Saturday, January 31, 2009

Grocery shopping with girly girls

I had to to do the monthly shopping trip. I usually shop on Saturdays (in celebration that I don't have to work). This Saturday I had three little tagalongs. Bob had to work and unless I wanted to shop at 4 in the morning. The girls were coming.

I was blown away with how good they were. (Shocking surprise!! They are not always good at the store) Shannon had a major melt down when we were walking into the store but it was soon alleviate by a chocolate doughnut. Once again, a sample saved the day.

We shopped for over 2 hours and we finally had to stop because we had run out of room in the cart. I was busting out with every coupon I had and the orinial total was $256. We paid $223. And to think some people say that coupons don't do anything.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Playing in the snow

The girls loved the snow. I wasn't so fond of it.

I pulled the girls on the sled. It was quite heavy!

Ellie couldn't wait to make a snow angel.

What a beautiful snow angel!

Shannon loves going down the slide.

Lauren tries to start a snowball fight with daddy

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow storm

We had a storm this week. School was cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday. I was shocked that they went on Friday because I thought the roads were horrible. My dad was in charge of snow removal when I was growing up (still is) so I've become a snow removal snob.

The girls love playing in the snow.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Surgery Rescheduled

Ellie has been rescheduled for March 23rd. That's the day after Lauren 6th (Oh, my she can't turn 6) birthday.

The girls are on spring break and hopefully there will be no snow so my mother in law can come. I don't have that much sick time so I need her to come.

Ellie is feeling much better but I'm glad I cancelled it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Surgery Cancelled

I just cancelled Ellie's surgery. She has a slight fever, is very congested, and has a cough. It's nothing that would bother her on any other day. I've been through the recovery before and it's difficult. I'd rather her be in optimal health rather than sub-optimal.

They might not have even done it. I'd rather decide to cancel it then spend a few hours at the hospital tomorrow only to find out that no one will operate on her.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Last IEP of 2009

We moved in September and her new school district wanted to do a new MFE. I've now had to go to three official meetings since then. We had the last meeting yesterday. We discussed goals and more importantly how to get them.

The great news is that she will be going to 1st grade. It will be much easier from an intervention standpoint. She is pulled out for four different therapies and looses times in the classroom. In 1st grade, she'll be there all day instead of half day so she'll loose less time overall. Right now, she gets all the services they offer except ESL. We do speak English at home.

Bob is excited that she will be going to extended school year. She'll do some type of school this year. I'm not sure how much or what but she thrives on going to school. It could have been a very long summer for Bob.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kind-Hearted Lauren

Sometimes, just getting through the day with Lauren is a struggle. I tend to dwell on the negative. I tend to dwell on the things she can't do; instead of focusing on the things she's learning and how far she has come.

One thing that I have always known is that Lauren has a kind heart. She loves people and loves to make people happy. Last weekend, we went to visit my mother in law. We had made apple cinnamon muffins for breaskfast before we left and had two left over. Lauren wrapped them up with a paper towel and put them in a container. I asked her what she was doing and she said "bringing them to Mamaw. She loves muffins".

Earlier this month, Lauren had a doctor appointment. I had to leave from work so Bob and the kids met me at the office. The plan was that Ellie and Shannon would go home from with Bob. Ellie was tired and hadn't seen me all day. She started crying that she wanted to stay. I normally would have let her but I had things I needed to discuss with the doctor and it would be too difficult with Ellie. The nurse told her that if she went home, I would bring her a sticker.

We never found that nurse after the appointment and so I left. I had forgotten about the stickers. Lauren, however, remembered. She cried the entire way home. I first thought she was crying because she didn't get a sticker. She wasn't. She was crying because Ellie needed a sticker and she didn't have one to bring her.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sick kid

At least I hope it's only the singular!

Lauren came to me last night and told me to feel her and her head hurt. I offered her some Tylenol. Before I could spit all the words out, she threw up all over me.

Thankfully, that was the last of the puking!

However, Ellie has surgery on Monday and this cannot spread through the family. It must end with Thing 1.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I guess I'm a Finn now

Lauren was looking at her books on Finland. She pointed to a picture and said "look Mommy, it's you".

Then later she walked into the kitchen and said "Mommy, I'm so glad I got to do my report on Finland because you grew up there!"

I have no idea how she came to that conclusion. I am NOT a Finn.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Lauren has to do a 5 minute presentation on Finland today. Note to other parents: if your child's teacher sends out letters aksing you to volunteer for a country or a country will be assign to you, please volunteer. Otherwise, you get stuck with Finland.

