Archive for the ‘Lighter Side’ Category

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

March 17, 2010

Here’s a picture of the shirt our favorite little Irishman is wearing today!!

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Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2008

For the second year in a row, Josiah is a superhero. Last year it was Superman, this year Batman. A little piece of advice to parents of autistic toddlers….these pajama costumes are quite handy. We’re lucky some days to get Josiah to wear his shirt, pants, and coat, so I can’t imagine him wearing some elaborate, bulky costume. But he likes wearing these as they double as pj’s and are super comfortable. The cape in the back comes off with velcro too.

As you can see, he’s got to be about the cutest little Batman you’re ever going to see. Props to my wife for the little design she did with this picture.

I have to say to that it’s fitting Jo Jo is usually a superhero for Halloween. I think he’s something of a superhero everyday. He keeps a smile on his face even though he has to work so much harder than other 3 year-olds and we expect so much more out of him than any little guy his age should have to.

I hope he enjoys his day (I’m sure he’ll be wondering why everyone at school is dressed so funny today). And hopefully he’ll get a tasty treat tonight to enjoy (albeit in a gluten/casein free variety.)

Boldly going where no man should go

October 29, 2008

It’s been a pretty good week overall so far. Things got off to a bit of a rocky start when Josiah was up in the middle of the night early Monday for almost 3 hours. We were all dragging on Monday.

My wife was giving Josiah a bath Monday evening then and while she was doing that, I figured I had a couple of minutes to put my feet up and relax. I had just laid down on the couch and was starting to put a blanket on when I heard her say, “Oh no!”

I knew right away from here tone what had happened. Josiah had pooped in the tub. He’s never done this before, but I guess after being married to my wife for over 10 years, I’ve learned to read between the lines. I know what the “Oh no!” sounds like when he’s peed in the tub or if he’s trying to climb out, etc. But this one was just different enough that I knew he had gone #2 in the tub.

Sure enough that’s what happened. Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I acted pretty calmly and swiftly. Without going into too much gory detail, I grabbed two plastic bags, used one for grabbing and the other one as a receptacle.

This was a decent idea, but I was having a hard time grabbing the “nuggets.” So I said out loud, “Screw it! I’m going in!” And then I just grabbed the remaining culprits with my bare hand and put them into the bag. My wife was pretty impressed.

With all the other stresses we have to deal with, I guess getting my hands a little wet and dirty isn’t too big of a deal.  And I can’t fault my son. When a guy’s got to go, he’s got to go.

Where are my toys?!

October 7, 2008

After numerous spills with Josiah’s beverages we decided it was time to get our carpet professionally cleaned. All of his supplements cause his drinks to turn some crazy colors that leave some nasty orange and green stains. My wife found a company that specializes in ‘green’ carpet cleaning (meaning non-toxic, not the color green as we already have enough of that).

We thought they did a great job with the carpet and we can feel good knowing we didn’t use a bunch of chemicals that could harm Josiah. But Josiah was not too impressed with their work. We had to move everything off the floors including Josiah’s toys. When we got home and he couldn’t find his usual stash of toys, he was quite upset. He stuck his little lip out and started sobbing. Then he looked at me with the saddest eyes and he said, “Don’t cry!” It was hard not to laugh even though I felt bad for him. Whenever we’re trying to soothe him when he’s upset we’ll softly say, “Don’t Cry.” Now more times than not when he’s crying he’ll say that to us.

Luckily my wife and I were able to be heroes on this day when we brought some of his toys back up. He immediately grabbed some of his favorites and went to town. This gave us a good opportunity to try to thin out some of the toys so we don’t have so many out at once.

So all was well last night….clean carpet, happy kid….and no more crying.

All Done Donald!

October 2, 2008

Blog posts two days in a row? I know it’s a rare feat for me lately, but I thought I should start updating this a bit more. I remember a few years ago when I first discovered what blogs were, I would read certain ones and be annoyed if they weren’t updated regularly. I used to think, “How hard is it to write something everyday?”

Well it is harder than it seems. Some days I’m too busy. Other days I just don’t feel like it. But I guess I have to remind myself that this is a good release and it doesn’t have to be novel-worthy every time I post. Although if there are any publishers reading this who would like to advance me a sizable amount of money to start a book of my thoughts, I can try a little harder.

