Thursday, March 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday Chapter 1 -- A look back at December 2011

So I've had my Autism Daddy Facebook Page since April 2011...  and while I'm glad y'all enjoy it, and get something out of it, I sometimes use it for different purposes... Sometimes I use it like a diary or a journal.  Like I'll think "when did Kyle have his last ear infection?  I'll search thru the AD Page to find out..."

But the way Facebook works it makes it very hard for me to search that way.  So now, in honor of "Throwback Thursdays" every Thursday I'm going to take a different month and cut & paste all the great status updates and pics from that month into a long blog post for your reading pleasure and for my better documentation of our lives.

I kinda did this before.  I wrote recaps of April - July of 2011 (read), August 2011 (read), and Novemeber 2011 (read)

And today I present to you a look back at our lives in the grand old time of December 2011.  Kyle was 8 1/2 years old and had just been kicked out of school because of his breath holding (read)


DECEMBER 1
Autism Daddy updated their status.
2:17pm
So supposedly Kyle will be allowed back in school on Monday. That is what we were told by our city's special ed district chairperson.

Supposedly all the doctors FINALLY conferred and FINALLY spoke to Kyle's pediatrician and they all agreed that Kyle's heavy breathing & breath holding spells pose no immediate threat to his health.

They still want us to continue to see this behavior specialist and want him to come up with a plan to curb this behavior. This means he may need to leave school early a few days a week to fit in these appointments with the behavior specialist.

So after missing 9 days of school SUPPOSEDLY he'll be allowed back on Monday. Forgive me if I'm still doubtful and waiting for the other shoe to drop. And as happy as the wife & I are, we are still LIVID at this whole situation, LIVID that it took 2 weeks to settle this and LIVID that he can't begin school tomorrow? Why can't he begin school tomorrow?

If you don't know the history of all this, just read the blog post that I will post in the comments below...


DECEMBER 2
Autism Daddy updated their status.
7:15pm
Friday 6:21pm. I'm driving home from work and I'm thirsty. So I start fishing around in my bag trying to find my little pint sized water bottle. I feel something that feels like it. And I pull out an unused urine specimen cup
that must've been in there from some random Kyle doctor appointment months ago. = I am Autism Daddy...

DECEMBER 3


Post by Autism Daddy.
(this pic ABOVE caused a ton of controversy back then!)


(this pic above caused a ton of controversy back then!)

DECEMBER 3
Autism Daddy updated their status.
5:55pm
Kudos to Autism Mommy for shaking things up and getting us out of our rut today!

Kyle doesn't have anything on Saturdays until 12:30pm music therapy. But today instead of staying in till noon and mom & dad trading morning naps :-) she forced us to get out early. We went to the diner for breakfast (which you all know about :-), then to the park for some running around, then to Sears to FINALLY buy a new dishwasher & microwave. And we made it to music class on time!

Kyle was a good boy for it all...and autism service dog Paula came in mighty handy at the diner & Sears..

Kudos Mommy!


DECEMBER 3
Autism Daddy updated their status.
8:12pm
I've been experimenting with the timing and dosage of Kyle's melatonin lately...and I think I'm on to something... For a few weeks he'd have a hard time settling down. I'd give him his usual 3-6mg at around 8pm and I mean the melatonin was working and within 30-45 minutes like it usually does, but during those last 30-45 minutes Kyle was really hyper and doing alot of his heavy breathing thing...and not going down happy... (it almost felt like a mini panic attack). I recorded some audio of it earlier this week, but it won't let me add the link...

Anyway, for the past few days I've been giving him 300mcg (micrograms) like 1/10th of what he was getting before... but I've been giving it to him right after his dinner at around 6:45pm... And it's taking longer to work, but it's much smoother and calmer... Tonight he kinda put himself to bed...out by 8pm...

We've done 300 mcg before so I know that this will work for a few weeks and then it will stop working and we'll be back up to 3mg, but it's nice for the time being...

DECEMBER 4

Post by Autism Daddy.

DECEMBER 4



DECEMBER 4
Autism Daddy updated their status.
8:14am
And now back to our regularly scheduled program...

Mommy & Kyle are heading off soon to special needs gymnastics & swim while daddy stays home to put up Christmas lights outside...

