May 2010

According to his teachers, the J-man is going through the Terrible Twos/Threes developmental stage. Since he is pretty close to five, it’s a little hard to deal with. He pushes our buttons in many ways, every day. From just being incredibly loud when Dale Jr is trying to sleep to outright physical defiance, he has been a true stinker. They say at school that he is being physically oppositional to things he’s done for almost 2 years now.

And they say it’s normal.

I’d be telling a lie if I didn’t say this was hard. I’m kind of amazed at how hard it is. Our chiropractor has been getting a lot of our business, just because we keep “playing hurt.” Of course we do – that’s parenting, but the physical aspect of forcing the J-man into and out of clothes alone is draining, and that’s been one of the smaller problems.

However, at the same time we are seeing startling upswings in language development. It’s not like he has all of a sudden started TALKING, but he is certainly much more willing to do things like speak some of the words of songs he has heard for years, or tell us that there is a “cookie” on the screen when Rachel is talking about “dessert.” His receptive language skill has definitely increased… now, whether he will actually follow a direction is more of a behavioral issue, but he KNOWS what we’re asking.

I wonder how much Dale Jr’s progress is helping the J-man. You should see how irritated the J-man gets when we’re reciting the alphabet with Dale Jr. (Yes, our one-year-old knows the alphabet. Thank you Saint Rachel!) Dale Jr hasn’t mastered the K sound yet, so when he gets to K and Q, he just skips them. It’s hilarious to us, but NOT to the J-man. It’s causing him to interact, if just to remind Dale Jr that there ARE those 2 letters in the alphabet. (We don’t actually skip them when WE’RE saying them, Dale Jr just pauses and waits for us to catch up to him.)

We’re kind of at the point where it’s time to hire someone to help us structure the house to help the J-man. At our “emergency” parent-teacher conference last week, Ms. Jennifer gave us the name of an organization that does that kind of thing, and we’re going to call them. We are hopeful that if we can get our house a little better organized toward meeting the J-man’s needs that we won’t have as hard of a time as we’ve been having with behavioral issues – that we can clear the sensory stuff as an issue, and then be able to focus on changing behavior that’s just behavior.

I’m pretty sure we’re at that point though, where the only thing that stays the same is that everything is changing. And that’s not so bad because it means we are moving forward, looking for the light at the end of tunnel, and believing with all our hearts that it’s not the train coming the other way to mow us down.

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Our Ideal Vacation

by Tim on May 13, 2010

After the complete suck that the last several weeks have been, we needed to think about something more positive. Regular vacations are often a complete ordeal. It’s the same trials and tribulations as at home only we can’t find anything, and nothing is familiar because we’re not at home.

I’m so exhausted right now that I feel like I’m going to freak out. I need to recharge in a serious way. Who knows when we’ll ever get to take any sort of vacation. But in pondering even the possibility of it, we talked about what our most perfect vacation would be right now given the state of life right now. It actually made us feel better.

So here’s our list of requirements for an ideal, admittedly non-reality-based vacation. Since we can pretty much only take vacations in our dreams anyway, why not do it right!

OK so we’d have to leave the kids with someone. But time would slow in the real world so they wouldn’t have as many opportunities to destroy property, become irreparably melted down, or for us to be disowned by whichever family members were watching them.

Transporter technology would exist so we wouldn’t have to fly or drive anywhere.

We’d go to some remote place that would rename itself Timistan on odd days and Marystan on even ones. They’d have spontaneous parades in our honor, though we may not go to any given day’s parade because that might require us to wake up. But knowing they are parading would be enough. And they would need to wear colorful, amusing, yet tasteful, outfits, preferably with plumed hats and those really big guys who drive the little tiny cars.

Chocolate would appear whenever we thought about it. Talking, let alone going to get it or calling someone for it, takes to much energy.

We’d get unlimited massages. Actually they’d just follow us around so whenever one of us fell over they could start massaging us some more.

Mary and I would have full course meals any time during the day, and we could show up in pajamas. And we wouldn’t gain any weight. We’d be able to stare at each other uninterrupted for however long we wanted to. We’d be serenaded by the L.A. Symphony.

A couple of nights, they’d hold Iron Chef contests for our amusement, and we’d get to pick the theme ingredient – like an assortment of stuff from Cinnabon.

We’d have a dunk tank for people who charge too much for autism products.

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Dale Jr. turns 1 today. Seems impossible to believe. April was just such a total mess for us, but with May, celebration finds its way through again. Things feel like they are perhaps edging closer to better finally. Maybe we’ll get back to blogging with some regularity soon. Regardless, seeing his happy, joyous face certainly makes everything better no matter what.

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