Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's been a long road....

But the end is in sight (only for another beginning...I'll get to that in a minute...)

A year ago I sat in our formal IEP meeting surrounded by 11 people. Some on "my team" some part of the new team and administrators from his new school. It was the kindergarten transition meeting. After introductions, they turned the meeting over to me to introduce myself and provide my concerns. I began my little speech about how I wanted it ON THE RECORD that I thought it was insane that we were being forced to put Joshua into Kindergarten even though he could really have benefited doing a transitional K program. See, he turned 5 the same week Kindergarten started (he's year round school starts in July). I fought them on this but once they meet the age cut off they had to move into kindergarten or fore-go services. We couldn't afford for him to lose a year of services. But I wanted an official statement in the minutes recording my displeasure with this. The minute I had to open my mouth and really advocate for Joshua and the reality of the situation I couldn't help but sob. Of course, they were polite and acknowledged the issue but nothing they could do so we need to move on...blah blah blah.

Typical IEP meeting proceeded where I said I know my kid he needs this and they said, no not really he needs this, oh we don't do that but he needs that...back and forth back and forth until somehow an agreement was made and Joshua's Kindergarten IEP was finalized. Then the reality hit a month later....he had to actually GO to kindergarten.

I tried to tell them that transitions would be hard and separations would be difficult. The first two weeks Joshua was a saint at drop off, heck he even looked like he was enjoying himself....and everybody was like "see we told you not to worry..." But I knew my son and I knew that the minute he realized this was an EVERY.SINGLE.DAY thing the honeymoon would be over. About two weeks in the tears started. Carpool was no longer a breeze....he refused to get out of the car. I looked to others for help on how I should handle this. Most days I had to drag him into school and listen to his plea's for saving. I cried most days too. I knew it was just the beginning. Most people probably just saw an over protective mom and tried to reassure me that he'll be fine he'll get used to it. They didn't understand that my tears were something deeper because I understood the truth of the situation, he wouldn't get used to it not for a very very long time and I knew I could not listen to him scream every day. I didn't have the emotional capacity to bear the burden. I'm a sensitive person as it is and mama bear instincts come out pretty quickly.

Well, since me walking Joshua into school every day and listening to him scream and him willingly getting out at car pool was not going to work I needed to get creative. So we signed Joshua up for before school care held at the school by the Raleigh parks and rec. This meant for a longer day for Joshua but it also meant a transition time of play before school work started. Also, it meant Matt would drop him off on the way to work instead of me. He still cried when dropped off and had issues but I wasn't there to hear it therefore his cries were not drilled in my head the rest of the day. Also he wasn't crying in front of all his classmates, there were kids there but it was a small group and a spectrum of kids from all grades. It took most of the year but this past month or so drop offs have gone remarkably well and we are happy with the situation.

He finishes Kindergarten in 4 days and then has a week off and then we begin our first grade journey. I think this transition will go much better. But I'm sure the year will bring many more ups and downs but I know I have watched a boy grow so much over the past year that I can say with pride and adoration that Joshua is ready for first grade. The only tears I cry now are those of heartfelt pride. The key to his success lies in the support of his therapists and resource teachers at school and we were so blessed with an amazing teacher and TA who has just loved Joshua all year and made sure that he succeeded.

Now I think it's time to plan a MNO and take a deep breath and have a few drinks...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I've always known that Meds were good....

At least for me, meds have been a godsend. You do not want me off my meds it is a bad bad thing.

Well we started Joshua on meds 1 1/2 years ago and it's been good and bad but little improvements over time. Well we decoded his Current medication was not doing enough so we made the decision to change his meds again. We went to his doctor and agreed to try vyvanese.

Well I went into day one cautiously optimisic and I noticed he was leas hyper but didn't do cartwheels just yet.
It's day 2 and if I could do cartwheels I would. Today has been amazing and I'm still cautiously optimistic but it was a very promising day.

First one of his best friends was over this morning and he was not hyper and stayed engaged and had a blast playing video games together.

