A family's story

Favorite Things

Every once in a while I like to take a step back from all of the drama that I call life and list out a few of our current favorite things. It helps give me perspective in the present, and gives me some good smiles weeks, months, and even a few years into the future…

That being said, here are our current favorites!

1. Angry Birds. With the exception of Cole, who will likely soon be slinging birds to kick some big green pig butt, we are addicted. It’s gotten to the point that if I hear the music, I have a Pavlovian response..and my fingers begin to twitch as I think of my strategy for getting to the next level of Angry Birds Seasons. Jake is our biggest fan…and he’s GOOD at it! He has shown us some of his moves, and dare I say, I am impressed. Tate uses Angry Birds as a way to deal with anxiety…or over stimulation, or sometimes just to play. Hubz started it all…and he rotates between all the various iterations of the game during the week.

2. Going to the library. Typically on Wednesday afternoons, after Tate finishes ABA therapy, we make our weekly visit to the public library. Each boy chooses at least one DVD, then Tate and Jake go snag a spot by the computers to play a few games. It keeps them happy, so I allow it. Cole enjoys the little play area in the children’s section, although I have to be vigilant about keeping him from terrorizing unsuspecting toddlers. I guess since he gets bossed and pushed around at home, he exerts his alpha-male tendencies among the puzzles and themed play area. But they love the books, and we always come home with no fewer than 15!!

3.Cheeze-Its.I think our family keeps the Sunshine company in business–single-handedly. Jake likes the various cheese varieties, while Tate and Cole like the “Cheesy Mix”…which is their Snack Mix. Hubz likes the Snack Mix with a few mixed nuts thrown in for protein. I like the reduced-fat Cheeze-its. My boys will eat it for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, second dinner, bedtime snack, etc.

4. Culver’s. Now, most of this is Tate and his need for the familiar. Last year when my mom was sick, we got in the habit of grabbing Culvers on the road. He just LOVED their hot dogs. When they stopped serving hot dogs, he began his love affair with their grilled cheese. Since he can’t handle the wait for food at typical sit-down restaurants, Culver’s is one of the very few places that we can still go to for an evening out. I am often talked into Culver’s for lunch at least once a week. Bad mommy….

5. TV. I will admit it…my kids are TV junkies. I don’t even pretend to hide it anymore. They watch entirely way.too.much. Emphasis on the WAY. But, it gives me time to get some stuff done and keep from losing my shtuff. The biggest problem is that they each have their favorites, and Jake’s favorites are not really appropriate for Cole. *sigh* Jake just loves Ben 10, Batman, Thundercats, Wild Kratts, and well, kind of mostly anything. Tate is still a big Imagination Movers, Wow!Wow! Wubbzy, and Team Umizoomi fan. He’ll occasionally pepper his viewings with Backyardigans and his old standby, The Wonder Pets. Cole is a full-blown Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fan. He is unfortunately held raptly attentive by just about anything, though. (Note to self….turn off the tv and get them addicted to math…or reading…or anything.)

6. Wrestling. See my earlier post. The boys, all FOUR of them love it. I don’t get it. It’s in their DNA…that is the only way I can explain it.

7. Legos. Jake and Cole are my biggest fans. Tate likes the concept, but is just too frustrated due to his weak fine motor abilities…but we’re trying. And really, what could be better therapy for his fine motor skills than trying to assemble those little multi-colored bricks into a masterpiece?! Hubz and I are loving their fascination with Legos. We even bought a Lego Advent Calendar for this year!

8. Motorola Xoom. We have 2. And we love them. I don’t know how we survived the past 30-some years without such great technology. Hubz and I can play games (ahem, Angry Birds addiction), check email, facebook, etc. The boys can pull up YouTube to watch a video or play a game. (This device has come in SUPER-DUPER handy with Tate…like so many kids on the spectrum, the swipe technology and touch interface is nothing less than a miracle for him.) Cole even uses it to watch Mickey Mouse!!

9. Bedtime Routine. We have modified our routine over the years but we still have roughly the same schedule. Tub/shower time, followed by pjs, some wrestling, a tv show and occasional snack, and then a story or two before bed. Jake will often read to us, Tate will “read” us the couple of books he has memorized, and Cole sits back for a new adventure every night. I love that my sons love books.

10. Chicken Nuggets. From Costco. This is the ONLY source of protein that ALL THREE of my boys will eat. The ONLY one. On nights where I try out a new recipe, or make something that I know they will not even touch, out come the nuggets. Since Jake has pretty much forsaken any type of sandwich (aside from the rare request for PB&J), I even pack a couple in his lunch. I would swear they would have OD’d on them by now, but no. They keep coming back for more. Maybe there’s something in the breading that makes them so addicted???

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