Saturday, May 12, 2007

For Living Memory

Katie McCarron is about the same age as my Joey. They might have gone to school together. They would have been in the same playgroups, the same classes, gone to the same parties; as they grew, they would have shared the same friends, perhaps met each other in college. My son and I have missed the opportunity to have this beautiful young woman in our lives.

Katie McCarron loved grass. So does Joey. They could have pretended to be lambs together.

HUg your children tight. Love them as they are. God bless Katie McCarron.

For Better or For Worse

I just love For Better or For Worse. Its a great strip.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Summertime Nears

I've been having some interesting conversations with some other friends who either have very young children, or very typical children. The complaint of the day appears to be Summer. School is out. What to do with the bairns? Ah, the stress of having to spend time with your little ones, while the days are warm and the sun is up early and to bed late.

From what I have gathered, the typical summer day for "normal" kids goes kind of like this:

Rise: Somewhere in the region of 9 am. If the kids are early risers, then they get up earlier, or know to play quietly until Mom gets out of bed. The 6:30-7 am rise for a school day is clearly relaxed. For preschoolers, the 8 am rise is relaxed to 9.

Breakfast. Most of the mom I know actually cook breakfast, or at least do more than tell their kids to get their own cereal. However, I understand that this may actually be unusual. At any rate, breakfast is served.

Hanging out. Perhaps they will go to the park today. Maybe a ride somewhere. Perhaps there's a special event in town. A trip to Grandma's is always good for an outing. If all else fails, that's what the TV and DVD player are for, or that video game console. '

Lunch. This apparenly can happen anywhere from 11 am to 1 pm, depending on when your bairns rise in the first place. Buy stock in peanut butter, jelly, and chips. Apple orchards are a good bet, too.

Hanging out. Going to the pool is a popular afternoon activity, as Mom gets a chance to chat with other moms while the little ones get cool and wet. Rainy afternoons- well, that's what that TV and DVD player or video game console are for.

Snack. Sometime during the afternoon, the hanging out is disturbed for consumption of sugary and/or salty comestibles, washed down by juice. (Yes, I know many of my readers will be offering actual healthy snacks to their kids. Most of my friends with normal kids don't read this blog.)

More hanging out. If one cannot remain at the pool until dinner, another activity is usually offered, involving the TV and DVD player, or the game console. (I think some of these people need to get that "no electronics until after 5" rule and get some creativity going for engaging these kids.)

Dinner. Mac and cheese, hotdogs, maybe something from the grill. Buy stock in Oscar Meyer. It's going to be BIG. Dinner being consumed somewhere between 6 and 8 pm, with no regularity to when exactly- eat when the mood hits you and the grill is warm enough.

More hanging out. TV and DVD or game console again. No surprise there.

Bedtime. This begins sometime when the kids feel sleepy, anywhere from 9 to 11 pm. Bath, stories, songs, tucked in, and off to dreamland, until tomorrow...

6 am: drop child at daycare.
6pm: pick up child from daycare.

Take, for contrast, what my summer is going to look like:

Rise: Between 7 and 8 am. No later than 8 am, but I would like to sleep in that long. Dressing ritual commences.
Breakfast: Eaten by 8:30 am.
9 am: OT camp for Joey. This will bein town, so about 10 minutes in the car. Take activities to entertain Andy while waiting for Joey.
10 am- consult with the OT.
10:30-11:30- playground. If it is raining, basement activities: blocks, trains, coloring, painting, something of that sort.
11:45- make lunch. Lunch must be ready by 12 noon. Lunch must be consumed by 12:30, because we have to be in the car promptly at 12:30.
12:30- drive to Speech camp.
1-2:15 Speech Camp for Joey. Activities packed for Andy.
2:15- consult with the speech therapist.
Tuesdays: More speech, 2:45-3:30pm.
Wednesdays: OT 4-5 pm.
Thursdays: OT 3-4 pm. Drum lesson, 5-5:30 pm.
Yet to be Scheduled: OT for Andy and Speech for Andy, once per week each. OT might be 11 am on Mondays, eliminating morning playground on Mondays.
1/2 drive back home.

Also yet to be scheduled: ABA sessions, probably 3 hours per week, to teach safety and communication.

Any spare time in the afternoon will be spent in the back yard or the basement, depending on weather and scheduling of presently unscheduled activities.

Dinner: Promptly at 6 pm.
6pm-7pm: Wind down. Yes, I will probably get out the TV and DVD player, or have them play games from Noggin and Sesame Street.

7 pm- bedtime. Bath, story, song together. story and song each seperate. Lights out. Joey will play in his window until the light fades. Andy will play until he passes out.

On weekends, each and every Saturday I am not working (I don't get a lot of work in the summer) will be taken up by a "field trip." Sundays will have Sunday school and a ride to a closer destination or visit to Grandma.

There will be no room for variation, unless someone gets physically ill.

When the conversation turns to "summer woes," I realy have nothing to say. What they are talking about sounds like a wonderful, relaxing life to me. If I mention what my days look like, they glaze over and start talking about the pool. I can't take my kids to the pool by myself.

