Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So, physical therapy was a disaster today. Poor Max. He just didn't want to be there. He was mad because I wouldn't let him take his Playmobil motorcycle inside with him, but he had been "no-ing" it all day anyway.

"Max, do you want some cereal?"


"Max, do you want some toast?"


"Max, let's go in your room and get dressed."


"Max, do you love Mommy?"


"Max, do you dislike Mommy?"


"Max, do you want to watch Jack Black on Yo Gabba Gabba again for the 300th time?"

"No!" (which by "no" he really means "yes" as he runs to the television because he is like a crack addict with JB's "Goodbye" song on YGG. A shaking, shivering, going-into-shock-if-we-don't-watch-it-atleast-five-times-an-hour-and-listen-to-it-the-entire-time-we-are-in-the-car crack addict)

Anyway, back to PT. Before we even got in the front door, he was doing the "dead fish" act on the sidewalk. He fell limp on the concrete while I was holding his hand and refused to stand up. When we finally got inside and he saw his therapist, he wouldn't let go of my leg and didn't want to go with her to the back (even though I always go with him).

Once in the PT area, he hid underneath the trampoline, waaaaaaay in the back against the wall where no one could reach him, and refused to come out. He hit the therapist. He tried to jump off the top of the slide. He tried to climb up the slide. He threw his puzzle pieces across the room. He threw several temper tantrums. He fought, he cried. He ran away. It was a mess.

Like I said, I always go to the therapy area with him because he cries and refuses to do ANYTHING if I don't. Well, as far as I am concerned, that just has to stop. He gets distracted by me when I am with him in therapy and he has got to learn that he is safe and will be okay. So today, I snuck away about 30 minutes into therapy and sat in the waiting room. The therapist said he kept asking for me, but he didn't cry. She let him swing and they sang songs to keep him calm. Maybe I will be able to sit in the waiting room from now on. And maybe even someday...I'll be able to run an errand. You never know.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Actual Recent Conversation with my Husband

So, let me set the scene:

It's the weekend. Early afternoon. I have just stepped out of the shower and realized that I left my robe in our bedroom. I call for Steve's assistance. He is in the living room. Ahem.

Me: Steeeeeve! Can you get my robe? I left it on the foot of our bed.

Steve: Sure.

(returns with robe. Meanwhile, I am in wet towel, freezing my butt off. He begins to hand me the robe, then hesitates and pulls back)

Steve: Oh wait. I forgot. The dog peed on your robe.

Me: What?

Steve: Yeah, I forgot tell you. Meeko peed on your robe yesterday.

Me: You do realize that I wore this robe all morning and you saw me wearing it.

Steve: Yeah.

Me: And you didn't tell me that the dog peed on it yesterday?

Steve: Sorry! I forgot!

Me: I can't believe you didn't tell me that Meeko peed on my robe and I wore a pee-stained robe all morning!

Steve: You can't expect so much from me. Your expectations of me are way too high.

Me: On what planet is trusting your husband to tell you if the dog peed on the robe you are wearing too high of an expectation?

Steve: Well, I can't remember everything.

He was serious.

And he wonders why I sigh heavily all the time.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cozy Wordless Wednesday

So, this one will only eat his oatmeal with a measuring cup, likes to wear his Darth Vader pajamas under his clothes to preschool, and loves Jack Black more than me, his daddy, or his little brother. He is my first-born, my life lesson, and my dream come true.

And this one cries at stoplights, cries when he isn't being held, and is currently loving rolling over onto his belly, but then getting stuck and crying. He is my second-born, my big-eyed, smiley sweetie, and also, my dream come true.

Wow. How lucky am I?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Dirty Ugly

So, let's start with the GOOD.

I have been learning more and more about Max's sensory integration disorder, as I mentioned in my last post. I have been reading about various tools we can use to help him with his hyperactivity and his sensitivity to stimuli here at home. Things like a Sit N' Spin. Or a Hippity hop ball. Another blogger told me about Body Sox (thank you!).

Two tools I read about yesterday morning worked really well with Max. One, I read that a warm towel can calm some sensitive kids down. Two, a weighted blanket.

Now, usually when Max has to get out of the shower or the bathtub, he throws a MONSTER fit. I don't know if I have mentioned yet on this blog about his obsession with water. But, he's got one. Big time. He could fill a container with water, pour it out, and refill it over and over again for hours. And yes, our water bill is high.

So, yesterday morning, when he got out of the shower, right as he started to throw his usual tantrum, I quickly wrapped him up in a warm towel straight from the dryer. He immediately calmed down and got a huge grin on his face. After that, he was so easy to get dressed. It was amazing. I did it again last night after his bath and it worked again. I was so relieved. I even tried it again this morning when we were trying to get him dressed, but he was too far gone. I had to distract him with an apple cereal bar in order to get him dressed. Sweet.

Then, at naptime, since I didn't have a weighted blanket, I used a large, heavy crocheted blanket that my mom made for my husband. I wrapped Max up in it like a burrito. Usually, Max sneaks out of his room for one to two hours before he finally falls asleep. But once I wrapped him in that weighted blanket, he was asleep in minutes. I tried it again tonight at bedtime and it didn't work as well, but I will keep trying!!

Good, huh? I have also come to terms with the fact that this is just how it is going to be. Max reacts differently to stimuli and it is going to be more difficult around here. But, as long as I can accept it, know that this is our reality, and that Max can't help it, then possibly I might be able to stay less stressed. I'm crossing my fingers.

Now, for the BAD. Boooooo...

I think my husband has some major karma issues he is having to work out when it comes to money. I never had money problems until I married him. And he agrees. He is wondering what he did in a past life because we can never get ahead. Never. He never could when he was single, either. As soon as we get any money at all, some disaster befalls us and we have to spend it. The bright side is that we do seem to find money somehow right before disaster strikes.

