Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Um. Oops?

Bad mommy. Very bad mommy. I missed Jaymes' bus this afternoon, and he went on a little adventure. Bad, bad mommy. Then I lied about it to save face... -shame-

He's been sick for awhile, and I guess I forgot that I need to leave home at 3:15, NOT 3:30. Got down there and my neighbor was getting her kids from their bus. Our bus usually comes right before theirs (and it did). She was like "You missed Jaymes." I was like...

Fuck. Bad, bad, bad mommy.

At this point I was panicking. When one forgets their child on the bus, where does one's child end up? I tried calling the school, but the line was busy. Over and over and over. Then I got a voicemail, without the phone ever ringing. It was the school secretary, with a very cold, shame on you kind of voice:

"You were not there to pick Jaymes up from the bus, so he will be taken to East Forsyth High School and you may pick him up there."

First thing... Why didn't the damned phone ring?
Second... Where the hell is East Forsyth High School?
Third... Why the hell didn't the bus driver call me, like she does for the other kids who get off on his stop?
Fourth... The mother of the other kids on that stop and I had worked it out with the bus driver and each other, that if one of us wasn't there, the other would take the kids. Did she take him? Nope.

So I called the school again, finally got through and got directions to the high school. It was quite the drive. As I walked in, the students seemed to think I was one of them, with the males making stupid sounds and the females giving me weird looks (probably because I look 12 and was carrying a 2 year old?).

Anyway. got in the office and they said Jaymes wasn't there yet, and to hang out a bit. When he did arrive, he looked thrilled with his grand adventure. To my credit, I was not the only negligent mother, another little boy had also been forgotten. At least I was there to rescue my spawnling when he came in, right?

I feel so bad, even though he thought it was cool. They must all think I'm such a moron now.

Oh, and the kicker... Yeah, I lied about why i missed Jaymes. i missed him because I forgot what time the bus came. I told them that Sierra locked me out of the house and I had to valiently break in to rescue her and thus missed The Boy.

I suck.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Challenges are fun!

So Kelley, of Magneto Bold Too! has issued a challenge: make a post about why I (one of her many, many, many readers) rock. I think that this came at a good time, considering some of my less than happy posts lately.

So, why do I rock?


I am the mom who never loses the will to fight for her son. I can and will never stop pushing for the best of everything for Jaymes. I'll never stop loving him, even when the rest of the world thinks he is an awful brat, because I know what we have is special.

I'm the mom who can spend day after day listening to screaming and catch the head banging toddler and hold him back from hurting himself... And I pick up and go on with life without letting myself be miserable. Everyone tells me "I don't know how you do it, I'd probably strangle him or put him up for adoption." It's our life, life goes on.

I'm the mom, who even when furious at Jaymes, can't help but plop a squishy kiss down on his little forehead. I'm the mom who can joke about being pooped on, or bled on, or vomited on. I can see humor in the exploding six pack of soda I dropped on the floor, and stand there whilst being sprayed with Coke, giggling and wondering why Jason looks so upset.

I can go years and years to Jaymes' therapies, watch him make no progress, and still know one day he will, and all will be as it should.

I grew up a horrible pessimist, and yet now I am the eternal optimist in our household.

And that, my friends, is why I rock.

------ My god, my ego might need to be beaten back with sticks now! Thank you, Kelley, for this challenge. I needed a boost.

We're all over the spectrum!

The other day, my husband said something that really made me think. It was something a parent should never have to say about his child, and something that most of us would not say aloud even if we felt it. The fact that I know he's being entirely honest, and not malicious in saying it makes it even worse. it's like he's resigned himself to living like this with jaymes... Anyway, what he said...

"At this point, I have nothing left in me for Jaymes. I don't know how you are still doing it, how you can stand the tantrums and feel anything for him. I love him, but I am just so over this Jaymes and i can't take it anymore."

You know, there was a time I'd have gotten all indignant and really tore him up for saying it. I rarely stop to think that I am not the only one affected by Jaymes' behavioral issues, and that it might have some impact on Jason as well. No, I'm not perfect, and these thoughts have to be helped along by comments such as the above.

It's like a switch in Jaymes' brain just got flipped, like something in there just broke. He's so different. he's not himself anymore at all. He screams and cries all day long, but he no longer tells us what he wants. I can no longer understand much of his talking. He doesn't give kisses, tell me where his body parts are, talk to his horsie. It's a huge fight to get Jaymes strapped into a car seat. I can no longer get him in a stroller or the cart at Walmart. He about broke my hand at Walmart the other day, it still hurts. He's getting bigger, and it's only going to get worse if we can't get this under control. He used to be fine- he liked the stroller/carseat/cart. Now it's "carry me or I'll kick my own butt right here on the floor."

He doesn't eat, he's losing weight... When you're only 28 pounds at almost 5 years old, you cannot afford to lose any more weight. I don't know why the docs are not concerned, he doesn't even look well. He's not sleeping anymore either, and he has NEVER had a problem.

It's scary, he literally is like a different person. We need to figure this out, or in the end, Jaymes will have no one who can stand him but me... And I hope I can do it. You can see it in people's faces, though they would never admit it (maybe they don't even realize it?). Therapists, friends, relatives. People are starting to just be over it. Yesterday at my mom's house, Jaymes threw a fit because she went inside. He tried to throw himself down the stairs, then did a sort of backflip over and landed on his back and head on the hard concrete floor. The only thing that kept us from a hospital visit was the fact that his head landed HARD on Jason's foot. Jason about fell over, he hit it so hard. If that had been the concrete.. Well...

But on the other side of this... We went to the Children's Museum yesterday after all that. Jaymes actually was amazing. He played with everything, rather than running straight to the trains and getting fixated. He didn't seem very happy for a lot of it, and cried incessently at times and tried to run to the trains... But we sucessfully got him to every other activity before letting him go to the trains, and we did not have another all out screaming/biting/kicking hysterical meltdown. for the first time, he walked out of the museum on his own, not carried kicking and screaming. We just kind of ignored the quiet crying and made him participate in things, and he did have some fun. I was really proud of him.

So no, it's not all bad... But it still scares me. Jaymes isn't jaymes anymore, and I don't know why.

Parties and tears

Weirdness all around. Jaymes had been having a bad week, but I gave him some credit because he had a nasty ear infection. He spent a good portion of the week in a ball on the couch, with me feeding him tylenol and popsicles to cool his fever. He's feeling much better now, with the antibiotics killing off his ear infection, and I sure hope this does not mean his tubes are so blocked that he will need them replaced. He's had 4 sets in, a 5th would really be pushing it in my opinion. But, they should have drained the infection, and they did not. Bleh!

We tried the Ritalin with Jaymes for 3 days. Not good. not good at all. But then no one expected it to be, after the way he reacted to the Adderall. I could have predicted this one would be no different, but i trust Dr. Klinepeter, he's one of the very best in the area and talking to him you caan just know that he is doing what he thinks is best for Jaymes.

Sierra's birthday was a good day, despite Jaymes being awful... He spent most of the day screaming, moaning, and hurting himself. Gave himself a nasty black eye and some cuts on his face, hitting it against the shopping cart at Walmart. Jason had him at that point, I generally watch and if Jaymes is hitting himself on something, I hold him or put my hand where he's hitting, but Jason doesn't. I guess he thinks that not stopping it will teach Jaymes something. I can't bash on him for it, my approach doesn't seem to help anything either.

