Monday, September 28, 2009

Musical Education

Lamest Football Weekend Eva!! (seriously, both my teams lost miserably and then I got my ass handed to me in fantasy -- where I have Drew Brees as my QB, so not only did we get trounced by NO, I also got no pts for Fantasy since he didn't throw for any TDs!)

In the awesome news pile, however, J came home on Friday and announced with much fan fare (and in a monotone yell-y voice):

In September for a while,
I will ride a crocodile,
Down that chick soup-y nile.
Paddle once, paddle twice
Paddle chicken soup with rice

I cannot express my joy! However, as much as I tried to implore J to sing other verses of the song, I soon learned that September was the only month she knew and the only one I could remember was February *le sigh* *

It was only after consulting with the Hubs that I realized not every child grows up with a musical-theater obsessed older sister, and therefore does not benefit from hearing the songs of Really Rosie over and over and over on cassette tape. I also realized that I had been neglecting my children's musical upbringing by playing them dumb shit like Mozart and Chopin. So I immediately went to Amazon and bought them a box set of Maurice Sendak stories as well as a DVD copy of Really Rosie (starring the Nutshell Kids, thank you very much!). Problem solved!

*I do, however, remember all the words to A Alligators All Around, which I think speaks volumes about my childhood!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another Day, Another (potential) Diagnosis

A's SLP (I have included an acronym list at the bottom of this may need to start referring to it for this and what looks to be many future posts) brought me some handouts on sensory integration (SID/SPD). She thinks A exhibits many proprioceptive behaviors (a lack of sensory input that causes the child to seek out stronger sensory input), which could be better addressed with OT.* Since we are switching our insurance from BC/BS (because they SUCK!) to Tricare, I called up the ES folks who are going to try and schedule an OT evaluation hopefully at some point in the next few months. As I am learning, I was actually fortunate to have forked over $1500 for A's speech and hearing evaluations through All Children's Hospital because they (being a private, for-profit organization) gave A thorough diagnostic testing and came up with an appropriate diagnosis fairly quickly. If you go through ES to being with, you will probably not be so lucky and may spend years waiting to get and appointment much less the proper diagnosis. Now that we are going to go through ES we already qualify for 2x/week speech therapy based on his initial diagnosis (which their independent evaluation confirmed); however, from this point forward we are back at square one for any other issues that might come up. If I were able to shell out the $$ for a private OT eval, we could probably get A in to see one in a fairly short time period, but since I can't afford any more medical bills we are going to have to put up with the system.

The good news is that A's ST is going well. He is very enamored with the word "no" and uses it almost constantly (I have never been more thrilled to hear a toddler say no!). His SLP gives us tons of information, tons of handouts and suggested therapy techniques. She has offered to start doing 1x/week with us at home and use the other session w/Hubs grandma, who is A's primary caregiver when I am at work and Hubs is in school. Although I would like to have all the sessions for us, I think she makes a good point that it is important for Grandma to be on the same page as us and using the same techniques to work on A's speech.

Various Acronyms for Your Reading Pleasure:
AOS - Apraxia of Speech
COS - Childhood Apraxia of Speech
SLP - Speech Language Pathologist
ST - Speech Therapist/Speech Therapy
OT - Occupational Therapist/Occupational Therapy
SID - Sensory Integration Disorder
SPD - Sensory Processing Disorder
ES - Early Steps (Florida's Early Intervention Program)
GF - gluten-free

Other Child News:

Wait, I have other children? You may not think so from reading this blog since I seem to be devoting much of my written time to A's journey, but I do in fact have a couple of other munchkins that I occasionally glance at from time to time ;) C & J have recently discovered computer games (I say recently only because I have only recently allowed C to start touching the home computer). So when Hubs settled down on the couch with his laptop last night it was no surprise that J immediately snuggled up to him and asked him to play a game with her.
"Sure," said Hubs," This game is called 'Help Daddy bet on the Dolphins.'"

