Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

3D Wall-E

My little, excuse me, big artist!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Brotherly Love

Javi was showing Ethan how to play Pokemon when we were walking around
Circuit City today. It was very cute. What a good boy! He even shared
with brother and let him have a turn.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday Javi!!

Glad your party was a success and everyone had fun. Happy 8th
Birthday to my big 3rd grader!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Green Water Guns

Rather than going out and buying water guns this summer, why not take the greener approach and use a recycled water bottle?  Simply take a knife and poke a hole in the lid of the water bottle.


-Does not cost any money if you have some empty ones lying around.
-Easier to refill
-Makes the fight equal, since everyone will have the same type gun
-Wastes less water because you can easily fill in a bucket or butt it up to the faucet with out wasting
-You can still recycle the bottles after.

They do tend to deflate the more they are squeezed, but you can easier blow air in the bottle to reform the shape.  Simple summer family fun with out buying some toy that will end up in a landfill, where a bottle is easily recycled.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008


We are at our psych eval at San Diego Regional Center. Javi has one
every couple of years. Pretty much to see if it's time to cut off his
services. Well, I think he needs them now more than ever, but we'll
see what happens. Javi's sensory needs have been overwhelming lately.
He needs input just about every 5-10 mins as compared to a few months
ago only needing it once an hour. He is showing much more classic
autistic behaviors as he gets older. I am not sure if something
changes in his brain as he ages or if just the demands and
responsibilites change, this is his coping technique. It could be a
combination of the two. I am going to investigate treatment options
for his sensory needs. He already does OT at school and has a sensory
diet, but these days that just isn't enough.

Hope all goes well. Javi just went back for the first part of the
eval. To be continued...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Javi Wars Drawings

I'm drawing out the design for a game called Javi Wars. These are all my plans for the game. I have been drawing pictures for two weeks. These drawings are just a couple of them.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Yosemite Trip
We're home! Had a great time on our trip. 

alphastatedotnet's Yosemite Trip photosetalphastatedotnet's Yosemite Trip photoset

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Javi of the Jungle

SD Zoo, originally uploaded by alphastatedotnet.

I just love this picture of Javi. He really enjoyed the Bonobos. We must have watched them for over 30 minutes. It was nice to take a rest. They were really cute. Javi got out his notepad and took his "zoo notes" on the Bonobos. They were wrestling around with each other. I think Javi could really identify with this, since that is pretty much all he does with his brother :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Yosemite Trip

We are going to take another trip as soon as the kids get out of
school. We booked a little cottage in Mariposa (where my sis lives)
just outside of Yosemite National Park. We are pretty excited about
seeing everyone and also getting to see the beautiful park. We are
going to take a real live steam train ride (my little engineers are
thrilled about that part) and we are just going to hang out and relax.
We are going to see the giant sequoias, the beautiful waterfalls and
nature. I got the boys some little lanterns so we can take some night
time nature walks. I loaded up on the all natural bug repellant for
that :)

I have some pics of the cottage we booked courtesy of their website.
They boys are excited about the pool. It is supposed to be in the
upper 80's while we are there.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Behavior Battery

Javi's new behavior mod tool. We are finally starting that new system
that I had talked about a while back. We had kinda put things on hold
for a while, since we have had too much irregularity in our schedule
lately. We are also getting ready to transition to a new behavior mod
consultant. Today is our last consult with our current consultant.
We are looking forward to a fresh perspective, since new ideas when it
comes to shaping behavior are always welcome.

Day at the Park

We had a great time at the park for Rest and Relaxation at the Park.  We took a break from school and Javi's class went to the park.  They have been doing a different activity for every letter of the alphabet.  We ran a three legged race, had a picnic lunch and broke a pinata.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Serious Gaming

Isn't it amazing how well they can focus on video games? Wish homework
had the same effect on them!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Feeling better!

Finally feeling better after a log week of being sick. Javi is finally
going back to school tomorrow.

We stopped by and saw his teacher at school today and she is looking
forward to having him back in class tomorrow. Unfortunately, most of
Javi's studies this week were learning in a group, so we didn't get to
pick up the work he missed. I'm sure Javi will be able to catch up
quickly. He is such a smart boy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers' Day Gift from Javi

This was my wonderful gift from Javi. Notice it has our entire blended
family. Starting from left to right: Kaylee, Mark, Acho, Javi, Me,
Brianne and she is holding Ethan. It makes me so proud that Javi
thinks of us as one family unit. I guess we are all doing something
right :)

What is totally amazing is Javi's attention to detail. He actually
painted everyone's eye color correctly. Great job, Javi! I am so proud
to be your Mom.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Flappy Flapperton

Javi loves to flap. I love to call him Flappy Flapperton, which he gets a kick out of. It is something we are currently working on in Behavior Modification to try to limit the amount, location, frequency, what he flaps (usually a paper and straw that he crafts into what sort of looks like a fishing line, we call stimmy sticks) and try to target the times that it is appropriate or not appropriate to self stimulate. I finally decided to video him flapping to show his story and his perspective on flapping. He definitely understands why he flaps, but we are trying a new method to limit when it's appropriate to flap and not appropriate to flap. Enjoy the clip!

