Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Workin' It

I didn't know there could be a downside to potty training. During today's "quiet time" Morgan came downstairs to use the potty SIX times. This was in a span of an hour and a half. She managed to actually deposit something in the potty SIX times, thus collecting her two M&Ms SIX times.

Do you think she could be working the system?!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

She Knows

Last night I was rocking Piper for a little while before bed. She's always super cuddly at night and likes to be held for as long as possible before I put her in bed. I sang her a few songs and said prayers. She was quiet for a bit as we rocked a little longer. As I stood up to put her in her crib she said, "Mama... Mama," very clearly. I asked her "Where's Mama?" and she tapped her little finger on my chest. Ah, sweet sweet words.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I did it!

This is what Morgan says when she sees anything newly deposited in her little potty. She is VERY proud of herself. She has been doing so well the past few days with her #1's, I decided to test her on the big #2, the deuce, the poop.

Usually Morgan goes to her "quiet time" around 1:30 pm. Piper naps and Morgan can play, sleep, whatever she wants...in her bedroom. Usually she wears a pull-up. And as usual, she saves her #2's for that time.

Today I kept her downstairs with me. As I expected, she was holding in a poopie. She'd ask for a pull-up, I'd say "no, go in the potty." She danced around all afternoon. She'd go sit on the potty, and apparently get an inkling something might happen...then she'd whine and make a scared sound and run out of the bathroom again. This went on from about 1:30-4:30 pm. Poor thing must have been so miserable, but this is how it worked with the pee too. We kept at it.

I kept the TV off, played some music, we played with her toys and colored. She managed to pee several times (and thus collect her M&Ms) without the #2. When she finally asked to watch Yo Gabba Gabba, I said she had to poop on the potty first. This kid NEEDS incentive and positive reinforcement. Over and over I said "you can do it Morgan!" She did the run in-sit down-whine-run out routine a bunch more times. I'd go in with her most of the time to encourage her.

Then I changed my strategy. She went in and I decided to leave her in there alone. With pooping, there must be some privacy, right? She usually saves it for her quiet time. I checked on her once (she couldn't see me) and she was quietly sitting there. So I left her alone for a while. Then the next time I checked I couldn't see her on the potty so I went in. She was standing next to the potty. She saw me and pointed at the potty. Then she said "I did it!" as usual...then she said "I pooped!" Sure enough, she did! We clapped and high-fived and hugged. I love that proud look on her face! After cleaning up and washing her hands, she asked for her M&Ms. As soon as she had those in hand she said "Yo Gabba Gabba!" I happily obliged her.

I think I've landed in an alternate reality. Less than a week ago she had no interest in the potty and today she did #1 AND #2! I've had all sorts of worries about whether she'd be able to potty train at all with her autism...but she's proving to me that no worries are needed. Go sweet girl!

Oh, we did have one accident today. We made a quick trip to the store and I decided to keep Morgan in her panties. She stayed dry the whole time. I kept asking her if she had to go and she said no. We got home and I got her out of her car seat. Still dry...but somewhere between the car and the house something happened. She came in the door and said simply, "I need new pants." Oops. She wasn't horribly wet and she went right to the bathroom and left more in the potty. Hmmm. I'd say we're doing great, wouldn't you?

We have another big test at school tomorrow! She hasn't been for so long since she's been so sick. Cross your fingers!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


With potty training! For weeks Morgan would suddenly decide to take off her pants and pull-up and go sit on the potty. Nothing would happen. From the state of the pull-up I think she had just gone, but had not connected that she had to sit on the potty before she peed in it.

A few times last week I would just let her run around naked for a while. She would hold her pee and eventually for nap or bedtime she would just wait to go in the pull-up. Last night I was determined to see what she would do if she got desperate. When she has to go she asks for her pull-up, or as we call it Princess Pants (as there are Disney Princesses on them). I simply said no when she asked. She got a little nutty, running around and whining and asking for her pants. Eventually (and oddly always in the same spot) she would get to a point where she couldn't hold it any more and she would just start peeing. Then we had to run her to the potty to try to "catch" some of the pee in the bowl. When she did this we would clap and cheer! She looked so proud of herself and she said "I did it!!" We were able to do this twice before bedtime. Each time she also got a sticker and some M&Ms.

This morning I slept in (got Morgan and Piper's sickness, ugh). When I got up Morgan was, again, without a pull-up or panties. David doesn't like the naked butt running around, but I told him he'd have to deal with it for now. She said she had to go and I went in the bathroom with her. This time I told her, Morgan, just push out the pee, relax and let it out. To my surprise I heard a tinkling sound, then a whoosh...she did it! The look on her face was priceless! She stood up and looked in the potty and said "I did my pee pee!!" Then she added to it and said "Look at the beautiful pee pee!" (The last few days she's been very into calling things pretty or beautiful. She even called a picture of an ugly gorilla..."the beautiful monkey.") Anyway, it was hilarious! I agreed that it was beautiful pee pee. :-)

Today she peed in the potty all day, except for nap time. I also made sure to offer her lots of liquids so we'd have more opportunities for success. We're working on just pee right now. I didn't expect her to poop in the potty and sure enough, she waited for the pull-up. That's just fine. Oh, and she was all about the M&Ms. Several times she said she had to go, ran in the bathroom for a few seconds then came out and said she "did her pee pee and want M&Ms." I went and looked...no pee pee. She was very ticked that she didn't get her M&Ms.

