Thursday, February 28, 2008

a portion of Larry King last night

Quick Updates

Haven't blogged for a few days. Things have been hectic. I was so tired come monday evening that Brian and I fell asleep at 8pm! It was so nice to get a full nights sleep!
Tuesday was a LOOOONG day. Ben had a meltdown as we were getting in the van after dropping Jace off at school. He screamed the whole way home and then for 30 minutes here at home. His therapy team showed up in the middle of it and for the first time ever they witnessed what we had tried to describe to them. They were shocked and couldn't believe that this was "sweet little Ben". They agreed FINALLY with what I had been trying to tell them this whole time. The approach they were using simply wasn't what was needed. Ben has a HUGE vocabulary and is really great with rote memorization and labeling and such; but when it comes to every day communication of wants, needs, and such he just doesn't have it. So they are going to be starting PECS with him today. I'm super happy about this and really hoping that this is the avenue that will lead to daily communication!
Now for more news. We haven't said anything until we knew for sure but now that we have all the answers that we will get for now i'll go ahead and update. Ariana had an evaluation over the last 2 weeks. She is having the same developmental delays like Ben had so her doctor wanted an early evaluation. She is only saying dada, baba, and just started saying mama. She isn't walking or any of those things. They also evaluated her for autism red flags, in light of Ben. She passed the autism assessment with flying colors, so that was a huge relief! (although I was 98% sure that she would as she is sooo social!) She is definately showing a delay in motor and speech so she will start getting therapy just like Ben did at her age. we have decided to not get her MMR shot though. When Ben got his is when many of the social issues for him magnified so we have decided to not risk it with Ariana.
In other news...Jace is doing well. He is now officially registered for kindergarten next year and he's super excited! He will be going to the same school as Emily! He's working hard on learning his letters and is enjoying school. He's still taking piano lessons, and starting to get the hang of it. Emily is also doing well. She's busy with school, and starting to get more homework. She is almost finished with all of the 2nd grade sight words at school and is reading on a 2nd-3rd grade level! Her teacher is very pleased! Emily is also still taking piano, and doing well. She is getting ready for her first piano recital in april!
Brian is good. Working. He likes his job and is getting projects and things now that are keeping him busy!
I'm here. Tired. Busy. same old same old. My spring break is coming up in 2 1/2 wks and I couldn't be more ready. My weight loss is going slowly but surely. I'm now down 85 lbs and at 170. I'm excited to be getting so close to my goal!

Monday, February 25, 2008

What a day

today was the big exam. i read through my notes a bit this morning but didn't really push it much. i just simply couldn't do anymore of it. the exam was strange. he worded the questions to the point that by the time i was finished and left the class i had no clue if i had passed or failed! he got them graded quickly and got them posted! i got an 81%!!! YEAH! the class average was 77.82 so i scored above that! thank heavens! not an A but at this point i'm beyond thrilled with a B! :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

this says it all

I've been reading poems and such and here are a few that I love.

Quiet doesn't always mean "shy"
A tantrum doesn't always mean "naughty"
Would you know if you saw it?

I. Blessed are those who stop and listen to my chatter. You may not understand me; but I love when people talk to me, for I long for companionship, too.
II. Blessed are those who take my hand and walk with me when the path is rough, for I easily stumble and grow weary. But thank you, too, for letting me walk alone when the path is smooth, for I must learn independence.

III. Blessed are those who take the time to tell me about special happenings, for unless you make special effort to inform me, I remain ignorant.

IV. Blessed are those who wait for me. I may be slow, but I appreciate your patience.

V. Blessed are those who are not ashamed to be seen in public with me, for I did not choose to be born thus. It could have been you as well.

VI. Blessed are those who do not pity me, for I don't want pity. All I want is understanding and respect for what I have learned as well.

VII. Blessed are those who notice my accomplishments, small as they may seem to you. I must work long and hard to learn many of the things you take for granted.

VIII. Blessed are those who include me in their games, even though I may not understand the rules, I still like to be included in your activities.

IX. Blessed are those who think of me as a person who loves, and hurts, and feels joy and pain just like you do, for in that respect I am normal.
Author Unknown

Just For Today
Just for today, little one,
I'm going to forget that you're autistic
And remember that you're a child.
For this brief shining time,
I will only see the beauty of you and your world.

I will marvel at the spun gold of your hair in the sunlight.
How can anything be so impossibly brilliant?
I will see the blue-green of your infinite eyes
And not worry if they focus on me.
I will admire your concentration
And not mind that it isn't directed in the usual way.

