Tuesday, December 29, 2009

very funny, indeed

These came in the mail about a week ago from my aunt.

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

the tired, i haz it


He wouldn't agree to sleep until he had the seventh and final vehicle, the school bus, firmly in his grasp.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

merry christmas!

Enjoy a blessed celebration of the birth of our Savior!

Monday, December 21, 2009

OH NO YOU DIDN'T

This is the face of a boy who just received a brand-new copy of Mickey Mouse's Twice Upon a Christmas. We're talking uninterrupted BOYS! See, what I failed to mention in my last post about this really fun movie that we've watched 1, 267, 572 times now is that it's a little scuffed up.
So it would freeze right as they were sneaking into Santa's office, and again when they were racing into the workshop; this was exceptionally troublesome.
It came in a two-pack with a collection-type DVD with snippets from every single Disney character ever drawn in between. I snuck it in even though he requested, "Dis one." The first cartoon had the boys! And the last one had Scrooge! OH MY GOODNESS COULD THIS DAY GET ANY BETTER?????
Oh, did I say his two bestest friends J and L brought it TO HIS HOUSE? And did I say that he dumped out every single toy he owns in excitement of their arrival? Because he did.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

because i have to pick my battles

This photo was taken the day Opa taught Punkin how to throw snowballs. So if you get hit, don't blame me. To be fair, though, he let us take turns as well. Now, Punkin's ability to throw a ball is limited. But put a pair of mittens on him and stick him in half a foot of snow wearing two feet of padding and we've got a serious problem. So he takes the snowball with two hands and twists his entire body as if he's throwing shotput at the Olympics and somehow HITS MY FATHER.

Miracles do happen.

I buy Punkin a hat every year, and every year he decides to wear one of the knit hats in his classroom instead. His teacher is nice enough to let us take them back and forth between school and home. There's two of them this year; the one in the photo above and another one. Opa picked him up from school one day; when I called him later he told me that he was surprised that Punkin insisted on keeping his hat on in the truck. "Was it that really awful pastel blue and yellow one with the ball on top?"
"YES! Oh my gosh. I wasn't gonna say anything. Why do you let him wear that?"

Monday, December 14, 2009

those little beady eyes

For my Facebook friends, I'm sorry you've had to hear about this mouse thing so much; it's just my way of coping. For those of you who don't know, I SAW MOUSE NUMBER FOUR SCURRY INTO MY LIVING ROOM on Saturday morning. Not the best way to perk up at 6:30 a.m. And you read that correctly, mouse #4 -- that means there were three that passed before it. Fortunately, they all met a sudden death in The Jaw (trap).

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?"
"Yes."
"Okay, then."
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

hey, what is going on here?

Every year the holidays are more fun for me as Punkin becomes more aware of the festivities. This year he is very interested in the Christmas tree. He wanted so badly to help me string lights. Unfortunately, four year olds are not very good at UNtangling things; God gave them other talents, like making me laugh.

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."

"Mom?"

"Yes?"

"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

the one where you get to read about poop

Well, Friday came but I can't say it was much better than the rest of the week. We attempted school, but Punkin's diaper exploded and we were promptly sent packing. We were spared any vomiting that night, but he puked Saturday right after he fell asleep. I would like to go into detail about how the vomit cascaded down the foot of his bed into a basket of balls and a toy house and finally oozed between the frame and the chest of drawers underneath, but who wants to read about that chunky mess? I mean, really?

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."

WHAA?





Thursday, December 3, 2009

if ever friday needed to come

So we had a good day at home Wednesday. Punkin filled up on fluids and even ate some crackers. He was in a great mood and by bedtime I felt confident that he'd be himself in the morning.

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

just a couple of things

1. I called the cable company and complained about my bill; they signed me up for an upgraded service for $30 less (with tax and all) a month. So now Punkin is watching WALL-E on our day off -- he threw up his dinner last night.

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

even when

1. I stood staring at Punkin's closet, "He really needs more long-sleeved shirts. This closet is packed with short-sleeves and shirts that are too small. Now, to pull money out of thin air: ready, set, GO! Didn't work AGAIN."

Two days later my mom brought over a bag of clothes from a woman at church.

2. Punkin's shoes were peed on months ago. I washed them, but they retained this odd musty smell no matter what I did. And then last week I put them on him and noticed the sole was literally pulling away from the rest of the shoe. My heart sunk; I didn't want him to wear bad shoes. Not even for a day.

