Sigh.

This Mama is ready to explode!  😦  (Yet at the same time laugh my head off! 🙂 )

Yesterday, I removed an area rug from the basement that had endured its share of urination/deification abuse.  (Rug, thanks for your dedication, but I had to let you go.  You know it was your time.  May you rest in peace.)  I was hoping beyond hope that maybe, just maybe, that would draw an end to the toileting in the basement issue.

Like I said, I was hoping.

So, now we have a new interesting problem.  The area where the rug was is now just vinyl tile.  While much easier to clean, it has a lake effect instead of the sponge effect.  And, apparently, it is SUPER FUN to slide and dance through a pee puddle on the floor.  Sigh.  It’s hard to combat that behavior when it’s just SO exciting.

I guess one of us will be making a trip to the hardware store tomorrow to buy a keyed lock for the basement door. 

New rule — until further notice, basement is off limits unless accompanied by an adult.  If an “accident” happens, basement will go on a timeout for a specified amount of time.  (Sorry, basement, you’re SO fun, but…you know…)

Here’s hoping that works!

Yep.  Not feeling it today.  I’m finding myself walking around in circles trying to remember what I was going to do next.

(Yes.  I have tried writing lists, but even that has not been productive today as I forget what I was going to write by the time I get to the paper.)

My attempt at cleaning picking up the house today has been OK.  (Which means — please, just stay in the living room.  Perhaps, then you can conclude that the rest of the house is tidy, too.  😉 )

My attempt at keeping the basement toilet-free today has failed.  More than once.  My stock pile of paper towel is dwindling (and I think my patience is fleeing along with it).  (At least I thought enough ahead of time today to remove the item that was making the basement particularly difficult to clean.)

My attempt at staying calm in the face of a diva tirade has been unsuccessful.  I think I need to put myself on a timeout next time I see one of those coming my way.  And, really, how did this tomboy end up with a diva-tastic princess?!?  This is SO off my radar screen she has my mind spinning everyday trying to keep up.  I just wish said princess would nap and/or let this Mama do the same.

But does it really matter if my house is clean and tidy, my basement is not a toiletbowl, and my diva wakes up on the sunny-side of her bed???  It would be SO INCREDIBLY GREAT!!!, but not necessary.  What matters more is that my son spontaneously wants me to pick him up, so that he can hug me.  My daughter tells me that I’m the best mom in the whole “entired” 😉 world.  My hubby tells me that he loves me.  My God has kept my on this earth another day to learn of his unexpected blessings and unending love.

I guess maybe I don’t need to be SuperMom anyway.  😉

(Thanks, KS, for this GREAT medallion!  What a fun surprise in my mailbox today!!!  🙂 )

Sigh.  Where to start?!?  It’s been awhile since I sat down to write and ponder what’s been going on in our lives, so, I guess, this post will be a bit of a hodgepodge as these last couple of weeks have just rushed on by…

