Sunday, May 31, 2009

public service announcement

creepy guy is at the mall. i repeat: CREEPY GUY IS AT THE MALL. lock up your kittens* and walk towards the food court with your head down. if you have small children with you, telepathically encourage them to cry if he approaches, thereby signaling a very plausible escape tactic. thank you and good luck.



*he told me once that his kitten sat on his stove, so he turned the burner on to teach it a lesson. makes the whole "treat kids like my cat" comment extremely heartwarming.

Friday, May 29, 2009

email from punkin's teacher

Erika,

Thought you'd find this cute. Punkin totally knows the days that you pick him up instead of going to PEP (he knows these days because we wait in the classroom as the rest of the kids go to PEP or the bus). Anyway, he knows that as soon as everyone leaves he can act like a nut and we'll do silly things like spin him around, tickle him, pretend to throw him on to the bean bag chair etc. as he laughs hysterically. Anyway, it's so funny that he completely understands that he has to wait until he's the only one in the classroom (or at least until he thinks he is- like today when Jack wouldn't put on his shoes). Then as soon as everyone is gone he starts acting silly (usually during these times I need my "Punkin to English Dictionary" as he is talking so fast I can't catch what he is saying :).

Also, so cute that he let our goat puppet today give him a kiss on the side of his head (turned his head at the last second!) Oh ya- two other very cool things he did today- counted 3 objects independently (no help pointing or counting). YEA! And he ran up to Jack outside and said "Jack, come on run." He also came up to Kate (aide) and Anna, who were building with blocks during centers, and said "hi." And when Kate asked him if he wanted to play with them he answered "ok yes" and sat down with them (of course after he knocked down Kate's building :)

He is so gosh darn cute! I'm glad he's feeling better now!
:)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

loving this

There's a magical person downstairs. In the apartment below mine. He's fixing up the place for the owner and in the meantime has made some astonishing (to him) discoveries.
The new management company that took over for the owner at the beginning of the year is billing the owner for cleaning the common area in my building every two weeks. When he told me that, I laughed. Actually, I think I gafawed. For those of you who have been lucky enough to visit me, you know what I mean.

Then he asked if I have bugs in my apartment. OH YES. I certainly do. And I have called multiple times about said bugs to no avail.
So what makes this man so magical? Today, I stopped and got my mail (my box is on the street); the letter from the management company said they will be dealing with the bugs on Friday. And when I opened the door to my building, it smelled ... diferent. It took me a while, but I realized that someone CLEANED.

Magical.

(The first photo is of my storage unit, which obviously has not been touched and will never be touched by me.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

but what do you think they will FIND in there?

went to the doctor. after the eye doctor told me i had an ocular migraine about a month ago, i started documenting when i felt pressure or had any vision loss. turns out it's happening a lot -- multiple times a day for a week at one point. but, strangely enough, no real pain has accompanied it. it's like i can feel the migraine coming, and i maybe get a little blurry, but the episode never really amounts to anything. i did have two full-blown episodes with vision loss, though, since the first time. so anyway, she wants to check out my brain to make sure nothing more serious is going on. i'm kinda looking forward to it; i HAVE to be still. it's very relaxing to me. of course, i think getting my eyebrows waxed is relaxing....

Monday, May 25, 2009

i was thinking about getting one of those body sox (or something similar) for punkin, but it seems that i got one free with the purchase of my slipcovers:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

in case you were wondering...

yes, it is possible for a dvd to slip inside the dvd player without your knowledge and without any effect whatsoever on the performance of the player.

and yes, it is possible to discover the hidden disc after a very oppositional four-year-old decides that NO HE DOESN'T WANT TO PICK A NEW MOVIE, HE WANTS TO WATCH TIGGER AND POOH AGAIN and kicks the player, thereby delivering a hefty blow of kryptonite to mr. toshiba and wedging the disc in such a way that the player stops working.

thanks, opa, for picking up that tool set for me from IKEA. i fixed it while someone cried, "OH NO! BROKEN! OH NO!!"

ahh, hot dogs and baseball games

Ahh, having to go home after 30 minutes because you are freakishly pale and forgot the sunscreen.

Friday, May 22, 2009

weirdo

Me: Aww, sweet baby. Do you want something to eat?
Punkin: Yes. Okay. Mamays?
Me: Mayonnaisse?
Punkin: Yes, okay!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

dhfigjhesghnaksbnkjafbbg!!!!!!

he still has an ear infection, this time with a fever.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

score one for being pushy

So, I dropped my camera back in November. A month later, I took it in to the place I bought it and asked about having it repaired through the rather costly warranty I purchased. When I bought it, I was told that the warranty would cover "anything short of smashing it with a sledgehammer." I asked specifically about dropping it; yes, it would be covered.

See, I live with a toddler, and I am clumsy; I buy warranties. Anyway, the woman behind the counter told me to send the camera in to the manufacturer. I wasn't about to do that, seeing as how I DROPPED the camera myself, and no manufacturer would let a dent in corner of the camera slide past their radar.


