Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Best Vacation Ever!

First of all, I would like to thank my sister, Riley, for making our Thanksgiving vacation imaginable, and then making it a great success. It was our first trip that was not a visit to relatives or a hurricane evacuation. We drove about four hours to San Antonio, stayed in a family-friendly Hilton, and spent a day at SeaWorld.

The twins get so loud at night at home that I couldn't imagine staying in a hotel with them. I figured worse come to worse, I would drive them around in the van if necessary. But zipping them into individual tents and putting a DVD on "repeat play" did the trick. There was a lot of quiet singing, but nothing that would disturb anyone.

The first day was a little tough with B., who was very excited about the Christmas tree in the lobby, and did a total flop on the floor and kept "combat crawling" back towards it as I tried to drag him away. When he did get to it, he was very fast about taking glittery ornaments off and chewing on them. My sister was good at quickly child-proofing the hotel room, which mostly meant putting almost everything on top of the TV cabinet. I was happy to find that the Hilton securely bolts all of the artwork to the wall. G. was entertained for a long time by washing his hands in the bathroom sink and even said "Wash hands" over and over to himself. It was only after a while that I realized he was also washing his hands in the toilet bowl.

The big hit, other than Sea World itself, were the outdoor heated pools. Not many people braved them, but we really got our money's worth. At night the hotel lit a bunch of outdoor fire pits and many kids were out there roasting marshmallows (we didn't include the twins on that one). SeaWorld was interesting, uncrowded and pretty well-designed for a family with two giant jogging strollers. They have a huge playground with climbing nets, a pirate ship and big slides. The boys, Dad and my sister loved it, but I have to admit it gave me vertigo. I thought I might have to be rescued off of one of the big nets.

Maybe I'll write more about the vacation later, but I've got to go.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

To blog or not to blog

I have not intentionally given up blogging. We are simply at a point where living our lives is taking up all of our energy. There is progress going on, and there is also a lot of poop, peanut butter, toothpaste, urine and other stuff to clean up. We are having lots of fun in general, but it's a very energetic type of fun! Lots of chasing boys across soccer fields, through Target, and so forth.

I always wondered what would happen when they got too big for strollers and shopping carts and now I know. I like to think my cardio vascular health must be getting great.

Hope to return to blogging before too long.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

B. and his Laptop

Back when he was only two, B was fascinated by letters, and would sit with alphabet blocks, quietly naming the letters to himself. Since then he hasn't shown as much interest, but in the past week he's fallen in love with an alphabet toy we've had for over a year. Yesterday morning he woke up calling out "Q! Q!", followed by wild laughter. I'm so happy to see him playing with a toy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I haven't written a blog post since April?? What's been going on? I have been lurking a lot, but not even commenting much.

One thing has been that B. can now scale anything, and also get himself back down. Unfortunately his preferred way of descending tends to be head first. Luckily, a slow, controlled headfirst descent. Our child-proofing has not kept up with his leap in gross motor skills, hence the lack of blogging.
Then I went through a very, very anxious stage, which included worse than usual insomnia (and I am a dyed-in-the-wool life=long insomniac). Not a good combination. I think it was the end of the school year, combined with early peri-menopause, but I still don't really know what was happening.

Things are better now, well, the climbing isn't better, but I'm getting used to it. J. is registered for kindergarten, and is taking swimming lessons--something I've been trying to get to for a long time. G. is his usual self, and seems to be learning to read a lot of sight words. He's been getting more affectionate lately, in the form of pressing his forehead into mine and touching my face. Sometimes he smells me, too, which I like to think of as an expression of affection. It feels like it to me.

So if I can keep the anxiety at bay, things are going fairly well.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Name that Tune

G's latest occupation: holding a number placemat and singing first "This Old Man" (one to ten) and then "There were ten in the bed and the little one said, Roll over" (ten back down to one). He has found the ultimate, never-ending song!

Our college student who comes in the afternoons is out of town, and my sanity is already a fragile thing. I am plotting to go to every store which has the carts which will hold two or three kids (Target, HEB, Randalls, there must be more). I've been working hard on getting them to walk with me in public, but I still need a "strapping in" option when I've got all three of them. It feels so strange to me that I can't take my kids out by myself. When they were younger and slower-moving, I could, but these days it's just not safe. Everyone tells me this will get easier, and I just have to assume they are right!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dr's Visit

I took B. into the pediatrician today to get a vaccination. We split them up by a few months this year, not because I think vaccines caused their autism, but just because ??? Who knows? It just felt like a good thing to do.

Our pediatrician is finally back in the original office, after months of repairs from Hurrican Ike. As far as I can tell, they spent a huge chunk of the insurance money on the mother of all fish tanks. They've always had a tiny one, and the only interest B. has shown in it was watching the bubbles rise.