And then I remembered that about a month earlier a coworker had sent some shoes -- brand new -- through school mail. I was sure they would be too big, but I grabbed them and headed out the door to school with him. Once there, we tried them on and sure enough they fit.

3. This past Friday, Punkin's respite worker forgot her purse at our apartment. She called and said she would just come by Saturday morning to pick it up. Well, by 1:00 Saturday her purse was still on my table, and I was annoyed, but the doorbell rang. It was not the respite worker, but a couple from my church with a Thanksgiving Basket. At first I thought, "Now what am I going to do with an 8lb turkey? Should I give it away?"

But I can cook it some other time. Just because it's Thanksgiving turkey doesn't mean I have to use on November 26th. And we can use the meat, veggies, and trimmings for various meals throughout a few weeks.

4. I was curious as to why my landlord hadn't sent me a contract renewal, and at one point it seemed like they thought I had signed a 2-year lease. I remembered signing a one year lease, but got busy with other things and never went and looked. It honestly wasn't a priority as long as they kept letting me live there! Well, I got the lease renewal (at least a month late) yesterday. And while I don't understand why they think they can get away with demanding that I return it to them by December 1,

they are not raising my rent.

Even when I stand and pray out loud in front of my son's closet, a prayer that is mostly just a bunch of ramblings to myself, God is listening. Even when I pray in silence, He listens. Even when I haven't asked yet, He knows what I need. He doesn't always answer the way I want Him to, or the way I think He will, but He listens.

I am thankful this Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

i missed every single word of the sermon

Whoever found this blog by looking up, "lion doing other lion" . . . okay, GROSS. That's just yucky.

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."

internets, we have a paper cleanup in the living room

paper cleanup in the living room.

(this is the third round of destruction today. as in we've cleaned it up twice already prior to this.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

i'm with him; i hate the dentist, too
























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

well THAT went well

The State, in all its infinite wisdom, demanded that Punkin undergo an IQ test today to determine what level of care he requires and to ensure that he does, in fact, still require a level of care from The State [to maintain his MR Medicaid Waiver].

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

the day i felt famous

Jennie introduced me to the site Go Fug Yourself, and it's since become a staple in my afternoon routine of pick-me-ups. Let's just say the authors have a little fun with celebrity fashion. I think the reason the site works so well is that it has the conversational, sarcastic tone of a bunch of text messages that you sent to your friends in between classes. Like, "DID YOU SEE WHAT SHE WAS WEARING? LIKE? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?"
Well, yesterday marked day number six at home. I've had ample time to search the internets looking at gossip sites and whatnot while Punkin monopolized the television, and I spotted a photo of Kellie Pickler at the CMAs on Jezebel.com. Now, it's not that she looked particularly BAD, it's that I didn't in fact know who she was until I read the caption.

See, this is Kellie Pickler:

From Kellie Picker's Fan Site

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

sometimes, you handle things really badly

Remember how I initially took Punkin to the urgent care clinic because I thought his ears and throat hurt? Well, after much discussion via Facebook and one very long stare from Oma, I called Punkin's regular pediatrician about his sad state.

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

the sad: i haz it

No fever, but he's still not quite himself. This will end someday, right? Right?

Monday, November 9, 2009

tamiflu is kicking butt and taking names

I'm afraid to write that we're on the upswing of this H1N1 thing, but today was fever-free. He still has that sad, glazed look about his eyes and a congested sound in his voice, but other than the time I had to clean up chocolatey projectile vomit off the refridgerator, he doesn't seem to have any glaring signs of illness.

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

6:01am Rest

6:10am Chase ball around living room

6:25am Climb on top of mom to look out window

6:30am Rest

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

but that's what he said

Punkin had a glassy look in his eyes around 4pm, so I took his temperature. I have a forehead thermometer that drives me nutty. It read his temperature as everything from 97.4 to 104. My guess, based on experience, was that it was around 101.5. Very scientific.

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

*hangs head sheepishly*

I was tagging my posts and I ran into this one. I'm going to share the important part with you and then I'm going back to sleep. The doctor finally heard what I've been complaining about and diagnosed me with bronchitis again. She says I am having spasms in my lungs rather than wheezing. I have steroids, an inhaler, and antibiotics for my ear (and maybe my sinuses as this morning they began producing something rather unspeakable). Anyway, laugh away:

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

easing the anxiety

video

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

this is what people don't tell you about having babies

In the past 4 and 1/2 years, my bladder control has declined markedly from my pre-mommy days. In the past 5 weeks, I have nearly peed my pants every day from coughing, even when I don't know I have to go, you know? And then the chiropractor tells me to bend my knees when I cough to protect my back. You know what this creates? A very real potential for a waterfall, that's what. That lady who birthed 18 babies HAS to be wearing a diaper.

