August 31, 2008

Org Junkie's Rounding Up Entryways!



Org Junkie's Monthly Organizing Round-Up is so inspiring! As I prepared for school to start soon, I knew my mudroom needed to be lassoed in! Yes, I'm cheesy, but accomplishing this has made me feel great! Our "mudroom" (as much of a mudroom as San Diegans have) is at the backdoor which leads to the garage. This is the door we exit to go anywhere by car.

Before:


First, I had to take out the trash!!!


I put jackets in the coat closet, and hung backpacks, lunch box, and caps on hooks. There is a lightweight jacket in a small pocket of Timothy's backpack, waiting for October. And the shoes needed a new home...


Bought this shoe rack for the front door a month ago in preparation for this roundup. What happened OFTEN was the kids and I would come in from the car (back door), but they would make it all the way to the living room before taking off their shoes. So now the shoes are to be placed at the front door which opens directly into the living room. Everyone wants the top rack, and today I made a final decision it would be Samantha's since she has the least amount of dexterity (being the youngest):


Here are the baskets on the outside...


Now closeup and on the inside...

Seasonal items because it will eventually get cold (and I will keep sunscreen in there as well):



I never have the books or dvds at the back door when I'll be driving by the library. Now as soon as we've watched them, they go in here:



For bills, thank you notes, and all things "letter":

Mom's shoes (2 of the baskets are for this):



Things to be given away:



I decided to put my purse in this middle slot because the outlet is right there. I can keep my phone in my purse and charge it at the same time:

After:
Thanks, Org Junkie!!!

August 30, 2008

I finally decided on one...

5 Minutes For Special Needs has is switching out the picture on their Special Exposure Wednesday Button because of the changing seasons. They decided it would fun to feature one of our children, so they made it a contest! Photos must be submitted by midnight tonight, they will select 3 finalists, and then we will have a chance to vote on our favorite. If you read this post, you know that I was having a difficult time deciding. Guess what? I didn't pick any of those three I posted! I went with an entirely different picture, and that will come in a future Cystic Fibrosis post!

Need Quick Response on Photos

I'm entering a photo contest, and I can't decide which picture to use. 5 Minutes for Special Needs has decided to use a new picture on the button they use for their version of Wordless Wednesday. Here is what they are asking for: Enter a photo of a child living with special challenges that you think would invoke an "Awwww, how delightful. I should check out this Special Exposure Wednesday thing" emotion from viewers. They also want us to keep in mind that they are looking for a photo more suitable for the fall as their current button is summer themed. Please tell me which picture you think would be most appropriate. I have a perfect picture that I can't use because I'm having to crop it too much for it to work, so now I'm trying to decide between 3 kind of runner's up. I have to turn it in by tonight!




August 29, 2008

My daughter will...

seriously think of anything to cry about when she's not feeling 100%. She has cried every few minutes ALL DAY over NOTHING!!! Guess what the latest thing was she chose to scream about? She's upset that she can't go to the potty again and get a piece of candy because she just went THREE MINUTES AGO!!!!!! STOP CRYING!!!!

Summer is Ending

My MOPS group has had a couple of playdates almost every week this summer. Most schools start on Sept 2nd here, so yesterday was our last playdate. It was so much fun! Light, summery food...happily playing kids...great conversation. We leave that all behind in a few days, and to tell you the truth, I have been extremely anxious about it. Kindergarten. How will my little boy handle it? Is there a chance it won't be as hard as I'm imagining? Will I finally give these fears over to my Father and NOT pick them back up again? Can I start to imagine how fun it will be to have one-on-one time with Samantha for the 1st time in her 2 1/2 years of life? Scripture memory needs to be way more of a priority than it is right now.

August 27, 2008

Questions about SPD

Jill asked some great questions about SPD, and I want to answer them here for anyone else wondering: So how/when did y'all figure out he had SPD? i've honestly never known anyone with it (or at least that i've heard about). will he adapt the older he gets, or does it get harder as he grows?

Timothy was severely speech delayed as a 2 yr old. Once he was evaluated for speech, he was evaluated for other developmental delays (he had several). We received very good OT, but because of staff turnover and the fact that he turned 3 (that's when school district takes over), we had 3-4 OTs in the 1st 9 months. We were about to move to Dallas during Dan's deployment and his OT at the time said I needed to read, "The Out-of-Sync-Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz. This is an excellent book to introduce anyone to SPD. After reading only a few pages I was a blubbering mess. I literally thought someone has followed my son around, written down everything they observed, and put it in a book. He did (does) things that I didn't even know were sensory related.

I had never heard of SPD either, but of course now that I have a child with it I hear it everywhere. It's common discussion in the autism community. Many autistic children also have SPD. Here's more on that.

Sensory Processing Disorder is a developmental disorder, which means it "flares up" the most (those are my words) during developmental growth. That's why it is seen so dramatically in preschoolers and early elementary aged children. Over time every child figures out some sort of coping mechanism, and if the coping mechanisms are not good they can have lifelong problems.

The SPD Foundation says this: These "sensational adults" may have difficulty performing routines and activities involved in work, close relationships, and recreation. Because adults with SPD have struggled for most of their lives, they may also experience depression, underachievement, social isolation, and/or other secondary effects.

Thanks for asking, Jill!

Bloggity Stuff

I hadn't checked out blogspot's "gadgets" in a while, and it's much more user friendly! If you've been wanting to organize your side bar, go to Customize, then add a gadget to see all the possibilities! Very cool!

Losing Teeth

Timothy ran over to me this morning and said, "My teacher said I'm going to lose all my teeth." He doesn't start school until Tues, so I don't know what "teacher" he is talking about or how this random topic came to be. I asked if he was scared or happy about that. He said, "I'm happy, except I'll be scared when I don't have ANY teeth!" I think he was relieved to discover that they don't all fall out at once and that he gets replacements. It looks like I need to read this book more often.

Wordless Wednesday Explained

I don't write much about Timothy's Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), and it's about time I did. I've been so encouraged by the blogs of other moms who are sharing their stories (in time I will start introducing them). If you are familiar with SPD, then you immediately know why my Wordless Wednesday photo has significance, but if you aren't familiar with it (or maybe have never even heard of it!), then here's a little explanation...

SPD causes a person's body to misinterpret sensory information being received from the environment around them. You are familiar with the 5 main senses, but there are 2 others not quite as common: vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (positional sense). Our proprioceptive sense tells us where we are in relation to the world around us. For example, when you sit, your proprioceptive sense tells you where the chair is. Imagine that feeling you get when a chair is actually lower than you originally thought-that's how someone with SPD feels all the time (not necessarily about a chair, but any object).

Timothy has struggled with this sense. He can be clumsy and is continually lying on the floor so that his brain can grasp where he is in relation to everything. Activities like hanging from monkey bars and pillow fights are what strengthen this sense. Timothy mastered the monkey bars in the Spring, but ever sense he had a bad fall in May, he's been scared. I've been slowly working with him, tenderly encouraging him all summer, and a couple of weeks ago he just did it! And now he's at it again! We take the small victories.

WW & SEW: Determination

I love this picture by itself, but if you want to read its explanation go here. For many more Wordless Wednesday photos go to 5 Minutes for Mom and for Special Exposure Wednesday please check out 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

August 26, 2008

Netflix

When the new season of Eureka started a few weeks ago, Dan and I realized that we had missed the entire 3rd season! Because it's such a unique tv show, it's not "in-store" anywhere. I can't remember exactly why we chose Netflix over Blockbuster (they weren't very different at all), but our Netflix subscription does come with thousands of titles you can view instantly on your computer. Examples of those instant titles are "Heroes: Season 1" and "The Neverending Story". I have to admit I was leery about the whole "turn around" time aspect of this, but I have been totally impressed!

We received our 1st dvd within 1-2 days of signing up. We turned it in before 5pm on a Sat at our local post office that has a 5pm pick up. Mon morning I received an email that said they received the dvd at 6am that morning! We received the next dvd with the mail on Tuesday! The 2nd dvd we received we turned in Sun night, and I got an email about an hour ago that they received it this morning. What's great is they send an email when they receive the dvd, and then they send another email when they ship out the next dvd telling me when I can expect it.

In my account I've built my own movie wish list. Since we are on a "1 dvd at a time" plan, they will automatically send me whatever is next in "queue". We knew we would be too busy to watch more than 1 at a time, plus if we're free one night with no dvd we can search through the library of movies we can view instantly. For 1 movie at a time coming to our door, unlimited movies in a month, and thousands of options on the computer, we pay $8.99/month. It's a deal and best of all it really is as hassle free as they make it sound!

What kind of experience with Netflix or Blockbuster have you had? Or Red Box?

First full day is done!

So after a shaky start we got into this crazy rhythm this morning. She successfully pottied at...

9:15
10:00
11:05
11:50

with no accidents all morning. I put a diaper on her for nap time. When she woke up from her nap she had a fever (bummer). She didn't feel well, and we had 2 accidents. Then she ended the day with 2 successful tries...

6:15
7:00

I didn't expect today's outcome. Tomorrow we start again!

August 25, 2008

In a holding "potty" pattern...

So we haven't pottied again in the potty since that random time on Sat, but because of church and nap yesterday we didn't have underwear on much. Sam had 2 accidents yesterday and none so far today. I think she just doesn't know what to do when she sits there, which makes me think she's not ready. I've committed to 3 full days, but any thoughts would be warmly welcomed.

August 23, 2008

Our first potty training triumph!!

We pottied in the potty chair!!! I didn't know how much fun this could be! Now I understand that John & Kate Plus 8 episode: It's a Memory. Timothy was so tall by the time he was potty trained that we never needed a potty chair. Samantha is so proud and excited to sit on it. Anyway, I digress

We made a whole big deal about pouring it into the toilet, and then we got our first sticker. Oh, she loves it!!! And then I realized that to both include Timothy in this AND to encourage Samantha even more that I would give Timothy his own star chart for pottying (he has always had a big bladder, so I would like him to go more often any way). Plus, I've been thinking about giving him a star chart for food, and this will re-introduce him to the charting concept. We haven't charted anything in a long time.

Speaking of food. Samantha ate her first taco today. I was so excited!! She practically ate an entire one by herself. And Timothy (you're not going to believe this) ate several bites of my Spicy Italian sub of his own volition!!! Wonders never cease!!!

Potty Training!!!

So it's been like forever since I've been able to blog, and I'm going to jump in to the deep end of the parenting swimming pool (a little Olympics reference) by saying I'm prepped to start potty training Samantha!

15 Signs of readiness for potty training:

1. Has bowel movements at about the same time every day
2. Can stay dry for a few hours or wakes up dry from sleep
3. Knows that he/she has to go to the bathroom
4. Understands the association between dry pants and the potty
5. Can pull her pants up and down
6. Lets you know when he/she has soiled his/her diaper
7. Can follow simple directions like, "lets go to the potty"
8. Understands potty training terms
9. Can tell you he/she has to go to the bathroom
10. Imitates other family members
11. Shows interest and asks question while watching you
12. Wants to do things "by myself"
13. Enjoys washing his/her hands (like to be clean)
14. Gets upset if his/her belongings are not in proper place
15. Wants to please you!

Yes: 5, 7, 8, 12, 13
Maybe: 6, 14, 15
No: 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11

I guess you can see the fact that the items I answered no to are probably the most important to actually potty train. In fact, the only thing that has even remotely been close to interest was this week she tried to put T's underwear over her diaper. I'm going into this with no expectations, which I think will allow me to be more relaxed about the issue. I plan on trying for a few days, and I think it will be clear one way or the other. If she's not ready we'll drop the subject.

