Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lilacs and Letters

You would think that I took this picture just because my kitchen is clean... but, no, it is because I brought in some lilacs from my bushes that grow just outside my bedroom windows. Marc knows how much I love lilacs and planted them where I could smell them as they bloomed. Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers... those and tulips. (Just in case you wanted to know.)

Baby loves to look at letters in a book. I actually think that lately she has been singing the "ABC" song... no I am serious... I swear she is saying things... they just need to be interpreted. The words I "think" she has said lately are, "shoe," "two," and tonight I swear she said, "clap, clap, clap" when she was playing with her doll*. I'm just sayin', I may have a little genius on my hands. (smile)
*Now I have to make a disclaimer here, clap sounds like "caa," and ABC is "a - eee - sssseee" but, hey, close enough for me.

She also sang herself to sleep tonight. I couldn't decipher any of the words but it sounded very sweet.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Park, A Subway and a True Maverick

We went on a date!


Those don't happen often enough.

If I don't get to go out with my sweetie once a week it is not enough for me... so it had been a while and my sister said she'd babysit our kids for a bit.

We had nothing planned because it was a last-minute deal and it had been raining... so what could we do for an inexpensive date...

We went to Subway (our favorite place to eat) and got both our sandwiches and 3 chocolate chip cookies (for Marc) for $7 total.

Then we went to the park because right after we bought our sandwiches the sun came out!

There's this really cool park (free) up on the hillside of our city and because of the rain just moments before, we had the whole park to ourselves.

We sat on the park bench enjoying the view and eating our sandwiches.

Then we talked.

And flirted.

And kissed... don't worry, we didn't act like teenagers... we were complete adults about making out on a park bench.

We even took pictures.

To end the night off with a bang we went to the local Maverick to get my favorite Acai berry and cheesecake frozen yogurt twist for $2.49.

Seriously, my favorite yogurt ever! I'm addicted.


I love Marc.

He loves me.

We're a happy family. (song here)


(I am excited to post pictures from our outing to the desert today. Hopefully, Monday.)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blue Cupboard

Sister woke up early this morning, quite happy, but that changed within about 5 minutes. She started crying and stomping.

She kept saying, "My blue cupboard! I can't find it. I want the blue one! Where's my blue cupboard? Mommy, we have to find my blue cupboard!"

Now, she has  collection of "bracelets" that she carries with her every where in a basket (an Easter basket to be exact) and one of her favorite "bracelets" (bracelets are usually the plastic baby links in 'o' shape or those rubbery flexy bracelets a lot of the youth wear now-a-days) is a blue one. So, when I hear blue I automatically start looking for the blue "bracelet."

After much distraught, I finally figured out that the blue cupboard was her blue "cover."

Her blue iPod cover.... tee hee... silly mommy not knowing what a cupboard was. (smile)

Here is the graph that I talked about in the last post. This graph shows the progress of implementing her behavior plan after one month... amazing results. Yay!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back Again

Don't you just hate it when you get your garden totally planted, all the weeds in the flower beds pulled, house vacuumed and cleaned and then your herniated disk flares up again?

Well, that's just how it goes isn't it?

No worries, I am doing better now. My mom, mother-in-law and my sister all came and helped with the kids and the house today so that I could heal up and get better.

I don't know, maybe my stress balls up and collects in that herniated disk because I did have a bit of a stressful day yesterday.

It was Sister's 3-year evaluation and IEP yesterday. IEP's are always a little tough, encouraging when you get to the goals, but tough when you have to talk about all their issues to get those goals set for their betterment. I laugh. I get through it. But it is always hard to hear that your 5 year old has the mentality of a 3 year old in most areas.

But, I survived.

Also, yesterday was Brother's program! Oh, it was wonderful. Not because he hid from me and wouldn't sing any of the songs because I was there and was so scared to perform in front of me and all the other parents, but because I am just so proud of his accomplishments and to see all his friends in class. He has done so much, I just love it!

And to top it all off, his teacher had him and his classmates sing the songs today that they sang in the program so that she could record him. Aww! I loved it!

I will post the songs on his blog this weekend.

Oh, and when I get time, I want to scan in the graph that Sister's teacher made to show her progress while working on new sensory techniques and meds.

I just wanted to post all this before I forgot... even though I actually forgot all the funny things that Sister said to me today... hopefully they will come to me later. (smile)

Monday, May 23, 2011

He said, She said, She said

Brother brought home a report he had done on horses. I am so proud of how awesome it was I could burst at the seams! He even used the word, "nudge." I will make sure to get it all on here really soon.

