Friday, November 07, 2008

Shopping at Target

Piper and Odin sure are getting big..
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Long Overdue Update.. of sortas.

Alright so it might not be a complete update because really, who has time for that? Most likely I can't remember everything at the moment, but I can try.

Ivy has started Kindergarten. She started Sept 5th, 2008. It was Friday. She got accepted into the full day program, and though I was really worried about her.. she's done well. I worry about things that I realize most of parents probably don't worry about. I worry that she might forget to wipe herself and have wet underwear. She hates her clothes getting wet, would she be able to tell someone whats wrong coherently? I packed a full change of clothes. I'll bet not all the other parents had to do that. I worry that she'll have a hard time in her classes and she'll have to sit in the isolation booth I saw in the school. Now I'm not even sure thats what they use it for, but I'm guessing. I wish I knew for sure because its been on my mind since I saw it at open house. I worry that she'll try to make a friend and be turned down. Though I guess thats happened to most of us at once point. I wouldn't be a very good parent if I didn't wish my kids didn't have to go through everything painful that I did. So she has an hour of OT a week and an hour of Speech therapy a week. So far she's been doing great in both. In fact, she's been doing great in the classroom. No red lights. No yellow lights. She's stayed in the green the whole time. And I've gotta wonder, would she still be doing just as great in their motivational behavior program had she not pretty much secured a diagnosis? Would be they harder on her or expect more from her? I guess I'll never know. And if I had to pick, I'd pick that they're more leniant. The world needs more compassion.

Sierra is in 5th grade this year. For some reason that just seems like its all grown up. 5th sounds older then 4th. Older in ways that seem incomprehensible to me. She is 10 going on 16. Skipping years the way her life skipped from 4 to 8 in my eyes. Years gone that I can't ever get back. No matter. She is here with me now like I knew she would be. Her period came and went, irregular. Years before her peers. Some of which don't even know what a period is or why. Its those parents I strived NOT to be. I wanted my daughter informed, the way I wasn't informed. I was left to find out what things were from dirty books that I'd steal from the local thrift store. I suppose my grandmother felt that my father taught me enough. She wears eyeliner now, my daughter. She puts on all the makeup, she runs in the door from school to reapply.. and recently after a sleepover she was so uncomfortable the next day because she didn't have her makeup. The first thing she did when she got home was run to the bathroom to apply. The lines are dark and harsh. Contrasting her face. Forcing me to look at her as a woman. My little girl. My baby. My peanut. Even though she wears makeup, shaves her legs now, and has her period.. I dread that I will soon have to tell her that a "real" bra is almost a necessity. She loves her little sports bras. And most of all she loves that holding onto that type of bra is symbolic to her of holding onto her childhood. Few things remain, if I could but let her keep ahold of that one. I hope she remembers her childhood fondly. I hope I'm not too frequently the subject in a negative light when she inevitably sees the shrink. I love my daughter. She's doing well in school. She is popular with both girls and boys. She loves dance. She misses gymnastics. So I put her in tumbling. I worry that her father will try to change his mind. The same way he asked her if she wanted to go to school in his town with his girlfriend, at his house I'm sure. She said no. I was shocked. Stunned even. Its not often she stands up for how she trully feels. She is getting older... and every day its scary.

Piper is classic two years old. Or more honestly, what has been worse for our family.. the THREES. She screams, cries, kicks, spits, yells at me. But her smile when she's happy breaks my heart. It melts her father, who says she looks just like me. I love her and she is so special. I know she will probably grow up and feel somewhat in the shadows, and I don't want that. I want her to know that she is special in her own right. She is so very loved and wanted, and an important part of our family. Ivy is Ivy. Ivy is autistic. That doesn't mean that Piper isn't special. My therapist make the mistake of saying that I talk about Ivy a lot but she never hears about Piper. That made me pretty defensive for sure. Because I love all my kids and they are all special in their own way. Piper is a snuggle bug. She sleeps in her Dora bed half the night. (Ivy sleeps in a big girl bed in her room) and the other half of the night she is snuggled up with me. She is becoming quite the comedian, and the other two year olds in the neighborhood seem so behind in comparison to her. She's smart, and so loveable.

