A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Friday, October 30, 2009

I Am Not a Teflon Mom

Wednesday night I had a company dinner and so arrived home late. When I got home, my oldest boy was complaining of tummy problems and quickly dashed to the bathroom. When he came out, he was red faced and clammy with watery eyes.
In short,he looked really bad.
So we talk about how he feels and he tells me that his tummy really hurts.
And then he says "May I be excused?" and of course we say yes and he says "I have to go throw up."
Which he then does.
All night long.

It goes on until about 4am, and this is where I have to admit something.

OMG I lay there in terror, in between the vomit, hoping that he didn't sit up and puke all over me. Some moms get all barfed up and they must have Teflon skin - not me. I cannot STAND it. I mean - I'm THERE for him, wiping his mouth, giving him a drink to rinse and spit.....getting towels, giving hugs.
Oh GOD please don't puke on me.

He wanted to snuggle up and lay on me and that just kept me awake even more. I could hear every gurgle of his tummy, every moan in his sleep even better and I'm a ball of tension - don't barf on me please don't barf on me.

The next morning he bounces out of bed completely excited and off we went to school - he was feeling great and I chalked it up to something he ate. (Of course by then I'm not feeling go at all).

Of course the school called a few hours later. They had 150 kids have to go home due to vomiting and mine was one of them. The board of health showed up and they've closed the school because it's more than 10% of the school population.

All I know is - nobody barfed on me, and that is all good.

I leave you with a pic of the twins, on pajama day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I love u more today than yesterday

but not as much as tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Comes to Georgia

It's official. Fall is here. We marked the occasion by heading to the mountains to the Mecca of pumpkin acqusition - BURTS FARM.



We had to start with that most joyous of all fall traditions - THE HAYRIDE. Why oh why is this so much fun? Is it because we don't have HAY and wagons in our daily lives (well, we nonfarmer types don't). I mean, it's messy, everyone's allergies go nuts, there's a bumpity ride. But still. It's absolutely joyous fun - especially for the munchkins - you can absolutely see the joy.




And well you know, then we had to get some pumpkins!




First up - the FAMILY pumpkin. We opted NOT to get some hundred pound monstrosity this year.




And then the boys each got to pick one out.
You can see Miles is being an awfully big boy getting his own.

The littlest one kicked this white one - so we decided THAT one was his.







And then Mommy picked out a blue one and Daddy picked out an old fashioned one.






So as you can imagine - we've got some pumpkin carving to do! It's going to be a busy night one night VERY soon I tell you what.



Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Boy Has Got To Go

My littlest boy has sensory issues, which are part and parcel with autism it seems. It's kind of hard to explain - but let me lay it out the way they did for me. You know how when you are sitting motionless and not moving - you can still FEEL yourself - right? Even motionless, you know you are there. Your nerve endings continue to transmit a message to your brain that says HERE ARE THE FEET, HERE ARE THE LEGS etc etc etc.
You know you are there.
His brain doesn't do that for him.
Thus - he SEEKS sensation.
It can take easy paths like spinning objects and wringing his hands.........
or like we're going through now........

holding onto his poop.

See, that pain - it's sensation. He desperately craves sensation that you and I take for granted.

We calculate it's been at least three days - and he hasn't gone. We've put prunes and dried apricots in him three days on a row (lots of them) at the doctors advice. We took him to a new doctor to HELP us with him because we're a little overwhelmed.

Because see, he's at the point now that while he's still the master of his domain - it's causing him terrible physical pain. So he screams. Blood curdling shrieks, to be exact. Last night it was all night, and my exhausted husband sat up with him, holding him until sleep took over and then carrying his giant 45 pound body up the stairs to bed.

The boy has to go poop.

This morning I tried making the sweetest, creamiest coffee in the world and then iced it. He spit it out. The other two kids gobbled it up. One was already a coffee addict so put the eyebrows down. My mother started drinking coffee when she was like 4. They're fine.

This lack of poop is creating havoc and chaos family wide. Everyone's nerves are shot from the screaming and crying. You can't reason with him. You can't even BRIBE him - he doesn't understand "Mommy will buy you a puppy if you will poop!"

This morning he ate three more prunes and some dried apricots in addition to his breakfast.