Your smile and laugh will bring me joy.
It won't matter what caused them,
they are marvels unto themselves.
Through your eyes I will delve into the unseen,
Looking at the world with that perspective unique to you.

I will see your lines of leaves and stones
And share your happiness at their precision.
I will close my own eyes
And let the textures you explore overwhelm my senses.
Spinning in circles with you,
I will let go until all is lost but the dizzy.

Just for today,
I will close my books and ignore the research,
the worry, the 'shoulds' and the shadowy future.
You are my baby, my son, my love.
Today, we play.
Written by Delia Thompson

And Then God Created This Mother….
When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into his sixth day of 'overtime' when an angel appeared and said,"You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And the Lord said "Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic, have 180 moveable parts – all replaceable, run on black coffee and leftovers, have a lap that disappears when she stands up, a kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair and six pairs of hands, ears that will hear things she doesn't want to hear, a mouth that can gently kiss away scrapes and bruises and yet tear the hide right off of those who try anything against the best interests of her child.

Yes, this model will have to be able to sit patiently and listen to outlandish reports about her child without flinching. She will have to hear how hopeless it all is and know that it isn't so. She will have to have those kinds of eyes which don't tear when she hears other mothers talk about how well things are going for their children."

The angel shook its head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands, yet? No way." "It's not the hands that are causing the problems," said the Lord. "It's the three pairs of eyes this mother has to have." "That's on the standard model"? asked the angel.

The Lord nodded and said, "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, "What are you kids doing in there?" when she already knows. Another pair here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know and, of course, the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up for the 99th time and say, "I understand and I love you anyway" without so much as uttering a word.

"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve gently, "come to bed. Tomorrow…" "I can't, answered the Lord, "I am so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick, feeds a family of six on one pound of hamburger and gets her nine-year-old to stand under a shower." The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," it sighed.

"But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure." "Can it think?" asked the angel. "Not only can it think," said the Creator, "it can reason and compromise."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran a finger across the cheek. "There is a leak," it pronounced. "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model." "That's not a leak, said the Lord, "it's a tear." "What's it for?" asked the angel.

"Tears are for joy, saidness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride… this model will know a lot about all that" answered the Lord, "But you know" He continued, "I don't even remember putting that tear there." "By the way", asked the angel, "what will you call this model?"

"I will call this one simply, the mother of an autistic child."
Author Unknown

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I have spent the last 3 nights getting my study guide down. i finally finished it today after putting right over 14hrs into it. It is 13 single spaced typed pages. I have spent around 3 something hours being quizzed over it today. I don't think I'm any closer to remembering all of it than when I was when I started! :( I'm so nervous about this exam.

we had sun today. like lots of sun. it was still cold, but atleast we had sun. it's supposed to get above freezing tomorrow, barely (34) but if it does that would be so nice! We are supposed to get another big winter storm monday night though. i sooo hope not! i'm sick of this weather and the kids are sick of missing so much school.

other than that not much else going on around here. i'm taking a break for the rest of the night from studying and hoping to get to relax and watch some tv tonight!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Love - Hate Relationships

These seem to be an ongoing thing in my life lately. I love going to school, but I hate the pressure it puts on me and on my time in general. I hate being away from my kids 5 afternoons a week, but I love having some adult time. I'm struggling to keep up with my class work, and now I have a test next week that is worth 1/4 of my grade for the entire semester, I have no choice but to get an A. The study guide has over 200 questions on it and I have an entire 3 ring binder of typed slides, articles, and notes that I have to go through to get all the answers to the study guide. So yeah. I have no clue when the heck I'm going to get the time to do this.

