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.