Nine Things You Might Not Know About Me!

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Not long ago I was chatting with a friend of mine about some of my quirks.  We got to laughing and she said that she loved me even though I had some weird hangups!  I jokingly said “My quirks might make a good blog post!” to which she responded “Absolutely!  That would make for some funny reading!”

So tonight, on the way home from our weekly frozen yogurt date, I mentioned to Chris that I might share some of my quirks or things that freak me out.  He immediately started naming things that I could share.  Wow!  I truly do have issues!

So here we go!

1)  I have FREAKISH hearing!

I have had the most remarkable hearing for as long as I can remember.  I really struggle concentrating when I’m in a large group setting because I can hear so many different conversations going on at once.  Chris totally laughs at me because I can give him details about people (usually the kind that people don’t want you to know) after being together at some type of gathering.  My freakish hearing leads to my next item.

2)  I can’t stand loud eating or gum smacking!

Going to the movies has always been a complete stressor for me!  Hearing all those people chow down on their popcorn & nachos is seriously a nightmare.  We used to have to get to the movies at least 30 minutes early to ensure that I could get a seat in the very back of the theatre.  I could still hear people eating in front of me, but it wasn’t as bad as someone sitting directly behind me.

Last year we got to a movie late and the gentleman sitting behind me had to have been the LOUDEST eater I had ever encountered!  Chris was a doll & went out to the lobby to ask if they happened to have any earplugs.  They didn’t, but he came back with one of those headsets that plays the audio to the movie.  Amazingly, went I put the headset on, I couldn’t hear anything around me!  It. Was. AWESOME!  It has been a total lifechanger for me!

About the gum…that is pretty self-explanatory.  I especially can’t stand when someone pops and cracks their gum.  The worst is when they do it in church! Seriously people, don’t pop your gum in church!  I don’t think that’s a lot to ask!

3)  Clowns freak me out!

Not really sure when it started, but I remember having really bad dreams about clowns when I was a kid.  Anything clown related scares me!  Clown dolls, pictures, art, and especially actual clowns.  I have come face to face with people dressed as clowns and I literally freeze. I get heart palpitations & become sweaty.

I’ve never taken my kids to the circus.  I don’t feel guilty about it at all!  Chris took them once & said they weren’t all that thrilled anyway.

When I was pregnant with Hailey, I had an appointment with my OB on Halloween. I remember Chris coming around the corner & saying “Honey, stay where you are!” followed by “Excuse me Ma’am, can I ask you to step into that room while my wife comes down the hall?”  She laughed and made a joke and he quickly told her “I’m totally not kidding!  My wife is deathly afraid of clowns!”  She was nice enough to comply and I realized at that exact moment that Chris would do ANYTHING for me, even if it made me or him look like a total freak!  He’s my hero!

4)  I have been forbidden to read any novel written by Jodi Picoult!

In 2007 I read My Sister’s Keeper.  I was literally weeping as I read it.  In the days that followed, I was so depressed I almost couldn’t function.  This book just absolutely rocked me!  I was waking up in the middle of the night and crawling into bed with each of my girls.  I would hold them & rock them as tears fell onto their sleeping faces.

A couple of weeks later my sister finally said “What is wrong with you?  You have been in this major funk for a couple of weeks!”  As I told her about the book I started sobbing!  She said “Um, stop reading those kinds of books!”  Chris totally agreed, gathered all the rest of the Jodi Picoult books off my bookshelf & donated them to Goodwill the following day.

5)  I only like to eat scrambled eggs if Chris or my mom has made them!

Not exactly sure what it is about their eggs that make them so much better than anyone else’s, but I’m pretty sure that the fact that my mom uses an insane amout of butter is what draws me to her eggs & Chris uses lots of cheese.  When others offer to make me scrambled eggs, I politely decline or request them to be made a different way. Just a personal choice.  Some people in my family call me an “egg snob” and I can totally handle it!

6)  I really dislike coconut!

Love the smell, just really dislike the taste and especially the texture.  Seriously, it’s like eating grass.  No thanks!