Her party was the next day, Saturday. It was a small party, only one of my friends and her daughter showed up, and family. It was really nice. Jaymes cried and poured bubbles everywhere the whole time though. At one point I tried to put him in his room for a nap, but no luck. My friend is a fairly recent friend, and though she had been warned that jaymes has some issues, she got to see it in person. She took it well. Okm, well maybe I should save my judgement on that one until she calls or I see her again, huh?

Jaymes didn't want cake, oddly enough. Since when does the boy not like sugary goodness? Crazy child! My mom made a beautiful Elmo cake. sierra and Jaymes both looooove Elmo. i guess he is a bit cute, but I've never been a Sesame Street fan, myself. Something about puppets irks me.

Jaymes never did stop crying and fussing, but he licked some icing and we all had a decent day.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A letter to Sierra, on her birthday

Stealing an idea from Kelley, Of Magneto Bold Too! (Link can be found in my sidebar under "of interest")

A letter to my baby girl, on her birthday.

Dear Sierra,

I can't believe you are 2. It seems like you were just born. I remember suffering in the hospital, in labor at 28 weeks, and worrying about you... I was so unhappy and sick and lonely in the hospital room, but when I saw the ultrasound, with you head down trying to burrow out, I was happy.

I guess I won't blame you for the epidural wearing off, but it really was agony. Daddy cried like a girl, and I yelled at him, and then there you were and you were so tiny. We knew you'd have lots of hair, but we didn't know how tiny you would be.

They took you away to the nursery right away, and it was hours until I could see you. I was not very happy. Once I got you back, I didn't let them take you again.

Your hair was so soft, and you smelled so sweet, and it was wonderful.

It's never stopped being wonderful. You are so smart, so cute, and so happy. Everytime someone looks at you, you smile so wide, and you have a reputation as the happiest baby ever.

I can't get over how smart you are, how fast you learn and how outgoing you are. You teach Jaymes things, minutes after you've learned them yourself.

You're beautiful, and perfect, and I know that you'll make us prouder with every year that goes by.

Happy birthday, my sweet princess.

Part 3

Ok, part 3. We had to go to the football game where my mom was getting her award (Ithaca College Sports Hall of Fame), and Jaymes was hysterical the whole time. Then he got to go in the bounce house, and all was well. he had a blast, it was free...

Then they closed it down at half time. Not good. It was ugly.We watched mom get her award and ran. After that, we headed off to Stewart park, and on the way got ice cream. The kids got rainbow sherbet, I got an apple cobbler sundae. MMMMM. Hot apple cobbler on top of vanilla ice cream with caramel. At the park, Jaymes and Sierra chased the seagulls, and they rode the carousel I rode as a kid. It was really neat.

Later on, Jaymes, Denise and I went on a hike at Cascadilla Creek. It's about 3 miles walking along waterfalls, mostly steep stairs. Jaymes managed it very well. On the way down, he went swimming in the icy water. He didn't mean to, he tripped, and the bystanders thought i was just horrible. He enjoyed it though.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A teaser...

For tomorrow's part 3 of the trip. I know you'll want to hear the story of how Jaymes ended up falling face first in FREEZING cold water at Cascadilla Creek. And how he is super mighty toddler. You'll see why. It's a cool story.

I Love New york, Part II

Sorry I did not get to this yesterday, we've had much illness amongst the spawnlets. Ok, maybe not -much- but Jaymes has been pretty pathetic for the past couple days. He had a weird moment on day one of our trip, after having a dose of his Risperdal, which I now suspect to be related to him starting to get sick. He got so floppy and drowsy, and it lasted all day. Scary. After his nap I tried to wake him and couldn't, even sitting straight up he was asleep. Finally got him back to himself, but it was kind of unnerving. No more Risperdal for now. I also felt awful once we got home, a combination of driving all night and my usual post trip stress. Took me until today to feel better, and not entirely so.

Jaymes' poor pitiful sick self, sleeping on the couch burning with fever, taken about 5 minutes ago:

Anyway, back to the story. Day 2, started out with us hanging out with the horses and the deer for the morning. Jaymes had another meltdown, wanting to go into the yearling's pasture and visit with them. As I prefer my children alive and unharmed, I did not allow this. Instead we went and checked out Monster and a mare named Gravy Train (yes, those TB folks give racehorses horrrrrrible names!). Jaymes also loved the deer. Her name is Peanut. By the end of the trip, she finally let me touch her.

Jaymes and Monster

Monster, 22 year old APHA

Gravy Train, old TB mare

Pretty TB yearling

Peanut the deer

After that, we spent a little time in the house, with the terrifying sprial staircase of imminent death:

Followed by photo taking of everyone:



Doug, as previously said, has cancer that's pretty advanced, from what I understand. Stage 4 I think is what he said.... It really scares me to think this may have been the last time I saw him. I hope not. He's awesome, he's hilarious, and the thought of not seeing him again, or joking with him... Well it's really frightening.

On to less morbid thoughts... Denise had a cool dog named Newt that Sierra loved. He had awesome floppy ears and endless energy. Echo would have loved him.

Jason and Sierra on the deck:

The View:

Here is Jaymes doing the obsessive thing he picked up there- he HAD to walk this pasture's perimeter everytime we went outside, and it was a long damn walk.

And Sierra demanding juice:

Jaymes and us and the yearlings being silly:

The rest will come later today or tomorrow. Too time consuming for one post!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I love New York

Not the show. The Mini-vacation.

We went off to NY (Ithaca, to be exact) because my mom was getting inducted into the Ithaca College Sports Hall of Fame. She used to coach soccer there, years and years ago, and after all that time, I guess they finally decided to give her the award. Who knows how that works. Anyway, it's a pretty big honor.So we decided we'd go too, in separate cars. She left early Thursday, but Jaymes had therapy and Jason had work so we didn't leave until 7:15pm. My theory, and for once it turned out to be a good theory, was that if we drove at night, we would benefit in several ways.

  • Sierra and Jaymes would be unconscious
  • The sun would not hurt my eyes (I'm very light sensitive)
  • It would be cooler
  • No traffic
  • Less cops
  • No other people at the gas station bathrooms to hold me up
And it went wonderfully! It was dark, peaceful, and most of the drive we were literally the only car in sight. It was dark and desolate and really kind of soothing. Better if Jason hadn't been there snoring, but oh well. Gas prices went down as we got further north, and I steadily became sleepier. Around Maryland I started losing my ability to read the signs. Halfway through Pennsylvania, at a gas station, I was so sleepy that for a moment I found myself unable to locate the exit, and stood there looking simply baffled. The other person in the restroom looked at me oddly, and left quickly. I do not blame her.

It was coldcoldcold when we got there, and silly me had worn sandals. And the kids were short sleeved and barefoot. mommy of the year award, anyone? We got in around 7:15-ish and got unpacked at my friend Denise's house, then went out with her to feed her horses. She's a breeder of thoroughbreds, used to actually sell and race them but lately it would seem they're collecting dust- but gorgeous babies. There was one 2 year old, a dark bay who looked just like her sire, Jackson (also owned by Denise) who was just droolworthy.

Jaymes loved the babies. He cracked up as they went into a feeding frenzy as Denise brought their buckets in, he giggled as they kicked and chased one another around squealing, and he wanted desperately to get in the pasture with them. This, of course, would have resulted in his immediate death, and was discouraged. He was not impressed, and struggled valiently, covering us both in mud.

