Weekending + a $50 PayPal Giveaway!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Happy Monday! This weekend was a good one - a real good one. In fact, it was so good that it not only went by entirely too fast BUT I also managed to take almost no pictures. It was nothing super out of the ordinary, but I thought I'd do a little recap.

Friday I took off from work. It's pretty slow during the summer since there is a large gap between events so instead of taking a whole week off (since we don't really have any vacations planned), I have just been taking random days off. The past two weeks either Mason had a doctor appointment or I did so this was the first one I really got to enjoy. I started the day off by trying one of those #purpledrinks that I shared on Friday. And I have to say... it was good!

I don't really like coconut milk so I never tried the #pinkdrink but the #purpledrink has passion iced tea, soy milk, vanilla syrup, and berries and I like all of those things so I figured, why not? And honestly, it was so good! I almost went back and got another one yesterday but I'm trying to stay on my Starbucks budget for the month. We'll see how long that lasts!

The rest of Friday I got a bunch of blog stuff done and then I met one of my old co-workers for a late lunch and then I did a little shopping. It was a great afternoon!

Saturday, Seth and I dropped Mason off at his Saturday ABA school and then ran some errands. We picked Mason up at 2pm, came home to play, and this happened.

Mason might or might not have dumped a HUGE bin of Legos on the floor and yelled "PARTY!" much to my dismay. However, it did keep him busy for a while, so it was still a win in my book.

Shortly thereafter, we met up with Seth's mom for dinner and then called it a night.

Sunday morning we took it really slowly and were super lazy.... including playing on snapchat. I don't know why but this filter cracks me up. 

Once we finally got around to getting ready to run some errands around 10:30am, we headed to Costco and then eventually to the grocery store. We debated trying to give Mason a nap and he insisted that he "was not tired" (of course) so I updated our gallery wall with his new artwork that the school just sent home last week and then we went over to my mother in law's house for our Sunday family dinner. The "fireworks" and the watermelon are my favorite!

Overall, it was a good, good weekend! It went by entirely too fast and I am super bummed it's over already. That being said, next weekend is a holiday weekend (woohoo!) and I'm already counting down the days until I get to spend 3 whole days (maybe 4??) with my little family!

And completely unrelated, but sure to make your Monday start better, I'm co-hosting a $50 PayPal giveaway with some of my favorite bloggers. Check out the rafflecopter below to enter! Good luck!

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Friday Fivin'

Friday, June 24, 2016

Holy cow you guys. I posted five times this week. FIVE. Now don't get your hopes up. This is very rare and will probably not happen again for weeks, even months. Apparently I had a lot to share this week?!

Star Spangled Kids Link Up.

I'm super excited to be co-hosting this link up next week! The Fourth of July is coming and who doesn't like to be festive, especially with kids?! The basic gist of the link up is to just put your kids in some patriotic gear and snap some photos! It can be swimsuits, outfits, PJs, whatever your heart desires! Then link up with us between July 1st-7th with a blog post or just on social media with #StarSpangledKids. Easy peasy!

Seat Belt Sign.

I saw this on Facebook on one of the autism pages that I follow and thought it was genius. This is very fitting since Mason has only recently started talking more, but is still pretty non-verbal. In case of emergency, I don't know if he would know what to do or say, and it would be good for medical personnel or whoever to know that there is a reason that he is not talking. His information could be on the back, maybe an emergency contact, and whatever other information could be helpful in case of emergency. I need to get one of these.


I've recently been on a s'mores kick and I recently discovered these two goodies - a s'mores melting tray and s'mores ice cream. I saw the s'mores tray at Target and thought that was PERFECT. We don't have a fire pit or a gas stove, so getting one of these would be perfect to make s'mores on our BBQ! Then this s'mores ice cream I bought for Father's Day last weekend and it was so, so, so good! If you have a Kroger/Ralph's near you, I highly suggest it!

See's Candy.

Speaking of goodies, I got Seth a bag of these scotch mallows for Father's Day and I'm 99% sure that I've eaten more of them than him and by that I mean I've eaten approximately 75% of the bag already. If you've never had them (get one), they are basically a layer of caramel and a layer of marshmallow covered in dark chocolate. Heaven.

Starbucks Purple Drink.

I saw this Instagram post yesterday and I think this is a drink I could get behind! I heard everyone talking about Starbucks' #pinkdrink but I'm not sure I like coconut milk enough to get one, but this I think I would like! I might try to get one today, I'll keep you posted!

