Saturday, May 26, 2012

Come and Go

Wow another blog, come on I know it is what you are thinking! This lady needs a hobby huh? Well to bad apparently blogging is my hobby now. So just deal with it because this one is another not so typical blog but lately I guess I have found more things to talk about. So since the munchkin is asleep I am going to blog.

I have generally been blessed with having a great outgoing personality. I have been blessed with the ability to be a good friend. Sadly I have not been to blessed in having friends who are loyal, honest and true. Do not get me wrong I have a group of friends who I know are there for me even if we have not talked in forever. Those friends who even if we only see and comment on posts on FB we know we are still friends. I have friends who know that I like to be out and about and a social butterfly and understand how that has to be put on the back burner for now. To those friends I am so thankful that you are caring and understanding. 

My friends and family know I will have their back. I will stick up for them when I know they are right and they need the support. My friends and family are still there for me when I stick to my beliefs and I fight for what is right. Sadly I have had "friends" who have ditched me because I don't share the same beliefs as them, I say the opposite of what they might say, do things differently than they do. I call them "friends" because at one point or another we did have a true friendship and sadly it came to an end. 

Call me silly but boy it sure does bug me when I lose a friend and I have no idea why. I know we all go through our friends list and remove those we never speak to. Heck I do that all the time. I mean come on it really isn't a friendship but more like stalking, you know it's true! So really its no love loss when you delete them and move on heck I doubt they even notice. The times it does bother me is when it is a friend someone I talked to regularly and I realize "Wow, what did I do to upset them? Why couldn't they just confront me?"  For a long time I let it get to me especially when I lost a string of friends who blew me off and choose to lie to me about it. I might not be the brightest person in the world but I am smart enough to know when you lie to me. That to me is a huge sign of disrespect so don't lie to me. 

I noticed around the time that we started figuring out that H had problems and we started changing how we did things, where we went, if we went and backing out of things, is when my friends went on the decline. I got a bit down about it I won't lie. Heck I can name on at least 2 hands on my page of people who are dealing with some sort of life altering issue and I am so supportive and want to do what I can to help. I post a few blogs about our situations, update a few status with things going on or talk about and apparently that deems me the need to lose friends. It stings a bit I wont lie. It hurts to know that there are some people I stood by was a shoulder to them, bent over backwards for them, was an ear for them and now they vanish. It hurts but it's not going to get me down. 

I discovered recently that a friend of mine who I thought I was close to, one of my first friends out here ditched me because I guess I wasn't loyal enough. I have several friends who do fundraisers for various things at the moment. I am one person, not made of money and can only do so much. I try to help and support where I can. Keep in mind my child does not do well in big over crowded public places and it gets to a point where it takes it's toll. I lost another "friend" because heaven forbid I didn't stick up for her when she was very rude to someone and was essentially a bully to others. I realized this is becoming high school. Everyone listens to the negative about people, judge and then decide if that person is worthy enough for their friendship. Then I have had had people just flat out lie to me. UGH we are not friends if you can not tell me the truth. The best lie so far is "Oh I am just keeping my page for my family so I avoid drama" Oh I didn't realize that our 23 mutual friends here are your family. Again shouldn't bother me but it is more the lying than anything. You have no respect for someone if you lie sorry. 

I do not expect nor do I want any ones pity or sympathy for what is going on. I make our life as open as possible to avoid people spreading untrue info and speculating. I would rather just be upfront and honest leaving nothing to guess. I just function better that way I suppose. If you follow our story that is great. Thank you we appreciate your support. I am not one to judge, if you don't feel inclined to know our story and remain un-involved that is your prerogative. Just please know this for me is my only outlet that I can say how I truly feel and not worry about people discounting my thoughts and feelings.

My life is full right now and I have to keep my focus on what is important. The people who treat life like high school, refuse to grow up and be a bully have no place in my life. I can say with confidence that I am happy with the people whom I share my life with. I would rather have only a few close friends who I knew I could count on, support me and be there for me if I need them then a ton of friends who are so wishy washy that it's a crap shoot if I can count on them. I know some people doubt our situation right now and that is ok. I can't make you feel the way I do. I have even heard people say that I am doing this for attention and that I exaggerate what is going on. Why in a million years would someone want this for their child? 

Strangely as I write this I flip back and forth to facebook to see what is going on.  I came across a friends status message and it really resignated with me. "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes."Pardon the language but honestly I have felt very down about myself lately. I have hated that I have not spent time with my friends that I have been doing these things I like to do. 

I took that as a sign that I am not as bad off as I feel but that maybe I am surrounding myself with people who are not conducive to my mental well being. I need to not worry if I have so many people that are my friends but that I have quality friends. I tend to worry to much about what others think of me and I shouldn't let it get to me. I guess I have always worried about pleasing people and making them happy. I think maybe I need to stop focusing on them and put a little focus on me. If I am deemed selfish so be it. Those who know me best know I put the best interest of my children and those around me first. 

At this point I don't have time for nor do I care to partake in the games and drama. I am not going to judge you and you shouldn't judge me. Do what you are suppose to, do what is right, do what you believe you are called to do that is all we can ask of anyone. Just remember the next time you sit there judging someone, talking poorly about them that it could be you. Think about how it feels to have that shoe on the other foot. I cant force someone to have compassion for others or think about others but I can sure put the bug in their ear to maybe decide to evaluate their ways. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Screaming on the inside

I try to avoid these blogs but I have felt so out of sorts and emotionally drained that I figured this would be my best outlet. I am not trying to be a martyr or the lady who can do it all. I am simply me, one woman, one mom, one wife, one friend, one person. I can do only as much as I can do and then I slowly feel myself hitting a walk, reaching a breaking point and just want to scream.

