Monday, May 26, 2014

memorial day 2014.

We didn't have any major plans for Memorial Day this year, so we decided to take the kids to Red Wing for the day. Red Wing has a lot to offer, plus the weather was perfect. We were expecting a storm at some point, but the sky got clearer as the afternoon progressed!
 We came into town right away and found a grassy spot by the river to have a picnic. Literally, 5 minutes after we set our blanket down, Emmett went down by the water, slipped in some mud/clay mixture, and landed on his bottom right into the mess. Sigh. The good news was that he was wearing swim trunks that washed off and dried fairly quickly.
 Emmett loves the water and he loves throwing rocks and sticks into the water. It can be a huge distraction when we are trying to do other things because he becomes fixated on it. It is all he wants to do outside.
launching part of a log
 Ethnie wanted to pose. :)
 fountain and wading pool downtown.
 happy boy

We took a stroll past the Red Wing Depot and the Amtrak was pulling up! This was fun for the kids to see. Emmett was pretty scared of the horn; it IS pretty loud.


After exploring downtown, we drove up to the bluffs in Memorial Park. Fitting, right? The overlook was beautiful and we could see the entire area and the Mississippi Valley.
Oh Emmett, I have a feeling school pictures are going to be challenging for you. ;)
 back down by the river at Colvill Park
This park has the biggest set of playground equipment I have ever seen! The kids loved it. It was like a maze of ramps leading to different slides. This picture only captures a fraction of it.

After the playground the kids were slowing down fast so we started for home. We made one last stop at the Red Wing shoe museum, which features the largest real boot in the world! What?!
this boot has a real sole, laces, the works.
check out the size of it!

We grabbed some DQ and drove home. I made a pork roast on the grill for a late dinner and it was pretty good! Hope you all had a great Memorial Day! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

meeting Temple Grandin 5.22.14.

On Thursday evening, I had the amazing opportunity to meet my newest hero, Temple Grandin. After Emmett was diagnosed with autism, I started filling the majority of my time reading and watching anything about autism. I knew of Temple Grandin, but didn't know much about her story. I started looking her up on YouTube and bought the movie that was made about her life in 2010.
She truly is an amazing woman. She is the face of autism and gave it a voice. She is the first person WITH autism to actually speak and educate about what it is like to HAVE autism. She has also revolutionized the slaughtering industry, making the slaughter design more calming and humane for the animals involved. It blows me away how, as early as 30 years ago, children with autism were being institutionalized, especially if they were nonverbal! Thanks to Temple Grandin, individuals with autism can live a more functional life and can be more understood. 
Her newest book. She's written like 5 others; I need to catch up! 

Online photo of Temple Grandin and Claire Danes, who played Temple in the movie about her life.
Claire Danes won an Emmy and a Golden Globe playing Temple Grandin. (online photo)
  Now on to my story! I found out from my mother-in-law on Tuesday that Temple was going to be at the Convention Center on Thursday. Kind of last minute, but we were able to make it work. I got there early because there was limited walk-in space and I really wanted a ticket. Matt dropped me off and waited in the car to make sure I got in before he left me. I was speed walking/jogging all over the Convention Center because I didn't know where to go. I finally found some signs, followed them, and raced up to the registration table. There was room! Sigh of relief. I sent Matt on his way and got right in line to meet her. I was like a giddy little girl peeking around people to stare at her and sneaking photos.
here she is!
Finally, my turn! I had her sign her movie and a photo I printed out of Emmett. I love it so much!
yes, I am wearing my huge geeky glasses.
so amazing!
my treasures
"To Emmett: Different, not Less"

Her presentation, "Thinking In Pictures", was two hours long and I was taking notes the entire time. My hand was so sore afterward! Every word of hers felt like modern revelation! She spoke about autism as a neurological disorder, the biology of someone with autism, her brain vs. a "normal" brain, being a visual thinker, her work in the slaughtering industry, parenting tips, getting your child out into the community, and over-medicating your child. She is also really funny! She made jokes throughout her presentation. I really wish Matt could have been there with me. :( Hopefully, next time.
Temple in action. I was pretty close!
(online photo)
Temple Grandin is now well into her 60's. I really want Emmett to meet her when he is a bit older, but I feel like it will need to happen sooner than later. JUST in case....... But I know when he is older, he will appreciate the wonderful message she wrote on his photo hanging in his room. :)
you rock, Temple! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

a new tradition.

On Saturday, we started a new tradition for our family. We walked the Autism 5K around Lake Calhoun. Proceeds go to research for autism and education for children with autism. There were 11 of us on team Emmett and we had a great time! Other than the chill off the lake and forgetting the t-shirts 20 minutes before the race started (Matt drove all the way back home and grabbed them! Best husband award, by the way.), it was a sunny, happy time. Both kids were so well behaved and did a lot of walking. 
 Nana with her grand babies.
 happy boy
 Our team's theme was Ox, Emmett's favorite stuffed monster.
being silly
 having a good time
 my mom
 my awesome aunt and uncle
crossing the finish line with dad. :)
team Emmett! So grateful for those who were able to join us. It was fun supporting a great cause and celebrating our little buddy. Hope you all had a great weekend!