Tuesday, December 28, 2010

12 Days until my baby girl is here!

Hayden really enjoyed shouting "Uno Moo!" with his uncles.  We all enjoyed the time with family this past week.  

All night Wednesday and into Thursday morning (the 23rd) I tried to sleep but was having pretty strong contractions.  I got up to time them at 2, but they were irregular, so I tried to sleep for another hour.  By 4 I could tell that they were every 4 or 5 minutes, so I called the OB on call and she said I should go to the hospital.  I felt a little silly, since I had an appointment with my OB in 4 hours at 9:30, but the doctor said it would be better to be at the hospital.  Uncle Jeff was at the house and stayed home with Hayden. 

I'm glad the doctor sent us, because by the time we got there and they got me hooked up to the machines, the contractions were getting stronger. By maybe 8:30 or 9 my pain level was 8 out of 10.  My OB came by on her rounds and said that she just transfered a 36 week baby to another hospital's NICU last week because s/he wasn't breathing well, and so she wanted to see if lots of fluids, pain meds, and rest could calm my contractions.  If not, we'd deliver her, but if we could give her more time that would be optimal.  I woke up at noon and the contractions had stopped.  I was really grateful for the rest since I hadn't slept all night. The nurse said I could stay and sleep some more, but since the contractions were stopped I wanted to just go home and sleep in my own bed.  When we got home Jeff and Hayden were cuddling on the couch and watching a show together.  I took a nap, got up to eat dinner, and went to bed early.  The next day I felt like I'd done hundreds of crunchers, and I've been more tired since, taking big morning naps.  At this point there are only 12 days until my C-section!

Christmas Eve
Grandma and Hayden played tickle until Hayden got overexcited and Mommy made him stop, which started a minor tantrum.  Everyone had a great time Christmas Eve, making cookies, eating some Christmas chili, and exchanging gifts with the Carney family. Sadie and Daisy had fun wrestling.

Bob and Daisy

Grandpa and Hayden (and Daisy)

Christmas Morning
 Santa Came! Hayden didn't want to go downstairs. When we finally convinced him that Santa was gone, and that he just left presents, Hayden crept down the stairs to make sure there were no Santas around.  He did pretty well opening his presents, and patiently waiting for us to cut all the boxes and ties off so he could play with his new toys.  His last present, Soft Luigi, was hiding in the couch.

Hayden eats his Christmas chocolate bar (he even asked permission before he ate it) while seeing what else is in his stocking.

He always wants to wear my robe, and I saw this one at Target. He's been wearing it to bed every night.  He also always wants to buy this Latches board when he sees it at Barnes and Noble, but I thought $25 was a bit much for it.  When I saw it at Toys R Us for $16 I snatched it up.

Hayden and Daddy Christmas morning. 

We had a wonderful holiday and are now patiently awaiting the arrival of Rylie Noelle. : )

Friday, December 17, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

Merry Christmas!  2010 has been a good year for the Damron family.  There have quite a few ups and downs, but for the most part we are all happy and healthy, and better off than we were a year ago, which is a wonderful thing to be able to say.

Main events:
  • In February I took Hayden sledding for the first time.  I don't know which is better, experiencing these things for the first time as a kid, or as a mom.  We giggled so much, and had fun cuddling in our warm PJs and watching tv when we got home.
  • Hayden received a giant cardboard robot named Gigantor. 
  • In February the Mooresville bus driver and aide picked up Hayden and two other children from school one day, dropped off the two other children, parked the bus in the lot at the Transportation Department, and went home, leaving him alone on the bus for 2 1/2 hours on a 30 degree day.  Luckily he was asleep and wearing a coat, and luckily Angie at day care noticed he was missing. Compounding the stress in the days following the incident was the fact that Jason works for the Corporation, and so what I wanted to say and what I did say were quite different things.  In the end, Hayden was ok and seems to have no memory of the event, and the old buses all got alarms because I pushed the issue.
  • I attended the Autism Expo and my first TACA meeting, which helped put me on a positive path toward how I handled my feelings since the diagnosis, and gave me hope and so many insights into curing Autism.
  • We started the GFCF diet with Hayden and saw vast improvements in his language and other skills.  I can't believe it hasn't even been a whole year since he's been on the diet!  We started seeing a nutritionist who has been vital to our success.  Thanks Staci Small!!
  • We attended the 12th annual Mario Madness at Nick's house and had a great time with old friends. At the end we were trying to pack Hayden up to leave while he was having a meltdown, and Jason came out of the house gesturing with his hands up like he was conducting and said, "Aww-ti-Summmmmmmmmm!!"  Probably a had-to-be-there moment, but I'm writing it down anyway. : )  We have a lot of these moments as a family, where Hayden's special needs over-rule the situation at hand, although in the last few months these moments are becoming fewer and far between!
  • lots of visits to the Children's Museum, Gymboree, and the local park. 
  • Jason had a good time on his trip to Florida with the choir. 
  • I spent a day with students and staff on Lockdown at my elementary school after a local bank robbery.
  • Hayden finally got his official Autism Diagnosis so that we could get him services.
  • In June Jason and I found out we were expecting.
  • We took our first family vacation, to Gulf Shores, and had a really great time with minimal tantrums.
  • Successful first visit to the Special Needs Dentist.
  • Bill and Sadie came and spent a week with us in July. 
  • Hayden started at Cornerstone Autism Center in October.
  • Bob separated from his wife and spent a few weeks at our house.
  • Dad got a new job.
  • Hayden and I were in a car accident that sent me into early labor and an overnight hospital stay.  I've been on bed rest since but baby is doing well. Thanks to Jeff for picking Hayden up each day from school since the accident.
  • On the day of the accident, I was called for an interview for a grant position at the Education Center for Perry Township, the school system I work for.  A few weeks later I interviewed over the phone and was offered the position of Learning Resources Advisor.  I will be helping people with technology throughout the township. It will be a great opportunity for me and I'm looking forward to starting in March.
  • Hayden trick-or-treated this year!
  • Hayden was invited to his first friend's birthday party and had a great time. 
  • Jason's first year holding the Madrigal Dinner at the State Museum was a big success.  He got a lot of nice emails from parents and the community. 
Much happiness here is due to Hayden and his awesome growth in the past 12 months.  It is funny to think that just a year ago I told people who didn't know him that Hayden was non-verbal, speaking only a few words at a time.  In just a year, he has changed so much.  He wears clothes more often. (Maybe not a milestone for some kids, but sure is for mine!) He can wash his hands and put on his socks. He can have more of a conversation... when I ask him a question I usually get a response now instead of the quiet chirping of crickets. He has fewer tantrums and MUCH fewer meltdowns (if you don't know the difference, think of the difference between a level 2 and level 9 earthquake, and how much clean up there will be afterward). He doesn't throw things or hit (ok, as much).  He no longer says his tummy hurts. He can tell us when he is hungry or thirsty or hurt. He lasts a lot longer during parties and family events. He is more tolerant of noise and music. He said "I love you" for the first time spontaneously.  He is really thriving at his new school and learning more every day (and proud Daddy is happy to report that Hayden was the only kid at school who knew what the picture of the light saber was.) His current favorite song to sing each morning on the way to school is Little Bunny Foo Foo. Today he said the Fairy gave Bunny Foo Foo 10 chances... that was a long one!