Odin.. what can I say? He's my boy. I never thought I'd like boys. Duncan left a sour taste in my mouth. Not only because of him, but because I feared my own inability to parent. I dind't want to face those fears. But I did. And the reward is a huge love for my son. I'm proud to say son and not feel like I want to cry. Right now he's 7 months old and crawling everywhere. He's standing up on furniture and crusing slowly. Sometimes he still falls on his face. He's eating big people food, and still nursing. Most of the time he's a good natured loving baby. He loves people in general and is usually smiling. He's wearing 12 month clothes. I love him so much. His hair is so soft and his kisses are so good in that baby sorta way. <3 you Oddie.

Chris and I are doing well. We are how we've been only better. Marraige is something you have to work on. Stranly I wish someone would have told me that before. Well no.. because I'm glad I didnt stay to work it out with him.. however, it seems silly to just sorta realize that its something you need to work on. It doesn't just come naturally. I mean, maybe it does to other people that aren't weird but to me... not much comes easily.

I'm waiting for the dr's office to call me back. They refered me to tessting for Asperger's Syndrome. There will be a bunch of paperwork to fill out and then I'll have the appointment. I'm not sure if I'm excited or scared. Confirmation or denial seems like a huge deal. Everything I put my being on hinges on this appointment. Ah well.. I'll keep you updated.

I suppose I should go to bed. Oh, and I am obligated to tell you I wrote this under the influence. LOL Yes I know it seems a bit disconnected. (ok a lot disconnected) I do realize I write better this way. No, it doesnt make sense all the time, but hey it was easier for me to write. And thats all that matters. Though if this is a blog then I guess it does matter if you can read it coherantly. ... or then again, maybe you could just read a different blog than mine. Yes thats it.

Alright peeps, I'm out. Peace.
PS. Remind me to tell you about the neighbors next time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Are You Ready to Let Go?

School starts soon. Not just for my 10 year old, but also for my 5 year old. She'll be going into Kindergarten in two weeks. They had a lottery for all day K, since its a new thing they're doing. The psychologist suggested that she go all day, but I was leery. She's only done 2 hours a day for 4 days a week of preschool. Is she ready for a jump to 5 days a week, 7am-3pm? I have no idea. But she's going to be doing it. Her name came up in the lottery, and Ivy will be riding the big girl bus with her sister. (thank the Goddess for that! I'm thrilled that she'll be on the bus with Sierra, Nicolas, Sarah, Katrina, and Chris. Not so thrilled that Jenna and David will be on the bus too.. but.. can't be choosy I guess.)

Her IEP is done. Her backpack is bought. Her screening is coming up soon. I'm not sure why they want to screen a child that they already know is autistic, but okay. I don't know what good a screening assessment will do.
Her hair is cut.
She has some new school clothes. Some new supplies.

but I wonder if I'm ready. I'm not worried for the typical mother reasons. I'm worried for other reasons. I'm afraid that kids will tease her. And I know they will. The neighborhood kids do every day. She does things they think are weird and annoying. Will she be able to make friends? How long will it take her to remember their names? Will she be able to tell me about her day? Will they give me a communication notebook so I know whats going on at school?

She'll be in an hour of speech therapy, and an hour of OT a week. Thats what she's been getting now, so she's used to it. However, in school it most likely won't be individual but instead small groups. I'm not sure how well that will go.

She's been having speech and OT privatly all summer with a nice lady named Erin. There have been some speech improvements, at least during sessions. In the real world however it doesn't get applied much. She's been working on social skills with her too. She said when she writes up her paperwork at the end of the summer, she's going to be suggesting that they make her diagnosis official because her speech issues (pragmatics, social issues, expressive) are a match to those of an Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis. And there is no reason to hold off on an accurate diagnosis. Especially when she could be benefiting from more services, and more support. She needs to be in a real social skills class badly.

Her OT comes to the house once a week, and seems to be rather green. I'm not sure if she hasn't much experience with autistic children, or if she hasn't had much experience period. She's nice enough, and I'm happy with her.. but it seems to has to work too much to come to the same conclusion about something that I do. She commented that I should be an OT because I was so knowedgable about it. LOL She seemed to be thrilled and in awe at all I knew and all I've done with Ivy. I didn't tell her its because my children are MY obsession. LOL

Before Ivy ages out of Early Intervention, the OT was able to order Ivy a compression vest in purple. Its made of neoprene and its very cozy. She is also ordering a weighted blanket in Hannah Montana fabric. (I haven't written that Ivy's obsession changed did I? Its no longer Spongebob. Its Hannah Montana. In fact, we had a Hannah Montana party too) So those are two great items that she's getting for her to use. She also got her a brush to use, so we can start a brushing protocol on her for deep pressure input. Ivy likes it.

