Friday, November 30, 2007

Soap, neurology, and accusations . . .

Thank goodness today is Friday, I'm not sure I can handle another day this week. Today was McCarntey's doctor's appointment with the neurologist, but we took a detour first. We ended up over at Cindy's house and bought a bunch of her fabulous hand-made soups for Christmas gifts. She is quite a talented lady. I sniffed so much soap that my nose still has the aroma of soap in it. I did buy a tub of body butter in Icy Juniper that I am already addicted to. I can't wait to bless my friends with some awesome soaps for the holidays,. and I can't wait to take a shower! Stop on over to Simple Indulgence and visit her website today to buy some soaps! If you are in area, she also has a display over at Angie's shop, the Lakeside Learning Garden, that she said she will restock soon.

On to the appointment. The neurologist is a wonderful man! I forgot how much I liked him. we talked at length about McCartney's issues and he is concerned with the 2 diferent forms of incontinence that she has. He said he felt she was fine, but felt "in his gut" that he should do some testing to be certain we aren't dealing with an issue related to the Spina Bifida Occulta. She will have blood work, xrays and 2 kinds of MRI's done. That will tell us if there are any issues going on that need specialized attention. He also fouond that the reflexes in her lower limbs are deficient. She has almost none in her knees, hips or ankles. Odd. He said he could feel them, but they are not what they should be. So, something else to make me worry. Actually he did make me feel at peace with all this and said he is fairly confident that she is fine. He said that if an issue is found it is reasonably easy to fix and/or deal with at this age. So that helps.

I came home to have Robert take me back to work so that he can use the van (we are a one car family) and he tells me something even more concerning. Dustin told the teachers at school today that he was constantly hit and pushed this morning before school by his father. UGH! not this again. Due to Dustin's PTSD, we struggle with invasive memories that pop up from time to time. We usually see him bring these things up near the holdiay season, so it wasn't really a surprise as much as it was concerning. It alway freak out when he says these things beacuse you're not certain who is going to believe them and start an investigation. With Dustin's functional level combined with the FAS he has no concept of time order and when you ask him about something in the past he will always say yesterday, or this morning, or today. So, it can be confusing. Robert talked to the teacher and she didn't believe Dustin, but I know the red flags are always there. It scares the crap out of me. When I talked to Dustin about it he said, "Oh I meant a long time ago." We talked about how people can believe him and he says he understands, but I know it won't matter the next time. Thankfully he has therapy today and maybe they can talk about it, or at least get our concerns on the record.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My funny boy . . .

Last night I was whooped and decided to go to bed early. The kids were still awake (fortunately still in their beds) and when they heard me coming up the stairs I was blessed with their presence in MY bed. We prayed together, laughed and said our goodnights. McCartney reached over to take my hand and accidently hit Harrison in the nose. I said, "Oh man, did sis hit you in the schnoz?" He giggled and said, "What the heck is a schnoz?" I told him it was a silly word for nose.

It became quiet. Suddenly in this sweet little voice Harrison said, "I love you mommy. Know how much?" To which the answer is inevitably "all my heart." But last night, in the quietest little voice, he said, "With all my schnoz." And all three of us broke out in the most uncontrollable laughter.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Catching you unaware . . .

A while ago, I read a post over at Adventures with Toots and Noodles about her crying over something that reminded her of her father who recently passed away. She had heard a commercial for a Christmas toy truck from the company that her father worked for. Her father used to purchase one every year for her son. She talked about the emotions that hit her and she cried in the car. She asked if this is the kind of thing that happens.

It has been 11 years since my father passed. Occassionally I get teary when I think about my children birthdays or Christmas traditions that my father will never be able to be a part of. I smile when I hear certain songs he liked on the radio and think about times we sang them together. It weird the things you remember. I vividly remember singing "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult in dads car going home from Sam's Club one night. (I told you it was weird) Whenver I hear that song I am taken back to that road on that night in his red Berretta Z26, singing BOC with dad.

