Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The doctors office is scheduling a biopsy with the general surgeon Monday. I get to go back to the same one that did my appendectomy, so that's great news. I really like him.
I will update as I know more...
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Panic ensues. Doctor wants ultrasound and bloodwork NOW.
My last follow up for my hysterectomy was today. She did a thorough breast exam. No issues. But says the lump is not normal. Not breast-related, but not normal.
Go give blood. Won't have those results back until later this week.
Go get ultrasound. The lump is roughly 2 inches in diameter, and the crazy thing is the blood flow in it. I figured it wouldn't have any (based on no medical information, just guessing), but the doppler showed that baby in rainbow colors.
They informed me the radiologist was already writing up his report and would likely call me and my doctor tomorrow.
My ANA and other autoimmune tests were not back yet from the Vandy Walk-In Clinic. I figured they would take longer, so I'm not really disappointed. Plus I'm slightly busy with the other stuff.
The gyn advised me to call my general surgeon, since it will likely have to be removed. My GP says next step is biopsy (depending on ultrasound). My arm is pissed off from the ball getting pushed into my armpit nerves.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Yesterday she asked The Hubs why the good guy never wins. The Hubs, of course, reminded her that Jerry always gets away from Tom, and that he's always okay at the end.
"Yeah, daddy, but that's his job to catch the mouse... TOM is the GOOD guy."
I miss all my family.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
I got SO many presents. My Papa and Ginny sent me all kinds of dress up clothes and jewels and a feather thing for my neck and tons of princess shoes! My great big Nanny sent me clothes, a Lite Brite and a cool baby swing. My Nanny sent me makeup, too, and a Bratz horse and some more jewels. Mom and dad bought me a new Hannah Montana coat and tons of little things.
It was the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!
I even like JT's toys. He got bunches of light up toys and magnet toys. They are so cool.
I miss all my family!
Today I had the opportunity to visit the Vanderbilt Walk-In Clinic (it was between that and the ER). Loved the doc. He was awesome.
I was feeling awful... My throat was so sore I was having a hard time swallowing, and I screwed up my back just pushing my mattress back (sciatic nerve pain = NO FUN) - which wouldn't have even happened if my freaking joints in my hands didn't hurt so bad! But, there I was, fever, pain and all, so off to the clinic I went.
I had no infection, just major inflammation. My white blood count was normal/high, but I had some sort of left shift that indicates overproduction of white cells. Nice. So, to rule out infection, they tested the urine, swabbed my throat, and inspected me thoroughly. Nada. So, it was inflammation.
I was the proud recipient of a steroid shot in the arse. And they drew blood to do autoimmune testing. I should have the results by Tuesday. ANA and something else... I've been dealing with alopecia (hair loss, receding hair line, nice) along with the horrid joint pain (feels like road rash all over certain joints). Whatever this is, it needs to stop now. I am *done*.
JT's almost done with his antibiotics, so his ear should be 'fixed' soon. Audrey's her normal ornery self. She's had some stomach issues, though it's not viral... It's from drinking too much apple juice.
We're hoping for a healthier year in 2009, that's for sure!
Friday, December 26, 2008
After she got her baby doll out, she came into my room and said 'Mom, Santa must be *really* smart. He knew exactly which baby doll I wanted!'
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Santa was already here and left the kiddos their presents... We're watching StepBrothers (hilarious, btw).
We had an unexpected trip to the doctor today... JT has an ear infection, so he's on antibiotics. Poor kiddo :(
****************MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!********************
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I had a reaction to the morphine the morning after my surgery... The tech found me, I wasn't breathing, had no blood pressure, weak pulse. They apparently brought in the 'crash cart', since I had 'coded' (code blue?), and I woke up to 10 nurses in my room screaming at me to stay awake "for your babies". Later on they all told me they really didn't think I was going to wake up. One of the nurses was crying as I was coming to, she said she just kept thinking about my babies... They had pushed some kind of drug - Narc-on? into my system. It clears out narcotics/opiates (morphine). Apparently between that and them shoving me and doing everything they could to wake me, I finally started moving. The doc was rushing in as I was coming to.Terrifying experience. Then the rash from the allergic reaction hit really hard, and they wouldn't give me Benadryl even (sedates you, and they did not want me sedated ever again). I was horribly itchy, my face was red and swollen and I had rashes EVERYWHERE. Miserable, but thankful (obviously)!!!Overall, not as much pain from the hysterectomy as I would have expected. I was (and still am) recovering great, just a really scarymoment (mostly for the nurses, I didn't realize until later how close I was to being gone).
The nurse that found me later mentioned something to the effect of after that morning, she wasn't sure she was in the right field. I told her I definitely was glad she was a nurse that morning.... She wasn't due to check my vitals for another hour and 15 minutes, but came in anyway... Miracles do happen.
I have so much to be thankful for... Bless her (her name is Becky). I am trying to figure out what kind of gift to buy for someone who saves your life... Definitely a thank you card, and a pic of my babies thanking her for saving their mommy... I'm going to have to get her something meaningful...
Love to all, and count your blessings.
Monday, December 1, 2008
JT is such a sweet little man, who livens our house and brings us all SO much happiness. I can't think of a more perfect little boy than he is.
He has been through a lot in his 3 years, from hospital stays (the penny eating incident) to a bazillion evaluations (due to his autism). He handles it better than I would, and almost always has a smile on his face.
I remember at 21 weeks, terrified and in pre-term labor, thinking I could not lose that baby. That baby has been such a blessing, and has taught me so much about life, love and happiness (and what each REALLY constitutes).
The past year he has really come out of his shell - he is SUCH a clown, and SO sweet and loving.
Happy birthday little Weedoh. Your family adores you, and we are so proud of you.
We are cleaning and prepping our house for my post-op recovery. If I could focus on it for more than ten minutes, we'd be doing a lot better...
My work is picking up (yay me!), I've been getting new and higher-paying articles on Associated Content, and DemandStudios is as reliable (and wonderful) as ever. No complaints :-)
JT turns 3 tomorrow!!! I can't believe that 3 years ago I went into labor with that (big) boy. December 1 would have been his birthday had I not had to 'hold it' so the lady next door could deliver (of course, they were also trying to stabilize me and JT, which never did work, lol). Craziness. To think, it's only been 3 years since that little man made his grand entrance... I couldn't imagine (and can't remember!) our lives without him!
So, happy birthday little man! We are so thankful for you. The perfect little man :-)
Love to all!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
My kids. Up until I got pregnant with Audrey I had docs telling me I might not be able to have kids, my body wasn't meant to carry children, etc. Not only did I have one miracle baby, but two! My poor uterus has given up, so it has to go. But I am thankful for it sticking around and proving everyone wrong - twice!
My husband. He is awesome. Sometimes he drives me batty, but I know the feeling is mutual. He is seriously the nicest, funniest, sweetest, cutest, best daddy ever.
My family. All of em. Yep. Lotsa people. They are all so very important to me.
The Hubs's family. Lots of them, too! I love his family, they remind me of my own (haha)!
Friends. Old friends, new friends, best friends, friends that help with JT, friends that I talk to daily, friends that I only talk to once a month... I love them all.
Jobs. The Hubs and I both have work. In our economy, I know that we are really lucky.
Sometimes it's so easy to forget everything you have going for you. I definitely know - lately I've been so stressed about this surgery... But really, that's a minor detail in an otherwise blessed life. The surgery will be over and I'll be recovered quickly, and that will be another thing I can add to my list next year.
I hope that everyone has plenty to be thankful for this year.
I love them, they are delicious.
