Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger

I was awarded the Rockin' Girl Blogger Award by Kimberly. I have been trying to decide for a week or so now how to be humble yet announce that I got this shiny pink award! And even harder than that, is deciding who to pass it along to . . . I think I have decided to go with Dori and her photogenic daughter, Aviva. Dori has a cool blog, lots of fun photos, and right now there are even balloons flying around counting down to their next Disney trip for Aviva's upcoming birthday. Somehow this pretty pink award makes me think of Aviva, so I am hoping she will think it is really cool that her mom won a Rockin' Blogger Award.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Union Fair

Dave took the boys to the Union Fair today. Dave was clenching his teeth when he got home, but the only way to know how Thane can handle it this year is to go . . .

I only got seven pictures back from Dave, but I think this one Thane tickling Braeden on one of the rides is pretty cute.

Orange Spots?

At 2:30 this morning, Thane and I were having a conversation.

“Thane, are you okay?”

“Oh yes, Mama. I foine.”

“Can you go to sleep?”

“Oh, no, Mama . . . I don’t see . . . I don’t see . . . I don’t see . . .”

“What are you looking for?”

“I don’t see it. I don’t see. Orange spots.”

“You don’t see orange spots?”

“No, I don’t see. I don’t see orange spots on tummy.”

“Thaney, does your tummy hurt?” (Not uncommon with his allergies and intolerances)

“Yes, tummy hurt. I don’t see orange spots. Jammies.”

“Are your pajamas bothering you?” We have had to switch to L.L. Bean cotton footed pajamas as I can’t seem to find any other brand in a 4T, but they are very loose and he doesn’t like the change.

“No. I move. I move. Slide down. Slide down.”

“Lovey, it’s time for bed, will you please go to sleep.”


He pulled his weighted blanket over his head and drifted off to sleep within a couple of minutes.

I, on the other hand, lay awake for about a half hour trying to figure out what on earth the orange spots were . . . and marveling at the fact that we’re having such conversations, even if I don’t fully get it!

9 + 3 =

We've been switching Thane over to Playmobil toys for his animals . . . made in Germany, no lead paint. I wanted to get some specific animals for Thane, and I also saw new Roman Gladiators, so I bought both boys some new stuff to play with during our two weeks of no camps and such.

Braeden took his soldiers out to the kitchen to set them up on the newly cleared counter and kitchen table (note to self, no wonder we never seem to have any clear flat surfaces, ever) while Thane and I turned the box over and played in the living room.

Braeden never puts anything away without nagging so he left a battle in progress on the breakfast bar . . . I wandered out to my office to fight with the nightmare that overcame my web site this week, and Dave was in the kitchen. Thane migrated out to the kitchen and added a bit of character to the layout.

Dave took this picture for me. Luckily both “pingaroos” have relocated their joeys, but the “cwocadawaddles” remained out in the living room. I love the addition of the duck from the Lucky Ducks game. Thane isn’t restricted by scale issues! Then on top of the siege tower – the photo didn’t come out – there are the soldiers Braeden placed, and then some little chicks, a bunny and a cat.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

1, 2, “Elb”

I caught this goofy picture of Thane after he was signing and counting. It was kind of funny because the way numbers are signed ended up confusing him. Signing 1-2-3 should like this, a little different from how most of us count with our fingers:

But he made the finger switch too soon and tried to sign 2 as:

But that is the sign for the letter L. He was looking at his hand as he counted, so he ended up saying, “One, two, elb? One, two . . .”

Another Chuckle

Thane was sitting in his x-chair swing in the living room when I moved to the couch to get a good view out the window (waiting for Braeden to be dropped off -- someone actually gave me half a break today). Thane stood up and farted.

“What was zat? Di ya hear dat? Did you hear dat?” (He likes to correct himself these days.)

I said, “Yes, you farted. Now you're supposed to say `excuse me’.”

“No! Did you hear that? It was the sound of a poopy in trouble!”

Then he started grunting and pushing.

Anyone who watches “Go, Diego, Go!” may recognize the script adaptation . . . it just was a poopy in trouble instead of an “aminal.”

An OMOM friend asked what Diego might have in the Rescue Pack to help a poopy in trouble – maybe a laxative? Dave’s suggestion was that since Rescue Pack can convert into whatever is needed it could turn into a potty.

I’ve been meaning to mention the x-chair that took over the living room. We have learned that if others sit in it, they must expect to be sat upon because Thaney has taken total ownership.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thank You, Thane

Braeden and I got a bit of a chuckle today. Thane was in rare form early this afternoon. Braeden had to physically save him from smacking his head on the corner of the kitchen cabinets. Why did he have a fit? We told him he could not have a “wemilly [lemon] ice” before he finished his waffle that he was having for lunch (Braeden was enjoying a gluten-free waffle too – score!).

Within 5 minutes, Thane finished his waffle and I said he could have the lemon ice. Braeden got one of the freezer, opened it, and gave it to Thane. Thane is usually very polite, but he didn’t say anything. I said, “Say `thank you,’ Thane.”

He walked off and said, “Thank you, Thane.”

He paused and shook his head. He seemed slightly irritated and confused. Clearly he echoed what I said, but then realized it didn’t really fit the situation.

“No! No thank you, Thane! No!”

“Oh man!” in his best Swiper the Fox voice (scripted from “Dora the Explorer.”)

Speaking of his backward flop, I have to say that something about the behavior resurfacing figures. I think this boy is much cleverer than the therapists and case manager give him credit for being. After we discussed this type of worrisome tantrum with the behavioral analyst for suggestions on how to cope, he said we should chart the seat drops and full backward falls as well as whatever seems to lead up to them, Thane stopped doing them and there was nothing to document. Then after I told the case manager there was nothing to document so we need to put off more consults until we normalize into a fall schedule, Thane’s started doing again. It’s hard not to feel like he manipulates the world to conform to his liking.


It is very intriguing how Thane can manipulate his voice. Here we have a child whose original speech can be quite difficult to understand, yet when he copies something it can be with amazing precision.

Thane likes to ask something as soon as I take a drink.

“Mama? Mama?” he asks with no pause in between to let me swallow.

I replied, “Thane?”

“What?” comes spewing out of his mouth in a way that really sounds like some kind of old hag on bad day.

We had the same conversation many times today.

I think anyone who could manage to spend a day at our house would leave feeling as if we’re all crazy. I decided today that I definitely am losing it – and the worst part of that is that I am totally aware of the fact that I am sinking into insanity. Why am I saying this? Well, we break out in song at weird times around here. For example, Braeden and a friend were getting into a conflict in the pool. I said in a sing-song voice, “let it go, let it go” . . . to which he replied “This is smaller than you know. No bigger than a pebble lying on a gravel road” from Great Big Sea. We both burst out laughing and it totally diffused the situation.

Not Supposed to Laugh

There are these things that happen that one really shouldn't laugh at, but I seem to have lousy self-control.

One of the things that I have laughed at a few times, is that Thane likes to say, “Wait a ja fa minute.” We all interpret in a way that maybe it isn’t meant, but it seems so close to, “Wait just a f---ing minute.”

Along with this perhaps inappropriate language was something I definitely took to be swearing, though without understanding. We use an orange cap and a pink cap that each hold about a half cup of Epsom salts to give to Thane in the bathtub. He loves his “snow!” Anyway, the cups were chatting with each other, back and forth, saying:

"Fa you.”
“No, fa you.”
“No, fa you.”

He probably heard it from his parents, which makes it doubly bad doesn’t it? Dave uses those words with inanimate objects all the time. I am more prone to saying, “oh fffffff-uck” when I drop something. I grew up in a house where swearing was common, but it didn’t tend to leave home. I appear to be too old to retrain.

It reminded me so much of an incident with a friend’s child at daycare. The father arrived to pick up his daughter and she was talking to a little boy. They were going back and forth saying

"You’re an asshole.”
“No, you’re an asshole!”
“No you!”

I wonder if Thane’s preschool teachers take the “Wait a ja fa minute” the same way we do? It appears to be part of one of his more common scripts.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Long & Winding Road

This was not a banner week . . . I wish I was enjoying having both children home, but I simply cannot say that I am. I think it is because I don’t get any time off – even bathroom visits are rarely un-interrupted.

Monday was the worst. I’m still not feeling very chatty about it, but Thane decided to remind me in the worst possible way that he can’t be trusted. I think what is bothering me more than the fact that he could have died is that I tried to stop him and he gave me that look from when he was first walking – the absolutely beautiful smile over the shoulder followed by total reckless defiance. I am still very sore from trying to rescue him. And I think it hit home in a way that is hard to explain. This is where autism sucks – I know I shouldn’t say things like that, but the truth is that it does. How am I ever going to trust this unpredictable child, and if I make the mistake again, will it work itself out the way this event did?

Afterward I really just felt like I wanted a break. I have wanted one all week. But the reality is that I don’t trust a lot of people with my children, especially Thane. I trust his teachers, but the one day I took him to school this week, I ended up talking to his case manager and then having my car battery die in a parking lot because Braeden had the DVD player on when the car wasn’t running. I was supposed to go to the doctor, but apparently the case manager forgot that I said no . . . and I don’t do well and dismissing the person in front of me.

Of all the people we deal with, the case manager is probably the one I like the least. I think she sees the glass half empty with Thane, maybe totally empty. She always talks about “children with his diagnosis” as opposed to him . . . drives me batty! The therapists and such all seem to have different ideas. It appears that we have our choice of a preschool that is completely children with disabilities – most with speech problems – or possible a couple of places that seem rather like we’d be slumming. I know that sounds awful, but Head Start looks better than these facilities, yet we can’t get into Head Start because we’re over income. The private places either won’t take a child with his diagnosis, or want him to have a one-on-one. I guess I can see him needing a one-on-one, but a good one of those can be hard to find too.

He’s technically two years away from Kindergarten. We are also highly unlikely to even consider public school for him. I don’t tend to “believe in them” for boys to begin with, but add special needs and I really dislike the idea.

It looks like we’ll do five mornings a week at the developmental preschool. He will have occupational and speech therapies there as well, sometimes one-on-one before starting the school day.

Then there is the problem with getting him access to typically developing children. It’s been exactly a year since his diagnosis and the team of evaluators was clear that there should be access to typical peers. I have been asking, trying, etc., with no luck. Activities like the park and story hour just don’t cut it. Many parents also don’t want to “subject their child” to someone like Thane. After all, he might hurt their feelings by refusing to play. I understand on some level, but it does make it hard to find that interaction!

We’ve tried gymnastics and the class gets cancelled. Swimming was suggested. I may consider that – there is a coach-therapist at a country club near Braeden’s school. It needs to be private lessons, though, for his safety and because his immune issues might make him miss more lessons than he can attend (we were out of school on Wednesday with spots and green poop, and out today because of a bloody nose). A creative movement class with his home developmental therapist was suggested by the school DT, but I just don’t think he can abstract and make himself a tree. In fact, I was just noting that the more things change, the more they stay the same on some level. Now that he knows his name is Thane, for example, we can’t call him anything else. I call him peanut, like in that little YouTube video posted earlier this month, and he corrects me. The dog is no longer a dog (with a Brooklyn accent), she’s a Misty. I know all small children are rather concrete, but he seems more rigidly so than most.

I guess we’re looking at trying a low-rent preschool for one or two afternoons a week. I will have to further investigate the worth in doing something like this. I’m shocked that these places seem to be located near cement plants, concrete batch mixers, pavement companies, town wastewater plants, and places that just seem way too toxic for a child who doesn’t detox things well! Maybe the next one I find will be in the same building as a bakery so he could be glutened daily too.

Oh, I can’t forget this in my long ramble here that one of the schools the case manager suggested actually straps children into chairs until they finish a task. The DT told me that they strap the kids around the middle and strap their legs, and then have them sit in that chair until they have made five worms out of Play Doh. She thought it would totally break his spirit and was inappropriate for him. I wish sometimes that the therapists and case manager would discuss these things before bringing them to me as anyone who knows us even slightly would realize we’d never strap our child into a chair, much less force him to touch Play Doh. It has taken over a year for him to bring himself to do anything with gluten-free dough. Early on the sight of it made him vomit. Even though he can do it now, I would never force something that is so unimportant in my mind.

I found out yesterday that the speech therapist isn’t going to be giving therapy at the preschool anymore – it is going to be an education technician who will work under the SLP. I can’t decide if this is good or bad. Thane gets more of his speech success from home. His SLP doesn’t work on the motor-planning issues. Maybe the ed tech would concentrate more on that?