This week has been full of very informative stuff. I call it stuff because to me right now that is all it is to me. Each time I speak with a doctor or therapist it seems that something more is added to our list! I call it stuff because nothing seems real anymore and that maybe if I just try hard enough this will all go away and we can go back to where we were about 2 months ago. Of course I am sure we just jump back 2 months ago and I would be saying why can't we just figure this out and get him help therefore it would just be some vicious cycle.

Wednesday I was given a lot of information. I have spent that time since then working and digesting that information given to me. Pondering over the road blocks that had been put in the way of the path to get H the help he needs. I guess I was being overly optimistic in assuming that this would be an easy process. I call a few therapists and doctors and poof all the appointments and sessions would be booked and taken care of with out a hitch. Ok everyone can stop laughing now. It's not like I do this all on a daily basis and have a overwhelming experience in doing this. I have always been on the other end of this. Telling parents it will be ok and that these services are going to do what the can to help their child. I am thankful for the the few that have been supportive and encouraging during this.

I have noticed that his behaviors come in waves. Lately at school he seems to be doing better. I chalk that up to the routine. He goes to school at 8 each morning and then does his day until 2pm when I pick him up and call it a day. I will gladly take him having great days at school over the what it has been. Once he is home however I can't keep as strict as a routine like at school. There are days that we have to go to an appointment, run an errand, or just anything else that might come up.

The last few days have been a total nightmare. We can't go anywhere without him losing his mind and just melting down. Some prime examples are on Tuesday night we go to Potosi so that Chris and I can work. Normally he is content this week he was anything but. After an hour and a half I left. It was just to much for him. I could hardly cook dinner Wednesday night and he was semi decent on the walk we later went on. Thursday however, that took the cake! From the minute I picked him up he was all out of sorts. Then again our day was not near as scheduled as it has been!! After work I went to check on my friend who is pregnant and had the stomach bug. I ended up taking her to her doctor. It was ok at first and then H started to slowly lose it. After the second time of stripping I had a feeling it was time to go! Misti's husband had arrived they had got her checked in so it was my cue to head out! And not a moment to soon. On the agenda was a fundraising dinner at a local restaurant to help some friend of ours. I assumed 2 hours of down time between events would be enough. We lasted 30 minutes! A few fits to the floor, a run through the place and then an attempt to take off out the front door was enough for me.

For the first time I left angry. I was angry because simple outings are no longer simple! To many people, to much noise or to much or to little light will set him off in a tail spin. I miss my friends, I miss being social. I didn't care that seeing my friend yesterday meant seeing her as I took her to the hospital it was just nice to have that time with another adult that I could just talk to. I hate taking him out in public but sometimes I am just that desperate to get out and be around other people. I developed a sense of resentment and it really isn't justified. H didn't ask to be born the way he is and nothing we did or didn't do caused or could have prevented this.  I was just angry because sometimes I feel very alone. I am a social creature I love to interact with others and suddenly I feel very isolated.

Today I was looking forward to spending the evening with some ladies enjoying some sweet treats and good company. A check up to see how the antibiotics worked for his lung infection and to see how the ear drops for his supposed ear infection. No ear infection, lungs sound better but now we have Strep! So much for that evening with the ladies. Now its an evening at home and a fun filled trip to Walmart on the agenda. That anger started to rise again. I swear it was like everything was against me. When do I get a break? When do I get just 1 hour to step away from my responsibilities and have some me time, some down time, some time to just relax and not worry about the household chores, the kids or any of my other responsibilities?

I finally broke down and start to cry at the doctors office. I told her while having ECI has been great and we look forward to his WTRH appointment in a few weeks but things are just getting worse. I told her that ECI wanted me to ask her for a referral to see the specialist in Lubbock. I think seeing how stressed I was made her realize this was needed. The downer to this however is it could be months before he is seen. So in about 3 weeks I should be hearing from her office and getting the ball rolling to  head out to Lubbock.

Our next obstacles to over come are switching H's insurance, getting in touch with EHS to get him registered. Since I have not gotten in touch with anyone at their office I am now assuming that sadly I will have to go to the Civic Center in July to get him registered. Oh well it could be worse. I am having to hold off on the medicaid application because the behavioral doctor in Lubbock is not taking Medicaid patients at the moment, his pulmonologist at Cooks only takes Amerigroup and his pediatrician's office takes all Medicaid plans except Amerigroup! She told me this was a common thing to do for children who have multiple doctors and have children who are more sickly. Co-pays add up, medication costs are unreal and then throw in traveling all around Texas to see doctors holy cow we are going to go broke. She did however mention that parents have gotten so stressed out by the traveling around that those that could have up and moved to the DFW area to be closer to these specialists.

For a fleeting moment the weights I thought had been lifted are now back and heavier than ever. I mean of course it makes sense that the DFW area would have everything we would need possibly under one roof. However at this moment we are in no place financially to up and move. If I had a set job lined up and a place to live it would be something to seriously consider. I am sure getting Chris' VA stuff would probably come with snags to. I am not making any decisions yet but I am just going to say this, if I happen to get an offer it would something I would consider. I love Abilene and I love my job but I am thinking we have reached a point it might not benefit my family to stay here. Gas is not cheap and having to take entire days off of work to drive all over the state is not much of an option either. I can't put a price tag on my child but I can put a stress limit on our family. We are reaching that point so it's time to really take some serious actions.

I took a drive last night and I did it solely to clear my head and not lose it. I did what ever it took to avoid the highways that lead me out of here that go straight to Dallas. I wanted to go home last night. I wanted to be around the love and comfort of my children, my family and friends. I knew if I got on that highway I would just keep on driving. I think most days we live in denial staying out here. We make excuses essentially to justify why we remain in this military town. To me this place only holds the memories of what our life once was. To Chris I assume its a way for him to still be connected and tied to a life he once had. A few have said it might be best to break away and stop the torture of hanging around a place where we feel torture and resentment daily. H is young enough to leave his friends behind and be none the wiser. Dallas has ECI, pulmonologists, behavioral pediatricians and I am sure specialized program he can attend that will meet his needs.