If you know me, you'll know that I'm not your normal manly man...and I take very little joy in these manly jobs...I'd much rather skip it and go with them...but it's better that it gets done while they are not around so I can give my 100% focus to it...and knowing me it will still look half-assed. :-)


DECEMBER 5
Autism Daddy updated their status.
7:48am
First day of school... Take 2....


DECEMBER 5
Autism Daddy updated their status.
7:45pm
Monday 7:41pm, Kyle has a great first day back to school and had quite the appetite today too...

But instead of winding down for the night Autism Mommy is rolling the dice and we are all heading to ____ to buy our real Christmas Tree...


DECEMBER 5
Autism Daddy updated their status.
11:28pm
Kyle is getting to be Mr Mellow Yellow, Mr Go With The Flow again... He had a very uneventful day at school today... And then he was very cool with mom & dad dragging him to get a Christmas tree at 8pm on a school night...

I know this mellow phase won't last forever so we gotta enjoy it while it lasts. As the wife says "these are the salad days..."

It's amazing how my mood lives and dies with what's going on in Kyle's world. His first day back at school was my calmest least stressful day in WEEKS...

These are the salad days my friends...

(look it up, it's a real expression :-)


DECEMBER 6
Autism Daddy updated their status.
10:00am
It's a good thing the king is a deep sleeper. He wasn't always.

Listen to what we did last night between 10pm and midnight... We rearranged the living room and flipped the living room rug and put the Christmas tree in its proper location.

Then we decided that the store didn't cut off enough of the bottom of the Christmas tree so Autism Daddy pulled out an old saw and we sawed off 6 inches off the bottom of the tree.

Then Autism Mommy had to vacuum all those pine needles up at 11:45PM... all the time while watching one of our holiday favs "Love Actually" on the TiVo... and the kid slept through it all... :-)

Do we like to play with fire or what?
:-)


DECEMBER 7
Autism Daddy updated their status.
1:41pm
My brain is broken sometimes.

I have this annoying habit where I'll get COMPLETELY stressed out over something trivial (like the applicances being delivered & installed...or...the real christmas tree we bought not being the freshest and being dead by the 23rd :-)...but then I'm cool as a cucumber when something crazy happens on our Autism Island....

Misplaced stress I guess... My dad was the exact same way. My drugs help it alot but it still rears it's ugly head once in awhile...

My wife always says "don't sweat the small stuff" but it's easier said than done...


DECEMBER 7
Autism Daddy updated their status.
5:28pm
How many photos does it take to get one decent pic of your ASD kid?

It's at this time of the year that I say "thank god for digital cameras!"

On my personal FB page I've been putting a few cute pics of Kyle recently up and people always comment "oh he's so photogenic" and "he just loves the camera"... and also every holiday season we put the perfect pic of Kyle on our holiday card and people think he's just a ham for the camera.

Boy do we have them fooled. We have literally THOUSANDS of reject shots from these "holiday card photo shoots" over the years where he's walking away or spacing out or licking the tree... :-) and we work mighty hard getting the perfect close-up shot that captures Kyle and his personality in all its glory.

And then I get some holiday pic cards from my friends with NT kids and the picture choices look so random & haphazard and are often so far away... WTF?

What about you guys? Do you have the same photo issues with your asd kids? :-)


DECEMBER 8
Autism Daddy updated their status.
6:59pm
Bouncing on a ball while watching tv has been replaced with bouncing on a ball while staring at the lights on the Christmas tree.

The king is OBSESSED with the tree!! :-)


DECEMBER 8
Autism Daddy updated their status.
7:29pm
All you long time AD readers and all you neat freaks will be happy to know that we finally got our new dishwasher today!! :-)

(if you don't know what this is referring to, too bad, I don't want to start up that controversy all over again)

lol


DECEMBER 10
Autism Daddy updated their status.
5:37pm
We went to a Special Needs Christmas party thrown by the Police Athletic League in our town this afternoon. This is an all ages party so it's one of the few events that we've gone to where we can see into the future... Lots of older and some elderly special needs people were in attendance, some still lived with their parents, others were from group homes in the area. Stuff like that used to really bother me, but not today...

Maybe it's because everyone seemed to be having a BLAST... lots of joy in that room today...

