Monday, September 26, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday

We had a busy weekend!  Did you?  We didn't do anything too terribly exciting - we just seemed to be on the go.  I will itemize (ahem, Misty!):

1.  Saturday Chris, D, & H sold Boy Scout popcorn outside of Kroger.  Want some?  It's delicious, and I'd love to sell you some if you'd like.  Let me know.  I have other things that are slightly more important to me for which I'm currently hitting people up for money. . .

2.  While they were selling popcorn, I went to a Thirty-One party at my friend Erica's house.  I bought a couple of cute goodies, including teacher gifts for this Christmas, among others.

3.  Saturday evening we went, along with my parents, to the Fall Festival at DreamCatchers Therapy Services.  This is where David goes to OT, and Ms. Dana is in.cred.ible.

She had a fundraiser to raise money to fund scholarships to DreamCatchers for children who need therapy but whose parents can't afford it.  (And I can attest, occupational therapy is not cheap.)  There was a hayride, tons of games, inflatables for the kids, you could tour the facility, there was a silent auction, dinner and s'mores.

D, on his favorite swing.

Dana operates DreamCatchers as a non-profit organization, and if you are considering making a donation somewhere other than our adoption I would so strongly urge you to consider donating to DreamCatchers.  Dana, through David's OT and the things she has taught us, has literally changed our lives.  More importantly, she has changed David's.  He is a different child than the boy I brought to her in April.  We are far from done on this trip with David, but we are so, so far from where we started.  I know we are not the only family on which Dana has had such an impact.  And, other than the amazing work she does with the children at DreamCatchers, I like her SO much as a person.  She is fun, smart, funny, gorgeous, sassy, and just fun to be around.  She is passionate about helping children, and is just such an asset to our family.  I cannot say enough positive things about her and the program she offers.  Please check it out - let her know I sent you!

4.  Sunday we hung out at home.  Jack and I went grocery shopping, and -shockingly- I didn't want to hurt him or myself.  He was really well behaved.  I know I shouldn't be so surprised, but he does have a well earned reputation for being a bit naughty.

5.  We spent a lot of time hauling down our fall decorations from the attic and putting some out.  And randomly some Christmas wreaths got pulled down.  Now, I'm all for some Christmas decorations and may or may not have had a "Thanksgiving tree" last year.  But September is early even for me.

6.  I made some pinecone bird feeders with the big boys while Jack was napping.  They've already been nibbled at by some little birds!

7.  After Jack woke up?  We tackled this little beauty of a project. . . 

Our playroom looked like what I envision Hell to resemble. . . legos and Star Wars guys all over the place like a bomb went off, naked baby dolls, broken toys, and mismatched puzzles.  And a little baby Indiana Jones half dressed sitting on the Swedish furniture playing the Wii. . . 

8.  Today I sent back David's paperwork for his speech referral.  We'll see how that pans out through the school.  I have a private back up to call if he's not approved through the school.  I don't think he will be, which is not based on anything but our previous experience with the state's criteria for receiving services.  I will be pleasantly surprised if my experience is wrong this time.

I hope you had a great weekend.  Did you do anything fun??

Friday, September 23, 2011

Flashback Friday

I was looking through some photos to get some together for our adoption paperwork and what should have been a 5 minute project took me two hours because I was so caught up in looking at old photos of the boys.  I cannot believe how much they've grown.

I love this little tree hugger picture!!  Look at how chubby they were!  And tiny - Henry looks like a little munchkin and David looks like mini-Justin Beiber.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lamp Before and After

My mother-in-law had this lamp in her basement.
I loved the honey pot shape.
I didn't love the 80s look.

Nothing a little spray paint can't fix.

I used the same shade she had and put it in our entry.

Pardon the iPhone pictures. . . 

I love it, and the color looks great in that room since we painted it khaki.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guest Room Paint and Fabric

How do you like this fabric?
I'm thinking of using this for curtains in the guest room.
Which will be Katie Ruth's room.

Here it is. 
Taped to the wall.
Fancy method - I know.

I'm thinking I love it.
I will do long drapes that I will lovingly make myself my mother will likely make.

And I'm thinking of doing a khaki window seat cushion for this window seat.  (Yes, that's a shower curtain hanging there now. . . don't judge.  I had nothing on the windows and a puking child who needed to sleep in the bed!)  With navy accent pillows and a navy monogram in the center of the cover.I've never made a window seat cushion.  Or cover.  However, thanks to Pinterest I feel like I can, by using one of the 4,320 (approximately) links and tutorials available.  Or you know, if all else fails I could probably sweet talk my mother into doing it. . . 

Some Things I am Loving

I'm obsessed with Pinterest.  It's bad.  I don't need something to waste my time on, but I can't help it.  It's seriously like a drug.  Some things I'm pinning and loving now?

Everything about it.
Especially the white pumpkins.
And the hanging baskets with mums.
And the railing baskets.
OK, everything.

Are you kidding me?
Pumpkins and urns?
Two of my favorite things together.
Expect to see this on my front porch.

Love the white pumpkins.
And the polka dots.

Again with the urns and pumpkins. . . 

This is fabulous.
And looks exceptionally time consuming.

Monday, September 12, 2011

And It Begins Again. . .

How did this blog turn into a blog about special education and evaluations?  David has made a noise - sort of repeating the last sound a word makes - for months now.  Probably six months or so.  We've just sort of ignored it.  No, not because we're not attentive parents.  Because he has Tourette's syndrome, and vocal tics come and go.  Some (ie: throat clearing) are like old friends; they've been around for so long we almost don't notice them.  Some (ie: repeating the last sound) are difficult to ignore.  It's generally only consonant sounds and I can't recall him doing it with a vowel sound.  

This weekend we were driving, and it was like a light went off in my head.  I looked at Chris and said, "Do you think speech would help with that?"  If your child has never gone to speech therapy, that may seem like an odd question.  However, speech isn't just about learning to talk - it's about speech patterns and different ways of doing things.  It can be, in a sense, retraining your mind/mouth connection to work properly.  That was David's issue with apraxia of speech, and I think may be his issue now.  I have done some research (always dangerous, and never preferred by his actual physicians) and think what he's doing is either a complex vocal tic or a "habit" (for lack of a better word) common to autistic children.  Great - we've won the special needs lottery on that one and it could apply to David for both of those reasons.  My hope is that it's not a more complex vocal tic, because that would be indicative of his Tourette's progressing, which is not what I want at 7 years old.  

If I have any advice for parents (not that I am in any position at all to give advice) it would be to trust yourself.  If you think there is something concerning about your child, you are probably right.  Of course there are extreme parents who think when their child coughs he has TB.  If you are a normal parent you don't do this.  I called David's pediatric neurologist today, just to run this situation by the doctor.  Of course I can't actually talk to him.  I could easier talk to the Wizard of Oz.  I left a message for his nurse, and on my message I stated, "My son David is seven and has Tourette's.  He has what we presume to be a vocal tic, and I wanted to discuss speech therapy as a possible treatment."  The nurse called back and asked how long he had been doing it, etc.  I told her that it had been about six months but that we thought, like some of the tics he has had, it would go away.  The nurse then said, "Oh, he's had other tics?  Does Dr. V. know that?"  Silence. . . I said, "Well, he has Tourette's syndrome, so yes, he's had other tics."  She then said, "Oh he has Tourette's?  Does Dr. V. know that?"  Crickets. . . "Um, yes.  Dr. V. is the physician who diagnosed him. . . "  REALLY?   I don't expect her to remember us by name, because I completely realize that he sees a ton of patients.  (Although I wouldn't be surprised if she remembers me by name because I *may or may not* have called the patient care coordinator and the vice president of the medical clinic when it took me FIVE MONTHS to get a copy of my child's diagnosis.  Five months.  Unacceptable, and that was made clear.)  I do not, however, think it's too much to ask for her to glance at David's file in the computer and see what we see the doctor for before calling to answer a question.  Needless to say, I really didn't care what her thought was on speech therapy - we will do what we think is best for D.  It's disappointing to me that every time I get off the phone with that office I think that I won't take D. back there.  If I didn't love his doctor so much, I wouldn't.  He really needs to fire his entire staff and start over.  You know, if you're asking my opinion. . . 

So, in a sense, I feel like we've come full circle with my sweet little D.  We started our journey to special needs with speech therapy, and back at speech we've landed.  We will have him evaluated through the school system to begin with.  I emailed the special ed teacher today to get this rolling.  I fully expect that evaluation to say that there's a problem but that it's not severe enough to warrant treatment through the school.  In fact, if it comes back any other way I'll be shocked.  My preference would certainly be to get services through school because just logistically it will be the easiest.  However, I fully anticipate we'll have to pursue this privately.  I'll have to start looking at our insurance coverage, because that will largely determine where he goes.  His OT is out of network, and I'm willing to pay that because she's incredible.   I won't be willing to do that for speech because there are far more options.  I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

On a good note, I touched base with his teacher today, and she said that she's very pleased with how he's doing in school.  He is making friends and working well in a group, both of which can be a challenge for him.  I'm so pleased we've put him in this school, because it's a great fit!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What's That Noise?

"What's that noise?" Chris said, while happily watching football . . .
"I have no idea.  I don't hear anything," I replied.
"It's water dripping into the air conditioner return," Chris said, a bit warily.  He then turned the tv to mute and listened.  And listened.  And really, really wanted me to hear it too.  (I may or may not have been listening so intently. . . )
"I bet that overflow pan is leaking.  In the attic.  Three floors up.  Why don't you go check?" Chris said.  And clearly must have been joking.  I gave him a look - you know, the look, and up the stairs he went, armed with a bucket and some shammies.  Where he proceeded to step in a pile of dog poop that one of the dogs had so thoughtfully left in the hallway upstairs.

And while he was mad he stepped in dog poop?  I was mad they waited to poop on it until the day I mopped that floor on my hands and knees. . .

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Grace!

I came out of my self-imposed baking retirement this weekend for this special girl.
Her name is Grace, and she turned three in August.
She's the same age as my little Jack.

I've known Grace's mama and daddy for several years, and have made many cakes for them.
I made her daddy's 35th birthday cake.

I made her aunt's birthday cake.

I made Grace's mama's shower cake, after she and Grace's daddy tried so, so hard to have Grace.

And I mean, tried for years hard, seeing doctors and taking tests and medicines, all so they could have a baby of their own.  And they got a sweet, perfect little baby they named Grace.  Many call her a miracle baby because her parents had such a difficult time getting her into their arms.  And that's where their story should end; with ". . . and they lived happily ever after."  And I think it did.  Until this spring, when they found out sweet Grace has leukemia.

Specifically, Grace has High Risk Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  I don't know what all of that means, but I know it sucks.  She has a port inserted in her tiny body that she will have until after she starts Kindergarten.  She has lost her hair.  She has been in the hospital more times since March than any parent wants for their child's entire lifetime.  

She is adorable, and a fighter.  And she will beat this horrendous disease.  I cannot imagine the strength her sweet parents have had to have.  Her dad has shaved his head so Grace looks like him.  Her mom is such a caring, giving person, and I cannot fathom having to see one of my children go through such struggles.  (You can read more about Grace's fight at her Caring Bridge site.)

So, despite my retirement from the cake business, when Grace's mama asked me if I would make the cake for Grace's third birthday - her royal tea - I did not hesitate to say yes.  I was so honored she asked me to make it.  I can only imagine that her party was a fabulous celebration of her little wonderful life.  

I made a three tier white and strawberry teapot cake.  It's probably one of my favorite cakes I've made.  it was adorable, just as is the recipient.  

Happy Birthday sweet Grace.  Start thinking about what kind of cake you'd like me to make for number four!