Posts tagged health
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t written over the summer, but now that Nathan’s back in school and things are winding down, I figured I’d give an update on what all has been happening the last number of weeks.
Nathan has graduated preschool with flying colors. And oh! He taught himself how to read overnight. Literally. He went camping with Paul’s family, and when he left, he didn’t know how to read. When he came back, he had a surprise for us; he read the entire book “Are You My Mother” from beginning to end! He got stuck on a couple of words but otherwise glided right through it. I couldn’t believe it! I am one proud mama.
So now summer is over and my baby is officially a kindergartener! I’ll be honest- I was afraid summer break was going to be really rough considering how difficult transitions are for him. But it was really great. Don’t get me wrong, he definitely had his “off” days, but it was such a joy to have both of my sons home with me.
I’ve also started a chore chart with Nathan. It’s an app on my phone called Chore Monster. Basically, I come up with a few chores and assign them a certain number of points. Once he accumulates points, he can pick out rewards such as ice cream, X-Box time, something out of the prize box, etc. He loves it, and it’s teaching him concepts such as saving up his points for the bigger rewards.
And he also lost his other bottom tooth! And both of his top teeth!
John is growing up so fast. He’s finally, FINALLY now eating table foods. We had the hardest time getting him to eat any of it because he would gag and puke any time we put anything with texture in his mouth. He’s finally gobbling up Cheerio’s, Saltines, all kinds if fruits including bananas, grapes, strawberries, and cantaloupe and now eats the same things we eat for dinner. Spaghetti is his favorite meal EVER.
I’m glad the pureed baby food days are behind us. That stuff was expensive, and he ate about 13-15 jars of it a day. (Yes, he totally eats like a man.) AND, he’s just super cute sitting in his high chair, eating the same things we eat. Especially spaghetti. Oh yes, watching him eat spaghetti is priceless.
He’s great at games where you put shapes in the right sized slots, and he loves books and to be read to. He’s still not saying any words other than Mom and uh oh, which he says about everything, but he is finally pointing at things. He was waving, but he’s stopped. He was also saying other words such as dada, ball, bye bye, and hi, but he’s stopped that as well. I don’t know if it’s considered regression or if he’s just stubborn. We’re really hoping this isn’t a marker for autism. Since Nathan is on the spectrum, John is considered “high risk” and has a 1 in 4 chance of being on the spectrum himself. I’ve brought up my concerns to the pediatrician, and he said it’s hard to tell since he’s so young and that the issues I’ve brought up wouldn’t normally concern him, but since John’s big brother is Autistic, that is what makes these behaviors concerning. And the higher functioning on the spectrum he could be, the harder it is to diagnose when they’re younger. I’m not particularly worried about it, though. It is what it is. And if John ends up being anything like his big brother, then we’re going to have two brilliant boys on our hands. Plus, if that’s the case, we’ll already know how to deal with it since we already have one child on the spectrum.
John has also started walking, and it’s the second cutest thing ever! (The first being watching him eat spaghetti.) He high-steps with every step and is very proud of himself. I love the sound of his little feet slapping on the hardwood as he toddles all over the place. Oh how I love this stage.
In other news, Nathan made himself a new friend! A very dear friend of mine, M, who has been my close friend for about 15 years, has an 8 year old son, E, with high-functioning Autism and a 6 year old son, A, who is neurotypical (that’s the “politically correct” way of saying non-Autistic. Well E had a birthday party a while back, and we were invited. It went wonderfully! See, whenever I try to have playdates with Nathan, kids without Autism just don’t get him. They don’t understand him and are not on the same page as him. Nathan ends up getting upset and worked up and meltdowns typically ensue. But sweet E was different. They got each other immediately. It was so heart warming to see. And since A’s older brother is on the spectrum, even though A is not, he totally understood Nathan as well. There was lots of spinning in circles, happy hand flapping, and in depth conversations about Star Wars, and everyone had a grand time. They spent most of their time in E’s room, lost in their own little worlds as they played Lego’s together. And then when it was time to leave, I warned my friend M that there might be a meltdown… she and her husband laughed and said that in fact, there might be two meltdowns and E is prone to them as well. When it was time to go, Nathan was on the verge of losing control but I was able to talk him down by assuring him he would see E again soon.
As for kindergarten, Nathan is rocking it!! Academically, he already knows everything they’re teaching. They’re teaching how to count to 20- he can count to 100 forwards and backwards. They’re learning the ABC’s- he knows them all and can already read. He already knows all the shapes and colors and numbers. He already knows simple math. So the downside of this is he gets bored. He ends up finishing his work and walking around the class doing the other kids’ work too. His teacher is awesome, seriously. She gets him and can really can relate with him. So she tells him what a good friend he is but that the other kids can’t learn how to do it if he does it for them!
