Monday, December 31, 2007

Whoever invented Guitar Hero ROCKS!

But I wonder if I could file some type of civil suit demanding they do the housework I have been neglecting since I can't seem to pry that stupid guitar out of my hands!

If y'all haven't played you really need to go fork over the $100 and get with the program. I, myself, am not a fan of video games but this one is way cool. And hey, if you are of the opinion that video games are bad for kids, consider the hand-eye coordintion they will develop!

We have Guitar Hero 3 for the Nintendo wii, but I've seen the 2nd version on PS2 and it's equally entertaining.

Anyway. I'm working on my reflections for 2007 post. I never make resolutions so I don't have to worry bout that.

Happy New year to all!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Autism... the new ADHD? Plus my theories on SIDS

I want to start off by apologizing for not updating on Chris' tests sooner. I've been insanely busy as I'm sure most everyone is this time of year. His tests went well, we will get the results at our follow up on January 4th.

Autism. Let me preface with saying that I do not, for one second beleive that Autism isn't a very real thing. I truly beleive that my 5 year old could be the poster child for what I call "Autism intervention" in that I beleive that his problems being recognized extremely early and treatment begun before the age of 18 months saved him from "Autism". He is in a mainstream school, in a mainstream class and functions very well in that environment. We weren't always sure he would and 3 years ago we weren't sure he would ever do the things he does now. I hold a dear place in my heart for the people that helped us get where we are with him, his therapists..... I believe they saved my child and my family.

Having said that. The number of children being placed on the "Autism spectrum" is up over 200% in recent years. There are many theories for that, including the theory that there are now better ways to diagnose Autism. But I ask the question, how can you truly diagnose a condition when no one understands what it is, where it comes from, and a condition that has such a broad range of symptoms? You can't. Which is why I believe that we are on the cusp of a new "ADHD era".

What do I mean by that? People my age will likely remember many children in school going to the nurse every lunch hour for pill time. Kids who left for lunch rambunctions and returned calm and collected having received thier dose of Ritalin mid-day. Teachers began "diagnosing" kids who were having even the slightest bit of trouble concentrating or learning as having ADHD and sending parents to pediatricians for pills. Pediatricians began prescribing these powerful pills to almost anyone who walked in the door with a "teacher diagnosis" in hand. These kids, as Ritalin and ADHD became uncool and taboo lived, and to this day continue to live with the stigma of having "ADHD".

How many of these kids really had ADHD? How many of them had other disorders that were not looked into such as oppositional defiant disorder, learning disabilities, metabolic disorders, chemical imbalances, even abuse and neglect in the home or peer abuse situations going on? How many of them continued to live with whatever was plaguing them under the Ritalin fog?

The powers that be seemed to see the forest for the trees in the 90's. New ADHD cases suddenly dropped off as Pediatricians finally began refering these children to psychologists and teachers were no longer allowed to suggest ADHD drugs to parents. Suddenly, with the diagnoses of ADHD decreasing, diagnoses of other "disorders" climbed. The most startling increase? Autism.

There are many theories on what causes Autism. Some beleive it is the preservatives in vaccines, some beleive it is birth or prenatal oxygen deprivation or trauma, some beleive it is food sensitivity or allergy, some beleive it is a metabolic disorder, some beleive it is imbalances of certain chemicals and nutrients, and some beleive it is a glitch or damaged brain. The list goes on and on. Basically, no one really has much of a clue what causes Autism. A lot of parents with Autistic children blame vaccines. I've spoken with one mom who told me "he was FINE until he got his 1 year shots, then suddenly he turned into THIS!" I can see her point. When something happens to your child, say..... he shows you a cut on his finger, you are naturally going to ask him what he was just playing with that cut his finger. What you may not realize is that he cut his finger weeks ago and has just re-opened the sore....

My theory on Autism is that some children are sensitive to something, heck some children are sensitive to everything. My own son had such extreme dry skin (still does) that for the first 3 years of his life I had to MAKE any soap that touched his skin or clothes by hand, on the stove or he would break out in eczema patches that we couldn't get to go away. About a year later I really started to think about that. What was the difference between commercial soap and the soap I made? Heck if anything my soap could have been more harsh because I wasn't as good at regulating the lye to oil ratio as a factory would be with all it's computerized equipment.

