Special Needapalooza

I went to Noah's IEP meeting yesterday, our first "real" meeting with the new school. We had an initial "move everything from County A to County B and try to not let anything get lost in translation" meeting in the beginning of the year, but this was the Actual Annual Big-Deal one, where we determine services for the next 12 months. The good news is that...well, it's all good news. Noah has transitioned beautifully and his new team loves him, and even better, REALLY understands him. After years of being classified solely as a SPD/ADHD kid at his old school, to the point that the team seemed surprised by his eventual Autism diagnosis (and then had to rapidly overhaul his IEP), I think it was really beneficial to move into this school with the ASD code firmly in place. No question, Noah needs those specific needs met, and here is everything this school can possibly provide. His new IEP is strong, comprehensive and best of all, was written from the point of view that this is just who Noah is and how he thinks and learns. He is not a problem to be solved. He is a child who will... Read more →


I noticed a couple topic requests for Further Yakking About from the comments on the last post, and as I am in a procrastinating mood and have nothing better to yak about, let's do it: 1) The time-limit parental control thingie. Our kids used to solely play with our old, discarded iPhones. Plus an iPad that was technically still mine and I don't remember giving up custody but eventually it was chock full of nothing but kids' games and was always sort of sticky. I was never really happy with the parental control options in iOS. App purchases and downloads required a password, but I wanted to be able to set time limits, block certain websites, and just sort of generally know what they're up to without having to literally sit there staring over their shoulders. (And thus, having to listen to the Angry Birds theme song over and over and over and over...) There are two choices with options like that: Amazon Fire Kids Edition with the Amazon FreeTime subscription service, or a tablet with full Windows 10 installed and Family Safety enabled. At the time, we didn't have an xBox or anything, and Noah was DESPERATE to play... Read more →


So if any of you are regular-ish readers of the Advice Smackdown, you'll appreciate this delicious slice of piping-hot irony: Ike won't eat his dinner. Ever. A bite or two, at the most, followed by dramatic "yuck" faces, protests over non-existent spice levels, feigned gagging over textures, then a sustained and stubborn refusal to touch anything else on his plate. And whining. So much whining. It's funny because oh ha ha, how many times have I told other parents EXACTLY how to handle this type of behavior, like we had it SOLVED FOREVER and LOCKED THE HELL UP. Step One: Buy Ellyn Satter's book . Step Two: Do whatever Ellyn Satter says to do. Step Three: Be smug about it on the Internet. Ike has never known anything BUT the Satter method. He has always eaten what we eat, he has always been offered a wide array of flavors and textures, he has two older brothers modeling damn near picture-perfect table manners and eating habits. And he is not an unreasonably picky eater. At breakfast, lunch and snack time, he will eat anything and everything you put in front of him -- INCLUDING DINNER LEFTOVERS -- with minimal to zero... Read more →


Ike: *is off from school again because ha ha ha ha of course he is I should get a manny* Ike: *approaches me while dramatically rubbing his stomach* Amy: No. Oh no. Ike: My body doesn't feel so good. Amy: *internal screaming* Amy: Are you going to throw up? Ike: Maybe. Ike: My body needs to play on the Xbox. Ike: That will make me not throw up. And scene. BREAKING EPILOGUE: He just came into my room and tried the exact same thing, as I was typing this. Still haven't given him the soothing curative balm of the Xbox, but I did get him unload the dishwasher. Points for still being a tiny bit smarter than my four year old! (That face though... I feel like that face needs to play on the Xbox.) Read more →


Last night we received a little appetizer to the Big Blizzard-o-pocalypse that's headed our way, in the form of maybe an inch and a half of snow. It was just enough to strike fear in our hearts and fire under our asses to clean up the garage enough so we could fit our cars inside. We have NOT ONCE, EVER, actually parked our cars in the garage. Despite a 2-car garage being Jason's main non-negotiable house hunting feature, we very quickly filled it up with crap and garbage and bikes and old kitchen cabinets and fancy new tools and extra floor tile and extra wall tile and Blue Apron boxes and pallets pallets PALLETS. Ta-da! Cars inside, basically just in time for the snow to stop. Of course, we did sort of run out of steam (and room in the storage area) after awhile. So that's...happening. We've definitely got our organizing-while-snowbound work cut out for us. This morning, the inch and a half was more like an inch, but schools were delayed two hours anyway, which screws with my work productivity more than an actual full snow day for some reason. I decided to just keep Ike home from preschool... Read more →


