Monday, June 16, 2014

Confessions of a Disorganized Housewife: Fessing Up

These days, if you want to come and visit, you're entirely welcome. Just plan on coming early in the week. 

You know what they say about the road to hell right? It's paved with good intentions. When we first moved here I was Susie Homemaker. I stuck with my routines, went to bed at a decent hour, Baby Bear was in a great mood... life was good. We even got some painting done and even a little decorating. I'll do a post on the kitchen and dining room soon, we just need to finish up in that area. 

But then came things that got in the way. Started chatting on Facebook messenger with friends until Jim came home from work. After dinner chores got pushed aside. We had to run here or there for myriad reasons from helping out a relative to just plain boredom. It rained a lot so that painting wasn't advisable (from what I've read if you paint on rainy days it doesn't dry properly). Seizures and meltdowns reared their ugly heads a few times. In short, while I have been continuing to try and keep the place neat and orderly while making the house more into home, it's been more like swimming upstream while the other fish are busily heading downstream: you're putting out a lot of effort but you're really not getting anywhere.

One thing I've kept up with though, is (mostly) managing to keep Mondays free of distraction so I can get the house back in order. The weekends are now the true weekends so unless I'm babysitting on Sunday, not a lot of housework is being done on Saturday. And somewhere along the lines of Friday, the brains in this house tend to forget where shoes go, and things tend to fall by the wayside. 

That's where Mondays come in. That's my time to restore order to the living room, bathroom, kitchen and dining room. The rooms get picked up, the dishes are caught up, the bathroom gets a good scrub down, and the carpets get a good vacuuming. All that fun stuff. Most of it, anyway. 

Slowly though, I'm figuring out the spring time slump and getting back into a more feasible routine. A load or two of laundry gets done most days, and today I wrote up some rules for a happy kitchen:
  • dishes are done by the end of the night and at the very least are put in the drainer to dry if not put away.
  • litter boxes are patrolled daily with regular scrubbing
  • Floor to be swept nightly
  • Trash taken out nightly.

If I can get back in the habit of making sure those are done regularly, as well as mastering the art of menu planning (and sticking with said plans) I think I can keep a handle on the housework so I can better spend my time with Baby Bear and the Hubs, as well as work in time for writing and art work. Home Sweet House is relatively small, which I am thankful for when it comes to keeping the housework manageable. 

So there you have it, folks, my confession for the day. Now, if you'll excuse me, the laundry needs rebooting and dishes are calling. Have a great Monday.
This is Charlie, holding the tv down so it doesn't fly away each night, lol.

Friday, June 6, 2014

It's Finally Friday! Take Some Time

It is finally Friday! I thought I'd sit and write a bit while Baby Bear relaxes. Honestly, I'm hoping he naps today so I can get a little bit of a snooze in myself. Yes, finally I have learned to sleep while he sleeps. Most of the time. 

It's been a nice day so far.  No appointments, no trips to the grocery store, no tantrums. In fact, for lunch the Hubs was nice enough to prepare quesajitas --I'm thinking he created that combo. It's a cross between quesadillas and chicken fajitas. Yummy!--while I took a few minutes to make a card or two. I love being creative when I can. I don't always get a lot of time to do that, so I take advantage when I can. It's a great stress reliever.

Sorry for the sideways cards. I just recently upgraded something on the computer and I'm still figuring it out. I'd like to say that I came up with the design for these cards. Nope. They all use the same stamp set from Stampin Up!  and were part of a program my demonstrator does. Basically, participants agree to buy the set she chooses, along with a few other tools such as ink pads. The demonstrator, as part of the price, sends precut card stock and any embellishments needed to finish the cards.  It's fun and for now gives me a few minutes to play without having to think too hard. With Baby Bear, sometimes that's the best way to handle it.  

Speaking of that sweet young man of mine, that nap I was hoping for just went out the window. He's currently laughing and tapping the love seat to get my attention. Translation: Boredom! Time to get moving again. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Autism Wednesday: Confessions of Life with Baby Bear

So....I haven't written in a long time. Oh, I've had intentions of writing. I even came up with a blog post or two...that never made it from my computer to here. Life has been filled with the usual ups and downs that find us all. Baby Bear has done so great at times and I've wanted to share those moments --and then there are days that really just make me want to throw my hands up in surrender and say, Come take him. I can't handle it anymore. Those are the times that really break my heart. I know there are parents who have had to make the painful decision to place their child in a residential home of some sort. The one time we came really close to actually doing it --we were informed that the state wouldn't take him. They have no place for young adults with moderate to severe autism. We never pursued it so I have no idea how true that statement is. I do know, however, that in the hierarchy of state funds, adults with special needs are very low on the totem pole. But you know what? Honestly and truly I don't want to place my son in a home that isn't mine. I know there are loving people who become caregivers, and I also know that one day he may very well end up in one anyway, due to the deaths of The Hubs and me, or that we are just too old and frail to care for him properly. At the same time, I can't imagine not having J in the house each night.