*I may not want A to have any more issues than he already has, but this does explain a lot of his behavior, particularly his penchant for chewing on everything and his propensity to do every activity with the apparent intent of killing himself.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cuttin Out the Tasty

So, based on some good advice from my mom (I should really just consult her before I run off willy, nilly like I always do), we had A tested for food sensitivities and vitamin deficiencies and the like. Lo and behold he is most definitely sensitive to gluten, but casein - no problem. So, yay we get to keep butter (THANK GOD!) and various dairyliciousness; however, I am going to have to figure out how to cut out every bit of gluten-based product in our house. Or, as my Hubs said, everything that is yummy tasting. Sorry, Hubs. The thing with gluten is that apparently it is very easy to get cross contamination, so you really do have to make the house basically gluten-free. That means I have to get rid of every bit of flour (and scrub and possibly repaint the cupboard where it was stored) and anything that might have been touched by a utensil or finger that previously touched a gluten-filled product (breadcrumbs in the peanut butter, flour in the sugar jar, and ohmygod I may have to burn down the kitchen and start from scratch). This going gulten-free thing is not going to be easy, but if it will help A then how can I not do it? The really hard thing is going to be bread. According to the internets (and the gluten-free goddess, who also has a fantastic guide on how to go gluten-free without completely losing your mind...or at least without losing all of it), gluten is that wonderous thing that gives bread and baked goods just the right texture. Not being a fabulous baker to begin with, I quiver in fear at the thought of having to make a just right, gluten-free bread to appease the whole family. This is a true test of my will, people! Pray to the baking gods for me...hopefully they are kinder than the magical pony gods of travel and will take some pity on a poor, overworked mom!

In some good news, A is now saying "no" and "go" with great gusto (okay, so they come out sounding more like new and goo, but still, I know what he means!). He also says "up" and "guck" (he measns stuck...anything he can't open/close/get to is stuck in his mind). So we are making some serious progress here! C is excelling in school. She is getting A's in all her classes except religion (where she got a big fat F, hah! That's what you get for having a Jewish mom!). She also started back up with band, where I was able to dazzle her with my absolute lack of any musical knowledge when she asked for my help in perfecting her E Flat (I gave her may best "WTF is that?" face, which promptly encouraged her to go ask her dad instead). J is also enjoying school. They do color-themed weeks which culminate in color appropriate dress-up Fridays. This ensures that all week long J is excited about it being, for example, purple week and equally exciting Friday mornings where she decides that she wants to wear anything other than the purple outfit we already picked out and will have a terrible temper tantrum if we try to make her wear it (also we learned that she doesn't own any yellow clothing, how odd.).

Also, this is how I imagine J as a girl scout:

Appropriate, eh?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Constantly Amazed

by the creative ways the Bills are able to lose football games. It is really an art.

*sigh* Welcome to football season; looks like it's going to be a long one...again.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Can Never Think of a Title for These Things

Back in Colorado; been here since Tuesday, so forgive the blog-io silence. UCI (big ole inspection) is underway and things are going better than I expected. Hubs is suffering accordingly at home alone with the kiddos and everyone's crazy schedules, so send him some lovin! I'll be home next Tuesday, and this is my last trip up to Colorado. I have filled out my paperwork to make it official, but I have joined another unit just 2 hrs from our home. This has been a long time coming, but I wanted to see the unit through our inspection and I'm glad I was able to that and see all of our hard work pay off.

In my spare time I have been doing more research on A's condition. Unfortunately, apraxia is kind of like autism. They are both neurological disorders (in fact many kids with autism also have apraxia) and very little is known about what causes them or how to cure them. Some parents of autistic and apraxic kids have had luck with a gluten-free, casein-free (dairy) diet (GFCF). It seems to improve their symptoms, particularly with language acquisition. So I've decided that it can't hurt us to try it. This will be quite an adjustment for the family (I think it will be easier to make the house GFCF rather than try to police just A's diet), so wish me luck in convincing the Hubs! I've also been in contact with some other moms in my area regarding an apraxia support group. I feel like I have to reach out as much as possible so I can start to understand this and help my son. So little information is known on this disorder, it just really makes you feel helpless.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Home Sick

Well, I could feel it coming on for days, but I finally came down with the non-swine flu that's been going around the office. My throat is sore, my sinuses are all stuffed up, and I have a raging headache. So I'm home ith A today (that should alleviate my headache, hah!). Fortunately this is the Friday before the long weekend, so I can console myself with the thought that no actual work was probably going to get done today anyway :)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Getting together with the people you care about most just doesn't happen as often as you would like and life continues to keep pushin' on...

I always love taking a moment to read everyone's blogs and I try to do so each day. We all go through so many different things in our lives, good and sometimes challenging, it really is beautiful that people share these things.

What better way to celebrate blogs than with music..