Next, Jaymes got to check out the deer. Yes, I did say deer. Denise found a baby deer awhile back, bottle fed it and got the permits for it, and it's very sweet. Jaymes thought it was awesome, as did Sierra. Poor thing did not know what to think about the kids though, and I don't blame it. I'd have run too.

Jaymes did get to sit on the old old old old Paint gelding Denise has had forever... he's such a cute horse. His name in Monster. I -think- his registered name is "Q-Ton Dude's Golden Sun." Yup, I like Monster better too. He's a pretty palomino paint, and he is fat and wooly. Jaymes thought he was cool, and liked telling us what colors Monster was: "Yemmo! whaaaaaaaaiiiteee!"

We took the kids out to see my mom and her friend, then walked to the Ithaca Commons. It's like a huge hippie outdoor mall, complete with bong stores. Yes, bong stores. how that's legal is beyond me, but to each his own I guess. We checked out the toy store, which had these awesome glittery cloth swords that I wanted to get for jaymes, but they were $12, so Jason said no way. Jaymes started to really have trouble with the close quarters of stores, and has been on a major stroller boycott lately as well... So we wisely decided to give up on that for the time being.

We drove down to my old house, which by the way looked like crap. It has not been painted since we painted it when I was 12. The neighborhood really went downhill, can't say I was impressed at all. Drove up past my old Elementary and Middle schools, which was a neat trip down memory lane. i'd wanted Jaymes to play on the playground, you know to do the whole mommy did this as a kid, now you try it experience... But we didn't have time. Instead we headed down the the park at the end of the road and I showed Jason my old waterfall hangout. It's technically called Ithaca Falls, but we always called it Fall Creek Falls, since that area is known as Fall Creek. incidentally, my old dog's show name was Fall Creek Nimbus.

Jason was less than impressed by the outdoor stuff, he's a shopper.... It was a little sad, because sharing my childhood with him was something i was taking kind of seriously. I know it's dumb, but those are special memories and he should be happy to be worthy of them, you know? Because that time I went sledding down the hill at the cemetary on University Avenue- that was badass. Ok, so desecration of graves is uncool. I was 12, and poorly behaved at that, Moving on.

We went back and fell asleep. We were very tired. Jaymes flopped on top of me and Sierra went in her playpen. the rest of the day was rather uneventful, mostly just hanging out at Denise's and chatting with her husband doug, who is a horseshoer and an awesome guy. I love him, he makes me laugh and he;s just one of those guys you can't help but want to hug. He has cancer (I don't remember the type, something with working on ships around asbestos.) so it's been rough for him and for Denise for awhile. They are taking it well. they're both tough. Seriously tough.

The night was unpleasent, because we had to share a bed with both kids. Jaymes is a snoring, squirming bedhog, and Sierra refused her playpen. It was hot and crowded and my back ached by morning.

Nest day we headed off to Target to get me new sneakers. I had ruined mine walking in the back woods with Denise the day before. Oh, I forgot to mention that. We walked with her crazy dog, and Jaymes tripped about a million times. Then, as I piggy backed him, he burped like 30 times into my ears while giggling fiendishly. Evil child.

We went out to the Farmers Market, which is my favorite place in Ithaca... I got some of like every food... Let me list my gluttony here.
  • One apple-mango fritter with cinnamon sugar
  • One Chile Relleno with chicken
  • One strawberry lemonade
  • One curry pocket
  • One piece of home made bread
  • Two teriyaki chicken katchatori thingies MMMMM
There may have been more. I do not recall. It was all delicious. Expensive, but OMG good. I love that food, love it love it love it. The garbage cans are confusing there though. There are 5 cans. One for metal, one plastic, one compost, one paper... It was too confusing. here in the South, we just don't recycle. So I don't know the way of the recycling community. I did my best.

I'm really tired at this point... So i'm sorry, but i'll have to save the rest of the tale for tomorrow. Most photos have been poached off ther interwebz, as Jason is at work with my digital camera in the car, the bastard. Here are some videos of the spawnlets playing though:

Sierra at the playground on the commons (don't miond my mother and me conversing in the background)

Kids in the car at 3am art a gas station on the way, note the glazed eyes and Brad Paisley playing the the background:

Jaymes and Sierra last week, rolling around his room while my mom and I discuss the stock market (note my lack of intelligent conversation, I'm utterly ignorant of these things)

Me being a lunatic and making my kids chase seagulls like their lives depended on it.. Um.. Watch this one without sound, please. I sound moronic. The back story on these 2 videos comes in tomorrows blog. for now, just enjoy.

In this one, you can hear Sierra's voice, she's so excited she's like grunting out the word "birdies!"

Ok, more tomorrow. Good stuff tomorrow, trust me. The story gets a lot more amusing. Nighty night.

Home again...

And yes, there will be a looooong post detailing every assorted misadventure and piece of excitement we encountered on our trip. Just not now.

I'm horribly tired, sick, and miserable. Pity me. I think in my stupor this morning (having driven all night, we left NY at 8pm, got home this morning at 7am and I drove the entire way, with limited swerving as I drifted off to sleepy land) I made phone calls and possibly offended or made myself look idiotic to a few people. Now I need to call all those numbers back and find out what I said. I feel really weird, and have been 100% loopy and out of it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


We're packed and just about to head off to NY for the weekend for my mini vacation back in my old home town of Ithaca NY... I'll be driving through the night, after a long day of therapy...

Therapy was excellent. Jaymes was awesome, he was well behaved, and he did his best. I am so proud of him. It was a little odd at one point, when the 3 therapists decided to have a meeting with me, kinda felt like an intervention.. LOL. Anyway, we're changing Jaymes to 2 sessions on Thursday and one on Tuesday instead of all 3. That's fine with me, but I do not think it'll effect his behavior- he doesn't act out because of the length of time, he acts out because of other things. But I'm willing to try it. Just so he doesn't miss too much school

Anyway, stole this off Squid's blog... Help her out, please!

Want to help special education students like my son Leelo and his friends by doing something you're doing anyhow?

Please help support SEPTAR, the Special Education PTA of Redwood City (of which I am a founding member) by doing your web searches or setting your home page to:


Simply go to www.goodsearch.com, select SEPTAR as your designated Goodsearch beneficiary, and that's it! SEPTAR will get a donation every time you use Goodsearch to search the web.

You can further support SEPTAR when you shop at Amazon.com, etc. via the shopping area at the bottom of the Goodsearch home page.

Thank you for helping SEPTAR provide our local special needs community with even more speakers, events, and support! More information on the good things we're doing can be found at www.SEPTAR.org.



Ok, I'm off. Have a nice weekend, I'll be without internet, so don't expect any bloggin's

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Did YOU know it was wednesday?

Because I had no clue. Sometimes I wonder about myself. I could have sworn it was Tuesday. Jason just gave me this look like I'm some kind of alien, made a comment about stay and home moms and the days of the week, and wandered off.

Anyway. Tomorrow is the big day, and I'm so not ready. We have therapy all day, get home, and then we leave for NY! It's going to be exhausting. I'm exhausted already. I hope I can do it, I have never driven through the night before. Bleh.

It'll be worth it, anyway.

Today I have a meeting the the Exceptional Children's Dept. person, who I will be able to air my school related grievances to. Let's hope for some progress, some change.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This irks me...

Jaymes came home from school yesterday, and three things really got my teeth a-grindin'. First thing is this. I sent him with new diapers in his backpack. They were impossible to miss, unless they didn't look in the backpack. And yet I got a note asking for diapers. Uh...? So I added a note "They were in there, did I not send enough?"

