Monday, February 28, 2011

Helping him along

I had to use the suppository. :( Nikko hadn't had a proper BM in 3.5 days. I saw him straining behind a chair. When Nikko saw me bring over the big jar of Vaseline he immediately started to whimper and cry. Poor boy. But I only used half a tablet and I was quick. It was Nikko who seemed to take FOREVER to push something out. I think he didn't push a darn thing out for over half an hour. And when he did, three times, I wasn't crazy with the results. He didn't have one massive, expelling BM. Instead, it was three medium ones with mixtures of soft and liquid poop, each not at a great volume. So now that I've reset the poop clock, I'll have to watch and see how long it takes Nikko to get backed up again. Is that lactulose even helping?? Saturday was the suppository. Today he had somewhat of a "regular" BM but man it stunk up to high heaven. It (and the small BM after it) was/were FOUL. I'll give it another two days of charting before calling the gastro for plan B.

In other news today, Audrey was a complete and irritable brat from the moment she woke up. Ronin wasn't that cheery either. That leaves Nikko with the sunniest disposition of the three. He didn't give me any problems today. I'll count my blessings on that one!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Emerging No's

2/23/11 - When handing off Nikki to Lisa this morning [at speech], he took her hand easily. When I got down to his level, he said, "bye mommy!" Lisa and I both praised him for that.

2/25/11 School Report - Speech: Naming things in building, kids names, request by color: red car, etc.

Nikko had speech this morning with Karen. While we waited in the lobby, a little boy named Alex (with his grandmother?) had a bag full of toy cars and shared them unselfishly with Ronin and Audrey. They all played nicely with each other, lining them up in the middle of the room, even cleaning them up and understanding that (with reminders from me) they would not be able to take home Alex's cars. What was great about this was later at night, at the in-law's, I was able to remind Ronin about what a good sharer Alex was, and that Ronin could be like Alex and share his toys with Rex. He did.

As for Nikko's session, it was a good one. He put together a puzzle and was able to easily identify the objects on each puzzle piece. Karen did some verbal prompting but tried to encourage Nikko to use his words for things. Last week, I could hear him crying and protesting up a storm because he didn't want to play with a sleigh and she tried to get him to say No Sleigh! This week I could hear him cry again, but not for nearly as long a period as before, and Karen said she was able to get a No Sleigh out of him much quicker. Progress!

The kids had school and then we went to the in-law's for dinner. Nikko has been carrying around a plastic chocolate ice cream cone, burp cloth and two fish (blue and orange) for a few days now. He brought them tonight and ended up getting into skirmishes with Rex because Rex wanted the fish too. I saw a few instances where Rex was chasing down Nikko for a fish, and vice versa. Unfortunately, I had to intervene on several occasions because Rex needed to know that Nikko would be unrelenting in pursuing his fish back. Rex would lose every time. I tried to redirect Rex from Nikko once, but in the end I broke up one bad tugging skirmish at the top of the stairs and then there were no more fish fights.

Note to add: Today was day three of Nikko not pooping. I called the gastro's office and they told me to increase his dosage to two teaspoons of Lactulose twice a day. It was at one and a half. I asked them if I should unplug him now, even though he is not straining, or wait until he is straining to unplug him [with a suppository]. They told me to wait until he is straining because if I unplug him and he is not straining, then the suppository will only get the stuff out right near the bottom while he might have more poop higher up in the intestines. Gee, fun stuff. So I'm hoping that tomorrow, with the increased dosage, Nikko will strain hard enough to actually pass his bowel movement and I won't have to resort to the suppository. I have not caught him straining per se, but tomorrow since he'll be home all day I'll have the chance to keep an eagle eye on him. I have seen him leaning over a bookcase, but if I see it tomorrow with no result then I will help him push things along.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Good day for Nikko

2/22/11 - School Report - OT: Doing lots of altering and body awareness activities. Worked on person drawing at wipe off board. At table - worked with mini chalkboard, printing letters in first name - still very challenging.
Speech: I went with Nikko for vision screening with NSSEO vision therapist. He was sad to leave the room. Cried, said "Oh no." Sat nicely & did a good job! Named Ernie puppet. Did close & distance naming square, house-shape and circle! At one point said "ready to go?"