Well, last week was Christian’s spring break.  It was a struggle.  From a former-teacher’s standpoint, I understand the NEED for a spring break.  From Christian’s standpoint, I wish there was NEVER a break from school.  Our routine get SO messed up that it’s hard to get anything done.  It’s hard for Christian to stay dressed.  It’s hard to keep the peace between siblings.  It’s hard to keep my patience and sanity.  It’s hard to find something to do that pleases both kids.  It’s hard to keep up with the toileting issues that always rear their ugly heads anytime a major routine change happens, such as a LONG break from school.  Sigh.  We did manage to move a few of Christian’s therapy shifts earlier to help eat up some of the length of his days.  The kids and I went to visit my parents 45-minutes away and made animals at Build-A-Bear Workshop for their early birthday gifts from Grandma and Grandpa.  Christian was a little overwhelmed with all of the choices at the store, so I started making executive decisions for him, which turned out fine in the end.  (Especially when we got home and I realized that he wasn’t playing with his animal because I had put jammies on it.  Come on, Mama, animals don’t wear jammies!  I took them off the dog and then Christian LOVED his puppy!! 🙂 )  Liv got really shy there.  She refused to interact with the ladies in the store, but she knew what she wanted and found a Hello Kitty and dressed it in Hello Kitty jammies.  Yeah, she LOVED it!  🙂  Liv then stayed at Grandma & Grandpa’s overnight.  Her first night EVER away from us.  She did great!  She did so well in fact that she didn’t want to come home the next day.  😉  Who can blame her???  She had TWO WHOLE people’s undivided attention!  She certainly doesn’t get that around here.  Liv is looking forward to the next time that she gets to do that!  🙂  Oh, and the weather last week was BEAUTIFUL!  I couldn’t have ordered better weather.  It was warm.  It was sunny.  We were able to spend time outside.  🙂  (I just had to keep an eye on my little nudist.  He’d run out there with his clothes on and a minute later he’d be running laps in the yard TOTALLY in the buff, losing his clothes somewhere under the slide all while the neighbors were outside eating their supper.  Sigh.)  Christian started refusing to use his words towards the end of the week making it extremely hard to communicate effectively.  One of Brian’s grandmas broke her leg and ended up needing surgery.  (It went OK.  She is still recovering at the hospital.)  We had an Easter egg hunt with the kids in our living room on Saturday (since we were going to be gone most of the day on Sunday).  They had a blast.  Then we celebrated Liv’s Golden Easter Birthday here on Saturday, too.  She was excited!  🙂  Gifts, pizza, some soda, cake, playing with Neighbor Girl…Liv was a happy girl.  On Sunday, we rushed out the door after Brian was done milking to get to church.  We got there a few minutes late and didn’t get to sit in our usual spot.  Sigh.  Christian did OK, but struggled after 20 minutes.  And as pretty as Easter lilies are, they make me nauseated and headachy as I am very allergic to them.  We ended up leaving the service as communion started as wrestling Christian was getting harder and he was starting to “wet-noodle.”  We wanted to get out before he started his angry screams with hitting.  So, back on the road to my parents for the day.  I brought C’s jammies as I figured was better to have him wearing the jammies than streaking around all day in his underwear (or less).  I was happy that I thought of that before we left the house.  Liv enjoyed playing with her cousins, and celebrating Easter, and being the “Birthday Princess Flower Girl” for the day.  I enjoyed seeing my family and chatting a bit.  And it was nice to have some extra help in the backyard when everyone went out.  I stood on one end of the yard while the other end was guarded by other family members.  Thank you!  We only lost C once when he stealthily snuck through the house without making a sound.  Thankfully I found him hiding in the back of one of the cars in the garage inside of running down the street!  😉  After awhile, C wanted to snuggle with me in the dark, quiet basement, so I obliged.  We fell asleep just before supper, so when Brian woke me we decided to just let Christian sleep since he was tired enough to be napping and couldn’t eat anything that the rest of us were having for supper anyway.  Well, perhaps that was a mistake on my part.  I woke him a 1/2-hour later and then couldn’t get him to settle down once we got back home.  One day I’ll learn my lesson.  😉  I was a little nervous on Monday morning about getting back INTO our routine.  C wrestled me a bit getting into his clothes, but as soon as we pulled into the parking lot at school, he giggled.  He smiled.  He did his happy dance and then ran and galloped while “happy singing” all the way up to the school doors!  Amazing!  He was SO happy to be back!  🙂  (And I couldn’t have been happier for him, either.)  Therapy went well on Monday afternoon.  All back to routine!  🙂  Liv spent most of the day playing-up her Diva attitude while I attempted to pick-up the house and run errands.  Then she and Neighbor Girl played a LOT, which is wonderful, but they were also fighting and Neighbor Girl asks a LOT of questions.  More than Olivia does.  I didn’t know that was humanly possible.  And C went back to having accidents in the basement after his therapist left.  I was a bit frazzled.  (OK, that’s an understatment.)  I was ready to have everyone turn in for the night, so I could have some quiet solitude.  I basked in it before bed.  It was lovely. 🙂  Unfortunately, 1:30 rolled around with a wetting accident in one room, so I immediately started laundry.  2:30 started vomiting in the other, which continued for the next few hours.  5:30 came with a cry about the couch being peed on and then the vomiting started again.  Then I started not to feel so well.  Some of that just stemmed from major sleep-deprivation and having dealt with the middle of the night pukes.  I happily accepted Brian’s offer of taking Olivia to the store with him while he was home over his break.  Yes, I would rest with Christian.  And we did.  For 15 minutes.  Then I heard THAT sound.  Then I was covered in THAT stuff.  Eww…that didn’t help me feel any better.  😦  Poor C.  As I was getting myself out of my icky clothes, my phone rings.  C’s senior therapists.  Yes, we will cancel therapy today.  Thankfully, she was nice enough to come and stay with C for a couple of hours while ran to the store to buy additional carpet cleaning supplies.  I had used a week’s worth in 12 hours!  Oh, and she brought me Starbucks! 🙂  Thank you, AZ!  That really made my day!  🙂  Liv and Brian headed out to a Brewer game with some of his family after milking, which was fine with me.  I really just wanted to rest.  (And so did C.)  And that’s what we did.  I kept Christian home yesterday, too.  He just wasn’t himself yet.  I’m glad I made that decision even though that meant that I had to miss meeting up with a friend.  😦  (SM, I hope we can make it work out sometime soon!)  Liv was bored, but such is life some days, right?!?  But, today…Today Christian was back to his normal Christian-self.  He fought me getting dressed, (I mean, REALLY fought me!) but we finally managed to get out the door, and into the car, and then the kids fought ALL the way to school, BUT as soon as we pulled into the parking lot Christian was happy! 🙂  SO HAPPY!  🙂  And I was glad, as I wasn’t sure how it would go, but he dragged me up to the school building.  Happy screaming.  Happy running.  Happy jumping.  Sigh [of relief!]  I’m so excited that he was happy to be back!  🙂  And now, I should get back to my Liv, who has been hanging on my arm for the last 20-minutes…  😉

