Monday, July 27, 2009

iHeartFaces--Beach Week!

It's Beach Week at iHeartFaces.

We live next to a cornfield---not a beach. Yes, we've been to different beaches over the years, so I do have some fairly recent photos, but this one is one of my favorites! It's Chelsey, 21 months old....she'll be 20 in a few weeks. Yep, it's an oldie, but I love it!
It was taken when we lived in CT on the shoreline.

NASCAR At The Brickyard

John and I took the boys to the Brickyard practice on Friday...this is the 3rd year they have gone. We haven't done the actually race yet due to concern that they weren't "ready" yet...I think they would have enjoyed it this year...NEXT YEAR, WE'RE THERE!

During the first practice session (we were there for two), Kyle announced the name and number of each driver when their car was just barely in sight.

My guy, Jimmie Johnson---WON the race yesterday! And it just so happens that my other favorite driver, Juan Pablo Montoya also did quite well!

John and I knew NOTHING about NASCAR until the boys introduced it to us. They are experts! It cracks me up with Kyle...he knows every driver, their number, and the make and main sponsor of each car. It's so interesting how much he can learn about something he has a passion for.

This was right before we left, and I had the nerve to request a few photographs...they weren't too into you can see.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Potty Training Continues

Potty training is going exceptionally well---I'm impressed with him! We had a little bit of a setback when he was sick for a week and the in-laws were here, but he's back on track.
In the beginning of this, he would often pee just for the sake of peeing. Now, he is able to hold it for usually a couple of hours. We've even made a couple of trips to the store with underwear instead of a diaper. We also go on our long walks without a diaper.
One thing that has changed recently is that he's not as willing to go whenever I say, "Do you need to go potty?" It's like he realizes he doesn't need to go all the time! So some of the times when he gives me his "," I've honored his request even though it's been a couple of hours. Sometimes this results in him doing just a little in his thick underwear, and then he proceeds to take them off. When I see him getting undressed, I always check the underwear, and if damp, we head to the potty where he does the rest! Now, him taking off his clothes doesn't necessarily mean he's wet them...he prefers the "no clothes" look. We're working on that.
As far as poop, we win some, we lose some!
What happened today was UNBELIEVABLE!
He was wearing underwear and a onesie...the easiest way to ensure that some clothes are on. He hadn't been in a while. I was in the kitchen, and I heard him go into the bathroom. By the time I got there, there he was.
Sitting on the toilet.
Without his Elmo potty seat.
Hands on the toilet seat and bottom in the water!
Amazingly, he wasn't too upset about it, but I think it startled him a bit. While trying not to laugh, I gave him lots of praise and took off the wet stuff. Then, after sitting on the Elmo potty seat, he went! I have a feeling he had already went a little, but not all of it. :)
Not sure how he got on the toilet. His stool was by the sink.
What I need to do--should have done already--is to take picture of the toilet. We haven't used any pictures for communication, but I think we need it in this case. Signing bathroom doesn't seem to be working--yet, and he doesn't have any word for it. A couple of times, he has come to me and I could tell from his body language that he needed to go, but it's subtle--very subtle. I'm not sure what's going to happen when he starts school in a few weeks, but I want to have some sort of system that they can work with that he's already familiar with.
Yeah, he starts school in a few weeks....


I am a carrier of the Fragile x gene. I didn't know this until Kyle was diagnosed...I had never heard of the gene before that time.
Fragile X syndrome is the most common known single gene cause of autism.
Approximately 1 in 260 (maybe ever 1 in 130) women and 1 in 800 men carry this gene.
Fragile X is the most common cause of inherited mental impairment. This impairment can range from learning disabilities to more severe cognitive or intellectual disabilities.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

iHeartFaces Week 28-------FEET!!!

It's weeK 28 at iHeartFaces, and it's all about feet! I've taken quite a few pictures of Evan's feet; it was hard choosing just one. I've always been quite fond of my babies' feet--I'm not sure at what age it is that the cuteness starts to fade...

If Evan's outside, his two favorite things to do are 1. go for a walk, and 2. SWING!

Check out all the cute feet---probably over 1000 FEET so far--at:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Fair

