Sunday, June 28, 2009

Busy parents, forgotten kids, hot cars

It's summer time again. Time of year for swimming, picnics, and sadly, story after story about parents who for whatever reason, forgot their babies in the car. Seems like there's a new one each week, and it's so incredibly sad. Also mind boggling to me. Most of the stories are about parents who, being in a hurry to get to work or who don't normally take their baby to daycare in the mornings, somehow forget about the kiddo in the back seat. I can understand it, thinking logically, but as a mom, I can't wrap my head around it.

As autism mommies (and daddies!), it seems logical that we'd be tired, a little overstimulated, maybe totally burnt out at times. I know half the time I neither know the day of the week, nor that I've put away the maple syrup in the freezer or the ice cream in the microwave. I'm one of the most scatter-brained people on earth, there are days I forget what I'm saying- mid sentence! But I have never, ever, forgotten a child. Forgotten to give meds, yes. Left a kid in the car, no.

I just can't understand it. I'm neurotic. even when I KNOW my kids are in the car, I look back to make sure I have both of them. When we get out of the car, I look to make sure we've got both. It's stupid, and makes me look like a weirdo, but I'm ok with that. Ialways double check everything, because I know that I'm forgetful. I like to catch myself before anything bad happens.

I can see how it would happen. Baby asleep and silent in the car seat, dad on the phone. I've been fortunate (sort of) in having loud kids I guess. When I have kids in my car, you KNOW that they're there! But, I guess if you're busy talking or in a hurry to get to work, and baby is silent.. It's possible.

So what do you guys think, as far as punishment for parents who inadvertantly kill their kids this way? On one hand, it's inexcusable idiocy to let it happen. On the other hand, we're human. My opinion originally had been that these parents deserved the harshest sentence that could be imposed upon them- their negligence killed innocent babies, in a horrible, slow manner. Then I read this article (and you should too) and it kind of showed things in a different light.

Regardless of circumstances, I firmly believe parents who cause their kids death by leaving them in the car deserve to suffer with the memories for life. However, I'm not sure jail time is appropriate. There is no greater punishment on earth than sprinting to the car in the middle of the day when your spouse calls wondering why baby didn't get to daycare, and finding that poor child dead in their carseat. Just the thought of it chills me to the core. I cannot imagine being in that position, the horror and guilt they must feel. I doubt it ever truly goes away.

Some people, however, do deserve to go to jail. The article talks about a woman named Lyn Balfour, whose comments serve to trivialize the death of her child. I don't know why, but everything about that woman rubs me the wrong way. Her child died because she was raching to a fertility clinic to have another child. She feels no guilt or remorse for what happened... I guess it's how she deals with it, but it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

It happens, that's obvious. I think that remorse and guilt are something that any sane, feeling person would have to deal with- I don't understand how life would go on the same. Same car, same bouncy seat, and being able to nonchalantly discuss it... Freaks me out.



And a Jaymes update! Jaymes has been doing SO well in OT/PT/Speech, and behaviorwise too. He has learned to answer the question "what is your name" by saying "name Jaymes" and tapping his chest. He understands the difference between MY nose and YOUR nose, MY shirt, YOUR shirt. He loves to use his little safety scissors to cut out cards for people, and he actually draws shapes now, instead of scribbling with crayons until they're dead little stubs. He swims in his kiddy pool every day, and we do little art projects at home. He and Sierra both nap every afternoon. Not always for long, but he goes down without a fight, and I'm proud of him. We've also started to have a social life! I made friends with another mom from therapy, who has a slightly older son with autism and a little guy Sierra's age too. Jaymes and Devon play really well (side by side, not together- surprise surprise!) and Sierra has little Wyatt bringing her cups of Kool Aid and driving her around in his little Cozy Coupe. It's incredibly cute. It is so nice to have friends who can relate, and who understand Jaymes.

Jaymes lost a tooth! His first one! I'm not really sure what age kids normally start losing them, though, so I'm not sure if this was a natural baby tooth getting loose and coming out, or if he banged himself enough times to get that tooth knocked loose and eventually out. I noticed yesterday it was kind of wobbly, it was gone this morning. He's got a gap toothed little grin now. Not sure how I like it on him. Never did find the tooth, I'm sure he swallowed it. I would have liked to keep it because I'm sentimental like that.

