Friday, July 31, 2009
Hubby, Charlie, and I will be heading to Plano this coming Thursday for more ABR training. On Friday, August 7th, were going to be meeting up with Jennifer and Jude of Jude; The Diary of a Baby and a Stroke in Dallas.
I've been calling groups of special mommies the Holland Mafia and that where the name comes from.
If you live in the DFW area and have a kid with special needs, then we'd love for you to come meet us. If you read this blog or Jennifer's and just want to come along, that would be fine too. Please pass this info along to any other "Holland Mob Bosses: that you think might be interested.
We'll be meeting at 6:45 at the Jason's Deli in North Dallas
The address is 18111 Dallas Parkway #100, Dallas, TX
Hope to see you there!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
- Normal two-year-olds have very short attention spans. When planning a therapy session, count on having to change activities every five minutes.
- In the beginning, I shouldn't expect him to use Tina for more than ten minutes TOPS! Poor Tina, she'll remain abused and neglected.
- We should be using all five levels of the GoTalk with each level representing a different activity. One could be for foods, one for a few toys, one for a puzzle, and one for song. We'd been doing the opposite--we'd been using only one level because we didn't want to overwhelm him. Apparently, we were underwhelming him by expecting him to be interested in nose, mouth, eyes, and ears for more than five minutes.
- The POINT of augmentative communication with a two-year-old is really just to get them used to using a device--it's not going to be life-altering with a total of twenty words.
- All children have good days and bad days, so it's OK if he doesn't want to practice every day.
- Advancement and avoiding frustration might be mutually exclusive. Basically, we might have to push him a little to achieve on the GoTalk.
I called his speech therapist right after the conversation and we discussed everything. We're jazzed and ready to start planning some activities--I'm getting ready to fire up that laminator right now.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Charlie likes water, though, so I thought this was a good omen. We started him off in this contraption that's basically like a large plastic sprinkler that babies can sit in and get sprayed from every angle. Huge Hit. Being the king of oral interaction, Charlie felt duty bound to try to get a taste of every little stream of water in his immediate area.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I have ruined my child.
What, you say. Surely not. Not you, Katy, who reads books on development and creates lesson plans and travels to other countries to give him the best life possible. You could not possibly have ruined your child. He's only two.
But I have. My mother knows. She actually outed me to a nurse at the hospital. Of course, the nurse didn't belive her.
You see, it's rapidly becoming clear that Charlie has developed an unhealthy obsession with rap music.
There. I said it.
I started off with the best of intentions. Charlie and I take a couple of long drives a week. We usually cross the bridge over Lake Pontchartrain at least twice a week and that adds up to about two hours in the car total for each trip. I would dutifully put in either a Fisher Price alphabet CD or a Fisher Price Numbers CD. I mean, I wasn't going to waste precious developmental time with stuff like Top 40! This is my baby's brain we're talking about here!
And the songs were cute and I didn't mind them too much and then all of the sudden I was like IF I HAVE TO HEAR KITTEN KABOODLE ONE MORE TIME.
So I put on the radio for a few minutes.
Just a few minutes more.
Half the drive--that's it!
Well, seriously, nobody ever died from listening to Top 40 music, right?
So here we are today. He likes some guitarists, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Brit brit, and pretty much any rap song you can think of. If you play country he will completely lose his mind with the screaming. It's ridiculous.
I sounds like I'm exaggerating, right?
Here's a picture of Charlie listening to some random song:
And here he is listening to "Come, Baby, Come" by K7:
You may not know this, but that is actually the CP version of dropping it like it's hot (def 1).
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The most exciting thing to happen to me this weekend, however, doesn't actually involve Charlie or my bathroom or the new Harry Potter movie.
My husband bought me a new computer.
We haven't plugged it in or anything, but let me tell you, this is some good stuff. The computer I'm currently typing on is old. OLD. I believe it receives social security. It' so old that when I bought all of my fancy, crazy-expensive Adobe products last year, they wouldn't even install on this computer. WOULDN'T INSTALL! So, I had to put them on my lap top and my life ever since has been back and forth between the two computers with a flash drive and inevitably, whatever file or picture I'm looking for is on the other computer and blah, blah, blah.
No longer. I'll be able to put all my pretty programs and my pictures on one computer. And my iTunes. I'm practically drunk with power.
Now let's see how long it takes my husband to actually set the thing up.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
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Friday, July 17, 2009
- I'm easily scared by movies. I hadn't seen Poltergeist or Goonies all the way through until I was an adult.
- My husband took me to see The Ring in theaters and I refused to watch the whole video--you know, just in case it would kill me.
- Everyone on my mother's side of the family has claustrophobia. My uncle's got it so bad that he made us promise we wouldn't bury him in a box.
- I'm also scared of heights, but living in Louisiana, it doesn't come up that much. It does hit me pretty hard in air planes, though.
- I hate, hate, hate driving over tall bridges. In fact, I have nightmares that I'm driving up a bridge and I can't see what's on the other side.
- I also have nightmares that I've gone to work with no pants on, and I'm trying to convince people that it's just the new style.
- I can't think of one single thing that my husband is afraid of.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
We've got the tantrum thing in a good place and it's been a few days since we've seen a major explosion. There are people who will frown on this, but basically, Charlie likes to have music on. We either play a video or my iPod and he's fine. He'll play on his own, crawl around, whatever--he just doesn't go for the silence. I don't know what the deal is, but he's generally happier, so I think it's fine.