The times that I do consider placement are born out of frustration, anger, and fear. This is a home we plan to stay in for a very long time if we can. We are the ones responsible for repairs. It makes me feel better that I don't have the worry of a landlord throwing us out because J broke something, but it also makes my heart sink when I see the damage that has occurred in J's room already. Sometime very soon, as in the next few weeks or so, we will be learning all about replacing dry wall. At the same time, we are considering what to put on the walls that is sturdy enough to withstand the banging, but wont seriously hurt his hands. Quite obviously plain, painted walls aren't going to cut it in his room. If a crack or hole is knocked in it, his OCD  kicks in and he starts picking at it, particularly if he's angry or bored. See where this is going? Yeah, not pretty. There are books, magazine articles and blog posts galore on baby proofing your home.  Baby Bear proofing? Not so much. I feel like I'm paving the way on this one. 

So...yeah. That's pretty much life here at Dottie's Life these days. Mostly good, some not so good, and learning to tread water again. I won't promise to write posts because we've seen how that goes here. But please don't give up on me. I have lots to tell you about. I just stumbled once again and let life pull at me. I want to write at least three posts a week, if not more. If I lag, please feel free to contact me. I love hearing from you even if I don't get a chance to respond.  For now, housework calleth, as does Baby Bear. He's "talking" to me in his own language, wanting attention. I do love his sense of humor.

 Baby Bear doesn't like getting his hair cut very often due to sensitivity issues. But I do love his mischievous smile. Doesn't he clean up good?

Friday, May 23, 2014

How Secure is the Baptismal Area?

It's beginning to be that time of year again. The weather is warmer so many start thinking of swimming pools as a way to beat the heat. With swim season upon us, along comes the advice: keep your children safe in and near the water. Accidental drownings occur and put us all on edge and we are hyper vigilant. But, have we given thought to how safe our baptismal areas are in our church buildings?

As parents we know that it only takes a second or two for a child to slip away. Inside our houses of worship we are still aware of that fact, yet we feel safer because in most cases we know the families who meet there. We feel safe and we watch out for one another. In many cases, not much thought is given to the accessibility of the baptismal area. After all, we want to make it as easy as possible to help someone to obey the gospel. Unfortunately, even in a church setting though, children can get away. I lost my oldest son to drowning, twenty one years ago this July. 

At the time there were no doors leading to the baptismal pool, and other than bubble wrap to keep out bugs, no covering over the pool itself. We were told afterward that it had been that way for over 50 years. No one had given thought to what might happen. After my son's death,  locked gates were put up and only certain men had access to the key.  The congregation where my husband and I met and later married, also realized that the doors leading to their area needed to be locked. I know during that time several people contacted my husband and me, saying because of our son's death they made the baptismal pool more secure.

I just read on a Facebook group the request for prayer by a young mom who lost her child in a similar manner nine years ago. Please, ladies. Let us work to stop this from happening again. On the next Lord's day, please check to see how accessible the baptismal pool is. Let the elders or the men of the congregation know that it needs to be safer if it isn't already locked. 

photo credit: jcsullivan24 via photopin cc

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Autism Wednesday: Kyle's story.

 My Dear Readers, today is April 2, known as World Autism Awareness Day. This is something very important to me, as my son Jesse has autism and mental retardation due possibly to other factors as well as lead poisoning as a child.  Each Wednesday I will be bringing stories from parents, information about autism, and hope. 
   Today I bring to you the story of Kyle, as told by his mother, Janice.  

