Saturday, 28 September 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: week 38-39/2013

Another not-so-normal week is finally coming to a close. I am still not feeling too hot, but at least Sunny is more or less okay again.


1) I am thankful for the kind people I meet through blogging.

2) I am thankful for nasal spray and Ibuprofen because otherwise this week would have been REALLY tough for me!

3) I love the vibe of Hard-Fi's "Cash Machine". However, the message is quite sociocritical. I guess they are not that famous so maybe you enjoy listening to a new band you did not know yet.


4) I am thankful that we could go to hippo therapy on Thursday. Due to the weather we nearly had to cancel it but it did not rain so we could go. And Sunny had so much fun yesterday, he laughed and squealed with delight all the time!

5) I am thankful that I will have two job interviews next week! I am curious and looking forward to that, but I am also a bit nervous.

6) I am so glad that we found the perfect SLP after several attempts. She is loving, kind, eager to learn, and understands Sunny and me so very much. It is good to have her in our lives.

7) I am happy that Sunny's SLP was over the moon yesterday when I showed her the communication journal I made for Sunny. She had never heard of it before and noted down everything about it. She said that it was a brilliant idea she could also use for other kids she treats. I love how open-minded she is and how she lets me teach her although she is the professional.

I was also very flattered when she told me how impressed she was that I always bend over backwards and turn the world upside down for my son. How I do so much for him and then some more. It felt good to hear that because very often I doubt myself and think that I could and should do so much more and then I have a bad conscience. So it was nice to hear that she thinks it is impressive what I do.

8) I am thankful for "Radler". It is a mixture of 50 % beer and 50 % lemonade and I love it. Right now I am enjoying one with grapefruit lemonade. Hmmm!

9) I am thankful that Sunny is feeling so much better. Now I would like to be thankful for feeling better, too! ;-)

10) I am thankful for my new pillow. My old one was really, really old and tonight I will sleep with my new one for the first time. Yay!

10+1) I am thankful that I just managed to write at least one of the blog posts I have been wanting to write for weeks now: our beautiful encounter in Cologne cathedral some weeks ago. Although it is late and I am tired, so I am signing off to bed now.






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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Snippets of our lives

I would like to post a short and quick update on some things so here goes.

***

After Sunny was having so much trouble breathing on Monday night I decided I better have our paediatrician check his lungs and she confirmed what I already knew: that he does indeed have bronchitis. Since I already started inhalation there was not much more I could do than just have him inhale frequently, tend to his fever, wait and help him figure it out. There was not much I could do apart from that because it is a viral infection. He has not returned to school yet but he seems to be pretty okay today so I think he can go tomorrow for one day before the weekend starts.

***

Sunny's teacher called us on Monday night. Remember that we were told he needed a 1:1 aide for school? Now, after a bit more than one week with his new teacher, she called to inform us that she is against him getting an aide. Why, you ask? Because she said she was astonished at how well he was doing at school, how well he was getting along and how he could do so much more than she expected him to be able to (and maybe was told, I do not know). She also said that she noticed how much he relies on helpers when they are there for him, meaning he tends to get a bit "lazy" in this case and rely on the helper to do things for him. She said that she fears his independence will suffer when he gets an aide for himself. She said that she always has helpers in class who will be there for him when he needs support but that she would like to go on trying without a 1:1 aide for him. We can always apply for one again should it become evident that he does need a 1:1 aide but for the time being she thinks it will be more beneficial for his independence to not have one.

I must say that that's okay for us and we will see how it all develops. Once again I am pleased at how this beautiful teacher gives my son the space he needs to develop and how much she dares him to be able to do. I feel that she sees so much potential in him and I am really happy about her attitude and her determination to foster him in the best way.

***

I have to thank my generous son for bestowing his cold on me. I feel quite bad, my nose is stuffed, my head is blocked, I am tired and flappy. Sharing is caring they say. Well, thank you for caring so much, my dear. ;-)

***

Once again I found out what a beautiful thing blogging is and how it brought so many great things and awesome people into my life.