Either Nikko can recognize the letters of his name OR he knows how to spell it by rote. On a piece of paper today I was writing out his name, pointing to each letter. N-I-K-K, what comes next? He said, "Oh!" I'll try it again tomorrow. The concept of letter is becoming very important for me to show to Nikko as of late.

He had a great session with Kathy today. She told me it was his best one ever. He was very focused, too. No complaints = a good session! I think Kathy is his favorite of the three right now, since he's always chanting, "Kappy coming to play."

I had more interaction with Nikko today. He sat by me a lot, gave me lots of eye contact and keeps asking me/baiting me to play tickle games with him. He'd purposefully say, "LOLL-EE-POP!" and then he knows I will say, "No more lollipop, only....tickles!"

As for his bowel movements, I'm tracking them on a daily chart so I can see if a pattern emerges. I called the gastro for our week follow-up and agreed that we should give the lactulose a little longer, to see if a pattern emerges. What I am watching for is more consistency in the hardness of his poo. It's been slightly firmer, peanut buttery as I mentioned yesterday. This morning he had a BM that had some solid pieces, but also watery stuff. No other poopy diapers during the day. That's not great. I wonder if tomorrow will herald more poop, and hopefully it will happen before we go to speech therapy. I wonder if one big blow-out poopy diaper a day is what we're going to get. Hopefully nothing's getting impacted again, but I really need a few more days to see what happens. I think 1-2 poops are considered "normal."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Constipation alert / Birthday Party

********TMI ALERT************
I thought we were in the clear without the miralax. It's been five days off of it and Nikko's poops were becoming the consistency of peanut butter again. The poopy diapers had whittled down to 3-4 a day.

Until today.

Nikko had two diapers that had poop smears, the first one being barely any, the second one at the end of the day being peanut buttery but not a big amount. He had mostly wet diapers today. That's not a good sign right now. It could mean he is compacting the poop and could get backed up. He's still on 2 teaspoons Lactulose a day, so I'm hoping that will help push the BMs along, like the one that produced the last poop diaper tonight. But Nikko also seemed to have gas, and possibly some cramping today. I saw it. I'll describe it in a minute, but the fact that these side effects are happening isn't sitting well with me.

OK, back to our regularly scheduled program.

I took Nikko to a birthday party for his classmate Timmy. It was at the YMCA and it was really busy. The party took place in a gym upstairs with two party rooms, a rock wall (we didn't use that) and a huge tunnel/climbing/slide apparatus. Nikko loved it, even though he initially got stuck and wailed for me so I had to help fish him out. After that, he was all over it. When we first arrived, I noticed that the parents just dropped off their kids and left. The hosts were friendly and the dad told me if I wanted to leave I could certainly come back later. I then explained that Nikko had autism and because he had speech challenges it would probably be better for him if I stayed. The dad was cool with it, and was very friendly to everyone. He even treated Nikko just like one of the boys. I was able to talk to Tommy's mom at length, because she stayed for a bit. When it was time to have pizza, Nikko was pretty hungry and seemed to fit silently at the table. The other boys around him were very chatty At one point I thought I smelled Nikko pass some gas so I tried to subtly check him. He was dry. Then he moved from sitting to hovering over the side of his chair, bent over. I think that he might have had a cramp at this point because he uttered a moan and then his eyes filled with tears. At that same moment, Timmy's dad had walked by and noticed but remarked jokingly about something. Nikko looked like he had a bout of pain, but then the moment passed and he sat down to finish eating. They distributed cupcakes and Nikko ate the chocolate frosting on his. Nikko was eager to get back to the climbing apparatus so I let him. He had shed his socks and then later shed the band-aid that was protecting his heel. All in all, Nikko had a fun time in a gross motor kind of way. However, he didn't interact with any kids. They swarmed around him, some said Hi to him, but Nikko was obviously on his own. It made me sad to see him oblivious to all the kids. He was like the loner kid at a party, or at the playground, or really... anywhere.

