This blog is just about my life and mostly revolves around my son, Jamie. This blog is a combination of everything, whether it may be a new recipe I tried, a good freebie I found, something funny Jamie said, or feelings I'm having about life in general. There's little rhyme or reason. I'll never win any blogging awards, but I enjoy writing about our lives and I mostly do it for my son. It's so easy to forget moments over the years. I've got all these little tidbits of our life in print and I hope that someday Jamie can enjoy them.

I called this blog Mother of Life, Mother of Loss because of my issues with pregnancy loss and the joy of finally bringing this wonderful person into the world. Truly, I feel the pains of loss, but you won't see too much of that here. I am blessed and I am, above all else, a mother of life.

After all the years of infertility and loss, Matthew and I were blessed with a surprise pregnancy. We were pregnant with twins, but unfortunately, Baby A could not stay with us. Baby B grew into a healthy and happy baby girl that we named Bella Marie. We are so blessed to have two beautiful children.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Kidisms II 7/28/08

Jamie's looking forward to his zoo birthday party. He said, "It's my birthday Christmas." He obviously knows there are presents involved. He says he wants a cake with "wishes". That is what he calls candles.

What To Do With the Leftover Pot Roast

Last night I made a roast in the crock pot. A local grocery store had roasts on sale half price last week and I picked up two. I fixed the pot roast the way Matt likes it last night. Cooked all night and all day with only potatoes, onions, and seasoning. I cooked it in beef broth.

Tonight for supper I heated up the leftovers with frozen mixed veggies. When it was done I used a little flour to thicken it up and added rice.

My husband wouldn't even give it a shot, but my son surprised me and ate some. He picked around the carrots and when he was done he came bumming from my bowl. Quite a success. My niece doesn't have quite as picky a palate and she ate it really good.

My honest opinion is that it was a little bland. It probably wouldn't be on my top ten list of things to fix for dinner. I probably will make it again, though, since Jamie ate it. At least I got some veggies in his little tummy.

Kidisms 7/28/08

Matt went to work out the other night with a friend. He scheduled himself to leave her a little after 10pm so he could be here when Jamie went to bed. Jamie did not go to bed as planned and wanted to wait up for his Daddy. "Daddy's at work, Mommy. I need to wait for Daddy to get home from work." After a bit of fussing I let him lay on the couch and wait. He fell asleep and was adorable.

Matt picked him up a Happy Meal one day that has a toy motion detector for doors that sets off an alarm. Jamie has been carefully monitoring my comings and goings from the office with that thing today.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Obstacle Chronicles 7/25/08

M spent the night last night. Before I even got up this morning they had completely demolished the playroom and Jamie's bedroom. You wouldn't even believe the mess. It's still there now. I haven't been able to muster the energy to clean it up.

Jamie and M fought over everything this morning. M took his blanket and he had a total meltdown. He was kicking and screaming in the floor.

Some interesting developments since the last time I wrote. Our potty troubles seem to have ended. He peeing in the potty standing up. I think he just had to figure out what was comfortable for him. I'm extremely happy about that.

After threatening to take away his Eeyores as punishment, they both disappeared. I think he hid them because he's not too concerned about their whereabouts, which is unusual. We've had some mad hunts for one missing Eeyore, much less two missing Eeyores. We found one behind a rolling cart in the office. He's since gone missing again.

The demands for food are still raging. Today he wanted constant food and snacks. I don't know what to do about that. He can't eat all day long. I don't know where he's putting all that food. Mostly, I don't know what to do while I'm preparing food and he's crying because he can't stand to wait.

Since M left around noon, the day was pretty easy. He played well by himself and was pretty lovable to me. I miss having more days just the two of us.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Update 7/24/08

I've been slacking on my obstacle chronicles since our last visit with the psychologist. I guess I am afraid that I'm chronicling my failures as a parent and making my son look like a bad boy, which he is not. He's really not.

He has a language evaluation on Monday, August 11, 2008. I look forward to some insight into his issues in this area. It seems to me that he has plenty of words, he just has trouble putting them together and communicating well. Often he has trouble explaining things, especially when he's upset.

The psychologist wants us to continue the obstacle chronicles. I wish my husband was up to the challenge of helping me with this task. For tonight, I have nothing.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


We went to the zoo today with a friend of mine and her kids. I took Jamie, Brianna, and Dynisha. At first everyone seemed pretty cranky. They were hot, hungry, and had missed nap time. After we fed them we had to give up on the idea of actually seeing all the animals and took the kids to Kids Cove where they have a big sand box and a water feature for the kids to play in. The kids had a blast once we got there and didn't want to leave.

