Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Updates

Thanks for listening to my little rant the other day regarding sleep or lack there of. I appreciate your support and know that this too shall pass. Just be patient with me if I am a little off. I don't quite feel like myself.



My good friend Darci. Or as Carson calls her Ditsy - Hi Dar! reads our blog faithfully. She commented the other day that it seems like we are way up one day and then back down the other. My reply was - yeah, you feel that too?



All in all, things are good. Carson will be starting a new three week intensive therapy program in a few weeks. He had his evaluation with the OT this past week and she is very optimistic that we can make some great strides. She is even going to help us work on getting Carson to eat more food and a better variety of food. That would be wonderful and very helpful too. His diet is so strict that it is tough to come up with things for him to eat when he just does not like most food anyway. No worries, he is not too thin or malnurished. I just want him to have a balanced diet.



A few funnies from this morning -



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Boys are up 0600 and we are hanging out in the family room before I get in the shower. It was starting to thunder.



Carson - Mama, I think it is going to rain.

Me - Oh, yes. I think you are right.

Carson - Can you hear the tunder monter (thunder monster)?

Me - Don't be silly there is no thunder monster.



A few minutes later he comes running out of my bedroom totally naked. I grab some clean clothes and help him get dressed. While this is happening he says:



Carson - see my tail mommy?

Me - Yes, I see your tail.



You can only imagine what he was referring to. I am all for the right names of body parts but at 0600 and with this sleep deprivation, I did not have it in me for an anatomy lesson.



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I talk alot about Carson on this blog but I have to fill you in on Griffin.



My sweet, angelic, snuggle baby. He is getting quite the temper and is asserting his independance. I cannot do anything for him. He has to do it all himself. He is so smart and is talking so much. Jay and I are amazed daily just how much vocabulary he has (remember we are not use to that).



The boys actually fight. No, not fist fight but it could get to that if I let it. I cannot believe that we already have a brother dynamic in our house. They ADORE one another and love on eachother all the time but wow, they can also get pretty mad at one another. Griffn is always taking Carson's things and Carson always wants Griffin to be a baby animal that needs rescuing. It is all very funny and cute until one, the other or both are screaming.



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In just over a week we have my brother's wedding. I can't wait. All of us are standing up and I am so excited to be part of it and have my kiddos walk down the isle. I do have some stress about it too but know that no matter what they do, they are kids and people will think it is cute. Marianne will be there to help out just in case one, the other or both do not feel like keeping quite for the ceremony. The good news is that, Tom and Niki are both so easygoing they don't seem worried about it at all. Adrian and Fin are goign to walk down together. Carson and Luca are going to follow. I think Adrian and Fin will do great. Griffin loves Adrian and would do whatever he asks. Luca and Carson might be the wild entertainment. We will see. Aunt Carol will be babysitting that night for us so that Jay and I can relax and enjoy the wedding. The boys will be leaving before dinner.



This weekend we have some fun plans - Saturday is a big BBQ at Granny and Pa's for the Thomas family. They have rented a bounce house and purchased one of those big pool/slide things. Sunday - we have an adult day on the boat (just Jay and I, Tommy, Niki and Ron and Amiee). We try to plan this once per year. It is wonderful and we always have a fun time laughing.



Not much else to report. I will post some updated pics soon. Love you all - E

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Up all night - NO sleep all day!

We have a bit of a problem in our house right now. It has been going on for the past two or so months. I have mentioned that Carson does not sleep well. I have mentioned that he gets melatonin to sleep and at first it was a Godsend. Well, he has built up a bit of a tolerance to it now and there are really no other options for us to try. He is simply too young and we are not comfortable with any pharma drugs to get him to sleep.



I thought I would give you a glimpse of what our nights are like. Well, really my nights are like. Jay sleeps with a CPAP so, most of the nightly musical beds is my job.



To say that I am tired is an understatement. I have not been this tired since I had a newborn baby. I am tired, and crabby and, have no energy.