Touching the Robot Factory that he's not supposed to touch.

Favorite Hayden quotes this year:
  • What do you want for breakfast, Hayden?  He immediately does a little dance and says, "Chips!" 
  • Hayden are you tired?  "No. I think Hayden needs new batteries."
  • We can't play robots, it's time to go to [Waverly] school.  Hayden, rolling on the ground:  "I NOT go to school every...single...day!"  (We haven't had any morning complaints since starting at Cornerstone!)   :  )
  • Let's pretend to walk like a gorilla. Watch this.  Hayden: "No. Just walking."  me: Now I'm walking like a snake.  H: "No."  Now I'm walking like an elephant.  H: "no, just walk!"  me: Oh, like a person? Should we be people?  H:  "NO!  Just-- Hayden and Mommy. And walk. That's it." 
  • Look Hayden, the soccer team is here!  "It's the Super Heroes!"
  • Hayden's therapist at school says her head hurts. H: "Oh your head hurts?  Have some water. It will feel better."
  • H, restless in bed: "Mommy, I so sad."  I know honey, I think you're just tired. It's time to sleep.  Mommy is going to sleep, and Daddy is going to sleep. We're all going to sleep.  H: "And Hayden is sleeping... And Why-Wee... And Char-wee."  He smiled and turned over and closed his eyes and was asleep in a few minutes.  [Charlie is his pet turtle. I guess when you're listing family members you have to list everyone.]  : )
  • Jason, leaving to take Hayden to school: "Ok, love you Mommy."  H, as he passes his toy, instead of saying bye to Mommy:  "Love you Pirate Ship."

Jason, Hayden, and I are so excited to meet Rylie Noelle soon and are looking forward to a nice holiday with family.  Thank you to everyone who has given us support this year in our journey with Autism and our journey through life!  We are lucky to have such great family and friends.  Thanks for being a part of our lives.

Merry Christmas!
Jason, Sheila, and Hayden

Friday, December 10, 2010

Madrigal Dinner

The set up at the State Museum was very nice this year.

 Jason directs the concert.

The Dinner went really well.  Hayden was very patient while we had to wait in line. When we first drove into the parking garage he said, "The Museum!"  He thought we were at the Children's Museum, since that's the only time he's been in a parking garage.  

As soon as the singing started he said, "let's go back."  After each song he would say that, too.  He curled up in my lap with his hands over his ears and asked to leave.  But once the initial singing was done, he sat at the table with the family and talked to people.  It was only once the game show began and there was yelling up on stage that he went back into his hands-on-ears position.  Grandpa took him out of the room to play since I was still trying to eat.  Grandpa almost got him to come back until he heard singing and went back to the cafeteria to hide.

I put a black t-shirt and gray pants on him in hopes that he would agree to put the black knight's costume on over it.  We really tried, but he didn't want to.  So I should have just put him in dress clothes.  Oh well.  He did carry the shield around that I found at the dollar store, and had fun looking at the castle with Daddy.

After the dinner Hayden found some of his friends from the Soccer team.  They were playing "step on my shadow" with him.  He ran around and laughed and had a great time. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Little Elf

Someone didn't want to cooperate with the Christmas photo shoot. I know you're surprised.  Also note that Mario and Luigi needed to be present.

Today at my appointment with the OB she said I can stop taking the Procardia on December 20th.  I'm excited because I'm tired of being in such a daze all the time.  She did say that some people go into labor within 48 hours of stopping the Procardia, but I'll be at 36 weeks so all should be well if that happened.  (And what 8-month-pregnant woman doesn't wish for that anyway?)  : )  I've been having a lot of pains in my upper thighs, which she said is my pelvic bones stretching out. Didn't anyone tell my pelvis I'm having a C-section?  No stretching needed, please.  Sometimes the pain is so bad at night I can barely get out of the bed.  Just warming me up for the C-section pain, I guess. : )  The pain is usually worse on days I get overzealous with chores or grocery shopping, and I have to take a day off to rest up.

