Tuesday, December 29, 2009
And this was stuffed in my stocking from my mother.
Honestly, I was expecting one of those fuzzy cat toys, so chocolate was a pleasant surprise. Of course, maybe a fuzzy cat toy is just what I would have done because I'm evil.
In case you're just tuning in, catch the joke here and here.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Miracles do happen.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I received a number of suggestions ranging from sticky traps (which I will not do after seeing a mouse free himself from one minus a leg), adopting a cat, and watching Ratatouille in hopes of coming home to a gourmet meal.
As of now, #4 is still living it up over here in my apartment in the woods. And what's worse? I opened my closet Sunday night and a mouse scurried across the floor. (My bedroom closet, people. Remember, the place I assured Oma they wouldn't go; I slept in Punkin's bed that night, which is super comfy, by the way.) Then, tonight, I walked into the kitchen to find more mousetraps to mount my full-scale attack when a mouse RAN PAST MY FEET MY FEET MY FEET.
I may have screamed like a girl and stood on the ottoman for a solid five minutes before working up the courage to find my cell phone and text message my parents. Maybe. And at this point I don't know if I've seen #4 three times or if I've seen #4 and his 2 friends. GROSS. So Opa came over and set three more traps for me and
HOLY POOPBALLS IT'S DEAD. #4 IS DEAD. I HEARD THE SNAP.
I'm back. It was an old wooden trap. He was barely hanging on there, but definitely dead. I made a quick call to celebrate with Opa and another to my sister to help walk me through the disposal process, which consisted mostly of me wandering around the apartment, mumbling to myself while I looked for my mittens, boots, and some plastic bags. I finally grabbed a set of tongs, tossed the whole deal in a bag, and ran it out to the dumpster.
"Can't you reuse those traps?"
"Are YOU gonna come dig mouse out of a trap?"
"Well, do you have more traps set?"
This, from the girl who asks her neighbors to come kill spiders for her.
"That was simultaneously the grossest/coolest thing I've ever done."
Thursday, December 10, 2009
And he did make me laugh while we hung up the ornaments. Punkin hates spiky textures, but he LOVES that tree. You get the idea, right? I want to help hang these ornaments, but I have to do it without actually touching any of the needles. It was painstakingly funny to watch. His favorite ornament, besides the ones from school with his picture on them, was the Buzz and Woody one from my Aunt. I'm surprised he let me keep it on the tree, actually.
Every morning when he walks into the living room he says, "Hey, what is going on here da tree?" And then I prompt him to say, "Turn on the lights." And when it's time to go to school I unplug the lights and he says, "Bye-bye Christmas tree. See you later!"
For some reason he has always loved Christmas movies, and seems to take a special liking to them just as the weather turns chilly. Two years ago he was stuck on a collection of cartoons from the 50's (?). It was pretty awful. Last year he discovered The Polar Express and Mickeys Once Upon a Christmas; at least he alternated. And in 2009? He insists on watching one particular cartoon from Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas. Not surprisingly, given his recent obsession with Duck Tales, it is the cartoon with Scrooge, Donald, and Huey, Dewey, and Luey.
Yesterday was a snow day. We watched "boys," as he calls it, at least 32 times. Now normally when I tell him to pick out a different movie because we're all done with the one he's "stuck" on, he whines for a minute and then chooses a new movie.
Oh no. Oh no. This is him. Finger on his chin, scanning the movies, "Hmmm. Hmmmm. Dis a one," pointing to Mickey.
"No, not a choice. All done Mickey."
"NOT A CHOICE!!!!"
"Pick a different one."
"Diffent one. Hmm. Hmm. Dis one (pointing to Polar Express). No. DIS ONE." He hands me Mickey.
"Not a choice. No more boys."
"Dis one?" He hands me Mickey.
"No," I put it up on the tv.
Tears. Snot. Tables and chairs flipped. Legos flying. "NOT A CHOICE!"
I picked him up, put him in his bed with his blanket, put in Toy Story, and waited.
Five minutes later, "Mom? I all done I get up?"
"Yes, you may get up." We watched it once, maybe only half of it, and went back to the boys.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Anyway, I called the doctor on call and we talked for a long time. He asked me numerous times whether or not Punkin had any stomach pain, and I wanted very much to tell him that asking me that was like asking me to tell him whether or not dogs really DO have an emergency barking system like in 101 Dalmations to alert each other to impending doom and call for aid.
In the end we decided that because his only real symptom was vomiting at night (the yucky diapers could be from a steady diet of crackers and popsicles and were followed by days of normal poos) to double his dose of Prevacid to twice a day. It seems to have done the trick, although Medicaid may have a fit when we run out of medication weeks earlier than we were supposed to. So that's that.
Now on to what I really need to share with you. If you follow me on Facebook, you may know that I have a visitor. You may also know that while Punkin has been sick I decided to join FarmVille on Facebook; this is highly addicting and only good for those who have lots of time to waste or trouble sleeping at night.
Anyway, here is my status update from yesterday: It's a sad day when I don't know whether I'm more upset about losing 3 FarmVille gifts or discovering that a mouse ate the edges of one of my Pampered Chef Mix 'n Scrapers. It was an old aqua one -- if it was cranberry, this would be war, mouse, WAR. Regardless, I hope you get out of my apartment and die a slow, silicone death.
So, just for future reference, you can bake a Pampered Chef Scraper in the oven, you can leave it in a pot of stir-fry, you can microwave it, and it is dishwasher safe, but it is definitely not mouse-proof. Just an FYI.
