Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Boog is Going to Be a Big Brother!

I know most of you probably read this on my Facebook, but it's Boog big brother blog time, because that alliteration was too perfect to pass up!

So, yes, some time around May 16th, 2011, the Boog's little sister or brother will be entering this world. I am very, very, very excited because this is a baby we wanted very much, this is definitely our last baby, and I'm so much more relaxed this time around - so relaxed in fact that we sort of took the lazy man's way out on the pregnancy announcements. Yes, I realize the lameness of announcing my pregnancy to all and sundry at 12 1/2 weeks on Facebook. Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea culpa.

I'm excited, but I'm also trepidatious, for the Boog does not yet possess the qualities of a big brother (well, one that would be trusted around an infant anyway). The Boog hates his baby dolls. Yes, my son has baby dolls. They were prescribed by his therapists for pretend play, so there. Besides, little boys should learn how to be good daddies. Anyway...thus far, the pretend play has been completely unsuccessful. When I try to show him how to feed and rock his babies, he looks at me like I'm a mental patient he's patiently and fearfully humoring. I can almost hear his thoughts, "Mom, why are you rocking that hunk of ugly plastic that smells like baby butts? Do you really think there's milk in that fake plastic bottle? My mother has gone insane!" When I hand him the baby doll so he can mimic me, he grimaces and throws it or bangs its head against the ground or smacks it in the face and then bangs its head against the ground and throws it. I have nightmares of him smacking his new brother or sister across the face, banging his/her head against the ground, and then throwing him/her.

Apart from his hatred of baby dolls, he's also a terrible sharer. I mean, we're talking world-class selfish only child here. We've been working on "turn taking" in therapy for several months now and he still has yet to grasp the concept. When it's my turn or his therapist's turn, we literally have to tear the toy out of his surprisingly strong Boog grip and then ignore his whining and the acrobatics he performs in an effort to get the toy back. That kid would climb over hot coals laced with razor blades to get his beloved electric guitar or alphabet ball back. Once he reaches the toy, he grabs it, gives us a look like, "How DARE you steal my things?!!" and then gets as far away from us as possible to protect his toy. Littlest One is going to have to get really fierce really fast or I'll have to resort to writing initials on the bottom of all of their toys like my mom did with our Barbies so my sister wouldn't chew the feet and noses off of mine (sorry Grace).

Let's also visit the fact that he is himself still very much a baby. He's a bright and amusing little fella, but the fact of the matter is that he doesn't speak at all, he doesn't walk regularly, he's not potty trained or anywhere near it, he still sleeps in his crib and will need to until he's much more mobile, and he still needs a LOT of help to eat his meals. Holy cow. What have we gotten ourselves into? By the time the Littlest One gets here, the Boog will be 2 years and 7 months old chronologically, but who knows how old he will be developmentally. I tremble.

Nevertheless, whenever I see an adorable picture of one of my friends' toddlers and their newborns, I get all teary-eyed. It is so sweet to see the bond between siblings and part of me has faith that the Boog will rise to the occasion. He's got an uncanny ability to occasionally understand things that no one could possibly expect to understand. I have a good feeling this will be one of those things...

...or maybe he'll dump a basket of laundry on the Littlest One's head. It's a beloved and amusing family tradition...unless you're my sister, Grace.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Boog is 2!!!

Hold onto your hats, ladies and gentlemen, because the Boog turned 2 this weekend! He did it up in true Boog style, of course. By that I mean he threw little sidelong smiles and batted those Bambi eyes at his grandparents (my parents), and they, being the fantastic grandparents that they are, fell down at his tiny feet and partied!

The allure of the Boog turning 2 was enough to bring them across several states to witness the grand event in the first place. As far as gifts go, I'm pretty sure the Boog whispered in Grandma and Grandpa's ears when we were out there in August that he'd like a big, pretty, shiny TV like theirs, because that's what he got! Allegedly it was also for Boog's Daddy's birthday, but we all know who's going to get the most use out of it with his brightly colored cartoons (okay, Boog's daddy watches brightly colored cartoons, too...but he's pretty much a slave to his beetles these days, so there's not a lot of time for cartoon watching).