Yes, I am a smartass. What gets me about this is... If they didn't open his backpack, it means that at naptime, he is not getting his Blankie. Which explains why I keep getting notes aobut how he doesn't nap at nap time. He likes Blankie at nap time. I want him to have it.

Second thing. They sent home a permission slip for school trips. Ok, cool. Where's he going?

He's not. It's a blanket permission for the entire year. I'm sorry, but I'd prefer to sign one for each trip, so I know where he is going, when, and what he'll be doing. I don't want to think he might be on trips and I don't know about it. The school tells me as little as possible, every bit of info is squeezed out of them.

Third thing. The big thing. They sent home this little booklet in his backpack, it's little worksheets with places for the child to write the various letters on the lines. The work was done, in a child's hand.. But certainly not MY child. Jaymes can't make letters yet. He's still working on lines and circles, for god's sake! I know this, I know my child, and I know that we work on the writing allllllll the time both at home and in therapy. Sooo...

Don't send me some other kid's work. Maybe they did hand-over-hand. I doubt it, because it's very hard to do that with Jaymes, and this work was too neat. This is what the school does- they tell me what they think I want to hear, whether it's the truth or not. It infuriates me. If I wanted to stick my head in the sand and pretend Jaymes can do the things that other almost 5 year olds can, I would. I want to know what he -really- can do.

It's aliiiiiiiivvvvveeeeee!

Yes, the first human baby has been cloned. Check it out.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The things that creep up on you...

Have you ever suddenly noticed something about someone, that you should have known, and yet didn't? It's a little embarrassing to admit how ignorant we can be sometimes.

Did you know Jaymes can name a bunch of colors? No? Neither did I, until last week. Freaky, huh? Did you know that he can get himself on the bus without me, and get into the right seat? I guess he is growing up. He gets offended if I insist upon boarding the bus with him to put him in his seat. The other day I tried to do this, and he shoved me off the bus with the dirtiest look you've ever seen.

It's just so odd, how in the midst of so much craziness, you can miss the truly wonderful things, and yet see every bad detail. I suspect this means I'm a horrible pessimist, and I do hope that my pessimistic side is not hindering Jaymes.

A few days ago I tossed a pile of gummies on Jaymes' plate, and he went one by one, telling me their colors before he ate them. He'd hold up a red one, stare at me a second, and say "Wed." The a blue. "Bloooooooo". Then an orange "awnge" and a white "wiiiiiiiiite" and a purple (incorrectly named, btw)"gwaaaay". Then of course, yellow or "yemmoe".

He's so smart. We have been told that there is another school option for Jaymes, which may or may not have a class that is strictly autism. he is currently being mainstreamed in the regular Pre-K and they're just failing him. I'm not saying they aren't trying, but they are failing regardless. I'm going to look into this other school. If we had a really good school program in the equation along with structure at home and therapy with the 3 best therapists we've ever had (much love to Shawna, April, and Rebecca because they really are incredible)... Things would be so much better. Jaymes just needs help to really blossom into what he could be. He's so so intelligent.

Today was Sierra's early intervention "meet and greet" where they explained the program and stuff... obviously I know how EI works, we did the 3 years with Spawnlet and it was pretty good. She does not think Sierra will qualify, which is good. Her evaluation is in 2 weeks. I know she is most likely completely normal, maybe even a little ahead of her age group, but considering Jaymes' issues, I just want to be sure.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Grandma's house= Bloodshed? HMMM

Who knew that a trip to Grandma's house would result in two bloody children and a mommy with sticky, bloody fingers. No, I didn't snap and try to take them out, don't worry.

Jaymes' day started out oddly.. Not much tantrum really, but just odd changes in things that have never been an issue. He would not, and I mean WOULD NOT get in the shopping cart at Walmart. He always rides in the cart, every trip, every time. Apparently not this time. Jason and I working together could not wrangle him into the cart, so he walked. To his credit, he walked politely until we got to the register, then I just kind of decided to take him to the car and wait for Jason there so as to avoid a fit.

Then there came our trip to Grandma's house. He seemed pretty happy, and we were all relatively relaxed, until Jaymes and Grandma went inside to get some toys. What did they come out with? A book? Nope. A toy? Nope.

Crayons. Yes, crayons. Crayons are the bane of my existance. They drive me insane, because they are such a pain. They get chewed up, their wrappers get peeled off and scattered around the room, they draw on the walls/tables/etc. I hate crayons. Ditto to markers. Hate, hate, hate. Jaymes CANNOT do drawing activities at home. He can do it at therapy, and at school, but at home it's too much.

It began ok. he took a crayon and put it in each crack of my mom's picnic table. He had the whole box lined up, very organized and pretty. Unfortunately, it was time to clean up, and Jaymes was not into it. He went ballistic when we packed up the crayons into the box and put them away. My mom went to the chalkboard and tried to get Jaymes to color with that instead, but he decided to throw himself to the hard hard ground and smack his face repeatedly on it. When he got up, his nose was just gushing blood. It was really gruesome. I'm pretty good around blood, but that kind of made me sick. Too much blood. He was screaming, and each breath inward was followed by a forceful nose blowing outward- splattering more and more blood. Eww.

Those kinds of things really freak me out... When he -really- hurts himself enough to bleed badly, or to have that huge lump on his head he got from jumping off the deck... It seems to be the behaviors are escalating, though he is getting SO much smarter. He knows his colors, some shapes, most letters, some numbers... He's so so smart. Why is it that as he learns more and gains more skills, he seems to deteriorate behaviorally?

Anyway, not a horrible day... I'm dead tired though, and have been fighting horrrrrrrrrible headaches for days now. Bleh.

I worked. Hooray.

Actually, I really enjoy it and wish I could do what I did yesterday all the time.

My mom is an Instructor/Evaluator for the Delta Society Pet Partners program, which is basically an organization that trains people and their pets to work together as a therapy team. They visit nursing homes, schools, psych hospitals, and generally make people's lives more enjoyable. I've been in it since I was 12, although I really have not had time to do any therapy visits myself in years. I prefer the other side of it- helping with the evaluations and behind the scenes stuff. my people skills are really not up to the task of visiting older folks in the nursing home. I am eventually going to get Buddy the horse tested and certified, so that I can do some sort of program for kids with autism here at our home. Not riding, because that's against the Delta rules (and would void that awesome million dollar insurance policy that comes with all Delta certification) but interaction and fun. We're saving up towards that goal, it costs to get the certification and the special vet check... So it's on hold until we have enough.

ANYWAY. Yesterday was an evaluation day. most of the people coming to be tested were people I had met at the practice test session I did a month or 2 ago. Lots of great people and dogs, and of course they all passed the test. There were a ton of Golden Retrievers. They're beautiful, but their hair gets to me.

It was a very long, hot, tiring day... But it was the first child-free day i have had in a very very long time, and it was a nice change of pace. The pay isn't too terrible either.

Jason was all irritable at me when I got home because I was gone all day... Apparently the fact that he cleaned the house meant I needed to fawn over how wonderful he was... i appreciate him cleaning, but basically yesterday was a role reversal- I worked, he did my stuff. Except that i normally do a lot more than he did.

I normally clean, play with kids, bathe kids, feed kids, deal with phone calls to jaymes case worker/medicaid/transportation/therapies/doctors, arrange the home health care diapers thing, feed the pets, medicate the pets, clean the pasture of poops, etc...

I WISH all I had to do was clean the house. I could kill myself trying, but it would never been good enough or ever equal to his day of work. Bleh.