I inspected the cabinets, I cleaned the mouse poop, I put all open food in containers unless it looked contaminated (in which case it was tossed); I was fine. And then I heard it. And I was not fine. A fairly hilarious phone conversation with Oma ensued wherein I told her that I was totally ready to set the traps all by myself once I put on my gloves and boots. (Yes, gloves and boots to set a trap in the kitchen. You read that correctly.) Except I never got off the couch. In the end I almost made Opa come over despite near blizzard conditions and the fact that I live on a hill. But then I remembered
The Magical Maintenance Man Downstairs.
"You wanna help me catch a mouse?" *Sparkling smile.*
"Is he just running circles up there?" Jerk. =)
"He's in my cabinet. I can hear him."
He smiles. "I'll go get a trap."
He even offered to dispose of the body once it was caught.
After hearing a lot of tinkling and rustling in the cabinets, I retreated to my bedroom. Oma texted me, Are you going to be able to sleep? I responded, There's no food in the bedroom. He's after the food.
The logic made me feel better, anyway. This morning I've heard plenty of noise from the kitchen and I REALLY, REALLY wanted to go get The Magical Maintenance Man Downstairs to just grab the mouse in the act. But then there was silence, and about an hour later the Man came to check the trap and found a very dead mouse.
PHEW! Disaster over.
"I'll just put another trap out in case there's more."
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Until I gave him his bedtime medicine and he puked all over his bed. So that was nice. The sheer volume was impressive, really, so I think he should get points for that, but it undid all the good of the day.
So of course we stayed home today. And of course because he barfed up all of his melatonin, he didn't sleep past 4am. So at 4am, I'm trying to convince him that it's still "night-night time" and he's all "JUICE! POPCORN! JUICE! CRACKERS! SCROOGE!"
Did I mention I found Duck Tales DVDs through Oma's Disney Movie Club? Did I mention I don't know how much I like Duck Tales anymore? Anyway, he calls it Scrooge. SCOOGE!
Eventually the day officially began and it was fairly uneventful until we had to venture out for MY doctor's appointment. My left ear has been bugging me and my neurologist had some blood work done that she wanted me to go over with my regular doctor.
Well, my left ear is full of wax per usual and I refused to allow the nurses to clean it out because they suck at it, so now I don't know if it's infected or not. She gave me a prescription for my constant runny nose and orders to have the bloodwork redone in January. Basically I am deficient in Vitamin D and my white blood cell count is low, which is probably because I've been sick since the end of September.
Anyway, on to the interesting part. After spending an hour of my time WITH PUNKIN IN TOW and a $15 copay to learn nothing, I went out to my car and it didn't start. Lovely. Oma came and rescued me and we tried to come up with a plan, during which time I did a pretty terrible job reigning in the crabby. Eventually I went home and waited for Opa to call.
Once Opa came, we headed out and jumped my car. Opa and Punkin drove away in the truck. My car died before I hit reverse. Eventually Opa realized I wasn't behind him and he came back and jumped the car again. This time he followed me back to his house. On the way, we drove through one of the busiest intersections in the city -- where five streets come together.
Yep, you guessed it. I'm in the turn lane and the car dies. And stupid, panicky me PUTS THE CAR IN PARK. Who puts the car in park? So I get Opa's attention and he pulls some crazy MacGuiver move and suddenly his giant truck is facing me and he's jumping my car for the third time. And then it dies. So he jumps it again, whips around, and I make a break for it. The lady next to me is swearing, even though she saw the whole scene go down, and then cuts in front of me on the right. CUTS IN FRONT OF ME ON THE RIGHT.
Some people are jerks.
Those people are not my parents, though. Thanks for saving my butt, for fixing the "WAGON!!! " (which Punkin is currently sleeping with) and for not swearing at me when I put the car in park.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
2. Oh, rewind. We both had the stomach virus from hell over Thanksgiving break. Mine struck Thursday afternoon, his Saturday. Since we both have acid reflux, it takes our tummies extra time to heal after really nasty bouts of the pukies. He went back to school Monday (mistake) and even Tuesday (he really was in a better mood). He barely ate anything either day until Tuesday night when he REALLY wanted Hamburger Helper Beef Noodles. He ate one helping, asked for more, got that look, and projectiled all over the bathroom.
3. So I called the doc and got him in today. I mean, what do I do? The doc concluded that he still has a sore tummy. DUH! He told me to take it easy with the foods, which we are, and let Punkin take the lead. Except Punkin asked for pizza, so no.
4. I also got a call from the psychologist that said that she and Punkin's BRILLIANT (!!!!!!!) social worker spoke on the phone and decided maybe he was just tired and frustrated last time, and so to satisfy the state, they'd give it one more try. No big deal, right? Just bring him in and we'll try it again! YEP. Same test. Do they really expect different results? I called her and left a message after I scheduled the appointment; I have a few suggestions this time, unless of course she likes getting hit with plastic blocks. Hey, I don't know her life.
5. I'm sorry, she really is a very nice woman. The person I'm angry with is his worker, who clearly understands nothing about my son, and the state that insists on torturing the both of us. I'm assuming this is because of the possibility that we are abusing the system? I don't know.
6. I'm also upset because up until this year we could have done all of this IQ testing at school. But now the school does no formal testing -- even for IEPs and special education placements. I can understand not doing them because another agency asked you, but to not do them to serve your own purposes just seems backwards.
7. And that's all.
*Update: She just called me back. Seriously, she is so sweet. She just wants to make sure the state can't come back and take anything away from Punkin. She agreed to nixing the table and chairs and trying to catch him in the morning if my work schedule allows. She also suggested I stay in the room this time. I explained that all of his previous testing had involved toys, so this test was not exactly appealing to him; I think she understood.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I need to remember that if a meltdown involves, in any way, Punkin destroying something, to get rid of that something before we return to the scene of the crime. For example, in church this morning, I let him rip up his children's bulletin and part of my bulletin before I had him clean up.
