Thursday, July 29, 2010

one week!

Punkin still isn't convinced that this Kindergarten thing is the right plan. Whenever I mention that pretty soon he'll be in Kindergarten and Miss O will be his teacher he adamantly replies, "No Ninnernarnen! No O!" Well alright then.

He says the same thing every Monday when we drive to Occupational Therapy, though. "No perpapy!" He says this despite the fact that therapy is among his top 10 favorite activities. It's just DIFFERENT than the other days. There's fewer hours to watch television, you see.

Most days at therapy we start out on the swing. He usually lays on his belly and presses his face into the material (it's breathable lycra) and has WAY more fun than the girl in this picture looks like she's having. It's fantastic deep pressure stimulation and great for his vestibular system. In other words, it reorganizes his body. Then it's on to fine motor work disguised as play -- tricky, tricky Occupational Therapist.

I'm really hoping to have one of these written into his IEP this year. I think it would be a great addition to his sensory diet. Since the school already has a swing installed (thank you awesome preschool teacher), it should be a reasonable request.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Because I don't get it. It is certified organic, though!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

eleven days!

Well, I finally made it to my massage yesterday and it was all that I imagined it would be and more. Note to others who have never been the recipient of a full-body massage: if you can't afford to go back and get another one, don't go to the first!

In other news, I'm becoming more and more anxious for Punkin's first day of kindergarten. He has 11 days, people! ELEVEN DAYS! I already bought the supplies he needs. He chose a pink pencil case (!) and a folder with a Corvette on it. Other than that, it's just crayons, these amazing scissors that Oma and I found, and glue sticks.

My biggest relief is that he won't have to ride the bus! The school district decided a few years ago to have a one-hour early dismissal every Wednesday for teacher meetings. Super convenient, right? Well, Punkin ends up being dismissed a half an hour before I'm done with work. I thought a respite worker could come pick him up and take him to our house, but it turns out they can't do that. So I resigned myself to having him ride the bus home on Wednesdays and having a respite worker meet him there. Except I was panicking because the bus can't actually make it to our front door, and I'm not sure they could even come up our street. Normally I see the bus dropping kids off at the end of the street. This, of course, made my heart plummet into my stomach. A respite worker would have to stand down there and wait for him. And what if they weren't there????

Anyway, I mentioned this to the secretary at school (keep in mind that I work in the preschool that's inside Punkin's soon-to-be elementary school) and she said, "Oh, no. That bus doesn't get here until 2:00 anyway. He'll just hang out with me and run the paper shredder." I could have kissed her!

So now all I have to worry about are the days that he doesn't have school and the preschool does, which are plenty. I thought I had something worked out, but I don't. But, It'll work out. Right? Right.

It helps that Jennie is coming on the first day so I decided to take it off work. She'll distract me with shopping, yummy food, and laughing. I am excited!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

medication and ADHD

Punkin started crawling at 13.5 months, walking at 16 months, and using a rare single word around 24 months. Looking at that, you might think he does things at a slow pace. You would be wrong.

At age two we all started joking about Ritalin; at age three those jokes became a lot more serious. At four I broke down and couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't function in school, he couldn't follow a simple direction, his autistic behaviors were escalating, and we were a tornado of limbs any time we attempted to leave the house.

I know. Isn't that what all four year old boys are like? Um, no. Most preschoolers do not fall out of their chair 12 times while eating a meal. Most preschoolers can sit and look at a preferred book or play with a preferred toy for longer than 30 seconds. Most preschoolers do not wail their arms and legs like a pinwheel, hitting anyone who may come within a 2 foot radius of their body. Most preschoolers who legitimately want to obey their mother when she says, "Walk to the car," will do it and not run into the street.

I called the pediatrician and asked for a referral to a Fragile X specialist -- a woman who is a neurologist and has done extensive studies on Fragile X. A woman who knows about medications and whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the National Fragile X Conference.

It was a simple visit, really. "He has ADHD." We started with clonidine, which was fine for a while, and then eventually switched to Ritalin. I remember being nervous, but ready. I also remember the first time we walked, hand-in-hand, into the grocery store, picked up a gallon of milk, stood in line to pay for it, and walked back out to the car. He stayed next to me; he walked with me. I didn't have to put him in a cart to buy a gallon of milk. I felt . . . normal.

I remember watching him play with toys -- pretending to use a wrench and a screwdriver beyond banging them together or waving them in the air in front of his face and being amazed that those skills were trapped inside his mind this whole time just waiting to get out.

