Monday, January 31, 2011

Can you answer the door?

Is what my mom asked me and Brother to do yesterday while we were there for Sunday Dinner.

"Sure."

So I was at the top of the stairs while Brother ran down to open the door. I was just there to make sure that he didn't say anything that would be awkward for whoever was at the door. You see as family we just walk in, we never knock or ring so when there was a knock I assumed it was some neighbors or something.

When Brother opened the door I saw a family that looked really familiar but it didn't register till I let it all soak in... my brother, Daniel and his family had come from Florida to see us!

What?!!!!!!!

We have been talking about them coming but flights have been too much and so they weren't coming. Well, apparently, Tynelle's dad and our dad had been working on a surprise. My mom didn't even know about it until they flew in on Friday. And my mom didn't even spoil the surprise for all of us siblings who didn't see them until yesterday. Wow, mom, I'm impressed!

What a great surprise!

I can't believe all the surprises we have had within the last few months.

I love surprises!

Especially ones like this!

Oh, and if you have a new iPhone or iPod you should totally try the FaceTime app. I downloaded it to my computer so I could talk to Bryan and my Daniel on their phones. It is so cool! I am amazed at the technology in our time. Do we even realize what a miraculous time we live in?!

We may not live in a time where Christ walks the earth and heals the lame and the blind but if you really look, you can see his hand in all things and know that there are even more miracles now... I think there are just so many, we tend to see them as commonplace.

Do we take the time to notice if Christ is knocking at our door?

Do we answer the door?

Take time today to notice the little miracles all around you, whether they happen to you or to someone you know... notice them, you'll be amazed! And then, you'll be grateful.

My miracle, today, is that my brother and his family was able to fly all across the country in less than a day to come and see family for a week!

Miraculous!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hiding and Lining Up

Notice anything wrong with this picture?

Yes, Sister's bed isn't made.

Anything else? Ya, I didn't notice anything other than that either.

But, upon further inspection...
Hmm... pen. Been there for a while, I think.

But, this isn't all...

I found one of my dry erase markers in her room and searched for any "artwork" and couldn't find any. Well, I guess I should have looked behind and under her bed.
All I can figure is that she climbed under her bed and got behind it enough to scribble on the wall.

I know you are all thinking, "Why haven't you hidden the markers?"

Well, I thought the the top shelf of my desk was good enough...

But, I have a new idea... she'll never find it.

Can you see them?
Look closer...

Yep, they are camouflaged in the light bulb box. (And yes, it is dusty up there... bless your heart if your house is perfectly clean all the time.)

She better not be able to find them.

You know, when I was newly married without children, I would see a messy home, crayons on the wall,  a child's unwiped nose, children with undone/messy hair, or mismatched moon boots with pajamas and I would say to myself, "I will NEVER let my house get like that." or "My children will always look so darling."

I shouldn't have said that...

I think that was the pre-curser. Never say "never." (smile)

She also loves to line things up. Random things. Just whatever her fancy is at the time.
Our junk drawer has become a magnet for her "treasures."

Lately Sister has been saying she wants to watch "Raccoon." We have put in every movie that has a raccoon in it and we can't seem to appease her. Finally after 2 weeks of her asking to watch "raccoon" I figured out that she is saying, "cartoon." Tee hee. Go figure.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lovin' the Laundry Basket

It's a great, impromptu playpen!

I figure if she loves climbing into it, maybe she won't mind eating her breakfast in it while I exercise...
She is intently watching Biggest Loser on Hulu.

This gave me 15 minutes of un-interrupted bike riding...

Genius mom. Genius.

Note: Just exercise before Baby wakes up. Then I won't have to be a genius.

Oh, and an update on Sister hitting herself... bring on the social story for school cause doin' the talkin' ain't workin' there. Oh, heaven help me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mimicking...

is something that Fragile X'ers are REALLY good at.

It can be quite funny, like when Brother at only 5-6 years old could imitate Harry Potter, accent all. He was quite the party pleaser.