Jamie really cracked me up. He found the "barn" where they had wooden eggs to find and put in baskets. He loved the eggs. He kind of has an obsession with them. At home he gets them out of the refrigerator every time I turn my back. He doesn't like to eat them, but he loves them.

He must have spent a good hour and a half in the barn. He tried to solicit other kids into playing with him. He couldn't seem to understand why they would want to play in the water when there eggs to play with.

I was so proud of him, too. Usually kids coming in and messing up his eggs would have led to a melt down. I thought I was going to be filming an epic tantrum, but he just rolled with the flow.

Kidisms 7/19/08

My friend was trying to take a picture of Jamie. She told him to say cheese. He said, "Where's the cheese? I don't see the cheese."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jamie's First Visit with the Psychologist in a Nutshell

Jamie met the psychologist today. When he came out, Jamie was very shy and wouldn't talk to him. Then the doctor asked him if he was ready to go do some stuff with him and Jamie got right out of the chair and went with him. My husband and I were both in shock.

I'm tired tonight so I'm going to sum up the appointment in a nutshell.

His verbal skills are behind. His non-verbal skills are advanced. We can't be sure about much else. He'll need further testing, but there are some indicators that it is not Aspergers. His motor skills seemed okay and so did his eye to eye contact. The psychologist said he couldn't rule out Aspergers right now, though. He told me to keep up my chronicles. Jamie's going to start speech therapy. He'll be doing more evaluating.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Obstacle Chronicles 7/14

Today went well. He went to the bathroom on his own all day. I really think he was just trying to find a way to make it work standing up. He keeps peeing on the seat, which my bottom doesn't appreciate, but I'd rather that than continually fighting him to go to the bathroom.

We had some issues with him jumping on the bed and other furniture.

Repeated demands for food.

Some hitting while fighting with M.

He cried because he didn't want to go to bed.

Other than that it was pretty easy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Always Weighing on My Mind

I'm feeling kind of sad tonight. My husband and I want another baby so badly, but it seams we will never be in a financial position for it to happen. I try to remain optimistic, but as the time passes and we keep struggling I find it more and more difficult. When do I have to let this go?

Today, while we were on our road trip to deliver the bed, my husband said he wished he had a daughter. It's rare that he really talks about his desire to have another child. It's not about a daughter, though we would both like to have a little girl.

We are surrounded by people who don't realize what they have. So many don't know how precious a gift their children really are. I get so angry and frustrated at the unfairness of who gets to be parents and who doesn't. I used to half joke that crack must be a potent fertility drug.

We gave up everything to have Jamie and now we struggle a lot with money. I try not to get depressed about it. I would do it all over again to have him. Occasionally I get bogged down and really do feel sorry for myself, though. It's not fair that we had to mortgage the house to have a baby when there are people doing drugs and having babies, throwing babies in the trash, neglecting and abusing their precious babies, etc.

I am angry and sometimes I'm entitled to be angry. At one time I was angry so much that it consumed my life. Now Jamie is here and he consumes my life. Sometimes I still want more. Family and friends often tell me that I should be grateful for the one I have. They have no idea what it is to be grateful for a child like I do. I've never been so grateful for anything in my whole life. That doesn't mean that I don't have the right to long for my dream of a larger family.

This is always weighing heavy on my heart and is always on my mind. I don't feel quite complete. I feel like I am broken and my body won't perform it's most primal of functions. Why is my heart and my mind built to want children so badly, but my body is built to destroy them?

Kidisms 7/13

Jamie had a green bug juice and M wanted to try it. Jamie said, "It's yucky, Kalah!" He took a drink and spit (like blowing a raspberry). It was cute.

Obstacle Chronicles 7/13

Today we got up late after last nights fiasco in the traffic. We had to get up and get dressed to get on the road for another attempt at delivering the bed. This time we took back roads with success.

We had McKalah with us this trip. Jamie was frequently annoyed by her and spent a lot of time arguing with her and telling her to , "Be quiet." and to "Stop it." She just talks a lot and makes a lot of noises.

When the car would get too quiet he would break the silence with a scream. I had a lot of problems with him kicking the back of my seat.

He was still very good.

