Friday, April 27, 2007

The Canucks Ate My Night

As many of you know, I don't like watching sports on television. I find it boring, and generally a waste of time.

But MAN did I ever enjoy watching tonights game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks!

And I especially liked that we WON. Boo ya.

The game went into overtime, which meant it ended jut before 11 PM. We had told Lucas he could stay up to watch the game, so it was a late bedtime for him. Fortunately, Coram passed out on the couch during the game. He would have been particularity nightmarish in the morning if he had been up until 11PM.

Which brings me to one of the parenting conundrums we face: how to create the illusion of 'equal treatment' for two kids with distinctly different set of needs and abilities.

Lucas can handle a late night, no problem. Especially on a weekend, since he will jsut sleep later tomorrow. Coram, on the other hand, cannot. He won't sleep late, his little body just won't let him. Plus, his need for routing demands that he gets up and has breakfast and completes his morning tasks the same way and time each day. He also would not allow himself a nap if he needed it during the day tomorrow. And when Coram is tired, all the coping skills he has been working so hard on go out the window.

When life is a daily struggle to interpret new situations, novel commands, and varying expectations, your energy level is crucial. Since Coram cannot learn from context, and cannot assimilate changing environments as fast as typical people, every day, every new situation, is a struggle. In school, he has been learning how to ask fo help, and how to redirect his frustration when it all just gets to be too much for him. He has been making truly amazing strides.

But add a few hours less sleep into the mix, and the day is a nightmare. Add to it, you can't get him to go to bed early, because that is out of synch with his routine.

So, when Lucas asks to stay up late, I say yes. After all, there's no school tomorrow, the Canucks are playing, and it's something he can handle.

But how could I say not to Coram? Plainly put, I couldn't. The option was to say no to both, which would have been unfair for Lucas, or say yes to both, potentially creating a horrible day tomorrow for Steve while I am at work.

The good news is, Coram's body stuck to it's routine and he fell asleep on the couch. He will remember that he got the same privilege as his brother, and that is what matters.

And the other good news is, the Canucks won. Boo ya.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Space

While recovering from surgery, Lucas spent a week at Grandma's house in Squamish. He loved it, and is already asking to go back for another week. He got to sleep in a cool room under the stairs, just like Harry Potter. And he got to watch the Space Channel.

Since he got back, Lucas has been asking me at least three times per week when we can get the Space Channel. He occasionally watches it at his grandpas after school. But at home, we only have basic cable.

I find myself oddly proud that my son is a Sci Fi TV geek, just like me. Of course, he came by it honestly. I used to rock him to sleep in front of Star Trek when he was a baby.

I just wish I could add Space to my television channels without having to take the whole bundle of extra channels along with it.

As it stands, going from 'basic cable' to 'classic cable' would pretty much doubly our monthly cable bill. Not to mention add a whole bunch of channels we are not really interested in. I could certainly do without 'The Score' (except when the Canucks are in the playoffs, of course – go Canucks!)

On the other hand, I think we could all benefit from a little bit of the History Channel, or A & E, every now and then.

I sense that I am caving on the issue...help ... meeeee.....my life is about to be absorbed by more television........

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Good Bye, Oral Surgeon !

We went to see Lucas' oral surgeon on Thursday for a follow up on the bone graft. The surgeon was very happy with how everything is healing. He said he can tell Lucas has been doing a really good job keeping his mouth clean, and that he has no worries.

The oral surgeon doesn't need to keep seeing us, apparently. We just go back to our regular appointments with the orthodontist. We have one booked for May, so I guess we get a couple of weeks free of orthodontic work. Yeeeeee haw!

We are finishing up the psycho educational evaluation at Children's. They wanted to save the social part of the evaluation until after surgery, because his pre-surgery anxieties would have skewed the results. So, we have been back twice, and on Monday I have an appointment with just me, and then we have to do a feedback session.

I'm not sure what would be worse: if they tell me there is something really wrong, or if they tell me there is nothing wrong (because then it would all seem like my fault for mis-parenting). So, I'm a bit on the edge of my seat about the whole thing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Chocolate

You know what I love about chocolate?

It makes me happy after a crummy day

Contribute to my list at: www.ReasonsToLove.com/chocolate

Update

Here's the update on our special needs car...

