Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Crazy Crazy!

            Or in the words of my now 10 year old "Cray Cray". That seems to be my life lately.
I just began my second semester of nursing school. I felt like I barely skirted by the first semester! With dealing with the kids, and my normal "household" duties I felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants not knowing what I was doing, or where I was going. I did ok though. And boy have I enjoyed this month long break!

          Andrew turned 3 in November and started preschool on his birthday :( Because of my classes I couldn't take him to school (he starts at 1:20pm, and I had to be on campus at 12:30) and I couldn't get him off the bus when he got home (he got home at 4:15 pm and my class doesn't end till 4:30) So I've really, really, enjoyed being able to get him off to school and be there when the bus gets home to drop him off. His smile and "Bye mom!" when I drop him off and the excited wave and "Hi mom, I ride the bus home!" when he gets off the bus is SO precious and I've soaked up every day I've been able to do that. The speech apraxia with him is still severe, and I'm thinking of asking for some type of AAC device for him at school, but not sure they'll give him one until kindergarten.

          This semester I'm only taking my 2 nursing classes (plus clinical), and a math class. It's still 12 credits, but I took 15 credits last semester which I think was part of my problem. 2 nursing classes, clinicals, 2 biology classes, and a math class last semester and just my nursing classes and math class this semester. I've heard this semester is where it really gets hard though :/

         Avery has had a LOT of autism related problems this month I've been on break. It actually started before my break, but it got pretty bad over break. The school STILL refuses to give him ANY supports, and at it's worst I needed 4 people to get him out of my car and carry him into the school kicking and screaming. They wrapped him in a straight jacket type hold and carried him into the school while he screamed "I'm hurt, please stop, you're hurting me!" Boy was THAT hard on me! I pulled out of the parking lot in full fledged hyperventilation, crying, panic mode. He just turned 7 on the 18th and couldn't even tell me ONE friend he wanted to invite to his party :( I ended up giving him 6 invitations and telling him to just give them to kids in his class he wanted to come to the party.  He ended up having 4 kids come to the party.   He is STILL not using the toilet either. sigh I'm just such at a loss with him. Makes me feel like a horrible mother.

              Austin turned 10 on the 26th. He told me he didn't want to bring anything to school this year to celebrate (no cupcakes or anything)! Guess he's officially to old for that :( He's such a social butterfly. Always at a friends house or spending the night somewhere. He is on a travel baseball team this year and is just blossoming. Everyone tells me how we're going to have to beat the girls away with sticks when it comes to him.

              Aidan is giving us a rough ride right now. He'll be 12 on Feb. 15th and he's acting every bit of it! Failing every class in school right now. We've had a meeting with each of his teachers and he's been lying to them, saying his work is at home or that we threw it away, and lying to us saying he has no homework, and not giving us notes from teachers or tests that need signatures. He's in all gifted/enrichment classes and I just wish he'd use his brain for once and realize his parents have "been there, done that" and we aren't just bring "jerks" (like he likes to tell us). The last few days he's been forced to sit at the dining room table after school and do make up work/homework from the time he gets home until dinner, then after dinner till bedtime. When he came home yesterday I asked how his day was and he said "Better than it has been" and I said "see what happens when you actually have the work that is due in classes??? The teachers don't yell at you, and you don't have to come up with lies about why you don't have it!"

There's my update! Hope everyone is doing well!

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Great "Knight" Out!!

I was recently given the opportunity to experience Medieval Times and Tournament with my husband and boys.  We've never been before and we were so excited to try it out!  If you have no clue what I'm talking about, let me tell you all about it!

Medieval Times and Tournament is located right in Hanover, MD!  Inside the Arundel Mills Mall and right by Maryland Live Casino.   When you first arrive it looks like you're arriving at a castle!!

My boys immediately started yelling "We're going to a castle!"  We got our tickets at the box office area and stood in line.  (It is recommended you arrive at least an hour prior to show time.)  Our tickets were "general admission", but you can upgrade to "Royalty" seating when purchasing your tickets.  Royalty seating gets you a front row seat, plus a flag in the knights color at your seat and from what I saw they also get a piece of cake for dessert along with their pastry (or maybe they are given a choice of which they want, I'm not sure.)

 While we were standing in line, my boys got a kick out of watching the knights and the king walking around inside the building.

When you are allowed in each person is given a crown that they wear with the color of the knight you are supposed to be cheering for.  Our crowns were all for the "Black and White" knight!  We went inside and had our picture taken with the king, then walked around the souvenir shop looking at the items they have available for purchase.  They also have a torture chamber you can tour for an additional fee!