Last night -



730pm - give Griffin a bottle and rock him to get him to go to sleep. He is miserable because he has decided he does not need an afternoon nap anymore. I can't disagree more but this is his call and now he is a basket case from 630pm and on. He is asleep and in his crib by 745.



745pm - go snuggle with Carson in our bed. We are both asleep by 800pm. Good gosh, I am sleeping by 8pm.



845pm - wake up and realize that I still need to wash-up, do dishes, empty garbage and get things done for the next day. Jay is sleeping on the couch without a care in the world. Wake Jay up. Fight with him (literally) over who is going to carry Carson up to his room. I am busy doing things so, I win. Jay carry's Carson, up to bed and we both fall back to sleep in our bed by 915pm.



1230am - Wake up to Griffin screaming in his crib. Give it a few minutes to see if he goes back to sleep. Jay tells me to get up. (he is awake but cannot do it himself) Griffin getting up is not typical. He only gets up after I have been home from work for a few days freaking out that I am some how gone again. He is going through separation anxiety and it is killing me. Go to his crib and try to comfort him. Does not work. Bring him into my bed. Jay is back to sleep like a angle but has now removed his CPAP and his snoring could wake the dead. Griffin falls back to sleep. I kick Jay three times and tell him to put his machine back on. He gets mad at me and goes to sleep on the couch. Heaven forbid I wake him up.



145am- hear Carson up talking to Jay on the couch. Fin is sleeping so, I try to move him back to his crib. Carson is now crying hysterically and is saying things like "Mommy all gone" "Where's Mommy?". He sees me carrying a sleeping Fin and I try to get him to quite down. Jay is up now and bringing him down the hall to join us in the bed. I take Fin to his crib and he (of course) is now awake and starts to scream when I put him down. I go back to my bed where Carson is still crying and he grabs on to me and asks for "Hugs Mama". Cuddle with Carson while listening to Fin scream. Carson is sleepy enough. I leave him with Jay (who is sleeping) and go back to get Fin. This time, I take Fin into Carson's room and snuggle with him. He is not having it.



230am- go make Fin a bottle in hopes that the goes back to sleep. All the while he has a death grip on my PJ top as if his life depends on it. Make bottle, go back to Carson's room and feed Fin. Get Fin back to sleep. Don't bother moving him since the risk of him waking up is too great.



300am- Finally fall back to sleep myself with Fin in Carson's bed.



600am - Carson comes up to visit and wakes us all up. Jay is getting ready to leave for work and my shift begins again. We are all up but Fin and I are very crabby and Carson is hungry and wants pancakes.





When I look back on the night, thank goodness I did fall asleep when I did. Had I tried to stay up and (heaven for bid) watched TV or did a blog entry, I would have gotten about 3 or so hours of sleep vs the 5 or so I did get. Granted it is all broken up and not the most restful but still I got 5 or so hours.



Last night was a good night as Carson fell back to sleep. Typically once he is up, he is up. We have been up for the day at 1am, 3am, you name it. I have been out on the couch with him at those times hanging out. It is crazy! He has a hard enough time falling asleep once, let alone to do it more than once in one night.



The other problem is the separation anxiety. Carson never went thought it. That is until now. As he is becoming more aware of his feelings - he has now started a pretty severe phase of separation anxiety along with Fin. I love to be with my boys, I love to hold them and cuddle with them and make them feel secure. I just want a bit of sleep.



Adding to the problem is the fact that Jay and I have the most comfortable bed on the plant. When we got married, we invested in a really good King size bed. I have a very good mattress pad, 500 thread count sheets, a down comforter and a very luxurious duvet. Jay and I love our sleep and it is just not an area where we choose to skimp. I think Carson is on to this as he is obsessed with our bed. He wants to play in our bed, hang out in our bed, snuggle in our bed and yes, now sleep in our bed. He has to have the duvet on him and pulls it up to his chin. It is adorable and I don't blame him but come on - his bed is great too.



All these things combined - I am feeling a bit crazy. Jay can't understand why I don't spend any time with him in the evening and frankly I miss relaxing for a bit once the kids go to sleep.