On the Boog's actual birthday, he somehow subliminally convinced me that it would be a swell idea to truck ourselves up to Dollywood for a big birthday bash! I'm thinking he heard on the playground that there's this stuff called cotton candy that's pretty much the best thing to happen to toddlers since bubbles and it could be found at Dollywood. He had just about as awesome a time as it's possible to have at an amusement park when you're 2. He thought waiting in line was for the birds (well, I mean, who doesn't?), but he stinkin' LOVED the carousel: heavy breathing (that's the Boog's noise of sensory excitement...he shares that with many adults...), smiling, laughing, incessant smacking of the carousel horse in the neck (again, this is a good thing in the Boog's world). He went on a few other rides, and had a pretty decent time, but nothing compared to the carousel...until Mommy foolishly bought some cotton candy...

Lord knows what possessed me to buy cotton candy...I'm the carrot sticks-and-hummus kind of mom. I guess I was under Boog's Big Birthday Spell as well. He greatly enjoyed it. If I could underline greatly 50 times, I would. He did not like the sensation of the unmelted cotton candy touching his lips, so he would open his mouth really wide for each bite and then smile as it melted and kick his legs and arms out like he was trying to fly away.

Boog's Big Birthday Spell also caused me to bake a 3 layer chocolate cake despite the fact that I wasn't feeling so hot and to drive across town for $15 a pound wild salmon.

Hey, it's not every day a Boog turns 2.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Boog Will Not Be Moved

It's been awhile, folks. I thought I would tell you today about the Boog's will of iron, because if there's one thing you must know about the Boog other than that he's a ladies' Boog, it's that he will not be moved. Oh no. If the Boog has decided something, it shall be. He's kind of like a tiny version of The Godfather or a cute itty bitty dictator.

Now, it's all kinds of fluffy-puppies-doing-silly-things adorable to watch him set his little mind to something innocuous like getting a book he wants that's a little out of his reach or "catch" the water coming out of the faucet when I run his bath, but there is a dark side to the Boog's stubbornness. I'm not talking normal toddler tantrums here, though he does have those. Let's just say I meant what I said when I said the Boog will not be moved.

Most of you know that the Boog is in 3 kinds of therapy: speech, occupational, and physical. He's most severely delayed in communicative and adaptive skills, which are the skills that speech and occupational therapy cover, but he's making progress in those areas. His speech therapist seems to have figured him out and he's met at least part of a few of his goals and his occupational therapist is beginning to click with him, though he's still challenging her authority a bit. It's slow-going (like wading knee-high in a pool of molasses slow), but we are moving forward. Physical therapy on the other hand...

The Boog is much less severely delayed in his gross motor skills. Sure, he tested below his age level in most gross motor skills. He doesn't walk independently or stand independently for long periods of time. However, after several months of physical therapy, it has become clear to his physical therapist and I that the Boog doesn't stand without support or walk alone not because he can't, but because he has decided that that's not his style. He's a crawling and cruising and walking-holding-someone's-hand Boog. I mean, seriously, what on earth is the point of walking when you can get wherever you want to go in other ways?

It's not as if we all don't try to get him to stand and walk. His physical therapist is wonderful, and as a mom herself, familiar with the wily ways of toddlers trying to wiggle their way out of a task. Nevertheless, I don't think she's ever crossed swords with a stronger willed child than the Boog. He's like Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill", and she's like Daryl Hannah. She's bad-ass and strong and has all sorts of tools at her disposal, but she's no match for the incorruptible single-mindedness of the Boog who WILL NOT BE MOVED. To her credit, the Boog's father and I are more like pathetic members of the Crazy 88 and I think we're both missing a few limbs by now...mentally, you know...this metaphor is getting confusing...

Anyway, direct requests and enthusiasm got us nowhere in our quest to move the blob of boulder Jell-O that is the Boog, so we and the PT have moved on to bribes and trickery. In other words, the PT will dangle something shiny in front of the Boog to get him to stand there, mesmerized, while reaching for the shiny (my son may have been a magpie in a former life...or maybe it was because I worked at MagPies while I was pregnant with him...I digress...). She has also utilized all of the flashiest, noisiest toys in her vast arsenal, and, on one famous occasion as detailed in my last blog, her own...ahem...charms. She's tried calming his sensory system by using weighted vests and objects. She's tried blowing bubbles (AKA toddler crack) for him to catch. She's tried turning off all the lights and holding a lighted toy aquarium for the light and fish loving Boog. She's tried letting him swing on his favorite swing first while looking in the mirror, which he also loves.