Jason really wanted to share the name we'd picked out, but in my usual style I couldn't decide for sure if I was happy with it.  I just think a name is so important-- she'll be stuck with it for life!  Or at least until she's old enough to change it, but let's be honest, once you're given a name, it sticks.  So anyway, Jason kept bothering me each night-- is this the name?  When I finally grudgingly conceded that the name we had chosen was what we'd go with, he ran upstairs to share it on Facebook.  Ah, how our world has changed!  It touched me that he was so excited, though, since in typical guy fashion he's been trying to be ho-hum about the whole baby thing.  This is what he posted:  

Jason Damron needs to make a formal announcement: our new daughter will be named Rylie Noelle! I gave Sheila an 18-minute warning that she couldn't change her mind for the 146th time. If it's on Facebook, it's official!

The name Rylie is of uncertain origin, according to the Internet, which never lies. : )   It seems to be either Irish or Welsh and comes from Riley or Rileigh. It means either 'valiant' or 'rye field'.  I was uncertain of the name in part because I know it's becoming more popular.  But I really like the sound of the name.  I liked the spelling Reilly, which seems more Irish, but Jason said it was too boyish.  I also loved the sound of Noelle and really considered this as a first name.  It's a fairly uncommon name, and she'll be a winter baby.  We also like that one of the meanings of Noelle (Noel is the boy spelling, by the way) is 'a medieval song,' which is so fitting for us.  But I know she'd get all the 'First Noel' jokes, and it was hard to find a middle name to go with it, because it is such a strong name. Rylie Noelle flows well and I like the sound of it, so there it is. Plus, Hayden means 'hay field' and Erik 'peaceful ruler', so I thought it was cute that we'd have a peaceful little hay field and a musical little rye field. Though I think Hayden is more 'ruler' than 'peaceful'.  : )  Since Hayden can't say Rs or Ls, he says "Why-Wee."  

Luigi and the Marshmallow S'more people have a chat.

Mario and Luigi hide in the gingerbread box.

Hayden's having a rough week at school, since he's not been sleeping well.  He has always had this trouble, and it comes and goes.  I have been keeping a pretty good record of his supplements and sleep, but I can't seem to find a pattern.  He's usually good at getting to sleep at bedtime, but has trouble sleeping through the night.  Some nights he wakes up screaming, and usually I think it's nightmares (which I had as a child, as well) because he says things like "play wit me!" or "no!"  But sometimes I think it must be his stomach hurting, or maybe acid reflux as the DAN doctor (Autism specialist) suggested, because he is already awake and drinking juice and then starts screaming like he's in pain.  I really feel for the little guy.  I would love for our waiting list date for the DAN doctor to be moved up so we can see her earlier-- right now our appointment is June 1st.  If anyone knows what dosage/brand of acid reflux medicine you can give to a 40 pound 4 year old, I would try it in an instant.  Because he's not sleeping well and is more cranky, he's having lots of tantrums at school.  They are going to try new discipline tactics to see if something new will work.

Otherwise his progress at school is going REALLY well. His language skills often grow in bursts, and the last couple weeks have seen huge improvements. (Such as, using 'I' instead of 'You' to describe himself, using more little words in his sentences, asking questions including a Why question at school for the first time the other day, responding more quickly to questions and with a more appropriate response.)  He is doing better at retrieving things ("Can you bring me that remote?") and following simple commands without me having to hover ("Go wash your hands please.").  He mastered putting on socks in just a few days, and can almost put on his shoes on his own.  He has gone on the potty without being asked at least 3 times at home, and maybe a few times at school.  He still isn't really going on his own overall, and he balks at having to use the potty in the evenings after school, because he's probably tired of taking orders all day!  The presents have helped though.  He has been earning new shirts and small toys (like the robot shirt and Mario and Luigi toys in the top picture). Yesterday he was fascinated with shaking hands, so someone must have been teaching him that.  Most of the time he will now say "hi"  if someone says hi to him (rather than completely ignoring them), and if someone asks "how's it going?" he says "it's going pretty good!"  Lately on the way to school he wants to sing all the songs they've been teaching him, like "Where is Hayden/Here I am,"  "What's the Weather?," "Months of the Year" (including the hand movements to the Macarena), "5 Green and Speckled Frogs" and Jingle Bells.  But Jingle Bells has to be sung super fast so he can laugh.  We're still not allowed to sing any songs that he doesn't know.  Jingle Bells was only allowed once they started to sing it at school.  I tried to play my new Christmas CD last night and as usual was denied. (I turned it on and he went over to the computer and hit "stop" on Media Player.  Darn his computer skills!  : )

Tonight we're going to Jason's Madrigal Dinner, and I hope Hayden will at least sit for some of the singing.  We don't usually go to Jason's concerts because Hayden holds his hands over his ears and shouts "No singing!  Time to go!"  We sometimes visit backstage for a few minutes at the big concerts.  But we've always gone to the Madrigal Dinner, and he's able to walk around the room or the school with me when the singing starts.  This year a former student of Jason's contacted him and asked if they would like to perform the Dinner at the State Museum.  This year is kind of like a trial to see how it goes, and if it goes well then next year the Museum will pay the choir to perform.  I think the head boss-types weren't convinced that it would bring in people and money, and were probably surprised when both nights sold out in a week.  At any rate, it's exciting that it will be in a huge grand area, rather than the school cafeteria, and they've built a new castle which should look pretty cool.  When Hayden was 1 year old one of the choir moms sewed him a knight's costume, but silly me washed it and it got a bit raggedy.  So, I saw one at Halloween and snatched it up.  I've been trying to make it sound exciting that we're going to go see "real" kings and queens tonight, since he likes seeing them on Backyardigans, and I'm hoping he'll wear the costume.  I think he wore it for a little while last year.  Tonight could either go really well or really badly, depending on what kind of day he had at school and how overwhelmed he is by 6:30.  I've got a nice bag of toys and snacks packed to entertain him as usual, and Grandpa and the Grandmas and Uncles Bob and Jeff will be there, so that should help.  Either way I know I'm going to really need to rest up tomorrow!  I have to make it through at least tomorrow without going into labor so Jason can be done with his choir commitments. : ) 

Hayden's school is having a Christmas program, and while they were practicing with their hats on yesterday he told his therapist, "I'm a little elf!"   

