Saturday, June 28, 2008

I hope Hunter learned a lesson this week...

Hi all!

It hasn't been too much of an excitng week around here. It rained a lot and it was only above 80 two times, so on those day we went to the spray playground as it is being called. Hunter could stay there all day but Devin and Bryce can only last an hour or so. Then I get them dried off and into some clothes and we go to the playground next to it for about thirty minutes. Glad it's free because we don't spend too much time there at once!

This week the Amish crew that clean houses came over. Tim bought me a 2 hour slot for Mother's Day. I wasn't too keen on all the chemicals, but I knew I'd never deep clean as good as these ladies would do. They said they'd be moving furniture and washing baseboards!! We left them to their work with the house windows open so the place could air out.

Hunter's bedroom has been a mess for so long now. I told him that four woman were coming to deep clean our house and I wanted his bedroom to be one of the rooms that got some attention. Tim and I looked behind and under things to make sure there wasn't any disgusting surprises, most of you know what I mean, for the ladies, but there wasn't. Every day that went by I told Hunter to clean up his room. He didn't do it and he still didn't do it and he had only an hour left when Tim said enough and took a big black garbage bag into Hunter's room and tossed everything but the books I could save into that bag and out to the garbage can it went.

Hunter hovered by and I knew he wanted to say something. I had to tell him to speak up but all he did was reach out and grab something here and snatch something there. I thought, I hoped, he would get upset, but all he did was watch and listen. Maybe in his silence it was hitting home and we won't have to play that scene again.

I did get a return call from the DAN! doc I mentioned in my last update. To make a long stroy short the woman was rude. She pretty much told me I wasn't commited to making my son well and that I was looking for a quick fix. Therefore, I will be looking for a new DAN! doctor. I did take Hunter to see a gastro doc who told me what I already knew, but I just wanted to make sure. He recommended an enema, but Hunter had to endure those a few years back and I'd rather not go through that again. I picked up a root beer flavored laxitive to help clean up any blockage up there and bought him some fiber crackers. If he's still having problems after our return from Michigan, the doc will look deeper. If he still is messing his underwear, I will probably have to keep him home from his summer camp this year.

Are boys born to it? Is it in their genes?? Devin has seen a few scenes of a couple older kid/adult shows and movies, but is that still too much??? He is continuously shooting me and starting to wrestle with Bryce. He does have some cute moves though where he jumps up and down into a spread legged position and holds his hands like he's doing karate. I just hope I can keep him tame so he doesn't hurt anyone.

Bryce has come into the monkey stage of toddler hood. He is climbing on to everything! When walking across the room he has to sway over to a toy and step on it and down before carrying on his way. With us hovering nearby he's climbed the stairs and gone part way down them. He's more interested in going up right now than down. We were at an indoor playground this week and I looked up and he had climbed up the slide and was happily standing at the top with a new view he hasn't seen before!

He's almost running but if he gets going to fast he falls on his knees. He tries to eat everything I give him, but he can't contain the urge to throw most of it on to the floor. Devin on the other hand...I don't see where he gets all his energy with just two bites at each meal!

Tomorrow my sister Karyn and her wonderfuly behaved children :) will be arriving. They'll probably get here in time for dinner and Monday morning we'll be on our way to take over our parent's house in Northern Michigan. Ready or not, dad, here we come! We'll be there through the 18th, but I think Karyn is leaving the day before.

So everyone have a great next couple weeks and look for an update and a ton of pictures around the 20th (which is my wedding anniversary. Yikes!)



Thursday, June 26, 2008

What do you do to beat the heat?

That's the question Nature's Child Wholesome Goods for Mothers & Babies is asking their readers. If you share your answer with them, your name is put into a drawing and you could win a bumGenius 3.0 Starter Kit! Wowzers! You could get 18 diapers, a diaper sprayer, a dozen cloth wipes and a bottle of bumGenius Odor Remover!

bumGenius, otherwise known as BG in the cloth diaper world, is a one size pockt diaper that was recently redone to include, among other things, two inserts instead of one. In my opinion, BG is the closest thing to disposeables out there. Pre-stuffed, they go on as quick as a disposable, secured with a strong Velcro type fastner called Aplix.

I want to win just for that diaper sprayer! Every time I clean up a poopy cloth diaper I tell myself to just get a sprayer already! I haven't seen them for sale for less than $35.00. They are similar to what some of you may have at your kitchen sink, but these obviously hook up to your toilet and you spray the diaper somewhat clean into the toilet and into the wetbag or diaper pail it goes!

You gotta have cloth wipes if you use cloth diapers. It doesn't make any sense to reuse a diaper but not the wipes. Besides, it can get pretty annoying to have to seperate icky disposeable wipes from a cloth diaper. I know because switching to cloth wipes was the last thing I did.