After my last post two of my blogging besties, Kerri and Kristi, reached out to me by e-mail. They told me they were worried and asked if they could help me somehow. They offered to talk on the phone and told me to let them know if there was anything they could do. I was so grateful for that. It really meant the world to me. I cannot thank them enough for it.

Never, ever in my wildest dreams would I have believed that blogging can lead to such close connections with people I have never met, people that live half a world away from me. And still I feel that they honestly care about me and that they are really worried. Isn't this the best thing about blogging ever, this community that evolves? I am proud and honoured to call them my friends and not just some shallow acquaintances. And believe me, we Germans do not use the term "friend" lightly. ;-)

What I also want to address is that this is also the reason why blogging is putting a lot of pressure on me lately. I have a hard time to come to terms with the fact that I was a bad and unreliable blogger the last weeks. I hate that I haven't had the time to respond to comments since summer (!), that I could not connect with my blogging friends and, therefore, do not know what is going on their lives right now. I feel like a bad friend. I feel like there are friends constantly leaving flowers, candy, and presents on my doorstep, I take those gifts inside and do not say thank you for them. I feel ungrateful. This is not how I expect myself to be a blogger and be part of this community who showed me, once again, that blogging is more than just the words of a stranger on a computer screen. And this is why I feel I let everyone down with regard to my blog. I know a lot of you will say that there are more important things than blogging in life and they are right, but still. It feels wrong to me and puts me under pressure. I put myself under pressure.

So, I just want to say THANK YOU! For still hanging around here and reading my blog and leaving lovely comments, although right now I seem to be disconnected and ungrateful. Thank you for still following and allowing me to catch my breath before I can be the blogger I expect myself to be again.

And, once more, thank you so much for reaching out to me, Kristi and Kerri!!






Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Just when I thought I would finally have a "normal" week...

... Sunny got sick on Sunday night. We had two horrible nights now with only a few hours of sleep. He has a hard time breathing and we started to inhale in order to avoid a bronchitis. He also spiked a fever this morning. So: no school for Sunny and no time for me...

See you soon - hopefully ;-)



Monday, 23 September 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 38/2013

(This post was published on October 2, 2013)

We had a full week with many different things to do. 


I treated Sunny with a piece of jelly roll after his osteopathy session

A thunderstorm rolling in

I love how dramatic the sky looks!

I made puff pastry rolls filled with cream cheese and smoked salmon for some visitors

We went to Sunny's final follow-up appointment with regard to his surgery

My friend who came to visit me for a girls night gave me a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers and autumn leaves

Summer is slowly but steadily leaving :-(



Saturday, 21 September 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: week 37-38/2013

Somehow I thought that I would have so much time this week to do all the things I wanted to do for a long time. Turns out the week was as busy as those before because we had appointments every day...

I am even late to hosting my TToT so I hope to finish this list quickly and publish it.


1) Thankful for the fact that the first week of school went rather smoothly for Sunny. Of course it is too early to tell if his teacher will live up to the positive image I have of her and how Sunny will handle being away from kindergarten and having less time to play in the long run but at the moment it seems that he is fine.

2) The song "Carrie" by Europe. I used to be a big Bon Jovi fan back in the 80's and I always considered Europe as some kind of "competitors" to Bon Jovi. So it was absolutely impossible for me to like them both. But (without admitting it to anyone, not even to myself ;-) ) Carrie was always a song of them that I really liked. Due to my "dear friends" from the GEMA I could only find a subtitled video of their song. Whatever, time to learn some Spanish ;-)


3) Thankful for my friend who visited me last night. I prepared a delicious dinner for us and we chatted until midnight. It was really good to see her again (because we do not get to see each other very often).

4) Thankful that I was able to help another friend this week. Her daughter had her first week of kindergarten and she stayed with me for two mornings to "lick her wounds" and to be consoled and distracted. Although it added up to the fact that the week was so busy because I could not do anything around the house while she was here it felt so good that I could be there for and take care of her. It was totally worth it!

5) Thankful for Sunny's new teacher (so far). She seems to be a really nice, sweet, and dedicated young lady. What I also really like is that she is planning on using the talker much more than the teachers from kindergarten did. Next week she wants to take it home with her in order to get accustomed to it and to check out the layout and all that stuff. She also already requested me to program new pages with the things they are dealing with in school at the moment. I have a really good feeling about her! Hope it will stay this way!