He did a very good job of cleaning though, I was impressed.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Do you ever have that weird "something reallllllly bad is going to happen" sick, sinking feeling that makes your heart pound?

Maybe I've finally gone off my rocker?

Random Just-Woke-Up Thoughts

How much of our children's problems do we create ourselves, how much do we just imagine to be wrong? How many tantrums do we cause, in an effort to avoid those same tantrums?

For the longest time, I thought Jaymes' Autism was all in my head. I tend to overreact to things, and I've found that most of the doctors assume this as well. I often thought to myself (ok, I still do, sometimes) "maybe he's fine, and I'm causing us all this agony by pursuing something that does not even exist."

Then after awhile, it became undeniable, obviously he was Autistic. Even on a good, happy, non scremy day, he's such an odd kid. He's the poster child for Autism- hand flapping, spinning, rocking, weird eye stimming. But still, you sometimes feel like maybe it is you, and none of this would exist if you'd simply kept your mouth shut and not pushed the doctors for this diagnosis.

It's funny, I've always preached the same thing: If your child is diagnosed Autistic, don't obsess over why. Don't let yourself pretend it doesn't exist. Don't beat yourself up. just get help. And yet here I am, still obsessing. Still wondering if maybe he could have been normal, had I not pushed the docs and evaluations. Still beating myself up over this.

To some extent, the mental beatings I'm giving myself are deserved. Jaymes PT and OT have mentioned that my iffy relationship with Jason could have something to do with Jaymes' issues.. And you know, it could. We've gotten a lot better this last couple weeks with only the occasional "I hate you" episode... But it hasn't been like that for too long. We've had a few loud angry fights in front of the kids. Sierra cries and needs to be snuggled, but it's never seemed to affect Jaymes. He just goes on his merry way doing all the things he normally does...

We really do try not to fight in front of them. I don't want them to remember their younger days as a time when yelling was all that was heard in the house. I really want to drop my bitterness, and just try and be in love with the guy I must have once really felt something for. I know he feels the same way... We just drive each other crazy- and not in the good way!

Anyway. Point being, we rarely fight in front of the kids, and have not for the last month or so. I had a talk with Jason about how if we were going to do the nasty fight thing, we needed to wait until bedtime or naptime, and then do it quietly. Or outside. We're trying... Really.

I think I'd be a nicer person if I wasn't so tired and didn't get the headaches from hell. If Jaymes could just STOP for one day a week.... It would be wonderful. Ok, ok, maybe I'm simply a bitch by nature. But I'm a much nicer one when I'm not cranky and sick and sore.

I love my Jaymes. He is the best thing that ever happened to me, my best little buddy... We do everything together, and I miss him horribly when he is at school. He's the light of my life, even during the bad times. I just wish we could have more good times. Buddy is lame right now, so no riding... That's been our special time. We can get out and away from home, stress, money problems, anger... We can just sit there on the horse silently and snuggle... When we trot or canter Jaymes giggles and holds on to me tightly... He chatters away about the house, the tree, the bird, the kitty... You'd think he were "normal".

I wish I could just get rid of things in our lives that make them suck. Like the 2 weeks overdue garbage bill, the 2 month overdue (and cut off) Dish network, the $200 water bill I have no idea how to pay... I think if the money crud were gone, Jason and I would be nicer to each other and the kids could do more special things.

I wish I could let go of the negativity... I wish i were still the saintly patient person people seem to think I am, never getting frustrated with Jaymes' screaming or getting upset. I know it's not his fault, but sometimes it still makes me nuts.

Anyway, I guess the most important thing i can say is this- I love my Jaymes. I love him more than anyone in the world, and he knows it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Did I ever mention how much I despise Thursdays?

Well I do. Today more so than usual.

Jaymes did pretty well in OT, except for the very end. He did a good job snipping paper with scissors himself, named some colors, strung some beads, and went in the swing. He did more, but in my frazzled state of mind currently, I cannot remember what else. By the very end of OT, Jaymes was trying to throw himself over chairs and hitting the table.

Speech was pretty good too, he did a puzzle, some flashcard things where he had to try and name verbs (none of which he seems able to do, but he did label some items on the cards), a farm puzzle thing that has the worst southern redneck hick voice singing Old MacDonald... The only bad moment was when we tried to take away his fruit snack pouch (he'd been clutching it the entire time) and he went ballistic- Redfaced screaming, slamming him hands and arms into the table, biting himself, and trying to throw himself out of his chair. Needless to say, neither I nor the therapist argued, and we gave it back.

PT was not so good. I chalk this up to a few things.

  • It's the 3rd therapy session in a row
  • It's later in the day
  • April doesn't take any crap. Period.
Most of the session was spent in the little therapy room in the back, with Jaymes screaming insanely. His face was bright red, oozing from eyes/nose/mouth, and making gremlin noises. I say it like it's funny, and in a way it is, but in a way it's not. It's very hard for me to watch Jaymes like that. April had to hold him, because he was trying to hurt himself. He was biting, kicking, hitting, and headslamming with everything he had, and it lasted probably... thirty minutes? Something like that. It was not pretty. He finally calmed down, so she took him out on the tricycle to see the fishies down the hall. We made it less than halfway there before Jaymes lost it again and started trying to smash his face against the metal bar in the front of the tricycle. We had to get him off the bike, then she took him for a walk down the stairs and underneath the main building where Wake forest University seems to keep their spare junk. It calmed him down pretty well, and I like the walk too. He had another fit when we got back up, but it wasn't that bad.

We went out to wait for the van service to pick us up and take us home, as they always do. They get us at home at noon, and bring us back at 4:10. Jason's got the car for work, so this is the only way to get the boy to therapy. Sierra was with a babysitter who needed her gone by 4:30 because of some kind of sports practice thing... 4:10 comes... Goes.... Keeps going...

At this point I realized several things. I realized that I forgot to bring the babysitter's phone number with me. I realized that she probably did not have my number either. I realized that the goddamn van was not coming. I realized that I did not have THEIR number either.

Tried 411, but the van service is unlisted for some reason. Tried my mom. She was teaching a class. Tried my friend up the road. No answer. Tried my other friend, Melissa. No answer.

Went back up to the therapy room to see if they had any ideas.

Now, at this point, I feel I need to describe my state of mind. I had been at this place with Jaymes for almost 5 hours. Jaymes had had bad therapy sessions. jaymes had beaten himself against the floor of the parking deck whilst we waited. Jaymes was still screaming and throwing himself down. I was panicked over the babysitter situation, how pissed off she'd be at me, how I'd get Sierra, how I'd get home. What must the sitter be thinking? Would she ever sit again? Probably not. Now I look like a moron.

So, as I went into the therapy area, I started crying like an idiot. Managed to stop and keep it together, then Jaymes started screaming again. I growled at him and burst into tears again, feeling rather foolish. The receptionist tried to look up the number to the van jerks, but no luck. Finally, she offered to drive me home if i could not figure something out.

At this point, I was about to jump off the roof if I could find an exit. Then my phone rang -yay- and it was Melissa. I asked her to go to the babysitters, tell her the situation, and give her my number. She called shortly after, saying that practice was cancelled, and what time could I come get Si-Si. Melissa came and picked us up and we got Sierra and came home... It was 7pm at that point. I am friggin TIRED, and stressed out, and miserable. What a horrible day, how stupid I must have looked.. bleh.

Stupid van service. Stupid,stupid, stupid.