This weekend I was sitting in my sister-in-laws living room in Kentucky and I saw something that made me weep. Lotion. My dad always had a bottle od Cornhuskers Lotion in his side of the headboard. A bottle of lotion made me cry. I think Teresa thought I was nuts. So yeah, this like this happen.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Attraction . . .

On the way home, we took a little detour so Robert could show me a cool little place near Mammoth Cave. He remembers staying here as a little boy. It is too neat.

Holiday Road . . .

Wednesday started awfully scary. The pediatrician was concerned about McCartney's issues and said that each one of them is nothing to be alarmed with. The fact that she has a sacral dimple and had both of these issues is of pretty big concern. He is having some blood work done on her to rule out arthritis, etc. He is also sending us back to her neurologist. I'm assuming that means we have another MRI. We had one when she was 3 weeks old and then one when she was 2 years old. This one I think will be more traumatic. I can't imagine her being still for this one. They will probably have to sedate her. The pediatrician did tell me that they will check to see if her spinal cord is tethered (stuck to the boney defect in her pelvis). I told him that they dtermined ti wasn't back when she was born. That was what I held on to all this time knowing that we coudln't have any spina bifida issues later if the cord was not involved. Well, I found out that all can change. The cord can become tethered as she grows. Great. We see the neurologist Friday, they got us in right away. I hope he thinks we are worrying for nothing, and I am praying all the tests come back okay.

The rip to Kentucky was nice. The drive on Wednesday was horrendous and the rainny conditions didn't help much. They kids had a great time with Aunt Teresa and Grandy Wanda. And they were thrilled to have their Christmas presents from that side of the family. McCartney ahd a huge meltdown at bedtime. After listening to her cry for about an hour and a half, I pulled on some jeans over my jammies and carried her out to the car to go for a ride. No shoes, no coat, no phone. I actually had to cover her mouth because she began screaming, "No don't take me!" I thought one of Teresa's neighbors may actually think I was abducting her. She settled down after about 6 trips down 31W in Bowling Green. She was cmpletely exhausted and went to sleep before we even got into the house.

Dinner was great. Grandy Wanda came over to cook about 7:00 am and the dinner was done about 10:00 so we did what any respectable family would do. We ate before it could get cold and have to be rewarmed. It was pretty odd eating Thanksgiving dinner at 10:00 am, but what the heck, it was good.

The trip home was pretty uneventful until we got into Fort Wayne and saw a gruesome accident Thanksgiving night. It did remind me of how thankful I am for my family and how I am very blessed.

I rode in the back most of the time so Dustin couldn't irritate "the littles"

The sillies creeped in by Louisville.

Annoying the brother.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kentucky and OSD . . .

The blue hills of Kentucky are calling our names, maybe that's just Grandy Wanda (as McCartney calls her). We are heading south for the turkey holiday and I have TONS to do to get ready. We haven't ventured to the Bluegrass state since the weekend after last year's Thanksgiving. I look forward to seeing Robert's mom and sister and all the rest of the family. The kids look forward to running around the farm chasing cows and torturing Grandy Wanda's farm cats. My mom has returned from Florida and is taking "the littles" home tonight to play at her house, so maybe I'll get some stuff done.

I am also fretting over a doctor's appointment that McCartney tomorrow morning. She has been complaining about her legs hurting for about 3 weeks. I have brushed it off to "growing pains", but this weekend she was really complaining. (McCartney can run a 103 fever and act like nothing's wrong. She has a pretty high pain tolerance) After I investigated, I found out that what is really hurting her are the front of her thighs up around her hips. McCartney was born with Spina Biffida Occulta and has a visible sacral dimple. We have had MRIs in the past to rule out a smaller opening at the top of her spinal cord and a tethered cord at the bottom. I am however concerned about her hips hurting along with her incontinence that she struggles with. She is a "piddler". Some kids with OSD (occult spinal dysraphism) have issues with due to lack of sensation and don't feel like they have to potty until it is too late. That's my girl. I've never thought it was too big of an issue, but this coupled with leg pain worries me.