My close friends and family know my aversion to coconut. A couple of years ago we were having a celebration at church and I went to grab a cookie that I thought looked like a butterscotch cookie and my friend, Ruthie, had this weird look on her face and she just blurted out “COCONUT! COCONUT!”  I immediately put the cookie down & then busted out laughing.  She started laughing and said “I couldn’t get the right words out, but I wanted to warn you.  All I could think to do was to start yelling ‘Coconut’!  I hugged her & thanked her for saving me from a total coconut disaster!  That’s true friendship!

7)  I truly believe that Miracle Whip is evil!

Ok, so maybe not evil, but truly disgusting!  I grew up in a household that only used Miracle Whip.  It wasn’t until I was in high school that one of my friends introduced me to actual mayo.  Oh my word!  I had no idea what I was missing out on.

My parents still razz me when they come to visit that I only keep mayo in our fridge. I always like to tease my dad when he tells me how good the sandwiches are that I make him while he’s here.  I usually say “You know dad, the reason that sandwich is so good is that I used mayo & not Miracle Whip.  Miracle Whip ruins everything!”

8)  I have to fall asleep with the TV on!

I know, I know!  I’ve read the studies that say it is so much better to not do that. Believe me, I don’t need you to send me any newspaper clippings or foward me any articles because my mom already does that!  I know it isn’t ideal, but it is what helps me to fall asleep.  It totally helps me to decompress.  I set the sleeper and I’m totally happy!

9) I am fascinated by both the Royals and the Amish!

I know, totally weird combination!  Many years ago my folks took me on a trip to Lancaster, PA to visit Amish country.  I love their minimalist lifestyle, their total devotion to hard work, & their cute buggies!  I love to watch movies & read books about them.

I’ve always enjoyed reading about the royal family.  It started young.  Yes, I know that they are just regular people, but the concept of royalty has always intrigued me.  And yes, I’ve been super happy the past few days with all the royal baby stuff.

Well there you have it!  Hopefully this post has given you a deeper glimpse into what makes me tick and what ticks me off! I’d love to know that I am not alone, so please share any of your silly quirks or odd things that might bring you joy in the comments below!

Hope you are having a fantastic week!

Make it great!

JuJu

The Antics of our Elf on the Shelf, Gracie!

Hello friends!  So excited to share the adventures of our Elf on the Shelf, Gracie with you today.  I need to give a shout out to my grandmother and Aunt Carol who shared the Elf on the Shelf craze with our family last Christmas.  I admit that I was originally against adding in this tradition, but I am really glad that we decided to do it!  The girls LOVED Gracie, but I’m pretty sure that Chris and I had even more fun with Gracie’s antics.

For those of you who are new to my blog, both of our girls are on the autism spectrum.  They are very literal and we usually know exactly what they are thinking, as it just spills out!  Hailey cracked me up with her almost daily comments about what Gracie had done.  I’ll add her thoughts below the pictures.

WHAT A “CUTIE”

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This was our first morning with Gracie and the girls thought she was pretty funny. Hailey jumped in on the fun and continued to take parts of the orange away during the day.

GOING FOR A SWIM

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“Good thing she didn’t eat all the Cheerios, Skylar would have been mad!”-Hailey

ENJOYING THE VIEW FROM ABOVE

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“That’s hilarious!  She must not be afraid of heights like you are mom!”-Hailey

HIDE AND SEEK

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TAKING A BUBBLE BATH

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We went down to Phoenix for an overnight trip and the girls didn’t want to take Gracie with us.  They wanted to see what she would do while we were out of town. This presented a challenge for Chris and me.  Gracie got all settled into her bubble bath right after the kids got in the car.  When we returned home the next day, the marshmallows were pretty stiff from sitting out for about 24 hours.  Hailey said, “Well that can’t be comfortable!  Why would she want to bathe in hard marshmallows?”

TAKING OVER

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“I can not believe that Gracie knocked the angel off the tree!  That should definitely put her on the naughty list!”-Hailey

SUCH A JOKER

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CELEBRATING SKYLAR’S BIRTHDAY

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“I can’t believe Gracie didn’t eat all of her cake!  It was SO good!  Can I have the rest?”-Hailey

JUST A SIP

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“Well that’s a waste of a perfectly good straw!”-Hailey

A LITTLE LIGHT READING

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This is a really blurry picture, but Hailey’s comments were some of my favorite.  She said, “Oh my word!  Why is she reading Twilight?  Who told her those books were good?”

