Monday, November 29, 2010

Eleven

So, the other day I met a sweet, young couple.

I brought them dinner.

He asked me if I had a 25-year-old daughter.

hmmmm... (ouch)

"No, but my son just turned 11 today!" I say with a big smile trying to ignore that fact that he just asked a 33-year-old if she was at least 45.

(And yes, you read that right. I took dinner to another family on my son's birthday.)

Anyway, here is the story about Brother.

He used to LOVE his birthday. We would have big parties with all his friends and he would get tons of gifts and we would sing to him and he LOVED to blow out the candles. (He is infamous for blowing out other people's birthday candles, still, to this day.)

Then, one day, around age 7 he decided "NO more birthday parties."

That's right. I think it was harder on me than him.

I even tried to sneak in a birthday party once and just said we were having some friends over for pizza and a movie... he caught on as soon as the second guest came in with a birthday present wishing him "Happy Birthday!"

So this year I didn't even push it.

I asked and encouraged.

I poked and I prodded.

I even asked him if it would be fun for me to bring treats to his class for his birthday.

"No. I will spank your butt!" Ya, that's what he says whenever he hears something he does like.

No treats for his class.

No birthday party with friends.

He even didn't want to have family over for a birthday party.

So, I didn't do anything.

Well, I did get him a gift and he was out of school on his birthday so we were all together and he was very excited to spend the day with all of us and open and enjoy all his presents.

But, then, it was as if he realized that he remembered birthdays as being fun and what they were to entail. "When is Aunt Jessie and Uncle Joel coming? Do they have my present?" "When's grandma coming?"

Luckily I had the special envelope with 11 lovely dollar bills tucked into a spiffy birthday card that Grandma Lynne and Grandpa Gary had left for me to give to him. (They were on their way to see their newest grandchild.) That gift kept him side-tracked for a bit. Then, he was starting to get really sad that his aunt and uncle  hadn't come yet and just when I didn't know what else to do his sweet friend called and said she had a birthday gift for Brother and wondered if she could come over and give it to him...

Yay!!!!!

I told her to come on over and to plan on staying to play with Brother for a little while.

She came and he was so nervous at first that he ran downstairs and hid with Shania Twain. Miss M was so patient she just waited upstairs for him till I could get him to come up.

He was now very happy to see her and asked if she wanted to play his new game with him. (It was a magical creature game we gave him.)



My heart was so full at that moment thankful for his friend. So special.


Later that night my mom and dad came and brought him a wonderful gift. A Zhu Zhu pet. Oh, the joy that brought! Thanks mom, he loves it! Then we watched the new Disney's Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey—which I LOVE! I love that story. My feelings about that story I will save for a whole other post...

I think that next year I will just sneak in treats to his class and still have and "unofficial birthday" party for him—I realize now he likes the benefits of the birthday—just not the attention... well, kinda...

On a personal note:
Brother, you are such a blessing in mine and Daddy's lives. I am so glad you were the oldest because you have set the bar so high for your sisters. You teach them everyday how to be happy, how to take turns, and you sacrifice a lot of your candy and toys to Sister. We love to hear your endless singing—Shania Twain, Phantom of the Opera (as the Phantom and as Christine)! You are trully a gem! We love you! We are thankful for you. You have raised us and we hope that we have learned well.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Big hair! Big smile!


This is what she looks like when I get ready to do her hair...

This is after.

While you're waiting...

for me to actually post something. Here is something funny.

It was Brother's birthday! Yes,  he is 11 now! (pictures to come) Anyway we had some family over to hang out with us and Sister was quite hyper—running, screaming, laughing maniacally—just plain h-y-p-e-r!

She was downstairs with Marc and about 15 minutes passed and she came up—hair messy and frizzy, cheeks reddened, breathing heavily, "Mom, dad says I need to go jump on the trampoline outside."

It was snowing and cold.

I laughed.

So did my mom.

I didn't let her go outside to bounce on the trampoline so she proceeded to bounce off the walls of the living room...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mom talk

I love talking to my mom on the phone...

Win Peek-a-Bows

I am entering this contest too.

Sidenote: I have never won a contest!

But I figure I will try.

I have some of these bows for my girls and you just have see how cute they are and try to win them here.