Have a great weekend!

[Boy Mom Box Swap] The Goods!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

You guys, I'm not gonna lie. I've been pretty excited about this day since we announced the Boy Mom Box Swap last month. Its finally the day that we get to reveal what we got! I hope you all are as excited to share as I am because I am SO excited to share what we got!

Our package arrived late last week and it being Father's Day weekend and all, we didn't have much time to open the present this weekend. I saved the box for earlier this week when I knew we'd need to kill some time between coming home from school and when dinner was ready. My plan worked perfectly and Mason LOVED what he got!

Mason and I were paired with Suzie and Niko. They don't have a blog that I could link you to, but let me just say that I wish Suzie did! We emailed back and forth a few times and I seriously wish we lived closer (and you'll see when I reveal what we got below), but Niko and Mason would probably be the best of friends! After emailing with Suzie a bit, I immediately knew what I wanted to get her and what I wanted to get Niko. Since Suzie doesn't have a blog, I'm going to give you a sneak peek as to what Mason and I got for them, but not until after you see what they sent us.

I gave Mason the box and basically let him go to town. He started opening all of the individually wrapped presents for him as well as for me. Of course he wasn't interested in the presents for me after he opened them, but he did enjoy ripping the tissue paper off of them in the meantime.

So, what did we get? THE BEST PRESENTS EVER. Here's everything.

For me, I got some swedish fish (my FAVE!), a Starbucks card (also a fave!), and some washi tape/washi dispenser. I don't even remember telling Suzie that I like swedish fish or washi tape and she sent these. I think we were best friends in another life or something! I LOVED it all!

Mason got tons of goodies also, all of which he was obsessed with. He was in pure heaven opening this box full of stuff.

First of all, he got some new Blaze and the Monster Machine monster trucks. He immediately ripped open the Blazing Speed Blaze and has not put it down since he opened it a couple days ago. He loves that Blaze! We also got Stripes and Crusher... both of which we already had, but I was able to exchange them at Target for two that we didn't have - Panda Bear truck and Joe. It's hard to believe we still have a few that we don't have since we seriously have an army of monster trucks taking over our living room.

While the Blaze truck was definitely the high light of the box, Mason loved everything else that he was given -- Paw Patrol bubbles, a Paw Patrol puzzle, some Cheez-its, and some Hot Wheels cars.

Once he got all of his Blaze trucks all set up (Blazing Speed Blaze, regular Blaze, and Camo Blaze), then it was time to work on the puzzle!

Mason and I seriously cannot thank Suzie and Niko enough. Their present was PERFECT for us and we LOVED every single thing in the box. Thank you, Suzie and Niko!!!

So, now that you saw what they got us and what makes Mason happy, this is what Mason and I got for Suzie and Niko.

Almost identical, right? We got Niko some Blaze and the Monster Machine monster trucks and I got Suzie some treats. So crazy! See, I'm telling you, we were destined to be friend!

Did you participate in the Boy Mom Box Swap? Link up with Stephanie, Sarah, and I and show us what goodies you got! I can't wait to see what you all got from your partners!

[Thoughts on Wednesday] Confessions.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I know most confessions are done on Thursdays, but I'm being a rebel and posting on Wednesday (that and I have a post already scheduled for tomorrow and I really wanted to confess some stuff). So, without further ado...

I must confess...

... that I was reading another blog a couple weeks ago and saw all these insanely rude comments. She was talking about how they sold their house and are moving into a new one and she is so excited for her kids to have their own rooms. All things I thought should be EXCITING! I went to leave a comment saying how happy I was for her and I saw all these people commenting about previous comments, so I scrolled up. And holy cow, what did I see? SO MANY (anonymous - of course) RUDE COMMENTS about how she is insulting people who are not as fortunate as her and how she is ungrateful. I'm sorry what? Since when does expressing your happiness about getting a new house mean you are insulting people? That confused me. But what confused me more is... if you hate her and her blog so much, why do you continue to read? Mind boggling.

... that my car used to be clean. Spotless clean. And then I had a kid. And now, on any given day, you can be sure to find at least 2 hot wheels cars, 27 Cheerios on the ground, 10 goldfish dropped in the car seat, 3 Starbucks straw wrappers, and 5 receipts (mostly from Costco gas).

... that I forget EVERYTHING if I don't write it down or remind myself somehow. You should see how many emails from me to me I have as well as pop up reminders on my calendar on my phone. If I don't get a reminder, I WILL forget.