My daddy gets to stay with us and not go to work tomorrow. I am excited. Papa bought us some special foods for tomorrow, and I'm even going to taste it. Mommy says ham is like our pork chops without crumbs, so I think it will be tasty.
I miss all my family.
Audrey Michelle Duzan
Instead of screaming at stoplights hysterically at the top of his lungs, he says "DOH! HEY! HEY! HEY!" Until we go. It is really cute and doesn't hurt my ears, so I am SO happy. And proud. What a good little man!
It's actually communication - he is using words to tell us he doesn't want something. Absolutely wonderful.
YAY FOR JTMY!!!!
He turns 3 next Tuesday (12/2). He is between 45 and 50 pounds... He likes to call himself a baby (my fault, I call him my baby all the time... So now when he gets upset he says "doh beebee" and wants me to 'fix' him :) ) He is one BIG baby! Although, it reminds me of those 3 days he was in the hospital after birth in the special care nursery... Those other babies were all 2-3lbs, and there was my 8 lb 3 oz man... Guess he's always been a big boy :-)
He's been walking with me without having to hold my hand (he stays right with me). He stays on the sidewalks, never gets more than 5-10 ft away. I even let him down in Dillard's yesterday, and he didn't run off. Seriously a HUGE milestone for him. Or any 2 year old really... They love to dart and weave in those clothing racks! But, I didn't have to chase him once.
He also helped me cook dinner the other day... I was making roast, and putting bouillon cubes in the crock pot. He stood on a stool and helped me add all of them and some spices. So cute!
I've been impressed with him around other kids, too. He doesn't really know how to play with them, but he follows them and kind of watches and laughs when they do silly things. It's really cute. It's great he's actually interested now!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I am pre-admitted to the hospital for my surgery. They used my EKG from last time (heck, it WAS only 3 weeks ago!), and just had to do a blood draw. I got 'counsel' concerning the chain of events from check-in to post-op.
I am really getting nervous now... The Hubs's mom is coming in town, but she's not getting here until well after I go into surgery. I have to be at the hospital 12/4 at 7am, but her plane doesn't land until 10:45am (my surgery is scheduled to begin at 9:30am, so I probably won't even be out when she lands...). I am dealing with nerves and trying to figure out what's going to happen that morning. The Hubs has worked out a deal for someone to pick his mom up, but we don't know anyone crazy enough to be up and coherent enough to watch our children at 6am so we can head to the hospital... It's looking like he will be dropping me off alone. While that's scary, I just can't imagine my kids having to go through watching me in pre-op and being at the hospital through all of that... It's not reasonable. So, I'm terrified and will be alone. I keep telling myself 'That which does not kill me, only makes me stronger...' - as my life is a testament to that! - but being alone and going under with no one to get updates or even be at the hospital... It's kind of depressing and scary.
Anyway, that's what we get for moving away from our family and friends. How I miss having help, even if we didn't get it often. It was there when we needed it. :(
I hope everyone is doing well, and hopefully time will pass quickly. These are just pre-op nerves, and the surgery needs to get here and get over with so I can get on with my life.
Also as expected, she chose to forego treatment. While I am really sad, I know that my grandmother has been through so much, and decided a long time ago what she would do in a situation such as this. She is a very strong woman, and I respect her decision. Sadly, the doctor gave her 6 months because of the aggressiveness of this cancer.
Growing up, my grandmother had a huge influence on me and my brother. She and my grandfather (who passed away in 2004) were the epitome of a happy marriage and truly good people. Neither one of them ever passed judgement on anyone, even when they personally didn't agree with the situation. Their grandchildren have all benefitted from their open hearts and minds. She taught me what is really important in life (and is still teaching me). Her faith in both God and her fellow humans is truly admirable. I can only pray that I have the dignity, respect and love for others and myself that she has. She handles tough times with a smile and love, and can make your day better in an instant.
The Hubs's grandmother's cancer has spread dramatically, too. Her latest scan shows cancer in her brain again, in her kidney, and in the bones of her legs. While I don't have an update on the type or severity, I know three months ago it was only in her kidney. However, Nana is still making her trips to Atlantic City, and feels great. I hope this continues.
I understand death is a part of life, but it is not an easy part of life, especially when it's someone you care for and love so deeply.
In the children's section of the library, there's a bunch of chairs and tables set up in a circle for parents and kids to sit and read or play. Well, it wasn't full, but there were quite a few people there...
JT ran to the center of the circle, pulled down his pants and diaper and flashed everyone...
The Hubs says I only think it's funny because I wasn't the one that was watching him. Probably, but it's freaking hilarious...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Thursday is our busy day. First, JT goes to school from 9-11a. It is his last day at WAVES, and Miss Lisa is doing his (last) speech therapy while he's there. Katrina and some other Williamson County Schools staff are going to 'observe' JT in his classroom setting while he's there. Then, at 11:30am, we have JT's 6 month TEIS evaluation... Which is mainly for their purposes, since there's nothing they could change at this point... THEN - (!) - we'll pick daddy up from work about 1:45pm, and I have my pre-op testing at the hospital at 2:30pm. Hopefully it won't take too long, since it's bloodwork and EKG stuff (I don't *think* there's anything else... At least there wasn't before my last surgery 2.5 weeks ago!). Then Walmart (oh yes, seriously - Thursday is pay day and therefore WalMart day since we're out of everything). Then we'll come home and collapse from exhaustion!
JT helped me get the pot roast ready in the crockpot this morning :) I showed him how to add things, and he started throwing stuff in, too! Of course, Audrey helped, too, she's the best helper in the world!
I hope everyone else is having a wonderful week... Love the cooler weather!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I've been writing a lot more. To see some of my stuff, go to eHow or Livestrong, and search for 'Kate Duzan'. Also, I've got my own producer page on Associated Content - definitely check that out :-) - I get paid for page hits!
Anyway, this week is all pre-op appointments and tests for me, and pretty much JT's last week of therapy. Next week is Thanksgiving, and then the week after is his birthday. My baby will be 3!!! Wow, it's so hard to believe that he's already 3 years old...
Audrey and JT are doing beautifully. They play together all the time.
We love you all!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I am so thankful to have someone here to help, and she is SO much fun. We all love having her around, and it's so sweet of her to come help out.
So, thank you Nana Banana/Mom/Denise!!!
Big, around the neck hugs. Little leg hugs.
I love hugs. The Hubs loves hugs. Audrey REALLY loves hugs - and REALLY REALLY loves hugs from her 'brudder' (who she also refers to as her 'bestest friend in the whole world').
He's singing his alphabet right now ;)
I love hugs. The Hubs loves hugs. Audrey REALLY loves hugs - and REALLY REALLY loves hugs from her 'brudder' (who she also refers to as her 'bestest friend in the whole world').
He's singing his alphabet right now ;)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
We are busy testing and meeting for the next few weeks to get everything set up so that his transfer will be a success.
JT has been doing beautifully in therapy this week! Today for Miss Laura, he decided to show off his knowledge of letters (which, he knows almost all of them now! And - if I sing the song and stop, he will sometimes chime in with the correct letter!!) and by actually telling her what was on those index cards she brings over. She got 'baby', 'ki-ca' (kitty cat), 'car', 'truck', 'shhh' (shoe), and 'dah' (dog). Yay JT! He has also been playing really well with his 'See-see' (sissy) and giving her REAL HUGS! Oh, how wonderful it is... Audrey LOVES it, and her reaction makes him want to do it more (yay! yay!). It really is precious.