Once you are allowed into your seat you are really in awe of the set up.  I didn't realize just how close we would be to the "action".  I kept thinking concert style set up, so it was a really nice surprise how even with general admission seats you have an awesome view!  The show starts while you are being served drinks and "Blood Dragon Soup" (aka Tomato Bisque Soup), and "Castle Bread" (aka Garlic Bread).

They have a falcon show in the beginning which is amazing and then while you are watching competitions between knights involving getting rings while riding the horses, or hitting a bulls eye target you are served Roasted Chicken, a rib, and potato wedge.  The food was absolutely DELICIOUS!  There are no utensils used, you have to eat with your hands!
Then comes the real fun!  The "Jousting" which is what my boys had been looking forward to!  You are encouraged to scream and cheer for your knight and to also "Boo" the other knights!  The look on my boys faces and to listen to them screaming at the top of their lungs and chanting "GO BLACK AND WHITE, GO BLACK AND WHITE" was just pure joy.
The entire show lasts 2 hours and definitely keeps your attention the entire time! Even my 2 year old was absolutely enthralled by the horses and show.  This is definitely a place you need to go to!  If there was ANY criticism that I could give it would be how many "extras" are pushed at you.  The picture with the king is shown to you during dinner which is $20.  Then they take another picture of you in your seats which is another $20 if you want it, they walk around selling flags for $5 and glow sticks and other things that the kids of course want.  But the expense is well worth it to see the amazement on your kids (and yours!) faces!
This is definitely something we'll be going to again!  And all that screaming and yelling and excitement ends with some worn out kids, which is every parents true intention ;)
You can also find Medieval Times at their facebook page: Medieval Times
 and you can find them on Twitter: Medieval Times

I received free tickets for my family to enjoy the show in exchange for my unbiased and true review of the experience.  This is my own true review with my own thoughts and feelings.

Would you like me to review your product or show?  Contact me at Heastarven (at) yahoo (dot) com with the subject "blog review".

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Our First Cast...

There are three weeks left of the spring semester for me (if you count this week we're currently in!).  I am SO happy to almost be done with this semester. I've done really good to keep my "A"'s in all my classes except Anatomy and Physiology.  That class has been KILLER! I'm begging and pleading for a "C" in that class.  If I don't get my "C" it looks like I'll be retaking that class in the fall.  That really sucks and I'll be honest that it depresses me quite a bit.  It is what it is though.

Last week Andrew went to his physical therapy appointment on Monday morning, and then we went about our day as usual.  In the evening I was in the kitchen getting dinner together and all the boys were downstairs playing.  Suddenly Andrew started crying.  After a minute or so of him crying I yelled down the stairs asking what was wrong with Andrew.  I kept getting the response of "we dunno he just started crying!"  I called Andrew's name a few times and I saw him crawling his way up the stairs.  I sat down at the stop of the stairs and pulled him into my lap where he cried for a few more minutes and started to close his eyes.  My first thought was "oh you are NOT going to sleep now buddy!"  I started talking to him and he had stopped crying so I put him back down and stood up to go in the kitchen.  He stood up and immediately fell back to the floor and started crying again.  I picked him back up and put him on my hip and walked into the kitchen.  I was trying to get dinner together and hold him and answer the other boys and referree their fighting, and was getting frustrated.  I put Andrew down again and I noticed it looked like he went to take a step and then fell to the floor again and started crying.

At this point I kinda turned my head and looked at him going "what the hell?"  I carried him into the dining room and again tried to put him down.  I saw him take a step and fall and scream again.  I called my husband upstairs and told him I thought something was wrong with Andrew's leg and that he wouldn't walk on it.  I showed him what I meant and tried to put Andrew down again.  The same thing happened with him falling immediately.  I squeezed up and down his leg and he kinda wimpered a little bit.  I gave my husband a look and he said "Go ahead and take him to the urgent care"  So I picked him up and off we went.

When we got there I told them that I thought maybe he had hurt his leg and of course they asked how he hurt it.  My response was "I know this makes me sound really bad, but I have no idea.  He was downstairs with his brothers and he just started crying and then wouldn't walk."  The nurse said "You didn't ask your other kids what happened?"  Well of course I did!!  But it isn't like they said "oh you know, I hurt him."  Or anything!  I told her the only response I got was "he just started crying."  She tried to watch him walk and he kinda limped around and then just completely stopped and started crawling.  She manipulated his legs and said she wanted to get some xrays because she thought he may have a "toddler's fracture".  She said they are very common in kids his age but they are also extremely hard to diagnose.

