Saturday, May 7, 2016

Reaching Out for Help

Nov 2014, Around 20 months of age, Wilson was at my mom's, he was jumping around and we were naming animals.  He would say their sounds, frog was my favorite because he had a deep throated 'ribbit'.  His enunciation was off, but he definitely knew about 12-15 animal sounds and engaged in saying them.  Sometime in here, I'm driving and sneezing and he keeps saying something.  I realize he is saying "Bless you".  

Feb 2015, 2 years.  Wilson got ear tubes.  His favorites at the time were saying "Dada Di-der"(Daniel Tiger and "kiki-ooh ooh ah ah"(Monkey- and then monkey sounds)  He had a lot of words, and he would say them on his own.  He would sit with the "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and say things that we read.  He thanks me after a diaper change, so sweet.  I am worried about him not developing phrases-and I am watching his every move for signs of Autism-specifically antisocial behavior.  I see him at the babysitters engaging in very age-appropriate car play with his same age friend.  His friend is saying things like 'go!" and "yay!" and Wilson is copying him and laughing.

June 2015, 2.5 years.  I took a secret video of Wilson in the shower singing, "Twinkle Twinkle" and doing the actions.  He also asks to wear 'bow tie' to church and is giddy when we comply.  

July 2015, 2.5 years.  Some friends come over and Wilson is very interested in the two closest in age to him.  I witness him taking a turn out of his toy car to give the little one a turn and watching and waiting joyfully with a smile.  Our day to day struggles involve me starting a Daniel Tiger Social Song and him finishing the song, "Clean up, pick up, put away....."  "Nean up, de-dee-day!"  I tear up in a phone conversation about him and he comes running over to hug me.  I get a sonogram and he acts protective as they lean me back.

Sept 2015, 2 years, 9 month.  Wilson pretend plays guitar on a tennis racket and sings Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" after he sees us watching Kurt Cobain play guitar.

Oct 2015, 2 years, 8 months.  Wilson is into Toy Story.  We let him watch it some and he likes to use the action figures to act it out.  Sometimes he acts it with his own body and pretty decent acting.  He pretends to be Buzz and says, "To indoodoody a beyo!"  (to infinity and beyond!) as he jumps from things.  Wilson is clingy to mom.  He comes into bed with us every night and snuggles saying 'Mom, Dad?' clear as day and trying to hold one of us on each side.   He gives hugs and 'ugga muggas' like Daniel Tiger.  Loves swimming and airplanes.  He hears the airplanes and points them out to me with pointing.  He is a tidy eater, but OCD about how he wants things, fill the cup full, place it here.....and he is by far my pickiest eater, but likes toast and eggs which I eat a lot with him.  He also likes ham slices.

Dec 2015, 2 years, 10 months.  Ellie is born.  Wilson is still into Toy Story.  Wilson sings 'Rain, Rain' with less enunciation than singing in June, but recognizable.  Has conversations with me like, "It's airplane, right Mom?"  He goes through a phase where he carries the little figurines around the house and talks about them.  I can engage him in conversations about them like their names, "Is this Mickey?"  "no"  "Is this Mickey" "yesh."   I tell him about things like Donald's bow tie being red, and he repeats pieces like "Donald's bow tie" and examine it.  "Thank you" is heard by him less often and almost never unprompted.  Christmas gifts do not get a thank you even with prompting which I chalked up to the noise and busy-ness.

Jan 2015, almost 3.  I fill out paperwork for a formal questionaire on Wilson for evaluation in the Public Schools.  I note concerns in all speech areas, particularly with enunciation skills and lack of sentence structure.  I note many things he can do like say "Mine" and use simple "It's ---" sentences.  I note that he does play with peers, as is seen with his cousin and in previous times at playdates.  I describe him as generally compliant, but even then, am thinking how he is much less so than he once was.  He gets stuck and cries from the next room, "Hep me, Mom!"  One of the adjectives I use to describe him is "affectionate".

Feb 2015, 3.  Before his birthday party I coach "Thank you" for a week and then prompt it at the party with success.  He gets a lot of gifts, his favorite is the 'Mike Wasowski' Monsters Inc toys.  He says 'Mike Wasowski' a lot and wants to wear that t-shirt every day.  He is becoming less compliant daily about dressing and not just the shirts.  

April 2015, 3 and 2 months.  We get a look at his brain and find out there is no brain damage.  He has no seizures either.  I read about apraxia and how to treat it, as a result, I begin to teach him to ask for things with the phrase "May I have.....please?"  I pause after every word for him to repeat.  Then I move to just saying "May....." and he completes the phrase.  Then I simply say, "How do you ask?"  and he does.  THEN, out of nowhere one day, he looks at me like he has no idea when I say, "How do you ask?"  So I prompt, "May....", "May I....."  Then I re-coach it all like he'd never done it before.