Take care and keep warm!    : )

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Alex's Birthday Party

Hayden went to his friend Alex's birthday party a few weeks ago. This is what Alex's dad Greg wrote about the event. (Yes, I'm just now getting around to posting it.)  I thought it was sweet and he gave me permission to share: 

"Wow, what a day what a day. Some of you may know that yesterday we had Alex birthday party phase 1.  We are doing this in phases so that our special lil man does not get too over stimulated , as he sometimes does with large groups. This was an exciting day because we invited his two best friends from school. Gavin and Hayden.  I have had very limited exposure to these two guys, but man are they cute kids. I would say Gavin is a bit more serious , while Hayden is a ball of fun.  I know they have a fun and special bond as students of Cornerstone, and I am so happy for the opportunity that Alex has to make friends with these kids. I would say they are all pretty equal on their spectrum and I can really see where they bounce off of each other with their learning. I know that with Potty Training that Alex and Hayden were partners in crime. I go back and forth referring to them as The Three Muskateers and then The three Amigos.

For the party, we rented out the pool area at the Holiday Inn and let the kids swim and play.  I spent a good amount of time playing with Hayden and I gotta say that is one fun and smiling kid. Like Alex , his little smile can brighten up a room. Seeing him swim with the white life preserver around his waist, little legs kicking and just having the time of his life. Gavin slipped at one point and his head went under, he didn’t do well with that, swallowed some water, but I gotta say it didn’t stop him. We put a pair of Alex floaties on him and he kept on swimming. Gavin's big sister Kaylie was there, and she is such a quiet thing I gotta say with three loud boys I almost forgot she was there. It is neat to see how a sibling will be so loving of her brother , not caring wether he is Autistic or not.  Alex, at first he really didn’t want to venture away from the steps. I later came to the conclusion that he didn’t like the light that was on in the pool. Later, he would tell me not to go near the light, so I would drift closer and closer to it. Reaching out my hand to him, “ Help me Alex, help” he forgot about that light and swam to me, “ I save you Daddy, I get you” looking very serious the first time, as if he really intended to save me from the evil Pool light.  I then made it more of a game and he and Hayden would swim after me to save me. Gavin was busy playing with his Mommy.  This went on a good six times before I got tired.  We spent an hour in the pool playing and then it was time to go eat cake and have presents.  Alex, who took the longest to get in the pool also took the longest getting out of the pool… “ I gotta swim Daddy” but eventually he did get out.

The transition to the lobby for Cake and presents was actually pretty easy. All four kids ( 3 boys and Gavin's sister) sat down at the table rather easily and were ready for some cake. To think a year ago, Alex could not be bothered to sit and eat at the table. While dishing out the cake, Gavin looked at Christine and politely told her “ I can’t eat that”  and it is neat that these kids are so in tune with their special dietary needs that he just assumed that this was something he couldn’t eat. When Christine told him it was Gluten and Cacein free ( as well as soy free )  He dug in. Hayden I was told was a very picky eater as well and would most likely not eat the cake. Boy were we in for a surprise. All of the children asked for seconds on the cake, Hayden especially showing enthusiasm for it. You would think that with three four year olds there would have been a mess. Not at all. These guys went to town on this cake. For a brief moment, I spoke with the two mothers on food and what our kids will and wont eat.  Will Eat= short list. Wont eat= Everything.  Face it, our kiddos are picky eaters. Presents went quick and easy and I video taped everything. Unfortunately we did not get many still photos. At one point it looked like Hayden got a little excited as I saw him bob his head a little and giggle, but he eased out of that quickly. Then at the end Alex was overstimulated and had to run it off up and down the aisles. We got him home and that night is an entirely different story.

I have to say, I think the best part of the whole day was seeing how Alex interacts with his peers. Children who are also on the spectrum and how they play together.  What parents of neuro-typical children just don’t see, our kids, their milestones are something other parents might take for granted. I know yesterday, I saw grandparents just sit back and enjoy watching Alex play with other kids and they don’t always get to see that. Our children don’t always communicate as well as other children and their thinking is so literal that we do have to watch how we word things. (I get yelled at this quite often.) I have to say, I am so grateful for the school Alex is in, it has been such a blessing to us that it has brought him together with his compadres. The Three Amigos. So much growth has happened with Alex socially these past few months. I know Haydens Mom has said the same for her son, and I am sure Gavin is feeling the same. It just freaks me out a bit to know that as recent as 20 years ago, it was common practice to institutionalize our children. That thought would keep me up at night if I let it.
This is my First update and I am sure my lovely wife will add to it. Thank you for reading.
Greg Carey

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What day is it?

Peter Cottontail visited under this tree for a few days.  I think we scared him away throwing too many carrots at him, though.

I am doing the SAME THING every day and I think I'm going crazy!  : )  I get up and drive Hayden to school by 7:30, come home and go back to sleep till noon, eat lunch, call and hassle with insurance/Comcast/whoever else (mostly insurance) or fill out their 10,000 forms, do crochet/fold laundry, make Hayden dinner. Uncle Jeff brings Hayden home around 5:15 and he and I eat dinner and watch Special Agent Oso on Tivo.  [It's funny that this is his new favorite show, because it's great for Autistic kids, showing them how to break a task down into three steps.] Then he gets a bath and all his vitamin supplements, we cuddle or he plays on the computer while I read his teacher's daily note home and respond back. Then he goes to bed, Jason gets home from choir practice around 8:30 and we talk a bit, then we go to bed too.  I'm certainly not complaining, because it is very relaxing, but I never know what day it is, and I'm not sure where the last 4 weeks went! And it's sooo hard for me to walk by that laundry pile and not put it in the washer! Once you become a mom (aka, maid) it's hard to turn it off!

