A family's story

Posts tagged ‘Sleep Deprivation’

Of Snakes and Toilets and Progress

Yesterday Tate found a Youtube video of flushing toilets. It’s one of his favorite pasttimes…watching toilets flush. Thankfully, with the wonder that is Youtube, he can watch toilets flush for hours without raising our water bill by hundreds!

Occasionally when he pulls up a video, I censor it due to language. He is often respectful of our decisions and follows our rules. Sometimes, he happens upon a video that I don’t want him to watch because I don’t want him to get any ideas. Like, oh, flushing random stuff down our toilet to see if it is a successful flush or not. Those Youtube yoohoos aren’t going to have to pay our plumbing bills and replace flooring and ceilings if something goes horribly wrong. So, while it’s a nice distraction for Tate, it does require some vigilance on our part.

Yesterday on the way home from school, he found a new toilet video. In the video, some teenagers (I know because I can tell from their voices and word choice.) were trying to flush a snake down the toilet. A.LIVE.SNAKE. I told Tate that he shouldn’t watch it. Too late. The image of a snake going partially down the drain, only to slither its way up out of the drain and out of the toilet onto the floor stuck with him. And me.

During his 2 hour ABA session yesterday, Tate went up to the bathroom no less than 6 times. He wasn’t even drinking water or anything. He just had that compulsion to make sure that no snakes were slithering out of our toilet. As the night went on, he would periodically announce that he had to use the bathroom…and really was just checking on the toilet for snakes. I did a mini-social story for him about how snakes are not in our toilet. We don’t have snakes. We will never have snakes. And we will never EVER flush snakes in a toilet.

He seemed to calm down, and was able to enjoy about an hour before bedtime with us without any compulsion to check the toilets. He even fell asleep relatively easily.

At 11:04 last night I heard him shuffling around the bathroom. Then I heard a flush. Mom-dar went on, and I flew out of bed. I asked Tate what he was doing. He grabbed a tissue and said he was blowing his nose. I told him I heard the toilet flush. He looked at me with big, round eyes. “Mommy, no snakes.” I assured him that there were no snakes. With that, he climbed into bed with us.

It took him a bit to settle down. About 10 minutes into his settling routine, he sat bolt-upright in bed. “Mommy!” “Yes, Tate?” “I’m scared of the snakes!” “Tate, there are no snakes. You are in bed with Mommy and Daddy, and you are super safe. We don’t have any snakes. I don’t like them either. We will never have snakes in our house, if I can help it. Please go to sleep.” He meekly uttered, “Okay.”

He started to go through his routine again. As he was patting my head gently, he dozed off to sleep. I wasn’t far behind him, but just enough that I marveled at our progress. He could tell me what was wrong. I was able to keep my calm enough to help him calm down to sleep and give him the assurance that he needed.

So, even though we have the hard places, I can find the hope…and the light. We both slept well until 6 this morning. I will chalk that up as a win for us.

Sleep Deprivation–take 1,002

Tate is having a rough time sleeping. A lot of it centers around the return to school. A portion of it likely has to do with the fact that he has anxiety overload because his teacher is out for the time-being. She is slated for return on January 27th. That’s a long time. I hope that he sleeps soon.

I’m not sure how other kiddos do when they have their sleep issues, but lately, it seems that Tate takes a while to fall asleep, usually conking out around 9-9:30. He wakes up between 2 and 3. Often, he’ll call for me. Or start whining. I don’t know how many others are, but I am a LIGHT sleeper. Like, I could probably wake up if a feather fell onto my nightstand. So I wake up and because I’m also in this wacky sleep cycle with him, I let him crawl into bed with me and Hubz. THANKFULLY, lately, Tate just pulls the blanket over his head and falls right back asleep. But I don’t.

I also have the unfortunate occurrence of my alarm clock going off at 5:30 am. So I can go walk on the treadmill. I know, I’m crazy. However, if I don’t get up to walk then, it just doesn’t happen.

Naps aren’t really my thing, and I don’t have time to squeeze one in, either.  With errands, shopping, cleaning up the house, trying to write in my blog, etc, the naps are pushed to the wayside. After school is even worse. We have something every single afternoon. AND this is the week that Jake’s teachers have decided to ramp up the homework, so he has an hour of homework a night…which ends up being more than that when we factor in the whining, the meltdowns, the breaks, the deep breaths and the ranting…and that’s just me. 😉

Sooo, I am hopeful that Tate’s sleep gets more regular again. I miss my 7 consecutive hours of sleep. I really, really do!!!

