The MRI

One thing about having lived with medical crap half your life is that you kind of know at what point to start freaking out when your child is having a medical intervention.  Or at least you think you do.

As I held his hands, I watched Smacky be put under for the MRI –  his last words were  “I think we should go home!” – as his head flopped down I kissed him and slowly walked away from the stretcher to head out to grab an iced decaf and have a seat in the waiting room while the machine made pictures of his brain.   As I smiled at the sweet people who were really taking amazing care of him, I saw Smacky’s thick, long eyelashes begin to flutter and immediately felt a surge of unadulterated panic.  HE’S WAKING UP!!! I pointed, gesturing wildly toward him.  I SEE HIM WAKING UP!  YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE HE’S ASLEEP OR —

The sweet people kindly, without detectable condescension, began assuring me he’s okay – that it’s normal for people who are under to move around a bit.   As they explained I was really only half-listening as I realized DUH – he’s not getting cut open – it’s not like he’ll wake up and feel pain LIKE I DID WHEN I WOKE UP EARLY FROM HIS GENERAL ANESTHESIA C-SECTION BIRTH.  Holy spontaneous PTSD episode!  My heart was pounding and the dizziness set in.  I quickly stumbled out into the main hallway and leaned against the wall and practiced my calming breathing.

I did it though.  I soothed myself nicely and proceeded to the cafe and bought some sugary treats because, you know, nothing calms frayed nerves like a glazed donut.

About an hour later, when he woke up, he smiled at me.  He checked and happily noticed his IV line was now out.  He didn’t seem to remember a thing about the MRI and immediately began asking to go back to the amazing playroom on the 8th floor where we had earlier spent most of our pre-procedure wait time.

Overall, he did great.  Me?  Maybe just okay.

Two days later, we get a message from a neurology fellow:

Hello, Mrs. C, this is Dr. Heavy Accent from the neurology department.  The results of Smacky’s MRI are, well, ESSENTIALLY normal.

S and I listen to it twice.  What the F*CK does ESSENTIALLY normal mean?  Normal for kids with CP or normal as in, normal?

We call back.  Said fellow is not in, and the neurologist is away at an international neurology conference.  Best we wait for 2 more days for him to return the call, we’re told.

So 5 days later (thankfully, most of those were spent at the lake), we confirm that yes, he indeed has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy but what’s really, really good is that his brain suffered no “structural” damage.  Nothing more serious or degenerative or surprising seems to be going on and this is the best case scenario for his situation.  Our next steps?  Turn from the medical to the educational, and give him therapy, therapy, and more therapy.  I must admit it feels good to know that we’ve already been doing that and then some.   It also feels good, for his sake, to know his overall situation is relatively mild.

Smacky started kindergarten this week and surprised me by basically blowing me off and heading into the classroom without saying goodbye.  My baby was a natural – independent and, though cautious and a little somber, ready to take on his new situation on his own. What a relief.

Today at PT he fell many times, including a big wipeout while navigating the balance beam.  He shed some tears after that one, but he got up and kept trying, urging me to watch, Mom, watch!   When his session was over he ran around the therapy room throwing balls and falling into things.  At one point he fell right into my lap.

“Mom?” he asked, smiling.  “Can I play basketball this year?”

You betcha, baby.

I sometimes forget he’s half me.  Apparently we’re going to be handling CP just like we handle PNH – with lots of quiet (and sometimes not-so-quiet) rebellion. Some days you just have to pretend it’s not there and keep going.  Some days you have to act like you’re healthy and “normal” and plan your future as such.  And on the bad days, ask for hugs and ice cream and serious couch time.

I think that will work for all of us.

Thank you  all, so much, for your support.  We’re all gonna be just fine over here.

For now :-).

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Quick Neuro Update

The neuro was very, very nice.  And smart.  And not condescending in the least.

It’s spastic diplegic cerebral palsy.

MRI is on August 26th, 7:30 AM.  General anesthesia will be administered. We’re going to determine the extent of brain damage and review his treatment and discuss options.

“So,” I told/asked the good doc.  “CP isn’t progressive, so this is as bad as it gets, right?”

“Not really,” was his response.  Apparently as CP kids grow, different nerves/muscles come into play and it can really do a number on their ability to function well.   He’ll need to be watched very closely and have a lifetime of therapy.  Fuck.

Oh -and the autism?  –  likely an offshoot constellation of the galaxy that is CP. Great.

Smacky is his normal self, doing relatively well and living his life.  S and I are living with occasionally heavy hearts and hoping for the best.  His social therapy class has been helping greatly – he’s been learning to convey his feelings better and can now show me and explain where his legs and arms bother him.  Interestingly, what’s come out of that is his pressing for more intervention with his hearing – he’d like “new” headphones – currently he uses an older noise-cancelling Bose set – the wire gets in the way of his play.  I need to research finding a set for kids for his type of need.  Loud noise just makes him incredibly ornery…he’s especially sensitive to the woosh of wind, and this makes it nearly impossible to get him out of the house on breezy days.  And before you suggest it, he absolutely hates earplugs.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  He’s just going to be one of those headphone kids and that’s okay.  If it gets him out and helps him tolerate our very noisy and annoying world, so be it.

We went for a nature walk the other day – the guide took a rather steep and rocky alternate trail that afternoon  Smacky fell four times in the first minute.  I urged him to go at his own pace and not worry about lagging behind the group.  He not only managed to keep up, but toward the end decided to head up front to lead the pack.  He fell many more times, but any frustration was overshadowed by the excitement of being with friends and learning about the woods and climbing up and over logs and rocks and finding a turtle.   Days like that let me know that my urging him to take risks is generally worth it.  His tears pierce right through me though – when he wipes out and the eyes well up, it’s incredibly hard to resist the urge to scoop him up and take him someplace to hold him tight and sit quietly.  But if I did cave, we’d never learn his limits.  Nor would he gain the confidence or enjoy the happiness of participating in physical and social activity.   Nor would he learn to try to take his challenge in stride – to accept it and keep going and live life to the fullest.

An advocate at the pedi’s office suggested I get him involved in the Special Olympics.   Huh?  My response is he’s not THAT bad – he doesn’t need that kind of  …and then I realize.  As a parent I’m still wading through quite a bit of denial, aren’t I.

This whole thing just sucks.  It will be okay though – I’ve got to take every day as it comes and teach him good things – I mean, I know a thing or two about being limited physically and having to live with the challenges of an illness – I should be able to effectively guide him through this.  At least I hope I can.   I hope we all can.  The twins, S – they seem to be rising to the occasion wonderfully.  The twins never let him rest – to call them talkative is an understatement and their incessant active play is, by default, amazing therapy for Smacky.

Gah.

Will update more after the MRI.  And then hopefully I can free my mind a bit to talk about something else.  Thanks for reading. Ciao.

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By the way

Last month I took Smacky to the developmental pedi in Boston for a followup on his existing PDD-NOS and developmental coordination disorder diagnosis.  Diagnoses? Diagnosum?  Diagnoses, is the proper term, I believe.  The lovely pediatrician arched her brows sternly at me when I informed her that his school denied him speech services, won’t offer ABA to even the kids with classic autism and because I must pay out of pocket for what he needs and my husband is still out of work, I can pretty much afford just one therapist at a time.  For the past months I’ve chosen to stick with just physical therapy because some days my child can’t walk without falling on his face all day, and as his mother who knows him best, I feel that’s his most urgent need at this time.  The doc went over a concerning anecdote on Smacky’s spectrum testing from last year – she feels though he has a good grasp of language, he uses it in a “different” way – this is how it went down at the testing:

SPL (speech language pathologist) had set up a play-set barn with farm animals, a farmer and a tractor.  Initiating pretend play, she was looking to see  how he’d respond to certain situations.  At one point, the farmer was riding on the tractor.  She asked Smacky where the farmer might be headed next.

Smacky (pushing the tractor): UM, to the library.

SPL (writing furiously on her pad): Really?  What might he do there?

Smacky: No, no wait.  Not the library – he’s going to STARBUCKS!

SPL laughs.  Assistant laughs.  Collective laughter heard from behind the observation mirror.  I giggle because it’s cute but also know that he got that from seeing a tractor on a small farm we pass in town on our way to the library.  Sometimes we pass the library to go to YOU GUESSED IT, Starbucks.  I saw his response as perfectly logical and animated and enthusiastic and realize right away they were looking for him to suggest driving over to check on the cows or the cornfield or some response much more FARM related.  I try to inform the SPL but she’s got her finger up and on to the next assessment piece.  Smacky doesn’t do himself any favors by ignoring her a few minutes later, choosing instead to  recite the colors of blocks in front of him in freakin Mandarin, which he learned from Ni Hao Kailan on Nick Jr.   That got everyone writing in their pads and though I protest, I’m not sure I’m really heard.  Later I whispered to Smacky during a break IX-NAY on the CHINESE-AY and he simply started laughing and telling me every Ni Hao word he knew in what sounded like a crazy-accurate accent with the proper inflection and everything.

I know my son.  Smacky  spews information to initiate conversation.  He’s hyperlexic, and immerses himself in numbers/symbols/math/syllables when he’s nervous or feeling overwhelmed.  Once he settles and calms down, he reverts to completely normal give-and-take with his peers.   It was with this knowledge that I didn’t feel the urgency to push for speech therapy for him.  With practice (and a lot of leaning from me), he’s become much more conversational in a typical sort of way.  His quirkiness seems just that; he’s a bit shy and slow to warm up but once he does he’s fine.

Dr. PDD-NOS disagreed – she wants SPL therapy this summer, immediately.  I conceeded but pressed to know why  Smacky has days where he truly can’t walk.  It’s as if the signal from his brain just doesn’t get to the muscles right away.  I see something similar on the on the playground when he’ll for no known reason and without warning lose his grip on the equipment and fall to the ground – again, like the neurotransmission is interrupted.  What else besides autism explains that phenomenon?  Because I’ve consulted with Dr. Google and there is more than a hint there that what we’re looking at is perhaps some cerebral palsy, for which he (we) hit most of the risk factors.   Also, what’s with my son clubbing his hands?

She agrees it’s worth a look.

And tests his reflexes.  And tests some more.

We’re seeing a neuro later this summer with an MRI.  And yes, the reflex testing she conducted does indeed confirm a diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy.   Will you remove the PDD-NOS then? I urge her.  Nope –  not until I get him speech, and she’ll retest early next year after he’s had the benefit of speech therapy.  But for now, I’ve got to get him hooked up…I actually think he’ll find it fun.  I’m looking for private sessions as well as signing him up for a six week group social speech session at a little place nearby which specializes in activities for special kids.

But yeah  – cerebral palsy…can you imagine?   I spent a few days being sad about it but it is what it is.  I’m looking forward to seeing what this neuro says and exploring new options for helping him.  CP isn’t progressive; right now is as bad as it’s going to get and that’s good.  The fact that we’re lucky he’s so high-functioning isn’t lost on me either – I’ve seen the wheelchair-bound kids and know we’ve dodged a huge ugly bullet.  But my heart does break when Smacky gets all floppy and hurts himself.  I see his frustration when he falls on other kids and they react in anger – he can’t possibly explain his situation to another 5 year old – how he was having fun running playing tag but suddenly he couldn’t feel his legs anymore.  I feel more certain than ever that his longstanding anxieties stem from his inability to trust his own body and am so grateful that he’s been given an intellect where he can immerse himself in a world that doesn’t require perfectly-aligned bones or working muscles to thrive.   I will continue to give him exposure to everything, including some sports (which is good for him – he needs to keep those muscles moving lest they freeze up …he’s now on a want-to-play-tennis jag) but I have to trust him to lead.

Lately, he’s shown an intense preoccupation with singing – he likes Train and Backstreet Boys and belts out the tunes from the back seat of the car.  I look at his highly athletic little brothers (omg their father’s hockey genes are alive and well) and know they’ll watch out for him….when they hit school, Smacky will help with their homework while they tag-team anyone who gives him grief.   At least this is how I see it, for now.

Sometimes I just need to fit it all into a place in my mind so that I can cope easier.

So that’s that.  CP and autism.  Blah.

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It reads like a vent

Oh I sound so incredibly tiring when I say this but, yes, three kids make a person QUITE BUSY.  Ergo, the radio silence here.

The lovely Tree Town Gal has given me a gentle nudge to provide some semblance of what’s been going as of late here at Testosterone House.

This past week I’ve had 3? no- make that at least 4 – encounters with mothers of one or two kids who confide to me that, well, they’ve HAD IT.  They are overwhelmed.  They can’t seem to keep it together.  All concluded with the very predictable:  I don’t know how you do it with three- with twins.

Truth be told, I don’t know either…it’s a challenge to make it through each day intact and fed and clean and present to where we all need to be.  My husband helps a little.  My MIL helps too.  My longtime sitter, who has two jobs and children of her own, may or may not make it on the days she’s expected- she averages 6 hours a week to a formerly-agreed 12 and there’s not much I can do about that.  Beyond that, it’s all me.  All me.

Each day is different – though one absolute I’ve learned is that the MILLISECOND I mentally check out – the moment my mind wanders to tending to something other than the 3 dervishes before me – they will take over.  They take over, I lose control, and getting that control back is immeasurably difficult.  We’ll be engaged in happy song, the four of us taking a walk…life is calm, happy, dareIsay good.  Inevitably, my cell will ring and just as I’m forced to tend to other, necessary punchlist items of the day, my dear sweet children will unleash upon me bedlam of such magnitude that I’m forced to rush off the phone, clear them from the street, retrieve their t shirts and shoes, redress them, and somehow drag myself and them the remaining 1/4 mile home while they cling screaming to my legs begging me to HOLD YOU when I can’t even carry one in that situation because one’s balance becomes SCREWED when coping with three tantruming lilliputian cling-ons.

Yesterday, I practiced deep breathing in the car and was able to avoid releasing a primal scream to counter the incessant whining from the middle one because he wanted to hear Beyonce for the 5th time in a row while his brothers wailed for Barenaked Ladies.   This morning I woke up to black crayon all over the tv room wall and a kitchen sink plugged up and overflowing with water.  Thank God for Magic Eraser and towels.  Upon the discovery, I gave them my best HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? and shot evil glares their way.  They simply accused each other and smiled.  I left the mess and schlepped back here to the bed to type because cleaning it up now will grant me no net gain – while I clean they’d only hound me and at least here it’s quiet and I’m not being crawled upon.

This is the new everyday – the miracles I worked so hard for are now my daily demise.

I hear water running – brb.

Okay I’m back, 1:40 later.  They needed a bath after soaking themselves and the kitchen floor needed to be mopped.  Oh, and did I mention the dogs getting up on the counter to secure and rip open a big box of Cheezits along with the tub of fresh unsalted shelled pistachios I just bought for Smacky and paid $14.99 for at Whole Foods?  Yeah.  I used to love those mutts.  Now I’ve issued the edict that in the future we will no longer house animals.  Ever.

Forget what I said earlier about no net gain…at least I could have countered that kitchen offensive they just staged.

Did I mention my tv room smells like rotten milk?  And how fathers become overwhelmed FAR SOONER than mothers, and because mine has an automatic shutoff point I’m forced to issue directives to him to keep him engaged while thinking to myself why do you force me to sound like such a bitch with you?

The hubs is still out of work.  18 months now.  Yay us.

But seriously, all that aside, life is good.  Smacky is really showing signs of growing out of his spectrum diagnosis – we’re still investigating and keeping him in therapies but he’s made incredible progress and I’m so proud of him.  J and Z are still hilarious, talking up a storm now and will be graduating Early Intervention next week, testing with only the most minor of developmental issues.  We find out next Wednesday if they’ll be needing any therapies at preschool next year – I honestly doubt it and that makes me very happy.  This summer we will be playing things by ear – enjoying some downtime together, doing some daytrips and getting up to the lake as much as possible with friends and their kids.  I may enroll them in a camp for a week or two, but beyond that, I want them to imagine and run themselves silly and just BE.

As for me?  I’ll find time here and there to create and sew.  Even on our limited budget I’m finding ways to upgrade the new house and make it our own.  I enjoy time with my mommy friends and maybe my husband will find a way to take me out for a nice night (ah – sound bitter much there, Day? I kinda am – job or not, he could take me out once every six months.  Or year.  At least.).  Sigh. If I don’t plan it, it just won’t happen.

I’m still in therapy for PTSD over the way my kids came into this world.  It’s getting better (though still quite there – it’s hard work, purging that stuff), and along with that I’ve learned so much about myself – my attitude is different now.  I’m happier,  more assertive.  I’m less apologetic for my existence -less of a pushover – but yet feel somehow kinder toward people – more nurturing.  I’ve learned to draw clear boundaries without feeling badly or hurting myself in the process.  I’ve addressed some longstanding family issues and have come to a place of acceptance and even contentment in a very imperfect dynamic.

I still get infusion treatment twice a month – one day here at home, one day at the hospital.  My blood counts have been steady and, for me, healthy (t’sall  relative with PNH).  I’m able to keep up with the kids and the crazy schedule but do insist on sleeping for at least 8 hours a night, and that’s been very helpful in keeping me stable.   I do have episodes now and then but it’s nothing like the past when I spent just about every day coping with symptoms and fatigue.  I’m still careful and do my best to stay hydrated and eat well.   Also, I love not getting my periods…I actually thought I’d miss them after the (partial) hysterectomy, but no…not at all.  I’m very glad to be done with menstruation and while we’re at it, all things reproductive.  I’m just about 3 1/2 years past the last of our fertility issues and I truly am over it.  I’m changed because of it, but no longer upset by it.  It happened.  In the end we got more than we hoped for.   We were lucky.  End of chapter.

It’s all about duality, this crazy life – and though not comfortable for many, it’s okay to be stressed and tired yet centered and grateful at the same time.  It really is.  So that’s where I’m at: taking things one day at a time, learning to meditate, learning to love better and find the beauty in the moment, learning to let go and trust that we’re right where we need to be right now.

Smacky turns 5 on the 16th and J & Z turn 3 on the 21st.  Big party next Wednesday here in our backyard will involve a giant bouncy, a tent, pizza and lots of cake and ice cream. Oh, and before I forget – this year, Smacky would LIKE IT IF WE WOULD PLEASE SING.  Oh yes baby – we’ve been waiting 5 long years for that!!  Can you imagine?  No ear plugs needed!

🙂


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Gosh, how time flies. Not sure if any of you are still out there, but I’ll assume now and then you peek in for an update. I miss my blog and I miss you guys. Problem is, I’ve got three troublemakers filling up my days with messes and booboos and laughter and lots and lots of jumping off of things. High things. By day’s end my mind feels numb; my body quite pooped. And typing feels like a chore when all I really would like to do is eat chocolate and watch Law and Order.

ANYHOO…

Let’s talk about Smacky. It was what, 10 months ago when we learned that he tested on the spectrum. At the time, I thought finally, finally we have a diagnosis and now we can start getting him what he needs to break out and begin enjoying his life. Finally, we’d have some answers.

Mmmm, yeah.

Turns out there are as many autism treatment answers as there are types of ASD kids, and the spectrum, being ridiculously large and diverse, has become to me this crazy and confusing space which amounts to nothing more than a categorical label. Smacky, on the other hand, is so much more predictable than that… I’ve pretty much learned what freaks him out- and what he can tolerate – and am quite proficient at predicting his breaking points. When I am calm and prepared for him so is he…and that is when I can peacefully observe his incredible mind at work – then theorize, research, talk it out (thank you, RaRa), and discover new ways to accomodate his beautifully different mind in our busy lives.

My girlfriend R has a gifted son and also a nephew with classic autism…she is also a true and old friend, honest and supportive – there is perhaps no one else more suited to talk with about this than her.  During a  recent visit, she finally decoded what I have seen all along and was able to make sense of it for me:  Smacky is a linear thinker.  His mind is an open Excel program, constantly organizing cells and columns.  Despite having a somewhat advanced vocabulary, he depends on numbers and patterns to process language and is constantly filing bits of information into their appropriate rows.   It explains his amazing visual recall; it explains his deep preference for visual learning; and it definitely explains how he’s been able to self-teach himself multiplication (in the car two weeks ago on the way to a birthday party:  Mom, if  I have five things, and then there are four of those five things, what do I have?  I paused, considering the question, half-wishing he wasn’t going there, but kind of thrilled for him that he was.  And me, so Socratic: What do you think you’d have?  And doesn’t he say 20?  First like a question, then after, a definitive YES, 20).   The kid knew. 

It’s no wonder when asked how he’s feeling he balks – it’s hard to tear him away from his computer mind to something more subjective.   And no wonder he tends toward tiredness- constant cataloguing  is intense work.   Whatever the case, he’s doing it to make sense of his world, and now I know that numbers are an excellent way to draw him toward us.    These breakthroughs -these little discoveries  -are extremely valuable to me as a parent – the more I understand, the more I can make his day-to-day more manageable for both him and the rest of us.

Smacky, though relatively quite social and verbal, displays much of the more classical autism symptomology.  His longstanding gut issues, unwillingness to eat, low muscle tone, lack of coordination, anxiety and affinity for occasional stimming still loom large.  He still gets regular OT and PT and his teacher engages him with a more advanced curriculum.   I am quite close to declaring this house a gluten-free, casein-free zone to see what difference it might make.   I still think about ABA therapy though must admit I can border on obnoxious with my relentless insistence on social responses.   I’ve learned not to push him to challenge his physical limits in “unsafe” or social environments but rather let him enjoy his music and theater classes while his friends are skating or swimming. 

We’re getting there.  His meltdowns are still epic and changes in routine truly screw him up for a bit.  He falls all the time.  He still tantrums over food issues and hearing sensitivity.  But Smacky’s a fascinating, adorable, affectionate little boy.  He can be silly and hysterical.  He can dance and sing.  He’s going to be all right.

And so are we. 

Don’t let the scowl fool you – he started breakdancing not two minutes later.

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Where HAVE I been?

Ay chihuahua –
long time, no blog.

As I type I’m relaxing by the fire with a glass of red wine – a no no for a PNH gal, but now and then I like to indulge. We’re expecting some sort of blizzard overnight so I figure I can “sleep in” a bit tomorrow morning – even if that means sharing my bed with three boys while they watch Fresh Beat Band and I close my eyes and pretend the twins really don’t need to be changed just yet.

We’re in our new home. The addition is complete and beautiful. We’re painting the remainder of our portion of the house – changing the dark wood trim over to white, putting beautiful, modern color on the walls, and
installing crown molding and new doors and new casement. We’re doing this room by room while getting help once a week from our contractor’s painter. It’s slow work and wood and saws and painting equipment still litter our space, but the transformation thus far has been very worth it. We always say this but it’s so true: it’s amazing what a little paint and love will do for a home…we’re taking this place into the 21st century.

S is still out of work. He celebrated his one year outofworksary last week with some serious moping. Personally, I have no time to mope nor think about it…we’re managing okay enough; I’m grateful for what we have and am hopeful for our future. He’s kept very busy with home projects and in the process has learned carpentry and electrical work and some plumbing. The boys are enjoying spending so much time with the father they hardly knew just a year ago. S has been an amazing support in helping me get these kids to school and their various weekly therapies – if he were traveling during this time, I honestly don’t know how I would get it all done. I don’t see this as wasted time; I see this as transitional time. Sure I’m cutting coupons and can’t run out and simply buy something without planning, but I’ve become quite an expert on finding the best deals. And for the most part, I’m finding I like this newfound frugality. I like living more simply – I like the focus of truly knowing what we really need vs. wanting what we don’t need. This recession – this extended layoff – has in many ways been a blessing.

The boys, overall, have adjusted really well.
I think I have as well, though admit I feel like I’m busier than I’ve ever been. I don’t know if it’s the age of the kids or the holidays or that we’re still doing so much work here, but the weeks fly by and the time to do the things I used to love to do like sewing and crafting and blogging just seems so elusive (that, btw, will be number one on my resolution list for next year).

I still worry deeply about Smacky and still have little clarity as to what we need to do to help him.
That, however, is a different post.

For now, I’m going back to this wine. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!

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Random

* tylenol with codeine is a lovely chaser to two valiums – this discovered after invasive oral surgery.

* this trendy full beard look on men has got to go.

* still not unpacked; construction ongoing. 4 weeks and counting. My guesstimate is 6 more weeks. The
new master suite however, will be stunning.

* I’ve discovered that yes, Smacky and I somehow sleep quite nicely together on a twin. Twin bed, that is.

* when your home is in total chaos with boxes everywhere and men barging in every two minutes for this or
that it’s hard to get things anything done.

* the twins qualified to remain in Early Intervention. I love this.

* Smacky started with his new PT and she is amazing. She works him hard.

* speaking of, Halloween is an absolute nightmare for spectrum kids. Smackeroo wants no part of costumes, trick or treating, or candy corn this year. On the other end, the twins can’t decide if they’d rather dress as Diego or chickens or Mickey Mouse.

* Z rode a horse with me over the weekend. I was quite proud of him.

* it is freaking cold here.

* pumpkin fest tomorrow, coffee with a friend, then helping MIL arrange some of her stuff downstairs in her
new room.

* can’t find the box with the winter coats.

* I’m fairly late to the Lady Gaga party, but I so love her.

* why have the twins been waking every night at 3 AM raring to go?

* can’t wait to get to sleep on our new Tempurpedic.

* Jon Gosselin looks like hell. Kate, on the other hand, looks amazing.

* If I hear the word “flu” one more time…

* still no job.

* I’m quite tired.

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