Sometimes it's not so funny, like yesterday I got a call from Sister's teacher asking if she has been hitting herself in the head. How ironic is that... I finally vented about this yesterday because it has been such a HUGE worry on my mind and then I get a call about it from her teacher that same day.

Anyway, Teacher asked if it was possible that she would be mimicking another student.

"Oh, definitely. Fragile X kids are known for this," I reply.

Teacher responds, "OK. We were wondering about that because there is another child in another class whom we see at lunch, recess and activities who hits himself and jumps around a LOT."

That's it. She has been mimicking another child.

I am glad to know that it wasn't something I was doing wrong or that she had regressed, but, at the same time, I am freaking out because I don't know how to change it. So I talked to Teacher about putting a social story together for her that would hopefully help. We decided that was a good solution.

When Sister got home from school, though, I thought I would just try talking to her about copying this other kid and that it was wrong to hit herself. She looked a little embarrassed that I had figured out why she had been behaving this way and for the first time in 2 weeks she didn't hit herself at all!!! Yay!!!!!! Is that all I had to do? She was able to understand what I told her without the pictures to back the words up! Yahoo! It's miraculous, for me, that I was able to talk to her and not have to make a big parade in order to get her to do something. Yay!

Although, we still have the test of time. We will see if this lasts. I hope so, because if I can avoid social stories with this girl I will be all that much more stress-free. (smile)

Along the lines of mimicking, today was Sister's Flashback Day at school. I decided to dress her up late 80's - early 90's style. I laughed quietly in my head as I was getting her all ready to go. She didn't want to get up from her "desk" while I took her pictures so these remind me of a teenager in the 80's doing her homework. Stacked scrunchies, big hair, leggings tucked into socks, belt around the waist with a long shirt and a plastic bead necklace---ah, yes, what fashion we had! Too funny!


Then there's Brother. I gave him a haircut in the morning before school...

Like father, like son.
Man, my kids are good looking! I guess that's where they mimic their father... at least so I'm told. (smile)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hanging out with Mr. Wonderful

I know, I know, you are totally expecting this post to be all about Marc...

Nope.

It's about Mr. Wonderful.

Sister was playing in her room this morning after breakfast and I could hear a deep voice in her room... now I know she likes to do the voices of the characters she plays but this had to be something else. So, I listened intently from the kitchen...

"Let's just snuggle tonight."

I immediately began laughing and ran to get my camera.

Yes, yes, I know her room is a mess.
You are not looking at this picture to judge the mess...
just look at the cute girl with the doll.
Oh, and don't mind the breakfast still on her face.
Marc and I got this doll as a White Elephant Gift a few years back (you can see what we got last year here). It was the gift of the night as we all took turns squeezing his hand to hear the cheesy things he would say in his suave voice. Too funny.

I got a little annoyed with it when at night I would be laying in bed almost ready to doze off and I would hear, "Honey, I think it's important we talk about our relationship." And I would bust up laughing and then Marc would put the doll back under the bed so that he could use him at a later time. We keep thinking we should re-gift him at another party, but, frankly, he is just too much fun. And now that Sister has taken a liking to him, I really don't think he'll be going anywhere.

Do you want to hear a funny thing Sister said on Sunday at church? If not, too late... here I go...

I took her into the bathroom after our first meeting and she kept asking me "Whose toilet is this?"

I replied, "I don't know," with a chuckle.

She persisted in getting an answer to whose toilet it was so I finally said, "The church's."

She immediately said, "Oh. Jesus' toilet?"

Tee hee.

An update on Baby
She is still walking along furniture but has now been able to stand on her own without holding on to something for at least 2-3 seconds. Yay!!

I found out that she sleeps better with a night light at night.

She loves the computer. I think I am going to have to do what I did for Brother when he was a baby and get her her own keyboard that she can type on while I work. I can't do any work on the computer while she is awake anymore because she cries and screams when I try to barricade her from the keyboard.

And, oh, funny story.

