Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I guess this shows his haircut and it also shows how he was a large part of the day yesterday. So here he is, warts and all. Look at his furrowed brow! It breaks my heart when he is like this. Today he had a great day, he went to the movies! He saw Toy Story 3! His PM therapist told me that she sat behind him and that he sat for ONE hour and then got a little fussy poo, then went to the lobby for a while and then came back for the rest of it! I can't stop with the exclamation points! He didn't have one single solitary meltdown today and he ate the *heck* out of his macaroni and cheese tonight. It was a *HOT MESS* in here, cheese hands everywhere, but he was happy. He started with his fork and then went to his fingers and we just thought the hell with it.

I don't even know if I should leave this picture up, it's making me sad to look at it. But it does show his haircut and maybe some day I'll look back and be like, that's right! He DID used to have tantrums, but I can't really remember them! A mom can dream, right?
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Haircuts and Imagination

We cut Anthony's hair today, it went as well as it's ever gone, I guess. It's so hard because instead of getting really mad now when we cut his hair, he gets super, super sad. I would rather have him mad at me than think that I am causing him to be so sad. BUT it only took like six minutes, and there was such a pile of hair on the floor when we were done it's hard to not think it must feel better for him.

I was reading a review of Toy Story 3 in Entertainment Weekly and this line stuck out at me:

That spirit of imagination hasn’t gone out of our world — it’s there every time a child picks up an inanimate object of fun and sees, feels, experiences the hidden life in it.

I got super sad, myself, reading it. Maria will play with her tea set ("tease", she calls it) and pretend to glug tea into the cup, we say "cheers!" and pretend to drink tea, she has endless imagination. Even Veronica pretends to talk on the phone. But Anthony just - doesn't. He is much more likely to smack himself lightly on the face with the teacup than ever pretend to drink tea from it. I guess he has no spirit of imagination? No imagination at all?

I wonder if it's in there, at all. He used to pretend to talk on the phone when he was little, can we get it back? Do we want to? I have no idea what the answers are, here, but it makes me sad when I read something that assumes that all kids have this wonderful life, imagining and playing and whooping it up and there Anthony is, whacking the side of his head with a ruler and calling it a good time.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Weighted Blanket

Anthony sleeps under a weighted blanket and I thought I'd write about it, just in case anyone was every looking for advice on it. I've had several friends ask me about it and it's hard to know what to buy when you are first looking.

We bought Anthony's blanket at Cozy Calm. It's super nice and it weighs 12 pounds and fits his twin bed. I think it cost around $50 and the shipping was free. Since he uses it every night of his life, it seems like a good deal to me. We used to have a five pound one, it was for a toddler bed or crib. You can get all sorts of colors and prints. I brought his little one into school, so he could hold it on his lap if he wanted.

He has to have a weighted blanket to sleep because he has Sensory Processing Disorder. I really think that his sensory issues are so profound that he would have them even without having Autism. He requires a LOT of sensory input to just be at an even keel. Actually, I don't know if this is true for Anthony ALL the time now, but it used to be. I imagine as he grows up and develops, his sensory needs will change, but we're not sure. He does like his blanket and he really sleeps better since he's gotten it.

He has been going nuts lately at night, opening one drawer in his dresser and throwing everything out of it. Sometimes it looks like a BOMB hit his room in the morning and there is NOTHING in there. Because we've had Veronica in our walk in closet, Mike had a lot of his clothes in Anthony's closet. There are no doors, because as long time readers of this blog might remember, Anthony tore them off years ago. So he'll run along at night, snapping the long-sleeved shirts off the hangers. BOY he is a pain, right? Who does that? Now the girls are in their room together, though, so I should just put Mike's clothes back in the closet and be done with it.

His sensory issues are why he is grinding his teeth, too. He grinds them if he's sad or tense, and he grinds them when he's happy, too. It's awful - it makes me feel just terrible that he does it and there's nothing we can do to stop him. I'm hoping that like a lot of things, it will just fade away. I hope he still has teeth by then!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Doesn't he look super cool here, and also about fifteen years old? Oh, this child and these tantrums! They are killing us. It's better than it was, but man. They come out of NOWHERE. Tonight he was looking out the window and BLAM! he got super mad and sad, all at once. He woke up bad this morning, really tense and just like a fist. Maria always says, as soon as he starts, "Anthony doesn't feel good?" and it could break your heart. He and Maria are both taking off their diapers and it's maddening. He is doing great in school, and his break is coming up, so maybe we'll have some fun then? I hope?
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Monday, June 21, 2010


But honestly, I never, EVER catch them near one another, so it was this or nothing. I did order a new camera - it's actually a Nikon D3000, because they don't make the D40 anymore. Not to get too technical, ha! Anyways, Anthony has been sick yesterday and today and it is a complete DRAG. I cut my fingers yesterday on a glass, while doing dishes, and I have had to wash my hands approximately 10,000 times today, which stings like hell! ANYWAY. Anthony woke up super, super sick today - he had vomited up everything he, and I guess lots of other people ate yesterday. It was so, so gross - Mike had to rinse him off in the tub before he could fill it - he was covered. Then he threw up again, and then he seemed to get better. He's been eating well today and seems to feel okay, so I'm hopeful that it was just a little bug. There is nothing sadder than a sick Anthony, I'll tell you that.
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Saturday, June 19, 2010


So my friend Hannah posted about her wedding for this Blog Hop, and I have been thinking about our wedding a lot lately, as our sixth anniversary is coming up, so I figured I'd do it. It's not technically about Anthony, sure, but he was there (as a gleam in his father's eye) and besides - this blog is about him but I do all the typing, so what the heck?