Look at Baby with hers... oh so cute!
It's so crazy to look back at this and remember the days when she was on oxygen and monitors...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Heart attack...

is what I had when our stake leader asked Marc and I if he would be willing to be councilor to the Bishop of our ward!

This all happened on a Tuesday night and it was a sleepless night that night.

Why sleepless?

It is a lot of responsibility for Marc.

It is a lot of sacrifice for me and for him, and our children.

Why are we willing to do this?

Because we are willing to do the work of the Lord.

It was a sweet welcome on the day after Marc was sustained into our Ward Bishopric when we came home to hearts plastered all over our front door. A Heart Attack! It was so wonderful for Marc and it really made him feel like they had welcomed him with open arms. It was our sweet little Achievement Day girls, I think, the 10-year-olds?? Not sure, but, it was so cute!

Here is Marc with his hearts!
Ya, check out the cowboy behind him, and the turkey to the left... love my mom's crafts!
Since Marc was sustained as 2nd Councilor to the Bishop there has been a wonderful feeling here in our home. I know that there will be tough times when I am alone while he is out serving our ward so often and there will be trials, but, I don't really know how to explain it... I feel stronger.

Is that possible?

Stronger.

I know it is because Heavenly Father is carrying me and he will continue to if I allow him into my life. Our stake leader asked me to be more diligent in reading my scriptures and advised us to stay on track with Family Home Evening. I am taking that advice to heart and I am trying. I know it has only been one week of this, but, I will have faith that I, and Marc, can do this.

Pray for him.

Pray for us.

We are going to need all the help we can get.

But, we are very excited!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Breaking...

Baby has two more teeth breaking through. Her bottom one is through but, still has a long way to go before looking like a tooth. Her top front teeth are peaking through... one more than the other. She is going to look so different with teeth.

She has really been breaking ground on crawling. I finally got a video of it, I figured out that she will crawl TO the camera if I have it on the ground where she gets excited to attack it.
(And in this clip you will hear her making the "na na" sounds that she just started recently...)
video


And last, my heart breaking...
This part of my post is a little different than what I have posted before. Usually when something sad happens to one of my kids I don't bring it up here, but, it was an eye opener for me, so I will share so that you all may learn from it.

Brother is in a self-contained classroom—a cluster unit, formerly called UEI.

Anyway, in his IEP (Individual Education Plan) we have it stated that he will have inclusion as often as possible. He gets to go to 1 mainstream class everyday, and a second class 3 times a week. I am always very excited for him and very scared for him. I am excited for him to emulate mainstream behavior in a classroom, and I am scared for him to be the odd one out in the classroom.

Well, this particular day, Brother had a substitutes for his teacher's two assistants, and a substitute for his inclusion classroom teacher. This, alone, was formula for disaster... out of the routine is never a good thing for FXS kids... and the fact that there were 3 substitutes that day, I think, is what may have set off the "incident."

"What was the incident ?" you ask.

I am giving the version that was put together by talking to Brother and his teacher and figuring all of it out. First of all, I was VERY proud of Brother for being able to express to me, at all, what had happened.

Here were Brother's words for me after he came stomping off the bus, throwing down his backpack and storming into the house, saying "I am never going to school again!"

Me: Brother? What is wrong? What happened that made you so mad?
Brother: It was scary! The movie was scary! I was crying and [the substitute] got really mad at me.
Me: What? What movie?
Brother: A movie about the British.
(Now, at this point I was kind of giggling inside because I thought, what was so scary about the British?)

Anyway, I talked to his teacher and then found out that Brother started to fall apart and cry when the movie started and began to roll around on the floor and hide under his desk. (He is very sensitive to the mood music gives and I am guessing, to him, the music was scary.)

My first reaction (inside my mind) was, "Oh no! Mainstream kids saw him acting crazy and now they will be scared of him!"

After talking with his teacher I asked him to tell me more about what had happened. He told me that the substitute took him into the hall, got in his face and said, "Stop this foolishness right now!" When Brother told me this, I wanted to cry.

He was already nervous because of a snag in his routine with the substitutes, the movie they were watching in History was scaring him and he didn't know what to do. He knows he is supposed to stay in the classroom and so, in his mind, he had no where to escape his fear. Then, on top of him being scared the substitute takes him into the hall (he thinks he is going to be leaving the scary situation) and then she gets in his face (never a good thing to do with any child let alone one with Fragile X Syndrome or Autism) and tells him to stop his "foolishness."