And I remember not hearing, "He hit me" and instead, "He gave me a hug."

Medicating a young child is never an easy decision. And yes, I've seen and heard of it go terribly wrong. In our case, though, it was liberating. It was and still is the right choice for us. Now that he's headed to kindergarten, I'm glad that these issues are taken care of already. It's one less hurdle for him to have to jump.

He still has his quirks and his meltdowns. Pills aren't a cure-all. He isn't a "new" kid or a different kid; he's just able to be his fast-moving, cars-loving, paper shredding, dog barking, best self AND complete puzzles, sit at a table and eat, use slower speech, work with his teacher, and control more of his impulses.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

do you think he's trying to tell me something?

a mess! a mess!

To say there was poop all over the bathroom this morning does not do my son or this particular bowel movement any justice, and we wouldn't want anyone or anything being denied their proper due, now would we? I think not.

Allow me to back up. This week has been slow but stressful. Punkin had another mystery sore throat and high fever Tuesday (beginning at 1am, thank you). Tuesday is one of my respite days and I also had an appointment with a psychiatrist that day to evaluate my anti-depressants. Luckily Oma was able to watch Punkin during my doctor visit, but I missed respite completely. I didn't have anything other than an oil change planned, but it's hard to miss those hours when you feel like you're a human magnet.

By Thursday morning Punkin was back to normal and we spent the day at school and then swimming with friends. Then 1:00 Friday morning came and I thought, "You have to be kidding me." It wasn't just that he was awake, it was that at about the 4am mark he began moaning. And I began questioning my sanity.

Oma came to my rescue because she is THE MOST AWESOME WOMAN EVER AND I CAN NEVER REPAY HER and let me drop him off at her house at 6:45 on my way to work. His fever came back, I cancelled respite for the evening, and by the time I came to pick him up at 2pm, he was running around with shreds of paper wearing a swimsuit and asking for noodles. I took him home and he hasn't stopped eating since.

Now, back to this morning. I've missed all of my respite for the week, I'm starting a new anti-depressant, and Punkin is being LOUD. I'm crabby, but it's okay because in a few hours I will be on my way to the spa for an hour long massage.

Twenty minutes before we're supposed to leave, Punkin runs into his room to grab his blanket. It takes longer than it should.

"Clean up me?"

And so it begins. See, the mess in the bedroom wasn't actually that bad. His underwear and swimsuit contained most it. The problem was the inevitable removal of those two pieces of clothing because he'd been so stopped up from being sick that once it came out, it wouldn't stop. The literal ___ hit the floor, folks, and it quickly spread all over the toilet, bath, and shower wall.

The wiping and soaping and spraying of cleaners was just never ending. By the time I started putting his shoes on to take him to Oma, it was too late. But I left anyway, called the spa, and they asked me to reschedule for next week. We went to Oma and Opa's house, where I continued to crab for what was probably an undue amount of time, and eventually bought some peach salsa from the farmer's market.

I'm eating that salsa right now and it is amazing. Maybe it was meant to be.

(If you are curious, I am switching from Lexapro to Pristiq, which seems to be having the same side effect as Effexor and Cymbalta -- muscle pain mainly in the calves, feet, hands, and lower arms. Back to square one on Monday, I guess!)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

oh ya

After a few calls to my landlord, a pest control guy showed up today with a can of spray as big as my head to kill the wasps. He sprayed the balcony, both top and bottom, and removed the nests. Thank goodness!

And just in case you were wondering, if you ever get stung by a wasp, you should scrape the stinger out with a butter knife. I know! When Oma came over and told me that, I said, "A butter knife?"

"I printed off directions from the internet."

"What internet?!"

"The internet! It's fine."

I grimaced. But hey, it worked.

tiny giggles

Punkin is in his room cracking up right now. I like to think that he is anticipating "Water Day" tomorrow at school. Basically it's a day to run around in sprinklers and play in water tables outside. Punkin barely gets wet, but it is his favorite day of the week. He collects all of the same types of toys, usually boats or bubble wands, and stands around unable to play because his arms are full. He's happy, though, and that's all that matters. Once in a while we'll grab a paint brush and "paint" the school with water or play in the soapy water table, but a lot of his activity is running from place to place collecting like items.

Or, maybe he's remembering the day he sat in the Lego bucket during the morning program and I carried him down the hall. Could be that, too.

