Monday, October 31, 2011

I don't know what's coming...


But I will still have a Happy Halloween!

check out my out takes... man they're funny!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cuddle Kids




You know an interesting thing about children with Fragile X is that some of them seem so over affectionate, hugging and kissing all the time, squeezing you until your eyes pop off... it's so so sweet.

It is even more interesting to know that a lot of the reason they do this isn't just because they like or love you, it's because they need sensory input.

Let me explain the pictures above:
Baby is tired and needs some sensory input so she started "attacking" me while I was on the computer one day.

Sister was having a really rough morning today and needed me to rock and squeeze her to help her body get centered and regulated before she could function for the day.

Brother has learned to self regulate but he loves to give love and doesn't always have a sense of when he is squeezing someone too tight.

During family pictures all three of them were so overwhelmed by the attention, the cameras, the expectation of eye contact, they ended up like this alot.

This is my favorite picture from our recent family shoot when all three of the kids needed sensory input and decided I was a good outlet.
Pointe Digital

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It was only a banana.

You know how you see those guys standing on the corner or at the freeway entrance with a sign that is asking for money/help/food?

Well, I see at least one every time I go into town. (Yes, I just said "go into town"--as I have been told before I live in a small village and going into the next bigger village is, to me, "going to town.")

Anyway I learned long ago not to give them money... I have been told you don't know if the money is going to drugs, alcohol, etc. or if they are just playing "homeless" to earn money (it happens).

When I was younger I remember my mom stopping by the grocery store and bought all of us some fried chicken from the deli... now, for us, that was quite a splurge at the time, and we were all very excited to get home to eat it. On the way home we saw a "homeless" man at the freeway entrance asking for money. My mom turned the car around and took him some of our fried chicken. Seems so simple, but it was a big deal to us, and I remember how happy we all were that we could feed him dinner. He seemed grateful and we felt good about helping in a way that we could.

Well, I saw a man asking for money/help at the grocery store parking lot entrance and I had grabbed a banana from my stash of groceries I had just bought because it was lunch-ish time and I was hungry.

I drove past this man and stopped to turn right onto the highway but, I rolled down my window and handed him my banana.

I felt kind of silly handing a banana out my window to a perfect stranger who wasn't asking for food but, it was my way of showing him a small gesture of human compassion, I guess.

He was so grateful saying, "Bless you. Bless you."

It was only a banana...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sick Birthday, Sweet Grandma

I am amazed at how old I am...

no, it's not my birthday...

Baby turned 2!!!

That makes me feel old, I can't believe that she is 2!

I was a little bummed, though, because she was sick for her birthday so we didn't have a birthday party because I didn't want anyone else to get her cold.

Grandma Judy and Grandpa James stopped in for a few minutes to give her a video and stuffed puppy toy for her gifts. They weren't there long but I am glad they could at least wish her Happy Birthday.

Later Grandma Lynne and Grandpa Gary came over and we decided to sing to her and eat the spiced pumpkin cupcakes and cream cheese frosting I had made.

I wanted to try a cake with a lot of flavor because with Baby having Fragile X Syndrome it can affect her oral sensory and because hers it a bit low she won't really "eat" anything unless it has a lot of flavor. She LOVED them and actually swallowed them instead of spitting it out after tasting.

When we were getting ready to sing she had quite the runny nose and Grandma Lynne was doing a good job on keeping up on it.
Here she is getting ready for all of us to sing to her (notice Grandma on the ready in the background)

Oh! And she swoops in for the kill!

She was getting ready (I think) to blow out the candles here, she never did, but at least she thought about it.
Grandma Lynne and Grandpa Gary are really good about trying to give the kids cards by mail for holidays, even Halloween. They brought over cards for the kids on Baby's birthday so they could have something to open too.

They gave each child a card with a dollar bill inside. They got so excited. Which is really cute, because Brother really has NO concept of money at all, Sister gets excited because she loves to play with it and Baby is just happy to have the card and this time she got 2, one for her birthday and one for Halloween just like her brother and sister.
I just noticed that all the cards in a row look like 2011
(2, a pumpkin=0, alien standing=1, monster standing=1. Cool. I feel like Google!)


The thing I like about the cards with the dollar bill inside is that it reminds me of my sweet Grandma Ruby. She sent me a card with a dollar bill in it on every birthday until I was about 12 and by that time she kind of stopped that tradition because she was getting older and had a LOT more grandkids (I have 80 or so cousins just on my mom's side and then there's the great grandkids...)