Summer school starts next week. Tomorrow we have an open house to meet the teacher. It's not his normal school, and apparently this school is in a bad neighborhood and according to other parents and Jaymes IEP team, summer school will be nothing but daycare. I'm trying to be positive going into it though.

I'll miss him, we've actually been having a lot of fun, despite the destruction. I like having my little buddy around.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

He's got an autistic southern drawl

Who knew? Jaymes has many fun, amusing, and downright eccentric qualities, and now we can add what one therapist refers to as an "autistic southern drawl" to his list. I don't know why, but that cracked me up. I need to take some video of him asking for a brown crayon, he sounds like he's from Alabama. It's beyond adorable.

I spent a couple days sulking after the not-so-great IEP meeting, because sometimes you just need to stew for awhile, but I'm feeling a lot better about things now. There's no use in stressing over next year's issues until they occur, and I guess it's smarter to assume it'll go as promised at the meeting, rather than badly. We've had enough issues with various schools over the last 3 years that I've become just a little pessimistic and not what you'd call trusting in the schools doing what they say they will. Current school is a very good one though, and we'll see what happens. I guess the worst case scenario would be having to call another ugly IEP meeting.

I have to say, IEP meetings are really good for me. I remember Jaymes' first IEP years ago when he was 3 and starting school. I was so shy and nervous I didn't speak at all the entire time. I didn't know to read the IEP goals, or that I had a say in things. I had no clue, and Jaymes had some utterly ridiculous goals on his early IEPs. Every meeting I attend teaches me something new, and forces that assertiveness out of me. I am, by nature, incredibly shy. I don't like confrontation, and I prefer to just go along with whatever everyone else wants. It's been so hard to break out of that, and even when I know I'm pushing what's best for Jaymes, I still feel slightly ridiculous and like some awful bitch for pushing the issue. It's character building, to say the least. Painful, uncomfortable, humiliating sometimes... But good for me as a parent.

Jaymes is loving summer break. Monday we had my friend Kristi and her 2 sons over to play. Her older son is a couple years older than Jaymes, and also autistic and her other son is Sierra's age. They're both adorable, and it's a lot of fun to have them come over. The kids love it. They played in the front pasture with the kiddy pool and slide. The older boy, D. had a blast, and it was just such a cool experience. Younger son had a lot of fun spraying me and Sierra with squirty gun things. Went inside later and D buried himself in Sierra's stuffed animals. Her bed is covered in them, and he had SO much fun. It was really cute to see. Sierra and the younger son, W. played with the box of rice and pinto beans (for playing, not eating) and at some point rice began flying across the room. In the end, the room ended up being vacuumed for a long long time, then swept, then I gave up. Lesson learned? Rice is a BAD toy. BAD. Very, very bad. No more playing with rice. I'll buy more beans for Jaymes to dig in.

Today, we watched Thomas the Train, played ball, and grandma came over for a little while. Then we took the kids out to Harris Teeter for cookies and to get subs (yum) and brought them home for naps. Jaymes had OT at 5:30, and he really did a wonderful job.

He was so happy and excited, although he was a little too hyper. Tons of talking and expressions of pure joy on his little face. He did some animal stencils, then colored the animals and cut them out (square, not the exact outline of the animals). He is so good at cutting with scissors, he can do it all himself and he's so close to being right on the line she draws to keep him on track. He's come such a long way. He used his Vantage Lite to request the ball pit a whole bunch of times, and had the time of his life leaping and burying himself and squirming around in the balls. I love watching him play, he's just a vision of happiness.

Jaymes is doing really well lately. His meds are stable, and he's not up and down all the time. He still has his difficult moments, but for the most part he is really a pleasant little guy and I am really enjoying having him home. Tomorrow we're going to get some summer stuff- paper, stickers, crayons, sidewalk chalk, sprinkler, etc. The busier he is kept, the easier he is to handle. Hopefully our friends will come play again, that's really a lot of fun for everyone and I love having some adult conversation!

All in all, things are going really well. I'm tired, been having trouble sleeping again. Can't take sleeping pills because I can't wake up with Jaymes if I do, so I'm trying to just fight it and sleep when I can. My hip is hurting me really badly lately, from my fall off loony nutball horse back in jan? feb? Some days I'm fine, others I can't sit comfortably, and if i move the wrong way everything sort of seizes up. Very painful. I miss my percocet.

But like I said, i can't complain. My son is doing the best he's ever done before, my daughter is developing at this crazy, insanly rapid rate (she's so smart!), and life doesn't suck. That's what matters, life not sucking. Hooray.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I wasn't going to post this... however...