I feel like Sophia in The Golden Girls - Picture it! July 31, 2004!

I am choosing this picture because it shows my flowers well (they were red roses) but also because I was annoyed with the photographer and I think it shows, here. It was hot and I was kind of over him and his goofy photo assignments. Anyways. We did pictures at the Canal, which I have always loved and where Mike and I took a lot of walks, back when we weren't with anyone who might jump in at a minute's notice. :) I loved my dress - I found it for $700 at a store in Indianapolis, and I told my sister the designer and model number and she found it at the now-defunct for $189, plus $10 shipping. Crazy, right? It was really beautiful. I should have had it altered, just a little - it was a little long and a skoshe big in the shoulders, which actually must mean it was originally designed for a football player, ha!

Posted by PicasaThis is the back of my niece, Moira, and my nephews, Parker and Aidan.  It is so crazy to me that this is just six years ago, they look like little kids here and now they are not.  Parker is 18!  We had our nieces and nephews as our wedding party, which I really loved. We also had our nephew Jared and our niece Hillary, but I can't find a picture of all five. Blogger is being *very* strange about my pictures, I can't edit some of them, which is super annoying. But anyway, they were little kids then too and now are practically full grown adults.
This is our church.  We live right near it and it's especially important to us because Mike was baptized and made four other sacraments here in the months before we got married.  It's a beautiful church and we were so happy to be married here.  We got married at 6:30 in the evening and had the reception immediately following.  We did all the pictures before, which I would totally do again.  Mike and I walked out the door of the church and into the limo to go to the reception.  Mike had secretly gotten a bottle of Dom and we drank that - we were so close to the reception that we had to have the driver go around the block again so we could finish the champagne!  Our reception was at the Athletic Club - it was a great place to have a party, but it closed the October after we got married.  I can't even say what I would have done had they up and closed before our wedding reception, I'm just glad it didn't happen.
Here we are, in the church, at the Virgin Mary statue.  When I used to go to weddings and they would do the prayers to the Virgin Mary, I have to be honest - I would think "BORING!", but I'm glad we did it.  We just had the organist play the Ave Maria, instead of having someone sing it.  Or worse yet, sing something like "Hail Mary, Gentle Woman", which makes me want to vomit.  Speaking of vomit, I swear I almost got sick right when I was having my hair done the morning of the wedding.  I had gone for a nice walk with my friend Diana, who was in town from LA for the wedding.  I had made all the flowers, everything was FINE, but I started FLIPPING OUT at the hairdresser.  I called Mike and cried about it and then Laura and I went to the hotel and poof! I was better.  It was the most nervous I was all day and I guess I just had to get it out of my system?  Maybe? 

We took dance lessons, which I also recommend.  It was such a fun thing to do, and it was our fun Thursday thing, where we didn't have to think too much about the wedding, just the fun of it.  We danced a rumba to "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke.  When we started dancing and it was obvious we were really dancing, people started hooting and hollering - I remember being so surprised, it never occurred to me that it would look good!  Ha! 
We had the best time, although it's true - I really can hardly remember any of it.  I remember that when we got back to the hotel and I took off my stockings, they were ripped up like a dog had been chewing on them, on the feet.  I guess that's a sign of a good time!  My family all came in from NJ and it was - well, obviously it was special that they all came in, but it was also just like old times.

And this was funny - my friend Angie (who didn't come to my wedding and I always remember how old her son Sam is because he was born either right before or right after we got married) told me to look at everyone going up the aisle.  She said to really look at everyone, because they would be smiling at me in a way that I had never seen.  I thought it sounded like a good idea, so my Dad and I walked in the church and I took a deep breath, and smiled at the first people I saw, my cousins Patti and Kim.  And it's true, they were smiling at me in a way I had never seen ANYBODY look at me.  It was WAAAAAY too much for me, though, and I started to cry and I thought HOO BOY this is going to be bad if I keep doing this, I JUST got here!  So I didn't look at anybody else. 

All in all, I recommend marriage.  I feel very lucky to be married to Anthony's father - I mean, really beyond lucky, I feel like God himself made Mike for me, for us.  But on July 31, 2005, I had NO idea what we were in for! 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Anthony's Birthday Card

Here's Anthony's card, that he got in school. He is a lucky boy to be so well liked and loved by all the therapists and people there. It's hard to believe that he turned five, right? I can barely remember bringing him home from the hospital, it seems like such a long time ago, but it doesn't seem like he could be five, either.