Well the most amazing thing happened while I wasn't at home. Today matt told Joshua to put the game controller down and come have lunch. Wait for it........
Without a tantrum, meltdown or even a whiny complaint he put his controller down and went to the table. He politely asked daddy how much he needed to eat before he could go back and play. Matt told him all of it. And he did. This is amazing eating battles are a nightmare and stopping him from doing something he loves never goes well. Not only did he eat all of his food he then politely asked to be excused. Whose child is this and can I keep him.

Again I remain cautious and hope this lasts. But today I say loud an proud...meds are good and it's a family thing :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The noise noise noise noise

Some days I wonder who has the sensory issues...maybe it's me...because the constant noise drives me crazy. I long for our school days to resume so the house can be quiet for a few hours a day. My kids are non-stop talkers. Be quiet please.

In the car is the worst. Here is the conversation that took place yesterday while I was driving.

I'm on the phone with my sister trying to talk to her over the kids yapping in the background. I must have made a comment to Tammy about something being stupid.

Joshua: have something to tell you....

Me: I'm on the quiet.

Joshua: It's really important!

Me: What is so important.

Joshua: You said Stupid.

Me: Sigh, sorry.


Me: (Still trying to have a conversation with Tammy) Exasperated I loudly say "WHAT!!!"

Emily: Joshua said Stupid...

Me: silence. Back to my conversation with Tammy

Joshua: need to tell you something important...

Me: WHAT?!?!?!??!?!??!?!?!

Joshua: Emily said stupid....

Rinse, Repeat, continue....Gun to my head and pull trigger!

The questions and comments are non stop all day... Mom, Joshua's hurting me....Mom, Emily's being Annoying, Mom Joshua is annoying me....Mom, can I have your phone, Mom can I play video games, mom can I have a snack, mom can I...Can I....Can I.....

Or when they ask something and I say no.... JOshua's new thing he does in the most whiny voice ever...."But whhhhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy"


To end a few random funny things my kids asked in the last 24 hours...

On the way to bed last night Emily asks out of the blue: "dad can I have a tv in my room"

Today, Joshua runs to daddy and says "Dad can you build me a computer?"

Daily Mantra: The days are long but the years are quick....the days are long but the years are quick...the days are long but the years are quick....thank god the years are quick (just kidding...I really do love my kids just not the noise).

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


So two 1/2 weeks ago Joshua tracked out and Emily had her last day of preschool. The first week was a breeze with the kids. It didn't hurt that we spent the week in Myrtle beach with my parents. The last week and a half have been hellish. I'm fine with one or the other one at home but put them together for a few weeks and it's constant whining, bickering, tattling and crying. (the crying is mostly me ;))

I have went out of my way to keep the kids active and do fun things with them. But I'm ready for Joshua to go back to school next Monday. Sadly, Emily is stuck with me until July 11. I found a summer camp for her from 9-1 Monday through Fridays. She will start in july and go until mid august. Six glorious weeks with mornings all to myself. I am counting down  the days. 

I love my homeschool buddies and I am most definitely surrounded by them. However I can't for the life of me figure out how you spend day in and day out with your kids without blowing your brains out. 

Am I the only parent who looks forward to sending my kids away daily :p. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Am I really the expert here?

Am I really the expert here regarding my son? I keep reading these posts and blogs and IEP helpful resources that say you are your child's advocate and you are the best expert about your child. God, I hope not. That in itself is a scary thought because if I'm the expert he is really screwed. Yeah, I can point out all of his crazy behaviors, his weaknesses, and his short-comings but I have no idea what to do about them or how to fix them or if we need to fix them or why he does and doesn't do certain things. So please stop looking at me for answers. I really don't have any.

Joshua gets dropped off at school during the before school program ran by the community center. We started doing this to give him a chance to ease into school instead of being dropped off and immediately sent to class to begin morning work. This way he gets to go in and play games and if he's going to meltdown at least it's not in front of all his class mates.

For the most part, Joshua behaves pretty well at school. He listens and follows directions. Right now, I felt that our biggest problem was the stupid potty accidents (see I can't go a single post without mentioning it).

Until the phone call last week.....the lady who is in charge of the before care program calls. They have been really great with Joshua. However, it turns out Joshua has been having a few issues. Here is how the conversation went.

