Tag Archives: #boys

Catch This!

My friend needed help – fast!  Her son’s 10/31 birthday was quickly approaching, and she needed to pull of a Yankees themed birthday party the weekend before.

Cue the party assistant (me)!  I helped make this BOYS & GIRLS party (full of second graders) a HIT, and everyone left with a pretty cool “thank you gift”!
I created a special banner (with photos of the birthday boy), fun framed decor and party bags filled with themed necklaces or keychains …

  …the girls loved the necklaces!    

I used this same idea to create boys’ high quality keychains.  I used blue or steel colored beads along with baseball beads to make a cool yet different design for the boys.  They love to hook the keychains to their school backpack zippers!

Here’s a look at the BASEBALL party…

…his “Bronx grandma” brought an amazing cake, and the kids played at the Baseball Center on the UWS!

      There were at least 25 kiddos, and a few younger siblings tagged along.  Everyone received a party bag — however I didn’t fill it with Cracker Jacks, peanuts, Big League chewing gum and such.  I know NY kids LOVE Air Heads!  Plus I added some Halloween stickers and red, white, and blue pompoms for a little whimsy.    

(my son above right): He would rather juggle than play baseball.  He’s a circus kid, what can I tell ya?

One of the coolest things about this party (besides watching “Manhattan Grandma” cheer on her grandson) was seeing our friends from (ex.) Sweden and Columbia join in, and learn the sport of baseball!  They were not ashamed to admit they never played, didn’t know how, didn’t know the rules, etc., It made me appreciate diverse friendships, supporting and teaching others, and cheering on your fellow teammate!  There is unity in our little world in the UWS.

Above: juggling Henry and “TuTu” (grandma); Enjoying yummy pizza on this super stormy rainy Sunday — what a great day to be inside!

 

 

Monsters & Showers!

Could monsters be hiding somewhere in our home?  Maybe in the bathroom above the shower?  Our NYC apartment has a pretty small bathroom with incredibly BRIGHT lights.  Maybe these lights ward off the scary creatures?

I have really sensitive eyes and I am always hitting the dimmer.  Everyone else in the household prefers the bulbs on full blast — and when I step in while Henry is in the tub — I know I’ll get a SQUEAL if I dim them.  But only if he’s in the tub. Hmmmmm, I wonder why he won’t budge on  softer light in the shower?

While brushing teeth, and washing hands, the lights can be dim.  It’s been a compromise 18 months in the making!  (maybe at 5’6″ I am just closer to the bulbs so it’s an eye sore).

Cue me cleaning up the sink area: H is in the tub; a bulb flickers, then goes out.  Henry: (squeal) Mom, what did you do?  

Me: I didn’t do anything.

Henry: What?!!!!

Me: The bulb went out by itself.

Henry: (in sheer panic) AH! AH!  A MONSTER DID THAT!  THERE’S A MONSTER IN HERE!  

He exploded out of the tub with a wave of water and ran for his life.

We talked about this and processed all of the above events for the rest of the evening; he continually checked the bulb too.  Of course I explained that there are no monsters.  Sigh.

The next morning we were sure to make a trip to the hardware store.

OK…. now I know why the lights must be on full blast while he is in the tub!  

At seven years old – monsters (and scary clowns) are “for reals”.

 

Scary

Short conversation of the day…

Henry: (out of no where) Mom, I hope a scary clown doesn’t come into our apartment.

Me: (a little giggle) What?! No, Henry; that won’t happen.  A scary clown will not come into our apartment.  I promise.  It just won’t happen.

Henry: Well, OK.  (not really certain and his face is very serious).

Me: Where did you see a scary clown?

Henry: On Youtube.

Me: OK, that won’t happen.  I am secretly thinking — with all the movie promotions of It and  Halloween coming up… I guess this was bound to happen.

Footnote: We don’t have a TV in our apartment, but we let him watch a few things on his iPad.  He was watching a “family clip” where a dad dressed up like a scary clown.  Yeeeesh!

 

 

Bedtime Blues

The midnight conversation…

Henry:  “Mom, Mom!  ….Mom….Mom… Can you please come up (in my loft)?

Seth: “Henry I’ll come up.  Daddy can come up… Daddy can come up.”

Henry: “Nooooooooo.”

Seth: “Daddy can cuddle.”

Henry: “Ugggggggh.  But I don’t want you.  I just want Mom.”

Seth: “But Daddy can give hugs.”