I called the dealership this morning. They were pretty convinced it was an issue with the battery not being connected and so the shut off trigger in the door wasn't working. They figured if I had the jump starter cables hooked up when I put the key in the door, it would shut off the engine.

So, feeling frustrated that I had jumper cables and a car last night and didn't have them today, I embarked on my search for jumper cables and a willing participant.

When, at 6PM, no such willing participant with cables was available, I decided to bite the bullet and call BCAA. I joined, and paid the extra $50 for 'join on arrival' (ouch). So, another driver came out, and we went thought eh steps the dealership outlined.

To no avail.

The driver said those directions were for a factory installed alarm, and he could tell from the system, that it was an after-market alarm. He said the only way to disarm it was to find the button. The one we looked for for half an hour last night.

This driver had the advantage of daylight, and not being ob a busy street, so he could take a more relaxed look. He did find the button, in the stupidest place possible. I guess I shouldn't say where, but needless to say, it was a useless place. The BCAA driver told me the button is supposed to be for easy access to turn the thing of – and, well, this button is in about the hardest place to find.

So the driver tried pushing the button, with the key in the ignition, turning,, it, and so on....and it did not work. He said the button was just not working, and he didn't know why. He offered to tow the car to a shop, and went on his merry way.

I called the dealership again. This time, I told them I expected a rental car since this was their fault. The fellow I talked to said, 'yeah, I don't think that will happen. I'll ask my boss, but I know him pretty well and I know what he'll say.' He said that because it wasn't a safety issue, they couldn't' rent me a car. Uhm..HELLO??? Safety issue or not the car is UNDRIVABLE.

So, not wanting to face another day of lost work, and another day with Lucas home because I couldn't drive him, I searched the Internet again. I had searched last night, but all the answers referred to the valet button, which we hadn't found, so I didn't pay much attention. Now, I could understand the directions, and I knew where the button was.

It turns out the BCAA driver was right, it was a question of timing. The key needs to go in the ignition within 30 seconds of the door being opening, and the the button has to be pushed within 5 seconds of the key being turned on.

What a rish that was, trying to get it all done so fast with the button being in an impossible location. It took me two tries, but I am happy to report IT WORKED.

My car runs again. I am elated. I want to go drive to Mexico just to enjoy the freedom. Though I think Safeway might be as far as I'll go.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Our Special Needs Car

I had a really nice night out with the girls from work. Karen, my boss, wanted to treat us all because we have been working so hard. It was relaxed, we had wine, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

When we left, I realized I had left my headlights on for the entire time. Ugh. Typical of me to complicate things for myself.

I went in to talk to the waiter, and he had jumper cables and said he would pull his car around. I was very thankful.

But see, now, this is where it gets weird.

Keeping in mind we just bought this car second hand in January, imagine my surprise when I went to open the hood and a car alarm starts going off. I am looking around, wondering who's car alarm is going nuts, since our car isn't alarmed.

That's when I noticed the flashing headlights, and realize it WAS my car that had the alarm, and for some reason it was going off.

So – apparently unbeknownst to us, and probably the dealership we bought it from, this car had an alarm. I had no way to turn it off.

When the waiter tried to jump start the car, nothing happened. The alarm had disabled the engine.

I was pretty frustrated, but thought the day was saved when my co-worker used her BCAA card and called for help. She said she was a passenger in my car, which meant it was covered (note to self – get BCAA!!). So, a really nice guy in a big shinny BCAA truck came out to help....

And couldn't figure it out. He told us that there is usually an over ride switch for alarms. He was hunched down in the car going over it inch by inch with a flashlight, but he couldn't find any over ride. So, since there was no way to turn the (incredibly loud) alarm off, and no way to start the car since the alarm had disabled the engine, we had to tow the car home.

As I rode home, in the cab of the tow truck, the driver from BCAA was trying to figure out why the alarm was triggered in the first place. And the only conclusion he could some up with was – there was no good reason for it.

Which is why I have decided that we have a special needs car.

I'm gonna put my big mean voice on the morning and call the dealership, because as of now, I can't drive my car. Which means, no kids to school tomorrow, and no keeping the two morning appointments I have. Ugh.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Much Better, Thank You!

