Sunday, February 9, 2014

Time Keeps on Ticking....

He is obsessed with calendars.
Obsessed.
He has my 2013 planner, a 2013-2014 planner I bought for him, my current 2014 planner (that he steals from my purse everyday), and a 2014 Mickey Mouse calendar on his bed.  He sleeps with them every night.

His favorite app on his iPad (next to google maps) is the calendar.  He can flip from year to year.  I glanced over and saw him all the way up to 6250. Ya know, the year six thousand two hundred fifty.  Right around the corner.

Recently he said, "January is going on a trip.  And January will be back in 2015."

He spent a morning with me at work a few weeks ago.  He grabbed my desk calendar and wrote in the days that were missing at the beginning and ending of each month to fill in the weeks (you know from the previous and upcoming months).  He filled the days in for each month.  I love that I can look at that everyday and see a part of him when I'm at work.


I wonder how he sees the calendar.  I wonder what it is about the calendar that bring him so much joy and comfort.

At least I'll never have to worry about knowing what day it is.  He'll always be sure to let me know.

The minute it turned February, he yelled with glee, "It's February!  Happy Valentine's Day, Mommy!"

He filled out Valentine's for his classmates today.  Writing their names in the "to" section and then his name in the "from" section.  He finished 19 for his classmates, and I didn't have to help once.

He is learning so much at school.  He is getting so tall.  He is becoming such a mischievous, independent, and a rambunctious little boy.

If only that calendar could go backwards sometimes.
I'll even take staying where it is for a bit longer too.
It all moves so fast sometimes.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

How Do We Keep Going?

So I really shouldn't check my Facebook first thing in the morning, before my coffee, before I'm upright. 

That was apparent this week: 
I learned of a childhood friend who's husband is dying, and she will soon have to raise two young children on her own. 
I was reminded of the year anniversary of Sandy Hook. 
There was another school shooting.
A "Superman" in the body of a sick 9 year old boy that left us all too soon. 
It made me wonder why it was even worth getting out of bed?

Then I will hear these words from the other room, "Can I go potty?"

And all I can think next is, I love hearing him say full sentences.  

Better get up and make the coffee and start this day.

And I'll remember to not pick up my iPhone / Facebook until after I get a big hug from my sweet six-year old.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Headache of a Different Kind

The other day when putting my boy to bed, I asked him to stop working on a puzzle so we could go upstairs and put his jammies on.  He objected a bit, as he does every night.  But I reassured him he can finish tomorrow. 

Up the stairs we went.  We finished out nightime routine of washing up, brushing teeth, putting on jammies and reading two books.  As we were moving on to the final step before turning on music and going to sleep, which is getting a small cup of water, I turned around.  He was in tears.  Sudden.  Abrupt.  Makes your heart hurt, tears. 

I asked him what was wrong.  He couldn't answer.  Between the hyperventilating, all he could say was, "Nap." Nap is his description for "I'm sad and need a break."  So I took him back to his room and hugged him as tight as I could.  He was sad about something.  I couldn't figure it out. 

When he settled down a bit, I asked him again why he was sad. 
"I'm sad."

I know.  Is it school?  Is it friends?  Is it Mommy and Daddy?

"No.  Take a nap."

Tears again.

Mike came in to see what was up. 
"Jonathan, does your belly hurt?  Does your head hurt?"
Jonathan pointed to his head as the area that was causing him the discomfort. 
But this cry was not one of pain.  It was one of being sad.  He would stop crying, and then start again a few minutes later. 

Jonathan wanted me to write him a book.  He dictated it to me.  It was called "Jonathan is Sad."
It didn't provide much info, except "I crying.  I take a nap.  Mommy does breathing.  We will do yoga tomorrow.  The end."

So I tried again after about a half hour of on and off crying. 
"Buddy, what hurts?"
He pointed to his head.  Something in his head hurt. 
Could it be his brain?  Like something was left un-done?

"Buddy, do you want to go downstairs and finish your puzzle?"
"YES!"

We went downstairs and he finished the puzzle.  He looked at his finished piece, smiled and said, "OK.  Now we have water and go to bed."

His head hurt, because something was left undone. 
And it broke my heart. 
Little things, like an unfinished puzzle, can weigh so heavy on him. 
Sometimes we need to slow down; listen to hear what he is trying to tell us. 




Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Thanks


So obviously I have not done such a hot job of keeping up with the blog this year.  And I am not making excuses for it, whatsoever.  2013 has seen a lot of joys, challenges, triumphs and defeats.  But I feel like our little family lived every moment of it all. 