We went to Target this morning to get our "potty supplies". We went to underwear first. I was hoping for "red" underwear (her fav color) and was pleasantly surprised to discover girl Elmo underwear that had red everywhere throughout. Samantha was stoked! "I want that"! On to the potty chair area. I splurged and got the one with all the bells and whistles. It plays songs when you sit down and when it senses urine, and has a flusher that makes a flush noise AND pushes reward stickers out. The chair came with a chart and the stickers, so we'll see. Last we went to the book section and lo and behold we found an Elmo potty book, the kind where you can press the buttons. Elmo is helping his stuffed animal "David" learn how to potty in the potty chair. As we were putting the potty chair in the trunk, she said, "That's my LITTLE potty chair". (She had distinguished earlier that she didn't need a big potty chair, only a little one.)

When I brought the stuff into the house, she was so excited to look at it all. We read the story, and she just giggled at every noise the book made. I forgot to buy batteries for the toilet, but I'm hoping this book will prep her for the noises of the toilet. If the toilet noises scare her, we'll be in a pickle, so I'll test those out before she sits on it so she'll know what to expect. She wanted to sit on the potty while we read the book, so right now she doesn't realize it can eventually make noise. Then we got out the underwear, and knowing she was about to take a nap she asked if she could take the pack to "night night". I told her she could take 1 pair and that we would wear them tomorrow. She was so excited! We got upstairs, and I asked her if she would like to put the underwear on her bear (in hindsight, I should have used her giant Elmo because at the end of her book Elmo is in a pair of underwear). She LOVED the idea of putting the underwear on her bear. She said, "Because he's a big bear." Hee hee!!! Then she tucked him in right beside her under the blanket. It was so cute. I think she still has no concept of what we do when we're on the potty chair (like actually potty), but she's so ready to explore it!

I was quite surprised at all of her interest and excitement-she hadn't shown a bit of this before so we can only hope. Pray for me, too, because the CF makes this a more challenging task than usual. Her poops are not regular, there are MANY a day, and they can be quite loose.

August 8, 2008

CF Ice Cream Social

A week ago, our local CFF chapter had an ice cream social for all team leaders who participated in Great Strides. Teams who raised the most funds received prizes, and we picked up the hard copy picture of our Team photo.

We even received a certificate! Here's Dan educating Timothy about raising funds for CF...

And here's Sam having fun...

She's obsessed with tennies. What can I say?

One thing that saddens me a bit about CF is that traditional support groups don't exist. My own personal theory for that is this...

  1. In CF circles you will often hear "the 3-foot rule". That is the recommended distance that CF-ers keep from eachother. This is to prevent cross-contamination amongst CF-ers. That stops anyone from putting a bunch of CF-ers in a room together.

  2. There aren't that many who have CF. There are only 30,000 in the U.S (compare to 1-1.5 million who have Autism). Another way to look at it is births. CF occurs in 1 out of every 3,900 births. Autism occurs in 1 out of every 150. When a child is treated at an accredited CF facility, they are placed in a registry that holds and compares all data. Right now we have about 24,000 registered, which means way too many aren't getting treated properly. There are almost 150 treatment facilities which means an average of 160 families treated per city. And San Diego has 3 facilities, so we are divided even further here. Although if I had my way the 3 treatment facilities would have a joint support group!

  3. But then the 3rd factor comes into play. Parents don't want to have to figure out childcare for their special needs child in order to attend a regular support meeting. And early on in life so many CF-ers are healthy enough that parents aren't feeling that "need" for support.

So in light of all that, I was looking forward to meeting some CF families. I didn't meet many, but I did learn 2 stories. One was a 10 yr-old boy who was just diagnosed with CF last year! His mom said he couldn't put on weight, but that he hasn't had any lung issues. Enzymes are helping him a great deal.

I also met an adult woman (thinking she was a mom of CF) who has CF. Her 2 yr old son was playing with Timothy. This is really a beautiful miracle that is starting to happen more often. CF causes more reproductive problems in men than women, but in the past women were often not healthy enough to carry babies full term. I'm hearing more and more of these stories, and they make my heart soar! And a genetics note: Anyone with CF can have children with someone who is not a carrier and because the CF gene has to come from both mom and dad, any kids they have will have 0% chance of having CF.

By the way, I have found some wonderful blogs of some amazing CFers, and really feel like I have found a supportive community. I'm grateful for technology!

I'm throwing this picture in to see if you are still awake after this entirely too long post!!! Dan & I had a little fun at the party too!

August 6, 2008

"Random Things" Meme

I’ve been tagged by Sarah at Rah Rah's Ramblings...

These are the rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged you
2) Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading)
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below)
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them (This is only a game)
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up

Random items:
1) I got brand new bedroom furniture a week ago today. If I had been given a budget of $40,000 this is exactly what I would have picked. It makes me SO happy!!!
2) I am doing "kindergarten homeschool" with Timothy this month for some sort of preparation for public school.
3) Just this week, I RAN to be the 1st person to the front to answer a contest question and win a polar bear. If you know me, you know this is the norm for me.
4) I conquered my fear of cooking fish this week, and it was yummy in the tummy!
5) I love having a church directory. I simply must have a constant visual reminder of face & name.
6) There's no better feeling than walking into a room and seeing my little family interacting.

Tag, you're it:
1) Steph
2) Robyn
3) Charity
4) Dena
5) Shayna
6) Who's up for a little fun?

August 5, 2008

Win a $50 Target Gift Card!

Unexpected Bliss is giving away a $50 gift card to Target. The giveaway ends tonight, so go quickly...

Target Gift Card

Day 7, Part 3: Wall-E



Timothy LOVES computer activity, and his interests vary. Sometimes he'll play a Nick Jr. game (like Backyardigans racing something or other). Many times he just wants me to pull up ESPN.com where he will study team after team. Of course his new obsession (still) is all things Wii. He watches video clips over and over of different Wii games. He is up to about $40 saved for his Nintendo Wii, and he's already told me 4 games he wants to buy. He is always eager to educate others on the various games he is playing. Here Timothy is explaining some game to Priscilla, and she showed him love by listening! She also showed him love on Day 7 of our trip by giving him early birthday presents.


I knew Timothy was looking forward to the movie, but who know Wall-E would become his "best friend". Timothy has slept with Wall-E and even played games with Wall-E.
video

Timothy has really been so tender when it comes to Wall-E. We did take Wall-E, the robot, to see Wall-E, the movie. I usually look for Pixar to give me a more entertaining movie, but Wall-E was all about sacrifice and courage. And both of my preschoolers enjoyed it!

One last picture of Samantha from Day 7 of our trip. She's so fun!

Day 7, Part 2: Swimming!

It's been so long, I'm sure you've forgotten, but for "theme" sake I decided to break Day 7 up into 3 parts. Just a reminder, Part 1 of this day was Fishing. And doesn't anyone need a break after that:

Just give this girl some nuts, and she's as happy as a lark!


That was just the beginning of sweet moments between Timothy and my dad. That afternoon we went to pool, where Priscilla and I stayed stayed dry and each man got a child!!! Samantha held onto Dan for dear life and Timothy played happily with his Grandpa.

Within 15 minutes of being there, my dad had convinced Timothy that his life jacket could in fact make him float. And then about 15 minutes after that, Timothy realized that if he just kicked his legs, he could "swim"!
video
Yet another fun afternoon!

Transition...

As a Navy wife, everyone is very sympathetic when our spouses our deployed for 6-7 months, but it's usually too difficult to explain the work up cycle which takes them away constantly and is much more disruptive to daily life. Dan came home last Thursday after basically being gone the whole month of July. These last 5 days have been wonderful getting to be together as a family! And this weekend we weren't having to get him ready to leave again on Monday because he's going to be home all of August. We haven't had an entire month of him home since December. It's very exciting!!

But that's not all this month! We are even getting our very first getaway as a couple next week. We are flying my mother here on Monday to stay with the kids, and we are driving up to L.A. I am looking SO forward to it!!! I plan on having everything from our June trip (yes, 2 months ago) blogged by then and anything else that pops up. You've been warned about the plethora of blogs coming your way!