Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

It's New Year's Eve, and here we are at home, which is where we always are for this occasion. Well, everyone is here except Chelsey; she's staying at a friend's house tonight.

John and Matt are playing golf on the PS2, and Evan is loving it. Kyle is watching TV--we're getting ready for Shrek 2 in a little bit. He of course has that on DVD, but it's a little more special when it's on TV (**quick edit--yes, we're watching Shrek--along with 3 or 4 other shows!). Right now, he's chatting about his trains and Scooby Doo characters. I love the way he combines characters from different shows to create his own episode of a unique show. And the voices are usually right on--his version of Daphne's voice is quite humorous.

I'm, obviously, on the computer, but I plan to head to the kitchen soon to clean up the mess we created. Chelsey and I created a quick dessert for her evening, and then I attempted to make tonight's dinner a little different for our "celebration," so we had a variety of items, which means a variety of a mess.

It's hard to believe there are only 4 more days left of vacation. Actually, that's how many days before I "have" to go back to school, but in reality, I have sooo much to do before then (grade an enormous amount of papers (procrastination) and prepare for next week). Next year, I'll definitely remember to not do something the final week before vacation that will leave me with a lot to grade.



We've been playing the Stars Wars Battleship game quite a bit--the boys like it. There are 4 different missions. The first 3 are similar to basic Battleship, except one doesn't sink ships; they're neutralized and destroyed! We've been playing the 1st mission which is identical to the Battleship we all know. I'm not sure we'll ever make it to the 4th level--advanced. There are extra buttons and blue pieces that go along with that level. The first time we played, it was John and Matt against Kyle and me. Since then, Kyle and Matt have been battling each other, and I serve as a neutral coach. My job is to help them enter the coordinates after they set up their fleets and ensure that they are entering the correct coordinates throughout the game--Matt seems to have trouble seeing some of them; they are hard to see (don't know why they have to make them transparent), but it makes me wonder if his prescription for his glasses needs to be changed a bit. I'm thinking of putting stickers with the coordinates on top of the plastic. I also will occasionally point out things like how there is no way a ship can be hiding in a spot that is surrounded by 4 white pegs! Overall, they do fairly well with it; they'll be ready to play independently very soon. It's a lengthy game for us--I watched the clock today--it took a little more than an hour, and they do quite well with it, but it's a long time for the coach!
Forget the kitchen; Shrek is on!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas pictures


The Christmas card picture


Evan's favorite gift





Evan adores giraffes, but like other stuffed animals, he wouldn't touch this one. He did, though, give it many kisses.

Kyle has been wanting Electronic Battleship for a few years. This is Star Wars Electronic Battleship! We haven't played yet; the directions are rather lengthy.



Matt and Kyle checking out Kyle's new digital watch. Digital watches for the boys are sort of a Christmas tradition.



Matt likes to post signs on his door. This DO NOT ENTER sign flashes.



Evan seems to like the barn so far, although he doesn't care for it when we turn the sound on...we'll give him some time before we try that again.


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Chelsey, Kyle, and I went to Lafayette today so that Chelsey could exchange something. Kyle's mission was to try and find a PlayStation 2 game that he has been wanting for quite a while. I didn't get it for him for Christmas, because I couldn't find it. So today we first checked at Meijer, then Target, then K-Mart, then Best Buy, then Game Stop in the mall, and finally, a Game Stop next to Wal-Mart; except for the last stop, all these places required getting back in the van. Both of the Game Stops were packed, but at the second one, someone actually asked us if we needed help. I told him that we were looking for Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga for PS2. He kindly went and checked on the computer and came back and told us it didn't look like it had been made for PS2!!! After all that searching! Needless to say, Kyle, who had been demonstrating extreme patience, was disappointed. We went to Wal-Mart and bought Shark Tale. Amazingly, he didn't have that movie yet, and it was relatively inexpensive.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Evan Watching Blake's Video

Evan and I watched the video that Kristie posted of Blake (go to her site and check it out--very cute). After watching it, oh, I don't know, 25 times, I decided to video Evan watching it; he appreciated the entertainment! His favorite part is when Blake says "train."
Thanks for the free entertainment, Blake!
video

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Christmas Picture

Nothing like waiting to the last minute! Every year, I take a picture of the kids for our Christmas cards. Before digital cameras, I would buy a role of film and use the entire role trying to get one good shot. In the past, it was kind of tricky getting both Kyle and Matt smiling and looking at the camera at the SAME TIME. Chelsley has always been really good at just holding her smile throughout the entire photo session.
Matt has gotten much better, but Kyle, he still needs to work on it. He tries so hard, he really does, but that's part of the problem--he tries too hard. Tell him to smile, and he'll usually give some cheesy smile and his eyes will be closed tightly. Tell him to open his eyes and as he's straining to open them, his mouth also opens. He concentrates too much on what his face is supposed to be doing. It works best if we just try to make him laugh.
Because of Chelsey being away at college, getting a picture this year hasn't been very easy. When she is home, she sleeps in fairly late, and by the time she's up and "ready," it's just about time for Evan's nap.
So I decided that it had to be done today. Due to the fact that it was 2 degrees out today with a windchill of around -20, the picture had to be taken inside. Not a big fan of indoor pictures.
Evan did a good job...John just kept saying the latest expressions that Evan thinks are hilarious--"You did great!" "You did fantastic!" and "You did wonderful!" Even with that, he still was a bit squirmy.
After about 30 takes, I think we got something, but I'm not thrilled with it. The boys were willing to keep trying, but Chelsey thought that the ones we had were "fine" and decided that she was no longer going to participate. Hmm.
I then uploaded the pictures to Wally World for one hour development. Just as I was getting ready to head out the door to pick them up, I get a call from them saying that their machine wasn't working, and it would probably be sometime tomorrow afternoon before the pictures would be developed! I told them to cancel the order (I might try to squeeze in another session tomorrow)! Our cards will not be reaching their destinations by Christmas. Oh well. It's nice to make it last a little longer!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hanging with Ky

