Wednesday, December 31, 2008

the jumping for joy post

So everyone knows that Gabrielle gets ill often, this entire year she has never gone more then 1.5 weeks between illnesses. She took the month of August off and December now as well! Since it is officially 45 minutes till January I think that I am safe to say it. The last time she has been ill was over Thanksgiving, that is huge for her. I'm not holding my breath, I'm sure that by next week we'll be back to our normal but it sure was nice to have a break for once. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

it has started

I was warned about this, Madeline having self esteem issues, but thought I might have a little more time before she noticed. Tonight I heard, "Mama, I wish I didn't have problems." We've never made a big deal about anything, or have even said that she was different, we've tried to shield her from it. She has no idea that other children don't do OT or that it is anything but fun, but apparently she does know she is different. Sigh, those are the saddest words that I've heard in a long time. As a parent, all you want to do is protect your children, but I can't make everything go away, and I can't shield her forever. Not being in the school system or even around children her own age (most of her playmates are younger) has had major advantages, she hasn't been aware that the should be doing certain things, though I have seen lately that the awareness is growing. 

In other related news, the OT that had worked with Madeline here before we went to Denver has agreed to come biweekly and work on her fine motor skills. She came today and was amazed at how much stronger Madeline had become since doing the intensive OT. 

Monday, December 29, 2008

what we did this weekend

I couldn't take my bedroom anymore. I'm not one that has a perfectly decorated room but after sleeping on the floor for the past 5 years, I wanted something a little more.

 
My X-Mas present was a very cheap bedframe that I found on Overstock, and then much to Ryan's dismay, I decided that the walls needed to be painted. We'll do the ceiling one of these days, it was all I could do to get the 4 walls done!


I'm in love with it, and it's amazing how much more I look forward to going upstairs to put the laundry away. I used to hate coming upstairs, everything was so blah, now I just need to get him to paint the loft next...

Friday, December 26, 2008

pics of snow


I opened the blind in the bedroom this morning was was greeted with this. And ignore the very ugly window covering that someone has yet to take down after me asking for 1.5 years....

So Ryan got to climb on the roof on the other side of the house and make his way over to shovel it off since it was DEEP and very heavy. I'm surprised the window in the bedroom didn't crack with all the weight pressing against it. 
And in other exciting news, I officially have a potty learned 2 year old! Just during the daytime, at night she still soaks her dipes but it's a start and went very quickly over all. I dragged her little potty with us to Denver this last trip thinking that it might be a good time to start working on it. Other then running to therapy appointments which Gabrielle didn't go to, we really didn't do too much up there. It took me 2 days to get her to pee in the potty once and then nothing so I shelved that idea. Then on X-Mas Eve she found her Thomas undies that we had bought her and insisted that she was wearing them. By today, she was down to only having one accident all day and that was even with us leaving the house for a while! She is quite pleased with herself and every time she goes, she runs around clapping and yelling, "yea Boo!". LOL 

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry X-Mas!


We've had a quiet X-Mas at home today. I had decided at the beginning of the week that we were not spending X-Mas with my family like we always do. My parents were insisting that they were holding dinner at their house in the mountains, and it's been snowing all week. I didn't want to drive up and back in the same day and I didn't want to spend the night so we opted out of everything. Thank goodness because we have just a little bit of snow at our house! It's coming down even more as I type so I'm thinking Ryan is going to have a fun day of shoveling and snow blowing tomorrow....





Most of the X-mas morning pics I can't show because Gabrielle was running around bare butted but here is her thrilled over presents and what they got today. 




Tuesday, December 23, 2008

happy holidays!

This holiday season feels surreal to me. I suppose it's because I've been gone for most of it, but I'm having a hard timing believing that tomorrow is X-Mas Eve. We were welcomed back to Durango by snow and more snow! The girls are happy to be home, we will be returning but not for a few months. Madeline is finished for now at the Star Center, we only would go back if we felt she needed another short intensive session, like a week or so. They would like us to continue with the OT we had been working with before for her dysgraphia, difficulty in writing. She lacks the fine motor skills in her hands to properly hold a pencil, which makes it hard to write. We will also continue with her Focus which is her listening therapy, we've moved on to different programs, and the center will guide us through continuing that therapy.


The language specialist that did the last evaluations on Madeline would like do some further testing and highly suggested Madeline undergo intensive language processing therapy which of course doesn't exist here. She did a number of tests, 10 or 12 I think, I don't have the official report yet. Madeline has issues with sequencing, route memory, phonemic awareness, and a number of other things. They classify her as high risk for dyslexia until further testing can be done. She picked up on some minor speech issues that probably tie in to everything. For once luck is on my side for that, my neighbor is one of only two private speech pathologist is the area. I've already spoken with her and she is going to take a look at the evaluation once I get it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

things I now know

I couldn't sleep again last so I laid in bed for hours thinking of all the things I know enough to know was an issue. I wonder if Madeline hadn't of been the first child, if I would of picked up on her difficulties sooner. I do think I would of, especially if Gabrielle had come first. I know all children do things at different speeds, but she is doing things that Madeline was not doing for years and in some cases, not doing that much of still. Madeline has been a hard child to diagnose, all the therapists so far has commented on that. She has compensated well in many areas. 


Gabrielle colors holding her crayons like anyone would write, Madeline still prefers to hold everything in a fist, if I can get her to attempt to hold it the normal way, then she has a hard time drawing, etc... It's a lack of lack motor skills in her fingers, but she doesn't have that lack any where else, she is quite agile. Gabrielle has developed an interest in letters, she can identify an E, B, and a couple others. She loves when someone will sit and do Starfall.com with her, she will sing along to the songs, and I catch her saying the sounds the letters make before the site gets to that point. Madeline still has no idea that an A makes an aaaaa noise, despite her playing with that site for years.  Yesterday during therapy, the therapist brought out rhyming word puzzles, now Madeline does not get rhyming words, yet she put them all together on the first try and was able to identify most of them. To anyone else it would appear that she knew what she was doing, I know and the therapist knows that is she very visual. She compensated from not knowing the words, by quickly scanning the puzzles and being able to piece them together in her head before she even started. The point that they rhyme means nothing to her. She often does things like that. If given a choice between several letters and asked to pick out a certain one, then she grasps for any other clues, is one a different size, color, etc... She will remember that the yellow letter is supposed to be a B and then for the rest of the time when confronted with a yellow letter, usually will answer B. If you give her a blue B, then she might or might not recognize it. Gabrielle doesn't care what color a B is, or if a E is upper case or lower case, she knows what it is. Madeline most of the time now knows what an E is, but never a lower case one, but she can describe it in perfect detail to you, she just has no idea what this E and this e are the same thing. 

For this week, she has been identifying most of the letters in her first name and counting to 20! A couple times she went to 30, but it is rare that she can. Today is our last day in Denver and at the center. I have parent meetings there, her last therapy session, and the feedback meeting the last eval that we did this week, I very curious about that one. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gabrielle pic

I kept trying to upload this pic before we left home a couple weeks ago but it never would go so here it is! Gabrielle is having a hard time being away from Daddy this trip. She keeps demanding, "dada here!" and then wanting to talk to him on the phone all the time. Ryan is *supposed* to fly in tomorrow, I'm not holding my breath since the airport was shut down today in Durango from all the snow. She will be so thrilled to see him when he does make it. 

Gabrielle is growing up so quickly now. She still nurses but doesn't nurse to sleep anymore or at night. She has a stuffed Minnie Mouse, her "Mimi", that she goes to sleep holding. Madeline never had a favorite object so when Gabrielle demanded one, it took me by surprise! We were killing time walking around at a mall in Denver and we went by a Disney store. Gabrielle really likes mice, she saw a little stuffed Minnie Mouse in the window and HAD to have it, screaming, "my Mimi!". She ended up with it, and has barely let it go since. It's to the point where she will roll over in the night, lose her Mimi and wake up crying for it until I can find it buried in the sheets. I really should go buy another one of those things before it gets left somewhere... Madeline had several appointments today and my mom was able to put Gabrielle to sleep, that is the first time someone else has ever put her to bed. :(

Friday, December 12, 2008

another round in Denver

We have one more week at the center and then we are done! I think all of us will be glad when this is over, but it has been worth it. This last session was by far the hardest to come back to, it felt like we had just got back into our normal life and then it was time to return. Madeline is happy to be back though she loves her therapy. Process is occurring, slowly, but I see improvement. After our last trip, her anxiety level is minimal, she is enjoying activities again like a normal child. It's still there, but I can manage it now. She is counting to 13 now, even 14 on a very good day. She is recognizing more letters, not always, but something is better then nothing. 

The Star Center is actively involved with parent education so I have weekly meetings with her team of therapists. We discuss techniques that seem to get through to her, or do not work. I always come away from these meetings with a slew of great ideas to try.  We know now that she seems to only learn numbers with movement. We take 13 marches while clapping, on and on for days until 13 clicks one day. Madeline's short term memory for words has been difficult but if we read a book, say Hop on Pop, where she repeats it after us along her us recording her voice while she wears headphones so she can herself then she can repeat back longer sentences. If using several letters, they can not have different colors, or any other difference to them because she will grasp to find something to tell them apart other then the letter. Gradually, we are learning some ways that can help her learn. It would not be possible on my own. The wealth of professionals that are there and the equipment have made it possible. 

We received excellent news today. Our OT and the on staff physiologist have been going back and forth discussing the undiagnosed learning disabilities, and what we can do about it now. As I've mentioned before, diagnosing in a child of 5-6 years of age is difficult. The testing was written for children 7 and up. It takes a very specialized person to be able to test a younger child accurately, obviously there are not very many of them. The physiologist pulled some strings and got us an eval with a doc in Denver that does just that, next week! It's only a 3 hour eval, but should give us some answers and maybe we can know at least what direction we are looking at instead of just not knowing anything. 

Saturday, November 29, 2008

holiday pics

We decorated early this year since we are leaving for Denver next weekend for another two weeks. 





Thursday, November 27, 2008

almost halfway there!


I finally got around to getting somewhat of a belly shot. Time is flying by, I'm 19 weeks now. It's hard to believe that this pregnancy is almost halfway over and soon there will be a newborn in the house again. I really haven't had much time to dwell on it with everything that we've had going on. I've yet to decide exactly what I'm going to do as far a midwife goes. The midwife I used for Gabrielle's birth no longer does home births, I'm not exactly thrilled with the options that are left. Two midwifes in town I will not use, just a conflict of style. One I know personally but she works with the other two midwifes, and I don't think she would be open to how I do my pregnancy and birth. There is a 3rd that is 1.5 hours away, I know her as well, she would be the most receptive but with my EDD being in April and her living over a mountain pass there is no telling if she could actually make it here. Then I think, what's the point of having a midwife. I don't know what we will decide but for now I'm comfortable continuing with how things are. 



Sunday, November 16, 2008

fat does a body good

I've been really working on getting good fats in Gabrielle's diet, along with tricks to get food into her, of course we all end up eating it as well. I weighed everyone today, Gabrielle is up to 24 lbs! Madeline weighs 39.5 lbs, I couldn't believe it, she might actually hit 40 lbs by the time she turns 6. When she turned 5 in January, she only weighed 32 lbs. Ok, I didn't weigh everyone, I was not about to step on that scale, I can tell by the size of my butt that the same diet is also producing similar results for me....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

home sweet home

And it feels so good! It's rough being away with small children, or maybe it's just my small children... Going off in a large metro area proved to be tricky, trying to juggle day trips between rush hours, therapy times, and a grumpy toddler's nap/bedtime so we were mainly limited to only going a few miles away. My mom refuses to drive in a city so I always had to which didn't always settle well with the Boo. Gabrielle calls herself Boo now by the way. It would of been very difficult doing anything without my mom there. I was able to leave Gabrielle at the town house with her and take Madeline to therapy alone without worrying about how to keep a toddler entertained there or having to wake her up from a nap. 


Madeline loved the Star Center and her therapist. She keeps saying that she wishes the center was in our town so she could go all the time. She did very well during all the therapy, and even had minimal anxiety! They repeated a portion of her auditory testing while we were there, with the same results. We were curious if the first results were accurate or if her anxiety had affected the testing. Unfortunately I have also learned that further testing for her learning disabilities will have to wait until she is around 7 years of age. She turns 6 in January. I have some more calling around to do but so far no one is interested in seeing her for another year. We are hopeful that she will have improvement with her cogitative abilities after all this OT is finished but it obviously won't solve her learning issues. It sounds strange, but it is nice to see that it has nothing to do with me or homeschooling. I second guess myself at times with her because of her issues and wonder if she doesn't need more then I can offer which may be the case when she gets older. The therapist this week during OT worked on B and D with Madeline, all week long. They played games, they wrote the letters on large blocks and she would knock them down on the zipline, on and on. Today Madeline wanted to write her name. I have to slowly say each letter, after each one she doesn't know, she asks me what it looks like. She got M, A, which are two letters of the alphabet that she always knows, then we got to D. I said D and she asked me what a D looked like. She had no idea after a week of one and one with a professional, learning only two letters. 

The OT is interesting. Madeline only has mild physical effects of the SPD, she actually always terrified the therapist because she wasn't used to children being able to do so much physically. As in doing a back roll off of a swing, jumping off the top of the climbing wall... Madeline only has slight left to right differences in her body, she doesn't get dizzy like normal people do hence the need to get feedback into her body which she does by more movement, more action. She is very strong, especially in her upper body, but her hand muscles are not where they should be, that is evident in her inability to hold a pencil/crayon in any other way then what a toddler does. I've been learning how to do calming activities with her to get her calmed down before she gets too wired, which ones actually work with her, how to read her cues better, and many other things. 


Monday, November 10, 2008

life on the front range

Since we are missing out on our regular activities, toys, and friends, we've had to make do with other things.  Here's Gabrielle playing dress up.

And a PJ party!



We are enjoying some things that we can't do at home, like the zoo, natural history museum,  and the aquarium. We are on the other side of Denver from most things so due to the traffic, we don't go that way very often. I'm going to be in trouble when we return home, because there is a lot of traffic and we drive longer then Gabrielle is used to, I have to bribe her into her car seat. With M&M's. Now she makes sure I have some in my purse before even leaving the house.I just keep thinking about all the calories adding up and ignoring the sugar content....


 I have found a few cute gender neutral items for the new babe though! Shrimp as it has been nicknamed, doesn't much much attention right now due to the chaos we call life, but soon enough I'm sure he/she will get it's fair share. I think my hopes for a nice, calm 3rd child are not going to happen. At only 17 weeks, Shrimp spends many an hour kicking and rolling around in my uterus instead of relaxing and enjoying this time inside. 

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gabrielle's Birthday







We had so much going on before we came to Denver that I never got around to posting Gabrielle's B-day pics. My baby turned 2 on Oct 23rd! She turned down cake and demanded a "yellow" instead. Which is a strawberry popsicle, she is addicted to them and that is all I hear all day long, "more yellow". I'm not minding right now since before we came to Denver, she weighed 22 lbs, down from 25 a month earlier. This was before a nasty stomach bug, I didn't weigh her after, I really didn't want to know. A yellow is 80 calories and she will eat at least two a day, so that is something. Gabrielle hasn't taken to me not producing breast milk while pregnant well. Emotionally she has been fine, but physically, she isn't getting enough calories. She refuses to drink milk in any form, can't eat enough calories, so has been losing weight. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

Denver





First off, living away from home bites. It's hard to find things to do in a strange city, not having all the usual toys to keep the girls entertained, etc... We'll be glad to go home when we break for therapy. OT is going well, Madeline really enjoys it and looks forward to going every day. I have some issues, mostly because the therapist that we waited months for can not work with Madeline since she leaving the center. We are working with her replacement who is not as experienced as the original therapist so that has been a source of frustration for me. Gabrielle is finally eating while we are here so I'm hoping she might be regaining some of the weight she has lost recently.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

back from Denver

We are glad to be home, it was a long week. Madeline had a a rough time being away from home. She has never been a good traveler, not liking the car, but has always loved to be away. She likes eating out, staying in hotels, seeing different things. This time traveling made her anxiety worse, she spent most of the time asking to go back to the hotel or wanting to stay in the car instead of going into places. She also didn't eat while we were gone, nothing more then a bite here and there. I weighed her tonight when we got home and she had lost over 3 lbs, not a small number for a 5.5 year old who has yet to hit 40 lbs.




Madeline like the Star Center which is good since we'll be spending a lot of time there! The evaluations came back like we expected, no surprises. Mild SPD, they didn't see any signs of ADD but also said the anxiety could be masking it. There is a general language learning disability. We don't know much more then that, her short term memory for learning is nonexisant. Out of 20 testing questions, everything from rubber ducks, letters, numbers, etc... She could never pick out the item again if it wasn't in front of her. She scored very high on other visual processing testing though. Auditory testing was similar. She was unable to notice when words were similar "thing" and "think" for example, but other scores were somewhat average. More testing will have to be done to further narrow down issues, she also has every single early symptom of dyslexia. We probably won't pursue more evaluations until next year when we are finished with the OT and listening therapy. We brought home the equipment to start the listening therapy here, more on that another day though.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

illness has struck

I have not been great about posting this month, we've been sick all month. Gabrielle is on her third illness, two she passed on to me. I have not been handling them well, I felt like I was just getting my energy back after a nasty cold and now we all have a stomach bug. I am just hoping it's short lived since we are supposed to drive to Denver on Tuesday.....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

wishing for an old dog to pass

Sounds horrid huh? It is. I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to do the Denver therapy starting in Oct. I've asked my mom to come and help for one week, only one week out of several that I'll be there. The problem being that my dad has been on the Grand Canyon raft list for years, and guess when his time is finally coming for a three week raft trip. Yep, you got it, right when I leave for Denver. My parents have two dogs, one very elderly that they refuse to board so my mom won't come to Denver because of the dog. Sigh. I love dogs, we have one of our own, but he is going to have to be boarded so much that they are giving us a discount due to the frequency that he will be there.

I don't know how the actual therapy is going to go. Gabrielle can't be there, she can be with me between a glass wall watching Madeline but not in the room. I seriously doubt Madeline will go by herself, she can't even go to gymnastics class with me right outside (we now have permission for Ryan to attend class with her every week, that is the only way she is able to go). Gabrielle has never been left with some random sitter, plus the therapy is at a different time every single day. The hours range from 9am-4pm which makes it really hard to get one or even two people on a babysitting schedule. Last week I wasn't even able to leave her downstairs to put Gabrielle down for a nap. Madeline thought someone was going to come and take her, she'd be crying before I would get away from Gabrielle, who by then was awake and always refused to go back to sleep. Night time is when it gets interesting. She has to sleep with Ryan now so we've moved her mattress into the spare bedroom where they both sleep. That bedroom is right by the living room, I'm sitting here staring straight at it from the couch. She won't go to bed alone in there, even with the door open and she can look at us. So now we have to put the dog in the bedroom with her, put up the baby gate because she is afraid he is going to get out once she is asleep. For the last 3 nights she has put him under the covers with her, and he actually stayed there all night! I can't bring the dog with us to Denver, nor the cat who is how I can sometimes get her to stay downstairs while I put Gabrielle down for a nap. I have no idea how it is all going to work, but I do know that it is not going to be pretty.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

break through in therapy

Today was great for TheraPlay. I got my role down perfect, letting her completing guiding the play, but being engaged without directing her in any way. I also have a massive cold so it was all I got do not to fall asleep sitting there! In all our previous sessions, Madeline flits around to different toys, sometimes she gets stuck on one thing, and we do it over and over again. Last week it was playing Restaurant, she gives me food, I eat it, and we do it over and over and over again. She never takes the story line farther and develops it, it is always very simple, no depth. It has always been that way with all of her play, hence the reason they say her cognitive play is at a 2-3 year old level.


Today Madeline choose to play with the dolls, which is unusual. She doesn't like dolls, I think it's because she really doesn't know what to do with them. She spent 45 minutes playing with them, developing this story line that was very complex for her, she has never done anything like this ever. Of course the play had a theme, the parents were not around, usually sleeping, the big sister had to care for the babies. The children would spent the entire time "escaping" only to be "contained" by something, gates, cage, etc... And then finally coming home to the parents. Nothing like our real life, Madeline has never cared for her sister, we don't own any containment devices , but she does have anxiety about us leaving her, and in this play, she was the one doing the leaving, and was ok with it. It's all baby steps, but it's a step.



And we leave in less then 2 weeks for the evaluations!

Monday, September 8, 2008

our second try

We tried gymnastics today. Gymnastics has to be Madeline's favorite activity, it's all she talks about, and is always trying new flips off of things, etc... The day didn't start off well, I had a LLL meeting this morning. Madeline goes back and forth between tolerating and liking my meetings. I can't remember how she did at my last meeting, but I did a talk at for a newborn group a couple weeks ago, and it went similar to today. She spent the entire time in my lap, two hours all together. That is a long time for a child that really sits still. She wouldn't play, she wouldn't get a snack by herself, just sat in my lap. Then at the very end she freaked out insisting she had to have a banana right then. Only problem being I had no bananas, none with me, none at home, and I most certainly was going to drag a screaming Gabrielle (grumpy, teething, not sleeping child that she was) to the store when all she wanted to do was go home and take a nap. After a long grueling negotiation, we came to an agreement. We could go home as long as we bought 6 bananas later in the day. I have no idea where the number 6 came from, but there could be no less bananas. She even had me make a sign to hang on the van so I would not forget.



We eventually bought the fruit and made it to gymnastics. She was fine until all the children lined up to go into the gym, then she got started to get worried. It went downhill from there, within 7 minutes she was hysterical. She did go back in, but I had to go in every couple minutes and wave to her, and she came out a few times to hug me. By the end she looked like she was having fun. She did say she wanted to back, and even asked if she could go twice a week, which I just don't think I could handle! Madeline is insisting that she will not go back to dance though so I'm not going to push it, I'm just glad she is wanting to continue with something right now. Her theraplay tomorrow will change and now we will solely focus on her anxiety, I hope it can help her.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

week one of fall activities

It went as I expected. Story time was a hit as usual, Madeline loves the story time we go to. It's a waldolf story time in a tiny library. She could actually move up to the next level of story time there this winter, but she doesn't want to. She loves the singing, simple books, and the craft is her favorite. Gymnastics was off this week because of Labor Day so we'll attempt that next Monday.


Today was the first day of her pre-ballet class. Now this is the third year she has taken dance, so it's not new. Dance did not go well today. We talked all day about how I was going to be right outside the room, she even asked me not to go to the bathroom, and I agreed. This morning was a good morning for her, but as soon as we left the house, her mood changed. She got clingy, not happy at all. We wen to the children's museum for an hour, she wouldn't leave my side the whole time, next it was off to dance class. She lasted 10-15 minutes then broke down. She cried on my lap for about 10 minutes. I didn't say anything, just held her, then she decided she wanted to try it again. She went back in but every time I peeked in the door, she was teary eyed or trying not to sob while trying to dance. Poor little thing.


When we were walking out I asked she would like to come back next time, she said she wanted to. On the way home though she started saying that she didn't want to go back, it was boring, they only did baby stuff. Madeline has never talked like that before, I don't know if it was a defensive method or what. I have a call into her therapist to talk about the anxiety without Madeline around.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

car trips and the great dee do issue

Since Jan of 2003 I have never driven more then 35 minutes by myself. In case you have never had the pleasure (torture) of riding in the car with us, my children hate the car. Until Gabrielle was ill and we had to move closer to town, we lived 35 miles from one town and 20 miles from another. In rural Colorado, 35 miles is usually 35 minutes. I drove to town myself once a week until Madeline was 18 months old. It was a huge drawn out production when she was a baby of nursing her to sleep in the car seat in the car, jumping up front, and driving like a bat out of hell to town hoping to get mostly there before she woke up. I'd run errands while she screamed from stop to stop, and then then when I'd finally get her back to sleep, I'd make the drive back home. I also spent many, many hours pulled over on the side of the highway trying to get home. Madeline wouldn't just cry herself to sleep but scream and scream, vomit, and continue screaming, the child never tired of screaming. Once she hit 18 months of age, I was able to distract her with toys. I had an huge backpack of toys on the front seat and would spent the entire drive handing them back one by one. Even today at 5.5 years of age, Madeline does not like the car. In order to get more then 20 minutes without her turning into a whiny, obnoxious child, a DVD player is a must.


You can imagine my utter dismay when I gave birth to a second car seat hater. I am starting to believe that it is a complete myth that any child actually likes riding in the car. Gabrielle is much better then Madeline ever was though. Madeline always hated the aspect of being strapped in, she hated slings, strollers, basically anything that contained her. Gabrielle can be entertained on short trips without nursing the entire way which is what I always did with Madeline when someone else drove, but she still doesn't like the car seat. Her max limit is one hour in the car, then we need a good break, and one hour is pulling everything out that i can possibly think of, like singing row your boat ten thousand times. I should also mention that I never get to sit up front like a real adult, I am always in the back with the children, it is the reason I own a minivan actually.

So this weekend I drove 80 miles by myself with two children, and lived to tell the tale! We were supposed to drive up to my parent's house in the mountains and spent a night or two, only Ryan ended up having to work, I'm tired of never getting to go anywhere so I decided to try it. We left before 7am, I only had to stop 4 times, which wasn't bad. My secret was that both children got their very own DVD player. Yep, I put my 22 month old in front of a TV in order to drive. Gabrielle LOVES trains, loves them. The train passes through town a few times a day and we often see one, she always likes to carry toy trains around. Friday night I ran out and bought a Thomas movie. It was a hit. So much in fact that now every time she sees a TV, she screams and crys for "dee do" which is what she calls trains. She screamed for house this afternoon because I refused to let her watch Thomas, sigh. I finally got to drive somewhere but was it really worth it?!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

our new therapist

A few weeks back through sheer luck of contacting a mom I know with a son who has a diagnosis of SPD, she gave a number of woman who happened to be my neighbor! She in return got me in touch with a occupational therapist who normally only takes a client here or there because she works full time at a school district. The therapist didn't want to take us as clients but agreed to do a couple sessions and give me some feedback. Madeline had her third session this week, and today I had a conference with the therapist. She is concerned about Madeline's visual perception. I had a through vision screening done on her in May to rule out any vision related issues, so it's not that her eyesight is bad. Rather her whole perception, we think. The therapist has agreed to work with us weekly until we go to Denver for the OT sessions, and next week she is going to do more testing to see if she can learn anything else. I also need to contact the Star Center now and make sure that we have a through vision evaluation added in to our regular one and along with the auditory evaluation our first evaluator recommended.


The weekly OT sessions are held at my house, I need Gabrielle to be asleep so that she doesn't interfere so it ends up being a huge juggling act to ensure everything goes smoothly. We also do a weekly Theraplay session in Durango, Ryan, and I have to be present for that, but no Gabrielle, so once again another juggling act to accomplish that every week. Our evaluation in Denver is now Oct 1-2. We are hoping that once we get back from all the OT sessions that we will not need the Theraplay and might be able to cut down on the OT, especially since together they add to up $145.00 each week...

Friday, August 15, 2008

before and after





Before: Ignore Gabrielle nail marks all over my belly, and about
five lbs of ice cream from this summer.....




After: You'll have to wait a few months for the after pics, nine to be exact, about mid April 2009. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

anxiety attacks and B-Days

Poor Ryan, he always tries so hard. He can't help it that I'm a picky bitch. Out of all the gifts he has given me for Mother's Day, B-Day, anniversaries, X-Mas, etc... over the years, I have kept very few of them. He gave up trying to buy me clothes years ago, now I usually get a house plant (which I promptly kill, not on purpose!), a gift certificate, or jewelry. I should mention I'm also very picky about jewelry, I don't wear much at all. We I was pregnant with Gabrielle, I stopped wearing all jewelry, even my wedding ring because it bugged me, that lasted until X-Mas after she was born, he got me a new ring, so now I feel like I have to wear it and I always do. I wear earrings maybe once a week, never a bracelet, and last X-Mas he bought me a simple silver necklace I pointed out in a magazine and said I wanted. I never take it off, so I'm fairly simple. 

My new necklace is pretty, just not something I would pick out. I'm trying to decide if I should go ahead and return it or  keep it when it's really not my style, and I doubt I'd ever reach for it.... And he brought home a chocolate cake with vanilla icing. I despise vanilla icing, if it's not chocolate then it doesn't belong in my mouth. He knew I preferred chocolate icing, but the bakery was out, and he didn't realize the full level of hatred I have for vanilla icing. Like I said before, poor Ryan, he does try!


You might be thinking by now that the part about the anxiety attacks is Ryan thinking about further gifts for me, but it's not. It's Madeline. It started over a week ago. She flipped out at a park, she thought I had left her, and I was right there. A couple days later she did the same thing to Ryan at the fair, she started having nightmares over the weekend that we had left her. Madeline had an art class today, she has been taking classes through the local art center this summer, this is her 3rd class there. This particular class is just for this week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for two hours at a time. Madeline LOVES art, she loves making crafts, drawing, pottery class has been a favorite of her's lately. She was so excited to go back today. Apparently she made over 10 painting in less then an hour, and then started freaking out, screaming for me. Only there was a major problem, I had registered for all the summer classes last Feb over the phone, they had only asked for her name, B-Day, our credit credit, and then the billing addy and phone number. The billing phone number is my home #. So you can see where this is going, I wasn't home. I was running errands around town with Gabrielle. So poor Madeline was crying for an hour until I came to pick her up, needless to say, the center was not pleased with me. I don't feel that this was all my fault. Madeline has been taking classes without me for 3 years now, she has never once had an issue until today. I always fill out the emergency contact forms with many numbers, my cell, Ryan's cell, his office, all my mom's numbers, etc... I was never given any type of forms to fill out at this place, we just started taking classes here this summer, and I just didn't realize that they only had one number to call. Had I know, I would of made sure it was my cell. Poor Madeline. She said that she thought we left her forever. I don't know where this is coming from. We rarely leave her, she has never been a daycare type setting, not even at a gym, no baby sitters other then family. She takes dance and gymnastics classes, sometimes I leave, other times I stay, she has never cared if I'm there or not. She isn't going to school,  I guess I have something else to mention to her therapist. 

Happy Birthday

.... to me! I am 26 years old today. Ryan actually remembered this year as well. That is huge, it's not uncommon for him to forget, last year Madeline reminded him, LOL. No special plans at all, going to take Madeline to art class later today, we'll have leftovers for dinner, and then Ryan and I will will watch the Olympics after we get the girls to sleep. I love the Olympics, I always end up watching as much as I can, and normally I hate sports. We never watch sports of any kind. I think I love watching because it's just not sports, but stories, joy and heartbreak. I've been staying up way too late every night because I get sucked into an event and can not go to bed until it's over. And on a side note, I have a relative of some sorts in the Olympics. Not going to go into too many details since I don't care to share my last name, but there is a swimmer with my last name in the Olympics. And that person is from the same area where I was born! My last name is not common at all, there are very few of us out there. So few that we've only ever found my family, and then another small branch in Texas. That side of my family doesn't have a family tree, so no one knows much about it, some day when I have time I should research it. 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Madeline's new treasure

We found the canopy in a thrift store last week for $2.00! Ignore her messy room, it had actually been clean a minute earlier.... Her room is  all pink and purple "treasures", just looking at the photos makes my eyes hurt, but she loves it. And normally it is even brighter! We have her very colorful rug pulled up to steam clean. 


Gradually she is starting to even play in her room by herself for short periods of time! She has been sleeping in here most nights, but some nights she has nightmares and wakes up to go to Ryan's room. I can tell my next project will be weeding though her stuffed animal collection, she collects them, and I have to sneak them out one by one when they started over running the house. 





Sunday, August 10, 2008

the girls play dress up



Thanksgiving in August!

We cooked a 22 lb turkey today. About two weeks before Thanksgiving when many grocery stores have a sale on Butterballs, $0.99 a lb, I always buy two. One to cook for Thanksgiving, the other to save for later. And every year towards the end of summer, I realize it is still in my freezer, and I end up rushing to cook it! I cook a very large turkey because I freeze the meat and use it in soups and other dishes through out the year. 




I have spent the last 5 years trying to perfect my brother in law's famous turkey recipe. It always tastes amazing, but I really need to keep better notes year from year, I keep forgetting what I did last time! 

BIL's Apple Turkey

This is a loose recipe. Take a turkey, and loosen the skin from the top and all around the sides, you need to be able to get your hand in it. Take a bottle of honey, pour handfuls into one hand and rub into the turkey, coating the breast in honey. I don't end up using a whole bottle, maybe 3/4 of it for a very large turkey. He is a huge fan of Emeril, and that is probably where this recipe came from. Pour handfuls of Original Emeril Essence Spice and smear into the honey, throughly coating the breast, sometimes I end up using all of the bottle, other times I don't. The last step is circles of Granny Smith apples. You place them under the skin, on top of the honey and spice, cover all the meat that you can reach under the skin. You might have to toothpick the skin back into place after this step to keep the apples in place. I stuff the turkey with onions and more apples. Place the turkey into a roasting bag, and cook per the bag instructions! It is a great recipe. Sometimes the honey underneath causes some of the skin to char, just peel away after it's cooled, the meat underneath is still fine (this is one of the parts I'm working on perfecting).  Always remember when you pull a turkey out from the over, do not cut it! Let it sit in it's juices for at least 20 minutes before cutting, it helps keep the meat moist. 


 Now I just need to learn how to make great homemade gravy and stuffing, mine never turns out right! I can make a mean country gravy but not turkey gravy. I didn't attempt it today, I just went straight to the canned stuff, I always try every Thanksgiving. Maybe this year.....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ryan has no right to complain

.... about the cost of Madeline's therapy. So guess who is going to pick up a new car tomorrow? Hint, it's not me! Ryan is not a thrifty person, never has been in any way. He has slowly been getting better over the years, sometimes.... He never keeps a car very long. We've had this last one two years, which is a record for him, seriously. It is a used Audi wagon, we bought it when it was pregnant  with Gabrielle for me. Only she was born and sick, we were not driving often, but I was trying to fit in between car seats driving the 35 miles each way to doc appointments. Needless to say, we ended up with a minivan, which I love and loathe at the same time, and Ryan got my fun car, sigh. 


Ryan always does things on the spur of the moment, there is no planning about anything. Twice, I have gone out of town and come back to a new car. Other times he has just driven one home, no warning at all. There was no warning on this one either, I went to his office to pick up my cell phone which he had, and he said he had something to tell me. I think the only reason he told me is because I tell him frequently that we are not getting new cars anytime soon. Anyway, he had come up with some plan to make it all work in his mind.. He "needs" another company so he doesn't have to pay $0.50 a mile to his employees. One of his employees has a decent 4 Runner and has been looking for a nice car to buy. So apparently the company is buying the 4 Runner and the employee is buying the Audi, which leaves Ryan free to get a new car. Insert major eye rolling on my part here. I'm not pleased with it, but over the years, I've learned that I'm not his mother and he is going to do it one way or another. Men..... sigh. 

Sunday, August 3, 2008

today

Today is Ryan and I's 7th wedding anniversary. I bought him a new shirt for work, he has to wear collared, professional shirts and at times I get tired of seeing the same ones over and over again. And he got me a massage! We had hoped to maybe sneak away some time this week and do a dinner without children. There is the slight issue that we only leave Gabrielle with my mom, and she already has to watch her Tuesday night so Madeline, Ryan, and I can go to a therapy session. We are really fine not getting to go, the last time we went out by our selves was in June to hear Madeline's evaluation results, and before that it has been about 2.5 years! I'm a tad disappointment only because I've been craving this awesome Mediterranean restaurant in town that is not child friendly. 




Ryan and I have known each other since I was 16 and he was 22. I was waitressing during the day and attending college at night. I had about 3 hours in between my job and school, I often would watch one of my friend's children during that time. I would drop them off of at her work on my way to class, she worked in a computer store, and Ryan was a tech there. We would chit chat but that was about it. About a year later he drove by me while I was walking to class, he stopped, we started talking and the rest is history! We were married a year later, had Madeline 1.5 years later, and Gabrielle after 5 years. 




Saturday, August 2, 2008

Maine pics



final living room pics



Ryan finished this a few days before I went to Maine but I just finally got the pics uploaded.





Friday, August 1, 2008

darn hormones

I'm blaming it all on them, estrogen would be to blame I guess since it all started exactly when my period returned when Gabrielle was 18 months old. Ever since then I've had three issues. Number one is acne, not just the run of the mill acne that I've suffered from since becoming a teen, but cystic acne. Last month I finally realized I couldn't win this battle, and went to a dermatologist and got meds for it. Normally I'm fine with waiting things out, but it was scarring and not to mention painful. I now have several pitted scars on one cheek, and numerous other red spots that are not fading as the months go by. Issue number two is a nasty rash that is spreading across my stomach. It started as a small circle on my left hip, it grew bigger, and now I have other circles on my stomach that are appearing and growing. Did I mention it itches and nothing is getting rid of it? So I have yet another appointment with the dermatologist the end of this month. And my last issue is the funniest one yet. I have been suffering from never ending yeast infections for months now, and yet again nothing is helping. I've tried it all, garlic cloves, OTC meds, apple cider washes. I might get two itch free weeks and then it comes back. I've increases probiotics, decreased sugar, fruit, anything that could be feeding these yeasties, but apparently like all the other issues my period brought with it, it doesn't want to go away. Sigh, maybe I should just get pregnant again, maybe if my estrogen levels dropped, all my problems would go away? Somehow I don't think it would be that easy! 

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I have one of those children

.... that only poop in the diaper! I fully intended of doing EC (elimination communication) with Gabrielle part time, but then she got sick shortly after birth, and stayed sick for many months. She was one by the time I felt I had our life put back together, so EC never happened. This winter I started letting her run around bare butted, she hated it, she hates peeing on herself, she just stands there and cries in her puddle, she gets really upset if she poops on the floor. Complete opposite of Madeline who rarely had a diaper on at home and was always naked, (Gabrielle also hates to be naked) she would always pee on the floor and just kept on going. She potty learned herself when she was 2.5y old, she literally woke up one day and that was that, never had accident, nothing. It was quite pleasant! I still secretly wished that maybe Gabrielle would like to use the potty sooner then later so this spring I bought little potties and set them out. She likes to sit on them but has never done anything on them. She is getting her last molars in and is nursing all*night*long, so much last night, that she soaked through her dipe and peed all over me at 5am. I just took off her dipe and I laid there a while pretending I wasn't really awake and she nursed. Eventually we got up, I didn't put a dipe on her, and she was throughly upset over it. Patting her butt, and crying until I finally put one on, and she promptly pooped in it 30 seconds later. 2 hours later she did the exact thing, I was trying to let her run around naked, nope had to have a dipe to poop in. Sigh, I think I need to let go of my wish that she might like to use the potty sometime this year. 






A conversation between the girls this morning:

Madeline: You're a meanie Gabrielle!

Gabrielle: nee nee! (our word for nursing that she just mastered this week)

Madeline: meanie!

Gabrielle: nee nee!



And you can see where this is going, they stood there yelling at each other for a good 2 minutes. It was quite amusing, though Madeline did not think so.

more on evaluations

We moved up Madeline's evaluation to the very beginning of September. Ryan is freaking out about the cost of everything, I don't blame him, but she needs OT and insurance won't pay so what else are you doing to do. The cost of the evaluation is 1K, and the therapy  works out to about 5200.00 so far. Housing comes in at 3K for 33 days. We are renting a townhouse 2 miles from the center, it was only slightly cheaper then staying in an extended stay hotel with a medical discount. We'll have to stay in a hotel for the evaluation so that's another 4-5 nights up there. I have no idea how I'm going to get up there and back with two children twice by myself. Flying Ryan up and back to help with the drives isn't cost feasible. He might end up renting a car 4 times just for a day for the drives back and forth. It would be so much easier if my children traveled well by car but they don't, any drive longer then an hour is not pleasant. Heck, I haven't driven farther then 30 minutes by myself in 5.5 years just because of this! He will come with us for the evaluation. We have it scheduled for right when the Democratic convention ends so that we can find a hotel room and Ryan doesn't miss that much work, 3 days. 



Even though moving the dates for the eval is costing is more since it's another trip up to Denver, I think it's worth it. Otherwise we have no idea what to expect until we arrive at the end of Oct. At least this way we get to see the center, meet the therapists, get more of an idea of what is going to happen, and maybe get some answers almost 2 months before the start of therapy. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

what's for dinner

Dinner is something I have struggled with since becoming pregnant with Gabrielle. I didn't have severe morning sickness, but nothing sounded good and I knew if I even smelled anything that I would be sick.  So I didn't cook! Then we remodeled a house, Gabrielle was born, and was ill.... For a few weeks here and there I have been on top of things, planned ahead, and made dinner most nights but it has never lasted long. I really want to change that!


For several months now I've been working on buying mostly what's on sale at the grocery store. Every week I sit down with the sales page and create my grocery list. I'm starting to learn the rotation of the store I shop at, I knew that every so many weeks certain things come on sale. I'm getting decent at buying enough of that item until it comes on sale again. What I'm not good at is creating meals off of those items for the week. I end up with all sorts of food but no idea what to do with it, so I end up piecing meals together, when I bother to cook at all that is. 


My plan is to plan out all my meals when I write out my list so I know exactly what to get and what I'm going to cook for the week. Another major issue is that after 8 years of cooking many of the same recipes over and over again, I'm tired of them, so I need new ones, quick and easy ones at that. I'm hoping to use my crockpot a lot more, or find meals that I can prepare ahead and then quickly cook up. Once activities start in September, we have 3 nights a week where I don't get home until everyone is hungry and tired. Now off to find a recipe for chicken in the crockpot for tomorrow's dinner....

Monday, July 28, 2008

I have been incarcerated in a blueberry

This is my new favorite line. I love Psych, if you haven't watched it before, do. 



Some updates on Madeline. Through my neighbor who turns out to be retired from OT, I got in touch with a therapist in the area that works with SPD children. She will not take us as clients since she primary works in a neighboring school district but she will help me set up a home program for Madeline to do myself. We would still go to Denver this would just be something to do before we go. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

we are home

We survived the trip to Maine, barely. Madeline had a blast there, she swam and played to her heart's content. Me.... not so much. We ended up spending the last night in a hotel because we couldn't get a flight out that day. Which was quite a feat considering there was a large concert in Portland that night, we called 6 hotels before finding one that had a room. Course I had to pay big bucks to get it. I should offer a round of applause to the Regency in Portland. They not only allowed me to check in at 10:30 in the am, were extremely helpful in many different ways and took me to the airport the next day.


Thursday arrived. I should of known it was going to be a bad day, it's not like the last few days before that had been great either, but I had high hopes, after all we were going to be on our way home. The girls and I walked around downtown in search of breakfast, and got drenched by a rainstorm. It was insane, it was like the skies just opened up. It was raining so hard that I couldn't even see to walk, no umbrella of course. After it slowed to a drizzle, I had to search out a store to buy new sweaters and jackets at, we were that wet and the girls were crying they were freezing. Lucky for me there was a LL Bean outlet near by! I think that was my only good luck of the entire day. We raced back to the hotel to catch our ride to the airport. We arrived at the airport almost 2.5 hours before our flight, beggars can't be choosers and that is what time the shuttle was for.


An hour before our plan was to depart, I learned that the flight was delayed until 4pm. I waited in line for 1.5 hours with two very unhappy children before learning I would miss all connecting flights to Denver from Cincinnati that evening. And my brood increased from 2 children to 3. I gained responsibility of a 13 year old who was traveling alone from Portland to Denver. The airlines refused to allow her on the flight when it finally arrived because we knew we couldn't make it to Denver that night, and they couldn't/didn't want responsibility of her overnight. She actually turned out to be a huge help, I truly don't know how I would of done it without her. I also had to give up Gabrielle's seat that I had paid for because of overcrowding on the plane. Finally at 5pm we got to leave Portland, we arrived in Cincinnati at 7pm. Waited in line to see if I was going to be able to get my last flight home on Friday, the airlines were still unable to confirm that I could get any further then Denver. Home is another 400 miles and one more flight from Denver. Because I had 3 children, and the last hour of flight delay was due to a crew issue, I received meal and hotel vouchers. Next though came lost luggage.... We finally were able to leave the airport by 9:45pm, the girls didn't get to bed until 10:30pm. I had to wake them up at 6am to head back to the airport.


Friday. Still no word if I could get any farther then Denver. My last flight was to be through United, and Delta (who I was traveling the first two flights with) could not confirm it. They thought there were seats left on one flight, but didn't know for sure. We made it to Denver, said goodbye to the 13 year old, and headed across the airport to United were I finally got a confirmation. We had 2 seats on a flight 4.5 hours later! Once again having to give up Gabrielle's seat so that we could get on the plane, but I didn't care anymore as long as we got home.



We are still all recovering from the trip. And I think it will be a very long time before I even consider another vacation. Although, one good thing came out of this. Ryan swears that next time I want to go somewhere, he will come with!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

oops!


K, so I was mistaken. Those pics of Madeline would of been closer to 2.5, here is one at 18 months. 

old Madeline pics

The bottom two pics are of Madeline around 18 months to 2 years. The top one is off Gabrielle. They each have their own look, but I see a lot of Madeline in Gabrielle. You?


Friday, July 11, 2008

from one extreme to the other


Gabrielle has always loved to make messes, look below. That happened in 5 minutes while on a LLL call. Now look at what she has been doing! Cleaning! And one cute pic of her in Dobbie's crate.



Cute Pic


This is Gabrielle's new fav thing to do. She runs into the laundry room where I keep the learning tower and stands there screaming until I drag it out. 

on being a volunteer

I just finished making signs for my LLL yard sale tomorrow, my second of the year. Being a LLL leader is not easy, especially in my area. I am a lone leader which means it is just me. In fact, I am the only LLL leader for at least 200 miles in any direction. I get calls from Utah, Arizona,  New Mexico, and from a large area in Colorado. Weeks might go by without a call, other times I had had several a day for a period, this week I have had 4. I hold one meeting a month. A couple years ago I was doing two a month because my meetings were so large 16-18 moms at each one! This last year I have struggled with low attendance but it might be picking up again. This last Monday I had 11 moms attend, 6 of which had never come before. 


I try to do one fundraiser a year, the last two years it has been garage sales. My first one this year only made $120.00, that is barely enough to cover my fees to LLL! Yes, I have to pay to volunteer. I pay to be a leader, the group pays fees to LLLI, and then I have to pay group fees to the state LLL. As I non-profit I have to file taxes yearly, keep records, etc... All of this I do all by myself. This type of volunteer work has proven to be very time consuming, between preparing for meeting, setting up, making snack, bringing the lending library, advertising the meeting, handling the phone calls, keeping records, community outreach, making flyers, faxing them to places in town, etc... It feels like a job at times! I've been a leader for 3.5 years now. I do enjoy it, it is rewarding, and I'm good at it. Eventually I will sit for the IBCLC exam. I keep my RN license current, and every year I am a LLL leader I get credit for 500 hours of doing breastfeeding support.  I need 3500 to sit for the exam so I still have a while to go!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Therapy dates

They suck. Really, really suck. The first day is October 29 so we'll be spending Halloween in Denver. It's one of my favorite holiday and Madeline loves trick or treating in our little subdivision and I enjoy handing out candy. That session goes to November 14th, with 4 parent only meetings sprinkles in there. We have a break, and then return December 8th through the 18th, with 2 parent only meetings in there. This is my favorite part, the therapy is a different time every single day, the times range from 9am to 4pm, on some days she will have therapy at 11 then I have a parent only meeting at 1pm. Of course all the Saturday sessions are late in the day so if Ryan comes up, it limits what we can do. 

This just blows our entire holiday season right out of the water. I always host Thanksgiving, I love to. I spent weeks preparing for the dinner, I *could* still do it, but I'll be rushed trying to find everything. The very last day December 18, I have a parent meeting at 4pm so we wouldn't even be able to drive home until the 19th. I love X-Mas, I go all out decorating, Ryan hangs lights, we have a huge Lionel train table now that we wanted to set up. 

I have no idea how I am going to handle to parent only meetings. Some are at the end of the week so Ryan could come up early, others are in the middle of the week, they are sprinkled close enough together during the first session that it's going to be hard (almost impossible) to pull off with just Ryan's help. I might have to ask my mom to come up to help a couple times, Ican't imagine that she will be overjoyed to do this....

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday

Today feels like a typical Monday. It's not even 3:30 and I've been drained for hours. I had a intake call with the Star Center in Denver this am. It went well, they are going to do another evaluation, we'll talk more about it once we get there, which I'm pleased about. We are looking at about 4 weeks up there. Two and a half weeks, then a 3-4 week break, and then back for another 1.5 weeks. This is just therapy time so I'm sure we'll have more time up there since we don't want to travel across the state and then start OT the next day! There is a townhouse that a woman at the center rents to out of town families for $85.00 a night, I'm hoping we'll be able to get it or else it will living in a hotel for all that time. 


Did I mention we were replacing the floors in our house? Right now. Yeah, it's been fun. Ryan is actually doing a great job considering that he has no idea what he is doing!  I am also putting together a garage sale for my LLL group this weekend. I leave for Maine next Tuesday, a vacations sounds perfect right now!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

how fast they grow up

I just spend some time looking at old pics of Madeline. It helped to clear my mind some, remind myself that the angry child she has been lately, isn't the only side of her. 


We will be seeking more opinions, we might travel to Denver or Houston, maybe both. Ryan and I need to talk about it more. Madeline has been diagnosed with significant sensory integration dysfuction, with secondary cognitive issues, unknown if it is congential or functioning, but she is functioning like a 2-3 year old. This is not sensory issues with food, clothing, noises, but rather her brain doesn't organize sensory input, she doesn't get many things. She is also seeking tactile though activity. She very well may have ADD, she is too young to accurately test right now. 




The bad news, there is no magic cure. Lots of OT can help, unfortunately there is virtually none to speak here. We got referred up to Denver for more testing, one being a state of the art clinic where they take pictures of the brain and see exactly where the problem areas lie. Another is an intense three week OT program to help teach us how to help her. 


I am also well aware that many children are being diagnosed with SPD/SID that don't have it, they have other issues that may mimic this. The brain is a tricky thing to see into. I would hate to pour thousands down the drain right away if it truly is something else, all of this is very expensive and it is all out of pocket. I have a contact in Houston who referred me to a University there can do further evaluations. We might choose to go to Texas, do further testing, see what they come up with and then come up with a plan. 

Hmmm

That didn't work. Maybe one of these days I need to figure out how to work this whole blog thing! bigger type would be nice as well..... I give up for the night. Ryan is sick as as dog so I can't ask my IT hubby to help me. I will get them posted this week, promise!



pics

It's been a bad day. More on that another time, maybe tomorrow. We got Madeline's results back from her evaluation, it's not good.

To keep my mind on something else, I'll post some pics finally! When I go to Maine next month, Ryan is going to replace the flooring in our living room and play room with cork. Here are the before pics. 


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

it just keeps coming

Great news, enter a high dose of sarcasm here. I went in yesterday for a 2 hour intake for Madeline. We have 4 sessions to do before anything is official, but he was able to say that he felt for certain Madeline has auditory processing issues. There could be other things as well ,most likely learning disorders/disabilities  but that was clear to him. 



Then today Ryan took Madeline for her routine every six month dentist appointment since she has extensive dental work done a couple of years ago. She has two massive caries, to the point where a root canal may be necessary. It has been bothering her for a while, I even took her in a couple months ago because she kept complaining about her teeth, they couldn't find anything then and now here we are! She'll have to be put out under general anesthesia in the hospital to repair them. 


Children sure are expensive. The assessment will cost us about a grand for this somewhat basic one. Last time Madeline underwent sedation for her teeth it was over a grand, now we'll have the hospital fees, plus an additional 3 appointments they require, and 75% of the work to be prepaid. Ahhhh, and who ever said children were cheap!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Florida vacation

We survived! It was touch and touch there for a while, the girls were still recovering from a stomach bug, we tried to do too much there, and my sister was a PIA. Note to self, NEVER go on a vacation with Katie ever again. Disney was ok, way too many people even for a weekday in the off season. Madeline loved Splash Mountain. The beach was the biggest hit, so much that I'm considering trying to rent a beach house somewhere later this year for a week. We went to Daytona, I hadn't been in years and I had forgotten how run down it looks with all the old hotels everywhere. 




Ryan took Madeline to Wet and Wild and tried to kill her, seriously. He went on the wrong slide, he was trying to go on one of the 5-6 story slides with a raft, instead they went on that high that spun them around and dropped them straight down. The biggest issue was she was way too small for the raft and kept sliding out so he was trying to grab her to keep her from being thrown off, and did I mention it was pitch black? She survived, although she isn't too fond of water slides right now. I promise to post pics soon, I am awful about uploading pics. 

Saturday, May 10, 2008

assessments

Forgot to mention that both girls will be getting assessed soon. Gabrielle for speech, she is 18 months and only barely talks, she has 3 words that she says. Madeline for learning disabilities. She is 5 and only knows a couple letters, despite me working with her frequently over the winter. I will update as I know more, we could wait months for the evaluations. 

yet again

We have ANOTHER illness. We barely recovered from the chicken pox, we just started going out this week. The girls did great with the pox BTW. Madeline got stomach cramps Thursday am, she is vomiting today, Gabrielle has a fever. Madeline's dance recital was tonight so she is missing that. She is highly disappointed, poor thing. I am worried that it will affect the trip to FL we were supposed to leave on Monday am. 

Sunday, April 27, 2008

another one falls victim...

...to chicken pox that is! Madeline does have it, she started breaking out in spots this am. I was getting worried that she wouldn't get it, it sure took long enough. Chicken pox has an incubation period of 10-21 days, Madeline's appeared on day 19. Just like my family to wait till the very end. 

the joys of traveling

A friend invited me to visit her in Maine this summer. I originally was very interested until I realized that between Ryan taking off time next month to visit my grandmother in FL with me, and him going to Vegas with his parents in June for a couple of days, another vacation wasn't going to happen this summer. Then I decided I was going to to this, I do love visiting other places, getting there, no, I don't like that, not that fond of flying, especially with children and by myself. Ryan never can get away from work, the very few vacations we have had together is when I decide I need to visit family or attend a LLL conference and make him come with me, and he is never that happy about about. I really want to do this, I don't want me nor my children to miss out just because Ryan can't get away. I have been searching for flights over the last few days. I know the airlines are struggling, gas prices are up, but this is insane. I expect pricier tickets because of where we live, we have to take a puddle jumper to get to a major airport, that I know. I keep running into the same thing over and over again, there are virtually no tickets for the day time to get to the East coast, flight after flight were all overnight unless I wanted to pay over 800.00 a ticket! I finally managed to find three tickets on a early am flight, and the returning flight isn't bad either, and for only a measly 600.00 a piece. I feel strongly about Gabrielle having her own seat even though she is under 2 and could be a lap baby. It is much safer for her to be buckled into a car seat for takeoff and landing, and I'm envisioning two children screaming at each other if they aren't separated.... Still 600.00 is a lot of money for one ticket, Ryan is arguing with me about the need for the extra ticket, I see that extra ticket as a small price to pay for my sanity. Travel by airplane these days is not passenger friendly, never less child friendly. There are massive lines to get through check in, security check points, no liquids, not to mention the fear of being thrown off a flight for breastfeeding, keeping two children entertained, just thinking about going through security with children makes my eye twitch, we have never had pleasant, easy experiences. More like Ryan holding a screaming Madeline while a TSA employee pats me down or me trying to cox a non-willing toddler to walk through the gates under her own will complete with trying to gather up laptops, strollers, phones, put bags back together while chasing a running toddler around barefoot because they took my shoes while Ryan is being questioned. Great fun. 

Saturday, April 26, 2008

chicken pox

We have it! Well, Gabrielle does, Madeline I am unsure of. She has all the symptoms, is itchy, but I can only see just a couple of very small spots. Getting and having chicken pox has been a lesson is just how much vaccines has changed life. 20 years ago the vast majority of children got chicken pox, it was a common occurrence. Not the case now days. A couple months ago I send out e-mails to everyone I know who might possible get chicken pox and might be willing to pass it along. Early this month I heard about a family that I knew slightly that had it, the very next day I was over with another mom hoping our children would get it. Exactly 16 days later after a week of cold like symptoms, odd rashes, fevers, Gabrielle broke out in pox. During that time I was unsure of proper protocol, do I warn follow parents that my children might be contagious, stay at home, or do nothing? I choose a combo, telling some friends that we might be getting it, going out to some of our normal activities, but trying to stay away from small babies. Now Gabrielle does obviously have it so I am keeping her at home with me, but am sending Madeline out with dad. Another mom and I were chatting about this, she was been made unwelcome at her regular playgroup because her child might be getting chicken pox, I feel some pressure to keep quiet about Gabrielle because then Madeline's dance class moms will find out, it seems to be an environment where they wouldn't take so kindly to their children being exposed to chicken pox, vaccine or not. 



Maybe I analyse this this much. Ever since having Gabrielle and going through all the illness and resulting health issues with her, I try not to pass illness on to others. Before Gabrielle, if Madeline had a nasty cough or a runny nose with interesting colors coming out then yes we'd stay home, but a little dry cough or clear runny nose then we'd go out. Now I don't want to take the chance of giving an illness to another child, and had the chicken pox not been much a long incubation period and recovery then I probably would of been at home during that time. Maybe if that one person that had a nasty cough had stayed home, then maybe Ryan wouldn't of gotten pertussis, maybe Gabrielle wouldn't of gotten it as a newborn, maybe she wouldn't of struggled so much in her short life.... maybe.... I think of the hell we went though, the pertussis, all the numerous colds that made it worse, the influenza, the croup, the RSV, this last nasty virus, her being on O2 for 6 months, the utter fear of her getting ill again, the inhalers that she requires now when she gets sick, I wouldn't wish any of it on anyone.