I haven't used an odor remover, but with cleaning both cloth diapers and Hunter's dirty underwear, I should invest in some!

So, tell Nature's Child what your family does to beat the heat. A name is randomly drawn on August 10th. If you win, you can see first hand how easy it is to use cloth diapers and realize how much money you save by not buying disposeables and what about Mother Earth? Not adding more plastic and human waste to a landfill is a big plus for me!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We're back from Georgia!

My boys and I had a great time with my sister and her kids. I'm not going to go into too much detail (yeah, right) because you can read about and see what we did using the Pictures in a Slide Show link on my main page.

We headed out at 6:30 A.M. last Saturday, June 7th. The ride down went unbelievably well. You might have thought I was traveling with older kids and not a one and almost three year old! When Bryce got fussy, he was easily satisfied with a snack or a sippy. If we didn't have a DVD player he may have been more of a handful, but the drive down was uneventful...except for one little thing.

The last time we traveled a long distance both boys were in their cloth diapers and both boys had poopy diapers, one creating two stinky surprises. I have what's called a wet bag, a place where you store wet and dirty cloth diapers, but it's not a zipper top only a draw string, so with those three dirty diapers in there, my van got a little stinky. I decided to buy some disposeables and use them during the 735 mile trip south (with an hour long lunch, we made it there in 13 hours).

We were somewhere near Lexington, KY and passing some orange construction signs when Devin, still in his onsie PJ's and a disposeable diaper, says to me, 'What happened to my diaper?' I look back at him and he's holding his left leg up and pointing down and I see a big glob of poop out of the diaper and on his leg and car seat! Ack! By then we had entered the construction zone and we were going barely 10 MPH. I told Dev not to touch the poo and try to keep his leg up and I looked for an exit but there wasn't one ahead and even if there was, it would take me forever to get there at that pace. I pulled over and cleaned both Devin and his car seat up, all the while leaving the van running with the air conditioning on.

When Devin asked me that now memorable question, my van had just beeped at me, alerting me to the low fuel level. I don't know how long it took me to clean up the stinky mess, but when I got back in behind the wheel, that gas needle was almost on empty! I don't know if it was actualy construction or rubber necking, but traffic speed had picked up and I made it to an exit and coasted as much as I could to a gas station. I did not need to be running out of gas at the halfway point!

Six hours later we were greeted eagerly by my beautiful biggest sister and her giggling children and so began our week long stay in Northern Georgia!

Karyn planned for just about every minute of every day! If we weren't on a big field trip, we were on smaller outings or swimming at indoor water parks (because K'ryn didn't want us to have too much Georgia sun too soon) or just playing in the sprinkler and water squirters at the house. Between my sister and I we took quite a few photographs to remind us of this busy but much enjoyed and loved week together. I hadn't been to Georgia since her wedding back in 1995!

With two boys close to the same age in the house, there was bound to be trouble. Devn and Kyler were at each others throats sometimes, but other times they were the sweet angels we knew they could be. Both Karyn and I had moments where we had to count to 10 and remind ourselves that we love our children and that we wanted to have them. LOL

Hunter and K'ryn had some moments and although I heard Hunter sounding impatient at times, I never heard K'ryn get mad at him. I know she had motive to be. She asked me if I would talk to Hunter about not putting stickers on the faces of her friends in photographs on her bedroom wall. I definately did talk to him because that involves a lack of respect. Karyn told me on the phone earlier today that K'ryn found the letters H, U and N written in ink on the ceiling of their van. Karyn wasn't worried about it and told K'ryn it wasn't a big deal and I don't really care that the back windows of my van, and for some time the back outside of my van, had stickers all over it, but I do care that Hunter wrote on somebody else's van. I did talk to him about that.

Bryce was the best behaved of them all! I think I have Karyn's agreement on that one! :P He did make a mess when he dumped the cats water bowl all over the floor and got mad at us as we fished out some cat food from his mouth. He also made one heck of a racket when he pulled all the metal bowls out of the cupboard. Other than that, he was a happy, agreeable baby, even while being in the van as much as he was and taking his naps in strollers or on my chest in a swimming pool!

There was one short stretch in there where both Dev and B must have caught a bug. They both threw up a little bit and Dev had a bit of a fever and was ornery, but they both were fine and activities only delayed.