Sister still says words for other words.

I give her calcium and a multi-vitamin everyday after her meds. One morning she was crying and kept saying, "I need my costume! I need my costume!!" I could NOT figure that out. Finally she started pointing to the medicine cabinet and I figured out that "costume" is "calcium."

She asked for a "tunnel" yesterday because her leg hurt... it took my a few minutes to realize she meant "tylenol."

Umbrella is "an bella," she says, "Mom, I need an bella!"

My computer is a pooter.

And Baby, she says, "Iss a twee."

Which can be interpreted as "It's a tree," if you are at a park or, "It's a treat," if we are eating, or "It's three," if we are reading a book of numbers.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Story behind the Lesson Learned: Part 2

This should explain the rest...

When I posted this I was asked by one of my friends to give details of some of these life lessons learned.

When I was a teenager my mom loved to hang out with my friends.

Sometimes this would make me a little jealous because my mom was so cool. (smile) She like to show off to my friends how cool she was and at this particular get-together at my house she decided she would show off what a great throwing arm she had when I asked her if she would bring some oranges in for us. Well, she threw the last one at me like it was a hard ball. I decided to play back and threw it to her... a little harder. Well, she couldn't be outdone so she threw a fast pitch to me. I wasn't gonna let her show me up so I quickly returned her fast pitch with a long drive... only she was 10 feet away... she wasn't quite ready for it and it hit her in the eye... we all laughed until my friends went home and then I got the lecture of, "You don't throw oranges at your mom!"

"But, you are the one who threw it at me first."

"I threw it TO you, not AT you."


Then she decided I would keep the orange in my room for a little while to remind me not to do that kind of stuff to my mom again.

It was split open from the impact so it collected a lot of fruit flies.

It wasn't pleasant.

But, I never threw another orange.

Back when I was in high school it was the thing to go on these big, long, all day dates for the school dances. This particular one was, hmmm, I think, Sadies.

I had been asked by the hot foreign exchange student, Mike. Mmm hmm, he was Swedish, tall, dark handsome, bright blue eyes and a great accent.

I was excited to impress him but, I wasn't quite sure what to wear for the first part of the date because it was a surprise. I was so nervous to go out with this good looking foreigner that I made sure to eat a lot. A lot of grilled cheese sandwiches, four to be exact. My mom kept saying, "Are you sure you want to eat that much before your date?" She knew what we were doing, but she was supposed to keep it a surprise.

Well, you can imagine my surprise when my date took me to an airport for a private airplane ride.

I can't even handle a roller coaster without throwing up and now I will be on a little plane with grilled cheese smoldering in my stomach.

The pilot loved taking us up and down the mountains and canyons, over and under the clouds, upside down, up and down... we all had head sets on so we could hear each other talk. Mine finally came in handy when I said, "I think I am going to throw up." I was instructed where the bags were and as soon as I could open it up I hurled recycled grilled cheese into the little bag... only thing is, I forgot to take my headset off so everyone had the joy of hearing me heave in stereo.

It wasn't long before a friend who was doubling with us on the date nick-named me "Chunky."

Oh, and about the mink... my grandpa had some mink in a cage. My brother Daniel wanted to pet one. When the adults weren't looking he stuck his finger down through the cage wire and that mink thought it was sausage and wasn't about to let go. I don't really remember how they got the mink to let go but, I vaguely remember my uncle clubbing it on the head. Ew that was nasty. My brother, at least I don't think so, never tried to pet mink again. Neither did I.

As for all the stuff, well, I think it is pretty self explanatory for the most part.

What these memories bring up are other memories, of course. One of them was when Sister was 2 and she was feeding the horse some grass and the horse thought her finger was grass... oooo boy that was not fun. That one took a few visits to the doctor.

I also just think of all the funny memories and fun times I had with my parents. Oh, and about riding in the mail jeep to driver's ed, although I was a bit embarrassed it was fun chatting with my dad on the way there as I sat cross-legged on the mail tray...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Story behind the Lesson Learned: Part 1

So, when I posted this I was asked by one of my friends to give details of some of these life lessons learned.

Well, here is the first one:

We were very poor growing up and when you are poor you have a very twisted view of what makes a person rich. For instance, I assumed that girls with braces must be rich... I don't know why on earth I thought that, maybe it looked like money in their mouth (and I am sure any parent out there who has paid for braces would have to agree with that) or maybe I thought all that glittered was gold. What I do know is that when me and my sister would play house we would, sometimes, roll up pieces of tinfoil and line them along our teeth and then we would talk like valley girls and flip our hair. Silly, I know, but, hey we were like 5 and 7 or something (may have been 10 and 12).