Really, JT is doing wonderful. He is happy, loving, and is proving everyday how smart he really is :)
Just goes to show... With JT, it's there. It's just ON HIS TERMS.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
In the middle of the night, The Hubs got up to take care of JT. When he came back, Audrey and I had taken over the whole bed. Since my mom and grandmother were here, there was nowhere else to sleep, that's why the 3 of us had piled into our bed in the first place.
He tried to push me over gently, but I wouldn't move. Finally, he tapped my shoulder. This is what happens when you have drugs in your system.
The Hubs: "Hey, scoot over so I can get in."
Me: "Go sleep in the bathtub."
The Hubs: "No! What?"
Me: tons of mumbling
The Hubs: "I can't understand you, you're not speaking English."
Me: "Whenever I speak english, I tell you to sleep in the bathtub!"
At this point, I think The Hubs just pushed me over. I don't remember any of it.
Thanks to nanny and great big nanny for coming to stay with us while mom was down and out.
The surgery was quick and relatively pain free. I had it Wednesday, and it's Sunday and there's zero pain. All in all a giant success :-)
If they could have taken it sooner, that would have been great. It was chronic appendicitis, which turns into acute but takes its time. Finally, after 11 doctor visits and 2 trips to the ER (and a lot of crying on mom's part, which is not normal), the surgeon decided it had to go. Not a minute too soon!
JT has been making huge progress! He knows 17 letters of the alphabet, and he was singing the song yesterday! He also counts to 4. He's using tons of words. I guess this is our 'explosion'. I show him a letter, and say 'what letter is this?' and he responds correctly! He has said 'more juice', 'yeah', 'uh-uh' (as in no), 'sissy', and many, many more! Yay JTmer!
We celebrated Halloween by heading over to Erin and Danny's house. Their little girl is just a little older than Audrey, and Audrey loves Ainsley. So, Audrey (the princess on the pony) had fun. Surprisingly, JT LOVED his costume. He was a monkey. I made sure to get a hoodie costume since last year the seperate hat did not go over well.
Just trying to get everything back on track now... JT's therapy schedule has been well, nonexistent (but he's making progress, so yay), so now we're going to have to start that up again.
The Hubs's still loving his job and his coworkers. I've been getting more projects and was surprised to find I'm 'google famous' (okay, so maybe I made that term up, but really!). I can google my name and my work stuff comes up - and takes up more than one google page of results ;-)
Well, we're off to hike or something... Time change is messing me up - I'm already hungry for lunch.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Here are the ones that I know for sure he knows:
Other good news - he is learning to control himself. Yesterday, he went to throw something at me because he was mad. He looked me in the face, and I knew for sure he was going to pelt me. Instead, he screeched and turned and threw it away from me. You could tell he had to really restrain himself to not throw it at me. Very impressive!
He can also count from 1 to 4.
Today he said 'apple juice' (a-bow doos)! He is still saying 'okay', 'hot'(followed by blowing as if cooling something off), whoa and - the one that I am so excited about - yeah (as in yes). He shakes his head no if he doesn't want anything. He says 'hurt' and 'ow' when he gets hurt. He says whee. He said 'key ta' (kitty cat) today!
He played a game with The Hubs and Audrey yesterday. Audrey was running in circles with JT, and The Hubs would yell "run, run, run" and keep going until he said "sit down". At first, JT just stopped and watched Audrey. After doing it about 4-5 times, JT SAT DOWN WITH HER when The Hubs said 'sit down'. YAY WEEDOH!
He has been really compliant lately. He still gets mad and screams, but they're 'normal' bad fits - last about 5 minutes or so. Definitely can handle that.
He really seems to be doing well... Woohoo!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Papa is going to ride his bike a long time. Then he's going to hug me. After he's not stinky anymore.
Yesterday was my Nanny's birthday! She's older than me, I think she's 5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY NANNY! I wish I could come to your birthday party.
I have to go pick out my lunch. Mommy said I can't have chocolate or ice cream. That's what I really want.
Love you lots!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
First she asked me what Amen was. I explained it's what we say when we get done praying. Then she had me explain what praying was... My answer was talking to God.
"Do you call him on your phone when you talk to him?"
So, I explain that no, you just pray, and God listens. After a few minutes of quiet, Audrey says, "Mommy, I can't hear God talking back. Maybe he needs to talk louder."
From the backseat, we hear Audrey.
"Good job, dad. Good asking questions. But, we don't ask questions naked unless it's to our mommy or daddy."
We cracked up! "Good thing I wasn't naked..." The Hubs replied.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I love my daddy lots and lots.
Me and mommy are going to clean the house to surprise daddy (shhh! don't tell... it's a secret!!). He will be so proud of us. I cleaned my own room today all by myself!
I hope that daddy is home soon.
He said three nights, and last night I counted one. Tonight I count two. Only one more.
Monday, September 22, 2008
We spent 5 days (2 of them driving - it's 13 hours!) away, and even though we had tons of fun, we were ready to get back to our own beds.
I finally got to meet The Hubs's mom's family. They were all SO sweet. We did some really cool things, like going to the Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, and to the beach about 20 minutes from Ocean City. It was really fun, the weather was gorgeous, and we enjoyed spending time with everyone. We wished we could have stayed longer (and shipped our beds in).
Here are some pics from our trip:
Me and Audrey at the Aquarium
The kids and me... The background is Philadelphia, right across from Camden, New Jersey (where we went to the Aquarium)
The Hubs and JT at the Beach
Possibly my favorite picture ever... Audrey teaching JT how to drink from a water fountain (he did it!!!)
We returned to our house to discover our air conditioning is not working, which really sucks! The internet was down, too, but luckily I got that fixed... Can't survive without that.
I got a sort of 'promotion' with Demand Studios, which rocks... I have 2 new kinds of articles I am approved to do, and I can claim more articles at a time.
All good on the home front... Back to the daily grind. JT starts 'school' this week at WAVES. He'll be going every week on Thursday from 9-11am.
Hope everyone is doing fabulous! Love ya!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Today I went with mommy and JT to the doctor. That wasn't fun. They took some of mommy's blood, and JT was bad for mommy. I was good.
Daddy takes vacation next week. That means he will be with us. We're going to see my Nana Banana and Shelly and Great Nana. I'm excited.
Papa sent me new movies I LOVE. They are Holly Hobbie and the Little Mermaid baby movie.
His ears were fine, as were his throat and mouth and nose. She checked on his tummy (pushing gently on it), and that was fine, too.
So, fortunately, JT isn't sick. Unfortunately, that means this is most likely behavioral.
She said that there is medication, but neither one of us want to go that route unless this becomes a constant battle.
While we were there, JT bit me hard enough to break the skin twice, and was trying to hit Audrey and myself.
He went down for his nap without incident, but about an hour later started another one of his screaming sessions. After screaming for over an hour and a half, he started throwing things, including the trampoline. I didn't want him to hurt Audrey (or myself), so I put him in his room. He continued screaming in there for another ten minutes. When I opened the door to his room, he was laughing and jumping on his bed - like nothing had happened. He came out and played with me fine.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
And here's a picture of me and daddy watching a movie earlier. I love daddy (but I call him The Hubs sometimes cause it's funny).
A few things he did do: he said 'Open it' after Miss Laura did, and he kept pretending to fall off his chair and saying 'WHOA' - to avoid doing what she wanted him to, but creative at least. He also told her to 'go away' - which was great language, but not such a great message! About half way through, he started screaming hysterically, and it took him about thirty minutes to calm down (right before Miss Laura left).
The afternoon with Miss Amy went pretty well. He repeated a lot of words for her, and played with cars and the tunnel that she brought (he even pretended to catch a fish in it). However, about ten minutes after she left, we had another screaming session, this one lasting a good hour...