MISSING SANTA

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REPLACING OUR STOCKINGS WITH UNDERWEAR

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“Wow!  I hope those are clean!!!”-Hailey

SUGAR HIGH

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GREEN MILK

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“EWWW!  How’d she do that?  That is really weird!”-Hailey

VANDALIZING

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“What a waste of toilet paper!  You’d better save that, I’m sure we’re going to need it!”-Hailey

Thanks for reading about our adventures with Gracie!  The girls were excited that she left a note saying goodbye and that she would be back next year.

Blessings for a great New Year for all of you!

Make it great!

JuJu

A Bit Of Exercise!

I know, I know!  It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a No Filter Friday!  For those of you who are new to my blog, this is the time that I love to share things that the girls have said or done that have left us red-faced, laughing, and sometimes speechless.  I have mainly shared stories of Skylar and her lack of filter here on my blog, although Hailey also lacks a filter, just to a lesser degree. In many ways it is refreshing how brutally honest the girls are, but it can be embarrassing. This is by far my favorite thing about having 2 girls on the autism spectrum.  The “lack of filter” is hilarious!  If you are new to my blog or missed previous posts, you can click here for a complete list of No Filter Friday stories.

Yesterday, we took Hailey to her gymnastics class at the Y.  We sit in this little room off to the side so that I can see Hailey and so that Skylar can see the TV.  Picture a room the size of my kitchen with about 8 adults and 15 kids in it.  That will give you an idea about how packed in there we were.

Skylar sat with a bunch of little kids most of the time watching Toy Story 2.  Not long before gymnastics was over she got up and walked over to the area in front of me that houses multiple recumbent bikes.  What a great idea to have excercise equipment so that we can workout while our kids do!  Now just to actually get on the bike instead of sit behind it, but I digress!

Skylar looked at the bike and said to me “Mom, I’m going to do a bit of excercise!”.  I responded with “That’s great honey!  Way to go!”

After a few minutes of pedaling she let out a large sigh and exclaimed very loudly:

OH MY! MY BISCUITS ARE BURNING!

I just burst out laughing and said “Your biscuits are burning? What are your biscuits?”

Skylar gave me the look that only she can give.  The look that blatantly screams You don’t have a clue!  She then said:  Mom, you know what I’m talking about!  My bum, my bottom, my behind, my butt!  You know….MY BISCUITS!

Thank you Skylar for the lesson on all the things we can call our bum!

Gotta love this girl!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Make it great!

JuJu

The Toothbrush

Happy Friday!  It has been quite awhile since I have posted a No Filter Friday story. Life has been hectic, as I’m sure it has been for all of you.  Thank you for all of the sweet e-mails, messages, & text messages that have said something like “We’ve missed the No Filter Friday posts!  We need our dose of total honesty!”

For those of you who are new to my blog, this is the time that I love to share things that the girls have said or done that have left us red-faced, laughing, and sometimes speechless.  I have mainly shared stories of Skylar and her lack of filter here on my blog, although Hailey also lacks a filter, just to a lesser degree. In many ways it is refreshing how brutally honest the girls are, but it can be embarrassing. This is by far my favorite thing about having 2 girls on the autism spectrum.  The “lack of filter” is hilarious!  If you are new to my blog or missed previous posts, you can click here for a complete list of No Filter Friday stories.

Today’s story is not embarassing, but actually shows Skylar’s inability to lie.  Or maybe I should say her inability to lie well!  Many times when we ask her if she is responsible for a mess or the “mysterious” disappearance of the cookies from the pantry, we don’t even have to wait for an answer….her face gives her away immediately!

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting at the dining room table when Chris and I had the following exchange:

Chris:  Julie, do you know which one of the girls used my toothbrush?

Me:  No. What makes you think one of them used your toothbrush?

Chris:  I put it in my drawer after I used it and it is now on the counter.

Me:  Well, I doubt it was Hailey because she is such a germaphobe.  Skylar should be coming upstairs in a few minutes, just ask her.

A few minutes pass and Skylar makes her way into the bathroom where Chris and I are getting ready.  Chris picks up his toothbrush and says “Skylar, did you use my toothbrush?”