Somethings gotta give.

Or it'll be Infinite Ease with the One Handed Squeeze I tell you what.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Popcorn Up The Nose - Redux

My middle child has a new favorite hobby.
It's shoving popcorn kernels up his nose. Brilliant - eh?

Last week it was innocuous enough - annoying and weird but easily remedied and life moved on.

But yesterday.......YESTERDAY...I returned home from work and the boy had a popcorn kernel shoved up into his nostril.......oh not just into his nostril.

Back toward the SINUS - where you couldn't get it out.


Off we went to the ER.


Sigh. Damned ER - you know we waited for hours to get in.


On the lighter side, Miles made friends with a sweet elderly Chinese couple. I'm not sure that they understoond that he was austistic - but they thought he was hilarious and he danced and sang and counted for them. At one point he started dancing and clapping and they got up and danced with him (the man got out of his WHEELCHAIR to do so). It was rather touching and sweet to see them playing with him, clearly they had huge sweet hearts to be so engaging to such a little strange boy.


To just absolutely cap this tender moment, the boy walked over to the man's wheelchair and put a tight grip on it's arm.


And grunted.


And grunted.


And FARTED.


And grunted and squirmed.


Yes. He pooped his pants.


The old man thought it was HYSTERICAL and laughed so hard I thought he was going to die.


I on the other hand nearly crawled under my chair.......as not only the old couple were privvy to this display - EVERYONE watched it happen.


Because you know, WELCOME TO AUTISM.


Sigh.


The doctor and a nurse put the boy on a papoose board and using suction removed the offending popcorn kernel in about 2 seconds.


And we are on popcorn moratorium around here, I tell you what.......

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Advanced Maternal Age Is A Valid Diagnosis

This is the mantra at the perinatologist, apparently. If we heard it once, we heard it 20 times during our visit for luchal translucency (down syndrome) screening. This is the drum they beat to make insurance companies pay for the myriad tests they're going to put us through.
Sarah and I sort of have a philosophy about being high risk, it goes like this. "SWEET! MORE PICTURES"! I realize that sounds a little snarky, but - in my case anyway - it's like being high risk without being high risk at all.
What is boils down to, is that they have diagnosed me as being OLD.

Seriously. Are you fecking kidding me?

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the red carpet treatment. I love knowing that my odds of having a Down Syndrome or Trisomy 18 baby are LOW LOW LOW after the testing was done, we have none of the genetic markers. Next we'll do neural tube defect testing so you know - MORE PICTURES! Plus I get to see the sex by then so that'll be fun.

I'm just not worried.

I saw that tiny human on the screen, with it's arms and legs stretching and rubbing it's head....and I can see that it's fine. Maybe it's because I didn't even start having kids until I was 34 that this just doesn't seem like such a huge deal to me. I was always "an older mother".

But I refuse to treat being pregnant like a disability. It's a gift, it's my hearts desire. And I will not see it otherwise, regardless of the testing and screenings that are required.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Unrepentantly Spoiling Him

My oldest boy turned 7 at the end of September. For the past few years, due to a double downsizing and the economy, we haven't been able to give him a proper birthday party. A proper yuppie-white-suburban birthday party. For his first four years, his birthdays were oh, extreme to say the least. Disney World. Huge affairs at the Mouse House of Chuck. But the past three, well - Mommy and Daddy have been broke.
Not this year.

For his actual birthday, we just had the small family affair - like we've normally been having the past few years. He made his own cake as is his wont, and as you can see he even did his own decorating this year. That was possibly the CRUNCHIEST red velvet cake you ever had, due to the amazing quantity of sprinkles on top.







We got him his heart's desire, a NERF GUN which he has asked for literally for the past two years. It's hilarious and huge and despite my VERY anti-gun opinions, I'm afraid it tickles me a bit. I don't know why. Can you tell he liked it?

He took it outside and shot up the worlds largest mushroom that was growing in our front yard. THAT will teach you, damned fungi!
You might think that this was a pretty nice birthday - but we wanted to do something special - something different - because this little boy is different, IS special in ways I cannot adequately share in words.


So we rented a train car at the Southeastern Railway Museum north of Atlanta.



And we invited his friends and classmates to come and share in our joy - which they did with great enthusiasm.




