Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kindergarten Visit - Pics

Here are some pics of the wonderful afternoon at Carson's kindergarten. Again, we did this to help familiarize him with what next year will be like and so that he could check out the room and halls. We will also be going throughout the summer to help make him as comfortable as possible with this new and exciting transition.
If this day was what we can expect next fall, I will have to say that he is going to be very happy there!
Happily sitting in circle time reviewing the date, day and weather. Not once did he budge or get antsy. He loved it.

Sitting with the other boys. These kids could not have been more friendly and welcoming to Carson. I wanted to kiss them all for this. Carson felt very special and I could tell by his expressions that he loved all the attention.

Snack time. That is Miss Nicole. Carson's aide. She will not be going to kindergarten with him next year but it was great that she joined us to see Carson experience kindergarten this day. This is where Carson learned that Spiderman is more popular with the older boys.

Two little girls read a story to the class. Carson was very interested and had to move up to the front to get a better look.

VERY interested in the reading. Even though he got up and went up there, he was listening really well. He truly just wanted a better look.
Snack time. He does not look all that happy but I was really distracting him by trying to get a picture. He was much more interested in the older boys and the talk of Spiderman.

If you had asked me prior to going, how I thought this would go - I would have told you I was not really looking forward to it. Carson proved me wrong and I feel so bad for doubting him. He did better than I ever could have imagined. Seeing him with his peers and wanting so badly to be accepted and fit in, was beautiful. I could tell that he worked VERY hard to keep it all together for those two hours. I am very proud of him!

Friday, May 29, 2009

New York, New York

To say we had a nice time is a total understatement. We had a WONDERFUL time!

Our trip started early. Amiee picked me up at 345am. Our flight left at 0610 but got us into NYC by 0745. We called Tom and Niki when we arrived and I am sure we woke them up. Tom and Niki were very generous and sent a nice car to pick us up at the airport. We had a great driver who was happy to fill us in on all the sights as we headed to Tom and Niki's.

Tommy and Niki live in Greenwich Village. We arrived and shortly after started walking their neighborhood and went to breakfast. The weather was perfect and it was great to just relax and visit while taking in the beautiful sites.

Niki and Tommy after breakfast.

Tommy, Amiee and I.

Amiee, Tom and I. Again, after breakfast.

After breakfast we did some window shopping and found some wonderful children shops to check out. They were not open yet so, we decided to head back to Tom and Niki's to check out the roof top and see the city.

Amazing view! This shot is from Tom and Niki's rooftop. You can see the Empire State Building on one side and the Hudson on another. You can also see the Statue of Liberty as well. This view would have sold me too!

The rooftop has really nice chairs to relax on. We decided to take a nap!

Napping. I eventually moved back down to their apartment as the wood chairs were not good for my back. You can see my growing belly here too! Hello Little Girl!

After our nap we checked out the kids shops and headed to the city for our bus tour. I got a darling little pink outfit for the baby girl.

The flatiron building. Very cool building. I loved the bus tour as it was so relaxing to sit in the sun and have a nice tour of the city.

Empire State Building. Almost makes me dizzy at this angle.

Ground Zero tribute. Very moving and a bit surreal. To be where it all occurred is so very sad.

Construction of the new World Trade Center buildings.

We decided to take a break for some lunch. We went to a little restaurant and ordered lightly because we were planning on eating out that night. Funny story - we got two Cesar salads and two orders of chicken fingers - the bill was $100.00. Even Tommy was blown away. It was the most expensive meal of our trip.

You know who this is! Just beautiful!

Can you see the beautiful lady in the background?

We headed back to Tommy and Nikis after this. We were all exhausted. Keep in mind, I had been up (except for a very short nap) since 3 am. We were suppose to go out to dinner but we were all too tired. We ordered in and also rented Bride Wars. Tommy loved it ;) I thought it was perfect. We laughed and told stories. Max was happy too as he got to have us home for the night!

Tommy and Amiee are huge Seinfield fans. So, we had to go here for breakfast/lunch on Sunday. The food was really good.

Strawberry Fields in Central Park.