Marc got this Sing-a-ma-jig for Baby for Christmas (which I thought was strange looking and annoying, but whatever floats his boat). Well, about 3 or 4 days ago it just stopped working and this is not a good thing because Sister and Baby both loved it. You are supposed to be able to squeeze it's tummy for it to talk or sing—it stopped working. We tried everything we could to get it to work and still, nothing. So I opted to take it back. There just happened to be someone I know behind me in the return line so I started talking to her about why I was there, pressed the tummy to show her how it didn't work and so on. The worker called me "next" to the counter and I proceeded to tell him the same story. He happily took it back and was about to give me my money and he was saying how annoying these toys were and started squeezing it to joke around. It worked! I said, "do that again", so he did. "OK," I said, " I guess I don't need to take it back anymore." I walked off laughing at the slightly embarrassing situation.

One last thought.

I am worried that I am missing something somewhere for my kids.

Sister keeps hitting herself in the head when she is overstimulated or frustrated.

Brother had to switch lunch buddies at school because his new lunch buddy was really cute and he had a major crush on her. Apparently he didn't keep this a secret because she asked to have a change in lunch buddies because he was making her feel uncomfortable because of his crush. (A new set of worries begin.)

I still need to keep Baby on track and I am not even doing the things I should be.

Our home teachers came last night and saw Sister in all her glory. I had to finally excuse myself so that I could take her downstairs to the therapy room to the trampoline and punching bag.

I don't know, it's weird, I am sitting here typing this and I am not sad or anything, just ... amazed at the incredible abilities of my kids, yet, at the same, time see all the little things that make them stand out as not being mainstream kids.

I will tell you one thing though, mothering is tough enough no matter what your kids are like. You need a great support system. I am so thankful for my mother-in-law, mom, sister and friends who chip in when I need it. But, most of all, I am most thankful for my Mr. Wonderful and all he does to raise our children and support me.

Sister can keep her Mr. Wonderful.

I have my own.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Jeggings that are actually cute

Come on ladies... let's be honest... there are very few of us over 30 who actually look good in skinny jeans. Who the heck decided to squeeze the legs starting at the ankle (like a tube of toothpaste) so that we have over-flowing muffin-top at the waist line.

Not cute.

Just sayin'.

Then I find the wonder pants.

Lo, and behold they are the dreaded jeggings!

However these are bootcut jeggings!

With a wide elastic waist band.

Sweet!

Call me a grandma, I don't care. These jeans are hot!

I got me two pair yesterday at Sears for $20 a pair.

I  L.O.V.E.  them.

They don't fall down.

They don't stretch out so that they fall down.

When I sit down there is no gap between me an the waist of the pants (we all know that situation--hence, the coin slot expression).

I feel like a woman in them... I don't have a girlish figure... hips were not something that I was blessed with.

Anyway, from what I have heard, Sears cannot keep these in stock. What woman that may not be a perfect size 8 doesn't want an elastic waist that stays on without riding or sliding? Perfect.

These people are genious.

These pants are called Celeb Pink, Boot Cut Jeggings. They have a website, but I couldn't find the bootcut on there, but this is the site anyway, here.  (I know when you click on it you feel like an imposter on this teeny bopper teen website, but I have to say they are ingenious jeans! (the bootcut---I still can't like skinny jeans... maybe when I weigh 102 pounds I will wear them proudly--I'm 5'10" people!)

(Yes, these are what I bought after taking back all the things I got on Saturday. The store manager was not happy with me and made sure to let me know. So, the whole bit about the great customer service at the mall... apparently I was wrong.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Retail Blues, Funny Hunny, and Basket Reading

So, I think I was so excited to be out on a date in the big city with my hubby that I wasn't thinking straight when I bought some of the things I did. What made me think that a almost-34-year-old stay at home mom needed to wear a fur vest. Did I forget that I have a drooling, slobbering baby? Did I think I was 15? And why didn't I try on my boots? I wear a size 10, not a size 9. I must have been so excited about the $15 dollar tag that I just grabbed them and ran. I won't even tell you a couple of the other things I am going to be taking back... Oh, well, I still had a great time. I will just try to keep my excitement to a minimum when purchasing clearance.

And next... Oh this is just to funny.

My hunny really loves to make me laugh. Sometimes after the kids are in bed I will groggily walk into our bedroom with my eyes half open and shoulders hunched. I see my husband looking at me with one of these varying props on.
 He keeps them in his dresser drawer and will pull them out when he thinks I need a good laugh. I mean really, how could you not love this mug?

Bwa ha ha ha ha! AAaaaah ha ha ha! Oh how I love him!

Marc whispered to me to get the camera the other day because Baby had crawled into a laundry basket that I had some of Sister's folded clothes in waiting to be put away. She was just chillin' in there, quiet and content. Then she pulled up some books from the floor and had some sweet alone time. If you look close in these pictures you can see some of her teeth.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Retail Therapy

This is something I should have done a loooooooonnnnnnng time ago.

My mom watched our kids (She called it Grandma's Super Saturday and painted with them, made pizza with them, molded clay with them—they were in heaven.) while we went on a date and we decided to go bummin' around the mall and window shop.

I had SO MUCH FUN!!!

Why?

#1- I was out with my hubby (smile... really big smile)
#2- I had a 4 hour break from the kids that didn't include grocery shopping, running errands, or talking about the kids and what more we can do for them
#3- I got to see people in the stores that actually know what customer service is (I shop at Walmart... need I say more)
#4- I got to see all the cute styles coming for spring
#5- I got fantastic deals on winter clearances (I mean let's face it, it's still winter here for at least a couple of months
#6- I danced and sang Bruno Mars' Just the Way You Are to Marc while he was looking at shoes in the men's department of Nordstroms
#7- I was able to embarrass Marc for the 15 seconds I sang and danced for him in the middle of Nordstroms - one of the worker's thought it was quite cute...
#8- We went and ate in the food court and caught a few minutes of the local college game on TV
#9- I dragged Marc into Victoria's Secret so I could browse the clearances and lotions and I was getting such a kick out of him trying to figure out where to avert his eyes... ha ha ha ha!
#10- Feeling like we were young college kids out having fun, only thinking of what we could do to impress eachother

Oh, I love my husband.

I had so much fun on such a simple date.

P.S.

Pink permanent marker comes off a toilet easier than dry erase marker comes off a mural-painted wall. In fact it doesn't come off the mural without taking the mural with it. (Thanks to all of you for all of your great suggestions.)

There are just some things I shouldn't have to find out the hard way.

P.P.S.

Baby says:
- Awo? (Hello?)
- Oh oh! (uh oh)
and all the rest of her babble I trully enjoy "interpretting" because it's just funny.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Potty Art, Wide Pants, and Dental Woes

I am obsessed with losing weight so I get on my scale at least everyday. Sometimes I practice will-power and do it every other day.

Anyway, yesterday morning I brought out my scale and noticed some pink scribbles on it...

Ya, my first thought was the same as yours.

Sister.

I remembered the night before when I asked her to get ready for tub and when I came in she was crouched on the floor and looking awfully guilty. I couldn't see anything she had done so I passed it off and got her and Baby into the tub.

But after seeing the scale I knew it justified further inspection. (Where else did she grace us with her artwork.)

Now, first, in my defense, here is my view when I am in the bathroom.

So you see anything wrong here... OK... don't look too hard, it's a bathroom... anyway, nothing too out of the ordinary right?

Well, look underneath both sides of the bowl.

That's Brother's toothbrush... don't worry, he got a new one at the dentist yesterday.

I laughed my head off (after I cursed her name).

Then I took a picture.

Oh, man, the joy my kids bring day after day is astounding!

Now for the next picture.

Sister is VERY skinny and I always have to buy adjustable waist jeans or take in her pants on the sides with my sewing machine. Sometimes I am in a rush to do the take-in, so I just sew down about an inch on each side instead of tapering down the leg.

Well, I discovered last night that this is not a good way to take in pants.

Exhibit #1



When she pulls up her pajama pants she doesn't take notice as to whether or not the waist is tucked down in... so with that one inch take-in is bubbles out and makes her look like Yzma from Disney's Emperor's New Groove

I laugh every time I see Sister with her pants like this and then I fold the waist band back up to fix it so I don't laugh myself to death.