One interesting thing happened this week, though. I showed Charlie a braille book. The vision therapist brought it over when he was about four months old and I stuck it on the shelf and haven't looked at it since.
Charlie hates books. They disgust him and I have no idea why. I showed him the braille book, however, and it did get his attention. I'm not sure what the deal is. Is the print too small in regular books? Is it too difficult to run his eyes over the text? I don't know. I do know that he seemed to like the braille book. I'm going to try a couple of other things as well, but I'm definitely keeping it in mind that he liked the braille book--food for thought.
In gross motor, Charlie is kicking complete ass--we raised the step for him to pull up on, and he had it mastered in about half an hour.
I'm also TRYING to teach Charlie a little independence. In general, I pick Charlie up and move him from room to room. We have a schedule and it is largely dictated by me. I'd like him to have a little more independence. I'm trying to show him that he can, in fact, move from room to room without me. To do this, I'm plopping him down in the hallway near his room and the den. So far, he just sort of looks around confused, but I'm hoping he'll start to figure it out.
So. . . that's what we're up to over here! Tomorrow I go to the dentist because I've started grinding my teeth--gah!
Monday, July 13, 2009
You see, when we started my quest to paint the house, I chose a slightly off-white shade of white called Quail Egg. But then I bought this towel bar, which has a white/white little piece on it. I've held the paint sample up to the towel bar about a million times and I don't like the way it looks.
I've got a couple of options:
- I can paint the bathroom a whiter shade of white, but that would mean two different whites in the house and then I start to get tense wondering about the ceiling and what if I want to paint the trim and on and on.
- I can paint the bathroom a different color, but I'm not sure what.
- I can embrace the different whites and just go with it.
I think it's time to consult with some of my magazines and see if I can get some ideas.
Friday, July 10, 2009
- I started going to bars when I was fifteen. I was pretty clueless--I wasn't there to drink--I just wanted to play pool. Didn't occur to me that what I was doing was illegal.
- My husband started going to bars when he was two. He'd go after his dad's rugby games. He remembers being frustrated because the dart board was so high up.
- When I turned eighteen I started going to this Country and Western bar to dance. My friends who were still seventeen would have to sneak in.
- The first time I went out in New Orleans I went to Fat Harry's. It's been there forever and still is.
- I drank a Malibu and Seven Up.
- Fat Harry's is also the only bar I've ever stayed at all night. Like til the sun came up.
- Being from New Orleans, I taught most of my friends how to open a tab and tip properly.
- Also being from New Orleans, I spent a lot of nights physically dragging my friends out of bars.
- I've never been thrown out of a bar, but a lot of my friends have.
- In Texas we used to go to bar that let you bring your own alcohol. They sold beer and mixers, but that was it.
- It did cost five dollars to get in, though.
- People from New Orleans generally hate cover charges.
Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy a cocktail if that's your thing!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Anyway, the good news these days is that Charlie has started to pull himself up onto low steps. He does it from a prop sit and he also does it from the belly-crawl position. His PT is over-the-moon excited about this new development and so am I.
We are managing the tantrums. Time out in his bed seems to be effective. We're also pretty much glued to our schedule, but it's working and that's the important thing.
On the downside, my PT is ready to have a medical equipment vendor come out to the house and help us figure out a good wheelchair option for Charlie. You see, before we know it, Charlie will be going to school and we're going to need a good, supportive option to get him through the lessons. Right now I just cart him everywhere in an umbrella stroller, which probably won't be an option for very much longer. I'm not upset about the wheelchair part. There's this handy chart that helps put kids with CP into distinct categories. Charlie is easily a III. If I follow III all the way into adulthood I can see that he may need to use a wheelchair--especially for long distances.
I want to be clear about something--I do believe that ABR and Feldenkrais will help him make gains that this chart doesn't account for. We're already starting to see him make reciprocal movements with his legs, which is more common in II's than in III's. He's also pretty good at playing in the sitting position although balance is definitely an issue. But, he's still got a long way to go, and I don't think it does him any justice to keep him from interacting with others on their level.
So pretty soon I've got to pick a chair. And that's the yucky part. I wish there was a manual! I imagine it's very hard to decide these things and insurance companies only pay for one wheelchair every couple of years, so I better get it right. The pressure! Gah!
Monday, July 6, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
- When you make a coding error, I don't think that I should have to waste hours of my time straightening it out. You are actually receiving a pay check for dealing with billing. I am not. Also, I have a toddler screaming in my face because I'm ignoring him.
- Sending multiple bills for the same procedure is a horrible practice--I don't know who came up with it, but it sucks. Surely with the gazillions of dollars streaming into you facility you could find some way to put it all on one bill.
- Charging 1200 dollars for a "room" when my son had out-patient surgery seems like a bit of a stretch. Plus, it wasn't so much a room as it was a rocking chair a bed and a curtain. Rooms have walls.
- When I agree to pay in installments, please don't call me every five days about my account. You're getting my money--now leave me alone.
- I am not a moron. I understand the terms of my policy. I know I have a deductible. You, on the other hand, seem to be confused about the entire process.
- When I call YOU about my billing, please don't act like I'm a degenerate who doesn't pay their bills. I'm trying to straighten it out--do degenerates do that?
- And finally, please do not expect me to blindly pay an UN-ITEMIZED bill for $300 dollars from 2008.
The Mother of a Special Needs Child
PS: Going to see the neurosurgeon next Wednesday, but we're managing the temper tantrums pretty well around here. It may just be a case of the terrible twos.