Wednesday 11 July 2012

wuv, twoo wuv.......

I should blog.  I haven't blogged in well over a month.  A whole bunch of stuff and things have happened and they should be documented.  But right now, I'm tired, I'm pretty disheartened about some fairly personal things and I don't want to end up spewing negative vitriol all over the page. 

Instead I will say this:  The Mylo turned 2 a week ago....I have a 2 year old now (what?).  The Mylo is rocking his therapy like nobodies business.  The Mylo is my heart and soul.  It's TWOO WUV (if you haven't seen the Princess Bride then a) I have to wonder what rock you've been living under, b) GO WATCH IT NOW and c) you won't get this reference.  

photo courtesy of Reece Penney <3

That's all for now.   Only WUV.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

conflagration, flagellation, demarcation

Oh life, how you endlessly seem to get right in the middle of all the other things I intend to do.  Case in point, blogging.... it always seems to get shunted to the back burner these days.  Perhaps or maybe even likely, with very good reason, but none the less.

Just so there is no confusion, fright or head-scratching, the title of this blog just happens to be three words in the English language I have always been fond of.  Not because of their meanings, per say, but simply because they sound cool.  So not to worry, there will be no uncontrolled blazes, no floggings or beatings and as far as I know I won't be creating any borders or boundaries around anything specific just now.  You can all breathe easy my friends, nothing to see here.

It's been over a month since I last posted and I suppose a ton has happened.  Where to start and what to include, that is the question.  As per, I think most of the big news or new news revolves around the Mylo.  He is, after all, the centre of our world and the one who demands most, if not all of our attention, time and energy.  Not complaining, just explaining.

The last month has seen the eventual co-operation of a few doctors into the big mystery of Mylo's eating.  We got in to see an Endocrinologist who referred us to a Geneticist, and an Ophthalmologist.  So far, we  have not seen either, though we have an appointment date for the Geneticist and I think it is even next week!  Will wonders never cease.

 A week after seeing the Endo, we were back at BCCH to see his Neurologist.  I had my doubts that she was going to do much for us, as the last time, she really just blew us off.  I like being wrong.  This time she was beyond thorough.  She ordered so many tests, I think she even got confused.  Again, sometimes it is good to be wrong.  Everything has been expedited to bypass the year and two year waitlists for EEG's and MRI's.  His EEG (which incidentally, we found out yesterday is normal)  was done 3 days later, and this Friday he goes in for his MRI and *cringe* lumbar puncture.  Apparently, there are a few rare conditions that could be the cause of his symptoms (though very unlikely) that can only be tested through cerebral-spinal fluid.  ouch.   Miss Neurologist figured that since he would have to be sedated for the MRI anyway, we might as well kill two birds with one stone (not sure I like my phrasing there....too superstitious).  Reluctantly, we agreed.

It all scares me but, I'll deal.  What I'm not sure how to deal with or handle is the fasting before the test.  No food after midnight.  Only water, apple juice and popsicles 6 hours prior and no liquid three hours prior to the test. I mean come on, have you met my kid?  Are we not doing these tests because he eats 24/7 and is never, EVER full?  You try telling this non-verbal, food-seeking, wake up at 4:30am toddler he can't eat or drink for hours on end.  The test is not until 10:45am. 4:30am. 10:45am.  Need I say more?   Please send us all your good vibes on Friday. R and I will be in our own private purgatory.

The tests continue and we cross our fingers that we either find a cause and solution or that we rule everything out and get down to the nitty gritty of treating his issue as behavioural and focusing heavily on it during his therapy sessions.

Speaking of his therapy sessions, we have found a BI ( behaviour interventionist)!  It took a lot longer than anticipated to get all of this going, but the wheels are in motion.  Last week was her first week with M and she spent two days 'pairing' with him.  In lay terms, this means she played with him and worked on gaining his trust and his friendship.  As far as we can tell, it worked.  She spent an hour and a half with him both days and R and I stayed upstairs.  He was a  superstar and they had a ton of fun.  Tomorrow, his BC and BI will overlap and hopefully lay some groundwork for the actual therapy to begin.  Can't wait!

The last little tidbit I want to share is that three days ago the babble spontaneously returned, and not in any small way.  There were so many dadadada, dididididi, dadeeee's, we didn't know what to do with them all.  Not a bad problem to have really.  Today I thought we'd lost them again, but this afternoon that sweet, sweet music to our ears resurfaced.    It excites me and it thrills me and I can only hope that he shows off his mad skills to his therapists tomorrow so we can  build on it and never lose it again.  only love.

Monday 30 April 2012

power tools : an unrequited love affair.

And now for something completely different. 

R and I moved into our condo just over a year ago. Although we did some work before moving in (floors, paint, general clean up), we always have at least a dozen ideas bouncing around in our pea brains of fun stuff (renos) we would like to undertake.

The vast majority of them are pipe dreams, as we just don't have the cake to make all our 'pretty' home dreams come true.  But, we have learned to become masters of craigslist and the supreme masters of the illusive 'deal'.  We start obsessing on whatever idea has caught our fancy and then we see just how cheaply we can make it happen.  If it is cheap enough, we go for it and if not, then it's tucked away in our little book of unrealized reno dreams (I promise we don't really have one these), and it's on to the next.

The last few months have seen us (that would be the royal 'us') actually DO some of these renos.  So fun.  We found a crazy deal on a new kitchen sink and a half way decent price on a sleek new faucet and then we sat on them for months.  You see, as much as I want to believe I am handy, when you get right down to it, I should not be allowed near power tools (or anything involving math, strategic planning or problem solving).  period.  They all do such wonderful things, and I love the shit out of them, but the reality is, they don't love me back.  I am a born accident waiting to happen and I lack the patience to take it slow and easy.  This all equals disasters, injuries and botched jobs.  So, I have graciously (not super graciously) admitted that R should be left to handle the technical type stuff.

A little background.  Rogan is a computer guy, but he is also ridiculously artistic and creative so my thinking is, he utilizes both sides of that brain of his pretty well.  R had never really done any home renos until we bought this place and though he was excited to give it a go, he was also a little hesitant.  It is much scarier to test the waters in your own pool than someone else's if you get my meaning.  Anyway, that was also partially why the sink sat unloved for so long.  R wanted to do the plumbing himself and it took a while for him to feel like he could do the job well.  I knew he'd rock it, but we all move at our own pace and find our confidence when the time is right.

Long story short, he did it, the plumbing is first rate and the whole thing looks amazing.  So proud. He has also built some kick ass shelves in our laundry room and his most recent bit of total awesomeness is the tiling in our kitchen.