... that I'm obsessed with the "health" app on my iPhone. I LOVE to look at how many steps I've taken during the day, especially on days when I know I've walked a lot more than normal. I get so mad that I always leave my phone on my desk when I'm at work and I look at the app when I get home and it says 450 steps. I know that is not an accurate representation of what I did. I also hate when I leave my phone on the table at home and I walk up and down the stairs 20 times a day.

... when people don't proof read or spell check their blog posts before they post them.

... that I might be more obsessed with the Blaze and the Monster Machine monster trucks than Mason is...

... that sometimes I 'like' a picture on Instagram before I read the caption and then realize, it's not something that should be 'liked', but maybe more of just commented on. People use the happiest kid pictures or pictures of pretty flowers or something else nice to then describe something terrible that happened in the caption. I've done this more than once. I am a serial "look at the picture and like the picture before I read the caption" kind of girl.

And worst of all...

... that I dropped Mason off at school yesterday right behind another parent. He held the door for me and was very sweet. I let him check in his kid first (we check them in on the computer) and figured he would only be a minute (you literally just type your code in, tap the picture of your kid, and hit accept) but he took forever. Ok, whatever, no problem. As he's doing this though, Mason and I are patiently waiting and his kid is trying to open the door to the playground, where other kids are playing. He actually gets it open (while Dad is oblivious) and the people out there say it's not his turn yet and his class is still inside. He closes the door. Dad is FINALLY done checking in the kid, kisses him, says "I love you son" and leaves. the. kid. in. the. hallway. ALONE. Well technically with me and Mason, but for all he knows, I could steal his kid (I wouldn't, but he doesn't know me!). The kid walks over to the classroom door as the Dad exits the building and I check Mason in on the computer. I hear the kid start yelling "the door is locked! the door is locked!". I'm done (0.5 seconds after I started - seriously I have no idea what he was doing) and walk over to help open the door for the boy. It wasn't locked, it was just heavy and he couldn't get in. I open the door and the boy and Mason run off, laughing together. But this brings me back to my point... the Dad left the kid in the hallway ALONE. Yes, we are in a building, but clearly the kid knows how to open the door to the playground and the door to the outside hallway which leads to the PARKING LOT is the same type of door. Thankfully I was there to let the boy in to the classroom, but what if I wasn't and he couldn't open the door to the classroom and he wandered down the hall, or worse, outside. I cannot get past the irresponsibility of this man... (off my soap box).

That's all for today! Can you relate to any of my confessions?

Announcing... Our 3rd Annual Christmas in July Exchange!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

It's that time of year again.... Christmas in July!

CourtneyJamie, and I have had so much fun doing this exchange the last couple of years (2014 // 2015), and are excited to announce it again! Getting packages in the mail is always a treat, so make sure you join us!

The idea is simple : fill a box with anything you think your partner's kid(s) would love - water toys, craft supplies, books, snacks, games, etc, with a limit of $20 before shipping.

If you would like to participate this year please sign up by emailing me at chasinmasonblog@gmail.com with "Christmas in July Gift Exchange" in the subject. You can sign up between now and Friday, June 24th. You don't have to be a blogger to participate, but we ask that you share what you receive on social media with #xmasinjulygiftexchange. The matches will be emailed on or around Monday, June 27th.

Please include the following in your sign up email:

- Your name
- Your mailing address
- Blog URL (if applicable)
- Instagram name
- The name(s) & age(s) of your child(ren)
- Share their favorite summer activities
- Share a short wish list to give your partner a few ideas. Please note that you may or may not actually receive the things on the wish list, it is just to aid your partner in picking things to include.
- Any additional notes you think are relevant

Send out your packages no later than Friday, July 8th. Please, please, please keep your tracking number just in case, because you never know. Oh! And don't forget the wrapping paper! This is Christmas after all :)

Then come back on Monday, July 25th to link up and share what you received.

This gift exchange is limited to US residents only (sorry!)

We certainly hope you will sign up. It is always a treat to receive something special in the mail!

If you have any questions, please let me know.

$10 at Target [June] + a $100 Stitch Fix Giveaway!

Monday, June 20, 2016

From the very first time I saw Becky do a post on $10 at Target, I was intrigued. I mean, who only spends $10 at Target??? Then I read a little further and realized she gave herself the challenge to only spend $10 at Target on something fun for herself and I was intrigued again. I commented on her post that I loved the idea of her post and would love to try something similar (and a few other people must have too) and this blog hop link up was born!