Christian LOVES his "Kipper" from Build-A-Bear now that the jammies are off! 🙂

Liv with her "Hello Kitty." Yep, that's what she named it! 😉

I was so excited this morning.  I had put the garbage out in time to have the sanitation workers pick it up.  I had Christian dressed in time for the school bus this morning (with a “new” spring jacket on that he had never worn before), and early enough that the driver didn’t back down the driveway and take off as we were walking out of the house (like yesterday morning).  I had taken a walk around the yard and saw the robins hopping around and the tulips starting to poke out their sleepy heads.  I had time to make myself some real lemonade (yum) and slowly start to eat some breakfast…

…my phone rang…

…it was Christian’s teacher.  Christian threw-up on the bus.  Sigh.  Really?  He was more than fine this morning at home.  She needed me to come and pick him up immediately.  Sigh. 

So, I shoved the rest of my cereal down my throat, threw on a pair of jeans, loaded up Liv, and headed to school.

Christian has happily spelling and making his “happy noise” when we got there.  He sounded fine.  He looked fine.  But I had to take him home.

And now he’s running around the house — singing and dancing — I’m pretty convinced that he can make himself get sick on the bus on the days that he’s mad at me for making him ride.  He seems just fine right now.

Oh, man, and now he’s naked, just up from the basement.  Sigh.  That can only mean one thing…

Our basement has become the “dumping ground” this week.  After a record number of clean-ups on Tuesday and an over-snuggly day on Wednesday, we decided that Christian needed to see the doctor to rule out another UTI.  Thankfully (because of a 1/2-day of school on Thurs.), I was able to schedule an appointment for right after school.  Christian’s turned into a pro at peeing into the “hat” at the office.  🙂  Unfortunately, the fast results read negative, however, because he was showing symptoms similar to the last 2 times that he had a UTI, the doc decided to shoot him up with the antibiotic anyway.  Christian’s a trooper.  He was NOT happy about the shots, but gave the nurses high-fives as we left the office.  What a guy.  😉 

Too bad the antibiotic hasn’t been slowing down the bathroom issue.  Friday was at least 10 basement clean-ups (Christian didn’t have school).  Saturday — 5.  Today (so far) — 2.  Sigh.  I guess the number is decreasing, but I’d rather have it at a complete zero.  You know?!?