All my nightmares had come true within moments, in one day.

Brother acted out in front of his mainstream peers.

Brother had been bullied by an adult.

I did what any mom would do. I called the school and told them that the particular substitute of that incident was to never work in Brother's classroom again, or his school, for that matter. (They obliged my request by sending my letter of the experience straight to the district.)

Then, I asked his teacher if I should take time to go into the inclusion class and try to explain FXS to all the kids so that they would understand why he had fallen apart that day.

Here's the happy part:
Brother's wonderful teacher went and talked to some of kids that were in the classroom that day and none of them had anything bad to say about the incident. They were just concerned for Brother.

I was touched.

My children are breaking barriers one day at a time.

Keep your eye on the prize!

Sister found her big, red bat in the garage and asked Daddy to come play baseball with her. He jumped on the opportunity and went straight to the back yard.
"Keep your eye on the ball!"
he would say, and she kept saying, "I am. I am."




video


Baby has discovered the earth around her... dirt, rocks, leaves, grass... and they all go to her mouth. I had her outside with Daddy, Sister and Brother to play while I cooked dinner. Baby kept her eye on the leaves while Daddy kept his eye on Baby.


Brother was rollerblading, and quite proud of the fact that he could actually move and stay in an upright position! It was cute to see him so determined. Sister, she was determined to get one special back on the tree branch it had fallen from. (I think the picture with her chocolate face is just too funny!)

And last:
Baby won't give up with out a fight. She has really mastered crawling and is starting to climb up to some things to explore what is on top, or inside.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Family Photo Give Away!!!!

OK, seriously, you HAVE to enter for this. Although it may slim down my chances of winning the opportunity, these guys are so amazing that I just can't pass up the chance to pass this on to any of you who read my blog!

Point Digital is doing a give way for a family photo shoot and video!

Check out the one we got done last year (below) then go to Point Digital's blog and check out another one and get the details on how to enter!!!!!! Do it! You won't regret it! I promise!


The Gibson Family from Davey Orgill on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Clay Cookies and Pizza

It was one of those days that I needed Peanut to come help out at home.

Sister was crying for me to make some clay because the other had dried out. I didn't have time to make it between work and kids so when Peanut arrived to save the day I put her to work making clay.

I just gave her the recipe and quickly explained it. She had never made clay before.

About 10 minutes later I hear Peanut call my name and I go upstairs to find that she had started kneading the clay before it was ready... tee hee! Guess I should have taught her instead of just show her. I had to take a picture of it sticking all over her hands. We got quite a laugh out of it...

So of course we made it again and I helped her with the last part of it. The kids were thrilled to have their new clay and played with it all night long.

Later that afternoon when Marc got home I was working again and I heard the oven opening and closing. I got concerned and went to check on what was going on.

Sister and Brother were cooking pizza and cookies... out of clay... on my nice cookie sheet.

At least the oven was off... phew!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stinkbug Sleep

This is how I find her most mornings:
Head pressed against the crib pad
On her tummy
Butt in the air
Arms folded in
snoring
drooling

Funny thing, this is how all three of my kids slept as babies.

Is it a Fragile X thing, or just coincidence?

Hmmm...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Forgotten Pumpkin

This sweet little punkin' painted her entire pumpkin blue. I forgot to post it. It is the only picture I took of our FHE carving and painting pumpkins. Sister had a blast! Brother painted his green. Marc painted a black face on his and just kept Baby entertained and paint cleaned off the floor.

P.S. blue paint and white vinyl flooring... not good.

The mark of the hand...

Thank you to whomever it was that taught Sister the pure joy of tracing her own hand. Instead of writing her name on everything she leaves a "hand print."

This special one was at the bottom of our antique table handed down to us from Marc's grandma. This wasn't the only part of the table she got, there was another handprint above it on the main leg of the table.

Bright pink.

Sweet hands.

Gone now.

Because Comet and a Scotch Scrubber pad are my friends (no, the magic eraser did not work).

