Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Words and Tons of Pictures - Memorial Day Fun!

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Sunday, May 29, 2011


 "I don't want to!" when screamed in a snotty voice, is still a 4-word sentence and therefore counts toward communication goals.

If a 4-year-old takes off her clothes and finger-paints with the  contents of her diaper, it should be counted as 2 O/T exercises.

In our house, NOT stealing something from a friend or from the store is "progress!"

Mommy's sanity is often contingent upon the length of nap time and the presence of an entertaining children's movie within that same time period.

If at first you don't succeed, scream, cry, blame it on everyone else and then make it your personal mission to kick that goal into submission!

God makes children cute so they all don't mysteriously go missing after a particularly bad tantrum.

A good dog can help you lower your blood pressure. A bad dog can help you lower your home value.
 (We feel VERY lucky to have a VERY good dog!)

Looking at things in black and white is fine as long as you happen to be looking at photos or old movies. Learning to rejoice in the millions of colors and varieties around us each day is the key to acceptance.

When life hands you lemons you have two choices. You can cut them all up and rub them in your eyes, scream in pain and make everyone else around you miserable too... or you can find 1,000,000 recipes that require lemons because everyone knows life just tastes better with a dash of lemon!

Pears are not lemons, but that doesn't make them inferior to lemons. Each has its own flavor and each is created to flourish in a different climate.

Now I want to hear what truths you have learned from parenthood or from life in general! Leave me a comment with your own pearls of wisdom :o)

And the winner of the Loopeez is...

Comment #1: Kim
I would love to when a set of loopeez. So here it goes, 3 things I love about May:
1. Sunshine
2. Kids playing outside after a long winter
3. Planting a garden

Kim- please email me at lil_red_xlr8r@hotmail.com with your mailing information and which Loopeez you want. Congratulations!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How To Tie Your Shoes - and a Give Away!

Nearly a year ago, I posted about working with Iraq to teach her to tie her lace-up shoes. Though she was able to tie them once or twice, she simply didn't catch on and then refused to even wear her lace-up shoes.

I'm glad to announce that this post is proudly brought to you by the daily adventures of my crazy amazing family and by our newest sponsor, Loopeez!

Shoe tying can be very frustrating for a kid with Aspergers, Down syndrome or with fine motor issues. Many kids in the autism spectrum have fine-motor delays. While Iraq's hand writing has started to become legible with practice, she tends to avoid activities that require fine-motor coordination. This is why the majority of her Barbie dolls are stripe-4$$ nekid all the time. She can undress them, but lacks the coordination to put all those teeny-tiny dresses and shoes back on. Now that they live in the downstairs (basement) playroom, I'm thinking those poor, nekid Barbies may be a bit chilly in their current state of undress.

Anyhooo -

The other day... like the day after our big, crazy moving madness, I received an email from Courtney with Loopeez. When I paid a visit to the Loopeez website, it took me about a second (possibly less) to see how this product could ease the challenge of shoe tying for Iraq and in a year or so, for The Skink! I have (finally) gotten around to opening our new Loopeez and caught the whole Loopeez experience with my camera (me? take pictures? who would have guessed?).

Iraq was excited about the pink butterfly Loopeez we were sent! First, she crossed her shoelaces - that was the only step she truly mastered in our prior shoe tying training sessions.

Then I showed her how to loop the laces into bunny-ears and poke them through the Loopeez.

After that I demonstrated how to take the bunny-ears, cross them, push one under the other and pull tight... and then it was her turn...

And just like that, Iraq tied her own shoe! And look at the excitement on her face!

Of course then there was no stopping her! She did the second shoe all by herself!

Even putting the laces through the Loopeez.

Look at the pride on her face    : D

(And she even made me help her untie the first shoe just so she could do it again!)

High Five!

I'm thrilled beyond words! Iraq is ecstatic! I'm sure if her shoes could talk, they'd be pretty pleased also. I should mention that the kind folks at Loopeez even sent us an extra set of shoelaces with our Loopeez. Iraq doesn't transition well to change (not sure if I've mentioned that...          in this post) so we haven't change her laces yet. I'm sure we will (someday) when she gets used to the idea.

Is that the face of success, or what?

So... who wants a neat tool that will help your child(ren) learn to tie their shoes? Since I can't see how many of you are raising your hand, you'll have to leave a comment. On Saturday, May 28, 2011 I will use random.org to determine which lucky commenter will receive a set of Loopeez! To make it even more fun and interesting, tell me the 3 things you love best about the month of May! Good luck and happy shoe-tying!

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Moving Daze and Issues of the Heart

So I mentioned briefly before that we were moving. Since mentioning it, time has moved in warp speed for us, and here we are in our new (much larger) rental house.

 I love that Broadway now has a real bed room instead of a converted dining room. I love that it has 2 full baths. I love the big, airy kitchen, but most of all, I LOVE our new PLAYROOM!

All the girl's toys are down in the playroom, and there is still plenty of room to run and do cartwheels! It's perfect for those days that are too cold, too hot or too wet. It even has a door and I'm considering installing a lock... on the outside of it... And for the days that aren't too hot or cold and happen to be just right (and we have a LOT of those here in Virginia), there is a lovely back yard.

It's a great place to hang out with friends.

Or give someone a nice back-scratch.

We kept our strawberry plants from last year (yes - they survived my "care"), and we have a number of berries ripening quite nicely.

The back yard also has mature pear trees! Of course I had to Google "Harvesting pears" because I know very little about growing this fruit, and I have learned that they should be picked before they are ripe - around mid-October in our area - and then put in cold storage for a couple weeks to ripen. Who knew? A-pear-antly if they ripen on the tree they get mushy on the inside. Ewww, right? Well - I suppose this means our refrigerator will be filled with pears this fall. (Avalanche!) Luckily, we all love pears!

If just 1/4 of those suckers make it until harvest, we'll be up to our ears in pears!

Iraq takes flight in the new yard.

As for me... well... I'd love to tell you that I'm just fine. I'm quite happy (see "new house"), but there are a few little things going on with me physically that we're still trying to pinpoint. Last year I had some issues with my heart and unfortunately I seem to be having some issues now. I had some pains in my neck, jaw and left arm the Friday evening before Mother's Day and did a "sleep-over" at the hospital while some tests were run. My iron was low (I seem to have chronic anemia - but I've known about that for a number of years... because it's chronic... ), low vitamin D and my potassium was very low which they believed may have caused some of the trouble. A bunch of other seemingly-unrelated problems were identified in the blood work too. I also have had chronic hypertension for the last 7 years which doesn't help. Now I'm going through a series of medical tests to see if there might be an underlying endocrine issue.

I am generally very careful with my diet and there is no reason that I should be low on any vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. At the request of my doctor I have been taking large doses of iron supplements already... and it's still low? Do I need to start swallowing horse shoes or something? And at what point do I need to worry if I'll start rusting in the shower?

So at this point in the game I'm just hoping they find *something* so I can treat it and move on! I have an entire medicine cabinet of pills I take for all my symptoms - it's no wonder I'm not hungry for breakfast right away - LOL. I figure if we can find the root cause, I can start treating that instead of taking a pill for each of the annoying symptoms. Wish me luck!

In the mean time, the girls are loving the new house. Iraq has had some transition issues - no surprise there. She has Aspergers. She has issues transferring from playtime to lunch time, let alone making a switch from one house to another. Needless to say, she's having some sleep problems and has "lifted" a few small objects belonging to other children at school. Yay... the kleptomania is back... *groan*  Hopefully once life settles down again, so will she. The ADHD meds are still making a BIG difference, but the Aspie behaviors are still present. Just easier to handle without the daily meltdowns and tantrums.

The Skink is as sweet and easygoing as ever. First night in the new house and she was asleep within 3 minutes of being put to bed. The one annoying thing she has been doing lately is screaming if she is angry or doesn't get what she wants. Gee... wonder where she could have learned that? As with Iraq, we don't give in to The Skink's screaming either. I think she just thinks it's the socially acceptable way to express one's distaste for something on our house *insert eye roll here*  We'll be working on that right alongside potty-training. (and a fun time was had by all)

Broadway is healthy and doing well. His grades have been up and down... his teachers say he gets distracted very easily. Well, duh! Funny thing about ADHD, huh? But we're working through that too :o)

That's all I got for now. Hope everyone in blogland is having a great day!

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