He has started saying 'Yi-yi' when he gets tired of doing something, which is his word for 'byebye' or 'nightnight' (they sound the same). He used those a lot his past couple therapy sessions (including last week).
He did eventually calm down, and had a pretty good evening.
This brings the total of 'screaming sessions' up to 3. 2 hours Sunday evening, 30 min yesterday morning, and an hour yesterday afternoon. He is completely inconsolable during these, and manages to scream with such force he gets all splotchy/sweaty/very very hot.
Side note: JT loves bacon. He ate 13 pieces of it for dinner!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
He was playing chase with him, peekaboo through the wood structures, and they were babbling back and forth like crazy!
It was awesome!!! The first time he's REALLY taken interest in playing WITH another child.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
He looked at it for a minute... Then looked at me and said... "O". At first I was thinking I missed the 'uh' part of 'uhoh' (he loves to play this game where we say uhoh in all different volumes/tones). But he kept saying "O". Finally I thought... No. He couldn't know that there's the letter "O" there. But when I pointed to it and said "JT, this IS the letter O, you're right!" He immediately said "E". I was like, holy crap. He knows at least 2 freaking letters by sight.
He NEVER says things like this... He babbles, but it's like a jumble. So that's definitely what he's saying. There's really no telling what all he knows.
I guess all those times he's been watching "Learning About Letters" he's been learning for real! It's a Sesame Street video, and Sesame Street taught me how to read... Like mommy, like son!
He looked at it for a minute... Then looked at me and said... "O". At first I was thinking I missed the 'uh' part of 'uhoh' (he loves to play this game where we say uhoh in all different volumes/tones). But he kept saying "O". Finally I thought... No. He couldn't know that there's the letter "O" there. But when I pointed to it and said "JT, this IS the letter O, you're right!" He said "E". I was like, holy crap. He knows at least 2 freaking letters. He NEVER says things like this... He babbles, but it's like a jumble. So that's definitely what he's saying. There's really no telling what all he knows.
I told The Hubs, I guess all those times he's been watching "Learning About Letters" he's been learning for real! It's a Sesame Street video, and Sesame Street taught me how to read... Like mommy, like son!
I am SO proud of that little man... It is just amazing.
Friday, September 5, 2008
First, my 'two moms' are coming next weekend (September 13). They're going to stay here the whole weekend, which is awesome. My mom has been here a few times, but Mimi has yet to come due to all these procedures they're doing to fix her heart (she's getting shocked again this morning, ugh). But, she's finally feeling up to the 6 hour drive, so here they come! Yay!!!
Then, my dad and my other mom (stepmom) are coming the first week of October. My dad is doing the MS150 - the ride I would be doing if my ankle wasn't screwed. They're going to be here for about a week I think... We haven't seen our Papa or Ginny in SO long, and we all (especially Audrey!) miss them bunches.
I am so excited to see everyone... And I love how my kiddos light up around all their grandparents. It's awesome.
As for today, we've got speech therapy, and then we're done for the week (thank goodness). It's been a rough one, but the little man seems to be doing better. The Hubs and Audrey had a 'date' at the library yesterday, and JT and I had some one on one time and did some grocery shopping (and toy shopping, I'm a sucker). He was SO cute last night... I was marching in circles, and he was following me marching, too. Then I was jumping, and he started doing it, too. Maybe all he needed was some mommy time. Last night he let me rock him to sleep (by let I mean demanded, but I love it because he snuggles up so close).
We're rooting for the Razorbacks tomorrow... Woo pig sooie!!! (Side note: we better improve this week, or LA-Monroe is going to beat us, and Texas will eat us alive next week... Perk up hoggies!)
YAY FOR FOOTBALL SEASON!!!!
Audrey was showing The Hubs the book and pointing out her favorite pictures.
The Hubs: What's this one?
Audrey: A leopard?
The Hubs: Wow, really close. It's actually a cheetah. See, the spots are a little different than the leopard.
They continue looking for about 15 minutes, and The Hubs stops at a picture of a leopard.
The Hubs: Oh, Audrey, what's this a picture of?
Audrey: A leopard. It's not a cheeto, it has different spots.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
ABA therapy with Miss Amy
JT started off with very little eye contact today, but after about ten minutes, he warmed up. Miss Amy brought the shake and go race cars and race track, which JT was really interested in. JT did spend a lot of time under the table (like yesterday's OT session), but eventually came out and played in the clear plastic bin (the one the shake and go stuff was brought in). He had excellent eye contact and was really repeating words for Miss Amy. He used the word 'up' and 'whoa' appropriately on his own. He was very snuggly towards the end of therapy with Amy, and he cried when she left.
Mom's daily notes: JT seems to be doing better. He doesn't seem to be as tired and fussy, although he is still a little leery of everyone (Tuesday was very traumatic for him), but he is opening back up. He seems a lot happier and 'loud' - the JT we are used to. I got some time alone with JT today, which seemed to make a world of difference in his 'happy level', so that makes me feel good, too.
Hopefully we'll stay on the upswing!
-Discussed concerns of mom re: autism and behavioral issues, JT has been a little more 'stimmy' lately
-Worked w/JT on guided play, following directions, and using simple signs for play
-JT was more "fussy" than usual today
JT usually LOVES when Mr. Rob comes. He spent most of the time hiding under the small table in the playroom, pulling the chairs in around him. Even when Audrey and Rob were ramping toy trains, he just cried. The only thing I can figure is that he is still tired from the 'sleep deprived' EEG from yesterday, and hasn't quite made up for lost sleep. He just didn't seem that interested in anything today. Hopefully next week he will be in a better mood.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The neurologist at Vanderbilt Children's said there's no way to know if he is having absence seizures, but he knows that he didn't have one during the EEG.
If we have any more problems/questions, we are supposed to get into contact with them...
He is not a nice guy (in her words). He tangles her hair at night. He messes up the house. He is dirty, doesn't have to wash his hair or comb it, never changes clothes, and is mean.
The Hubs and I are always asking questions about Mr. Nobody. We are very curious about this little dirty jerk living under our roof.
We didn't realize that Audrey had grasped the concept of Mr. Nobody so well...
The Hubs: So, where does Mr. Nobody sleep?
Audrey: He doesn't. He stays up all night, and messes up our house all day.
The Hubs: He does?
Audrey: Yep. He's not very nice.
The Hubs: So... Is Mr. Nobody your friend?
Audrey: No. I don't like Mr. Nobody. I telled you, he's not nice.
The Hubs: Who are Mr. Nobody's friends then?
Audrey: Loser. And loser. His only friends are losers. Mr. Nobody is a loser. And so are his friends.
Nicely put, Audrey!
In the middle of it, Audrey dramatically lays down her pen, and says, "Mom, I gots good news, and I gots bad news."
So, out of respect, I put down my pen, look at her seriously, and say, "Go ahead Audrey, tell me the news."
"Well... The good news is that I had good dreams last night. The bad news? Is I had some bad dreams, too." She is drop dead serious.
There was a brief pause...
"And that's my newses."
It took just about everything I had to keep a straight face...
I'm already mad at Vanderbilt. They screwed up, and last Monday sent us home, telling us our appointment was Friday and we missed it. As it turns out, they had scheduled JT 2 appointments with 2 individual ID numbers, and he had one both days... So we were there for our appointment, and they sent us home. After complaining to all the right people, they got us in a week and a day after our original appointment (I kid you not when I say that the first lady I talked to said I'd 'just have to wait' until the appointment they had gone ahead and scheduled last Monday - OCTOBER 3.).
