Saturday, September 27, 2008

meanwhile, punkin climbed out of the cart at the grocery store, causing it to fall on top of him

Oma and I started moving today. We packed the truck and the car full twice and took quite a bit of stuff over to the new place. Punkin even let me start unpacking a little bit. It was so nice to pick something up and say, "Oh, that goes in PUNKIN'S room" or "This goes in MOMMY'S room" or "THE LINEN CLOSET." People, HOW have I lived without a linen closet? Or my own room? Or a vanity in my bathroom?

The building is older and the bathroom is a little ugly, but I have full-sized appliances, a balcony, and a DISHWASHER.

Moving is also a fantastic workout.

One point must be made. When you choose to live in a "nice wooded area," you choose to share it with some nice daddy long legs. Blech. Shiver. There aren't any in my place, just everywhere else.

THANK YOU to my family and friends!!! You are totally helping revive my spirits with this move. AND Punkin's teacher volunteered to take him to the children's museum while we move tomorrow (Sunday). He is going to be SO stoked. His teacher AND the giant sit-n-spin? Too much for words.

UPDATE: Punkin is fine. He just cannot be contained to any space unless he is strapped in with a five-point harness. He was in the back of the cart, because he refuses to sit in the front, when the cart fell. He had one leg over the side and it tipped over into a shelf of tampons before hitting the floor. I think the the tampons saved his head. =) My heart stopped for a minute, but he barely seemed to notice the fall after I got him out from under the cart. He has a lovely bruise. It should be noted that this is the second time he was trapped Saturday. He also somehow made an empty bookshelf fall on top of him. The kid needs a bubble-wrap suit.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Let me just elaborate on the mommy time out I mentioned earlier. It started this morning when I told him to put his clothes on. WHAAA!!!! *Hits head repeatedly.*

Then we went to school, where I was with him for an hour for the before school program. He decided, like he usually does, to color his hands with the markers so that he could escape the confines of the table and wash his hands, eventually leading to a long-lasting jaunt around the classroom before I reigned him back in to the table. Today, though, Mama ate her Wheaties. Okay, not really, but I intervened. I made him stay at the table while he kicked and screamed and hit me and hit himself and yelled. And then when it was time for everyone to be done coloring, I allowed him to get up and wash his hands. He recovered nicely, after knocking over a chair.

I walked past his classroom a few hours later to witness a similar reaction to working with his teacher. She seemed to suffer a few more head-butts than me, though.

And THEN after school he was all WHAAA about putting on his shoes, putting his notebook in his bag, and walking to the car.

Driving home I realized that my car charger for my cell phone was broken (my home one is, too), and I officially joined Punkin in Crabby Land. So we stopped at the Sprint store, where he proceeded to smack me in the face REALLY hard while alternately throwing my back out with his squirming and begging me to touch the balloons by the door -- which speeded up service exponentially by the way. (You should try it.) We finally headed out to the car, where he smacked me again.

So I kinda needed a time out. (In my bed with your blogs.) Which lead to the chip incident. Meaning, an entire bag of Tostitos dumped into a smallish plastic bowl. The overflow was then systematically crushed, broken, and scattered across the living room. I find cleaning therapeautic, luckily, or I'm afraid the cycle would have merely repeated itself.

great service

i called the cable/internet/phone megastar just now to have my service transferred. i was disconnected in the middle of my conversation. for the second time today. when i called back, the lady said she needed to put me on hold but when she did i wouldn't hear any music. "now is that okay with you?"

Signing the lease tomorrow, moving Saturday and Sunday!

I had to take a mommy time-out after Punkin SLAPPED me TWICE. So I retreated to my bed, unfortunately this left a perfectly good bag of chips and my carpet exposed and vulnerable to the whims of a certain little boy. Note to self: CLOSE THE BAG.

Monday, September 22, 2008

i'm too nice

Is it really, really super mean to "lose" your kid's favorite toy for a while? Just a little while. I mean, I know I cried and all when I lost my blankie as a kid, but these are just toys. And I got over it. Right? Cause I'm telling ya, if I have to hear the hooves of that giraffe and zebra (both of which he insists on calling horses even though he knows darned well what they are) dance or stomp or race or whatever they do against a hard surface for another twenty minutes I may throw them out the window. On the highway.

Also, he may be allergic to pickles. This sounds ridiculous because 1) there are a mulitude of way cooler things to be allergic to and 2) who's allergic to PICKLES? But he ate fishsticks with tartar sauce (also known in Punkin lingo as butter), which he has never had before. Tartar sauce, I mean. And he ate plenty of mayo this weekend. So it has to be the relish that made his face and kneck bust out in all amounts of red splotchiness. My kid is so weird.

Anyway, I am off to the store to buy some pickles, which Punkin will refuse to eat, in order to test my theory. I may just have to put a dab of juice on his skin and see what happens. He didn't seem uncomfortable, so I don't feel toooo guilty.

Speaking of guilt, who am I kidding? Take away the loves of his life to save myself from a thunderous little headache? Don't be silly.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

biggest meltdown ever

The table, set for 4 imaginary dinner guests, prior to The Biggest Meltdown Ever.
A random photo near Walgreens. The lions are inflatable.
I'm gonna tap my head on this chair because I'm mad.
Now I'm going to fake whine so that you'll feel sorry for me and cuddle me. Nevermind the fact that I could just ask for a hug.

The weekend started with me being the crabby girl at sand volleyball. It was mostly a culmination of being angry at my body for not doing what I want it to do. I was never an athlete, but I could at least deliver a consistent serve. Now I can't even get a feel for where my body is on the court. In short, I know what to do, I just can't make my myself do it in the snap of a finger.

On Saturday, one of the most beautiful days in weeks, I forced us to hole-up in the apartment watching movies and take a three hour nap. I was so groggy all day I considered at one point whether or not I should go out and get a carbon monoxide detector. In the end, though, I think it's just the result of us battling a heinous cold for the past two weeks. I pretty much felt like a wretched mother by the time we ventured out of the house at 8pm to pick up some photos at Walgreens.

Said cold has rendered Punkin an emotional nightmare. He asks to watch Boat (Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie). I start Boat.
"Peter Pan."
"No, you picked Boat."
"WAAAA!!!!" Smacks self in head repeatedly. "Peter Pan."
"No, you picked Boat." If I give in this time, I will be changing DVDs every 5 minutes for the rest of my life. Or until he learns how to do it himself, which probably isn't that far off.
"WAAA!!!!" Smacks self in head repeatedly before falling/sitting in a basket of toys, therefore distracting himself before he remembers he LOVES the Boat movie.

Because of today's schedule -- okay mommy insisting on going out to lunch during Punkin's usual nap hour -- Punkin did not have a nap. But I'm pretty sure that based on the past 5 days, he would have refused to sleep anyway. And by the time he looked really ready to sleep it was way too late in the day; I do not have the energy nor desire to stay up half the night with Mr. Wiggly McPunkin in my bed, hopelessly trying to convince him to fall asleep please please please mommy is soooo tired please. Stop kicking me in the belly and sitting on my face. And pinching my cheeks like my great aunt -- you are three THREE. Who taught you that, anyway?

So I fed him dinner at 5pm, during which he was fine until I refused to give him more fruit unless he ate some of the other food on his plate. I should have known better, really, than to force the issue on a day like today. But lately all the days have been like today and regardless, once the words came out of my mouth, I had to stick to them. Usually he wanders around the living room whining until giving in to my arbitrary rules. Today, though, resulted in The Biggest Meltdown Ever. Hitting (himself and me), kicking, screaming, crying, BARFING, hitting, crying, screaming, "Monna! Hold you!" BARFING, "A mess! A mess!" for an hour and a half until he finally closed his eyes for the night. Oh, wait! He didn't close his eyes for the night. He got up twice screaming for me until I realized his belly probably hurt from the puking -- duh, mom -- and I gave him some antacids.