I am thrilled to report that Lucas seems to be 100 % back to normal. And – he is affectionate and loving and oh so sweet! We are all so happy and relieved to just be back to normal life. Clearly, the anxiety of this surgery has been affecting us for a long, long time.

I am in the process of sourcing the best schools for the kids for next fall. Coram has progressed beyond the other kids in his current class, and really needs to be moved to a place where he can copy more appropriate behaviour. In my opinion, the idea place for him would be a mainstream class at the school he is currently attending. However, the administrator there is not agreeing with me. He feels that Coram should be in a mainstream class with an aid at our local school.

His reasoning is this: our local school is labelled an 'inner city school', and as such, has more resources allocated there than other schools in the city. They have a full time youth and family worker on staff, which most schools in the city do not have. They also often get faster responses to their requests for further aide or evaluations for children.

Because the Autism funding will not be enough to fund a full time aide, the administrator at Corams school feels that the gaps left after funding runs out will be better filled at our local school.

I am not convinced. I really believe that the least change we can effect in Coram's life, the more successful he will be. Asking him to move to a large, mainstream class, AND a whole new school at the same time is simply asking too much.

I am in talks with the current administrator at Coram's school. Fingers crossed we can work this out to Coram's advantage.

Lucas also need to change schools, as he is currently attending an Annex, which only goes to grade three so he will be finished this year. We are also moving him from French into English. I would really like for both boys to be in the same school. I feel a bit stretched needing to attend functions at two different schools all the time. Plus, I think they could be good resources for each other when times get rough on the playground. So, depending on where Coram ends up, that's where I hope Lucas can go to.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Normalcy, I think

Lucas went back to school yesterday – and it was brilliant.

I took him in, and explained to his teacher about his oral hygiene routine, and his need to not climb things, play ball games that could lead to being bonked in the head, and suchlike.

Then I left.

And went on with my day!

Beautiful.

Lucas had a great day. When I picked him up, he was on the sunny lawn of the school, hanging out with some friends. He was in good spirits, and had had a great day.

Normalcy seems to have returned to our lives, and I am so thankful.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Lots Of Treats

Easter seems to be getting more and more eventful every year.

On Saturday, hubby and the kids went to a scavenger hunt in a local business area. They went into stores and got cookies and other treats.

Sunday, of course, the Easter bunny came. He was pretty smart this year, and didn't bring much chocolate, opting for cool toys instead. Then, we went up to my moms in Squamish, and had our family Easter Egg Hunt. For that, we try to avoid lots of chocolate eggs, and instead we fill plastic eggs with small Easter toys.

The kids also got chocolate bunnies from Grandpa Ron. Oh, and Steve brought chocolate home from work on Thursday.

Add two birthday cakes for me into the mix. My birthday is tomorrow (the 10 th) but we did the weekend celebrations this week.

I think we need to go train for a marathon this week.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Quiet

Ah. Today is a beautiful quiet day. Lucas is up at Grandma's, and Coram is at school. How nice.
Of course, there's hours of housework to catch up on, but I'll just turn a blind eye to that for now.

Last night, Coram had a realy difficult time with his brother not being here. Even though he knew ahead of time what was happening, he still coudln't get used to it. First, there was the change in routine, second, there was the knowledge that his brother was missing school and getting to do all sorts of fun things with Grandma. And here he was expected to go on with life as usual? Just too much for his little brain to wrap around.

We gave him lots of attention – tickels, cuddles, playing video games with him.... but still bedtime got pushed back by his refusals to co-operate. He refused to eat, refused to brush his teeth, refused to get changed for bed, refused to pay down.... and so on. We just walked his body through the motions when he wouldn't co-operate. We find that is more effective than making a stink about his behaviour.

This morning was better, so I am hopeful the rest of the week will be OK.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Wowsers!

I truly am amazed at how well Lucas is doing. His bruising is almost completely gone, the swelling is down, and he is pretty much his old self.

The concern now is keeping this kid with ADHD from doing much physicial stuff – because we don't want to risk a fall. The other day, he was trying to convince me that he could climb the playground at the park.

'It's not really climbing, it's just going up from one level to another!'

Too funny.

We have worked our way through our stack of activities. He loves all of them, but I just don't have enough – nor the funds to get more. Today he goes to Grandmas for a few days, so it will be a nice change for both of us.