Why Do I look like a Creeper?

I look like a Creeper from Minecraft! Why? <– do you dare ask?

Minecraft Creeper

 

Well click here to read on as to why I was playing with Minecraft themed supplies yesterday morning… {link will lead to another blog}

My Little Technology Monster so-to-speak #AutismAwareness

As we move further into the month, I am still talking about Autism Awareness because well it’s important alongside many other topics, but this is the one I am learning the most about this month with the recent DX of my son. Today, I discuss the technology addiction my son has always had and was easily confused in the beginning with an ADHD type of child.

autism awareness month

Aj has always loved electronics, video games could have easily ruled his world back in the younger days, ages 2-5. Then he got older, he learned about MineCraft and YouTube. Most days you will find my son in front of YouTube doing his research, as I like to call it. YouTube has become my son’s television so-to-speak, but he doesn’t just watch any old videos.

Aj enjoys watching videos that teach him something, that allow him to work deeper with his current loved video game, MineCraft.

The counselor, Aj’s Dad and I have all discussed this electronic “addiction” that Aj has and from time to time it had become quite the monster of his world, keeping him from interacting with his family on a more one-to-one basis. Then as time went on, I realized that Aj wasn’t using the laptop for the purpose of game playing, I realized he was showing a high level of interest in learning how to manipulate games or coding to make the game work in ways it wasn’t built from the “box” to do. It seems Aj has a bit of his father in him, his Dad loves to build computers and different things like that so it fits the mold of “like father like son” for sure.

In the past couple, almost three, months of having Aj off of medications, I have noticed that his brain is just intrigued by how things work, not necessarily the hands on building like his brother, but more so the “behind-the-scenes” of how things work and Aj gets it! Aj picks up on things that most of us don’t as it pertains to mathematics or how technology works. Aj seems to me to be that child who will grow up with a love of programming. Instead of doing what we had previously thought to be the right decision, keeping Aj from electronics, my ex husband and I have allowed the computer to be an open access item for him at both our homes. We have found in the past few months that Aj will not use the computer beyond a decent level of time, eventually Aj will bore of not being able to find just the right YouTube video for his needs and will see his family is interacting playing tag or Lego’s and want to join in with us.

I love that Aj is starting to take an interest in family life. I love that, while he isn’t as into the physical play like his siblings, he does take a part in it on a daily basis for a limited amount of time. Upon discussions with the psychiatrist who diagnosed Aj, she stated it is fairly common for autistic people to have a high level of interest in mathematics, and usually do end up in the field of programming. It seems we found just another area where Autism Spectrum – High Functioning makes sense for Aj’s diagnosis.

What are some things that your child just adores and makes you wonder why he/she is sooooo fixated on that area of their world?

 

Five Ways to Use Your Child’s Halloween Costume Year Round

I have three kids, they like to play dress up on occasion. Mind you, two of my three children are boys, this means dress up to them is more about some doctor, fire man or military dress up type scenario whereas my daughter would prefer a princess or witch type costume. The kids really do enjoy pretend play, every day my home is full with laughter of children giggling while they play pretend MineCraft or other pretend games. Playing dress up with last years Halloween costumes really make for a fun, creative, imaginary play date and that is just what my kids do!

Using Halloween Costumes for Dress Up Play Time

There is nothing cuter than watching my three kiddos chase each other around the home with their funny kid costumes worn over their clothing and hearing; “oh no it’s s shark” or “Yay! I stole the pirates treasure” while the children run a muck having a blast in their prior year costumes. Encouraging a love of imagination by utilizing the prior years Halloween costumes really makes sense, it’s a low cost or virtually no cost way to continue enjoying that one time use costume.