Anyway, just a quick, funny story that happened recently. We are so thankful Josiah is verbal. Anytime he says anything, I am happy. It’s still mostly of the one-word variety but every now and then he’ll bust out something with two or three words.

Recently at school one of his therapists was singing “Old McDonald” and I guess after so many verses Josiah had enough. He looked at her and said, “All done Donald!”

I was so proud of him. Not only is it funny, but it’s a good, spontaneous request. And I guess it worked because she stopped singing.

Sense of Humor

October 1, 2008

A friend of mine has been going through a tough time recently and the other day he said, “You know, even when life is tough, I think you have to try to laugh at things and keep a sense of humor, right?”

I told him I couldn’t agree more. This past year has definitely had its share of ups and downs and I shudder to think where I’d be if I didn’t laugh from time to time.

Sometimes I laugh at something funny my little son does. Other times it might be at a favorite tv show. And sometimes I just have to laugh at the absurdity of my everyday life.

As you can tell by any photos of my son on this blog, he wears glasses. When we first though he had autism last year we also noticed he would squint and it seemed like maybe he was having difficulty seeing. For a brief day or two we thought perhaps his eyesight was solely to blame for developmental delays and not autism. Unfortunately we found out he has autism AND is quite farsighted.

It took us a good six weeks or so to get him to wear his glasses. It was a stressful battle and there were definitely days we didn’t think we’d ever get him to wear the things. But eventually he relented and for several months now he’s been wearing them without incident.

That is, until this week. For some reason starting on Monday morning, he’s been refusing to wear his glasses. He’ll swat at our hands the minute he sees the glasses coming close to his face. He eventually did wear his glasses on Monday after a nap at school. But first thing Tuesday morning he started rejecting the glasses again. He didn’t wear them at all yesterday and as of this morning when I dropped him off at school he was still not wearing them.

What could be the cause for this sudden behavior? We have many theories, but there’s really no way of knowing. Perhaps it’s actually a good sign that he’s showing some typical 2-year-old characteristics by displaying his dislikes. Maybe the glasses are now uncomfortable or the prescription needs changing. Unfortunately with the communication barrier we have, we’re not likely to get an answer anytime soon.

So where does laughter come into all of this? Well, as stressful as this has been to see all our hard work with the glasses start to evaporate, my wife and I have had to step back and laugh a bit at our current glasses standoff. Either we are just getting better at dealing with these daily challenges or we’re just going a little crazy. Maybe a little of both!

At least in the midst of all, my son has also shown a sense of humor. This morning we were trying a lighthearted approach to getting him to wear his glasses. My wife started tickling him and telling him that he needed to wear them. So what does he do? He starts looking at us with an impish gleam in his eyes and keeps saying, “Glasses! Glasses!” I know somewhere inside of this kid lies a little jokester. As he teased us with those words, all we could do was laugh.

So we’ll see who breaks first with this glasses standoff. My hope is it’s just a passing phase and in a few days we can try to find something a little less stressful to chuckle about.

A Bloody Good Day

September 8, 2008

For some reason my blog entries seem to deal almost exclusively with the collecting of urine, blood, or poop. I guess everytime we have to get a sample it always ends up being a humorous, heartbreaking experience that is tailor made for a blog entry.

So I’m sure you’ve all been waiting impatiently to see how the blood saga turned out. You may recall from a previous post that we had a not so great experience last time out. I’ll cut right to the chase here and tell you that we tried again last week and it went quite well.

There are three locations of labs in our area that we can go to get this blood collected and tested. I’m not quite sure why we can’t just go to the pediatrician’s office or the local hospital, but I guess it makes it more fun to drive 45 minutes each way to do this. Driving that much kind of adds to the festive, carnival-like atmosphere.

We were down to our third and final location as the other two aren’t options right now. One of them changed to only afternoon hours which doesn’t work well around a toddler’s nap schedule. And the other one was the subject of the previous post when things went awry, so we weren’t keen on going back there too soon.

So it was off to downtown Minneapolis. The first challenge was just trying to figure out how to get there. I wanted to avoid any highways on the way there that were near St. Paul as the Republican National Convention was in full swing. We instead bypassed St. Paul and moved fairly effortlessly into Minneapolis until we hit the last exit available before the road ends where the I-35W bridge is being rebuilt. We had a long wait exiting off there, but not as bad as I had originally feared.

Going downtown brings the excitement of finding a spot in a parking ramp, which we barely managed to do. Somehow we lucked into finding the skyway which took us to the correct building almost immediately. Josiah had a blast running around the waiting room which was a change from our previous attempts when all he wanted to do was run around the hallways.

I was impressed with this office building more than the previous ones as this place had a sushi bar and a guy wearing a top hat in the lobby. I didn’t really need any sushi or a guy in a top hat this time around, but it makes me feel better to know they’re there.

We took another rickety elevator up to the lab and prayed things would got a little better this time.

This phlebotomist (I wish I had a cool title like that) did such a good job with the blood draw. She just exuded much more confidence than our previous phlebotomist (again, I love that title!) and was able to quickly find a vein, draw the blood, and bandage Josiah up in world-record time. By the time this phlebotomist was done, our previous one would have still been knocking things over. Even the needle this new phleb (my abbreviation) used seemed so much smaller than the scary-looking one the other gal likes to use.

Quick aside….I had to look up the word phlebotomist to make sure I spelled it correctly and to see if that was indeed the title. I also came across the world phlebotomize. Now that’s really a nice word. I need to use that in a sentence today with my co-workers, I think. “Hey, if you don’t get me that report by 5, I’m going to phlebotomize you!”

So now we wait till our next appointment with our DAN doctor to see what the results are and if we can begin the chelation process again. I’m sure our next blood or urine experience will be right around the corner, but for now I’m celebrating a minor victory with this latest experience. 

As gross as it is, I think a fecal (another great word) specimen would be the easiest to get. The blood draw is tricky for obvious reasons and the urine one is a headache because the collector bags are a royal pain. But the poop would just be right there for the taking. I’m sure it’s pretty gross, but it would probably be the least painful for all parties involved (except for whoever has to test it I guess).

The Best Medicine

August 8, 2008

I think it is true that laughter really is the best medicine.

Josiah’s always been a pretty happy little guy, but we’ve definitely gone for periods of time where we don’t hear a lot of laughter in the house. Over the past couple of weeks though, he’s been giggling up a storm and it really has done this heart some good.

He’ll laugh at things you would think of like tickling, etc. but probably the thing he gets the biggest kick out of these days is hearing us whistle. He’s been asking pretty much everyone he comes in contact with the last couple of months to whistle. Or as he says it sometimes, “Whiss-ole!”

Up until recently he just wanted to hear you whistle and he was content with that. But now for some reason he gets such a charge out of us whistling that he just laughs hysterically.

A couple of weeks ago my wife was out with some friends so it was just Josiah and I home for dinner. He was glued to one of his favorite tv shows and I was just kind of sitting there eating, feeling sorry for myself. All of a sudden, Josiah looked over at me and gave me the biggest smile and a giggle. It totally made my day and lightened the mood considerably.

So I guess this post isn’t anything deep (not that it has to be). I’m just enjoying some of the simple things these days. There were days when we first started dealing with autism in our lives that the thought of laughing seemed so far away. It’s nice that it’s making a comeback.

Givin’ Some Blood

July 30, 2008

I’ve never been a big fan of having to give blood. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been scared of needles whether it was from getting a shot or having to give blood at the doctor’s office. I’ve gotten a little better at it as I’ve become older (I no longer have to sit on my mom’s lap and I don’t need a prize or lollipop afterward). Well, I guess that’s not entirely true. Last year during my annual physical I managed to make it through the appointment by myself, but I did buy myself an ice cream afterwards as a reward.

I’m now finding the only thing worse than dealing with these needles myself, is having to watch my little son go through it. He’s not at an age yet where you can tell him why he needs to do something that hurts for a minute. 

A few weeks ago we had to take him to a lab to get some blood drawn for some tests to make sure his body is handling the chelation treatments ok. My wife and I were dreading this appointment for quite some time.