Henry: “But sometimes I am afraid to cuddle with dad.”  — OK he’s a big liar now!

Seth:  “Why?”

Henry: “Cause sometimes I just like girls.  I’m too hot up here.  I just need to go downstairs.  Downstairs is a perfect temperature.  My knee hurts. I need to go downstairs.  I just need Mom.  I don’t like you.”

Henry repeated this again, and the next thing I knew Seth slept up in the loft and Henry slept with me.   Zzzzzzzzzz.

In TRAINING

Aren’t NYC subways the coolest?

When we first moved here — Henry was a little reluctant to ride.  Then after experiencing the thrill — he would beg me to take him on the subway everyday!  He has always loved trains!  So we rode the train to nowhere  over, and over, and over.  UGGGGGGGGGG.  I kept thinking if he had his own NY Subway train at home to play with that would be really exciting!

Seth found one!  And it is one cool toy… it lights up, the doors open, it makes noise if you want it to (but doesn’t sound as annoying as most other toys).  Henry will just make it go using his own noise and language (which is great for his imagination and speech); Henry was hooked!  …and was playing with this subway toy so much that he doesn’t beg me to take him outside to the real subway (very time consuming)!  However — our neighbors downstairs complained!  We hit a “bump” in the railway.  Apartment problems!

So we are in training to play more quiet.  Getting the train to run on the carpet is NO FUN though.  Real subways make noise and even have sparks underneath!

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But …according to our newly-weds downstairs (they are almost retired) our wood floors make the train sound quite irritating on their ceiling.  And she can’t take the repetitive rolling sound over and over.  Autism problems!

So the next day I went to the hardware store, bought some rubber, cut it to be about the size of a track.  I thoroughly explained the problem of the noise to Henry,  and put Henry in training to keep the train on the rubber.  We hope this is helping.  Seth also ordered strips of corrugated cardboard to put under the rubber (they haven’t arrived yet).  I can’t wait to start glueing cardboard to rubber (sarcasm)  ….or maybe I’ll just get those Command Strips that are double sided (and super strong) to seal the deal.

Oh…. I also sent my well mannered, polite,  gentleman of a husband downstairs (with Henry) with a beautifully crafted cupcake to apologize.  The cupcake is sweet — but the husband is sweeter.  With all of our moves, and meeting new neighbors (from all walks of life), and living on tour in close quarters ….Kindness and sugar work wonders.  Thank goodness she wasn’t gluten free or on a diet though.  Sometimes you have to be careful.

In the meantime Henry has been using a different train that is very quiet on the floor.

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This train (sometimes full or empty) has very quiet wheels and goes under tunnels (step ladders) ….and stops at 79th Street, 72nd Street, and so on!

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Now just wait two more weeks until Henry’s birthday — Seth was thinking of getting this DASH robot for the BIRTHDAY BOY.  Looks like he rides all over the floor on wheels though!  Hmmmmmmm.

Kid Talk

Here’s a few of Henry’s sayings that made me laugh…  (you may or may not have heard these before):

 

On meeting Marley’s cat for the first time:  (he’s running towards Marley & the 12 week-old furry friend) “MARLEY!!  YOU GOT ME A KITTEN!!”

 

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On Valentines Day: (me) It’s a day when you tell the people close to you I LOVE YOU, and you send special cards in the mail; and give your friends at school little cards.  

Henry: “THAT IS RIDICULOUS!”

 

On leg warmers: “MOM, WHY ARE YOU WEARING THOSE SOCKS ON YOUR PANTS?”

 

On lotions and potions: “MOM, IF YOU PUT THIS ON YOUR FACE, WILL YOU TURN INTO A WITCH?”

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free sample from a NY salon

 

Some, Some, Summer Time !

Just a look back on our first LAS VEGAS SUMMER!

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At the start of SUMMER BREAK — I took Henry to a week camp at SPORTS SOCIAL!  Then we continued our weekly Saturday lessons there!

With 110 to 114 degrees out — indoor fun is essential!  (Above) we are at Gravady Extreme Sports, and The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay. 

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Mom went to Home Depot and Lowes for wood, (all shapes and sizes), pipes, tubes, safety goggles, nails, tools, etc., All of this kept him busy outside for about 20 minutes.  (kidding)

 

FullSizeRender lunch date… and…  FullSizeRender

What could be better than catching up with a good friend?

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We used the Summerlin Community Pool a lot!  It was a great place to chill out!