I hoped that Nikko's activity would make him tired, but he didn't nap. He went to bed and then around 1a he had a nosebleed. I heard him cough and something about the cough made me go check on him. Sure enough, there was blood dripping from his nose. I wonder what is causing it besides the dry humidity and temperature changes around here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lactulose, 2 days

2/16/11 - School report - OT: Good session. Did lots of alerting, movement and deep pressure inputs. then worked on name printing at wipe off board, cutting and drawing at table. Less vocalizations today.
Speech: It's a______, household items, verbs, requesting, verbs.

Wednesdays are our long days. It was also my birthday on the 16th. I had a packed schedule: Speech, home for kids' lunch, then off to mom's house w/Audrey for real lunch, then home before the boys, then ABA w/Rebecca, and finally dinner with everyone. It ended up being a calm day, but a little harried when getting to Speech. Because we arrived just on time, the parking lot was full and we had to trek a ways down the business complex parking lot. Nikko had a good session with Lisa, but was upset when he came back into the lobby and we weren't there. We were in the bathroom changing Audrey's diaper. I heard crying from behind the door and let them in. I guess a change in the routine really upset Nikko, go figure. He was able to sing happy birthday in unison with his siblings at some point during the day. I don't think he napped at all, so he must have been tired by day's end. Rebecca said his session was good, but he's still testing her.

2/17/11 School Report - Bathroom: Nikko had loud and foul smelling gas today. He had a small amount of soft poop. He cried and bent over while on the toilet. It seems like his stomach was very crampy.
Speech: I took him after the bathroom - so was not happy. Crying, screaming. He finally calmed down by singing. Good job with food vocab. 1-step directions.


That was, unfortunately, disturbing to read. I wonder if it was the Lactulose. It's totally possible, and since we have a four-day weekend (School Improvement Day on Friday, no school Mondays) I'll be observing Nikko closely. I remember how he passed gas two days ago and it was horribly stinky, the worst I had ever smelled, and it lingered. The part that makes me worry is the crying due to possible cramping. Definitely listed side effects of the Lactulose.


At lunchtime Nikko decided to eat the Tortorice's pizza from last night. I have to scape off the top layer of cheese, onion and ground beef, and he'll eat it with just the sauce. Maddening, because that pizza is my favorite and not cheap. After I cut him off, after three adult-sized pieces, I had some for myself WITH the toppings. Nikko accosted me at the kitchen table and obviously wanted more. I cut him a small, bite-sized piece and gave it to him. I noted that I gave him a piece with the cheese on top. Nikko really hasn't had a large amount of dairy in a long time, since we started miralaxing his juice last summer. So a small part of me wonders if his reaction today was to the cheese. Well, maybe it's unfounded since he has cheese sandwiches often. Maybe he ate too much pizza. Maybe I'm just hoping it's not the Lactulose. Geez.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sick (me)

I felt the beginnings of a sore throat last night. I went to bed with a headache, too. For the first time in ages, none of the kids woke up in the middle of the night. However, I proceeded to wake up at each hour of the night because my throat hurt so badly. I think the opening in the back is swollen and when I lie on my back in bed, the tissues get blocked. I had to lie on my side, but I kept waking up and that irritated me so much. I have a temperature and the chills, and I slept so poorly. My parents were going to come watch the kids while I took Nikko to the gastro this afternoon, but Denis kindly decided to work from home today. It was Valentine's Day. He took the kids downstairs to play after breakfast so that I could catch some zzzzz's in the living room upstairs. And when I took Nikko to the gastro, he stayed with the other two. It was a relief for me that he was around, and I am grateful. :)