6) I am thankful that the rash Sunny had this week was only urticaria, so neither anything to worry about nor infectious. This morning his skin already looked so much better. Apart from the rash Sunny was his happy self the whole week so I guess he was not too bothered with it (although I know that it was itching since he scratched himself occasionally but he did not seem to be burdened by it).

7) Thankful that a private affair with public authorities we have been dealing with and fighting against seems to be coming to a positive close for us. I do not want to count my chickens before they are hatched but right now everything seems to work out fine for us. We are cautiously positive about it.

8) Thankful that there will be only a few appointments next week, so I hope that next week will finally be a bit more relaxed and less stressful. I am tired of complaining about my busy and stressful life :-/

9) I am happy that the communication journal I prepared for Sunny is finally finished until to date and that he loves it and that the teacher loves it, too. It needs to be updated on a daily basis now but at least the parts I wanted to include (I made it all back until July and might do some more days of Sunny's past when I find the time, hahaha...) are now in it. It was a lot of work but it was totally worth it. Also, his teacher already drew pictures in it together with Sunny and added some photographs she took during class. I love how cooperative she is! If you are interested to learn more about it please let me know. I might do a separate blog post about it then.

10) This week we went to a final follow-up examination. Sunny had major surgery when he was nine months old and the progress of the surgery's outcome was monitored over the last years. This week was the last appointment of this kind and the surgeons and doctors were so impressed and satisfied at how beautifully and perfectly everything turned out. They were as content as we are, so everyone was happy and we can cross this part of our lives off our list.

Sadly, the main surgeon retired about two months ago, so he did not attend the appointment which was a real shame. He was the nicest, kindest doctor we ever met and I really would have wanted to thank him once again for what he had done and how perfectly he had had it done. Should anyone ever need to place their precious child in the arms of a surgeon, he was the perfect man for that. He was calm, very experienced and specialised in this field of surgery. He was the ideal of a doctor and surgeon. The clinical world will miss out on him and I just hope that his successor will be able to live up to the standards he set.









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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 37/2013

There are still many posts that I need to write from the last weeks but today I will start with my Week In Pictures post of last week. I haven't taken many pics because I was so busy but here are a few that I want to share with you.


The husband and I watched "White House Down" which I really enjoyed. It was suspense-packed, funny and with some unexpecded turns. It was worth watching!
 Photo credits

The three of us went to the zoo. There is also a beautiful park on the compound. The weather could have been better since it rained a lot so we made sure to spend a good amout of our time inside the buildings.

The baby sea lions were sooo cute!!

It was an exciting week since Sunny had his school enrolment....

... and I made his favourite cream cake and decorated it compatibly to his satchel and his Schultüte. I will write more about his school enrolment in a separate post.

The "Schultüte" (or in English The School Cone [even though the word "Tüte" translates more as bag]; alternative spelling: Schultuete, often also called Zuckertüte especially in East Germany) is a paper (and later plastic) bag in particular. When children in Germany set off for their first day in school upon entering first grade, their parents and/or grandparents present them with a big cardboard cone, prettily decorated and filled with toys, chocolate, candies, school supplies, and various other goodies. It is given to children to make this anxiously awaited first day of school a little bit sweeter."



Monday, 16 September 2013

Freedom!! ;-)

The house is quiet. Sunny is in school. The husband is at work. A whole new day lies ahead of me.

So much time only for myself. I cannot wait to fill the day with catching up on EVERYTHING: the house, blogging, some office stuff, laundry, processing fruit from our garden... There are so many things that I was not able to accomplish and the last seven weeks were so busy.

I feel like I have been in a tornado of sorts. I wasn't able to blog, to check my e-mails or do anything like that. I haven't even managed to write my TToT post last week which is a shame. Don't get me started on checking anyone's blog lately. Especially the last three weeks have just been beyond busy. I am so much looking forward to slowly getting up to date again in the next days. Yay!!

See you soon in this small, treasured space of mine!



Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Seems like it always happens in church

(This post was published on September 27, 2013).