At home we had the same issues with him refusing to go to the bathroom and demanding food. He wasn't satisfied with any food. He specifically wanted candy, which I repeatedly refused. He tried to push me and pull me. He tried to block my way when I would try to move away from him when he demanded. He didn't throw a major tantrum, though.

He put himself to bed in my bed tonight. Here shortly my husband will move him to his own bed. Hopefully he'll transition easily.

Obstacle Chronicles 7/12

It was a fairly easy day. We had no tantrums.

The usual issues with forcing him to go potty. He's been peeing standing up and I taught him how to lift the lid, which makes it easier for him to pee height wise, but also keeps me from sitting on a wet seat.

A few repetitive demands for food.

We went on a trip to deliver a bed to someone. There was a major accident on I40 and we got stuck in it for 3 1/2 hours. We made it a whopping 2 miles in that time.

Jamie fussed a little that he was hungry and he wanted to go home. I was amazed at his patience. He also let me know when he needed to pee and I was able to take him off to the side of the road to pee. I just pulled the front of his pants down far enough to let his penis out and turned him so the onlookers couldn't see his private parts. He had to pee twice. I think he did amazing. Why is he so good at this trapped in the car like that, but we battle at home?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Kidisms 7/11

Jamie was sort of galloping down the hallway saying, "Poop, poop, poop." I guess he was trying to hurry to the bathroom and hold in his poop. As soon as he sat down on the toilet he yelled, "I'm done!" We thought it was a bit fast, but since Jamie has loose stools frequently, Matt went in to wipe him. Jamie said, "Don't need wipe. Poop's all gone." He ran to the bedroom and Matt went after him. He said, "Jamie, I need to wipe your bottom." In a sing song voice, Jamie said, "Lost the poops."

Apparently the little guy only passed gas. It was just cute the way he said he lost the poops.

Obstacle Chronicles 7/11

It was a perfectly easy day. Brianna & Dynisha were here most of the day. M's parents were off work so she wasn't here. There was very little fighting at all.

We had a few episodes of inappropriate hitting, where Jamie was trying to play.

Several times Jamie repetitively demanded food when I told him to wait while I got it.

Many times I had to force him to go to the bathroom. He peed his pants once.

Once the girls went home he spent most of the evening watching TV in my bed. I know a lot of TV isn't good for him, but sometimes it's just hard not to.

He went to bed pretty easily when we let him take his shapes to bed.


Ahhh, peace and quiet. It's just Jamie and I. Matt will be thrilled when he gets home. Brianna & Dysnisha spent the night last night. We've been over run with kids all week. I don't generally mind, but it really is chaotic.

There is a dark cloud over this peace and quiet, though. Dynisha didn't want to go home. He mother forced her to go home. Brianna called her mother wanting her father to come pick her up and wanted her parents to make Dynisha go home. To keep Brianna happy they forced Dynisha to go home.

Dynisha cried. She said she didn't want to go home because she couldn't play in her room. She couldn't make noise. She had to sleep on the couch. She can't watch anything she wants on TV. I don't blame her.

I'm so sick of my mother-in-law favoring Brianna in every situation. Dynisha has reverted to baby talk and has become extremely whiny. She's having sleep difficulties. It's very frustrating. I hate even more how smug Brianna was about it. She's so proud that she has control over Dynisha and her mother. It makes me feel ill.

I would totally understand if they wanted her to come home for just about any other reason, they missed her, she had work to do, they had plans, etc. My mother-in-law admits she gives into Brianna just to "shut her up." She's doing a major disservice to both girls. How can you favor one child over the other so blatantly?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Obstacle Chronicles 7/10

Today was a very easy day.

We had very few minor skirmishes between the kids. I had Brianna, Dynisha, and M. He always seems to do better when Brianna is around. He's always been very attached to her.

At the grocery store I had a little bit of trouble with him kicking the other kids. He was strapped in the double cart with M. He kicked her some and whoever was pushing the cart.

He had a few episodes of hitting and locking the girls in the back section of the house. He was trying to play. Sometimes they all play that way and he doesn't seem to catch on when they really don't want him to. I've told them not to play with him like that because he can't tell the difference.

There were several times today, as every day, that I had to force him to go to the bathroom. At his grandmother's house he stood up to pee and didn't have to remove all his clothes like he usually does. I think he really wants to stand up but our toilets are too high and he feels uncomfortable on the stool. I think that may be why he says, "It's not working."

Other than that he was good as gold. We didn't even have our normal food time struggle with the repeated demand for whatever it is he wants.

