Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Don't steal my idea now....

Last week before we left for Disney, I was in a panic. Boo elopes, she has gone missing for short (thank God, SHORT) amount of times. If we are in the backyard and blink, she is in the front. She managed to escape a therapy session, school and her bedroom. We have been so lucky that we (or some one) has been able to chase her. 

But the fear never stops. 

When we left for Disney I made up a little sign and used packing tape to laminate it. It went something like, "My name is Boo. I am severely developmentally delayed. I cannot tell you my name or age. If you are reading this, my mom is freaking out. Please call Kerri at XXX". 

When we got back, I noticed a friend on Facebook was using a Nike product combined with her IPHONE to track her running. I thought, YES This is what we need! Since Boo will not wear a bracelet or necklace and I am at my wits end trying to keep a ponytail in her hair, I thought something in her shoe? That would be perfect.

Unless of course, she threw it in a fire or out of the jeep. Then that would be a very expensive OOPS. But, if it would work for her or in my moment of philanthropy any child/adult who if they go missing would not be able to help themselves, it is worth the risk. We just would keep our promise of never letting Boo wear shoes in the jeep!

So, I wrote NIKE. I got a response which is slightly better than the no reply that FOX News, the Boston Globe or my local newspaper provided when I wrote to Ann Coulter. But still, the reply made me laugh:

I appreciate you writing us with your idea of having a GPS tracker in Children's shoes. Your idea is wonderful.

At this time, Nike is unable to accept outside ideas. This is primarily due to the problems in adapting those ideas to fit our objective, but also because of the ownership issues, which could be raised if we happened to be working on a similar idea at the same time. Consequently, it is our policy not to share outside ideas and not to use those ideas in any way.

Thank you for your interest in Nike and I hope you have a wonderful day.
Well, at least they hope I have a nice day. And that my idea is wonderful. But really, they cannot accept outside ideas? I know there is probably some legal reason why they have to respond this way. So, Nike just do it, make a product that will keep our kids safe.

I promise you,it will be much more rewarding than making athletes faster.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Time just flies....

Boo turned four today. I am amazed how the time has gone. I find it is kind of funny that her milestones are recorded in her medical record. I never really have to wonder when she first sat up, I find it in some EI report or doctor report. This makes filling out the start-of-the-school year forms MUCH easier to fill out.

I am impressed that the mom who wore gloves to change Allie's diaper (yep, me) now looks at a hazmat and thinks to herself, well Boo is no longer constipated. I can now deal with vomit, drool, heck any type of body fluid with out embarrassment. Heck, I recently changed Boo's diaper on a bench in the Animal Kingdom. I swear the area was private right before I took the diaper off and around the corner came about 50 other sightseers!

I am still astounded that Boo's first word was "Allie". She might still call every woman (and sometimes her father) 'ma' but "Allie" is reserved for her favorite person. I love that I know by the tone of her voice when 'ma' means "Mommy". I crack up that a child that has never lived in the city has a Boston accent. I think it is all the times spent at Children's!  

I am thankful for the doctors, nurses, therapists and teachers that have made Boo all that she can be. Which frankly, was more than any of us could hope. Although, I do think the doctors should send me a thank you note for providing for their child's private school education! Especially the one who told me spinal surgery was a 'piece of cake'.

I am so in love with this girl. When I had Allie I was one and done. I never thought I would have the love, the time or the patience to love another child. I am still in disbelief that I do. I think back to those first days in the NICU, when I never imagined that this child who I barely knew would live. When in a moment of sleep deprivation and worry I actually forgot her name for one (I swear, brief) moment. 

I never imagined she would deepen our hearts and strengthen our family. She also strengthened our friendships, new and old. Some friends became acquaintances, true friends became family members. True, faithful friends became our support system.  

Four years ago, I never dreamt that she would have a friend. One with DS who would use the sign for "B" to call her friend, Boo. That this girl's family would tell me that "J" would use the sign all weekend long. The "B" sign no longer stands for anything other than Boo. That this mom and I would be in awe of our daughters. Two girls with completely different diagnoses would meet and become friends. 

Or that a little boy "E" in Boo's integrated class, one who it the peer child with a bad-ass attitude, would take Boo under his wing. He sits next to her during snack and helps her. He makes sure that she gets her turn on the slide at recess. Boo has turned this trouble-maker into a hear throb. His mom told me the other day that when we were on vacation, he went into class kicking and screaming.