I want to finally write about the beautiful encounter I had during our trip to Cologne.

Sunny just simply loved Cologne cathedral. I guess he would have spent hours in there if I had let him. But I was always afraid that we would disturb others so we went outside from time to time and then went in again.

What he loved the most were the beautiful, coloured windows. Accidentally, he carried a travel guide with him of a city that also has a big cathedral (it is an old book from the 70's that he found at his grandma and he LOVES it!). So he kept comparing the windows in the book and the windows in the cathedral and was over the moon about it.

After some time he was drawn to the pew where you light candles in order to pray. He got so excited when he saw how many candles there were. He tried to blow them out (which I did not allow, of course). I lit a candle and wanted to sit down and take a few moments to pray for our loved ones. He stayed with me most of the time, but there were moments when he jumped up again and ran to the candles or when he showed me the windows in his book and then again the windows in the church, accompanied by sounds that showed his excitement. I told him he needed to be quiet but given how excited he was that was not easy for him.

After a bit people started to look at us, feeling disturbed. There were one or two who "shhh"ed at us. I apologised, was embarrassed and thought about leaving the church. But I also needed to be there for a few more minutes in order to pray and just take some time to pause and reflect. But I was already tensed and felt uncomfortable because of all those who would have preferred us to leave.

Then this elderly couple turned up and sat down next to me. The man looked at us and smiled. He watched how I tried to calm Sunny down and told me that it was okay. I apologised for Sunny being rather loud (he did not scream or anything, but everything that is more than just whispering is loud in church) and he told me not to worry. I told him that this obviously was not the opinion of everyone here because we had already gotten some rather annoyed looks and "shhh"s and he told me that I had every right to be here, too. We started to talk and he asked me a few things about Sunny: his name, his age, stuff like that. Not in an uncomfortable way, but with genuine interest. He was really, really kind, and kindness of strangers always gets to me and so I started crying at some point. Again. When will I ever learn to control this? It is just embarrassing but I could not help it.

Before they left he told me that he knew what kind of hard work my life was (I am paraphrasing) and that he wished us all the best. There was no pity in what he said; it was just kindness and understanding. And his last words before they got up and left were that "Sunny is a child of god".

I loved that he said that. I loved that he understood so well although we never met. His words were so consoling and just when I felt weak and rejected because Sunny did not behave how others expected him to behave and I felt sad and planned to leave this place we both enjoyed at that moment for the sake of others he told me that it was okay for us to be here. That we deserved the tranquillity of the church and the candles, too. And that it was okay for us to be anywhere we wanted to be and not to be excluded from anything.

It was such a sweet and beautiful moment that I will cherish and treasure. Somehow it seems I always have beautiful moments when I am at church. Maybe I should start to be there more often.


 


Monday, 9 September 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 36/2013

It is late, I am tired and exhausted. The days are so busy that there simply is no time for blogging. These last days I have been stretched way too thinly. I am so much looking forward to next week. Sunny will be in school and my husband will be at work again. I will finally be able to take a deep breath, to live my own routine again and to take time for things when I want. I cannot wait for it (sorry guys!). 


These are last week's pics:

Sunny playing with his balls and his talker on the dishwasher door. :-)

It was Sunny's birthday last week!! Hooray!

My friend gave me a beautiful basket full of home-grown, delicious vegetables

Sunny and I spent the afternoon near the water, enjoying the warm breeze

The weather report states that summer is more or less over, so we had a final swim in my friend's pool. I will miss summer!

Good night, world!




Saturday, 7 September 2013

The greatest gift

We always wish for a lot of things. There are so many things we would like to do or change. This also applies to me. I wish for a world without sickness, without war, without brutality and hatred, without all the bad things that happen in our lives.

But if I had a magic wand, the first thing I would do is give Sunny the ability to talk. I love my son unconditional and I would never want to change him, but I would give him the ability to talk in an instant. Because he has so much to say and he always tries so hard to let me know what is on his mind, what excites him, what he loves, what he wants to show me. And although I understand him very often there are times when I just don't get it. And that makes me so sad for him. How I wish I could give this to him. I would not hesitate, never. Not for a split second. Because he deserves to be heard.