My Mr Man Kyle is 22 yes I call him my Mr Man he always says to me I am Kyle lol ..
When Kyle was 2 he was vaccine injured by the MMR vaccines .Prior to the vaccine
my Kyle was talking , walking , eating and sleeping . He was watching TV like any child that is 2 would do.
I remember it like it was yesterday him sitting in front of the TV eating cheetos' and watching Barney lol
During the nights I would wrap him into his crib and he would sleep through out the nights never any problems with him sleeping & his words were age appropriate , every milestone that a child that was 2 years
met in everyday ..
The day , yes we moms know and remember that day from Hell when we took our children into the Doctors to get
their Wellness vaccines thinking we were protecting them from the world , the many diseases that it was going to protect them from.So they said . that you will hear through out my story .
I brought him home as the sun was going down. I was standing in my kitchen when I heard my Kyle started to scream a high pitch scream. We as moms with vaccine injured Kido's know all too well about .
As I picked him  up to hold him in my arms while he was screaming and turned blue was bareley able to hold him due to his body stiffening up and his back was arched in full blown seizure mode.
The scream felt like it lasted for what felt like an eternity to me it ; little I know that his screams and his seizure was due to him being vaccine injured .. I do remember calling my Mom and telling her it was from the vaccines but at this time back in 1992 nobody had heard of autism or what a vaccine injury was about. 
The next morning I couldn't find my son. When I did he was hiding behind the couch . After that he stopped eating he stopped talking and he stopped sleeping .. I AM THE MOM WHO WAS TREATED AS WHAT THEY CALLED THE Refrigerator mom, blamed for not caring for my son by not 1 not 2 not even 3 but many so called Psychologists and psychiatrist who knew nothing about autism or vaccine injury .
This started my journey with my son in a whole new life of hell is what it felt like with the unknown
We finally took Kyle up to UC Davis Children hospital to get a final diagnosis for him
Brian Seigel, top psychiatrist who is and was the top Autism Specialist gave me the words of him being severely autistic & Mild Retardation
The story goes on from there ...........
Not too many people heard of autism and how to treat a child on the Autism Spectrum ,
I was very blessed to have found a School for Kyle, whose teacher not only knew [about autism] he helped Kyle in so many ways: to go to the doctors ,helped me to get him to the Dentist and other vital life skills he would be needing for the future and as part of society.
Kyle did wonderful, he even Graduated from his Severely Handicapped Class with Honor of being the most helpful to others.' Kyle is such a great helper to me and he  always loves to help others.He is a giver.It is a gift he has within him that the vaccine damages couldn't take away.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Connection of Prayer

Yesterday was one of the longest days of my life. Baby Bear had a grand mal seizure. His regular absence seizures are tough enough but to see your child's body flailing uncontrollably and his breathing sounding labored--unimaginable. The Hubs was home as it was just before his shift that it happened. He was closest to J and saw before I did. I just heard the thud when he fell. I had been on facebook at the time so I left a short message: Pray.

I rode along in the ambulance with J and the Hubs followed behind. He had already contacted his mother to alert her as to what was going on. She told him that many had already with assurances of prayers and positive thoughts were going up. She left a message on her own page giving the news about J's seizure. A former sister in law saw that one and called J's cousin, who in turn called Grandma to express his concern. 

We spent several hours at the emergency room, most of it just hanging out in the room. J was groggy but just about back to normal by the time we arrived.  He did fine with the staff coming in and out checking on him, but by 8pm he'd had enough and pulled out the IV starter (that contraption they insist on adding whether you need fluids or not, just in case. It can also be used for taking blood labs).  Never a dull moment with him.  The doctor decided that a few more labs were needed before releasing J to go home, along with a dose of medicine. J sat up and calmly watched the phlebotomist  prepare his arm for the butterfly needle. Then just as he was about to get the stick, J strong armed him and thwarted the attempt. Needless to say they gave up on the idea of more blood for the evening. It was late when we got home and J went on to bed. He slept till about 9 this morning.  I am very thankful. Words can't express how grateful I am that Baby Bear is back to his normal happy self and for so many who offered up prayers and good thoughts yesterday.

This post is being shared withHeavenly Homemakers Gratituesday

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Autism Wednesday: Is it Better 1 in 50? A Rant

A few days ago a page I follow on Facebook posted the following :

Admittedly, I haven't read all of the studies, but neither do I put much credence into studies that are funded by the vaccine industry or anyone connected to them in any way. And I certainly don't need studies to know that  my son was affected by vaccines. But before attacks me with how safe or unsafe shots are, that one is for another day. Today I want to bring up a different aspect. Bear with me. 

I happened to glance at the some of the comments below the photo. Being that the page speaks much about the harm that can be done with vaccines, most following are going to comment positively. However, like anything there are those who oppose and like to have their voices heard as well. In most cases, not a problem. I believe in free speech.