Here's a closer look:
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!

OK, so back to a serious note.

The dentist is never a good experience for Brother. He did worse yesterday than he ever has and I even prepped him for a good couple of months. He totally freaked out. I even had my mom and dad there as back-ups and even they couldn't get him to calm down and open his mouth for the cleaning.

I am afraid that I will be resorting to having him sedated when he gets dental work done. I hate doing this because it makes me feel like I have failed in prepping him somehow or that I haven't taken him to the dentist enough to get him used to it all. But, I can't blame myself... from what I read, a lot of FX kids have to be sedated for dental work.

The upside is that Sister did better than ever and has no cavities!

Yay!

(Always end on a happy note. It gives us all hope for a better tomorrow.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do you want to see how I feel today?

Like this...
No! not dead.

Tired.

Dead tired.

I am amazed at myself for being able to post this picture of myself. Not only, do I have no make-up on but my hair is disheveled as well. Not to mention Marc gets so embarrassed when I fall asleep like this in the car for passers-by to see. (smile)

Why do I look/feel like this?

Because Sister was up from 12am - 1:30am.

Then from 1:45am to 2:15am.

It was at this point I decided to lay in her bed with her hoping that that would help her sleep.

I think it was 3-ish in the morning when in my groggy awakeness I was coherent enough to hear her reading books in her bed.

It's 3am and your reading books!?

Finally at 4:53am I crawled back into my bed after miraculously talking Sister into go back to sleep.

I snuggled in my covers, started to get cozy and then Marc's alarm went off at 5am.

I happily ignored his alarm and went back to sleep.

I happily ignore my alarm and went back to sleep.

Three times.

I had 20 minutes to get the kids ready for school.

My kids hate being rushed. It doesn't fit their routine.

It's gonna be a long day.

We all have dentist appointments today.

My kids hate going to the dentist.

I have to pick up my kids from school in order to get to the dentist on time.

My kids hate not being able to ride the bus home.

It's going to be a looooooonnnnnng day.

(smile)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Only because I don't always take the time as often anymore to do Sister's hair... so it may be done today but, probably not tomorrow.
I'm hoping it will actually still look like this when she gets home from school. I plastered it with hairspray, but I still have a feeling that all the smoothness will be fuzziness with a side of wispies (the pieces of hair that pull out of the elastic and flail around like a flag at all sides of their head). Oh, well, at least I documented it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's been one year...

since Kelsey and J.R. moved out to live with their parents.

It was a long, tough year of adjustment.

I am thankful that I was finally able to move forward.

But, I still miss them.

And love them.

But, they are not mine anymore.

J.R. will be 15 tomorrow.

I can't believe he was 8 when he came to live with us.

Wow!

It seems like yesterday that he came rolling in from California with a big smile on his face when he saw our "Welcome Home" banner hanging on the front porch.

Kelsey will be saying goodbye to her boyfriend next week when he leaves for two years on his mission. I laugh, now, thinking about all the boy talks I had with her. Especially the ones when she was 13 and so giddy when a boy talked to her in the hall at school. She was only 10 when she came to live with us and is 19 now!

Again, wow!

I had the tough years, but the fun ones, you know. I was blessed to have them when I did. A lot of memories. A lot of laughs. A lot of tears.

I miss them.

I love them still.

They are going to be sealed for eternity as a family in the LDS temple in February.

I am excited for them. I am so excited for the changes they have been able to make as a family. It has been miraculous to see the growth since Frank joined the church a year ago.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dry Erase Marker...

does not come off walls.

I came downstairs to see why Sister had been so quiet for the last 20 minutes (I know, way too long to leave her unsupervised) and the strong scent of marker wafted into my nostrils. I immediately began looking for Sister, wondering what she had done. She looked very guilty and was hiding behind the sofa as I was asking her where the marker was. She told me it was in the book and pointed to the toy cubby...



All over my mural-painted walls was brown marker drawings.