One view from Central Park. Lovely!

This is a building you can see from Central Park. I can't remember the name of it but it is where the movie Ghost Busters was filmed.

Central Park. We found a park bench and just enjoyed the beauty of it all. I loved Central Park!

Another amazing view in Central Park.

St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Heading to Times Square!

We got back to Tommy and Niki's around 5. Again, we all passed out and had a nice nap for a few hours. About 9pm we headed to Little Italy for dinner.

This pic is for my mom. La Nonna!

Dinner in Little Italy. We ate outside and people watched. It was just beautiful. They had the street blocked off and everyone was eating outside and walking around. It was also fleet week and we got to see so many of our country's service men and woman.

The food was amazing. We had a great dinner and then walked around Little Italy. Once we walked off some of our dinner we found an adorable little place and had desert. It was perfect. The best part was reminiscing, telling family stories and just visiting with Tommy and Niki.

Tommy doing an impersonation of my dad. They look so much alike at times it is scary.

So, as you can see, we had a great time. We were really only in NY for 48 hours. I think we saw a ton for such a short time. I can't wait to go back and see it all again. I have to say my favorite part was Central Park. I did not realize how beautiful it was. I could spend a whole day there next time.

Some of my other favorite memories were -

  • Riding the subway for the first time. I could not believe they were pretty clean. They also made me very nervous of how fast they come and go.
  • Max. He loves company and will try to get your underwear if you let him.
  • The two older men in Central Park. There were tons of people in the park but there were two older men wearing head phones and wearing in line skates. They were doing dances to the music only we could not hear the music. It was truly an experience to witness.
  • The other man in Central Park that was wearing no shirt but a rain jacket with a belt and glove. His talent was bouncing a ball. Truly hilarious.
  • Really, I loved NYC because of the tolerance there. Nobody cares or is phased by anything. I really liked that. The men in the park are free to do their thing and not be ridiculed for it. It was really beautiful to see everyone so free to choose their own lifestyle and be accepted.
  • I was very surprised at how friendly everyone was. Really, I did not meet one rude person at all.
  • I loved the waitress at Tom's Restaurant whose accent was so thick we did not understand what kind of salad dressings they offered but did not question it. We all just said "okay!".
  • Stories about Simon - I will leave it at that.
  • Amiee and I enjoying some time away. I think we almost enjoyed it so much we might have discouraged Tommy and Niki from having kids.
  • Reading magazines on the plane. HEAVEN!
  • The best - calling home and knowing I was missed. It was great to get away but I missed my guys!

How the boys did - GREAT! The first morning Jay went in to get Fin and he asked for me (remember - he does not like Jay very much). Jay told him that I went to see Uncle Tommy. Fin said - let's go find her. After that Fin was find and did not cry for me once. I am happy to say that he and Jay got along great and really got closer since I was away. Jay was thrilled that when he laid him down for bed each night, Fin said - I love you and that he was his best friend.

Carson on the other hand cried each time I talked to him. While talking to him and his crying, he would remind me that he also cried the last time I spoke to him as well. He did this until I came home. It is strange, I did not think he would be like that. It is good to know that although he is older and more independent that Fin, he still needs me and wants me home.

Thank you Tommy and Niki for a great trip. I miss you already and can't wait to see you again soon. I love you both very much!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Wish

Hi Everyone!

After a rough couple of weeks, these last couple of days are going pretty well. Carson saw a new doctor on Wednesday and he has new ideas. We started a new Rx on Thursday that is supposed help him with his frustration. It seems to helping so far. We've had a really good couple of days. Yesterday, Emily and Ms. Nicole took Carson to visit the kindergarten classroom that he will attend next year. This was suggested at our IEP meeting and we thought it was a great idea. The resource room teacher accompanied them. Emily said that he LOVED it. Some of the boys asked him to sit with them and he participated in their circle time, snack etc.

Some funnies:

He took his Buzz Lightyear lunchbox. I guess most of the boys had Spiderman stuff. He said to them "Do you like Buzz Lightyear?" They said no and he said "Oh." Maybe it was a note to self...I better get Spiderman before I come here next year.