Baby girl seems to be doing well. I'm at 31 weeks, and with every week I feel better about her chances of being healthy if she comes early. The medicine is still making me really sleepy (hence all the naps) but it seems to be controlling the contractions.  I had light contractions all day last Tuesday and thought I'd be going to the hospital in the night, but they never got close enough together, and went away by the next day, so that was a relief.  The glucose test last week was good, but the blood test showed low iron, so I started an iron pill. My next appointment for another fibronectin test is Thursday the 18th.  The baby's heart rate is still really good, and she is moving well.  

Hayden says we should name her "baby." He likes to put his head against my belly and give the baby hugs.  He rubs his hand on my belly button and says, "Aww!  She's sleeping!  She's a giant baby!" He has been really sweet, initiating this interaction himself, so I think he'll do really well when she comes.  We are really emphasizing the big brother/good helper idea.

He is doing so well at his autism school, too, and we're really proud of him. The teachers there are awesome--  a note the other day said, "Hayden had a great day...  he had several tantrums but they were much less intense..."  I love that those two sentences don't really go together, but for him it shows real progress and his teachers totally get that.  They want him to start wearing underwear tomorrow with potty training (instead of pull-ups) to see how he does.  So exciting!  I would love for him to be out of diapers by January.  I am thinking of using cloth, at least part of the time, with the baby girl. Don't tell Jason!  : )  The cloth diapers have come a long way, and there are some great brands out there with snaps and pockets so you can add extra padding.  I really like the idea of paying less for diapers, and having less chemicals on baby's bum all the time. I read that one of the chemicals used in diapers is the same chemical banned from tampons because of Toxic Shock Syndrome.  Eek.

Hayden was super smart and sneaky one day last week at Cornerstone, and got himself in a bit of trouble.  He likes to take a small toy in his hand each day to school, to help him with the transition from home to school.  When he gets to Cornerstone he has to leave it in his cubicle area, so that he doesn't lose it/throw it/hit someone with it while on the trampoline/play with it rather than doing his lesson, etc. He has free time every 10 minutes and can choose to go play with the toy if he wants. Sounds fair to me.  So one morning last week before we left the house, he said, "Hey! I think I'll put this right here. In my pocket," and he put his toy robot Sparks in his pants pocket.  I thought at the time that it was rather smart of him to do that, because he never really realizes he has pockets or that he could use them to hold things.  I also didn't know about the "toys only in the cubicle" rule.  So about halfway through his day at Cornerstone, he was in the bathroom and asked if he could hold Sparks.  His teacher said, "what's Sparks?"  And he got it out of his pocket.  The teacher nicely said he would have to put it in his cubicle to play with there, and took it from him.  He had a big tantrum about it, and was still mad when he got on the daycare bus.  The Cornerstone teachers told the daycare Director Amy (who drives the bus) the story and that Sparks was in his backpack.  So as Hayden kept having his fit on the bus, Amy said, "Sparks is in your backpack. He's coming back to Rainbow with us."  And immediately the tantrum stopped.  I'm pretty impressed that he had the foresight to know that his toy would be taken from him, but if he put it in his pocket he could carry it around all day and no one would know. Little stinker! This morning he kept telling us, "I not take! I not take!" Maybe he was remembering the Sparks incident?

I started the process of warning Hayden that a big family gathering will be at our house soon for Thanksgiving, that lots of family would be over and we'd have a party and eat lots of food.  Instead of getting nervous like he usually does, he said, "a party? Where are the presents? Let's see what's inside."  Well, not that kind of party, little buddy. : )  I told him Santa would bring presents later for Christmas, but he got scared about Santa being in his house. "No, it's not. Not today!"  Well, at least Thanksgiving didn't upset him. We'll just have to work on Santa. Today I asked him again who was coming for the Thanksgiving party, and he said, "Santa?"  Well, no, remember, we're just going to eat food and have family over, like grandma and grandpa.  "Yeah, Hayden's birthday."  Hmmm...  maybe we shouldn't have talked about Thanksgiving and Christmas in the same conversation. 

Jason's been stressed with all his choir activities coming up, plus having to do all the chores around the house.  I think he should try to do less at work, but who asked me?  : )  

Bill is coming from DC Sunday, and it's also Bob's birthday and a birthday party for Hayden's friend Alex. We are hosting Thanksgiving at our house again this year (Jason's idea, so I'm not doing any work!) and then travelling to Ohio for Gram's 90th birthday party Friday.  If they let me travel, I haven't asked yet. If not, I'll stay home with Bill and play video games. : )

When Mommy gives the bath, Hayden and I play "purple toad". We've played it since he was tiny. When he gets out of the bath he immediately curls up on his tummy in the fetal position because he's cold. He looks like a little toad.  So I throw a towel over him and sing a made-up song, "purple toad, purple toad... purple toad in my bathroom... Ribbit!"  When I say "ribbit" I tickle him somewhere and he giggles, then we sing it again. The word purple might be different depending on the towel color; we just started the game with a purple towel the week we made it up, so it's what he calls the game when he asks for it. It's one of the few songs we're allowed to sing (there's still no singing allowed in our house, for the most part.)  So the other night I came in to the bedroom and saw him curled up like a toad on the bed (though he's sideways instead of his usual face-down) with three blankets in his little toad pile.  So cute!  I love my little toad!

Tonight he's sleeping in his full Mario costume (with hat).  : )

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Mario actually went trick-or-treating this year!