So which three of y'all won Powerball? Can I borrow a couple mil? No? FIne. Guess I'll just have to keep blogging. If you follow me on Instagram, you know full and well that Ike is not tired. Ike is never tired. Ike is now four-and-a-half years old and has not taken a proper afternoon nap since we got rid of the crib, and the mere suggestion that he might possibly be tired and would benefit from a nap is met with bansheed shrieks and protests because he is HASHTAG NOT TIRED. Ten minutes later, everything is quiet because he's fallen dead asleep wherever he was at the time. I've learned to just roll with it. At least there's carpet here? A couple days ago he crawled on my lap and asked for a hug, mumbled something about not tired...and promptly dozed off. Yesterday morning, he woke up very distressed and going on and on about drinking too much water. "I drank too much water," was all I could get from him, over and over again. "There's too much water in me!" Then he laid down in his closet and went back to sleep. Okay, so no school for that... Read more →


As you may recall (because I didn't stop talking about it for like, over a month), our move into the Yellow House was...kind of stressful. As a result, we still have a lot of furniture that the movers just randomly positioned in rooms without much thought or plan, because Jason and I were too busy panicking over our disastrous closing/paperwork nightmare, plus all the various property laws we were breaking. JUST PUT IT ANYWHERE! JUST GET IT OFF THE TRUCK! THEN GET THE TRUCK OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY SO WE CAN PRETEND NONE OF THIS IS HAPPENING! The boys' bedrooms got the worst of it -- the beds were all plunked right in the center of the rooms, we didn't really divide up side furniture very well, so Noah's room seemed big and cavernous while Ezra and Ike were stuck in overcrowded smaller rooms, and the little floor space they had around their beds quickly became a embarrassing swamp of toys/clutter/laundry. We'd tell them to go clean their rooms and they'd look at us all helplessly, because they had zero idea where to even start. And I can't say that I blamed them. Their rooms were just not very nice... Read more →


Okay! Back to our regularly scheduled programming, where curse words are allowed and no discounts are offered. So Max. It's his kidneys. Not exactly a shock, but the...good? semi-good? not-horrifically-bad?...news is that his numbers currently point to only "moderate" kidney failure, meaning not any sort of imminent death sentence, and it's worth trying some diet and low-level interventions. We picked up some prescription low-protein food at the vet (and donated nearly all of the cans and kibble we had on hand to the vet's pet shelter charity pile), and will be injecting him with fluids about three times a week. I was worried he'd reject the special food and we'd end up mixing it with something else, thus reducing the effects, but the minute I opened a can and smelled how totally freaking gross it is, I knew it wouldn't be a problem. Anything that smells like rotten fish and dog farts is Max's jam, and he's already devoured several full cans of it. He even let me mix in some fresh pumpkin for further de-constipating efforts, which he's never, ever done before. THAT'S how pungently disgusting this food is. He's only had one fluid injection, and I know it's... Read more →


THANG ONE: Noah preformed in his very first concert with the school band. We had to rush out and buy this entire outfit, right down to the shoes, because we are sloppy heathens who don't own church clothes. Or even nice clothes. Noah was a bit nervous about the concert, even expressing hope over the weekend that he would catch the stomach bug from his brothers and be unable to perform. But he didn't, and he did absolutely great, playing front and center onstage as first chair (!!) saxophone. THANG TWO: CHRISTMASSSSSSSSSSS! Christmas! Christmas. Christmas Christmas Christmas Christmas. So! This is a story worth telling: Jason takes Noah to his saxophone lesson every weekend at a local music place, and about a month ago started sending me photos of this guitar (Epiphone Wildkat) they had for sale. It was used, in perfect condition, at a really good price, and every Saturday he'd take it off the wall and play it for a bit, falling ever more deeply in love. As he'd JUST purchased a regular guitar off Craigslist (to jam with/encourage Ezra, who only wanted a red "rock-n-roll" guitar for Christmas), I remained unimpressed, said no, and also I was... Read more →


Star Wars is a deeply special thing for our nerdtastic family, going all the way back to my very first date with Jason. We love it. Insane for it. Get a case of the warm and fuzzies just from thinking about it. Despite having our young hearts broken by the prequels, being able to introduce our children to the original trilogy brought back the love and magic big time, every time. (Ike, watching Empire Strikes Back for the first time last weekend. I've never seen him so blown away by a movie. When it was over, we said SCREW BEDTIME IT'S JEDITIME and let everybody stay up past midnight.) So there was no way -- NO WAY -- I was going to let my stupid-ass eyes (stupid ass-eyes?) stop me from attending the early Saturday morning showing of Force Awakens we'd bought tickets for ages ago. I was 99.9% sure I was no longer contagious (no red/pink, drainage, swelling, just the residual blurred vision but even that's markedly improving every day) but took all the proper washing/sanitation precautions and was extra mindful about keeping anything from touching my eyes. And it was wonderful. Just...all the wonderful things. I laughed, I... Read more →