Jacksen also had great aversions to food. He ate next to nothing, living mostly on fresh fruits and vegetables. It was about all he would put in his mouth. Then, someone said something to me that was the turning point. She said "Kat, you know when you are pregnant and you have cravings and aversions? Well, you know that's because your body is telling you what it needs and is telling you what it doesn't feel is right for it"....

From that day on, I realized that kids don't eat like we do. They haven't developed the horrid habits we are like clearing our plates or eating food just because it's offered. Kids eat on the "pregnant woman" diet. They, being naturally more in tune with thier bodies, want to eat what thier body is telling them to and balk at or refuse food that thier body is telling them not to eat.

So now I had 2 clues. It was my job to put the puzzle together. What was my child telling me was the problem? What was in commercial soaps and un "natural" foods that my child was telling me he couldn't tolerate? Preservatives.

But why are autistic children seemingly fine until toddlerhood? They are exposed to preservatives in some form pretty much since birth? Well, in my opinion it works on the same principal as the alchoholic who doesn't destroy his liver with his first drink, but rather over a period of months or years of chronic drinking. Children who are sensitive to preservatives don't damage thier brains the first time they are given a bath with Johnson's baby wash, but rather over months and years of exposure to preservatives. It makes sense to me since Autism is a seemingly progressive disease, it doesn't generally happen overnight but slowly, over a period of time. The changes are impossible to detect early on, but as time goes on they become more apparent as they increase in severity. It is our job to put the clues together. What is my child sensitive to or allergic to? We have to do our own scientific experiments and LISTEN to what our children, whether they can speak or not, are trying to tell us.

Just some food for thought. Moving on.

SIDS. It's a 4 letter word that strikes terror in the hearts of parents. We all likely know someone who has put thier perfect, seemingly healthy baby down for a nap or to bed for the night and woke up to find thier little lifeless body in the crib. SIDS is so terrifying because it strikes babies seemingly at random. Sneaking into the nursery and snatching them from thier dreams. Autopsies show nothing out of the ordinary and no cause can be determined. How can this be? How can that child have died and every body system be perfect upon examination?

But there is one organ that can play these sick little tricks. One organ that you really can't know if it was working properly after the fact. The heart. I believe that SIDS is actually a heart condition called Long QT syndrome. Long QT syndrome simply means that for some reason there is a delayed time frame between the Q and the T activities of the heart during the beat cycle. It does not cause any murmurs, it does not cause any blood pressure abnormalities, cyanosis, sweating, chest pains, or any of the symptoms of heart trouble. People with Long QT syndrome sometimes live into thier teenage years or even adulthood only to be found dead in thier beds without having ever been sick. Why? People with Long QT syndrome are at great risk for fibrillation for no apparent reason. The heart, deciding that at this moment to finally realize that the distance between the 2 waves is too long tries to compensate by beating fast and irradically. Soon, it can't keep up with itself and goes into what is called Fibrillation. Erratic, non productive beats. Finally, unable to right itself it simply gives up it's fight and stops.

I truly beleive that most children who die of SIDS could be saved with something so simple as an EKG at birth. An EKG takes less time than the hearing test all newborns in this country get and can detect Long QT and other irregularities in a couple minutes, start to finish. Children diagnosed with Long QT could then be fitted with internal defibrillators, devices that sense when the heart starts acting erradically and step in to give it a mild shock back to reality.

Doctors seem to be catching onto this possibility as recently, when I took Nathan for his echocardiogram I was asked in the history questionaire if there was a family history of SIDS or unexplained death. I asked why and they said that there was a heart problem that can cause this........ Long QT.

If you have a baby, ask your pediatrician to do a simple EKG. It can be done in the office in a few minutes. Even if you have to pay out of pocket, it's worth the knowledge.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tomorrow is the big day

Christian is currently fasting for his procedures tomorrow and he's not a happy camper! He tried to snatch a cookie this afternoon which I promptly stole from him. Poor boy. He is happy that for once he gets to drink all the sprite he wants, usually the kids don't get soda so that's a perk.

We leave at 7:30 tomorrow for a full day. It's a 2.5 hour drive down and then he has his belly ultrasound at 10. After that we go over to the GI center to listen to all the risks of the procedure and anesthesia. The nurse, Julie, who I had a lengthy phone convo with today will meet us there at noon to start his IV and do his *cringe* enema. The scope will take, from prep to out the door 4-5 hours. So, we should be home by bedtime. Chris was hoping to get McDonalds for supper but the nurse said today that he has to eat soft foods so he doesn't choke following the test so who knows....