I've been talking about a backsplash in our kitchen pretty much since we moved in but it was not a top priority as we do lead a pretty insane life on a daily basis.  A few weeks ago R and I were talking about the backsplash again and that night I took a little look see on craigslist. Low and behold I found the most outrageous deal on really beautiful glass tile.  We were smitten.  We went to see the dude and he had some other tile which we knew would be perfect for our shower.   We talked him down on price even further and voila....a new project was born.

R has now done about 75% of the kitchen backsplash and it is more RAD than we anticipated.  He readily admits that though he is enjoying it, tiling is not the love of his life.  R is a perfectionist, to a ridiculous degree, and finicky little 1X1 tiles are not terribly forgiving.  Once you place them, there is no going back, so you have to get it right the first time.  This makes for a cranky perfectionist.  Despite his stress and fretting, he has done a beautiful job.  We are both super stoked.

I will leave the story of the shower for another time, firstly because that project has not been started and secondly because in our haste to get such a great deal on the tiles, we failed to properly research just what ripping out all the tiles in your only shower entails. We are now well aware that it is going to be a difficult, messy, stressful, long and arduous process that will leave 3 stinky unbathed people in it's wake until completion.  Should make for a good blog post.  Stay tuned.  :)

Oh and just in case you think I never get my hands dirty around here, I'll have you know, I do all the painting, cleaning, organizing, decorating and supervising (not really), so there.  :P  Only love.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

one of these things is not like the other.

It's been a little while since my last post so, here I am to update, wax philosophic, and despite my utter exhaustion, try to be a little witty too.   If I fail miserably at any of the above, apologies, it has been a long few weeks.  *warning* this post will likely not be light and fluffy.  This blog is about real life and our real life has not been super light and fluffy lately.  sorry.

We hired a Behaviour Consultant last week and spent two afternoons doing  Mylo's intake assessment with her.  We still have one day remaining this week and then she will create his Behaviour Plan of Intervention.  It is daunting, exciting, frustrating, long overdue and sad, all at once.  I find myself answering all the same questions I have answered a zillion times in the last few months and it never gets any easier.  It's a serious kick in the gut to answer 'no' to 99% of the the 'things' a toddler his age 'should' be doing and to see just how far behind he really is.  That is why we are here though, and why we are doing what we are doing, right?  So, eventually, we can answer 'YES' to those questions and thereby ease our chronic gut pain due to the constant kicking.

In other not so fabulous news, the babblefish has left the building once again.  I'm not going to get into it, cause it makes me hurt. I will say that Rogan is less fazed by the loss than I am, as he feels the sounds are wonderful, but still just sounds. He feels we are still not any closer, at this point anyway, to meaningful communication with his babble.  I know it's the truth, but those sounds just make me so damn happy.  At the very least, we got to enjoy them for a week or two this time, so for that I am grateful.

For the last 6 months we have been trying to get a Doctor, any Doctor, to listen to us about Mylo and his eating.  I honestly can't recall if I have written anything in depth in my blog about the alarming quantities of food this boy consumes, but believe me when I tell you, it IS alarming.  Not only the quantity he would eat if we let him, but the fact that we have NEVER seen him full, even after eating enough to make him ill. Not to mention the constant food-seeking behaviour and complete inability to self-regulate. We have to lock everything up and throw away the proverbial key in order to keep him from eating us out of house and home or literally choking himself.  Mylo and his food is a full time job!

So today we saw a Pediatric Endocrinologist.  If you are not familiar with what an Endocrinologist does, don't feel bad, I had no idea either.   Essentially they are hormone specialists.  They diagnose and treat hormone imbalances and problems by helping to restore the normal balance of hormones in one's system.  We were referred to one to determine if there was something hormonal going on with M that was creating the inability for him to feel full.  Or really, anything else they had up their sleeves, we just want some answers.

After some weights and measures that told us he is now in the 50th percentile for height and the 85th percentile for weight (this is not such a good thing in their eyes) and a gazillion questions from the Endo fellow, we seemed to be no further ahead.  Then we saw the actual bigwig Dr. and she had some ideas for us.  To my chagrin but not to my surprise, they involve more specialists.  A referral to a Geneticist and an Ophthalmologist in order to test for and rule out various genetic syndromes that could account for his symptoms.  I like that they are being proactive and wanting to rule out anything physiological, THAT is what we have been trying to get someone to do for months now.  But in the end, it seems highly likely that it will come down to it being a behavioural issue. One which we will be have to try to teach, reinforce and in some cases undue new behaviours surrounding food.  What's one more challenge though? 

Our day at the hospital ended with a blood draw.  Picture me, Rogan and two nurses struggling to keep one little toddler still.... man that kid can fight!  It's a good thing too, we need us a fighter.

On a fun note, I totally sold out and got myself an iphone (only cost me $20!) and now I have gone hipstomatic crazy.  I just can't stop myself.  Be prepared for complete photo inundation.  Only love.

Saturday 7 April 2012


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Man, it has been a roller coaster couple of weeks. A recap is in order.

Three weeks ago M and I started on the GF/CF diet.  Overall it is going fairly well, though we are having to do a lot of fine tuning and elimination to pin point the foods that agree and don't agree with his gut.  As a result,  we have had countless full on meltdowns and days long tantrums, to the point of making the 'Hail Mary' decision to take M to the ER at Children's hospital (a fruitless, humiliating and disheartening experience which I may or may not write about at another juncture).

We switched him from high dose fish oils to a pure cod liver oil, as, after careful research we found much evidence that it was a key factor in biomedical improvements in ASD.  As a result of both dietary and supplement tinkering, we have seen marked improvement in eye contact and M is now 'asking' for our help, which has never happened before.  He holds his hands out so we can take them and help him to do whatever crazy stunt he has planned.  There are many.  The poor bugger has already had two major face plants this weekend alone, one of which has left a massive red and abraded goose egg in the middle of his forehead.  You will see it in all it's glory in the video below.

What else?  My boy spontaneously decided to tackle walking up stairs, unassisted, and not on all fours.  Just sorta happened and lord was it magical to see.  We were so proud, so in turn he was so proud.  It was just a big mess of pride and glee.  He didn't face plant doing it either.  :)

I have saved the very best for last.  A little back story on this if you'll oblige.  I picked up one of Jenny McCarthy's books at Value Village out of morbid curiosity and perhaps with the vague hope that I would discover something useful in her experience with ASD.  The forward of the book is written by a Pediatrician who's son is autistic. He implemented all sorts of biomedical strategies to try to help him.  I am paraphrasing here, but the gist of one paragraph was something along the lines of  "We started him on the GF/CF diet and right away eye contact returned.  Then we started him on cod liver oil and within days we saw the return of language."  Being the gross skeptics that we are, as I read those words to R, we both scoffed mightily and agreed, if only it was that simple.

I am not saying I should stick both my feet in my mouth here, but what I am saying is, a week after starting M on cod liver oil, we have the return of the babblefish!  So, you be the judge.  Dadadada, didididididi, babababa....well, you get the point, sounds we have not heard for over 6 months have resurfaced.  Hallelujah.  It is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard.  I must try not to get too worked up over it though as this marks the third time his dadadas have come and gone in his short life.  I want nothing more than for them to stay forever and continue to progress, but I have to be cautiously optimistic instead.  Mylo continues to amaze us everyday.  We are so lucky.  Oh and props to Jenny McCarthy even if she is a bit of a douche.  Only love.

Friday 30 March 2012

groundhog day. you know what today is? it's tomorrow.

Just pretend it says 4:30am, ok?  I really dig this clock.
♫ Then put your little hand in mine.  There ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb. Babe. I got you babe..... I got you babe. ♫

I'm sure we've all had weeks in our lives where we felt like we were on repeat.  Despite small shifts or subtle changes in routine or people, things seemed eerily similar from day to day.  And then they didn't and things went back to normal (whatever normal is). Everyday now, I wake up and wonder if things are back to normal.  But every day, I wake up, and  life is still stubbornly stuck on repeat.  For us, Autism has sauntered in, staked it's claim and decided that here, in our world, it's groundhog day, all day, every day.  THIS IS the new normal.

I'm not saying I hate it.  I am after all one of the world's biggest creatures of habit and schedules make me happy.  What I am saying is, it isn't easy.  We now live and and die by My's schedule, M's routine, M's needs.  Yes, any and every parent does too, we are certainly no exception.  There is, however, absolutely NO margin for error with him.  M is a-ok with changes, he adapts well to new environments and is not fussed by people anyway, so adding new peeps to his surroundings doesn't phase him.  The truly defining aspect's of M's life are simply food and sleep.  And lord help us if we don't get the sleep part right the first time, we'll spend weeks picking up the pieces.

Sleep.  sleep, sleep sleep.  Maybe if I keep saying it, more of it might be had around here.  It is a precious commodity indeed.  Our groundhog day starts pretty much every morning (if you can call it morning....we certainly don't) between 4:30 and 5:30AM. Yes, you read that right, AM.  4:30am seems to be the magic number in the last few weeks.  And once M is up, he is UP.  There is no getting this boy back to sleep.  So our day begins and follows the same routine, the same schedule, the same sameness right up until 7pm when, after he goes to bed, our 'alone' time seems to follow a pretty similar trend.   Man, are we lame.

see?  fun stuff!
I hope I haven't given you the impression that I never do anything with M or take him anywhere.  On the contrary, every day I take him as many places as I can force my sleep-deprived body to endure.  We do tons of fun stuff, but all within the strict confines of his sleep (and to a lesser degree food) schedule.  I can't even begin to tell you how many times we have had to explain to people why it is we can't just pick up and spend the day doing something or going somewhere with them.  Honestly, even when we do explain it, there are not that many folks that can truly grasp  the idea of being married to a kids sleep needs (if only divorce were an option here...I kid....sort of).

don't drive angry!
My point.  For us at least, Autism has reshaped not only who we are and how we view ourselves, but it has reshaped our days and nights.  Days meld into one another, without a hell of a lot of variation.  Weekends?  What weekends?  It's groundhog day, all day, every day.

I guess I just wonder and suppose hope, that with the introduction of M's therapy (which we are steam rolling ahead on...YAY US!) things may start to look a little different from time to time and maybe, just maybe, we won't wake up today and have it already be tomorrow, or yesterday.  Only love.

Sunday 25 March 2012

blog block be damned.

Remember me?  I did such a fabulous job of blogging for the first month and then, as seems to be a common theme in my life, I ended up becoming somewhat less fabulous.   I attribute it to 'blog block', which in my eyes must be akin to writers block.  But really, I think I just haven't had much to say or perhaps lacked the inspiration to say it if I did.

What's been happening?  I guess a lot really.   After nearly a month and a half of waiting, our funding agreement finally arrived.  Are we excited about this?  Yes.  And no.  Yes, because this means we can now officially start hiring therapists for Mylo and get this 'early intervention' program show on the road.  No, because seeing the funding figures first hand has also served to shine a glaringly, bright light on the funds we will not have, emphasizing the services we won't be able to access for Mylo.  It's a good news, bad news kind of thing but for now lets just focus on the good.

We start interviews this week to find M a Behaviour Consultant (he or she will be our main 'go to' person for assessing and setting up M's therapy and intervention program.   And, if we go with an agency type set up,  they will also help us to find, interview and hire Behaviour Interventionists to work with Mylo and implement his therapy program).  We are seeing two this week, both of whom are female.  It's the strangest thing, and don't misunderstand me, I'm no woman hater, but I just have this overwhelming feeling that Mylo's BC should be a male.  I can't really explain why, just a gut thing.  Even stranger is, I told R I wanted to look for a man and he didn't even really question it, or my reasons for feeling strongly about it.  I think he may feel it too.  *insert twilight zone music*   Anyway, the field seems to be dominated by know we are the nurturing ones after all...ha!  But, I will keep looking and insisting and if our BC is meant to have a penis, then it shall be so.

Also in the good news, couldn't possibly be better news department is, that our little rockstar can now fully spoon feed himself.  It's a HUGE deal.  He's a HUGE deal.  It has taken much practice and perseverance but he's got it!  Granted it is a little backward and awkward looking but who cares, the focus, intent and sheer love of food, get the job done.  Video proof attached.

Lastly, I want to bring April the 2nd to your attention.  Yes, it is the day after April Fool's Day, but all silliness aside, it also happens to be World Autism Awareness Day.  WOOT!  That's right folks, on that day, people affected by Autism, be it personally, or through someone they love, are going to LIGHT IT UP BLUE for Autism awareness.  Have a look at for details and to see just how vast a reach Autism Speaks has.  We are lighting our home up blue on April 2nd and our local Family Place, who know, love and support Mylo are going to participate as well.  I think that is pretty RAD.

Awareness is the first step to opening the eyes, hearts and minds of the world to Autism and it's epidemic proportions.   As a mom touched and affected by it daily, my heart encourages you to LIGHT IT UP BLUE too....even if it's just something small and personal.   Mylo thanks you.   Only love.

Friday 9 March 2012

people who speak in metaphors outta shampoo my crotch.

teeny baby Mylo, crying cause he wanted to,
I know everyone likes a feel good, positive, make you smile blog post.  So do I.  But sometimes, I just don't have it in me.  I have been procrastinating a new post for days now as I was waiting for some magic 'happy' circumstance to write about.  So far.....nothing.  Then tonight I just figured, hey, this is MY blog, it's about how I feel, so I can actually write whatever the hell I want to, right?  Kind of  like, it's my party and I'll cry if I want to.  Wow, really not so dissimilar when I think about it.

I don't have anything super specific to talk about, just a mishmash of stuff and things, happenings and not so happenings that equal our life.  To be blunt I  have been feeling pretty down and shitty of late.  I am feeling wrung out and exhausted and have been putting off doing important Mylo things because they scare me.  I SHOULD be interviewing and choosing a behaviour consultant right now so we can get M's therapy going, but we still have not received our funding agreement.  I suppose I am using this as an excuse (as I know the funding will eventually show up) because this particular task makes me feel inept, undereducated and entirely ill prepared.  

I mean come on, here's how it looks:  Hey parent of newly diagnosed autistic child!  We know you know next to NOTHING about this disorder, we know you are scared and sad and overwhelmed, we know your life just shifted completely on it's axis.  BUT, now you have to research, interview, hire, and manage your child's therapy/therapists, funding, bookkeeping and general well-being. AND you must do this all while still maintaining your 'other' life, taking care of your child and your family and keeping your sanity.  No Big deal, so get on it would ya?  Ok so I might be paraphrasing a bit, but you get the point.

It IS a big deal and one that makes me crap my kilt on a daily basis.  Hence forth, I have not made the calls yet.  I have made the list, but picking up the phone seems to be a gargantuan feat, which I have yet to come to terms with.  Blah, blah, blah, poor me, I know, total pity party.  Sorry, it is just the simple truth of what I have been feeling.

Alternately, I have also been feeling pretty elated with some new stuff M has been engaging in.  He has started putting things away.  My dream come true being the anal retentive, ocd, neat freak virgo that I am.  Not everything certainly and not even often, but enough times that it has made an impact on us.

saggy ball boobies in the pit.
We've watched him put balls back into his ball pit (along with many other things non ball related, the ball pit seems to be a repository for everything now), put his puzzle pieces back into their bin and just the other day, I watched something that blew my mind.  He likes to empty out my bin of baking supplies because they are accessible and he can.  So he pulled out my new box of disposable piping bags which came with three little plastic piping nozzles attached to it.  He systematically pulled each nozzle off the box, examined them and them put them back into the bin!!! If that wasn't enough, he then put the box of piping bags back in as well!  I know this may seem like no great shakes, but for us it is massive and we danced a jig of joy around the kitchen.  Colour me proud Batman!

Ok so I just managed to cheer myself up writing that, yay me!  I should also note that M had a play date with his first autistic pal today.  It was wicked awesome.  They totally ignored each other, did their own things, didn't have freak out meltdowns and both C's mom and I figured they just knew what each other was about.  It was really beautiful to watch.  Also cool is that C is a little older than M and was diagnosed almost a year ago .To see the progress she has made and imagine that M will be doing those things too makes my insides turn to mush and my soul sing.  I am so happy to have met C and her mama.  It turned out to be a great day after if only M would sleep past 4:00am.  Only love.

sidenote*  blog title is another movie quote.  Relevant to this blog post in any way?  Nope.  Funny?  Hell ya!  (do you know the movie?)

Wednesday 29 February 2012

poo poo

I haven't yet talked about my other kids and I think they deserve their fair shakes on this blog too.  After all, they were here before the Mylo and have put up with going from lavish amounts of attention to virtually none (well not really) since he showed up.

Allow me to introduce Beatrix (Bebe for short) and Ozwald (Ozzie for short).  They are a very fat, orange female cat with a pea-sized head (compared to her body) and a very snugly, most probably partially blind and exceedingly dim-whited bearded dragon, respectively.

As you can see, they hang. They even cuddle.  Bebs does enjoy a good game of chase on the rare occasions that Oz is out of hibernation long enough to scamper around the house.  And yes, when he is awake (approx. 4 months a year) he is generally free to roam, or used to be anyway.  Enter Mylo.

We used to have another little girly in our household too.  She now resides on a lovely island with my nephew and his family.  Baby gurl is an albino corn snake.  We got her as a teeny, tiny little wormy thing, all pink and beautiful with red eyes.  She is awesome and now in and around the 4- 4 1/2 foot mark.  We made the executive decision to gift her to Finn (the nephew) as we realized we just had way too much on the go in terms of other beings to take care of.  It's cool, we still get to see her when we go visit.

Let me now get to the meat of this post.  I have a small problem.  One which I am certain Mylo will take major issue with in years to come.  Thankfully the animals don't know or care or, if they do, they aren't saying.  It's my 'pet' names. And by pet names, I mean terms of endearment and, I suppose in this case, coincidentally, also the names I call my pets (and kid).

my husband bought me this stuffed poop.  Telling?
Inexplicably, they all seem to have something to do with bodily excretions.  I know, totally gross and weird, I'm not denying it.   For example, the lizard has long been referred to as Poo Poo boy, in fact I think that is pretty much his given name now.  Then Bebe came along and somehow she has been christened Pee Pee Girl.   I'm talking like this is what we call these poor animals every day.  Again, they don't seem terribly bothered.  I guess we can likely get away with this new nomenclature for the animals permanently...but what about for Mylo?

It's true, a largish selection of our pet names for him also have something to do with poo.  I'm not going to get into them, for fear of irreparably scarring my child in the future, but suffice it to say, I had better start working on some more appropriate names, pronto.  Seriously, am I the only one? Tell me there are more of you wierdos out there who have a passing preoccupation with poop.  No?  Ok, it's official, I'm a freak.  My poor kids. Only love.


Sunday 26 February 2012

it's all gone Pete Tong

Mylo had a little playdate today with his pal C who is right around his age and pretty fabulous. M mostly ignored him and his lovely hugs, but that is to be expected.

I hope there will come a day, soonish, when I stop aching and feeling like I am in a slow, downward spiral after spending time with normally developing toddlers around M's age.

I LOVE this age.  How many 'firsts' can you cram into a time period without your head exploding from the sheer joy of it all.  I know what Mylo should be doing now, even though I also know that, disability or not, every little person grows, learns and develops at their  own pace.  It doesn't really make it easier knowing.  And no, before you ask, I do NOT begrudge, hate on, or otherwise feel angry at parents of NT kids. I do, however, envy them.

I envy them all those 'firsts' that come along in and around where they should, the way they get excited by new things, but not jump up and down, shit your pants excited, like an ASD parent does when their child gives them more than 5 seconds of solid eye contact.  They get excited because they have been expecting the next big 'thing' to happen and don't have to wonder for too long if and when it will actually happen.   I guess you could even say I am a little jealous.  Can you really blame me?

But again, I stress, in no way, would I EVER want any of my mama (or dada for that matter) friends to think I can't handle hanging out with them or their kids.  It makes my heart sing to watch M's little friends chatter away, hold their mama's hand, use a spoon or play (appropriately) with a toy.  How could it not, I love those kids (and their mamas).

It also makes my heart sing to watch my sweet boy do the things that HE loves and that HE knows how to do.  I am trying to find a way that I can mesh the two and come out on the other side with a little less bruising around my heart.  It is lesson in acceptance on a few different levels, and one which I am sometimes struggling to learn.  Please bear with me.  Only love.

Friday 24 February 2012

learning to be comfortable being uncomfortable

I've had a few other blog post ideas rolling around in my head this week but I've decided to put them on the back burner for the moment so I can take this opportunity to express my gratitude, thanks, love and WOOT WOOT for some very special people.

I'm sure most of you that actually read my blog have seen the facebook page that was set up yesterday for Mylostones.  This was not my doing.  A few amazing women in my life took a step back, assessed the situation, recognized our need and then did something about it.   wow.

First off, I will say that it blows my mind, the selflessness, the kindness and the plain old fashioned love that I have some how acquired in my life. Most days I don't feel very deserving of such things but today, I honour these women and thank them for myself and for my husband and most importantly for the Mylo.

I do have to be frank though, as you knew I would.

The fundraising, the putting ourselves out there, the admission that we need help, it all makes me pretty uncomfortable. It kind of feels like admitting defeat or admitting we are not doing a good enough job. Not that I wouldn't do it for a friend in need in a heartbeat, but it just feels very different on this side of the fence.  I've done some serious introspection over this, in fact, I spent most of last night awake, agonizing over whether this was the right decision.   I still don't have a solid answer to that question, but what I do know is this.

us three. love.
My son is the single most important aspect of our lives, we would go to the ends of the earth and back if it would mean vanquishing his symptoms.  We will fight for him, we will learn for him, we will sacrifice for him and I will bloody well learn to tolerate feeling uncomfortable for him.  So thank you, one and all for supporting us, for listening to us and for loving us.  We have only love for all of you.

Monday 20 February 2012

desperately seeking sensory....(any movie buffs get the reference?)

Disclaimer:  Rogan tells me this post is kind of 'technical' though informative.  Apologies if it is too 'technical', they can't all be winners.  Maybe you'll get something out of it and maybe you won't.  At the very least, you'll see another cute video of the Mylo.
I'm continually told by other moms (with neurotypical kids) that it's a 'toddler' thing.  Fair enough.  I'm sure that lots of Mylo's behaviours and obsessions can and are attributed to the vast majority of NT toddlers.  I also know that my son is what is known as a 'sensory seeker'.  In many cases something called SPD or Sensory Processing Disorder goes hand in hand with an Autism diagnosis. There are conversely many small and large humanoids alike who only suffer from SPD on it's own.  After learning about it early on in our ASD journey, I realized that I almost certainly fall into this category, though on the opposite end of the spectrum from Mylo.

To outline in it's entirety exactly what SPD is, with all it's various subtypes and categories, would take me writing you a small book on my blog. I have neither the time nor energy to do that .  So, to simplify, lets just talk about the 3 subsections of the first category of SPD which is Sensory Modulation Problems. (confused yet?)  Sensory modulation problems pertain to how a child regulates his responses to sensations.  The three subsections therein are sensory over-responsivity (overstimulated or easily upset by sensory sensations),  sensory under-responsivity (pays little or no attention to even 'in your face' sensory sensations) and sensory seeking (wants MORE of everything aka, Go Big or Go home, aka. adrenalin junky!)

just a cute pic of my boy.  :)
I have discovered that at least in Mylo's case, he falls into both the under-responsive and sensory seeking categories depending on the sense in question.  I, on the other hand, would place myself firmly in the over-responsive camp.   I have major texture, taste and smell issues. They can often make me feel ill under the right circumstances.  I can't handle really loud noises (which is why I rarely, if ever, go to the movie theatre.  How do you movie go-ers not go deaf?) I could go on, but I should try to get to my point right?

Mister Mylo is a big time sensory seeker but can be highly under-responsive as well.  He LOVES loud noises, would play in traffic comprised entirely of loud, brake screeching big rig trucks if we let him.   He will eat virtually anything on the planet (with a few exceptions) super spicy?  No problem!  Spicy food however, falls more into the under-responsive category in the same way that I am not sure he has EVER responded to a smell, either good or bad.  It almost seems like he doesn't use his olfactory sense at all.  Again, I could go on and on about Mylo and his sensory stuff, like how he has to put his mouth and ears on EVERYTHING but the whole aim of this post was to get to this video of him and his new favorite thing.  I will leave the rest for another post, another day.

In the last few months all he wants to do is climb.  Climb on every surface, no matter how unsteady, and then use that surface to climb onto something even higher. The climbing seems to satisfy his vestibular and proprioceptive sensory needs in a big way. His dad and I have multiple coronaries daily just trying to keep him off of everything.  This is definitely a 'toddler' and I'm told, a 'boy' thing, but it is also a sensory seeking behaviour for him. He has NO FEAR at all and once he's tried something, realizes it fulfills one of his sensory needs, he will keep going back for more, despite the often times painful consequences. It scares the shit out of me, but it also amazes me. He has unwavering trust in what he is doing, every time.

The video shows his new favorite pass time of couch diving.  He spends good chunks of his day engaged in this activity and simply trusts that his landing will be soft and hilarious each and every time.  Of course sometimes it isn't, and there-in lies the problem (for us anyway!)  But just imagine having such blind faith that everything is going to work out just the way you think it should and want it to.  I only wish I had a tenth of the trust and faith my little sensory seeker would be a lot less stressful and a lot more fun.  Enjoy the show.  Only love.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

my STIMMY little Valentine and the whats ifs...

It's Valentine's Day!  So what.  But really, although Rogan and I have never gone in for this consumer created and fueled 'holiday', this year we both, separately, decided to acknowledge the 'love' day with a card for one another.  Yay us and our super awesome mind reading powers.  I thought I would share the fabulous display of love my husband CREATED, yes created during the last week in the few hours he has to himself without me cramping his style. You don't even need to tell me how RAD this card is, I already know.  I have felt very special all day as a result. 

It has been nice to feel loved and special today as the last few weeks have really taken a toll on me.  It's funny, in the months leading up to the diagnosis, I spent most free moments learning, researching, obsessing, if you will, over what was ahead for us and Mylo.  I was WAY ahead of the game for sure.  On the other hand, Rogan was happily playing ostrich.  You know, the lets bury our head in the sand and pretend it's not happening kind of thing.  I don't begrudge him that, though at the time I felt a little solitary in my need to procure any and all info. about autism and how it pertained to Mylo.  I realize now, it was the way he needed to process what was going on, just as, to get through it, I needed to learn.  Following the diagnosis however, our roles have completely reversed and shifted.  I have found myself with my head firmly planted in the sand, not wanting to read one more thing about autism and feeling like I don't have the will to embark of the next stage of life with the big A.  Whereas, Rogan has shifted into high gear, learning about tax credits, therapies, researching how to create a sensory room for Mylo.  I suppose at some point soon we will inevitably converge and pool all our awesome resources and get this show on the road.  Right now, we wait....again.  This time for the funding agreement to arrive,  To be honest, I am ok with a few weeks of down time, to shut my brain off until we get the ball rolling with therapy.

And to shut my brain off or up, as the case may be, is what I REALLY need to do right now.  My thoughts have been stuck in the future, which from past experience, I know is never a good thing.  Just in the last week or so, I have seen quite a few blogs from special needs parents, talking about the fact that their kids don't have any friends, or they have just discovered that their kid eats lunch alone every day at school.  This rips me apart.  I start thinking about all the 'what ifs' that the future may hold.  What if Mylo is never able to talk, what if we never figure out a way to communicate with him, what if when he goes to school the kids don't want to be friends with him, what if he comes home sad every day and we can't make it better for him, what if he can never live an independent life, what if something happens to Rogan and I, then what.  You see, living in the future and playing the 'what if' game is surely the wrong road to travel for no other reason than, today Mylo is happy, today Mylo is content, today Mylo is just perfect. So, I should just tell my brain to shut the hell up and live in the present.  I promise to give it my best shot.

I'm going to end this post with what I consider one of the cutest videos going.  I recently took Mylo to a drop in tots class at the Vancouver Circus School.  Although he couldn't have cared less about the circus type stuff, the big, open space, the squishy mats and the awesome echo his screams made were a stimmy kids dream come true.

I should probably explain what stimming is eh?  I realized as I was talking to my friend J today, whom I am so glad I ran into, that I use that word as if everyone knows what I mean.  Most, but not all autistic persons have what are known as 'stims'.  Here is the Wikipedia definition just to clarify:  Stimming is a repetitive body movement, such as hand flapping, that is hypothesized to stimulate one or more senses. The term is shorthand for self-stimulation. Repetitive movement, or stereotypy, is often referred to as stimming under the hypothesis that it has a function related to sensory input. 

Mylo has developed quite a few new stims lately, some of which you will see in this video. His most common ones are loud screams, grunts and vocalizations, hand flapping, ear hitting, toe-walking, clapping and lately chest thumping with vocalizations....kind of Tarzan-like.  It's fabulous! :) At first the stims freaked us out but now that we know that they serve a purpose for him, we let them make us smile instead.   Happy V day folks from R, M and I.  Only love.

Tuesday 7 February 2012

sometimes life really IS like a box of chocolates ...or something.

I was cruising right along, blogging my little heart out for that first week.  I felt I had a lot to say, and always had a few good ideas for posts swimming around in my already overloaded and cluttered head.  Then Friday happened.  Friday was D Day.  Diagnosis day. My urge to write dwindled.  I find it strange that is has affected me so greatly, as it came as no surprise at all that yes, our kooky little man is autistic.  We have known for 6 months what they were going to tell us and even as I sat there listening to her explain the diagnosis and the cursory next steps, I wasn't freaking out, I wasn't shocked, I wasn't even crying.  I guess I must have put on my big-girl panties that morning, as I had to receive the news solo (R could not take any more time off work) and as such, I was being very brave, listening, trying to absorb as much info. as I could and generally putting on a good show.  For who?  No idea.  Maybe just myself?

That steely resolve didn't last too long. I hightailed it outta there, called R to tell him I was on my way home and then the tears came.  They weren't big, wracking, gut-wrenching sobs, just a steady stream of quiet tears filled with sorrow, heartache, loss, anger and all the many months of pent up emotion I had buried so deep.  I am not a crier, though I kind of wish I was.  It always amazes me how cleansing a good cry can be.  So, I drove and I cried and I thought about my Mylo and what a tough road we all have ahead of us. The reality is, though, Mylo is fine, Mylo is wonderful.  Right now, he has no idea that life could or should be any different. I hope with ever fiber of my being that our early detection and intervention helps him to bypass a day when he will be cognizant of his differences, but for now, he is blissfully unaware.  The catch is, we aren't.

This leads me into what I intended this post to be about.  Friends.  Hallelujah for friends!  Rogan and I have both always been kind of hermity, even before we merged our lives.  We did, however have a nice network of friends we adored and hung out with before the boy was born.  I say before, as it seems having a special needs child who takes up virtually ALL your time and leaves you with nothing to offer anyone, has a way of eroding friendships. Sad but true.  The happy news is, since moving out of the city, I have made all sorts of wonderful new friends both near and far.  Some I see or talk to everyday and others I have never actually met in person.  Regardless of the distance, I know each one is there for us.  They support us, they share in our joy and our disappointments and they let us bitch and complain when that's all we really need to do. In short, they are awesome. 
little Mylo in his autism puzzle pants!

Just the other day, my friend C (whom I have never met, but is a fellow ASD mom, blogger and doll maker extraordinaire) sent us one of her hand made dolls for Mylo.  It is the sweetest thing you have ever seen.  It was a gift, a gift she made and sent because she knew the pain and heartache I was going through during M's assessment week.  How RAD is that?  Thank you C, I feel so grateful to know you and call you my friend.

Today I received another gift, one which I would prefer to keep private. But, I would like to extend a massive thank you to B and G, you wickedly awesome women, and all the other amazing moms in my moms group. Mucho love.

The point of this post was to try and demonstrate that despite things looking/feeling grim, despite me currently being in a rotten head space and feeling alone, I know I'm not and I am one grateful mama.  Sorry if I buggered that all up. 

