J-Bear and Me

learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

Month: October 2013 (page 1 of 2)

@RedSox Fundraising Auction and More

http://www.jbearandme.com/red-sox-and-thesaurus-tea-auctions/

If no more bids are received by first pitch we’re going to have to do some restrategizing because we have to raise some more money for these kids and families at 4 Paws!

First pitch is at 8:07pm EST, 17 minutes from now!

Place a bid if you’re interested!

Red Sox and Thesaurus Tea Auctions!

Tonight, Game 6 of the World Series will begin at 8:07pm EST.

That’s when our auctions END!

Are you interested in our autographed John Lackey photo courtesy of the Boston Red Sox?

Are you dying to try some of Thesaurus Tea’s amazing blends?

Bid away and help an amazing cause! All proceeds will go to 4 Paws for Ability!

Our Autographed Photo auction is here: http://www.jbearandme.com/auction-1-autographed-picture-of-john-lackey-red-sox-pitcher/

Our Thesaurus Tea Large Gift Basket auction is here: http://www.jbearandme.com/auction-2-large-gift-basket-from-thesaurus-tea/

Go forth! Bid! Share! Be Merry! Let’s make our final 4 Paws fundraiser a rousing success!

A Blessed Event!

We are excited to announce that on October 27, 2014 we will be welcoming a blessed new arrival to our family!

puppy

actual dog may vary

Just a few minutes ago I got confirmation that we are finished with our fundraising! We will be a part of the October/November 2014 class at 4 Paws for Ability where my son will receive his autism service dog.

I am in shock. I am literally shaking. I cannot believe this. I likely won’t fully believe it until we have our arms around his dog!

But we did it. WE did it. This post would not have been possible without all of you who have donated, who have shared our story, who have cheered us on, who have been phenomenal in your support of not just myself but Jacob and 4 Paws for Ability. Because of you one little boy and not other children will have a life changing opportunity.

And just how are we helping other children?

The auctions are still going. They end 10/30/2013 at 8pm EST. Yes, J is done with earning his dog but other children are far from. The donations from the auctions will be donated in J’s name to be shared with other children whose families are still working hard. You, auction winners, could be the donation that helps another child finish their fundraising journey! These items are promised to help the 4 Paws mission and we’re going to honor that entirely!

Where do we go from here?

Over the next year, we must save/raise around $3500 for travel expenses to bring J to his dog. I’ll post more details later but the training we go through is about 2 weeks total including travel and takes place in Xenia, OH. This is no small undertaking but we have a year to plan it all out. We must also complete a video about day to day life with J to help them get him the best match possible, so if anyone has tips on how to make the video please let me know!

Again, everyone, thank you. The words sound empty and hollow for what everyone has done but I will say them again and again. Thank you, thank you, thank  you.

Fitting In

I belong to a couple of general parenting groups on the ol’ interwebs and I am increasingly struggling with how to relate to them.

In a lot of regards, J is just a kid. He has a lot of the aspects of a typical 3-year-old and I do try to maintain a childhood for him that is not that unlike his peers, be they neurotypical or not. But playtime is where similarities seem to end. Heck, playtime isn’t even all that similar sometimes. It’s like there is a constant reminder that our life is different and I more so than he have a hard time relating to the world around me.

Part of it seems to be that when I watch other children his age, the differences are starting to be stark. The way they chatter, the interactions they have, etc. are all so contrasting to what J has. This is when the doubt creeps in. You question yourself and your parenting when in fact you already know the truth of the matter: Your child just operates differently. It’s not a dark mark against either of you, it’s just how it is.

The human mind is a devil though and loves to grind down on raw emotions to make you doubt yourself doesn’t it.

I don’t know how to reach out to other parents with advice or commiseration. In the back of my  head as I type or say something all I can feel is that “well, how can my experience apply because my child is special needs and theirs isn’t.” Crap way to think, right? Autism does not invalidate our experiences nor does it invalidate theirs. I’m scared of saying “oh, my boy did that too!” because I do not want to make another mother or father feel like they might be headed down our road when in fact we’re just talking about typical kid things, like fighting sleep or throwing food as young children (and grown children, let’s be honest) do.