When I got home today, Kyle came up to me with a question that he and John had rehearsed; it was asked in a very formal manner, but basically, he wanted to know if I would go to the basketball game with him. The thought of heading out in this freezing weather wasn't very appealing, but I do like going to games. It cracks me up that he now enjoys doing things like that. When he was younger, that was pure torture for him...and us.
After Chelsey graduated, I thought that my game days were pretty much over. It's not that I went to a lot--she didn't play high school sports--except soccer her sophomore year. She did, though, play in the pep band, was on the dance team her senior year, and sang the National Anthem a couple of times. In elem. and middle school, she played v-ball. She decided not to play in high school...ouch.
I'm very competitive---it hurts to lose. I played b-ball in Jr high through my sophomore year and v-ball all four years in high school. In v-ball...we were good. We lost the state championship our JR year, but won our SR year. The year that we lost, oh, the pain on the bus ride home. We listened to the song "Yesterday" by the Beatles on the long trip home as we shed our tears...how pathetic.
Back to the game--it was great! We led the entire game--that is until the final buzzer. With 2 seconds left, the score tied, the other team brought in the ball from under our basket, a kid threw the ball from around the foul line all the way down to the other end of the court, and it was one of those golden moments. It's just too bad it wasn't for us. I think I saw the mother of the kid who made the shot...some woman had her hand over her mouth, another woman was hugging her...I was happy for her.
Kyle looked tired and was yawning during the 4Th quarter. It was, after all, after 8:30! He was fairly quiet during the game, just kind of taking it in. At one point, when the score was low, he was relating the score numbers to different levels on his Star Wars PlayStation game. There's a girls game tomorrow night, but I'm not sure if he'll be up to going 2 nights in a row.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh no, not the Play-Doh!

Last week, my mom told me that Evan was gagging when the therapist took out the Play-Doh. I wasn't sure if it was a coincidence or not, because it's been several months since I've given him any (and wasn't interested at the time).
Tonight, his other therapist was here, and all was merry until she opened the Play-Doh container. He immediately started to gag. She tried to get him to touch it, but quickly put it away when she learned that he wasn't going to stop gagging.
Funny kid. He reminded me of a boy who had Cerebral Palsy who I worked with last year in the Lifeskills class. He reacted that way to Play-Doh and shaving cream.
He ALSO reminded me of Kyle, although I don't think Play-Doh was ever an issue for him. For Kyle, the first gag item was broccoli. I was very insistent that the boys ate a variety of foods, which they do, but broccoli is one thing that I quickly gave up on with Kyle. When he was around 3, I put his lunch in front of him (which included broccoli), and within seconds, he vomited all over his plate. When he was in elementary school, they had to careful on the days that they were serving it. That one has gotten better, although he still doesn't eat it, but one food item that has stuck is pickles. Kind of ironic, because Matt loves pickles. He'll eat them on anything. Ex.: He mixes them into cottage cheese.
When Kyle is at the grocery store with me, we inevitably have to pass by the aisle with the pickles, and they start at the end of the aisle. Gagging, eyes watering, face turning red is what one will usually see. We try to make it by there quickly, but once he starts, he's never quite the same during that trip--on edge. He doesn't go to the store too often with me, but it helps if we don't go down that aisle and pass it on the opposite end.
When we get fast food, I often don't bother ordering his burgers without the pickle, I guess partly because I think it's better if he learns to "deal with it," (on gentle terms). So, when I take his burger out of bag, he knows to turn around while I take the pickle off.
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When Evan's therapist left this evening, he did his usually floppy arm wave good-bye. BUT, he also said, "bye." That was a first. When he was much younger, at least a year ago, he would sometimes say something like "buh."
Before his therapist arrived tonight, he was looking at the title of his snowman book and said, "Waszat?" while pointing to the letter 'm.' He them made the 'm' sound!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Might As Well Jump!

Jumping, that's what Evan is doing right now in his crib. It's what he almost always does before going to sleep. It can last up to 45 minutes! A while back, I posted about the sleeping habits of the older two. There was a KEY sentence in that post---"I'll talk about Kyle and Matt's...Evan's is a little different."
A little different...first, he took 10-20 minute naps when he was an infant. But, at a few months old, he was sleeping through the night. Ah yes, right on schedule. Then, when he was 6 months old, we went to Florida for a week. The first 2 nights, he slept through the night. After that, life hasn't been the same.
I've tried the technique of letting him cry...it worked for the other three, but it's doesn't have a very big impact on Evan. Part of the problem may be that because I'm working, I feel a little guilty and give in a little easier. And then sometimes I think that he's just getting back at me for working, because over the summer when I was home for about a month, his sleeping habits improved.
It does seem, though, to help a little after I let him cry it out. Usually the next night is a little better. Actually, the past couple of weeks haven't been too bad. I think he slept through the past 2 nights. A couple of months ago, he was getting up 2 or 3 times during the night...usually right after I fell back asleep.
The funny thing is that recently (with the exception of the last 2 nights), he's been waking up around 3 and happily jumping in his crib! A part of me says I should go in and tell him to stop, but the other part says, ' Well, at least he's happy.' I don't know what's going to happen when we put him in a bed.
But, you know, I really think we might be on a roll now with those 2 nights in a row...hmmm...I'm off to bed...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wordle

Click on the picture

www.wordle.net

Saturday, November 8, 2008

B-ball and New Words

The boys are growing up! Tonight, they went to a Pacers game with their Best Buddies! I've never even been to a Pacer game.
One of the buddies called earlier in the week and said that the B. B. program had been given 4 tickets to the game, and I'm not sure how it was decided who would get the tickets, but somehow, they ended up with Kyle and Matt and their buddies.
I was a little apprehensive at first; the thought of them in a car with a teenager driver, all the way to Indy (45 minutes), yikes. One of the buddies just called and said that they were leaving now...the Pacers won.
I gave the boys each a disposable camera. They have almost no experience with cameras, so the outcomes should be interesting. Matt was very excited about the camera; he started taking pictures right away--like when the girls pulled in.
It's just so incredible. Ten years ago (or even less), I never would have imagined that they would be doing something like this. Two kids who did not do well in crowded places with us...now EXCITED about going to a NBA game with peers. Wow.
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Evan has been on a role with vocabulary recently. Although he has been saying words since around 11 months, nothing ever "stuck," and it was completely unpredictable when we would get to hear a word. But now, he's saying things and then repeating them kind of "on command!" Examples that I can think of right now: affe (giraffe), owl (how random is that one), pig, Gigi (our dog), ball, ish (fish), leaf, keys, bus, dog, wazsat (what's that), bee, and (eep) sleep. The "sleep" is funny. He saves it for Grandma's and Grandpa's house. When I drop him off, he immediately says to my dad, "eep," and then laughs. They make a big game out of it. Along with those words, he's also making much more effort with sounds in general. Whenever he sees a swimming pool or any other large body of water on tv, he says with enthusiasm something that sounds like "bath," kind of like "wath," but really, he's saying "splash!" His signing of "all done" and "more" have been very consistent, also.
He also seems more content recently. Chelsey was home today, and she decided to make a cake (a very, um, sad looking cake---you know it, Chel). He didn't cry when she had the beaters on! That's highly unusual. Also, when I went shopping today, I asked him if he wanted to go with me (he always does), but today, he just watched me leave, and DIDN'T COMPLAIN!
What a day! My boys seem like they are making huge gains all in one day!
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****UPDATE****
Kyle and Matt are home, and they had a good time! The buddies did, though, comment that they seemed to be getting a bit tired near the end. They really like their nine o'clock bedtime!
The buddies also told me that some woman was rude to Kyle! Both Kyle and Matt took a lot of pictures---they used up all 27 on their roles. I guess after Kyle was finished taking pictures, he was playing with the rewind thing. The girls both said that they didn't even notice that he was doing it. A woman who was sitting two rows in front of them came back and rudely told him to stop (according to the girls). The buddy tried to explain that "he didn't mean anything by it" (interpreted--he didn't mean to be rude, unlike the woman).
Ugh. Some people.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I Was Wrong!

In the previous post, I predetermined that trick-or-treating with Evan would not be successful....I was wrong.

First of all, I think part of the success of the evening was due to the fact that I didn't have high expectations; I wasn't even sure that I was going to put a costume on him.

It all began in the late afternoon. For whatever reason, it hadn't even crossed my mind that we still "needed" to carve our pumpkins; I think Matt mentioned it. So, we brought them in and cut into them. Kyle willingly participated---it's never been a favorite activity of his; Matt has ALWAYS been into it. The picture pretty much explains their pumpkin gutting techniques.

True to form, Kyle chose for his pumpkin to have a happy face.


We turned on our porch light, lit the pumpkins, and waited with lots of candy. Unfortunately, our street doesn't attract a big crowd; okay, it doesn't attract any type of crowd. Our only visitors of the evening were relatives. When spiderman showed up, Evan immediately touched his costume; I think he liked the fabric. I then started thinking, 'Oh man, why didn't I get him all dressed up? Why didn't we go downtown? He would have loved seeing all the costumes!' Within seconds, he was crying big tears because of the hooded mask--that made me feel a little less guilty!


After that, I decided to go ahead and put the clown outfit leftover from when Matt was little. It something I had made---odd choice of material, but Matt was my 'little porkchop,' because he was porkier than the other two! Evan accepted the outfit with ease. I then decided that I might as well give it a try! With pumpkin basket in hand, we walked up to my parents house. Because it wasn't 7 in the morning, Evan balked a bit. But, we made it in the door and got a cookie---he liked that. After a few minutes there, we headed out the door. There was one house (not including ours) that had a porch light on. Should I? Hey, why not! We headed over to the house, and 5 feet from the door, he started pulling away. Luckily, the people could see us, and the man brought the candy basket out to us. Evan, to my surprise, acted like an old pro! Due to the fact that we have little to no business on this street, the man encouraged Evan to keep on taking more---which he happily did! Yay!