While I was cleaning up the puke (Oh the joys of motherhood), I noticed A LOT of greenish phlem amongst the small amount of dinner he ate before subsequently melting down and regurgitating it. So I think I will be calling his doctor again tomorrow to beg some sort of intervention before we both lose our minds. I'm thinking sinuses, as mine are on the verge of exploding.

In the past few weeks, his teacher and I have noticed a marked increase in head hitting, spinning, hand flapping, playing with his hands in front of his face (totally new behavior), poor quality of sleep, and CLIMBING ALL OVER ME. It is one thing when a nine-month old climbs up your belly/chest, and it is quite another when a nearly 40 pound child does it. ALL day. I assume it has to do with needing to know where his body is in space. When we're in a pool, for example, he always has to have his feet touching my thighs or stomach. Which again, was fine, when he was little. Anyway, his academic skills are improving dramatically. He knows some letters, he can do a twenty-piece shape sorter, he knows all of his colors, he can sit and play a game with his teachers and friends, and the length of his utterances has definitely increased. (Intelligibility is another issue.) So why all the self-stim? Stressed? Sick? He's just getting older? Needs time in an integrated room? Time to call that outside (the school) OT for some advice, I guess.

In other news, I keep thinking things like, "Some day, I'll have a dishwasher." or "Some day, I won't wake up Punkin when I have to pee because the bathroom won't be in his bedroom." But guess what? That day is like in two weeks!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

a day of crabby, i mean rest

Now, Punkin, your job is to cheer up for goodness sakes! I have been hit and kicked more today than on a bad day with the preschoolers. "Nandeee nall none!" (Candy all gone!) "No bantet! No nigh-night! Broten!" He refuses to nap even though he can't keep his eyes open partly because he wacked me and spilled the glass of water in my hand -- you know, the one he requested? Sheesh. And it's warmish, so I am sweaty and sticky, but I don't see the logic in turning the air on for like 12 hours, especially when it's a window unit and takes forever to spread into the rest of the apartment. Hmmph. Maybe I needed an attitude adjustment, too. We are AWESOME company tonight.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

a much-needed break

Punkin has been bordering on sick for about a week now. Not sick enough to stay home, but not feeling good enough to want to be at school all day, either. I called the doctor yesterday and arranged an appointment for this afternoon to make sure he didn't need antibiotics. I made sure to schedule it for after work so that we didn't have to miss school.

BUT .... I'm walking back from the office (I work in the same place he goes to preschool) and I see his teacher holding his hand, comforting him as he fusses about the brown goo running down his legs. !!!! Oi. It was on his SHOES.

So we ended up going home early and are banished from the premises until Friday morning. He hasn't had anymore poopies (maybe something he ate/drank?) and the doctor says there's no signs of infection at this point, but we both just needed to rest. I've had the same cold and a day at home is a welcomed relief.

I had to wash his shoes in the washing machine. They were so icky, and the one still smells. Any ideas? Another washing? Febreeze?

On a cleaner note, Punkin got to spend an evening with Opa while I helped Oma at her book fair. They went to the grocery store where Opa learned all about Punkin's quirks, which include sitting in the big part of the cart, yelling hooray when he sees the cereal bars, and helping put/throw items from the cart onto the belt. Then they hit up Burger King for dinner and headed home to watch Little Mermaid. He LOVES that movie. When I got to Oma and Opa's, Opa hinted strongly that I clean out my car with his shop vac while he and Oma ran laps with Punkin in the driveway. I really wish I had video. "MOMA! BOPA! DOH! YURRY YUP! YAHHHH!!!!"

