Thursday, May 26, 2011

We made it five years? You're kidding.

So, I am the first one to get up every morning (besides my 2 year old, Max, who usually wakes ME up). Then, I feed Harry, get Max some milk, turn on the TV so Max can watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and I begin to make lunches and make breakfast. Then, I get my husband up. I am his alarm clock.

Well, this morning was a little chaotic, so I wasn't able to be gentle about it. I marched into the bedroom and said, "Get up. I need your help. Max just peed on the floor and Harry is crying for a bottle!"

And so my husband rolled out of bed and said, "Happy Anniversary! I was hoping for breakfast in bed, but I guess mopping up pee and a crying baby are all I get!"

And then we both started laughing. I had totally forgotten that it is our anniversary today.

We aren't celebrating it until this weekend (we get to go away for a whole night!), so I forgot amidst the chaos of my household. Oops.

I couldn't have asked to marry a better man. Really, I couldn't have. That isn't to say that he doesn't do some things that make my skin crawl (like slurping cereal, gulping his coffee, leaving water on the bathroom and kitchen floors, dumping food in the sink even though we don't have a garbage disposal, shoveling popcorn in his mouth like each piece is an antidote to some kind of name a few), but I am incredibly lucky and blessed.

(And I'm sure there are things about me that drive him crazy, but we won't talk about those, will we? No, we won't.)

He is funny, kind, gentle, loyal, and he loves me and our kids more than anything. He is an amazing, loving father. He is always willing to play with the boys, take them fun places like Chuck E. Cheese, take them to the park, or just take them grocery shopping. He does everything he can to never be away from us for a whole night.

Two or three times a month, he has to travel over 3 hours away for work. And instead of driving there at 8 am, working a half day, spending the night, working a half day the next day and then driving home at a decent hour, he instead gets up while it is still dark, drives over 3 hours, works a full day and then drives home over 3 hours at night, just to avoid having to be away from us overnight. Isn't that sweet?

Happy 5th Anniversary, Steve! I love you!

Monday, May 23, 2011


So, last night I told my husband that I thought my birth control pills might be the cause of my recent 10 pound weight gain, and he said, "Yes, if birth control pills make you eat Rolos and gluten-free cookies, then yes, your birth control pills made you gain 10 pounds."

Damn him. Touche.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, but they're never really wordless, are they?

So, after I wrote my last post about Max's wonderful advances, yesterday was a day from hell where he was super aggressive toward his brother, he was extremely hyperactive, and he wouldn't eat. However, I have seen the light and I am not discouraged!

Moving on, Harry had tubes put in his ears a couple of weeks ago. My baby can finally hear again!! He had an ear infection from the end of January to the end of April, so tubes were the only way to go. Look how sweet he is in his hospital gown!

The surgery normally only takes a few minutes, however, his surgery lasted longer because the doctor didn't expect his ear canals to be so tiny. Apparently, they are teeny!

After the surgery, he cried for about 30 minutes after waking up from the anesthesia because he was so disoriented. Broke my heart!

It was wonderful when we came home because for the first time in months, he could hear again! The afternoon of the surgery, my husband closed a door in the house and Harry jumped! And when the dog barked, he startled. He had to get used to hearing noises again.

I am so grateful that he is better and can enjoy the gift hearing once again!

Monday, May 16, 2011


So, I know I said I was going to write about my youngest son's tubes surgery, but I will have to do that next time. I am so excited to share this news with everyone.

Something has clicked. A light has clicked on. In my son. I don't know if it is the B Complex vitamins and the amino acid blend we have been giving him for the last two weeks. I don't know if it is that therapy is finally starting to pay off. I don't know if it is partly that he is getting a little bit older. I don't know what it is, but something is WORKING!!!

After two weeks of toddler turmoil, this past week has been a whirlwind of happy emotions in our house that haven't been around for a long time.

For the past week, Max has been almost like a balanced child. He is still himself, playful and FULL of energy, but he is more focused, more controlled, less aggressive, less impulsive, and his speech has improved. All of a sudden last week, at 7:30 am, he told me he wanted to eat. He never does that. I asked him what he wanted and he said a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He has never asked for that. So, I said, "Are you sure? For breakfast?" And he said, "Yes, sure." Then, he went and sat down in his dining room chair without me having to beg him or force him to get in.

I felt like someone was playing a joke on me. I thought, "Is Max tricking me?" But no, I made the sandwich and at 7:45 am, he ate all of it. Then, that afternoon, he ate pizza rolls.

These are both multi-textured foods. He has never been willing or ABLE to eat multi-textured foods.

From that day on, he has been changing like crazy. He has been less distressed. He has been eating!! Everyday!! Real food! Saturday, he ate 2 1/2 pieces of pizza at Chuck E. Cheese. He has never eaten a piece of pizza in his life no matter how hard we have tried. And he sat still at Chuck E. Cheese long enough to eat! Yesterday, he ate a bowl of blueberries and THREE waffles - then asked me for a fourth one!