Without a moment’s hesitation Skylar responds with:

That is YOUR toothbrush??

Chris:  Well, that answers that question!

Me:  Why did you use dad’s toothbrush buddy?  Your toothbrush is right here.

Skylar:  It is such a pretty toothbrush so I decided to use it.

Chris:  Well, it’s your toothbrush now!

Skylar:  Oh good!  I like that toothbrush!

Me:  Chris, maybe if you didn’t have such a girly toothbrush this wouldn’t have been an issue!

Chris:  Whatever!  That’s what I get for living in a house full of girls!

I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend!

Make it great!

JuJu

Hey Girl!

I’m sure that many of you have seen the various “Hey Girl” memes about Ryan Gosling that have been floating around the internet for a long time.  A few months ago, Sunday over at Adventures in Extreme Parenthood developed her own Special Needs Ryan Gosling series.  When I first read them I was rolling on the floor laughing.  It is such a funny series & it was so funny to see her take issues that we as parents in the special needs community, deal with on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis and put a positive & EXTREMELY  humorous spin on it!  Those of you who know our family know that we try to deal with a lot of our difficult times with humor.

So this morning as I was surfing the internet, I came across a picture of Ryan Gosling.  I immediately knew what I wanted to do with it.  Sunday usually runs her series & invites others to link up on Friday, but that is when I do my No Filter Friday series.  So I’m going to share it today.  Hope it gives you a good laugh!

Be sure to check out Special Needs Ryan Gosling over on Sunday’s blog each Friday!  It is HILARIOUS!

Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Make it great!

JuJu

It’s All A Lie!

Hello friends!  It’s time for another installment of No Filter Friday.  This is the time that I love to share things that the girls have said or done that have left us red-faced, laughing, and sometimes speechless.  I have mainly shared stories of Skylar and her lack of filter here on my blog, but what many of you don’t know is that Hailey also lacks a filter, just to a lesser degree. In many ways it is refreshing how brutally honest the girls are, but it can be embarrassing.  If you are new to my blog or missed previous posts, you can click here for a complete list of No Filter Friday stories.

Today’s story is about Hailey.  For you to really enjoy this story I must give you some background.  Her class recently did a project call the Living History Museum. In this project the students picked a famous figure from history, wrote a research paper, and then presented a 1-2 minute speech about their figure in a Living History Museum.  It was a really cool project.  Hailey submitted her list of people for consideration and found out that she would be researching Davey Crockett.

When she came home from school with a packet of information about the history museum I realized that she would need to dress up as her character.  One day after school we were talking and I told her that I was going to order a coonskin cap for her to wear.  She quickly told me that she had learned the following:

-It was David Crockett NOT Davey.  He never went by Davey.

-He NEVER wore a coonskin cap.  He wore a brown felt hat.

-He wasn’t “King of the Wild Frontier”.  He was famous for serving in Congress and later fighting in the Battle of the Alamo.  All the stuff from the Disney show was fabricated after his death.

Wow!  I was totally surprised.  I had no idea.  I was impressed with how much she was learning about David Crockett.  Suffice it to say, I did NOT order a coonskin cap. She dressed up like an old-timey Congressman for her history museum.  I was so proud of all the work she did!  She gave her speech over 25 times to other students, parents, & visitors.