For instance, we got some money from my husband's dad for Christmas. Yay, right? We were like, sweet, we will use this to pay off debt. But, then the Universe stepped in and said, "No, no, grasshopper. You have more lessons to learn." And we find out that the guy who rents our rent house got put in jail and can't pay the rent. We have no idea when he will be let out. And wouldn't you know, the amount of money we got from my father-in-law is exactly the amount we needed to pay the rental mortgage. Hmm.

Then, two days ago, when we discovered that we had $12 in the bank and needed to pay bills, we decided to cash out our 401K. We have held off until now, but like so many Americans, we can't do it anymore. I need health insurance, we have bills. So, that is what we did yesterday. Then, today, we find out we have a leak in our water pipes and had to turn off our water. Mother of Pearl. How expensive is that going to be to fix? My husband and my father-in-law are going to spend today digging up our yard to find the leak. I hope hope hope it is small and easily fixable, but I think my husband must have swindled money in a past life, so I won't hold my breath. The bright side is that we have had money problems for so many years now, that I no longer get upset when talking about it. It is just an emotionless fact.

And now, the DIRTY UGLY.

This is the pile of dirty laundry that is taking over my living room and won't be washed because we have no water. Tsk, tsk. Guess I should have gotten it done in my free time. Oh wait, I don't have any free time. Nevermind.

And this is the milk and ham and cheese that fell onto the dirty, oily parking lot at Walmart when my bag ripped open on the grocery cart and broke. Okay, well, there is no picture because that would have created more unnecessary work for me. So, you can just imagine a carton of chocolate soy milk, a package of deli ham, and some sharp cheddar cheese laying under the yellow lights of a dirty Walmart parking lot. Yuck.

Have a great weekend! I know I will! No laundry to do!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mother of Pearl.

So, those of you who continue to read my blog must think I am such a whiner.

But really, I am a pretty happy and optimistic person. I have grown to be that way. As a teenager, I was just as sullen as any other, maybe more so, but as an adult, I have become pretty strong and positive.

However, sometimes, I do get down. And my blog, as unfortunate as it might be for my readers out there, is a way for me to get out my frustrations before I end up jumping from a bridge or running away to stay at a hotel for a few days, telling no one of my whereabouts (I've done that before, by the way. College.)

I don't sugar coat motherhood on this blog.

And of course, it is all about motherhood. Particularly, being a mother to a child with a few more needs than other children. Now, don't get me wrong. I feel incredibly grateful for my children. They are both healthy and happy and such blessings in my life. But, having a toddler with sensory integration disorder and developmental delays can be exhausting. I feel selfish sometimes for getting so exasperated with him, wanting to "check out" for awhile, or wishing I knew for one day what it was like to have a typical child. I mean, at least he is healthy and his conditon could be much worse. And none of it is his fault. But, nevertheless, it is difficult, and some days feel dark and hopeless.

We had his occupational therapy evaluation and he tested off the charts for most categories, especially sensory integration, hyposensitivity to movement, fine motor skills and visual motor skills. I am so grateful that he is going to be getting help for his needs before he goes to public school in 3 or 4 years. I want him to be happy and functional, to be able to control the aggression towards his brother and others, and the frustration he experiences in everyday life, and I want the same for myself. I may need therapy to learn to control my own anger and frustration. But, that costs money we don't have. Until then, crying into my green tea may be my only release.

My life revolves around Max. More guilt, by the way, because I know that my 4-month old, Harry, sometimes gets ignored and can't possibly get all the attention he deserves. We are homebound most of the time because it is impossible to take Max to a restaurant or a movie. It is difficult to take him in public. Period. He has to be strapped down in grocery carts and he is getting too big for that. Plus, if my newborn is with me as well, he needs to sit up front in the cart. So, where does Max go? If I let him walk, I lose him the minute we walk in .

I spend everyday either taking him to preschool, taking him to various therapy appointments, trying to entertain him and keep him busy with "work" related activities, like carrying heavy objects, helping with housework, raking leaves, etc. (these types of activities seem to relax him - I have since learned that this is because heavy work patterns contract a large number of muscles and compress joints, thereby providing activity that helps calm him down), trying to keep him from hurting Harry or our dog, Meeko, constantly supervising his meals so he doesn't throw his food across the room or against the walls. By the end of the night, I have nothing left to give Harry or my husband. I am completely spent.

Some mothers wish their kids wouldn't watch so much TV. I would give almost anything to have mine sit still long enough to watch a Disney movie. Or a whole cartoon from beginning to end.

And I am terrified that Harry is going to grow up timid, untrusting, and frightened of the world around him because he is everyday being hit or having some hard object thrown at him by Max. Harry is much more sensitive and needy than Max ever was.

I have been learning a lot about sensory processing. An inefficient processing system can result in everything that Max has: attention problems, frequent aggression, unpredictable explosions of emotion, poor social skills, poor balance, over response to various stimuli, difficulty maintaining an alert but relaxed state. He is very hyperactive and there were signs when he was a baby. but of course he was too young to know anything back then. As a baby, he would constantly spin his feet when he sat in his stroller or in his highchair. He would also constantly shake his arms and hands while he was in his highchair. He could not be still AT ALL.

My days are really hard and most of them end up with me crying or with a stomach ache because I am so stressed out. I just pray that his therapy helps him and teaches us, as his parents, the skills we need to help him here at home. Our lives can't go on like this. They just can't.

Our sweet Max

Thanks everyone for listening. I appreciate it. I will try to write some more uplifting posts in the future!! But, Mother of Pearl! Can I get a freaking break? Oh yeah, and a money tree? Thanks.