She and "J"'s mom asked me not to go on vacation again, without forewarning them.

 Truthfully, I wouldn't change a thing. Not the 14+ doctors, not the amount of time spent at doctors offices (although I do kind of wish I could change the commute!), not the time spent in therapy. If I had one wish, would I wish that she was perfect? Well, to me, she is already perfect. So if I could make a wish on the birthday cake (that she refused to eat), the wish would be to know her diagnosis, so I could understand her prognosis.

Happy Birthday, my Boo. I love you more than words can say.

And so does everyone who meets you. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Confessions V9

Monday confessions....five things I fear

That Allie will no longer be in love with Boo. Right now Allie is Boo's strongest advocate. How do I prevent Boo becoming a burden and not a joy?
That I will not be strong or patient enough to be the mom my girls deserve.

That my marriage won't continue to be strong. It's already been stressed with longevity and Boo. Did you know that parents of special needs children have a divorce rate of twice those without?

That work will not continue to be understanding about my flexible hours. Especially this week, when my husband is away and I play single mom.

That Boo will never say "I love you"


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Recovering from vacation....

One of the reasons I am always so hesitant about going away, other than the safety factors when it comes to Boo, is coming home. Now to be honest, I love being home. In my bed. Alone. Did I say that clearly....ALONE as in no child in a 10 foot radius. As in no child's foot (finger, toe, hand, nose,hair) in my nose, back or any other place they manage to get comfortable. It even helps when we come home and my husband is immediately on duty. Not that I don't love when he is home...but eight days of togetherness with one or both of our children sharing our bed and each one of us is left with an inch of mattress real estate?

Amazing, how one little girl can take up so much real estate.

Being alone in a closed room...that is dream come true my friends.

Does this dream come true? Well, not so much with Boo. It takes at least 4 nights of "cry it out" boot camp before she realizes that I am not her cuddle buddy. When we got home she was sick, so we warred with do we let her sleep with us where we can make sure she isn't aspirating or do we decide to initiate project back to sleep without interrupting mine.

Safety won. I slept in her room on the guest bed. Husband got the cherished night alone. Without a child coughing on them, kicking them, drooling on them, having a foot (finger, toe, hand, etc...) shoved up their anywhere. 

But last night? Last night I was determined. Determined, I tell you to sleep. ALONE. 

It did not start off well. She cried for me, for Allie. Telling us she was all done 'night night'. She started coughing. I was afraid she was choking, but erred on the side if she was crying she was breathing. I listened very carefully to make sure she wasn't vomiting. I sat firm. On the other side of the door.

87 minutes later. Quiet. (by the way, what is UP with the professionals that tell you that a child will cry themselves to sleep after 10 minutes? I want them to meet Boo!). By 8:30 both girls were in bed. I had a nice glass of wine and a quiet rest was had by all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Thank you to,

All those who hold me up when I fall down.

All those who look at Boo and see the miracle that she is.

All the doctors, nurses and everyone at Children's Hospital. It is thanks to you that my child is home and healthy.

Thank you for (put whomever you pray to here),

Allowing me this place to vent, to cry, to rejoice and learn.

Giving me insight and innovations.

Giving Boo the best big sister possible.

Giving Allie the best little sister she could ask for.

Giving me the strength to advocate when needed.

Giving me the patience when I think I have none left.

Giving me the knowledge to know when I do not know enough.

Knowing that I never would have thought I would be a good enough parent to a child like Allie let alone Boo. 

Thank you for proving me wrong.


The (truly) Happiest Place on Earth

Last week we took the girls to Disney. I did not want to go. That is not an understatement. My parents guilted me into it. They wanted to take Allie back before she lost the magic. I didn't want to take Boo and also didn't want Allie going without me, so I caved.

And I am so glad that your mother is always right! The girls had such a nice time. Boo did awesome on the plane. Allie as so excited, which I expected. What I did not expect was the courtesy of the Disney staff. They allowed us to use our stroller in line, gave her front row seating so she could see the shows and most of all? The characters were so kind and friendly. 

