Avoiding Crisis

Archive for February 2008

sorry and other updates

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I seem to be apologizing a lot lately for not writing and for not keeping up with this blog.  I know that there is no reason to be sorry for this, but it is only my nature to feel like I’m letting down those people who actually do read this blog in order to keep up with us. 

based on my last post you can only imagine that life has taken some dramatic turns. 

so not only have we recently found out that Owen is on the autism spectrum and has been diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified(or PDD-NOS for short) but we also found out that A has been assigned to the field office in Greensboro, NC. So….what does this all mean?

It means that my life has been a bit crazy trying to 1) understand what this diagnosis means for Owen, 2) research school districts in the NC counties that we are looking at moving into, 3) contact school districts and find out the process for getting services for a special needs child, 4) find the appropriate therapies here in Buenos Aires, 5) house-hunt, 6) job-search, 8) update my resume, 7)  decide when is the best time to leave Buenos Aires and move to NC and 8) not forget that I have a daughter who needs me too and who started Kindergarten today!!!

I’m a bit overwhelmed, if you can imagine.  I have good days and bad ones.  Today is kinda crappy – i think i’ll blame it on the weather.

Looks like Owen and I will leave Argentina in April with A and Abbey following a month or two later.  Nothing is set in stone but this is general plan. 

One thing at a time, one day at a time. I keep repeating. 

It will all be okay.  I know that.  I do.  

I just wish it wasn’t raining today.   


Written by nicolemarie

February 28, 2008 at 10:47 am

Posted in life

the one in which i tell you about how my world has changed….

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you see, many many months ago i began to wonder. 

why was he always lining things up?  why were the tantrums so intense and so out of the blue?  why did he have to always be the one to the open and close the doors?  all of the doors.  why did he repetitively open and close the doors?  why did he rock back an forth in his seat when he was busy concentrating?  why didn’t he always respond to his name when he was called?  why did he sometimes zone out?  Why wasn’t he talking like the other kids his age?  why wasn’t he playing with the other kids?  why was he alone, content, in a corner, reading a book, but not really reading a book, just staring at the pages?

i talked to people about it.  to my parents who had dealt with their own developmentally delayed child.  to my friends who had kids the same age as mine.  to teachers, doctors, therapist.  I told them about his behaviors, about his quirks.  They all told me that he was smart, that he was adorable, loving, and perfect. 

And he is. smart, adorable, loving and perfect.

But, he’s also something else.  And what that something else is I don’t quite know. at least not yet.  

here’s what we do know.  after a week of testing we know that he has the receptive language of a 4 year old and the expressive language of a 2 year old.  that he has bilateral hearing loss at 500 hertz, which they tell us, if you are going to have a hearing loss this would be the frequency to have it at.  That he has a social communications deficit — apparently he can not take the perspective of another person and does not recognize non verbal social cues — a delay in both verbal and non verbal speech and language and he has behavioral issues related to his inability to mange/control his emotions. 

We were told that he would need speech and language therapy and that we should be looking into applied behavioral analysis. 

We heard a lot about the spectrum.  the f-ing spectrum.  how our son, our precious little boy, may very well be on the spectrum.

autism. pervasive development disorder. aspergers. the spectrum.

i look at my little boy differently these days.  i cry a lot.  i freak out.  i panic.  i cry.  he just goes on as if nothing has changed.  it’s better that way.

i deny.  i tell myself that they are wrong.  that all this worrying is for naught.  that Friday’s phone call to the doctor will be nothing more that a casual chat where she tells me that everything came up fine.  that there really isn’t anything to be concerned about.  that her initial observations were way off. 

i cuddle him up in my arms and tell him i love him no matter what they say.  that he’s my little boy.  that he my wonderful, adorable, perfect little boy.  and then I tell him that mommy is going to make everything all better. 

and then i remember the tantrums and the repetitive behaviors and the sensory issues. 

i lie. i can’t fix this.  there is no magic bullet.  i don’t even know where to begin.

this is something that happens to other people.  not to us. not to my little boy.  haven’t i already fought enough demons for all of us?  Haven’t I already had enough therapy for us all?  isn’t one family member with mental issues enough?  haven’t we filled our quota?

And then, the guilt.  It’s my biology, my genes, my fault.  He picks at his face when he gets nervous or frustrated.  Little teeny tiny scratched from his own nails, caused in his sleep or during a tantrum, become raisin sized scrapes, the result of his own nails.  He doesn’t even know he is doing it.  “mommy. look. boo boo.”  I know he’s doing it.  

whatever it is. whatever all those tests show.  we will find out on Friday. 

whatever it is.  my world will never be the same.

this has to be the longest week of my life. 

Written by nicolemarie

February 20, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Posted in crazy kids, crazy mommy moments

Tagged with

i’m still here…

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in case you were wondering.  And when I can crawl out from under the suitcases that I’ve yet to unpack and bring some sort of order to my rather chaotic life I’ll tell you all about the last week of our vacation.  It was a hell of a way to end a vacation…and I don’t really mean that in a good way.

Oh, but there is one thing I can tell you. We finally found out where we are going to be living in 5 months time when our assignment here in Buenos Aires is through.  Drum roll please……We are going to North Carolina.

Jet lag setting in…must get some rest.  Until next time.

Written by nicolemarie

February 17, 2008 at 8:31 pm


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the natural number following 33 and preceding 35 

the ninth distinct biprime

the magic constant of a 4 by 4 normal magic square

The atomic number of selenium

the traffic code of Istanbul, Turkey

a song by Dave Matthews Band

the code for international direct-dial phone calls to Spain

American football player Walter Payton’s number

and last, but not least…

as of yesterday, the number of years my truly darling and wonderful husband has graced this good earth with his presence.

Happy Birthday A!

(all info about “34” was found here.)

Written by nicolemarie

February 11, 2008 at 7:46 pm

Posted in birthdays

Tagged with

quiet mind

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do you have loud, talkative, non-stop debating mind or are you one of the lucky ones who has a quiet mind?  I fall into the first category if you couldn’t tell.

I remember when I first went to therapy I tried to explain to the doctor how i was always hearing voices in my head, but how they weren’t really voices, but only just one voice, my own.  And how that sometimes the noise is really loud and destructive.  It took me a while to even get up the nerve to describe this since I was so terrified that he’d think I was crazy/schizophrenic/split personality.   He didn’t.  I wondered.

I’d eventually come to describe the noise that I hear as the committee in my head.  Sometimes it gives me headaches.

When I’m really stressed out, obsessing about the past, worrying about the future and/or in a state of high anxiety or crappy depression the committee can be boisterously loud and annoying, obnoxious really. And then, there are the times when the committee has really nothing to say and things are eerily quiet, lonely even.  I wish however that I could tap into this committee and use it.  It’s really quite snarky and fun and insightful and smart and really quite witty.  Nothing at all like me. 

A long time ago I used to cut myself in order to quite the noise.  I haven’t done that in a long long time.  But the committee is still there.  And every now and again they get a bit loud and obnoxious and difficult to handle.   

I’ve been thinking that maybe through meditation I can learn to harness this energy.  I just don’t know where to even begin.  Me, meditate?  what does that even mean.  How does one even begin to start on that journey.  I don’t know, really, maybe I’m just reaching for something, anything. 

so if anyone out there knows a thing or two or three about how one would go about researching the different types of meditation or the best ways to begin the process of meditation, well, then, i;d love to hear everything you have to say.

anyone? thoughts?

Written by nicolemarie

February 8, 2008 at 12:11 am

Posted in crazy randomness

Tagged with

i sleep

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Since the kids got over strep throat and started sleeping through the night again (’cause you really don’t sleep well when you can’t breathe through your mucus clogged nose and have a pacifier in your mouth and your throat feels like sand paper every time you swallow) Owen has become the laziest little bum of a boy in the mornings. 

And this all has to do with the fact that in the room that he now sleeps is a television.  A television that gets the Disney Channel.  A television that is permanently set to said channel.  A television that goes on the moment he wakes up and isn’t shut off until all the shows from Playhouse Disney are over. 

It is vacation, after all.  So this is okay behavior, right? 

But what is so adorably cute and nutty is that he won’t get out of bed.  Well, he gets out of bed to go potty but other than that he is extremely content.  in bed. watching television. like a teenager but with a pacifier. 

i sleep

see, i told you so.

but the best part of it all is that if you ask him if he’s going to get up and join the rest of the family or eat breakfast he matter-of-factly says “no.  i sleep” pulls the covers up over his shoulders and pretends to snore. and that’s that.

when he’s ready he’ll join us.  he always does. 

poor boy doesn’t know what’s going to happen when we get back to Buenos Aires.  School starts soon, and with it “i sleep” is going to be changed to “i go school” like it or not.  

edited to update:  we removed the television from the room this evening.  Owen hasn’t noticed.  yet.  should be an interesting morning tomorrow.  hehehe.  evil mommy i am.

Written by nicolemarie

February 7, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Posted in crazy kids

the importance of place

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The minute I stepped off the plane at Newark Airport I could feel agitation, anxiety, stress and an overall sense of discomfort take over my body.  In one step from the plane door to the gate ramp everything changed.  I never realized what a place could do to you.  Needless to say I’m glad to be back in Florida.  I think I’ll be even happier when I get back to Buenos Aires.

I have a lot of thoughts running around in my head about the connection of place and mood/identity and once I get them somewhat sorted out I’ll share them here.

For now, I’m off to finish Eat, Pray, Love.

Written by nicolemarie

February 5, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Posted in crazy randomness