There is some school shopping left to do. Clothes for Sierra, backpack for her. Some clothes for Ivy. Registration for dance classes is done. And Ivy is down to two more Speech appointments, and one more OT appointments and then its off to school......

I have no choice but to be ready.. Kindergarten here we come!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Birth of Odin; Otherwise known as, The Baby That Couldn't Wait.

You all know that I've said I have quick births. Well even this birth went beyond what I was expecting....

I woke up Feb 11th and I still had a backache. I attributed the backache to the night before when we took the kids to Jokers. I stood up most of the time, chased kids, etc and was pretty uncomfortable. Not one single contraction though the whole time we were there. I went to bed early that night.

I got up at 5 AM to fill my daughters sippy cup so she'd go back to sleep. When I laid back down I noticed my back still freaking hurt. But I'm on an air mattress on the floor, so sometimes I sleep wrong anyway. I was able to fall asleep so it wasn't that bad. I woke again shortly before 7am when my oldest left for school and said goodbye. I tried to lay back down, but couldn't fall asleep. So I decided to get up, I posted here on the forum at 7:18am. When I stood up to go to the bathroom I had a contraction that didn't feel that great. It was the first one in days. A few minutes later another came. This time I had to stop walking. I decided to wake up my husband and I went into the bathroom to put some make up on and brush my hair. My husband asked me if he should call his sister and let her know not to go into work today. I said I wasn't sure yet. I wanted to sit down for a minute and see if they would go away. One contraction later, I told him to call his sister. He scurried around the house trying to get the girls dressed, and a bag with diapers, wipes, a sippy cup, medication, etc all packed up. I giggled at him once because he looked so cute being all frazzled.

I posted to the forum again that we were leaving at 7:52 AM. The road here was bumpy and it was really painful getting out of it. We drove to his sisters house and dropped the girls off. My 4 year old and 2 year old waved goodbye and were in really good spirits about spending time with 'Auntie". She said, "How are you doing?" when she walked by the car and I said, "No talking."

I had called the school before we left the house and asked them to dismiss my oldest. We swung by the school that was very close by and picked her up. She was ready outside the school and both her and my husband ran back to the car. Contractions were really strong now. I was breathing through them, but finding it hard to keep my muscles loose and not tense up. I put the seat back in the car.

My husband got on the turnpike and got angry when the change thingy said he didn't have enough. He threw more money in and sped off. My daughter giggled at something, and I thought she was laughing at me. I whined "Please don't laugh at me." and started to cry. Then I realized.. I was in transition already, and this wasn't good. My labors are short. Too short for me to be in the car during this. I told my husband, "If I told you what this felt like, you wouldn't be too happy." he said, "What?" I said, "This feels like it does right before I push.."

My husband drove as fast as he could. I saw the speedometer hit 90 and even though I wanted to yell at him, the other part of me didn't care. My daughter had turned white in the back seat. Then I said, "Pushy pushy!" My husband begged, "No pushy! Hold on! Your water hasn't broken yet has it?" "No,... " and just at that moment, my water broke. "Uhh.. YES! Yes it did! Pushy pushy!" "No pushy honey!"

He ran red lights, stop signs, and passed cars on the left. Some UAV of a driver kept putting on his brakes in front of us to make a point. We had our hazards on and even passed two state troopers going 45 miles over the speed limit and they didn't stop us.

I was trying not to push so much and holding the baby in, when he got to the ER and ran inside yelling, "My wifes having a baby!" I expected someone to come out, but no one did. Instead my husband comes back with a wheelchair and says, "Get in!" I looked at him and whined, "I can't! The baby is right heeeeeeeerrrreee!" but I sat down anyway, kinda sorta. Then a nurse appeared all calm and collected and said, "First baby?" I held up four fingers and said, "The baby is coming!" My husband ran through the hospital pushing me, my 9 year old running behind us. The woman yelled, "Having a baby! Coming through! Excuse us!" and I can remember people staring at me while I tried so hard to hold the baby in. I put my hand behind me at one point and felt the babys head right there full inside me.

There were nurses huddled together chatting, and looked at me as we ran towards them. One of them walked off saying, "I'll get the monitor.." and I yelled, "I don't need a monitor! The baby is coming now!" and I pulled the front of my pants down and the babys head came out, and his body right afterwards. My husband caught him before he fell down my pantleg, and the nurses stood there stunned. Someone ran over to slip the cord from around his neck, and they suctioned him and gave him oxygen. I guess there was meconium in the amniotic fluid, most likely because I had to hold him in.