We arrived on time for our appointment but the gastro was running at least a half hour late. When she finally came in to review our records, she noted that with me changing Nikko's diapers 8-10 times a day (literally from 9-10a until 7p, sometimes twice an hour), she said that it looks like the miralax isn't working for him and that he's not at the state she'd like him to be. That state, when I asked, is having 1-2 bowel movements a day, with sizable poops, not necessarily formed but liquid is ok, too. On the miralax, he was going too frequently and subsequently that's why she said it's not working for him. (Note to add: when using lesser doses of miralax, e.g. 1/2 or 1/4 capfuls, he would become constipated over the course of a few days and then I'd see him struggling to pass a bowel movement. That's when I'd have to use a suppository.) The doctor gave me two choices: mineral oil or lactulose (generlac). The mineral oil was syrupy and she asked if he'd drink something like that, maybe with chocolate syrup or with yogurt. I said no, because his tastes shift so often. She opted for the lactulose, at about 2 teaspoons a day to start. She said we need to start somewhere, to form a baseline, so at the end of the week I should call her office to see how it's working and then we can tweak the dosage for the rest of the month. Nikko ate many lollipops in the office and got whiny when the nurse took us to get his weight and height measurements. He also whined when the doc put the stethoscope to his chest and poked at his tummy. Overall, however, Nikko was a champ.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


2/11/11 - School Report - Speech: Worked on household vocab. Very imitative today. Said "I don't know" on his own 2x. Requested "Twinkle" again. We were looking in the mirror and I was trying to get him to say Nikko & Ms. Winters. He imitate Nikko. I said Ms... he said "Kathy!" Too funny. Worked on boy parts, greetings, I see a____. For love item he said "Bow Wow" when I asked the name!

I got a call from Nikko's teacher giving me a heads up that before Nikko got on the bus going home, he had a big blowout in his diaper. They pulled him from the line to quickly change him, and he got upset. This was probably because he didn't understand why he wasn't being put on the bus right away. They were just warning me in case Nikko was still mad when he got home. The bus arrived (it's been arriving ten minutes later than usual because the original bus was in for repairs and this older bus doesn't have five-point harnesses. Instead the straps are over the shoulders and takes more time to buckle in) and Nikko was fine. His eyes portrayed that there were some possible tears but overall he was happy. Nikko has been treading carefully on the pavement lately, avoiding the icy patches and opting to hop from one dry cement patch to another. Safe boy.

This evening I was picked up by Patrick and Jovy and went to see Rory's school play where she had a lead part and a solo. I had prepped Audrey and Ronin about going to the in-law's house to celebrate a birthday and play with their cousins, and luckily they both adapted to my mentioning not being with them tonight. However, Nikko seemed to only hear key words such as "Going. Later. Nice night. Have fun." That all meant the same thing: MOMMY IS LEAVING ME. He was not a happy camper and erupted into tears, trying to put on his socks faster than I could put on my boots. I still walked out the door but knew they would all be all right. When we returned three hours later, we pulled into the driveway right behind the returning Pilot. Everyone was happy to see that I was there, and I aptly put the kids down to bed.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tiring day?

2/11/11 - School Report: Speech - Greetings in office. He requested Row Row Boat on his own. After I said "What do you want to sing" he said "Twinkle." Used books for verbs & vocab.

Sarah came for ABA this morning. She told me that he sat at the table the entire session (excluding breaks) after initially refusing to go. A bit unfocused but she was mostly relieved that Nikko stayed at the table to work. The rest of the day was largely uneventful, with the boys going to school and me taking Audrey to the dermatologist, then Jewel, then Costco. Nikko started swim lessons again tonight at the Wheeling Park District through the NWSRA. He could have been tired after swim class because he wasn't very animated when he came home. It was, after all, a very long day.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A better Rebecca day / Ronin's 2nd meltdown

2/9/11 School Report - OT: Sensory motor activities - trampoline, knee walking, scooterboard. Then worked on name printing at large wipe off board. At table - worked on v-day card.

This morning we bundled up and went to speech with Lisa. Nikko really enjoys going there. I mused it over with Denis last night and perhaps he benefits more from the change of scenery. It's really colorful and fun at APT. This makes me wonder if our ABA sessions are at a disadvantage because they take place in the home, because they are always in the basement, and because the setting is so familiar it is not as engaging. Possibly. The thought gives me some pause. His session went well. Lisa says that Nikko can say my name (Mommy, or Boppy) during questions. She'll say, "Who are we going to see?" And he'll say, "Mommy!" Lisa is using leading questions without saying the word that she wants him to say, so it's like he is answering direct questions.

I didn't have enough time to cook Ronin's crispy fish sticks before the kids had to run off to school so I stopped by McDonald's. The kids' Happy Meals were the 4 piece nuggets, fries and apple juice boxes. The toys were perfect this time around: Monster trucks for the boys, and My Little Pony for Audrey. Nikko liked his red truck and took it to school. The afternoon flew by, and Rebecca was here right as Nikko's bus pulled up to the house. He had a quick snack and diaper change before heading downstairs. Rebecca noted that Nikko saw her as he got off the bus and he didn't look thrilled. I wanted to counter that with something positive, but when we all stepped into the house Nikko hesitated in the doorway, looked at Rebecca, and then verbally protested for a minute with a whine. Thankfully he kept moving forward and he was able to go downstairs without incident.

The session seemed to go well. I didn't hear any meltdowns or protests. Rebecca came up to tell me that he did a much better job than last time, that he sat at the table the whole time and did his drills. The focus was better today. And when it was time for her to leave, I said to Nikko, "Nikko, what do we say....?" He looked over his shoulder at Rebecca and said, "Bye, Rebecca." That was really cool because I didn't prompt him verbally by saying, "Nikko, say Bye Rebecca." Instead, he said it on his own, in context. These little glimmers of verbal interaction are also present during both Lisa and Karen's sessions. I wonder if he interacts verbally at school as well or if he gets prompted. I wonder if he speaks during class at all.

This evening, right before bath time, Ronin had another meltdown similar to the one he had two weeks ago. In fact, after the first meltdown it prompted me to dig into a book I bought as a recommendation from the school parenting group called Raising Your Spirited Child. Yes, I got another volume about raising such a spirit, but this was a pretty thick book and the advice I've read thus far is helpful in that it puts things into perspective easily. Sure, Ronin may have sensitivities, but the book gives some tips on how to help deal with these meltdowns in a positive way. Of course, yelling and/or hitting/spanking is not advised. Duh.

Ronin was a bit hyperactive before bath time, running around a lot as usual. He let me brush his teeth. But when it was time to take off his clothes and either use the potty or get into the tub, Ronin suddenly became very defiant. I switched with Denis so that I was brushing Nikko's teeth while he dealt with Ronin's bath. And even though Denis has been the one giving Ronin the bath (his bonding time with the boys), Ronin has been demanding that *I* give him his bath. Ronin didn't like Denis telling him to get in the tub. Ronin didn't want to take off his clothes, didn't want to be picked up, and didn't want to have a bath in general. This wasn't going to be acceptable to either Denis or me so he put a squirming, wriggling, screaming Ronin into the tub. We switched again after a time and Ronin wanted OUT, he wanted the soap and water OFF him, he didn't want a bath at all. I was firm and tried to give him options, but I think Ronin felt like he was out of control. Even after scooping him up and bringing him to Nikko's bedroom where the PJ's were at, Ronin wasn't calm at all. It was really hard for me to see him screaming at fever pitch, but I remained calm and held him - cradled him - while he hiccuped and wailed. I told him I was there and was going to help him calm down, just like the book said. Ronin threw up in his towel but I kept him clean. When it got to the point where I kept trying to dress him and he refused his PJs but wanted his other clothes, I told him that he didn't have to wear ANY clothes, and I got up to leave. Immediately he pleaded for me to dress him up in the PJs and then I could feel the tension start to leave as he settled down. After dressing, I gave his thin little body some big hugs and he asked me to carry him into the living room, which I did. Within a minute he was back to his former self. Poor little man. Post-tantrum, I tried to pinpoint what the triggers were but can conclude that it seems to have been based on a lack of control on Ronin's part. Meaning, he could possibly be falling apart when he does not have a say in what is going to happen next. He likes to be first, likes to be in control of what he is doing. Man, it's not going to get any easier for him, but I AM going to help him through this better than the first time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gas tanks and Kappy

2/8/11 School Report - Speech: Playing cars - putting gas in car, vocab.

Whenever I go to the gas pump, I don't take the kids out of the car so they have never seen me put gas in the tank. I would like to do this when the weather is better and someone else is with me so Nikko doesn't wander or fiddle with stuff he's not supposed to. I thought about taking him out of the car recently when we went to Costco, but I feared that another car would pull up behind us and Nikko wouldn't see it.

Kathy cancelled ABA with Nikko today because she was sick. I wonder if he knew that today she was supposed to come, because at bath time, while he sat on the toilet, he suddenly said, "Kappy's coming to play." He repeated it a few times and I corrected him, saying she was sick and that Rebecca was coming to play with him tomorrow. I don't think he was as thrilled to hear that.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Asking, improving

Nikko has been asking for very specific things lately.

"Cheese sandwich?"
"Shrimp chips?"
"Apple juice?"
"Bouncy house?"

I have to prompt him to say I WANT, but all these things are asked independently. I tend to get "Fish sticks" and "Biscuits" mixed up. Because Bouncy House was the only non-food item he requested, I had to unfurl it downstairs and turn on the mini generator to get it going. The kids jumped in it yesterday and today he wanted a repeat. I'm afraid he's going to request it from Kathy tomorrow, and she'll have to refuse him the use of it, unfortunately. It's just too big to keep filling up and de-airing it frequently. I was feeling lazy today and really didn't have any motivation to put it up. I even refused him at first and he was very upset about it. But I relented since he asked me for it. After snack time I had a burst of motivation to plug away at purging things in Nikko's room. I'm hoping to set it up as a reading area and make more room for storage. The purge is coming along, but I really have to be in the mood for it.

Nikko was engrossed with the GeoTrax train set for most of the day. I think he saw Ronin depicting a scene in one of the GeoTrax episodes where a train becomes derailed, because by mid-afternoon I saw Nikko taking his yellow engine and hang it off the side of the tracks while the train cars remained grounded. While the kids played with the trains, I put on a new cartoon called Bubble Guppies on. There was a scene where a duck was being chased by a pig and Nikko seemed to be watching and laughing at the overdrawn misfortune of the duck. It humored me that Nikko was understanding what he saw on TV. The other kids seem to like this new underwater adventure so I'll keep it on the DVR for a while.

This evening I went to a PEPS meeting at Fairview. It was in regards to IEPs, and while the information wasn't as relevant to me as I thought it might be (re: Response to Intervention process [RTI] and talks about both obtaining services w/ or w/o an IEP, as well as having the right to obtaining data on your child's performance in school because it should all be quantifiable), I eavesdropped on a conversation one mom was having with a psychologist regarding food allergy protocols at Westbrook. After their conversation I chit-chatted with the mom about IEPs vs. 504s and was surprised that Ronin might need an IEP for his food allergies. That's confusing, but I think a conversation with the school nurse might help clear things up. It was nice to talk to this mom because even though her son was in kindergarten, we had enough in common (we both LOVE the McCarthy/Winters collaboration) to have a conversation, whereas I have seen the other moms at these meetings and their kids are older, thus we really don't have anything to talk about. I will be in their shoes in the future, but right now I find it hard to connect in real life with others that are in the same boat as myself. Nikko's classmate's mom (Faith) wasn't at the meeting tonight. Nikko was invited to a birthday party in two weeks so perhaps I'll have a better opportunity to meet some moms then. Maybe.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Costco trip

I looked at four new inches of snow on the ground and wondered when the shovelling would begin. Tomorrow the temps are supposed to venture into low single digits, turning this powdery snow into ice, so at some point today we would have to go outside. I've just been feeling low on energy lately and my moments of motivation seem to hit around 4-5pm. Something must be off with my circadian rhythms.

It wasn't until 4:30p that we decided to go out. Denis stayed with Ronin & Audrey, destined to shovel and climb snow hills, while I planned to take Nikko with me to Costco. I thought about leaving him at home while I made a quick trip and I know he likes trampling in the snow, but I wanted him to be "social" by being exposed to different places and different places. I had to gas up the tank first (I was driving the Civic) and Nikko got somewhat nervous sitting in the back seat and not able to see me while I stood at the pump. I sat in the driver's seat and joined Nikko while he sang London Bridge is Falling Down. Then we parked and went into Costco. Nikko was happy with a lollipop, dragging his feet behind the cart and sometimes hopping onto the bar in front of me to hitch a free ride. We had to pass by the DVD section and Nikko quickly ran to grab a colorful DVD. The title was a Chihuahua movie so I said uh, NO and I put it back. He had another opportunity to grab something and this time it was a Leap Frog DVD titled Numbers Ahoy for $6.99. That was acceptable to me and he clung to that DVD case like it was an arm. We'll likely watch it tomorrow since this evening was dedicated to the Superbowl, the commercials and Glee. Nikko was not a bother to bring to the store at all, and luckily we were able to pass by the food court without any resistance.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A good day

2/4/11 - School report: Speech - Lots of sing-song today so tried to channel that into singing. Old MacDonald - he thought of 2 animals. He sang Jingle Bells and did Row Row Boat, What ? with pictures, greetings.
Bathroom - Nikko had smeared poop in his pull-up so we put lots of vaseline on his bottom.

We ventured out of the house today to speech. Nikko was in good spirits and easily took Karen's hand to get to work. After his session Karen said that he did well. He knows the routine with her and when he puts something away in a box, she will hold the lid closed and say nothing until he asks her to "Open" or she'll prompt him with "What does Nikko want?" He answers her directly. I noted that most of the time I get the whines. He never whines with her. If that's a comfort thing, then I am jealous!! I like to think that our expectations (mine and Karen's) are not that different.

Rebecca and Jenna came over for Nikko's ABA session after school. He was in good spirits, even though the bus came at 4:40p instead of at least 4:30p. Nikko still had time to snarf down some cheese puffs and get a diaper change while I let the other two set up downstairs. His session, according to Rebecca, was so-so. She said he didn't complete his drills, and she didn't record the data because it was behavioral. I think Jenna could tell I wasn't thrilled that Rebecca didn't record any data because Jenna mentioned to Rebecca that she should still record an "i" for inconsistent, because if Maria read the reports then it would look like Nikko didn't know how to do the drills, when in fact he DOES know the drills but his performance was based on behavior that day. I think the next meeting with the school/ABA team will probably be in late March or early April. Hopefully it's before the IEP meeting.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow Day