Well, today he could not stop bouncing around and staring at it. Then I realized he was saying, "Goldfish, goldfish, what do you see?" (from the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, by Eric Carle, which G. recites in its entirety frequently throughout the day). I was so excited, because B. never used to show that he was noticing things in the environment, not to mention knew their names! I kept smiling proudly, as he jumped around the waiting room. Other people looked uncomfortable, and didn't meet my eye, and I can see that he was acting weird, in terms of usual waiting room behavior. But I was so happy!
Then, when the nurse was about to give him the shot, she said "One, two, three...", and he said in the saddest little voice, "four, five, six". He also slapped her hand when she said "give me five", and said "bye, bye" when I asked him to. I was walking around with a goofy grin for an hour or so afterward, I'm sure.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Calmer Times

First of all, a picture of J. and his best friend-- also adopted internationally, and every bit as silly as J.
My last post summed up how I feel at many times...overwhelmed and hoping for some kind of a break. Tonight I'm feeling more positive, probably because I've gotten out of the house quite a lot in the last week. Friday night I played Bunco (or Bonko, as J. refers to it, which I prefer) and this evening I went to hear a speaker on parent advocacy.

It was my second time subbing with this Bonko group, and I'm glad I gave it another chance. Last time I was very, very sleep-deprived, to the point where even the mindless game of Bunko seemed too hard to follow. This time I was only tired to the point of silly goofiness, so It worked out better. I did not talk about autism for the entire evening, and I think that was really good for me.

Having my younger sister visit was also a wonderful break. We took the kids to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (not the rodeo part). There were all sorts of animals, but the most popular events with the boys were sitting in new Ford pick-ups, and riding the merry-go-round. Hooray for sisters who visit even when you move all the way across the country!! My other sister is planning a visit in August, so there is another glimmer of hope for my sanity.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Today I had a migraine, and all I could think (besides thank God for the college student who helps us out in the afternoon) as I lay in bed with my head under a pillow was that I really, really need to get away.

My sister is coming to visit next week, which will really help. But how do you get away when you have twins who aren't potty-trained, will put anything in their mouths, climb the furniture, don't usually respond to their names? My husband is not used to watching all three of them, or I'd sneak away for a day or two.

I must brain-storm about this, because I think things are getting harder, as far as caring for the twins. They can say more, they notice more, and they can do more, which includes climbing over safety gates, opening the fridge and, well, I'm sure you know what I'm getting at. Mommy is getting a little loopy, here!

Just to illustrate, here's a picture of the attempt to take a group photo at the twins' birthday party. Some ASD kids made it into the photo, but neither of the twins!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

And in other news...

To balance out the disappointing preschool stuff, I should mention that both boys are making unprecedented progress at home and ABA. Yesterday the ABA therapists said that they'd tried G. on matching words to pictures, and he seemed to get it. He won't do picture-matching tasks-- we think he just doesn't see the point. They also started working on writing letters. When they originally tried to get him to trace letters, he got very upset, I guess because it was messing up a perfectly good letter. But writing his own letter isn't so upsetting, or so we hope!

B. is singing up a storm. He is stuck on the line "the mommies on the bus go "shush, shush, shush", for whatever reason (??), and he also keeps repeating "I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas". Either one of those things would have seemed impossible a few months ago. And with some encouragement, he'll point to the sentence strips I have around the kitchen and mutter, "Wan nuk (milk), peezh" or "Wanna cookie". That is really, really amazing for me to hear.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Post-It note's worth of progress? Really?

I don't think I've written much about pre-school experience. We took B. out of the program in December, after he actually regressed and became aggressive. we left G. in, and he seemed to enjoy it, although his IEP progress reports read "minimal progress" in all areas, while he was talking and spelling and such at home.

I hate conflict, so I've complained behind the teacher's back, mostly. My impression of her so far have been summed up by the phrase "phoning it in". I've decided I'm fed up.

I emailed last week and asked if she could tell me of some areas in which G. had made progress this year. I heard nothing back, so I emailed again, asking if she had received the first email. She wrote back saying she'd been very busy, and she'd send a note home.

Today I got a Post-it note, yes, a Post-It note, saying that he is sitting better with the group and attending. Also he is doing great with his letters.

This is a boy who knew all his letters, letter sounds and could put his letters in order before PPCD started in the fall!

Ay, yi, yi. Anyway, she is recommending that he go to the summer school program, and I am recommending that he not go. I know this is Texas, but is this really the best they can do?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Checking In

I don't know why I seem to have abandoned this blog! There just doesn't seem to be time.

All the boys are doing well. B. can answer the question "What is your name?", provided the asker is holding an Oreo cookie, or something equally appealing. Most of the time he says, "What is your name...B.", but it is so cute, who could quibble?

J. is five! He is a pleasure to converse with these days, and seems to have hit the "why" stage a few years later than some other kids. Really complicated why questions, that have me stammering and trying to explain the concept of re-incarnation or gravity or some such thing.

G. is interested in the movie Cars. He comes up to me and says, "Do you want Cars?...Yes, yes", with lots of head-nodding. This is big progress for him. We had finally gotten J. out of his Cars obsession, and here we are again.

I am making a disorganized attempt at potty-training both twins. That may be the real reason for my absence from the blogosphere. I am going on blind faith that some day, some how, the twins will actually use the potty as it is intended to be used.