Thursday, February 14, 2013

Muesli Bars

Dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, no refined sugar

1 cup dry roasted almonds, chopped
1 cup GF rolled oats
1 cup puffed rice
1/4 cup pepitas
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup sultanas
1/2 cup blanched almond meal
50g coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.  Line a slice tin with baking paper.
Mix the almond meal, oats, puffed rice, pepitas, apricots, sultanas and almonds together in a large bowl.
Melt the coconut sugar, honey and coconut oil in a saucepan until combined.
Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and then stir in the egg. 
Press into slice tin.
Cook at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Leave to cool and cut into slices (it's easier to cut into slices when the slice has been refrigerated). 

The beginning of independence

Up until now, Gideon has been our little baby.  He's been content to be close to us and just go with the flow.  Just recently though we're beginning to see him start to move away from us and become his own little 'self'.  This generally comes in the forms of big tantrums where he will just throw himself around and not want to be picked up.  Try to offer a solution to the problem and the tantrum will get even worse.  This beginning of indpendence has also meant that he is no longer content to carried all the time and he will often fight to get out of the sling if he's in there. In many ways it's all a bit frustrating.  Especially when you have places to go and people to see.  And so often I feel like I am being judged for having a 'naughty' child!

Despite the feelings of frustration though, I am enjoying watching my baby gain his independence.  I choose to see these tantrums as a positive thing, that he is comfortable and secure enough in our love to feel free to assert himself.  Gideon has been held and carried close since he was born.  He slept on our chest for the first 12 months of his life (and even now he continues to sleep mostly on top of us at night!) I'm sure there were many people out there who thought he'd be attached to us forever (that old familiar 'rod for your own back' thing).  We knew he wouldn't and that it would be only for a very short time in the whole scheme of things that he would be 'attached' to us.  And so it seems that we were right.  I smile every time I see Gideon throw a tantrum or he insists that he walks instead of being carried.  And just enjoy those times when he does need us.  I know that he will know that he's always loved. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Settling in to a new School year

Last Thursday Jacob started Class One at our local Steiner School.  It's been a bit of a change for him this year as up until now he's been at the early childhood campus of the school (which includes playgroup, Kinder and Prep).  This year he started at a new campus.  The Class 1-6 campus is just beautiful.  The classrooms are purpose built and wonderfully light and airy, and the grounds are great for playing in.  Jacob loves playing in the the trickle stream that runs outside their classroom.  And the school is in a semi-rural area, right next to the local reservoir.  

We are absolutely blessed to have such a wonderful teacher.  She will be Jacob's teacher for the next 6 years as well, in keeping with Steiner philosophies.  And she's actually the parent of a child that Esme goes to Kinder with so we already knew her.  The kids in the class have already had the opportunity to meet her too.  At the end of last year they had a special 'handing over' ceremony from Prep to Class 1 and they got to meet their new teacher and see their new classroom.  And their teacher also came for a home visit a couple of weeks before school went back.  That has really helped Jacob feel comfortable with the whole transition process. 

The new Class 1 kids had a very special welcome to the school on their first day back.  They lined up outside their classroom opposite the Class 2 kids who sang and then presented each student with a rose to put in their new classroom.  They were then called in to the classroom by their new teacher. 

My heart is completely at peace, knowing that Jacob is in such a nurturing and supportive environment that will help him grow and reach his potential despite his differences.   

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sometimes I get a little sad

Most of the time it doesn't bother me that Jacob has Autism and is different from other kids.  He's a little boy who has a big heart and loves life.  His joy and excitement over the littlest things in life is contagious to all who come in contact with him.

But then there are times that I watch him and see the other side.  Out in the playground at lunchtime or after school when the other kids are running around playing and interacting, he is lost.  He doesn't know how to 'play' with other kids.  He is perfectly happy to interact with other kids when there are only a couple, or in a structured setting but out in the playground it's too hard for him.  He stays by my side and clings onto me.  It's not shyness, he just doesn't understand how to 'play'. 

Last year I walked past his school at lunchtime a few times and Jacob was sitting down the bottom with the teacher and teacher aide, drawing, while the other kids ran around playing.  I think the noise and energy of the boys in his class overwhelm him most of the time.  I guess it can be tricky to play when you can't understand all the social 'rules' and expectations.  When he does play with other kids outside, he is more inclined to play with the girls who are quieter and more understanding of his gentle nature.

While I know that being like this doesn't bother Jacob and that he is perfectly happy in his own little world, I can't help but feel a tinge of sadness.  I feel like he gets left out of so many things, particularly friendship groups.  I'm glad we've chosen a Steiner School for him.  There's a wonderful atmosphere of 'togetherness' and acceptance of each other that has been fostered in the kids.  The kids understand Jacob's eccentricities and like to point out any steam train things to Jacob because they know that's what he likes.   But that doesn't really help when they are out in the playground and Jacob doesn't want to join in.  It's hard to include someone when they don't want to be included. 

I often look to the future and wonder what it holds for Jacob.  Will he make friends?  Will he find someone to love?  Will someone love him and understand him? Will he be lonely?  I know lots of others parents have these fears for their kids too but Jacob's autism makes things so much more uncertain. As long as Jacob is happy, I know I should be too. But it's hard to think like this when your heart is telling you something differently.

I just hope he knows that the love of his family is always unconditional.  

And the winner is...

The winner of the suck pads has been drawn and they go to...Miss_Skarmel!  Congratulations Miss_Skarmel, I will be in contact to get your details so I can send them.  Thanks to everyone else who entered! 
Related Posts with Thumbnails