhitephotography #challenge I nominate @bdnfool

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Cakes were from Cake 4 Tay

Thanks to all our family members who dressed up and took part in this!

Cauliflower Rice

I have lost just over 5 pounds and I have 15 more pounds to go! This past week I lost 2.5 pounds and that was mainly eliminating rice and replacing with cauliflower rice! My biggest craving was cheese and I found that cauliflower rice with cheese satisfied that craving. I replaced soda with red wine in the evening. I am not that much of a fan yet of red wine but it does do the trick.

During the next week, I will definitely have to be more active. I have changed my diet so drastically that I can’t make any more changes to help with the weight loss in that department. Good luck to those of you with weight loss goals and hope you follow on my road to losing fifteen more pounds!

Eating Right at 40!

I am definitely having to watch what I eat now!!!! The levels are creeping up and my goal is to lose 20 pounds! Journey with me on the road to losing those 20 pounds! Hubby and his levels are at an elite status. Mine are not. I am definitely going to have to move daily and sweat it out. Since getting the dogs, hubby has been walking 3 miles a day. That has probably maintained his levels well. HAHAHA! Please comment away on your goals!

At work, we are also starting a weekly weigh in to not gain when the holidays come. So a coworker and I are joining that and texting each other after every walk we do. In the past I do get to that obsessive point. I am not going to lie, I will probably get a little bit that way since I am really serious about this.

This weekend we went to the Asian market to get my favorite vegetables and had our walk. Good luck to me!

Urban Air in Pearland!

Yesterday we went to the Urban Air in Pearland! It was a cousin’s birthday and we were lovin the go karts!!!! The Sugar Land location does not have the go karts. We are hoping it will come our way! The cost when we went was $24.99 for 3 rides with an adult. The rides last 6 minutes each. You may have to verify this, but you can go solo when you are 48 inches tall. Here are some photos from the party and the go karts!

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Go carts here !!!

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