Liv has been testing Christian’s patience this week.  Constantly being right in the midst of what he is working on.  Wanting to do what he’s doing as soon as he starts doing it even if it’s something that she normally doesn’t care to do.  I guess that’s what little sisters do, huh???  So, Liv has been acting like a typical 3-year-old little sister and Christian is pretty frustrated with her right now…

I’ve been working on a new communication board for Christian.  Since he’s reading SO well and his PECS are kind of bulky to carry around, I printed off a bunch of words, stuck them to magnetic strips, and put them on a small magnetic dry erase board.  He hasn’t taken to it yet, but its new.  He does like the magnetic words, though, because he knows them and can read them.  I figure with the board being dry erase, too, we can just write a word on it if we don’t have it on a magnet.  I’m hoping it will be slick.  🙂  eventually…

Saturday — we braved the Agricultural Expo at the local fairgrounds.  Liv loves it.  They have a petting zoo.  🙂  Christian tolerates it, as long as he is riding in the wagon (which he is quickly outgrowing, especially if Olivia insists on riding in it with him).  It went fine.  Although, it’s really hard to maneuver a wagon in a crowded building.

Oh, and Christian decided to wake-up for the day at 3:30 (and, unfortunately, had only gone to bed around 11pm).  Thankfully, after the Ag Expo, Brian and Liv went back to take a nap and Christian was willing to lay down with me on the couch.  We were both sleeping within 5 minutes.  It’s the first time in a LONG time that he has taken a nap.  I’m SO glad that he did!  🙂

After supper last night, we headed over to my in-law’s church where they were having a Spring Blast.  They had events going on all day, but we were trying to catch the tail end of a concert and then the fireworks.  The concert was FANTASTIC!!!  The band Koine was playing.  Wow!  The awesomest (I know, NOT a real word) thing that happened was just watching Christian.  He immediately started dancing.  His dancing.  And he closed his eyes.  You could tell that he was just ABSORBING the music.  It was absolutely beautiful!  🙂  (I have to say that my eyes teared up a couple of times.)  He still did try (and succeed a few times) in running away and around and even once up front by the band eyeing up a banjo, but it was just so incredible to watch how the music of the hymns brought to life just moved him!  🙂

Christian and Olivia also LOVED the fireworks.  🙂  I could hear Christian say, “Fireworks!  I love!”  🙂  It was a really good show. 

Christian was pretty wound up, though, when we got home.  Between the music, fireworks, and his nap, he wasn’t able to fall asleep until after 11pm, but he stayed asleep through the night, so I have no complaints! 😉

What a week…

Christian’s annual IEP meeting was held yesterday afternoon.  It went well.  Christian has met (and surpassed) all but one of his goals.  That was exciting to hear!  He is doing great with math and reading, so he will be able to move into a first grade setting in both of those areas (as well as music, art, and phy. ed.).  And he is in first grade reading this year, but he will be revisiting it again next year because of comprehension difficulties.  (I’m not sure if he’s not comprehending what he is reading or just unable to show what he is comprehending.  Either way, it warrants some more time there.  Christian will be getting second grade sight words, though, since he can read SO well.)  I also found out that he is needing very little sensory help at school (he must be saving ALL of that until he gets home 😉 ).  He still has scheduled breaks in his day, which I’m sure are needed, where he visits a smaller classroom (off of the large main classroom) and, of course, spells with letters from alphabet puzzles or writes words out on a Manga-doodle.  That sounds like him.  Unfortunately, when given the option on playing with his classmates or being alone (spelling), he will ALWAYS choose spelling.  I’m not surprised, but it was sad 😦 to hear that he doesn’t really seek out friends.  Does he want/need friends?  Does he feel lonely?  I wish I knew.  Anyway, overall, Christian’s doing REALLY well.  I’m excited for him! 🙂  (And now I’m eagerly waiting to get an actual copy of the IEP to read it over.)