He wouldn't ring the doorbells, though.  That was too scary. The first couple times we went to a new house, we coached him before going up that he should say "trick or treat" when they opened the door.  But they would open the door and he would just sit there, so we'd say, "what do you say?"  The first couple times he said, "hi."  : )  They are teaching him to say hi to people at his new school!  Ha!  Once he got the hang of saying Trick or Treat, he kept saying that and "Happy Halloween!"  He got to meet a Luigi, several Darth Vaders ("hi Darth Vader!  Hey! Darth Vader! How's it going?"), and Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba.  He really liked the house on the corner with lots of scary decorations the first time we passed.  He kept asking if we could go back and look at the "haunted house." But on the way back the people who live there had figured out how to turn the sound on, and he was really scared!  He covered his ears and froze.  We scooted him off and told him it was all gone, and he was ok.  

We went home and swapped out all the chocolate candy with non-chocolate candy.  He ate half a bag of skittles and two suckers.  Then he enjoyed opening the door for the kids each time they came.  Once I was in the kitchen and thought Jason was downstairs when the doorbell rang.  The door opened but I didn't hear any talking, so I peeked around the corner.  Hayden and about 6 little kids were all just staring at each other.  Ha!  Hilarious.  Hayden had opened the door by himself without bringing the candy.  I hurried over to give them some candy.  

We always tell the kids to pick a couple things, because that's what my parents always said.  As the kids picked some candy or pencils, Hayden would sometimes pick through the bowl and throw things in their bag, too.  "Here, guys, you need this. You want eyeball candy."  The first couple times he didn't understand and was taking some things for himself.  I heard Jason say, "no, that's for them. You're supposed to give it to them."  He also would say "trick or treat!" to the kids the first few times he opened the door!  Jason would laugh and say, "no, they're supposed to say it."  It was a very successful Halloween night for our little guy.

Wednesday is my next appointment with the OB.  I went in last Wednesday because I felt like the baby wasn't moving as much as she should.  They hooked me up to the machine for 20 minutes.  No contractions, and her heart rate was really good.  The OB said she's probably just facing a different way and kicking me in the back instead of the stomach, so I'm not feeling her as much.  So Wednesday I go again for the glucose testing and another fetal fibronectin test.  I hope I'm cleared to go back to work (and to stop taking the procardia.)  I had grand plans of organizing recipes, folding baby clothes, and reading lots of great books.  Instead the medicine (or the baby?) makes me sleep all day. Which is ok, too. : )   

I am frustrated with all the hassle associated with the accident, though.  Phone calls, phone calls, phone calls! I'm not a phone person in the first place, and there's so much paper work!  I'm over it.  I have had time to try a couple new GFCF recipes.  I made another attempt at blueberry bread today, but filled up on GF pizza, so I'll try it tomorrow and see how it is. : )  The last one was pretty good, but needed a bit more sugar. 

In this picture he has too many skittles in his mouth and is trying to chew them up.

Cornerstone had a photographer come to do pictures for their website, and sent us a CD with pics of Hayden:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Update

The ditch, where my driver side window ended up even with the road.

The hill where I saw lights on my side of the road.

Progressive (the other guy's insurance) called about the damage to my car.  They are replacing the front and rear bumpers, fixing the left side doors and panels and repainting them, replacing a hubcap, side mirror, and doing an alignment.  $2600 was the total.  The rental place gave me a Kia Soul for a rental car.  It's one of those box-looking things.  It drives smoother than the Civic did, anyway.  

Jason had his final big soccer game Wednesday night;  he said the girls didn't play as well as they could have and they lost.  But, they've made it farther than they have any other season, so they did a great job.  (And I'm happy that Jason's not in Evansville right now on another soccer trip, leaving me with Hayden!)  

I bought Hayden's Halloween costume this week because I didn't want them to be out of something he'd be willing to wear. Last year he picked a pirate outfit and wouldn't wear it.  When he got home from school he saw the Mario outfit and wanted to put it on and play Mario on the Wii.  He didn't want to take the outfit off at bedtime, and wanted to put it on the next morning for school.  I told him he could wear the hat, and he ended up wearing the Mario hat the entire day at school.  : )   So hopefully it looks like he will actually be wearing a costume for Halloween this year.  Tonight he wanted to wear it to bed (with the hat) and we had to pry it off him once he was asleep. 

Jason had Fall Break today and yesterday, and he made a lot of calls for me and got things done.  (The phone has been ringing off the hook all week!  And I'm already getting mail from injury attorneys. Grrr.)  Comcast came and "fixed" the Internet connection after they goofed it up the last time.  Thiele Heating was a no-show to do maintenance.  Jason ordered a copy of the police report ($12), tried to contact Bank of America again about refinancing... picked up Hayden's vitamins at the Nutritionist, did laundry, went to the grocery, made a pot roast.  I played video games for the first time since July, and took a nap.  : )  I did go with Jason to pick up Hayden at school, to be able to see his teachers.  I don't usually get to see his Cornerstone teachers, since I drop off and pick up at daycare, so yesterday was the first time I had met one of them.  They are so excited about helping Hayden and they love working with him.

Today they started potty training with Hayden at the Autism Center.  They said it was a huge success. He had some accidents but went in the potty 3 times.  They started Hayden and his friend Alex at the same time, and Hayden was encouraging Alex not to be scared of the potty.  I think it will really help Hayden to have someone else sitting in there with him, too!  They gave him a certificate and he was so proud of himself when we picked him up today.  Then he promptly fell asleep 3 minutes after we were in the car.  : )  

Tuesday night I was feeling some light contractions at about 3am.  Wednesday morning was my appointment with the OB.  She did a fetal fibronectin test. Info about it here:  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fetal-fibronectin/MY00128  "Fetal fibronectin is a protein that acts as a "glue" during pregnancy, attaching the amniotic sac to the lining of the uterus.  Fetal fibronectin is often present in cervical secretions during early and late pregnancy, about one to three weeks before labor begins.   A positive fetal fibronectin test is a clue that the "glue" has been disturbed and you're at increased risk of preterm labor."