My apartment walls are closing in on me. It's just harder and harder to keep it clean and organized because we have a lot of stuff in a relatively small space. I'm ready to pack and go! I'll probably be a little sad on that last day, though, because of all the memories I have here of Punkin and learning how to be a mommy and a renter all by myself. In the new place we are going to have some new rules:
  1. We eat and drink only in the kitchen. (Will. be. so. hard. on. Saturday. morning.)
  2. Punkin sleeps in a different room than mommy. (Unless the whole toys in the bedroom thing doesn't work out, in which case the bedroom will be devoted to toys because I can't handle them in the living room any longer and Punkin's bed will be in mommy's room.)
  3. Everyone is required to sleep 20 minutes later in the morning because the drive to work will be about 5 minutes!
  4. Shoes must be on before leaving the apartment.

Monday, September 15, 2008

here i am!

The reality of moving hasn't quite set in yet. I only have two boxes, one of which I packed so full of binders and other heavy things that I can no longer lift it. It will have to be repacked.

This past Saturday and Sunday I went to visit with the almost in-laws, minus the almost husband (thank goodness). Some of them were surprised to hear that he hasn't talked to us in over 2 years. I did see today when I looked in my saved items that he did e-mail around Punkin's birthday last year to say that his present would be late, but was on it's way. So I stand slightly corrected. Nice, huh? =) I mean, his darned birthday is always on a different day. Just can't keep it straight!

Overall the visit went better than I thought, and Punkin continues to ask about the cousins he met there. He was pretty thrilled with the king sized bed in the hotel room as well as the playplace at McDonalds. The problem with playplaces is that, like most FX kids, Punkin needs to see how the entire process works before he is willing to participate. But I am too big to show him or go with him. And even if I did try to show him, he still couldn't really see all of the steps. So I let him go on his own.

Imagine you are Punkin. From from the ground you can't see that when you climb up the giant steps (inside a giant vertical mesh tunnel), you will be able to run around and then slide down the big yellow slide with which you are enthralled. So instead you try climbing up the slide, which mom cannot allow due to preschool rules and general safety precautions. So you muster up enough courage to climb halfway up the tunnel and then yell "Mom! Mom!" before you hurredly climb/fall back down. Then one of your cousins starts climbing up and you desperately want to play with her and just be next to her, so you blindly follow her up the steps and across to the slide. And now reality has set in. You are stuck way up high in a small space and the only escape in sight is submitting to the whims of that glorious yellow twirly slide. The one you really want to slide down but just can't. You just can't. "Mom! Mom! Mom! Hold you! Mom!"

"It's okay, Punkin! Come down!"


"Hey, Hannah, are you by Punkin?"


"Okay, can you push him down the slide?"

"Um, he doesn't want to go."

'That's okay, just push him gently."


"Hi, Punkin!"

"Here I am!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


There's a guy on Project Runway who insists on referring to himself in the third person. This is annoying for three reasons: 1) He is not an impressive designer 2) It is a ploy to get attention and 3) He doesn't follow through with his pronouns. For example, he says something to the effect of, "Suede wanted something strong, so I chose purple fabric." This is by far the worst part of the whole mess and a clear indication that he is just trying to come off as quirky.

I decided I am moving by Oct. 1. Hooray! I bought a new tv stand and a new bookshelf for Punkin, and I can't wait to put them together.

Apparently my son has mommy-induced ADHD. We went to his school's PTO meeting tonight. There were a few other teachers and one other parent there, so he got to run around and play in the classroom while the rest of us had our very informal meeting. During this time, his teacher gave me a couple of looks I couldn't quite interpret. Finally, after he ran up with a plastic tube and yelled "FIGHDER!" in her face, she said, "I've never seen him like this!" as he ran away.
"What do you mean? He's always like this."
"Um, not in my room."
"This is Punkin."
"This is how he acts at home?"
"Yes, and the grocery store. And the doctor's office. And church. And the bathtub. And the dinner table. And the park. What? He's not like that for you?"
"Oh, no. He's pretty calm."
"CALM? Oh, no. He's not calm unless he's sleeping."
"No wonder you asked about medication!"
"I know! I always wondered when I asked you if he needed meds and you said no."
"When you asked me, I thought, 'Really, Erika? Meds?' But I understand now. No wonder you're tired!"