Staying here might be selfish. My friends here won't be here forever they are mostly military and will at some point PCS or get out of the military and move on. I can reunite with my friends back home and pick up were we left off. I can even make new friends and create new memories and a new path in our lives. I can only keep my head up and think of positive. I can only hope things can go up from here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Slight overload

H had his first ECI appointment yesterday morning. Part of me was sort of hoping the report would be along the lines of "Lady you are crazy and your child is totally fine" I mean no parent wants their child to have anything wrong with them and it's always this fear that lingers in the back of their mind "what if something is wrong with my child?", "what would I do if something was wrong with my child?", and the big one "how do we cope and manage as a family if something is wrong with our child?" To me being proactive is of complete importance. I do not care how minor the issues might be if there is help available I want my children to have any and all of those opportunities.

Getting back to is first session yesterday. Staci came to observe him at school and for the most part it went well. The problems came mostly when they came in from outside. He loves the outdoors and I am pretty sure if we let him he would stay outside all day long! So when he came in he started to get aggressive and shoving kids hard into shelves etc. He also attempted to bite and this all appeared to be sensory related. She took some notes and gave some tips to his teacher to help the transition and the sensory issues. Carol is so patient with H and is glad to have all the help she can get working with H each day. I am hoping these things will help.

Staci called me that evening while I was out in Potosi to go over what she observed today and some ideas and things to bring up. Since H has shown oral sensory issues there are special devices out there designed specifically to help with this oral fixation. Sadly what he needs is 50.00 and while I am not going to put a price tag on my child's needs at the same time money has not been free flowing. They also suggested a small trampoline to help get his energy and aggression out in the morning, when we get home and in complicated transitions throughout the day at home. They suggest him, with the help of his teachers, jumping up and down when he encounters a difficult situation at school. To help with anxiety and meltdowns she suggested weighted items and bear hugs. We have his back back but the are suggesting something to use around the shoulders and middle body to balance it all out. We are now looking into vests and blankets.

Through just odd luck a friend Chris from back home who's 4 year old son that has been diagnosed with Autism, Sensory processing Disorder and ADD. They use the vests and blankets and say what a life saver they are! She has given me the information about the blankets because a lady custom made theirs. He has oral issues and are currently using the cheap store brand battery toothbrushes to help. Until we come into some money this might be the best route for us ha ha. I have been told by the trainers at the school that there is a website where I might find what he needs at a more reasonable price. I tried Amazon and that was a FAIL!

Today Becky, his coordinator came out to the house to go over stuff and help put things in order for us. We have a few road blocks right now but nothing major. It of course is a little discouraging but honestly I know we will get it all sorted out. We can apply online for CHIP, but of course this would not go without a hitch. His pedi takes two types of CHIP and his Pulmonologist  takes a different one. We are not sure they both accept the same ones. As for Dr. Rogers in Lubbock we can't figure out which one she accepts so I will call tomorrow and figure that out.  I have until Friday to get in touch with the lady at Early Head Start to get him on the list. ECI will be submitting his paper work to them this week. We need his birth certificate, which of course at the moment we do not have! I am hoping when I talk to this lady Friday we can do what we need to do and when we get it just give her a copy. If not we have to wait until July to register him at the Civic Center. Blah not hoping it comes to that! To get an appointment with Dr. Rogers we have to go get a referral through our pedi and then she will submit it and they will set up the appointment. It's mostly a lot of leg work but we will get it done.

We are about a week away from his first appointment with the Pulmonologist in Ft. Worth. It will be at 9am so that should be a long interesting day for all of us. The bonus is we will have the kids coming back to Abilene with us! I can not wait for them to be here for the summer. Tonight Hannah is performing in her school's talent show. Myranda sent me the video of it from earlier and it was way to cute! Thank you so much for sending it to me.

Well that about wraps it up for this update. Our next ECI meeting will be in June. His therapist won't be able to see him until the first week of June. So fingers crossed we continue to see progress. It is nice to walk into his classroom and hear he is having a great day and minimal issues. Fingers crossed next week when they pull his morning teacher out and replace it with a new teacher that his world does not go upside down! He sort of loves that routine of his!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Holy weekend Batman!

Wow what a weekend here in Dallas. We really had an action packed trip. We got to Dallas around 1:00pm Saturday and checked in to our hotel. H was not really digging it. Infact H was not a fan of the schedule change at all! He was a bit over stimulated and anxious.

Well we got all settled and luckily the hospital was right around the corner. We were excited to be seeing our former NICU crew. I of course anticipated meltdowns and complete chaos. It was held at the Medical City Children's Hospital. All the graduates from the last few years up until the last few weeks were in attendance. We got to see the doctors and nurses also which was great. One of our most beloved nurses was not there sadly because she no longer worked there. What a bummer :( . We got to see our good friends the Haaser's, their daughter was a pod mate with H. Their daughter was born a micro premie and will now be 2 in to a few weeks. She is an amazing little girl.

We stuck out the event as long as we could but had to take a break oi we headed up to Ante Partum to see my favorite crew of nurses. Those ladies played such a huge part of my life for my very extended stay at the hospital. It always comforts me when I get to see them. After the visit we headed back down to the party as it was now clearing out. H got to play with his podmate Sarah and us parents got to chat. Shortly after we headed back to our hotel for down time.

I am going to venture to say H didn't get enough down time because dinner with my sister and brother in law was a huge fail! Basically the table behind us raced through their meal because, I assume they were not a fan of our child going totally bonkers. Its not like we actually got to enjoy or meal but it was still nice to hang out with my family.