The test came back positive, which does not mean I will go into early labor, just that there is a better chance of it.   The OB wants at least two more weeks of bed rest and I'll see her again in two weeks.  I assume we'll do the fetal fibronectin test again at that point, I'm not sure.  Today I felt kind of ill, but I haven't felt contractions since Wednesday, so that's good.  And I've been being a better Mommy, taking it easy for the baby girl rather than trying to do too much like I was Monday/Tuesday.  Next step is to find a name that we can both agree on!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Well, I couldn't sleep last night until at least 1 am.  Hopefully tonight I will sleep better.  The OB said to try Benedryl, so if I can't sleep again tonight I'll get some. She wants me to come in Wednesday to see how I'm doing.

Today I drove Jason to work and Hayden to school, then came back and called Progressive (the other guy's insurance). They are paying for a new carseat, my time off work, and a rental car. I was hoping she'd call back today so I could get the rental car today and not have to take Jason to work again tomorrow, but she didn't.  So hopefully I'll get that tomorrow.  Jeff picked up Hayden from school so I didn't have to go back out.

I finally got some sleep this afternoon, then went and picked up Jason at work. He's home now from soccer practice so we're discussing what to have for dinner: pizza or fish sticks?  It's gourmet around here. :  )  I've been feeling sick to my stomach anyway.

I got so many wonderful emails and Facebook messages this weekend.  Thanks to everyone for all the positive thoughts!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Car Accident and Trip to Hospital

Hayden and I were in a slight accident Friday morning, but everyone is ok now and resting at home.  

I was driving Hayden to school Friday morning as usual.  I take Mann road, which is a curvy and hilly back road.  All of a sudden I looked up and headlights were staring at me in my lane. If I hadn't seen him and swerved we would have been hit head on, and who knows what would have happened.  Luckily I swerved and we swiped mirrors, and I went into a ditch on the right. It was a huge ditch so when I got the car stopped my door was against a dirt wall, pinned closed.  Our car was at a 45 degree angle.  I wasn't sure how preggo was going to climb out!  As soon as we stopped, Hayden said, "what happened?"  I don't remember what I told him!  I was trying so hard to look calm and tell him everything was ok. He kept asking what happened, and said "the car got broke!" Later he said, "we go boom!"  But he wasn't visibly upset, which was my biggest worry at that point.  When we got out later he "Car needs new tires!" (they were a bit muddy). I think he said that because Lightning McQueen needs new tires in the movie after his accident.

The guy who hit me came back and asked if I was ok, and helped me climb out the driver door.  I had to go out feet first because my belly was too heavy and big to lift over the window.  I called the police and Jason to come pick us up.  The police were glad we had our seatbelts on. Hayden wanted to get in the police car.  While we waited he played in my car with all the buttons on the dash, turning the lights and wipers on and off.

The police called a tow truck and the driver was able (after 10 attempts and the guy pushing the car from the back) to drive it out the ditch and up the hill, but I think he cracked the bumper in the process by backing up too far into the ditch wall.) 

I drove Jason to work and Hayden to Cornerstone, then called my OB. The nurse took a message and then called me back, and said the OB wanted me to check into the hospital for a couple of hours for observation.  At this point I wasn't feeling any contractions, just shock.  I drove to her hospital in Danville (where I'll eventually deliver) and checked myself in.  They put me and baby on the monitor and I tried to rest.  After about an hour and a half the nurses said I was in early labor and having small contractions.  They gave me a shot every 20 minutes to calm the uterus and try to stop the contractions.  By 2 the weekend doctor on call from my OB office said I'd definitely be staying over night. She said it was likely the fear that caused the early labor, but if I continued to have contractions it could mean the placenta was damaged.  I got a steroid shot for the baby, in case she came early, to help strengthen her lungs.  I asked what would happen if we couldn't stop the contractions and she came early (I'm at 26 1/2 weeks).  They said she'd be more likely to have cerebral palsy and blindness, and would not be able to breathe without machines for a long time because her lungs aren't ready. 

Jeff drove Jason and Hayden to come see me Friday, since I had Jason's car and we weren't sure if my car was drivable. (It looks ok except the mirror, but the ditch probably did a number on the bottom of the car.) I should have been really tired Friday night, but just couldn't get the accident out of my head to sleep, so they gave me a sleeping pill.  In the night I had to have the nurse help me unplug the IV each time I needed to use the restroom, and in the morning she told me that one of the times I was in there a while, so she poked her head in to see if I was ok.  I was just standing there at the sink. I said, "Yeah, I washed my hands, and now I don't know what to do next...  oh, yeah, dry them."  : )  The shock plus the sleeping pill made me a bit out of it, I guess!

I had more contractions in the evening and night, and got two more shots that night.  In the morning the contractions had finally stopped, and I felt much better.  The doctor on call came to see me again and said they would start me on a procardia pill that I would take every 12 hours to continue to calm the uterus (it's actually a blood pressure medicine that someone discovered also helps with this.)  The procardia can make you very dizzy, and give you a constant headache.  She said if I could get up and take a shower ok without fainting, they'd let me go home around 5 as long as there weren't more contractions.  Jeff dropped Jason off at the hospital (I might mention Jason had his soccer sectional game that morning, and they won the championship.  Grandma and Grandpa came and watched Hayden all day so that Jason could do soccer and then come see me.)  : )  Jason visited with me for a few hours, then I took a shower and napped, then they gave me another steroid shot and we went home.   I'm supposed to take it easy for at least a week -- no chores or grocery shopping or lifting, but I don't have to stay in the bed the whole time.  I'm to make an appointment with the OB for this week so she can see if I can come off the procardia.  It was giving me an awful headache yesterday, but today not as much (plus I hadn't had my morning coffee yesterday, so the caffeine could have been part of the problem).  This morning I am still feeling pretty good, and I'm feeling baby move, though I'm still quite tired.