Well said, Miss P, well said.

P.S. I like MY meds so far. Definitely make me sleepy, though, which is a good thing since I have trouble calming down at night even when I am tired. Sounds familiar, right? =)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

getting my move on

I got the apartment! The landlords want me to move in ASAP, but my current place doesn't want me out until the end of October. I may lose $450 if I move early, but seeing as how it is 9:56pm and Creepy Guy just knocked (loudly) on my door for the second time, it may be money I am willing to lose. And yes, I asked the people in the office about leaving early and mentioned Creepy Man as a main reason. They claimed to understand, noting that he comes to visit them in the office and creeps them out as well. What they fail to realize is that he comes to visit them in their office. Not at their home. And not in an "Oh, I happened to be walking by and came over to chat" way. In a "I just came home 20 minutes ago from a week's vacation and here he is, pounding on the door OF MY HOME" way. And I'm willing to bet he never brought them one of their shirts to their HOME that they happened to drop in the laundry room earlier in the day.

In other news, Punkin is quite the charmer lately. Miss K was helping him push the lunch cart to the cafeteria. She said, "Use your muscles, Punkin!" So he stopped, raised both arms, and yelled, "Mussels!!!" Not where are your muscles, use your muscles, Mr. Studmuffin.

Then his teacher wrote this note in his notebook: Punkin had no problem with Miss J (the new aide) today. He said "hi" and gave her a hug right away. He also kissed Miss K on the arm! What a sweetheart! Going for the older ladies! =)

Monday, September 8, 2008

meds update (with lots of parantheses)

Okay. Doctor's visit went well. I am now on two medications: an increased dose of Lexapro (I will keep an eye on the sensory issues, maybe it's a result of not enough meds???) and a low dose of Clorazepate (similar, I guess, to Abilify -- but older and therefore cheaper). I'll let you know how how it goes, but I have a good feeling. And she said I need to wait it out with my sinuses instead of jumping on the antibiotics bandwagon. People and their logic.

I won at Bunko, sort of. I tied and then we had a roll-off and I lost the roll-off. I still got $10, though. Whoo-hoo.

And THANK YOU, Oma, for babysitting and for telling me to take the battery out of my laptop and put it back in when it wouldn't start up. And now it works!!! Hooray!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

emotional much?

ack. good thing i have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow (monday) about my meds. i have been an irritable mess lately and completely impatient with punkin, not to mention being remarkably indecisive. i imagine if the grocery clerk asked me if i wanted paper or plastic, i would stand and stare at her, in a daze, until she finally picked one. and then i would snap at her for picking the wrong one and start crying because i snapped at her.

i really think she will want to up my dosage, but i'm not convinced that's the right thing to do. i mean, this drug is not helping at all. i feel like i might as well not be taking anything. in the past when it's been a dosage issue i felt okay but just not great. plus the freak out sensory issues are a brand new symptom. hello? out of nowhere. i need to get a different wallet. and a different bag. and different paper towels at school. and new fingertips.

and new sinuses, which are apparently attempting to vacate the premises because my. face. hurts.

i bought a new bookshelf for the punkin and a new tv stand for me. the tv stand i am using now is actually an oversized end table. it has been making me nervous ever since opa and i put it there, but i kinda had no choice. i really want this new place. i even started going through punkin's toys and summer clothes to minimize what needs to be moved. and i obviously purchased furniture there will only be room for in a new place. no worries -- it is still in the box at oma and opa's.

i have finally started writing at a health site called Trusera. I've only written a couple of things and they are more advice-related. i searched for fragile x on the site, though, and i was the only one that came up. so if you aren't busy enough, get busy writing! i think you can import posts from your other sites if you want, though that seems far too complicated for my world.

i called the fragile x clinic in chicago and there was some question about whether or not they would accept punkin's insurance from the state, so i am waiting for a call back about that. when i called, though, they said their next appointment is in march, so i'm glad i got the ball rolling at least.

