Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tackling the next hurdle in our crazy life...autism

Now I know Autism isn't a condition that can necessarily be "cured" or "tackled" in a way that you get over it and move on to the next chapter in life. I do know that there can be a lot of fear in that diagnosis and I don't want that for my family. I want us to be as prepared as we can be and equipped to help our sweet guy navigate this insane world that doesn't always make allowances for special kids.

Early on in one of the twins' life (Joshua) we started noticing some development delays and noticeable differences from his twin and where the older two were at his age.. At around 2 3/4 yrs old we filled out the ages and stages questionnaire from our pediatrician and contacted San Andreas Regional Center to have him evaluated. We were told they don't assess kids past 2 yrs 9 mths old and they directed us to get help through our school district. (We've now found out that they shouldn't have turned us away and I'm fighting to get him on with them.) We were able to have him tested through our school district which resulted in an academic diagnosis of Expressive Language Disorder and he began attending Special Day Preschool as a result. I have to say that has been a fantastic experience where we have seen a lot of growth. He also receives group speech and OT through the district and we are grateful for that! 

At the end of September he had an extensive evaluation at Kaiser through their Autism Spectrum Disorder Dept and has been given a diagnosis of Autistic Disorder. He met 6-7 out of 12 requirements for autism which puts him right in the middle of the spectrum. We are not surprised by this, rather relieved to have some answers as to why the past 4 1/2 years have been so challenging. He recently was approved for individual speech therapy through Kaiser and now is approved for ABA (behavioral) therapy. We are really excited for this type of therapy for him. He has also been accepted into an autism study at a local therapeutic horse ranch. We've heard great things about the ranch and look forward to seeing how this type of therapy helps him.

So, where do we go from here? Good question. I feel like we have direction for now while still processing what his diagnosis means. A good friend of mine recently sent me a link to a blog of a mom with an autistic son and it really captured a lot of how I'm feeling. If you have a few minutes, give it a read:


Thanks for stopping by and being on this journey with us!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Since it's been a long time since I've blogged, I thought it would be fitting to start up again on Mother's Day. Thankfully, I have a funny, short story (at least it was around here!) to tell.

This past Monday Caleb brought home the Mother's Day gift he made for me at preschool wrapped up with specific instructions that I could not open it until today. I put it away for the week and this morning brought it out to open. He clearly forgot that it was a gift he made me because he was mad that I was opening it, exclaiming it was his and demanded that I give it back. No matter how many times I tried to remind him it was something he made for me it didn't matter. He kept saying he made it and his name was on it so it was his! I couldn't stop laughing. In my 9 years of being a mom, this was a first. I put the cute potholder with his handprint on it away and thank goodness, he forgot all about it! His stubbornness reminds me of my own and I really just have to laugh.

Jack's surgery went really well and he is in the healing process. Tuesday we go in for the fitting for his helmet and I will breathe a small sigh of relief. I am so worried about him injuring himself and he keeps turning over onto his stomach to sleep meaning he is putting pressure on whichever side his head is facing. Everything is still a bit soft and can be adjusted just like when you break a bone and it needs to set in a cast. The helmet will not only protect it, but keep the right form while he heals. I feel so sad for him to have to wear it. I know he will fight it at first and I'm doing my best to prepare him.

Happy Mother's Day to all! I am so blessed with a mom who sacrificed a lot to raise my sister and I on her own and she still sacrifices to help our little tribe. I love you so much, Mom!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Trying to keep it all together

Not a very clever title for my post, but it's very appropriate for my season of life right now.

Since I last blogged P&J have switched schools, my oldest boy has been diagnosed with a skull deformity which means he needs to have a major surgery on his skull within the next 6 months, I am having to fight for my other son to have the services he qualifies for at school (which is also forcing me to come to terms with the fact that I have a special needs child) and everything that isn't getting done is piling up around me. I also found out a week ago that a friend of mine's 6 year old daughter has been diagnosed with an aggressive, inoperable brain tumor and am broken for that precious family. (exhale…that feels good to get off my chest!)

I'm not blogging about this for sympathy or an "Awe, poor T…" moment. What prompted it was in the midst of my overwhelmed state, my sweet "special needs" son came up to me and proceeded to blow numerous raspberries on my arm to make me laugh. He melts my heart with his sweetness and disarms my frustrated spirit.

Time to "man up" and make a to do list of all that needs to be done. Promise the next post (whenever that is…) will be more cheery. ;)

And how is it already November???

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Womb to Tomb

And birth to earth!