Later in the service, he asked for the rest of my bulletin and I said no. He then took it and started hiding his bus underneath it, which made a lot of that wrinkly paper noise and started to destroy it. Wrinkly paper noise during sermon = attention I do not need. So I took it away and told him to hide bus underneath the blanket.
FLIP OUT MUCH?
I tried to calm him right there while he smacked me, and then things just got way too crazy and I had to remove him. I thought for sure he would relax right away once we left because I figured half of the reason for the meltdown was because of his repeated appeals to go home. NOPE.
Snot everywhere. Of all the ways my son chooses to act out and distract me from the task at hand, he has chosen snot rockets.
He asks for blanket. "No, you hit mommy." WHACK. He asks for bus. "No, you hit mommy." WHACK.
He finally calms down enough to ask me to clean up his face and we go back to the sanctuary to retrieve the blanket so he can relax. He relaxes in the hallway for a few minutes and then we return to our seats.
He sees the crinkled bulletin.
"I RUIN IT! I RUIN IT! NO BUS!" I am not exaggerating, the bus flew 80mph and only stopped because it hit a pew (thank goodness not flesh) with a resounding SMACK, and then we had to leave again to a chorus of, "I FROWED IT! NO MORE BUS! I RUIN IT!"
I showed him a new bulletin, after he finished pummelling my face, and explained that it was okay now. "Bus?"
"Ya, talk to me about that one later, buddy."
(this is the third round of destruction today. as in we've cleaned it up twice already prior to this.)
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Remember that time I was really worked up about Punkin having to go to the dentist for the first time and it ended up being one of the easiest things we've ever done?
Ya. This was not one of those times.
I mean, I guess it could have been worse. We didn't have to wait at all. He pooped in their toilet. And while his feet DID make contact with the dental hygenist, he did not, to my knowledge, break anything or draw any blood.
You can see from the photo that this place is mad insane. MAD kid-friendly. The entire waiting room is painted like an ocean aquarium. You are inside Finding Nemo. And yes, that is a three-station X-Box 360. Up was playing on the tv. Adult-sized characters line the hallways; tiny ones hang from the ceiling. It. Is. Bonkers.
So you'd think that they'd do more than shove a toothbrush in my son's face, right? No. And you think that I would be with it enough to prevent a She's Coming At Me With A Toothbrush Meltdown, right? No. I totally dropped the ball. I did not stand up for Mr. Punkin in time.
He was in my lap, so I held him down and the hygenist tried to get in his mouth, but he just bit down harder. He lost it and I tried to soothe him. Sometimes at home I can tell him to give the toothbrush a kiss and then he loosens up once he realizes that the bristles aren't going to hurt him. Another hygenist then came over and snottily remarked, "I know it's tough, but you're going to have to hold him down. It HAS to be done."
Well, MA'AM, my son doesn't have to learn to hate the dentist. Because unlike some children, he has a very strong visual memory. And he WILL remember this, LADY. It WILL be worse next time. Better get a hockey mask. That's what I could have said, but I didn't.
Instead I wrapped both legs around him, held both arms down with one arm and used the other arm to hold down his head. It was pretty awful.
The dentist came over a few minutes later and tried to get him to open his mouth. RIIIGGHT. I asked the hygenist to move and had Punkin lay sideways across me so that he could kick his legs all he wanted and not hurt her. He seemed to like this arrangement because he was upside-down and once he realized all he had to do was say, "Ahhh," he was totally fine.
A few minutes later, the dentist told me he doesn't have any cavities and we should try flossing. WERE YOU HERE FOR THE PAST 15 MINUTES? HAVE YOU MET MY CHILD? Dentist, this is Punkin. Punkin, this is Denist. We don't do flossing.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I know, I know. But he has a genetic disorder. It's in his DNA. He had a blood test. And even if every child with Fragile X is different, he's already undergone IQ testing twice. So he wouldn't require that, right?
Yes, well, apparently that doesn't matter. Because he's turning five soon. And when you turn five, well, magical things might happen. Magical things like your IQ jumping 60 points.
We had to leave school early. AND OH MY GOODNESS HOW EXCITING WAS THIS?? He couldn't contain himself. He ran up, bouncing, BOUNCING, "MOM! I uh justa so uh happy uh see uh you!" Hugs all around! And then to his teacher, "I uh all done now! See you uh morrow!"
The bouncing continued at the psychologist's office, which happened to be the office of my former psychologist (LOVE), and we had a nice mini-reunion. After I signed some papers and he announced, "I POOPED" to the entire waiting room, I changed him and we went back for the test.
The doctor and I talked for a few minutes and then I left the room so that they could work; we both agreed that he would probably be better behaved without me there. Not even five minutes later, she and Punkin walked into the waiting room, "He can't do that test. It's too hard and there's no way he's going to attend to the tasks."
As she looked for a Vineland (an interview with me), she mentioned that the final straw was when he chucked the blocks across her office. I must admit that I chuckled a little when I walked into the room and saw a table set up and a box with a bunch of blocks and a binder inside. I mean, really?
I was picturing toys, honest. I prepped Punkin for this appointment by telling him there would be toys. I should have known better. He's about to be FIVE and all fun apparently goes out the IQ testing window at that age. Geez. So now Punkin is peeved off and restlesss and has to sit while I answer questions about his development for over an hour and a half. I try laying him upside-down on my lap, I try having him watch movies on my phone, I try letting him play with cars, but it's a small office. Objects fly.
It's a problem that no one has been able to solve; IQ tests, specifically for children with autism and Fragile X, are set up to fail. Asking a child with sensory integration disorder, anxiety, social disorder, difficulty processing language, and ADHD to sit at a table across from a stranger and complete random tasks on demand is ridiculous at best. Imagine your most nerve-wracking task and then picture a stranger staring you in the face the entire time. Think you'd do your best?