They were practicing spelling words. The teacher asked "How do you spell bean?" Carson looked at the resource room teacher and said with his gasp "I don't know how to spell bean." The teacher said it was okay and that most kids in first grade cannot spell bean.

I guess he followed up every kid's answer with a "That's right!"

At one point, Emily said that he kicked his leg and said "This is awesome!"

At another point, he said to the resource room teacher "I can't go to kindergarten. It's too scary!"

Emily said that he couldn't have been better. Boy, did we need a day like yesterday after the past couple of weeks. It seems like he is going to love it. The resource room teacher thought so too. I am so happy.

On another many of you know we love Rascall Flatts and listen to them all the time, mostly "Life is a Highway" or the Lightning McQueen song as Griffin says. While driving to therapy on Thursday, Carson said "Daddy, I want my wish song. It's your wish too!" I put it on and he started singing along. If you don't know the song, I will put the lyrics below but it was very ironic that he said this because we do have the same wish......

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big

I listened to the song again on my way to work yesterday and reflected on what he said to me. I can't believe how far he has come. I think our wish will come true. Although we've had some really bad days, I have to stay focused on the positive and be grateful to God for answering our may not be as quickly as we want but it is happening before our eyes.

I hope all of your wishes come true! Have a great weekend! - Jay

Friday, May 22, 2009

13 words

I have written before that it was a speech delay that first prompted Jay and I to start investigating what was going on with Carson. At two years old, he had VERY little language and no desire to use what he did have.

Since Carson is my first child I have a very different idea of what "normal" or "typical" sounds like. Yes, every child develops in their own time, blah, blah, blah... We all know that the books tell us that and so do our doctors but eventually, they have to speak and if they don't (like Carson) well, then, let the adventure begin.

Fast forward five years and we are now parents to Fin. Just a reminder that Fin is 25 months old.

You see, the thing is... he freaks me out. Just this morning while getting ready to go with Pa to their house for a visit he said to me (regarding Carson's Buzz Lightyear video game) :

But I want to take it with me to Granny and Pa's house.



You are two years old. What the heck with 13 word sentences! He truly can freak me out sometimes.

Just last weekend, Jay and I took both boys to Carson's therapy center for a meeting about HBOT. The boys got to play in the gym area (with supervision by the therapists and Ms. Nicole). When I heard things not going very well, I went in there to check it out. While I was there, one of the therapist was working with a young boy. He was taking a break and she started to chat with me.

I found out that this person is a speech and language specialist.

Our conversation.

Lady - How old is he?
Me - He just turned two in April.
Lady - My gosh, he has so much language. He was speaking in 5 and 6 word sentences.
Me - Yeah, I know. From what I understand, he is totally not typical.
Lady - What did you do different with him?
Me - Well, all I know is how I speak to Carson and give tons of choices and basically do all I can to get him to talk. That is all I know so, I do the same with Fin.
Lady- He is like a speech professionals dream!
Me - Yes, God is overcompensating with him so that I don't spend more time worrying. He has been speaking since he was very young.
Lady - Did you vaccinate him?
Me - He has not had any vaccinations since he was three months old. He has only had very few
Lady - wow! Do you ever plan on vaccinating him further?
Me - eventually but possibly not all of them.

(Very interesting to me that a speech and language professional was interested in the vaccination subject! I just have to say that their are numerous professionals out there that work with our kids that see what we do too.)

Anyway, I guess what I am saying is - this is so much freaking fun! Everyday, I can't get over how much we are able to talk to one another and how much we are able to understand one another. I almost feel like we have this crazy, special ESP thing going on but the truth is... he will talk with anyone. Now, not every time he opens his mouth is it 13 word sentences but he says things that blow me away.

Examples -
This week I took him to the after hours clinic to have his ears checked. He seemed okay but after a week of boogers I figured I should check on his ears. While in the waiting room I was trying to keep him entertained. I noticed some flowers on the counter and picked Fin up and said "look at these beautiful flowers!" He said -

Look beautiful Tulips!

