Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oh Boy!!

So, J has been using the word "No" now for as long as I can remember. It was one of the words that he started to use and never stopped. Only, he didn't use it in the sense that other kids used it. It was his way of telling us what he wants. We have to use the process of elimination and he would simply say "No" until we show him what he wants.

Well, today he realized the true power behind the word No. Here is how most of our day went...

J, pick up your toys..."NO!"
J, eat your food..."NO!"
J, time for bed..."NO!"
J, give mommy a kiss..."NO!!" =(

Me no likey!

Friday, May 29, 2009


My poor blog. I've neglected it, and my readers. I'm so sorry. Life is finally starting to get back to something that I can call "normal". The entire month of May seemd to be an extremely sad blur. I still can't believe that my cousin is gone and I still cry from time to time, with no warning. It's so painful, but I know he's in a safer place now and we will all be okay. The house is still sitting on the market. Showings have slowed, and I'm really not complaining b/c if I'm being honest, the house was in no condition to be shown for this entire month. I even pulled the lock box inside (reminder to put it back out today!!) so that no realtors would have entry in case we were away. I'm still not feeling 100%, but this week I've forced myself to fall back into my routine. Having a clean house has helped with that. I've decided, though, that I need to see a Dr about the way I've been feeling. Tired, emotional, heavy periods, unbearable joint pains (mainly my knees), hair loss, and 10 lbs that I put on 2 months ago out of no where which is a big deal for me b/c I have such a hard time putting on weight and this appeared out of nowhere. Also, my face has been really puffy lately and usually that only happens when my allergies flare, which isn't the case now. I've been blaming all of this on stress and planned to just ignore it, or maybe just go to the Dr and ask for something for depression since I do admit that I have ALOT on my plate right now. But now I'm wondering if it could be my thyroid. Because of my endometriosis, my GYN in New Orleans kept a close eye on my thyroid, but I haven't had it checked since Katrina, so it won't hurt to have it checked out. I see the Dr on Tuesday.

My husband is seeing a multitude of Drs as well. He's had tendonitis in his wrist for nearly a year now. He hasn't been faithful with wearing his wrist brace, but it still bothers him so much so he was referred to a sports injury clinic, probably for PT. He also has a firm knot that showed up suddenly under his chin 2 weeks ago. At first we thought it was an ingrown hair or clogged hair follicle, but it isn't tender to the touch. So I thought (and still think) that it's a swollen lymph node, but his Dr doesn't think it is. In fact he said "I really don't know what that could be." and gave my husband a prescription for an antibiotic. Wow. I hope it's not anything bad and I hope the antibiotic helps, even though he has no symptoms of an infection...

Now Mr Jay man! He is a mess yall. My baby hardly speaks any English anymore! He uses his sign language and speaks Japanese! NO LIE! "Hi" and "Thank you" have been replaced with "Ni Hao" and "xiexie" (which sounds like shea shea). So every morning when I go into his room, he greets me with either "A morn" (good morning!) or "Ni hao!" and whenever I give him something he wants he says "xiexie!". Too much for me. I'm glad that he does at least understand what those words mean. It gives me hope that he will eventually learn to use his words soon. As of now, he's had yet another regression with speech. Well, not really a regression, just that he's fallen into more of a "mimic" stage, as opposed to independent speech. It's almost as if he has to be coached now to talk. He cannot answer yes or no questions, but he will repeat the last word you say in your question. So "would you like to eat?" is answered with "Eat!". "Would you like to play?" is answered with "Play" and "would you like some ice cream?" is answered with a very excited "OW CWEAM!!!" and the most enthusiastic signing I've ever seen for ice cream! LOL! Speaking of which, he's getting some today (100% fruit sorbet). So I do get him to say more words by adding new ones to the end of questions. Although, in reality, that is not considered "talking", but simply repeating. But hell, I'm not a speech therapist and I really want to enjoy my son and not spend every hour of the day being his therapist. It's tough.

