By documenting a day in the spring of 2021, I’ve captured my teen’s last drops of childhood. This installment of “Day in my Life” is as much his project as mine.
A Boy Growing Up
His name is Joaquin. He is passionate pursuing his interests, driven to learn and experience newness constantly, exceptional in skills and abilities, creative, energetic; and he was once diagnosed in the autism spectrum. He constantly dazzles me as he explores this life, as I see his joy experiencing and mastering everything new he understands, as I witness him moving into areas that were once difficult for him, as I see him growing more whole and beautiful every day .
Upon sight of his lego trays (and with project deliverables now assigned to him), Chiquitin-Grandulon resumes the building competition between his plushies.
Thanks to Kiki’s latest passion for GoT and the project it inspired, we’ve had a very rich summer practicing many different aspects of literacy and storytelling.
Beginning to document the process of our new filmmaking project, King of Swords, let’s talk about costumes, character promo photos, and Joaquin sewing.
With a history of sensory sensitivities since birth, I dreaded the idea of orthodontics for Joaquin. Life gave us no choice and it turned out he’s loved it in a way I could have never imagined.
Inspired by the last season of GoT, 11-year-old Joaquin embarks a new filmmaking project; our most complex so far, rich in preparation and new skills.
We’re using our racquetball practice to develop Joaquin’s skill anticipating and quickly reaching for passes in his basketball game. I’m also counting on this training and development to enrich many more neurological processes.
Through a metaphor, my son tells me the story of how his autism began and the locked space where he found safety.
Our month trial at school has ended and don’t you dare take this away from Joaquin. He LOVES his school and everybody in it, and as far as I can see this community has embraced him and is organically nurturing him.
Celebrating Joaquin’s math abilities and more than that: his passion and joy for learning. Teaching him is such a privilege!
In 5 months, ten-year-old Joaquin built up the strength to unfold his wings and joyfully fly out of his baby nest all the way to school. This is how it happened.
An ABM-inspired activity helped Joaquin to step into his fear of unexpected and unpredictable physical contact. His motivation: basketball. The aftermath: overall expansion!
I’ve just turned my pain into fire and gotten support for a new loop around the spiral of awetism parenting, and my child of light tells me this!
3rd Grade at home was a year of literacy, developmental discoveries, and foundational breakthroughs. This video summarizes it all.
A video of one of our daily sessions designed to practice individual and integrated auditory/verbal skills and to expand Joaquin’s bank of familiar concepts.
Prompting and helping Joaquin to self-explore his beliefs and responses. Thank you Option Dialogue. Thank you Brain Engineering.
Listening to gorgeous (filtered) music is a gift to our brains and souls.
RPM in bedtime reading has engaged Joaquin with the story told in the children’s book series “La Pandilla Salvaje”. He’s finally listening, following the plot, and of course loving the characters in this outstanding story.
In 2009 I documented a day in my life. Almost seven years later, this is what life looks like. I once heard that every seven years you’re new. I can confirm this.
In defense of self-directed learning at home, this is a sample of the life skills and functional abilities my eight-year-old is acquiring while pursuing his interests.
Joaquin’s latest film is shark drama at its highest. I helped animating characters or filming, but he took charge of direction, production, and the final story.
Talking with Kiki about school, college, work, and the need he will feel some day to be free from his parents and pursue and independent life.
Kiki and I enjoying spring and each other in a tent under the shade of our tree. He wrote a post about his experience, and we took photos to remember.
Bowling, basketball, hincha furibundo, Calvin & Hobbes, financial ambition, learning from movies, arcade fan, new interests, abilities, questions, and ways to express himself.
Watching Joaquin playing basketball made my heart sing. For a long time he didn’t show interest or ability in ball playing. This evidences a leap in his brain development.
Stimulus at Kiki’s bowling class made me realize my fear regarding kids around him. By dissolving my fear I gave myself joy and the chance that Kiki will mirror my shift and expand in this area.
“Moew”, pronounced “Moo”, is Joaquin’s latest culinary creation. Inspired by truffles we’ve made and enjoyed at home, he created an SCD recipe for yummy sweet bites.
Child of Fire saw me working on the backyard project and has decided that he wants to make his own construction. Horay for our life of self-directed learning!