What the heck? Where in the world did he learn what Tulips look like?
Aunt Carol watched Fin this week and while on a walk she told me about the following conversation.

Fin - cough, cough, cough,
Aunt Carol - Oh Fin, that is a terrible little cough you have.
Fin - No, it is a terrible BIG cough.

I could write of numerous stories of his language. How he even knows some things... I have no idea!

With all this language has come some really hilarious sassy talk. He will tell me I am not being nice. He will tell me that he IS going to do something. I know most two year olds are testing but I have the sassy talk to go along with all his testing. It really is funny but I know it wont be funny for long so, I am trying to nip it. He actually went to time out this week for the first time. The reason was because the rabid lion finally got Carson. Yes, he bit him!

There was a part of me that was sort of scared at first of all this language. I did not want to feel sad for all we lost out on with Carson. I think because Carson's language is improving so much it does not hurt as much as I thought it would. Don't get me wrong - Autism has robbed us of so much with Carson but I also know I have to and deserve to enjoy all this amazing development with Fin.

I am loving this phase with Fin and am enjoying his personality so much. "Typical" is simply amazing!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

NYC can't some soon enough!

Twice today my darling son Carson told me to "calm down".

Once was while we were visiting with his friend Lila Marie (in front of her family no less) and the other was while he was home begging for cookies for dinner.

Both times I wanted to laugh and scream all at the same time.

Either he is on to me and knows that I am really wound up and totally need a break or he likes to watch smoke come out of my ears.

Actually, it could be both.

I am convinced my kids are only happy when I am about five minutes away from loosing my shit.

NYC - you can't some soon enough! I simply will not know what to do without feeling constant anxiety.

Have a great night! Em

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My sweet, angelic children!

This morning Fin and Carson started their regular fight over some action figure that nobody wants until the other one is playing with it. After my intervention of insisting on taking turns (Did not work. They don't like to take turns. Taking turns is dumb!), I took it away. The following occurred:

Carson threw himself on the ottoman out of frustration.

Fin threw himself on Carson. (Yeah, this was not nice)

Carson tried to kick Fin off of him while screaming.(Not nice either. Good thing Carson is not super coordinated or it might have worked.)

Fin fell backwards (Not due to Carson, just two year old balance).

Fin screams harder as he falls into another toy.

Carson gets up and is over it.

Fin proceeds to get up and while making sounds that resemble a rabid lion, he chases Carson with his mouth open trying to bite him.

Good times over here! How was your morning?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Life over here!

I have posted a bit on the big news around here but thought I would update you on some of the other news.

  • Jay and I are highly exciting people and live very interesting lives. He was asleep last night by 815 and since I am the wild one of the house I held out until 9pm.

  • Somehow Jay has managed to injure his back and has been in pain for over two weeks. He has been seeing our chiro and massage therapist to help. So far, it is not much better. If I have to drag him myself, should his back not be better by this week, he will be seeing an MD. (Yes, I am a HUGE proponent of alternative medicine but I also know that conventional medicine has it's time and after two weeks, I feel that time is now.)

  • My morning sickness is a bit better. I am not vomiting everyday. The allergies are acting up and the drainage makes me gag in the AM. Aren't you glad you know that?

  • Since the morning sickness is improving I am now totally exhausted. I literally could fall asleep doing just about anything. I get hit with a big bout of exhaustion around 3 each day. This should get better soon as I am far enough along now that I should be getting some energy back.

  • The neighborhood loves our house. Granny and Pa got the boys a trampoline for their bday's. We have at least 5-7 kids over most days. Carson is loving having "friends" and this is great for his social development.

  • We have an amazing new friend and helper named Miss Nicole. If you have read our blog for a while now, I mentioned a few months ago that Carson was grated a waiver from the State of Michigan. This waiver helps with his OT, PT, Speech. They also provide support for school meetings, IEP's, and Community Living Skills. I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful this program is. I would like to dedicate a whole post to Miss Nicole (with her permission of course) but just had to mention this new and wonderful addition to our life.