We thought we would try a flap token of some sort to signify when it's appropriate to flap. This could be anything from a fidgit, an actual token, or object. When he has this object he knows that it's ok to flap. When he isn't holding the object, it's not ok. We found that Javi is very aware of his flapping and does have the self control to stop when he knows it isn't appropriate or it's a safety issue. However, he does have very little will power, and usually resorts back to flapping when our back is turned.  He mostly flaps in the afternoon and evening, when he is more on sensory overload from his school day or an activity.  It takes very little to put Javi in a state of sensory overload, so it is pretty much an all the time thing.  We realize that he will have spurts that are uncontrollable when he needs some type of input, but this is where Javi can be redirected to use a different form of self stim that is more appropriate for the environment. We did not have much luck with objects (fidgets) when Javi was younger, but we are hoping we can come up with something that will allow him to regulate himself in a safer and more socially appropriate way. The problem with the "stimmy sticks" as we have come to call them, is he gets completely consumed with them and his focus is completely on them. We will be looking for other avenues that are not quite so consuming and will allow him to be more aware of his surroundings, but still get the input he desires. We feel at this point it is an unreasonable expectation that he will stop flapping or self stimming completely, but we can find ways to channel it into other with other types of input or give him times when it is appropriate if he chooses.  We are hopeful that he will outgrow this urge, as many Autistic children do, but we are ok with him continuing as long as he is in an appropriate environment for it.

Javi pretty much has symptoms of every different type of self stimulation at one time or another. The flapping is just the most pronounced. Sometimes he will get multiple things going along with the flapping. He will make this strange noise that almost sounds like a gorilla, hold his mouth open and he will rock his head from side to side, all while still managing to finger flap or flap his stimmy stick. We have also observed that the more demands Javi has (school work, homework, chores) the more he resorts to flapping, also due to the fact that he is easily overloaded.

We will be testing the flap token out over the next few weeks, so we will continue to update and let you know how it goes.

We did attend ASD Parent Education Night tonight, but it's getting late, so it will be tomorrow's topic.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cock a Doodle Doo

Ethan and Javi in front of the giant rooster at Knott's Chicken Dinner
for Papa's 84th birthday. We had a nice time with the fam at dinner.
I saw my cousin, who I haven't seen in about six years today. It was
good to see the fam together. There was about 14 of us there,
including Papa. I will post more pics to flickr later. I have to off
load two different cameras.

Monday, April 28, 2008

"I'll do it by myself, mom"

Javi never ceases to amaze me with how independent he is. Tonight, we
were at Souplantation (an all-you-can-eat soup and salad restaurant)
and he wanted to do everything by himself. He carried his own tray,
picked out all the veg he wanted, then ate it dry (much better than
me, I have to have dressing). He got all the fill ups of lemonade by
himself, soup, and even went to get some garlic bread for me and pizza
bread for Ethan. I was so impressed by his independence and maturity.
He chose to eat healthy, I didn't have to coax him. Javi just a couple
of years ago would only eat chicken nuggets, now he will choose an
apple over cake, salad over burritos, it's amazing how far he has come
and I am so proud of him!

Shanna Grimes
(Sent from my iPhone)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring Pic 2008

First Art Class

My little rembrant! Javi had a good time at his art class.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Javi Hawk

We had fun with Javi's hairdo before taking him for a hair cut. He finally decided he wanted it cut. I thought it would be a good idea also, since STAR testing starts tomorrow and Javi tends to fidget with his hair when he gets nervous, more so when it's long. He looked pretty funny with all the spikes. He said they are not girl pony tails, they are cool mohawk pony tails.

We took him out to do tricks on his scooter, since he certainly looked the part. Enjoy the pics and the video!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I had a good day!

I have been in a little bit of a slump this week. I was kinda having a bad week, but today was a good day. I got one 4 and all the rest 5's on my behavior chart (5 is the max) at school today.

I have also been very helpful too. My mom hurt her ankle and it was my idea to go and make her an ice pack, just like she made for my lip. I went and made it all by myself with a baggie and ice from the ice maker. Superhero's help people, and I am a super, superhero.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Disney Pics

We went to Disneyland and California Adventure this week. We had a really great time. We rode so many rides and saw the Million Dreams Parade. Please click on the link below to see the pics from our trip.

alphastatedotnet's Disney Resort photosetalphastatedotnet's Disney Resort photoset

Thursday, March 27, 2008

CNN News about Autism

This sounds all to familiar! When Javi went through everything, we were pretty much told the same thing. You could have taken this out of our diary.

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- When her son Justin was a newborn, Shannon Kinninger looked up from the kitchen where she was washing dishes, and saw a large, heavy toy fall on his head. Justin didn't cry.

Shannon Kinninger feels her son Justin's autism diagnosis was delayed.

Kinninger thought that was odd, and it wasn't the only thing that seemed strange about Justin. At her weekly playgroup, she watched the other babies hit their developmental milestones more or less on schedule. Justin lagged far behind.

"When he was supposed to be sitting up, he wasn't sitting up. When he was supposed to be holding his head up, he wasn't holding his head up. When he was supposed to be rolling over, he wasn't rolling over," says Kinninger, a nurse who lives in Fayetteville, Georgia.

Kinninger brought up her concerns to her pediatrician, but he told her not to worry. "The doctor kept saying that boys develop more slowly than girls," she says. "He kept reassuring me he'd be OK." more...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Poor Javi ;( (Continued again)

The lip saga continues...

Javi's lip just doesn't seem to be getting that much better. It would definitely be healed by now if he could just stop playing with it. I kept him home from school today because I had a call from the teacher yesterday. She was concerned about his inability to concentrate because he was so fixated on his lip. She did not suggest keeping him at home, she was just wondering what they could do at school. I hate to keep him out with all the budget stuff going on, because technically, he isn't sick. However, he is not eating at school, not playing and unable to concentrate on his work, so I thought it best to keep him home to monitor him. I did make a doctor's appointment for him this afternoon. Although, I spoke to the nurse this morning and she said that we are doing everything we should be doing and there isn't much they can do for him (soft food, high calorie shakes, antibiotic ointment and Vitamin E). She thought it would be a good idea for him to be seen because he hasn't been seen by anyone since the lip injury. We have an appointment at 3pm today. We are hoping that seeing the doctor will act as a scare tactic and get him to stop touching it. You know how it is with kids, sometimes if it comes from someone else, they listen.

We are concerned with the lip, but more concerned by the fact that he isn't eating well. He did manage to eat a pancake for breakfast and most of a high calorie smoothie (mom's special blend). I stopped at the drug store this morning to pick up some pediasure and skin colored bendable silicon band aids to cover his lip. Hopefully that will help with the weight loss and keep him from constantly breaking his lip open. We are also treating his lip with Neosporin Plus and Lysine Fever Blister meds with a lot of natural healing ingredients. Fingers crossed there is no infection. It doesn't look infected, but I would not be surprised at all if it was with how much he touches it.

My poor little guy! Hopefully it will heal soon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Poor Javi ;( (Continued)

Well, we didn't get to go to music class. Javi's fever came back this evening. He was really upset that he didn't get to go to his "Concert with Mr. Lee". We are hoping that Mr. Lee will have another concert soon, so we will get to go. Javi will be staying home from school tomorrow so we can give his lip a chance to heal and to make sure the fever doesn't return. We will be dosing him with Motrin about every four hours until the swelling goes down. He looks like Rocky, minus the black eyes, poor thing!

Today he hid under my sweatshirt because he didn't want people to look at his lip. It was funny because Javi hasn't done something like that since he was two. I felt so bad for him because he was really embarrassed about his lip. I'm guessing someone was mean to him at school and it made him self conscious. I told him that people were looking at his lip because they were sad for him because it looks painful and that seemed to do the trick. I'm sure it's one of those injuries that looks worse that it really is, but it looks so uncomfortable. He has been a really good sport about it. He has hardly complained about it at all. He just said "Mom, you are going to take care of me, right?" in his most pitiful voice. To those that know Javi, he has a flare for the theatrics, but it is so darn cute, no one can resist it.

He is on a soft food diet for the next couple days. That part has been hard for him because he is a really big eater. He has the fastest metabolism I have ever seen. I asked him if he wanted a smoothie for lunch and he said "No Mom, that is a dessert. I want chewy food." We compromised and went to Panera for soup and a smoothie.

Fortunately, he isn't making the connection to sustaining the injury from going to the dentist. He says he still likes the dentist and can't wait to go back. We are taking a break from flossing until the lip goes down though. We have been flossing our teeth together and Javi is pretty good at doing it himself. Hopefully with Javi's interest in mouth hygiene and the sealant on his teeth, we will be cavity free at the next check up and we won't go through this again.

I loosed my teeth!!

The tooth fairy came two days in a row. I loosed one tooth on Monday and another on Tuesday after my dentist's appointment. I love going to the dentist. My lip is swollen, but I still like the dentist's office. I got to play a driving video game while mom and I waited for my appointment. Then I got to watch a movie and had happy air while my dentist worked on my tooth.

Here are some pictures of me with my missing teeth. Mom says I look like I play hockey.

Poor Javi ;(

Javi went to the dentist yesterday for a fill and to get sealant on his molars. He did fantastic for the appointment, but he bit his lip while he was numb and now we think he has an infection. He came home from school today because he had a fever. His lip is so swollen he looks like a hockey player, especially with the missing teeth!! We are hoping he is feeling a little better by the time his music class starts at six. He really wants to go to it. I told him if he rested a while and if he didn't' have a fever, we could still go.

To Be Continued...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cinderella Field Trip

Javi had a great time at the ballet today.  He said that he liked the part where the clock struck and Cinderella lost her shoe.  He looks so handsome in his nice shirt.  Glad you had a nice time at the ballet.  It's nice that they are exposing the kids to such cultured field trips.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Day at the dentist!

Today I was brave. I was so good at the dentist. My dentist doctor is a woman named Dr. Lam and my hygienist was named Christyna. It was so good. Everyone there was super nice. I took special pictures of my teeth. I got to see the front of my teeth and the back of my teeth. It was so cool. I got to see my big boy teeth underneath my baby teeth. It was so good. My favorite part of the dentist is when I wore the lead vest. My dentist doctor was so proud of me and so was mom. I love going to the dentist.

Next time I go, I will get my cavities worked on. I think I have two. I will also get my teeth sealed. They will give me "happy air". I am not allowed to eat before I go to the dentist that day. I will be so brave again when I go next week.

For more information on my dentist, please visit their

Mini Golf Day

We went to a birthday party at Boomer's on Saturday.  We had a great time.  After the birthday party we decided to go mini golfing.  Javi did great! We didn't keep score, but I know he did well.  It was a hard course too!  Happy to report no melt downs even when the course got difficult.  Here are a few pics from the day.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Vaccine settlement complex, may not be first

On April 2, CNN will report on the global impact, latest science and controversies related to autism for the first "World Autism Day." Watch for coverage on and CNN TV.

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- For those convinced that vaccines can cause autism, the sad case of a Georgia girl, daughter of a doctor and lawyer, seems like clear-cut evidence. The government has agreed to pay the girl's family for injury caused by vaccines.

Hannah Poling's parents, Terry and Jon, allege that vaccines played a role in Hannah's autism.

But it turns out it's not that simple -- and maybe not even a first.

The 9-year-old girl, Hannah Poling, had an underlying condition that may have been worsened, triggering her autism-like symptoms.

Her parents believe it was the five simultaneous vaccines she got as a toddler in one day eight years ago that did it. Government scientists say something like a fever or infection could have set off the problem -- but they didn't rule out the vaccines either.

This week, government officials said they have agreed to pay the Polings from a federal fund that compensates people injured by vaccines. The amount is not yet determined.

While parents and advocates for children with autism say the case is a landmark legal precedent that signals the government is finally conceding potential autism-related risks from childhood vaccines, government officials are saying it's nothing of the kind.

"This does not represent anything other than a very special situation," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Her comments came after the Polings, from Athens, Georgia, held a news conference Thursday to talk about their daughter, who accompanied them. At the briefing, Hannah seemed socially engaged with her caregiver, but later in an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live," she was quiet and seemed to be in her own world. Larry King Live goes behind the scenes with the Polings »

As a toddler, they said she was a bright, normal-behaving child until she got five shots when she was about 18 months old. She was a little behind on her vaccinations, so the decision was made to give her five shots.

Almost immediately after, she was screaming, feverish and irritable. Then, her behavior gradually changed so she would stare at fans and lights and run in circles.

"It wasn't like a switch being turned off. It was more like a dimmer switch being turned down," said Hannah's father, Jon, a 37-year-old neurologist. Paging Dr. Gupta blog: Parents still see good in vaccines

It was heartbreaking, said her 47-year-old mother, Terry, who is trained as both a lawyer and a nurse.

"Suddenly my daughter was no longer there," she said.