Ill be honest I am not sure what possessed us to head to Babies R Us after dinner but the evening was still young and we are all about treating fate in our house lol. So off we went and I am glad we did! We ran into our NICU friends Bob and Stephanie and theory darling daughter Sarah. Who knew you could have so much fun in a two story toy store an hour before closing time! H did great. He played with Sarah and didn't have any issues at all. We so need one of these out in Abilene!

Of course what's a trip with out a bit of breathing issues? We ended up doing a treatment at the hotel and that settled H enough for him to go to sleep. Thank goodness because he did not nap all day! He must have known Sunday would be just as action packed and he would need to bring his A game ha ha.

Today we got packed up grabbed my oldest son Sean and headed to Grapevine. We took in a little Bass Pro Shop and Grapevine Mills. The mall was fun and crazy. H was pretty anxious the while time. I mean who could blame him the place was packed! Sean got to do the bungie trampoline and had so much fun. He got lucky some guy handed him a free ticket go do it. I really wanted to do it but oh well lol.

My sister Jordan was so awesome and made two cookie cakes for Hannah's birthday party today. We headed to her place to decorate. She wins the cool aunt award for letting Sean draw butts on the spare cookie that she made. She really does love my kids. I wish she had felt better so she could have joined us tonight. She was there in spirit.

Hannah is a figure skate so of course she wanted a skating party. We had the ice rented for just her friends and family. I put my skates on and tried to get H to do it. He had been before and had fun this time he wanted nothing to do with it. I did finally get him out for a bit but this ended in a meltdown. Its ok poor baby was totally over this whole busy weekend. I was however relieved that we didnt have to leave early do to him melting down and over stimulating. We had a great time and ate some very yummy cookie cakes compliments of Jordan.

We are now heading back to Abilene. H crashed out in the back and I am writing this on my phone. If there are typos I apologize because this touch screen usually adds crazy stuff and auto correct loves to put in its own words ha ha.

Well that was our crazy weekend. I am sure 5am is going to come mighty early. ECI starts this week so fingers crossed. We are starting to see a trend at school so this is helping us hart progress and triggers. Now I just need to relax and breathe. I hope all of you enjoyed your weekend. Ill reporting an update Tuesday to let everyone know how his first session went.

Ill leave you with some highlights of the weekend......

Off to the reunion

H and his podmate Sarah

H and Sarah trying to take all the trucks off the shelf

Weeeeeee!!!! Let's go for a ride!

Sean doing the bungee trampoline at Grapevine

The birthday cookie

Fun with Aunt Jordan and the butt cookie!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Doctors, Specialists and Therapy..... OH MY!

Wow who knew a 2 hour apt could bring you such relief and so many answers. Yesterday ECI came for an appointment to meet with Chris and I. The specifics of it was to figure out what services we would need, what the target areas are that H needs help with and to answer all of our questions.

Our meeting was at 2pm at our houses without H. We discussed the target areas that needed to be addressed and any other new worries or concerns. They had about 3 pages worth of items that needed to be addressed. Speech of course being one, transitioning, controlling temper and aggression and some other social emotional and gross motor skills. We are thrilled that his therapy will start next Tuesday morning at 9am! We will get speech from them two times a month and one other therapy I can't recall also plus they will give us some counseling to help us cope and take care of H when he has these melt downs. This is a huge relief to us.

H will be adding a new doctor to his list. We will meet with a pediatric specialist that will detect exactly what is going on and how he falls on the spectrum. This doctor, of course does not have a practice in Abilene so that means ROADTRIP! This doctor is in Lubbock so next week we will get the paperwork put together to submit a referral so we can get an apt. Once we get this appointment she will do a test called the MCHAT. This test will tell us exactly what we need to know. She is one of the only ones who will do this test under that age of 4, I believe. So now we have an ENT, Pulminologist and now the pediatric behavioral specialist.

Since all of this we have talked about switching where H would go to school. We have been looking into the best possible situation and environment that would be suitable to his needs. After our experience with home care last week and his jealousy towards the baby and him biting a child I decided this was not going to be suitable. It's not fair to put him or the provider in this situation. Obviously Chris and I can not afford a nanny or for me to stay home so  the only options I could think of were to leave him at the CDC and pray that ECI and WTRH have magic and he wont get any worse and he would improve or taking him back to a downtown facility that has a high tolerance for aggression. I'll be honest I don't want to take him off base to a downtown facility because the level and quality is not the same. I have done some research and investigating and realized there was a possibility that he could qualify for Early Head Start. This is the cream of the crop, top notch child care.

After a long discussion with our ECI and them telling us H qualifies for their services it was like the heavens opened and angels sang! I was thrilled to know that my son was possibly about to get his amazing opportunity with an abundance of resources to help him. For those not familiar with EHS, it is for children birth to 3 years of age. A teacher is given 4 children and those 4 children stay with this teacher until they age out of the program. ECI and WTRH will be able to help him along with other resources the school provides.  They have parent education classes that can help Chris and I with things we might need to focus on.  Oh did I mention this is a federally funded program so services for us would be free! To qualify you have to either have a child with disabilities, be in poverty or be a teen parent. They are submitting H's file to EHS and next week we will submit the paperwork to be put on the waiting list.  We have been informed there is a small waiting list but fingers crossed we don't wait long!

When H turns 2 we will begin the transition out of ECI. At about 30 months we will meet with the school district to see what services he will still qualify for. He would be eligible to attend and get services from Locus Head Start, which would be pre-k. Again this is amazing because this would be such an amazing opportunity for him because this is going to help him transition into kindergarten. If we continue to reside in Abilene he would attend Dyess Elem which is an amazing public elementary school! Of course when we do move back to Dallas all of these services will still be available to H but the EHS and HS programs are very limited. I do hold hope that he will be able to attend those programs when we go back to Dallas.