I was then a bit disappointed that more lights weren't on, but probably, it was for the best. I went home feeling so happy!


After we walked through the door, Evan plopped down in the entrance, and proceeded to take out each piece of candy. He then put each piece back in the bucket. This went on for a while. I tried to get him to take a bite of the chocolate, but he didn't want anything to do with it. He did, though, eat a few of the Smarties.


Chelsey then taught him a fun game called, "Shake, shake, shake!" How to play? One takes a package of candy, such as Skittles or Dots, and shakes package while saying "shake, shake, shake!" He was quite amused.


Soon after, he went into the living room, and I took off his costume. John then taught him another Halloween game called "Toss the candy in the basket." Rules of game: Evan removes a piece of candy from basket, brings it to daddy, and daddy tries to throw it in the basket. Although a made basket is acceptable, it is much more entertaining when daddy misses and says, "Missed!"


(clothes wet from lemonade)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!


This year, it doesn't look like any of the kids will be dressing up, so I've put on photos from years past. First, a little of our history of Halloween. In one word--"torture." When the boys were younger, I wanted so badly to have an enjoyable time trick-or-treating with my kids. No. Until the year of the Pirates, they would end up in tears or would just plain "lose it" by the end. I don't know, maybe one of the years of the Ghosts (we did that one 2 years in a row) may have gone alright. It just wasn't there thing. And it took me a few years to accept that. Actually, after they got too old to go out, they expressed a little interest in dressing up; well, at least Kyle did. Matt, no. He does, though, thoroughly enjoy having people come to our house, but unfortunately, with our "trick-or-treating on the square" (area around the courthouse), we usually don't have too many people come to the house.
Last year, Kyle went to a Halloween party with Best Buddies----and LOVED it! He was "salt." I know I have that picture somewhere around here, but I'm not sure where at the moment.
I may put a leftover clown costume on Evan tonight just to get a picture, but it would be very pointless to take him out. A.---He doesn't know what candy is. B.---I kind of want to be here for the trick-or-treaters. C.----The most important reason.....he wouldn't like it one bit. Why torture him so that he can get of bagful of stuff that he wouldn't be eating? Maybe next year.
I kind of wish that I made something for the boys just to wear around here, but time got away. Next year.
These are pictures of pictures...the scanner isn't hooked up at the moment...hasn't been since we moved here!


















Friday, October 17, 2008

Best Buddies

Kyle and Matt went out to eat with their Best Buddies. I was going to drop them off to meet their buddies, buy Kyle insisted that his buddy pick him up (which she had already offered to do). So, I drove Matt and his buddy (the other buddy brought her to our house when she picked Kyle up). Matt, who made it quite clear that he didn't want to go, was a chatter-box all the way there. They both seemed to have a really good time. I'm very thankful for the program!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Quirks and Randomness

I'm combining two tags---one that is way overdue. So here are random/quirky facts about me!
1. I can't stand to hear people chew. It's been a problem for me ever since I can remember. Crunchy food is a little easier to handle than mushy food that is sloshing around in the mouth. My family is usually nice about accommodating me by having some sort of background noise while we are eating. Gum chewing---not good. Because of my problem with this, I'm very aware when I am chewing to do it discretely; I don't want to annoy other people. Yes, how ironic, having children where chewing with the mouth closed is an issue.
2. I procrastinate. It's like I feel I have things done because in my head, they are done! I compartmentalize everything up their very neatly and replay stuff over and over, so it's almost like it's done! (at least, that is my excuse)
3. In high school, I received the serving award in volleyball my junior and senior year. Within the last year, my left shoulder started hurting anytime I extend my arm up, reach for something (a big reach), or throw a ball. Connection to the past, maybe.
4. Finger nail polish on other people usually looks very nice. I've tried wearing it, really I have, but it doesn't last very long---an hour maybe? The way finger nail polish feels on my fingernails----I might as well just spread dirt on my nails. I do, though, keep my nails long.
5. I can wiggle my pinkie toes sideways.
6. When I was a kid, I spent so much time outside---climbing trees, catching toads and salamanders, smashing rocks, playing near the creek, riding my bike, hanging out with our animals, playing games with neighborhood kids, etc. Now that I'm "a grown-up," I feel like I spend way too much time indoors.
7. My two favorite kinds of ice cream are mint chocolate chip and coffee. Hmmm, I might need to go to the store now and buy some coffee ice cream and make a milk shake!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wide Open Spaces


How to make my two year old very happy...

gets even better when you add a couple of apples

Why is that following me?
I like pumpkins!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Surprise!

Yay! Chelsey came home for the weekend! John worked half a day because he had some things he wanted to get done around the house. I called him about a half hour after school had ended, and he was asking when I was going to be home; I said soon. I ended up staying longer than I expected, and he called and asked when I was leaving. Kind of odd that he would do that; normally if he is home early, he tells me to take my time at school, because he knows I often try to rush out so that I can get Evan. He was telling me that the boys were really excited because we got our TV back today--it had been in for repairs for approximately 2 weeks---I bought that excuse.
So I get home, and he tells me to sneak into Chelsey's room because Evan is in there, and I could surprise him. I opened the door, and there stood Chelsey! A total surprise. Her car was parked in the garage, and John knows that I often don't put away the van when I get home, so the surprised wasn't going to be ruined.
I normally do not like to be surprised; this was definitely an exception. She and I did a little shopping in Lafayette. Tomorrow, we plan on taking a family trip to Stuckey's--apple orchard/pumpkin patch. Chelsey has never been a big fan of going there, but I tell her that's all part of the tradition! It just wouldn't be the same going and not having her mention how she doesn't like going there. Someday Chel, someday.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More Bubbles, Please

Evan did well in with his therapist this evening. One activity he enjoyed was the bubbles. She wouldn't do it "more" until he signed it, and boy, did he sign! He must have signed it at least 30 times.
Last week was his first week with this therapist. He did alright, but became frustrated easily and was throwing her toys. Tonight, he endured much longer and only threw toys a couple of times. She had him laughing quite a bit.
After therapy was a quick dinner, and then I headed off to the school with Evan and Kyle. John and Matt had their own errand to run. Wouldn't you know it, soon after we got to the school, Evan dirtied his diaper. I don't have diapers in the classroom, and I also didn't have any in the van. I didn't want him to stay in the diaper too long, because first, that's gross, and second, he gets rashes so easily. I was able to clean him up, because I do have wipes in the room. I only had about 15 more minutes worth of work to do; I thought he'd be alright. Of course not. As soon as we hit the cool air on our way out the door, he wet his pants. Luckily, he was wearing thick corduroys which helped to absorb the moisture! I lined his seat with an extra sweatshirt I had in the van and headed for home.
Note to self....keep a few diapers in the classroom.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Outing

John, the boys, and I went to The Feast of the Hunters' Moon today. "The Feast of the Hunters' Moon is a re-creation of the annual fall gathering of the French and Native Americans which took place Fort Ouiatenon, a fur-trading outpost in the mid - 1700s."

It was nice; I only wish we had gone earlier. Evan was ready for his nap about an hour and a half after we got there. He fell asleep in his stroller, so John decided to position it so that he wasn't sitting up. That woke him up..not a happy camper...we ended up taking turns holding him as he slept.

Some of the visitors to this event dress-up in clothing from that time period---that wouldn't be us. I can just see the boys going for that one! There were many areas set up that had food, but not things on a typical menu. We got buffalo burgers for the boys, but Matt refused to eat it due to the fact that they were called buffalo burgers. Kind of odd, because he's the one that eats just about anything!

Of course many tents were selling things...a lot of the items made of wood. The boys each got a wooden axe---although Matt wanted a real one----and Kyle got a wooden snake.

We listened to a couple of different drum corps, saw two guys who were awesome jugglers and very entertaining as well (the boys' favorite part), watched a group in authentic type clothing doing dances of the time, and we did a lot of walking.

The boys let it be known occasionally that they were ready to go home, but in usually Kyle style, he announced as we were heading toward the van, "That was fun." Mr. Positive--he felt safe saying that AFTER we left!

Here are some pics


No, he's not poking the horse in the eye!


Relaxing and listening to music



Evan's favorite part of the day....the slight roller coaster feeling during the ride home!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Are You Ready For Some Football?...

...Kyle has been saying that the past few days. Throughout the year, his teacher invites her students to attend different events at the school (so nice of her to do that); this time it was the homecoming football game. It is so amazing how excited Kyle gets about these events. When he was younger, I NEVER would have imagined; he was so not into other people.
Matt was also invited to go. A little different with him. Instead of excitement the past few days, he's been going around saying things like, "There's no way your making me go." Our response, "You're going, so knock it off." Matt-"No way, no how." Up until we actually pulled up, opened the van door, he was still announcing that he was not going to go. But, we told him he was, so he followed Kyle out of the van.
When I picked them up after the game, I could see from the smile on his face that he had a good time. The teacher told me that he talked a lot to one of the other students. As we we're leaving the parking lot, he was telling me the score, and that we won, and that you could still see the score on the scoreboard. Immediately after, he said, "Next time, Kyle can go by himself; I'm staying home." He just can't admit that he had a good time!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Birthday x 3!

Happy Birthday Kyle! (19th)
Happy Birthday Matt! (20th)
Happy Birthday Chelsey! (21st)
For several years now, Matt has not been a big fan of having a birthday, so I'm not sure how "happy" his is! He always wants to "skip it."
Chelsey is home! Yay!
Her e-mail account was stolen a couple of days ago and the bozo sent out one of those completely bogus e-mails about being in some foreign country, helping the less fortunate, bag was stolen, blah, blah, blah. What an idiot. I know, I should feel sorry for how pathetic that person's life is.
Time to start the celebrations! (Actually, it's time to go to the store and buy something for Kyle and Chelsey. The ironic thing is that the one child that doesn't want a birthday is the only one who we already have a present for).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ready for a Toddler Bed

The inevitable happened; Evan made his way out of the crib last night, and it wasn't exactly a graceful maneuver.
He had been in bed for approximately 30 minutes, and due to the lack of sleep I've been getting recently, I decided to go to bed early. Right after I got into bed, I remembered that Evan didn't have a diaper cover on, which means there was great potential for him taking off his diaper, and then, of course, there would be a need for a complete change of bedding in the middle of the night. He was still awake, so I debated about whether or not I should go in there. Due to my complete exhaustion, I decided I would just go ahead and check on him, because I was most likely going to be falling asleep fast...maybe before him.
So, I went in there, he hadn't taken his diaper off, I told him good-night, and I headed back for bed. Unfortunately, my brief appearance in his room did agitate him a bit, and he started "calling" me. He wasn't crying, just calling out, and I figured that he would settle down quickly. Nope. Instead, after only a couple of minutes, we heard the big "thud." I ran into the room knowing that he was going to be on the floor. He was flat on his back doing the cry where he was crying so hard, that he was kind of holding his breath. I was almost afraid to pick him up.
I brought him into our room, gave him a good check-over while he cried, and I tried to comfort him, but after about 10 minutes, he was trying to get out my arms and bed. He's not into the whole cuddling thing.
He fell asleep quickly after that, but was up about about 10 times last night! Maybe 10 is an exaggeration, but that's what it felt like.
I've been thinking about it, and I think that the others were in beds by this age (27 months); I know Chelsey was. It's really hard to believe that he doesn't need his crib anymore. It's one of those 3 in 1 deals, so it's probably just a matter of a few screws, and more importantly, a secure gate for the hallway or maybe his bedroom.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Happy Birthday..

..to me!
Overall, it was a quiet birthday. My parents came over for a dinner of shells and meatballs (John cooked---now THAT'S a good birthday!). My mom brought some yummy french loaf bread that we baked in the oven---that provided one of the highlights of my birthday. I was breaking off small pieces of the bread for Evan and having a hard time keeping up with him shoving them in his mouth. At one point, I had stopped giving him pieces, and he pointed to the bread in the middle of the table and PERFECTLY signed more!!! I have been working on that sign for a couple of months now (at least), and this was the first time that what he did really looked like the sign. In the past, he had done something that I wasn't sure was a sign---he would very quickly bring his hands together---and it would almost look like it was only a result of him being very excited. Recently, he has been clapping a couple of times when I asked him to "say" more. It was beautiful!
The boys both picked out birthday cards for me when they went shopping with John. Matt insisted on a musical card---"Can't touch this." Of course, I had to do a little dance (scary sight). I was very impressed with John's shopping this year. He got 3 shirts that I actually like---a lot! He also gave me a couple of pairs of pants; definitely a good effort---I like the color (can't go wrong with black and brown), BUT, I'm not into elastic waistbands, they were a size too big (not his fault, I recently went down a size), and most importantly, I don't wear pants that are labeled "short." It had a tag that had that word at least 7 times!
So, I don't feel any older, there's nothing particularly exciting about turning 38, except for the fact that I get to.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Today's Happenings

Today started off with me sleeping in a bit--8ish. That was after waking up at 5:30 and spending at least an hour trying to get back to sleep. I don't know why I do that, because then when I wake up "late," it feels like half the day is gone.
After a quiet morning with Evan and the boys, I went shopping at Teacher's Delight; I still had a coupon that someone had given to me after I graduated. It seems like the list of things I need (or want) for the class is never ending. I hope that improves as time goes by.
Evan and I walked to the park this evening...somewhat crowded tonight. We first stopped to watch some people playing basketball. There was a little boy there who was probably a little younger than Evan who had a ball; they entertained each other for a little bit. Evan's lack of language wasn't much of an issue because I don't think this boy spoke any English.
After basketball, we went to the playground area and were so fortunate to meet up with a sweet, 5 year old, little girl! She immediately "adopted" Evan. And, just like the last time we met a little girl at the park, Evan did something new! After she went down the curly slide (the smaller one), he scooted that way, too. The first time, I went down with him to see how "scary" it was. Well, my adult size really wasn't a good indication for the scariness, because I basically had to scoot down all the way. So, at least I found out it wasn't very slippery! After we got to the bottom, Evan headed right for the stairs (following the girl), and went right over to the part of the equipment where the slide is. I let her hold him this time...worked well. He then wanted to do it again. This time, I told her to go first so that she could "catch" him. She did, and then he willingly went down!! Her role was more of "help him get off the slide when he gets to the bottom" because of the not-so-slippery factor. This happened a couple of times.
Next, it was on to the swings where after a few minutes, he signed "all done," and we walked home. He's getting really good at that sign. His version is a little different; he crosses his arms and kind of keeps them like that for a few seconds, usually until I say, "You're all done?" Oh, and John said he waved again yesterday... a few times. He took a break for a couple of weeks from that, and now, he'll probably take another break!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2 to 18

It's so hard being away from Evan. I know I would be thoroughly enjoying my new teaching job if it weren't for my desire to spend every second with him. I do enjoy my class---great kids---I'm so fortunate for my first year of teaching! It's just that beautiful little boy keeps tugging at my heart....and keeping me awake at night to voice his disapproval of my absence during the day.





Chelsey seems very happy so far at school...right Chel? I still think your room looks more comfy than your new place!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

School

I don't know if anyone had the chance to read my post that existed for about 9 hours last week concerning Matt's adventure into school, but if not, here it is in a nutshell.
This is his first year in high school. He will have one lifeskills class with with Kyle. The rest of his classes are in resource rooms. A schedule has been made to make sure that teachers are sending him to the restroom. They've had a day and a half of school, and he seems to be ok with it...so far.

The Incredible Journey

My little girl is starting her new journey. John brought her to school yesterday...an hour and fifteen minutes away. I went today to "hang out" with her for a while. It's so strange not knowing what she is doing right now. Her bedroom looks lonely when I pass by it. My eyes are swollen. How did time go by so fast?? I remember so clearly....straining to keep my eyes open to look at her after she was born....22 months old....her sneaking out of her bed and trying to quietly walk down the hall....we would say, "I wonder if Chelsey is still in bed,".....we would loudly get off the couch.....we would then hear her little feet run down the hall, and then she would leap into bed, cover up, and close her eyes and pretend she was asleep.....our walks to the beach.....her reaction when we were driving home from the hospital with Kyle after he was born--"It's moving"......countless memories. She's a big girl now--that didn't take very long...not long enough.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The New School Year...Yuck

I went to the school today to register the kids. I'll start with the good stuff, which was the last table we went to. Officer Wes was there handing out a variety of informational things....including info on autism! How cool is that! We are fortunate to have an informed police department due to the fact that one of the officers has two boys with autism. He recognized me as a parent with a child with autism; I'm not exactly sure how he knows. It could be because of the bus accident Kyle was in last year (his bus was rear-ended at a railroad crossing). Kyle wasn't too fond of the whole event! From what the bus driver and aide told me, he was quite upset. When I got there, he and the other boy that was on the bus were in the back of an ambulance all strapped in! They were actually waiting for me, because they knew I was on my way to get Kyle. It was school policy; although the accident was minor, he had to go to the hospital unless a parent was there to say otherwise. I did bring him....just to be sure!
ANYWAY, Officer Wes gave me stickers for the car window from the Autism Society. They say: IN CASE OF EMERGENCY OCCUPANT WITH AUTISM MAY: *RUN AWAY *NOT RESPOND *RESIST HELP. It would be nice if those stickers said "Fragile X" instead of "Autism," but then I guess they wouldn't do much good! He also gave me pamphlets to fill out (to keep in the car) that give more specific medical info, AND, two info sheets for me to fill out about the boys to give to the police department. Good job, Police Department!
After that, I don't feel like talking about the rest of the registration...later...

Childcare

I'm starting my new teaching job next week. The issue? Childcare. Unbelievably, there is no childcare in this town of 16,000+ for children with special needs. Unreal. First Steps provides in-home therapy at a cost, but there is NO group type therapy---none. My child has nobody to emulate. In the county next to us, they have a childcare place where there are children with and without special needs, but that's 40 minutes away--not an option.
I have a good example from THIS MORNING of why he needs to be around other children. We went to the playground, and there were only two other kids there with their grandpa. Evan did his new usual routine; he went up the ramp and sat on the platform that connects the wobbly bridge, a slide, a tunnel, and the bars that one can go across. He likes to sit there and watch kids run around him. Today, a soon to be 1st-grader girl who recognized me from school came over to talk to us. Evan laughed as she ran across the wobbly bridge. She then went up to him and said so sweetly, "Do you want to go down the slide with me?" The slide is a small, double slide. Evan has gone down it before but only with me holding his hand. Even though I have tried to get him to go down by himself in the past, he wouldn't. Right after the little girl asked him, she went over and sat on one side of the slide, and Evan scooted right over and sat at the top of the other side! She then went down the slide. Without hesitation, Evan went down!!! I was on the other side of this piece of equipment, and although I could have ducked and gone under to get to the other side, there wasn't enough time to react. I thought for sure he was going to land on his bottom. Nope, he landed squarely on his feet--a perfect 10!
Unfortunately, he then decided that he wanted to walk over by the animals, but he changed his mind halfway there when the donkey got really loud; he also doesn't like when the sheep get too loud. So we walked back to the playground, and I really think he wanted to play with that girl again, but she was on the swing. He walked halfway to where she was and whined for a while; he never approached any of the playground equipment after that. We then decided to walk home.
I'm so frustrated! I went to the home of one person who does childcare, and she was nice, but I'm just not sure that it's the place for him. Wherever he would go, he would need extra attention; I can just imagine him standing in front of a tv all day flapping away! I called another person who was recommended, and I was supposed to meet with her, but the day after I talked to her she called to say that she was going to be taking care of her daughter's kids. Where's he going? He'll be with my mom and dad again. I don't like doing it this way, because I hate tying them down, there not spring chickens (sorry mom :) and Evan won't have any interaction with other kids, but it's the only situation that feels right. I know they understand him and his needs, and I know they love him!
Tomorrow, a woman from First Steps is coming over. Yep, he hasn't been in any therapy yet. The therapy that this county provides isn't that impressive. The fact that they don't have childcare---or at least group therapy---says a lot. BUT, I figure at least this will give mom a little break, and I'll feel a little more comfortable knowing that specific skills are being worked on. I can't expect my mom to do it all!
Has anyone else out there used home daycare for their Fragile kids???