I am so grateful that things look ok at this point, that Hayden didn't get scared during the accident, and that I was awake enough on a Friday morning to swerve out of that guy's way! (Someone in front of him was going 20 in a 45, and he decided to pass them in a double yellow zone. He didn't see me until we were about 20 feet apart as he came over the hill.)  Oh, and he did have insurance, so that is paying for any car problems plus all my medical bills!  Thank goodness for that, although I'm sure it will be a big hassle. Now I just have to take it easy (hard for me!) so that contractions don't start again.  They said they'd be harder to stop if I started them in my sleep and they got closer together before I made it to the hospital.

So, that's the whole long story.  Hayden and I are going to cuddle on the couch now and watch Wall-E and eat chocolate muffins. : )  With extra time on my hands this week, I'll try to update my blog and let you know how things are going.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Schools are Going Great!

The new schools are working wonderfully.  Hayden has a little friend, which is exciting since it's so hard for him to make friends.  His teachers send a notebook and we write back and forth each day, since I don't actually get to see them (I pick up and drop off at day care).  I LOVE reading his notebook every day!  Rather than a note about who Hayden hit or how long he spent in time out, I get glowing reports of what they did all day, and how much fun he had.  I am SOOO glad he's going to this school!!

I wanted to share some quotes from his teachers' notebook from this first week:  "he's doing very well listening" (say what?)  : ),  "we're learning very fast how smart he is... Hayden is such a joy...Hayden loves our obstacle course and v-smile video games...he is so imaginative....he is so fun to work with...he participated in group...Hayden sings so well! I love to hear his songs...he loves the rock wall...the first thing he said to me this morning was, 'Hey, Michelle, what's up?' he is so precious.  We had a fun gymnastics and music group this afternoon.  Hayden loved it!  He was so excited to show everyone his forward and backward rolls... He made you a bracelet in art class today; we have an art therapy teacher on Mondays. Yours says mom, and he made himself one that has HD on it. He picked the colors and beads himself, I just helped tie it. He also put the beads on. He really seemed to enjoy it!"

They are currently working on everyone's names, prepositions, saying Hi and Bye to people, numbers, washing hands, transitions, and some other things.  He is having some meltdowns in the evenings, or falling asleep, because he's getting worn out.  He also started picking at his lips last week until they bleed, and having diarrhea.  But the latter two things have been lessening each day as he gets more comfortable there, so I think overall everything is going quite well!

90 days till his little sister is here!
: )

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finally Fall

our future girls' soccer star : )

It is finally cool out, and it has rained...once. : )  

I've been busy trying to orchestrate getting Hayden into Cornerstone Autism Center.  Friday I got the call that we were ready to go, and that the center would work with us on a payment plan and/or a "hardship assistance", which I take to mean cutting some of the costs for us.  So it was time for me to call around and find a new daycare that had room for Hayden.  I had already printed off a list of places that were well rated and had transportation, so I called my first choice on the list.  The director told me that "transportation" meant the Greenwood bus picked up kids at the center, so that wouldn't work.  I called the next place; no room at the inn.  Next place:  no room in their transport van.  Next place, same corporate owners: we're not supposed to transport kids under 5.  Next place: no transportation.  Ok, now I'm worried.  I tried one more place, and they had room.  Transportation?  "Sure, we'll just leave a bit early and take him before our elementary kids." Cost: "I'll just charge you $100 a week, since he'll only be here a few hours."  This is the same price we pay for daycare now.  Sweet!

So I stopped by after work and was very impressed.  The facility is only 6 months old, very clean and shiny.  The staff were all quite nice, and actually playing with the kids.  There was a key code on the front door.  The director is a former teacher, who was very nice and was willing to accommodate Hayden's special diet.  There were separate outdoor play areas for each age group, with grass or mulch instead of mud or rocks, and a room for indoor recess during the cold months.  So really it was more than I had hoped for, and I'm excited to have found them!

So, I'll just need to call or visit Cornerstone and work out our payment plan amount, tell everyone when Hayden is starting, and cross my fingers that he transitions smoothly!  I still feel like something could go wrong; I don't want to get too excited until he walks in the door for his first day, since there have been so many unexpected setbacks.  

Oh, yeah, I also asked if they take newborns, and they do-- but the cost of two kids in daycare is my entire salary.  So it's looking like I might stay home after the baby girl is born, until I find a teaching job that pays enough for me to afford daycare.  I would be sad to stop teaching, but I would also feel a bit silly going to work each day when my child was being watched by other people, if I wasn't earning any money for the family.  We'll see, I guess.

So, good news overall, and I am crossing my fingers that things work out here in the next few weeks!

: ) Sheila

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Busy weeks ahead

I sent in all the paperwork for the Autism Center, and Hayden and I met with the clinical director last week.  Now we're just waiting to hear back from insurance about how much they'll pay for the center. I hope to hear back by next week.  And I hope they'll pay most of it, as it's $80 an hour.  Gasp!  I'm going to have to start having weekly bake sales or something. : )

We have lots going on the next two weeks.  Saturday is The Little Wiggle Room at Center Grove high school, a fund raiser and time to get info, I think.  Then there's a TACA parent group, Hayden has his pediatrician appointment and shots, Hayden goes on a field trip to Apple Works with his preschool,  a first time meeting with the DAN doctor (doctor who specializes in autism), and my monthly OB appt.  Shoo!

Bob has moved in with Nick.  Thanks for the prayers and good thoughts.  He is doing better emotionally.  The last two weeks were rough for everyone in that regard.

I hope that it cools down soon, I'm ready for Fall weather.  We went to the park yesterday, but it was so hot.  Then we visited Daddy at soccer practice, and Hayden ran around and played with the girls.  He never would have done that a year ago (talk with and be around high school kids who are bigger than him, and who he doesn't know.)  He's made such improvements!

Thanks for reading-- take care!
: ) Sheila