Tests need to be play-based; they are for young children, but not for older ones (like five year olds??) And please, PLEASE take away the table and chairs. Sit next to my child instead of across from him. Suggest instead of demand. And maybe consider introducing yourself. OH, OH, and maybe you could come to his school or house? That'd be sweet. And could he have some sensory breaks?
Alright, just incorporate all of those things and we'll be good. No problem, right? I know, it's a lot. But I'm pretty sure that Punkin -- who only counted to four today -- would appreciate showing off his actual skills. And it's not her fault and it's not his fault; it is what it is. The tests are set up to be administered in such a way that dooms many special needs kids for failure. I know, though, that regardless of what that piece of paper says, my son is brilliant -- and a joy. A very bouncy, loud, challenging, energetic joy.
Friday, November 13, 2009
So, I got brave and wrote an e-mail to The Fug Girls as they affectionately call themselves. I entitled it, "Kellie Pickler, Age 43"
I wrote: I just saw a picture of Kellie at the CMAs. She's supposed to be young and silly and vibrant and boobalicious (in a good way). She looks nice, but she also kinda looks like my mom (if my mom were a country music star).
AND THEY WROTE BACK: Great minds -- I am, in fact, writing exactly that. :)
Because, see, she looked like this:
And then AND THEN I was, of course, making my blog rounds for the 117th time of the day and saw that she posted on the dress and REFERENCED MY E-MAIL. I know, right? I almost died, after I peed myself. Read the post (and all of the Fug Girls' other hilarious antics) here.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The nurse I spoke with Wednesday night was much more, how do I say it, uh, non-robotic than the one I spoke to on Friday and set up a visit for us today (Thursday). Ah, nice people are so nice.
His pediatrician is so patient with me. SO patient. When I mentioned he'd been exposed to strep, as Punkin stood atop the examination table -- fever free -- ripping paper and tossing it around the room like confetti at a parade, he listened attentively. He assured me that H1N1 can last up to 10 days, that fevers can come and go, that sore throats and occassional vomiting are a symptoms, ect. And then one medical student and I held down Punkin while his doctor did his best to keep all of his fingers intact as he gathered a throat culture.
When he returned, he said, "He has strep. I have to say, I thought it would be negative. Good job, mom." I can't blame his doctor for being skeptical -- he had no high fever, no rash, no outright signs of illness other than sad eyes, poor sleep, and a refusal to eat.
The mystery is, of course, whether or not he had BOTH the Swine Flu and Strep or if he's actually had Strep this whole time and not the flu at all. Either way, he's quite miserable.
That being said, when he woke up crying at 9pm I decided to try to convince him to take some Advil. Riiiggghhht. This is the part where I handled the situation really well. I picked him up out of his bed and brought him out into the living room, TV blaring, lights on, and expected him to happily take a shot of the same orange medicine that he's refused to drink for the past 6 days because it hurts to swallow-- and to do it just upon waking, of course.
In the words of Homer Simpson, "I am so smart. S -M -R -T."
Many bruises to to my ribs and vain pleas to just "Yes! Come on, drink the medicine" later, I plopped him back in his bed so he can wake me up again in a few hours. I was agitated. I wanted my way; I wanted him to take it so he would feel better so he would sleep so I could sleep so I could feel better because I still have bronchitis and I threw my inhaler away because I thought I was better and now I'm not and I'm sick of us being sick!
I went back in his room 45 seconds later, kissed his cheek, and said, "Sorry, buddy. I'm sorry you feel bad."
He was almost asleep, "Okay, mom."
(I threw away my inhaler thinking that I was over the whole "spasming" part of the bronchitis and had used it for its prescribed amount of time. A day and a half later, not so much over the spasms. I called the doctor and she prescribed another one; my insurance doesn't want to pay for it. Jerks. Seriously. Who has bronchitis for 6 weeks? Also, why did I throw it away? WHY?)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
In fact, he's acting a lot like a cat:
5:30am Climb in bed with mom
5:31am Get in her face to say hi
5:32am pretend you are going back to sleep
5:35am Ask for food
5:36am Ask for food
5:40am Demand entertainment
6:00am Scuttle off to retrieve a ball
6:10am Chase ball around living room
6:25am Climb on top of mom to look out window
6:40am Ask for food
7:00am Demand entertainment
You see where this is going, yes? I had to give him his ritalin to make him rest. I mean, it's probably best for him to have it every day anyway, but you'd think he wouldn't actually NEED it since he has The Virus of The Decade and all. The Tamiflu is working! And my child has a wacked-out sensory system.
I hope we're able to return to our normal lives soon for many reasons, the biggest being that while I have well over a month of paid sick leave available to me, I am unable to use it when my child is ill. The other reason? My butt is conforming to the shape of the couch. Or maybe it's the couch that's taking on the shape of my butt. Either way, things are flattening out and it ain't pretty.
Update: 11/10 I just gave him 1/2 a melatonin and sent him to bed. He's pretty lethargic. I swear he has a fever, but the thermometer says he doesn't. I hope I don't regret him napping. I'm going to regret him napping, aren't I?
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I assumed it was his ears or his throat, which seemed to be bothering him. I called his pediatrician and the nurse told me that I needed to let him be sick for a few days and then call back. She said it was most likely viral and that if I gave him motrin and his ears or throat REALLY hurt, he would still be uncomfortable and let me know. I do not understand this logic.
So I waited and festered and called my mom and vented to her even though she is on a tropical paradise vacation.