Lady: Joshua has been withdrawing from the group play and going over to sit by himself and not particating.

Me: He has autism.

Lady: he's been trying to run out the door into the hallway.

Me: He has autism.

Lady: When it's time to line up to go to class he runs around the cafeteria like it's a game and doesn't listen.

Me: He has autism.

Look, I'm not using autism as an excuse here. I get it these are new behaviors that you are seeing during your time with him. I know he has not done these things in the past and other than melting down during drop off he's always been pretty good about participating and listening. But these are the behaviors we see at home. My guess is he is starting to feel really comfortable and acting out. I have no answers for you. I haven't figured out how to deal with these issues at home so I don't know what to tell you. sorry.

Joshua's annual IEP meeting is next week. I know I'm supposed to get prepared. I have his current progress reports and his current goals. I have no idea what to expect for first grade or what services I should be fighting for. I have a feeling most of our IEP meeting will be about his potty accidents. And they will be looking to me for answers and all I will be able to say is...

He has Autism.

So to end, I am pleading can someone else please take over the role as expert because I clearly suck at it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I would like to thank the academy....

My friend Jen who has an AWESOME blog gave me my first blog award. :) I would like to thank the academy of bloggers for this prestigious award. :) Of course, I would like to thank my son for the inspiration for my.....wait....what? Oh, it's a blog award but there's no trophy or money? Oh...nevermind. On to the rules....

1. Thank the person who awarded you and link back to them in your post.
2. Tell 7 Random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to 15 new found bloggers.
4. Contact each blogger you want to pass the award on to and let them know you’ve done so,

Thanks Jen you rock. :) I do feel very special now. You do inspire me to keep a blog and although I try to be witty, your blog is so much funnier.

1. I met my DH online back in 1996. We are still married, not going strong but going ;).

2. I am in love with Matthew Macougnahay (sp?) I'm too lazy to look up the correct spelling. I should learn it if we are going to get married one day.

3. I have lost 50# since June 2010.

4. I love to scrapbook and I'm pretty good at it if I do say so myself.

5. I love to travel and start planning my trips in January. We are going to Myrtle beach, Maine, Indiana (twice) and the western Caribbean. (again the spelling)

6. I'm addicted to the internet (duh!)

7. Most people like me? right?

15 bloggers? really? really? Hmmmm......

I guess it doesn't count to throw it back at Jen ;).

Lola, she makes the best jewelry and deserves an award.

I'm a rebel. I break the rules. I only got one. :)

Okay that's it for now. I'll be back later to brag about my son's first tooth that fell out. Yay. :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Okay enough with the potty mouth

I know the last thing you want to hear about is more potty issues. But hey this is my life right now. Joshua needs to stop having accidents for my own insanity. I can deal with the meltdowns, the biting, the refusing to eat dinner or any resemblance of a healthy meal.

No Joshua, gummy bears are not a power food.

BUT I can NOT deal with potty issues. I hate potty training. I've been working with his resource teacher, OT, and teacher at school we are trying to combat the potty issues. They have created a log sheat so I have detailed information when he does have an accident other than just a bag of clothes sent home. They also have a schedule of when he is going to be told to go to the restroom. Great. However, he has refused to go when they tell him to and can not force him to the restroom. The other day they were telling him he needed to go try to use the potty and he sat in his chair refusing and then he wet his pants. *BANGING HEAD AGAINST WAll*

At home he has accidents. I kind of threw my hands up in the air last night after yet another accident. I told Joshua "I don't know what to do, I don't know why you are having accidents, what can I do to help you stop having accidents"

These were more rhetorical questions, not expecting an answer but yet he gives me one.

Let me stop going to school and I won't have accidents. At that point I just had to walk away.

A few minutes later I went back to the bathroom. He was taking a bath and I sat down to talk to him. I explained how the bladder works and how you get that sensation when you have to go and does he get that and he was like yeah. Then I asked him why don't you go to the bathroom. He says I don't want to stop or I'm focused on something. (paraphrased)

I then ask well doesn't it feel uncomfortable to sit in wet pants?

