Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bad-At-Posting Momma

I haven't been posting very much lately, mostly because I just don't have the energy to.  Before Caleb was in therapy 4 days a week, I had the physical and mental energy to stay awake past 9pm.  But now, I am also doing therapy with Caleb at home and spending so much more time with him that by the time he goes to bed. which is sometime between 7:30 and 9pm, I am done.  Like stick-a-fork-in-me done.  I try to go watch television with my husband, but I always end up snoring midway through the show.  So, being able to post is kind of out of the question.

What has been happening lately is that Caleb is improving by leaps and bounds.  He is imitating movements and even sounds.  The other day he imitated animal sounds I made;  I said, "a sheep says 'baaaa,' and he repeated, "baaaa."  It was incredible.  He then repeated "cluck cluck" for a hen, "hissss" for a snake, "caw caw" for a parrot, and then for a cow, he tried to say "moo" but got stuck, so only said, "mmmm."  Overall, super exciting.  Caleb is also playing appropriately with toys, such as rolling cars on the floor.  He has graduated from bottles to sippy cups.  We are also taking some nice walks together with the use of a backpack on him with an attacked leash.  (Yes, I have my child on a leash.  Yes, I have conflicted feelings about it.  But overall, I do it because it keeps my child safe and it makes it so we can both have a pleasant experience.)

So, with Caleb making so many improvements, I wonder now which of his behaviors are autistic and which are normal 2 year old.  I have heard his teachers and therapists say many times that it is difficult to diagnose a 2 year old for autism because basically all 2 year olds look autistic.  I mean, this is funny, but it comes from a source of truth.  So, again, I wonder.

I get that his mouth agape is autistic looking.  And the fact that he is so skinny that his 18 month shorts just feel off.  Twice.  But other than that, what are dead giveaways?  He now has really great eye contact.  I mean, he is nonverbal, but before you get to that point, how would one know?

I feel like I want to just set up some cameras in some homes and watch how 2 year olds really act.

Yeah, because that isn't at all creepy....

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Caleb has been making awesome progress.

His Early On teacher told me today that she thinks that Henry Ford was wrong in their diagnosis and that Caleb's autism isn't severe.  She thinks that Caleb is very bright and learns very quickly, and that he will not need therapy throughout middle school as we were told.

I am over the moon.
Shine shine shine!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Better Times A Comin'

Every so often, I have to admit, I get a pang in my stomach and I close my eyes and wish to god that Caleb didn't have autism.  I wish that it all just goes away and my son is normal and he says my name and talks just fine and my life is just, well, normal.  These pains haven't yet gone away, and I don't know if they do, to be honest.  I do know that as we settle into our little routine, they are getting fewer and further in between.

I still get sad.  I still think, "we us?"  But then, I focus on the positives.

Like yesterday.  Caleb has been making so many of these wonderful images with paint, marker, and stickers, so we thought it would be great if he made one for his cousin, Benton.  (  As Caleb was picking out My Little Pony stickers, I casually asked Caleb to pick out my favorite pony, Fluttershy - and then he did!  So then we quizzed him again to pick out Pinkie Pie, and he was able to again!  Finally, my husband asked Caleb to point to Twilight Sparkle, and Caleb picked out a friendship banner.  My husband admitted defeat, but when Caleb removed his finger from the banner, there was Twilight Sparkle on the left hand side of the banner.  He had done it again!

This wasn't just chance - this was real communication.  This meant that he has understood a lot more than we previously thought.  Just because he doesn't speak doesn't mean he doesn't know.

Then today in Early On class, he didn't scream and cry during singing circle.  It was amazing.  He was, dare I say it, the good kid.  Seriously.

We have only been at therapy for 3 months and already we are seeing such improvement.  I have so much faith in my little monkey.  I know it is so hard for Caleb; I see him working and trying so hard all the time.  I wish life weren't so difficult for my son.  Like I said, I wish I could make it all better for him.  But, now only he can make it better for himself; all I gotta do is remove every obstacle in his way.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sicky McSickerson

Well, my poor husband thought that he couldn't get sick from the baby.  Yup.  Could not happen.  Not if he held the baby close and kissed his face.  Not if he ate his discarded applesauce packets.  Not if he refused to touch anti-bacterial soap because it was unnecessary.  Well....  My husband got sick.  And not just kind of sick, but majorly sick.  Like, holy shit, you actually look green, sick.

The kind of sick that makes the air around you wilt.  Seriously.  The air around him wilted it was so foul.  It smelled like vomit and decayed flesh.

On the plus side, I got to take care of the baby, the dogs, and Caleb (see what I did there?) for 3.5 days straight!  On the fourth day, I passed out.  Kind of literally.

It was a good thing that my husband was doing better because tonight, the fourth night, I allowed myself to fall down, face-forward, on the guest bedroom mattress and pass out.  And I was out.  For like, an hour.  Until I woke up to my son screaming bloody murder and my husband saying, "don't worry, your mother will fix it!"  This had me worried.