FullSizeRender  …we got it made in the shade at Red Rock!

 

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The Summerlin 4th of July parade was really impressive!  Click on the link for more pictures submitted by the community.  (scroll down to Photo Contest Entries).

 

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Making new friends and new discoveries…

 

  IMG_2662  Staying busy inside the air-conditioned house!   I set up a SCIENCE TEA PARTY FOR HENRY!  This is easy, just use some tea cups, vinegar, baking soda, food coloring….  We recorded our findings afterwards– just to be extra-scientific!

 

 

 

 

DSC_9516  Road trip to Ojai, CA!!!

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Ojai, CA has hiking, biking, swimming holes, water falls…..

 

Then Henry and I took an impromptu drive on the P.C.H. to Malibu!  Gorgeous ride up, and a cool down on the beach.

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IMG_3423        DSC_9701 Malibu coastline (on the left) and a little camp out in Mt. Charleston (to the right).

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Nothing BUTT fun!

  We enjoyed special friends, books, movies, ice-cream, popcorn, parks and playgrounds!  Mom is wiped out

 

 

Our New Pet: Louie

 

Louie — our cat — is still Henry’s favorite.

He just can’t get enough of this cat!  In fact — we have to be vigilant because Henry gets a little too crazy with Louie.  This fantastic feline is like a drug, and after about ten pets, and a butt scratch Henry loses his mind.  I constantly praise all of the good behavior.  However,  when things get too rough, we give him all of the reminders possible: “Gentle hands, gentle hands… Henry — you are strong, be careful…. You are stronger / bigger than the cat… Get his cat toys and play with him… Just pets…. Get his laser and play with him…. Louie is just a baby, he’s two and you are five…. Don’t hug him so tight…. carry him with two hands….  Don’t pull on his skin…. Don’t scratch his butt too hard… Put the cat down…. If you are too rough, Henry, you go to time out and kitty gets a break… Oh, Henry let him run away from you if he wants, he needs a break, don’t grab him as he tries to get away from you…. LET THE CAT GO, LET THE CAT GO, LET THE CAT GO!!!!”

Yesterday — Henry got a time out for being too rough; He stood there sobbing, so Louie went into timeout with Henry and laid down next to him.

louie

Respite time in the pantry

Henry plays very nicely with Louie too, it’s not all bad.  

And no matter what — Louie always comes back for more.  He is so patient with Henry, I have never seen a cat so tolerant!  Louie really loves us, he even sleeps in our bed!  Our kitty is quite the talker too… he meows and meows… he really chats it up!  It’s pretty funny when he drags his toys around the house, and even into bed with us.  He has two “tail wands” that are pretty chewed up.  He drags them while simultaneously howling– louder than loud!

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exhibit A: tail wand

Henry and I even made our own board game about Louie!

You roll the die and move to different spaces.  If you land on a picture of Louie eating — you say, “Stop eating so much Louie.” (yes our cat eats like a Vegas tourist at the buffets).  If you land on a picture of Louie drinking water you say, “Oh I got a wet chin!” (we always know when Louie has been in the water bowl)!  If you land on a litter box — you have to dig 4 or 5 times and get a math card.  If you land on the picture of Louie going out the back door — YOU LET THE CAT OUT — and you must take the long way.  This game encourages Henry’s speech, math, taking turns, following direction, following rules, etc., and at the end you make it into Louie’s heart.

heart

(I actually had to modify it a few times and add more litter box squares!  Henry really likes to land in the litter box)!

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The Louie Game!

On a final note….  Henry has been telling us that he is going to get another cat!  He wants two cats?  Yes, apparently he needs a black and white cat named, “Michael”.

Aliens Have Landed!

Parties are FUN!  But they used to be very tricky, and sometimes completely upsetting for Henry.

Social situations can always be hard for kiddos with ASD; But I continued to help his development in this area — always trying to get him through the “tough spots”.  We would go to every single party and celebration we were ever invited to – even if Henry could only tolerate 10 minutes.  Noise, “strangers”, and singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY would always spark a tantrum.  One time I couldn’t even get Henry in to the door of a party for his good friend (Caitlin).  We just sat on the sidewalk outside and he cried and cried and cried.  Once in — we would participate in intervals;  Sitting and looking for 10 minutes, then taking a break, walking out and about for 10 minutes, then returning in, and so on.

