Friday, March 28, 2014

News & Notes, After the Deer Edition

- So, animal control came to pick up the fawns.  I tried very hard to get a taxidermist, but apparently random dead animals aren't really an option for them because of all of the red tape.  They need permits for the animals they stuff, and those usually come during hunting season or from the farms where the animals lived.  There's not really a setup for a case like ours, especially out of season, mostly because they need to prevent people from saying they "found" a dead animal, when in reality they somehow actively killed it.  I understand it, but I do wish there was another way.  They were so beautiful.  Of course, I knew it was bound to happen, but an animal got to one of them overnight and did some pretty nasty damage to the face.  Overall the situation is just sad.  I'm relieved someone  finally came to get them, though, because I just couldn't stuff them in a bag...for multiple reasons.  Nature really stinks sometimes.  Had it been a day like today, they might have had a shot.

- Carter is doing a little better...I think.  In general he's much happier.  He's sleeping well, he's willing to play, and he's eating like a champ.  He's still rather clingy, though, and very impatient.  If you take too long to do anything for him, he screams like a banshee.  I don't know if that's just a developmental phase that happened to coincide with all of this other sickness, but man...it's hard to do anything when he's around.  Cooking dinner is nearly impossible.  Of course, part of the reason it's impossible is because he seems to have an insatiable appetite right now, so he screams while I'm getting his food ready.  I don't know if he's making up for lost time, having a growth spurt, or if (God forbid) the virus triggered something, but he seems like he could eat 24/7 right now.  I'm pretty sure he could out-eat Jacob.  Yesterday he had a pancake for breakfast because he woke up early and I needed to keep him occupied while I packed lunches.  He had his bottle at daycare, two meatballs and (I think) a side they provided for lunch, another bottle, a couple cereal snacks during the day (Kix and Cheerios), and still put up a fuss when he saw someone else get a bottle mid-afternoon. So they gave him a bottle then and supplemented with their own milk later when he was actually due for a bottle.  Then at dinner he had some milk, chicken, a stick of string cheese, corn, yogurt melts (his favorite), and some grapes.  And then another bottle at bed.  I know I need to get him off the bottle thing soon, but they bring him such joy and comfort right now that I just don't feel like I should wean him.  He's getting better with the sippy cup, so that's less of a worry, and if he keeps eating like this his weight won't be either, but I love seeing him happily downing his bottle, especially when he has so many fussy moments.

The food thing is a bigger challenge than usual because I'm not quite sure what to feed him given our current diet.  He can't eat most of what we have in the house because of the rice intolerance and all of the rice-based gluten-free foods we have.  Most of our dinners involve some sort of rice product, so he can't eat most of our dinners.  It's more important right now to eat gluten-free with Jacob, as he has a hard time being excluded.  Carter also eats smaller amounts and simpler foods in general so it only makes sense to have his meal be the specially prepared one.  But because of those small amounts it's hard to figure out enough single-serve items to keep him satisfied.  I've asked daycare to start checking their lunch foods for rice, because I'm more than happy to have him try new foods there.  Today was soy nut butter and jelly sandwiches, so we'll see how that goes!  Just because we haven't eaten it at home doesn't mean he can't try it there.  They're sensitive to what's appropriate for this age, so I'm willing to give it a shot, especially given how hungry he is!

If this appetite thing keeps up, I may mention it to the doctor.  All of his blood work came back normal, albeit with earmarks of a virus.  The Celiac test did officially come back negative, by the way, though it's not a forever determination.  Things could change down the road, but for right now, that is not what is causing him issues.  Whew.  He's still inexplicably fussy at times, but at least it's manageable. 

- Jacob has been, well, challenging.  I really do think this stuff is cyclical.  I don't know why, but he'll have a week or two when he's downright pleasant, then a couple or three weeks where he's impossible.  To be clear, it's not what it was in the late summer/fall.  He still hits, but mostly it's almost like a reflex or something he thinks is sort of funny, rather than him being purposely violent.  He's very particular about things, and still very hard to transition.  The battles are still lengthy and difficult, but it is rare for them to get out-of-control.  He's just generally mischievous and likes annoying people.  But he has times where he can be totally cool, too. 

I talked to the school psychologist the other day, and it seems like he's doing a little better at school with things like getting his stuff ready in the morning.  He still needs some prompting, but he's managing.  He's had a few really good days where he's been on purple, the top color on the behavior chart in his classroom.  He got to do this "bucket fillers" thing for the first time today, and it really makes me happy to know he's finally settling in a little better.  But today he also ended up getting the worst color on the behavior chart, and since we didn't get the usual call home, we're not sure what happened.  He couldn't tell us, and while normally I'd think he was just protecting himself, it seemed to me that he legitimately didn't understand why.  I can't help but wonder if he's in his own little world when he does something wrong and just doesn't understand exactly what the problem was. 

We got some of his paperwork back from the school, and while our responses to the Asperger's-focused questionnaire put him borderline, his teacher's responses put him closer to probable.  The thing is, though, that it's not consistent.  It's different at school than at home, and at home he can range from totally normal to completely bizarre.  Maybe that's how high-functioning Asperger's works, but I still can't help but wonder if there are multiple other things at play that combine to look like Asperger's but aren't, which would explain that he can have periods of almost entirely normal behavior.  Sometimes I wonder if he's just sort of shell-shocked from Carter's entrance into our lives.  It was a major change, and maybe he just can't quite process what happened.  At this point almost nothing would surprise me, but I still feel like he's been far too social his whole life (even if he's a bit awkward at times) to really fit in the spectrum mold quite right.  No one even considered this stuff as a possibility until six months ago, aside from my overactive mom mind a few years back.  It just an odd situation, that's for sure. 

Hoping for a fun and relaxing weekend...starting now :)

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