Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Accomplishments for 2009

Lauren: went to school all day and is a beginning emerging reader. She can read all basic site words and books with simple sentences and paragraphs. She is definetely making progress.

Ellie: started her second year of preschool. She is described to be a joy in the class. She is helpful to the typical and special needs kids. She can write her name and read some very simple words.

Shannon: is completly potty trained. She gave us our longest, uh I mean only, break in diapers since Lauren made her appearance in March of 2003. She is a wonderful talker and says things that have me scratching my head considering she is only 2 1/2 She will lay on the floor and say "I need a little help to get up Mommy"

Bob: only had one job this year.

Kristin: Successfully got off probation and is creating new life as we speak.

it's been a busy successful year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

36 weeks and 1 day

And I look like a whale

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thoughts on Christmas

I was almost 36 weeks pregnant for Christmas. I have never been that pregnant on any Christmas (and I never will be again). The most pregnant I have been before is 28 weeks pregnant. Much different story.

I will admit that I thought about the Christmas in a new and different way. I was just thankful that no one was making me travel anywhere on a donkey. I know I couldn't have done it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sister Sleepover

Both Lauren and Ellie got sleeping bags for Christmas. They love them and have been waiting many years for them.

Tonight was the first of many sleep overs in their room.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

We spend Christmas at my parents house. There is lots of food, dogs, chaos, and presents

Lauren absolutely loved the Fancy Nancy doll she got.

Ellie poses sweetly in front of the presents.

Shannon has a case of too much Christmas

A rare picture of the girly girls and mommy.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Day

The stockings are hung on the bookcase with care

Lauren got a Belle Ornament. She really likes it.

Ellie looks at the contents of her stocking.

Shannon makes it downstairs. She's already to go.

Shannon digs into her stocking and finds socks.

Opening presents is intense work.

This is actually Lauren's favorite present, once she figured out what it was. She loved her sleeping bag and hugged it and said "My wish came true"

Fancy Nancy is always a hit at our house. Ellie could wait to have this book read to her.

Shannon love the show "Ni-How Keiland". She got little stuffed animals of all the main characters. She kept yelling "My Keiland baby, my Toli Baby, My Ho-ho baby, My Lou-lou Baby, My Rin-too baby, all of my babies". It was definetely a hit. My big baby belly couldn't be left out either.

It was good to have Christmas (well, a day early) at home this year. We had a good time celebrating by ourselves.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Waiting for Christmas

We're going to my parents house tommorow so we are having our Christmas tomorrow. We're all ready.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our year in numbers 2009

Welcome to the official year in numbers post for our family for 2009.

Members of our family that live outside Kristin's belly-5
Members inside Kristin's belly-1
Times we have referred to the baby as Omega-2093
Times people have looked at us strangely when we call the baby Omega-2090
Times people got the meaning without us explaining it-3
Number of pregnancy tests Kristin took in disbelief-2
Number of times we smiled when people said "wow, you have your hands full-145
Number of preschoolers-1
Number of big first graders-1
Number of girls who love school-2
Number of girls who wish they were in school-1
Number of letters Lauren knows-52 (26 upper case and 26 lower case)
Times we went Trick or treating-2
Pounds of candy brought up-10
Pounds that ended up at someone's place of employment-8
Times the girls went to the zoo-22
Times they went to the Splash Pad-25
Days spent at the Irish Festival-1
Days spent talking about what a good time we had at the Irish Festival-69
Amount of new jobs gotten-0 (finally!)
Number of tickly toes in our house-30
Hours Bob spent watching football- way too many
Amount of strands of lights on our house this year-3
Times a girly girl has said "our house is so pretty for Christmas- 29
Amount of ornaments currently off of our tree- 32
Amount of times Kristin has threatened to take down the tree-509
Days spent at a hotel-1
Slices of Earl's pizza eaten-6
Amount of cookies made by Kristin and the girly girls- dozens and dozens
Times no cookies have been left by the time Bob got home- at least 5
Drinks on the World Tour completed by Bob- 95, as of today! 5 more to go.
Days left in Kristin's last pregnancy-34, but whose counting.
Amount of times Kristin has ordered from Amazon-34
Amount of time shopping in a actual store for Chrismtas- way too many according to Kristin, only 1 hour according to Bob
Days when we are so thankful for each other and the many, many blessings the Lord has blessed us with this year: 365

Friday, December 18, 2009

No picture of Santa

Santa we like you. We don't go all into you like many households but we do like you. You are a fond Christmas memory for me and my husband. You also give us the chance to discuss the One who does "see us when we're sleeping, and knows when we're awake". You give us a chance to talk about the One who gives good and perfect gifts to His children.