It is bad enough as is but add on the work day, commitments, appointments, etc and I basically feel like my life is nuts. I know that Jay feels it too.

So, if you are ever up in the middle of the night and need a friend to chat with, give me a call. Chances are I am up and making pancakes!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Short notes:

For the past 48 hours Carson has referred to me at "Mommy Piggy". I am beginning to get a complex!

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Carson pooped yesterday and let me know by saying "Mommy, I got poop and it smells good"! I can assure it you did NOT.

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We had Niki's bachelorette party this past Saturday. It was great fun and most importantly, I think Niki had a good time. The limo dropped me off after 330 and within 20 minutes Carson was up (for the DAY). He was very happy to see me and I was happy to see him too but - I credit Carson for the bags under my eyes. I am still exhausted.

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One of Carson's nanny's (Lora or as Carson calls her LorLa) plays with him on the computer during the day. She is a teacher by trade and has the best ideas and does the best things with the boys. One of the computer games they play is for the alphabet. Carson knows all his letters (uppercase and lower) and all the sounds. From all this practice, Fin is also learning his letters. It cracks me up to hear Fin say - Ahhh when he sees the letter A. Too funny. We love LorLa and will be sad when she goes back to work in the upcoming school year. Those are some very lucky kids!

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Jay has Tommy's bachelor party coming up this next weekend. Jay's job is the menu. The guys are going golfing, back to Tom's place for a BBQ, and then club/bar hopping that night. I will be cooking some food for the boys. I would love to see and listen to he and Leo go shopping for food at Costco on Thursday night. Jay said that he thought it was fitting that he help with the one thing he is good at - eating. Since he does not golf (is still going to try this weekend) and we don't do the bar thing much anymore, he thought the menu was the best fit. Too funny!

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Jay was cracking me up yesterday because he wanted to run to the mall and get some new clothes. He picked up some manicure kit from some girl and was all excited about how nice his nails looked. I asked him if is she noticed the wedding band as I am sure she was more interested in him than he was the nail products. He said she had but he let her "play" anyway. Good Gracious! Hey - I guess we all still like to know we still got it!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Small Miracles

Hi Again! I haven't been on in a couple of weeks and now my third post of the day! I can't believe that I am sitting here writing a blog. Emily and Amiee are at Niki's bachelorette party tonight and Ron is up north fishing so I have Carson, Griffin, Adrian and Luca for the night. I was anticipating a little chaos so this is my first small miracle. Griffin laid down without a fuss at 8:00 and was down for the night. As I came downstairs from putting him in his crib, I see that Carson has passed out in the chair watching Toy Story still holding his propel bottle. Luca sees that Carson is sleeping in the chair and wants to go sit with him. I told him to go ahead but just be careful not to wake him. I see Luca's eyes getting heavy. He moves to the floor and is out by 8:30. Papa Tom and Uncle Tommy stopped by about 8:40 to see if I needed help...no help needed 3 out of 4 down. Adrian and I turned off the movie...started watching the Disney Channel, ate popcorn and he was out by 9:15. This is crazy....but very peaceful and relaxing. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that they all sleep through the night and do not wake up when Emily comes stumbling in at 3:00 AM...haha!

That was my funny miracle but just last night and all day today, a real miracle is happening. It's like Carson is really coming to life...it's hard to explain. Last night, we had Papa Tom's and Aunt Niki's b-day celebration here. I've never heard Carson talk so much or be so social. He had hugs and kisses for everyone, was asking questions and interacting all night. This continued all day today. Emily and I are floored. He talked to us all day today, asked questions, answered questions....I'm talking like a real full blown conversation. Our son is getting better. My eyes are welling up as I am writing this post because I can't believe it. As Adrian would say..."cry happy!" I feel like God is answering all of our prayers. It's been such a long road and I know that it is still much longer but days like yesterday and today make it all worth it. It fills my heart with such joy!