          • Carson will be having a very busy summer. He will continue with is regular OT twice a week but we will be adding speech 2x's a week as well. He will also be going to a great camp called Sensational Kids. It is a six week camp, two times per week for 1.50 hours. Carson will also be completing two rounds of three week intensive therapy (4 hours per day) at Crawl, Walk, Jump, Run. This therapy will take place once at the beginning of summer and then once again at the end of summer. We are also working on music therapy and horseback riding. He will be a very busy guy but we are doing all we can to help him prepare for kindergarten. Along with all this, we will be working here at home (Miss Nicole is a huge help with this) on his fine motor skills, socialization and daily living skills.

          • Carson totally understands that the baby in my belly is a girl. He has yet to recommend any names but I am happy that he is understanding all of this and so far, happy. I think he will really enjoy the baby as he is very interested in pregnant women and babies.

          • I do not think Griffin is thrilled at all about the new baby, nor do I think he will be happy when she arrives. I don't truly know how much he understands but he does not like it if I pay attention to anyone or anything other than him so, it does not look great right now. Today, he was mad that I was sitting in a chair with Carson. If Jay even tries to touch me Fin he will tell him "go away", "this is mine (me)", "NO Daddy". He was angry that Jay was going with us to Luca's birthday party this week. He did not want him to go and told us so. I am hoping this is just a phase but Carson never did this and I have no idea what to expect. He is like a very jealous high school boyfriend.

          • In one week, I am off to NYC. Yes, I can't wait. Good news is that I will be home on Monday early enough to attend the Facciolla picnic with the guys.

          • Sometimes Carson's language reminds me of my Nonno. One of Carson's newest responses to a question is - "very much good". Such as- " Carson how are your fries?" - "very much good". Too cute. Fin also reminds me of my Nonno when he asks for "choco milk". He says it just like my Nonno.

          Thanks for check in. We love you all - Em

          Friday, May 15, 2009

          Dreaming in Pink!

          Yesterday was a very exciting day.

          Jay met me at the hospital for an ultrasound. It was not my regular 18-20 ultrasound. Since I have had two tough pregnancies in the past, they wanted to get an idea of size for this little one. All is fine. My doctors take really good care of me and since I have had gestational diabetes and pre-ecclapsia in the past, they are treating me very closely to be sure that the baby and I stay healthy.

          So, when we met with the tech, I told her, if you get a look.... please let us know. If not, that was okay too as the health of the baby was and is our number one concern!

          About half way though, she got a good look and truthfully, I could tell before she told us. I have had a ton of ultrasounds in the past (due to the above issues). I know exactly what a penis looks like on the monitor and could not find one on this baby!

          When the tech did finally say - "I think mom is right," I started bawling. It just hit me like a ton of bricks. Really, I went in with no expectation or preference but hearing that I am going to have a daughter - it takes my breath away.

          I guess having two boys and knowing that this is my last pregnancy (Oh, yes, Jay - it really is!), for some reason, I just figured that I would never had a daughter. Now I do and I can't tell you how exciting that is!!!

          Thank you to all of you that have already called or emailed. We are very excited!

          I ran to Target today and while I was there, I just had to look at the clearance racks for some sweet girly things. I bought my daughter something for the first time today. I got her some sweet pink jammies with little blue birds on it. If you know me well, you know that it was just about the most perfect thing I could buy.

          Love you all and thanks for checking in - Em

          Monday, May 11, 2009

          Just don't call me Miranda!

          Before Jay and I got married, I lived with my brother for a few months. Well, it ended up being almost a year but we had not planned it that way. I have so many wonderful memories of that time and it truly brought us closer together.

          At that time, he was single and I was engaged to Jay. I lived in the second bedroom of his brand new beautiful condo. I have so many stories I could tell of that time together. We partied together, hung out, and I would cook food. Truly, it was a great time.

          I remember back then, when he was single he was telling me that he was so sick of the show Sex and the City. The show was at its height of popularity and all the girls he would meet were fans. This drove him nuts because they would have to tell him which character they were on the show. I guess the girls thought they were being very cute. Anyway, this was a total turn off to him and something that he would laugh about to me.