We recently made a trip to Disneyland and ventured into Frontierland.  I asked Hailey if she wanted to ride on the Davey Crockett Canoe Ride.  She said “ok” and so we got in line.  As we were waiting, the Disney cast member came by (in a coonskin cap) and asked the girls if they were “excited to ride in Davey Crockett’s canoe and to see the wild frontier he was the king of?”.  Hailey had the following conversation with the cast member.
Hailey:  Did you know that Davey Crockett NEVER wore a coonskin cap?
Disney guy: Sure he did!
Hailey:  No he didn’t!  He wore a brown felt hat.
Disney guy:  I think he wore a coonskin cap for a play once.
Hailey:  No he didn’t!! His name was David, NOT Davey! He was NEVER the “King of the Wild Frontier”.  He NEVER wore a coonskin cap AND he fought and died at the battle of the Alamo to help make Texas settlers free!
Disney guy (looking rather flustered): Wow! You’ve done your research haven’t you?
Hailey:  You see all this? (waving her arm around at the canoes and the “frontierland”)  This is all a lie!
At this point, Chris and I were rolling with laughter.  Hailey was as serious as could be!  The poor Disney guy couldn’t say anything else.  I’m pretty sure he had never had a 10 year old tell him his job hocking Davey Crockett to the public was a total farce .
But it doesn’t end there!  Oh wait…there’s more!  As we got onto the canoe we were seated in the back.  The only person behind us was another cast member who was responsible for the rear of the canoe.  As we were paddling along, the gal up front kept talking about the frontier.  When we were about half-way along on our journey, Hailey just blurted out:
-This is ridiculous!  What in the world is this teaching people about David Crockett?  NOTHING I tell you!  Absolutely nothing!
The cast member behind us was hysterically laughing!  Thankfully only the couple of people in front of us heard Hailey.  In fact, the younger girl directly in front of me said “I don’t think that girl likes this ride very much!”
When we got off the canoe Chris and I could barely keep it together.  It was truly one of the most AWESOME moments of “No Filter” EVER!  I immediately called my dad at work to share the story with him.  After he finished laughing he described the moment perfectly.  He said “That is CLASSIC!”
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Make it great!
JuJu

The Accent

Hello friends!  It’s time for another installment of No Filter Friday.  This is the time that I love to share things that the girls have said or done that have left us red-faced, laughing, and sometimes speechless.  One of my favorite parts of Skylar’s autism has been the total lack of “filter” that she possesses. In many ways it is refreshing how brutally honest she is, but it can be embarrassing.  If you are new to my blog or missed previous posts, you can click here for a complete list of No Filter Friday stories.

Today’s No Filter moment happened right after we moved to Arizona last spring. Chris teaches ROTC at a small, private university.  His office is small and upon moving here we quickly met everyone in the office.  The Colonel’s wife hosted a welcome party for Chris & another guy who arrived shortly after we did.  While we were visiting Skylar went up and started talking to Mike.

This is Mike.  Mike is Filipino, but he was born and raised in Hawaii. Mike is super nice & I must say that I truly love Mike’s wife, JoAnn.  I’m pretty sure that we were separated at birth!  Ok, so back to the story! Skylar started talking to Mike and then Mike got the funniest look on his face.  Not long after that, Mike started laughing! My first thought was “Oh boy! What did she say?”

Mike came over and told us about the following conversation.

Skylar: Hi there! I really LOVE your accent!

Mike:  Accent?  What accent is that?

Skylar (in a super sultry voice): Spanish!

(Let me just say that Mike has NO accent.  That is what makes this story even funnier.)

As you can imagine, I was super embarassed as this was our first time getting together with this group of people.  They were introduced to Skylar and her lack of filter right away!  I was so thankful that Mike was such a good sport and wasn’t offended at all.  In fact, we actually laugh about this story every time we see each other.  This past week we had a going away dinner for another couple in the detachment and while we were there I told Mike that I’d like to share this story and asked if that would be ok and if he would mind taking a picture with Skylar.  I was thrilled when he said yes!  As Skylar stood next to him, she said “I’m almost as tall as you and I’m only 13.”  Oh my!  Her thoughts continue to spill out!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Make it great!

JuJu

Friday Morning Funny From Skylar

Normally I would post a No Filter Friday today, but Hailey has been sick and I did not plan on posting this morning.  I have been up to my elbows in tissues and snot! She has gone through 4 boxes of kleenex in the last 48 hours.  Sorry, I’m sure that is not the visual you wanted this morning.  Anyhow, as I was getting Skylar ready for school this morning she said something that I knew would probably give you a good laugh.

Skylar likes to color on her hands while she is at school.  This morning as I was helping her wash the marker off I noticed that her nails were a bit long.  I told her that we needed to trim her nails up this weekend.  Skylar knows that in the spring, usually around Easter, I take the girls on a special date to get a manicure and pedicure.  It is our celebration of the weather getting warmer and being able to wear flip-flops.

About 10 minutes later she was getting dressed in our room as Chris and I were in the attached bathroom getting ready ourselves.  Skylar hollered to us “When I get my nails done can I get them painted black?”  I replied “Why do you want them to be black?”  To which she stated very matter of fact “I want to go GOTH!”