Schedule Mayhem

Today Jake is sitting for his first state assessment test. Oh yay. (That “Oh yay” should be read with the deepest, heaviest amount of sarcasm that you can muster from within.) This will be my family’s first experience with the test. 

In addition to the TWO WEEK LONG testing schedule, the daily routine is shot to pieces. For typical children, this may work out fairly well. But for my children, it is a nightmare. Jake has been anxious for a week about these tests. He is worried about the actual test. He is worried about doing well. He is worried about his teachers and us, his parents, not being proud of him. He is worried that he is eating lunch earlier in the day. He is anxious about the fact that he isn’t taking the tests with the rest of his class. (His IEP allows for one-on-one administration, as he talks his way through the problems on the test. He also gets extended time because he needs to process the questions being asked.) 

Tate is also impacted by the state assessment tests. His grade swapped “specials” times and “lunch/recess” time with the third graders. These first graders have to adjust to specials (art/P.E./music/library) first thing in the morning and a 1:00 lunch time. 1:00 lunch time for first graders, who eat breakfast early so as to be at school by 8:30, is asking a lot. The teachers are allowing for 2 snack breaks in the day for the first graders, but it’s still a big adjustment. Additionally, because the specials were changed, Tate is getting two weeks of art classes (he typically misses art because we pull him early for ABA), and he will only have lunch with his class on Wednesday and Thursdays. (He gets released later on those days for therapy than the other 3 days.) His therapy schedule is all jazzed up right now, too. He is getting group therapies that he sometimes misses, and is missing individual therapies that he needs.

The teachers have done their best to prepare the kids for the changes. They talked about it, and Tate’s teacher used visuals to help the class see how it would be different. Hubz and I talked about it a bit over the weekend, as well. Last night, Tate woke up at 1:00 am. ONE IN THE MORNING. He was unable to fully fall back asleep. He’d doze off here and there, but he never fell asleep for more than a half hour before waking up again. Hubz and I were poked,jabbed, climbed upon, and kept awake with much echolalia. 

We are a day into this mess, and I am feeling overwhelmed. I guess we only can go up from here….and I hope we do. Two weeks of this is not appealing to me, whatsoever. And then, once they get back to their regular schedule, they will have 5 days and be on Spring Break. No rest for the weary….literally.

Weary

Two weeks ago I got a nasty cold. I slept horribly while my body battled the virus that tried to set up shop.

In that time all 4 of the remaining family members have battled a virus, as well. Cole was hacking while I writhed in pain from a sinus headache. Jake and Tate had sniffles and runny noses. Hubz got a cold and sinus infection.

I haven’t slept well in two weeks. I am run down. Running on caffeine and the little energy boost that my 30 minutes a day on the treadmill gives me. I don’t have energy for more than that.

Last night Cole was up crying several times. At dinner, I noticed that he was playing with his ear a lot. When he was up crying at 10:15, 1:30, and 2:45, I asked what the problem was…if anything hurt. “My cheek.”

That was new…hmm. In my sleep-deprived state I rubbed his cheek and applied slight pressure to his forehead. He dozed off. This morning he said his cheek felt better. I bought some children’s acetaminophen just in case. We got home and were sitting on the couch.

He laid his head in my lap. I played with his hair, and brushed it from covering his ear. There it was…the telltale sign of a burst eardrum. Crap!! Well, no wonder it didn’t hurt. Ugh.

After Tate’s speech therapy at 2, we are rushing off to the pediatrician before they close for the day. I had to bribe Cole with a Transformer. He does NOT want to go. But we need to…Cruz he’s got an infection….and momma needs some sleep.

Weekend Highlights

We had a pretty good weekend. Thanks to an in-service day at school, the boys had 3 days off. Thanks to a considerate hubby who took Friday off from work, I wasn’t a mess by Saturday.

We didn’t have any spectacular plans, but we had some great moments. You know the ones where you think of them days, weeks, even months later and a big smile crosses your lips? Yeah…we had some of those.

On Friday we rented Madagascar 3. Jake had seen it over the summer with Hubz’s parents, but the other boys didn’t go. The movie was fairly enjoyable, and it held the interest of all 3 boys for most of the time. The best part? Tate getting down with his bad self and dancing like no one was watching during the “Firework” song. Considering that song has always reminded me of Tate, the fact that he was grooving out to it made it that much more special. Also? The way he shook his head and arms around at the end during the closing credits. It was just awesome.