His answer was no. I reworded the question 100 different ways to make sure he understood what uncomfortable meant and well he does. He says he likes sitting in wet pants and it is comfortable.

All I can say now is HELP. I don't know how to work with this. Does anyone out there understand? Any Advice? Any light at the end of the tunnel?

Friday, March 25, 2011

My heart --- insert knife

Joshua has been having potty accidents a lot lately at school. I am so frustrated, matt is so frustrated, everyone is frustrated (except Joshua I assume). During school, if he has a good day behavior wise he has a green day. He usually has a green day. But every morning I hug and kiss him goodbye and say okay, let's work really hard and not have any potty accidents today and let's make sure to have a green day. When he has good days and is successful he jumps in the car and announces, "Mommy, I had a green day and no potty accidents" My response has always been, "Joshua great job, I'm so proud of you".

On day he doesn't achieve one or the other he doesn't say anything. I usually question his day and asked him why he didn't get a green day or why he had a potty accident. I know these questions can be futile especially with kids on the spectrum. The answers are always I don't know. And he certainly may not. I as his mom don't understand so why should he.

Anyways, back to today. This morning he was so excited because ANGRY BIRDS RIO came out. This boy loves his "wacky birds" as he calls them. It's his favorite app. And he's better at it than me. So I promised him that if he had a green day and no potty accidents then we would buy RIO tonight when he got home.

Sadly, he got in the car and did not have a green day and had a potty accident. Sigh. I asked him what happened, etc. He said I don't know. I didn't really know what to say.

Then out of the blue he said, "mommy, are you still proud of me.." in the absolute most pathetic little voice I ever heard.

I swear I almost burst into tears. I assured him that I love him and am always proud of him. I gave him big hugs. Then I was looking through his communication folder and saw that he passed his weekly sight word test. 100% so he gets to move onto the next set of words. This is our goal every week. So I immediately high-five him and congratulate him. He immediately says, "since I knew all my words and get to move up, can I please have Angry Birds Rio"

What is a mom, who just had her heart ripped out, supposed to say to that.

I gotta go now, Joshua wants to show me something cool on his new angry birds app.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Best Kept Secret

So apparently, federal law mandates that parent counseling/training be written in the IEP if so requested. Here is the article that addresses the issue. Our IEP meeting is coming up and this is something that would really benefit our family. However, I can't find the language in the actual IDEA to confirm this article? Anybody else have any knowledge? Has anyone ever asked for this? How did you proceed. Now that you know about it will you be looking into it? I would love to hear your thoughts.

The Best Kept Secret
School Districts are Obligated Under Federal Law to Offer Parent Counseling and Training

By Tracey Spencer Walsh, Esq.
Senior Counsel
Mayerson and Associates

When you have a child with autism, there are so many things to “stress about” but parents should not have to do it all alone. School districts are obligated under federal law to offer, as a related service on the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), parent counseling and training. It is the best kept secret.

It is perhaps the most overlooked legal right parents with an ASD child have. Many school districts around the country ignore this provision, and some, like the New York City Department of Education, claim it is embedded in its District 75 (Special Education) program and therefore routinely fails to put parent counseling and training on the children’s IEPs.

Imagine that you are at your child Josh’s IEP meeting either for the first time or the “umpteenth” time. Your child’s teacher paints a picture that, no matter what she tries, she can’t get Josh’s behaviors under control – she’s “at a loss.” You think to yourself, “Me too!” The Committee on Special Education (CSE) chairperson sighs and says, “That’s very typical with autism,” and moves on to discuss the class size your child should be in next year. Wait. Stop. Typical of autism? Hmm … you were told by Josh’s pediatrician that autism is a spectrum disorder and that Josh will present with unique needs and, while there are commonalities among ASD children, there is nothing typical about autism; behaviors vary from child to child and there can be a multitude of reasons for the behaviors. But you are not sure and you are in a room filled with educators – don’t they know best? You think so, but that is not how you feel. You are not even sure what questions you should ask, but you try and blurt out, “Are Josh’s behaviors normal?” The teacher is about to answer, but the CSE chairperson cuts her off and answers you with a curt, “Yes, it’s normal for children with autism,” and continues with the conversation about class size. You are just not sure. During the meeting, the team decides on the related services Josh will get: speech and language therapy and occupational therapy. It occurs to you more strongly than ever that you really need help with managing these “normal behaviors” and you ask, “Is there any help I can get to help Josh with his behaviors?” The CSE chair gives you a sympathetic smile and tells you that she is sure there are parent groups you can join, but offers you nothing beyond that. You think to yourself, “I need help supporting Josh’s needs at home – I don’t know how they teach him skills at school.”