Allie is in love with all things Princess and Fairies. I was worried about Boo. How would she react? Should I bring her close or just let her hang in her stroller. However, the Princesses and Fairies wouldn't let me! They asked for me to wheel Boo over and were so kind. They welcomed Boo to touch their clothing, their hair, provided hugs and kisses. I was amazed. I thought for sure Boo would freak. But instead she looked at them and saw magic. 

We visited another theme park while we were in Florida and it just was not the same. They had little or no accommodations for the handicapped. Boo couldn't interact with with the animals like she could at Disney, the handicap seating was limited viewing. If I had not been to Disney I wouldn't have known. 

But now that I do, I will be saving for another trip. Because to see this look in my Boo's eyes is worth every penny we spent.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Confessions V8

Four things I am thankful for....

Allie had the BEST BIRTHDAY ever when surprised with a trip to Disney by her grandparents. (Although I worry that next year they are NEVER going to meet her new expectations!)

My husband, the girls and I survived 8 crazy days vacationing with my parents. And we all still like one another.

Crazy puppy did not ruin my sister-in-law's house while they babysat. But my brother-in-law is NEVER allowed to get a puppy.

This photo, because for one moment, Boo was a normal little girl enthralled with a Princess.

 There is A LOT more that I am thankful for....but for now this picture says it all.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Last week, I’m traveled with Boo for the first time on an airline. 

I wrote this post before leaving and forgot (in my temporary insanity) to post it! So here it is with an update....

I am freaking out. I KNOW people do this all the time. That people with children, those with special needs and those who are perfect, manage to fly all around the world without incidence.

But they are not Boo’s mom. Allie’s mom, for sure could fly the world. I have flown with Allie and it has been a great, fun experience. I never had any anxiety or worry. This time, with Boo? I am a nervous wreck. I am worried about getting her through security, about making sure the airline will accept her need to sit in front of the wing to decrease the sensory overload. I am worried that she will disrupt other passengers, because I was one of those judgmental people who used to think can’t that mother control her child? (Stress the WAS) I am worried that my worry will be transparent and stress her out.

How do I combat worry? Knowledge and obsessive planning! I got a note (two actually) from her neurologist saying that she had sensory issues and needed to be accommodated on the flight, in the hotel and at theme park. I called the airline, paid extra for early bird seating and told them I had a handicapped child that would need to be allowed pre-boarding (it was worth the extra money). I called the airport to make sure that I could get her stroller and car seat through security. I printed out a label below to pin to her t-shirt in the event she elopes:

Hello my name is Boo. I am unable to tell you my name or my age. If you are reading this my mom is freaking out. Please call her ASAP at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thank you.

I thought I thought of everything. But yesterday (the day before the day before we leave) she woke up sick, with a fever, a croup cough and general malaise. We took her to the doctor who diagnosed an ear infection and possible bronchitis. I asked if it was safe to fly and was assured that we had enough days to get an antibiotic into Boo to make her comfortable.

So a new round of worries! How do I get the medicine (which needs to be kept cold) onto the flight using a carryon? The way Boo’s luck goes they will lose our luggage before we leave the airport! I recalled my friends at the TSA to find out what the protocol would be. I talked with her about Boo's sensory issues and the need for a car seat and carriage in the terminal. The lovely TSA woman (I don’t know why they have a bad reputation) was awesome. I must have sounded frantic, because to rest my mind she even e-mailed me the do’s and don’ts.

And this where my sense of humor came back, regarding taking child carriers onto the plane the TSA recommends that:

“Babies should NEVER be left in an infant carrier while it goes through the x-ray machine.  For information regarding what is permitted or prohibited from being in carry-on luggage, please refer to our prohibited items section on our Web site”

Okay, you just know that if this is a disclaimer on the directions that someone MUST have tried to do it!  With my humor restored, we just might survive the flight.  

UPDATE: Boo (and her mom) survived. She did great, even with the ear infection. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Today was the first anniversary of Boo's IEP. Last year I walked into the meeting having no idea what to expect. This is something else left out of that What to Expect book.....

Last year, when Boo entered the integrated preschool I was not in love with the program. I did not know how to be forceful with Boo's needs. I didn't realize that if it wasn't written on a piece of paper and signed off by 45 different people Boo would not get the level of care she needs.  Within 3 months her teacher realized that Boo needed more, and advocated that Boo continue in the integrated part-time but move to a program dedicated to special needs 1:1 education. Within 3 months of Boo starting that hybrid program she began to talk, interract more and just blossomed.