And then I took him to urgent care. Because I figured it was his ears and I saw no reason for him to suffer all weekend and then have us both miss school on Monday when we could get antibiotics today and then be good to go by Sunday morning.
We got in right away because it was almost closing time and the doctor was ridiculously nice. I mean, finding stickers behind Punkin's ears nice. Cheesy nice. It was comical, and mostly lost on Punkin. I mean, he appreciated the personality and the effort, but the actual content of his words was lost.
Anyway, he started his sentence, "There's no ear infection, no throat infection, no nasal drainage..." and I thought it would end, "so you'll just have to wait it out." It never occurred to me that he would say, "So we have to assume that it's The Virus."
As in H1N1. And then he said something about medically fragile people and Punkin being young and his X being fragile and so he could get Tamiflu prescribed. And I felt really silly for never seriously considering that my son might have the flu.
On the way back from the pharmacy, he was shivering and I was just so thankful for that nice doctor and for the people who make Tamaflu and for God nudging me in my craziness to take him to urgent care.
I kept panicking all night, waking up in a start worrying about him since he refused to take any more advil. So I went and slept in his -- very comfy -- big bed with him.
It was a massive undertaking to get him to take that first dose of Tamiflu, but he's doing much better today. He still refuses to take any pain medication. I'm not pushing it as his fever is right around 99.5 (as best as my thermometer can tell me).
We're supposed to keep kids home an extra 24 hours after symptoms are gone, so we're definitely missing school on Monday anyway. But hopefully he'll be ready for Special Olympics Play Day on Tuesday. =) We'll see.
Meanwhile, I'm trying not to be depressed about the fact that I'm supposed to be visiting Lion (who lives in NEW YORK CITY AS IN LIGHT YEARS AWAY FROM ME) today at our college (AS IN ONE HOUR AWAY). Good thing I never told Punkin we were going swimming....
Update: Punkin's fever spiked again. I have a feeling we'll be riding a rollercoaster for a while. He's eating, though.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
1. My favorite episode of Spongebob Squarepants is on right now. We usually don't watch it, but I was in the mood. Anyway, this jerk comes into the Krusty Krab and accuses Spongebob of forgetting to put a pickle on his Krabby Patty. This unsettling news rattles Spongebob to an even deeper level of stupidity; it renders him completely unable to assemble a Krabby Patty correctly. He stands at the counter repeating the steps in the wrong order, "Ketchup, bun, tomato, burger, bun, mustard, lettuce...." It continues at home, where he can't remember how to tuck himself in at night, "Sheet, Spongebob, mattress, blanket." Eventually he regains his confidence and Bikini Bottom returns to normal. (Oct. 2008)
Monday, November 2, 2009
I adapted a strategy from Punkin's teacher the other day to trick him into working on puzzles. The one he's working on here is easy for him, aside from getting the pieces themselves in at times. And I videotaped the end of our little session, so he's not quite as focused as he was at the beginning, but it gives you an idea of a different approach you can use with kids who have oppositional behavior, autism, no attention span, or anxiety. In Punkin's case, I think it works because it's more like play -- it takes the pressure off of him and focuses on something he likes, the bus, which he gets to HOLD IN HIS HAND THE WHOLE TIME.
Did I mention that puzzles are his LEAST favorite activity?
Did I mention that bus doesn't know the way to the potty? I tried that already.
His teacher's approach was to ask Punkin's Woody doll the answers to a series of test questions rather than asking Punkin himself. He earned 7 more points on the test than when he completed the test with her (without Woody) the day before! What a smart lady. Now, how do we word that in the IEP?????
Sunday, November 1, 2009
You know what else I've learned? I really should have started labeling my posts back when I started this blog. I have 544 posts with no tags. Makes it a teensy bit tricky for anyone, including me, to find anything. I've spent much of today tagging my posts and will continue to do so until they're all labeled. That way the Google search tool and the BlogHer search tool along the left-hand side will be more useful if, say, you want to know about our experiences with ritalin or night terrors.
Can't say I'm really sure how to label this post, though, other than "photos." Maybe, "literal" or "hasn't learned size awareness" or "practicing to be an extra in Honey I Shrunk the Kids IV: Living in the Little People House."
We talked about it. I showed him that Mickey was really better suited for the job, and he finally relented.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
i checked the insurance website, which is very out-of-date, and his name wasn't listed. i called the chiro's billing office today and they said that they've been paid by my insurance in the past. i called the insurance's number to check in-network providers. the woman on the phone used the same out-of-date website i had used the night before and said it was a no-go. i asked her for a paper copy of my benefits booklet to be mailed to me and she told me to call my insurance company.
my silence must have spoken for itself, as she then explained the SHE was simply a branch of claims services and had nothing to do with my actual insurance company. she couldn't even give me the number to call.
so i found the number and called myself. the woman said the same thing; the doctor is not in-network and that over 240 other ones are. i would need to choose one of those instead. fine. i can ask this guy for a recommendation. i don't like it, but fine.
then i asked her for a benefits booklet, with which she of course cannot provide me. because asking someone at my insurance company to print off a copy of their policies from their own computers that sit on their own desks defies logic. the logical place for ANOTHER COMPANY'S POLICIES is MY HR department, which doesn't have them yet, even though we've been with this company since july 1.
someday things like this will make sense. and that is the day i will need an intervention.
(by the way, our benefits booklet is available online, but the website doesn't work. it is plain-old just defunct. so i have no idea how much things cost, when my deductible applies, ect. it's all a coin-toss. SURPRISE!)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Well, somehow this silly bone is causing everything in my body to be off, and is contributing to my hip problems. Or rather, my Right Leg Is An Inch Shorter Than My Left Leg Problem. It's not actually shorter, but the muscles in my belly are pulling my hip out of place and my back has "succomb to gravity" as the the chiro so eloquently stated, and it appears that way. So now I get to lay on the floor twice a day and press really hard on a certain muscle that hurts really badly all the way down my leg when I press on it to try and relax it into submission.