I'm excited to be back again today co-hosting this link up with Becky and some other fabulous ladies!  If you posted today as well, don't forget to link up with us below so we can see your awesome $10 hauls!

This month I had a little trouble deciding what I wanted to get. Most of the things that I think of are  things that are too expensive. Or are pretty close to the top of my budget and I don't know what to pair it with. I've tried to keep a running list of ideas in my phone after browsing everyone else's picks so I have some ideas for future trips, but this time, I was stumped.

After a little walking around and wandering the aisles, here's what I ended up getting:

As you know from previous posts, I found those Justin's Peanut Butter Cups and quickly became obsessed. I had wanted to get more this time, since they are a spurge for me since they're kind of expensive, but I couldn't find the regular sized, only these minis. I loved the big ones so much, I figured, why not try the minis? I will admit, they were good, but I do like the big ones better. I love chocolate but I felt like these had too much chocolate and not enough peanut butter. I don't usually say that about peanut butter cups (I actually like the mini Reese's better than the big ones), but the dark chocolate on these were a bit too much and I felt like I needed more peanut butter.

My second item was this kombucha. I've been hearing so much about kombucha from Erin and Laura that I thought I should find one to try. This one sounded the best to me (I'm not super adventurous when it comes to food and drink), but this one had cranberry and I thought that sounded good. I tried it when I got home and think I liked it. It definitely had a distinct flavor that I wasn't used to, so I'm not quite sure if I fully liked it. I think it was just more tart than I expected since it was basically unsweetened cranberry juice, but I'd definitely be willing to try it again!

So, how'd I do on my budget?
I was way below! I only spent $8.25.
I was going to show you a picture of my receipt since I actually kept it this time and only bought my $10 at Target items on it, but when I went to go find it for a picture, it had been smashed in the bottom of my purse, so I'll spare you the picture and just break down the cost.

Justin's Peanut Butter Cups : $4.99
Kombucha : $3.69
No tax (I guess because they're food items?)
Minus RED Card discount : ($0.43)
Total : $8.25

Seems like I can either go way over or way under! Ha! Hopefully next month I do better. (But probably don't hold your breath!)

I had so much fun shopping for myself and am excited to continue this link up! Now, link up and then hop around and check out how the rest of my co-hosts (and everyone else!) spent their $10!

Becky at bybmg // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest
Elizabeth at Chasin' Mason // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest

Next month, we'll be sharing our hauls on Monday, July 18th. Mark your calendars, get your shopping on, and link up with us on the 18th and show us what you got!

OH! And also, non-related to $10 at Target, but as some of you may know, I partnered with some other Stitch Fix bloggers to give away a $700 gift card to Stitch Fix a couple weeks ago. Well! We had so much fun with the previous giveaway, we decided to give our readers one last chance to win with a special BONUS giveaway of a $100 gift card!
The giveaway runs for ONE DAY ONLY from 12:01am Eastern time to 11:59pm Eastern time on June 20, 2016 so don't hesitate to enter!

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[Autism] Potty Training Struggles.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

This post is about to get real. And personal. And I guess now would probably be a good time to tell you that I cried while writing it. #fairwarning . Sometimes I feel like I tell the internet too much, but other times I feel like if I can help even one person, then my sharing is more than worthwhile. So, here goes.

Yesterday, Mason had his home ABA session. This is nothing new for him or for me, but I think this was the first session that I was home for with the new BI (behavior interventionist aka ABA therapist). The first one, I had an appointment, so Seth was home. The second one, I had a work dinner, so Seth was home. The third one, Mason had a hearing test, so we cancelled it. And yesterday was the fourth one, and I was FINALLY home for it. I had met the BI before so it wasn't our first meeting, it was just my first time home with her during a home ABA session.

Everything started off great. I got to ask some questions that I had and she and Mason were playing. Then she told me that she had a question for me. She wanted to know if I would be ok with us taking Mason's diaper (pull up) off for the session to help with potty training. I said that would be fine. So, I took Mason to the bathroom to go potty. She told me I needed to work on letting him do as much as possible (out of instinct, I usually help him pull down his pants, etc.) so I instructed him to pull down his pants and he did. I asked him to pull down his underwear and he did. And then I asked him to pull down his pull up and he did. I asked him to lift the toilet seat (he did) and told him to go potty (he did). She was amazed how well he did for me since he protested SO much at school on Saturday for her. She asked if it is always this easy and I said sometimes yes and sometimes no. Instead of pulling his pull up back up, I took it off and threw it away and then asked him to pull up his underwear and his pants. He did both, but I think he was a little confused on the feeling of just the underwear and no pull up. I explained that it's ok and I helped him button and zip up his pants.