After lunch we suited up the crew and braved the fallout from Snowmaggedon. Roughly 20 inches over 22 hours with 5ft. snow banks in some places. The tallest snow bank against the kids was roughly 3ft. The kids' reactions to the massive amounts of snow varied. Nikko immediately started hiking up the drifts and meandered independently. He was content to march in the snow. Ronin tried to tackle the tall snow drifts, tried to push his shovel around, but gave up to make snow angels around the corner of the house. Audrey whined a lot. A LOT. She wasn't thrilled to be outside in snow drifts that came up to her waist. Luckily, our neighbors Brianna and Alex, joined by two other girls, were out to play and ushered our kids into their backyard for a spell. Even Nikko joined them, and when I went to check on the kids I saw Nikko marching in the snow away from the swingset where the kids had congregated. Their dad offered his more powerful snowblower for us to use, and Denis gladly accepted. I didn't mind the physical workout of snow shovelling, but if we didn't take up the offer then I think we would have been outside for five hours instead of two.

We came inside for snack and to thaw. Nikko had fallen asleep for a short moment but I had to wake him up to change his diaper. Ronin fell asleep next to me, too. Audrey was the only kid who didn't succumb to being tired, but unfortunately her sleep tonight seems fitful instead of restful. In hindsight I marvelled that Nikko was very interested in being outside and walking around in the snow. He didn't go in right away, and when I was taking off his snowsuit I was alarmed to find a ball of snow the size of an egg down the front of his boot. The bottoms of his inner pant legs were soaked. I wonder if this had made Nikko uncomfortable the whole time he was outside or if he had a high pain tolerance and didn't notice the snow in his boots. My guess is that he was uncomfortable but not enough to stop playing. After all, toward the end of the outing he and Ronin were climbing up a 5ft mountain and sliding down. Ronin went face first, like Superman, whereas Nikko opted to spin and tumble down the back side. No one had the dexterity to make snowballs and throw them, except for mean attempts by Audrey.

Tomorrow school has been cancelled for a second snow day. That means we'll be homebound. Sarah will come to work with Nikko at 2pm instead of 8:30a, which is fine by me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


2/1/11 - This morning Nikko was eating a cheese sandwich (croissant cut in half and smeared with cheese sauce) when he dripped some cheese onto the placemat. He sat looking at it for a minute then got up and gravitated to my side by the computer. When I looked up and saw the spill I got a napkin and announced, "Oops, what a mess, Nikko!" He wasn't looking at me but said, "Sorry!" I replied, "That's ok, Nikko, let's clean it up!" I wiped it quickly and replaced his napkin. Then it was business as usual. What tickled me about the conversation was that there WAS a conversation and that Nikko spontaneously said SORRY. Very much in context!

School report - Speech: Association puzzles, likes matching them. Labeled, greetings.

This afternoon, after the boys got on the bus, I took Audrey with me to Costco and to WalMart for last-minute provisions and before the blizzard hit. Snowmaggeddon is one of the colloquialisms that this ice/snow storm that's rocking the northern mideast and west is being called. If the temperatures aren't that bad tomorrow, maybe we'll suit up the kids to go in the snow, because school was cancelled for Wednesday. I also cancelled Nikko's speech tomorrow with Lisa, but I think it was a good call because there will be up to two feet of snow on the ground and driving conditions are going to be bad.

Nikko's diaper rash is getting better. He wasn't in as much pain as he was the last two days. We're slated to see Dr. Nelson again on the 14th and I wonder what she will be recommending this time. I pray she won't tell us to do another two enemas. I also wonder if I should try tweaking the miralax dosages before the appointment. His poop has been liquidy at times, and splattery the other times. Very little has been solidly formed for two months. I sure hope it's time for the fiber build-up! I'm not seeing any dark behaviors that I saw in October and November. This is good for school and for therapies. On Friday, Jenna will come over to observe Rebecca so I am hoping that meeting will bring Rebecca more confidence in her relationship with Nikko. Unfortunately, I won't be around at the end of the session because I hope to go to see a school play in which Rory is performing. I will probably take Ronin with me, too. I think he will appreciate seeing something unique. This means that Nikko won't see me after the session; Denis will be here to take care of Nikko and Audrey. I'll have to catch up with Jenna another time, maybe through email.