With the holiday season upon us, kicking off with Thanksgiving this week, I thought it would be appropriate to quickly reflect on what I am thankful for, from what I learned this year.

  1. I am thankful for Mike.  We celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary this year.  And I was reminded how much fun we have together.  We took a trip up north to Door Co, and laughed the entire time.  This trip came after a rough few months earlier for us as a family.  But through adversity, we came together with strength, commitment and a lot of humor.  Can’t ask for much more!
  1. I am thankful for my growing boy.  As he gets older, he is gaining more confidence, independence and his own way.  We are seeing more and more his sense of humor, his likes and dislikes, and the desire to do things on his own.  Since he started Kindergarten this year at “big school,” it has been amazing to see this growth.  He is learning to make friends; he is trying so hard in everything he does.  I worry as he gets older the factors of adolescence.  Growing up is hard.  I can’t even imagine the outside factors we have ahead of us.  I can only hope for acceptance, tolerance and of understanding.  But I’m also excited to see who this little man will become.

  1. I am thankful for the system.  The system?  Yes.  The school system that is giving our son support that he needs, even if we have to push a little for it.  And for our health insurance that pays for his advanced therapy.  And for the people that work to help him so much.  Without these systems, we would be alone and in the dark.  And we’ve met so many wonderful, good people along the way. 

  1. I am thankful for those that came before us, to fight for assistance where it’s needed.  Sometimes I don’t feel like a “Warrior Autism Mom” because the people that came before me have set up such a positive path.  I still fight where I need to, but knowing I don’t have to fight as hard, and can concentrate on my family makes things that much easier.

I could keep going, but I haven’t blogged or written down my thoughts in a long time.  So I’m a little tired, yo!  Until next time!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sometimes I wish I was Leslie Mann

We are two weeks into Big School. He has been doing great.  I love his teacher.  She seems to get him, and helps him. 

I'm struggling a bit with his special services at school, but it is the beginning of the school year, which I know is a hectic time.  But I hope for some constancy soon. 

He is so wound up by the end of the day.  Poor kid... he goes to school all day, and then has therapy until 6:45 everyday.  It is a full day for anyone.  And he just wants to stay up and sing, yap, dance, read, etc.  I think by having a new routine for the fall, he thrives... and it is hard to settle.

I did have a little boy in his class tell me I have a mean kid.  That my kid pinches the teachers.  Well, I already knew that.  My friends at work told me I should have gone all "This is 40" on the kid.




Honestly, it was funny, because this same kid told me the day before that Jonathan has his friend, and gave him a hug. 

But all in all, we are all getting used to our new routines and new schedules. 


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Change is in the Air

Our little blog received a bit of love from blueridgeoutdoors.com.  And after realizing it had been since May since an updated post, I knew I was woefully behind.

But what to write about?

Our family seems to be in that in between time.  That time where you know change is going to happen soon.  You can see it coming from down the road.  There is nothing you can do to stop it.  You have to just wait and enjoy the ride.

I felt this when I was pregnant with Jonathan.  When we were getting ready for our big move to Wisconsin.  And now again.  This time.... Kindergarten.

Our son has been attending the same preschool since we have moved to this area.  He was 2 1/2 when he started.  He will be six at the end of this month.

We've been preparing for a while.  We had his IEP (Individualized Education Program) worked out with the school system in March.  We've meet teachers and educators at the school.  We talk about "big school" daily.  He knows the first day of school date.  He knows some friends that will also be there.

But he also thinks we will only be visiting Kindergarten, getting back into the blue car, and going to his current classroom at the preschool.

It is getting close to the time I need to write the official social story about "big school."

I've been purchasing the school supplies, noted off the cryptic list his school sends out. Yesterday, while at Target, everyone and their mother were in my way, down each aisle, while I tried frantically to figure out which pre-sharpened pencil brand I needed to purchase.  (Seriously, a family had three generations buying school supplies were in my way!)  I wanted to run in tears.

How can he be this big for school supplies already?  He is no longer a baby, toddler or tiny tot.  He is a school-ager.  He is tall.  He looks like a big boy, with his missing front tooth.  His clothes size no longer match his age, but rather are marked as small, medium or large.

And I worry.   I'll always worry.  It is the unknown that scares me the most.  Will be make friends?  Will other kids like him and be as patient with him as his preschool peers?  Will he be able to keep up to academic expectations?  Will he like school?  Will he like his teachers?  Will his teachers get him?  Will he always be so innocent and lovable and affectionate?

