My Breastfeeding Badges of Honor

The Party to End All Parties

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Saturday, January 24th at 4:00pm we all gathered together to celebrate the life of my beautiful, special little man. In hindsight, perhaps this was not the best idea.

So despite my best efforts to prepare and be ready long before the day of the party arrived, Saturday was a crazy day. I had tried to get the cleaning done and the shopping done long before the party. Yeah, that didn't happen. So of course while we are all running around like chickens with our heads cut off, Rob bent down and picked up an empty duffel bag. He didn't move in a funky way. It wasn't heavy. But that's all it took and his back was G-O-N-E...gone!

There I was with a house to clean, shopping to do, children to care for, and a party to set-up and my partner in crime was down for the count. (Oy!) I admit it, I was freaking out. Luckily, I had already called Mom G. and begged her to come and help. I was waiting for her to call me so I could pick her up. Even with Rob's Mom coming, I was still freaking out and feeling the day spinning wildly out of control. Enter "Super Sister"! (duh tu da da) I called my big sister, Trisha, near tears because I had no idea how I was going to get everything done. True to form, Trisha saved the day. She was everything a big sister should be, in my opinion.

Mom G. called me at about 10am to say that she was ready. Mr. Emmett John and I went to pick her up. Then while we were out I did my running around. We hit the Dollar Store for cups, silverware, napkins, table cloth and some other odds and ends that weren't really on my list but I bought them anyway. :D (lol) Then we hit Giant Eagle so I could pickup the ice cream and pop. I completely forgot the chips and candy that I had also intended to pick up. Eh well. We swung through McDonald's for 2 ice teas and then headed home.

All of that build up, now for the party. ;)

The party was scheduled to start at 4pm. Trisha arrived at 12noon, shortly after Mom G. and I returned from our running around. And by running around, I mean Mom G. was kind enough to hang out in the car with a sleeping Emmett John. We ate lunch and then tackled the house. Mom G. took on the dishes, which then morphed into her cleaning the kitchen. Trisha and I tackled the laundry that needed folding and the bathroom. She was also kind enough to get Elliott Richard dressed, which is no easy feat. He made her offer every single shirt he owns. Only to choose the shirt she offered him first in the end. (lol) Between Mom G., Trisha and myself we managed to knock out the cleaning, shopping and general party-prep by 3pm! :) (Woo who!)

People started to arrive around 4pm, right on time. (I love punctuality.) All told, the guest list was pretty long. :) We had:

Grammy (Great Grandma C.)
Great-Aunt Sharon
Aunt Trisha
Grandma G.
Pa-Pa G.
Grandma W.
Grandpa W.
Uncle Brian
Uncle Jon
Aunt Teri
Aunt Kate
Uncle Tim
Jenna (Uncle Tim's girlfriend)
Aunt Jenny
Matt (Aunt Jenny's boyfriend)
Michelle ("Mo-Mo", our neighbor)

The party itself was a huge success! We had pop and cake and ice cream. I had baked some cupcakes. My parents picked up a 1/4 sheet cake from Giant Eagle. We talked, laughed and mingled. Gavin bounced off the walls until it was time for cake and ice cream. We sang "Happy Birthday" to him and he blew out his candles. Then Elliott Richard got ready to blow out his candle (my method for keeping him from blowing out Gavin's candles) but he refused to blow it out without us singing "Happy Birthday" to him. (lol) While we mingled and ate cake, Gavin continued to bounce off the walls. (Perhaps this should have been a clue as to what lie ahead.) Before long my Grammy and Aunt Sharon said they needed to get going, plus Gavin was getting more and more hyper as time went on so we opted to move right along to the presents.

Let me just say this, he made out like a bandit! And boy can my boy open gifts! Michelle commented on the fact that she's never seen a kid open gifts that fast before. (lol)

He was thrilled beyond words with his new Kinex Ferris wheel. After he had torn the wrapping off all the gifts, he grabbed the box and made a bee-line for his room. Throughout the night Brian went upstairs and helped Gavin put it all together and get it sorted out. Thank God for Brian! Rob and I are horrible with complicated sets like that. While I'm confident that Gavin would have eventually had the whole thing built, it happened just that much faster with Brian's help. :)

People slowly trickled out after Gavin opened his gifts. In the end, it was Rob, me, Trisha, Jenn, and Matt. Elliott Richard went to bed between 8 and 9pm. We let Gavin stay up until 10-ish since it was his birthday party and all. At around 9:30pm the adults decided we were starving and we ordered Pizza Hut. (My first Pizza Hut pizza in about 6 months! That's another post that's coming.) It was a really awesome way to end the evening. Sitting around and eating pizza with some of my favorite people in the world. Overall, it was a good day.