Our pediatrician is awesome I adore him. I worry that he will think I'm nuts and she is fine. I also worry that it could be a problem. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly . .

The GOOD. It was a nice day. I left work early to take Dustin to a therapy appointment. I spoke to the therapist about how I can react to Dustin and his issues differently. We also spoke about how his behavior is effecting "the littles" and how I can stop some of that as well. Most of what she said I will incorporate into my daily parenting, some not so much. She is good, but she doesn't get what it is like to live with an FAS child. After the appointment we did the bi-weekly blood work and for the first time ever he was good with me. (usually he's great with Robert). I didn't even have to go into the lab room. We had a wonderful day running errands and doing a small bit of grocery shopping. He was happy and funny and a joy to be around.

We went to pick up "the littles" at daycare and he was very well behaved as well. Robert is sick in bed with a fever and I came home, put away groceries, made dinner and cleaned up with minimal issues from the kids. Super. However, about 20 minutes ago the BAD started. Dustin stormed up the stairs and slammed his door because I busted him putting things under his rug instead of picking them up. He is really mad at me. I'm letting him cool down before I tell him the consequences of his fit.

The UGLY. I have opened my mouth thinking I was asked to be honest by someone and inserted my foot. Either this person thought I was going to sugar coat my feelings, or they really had no idea that their actions effected me as they did. I should have just pushed it back down because I had already dealt with the issues and gotten over them. I thought we were "clearing our chests". Apparently not. I have never been one to sugar coat anything. I have very little tact. Pretty much what you see is what you get from me. I like to think that I am a very trusting and caring person who would give and give and give until it hurt if I considered you a friend and thought you needed it. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but you know what? I'd do it again, just with less emotion. I trust too much sometimes. I let things go when I probably shouldn't. I have become more jaded over this past year, and I thought by sharing it would help heal. Maybe I was wrong.

The result. I will go on. My family is more important than stressing over something I cannot change. Years ago this would've devastated me. I have learned that you make your own choices and not coming to grips with your emotions can destroy you. I wish I would've smiled and said, "No problem.", but then again, that wouldn't have been me. What is left is between me and my God.

Roll on . . .

Last night I took both "the littles" to their first roller skating outing. Harrison's school had a skate party at the Roller Dome and we had a blast. I nearly peed my pants watching my kids fall over and over and over. Actually, Harrison must have fallen 300+ times, but McCartney, who is the klutziest child, did remarkably well. She had so much fun watching Harrison fall that she actually would "sympathy-fall" for him right after he would.

It was interesting to see her interact with other children. Until know I really haven't observed her with other kids other than daycare and church. She has no fear of rejection, she will talk to any and every child. She made friends with a little girl and they skated around holding hands most of the night. She also watched the kids do the macarena and the cha-cha slide and did all the motions as well. It was hysterical.

The night actually made me remember all the skating parties I went to in elementary school. I can remember tooling around the rink in my jeans with the satin roller skate on the butt and woven ribbon- braided barretts in my hair, groovin' to Blondie's "Rapture" or Queen's "Another One Bite's the Dust". We would then take a break and eat a big ol' Dill Pickle.

Boy, we thought we were cool.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A gift from Harrison . . .

Yesterday afternoon the supervisor came into my office to tell me that Harrison had "thrown up everywhere". When you work at a daycare, you realize that some people have a different idea of what constitutes "everywhere". I went to his room, and sure enough, he had puked everywhere. But, because he is my boy, he didn't get anything on his clothes. I am a good puker. My boy has no problems letting it fly so to speak.

We went home and propped him up on the small couch and he proceeded to beg for food. No way Jay. Finally I got him to sleep and he slept through the evening. I woke about 1:30 in the morning and had the very same issues. Nice. Thanks son.

This morning, after being up all night, I took the kids downstairs and McCartney began the wonderful job of yakking. Nice. She however never acts sick, so she spent the day running around and making a mess. I spent the day on the couch sleeping on and off. Hopefully tomorrow we will be back to work and school.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Every parent's nightmare . . . School pictures . . .