Then I read a gentleman's flippant answer: "Better 1 in 50 than 100% dying of smallpox, just sayin." 

Excuse me? My child having autism is the key to keeping everyone from dying of a disease that has been eradicated since 1980? You can read more about smallpox here. 

Smallpox was a horrible disease that did a lot of damage, especially to Native Americans who had never before been exposed to the disease. But it never once completely eradicated 100% of the people exposed to it.  The young man who commented (tried to) used emotionalism and scare tactics to try and prove a point. Those are used almost on a daily basis in our society for one reason or another.  My point? Become educated. Don't simply accept what is being said at face value. Do the research. Learn all you can. And then educate others. Put the message out there, regardless of how you feel, but do not belittle others for their beliefs and decisions. 

At any rate, I feel we are going in the wrong direction with shots. Mass vaccinations regardless of circumstances is not the answer. Especially when no one is paying attention to what is in those syringes. We need to take a closer look at all this, not just allowing them to happen without question because we've been told over and over again "it's the right thing to do". 

Regardless of my stance on shots (for the record I allowed vaccinations, disregarding my gut feeling about it and that was before people were discussing possible connections between MMR and autism before J's diagnosis and even a few after, but will no longer allow them as a matter of course) I am not here to tell you what to believe about them. All I want to do is encourage further study and wish to stop the hatred. Things get heated on both sides of the debate but one thing sticks in my mind, and this was  in the autism community itself. One woman stated in the heat of the moment "If you don't vaccinate you deserve for your child to contract some horrible disease and die from it. In fact, I hope they do."  Seriously? How can anyone have that much hatred in their hearts for someone that they hope that a child dies?

In case you're wondering, autism is not the only harm that can potentially come from vaccinations. Again, do the research. Autism and brain damage are what my son deals with, and yes, I believe that vaccines were a part of what caused it. 

But wouldn't you rather he have autism than the measles or the chicken pox? No. Those two diseases last a week or two in most cases. They are largely uncomfortable but once gone, they're gone and the body's immune system is stronger. Autism is with my son for the rest of his life. Although I and anyone else who cares to get to know J know that he is intelligent, his functional age is supposedly that of a toddler--around 14 months--according to the doctors who tested him. 

As an adult he still isn't fully potty trained, although we work on it a lot. He can dress and feed himself and otherwise take care of his needs but in some areas he still needs help. He won't understand you if you speak full paragraphs in one fell swoop but he does understand more clearly if you speak two or three word sentences to him.  He can't be left alone for long periods of time because he can't cook for himself and in case of an emergency he might get agitated and not know what to do. 

When J was younger he had no fear. He had no worries of stepping out of a window onto a fiberglass roof or jumping out of a window (Yes, we had serious locks put on all the windows so that he could not open them and he was unharmed in both situations.). He could figure out how to unlock doors or in one case remove a (basement) window from its tracks so he could go into the back yard and swing. He was a runner between the ages of 2 and 9 and although he never got past the block we lived on at the time, my heart goes out to parents whose children go missing.  I've dealt with well meaning and even a few not so well meaning social workers who thought to help but in many cases just added to my frustration as a young mom trying to figure all this out.
 Now that J is considered an adult he no longer is a runner. He would much rather stay home. But although he would never jump out of a window (he no longer has a chance, we live in a one level ranch now), he does have frustrations that he sometimes takes out on my walls. Not often, but enough so that The Hubs has a wall to fix in J's room already.

His communication skills are emerging more and more, slowly but surely. He still cannot speak very much and sometimes when he can't get his needs or wants known, he cries. It's devastating, not knowing what is upsetting your child. 

And while most parents  look forward to the proud moment when  Susie or Johnny graduates from college and moves out on their own although they shed a tear or two, I stay awake wondering who will care for my son should the day come when The Hubs and I no longer can or are not here anymore. 

So no, young man with the flip attitude. No, it is not "better 1 in 50". I will not say it is better to have a disease no matter what it is, but honestly, I much rather would have dealt with measles, mumps or chicken pox than deal with autism. That's my thoughts on after 19 years after the diagnosis.

I welcome comments and I know what I spoke of here can cause heated discussions. I ask that any remarks be kept civil and family friendly. I believe in free speech but foul language or hurtful attacks will be deleted immediately.  I also would love to hear your autism stories, whether here or through my email, Just please put "autism" in the subject bar so I know.
Thank you.