Obstacle Chronicles 7/9

Dynisha spent the night with us last night. He woke up in the early morning hours calling for her, but then went back to sleep on his own.

The first part of the day went smooth as silk. The Dynisha and Jamie played with minimal arguing. M arrived a little before noon.

The first real meltdown happened after 1pm. M was playing with Jamie's shape sorter box and Jamie tried to take it away from her. Dynisha intervened and made him give it back. He cried, "It's my shapes! It's MY shapes." He stomped his feet. He put his hands on his face. He went for the sorter again and M smacked his hand. He ran down the hallway crying, "Kalah hurt me!" He didn't want comfort. A few minutes late he calmed down and the shape sorter was forgotten by all.

A few minutes later M got the board to a game that has numbers on it. Jamie again tried to take it from her, "It's my numbers!!" This skirmish was very short lived because M wasn't really interested in the board. Moments later a new skirmish... This time Jamie got M's doll stroller and she tried to take it from him.

Everything was dumped out in the playroom. The disaster was unbelievable. I told the kids they better get the room cleaned up. When M put a pony into the changing table she and Jamie argued because they both wanted to shut the door. Nobody wanted to pick up. Jamie kept running and getting into my bed. I made him go back and help. Every few minutes there was some arguing. Usually because Jamie was trying to take toys away from M or Dynisha because he wanted to put them away himself. Despite this he kept yelling at M to "pick up". He pitched a fit when Dynisha put his yellow car in the car basket. He had a mini meltdown and kicked the floor a minute. He yelled at her a few times, "That's my yellow car!" Several times he told the girls, "Don't touch me!" When I investigated, they had touched his hand or something.

Jamie got irritated at M for making clicking noises with her tongue. He kept telling her, "Don't say that." I had to ask him what he was talking about because I didn't hear anything but silence. Of course, since he told her not to she had to double her efforts to make the noise, which aggravated him a lot. I told her to stop to restore peace.

Hours later the room is a worse mess than what it started. Dynisha says there's too many toys and we should just throw them away. I say, fine and get her a garbage bag. She starts filling the bag quickly. I tell her, "Throw Mr. Bear in there, too. He's laying in the floor." Mr. Bear is her lovey. She begins to cry. I said, "See, it was really easy to throw their toys away, but when you have to throw away just one of yours it's not so easy." I told her that cleaning up the room is just as fast as throwing toys away. You pick it up and put in in the bin or on the dresser instead of in the bag. There's no difficulty difference.

I might have gotten through to her, but Jamie was another story. My little lesson backfired and had an unexpected result. I went outside for a minute and came back in to M screaming. Jamie was throwing everything in the trash. I told him to stop and he just kept on doing it. I told him, "No" and it wasn't sinking in. I walked out to think for a minute and decided to best plan of action was to make them take a break and come talk to me. I tried to explain to Jamie about cleaning up. Then I went into the room and began directing them what to do. If I left for even a second things melted down again. With three very agitated kids, it was not going smoothly at all.

At the end of the day, the room is not clean. I gave up.

Other than that we just had our normal bathroom arguments. I don't know why he doesn't want to go. He has very good control. He'll hold it forever and a day.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Who Was Messing With Mommy's Camera?

I wonder who it could have been?

The Asperger Syndrome Checklist

Here's the other part of my homework. It's the Asperger Checklist. I thought I would fill it out on here. I've decided that my husband and I should each fill ours out separately. The pink answers are mine. The blue answer's are my husbands.

