Did you know women are demolition experts?

Okay, so I know I should be packing everyone’s stuff for our impending departure (4.5 hours and counting and still nothing is packed), but I MUST take a moment to reflect on the recent implosion of one of my primary support groups.

See, as I mentioned previously, I belong to a few online parenting forums. This past week, one of them fell completely apart. Unfortunately, this was also my favorite. It was a smaller than then other, with all the moms having kids within a few weeks of Owen’s birthday. I even knew a few of them personally. We have regular playdates. We talk on the phone. We attend each other’s birthday parties. You get the drift. This particular group has always prided itself on avoiding the drama that plagues so many online communities. Particularly when parenting is involved, people get very opinionated. When those opinions are questioned, they get defensive. And so imagine my surprise, when after nearly 2 years of peaceful co-existence on the World Wide Web, our little group erupted into conflict. It started with a simple difference of opinions. Although I agreed strongly with one of the parties involved, I tried to keep my comments to myself. The party with whom I agreed made her point in a less-than-tactful way, thereby offending the other party involved. Insults were exchanged, sides were taken. Within 2 days, this tight-knit community had fallen to pieces so irreparably, that the board was closed. The.end.

Wow.

I knew women could get pretty nasty when they fight, but I’ve never seen anything like this. Luckily, the rest of us who were not part of this whole fiasco, have rejoined, and so it’s not a total loss, but still it’s weird to think about how quickly it all came crashing down.

Dancing all the way out of Michigan

Hooray, hooray. Our long-awaited trip to the waterpark has finally arrived. We have reservations for 2 nights of wet, splashy fun, and we are all so very excited (including Owen, although he doesn’t really have a clue what the excitement is all about. He’s just grinning because everyone else is). If Reed keeps smiling like this, his face will fall off before we leave Monday afternoon. I just hope Owen enjoys it a bit more than last time, when he was completely overwhelmed by the noise and refused to go near the water at all. He’s a bit more tolerant this year, so I’m hopeful.

We’ll return sometime Wednesday. But probably not particularly early.

The Energizer Bunny

If the Energizer Bunny went to Kindergarten, he would look something like this Image hosting by Photobucket
That has been Reed this week at bedtime. I am at my wit’s end. We are all so sleep deprived at this point, that I’m not sure I could even tell you the date. The days are all starting to blur together. See, Reed doesn’t seem to have the ability to turn himself off at the end of the day. His batteries just won’t run down so he can recharge a bit. It doesn’t matter what time he goes to bed, he never gets to sleep before 10, and it’s often going on midnight before he finally crashes. Some mornings he’s up again by 5. Some mornings, I awake to find him curled up in my desk chair, or on the edge of my bed (remind me some day to tell you the funny story of the night I pushed him off onto the floor because I thought he was the cat hogging the covers). Although he slept through the night consistently from the ages of 3 weeks old to 2 1/2, it’s not so guaranteed now. And when he can’t sleep, he needs something to do. Last night’s something was painting his entire body with peanut butter. Head to toe. If I wasn’t so mad that he’d made a gigantic mess and wasted an entire jar of peanut butter, it would have been hilarious. Those two sheepish eyes peering out of the 1/2″ thick layer of gooeyness. It took 20 minutes in the shower to get it all off, and I had to wash his pj’s twice to get rid of the smell of peanut butter (and you don’t even want to hear about the meltdown he had because I wouldn’t let him stay up and wait for his favorite pajamas to be clean).

I bought him a scented oil air freshener with a lavender and chamomile fragrance in the hopes of helping him to wind down a bit at bedtime. So far, it’s helping a little, but he doesn’t seem anywhere near ready for sleep yet (after going to bed an hour and a half ago). At least he hasn’t broken anything. Yet. Or dumped out the cat food (which, incidentally was Monday night’s something to do). In. His. Bed. Argh!

*sigh* Well, time to go do some laundry. It’s only a matter of time before I’ll have to go intervene in one of his nighttime schemes, so I may as well get productive first.

Wondering

I have been agonizing over whether to have Owen evaluated for PDD. Deep down, I really believe he has something going on, I just don’t know if I can handle another case of PDD in this house right now. I am still reeling from Reed’s diagnosis (if you can call it that). And then I read over at Kristin’s place about how diagnosis brought their world crashing down. And I just don’t think I can handle that right now.

And yet, I know that early intervention is the key when dealing with kids with ASD. And I so want to help Owen. He seems so frustrated, especially lately.

The speech therapy seems to be helping. I’m really amazed that in such a short time (he’s only been there 3 times so far), he’s already imitating speech, trying new words, and babbling interactively. But he still doesn’t talk. He still communicates by pointing, and plotting to take over the world throwing a tantrum when we don’t understand.

He rarely responds to his name, and that’s usually only after shouting it at him repeatedly. I can’t tell if it’s his name he’s looking up for, or just his crazy mom shouting at him while he’s busy.