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

we are so ready for candy

it's frankenstein, duh! not only did punkin cooperate while making this at occupational therapy, he actually enjoyed making it. the heart-shaped thing is supposed to be on the bottom as his feet, but i kind of like how punkin reinterpreted frankenstein as a warrior.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

well, poop

i hit "publish" on yesterday's post and started to drift off to sleep -- okay, i hacked for a solid 10 minutes because i was sleeping on one pillow and this insane cough still isn't gone -- and i startled, "BUT IS HE COVERED?" i never checked to see if this amazing new chiropractor was in my network.

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

if i stop going to the doctor, they'll stop finding things wrong with me

There's a bone at the top of my neck and now that I've told three people what it is I can't remember the name of it. Anyway, best as I can understand, it's shaped liked a smooshed donut and my spine sits in the center of it. Maybe it starts with an A. Anyway, it's wreaking havock on my body -- has been for some time, apparently. It's settled itself closer to my right ear than the center of my neck, and the pressure to my spinal cord is causing headaches. Not migraines, just ordinary headaches. I've become so accustomed to them that I hardly noticed anymore until recently to say, "I have a headache, but not a migraine."

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

you're going to go home and write about this on the internet, aren't you?

Last week was a pretty busy one for Punkin. On Wednesday we went to his school's Fall Fest for dinner, crafts, and Trick-or-Treating and on Thursday we went to Batty for Books. Somehow they combined hot dogs, a free book, and a woman from the local bat shelter into one event. Logical.

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.

meanwhile, he won't take off the orange muscle shirt with the shark on it

One of Punkin's many new perseverations is the episode of Spongebob where he forgets how to make a Krabby Patty (see the poll along the left-hand side below the ad) when a picky eater accuses him of forgetting to put pickles on his sandwich. Krabby Patties are basically hamburgers, btw, and Spongebob is a fry cook.

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.
video

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a pumpkin for a punkin

On Sunday Oma and Opa took us to the pumpkin patch. The hayrack ride was a big hit; at first I thought Punkin was sad, but he was watching the ground move between the slats of the floorboards.


Punkin was more interested in the vines than the pumpkins, but eventually I convinced him to go pick out a little one with me and carry it to the wagon.

We painted it last night. It was QUITE the experience. The stove and floor ended up purple as well. =)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

there's a snake in my boot!

Last weekend when Punkin and I went to my college's homecoming, he had a bit of a meltdown when a few of us went to the mall to wander around later in the day. At one point he and I were sitting against the wall outside Bath and Body Works, he was sprawled across my lap, and I was tickling him and teasing, "No money! No water! No money!" See, he REALLY wanted to go back and see the fountain (water) with the pennies (money) in the bottom, but we needed to wait for our friends. And whenever he gets riled up lately, it helps break the cycle to give him a good tickle. I can only imagine the scene we made.


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.




I know, Oma did great, right? She got it in Disneyland. Jerk went without me. =)




Wednesday, October 14, 2009

but it was only $5.99

Sorry the posting has been light, y'all. Truth is, I just don't feel good. After that week where the migraines seemed to be letting up, they are now back in full force. The one Monday night was the worst yet pain-wise. And today at school it just zapped all the energy right out of me even though the pain wasn't actually that bad. It's just odd. I put in a call to the neurologist, so I am waiting to see what she says. And yes, the sleep study is scheduled for November 13th. Hey Oma, can you sleep over on November 13th?

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

this is the real reason i got him the big bed

Fits more toys AND bigger toys! By the way, could he BE any sweeter?

i've been out of college for FIVE YEARS, people

The trip to my Alma Mater on Saturday didn't start off so well:
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.


Then we headed down to the football game (brr!!!) where they were selling these old helmets. Punkin was intrigued.


It was nice to see familiar faces and places. I would have liked to have seen a few more, but oh well. Someday! This one's for you, Lion and Boo:



Monday, October 5, 2009

do you see a bear?

video

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

blinded by the light

So I'm sitting at the neurologist's office telling her, as best I can in my raspy bronchitis voice, that I haven't had a migraine in almost a week and the fluorescent light above me started stabbing me in the eyeball. STABBING ME IN THE EYEBALL. The headache was short-lived, but it happened. I hate that light.

