Tag Archives: parenting

A Day in Photographs | Focusing On Family

We have been working a lot, it’s easy to do when you are self employed. It’s so cool to be able to travel to new parts of the country photographing weddings at beautiful places. Your business gets just a little popular & it’s super hard not to want to please everyone that asks you to do work for them but so goes life, we have to start turning away some jobs because otherwise your family life suffers. That being said my wife & I both committed to scaling back, re-centering, & focusing on being successful at home as well as at work instead of putting all of our eggs in the work basket. This not only means working less & more efficiently but also doing more one on one things with the kids, doing different things as a family, & of course taking more photos of them just hanging out. We photograph weddings for a living & one of my favorite things about that is the photojournalistic style we bring to it, just capturing it as it happens, moving away from the classic super posed photography. We both wanted to bring this to our home life so Samantha picked up the camera on our day off & used the day to document our stay-at-home mulligan day that we dubbed our ‘no work mental health day’. Take a peek!

Don’t forget we are now doing a web show over on YouTube & if you or someone you know happens to be getting married jump over to our other site Hibben Photography to take a look at our work…Yeah, shameless self plug! ūüôā

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Light It Up Blue? Where’s The Matches?

It’s world autism day, better known as Thursday or alternatively everyday! I love awareness & we do everything we can to spread it so why is it that when the world in at your door step saying “Lets all be aware of autism!” do I go into “Bit*h, I can’t BE any more aware!” mode? No, I don’t get rude or mean, you have to talk about it when people want to talk about it because otherwise it will NOT get talked about. On the other hand you have to be careful because for us living the autism awareness that everyone else spends 24 hours celebrating it’s hard not to be jaded that it will all be over in a week or so when the next world whatever day comes along.

That sounds way more jaded than I mean it but you get me right? I vent but at the same time I do want to talk to every person that strikes up a conversation about what I think about a cure for autism or what do I think about vaccinations. Yes, I do want to read the article you posted on my facebook wall about parenting tips that will help solve my problems. It’s cool, I WANT to talk about it & it’s only after all these years I’m realizing that I don’t just have a kid with autism, I have a duty to all kids with autism to educate my community, my family, & anyone else I have access to.¬†(that’s you by the way)¬†Even if the opinions differ or I’m having a crappy day or I’m just all autism’d out that day I still have a duty to educate & make people aware because someday my kid will be grown. The more accepting people are, the more aware people are, & the more prepared they are to come across someone a little different that all makes sure he has a chance. So yeah, light it up blue today? Pass me the matches & I’ll light this world on fire with big blue flames!¬†(metaphorically¬†speaking only, put down the phone! No need to call the¬†authorities! Its way¬†harder to spread awareness when your on a no fly list!)

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Cheese Cake On A Stick at our favorite food truck park

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Slick new haircuts! These faces are the story of my freakin’ life!

 

@bleugarten with the kids yesterday. The look on his face is the best!

A video posted by Canned Ham Photos (@cannedhamphotos) on

Autism Parenting Tips I Learned From Dr. Sheldon Cooper

TV has a lot of really bad shows that are just mindless but sometimes you run into one that really strikes a chord. Before my son was diagnosed with Autism we had our suspicions. He had always had his challenges & difficulties. He had always been a bit odd or different from the other kids but in small town Oklahoma not only do you not know what to do about it you can’t find anyone who knows anything about it! The turning point was NBC’s show Parenthood,¬†one of the kids was diagnosed with Aspergers on the show. After watching we realized that it fit how our son acted with a shocking amount of accuracy so that was our breaking point, we sought out someone who was familiar with Autism Spectrum Disorders & made his appointment or evaluation.

CBS’s The Big Bang Theory is another one of those show that just hit the nail on the head! So after watching a run of episodes these last couple of days I’m realizing how accurate they really are & how shows like this that not only humanize people on the spectrum but also put a positive or humorous spin on it and it really does help with awareness & acceptance. I’ve already tried my hand at identifying cartoon characters that I think are on the Autism Spectrum, view that blog post here. In honor of one of my favorite characters on television, Dr. Sheldon Cooper, I thought I would share some of my favorite parenting skills that I have learned from Sheldon about raising a kid on the spectrum.

  • Pick Your¬†Battles“My Shirt Is Itchy And I Wish I Were Dead!”¬†Pants are the wrong texture, the collar of this shirt lays on my neck wrong, I can’t wear green today! You learn to not only pick your battles but you learn what real battles are! This isn’t even worth fighting over for me. He has a whole closet full of clothes in there so lets just find something that is going to be acceptable. As long as its not a silk button up shirt with cats & wizards on it I’m totally happy! PICK YOUR BATTLES PEOPLE!¬†
  • Doing ‘Stupid’ Things¬†– Okay, I’ve learned that this is a pretty big one. There are things that we do in this word that are stupid or silly when you think about it. Case in point? Easter Eggs, Valentines Day, little white liess, Elf On The Shelf, the list goes on & on but what most people don’t have is the pleasure of having a kid that will be happy to point out how stupid those things are & you know what..? Sometimes I can’t really sum up with a single reason why we do the things we do but we have to & yes it may be stupid but we have to do it! We all have family, little brothers, moms, school teachers, & others who have expectations & the while I expect the world to be accepting or accommodating ¬†of my son, I expect my son to learn to be the same with the things he doesn’t like or understand. “Let’s do this stupid thing” for a kid with High Functioning Autism or Aspergers is the same as when other parents say to their NT kids “Because I said so!”
  • Manners “If you don’t mind, I’d like to stop listening to you & start talking.” How many of us can hear these words coming out of our own kids mouth? Then again, after thirty minutes or so of listening to the technical breakdown of how something works in Minecraft I am pretty close to saying something along these lines as well. I find it funny that if these words came out of my sons mouth he would probably think it was still considered acceptable manners because he said it politely instead of just starting to talk right over you. Everything is a work in progress! ūüôā
  • Celebrate The Small Things¬†– If my son would eat a slice of pizza I would probably throw a party! Probably not a pizza party but a party none the less. I have bribed, threatened, tricked, lied, & my way to making him try new foods & you know what? None of that ever works. You have to just present opportunities for expansion of foods & reward/celebrate the small victories. Even if that victory is that you, the parent, made it through the day & the small celebration is a glass of wine & a bowl of ice cream from the pint you had hidden behind the mini corn dogs in the back of the freezer so no one else in the house would jack it from you‚Ķ not that I know anything about that!
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