Anyway, that dollar bill was so exciting to me. I remember I would save it so that I could go to the the corner gas station and buy a big treat, not just a 10 cent or 25 cent one, but a candy bar and a sucker!!

I hope my kids have memories like that, the good ones.

Birthdays are such a fun way to create those special memories... even when we are sick, right on our birthday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What happens in Vegas... shows up on my blog!

That's right! I actually got some time away with the hubby for 3 days and 2 nights! We even got to have some friends (W&W) with us!

NOTE: None of this would have been possible if my sister, Jessie and mother-in-law, Lynne hadn't stepped up to the challenge of watching our kids... I can't thank them enough.

It was so much fun! I just had to put together a video of some of our highlights. It was amazing and I am still in shock at what we were able to do! We had gotten a great deal for $50/night at the Luxor so we were really excited to actually stay on The Strip.
The view from our hotel room


We left Wednesday morning after I got the kids off to school. I had forgotten to give Brother his morning meds so I had run around the block to catch the bus on the other side. When I got on there I ended up talking to his us driver and she informed me that her son worked on the stage crew for The Phantom of The Opera... What? She said she might be able to work out to get us tickets. I told her we were only there 2 nights an that we already had plans for the second night so we would have to go the night we got there. She said she would see what would work out and would call me that afternoon around the time we would be in Vegas.

At 6pm is was worked out for us to go to The Phantom and the show starts at 7pm. We rushed to get ready and make it to the Venetian on time. We missed the first 5 minutes which was a bummer, but the rest was A M A Z I N G!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The ushers even upgraded our seats and we ended up sitting right beneath the "falling" chandelier! Seriously, you HAVE to go see this show! Just the theater alone was amazing! Wish I could have taken pictures... but, we did get the backstage tour!! I just asked to meet Karlin (the bus driver's son) afterwards to tell him thank you in person and he ended up giving us the backstage tour!!! We even got to meet up with the Phantom (Anthony Crivello) in his dressing room while he was getting his make-up removed. We caught him just in time and he even let us take pictures, very nice man.


The next day was a day of walking the strip and checking out as many sights, shops and free shows as our feet would allow until our next big show at the Monte Carlo, the Jabbawockeez!

We went to the M&M and Coke stores, Hard Rock, the malls, Caesar's Palace Forum Shops, the Bellagio Fountains and we saw our fair share of really strange people—funny and scary. We even got scared to death by some "tree" guy who was hanging around and we didn't see him hanging from the limb. We were wondering what everyone was looking at... he said "hello" and we found out in a hurry! Woo!
Our very fun Ukrainian waitress

Yo, Marc

M&M Vegas style
kissing a pink monkey...

and a pink pemguin


Then we were finally able to get to the Jabbawockeez. Our good friend Thomas hooked us up with one of his friends, Ronnie Boy, a dancer with the Jabbawockeez! Holy cow that was amazing!! Ronnie was such a great guy and met up with us after the show and told us a bunch of cool stories and insider info. You really need to check them out! It was an incredible show, way more than I even expected: comedy, audience involvement, emotional moments, phenomenal dance and just all out fun!! We were cheering almost the entire time (even while the drunk man off to our left was yelling at the top of his lungs and dancing until the bouncers came and pulled him out.) Ronnie was able to tell us which Jabbawockee he is by describing one of his awesome dance moves, check out a clip of him here.


So, it was a well-deserved holiday and I will remember it for the rest of my life.




On our way home we stopped in St. George for lunch, a little tourism, and some treats.

We had lunch at Chili's and then went to check out the Waterford School because Wendy has some family ties there and it was all on the same block as the water park, an old fashioned merry-go-round and the St. George Tabernacle. It was all so awesome!

Thia is actually in another part of St. George but, I had to show it, because it is even more amazing to see this sculpture in person.

Wayne didn't realize that Marc was going to pull the car up front... it's Wayne's car...

Marc outside the Tabernacle

Marc listening to the Sister Missionary tell some stories about the tabernacle, for instance we learned that the entire balcony was lowered about 6 feet after it was already completed to accommodate Brigham Young's desire for the balcony audience to be able to see the speakers better. The spiral stairs were already in place and could not be altered,  so once you get to the top you go back down a few steps to the balcony seating.


This sign gave me a bit of a chuckle...

I really want to get my kids to this water feature and park area, so much fun!
After our little tourism experience we went to Thomas Judd's Store Co.