Wednesday we meet with the developmental pediatrician. The first meeting is just for my husband and I. J will be home with my mom. I assume that she will be able to tell us what we are dealing with after that appt b/c we are the only two who see the worse of J's issues, 24/7, and I doubt that she will see anything but the language delay once she meets him. That is unless she plans to meet us in a very loud restaurant or in Walmart on the 1st or the 15th. Otherwise, I think the meeting with my husband and I is the most important and we can get some answers next week. I've prepared myself for the worse, but I know that my husband hasn't and if we are slapped with the "a" word next week, it will hurt him. But I am glad that I've already allowed myself to grieve the loss of that "perfect" child I dreamed of raising and I accept J for who he is and whatever it is he is fighting with and I am prepared to help him in anyway he can. By being prepared, I will be able to stay strong (as strong as possible) to hold my husband up and to fight for my baby for the care he needs. I'm hoping for a written diagnosis by next week. That may sound awful, sorta like I'm hoping that my child has autism, but trust me that's not the case. The problem is that J has an obvious problem that needs to be worked with, and unfortunately for him (and us), he is not a priority without a diagnosis. So a diagnosis will hopefully turn these tables around for us and make it a tad bit easier to get him help and into a preschool that can offer him the services that he needs to live as normal a life as possible as he grows up to be the man I'm raising him to become. Mainly, I want him back in Early Intervention ASAP. Like yesterday. As he gets older, I'm noticing more behaviors popping up...temper getting worse, repeating instead of speaking, and now a complete lack of expressive language. I can't help but think that some of these behaviors wouldn't have popped up if he was still getting the therapy, but there's really no way for me to be sure. What I do know is that if he was still in therapy, I would have his therapists here to see the new problems and to tell me and show me what I can do for him. Another thing is our trip to Disney is coming up soon, in August and I want him to have the best time possible, considering his sensory issues. Last year, Magic Kingdom was just too much for him. Last night I let him wear his weighted vest to a restaurant and it certainly offered a calming effect and he did extremely well. Even sat still the entire time while eating. So on my own, I believe I've learned that the added weight and compression helps to calm him in scary or overwhelming situations, sort of like how I calm him when I hug him real tight when he's scared and the weighted vest looks much better than the choke hold he usually needs to be put in to calm him down! LOL :) Kidding, sort of...he WANTS the pressure! So the weighted vest will accompany us to the parks, but there is no way that I expect him to wear 2lbs of weight and the vest over his clothes in 100 degree weather. No way. It will become a last resort. I'm hoping that we can get other pointers to make his trip more enjoyable. I do know that we can get a letter from the Dr explaining his condition and we could get him a special needs pass to skip the long lines, which would be a life saver b/c heat, crowds, loud noises, and waiting will set him off!

I guess as we notice his behavior getting worse, strangers in public notice as well. We no longer get the sympathetic look from other adults. You know the looks they give you when your child starts to scream and act up b/c he couldn't have a candy? The look that says "Awww, I've been there and I totally understand!"? Well, we don't get that look anymore. Instead, when Jayden starts screaming a very high pitched, shrill scream that will seriously wake the dead, and honestly makes EVERYONE look our way, or when he slams himself to the ground and then deliberately bangs his head, or when he throws everything off of a table in a restaurant while screaming, we get looks (scowls actually) that say "That child is out of control!" or perhaps maybe "She needs a parenting class." When they look at me and shake their heads and frown, I usually think it's the latter that they are thinking. It may not be true, but the scowls really do hurt and make us feel like we are just not welcome anywhere with him. In fact, last week after my cousin's funeral, we all met at my aunts house and we have a HUGE family. It was too much for J and he honestly SCREAMED the entire time. He wouldn't eat, he wouldn't play with the other kids, and he wouldn't just sit on my lap and be comforted. He screamed. The only time he wasn't screaming was when we let him play alone in my brother's truck (outside in the heat), away from all of the noise and the crowd. As we were getting ready to leave, one of my (step) cousins said to me "He is horrible. You have him rotten." WHAT?!?! I almost lost it on her. I was already not in the best mood b/c my cousin (her step brother!!) is gone, and then my son was just on edge the entire day. But I stayed cordial and I simply said "Look, you have no idea, trust me." and I left it at that. Through my experience I've learned that we should never pass judgement on anyone and their situation b/c you have no idea why a person is the way he/she is. I thank God for J. He was not only sent to fill my empty heart, but God sent him here to teach me (and hopefully many others) things that I need to learn while here on earth. Some of the lessons I've learned form him so far are that no one is perfect and that I cannot always strive to be perfect, patience, increased faith, and not to judge. I'm still learning from him each day and I love him for it. My pootie bear :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm getting married...AGAIN!!

A few weeks ago, my husband asked me to marry him again. I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't! He wants to renew our vows on a cruise ship! We've already set the date for July 3, 2010 (our 6 yr anniversary) and the ship will leave out of Mobile, AL, a 7 day cruise. We are waiting until after our trip to Disnay in August to finalize everything. The cruise line offers a vow renewal package and for a very reasonable fee, they will set up a space for the ceremony on the ship, the captain will lead the ceremony, we will get a renewal of vows certificate signed by the captain, there will be ceremony music, a photographer, wedding cake (2- tiered!!), and more! Super exciting!! Our hope is that our parents will join us and renew their vows as well (we all share the same anniversary). My parents seem to be on board and my mom is already planning attire. We will have to work on my husband's parents though b/c his mom is afraid of cruises.