Thursday 2 February 2012

an oatcake is still and oatcake even if it is shaped like a dog bone

As some of you know, I have recently made the switch to a 'mostly' gluten free diet.  I say 'mostly' as I admit, I have the occasional slip up.  The change was brought about by a few converging happen stances.  In the early days after the red flags were raised for autism, I started researching everything under the sun that we could possibly try before we even had a diagnosis and therefore $ to start various therapies. 

There is a lot of attention in some ASD circles surrounding different biomedical approaches to 'treating' (I use the the term loosely but with cautious optimism) the symptoms of autism.  One such approach is something called the GFCF diet.  This stands for gluten free and casein free.  For those of you, like me not so long ago, who don't know what casein is, it is the main protein found in milk.  So, to be clear, GFCF diet = no wheat and no diary.  There is growing interest in the link between autism and gastrointestinal (GI) ailments and both gluten and casein have high instances of sensitivity or allergy.  The prevailing wisdom is, remove the offenders and symptoms improve. Some people even report they disappear entirely.  I am a born skeptic but when it comes to my son, I am willing to give anything a shot.  We have not ventured into the land of diary free yet, but with the last week solid of Mylo having non-stop squits, it may be on the horizon.

So, both M and I have been off gluten for a few months now and to be honest, I am not sure I see much of a difference in Mylo or his symptoms, but as an unexpected bonus, it appears my body is a much, much happier place sans gluten!  It is amazing to me that I have suffered nearly my entire life with debilitating stomach issues and it turns out much of it could be attributed to that little bastard gluten.  It is also very cool that a good few of my newest friends, whom I truly adore, are also gluten free!  This really helped to give me better understanding and pave the way into learning the ways of GF living.

The real point of this post is to share with you a recipe for the yummiest oatcakes you will ever have.  This recipe comes from my good friend K, who adapted it from a Canadian Living recipe to make it GF.  I have used her recipe lovingly and have since adapted it a little myself.  I promise, if you have never had an oatcake or you have and think that a GF oatcake is going to suck,  you will fall instantly in love with these delicious little cakes.  Without further adieu......

GF Oakcakes
  • -1/2 cups (375 mL) Bob's red mill rolled oats 
  • 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) either Gluten Free Pantry french bread mix or all purpose GF Flour (see below)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 salt
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) cold butter
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) ice water


In large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture is pebbly.
Sprinkle water, a little at a time, over dry ingredients while pressing with fork to form a ball. Add just enough water to hold dry ingredients together. Shape into 3 balls and flatten each ball. (Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze at this point if making ahead. Bring to room temperature before rolling.)
Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to desired thickness.  I tend to make them on the thicker side, about a 1/4 inch thick.  Use whatever cutter you like to form your cakes, I use a little dog bone cutter, just for shits and giggles. At this point, I sprinkle beautiful coarse grain silver sugar on top of each cookie, cause it looks pretty and tastes yummy.
Transfer cakes to a baking sheet covered with either parchment or silpat (greased works too) and bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden. Let cool on wire rack and store in airtight container.  

The GF flour recipe I use is one I found on Gluten Free Girl and the Chef's is fabulous.  Here it is:
200 grams brown rice flour
150 grams sorghum flour
50 grams potato flour
250 grams sweet rice flour
150 grams potato starch
100 grams arrowroot powder
100 grams cornstarch

Weigh out each flour, toss them in a container, make sure the lid is on tight and shake that bad boy up. Done. A kick ass GF flour blend.

I sure hope you enjoy these little yummies as much as my household does.  They are truly a staple now. woof!

Wednesday 1 February 2012

reminder. happy but hard.

I found myself poking through some old pictures and videos today after getting the news that Mylo's genetic testing all came back negative.  No Fragile X, no Prader-Willi, those were the two big, scary ones we were worried about.  No, it seems it is only the devil we know that we are dealing with.  Autism.

The good news got me to thinking about a month period of M's life, I think he was about 8 or 9 months old where he was grooving right along, sitting up, babbling, smiling, making AWESOME eye contact and saying dada.  Honestly, I had forgotten that he did any of that, as it was so short-lived.  I vividly remember him saying dada, but until I watched this video I had forgotten that he used to look at me for more than half a second and give me the most exquisite smiles and giggles. He SAW us, he connected with us, it makes me pretty sad that I didn't cherish it more when I had it.  Had I known then what I know now, I would have held on for dear life. I wanted to show you what our Mylo was like before he slipped away into his private world.  Sometimes he still comes to visit, but we sure do wish we could get him to stay.  Only love.

Monday 30 January 2012

Pra Somchai and his 'special babies'

I've been thinking a lot about Mylo and how he came to be who he is.  I go through stages of beating myself up for passing on genetic material that has in some ways, let him down.  I wonder if it was something I did or didn't do when I was pregnant with him.  After all, my pregnancy from 21 weeks on was an exercise in pure agony for everyone involved.  I know that in a muted way, babies, in the comfort of the womb, experience and understand all that their mothers feel, hear, live.  And so, I sometimes sit and wonder if the trauma Mylo endured before even making his grand entrance and that which he surely experienced in labour and delivery, laid the groundwork for the solitary, mysterious world Mylo now calls his own.  I will likely never know. What I do know is that in at least one strange way, Mylo was pre-destined for Rogan and I. 

In 2008, Rogan went to Thailand with his best friend.  They went to travel and island hop and Rogan also carried on to visit his mom who lives in Chang Mai.  I tried to tag along, but at the time, work was very busy and I couldn't quite make it happen.  Sadly, I have still not been and don't see it happening in the foreseeable future.  24+ hours of travel with an autistic toddler?  Akin to many sharp sticks in many eyes.  I need a good few more years of skin-thickening to attempt that.

One of R's adventures took him to a small temple atop a mountain on the island of Koh Pangan.  They found it accidentally and met the monk who lived and 'worked' there.  According to Rogan, Pra Somchai was a 60 something, chain-smoking, cat loving dude, who had a cell phone so he could receive text messages. It seems that Pra Somchai had a very important purpose in life and was revered and sought out by people around the world (his big claim to fame was that he was the personal monk to the lead singer of Jamiroquai...I know, could it be any weirder?)   Pra Somchai's purpose was to provide 'special babies' to those who visited him.  It seems that he would bless them and work his monk-y magic (no disrespect intended) and a special baby would be created.  Women with infertility came to him from all over and according to him, his success rate was very high. Alrighty then.

