Monday, March 31, 2008

A Little Paint, and A Little Frustration

This was our Easter weekend painting project. The room isn't completely put back together, and the ceiling still needs a new coat of white, but this was the first time (I'm ashamed to say) that we have painted the master bedroom in the almost 9 years that we have lived in this house. I should have taken before and after pics -- because this blue is like a whole new world for our bedroom. It's a very nice color -- and yes, those are penguins on the sheets -- we still have the flannels on because this is Michigan - remember :)
I just remembered this afternoon to take the bunny flag out of the front yard. Mary was like "Mom, it's not Easter anymore" ..I just had to laugh... so now there is no flag until I dig a different one out of the cabinet...but at least there's no more bunny flag in 15 inches of snow.
Well now for the frustration.....yep, Katie and school. It's stressing me out again. I got a call today that she was freaking out because they would not let her turn the lights off for rest time because one of the other students was still eating lunch. Apparently Katie is the one who always turns the lights off for rest time -- and today she was ready before everyone else. I guess it turned into craziness - she was tantruming and they had to restrain her because they were afraid she was going to get hurt. If it isn't one thing it seems to be another. For now, all I can do is pray -- and get my act together so that I can once again pursue that which is best for Katie. We did start the meds again last night. As far as I can tell that seems to be going fine..but only time will tell.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Little Improvement and A New Outlook on Life.

Well, Katie is definitely doing a little better. Her "regularity" is returning :) and she seems to be a little happier. She hasn't had her risperdal for almost a week now -- but Bill and I had a pretty poignant conversation about how this is difficult. Autism is difficult. We are going to put her back on the meds. She will have to take Miralax everyday to help combat the constipation, but she takes it with no problem and her pediatrician says it is one of the safest drugs out we are okay with it. It all goes back to the fact that we have to do all we can to help her, and some of these things aren't easy.

I have been very convicted lately that I'm not allowing the Lord to lead me where He wants me to go. I've been anxious, confused, depressed - mostly because I shut HIM out and do what Jill wants to do. Sometimes its "easier" to wander in self-pity than to look to HIM for guidance. This is a personal journey - but God has been using Katie in my life to lead me "back" to Him. I can't do this alone. Bill feels the same way. We have each other, but we need more than that. We need HIS direction, guidance, love.....Sometimes when you are a "mostly stay at home mom" (that is what I call myself b/c I really don't work all that much) get caught up in this isolation mode. What I need to remember is that I'm not isolated. I always have the Lord. He's always here. He's always guiding me --even if I'm not listening. And He loves Katie more than I do...He wants what is best for her, too. So, I'm listening. We're hoping to start the meds again tonight. I'll keep everyone posted.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Risperdal...??? Hmmmm...


Well, things aren't going very well with Katie's new meds. She is having all kinds of side effects. That is the problem with using meds to help with autism -- they often cause so many side effects that the results are worse than the original problem. Katie is having a huge appetite increase, greatly increased sensitivity to light, and terrible constipation. Lovely ;). Poor thing. It is so hard to help her. The Doctor's office has told us that this is basically "the price you have to pay" to have the meds help her -- the only trouble is we aren't doing very well finding the right dose to actually help her without having her be "stoned". The whole first week she was on the med she looked like she was just wasted out on drugs....and now with the reduced dose she just has a lot of side effects and not much improvement. It's very frustrating. I wish I knew other moms who had tried risperdal with their autistic children....the choices we have to make to help our kids can often be very difficult -- and when your kids have autism - it's even more difficult.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Snowy Easter..Who would have thought?

Easter is over...

Wow -- an early SNOWY Easter...who would have thought? Things have been crazy here. 15 inches of snow on Friday. We have been trying to re-regulate Katie's new meds. We have started her on Risperdal - we had to take her off of it last week - give her a few days to recoop and now we have started her on a quarter dose at night only. If things go well we will up her to dose to a half dose and will give it to her morning and night. She was so "zombied" out on the full dose that it made me cry. She was crying too -- I think she didn't know what was happening to her -- and we can live with that.

This week is going to be crazy, too... Soccer practices were supposed to start, but with 15 inches of snow on the ground they have been postponed for at least a week...
I'll keep everyone update on how Katie is doing on her meds...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Great Wolf Lodge...Continued.

More Great Wolf Lodge.....
The long and the short of it is that we had a great time. Katie (like last time) got really tired really early on the second day and was asleep by 5 pm. She didn't get up until 11 pm and then mommy was stuck staying up with her 'til she fell back asleep around 4 am. I am always really tired after two nights at GWL ...but it's worth it. The kids love it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Great Wolf Lodge...and Adventures in Driving...