He said “This is the day in which I am going to swim!”… and he did!
At 6 years old Joaquin can read though he hates it, but the last three weeks his motivation for reading and comprehension was on. He just finished his first book.
After eight lessons of formal instruction—or, as formal as it could be with this child—Joaquin is now teaching himself how to swim. During his lessons we were fortunate to have Nanette, his most recurring instructor. As soon as she learned from me about Joaquin’s learning process and sensory sensitivities (I didn’t want his challenge to […]
All summer. Several times a week after Joey gets home from work. We’re so impressed by Joaquin’s ease at this. He doesn’t get tired, and he’s fast on long distances.
Two weeks ago, Joaquin decided that he wants to be the chef of our home; he wants to make his own lunch, his own way. I decided to support his independence with some structure: Only one time a week, he can make his own “rogue” lunch. I make my own with him. I deal with […]
I just returned from Radical Authenticity at The Option Institute (expansive beyond my expectations), and Kiki is working on a virtual road trip via Google maps from our home to the institute at Sheffield, MA . I’m loving the project and finding a number of learning opportunities and differences for him to perceive. I got […]
As I contemplate how far we've climbed –now starting to peek out of the Son-Rise greenhouse, Kiki asks me about Team Joaquin, why they came to his life.
Ode to a loved and almost outgrown tricycle and its wonderful powers exercising Kiki's proprioceptive and vestibular senses (and everything else).
Celebrating the challenge and victory I witnessed in Joaquin's first swimming lesson, one of our first experiences out of the Son-Rise nurturing bubble.
Narrative and photos of Kiki’s project to create hiking trails in our backyard for a book inspired by the hiking guide he uses on his weekend trips with papa.
Our piano teacher finally realizes how exceptional Joaquin is, and "graduates" him to a higher level of instruction.
A moment in time, an image, a thought that made me smile.
Who makes cookie dough out of sunflower seeds, cream cheese, and kombucha? —THE ROGUE CHEF!… Six-year-old Joaquin explains his GFSF recipe in our first cooking show video.
An SCD recipe developed by six-year-old Joaquin. His first muffin and the third concoction for his project of daily experimental desserts. I love the video tutorial!
01. A mural for animation With the filmmaking and animation motivations still alive, I offered Joaquin the idea to draw a long strip of landscape we could scroll in order to create the illusion of movement in a train. He got passionately into it, and surprisingly traded his beloved hour of computer time to draw. […]
As the time for vocal exercises started to approach its end, and with an emerging motivation for animated Disney films, I noticed that Joaquin was using my computer to record his own movies. It was so exciting!… Completely spontaneously, he’d impersonate characters and record himself with PhotoBooth, and he’d even bring costume props to enhance […]
Time to make the popcorn and get cozy. It’s finally time for the world premiere of Leon, a filmmaking project that kept Joaquin and I busy and very motivated all February and part of March. The movie is about a little lion and his friendship and adventures with two friends he meets along the way. […]
Joaquin and I have been working on a serious filmmaking project for several weeks, and we exported the final movie today! 61 mins with credits as Joaquin set out to do. This is a short clip with one of my favorite scenes. It took me a long time to edit it because I wanted to […]
Joaquin's persistence and surprising skill getting through phone operators to share some joyful news with papa.
Inspired by my online singing course, six-year-old Joaquin produces his own set of vocal exercises to train my voice. They’re hard! And hilarious.
Joaquin’s newest passion is to write illustrated STORIES (whoo hoo!). He started a few days ago, and as I’ve added variations, it’s become a new favorite activity for him. I love his illustrations. They’re 3-dimensional and so expressive. This is “The boy who recharged his batteries” (we often talk about me needing solo time to […]
A celebration of love three years into our Son-Rise program. Watch our amazing Team Joaquin and the miracles and joy they’ve helped us reach for our child.
He had never role-played before. Most of his non-verbal abilities were stagnant for years until I started using ABM essentials to awaken this area of his brain
Watching this was so exciting!… Even to Heidi, who at the time didn’t know much about the gestures goal… It’s been just two weeks of very subtle “work” giving Joaquin’s brain little pieces to figure out symbolic gestures, and today he spontaneously gestures “move the couch down”, then creates another gesture reproducing with his hands […]
Things are getting tricky and interesting at Joaquin’s house… Nineteen months after asking me to stop talking Spanish (in order to focus his verbal development), he has decided that he wants to re-learn “Español”. It started with this 5-year-old high-pitched voice nagging me every third word I said because I said it in English, and […]
This morning, right before waking up I saw the image of an angel (?) all dressed in white, long blond straight hair and really huge dark eyes. I thought that maybe he’s someone in my team. That concept of “team” is very recent. Like perhaps from Monday night, when I went to sleep and saw […]
We’re looking out Joaquin’s window to the house across the street. For a few days Joaquin has been talking about wanting to go under Mike and Ann’s bushes, and we’re talking about him having to ask permission from them, and they may not understand what he means by “can I please go under your bushes”, […]
This inspiring video documents the last 12 months in Joaquin’s son-rise Program. It’s a celebration of our journey, Joaquin’s growth, and our team of volunteers.
Over the last month before turning three years old, Joaquin started writing numbers, drawing their outlines, spelling words and writing some, all by himself. His memory is amazing. His focus, passion, and control when drawing and writing is (I believe) extraordinary. All signs of a beautiful mind at work. And, as exciting and reassuring as […]
In celebration of our child and us, and the parents and volunteers working every day in son-rise playrooms, watch and feel the miracles seven months into our program.
Reporting from our Son-Rise bubble, here are the highlights shared with friends, family, and fellow Son-Rise families during our 6th month into the program.
From the trenches of our Son-Rise bubble, here are the highlights shared with friends, family, and our son-Rise community during our 5th month in the program.
From the trenches of our Son-Rise bubble, here are the highlights shared with friends and family during August 2010, our 4th month into the program.
From the trenches of our Son-Rise bubble, here are the highlights shared with friends , family, and our Son-Rise community during July 2010, our 3rd month into the program.
Lately, Joaquin is the bright center of my universe. A developmental summary of 2.5-year-old Joaquin, six weeks after starting the son-rise program.
Bollo’s latest hobby is to type on my computer. He selects a key, presses it, and says out loud the name of the corresponding character. Letters and numbers used to be fun, but he’s now totally into three new characters: guion (-), igual (=), and his favorite ever: slash (/). Check out the pride in […]
If I have ever been able to get nice photos of Joaquin wearing my handmade products for kids, those days are starting to fade surely, and not very slowly. These days, now that we walk, run, roll, play, and have an agenda of our own, every time I pull out the camera and aim it […]
Note to self: This is how you deal with the nosebleed of a wild toddler and successfully contain him to minimize the bloody mess around the house.
I once heard that Rottweilers lock their jaws when they bite… Nap time is approaching, so I offer Joaquin his toothbrush. Of course, he’s busy playing with clothes hangers, and he decides that he doesn’t have time to brush. He drops the toothbrush and I threaten him with a serious brush your teeth or I’ll […]
Last week, my babycenter newsletter called Joaquin a “preschooler”. It also warned me, in case I’ve been bracing myself for the arrival of the “terrible twos”, that what’s truly terrible is the second year — the one we just passed — because the “twos” (or third year of life), newsletter says, are a much tamer […]
Remembering the satisfaction I got from making Joaquin’s pirate costume last year, it was kind of implied that this Halloween he would wear a mommy-made costume again. So after a short talk with Joey, we decided that the only requirement for this year’s character would be to include a mustache, just because we loved last […]
A typical weekday in my life in 2009.
At 1.5 years old, Joaquin: Walks around “our property” (the backyard) like Simba, the Lion King. Announces poops and pees (and perhaps farts) by becoming very serious and saying popó in a solemn tone to express the gravity of the situation. Demands more than two choices to select a video to watch. Two?!, he moans […]
Is it ok for a 19-month-old toddler to still sleep on a wearable blanket?… I wondered when my baby recently outgrew his XL Sozo sleep sack. I didn’t have to think too much about it, though. He asked for a handmade cat sleep sack, and so I delivered.
