Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

Neurology, tummy troubles, sick hubby and shopping...

Stephen had a Neurology check up this morning. Pat woke up really sick. I can't drive in the city. I love my hubby and hated making him drive us but I just can't do it. I got rear ended really bad in November on my way home from taking Stephen to the dentist. I am terrified to drive in that city. I still have back pain every day. Of course today my back was screaming before my feet hit the floor. I also had tummy troubles that were very similar to when I ruptured an ovarian cyst a few months back. I won't go into details but let me just say that it included lots of trips to the bathroom at first, followed by waves of pain that make you feel like you need the bathroom but don't for a few hours. If there wasn't always a year long wait list for this appointment I would have canceled.

So we made it to the appointment in one piece. Pat and Olivia waited in car. Everything went well and I even managed to get my daughter her Neurology appointment that she has been wait listed for for almost 6 months. I wouldn't have even mentioned it to the receptionist if it wasn't for the fact that the Neurologist will be the one to order the MRI of her head and the lump on her back. The lump on her back concerns me. Not only did I get an appointment in August but it will be with Stephen's doctor : )

We hit BJ's on the way home. Stephen did really well. No headphones. He found a nursery rhyme book and Pat found a 2nd one for him. Stephen also picked out two kids educational computer software cds. Olivia picked out a 3 pack of Hannah Montana chapter books. It amazes me how well she reads!

We got back to town and my Hefty coupons had come in so after lunch Olivia and I went bargain hunting. Stephen was still in his room enjoying his new stuff. Pat, Olivia and I rented The Pink Panther 2 On Demand. Very funny : ) Pat almost made it to the end before he fell asleep. He has seen only 50% or 75% of most movies we have watched in the past couple of years. He works so hard and gets so little sleep and our recliner couch is way too comfy.

I got Olivia upstairs to get ready for bed and went downstairs to put clothes in the dryer. He let Olivia put his p.j.'s on. I didn't ask her to do it, she just wanted to. Such a sweet kid. I went on the computer and thought I heard Olivia talking. I went upstairs and she was reading Stephen's new books to him : ) He has wanted us to read to him for the past two nights. He made me read at least half of a 176 page Mother Goose book to him last night. We are working on using a bookmark to show him that we will come back to that page and finish reading the book or read more the next day. Pat read the other half of that book to him this morning even though he was sick as a dog.

He has been wanting to point out, have us point out or make us point out the words as we read them. He also wants to see what we are writing whenever we are writing something. I think he is slowly seeing that the written word or words on a page are a form of communication that he needs to master through his own reading and writing ability.
The day started out really yucky but got better as the day went on. My kids behaved well and were nice to each other. More days like this please, if anyone is taking orders. Minus the yucky beginning of course : )

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The bees have arrived!!!

Before today I had only seen 2 bees in our yard since we moved here. When Olivia and I were out in the yard earlier, she noticed about 4 bees in the grass. I finally got some new bee photos!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hey geeks, what's your AQ?

How geeky are you? This is just for fun and not to diagnose you officially with anything.


I found the link above on the blog The Puzzle Room http://thepuzzleroom.blogspot.com

I scored a 44. Big surprise. What's your score?

My first blog interview!

Check out my interview on Black girl with long hair

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Grillin' and chillin'

After our basement flooded with 3 inches of water Friday night (After midnight, had to wake up hubby for help, not fun), we needed to chill and grill. We survived our last attempt at grilling so we figured we would give it another shot. I admit I am getting addicted to grilling. This grill we built also brings back all those hillbilly memories of my daddy grilling on a very similar grill made out of bricks and on a hill (oh lord, hillbilly,LOL!!!). I have to laugh at the thought that people drop hundreds of dollars on a propane grill and ours was $12 (grill price) and the food cooks great and tastes yummy : )
I made a whole meal on the grill! Chicken shish kabobs, BBQ for me and Pat and plain for the kiddos with a foil packet of zucchini, summer squash and organic (didn't have any other kind of vidalia) vidalia onions in margarine, salt and ground pepper. I admit I am still concerned about the food being cooked enough and overcooked this meal a bit but it was still tasty.