Okay...Here it is, our second trip to Great Wolf Lodge. I need to first apologize to Tammy - whom I did not call while we were in T.C. - I do apologize. As you will read, it was quite the eventful trip and it seemed as though time got away from me... Please forgive me :)

We had dropped the dog at the kennel and were headed up to Traverse City for our mid-winter break vacation. We were about an hour into our trip after breakfast at Mc Donald's when Mary (who is riding in the third row of the van ) tells us that she needs to take a potty break because her tummy wasn't feeling well. Bill stops at a gas station -- Mary doesn't feel much better after taking a potty break - but we progress up the road. Keep in mind that she had a cinnamon melt and a sweet tea for breakfast (I know - but it was vacation) and that she has been so excited to go on this vacation ). She leans forward in her seat and begins to throw -up repeatedly. Bill says "Is she puking?" and I'm desperately searching for a bag or something - anything - to catch the puke in. Bill pulls off an on/off ramp. I clean up the puke -- we ask Mary if she wants to go home . "No..I'm fine." She's white as a sheet. Bill and I look at each other with the "should we turn around" look - but we keep going. Keep in mind that Bill's dad and his girlfriend were already on their way to meet us at GWL. Mary falls asleep and we keep on driving. We are about 15 minutes from GWL when the puking starts again. Unbelievable. Well, at the point we were literally past the point of no return, so we kept trecking up to the lodge. Once we got there and Mary got calmed down from all her excitement, she made a miraculous recovery. She saw "Pa Pa and Pat" and she was happy and fine. She was swimming and eating pizza - and you would have never known she was sick. It was CRAZY. Who throws up because of excitement????? I truly hope she can outgrow this...because Bill has an adversion to puke --- and unfortunately, because I am 'the MOM' - I end up cleaning it up. I'll post a few pics with this - and more tomorrow.....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Yummy Popsicles

I had meant to do this post before we left on vacation Sunday, but I ran out of time. Katie has been making huge strides over the past few months - we have seen this in so many areas..from her new use of sign language to her ability to say short phrases like "hi dada" when she feels led to do so. The other area we have seen huge growth in is in the area of eating. She has always been such a picky eater - and in my opinion was missing out on the finer things of life like ice cream, chocolate, etc. I am happy to say that Katie has now developed a taste for the yummy popsicles with ice cream in the center! Good job, Katie!!! We knew you could do it :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Did you know????

That Dr. Suess' birthday was earlier this week. Here is a picture of Katie in her "cat in the hat' hat that she made (with help) in her class.
Mary and I also went to the library to hear the Cat in the Hat sing and read Dr. Suess books. It was fun....but there were a ton of kids there. The library was probably in "exceeds maximum capacity" mode...but that's okay. Mary loved it. We didn't take Katie - she would not have been able to handle it. Too many people in too small of a space....not a good combo for her.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Well I think the flu bug is now gone....knock on wood. I am hopeful anyway. Seems like there is so much going on. I shouldn't be on the computer because you should see this house. :( We (or should I say "I") had Mary's conferences at school this afternoon - the girls had a half day. It went pretty well. Bill has been so busy at work -- and since he was out sick on Monday - I had solo duty for conferences. She is doing well in school - so no major concerns there. Katie is really doing well, too. She had speech and O.T. yesterday - she was pretty tired by the end of the day. It is awesome to see her using sign language and trying to make the verbal sounds, should be interesting to see how that develops. Well..I had better run and see what the kiddo's are up to. I hear Katie banging her swing sticks together and that's never a good sign...more later :)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Well, I'm up late. Everyone in the house is asleep except for me. That in and of itself is not really that unusual. We are all ALMOST healthy -- or at least getting there. It's been a long week and a half. I just can't sleep I thought I would try and do a little "blogging". There are a few things I wanted to write about.

1) Yes, I have started my book.
2) Yes, I have started reading again..
3) Yes, I have started scrapbooking again.
4) Yes, I am starting to get organized and it feels really good :)

I know, I'm mental - but it works for me. I have really been trying to get my life and our home organized. I haven't been working a lot since the first of the year because in retail there aren't a lot of hours to be had January through April -- so I'm taking advantage of it. I am trying to knock out little projects each day, like cleaning a closet or a drawer or two. I am working on the playroom in the basement right now - and that isn't a small project. Thanks to some naughty pets and a child with autism who got a little carried away with a crayon :) we are basically redoing the whole basement which we just finished about 18 months ago. It's basically just a lot of cleaning and throwing away bags of CRAP! Broken toys, Happy Meal toys, ripped books, all that kind of stuff. It sure does feel good to get it all out of there. Once it's cleaned up I am going to repaint it in a darker color. We have ripped out the carpet and are going to polyurethane the floor (so it looks like a "shop" floor) and then we will put some foam mats down in certain areas). It is a huge project, but it will be worth it when it's done.

Well, I guess I should call it a night. Katie has double duty therapy tomorrow (both speech and OT) so it will be a full day....

Monday, March 03, 2008

Well, stomach flu has been hitting our house over the past 8 days or so. 3 1/2 victims so far. This picture of Katie is when she was not quite fully recovered from it. She was the first victim. Autism and puking do not go very well together - but she was remarkably calm and focused which was more than i could have asked for. Mary and I were next -- but I am the 1/2 victim. I just felt queasy for about 48 hours ....but now Bill is suffering. His has been the worst by far. He's starting to do a little better, but yesterday was extremely rough. I feel for him....he's been drinking a lot of Vernors & Fresca and chowing on popsicles .....hopefully he will be considerably better tomorrow or he will probably have to see a doctor.
All is else is going pretty well. Just busy, busy as always. Hard to believe we are in March already. The school year will be over before we know it. It is still deep winter here in Michigan. We are expecting another 4-6 inches tomorrow -- I feel like winter will never end. Mary loves it -- but I am a little tired of driving in it -- and of all the messy snow pants, boots, etc. Sunshine, where are you?