He hasn't lashed out at his brother at all for a week. Not even one little smack on the head. And as a matter of fact, he has been watching out for Harry, making sure we are all careful around him when he is on the floor.

He has been asking to go to his room and play with his toys. And he will play with them for hours. He has never actually played with his toys - he has just carried them around with him. And today, for the first time ever, I heard him actually playing pretend with his Star Wars characters and making up conversations between them! I just sat and listened to him in disbelief.

And today, when I picked him up from preschool, his teacher said that for the first time in a long time, he didn't try to hit any other kids and he didn't have to go in time-out at all! She said he was extremely good and balanced all day.

This past Saturday, we took him to a swimming birthday party. It was at a pool, so of course, he loved it!

The thing that shocked us was that he actually SAT DOWN and was STILL and ate food with the rest of the kids! Look at him in the picture below! That is him in front of the window - the only boy at a table full of little girls! He is so small compared to the girls.

He, again, has never sat still at a birthday party and eaten with the rest of the kids. He is the only child who is still up running around and quickly becoming overstimulated. This time, when it was time to eat, he got out of the pool, picked his chair, and went to town on his snacks and cupcake.

And it is amazing how much his speech has improved this week. It is like he had all these words trapped inside his mouth and now he is finally able to get his brain to tell his mouth to spit them out. He has been saying complete sentences and telling us stories about his day. He was never able to tell us stories before because he just didn't have the capabilities.

The mood in our house has been completely different this week. We have all been smiling more, actually laughing!, I have enjoyed being a mother and staying home with my boys. The energy of the house is lighter and I have more energy left at the end of the day because I'm not having to constantly prevent or put out fires and my stress level is lower. I actually had enough energy left last night to mop the floors after the kids went to bed!

I have been crying at completely unexpected times because I am so proud of him and so grateful that he is feeling some peace.

Last Thursday after his OT session, his therapist told me that he is finally starting to understand the emotion of being "sad" and how you should treat someone who is sad. He used to become angry or laugh at someone who was crying. He just didn't understand - he has always had a disconnect with emotions. But now, she said he was asking the "sad people" in therapy if they were okay and patting their hands. I was so happy while she was telling me this that I started crying in the middle of the waiting room! It meant so much to me that somewhere in that precious head of his, a light has switched on.

And, for his sake, I hope it never turns off.

He is an amazing, playful, courageous child and I want everyone to be able to see his light like we do and be able to look past his difficulties.

He is a bright, bright light. And Mommy is oh so proud.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day wears me the heck out!

So, oh Mother's Day. Doesn't it always turn out more exhausting than it should?

Well, maybe not for everyone, but for me, yes. I still haven't recovered.

The day started out pretty great! I got to sleep in until 10 am!! That is unheard of in my house. I am always awake by 7 am. Most days, I am awake by 6 am. At 10, Max came into my room wearing this waiter's hat and carrying "Mommy's Menu." How cute is he? I got to circle what I wanted for breakfast on the menu and then my husband cooked it!

But, that is where the relaxation ended. Max wanted me to get up, so I did. No breakfast in bed. Then, he tried to crawl on the table and eat my breakfast, he tried to spill my coffee, he tried to pour soy creamer in my green tea, then we had to rush to get ready to go to my husband's sister's house. During the rush to get ready, Max's sensory seeking issues stepped in and he started hitting my 8 month old. When I put him in time-out, he kicked me, hit me, bit me, spit at me, he thrashed around, he screamed, he cried, it was a nightmare. Suddenly, he jumped in my lap and said monsters were scaring him and he curled up in a ball and cried.

It was exhausting for both of us. He was so distressed and I got ANOTHER stress headache. I have had one everyday for the last 2 weeks.

Max has been regressing the last 2 weeks to old aggressive patterns of behavior and he has also developed new sensory issues. The tags in his clothes now bother him. His pajama tops and bottoms have to match every night or he has a meltdown. All noises are suddenly too loud. He isn't eating well again and he wakes up crying during his naps and in the middle of the night. He has absolutely no impulse control. He is hitting himself in the head again and he is hitting others again. He has also begun to have meltdowns several times a day.

I spoke to one of his occupational therapists this morning and she said to just keep consistent with his punishments and keep brushing his skin and doing his joint compressions. But, we lost his brush over the weekend, so I have to wait to get another one tomorrow at his next therapy session. She also said she would check on the status of his referral to the center that will evaluate and officially diagnose him.

We have started giving him B Complex vitamins twice a day and giving him an amino acid blend called "Brain Calm" at night with dinner to balance out his nervous system. The brain calm is supposed to take several weeks to take effect, though.

Anyway, I think Mother's Day should be called Mother's Morning. 10 am is the latest I have ever been able to relax on this day. My husband was so exhausted from having to get up with the kids (he isn't used to that!) that he had to take a nap in the afternoon while I took care of the kids. ON MOTHER'S DAY!