That was then. Sunday was a whole different story.

At the time when I planned the party, I wanted to celebrate Gavin. I wanted to make his birthday big and bright and special. I wanted him to be able to look around and see just how much we all love him. In that respect, I accomplished my goal. What I failed to take into account were the side effects. I failed to think past Saturday into Sunday and the next week. That was my fault.

We spent Sunday and the week following trying to...adjust. Sunday night we couldn't get Gavin to give up on his Ferris wheel and go to bed. The insanity that ensued over the next week...I can't really find words to describe it. It wasn't any single behavior. It was more a general feeling running through the household, controlled by Gavin. Much like the under-tow of the ocean is controlled by the moon and God. It's nothing that can be seen by an outsider. However, it is certainly something that can be felt by the swimmers in the ocean.

Because of this feeling, this current, Rob and I have made the decision that this year's birthday party was quite honestly the party to end all parties, at least as far as Gavin is concerned. That's not to say that we won't celebrate his birthday every year, because we most certainly will. Nor will we prohibit others from celebrating. It will just have to be celebrated in little, tiny bursts either over the course of a week or possibly in a single day (scheduled in a fashion similar to doctor's appointments). Either way we won't attempt to overwhelm him with that many people again. Even when it comes to Elliott Richard and Emmett John's birthdays, we will likely make arrangements with my parents to leave early and take Gavin with them. That way we are not forced into avoiding birthday parties for them as well.

So the party itself was a smashing success, in my opinion. The aftermath, fallout and next 7 days...yeah, not so much. You live. You learn, I suppose.

Google It!

8:57:00 AM Posted In Edit This 1 Comment »
Google i believe that faith has brought us here cheerios commercial ~ Wow...I really need to look this commercial up.
Google what is up with the post on the construction loan? gosselinswithoutpity ~ No idea why this lead you here. I don't follow that blog anymore. It was getting too negative for my tastes.
Google exhausted mother high-functioning autism ~ That's me!
Google does sheetz serve soy milkshakes? ~ Don't know. But one of their milkshakes sounds really good right now. cheerio mint ~ Um...ew?
Google cheerios commercial mob ~ You know, in hindsight, I really should have seen cheerio-cereal based searches bringing people to my blog. Eh well. donate autism speaks ~ I've been hearing some...less than favorable things about Autism Speaks so I'm not sure how I feel about this one.
Google cheerio commercials ~ Again, hindsight is 20/20.
Google accidental trileptal dose ~ Wow. I still feel horrible that this is happening, however, I also feel better knowing I wasn't the only one. cheerios commercial couple in morning ~ Still 20/20. autism severe pica ~ Check. And check. torture specialist ~ Ah my Tiny Emmett John! :) Not sure what this person was looking for though.

Google It

7:42:00 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
Google: laying child down on exam table for a shot in the butt ~ Do they still give shots in the butt? I know I had them when I was pregnant (the steroid injections & 17P injections) but I can't remember the last time besides those that I or my kids have had shots in the butt.
Google: i believe that faith has brought us here cheerios commercial ~ I haven't seen this commercial (mainly because we record everything so we can skip commercials) but people must really like it. Maybe I should post it somewhere on the blog? I feel bad that they keep coming here hoping for it and only find my crazy life. lol
Google: a schrute upbringing ~ I can only assume that this has to do with Dwight K. Schrute in "The Office", in which case I am thrilled beyond words that an Office related search brought someone to my blog. I *heart* The Office! :)
Google: castles in the sky aspergers ~ Well, the castles in the sky this post was referring to had nothing to do with Aspergers. It was a reference to Elliott Richard and his block castles. I hope you found what you were looking for though.

My Big Sister ROCKS!

3:24:00 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »

That's right. My big sister ROCKS!

As you may remember, Dr. H has given the okay for me to try some milk products to see how Mr. Emmett John reacts. Yesterday while in the grocery store I decided to buy a sugar cookie with some serious icing thinking that surely it had milk in it somewhere. Wrong. Well, I ate the cookie anyway but I must admit I was a wee bit irritated. I was irritated because a) I love these cookies and could have been eating them for the past 6 months and b) I was all worked up to eat milk again and it was a no go.

So last night I was talking to my sister before she came over to hang out. (There's a shock, I know. lol) Anyway, we were chatting and I told her about my cookie snafu. Then when she calls me on her way over and tells me that she is stopping by Wendy's and picking up 3 Frosty Floats. So I was all excited. Then she shows up with double stuffed Oreos, peanut M&Ms, 2 containers of cheese cubes, Ben & Jerry's Phish food ice cream and Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream. All of that yummy junk food just so that I could have milk products for the first time in nearly 6 months. :) In the end I went with the Frosty Float and the Oreos but that's because there isn't any milk in the Oreos.

