Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"looka mom! is so beauful!"

He was so proud.Thank you, Lord, for inspiring people to invent both washable markers and Mr Clean Magic Eraser. I put him time out. I KNOW. And then I made him clean it up. I KNOW. The kid has to learn.

Oh, and yes, the hat has made it to school every day this week. He takes it off upon entering the classroom and puts it on before leaving. All of his friends seem to approve.

The dentist? Not such good news. The University may or may not be cheaper and they don't really allow the kind of payment plan I need. Thankfully much of the pain has subsided for now.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

serious style

This treasure was found in Oma and Opa's closet this past Saturday and Punkin even sported it at church this morning where he greeted every third person with, "Looka my hat," and aptly tipped it their direction. I'll let you know if it makes it to school Monday morning.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

kid needs a science lesson

Remember this? And this?


They have combined and now require me to carry this:

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a "No Barking" sign for my son. But that's not the most confusing part. The most confusing part is that when he's shaking the strips of paper in front of his face and barking and I ask him what the papers are, 8 times out of 10 he says, "shark."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

going on and on about my medical problems

(or, my sister will love this post.)

I have had every part of my stinkin' body tested this year. It started with the head CT and two eye exams because of an episode of blurry vision, then moved to an MRI, MRV/MRA (to check for blood clots) and and EEG because the episodes were happening 6-8 times a day.

Then I started getting headaches so the episodes were deemed migraines. Then the neurologist decided I looked too tired (ha!), so I had a sleep study done. Then months later people at work started asking why I was always short of breath, so I went in to my doc and she had me go in for a chest x-ray and an echocardiogram. During all of this I had low white blood cells and frequent ear discomfort. And I started doing the acupuncture thing, which rocks. You should totally jump on that bandwagon.

Anyway, all of the tests came back normal. And they all are costing a million billion dollars. Thank goodness for payment plans. Eventually my blood count bounced back, the migraines have been controlled with medication, and the blurry vision subsided.

But that pesky ear pain just wouldn't go away. And I was becoming more and more agitated with my doctor who kept telling me that my ear was waxy, but fine. BECAUSE IT HURT.

So Monday she sat down and thought for a minute. Then she stood up and felt my jaw and suggested maybe I see a dentist for TMJ.

Have I ever expressed to you, dear friends, how much I despise the dentist? You know what else I despise? The fact that I have no dental insurance, which I have used as a crutch to avoid going to the dentist for FIVE YEARS.

But the pain.

So I called and I went. And no TMJ was discussed. We discussed the broken molar in the back of my mouth -- the one that I had a root canal on the last time I was at the dentist, during which I sobbed and dripped snot out of my nose. I'm crazy for not wanting to go back, right?

But the tooth isn't the issue, really. Nope. It's my wisdom teeth. The bottom left one is peeking out and most likely infected, but nothing can be done except to pull it along with the other three. It's referring pain to my ear and, apparently, the rest of my face. So awesome.

When I called the oral surgeon to ask about price and payment plans I received a curt answer, "$400 a tooth, an extra $315 if you want to be put to sleep. It's $700 down the day of the surgery and $200 a month payment plan." And click.

Um, call me crazy, but that sounds like my former car payment. FOR SOME TEETH. I will be calling the University to see what options they have -- it has to be cheaper, or at the very least more flexible.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

please don't eat while you read this

Just in case you believed that this blog was turning a corner and was no longer primarily about poop and pee, I come bearing an update on potty training.

Punkin is now happily peeing AND pooping in the toilet -- as long as I remind him. The next step in this whole process is to get him to verbalize that he has to go on his own. Because if I don't remind him, I have a big old mess on my hands, err, floor.

Speaking of messes, did you know that diarrhea can spew like a fountain out of a small child onto your favorite pajama pants? I found that out last weekend. BUTT (ha!), I think the repeated act of going potty (I was SO tempted to put a pull-up on him) might have done the trick in getting him to understand that you just gotta sit there to do the deed, dude.

In addition to stinky apartment and stinky laundry, I was forced to watch Space Buddies 542 times from Saturday at 2am when he woke me up, covered in vomit, to Monday afternoon when it was established that his digestive system was back in order.

Longest weekend OF MY LIFE.

You may now grab a snack if you are done gagging. I know, that Space Buddies website was pretty bad.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

and then he asked how i'm doing, because he's awesome

On March 3, I posted the following to my Facebook page: Going to the doc to talk about adjusting ADHD meds. Of course, they only schedule these appointments at 5pm, when all of the meds have worn off. All I have to say is, "Watch out, Doc!"