The EEG was awful. Nurse was great, tech was great... But 90 minutes of electrodes sticking out of JT's head, with gauze wrapped around his head/chin like a mummy, plus a sticky heart rate monitor... Was NOT fun. It wouldn't have been fun for any almost-3 year old... Awful. He screamed, I tried to console, he would get distracted, the cycle would repeat.
When it's finally done, they tell us to go to the computer at reception and check in for our next appointment. I did.
After watching the very busy waiting room clear, not once, but twice! - I asked the lady at the desk if we were doing something wrong. 'Oh, you didn't check out of your EEG. Here, I'll do it for you.' I am a computer programmer, so immediately I'm like, how assanine. How can you check into another appointment and it not check you out of the first one?! You can't be in 2 places at once, so it should automatically do that. Besides that, I had done EXACTLY what the people had told me. Ugh.
After ANOTHER 30 minutes (I stood right by the desk as JT screamed, not that the lady cared, eff her), me making her call and check what the heck was going .. fifteen minutes... We go back into the appointment rooms. Our second appointment was supposed to be at 1015, it was now past 1045am. Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate how doctors treat people like their time is more important than mine. If I'm 15 minutes late, I have to reschedule. If the doctor is 15 minutes late, who cares? ME.
At 11, in comes the doctor. Old man, looks grandpa like. He says 'Did you have an EEG done this morning?' Me 'Yes.' (Steam is probably starting to come out of my ears now... Not happy). Him 'I'm sorry to keep you waiting, I haven't seen those results yet. Let me go look at them.'
Ten minutes later. Doctor comes in.
'Tell me about JT.'
I hate these questions. If they're so damn interested, they could invest some time and read the effing chart, or ask me to fill out paperwork. Not one person has asked me to tell them about JT's blank stares so they can write it down.
'Okay. JT has autism.'
'Who diagnosed him?'
This, my friends, is how doctors always react to this statement. Like parents would make something like this up. Stupid doctors.
'Arkansas Children's Hospital... But, uh, it's REALLY obvious. That was just the formal diagnosis.'
'EEG was normal. Why did you get it done again?' (At this point, I am wondering if he is actually listening to what I am saying, or if I could start practicing my french and he would continue having his one sided conversation.)
So, I explain how my therapists and I have witnessed these strange staring episodes, different from the typical autistic kid staring (which is different than NT kid staring, in case you're wondering). Ugh.
'Well, everyone stares you know.'
'His EEG was perfect (yes, second time he's said it!). We have no way to know if he's actually having absence seizures since we didn't catch one. But we don't want to medicate something we didn't see.'
'I agree. But is there something I should be watching for with these that would indicate they ARE seizures? Any warning signs I should be...'
(He cuts me off) 'Does he even know you're here? Does he interact with you at all?'
JT, by the way, is hiding under an exam table. He is actually playing peekaboo with Audrey, but the idiot wouldn't know that because he's too busy talking to himself. Asshat.
'Yes, he does. He is actually much better than he was a year ago. He's doing very well.'
The doctor looks at me like he feels sorry for me (there's no mistaking pity in someone's face) and says 'I'm sure he does.' Like I'm a delusional woman who imagines her son is perfect and NT (neurotypical). 'Here's my card if you notice anything else.'
And he walks out, after spending a total of 3 minutes with us. He based an opinion of my son's interaction with others based on a situation where my son was in new surroundings, he had been traumatized all morning by a medical procedure, and the guy had never laid eyes on my son before. AND he had just doubted the freaking diagnosis in the first place!!!!
In this 3 minutes, he has managed to give me no useful information about my son's condition. He first questioned my son's diagnosis, then acted like he was the most severely affected child he has ever seen.
I still don't understand the whole doctors thinking parents make up an autism diagnosis. No parent would wish autism on their worst enemy. It is a freaking disability... Ugh.
So, I am severely disappointed in Vanderbilt. Basically, I am happy his EEG was good, but even in the doctor's words, it proves nothing.
This just adds to my depressing week. I have been so excited about my son's progress... But I began looking at his goals and his levels from five months ago. Language and communication wise, nothing has changed. A therapist told me last week she is afraid of my son. He has now injured two therapists (one over a month ago, one last week). Her injury was because of a blow to the head by a thrown sippy cup. She explained she wasn't afraid of his intent... He wasn't trying to hurt her. But he is impossible to predict (like the plate that bruised my face up about a month ago... You just don't see it coming), and I do agree. Plus I adore the therapist, she was just sharing her input on JT, trying to help (and asking for help herself). It was not meant to be hurtful in any way.
But, how do you react when someone tells you they're afraid of your son?
I am just in a funk. I cried all the way home from Vanderbilt (intermittently cursing at the doctor, how dare he feel sorry for me... I do NOT want his pity). I wish I could fix people's ignorance so they could see my son for who he is and what he offers.
Now it's time to take a deep breath and get on with life. Suck it up, momma. Can't let stupid people (even those with medical degrees) get you down.
Monday, August 25, 2008
JT snuck up beside him, picked up his ice water off the table, and proceeded to dump it onto The Hubs's lap.
"Ah!", JT said, as if the ice water on his lap was a source of pure refreshment.
I've never actually seen The Hubs move that fast before... It must have been VERY refreshing!
JT looked SO proud :-)
Amy kept telling her that her sons would miss her, and she didn't have her pajamas anyway.
Audrey replied, "It's okay. You can take your pants off Miss Amy. You don't need pajamas."
I just about died of embarassment, and Amy replied, "As much fun as a pantless party at your house sounds, I have to go home to sleep."
Audrey tried one last time to get Amy to stay. "But, I won't even laugh at you."
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Audrey has to be one of the funniest kids ever... So I thought I'd share a few examples of her funniness.
JT had his circumcision done, and she was hovering while I was trying to change his diaper later that day. Trying to explain everything technically, I tell her what's hurting, etc. So the next day, she gets in the car and says 'Mommy, I tell my friends JT have peanuts.' My jaw dropped, and I said, 'You did?' 'Uh-huh, and he take his peanuts to the hospital.' Not going to correct her, I figure her 2-3 year old friends have had enough anatomy for a while.
At Easter, she was looking at this egg while we were egg-hunting (she was the only one actually looking for eggs). I told her to pick it up, so she does, and she gets this disgusted look on her face. 'Momma, it's dirty.' I said 'Well, that's okay, just put it in your basket and it'll dry off.' 'No, momma, it's NASTY.' She then throws the egg on the ground. After that, my mom had to wipe off EVERY plastic egg we put in her basket.
Well, Audrey finally noticed the difference between boys and girls. Only she doesn't quite understand...
She keeps telling me 'Mommy, someday I have a penis like daddy'. I have to correct her and tell her, I'm sorry baby, but you're not going to have one of those... You're not a boy. This is one of those things that could very possibly negatively affect her getting a prom date in 14 years, so we're stopping it now.
And here's the kicker. She walked up to The Hubs a few nights ago, and said 'Daddy, kitty cats eat penis.' Just as calm as you could imagine. The Hubs, being entirely freaked out, called me in there to ask her to say it again, which she did. We both just stood there like what in the hell? The only thing we can figure is when the kitties lick themselves... You know...
I swear, my kids are going to 1)give me a heart attack before I'm 30, and 2)get me a social worker due to their constant injuries and crazy comments.
JT got his cast off after 5 weeks and 1 day! The process was not fun, they take a saw and cut the cast off, which really freaked my little guy out. His arm is kind of crooked, but the doc said it will straighten itself as he grows. When they took it off, his arm was really stinky and it's all splotchy from the skin not being able to shed.
