We had a fabulous family reunion at our house yesterday.  While it was a rush to prepare our home for that many people, it was nice to have it here because “here” is Christian-proofed.  Brian and I were able to visit with everyone.  Lovely!  😀

Unfortunately, piles of gluten also visited our house yesterday.  Usually, gluten is not that big of a deal as Christian will avoid most gluten-laced foods.  Ironically, Christian was attracted to some store bought, nothing fancy gluten-stuffed chocolate chip cookies.  Sigh.  I don’t understand why those were the draw (especially since he has been on a full-forced cookie strike since our “cookie company” went out of business), but he had (at least) two of them (from what we saw). 

The cookies were not big, but made a big impact.  Sleep is horrible — both falling asleep and staying asleep.  The aggression is back — mostly because I will not let him surf “youtube” for production companies after 8pm at night and I won’t let him downstairs.  And I’m just beat.  I want to sleep (not possible when you have a child literally bouncing off of walls (and doors)). 

Sigh.

I wonder how long this will take to pass…

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Our home has been in “Survival Sleep” mode for quite awhile.  Actually for more than four years.  (Probably closer to six.)  We seem to have cycled through a “deep survival” low in the last couple of months, though.  Christian has been having a really hard time falling sleep.  Olivia seems to sleep nervously while he is awake and crashing around.  (She has bad dreams about him.)  Brian and I, out of just sheer NEED for sleep, have just given in to this craziness.  Olivia will crawl in bed with Brian when he goes to sleep.  (He goes to bed fairly early considering the cows want to be milked first thing in the morning. 😉 )  I stay up with Christian — some nights we sleep in the basement, some nights on the couch, some nights in his room…I will sleep wherever I can when he’s on a “I can’t fall asleep” kick.  (And, yes, he really can’t fall asleep.  You can make someone stay in their room.  You can make someone stay on their bed.  You can make someone lay down.  But you CAN’T make someone fall asleep.  Not possible.  I know this after years of thorough study. 😉 )  But, here’s the good thing…Christian’s gluten-induced effect seems to be slowly wearing off.  He was able to sleep through the WHOLE night last night without me in his bed next to him.  (Yay!)  With this now occurring, my hope is to get him back to sleeping in his bed by himself and then moving Olivia back to her bed (by herself) after Christian is sleeping (instead of staying in bed with Brian all night), and me taking back my rightful place next to my hubby in my(our) own bed.  How blissful would that be?!?  It’s going to happen.  I can feel it.

Sigh.  I am thrilled to report that Christian is no longer staying up past midnight, but he has still been up ’til 11pm.  I’m pretty tired.  Actually, I’m VERY tired.  However, I am, again, thankful that the Olympics are on.  He seems to have taken a liking to “skate” = speedskating and “down” = skiing.  🙂  Perfect.  Some of my favorite events to watch!!!  😉

We are still seeing more aggression than usual.  More hitting and kicking me, especially when getting changed.  More spontaneous shoving of Olivia.  More tantruming and screaming when he doesn’t want to do something.  Sigh.  I really hope THIS part, in particular, goes away soon!

He has also been avoiding his therapists a lot, too, and clinging to me instead.  One night I had to actually lock myself in our bedroom, so that Christian would work with his therapist.  And major parts of his communication skills are still missing — like if asked a question, he will not even acknowledge you standing 6-inches away from his face.  That is heart-breaking. 

Also heart-breaking, watching him go back to dragging his forehead across a room on the carpet.  We have seen him do that maybe 3 times in the last 3 years (since we pulled gluten from his diet).

Sigh.  It’s amazing how much damage TWO pieces of toast can do…

(…and I’m praying that the rest of it leaves his system soon!)

I’m sure you have all been waiting breathlessly by your computers to see what has happened in the wake of the gluten-FILLED toast incident on Saturday.

The BIGGEST change has been sleep, or lack there of.  Christian hasn’t been able to go to sleep before midnight the last two nights and keeps me up until after he falls asleep.  I am, literally, a walking zombie mom today.  (So tired that I was part of a bumper-bump in the parking lot at school this morning.  I was leaving while someone else was coming.  Our bumpers bumped.  No damage to either vehicle.  I’m thankful to say that the other driver just shrugged it off.  Whew.  I definitely didn’t run any extra errands this morning though.)  However, I am thankful that at least there is something on TV in the late evening — thank you Olympics!!!  😉

Sitting through church and Sunday school were an extra special challenge yesterday.  Christian volume knob was stuck at full-blast and I didn’t have enough snacks along to keep his mouth busy the entire time.  Sigh.  Oh, well.  What could I do?

Christian’s been sensory seeking a bit more than normal, too.  Crashing constantly.  Literally bouncing off of the walls and doors.  Running while shaking his head back and forth — therefore running into anything that happens to get in his way.  Manic laughing and screaming.  Climbing everything and everyone…

…but his teachers said that they didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary at school today.  I guess that’s a blessing, right?!?  He’s comfortable enough to leave the fall-out for home.  🙂

Hurray!  HURRAY!  HURRAY!  For Olivia spontaneously sharing with Christian.  🙂

Boo.  BOO!  BOO!  That she was sharing her very own gluten-filled toast.  😦

I am a little nervous.  A little scared, as to what will happen with Christian later today and into the next week. 

Will he sleep?  Will he endlessly stim?  Will he scream even louder and more constantly than usual?  Will he be able to attend?  Will the eye contact disappear?  Will his ability to communicate regress?

I guess these questions will be answered shortly.  I have sometimes wondered exactly what the “fall-out” would be like if gluten was in his diet, so now I will receive that answer unexpectedly.  (Please pray that we all survive it.  😉  )