May 2015, 3 and 3 months.  We have re-gained the phrase for asking with the prompting after a few days of re-teaching it.  I realize it has been ages since I've heard him sing a radio song or any song.  I haven't heard him jabber about "Mike Wasowski", "Dada Di-der", or "Gicky Mou" (Mickey Mouse).  Every once in a while he utters "Bu"(Buzz).  I realize I haven't heard any sentences like, "It's airplane, right, Mom?" in ages.  I haven't even had him reach out to me to tell me something and point like simply, "airplane".  I haven't had a hug from him in a while, or a kiss, or seen him hug or kiss anyone besides Ellie, and he often grabs her face, or mine and smooshes it, and it hurts.  When we wait for the bus to come for his services, he usually won't engage in 'The Wheels on the Bus with Me."  His spontaneous speech is probably about 3 words from being nonexistent.  

I am losing so much connection with my angel.  I want to reverse this as fast as I can, and stop the damage in its tracks. Please let me know if you have any resources that will help us get the quickest solution possible.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Five Favorites - Prodigal Son Style

Linking up with Hallie at Moxie Wife.

So I've returned... (pretend you noticed my absence?)

Five Favorites from the last several months

1.  The AMAZING "Say goodbye to my Roaring Twenties" 30th surprise murder mystery party my sister, husband, and mom threw me.  It was ridiculous.  And my friends and family have never looked so glamorous.  I thought I was going to country club themed dinner, and instead, I was blown away with one stellar night.  If I could bottle the feeling of gratitude, I would share it with all!




2.  Dapper Easter boys.
Dom, Wilson, Sol
3.  Lindsey's Oscar Party.  It is actually an annual highlight, always a spectacular night out.

4.  My baby brother Fred is going to the seminary!  So incredibly proud of him as if I'm somehow responsible.  I'm not.  Still proud.

5.  Wilson turned one!

That's all folks!  

Go see some other favorites!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

In gratitude for my hero

After a week of vacation, I'm dreading going back to work tomorrow.  4 measly easy hours a day 4 days a week and I am so very depressed dwelling on it.  It's a great job but it is time away from the heaven I had last week of relaxing with my family and just going with the flow.  We need the structure, but I loved working through my own personal to do list instead of a work one.

Which brings me to a realization I have from time to time.  My husband has worked without a week break since our summer vacation, and before that, the birth of our child.  And a work day for him looks like wake at 3:45 AM, leave the house at 4:15 AM.  Get to work at 4:45 and do whatever it is he does as he dispatches air medical services.  Then he comes home at 5:35ish PM to a usually cluttered home, busy boys, a tired wife, and seldom a ready dinner.  After helping me with everything from diapers to trash, plus checking on the garden or doing a quick yard task, he helps wrangle kids into bed and follows up with for usually at least 15 minutes.  Then he manages a few brief minutes of internet browsing or non-cable TV snippets before falling asleep on the couch.  He does this 3-4 days each week.  Then, because he aspires to earn even more for our family, he signs up to work other days in between and often is on call another 1-2 days a week.  His days off involve yard work, my honey-do list, watching the kids(even while I take the occasional nap), and whatever else needs done.

So I will not waste another second dreading work tomorrow, and will spend the rest of my night marveling at how on earth this guy manages this day in day out without complaining or bitterness.  Something in him is pretty tough and incredibly selfless.  I'm a lucky girl.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Best Guest at my Wedding

So, there have been some really interesting posts on marriage lately and I have enjoyed them immensely.

While engaged to my husband, I went to a Sunday Mass with my family.  A visiting priest had come and gave me a very unique glimpse at the Gospel where Jesus performs his first miracle, changing water to wine at the wedding at Cana.

Cradle Catholic that I am, I'd heard that Gospel read, explained, and broken down a number of times.

This time was different because the priest made me consider for the first time that this was a marriage taking place.  A wedding for a couple on path to spend their lives together.  A couple that in modern times, would have picked up the inner envelopes and scribed, "Mary" and "Jesus".  While it may not have been as formally composed, it would have been deliberate that Jesus and Mary be invited to attend.  I like to muse what the connection was, friends, family, acquaintances...and it does not matter really, because they were invited and they were there.
A wedding gift from a close friend - hangs in our dining room.
This little incident of running out of wine was actually a bit of a big incident.  It seems as though it would reflect ill on the family, and the couple, if they were not perceived as having enough wealth, generosity, or foresight to have enough wine.  So whether they were out of money or just poor planners, they were in an embarrassing place.  If the guests realized the alcohol was gone, the party would have ended and the thoughts would not have been fond of the couple and the families hosting.  Imagine the strain on a new marriage this would be.  Lucky for them, intuitive Mary directed the servants to Jesus, and believed fully that He would fix the dilemma.  Not only did Jesus give them what they needed, it was so much better than what they had!

So the priest continued, just as the couple invited Jesus and Mary to the wedding, you should invite Jesus and Mary into your marriage.  If you do, then when inevitably, the cup of love that you fill runs out, Jesus will be there to refill it.  This resonated with me so much, that we chose the Wedding at Cana for our wedding Gospel.  I asked Jesus and Mary to enter into the marriage, even when they seemed uninvited, because I knew we would need Mary to direct us to Jesus who could fill our cup of love. 

I've been married 9 years so far, and I can't complain even about little things.  It has been happy and blessed.  I think I can sum up my daily feelings right now as always tired, always content, and always very blessed.