My sweet little kindergartener . . .

My dear Pre-K girl . . .

Call me anytime . . .

I had the most wonderful phone call from Dustin's teacher last night. She began by calling us about busing since there are 1/2 days of school today for teacher conferences. Since Dustin goes to school on a modified day, his buses are not available to bring him home. We are keeping him out of school since I cannot provide transportation. What followed gave my heart hope.

I have been astounded lately at Dustin's progress. The behaviors are still there and always will be. His is impulsive as always and can turn his attitude from good to ugly on a dime. Even though he is more like a 4 year old than a 12 year old, he still has the hormones, and the snarky pre-teen seeps out from time to time. That being said . . .

He is doing REALLY well in school. For those of you who may be new readers, Dustin had a particularly bad run of school last year. His first year of middle school (in a Moderately Handicapped Program) consisted of a 14 day hospital stay, 9 suspensions, countless days in In-School-Suspensions. Behaviorally he was running out of the building, stabbing people with pencils, wrapping the television cord around a teachers neck, biting, yelling, riding on a child's electric wheelchair WHILE the child was in it, etc. Need I say more? Near the end of the school year, we chose in an IEP conference to modify his school day to 2 hours and provide a 1:1 aide. Did I say we chose? I didn't have an option. It was either that or the school system was done. Alternative placements had been exhausted and due to his ow IQ, a behavioral placement would not have been functional for him. (Thankfully, because that was a washout before) According to Article 7 in Indiana, the school is required to provide appropriate placement for my child and if there isn't one they have to create one. In Dustin's case it seemed appropriate placement was home-bound instruction if modified day didn't work. Much to my surprise and delight, it did work. We then increased his day to 3 hours at the beginning of this school year.

This first 10 weeks of school has been spent reintegrating Dustin back into the classroom. His aide accompanies him, but she has taken more and more time to help other children and give Dustin the space to learn to regulate himself in the classroom on his own. He has done REMARKABLY well. When his teacher called me last night, she had nothing but positive things to say about this "new" child in her classroom. His aggressive behaviors have disappeared, and his learning has definitely taken and up-swing. The emergent literacy I am seeing at home is definitely being noticed at school. His writing skills are far superior to where he was before and he has even begun cursive and is excelling. She told me the days that comes home with sad faces on his behavior card is simply because they are increasing their expectations and that those "sad face" days would've been happy face days last year. INCREDIBLE! His aide is increasingly away from his side and he is still remaining on task and focused for the most part. He is even doing 2nd grade story problems in math and loves it.

I was flabbergasted when I got off the phone. I have never, in the 7 years we have had Dustin, received a phone call from the teacher such as this one. I am thrilled at his progress. Now, if he could leave his sister alone. . .

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sunday at the Courthouse Green . . .


We've heard it all over this election from Matt Kelty. The "families of Fort Wayne". Well, today at the Courthouse Green we saw those families of Fort Wayne and they were supporting Tom Henry. As opposed to the "white crew" that supports Matt Kelty in this flyer, this was a diverse crowd kn support of the ONLY mayoral candidate in Fort Wayne. It wsa a beautiful day, a good crowd and a nice visit from Evan Bayh. I saw friends, neighbors, bloggers and some other wonderful people downtown supporting Tom.

I now have a picture of three generations, my father, my husband and my daughter, with Senator Bayh.

I found it amusing that when asked about Evan Bayh flying in to endorse Tom, Kelty said something to the effect of "it's not who support you about economic growth in our community". Maybe that's because no one is supporting you! Ha Ha!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Raise the roof . . .

Today is the day. We begin our roof project. It has needed done for the entire summer, but thankfully has not leaked yet. So today, we have shingles coming to complete the project. I had planned to get up there and help my brother, but I just told Robert that and he said, "I don't think that is a good idea." I laughed and asked why. He replied, "I've seen you trip and fall on a flat surface."

Good point.

Maybe I will still defy my husband and the laws of gravity. If so I'll be sure to post a picture. Isn't home ownership fun?