Friday, July 13, 2007

One step forward, two steps back

(or Nothing is as easy as it first seems)

First things I have learned in toilet training Nicky:

  1. Nicky can hold his urine for over two hours or until underwear or a diaper are put on.

  2. Dogs are good at cleaning up BM and seem to like the taste.

  3. While his siblings enjoy potty humor they are grossed out by potty accidents.

  4. Warm water on hands really does trigger urination.

  5. Staying home most of the day is really boring.

I've been letting Nicky hang out around the house bottom-less most mornings (much to the chagrin of big sis). Then I've been putting him on the potty at intervals. We've had some moderate success and some major failures. This morning started out with a pee accident. Then about an hour later Nicky took his walker into the bathroom. When I went in after him has said "potty". Put him on the potty and he had a BM. Hooray!!! Call Daddy. Give Nicky a cookie

Less than an hour later again he says "potty". Put him on, he sits a while, strains a bit, says "all done". Not five minutes later he had another BM, this time on the porch (this is where the dog comes in.) SIGH. Then about 20 minutes later another BM. SIGH, SIGH.

And, yes he did have three BMs in less than two hours. That's part of the reason I'm pushing for potty training. We are in the midst of a work-up for Celiac. He had the blood work yesterday and I took a stool sample in today. (Had lots of collection opportunities.) Looking over Nicky's record, he hasn't gained any weight in the past 18 months, but has grown almost 2 inches. This is somewhat typical for toddlers but he's at the top of the DS charts for height but falling on the weight charts.

One of these days I will post some knitting. Been doing a fair amount, but lots of startitis.

Monday, July 09, 2007


"How are you?"


"And the kids?"

"Fine, good, great"

"How's Nicky doing?"


Fine, good, great..

Most days I can say it and really mean it. Things are fine, good, great even. Lots of joy. But some days they just aren't and never will be. My child has disability, he's mentally retarded, how can things be really great?

How do you communicate to a casual acquaintance or even a good friend what it's really like? Mostly life's good but the dips in the road can be steep.

Been here before. Seems to be the latter part of the summer. Is it just having more time for reflection? The approach of Nicky's birthday? All the plans for the summer? This is going to be the summer Nicky walks, or has been for the past 3 summers. The approach of school and all the expected changes?

Looking forward to fall.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

It's 11:30 and Nicky is still awake

Got to get rid of those naps, darn it.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Summer is Half Over & Pictures

Can't believe it, our summer is half over. We just finished up week 6 and have 5 more weeks left. Starting to get major anxiety about M.E. starting Middle School and Nicky starting at Coralwood.

Here are a bunch of pictures, from before school ended that I've been meaning to post.

All three after Nate's First Communion, they do clean up well

M.E. after Fifth Grade Graduation

10U Softball Champs:

Costal League Champs

Nicky and cousin Jenny

Friday, July 06, 2007


Nicky has some stimming behaviors (arching his back, flapping hands, some vocalization) he exhibits when he's in a noisy crowded place, especially when he's tired. For the most part, I'm immune to the slightly lingering stares and the pitying smiles. But, it was the reaction of another child that hurt the most.

We were at a neighborhood Mexican restaurant recently. Nicky and I walked out into the lobby while the others finished their meals. There was a boy about 3 years old sitting on a bench and Nicky crawled over and then climbed up next to the boy. N started stimming. The boy took one look at Nicky, climbed down and hid behind his mother.

Sigh, perhaps I was wrong and the boy wasn't frightened by Nicky. I hope so. I so want him to have friendships with other children and not scare them. He was certainly well liked by the other children at school. They were always glad to see him. And the children in our neighborhood want to play with him.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Ever since the Boston Market near us closed we've been craving rotisserie chicken. My Mother's Day/Birthday gift was a new grill with a rotisserie attachment and rotisserie radiant burner. We've taken it out for a test-drive a few times. This was our result for Independence day dinner. I stuffed two chickens with cut-up lemon, and sage and rosemary from our garden. Rubbed the outsides with Masterpiece bar-b-cue rub. Let the grill do it's thing for nearly two hours and this was the result. Add some slaw and a few veggies. Voila! Dinner. One that everyone will eat. Believe me, that's an accomplishment in this house.

The McMansion Nextdoor

A view from our deck...

Need I say more?

Religion, Sprituality, & Ritual

I was raised Catholic but for a long time wasn't a practicing Catholic. When the kids came along from time to time husband & I talked about raising them in a religion but could never agree. Then two years ago, a friend of M.E.'s was going through RCIC after having been baptized in a protestant religion. We signed M.E. up. It wasn't really a whim but I looked on it as a little shove coming to push us in the right direction.*

I started going to Church again, because after all, couldn't ask M.E. to go alone. Suddenly, for the first time church was enjoyable something I looked forward to. It was a return home, to something familiar. Throughout the years I wasn't attending mass, I still felt spiritual but not necessarily religious. There are things about the Catholic hierarchy and organized religion that I don't totally believe. But, I love the comfort of the familiar ritual.

Mother-in-law's memorial service was held in the Presbyterian church she and FIL have attended for years. I was a nice service, but somewhat unfamiliar. It reminded me again of the comfort of familiar ritual in times of loss and sadness. I don't know what my children will believe but I hope at some future time they can have the same comfort in religion and ritual.

*I am reminded of the joke about the man in the flood who finally gets to heaven and asks G-d why he didn't save him. And G-d answers but I sent the neighbor in the boat, the helicopter, etc. That was one of our messages

Am I nuts?

Trying to potty train Nicky who's not mobile? He's been showing some signs of readiness: awareness of when he's peed, a reduction in negativity, a willingness to sit on the potty and he'd actually peed on the potty at school. But nothing at home. We're trying to sit him on the potty every 30 to 45 minutes. So far, no go (pun intended).

The other step to growing up is getting rid of naps. Currently, he'll nap 2 to 3 hours in the afternoon, but can do just as well without. When we were traveling last week he only napped when in his bed. Also, the last few times he's had a nap he has a tough time falling asleep. Maybe it's time.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


My mother-in-law passed away last week. It wasn't unexpected, she was in congestive heart failure and had stopped eating. She was ready to go. The rest of us weren't quite so ready so it's been hard. The kids miss their MaMaw, my husband misses his mom, and my father-in-law misses his wife.

She had a massive heart attack nearly 16 years ago, so we were lucky to have those extra 16 years. Which meant seeing 2 sons get married and the birth of 6 grandchildren. I'm not sure she totally understood all of Nicky's issues but she was one of his champions.

My list friend who passed away last month died from a heart attack. She'd been having crushing chest pain which at least one Doctor thought might be an anxiety attack.

Did you know?

  • That a coronary angiogram may not spot the more diffuse buildup of plaques that often forms in the smaller coronary arteries of women's hearts.

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, and kills 8 times more women every year than breast cancer.

  • Women tend to show up in the emergency rooms after much heart damage has already occurred because their symptoms are not those typically associated with a heart attack.

  • Recent statistics have shown that the rate of heart disease has declined in men but not as much in women.

Signs of a heart attack in women:
  • Neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort

  • Shortness of breath

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Sweating

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

  • Unusual fatigue

Not the crushing chest pain that men typically get.