Friday, April 30, 2010

three things

1. He straight-up sat in a puddle, stood up, and went, "What happened? Mommy? What happened? I wet! New pants on?"

2. I switched doctors. (Thanks, Oma!) I met him a couple weeks ago and decided he was really nice, so I had my file transferred over to his office. He gave me some new allergy medicine and it's been working great. The very next day The Cough started again -- the one where I sound like a barking seal. The one I first had in the winter of 2008 and have had fairly consistently since September 14, 2009. So I waited about a week and then called and got an appointment for the next day.

I could tell that he had looked over my chart, and he asked me several questions about the coughing, and explained that my allergies and acid reflux put me at risk for a chronic cough. Finally he decided that I need to use a maintainence inhaler every day and have another inhaler on hand in case I feel like I can't breath or have a coughing fit.

Basically I have some form of asthma. And WOW. I feel so much better. I'm still coughing, but it's not so painful and it's less frequent. And I can do things like the laundry or carry Punkin or eat without feeling exhausted. Yes, eat. You have to breath differently to eat.

3. When I picked up Punkin from school yesterday, he was wearing different pants. When I asked him what had happened to his, he answered, "There's poop!" I was kind of excited that he could answer me. Wasn't really expecting that. Now if I could teach him how to do the laundry....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

toy story IV: woody retires to the life of a repairman

It's been said that people with Fragile X tend to learn best when allowed to observe and listen on their own terms, in a non-threatening environment. So one of the best ways to influence behavior is to just talk and sometimes model even when appears that they aren't listening. I think this is why video modeling works so well -- FXSers are incredibly strong visual learners, but need it to be presented with minimal invasion to their personal space and with the least amount of eye contact as possible required.

So when I foolishly attempted to play a matching game with Punkin after dinner and he held out for one whole turn, I gave up and let him dump out all three kinds of Legos/Duplos/Mega Blocks and MIX THEM UP while I pulled out the dress-up clothes and started saying ridiculous things like, "Oh, I love this tool belt and this orange construction worker vest. I think I will wear them." (Yes, I went there. This is why I need a friendly neighbor -- to come take photos of me so I can embarass myself on the internet.)

He completely ignored me for a solid eight minutes and then, BAM! It clicked. He wanted to wear the orange vest and the safety goggles. Then he spotted his Woody costume and, well, the photos speak for themselves.

For whatever reason, as soon as he was dressed, he insisted on going to the car. I initially thought he wanted to go trick-or-treating since he wore Woody for Halloween. But he didn't ask for his candy bucket, so we headed to Oma and Opa's house to show off some sweet style.

It's a good thing we got there when we did, too, because Opa needed some help "fixing" (aka: rebuilding) an old Allis Chalmers.
The kid knows a wrench from a hammer AND that a wrench tightens a bolt. And you thought Handy Manny was mindless entertainment!
What?! You've never seen a cowboy who plays first base for the Cubs and moonlights as a small engine repairman?

Monday, April 26, 2010

should have done this a long time ago

Punkin has goals through his respite program. Well, actually it's his SCL (Supported Community Living) and they work on life skills to help individuals be more independent. One of his skills is to wash his hands. His others are to work on table manners -- eat with a fork and a spoon, put his shoes and socks on, and choose between several items and verbalize his choice. To help with hand-washing I asked his speech teacher to make some Boardmaker pictures: And because he's been backsliding with his toileting skills, I asked her to make this as well:

I covered up the one step because I realized that when I made the sequence, I was thinking of a school bathroom where you open the door and then go wash hands. Well, at home you wash your hands and THEN open the door. Why did we include the door at all? It's called bare butt running down the hallway. In hindsight, the covered step would be flushing.
I think the chocolate bar sealed the deal. He seemed very enthusiastic about peeing in the potty today! Hopefully this makes him more likely to initiate going on his own.
If you don't have Boardmaker or have a younger kiddo, then you can make a sequence using actual photos instead of symbols.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

grumpy old men

I'm at the grocery store in sweatpants, a sweatshirt, my hair pulled back in a knotted mess, no mascara or powder, and attempting to wrangle a squirrely five-year-old in Spongebob pajamas. I don't know if the old guy was trying to be nice, if he was senile, or if his eyesight is failing, but dude flat-out hit on me.

Now, I wouldn't mention this, but I tend to get hit on by senior citizens quite often when I am at the grocery store. Maybe it's because they can see I have lots of medical problems and love to talk about them. Or maybe they just like young, unkempt ladies such as myself. Either way, I'd like to send out a PSA to them: You are not Hugh Hefner!