We took some xrays and she told me she thought she saw a fracture in one film, but didn't see it in any of the other angles.  She said she wanted us to see a orthopedist and she splinted his leg before we left.

Long story short, when we saw the orthopedist he looked at the xrays and said he didn't see a fracture, but like the urgent care doctor said, they are very hard to see and diagnose and therefore most of the time you DON'T see them until they start to heal and calcify.  For that reason and because he said Andrew's reactions sounded like a spiral fracture of the Tibia (a "toddler's fracture") he put him in a cast for 3 weeks.

He decided to go with a "short leg" cast for now, because at least with a short leg cast he can still walk/crawl and everything.  He said at Andrew's age (16 months) they have a tendency to wiggle out of the short leg cast and if he does, then we may have to go to a full leg cast.  For now though Andrew hasn't messed with the cast at all.  It sure isn't slowing him down any either!  He's walking/crawling/climbing/running etc with it!

Four boys and this is our first cast!  I told the doctor I KNEW Andrew was trouble from the day he was born.  First the NICU and now a cast!  He's definitely trying to put me in an early grave!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Being a person is getting to complicated. Time to be a Unicorn!

Busy, busy around here! There's 5 weeks left in the semester and I can NOT wait for it to end! This semester is killing me. A&P is literally kicking my butt from this side to the other. I'm reaching SO hard for that C....if I can grasp it in these next 5 weeks I'll be freakin ecstatic. You'll be able to tell if I get the "C" by the screams of joy you'll hear all the way at your house.
Had an "odd" encounter with my math professor tonight though. See I'm doing SO well in the class (and I'm sure I've mentioned this) that he's asked why I'm even in the class. So everytime we have a "review day" before our unit tests he always tells me I can go home and I don't need to "stay and be bored" while he reviews with everyone else. Today was no different. He came up to my desk and said "Did you complete the review packet?" and I replied "yep" and he said "well then you're welcome to go home!" So I started getting my stuff together and he walked back to the front of the classroom. As I was walking to the door he came out from behind his desk and kinda raised his arms and started to put them around me like he was going to hug me. So I kinda gave him this quick hug and said "have a nice weekend" and he walked me to the classroom door and opened the door for me and was like "I don't even know what I'm doing this weekend." I said "are you still remodeling your bathroom?" (He mentioned in class he's been remodeling the bathroom). He replied "no that's on monday." So I just said "oh ok, well bye" and walked down the hallway.
It was.....odd
Of course the thing that is going through my mind was "OMG why did he HUG me??" and "I can just imagine what everyone else in the class is thinking "Gee no wonder she's doing so well..." "No wonder she gets to leave early" GAH! And it's not like he was flirting with me (I mean he's like in his mid to upper 60's!) Then I am thinking "what if he WASN'T going to hug me and I hugged him taking it that way?? Now he's probably sitting there going "why did she hug me? That's odd!"
AHHHHHH now I'm gonna think about this constantly, and it's going to be weird going into class on Tuesday!
In other news, I had Avery's annual IEP meeting this afternoon. It went really well all things considered. They've removed everything from his IEP except speech. They've added some goals for Articulation, and also some "correct speed of speaking" goals because Avery tends to talk a mile a minute, which makes him VERY unitelligible! For a kid who has Apraxia, speaking a mile a minute only makes things a million times worse! They've decreased his frequency of speech sessions from three 30 minutes sessions a week down to two 30 minute sessions a week. This was because she said in kindergarten she really wants Avery to be in the classroom as much as possible. With this schedule he'll spend 80% of the time in the classroom. We're all concerned about spelling (if you can't pronounce the word, you can't spell it!) but she didn't put that on his IEP as of right now because spelling isn't a kindergarten objective. Just something for us to keep an eye on. She thinks he'll do very well in kindergarten and just kept telling me that my concerns are just my "mama bear" coming out and for me to focus on how far he's come, not how far he has to go.
Andrew is now fully walking! It's only taken 16 months and 3 months of physical therapy, but he's now walking! And now that he's walking he screams absolutely bloody murder if you try to carry him! And forget about putting him in his carseat! Oh he HATES being in his carseat now! It seems now that he's mobile he wants absolutely nothing to do with being caged in! Lemme see if I can remember how to post a few pics before I sign off of here!
Me tonight....bored

The three older boys Easter Sunday heading to church with Grandma (mother in law)

Andrew Easter sunday outside running around at Grandma's (mother in law's)

yay! It worked :) Wow the pics are HUGE!! Sorry!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Changing things Around!