Thank you so much to all of you who read this blog and are so supportive to us and our children. I can't imagine going through this without you. Emily and I are so blessed to such wonderful families and friends. A big thank you to our parents who all help out in their own way, whether it's taking him to therapy, having our house clean and laundry done when we get home from work, buying him special food for your houses and for our house, watching the boys overnight so we can have some fun on occasion, or helping us out financially when you have extra funds. All these things may seem little to you but they mean the world to us. More than anything just loving our boys unconditionally is the greatest gift of all. There are others too who deserve special mention...Aunt Carol for all of the talks and encouragement and babysitting when we were in a bind. She, as well as our friend Becky who both understand first hand how it feels to have a child with special needs and are always supportive. Thank you to all of our siblings for understanding how important this GFCF diet is for Carson and for being so kind as to not let your kids have things while Carson is around that he can't have. It means more than you know. Thank also to our friend Darci who always sends such nice emails saying how lucky Carson is to have Emily and I and constantly encouraging us to keep doing what we're doing. I really feel like we're on the right track. We love and appreciate all of you who support us! Without you, this would be a very lonely battle.

Home Happenings

Wow - I can't believe that it's been two weeks since the 4th of July already. As you saw in our previous posts, we had a nice weekend but back to reality now. The last two weeks have been pretty crazy. Last Friday, we had Carson's monthly appointment with the DAN doctor. It was a horrible visit. It's never fun because it's an hour and a half drive there plus an hour visit and sometimes two hours home based on rush hour traffic so it's never a trip that we look forward to. However, this visit was particularly bad because Carson's behavior was out of control. He took every toy out in the room and then decided he wanted a lollipop and a sticker from the doctor. The doctor tried to reason with him and let him know that if he did not pick up the toys, he could not have the lollipop or sticker. So the yelling began....then he decided he was going to flick the light switch on and off while we're trying to explain the last month to the doctor. He then hit Emily, me and the doctor...fun stuff! So the doctor suggested we use the bear hug timeout technique....so I did and then the yelling and screaming got louder....and then the sweat came dripping down my back because I'm just wanting to stop holding him 1. because I can't stand him being upset, 2. because this appointment just took five more hours out of our week plus about $200 and 3. because I'm hot and sweaty and don't feel like struggling with him.

The doctor's view was that Carson plays us and that we need to get stricter. The doctor sees a little bit of Autism, a little ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) and of course some ADHD characteristics. Em and I are in definite agreement that we need to get stricter and consistent in our discipline tactics. Not that I'm the greatest disciplinarian in the first place but it is so hard to discipline him when I don't know exactly what he is getting and what he isn't. I am getting to the point where I think that he is getting more than we think he is but we're still missing that full communication piece so I can't be certain.

Finally the appointment was over. As I was checking out and buying the many supplements/vitamins, I hear Emily yelling "What are you doing?" as Carson is drinking out of the fish aquarium...NICE!....maybe it was because we had run out of his Fish Oil for a few days and he thought he could get a fix out the tank...haha!

The doctor suggested we stop at a local park before the long drive home to let Carson blow off some steam and try to make it somewhat of a positive experience for him. So we did....we were at the park for about 10 minutes when my phone rang...it was Papa Dennis telling me that they had dinner for us when we got home...as I'm talking, I see Carson fly off the swing that Emily is pushing him on...thankfully it was on a bunch of woodchips and he only cut his hand open...so we left....sound like a positive experience for him at the park??? haha

As we're leaving, both Emily and I as well as Carson are totally spent! It was one of those laugh or cry moments...but I chose to laugh because Emily (in her most frazzled voice) said "I need a drink...and a cigarette....and a COOKIE! Quite a combo! I was laughing so hard that I was crying!