(and maybe the drugs I'm on helped a bit too :-)


DECEMBER 11
Autism Daddy updated their status.
9:06am
Autism Daddy is a wee bit hungover... and Autism Mommy has the whole day planned out which will have us out of the house from 10am - 5pm.

It's gonna be a LONG day for this old timer...

I need to get my alcohol tolerance back up to my college days.... :-)


DECEMBER 11
Autism Daddy updated their status.
5:48pm
"...Kyle I'm glad you like the Christmas tree, but this OBSESSION is getting ridiculous! Stop trying to bite the lights! No mouth..."


DECEMBER 11
Autism Daddy shared your photo.
8:00pm
I'm reposting this old pic because it happened again... Kyle was just having a VERY stimmy evening, wandering aimlessly from room to room, flapping, etc. He needed to settle down and sit still for more than 60 seconds. So, like in this pic, I attached him to Paula (his autism service dog) and he sat calmly for a whole 30 minute episode of "Jack's Big Music Show"


DECEMBER 12
Autism Daddy updated their status.
10:07pm
I'm pulling up to my house after work tonight and from the street I can see Kyle standing at the dining room table munching away on his dinner. And my god, he looked so BIG! It was like I was on the outside looking in. And in that moment he looked so typical... and then the moment was broken when I saw my wife come in to spoon feed him his next bite... that's not too typical of an 8 year old... :-)


DECEMBER 13
Autism Daddy updated their status.
4:08am
Tuesday 4:06am -- I should've known writing that blog post about how great Kyle sleeps with melatonin was gonna jinx things. The king awoke at 3:46 this morning and shows no signs of returning to slumber... :-(

DECEMBER 13



DECEMBER 13
Autism Daddy updated their status.
9:58am
I got 2 vacation days left in 2011 so I decided to take one today while the king is in school so I can spend the first half of the day with the wife. She's got a full agenda of Christmas shopping planned. :-)


DECEMBER 13
Autism Daddy updated their status.
7:32pm
If Kyle ever wants to have a career as a criminal he has to get used to one of his favorite (and most disgusting) stims. On certain days, when the mood is right, the king likes to gently and delicately place little puddles of saliva all over the house. On windows, the tv, the counter, etc. His DNA evidence is EVERYWHERE!! :-)

DECEMBER 13



DECEMBER 14
Autism Daddy updated their status.
Wednesday 7:39am, Kyle might not be an ASD kid who needs schedule and routine, but maybe daddy is.

Kyle watches the 7am episode of Sesame Street each day and whenever I hear Elmo's World begin I know that we are running late...


DECEMBER 14
Autism Daddy updated their status.
Wednesday 8:40pm, I want a do-over on this whole night so far . I started the bedtime routine with the king way too early, mostly for selfish reasons... cuz I'm starving and cuz I want to watch Survivor... and he's not tired....and I keep telling myself "don't be mad at him for not being tired, be mad at yourself for starting so early " but here I am yelling at him "stay on the bed! lie down!" which is pointless cuz he's just not that tired. He'll probably be asleep by 9:30pm which in the grand scheme of things is pretty good, but the flapping and the heavy breathing and the jumping up and running to the window is driving me crazy tonight...but if I just went into it with different / realistic expectations I'd be fine with this...


DECEMBER 15
Autism Daddy updated their status.
8:44am
3 pee-pee accidents in the past 24 hours! I'm freaking out over here! This is the third time we've had to potty train Kyle cuz he regressed and lost it twice. I will NOT let it happen again... NOT ON MY WATCH!!


DECEMBER 15
Autism Daddy updated their status.
6:16pm
Office Holiday Party & After Party tonight... Autism Mommy is on her own tonight.... :-)


DECEMBER 16
Autism Daddy updated their status.
Friday 8:05am, mom & Kyle just left for school and I have an hour before I need to leave for work. Woo-hoo! Can you say waffles & bacon & an episode of Breaking Bad??


DECEMBER 17
Autism Daddy updated their status.
7:36am
Saturday 7:31am -- Kyle sat still in bed with me, lying between my legs while watching Sesame Street. It was a glorious 3 minutes while it lasted.

The kid used to sit with me like that all the time. In fact that's how I used to get him to sleep at night. Somewhere it went away without me even noticing. I guess it's a bit of progress / a bit more mature to not need your dad to hold you like that... but I kinda miss it.


DECEMBER 17
Autism Daddy shared your photo.
12:02pm
It's official. This week is the week... The week that Kyle stopped respecting the gate and just climbs right over it.

Part of me is a little scared, but a bigger part of me is proud that he problem solved to get what/ where he wants. :-)


DECEMBER 17
Autism Daddy updated their status.
3:28pm
We've got 13 members of my side of the family coming over to our house for Christmas pizza night in less than 3 hours. And as usual Kyle and I are relegated to the upstairs while mommy gets everything ready... Always a whirlwind, but usually a fun night...


DECEMBER 18
Autism Daddy updated their status.
7:32am
So, as I wrote last night we had 13 family members over last night for Christmas Pizza night... And all went well... A good time was had by all, including Kyle. He wasn't the most related and he was in his own world for alot of it...but he did stay in the living room (and stim on the Christmas tree) with all of us instead of disappearing into another room which is something I guess. :-) However, at around 8:45 Kyle made it be known that he had ENOUGH and started to meltdown....6 mg of melatonin later and he was asleep in his bed by 9:05pm with daddy while the party continued LOUDLY downstairs. Thankfully the king can sleep thru anything most days...


DECEMBER 18
Autism Daddy updated their status.
Sunday 7:13pm -- I can't believe it's only f--king 7:13pm!!!


DECEMBER 18
Autism Daddy updated their status.
12:24am
It's December 18th and I just realized that I haven't watched one of my favorite Christmas movies yet....

DIE HARD...

A holiday classic IMO...

Yippy ki-yay ____________!!!!


DECEMBER 20
Autism Daddy updated their status.
7:13am
Lately the wife and I both wake up with our backs all twisted and with headaches. We are only a few years in to this mattress so it can't be that...and even if it is that, we can't afford another king size mattress right now. (they are supposed to last 10+ years!)

I ordered a new bed frame off amazon and it's arriving on Wednesday. "Merry Christmas honey! Isn't that a romantic gift?" Hopefully that provides some relief.

I know what your thinking...that it could be stress related...but I'm just as stressed when I sleep on the couch but my back don't hurt in the am...


DECEMBER 20
Autism Daddy updated their status.
7:38am
I think I just reversed my contact lenses (L in R, R in L), but I'm not positive.... It makes me wonder how often I do that & don't notice...


DECEMBER 20
Autism Daddy updated their status.
Wed 536pm. Almost home from work. Wife's gotta go to a wake tonite for an old friends dad.

Kyle's been a bit off with his bedtime routine lately so I'm tempted to shake things up and take him out shopping w/ me. Get him nice & exhausted by a trip to Costco or Best Buy...

Of course I say this now. Let's see how I feel when I get home and see exactly what I'm walking into. :-)


DECEMBER 20
Autism Daddy updated their status.
8:56pm
Maybe I should take a break from Facebook & the blog cuz it feels like I'm jinxing myself. Ever since I wrote the blog post praising melatonin it hasn't been working as well....and ever since I wrote the blog post about potty training he been having quite a few pee-pee accidents... WTF? Did I anger the melatonin & potty gods?


DECEMBER 21
Autism Daddy updated their status.
8:20am
Today is my last day of work until January 2nd (my company is closed next week) and as exciting as that is... it also feels very daunting and scary....if you know what I mean.

:-)


DECEMBER 21
Autism Daddy updated their status.
6:24pm
Wed 622pm -- Pajamas on... Mine, not the kid's


DECEMBER 21
Autism Daddy updated their status.
Wed 926pm -- Finally he yawns!!!


DECEMBER 22
Autism Daddy updated their status.
9:03am
The king is a finicky little bugger. He's often hungry in the car. But you can't put a cup of cheerios or a bowl of popcorn or fruit on his lap. No, no you can't invade his personal space like that. The SOB will hand it (or throw it) back to you. You can't even use the cup holder next to his seat or put it on the seat next to him. No his majesty is starving but wants handfuls of food passed back to him. How did we create this monster.

:-)


DECEMBER 22
Autism Daddy updated their status.
3:27pm
Thur 308pm-- My first day off for the holiday break and Kyle is still in school. So,did the wife & I spend a romantic day together? Nope. She's had me been running Christmas errands solo since 11am while she bakes cookies. (We have people coming over the next 2 nights)

Get a gift certificate here, pick up shrimp for Xmas eve there, another gift certificate here, drop off a gift basket to the King's pediatrician there.

I AM EXHAUSTED!! Next year I'm going to work. :-)


DECEMBER 22

Post by Autism Daddy.


DECEMBER 22



DECEMBER 23
Autism Daddy updated their status.
10:53am
Is it me or is festivus the perfect  holiday for us  autism families. No tree, just a pole. "I find tinsel distracting"


DECEMBER 23
Autism Daddy updated their status.
6:24pm
We're having a few couples of old HS friends over tonight with their NT kids. Will Kyle have a good time? Maybe. But it's not always all about him. Mommy & daddy want some adult conversations and maybe even a few beers. The king will survive. These kids are really good with him.


DECEMBER 23
Autism Daddy updated their status.
11:56pm
It's funny...When we've got a house full of people here the stuff Kyle does that normally drives me crazy, I barely notice or I just wave off. Climbing, spitting, stimming....Whatever, as long as he's safe. If only I had that attitude when it's just the 3 of us, I'd be much calmer and he'd be much happier...


DECEMBER 24
Autism Daddy updated their status.
6:51am
We've got a smaller crowd than usual coming over for Christmas Eve dinner tonight. Anyone have no plans for dinner or desert and want to shake things up and join us? :-)


DECEMBER 24
Autism Daddy updated their status.
Sat 133pm -- My mission, should I choose to accept it is to keep Kyle out of the house for as long as possible while mommy preps for Xmas eve dinner at 5pm. Not an ez mission considering that we got nowhere to go. Shopping is out cuz of all the last minute crowds. Playground/park is out cuz it's f-ing cold! It may just be Burger King Drive Thru and driving around watching Sesame DVDs until one of us can't take it anymore... :-)


DECEMBER 25
Autism Daddy updated their status.
12:09pm
The year that Kyle enjoys and lets mom & dad watch A Christmas Story, Elf, and the Odd Couple Christmas Carol episode will be a true Christmas Miracle!!! :-) But no the king only wants his usual Dora's, Sesame's, and Jacks Big Music Shows...


DECEMBER 25
Autism Daddy updated their status.
6:05pm
What I often say to my wife (tongue in cheek) as we are about to enter into a potentially stressful situation with Kyle...like Christmas dinner at my sis-in-laws...

"Honey, no matter what happens in there tonight, just know that I love you very very much..."

:-)


DECEMBER 25
Autism Daddy updated their status.
12:55am
At 8 years old it's now nearly impossible to transfer a sleeping Kyle from one place to another. So while I was able to get the king to sleep at my sis-in-laws, we are now home and he's wide awake and eating popcorn.... :-)


DECEMBER 26
Autism Daddy updated their status.
Mon 324pm -- We are all still in our pajamas and I'm fighting the guilt... "Maybe I should take the king to Open Swim at the Y, get him out of the house for a few hours" and the wife's saying "it's ok to stay home once in awhile. We've had 2 busy days..." And she's right but I sense the native getting restless... :-)


DECEMBER 27
Autism Daddy updated their status.
10:16am
I'm slightly hungover due to a great date night w/ the wife last night in NYC, but #autism doesn't do hangovers and the wife has a day full of autism-riffic activities planned.

FML.

:-)


DECEMBER 27
Autism Daddy updated their status.
2:12pm
We are at the movie theater waiting for Alvin @ The Chipmunks to start. I don't know what's worse... being really early (like today) or being late (like usual)

Let's see if Kyle can tolerate the 20 minutes of previews...


DECEMBER 27
Autism Daddy updated their status.
5:28pm
Todays agenda was...

Grandparents for a late breakfast, then to the park/playground, then to the movies, then shoe shopping for the king...

Amazingly he was best behaved in the shoe store. My theory? The king likes to be served and this is an old school shoe store where the girl puts them on and ties your shoes, etc...


DECEMBER 28
Autism Daddy updated their status.
3:51am
The king woke up at 1:05am and the negotiations between the wife and I began...