I honestly didn't expect to even be thinking of renewing our vows until at least our 10 or 20 yr anniversary (yes I do plan to stay with him that long, LOL!), but even now, I feel that the vow renewal will be very meaningful and important to us. Some of you may not know, but Hurricane Katrina hit just one month after our very first wedding anniversary. We were still newlyweds and loving every minute of being a married couple. Katrina came and washed it all away. Our memories from when we were just dating, our memories during our first year of marriage, our gifts of love that we received at our wedding, and our house that we turned into a home together. Everything. All we had left were a duffle bag with a weekend worth of clothes and each other. To say that it was stressful would be an understatement. We were without a home for nearly 4 months. We stayed in a hotel for a little over a month and then moved to temporary housing on the Little Rock Air Force base. We were so thankful to be out of the hotel and grateful to have a house to stay in until we were able to find a permanent place to restart our lives, but the house was not in the best condition. They were actually in the process of tearing these houses down b/c they were so old. The one we stayed in was infested with flies. It was BAD. But the peopel there were so nice and accomodating and the help we received from strangers was amaazing. However, through all of that stress, our marriage was affected in ways we hadn't even imagined. We were fussing with each other, blaming each other, and even at times ignoring each other. Eventually we would fall into a place where the new us turned into the norm. Our communication with each other lessened, but we didn't realize this. We stopped eating dinner together b/c for over a month we had no choice but to eat out or to grab dinner at a church. Then once we moved to the base housing, if I cooked, we had to eat on the old couch b/c we didn't have a dining table. It became the new norm for us. Also, prior to Katrina, my husband and I used to get in bed together (at a reasonable time!!) and watch animal planet together. Our favorite show was Animal Cops Houston. Corny, I know, but so us! For the month that we stayed in the hotel, we were glued to CNN and to our phones searching for family and friends. Then at the base housing, we only had the little tv in the living room. This became our new "thing" to do, which really isn't bad, but we never again would lay in bed together and watch animal cops before kissing each other goodnight. So many other things have changed since the storm and it has had an impact on our relationship. One that we failed to realize. But it's there. Things are different. And we both are determined to get that spark back. We feel as though our newlywed lives were snatched away from us by Katrina. We went from being the loving newlywed couple, to being a stressed out newlywed couple, who forgot what life was like before Katrina. It's sad and I can only imagine that the "Katrina divorce rate" is very high b/c of the stress it caused to so many.

Add to that, infertility and military life, and you've got one stressed out newlywed couple. I think the fact that we made it through 5 yrs (in July) together and that he still gives me butterflies in my stomach speaks volumes for our love for one another. My husband retires from the Air Force on Jan 1, 2010. Our house is on the market and we plan to buy our dreamhome in Mandeville, LA. We will be back near the city that we love. We drove through New Orleans and went to metairie on Saturday and my husband was brought back to a happier time when we used to take long walks at Lafreniere Park, or play scrabble until 3 am and then decide that we want to go to Bud's Broiler for a burger. We even drove past our old townhome and reminisced. It was so sweet to see him so happy. He is ready to move back just as bad as I am.

So 2010, for us, will be a new start. We hope to pick up where we left off before Katrina. We know that life often throws us curve balls and we will be prepared for them, but in July 2010, I will be marrying (AGAIN) the man of my dreams and we will relive the newlywed life that was washed away with the storm. Love you baby!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A nightmare

My cousin was killed this weekend. Murdered. I cannot believe I'm typing that word out on my blog about someone I was so close to... I'm still hoping that it's not true. That it's all just a nightmare.