We've looked at were Finland is on the globe. We know people from Finland are called Finns. We know they use Euros (Lauren keeps saying zeros) for money. We know they play ice hockey and like ice fishing. We've also learned that Santa is from Finland. We make a cool poster. Mommy prints out things at work because the printer has been girlified.

And at the end of the day, they cancel school because of snow. I guess we'll have to do it tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

All the people in my family

Shannon can now say almost everyone's name.


Of course if you ask her to find someone, she runs over and squeezes their nose. I haven't quite figured out the connection.

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's all about the diagnosis

I work for an agency that processes the medical portion of Social Security claims. My claimant get caught up on (among many things) their diagnosis. We are a functional program. Your diagnosis is good and all but it is how you are functioning despite your impairment that pretty much determines whether or not we are going to allow or deny you.

I talk to claimants all the time and they say "but I have this" or "but I have that". They don't understand why my questions on what they are able to do during the day matter so much. I didn't understand why their emphasis on their diagnosis mattered so much. Then I had Lauren.

She was first diagnosed with a developmental delay. This can be one of the worst diangosises to have from an insurance standpoint. Many insurances won't pay for therapies with kids with this diagnosis. The crazy thing is that kids with developmental delays get better a lot faster with therapy.

Therapies such as speech, occupational, and physical helps kids function in an age appropriate manner. It helps kids be who they were meant to be. It changes kids lives. Many kids with developmental delays will get better on their own without therapy, eventually. However, it is a much harder road and a much longer road. Not getting therapy can create worse problems for other kids. This will necessitate more therapy and probably for a longer time than if their developmental delay would have been treated earlier. This will eventually cost the insurance company even more.

Other programs, such as MRDD, are diagnosis driven. Lauren was eligible for services through MRDD until she hit age 6. The reason for this is because she was diagnosed with a global developmental delay. At age 6, the criteria for MRDD changes and the impairments need to be life-long. Developmental delays don't cut it. However, Lauren's neurologist changed her diagnosis to Pervasive Developmental Delay, Not Otherwise Specif iced (PDD, NOS). Her function has not changed at all but her diagnosis has and we expect that she will be eligible for services until she is at least 16.

I got an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from my insurance company today. Lauren's neurology visits have been denied. I called to find out why and the reason is that it was coded in as a learning disability and our insurance does not provide services for that. I now have to call and talk to someone in billing and figure out how to get these services recoded and then re billed.

It will happen because her neurologist knows that she definitely needs his services. Her pediatrician won't do anything with her medication because she is now beyond their scope of expertise. But it's time consuming and it's something I have to remember to do while I'm at work (when I should be helping my state-ians with disabilities). It's sad that she needs the services and this is just an extra headaches. But remember it's all about the diagnosis.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Quite a Tease!

My littlest girl has become quite a tease. You ask Shannon to give you a hug and she comes barreling at you. Suddenly, she'll stop and look right at you and while she is a mere millimeter away from you, then she grins and runs the other way.

If you ask her if she loves you, she shakes her head furiously. If you ask her if she's Shannon, she bobs that little head around like she's a bobble head.

Right now, at 18 months, she is the embodiment of cute. Cuteness just drips from her pores. She grabs toys from her sisters and runs away cackling. It's cute because she is 18 months.

She kisses with an open mouth. She greets me every morning by raising her arms and looking into my eyes and saying "uppy". Who can resist her charms. She is so squeezably soft that all I want to do is hug her and so I do, a lot.

I no longer can pass out two snack bowls. I can no longer buy things in twos. I now must buy things ins threes. Shannon, as of right now, is Bob and My's baby. However, she has now placed herself in the pack of the big girls. She inches closers to being a big girl. Everyday she leaves more and more of her babyhood behind. She is racing to be one of the big girls and I sand quietly behind her saying "wait, wait for me. I'm just not ready"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Anyone want a 5 year old?

Who will start the bidding?

There are just days that Lauren is lucky no gypsies come wandering down our street. I would sell her to the gypsies in a heartbeat. Not that there is much of a chance of gypsies coming to get her but still.

I love the kid in a way I never thought I could love anyone. I think that she is the first person I have been able to love in spite. I love Lauren in spite of all of her faults. I love Lauren in spite of all the difficulties we've had. I love Lauren in spite of what she cannot do. I love Lauren in spite of the long journey we've been on and the long journey still to come. Sadly, most people I love becuase of. Because of who they are, because of what they can do. At the end of the day, I'm pretty selfish.