Wish us luck that everything goes as planned. I personally am not confident that his problem is a GI problem but we have to rule that out. I feel like all of this has just been one dead end road after another which is frustrating.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The sound no one wants to wake up to

At about 6am we woke up to this sound...... beep, beep, beep.......... beep, beep, beep. The smoke alarms! When we had our basement finished to add bedroom space this spring we had all the smoke alarms interconnected so if one goes off they all do. And this morning we found out that the system works.

Craig and I ran out of bed, me grabbing Nate who had been sleeping next to me and him running upstairs while I got Jack who was already out of bed and running toward his bedroom door. I got upstairs and got he girls up as Craig was up on the second floor getting the big boys up. But wait? Where's the smoke?

False alarm, and we don't really know why but about 30 minutes later it happened again. We found the offending alarm, which was the one outside Austin's room on the 2nd floor and took it down and cleaned it and it hasn't happened since, so hopefully it was just from the alarm being dirty, obviousely there was no fire as I'm currently, at 3:30pm sitting in my home.

OMG what a scary way to wake up. This is the second time we have been rudely awakaned this way since our remodel. The first time was in September when the boys forgot to drain the tub which was overfilled (it leaks slowly if filled past a certain point, it's on the to-do list) and water dripped down all night into the smoke alarm in the basement frying out the smoke alarm....... scary

So now I'm going to be afraid to go to bed tonight. Yeek

Tomorrow is going to be hell day. Christian has to prepare for his tests on Thursday which means that starting tomorrow morning, he cannot eat anything. He won't be allowed to eat from midnight tonight until after his procedure, which will finish up at around 5pm Thursday. Not easy for the kid who gets dizzy and severe stomach aches if he doesn't have solid food in his stomach for more than 3 hours! Tonight I'm making a bunch of Jello Jigglers for him and he'll be eating a lot of chicken broth. It's going to be a challenging day.

Yesterday was Austin's 14th birthday. FOURTEEN! He's now legally able to work for a paycheck in the state of Wisconsin. Time to pay rent! hehe. Nah, we aren't going to send him off into the workforce just yet, he can't even keep his grades above passing. But anyway, his birthday was nice. He got a new skateboard, 4 new xbox games, a new controller, and some cash. We went out to eat at pizza hut with my sister which was nice, we don't eat out often so it's always a special treat. I can't beleive he's already 14. I surely don't feel old enough to have a 14 year old child!

Christmas shopping is nearly complete. Just need to get a few more toys since they seem to somehow be getting a lot of clothes this year again. I can't help it, I love buying clothes! Now onto wrapping it all. They usually get about 15 gifts each so that's 90 gifts to wrap! Then figure in all the stuff for relatives. Oy!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Now that i've had time to think

In working just those couple weeks I have gained a new understanding of working mothers. Maybe not a new understanding really, but I have seen that what I keep saying really is the truth, at least in my eyes.

Y'all miss out SO much! It breaks my heart! I wish no mother had to work outside the home, I really do and I definitely cannot understand why one would choose to if other options are avaialable.

So, I get down on my knees and thank the good lord that he has offered me the choice, even if it means inconvenience sometimes, even if it means we don't eat at fancy restaurants, we don't drive fancy cars, and sometimes we get a little strapped for cash and have to rent a movie instead of visiting the theater. I thank God that he has given me the understanding to see clearly my needs vs my wants and the selflessness to put my wants aside for the greater good of my family.

I love being a stay at home mom. I love the laundry, the whining, the fights, cleaning up the puke (ok, maybe not so much there) and I'm grateful that I have this beautiful life that isn't always.

I'm grateful. Eternally grateful. Who knows, maybe I am less of a person because I'm NOT supermom and I couldn't do it all, I couldn't work and still feel as though I was giving 150% to my kids. I don't know how anyone can. But you know, if working 40 hours a week and missing the little moments is what makes a supermom..... I gladly bow out of the running for that title.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Poor baby can't catch a break. He was starting to get over the roseola and is now down and out sick again! This is over a month now of him getting sick, starting to feel better and getting knocked right back down within days. I feel so bad for him! All he wants is to be held or nursed, which is ok with me but I would love to see him smile and play and EAT... he hasn't eaten decent this entire time!