Now, to be clear, R and I were not in the market for a baby at that point in our relationship, no sir, but Pra Somchai insisted R receive his blessing in the form of a woven bracelet around his right wrist. He told him that the bracelet and the blessing would provide R with a very 'special baby' when the time was right.  He also told him that the bracelet would fall off when it's work was done.  Two things:  1) It has not yet fallen off.  2) most days I get down on my knees and thank Pra Somchai for keeping his promise and sending us the most incredible baby boy who teaches us, shapes us, and helps us understand a whole new reality.  And other days, I just want to haul off and kick that monk in the nuts and yell, Autism was NOT the kind of 'special' we had in mind. Does that make me a bad person?  I hope not.

Thursday 26 January 2012

a good man as defined by an old dried up zucchini.

Behind every good man, there's a good woman?  Isn't that the saying?  If so, in our household it should undoubtedly be the opposite.  I am not sure if I am a good woman, but I can say, without a modicum of hesitation, that the man I am married to and who also happens to be my baby daddy (sorry, that was just too good an opportunity to pass up) is the best man there is.  Period.  No equivocations.

I hope all wives/mothers feel this way about their mates and if not, I implore you to go out and find yourself a Rogan....or a close approximation, as I guarantee he is the only one of his kind.

I know you are all on the edge of your seats wondering why I am so passionate about this topic, enough so that I am devoting an entire blog post to it.  Let me lay it out for you.

Firstly, my husband cooks.  I know, you are all jealous, as you well should be.  Not only does he cook, but he used to do it for a living and LOVES it.  This love translates to wonderful, beautiful, creative food on our plates almost every day.  I am all about esthetics in my home, but am usually far too lazy to apply this to my food (baking is another story) but Rogan makes sure every plate, no matter what it contains, is a work of art.  This is something that my freakish, OCD, esthetically inclined brain loves.  I think this first point is enough on it's own to make my husband such a good man...but, can you believe it?  There's  more.

an old dried up zucchini
He is sensitive, compassionate, understanding, intelligent, creative, devastatingly handsome and  the best dad Mylo could ever hope to have.  He supports us, he loves us, he bites his tongue when I go off an a crazy girl tangent, he has more patience in his little finger when it comes to Mylo and his meltdowns then I could ever hope to have.  He works hard every day so that I can stay home and take care of our son and never gives me grief about it (even though I have major guilt issues about no longer bringing in an income).  And he makes me laugh, in fact, he makes me laugh my ass off all the time.  Do you know just how important a sense of humour is in a partner?  I'm betting you do.  The MOST important.  And lastly, if all of the above didn't convince you of Rogan's awesomeness and my dumb luck at nabbing him, this picture should make it all clear.  It was taken last night.  I was on the phone for a good long while talking to another ASD mom (hooray for support!) and I hang up to find this note sitting on the kitchen counter.  Rogan had cleaned out the entire fridge, dumped, scrubbed and reorganized it and in the process found this little beauty.  Cleaned fridge, made me laugh my ass off.  A good man.

Now don't misunderstand me, R can be just as big a douche as all of us, but I'll take a little bit of douchery and a whole lot of awesome any day.  Also, did I mention he can cook?  :)

Wednesday 25 January 2012

How to fool a lazy liver with artificial exercise

And so, here I am at the beginning of another new adventure, the mysterious world of blogging.  I feel like I've been at the beginning of so many new adventures in the last few years, that I have been hesitant to add anything else to the ever growing list of things that I should be doing.  I've been pondering a blog of my own for some time and have been following some awesome and inspirational peeps on their blogs to get a feel for it.  Last week I suddenly felt like I was ready.  So here I am.  Now what?  

I digress.....first of all, the title to this first post has nothing to do with anything.  It is the title of a newspaper article from a Vancouver newspaper article printed in 1902.  I have the sheet of newspaper mounted and hung on my bathroom wall.  There are many ridiculously funny articles, but as I sit perched on the throne, this is the one that always recaptures my attention and makes me chuckle.  The article underneath is so old and worn, that I really have no idea what the title could possibly mean.....I can make out something about bowels and indigestion but prefer to just imagine a liver being carried around on a bicycle or something.

This week has been a particularly rough one for us.  We are in the middle of Mylo's private autism assessment, which means we are paying an ungodly amount of money for three specialists (a developmental Pediatrician, a child psychologist and a speech pathologist) to assess M's development and determine if he falls on the spectrum.  Now M is as young as one can be to be granted a diagnosis in Canada and honestly, from what we have seen, the criteria for assessment in wee ones is sorely lacking (but they sure don't consider that in their final bill).  All the tests and questionnaires are for kids between 0-5 and really, about 95% of the questions don't even apply to a toddler of 18 months.  Having said that, in the two appointments we have had thus far, the info. we have been given on his development (or lack there of) has also served to break our hearts a little more.  We have already been given the unofficial diagnosis of classical autism and global developmental delay and will get our official diagnosis and funding paperwork on Feb 3.  We have known this was coming for some time, but to say that it doesn't rip our guts out, would be a total fabrication.

I'm not one of these moms that is going to sugar coat his diagnosis and say, I wouldn't change him for the world or autism is a gift from God.  Nope, not me.  I think autism sucks.  If I could keep all other aspects of my boy and banish his autism, then I would happily do it in a second.  I want him to communicate, I want him to want to play with toys, I want him be less frustrated, I want him to interact with people instead of ignoring them completely.  I don't want these things only for him but for us too.  That may seem selfish or too real for some people, but dammit, I want my kid to experience life and I want to watch him do it.  R and I plan to unleash the hounds and access every resource possible for M.  We will get on every wait list, go to every workshop and support group, even if it is has absolutely nothing what so ever to do with autism (obviously not).  Kinda like Fight Club, but not really.

I think I'll end my very first blog post with a cute little story about the fine young boy we are proud to call our son.  Obviously, as he is only 18 months, M is still in diapers.  We cloth diaper and I like to let his dangley bits breathe as much as possible, which means, I let him run amok sans diaper often....perhaps too often?  No biggie, we have wood floors and what's a little pee here and there.  It can all be cleaned.  Well, the boy also seems to enjoy the odd poop while in the buff.  It happens.  What is so fantastic about M though is that he has a very special place he likes to leave his mark.  Our coffee table.  Picture it, adorable little pork chop, perched on our lovely antique coffee table in a squat, watching baby Einstein.  We turn our backs for a second and hear this awesome grunt.  As you can imagine, we laughed for a good long while at the result.  The best part is, it happened again today, just when I needed some comic relief the most.  I'd say this is probably the 5th or 6th time he's done it (including in front of company...that was the time he also peed on dads xbox!  Awesome!).  Apparently we don't learn very quickly!  :)