Monday was off to OT and then Wednesday, we had a appointment at another therapy center where we plan on doing a three week intensive Sensory Integration Therapy Program at the end of August. We looked into this last year but couldn't afford it because it is $5000 but I recently did some digging and found that I can pull money from my 401K for this because of course, it's not covered by insurance...go figure! Oh well, it sounds promising and there is no way that we are going pass up anything that can help bring Carson out of this. Emily said maybe Carson will be a doctor some day and be able to take care of us when we get old and our retirement fund is drained, I replied "I'm not sure that I'll live that long...this stress may kill me before retirement!" hahaha

Yes, we had a crappy couple of weeks....blah, blah, blah...who doesn't, right? It just gets old when everyone we know is doing all of these fun things with their kids...going to amusement parks, going to water parks, going boating, etc. and all of our time and money is sucked up into going to therapy, going to doctor's appointments and then more doctor's appointments. I think that both Emily and I are pretty positive about this whole thing Carson is going through considering how it breaks both of our hearts everyday and that there's not a minute in any day when it is not on our mind. So..we had a little pity party last weekend and now we have our chins up, put on our "big boy" pants and are back on track. We WILL beat this!

Down on Grandpa's Farm

Hi Everyone,
Just going to wrap up our 4th of July weekend before we move on with the last couple of weeks. As Emily had stated, we had a great 4th of July weekend. The weather was unbelieveable. Grandma and Grandpa K. were up for the weekend, or as our nephew Blake says..."Pa Florida." My dad has a huge piece of property about an hour and a half North of us. It has a cabin, a fifth wheel, a couple of ponds and tons of room to ride 4 wheelers. This property was my great-grandpa's, then my grandpa's and now my dad's. My step-brother Jon brought his new girlfriend Danielle up for trip as well.
Kristie, Blake, Brooke, Gianna, Amiee, Adrian, and Luca joined us up at the farm for the day. We rode the 4 wheeler and the Polaris.




We played baseball and blew bubbles.




We had a picnic and played with the sprinklers.



We did arts and crafts.




We looked for deer and frogs but ended up finding a snake.







Carson has his eyes on the hose but Blake is playing with it so a little fight broke out.


We all had a great time. It was nice to get to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa. The kids had a blast! We'll do it again in October!

Monday, July 14, 2008

My lines, my lines, I can't remember my lines!

When I was a kid, my sister and I would sing the Detroit Zoo song. Do you know the one I am talking about? 'My make-up! My make-up' - 'Hey this place is a zoo!'. We loved that song. I wish that commercial would come back.




This is a bit out of order from our July 4th weekend but on Monday Jay and I took the boys to the Detroit Zoo. Carson had not been in over a year and this was Fin's first trip. I found myself singing the song as I looked at the beautiful fountain.


When Jay and I asked Carson what animal he wanted to see the most - his reply - The Elephants! Good to know that the Detroit Zoo no longer has elephants! We still had a good time. Enjoy the pics!


Going in to see the Polar Bears. It was a really hot day and we did not see much of the Polar Bears but did get to see some seals. Carson did not care. He was too busy enjoying the giant Slurpee we allowed him to get. (Hey, when you kid can't eat much of what any other 4 year old can, you let go once in a while and let them load up on sugar!) His reaction to that Slurpee was totally worth it.



Both boys really enjoyed watching the fish. They also really liked the penguins. We actually managed to time our trip to the penguins with feeding time so, we got an extra good show.






This was while waiting to go into the butterfly house. Carson was not real impressed with this but I was. It was amazing. I had seen Blue Morpho butterflies while in Costa Rica, but it was very cool to see them up close and personal here in Detroit.




We took the train from the back of the zoo back to the front. Carson and Griffin loved it!






Carson did get a bit tired of walking as we only brought the single stroller and Fin was using it. He did a great job at keeping up and did not complain. Daddy's back might never be the same, but we still had fun.




The play area is really nice. I don't ever remember seeing this the last time I was at the zoo. The day was VERY hot and neither boy had much energy to run around but did play for a little while.





All in all, it was a great day. We took our time and just walked around. The animals were not very active but we still got to see alot. I would consider buying an annual family pass next year. It is really so beautiful and would be a nice way to get some exercise and have some family time all in one.