The comments that followed were pretty funny. Suffice it to say that we agreed on two things: the doctor would have NO issue increasing Punkin's dosage and most of these professionals -- as much as we love and respect them -- wouldn't last a day alone with our children!

Anyway, Punkin was really in the throes of the whole barking thing during the days leading up to the appointment. So when my friend Jennie called the next day to ask how it went and I said, "He barked. The whole time" she just couldn't contain her giggles.

So how did his doctor react? Totally calm, as always. I explained that the pieces of shredded paper from the exam table were dogs and he remarked, "Imaginative play. That's great!" Sweetest man on earth.

I expressed my concern about his behavior in the afternoon, and he asked me to be more specific. This was difficult to do on the spot. Mostly I just wanted to point out that my son doesn't ALWAYS bark incessantly and shred things to bits while running around a 10x12 room. Honest. SOMETIMES he sits.

"He just doesn't know what to do with his arms and legs. He can't follow a simple direction. We'll be standing at the car, I'll let go of his hand to open the door, and he'll take off in the opposite direction. He just can't function. He can't sit. He can't listen."

He checked to make sure he hadn't lost any weight and in fact he is gaining weight, so he felt comfortable with the increase. He's now taking 5mg in the morning and 5mg at 12:30 of the generic Ritalin.

We also talked about trying generic Zoloft again to try to ease the anxiety of living life. Punkin has been amazingly good about taking it and I think it's making some differences in his willingness to try new things like LETTING A HERMIT CRAB WALK ON HIS ARM.

Ya. I know.

I wouldn't do that, either!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

and now in pink

If Punkin were a Punkette, this would be sitting in our living room in place of Lighting McQueen and friends. It's delicate and overwhelmingly girly. In other words, it's PERFECT for me.

I found it through http://www.become.com/, specifically the motherhood/baby section.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


We watch copious amounts of television at our house. Usually it's on in the background while Punkin chases balls around the living room, much like a cat chases a ball of yarn or the red circle of a laser pointer.

But trust me. He is always paying attention. And that's why allowing him to "get stuck" on a movie is big risk. He could start making Krabby Patties ad naseam, become interested in that kitchen set I bought him two years ago when he sees Ratatouille cooking, run for his toolbox every time he sees Handy Manny, or do this:


He's barking. Like the dogs in Up (which he watches ALL the time at Oma and Opa's). When he really gets going, he literally sounds like a real dog, or even several small dogs, chasing the last tennis ball on the planet.

Imagine my bundle of energy hanging out in your church with strips of paper -- the bulletin that he ripped -- strewn about the pew, barking, in the middle of the sermon.

Or perhaps galloping down the juice aisle at the grocery store, flapping strips of paper in front of his face.

Or hiding under the table at a popular restaurant. BARKING.

The best one? In Wal-Mart -- the back of the cart, laying on top of one jumbo pillow with another on top of him covering his entire face and body. A barking shopping cart. THAT didn't draw any attention.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

a gentle plea

My son has been diagnosed with mental retardation due to Fragile X Syndrome. My son loves presents.

My son was a baby who loved his ducky and naps in the sunshine.

My son is a giggling preschooler who loves burgers and cuddles with his momma.
My son is a sweetheart who grows stronger and brighter every day.
When I hear people say, "That's so retarded" or "I feel so retarded" or "This stupid, retarded thing," it breaks my heart; the word retarded here is being used as a substitute for defunct, broken, stupid, and ugly.
My son is mentally retarded; he has a medical condition. And his disability, his condition, has become a slang term -- an insult. So because he is mentally retarded, his name could just as easily be slipped into those hateful phrases listed above.
But he is more than his cognitive development. His disability helps shape who he is -- it doesn't define him. Would people come up to me and call my son broken and stupid and ugly? Probably not. And yet that is how those sentences feel. That is what they ultimately say.
The real joy in celebrating diversity is experiencing people beyond their labels.
My son is the most amazing child I've ever met. He can make a room full of adults dance on command. He can laugh at a joke. He can help me set the table and pick up his toys. He can tell me which direction to turn on days he's craving a donut after school. He hugs his friends and high-fives his teachers. He greets me with a, "I so happy a see you!" when I pick him up from school. He has a resilient spirit that carries me through the most difficult of days. I call him Child of God.

Monday, March 1, 2010

no, i was not paid to say this

Big old white board and where does he color?
I finally gave in and bought a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser after trying a bunch of other cleaners. I can still see faded red lines from the cheap dry-erase markers (the brand named ones cleaned-up much better), but overall I am impressed