          Fast forward almost 8 years and guess what - my brother and his beautiful new wife, live in NYC. They just moved there back in January and although it has been an adjustment they sound like they are having a great time.

          I got my Mother's Day gift a few weeks early this year. Jay surprised me with a trip to see my brother this coming Memorial Day weekend. Ron also surprised my sister. So, in less than two weeks, my sister and I are heading to the big city. I have never been and am very excited.

          We will have about 48 hours of non-children (and husband) related time. I feel guilty that the idea of that sounds wonderful. I know that Jay and the boys will have a blast and I will be home in time to visit on Monday. This time away is very much needed for me.

          I am not sure what the plans are while we are there and I really don't have any preferences. I can't wait to see Tommy and Niki (Max too). I can't wait to see their new place and check out where they go. I doubt we will have much time for any of the real touristy locations but we will see. I doubt we will be going on the Sex and the City tour. That might be something I will have to try to do another trip.

          On that note, I can't figure out what character best describes me. I am totally not Samantha. Charlotte does not really fit either. Carrie is a pretty good fit but not totally. Just don't call me Miranda. She drove me nuts on that show.

          I am probably a mix of them all.

          Oh, and I would have never used that line had I been single during the shows heyday. We will see though. The city just might do something to me! One thing is for sure though, I will not be having Sex and the City. I will just be having the City.

          Sunday, May 10, 2009

          Counting Blessings!

          I'm taking this Mother's Day to count my blessings.

          This past March on Carson's birthday, my mom became an official Breast Cancer survivor....WOW...5 years have passed so quickly. I'm so thankful that she caught it so early and that she is a survivor. I can't even begin to imagine her not being here today to be a part of our lives. My boys love her so much and she does so much for all of us and everyone around her. She gives herself so unselfishly and never expects anything in return. She is patient, kind and loving and brings such joy to the lives that she touches. I couldn't ask for a better mom. She is always picking up things here and there, pajamas, jeans, a trampoline (just a little something, haha,) a rope swing, weighted belts, etc.....basically anything that can help our little Carson get better. She reads books about Autism and is so involved in helping our little boy get better. This is one of things that I love most about her. She inherited so many of my Grandma Bolone's qualities. For those of you who know me well know how much I loved my Grandma. She was the closest thing to an angel walking the Earth. I can't believe she's been gone almost 10 years. I wish so much that she was here so that my boys had a chance to get to know her. I miss her everyday but still feel her presence so strongly in my life.

          I'm also thankful for my mother-in-law. She loves our boys so much and they love her too. She is a very involved Nonna and we are blessed to have her in our lives. She too, is constantly picking up little gifts for the boys and they always love their "surprises!" She is also very involved in getting Carson better, whether it is learning what he does at therapy so that she can help reinforce it or as simple as reading a book or watching a special to learn more about what is going on. In my mind, this type of stuff is just normal but that is because both Emily and I have been blessed with type of stuff our whole life. I'm not clueless to the fact this, in fact, is not "the norm." Neither of our moms are ordinary; they are extraordinary.

          Beyond our own mothers, we are so blessed with all of the other special mothers in our lives. Both of our sisters are great examples of what mothers should be. They too, love our boys unconditionally. Our boys are blessed to have each of them as one of their godmothers. My godmother, Aunt Carol is also a special blessing to us. Her heart is so full of love. She too gives of herself unselfishly. She loves our boys so much and they love her too! She is always picking up special food for Carson and it is so thoughtful. Carson has been asking everyday that it is sunny out to go swimming at Aunt Carol's. He doesn't get that it is not warm enough just yet. My Aunt Denise helps us out a lot too...just watching the boys once in a while for Em to run an errand or two. It's a great help! We are also blessed with a tremendous amount of support from some great moms in Em's family....Aunt Cindy, Aunt Donna, and Aunt Mary...just to name a few. All of Emily's aunts and cousins are great moms and a great support system for us.

          The boys also love their Grandma Linda and Great Grandma Ellie in Florida. We don't see them as often as we'd like but the boys love their time with them when they get it.

