Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring Fever!

Today I have been awakened people! Awakened to what I have been missing! What I used to have, but forgot about. I knew there was something missing, but I've just been too busy chasing Austin, helping Ellie, and cuddling Annie to realize what it was...


No, it didn't disappear, I just forgot how wonderful it is! After a long, cold winter and spring, I had forgotten how incredible it is to SEND THEM OUTSIDE!!!

So today, we're home ALL DAY LONG. Which I was looking quite forward too, since I knew the weather was going to be nice. All three kiddos played outside this morning, for HOURS. Then Austin crashed for 3 more HOURS, and now he's back outside again!

Oh the JOY! The FREEDOM! I had forgotten how much I depended on this backyard of mine last year, but now, NOW I remember! And I can see the light! The light of summertime salvation that is coming!

Now if I could just convince my husband to add that pool, I might never leave my house again!

Except for Starbucks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


We got a chance to get away for the weekend with Chris and Michelle and NO KIDS to KC! The four of us had a blast shopping and eating! Of course The Melting Pot never disappoints!! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Easter 2009!

Easter was fun this year! The weather was beautiful for coloring eggs at Grandma Ellie's house!

And it was still beautiful when we went back to take pictures and hunt for eggs!

And the kids were so excited Easter morning to find their baskets on the front porch!

At church Easter morning the kids piled into this big stroller with cousins Olivia and Elaina and their cousin Henry! So cute!

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wedding time!

My sweet cousin Laney went off and ELOPED on February 13th, crazy girl! We are very excited for her and her new hubby Josh though! They're having a ceremony soon, and in the meantime we got to throw a couple of showers for her! The first one was a church shower, and then the Branson girls took her out for some yummy dinner, great presents, and unsolicited advice! Heehee! Fun times!

Let's "Just Do It" for Susan!

I know I already did this post once, but I'm JUST DOIN' it again! Get it? Just Do It. Nike. Nike is the sponsor. Okay, I think you get it now. :) No seriously, Susan is awesome, and she totally deserves this trip to Hawaii! If you've already voted, great! Thanks! Now go DO IT again! It really does just take a second. If you haven't voted yet, Please DO IT! Now I'm going to try and post this link again, and hope it works better this time! Go Susan, Go!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

She's awesome!

My friend Susan is a runner. An awesome runner. And she has an awesome chance to win a trip to Hawaii! So take 2 seconds and VOTE for her, Please!


Sponsored by Visit NIKE USA
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Austin's Antics, and his room.

Following up from my last post...

My boy, Austin. (deep breath)

I think I always take a deep breath after saying his name, because just his name evokes images in my brain of all that he is. Extremely energetic, two years old, full of mischief...the list goes on.

He is 2 1/2 now, and there are days I wonder if we'll make it to 3. Like the day he ate one of my multi vitamins, or the day I found him standing in the second to top drawer of his dresser.

His latest "antic" has been destroying his room every. single. morning. The destruction varies in intensity. Today it was mild to moderate, and I took some pictures for future evidence. :)

I've been wondering how he's been turning on his light this week. I thought I'd removed everything he could use as a step stool. (we'd been through this a couple of times already :) I know now!

This empty oil can sits on top of his workbench/changing table. And he's standing on it. Which means he had to climb onto the workbench to get it. Yeah.

This is how I found Austin this morning. He had removed his PJ's, and made a bit of a mess in his room. I'm just glad he left his diaper on, or well...let's just say it would have been really bad.

Did you notice his toolbox/dresser? This is where I found him standing in the second to the top drawer one day. Like I said the other day, one of the great things about having a toolbox for a dresser was that it came with a key to lock it. We can't find the key.

So, every. single. morning. I clean up his room, and then it looks like this...

He's a busy one, my boy! We found out several weeks ago that he had a lot of fluid in his ears, and therefore some moderate hearing loss. He had tubes put in two weeks ago, and then passed his hearing test with flying colors! His speech is quite a bit behind, but we're hoping that he'll start catching up soon. He may need some speech therapy, but we're waiting to see what he does on his own for a little while. He's already added a few new words though, and it's been very exciting to see him really hear things! I'm hoping that with better hearing, will come better understanding, and then better behavior. I love him so much, but it would be nice to not be constantly cleaning up after he barrels through a room!

He'll still be a 2 1/2 year old boy though. So you know there will be more antics!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Disney On Ice!

I gotta be honest, I wasn't sure what we were in for when we bought tickets for Disney On Ice. But hey, why not, right?!  :)  We ended up really loving the whole thing!  Grammie, Grandaddy, Gma Ellie, Daddy, Mommy and the kids, it was truly fun for the whole family!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Of course.

My husband Jason designed Austin's room just after he was born. Now if you know my husband, you know he is not a "designer" at heart. :) But he had specific ideas of how he wanted his boy's room to look. Jason loves to work on cars, motorcycles, dune buggies, ATV' name it, just for fun. If it has a motor, he loves it. When he was younger he seriously wanted to be a mechanic with a real Garage of his own to fix things to his hearts content. So...

He turned Austin's room into a "Garage."

I wasn't so sure, but since Austin was our first, and only (God willing!) boy, I let him run with it. It turned out Awesome, complete with a real work bench, large tires, license plates lining the walls, and all sorts of other things you'd find in a real, working, garage. My favorite part is the large standing toolbox that we use as a dresser for now. It's so cool! The best part though, is that it Locks! That was one of the first things I thought of when we bought it. How great that will be, I thought, he won't be able to pull everything out, or climb on the drawers. Perfect!

Yeah...So we're there now. He's discovered that he can pull clothes out, climb on the drawers, and reach things he's not supposed too. So I went to find the key...

It's lost.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mi Vida Loca

I think that means "My crazy life."

I hope so, otherwise I have no idea what my title is!

I have been a little silent lately on this sweet blog of mine. I blame my silence on many reasons...exhaustion, being over-scheduled, facebook...but there's more too it than that. I've been in limbo.

Waiting, waiting, waiting to be able to put some real information on here about what's been going on in our lives. Waiting until I had some answers, or at least a better understanding. So now I'm jumping in with both feet.


Ellie has officially been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). SPD is a neurological disorder that affects how you process the sensations that your body receives. The disorder part comes into play when the brain doesn't process the sensation correctly, and therefore doesn't produce a correct response. Basically there's a "glitch" in the system. This has been a long time coming for us, too long in fact. She's always been our challenge, our "quirky" kid, our handful. She's had many clothing issues (remember the panties!), and behavioral issues for a VERY long time. I heard of SPD a couple of years ago, thought about it, and dismissed it. Then again about a year ago, this time I wasn't as quick to dismiss it, but still wasn't convinced we needed outside help.

Then we went to Disney.



So, long story short, this is what our girl has. I am amazed at how many things she's always had issues with, that play into this disorder. Things I never dreamed about being sensory issues. Like her dislike for amusement park rides, or her difficulty with stairs, or her failure to progress well at handwriting...all a part.

The treatment is Occupational Therapy, and is supposed to be quite successful. The Occupational Therapist says we will be AMAZED in just a couple of months at how much better Ellie is going to be. That we will be AMAZED and have a totally different kid on our hands by next August when school starts back up.

Let me tell you, I am ready to be AMAZED!!!

It's been a tough road for our girl. And us. She gets very angry, she gets very aggressive, she melts down in public, she makes us walk on pins and needles all the time. Always wondering if we're going to do something to "set her off." Always trying to think ahead...Will Ellie be able to handle this? All of that is supposed to get better, and even go completely away with the occupational therapy.

It's hard for me to imagine that one hour a week of this therapy, which is basically playing with purpose, will completely change our girl. But they are the experts. They are the ones who have seen kids like Ellie, so I will choose to believe them and wait to BE AMAZED!

Oh please AMAZE me!

This disorder is hard to understand. Even for me, and I've been reading everything I can find on it! But I came across this info, and I liked the way it was worded. It helps me to view this from her perspective. I put in bold the things that are the most challenging for her. It's hard for me to realize how much she's struggling, heartbreaking in fact. But we're on the right path now, and that feels good. See what you think...

Stanley Greenspan, the author of "The Challenging Child" (1995) has an insightful analogy to help us understand what people experience when they can not effectively process, or interpret, sensory input.

He describes it this way: "Imagine driving a car that isn't working well. When you step on the gas the car sometimes lurches forward and sometimes doesn't respond. When you blow the horn it sounds blaring. The brakes sometimes slow the car, but not always. The blinkers work occasionally, the steering is erratic, and the speedometer is inaccurate. You are engaged in a constant struggle to keep the car on the road, and it is difficult to concentrate on anything else."

It's no wonder children with sensory processing disorders feel out of control, exhibit a whole host of behaviors, and have difficulty concentrating and focusing at school!

Now, also imagine being a parent of one of these children. Many parents have expressed how exhausted, rejected, lost, incompetent and alone they feel in trying to live with, and understand, their child.

I challenge you to remember this beautifully painful quote the next time you encounter a child with sensory processing disorders and begin the process of awareness, understanding, and treatment to help them take control of their bodies, minds and self-esteem.

It is so very difficult for them. Let's acknowledge that and do our best to understand and help them!

Let me put this another way for you, from an adult perspective.

I once did a presentation in a conference room full of adults that worked in day care and preschool settings. I wanted them to relate to and understand the children they saw in their classrooms that struggled with sensory processing disorders.
I explained it to them this way...

Imagine if:

You could see obstacles in your way, but you could not make your body move the direction you wanted it to to avoid them.

You felt like someone had given you a shot of Novocain in your backside so you couldn't feel if you were sitting in the middle of your chair and you fell off 3 times during this training.

Your clothes felt like they were made of fiberglass.

You tried to drink a cup of water from a paper cup, only you couldn't tell how hard to squeeze it to hold onto it. So, you squeezed it too hard and the water spilled all over you. The next time you didn't squeeze it hard enough and it fell right through your hands and onto the floor.

Every time you tried to write with your pencil, it broke because you pushed too hard.

The different smells in this room made you utterly nauseous.

The humming of the lights sounded louder than my voice.

You couldn't focus your eyes on me because everything and everyone in the room catches your attention and your eyes just go there instead.

The lights are so bright you have to squint, then you get a pounding headache half way through the presentation

Every time someone touches you, it feels like they are rubbing sandpaper on your skin.

You could only sit here for 15 minutes and then you had to take a run around the building or do 20 jumping jacks so you could sit for another 10 minutes before your muscles felt like they were going to jump out of your skin.

People's whispers sounded like they were yelling.

The tag in the back of your shirt makes you feel as uncomfortable as you would if a spider was crawling on you and you couldn't get him off.

You wanted to write something down but it took you at least 5 seconds to form each letter. You can see the letter in your head, but your hand will not go in the right direction to write it.

You had to pull the car over 3 times on the ride here because the motion makes you sick.

So that's where we are. That's what we're dealing with. And I am ready to Be Amazed!

And the crazy life continues with Austin and the saga of the ears. He's getting tubes put in on Friday, so I'll be updating on that soon!