It was like a walk back in time, literally. They sold candy there I haven't seen since I was a kid, and a lot of it gave me a really good laugh. For instance, the candy cigarettes, Big Chew and licorice pipes... what? You read write. That used to be candy... hmmm... too funny. But it was fun to buy the wax lips, the wax soda bottles, taffies, slap stix, zotts, razzles, and all that old stuff. It took me back to growing up in a small town when we would ride our bikes down to the corner gas station (the one and only that ever existed in our little town) and we would be ten cent treats and if we were really good we got to get a twenty-five cent treat. (smile—aw, the good ol' days when we were happy with such small things)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Just a hint...

As to what Marc and I did this week!!! I will tell you all about it on Monday!!!





Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some movies just touch your heart...

...and it is not always the Hollywood ones.

This is the movie that touched my heart!

Thank you Pointe Digital for capturing more great memories!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sharing Birthday Parties

Marc and his mom have birthdays one day apart so we combined their parties at our house and had a good time. This is the only picture I got but, I did get a little video of the singing...


video
You can see the excitement in the room... tee hee! At least Sister was into it! And, yes you can laugh at us singing... I did.

Hairy Situations

Do you remember a few months ago when I posted that Sister had cut a  chunk of her hair and I refused to cut it?

I gave in.

It was too much work always hiding the hole.

So here she is with her new cut—I cut off 8 inches or so. Which I really think quite suits her!
She was so giddy to get pictures in her new hair cut she could hardly contain herself.

All out giggling. (Can you believe how thick her hair is?!)

Hands down, my favorite picture... holy cow she is happy!!!


And I was having so much fun watching Brother this week because it was Red Ribbon week at his school and they got to dress up each day. He was so excited to dress up and this is NOT typical for Brother. He is usually very against dressing out of the ordinary. I was especially excited when he came home after school Thursday and informed me that Friday was Crazy Hair day and that he wanted blue hair. I went right out to get him some blue hairspray but all there was was silver. He was miraculously OK with that and so Friday morning we gave him a sort of silver mohawk and he was excitedly off to school. I forgot to take a picture of him and so I asked his teacher to take one for me. How nice is she that she did and then emailed it to me too?! Wonderful people!

You can't really see the silver and his hair just looks more messy than spiky, but, hey we did it!!!


Also this was a day that he had to say goodbye to his best friend. She is moving out of state last minute and so he won't see her anymore. I do hope that can stay in touch, but we will see how that works out. Brother's teacher also sent me these treasured pictures of him with his friend "Princess." (code name)

I think the grin on his face explains it all and will definitely suffice to end this post.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Re-run

I often get a kick out checking out the search words people plug in and end up on my site... like who knew "Alec Baldwin look-a-like" would get so many hits? This is the post that they run into searching that. Or "hot dog antenna?" This is the link it takes them to when the search for that one.

It is just funny to see what people are searching for and end up on my blog... and then there are some that I am so glad they found because I hope it gives a bit of insight or inspiration. This is one that has been popular this week—people have been searching, "I am amazed by you." I am sure they were hoping to find the song and not some mom's blog talking about being amazed...  so I am going to re-run it just for you. (smile)  Reading through it myself it was so good to see all the things my kids were doing at the time and to remind myself of all the good.

If you like re-runs, read it here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just your average mom...

I want to be the cool mom.

You know the ones...

Clean house decorated to look like the cover of a home magazine.

Kids in every activity or sport outside of school possible.

Travel places outside of my home state at least quarterly.

Wear fantastic heels everywhere I go.

My make-up perfect in every picture ever taken of me.

Perfect hair and accessories by 9am (after the kids are off to school) with the stylish clothes that I just bought at the department store—NOT on clearance.

Children in every "gifted" class there is.

Out to dinner on the nights I just "don't feel like cooking."

Parties that are themed from the party hats, the table cloths, to the games and cake.


But, I am the, more than you realize, average mom...

My house is rarely clean, it is not filthy but most of the time kid-cluttered and sometimes you may even find pee on the seat in the kids' bathroom... maybe even mine (smile). Our home is decorated with antiques from my dad, odds and ends picked up at yard sales and some home-made art and various things given to us.

I can't afford to put my kids in many outside activities and even when I have they seem to get to overwhelmed with more stuff to do after performing as students all day at school.

Traveling is few and far between around here but we sure try to make the most of it.

I actually used to wear heels a LOT before I acquired a bad back and faulty knee... ah, age, isn't it lovely.

Perfect make-up... in my life no one waits for you to look perfect before they take a picture of you... let face it, usually  my face is shiny or my mascara started migrating into raccoon shaped eyes.

It is a rare occasion anymore for me to be ready before 11am and I sure don't think my yard sale and hand-me-down clothes are anywhere near department store worthy but I do know when to get some mean and lean clearances.

Let's face it, my kids won't ever be in any "gifted" classes but they sure as heck are gifts!

On the nights I don't feel like cooking I open a can of chili and we have corn chips on the side and a raw carrot for our veggie. I have to save that kind of money for mine and Marc's date nights.

I get overwhelmed just thinking of how I am going to keep my kids from getting anxiety over the number of guests and in reality, I am just happy to have any kind of party so I am not going to spoil my happiness by going to so much work that I can't enjoy it.


But we're all moms, cool or average, and we are doing our best.

That's what matters.

And if you are not doing your best, or at least trying... well, get going.

(grin)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Traditional Halloween

Funny, I didn't even get a picture of me but hey, at least I got everyone else...

My mom's family has been having a Halloween party ever year for as long as I can remember...
(The next series of these older Halloween pictures were scanned in by my Aunt Sheri. Thanks Sheri!)

My Aunt Sheri and my Grandpa at my mom's house. (Notice the bobble-head indian on the mantle? What?)

I think this was the early 80's...

My Uncle Roy and my Uncle Brad... ya, my uncle. He was wearing a gorilla mask earlier which totally explains the dress...

I am not sure whose house this was at, but check out my dad's bowtie and glasses.

This is my Uncle John...
Actually that was my Uncle Roy dressed as a John, with my Uncle Joe (ya, I know he is wearing a dress... it's Halloween) and Aunt Sheri

And this is my Aunt Aleesa... ya I know... but, again, it's Halloween...

My cousin Johnny, my Grandpa, and my cousin Dawna. It's so good to look back at these pictures and see my grandpa so spry and happy!
Aunt Rosanne, Aunt Sheri, and my mom... my mom LOVES Halloween and always likes to dress up funny.

My brother Daniel... I know it confirms everything you ever thought...

Marc and my Uncle Brad... Hey, there's the gorilla mask...

My mom... she makes me laugh! Look how low the ears are hanging... hey, that reminds me of a song...

I am not sure when the tradition started to always have it at our house or when the hay wagon ride tradition started either... but, hey, I ain't complainlin'.

I think this party was about 2001

Me.

Ya...

My Aunt Aleesa and her daughter

My dad and mom getting the details squared away about the wagon ride while my Uncle Chris oversees the planning...

Dad fixing a flat tire on the wagon.
 Fast forward to now, at least 28 years later, and here we are!!! Tradition!!!
Aaron and Chelsea as bank robbers with their bag of money! (Cute huh?)

Well, put another log on that fire... sheeeeesshh!

Sister dressed up as a "jumping' monkey

Sitting around the fire, my cousin Yolanda poses for the picture.

Getting loaded on the wagon ride. My cousin Reuben looks happy to be one of the first ones on there!

I didn't know monkey had whiskers either, but, Sister insisted

All smiles

See Brother's silver pants? He was dressed as a.... wait for it.... Disco Ball!! (smile)

Baby was riding in the tractor with my dad for a little bit

My little Minnie was as happy as can be in her swing.

Having fun on the teeter-totters (Yes, that's what I call them. What do you call them?)


my favorite picture of the night

Bryan and Kelsey came too. J.R. was there too and I don't think I even got a picture of him... he was dressed as the Joker, he looked really good

Sister and her new best friend, my cousin's daughter. They had so much fun together all night long!

Jessie getting in on the act...


We have gone from being able to fit in my mom's living room to congregating outside...

My mom found these hats at a yard sale and Aleesa and Todd wanted in on the fun. Yes that is a hotdog that he is using as the trumpet... we thought it was funny... tee hee! My mom has her baton so that no one is confused who is the leader of the band...

Sitting around the campfire eating and waiting for the movie showing on the side of the house to start

My Aunt Karen and her two daughters... hee hee

Uncle Ben as Pedro
 This party is something that we all look forward to every year and brings many memories. I remember when my cousins Shauna, Steven and Lori would do a haunted house in their basement when we had it at their house. Man, that was fun! It's so important to have family traditions, big or small, it's just the special memories they create that matter.

If you want to see the last 3 Halloween Parties at my mom's take a look at 2008, 2009, and 2010.
My mom likes to get everything