I am also supposed to try to sleep with only one pillow. HA!
This chiro specializes in accupuncture. He used a vibrator-type thing on me today, but he may use needles in the future. I REALLY hope he does because I am so curious about that. I wish I could have someone take pictures. Who wants to take pictures?
I like this new chiro, he's super nice, but I feel like I'm cheating on my other chiro. I started going to this one because he's in the office of my neurologist and she recommended it. I feel so GUILTY. Plus, they never made me pay my co-pay, and this guy will for sure. And I'm guessing it will be hefty. WHY DO I KEEP TRYING TO SOLVE MY PROBLEMS? Why can't I just take an Advil and live with it?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Anyway, this is what I saw:
For a Show and Tell Event, the night was heavy on telling. 50 minutes worth, in fact, before the woman brought out a furry turd also known as a small bat to personally show each of the 47 children in attendance. Poor guy only had one wing.
Punkin wanted NOTHING to do with any of it, thankyouverymuch.
After the glory of wearing his Woody costume and scooping up free candy the night before, sitting in the gym listening to a stranger talk about rabies just didn't cut it for entertainment.
Anyway, he's taken to acting out the episode in his play. In this video he's not just continuously making a Krabby Patty, he's playing out the part where Spongebob is standing in the kitchen, trying to figure out the order of ingredients: Lettuce, bun, hand, patty, ketchup, bun. NO! Bun, ketchup, mustard, shoe, patty, bun."
He's clearly paying attention to the movie and emulating it just like he's done in the past with the videos his amazing teacher and speech pathologist made. I really need to get on the ball and make one for pooping in the potty. I'm REALLY tired of buying diapers.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Now fast forward to this past Saturday. My sister and I, with monetary assistance from Oma and Opa (thanks!), make impromptu plans to meet for lunch and whatever else the day brings. Punkin is stoked. He is ready. He is also hungry. I decide that the hour and a half trip warrants a "snack" from McDonalds. He's four; he requires a pre-lunch. Anyway, I pull up to window number one and realize that in my hurry to rid my purse of unecessary clutter, I have rid it of my wallet. We drive the few minutes back home, during which there is not a breath taken between Punkin and I as he asks, "Burger?" and I assure him that, yes, we ARE going back. YOU WILL BE FED.
He begins to doubt me when we pull up to the apartment and I get him out of his seat to go inside. Coming out of the building there are tears -- little ones. As I hoist him up and tickle him into his seat he blurts out in a gruff voice, "NO MONEY! NO BURGER! NO CHIPS"
My four-year-old and I have an inside joke. This is awesome.
The trip was delightful. We ate pizza and "SALAD?! SALAD?!" for lunch. Ranch dressing is Little Man's new favorite food. Then we headed for the downtown area and rode the free trolley. That's when Auntie got the bright idea of taking our lives into our hands and riding THIS:
The Cable Car of Death. It may not look very steep in this photo, but trust me when I say that it is STEEP. And there are no seat belts, no locks on the doors, no person monitoring how many individuals board the PLAIN WOODEN BOX. You just hop on, ride it up, pay the man $2, and ride back down. It was fun, but it's probably good that Oma wasn't there.
After we finished thanking the Dear Lord in Heaven for sparing us, we bought chocolate-covered oreos at a candy shop and headed back to the car. We had looked online and saw that a local mall was hosting a Trick-or-Treat to benefit an organization that helps kids with disabilities, so we thought we'd check it out. It was pretty fun -- once Punkin agreed to wear his costume.
I'm not sure I can describe accurately what it was like to see my sister and I on the floor of a public restroom trying to convince Punkin that wearing weird clothing over his existing outfit was a good idea. There was kicking. Some yelling. "NO YELLOW! NO PANTS!" The lady in the stall must have thought the two of us were crazy when we started laughing.
We finally decided to go walk around un-costumed. We found a bunch of mechanical toy cars and while he was playing, I just slipped his shirt on. At first he said, "No," but I reminded him that this was the gateway to Candy Land. He conceeded and allowed me to put on the pants.
After that he did great. He has two or three more opportunities to Trick-or-Treat, so hopefully it gets easier every time.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I'll be sure to leave the Spongebob DVD sitting out, the one I'm regretting buying. The one that he used to just watch start to finish. The one that now causes my head to roll as he lounges on the counch eating chips, chugging juice, flapping his arms, and shouting, "Twabby patty! Twabby patty! Twabby patty!" until I fast-forward to episode four. Seven minutes into episode four it starts again, "DA ONE DA ONE DAONEDAONE! TWABS! MIDDER TWABS!?" I go to the episode menu and make him point to the one he wants. That one barely finishes and, "JellyFISH. JellyFISH." As Spongebob and Gary lead the jellyfish back to the field, the cycle continues, "Twabby patty! Twabby patty!"
I just sit and play Crickler crosswords; my handicap is down to 12.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
But things improved quickly and we stopped by some local hot spots with my sorority sisters, one of which is The Rock. Students are free to graffiti it as they wish. If I still remembered my tour guide trivia (I worked in the admissions office for four years), I would tell you how much it weighs and how long it's been on campus. But all of that information has been taken over with sensory diets and the best way to remove ketchup from small hands and faces.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Punkin's favorite activity and best distraction lately is to sing the children's song "Going On a Bear Hunt." We like the version by Greg and Steve. We don't have it on cd at home, but we've both sung it enough in our respective classrooms that we have it memorized. We've been seen "Bear Hunting" at local restaurants, on trolley cars, on sidewalks waiting for trolley cars, at Cubs' games, church, the grocery store, the bathroom -- well, you get the idea.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The dessert cart had little plastic hats for ice cream bowls, but Punkin, being the literal little man he his, tried to wear it as a hat. He even tried to make Bus wear it.