This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post using the sentence "If I had a magic want, the first thing I would do is..."

It was brought to you by Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine…, Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic, Stephanie of Mommy, for Real, Dawn of Dawn's Disaster, and Kristi of Finding Ninee. Thank you so much for hosting Finish the Sentence Friday!
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post using the sentence “If I could have dinner with anyone in history, it would be…” - See more at: http://www.findingninee.com/to-my-old-man-son/#sthash.fo4fLNQV.dpufThis has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post using the sentence "The best 4th of July I ever had was...". It was brought to you by Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine…, Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic, Stephanie of Mommy, for Real, Dawn of Dawn's Disaster and Kristi of Finding Ninee. Thank you so much for hosting Finish the Sentence Friday!

Ten Things of Thankful: week 35-36/2013

Wow, this week rushed by so quickly! I blinked once or twice and it is time for our things to be thankful for again already!

We had a lot of things to do this week: appointments, dates with friends, ... we were busy every day and that made the week go by even quicker.


1) It was Sunny's birthday this week. Yes, my little boy turned six. I will forever be thankful for the day he came into my life and for the person he has become since then and will become in the future. He fills my heart like no one else and I love him so very much.

We had a very good time on his birthday and invited a friend and her daughter. The weather was beautiful, so we had cake in our garden and the kids played with Sunny's gazillion balls on the trampoline. All in all it was a beautifully, laid back day.

2) This afternoon after I wrote my post about our appointment with the dentist I really thought hard about whether there was anything about it to be thankful for. I must say that it is difficult for me to find anything positive about it. Maybe really that Sunny lets me clean his teeth quite thoroughly. But that's about it, sorry guys. :-/

3) I am thankful that the sun and the summer came back this week. To be honest, I already crossed summer off and prepared myself for fall, so this was a nice surprise.

4) I am very much looking forward to tomorrow because we will seize the nice weather and have a barbecue (I hear you, Clark - yes, I love barbecues! ;-) ), maybe the last one this summer.

5) This was the last full holiday week. We had a really good time this summer and did a lot of wonderful things. School officially starts for most kids on Monday but our official school enrolment will be next Thursday so we have three more days off before school starts for Sunny. I am still nervous, I admit it. And I still have so much to do until then....

6) I am thankful that our trip to Cologne was so cool and at the same time relaxing and exciting and that our AAC appointment was worth the trip. Now I have to implement the ideas into our daily routine which will be no easy task.

7) I LOVE Jennifer Lopez' song Again. I just recently somehow stumbled upon the song on one of my old samplers and fell in love with it immediately. It is just beautiful, romantic, and relaxing and makes me dance and sing along.


8) I invited a long-time friend for dinner in two weeks and I am already so much looking forward to that. We do not meet very often so it is always so good to see her and catch up. Yay!

9) Since I am quite tired I am actually really thankful for the comfy bed that awaits me upstairs.

10) My brain feels empty because I am tired (please refer to 9) so I am really thankful that I came up with 10 things tonight ;-) Enjoy your weekend!










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Friday, 6 September 2013

We could really do without this! :-(

This morning was our bi-annual check-up at Sunny's dentist. As usual, he was scared out of his mind (as he always is at any doctor) and in panic mode. Having to wait for 20 minutes made his panic even worse.

However, as much as he was scared and screaming, trying to wiggle away, and sweating, when I held him on my lap and asked him to open his mouth "like the crocodile" he obliged nevertheless, although he was still so so very scared. We had to ask him several times to act like the crocodile and every time I asked him he forced himself to do it. For me. Because I asked him. And although he was so afraid he did what I asked him to do. What a huge sacrifice, I am very aware of that. He must really love and trust me so very much. He is such a brave little boy and I love him endlessly. I am so proud.

The result of the appointment was not that pleasant. The dentist saw that Sunny's first permanent molars are about to break through. Apart from that he has not lost any of his milk teeth yet. And the worst thing about this news is that the dentist noticed that the first set of incisors will be breaking through shortly - in second line, behind his milk teeth line. Which means that his permanent incisors will not push out his milk teeth. Which means that we most likely will have to have his milk incisors pulled under general anaesthesia. Which just sucks. Plain and simply sucks. I am so frustrated. Can anything in his life go smoothly? My poor little boy.