Yay!!! We celebrated by going swimming twice today. It was a blast!
Onto the Audrey and her mouth story. This elderly man (think 85) was sitting next to her in the waiting room talking to her while I was chasing JTmy. He was really sweet, obviously a grandpa. Anyway, he was showing Audrey a spider bite on his wrist.
'You don't fool with spiders or they'll bite you.'
Audrey responds 'It's gonna bite ME?'
'Not if you don't fool with it.'
Then comes the kicker. Audrey looks at him and asks 'Are you gonna DIE?'
I was just thinking 'God, PLEASE let them call us back now... Pleasepleaseplease!'
He responds, 'No, it just hurts a little.'
Then she asks 'Are they in there?'
Luckily, his wife came out and he had to leave. Surprisingly, he was disappointed.
I'm betting he went to his doctor right after just to get that spider bite checked out...
More like Walk for the Cure. Saturday morning, I got up, got into my running gear, and drove downtown to participate in the Susan G. Komen 'Race for the Cure'. Along with 45,000 other women. It was insane.
So, I push my way through the crowd to around a block back from the start. I figure the slower runners will be back here...
Ugh. So, I realize after the start that all these women around me? Are walkers. Which is totally fine. For them. Not for me. I was pissed.
So, I keep telling myself it's for a good cause, blahblahblah. There is absolutely NO WAY to get around these women. I am lodged, stuck in a perpetual hell.
One hour, fifteen minutes later, I come across the finish line for a 5k. Angry, sulking, and downright grumpy, I head home to go run my mileage for the day. I did get it in later in the day, but wasted half my morning walking.
The kicker? I heard someone behind me say 'Ooooh, look. We finished in just an hour and fifteen minutes!'
Tuesday, The Hubs and I were in court, and had no one to watch the babies, so they came along.
The great thing about taking young children with you is that you get special treatment. At least I assume everyone does. Maybe it's just us, because our kids are so loud and irritable. Who knows. Whatever it is, it works.
So, the judge/trustee decides we get to go first. While we're waiting, however, a man walks in with a black eye patch over his eye. I would barely have even noticed this guy if it weren't for Audrey.
In the dead silence of the room, Audrey gasps in horror. Then she turns to me and says 'MOMMY - IS HE A PIRATE?!?!', with such obvious concern that I didn't even laugh at her for asking that.
So I try to hush her, assure her that he is NOT a pirate (at least not a good one, if he's in bankruptcy court, no booty there).
'IS HE GONNA SAY ARG?' At this point, all of the nice people sitting around us are laughing, and our attorney is trying hard to control his expression and hide his amusement. Unsuccessfully. He is turning colors from trying to hold in laughs. And his eyes are beginning to water.
Luckily, the trustee called us then. I know the pirate heard us. I was so glad to get out of there.
On the way out, Audrey kept her eye on the pirate. Smart kid.
Audrey and I went to the mall to get JT's birthday cookies on Sunday.
She was riding quietly along with her Cinderella and Princess Aurora Disney Nursery dolls, when suddenly, she had a thought.
'Mommy, Princess Aurora and Cinderella are married'.
'Oh, they are?'
'Yes. And they can because Nanny and Mimi are married, and Nana and Shelly are married.'
I was laughing so hard at this point I couldn't answer her. My mom and The Hubs's mom are both 'married' to women. Audrey knows this, and has commented on it before... But never to this extent.
Then, her last comment did me in. Tears were running down my face.
'Mommy! That means I can marry YOU!'
Take that, Freud.
Oh yeah, and you know Walt Disney was turning over in his grave when two of his princesses got married in the back seat of my Jeep Wrangler!
-Getting 1 kid to nap on a schedule is amazing. Any more than that you need divine intervention.
-There are about a billion places for kids to hide... Leave them alone for two minutes to find out.
-Kids are way smarter than adults think. They're just waiting for the moment to unleash it. When they do, it's almost never in a way that adults consider constructive, and usually ends up in a giant mess or something broken.
-Never teach kids things before they ask. Genitalia, and sex information are things to NEVER teach a kid until they are old enough to know how to keep their mouths shut.
-When a child asks you a question that is going to result in a thousand more questions if you answer it truthfully, lie. Lie, lie, lie. Seriously, because it will save you at least 30 minutes of your life you will not get back. Consider it a favor.
-Buy toys that a kid can play with on their own. I hate: dolls that have to be dressed, barbies, paints, and anything else that I constantly have to supervise. A sure-fire way to get on my sh!t list is to buy one of these gifts for my child.
-When a child wants to 'help', just let them do it. They end up crying for longer than it would take to just let them touch whatever it is.
-If the kids are being quiet, they are DEFINITELY tearing something up. Probably something really important. Kids can sense this and immediately are drawn to necessary objects for the sole purpose of DESTROYING them.
-If in doubt, always go with the option that will lead to the most quiet and happy outcome.
This is the funniest thing that has EVER happened. It was absolutely mortifying, but SO freaking funny.
My dad took me, The Hubs, Audrey and JT to dinner at IHOP. Right now, they have this cool promotion for Horton Hears a Who...
I had drawn Horton with their crayons (yeah, keeps me entertained while I’m waiting for my food). Then, Audrey wanted to color him.
So, she drew him a belly button. She was SO proud.
My dad, The Hubs and I were talking, and all of a sudden, we hear...
"Look, he has a penis!"
And he did.
Horton is VERY well endowed. It hangs to the floor.
We hid the picture, then took it home.
After giving her a warning, I tell her, "Audrey, if you don't act like a nice girl, I'm going to pull over and whoop your tail."
Audrey replies, "How you gonna do that, mom? I don't have a tail! See!"
Saturday, August 9, 2008
We were all snuggling in bed when JT got mad at me. He wanted to put his juice under the covers, but it was COLD, so we put it on the table. He threw a fit, and fell off the end of the bed. He popped back up with a salad stoneware plate over his head, and threw it... Directly at my head. The plate center hit my ear, so my jawbone was (and is) really bruised.
So, we started our timeout chair. I was so worried he was going to be in it all the time, but I was wrong. He only had to go in it 3 times that day, and hasn't been in it since. So, he stopped hitting, kicking, biting, throwing... Awesome!
We started our behavioral class at Vanderbilt Tuesday night. It was great. The teachers are actual therapists and one of the faculty members of the department there. They were amazing. It was really wonderful to meet the other 11 families there. All had boys with autism, between 20 months and 4-5 years old. Finally, other people who understand and sympathize (but don't pity!) our situation.
A good week overall! Therapies all went VERY well, and JT's behavior is getting better day by day.
He jumped over two tubes, imitating Miss Amy perfectly. They played in his room for a while, and Miss Amy put some play cookies in a ball with holes in it. She was impressed that not only would he get the cookie out, figuring out in the process which holes were big enough to fit the cookies through, but also that he released them after he retrieved them into a play jar. He was imitating her very well throughout their session, and was in a good mood.
Other notes: Miss Amy called me into his room due to a 'blank stare' at one point during the session that worried her. He was very involved in the cookie/ball game, and all of a sudden just blanked out. She gently poked his nose (natural reaction is to blink for a child if they're just staring) and he didn't blink. He resumed play after about half a minute.
JT was seen for his weekly home visit on this date. His mother and sister were present. JT interacted well with his family and the clinician. He did say "ball" during play. His mother reported that he has been doing well in his other therapies. He is also imitating more throughout his daily routine. JT's parents are now attending classes at Vanderbilt to help them with issues associated with behavior and autism in general. Continue x1 weekly speech therapy visits.