I hope the rest of you had a great Mother's Day! I did have a good time at my sister-in-law's house and later in the evening when my mother and aunt came over for dinner. I am just tired today.

I will try to post again soon about my youngest son's ear tubes surgery!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What's the going rate for a 2 year old these days?

So, I am selling my 2 yr old to the next band of gypsies that come to town.

And no, don't try to talk me out of it. I've made up my mind.

Not that I have ever seen any gypsies in my town. But if I do, I'm selling my 2 year old for a book of curses and some gumbo.

I think a demon has possessed my child. The last 2 days have sent my anxiety through the roof!!
Max has been extremely filled with tantrums...lots of kicking, hitting, crying, refusing, yelling, throwing, and whatever else he isn't supposed to do - HE HAS DONE IT!

Besides all the tantrums he threw yesterday, he also did this: I went to the bathroom and almost fell because I slipped on a large pool of hand soap that he pumped out all over the floor!

He fought me about taking a nap yesterday and today, too. AND...

about thirty minutes ago, while I THOUGHT he had been napping peacefully for the last hour, he wasn't actually napping at all, but doing this:

pumping and smearing lotion all over the nightstand in my bedroom. And all over the floor. And all over the sheets on my bed. And all over the sides of my trashcan.

Michael J. Fox is now very moisturized.

The upside to all of this is that it still doesn't occur to him to lie. He never lies about what he has done.

"Max, why is your brother crying? What did you do?"

"I hit him in the head." or "I pushed him down."

"Max, where is your Toy Story penguin?"

"I put him down the hole. He's gone." (the "hole" is the air vent in our kitchen)

"Max, why is this remote broken?"

"Because I threw it."

So, when he came into the living room with his hands completely covered in a white substance, I asked him what he had done. And he said, "Come here, Mommy. I show you."

My stomach was in knots as I followed him down the hall. What was I going to have to clean up now? I had already cleaned up the yogurt he dumped on the floor at breakfast and the refried beans he smeared all over the table at dinner last night.

I couldn't figure out what he could have done because I always close the bathroom doors when he sleeps just in case he tries to sneak out of his room and play "bath" in the toilet.

He led me down the hallway to my bedroom and I wanted to kick myself for not closing my bedroom door. He walked around to my side of the bed and said, "Look Mommy!" And then I saw poor MJF covered in lotion, along with my pillow, my sheets, my other books, my chapstick, my health insurance information, and everything else I had in the vicinity.

Not that I wouldn't have been able to figure out that he was the culprit if he hadn't already told me. Those two rectangles you see in the bottom right hand corner of the picture are his Han Solo frozen in carbonite statues from Star Wars. He never goes anywhere without them.

Dead giveaway.

But, now that I think about it, I'm not sure selling him to gypsies would be such a good idea.

Since gypsies travel so much, they might not be able to get him his special chocolate soy milk and regular dairy milk mixture that he likes so much. Or his Scooby Doo fruit snacks. And I bet they would get tired of hearing about how Han Solo was frozen in carbonite. And what if they didn't know the words to "Rainbow Connection"? He can't sleep without hearing that song. And if he got a boo-boo, would they have Spiderman band-aids?

Yeah, maybe I'd better keep him. After all, what would I do if I wasn't cleaning up after him all the time? Have a life? Nah, what mother wants that.

I'd rather have slobbery night-night kisses and messy hugs. Definitely.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Starbucks Fairy

So, when I went through the Starbucks drive-thru today to get my usual tall coffee with soy milk (my coffee orders don't require several deep breaths and a modern dictionary on coffee abbreviations), the lady at the window said that the woman in the car in front of me had paid for my coffee!

And I started crying! Aye yi yi.

I wish I could tell that woman in the white SUV how much her kind gesture meant to me - how much she improved my energy, my mood, my dreary morning.

I was having kind of a rough morning for several reasons: one, it was raining. Again. It seems that it has done nothing but rain here in the South for weeks.

two, when the nurse weighed my son before his ear tubes surgery last Friday (I will write more about that later), she had to weigh me holding him and then weigh me alone because they didn't have a baby scale. And that was the first time I have been weighed in about 6 months. And I found out I have gained 10 pounds.

So, THAT'S what happens when you are consistently overwhelmed by taking care of a home and two young children as a stay-at-home mom with no intellectual stimulation and no real feeling of usefulness and so you eat handfuls of chocolate to self-medicate. Got it.

three...kinda goes hand-in-hand with number two... I had just been to the mall to try on clothes. Ugh. Something I used to love, but now, not so much. I looked at my midsection in the mirror at Express and my muffin top told me that the extra 10 pounds make me irresistible to men from Jersey Shore and bears, so I left feeling fat and dejected.

And then! The Starbucks Fairy!

Thank you, Starbucks Fairy. Bless you and thank you. You made my morning. Now, I hope I can pay it forward. Maybe I could feed myself to some starving bears. I've heard muffin tops are delicious.