Well, sometimes while talking like a valley girl the tinfoil would begin to slip in between my teeth and that is when I found out that biting down on tin foil is not a good sensation at all... (shiver).

The next one about me getting my sister to smell my feet...

I was such a tease. (I know, who would have guessed, right.)

Now, remember, we were poor... ya, that is the reason for the plastic tennis shoes and polyester socks. I don't know if they were hand-me-downs or just the best we could find at the local thrift store. I just remember they were brown and ugly and made my feet sweat and stink immensely. So, I guess I thought if I had to suffer in my plastic shoes I would at least let Jessie suffer the consequences of my shoes... I would take my shoes and socks off at night and sit on the floor and smell my feet and go on and on about how my feet smelled like strawberries... I must have been a VERY convincing actress because she would believe me and come smell. Poor thing. I was like the big sister that should have been a big brother... that's how much of a tease I was. The funniest thing about it is that I would do it the next night and say that this time they smelled like watermelon... she smelled them again.

I am pretty sure that I cured her of smelling anyone's feet no matter what the claimed scent may be.

I hated going to school and I was often sick for real so it wasn't too hard to fake sick because I was usually sick anyway. But, sometimes it took a little extra convincing, so one day I try heating up the thermometer on the heater in my room. My mom had made the mistake of putting the thermometer in my mouth and then leaving to take care of something else. So, while she was gone I laid the thermometer on the heater... When my mom saw my temperature she started to freak out. I could tell this wouldn't be good and I didn't want to fake so well that I would have to go to the hospital so I came up with a lame excuse and went to school anyway. (I am pretty sure my mom knew I was faking anyway.)

So, with each one of these posts explaining my life lessons, I, of course, will remember other funny things at that point in my life so here are a few:

We had a big, soft, bouncy, old, brown chair in our room that me and my siblings would jump onto from the top bunk—man, that was so fun! (We weren't supposed to do that.)

We would slide on sleeping bags down our stairs. (We weren't supposed to do that either.)

We used to sneak down the hall way late at night and hide behind the antique record player that was at the entrance of the front room and watch TV shows that my parents were watching when they thought we were asleep. Eventually my mom would get up to get the bread out of the oven or some bottles out of the canner and we would get caught because the entry to the kitchen was from the front room.

What are some sneaky things you did as a kid?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Baby got tubes in her ears and her adenoids removed.

Marc stayed home from work to get the kids off to school and I took Baby to the hospital for her little surgery at 6am.

After getting her in her little hospital PJ's we had a little bit of a wait while they waited for her "happy juice" to kick in.

I had my laptop there so I could do work while I waited for her so I decided to take a couple pictures with my computer...

She has bounced back really well. She is so happy and doing so well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Father and Son

I have been told that it is quite common for Fragile X boys to cling more to their mother than their father. For one reason or another FXS boys tend to do better with females than males... that's what I was told when we went to do research study at the MIND Institute in Sacramento, and that was an observation, not a documentation...

We have always tried very hard but, this time it is really working and I have been using picture schedules lately to do that. The one we used for his camping trip last weekend was this one:
I didn't have a car picture yet so I improvised and cut one from a magazine and the home, I just quickly drew up...

I finally got some binders together. I stuck some sticky velcro strips on the front of the binders (one for each Brother and Sister) and then I have plastic sleeves inside that I put the velcro back images in to help organize. Yay!

I LOVE to see the friendship that has been blossoming between Marc and his son. It is so wonderful. I don't quiet know how to explain how happy this makes me, or Marc, for that matter. There has been a whole new feeling here in the home because of their developing relationship.

Here are some GREAT pictures Marc took with his iPod at the scout campout this past weekend.

beautiful desert scenery

see the blossoming friendship?

love this one!

this one is getting framed and hung on my wall... I just love this!

this scout camp theme was about leaving no trace when you are camping, Brother had fun cleaning up the trash

a little 'Pod time

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lessons learned, then and now

I remember when I was a kid, my sister and I used to put tinfoil on our teeth when we would pretend to have braces.  —Don't bite down on tinfoil

When I was young I would trick my sister into smelling my feet.  —pre-teen feet enclosed in plastic shoes with polyester socks NEVER smell good

You can make anything with hay bales and plastic.  —But you may end up with a little hay in your hair after getting out of the home made pool

Old shower curtains make great mermaid tails for splashing in at the side of the hay bale and plastic pool.  —never slide down a metal slide with a shower curtain wrapped around your legs

If you play sick to stay home from school don't heat the thermometer on the heater to fake a temperature. —unless you want to be rushed to the ER

Kids can say mean things. —especially when you are a third grader wearing a size 9 white shoe with flourescent green shoe laces (I don't care if it was the 80's)

Never stick your finger into a cage full of Mink. —they don't let go once they bite down

Growing up with enough tractors and cars to play hide-and-go-seek in makes you a nerd in Junior High, but in High School they love it. —every thing you have or do makes you a nerd in Junior High

I learned to be grateful for any set of wheels I could drive on my own after I had to ride on the mail tray of my dad's mail jeep on the mornings he took me to Driver's Ed. —mail trays in old mail jeeps are VERY rattly, cold and uncomfortable

Your dad's ugly orange '76 Chevy is an embarrassing eye-sore.  —until you learn to drive it and pick up your guy friends

If your mom tosses and orange to you to show how cool she is to your friends who are at the house don't throw it back to show what a good aim you have. —you're mom will end up with a black eye and you will have to keep the split orange in your room for a week as a reminder of your stupidity

I ate 3 grilled cheese sandwiches before a surprise date.  —never eat 3 grilled cheese sandwiches before going for a surprise date on a private airplane ride

I was VERY skinny in high school but, my nickname was "Chunky."  —you get a nickname like that when you puke cheese sandwiches on a private plane ride

Never talk about someone in a bad way. —you may be talking to that person's sister

When you are first married and don't have much money for a great apartment, at least spring for the apartment with thicker walls. —chances are there is another newly wed couple in thin-walled apartment next to yours

I rushed off to church one morning in a new skirt and nylons. —never rush to church in a new skirt that sticks to your nylons... you will end up showing off more that your knees

People do NOT forget seeing woman with her skirt cinched all the way up to her waist. —you can never tell an embarrassing story too many times

Don't look at someone's children and think you would do better. —you'll get a big surprise when you have kids of your own

Man, I love remembering all these funny life lessons!

Now here are some pictures of my kids that got me thinking about funny memories.
It looks like Sister is carrying a club to bed... I guess you never know what might happen while you are asleep...

Actually, Marc was putting her to bed and she had a blister on her hand so, naturally, she asked him to bandage it. Apparently daddy doesn't know where we keep the small bandaging supplies.  I laughed so hard when I saw these pictures.

After seeing the bang-up job dad could do with a bandage, she settled for a small band-aid (smile)
This is me in my pj's working on design work and listening to my favorite Sherlock Holmes movie

This is me giving Marc the look that says, "OK, that is enough pictures of me in my pj's."  The lesson I learned here was to be grateful I still had my make-up on (smile)
You should take a picture of yourself in a hard-hat at least once a year...
Never spit in the wind... I know you can't see it, but a drooling child and wind are really not a good mix
It's never too early to teach your child the love of reading. AND never let your husband take a picture of you at the wrong angle when you are wearing white shorts... I mean honestly...my knees look like they are the size of my head!

It is impossible to have too many pictures of your kids... really, it is.
You can always look cool when you are wearing sunglasses... even if you are wearing the ones that belong to your wife.

If you can't get your son to come out from hiding behind you for a picture, try this angle...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Campout pictures!

I can't believe that I haven't posted these yet... OK, yes I can... anyway, here are the pictures from Brother's first Scout Campout.

These pics didn't turn out too bad from an iPod...
Camping right by the pond... their tent is the purple and white one... they weren't as brave as the blue tent...

Happy about eating his tinfoil dinner

It was very cold. I actually thought they would end up coming home... but, thanks to mine and Marc's early backpacking days we have some sweet sleeping bags and a great two-man tent,,, mmm... warm

Brother waiting for his breakfast that his awesome scout leader is cooking up

eating by the water

fishing... or at least standing at the water holding a pole... he didn't catch anything

love this pic

Mmmm... love where we live. This place is only 20 minutes from our house... lucky
If you want to hear Brother tell a little bit about this campout you can check out his latest vlog here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

So much to say...

So little time.

That is why I haven't been blogging as regularly lately.

I have so much to say but I have been a bit overwhelmed with life. I used to take the time to blog and now I feel like I need to be given time to blog. I feel guilty when I am taking time to blog instead of doing any one of my motherly, wifely, or designerly responsibilities. (designerly? hmm.)