Why? Why a second party, that is pretty lavish and full of excitement for a little boy who already had a pretty darned good birthday? Why SPOIL him?
Because ladies of the jury, this child is not spoiled in his life. His entire life revolves around accommodations for two demanding special needs brothers. "Change the channel, that show is upsetting your brother - I don't CARE change it now!" "Just give him the toy, you can play with it later!" "Put that away, don't play with it now, it's pieces are too small - Lil Birdman will eat the pieces!" "Pick up the pieces of that broken toy so no one eats it - quick get them!" "Watch your brothers Mommy and Daddy will be in the kitchen."




He's their keeper, their warden, their guardian angel. He gives up and gives up and gives up. He shares bites of food and treats when they have eaten all of theirs and want more. He is patient with them, especially when they are unreasonable to the point of insanity.







So we played games, and had a really expensive fancy birthday cake complete with a dinosaur that lept from the cake and roared (ok that was REALLY cool) and we got to tour ALL of the trains in the museum......







And to end our day, we got to ride on a real train - all of the kids piling into the gondola on top of the caboose, to ride up on top looking out the windows at the freezing rain that was falling outside.





This child is some days like a small saint to me, despite his flawed human self - who is in fact only seven. As I watched the other children at the party I really understood how different he is, and how different his life is. He doesn't have the LUXURY of selfishness or even the opportunity to be ME centered the way the other children do. It makes me sad - but in a lot of ways it makes me proud. I think in the long run it will make him a better person.



Thus - once in a while, this child gets his hearts desire. Because this is right and just.

Sunday morning

Orange bread surprise for my sleepy heads

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Popcorn and Down Syndrome Screening

Just when you think that you won't be able to distract yourself from a test you're not looking forward to, reality comes along and gives you something to figure out.
Such as - why is my child making that noise with is nose?
And - why is he gingerly touching his nose making a snuffing sound?

When I tilt his head back......I see the problem.

He's stuffed popcorn kernels into his nostrils.

Both of them.

I try to dislodge them with my pinkie fingernail but quickly realize that this is pushing them further back. So I gingerly push from his cheeks toward the opening of his nose and VOILA - it rains popcorn kernels out his nose.

Ahhhhhhh.......the stuff they don't put in the books - eh?

Know what else they don't put in books? Well, they might put it in books, but like - they don't properly beat you over the head with it - is that they're gonna scare the bejesus out of you about down syndrome if you're an older mother.

We're going tomorrow to get the baby screened for down syndrome. It's a fancy ultrasound that looks for physical markers. If they see the physical markers they'll recomment amniocentesis.

85% of all Down Syndrome children are born to women under 35. My chance of having a Child with Down Syndrome is only 2% - which is 98% chance of it not being a problem at all then isn't it?

Yet I fret a little.

I suppose at this point all I can hope is that some day he or she grows up, and doesn't stick popcorn kernels up her nose.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Pregnant Nightmares

They say that it's really normal to have crazy, horrible, visceral nightmares when you are pregnant.
I find that to be disturbingly true.
Some people apparently have dreams of killing, or being killed or axe murderers and stuff like that - of doing things that are unthinkable. They awake terrified that these might be things they will do, when in fact their hormones are just running wild during their REM sleep.
I also dream crazy, horrible nightmares - more and more lately.
Mine are always what I consider the Sophie's Choice/Kobayashi Maru variety. I'm always presented with the unwinnable situation - which could result in death for my children - and in it I spend my nightmare working out HOW I would thwart that.
How I would cheat, and beat the machine.

How will I escape a car sinking in water, with now 4 children? What is my plan? Fire? Hiding from a madman - how will I keep them quiet?

I wake up dripping with sweat - and sometimes go look in their room so that I can just hear them sleep for a few minutes.

I always win, in my dreams, but it doesn't make the terror any less.

I can swim onto the top of my car somehow, and get them all onto the roof with me - despite any obstacles I can do it. I am stronger than I actually am, I am faster than I actually am -

I am unwilling to accept the alternative.........and therefore........I win.


But as my heart pounds in my chest and I feel my next family member squirm in my tummy........I wish these nightmares would stop.


