Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Carson's Take on Baby # 3 and a defining moment in motherhood

Conversation while driving home from OT this past Tuesday. Carson is behind me in the car seat.

Me - Carson. Does mommy have a baby in her belly?

Carson - Yes

Me - Do you think it is a boy baby or a girl baby?

Carson - A big boy baby. (In other words he wants me to give birth to a 5 year old so that he will have some one to play with.)

Me - Carson, What should we name the baby?

Carson - Boy

Me - Carson, we can't name the baby, boy. What if it is a girl baby? What should we name her?

Carson - Big Boy!

Me - Carson, I don't think she would appreciate that.

(Just to mention - Carson's teacher at school had a baby this past December and Carson was obsessed with the whole thing. When I asked him what she named her baby, he told me "Jesus". I think he got the holiday and his teacher's baby confused.)


Tonight while I was changing into PJ's, Carson came up and put his face on my belly. While pointing to my belly, I asked him, "what is that?". (We don't need to get into the fact that it was really my jelly roll!) He said - a baby. He then rested his face on my belly for a moment. He then started to laugh and told me - the baby kicked me!. I thought that was so precious!

While I was making dinner tonight, Carson was adamant about helping me. Usually, I let him. I enjoy having his help in the kitchen but tonight everything was already on the stove and it was hot and I did not have anything for him to do. He pulled up a chair to stand on anyway, and demanded to help. I tried explaining again, that everything was hot and it was not safe to help. He then said to me - Mommy, please be quite for a little while! I had to look away as Jay and I were dying.

Thanks for reading. Love you - E

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Fever!

We go it bad. I know most of you do too. Will Spring ever get here?

On Sunday, we decided to pretend it was spring and go to the park for a little while. We actually had gone three times this past week. The kids need some fresh air and to run and play. We do too.

The park we go to is right by the Shelby Twp. Police station. It is beautiful! It has several playscapes for the kids. One is perfect for Fin and the other is for the bigger kids.

Fin got brave and wanted to try the big one yesterday. He went down the slide and loved it.

Climbing his way back up. He was so cute. He thought he was such a big boy. I love it when I see that "I did it!" look in his eye.

Carson on the swing. I wish I had gotten a better shot.

The park has a lovely pond with lots of ducks. We saved all the left over hot dog buns from Carson's bday party and went to feed the ducks.

The sun was shining but it was still pretty cold.

Fin loved it. He would yell "tam on". (Come on!)

On the way home, this miracle happened. All on their own, they held hands. Jay and I heard Carson say "Oh Griffin, that is nice". We looked back and this is what they were doing. They are brothers and love one another very much.

We hope you had a nice weekend!

Love you - Em

Birthday Party Recap!

We had Carson's bday parties last weekend. We decided to break up the parties since Carson is sensitive to noise and crowds. Although, it was only family, we thought we would try this to see if it helped him have a better time.

Unfortunately, we were still reeling from all the schedule interruptions from our vacation. On top of it, Jay's grandmother passed away. So, we were all still a bit stressed out.

Saturday's party was okay. Jay and I were pretty disappointed but Sunday's party was horrible so, it made Saturday's party not seem all that bad. Luckily, you can't tell he was unhappy by the pictures and I hope that Jay and I can forget the stress of having a very miserable bday boy in a few years.

Good news, he just had a GREAT weekend. It took almost two full weeks to get back on track. I am not sure if the vacation was worth it. Honestly, when he is a mess, we are all a mess.

So, lets just look at the pics as if he was as happy as he appears. I will try to keep a sense of humor as I recap.


As mentioned Carson chose a Batman themed birthday party. Below are some of the decorations. I had so much fun putting them up. When he walked in, he told me "It's Beautiful!". He loved it.

Carson and Nonna. This was the beginning. He was still pretty excited at this point.

We had to do presents first because he was very wound up and needed a distraction. The castle worked. Just as long as no one else wanted to touch or look at it. Not easy considering there were about five other kids there who also thought it was pretty cool. This started the slow and long spiral downward. Oh, and it also started lots of fighting among the kids.

All this drama going on - I might as well get a pic with my God Daughter Sophia. She might not ever want to come over again!

Audrey and new baby Gianna. Gianna was not phased by the commotion. Audrey might have needed a drink by the time she got home! I know that I could have used one but being pregnant... I am not allowed!

If you can't tell by the pic - Fin is being very cautious in his touching and looking at the castle. He knows he will get to play all he wants with it when Carson goes to school 4 hours a day. Carson obviously does not know this or he would have been pissed.

Amiee and Gianna. Again, pretend all the kids are not fighting and the house is not total chaos.

Our sweet Luca holding Gianna. See how babies can distract and calm everyone down. I highly suggest you try to make sure a new baby is at every event. They make people happy and allow for some nice pictures.

Sophia and Fin in the castle. I have NO idea where Carson is at this point. He might have been in my room trying to decompress.

Amen for the cake. That was a good 15 minutes and from the pic, Carson looks like he is actually happy to have all this attention.

Day one/Party one ended and I needed to regroup for the next day. My eternal optimism works in my favor during times like these. I actually thought that since Sat was not all that great that Sunday would be the day he would love. I was so wrong!

Start of party. Auntie Kristie, Blake and Fin. Kids love castles!

Brooke - to add to the drama of the day - this poor little girl must have fallen, bumped into things or got hurt like 5-6 times. I kid you not. By the time she went home, she looked like she had been in an UFC. She even took a tumble down the stairs. Yes, there were like 15 adults around. I don't really know how all this happened.