Oh, ya. Third, Oma brought me Pizza tonight. Thanks, Oma. And thanks Uncle M and Aunt K for the awesome time!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Can you watch that and NOT want to run out to the store and buy him a new boat? I think not. And I know that he broke it himself. On purpose.
Edited to add: It just occurred to me that you might be wondering why I would possibly videotape my son sobbing over a broken toy. It's because he perseverated on it for about 30 minutes, off and on, before I decided to share it with you, dear Internets. Just a little snippet of my day. =)
To cheer you up:
Friday, September 25, 2009
Also, he's figured out how to open the sliding door out to the balcony. Last night he picked up a rather heavy hanging plant and tossed it over the railing. Note to self: put a stick in the door to block it from opening. Also, buy a heavier pot and a new comb.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Speaking of fake crying, in a few respects, he is just reaching that 2-year-old level of development in certain areas. Most notably, he comes to me with his owies looking for sympathy and physical care. Oftentimes he causes these "injuries" himself by kicking me. He kicks me and then holds out his foot, "Wook! Mom! Wook! Oww! Oh no! Ah hurt ah me!"
This is not to say that his ADHD and autism and sensory disorder symptoms aren't real otherwise, it's just that they are amplified during times of stress -- amplified and much more difficult to manage.
But I started this post on Wednesday and now it's Thursday and things are much better. We were even able to go get his hair cut tonight after we went out for a "burder." He insisted on giving all of the workers a high-five on his way out. =)
Since we lost Ducky he's latched on to a few new things, one of which was the pink blanket. Now he likes the blue blanket because, I think, it reminds him of a former classmate's blanket that he liked. He liked the blanket, not the classmate, as the classmate rarely attended school. Anyway, he now has a new lovey of sorts.
Before the wedding, Lion e-mailed to ask if I could pick up some postcards for her. I figured it would be a quick and easy task. I tried a local restaurant; they had photographs of farm animals and machinery in 5x7s. I tried the airport (I flew out of a different airport) because it is small and never busy and very easy to get in and out of and I knew it had lots of choices; it was closed at 6:30pm on a Tuesday night. It had been open at 5am on a Saturday two weeks prior, but closed at dinner time on a week night. OK. I call a friend to lament. Punkin is asking for Oma and Opa as he is convinced this crazy car trip will somehow end in SOMETHING fun. My friend suggests The World's Largest Truckstop. DUH.
So I head out there and I go up to the counter (there are like 12).
"Do you have postcards?"
"We have these."
"Just these four?" Just this one with the semi and the one with the computerized version of the outside of this building and the two other decent ones? Seriously? "Punkin! PUnkin! PUNKIN!"
I Found him with a little yellow school bus and never let it go. And that's when I decided to let him keep it because I had to go ask two more people for more postcards because I needed MORE OPTIONS and this truck stop has EVERYTHING and there is NO WAY they just have FOUR postcards. NO WAY. And sure enough, they had an entire aisle of them -- and it was the second person who finally directed me to that aisle. And we had been out searching for postcards for going on two hours and it was getting a bit ridiculous for him at this point and I felt BAD.
I also felt bad for me when he pooped in the car.
And, of course, he did not sleep when we got home.
He wanted to sleep with the bus, so I let him. Then he was banging the bus on the wall, so I took it. "BUS! MY BUS! I FROWED IT! DA BUS! I FROWED IT" He proceeded to stay up 'til 11pm, even with 4mg of melatonin. He was jumping on my bed when I finally picked him up and plopped him back in his bed and sternly said, "It. Is. NIGH. NIGHT."
"BUS! I FROWED IT!"
This was the night before I left, and the bus sat in the bathroom until I got back Sunday night when I placed it in bed with him. When he saw it Monday morning, his eyes lit up and he's slept with it every night since. I'm sure my neighbors love it when he throws it down the stairs at 6:30 every morning.
He basically treats Bus like he treated Ducky, but Bus isn't as soft and cuddly as Ducky. It's a harder sell for me. Still cute, though, when he puts him to sleep and gives him kisses. My heart broke a little bit yesterday when we were in the car and he dropped Bus and put his hands up to his face and yelled, "Bus? Bus? Where yar you? Bus? Ducky? Where -- Bus -- Where yar you?"
Monday, September 21, 2009
who changed my home page while i was gone? and, my kid is the one in the shopping cart screaming his head off
My nail color, which made me laugh because Tuesday night Punkin was jumping on my bed at 10:30pm even after 4 melatonin -- the kid KNEW I was leaving. He KNEW and he was gonna party 'til sunrise with his momma.
The groom and his men made this photo booth, which I found to be pretty sweet. The wallpaper is amazing, right?
All of the bridemaids got to pick our own dresses -- anything we wanted. I don't have a photo of us all together, but I saw one and it looked really nice.
The bouquets were made by a florist, but the centerpieces we did ourselves. Lion collected tins and vases throughout her engagement and we just filled them with poppies and roses.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
the funny thing is that the doctors talked all about migraines at the fragile x conference, but i didn't really pay any attention because i wasn't having them and usually premutation carriers get them, not full mutation people. i guess i need to remember that while most of my health issues (depression, anxiety, acid reflux) are related to fxs, some of them are just incidental.
in completely different news, i saw the tail of a deer running through the nature trail by our apartment complex while punkin and i were out on our little evening stroll. i feel immensly blessed that friends and family have made it possible for us to live in a nicer, bigger apartment with space to run around and see deer scampering about.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Anyhoodle, there's point where he always asks to start the movie over again.