I know it is not that big of a deal (however, general anaesthesia is always a big deal for me!) but I just wish that we were spared things like these. We always have so much to struggle with and to worry about that we could really need a break. Instead, even one of the most natural things like the exchange of teeth is a big deal and needs to be done by a doctor. It is just so unfair. :-(

The only thing positive about our appointment is that Sunny has perfect teeth and no caries at all and that he is very good at having his teeth cleaned (I showed a video to the dentist because she could not believe that Sunny would let me brush his teeth because he is always so scared when she sees him). She assured me that she has plenty of kids she had to pull permanent teeth because of caries so I should feel lucky that is not the case for Sunny. It was kind of a "it could be worse" comment and I know she meant well but it did not really make me feel better (although I am glad he has no caries!). But needing to have milk teeth pulled still sucks.



Thursday, 5 September 2013

Our AAC appointment in Cologne

I would like to give you a short update on our AAC appointment which was the reason for our trip to Cologne.

Let me preface this by saying that Sunny loves using his talker. But right now he does not use it to communicate. When he wants to tell me something he still uses his regular vehicles like signs, sounds, single words, or pointing/showing. I, on the other hand, am no specialist and new in AAC so I was missing out on ideas how to support him better. After all, learning to use a talker is like learning a foreign language. You cannot give someone an English book and expect him to be able to read and understand it before you taught him the English language.

I had known the counsellor from a group on Facebook that I am part of. He is working as a counsellor for AAC and also for people on the autism spectrum. I got to know him as a very engaged, creative, and supportive person so I thought that it would be worth a try. And I was not disappointed. The appointment lasted about two hours and in that time he had so many ideas.

He made a few short tests with Sunny in order to find out about his comprehension skills with regard to symbols and language. It became very evident that both skills are very well developed and used appropriately. He could also see that Sunny had no problem finding symbols and categories on his talker.

The result is that Sunny already has good competences when it comes to be supported with AAC and he holds very good potential for it. He recognises and understands symbols (even those unknown to him). He also understands his talker and its technical features and has no problems changing categories over various levels in his talker. All of this made it clear that using a talker is the right choice for him.

However, he needs more support for learning how to use it. He needs to be taught communication strategies, he needs to feel that his communication attempts are valued and important and he needs support in order to grow into his alternative communication system. And this is our job - the job of Team Sunny: our network of family, teachers, and therapists!

Yes, sometimes he finds the most unusual places to play ;-)
He suggested a few ideas in order to enhance Sunny's communicative skills with regard to the use of the talker:

1) Teach and model the use of focus words. There is a list of about 100 words that are needed in everyday life very often which should be modeled as often as possible. This is done over the course of six weeks for each group of focus words.

For example, the first group of focus words consists of "again", "done", "not", "want", "look". We all should model the use of these words on the talker as often as possible within those six weeks. Sunny should not be forced to use them, it is just to show him frequently where those words are and when they are used. After six weeks there should be an evaluation whether Sunny started imitating using them by himself and if we can move on to the next set of words or if these should be modeled for some more weeks.   

2) Develop communication rituals. While spontaneous interaction with the talker is very important it would also be good to implement defined rituals in order for Sunny to have recurring learning moments and more situations that show him how he can use the talker for third parties in a meaningful way. One could be that he has to greet his teacher and his classmates every morning with the talker.

3) Develop causes that he needs to use the talker to communicate for. This is very important since he should learn that the use of the talker gives him an extended benefit. However, it is very important that these causes are not artificial. In Sunny's mind he is already communicating with his signs, his sounds, his pointing to/showing of things, and his words that he can say. So it would be rather frustrating if he told me in his way that he wants to have a ball and I act as if I do not understand and he knows that I understood him and that he already told me he wants to have a ball. It would be the same if you told me "please give me the ball" and I would tell you "can you tell me with the talker, please?". You would be annoyed and frustrated because you already told me what you wanted.