Carson and Mommy. You can see from his hands over his ears that he is not really feeling the party. My face just says - smile - pretend we are having a wonderful time. I will explain more later on this. Mini lesson is sensory processing - coming right up!

Little Fin - he just goes with the flow. He is actually having a wonderful time!

Group shot - Aunt Carol, Uncle Brian, Auntie Kristie, me, Granny, Carson, Andrea and Gigi. Again, doesn't Carson look comfortable?

Cousin Josh and Blake.

Hugs after opening gifts. A really nice moment in all the crazy!

Cake time - He is my child and if anything can make him happy, some sweets can. He loved the cake that Jay and I made.

Accident prone Brooke and Pa.

Eating cake. Thank God he is happy for like 10 minutes. I will treasure this pic as a good one from his Bday weekend.

Things you don't see in the pics.
  • Carson getting a bloody lip from a new toy.

  • Carson freaking out about bloody lip.

  • Blood on his arms, face, hands and my duvet.

  • Five adults trying to calm a very miserable boy while stopping the bleeding from his lip.

  • Me, laying down with him to calm him from the bloody lip.

  • Giving Carson a bath to distract him from the bloody lip.

  • Jay finally having to put a band-aid on the bloody lip to keep Carson from rubbing it.

  • The looks Jay and I gave one another all to the tone of "What the F$#%?" and "Are you kidding me?". Sometimes we can't believe what goes on around us!

  • Carson dragging all his new toys into my room to seprate himself from the party.


I hope you sensed my scrcasm above. I was truly not in the least bit angry. Yes, we get frustrated but know that he truly can't help it. This might be really hard for some to understand. These are the times that I know that to the average person, he just seems like a spoiled brat. Not wanting to share his toys, screaming, pushing, hitting. Those behaviors are unacceptable but part of this world of autism.

Not all kids that have sensory issues have autism but ALL kids with autism have sensory processing issues. The average person is able to filter out 90% of what is going on around them unconsciously. They don't even have to think about it. For kids like Carson that is just not possible. He literally can't filter out all the input. This makes him nervous and stressed out and his reaction to that stress is exactly what we got at the parties. Being off schedule had already made him irritable...then add... people, noise, commotion, smells and people touching him....well, that was it. He could not take it anymore.

The typical mind works to separate input but Carson's does not work that way. Everything comes at him at once. We have the ability to tune things out and concentrate on one thing. Even young children have this ability. For Carson, it is very offensive. This causes him the need to be in control of everything. So, people touching his toys, him or adding more commotion, makes him more irratable.

Imagine you are in a very small room, with blaring music, strong smells, flashing pictures everywhere you look, and hands invading your personal space. (Sounds like a rave!) That is what life feels like to Carson, ALL THE TIME. Amp that up to already being "off" and you have a very tough mix to handle.

Last Thursday I went to the Macomb Autism Society meeting. They had a seminar on Sensory Processing. It was wonderful. The speaker did a great job of explaining how the brain works. You see - he is not a spoiled brat - he literally can't filter. It is like being overwhelmed every moment of everyday. Talk about being stressed out! For some kids with autism, they will find coping mechanisms (Stims). Some will spin. Some will flap their hands. Some will make noises. Some will completely separate themselves from the world.

Good news is, that as Carson is getting older, he is learning to control this more and more. He goes to OT and PT to learn how to feel grounded in this world. We have things at home that we do to help him relax and calm down. IF you have been over lately, you might have noticed that he does not like to wear clothing..... he can't stand the way it feels on his skin.

Anyway, I just wanted to post some info on Sensory Processing to help explain some of the behaviors. As hard at they are to deal with at times, I know that when Carson exhibits them... he is so overwhelmed he can't deal with it anymore.


This past weekend I had two of my Macomber girlfriends and their families over. Carson was a champ. He was more regulated going into it (back on schedule and comfortable) so it was much more successful and he actually had a blast. He was social and he loved playing with the other kids.

Truly the bday party debacle is our fault. We should have not planned it for the first week back from vacation. Live and learn. Just because we have been doing this for three years, does not mean Jay and I still don't have a lot to learn.

Love you all - Em

Friday, March 20, 2009

Florida/Disney Trip - Part 2

Hi Again! Ready for part 2??? Well I left off at Wednesday morning when we were on the safari at Animal Kingdom. We went to the Magic Kingdom again from there. Here's a shot of the castle!

On Thursday, we started off at Epcot. We started a new tradition and let Carson start the Disney pin collection. Every park sells all these different pins and apparently you can go up to any of the cast members and trade pins with them if they have one that you want. Fun but was nice though because we got one free pin with our parking one day and another free pin with Carson's special gluten free dessert at out character lunch so we only bought two pins, the "necklace" to pin them on and a lanyard to hang from the bottom. It will be something fun to take with us in the upcoming years to continue his collection. Next time, we'll let Griffin start one.

Em and Fin on the Nemo ride at Epcot...

My sweet little Carson....doesn't he look like an angel?

More Epcot shots...

After Epcot, we went to the Magic Kingdom again for our third and final night....

Griffin enjoyed his ice cream and got really mad when I tried to steal some bites.

Looks a little sleepy.....

Time for Spectromagic!

Carson made it up for the whole parade but fell asleep before the Fireworks!

Griffin got a good seat for the Fireworks!

Friday morning, we headed back to North Port. We met Grandpa and Grandma K. at Venice Beach.

Saturday morning, we went boating. The boys took turns driving.

Faster! Carson loved it....Griffin not so much!

Carson fell asleep on the boat.....a moment of relaxing....

We had a great time and made a lot of memories with our boys! Can't wait to do it again....not sure how soon was exhausting....not sure how we'll do with 3!!! Yikes!