While Monday did get off to a rough start the rest of the week for H has been smooth sailing! We have learned to celebrate the small things and when we hear that he has not hurt any children we get super excited. When we can go somewhere and he behaves so well, again we get very excited. I know we are corny but still. He loves it when we praise him so as often as we can we do it.

This weekend we are heading to Dallas for the NICU reunion at Medical City. I am so excited to see our old doctors and nurses as well as the friends we made! We have found pictures from when he was in the NICU so we can show off just how far he has come. Sunday we will celebrate Hannah's birthday. I know it's not until July but with summer coming up and them being out here it makes the most sense to do it now so all her friends and family can be there. I am so excited to spend some time with my babies. School is almost out for them and in just a few weeks they will be hanging out here with us for the summer. Of course we plan to make this special and fun filled.

Sean did his first musical for his middle school this past week. He said he really enjoyed it. I am so excited that he had fun with this. This summer he will be doing basketball. He has talked about basketball off and on for a while so his stepmom and dad decided to sign him up. I hope he enjoys it and finds something fun to add to his activities. While the girls are out here I am going to see about putting them in gymnastics or something along those lines. They will be at the Youth Center when I work so maybe they will have some activities for them to get involved in and help them make some more friends.

Well it's off to go see what H has gotten into. He is just a ball of energy lately and so curious about everything he can get his little hands on. Thanks for checking our update. I always appreciate when people care enough to read how things are going. I do not write these for pitty or to make people feel sorry for us. I am not wanting to burden or stress people with things. I simply post these to update people at one time and to have an outlet to the ongoings in our life. So we appreciate those who have offered encouraging words and support and truly care about what is going on. You guys mean the world to us!
We really need to get this kid a jungle gym so he quits climbing the couch.  The ugly loaner couch at that!

Helping daddy carry his gear at the Potosi VFD! I think that hat weighs as much as him!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekend Revelations

Last night I laid awake in bed struggling to fall asleep. Maybe it was because this sweet little boy was having a rough night with his asthma and or it was because a lot of things suddenly plagued my mind. Regardless I sat there for over an hour thinking about how much has changed some for the better and some for the worst.

I recall about this time a year ago I was giving up hope of fitting in here and finding normalcy. I had a job that was decent at best but really had not met anyone I would have called a friend well there were two people I would call friends but otherwise it was just a job to me.  Chris was starting the process of getting out of the Air Force, which to me meant why bother making friends we are busting out of this joint! The only other person I hung out with was on the verge of moving away because her and her husband were going to split up. I hated this loneliness I hated that I had no one to hang out with and confide in.

About a year ago I stumbled across a spouse page for the Dyess folks. Of course I would only stumble across this as our attachment with the military would come to a close and we might not even be here in a few months. Within a few days I started finding some wonderful gals to chat with. I finally started to feel more at home here. About a month later we would have a ladies night at my house where I would meet some ladies that would become so dear to me. Well or so I had thought. After that night I was on a roll with meeting some wonderful ladies. I actually grew excited about being here and having some people to spend time with. I wasn't the outsider looking in.

About a month after that around July, it was time to start talking about moving back to the big D. The thought suddenly became so sad to me. I had just finally settled in and now it was time to go. We talked to our Realtor back in Dallas about finding a place to live. We started talking to Brookhaven College about starting courses in the fall. I was trying to find a job that I would be happy with. Maybe it was fate maybe it was coincidence that none of that worked out. I was so ready to be home with my babies and pick up where we had left off but at that time it was not going to work out. While we would have the money from Chris getting out of the military we couldn't bank on having something before that money was gone. So we decided to play it safe and continue to reside in Abilene till we had for sure concrete things ironed out in Dallas.

From that point on I continued to form bonds with so many ladies. Some became as close as family to us. We spend holidays together and spent most of our free time together. I was so happy. I was getting involved with the community. I had been given so many opportunities to help those in the are and the AF community who really needed it. It made me feel good. I never did any of it with the thought of how would I be repaid for my generosity or what is in this for me. My friends joked I would spread myself to thing but by the fall I was a SAHM so I figured there had to be a good way to invest my time and this was how I would do it. As I met more and more people, I had more and more opportunities to help others around me. I have been given some very special friends one who in on the UNOS list for two lungs, at least 4 that are T1 and working hard to get services dogs who will help them, a friend who sadly lost her child in a horrible accident a year ago today due to a drunk driver. I have found ways to help and do my part to let them know I care.

Fast forward now to the first of the year and suddenly from what seems to be the drop of the hat these people I had once grown to start calling family starting to fade out just like they had faded in. Some due to stupid falling outs that looking back I am not sure what even caused it, some because of difference of opinions over petty situations that really should have been no big deal, a few that vanished out and I am not sure why but none the less it makes me sad. Its like its own version of natural selection, survival of the fittest I suppose. The ones that are here are the ones who have hung tough, stuck it out thick and thin and known even when I haven't been able to give all my time and attention to them they know I am still someone they can count on.

Out of all the friends I have lost the one that have simply vanished out of my life for no reason are the ones that hurt the most. The ones I was sure of we had such a bond and connection with whom now I no longer speak with or hear from. Those really hurt. Maybe its just due to life and not that I did something wrong. I just get so paranoid and worried that maybe I did something but I hate living my life like that. I refuse to now beat myself up over things that I have no control over.

Life has handed me a new curve ball. This time I don't have time to sit and wonder if some one likes me or dislikes me for who I am and the things I do. My main focus now is my family. Things have taken such a big change in the course of month that my efforts now are to focus on how to make things flow as smoothly as possible. A month from now our house will be full. 4 wonderful children will be running through this house keeping our days full and busy. I am so excited about it. I miss my kids and its quiet and lonely when they are not here. When they get here I will be so happy and at peace with things. Regardless of what has been given to us like is going to move on and we are going to be the happy family we always have been.