If you'd like an old guy to hit on YOU while shopping for shampoo, then I suggest taking Punkin along as that's their usual gameplan -- see woman and child, comment on child, walk away, come back and tell woman how pretty said child's mom is. In the case today, he even threw in, "slim and trim, which is a rarity."


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

a little bit boring

Well, the decision has been made to enroll Punkin at the school where he currently attends preschool. Basically it came down to adequate staffing in my opinion. The jury is still out on what the district's official reasoning was, but I am happy and confident in his placement and that's all that matters.

Meanwhile, Punkin has had a remarkably good week at school. During the hour-long morning program that I work with him, he brought me the book Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar? and asked me to read it. He sat through the ENTIRE book, which is rather lengthy, and then asked me to read it AGAIN. This all happened pre-ritalin; to say I was blown away would be an understatement. His teacher said that they've been reading it in class all week and even the first day he had a big knowing grin on his face. Well, it IS about cookies....

Home has been a little more tumultuous than school; a lot of head-banging, and not of the rocker variety. He seems very easily frustrated. I gave up the zoloft when he was sick, but I really don't know if it's the lack of zoloft or not. He wasn't having this issue before I started it, so who knows. I'm thinking it's a phase -- a way to express frustration. A painful way, though, that really shouldn't continue. This isn't the first time I've dealt with this issue. It seems to come and go over time, so hopefully it GOES, like, tomorrow!

Monday, April 19, 2010

we shop, he entertains himself

I swear to you, he did not want to leave the boys in the mirror. I had to peel him away. "Bye, see you yater! Bye duys!"
Also, those ARE granny panties behind him. Not gonna lie.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

why can't all decisions be "paper or plastic"?

Punkin's preschool, where I also work, is inside an elementary school. Part of what made me so nervous about kindergarten was that I had a decision to make about which school I wanted him to attend. He could go to his home school, which has an appropriate program for him, or I could ask for a principal's agreement for him to stay in the same building he's in now.

Obviously the transition would be easier with him in a familiar building, and pick-ups and drop-offs would be nice because it would take all of a minute to walk down the hallway to his classroom. He's familiar with the cafeteria, the gym, the music room, the playground, and the bathrooms. He knows the nurse and has even had some exposure to some of the adults who work in the elementary wing.

But this school works on a balanced calendar, which means that the school year is slightly longer with more breaks during the year while his home school operates on a traditional calendar -- the same as his Oma. You can see where THAT is going, right?

But his home school, by all accounts I've heard, has a good program. And maybe it's a disservice to Punkin to keep him chained to me for five more years. Plus, the teacher at the building he's in now is likely leaving. So we'll have no idea who's taking over until sometime in July, whereas with his home school we would be able to foster a relationship with the teacher throughout the entire summer.

His occupational therapist would stay the same at either school, and the speech pathologists at both schools are exceptionally good. He would be able to share some expensive sensory equipment with other kids we know are going to his home school, and the regular education kindergarten teachers at both places are great.

So I decided to send him to his home school. But I still hadn't met anyone there or visited, so I felt uneasy about the whole thing. Well, Punkin's kindergarten transition meeting was the Monday we came back from Seattle. The Monday of Death. We missed the meeting, which apparently went really well. The team made plans for us to visit each other and do video modeling to help ease the process, and I started to feel better.

And then some higher-up in the district decided, no, we think he needs to stay in the building he's at now. They didn't call me -- still haven't contacted me in any way -- and I only know about this because I happen to work in the district. This happened the day before kindergarten registration.

He's still not registered for kindergarten and it makes me kinda sad; I was getting excited about it, which is exceptional progress!

So is this God's way of telling me that I need to reasses my original decision or is this God's way of telling me I need to practice my advocacy skills?

Monday, April 12, 2010

a brief recap, in pictures

On Thursday Punkin's fever miraculously broke and I felt confident that all he needed was a good night's sleep and he would return to normal. Oma and Opa bought him a little airplane from the gift shop; he insisted on one that looked like a real plane.

When I asked him where he wanted to sit, he said "I fly!" Once settled, he demanded, "Help please, da seat a belt" and said, "BLAST OFF!" It was a late night, though, and when we pulled up in front of my aunt and uncle's house instead of our place, he was PISSED OFF.

The next morning the 102 degree nightmare returned. Big huge parenting FAIL. Oma offered to stay back with him so that my sister, Opa, and I could go down to Pikes Street Market, home of all things fresh and beautiful.