But I need to remember...this is not about me.  This is his journey.  I'm only there to gently guide.  It doesn't make it any easier, does it?

Big Boy walking our neighbor's dog.  What a good helper!



Sunday, May 26, 2013

Love and Luck: Why I Feel Fine After This Ectopic Pregnancy


“You’re pregnant.”

Those were the words the ER nurse told me on May 11th, as I lay in the hospital bed.  My husband took me to the ER two hours prior because I was in so much pain. 

“Pregnant?  I don’t understand?  How is that possible?”

Mike looked at me.  I burst into tears.  Why couldn’t this be easy?

We’ve never been the couple that got pregnant at the snap of the fingers.  We have struggled.  We’ve been struggling for a long time.  I had all but given up.

But now. A glimmer of hope.  But it didn’t feel right.  After all, I was in the emergency room.

I went to the ER because of abdominal pain.  Something hadn’t been right for about a week.  But that day, I couldn’t stand.  I couldn’t use the bathroom.  Turns out my bladder was too full.  My body was calling out S.O.S!

We went home that day, with the news that I was pregnant.  I was to go to my Doctor on Monday to see if my hormone levels increased the way they needed to.  To see if there was a viable pregnancy in there. 

“If all goes well, and I hope it does…”  We said that the next day.  It was Mother’s Day. 

Seven years prior, before Jonathan, we celebrated Mother’s Day for the first time.  I was pregnant.  It took us nine months to get to that point where there were two blue lines on the test.  We told our Mothers.  We were excited at the possibilities of actually being parents.  That ended on Memorial Day when I was rushed to the Operating Room.  The pregnancy was in my tube.  Ectopic.  There was nothing they could do but get it out. 

Five months later, we were pregnant with Jonathan.  We remained cautiously optimistic until we actually saw him on the ultrasound.  We struggled and now we had been rewarded with this gift.

After Jonathan was born, I thought we could have more.  We had always wanted two kids.  Birth control went out the window while my four month old slept in his crib.  My body would be ready, I thought.

And then nothing.  No more blue lines on the test. 

I didn’t want fertility to become a member of our family.  So we were off and on.  Happy to keep trying, ambivalent if it didn’t happen.  Mike and I didn’t want anything invasive.  We had our boy.  We didn’t want to be greedy or press our luck.  If it happened, it happened. 

It didn’t happen.
I shelved that dream.  And I was actually OK with it.

At the doctor’s office on Monday, I went alone.  Mike had to pick up Jonathan at school.  Life needed to keep going. 

There was no life inside me.  Nothing.  It was Ectopic again. My second Ectopic Pregnancy.

No need to rush to surgery this time.  We found out pretty early.  So they treated me with shots.  Shots of chemo, but shots none the less.  This would work.  And in a week, I would come back, things would be working the way they should, and we can get on with our lives. 

I went back the following week.  It was still there.  My levels didn’t go down enough.  I needed another shot.  Why couldn’t my body cooperate?  Why couldn’t this be over?

By Wednesday morning, almost two weeks after getting the news of this pregnancy, I was still in pain.  I didn’t feel right.  Mike took me to the ER that morning.  My Doctor, Mike and I decided, we needed to get this done.  The shots were a great effort, but the tube needed to come out. 

It was the same tube that gave me trouble last time. 

If we took it out, I wouldn‘t ever need to worry about it causing this problem again.  I had a choice.  And I chose to move forward. 

By then, the reality of an actual baby was gone.  It didn’t seem real to me.  I had mourned for two weeks prior.  I had a five year old at home who was scared because Mommy didn’t feel good. 

And so people stepped forward to care for us.  Wonderful people changed their plans to help keep Jonathan’s routine normal while Mommy was in the hospital.  They picked him up from school.  They stayed while he had therapy.  They made him dinner.  They put him to bed.  They made us dinner.  They sent flowers.  They held Mike’s hand.  They held my hand.  They sent love and light and good wishes. 

And Jonathan knew Mommy was OK.  The Doctors made Mommy better. 

All of this made me remember what a precious gift life is.  What a miracle it is to create life.  That my five year old, despite his struggles, his Autism, is the most amazing and special gift I have ever received

Yes, I feel like my body failed me.  And we discovered why we’ve had so many struggles over the years to have a baby.  Turns out there was more going on inside me than I knew.  And I mourn that I can’t give my husband another child…at least naturally. 

But Jonathan.  Wow.  Mike and I are the luckiest.