Trick or Treat

My mom and her twin, Jane, were born 2 months early on a Halloween back in... OK, I won't give you the year. But, it was cool because since they were born on Halloween they were nick-named "trick" or "treat." The "trick" was having them at home, and the "treat" was that they were twins.

It was fun to celebrate my mom's birthday right on her birthday. Usually we are all out trick-or-treating with the kids and it just doesn't seem like a birthday party. Anyway, it was fun to have Jane there too.

As you can see they had a great time.

They were laughing heartily as we sang "Happy Birthday" to them (top, right pic).

The cake looked like it was ablaze in the dark (top left).

The cake says "old" with the candles (bottom left).

I didn't have my camera so I had to use my phone, but, I am glad I had something to document the fun!

Happy Birthday Mom! We love you!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Pooh

So, here I am finally to Halloween. I make sure to keep all the updates on Baby current but, everything else just comes as I have time... so here it is.

A week before Halloween my mom found the perfect costume for Sister.

Sorry just had my phone again... but you get the idea... and, besides, I have better ones coming.

She loved it so much she wore it home in the car. It was hard strapping a stuffed horse and a five-year-old into a booster seat. But, it didn't stop there. She wouldn't take it off to go to bed either! It was quite the feat just to get her to pull it to her knees to pee before bedtime!

I snuck a picture...
... she even has the vest on. Good thing I had put her in her jammies before going to Grandma Judy's.
The next night was our church trunk or treat. Brother didn't want to go (to overwhelming all the people in costumes...). So Marc was at home with Baby and Brother and I took Sister to the trunk or treat. She was VERY nervous when we walked in and she saw all the people. She stuck to me as I carried her through talking her through it the whole way, telling her it would be OK. Once she saw her friends she was happy and seemed to be able to get past the overwhelming crowd. She even lined up to go on  stage for the costume parade... I kept watching for her to go across... then I heard the crying. Too much. I carried her away from hiding behind the curtain. But, didn't she look cute?
When we were able to go outside where there seemed to be more open space she relaxed and was VERY excited to trick-or-treat. She came home with her candy and shared it with Brother. He was so relieved that she brought some candy for him. He wants the reward, but is too nervous to do the work. My kids LOVE candy!! LOVE is probably an understatement.

Later in the week we had all kinds of fun. 13 and 18 came for a long visit... ya, I know, SURPRISE!!! They stayed for 4 1/2 hours! (And later we picked 13 up to be with us for another couple of hours).

Just because!

There are pictures below as proof!

Here's a recap of what you will see:
-13 playing piano with Baby
-18 sending a funny picture to my phone
-Goofing around with Baby's costume (that kept us entertained and laughing for at least 30 minutes)
-Later that night we went to a friends decked-out-for-Halloween-house! (Brother and 13 even got a photo-op in Dracula's coffin)

Baby's face is my favorite!!!!

Baby's costume was one my mom picked up at a yard sale (surprise) and we laughed so hard because it is so fluffy/fat... ah, Halloween Pooh!

Here are us girls on Halloween Eve ready to trick-or-treat.


Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha (gasp) haaaa haa! At least she was warm for the whole 3 minutes she was out before the sheet of rain came barrelling down upon us!

Brother wouldn't go. He was too nervous. So I took a bucket for him... he he he.

Marc stayed home to pass out candy and after Baby went down for a nap (that costume wore her out) Sister and I would go between rain spurts to get more candy. Sister was loving it. She would have trick-or-treated all night if I had let her!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Interrupted

You know when you are trying to talk to another adult and your child keeps saying, "Mom. Mom. Mom. Momma. Mommy. Maahhhhhhhmmmaaaaaa."

You hear them saying it but you are trying to tune it out because you have heard it all day and you just want to finish your adult conversation.

Well...

Background:
I went to my mom's house, with the kids all in PJ's ready for bed, while Marc was busy with exercise. I just thought it would be fun to hang out with my parents for no particular reason.

My mom was so excited to show me all the furniture she had re-done. One of them was this cute little wooden high chair she had painted red.

Anyway, we (my mom and I) were talking about something very important... really I don't know, I can't even slightly remember what we were talking about because I could mostly hear, "Mom. Mamma. Mom. etc."

My nerves were getting tense. It was wearing on me.

I swing my head around.

"What?!"