There are loads of other feelings as well.  Anger, frustration, pride, ingratitude, disgust, laziness, selfishness, entitlement, and crankiness.  Not one of these is ever called for, but I'm not exactly nailing this perfection thing.  So when I'm annoyed that my husband because he forgot something I told him 3 years ago at 11:00pm after he had fallen asleep, I wrap myself up in some sort of petty prideful frustration while I point out to myself all the ways he's ever messed up.  I'm quite content to build up my ego this way for a while as I go about my day.

Then those invited Guests grab my attention in a really peevish way.  I enter the hallway and see I left the garage light on again, even though my husband begs me to turn it off when I'm not using it.  Or I open the basement door and see the loads of stuff piled at the top to go down, even though I've been asked to take it all the way down for the sake of safety.  Jesus nudges me in the direction of the car I scraped up because I am the world's worst driver and my husband is so incredibly forgiving about it.  It is really hard to hang onto any resentment when I think about that.  Then I feel all kinds of sorry and as would be expected, the petty thing looks petty and I am delivered a dose of much needed humility.

In over 9 years, I have never gone to sleep angry.  Yes, I decided to marry a really great guy.  Almost perfect, actually.  I'm pretty sure, though, that I could easily let the .02% he has left to grow drain every last drop from my cup of love if Jesus didn't continue to intervene and fill it up.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Best

Linking up with Plane Pretty and Fine Linen and Purple.

Every Fall, I struggle with my wardrobe, I just don't know what to wear to be warm enough, and layer well, and which shoes.....I need to check the link-ups and get inspired.  Here's what I wore today.
boots:  Target, dress: hand-me-down, jacket worn every day almost: Old Navy, bracelet and necklace: gifts

My friend, Rachel, took gorgeous pictures of Wilson for his 9 month mark.  Here are my favorites.

Halloween! Seven Quick Takes

Linking up with Jennifer at Conversion Diary.

I love Halloween.  So anyways, I want to rehash costumes we have done over the years, because we have been getting our theme on.

1.  Halloween 2010:  Monster's Inc.  
I made Dom's outfit, bought Sol's on ebay, and Gretchen made Francesca's.  

2.  Halloween 2011:  Toy Story.  I made the Woody and Buzz outfits.  Gretchen made Francesca's.  The Bo Peep outfit was probably made by my grandma when my sister was little. 
3.  Halloween 2012:  Beauty and the Beast.  I made the Beast and Candlestick outfits.  Gretchen made the Belle and Chip.  
4.  Halloween 2013:  Peter Pan.  I made the Peter Pan, Captain Hook(out of a women's DAV jacket), baby pirate, and Wendy costume.  Gretchen did most of the work on the Tinkerbell costume, which was an upgrade from a dress up I made her at Christmas.

complete with mustache and "mom" tat.

My dad had a few helpers to hand out candy.  The neighborhood I grew up in goes crazy all out for Halloween and attracts a bunch of traffic from around the city on Halloween night. 

The boys with their adorable friends checking out the candy stash.
 These girls went as "St. Michael" unlike my unholy Disney pagans here.
I bet they just wanted to rock wings and a shield - who wouldn't?
5.  I didn't dress up for the night, but I did sport a Cat-Woman(one word?) outfit at a party last week.  I just wanted to re-wear an oldie since I had no interest in making a new costume for myself.

6.  My brother-in-law and sister wore awesome costumes to the party last week - she utilized the pregnant belly well.
7.  This isn't Halloween related, but my brother (who is seventeen but I still think of as a baby) was on Homecoming Court at his high school.  Here are some photos from the pep rally and game.  They also did a cute themed dance.  
Godfather bonding time.
Here's the cute dance they did too!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Five Favorites

Linking up with Grace on behalf of Hallie.

1.  This book.  We've made one every year for 4 years or so, including an animal themed one for this year, but seriously, this is my favorite.  I love to look at it over and over again.  A couple of my favorite pages below, but they do not do the whole book justice.

2.  Wilson's new trick.  He flies toy planes with sound effects.  Thank you hours of practice watching Dominic fly them around the house.

3.  Project Runway.  I'm really loving watching this season on Hulu.  I love Kate and Helen, with the super feminine looks they are turning out.  But Dom has some of my favorite looks this season for sure.

4.  NOLA(Night of the Living Art) is getting going for November 2014.  I just met with my co-chair today to start picking the next collection.  Bring it on!

5.  My coworker's reaction to a fairly typical kid issue:  At work yesterday, I had a little boy in my reading group do a sort of a 'no big deal but kind of have to pretend it is' thing of making his hand into a gun and pretending to shoot a classmate.  So, as he returned to his class, he had to tell the teacher what he had done.
Boy:  . . . excuse . . . blah blah . . . so I shooted him.
Teacher:  with what?
Boy:  (meekly makes a gun with his finger)
Teacher:  (so over the top, gasps)  Uuuaaaagh! (she grabs his fingers to hide the abomination that they reveal)
I had to leave her quickly to keep from laughing.  She is too funny and so great with little boys.