'I wanna talk to my agent - let me talk to your agent - ha ha ha ha'

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Bday America!

We had a wonderful 4th weekend. I have been wanting to blog about it but I have tons of pics to upload so it will be a time consuming entry.

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Jay and I decided to take some extra time off for the long weekend to spend some time as a family. It was wonderful. On Thursday, Nonna and Papa watched Fin for us so that we could take Carson to the movies to see Kung Fu Panda. We also took Carson to the Disney store to get some of the Cars action figures. He is OBSESSED with the movie so, he has been loving the action figures too. We had a great time. We did not make it through the whole movie as it was scary in some parts and Carson was a little nervous but it was a wonderful time with just Carson and I know that he loved the one-on-one time with mommy and daddy.

Friday the fun festivities began! We had a nice time at Pa Dennis's family party. Carson and Fin enjoyed the pool and property. They also had fun with Pa and Granny. See for yourself!




On Sat we had the Facciolla picnic at Stoney Creek followed by the Bolone BBQ at Aunt Carols. It was wonderful!
I remember last year going to the Facciolla picnic - my mom and some family members planned organized games and prizes and music. It was great but I was so sad as my Carson had NO interest in playing with anyone and we ended up leaving early. This year, he made my heart sing as he actually played in one of the organized games! This is the first time he really tried to join in and participate with other kids. For the most part he will parallel play or play on his own. When he started to play the game with me, I had tears down my face and was thanking God that this year we made some progress. Enjoy the pics -

Getting ready for the game!

Go Carson - Go Carson!



We did not win but let me tell you - Jay and I celebrated BIG TIME!
Here are some more pics of our wonderful Facciolla picnic -



From Stoney Creek we all headed to Aunt Carol's house for a fun BBQ that included swimming, looking for frogs and snakes and visiting with family. It was so much fun!
Pa and Dan swimming with Carson. You can tell by his face that he was having a blast!



All the kids enjoying the hot tub (not really hot)!


Brooke - she is a cutie!


Fin does not love the water so, he has fun playing hockey!


Amiee and the boys joined us at Aunt Carols. Sadly Ron's Uncle was very sick so he was in NY.

I will continue the rest of our weekend in another post.
Love you all and hope you had a nice 4th.
Emily












Monday, July 7, 2008

Fireworks!

Every year since I can remember, my whole family has gone to the Grosse Pointe fireworks. We have continued the tradition with our kids. My grandfather lives in Grosse Pointe Woods and we can watch the fireworks from the porch in his back yard. We had a really nice time this year.
Carson was so very excited -


video

The only hard part about the night was the fact that the fireworks don't start until 1015ish. That is a late and long night for our boys. Carson and Griffin did well by keeping busy. Enjoy the pics!

My sweet Fin! He enjoyed playing soccer and hockey while waiting for the fireworks.




Carson kept busy by digging in the garden and playing with Papa's hose.






Nonna and Papa Tom got the boys water guns to play with. Here is Adrian and Luca looking very tough!




As always the fireworks were wonderful. Carson would yell out the colors and tell me that they were beautiful. Both kids fell asleep in the car on the way home. It was a late night but a wonderful night. I hope that my kids enjoy this tradition as much as I have.




Carson's last day of school

This is a picture from Carson's last day at school. I just love it. He was so excited for Jay and I to be there. He was showing us around and holding our hands as we walked.




This is Carson and some of his school friends. This little girl, Aubrey was one of his best friends. She is adorable and a total sweetheart. Jay and I were cracking up at this pic - it looks like he is showing her his rock hard abs to impress her. She just adored Carson so, I think she was impressed.


This is a pic of Carson's teachers. The woman on the left is Mrs. B. She was the teachers aide. Mrs. W is the head teacher and she is holding Carson in the picture. He still talks about them even today.
Carson will be attending the ECDD program again next year. He will more than likely go to the same school and have the same teacher. Mrs. W is suppose to retire (big bummer) so he will have a new teacher aide. I know that he is already looking forward to it!