JT was pretty happy to see Miss Lisa today! He played much more with her than the last time she was here... Which, due to issues with both of us, had been 3 weeks. After she left, he played with the bilibo and ball, imitating what Miss Lisa was doing (out, in, pat, pat, pat). Miss Lisa wants us to continue what we're doing - using labeling words, short labels, using physical play to get more attention/words.
The Hubs successfully goes to Walgreen's, buys the baskets (premade, again, we're not organized) and puts them up in the closet in our bathroom. The intention was that we would wake early on Easter morning and put the baskets in their room, so that they would wake up to the 'magical' surprise.
Well... We didn't wake up. So, Audrey comes into our room... She was about 2.5 (a little older than that).
The Hubs gets out of bed, and goes in the bathroom. While in there, he exclaims, "Audrey! Look, the Easter bunny left you a present!"
Audrey is a pretty smart kid. She looks at the bathroom and replies, "In the BATHROOM, daddy?"
She then opens her basket, helps JTmy open his, and is playing with the toys and eating her candy. We thought we were totally in the clear... Not so fast.
"Wow, Audrey!" I said. "Look at all the cool stuff the Easter bunny got you!"
The reply I got... Priceless.
Me: Are you excited about Santa? He's going to come on Christmas Eve and come down the chimney...
Audrey: No!!! I'm scared of santa!
Me: Audrey... Why are you scared of santa?
Audrey: Because, mommy (speaking to me like I'm an idiot)... Santa is a pirate.
Me: (trying to hold back laughter so hard my eyes were watering... good thing it was dark in the room) Why in the world do you think santa is a pirate?
Audrey: Because santa says 'YoHoHo'.
She was completely convinced santa was coming to our house to STEAL her toys...
The wait list to get a 'team evaluation' at Arkansas Children's Hospital was roughly 10 months, but luckily we came into contact with some people who helped us get in a little sooner.
It was an all-day appointment - from 8:30am until 2:30pm (with a small break for lunch). There were 4 professionals that took part in JT's evaluation - a developmental pediatrician, a speech language pathologist, a psychologist and a social worker. Although I was warned beforehand that receiving the actual diagnosis takes months usually, it took the team 10 minutes to conclude that JT did indeed have autism. He has classical (not regressive) autism.
From birth, JT was always a 'good baby'. He loved to play alone. He would shut himself into our room and scream when we came in. After putting him down at night, we would hear him giggling and belly laughing by himself - perhaps the happiest he had been all day.
At his day care, no one noticed his behaviors as odd or delayed. In fact, they were surprised when I told them I was fairly certain he was autistic. This was surprising to me mainly because he was at a Developmental Day Treatment Center, and the therapists (speech, occupational) were all baffled. The last few months he went there, they transitioned him from the baby to the toddler room. They commented 'He had a rougher transition than any other child they had ever had.' I had to be called up there to pick him up a few times simply because they couldn't calm him down. I was missing so much work just from him picking up illnesses and getting so sick, then all the issues he was having with his classroom move, that I put in my notice at work.
He never really talked/babbled/interacted. He loved to run in circles. I started noticing the toe walking around 15 months, and shortly after the hand flapping.
At first, even our pediatrician wasn't convinced JT was autistic. However, as time passed, it became more and more obvious. His behaviors that once just seemed a little off were now seen as inappropriate. He was no longer just a 'late talker', but way behind in speech.
I called Arkansas' early intervention in August of 2007. The only therapy that was ever set up was developmental. We loved Miss Rennie, she helped immensely in generally helping JT with skills and just giving us information about what we could do.
He was very anti-social until a few months after I became a stay at home mom. Finally, he started seeking out attention, wanting to be around the rest of the family. From the time his developmental therapist started in August until we moved in April, he made HUGE progress socially. She said 'he isn't even the same kid he was when I first started coming!'. This is what I am the most thankful for - my son wanting to be around us.
When the diagnosis came, we were not surprised at all. It was just a formality to get services more easily for JT. Without the diagnosis, getting therapy or other services is very difficult (who am I kidding, it's difficult anyway).
Basically, I try to focus on JT's therapies main points and incorporate them into our lives. However, he is (first and foremost) just a child. I do not want my son's childhood to be nothing but therapies. I do think they are very important, but also strongly believe that in order to grow, children must be able to play.
1 hour per week.
Speech Therapy - Miss Lisa
1 hour per week.
TEIS (Developmental) Therapy - Miss Laura
1 hour per week.
Behavioral Therapy - Miss Amy
3 hours per week.
Behavioral Class at Vanderbilt for parents. Meets Tuesday nights 6:30-8:30 pm. Parent training in behavioral therapy.
Enrolling in WAVES classroom program mid-September (first opening).
Hanen More than Words project through Vanderbilt - 'community family' when next 'session' starts.
I was looking at the receipt, and it said:
"Your cashier today was CAROUSEL."
I found this VERY funny. I was like, "The Hubs, someone named Carousel checked you out?! Someone named their kid CAROUSEL?!" I was pretty much bent over in laughter...
Joke was on me. The Hubs informed me that he checked out at the self-checkout carousel. And proceeded to laugh hysterically at me for thirty straight minutes.
Crawling - 8 months
Walking - 13.5 months
at 32 months (current), he seems to be on target/advanced in gross motor skills.
32 months (current) - using spoon, but turning it upside down (messy! haha), has pincer grasp mastered.
JT's language skills:
First 'word' - dada - 9 months
Second 'word' - mama - 12.5 months (the ONLY time he EVER said mama)
Nonverbal until 30 months
31 months - echolalia
32 months (current) - words include: whoa, okay, whee, ball, truck, car, hi, night-night, byebye
JT is a sensory seeker. He loves to jump off of things, on his trampoline. He has low muscle tone, which makes him go all the time. He likes to eat ice. He mouths most toys still, although he is very good about not swallowing (thank goodness, see the penny incident in medical history for why that is a HUGE relief). JT toe-walks, flaps, but most of his stims are visual. He loves to watch reflections, wheels turning, shadows and anything that spins. He lines up anything that he finds that matches... Coke cans, DVD's, cars, anything. He tries to sleep with strange things such as shoes or (unopened) plastic containers of playdoh.
JT is hard headed. He only wants to do things that are his idea. He has a temper, and is aggressive if he does not get his way. He is known to bite, throw, scream, kick and hit when he is riled up... He is a hoarder.
JT is a sweet little man. Although he does not give 'real' hugs or kisses, he is affectionate in other ways. He likes to snuggle in your lap, lay on you, gently play with hair. He loves physical games. He enjoys singing and dancing. He thinks the 'bad guys' are hilarious - his favorite being Swiper on Dora. He absolutely adores his sister. He responds very well to praise, and really tries to be compliant.
I went into labor (for the last time) December 1. During the labor, everything went well until they broke my water. At this point, JT started to go into distress. I had several OB physicians and nurses in my room for the final 2 hours of my labor. His heart rate would drop into the 30's every time I would have a contraction. I had fluid bags that the doctors were trying to put back into the uterus to 'cushion' JT, in hopes that he was sitting on his cord and this would help. I had oxygen to help with the distress also. Had JT taken any longer, they would have had to take him via c-section.
When JT came out, he had neuchal cord. The cord was wrapped one time around his neck. He did well on all his APGAR scores, but the pediatric physician and nursing staff was concerned about his breathing, so he was immediately taken to the special care nursery. He weighed in at 8 lbs 3 oz, a very big boy for a 36 week baby.