Now, in order to not be entirely bitter, angry, and pessismistic, I will copy Squid's way of thinking and say the following:

Jaymes did a great job in speech and OT. Jaymes was super patient considering he was stuck out at a boring therapy place for 6 hours. Jaymes could have been worse, and I am blessed to have a kid who really tried his hardest to keep it together. I'm lucky to have a friend who would come save me, and lucky to have such a kind receptionist there who would have taken me home. I am lucky that the practice was cancelled, and that Sheri is such an understanding person.

Wow, I am both lucky, and hideously unlucky. Interesting.

Oh, and Here2There Van Service... You SUCK.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Universal Healthcare- your thoughts?

This is very interesting to me, mostly because I'm busily trying to figure out how to manage my bills from the sorta recent ER visit and Neurologist visit. Neither of which did a darn thing for me.

Found this on a I frequent, thought I'd share.

There have been a lot of debates and discussions recently, both on this forum and in other venues, about the state of healthcare. Looking at the rising costs of health insurance, and at the growing numbers of the uninsured, many are calling for government intervention, and the institution of a system where care is guaranteed to all - usually described as "universal" healthcare. It's a fascinating topic - the issues involved include humanitarian, financial and ideological ones. Unfortunately, debate on the subject is characterised by a startling phenomenon: one side is right, and the other is completely wrong.

Given the importance of medicine, I feel that it would be useful to clarify this issue. I will explain clearly, and with evidence, why it is that universal healthcare of any sort would be better than the current system in every significant way. If you find yourself disagreeing with this assertion, I ask that you read on before replying, as all conceivable objections will be addressed and resolved.

Why The Current Situation Is Bad

At the moment, healthcare in America is provided mostly by private entities, who charge high fees. These fees can be attributed largely due to the difficulty and expense of the medical profession, and although they are significantly higher than those of similar nations this difference is only a small portion of healthcare costs. There then exists the health insurance industry, a loose network of corporations that charge individuals or organisations premiums and will pay for their health costs if any are incurred.

Unfortunately, this system has enormous problems. As of 2006, 44.8 million people in America do not have health insurance. Many are unable to afford it, many are denied coverage by insurers who believe that as customers they will not be economical, and others choose not to purchase it. Without health insurance, the up-front costs of health care are impossible for most people to afford. In fact, 50.35% of all bankruptcies were caused, at least in part, by medical fees. In 2001, this was 2,038,549 bankruptcies.

Furthermore, health insurance does not fully cover medical expenses. Different insurers and different plans have many exemptions, co-pays, threshholds and other expense-minimising devices. As a result, 62% of those two million bankruptcies occurred despite the debtors having health insurance coverage for the duration of their illness.

As well as failing to provide care, and driving individuals into bankruptcy, the existing system is also exorbitantly expensive. Health care spending is now 15% of U.S. GDP - the highest in the world. The costs to businesses, who commonly pay premiums for their employees in lieu of salary, rose by 13.9% in 2003. The annual cost increase has been above inflation since at least 1981. Paying more doesn't result in more value, either - obesity, diabetes, and similar disorders are more common in the United States than anywhere else in the developed world, the U.S. is ranked 72nd in overall health, and life expectancy is below that of 41 other countries.

What Is Universal Health Care?

Universal Health Care, or UHC, refers to a wide range of different systems, the common characteristic of which is that a nation's government guarantees all its citizens access to healthcare. Every developed nation (OECD member) in the world, apart from the United States, has a UHC system. There are three main types:

In a fully public system, there is no or little private healthcare, and the health insurance industry is not a significant one. Medical service providers are government employees, and the education of doctors is also subsidised. The most well known example of a fully public system is the original English NHS, although a private sector is now developing in the U.K. as well.

In an optional public, the government provides the same services, but a private health services industry also exists (generally regulated), and . Sometimes health insurers exist, used by people who prefer private services. This is the most common, and examples include Australia and Sweden.

In a subsidised private system, the government pays for health care, but it is provided by private entities. Either the government acts as a health insurer for the populace, or it pays the fees for private health insurers to do so. This is done in Canada.

For the purposes of discussion, I will be assuming the characteristics of an optional public system, like those used in most of Europe. However, the benefits of UHC apply to all of the above types of organisation.

How UHC Will Improve Things

The single largest problem with healthcare in America is that many people don't have it. It's obvious how UHC solves this: by providing it to all citizens directly (or paying for it to be done). By definition, this is no longer a problem under UHC. All developed nations other than the United States make this guarantee to their citizens, and have so far been able to uphold it. The two reasons which make a person uninsurable - insurer decisions and lack of money - will no longer exist.

The second major problem with the current system is its high cost. This can be divided into two parts: individual cost, and government cost - which to the individual shows up as taxation. UHC is inherently cheaper - far cheaper - due to economies of scale, the bargaining position of monopolies with regard to drugs and salaries, reduced administrative costs, and the lack of a profit motive. When it comes to individual health care costs:

According to the World Health Organisation, average American individual spending on healthcare is $3371 per year. Since this includes the uninsured and those covered by their employers, actual costs are higher. For comparison:

Australia: $1017
Canada: $916
Sweden: $532
United Kingdom: $397

The first of those is the second-highest in the world - meaning that Americans pay, not including taxes, more than three times as much as citizens of any other nation. This would be somewhat justifiable if they received better healthcare, but again - 28% have no care at all, life expectancy is below all other developed nations, and general health rating is below all other developed nations.

It is commonly assumed that this difference in cost is because under UHC systems, higher taxes are required to fund the system. Not so. As mentioned, UHC is a great deal cheaper than private healthcare, and as a result America's health-related taxation is also the highest in the world. According to the OECD, in 2006, American government spending on healthcare was $2887 per person. For comparison:

Australia: $2106
Canada: $2338
Sweden: $2468
United Kingdom: $2372

American healthcare taxes are in fact the highest in the OECD, with France second at $2714. In conclusion, every single UHC system in the world costs less money for individuals, requires lower taxes, and provides better care to more people than the American health care system. By implementing UHC in the U.S., things can only get better.

Frequently Raised Objections

There are many incorrect arguments against the implementation of UHC in the United States. In order to better facilitate discussion, I will explain the errors found in the most common.

"America isn't Europe!", or It Won't Work Here
The argument from American exceptionalism states that what works in Europe will not work in the U.S. It's said that this is because European nations have more people in less space, resulting in less logistical difficulties, and because European government is more competent.

Firstly, not all developed nations are European. The most obvious example that counteracts the logistical argument is Australia, where there are 20 million people in only slightly less space than America's 300 million. This does indeed affect prices, as can be seen by comparing Australia to Sweden or the U.K. - but it doesn't bring them anywhere near the levels currently experienced in America.

The argument that American government is uniquely incompetent, and cannot do things that every other nation in the world can do, is simply nonsense. Not only has America, and American government, achieved many things that other countries have not, America has so many resources and the improvement in care and cost from moving to UHC is so large that even with incredible inefficiencies it would still be a good idea.

"It is immoral to force me to pay for others' healthcare."
You are already paying for others' healthcare. Furthermore, you are paying far more than you would be under UHC. The U.S. government incurs massive costs from paying hospital fees when ER visitors have no money, and from the limited coverage that it provides, which cannot take advantage of economies of scale and which has to subsidise corporate profit.

As demonstrated above, U.S. taxes devoted to healthcare are the highest in the world. Even if you choose not to have health insurance, under the current system, you are still paying more for others' healthcare than you would be paying for theirs plus your own under UHC.