Sunday, Mother's Day, we were helping my parents to get ready for the big Mother's Day BBQ that they have in their backyard each year. They had already purchased loads of food, decorations, gifts, and Daddy was in and out of the house setting up tables and tents. Mom was gone to get some last minute decorations for my older brother b/c Sunday was alo his birthday and she was surprising him with a cake and a table decorated for his bday. I had just finished pre prepping foods for the BBQ and decided to take a shower and start getting dressed. I was walking out of the bedroom when I heard my dad in the garage and it sounded like he was laughing or crying...of course I prayed he was laughing, but in my heart I knew he wasn't. I looked through the garage door and he had the phone to his ear, hand over his head, and had his head down crying "NO NO NO, PLEASE DON'T TELL ME THAT!! NO!" OMG, That is forever welded into my brain. I immediately thought it was my younger brother b/c he has a record of being a trouble maker and we've all been afraid that we would get a call like that about him, as sad as that sounds. But it's true. I go to calm my dad down and I say "Daddy what's wrong, what's wrong?" and he says "They found Nicholas dead this morning." I immediately went numb and I'm wondering if I was in shock. I couldn't cry, but I also couldn't catch my breath. I just kept saying to myself "OH MY GOD WHY?!?!" I left the garage and was just lost. Daddy was still talking to my aunt, his sister, Nicholas' mother. I went into the living room and whispered in my husband's ear the news and then went straight to the bathroom to take my shower. Then I cried my eyes out and just started to pray. At that moment, I hadn't asked Daddy for details. I just knew that someone killed him, so I assumed he was shot and left for dead. I finished my shower and my Dad was in the garage crying his heart out. I hugged him and cried with him and I have never seen my Dad so angry. He said words I'd never heard him say before in my life. Then he told me "They found him in the trunk of a burned car." I am still speechless over this. More tears. Disbelief. This cannot be true. Maybe it's not him. But I know in the back of my head that my cousin is easily identified due to his physical deformities. He was born missing some fingers and only half of his right leg so he wore a prosthesis. There was no way that they could make a mistake in identifying him. My dad decides not to call my mom with the news but to wait until she got home from running errands, but he wanted to call my older brother. I told him that I didn't think that would be the best idea. My brother is very emotinal and has a bad temper and he lives in New Orleans (not far from where my cousin was found) and there was no telling what he would do out of anger. Instead, I called his fiance and told her, and asked her not to tell him, but that I needed her to get his guns, get his keys, and turn off his cell phone (he worked the night before so he was asleep). A few minutes later, my mom came home. She seemed so happy and upbeat about the BBQ. Maybe it seemed this way in my eyes b/c I knew that we were about to ruin her day with the news. Daddy walked in the living room and looked at me to come and help him to break the news. Momma went back outside for more bags so we followed her and helped and came back in. She immediately walked over to the table for my brother and was showing us what she got him. I fought back tears. Daddy said "Pam, I have some bad news to tell you." Momma said "NO NO NO NO NO, I don't want to hear any bad news!" Her face immediately went from being happy and full of joy, to extreme fear. I started crying. She screamed, "Is it Lil Eddie (my brother)?!?!" My dad and I said "No, he's okay." Then Daddy told her it is Nicholas and he was killed. My mom lost it. She started screaming and beating my dad, as if he had just done the crime. It was her anger at the news. I held her arm and we both tried taking to her. She screamed and cried on the kitchen floor for about 10 minutes. Daddy was rubbing her back and I was beside her trying to control my tears. Then my younger brother walked into the house. It's weird b/c at that moment it was a relief to see him. He hugged me and I cried in his arms. I wish I could say the rest of the day went better but that scene was replayed several times again that day. They decided to cancel the BBQ and just go over to my aunt's house. I suggested that they pack up the meat and the grill and bring the BBQ to her house b/c I knew our entire family would be there and it would help to not have everyone sitting around crying, a little bit of a distraction even if only for a few hours. My husband and I left to go to my brother's house to give him the news and get him to go straight to my aunt's house. He had already gotten up and was dressed and getting suspicious. His fiance just went ahead and called two of his good friends to come over b/c she knew that he was going to turn on his phone and find out. We pulled up right after his friends and I barely made it in the front door when I heard him scream out "NO!!!" and tun up the steps. I pleaded to him to come downstairs and please calm down. He broke down just as bad as my mom did. It was so tough for me. As he cried I prayed in his ear. I begged him to let God lead the detectives to my cousin's killers and that he stay out of it. He asked me "Where did they find him? What did they do to him?" I said "Jason, you don't want to know." He said "No tell me." I told him that he was locked in the trunk of a car and the car was set on fire. Only later would we found out that it was his sister's car that he was killed in. My brother broke down again. I prayed some more for him and he wiped his face and went to the computer to read the news on the murder. Then he got up and asked his friends to take him to the scene. I told him to stop and look at me and I told him "Jason, revenge is not the solution. You cannot wipe them all off of the face of this earth. If you seek revenge, this crime will never end. Please leave it alone and let God and the detectives do their jobs." He said okay. We left and went to my aunts house. Tears were shed, but there were also some smiles shared. We stayed as late as we could to support the family and as we were leaving, my aunt walked us tothe truck and said "Thank you for coming and bringing the bbq here. It definetly helped to take my mind off things...but then it all comes back." and she satrted to tear up. My heart is so heavy. I haven't been able to sleep much at all since then. How could anyone do such a mean thing to a person? It's so unbelieveable and painful. I know we will get through this but I just don't know how and when...

RIP Nicholas. I miss you so much.