So, this year, I was more prepared. I read up on how to approach the meeting, what ideas to have at the ready, what concerns I may need to raise. Yes, I obsessed over this meeting.

And I honestly have to say, I was worried for nothing.

I have heard and read about the horror of the IEP meeting. And I am sure that my Polly-anna attitude is due to Boo being in preschool and not the lower elementary grade (or worse, the higher). Our town school system has such a unique program in place to capture children right after Early Intervention.

And it works.

I am lucky to live in a town that understands the quicker you start therapies in the child's life the more likely chance the child will respond. That is willing to give an almost 4YO an aide, whose sole responsiblity is to make sure that 1. Boo doesn't escape and 2. that Boo is engaged in the classroom.

What I didn't understand is why we couldn't just write, "Reviewed and Renewed" on the IEP. Instead of meeting for an hour, having to rewrite the plan and then send off the form for 45 signatures!

Dads are parents too!

I read this blog  They Walk Among Us posting by Robert Rummel-Hudson. It is a quirky little post about the mystical special needs father. They are such mysterious creatures they could have a support group with the Yeti, Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster.

Now I know, Boo is an incredible lucky girl. She has two involved parents. Heck most "normal" children don't have 2 parents who love and support them. Let alone a big sister who tells the babysitter that Boo cannot have peanut butter because it is dairy (well you can see her confusion butter).

Do I make the majority of decisions for Boo? Yes, but her dad is 100% on her side. We split the therapy appointments so we both know what is going on with her. And I am usually the one who stays in the hospital or up with her when she doesn't sleep. I tend to do the majority of MD appointments. But that doesn't mean her dad isn't involved. It just means we have another child who needs a parent too.

He is the one who constantly goes over body parts, comforts her when she is frustrated and will blow bubbles for hours on end. He is more the playmate (to both girls) than I am. But he is never 'babysitting'. He loves to brag about how far Boo has come.

Because I have an understanding boss and Husband has a very nice schedule Boo's care doesn't fall on just one of us. We are both the bread winner and the care giver. This makes it nice because while we get burnt out, we can keep our  rule that only one of us can get crazy at a time.

I'm not bragging because I know I am not alone. Sure I am probably one of the few who's husband isn't lucky enough to be home during the daylight hours. But I know there are more involved dads out there.

I for sure know that they are not a mystical creature!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Things never imagined

When I became a mom I had absolutely no idea I would also become a mystical figure. I have morphed into Santa Claus, an Easter Bunny, a Leprechaun (don't ask), had to dress up for Halloween and become a fairy. Not just any fairy mind you, but the all important Tooth Fairy.

And did you know that every person has their own special fairy? Yup, me neither. I thought they were all named Tooth Fairy. But as I found last night. This, my friends is not true. There is more to this than when we were little. Now there are notes and expectations I never in  my life imagined.

 Not only did I have to think of a name (Annabeth--I am reading the Percy Series), I had to figure out what I like to do (ride Pegasus and Unicorns), did I know a tooth fairy named Celestia (nope, but apparently Annabeth recalled Allie reading a fairy book with a fairy named Zoe). On the back was a lovely picture Allie had drawn.

So Annabeth took the picture and tooth. She left a note of reply and a dollar bill. Allie woke up this morning and proclaimed: This is horrible! My fairy took my presents but didn't leave me anything. And last year I got FIVE DOLLARS!!!

Now, I was sure COMPLETELY sure that Annabeth had taken care of everything late last night when Boo was up screaming. I asked Allie if she was sure, did she check under all of her pillows. Nope. Annabeth is a foolish fairy who didn't realize that she was supposed to put the treasure right where Allie expected it to be. Except, Allie is kind of worried.

You see, last year she got FIVE dollars. And this year the Tooth Fairy Annabeth only left her ONE dollar. Allie said she figured out why:

"Wow, I guess you and Daddy were right. The economy is so bad even the Tooth Fairy had to cut back".