Everything was fine and we kept playing.

Shortly thereafter we decided to try again. It was his first time with no pull up and just underwear so we were going to have him try to go potty every 15 minutes to make sure he didn't have an accident. This is when things went downhill.

I started to bring him to the bathroom and he started yelling no. I explained that we were just going to try to go potty and he kept yelling no. By now I had walked with him into the bathroom and asked him to pull down his pants. He started crying and yelling no no no. The BI told me to hold strong. I asked over and over if he would pull down his pants and he just continued to cry and scream. I held strong. She told me to ignore him. I tried. I asked over and over for him to pull down his pants and finally, since he wasn't, I helped him do it. It wasn't easy and he was crying and screaming and fighting me the whole time. We finally got his pants down. I asked him to go potty and he screamed no and cried more. Tantrum, freaking out, crying. I just sat there and listened.

I asked him if he was all done. He said no. I continued to let him cry. He was crying, screaming, flailing his arms, tears streaming down his face, snot coming out of his nose, so upset and crying. I had to stand my ground, and I let him cry. I asked again if he was all done. He said no. I waited. I asked again if he was all done. He said no. I wiped his tears and his nose and I waited. By this point, Seth had come home and was wondering what the heck was going on. Mason saw him and cried for Daddy. We told him not to say anything and he went and sat down on the couch, out of Mason's sight. He cried a little more for Daddy and then stopped. I asked him if he was all done. He said no. I waited. I asked again and he finally said he was all done. By now it had been maybe 10 minutes, I'm not totally sure since I didn't have a clock nearby. I said thank you for telling me that he was all done and I asked him to help me pull up his pants. He fought it a bit, but then through the crying, he helped me. He was fully dressed and I told him he could come out of the bathroom and go play whatever he wanted. The BI and I walked back to the couch to sit down and Mason came out of the bathroom but continued crying. He was extremely emotional and upset. He sat on the ground on his knees and put his face towards the ground and just cried and cried and cried. She told me to leave him alone, that he needed to work it out himself. He screamed, he cried, his sniffled for a good maybe 5 more minutes until he finally calmed himself down enough to come over to us. I asked him if he was ok and he whimpered yeah and I gave him the iPad to have some time to fully wind down. He sat in his chair and watched the iPad for a few minutes.

A little while later, I asked him if he wanted to play a game instead of watch the iPad and the whole thing started all over again. The crying. The screaming. The horrible tantrum. This time he was in the living room but it was just as bad. He slammed a drawer. He banged on the cabinet. He flung his arms around and screamed and cried. We left him alone. We told him when he was ready, he could say all done, and Daddy would give him a snack (he mentioned he wanted one earlier). He cried. I asked him if he was all done and he said no. The crying continued. At this point I prayed that my neighbors couldn't hear all of this going on because if they could, they would probably think something terrible was going on.

Throughout the whole thing, even though I felt terrible that I had to let him cry so much and just let the tantrum play out, I knew he was safe. Even though he was super worked up, he wasn't hurting himself and I knew he was safe and if things got out of hand, I would step in.

He got himself so worked up that he was sweating. He was crying and sweating and flinging his arms and was so mad. He eventually ended up walking to the bathroom where I eventually walked over to ask him if he was all done. He said no. I put down the iPad and told him that when he was all done, he could have the iPad. He continued to cry for a few more minutes, trying to calm himself down, which he eventually did, all on his own. He finally decided he was ok enough to pick up the iPad and walk over to the couch and sit down and watch it. His second tantrum was over.

The whole experience was terrible. It was HORRIBLE. It was possibly the hardest thing I've ever done as a mom. I think it was so hard 1) obviously because I could tell something was wrong and upsetting my child and there wasn't anything I was supposed to do about it besides let it run it's course and 2) I usually give in before it escalates to this. If we try to go to the bathroom and he says no and gets upset, I just say ok and pull up his pants and give in. What the BI was trying to teach me was that you can't always give in, you need to stand your ground and you need to hold strong. It's not always easy, but it's how kids with autism learn. It might be how other kids learn too, from knowing that the parent is serious, but in my experience, this is all I know. Earlier in the afternoon I had asked her about telling Mason to do something and how to best tell/ask him and she said the fewer the words and the more direct is best. For example, I would normally say "can you please throw this away, Mason?" and what I should say is "trash". They learn best with fewer words so it's not too confusing as well as direct and straight to the point. While the other way might be more polite, we need to start off short and sweet and then work our way to adding polite words in. The trash example might not be the best since he actually understands the whole phrase for that but the same works for cleaning up -- "put away" vs "can you please put these puzzle pieces away?". To others I may sound rude speaking to my child, but to my child, it is how he learns and understands - one word commands at a time.

