Monday, December 5, 2011


Obviously Madeline is the one with the most sports in this house! Gabrielle did try a few news ones this year. It turns out that she loves baseball, soccer was close behind, but baseball was a clear winner. She was the only girl playing for the 2 months over the summer, I don't even think she noticed because she had so much fun. She would complain about going to soccer but then when she was there, she loved it. And couldn't wait until next week when she would start complaining on the drive over again...No idea if she will elect to do it again in the spring, she asked to play t-ball though. She is taking one ballet class and still enjoys gymnastics.

And on to Madeline. She discovered skateboarding over the summer! We spent 2+ days a week at the skatepark for 3 months straight. We didn't get out much on the river because of baby. She was able to do one week and then couple of river runs  but that was all the kayaking for 20111. Hiking. My dad is an avid hiker, he usually does long mountain hikes in the summer and he discovered that Madeline can keep up with him. This is huge. My dad is 6'4, long legs with a stride to match and he waits for no one. She became his hiking buddy doing 8+ mile hikes, not flat ones, but 3-4,000 vertical feet.  I finally let her do the rock wall at the rec center, not because I didn't think she could but because I had a feeling it would be a new hobby. By the second time she tried it, she was going up all 3 routes to the top. Now she is like a little spider monkey, she makes it to the top in just a couple minutes. And we'll just add that to the list of hobbies for someday when there is more time in the world because of course she starts to go to rock gym here in town and try it out, of course she wants to try outdoor rock climbing.

Organized sports.
Dance. Madeline is competing in lyrical, ballet, and tap. Add in a special ballet trio competition piece they asked her to do and all that adds up to be 5 hours of dance a week. All team dancers must take a stretch class once a week so they become more limber. Madeline loves that because now she can literally kick herself in the head and do the full splits. Gymnastics moved her to Level 4 competition team right after school started. And by the looks of things, Level 5 is not far behind. She already made one trip to Denver last month for dance, 2 more this spring and several for gymnastics. I'm just hoping to hit IKEA one of these trips! Snowboarding. She is on the team at Telluride. We really aren't sure what level she ended up in, but they told us it was 3 levels above her normal age level. And all boys, there are no girls at that level. One boy said he was in 7th grade so we are guessing 6/7th age group maybe.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Both the girls are in school this year. Madeline is in 3rd grade of a 3/4 combo class and Gabrielle is doing 3-4 full days of preschool. It has been interesting. Madeline's teacher is wonderful and is working hard to get to know Madeline and all her issues. It has been a little rocky though. She spent the last two years with the same teacher who watched her go from being able to recognize only a few letters to reading at grade level. This year has been harder because by all appearances, Madeline looks to be normal. she can pass for it most of the time, and is at grade level. It isn't until you really dive into a subject that you realize that she is just compensating and has no clue what she is actually doing. She can read!! I still find that amazing, she reads books and can understand them. Reading is not fun for her, and it isn't something she will do of her own free will. I ask her to read for an hour a week and other then that we don't force her. I just want her to be able to do it but I doubt that it will be a passion of hers.

Up until 3rd grade she was able to process material quicker, as the work becomes harder, she is struggling to keep up. It takes A LOT of effort of our part to make sure that she actually understands what is going on. We spent hours a week alone working on math. Because she is dyslexic, she starts out at a disadvantage and then we have to work 3 times as hard at everything. Everything is a challenge and I do not say that lightly. Reading on the computer is harder for her to comprehend then reading off paper so I have to read it to her. She can't do math in her head while looking at the screen or take what is on the screen and put it on paper easily so I write it out for her and then she can do the problem. And then we have to try and put the answer back on the computer.

Madeline has two penpals. She only writes in cursive so she doesn't reverse her letters, they can not read cursive so I type out her letters for her. Testing is huge. We elect out of all standardized testing. It isn't an issue, she is either sent to the 1/2 classroom to be a helper or I keep her home. In 3rd grade they start regular tests, like a science test every other week. Many many tears because she takes weeks to learn new concepts with her memory issues. We might of finally got the testing figured out because she actually passed the last one. She doesn't know that she had been failing all of them. Her teacher, her therapist, and I work together to find what does work and what does not, lots of trial and error. Her teacher has been wonderful about assisting us in anything we need to do differently for her.

I did ask at one point if she wanted to homeschool again, she absolutely did not want to. I really work at keeping her self esteem up. She is never the only dyslexic child in her class, there is one above her and one below her so there is always one with her and several more children with learning issues in her class of 15. We bring her to school at 8:15, school starts at 8:30, she works from 8:15 to 9:15 every day with her therapist there. In the summer, she comes to our house first thing in the morning, 7:30! We do an session with a tutor for math for an hour on Mondays after school before she goes to gymnastics. He is amazing and volunteers for free to help her. She can do math but it takes her longer then the other kids that he is helping her learn short cuts and teaching her extra rules that she really needs. I started the tutoring thinking it was be a one time thing to get her over a hump we were having but then quickly realized that it was very helpful for her to learn all these extra tricks that he has, any little advantage goes so far with her. Last year I was starting to believe that Madeline would not struggle her entire life, that we had caught the dyslexia so early, she had done years of reading therapy, she would go on and it would not hold her back. I now know just how much it affects every aspect of her learning, that it will truly be a life long struggle but hopefully we can provide her with enough tools to work around it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


And this is just about this guy's story in a nut shell. Grumpy. I say that he hates being a baby. He has been crying since the very day we was born. I remember being up for 2 days straight because he was born in the middle of the first night and on the second night, he would.not.stop.crying. He stops sometimes, generally when he is asleep.

It is better (a little) then it used to be, he is almost 4 months old and no longer spending hours a day screaming but he still isn't a happy baby by any means. He is a carbon copy of Madeline, I'm hoping this isn't a life long problem! Dominic hates the car, hated being put down, hates anyone else holding him, isn't find of his siblings. It would be a reach to find something he does like. He doesn't like nursing to sleep, he has to be bounced, hard. A friend called the other day. Her: "What are you doing?". Me: "Jogging through the house with the baby strapped on me screaming." Yep. I've been kindly told by two different mothers that they thought I was bouncing the baby too hard. Um, no. Unless it looks like I am doing step aerobics, he just keeps screaming and won't go to sleep.

We leave a puddle of spit up breastmilk in our path everywhere we go. I even broke down and tried reflex meds, no difference. So we just deal with the 3+ shirt changes that I go through a day and his many outfits and burp clothes. We were at the museum a month or so ago and this older gentleman approached me to tell me that my baby was spitting up everywhere. I looked down expecting to see a small lake (very normal for him) since his tone wasn't exactly kind. Instead I see two small nickle sized dots on the ground. I really couldn't help myself from laughing at him. I did have to refrain from inviting him to hang around another 5 minutes and see a real spit up. All my kids have been pukers but Julian wasn't this bad and I never left the house with Madeline and Gabrielle when they were this age so I didn't have to deal with baby puke in the public eye.

I have another velco baby that doesn't sleep anywhere but on top of me. Do people actually produce babies that do anything else? If so, my genetic material sure doesn't allow for that. He only sleeps during the day if I am in motion so I pace around the house or attempt to cook while bobbing up and down. I don't advise cutting objects with sharp knives though. I just keep repeating that it is a short lived phase, it shall pass.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


So this little boy is amazing. Julian is the sweetest kid. People say that all the time, but out of my older 3, he really is. Always has a smile on his face, always in a good mood, he is just so happy all the time. Even his "fits" are laying down and pouting. He does get upset and cries at times, but rarely and that is usually when he gets tired. Everyone that works with him, and there a quite a few of them, adores him.

He still qualifies for weekly speech therapy through Early Intervention which he has been doing almost a year now. He comes up for his annual reassessment at the end of November and the local district is supposed to start the preparation to transfer his services over to them on his 3rd birthday. Julian's EI speech therapist has been great, he loves playing with her. This summer she met us as a park and did his speech therapy there while Gabrielle played t-ball next door. She was in a severe car accident shortly after school started and has been unable to see him yet this fall. I called right away and got the last slot with the only private SLP in town so we have been seeing her for the last few months. His progress with the new SLP has been amazing, he is talking so much more, still under 50 words, maybe 40. I also discovered a small speech playgroup lead by a SLP 40 miles away so he has been doing that 2 mornings a week.

This winter he is finally able to go outside! Last year he was not able to walk in snow boots due to his feet so he missed all outdoor fun. He doesn't understand about gloves yet...

Still loves all things train.