And then I immediately bust out into roaring laughter. Brother just wanted to show me that he fit in Grandma Judy's new high chair. The look on his face, when I whirled around, of shock that I had gotten upset and, at the same time, pride of his funny joke  was what really got me going. Maybe you had to be there, but my mom and I still laugh about it.

I mean look at him (although the picture is horrible because it is my phone) he doesn't even fit in it. He is so tall and lanky he just blends right into the chair! Tee hee!

Daddy Doctor

Marc was trying to help Sister get to sleep. She was upset about something from earlier in the day and so she kept saying she was sick and wouldn't go to sleep. Marc found her toy stethoscope near her bed and began to give her a check-up.

Sister was happy about the attention from Daddy... obviously.

Swingin' Sleep, "Who Ate All the Chocolate?" and Stuck

This was too funny so I had to take a picture.

Baby loves to be rocked or held before she falls asleep but, sometimes, I just can't because I am busy with dinner, homework, or housework. So I put her in her swing. She is so set on not falling asleep that she will lean forward instead of lay back while in there, but, eventually she falls asleep. This is how she fell asleep this time...



And this one is classic.
Her first chocolate chip Cookie


She has really mastered crawling and is all over the place. But, sometimes she gets stuck and doesn't quite know how to get out of the situation she got herself into.
Good to know that if I don't have a playpen I can always use a chair! Ha!
Look at her worried face... don't worry, I saved her.

Guitars

Sister recently re-found her guitar. It is a little one that was given  to her a few years ago. It has become the latest craze and she and Brother were fighting over it so I finally brought out my guitar for Brother to play.

Now they play together. So cute.



Brother has really taken an interest and loves to play along with Shania Twain on Groove Shark. I can't tell you how tired I am of hearing Shania Twain (no offense Shania) it is blaring in our house from after school to bedtime. He does use his head phones sometimes but he can't boogie too far from the computer when he has those in... I think I will be saving up for an iPod... any way, the first half of the video is Brother and Sister playing together in the front room. The second half is me trying to sneak video of Brother playing and singing along with Shania Twain... he caught me. (smile)

video

Monday, November 1, 2010

Baby's First Tooth

I don't have a picture. She won't even let me look in her mouth to find it. But, when she smiles I can see it peeking through. Her first tooth is starting to emerge on the bottom left side. I am so excited to see her cute little teeth!

She is also crawling all over and can get to sitting from crawling position. These are milestones we have been working toward so it is very exciting around here!

Yay!! Baby!

Fall Harvest Festival

Here are Brother and Sister as cats!

Judy and The Rest sang at the Fall Harvest Festival—that's my band! We had fun, but Brother and Sister had more fun!!

You would think we didn't even own a horse with how excited these two were to ride these little ponies.

See the black and white pony in the background? Brother spent the entire hour while we were singing talking to that pony, stroking her mane and even found a feather to put in her mane. The guys running the pony ride gave him some extra time on the pony ride just because they got such a kick out him!


Sister was in heaven on the pony ride and in the petting zoo... she especially loved the pygmy goats... huh? We have one of those at home and I paid a dollar for her to pet one! Anyway, she liked the pigs and baby cow too.

Digging it up

We are working on a new garden area. It's gonna be bigger and better. I am very excited. So are Brother and Sister. They LOVE to help Daddy work on getting it dug up and moving the dirt around to the low areas. In fact, Brother would come home from school every day, run off the bus to the back yard and start digging. Sister would shortly join in. I had to take a picture of this day because the came straight home from church and ran to the back yard—Sunday best and all. They are such good little workers.






Later in the week their cousins came and saw how much fun Brother was having and decided to join in.
So happy that my kids love to work—it's such a good trait to have!

The garden is ready to start tilling up and getting ready for winter. I am excited to plant a better garden next spring.

1 dollar


The picture above is Sister holding up her special dollar bill and her Halloween card she got from Grandma Lynne and Grandpa Gary in the mail.

It is so sweet because Brother and Sister really have no concept of money. Sister loves to play with paper and play money has always been a favorite. Well, now she has a real dollar of her very own. She doesn't spend it. She plays with it. She stacks it in spiffy places, puts it in her purse, hides it and finds it again and cries if it gets lost, "My dollars! My dollars!" or "My money!"

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa! She loves her little gift!