Mommy will keep you safe. Now stop.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Avon Has Magic Makeup

I didn't know it, but Avon has evolved over the years. One of the ladies I work with is selling Avon so I've fallen prey to it's allure once again. The first thing I noticed was that Reese Witherspoon is one of their major models these days (bizarre).
The second thing I noticed is that somehow they manage to disguise her freakshow of a chin.

I mean, that is a freakshow. It's like an appendage. I have never, ever understood the "allure" of her beauty when she's sporting a chin like that. She must have an amazing manager.

I mean, she's practically a LENO she has such an amazing chin. Yet - in page after page of the Avon Catalog ........she's a normal chinned human.

If AVON makeup can do this for Reese Witherspoon - imagine what it can do for mere mortals like me! YAY!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I.Am.Sick.

So, I need to write a birthday post but as I sit here sucking in my much needed oxygen, I realized that I should share something with you.
Pregnancy reduces your immune system's efficiency. This is how it keeps your body from destroying that little creature you are growing - which to your immune system is an intruder.
I've learned this the hard way over the last two weeks. H1N1, a UTI and now......ready for the icing and little candy baubles for the cake?
Sinus infection with PNEUMONIA!
My regular physician holds office hours on Saturdays - so I went down there yesterday after a crappy sick birthday and feeling even worse Saturday when I awoke.
He sent me straight to the hospital.
I also learned that we have two hospitals in this county and one ER is full of people who have been shot, and one plays genteel new age music while surrounding you with soft wood tones and pastels and each ER patients gets a private room with a door that closes.
Guess which one my doctor sent me to?
They dropped an IV on me and a sent respiratory who pronounced pneumonia and everybody came by to jam stuff in my IV of various ilk and I napped until the ultrasound lady showed up to check and monitor the baby.

My best story of my visit was that after they had me doped up and hooked up, they decided they wanted some pee. So the IV and I waddled down to the bathroom - and I do the WIPE of the va-jayjay and I've got the cup in my teeth......and.....I am sort of really sleepy and suddenly I realize I've peed.
In the toilet.
Not in the cup.

So I had to go back and tell my RN that I had FORGOTTEN to pee in the cup.

Which she thought was fairly funny.

They sent me home after several hours where I promptly went to bed, waking only for some dinner and then back to bed. My plan today is to lay on the sofa and watch football, and sleep.

Not necessarily in that order.

I leave you with a pic of the boy, executing a very stylish dart throw at the fair.


Friday, October 09, 2009

What was waiting for me at work

41 So Far Isn't Doing It For Me

Maybe it's just me, but waking up on your birthday with a nose crusted shut, a screaming sinus headache and a head full of snot that slides side to side when I roll over is no way to start the day. I took the hottest shower in Christendom to relieve some of the sinus pressure and took a big old dose of Vitamin C plus am drinking OJ but really-
Enough already.

Enough germs, virus and bacteria. My entire chest feels like it's full of snot. I'm drenched in sweat and I just came from the shower. I need to get up from this chair and drive toward work.

Oh god....how am I supposed to work with this much snot? Will they let me bring it into the building? I work in a fancy building,I'm sure this much snot is not allowed.

Did I mention the delightful butt explosion that I enjoyed right after my shower, courtesy of the UTI meds I'm taking? At least it cures the constipation from my prenatal vitamins - right?

I'm 41 today. This does not bode well for the rest of this decade.

Maybe Zoltar has some answers

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fair Food and Fun





Before I was so unbelievably sick, before the flu and this damn UTI came knocking on top of my already present morning sickness and overall pregnant and Forty-ness......we went to the fair. We have a pretty ok little fair here. You'd really expect more, if you were from the midwest and accustomed to huge fair events - which we are.

But it's ok. You know there are the animals....

and heck even the Little Birth of Cool braved petting some of the critters.

This slide pic is one of my faves. The big boy was the student of the week, and got to bring home his class mascot.
So we took it to the fair - and he took it on rides and through fun houses and the like.
But you know as always, the good stuff is the fair food. I was a little disappointed at the lack of deep fried foods on sticks, frankly. Florida fairs have MUCH better selections!

My corn dog was nasty, and I think I'm going to swear off of them. The twins didn't seem to mind theirs - but we checked theirs and it seemed just fine. I got the funky one.