Devin continued his odd sleeping behavior at his aunt's house. I slept mostly on the bed (Kylers room) with Bryce and Devin on the air mattress next to us. It was a double size mattress, but many mornings Devin was on the floor and sometimes part way under the bed! On the morning we returned to Ohio, I was woken by a muffled voice calling for me and asking for help. Devin had found himself not just under the bed, but all the way across it and next to the wall. Even on my belly and part way under the bed with my arm stretched, I had to coax Dev to scoot toward my voice so I could get a hold of him and help him out! I put him back in the middle of the bed with his pillow and blanket, and the little stinker was back to sleep in minutes. Bryce didn't make a sound. I was awake and looked at the time. It was just before 5:00 A.M. I decided to finish up my packing and load the van, leaving for home earlier than planned.

Our return trip was actually delayed by a day. The plan was to return on Saturday, but the weather had other idea's. If I had left at that time, almost my entire drive north would have been in rain and thunderstorms. All the way from Georgia to Southern Ohio was nothing but inclement weather. I talked to Tim, and even though we'd be getting home the evening of Father's Day, he was fine with that. He didn't want us driving in the rain all that way either. Karyn, the kids and I had no complaints ourselves!

Karyn and the kids are heading to Northern Michigan on the 30th. We've since decided that they will come here and stay the night and in the morning we will caravan to our hometown and arrive at the grandparents house all at once! We thought about carpooling, but we each have other places to be so decided just to follow each other. Less than two weeks away and we'll all be together again! Any of you ever try to take five kids on a field trip? LOL It was fun!

Thanks for reading, now go see the pictures!

Oh, wait. Come back. I had a realization this past week that Karyn helped me to see. I've shared with you all about Hunter and his poo accidents. I didn't realize how often he was having them until now, when school is out. Whatever room he is in, it's smelly. Today he went through four pairs of underwear.

K'ryn had climbed a rock wall successfully and Hunter wanted to give it a try. He didn't make it very far, but he tried! I knew he wasn't going to make it very far because he has such low muscle tone. There's a medical term for it, a condition some kids with autism have, but I don't remember the name. Karyn and I were talking about it when it came to us that maybe that is why he's having these poo accidents. Sorry if this is too much info, but the anus is, after all, just a muscle.

I have a message in to the DAN! Doctor in hopes to gt a referral to someone who can help us with this. I had to leave a message and haven't heard anything back yet because this doctor is actually a psychologist and does the DAN! protocol on the weekends. I'm hoping it won't take until then to check her messages.

Thanks for reading.

Love to all,


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I did something to B I didn't want to do!

Hello to everyone on this rainy but comfortable Wednesday.

Today is Hunter’s Fun Day at school. He told me about kick ball and a target throwing game and dropping balls in buckets. He also reminded me that the PTO is providing a free lunch for them. It looks like the rain has stopped though. When he boarded the bus it was coming down pretty good, but now it’s ceased but the ground of course is wet. Since we live 15 miles out of town it could still be raining there or maybe it didn’t rain at all. No rain! Tim just replied to my email asking that and he said it’s dry!

Yesterday Hunter had a walking field trip to McDonald’s. He planned his menu and counted out the money he needed. Afterward they walked to the park and played for a bit before making the walk back to the school. He complained that it was a mile long walk. It was a nice 76 or so yesterday; perfect weather for a walk!

He scored a 100% on his last reading achievement test, which reminds me I still haven’t posted his latest report card for those of you who are interested. It will be under Hunter in School when I remember.

In a couple weeks we should get the scores for his big 3rd grade tests in math and reading!

The due date for the application for his summer residence camp scheduled for the end of July was June 1st. The past two summers we applied he was accepted, but there are limited slots. This year I didn’t get it into the mail until two weeks ago, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed there is still room for him. If he doesn’t get in I think I’ll be more upset than he will be, maybe. He has talked about it a little bit, so I think he might be looking forward to it.

Devin is always on the go, often too busy to stop and take a nap unless we’re in the van. He and Knight are both enjoying the free range the fenced in back yard provides for them. Rain or shine, you can’t stop Dev from going outside! Hunter’s friend Jonathon has been coming over a lot this week and Devin just loves him and often gets upset when it’s time for him to go home. Jonathon stayed the night and I thought for sure Dev was going to insist on sleeping downstairs with them, but he went into his own room to watch Thomas and continued the fun the next morning until Jonathon went home.

I swear he’s grown over night! I thought for sure some of these 2T clothes I have would still fit him, but even without the fluffy bum, he’s too big for them! He hasn’t been eating very well during sit down meals, but he has access to snacks pretty much anytime, so he definitely isn’t going hungry. If he is, he’ll come up and tell me so. I love hearing the sound of his voice.

Bryce is having some growing pains. It seems he has sprouted up over night as well, but not as quietly as Devin. He is getting his top eye teeth and molars, so I’ve been trying to help him with that. His face is still a bit chubby but we can see muscle in his thighs! Devin is no longer the only one going in circles around the kitchen island. Although slower, Bryce is right there in his brother’s wake!

I cut his hair. All those curls...snip, snip, they are gone. I kept two curls, taped to a card where the stylist spelled the name of the town wrong. What a difference a hair cut makes, but, my last baby's first haircut has happened!

We’ll be leaving Tim and the dogs behind early Saturday morning and heading to Georgia to spend a week with my sister Karyn. With gas prices I almost didn’t do it, but now that I’m not pregnant or nursing around the clock, it is time! So…I won’t be going to my 15 year class reunion in August. This is the first time some of you have heard this, but although I am curious to see how my classmates turned out, the people I’d really like to see I already do spend time with, or try to spend time with!, when I’m up north. The other people I’d love to get together with live too far away or have already said they aren’t going to attend.

I haven’t been posting much because I have two very bossy kings of the mountain to serve and when I’m not attending to them I’m trying to be crafty. It took me much longer than planned to finish that baby quilt for my new nephew.

I told Dev we would go to the library after I was done here and now that Bryce came and stole my mouse pad, I smell something that needs immediate attention!

Thanks for reading and write when you can! I’ll write again after the 15th, with a lot of pictures to share! See the calendar at the bottom of my home page to learn what we’ll be doing while there!

Love to all,


Monday, June 2, 2008

Children on the specturm being berated in the classroom

It's a story that's getting attention around the nation. A teacher is accused of voting a child out of her classroom. Tuesday, the outraged mother spoke to CBS 12 and to CBS The Early Show.

Alex Barton: the 5 year-old autistic boy's day in kindergarten put to a vote. His mother, Melissa Barton, says, "He came to me and said, "Mommy, 14 kids voted me out of my class."

Read the full story here.

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WAVE) - A kindergarten teacher from New Albany has been suspended after she was apparently caught on tape berating a 5-year-old student for several minutes in front of the class. The boy's parents sent him to school one day in April with the tape recorder in his pocket after the boy complained for months that his teacher was mean to him.
Read the full story here.

The first article I read caught my attention, but then the second one has me worried. Hunter doesn't have the behavior problems these younger kids reportedly have, but in his silence there is plenty of ammunition for his peers to use.

One is how he talks. He doesn't stutter, but his sentecnes are so choppy and he pauses in the middle of them as he gathers his thoughts, opening himself to taunts.

Another is his stimming and comfort behavior. He still walks on his tip toes and flaps his fingers when interested or excited. He carries around small items, picking string from his socks and is always scanning the floor for rubber bands or other odd things. He often looks to be dancing in place, back and forth on his tip toes with strange things in his fingers. He's older now and it looks weird from a distance.

The most important one is his not using the toilet properly. I've picked him up from the school for messing his underwear three times and twice he was sent home with his underwear wrapped in two plastic bags with a note from the nurse. One time the accident even dirtied the back of his pants and down the leg. He didn't go to the nurse. It was another student who pointed it out to the substitute teacher....

Yes, kids will be mean. Don't be sending me messages saying that it's all part of life and going to school. Teachers already have so much training and certifications to do and Iunderstand that being in a room full of other peoples' kids is work often unappreciated. More and more childen these days are entering school with some sort of label and the teacher who has that child should be required to take a class in how best to work with the child and how to deal with any behavioral issues. Talking down to them and reprimanding them in front of their peers, asking OTHER CHILDREN what should be done with the child in question, is absolutely unacceptable. Kids on the spectrum don't care about other people's opinions, so trying to embarass them into cooperation isn't going to solve the problem.

It's a lot of extra work for teachers to do, but think about the parents. The parents will be with this child for the rest of their lives. Teacher's have them, what, 180 days, give or take some, a year? Help the parents out by knowing who's going to be in your class the coming year. If they have IEP's, please READ the IEP before you meet the child and learn what you can about any diagnosis and maybe - shocker - meet with the parents before the year begins. I haven't seen my son's file in a few years, but I know it's chuck full of evaluations and reports going back to age 18 months when he was found to be Speech and Language Impaired. Tucked among those stapled stacks is a letter I wrote before every new school year to the teacher that talks about how Hunter is doing in certain area's, his ups and downs, what he likes and doesn't like. Can you imagine how upsetting it is to learn that, after taking the time and emotion to write about your child on paper in ways a stranger can understand, a person who will see him more hours in a day than you will, just to find out she hasn't read the letter? Hasn't even read the current IEP??

I'm upset to read about these two cases, but I can't honestly say I'm surprised. I'm a member of a few boards that talk about ASD kids and classrooms and I just have to hang my head and be thankful that Hunter is on the higher end of that multi-level rainbow.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My baby days may be done...

but video's like this make me want to have more and more! Life is indeed a miracle. I wish every baby born could share in the love my boys are surrounded in.