And, apparently, the home of MYSTERY BOXES. Do you think they give you topiaries and golden chickens just like the ones in FarmVille?

I insisted on the largest, most sprinkled ice cream cone available. This one's for Kathy G. Not sure if that's Edward or Jacob. Then, you know, there was the whole wedding thing --the reason we traveled in the first place. My cousin was gorgeous and we had a lot of fun.
Sunday morning I woke up at 5:30am and ran for the bathroom. His fever broke in the middle of the night but quickly returned for part of the day. It was awesome; Punkin wanted me and only me and I threw up in a trash can near check-in at the airport. Then when we finally boarded our second plane of the day at 7pm, he asked to watch a movie. No problem! Except ... the DVD player IS GONE. I forgot it at the gate. He cried for both of us.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

meanwhile he's belly-laughing at spongebob

I e-mailed one of my best friends this morning and told her that I had survived taking Punkin to have two vials of blood drawn and giving him a suppository. "I have entered a new level of mommyhood."

I guess I can thank the fever for taking my normally flopping-like-a-fish five-year-old and turning him into a petrified-zombie-but-still-ready-to-flip-out-at-any-second five-year-old; at least the zombie part gave me a head start to calm him.

The doctor called ahead and warned the lab at the hospital that we might need several adults to help, so there was a nurse in addition to the woman drawing blood. It was a nice thought, and would have been helpful, except that she was one of those people who insists on talking to kids in a high-pitched voice and poking their belly-buttons. Also, she called Buzz Lightyear "Bud" Lightyear even after being corrected. Punkin spit on her.

Thank goodness Oma came along. Who would I have rolled my eyes at otherwise? I think the sing-songy nurse thought I was mean because I calmly told my son, "They're going to poke you right here in your arm and it's going to be a little bit ouwie. But mommy will help you. Mommy will hold you."

"It won't really hurt, honey," she retorted.


I held him on my lap with his legs between mine, Oma held one arm, I held his body, the extra nurse annoyed us, and we all survived!

We got home and Punkin asked for the five hundreth time to go potty and couldn't, so I decided it was time to suck it up and give him a suppository like the doctor suggested. It worked immediately and he obviously felt more comfortable right away. A few minutes later he asked to go to bed.

His doctor called and told me the blood tests indicated that he has some sort of nasty strain of the flu. He threw up in the middle of the night and I gave him a bath, but this morning his temp is down to 100.4 so I think we are on the road to recovery.

Have I mentioned that I love his doctor? His office called to check on him this morning and to make sure I knew to call if the fever lasted more than five days.

But it won't. It won't last. Because we have a plane to get on tomorrow at 3pm. A PLANE. A PLANE. A PLANE, I TELL YOU.

related: Prayers, Please

Monday, April 5, 2010

prayers, please!

We had a quiet Easter this year. The Easter Bunny brought a Hershey Bar, a bag of Fritos, a bubble machine, and a very small bag of Duplos. I went to church -- it's my favorite service of the entire year -- and Punkin collected eggs, but he just wasn't himself. And Sunday night he woke me up asking for water, shaking with cold from a 102 temp. Poor little guy has a virus and just has to wait it out. And poor mom has watch Space Buddies since the ibuprofen isn't touching his fever and all he wants to do is "hold you." Of course, tomorrow is an important day at work and we are scheduled to fly out of town on Thursday afternoon.
Edited 4/6 at 6pm: We are headed to the hospital for some tests, but not to be admitted or anything. Punkin's fever is ranging from 102 to 105 and he hasn't had a BM in 3 days. He is quite miserable and not wanting to drink or eat. He has an extremely swollen gland and droopy eyes, both symtoms of a virus, but his doctor wants to be sure. Have I mentioned how much I love his doctor? Have I mentioned that I have to give Punkin a suppository when we get home? His doctor, and I quote, said, "It's going to be somewhat of a nightmare for someone like Punkin."
Yes, yes it is.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

bunny hop


Well, in Punkin's defense, he is now coloring the pieces of paper before he rips them to shreds. Not that it makes having a living room full of "sharks" any easier to clean.

My sister is a rock star. It never occurred to me to look for individual dental plans. Doh! But she found one that is $36 a month and has no waiting period for most procedures, including oral surgery! It will cover half the surgery, so I will go to the University and see how much it costs there. Now hopefully they accept me. =)

We are watching Peter Pan. I say this only because it means that we are NOT watching Space Buddies.