Monday, July 12, 2010

every single day

Yesterday's post, and yesterday all together, was not the most coherent episode I've ever put together. Thanks for suffering through that with me. Tonight when Punkin insisted I kiss both of his Woody dolls, both of his stuffed Pit Bulls, his blanket, his red fish, his pillow, and his drum set night -night at bedtime, it reaffirmed that it's all worth it.

For some reason, the "goggies" have to sleep next to the Legos. They can't sleep in the bed. I don't ask questions, I just find them a blanket!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

a case of the sundays

Punkin slept late today. We're talking 7am. I know, right? He ate his cereal and then padded over to the fridge for a look, pulling out a bag of shredded cheese and a package of tortillas.

"You want a taco?"

"Ya, sure!"

"That actually sounds really good."

We ate our tacos, watched some cartoons, and got ready for church. I figured since he was so well fed that church would be a breeze. HA! I'm pretty sure the Ritalin I gave him was a placebo. Kid would not stop talking. I mouthed this to my mother during the prayer (I know) and he chimed in with, "AMEN!"

After church we decided to go to one of our favorite locally owned restaurants because it's fast and cheap. After waiting 30 minutes, our server came over to warm my parents' coffee and we pulled it out of him that the kitchen had just received our order and "was working on it." We left. Fast food tastes good, too.

Of course I had given Punkin his second dose of Ritalin once we arrived at the first restaurant, but after all that time his appetite turned sour and he refused to eat even french fries.

Back at Oma and Opa's, Punkin informed me that the pool was "broken" and it was time to watch TV. The child who went to the grocery store in his swimming suit on Thursday because I couldn't peel it off of him refused to go swimming today. I didn't understand it, but it was fine.

Oma and I quickly tired of The Rescuers, which is Punkin's latest movie fascination, so we decided to wander around the mall. He hit four people including a stranger, who I don't think noticed, as we walked to JCPenney to ride the escalators while Oma looked at purses. The only person he apologized to, of course, was a mannequin. (!)

I thought twice about stopping at the grocery store on the way back to our apartment, but we really needed a couple of things for the week so I decided to brave it. Surprisingly, he did great save the two times he ran off with the cart! As soon as we got home he ate dinner and was very happy. The fun started again after he went to bed.

See, when Auntie came to visit she noticed that some lovely wasps have built a nest on the frame of my balcony door. Upon further inspection, it actually appears as though there might be an old nest and the beginnings of a new one -- so three total. GROSS.

I called my landlord, who lives out of town, and they had someone drop off a can of spray a few days ago. I was not thrilled with this arrangement, but I tried it. It didn't work, and today when I went out to spray it again, I got stung right through my shirt and my bra. OUCH.

Thankfully Oma came to my rescue to pull the stinger out and get me some ice. Needless to say I will not be venturing out there again. I'm usually not too fond of the weekend ending, but this day has just been exasperating!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

in case you were missing the updates

It's been a while since I've had opportunity to go on and on about my medical problems. I've mostly kept them to myself because I've mostly felt significantly better. It's kind of deflating to drop at least $100 at the pharmacy for my medications every month, but considering how much all of them actually cost and the fact that they are all working, I am significantly blessed.

I had felt so good for a while, in fact, that I stopped taking all of those medications faithfully, specifically the asthma and allergy ones. Oops. I guess I didn't realize how much asthma can flare up during the summer. Not as bad as winter, but still disheartening. I'm back on track with the addition of some steroids. I have a lot to learn.

I also went to see my therapist, who insisted that a mini makeover would help me feel recharged and renewed. She has this notion that I need to take better care of myself. Silly lady. So if you have any suggestions for hair or clothing, please leave them in the comments.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

things that are awesome

Umbrellas top the list these days. Punkin once cried so loud and so hard over the horror of being denied the privilege of holding this very umbrella that his little voice shook the walls of our local Wal-Mart. People stared, I'm used to, but this staring was coupled with that inferred, "What did you DO to him?

"It's about an umbrella," I explained as he wrapped his arms around me and sobbed. Torture.

Fireworks. Need I say more? Only the finale made him a little nervous.
Auntie went with us to the The Children's Museum during her visit this past weekend. We love that place.Keep in mind that these photos were all taken during the .01 second he spent at each station before sprinting to the next one.

Let me clarify. The Children's Museum is awesome, minus this guy and his friends:
We're hoping Bob the Builder or the giant sit and spin come back soon!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

of course i got out my camera

You know that Ramona book where she takes one bite out of each apple in the basement because the first bite is the best and then her mom has to make applesauce with all of the apples and they eat applesauce every day for months?

Ya, that's kinda where we're at.