You get the point. She's tried everything and despite all of her efforts (and our efforts to copy her efforts at home), the results are pretty much the same each time. The Boog can be tricked by any method exactly once, and then it will never work again. In fact, not only will the method never work again, but the Boog will be incensed that we've attempted to trick him. The Boog will not be moved! Didn't we get the memo?

The Boog can stand. The Boog can walk. His muscular strength is off the charts. His balance and coordination aren't great but they're good enough and constantly improving. This is not a matter of ability. It is a matter of will, and as we all know now, when it comes to will, the Boog is a freakin' grand master samurai. The PT said to us several weeks ago, "I have nothing left to teach him. He has to want this." Well, he clearly doesn't. Have you ever tried to hold a jelly-legged Butterball turkey of a toddler upright? It's like trying to drink water from a sieve. Ain't happenin', cap'n.

I plan on discussing with the PT how we can subvert the Boog's will of iron at the next appt., but I'm not sure that either of us will actually ever be able to do it. I fully expect the Boog to be a great force in this world when he grows up. I just hope he uses his immense mental power for good...but I fear that's it more realistic to assume he will use it for chaos. I see some sort of Lycra-and leather super-villain costume in his future...and probably a wheelchair and a great big samurai sword. He'll be the greatest wheelchair-bound super-powered genius since Charles Xavier (X-men, people, come on).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ladies' Boog

Well, it's time for those of you out in cyberspace who have been kind enough to wade through the Boog's tedious origins story (hey, don't blame me, have you ever read or seen a prequel that wasn't tedious?) to get to know present-day Boog.

In considering what I should write about in my first present-day Boog entry I asked myself, "What should the world know about the Boog?" Well, you should know that he has SPD, but I'm hoping you figured that out from the description of the blog and my last entry. If not...perhaps you too should consider having your neurological and psychological performance measured. I know some folks who can help you with that. E-mail me, we can chat.

Anyway, so he has SPD. He's also funny and exceptionally bright, but who the heck wants to hear another mother droning on about the astonishing engineering marvel that is their child's latest Lego creation...actually I probably will be doing that at some point, you know, if my kid ever gets over his infatuation with sticking his fingers in the holes in the bottom of the Legos long enough to actually stack 2 or 3 together...but I digress...

So, he has SPD and he's funny and smart, but above all, dearest reader, you should know that the Boog is first and foremost a ladies' Boog.

I first noticed my son's love for the ladies when he was still an infant. I was watching "Ellen" with him and Anna Faris was one of her guests. As soon as she came onscreen, little baby Boog lit up like a redneck's driveway on the Fourth of July. He smiled, he giggled, he waved his hands at the screen. I cracked up and called Dylan. "Oh," I said, "the Boog has himself a little Boog crush!" Little did I know how often this experience was to be repeated.

A few months later, I received my monthly issue of Shape magazine in the mail. There was a picture of Jenna Fischer from The Office in a bikini on the cover (side note: um, who knew?!). I put it on the coffee table where then-older-baby-Boog often pulled up to standing. The first time he pulled up to standing there and saw Jenna Fischer in a pink bikini smiling up at him, he squawked with surprise and then he grinned really big...and slightly creepily...and then more than slightly creepily put his finger on her face and ran it slowly down her body and then back up to her head again. He did this over and over until I took the magazine away from him. I was horrified. His father was beaming and saying, "That's my boy!" Men.

Shortly after that, the Boog began having real world crushes. Did he crush on any of the sweet little girls who he sees on playdates and at Little Gym or therapy sessions? No. To date, Boog has crushed on his EI teacher, his physical therapist, his occupational therapist, his speech therapist's assistant, Mommy's friend Lindsay, his auntie's friend Autumn, Mommy's BFF's younger sister Kimi, and in a slightly more disturbing turn, his second cousin Danyelle. Just today he was giving the flirt-eye to a student shadowing his occupational therapist. What do these ladies have in common? They are all very lovely ladies, but some are short, some are tall, some are blond, some are brunette, and some are redheads. They range in age from late teens to early thirties. Basically, Boog just loves him some older ladies!

The thing of it is, the ladies all fall for his flirty act. All he has to do is throw them one or two sidelong glances, smile a couple of sly smiles and maybe do a trick or two (i.e. showing them his yoga moves or how he can talk to his favorite page in a book), and they'll do just about anything for him. In physical therapy one day a few months ago, the Boog seemed unusually preoccupied with the pieces of anatomy that, as Michael Scott would say, "hang from milady's chest". I usually discourage my son from grabbing women's chests lest he grow up with a nickname like Gropey McGrabsalot, but his PT just laughed and asked, "Oh, did you nurse?" is the child who I pumped milk for for 9 months because he wouldn't go anywhere near my breasts. I assured her that he wasn't looking for lunch, he was merely doing his best drunken frat-boy impression and guess what she did?

She let him chase her boobs across the room!

She actually kneeled in front of him and scooted backward across the room and he followed her trying to grab her like a tiny, adorable sexual harasser. I would have been mortified if I wasn't so busy rolling around on the ABC carpet laughing my butt off. To her credit, she did get him to walk independently for several steps for the first time ever, so I guess she knew what she was doing, but it proves my point. Ladies will do anything for my roly-poly long-eyelashed Boog.

I tremble to think what his future may be like. He'll try to flirt his way out of taking spelling tests when he's 6. At 9, he'll be romancing the bus driver to reserve him his own seat in the front of the bus near her. At 13, he'll wink at his orthodontist and convince her to take his braces off a year early. By his mid-thirties, I'm betting he'll be looking for his Friday night dates at the old folks' home!

Look out, ladies, the Boog is coming.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Boog and the Telltale Christmas Tree

I think this will be my last post explaining the origins of the Boog, and then we can get on to our everyday life full of Boogisms (recent highlights: tantrum-throwing, what fun!, and Speech? Finally?).

While we were quite aware from the beginning that the Boog had some medical difficulties, we only became aware within the past year that something behavioral was going on as well. We take the Boog to a group pediatric practice, which confused the issue somewhat.

When I took him to his 9 month appt., the soft-voiced, perpetually frightened-face female doctor said, "Oh dear, he's falling behind developmentally. Therapy might be in order, let's talk about it at the next appointment." Of course, at the next appointment, we saw the crotchety, pipe-smoking (okay, I don't really know if he smokes a pipe, but if I someday find out he doesn't, it will be like finding out there is no Santa Claus) veteran doctor who said, "Nah, he's fine, but you should feed him more meat" (have since deeply pondered why this fellow was the one I initially listened to...perhaps it was the imaginary pipe...).

Eventually, though, we saw the hunky, hunky male NP who also happens to have 2 or 3 young kids of his own, and he began to gently point out the Boog's oddities and their possible causes. The Boog was around 15 months old at the time and he didn't consistently respond to his own name, he wasn't walking, he stared at shiny objects and lights, he didn't speak, he could spend hours "reading" the same book over and over again but he looked at the words instead of the pictures, etc., etc. The NP suggested autism or a similar developmental delay disorder, gave us a referral to Early Intervention and a neurologist and lots of kind words and sent us on our way.

Thus began the months-long process of diagnosing and finding therapies for our odd Boog. The neurologist ended up being a rather pompous, though amusing, man who did nothing but stare at my chest throughout the whole appointment and then suggest more expensive genetic testing. We were eventually able to discover that this testing would really tell us nothing useful, and we declined to spend $6000 to satisfy the pompous boob-gazer's curiosity.

Our Early Intervention coordinator, on the other hand, proved to be a warm and kind, if slightly absent-minded, fairy godmother-type. If I based a fictional character on her, she would be baking cookies all the time and constantly losing her spectacles. She was able to connect us with the most well-respected child behavioral psychologist in Tennessee, as well as set us up with services with the Boog's own personal Mary Poppins AKA his first EI teacher, and after a long, bitter struggle with some very crabbypants administrator types, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy at the Children's Hospital Rehab Center.

The behavioral psychologist we saw is a renowned expert on autism. He also, I was surprised to discover, has very long hair, and touts the benefits of organic food, veganism, and filtered water (my kind of guy!). We saw him basically to confirm what in our minds we thought we already knew: that the Boog was autistic. However, after two meetings and extensive testing, he had something surprising to tell us: he didn't think the Boog was autistic.


It is difficult to imagine the ridiculous disappointment I felt at learning my son was not autistic unless you have yourself screwed up your courage and done hours of research on a certain condition only to discover that all that energy could have been used to...well...probably play the Sims and make up cookie recipes in my case.

Anyway...after a few seconds of stunned silence, I said, "Well...what do you think is going on with him then?"

The kind doctor then explained that while at first glance many of the Boog's symptoms mimicked autistic symptoms, he didn't actually fit most of the classic patterns. For example, the Boog, while non-verbal, was very social. He frequently smiled, laughed, looked people in the face, responded to language in a number of non-verbal ways, and just generally seemed to be present and engaging with others. He also pointed out that many of Ry's odd visual behaviors could very well be caused by his nystagmus, a theory which our opthalmologist later backed up. So, the Boog stared at bright lights because they were easy to see and focus on when his little eyes were dancing back and forth.

He then said, "There is definitely something going on and it has sensory and motor components." He suggested apraxias as possibilities, and then asked us about the Boog's sensory reactions.

Immediately, a scene popped into my head.

When we got our Christmas tree in 2009, the Boog touched it and began gagging. I thought this was odd and slightly amusing (mean mommy) and mentioned it to my other mommy friends, but no one else had a child who had reacted that way to an object. Every time the Boog touched the tree, he would gag.

I mentioned this to the psychologist and, in that cliched lightbulb-over-the-head way, he said, "I would have him evaluated for SPD!" This wasn't the first time I'd heard of SPD (sensory processing disorder). One of the TEIS evaluators had mentioned it as well, but in passing.

I went home, did some research and HOLY COW! Every single piece of literature I could lay my hands on on SPD read like it was written about my child. He had trouble with feeding - certain textures and temperatures bothered him to the point of gagging and vomiting. He gagged when he touched certain textures. He sought certain kinds of movement, sounds, sights and avoided others. Eventually, this diagnosis was confirmed by his OT.

So, that's it: our journey to the SPD diagnosis. The doctors and therapists warn us that there is a possibility there are more conditions co-occurring with the SPD. In fact, the Boog is going to be tested for auditory neuropathy in a few weeks. However, for now, therapy tailored towards managing SPD is working wonders for our strange little Boog!

But we're thinking about foregoing the Christmas tree this year ;).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Boog and Medical Alphabet Soup

So, I ended the last entry with the Boog's "you ain't seen nothin' yet" look. I'd like to skip over the hour or so that followed that look as it was scary and not worthy of the breezy blog that my effervescent Boog deserves.

Suffice it to say he had a lot of trouble breathing despite the Herculean efforts of a Hagrid-sized nurse with a suction bulb, and ended up in the NICU. The week-long NICU stay, incidentally, was probably the only time in the Boog's entire life that he is ever going to feel like a giant . My 7 lb. 3 oz. "weeny white boy" as the nurses so kindly dubbed him towered over the itty bitty preemies. I thought he was some sort of mutant with a future in the NBA until I got out into the real world and saw the other chunkers roaming around the Kroger in their much-larger diapers. Anyway...

The day after he was born, the NICU doctor met with us, opened his mouth, and out poured a large bowl of medical alphabet soup. Our son, we learned, had about a thousand quirks earning him that $3000 a night posh plastic crib. Hypospadias and hydroceles were readily apparent at birth (PSA: don't wikipedia those unless you want an eyeful). Pulmonary hypertension and various organ oddities became obvious after an ultrasound. Also, the doctor felt his thumbs were wonky (okay he used the word "proximal", but I prefer wonky), his forehead was prominent, and his plentiful long, blond hair was just downright freaky (or, you know, possibly indicative of a genetic condition, whatever...).

I was readily willing to accept the medical alphabet soup, but the suggestion that my kid looked funny was particularly offensive to me. He was beautiful and his hair was a sign of superiority over the bald alien babies laying around him. In fact, I was proven right on that score, as his long hair was eventually proven to have nothing to do with his alphabet soupness and was instead just another facet of his awesome Boogness, but I digress.

As we were dealing with all of this medical madness, we also began to notice that our child was remarkably vocal. If he wasn't asleep (and sleep was rare), he was probably screaming his "prominent" little Boog head off. He looked upon my attempts at breastfeeding him as some rare and particularly sadistic form of torture. His little belly was always distended with gas, he spent half his time vomiting up his tube-fed formula and breastmilk and his diapers were, well...a colorful and varied experience in disgusting textures. No one besides Dylan and myself seemed to find this odd. They told us he was merely adjusting to life and the process of eating.

Eventually, we were allowed to take him home, but the screaming, fussiness, vomiting, and interesting diapers continued. We took him to the pediatrician who immediately suggested food allergies (more letters for that Boog soup). Sure enough, once I cut my beloved cheese and Triscuits from my diet, the diapers became much more boring and the fussiness and vomiting decreased somewhat. It was thus that he was diagnosed with dairy and wheat allergies.

We also took him to the geneticist, a very old and heavily accented spunky woman who greatly resembled Dr. Ruth. She ordered two very expensive tests and then pronounced his thumbs unwonky, his forehead unprominent, and his hair unfreaky. In other words, his genes looked fine.

At this point, we began to breathe sighs of relief. "Oh," we said to each other in our first-time parent omniscience, "thank goodness we're done with all that!"


Over the next few months, Boog alphabet soup-making continued. We saw a urologist who revealed to us that not only did Boog have hypospadias which would require surgical correction, but also double inguinal hernias, which also required surgical correction. We saw a pulmonologist, who was able to tell us the Boog's pulmonary hypertension was gone, but not what caused it in the first place. We saw an opthalmologist, who, after more expensive and Boog-angering testing, was able to tell us that the Boog has motor nystagmus which will cause his eyes to dart back and forth for most of his childhood and possibly into adulthood. We saw a hematologist who spent months testing him for Factor 11 deficiency (a rare blood disorder that runs in my family) before pronouncing him fit for surgery. We saw an otolaryngologist who revealed to us after much Boog-angering scoping, that the Boog has laryngomalacea (soft, floppy tissue around the larynx) which is what was causing his distinctive Boog growling and grunting, as well as severe GERD which combined with the food allergies to make the Boog a fountain of partially-digested breastmilk for the first several months of his life.

Eventually, after much testing and a surgery, the medical alphabet soup-making began to subside. We, again, breathed that naive sigh of relief. "Ok," we thought, "our Boog has some structural oddities, but we've handled all that, and it's all smooth-sailing from here."

I'm pretty sure the Boog laughed when he heard that thought (and yes, I am convinced my remarkable child is telepathic), for the greatest challenges, and the greatest rewards, were yet ahead of us.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Boog Begins

I was going to launch right into our day-to-day life, but it wasn't coming out right, so, you know, like Vizzini says, when the job goes wrong, you have to go back to the beginning (oh, go watch The Princess Bride already...that is, if you're done with The Big Lebowski). Hence, the story of how the Boog began (don't worry, I won't include any gory details).

As I said in the first blog, the Boog does things every day that no one expects him to do. He was unexpected from day one. His initial presence, for example, was unexpected. The Boog's father and I, being reasonably intellectual and wise in the ways of the world and all (and one of us being a biologist) were aware that a creature such as the Boog could very well come visiting us, but I don't think we'd fully grasped the weight of the reality of pregnancy as opposed to the airy hypothetical idea of pregnancy. Let me tell you, it's heavy. When I saw those two little lines appear I felt like a family of very robust, but very lost skydivers had crashed through my roof and onto my defenseless little toothpick body. I couldn't even stand up for an hour or so.

I eventually became used to the metaphorical and increasingly literal weight of pregnancy, and then the Braxton-Hicks started. I was about 17 or 18 weeks pregnant and doing an embarrassingly peppily choreographed Denise Austin prenatal workout video and I suddenly felt my whole abdomen tighten up like a little boulder. It was a distinctly odd sensation like one's midsection had suddenly been invaded by some sort of squeezing demon (sorry, I've been watching a lot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer lately).

"Huh," I thought, "I bet that was a Braxton-Hicks," and stopped exercising for a moment. It went away, and I thought that was the end of it.


Over the next week, I began having them more and more often. At first, just while I was active, but eventually they began waking me up in the middle of the night - intense, slightly painful, tightening sensations that released after a little while only to start again. I talked to my doctor about it and she said to sit down and drink water when they happened and if I had more than 6 in a hour, I should call her.
More than 6 in an hour? She must be kidding, right? I often had more than 6 in 10 minutes!

One day, they were particularly frequent and intense and Dylan convinced me to call the doctor. I called. I was sent to the hospital. I was monitored for hours while forced to watch crappy soap operas and listen to the teen mom in the bed next to me complain about how much her Braxton-Hicks hurt and wail for someone to bring her pain meds (oh yeah...her ailment ended up being diagnosed as gas and not Braxton-Hicks at all. I've often wondered how she handled labor...). I was told I couldn't eat or drink but could have all the popsicles I wanted (let me tell you, I took advantage of that. Popsicles rock!).

Eventually, it was determined that yes, I was having very, very frequent contractions. In fact, the doctor on call was the first one to ever utter the line the Boog has now inspired dozens of times, "I've never seen anything like this." However, the contractions were having no effect on little fetus Boog, so I was diagnosed with uterine irritability, put on modified bedrest, shot up with terbutaline and sent home.

I continued to contract nearly constantly for the duration of the pregnancy. I got so used to the sensation that my insides felt weirdly soft for months after I gave birth.

Anyway, uterine irritability is not pre-term labor, but it is a significant risk factor for pre-term labor. Over and over my obstetrician said, "Be prepared. It could be any day now." She assured me I wouldn't make it past 38 weeks. Then 39. Then 40. When week 41 rolled around, guess what I heard for the second time as the obstetrician came in to monitor my post-term induction? "I was sure your little boy would be here by now on his own. I've never seen anything like this!"

19 hours later, out came Rylan Logan Dittrich-Reed. He was...well let's be honest, he was a squish-faced cheesy little monkey child, but even then, he was the Boog. At this point, I truly thought the hard part was over. We have a picture of the Boog moments after he was born throwing the first of his now trademark coy, mischievous, sidelong glances. I'm pretty sure he was saying, "Mom, you ain't seen nothin' yet!"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Introducing "The Boog"

I've been feeling the itch to blog lately (mostly due to my buddy Shannon's awesome new mommy blog []), but my food blog (which I swear I will post to at some point in the near future) didn't seem like the right place to talk about what I really want to talk about, so I decided to start a new one.

I have a feeling that I won't have to brainstorm to come up with ideas for blog entries on this blog, because the subject of this blog is my life - my kid, my project, my source of entertainment and woe, 50% of my reasons for getting up in the morning: Rylan AKA "The Boog".

Don't ask me how he got that nickname. I have no idea. All I know is that one day, as his father and I emerged from the first year of parenting haze, we realized we were not referring to our child by his carefully chosen, much-argued about given name. He had become "The Boog". I'm assuming it's some derivative of "booger". Who knows? Those of you who are parents can attest to the fact that you say some crazy, crazy things during that first year and you probably don't remember why you said them afterward. In any case, since I don't remember, I'm laying the at his father's feet. It sounds like something he would come up with.

Since we had unwittingly created a charming nickname to tease our son with when he's 16 and desperately humorless about all things charming, we decided to go one step further and coin him a nice catchphrase. Our son has endured many large trials that might discourage a lesser baby than himself and encounters many smaller trials daily that he deals with head-on in creative, if often ineffective, ways, or simply ignores and goes about his business. Couple his persevering attitude with the fact that "Boog" sort of kind of rhymes with "dude" and you get: "The Boog Abides" (and if you have no idea what I'm talking about, please, for the love of God, go rent "The Big Lebowski". I'm begging you!).

Yep, he's out there takin' her easy for all us sinners. While his daily adventures may not be as fascinating to others as they are to me, trust me when I tell you that this is one unusually interesting kid. He does things every day that no other kid does - at least no other kid I've ever heard of. I can't tell you how many times doctors, therapists, other parents, Little Gym teachers, and friends have said to me, "Wow...I've never seen anything like that."

So stick around, friends, and let me impart to you the wisdom "The Boog" is daily imparting to me. I have a feeling he has it all figured out in that big boog head of his. Getting him to tell us about it is the hard part!