Know Your Federal Rights

Your instinct is right, and Congress has recognized that parents do need help in the form of parent counseling and training. The federal regulations define parent counseling and training as:
(i) … assisting parents in understanding the special needs of their child;
(ii) providing parents with information about child development; and
(iii) helping parents to acquire the necessary skills that will allow them to support the implementation of their child’s IEP or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) (34 C.F.R. 300.34(c)(8)).

Parent counseling and training is mandated as a related service to be offered as part of your child’s IEP.

The Official Comments to the Federal Regulations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) help us to understand what is meant by parent counseling and training (Under the Related Services heading in the Official Comments published March 12, 1999 in the Federal Register (Vol. 64, No. 48, at page 12423, et seq.), Parent Counseling and Training is included and defined).

The federal law makes it clear that parents are entitled to counseling and training in how they can help implement their child’s IEP goals and objectives.

Parents can and should ask that parent counseling and training be listed as a related service on their child’s IEP. The frequency and duration of the parent counseling and training depends on what your child’s needs are. A student with autism with many severe behaviors should have intensive parent counseling - a half hour once a month is not enough. Parents should present an expert report at the IEP meeting or have an expert participate at the meeting who can recommend the level of parent counseling and training that is appropriate for the disability you are supporting at home.

Parent counseling and training, as obligated under federal law, should not be the best kept secret and, hopefully now, the cat is out of the bag.

Tracey Spencer Walsh, JD (Fordham University School of Law, ’94) is the Senior Counsel at Mayerson & Associates, a New York law firm dedicated to representing children and adolescents on the autism spectrum, and assisting families in accessing the education and related services necessary and appropriate for students. For six years, Ms. Walsh worked as an educator and served as an Upper School Dean of Students at an independent school in Rye, New York.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Magic 8 Ball please

Something's been on my mind for a long time and I haven't been able to put words to it. The last few days I've been mulling things over more and more and I realized that my frustration with Autism has to do with the unknown.

With a typical child, for all the phases and issues that arise there is guidance out there to help navigate through it all. Most information out there will apply to your typically developing child. So most parents have a pretty decent road map to their kids' development, phases, and common issues.

The problem with Autism is that even within the Autism community there is no such road map. You all know the saying if you've met one child with Autism then you've met one child with Autism. This is the part that is so frustrating. Even the moms I know with autistic kids are all on different parts of the spectrum or their child's weakness is J's strengths and vice versa.

I have a pretty decent road map for Emily and though there may be detours along the way I know that there are things she will learn and accomplish at certain times in her life based on others' experiences. Since no two kids with Autism are alike, I don't feel like I really have others' experiences to rely on for him.

Although I am surrounded by a pretty big support network it still feels like we are alone on this journey and nobody can really understand what it's like raising Joshua or offer any kind of roadmap.

For now, all I can hold onto is my faith to get me through and the new magic 8 ball application I uploaded to my iphone.

Will Joshua ever stop having potty accidents.

*shake shake shake*

Magic 8 ball says: "Does not look promising."

Well that's not helpful either.

I guess that just leaves it up to my faith.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where does Autism begin and end

Joshua is a great kid with a great personality. He is high functioning. He makes decent eye contact and plays well with one or two others. He gets lost in a group and doesn't seek out group games. He tells me all the time he is just shy. If he doesn't know the person or see the person very often he'll probably hide behind me and not say hi or speak to them even with me gently prodding him to do so. He is very smart and loves video games and puzzles and building with legos. He is very analytical. He loves his sister first thing in the morning but by mid morning realizes that it's more fun to terrorize her and annoy her. He's almost 6 and still pees and poops in his pants. He was almost completely potty trained but then regressed mid year of last year. He uses the potty most of the day but we still struggle with it. I'm hoping it fully clicks at somepoint.

