Friday, March 12, 2010

Update ???

Well, after 9 months of being a bad blogger, I thought some of you might like an update on the boys. Wait. Does anyone actually read this???? We will see, I guess.

Let's start with Christian. He started at Little Star Center in September and it has been amazing watching him progress. He attends every afternoon. His speech has grown so much in the last few months. He is speaking in short phrases now and his vocabulary is growing exponentially. He makes eye contact now and requests things all the time. We have been blessed with a good insurance company (Wait.. Did I just say that??) that pays for his therapy at LSC. Christian finished up with First Steps when he turned 3 and moved to the Early Childhood program at our elementary school. He goes to that program every morning. (Yes, he does both. It's a long day for the little guy.) He loves to ride the bus to school. Actually, he runs down the driveway to the bus. It's crazy. My little boy got classes in September. I started to notice a little crossing in his right eye on occassion. It turns out that he is extremely far sighted. He actually wears his glasses. We have even noticed fewer outburst and tantrums when he wears them.

On to Jacob now... He has been in Early Childhood for awhile now and is doing great. Todd and I are ecstatic that Jacob is going to be able to start in a REGULAR Kindergarten class in the fall. The teachers say there aren't any cognitive problems. Its more a matter of getting him to understand questions, etc. His speech has become more understandable over the last year. While going to KG may be a piece of cake for Jake, I am worried. I suppose I don't have to tell any of you that kids are mean. I worry about Jacob being picked on or excluded. I suppose that is every parent's worry though, right?

The pictures above were taken on our most recent trip to Disney. It seems whenever we go, the boys start progressing in their language by leaps and bounds. The boys come back and share their stories. It's true that they will occassionally need someone to "translate" for them, but practice makes perfect. Jacob made several new friends by trading pins. Christian enjoyed going on the rides. Me? I love the food at Disney - it's awesome!

Todd and I know how blessed we are to have these boys in our lives. I stopped to think about how much it has changed me over the last year. I have learned to accept others as they are, to help others when I am able, and to let go of anger and feelings of solitude.

In closing, if anyone did read this, post a reply. I will give you candy!!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Out With It, Already

Moment of truth. This will truly be an entry for a diary. I am spilling my guts for this one.

After a long month of deliberating, Todd and I have finally decided to come out with our big secret. It is hard to believe that it has only been a month. It feels like so much longer. Many of you know that our boys both have speech problems. At the suggestion of our pediatrician, we submitted them for autism testing last month. The results came a couple of weeks later. Jacob was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, or PDD. It is on the spectrum of autism. Christian's diagnosis has been a little harder to swallow - mild to moderate autism. There. I've finally said it. I have 2 boys with autism.

It has been a very hard decision to make this public. What will people think? Will they treat my kids differently? Will they cut us more slack? Probably my biggest fear is that a label will follow the boys for the rest of their lives. A label that can gain them the extra help they need, but disposes them to a variety of prejudices. They don't deserve it. They have done nothing wrong. I, like any parent I suppose, feel very protective of them, especially recently. We contemplated keeping the diagnosis a secret to protect them, but it is just a matter of time before they act out in public and people begin to draw their own conclusions. At least, this way, my hope is that people will try to understand.

I'm not too concerned about Jacob. He has made so much progress in the last year and a half that I have nothing but the highest hopes for him. You might say, I'm blowing it off. I know I, we, are already doing everything we can for him.

Christian is another story. After a year in First Steps, progress has been made, but it has been slow going. He is saying more words, and a couple of learned phrases. He runs and plays normally, is very affectionate, but is still lacking in communication. We are looking at getting him into a special school for ABA therapy. ABA is the most researched therapy and has the best outcomes. Fortunately, our insurance is under an Indiana legal mandate which requires them to pay for this therapy, which can be expensive. We are still at the beginning steps of getting him in the program.

I think I was pretty well in shock for the first couple of weeks. Now, however, the worry has started to set in for me. What did I do wrong? I was nearly a straight A student in school. How could this happen? Is God testing me? I worry about their future so much. I guess like any parent. Sleeping has been difficult. Worrying. I think I am starting to give myself an ulcer because I have a hard time eating without becoming nauseated. I have been trying pretty hard to keep my mind occupied. Just as idle hands are the devil's workshop, so it must be true of the mind. I have been reading non-stop (not books about autism) and playing meaningless computer games to try to keep myself from worrying. Todd seems to be handling it pretty well.
It is so hard to see my friends, and family for that matter, with their "normal" kids. Kids that talk. It makes me jealous, sick to my stomach. "They don't know how good they have it" I say to myself. What did I do wrong? I think Todd and I both think that sometimes. It has to be something genetic that has caused this. Something between me and him. I am the first to admit I have my OCD tendencies. Todd is lucky if he can pay attention sometimes - meetings, classes. We both pretty well instantly decided that we weren't going to have any more children.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mean for any of this to sound like a pity party for me, us. My friends are just starting to realize that I have not been myself lately and I don't know if I have the courage to mention it face to face. I guess it is now that I will find out just who my friends are. Who will be there for me when I need to re-focus? Who will give me a shoulder to cry on when the boys don't seem to be making progress? Who will be willing to share small accomplishments with me?