"No, just watch it."
"Elmo's right there. Just watch the movie."
"Punkin! Just watch."
"Mom? Melmo? Gagain? More? Gagain?"
"Is it?" He starts looking for the remote.
He gets up and goes over to where his dvds are kept. I assume he is giving up and choosing a new movie rather than watch the remainder of Elmo.
He takes Elmo out, shows me, puts it back in the player, and looks at me as if to say, 'Oh isn't that funny! We'll HAVE to watch it from the beginning now. It didn't even OCCUR to me! Teehehehehe!" But instead it comes out, "Put it it it in? OKAAYYEEE!!!"
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
When you look Punkin's pill case on thursday, make a note to call the doctor as soon as possible to leave a message for a refill. K? K. Be warned, if you don't, the following WILL take place: you won't realize that you ran out of Ritalin until Saturday morning AFTER you've given him his morning dose.
But you'll think that because the doctor's office is open that it will be fine. HA! You'll get all hopeful that everything will be fine and when you call they'll be all apologetic and tell you that they don't usually "do" refills on weekends, and they especially can't this time because his doctor won't be in until Tuesday.
You only have plans to go to an outdoor concert that night (and no afternoon dose to give him), church the next day, and shopping or other out-in-public activities on Monday. No big deal!
You will, in these few days, learn why you started medicating your child in the first place and why you will never ever EVER let his prescription lapse again. You will set the alarm on your phone for next month's refill. And you WILL survive the weekend, I promise.
And you will also survive the migraine on Tuesday afternoon while you drive 40 minutes round-trip to pick up the written prescription at the doctor's office (can't call it in or prescribe automatic refills as it is a controlled substance) and waiting 40 minutes at the pharmacy while an old man hits on you.
I know some parents don't think their children need their ADD/ADHD medications on weekends, but my precious Little Punkin needs his meds every day. He just doesn't know what to do with his body, mainly his limbs. Oh and the BANGING OF THE TOYS.
Today was, of course, a bit of a rough day emotionally, but he got by with the help of his sock, err, my sock.
"Punkin, whose sock is that?"
"Da da sock a Punkin."
He apparently even played with it during center time at preschool. What a goof! Cheap Christmas present, though -- a package of men's tubes socks!
Here's Punkin and Aunt Mememe playing "Nigh-night! Wake up!" for about the 124th time (seriously, that's the whole game -- pretend to sleep, cover up with the blanket, fake snore, yell GETUP in each other's ears, and repeat):
Monday, September 7, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
He wore a very cute green shirt and I combed his hair THREE times that morning - he kept wanting to hang upside down or tossle it around and I had to redo it. He KNEW, Oma. HE KNEW. So if his hair is askew, it is NOT MY FAULT!
He did great. In fact, he's been doing a great job -minus his breakfast meltdowns --all week. What's the deal with breakfast, you ask? Well, I'm not really sure. Because, you see, the child I know eats two hot dogs on a bun, two cups of grapes, and a cup of vegetables for dinner after eating a bowl of chips for snack and a hamburger, two servings of fruit, and vegetables for lunch. He used to love breakfast, and I'm thinking it's the Ritalin.
But even on days when he gets the Ritalin later, he still doesn't eat as much. I'm wondering if, like his momma, he just doesn't care much for breakfast food. I wake up and want pizza; Punkin wakes up and wants tortilla chips.
So he sits and refuses to take even one bite of his breakfast at school. He starts off pitching a fit, but then the aide tells him to stop and he does (!!) and so he just sits and stubbornly refuses to eat a teensy bite of pear or muffin or cereal. Eventually he decides enough is enough and just does it so that he can go to recess, but it's sometimes as long as an hour later.
His teachers have figured out that he does better when he eats breakfast in an integrated room, which makes sense to me; he only has one other kid in his room right now and there's 10x as many positive peer models in the other room. We're going to talk next week about integrating him more since he's been handling the bigger numbers so well, and I think integrating for breakfast might be an easy solution to this behavior problem.
I also have to mention my love-affair with Best Buy. But I need to add a disclaimer: I bought the extended warranty and paid big bucks for it. Anyway, I bought my laptop from Best Buy last May and forked over an extra couple hundred dollars for and extended accidental damage warranty because my other laptop was accidentally damaged to the point of no return and I live with my clumsy self and an ADHD toddler. ANWYAY, not even a month later, that same toddler chucked a toy at the screen and cracked it into oblivion. I took the computer in and within a few minutes they were sending it in for repair. A few weeks later, I had my computer back.
Fast-forward to the present. I have a loveseat and a couch. Punkin has claimed the couch for himself, and so I am relegated to the loveseat. In fact, even when he's in bed, I sit there even though size-wise, we really should switch, no? But let's not be logical. ANYWAY, I had the laptop sitting on MY COUCH, plugged in, and Punkin decided he didn't want it there and shoved it onto the floor. I panicked, as this is how my first laptop broke. WARRANTY! I checked it out and everything but the power cord looked fine.
The cord is useable, but I don't want to damage my computer in any way, so I finally took the cord in to Best Buy and asked them about it. WARRANTY! They cover it (one time). AND AND, they will give me one new battery before the warranty expires. I'm telling you, even if the screen hadn't cracked, the cord and a battery alone are worth the cost of the warranty -- which is for three years.
And unlike that OTHER place where I bought my camera (which is now stolen, and yes I will say that every time I mention my camera because I am still bitter), their warranty actually meant something. And they didn't ask any questions -- because I paid for a service and am now cashing in on it. Because that's how the customer service world is supposed to work, thankyouverymuch.