The best meat product we had was this delicious grilled chicken.
Mmmmm this is deep fried cheese cake with caramel sauce. But when is one dessert enough at the fair? NEVAH! So we also had deep fried Milky Ways.

And, I learned at the end of the night .......that my son is a Sith Lord. Who knew?

Monday, October 05, 2009

More Dick Moves For Jon Gosselin To Pull


Now that Jon Gosselin has drained almost all the money out of their account I have been thinking about other dick moves he could make.

I mean, I think that the money thing was out of line. He's gonna have to give that back.

But you know, using the California "HALF" rule.....I was thinking these are some things he COULD take.


  • Half the dishes. (take cups not saucers, cuz that's funny)

  • Half the sheets- top or bottom but not both

  • Half the food - bring Tupperware to dump out the bit you are taking with you Jon

  • Half the curtains - I say depending on if you are right or left handed, choose the curtains on that side and take those

  • Half the books and half the records/tapes/CDs

  • Half the Wagon Wheel Coffee Table (see when Harry Met Sally)

  • Half the kids- just take the 4 that don't sass

See it goes on and on. Just split that shit up. Like King Solomon and the baby, divide it in two and to the victors go the spoils. That works really well right? RIGHT?


In all seriousness, these are like the two sorriest people I have ever had the media keep forcing down my throat. Can't Paris Hilton do a porno film or pose naked with a snake or something?


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Swine Flu and Other Good Times

You're going to have to pardon me if my sentences don't make sense. First off I have a five year old child who has decided that he has to scream hysterically every time I sit at the computer. Not because he's being neglected. But because for some reason of his own he doesn't want me to sit here. So he stands next to me, and screams. Autism is good times, some days.

It is making my head pound.

Secondly - because I'm sick.

Friday really started off on the right foot for me. I should've known that this was a bad sign, a day going that well couldn't continue. But I had people to call and reports to go through and menus to plan and really, I was rockin' it at work.

And then I got the call. Not one sick child, but two - both twins had fevers and would I please come get them. I glanced at the clock - not quite 11am, no problem, I can run pick them up - drop them off with their Dad and run back to work in time to take my asst out to lunch.

I was thinking Japanese.

Anyway, I dart off to school - when the first ominous cloud rolled over my day.

The para-pro's who delivered the boys to me, told me quietly that their teacher has H1N1 and so do the other two kids in the class, my boys were the only ones who showed up today.

Damn.

Regardless I run them hope - give their Dad the 411 and as I'm preparing to head back to work I reach down - I have no idea what I was reaching for.

And my back froze.

I can't describe the sensation - but I was overwhelmed with the sensation that my back would literally break if I moved. I was able to lay down and my hubby rubbed my back for a while.....and I thought it was better.

Psyche.

I got up- and went to lift my knee to sit on the edge of the bed- and was overwhelmed with pain. My husband practically had to lay me down in the bed I was in such agony, it was insane.

My doctor's office decided quickly I had pulled a muscle in my back which seemed a lame diagnosis for my agony but whatever. Oh and good times, all I can take is Tylenol. Oh and I can alternate hot and cold ice pack.


Saturday, the good times continued as one twin woke up with a temp of 103.6 and the other one flared up a temp almost 103 later in the day. I combatted them with the old stand-by of alternating tylenol with advil.......as I felt my own fever rising and my chest constricting.

WHICH is all very good times.


The twins and I lay around like slugs all day on Saturday but Saturday into Sunday my back began to flare up again. When I got out of bed, the husband had me take an Epsom salt back in the jacuzzi - and I think it actually helped. My temperature broke about 6am Sunday morning, I say this based on the fact that I woke up drenched in sweat and feeling like I was dying.


But I got the menu ordered for work on Monday- and I know where I can order on the fly for Tuesday. My brain is working if my body isn't cooperating. Despite the snot running out of my nose, the hideous death rattle coughing and the ache in my back.......as I head into Sunday evening I feel like the medicine is keeping the worst of the ick at bay for us all.


I feel like crap, don't get me wrong. I could sleep for like two days. But I think we're going to survive.


But man does it suck.


Here is a random picture of a giant mushroom in my yard. Just for fun. We could use some fun around here!