I took it in again in January or so and asked about it again. They let me know that they couldn't do anything to repair it, as it would void the warranty with the manufacturer. I told them that I didn't CARE about that, and that there was a reason I purchased a warranty from the store, which was to be able to bring the camera in any time and have it fixed. She told me to come back at the end of April, when the manufacturer's warranty expired, and they would repair it.


You know what happened next, right? I took it back on Saturday and they said, "Too bad, so sad. You dropped it, and we don't cover physical damage." And this is when I became RAGING mad. First of all, the salesman lied to me and second of all, the two customer service representatives I talked to didn't mention anything about limitations because of physical damage.

I made the girl behind the counter tremble; I had to apologize later. Not my best moment.

The manager was called over to calm me down, which he did quite nicely. He then said he would see what the technicians had to say and call me back later in the week. He certainly did not make me hopeful, but at least he tried.

So imagine my surprise today when I got a call telling me that they were unable to fix the camera, so I could come in and EXCHANGE it. Ya. I raced over there and picked up my BRAND NEW, MORE MEGAPIXELS, BETTER ZOOM, BIGGER SCREEN, NEWER version of the camera I originally bought. Free.

I gotta say that I'm pretty sure someone screwed up and I was in no way supposed to get that camera. But I signed those papers and hit the road before anyone could stop me!

Also, the salesman asked if I would like to purchase the extended warranty on the new camera as well. I decided to pass; wouldn't want to press my luck. Besides, the girl from customer service was giving me the 'stink eye.'
Why the photo of Punkin sleeping? Because I took it with my new camera in a pitch-black room. Loving it. Also, he's sweet.

Monday, May 18, 2009

this is the story of the dentist

that wasn't even CLOSE to as awful as i thought it would be.

actually, the dentists' office was a disney-themed visual stimulation extravaganza. WOW. we're talking walls painted in shades of ocean, seaweed, and coral, a house decorated with fish, a six-person x-box station (with a finding nemo game), and oodles of stuffed animals and trinkets from every major disney cartoon. and i haven't even mentioned the tv playing bolt.

when they took us back i expected to see a fairly usual row of chairs and trays of horrifying tools. instead, there were MORE characters!! and three fish tanks!! and a race car video game! and stuffed toys hanging from the ceiling above the chairs. and a basket of prizes. and really, really nice people.

the hygenist invited me to sit in the chair and hold punkin while she brushed his teeth with flouride. he clamped down on the brush, per usual, but eventually she got the job done. she then let us know that we could sit and wait for the doctor or walk around. i know, i know. no sitting required? at a medical office? is this an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE?

when the dentist came over, he took punkin's health history and then quickly looked inside his mouth as best he was able. he said we need to work on brushing more, but he otherwise looks healthy. he wants to see him again in 6 months.

and so, a much anticipated first trip to the dentist ended in a rather anti-climactic fashion. rock on.

yikes

punkin's going to the dentist today.

ya.

i'll let you know how that goes...

Friday, May 15, 2009

punkin performs the alphabet olympics

This is a song he sings when he visits the integrated room. I guess it's sinking in!!

video

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

seriously? srsly?

Punkin cried all through lunch today. Just lost it. So I did as his teacher suggested and took him to the doctor for a strep test since his friend got it last week. Well, the quick test was negative, but he has an ear infection. You know. In that ear with the "healed" eardrum. That one.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

this is what's up

Photographic evidence that proves my son DOES know how to use a fork.
New art for our apartment, once I find a frame.


Maybe the clonidine IS helping. He sat in this chair for 5 minutes waiting for the doctor.

Then he went "nigh-night."

The ENT said his ears look good. He does have a tube in the left eardrum, even though his pediatrician hadn't seen it the other day. He said sometimes they are just too hard to see. Anyway, the hole in his right eardrum has healed. He said that as long as the tube is still in his left ear, he should be hearing okay (on that side anyway). I will probably get him into the AEA for a hearing test just to be sure, though, because I am like that.

Monday, May 11, 2009

mom one, punkin zero

One of the biggest lessons I've learned since working in a special ed preschool room and raising a special needs child is that every behavior serves a purpose. It sounds simple, maybe too simple, but it's true. Every behavior has a payoff, and those that get a bigger payoff will occur more often.


As adults, we smile at customer service representatives to try and change the outcome of our request. We say hello to get another person's attention. We play with our kids to avoid washing dishes. We turn on a movie because it will make our children sit still. We write blog posts to get comments.

Babies cry so mom or dad will pick them up, they spit out food to let us know that pureed asparagus is disgustingly craptastic, and they lean in to give us slobbery kisses because it makes us squeal.


As parents and caregivers we often say things like, "He hit her for no reason!" or "I don't know why he keeps whining and clinging to me" or every time I tell him to complete a task, he flips out." There is always a reason. We don't act simply to act; we want to gain something from our actions.

Behavior is a form of communication. And when expressive language lags, non-verbal communication escalates. Behavior always serves a purpose, whether it be to escape or delay a task, to gain attention, or to get a reward.