I was wondering how I could do that and then I knew. We have so many, many books and very often Sunny is looking for a special book. He tries to tell me and sometimes I do not know which book he means. So I am going to put pictures of all his books in the talker (OMG this will be a huge task! ;-) ) and if he wants me to find a book for him he needs to tell me with the talker.

Additionally, he suggested some iPad apps as a learning aid, e.g. for the written language acquisition.

He had many more ideas but he said that this would be enough for the beginning. ;-) I am really glad that I made the effort to have an appointment with him! I can see clearer now what we have to do in order to support him.


He also strongly suggested to have Sunny diagnosed properly for possible ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). After the appointment he told me that if I had told him that Sunny was on the autism spectrum he would have believed it immediately and not doubted it for a second. He sees 40-50 kids with autism each year and is also a 1:1 aide for a child on the spectrum so I think he knows what he is talking about. After all, it is his job to support people on the spectrum.

Possible autism has been mentioned from time to time in the last years from various sides but Sunny was never really diagnosed (at least not thoroughly). Very often when I see him do something in his special way I just naturally think about possible autism, too, so this did not really surprise me. We have to find out where to have him diagnosed best and then do it. He would be entitled for other therapies and other kinds of support if he was diagnosed.



Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 35/2013

We are back from Cologne and had some really cool days there! The drive there and back home again were smooth and quicker than expected, the traffic was perfect, and Sunny was such a good boy in the car.

Both of my blind dates turned out to be a success and I am happy that I got to meet some kind people that I had only know online so far in real life. 

I also consider our meeting with regard to the talker a success but I will write a separate blog post on that.

Without further ado, here are some pictures of last week.


Before we left for Cologne I tried a new recipe for a greek-style salad with tortellini. Okay, so tortellini are Italian and I do not know why the inventor of the salad combined the two but it was awesome!!

On the road

Taking a break for a piece of cake (cool, that rhymes!)

The airport was quite close so we saw planes take off and land almost every minute during our break

I booked a double room for Sunny and me...

... and we were given such a cool suite!

After Sunny's nap we went to the Kölner Dom (Cologne cathedral) with our internet blind date. The weather could have been a bit better since it was quite windy and cloudy but we were glad that it did not rain.

Big cathedrals like this just always leave me in complete awe of how they were built without any technical help hundreds of years ago. With nothing but the mere hands of the people.

It is impossible to capture the beauty of the cathedral windows on a photograph.

As the evening approached we decided to slowly start walking back to the hotel

The sheer size of the cathedral...

... the architecture...

... the details...

... it is all just beyond stunning.

On our way back to the hotel...

... we had to cross the Rhine...

... which we did on the famous Hohenzollernbrücke (Hohenzollern bridge). It is adorned by thousands and thousands of "love locks". Couples or families write their names, dates when they got married, when their kids were born, ... on the locks and hang them on the rail of the bridge. The keys are traditionally thrown into the river as a sign that this love will last forever because the lock cannot be opened any more.

I think all those colourful locks add a lot of beauty to the otherwise ugly railing and make the bridge even more beautiful. You could spend hours there reading all the things that are written on the locks.

The silhouettes of the Kölner Dom and the Hohenzollernbrücke. The light was gorgeous. I love this pic!

The remainder of my yummy dinner: Tarte Flambee (a kind of "French pizza" from Alsace made from a very thin layer of pastry topped with sour cream, chopped onions and bacon) with Parma ham and arugula

We returned to the cathedral on Sunday because Sunny absolutely loved the colourful windows and asked me frequently to visit "the church" again.

We lit a candle and sat down to pray for our loved ones. I had another special, touching, and beautiful encounter while we were here that I am planning on writing a separate post about.

I was able to spontaneously buy a lock at a souvenir shop and hang it on the Hohenzollernbrücke. What the other side of our lock reads will remain my secret ;-)
BTW, I kept both keys in memory of our time in Cologne and our lock at the bridge (apart from that I think that it is not very environmentally friendly and not good for all the fish to throw those keys into the river).

Sunday's dinner: Orechiette with lemon and mascarpone sauce, basil and king prawns. Sigh. Soo good!