Gettin' addicted to s'mores. I just have to have them after every grilled meal!

Hope you all had a great weekend!
Are any of you grillin' addicts? Got any good advice for us? Any funny grillin' stories?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Summer school update...When is compliance not good?

I got some info from his bus driver this morning about someone who brought him out to the bus yesterday afternoon. She said that the woman was older and very impatient with Stephen. She made him drag his bag of precious (and expensive!!) Mother Goose and Nursery Rhyme books to the bus. I was seeing red. I immediately called his summer school teacher and discussed my displeasure with this info and how upset I was about him biting and it being a cry for help.

To her credit, his teacher sounds nice and sincere. I believe what she says to me. I have been around the block a gazillion times and usually know BS when I hear it. She listened to me and even said she would make sure that she was the one to get him on and off the bus. She also said she would keep closer tabs on him. And, she said she would give me a call after he left school to touch base. She not only wrote a very detailed note in his home/school log but also called me like she said she would. I am a woman of my word and that scores big points with me when someone does what they say they will do.

He had a great day today : ) He wasn't allowed to watch Charlotte's Web tonight, which is his usual routine. He got a little upset but when he saw Daddy wasn't going to back down he went upstairs and got on his computer and looked at his books. Olivia seemed to be less afraid and even got him one of the many Popsicles he had tonight. He acted like our lovable Stephen.

Love really is unconditional. We all need at least one person in this world who sees the good in us under all our bad behavior, mistakes and shortcomings. I am that person for my son.

I have been through a lot of rough stuff in my life and I truly believe if it were not for God's forgiveness and unconditional love that I would not be here today. I think God is constantly guiding us through life and we are always exactly where we need to be. Stephen is on a rough path through life but he makes positive steps everyday. God and I see who he can be if he is given the unconditional love he needs to grow.

I know other people think that children should never get upset and protest against what adults want them to do. However, I truly believe that 100% compliance in a child sets them up to be victims. Especially children who are non-verbal or mostly non-verbal and have cognitive deficits. I'm glad my son gets upset when he doesn't like something. That is a normal reaction. We all need to have self-preservation skills. I don't want him to do EVERYTHING EVERY ADULT tells him to do. We have told our daughter a million times to listen to her gut and if something happens that she doesn't like that she tells us. She actually is going through a phase right now where she says,"I don't like that" when something happens or is happening that she doesn't like. I don't want my children to be victims. I want them to be fighters and survivors.

Do you worry that your child is being molded at school to be too compliant (hate that phrase, very ABA)? Do you see your children's behavior issues as a form of communication? How do you encourage your child to stand up for themselves and protect themselves?

Summer school and the biting begins

Stephen bit Olivia really hard last night while I was getting them ready for bed. He was already worked up before we went upstairs when his movie ended. We just got "Charlotte's Web" on DVD in the mail while he was at school. I got it off ebay. He came home in a good mood. Didn't get upset when the computer kicked him off the internet (I have it on a timer). He has seen that movie hundreds of times. My husband didn't shut it off until the credits were over. For some reason he was so upset.

She was in front of him and he just locked onto her shoulder like a pit bull and wouldn't let go. She didn't have a shirt on. He just started biting on the 13th at summer school. Twice now he has bit himself and/or staff. He has not bit one of us in YEARS. While I was cleaning her bite, she was screaming and Stephen bit his hand while he was in his room. At school during the school year, noise is a big problem for him. But he rarely lashes out because of it anymore. At home the noise doesn't bother him, even when Olivia has friends over and they are super noisy.

Why did he bite her?! After he calmed down and had some quiet time in his room he was happy and affectionate again. If he is upset with summer school, wouldn't he be upset from the time he gets home? Wouldn't he being crying every morning when it's time to get on the bus? Why don't I know what to think after all these years of dealing with this?!!!