1. Does the individual present with social difficulties? Yes / Sometimes
2. Does the individual have issues with nonverbal behavior? Sometimes / Sometimes
3. Does the individual have eye-to-eye gaze difficulties? Sometimes / False
4. Does the individual have difficulty recognizing or using facial expression? I don't know / I don't know
5. Does the individual have difficulty with body posture? I don't know / Yes
6. Does the individual seem awkward when using (or never uses) gestures? Yes / Yes
7. Does the individual have difficulty "reading" social cues (the non-spoken hints)? Yes / Yes
8. Does the individual have difficulty developing appropriate peer relationships? No / Yes
9. Does the individual tend to interact primarily with adults or younger children? No / Yes
10. Does the individual have a difficult time interacting with similarly aged peers? Sometimes / I don't know
11. Does the individual have difficulty with mutual interests? Sometimes / Yes
12. Does the individual appear to be excessively self-centered? Sometimes / Yes
13. Does the individual appear to be relatively unconcerned about another person's interests? Sometimes /Yes
14. Does the individual have difficulty in reciprocal socialization? Sometimes / Yes
15. Does the individual have difficulty modulating his behavior to fit the social situation? Yes / Yes
16. Does the individual have difficulty reacting to other people's social issues? Yes /Yes
17. Does the individual have a restricted and narrow range of interests? Sometimes / Yes
18. Does the individual have interests that appear to be all-consuming? Sometimes / Yes
19. Does the individual have interests that appear to be more intense than that of his peers? Yes / Yes
20. Does the individual have difficulty in developing interests outside his preferred interest area? Sometimes / Yes
21. Does the individual tend to impose routines on himself and/or others? Sometimes / Yes
22. Does the individual appear to be more interested in parts of objects than the object itself? Sometimes / Yes
23. Does the individual have motor mannerisms not typically seen in age appropriate peers? Yes / Yes
24. Does the individual use his body or hands in such a way that he receives undue attention? Sometimes / Yes
25. Does the individual appear to be somewhat clumsy? Yes / Yes
26. Does the individual use oral language with the same proficiency as age-appropriate peers? False / False
27. Does the individual have relatively good command of grammar? I do not know / False
28. Does the individual have relatively good vocabulary skills? Yes / False
29. Does the individual have a communication style that is perceived as odd or out of place? Sometimes / Yes
30. Does the individual have superficial speech that lacks complexity (esp. outside interest area)? Yes / Yes
31. Does the individual appear to have normal or gifted intelligence? Yes / Yes

Obstacle Chronicles 7/8

At breakfast time he cried repeatedly that he wanted waffles and didn't stop until they were handed to him. This happened at every snack and meal.

We had the same battles forcing him to go to the potty when we saw him holding himself. At one point during the day I threatened to take his Eeyore if he didn't go potty and he quickly followed my instruction.

We had to put his clothes back on for him every time.

He didn't want to put his clothes on to go outside and play and I kept having to make him come back in and put clothes on.

There were several minor skirmishes where I had to stop physical fighting. The reasons for the fights and who started them are unknown to me.

Several times I had to stop him from jumping on my bed. I had to grab him to stop him and put him in the floor.

Today was just an average day with the repetitive issues we face on a daily basis.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Obstacle Chronicles 7/7

When I got back from the appointment with the developmental psychologist Jamie had just come back from using the bathroom. He completely removes all garments from the waist down. The friend who was watching him told him to put his pants and underwear back on and he refused. I told him and he refused. He said, "I can't do it." He can do it. After repeated telling him to put them on himself we gave up and my friend put them on for him. This issue repeated itself later and I was able to get him to put his underwear on himself, but not his shorts.

While outside playing with his friends, he got on the glider with his friend L. When her brother, J, decided to get on, Jamie pushed him off with his feet and yelled at him, "Push me, J." I was on the deck with my friend watching the kids play. I yelled down to Jamie. "No kicking." J did not push Jamie on the swing. Jamie yelled his request again and then went on with what he was doing.

He tried to take a shovel away from M. A struggle ensued. I had to sternly tell him 3 or 4 times to let it go before he did. He cried, "It's my blue!" I told him he had to share and he could not take things away from other people.

Inside he tried to take a bag of chips away from L. I made him let go and he cried a little. I told him to ask her for them and not take them away from her. He asked her and she gave him one and he was happy.

On the way home M was talking incessantly. Jamie began to kick the seat in front of him, then he started saying, "Hush, Kalah. Be quiet Kalah", when she didn't he began yelling her. I told them both to be quiet and watch TV (I had Max & Ruby on in the van). They both fell asleep on the way home.

Once at the house I woke them and herded them into the house. Immediately Jamie began fussing that he was hungry. I told him I would make him some supper. He wouldn't stop. "I want ice cream." I told him, "You can't have ice cream, I'm going to make dinner." he kept repeating it over and over. I told him firmly, "No" I told him to go play so I could start supper but he kept on. I walked him to the play room and told him to play with M and I'd come get him when it was done. He got in front of me and tried to stop me from leaving and repeated, "I want ice cream. I want ice cream, Mommy." I told him, "No, now go in there or I'll put you in time out." He followed me to the kitchen gate, which I locked, and stayed there watching me while I fixed supper, which ended up being sandwiches since it was so late and he was apparently so hungry.