Originally, I wrote this on Facebook, just to get it out there because it was bothering me. I wasn't going to post it here because it makes me look like a pitiful whining moron. However, I realized that the point of this blog isn't to give me a nice public image- it's here for me to rant, rave, joke, reminisce and all that good stuff. It's not real if I pick and choose which emotions and words to put out there. So yeah, I'm a pitiful whining moron right now. Don't like it, skip the post. Being an autism mom- not always sunshine and butterflies. Sometimes it just sucks.

After the whole horrible IEP meeting, I'm feeling really down. I have never, in Jaymes' 5 years of life, had professionals who work with him purposely read out a list of things he can't do, just to make a point and to tear my argument for inclusion down. I've never had anyone at an IEP meeting take things so personally they need to attack my CHILD and his abilities to prove their point.

I always felt a certain sense of pride in the fact that when Jaymes was diagnosed, I didn't grieve. I have always been proud to have just jumped in and started taking care of his needs. But today I feel like I'm grieving for a child I never had- Jaymes has never been "normal", so it's not like I know what I'm feeling sad about. I guess it just really hit home how much of a mess poor Jaymes is. The teachers listing things the way they did hurt me a lot and really crossed a line. I understand why it was done, and that they did want to make a point, but that was a cruel and disrespectful way to go about that.

I guess I've been spoiled. The therapists and doctors see so many kids who are so much worse than Jaymes, and listening to them talk about him with positivity and caring has kind of kept me in this little bubble of "well he isn't THAT bad, he'll be talking in no time". I know it doesn't make sense. I knew his autism is moderate to severe, but I'm used to him and no one has ever told me "Jaymes can't do it" before.

I wish we hadn't had that meeting. I feel like they took something from me. Even if that something was my stupid little bubble of unrealistic dreams for my son.

Another one of those IEP meetings

Did I ever mention how much I hate IEP meetings? Really? A million times? Well there's a reason. Today was a great example. Bad stuff first, as always, ending in positivity- yay for my weird blogging style.

Ideally, the IEP meeting would go smoothly. After all, we're all there for the same reason; to help Jaymes succeed. We're all supposedly equal members of the team, so everyone should leave satisfied. No one should leave feeling like they just got the proverbial snot kicked out of them.

But then, it's not a perfect world. We're all humans- moms and dads and teachers and speech therapists and whatever everyone else there was. We all get irritable, we all get in our little digs at each other despite our best attempts to curb any ill feeling. After all, nothing is personal at an IEP meeting, right?

Anyway the IEP meeting was an unexpected one I called pretty suddenly. Read this post for the background on that. Nobody seemed especially overjoyed that suddenly I wanted to have another meeting, on the last day of school (to be fair I didn't schedule it, they did), after everything was supposed to have been said and done. I can understand the resentment, I'd resent it too. It makes extra work, stress, fuss for all involved. But it's for Jaymes- so too darn bad for all of us, myself included. IEP meetings make me literally sick to my stomach, I hate them. It's not in my nature to be assertive, or dare I say it- confrontational.

To my credit, I was more assertive than I have ever been at a meeting. It was a horrible feeling, but I think my point was made pretty well. It didn't really matter in the end, though. At least it's more life experience under my belt. That's a positive, right?

Attending todays meeting were myself, Jason, Sierra (moral support!), the school's speech therapist, the school case manager (not sure what that means exactly, she seemed to be in charge of the meeting), a regular ed teacher I've never met and who I'm not sure has ever met Jaymes, Jaymes case manager Julie, and the teacher's assistant, Ms. A who has had Jaymes in her classes for almost 2 years.

The main point of the meeting was to discuss placement. As discussed in my previous blog post about the situation, I didn't want Jaymes put in a totally self contained classroom. A few posters left me comments with what they do. Some have classroom aides who accompany their kids to regular ed classes. Some are in self contained. Some leave self contained to go out for lunch and "specials." I decided that I felt Jaymes would be best served in the AU classroom, going out to lunch and/or specials with his regular ed peers. Unfortunately, nobody else agreed. As expected, my husband was silent most of the time.

Ms. A seemed to be the most vocal in her disagreement. Honestly, I'd describe her response to my ideas best as royally pissed off. I think she took a lot of what I had to say very personally, and that coupled with the fact that she really does know and care about Jaymes made it a very passionate thing for her. I feel bad for making her so upset, but I do hope she realized that it wasn't personal and it was simply a mom standing up for her child. Ms. A knows Jaymes well- but I'm his mom, and I know him better. That's just how it is. He's my kid. What he does at home and what he does at school are two different things, and we both know him in different ways. But regardless, I'm his mother.

The reasoning for saying no to my ideas about leaving class for certain things included:

  • Jaymes would be targeted (wouldn't teachers stop bullying, in that case?)
  • Jaymes would not be ready for the transition and would not get anything out of the classwork
  • Even with an aide, he would only be functional with that aide, and it would be a crutch that would limit him (I disagree very much)
They felt he should start out only in that class, and that after awhile we could try letting him go out to art or PE or something. Basically, that to do it right off the bat would be setting him up for failure. I call BS on that too- Jaymes works as hard as you push him to. If you give him low expectations, he'll get used to that and only do what he has to do to get by, thus making the transition much harder later on.

I understand why they feel this way, and I do see the logic in their reasoning. I don't agree, but I get it. The plan is to push for him to go into a specific teacher's AU class because this particular teacher has her class in the cafeteria to eat with the other kids, and also they all have recess together. That's something, assuming it's really how that works and assuming he goes into that class. If that isn't the case, we'll be having another meeting at the start of the school year just like this one. (Anyone got any valium for me?!)

Couple things happened that -really- upset me. One was that while we were discussing Jaymes being at lunch with a regular ed class in the cafeteria, they pulled out a "kindergarten readiness" checklist and started going down the list pointing out anything Jaymes could not do, or did not do well. I found it to be deeply offensive to actually go to the trouble of pointedly announcing every one of Jaymes' weaknesses or flaws and using those things as an excuse to avoid inclusion.

This meeting was FOR Jaymes. A group of teachers counting things off "Nope, he doesn't do that! No, he can't do that, No, he poops after he eats" was entirely unacceptable. As far as it being an innocent way to decide readiness for inclusion- bullshit. I'm sorry, but the only purpose of doing that was to very politely and subtly tell me to shut the heck up. It was a revolting display of disrespect toward my child, and I'm not impressed. I finally got fed up and commented on how bashing on Jaymes and demeaning him with a list of things he can't do and it was dropped (and every time they came to something he couldn't do, everyone looked pretty triumphant- I didn't see that as something good, that's a failing on the school's part. Why CAN'T he tell you he needs a diaper change? Why CAN'T he pull his pants back up, if you folks are doing so much better a job than we are?)

The other thing is that there was a lot of dishonesty. Things that didn't make sense to me.

I talk to the teachers pretty frequently- enough to ask how Jaymes is doing at potty time and eating time. I've always been made to feel like I'm being overly worried about him, because he's always gotten GLOWING reports. He sits on the potty, he does the routine, he went poop in the potty one day. And yet today, at the meeting while they went through their "Jaymes can't do it" list, it came out that he NEVER does the potty right. So, what's the truth? Either I'm being lied to now, or I was being lied to all year.

As above, always been told he does just fine eating at lunch time. He scarfs down all his food, uses his utensils, etc. The only thing I've been told is he has a problem with stealing food off other kid's plates. Suddenly this morning, when they got to the question on the "list" that asks about eating with a fork, my son doesn't. Supposedly he chews up the forks to pieces.

Jaymes uses plastic forks at home and at therapy. He's only ever chewed one when he's left with it after a meal. He sits at the table every meal and eats his food with his fork. Never been an issue. This issue has never been mentioned to me. If he really is doing this, where are the consequences? Why is he being allowed to do this? It's a behavioral and a safety issue. If he's really not doing it, why was it said at an IEP meeting?

Then there was the name stamp. A few months back, we added this goal to Jaymes IEP, to replace one about writing his name with a pencil. "Jaymes will mark his classwork using a name stamp." Never got anything from school with a name stamped on it. Never saw the name stamp until Pre-K graduation when it was sitting out on display. I had been given the impression that the goal was a classroom goal, but apparently it was only an OT goal. Had I realized this, i'd have had it changed. He hardly GETS OT, why on earth would that only be an OT goal?! It's pretty clear Jaymes was never given the opportunity to do this goal, and he should have been. It shouldn't have been only up to the OT, that was an easy, classroom oriented goal. It's now changed to an "official" classroom goal, and I will speak up if I get work home without that stamp. I don't appreciate being told he's using the stamp in class when obviously he's never been given the chance to even try.