Christian's appt is now scheduled for next Thursday. We have to be there at 10:15 for ultrasound and then go over to the GI center to prep. All in all it will all take about 6-7 hours. Fun! Poor kid. I really hope they figure it out with this test but I have this awful feeling this is just another stepping stone in our quest.

Shay's Holiday program was last night and was adorable as always. They really do a good job with it, you have to give that music director credit for orchestrating an entire musical play with a couple hundred gradeschool kids. No easy task! We are all done with holiday programs/ concerts now. I guess Hailey got her picture in the paper for being best dressed at the concert or something, I have to get a paper to see for myself.

The dryer is calling my name so I better wrap this up. Speaking of wrapping, I haven't even started! YEEEEEEEEEEEEK. As a matter of fact, I haven't even bought paper yet! double yeeeeeeeeeeeek.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Why do they do this to me!

Ok so my 9 year old has been having some health problems since the beginning of summer and we've been back and forth from this specialist to that trying to get to the bottom of it all. Yesterday was our visit to the ped gastroenterologist where we learned that he thought Chris might have an inflammatory bowel disease like Chrons or something and wanted to do a endoscopy/colonoscopy and take some biopsies as well as an ultrasound to look for anything like tumors and whatever. It was set up for a month from now.

Today I get a phone call saying that the doc had slept on it and doesn't feel comfortable waiting that long and wanted us in THIS FRIDAY (the hosp is 2.5 hours away) and since Craig can't get the time off that quick they are setting up for next wed or thursday instead, I'm waiting on the call back to say which.

The day before the test will be very interesting because he cannot eat for a full 24 hours. How difficult for a kid! Especially Chris since if he gets hungry he starts getting major belly aches and dizzy. Fun Fun.

Hailey's concert was great. She looked beautiful in her dress and I took some pics when we got home. I'll post em on here just as soon as I get them off the camera.

Nate's still not feeling 100% but he's done with the fevers and the rash is almost gone so hopefully he'll soon be back to his old goofy self.

Still working on that post I mentioned at the bottom of the last, haven't had much time to sit down and work on it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Almost back to normal

Nate's feeling quite a bit better and I've cut my hours down at work to be home with my baby. Shame on me for losing my perspective and putting money over what's important, being home with my kids. I have been praying for forgiveness.

Tonight is Hailey's holiday concert and Thursday is Shay's. I love those things!

Stay tuned for more interesting reading. I'm working on a post about self destructive people who are toxic to those around them. Good reads!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Nate is finally on the upswing. After 3 days of constant fevers he gave us a sign to tell us what was wrong........ with the rash all over his body. He had Roseola! He's really doing better now thank goodness and finally started eating again. It's so nice to see him smiling and playing again.

Work is crazy this week. Thankfully only a couple more weeks and then I'm done. Then I have to get everything together for my first Natural birth class through the hospital the first week of January. That should be exciting!

Jack had his little preschool Christmas program tonight and it was adorable in the way that only a preschool program can be. He said his parts to the play great, he played the bunny in the story Mittens. I am so proud. You would never know sometimes that he had such a rough start in life with the Sensory Integration Dysfunction, and you'd never know that we once feared he would be autistic. He's an amazing little boy, no doubt.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of updates lately but with working during the day I don't get much downtime.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Very eye opening

Take the time to watch this video. It really makes you realize things.....

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Ugh. So Nate's still sick. Worse than before actually. He's been into the clinic twice this past week and then last night we sat in the ER with him until almost 3am. He's now got crazy fevers I can't get down even piggy backing Tylenol and Motrin. All he does is cry and all he wants is to be held. He hasn't eaten in days really. Poor kiddo.

We are under a winter storm watch. All week they've been talking about 8-10 inches of snow here. We have gotten maybe 4? Darn, I was hoping for a storm like we had last winter, where we got 27 inches of snow overnight, that was cool. Doesn't look like we are going to get much more though. I don't care cause I don't have to drive in it, I'm keeping my tired butt in my sweats in my cozy house all weekend long, as much as I really should get some shopping done....... Oh well, that's what the internet and the good ole Visa check card are for hehe.
Interesting, I just had a phone call from someone who sounded like they were from the middle east......... couldn't understand em so I hung up on him..... lol

I'll leave you with a picture of Nathan (left), Brayden, and James from Nov 3.