Tuesday, June 29, 2010
My recent angst comes up because last night, I decided to go clothes shopping for Beauty. She has no shorts for the summer and I wanted to get her some so she wouldn't be wearing long jeans for the next three months. I went into the children's section, found the girls area, and began perusing the styles. I found a great big section full of cute looking outfits for girls. At least, at first glance they looked cute. After further investigation, all these "cute" outfits with little butterflies and flowers, were all no-sleeved shirts or really short shorts!
I found shirts with open backs and ties that go around the neck - what mother in their right mind would buy that for her infant daughter or toddler?! I mean, SERIOUSLY! All the shirts were open-back, or no sleeves, or just plain short at the bottom so if your girl decides to stretch her arms up, the whole world would see her stomach. This is madness!
THEN - the shorts were absolutely ridiculous! They might as well advertise them as UNDERWEAR! If I tried to put a pair of shorts like that on Beauty, I'd be able to see her diaper the whole time! And what if you have a 4-year-old who's potty trained? Well, then I guess you'd be able to see something other than a diaper! It's absolutely crazy what has happened to girls' clothing! I just couldn't believe what I was looking at.
After looking around a few minutes, knowing that NONE of these clothes were suitable for my child, I decided to try the boys' section. To my astonishment, boys' shorts - in the exact same size, mind you - were twice as long! They even had more material width wise. Which means what? Not only are girls' clothes being made extra short, but they're also made to be FORM-FITTING.
Isn't this the kind of thing we're trying to avoid? As parents, aren't we told all the time to teach our girls at a young age that they don't need to dress in tight, revealing clothing to be beautiful? And yet somehow, these are the kinds of styles hanging from hangers and sitting on shelves in our stores. It's absolutely horrible!
So what did I do? I bought my daughter BOYS shorts, of course. And in the future, you can be sure the next time I need to buy long shirts and shorts for her, I'll look first in the boys' section.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
1- My IBS has been acting up like crazy lately! I've been given medication to help ease the symptoms, but it doesn't seem strong enough. I've just been uncomfortable for the last couple of weeks and I'm praying that these symptoms hurry up and go away!
2- We have a new insurance plan. We have the same insurance provider, but instead of paying co-pays now we have to pay everything upfront until we reach our yearly deductible. I won't say how high it is, but it's REALLY HIGH! I've just had an MRI and we've got doctor's visits and evaluations going on. I just paid the MRI bill - $563!!! Not to mention that we have to pay the person that ran the MRI machine; that's another $250. GRRR...
3- I have an appt. to see a neurologist for my unexplained migraines. I really think it's unnecessary 'cause I don't think there's anything wrong with me. My life is just loud and hectic because of my kids. However, since it'll make my husband happy having a professional opinion (I should've gone to medical school!), I'm going to see the specialist. I'm not looking forward to it 'cause it's more medical crap that we'll have to pay for completely out of pocket. Big Sigh....
4- Macho has his Early Intervention Evaluation tomorrow morning. I'm not upset that he's getting an evaluation. I'm upset that I have to go down this road AGAIN! I'm thankful he's not autistic like Beauty, but is it too much to ask to be given a NORMAL child? Now I have two special kids that require special attention and have very different needs. I'm only one person! Can't I just get a break? But, as my friend Evelyn quoted on FB recently, "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much!"
5- Beauty has her evaluation for her new program with The Play Project on July 1st. I'm super excited about it as I think it'll be really beneficial for her. I'm just stressing about the price tag: $3,900/year! I know my mom said she would help, but I hate being dependent on other people. I want to be able to afford it without any help and the fact that we can't makes me kinda depressed. If we still weren't paying for our new fence we'd be able to do this on our own, but we can't pay for both things at once and it frustrates me.
6- I've gained a few pounds during the last 3 weeks due to all the stress I've been under. It's so crazy how stress can make you gain weight and feel tired (funny how the mind works). I've gained 3-4 pounds and I know some of you are saying, "Oh big deal, it's only 3 pounds," but it's a big deal to me 'cause I'd really like to get to my ideal weight, which was 10 pounds away. Now my goal is just a little further from my reach.
7- And finally, here comes my BIG RANT of the Day! I'm getting annoyed with our church, or rather, some of the people in it. Don't get me wrong OK - I fully believe in the gospel and its teachings and there's NO WAY I'd ever leave. BUT - I'm really getting ticked off with the way they're treating my Husband.
Those of you who know him also know he's really sweet and will bend over backwards to try to help you. My husband also believes that when he's asked to do something in the church, one should not say no and instead, accept the challenge and follow through. This is why my Husband, though he has a wife and family that need him more than most "normal" families, still accepted all 3 callings extended to him back in March. To refresh your memory, he's the 2nd Counselor in the Young Men's Presidency, the Deacon's Quorum Advisor, and he's the Scout Master in the Boy Scouts.
On Sundays, he's giving lessons in class and attending meetings after our regular church block of 3 hours. On Tuesday nights, he's with the Boy Scouts doing service projects and other activities. Sometimes on Thursday nights, he's attending training meetings, and let's not forget the times he needs to go camping with the Boy Scouts on some weekends. Church has become more difficult for us. During the first hour, both Husband and I are trying to keep the kids still and quiet during Sacrament meeting. The second hour, I'm keeping an eye on Beauty in Primary class trying to keep her sitting and not pounding on the piano, while Hubby is in the Nursery with Macho (he still insists on one of his parents staying in the room with him). The third hour, Hubby goes off to class to teach while I try to keep an eye on both kids in their separate classes.
As you can see, there's not a dull moment during these three hours. Then I have to try and wrangle the kids on my own and get them into the car (keep in mind that Beauty kicks and screams everytime we leave because I won't let her play on the piano). I have to do this most of the time by myself because Husband is always being pulled in different directions by different people to discuss upcoming events or activities.
Now, here's what really grates my cheese- (LOL! - Hubby and I really like that expression!)- These people in church fully know our situation: They know Beauty is autistic, they know Macho gives us lots of problems, they know Husband is really busy, and they know I have Fibromyalgia and frequent migraines (both of which drain all my energy). Despite knowing all of this, Husband just got a phone call. He's been asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting this upcoming Sunday. As I type, he's downstairs in his office preparing his talk. AND MIND YOU - he has a lesson to give in class next week AND he has a meeting after church too!
Can I just say - WHAT THE FRICKIN' CRAP IS THAT ALL ABOUT?!!! It makes me so mad because my husband can't catch a break!!! He's been busting his butt at the office trying to finish a project that was due today. His office is also having some special conference this week that he needs to attend. He's been working long hours, he's been doing all these activities with the boy scouts and he's been trying to help me since I haven't been feeling well lately. Now they want him to give a talk? And what the heck am I supposed to do with both of the kids by myself? Beauty's always wanting to dart towards the piano and organ 'cause she's obsessed with them. Macho is always insisting on constantly climbing all over me OR he's trying to escape OR he's crying constantly. I think I'll just stay home this Sunday.
DON'T THESE PEOPLE STOP AND THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY'RE REALLY ASKING HIM TO DO?! They're asking him to prepare a talk in his free time (but what free time is there REALLY when he's constantly doing things non-stop?!). They're asking him to spend more time away from his family and they're asking for more "support" from me. I'm tired of it. I'm frustrated. And dang it, I'm angry.
I hate seeing my husband running a mile a minute without barely having a chance to breathe! When he's not working, he's at Boy Scouts. When he's not at Boy Scouts, he's at meetings. When he's not at meetings, he's trying to help me. And when he's not trying to help me, he's trying to work in our BIG, HUGE backyard that is being overgrown with weeds. It makes me mad that he always goes out of his way to help others, but no one goes out of their way to help him. And unfortunately, I can't help him in the yard because of my fibromyalgia (my hands hurt immensely and I just have no strength in my fingers).
Geez - that rant was a little longer than intended. Sorry that was so long (and probably boring) for some of you. But thank you for reading. I feel a little better having said what I needed to say. Now I'm really tired. I'm gonna go check on the kids and see how my husband is doing downstairs. Bye.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Before I go into detail about the latest development with my son, I just need to mini-rant about something I'm SURE other moms will be sympathetic to!
For the last few months, I've been mentioning to some friends and family how concerned I was about Macho's development. I've been saying, "Hmm, you know, this just doesn't seem right," only to have someone tell me, "Oh, come on, you're just being paranoid. He's a boy, that's how they are." I mentioned to a family member of mine some of my particular concerns, only to have them say, "It's just because you're still new at this."
Now, for the record - just so we're clear - I WAS RIGHT!!!