He is super sensitive to texture, and has recently adopted hand sanitizer as his new favorite invention ever. He wants to sanitize his hands every 30 seconds or so throughout the day, and gets irate if I don’t allow it. He won’t eat food if he doesn’t approve of it’s texture (and rarely does), and sometimes rejects foods on sight (or smell, I can’t tell which), without ever touching them at all.

He will only allow socks on his feet if they have shoes over them. He loves his shoes. Worships the shoes, but once they come off, the socks are franticly tugged at until they either come off, or he falls and hurts himself with the effort.

He carries things in pairs. We used to joke about needing “one for each hand” until it became redundant. Then I began to wonder.

There are lots of little things that on their own, are just little things. But once you get enough little things gathered together, you start to wonder. And wonder. And obsess wonder.

And so I wonder. He’s been making such great progress with his speech this month, that I’ve decided to put off asking for the evaluation for at least a few more weeks. And yet, I wonder if I’ll be blogging about this again at this time next year…

The Big U

Update time:

First: The Big One (aka: Reed) has been to Occupational Therapy twice now. Not only does he love it, but his therapist loves him, which makes me love it too. They work great together, and she has an uncanny ability to get Reed to do things he won’t do for many people (like voluntarily writing, for example), which is awesome. I’ve never seen him bond to someone so quickly. It feels really wonderful to feel that we made the right decision in putting him in therapy. They are working together on small motor skills (because his penmanship is atrocious), and coordination (because the boy could fall off the Earth if he tried hard enough). She plans to tackle his meager sensory issues later on, after she gets a better feel for his needs in that area. For now, his sensory issues aren’t really impeding his functioning, so we’re going to let them slide a bit longer and concentrate on the more pressing matters. In other news, he had Behavioral therapy this afternoon, and it went well. I had a nice chat with his therapist, as did he. She grilled him (not really) about his recent indiscretions, and declared that we’d hold off on any new tactics until we get the results of his testing at school (they’re testing him officially for PDD and possibly Asperger’s to determine what special services he qualifies for through the school). She’ll be moving to a new office before our next visit, and I’m a little apprehensive about how Reed will adjust to the change, since he’s only just starting to get comfortable with this office, and we’ve been going there since August.

Now on to The Little One (technically named Owen): He has had 3 sessions of Speech Therapy, and seems to be improving. He’s starting to warm up to the idea, and seems to adore his therapist (this is not surprising, however, since he is the biggest toddler flirt I’ve ever seen). He repeated “up”, “ball” (“bah” anyway), and “kitty” (he’s been saying it at home for a while, but it has become quite clear in the last week or so), as well as correctly identifying (by pointing) Mr. Potato Head’s eyes, mouth, nose, shoes, and hair. Up until then, he had been able to identify some body parts (feet, belly, mouth, and nose) on himself, but didn’t seem to understand that everyone contained those parts. This feels like a huge milestone. I have no idea if it’s really as big a step as it feels, but who cares?

I think that’s about it for us this week.

Now accepting employment offers

Anyone want to hire an over-worked, under-appreciated, sleep-deprived woman? Come on now, don’t all jump at once. I’m available to the highest bidder. No takers? Didn’t think so.

I’ve been looking for a job for what feels like an eternity. I have had no fewer than 3 interviewers tell me that I was a shew-in for the job, only to not be offered the job in the end. I have no words to tell you how extremely disheartening it is to sit in an interview for 10 hours, only to be sent home still unemployed. It’s enough to make a girl start buying lottery tickets.

Not only is it putting a strain on our already over-extended finances that I can’t get back to work, but it’s making me feel really low about myself. See, I think I’m a pretty spiffy candidate for the jobs I apply for. I don’t apply to jobs for which I don’t honestly believe I’m qualified. As someone who once had the responsibility of weeding out such candidates in a past professional life, I just can’t in god conscience make someone sift through my resume looking for the BS, so I simply don’t include any. Yes, I actually type nearly 60 words per minute. Yes, I can enter 10,000 keystrokes per hour. Yes, I have done just about everything you can legally do in an office. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that the powers that be think that I actually am BS’ing, and therefor disqualify me without ever even meeting me. Monster.com tells me that I have applied for 37 jobs since August, and yet, have only had 4 interviews as a result of those resumes. If my best work isn’t good enough for anybody, then what good is it at all?

So I bought a bunch of new work clothes. I’m hoping that optimism and a renewed sense of confidence at interviews will help propel me into a job. If I don’t get a job soon, please kill me. Wish me luck.

Speechless

So I’ve been racking my brain for the past week or so about a blog topic.

I. got. nothin’.

So sorry, fellow bloggers. I am a dud this week. Nothing of interest has happened (although on the bright side, this means no major mishaps either), and I have no life outside of the craziness of my children, therefore no subject matter.

So for lack of something interesting to say, here are some pictures of the loves of my life: