Advent Tea Week 3: Holiday Cleaning and Crafting!
My Homemade 2023-2024 Academic Planner (Free PDFs!)

Happy New Year, a PDF & Some News ...

Hello, my friends and Happy New Year!


Well, I'm afraid I've been MIA recently (after promising all kinds of posts) and I apologize for that. I do hope to get back to posting again sometime soon, but Id like to fill you in a little on what's been going on and ask for your prayers and positive thoughts ...

So, it had been a challenging time since roundabouts mid-December with the kids getting sick in tandem (not Covid, most likely flu) and next there was Earlybird's broken tooth, and then of course we had the holidays (which were very nice and I hope yours were too!) and then everything really turned upside down ...

Because on Boxing Day morning, Earlybird fell in his room and seriously injured his knee. Due to the nature of the injury and the challenges that come with his autism, it was really hard to figure out exactly what happened (everyone else was downstairs when he fell) and precisely what he actually did to his knee. It swelled up enormously, bruised brilliantly, and it hurt him so badly he couldn't bear to stand on it - but whether this was due to pain or fear of trying we couldn't be sure. EB has a hard time expressing himself and anxiety always rules in any scary &/or painful situation. He could bend his knee, and didn't seem to mind it being felt -  in fact, after the initial shock had worn off, he seemed to be weathering the injury fairly well.

Of course we immediately called the doctor and upon his advice, tried to get EB to urgent care for a looksee - but unfortunately we just couldn't get him down the stairs. EB's now way bigger than Bill and I and when he really doesn't want to do something - well, there is NO budging him! We thought about calling an ambulance but were told they could only take him to the ER, and that would be no place for EB. He can hardly wait 20 minutes let alone hours! (Plus the ER is a hotbed of illness these days.)

So we got him a Telehealth appointment while we worked on helping him with pain management (ice and motrin) and mobility issues (a no-go on the walker but a rolling desk chair helped him cruise to the bathroom and back).

Then finally - just last Thursday - we finally got him downstairs! 

(Via a very slow "bum shuffle" down the staircase - following my example - into a wheelchair and then out to our van, ultimately making it over to see the doctor ...

... who was SO super nice and really took her time with EB. (It's such a blessing when you find health care professionals who "get it" and treat your child to a gentle and positive approach with much patience and understanding. I know other special needs parents know what I mean by this!)

(And let me give a hearty shoutout to our BCBA (our ABA supervisor) for much needed help and support throughout all of this. She's known EB for YEARS and really knows how to calm him and guide him when he's feeling scared and being inflexible.)

Anyway - after examining his knee and asking EB some questions about the pain (which he answered rather ambiguously, as is his way), the doctor decided to do an x-ray - and thank goodness she did! Because the x-ray showed that Earlybird actually FRACTURED his patella - right clean in half. One part is wedged up above where his kneecap should be and the other piece is floating somewhere below. The middle part is spongy because there's nothing there ...

I know ... the damage could not have been worse!

The doctor said EB must have an incredibly high tolerance for pain (which we've seen in the past), but everyone was just gobsmacked by the extent of his injury! Our poor boy!

Ok, to sum up - 

EB will be having surgery to repair his fractured patella this Friday. Anytime a child needs surgery it's a time for stress and worry, yet the situation for EB is a little more fraught. For one thing, he is extremely afraid of needles and to get an IV in him is nearly impossible. To be honest this is what I'm worried about most! EB will fight the IV and in the past has been pretty resistant to sedative meds. (The sleepy drink for example - does NOTHING for EB.) Anyhoo ... I am not going to borrow worries just yet. Today things are calm and EB is not in pain at all. He's taking this all in stride, honestly. He's all chipper and comfy on his bed, tv clicker in hand, mom and dad at his beck and call, and no chores whatsoever! He's careful with his knee - but he does understand it needs to be fixed ... it's the only way he'll get to go to his favorite places and ride his bike come spring!

(Yes, this is a continuous topic of conversation: why we fix bones when we break them ... because we want our bodies to be strong and healthy and we want to live our best life!)

So we're taking it one day at a time and pulling in as many resources and support as we can. I know we'll get through this and I feel really hopeful this will all go smoothly - still, I would cherish your prayers and any positive energy you can send on his behalf. I pray Earlybird's surgery is easy and safe and that his recovery is quick and comfortable. And that we ALL find the strength we need to get through whatever hiccups might happen.

Now, here are a couple of pics I shared recently on Instagram:

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(Shared last Thursday morning, the first time was able to come down the stairs.)


(Shared later that afternoon when we found out the extent of his injuries!)

So for the time being, I'm going to be taking a semi-break from my social media. I say "semi" because I might post every once in a while, but my focus will be on being completely available to our son as he goes through all of this. After the surgery he will have weeks of recovery and rehab and I'm very grateful we'll have a daily ABA therapist to help us - help him!

I do hope to post a Midwinter Tea at some point, once we're on the other side of this situation. I'd like to check in and let you know how he's doing and share some of our winter adventures with you, too - such as they'll be this year!

Now, before I go - a quick note for my friends who enjoy using my homemade planning sheets:

I'm really sorry that I was not able to get my 2023 planning sheets posted (or even finished) for you all. It's the first time in years I've missed it! What I was able to do though, is create a blank (undated) monthly planning PDF that includes a monthly calendar and six two-page weekly spreads. I hope this is helpful and I welcome you to use it as you wish! :-)

Undated Planning Sheet PDF

Ok, friends, I will let you all go now, but I do hope you are all doing well and I also hope your new year is off to a healthy and happy start. Thanks for checking in and take care ... I'll be back here again very soon!


~ Dawn