I've never understood people telling a mother that she shouldn't be concerned about her child's development. I'm a little sensitive on the subject (geez...can you tell?!) mainly because of the experience I went through with Beauty. I knew in my gut something was off, but because I was a "new mother" I shrugged it off and I let others tell me what was right and wrong. But I know better now. I know that if I feel something is wrong, ALWAYS get a professional opinion! At the very least, it'll make YOU - the parent - feel better. And if you're wrong, then at least you can stop worrying. AND PLEASE - if a mother mentions to you that they might be concerned with their child in some way, ALWAYS VALIDATE THEM! Never make them feel like they're being paranoid or don't know any better. Be SUPPORTIVE! Ok...rant over...
On Tuesday the 15th, I took Macho in for a consultation with his pediatrician. Let me just say that I LOVE our pediatrician! Joseph Cramer is simply awesome and if you read his bio, he's made some amazing accomplishments. He really takes the time to listen to everything you say and he never makes you feel like an idiot! During the consult, he listened to my concerns and observed some behavior on Macho's end. When the discussion was over 30 min. later, he seemed to agree with my observations and even added a few that I didn't notice before. When all was said and done, the doctor agreed, more than likely, that Macho has a form of ADHD. The doctor also mentioned that my little boy may also have OCD tendencies and suffer from a social anxiety disorder (which would explain a lot!).
Due to both our observations, we believe the best course of action is to enroll Macho in an early intervention program. Many of you may not remember, but he was already in this program when he was around 8-months-old. Macho could not use the right side of his body, so he wasn't sitting up, crawling, climbing, or walking properly. Thanks to the OT from DDI Vantage, Macho quickly began using both sides equally and was finally walking on his own by the time he was 14-months-old. So, I called my friend at DDI Vantage (the director is the niece of a sister in my ward) and she's coming out next Tuesday to do a proper evaluation. Oh the joys of parenting!
For those of you who are curious, here is a brief list of ADHD behaviors that Macho is exhibiting. Let me just preface by saying that most of these behaviors are common in most children, but it becomes a problem when they are exaggerated compared to other kids his age. It's also a problem when these behaviors affect social skills:
- restless, fidgets and squirms in his seat
- talks nonstop and interrupts people
- easily distracted and frequently switches from one activity to another
- inattentive and has difficulty focusing on one thing
- impulsive, suddenly does things without thinking
- has difficulty waiting his turn
- becomes bored with a task after only a few minutes
- dashes around, touching and playing with everything at once
- constantly in motion (even in his sleep!)
- has difficulty doing quiet activities
- VERY impatient
- has a tantrum for everything and acts without regard for consequences
According to the pediatrician, Macho is also showing OCD tendencies:
- runs around in circles, hurts himself as he falls, gets back up to run again
- likes hitting his head against the couch and floor
- repeats back everything I say, instead of listening (echolalia)
- refuses to sit and eat or have milk unless toys are put away
- finds dirt and insists it be cleaned up
- must close doors
Macho is also showing signs of social anxiety. This would explain why he's always such a mama's boy; he needs to be with me constantly. He insists on sitting on my lap, or sitting next to me, and he requires me to stay in nursery with him at church (which is why I can never go to class!).
Wow, I'm tired just typing all that! (imagine living it! lol) Anyway, so there's the update. I know this seems like a lot, but no matter what, I love my little Macho! lol He's definitely keeping me on my toes and he drives me crazy a lot, but he's mine and I wouldn't trade him for anything!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Marisol and I didn't really do anything special, per se. We basically drove around, window shopped, and we had a nice lunch/dinner together. I bought myself a few new dresses for church and she was finally able to find some decent shorts (you know, the kind that don't show off everything!) Of all places to find cute dresses and shorts, it was Dressbarn - what a horrible name, right?! lol I didn't even know there was a Dressbarn so close to where I live (Jordan Landing), but I was happy we found it. We spent a good hour in that store, trying things on and just laughing and goofing off; it was really fun!
We also went to Payless, Carter's, Radio Shack, TGIFridays, Pier 1 Imports, and probably some other places that I can't remember! Needless to say, we had some solid "sister bonding" time, which was much needed considering I won't see Marisol again for a long while. I'll really miss her =(
The highlights of the evening, however, came in the form of a rather unexpected comment said at two different times from two different people. I don't know how it made my sister feel, but it made me feel great! While were in Dressbarn, the woman helping us said, "So, are you two twins?" WOW - twins? Really? Do I really look like a 21-year-old? 'Cause if I do, that's so AWESOME!!