"Ha ha!"

I thought to myself. I was so relieved it was dry erase marker so it would come off. So I went to go get my camera to document the funny, yet, not-so-funny, occurrence and then brought Sister upstairs with me to get the washcloths and spray to wash off the "artwork."
I didn't notice this until I started to clean up... this must have been her hiding and still drawing spot.

She even got a couple of the items laying around in the toy closet... I'm glad I came down when I did or we would have had brown pooh! Ha!


Scrub.

Scrub. Scrub.

Scrub... scrub.... scrub. Scrub. Scru. Scr. Sc. Sssssssssssss.

Not coming off.

Urrrrrrrgh!

So my funny post is not so funny right now, but, I am sure it will be later.

I hope at least you get a laugh out of it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I'm Amazed by You.

That's the song (listen to it here) I am listening to right now. It seemed the perfect title for this post.


I just got done downloading pictures of my my kids and all the cute things they have been up to.


How can I not be amazed?


Heavenly Father sent us these children.


To us.


Not because we, as parents, are amazing, but because our children are amazing and he knew we would have so much to learn from them.


It is so interesting how a person can feel so depressed and still have a heart so full of gratitude.


I was talking to a friend the other night about "closet depression." I had never heard the term before but I loved it so I am using it. There are many of us out there fighting off the blues or even, heaven forbid, depression.


No one wants to talk about it much.


It means that there is something wrong.


So we keep it in the closet and wear our happy faces instead.


Is it OK that we do this? Hide our feelings.


Well, let's look at it this way. If we always look and act depressed no one wants to be in our company. If we always look and act depressed a darkness seems to weigh us down further.

Is there something to be said about wearing a smile?

Yes.

Is it always easy to smile when inside your soul is down?

No.

Is it worth it?

Yes.


Now don't go thinking that I am saying to cover up everything you feel. Depression is real and needs help. Whether it is medication, therapy, long walks, talking or all the above, those who are struggling with depression need to treat it like they would any sickness. Take care of it. Don't ignore it. It won't go away without help. So let me explain it this way. Your mind has a lot of power over matter, right? If you continue to tell yourself you are sick, then, most likely, you will be sick. Crazy how it works. So if you wallow in your self-misery and wallow in your pain it gets worse no matter how much medicine or rest you take.


I know.


I've been there.


I am often there.


But, with a smile on my face, the blinds open to let in the sunshine, kneeling at my bedside in prayer, and keeping my mind on my blessings I can leave my dark cloud for a time and feel better about me.


Example:

If you constantly tell a child they are nothing, are worth nothing, will be nothing and never do anything right, they will follow the path that was laid out for them and go on thinking they are nothing.



If we praise them, lift them when they are down,  encourage them, strengthen them with compliments and admiration they will follow a much happier path.



So why is it, that when we feel depressed we continue to tell ourselves how depressed we are and how awful our life is? We have to find a will and a strength to help pull ourselves out of it.


I am amazed by all of you in my life who have overcome hardships and trials. I am amazed by all of you who take life in stride and keep a positive outlook.


I'm amazed by you,
the teachers,
the parents,
the leaders,
the workers, 
the friends 
and the family
who are all an inspiration in my life to keep a smile on my face.


So here are some pictures of what has kept me smiling these last few days:
Brother and Sister LOVE to draw. This was on a school morning before getting ready. Sister drew me a monster so Brother had to draw one too.

I am so excited and thrilled and happy that my kids can draw. What a blessing it is. I mean, just the fact that Sister put the mouth and eyes in the right place is so awesome!!!

Sister was so excited about the praise I was giving her for her monster drawing that she decided to impress me by drawing a picture of me! Those are flowers in my hair! Aw. I loved it! And she is learning to write letters. I don't know what that is supposed to spell... maybe mommy...

Brother had to go down to his room to get the inspiration for his panda drawing. Bless his heart.
And this picture... I didn't even take it. Neither did Marc. Our babysitter did. Ya, apparently Brother had spent some time lining up hundreds of smarties leading from our bedroom closet, down the hall and to the stairs leading to his iPod. I don't know why he did this but, I get such a kick out of the fact that he did it. And I am so happy that his babysitter thought to take a picture... I should have given him tip... I wonder if he likes smarties?
Hee hee!
He doesn't realize that dad is taking his picture through our bedroom window.
My heart soars to see Baby love books so much. I am sure it was Sister who taught her how wonderful books can be. She is even holding it right side up.
I love that my daughters are starting to play together. Sister has such an imagination and I hope that Baby learns that from her too.
Here's Brother working as hard as he can to blow up this balloon. Quite a task for him considering the low muscle tone in his facial muscles. Made me smile this morning.
To my kids, "I am amazed by you."


To my husband, "Ditto."


I can make it through each day knowing how amazing God is that he gave me so many people and things to find pure joy and gratitude in. I hope and pray we all do the same. I hope this little post may be an inspiration to any of those who may be down to smile again and let the sunshine in.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Autism vs. Fragile X

So I had the opportunity yesterday to go and talk to parents of children with austism.

A good friend of mine works for the school district and asked me to come talk to some parents about Fragile X Syndrome.

I was a little intimidated because I didn't want these parents to feel like I was telling them a bunch of stuff they already knew.

Luckily, I was well received and I believe I taught them some things... it is always surprising to me the reality of the fact that so many people don't know what Fragile X Syndrome is.

I feel like it is my responsibility to know everything I possibly can about FXS, not just for my children's sake, but for everyone else out there too.

I fear that there are many children and adults out there diagnosed with autism that may actually have Fragile X Syndrome. I mean, lets look at the newest facts they are finding about Autism:
-It can be hereditary
-It has spectrum disorders like ASD (Autsim Spectrum Disorder), Asberger's Syndrome, and some even get the diagnosis of having autistic tendencies.
-It happens more often in males
-Stimming issues
-hand flapping
-poor eye contact
-perseverative speech
-anxiety

Now here is Fragile X Syndrome:
-It IS hereditary
-It is a spectrum disorder—so there are varying degrees of ability
-It happens more often in males
-Stimming issues
-hand flapping
-poor eye contact
-perseverative speech
-anxiety
-a person can have Fragile X Syndrome AND Autism

So you can see/understand my concern when families show familial signs of austism and never receive a blood test for FXS.

I guess that is one of the reasons I try to get the word out about FXS because it does make a difference in treating our children and in how we react to their frustrations. Not to mention how important it is to find out if it is Fragile X Syndrome because of all the Fragile X Associated Disorders (FXAD). FXS affects families and really does need to be known in order to help everyone involved.

If you know someone with Autism encourage them to learn more about Fragile X Syndrome.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And so it begins...

Those of you who have been with me since I started this blog will fondly remember my ramblings of Sister's mischief. Like the time she left footprints in the hall, here. Or the time she painted her face, here. There was so much more mischief...

Well, I have a feeling that Baby will now be following in her footsteps...
Sadly, this is all I got a picture of. I am not used to taking pictures of mischief anymore, but I am sure I am going to get into the habit again. This is was it looked like after I had gathered it from out of the hall an rolled more than half of it up.

She is still crawling. When she unrolled the toilet paper she must seen something else more interesting down the hall and the paper stuck to her knees for half of the journey.

This is my lovely masterpiece after I was done rolling.
And this next picture really makes me laugh because... well... let me back up:
Yesterday my sister was over and LittleB was keeping Baby occupied. Well, I guess Baby decided to get adventurous and try to climb the little bookshelf that is in Sister's room. We weren't there to see the process, but we here a loud crash and some crying. When I came in I saw that the bookshelf had fallen to the floor with Baby poking through it. It was like one of those old comedies where the wall falls on someone but, they end up standing right where the window is so they don't get hurt... I wanted to take a picture of her but I felt bad to make her sit there while I documented the incident.

So, today, I re-enacted the scene.