But there are days like this weekend where I just wonder how much more I can take. There are days that I am left muttering about how she can act like a two year old. In my mind, it is acceptable for a two year old to be in to everything. I've lost patience for this behavior about three years ago.

I am saddened because I can't wear make up. I can't wear make up because if I leave it out; she's into in an instance. Parenting Lauren requires a great deal of perfection. I can't for one moment forget to put my wallet away, she in it and scattering all my bank cards from her to kingdom come. The bad part is I am nowhere near perfect and the worse part is I'm very forgetful.

Anway, this weekend she cut up my American girl paperdolls. My mom had given me them when I was 10. She cut the papers and made a lot of confetti. I guess if a ticker-tape parade comes down our street, we're set.

Ten minutes later she took the Krazy Glue I was using to fix ornaments and decided to paint with it. Good thing she painted on paper. I think I would have had to commit myself if she had painted on anything else.

She was climbing things like it was going out of style. It's not good for a typical kid. Lauren has very poor fine and gross motor skills. She can't walk a straight line so seeing her trying to walk along the window ledge in the basement can make my heart drop.

The worst part that makes it so horrible is that she has perfectly sensical reasons for doing these things. She wasn't trying to wreck the paper dolls, she was cutting them out so we could play with them. Too bad she can cut out a shape. She wasn't trying to wrect the glue, she was simply painting me a beautiful paper. She tells you these things with a look of wonder on her face. She cannot fathom why I would be upset in anyway.

But alas, all days end. She always gives me a hug and tells me she loves me and that gives me some more strength to face another day.

Monday, January 5, 2009

They are learning a lot on Blue's Clues

Lauren has decided that when she grows up she is going to celebrate Hannakuh (you know because she has also decided she is Jewish). Her kids will light the menorah and spin the dreidel.

Then, when her kids grown up they will celebrate Kwanza. She has no idea what they do during Kwanza but she thinks it sounds like fun.

I know she learned all of this on Blue's Clues.

Letters Progress

I got this awesome email from Lauren's teacher today. Keep in mind that in Septmeber she could identify zero letters.

Subject: Wow!!!!

Lauren got 23 of 26 lower case letters!

She was on fire!

Her confusions were p/q, b/d and didn't know 't'

I'm thrilled!

I think reading is in our future.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Can't see me

Ellie stands right in front of Bob and starts yelling with her eyes closed "Daddy, daddy, you can't see me".

He says "yes, I can"

Then she puts her hands on her hip and says "No, you can't. I have my eyes closed"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

36 times

I had big plans to run lots of errands today. However, Bob picked up an extra shift so I got to enjoy the company of three girly girls too. The errands could not wait but it makes for a lot of extra work.

Leave the house (buckle 3 kids in carseats)
Go to the bank (I love the drive through)
Go to Michael's to return something (unbuckle and then reload 3 kids in carseats)
Go to Target to pick up a prescription and to get a toothbrush and a Christmas storage tub (unbuckle and then relaod 3 kids in carseats)
Listen to the pleas of poor girly girls who say they are starving and decide to stop off at Bob's work to get something to eat, he's our waiter so we don't have to tip (unbuckle and then reload 3 kids in carseats)
Go to Kohl's for a frame and then let the girls each pick out an ornament L- High School Musical, E- Hannah Montana, S- a Hickory Dickory Dock ornament. It worked well as I had a $20 gift car and the ornaments were 75% off (unbuckle and then relaod 3 kids in carseats)
Go to Meijer's for groceries and bribe the kids that if we can just make it through the story without any major event that milkshakes would be in there future (unbuckle and then reload 3 kids in carseats)
Arrive home and clean out car while kids sleep (they were pooped out princesses)
Grand unload/load tally-36

No wonder I'm tired. No wonder they're tired.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New favorite words

Shannon has a bunch of new favorite words. One is hop. My mother in law bought Lauren an indoor hopskotch game for Christmas. Shannon loves it. She can't jump in the circles but runs around downstairs hopping yelling "hop, hop, hop".

She also has discovered a Dora Talking Backpack that no one has played with for years. She loves it and now sings along with it "Backpack, backpack". Sadly, it was in a box that was headed for Goodwill but it's sentence has been commuted. Thus, putting a damper in my get rid of stuff campaign.

Shannon doesn't understand, Ellie waves a very tearful good-bye to everything, and Lauren wants to put anything that's not nailed down in the box. Bob and I better be careful--- we might be next.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

We are starting off the year with a cleaning streak. I did have to pose the kids in their Christmas PJs before we took the tree down. Better late then never.