I hauled three children to the mall last night with the assistance with my husband. You know the 2 year old and the 4 year old who just had a Christmas party and the 6 year old who babbled on about the Winter break. They were kind of excited.

I know you like to hang out at the mall. I guess you don't realize, Santa, that the mall is not a good place for my family. See, my 6 year old has Autism. There is so much stimulation at the mall. The lights, the sounds, the smell, the 1 million people there. It's kind of crazy. I mean, I get overstiumlated there and I'm considered to be neurotypical. I still don't think I've recovered from loosing Lauren at the mall in Christmas of 2007.

My kids have not always been fans of yours. You probably remember but I have photographic proof. Santa pictures in 2005 and 2006 didn't go so well. I no longer drag my kids up to see you. Very simply, what's fun and amusing when your kid is 2 or 3, just isn't as funny when your kid is 6.

You know Santa, I'm desperately trying to live with one leg in the typical world and one leg in the special needs world. It is a difficult balance to make and one that I fall off of frquently. So, when my 4 year old requests to go see you, we do. It's what typical families do. However, when your 6 year old starts screaming in agony you make promises that she won't have to have anything to do with you. That's what special needs parents do.

We arrive at the mall last night and stand in line. I walk my 4 year old up to you and watch my 6 year old wave to you at a distance. That's what parents of both types of children do.

We were doing well Santa, living in this dual world last night. But, Santa, you made one fatal mistake that I fear has put a damper on our relationship. You, pointed at my 6 year old and said "What's wrong with her? She doesn't want to come see me. A big girl like that?"

It took everything in me to say "Nothing is wrong with her. What's wrong with you?" She's 6 and she has Autism. End of story. Nothing is wrong with her.

I'm think Santa, you may need to sign up for a class in how to interact with people with disabilities. My daughter is among a large and growing group. Kids who look totally typical on the outside but aren't on the inside.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just too tired

I'm just too tired to go to the mall to go Christmas shopping. I've discovered the joy of Internet shopping in full this year.

However, we will be going tonight. My little two have a desperate need to see Santa and to sit on his lap. Big words and I'm wondering how it will play out tonight.

I've made heartfelt promises to Lauren that she will not have to sit or say anything to Santa. She does have to go to the mall with us but she can do it.

I keep joking that Bob will miss the UPS man come January. He must come to our house almost everyday. I hope it's not a hard break up. Hey, I signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime. Nothing beats ordering a Care Bear watch that costs $4.49 and paying no shipping. I don't have to hunt for filler items to get to the magic $25 mark.

I even was late to work today because I was ordering a coming home outfit for the baby. Online, of course. It should be here in a few days and then I'll feel like I'm actually going to have a baby instead of carrying a very heavy bowling ball around.

Today, UPS and Fedex are coming. Maybe they'll show up together. I've always wondered if it's awkward for them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mispronnunciation #2

It's not really being mispronnounced but I love how Shannon says it.

If we got out at night, Shannon will point to the sky and yell "it's darking out"

Monday, December 14, 2009


My kids mix up words so many times. I don't want to forget how they say certain things.

Ellie at 4 1/2 talks about "raths" all the time. Raths are green and have red dots and bows. You see them on houses all the time and she wants one to hang out her window but mommy just has one for the front door.

I finally discovered she was talking about wreaths.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I was walking in the lobby of my work and someone asked me when I was due and I replied with the standard end of January. They asked the next standard question "what are you having?" Thankfully it wasn't followed by the "OMG, are you sure it's not twins remark"

But when I replied and said "I don't know, we'll find out in January" she was absolutely shocked. She said "they let you do that?" It's not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last. It always makes me laugh. People think that it must be against the law to not know and to chose to find out at delivery. Contrary to popular belief, you are allowed to not know and your doctor doesn't pin you down screaming "it's a" at the ultrasound.

Less than 7 weeks to go and I am ready!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Double Standard

I've had to rearrange my working life this week. I had a doctor's appointment bright and early Monday morning and didn't feel like coming in to work beforehand. Lauren also had Doughnuts with Dad's on Tuesday so I couldn't go to work until that was done. I almost always have to be walking out of the door at work at 4:45 because Bob starts at 5:00.

Bob was off on Monday so I worked until 6. The only problem was I had scheduled pictures for the girls at 7:00. It wasn't the challenge most people thought. Bob gave the girls a bath, brushed their hair, had the outfits ironed. The only thing he did "wrong" was putting pink socks on Lauren. He is black/white color blind. I arrived home at 6:15 and put a barrette in Shannon's hair, a head band in Ellie's, and looked for one lost shoe (there is always at least one lost shoe in our house).