"This is socialism."
It is not socialist to recognise that there is a service the free market is inefficient at providing, and to decide it should better be provided by the government. Even the most staunch libertarian admits that there are some services in this category, such as national defence.

Secondly, it is irrelevant whether this is a "socialist" policy; it's effective. It costs less and provides better care to more people, and as a result is used literally everywhere else in the entire world. Those who want to ensure that society remains ideologically committed to market capitalism need to look for other issues, as if they cling to this one they will only end up providing evidence against their position.

"I don't want more government bureaucracy."
UHC will involve much less bureaucracy than is commonly assumed, as it can replace the existing partial systems like Medicare and also the plethora of state-specific programs. Regardless, the lives and money saved are more important than any potential expansion of the state.

"Why don't we try making the system even more private instead? That might help."
It might. However, there's no evidence to suggest it, and many reasons to presume it wouldn't. By its nature, the less publicly-supported a system, the more people will be unable to purchase health services.

The only potential gain would be reduced costs due to some sort of market mechanism, and in practice this has never occurred; every private healthcare system that has ever existed in world history has proved inefficient and been replaced by public systems, and given the demonstrable gains that have resulted the U.S. must follow.

"Doctors will be paid less."
They probably will. In nations with UHC, doctors often earn less - for example, U.S. doctors earn 30% more than Canadian doctors - but this isn't an inherent problem. It is still one of the highest-paying professions in the world, and there are many other ways of attracting skilled people to medicine - such as subsidising their education.

It is sometimes claimed that doctors paid less in a country with UHC will instead go elsewhere where they can be paid more, but once the U.S. has UHC there will not be an elsewhere to go.

"Medical research is funded by the payments of the rich in the current system, and will be reduced."
It is not true that most medical research is done in the United States. In 2000, U.S. research spending was $46 billion, but European spending was also $43 billion. And although U.S. research spending doubled in the last decade, the funding's efficacy has actually decreased.

Secondarily, if the option for private healthcare still exists - and there is no reason why it should not - there will still be people choosing to pay more for a higher quality of care, faster service, et cetera. Their profits will still be reinvested in the development of new drugs, equipment and understanding of the human body, as they still are in nations with UHC today. Even in the United States, private spending accounts for only 57% of research spending.

"With the option of private healthcare, the rich will 'opt out' and costs will go up."
This isn't necessarily true at all; although private healthcare is usually allowed in UHC nations (for good reasons), it doesn't have to decrease the taxes paid by all to support the public system!

"Other countries fix drug prices, so the US has to pay more for drugs."
This is another common misconception. U.S. healthcare does not include higher pharmaceutical spending than other countries; it's around the average or even slightly lower. From the OECD:

Canada: 17.7%
Germany: 15.2%
Iceland: 13.3%
Australia: 13.3%
US: 12.4%
Sweden: 12%
Ireland: 11.6%

In Conclusion

Thank you for reading. To those who were not previously supporters of UHC, I apologise if anything seemed condescending, but there's no shame in being wrong due to not having all the facts or having been misled. If anyone has questions feel free to ask, and hopefully we can now discuss what sort of UHC system ought to be implemented or how the political will for it can be gathered, rather than being bogged down by misconceptions about its desirability.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bad news from the vet...

Our older dog, Chance, has been getting thinner and thinner, and frailer than usual... We got her when she was 9 or 10, and that was 4 years ago, so she's always been frail and sickly. She was on meds at the shelter where we picked her up, then shortly after we got her, a broken tooth caused serious infection that spread to her bloodstream. About a year later, she dug out from under the fence and came back 2 days later with a broken leg. Another year later, a snakebite caused her sinuses and nose to swell like a balloon and bleed for weeks. In all, we've spent over $6000 on vet bills... And we just can't anymore.

Took Chancie in today because of the weight loss, and because a tumor appeared fairly suddenly on one of her toes. It's been growing at an alarming rate, and splits open and oozes. Sometimes she can bear weight on that leg, sometimes not. She also sneezes and coughs constantly, and her nose oozes.

The verdict was pretty certain, though due to our financial constraints we could not let them do any tests. The tumor is very likely to be cancerous, judging on the size, and how fast it showed up. She has other lumps on her body, which are probably also cancer. She had a heart murmer, and her heart-rate was very high (160). That, coupled with the coughing, points to heartworm. She's been on Heartguard, but apparently they can still sometimes get it, or she might have had it when we got her and it was just not noticed somehow. Also, she has the beginnings of cataracts in both eyes and an umbilical hernia that was not there before.

Ideally, the vet would like to amputate the toe with the growth. This would not stop the cancer, and other growths would still come up, but it would give her a little more time. However, the cost to do it is prohibitive, as well as her heart issues. It would not be safe to put her under for the surgery, without the heart rate slowing down a lot.

Chance is old... I don't want (and can't afford) to do surgery on her that will only give her a couple months, maybe 6 at best. IF she even survives the anesthesia.

I talked to a friend who is a vet tech.. And she never sugarcoats things. In her words "your dog's days are numbered."

So three months, 6 if we're lucky. Poor Chance.

I got her a huge bone, some special dog food, and some canned food to help her gain some weight. She loves it all. She loves taking her meds in balls of cheese, then falling asleep on the couch full of yummy things. Echo looks upset that she doesn't get special nummies.

Poor Chancie Pants... She's my special girl.

New look!

An awesome, awesome artist on FHOTD made me this BEAUTIFUL banner for the blog. I don't know her real name to give credit, but her name on there is Starrynightxxi. This is just beautiful, i love it, and it totally captures the feel of the blog. I hope you all enjoy her lovely work as much as I do!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Read this, too.

the adventures of leelo and his potty-mouthed mom: Vaccinated

The link above shows responsible parenting, in terms of safely vaccinating your child. Squid, you're awesome.

Vaccinate your children.

Read this article

So, to all of the bright souls out there so busy looking for something to blame for your child's Autism- VACCINATE YOUR CHILDREN. I don't want my kids to end up sick because morons like you chose not to vaccinate.

Generally I say to each his own, but it really pisses me off knowing that a bunch of rabid anti-vaccine idiots are trying to talk others into not vaccinating. A LOT of mothers will read the anti-vaccine bullshit and they will take it as the truth without looking further. I hope your kids stay healthy, and I hope they are not allowed in my child's school.

As for the doctors and therapists that are telling us (and they have said this to me!) "oh, all you need to do is claim they aren't vaccinated due to religious beliefs." Well, those people should be ashamed. Stupidity upon stupidity. Want to put your own kids at risk? Then by all means, risk their sweet little lives, but don't spout your idiocy at everyone you know.

You can find some of this idiocy here. Because of the mindless anti-vaccine bullshit, I no longer frequent Foggy Rock. It's sad, it's a great site aside from that.

Someone is watching out for us...

And whoever it is, they knew we needed a break. Jaymes had a really positive reaction to the Adderall. It did not stop tantrums, rather it kept him able to concentrate on fun stuff we were doing, and because he could focus, he did not tantrum as much. He did a lot less flitting around between things, and spent more time on specific activities.

We finger painted this morning, since it was rainy... I put them out in the carport and Jaymes painted lots of pictures. He did foot print art, hand print art, and sponge and finger painting. He favors blue. He really made some nice stuff. Still selling his art to save up toward Buddy the horse's therapy animal certification- $5 unframed, plus $1 shipping.

After we painted, Jaymes went for a ride on Buddy. We stopped at all the street signs and he read me the letters, then said "byebye Sign!"