Later on, after Marisol went home, I had to go back to Radio Shack to exchange something. The guy working there began a light conversation with me and asked, "Was that your sister with you earlier?" I said yes, thinking he was gonna ask if she was available or something like that. Then he said, "Are you guys twins?" Again - the same comment! I couldn't believe it. I told him, "No, we're actually almost 9 years apart. She's 21 and I'm 30." The best part (for me anyway) was what he said next: "Whoa! You don't look 30 at all!"
So yeah, I don't know how Marisol feels being compared to a 30-year-old (sorry sis), but I'll take any compliment any day that says I look like my sister =) I'm gonna miss you Marisol! LOVE YOU TONS!!!
Monday, June 14, 2010
Anyone that's seen our living room knows we have a large wooden entertainment center where we keep our TV and other things. It has 4 small swing-open doors along the bottom to store items in. Correction: It HAD 4 swinging doors. We're now down to 3.
I knew by looking at the damage that Beauty had nothing to do with it. This was all Macho - my son - my little monkey who can't seem to not get into trouble. I also found some wood bits on his pants, so it was defnitely him. It wasn't funny when it happened, but looking back I can laugh because he had that "deer in an auto's headlights" look, the look he gets when he knows he's in trouble. Now, in my husband's spare time (LOL! That's Funny!), I need him to get our wood glue and fix the door, as best he can.
How does a little 2-year-old boy break and split wood like that?! That's what I wanna know! The only thing I can think of is maybe he was sitting on it or trying to stand on it while the door was at a 90 degree angle. Sigh...it just astounds me.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
And here's the direct link to Hubby's blog post:
(BTW, check out my autism blog: http://speakingonthespectrum.blogspot.com/ )
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Last week I was speaking with my doctor about my very frequent migraines. I get a migraine at least once a day and sometimes, over the counter medicines aren't enough to get rid of them. I've been getting migraines more frequently during the last 6 months and I've also developed a new symptom. Once in a while, my right arm (not my left arm nor any other extremity) will begin shaking uncontrollably. The shaking lasts anywhere between 30 min to an hour, and then it stops. As soon as I told the doctor this information, he almost immediately said, "It could be a benign brain tumor." He said I'd need to get an MRI to confirm it.
Ok - doctors in Utah gotta cut that out! Seriously, if you think someone has a tumor, but you don't have the tests to prove it yet, DON'T say the word TUMOR! It freaks people out! I once had a scare back in '01 because I was getting a lot of unexplainable bruises and my blood wasn't clotting properly. The doctor said, "It might be leukemia." Later on, the tests showed I had ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura), and all I needed to do was take a steroid for a few months to correct the problem. So yeah, doctors need to shut their mouths and stop spewing out every little thing that pops in their heads!
Anyway, the conversation with my doctor happened last Wednesday. There was a miscommunication regarding my insurance, and long story short, I made many phone calls until I was able to schedule my MRI for the very next day - Thursday. I was then told the results would not be available until the following week. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm NOT patient! I didn't want to wait the whole weekend or a whole week to find out if I had a tumor! So the next day, Friday, I pulled some strings and I called and harrassed the receptionists to death until the doctor's nurse came on the phone and told me my results. She said, "Your MRI is completely clean; there's nothing abnormal anywhere."
Yay for no tumor! Husband was so happy when I called and told him the news. He came home from work that day and immediately came over to me and gave me the biggest hug! He's so sweet =) I also had to call my mom, sister, and my BFF as they were the only ones I told of the possible scare.
So now the question is, "What's going on with me?!" I wish I knew. I've now had a CAT scan and an MRI and both were fine. I'll probably call the doctor to schedule a consult sometime in the next few weeks. Come to think of it, I bet there's nothing wrong with me. I bet the reasons I get migraines and the shakes is because I have screaming children who don't let me eat when I want! LOL! In the meantime, I'm just happy to say, "It's Not A Tumor!"
Thursday, June 3, 2010
At Beauty's 2-year check-up, the pediatrician finally said, "Ok, let's get her evaluated." At the time, I wasn't sure what to think. I did want answers as to why my daughter wasn't acting "normal," but I also wasn't prepared to handle a diagnosis of any kind, especially because that wasn't in my plans! My plans were to have a baby, love and educate it, and have her grow up and have a normal life. Getting an evaluation is not a normal step in a child's progression. Her doctor referred us to an early intervention program in our area (Jordan Child Development Center) and within 1 1/2 months, we had her IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan) and speech therapy visits all set up. I wasn't prepared for what came next.