I saw him holding himself and told him to go to the bathroom. He said, "I don't need to go potty. Pees all gone." I told him he did need to go potty. He said, "No". I told him, "Right now." He said, "It's not working." I said, "It is working. Go right now." I went to the bathroom crying all the way that "It's not working." He went pee and brought his pants back to me. I told him to put them on and he refused. I got them started and made him pull them up himself.

As soon as he and M were done eating they began fighting. I don't know what all they were fighting over. I usually only intervene if physical fighting occurs.

Our First Appointment with Jamie's Developmental Psychologist

I was nervous going in. I wasn't sure what to expect.

The appointment went really well. Let me just say that I love, love, love this Dr. I told him that I was unsure of what I was seeing. He talked about Asperger's and put everything into perspective and explained things in a way that made more sense to me in relation to Jamie and his behaviors. I swear it was like he had hidden video camera's at my house. He told me what was going on before I told him. Tears welled up in my eyes and I thought I was going to cry. He totally gets Jamie and he's never even met him.

He talked about methods of learning, a little bit about discipline, and explained the reason that Jamie does some things that he does. Obviously, he didn't diagnose Jamie without meeting him.

He's also friends with Jamie's pediatrician so they can be in collaboration about is progress, history, and care. That's really great. They went to Harvard together. How cool is that?

He prepped me for a diagnosis of Asperger's. He will be seeing Jamie on Tuesday, July 15, 2008. He told me about the two therapists in his office and told me their credentials, but that part went in one ear and out the other. There was just so much said that I couldn't retain it all.

He specializes in autism/Asperger's. My friend and I googled the heck out of him last night and what we found was pretty impressive. He said that they would be working on getting Jamie ready to start school next year and that he hoped we would still be with him when Jamie started school and he would be Jamie's advocate.

I wish Matt could have been there. Matt couldn't get off work. He's so worried about them putting a label on Jamie. The doctor said he didn't like labels, either. He spread his arms out and said the spectrum was that wide. If he had his way there would be no labels, but that in order to get the kids everything they need they have to label them. How they obtain a label is to look at specific characteristics and identify where a child falls on the spectrum.

I'm happy with everything he said. I'm excited about going next week.

He gave me a little "homework" to do. He gave me an Asperger's checklist to mark off. He also told me to keep a daily diary of issues that we have. I'm going to try to use this blog as a place to do that. I can copy and paste my posts to a word document later.

Trip to the Zoo II

We decided to take all the kids to the zoo. I had purchased a season pass last week and I am determined not to let it go to waste. We went last weekend when we bought the pass with just Jamie and M. This time my husband and I took my two little sister-in-laws, Dynisha and Brianna, my niece M, and Jamie. After a hectic and stressful weekend, I needed a fun day out with my family.

The zoo was really awesome. Last time we didn't get to visit everything like we wanted to because we only had a couple of hours. This time we pretty much had the whole day. The animal exhibits are so much closer than they were when I was a little girl. If it wasn't for glass you could actually touch the animals. I'm not going to tell about every animal we saw, but I will tell about some of them.

The animals were out and about and in rare form. First off we got to see the big grizzly bears. One was out pacing on a log and very visible. Jamie got a big kick out of him and ask what he was doing. I told he was just out enjoying the sun. Then there was a little cave you go in to view the bear enclosure and there at the glass was another bear just taking a nap. His back was pressed against the glass and he was lying on his side. You could see his face really well. There's no other place or time you would ever want to be so close to a big old grizzly bear. He was twitching his mouth as a fly was irritating him and you could see his large teeth.

The red panda enclosure hardly was enclosed at all. If those pandas wanted to they could walk right into your arms. Waist high glass was all that separated you from them. There were two of them and one walked up so close on a branch that it was tempting to reach out and pet him.

When we went to see the gorillas there was one sitting by the glass with his back to us and he was eating. He kept turning his head and looking at us. We thought that was pretty exciting, but then another gorilla came in and grabbed a big plastic barrel and raised it up over his head. We thought he was mad and was going to throw it at the glass. He came up to the glass and slammed the barrel down on the ground between two ropes and pulled himself up onto the barrel. There he stood, looking quite amused at our reactions. There was another family standing there with us when it happened. We were all laughing, clapping, and cheering. The kids were so excited, but I think the adults were just as excited. I swear that gorilla was grinning at the commotion he caused!