It's hard for me to say how Anthony is at five years old. He is always the same, to me. When he's happy, he's so happy and you can't help but love him so much and then when he's sad or mad, he's *really* sad or mad, and you can't help but love him so much then, too. I'd say at five years old, Anthony likes: school, Mommy and Daddy, playing outside, finding new things to hold up near his face, the bath, eating hot dogs, french fries, fruit, and cheese. He drinks only water, and very occassionally juice (Crystal Light), and usually out of the pitcher. He likes grapes and blueberries a lot! He is good about getting his teeth brushed, I always tell him let's try and brush his teeth well so that we NEVER have to have teeth filled like we did a few months ago. I guess I could say at five years old Anthony DISLIKES the dentist. He doesn't like going to sleep. He doesn't like being told what to do. He says a lot of words, but he doesn't say them at home nearly as much as he does in school. Sometimes he gets very sad, seemingly out of nowhere, but we're working on it. Maria and Veronica both love him a lot and want to be with him all the time, and of course he doesn't love that. He is incredibly patient with Maria, who takes every opportunity there is to jump on him or pull on him, or move him around.

What can I say about him? I love him so much? I'd do anything for him? He's my favorite boy, he's my favorite PERSON, and I really, truly admire him. I used to think when people said that they respected their kids or whatever, that they were full of it. But I really do respect Anthony, he makes me want to be good and kind and sweet to him, and in turn to his sisters, and in TURN, to other people. I am largely a misanthrope, so that's a big change for me! Also, just because I WANT to be nice to everyone doesn't mean I am, yet. But I am working on it. We are all working hard to make Anthony's world better for him. I don't even care what that better world looks like - I don't care if he talks or doesn't, or goes to regular school or doesn't, I don't care! I just want him to be happy and feel good about his life. So far, so good.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Forgive the long shot

... but I'm trying to preserve some of Maria's dignity! I want to show how she was dragging him around. He was up on the table and she went and got him. She pulls him around like a RAG DOLL or something. I tried to take a bunch of pictures of Anthony but he wasn't having it. He has been doing much better here lately, except when he's not. Ha! He is doing well in school and we are working on his schedule so that we can get more accomplished. We are trying to alleviate certain foods from his diet to see if it helps him. We think he seems bugged by the acid in strawberries and tomatoes. When I was a kid, I used to get canker sores from them, and maybe he is the same? It seems to upset his stomach. Unfortunately, he really likes pizza, so we are trying to figure out options. He likes white pizza fine, or garlic bread with cheese, so although he's stinky, he's happy with that. I wish he ate more, different foods, but I suppose I should just be happy he has an apple a day. He certainly seems healthy, I suppose. This is sort of rambly, it's what happens when days go by without me posting anything. He's doing fine, we're doing fine, Maria is dragging him around, the usual.

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Hard Times

These are hard times, here lately with Anthony. Did I say one of his new therapists was very rude to me one day last week? I told her she didn't need to speak to me like that and now she doesn't work there anymore. Wouldn't it be nice if life were just like that always? If you could just not like someone and they would go away? Not like a situation and it would improve? I wish with all my heart that Anthony could get a little happier. I am so worried that this isn't just a phase, that he is just going to get sadder and more tense. Mike says it's just a phase and that's what I try to believe but man. It's difficult, sometimes. He always loves the bath, though. He was sick yesterday, he seemed SO puny and tired in the morning and then sure enough, he threw up at school right after Mike left. He came home and threw up again and then laid around for a while. He got steadily better all day and now is fine. So that's good. There is a lot of good with Anthony - it's just that when there's bad, it's so loud and horrible, it sort of overshadows that good. BUT he always does like that bath, if he does have meltdowns here lately, they are shorter and less intense. He is still our sweet boy in every single way.

Thursday, June 03, 2010


So I am on an enforced camera-break around here, since my was stolen. I am getting a new one, but I want to be sure that the check from the insurance company is one its way before I order the replacement.

Anthony is doing okay, he is definitely better than he was a few weeks ago, but worse than he was doing a few months ago, tantrum wise. He seems to be really on-edge all the time, and then I am, too. He can be very unhappy right before he falls asleep, so Mike and I spend most of our evenings sitting downstairs watching tv and listening to Anthony fret, and fretting ourselves. It stinks.

We are trying some new things in school - he is going to start having some therapy here, at home, in the afternoons. I had become sort of complacent with regard to Anthony, thinking that he was just being taken care of at school, but I think that when you have a child with Autism (or maybe any special need, I don't know), you have to constantly be after people to take care of your child. You have to call and email and watch and sort of be Anthony's eyes and ears, because he can't. It's good to know - I don't think we've lost too much ground, and now I know that everyone has to be watched like a hawk. I don't mind, it doesn't bother me to tell people what I think they should do. I'm bossy like that. :)