Chris and I started cracking up!  I didn’t even know she knew what goth was. So I asked her who she knew that was goth.  She said “Mom, don’t you know? Samantha from Danny Phantom (one of her favorite cartoons) is goth!  I think she is hilarious!”

Well there you go!  Oh the joys of children!  You gotta love ‘em!

Hope you have a great weekend!

JuJu

If you are new to the blog or missed any of the installments of No Filter Friday,  you can find a list of all past posts here.

I Seriously Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

Oh my goodness!  My girls make me laugh!  Today after school, Skylar came down the hill waving a paper with a list of songs on it.  She does this all the time as she LOVES to make a CD of her favorite songs and often times she will make her “play list” during 7th period at school.  It is pretty funny to see her collection of songs. The same CD can have praise & worship music, songs from Rent or Mamma Mia, and Josh Groban.  She has quite an eclectic taste in music.

So today as we were driving to pick Chris up from work (he had a tire issue) the following conversation took place:

Skylar:  Mom, I made my list today & I need dad to buy 3 songs from iTunes.

Me:  Ok, what songs are they?

Skylar:  Teenage Dream, California Girls (Katy Perry version), & Evacuate the Dance Floor.

Me:  Sky, we aren’t going to buy California Girls because it is just not appropriate to listen to.

Skylar:  It isn’t?

Hailey:  No it isn’t!  In one part of the song they say “sex on the beach”.  That isn’t appropriate, although I’m sure you don’t even know what it means!

Me:  (stunned & a bit confused) Wow Hailey!  Do YOU know what that means?

Hailey:  Why yes, yes I do!

Me:  Well what does it mean?

Hailey:  Seriously mom?  I am NOT going to talk about that in front of Skylar!

Are you kidding me?  I seriously can’t make this stuff up!  I’m thinking that I need to sit down and have a talk with Hailey sooner rather than later!

Hope you are having lots of laughs this week!

Make it great!

JuJu

Something You Don’t Want To Hear On A Plane!

Hello friends!  It’s time for another installment of No Filter Friday.  This is the time that I love to share things that the girls have said or done that have left us red-faced, laughing, and sometimes speechless.  One of my favorite parts of Skylar’s autism has been the total lack of “filter” that she possesses. In many ways it is refreshing how brutally honest she is, but it can be embarrassing.  If you are new to my blog or missed previous posts, you can click here for a complete list of No Filter Friday stories.

I’m going back in time, to when Skylar was in kindergarten, for today’s No Filter Friday story.  We were stationed in Dayton, Ohio and Chris had to take a class for work that was going to require him to travel.  The class was being offered in several different locations and he chose Phoenix so that the girls and I could go with him and visit my sister and her family while he was in class.

The last time Skylar had flown she was 3 1/2 and non-verbal.   Now, at the age of 6, she had been on the GFCF diet for almost 2 years and during that time we had seen an explosion in her language.  Like most parents that fly with young children we tried to keep the girls occupied on the plane as not to disturb other passengers. She didn’t talk a whole lot during the flight and seemed to be more interested in playing with the “bag of goodies” that I had packed to keep her entertained.

Shortly before landing the captain came over the speaker to announce that we would be making our initial descent into the Phoenix area.  Skylar has always been pretty straightforward in saying exactly what she is thinking.  She is very literal and if you tell her something she takes it exactly as you say it.  As we started to feel the plane descending, Chris leaned over and quietly said to her “Look out the window Skylar, we are starting to go down.”  In a louder voice than I had heard her use in a long time she yelled:

“OH NO!  WE ARE GOING DOWN!  WE ARE GOING DOWN!”

I blurted out a laugh and quickly said “Skylar, we are landing.  We are not going down.  We are landing!”  She then changed her wording and started saying, “We are landing!  We are landing!”  The people around us were totally snickering.  The guy behind us said with a laugh “Good thing we aren’t going down! I was worried!”

I believe this was when we first realized how careful we needed to be with how we worded things to Skylar.  It gave us a laugh and I’m pretty sure it got quite a few pulses racing on the plane!

Hope you all have a nice weekend!  Make it great!

JuJu

*If you missed it, yesterday I posted the story of Skylar’s regression into autism in pictures.  You can read that story here.*