did you know that my son -- my son -- recognizes the letters D, H, I, J, T, and O? He was holding a tombstone pizza and said, "T, O, something, something, eight, thirteen." i was looking at his baby book yesterday marveling at how much he is capable of. i know that there are big deficits and there always will be, but the kid can recognize some letters. he knows his colors and shapes. he can communicate his wants and needs fairly well. he is running and jumping (about 1/2 inch off the ground) and attempting to ride a bike. it took him until 14 months to crawl and only 2 more months after that to walk. he can feed himself, with utensils if i nag him every 10 seconds. he can pick out a movie to watch and play with toys -- with an increasingly active imagination -- all by himself. he can ask me to build a "cowah" of blocks and yell "oh no!" really loudly when he purposely knocks them over. he can ask for a burder and coke. he can do puzzles. he ATE WATERMELON and CHICKEN STRIPS like a kid who has always loved those two foods. i know kids who can't do all of those things, and they may never be able to. so even when we struggle i have to remind myself that he is healthy. his body works, generally, the way it should, even if his mind doesn't. and he has the most beautiful sense of humor. God has given me a remarkable blessing. so lucky He chose me to be punkin's momma. and especially thankful for the timing, as i always say God sent punkin to save me from some serious heartache (aka: marrying the wrong person).

i guess that's enough sentimentality for now. happy monday. at least it's bunko night!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

saying my prayers

Oma told me so. She didn't actually come out and say it, she just gave me the look and I broke down and said, "Okay! Okay! You told me so! I'm sorry!" She made me go look at an apartment that I thought would be totally awful and it was PERFECT!! And it's the perfect price!!!! Dishwasher, large appliances, large rooms, a balcony off my bedroom, big closets, a decent sized bathroom!!!! And the best part is that it's tucked away on a hill above some trees. You can't even see it from the road. I filled out an application on the spot. Now let's hope they accept me and my current apartment lets me out a few weeks early. I think the official date my lease is up is October 30, but I want to be out before than provided I get this place. =) =) =)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

me, on moving day (whenever that may be)

more animals

i know it's really not like me, but i don't have much to say lately. we had a fun weekend with auntie, her bf, and my parents. we looked at some apartments, one of which had deep pink carpeting to match the slanted floors and missing cabinet doors. it's sad to me when i see a perfectly good space left to sag and collect cheap paint. because it was a perfectly good space with a porch, a deck, good sized rooms, and a backyard.

the next two places were in better neighborhoods and much better cared for, but are far away and a little more expensive. one was bigger and newer than the other, but it was in one of those "parade" neighborhoods where, as auntie's bf puts it, "you want to start throwing candy at the people sitting outside on their porches and their curbs, staring as you drive by." what's up with the nice apartment in the nice neighborhood i spoke of earlier, you ask? because someone said the complex next door is a little shady. i'm still quite in love with it, though. and all the other houses around it are new and nice. and it's a good deal. so i will keep asking around about it.

i feel like i should have some punkin stories. hmmm. i've been wondering lately whether or not making the trip to a fragile x clinic would be worth our time and energy. i thought initially that i would wait until i was pretty sure punkin needed to start some medication to help him at school, but why wait until the bottom falls out? maybe it would be good to establish a relationship now? what do you think? really, i wouldn't ask if i didn't want your opinion.

i can't believe how much a small child can control a situation. we think we're in charge, but it's a farce. on sunday night, six adults sat around the dinner table unable to continue eating their steaks and corn on the cob until we put "hands up" and went through the motions of "tick tock," a poem punkin's class recites before they eat lunch. we repeated it twice until the eldest and wisest adults brazenly announced, "enough!"

the poem goes something like this:

hands up (pointer fingers at attention)
tick tock, tick tock, [something something] lunch (pointer fingers move side to side)
up (hands up)
down (hands down)
in front (get it?)
behind (i hope you caught on)
hands in your lap