Wednesday, September 22, 2010

PT'ing Ronin

Potty training Ronin has been terrible. We actually started it in January and he seemed to respond well to watching a video as reinforcement and then later we used a sticker chart. But somewhere along the way Ronin was refusing to go, even if we announced it happily, even if we threatened that it was time to go to the potty or ELSE. Accidents were happening, still are, but I tried the undewear-only option because I didn't think he was fully appreciating a pull-up, as well as making diapers a NON-option for him. I made diapers not available to Ronin, but available to Audrey. We were constantly reminding Ronin to put his pee pee in the potty (and poo poo when he would listen). Getting to the potty too late, the puddles on the floor, the wet clothes became too much. I went online and printed out an article regarding toilet training a 5-year old, with the intent of looking up how to toilet train strong-willed children:
and it was just the right amount of advice needed. And since it came from a pediatrician I printed out a copy for my DH to read so that he would take the time to understand what we were supposed to do. The advice basically said to give control back to my son. Don't remind him every hour, or even at all, to go to the potty. Let him decide when to go. There's more rationale to it, but "letting go" was the gist. That, and put him in underwear. I did put him in underwear, but Ronin still made messes that were irritating to clean up. I made him help me clean them up a few times and he didn't really care, didn't get any ick factor. The DH was disgusted with the underwear messes, so after a big talk we decided to put on underwear with a pull-up over it, even though in the past Ronin had tried this for a few days and still soiled both underwear and pull-up, not seeming to care.

I think it was/is the NAGGING that was/is preventing him from going to the potty. We've had some misses, but without constantly reminding him to go, he is developing his body awareness better. He comes to me and says, "Mommy, I think I'm peeing." Ronin also gets a sticker every time he puts his pee in the potty, and that makes him very, very proud. The storm is not over yet, but it's a little better.

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Ronin

Today at Wal-Mart, Ronin walked in and said disappointingly, "Wal-Mart doesn't have any toys. I want to go to Meijer's House. I want to go to Target!"

"We're here for groceries, but we'll go to the toy section later. You'll see."

We did our grocery shopping and were headed to the toys when we passed by the clothing section and saw t-shirts covered with Toy Story 3 characters. I pointed them out to Ronin and he ran over to check them out.

"Wow! Those are amazing! They look incredible!" Ronin was clearly enamored by the characters. I looked up to see an older woman, who was an employee, watching us with a big smile on her face.

"Your son has a big vocabulary," she remarked in a very impressed tone. "He uses such big words!"

I thanked her and reminded myself that the little bugger was truly a smart kiddo. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Um, ok, not running lately. :(

Anyway, I have a few 'isms about Ronin:

Ronin: You look for monsters, I look for all the spiders. OK?

Daddy: Ronin, you're impossible!
Ronin: I'm not impossible. I'm handsome!

Ronin is talking up a storm. The biggest problem is that he has returned to being SUPER WHINY. I cannot stand it. I'm trying to teach him to use his words, of course, but his whining is grating on my nerves so much that I have to use earplugs in the morning, to keep the din low and to keep from reaching that yelling stage. He does say some interesting things, however. At Jenna, Nikko's ABA therapist, Ronin said, "I went to Mom's house and saw Jesus! Jesus is The King and he has a crown!" I cracked up so hard when he declared that! I had to stop and tell Jenna that Ronin calls my parents Mom and Dad (I am Mommy, Denis is Daddy), and since they are strict Catholics they have a bigger than life-sized image of the baby Jesus as a child, called the Santo Nino. It's dressed ornately, and it wears a crown. SO, that's why he says Jesus is The King. Get it? ;)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Running now

I've started running this week. Monday, to be exact. After the kids went down around 8:30, I'd straighten some things up and then be on the treadmill by 9:00. I'd briskly walk for 4 minutes and then crank up the running solid for 26 minutes. I ran four days this week, but won't be able to tomorrow since we're going to the in-laws for dinner and will most likely come home late. Maybe Saturday will be a break as well, but then I'll start up again by Sunday. On day two, I got a stitch in my right side, under the ribcage, probably the diaphragm. I didn't stop running, just gritted my teeth through the pain. Atz told me I should have stopped and stretched it out to avoid further injury, but of course I didn't do that at the time. I didn't want to stop running and ruin the rhythm. Unfortunately the pain has continued all week, so maybe I bruised something or pulled a little something. Oh well, can't stop unless it's something puncturing my lung, right? I've lost no weight this week, and didn't expect to.

Friday, March 19, 2010

It started with the doorknob.

So what could have possibly happened to derail me from my very motivated attitude in the last post? I'll tell you what happened.

The doorknob. The kids' wakings. The dead man's walk. Room changes. Lack of sleep.

The doorknob.

For 6 months or so, Ronin and Nikko shared the nursery and slept fine in each others' company. Then in October, when it got colder in the house, the wood in the floors and in the doorways seemed to shrink. It caused the doorknob hitch to slip easily out of the niche in the doorway. Thus, the door would easily unlatch and creak open, either by the push of a fingertip or by stepping on the wrong floorboard. Once Nikko discovered that he could get out of the room if he woke up in the middle of the night, he'd come running down the hall and into our bed. I started using bungee cords to tie the doorknob to a chair to keep it shut, but Nikko would force his way out.

The kids' wakings.
Suddenly, Nikko started waking up in the middle of the night. Sometimes he would wake up Ronin and they'd both be at the bungee-tied door. Once I came in and Nikko was standing by Ronin's bed, crying and whining for my attention. A thought came into my head that Nikko might hurt Ronin in the middle of the night, if I didn't come to the door. I did manage to take apart the door niche in the doorway, pad it with some clay and elevate the plate so that the doorknob latch would stick. The door was fixed. Hooray!

The dead man's walk.
But this didn't stop Nikko from waking up in the middle of the night and crying/whining. I started coming into the room when Nikko woke up and to keep him quiet, I would grab some blankets and a pillow and sleep on the floor between the two beds. If Nikko knew I was there, he wouldn't try to get out and he wouldn't go anywhere. The problem was that this was happening a lot. My back was starting to suffer again. This wasn't the way it was supposed to be.

Room changes.
I decided, after much thought and research from friends on other web boards as well as the ABA therapists, that Nikko would have to be in a room alone so that if he needed to cry it out, he could do it alone without disturbing Audrey or Ronin too much. A part of me didn't want to do this because I wished that Nikko and Ronin could share a room the way normal brothers would. I didn't want to ostracize Nikko and let him be alone. But I had no more solutions and had to try something different. I took apart the crib and reassembled it in the nursery, while we all moved Nikko's bed to the 2nd room and Ronin's bed stayed in the nursery. A new arrangement. Did it help? A little. But Ronin was having middle-of-the-night wakings, too. I was now going between rooms, alternating nights. No more sleeping on the floor, but sometimes in their beds. Still am. What else could I do to curb the behaviors?

Lack of sleep.
My last straw, which is currently being tested, was to put everyone to bed at an earlier bedtime. I heard that sleep begets sleep, and that maybe the kids' 8-9 hours would gradually lengthen. Possibly. What did I have to lose? So instead of Audrey down at 8:30ish and the boys by 9:15/20ish, I pushed it back so Audrey is down at 7:40p and the boys at 8:30p. Is it working? I'm only 4 days into it. Sometimes Nikko sleeps straight until 6:30 or 7. That's actually ok. But Ronin is going through a phase where he's waking up every other day at 4-ish, just to be tucked back into bed. Nikko has also woken up at 3a this week, and I stayed in his bed because I was too tired to walk back to mine and to cry him out. No heart for it.

And there you have it. My reasons why I haven't gotten on the treadmill since December. I had no energy to exercise after getting up in the middle of the night for the boys. For the last five months, I have been consumed with the problem of getting these kids to sleep! It's been so frustrating and still is. But with this earlier bedtime schedule, I'm now free after 8:30p. There's time to go run! I have been going to bed by 1, 1:30 latest, but I know that I could get to bed by 12 or 12:30 if I made better use of my time. It's Friday right now, so I am going to start the treadmill on Monday, at the least. I think it's time to try it again.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I helped Denis get the treadmill moved back into the house today. It's in the basement and I have to clean it up. It still works! The caveat is that it's currently in the middle of the basement under the lowest part of the ceiling. If I run on it and bounce, my head will hit the ceiling! He didn't want to move it again, so since I'm just starting out on it again, I'll walk. Then I won't bump my noggin. I'll try to relocate it myself if we don't get to it by next weekend, but it's heavy. I can roll it on wheels, however. My point of mentioning this is that I am going to be FULLY COMMITTED to using that treadmill and do some major cardio for at least a solid month or two. Maybe three. I am SICK of the fat on my body and know that a good cardio workout will hopefully help slim down some corners. I'll worry about weight training later. I am also finishing my last row of Ghihardelli brownies, and determined to keep off the totally junky stuff so I can lose some weight. My plan is to walk briskly for a week, to get the kinks out of my joints and get used to using my heart at a fast pace since I haven't formally exercised in three years. THREE YEARS. YIKES!!! But now's the time, the treadmill's back, and I desperately want to shed 20-25 pounds. It won't be overnight. But it will be AT NIGHT. After the kids are in bed, I will walk, then run for 30-60 minutes, then go shower and then clean up the kitchen. Or a combo of that. I will severely reduce my Facebook presence at night so I can accomplish this goal. And I'm not going to mention this to anyone unless they ask. I'm not trying to be held accountable for it, I just want to try to do this on my own. But Chinny knows, and Denis knows of course. I think it may inspire him to want to work out with me, too, although he already works out but sporadically. I think it's giving him an excuse to buy some weights for the basement. So that I can use them, too. Sure, I will, but for right now it will be about a cardio BLAST. Another incentive is that I truly believe that if I can lighten up my body, it may relieve the pressure on my spine and lower back. I am in pain every single day, for over a year. The chiropractor couldn't save me. The cortisone shot couldn't save me. I knew, deep down, that being physically fit might help. And if it doesn't, then surgery might be the road I'd have to take. So to avoid getting cut open in the back, let me try to lose the weight. I'm very excited about this plan, and have been anxious for the past two weeks for that treadmill to get back into the house from the garage. Starting tomorrow night, I'll clean it up and start a slow walk. I'll shoot for 4 times a week, but won't hold back if 5, 6 and 7 feels good. Hope I don't overdo it and hurt myself in the beginning. Gonna load up the mp3 player and get my groove on!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pondering Flu Shots

Ronin's OT eval was fine. He's doing great as a kid. Some low muscle tone, needs some upper body work, but we knew that since he became sickly with his asthma, plus his food allergies. Classic case. We're still doing speech therapy because Pete says he needs to work on his cognitive and expressive language. OK, fine. I suppose I could call the coordinator and just tell her we're through with speech, but Denis was in favor of continuing it. FIIIIINE, I'll keep going. It doesn't hurt, but I don't want Pete to put any more useless thoughts into my head.

I'm worried every time I hear Ronin cough, and tonight Audrey's been hacking away. I felt her forehead and she's not warm at all, but it could be something viral. I'll have to see how she is in the morning. Ronin had a flu shot at the new allergist's office. They watched his reaction to it, because the flu shot normally has egg in it. He did fine. On Saturday both Nikko and Audrey will get the flu shot at the pediatrician's office. We are going to have to wait until they get the H1N1 vaccine. My friend Alexa stood in line for 7.5 hours to get herself and her daughter vaccinated. I don't know where. But that is a LONG time. There are so many pros and cons to getting the vax, it would make your head spin. There are overall cons for the kids because they are all at risk, Nikko has developmental delays/neurological delays, Ronin has asthma, and Audrey is just one year old. Nikko's autism could also be aggravated by any mercury or thimerasol or anything funky in the vax. Actually, ALL the kids could be affected by something in the vax down the road. I'm slightly nervous about Audrey's future shots because there's a possibility that any vax, flu shot, H1N1 shot or regular ped shot could make her regress. Nikko was pretty much born with his neurological delays in my book, despite his achieving most of his milestones like sitting up and walking, but he was never pointing or waving or clapping his hands when he was a baby. He waved for a very short period of time, but lost the skill. Therefore, I don't believe that vaccines caused his autism. But could they cause it in the other kids? I think Ronin is in the clear, he's over 2 years old, but after shots and sicknesses you never know if he could regress. I've read that it happened to someone on one of the autism boards, the boy Zavier was 28 months when he regressed after getting sick or shots. That is so scary. Especially since Ronin is talking and is so sharp. Guess I should be nicer to him than I was today. LOL! And Audrey seems to be developing quite normally, she can clap, pick up small objects with a pincer grasp, points in a rudimentary way, tries to say words like Cheese (Chssss), Ball (Bah), Pacy (Pah), Ma, Da, Duck (Dah), Pig (Pa)... that's pretty good for a 1 year old, I think! Ronin didn't even crack any real words, or close to them, until almost 20 months. We're still waiting for more from Nikko.