Every time I go to the neurologist's office she asks me, "How do you sleep at night?" I don't know if I look exhausted or guilty, but apparently she thinks I don't sleep well and need a sleep study done. My mother has HORRENDOUS sleep apnea. We're talking shaking the house, people. Her c-pap machine can't keep up with her.

Anyway, I don't snore unless I'm drunk or sick (I don't think I do, anyway; Punkin hasn't ever complained). But I do have trouble sleeping unless I take some sort of drowsiness-inducing medication. And even then it can be a challenge to fall asleep. And I do grind my teeth. And again, without the meds, I have very light, restless sleep with lots of bizarre dreams. With meds, I'm usually okay. As my sister said earlier, I sleep like a log. A heavy log. I'm always tired, but I just chalk that up to parenting.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't know if I need this test. I've already met my deductible for the year, so I would just have to look and see how much my insurance would pay -- which is probably 80%. I'm thinking if they tell me anything it's just going to be that I need medication to help me sleep, which I already take. I don't know. I JUST DON'T KNOW, PEOPLE!

This is something I wanted to have done for Punkin, not me. He's the one with the crazy night-waking episodes, though they aren't as frequent now. He's the one who had to be put to bed 37 times in one evening.

Okay, okay, we are cut from the same pattern. I also know this is an "FXS Issue." But what should I DO?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

oh noes!

First, on Saturday I woke up with a drippy nose and one of those headaches. You know, a cold headache? Where your brain feels like it's swimming inside your skull if it's not completely upright? But it wasn't a migraine headache. And I haven't had a migraine since. So that's SIX days. At first I was skeptical; I thought maybe the discomfort in my chest and sinus cavities and the swimming feeling were just distracting me. And it's possible I've had a few minor episodes of increased pressure on my right side. But for all intensive purposes, I have been migraine free for nearly a week. After having a migraine every day since April 17th (and pain for 6 of those weeks), I'd say six days is pretty sweet.
Second, the cold turned (rather quickly) into bronchitis. And despite my hacking cough, I totally rallied for my Cubbies on Wednesday. Oma, Punkin, and I drove to Chicago to meet my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents in a skybox suite ('cause we're awesome like that) for a little family reunion. There was an inside area with tables and an outside area with seats. And food. Lots of food. Punkin ate the grapes and the "dot dogs."

The biggest surprise? Punkin wore his Cubs hat The. ENTIRE. Day. The least surprising incident? He threw two items over the balcony. The first being, of course, his hat -- which I fetched -- and the second being, wait for it, the OTHER toy boat we own(ed). "Oh NO! BOAT OH NO! MY BOAT! DA BOAT! NO NO! I FROWED IT!" I let it go. My guess was it didn't survive the landing.

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

say "toy boat" ten times fast

video

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

makes me laugh every day

Punkin had a poopy diaper. I cleaned him up and told him to put on a new pull-up. He balked. BALKED. And then calmly picked up his comb, looked at me, plopped it in the toilet, looked at me again, and flushed. When I didn't react, he lost it again. As he stood over the potty going, "Oh no!" I slipped all other items out of his reach. He caved when he heard Spongebob (the one where he and patrick become parents to a baby scallop) in the living room. Clearly I have been dressing him too much and I need to insist he be more independent.

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

how does your child's anxiety manifest itself?

Punkin's anxiety tends to present itself as ADHD and autism symptoms. So for the past four days he's been unable to sit in a chair, even to eat NOONULS (Hamburger Helper) and is dissolving into fits of tears and rage when the wind blows. In other words, he is hitting himself a lot and falling out of his chair frequently. The fake (and real) crying doesn't help the migraine situation, thankyouverymuch.

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?"
"No bus."
"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 trip to Lion's wedding was amazing; the adjustment back to reality has been tumultuous.

I left on Wednesday morning via a shuttle to Chicago (I hate driving) with a delightful migraine that stayed with me until I broke down and had a beer sometime around 1pm. My flight was uneventful and I love Southwest except that there are no assigned seats which means that there are two groups of people: those who sit in the isle or window seats and those who have no idea where to sit because it isn't written in Times New Roman for them. Boarding took forever and nobody wanted to sit in the middle even though those were the only seats left. SIT DOWN PEOPLE. Staring at the isle seat will not make it vacant. *Sigh*

Friends picked me up at the airport and we checked into The Kitty Litter Motel (aka: The Howard Johnson which I thought would be fine and not ghetto but which was, in fact, completely awkward with a tiny separate building for an office across the parking lot from all of the rooms so that in order to get to the free breakfast that we never woke up in time for you would not only have to put on shoes but walk the expanse of the hotel and a good portion of blacktop that ran alongside the broken-down pool). We made a mental note to pick up some Febreeze and rushed back out to the car to drive to Lion's mom and stepdad's house for bridesmaid duties, which included tying ribbons on bags of peanuts, putting bookmarks in books, and making bags of birdseed for guests to toss.