My friends and I share one thing: we both are holding on for Fall, when kids go back to school. In their view, they will get their lives "back". In my view, I will get two hours twice per week to clean, vacuum, do laundry, cut the lawn, try to get caught up on repairs, and at Christmas, clean and decorate and bake cookies (mmmm... cookies...) At least I will get lots of time to play with Andy. I am already putting together a otebook of ideas for portable projects and activities that can be done in waiting rooms and office playrooms. :)

Between the Rock and the Hard Place

Well, the jury is in... Andy's articulation problems, according to the insurance, are an educational problem tha should be addressed by the school. According to the school, he isnt actually developmentally delayed by the problem, so it ain't their problem. I can't send him to regular school when no one can understand a word he says. Where have we done this dance before?

So please, everybody buy t-shirts. :P Anybody want to have a bake sale?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Just some thoughts about gratitude

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately, and especially Musings of a Highly Trained Monkey (did that work? I'm new to this linking thing). Its a blog about working in the ER, and it has a lot of insights about different kinds of people who present themselves to the ER. Around here, ER bashing is a spectator sport. The local hospital is infamous for poor service, overpriced doctors, and sending people home with inappropriate medications. In fact, there's a lot of bashing of other people and complaining and whining that seems to go on here and there in places I've kind given up visiting because now that I have Autism Hub blogs to read, and there is a LOT less negativity there. But anyway, on to the random thoughts...

I will never forget the people who came to take care of my Joey when he had the croup and was turning blue. Those were incredible, amazing people. I hope they aren't too surprised when I call and ask if Joey can come see the ambulance station this summer, and thank them personally. They hopped right in, made him feel comfortable, let him know everything was going to be just fine, so that for Joey, it was just a fun adventure by the time we got to the ER. The ER nurse was hilarious. He knew a freaking-out-parent when he saw one. Even the nurse who was changing sheets stopped to talk to Joey and try to find cartoons for him on the TV. These people took a situation that was potentially terrifying for my child, and made it into something that included laughter, smiles, and new friends. They made a situation that was terribly stressful on us and made it a walk in the park. I have no idea if they thought I was some stupid person calling 911 over croup. They seemed to be more interested in the fact that they had a child in their care, and to make that child comfortable. We are forever grateful.

On that note, I'd also like to thank the lady in the grocery store the other day who was trying very hard to get Joey to talk with her. He wasn't feeling that great, so he was echoing the questions instead of answering them, yet she remained pleasant and undeterred. She didn't ask, she didn't frown, and she didn't treat him like an idiot or a spoiled brat. She took him as he was, and when his own words failed him, she provided some, without being annoying.

I'd like to thank the bongo drummer at our church who this last Saturday let Joey get up and actually play the drum with the band while they were performing. You could see that Joey thought this was the coolest moment ever. This person has started bringing kazoos to Saturday servicce for the kids. Joey now has two. He plays them all the time (and so does Andy, when he gets hold of one.)

I'd also like to thank the lady who works for Enterprise at our local body shop, who called to get an appropriate vehicle for us and made sure it was waiting for us when we arrived on Tuesday, knowing I had two sick little guys I had to bring with me. I just transferred the carseats and we were on our way. In that vein, I'd like to thank the police officer and the lady that rearended us for being so polite and making a bit of fuss over my boys in making sure they were OK, and telling me how handsome they are. I know how hard it can be to stay nice when you're having a hard day.

And I'd like to thank all the folks who have been leaving me comments here. Sometimes it is just nice to know you're not alone out here.

Recovery from Waxing

So Joey sems finally on the mend. We even withstood our ABA therapy for the day, and ate solid food.

Now, remember Joey has not eaten anything in two days. He is drinking juice for me, but I've beenhaving a hard time reintroducing solids, so I haven't pushed it. I provided some crackers and some goldfish, but no go. This afternoon, however, Andy was hungry and let me know it; and JOey joined in the chorus. What do they want?


I was making some for Allan's work (they are having a party or something), so it was known that chocolate-chip delights were in the house. However, since they both have been down-in-the-mouth, I wasn't too worried about it. Silly me.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


"What do you need, Andy?"
"Take your thumb out of your mouth, and speak to me sweetie."
"You want something?" "AAAAAAAA!" "What do you want, honey?"
"You want a tyrannosaurus rex?"
"Yeth! T-REX!"
"It's in your hand, sweetheart."
"You want to watch your T-rex show?"
"Sure, we can watch that."

Andy is feeling better. Joey is not, but he's not waxing. I'm feeling like crap, but not waxing yet. Trying to keep a little guy who is feeling as well as he's felt in a week occupied, while you and the other child feel like you've been repeatedly run ver by a Mack truck (or was it a Peterbilt?) can be quite the adventure. I hate to have him watch TV and play with puzzles and whatever all day, when it is gorgoues and he could use the sunshine, but I have to have two eyes on Joey, eve while he's sleeping. Yesterday, he was running both ends, even in his sleep. It might hav been accomplished better if I was feelign OK, and could hang out half-in and half-out of the house, but the less I move, the better. Even typing is exhausting.

The little sample above is actually pretty clear speech for my little Andy. I also know he's a dinosaur freak, and his favorite show, so deciphering the wails wasn't too too difficult. He also has a lot of practice saying these words. Sometimes it brings me to tears trying to figure out what he wants or needs, sifting through the sounds like Sherlock Holmes untangling a code. I'll be glad when we come through the summer and he's had a few onths of speech therapy under his belt. It has to be frustrating for him, poor little boy.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

More Waxing

Oh joy. Now they are both waxing. Lovely.

If I don't write for a bit... wish me luck. :P