Our biggest issue is discipline. When do we discipline and when do we offer grace because it's out of his control. How do you tell the difference between what is the autism controlling his actions or a boy misbehaving. I tend to fall on the give him grace and not be too harsh on him and my DH falls on the side of discipline.

In the morning when it's time to get dressed, he takes off through the house fighting us every step of the way. He thinks it is a game and is giggling the whole time and then we catch him and have to force his clothes on so he won't be late. Matt gets frustrated and Joshua gets in trouble. I get frustrated at Matt and at the situation because I don't know what the answer is. Matt believes that Joshua should be dressing himself every day. It's hard when you have a 4 year old girl who is fully dressed some mornings before I even wake up because she loves clothes.

We battle over meals every single day. Dinner time is a pita. We get him to the table and he takes one look and says "yuck" and runs off. We fight with him and force him to sit down and eat. This goes on a long time before we just tire and let him go off. Right before bed he cries he is hungry.

So where do you draw the line between disciplining for bad behavior and autism behavior? How do you handle different scenarios. I don't have the answers and am very lost. Emily is picking up on his "behaviors" which is aggravating. It's hard punishing one but not the other? How do you make the punishment fit the situation? On one hand, I know he doesn't get a pass in life because he has autism and I try to treat him typically but on the other hand I don't want to make things worse by punishing him for things out of his control. I don't always know what is and isn't his control and it gets very confusing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I learned through Autism

Since getting Joshua's diagnosis I have learned to stop judging other moms. It's amazing how harsh moms are about other moms. Reading posts on message boards will show you how critical we can be of other people. I no longer look down on moms in a store with a child melting down. I don't think wow, that kid needs discipline or what is that mom doing. I realize things aren't always as they seem. That everybody needs the benefit of doubt and encouraging words. Most moms just do the best they can and having a child with Autism who looks typical to the outside world helps me be more sympathetic to others.

Belonging to different moms groups has its benefits. I became aware early on that if I had any concerns there was free evaluations through the county even at the age of 2. I never would have known this had it not been for these message boards. I have met some really good friends through message boards and online groups. They definitely have their benefits.

HOWEVER, and this is a big however, they also bring out the worst in people. You realize that parenting is controversial. So many things to debate. So many things to make you feel superior or inferior in your own parenting style. Vaccinate, don't vaccinate. Cry it out, don't cry it out. Spank, don't spank. Co-sleep, don't co-sleep. Everyone becomes so threatened by these debates. Why does it matter if someone chooses one or the other. Why do moms feel threatened by these debates.

There is definitely truth in this humor.

So whether or not you have a child with special needs, realize that most moms are doing the best they can, don't be so quick to judge and let's just be nicer to each other. It will make the world a better place. Like my mom always taught me, if you don't have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Stop pooping in the sandbox

Well, that got your attention didn't it. :) Well, this blog isn't about Joshua, although it very well could have been a year ago when he would strip off his clothes in the backyard and run around naked and sometimes do his business. I've disinfected the slide more often than I want to admit. I'm glad that phase is pretty much over for Joshua, cute and endearing at the age of 3 & 4 not so much at 5 & 6.

Back to the sandbox...It's not Joshua who is doing his business in the sandbox it's stupid outdoor cats that do NOT belong to me. I love cats, I really do. I have owned 4 cats but only one remains. I just hate and despise outdoor cats. Just because you love your cat doesn't mean that every neighbor around you loves your cat. I'm not sure why people think it is okay to have outdoor cats that roam in other people's yards.

I'm not perfect. I know I know that's shocking to hear, but I'm not just ask Matt. I am forever forgetting to cover the sandbox which leads to annoying outdoor cats that think I've left them one gigantic litter box which means we are dumping and replacing sand constantly. I try to remember to cover the box but life gets crazy and I just forget. We replace the sand and I'm really good about covering the box for a few weeks and then laziness sets in.