Saturday was a pretty good, laid back day. The boys slept in the basement, so no one really came to bother me until later in the morning. I got to lay in bed until almost 7 am. It was glorious. While laying in bed, I got to snuggle with Tate and Cole. It was great–even if Cole kept trying to pry my eyes open and Tate played Angry Birds at a volume that would wake the dead…but still, we giggled, and talked, and had some good connection time. I loved that. A few years ago, it would have been difficult to do that…but not that morning.

While I took Cole to visit my dad, Tate and Jake stayed home with Hubz. They did activities that didn’t center around the tv. And they liked it!! Tate got to run on our treadmill. He can book it–he was going at a speed of 4..and wanted to go faster!! He was jogging, apparently, and loving every minute of it. I think he likes the input that he gets to his joints when he runs on the treadmill, and he gets the endorphins from the exercise. Jake used his new archery set. He did pretty well. Hubz was so excited. I was impressed that Jake was willing to pull himself away from the tv! Hubz said Jake actually suggested going outside–so score one for Jake!

Cole loved the attention at my dad’s house. He got to have candy, a cookie and a juice box. Auntie K and Uncle J were there. He got their mostly undivided attention. My youngest sister, Cee, was there. She brought my nephew. He is sooooo freakin’ cute…we have always called Cee “hairball” because she has a head of hair. Thick, beautiful dark-brown hair. I have always been jealous of it. It isn’t frizzy. It doesn’t kink up. It just lays perfectly in a bob or long layered cut. *sigh* Anyway, her son has the same hair. He is pretty much ready for his third hair trim. And he’s only 5 months old!!! Cole got a little jealous when I held Nephew, but he did get most of the attention from the other adults, so it worked well.

Yesterday we were all in a fog and haze from the time change. My two older boys were up at 3:40 in the morning. That is not a typo. THREE FORTY A.M. I could not get them back to sleep. So we just laid in the dark while Tate thrashed and scripted. Jake snorted in my ear a few hundred times due to his cold, and kicked his feet. He tried to get up so he could watch tv about 20 times. I had no patience. I came back to my bed around 5:45. I let my 2 children watch tv. Hubz went down to monitor the situation. I had just started to doze off again and Cole was up. So, I made my way downstairs to get some coffee and deal with the chaos.

The Sunday paper was pulled into the house and we started to pick it apart. Hubz went to the Sports section first. I dove into the ads. Thanks to a certain holiday that is coming in 50 some days, there were tons of toy ads. My kids, Cole, in particular, swooped in and started labeling just about everything as something he wants for “Kissmiss” or “Birfday”. I told him he won’t get everything on his list. He roared at me. Too tired to care, I let him go about making his list, and I checked out what Target had for sale this week. After a bit, I made my way upstairs to shower.

The boys got ready for Mass without much fanfare. We didn’t have to plead with Jake or Tate to wear a “nice” shirt or pants. They willingly put on their nicer clothing and brushed their teeth. Oh my goodness, they are growing up!!! Cole, on the other hand, had a sensory meltdown. The tag in his underwear was too ouchie. His pants were too scratchy, the shirt I chose had a “yucky” tag in it. *sigh* After 20 minutes we settled on an acceptable outfit for Sunday School. It also was virtually tag-free and the socks weren’t too tight.

For one of the first times, ever, Tate asked to leave the “play room” at the church. The “play room” is technically a nursery. It is for younger children, up to age 5. Many older kids are in there on any given Sunday, but typically it has been a quiet sanctuary for Tate during Mass when he cannot attend. The past few Sundays, however, some really wild children are in there. He can handle loud…he cannot handle loud, screaming, running, unpredictable younger kids who try to grab his favorite toys from his hands. Tate doesn’t do that kind of chaos. He asked Hubz to leave..and he made it through half the Mass.

It was difficult for Tate to participate in the Mass, but he did his best. He swayed to the music while we sang. He even clapped a little bit (and, um, we are not a “clapping” congregation).  He was relatively quiet–using his softest voice during the consecration and the prayers leading up to Communion. He stood when we stood. He did shout “Mrs. Social Worker” to the girl in front of us during the sign of peace…as he was unfamiliar with participating in that part of the Mass and had no clue how to respond to her outstretched hand and “peace with you” comment. But it wasn’t nasty. And he didn’t try to hit her. And he wasn’t shouting. To us, it was a win. I had to stifle a giggle when he tried to stretch his arms out like the priest did when he prays, and according to the Catholic Church, he turns the bread into the body of Christ. That vision will never leave me. We got a giggle from the elderly lady sitting next to me, too, so I am glad he didn’t offend.

We made it through the rest of Mass. We made it through getting Cole from Sunday School. We made it home. After some down time, though, I had the meltdown. I lost my temper during lunchtime when Cole took a bite of my lunch, decided he didn’t like it, and spit it all over me. I yelled. Hubz yelled. I stormed upstairs. I know I behaved inappropriately. I came back down once I was calm and apologized to my kids. To my Hubz. We moved on with the day.

When I got back from the store, Tate and Cole rushed to greet me. I lugged my groceries into the house and began to put them away, all the while dealing with an upset Tate because I didn’t get the “purple squeezy” juice. Hubz had bought some the day before, and there was no need for me to buy it again. But in Tate’s mind, when I say I’m going to the grocery store, I need to get “purple squeezy” juice. *sigh* As I turned to ask him to stop whining, I noticed a big scratch on his nose. I asked what happened. “Cole hit me.” I asked how he hit him. “Wif the screw driver stick.” He seemed unfazed by it.

Cole was sitting at the table, perusing the toy ads from the morning paper. I asked him if he had hit his brother. “Yeah. Sar-wee.” I asked why he hit Tate. “Assident. Sar-wee.” Hubz came up from the basement. I asked if he knew what had happened. He looked like a deer in the headlights. “They were roughhousing…but he was fine.” Hmm. Neither of the boys was talking much about it. Tate seemed ok, so we let it go. We did tell them to be careful and to not hit each other. Cole hugged Tate. It was precious. Tate let him. That was awesome.

We all went to bed early last night. Thankfully, we all slept through the night, even if we were up slightly early today. We need to adjust to the time change..and we will…but at least after that crummy start yesterday we were able to get substantial rest last night. Ahhh….

Frazzled Friday

Tate was up at 2:00 am. I heard him talking. I got up to check it out, as his inside voice is really an outside voice, and well, he had the light on in Jake’s room and was watching Jake’s ceiling fan spin round and round and round. I sighed….

I turned off the light and coaxed Tate back to bed. He pulled his weighted blanket up to his chin and laid down. I was hopeful that he’d go back to sleep easily. No. Such. Luck. Tate was up for the next 2 and a half hours. I wanted to cry. That means that while I laid next to him, encouraging him to sleep and reassuring him that he was ok, I wasn’t sleeping. I know I dozed off a few times, but ultimately, I was up on and off for those 2.5 hours.

As Tate started to sleep at 4:30, I went back to bed. Jake was at my bedside 10 minutes later, asking if he could read in his room. Delirious with exhaustion I mumbled something that likely sounded like permission. I pulled a pillow over my head. Hubz looked up and saw Jake’s light on…at 4:40 in the morning and went in to tell him to try to fall back asleep. He turned off the light. I passed out.

At 6:40, I awoke to Hubz turning on the light in our room. Tate was sleeping next to me in our bed, and Jake and Cole were in the family room watching tv. Hubz had started the coffee and got the trash out for garbage day. I mumbled my thanks, begrudgingly rolled out of bed and got my day started. I was running incredibly late. I hate that.

Tate begged to stay home. I made him get ready for school. I fed the boys breakfast. It was gourmet–cheeze-its. Shut up. At least they got fed. I signed assignment notebooks and homework logs. I put ice packs in lunch boxes and made sure backpacks were filled appropriately. We gobbled breakfast and made our way outside–later than usual.

As we let the boys get their energy out in our front yard, the neighbors came over. I’ve been helping them out this week by doing both rounds of carpool, and watching their 2 older kids while they handle a gap in childcare. I was planning my shopping trip that had to get done after morning drop-off. The kids were kicking balls all over the place, one almost got run over by the garbage truck.

I am just running behind today…I feel like I’m out of steam. I am trying to not rely on caffeine as much lately, but today I may have to give in. I have to leave the house in 5 minutes to get Tate and take him to his PT and speech therapy. When we get home I have to finish our laundry (which got started later than I wanted), and make the corn bread to go with our chili that is slow-cooking in the crock pot. (Ok, at least in THIS instance I am ahead of the game.)

At least I know that tomorrow is another day…and hopefully I can start it off on the right foot. Ugh.

 

A Case of the Mondays

I knew it was a bad omen when Jake and Tate came into our room at 3 am this morning. I wanted to roll over and ignore it…but I couldn’t. They were in my face and very persistent.  Tate could not sleep. He decided that Jake should keep him company. Jake was game until he realized that we were not going to be watching tv. Once I made that pointedly clear, along with the fact that when it is pitch black outside, it means that we should be sleeping, Jake was very eager to go back to bed. He was asleep within 15 minutes.

I laid next to Tate as he fought sleep. I was in and out of consciousness. I kept my eyes shut and laid very still, hoping he’d get the hint. Has trouble reading social cues…Oh, riiighhhtt. Guess that my impression of a “sleeping person” was lost on my son. He got up and turned on the lights. I directed him to turn them back off. He stood up and jumped up and down. I asked him to get back into bed. He started to pace the room. I pleaded with him to come fall asleep. We did this dance for about an hour. Finally, I passed out from sheer exhaustion. He must have dozed off at some point, as well, because at 5:30, when Jake woke up for the day, Tate was drooling on the pillow next to me.

Tate was fairly calm and relaxed this morning. He didn’t fight getting dressed. He ate a little something (goldfish..yes, goldfish). He didn’t protest his morning therapist. He went with the flow, which was great. He had a play date set up with his friend Geo. I didn’t cancel it, thinking that it would be great for him to see Geo again. They had a blast. They also spent a ton of energy. Seriously, if we had one of those scream/giggle machines from Monsters, Inc, I think I could have supplied power to the block for a good day and a half.

During Tate’s play date, Cole and I did battle over potty training. I am so over it. He, however, hasn’t quite learned when to get himself to the potty. The laundry pile is growing. I’m out of sanitizing wipes. This is WORK, people!! At least today, I was better trained in terms of getting him on there. I didn’t have to mop up anything, which is a score. Of course, he went and hid when he had to poop. He came into the kitchen and didn’t have to announce himself. His pants did that for him. And another 2 pieces of laundry that need to get washed and sanitized.

Jake and I also went for a round over some “homework” his tutor had given him. He had to draw a picture and then write a paragraph about it. He drew an alligator and labeled it. He proclaimed his homework was complete. I took a look and informed him that when I was in third grade, a paragraph was a few sentences. With proper spelling and capitalization. And punctuation. I got an honest-to-goodness eye roll. Yay me! He and I worked on getting his thoughts together to form a rudimentary paragraph. Despite every fiber in my being wanting to take over and write it for him, I let him do it. I did make sure his spelling and punctuation were correct. He was in charge of putting his thoughts into sentences. It’s not the greatest, but at least he did what he was supposed to do. I’d like to point out, though, that something that should have taken a half hour took twice that time once we factored in bathroom breaks, eye rolls, a shut-down, a head-on-the-table, and lots of sighing.

At lunch time, I became a short-order cook. None of the 3 wanted anything the same. I tried my best to accommodate their needs, but made sure to sneak in some healthy goodies, too. Thankfully Jake and Cole will eat anything if it has guacamole on it…so they got carrot sticks with their sandwiches and chips. Tate said he wasn’t hungry. He didn’t touch his turkey sandwich, and gave Cole his cheese.

Tate started his afternoon therapy session around noon. At 12:45 he and his therapist came upstairs. He was tearful and whiney. He was completely melting down. She decided it wasn’t worth pushing him, considering how tired he is today. I know his other therapist may have pushed him, but Tate definitely does certain things for certain therapists, and this one he tests more. We agreed to let him rest this afternoon. I attempted to get him to nap. No dice. He’s sitting here, as I type, demanding the computer for his use. He thinks that a game on Disney Junior is much more interesting than mom’s blog. To him, I am sure it is…but seriously…no more Doc McStuffins…please.

I have to drag my chaos into the library later today. Jake has tutoring. Part of me hopes his tutor knows her class list…and part of me doesn’t. The part that doesn’t want to know is the part that is afraid that Jake doesn’t have his tutor as a 3rd grade teacher. Ugh.

Once we’re done at the library, we are grabbing the boys some dinner and heading home, where Hubz will hang with them, and I’ll go wait in line for God-knows-how-long in order to prove that we live in the district boundaries so that I can get those oh-so-precious envelopes.

I think I am going to take a little rest…maybe when I wake up it will be Tuesday. (Which has its own set of issues…but at least it is not Monday.)

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