My new motto is "Go forth and conquer." Those of you who know me well know that I am so stubborn. Failure is not an option. I am focused on them and doing everthing I can so that they will be able to lead a normal, happy life.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Let's See. Where to start?

Yes, I know.  I have been a bad blogger.  So much has happened recently.

I cut back on my hours at work, to 2 12 hour shifts per week.  I really like it so far and I think we will be ok, money-wise.  I have noticed the boys talking so much better since I have made the cut.  

In case you didn't see or hear it, Todd got rear-ended on 96th Street a couple of weeks ago.   We were really hoping they would total it, but no.  Only $6K in damage.  The stang will never be the same.

The boys are keeping me outside lately.  Consequently, my house looks like crap inside.  I can't do any cleaning if I have to be outside all day long.  I'm getting a nice tan, but it's a farmer's tan. 

I think I am done with physical therapy.  It has really helped this time around.  I have gotten a lot of strength, but the grinding continues.  They said, unfortunately, it probably won't go away.  Bummer.  I sound like an old person when I walk around.  At least it doesn't hurt.  

I am taking Christian to the allergist tomorrow.  We had a little problem with hazelnuts a few weeks ago.  He was vomiting all day after he ate a candy bar with nuts in it.  His eczema is getting worse too.  I know it is because he is playing outside, but what am I going to do?  Lock my child inside?  He loves to be outside.  

Last night, it got quiet.....  Then, we saw this:


Christian had gotten ahold of the butter and started chowing.  Todd blamed me for being on the computer and not watching him.  I blamed Todd for getting the butter out and not putting it away.  The funny thing is, my mom has a picture of Bob doing the exact same thing at that age.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

All Taped Up

Well, I have had a lot going on recently.

Took the kids to the dentist and everything was a-ok.  Christian has all of his teeth.  No cavities in either kid.  Awesome!!!

I went to the ortho doc, Dr Theiken.  I really like him.  It turns out my meniscus is fine, but my tibia is bruised on the MRI.  He said that would usually happen from an injury or from stress on the knee.  He said if it was stress, he would expect the meniscus to be damaged and mine isn't.  So, that means I have injured my knee sometime in the past 6 months.  I am sure I smacked it and blew it off, thinking "I'll have a nice bruise there tomorrow."  

He said there isn't anything to do, except physical therapy.  I started that about 2 weeks ago and it is going much better than last time.  They are doing McConnell taping, so I am walking around with a bunch of tape on my knee.  It is really helping with the pain though.  After trying the taping 10 years ago in PT, I didn't think it was going to work, but so far, so good.  Alyssa is watching the boys for me during therapy.  It's great because it gets the kids used to their future babysitter.  They just love her.  And they are good, which is surprising.  Why can't they be good for me????

Bunco is Thursday night.  I have spent the day planting flowers and trying to make it look like children don't run my house.  I love spring flowers!!!!!  (Incidentally, if anyone is interested in picking up flowers, Marsh has the exact same ones as Lowe's and they are a lot cheaper.)  And, yes, Todd has not fixed the canopy yet.  I strongly suspect I will be on a ladder Thursday afternoon.  Hopefully, I will post some pics of Bunco.  

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Good News!

Well everyone, I found my ring.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I came out from my shower to find the boys at their usual place, playing in the sink.  Christian was so helpful and removed every cup from the cup dispenser.  So, I started to pick up the cups and I asked Jake, "Where's my ring?"  I have been asking him that a lot lately.  Then I look down to continue the clean up and it is sitting there plain as day.  It must have been inside the cup dispenser, even though I had picked it up and shook it a half dozen times in the past couple of weeks.  

In other news, I am hosting Bunco next month, so if anyone wants to come, let me know.  I have asked Todd to try to mend the deck a bit so that we can play outside.  We decided to build a new pergola.  I warned him that his time is limited, but he thinks he can get it done.  We have so much afternoon sun that it is hard to be outside on the deck then.  It gets very hot.  

My schedule for this week includes taking the boys to the dentist tomorrow, and an ortho appointment for me on Thurday.  The boys are pretty good at the dentist.  I just love their doctor, Michelle Edwards.  She is so great with them and has so many distractions for the kids.  

Thursday, I am going to break down and get my knee checked out.  It has been clicking since November.  (I know, I should know better, I'm a nurse.)  Then, the pain started in December.  This month has brought about ankle pain as well and I can't sleep well at night because my knee hurts.  I got an MRI in March.  My doc was on vacation when I called for the results, and the staff said it was fine.  So for the last month, my knee is getting worse, and I'm thinking "What is going on.  There has to be something wrong if it's getting worse!"  I went in this past week and she said, "It's not fine.  There's fluid in there and you have some band thickening."  She wants me to get checked out because they aren't sure if it is from my last surgery (10 years ago) or if it is something new.  

So, I will try to update and keep everyone posted on all of the above.  :-)