I signed a second bus harness request today too. I signed one a couple months ago. It seems it was never put through, for whatever reason. Apparently the bus driver is to blame because he doesn't do anything. It's the bus driver's job to drive. Jaymes needs a bus aide, or to be forcibly attached to his seat. Simple thing. What I don't understand is, at the last IEP meeting, his teacher, Mrs. W was there (she wasn't today because she just gave birth) and said she was pushing for a bus aide. Mentioned this at today's meeting and Ms. A seemed vehemently opposed. It was Mrs. W who proposed this to me.... So why is it a huge issue?

So, no inclusion. No bus aide. Not happy.

The good stuff... If Jaymes ends up in this classroom they discussed, and it's run like they say it is, then there will be some level of inclusion. It's a start, a compromise and I'm ok with that. If he isn't spending every lunch time in the cafeteria though, and isn't spending recess with his typical peers like I'm assured he will, I'll raise holy hell. I figure it's fair to give it a chance, and I had no chance of winning this one either way, so only time will tell.

It's agreed, but not written in the IEP, that the school speech therapist will attend the training (for Jaymes Vantage Lite) I plan to attend (when it gets set up) so she knows how to use it. Then between the therapist and myself, we will teach his teacher to use it. They refused to allow any specific goals or references to the device in the IEP, however, saying that it would limit what they could do with him. apparently if the goal has the words Vantage Lite in it, no other measures can be used. I'm not sure how that works, so I agreed that as long as we can be sure it IS being used, I'll be ok. Speech therapist promised to use it in her sessions, and I know she will. I like her, and I have never found her to be anything but open and honest. I do plan to have a lot more contact with both speech and OT at school next year, as I really have very little knowledge of what they do in their sessions. I know none of his OT goals have been met, and as far as I've seen, don't even know that they've been attempted. He has very little OT at school, so who knows. The OT wasn't there, so I'll email her for details on things. My own fault for not keeping in better communication there.

So the Vantage Lite will be used at school as long as I and the speech therapist (and hopefully therapist S from our outside school therapy) keep on it. That's great. I wish there were goals pertaining to the use of the device though. I respect the speech therapist's opinion though, and did not want to get into it with her.

Jaymes will continue to have 2 speech sessions per week at school and one outside school. He will have OT approximately every 2 weeks, but I plan to see if the school OT would let him do more than that. It's not often enough to accomplish any goals. He will attend assemblies and school events with his regular and EC peers. He'll do specials with his EC class, and maybe eventually move on to joining regular ed classes.

I guess the biggest positive is that Ms. A and the speech therapist both have genuine care and concern for Jaymes. Ms. A is incredibly passionate about what she thinks is best for him, and I know that she really does care about him a lot. I may not agree with her, but I am very happy that he has spent the last 2 years with someone who truly does love him. That means a lot, and despite our disagreements, I'm very fond of her. I think she is great at what she does, and I love the way she handles my child.

In the end, I went into the meeting hoping to get a little inclusion for Jaymes and failed miserably. In what amounted to a verbal fist fight, my ass was kicked all over the pavement. Better luck next time. I tried, and I'm pleased to have held out as long as I did before saying "ok fine, I give up." Next time maybe I'll get what I know Jaymes needs. It's easy to say "fight them, they have to do what you want, they have to do the least restrictive environment" etc. But when you're the only one there who believes in what you're saying, it's too hard to keep holding out for them to change their minds. I tried, I failed, I'll try harder next time.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Freedom of Speech

Before the real post, the promised ER story. On Monday night, we'd just finished dinner and baths, and I was getting Sierra dressed while Jaymes dried off with his towel. He came out and borrowed my iced tea, which I let him do because I didn't think OMG glass will KILL him, obviously not expecting him to drop it. Anyway, as luck would have it, he did drop it and somehow sliced the heck out of his little thigh. The wound is shallow, but about 2 inches wide and 2 inces tall. It's huge, and it was hideous and horrible and we are both traumatized by the ordeal! I heard him scream and turned around to see him wiping blood all over himself, so I tried to catch him (unsuccessfully) for a few minutes. He kept covering the cut with his hands and freaking out and nto letting me near him. finally got him pinned down and wiped the blood off to see what we were dealing with. As I was doing this, Jason came home from work, saw blood, and panicked. In between screaming in horror/going pale/running around uselessly, he told Jaymes (in a panic stricken voice that really only scared Jaymes further) that it was ok and not to worry. Long story short, I stopped the bleeding and took him to the ER, not knowing if it was bad enough for stitches. At first they didn't think it was, but in the end it took 11 stitches and 2 docs sewing at the same time. They gave him some meds to calm him, which really didn't do a lot, and I think the pain meds hurt more going in than anything else, he screamed horribly and it was so sad. Poor Jaymes. The cut looks much better sewn up, and it's draining well. I think he'll be just fine, but what a thing to go through for him.

That finished, on to my main post today. Apparently the great state of North Carolina has put Speech Therapy services for Medicaid kids (i.e. my kid) on the budget chopping block. I'm not sure if it's for sure going to happen or what, but I do know that a lot of parents and especially speech therapists are very upset by it. And why not?

Private insurance hardly covers speech, and not a whole lot of us can pay out of pocket for a weekly (or more!) appointment. A HUGE portion of patients where we go to therapy are Medicaid patients. If Medicaid stops paying for speech, what happens to these therapists' jobs? What good does throwing MORE jobs out in this terrible economy accomplish? Especially when these people are performing a NEEDED service. A service that literally gives thousands of kids a voice.

Jaymes was one of the lucky kids- he was diagnosed early, and he has had Speech, OT, PT for the last 4 years of his life. Right now (at school) he is testing at a 1-2 year old's level as far as speech skills go. I do not think he would have ANY speech at all if not for those 4 years of therapy. Jaymes is living proof of why Speech is so so important for kids with Autism (not to mention the many kids with other issues who need these services!). To take away his ability to recieve Speech therapy is to take away his voice. To take away his means to communicate his wants and needs and feelings. To take away his freedom, in a way. In the USA, this should not be legal. This shouldn't happen. It shouldn't even be a thought in any politician's head.

Why take away from kids, particularly kids with disabilities, who come from lower income households? Why not take from other projects that don't affect people's lives to the extent this does? Maybe a few roads can wait a couple years to be repaved. Roads will wait. Kids with Autism, not so much.

I don't know what we'll do if this happens. I don't know what Speech costs per session, but chances are it's quite a bit and we're barely making it right now as it is. But how could we let Jaymes go without? He only has the language he has because of the therapies. Of all the therapies they could have picked, why speech? In my mind, Speech is the most important of all of Jaymes therapies. I can deal with sensory issues or not being able to use the scissors, or having bad balance and not being able to kick a ball. Those things are great to have, but you can go without them. You can't go without a voice.

Anyway, even if you're not in NC, even if you don't have kids with Autism, please write a letter or make a call on behalf of Jaymes and kids like him who desperately need their Speech therapy services. Post here if you sent a letter, and I'll think of some cool way to reward you guys for it. Enough people complaining might be able to change things around, who knows. Below are the folks to contact to tell them that our kids NEED their therapies. Be heard.

Contact info for the Chairs of the Full House Appropriations Committee:

Rep. Mickey Michaux - Durham County - 919.715.2528

Rep. Alma Adams - Guilford County - 919.733.5902

Rep. Martha Alexander - Mecklenburg County - 919.733.5807

Rep. Jim Crawford - Granville - 919-733-5824

Rep. Phillip Haire - Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties - 919.715.3005

Rep. Maggie Jeffus - Guilford - 919.733.5191

Rep. Joe Tolson - Edgecombe, Wilson Counties - 919.715.3024

Rep. Douglas Young - Hoke, Robeson, Scotland Counties - 919.733.5821

Governor's phone number is 919- 733-4240

Forsyth County Representatives:

Senate Members:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another ER visit come and gone

If there's a way to get hurt, my child will find it. Spent several hours last night in the ER with Jaymes, getting stitches. He's fine, and I don't have time to type out everything right now- need to actually do housework! I'll post about it later today hopefully. I have been slacking again, blogwise, in the midst of IEP and end of year stuff.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jolted into reality

I always feel a bit like an ass for posting on the same subject another blogger (an autism mommy blogger, no less) has just blogged about. Kind of feels like being a 5th grade copycat. However, her post reminded me, like a whack in the head with one of those giant sized beachballs, that summer is almost upon us- a fact I've been keeping myself blissfully unaware of. Ok, not quite unaware, but you get the idea.

Summertime, for the neighborhood kids, is a time of great excitement. Yay, vacation! Not so much for us. Don't get me wrong. I really enjoy having jaymes around. I miss him during the day, and there is nothing I love more than cuddling up on the couch with him at naptime and letting him fall asleep with his little hands holding mine. He's such a little cuddler.

However, he's also exhausting. It's HARD to keep the house spotless for Jason, keep Sierra happy, and handle Jaymes. I don't have the ability to keep things structured, and when structure goes out the window, we have a wild, hyper, often goofy Jaymes. Goofy Jaymes means well, but he doesn't understand that throwing himself off the table and laughing until he hits the floor is bad. He doesn't get that Sierra isn't having fun when he squishes her against the wall or bites her.

Jaymes needs structure. There are some really great autism summer camps out this way, and those would be an excellent summer option for him, but for two things. #1, he's too young. #2, money. Oh, and transportation too. Jason will have the same 12-15 hour a day schedule he has now, meaning I'm at home, with no way to leave the house.

On the plus side, Jaymes does get ESY this year. I'm not sure how long it lasts, or even the dates, but I know it won't be the same class or teacher, and I'm thinking it's not even the same school. Jaymes loves school, but I think all the differences, the changes to his routine, could be more detrimental than helpful. But, if nothing else, ESY is good for MY mental health!

Negative stuff aside, I'm excited in a way. I really enjoy pulling out the kiddy pool and the blankets and sitting in the yard watching Jaymes swim and play in the sprinkler. Sierra prefers to just tan on the blanket, she's nt into water. Jaymes can spend hours enjoying the hose, and he's just so cute and talkative! Video evidence:

Note Sierra accusing Jaymes of getting her wet, and Jaymes says he's going to "beat it". I don't know what he was actually saying, but it sounded pretty good to me!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Yuck in general. I have not been feeling wonderful lately- combination of stress, exhaustion, and bad eating habits probably. Feels like a rainbow full of boxing leprechauns are having a brawl in my stomach. Yuck. Not the kind of feeling that makes me particularly ambitious to do anything. Unfortunately, I have a lot that needs doing.Supposed to have sent out Ebay crap on the 27th, obviously that hasn't happened yet. I don't like Ebay selling- it's such fun while you're watching the bids rise. Then it's over and out of the $50 you made, you owe Ebay fees of $15 from the last months sales that you weren't paying. You also miscalculated shipping and end up taking a $16 loss on shipping a saddle. You also hate shoving a zillion boxes of different shapes and sizes, but that all reek of sweaty horse, into your little car and driving into town to try and mail it all off. You stand in line at the post office with a chattering 2 year old and Jaymes lunging at everyone's packages and groaning, then get horrible dirty looks while you spend 30 mins shipping out each of those zillion packages with insurance and delivery confirmation.

Ah, the joys of Ebay selling. And that's only one of the things I need to get around to doing.

Need to fix my garden over Chancie's grave.. When my little black doggie died, we decided flowers were a better grave marker than something we could buy. It was coming up so beautifully, then the baby mule got out under the wood fence, and smashed it to smithereens. Do I want to kill the Moal? Yes. Would I sell her for sausage at the right price? Probably. GRR.

Need to clean out the pasture. It's been really, really hot though, and the moal chases me down to nibble on me and shove her little muley head into my bosom. It's sweet, but not while I'm trying to do things. Anyway, the pasture is dotted with piles, and I know that having let it go, it'll be worse than it would have otherwise been. Serves me right for slacking I guess.

And then there's the big thing- the one I'm really nervous about- getting that meeting with the school to re-discuss Jaymes' placement next year. I don't even know how to bring it up. I could email his teacher, I guess... The person who works in his classroom who was at that workshop on Saturday had said she'd do it, but I have not heard anything so I'm going to assume I need to do it myself. It always serves me well to assume it's not done unless I've done it, LOL.

I need to get some more exercise too. I'm gaining weight again, which stresses me out because I wasn't happy with what I was, and adding MORE to that isn't helpful. I'd love to wlak more, but I'm so tired all the time. I wake up tired. I could get up and go back to sleep at 11am, and still be tired. That and my hip hurts still from my Batty fall, and I just don't feel good in general. I know it's a vicious circle- the less exercise the more tired I'll be, and so on and so on. I just wish something would go away- if my hip wasn't so painful and it wasn't so hot, I'd walk. If I wasn't so tired, I'd go out and do more. Meh.

I think I'll just go snuggle my Sierra.