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Wave

When Evan was around 11 months, he did a kind of a wave---his whole arm would go up and down, but we only got that for about 1 month. He never did the typical opening and closing of the hand....until....
Two days ago, Evan and I were walking outside when John came driving down the street. John stopped and said, "Hi!" Evan raised his hand with an open palm. Was it a wave???? After chit-chatting for a while, John pulled away and said, "Bye bye!" Evan again raised his hand and said, "Ba." That was a new one!
Sunday afternoon, Karyn, my 16 year old niece was over our house visiting. Evan has seen very little of her in his life, so she's a bit of a stranger to him (we should change that Karyn :). When she walked into the living room, she said, "Hi Evan." He lifted up his arm and wiggled his little fingers opened and closed! As I sat there in amazement, he did it a couple of times. It was so exciting. Almost 27 months, and we got a wave---the official wave!!
Then today, Chelsey and Evan went for a walk. Soon after they left, I got a call from my mom asking if I saw my little boy as they walked past their house. No, I hadn't. Well, she went on to say how he waved several times. When they got home, Chelsey confirmed this. She also said that when the were at the end of the street, she said to Evan, "Did you wave to Grandma?" and he turned around and waved again! I missed it!
I really hope this sticks, unlike his language skills. There are several words that he has said in his lifetime...maybe 40 or more....but we're down to "ball" and "what's that!?" Those are the ones that are consistent right now. A few weeks ago, I posted that he had said "blankie" twice within 30 seconds. Yep, haven't heard it since. That's the story of his language! I hope he's storing all of those words for later use.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Heimlich

Look! It's Heimlich! I called Kyle over to see him, but I couldn't remember the name of the character (non-movie watchers....it's from A Bug's Life). I asked him who it looked like, and he, of course, knew right away!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Games

Here are the games that Chelsey and I played. The Racko I acquired recently (free!) for the classroom. I was so excited when I saw it because it's a game that I had when I was younger. Very simple (but fun) concept....the cards have to be in order from least to greatest. I'm thinking that if Chelsey and I team up with the boys, they might like it, although they might be bothered by the fact that you can skip numbers; it only matters that the next number in the rack is higher.
This is the other game---Mancala. I had never played this before, but it looked interesting and it was relatively inexpensive. It's a fairly simple game, but one can make it more complex if strategy is added.

I adore games where there is mathematical thinking and strategy (of course, most games do invole that, which is why I like games). I'm also going to buy Mastermind for the classroom---another favorite from my younger years. Hey, I have a difficult time getting family to play games....maybe I can join the kids during indoor recess...if only there was time!



Monday, August 11, 2008

Not THAT Long Ago!





Four weeks of summer school ended on Friday, and I have approx. two weeks to get ready for school. I decided to take it easy today, and look where that brought me......


Look what I used today. We've had this stereo a very long time, but it was basically stored away for many years. Well, in this house, we now have a space for it...in the sun porch.
I played a record for the first time in a long time: I popped on a 45..."Mickey", by Toni Basil. When it comes to music, I tend to be just a bit stuck in the 80's. I like a lot of other music, too, but I can't imagine a day when the 80's music doesn't give me that warm and fuzzy feeling. Music has always been big in my life; I spent a lot of time in my room during my teenage years with the radio on; I looked forward to Casey Kasem's countdown each week, especially when he would have the letters from viewers each week...so heartwarming!
After "Mickey," it was on to the first full length album that I ever bought....

Oh yeah, Olivia Newton-John. I used to play that over and over. I didn't own too many LP's, partly due to cost, and probably because cassettes were the popular thing---I have SO many of those!
And while I'm on the subject of music and the 80's, the first concert I went to (and only concert when I was a teenager)----Bryan Adams. I still have the t-shirt. I went with two of my friends (I think it was just the three of us). The only other concerts that I've been to are Raffi (I think that counts) and Billy Joel. A friend of mine from work bought tickets as a Christmas present for us and one other girl we worked with. This friend wasn't even a Billy Joel fan (I AM), but she admitted after the concert that he put on a really good show (of course!).
Okay, so good music memories today, BUT, my day got even better!
Chelsey agreed to play games with me this evening!!!!! Although I can get the boys to play games sometimes, it's just not the same as playing with John or Chelsey. More tomorrow....my brain is getting sleepy.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Cut

A few years ago, we started bringing the boys to Great Clips for haircuts; before that, I had always cut their hair. Neither of them were big fans of it at first, but Kyle does a great job now. I think he kind of likes having a girl cut his hair ;-) But Matt....he doesn't do so great with it. He'll tolerate it if we make him go, but it's definitely hard on him (frustration and tears). Even home haircuts make him a bit upset.

The kind of haircuts that I know how (term used loosely) to give are plain and simple-- short. Matt has wonderful thick hair, and I like his a little longer, only I'm not capable with the scissors of producing any type of style with it. So recently, I had let it get fairly long and would just trim randomly. It finally got to the point, though, where my random trims just weren't working.

Here are the before and after!



I think that the short hair looks very neat on him, but I miss the mop! We'll probably let it grow for a while...at least that's what he says.