Fast forward to 2015…at about 40 social gatherings later, he has worked his way up to participating fully — with no fear and no tears.  There is a little exception though — he has to HIDE when the crowd sings HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  Actually… a lot of parents have told me this has happened to their child with or without ASD!

After a couple of parties we just went to… I could tell Henry wanted a very special party of his own.  His birthday was approaching, and Henry would drop hints and even talk about it with me.  I got the feeling that a special party would be better than any toy we could buy him.  Henry chose the alien theme; I loved it!  Green aliens for the green month of March!  I wondered if he would let us sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

Let’s get started!

invite

invitations

I put an extra spark into the invites.  I used silver glitter glue to accent the party info, and also glued an alien to the front.

Preparation:

I gave more green aliens and “alien gems” to Seth — as he found a brand new (yummy) cupcake bakery near by.  They made our order with my toppers!

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alien cupcakes

Seth pre-ordered the dinner and I bought the party supplies…

…including extra candles.  It’s a good thing I did.  I handed Seth the red sparkly “5” candle to put in the cake, and he broke it while taking it out of the wrapper.  Too much muscle!  Whoops!

I booked some talent!

Our sweet friend Hannah (who is 10 years old) has been teaching herself how to make balloon animals.  We asked her parents if we could ‘hire’ her to come and help with the party, make balloon creations for the kiddies, and also just have fun.

hannah

Hannah made awesome balloon creations!

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What to wear?  I made custom Alien shirts for a few of us!

 

Set Up:

Our backyard is small — so I had to make good use of our SPACE!

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alien photo backdrop

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 Hey, it’s the month of “March Madness” — we need some alien b-ball!

More fun….

Activities to do with the kiddies:  

1)  Make an Alien “snow” Globe.  We used jars, glitter and some other “stuff”.  The kids loved it!  They looked something like this, only we used plastic jars to be safe!

globe

 

2)  Crack open geodes (but we called them MOON rocks or ALIEN rocks just to be silly).

DSC_9039  Daddy helped a lot!      ryan2

3)  Take some pictures outside in front of a SPACE themed backdrop.  Kids can use the props and take goofy photos!

(props)  DSC_8991     nikhil

 

4) Create some EERIE sounds and music (with Seth’s equipment) at our theremin station!

theremin

at first this scared Henry — good thing we warmed up earlier in the day!

Have some cake, sing, and blow out the candles!

DSC_9043        aliencake hugs  Henry gave Seth the biggest HUG after his HAPPY BIRTHDAY SONG!  THIS WAS HIS FIRST time EVER he participated in it.  He was amazing!  We were so proud!

 

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There were several times when the kids retreated to the bedroom and kind of got crazy as if they were in a mosh pit!  Expect the unexpected with boys parties!  Hannah was great — she made sure no one got hurt.

 

 

 

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Drinks and (green) watergate salad had a special “out of this world” touch…just because.

I also had this “COLOR AN ALIEN” activity just in case — it was a so cute!  Henry’s friend brought her little sister and all of the girls really likes this!

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color an alien

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Super fun — it WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD!

 

Construction in Vegas!!

Who knew that construction could be this fun?  …And Sunday we got to experience it first hand at a pretty cool birthday party!

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One of Henry’s newest friends (Connor) invited us to have a blast today!

A bright, beautiful sunny day (with hardly any clouds) in a neighboring park set the scene….

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I dig it!

There was a super fun play ground, and lots of sand to dig, dig, dig!  Connor’s mom was pretty awesome with getting all of the orange cones set up, constructions signs, shovels, buckets and hardhats!

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There was the yellow caution tape and little construction vehicles too.

IMG_0343Henry had to start off slow —  he always needs some time to warm up to a new environment.

Then– the kiddos grabbed a bucket and went hunting for prizes…Next came digging…and exploring geodes!  Constructions hats on — and special care when using the hammers please!  It was so fun to watch all the kiddos take a turn with the hammer to open their very own unique geode!  …magic!  Henry loved it!

 

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Let’s ROCK!

Balloons, chocolate cake (that looked like cookie crumble dirt) and fun decorations set the mood for an awesome day!

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Caution: Kids having fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0353    Hammer time!   IMG_0350

IMG_0342We are so thankful for the invitation!  Thanks so much to Connor’s mom for the amazing food, fun, new friends, and discoveries!  Vegas ROCKS!

IMG_0347  This party was a HIT!  IMG_0349

We even got a Home Depot canvas work apron filled with snacks as our goodie bag!  Genius!