We are thrilled with this progress and hope it continues tomorrow. There may be setbacks and other issues, but I'm shocked we've come this far as quickly as we have. Go Morgan!! What a big girl you are!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Sick House

For almost two weeks we've had sickness in our house. It started with a few days of reports from Morgan's teachers that she "just wasn't herself." Then last Saturday she woke up with a fever and the sickness hit. It took a few days to get the fever out of her system. It wasn't terribly high, but frustrating that it hung on for so long. She's better now, just some residual runny nose and a icky sounding cough.

My pictures loaded backwards and now that I'm not feeling good I don't want to load them again. So there.

See the pic of Morgan at the bottom. Sweet little red cheek hanging with Daddy on the couch. You can see Grandpa B on the other couch. My parents came to visit for a week and got to "enjoy" the worst of Morgan's illness. They still had a nice time. There was lots of playing with new activities indoors. They enjoyed their new "lacing" toy, activity books and lots of coloring.

Piper's sickness hit the day after Grandpa and Gram left when she woke up with a fever. Here's another sweet, sad little face with her smoothie and BOTH her loveys. I don't think she let go of the loveys from the time she woke up until the tylenol started kicking in. Luckily her fever hasn't hung on as long and she's already feeling better. Just that same, nasty sounding cough though.

We are thankful there are no stomach bugs this time. That is the worst. Off to recuperate some more! Only David hasn't caught this bug yet. Knock on wood!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Piper's 18 Month Dr. Appointment

Can you believe she's already 18 months old?! I can't. She's getting so big...I keep telling her to slow down, but as usual, she doesn't listen to me. :-)

Piper had her 18 month well baby appointment this morning. She was such a trooper and did so well when the Dr. listened to her heart and lungs. She didn't like it when we made her lie down on the exam table, but really she did so much better than I thought she would. Here are her stats:

Height: 32 inches (59%)
Weight: 25.5 lbs (67-68%)
Head Circ: 18.5 inches (63%)

The Dr. asked me a bunch of developmental questions, is she using a fork and spoon (yes), is she saying 10 or more words (yes), is she eating well, fruits, veggies, meats (yes).

I think the Dr. would have been fine with everything...but I brought up a topic that had been bugging me. Though Piper is doing well with her words, and has many more than Morgan did at this point...she doesn't call David and I "Mama" and "Daddy." She will point at pictures of David and say "Dada" and a few times I've sworn she's said "Bye Dada" when he leaves the house...but never Mama. When she first started saying words (12-15 months) sometimes she'd lay her head on my shoulder and say "mamamamamama." So, it's not like she can't say it. When I asked her to "say Mama" today she pointed at me and touched me. When David says "where's Mama!" she looks right at me. She just doesn't call me Mama, nor does she try to say Morgan's name. The Dr. tried to reassure me and say that if Piper had been my first child he would not have seen any issues, but our experience with Morgan makes us blow little things out of proportion. He thinks that since she has such a healthy amount of words overall that she catch on to our names soon. He did admit it was odd though... and I can't get that out of my head.

Why does there always have to be something? I'd just starting to think we were "in the clear" on her with the autism issue. I still hope that's the case, but things like this make me nervous.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Emotions Emerging

Morgan has been getting in touch with her emotions lately...sort of. I don't know if it's a coincidence, but for Christmas I bought Morgan a "Tag Jr.", a device that "reads" special books for her. It took her a while to get it, but when she did, she loved it! She requests her "Tag Guy" and her Tag books for her quiet time each day.

One of the books is called Monster Faces. It features the Sesame Street characters showing different emotions, angry, scared, happy, etc. Shortly after she had been reading this book she would sometimes tell me what she thought I was "feeling." Once evening at the dinner table she'd repeatedly thrown her fork on the floor. I gave a big sigh and said "oh Morgan." She looked at me and said "mad face." OK, I probably should have been ignoring her instead of giving her a mad look, but good for her for recognizing it! Autistic kids typically have trouble recognizing body language and facial expressions, so this is a step in the right direction.

She is also starting to recognize other people's/kid's emotions. When Piper cries she sometimes says "Piper sad." This is one of the first emotions she recognized, but she still doesn't react with any empathy...she'll acknowledge it, but it's not followed by any concern for the other person. Occasionally she's say "I'm sad" but it doesn't always make sense with what she's doing at the time. Hmmm.

At the same time she is starting to recognize her own emotions and signals her body is giving her. She's says "I'm OK" when she falls or has a bump (and there's no damage done). But she doesn't always take time to fully assess things, because sometimes "I'm OK" becomes "I'm Okaaaaaaay" then becomes high pitched and turns into a wail! We try not to laugh, but sometimes it's pretty amusing. Poor baby. She's also saying "I'm feeling done" when she's had enough to eat or "I'm feeling sick" if her tummy hurts. We've put that one to good use and been prepared for an eventual tossing of the cookies a time or two. Finally, she is understanding the concept of "like" and often says when she likes something such as a certain food, song or book.

She also is beginning to recognize emotions when we talk about them. I ask her if she's happy and she gives me a BIG smile! I'm working on adding some others to talk to her about.

It's so nice to have some real "functional communication" emerging. I hope it just gets better and better!