I also have another love hate relationship going on right now that is a bit confusing and sometimes makes me feel like a bad mom. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Benjamin to death and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world but I HATE autism. It's not fun. It's worse than not fun. He has really been struggling lately and has been super clingy to me. He doesn't even want to take a tippy cup or food from anyone else. If someone else gives him something he will throw it and scream until I give it to him. He follows me around screaming mama mama mama over and over and saying nothing else until I pick him up and hold him. When we go in public he twirls in circles and walks around our table. He eats infrequently, sometimes nothing at all. He freaks out over nothing at all, and there is no way to stop it. He does this in public, he does this at home, I can't stop it. The stares from people are horrible. Sometimes I just want to scream at them, sometimes I want to explain to him why he is doing these things, sometimes I just want to "hole up" in our house and hope that that autism "magically disappears". I read the articles, I watch the news stories, I read the books, HELL I'm majoring in this in college. I begged and got into a graduate level autism semenar and even though I get no college credits for it I'm going for the info. I receive all the sad stares, I receive all the "look at her out of control kid, she's a horrible mom stares", I hear all the apologies, I hear all the reasons why autism MAY have occured, I hear all the solutions on how to MAYBE fix autism, I attend the therapy sessions 3 plus times a week, I speak to people on the phone daily, sometimes for hours to keep his schedule organized, I deal with the embarressment, the guilt, the EVERYTHING. Austism has become our life, our world, and sometimes it freaks me out. I look at Ben and I wonder what's going on in his little mind, when he curls up on me I just hold him and I just want to cry sometimes. I wish the world could see what i see when i look at ben. i wish people would think before they stare and whisper. i have ears, and so does ben. he doesn't understand everything but he is DAMN smart and I believe deep down that he will grow up noticing the stares and whispers too, my older 2 children are noticing when people do that to ben.
I guess what brought all of this on is my exhaustion and what happened on Big Brother the other night. People are riled up and mad about it, and don't get me wrong so am I. Put me at the freaking front of the line to kick his F%&^ A$$ BUT BUT BUT what i think sometimes that people don't get is that this sort of thing happens every day. AGAIN I will repeat what I said early, THIS IS MY LIFE. I hear comments like that, I get those looks, I deal with people like that all the time. I do everything in my power to not only protect Autism itself but to protect my son.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


well yesterday we still had all the snow and ice on the ground. i took the kids to daycare and got stuck and it took 3 people pushing and digging to get me out. it was so cold that my hands and ears were turning purple and red. When I got in my already warmed up car I literally almost threw up from the shock to the body with such a rapid temperature change. Ben is totally freaked out by this cold. The kids obviously didn't have school yesterday and today is only a 2 hr delay so far, which means the boys don't have school but emily will at 11. This morning it is a very toasty NEGATIVE 8 with a windchill of NEGATIVE 28. Just lovely. Brian has already headed out the door to work, and I'm not looking forward to having to go out today.

Benjamin has therapy today. He missed 2 days last week with us being out of town so I'm glad that he starts back up today. There are a few things that I'd really like to talk with them about.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What a trip

Wednesday. 5:30pm. We left Cedar Rapids and headed to Wichita. We didn't get in until almost 2am and Ben freaked out, ALOT. he didn't hardly sleep at all the whole drive.
Thursday. 7am. We woke up and I went out to breakfast with a friend. It was warm and sunny and there was no snow. It was nice, and different! We did valentine's shopping and ari's birthday shopping thursday afternoon and went over to brian's mom's house for dinner on thursday evening.
Friday. We had an appt at 10am and were a bit early so we went to a local car wash to get our beyond filthy van cleaned. It is one of those car washes where it pulls your vehicle in. Well it didn't work and pulled us off the track. A guy from the full service shop came out and had me roll down the window he steared the wheel trying to get us out. Next thing you know there is an explosion noise, and my tire exploded. (I JUST bought ALL 4 of these tires just 4 days before leaving for Wichita). He has Brian and I get out of the car and he drives the van out of the car wash. The damage wasn't nice. It exploded the tired, broke the trim on the wheel and the underside of the bumper, dented the side of the car, and shoved the entire front end of the an back into the body, making it super hard to open and close the drivers door. We demanded to speak to the owner and to have this taken care of. They refused and told us we were out of our league for asking. The shop manager got in Brian's face and told him that he was going to haul him out back and beat the plum shit out of him. I had enough and called the police. They replaced the tire and that was it. We filed an insurance claim and our insurance is going to sue them and make them pay! We missed our appointment by over 2 hrs. Go figure. Friday evening we had valentine's dinner with my parents and then Brian and I went out to a movie. we got to the theater early and fell asleep for 25 minutes waiting for our movie to start. mind you we fell asleep at 8:30pm. lol.
Saturday. We went to brian's dad and step moms for breakfast. Ari's party was at Jimmie's at 11:30. She had a great time! Her cakes looked absolutely amazing and her poodle skirt turned out soooo cute! I will post pictures soon! Then Ari got her first haircut! She looks so cute! i went shopping with a friend and then Brian and I went to a friends house for dinner.
Sunday. We got up and went out to breakfast with my parents and then got on the road. The trip was smooth until about 50 miles from home. We hit lots of snow and ice and it took us over 2 hrs to make it the last 45 miles. Then we got stuck in our driveway and had a heck of a time getting the van in the garage.
This morning the kids school is cancelled and we are still trying to figure out if brian has work or not. We also have no idea if he's even going to be able to get the van out of the driveway.