It’s been almost two weeks since I was given the names and numbers of five 12–year–old girls who live in the neighborhood and perhaps could babysit Joaquin. Despite a recent horrible day of depression and swearing that I will NOT have a second child, I haven’t called one of those girls yet. Joey asks me […]
Understands my words way more than I expect. Signs “milk”, and says “mama” and something very close to “bird”. Reads books out loud and talks in an adorable unknown language that includes words like “apbm”, “capbm”, and “puapua”. Knows exactly what we’re talking about when we sing the tune made by a certain toy, book, […]
Our baby has started signing
No. Not from the breast… Turns out, Joaquin stopped breastfeeding exactly at the year without any trauma. It happened in the most natural, gradual, perfect way I could’ve possibly planned, except, I didn’t have to plan it and execute it. It just happened, and all three of us involved (Joaquin, me, and my boobs) didn’t […]
It’s crazy to realize this, but it seems that some trigger suddenly went off on Kiki’s brain, because over the last two days I’m seeing things that were not there before. Yesterday, towards the end of the day before daddy got home, I was feeling a little tired. In these cases it’s best NOT to […]
On the countdown to Joaquin’s first birthday, allow me to indulge on a little bit of shameless mommy blogging and document my baby’s last week as a baby (major sniff). Today’s morning was no indication at all of what the afternoon would bring. Joaquin had a terrible time at his Little Gym class. And I […]
This Tuesday — I’ve been told — Joaquin’s nursery mural will be featured in an article on Cookie Magazine. Imagining that they might link to my site (maybe not), I thought it would be cool to have as a welcome mat that Christmas e–card/slideshow template I’ve promised to give away. So I got the template […]
(At least it would be, if I could take any credit for it.) As I child I was a terrible eater. I distinctly remember a female figure spoon–feeding me and begging me to please swallow. My tiny mouth closed shut with several bites of food still inside, unchewed, stuck in there since the feeding begun. […]
Joaquin is getting more and more mobile, and giving him a bath on your own is becoming more and more difficult: Baby wants to sit up, and he loves to lean to the side to touch and play with the container of fresh water we keep by the bath tub to rinse the soap and […]
This has been going on for a few days now…Towards the end of the day, nursing the bollo becomes almost more stressing than speaking in public. Why, you ask. Well… It so happens that Don Joaquin recently has decided that he no longer has the patience to suck for longer than 3 seconds to get […]
Don Joaquin has officially started eating solids and I thought his fan club would enjoy seeing him take his first meal of cereal, milk, and bananas. Please notice the face he makes, and how he throws himself and holds on to the chair on the last bite (towards the end of the video)… What a […]
Silly, I know, but it had never occurred to me how difficult it is to learn to do the things we do so effortlessly with our bodies. It was only several weeks ago, when I saw the expression on Joaquin’s face while he was holding a rattle with his left hand and mom offered another […]
Only three days after my mom left — and really just one day alone at home with Joaquin — I started to worry… How can I be new to this baby every day?… The question was twofold: How can I always be energetic to be there for my baby day after day?… and also, where […]
Right between getting a breast ultrasound (no worries, it was just a cyst) and falling prey to a terrible cold with a fever of 102°F, I went to the baby store to shop for some toys for little Joaco. Wasn’t planning on buying anything big, when suddenly this awesome product crossed my path… The Bumbo […]
This will have to be a short one. Gotta run and dry my hair so we can go out later to the aquarium, the next destination on Joaquin’s getting–out–of–the–house training series. In a few words: Bolliti HATES the car seat. HATES the car. Tolerates motion in his new lightweight stroller, but HATES the stroller if […]
For the last week or so, putting Joaquin down to sleep his mid-afternoon nap has become mission impossible. Mom and I, the two victims of this new behavior, keep theorizing about what may be “wrong”. We strategize. We experiment. We discuss. We fight. We keep trying to make him sleep. I read that a two-month-old […]
3rd day postpartum, the Night of Hell! Baby was hungry and my milk had not come in yet. I was determined to breastfeed but that night was a true test… from hell.
Soooo…. It’s been four weeks since Joaquin was born… Those of you who have had babies — specially moms — will probably understand that as much as I’ve wanted to write about my experiences, and share that christmas e-card template I promised, it is really hard to get much done between baby feedings… It takes […]
Our sweet baby Joaquin is finally here! In just a few days I’ve lived the worst and best moments of my life. There are so many stories I wanted to share, like what it felt like to be among the 25% of pregnant women who deliver via a c-section. Obviously I was not prepared for […]