But, I am realizing how much I rely on my blog to help me journal and remember important things. (and not-so-important-but-very-funny things)

I mean how could I not post these pictures of Baby enjoying her yogurt?

or Marc having fun on Neighborhood Karaoke Night at his parents'

or Brother and Marc...

or Brother in heaven with all the neighborhood girls singing their hearts out to Taylor Swift's "Tear Drops on my Guitar"

And how  can I resist showing you Baby's cowBOY boots... they were only $3 and I don't care if they are boy's--they're cute anyway.

I had to take a picture so I would remember how hard I was laughing watching her hobble around with her boots on. She didn't quite know how to handle them so she just walked stiff-legged everywhere. Sweet!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Too high. Too low.

Ironically, by reading the title... no, this post is not about my emotions... ha!

This is all about cars...

This is a picture my husband took while out and about.

Made me laugh.

I think it will make you laugh too.
Bwa ha ha ha ha! I really want to meet the people who live at this house. One truck looks like it can't fit into the garage and the other truck looks like it couldn't even drive over a crack in the road without hitting bottom. (smile)

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I lost my temper with Marc the other night and I let him go to bed without me.

I stayed up and stewed.

Then I realized that I was in the wrong and it was too late to wake him up to apologize so I wrote him an "I'm sorry" letter that he would see in the morning before he left to work.

When I awoke this is what I found in return:
So does he love U2?

Well, yes. Who doesn't?

But, this one's for me (smile).

I love a simple love letter, that gets straight to the point...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Oh Brother

Brother loves his toy horses. He also loves to line them up. He has discovered that he likes to line them up on the ramps. He first discovered a ramp at Grandpa Gary's house. It was being used for a wheel barrel ramp to get mulch up to the flower beds. Brother wanted to make some ramps at home for his horses. I told him to go ahead and get whatever wood out of the wood pile that he wanted so that he could make a ramp. I just didn't think it would be this big. (smile)

His favorites are the Barbie Doll horses because he can brush their hair and then the look pretty. (tee hee)

Oh, and to fit all these horses somewhere, Grandma Judy sent us home with a huge barn she got for $7 at a yard sale. Here is a picture of me bringing it home in the car. Too bad I didn't have the suburban that day...
That's it, next to me in the passenger seat. It was too big to fit in the trunk and we had to fold the seat back to get it in. Can you see Brother smiling in the back seat?!

This year in our school district they had a special track and field day for all the Special Ed classes in the entire district. Usually they have participated with all the main stream kids in the Hershey track meet, which has been awesome, but it is also a little heartbreaking because most of these special needs kids don't finish alongside their mainstream peers and some even get overlooked.

This was one of those experiences you never forget. It was so awesome to watch the comradary between Brother and his friends in class and all the high school kids who were there volunteering their time to encourage, cheer, run with, push wheelchairs and generally be there for all these kids.

I have to add that it took everything in me not to cry the entire time I was there. It was just so wonderful!

It was so awesome to watch.
Here he is with his friend after the first 200 meter. It was so sweet because they had an interviewer going around with a microphone to talk to the kids on the field. After this particular race they interviewed Brother's friend, who ran with him and she said, "I ran because [Brother] wanted to run with me... and I looked behind me and there he was so I just kept running because he was running with me." So sweet.

He started the 400 hundred and I was trying to catch up with him to get a picture and this is all I could get of the beginning. He is the little spec running in second place, or count four runners in from the right.

Here he is coming in the home stretch! He holds his arms like that towards the end because he thinks it looks cool... don't tell him... (smile)

I really need to get my kids involved in Special Olympics.

Brother ran the 200 meter twice, the 50 and 100 meter, the 400 meter and did the long jump.

The next morning when he woke up for school he told me that his legs were so sore and tired. (smile)

I am so proud of him. He came in 3rd in his first 200, came in 4th on his second 200 and, I think, 5th or 6th in his 400.

Then the next day he went on his first scout campout with his scout troop and his dad.

We have been preparing him for a month now that he would be going out with his dad to this scout campout. He was so scared the morning of and kept saying he didn't want to go. But, then when it came time to get in the car he was all for it. (Looking back now I realize I should have done a social story. It would have made things a lot better--you live and learn, right?)

When Brother came home Saturday from the campout he was still grinning from ear to ear. He said he had a great time and had fun with dad. I think he was really proud of himself for going too.
(I have some great pictures of his scout campout but, Marc has them at work on his iPod.)

I am so proud of Brother and all the wonderful things he does. It helps me move past what is so tough for him. He is inspiring!

(check out his new vlog)