With that I am going to end this now. I have said how I feel and what it all means to me. I am thankful for those in my life who have stuck it out even when times have gotten tough. Those are the true people you want in your life. No one wants a fair weather friend, a person who is no where to be found when life gets ugly. I would rather have just a few close friends I can count on then an over abundance of friends who are only around when the times are good. So to those of you who are still around, thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your love and friendship mean so much to me. I cherish what we have and hope we always have that.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Picture post!

Zoning out on our car ride home from Walmart. 

When all else fails just let him get out and help. It makes the trip more bearable!

This is what happens when you go on a naptime standoff! Maybe now he will learn his lesson!

I can't wait to hang this up. What a wonderful gift.

The beautiful flowers from the girls and the card with a darling picture from Sean.
H and I made some great treats for teacher appreciation! 

This is what happens when I turn my back to cook! I later found a bunch of toilet paper inside the dog kennel!

H loves to go to the firehouse and help out his daddy. 

3-in-1, lots to talk about

Since Wednesday I have been meaning to update but between 3 finals, work, ECI and a sick kiddo that has been sort of on the back burner. So pardon the long post as it will cover things that have gone on the last few days!

Not to much to actually report. H had a great day at school! No bites, no attempts just an over all really good day. It gave me some hope actually that maybe this phase of aggression was coming to an end. Since I had exams and he was having such a great day I was going to leave him at school so I could go home and review for my exams.
I got a call from a friend in need of some help with her home day care so I agreed to help but this of course meant needing to bring H with me. I figured hey he is having such a great day maybe I have nothing to worry about right?!
I got to my friends house got things settled and H seems to be having fun with the other children. I started to think maybe the smaller group setting is just what he needed. He wasn't clinging to me he was playing with the toys, sitting with the kids eating snack and just having a good time. I thought I was in the clear actually all had gone so well. Then of course one of my biggest fears lately happened. I was talking to my friend who had just come home and we heard one of the little girls start to cry. We stopped looked up and she was saying bite, bite bite. Dang! H had bitten her and bitten her hard!! I was so upset I was mortified! Its one thing to bite a kid in his class ( yes I know its not ok at all but it happens) but it was quiet another to bite a perfect stranger! She assured me it would be ok but I still felt horrible.
I had my final exams and I knew I was not as prepared as I could have been. I really busted my butt but in my Culture class I made a 66 on the exam. I was honestly devastated but I ended up with a B in the class for the entire semester! I made a 86 ( awaiting to see if there was a curve) on my Guidance exam and still awaiting my grade for School age. I am just hoping to have B's if not at least one A over all in one of the classes! School is out until the fall and I get brave enough to take 12 hours in the fall.

The big day we had been waiting for.  H had a rough day. He bit outside which he never does. Usually when he is outside he doesn't bother anyone and does his own thing. I like to spy on him when I am on break and sadly witnessed him bit a child for no reason. It broke my heart. The teacher told me that was the 5th one! That day he ended up biting 7 times. He also only took a 40 min nap which is highly unusual for him!
ECI was at 3pm and it went well. it lasted about 2 hours and we learned a lot. H is super smart, I know he is smart, but I mean much smarter than I give him credit for! But given what we discussed and they observed we qualify for the services. He is delayed in each area, which I was surprised by, but at the same time makes sense. We will meet again next week to set up a plan of action for H, start the process of getting him on medicaid, and figuring out where on the spectrum he falls on.
All the services will be free. We are excited to have a team that seems really helpful and very into our son.  They have started the transition paper work for the school system also. At the age of 2 they do this because after the age of 3 the children no longer qualify and will get assistance through the school district. They will also be working with our pediatrician, ENT, Pulminologist, WTRH, and the teachers and trainers at the CDC. Having everyone on the same page will be a huge help.
When I came home that evening I had a wonderful surprise on my front porch. IT was a raspberry cheesecake! One of my friends had made it from scratch, left a card asking if we would like him to prepare a meal for Mother's Day! He is a fantastic cook so I told Chris we have dinner covered on Sunday! It really made my day. I also got a wonderful card from Sean, and flowers (Tulips) from the girls. It was the much needed smile I needed for the day.
I think Chris and I are peace with what they told us today. We are getting answers that we need and the help H needs. It is frustrating at the same time but we will figure it out. I know boys are active and are generally more of a handful. I assume some think I have blown his problems out of proportion, or maybe I have let my knowledge of being a teacher get the better of me. I wouldn't be anything I would wish on anyone who has children. I honestly never thought of myself as a parent or a person who could handle a child who was not typical. When the 4 ladies at ECI, who had observed him, told me he needed help it was a rush of mixed emotions. I wanted to be wrong and think I was just some crazy over worried parent.
I should not care or let people get to me. I should not care that they think my kid is a spoiled brat when he is throwing a fit in public. I shouldn't get irritated when people tell me that a good ole fashion spanking will make him stop. I shouldn't let it get to me that some people just do not get it and while, what is wrong with him is not obvious and something you notice upon meeting him, that people just might not understand. This is something I am going to work real hard on.