If you have a closet full of old Halloween costumes that you are not sure what to do with, here are five ideas on how to utilize your kids prior year costumes;

  • Host a Play-date Event – Send out invites for your children’s friends to come to a party where they can bring their prior year Halloween Costume for a fun filled day of treats and adventures!
  • Mix & Match Costume Accessories – Your kids don’t fit into last years Halloween costume? No worries, put to use the accessories for a fun filed afternoon of pretend play. You can play too!
  • Put Your Parental Creativity To Use – Mix and match or cut and sew each child’s costume, if they no longer fit into them, make the costume fit the kid, not the kid fit the costume. Have fun seeing what you can turn a pirate and witch costume into with a pair of scissors, needle and thread!
  • Create a Neighborhood Costume Collection Bin & Create a Neighborhood Movie – This is a great way to recycle non-fitting Halloween costumes from your neighborhood. Use the collected costumes as a wardrobe for neighborhood kids to get together for their own movie creation while parents sit and watch the “finale” over popcorn and laughter!
  • Make a Wall of Remembrance – Use boxed frames to memorialize each child’s funniest Halloween costume through out the years, hang this in a family room as you would with their school pictures.

There are so many things you can do with kids costumes these days that you must remember these tips when your children are choosing this years Halloween costume. Remember, life is too short and there is no such thing as too much fun!

Building with Mega Bloks with My Little Man

We had school vacation for over a week, then two snow days. The stomach bug hit our home and so there were more school days missed on top of the already planned school break plus snow days. My children have been home more often than in school the past month so we have been trying our hardest to have some fun, during our non sick moments.

Building Mega Bloks for Fun with Kids

We have a house full of toys but we also have a house full of electronics, this means there is  constant battle between getting kids to not want electronics. My little man isn’t a huge electronic playing kid, while he enjoys time on MineCraft here and there, overall he is a child who benefits most from one on one interaction with his toys.

Building Cage for Flashlight Friend out of Mega Bloks

We decided Mega Bloks would be fun on this particular day! My son wasn’t interested in building a huge, tall tower because “it will fall”. My son wasn’t interested in building a garage for his cars to play in. I finally used some of my own imagination and said, “hey let’s build a cage for your Flashlight Friend”. The little man’s face brightened and so we went on to build a cage for our Flashlight Friend Penguin.

Flashlight Friends in Mega Bloks Tower

When the cage was near finished, we weren’t really ready to call it quits yet so we looked at the blocks to figure out what more we could do to this cage…

Cookie Monser Mega Blok guards Flashlight Friend

We found Cookie Monster and decided that Cookie Monster would be the best guard for our cage while we ventured out of the bedroom of creativity with Mega Bloks to interact with the other two kiddos in the house. Cookie Monster did a great job guarding our Flashlight Friend, to this day, he is still in his cage!

 

Will we Be Back to School Soon? #schoolvacation #happilyblended

My children had 12 days, that includes weekends scheduled off for school vacation. My fiance also had the same 12 days off from his work place, it was great – the idea of having a second adult around during school vacation. I was looking forward to school vacation regardless of my fiance being off from work or not because I enjoy extra time to hang with my children. It amazes me just how fast they grow up … no matter how much they grow up, they still enjoy doing a variety of activities with their siblings and this Mama …

Bead Crafts Happily Blended

Our first idea of something to do, during this school vacation, was to get our bead collection out. My fiance’s aunt sent over some beads, something that everyone enjoys doing something with. My five year old son went to work making a necklace for me and a necklace for himself. It was a fun time with us all around the table putting together jewelry from the beads and strings.

Happily Blended Reading Books and Paper Crowns

We are avid book readers in this house so it was certainly true that we got some reading in as well, one of our Christmas time favorites is Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star. The boys also had an idea that they wanted to be kings of various countries so I went to work helping them make crowns out of paper. They loved saying they were the King of Greece and King of Egypt like King Tut, etc etc. Such a fun time!

Popiscle Crafts Board Games Happily Blended

We spent so much time together between playing an occasional MineCraft via the demo on the PS3 or the full creative version on my laptop to Popsicle stick crafts like God’s Eyes shown in the far right in above picture to the jewelry box made out of Popsicle sticks and board games like our favorite, Monopoly Empire.

While the 12 days of school vacation were fun and we enjoyed being together as a family, when January 2nd came, it was surely a time for the kids to be back to school as they were scheduled to be so that the regular school year routine could resume. Then it happened, ,we got hit with a bad snow storm January 2nd into January 3rd leaving the kids with no school both Thursday and Friday. So we spent time hanging out and staying warm in below zero temperatures. Now, as Monday approaches, I look forward to having routine back so I can work and the kids can attend their regularly scheduled school sessions.

What did you all do during school vacation?

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