I'm guessing I will not be getting a lot of RSVP's to future playdates at my house after I publish this post.

Friday, March 11, 2011

What's for lunch?

When someone asks you what did you have for lunch I'm sure that is a pretty easy question for most people. For me today, I grabbed a sandwich on the way home. If I ask Emily, she'll tell you cheeseburger, french fries, KETCHUP (mostly ketchup) and chocolate milk.

Now onto Joshua- He gets in the car every afternoon in carpool. I use this 10 minute ride on the way home to interrogate...errr...I mean talk to him. I ask him this simple question What did you eat for lunch today. Not because I really care what he eats. I let him buy his lunch every day because he likes it. Saves me time from making the same boring turkey sandwich every day for it just to come home uneaten. So now, he can just eat or not eat their food. Costs me the same but saves me time.

So back to the question...Joshua, What did you have for lunch today?

It never fails, the answer has always been the same since day one. I don't know. What do you mean I don't know. How do you not know what you ate for lunch. This little back and forth goes on for a few minutes and I finally give up the answer question part of our ride home. If he was ever captured as a hostage he would be very reliable and trustworthy, he'll keep all your government secrets. He'd never give up any intel. I promise.

So it's half way through the year and I have no idea what he has ever eaten at school. NOw i know he eats because I interrogate....err...I mean talk to his teachers every once in awhile and they assure me that he is not sitting in the corner wasting away from starvation.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

my diva

Okay, my parents are in town and me and my mom have been doing a LOT of shopping. Seriously, I haven't shopped this much since Christmas. Emily is going to be 4 in a few weeks so my mom bought her some presents to celebrate while she is here. She bought her a beautiful Easter dress. It is spectacular. And of course a matching hat, shoes and purse. She also got her a polly pocket toy. Emily has been playing with that thing for 2 hours and is in heaven. Besides changing her clothes 100 x a day she loves changing her dolls clothes so I knew she was ready for Polly Pocket. :)

Well, we got a tax refund recently and let me share something with you but it's our secret okay.  I spent $300.00 on clothes for Emily yesterday. Shh....don't tell Matt. Luckily he takes no interest in my blog and never reads it so I know it is safe here. *eye rolling*
I went insane shopping. I had so much fun. This girl is set for clothes (well she'll still need actual play clothes from target, you know the $3-$4 crap you don't care if they get dirty.

I spent $80 at Kohls. $80 at Children's Place, $52 at Payless, $70 at Penney's. I've justified it saying these are part of her birthday presents. You know how those justifications work, right. :)

I think the craziest thing I bought this girl was 4, yes I said 4 pairs of shoes. White sandals, floral sandals, pink dressy flats, and a new pair of dora tennis shoes. Not to mention the white dress shoes mom bought for Easter. I told you I went crazy. This is the first time in years that I bought her stuff that wasn't Target play wear. She is going to be stylin'. I know I shouldn't encourage her but when I was a kid I loved dressing my dolls and now I have my very own Doll to dress. ;)

I think I love buying her clothes because I know they will fit and be cute. Unlike shopping for myself. I did buy myself a new top yesterday but shopping in my department was just boring and depressing. So I ventured back to the girls department. I think Emily may be safe from the "glass child" syndrome. Of course she keeps asking me to play Polly Pockets with her and well, sorry honey, mommy is busy right now...blogging about how great of a mom I am to you. Yes, I know the irony of this is not lost on me.  But people, it's barely 9am and I haven't even woken up yet.

Now you may be wondering about poor Joshua what did I get him. Well I got him a hex bug from Target. They are really cool if you haven't seen them before. They provide hours of entertainment for my boy.|1287991011&ref=sr_bx_1_1&x=0&y=0

I also bought him a 2 inch memory foam mattress to go on top of his futon. Now that he is growing he should have a better bed and he doesn't want a regular bed because he likes that he can have a "couch" in his room when he has friends over.