But how awesome is my sister? To bring all of those goodies that she knows I love. I'm a lucky girl, this I know.

I love you Trish! :p

9 years old and Growing Stronger Everyday

12:52:00 PM Posted In , , , , , , Edit This 1 Comment »
Tomorrow is Gavin Alexander's 9th birthday. I can't believe that 9 years have gone by already. Likewise, I can't believe all that we have survived and endured over the past 9 years. Wow.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have read about Thursday's 9 year well-child check-up. If you don't, hold on tight because it was a bumpy ride!

First things first, the stats:

Height: 54.3in/4ft 5.3in (75%)
Weight: 63lb 2oz (51%)
BP: 80/62
Vision: 20/25

My darling bottomless pit has only gained 2oz in the past few months. Dr. H doesn't seem worried. In fact, he said he's very happy with Gavin's height and weight because he's consistantly gaining and growing. I guess, in the end, that's all that truly matters. Although between you and me, I wouldn't mind if some weight stuck to him because it's getting next to impossible to find pants that are both long enough and slim enough to fit him. (lol)

He hasn't really grown any either. I mean he's grown like 0.3in but that doesn't seem like much. As long as Dr. H is happy though, I'm good.

Gavin had taken his "Funfolio" with him to the appointment to help keep him distracted. (That think is amazing!) So while Rob and I talked to Dr. H, Gavin sat and drew pictures and played. We discussed the fact that Gavin was due for a chickenpox booster. Dr. H said that we could do a blood test to see if the booster was necessary but that would mean the possibility of having to bring Gavin back in at another time for the booster shot anyway. We opted out of that. Then we discussed the fact that Gavin has never had bloodwork. No liver panel. Or kidney functions. Or CBC. Or even a lead level. While none of us relished the fact that the bloodwork was obviously necessary, we did agree that it had to be done. Dr. H even schmoozed the Lab Ladies into sending a Lab Tech up to do the bloodwork while we had him held down for the booster shot. Apparently because of Gavin's PICA we need to do lead levels on him more frequently than usual to make sure that he isn't slowly poisoning himself. (Yippee.) After we talked and caught Dr. H up (this was his first time seeing Gavin for a well-child appointment), he did his exam. Everything was perfect.

Then we discussed the fact that Gavin has dextracardia. Dr. H seemed a little...excited by the fact that Gavin has dextrocardia. (lol) He said that he had learned about it in medical school but had never actually seen a case before so he wanted to do some research and get back to me about it. He said depending on what he learns in his research he may want to schedule some tests to see the extent of the dextrocardia's effect on Gavin. Dextrocardia is incredibly rare. The rarest form is when the heart is flipped and lies on the right side of the chest and nothing else is effected. There are other forms where all the organs in the body are flipped and on the opposite side, which is the most common form of dextrocardia. There can also be lung and other issues tied to the dextrocardia. So we are waiting to hear back from Dr. H about what he would like us to do on that.

After the exam and all of the grown-up talk, Dr. H left to see another patient while the nurses gathered and the Lab Tech made her way up to our room. The point of no return had arrived.

Dr. H had wanted to be in the room to help us during the shot and bloodwork but once Gavin figured out what was about to go down, well the anxiety was too much for him so we opted to get started without him. It took 2 nurses, 1 Lab Tech, Rob and myself to hold Gavin down for his booster shot. We opted to lay him on the exam table so that we could just transition from the shot to the bloodwork. When Rob picked Gavin up to lay him on the table Gavin flung his legs out trying to hook his feet under the exam table and a chair to keep us from laying him down. Let me tell you, he may look little but my boy is a scrapper! He fought hard! Luckily I had the presence of mind to tell Rob to leave Gavin's shoes off otherwise things would have been pretty painful on my end. Dr. H's nurse that always treats Emmett John, Christine, was the one giving the booster. God bless her. I've never seen anyone give a shot so quick in my life!

Not only is Gavin strong but he has a set of lungs on him! He screamed. He begged. He pleaded. It was horrible and heart-breaking for me as his mother (and Rob as his father) to hear him. He was desperate and begging us to stop it and "don't let them do this to me". At one point I could do little else besides hide in the corner and shake. Well, during all of the hullabaloo Dr. H was in the neighboring exam room and he began to BEAT on the wall. He hit it so hard you could see the wall shaking! It was crazy. Just after we got the booster in, while Gavin was catching his breath and before he had figured out the Lab Tech's role Dr. H came rushing into the room. He walked over to Gavin's side and began helped to hold him still. All the while telling Gavin, "It's okay buddy. I'm here. It's almost over but we have to do it." It was so nice to see how much he cared about my special little boy. Well, Gavin wasn't having any of it. He looked Dr. H in the eye and screamed as loudly as he could, "I.Don't.Like.You.Anymore!" Dr. H just took it in stride and told Gavin, "I know you don't but it has to be done buddy. I'm sorry." In the end, the Lab Tech took 6 vials of blood so that they could run all of the necessary tests. Gavin was hysterical during the whole thing. The Tech was awesome. Gavin has never had bloodwork done before, unless you count the bloodwork he had done 9 years ago in the hospital. I'm really curious what it will show.

Overall, the day was one of our more stressful with Gavin. At least more stressful and unrelated to court or Gavin's meltdowns for anger-based-reasons. I'm so glad to have it over and done with though. On the bright side, Gavin doesn't have to get any more shots - booster or otherwise - until he's like 15 years old. Woo who! In the end, he played the drama card for a little while after the appointment but he made a full recovery by Friday. Plus, as a bonus for...surviving...he got to spend the night at Grandma W's house! Then Grandpa W asked if he could spend Friday night there as well. Woo who! So Gavin got a cool reward for having survived the day. And Mommy and Daddy got some time to recover. (lol)

The Big 0-9!

10:52:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 2 Comments »

Happy 9th Birthday, Gavin Alexander!

Exactly 9 years ago, at this very moment in time, you made your grand entrance into the world. I still remember everything about that day. Thank you for choosing us to share your life with.

We love you and are very proud of you!

Much Love~

Mommy, Daddy, Elliott Richard & Emmett John

The Story of Gavin

12:00:00 AM Posted In , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »

Ah, yes, the Story of Gavin. Definitely not your "fairy tale princess" story, that's for sure. But it's part of our story and it's the beginning of his story, nonetheless. So it must be told. Besides I know you're all simply dying to know where it all began with my ex. ;)

Before (Coming Soon!)

The Pregnancy (Coming Soon!)

Labor & Delivery (Coming Soon!)

Birth to 6 months (Coming Soon!)

6 months to 1 year (Coming Soon!)

Gavin's 7 Rules

Our Support Teams

What is Autism?

What is Aspergers?

What is Bi-Polar?

What is ADHD?

What is OCD?

What is PICA?

What is Sensory Integration Disorder?

What is a Conduct Disorder?


1:11:00 PM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
Mommy: Elliott Richard, I love you this much! {with my arms open wide enough to touch behind my back}
Elliott Richard: Mommy, I love you big!


smelly fart = poop
poop = smelly farts
kickers = stickers
super helper = "I'm about to get into trouble under the guise of helping another."


{I overheard this conversation between Daddy and Elliott Richard during a diaper change the other day.}
Daddy: Elliott Richard, that is a gross and super stinky poop.
Elliott Richard: I see it!
Daddy: No, you don't need to see it.
Elliott Richard: Oh come on! It be fun!

Google It!

8:47:00 AM Posted In Edit This 0 Comments »
Okay, this week's "Google It" borders on the...shall we say...interesting side of things? ;) lol
  • can you health issues be discussed at work (Google) ~ I suppose it depends on the job, the health issue and who you are talking to. I talk about health issues at "work" all the time. Then again, I work at home. So yeah...
  • JOHN EMMETT BLOGSPOT (Google) ~ Hhhhhmmmm...there's a John Emmett and he has a blog. I must look into this.
  • "morellichaos" (Google) ~ Ah, yes. My dear friend Amanda.
  • eating cheerios butt naked on the front porch (Google) ~ Wow. I'm not sure what more to say to someone not only actually doing this but then searching for other naked cheerio eaters on the net. lol
  • greeting cards to my mommy and daddy (Google) ~ Once again, we have those. All three of those - the mommy, the daddy and the greeting cards. :)
  • trileptal side effect curly wavy hair (Google) ~ Yet another side effect of trileptal that I'd never heard of. ;)

The Return of Not Me Monday!

8:36:00 AM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »

This week, I definitely did not...

I did not chase Maggie Sue (my beloved puppy) through the snow and kick snow in her general direction because she chased the falling snowflakes.

I did not drop a handful of snow of Elliott Richard's head because I thought he would think it was funny. He did not then begin to scream hysterically because he thought it was anything but funny. And Daddy did not catch the whole thing on video, making me feel like a horrible mother.

I did not push myself way too hard to get things done because Gavin's 9th birthday is coming up.
I did not scream hysterically for no real reason because Rob convinced me there were mice living in our pull-out bed in the couch just before he pulled it out.

I did not declare war on the absolute rudest woman in "customer service" ever. I also did not do the "Dance of Joy" because I managed to get the CEO/rude woman's boss to call Rob, which will lead to her being reprimanded(at the very least).

I also did not make it my mission to try and get said lousy "customer service" rep fired. That would be mean and slightly irresponsible. Then after Rob talked to the CEO, I did not seriously consider calling him back in a few days to ask "Did you fire her?" Again, that would be mean.

I did not buy a wheat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free cake and icing mix to make the cupcakes for Gavin's 9th birthday party so that I could eat them. I have never had these mixes before and would not take that chance on Gavin's birthday just so that I can have some cake.

I am not finishing my "Not Me Monday" on Tuesday morning because I did not push myself too hard, thereby wearing myself out by 8:30pm last night.

The First Week of 2009

8:07:00 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 3 Comments »
As the first full week of 2009 slowly but surely comes to a close, I find myself praying that the next 51 weeks improve. lol

It's not that it's been a bad week perse. Just busy.

Monday was spent running around. Farmer's Market. Grocery store. All on a doughnut because our tire blew - thank you careless roofing guys. Tuesday was spent doing more running around. An appointment for me. An appointment for Gavin. Today was calmer, I suppose. Emmett John had his 6 month well-baby checkup at 12noon. We didn't get out of there until 2pm. Home at about 2:30pm. Then off to pick-up Gavin and home again. Then tomorrow I've got an appointment. Rob has an appointment. Then Gavin has 2 appointments. My plan for Friday is simple. Up. Gavin to school. Bloodwork done. Gavin home. Done.

On to the good stuff...Mr. Emmett John's 6 month well-baby checkup. :)

Weight: 19lb. 3oz.
Length: 28in.
Head circ: 44cm.
Vaccines: Rotovirus, Flu, DTaP, Prevnar

Dr. H and I talked about a lot of things. Emmett John has horrible excema on the backs of both his legs and a small patch between his eyebrows. He said the excema itself isn't a concern but the fact that as soon as you uncover Emmett John's legs his hands fly down there and he starts scratching like crazy. His legs look like he tried to kick a cat and lost, horribly. I've been trying to treat it with the Johnsons & Johnsons pink "new baby smell" lotion but it's only gotten us so far. Dr. H wants us to stop using all of the "baby friendly" J&J products because they have dyes and scents in them that make the excema worse. We have to switch him to Dove Sensitive Skin but not use it on his hair. (Dr. H said that with the peach fuzz Emmett John has a damp cloth should be good enough. lol) There is also a new lotion he wants us to use and if that doesn't help get rid of the rest of it then we are to switch to a 1% hydrocortisone cream. Hopefully it won't come to that.

We have been given the okay to switch to the "big boy" carseat. I will miss the convenience of the carrier but he's passed the length limit and rapidly closing in on the weight limit. My only concern with the switch is whether or not the new carseat will fit in the back of the car with Elliott Richard's carseat. I wish we had a van. :(

We also formulated a plan of attack for the milk-free diet and the Prevacid. When Emmett John is 8 months old I am allowed to try something with a tiny bit of milk in it. If Emmett John handles it okay, then I'm allowed to begin slowly re-introducing milk back into my diet. If he wakes up at 3am the morning after I eat it, then I have to go back to milk-free. Honestly, I'll be surprised if he handles it okay. You never know, I guess. Then at 9 months I am supposed to "skip" a dose of his Prevacid one morning. If he does okay without it then we are supposed to stop giving it to him. If he is a great big "bundle of fuss and grump" then he wants us to keep giving it to him.

Then of course he got his vaccines, which he was less than thrilled with. He handled them like a trooper though. I think he's angrier that his legs are held down than over the shots themselves. The nurse who gave him the shots is in love with him and seeks him out to say "Hi" everytime she sees him on the patient list. :) I just love her. (Wish I could remember her name but it escapes me at the moment. I plead sleep deprivation.) After she gave him his shots we had an interesting conversation about all the young, new moms coming in and refusing vaccines. But that's another post.

He's been doing really well today. Except for the fact that I decided in my infinite mommy wisdom to try Mr. Emmett John on green beans for the first time. About an hour or so after eating, he projectile vommitted all over me, himself and the couch. So now we are going to wait 4-5 days (per Dr. H) and try the green beans again. If he doesn't puke, then it's probably the combination of the vaccines and green beans that just didn't sit well. If he does puke, then at least green beans are loads easier to avoid then milk. :)

Ah...true love...

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