Poor H! It was a rough day for him. He woke up covered in blood and really having a hard time breathing. Since I work at 6am I had no idea anything was wrong when I left. I got a call around 7:45 at work stating something was wrong with him from Chris and that he was going to bring him to me to see what was going on. Around 8 Chris showed up with a very miserable, very unhappy baby. Thankfully the trainer saw how bad off he looked and agreed to let me leave to take him to be seen.
In the matter of two hours he needed two breathing treatments and his inhaler. He has been doing so well but with his sinus infection he had I had a feeling he was bound for illness. He has an infection in his lungs we found out and will be on meds for about 10 days. We also switched his asthma meds to something more affordable.
H was on another naptime standoff yesterday! 40 minutes!!! He normally will last at least 2 hours but today just like the day before he only slept 40 minutes. I am hoping this is not a new trend for us. About 6pm yesterday when we all went out to go pick up meds and run to the other side of town he crashed out in the car for about an hour. Go figure right!
It was so nice to have a unplanned family day. I was suppose to go back to work but since so many kids where out that day I got to stay home with my family. We had lunch together, we all napped and cleaned the house. It sure was nice to spend time together.  Our neighbor, Joe, took care of dinner for us last night which was a nice surprise also!

This weekend should be pretty fun. We have a few things planned that hopefully we will be able to enjoy. I am sure I will update again before the weekend is over!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Do's and Don'ts

Last night wasn't so bad. Not exactly how I pictured the evening to take place but then again when does that ever happen? It wasn't so bad of course we did end up leaving before dinner was served but it's ok we still had a good time.
Do make sure you are fully aware of the type of party you will be attending and make sure to dress accordingly
Don't wear a skirt and tank top when going to a large field to shoot guns

Do make sure you have the proper ear protection
Don't count on H wearing it!

Do be prepared to sit in the truck while everyone enjoys shooting stuff
Don't blame H for not wanting to wear protection, can you blame him!

Do make sure the car is on so that air can properly circulate
Don't answer your phone while your child is sitting in the driver seat. He might just try to put the car in drive!

Do encourage your child to play and mingle even with the 4 legged friends
Don't let him chase and corner the poor 4 legged friend

Do take time to enjoy the big outdoor fire pit
Don't however do that with H he does not share our same enthusiasm for it

And of course last but certainly not least
 Do take H's cues and follow his lead
Don't let the comments and looks from others get you down

It was a good night. I met TJ, the Navy recruiter that has been helping Chris become military again. Today I have a ton to accomplish and some of it won't be easy. Every day things seem to be taking a different direction for our family so each day we do what we can to adjust accordingly. We just ask that everyone keep us in your thoughts as we embark on some of these events. Some of this has to do with H and some of this has to do with our family in general.

An update from yesterday. I spoke with the lady who is a behavioral therapist. It was a remarkable 45 min conversation about what is going on. She sadly does not take Tricare but does do private pay. Sadly private pay is 75.00 and hour. She is helping me find some grants, she is contacting another behavioral therapist that just got certified to see if she will be taking our ins. She has given some great advice and has agreed that if nothing pans out for now she will take us on until WTRH or ECI can help us. She agrees with me on the FCC provider and probably not a good option for H because even if ratios are smaller there is a huge age range in children and he might not do well with really little ones with his aggression. We also think having only one teacher as opposed to two will make it harder to catch him when he needs some help etc. I am glad she came in contact with us because she seems like such an awesome caring lady. Maybe soon we will have Tricare back and this won't be an issue. 
H has really taken to his safe place. He retreats there when he just needs some down time

The weighted dolphin. It really has started helping calming him at bed time and keeps him from tossing about.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A good time

Lately in our house having a good time can often come at a price. We know that if we want to or I want to go out there is a cute little man about waist high that might not share in our good time. Last night though with a little tag teaming effort it wasn't so bad. Learning a few tips and tricks makes going out a bit more bearable!
I could have not been more thrilled that it was Friday yesterday. This week has really been trying. So when they said I could leave an hour early I didn't bat an eye I gathered up my stuff and H and we made a bee line for the door! Thursday was a horrible day for him so to I figure this could be sort of like making it up to him. Thursday left me in tears and down right angry. Not angry at anyone in particular but just angry. By the time I picked him up he had attempted, and achieved biting not only on his peers but himself. After a 30 minute impromptu meeting with one of the trainers, a 20 minute fit and a plastic bag we where good to go. 
This plastic bag must contain some sort of magical powers because once his trains were placed in it, it was like a whole new day for him. The trainer handed him this plastic Walmart bag he placed his trains in it loaded it up on his arm and out of the building we went. That magical bag helped us take a trip to the grocery store! He clung to it talked to it and took his trains in and out of it. It wasn't until I was paying that he noticed what was going on. Unfortunately we had the sweetest bag boy who was only doing his job and H refused to let him do it. This boy was special needs and was doing what he was trained to do, put the shopping bags back in the shopping cart. I suppose he never really sees anyone bring in a plastic bag so it threw the kid off a bit when he saw H clinging to this bag. There was some confusion, a bit of shrieking ( From H) and a near bit on this poor kids hand. I explained it was his and that his toys where in there all seemed ok until we got to the door and the kid pawned us off on the other bag boy coming in. Guess he had, had just about enough of us!
Anyways back to Friday. We came home and decided to give running errands a try with two parents as opposed to one. The BX was rather uneventful we where in and out because they didn't have what we needed but thank you to the man that was vacuuming I was able to pick out two outfits for him and a pair of PJ's with out him wanting to take everything off the rack. We made a couple of more stops each one lasting a little bit longer. We stopped at a shoe store because Chris needs new running shoes it was rather uneventful till we came across some boys who parents left them at the basketball hoop while the shopped and while I would do the same thing I just sort of cringed. One boy about his age had these two guns. I saw H's eyes light up and I kept a good eye. The boy sweetly offered up one of the guns to H and he took it. The little boy suddenly bolted off and so did another boy who appeared to be slightly older and then of course H joined in. OY! The ran around a couple of shelves thankfully near the back of the store where no one was but I could see that look in H's eyes that this was going to go south quick! The guns got dropped they tried to climb this basketball game and then it happened. The owner of these toy guns made the attempt to pick up his guns at the same time H was making a grab for the one he was playing with. I suddenly envisioned shrieking, screaming and of course pinching or biting. I sort of squinted my eyes for a second and  slowly peeked only to see that H had handed the gun back to the boy who was now happily walking back to his mom. I just sort of smiled. Biting his friends at school I can handle biting a perfect stranger in public not sure I was ready for that one. We of course praised him and left the store. 
Chris and I at some point decided that him toting this plastic bag with him all over was going to get old so we had been on the search for a cut kid size back pack that would not be so big he could fit in it but not so small that not everything would hold. Finally Walmart came to the rescue and we found him a back pack to hold all his trains and his favorite book. He is in love with it. It has Cars on it so all we hear now is Ca, Ca Ca, Ca! He handled Walmart pretty well we took his cues of getting antsy, grabbing at the belt and his back arching as its time to go home. Having an extra set of hands to help made it easy. I ended the evening smiling. It was this smile that I knew my body had not felt in a while and it just made me feel good. 
I do have some updates. ECI has still not been in touch with us. I am following up again with them on Monday. West Texas Rehab can not see H until June 25th so we have a ways for that. There was a lady on FB who read our blog who is in Abilene that specializes in PDD-NOS and Sensory issues so I am going to give her a call today and see what we can work out. Sadly her company does not take our ins so we will see about starting some sessions up with her until we can be seen by WTRH and ECI. We are on the fence about using a  FCC provider (Family Child Care) as opposed to the CDC.  We know small groups and minimal transitions is what he needs but there are other factors that leave us hesitant on using one. I am making that call on Monday as well to see what special arrangement's can be made etc. We are also trying out something the trainers think might be helpful and that is a weighted stuffed animal that goes on his body. IT usually is placed on their shoulders or back but he likes it on his stomach when he is laying in bed. We are slowly integrating it in to our tips and tricks so we shall see if this works. 
Of course I must share news about my other kiddos! Sean is going to be in a musical at his school. He seems pretty excited about it and we are thrilled to see him finally passionate about something. I wish I could be there to see him perform but I am pretty sure I can count on Myranda for some pictures and video! Hannah's cast is coming off Monday! Thank goodness it will be off in time for her party in a few weeks. Ella completed testing at school this week and is ready for the summer. Heck they all are as am I! I am so excited to have them come out here. 
 We just had to have the PJ's with cars and trucks on them!
He is very proud of his new bag!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Not so judgmental