I used to do the same thing in school. I clearly remember how utterly boring it was, so I refused to do my work. I’d put big X’s on the paper and write “this is stupid” and then I’d go so the work for the other kids. Unfortunately for me, I had a teacher that didn’t want to deal with me so she tried to put me in the intellectually disabled class. I’m so thankful Nathan doesn’t have a teacher like that. She’s told me he mostly plays alone in he playground, but he seems happy. That’s just part of autism… As long as he’s happy, I’m happy.
Nathan has also started wearing glasses! He’s so stinking cute in them! But oh man, is it a hassel to get him to keep them on. He’s already bent them all up, accidentally stepped on them and sat on them, and the lenses have popped out. A couple days ago on the playground at school, one of the lenses popped out. Nathan and his teacher looked for it, and then Paul and Nathan went back to school to look some more after Nathan got home, but no luck. We had to order a new lense. I’m going to have to get one of those bands that goes around the back of the glasses to hopefully help keep them on. Of course, Nathan will still be able to take them off if he wants to, but hopefully the band will make it to where he can’t remove them absentmindedly.
So all in all, things are going great here. I miss Nathan when he’s at school, but he absolutely loves going is is a sponge for learning. My kids make me so proud.
Sometimes kids say the darndest things. When I pick Nathan up from school, we all drive through the front and a teacher walks them out and helps them get into the car. When I picked Nathan up yesterday, the teacher was helping him into his carseat and Nathan asked if Daddy was home.
“Not yet,” I replied. “He’s still at work.”
Then, with all seriousness and a completely straight face, he looked at me and said, “Is Daddy wearing clothes today?” The teacher busted out laughing. I told Nathan that yes, Daddy was wearing clothes today. Just like he does every single day of the year. (No one in my house, including the kids, walks around without clothes on. Well, come summer time, I may have the baby in just his diaper because let’s face it- naked babies in cloth diapers are only the cutest things ever!)
Through fits of laughter, the teacher told me that they’ve learned to not believe anything the kids tell them since they say the most bizzare things. Thank goodness she understands because that might have been a little awkward trying to explain to her that we do indeed wear clothes.
In other news, Nathan had his first ear infection ever. Nathan was fine when I dropped him off at school on Thursday, other than a residual runny nose and cough from a lingering cold. However, when I picked him up from school that day, l could tell something was very wrong. He was crying and holding his little ear, tears streaming down his face like miniature waterfalls. The teacher who brought him out told me he’d been complaining about his ear hurting that day, but it had apparently gotten worse in the last hour or so.
I asked Nathan where he hurt, and he said (obviously) that it was his ear. I asked him if he put anything inside his ear and he said a balloon popped in his ear. Since he’s on the tail end of a nasty cold, I was worried about either an ear infection or a busted ear drum since he said a balloon popped in his ear. Nathan was screaming and crying so hard that he couldn’t talk, so I immediately called his doctor.
I know I’ve said this before, but I have to say it again- I LOVE their pediatrician. When I told the receptionist what was going on, she asked how soon I could be there and I said five minutes. We get there and waited only long enough for me to take Nathan’s coat off before we were called back. Nathan was screaming the whole time and his ear was bright red. He was so pitiful, in fact, that everyone we came across at the doctor’s office tried to offer him words of consolation. “Poor buddy, don’t worry we’ll get that ear taken care of,” “Aw bless him,” “It’s okay little man, we’re going to help you,” among other sweet things.
The doctor took one look at his ear and confirmed it was an ear infection. And while he was looking at his ear, Nathan asked the doctor to get the balloon out. Fortunately, there were no balloon pieces in there. Nathan’s ear drum was bulging from the ear infection, however, but the doctor said since we caught it so early, he was going to be just fine. Administering the numbing drops was another story. They know about his sensory issues, and bless them for being so accomodating. The nurse explained to Nathan exactly what she was going to do and what it would feel like, but he still panicked once she put them in.
See, his brain processes sensory information differently than that of a typical person. Sensory input (such as the wind in our hair, textures, sounds, etc.) that may be annoying or even pleasant for us can be excruciating for him. Even showers are painful for him. Because of his autim, he doesn’t (or can’t) tell us how it feels, but judging from his reaction, I suspect it feels like needles jabbing at his skin. So anyway, the feeling of the cold medicine dripping into his ear caused him to start shrieking and flopping around, but the nurse handled it perfectly. Ironically enough, he really enjoyed having the cotton in his ear, and even asked for another piece when the first one fell out. He was still reeling from the drops when the doctor returned with the prescription, but he was able to calm Nathan down and even solicited a laugh or two by giving high-fives and “missing” a few of them. After the numbing drops and some ibuprofen, we left to drop of a prescription for antibiotics.
After further questioning in the car, Nathan said the balloon popped by his ear at home. I remember that- it happened a week or so ago. When it happened, I remember telling Nathan that we have to be very careful with balloons next time because having them pop by our ears can cause ear pain among other problems. So apparently when his ear started hurting, he thought it was because of the balloon popping. My sweet boy.
Nathan’s on the mend now and back to his old self. I hated seeing him in such pain. This is his first ear infection ever- and after seeing firsthand what kind of pain it causes, my heart really goes out to kids who suffer from numerous ear infections. Sweet Nathan. I’m glad I got him in when I did before it got worse! And I hope he doesn’t have to deal with something like that any time soon!
Whew! Nathan got over his strep throat pretty quickly. Of course, he’s still on antibiotics and will have to be on them for a total of ten days, and I’m thankful that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. My mom told me that my brother and I had strep throat constantly as kids. And then she would get it and we’d all just keep passing it around. Thankfully, no one else in our house caught it! I hate, hate, HATE having a sore throat. I was gargling with salt water twice a day, hoping to prevent myself from catching it. Seems to have worked!
In other news, I made my first batch of homemade baby food today. Peas! I took a small bag of frozen peas, boiled them in 1/3 cup of water for 5-6 minutes, and pureed them in a baby-food puree thingy we have. I know that sounds funny, but I don’t know exactly what it’s called. It’s not really a blender, not a food processor. We got it at a baby store, specifically to make baby food. Actually, we got it when Nathan was a baby but just never used it! Glad I’m finally putting it to some use. So anyway, after I put the peas in the puree/blender thingy, I added the water I boiled the peas in. This is because many of the nutrients from the peas are seep into the water. For babies less than 7 months old, dowever, you can’t always use the water you boiled the veggies in because some of them, like carrots, have nitrates in them. Peas are fine to do that with, though. Then I added some pumped milk and a little filtered water since the peas were still a bit too thick for John. I refrigerated enough for a couple days and put the rest in the freezer. It made a total of about 12 oz of baby food. Not bad, huh? Cheaper than buying that processed, store-bought stuff. And I KNOW what went into it, so that’s a huge plus. Now let’s just hope Mr. John likes them, too.
Speaking of which, he just woke up from his nap, so I’m going to go steal some snuggles.
Sweet Nathan has strep throat. This is the first time he’s ever had it. I got a call from his school yesterday. His teacher said he was just fine that morning; he was playing, laughing, and in great spirits. But when lunch time rolled around, he started complaining about not feeling so well. When his teacher saw he only took one bite of his lunch, she knew something was wrong, so she sent him to the school nurse to have his temperature taken. He had a fever, so they called me to come get him. I love how his teacher knows him well enough to notice when he’s not himself. When I got there, he was pale and complaining of his stomach hurting, so I was worried he had a stomach bug. After we got home, he threw up, so I took him to the doctor.
He loves going to the doctor! It’s pretty funny. He hated going to the last pediatrician he had. Don’t get me wrong, they were nice and everything, but his new doctor we have now is seriously awesome. They understand Nathan and his sensory issues, so they take their time and explain everything they’re about to do with him. They don’t rush him and have never gotten irritated with him. Plus, he LOVES the play area in the waiting room, so I’m sure that helps.
As we were walking to the room to be seen, all the nurses we passed could tell he was very sick just by looking at him. Poor kid was walking so slowly and just looked awful. He was complaining about being tired and that his stomach hurt, but when I asked him if his throat hurt, he said no. (He sometimes has a hard time explaining how he feels or what hurts.)
So at any rate, the doctor noticed his throat was red and inflamed, so he did a strep test. It came back positive. I didn’t know strep could make you throw up, but apparently it sure does. To make matters worse, after we dropped off his prescription for antibiotics, he threw up all over the place when we got home. Literally! Nathan stood in the hallway, leaned over, and puked over and over again. It was all over the floor, his shoes, the wall, the door… what a mess! Paul was a sweetheart and cleaned it all up and changed Nathan’s clothes. He turned on some caratoons and made a pallet on the floor for Nathan with a sleeping bag, blanket, and pillow, so Nathan curled up in it and fell asleep for a couple of hours. When he woke up, we gave him his medicine and took him to his room for bed.
The medicine worked wonders. When he got up this morning, he was already feeling much better! After about 24 hours of the medicine, he shouldn’t be contagious anymore. I hate seeing my kids so sick, so I’m thankful I was able to get him into the doctor immediately and caught the strep before it got any worse. Now let’s hope the rest of us don’t come down with it.
I’m so not a fan of winter germs and the sicknesses they bring.