For example, Punkin was a very cheery kid this afternoon. He played and worked with his respite worker and even asked her to stay when I came home. He continued to play until I told him it was time to eat dinner and turn off Handy Manny, at which point he turned into a raving lunatic. He never said, "I want the movie back." Instead, he shoved his plate away from him, ran into the living room, and sobbed while I ate dinner. After some time he calmed down and I let him know that he had to sit down. Then he smacked me, yelled no at me, and was generally unpleasant to be around. He continued to cry alligator tears for a while until he realized he WASN'T getting up. So he ate his fruit and vegetables, tried one bite of the casserole, and was set free.

Ultimately his crying DID delay having to sit at the table, but since he spent that time flipping out and without access to preferred items, I really didn't care. It's easy to let the meltdown suck me in, make me adapt TOO much. But I refuse to cook more than one meal at a time and I refuse to let a 4-year-old decide our ENTIRE schedule. Sure, I have to keep him in mind, but ultimately I am the boss. Also, I won.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

a long post that turned short

Mother's Day was great -- very relaxing. Punkin and Opa took Oma and me out to brunch at one of my favorite places.

Not sure if the increased clonidine is helping Punkin, but it's definitely not hurting.

All of the leaves are back on the trees, the sun is setting and a cool breeze is filtering into my living room. I'm warm and happy.

Punkin has an ENT appointment tomorrow, so we're taking the day off. I don't know why I'm so excited about spending the day with him since we've been home for two already; maybe it's the knowledge that we SHOULD be at work, but we're not.

And maybe it's because after a day off, I get to go to Bunco and dominate. I am TOTALLY walking away with a prize. Definitely.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

used to be the best $5 i ever spent

Fischer - Price Snap Beads. It's a love/hate relationship. They fall apart, "Uh OH! Help!" I help him put them back together (a skill I'm pretty sure he mastered a year and a half ago), "Thanks, monna." He runs away. They fall apart, "UH OH! OH NO!" Repeat cycle 12 times. On the 13th, insert, "NO! BROKEN! THROW! NO!" and lots of hitting himself in the head. "Want to go night-night?"
"NO! ... Yes, nigh-night. Okay," wipes tears away.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

yes, of course

Punkin's new phrase: Yes, of course.

MY EYES MY EYES. Allergy season smacked me in the face about a week ago, but a daily dose of Claritin has been making me feel much better. Until today. And I made sure to tell Oma about it five million times; it helps to complain to her. I seriously almost went blind from sneezing this morning.

This is the e-mail I sent to Punkin's teacher today:

Punkin had his physical today. His doctor and I discussed meds. Apparently, Dr. Berry-Kravis from Rush had written him an extensive letter about our visit and her recommendations for medication. I had no idea! Anyway, she said we can safely go as high as 0.2mg a day of clonidine and even try stimulant medications. (I want to avoid stimulants as long as possible, though.) We are going to increase to 0.1mg and see what happens. I started that tonight (Tues). He wouldn't cooperate for the hearing screening and wasn't able to do the vision screening, so he referred us to an eye doctor here in town. He is going to the ENT on Monday (the 11th), so I will ask about testing his hearing then. If they are unwilling, I will just go to the AEA, or scream. =)

Erika

P.S. He just pooped on his floor in his room. Isn't that nice? He didn't want me to feel left out after he pooped on the classroom floor today.

(She and I agree that we think the issue is more anxiety, so we think
anti-anxiety meds might be more helpful than stimulants, but we're not at the stage yet where I need to fight that fight. Updated: I don't necessarily think pooping on the floor is because of anxiety. I think he just can't plan out all the steps he needs to take to get from 'I have to poop/pee' to the toilet. But his aggressive behaviors definitely are from anxiety, at least lately. Sorry about the confusion.)

Monday, May 4, 2009

gotta see it for yourself

video

I apologize for the crazy camera work, but -- no -- I will not compensate you if it makes you ill.

=)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

weekend



We had a busy weekend. On Saturday morning we met our friends for a walk at a local zoo to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Reasearch Foundation. It was awesome to see so many families coming out to support some really strong young people. The girl I was walking for/with raised $1500! Punkin loved the giraffes and riding on the carousel (thanks, Miss K). He also REALLY liked the sugar cookies. =)

Later that day we met Oma for a trip to Lowes. I think this picture speaks for itself:


On Sunday we went to Oma and Opa's after church for some bonding time. He insisted I sit on the swing next to his, even though I told him I wouldn't fit!
Then he practiced his grilling skills. This bubble thing rocks. You dip the tool with "food" on it into the "marinade" (bubble solution) on the side and then "cook" it on the grill. There's a fan inside that makes lots of good bubbles as the food "heats up."
He is officially in love with Opa's truck. Well, I guess he always has been, but now he is bigger, louder, and harder to ignore. He talked Opa into taking him for a ride on Saturday. They went out in a more country area to see some horses, cows, and ducks. It was VERY exciting. Opa said that when he revved the engine, Punkin punched his arm in the air and said, "YES!"

He always gets me to climb into his castle with him, which is more difficult than it sounds! He really needs a smaller friend to play with.
It was a good weekend. I'm so glad it stopped raining for a few days so we could get some sunshine. AND we won our sand volleyball game on Friday. My good friend Bud Lite was even there to help me celebrate.