Clothes, did he get clothes. Well Mom bought him his easter suit and 2 new pair of shorts. That's it. That's all he needs. Wondering why? Well he is still in a size 4. He has been in a size for at least a year and a half. It's crazy. So he has a dresser full of clothes he can still wear. So again, I justified Emily's expenditures because I didn't need to buy Joshua clothes so I could spend that money on Emily.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I haven't posted in awhile and I am sitting here thinking about witty things to talk about. But life is pretty mundane right now. I had to put a lock on Emily's closet because I got tired of her changing clothes 300 x a day. She declared she wanted clothes for her birthday instead of toys. She's 4 not 14 in case you were wondering.

Joshua starts back to school tomorrow and my stomach is in knots over this. I am ready to send him back to school. This past week he's been a handful. On the other hand, I wish he didn't have to go so I could keep him at home and protect him from all the hurt and hate in the world. One bubble to go please. :)

I've been reading a lot more articles and blogs on autism lately. Sometimes they are easy to read and humorous and other times downright painful. I wear my emotions on my sleeve which is probably not the best thing for Joshua. He doesn't need a mom who starts bawling at the first sight of injustice against him. I need to toughen up but it's so hard.

I've watched a video the other day about Glass Children. If you don't know what that is it refers to the typical siblings of special needs kids. It was  a real eye opener for me and I need to make sure I take care of Emily as well as Joshua. Here's the video. It's worth the watch even if you don't have special needs kids. I try to pay attention to Emily and spend a lot of alone time with her. I do worry about how Joshua acts out against her sometimes. I'm sure it seems like we don't punish Joshua enough. Hopefully, one day she will understand. In the meantime, I just need to continually make her feel loved and special and know that she is just as important to us as Joshua. Of course, this would be a lot easier to do if she wasn't a girl who acted like a teenager. Oh the talking back, and attitude, and arguments. Sometimes, she is more difficult than Joshua. Not sure why I ever taught her to talk.

Hopefully, I will do enough for my kids not to scar them too badly. Maybe instead of a college fund, we should start a therapy fund...hmmm....need to call our financial advisor and discuss. :P

Monday, February 21, 2011

but but but why......and the constant noise

Joshua was delayed in language, didn't really start speaking until 3 1/2 we were so excited when he learned to talk.

Emily had lots of ear infections and her speaking cleared up about 3ish.

We were so thrilled.....

Now...I just need the constant noise and whining and questions to stop. Please. Pretty Please.

When I say no to Joshua his new thing is to say Bbbbut Bbbut why??? I find this quite endearing but I stick to my guns.

Emily is the biggest issue. OMG.....just be quiet for five minutes. Enough with the questions, comments, whining, demands.

She loves to talk all the time. I went to Target yesterday and had to take both kids. Joshua sat there the whole time in the cart playing his game. Emily talked the WHOLE time. Asking for this and that. She just wouldn't zip it. I had a headache when I left.

I always think back to an old quote I've read. "Two mistake new parents always make...they teach their kids to walk and talk"


Friday, January 28, 2011

I should be flattered...

I should be flattered. I went to an autism event last Friday held at jumping beans a chance for families with autism to have a controlled environment for their kids to play and a chance to fellowship with other parents.

Joshua was actually having a very good night. He was happy energetic playing well with others and terrorizing his sister, he was showing off his "typical side" so to speak.

Well I got to talking to another mom with a 4 yr old with autism. He wasn't as high functioning as Joshua but he did remind me a lot of Joshua when he was 4. Well she just could not believe hat joshua had autism.

"but he makes great eye contact"

Well yeah I said that has never been a major issue for him I explained.

"he's playing so well with others"

Yeah I know, he's having a good night.

"He just came over and had a long conversation with you, my son would never do that. "

Yeah my son didn't start talking until he was 3 and he is almost 6. He was similar to your son back then.

"he reminds me a lot of my niece, she's not on the spectrum just hyperactive"

Hmm well you know what they say you meet one child with autism, you've met one child with autism. As I smile nicely and excuse myself to go play with my apparently typical child and to tear him off of Emily.

Here is what I wanted to say.

Look I know I should be flattered that you think there is nothing wrong with my child but enough already. Stop questioning. He's two years older than your son. I want to really go into all his struggles but I'm here to relax and I don't feel the need to justify nor defend his diagnosis.