Friday, October 7, 2016

Rough transitions after school

The first three weeks of school consisted of Andy getting used to long days again. He loves school, but he was very tired when he got home, and would get to bed early. The next two weeks after, he would cry as soon as we got home from school, and would be hard to console. I tried to do everything, including giving him Tylenol, in case of a headache, toothache, leg pain, etc. He just seemed to be in a funk as soon as I started to walk him into the house for about the first two weeks of school starting. Andy seems to be better adjusted now.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Andy got pneumonia from aspirating food/ choking on food (aspiration pneumonia)

Andy has had food go down the wrong way (lightly choked on food) a few times in the last couple months. I hadn't thought much about it. Sometimes, Andy aspirates food/ inhales it into his lungs accidentally, because he's overly excited while eating. 

A few weeks ago, Andy was appearing a bit more tired than usual, and was being cozy. It wasn't like him to take naps any more, he never wants to slow down. However, he took a couple for two days in a row. I took a few pictures, because I wanted to show my husband how worn out Andy was. When he started showing a slight fever, I was worried he was coming down with something. He had not had a cold or flu or anything in over a year and no one was sick that we knew of.

The next morning, Andy awoke with a fever of 104 degrees and was very irritable. It was a Saturday, and we went straight up to urgent care. I suspected an ear infection. The nurse practitioner said his ears, nose and throat were clear. She told me she'd like to take a chest x-ray. I was shocked. 

She said, "Sometimes when I see a kid come in with an unexplained fever, and nothing else is wrong, they end up having pneumonia". I contemplated having the x-ray, and was against any unnecessary radiation. I asked what would happen if I didn't get the x-ray. She said if it was pneumonia, the fever would stay high and he would start looking worse. I could come back in 24 hours and observe the fever if I was unsure, but antibiotics couldn't be given unless pneumonia was confirmed. I decided to go ahead with the x-ray right then. 

I'm glad we did, because he had pneumonia in his lower right lung. They ordered ten days of antibiotics. He continued to have a slight fever the entire course. At his follow up visit, they told me to bring him back in if his fever went above 100.3. They felt he appeared happy and wasn't tired and worn out anymore. They didn't repeat the x-ray, because they felt it unnecessary as he was "clearly on the mend". The doctor told me there was an "infiltrate" on the x-ray, and that it was most likely aspiration pneumonia. 

I recalled other parents of children unable to swallow food saying that their kids would get pneumonia whenever they tried to work on swallowing with their therapist. Some of them felt it wasn't worth it to keep re-visiting trying to eat food orally, when the repercussion would be pneumonia. A lot of the kids had to go through bad hospitalizations because of it as well. Luckily, Andy did not have to be hospitalized, and is doing great!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Waiting for school to start

We are waiting patiently for school to start. Andy has been home for July and August. He gets bored so easily and melts down. Now that I am almost 6 months pregnant, I am too tired to put Andy in the car and drive around for an hour. When we took him out yesterday for 30 minutes, it didn't really work that well. He just needs the structure of being back in school, which he loves. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Time to stock up on Huggies!

Now that I am pregnant again, I have been searching around for diaper deals. There is a coupon site that has been pretty good, Krazy coupon lady , and they also have a phone app. I am also looking around at all the diaper options, and I recall really liking the newborn Huggies, because they have the notch cutout for the umbilical cord. So, once I find the deals, I will be stocking up on lots of huggies !

I've decided that this time I will make things easy on myself, and have the diapers delivered right to my door. No more lugging around heavy diaper boxes with baby in tow. seems to be a pretty good option for diaper delivery. They offer free shipping over $49, which I will easily spend on monthly diaper needs. I also like their site, because they offer other products that I will need soon after the baby arrives, such as pantyliners, maxi pads, and breast-feeding supplies. I don't want to waste a bunch of time driving around trying to get these things, when they can be delivered right to my home.

I've also been looking around at mom forums for their opinions on diapers and deals, such as You can get some great honest opinions there on all things baby, and being a parent.   I also enjoy What To for pregnancy issues and concerns.  I feel that this time around as a new mom, I have lots of great new resources to work smarter instead of harder, and have more time to enjoy parenting.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Taking Andy to a party

We brought Andy's trusty headphones and iPod to my brother's house for a first birthday party. Andy needed to wear his headphones the whole time to keep from crying. We also sat him in a room with a few other people in it. The small kids mostly stayed in a different room at the back of the house. We fed him right there on the couch with his headphones on, and didn't try moving him to a table. The party had about 30 people, which can be chaotic for Andy, but the headphones help us to stick around.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

We are having another baby!