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On a not so happy note, our basement has (apparently) turned into a toilet.  We are scrubbing the carpet down there at LEAST once a day.  (Lately, it’s been at least three times/day.)  We are running out of paper towel, carpet cleaner, wipes, plastic bags, and patience quickly.  Sigh.  We are attempting to remain calm, but also teach C that if the poo or pee happens in the basement, he will be responsible for helping to clean it up.  Sigh.  I pray that this problem goes away quickly.  I’m tired of it.  (And our basement is starting to smell like a urinal.)  😦

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I have also been emailing a world renown savant syndrome expert who lives in the area about Christian’s extraordinary reading/spelling ability.  He questioned Christian’s hyperlexia.  Hyperlexia?  I never even thought about hyperlexia, as no one had ever mentioned that about Christian before.  So does Christian have just hyperlexia or hyperlexia with autism or autism where his hyperlexia is a savant splinter-skill???  I have NO clue.  The only way to really find out is to get him tested by specialists.  Sigh.  The savant expert pointed me to a clinic in Illinois.  Sigh.  I don’t know that we are ready to venture down there to find out because I don’t know that it will change anything.  Really.  We would still need the same therapies and helps, so maybe we will just wait a few more years and see where Christian is at that time…

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And now I’m back to considering a service dog for Christian.  (Revisiting this idea with Brian, too.  He’s concerned with all of the work that it would take to fund-raise for the dog and that he doesn’t really have time to help out with it.)  I have found a GREAT program in our state that has great support and excellent dogs.  If we do pursue a service dog, this is the organization that I would like to work with.  I also found out that the dog would NOT be allowed to attend school with Christian, so something else that we need to consider, but I think a dog would be a WONDERFUL thing for Christian.  I can envision him blossoming. 🙂  Hmm…so much to think about…

…and now I’m exhausted…  😉

Ah.  The dentist.  Not a favorite person in our house.  However, today both of the kids had appointments with him.

I had recruited my dad to meet us at the office, so that he could stay with Olivia and color while I took Christian to the back and wrestled with him to get into the chair and the horrible, yet necessary papoose(?) board.  Christian did put up a fight.  With huge tears.  With terror in his eyes.  With the word, “scary,” coming out of his mouth.  With Mama’s heart-breaking.  😦  But he actually calmed for the tiniest bit towards the end of the teeth-brushing.  That was a first.  That made me SO proud of him!  🙂  And NO cavities.  Hurray!  Now we don’t need to go back until August.  Whew!  🙂

Christian’s turn was first today.  I was thinking that I would take Christian back with Olivia and I while her teeth got counted in the dentist’s office, but my dad said that he would stay with Christian in the waiting room.  (Bless his heart!  I could hear Christian through the door running laps in the waiting room and dashing up the stairs to the employee lounge/lunch area.  Christian’s speed cannot be underestimated! 😉 )  Anyhow, Olivia picked her toothbrush out, had her teeth counted (very nervously), and had NO cavities, too!  I was one happy Mama today!!!  🙂  In about 5-minutes time, we were done. Yay!

(Thanks, Grandpa, for helping out today!  I really, REALLY appreciate it!!!  🙂 )

Funny thing…because of the no cavities the kids received coupons for a local restaurant for a free hamburger, cheeseburger, fries, ice cream cone, cookie, etc.  Since Christian can’t really have any of those things, we settled for the free soda (just seems ironic coming from the dentist).  The kids were so happy on the way home.  🙂  Except I was a little nervous when Liv announced that she had “pee in her butt” when we were 10 minutes from home.  Thankfully, she was able to hold it until she got in the house and on the toilet.  Whew!  😉

I consider this surviving the dentist with flying colors!  🙂  I’m so thankful that the day went SO well, that the snow stopped before we had to get on the highway, that we didn’t run out of gas, and that my vehicle found its way to a Starbucks drive-thru on the way home.  (Sometimes, Mama needs a treat, too! 😉 )