Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday Morning

This past weekend was wonderful. We had very little planned and got to enjoy some quite time and relaxation with the boys. On Sunday it was a bit chilly but Jay got up and suggested we go to the Stony Nature Center. Of course, I said - great, lets go. The boys and I have gone several times this year. Mostly with my sister and nephews or Papa Tom. My boys even call the actual Nature Center - Papa's barn. I guess they really associate it with him. My boys truly have a love of nature and love going.
Pics are below -
Our first stop on the trails. They love to find rocks and throw them in the river. Fin could do this for hours but Carson is all about the hike so, he was bored at this point and wanted to move on.
Still waiting for Fin.
Okay - he was over it and decided he was going to move on. Of course, we were close behind. He would hike the trails for hours if we could keep up with him.

Come on, one more time?

Jay kept asking me to dare him to cross over the river on this tree. I told him he was crazy and that no, I would not dare him to do it but that I was sure he could. No need to prove it to me!

I love pictures of kids running and having fun. Of course, there is always brotherly competition - each one of them insists on being the leader.

A bridge.

My all time favorite pic! First one of them holding hands and I love Fin's face looking at Carson. They did this totally on their own. Makes it extra special.

We had a great time. It was Jay's first time there and he loved it too. He kept commenting to me that it was very relaxing. Our next date night, we are going to pack a dinner and just go hang at Stony. We have an annual pass and really, it pays for itself in just a few trips. It is really a nice and affordable family activity.
Love you - Emily

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Through My Eyes by Thanh Bui

Hi Everyone,

I just got an e-mail on this new song being released to help people understand what it is like living with ASD.

I joined a few different groups on Facebook and sometimes I get great stuff like this.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Just click on the link and the song should play.

Through My Eyes by Thanh Bui

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Armada Fair 2009!

Well it was that time of year again...Emily's favorite week of summer! We had plans to go to the fair multiple times but unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate this year. We only made it once but we made the most of it.

The night started out kind of rocky. Em met me at work with the boys and then we were meeting my mom at the fair. Our plan was to see the animals and eat fair food (not go on rides.) However, while at my work, my boss asked Carson what his favorite part of the fair was - the animals or the rides? From that moment on, it was "Rides, Rides, Roller Coaster, Roller Coaster, Roller Coaster!" That was what we heard all the way to the fair. I love roller coasters but I hate fair rides so I said "Maybe Granny will go on with you!" I know my mom hates fair rides too.

We had to wait about ten minutes for my mom to get there and then we headed over to the rides. The thing with Carson is that while he is on a ride, he is already looking for the next ride. I put both boys on the little train ride. In the middle of the ride, Carson spotted the bumblebee ride and proceeded to unbuckle himself and Griffin and try to get off while the train was moving. That was fun! My mom was a sport and did some rides with him and so did I. Then I bribed him with fries to take a break. After some fair food, we headed over to the animals. We were going to do the pony rides....however, Carson wanted to ride the huge horses that the police were riding around the fairgrounds. Then the meltdown began because he didn't want the other ponies:>)

Once he calmed down and we finally got into the barns with the lambs and pigs, the fun began. Carson LOVED petting them. Griffin, of course, was scared of everything.

At least we ended on a good note and made some fun memories! Here are some pics....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Unnecessary Stress!

Hey! It's me Jay! So I just want to take a minute to vent about our week.

As many of you know, Carson was all set for mainstream kindergarten this fall. We had our IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting in the Spring and were so excited with the outcome. We were told that Carson would be in PM kindergarten with a class size of about 16, with aids in and out and a resource room that he could go to periodically, if needed. Sounds pretty good, eh?

We got a letter last month saying Carson was in AM kindergarten, which I thought was just a mistake so I called and left a message for them to call me when they got back so we could straighten it out. Well, it wasn't a mistake. I got a call on Monday telling me that Carson was placed in AM kindergarten because all of the kids with special needs were placed in AM. Every section now has 28 kids in each class. Call me crazy but that seems insane to me. 28 kindergarten kids with one teacher, five of the kids with special needs. Now, the principal has changed as well as the speech therapist that we met so half of the people from our IEP meeting are gone, which also lessens our comfort level. One of the elementary schools in our district closed so I guess they had to divide their kids up among the other five elementary schools. I get it but really, could they maybe have let us know the situation since it is totally not what we all agreed to in our IEP?

I am not at all comfortable sending Carson to this environment. Anyone who knows him can only imagine how one teacher could handle him and 27 others. Crazy!

We spent most of the week making phone calls and scrambling for other options. School starts in two some of the places we checked, it starts in one week.

We have a couple of options. However, they are private schools so the tuition is $1500 - 1700 minimum (so far.) Some are as high as $3500. Don't get me wrong, you cannot put a price on your child's education. We will find the best fit for him but it is ridiculous that we only have two weeks or less to do it now. Thankfully, Em and I are on the same page and are tag-teaming this issue. I had an appt. set up for us yesterday. She has another one set up next Wed. and a call into another one. I have a call into the district's special services department (they are in charge of the IEP.) I'm requesting another IEP this week and asking for a full time aide for Carson. This was brought up in our last IEP but no one felt it was necessary with the situation the way that it I think it is necessary or we will not be sending him to our local public kindergarten.