I repeatedly told my wife leading up to this appointment that it was an absolute necessity for us to remain calm the morning of the blood draw, as Josiah would be able to sense our mood. If we were calm, perhaps he would be calm too. If we were all tight and tense, he would pick up on that too.

I guess I forgot to take my own advice because as we were trying to find the lab I almost pulled right in front of some oncoming traffic. It wasn’t even close to being an accident, but the other driver looked at me and shook her head. She was probably right to do so, but I started to lose my cool and was saying things like, “Hey, if only that lady knew the stress I’m under! We’re about to give some blood here! Cut me some slack!”

My wife actually had to laugh at my little outburst and she said, “So is this what you meant by keeping the mood calm?” Oops, guess I forgot what I was doing for a moment!

After some confusion over whether we had to pay for parking or not (I think we were supposed to, but it was unclear, so we didn’t and we never got a ticket), we entered the building. Josiah wasn’t too thrilled once we entered the office we needed to go into, so I said I would check us in and my wife could just walk around the halls or something with Josiah.

I waited for what felt like an eternity for someone to come to the front desk to get us (it was actually only 5 minutes or so). I could see through the window in the office that Josiah was dancing to some music at the entryway of the pharmacy across the hall. I’m not sure what song was playing over there, but in the office I got to relax and wait for the nurse with the soothing sounds of Barry White doing a cover of Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are.” I wasn’t aware that cover existed but there was no mistaking Barry’s pipes.

We eventually got our chance to go to the lab and long story short, Josiah did amazing. The nurse whipped out a huge needle and it ended up popping out of the first arm she tried so she had to try his other arm. I thought I would be the one who needed a nurse because in order to help hold Josiah’s arm I needed to watch the whole process and I’m not usually too good with the sight of blood.

Josiah cried a little bit, but much less than I expected and he was rewarded with a Garfield band-aid on his arm and another trip across the hall to bust a few moves to the tunes at the pharmacy (which was actually called an Apothecary for those keeping score).

So I guess the moral of the story was that we often worry so much about how a certain event is going to go and more times than not, our kids rise to the challenge and it’s us that spend needless time worrying and fretting when we could be doing more important things like tracking down obscure Barry White cd’s.

Ma Ca Ca?

July 2, 2008

My son has an interesting language he uses to speaks to us. Most of it is pretty easily understandable (to us at least). It’s mostly of the one word variety right now and it’s pretty functional stuff like “cake,” “milk,” etc. He also has some nice two-word combos he’s been throwing out too like “get out,” “climb up,” and “let go!”

Usually we can understand what he’s trying to tell us and even if it’s not necessarily the correct word we know what he means because we first heard him say it in a certain context. For instance, he might say “handle” which we right away know he wants us to sing the song “I’m a little teapot.”

Well a couple of weeks ago he looked at us and said “ma ca ca.” He said it innocently enough but when we didn’t respond appropriately he really started to get ticked. “MA CA CA!” For the life of us we couldn’t figure out what this meant. My wife thought, “perhaps he wants us to sing the Macarena?” I didn’t think he’d ever heard that song but I started singing it anyway (which by the way is not as easy a song to sing as you’d think if you don’t really know the words other than ‘heyyy Macarena.’)

Apparently that wasn’t it so we started to drag out every toy the kid owns to see if that’s what ‘ma ca ca’ was. He finally got over it and we breathed a sigh of relief. We didn’t even remember it the next day until once again out of the blue our little dude started persistenly asking for ‘MA CA CA!” Oh no, not again!

So this went on for a while…we’d get a reprieve for a few days and then this ‘ma ca ca’ business would start up again. We’d jokingly shake our fists and rue the day ‘ma ca ca’ ever came into our lives.

Then one morning my wife happened to pick up our son’s plastic harmonica and was playing it for him when he first woke up (nothing better than starting your day with the soothing sounds of the harmonica!). All of a sudden our son smiled and said “Ma Ca Ca!” Ohhhh…Harmonica! I guess that makes sense. He used to just call it ‘ca’ so I’m surprised we didn’t figure that one out sooner.

So our sleuthing is over for now until the next “ma ca ca” surfaces. I guess I’ll use the downtime until then to learn the real words to the Macarena in case he starts liking that song.