It’s like I have to try to stand in two worlds, a world that is heavily entrenched in learning about and working with autism and another world where it doesn’t really exist, everyone is just exactly or close to exactly on a more typical track. The balance feels painful, for if I veer too far one way I definitely feel I am being untrue to my boy and yet, I feel cocooned staying too deeply entrenched in the world of special needs parenting.

What a weird mental place, right?

But this is where I am some days, this morning having been another mild encounter with it. When I think about if I would change anything though, I can’t say I would. It’s like when people ask if I would change my past… Why’d I throw away what I have now on a would have, should have, could have? This is the cost of doing business so to speak, and it is part of having J in my life. Since I would change him for nothing, even on the days I threaten to sell  him to the first person with a nickel and a bag to put him in, then I guess I shouldn’t really be too hung up on the little stuff like this.

I’ll still get hung up, because that’s how I operate, but the effort is there to try not to. I imagine there’s a few people out there who will have snarky commentary for me about that but eh. People like that need to look at themselves, first, instead of trying to change everyone around them to conform to their desires.

Halloween

My son trick or treated.

This is so damned awesome to say.

My son trick or treated!

He marched down Main Street and around the town square and joined other children collecting candy from various local businesses. He struggled a little bit with approaching some of the locations or participating in some of the merchant’s activities but overall, he did amazing. Said thank you, even at one point tried to trade his candy for a new piece at a business.

Now, he has a cowboy costume for this year. Like most children on the spectrum the idea of putting this costume on was abhorrent to him, even if it is just a coat and vest. So at the immediate last second I put a too large Red Sox Kid Nation player style jersey on him, plunked his Sox hat on his head and out he marched.

And he was a hit thanks to Game 3 being due to be played tonight.

Now he has a plastic pumpkin laden with candy and goodies that he is just fascinated with and continually asks for chocolate.

To think, he might get to go again this week! What a lucky kid!

———————

PS: Auctions are still going on til 10/30! Go to http://www.jbearandme.com/Team-Jacobly-for-4-Paws-for-Ability and check out the links from there! An autographed picture of John Lackey is being auctioned as well as a large gift basket from Thesaurus Tea! Crazy awesome stuff!

Milestones

A typical child says their first words somewhere around what, a year?

J did that. A couple here and there things. He never had true, strong language, but he had a few words. His primary care doctor swore  up and down he was firmly telling her “no” at his 15 month well baby appointment even though I wasn’t quite so certain.

Language delays are what led us to early intervention and what put us on the road to learning he had autism. They’re just part of life. Like I have said many a time before, J isn’t traditionally verbal but they boy sure expresses himself. Language is emerging, so he is on level with children a year or more younger, but he’s trying so hard. We are labelling things regularly, from objects to emotions, and his echolalia actually gives so much hope because what he repeats he stands the chance of forming into purposeful, independent speech.

Today was a little breakthrough. I am hoping it is, at least.

People rarely have names in J’s world, or names/labels that he actually uses. If I ask him to do something with or bring something to a familiar person of late he has responded and done as asked, which is a huge leap in and of itself, but more often than not he’ll only say a moniker when he is repeating. He’s repeated “mama” a few times but never said it truly as a method of indicating me or getting my attention. Some of you may remember the fluke “mama” of last December that I had not heard again til… well, today really.

I was sitting down with J on the floor, talking about his Thomas the Tank Engine case that he wanted open. I asked who he wanted it opened for, which he happily answered “Jacob!” to. Then I asked him, who should open it? I honestly thought he would say “Jacob!” because that’s how lines of questioning like this go, and it’s fun. He threw me for a loop though and looked up at me, big smile in place as he said “Mama!”.

And I was gobsmacked.