When I told this story to people at work, they were shocked. They were shocked that he could do that all. I'm convinced if I had done it no one would have batted an eye. It would have been expected at me.

He stays home with the girls during the day and works at night. He takes such excellent care of them. Not exactly how I would. No one would be in the "catpiller jamas" at 12 if I was home. But excellent care of them. They go to the zoo, the Y, play outside in the summer. When we tell people he stays home and will stay home with 4 kids (the oldest being not yet 7), it elevates him to sainthood.

He takes all of them shopping. I do too but there is a notable different. When I take the girls and they act far less than perfect, people glare at me. When he takes them and they act like the wild hooligans they are, people stop and smile sympathetically and offer to help. No one has ever offered to help me even on our worst shopping trip. I think they just mutter something about some people not knowing what birth control is.

I have yet to figure out why this double standard exists. Is it that we hold mothers to such a high unattainable standard? Or is it that we expect so little of fathers that merely do something is "good enough?" It's probably a combination of both. Sadly, neither shows kids a proper model for mothers or fathers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

OT issues

Lauren needs OT services. What are OT services? Good question! Everyone knows what a physical therapist does and what a speech therapist does. Occupational therapy remains a mystery. My best friend, Cathy, from college is an OT and I had some idea of what she was studying to be but I never really got it until I had a child who desperately needed those services.

Cathy has explained it to me this way and it is a simple explanation but it's the one I've found that makes the most sense. She says "We help people get back to doing their job--- whatever their job is at that moment in time". My job is to go to work, type on a computer, do housework (sooo wish that wasn't my job), and care for my job. Lauren's job is to play, write, do school work, and be a 6 year old.

Lauren has been going to this OT since around the 4th of July. I've never met her but I have to be at work at 7:30 on Fridays and OT starts at 7:15. I was going to go in February, one of the many things I'm going to do on materinity leave. I rarely take time off because I'm saving all my leave for when I have Omega.

All is going well, so I thought until today.

The private OT (Holly) has been working with Lauren has come to the conclusion that Lauren has a processing problem in her brain which is why she has such difficulty writing. She is able to draw straight (relatively) lines but gets confused when she has to switch directions. Since there is only one letter (I) that you can make and go only one direction, she doesn't think Lauren will ever be able to write or even form basic letters.

Problems with this: Lauren is still considered a VERY young child in regards to writing. I will admit that next to her focus/attention problems her fine motor skills are her absolute weakest skill (she scored at age 6 in the 2 y ear level on the VMI (visual motor index). Lauren has never been diagnosed with an underlying neurological disorder which would lend it self to such as statement. Now, I'm still not convinced that Lauren doesn't have an underlying neurological disorder besides Autism. We just haven't found one as of now.

Anyway, when I heard this I decided to not sit at my desk and cry which was my first response but I called her OT at school who has been working with her since 9/08. She does not agree at all with that assessment. Teri (school OT) even said that even if she believed that it is still way too early to make that type of assessment. They do a lot of Hand over Hand( HOH) exercises with Lauren. Teri has noticed a difference in her this year as Lauren is now attempting to force her hand to go a certain way making letters. She knows which way an F is suppopsed to go, she may not be able to make it go that way independently but she knows which way it is supposed to go. Secondarily, she can now make an L. It is readable and legible. Not on a 1st grade level but it's there.

I also called Cathy. We had a quick conversation as there were six young children screaming in the background. Three of mine and three of hers. She always makes me feel normal. She's never woked with Lauren on a clinical level but also indicates that based on Lauren's diagnosis and test scores and age, she would not be able to make that type of assessment at age 6. She said she would feel uncomfortable making that assessment at age 10-12 let alone 6.

Anyway, I have Lauren's school OT calling her private OT. Maybe I'm missing something. Holly also said she doesn't think OT should continue due to the above reason. Teri (school OT) also said if we are going to jump to this conclusion we absolutely need to get her neurologist involved. That's not something Holly has suggested either.

It boils down to us needing someone convinced that Lauren can succeede despite her limitations. Lauren doesn't know what she not able to do and she doesn't know that there is anything wrong with her. I don't ned someone working with Lauren who has come to this conclusion at such an early age.

Bob also asked multiple times if she felt that Lauren was going to have a hard time writing and she stated that she was never going to be able to write.

I remember when Lauren was under 1 and had been diagnosed with Failure to Thrive. There was one doctor at our practice that made me feel horrible. I kept going to see him until I was a crying mess. I then made new appointments with a new docotr within the practice. I was so scared to say something to him or to switch right away when I felt uncomfortable with him. That's not the case anymore. It's amazing how mcuh more confident I feel advocating for Lauren at age 6 then I did at age 1.