Whoa!  Sorry for being so quiet lately!  Things have been CA-RAZY! here.   I'm gonna be changing some stuff around and getting back to writing hopefully today!  Stay tuned!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Feeling Very "deja vu" right now

First things first. I don't think I've written since starting school! Things are going really well. My weeks are SO hectic though between school, the boys' schools, housework, Andrew, etc etc. I don't think I really sit down at all during the week sometimes! Right now I have straight A's, although I know I just bombed my Micro biology exam and that will probably drop me to a B in that class. I'm trying not to dwell on it and keep telling myself I'll bring it back to an A with the next exam.
I'm thinking of adding another online class next semester. Yes I'm crazy I know ;)

I took Andrew back to the doctor today because he STILL isn't any better from this cold he's had. It's going on 3 weeks now and he's still crying constantly and pulling his ears and is SO snotty. Low and behold the ear infection STILL hasn't gone away. After 2 rounds of antibiotics she said "it's the worst ear I've seen in a while" greeeeaat. She's doubling up his antiobiotics this time (he'll be taking 2 different ones) for the next week. If it's not any better after that (or if he gets another one soon) we'll be talking tubes. He's had 6 ear infections and he's almost 11 months old. Deja Vu... We went through this with Aidan AND Austin. They both ended up with tubes. So I'm totally expecting to have him seen for tubes soon.

Then I was talking to the doctor today about Andrew not using his legs when he crawls. He just kinda drags them behind him. And he doesn't pull to a stand or even stand while I'm holding him at all. Being that all 3 of my other boys were walking by 11 months I was/am curious if it was ok. She tried to get him to stand and then she kinda got this look on her face and said "hmm maybe we should have him looked at by early intervention" I said "really? Do you think that's necessary?" and she said "better to catch it early if it is anything, and it's free and they'll come to your house."

Yeah.....I know all about early intervention. A little to well if you ask me. So of course now I'm all flipped out because AGAIN I feel like this is Deja Vu. I just have the gut feeling they're going to come to my house, run their evaluations on him and then they'll say something about his speech (all he does at this point is "eh") and they'll say something about his gross motor (OMG I just totally typo'd "gross mother") because of his lack of leg use.

Deja Vu.

My first response to the doctor was "great, just what I need...another kid needing therapy" I know it probably wasn't the "politically correct" thing to say. But it's how I feel/felt. I haven't even gotten him evaluated and all I can think about is "I can't go through this again."
I just can't.....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On IEP's and Therapy

Avery's preschool teacher has been basically "hinting" to me for the past week that the IEP meeting I have scheduled for Avery this Thursday is going to be tough for me.  She has told me on more than one occasion "I can't find a single thing to put on Avery's IEP as a goal" and "I don't know if he's going to qualify on Thursday, since speech is his only issue."  and also "He's a smart cookie! He knows everything! There's nothing on the 4 year curriculum that he needs to work on next year on his IEP"

What?!?!  Are they serious???  That's awful funny, because both his private therapists and I disagree with that!

He has social issues!  He wouldn't be in a social skills therapy group if he didn't have a problem socially with other children!  Even the preschool teacher has said that Avery will choose where I wants to play and with who he wants to play with.  He doesn't play WITH other children, but will play NEXT TO the other children.  But because he'll go over to the same play area with them there's no social issues?? 

Avery's private therapist has said she would write up a paper to say what goals they need to include on his IEP for social issues, but we all know the school doesn't HAVE to accept her evaluation.

Avery has a diagnosis of Apraxia.  But according to the school they don't accept any "diagnosis" until the kindergarten year.  So are they saying that because they won't accept the diagnosis they don't have to give Avery the therapy he needs on his IEP??  I don't think so!  "Speech isn't enough to qualify him"  No "Speech" isn't, but APRAXIA is!  His speech therapist at the school claims Avery is hitting sounds with "80-85% accuracy."  Which would means he's met his "IEP goal" because they're "goal" is 80%.  Except the fact that that is completely UNTRUE!  The way they have worded it makes it seem that he's met his goals.  In reality yes he does make certain sounds with 80-85% accuracy in a face to face therapy setting.  In spontaneous speech and in more than 2-3 word sentances that drops DRAMATICALLY!

And I don't know how to argue anything they say because I don't know what they are going to say!!  They sent home a "draft" of Avery's IEP for me to review before the meeting.  But what they sent me is the same exact IEP I have from last years IEP meeting!  I can't bring "proof" or any evidence to back what I'm saying if I don't know what proof or evidence I'm going to need!

Grr I'm so frustrated and feeling totally unprepared for his IEP meeting thursday.