Sunday, December 21, 2008

Year End Meme

This is for Anthony, but I'll answer.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before? Got diagnosed with autism, started therapy, started school. Turned three. Started school - I mention it again because before this year, Anthony never successfully just stayed somewhere else, without us. This keeps amazing me.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? If I had a resolution for Anthony, it was that he could talk and communicate better and I guess he can. However, it is also our resolution for this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Ha - Anthony's mother gave birth this year! Our cousin Lisa had a baby late last year, as well as my friends Katy, Julie, and Emily.

4. Did anyone close to you die? I guess no.

5. What places did you visit? Where did we go this year? We flew to NJ this summer. We went to see Mike's grandmother twice, in Westport, and we went to Mike's mom's several times. Anthony is getting really good at traveling in the car.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? We would like Anthony to talk more and communicate more, blah blah blah repeat repeat. :)

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Maria was born on January 11. I can't remember the exact dates, but we had our case conference in May when Anthony was diagnosed, he started school in July and then again in August.

8. What was your biggest achievement(s) of the year? I think Anthony's biggest achievement has been going to school. He is sleeping - well, he is still a bad sleeper but he is in no way the lunatic in the night that he was this time last year. He throws away his popsicle stick on his own now. It is truly the little victories!

9. What was your biggest failure? Hmm. I guess we haven't had any failures. Anthony hasn't anyway!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Last year, I forgot about our two hospital visits but I think I can safely say we didn't go to the ER for anything. Anthony has been very healthy overall, although he had that Fifth Disease and a cold and runny nose that seemed to last forever. I think for starting school for the first time, he's done very well. Possibly because he has little interaction with others!

11. What was the best thing you bought? I think I'd have to say his weighted blanket. Although I hope that his guitar goes over big at Christmas.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Oh, Anthony's, of course. He is amazingly patient with Maria, who could piss off a priest. He is better with her sometimes than I am!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Ha, Anthony's, of course. Kidding! Sometimes we have been annoyed with the people that we've tried to work with for Anthony's therapies and stuff but overall, it's going very well.

14. Where did most of your money go? He's still not that expensive a person. We have to pay a copay for his visits and we are looking into a school that might cost a bazillion dollars but this year, it was no so bad. There are parents of children with autism in this country that are going into HUGE amounts of debt paying for their child's therapy and we are incredibly lucky that we live where we live.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? I don't know the answer to this. Anthony gets excited about a lot of stuff. Flipping upside down? He has made great strides this year and I think he gets excited when he feels he can be understood - or maybe that is me.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? Hmmm. We've been singing a lot of Twinkle, Twinkle Little, Star lately. It might be the first song that Anthony has sung on his own. I don't know that a stranger could recognize it, but we know what it is.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter.
c) richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Talking. Blah blah blah.

20. How did you spend Christmas last year? We spent Christmas Eve at Mike's moms and Christmas day at my brother Larry's. I remember Anthony brought a big bottle of aspirin to his house and would not let it go.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008? Let's say Anthony fell in love with his baby sister. Whether or not it's true.

22. How many one-night stands? Ha, this always cracks me up. No, but he did get the KING SIZE bed in the hotel that we stayed in in NJ.

23. What was your favorite TV program? Anthony still loves Signing Time, The Wiggles (even though they have changed their format and their Greg and that has been upsetting to us), the Doodlebops (God help me), and Diego.

24. What did you do for your birthday in 2008? I was just thinking of this last night. I guess we had a party? I really can't remember.

25. What was the best book you read? We just got Anthony a picture book that he likes at school and it has gone over big. He likes his Notre Dame book and always identifies the Library in it.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? We started Anthony with a sleep cd last night and he woke up around 5:00 - so maybe not the greatest discovery. :)

27. What did you want and get? This is hard, I don't know what Anthony wants. I hope he wants yet another sibling. :)

28. What did you want and not get? Again, who knows. He wants more Pop Tarts than he gets.

29. What was your favorite film of this year? Anthony still doesn't like movies. We wish, believe me.

30. Did you make some new friends this year? Hmm. He's met some wonderful teachers and therapists. He loves his speech therapist at school. Mike always jokes around on Wednesdays, his therapy day. He says "are you going to make your move today, Anthony?" Then on Thursdays, Anthony sees his speech therapist, but with two other boys and Mike always advises Anthony that it's too late, he should have made his move and gone in for a kiss on Wednesday when he had her alone. We feel really lucky about our therapy situation both at school and at the other place - I mean, I guess I think of course they're kind and nice and like children, they went into this incredibly difficult field that I would never choose. But we still feel lucky.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Oh, I wish Anthony would communicate better, I think it would make it better and more satisfying for all of us. But not immeasurably more satisfying, just a little easier.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? I guess uniform - he wears one to school and it's been super easy.

33. What kept you sane? There is no proof that anyone in this damned house is sane. Anthony says "I love you" now - only sometimes, and he signs it too, and it always takes me a minute to figure out what he's saying because he says "I You" and because we are an IU family I'm confused momentarily. But anyways. It's a big deal to me and it keeps me saner.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I'm going to say Greg Wiggle, because now he's gone and we miss him. :)

35. What political issue stirred you the most? I don't guess either presidential candidate would do all that we want for autism and for Anthony - because as I recall, no one was running on the "will eradicate autism" platform. But although we are excited at the idea of the first Black President, we as a family and people are disappointed at how really, truly anti-Life President Elect Obama is. It's especially upsetting to me when I am pregnant, I suppose. I like everything else about him but that. But I'm praying he has a conversion of heart, so that should get all straightened out here soon. :)

36. Who did you miss? I guess Anthony misses me and his father while he's at school. But maybe not.

37. Who was the best new person you met? I'm going to say his speech therapist, Ashley. He really does so great with her.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. I took this meme from my friend Erin and she said "Count to 10 and breathe". I think this would be a good lesson for Anthony too. Those wretched Doodlebops have a song called "Count to 10" and Anthony always counts with them but I hope that he gets that it really does get better in just 10 seconds. We are trying to teach him to wait and it's hard but when he can just wait for 10 seconds without flipping out, it feels like a major victory. Mike and I have learned, again, that there isn't anything we wouldn't do for these children - not that every other parent in the world doesn't know that, but it's a good lesson for us to learn over and over. It makes us feel like we are somebody - we are Anthony's parents. I hope in 2009 that Anthony can learn he is Anthony - and how important that is.

No comments: