Sunday, February 14, 2010

Aahhh...the snow

Most everyone who doesn't live under a rock has heard about the snow in DC and surrounding areas. It was somethin' to see and I will definitely post some pictures soon, but I'm not on my computer because we hopped on a plane to CA as soon as we could. Sure, snow was fun for a few days. We went sledding with friends, sledding by ourselves, etc. But sledding with our luggage---not as much fun. Our driveway is a half mile long, and our road is a half mile long. After that you get to pavement. Did I mention the hills? Well, we parked on the pavement to make sure we didn't get stuck while trying to leave for the airport, which means we had to hike a mile on a mostly plowed road with 3 dogs, a toddler, and our luggage. So we did actually drag our luggage on sleds down the road. It worked...pretty well. Oh, and it was all of 19 degrees outside. We got about halfway to the airport when we got the call that our flight was cancelled and I refused to walk back up the driveway.
So we checked into the airport Marriott to wait it out. We tried spending time on the phone with United to get on a later flight, but since they insist on transfering your phone call to INDIA, no one really understood our plight. Tom ended up taking the shuttle to the United counter several times in the snowstorm just to get tickets...ridiculous.
Anyway, most people would be pretty bummed to be stranded like this, and I would really have rather been on Balboa Island in a T-shirt. However, I was lovin' it. Roomservice, crappy food (but hey, they bring it to me already cooked and then take it away), crazy expensive movies in our room (but they had New Moon---you know Tom loved it!), indoor pool (which James choked and vomited in-woops), workout room that I never saw the inside of, and absolutely nothing to do but play with James in one room or have Tom take James for a walk and leave me alone in a room to read all by myself for the first time in at least 9 months. Bliss. (Hey-I have low standards!)
It is hard to really do therapy stuck in a hotel. Mostly food therapy because I do feel bad making a really big mess and there is carpet EVERYWHERE. (Those who know me well know there is no carpet in my house at all...not even a rug.) But we braved it and went into the restaurant armed with our usual goodies. The first thing I did was put a little sugar down and James just went to town licking it and flinging it. The wait staff just sort of laughed (we're good tippers). But that's all he ate...sugar. So the next meal we sat down (same staff--we were all stuck there) and without asking, they brought James a bowl of fruit. Lol. Yeah, sure. He'll eat that. So I ate it and got him to poke it. The next day they brought juice, lettuce, offered soup. I've been trying to not explain our circumstances to complete strangers, but finally I had to let these poor people concerned for my child's wellbeing that he just doesn't eat. Anything (although in CA some idiot was feeding pigeons and James grabbed the bread right off the boardwalk and shoved it in his mouth. Do you think it's as gross if they don't swallow it, or still pretty much just gross?)

Thursday, February 4, 2010


These are just a couple of pictures of how we do some of our therapy. Clearly, the dogs are very helpful. On the right is an example of how we eat dinner. Since James' chair sits on the ground, I make nice meals every evening, and we sit on the kitchen floor. I'll need to take a picture of THAT aftermath!

It's so fun for us to see anything in James' mouth. Anything...

Heavy play is very important in calming and regulating the sensory system. Really anything weight-bearing is 'heavy play', but some things work better than others. There are all sorts of things you can buy or copy from therapy shops, but we find that the best therapy is the great outdoors. So we head out whenever we can. Boating works wonders, but isn't super practical for us, but this winter we've found that traipsing through the snow in our heavy boots and sledding are some great ways to get heavy play and vestibular work in! Sledding pics to come!

Hanging by a thread!

I love meeting other 'sensory moms'. No one else can share stories like they can and NO ONE is funnier. Cause really, to have made it this far without completely freaking out or giving your child away to some poor, unsuspecting stranger, you have to have a pretty good sense of humor. I have met some of the most wonderful people through our experiences. Everyone has been incredibly helpful; one woman allows us to come to her house for therapy every single week when I'm sure she has other things she could be doing. Once you have someone help you out so significantly, you realize that you want to be able to help someone else. I so hope that I can ease someone else's way someday, or at least be a good sounding board.

Most days I actually do just fine though. We have lots of fun playing, my husband is extremely helpful when he's home, and we have a pretty good routine that, while it would drive some people crazy, we seem to make work. A good day is when it takes about an hour to get James to bed and he doesn't get up to cry until midnight. Even if he just waits to cry until I go to bed, that's a pretty decent evening. So I think I'm handling everything great. But when one thing goes wrong, I realize what a fine line I'm walking. We've had some rough nights (teething, a cold, moon and sun and stars not aligned properly--whatever, I try not to analyze too much), and at 4 am when I've been up for hours, my mental well-being is sadly diminished. I talked to a friend the other night who commented on my positivity, which was very sweet and made me feel good. It also broke the ice and made me laugh when I thought of it at 4 am the other morning, right after I handed James to my husband so I could go in the kitchen and scream to vent my frustration. In all honesty, it wasn't the worst night we've ever had. But man, I just couldn't take it. I just keep wondering how much longer I can hang on, or really how much longer I will HAVE to hang on, until this is over. There just doesn't seem to be an end in sight. Sigh.