He remained in the nursery for 3 whole days before we were released. The doctors finally did a chest x-ray, and determined his grunting with breathing was 'normal'. He also had low blood sugar when he was born, and roughly 10cc's of fluid were pumped from his stomach - most likely related to my excess fluid.
When JT was a few days old, he caught a cold from his 'big' (16 month old) sister. This developed into bronchitis/pneumonia, so he was put on antibiotics.
At 9 months old (August of 2006) he woke up from a nap wheezing and barking. We took him to the after hours clinic, where they discovered he had eaten a penny, and we were shipped via ambulance to Arkansas Children's Hospital. He spent 2 nights and 3 days in the hospital. They had to put him under general anesthesia and take a scope in to remove the coin. The removal of the penny caused minor damage to the trachea, so once he was healed, he was allowed to go home.
At a year old, we opted to do the circumcision that the doctors couldn't do when he was born (due to his prematurity and issues). There were no complications after the surgery.
JT had more than 15 ear infections in his first 1.5 years, and when we got his hearing tested, it was determined he had 20-30% hearing loss. We had tubes put in, and although his hearing was restored, he did not gain language skills.
July 4, 2007 JT fell out of a lawn chair while watching fireworks in Frisco, Texas. Five days later, he was still acting like it was a little sore, so we went to the doctor. Even though he was using it, he had a break in both bones of his forearm. JT was in a full arm cast (shoulder to fingers) for 6 weeks.
JT's immune system is not very strong. While in daycare (until July of 2007) he was constantly sick. He has had whooping cough twice, and croup several times.
Currently, we are concerned about absence (petit mal) seizures. We are seeing a neurologist at Vanderbilt August 25th.
Friday, August 1, 2008
JT is talking tons now! He loves to tease his daddy by saying "The Hubs" (haha). He also says car, truck, uhoh, whoa, hey, hi, boo, pull... And so much more! He said giraffe for his ABA therapist, Amy. It was pretty funny!
I started physical therapy for my ankle. I had an MRI done, and completely tore the ATFL (anterior talo fibular ligament). I also have tendinitis in my peroneal tendon, which is because my ankle is unstable so the peroneal tendon is working overtime so I don't fall over! Anyway, the doc said we are going to try physical therapy for 6 weeks, and if it doesn't work, surgery... So, we're hoping the therapy works! I go back September 12th for the big decision day...
JT's therapies combined with my therapy twice a week are keeping us busy busy busy.
Audrey's still a pretty princess, helping with her brother however she can. Such as sweet girl.
I got a new job writing articles for Demand Studios... Still with Writers Research Group, too, but the articles with Demand Studios gave me a good raise :0)
We're still truckin' along!
Monday, July 14, 2008
This weekend was one of those times.
Audrey turned 4 years old on Friday, July 11th. Four years old. Old enough for public (pre) school. It's been four whole years since the day she came into this world. Four years since the day I fought with the nurse to send me home (probably the only woman to ever decide she was NOT having the baby today, they had to be wrong...). Four years since her daddy passed out on the delivery room floor (love ya, The Hubs!). Four years since I became a parent.
And it made me think.
There are times that you think time is dragging... When your two year old is throwing a tantrum. When you're waiting for husband to get back from a business trip so you can have a break - because you need it. Bad. But the truth is, when you look back, it seems like it went even faster then...
My baby doll is four years old. I only have 14 more years until she is grown... And won't need me anymore. Hopefully she'll still want me around (haha), but she won't need me. And I used to kid around... "Ugh! 6 months til she gets out of the terrible twos" "3 months until I can wean her"... But I've discovered I miss all those things. I miss Audrey the baby, Audrey the toddler... I LOVE Audrey the preschooler (sounds so grown-up, right?). She is the most caring, beautiful, compassionate, smart, funny child anyone could ever dream of (not that I'm biased or anything). But once those phases go away, you still grab for them... It's like trying to keep a handful of sand. You're so busy with life, that you don't realize that it's slipping through your fingers...
I don't have any regrets - besides maybe being able to stay home with my babies from the beginning. But I was lucky in that I had wonderful people caring for my kids.
I am so glad that Audrey was my baby, and is my little girl. She is now a four year old (who can read). She makes me SO proud.
Onto other updates...
JT has been talking. REALLY talking. His behavioral therapist, Amy, has started, and he is beginning to label things. We've got car and ball, and he has been saying tons of other words, although those seem to be his echolalia.
He also made huge progress last week... At Target, I was looking at something on the shelves, and all of a sudden, I hear "Ha". I turned around to see my son waving... And saying his version of HI to me. It was SO precious. We spent the next thirty minutes greeting each other - me, Audrey and JT. Audrey was just as proud as I was (see? sweetest child EVER), and he was proud of himself! Since then, he has been saying it frequently (and appropriately!).
His other favorite words are 'whoa' - as he's falling off something on purpose trying to send me into cardiac arrest... 'Whee' - for anything fun... 'Uhoh' - for obvious reasons... And he tries to count - un, doo, free, fow, fie, see, said, aye, nigh, teh! Woohoo!!!
I also got three kisses in a row yesterday!!! He pulled my face to his and kissed me, then pushed it back a little, then pulled it back, pushed it, then pulled it back again... There is nothing better than kisses from your baby. Especially when you know they don't really like it... Cause he REALLY means it...
Life is good. We're all doing SO well (knock on wood, right?).
I hope everyone else is doing well!
Lots of love!
Friday, June 27, 2008
We have made two trips to a 'beach' about an hour away at J Percy Priest Lake. Last weekend we went with my friend Beth and her family and had an awesome time! Here are a few pics of the little ones:
That's pretty much what they do the whole time there... Audrey swims like a fish in her arm floaties, and JT tries to throw all the sand into the water. Hilarious!
Evie is still improving, slowly but surely. She is less yellow, and is eating and drinking on her own. Of course, I have to 'trick' her into drinking by giving her tuna with water... But the point is, I'm not shoving anything down her throat or sticking her with needles anymore! Yay, Evie! She is now begging for food... Soft kitty food or people food (turkey or tuna). Every time I go in the kitchen she follows me yelling... Which is awesome!
Audrey is reading! She decided to start all on her own. Our funny story about that is she was reading a package in the car the other day... "Ta-ta-ta....Ih....Guh, guh...Er..." - "Tigger!" "and..." "Puh...OOO...Hah"... "Tigger and Poo-ha?"... "Momma, they spelleded 'Pooh' wrong... It's not Poo-ha!"... So, she's reading correctly... And the makers of Pooh DID spell Pooh with an unnecessary H at the end. She can also sound out almost any word now. We're currently working on CH and SH and their respective 'noises'. She has figured those out pretty much, she learns SO fast!
I sprained my ankle. Doing a workout video. Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred. In case you're wondering, the video rocks. If you're looking for a hard workout DVD, buy it. It's VERY tough, but an awesome workout. Anyway, Audrey likes to do it with me. And it requires hand weights. Well, after much arguing about her not being able to use MY weights, she decided to use blocks for her weights. Well, she left her block out after we progressed to cardio, and during high knees, it reached out and grabbed my foot. Okay, so I landed on it, and in the most un-Audreyful way possible, fell on my backside, completely flipping my foot upside-down and hearing a loud 'POP' in the process. Now, it's odd, because my foot ONLY hurts when I try to twist it, but walking, running, etc is fine. It's swollen and bruised, but only slightly.
The Hubs is enjoying his job still. Crazy court dates for employee theft, and very busy days. But, he's good at what he does. He has also dropped about 30 pounds since starting at the stores, so it's an added benefit!
That's about it for the Duzan family... Just truckin along!