Had that in my head all day and needed to use it for a blog post title. Not sure if this means I'll be blogging regularly, but you never know! ;)

What prompted this line from West Side Story is preschool starting for my littlest twin boys. The "elder" of the pair has communication issues and therefore qualifies for Special Day Preschool Classes through our district. These are smaller, specialized classes with extra staff to work specifically with speech delay. He started this week and will go everyday for 2 1/2 hours. His "younger" counterpart is in private preschool 2 days a week for 3 hours at a time and their schedules do not coincide (I have to say I was a little sad to have a glimmer of a couple of hours to myself 2x a week taken away...hopefully next school year!). While C has been going to preschool for a couple of weeks with no problem being away from J, he does not like dropping J off and coming home solo with me. He is sad and wants me to hold him a whole lot. It's pretty cute. Tonight he told me that we are not taking J to school tomorrow because he doesn't want to miss him. Melted this mama's heart. :)

"When you're a Zuk, you're a Zuk all the way..."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Is that water I hear????

That's the thought running through my head as I'm in the middle of sweeping up all the disgusting bits that have accumulated under my stove. I was retrieving a fork and noticed the field of Cheerios that could feed small village under there and decided to pull out the stove and quickly sweep it up. As this is going on I kept thinking that I was hearing water running through our pipes at a good velocity. After pushing the stove back I decided to investigate. I make my way to my bedroom (It seems I foolishly left my room wide open during lunch...) and hear the tub running full blast. Who is in there??? Then I recall I'm unsure of the whereabouts of Twin #1. As I attempt to open the door, it is blocked by an open drawer. I start to slowly try to close it using the inch and half of space the door it open and call to my son. He happily slams the drawer shut and I discover an exuberant, soaking wet, three year old who has managed to fill the tub halfway without closing the drain, filled the commode with toilet paper and drenched my floor. Whenever I wonder why it feels difficult to get even small household chores done during the day (like I was moments before this), I just need to think back on this moment and many other "wildfires" that pop up during my day.

I wish I could've snapped a pic of that wet, happy boy (who kept declaring, "Water! Water!") before changing his clothes, but he was too cold from his adventure.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


When it's been forever since I last blogged I like to pick right back up as if no time has passed. I have a couple of lifelong friends who are like that. They are a huge blessing in my life. 

The main reason I haven't blogged yet in 2013 is that it has been a rough year so far. We got hit hard in January with the dreaded flu (not stomach) and then it seems like every cold virus out there has been preying on our weakened immune systems. Other various accidents and such have happened as well, but the weather is warming up and I am looking forward to a great Spring! 

I'm going to start this story by saying that we have an old-ish and funky house that has been added on to or re-modeled a lot before and since we bought it 12 1/2 years ago. Probably around 35-40 years ago the owners at that time added on a family room. We affectionately called it "The Cave" because the only windows are the sliding glass door to the backyard and it's always at least 5 degrees colder than the rest of the house in the winter. After the twins came along we needed to convert The Cave to a master bedroom since we only had 2 bedrooms at the time and there are six of us and we were tired of sharing with the littlest boys. 

Now on to the surprise. Since we sleep in The Cave it can be quite dark, but we leave our bedroom door open which helps to indicate how long (or not) the sun has been up. This morning we woke up to the cries of two 3 years olds who were clearly awake in their room and starting to pick on each other. I glanced at the clock which read 8:09. Did I read that right??? It was much too dark in our room to be that "late". I woke up Hubby saying we needed to get up, it's already 8, but maybe my clock was wrong since it was so dim in our room. Nope, that was the correct time. Our eldest two had shut our door because they were concocting a "surprise" and didn't want to disturb us. I love it when they are in cahoots together! We emerged from The Cave to a series of arrows leading us to the kitchen where they had prepared a "feast" complete with Fireplace for Your Home playing on Netflix on our TV. The table was set, there was an assortment of treats and drinks and my Cuties were donning aprons and huge grins on their faces. It was too precious and made my heart swell. Mind you they've done little stuff similar to this many times, but this has been the most elaborate to date. Here is what our feast looked like:

They were very proud of themselves. My favorite part was when my girl told her brother she loved him. He's been a bit of a nuisance to her for a while and she doesn't say that to him often. 

That's how our Sunday started, hope yours is going great!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Word Verification

I got sent an odd "spam-ish" e-mail posing as a comment on my last post so I reimplemented word verification on comments. Just wanted to give the heads up for the few times a year I seem to be blogging. ;o)

Happy New Year!!