At some point in our life we have sat back and judged people around us for the way they do anything from keeping their home clean to how they dress and the ever popular how they raise their kids. Of course from an outsiders perspective it is easy to make a snap judgement on a situation we may actually know nothing about. I admit that has been me before. Its easy to pass judgement on a situation that looks so absurd to us. The last few weeks more and more I realize how horrible it feels to be judged when those around you have no idea what is really going on.  
Recently we noticed some problems that we could not longer avoid. For those that just recently saw us at Ella's party you are aware of the signs we could not longer avoid. It wasn't that I was in denial or that I was afraid to hear the truth it was just that I am a teacher, I am on top of things, and these things do not happen to us. With talking to his teacher, the trainers at his school and my sisters I knew the steps I needed to take because it was what I needed to do not only to help him but to also gain some piece of mind for all of us. 
Backing up a bit for those who might be confused or just have no idea what is going on. Around H's 1st birthday I realized that child could through a fit like no ones business! Usually with those fits there was no real ability to console him we just had to let it ride out. He was not ever a fan of lots of people especially in close proximity to him. Certain sounds he could tolerate but the higher the frequency the more anxious and unglued he would become. The last month or so his ability to be in the light bothers him. He hides his eyes when the lights in the room are to bright or when the sun is out. The behaviors that really had concerned us though was his aggression not only to his peers but himself. He has been biting more and more sometimes it is provoked sometimes its just at random. There are times he will start to laugh after he causes hurt to his peers. This has really upset us. He also has started to bite himself, pull his hair out and when he gets mad enough throw toys or items across the room and empty table in shelves.
After the break down that he had at Ella's party we decided that it was time to take the next step and figure out what was going on. I spoke with his teacher and the trainers and in the interim while trying to get him help we would be detectives and see what did and did not work. We would chart his biting and just see what triggers caused certain behaviors. We met with his pedi who agreed that we would start occupational therapy and speech therapy at West Texas Rehab. She also stated that when we came back for his 2 yr check up if we had not seen any improvement we would get set up with a behavioral therapist. Upon discussing this info with the trainers at H's school we agreed calling ECI ( Early Childhood Intervention) and get an evaluation and hopefully therapy with them also. 
With all this I am sure you are now wondering what all this means. What we are looking at is PDD ( Pervasive Developmental Disorder), Sensory Processing/Integration Disorder and the possibility of Aspergers. Until we start our official treatment his teachers will continue to document behaviors and report back to us daily on events, keep things very routine and consistent, avoid large outings, most importantly following his cues. Today to prevent further issues with the hair pulling we gave him a hair cut just like his daddy. We limit outings to one major one daily. School is usually our major outing. Depending on how the evening plays out we might get a dinner out or a run to a store. Today however I pushed it and ended up power walking up and down the isles at Albertson's with a child who was completely over it. I am just glad I didn't opt to go to Walmart!
Looking back I used to make a snide comment under my breath or to whom ever I was with when I saw a child becoming unglued in public. I used to think " Geez what kind of parent are they to let their child behave like this!" I know now that maybe that parent is dealing with the same things we are. Our child is not spoiled or in control of us. He is a child who is trying to figure out what the world around him means and that when he has had enough he can not tell us so he has to do what he knows best and that is just becoming unglued.  Of course this is not an excuse for his behavior but a simple insight for those who make the looks, the comments, the glares to think twice. Sometimes it is not always what it seems and that we should not always be so quick to pass judgement until we full know that person's situation. Walk a mile in their shoes and maybe one day you will understand.