We then rallied our mad skills with some of the groom's friends to help Lion's mom and stepdad's trivia team win the game and some t-shirts. I proudly wore mine for about 5 minutes until I realized it was on backwards. Oops.

Thursday was total girly-girl day. I had my first yoga class, a much-needed pedicure, and more than a few glasses of wine.

On Friday we all pitched in to make the flower arrangements for the centerpieces before heading to the rehearsal.

And Saturday was a whirlwind of friends and photos and dancing. I hope (and I think) Lion and her husband (!!) felt as much love as I did surrounding them.

A few photos (I have photos, 179 of them, because Lion's mom is the sweetest woman ever and gave me her old camera -- thank you!!):

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.
It was a perfect outdoor farm wedding and I came home feeling pretty relaxed, although the shuttle ride home from the airport was longer than it needed to be.
But Punkin is slowly losing his mind, and Monday at 4:45pm we were Those People at the grocery store. You know, the mom who is practically ignoring her screaming child as he sits in the large basket part of the cart, surrounded by canned fruit, as she picks out Lean Cuisines. He hit a hunger wall, an attention wall, and an I need to be back in a boring routine wall somewhere in dairy when he began throwing things out of the cart. Things like cantaloupe.
But we made it home and two more things have happened that I need to report on. One, his full-sized bed arrived and he is in LOVE. I am in love with the six drawers underneath and he thinks it's pretty sweet that we can play the night-night game in HIS bed now. And two, he has been hanging out with a boy who makes a dinasour noise. Need I say more?
Oma and Opa, I owe you BIG. Thank you. I didn't worry at all while I was away because I knew he was happy and safe with you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On my way to Lion's wedding! I will try to figure out this mobile blogging thing.... Back Sunday.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

i wear my sunglasses at night

only three relatively painless migraines today. wednesday was brutal with a total of five of them. and now i'm not only having headaches to go along with the intense pressure, but light (particularly sunlight) is extremely bothersome. i've been known to wear my sunglasses while watching television these days. i just hope it doesn't progress to the debilitating pain that many of you suffer from. ugh. i'm taking my topiramate (topamax), but apparently i'm supposed to take two pills at night and i've been taking one in the morning and one at night. regardless, my doc upped my dose.

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

punkin: 1, mom: 0

He's getting a little too clever. We're watchig Elmo's World: What Makes Elmo Happy or something to that effect (I am too lazy to get up and look or google it) like we do every day now after school -- it's the unofficial Movie of the Month.

Anyhoodle, there's point where he always asks to start the movie over again.
"Gagain?"
"No."
"Mom?"
"What?"
"Gagain?"
"No, just watch it."
"Mom?"
"What?"
"Melmo? Gagain?"
"Elmo's right there. Just watch the movie."
"Mom?"
"Punkin! Just watch."
"Mom? Melmo? Gagain? More? Gagain?"
"No."
"Is it?" He starts looking for the remote.
"Punkin!"
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.

NOPE.

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!!!"

Little fart.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

note to self and some musings

Dear Last Wednesday Erika,

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.

TUESDAY! HA!

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.

Sincerely,
Tuesday Erika

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."
"It's mommy's."
"Mine."
"Mommy's."
"Mine."

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

i better take a picture of this for the blog

Aunt Emily is visiting (HOORAY!) and we grew tired of watching old Mickey Mouse and Friends Christmas movies, so we relegated Punkin to his porable DVD player and turned on the NCIS marathon. Punkin decided that Shopping Cart and Stroller needed to watch Mickey Mouse, too. And don't forget Sock---




Saturday, September 5, 2009

well, he went with the clean-cut look

Because, as I told his teacher, as much as I was tempted to let him go in his favorite striped shirt (which he often sleeps in) and bed-head, as it is a true representation of my best man, I depend on my mother too much for things like babysitting, a shoulder to whine on, and Mexican food. =)

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.