For your enjoyment.
Don't worry, no one was hurt during the taking of this photo. (No animals were hurt either.) I can't decide if I am laughing that I would take the time to set the doll up for this shot or the reminder of how funny it was to see Baby looking bewildered with the shelf surrounding her... Bwa ha ha ha ha!!!!

Well, anyway, I thought it was funny... (sheepish smile) maybe you had to be there...


Then tonight Sister and Baby were taking a tub. Sister loves to torture Baby and take toys from her that she wants. Baby cries and whines and screams until I don't care about justice... just peace. So I strongly encourage Sister to give Baby one of the toys back. Well, this time Sister didn't want to give in so easily and held onto the toy even through my encouraging and Baby's ranting. So, Baby did something I saw for the first time—reached over, grabbed Sister's arm and started to bite her! Luckily Sister saw what was coming once the drool hit her arm and quickly  handed her the desired toy.

Funny?

Yes.

Does it make me worry?

Yes.

Brother and Sister never started biting this early. I thought Sister was aggressive. Is Baby going to be more so?

Brother used to bite when hyper-arousal set in, or if he was anxious or overwhelmed with a situation.

Sister used to bite... wait... sometimes she still does... uggh... just because she gets overwhelmed or aggressive because of being hyper-aroused or anxious.

So at 15 months am I going to have to start teaching Baby not to bite people? Oh boy. Here we go.

If you have a child who needs a little help in this area and understands stories and pictures a social story is a great way to help teach appropriate behavior. Click here to understand what social stories can be used for and a great resource for downloading some free ones. Social stories can be very simple drawings for older kids and for little kids it really helps to have actual pictures.

Cheer up. There is always a solution.

It just depends on whether we can pull ourselves together enough to implement the solution. (smile)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eagle Eye

There's this really cool spot we love to go with the kids every once in a while to go see some bald eagles out in the wild. It is so cool to see these birds in flight and nesting high in the trees out in the middle of this farmland.




We have seen dozens at once in the past but, this time, it was cold. We saw two. It was still awesome. But, I count at least 24 nests in this picture.


Brother was loving using Marc's binoculars to look at the eagles. It was so cute to see how intrigued he was.



Even I had to borrow Marc's binoculars to check out another bird we saw. We figured it was a golden eagle. Couldn't get a good picture of it, so you'll just have to settle looking at me looking at it. (smile)



Sister kept excitedly squealing, "Mom, a baby eagle! Ooohh! Cute!"

I wish we would have been lucky enough to see some baby eagles,
but it was just the crows. I tried to explain that to her...
but who am I to dash a girl's dreams? So she saw some baby eagles...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A car and a phone - what else does a girl need?

Baby has been really mobile lately.

She isn't walking on her own yet but she is pulling herself up to things and walking along furniture. She loves to walk with her new car. So cute. Watch.
video

After watching this video, you tell me if you think she says "uh oh" when she hits the wall. I think she did, but I try not to get my hopes up too much that she may be talking.


She also loves her phone. Two days ago she picked up a toy phone and said "Wo?" I thought maybe it was her first word, like Hello. I couldn't get her to say it again. But, maybe she was just shy.

Yesterday and Grandma Lynne's house she had my lipgloss up to her ear and was jib jabbering. We were all getting quite a kick out that. Then I handed her my cell phone and she acted like she had a call on hold... to funny.

Today, she picked up another toy phone that Marc had recorded his voice on--really cool--that said,"Hi, Baby, this is Daddy." She put the phone to her ear again and said "Dad." Clear as day. My sister was there at the time and she said, "She just said 'Dad!'" I didn't believe it really at first because I am just not used to actually hearing words from Baby's mouth. But, then Baby pushed the button again, listened and then brought the phone to her ear and sad "Dad." I really wish I would have had my camera to record it. It was so sweet. Yay!!!!

Ah yes, one of my prouder post moments. (smile)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Older Men

Why is it that men look better as they get older?

Women just look older when they get older... OK, well maybe not all of us.

I love this picture of Marc.





But this one makes me feel a little bit better about myself so I am not intimidated by his rugged good looks.

It really puts things into perspective doesn't it? (wink)