          I've mentioned a lot of great moms today but one in particular that I want to acknowledge today is my beautiful wife Emily. She amazes everyday with her patience for our boys (and me sometimes.) She is one of the hardest working women I know. Although she no longer works out of the home, her new full time job is much harder than anyone can imagine. Her day starts at the crack of dawn, usually not after a night of restful sleep (remember we have Carson) and goes until bedtime. She is constantly running the boys to doctor appointments and therapies and to top it off is now dealing with a new little baby growing in her belly making her nauseous daily. She is a real trooper. She always remains positive and happy and I respect her so much for that because I know the pain that she feels deep down and the stress and worry that she has about getting our little man better. Our family would not be able to function without her. She is a true blessing to everyone that knows her. I often wonder how I got so lucky. My boys have the best mom! We are so blessed and I love her more that words can say!

          Happy Mother's Day to all!

          Love - Jay

          Thursday, May 7, 2009

          Bluey Blues

          If you have not caught on by now, I tend to not write much when we are going through a rough patch. With all the drama in the world I figure the last thing anyone needs is to come here and listen to me rant and rave. I certainly don't want to make anyone more depressed.

          This is a funny neurological disorder. It is tricky and sneaky and just when you think... wow... things are looking up.... you end up two steps backwards, deflated and running out of patience.

          So, since Easter, we have been dealing with a few things. Carson is much more intense than usual and let me tell you, autism makes our kids pretty damn intense to being with. So, this additional stress is just about kicking his and our butt!

          With this intensity we have also found a ton of new emotions to deal with. Yes, a huge blessing! (A year ago, Carson was fairly indifferent.) But these emotions can be challenging when they all seem to come at once.

          Carson seems to be realizing appropriate and inappropriate behavior more and more. The bad news is, his low impulse control tends to have him act inappropriately before his conscious can catch up and stop him. So, when he is told that he made a "bad choice" we now have hysterical crying and negative self talk. Not fun!

          There have been a few times these past few weeks that I have been laying down with him in bed and he will just start crying and saying things like - "nobody is my friend", "nobody wants to play with me", "I am a bad boy", "I hurt... whoever he might have had a run in with that day".

          This kills me. Watching my kid cry and be upset, like any mom, kills me. I am not sure where it is all coming from. We certainly don't tell him he is bad or anything negative about him personally. We always focus on the behavior and the choice. I know the same things are practiced at school and at his various therapies.

          To add to it, we are back to a crappy sleep schedule. He does now fall back to sleep but wakes up at a minimum 5 times per night. I know this since, I sleep with him and in turn am up also at least 5 times per night. He seems tired and cranky during the day and I have no doubt that this interrupted sleep pattern is affecting his mood and behavior.

          I also have to admit that I think he is picking up on our (Jay and my) stress. These past few weeks have been crazy. I wont go into my run in with the school psychologist but for those that know the story, know that I cried for almost two whole days. We have both also had personal stress to add, not to mention the lack of job security for Jay.

          Good times here at our house!!! Come on over!!! I am convinced, it is the least relaxing place to be!!

          I hope you sense my sarcasm. I know that with all this we are still tremendously blessed. I know that millions would trade with us in a heartbeat. I do get all that.

          It is just there are times that I still get furious. I still wonder what life would be like to be a "normal" family. What it would be like to just hang out with my kids all day instead of spending all our time at therapies and doctor appointments. I wonder what it feels like to go to kindergarten registration and not have to meet 5 different people who will be working with our kid. Only to know that, hey, mainstream just might not work out. Hell, I wonder what it would be like to go out to eat and my kid can eat whatever he wants.

          I am sorry if all that sounds selfish but I am just being honest. Now, you know why I have avoided posting. Aren't you glad you stopped by?

          Yes, I focus on the good. Yes, we do all of this because we want to and the diet and therapies are elective. We know they work.

          I just wish after three years, this still did not hurt so much. I wonder if there will ever be a day where I feel like I can just breath again. I feel like we have been running a marathon for three years and I can see the finish line but...we....just.... can't.... seem.... to...reach.. it!