Just some unnecessary stress.....ugggh! Thanks for listening to me vent.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What's new? Not much!

To me, this summer seems like it is the summer out of time. Like almost the whole thing flew by and I never really felt like it had arrived.

Some updates -
  • Carson - doing great. Still plugging away with all his therapies. He is amazing me daily with his conversation skills. I love, love, love to listen to my little man talk. Today he had a foot doc appointment (don't ask!) and we had a few minutes to play "doctor" while we waited for the real doc to come in. He loves to play doctor and decided that my feet had boo boos and needed help. He created a whole machine and called it the nickle machine and it was going to chop off my foot but, it was not going to hurt at all. I was dying with laughter. His imagination is tremendous and the things he comes up with kill me. He also decided while we were talking that baby girl should be named Moses. Again, where he got this, I have no idea. When I was laughing, he grabbed my face and pulled it to his and was giggling and kissed me. I love that he is beginning to understand these connections and enjoying them as well.

  • Although we have many times like the one above - Lately, Carson is not happy with having to go to all his therapies. Frankly, I don't blame him one bit. He is always asking to go home and play. When at home, he just wants to be left alone and it does make me sad at times. He works so hard at therapy that by the time he can come home and play he does not want to talk much. He has been tuning us out (at times) lately but I have been assured that this is not regression just his need to decompress and have quite time. Please pray for him to have just a bit more patience and stick it out through the month of September.

  • School - it starts in just about one month and I am getting very nervous. I am excited for him as well. Even though he has been going to school for two years already, this is sort of the "big time". This will be mainstream! This will be his chance to see if all the hard work of the past three years has prepared him for mainstream school. I am preparing myself for it to go both ways. I have to. Not that I see him failing but should it not be a good fit just yet, I don't want my heart to break all over again. Not for me, but for him! He so badly wants friends (although, he is still learning how to go about that and at times, does not do so well at it). He is very excited to go and I hope that he does not get frustrated or stressed out and feel anxiety about it. Again, pray for him to enjoy school and find his place in it.

  • Fin - is convinced I am having a boy and will argue with you that I am. He wants nothing to do with having a sister. On Thursday's we visit my cousin Audrey while Carson is at therapy. She has a two daughters, Sophia 2 yrs. and Gianna 7mos. Last week, he got very jealous of me holding Gianna and playing with her. I am happy that this week, he liked to play with us and did really well. We still have to work on being super gentle but he kept telling her she was cute. Fin is very much in love with is cousin Sophia. The highlight of his week is going to see her. (we try to have a play date once a week) He is getting so big and so grown up. His language continues to amaze me and his sweet personality is just so much fun.

  • Baby Girl - she is doing great and as of Friday weighs 3.4lbs. She was moving all around and practicing her breathing. I am starting to feel pressure to get things done. My Mom and Dad have been a huge help in moving Fin's things into Carson's room. Jay spent a whole day accommodating my request to move this or that. My Dad is going to paint her room this week. We chose a lavender color and my Mom is making her bedding and some accessories. There is lots of love being poured into her room and I hope she likes it. I will post some pics before and after this week. We think we have narrowed down the names to two - Mia or Claire. I love them both and really it could go either way. Her planned arrival is just 8 weeks away. That seems to be coming so fast. We can't wait to meet her but I am happy that she is thriving so well and growing. Don't come too early little girl!

  • Me - Honestly, I feel good. This is the best pregnancy I have ever had. I still get sick from time to time and that has been different but my body has managed to not wig out. With both the boys buy this stage in the game, my blood pressure was crazy. I was having non-stress tests every 72 hours. Little girl must do something to me because, my BP is perfect and so is my sugar levels. The only things really getting to me are - sleep, picking things up and rest. I have started the, lets get up 50 times a night. I hate that and it then makes me extra tired during the day. If you have come by my house recently, you will notice that the toys are EVERYWHERE. They are all over the floor. I can't hardly stand to pick anything up. Not because it does not bug me but because it is so uncomfortable. Bending over with this belly is very difficult. Other than that, I feel wonderfully blessed to be nearing the end of a very uneventful pregnancy. Boring feels really good.

I hope to post some pics this week. I am going to try to make more time for postings. I started this one over a week ago and now, just finished it.

Thanks for checking in - love you - Em

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Michigan's Adventure!

Hi Everyone! A couple of weeks ago, our neighbors (and friends) invited us to meet them at Michigan's Adventure! We decided to join them and are so glad that we did. We had an awesome time! I highly recommend the park. It was very clean and reasonably priced.

Carson and I managed to hit one roller coaster. We would have done more (he loved it) but it's really hard for Carson to wait in line. Still working on that impulse control....

Griffin was just a little pissed that he could not go on the roller coaster (maybe next time...)

Carson driving the cars....

Carson was so brave on the waterslides. He loved them!

Griffin was not too keen on the waterpark but he LOVED the ice cream...

Carson took a little break for some fries.

Poor Carson...he tore his feet up from a fall in the wave pool.

Our neighbors Steve, Carolyn, Luc and Gage. They are awesome!

More slides....

Wiped out....

Some kiddie rides......

What a great trip! Can't wait until next time!