Now, I was ready to write it off. This is not because I doubt his capabilities. I far from do that. I understand his capabilities, and I know that for something to be a real and gelled fact in J’s life it has to be repeated on several occasions before it is true. Twice more through the day, he answered or use “mama” purposefully and without repeating another person saying it. He doesn’t always use it as another child would, namely to get my attention, but he still uses it, and that blows me away.

My son is 3 years and 4 months old and today, my son called me Mama.

No one can ever take that away from me.

Auction 2: Large Gift Basket from Thesaurus Tea!

teaParty_giftcert copy

The finest teas are enjoyed by the most discriminating of prehistoric connoiseurs and Thesaurus Tea caters to their elegant tastes! The winner of this auction will receive a gift basket from Thesaurus Tea inclusive of: a selection of seven 50g bags of tea, a Perfect Cup of Tea spoon measure, a Tea Rex tea infuser and a tea ball! Your choices of teas are black, rooibos, herbal, house blend or green gift sets, or if you want to mix and match, that’s fine too!

To check out our friends at Thesaurus Tea please visit http://www.thesaurustea.com to see their fine selections and meet their distinguished dinos.

If you wish your donation to Team Jacobly to be tax deductible please contact me at mamabear@jbearandme.com to make arrangements for completing this transaction!

 

AUCTION RULES:

  • Comment to bid. Enter your name and email address of preference and comment with your bid. Please pay heed to comments entered before yours. All comments are timestamped, so in the event of a dispute I will side with the comment stamped first.
  • Bids are in increments of $5 and start at $35. Shipping is included in winning bid.
  • Upon close of the auction at 8pm EST on 10.30.2013 the winner will be notified and arrangements will be made for payment. Donations can be made by check, PayPal or FirstGiving to complete the transaction and item will not be mailed til the donation is verified.
  • If someone wishes to forgo bidding and purchase the autographed photo outright the price is $100. Please comment stating you wish to do this and contact me at mamabear@jbearandme.com.

Auction 1: Autographed Picture of John Lackey, Red Sox Pitcher!

John Lackey Autograph

Have you been enjoying how well the 2013 Red Sox have been doing?

We have, too!

And thanks to a generous donation by the Boston Red Sox, we have an autographed picture of John Lackey available to help raise funds for 4 Paws for Ability in Team Jacobly’s name! Due to the nature of this donation and auction the Red Sox do not provide certificates of authenticity. The photo will be mailed to the winner of the auction in the mailer it came to us in as well as protective packaging to prevent bending in shipping.

Help us finish our fundraising and bring Jacob one step closer to his much needed service dog!

AUCTION RULES:

  • Comment to bid. Enter your name and email address of preference and comment with your bid. Please pay heed to comments entered before yours. All comments are timestamped, so in the event of a dispute I will side with the comment stamped first.
  • Bids are in increments of $10 and start at $100. Seller will pay shipping to winner.
  • Upon close of the auction at 8pm EST on 10.30.2013 the winner will be notified and arrangements will be made for payment. Donations can be made by check, PayPal or FirstGiving to complete the transaction and item will not be mailed til the donation is verified.
  • If someone wishes to forgo bidding and purchase the autographed photo outright the price is $300. Please comment stating you wish to do this and contact me at mamabear@jbearandme.com.

 

Auction Update!

It’s 4:30pm here EST and the auctions are temporarily going to be down until I can reformat and repost them in a different manner. I will update the blog the second they’re back. Thanks to Queen Mum Bev for finding that it was near impossible for people to bid in the format they are now in without them jumping through 1,000 unnecessary hoops!

Auction Reminder!

Our Auctions are still up! Tonight, John Lackey is pitching Game 2 of the World Series for our Boston Red Sox! Let’s cheer on the home team AND help Team Jacobly reach its fundraising goal!

http://www.jbearandme.com/auctions-for-team-jacobly/

Let’s not forget our fabulous tea auction as well! We’re so close people, a little over $500 from our $13,000 goal… Let’s finish this and get J his dog!

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