I love this little boy something fierce and watching him cry and be SO upset was heartbreaking. HEARTBREAKING. It's so hard for me to write this and explain it because I feel like most people don't understand. Heck, I almost don't understand. My motherly instinct was to jump in and protect my baby. He was crying and needed comforting, but I just had to sit there and listen... to the worst noise in the world.

I knew there was something I could do, but I knew I shouldn't, to help him learn. As terrible and horrible as it is to say that, I had to let him cry and tantrum for his own good. For kids with autism, it's how they learn. He needed to work his frustrations out on his own and calm himself down. And he did. He was able to do that all on his own.

As much as I hate to say it, this was just day one of many of this happening. We're going to work on him just wearing underwear about one hour a day and see if he understands more about acknowledging when he needs to use the potty. I'm sure he will protest and he will cry when we suggest him going to the potty, but he needs to know that all he needs to do is say "all done" and he can be done. We're trying to teach him to use his words (I say this often since I know he can do this to express himself now) and to tell us what he needs. I am not going to force him to do anything he doesn't need to do (for example, if he doesn't need to go potty, you can't force that), but he needs to tell me that he's all done so I know he's done. I feel like it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. I know I need to be strong. I need to be strong to teach my son. It's better that we do this now, in the privacy of our own home, rather than him being in kindergarten and possibly dealing with it in front of peers. His BI looked at me and asked if I was ok, asked if I thought that I could handle this, as I'm sure she could see the tears welling up in my eyes as I listened to my son crying and I sat there helpless. She assured me that she's done this multiple times and that he will be ok, that I will be ok, and I believe her. There's still so much I need to learn about kids with autism, specifically my son with autism, and I am learning so much everyday. I need to be strong for him. I can be strong for him.

While potty training might have some easy to some moms and kids, it hasn't been that way for us. And that's ok. Every child is different. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous that it came so easy for others. Do I wish that happened for us? Sure. Wouldn't we all? Maybe we should have started earlier? Maybe we should have pushed him harder? What if, what if, what if. One can't say. The past is the past. But I do know this. He is worth fighting for and I'll do whatever he needs.

I don't really know how to explain it, but I think that what was so hard about this experience was that I didn't think Mason was like that... in the fact that I've never seen him tantrum like that before. People always ask if he tantrums and I say no. I considered myself lucky. I think I might have just had rose colored glasses on or something and while I don't think he is a perfect angel, I didn't think of him as tantruming. I don't want to label him, but for the sake of explaining myself, I always thought of him as high functioning. But maybe, I'm just catering to all his needs, babying him, and doing whatever he wants and giving him whatever he needs so he doesn't need to tantrum? The most I ever really do to cause a tantrum is to take the iPad away in the morning so we can go to work/school and even then, it's short lived because I give him his milk and he's back to his happy self.

On the occasion that he does tantrum, I give in pretty easily, so it just seems like he's crying for a few seconds and then it's over. Nobody wants to see their child upset. I don't want to say that I live in denial, because I am fully aware and accepting of his diagnosis, but I do firmly believe that the diagnosis does not define him. Yes, it is a part of who he is, but it's just one piece of the Mason puzzle.

Regardless of what happened in the past or whatever colored glasses I think I'm wearing, this whole potty training journey is going to be a learning and growing lesson for us all.


And now I am sitting here, writing this post, and all I can think about is crawling into bed with him and cuddling him and telling him how much I love him. In fact, as we were on our way upstairs to go to bed, I just sat down with him, looking in his eyes, and him looking in to mine. I started to cry and I knew he was confused but just looked at me with so much love.

Love. Caring. Compassion.

These are all emotions that most children with autism don't feel. I am so lucky to be able to experience it with Mason. Lucky. Blessed to be his mama. 

I tucked him into bed and said "I love you so much, Mason."

And he said "I luh you Mommy. Guh-Night!"

And right then my heart burst into a million pieces and I knew... I must be doing something right.

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