Somehow my son was able to factory-reset the Kindle.  That boy is pretty damn smart.

So, now I am spending my evening redownloading all of his stupid (I mean lovely!  LOVELY!) apps while forcing my eyelids open. 

Btw, the next time my child is sick and my husband thinks he is invincible, I am just going to throw everything away before he can touch it and then bathe him in antibacterial gel.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


My husband and I both get migraines which are bad enough that we have to be on preventatives and see a neurologist about once a month.  So, while expected that our child would probably suffer from migraines as well; what we didn't expect is how young our child would be when the migraines would start.

My husband and I believe that Caleb is already suffering from migraines.  It is hard to pinpoint what exactly makes us believe this, but it is a combination of things.   First of all, when he has what we perceive to be a migraine, he is very sensitive to sound and light, which are common reactions for a person having a migraine. Secondly, he gets clumsy, stumbling and dropping things.  Next, he is grumpy and irritable, and exhibits behavior that usually means he is in pain.  Add all of these things up and sprinkle in instances when he squints looking at the TV or cries because his kindle app is suddenly loud, and consider that children with autism are more likely to suffer from headaches in general, and we have concluded that Caleb probably gets migraines.  It is also meaningful that some of the migraine symptoms disappear after an administration of ibuprofen.

Now, to be honest, my husband and I could be totally off.  And I really hope we are.  I hope this is something else completely benign and Caleb is migraine free.  But, just in case, we have an appointment with a Pediatric Neurologist in early April.

Do you know how hard it is to find a Pediatric Neurologist?  In Michigan, there are only 4 medical organizations that have Pediatric Neurologists.  FOUR.  In the whole darn state.  At the University of Michigan, you need a reference from you Pediatrician saying that your child needs this appointment, and then depending on the severity of your needs (according to the judgement of the doctors) you can get an appointment anywhere between May and next January.

Yup, you read that right.  Next January.
So, basically, if we went with U of M, Caleb could possibly be having migraines until next January without any sort of medical intervention.

Um, no thanks.

Then, this other private organization required not only a reference from my pediatrician, but notes from her dictation as well, and her dictation had to state that Caleb needed to see a Pediatric Neurologist.  Well, actually, it was the doctors at Henry Ford Hospital who said that he should see someone.  So, that one was a no-go as well.

Finally, I called the Children's Hospital.  Not only did they not need a reference of any sort, they have a doctor right near me.  All they needed was my insurance information and I picked a day.  So easy I was confused.  Thank goodness for them.

So, today I think Caleb had another migraine.  I could tell when the ibuprofen wore off.  He is actually sleeping during nap time, and sleeping a lot.  This is something that he inherited, and quite possibly from me.  I gave him this. 

More guilt.
Throw it on the pile.

My poor lil' monkey...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I heard that you like stickers to stick on your stickers with your stickers.

Caleb has been loving his art therapy.  Every chance he gets, he has been pulling me or my husband back to his art station, begging for us to supply him with more paper, more crayons, more paint stampers, and especially more stickers!  This boy is sticker crazy!

Caleb was sick on Thursday and Friday, throwing up from illness for the first time in his life.  And even with a bad fever and stomach pains, he still wanted to make art.  Of course, he was super grumpy, and a super sticker snob.  He would thumb through our piles of stickers, angry that he couldn't find that one perfect page of stickers.

We finally got his room looking the way we want it to:


And now his walls are covered with his artwork, which is awesome.  We want him to feel a sense of pride in his work, and the best way we can think to do that is to proudly display it.  If he keeps up at this pace, by Fall his walls will be wallpapered with his drawings.  Now wouldn't that be fantastic?

His work lately is mostly with stickers, but we are trying to encourage him to use the paint stampers and the crayons.  I even tried to get him to do some collage work with photographs I cut out of an old photography book; true to his stubborn nature, he would always go right back to what he likes: stickers.

I think that his sticker work is good for him.  Not only does it let him express himself, but it helps build fine motor skills and learn to focus on a task for an extended period of time. His pieces are intriguing and I do appreciate some of the artistic choices he makes in terms of composition, design, and color work.  I just wish that he would expand his taste in materials. 

But, baby steps.

He will get there.  Eventually.  :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

More Children

It is the time when a lot of my friends are announcing on Facebook that they are having their second child.  This, of course, kills me.  I am insanely jealous.  So much, it hurts.

I want to have another child so badly.

I have been researching adoption.  It seems that through foster adoption, the cost is minimal, but the children all have emotional, social, or learning disabilities.  Otherwise, adopting babies inside the U.S. starts to run into the tens of thousands of dollars.  With international adoption, the fee can be around $30,000. 

My heart hurts with the idea that we will never have another child.  I know my husband wants more, and since it is my infertility that is stopping us from having more, I also feel completely guilty.