i will post pics soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


we are here! we got in at 1:30am technically this morning! We are excited to be here and to get the chance to see everyone.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Holy Cow! My little Ariana is already one! time flies! i will update more later with pictures!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ari's 1 yr checkup

Ariana had her 1 year check up today. She was 27inches long and 17lbs. She is in the 5th percentile for height and weight. since both of these numbers are even the doc said there is nothing to worry about and that she is just super petite. he said if her length was 50th and her weight only 5th then we'd worry but since they are both even he said no worries right now. we delayed her shots until we return from our trip, and will make our decision during this time about the MMR.

Same old same old

you'll never guess what's happening here...okay maybe you will...SNOW. it started snowing on my way out to school this afternoon and we got quite a bit. i'm so beyond tired of it. and it's cold, horribly cold.

i had a test today in my speech and hearing sciences class. i think i did pretty good, but it was alot harder than i expected.

i feel sort of sorry for someone. it's a situation that i'm totally not involved in but i am a human being and i have a heart and i can't help but feel sorry. i wish there was something that i could, but in the past i've already done so much to help, and nothing has changed.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

What a day

i was headed over to a friends house today to do some sewing and i was headed up a hill towards a bridge on snow and i heard an explosion and then could hardly stear to the side of the road. my rear drivers side tire literally exploded. my friend picked me up and brian called a tow truck. turns out i ended up needing 3 out of 4 new tires, so obviously we just splurged and bought all 4. so yep. pretty darned exciting and definately not in the budget.

the good news is i finished ari's skirt for the party and it looks super cute. i also set myself up a designated sewing area in the sunroom so i can sew whenver i want instead of having to use the dining room table! always a good thing!

we leave for wichita on thursday. i'm excited! it will be nice to see everyone and get to spend a little bit visiting!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

snow has stopped...for now

well the snow has stopped for now. over the next 10 days they are predicting 6 days of snow. :(
Brian did make it home yesterday but then got stuck and couldn't get into the driveway. So he started shoveling, then our shovel broke, so he started using the kids shovel. he finally gave up and came inside for lunch and to warm up. our sooo nice neighbor brought his snow blower over and did our driveway! finally brian was able to get in. here is a picture of brian's van stuck in the street at the end of our driveway.

we ended up with around 13 inches of snow yesterday taking our winter total so far to 47 inches of snow. and that's just since the end of november. not fun!
the snow plows were called off yesterday late morning after 5 or so had run off the road. they didn't get them back out till late last night. so school for the kids has again been cancelled today. i have school and will be leaving SUPER early as it will be very slow going. brian did make it into work this morning. he said the roads are snow packed but he did ok.

that's about all i know right now. we are just trying to stay warm and keep cabin fever away. the kids are bored..very bored!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pic 11:15am

Here is the newest picture of our back patio. The snow is still falling heavy and hard. my school has been cancelled and so has brian's work. he will be heading home in a few minutes! Full pictures can be seen on our photo blog. The link is the top link on the right side of this page!

Pic 8:30am

here is a picture of my back patio at 8:30 this morning. the snow is still coming down hard and fast and not expected to end for another 9 hrs. i will take more pictures as the day goes on!


we have 7 something inches of snow so far on our way to a possible 15 to 18 inches of snow. WHAT THE CRAP. I've just never seen such a thing. The kids school is obviously cancelled but mine is not. My school doesn't believe in cancelling and I'm really nervous about driving 30 miles each way in this kind of weather. I have a quiz today in one of my classes too. I'm just not sure what to think.

Monday, February 4, 2008

It's official...

i HATE snow and winter. i'm so sick of the constant snow. we got 8 something inches last night in 2 hrs time and now it's freezing rain with lightening and thunder. school for emily has been delayed 2 hrs so far and the boys are cancelled when that happens. of course i still have to drive all the way out to iowa city this afternoon for class no matter the weather. so yeah. i'm beyond sick of this weather and i'm horribly in need of spring.

last night we went to iowa city for a super bowl party held by brian's boss. when we left it was light flurries, halfway there it was so bad you could hardly see and we passed probably 15 cars run off the road. we got stuck on a hill and had to make 3 attempts to get up, and it took us almost 1 1/2 hrs to make a 40 minute drive. i made brian drive home! :) atleast on the drive home it had stopped snowing.

other than that not much going on here. just busy busy! we will be in wichita in 1 1/2 wks and i'm pretty excited for that!