Me: "Can you take the first shift with the king since you've been asleep on the couch since 10pm?"

Her: "Ok, but let's put him in our bed..."

Me after getting kicked in the head 20 times: "This isn't working..."

After 2+ hours of her hanging in his room with him at 3:35am she wakes me up and says "ok your turn..."

So now me and Kyle are downstairs in the living room and watching tv... I'm waking her ass up at 5am to put her back on duty... :-)


DECEMBER 28
Autism Daddy updated their status.
5:25am
Wed 520am, just carried the sleeping king back up to his room after a 4 hour awake stint. I had to pull out the big guns tonight....Benadryl. I'm not proud of it, but 1-2x a month we've got a situation that calls for Benadryl....


DECEMBER 28
Autism Daddy updated their status.
5:20pm
8 years old you would think I would know this already but very often it's hard to tell what a loud "eeeeee!" sound from Kyle means. Very often if I'm upstairs and she's downstairs with the king I'll ask, "is that a happy eeeeee"? Or she'll yell up, "those are happy sounds by the way..." But other times that same sound is when he's upset...


DECEMBER 29
Autism Daddy updated their status.
6:31am
Shhh, dont tell my wife, but we never did take our holiday card pic, and therefore we never sent out cards...

The deck was stacked against us from the start. Kyle had broken the lens on my good SLR camera, and I couldn't get a decent pic on my iPhone camera + now that we have a service dog it HAS to be a pic of them together and getting the two of them together looking in the camera at the same time is damn near impossible...

I know the wife will remember this and knowing us we will be the only people sending out HAPPY NEW YEAR cards in January... Or do they make Happy Martin Luther King Day photo cards? :-)


DECEMBER 29
Autism Daddy updated their status.
1:59pm
We went this morning to see my nephew's track meet. Kyle did surprisingly well. On the way home at around 1130am we are on the highway and he fell asleep in the car (while eating popcorn of course). Naps are rare for the king. I whisper to the wife "what do you want to do now?" she says "keep driving on this highway...until it ends or we run out of gas..."

:-)


DECEMBER 29
Autism Daddy updated their status.
4:56pm
We just got back from Kyle's monthly torture session aka his haircut. HE HATES HAIRCUTS!! Then why once a month you ask? Well the theory is if he gets it once a month it'll be 10-15 minutes of torture at 50% level where if we let it get longer and went every 2-3 months it would be 25-30 minutes of torture at 100% level. I think that math kinda works out... :-)


DECEMBER 29
Autism Daddy updated their status.
12:34am
Wait, tomorrow's only Friday? And New Years Day is Sunday, but school doesn't start til Tuesday?! WTF?? C'mon!!

Here's hoping Kyle's typical post holiday break regression at school won't be as bad as some previous years...

DECEMBER 30


DECEMBER 30
Autism Daddy updated their status.
2:18pm
Fri 2:12pm Kyle and I are in the backyard trampoline. I'm sitting, he's jumping and lifting me up a good 6 inches. Appreciating this warm (52 degrees!!) December day in the NYC area...


DECEMBER 30
Autism Daddy updated their status.
2:41pm
We just had a moment.

Kyle and I are in the backyard. He's on his swing. Our autism service dog Paula is speedily running around like a maniac like she always does when she's first let off leash in the backyard. And for the first time (ever?) Kyle tracked her with his eyes the whole time as she ran around and got a chuckle out of her antics. Normally he barely notices and/or is more into doing his own thing...

A sweet little moment...


DECEMBER 30
Autism Daddy updated their status.
7:15pm
"When you wake up in the morning Kyle the Christmas tree probably won't be here. So get in your last looks, nibble on your last ornaments..."


DECEMBER 31
Autism Daddy updated their status.
8:20am
"Kyle if you could only tolerate wearing headphones you'd make daddy very happy. This way I wouldn't have to listen to Dora & Elmo ALL. MORNING. LONG..."


DECEMBER 31
Autism Daddy updated their status.
1:17pm
In case you were wondering I'm happy to report that the iPad's touch screen works with one's tongue. Kyle just paused an episode of Dora with his tongue... :-)


DECEMBER 31
Autism Daddy updated their status.
11:59pm
HAPPY FREAKING NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!  BRING ON 2012!!








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