When Jason got home, we all went out to the park. I guess at this point the Adderall was wearing off, which the doctor told me would happen, and he had a little bit of trouble. He has become very obsessive about his blanket, which is relatively a relatively new thing. It had been that Blankie stayed in his room with Horsey. The blue Blankie got all painted on this morning, so that was in the wash and he had to have Sierra's pink Blankie. It's the exact same blankie, the only difference being the color, so it works for when the real Blankie is unavailable. However, it causes issues.

The only thing that calmed Jaymes down at the park was Blankie. Pink Blankie. A little boy draped in a huge pink blanket attracts some odd looks at the park. One incident in particular really made me sad, and kind of put a damper on the entire day.

Jaymes was alone, doing his peaceful reflection thing on the swing, wrapped in pink Blankie... Another boy, probably 5 years old, came over (Jason was there, not me, so this is what he told me) and tried to get Jaymes to come play. Jaymes did the usual look right through the other kid thing, so the kid kept trying to get his attention. Eventually it turned into this:

Kid: "Why are you wearing a pink blanket?"
Jaymes stares
Kid: "What's wrong with you?"
Jaymes stares
Kid: "What's wrong with you, are you too stupid to talk?"
Jaymes stares some more
Kid: "Well you're stupid and my shirt is spiderman and your's sucks."

He walked away, with Jaymes looking after him curiously. It breaks my heart to hear this kind of thing. Jaymes wants to be friends with other kids, but he doesn't understand. There is nothing wrong with him, he just did not understand. He didn't know what the kid was trying to get him to do, nor did he have the words to respond. And who cares if he's wearing a pink blanket?

I know, that 5 year old kid doesn't understand that those things he said are hurtful. They're kids, and they don't get the whole consideration for others aspect of social interaction. He was only being a kid. It just makes me sad, thinking that poor Jaymes, even on a really good day, is still somehow not good enough for "normal" society.

In more amusing news, I got video of our dorky old horse running around like a fool, and falling down in the mud.

And here is a video that really demonstrates just how careful Buddy is with Jaymes, and how much they love each other. Notice how Buddy carefully watches where he is in relation to Jaymes, and how he looks after Jaymes when he goes:

Food for thought, a cool quote.

Found this quoted on a Neurodiversity page...

"People with autistic spectrum disorders are not victims of autism,\ they are victims of society. They do not suffer from their developmental differences, they suffer from prejudice, ignorance, lack of understanding, exploitation, verbal abuse - all this and more from that sector of society which considers itself socially able. "


Wish us luck...

Jaymes will be starting the Aderall today, so we're either in for a horrible day, or a good one. It's raining out, so we'll be cooped up in the house. Wish us luck!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A quiet place...

Perhaps. Had a good Thursday. We saw Dr. Klinepeter (who, by the way, is awesome) and are going to try Jaymes on Adderall. If it seems to hinder more than help, then we'll try something new. he's on board for a little bit of experimentation.

I gave Jaymes a double-dose of Risperdal (yes, it's ok with the docs to do this) prior to therapy today, and while it did make him sleepy and kind of spacy, it also made the experience a completely new one.

In OT, Jaymes was relatively attentive, sat at the table, cut with scissors (qith hand over hand assistance), listened to his music with headphones, rode the swing, threw a ball, did a puzzle, and played with Goop. No crying or screaming.

In Speech, Jaymes was very spacy, and spent a lot of time staring at the ceiling. He did, however, complete a pretty tough dinosaur puzzle, put together toy dinosaurs, read a dinosaur book, and play with balls. He screamed a little bit, but really not enough to count it against him in my opinion.

PT wasn't perfect, but you have to remember that by then Jaymes had been through a 2 hour specialist appointment, OT, and Speech. You'd expect him to be a bit frazzled, wouldn't you? Anyway, he played in the ball pit, jumped on one foot on the trampoline, did the stairs, rode the tricycle down the hall to see the fishies at the neighboring doctor's office, threw velcro balls at a sticky target thingy, bounced on the big ball... He did well. He screamed pretty good at the end, but again, this was a long day for him.

Best Therapy Day we've had in a long time. It's really restored a lot of faith in Jaymes, the therapists, and myself.

I've come to realize that despite everything, despite how hard it is to deal with Jaymes and how embarressing it can be... How stressful, listening to the screaming all day long and holding him down when he tries to hurt himself... It's so worth it. Every struggle we survive makes us stronger, and Jaymes proves every day that Autism will not define him, nor will it limit him.

Even when it's hard, hold on to the faith that one day it'll start improving. Even when your child is at his worst, know that it will not last. Better things will come.

After we came home and Jaymes napped for awhile, I took them out this this beautiful park i discovered while driving around lost the other day. It's all woods, with paved trails and a creek with bridges and places to play in the water. There are 3 playgrounds- one that no one bothers with because it's older and not so fancy, one for little teeny kids, and one that kicks the butt of any playground I've ever laid eyes on.

This sucker had stuff i've never even seen. Tons of huge, twisting slides designed to look like snakes and trees and robots. A rickety bouncing bridge. A long tunnel leading out to twin slides with weird texturing on them so your butt goes BUMBUMBUM as you go down. Tons of monkey bars, climbing walls, and a fake cliff face that you can scale. Also, a dog park was right nearby, so we're going to bring Echo and Chance one of these days.

Jaymes was a crazy man, going up and down, on the slide, in the tunnel, on the swings. He was everywhere. Sierra was more reserved, and she let me follow her around as she watched the other kids and went on the slides a few times. At one point I was looking all over for Jaymes, and finally found him all the way over on the swingset, just sitting there. Staring into space, into the sky like I used to do as a kid. In a way it was sad, I remember the sorrow I felt when I sat there like that... I'd swing up high and pretend I was falling into the sky.

But I know that this was not sad. Jaymes wasn't pretending he was falling into the sky to get away from his life, he was deep in thought, enjoying the rhythmic sensation of the swing slowly rocking back and forth. He was happy, peaceful. He didn't notice the wild kids around him, didn't notice I waswatching him. He was in his own little world, quiet, happy, and content. A quiet place.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, my cell phone is not exactly a fancy piece of photography equipment.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Jaymes can fly!

Ok, no he can't. Another bad day, the whole anger/agression/violent outbursts thing has escalated to a point we can no longer handle. Jaymes jumped off the deck today and cracked his poor little head, bled a lot (scalp wounds bleed a LOT) and he's got a huge bump. He's covered in bruises and bitemarks. He also pushed Sierra off her chair and split her lip open, poor baby.

I finally couldn't take it anymore and dug out the Risperdal. I know we're supposed to not have him on it (we'll be starting new meds later in the month) but I'm not having him kill himself or anyone else.

I gave him a double dose, followed by one more dose 2 hours later, and the remainder of the day was blissfully silent and happy. Jaymes was very sleepy, and in that zombie stupor I hate... but he was pleasant, cuddly, cheerful, and had fun playing with toys at Target before falling asleep in my arms.

I hate drugging him up. I really, really do. But he could have killed himself today, and I've had it with me and Sierra getting hurt all the time too. No more of this.

The specialist we've been waiting nearly a year to see called me today. Weird, that the doc himself would call me on a holiday, huh? Turns out last Thursday, on that horrible horrible day at therapy, the doc was there in the therapy office. He heard for himself Jaymes' frenzied screams. Thank god.

So yes, I'm happy and hopeful and feeling a bit more positive.