All the lions were out and easy to view. They're not as close as the other animals, but close enough that you can get a good look. One of the ladies that worked at the zoo was standing outside the enclosure with a preserved lions paw. The kids all got to pet it and see what it would be like to feel lion fur. She explained how the pads protected their feet since they don't wear shoes. After we walked away, Dynisha asked if they killed a lion to get the paw. I told her that I didn't believe they would kill a lion and it probably died on it's own. The lady with the paw was passing us at this point and so I stopped her so Dynisha could ask for herself. The lady told her that the lion had been at the zoo and had died of natural causes. She stayed there and talked to us for awhile explaining that the males were the cubs of the females we were currently viewing and that they had been rejected from the pride. She said they would be going to another zoo eventually. She told us all their names and ages. She said it was an excellent time to view them because we could really see the difference between the young lions and the full grown lions.

Seeing the otters was really exciting. They put on quite a show for the kids. They were swimming back and forth in front of the glass. The kids enjoyed them so much that we stayed there for 20 or more minutes. Jamie didn't want to leave even after all the other kids had finally grown bored.

When we went to the butterfly gardens all the kids ended up with butterflies on their fingers or at least touching them. Jamie liked the koi pond, or rather the fish that resided in that pond, the best. They were jumping and predominantly orange, which is one of Jamie's favorite colors.

We went and saw the camels and I bought the kids some of the feed and the camels ate from their hands. Their little hands were all covered in camel slobber, but they all wanted to do it again. Unfortunately, I didn't have any more Quarters.

We ended our day at the zoo at the kids section. They all got to go into the petting zoo and brush the goats, sheep, llama, and cow. It's amazing how soft sheep are because their coats look so thick and dirty. They really are incredibly soft. I've always loved the petting zoo myself.

They have a big sandbox and the kids played in that for awhile, then they were ready to cool off and so was I. They had a little man made pond with frog statues spraying water to play in. We didn't really prepare for the kids to get wet, so initially we didn't want them to immerse themselves in the water. Finally we decided, what the heck, and let them do what they wanted. I even took my shoes off and waded in. I picked a frog and let it mist me. I was hot. It felt good. None of the other parents was in the water and I felt a little awkward about it at first, but I was hot enough not to care too much. After I got in another mother got the nerve to wade about a bit, too. The kids thought that my getting in there was the greatest thing ever.

We stayed and played until someone finally ran us off after closing time. What a lovely day!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Evaluation Paperwork

I thought I would add the first few pages of the questionnaire we filled out before going to the psychologist to this blog. I don't have the check marked pages. I had retyped this section to give me more room to elaborate...


How was the mother’s health during pregnancy? Fair. I had bleeding outside of the placenta in the first trimester, low progesterone, diabetes, incompetent cervix, and suspected gastro paresis.

How old was the mother when the child was born? 27

Did the mother use any of the following substances or medications during pregnancy?

Beer or wine?
once or twice
often often

Hard liquor?
once or twice
often often

Coffee or other caffeine (coke, etc)?
once or twice

once or twice
often often

Did the mother ingest any drugs (prescribed or unprescribed) during pregnancy?
Yes – Ambien, Avandia, Metformin, Insulin, Colace, IV antibiotics (unknown name), Demerol, Magnesium Sulfate, Trebuteline, Yeast Infection medications

Did the mother have toxemia or eclampsia? No. Was there Rh factor incompatibility? No.

What was the duration of labor? Started pitocin at 12:00am. Contractions began around 7-8:00am. Jamie was born at 1:04pm. The pushing phase of labor was very quick. I had him in just a few pushes. I did have incompetent cervix and at 24 weeks I had a cerclage placed. I was 4cm dilated when it was placed. My water broke at 31 weeks. I took trebuteline frequently to stave off labor.

Was the infant born on schedule? No – He was born at 36 weeks.

Was the mother given any drugs to ease the pain of labor? Yes – Demerol and an epidural

Was delivery (circle all that apply):

Normal Induced Cesarean Forceps

Was there evidence of fetal distress during labor or during birth? Yes – His heart rate dropped a few times. He had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck twice.

What was the child’s birth weight? 5lbs 10oz

Were there any health complications for the infant following birth? Yes – He had difficulty breathing and had to be on CPAP for a short while. He had jaundice.


Were there early feeding problems? Yes – I had supply issues and I had to supplement him with formula. Due to his small size the pediatrician had us add extra scoops of formula when I supplemented. I had to quit breastfeeding him at 3 months because I had pancreatitis. He never seemed to have any issues actually taking in his feedings.

Was the child colicky? No

Were there early sleep pattern difficulties? No, but he did not sleep well in the bassinet. He got used to the swing when he was small and had to have it moving to sleep. He had some problems with allergies that required he be propped up for sleeping, that’s why he slept in the swing.

Were there problems with the infant’s responsiveness (alertness)? No

Did the child experience any health problems during infancy? Allergies

Was the child an “easy” baby? (or did he/she cry a lot? Follow a schedule fairly well? Etc) He was a very easy baby. I used to brag about how good he was all the time. He never did like to be swaddled or rocked a lot. He didn’t love his bassinet, but when he moved to his crib he slept like a dream, only waking at feeding time.

How did the baby behave with other people? The same as above. Until he reached toddler hood he was very easy going and would let anyone hold him. I can’t remember what age he became a bit shy.

How would you rate the activity level of the child as an infant/toddler? I’m not positive

Very active Active Average Less Active Not Active


At what age did the child sit up? 7 months Crawl? 7 months Walk? 1 year 2 months

At what age did the child speak single words (other than “mama” or “dada”)? I think he started trying to say kitty at 6 months. I’m not sure. I never could figure out for sure if he was saying words or if we were just hearing things in baby babble so I never put a date in the baby book.

At what age did the child string two or more words together? Unknown

At what age was the child toilet trained (bladder control)? He began at 3 years 8 months. We’re still working on full bladder control. He has no sleeping control. Bowel control? The same, though he has full daytime bowel control unless he has severe diarrhea.

Approximately how much time did toilet training take from onset to completion? Still in progress


How is the child’s hearing? good fair poor
Vision? good fair poor
Gross motor coordination? good fair poor
Speech articulation? good fair poor
He has not been checked for these things but his pediatrician said his speach was behind.

Has the child had any chronic health problems (asthma, diabetes, heart condition)? Only allergies.

Fourth of July Madness

We took Jamie to his uncle's in-laws for the Fourth of July. There were a lot of people and a lot of kids. The kids went and played in a room the size of a closet to play. There were 7 or 8 kids in that tiny room. Jamie kept hitting and kicking. I kept putting him in time out or making him sit with me and my husband. He cried. It was very frustrating.

They had bought sparklers for the kids and gave Jamie one. I didn't really like it. I was afraid one of the kids would get burned, but Jamie wanted one like the other kids. I let him have it and just held his wrist to make sure he didn't touch it or bring it too close to his body.

When the fireworks began Jamie really liked them. He was scared, but he like "the color fire". When they got going he got too scared and had to sit inside. He tried to watch them from the door but had trouble seeing. One of the other children wanted to sit with him. He kept trying to push her out of the way and one of the new teen mothers kept getting on to him even though I was taking care of it. I hate when other parents try to discipline my son when I'm there and I'm trying to discipline him. He really wanted to see the fireworks and began running out the door after the big boom but he'd barely catch the tail end. The teenage mom got on to him for that. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want him running in and out, but he wanted to see and he was scared. He was also yelling and oohing and ahhhing because he liked the colors, but she was jumping on him for that too. It was such a miserable visit when it should have been fun.

When we got home he fell asleep immediately. He woke up about an hour later. He couldn't tell me what was wrong. He kept saying things that were unintelligible. In the midst of one of these sentences (or whatever they were) he said "fire color", so I think it was about the fire works. I don't know if he had a nightmare or what. I tried everything in my power to calm him. My husband and I were both frustrated. He pulled at the covers and when we covered him he'd kick them away. We tried to rub his back and he'd knock our hands away. He rolled around like he was in agony. We left him alone and he came to our room. I pulled him into bed with me and he rolled around, kicked and screamed, wouldn't let us touch him, and curled up into the fetal position at the end of the bed. We thought he had finally calmed down and he started again. He got out of the bed and went to the hallway, then the living room, then back to our bedroom, back toward his room and the play room, then crawled back into our bed. I tried to give him Eeyore (which is his transitional object aka lovey) and he threw him. I hate when he's like this because I don't know what to do to help him and he can't tell me what is wrong.

Eventually he calmed down and he went to sleep with us. In the early morning hours my husband took him to his own bed because we were all uncomfortable. He fussed a little bit about wanting Mommy's bed, but then went on to sleep.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Perfect Sandwich

Just a cute little something that happened tonight...

We had sandwiches when we came back from the zoo this evening. Jamie made a sandwich himself. When he was done he had his Daddy straighten it out for him. When he was done he exclaimed "It's perfect!"

I just thought it was so cute and had to blog it so I wouldn't forget about it.