He isn't an easy toddler. He might not throw many fits but he likes to wander. A lot. Someone has to keep a constant eye on him. I was at a friend's house last week with some other moms. I went to bathroom, came out and went looking for Julian. He was found outside going down the sidewalk! We have to keep all doors deadbolted and the garage door shut at the house because he will and has just walked outside and down the street. Our gates are keep padlocked now because he can escape those as well. I've lost him at the park once for a horrid 15 minutes once since you can not take your eyes off him even for a second. Our house is becoming more and more child proofed as we discover what he can get into. Like an entire bottle of child resistant medication that he found after I hid it... It took 2 weeks for him to be normal again after that one. Julian prefers adults to kids. I take him to open gym, he will ignore the kids and find an adult that he thinks looks fun and attempt to play with them instead. He is very trusting and willingly goes off with anyone, he loves people, just as long as they are adults. We've gone through several babysitters in the last year and he cries when they leave, even on their first day! Our current nanny says he is her all time favorite child. Which I love to hear, it is hard enough paying someone to do things with your child that you want to do (more on that another day), but it is better when they truly care for them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

long time!

Yes it has been a while! Life got crazy, and I didn't think I was going to continue with a blog. I just decided that I would keep it up as a record for the kids. So... where to start! I guess I'll do a brief recap of what they have been up to.

Julian is now 2.5 years old. He is still our sweet, little, quiet boy. He currently gets 7 hours of speech therapy a week to help him talk.

Madeline has been hard at work as usual. She was asked to join a dance team this summer and recently was moved up to the competitive gymnastic team as well. She keeps us hopping!

This is Dominic James. He will be 3 months old tomorrow. He isn't exactly the happiest baby out there. I say that he wasn't thrilled to be born and hasn't been enjoying life as a baby! He isn't colicky just very particular.

Gabrielle turned 5 recently! She is thrilled to be older.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is 2!

Well, almost. As of tomorrow morning anyway, but considering that tomorrow I have to work and I am wide awake at night now, this is as close as it is going to get. Sniff. My sweet little boy is 2, I just spent a good hour looking through pictures of the last 2 years, and it really has flown by. 2 years ago, this was little Julian Miles. An almost 9 lbs little boy that almost swore me off of having anymore children (please let the next baby NOT be posterior...).
And now look at him! I have more recent pics from today but that would involve getting up and getting the camera. Besides, I'm still denying his haircut, what was supposed to be a tiny trim at a salon last week, ended up in them cutting off most of his hair in a cut that my 8 year could of done a better job at.

We celebrated his birthday today. A day full of chocolate and trains, his favorite things. He is already far less attached to me then the girls were at this age. He cries when his sitter leaves, and cries when I make him go to bed to with me every night instead of his dad. He already will and has slept with Ryan with no fuss. He loves music, loves to dance. Anything that has wheels and moves. He spends his days playing with all his trucks and trains. He loves chasing his sisters, although does get annoyed that they are noisy and pester him, he prefers to be left alone. Now that it is warmer and this year he can walk, he has discovered the outdoors. If he could spend all day driving his trucks up and down our street, he would be a very happy boy. And swinging. He can sit and swing for hours, you get tired of it FAR before he ever will.

He does get frustrated at his minimal communication skills and will hit and throw things at me to convey that frustration. His little temper is small though, and he very quickly moves past things. And then he breaks out that beaming smile and laughs for no reason, just because he can.

Friday, March 25, 2011


And Julian's pic didn't make it in the long post so he gets one of his very own. He really is such a sweet little guy, very mellow. I had to do an emergency home visit Wed morning, I had no choice but to drop him off with a sitter that he doesn't know at all and dash. I came back 2 hours later to him refusing to leave her side and crying when I picked him up to leave. I think he would go home with the mail man if I let him! He just loves everyone, and tagging along with his siblings. Still no talking after 4 months of speech therapy, he can say mama and sign more, other then that he has various noises he makes when he really wants something, and he has gotten excellent at making all sorts of expressions to get his point across. I was getting worried that when his IEP expired in early June, that he wouldn't qualify for speech therapy anymore, but at this rate, he isn't close to meeting a single goal so the chance of that happening is rapidly disappearing. He is able to understand more and more of what we say, he can follow simple instructions now, nod no, but he just does not verbally communicate often. He is fairly quiet and rarely even babbles, I guess it remains to be seen if this is just him, his low muscle tone affecting his speech this much, a combo of both, or something else.


So this is what happens with 3 children. You start going through pics of the last several months and realize that some how one child got the short end of the stick. This is the only picture I could find of Gabrielle, oops. She has preferred to be on the other side of the camera and I could show probably 200 pictures that she has taken with the camera! She actually started going to preschool again here and there. At Madeline's school in the amazing little preschool room they have where they grind their own grain for snacks. Heck, I want to go there! It's my kind of place where the kids run around bare foot and explore up the hillside and out of sight at times. My goal for now is just to keep it low key, end this school year on a good note so that when next August rolls around, Gabrielle has a new sibling, and school starts back up that she will have pleasant memories of previously attending. Mostly since I do need childcare on days I work and finding a sitter is hard enough now, forget if I had 3 small children for them to watch.

I love this picture. And I also see that Madeline and Julian will have the same body type.

Still loving snowboarding. This was her 1st place prize for a race, 2nd place came in at double her time... She discovered the terrain park late this season and is learning how to jump and ride the rails. She came home last weekend after having flown by and passed ski patrol on a sleep slope, sounds about right, there are not too many adults that can keep up with her now. I certainly couldn't anymore. Next year I guess it is snowboarding team time, more then likely at Telluride which will require quite the commitment. Telluride has the extreme backcountry runs that Ryan prefers and the closer option doesn't.

Yep! New as of this week, she can really read! Madeline has been reading for a few months but at the see spot run level. She reads with her therapist but rarely has chosen to at home. I've never pushed but rather left easy reader books lying around, sometimes she will ask to read to me, but not often. I guess the unschooler inside of me isn't completely dead because I've just waited, wanting her to do it on her own. She discovered this fairy book series a couple months ago, they are not easy reader, but rather advanced. I've been reading them to her here and there but back to the 3 children thing, there isn't always enough time to read as much as she'd like. We did our weekly trip to the library on Tuesday and she found one of the fairy books there. And this is what she did with it! I cried. It has been 2 long years working towards this, 4-5 hours of language therapy a week. She read 20 pages that night and has read every chance she has got since. For the first and last time tonight, I pulled into the driveway only to turn around and drive the 45 minutes round trip back to school because she left her book in the desk. I couldn't bear to left her go all weekend without it when she is so excited about reading.

Halfway through all ready, And yes there is only one in there, I can't count how many times I've been asked that. It is going to be a long summer I think, if I am already this big and waddling around in March.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Let's try this again!

I have a very good reason for not keeping up like I swore I would. I do really! Last baby has been busy sucking my life away, or maybe that is just how it feels? Due in early August and the little bugger is already performing gymnastics events in there. I've been slow announcing this time for multiple reasons. When you get to #4, you feel like you've uttered those words a few times before. I guess I am feeling a little defensive about the pregnancy. It isn't like it is a secret that all my children have some mild special needs, and yes I am quite busy. I am already aware of all that and I have not been interested in hearing it from others. Now that I am in the second trimester, it isn't possible to wear baggy clothes and pull off the look anymore so I've been starting to tell some here and there.

Timing is eh to me. This will be my closest spacing, 2years and 3 months between Julian and new baby. Julian with his current delays really is just a large baby himself. Ever since Julian was born I had been going back and forth, do I have to have another. There was no question in my mind with the first 3, they needed to be here. Some days I thought I could possibly get by with the three, and other days I'd look in my rearview mirror and see the heads and think one was missing. I had always said 3-4 children and we'd decide after #3. My biggest fear was that I wouldn't go on to have another and then seriously regret it in a few years and have another then. That is not want I wanted to do. As much as I love babies, I've had a baby for 8 years now, part of me wants to move on with my life, starting enjoying having older children, get rid of the massive amount of baby/toddler gear I have stored in the garage. I want to close this chapter of my life and move on with no regrets. I didn't think that would be possible without having another child.

Ryan and I were in serious talks about having another child, I did want Julian to be a bit older, when I discovered I was already pregnant and had been for some weeks. Which certain explains why I had been feeling like crap for a while. Never had a pregnancy where I still got periods before! Obviously we were open to the possibility of another child then or else some preventing would of been occurring. Honestly for me, it was nice to have the pressure removed from having to make the decision to actively try to get pregnant and to discover there was no deciding of what was the right time, etc... It was rather freeing for a person that is a compulsive planner. So there it is, and maybe that I am feeling more human again I might be blogging more and maybe you shouldn't hold your breath either.