The family filed a claim with the federal vaccine compensation program in 2002, which the government ultimately decided to concede before any evidentiary hearing.

Don't Miss
Parents share pain of daughter's decline
WebMD: A pediatrician's thoughts on vaccines and autism
I-Report: Are you living with autism? Tell us your story
Autism Speaks: Advocacy, awareness
The case may not be a first, said Gary Golkiewicz, chief special master for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He oversees the special "vaccine court" which rules on requests for payments from the vaccine injury fund.

"Years ago, actually, I had a case, before we understood or knew the implications of autism, that the vaccine injured the child's brain caused an encephalopathy," he said. And the symptoms that come with that "fall within the broad rubric of autism."

And there are other somewhat similar cases, Golkiewicz says, that were decided before autism and its symptoms were more clearly defined.

Hannah has a disorder involving her mitochondria, the energy factories of cells. The disorder -- which can be present at birth or acquired later in life -- impairs cells' ability to use nutrients. It often causes problems in brain functioning and can lead to delays in walking and talking. I-Report: Are you living with autism? Tell us your story

The Polings were exploring two theories to explain what happened to Hannah. One is that she was born with the mitochondria disorder and the vaccines caused a stress to her body that worsened the condition. The other is that the vaccine ingredient thimerosal caused the mitochondrial dysfunction, Jon Poling said.

CDC officials decline to talk about the Poling case, but they say it should not be used to draw conclusions about risks for other children.

Scientists believe that in cases in which a mitochondrial disorder causes a child's brain function to deteriorate, the disorder exists and then is worsened by a fever, infection or other stress on the body.

Scientists don't know if a vaccination -- independent of fever or infection -- can cause such a stress, said Dr. Edwin Trevathan, a pediatric neurologist who heads the CDC's birth defects center.

Others echoed his assessment.

Health Library Autism
"There are no scientific studies documenting that childhood vaccinations cause or worsen mitochondrial diseases, but there is very little scientific research in this area," said Chuck Mohan, executive director the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based group that raises money for research.

Mohan said there are more than 100 types of mitochondrial disease, and genetic tests can find only a couple dozen.

"Most children with autism do not seem to have a mitochondrial problem, so this association ... is probably relatively rare," said Trevathan.

Some research suggests the disorder occurs in one in 4,000 births, but some experts believe the rate is closer to one in 2,000, similar to childhood leukemia. And it is often just as fatal, said Mohan, who lost a daughter to the disease in 1995.

Other federal vaccine advisers seek to portray Hannah Poling as an isolated if not unique case.

She is "not a typical autistic child," said Dr. Paul Offit, chief of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a longtime government vaccine adviser. "It's not a precedent-setting case." E-mail to a friend

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Our Day at Wild Animal Park

We had a great time with Auntie Cheri, Uncle Jeff and Grandma at the Wild Animal Park yesterday. Here are some pics of our trip. First pic is a mama and her baby giraffe that was born a week ago. They were so cute nuzzling and loving each other.

Javi and Ethan were acting like a couple of gorillas. Javi was especially interested in the story I told about the time gorillas threw poo on the onlooking crowd. It was poo this and poo that. He even asked me if the little girl that was standing next to us was crying because a gorilla thew poo at her. You know Javi, once he gets on the potty talk, it's hard to get off the subject. Unfortunately, we were not near a bathroom at the time. I usually send Javi and Ethan to the bathroom when they continuously talk about bowel functions. That was a trick I learned from an old pro and it seems to work. They get it out of their system.

Last pic is Javi while we were trekking across the wilds of Africa. We had fun naming all the animals. Funny how the wild animals seemed surprisingly more tame than my children!


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Homework is Tough

I had to do my math homework today.  I had a really rough time getting through it.  My mom was really tough on me, she made me figure it out on my own.  It's tough for me to concentrate sometimes.  It's especially hard when my baby sister or my brother are loud.  I get through it, but it takes me a while.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Javimon Comic Strip

Click on the pics to enlarge.
First pic is Power Javi, Ethan and the cat vs. evil javimon.
Second pic is kitty getting defeated by the evil javimon.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Switching up the blog, AGAIN!!

It has come to my attention that Javi is his own little person and can help maintain his own blog.  I have decided to break him away from the family blog and let him have his own.  Though the blog section will be seamless in his website, we will actually be hosting it through  That way Javi can have the capability to blog from anywhere, yes, at Aita's house too!!  Maybe Javi can show you a thing or two on the computer, Acho :)

His blog can also be found at
If you still want to follow the family blog, it can be found through Kaylee's site ( or through and it will also be listed in the links section.