Friday, September 28, 2007

The Hills are Alive With the Sound of Rejoicing!!!

I am so happy, I want to sing it from the mountaintops!!! We had Danny tested today and have gotten all our questions answered. Best of all, he does not have an autism spectrum disorder. I cannot tell you how elated I feel. Dr. Richards explained a lot of his behavior to us and helped us understand what is going on. Basically, he has a global developmental delay (she also called it a brain maturation lag) which means he is delayed in more than one area. She thinks along with his auditory processing disorder, he also has a visual processing disorder, so we will be having him tested for that. She said a famous doctor has studied this disorder and found that almost all kids with this problem really start to improve around 3 years old. She is confident that within two years, he will have overcome his delay.

It is all very complicated and we have much work to do to help Danny improve, but now we know that he WILL improve. And, on top of that, all the therapy he has been getting was exactly the right course to take. Dr. Richards told us time and again that we were doing the right things for Danny, that our instincts were right, that as unorthodox as some of our methods are (have I mentioned that Danny sleeps in a 3-man tent? He hasn't slept in a bed in months...), these techniques were just what he needed. Talk about validation. So, as I said, there is still much work and therapy to be done, but I have been rejuvenated. Somehow the idea of more therapy no longer fills me with weariness.

Well, I should quit rambling. I need to figure out how to rig up a ball pit for Danny. I have to admit, most of the equipment we buy for Danny's therapy is really a lot of fun. It has made our family room into a bit of an oddity (we have a net swing hanging from our ceiling, a mini trampoline, and soon a ball pit), but we were never going to be featured in "Better Homes and Gardens" anyway.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Joy of Housecleaning

For anyone in doubt, the title is completely facetious. I do not enjoy cleaning, though I do enjoy the fruits of my labors. It is so nice to have a clean, organized house. Unfortunately for me, that is always a fleeting experience. I just finished mopping the floor and the kids are in bed. That means for the next 12 hours or so, the kitchen and bathroom floors will actually stay clean. Once the kids have woken up tomorrow morning, all bets are off. It is a truth universally acknowledged (at least among moms) that a child will always spill on a clean floor. My floor could be dirty and no one would spill a single drop for days, but as soon as I mop, it is almost as if another force--one even stronger than gravity--is working and the kids are powerless to avoid spilling everything. It is quite frustrating, but you learn to live with it.

I just noticed this week that my fridge is leaking water. I have no idea what that means, but I assume it is not a good thing. While we definitely could do without the expense of a new refrigerator, I was actually disappointed when my husband said he could probably fix it. And do you want to know my pathetic reason? Actually, sadly the reason is if we bought a new refrigerator, there would be no need to clean out the old one. I am actually tempted to spend the hundreds of dollars just so I can have a beautiful, immaculate fridge with no spills. I think I need a vacation. Or therapy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Motherhood is anxiety-inducing!

Do any of you worry too much? I myself am not sure what would constitute as excessive worrying, as I happen to accept worrying as inextricably linked with loving someone fiercely, but I have been informed by my husband that I definitely succumb to too much worrying. I just don't understand how one can be a parent and NOT be worried! And I have very little idea of how to turn the worrying off.

Mostly right now, I am worried about Danny and his future. He is being evaluated by a developmental pediatrician in 2 weeks and I am very concerned about what his diagnosis might be. To be honest, I think he will be labeled as being on the Autism Spectrum and it frankly scares me to death. Bil thinks it is insane to spend any time or energy worrying about it. Why worry until we know exactly what is going on? he thinks. And really, that makes sense. But something he should really understand about me by now is that I rarely make sense when it comes to emotionally charged issues. And there is nothing more emotional for me than the welfare of my children.

There are so many worries running through my head. What if Danny has a disorder that will impair his abilities to make lasting friendships? Will he be destined to be constantly lonely? Is everything going to be more challenging for him than it would be for a "normal" kid? I worry because I have read that kids with certain developmental delays often suffer from depression or get involved in promiscuity and/or drugs to deal with low self esteem. I worry that he will be bullied or that he will end up hating school. Heck, I worry that I will never get him potty trained.

Many people have told me not to worry, but those sorts of responses just make me feel isolated and sad. I guess what I crave is for someone to commiserate and tell me that while this completely sucks, I can and will make it through. That Danny will be okay. That it is natural to worry about my children, that it doesn't make me neurotic (at least no more neurotic than I have always been). That it is okay to be a little angry that life has thrown these challenges at my sweet little boy. I just want the best for him. And despite knowing that my overprotectiveness will probably result in years of therapy for my kids, I want more than anything to protect him from ever being hurt by anyone. I know this is not a good idea. We all have to deal with the rejection, challenges and general unpleasantness this world has to offer. That is partly why we are here: to learn and grow. BUT, isn't it enough for my son to have the regular, garden-variety challenges that we all face? Why add a disorder that will make it all so much harder, as if puberty by itself isn't painful enough?

OK, I will stop wallowing now. Don't worry about me. I just needed to get this off my chest, so when the time comes if my son is diagnosed with something in addition his Sensory Integration Dysfunction, I will be ready for the fight. Because if there is something I do know, it is that I would do anything for my kids. I will overcome this weariness that I am feeling and add more therapy, more exercises, more work to my load. Danny is worth it and I will not give up on him. I know he can deal with whatever life throws at him, and I will be there with him every step of the way.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Musical Walk Down Memory Lane

Rebecca, I again took your lead and copied your wonderful finetune idea. I showed Bil the website and how you can compile a list of at least 45 songs, and we spent the better part of two hours tonight playing around on it. How fun!! They have most artists you can think of and you are allowed to download three songs from each artist. For those yet uninitiated to this great source, it is You, too, can add a finetune feature to your blog--for free!!!

So, if you are interested in the songs and artists that I enjoy, click on the icon in the sidebar and prepare to be musically dazzled.


I am sure you have noticed that decluttering one's house or even just a closet, tends to create messes of epic proportions. I am in the middle of cleaning out the kids' closets and dressers and am exhausted. This is a huge job. It amazes me how much junk can fit into one small closet. It really seems to defy the laws of nature.

And I am burnt out! It doesn't help that I spent 2.5 hours last night at church cleaning out the Primary closet (I was recently put back into Primary after being away a year) and we found junk in there from at least 5 years ago.

I wish someone would start a closet dejunking business. They could really make millions, I believe. If they could also potty train my oldest, I think I would give them my house in repayment!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Good, good, good, good vibrations!!!

She's givin' me good vibrations! She's givin' me excitations (whatever that word means. Bil reminded me of poetic license when I said it wasn't a real word) !

I can't get this song out of my mind. Bil and I just got back from Chicago where we took my mom to see the Beach Boys at Ravinia (an outdoor concert arena that is amazingly beautiful and fun to attend). I was surprised at how many of their songs I recognized and could sing. It was really a lot of fun. There were many people dancing under the stars and ok, many of them were older and lacked rhythm, but were fun to watch nonetheless.

Overall, the weekend was really nice, if a bit exhausting. Saturday we took the kids and my brother's girlfriend, Agnieszka, on a 15-mile bike ride on a beautiful bike trail in the suburbs. I also participated in a 5K walk with my sister and other family members to benefit a group against drunk driving. That added to the fact that my beloved children did not sleep well, has contributed to the exhaution factor of the weekend. Friday night I made the mistake of sleeping with Danimal and repeatedly woke with his foot in my face. I finally wised up and moved to the couch.
I guess that ends my ramblings for today. We need to get the kids in bed, so we can collapse.