Needless to say, scheduling therapy visits and thinking about possible diagnoses for my daughter was stressful, not to mention that I had just had a baby 2 months prior and my husband was working long hours at the office. I already felt like a single mother and now it felt like I was going through this whole stressful ordeal alone. When it came time for Beauty's first visit with the therapist, I was extremely nervous. Beauty didn't like being around people and who knew how she'd react to a complete stranger in her home - in her personal space! But, of course, the inevitable happened - the doorbell rang.
In walked in a very happy, spirited woman named Kimberly, and with a smile on her face she said hello to Beauty. I felt at ease with her right away. Somehow, I knew they sent the right therapist for my child and I was so much more relaxed. My daughter, however, ran to the other side of the room and hid in the hallway. Kathy spent a couple of hours with us, allowing Beauty to get a little more comfortable so the evaluation could be performed effectively. Once the evaluation was complete, I was informed that the evaluation alone wouldn't be enough to make a diagnosis. Several speech therapy sessions would need to happen first so the therapist could have adequate time to monitor and evaluate Beauty's behavior. DARN! I was really hoping I'd get an answer right then and there, so my questions would be answered already. I had to be patient a few months more.
The evaluation occurred March '08 and Kimberly came by the house twice a month for 3 months, until she finally had enough information. She made a phone call to the pediatrician and discussed her findings. Then I got THE CALL from the pediatrician himself in June '08. I knew once I picked up the phone that my whole world would be turned upside down. Somehow, I just knew. Here's what I remember about that conversation: "Blah, blah, blah....your daughter has Autism.....blah, blah, blah..."
I hung up the phone and broke down in tears. My world was shattered. Everything I dreamed for my beautiful little girl was destroyed and gone. Autism - AUTISM - really? I couldn't wrap my brain around it. I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to believe it. I looked at my girl, watching her Baby Einstein DVD, and I cried until my stomach hurt. I got up to sit next to her and hug her, but because she hated hugs and people getting in her personal space, she yelled at me and pushed me away. I slid off the couch, onto the floor, and cried some more, this time until I could barely open my eyes. I just kept thinking, "Did I do something wrong? Was it something I did during the pregnancy? Why didn't I push harder with the pediatrician a year ago? We lost all that time - this is all my fault..."
Eventually, I got up, wiped the tears off my face and continued about my day. Chores still needed doing, meals still needed to be prepared, and I had a newborn to take care of. By the time my husband got home that evening, it was almost midnight. He came to bed and went right to sleep. I couldn't bear to tell him the news. He was already so tired and worn from his day at work, so I decided to just let him sleep. I was relieved. I didn't want to tell him anything yet, mainly because I was still in shock. For 5 days, I carried around this devastating news and kept it to myself, without sharing it with my husband. I didn't want to burden him, especially because he was working on a really big project at the office and he needed to focus on that. Once the shock wore off and the project was over, five days later, I broke the news to him.
We were in bed and it was midnight. Our newborn lay sleeping in his cradle beside our bed and we had a very low night-light on. I don't remember much about the conversation itself. What I do remember is laying there in each other's arms, sobbing as quietly as we could so we wouldn't disturb the baby. I can't remember how long we cried - no, how long we mourned for our daughter. It was as if we were given a death sentence. We didn't know any better at the time.
I wish I could say I had a great support network around to help me through those difficult months, but I didn't. I had no one. The only ones truly there for me was my caring, supportive, and forgiving husband and my best friend Telisha. She, however, had a very busy life with two kids and no access to a car, so unfortunately, she wasn't able to spend much time with me physically. My husband was the only one I could actually lean and cry on, though I didn't do that very often. I'm the strong, independent type, and I didn't want to be a burden to my husband.
Eventually I got through it. I'm not sure how, but with time I learned to accept the diagnosis, and learn that my daughter was still my daughter and she needed my help. That's when I decided I was going to be proactive about this. I wasn't going to take this lying down. I was going to do everything in my power to help my child overcome this thing called autism and nothing was going to stop me. In the meantime, I needed to do research on autism and figure out what my next step would be (but those details will have to wait for a later blog post).
(BTW, check out my autism blog: http://speakingonthespectrum.blogspot.com/ )
Wednesday, June 2, 2010