On Tuesday evening, we brought the boys to the fair. For the older two, there's nothing there that interest them anymore. ):
The house that we lived in before moving here (1 year ago, July 3rd) was RIGHT ACROSS the street from the fairgrounds. The part directly across from us was the track, so that was a bit of a buffer from where the rides were. During the fair we could watch the harness raising, and throughout the rest of the year, we could see them practicing...very cool. The location we're in now has some advantages--newer house, bigger yard, PRIVACY--to name a few, but I do miss the other house at times. From their bedroom window, and the downstairs window also, the kids could see the fair being put together and taken apart. They could see the quieter times, and watch it as the noise increased. Their window air conditioner helped with blocking out the noise at night.
Matt wasn't really into the rides when he was younger. We got him to go on the train and the motorcycle/car merry-go-round ride, but not much else. Kyle was our "brave" one. His FAVORITE ride was the Alligator Coaster; he loved the way it whipped him around. His laughter and smile on that thing were priceless. He would talk about it for weeks after and weeks before. The most awful fair moment for him (and me!) was the year that, as usual, he was so excited, but when we got up to the front of the line, the guy said without the slightest hint of compassion, "You're too tall!" and turned him away! My little boy's heart broke, and so did mine. The fair was never the same again for him. I know, all kids grow up, but he wasn't ready to "grow up" from that coaster. But he did.
There were a couple of years when they liked to play the games, but this year, they had no interest. They also liked the NASCAR ride for a couple of years (big enough for adults), but not this year. So, they dutifully followed us around.
On to Evan's story. Okay, back to the boys for a minute...a key to their success at the fair when they were younger was Chelsey. It was convenient for us to say, "Go on with Chelsey," and they would feel some sense of security. We don't have that luxury now with Evan.
So Tuesday night, we venture out, with my expectations being realistic. As we approached the area where the rides were, he was calm. He pointed to the merry-go-round. I quickly bought some tickets.
As we got on, he immediately let me know that just because he was pointing at them, it didn't mean he actually wanted to go on them! I told John to start taking some pictures before we ever started moving. I think I got him smiling by talking about juice and his blankie. ;)
He wanted nothing to do with sitting on a horse, so we sat on the bench. Basically, he survived with whining, a little screaming, but I talked to him about other things to try to even out his helped...a little.
So we get off, he's fine, and then....we hear an awful roar. I hadn't made the connection that Tuesday night was tractor pull night, and that meant noise!!!! It was sooo loud! I don't know if we would have been able to get him on anything else anyway, but that definitely ensured he wouldn't. We went to see the animals; it was 'a little' farther from the tractors, but not much. He whined most of the time, but he got better when the tractors took a break. We headed back to the rides, and yes, the tractors decided they were done with their break. So we got a lemon shake-up--he liked that--and headed home.
While John and Evan hung out in the living room, I went outside to stroll around the yard and remind myself that it was no big deal...
as I heard the roar of the tractors 2 miles away...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Oldie But Goody

This picture makes me smile every time I come across it. It's more than just the picture that causes the smile; it's also a poem that John had written to me that I think about when I see this...
First, notes about the picture. They're both left-handed...notice how Matt not only is eating with his right hand (while spoon remains in the bowl), he has his left hand conveniently tucked behind his back! Kyle at least has the spoon in his left hand, and, in his defense, he might just be pushing food that was escaping back into his mouth...this time. Yes, those were the days, the days of constant
"Use Your Spoon/Fork."
John has a great sense of humor, and occasionally likes to use his humor in a poetic way. One Mother's Day--around the time-period of this picture, or maybe a little before, John went out for an early morning golf match. No big deal; I know, it was Mother's Day, but he left before I even woke up and was home within a few hours.
When I woke up, I found the poem he had left for me. It was about 2 pages long--skipped lines :)--and for the most part, very sweet. But, it was the end that made me laugh and still does (I still have it somewhere...not sure where at the moment). I think it was because the poem was sweet--telling me what a great mother I was and such, not one of his humorous ones, that made the ending so funny. The last line went something like this,
"I love you my darling
and I'll be home soon
Don't forget to tell the boys
to eat with their spoon!"
Laughter keeps us sane...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Doctor Appointment

Evan's doctor's appointment last week confirmed the obvious--he's underweight. Kyle was too when he was younger, but with Evan, it just seems different.
The appointment, of course, was quite the experience. He started letting out the screams as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. They increased as we entered the building, and didn't improve any while we waited in the waited room. Then, when they called us back to the small, confining get the picture.
After a few attempts at weighing him, I offered to weigh myself with and without him. Through this method, we found that he weighs 26 pounds, which is actually one of the numbers we got while trying to weigh him by himself. When combined with the fact that he is between the 50th and 60th percentile in height, he's very far below on the "chart."
When the doctor came in, we first discussed his week-long diarrhea and vomiting, which I'm guessing knocked a pound or two off of him. We then went on to discuss his poop in general (see previous posts).
When I say "discuss," I probably should be saying, "We had to talk loudly and clearly and use good listening skills to be heard and understood above Evan."
The plan is to check his bowel movements for a variety of "things," and then look into intolerance of gluten. Collecting poop for five containers isn't much fun. Even less fun is bringing Evan with me to the lab to drop of containers.
Not a happy camper.
He survived the first waiting area (check in) by me hanging him upside down. An older woman observing found it to be humorous. But when we went back to second waiting area, hanging upside down wasn't going to cut it anymore. So, we walked the hallway outside of the area--very open area--he still wasn't happy, but he did take a few breaks in expressing his displeasure.
I couldn't help but feel that some of those "eyes" inside the waiting room were thinking, "Obviously, that mother is clueless; what a bratty child."
Oh well.
While walking the hallway, we briefly talked with someone I know--she works in the office area of the hospital. She knows the family history, but I've never officially announced to her that Evan had FX, too. As she was talking to Evan, she said, "I know Monica." Monica was his speech therapist...yay, somebody in the hospital new he wasn't just a bratty child. Soon after she said that, though, he bit me in the shoulder! He's only done that a few times in his life. He did wave and say good-bye to her. He likes to say good-bye to people when we are somewhere he doesn't want to be. Only, this time, we weren't the ones that were leaving the area...she was.
When we got back to the van, I gave the I'm disappointed in your behavior speech. We don't scream when we go somewhere. When we got home, he got the same speech...then I cried, he felt badly, we hugged.
I don't know why I cried; well, part of it is that I cry easily. Part of it is the memory of giving the boys that same speech when they were younger; part of it is the realization that I'm doing it all over again...
My pitty-party only lasted 3 minutes, tops. All better!!!