Birch Point

We actually went to the beach for the first time this summer – considering that it is past the middle of August, that isn't too impressive! I got mostly what I consider memory pictures – not great quality, but fun to look at. I chose this one because there is just something very sweet about having two 9-year-old boys holding hands with the 3½-year-old. They were swinging him and including him in a lot.

Thane is one of the more popular younger siblings among Braeden’s friends. I think it is because he doesn’t generally follow the kids around all the time, but he will occasionally engage in play. I think sometimes they find him kind of humorous too.

Are you okay, Faney?
Yes, I foine.
Thank you.
Thank you much!”

It is rather cute that he has the whole conversation himself. Dave and I also think it is funny that he seems to have a Brooklyn accent when he speaks certain words. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, but I don’t have the accent (well, unless I am stringing together choice swear words).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Signing Time!

I've been waiting for this . . . Thane has been watching Signing Time! videos for awhile now. They have really helped his communication in a bunch of ways and I can't speak more highly of any other videos. My friend Michelle on OMOM suggested them to me and following her advice was so worth it! Thane has motor planning problems with his speech, as well as being developmentally delayed. I would say he actually learned most of his early language, and we all learned our signs, from this series. Thane still loves to watch them, even if he knows most of the words and signs in all 15 of the DVDs we have (the whole first series, plus the practice time ones).

A new series is coming out next month, so I just pre-ordered. This is the third time I have pre-ordered from the company as I like to get them as soon as I can. I read about it on My Two Boys, where there is a Signing Time! giveaway.

Added note: If you order through My Two Boys, it doesn't cost you extra and you can help fund an adoption.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


The party on Saturday went pretty well. It seems all the children enjoyed themselves, and none of the adults stayed around. I made one of them laugh when he asked how we chose this particular historian/re-enactor, so I told him that “I won him at an auction!” Well, I did!

Below are two stills and a slideshow for those who want to see what happens when you combine cooking out with living history with a water slide and then a swimming pool

Weekend Dialog

My favorite dialog for the weekend was brought about by my minivan being parked off the driveway to allow more space for guests . . .

Oh no! What happen?
Blue car. Blue car in grass.
Don’t worry. Don’t worry.
Don’t worry car, we love you! [Stroking the side of the car.]
We’ll help you blue car!
We’ll help!”

Then came the grunt as Thane started pushing on the front of the car to see if he could get it back up on the pavement. He was equally concerned on Sunday when my minivan was once again off the pavement and parked in the grass.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Still Swimming with the Frogs

Spent too much time in the pool to finish sorting the 946 pictures I took of the party yesterday. No human friends today, but there was a frog who joined us for a short while.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Gone Swimmin'

Crazy week in a million ways . . . throwing a party tomorrow, so just thought I would toss up two pictures of the boys swimming today.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

9 years in 8 minutes

This was harder than I expected to get done. I started back when I made Thane's World, but with computer problems I never finished. It is at 23 minutes or something, though, so I figured I better make a condensed version. So here we have Braeden: 9 years in 8 minutes.

Conversation, Reading

Thane is getting much better at having a conversation . . .

"Faney's? [hand on chest] Faney have some?”

“No, I'm sorry, these are mine,” Braeden replied

“Not for Faney. Bwaeden's. Tings? I love Tings!”

Braeden washed his hands and went and got a bag of Tings for Thane.

On the reading, we bought some Band-Aids last night as we no longer had bandages in the house. I threw out a lot of them when I couldn't confirm whether or not that had gluten. Anyway, he came to me with a newly purchased box that I got specifically for Braeden (so not really worrying about the gluten issue) and Thane asked, “Band-Aid?” as if he wanted to know what it was. I find this kind of thing fascinating.

Water Wings

Thane made a step in his swimming: no more water wings needed!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Card

Today's cute dialog, after finding a cloth tag from a stuffed toy:

Look, Mama, it’s a card.

A card!

A card!


A card!

A card!

A card!

A credit card!

It's August

A couple of things . . . today I find myself very angry about the whole Fisher-Price recall. Thane love's Diego. I am having trouble deciding if it is such a concern when I have only once seen him mouth one of the toys, but that was last week so it is fresh. I am impressed with for emailing so quickly to let me know I had one of the recalled items.

I uploaded this clip I did a few months ago. It is funny because I still cry when I look at it and think how far Thane has come in so many ways – and how far he has come just since I compiled this for What Kind of World do You Want?