I remembered to say, "My daughter gets to say what it is. Let her say it!" and as my husband put him on my chest, my daughter peeked and yelled out, "Its a boy! Its a boy!" and sure enough, it was!

My daughter took a picture of us in the wheelchair. Our first picture.

A few minutes later my doctor walked in and said, "I heard someone in the hallway say someone was out here giving birth and I figured I'd check.. oh.. its you!" the nurse looked at her and said, "Is this your patient?" and my OB said, "Yes! It is!... and next time I'm inducing you! Wow!"

I ended up having a small tear, needing only two stitches. Odin nursed right away like a champ, and is gorgeous. 8 lbs 10oz, 20 inches long. Born at 8:49 AM. Barely in the hospital. Caught by Daddy. We are so in love with him.

We only stayed about 24 hours in the hospital. It was basically room service for us. Every person that came into the room called him the Baby the Couldn't Wait, and Daddy nicknamed him Speedy. Even the cafeteria people knew how he came into the world, and people outside the ward stopped to say goodbye on our way home. LOL It was definatly a wild and crazy birth story, and not a part of my birth plan! I was going for a water birth!

He's grown a lot since I first wrote this post and put it on my myspace page. I can't believe he's already two months old. Time really does fly by doesn't it?

The girls adore him, and I have to fend them off every day because they have a tendency to love him a little too much. LOL

At two months he is cooing up a storm and smiling at everyone and nothing at all. He looks so much like his daddy! Oddly though, he looks a lot like Piper and she looks like me. So we'll see...

He's finally not gasping for breath every time I take him outside, so we've been able to hang out with our new neighbors. Oh! Its been so long since I blogged that I didn't even write about our great move! Or Sierra coming back to live with me. (come to think of it, I don't think I even wrote anything about expecting baby #4 either. Well now you know!)

I'm getting to Treasure Mapping a bit late this year. Shamefully late really. But I have faith that it will help just as it did last year. Every single thing on there has come true. Everything.

I need to update more about the things that have happened here at a later time. I feel like there is a great time gap going on.


The Great Divide Widens

Its been warming up here the past week. All the neighborhood kids have come out to play, and Ivy has been meeting them and in theory.. making friends. She seems oblivious to their looks, or their comments, or the tone in their voice... and I so wish that I was oblivious too, because it kills me to listen to them talk to her the way they do.

I can hear it in their voice.. "Oh my god.. she is weird!" when they say, "Let's go um... play over.. there.. somewhere not here.. (with her)"

I can see the looks they glance to each other and the whispers.

I can read between the lines when they tell her that they want to be her friend and then ask to go play at her house so that they can play together with each other and exclude her.. but use all her toys in her room.

I watch them laugh as she gets upset about something they said in fun.

I watch them call her names because she's a bit behind in some things. They taunt her, "You're a baby! Only a baaabyyyy doesn't know how to ride a bike! You can't even ride a tricycle!" And then I fight back the tears as I watch her sit there in silence.. pushing with everything she has on the pedals of that tricycle.. trying so hard.. so determined... I encourage her to keep trying, "Great job pushing your feet! Keep trying!" After awhile she finally gets off and shrugs her shoulders, and says "I change my mind. I change my mind."

I smile as I see her with her arm around one of her new friends.. and then fight to control myself when I watch her "friend" knock her arm away and say, "don't touch me!" I see the look on her face of confusion. I wish I could make her understand... but before I'm done thinking that thought, she has forgotten about it and moved on to something else.

Falling asleep at night she says, "Mama, do you love me or hate me?" and I know that someone has said this to her today... and she's trying to figure it out in her mind. Repeating those things that trip her up. I bite my tongue and hold back tears for what seems like the hundredth time today... I can do this. I can. I can hold it together.

"Mama loves you Ivy. Always."
"I don't hate you either. Either. I don't. I don't hate you." she says. "But some kids do. Its okay. Its an accident. Its okay." she smiles and closes her eyes.

I know that every child goes through days like today. I know every parent feels those pangs of sadness and helplessness. Its her innocence that makes it hard. Everything she experiences is like Teflon. No matter how much it hurts me, on the surface it seems to slide right off her. I only wonder how much it really slides off... how much sticks there? How much will she carry with her forever? And am I doing enough? How can I be there for every social exchange 24/7?

Does the feeling in the pit of my stomach ever go away?