There are all kinds of emotions and thoughts we have about adding a new member to our family. We've been hesitant to have more children for years, due to our son being severely disabled. I found myself always feeling sad about having to suppress our wishes to have more kids out of fear of the unknown. The question of having more kids or not has been answered for us, and we are now expecting this Christmas. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

How I survive in public with my Autistic child

It's hard bringing Andy into stores because of his meltdowns, but I do it anyway. A way to make things better is to have Andy wear his iPod nano and noise-canceling headphones. Andy has a playlist with pop songs on it from artists like Black-eyed Peas, Kesha, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Meghan Trainor, Lady Gaga and Jason DeRulo. 

I took Andy to Ikea just a few days ago, we went for breakfast and to pick up a few things. Andy really enjoys riding around in the car, so he really enjoyed that part. I pushed his wheelchair into the store with no problem and we rode the elevator. I got our breakfast and put it the trays on the cart and dragged it behind us as we made our way to the table. Andy was good until he heard a woman sneezing behind us several times. Then the whining starts and his lip is sticking out. "Okay Andy, lets put on your headphones". I start playing his music, and he's fine during the next half hour of shopping. 

Next, I had to stop by my brother's house and they have a one and two year old. Andy had to keep his headphones on the whole time, because any peep he hears from the kids makes him cry. He stayed busy with a bead toy while we were there. 

The next day, I took him to an outlet mall for back-to-school shopping. The headphones were a lifesaver again. I charge them at night or in my car on the way there to make sure they'll last for several hours. Andy started whining in the first store we went into until I put his headphones on. 

We are going to the one year old's family birthday party this weekend, and I will definitely be bringing the headphones and nano! They were also very helpful at a camping weekend we just took. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

American Girl Store now open in Novi, MI

I got to go visit the American Girl store today with my daughter at 12 oaks mall in Novi, Michigan. We've traveled to American Girl stores in other states. This store is a temporary pop up store. It doesn't have a cafe, but does have a hair salon desk at the back of the store. The store will be open until January 31st, 2017. American Girl will decide later whether to have a permanent location in Michigan or not. We visited on the Monday after the opening weekend. We had about 15 people ahead of us in line at the check out, but we were able to just walk into the store. Opening day had people in a long line wrapped throughout the mall, and only those that got tickets could get in, a mall employee told me.

The store is located on the second floor near Nordstrom. The store also had changing rooms, books, rainboots and limited accessories for girls. Previously, if Michiganders wanted to visit an AG store, it would require a 4-5 hour drive to Chicago, or Columbus. Now that the store is here in Michigan, I'm sure tons of girls will want to visit, given a way shorter travel time. I would recommend visiting during the week, because this mall is normally very packed on the weekends, and so far the store is a huge hit. 

Sister time

Andy loves time with his sister. It's usually only at mealtime and barely ten minutes a day otherwise. I try to point out to my daughter how much Andy lights up and squeals when he sees her enter a room. She often doesn't want to be around him due to his frequent outbursts, and doesn't want to pay him attention when she's with her friends. 

Andy loves when she plays with him though, if she does. Andy loves toy pianos, and also likes to watch other people play the piano. She started playing it, then started singing, and he was thrilled. 

I know someone who grew up with an impaired sibling, and she tells me not to get on Gabby too much to pay him attention. She told me to just let her be with her friends and not drag her back to him, and make her spend time with him. I don't do that, but I do point out to her when he is ecstatic that she walked into the room, and could she say "Hi" to him for a minute? 

I don't see any harm in that. My daughter has explained to me that she doesn't want to be bothered when she's with her friends, and I understand that. But I don't want my son to live his life in the same house as his sister and they never interact. That isn't right. So, we at least have mealtimes together, and traveling in the car, and sometimes ten minutes of playtime when she's not too busy...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keeping Andy entertained

Andy's been bored with summer vacation days when we are just sitting around at home. When we go to the campground this usually helps, but he had had meltdowns on the beach too. If he's had enough swimming or kids around him are yelling and squealing too much, he will break down. Today, everyone was worn out. He doesn't have structured activities going on and starts crying hysterically. I took him for a ride in the car in the evening, which he enjoyed, but I can only drive around for so long. He will love to be in school again. 

We will probably go on a couple more long weekends which should switch up his boredom for a bit. It's just hard because we run out of things to do with him,  and then everyone suffers the consequences.

His hair is the color of the sand! Here's some of his fun moments at the lake.