Lessons learned, my friends, lessons learned.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday confesions v7

I confess to being one of those undecided voters. Even with less than 24 hours before I vote, I am concerned that I do not fully endorse or heck even like either Presidential candidate. The local level, I am sure of whom I approve. But on the Grand Stage? I am concerned on many levels. 

Three simple questions I have about tomorrow's election:

  1. Do either of the candidates realize that the people of NY and NJ, who have so much going on with their lives right now, understand that their votes must count too?
  2. Do the candidates realize that if they spent as much money on the national debt as they have spent on advertising, calling my house 45 times in one day, traveling (planes, trains and automobiles) and support our Country would be completely debt free and the recession would be over? And we might be able to cure homelessness, healthcare and feed the poor?
  3. Do the politicians realize that they are supposed to work for us, those who elect them and not the lobbyists that paid for all that encompasses #3?

If either candidate could answer one of those questions, I would promise them my vote!

One question I do not have, is that our votes must count. Otherwise we cannot complain about the State of Our Union. So tomorrow, November 6th please vote. Even if our votes may cancel one another out it is still important for our voices to be heard.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Never, ever, ever drink Diet Coke after a Shot of Prednisone

My husband was so thoughtful and gave me Poison Ivy. For no reason, it wasn’t like it was my birthday, our anniversary or anything special. Just because he loves me so much.

Yes, I am planning my revenge now.

In my 40+ years I have never been allergic to poison ivy. Oh, I’ve been exposed. My husband is highly allergic and gets it at minimum once a year (one time the day before we were leaving for Vegas for our first away from Allie trip). But I have always been immune.

Until last week, anyway. It hasn’t been too bad except it started to spread. So I went to the doctor who I haven’t been to in years. (You know how it is, I go so much with Boo I figure I am covered) He gave me a shot of Prednisone and a prescription for the next 9 days.

HOLY CRAP! I feel like I am on some type of speed. I mean really, is this why people do drugs? I think in the past 24 hours I have eaten my weight in Halloween candy (heck yes I raided the girl’s stash). But the strangest thing? I feel like I am on speed. Oh, I already told you that. SEE!!

If this is what having ADHD is like, children (and their parents/teachers/anyone they come into contact with) have my complete and utter empathy. They already had my sympathy and definitely more patience than I ever could imagine. Before the Prednisone. After the Prednisone? I am wondering exactly how they manage not to be in the principals office for bouncing off the walls during class.

Today, I made the mistake of having a Diet Coke. At work, while having to concentrate on very sensitive documents. It was not a good idea. I could hardly focus and when I answered the phone, my coworker told me that I was talking too fast for her to understand.

Last night was the first night Boo has slept thru the night since we went to visit my mom a couple of weeks ago. I almost woke her up because it was 2am and I needed someone to play with. And hey, a little revenge for the sleepless nights she causes me! But I didn’t. I figure she is in enough therapy as it is, and I shouldn’t set her up for a therapist couch where she would say,

“Doc it isn’t my fault I cannot sleep at night. When I was 3YO my mom woke me up at 2am to play with me because she couldn’t sleep and had all this energy”

I tried cleaning the bathroom, but that woke Allie up who asked me:

          “What the heck are you doing? It is 2am!”

Yep, I see a therapist couch in her future too.

Finally around 4am I started to doze. And Boo woke up screaming! Isn't that always the way? Only 8 more days to go! It should get better, right?  Either that or I should be an ace with Words with Friends. I asked my husband, the Prednisone Poison Ivy king, how he dealt with the extra energy/ jitters. Turns out he has never taken the prescription as prescribed. Yes he felt a little jitter but not the hey lets clean the bathroom type of energy. Of course he never has that kind of energy. 

He thought since I had so much energy we should....I told him he gave me poison ivy and THAT'S ALL HE IS GIVING ME!!!

Oh yes, my friends....I am planning my revenge now. Please feel free to let me know your ideas on appropriate punishment :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Boo trick-or-treated!

For the first time in her almost 4-years, Boo went trick-or treating. She almost didn't make it----

kicking in screaming in her costume!

But as usual, Allie-Kat prevailed and smiles were quickly photographed!
Boo actually went to two houses with her pail. There is no photographic evidence because I could not figure out how to get the flash to work on Allie's IPOD and forgot my own camera.
But a good time was had by all. I hope you and yours enjoyed Halloween!