We have learned that Stephen's behavior is a way for him to communicate. It seems he is trying to tell us something. The only major change in his life right now is summer school. I wish he could just tell me what is wrong. He had his initial evaluation for a communication device in MAY. Still no report and no rentals to try. How bad do things need to get before they help him communicate?! PECS are their first choice because it's CHEAP. Stephen doesn't use them other than for his schedule at school. They and we have tried to get him to use them for communication and he doesn't want to use them. He uses the computer and has started doing searches by himself on the computer. He is smart enough to use a communication device. The school district just doesn't want to fork over the money!!!

Are any of your kids in summer school for special needs? Does their behavior get worse, better or stay the same in summer school? Is your kid verbal, non-verbal. If non-verbal, do they have behavior problems associated with not being able to communicate? Do they bite themselves or others?

I really need some support, here. My husband wanted to keep him home today. We discussed not sending him to summer school for the rest of the summer. If it is summer school that is the problem than I am all for keeping him home. What if it's not. I just want everything to be logical. But people aren't logical : (

Now Olivia is traumatized : ( She said she wishes she had a normal brother. I explained that compared to normal brothers hers is pretty good one. I know it doesn't seem that way after being bit, but I have seen MANY Nanny 911 episodes where all the "normal" siblings are spitting in each others faces, hitting, kicking, biting and throwing things at each other all the time. Oh yeah, and swearing! 99% of the time Stephen is a very well behaved kid. Unless something is really wrong.

Ugh. Wish he could just tell me what to do. : (

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Don't let mommy find the clippers!


This is a picture of me the summer I worked the 2nd Woodstock. I was in my early twenties. This girls style hasn't gone anywhere. It's just been buried deep down under loads of laundry, dirty dishes, dirty diapers, doctors appointments....... and all the joys that come with being a stay at home mom.

If you looked at my previous post than you are probably wondering what the heck I did to my hair.

What I did first-

This is how I wore it yesterday.

I just had to go shorter because you can't get clean lines with a ginormous guard on your clippers.

I call this look punk rock cheerleader ; )
Hey, it's cheaper than buying a sports car!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Home=Vacay any day!

We have been working our butts off since we moved to our new home in February to make it a place of rest and recreation. We have kids with various medical and mental challenges so making our home a place that we love to be is better than any vacation we could ever think of taking. No vacation spot could ever accommodate all our and our children's needs so it wouldn't be very enjoyable to "get away" for rest and relaxation. A huge plus of making our home our own custom made vacation spot is that it is way cheaper and every day has the opportunity to be a little vacation from our problems (Love the movie "What about Bob?").
It's also been raining forever this summer so we finally had a few good days in a row this weeken to enjoy all our hard work!
If Pat looks tired it's because he is. He has been working hard at work and coming home and working hard on making our apartment a home. Stephen started summer school this week and it is going much better than last year. Yay!
Here is our second attempt at grilling Friday night. Pat did a great job with the kielbasa. Yummy : ) Stephen is not liking being outside while we grill. All of his favorite things are inside the house-his book collection, his computer, the Internet, his music collection and his favorite movies. I tried grilling chicken legs last night and they got fried. I wasn't convinced they were safe to eat so we removed the meat from the bone and nuked it in the microwave. We are all still alive....but if you never see another blog post..Another safe thing to grill-marshmallows. Stephen doesn't like marshmallows : (
This amazing grass was grown from pure grass seed. This was dirt two weeks ago!
Olivia and Pat enjoyed the "hammock" feature on the porch swing. Pat tried to get Stephen to try it out but he wanted to go back inside to his favorite vacation spot-our house! I laid down on it too and almost threw up with how hard Pat was swinging it. He slowed it down and the world stopped spinning and we watched the birds and clouds go by.
It's amazing how good you can look with the right camera angle. Thanks to the hubby for making me look good!!

Our landlord had someone repour the stairs. Here is what they looked like before. After
The guy who did the stairs let Olivia put her foot in the cement at the top of the stairs. She felt like a superstar!
Do any of you have children with Autism or other special needs that just don't like the outdoors very much? Have you done more than most other families with children to make your home your own little vacation spot?