Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Busy Thursday

Well I'm pretty sure I'm over my strep throat - or at least the antibiotics have kicked into high gear and I'm feeling much better. A week and good medicine can make a world of difference.

Today was crazy. I had to work at 6 for the second day in a row - so yes, I'm tired. My mom watched Katie as Mary is still at camp. She'll be home early tomorrow....and a big surprise awaits her. My mom & I redecorated her room. I felt like we were on "Extreme Makeover - Mary's room edition." My hair, legs, feet and arms are all "Pretty in Pink" Pink. It's a Disney color - and if I wasn't so tired I'd probably look up the link for you -- maybe I will tomorrow, but at this point I'm simply struggling to keep my eyes open :) I couldn't take a pic of the room tonight because I want to take it with sunlight in the window. It's a really nicely lit room with a morning sun I'll try to take some pics in the morning before Mary gets home. The pink is almost overwhelming - but that's what she wanted. They say pink is a relaxing color. We'll see if that works.
I am so happy that gas has dropped to 3.65 here that I couldn't even wait for a "weekend update" post to share. Not sure how or why that has happened, but my mini-van and my budget are not complaining at all :)

On Tuesday night we were able to go down to St. Joe and visit Mary. We spent some time at the beach which was awesome and we also got to eat some of the most amazing Mexican food I've ever had (better than anything I had while I lived in Chicago, so that is saying a lot.) Mary was so tired that she fell asleep (picture) on the 5 minute drive from the beach to the restaurant. It was quite the evening.

Well, I'm sure I'll have much more as the weekend develops, but for now sleep is calling. Good-night.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

American Girl Doll Camp

This is Mary with Mia & Nicki - they are getting ready to load up and head off to American Girl Camp. I already miss her -- and she's only been gone 2 nights. I spoke with her this morning and she was so tired already. They are going horseback riding today, so she was very excited. She has never been horseback riding before :)
Because it is a day camp and she is staying with Pat (my father-in-law's girlfriend) it is cool because she can call us and tell us all the fun things she is doing. She was too tired to talk this morning (and that says a lot, because just as her mother (me) she usually likes to talk :). Anyway - we are possibly going to drive down there tonight and see how she's doing and maybe hit the beach for a little bit....if so, I'll take pics. But otherwise it's mommy & Katie week. I'm drinking lots of coffee and at present we are watching a lot of Veggie Tales. So far, so good!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Land of Strep

Sorry for the brief hiatus from posting...

On Thursday I ended up at the doctor's office after crying through Katie's entire speech therapy session. I was so sick that I felt like doing nothing but cry. So, I made a doctor's appointment for that afternoon . I had to bring Katie with me (which is never a good option - she hates Dr.'s offices). As soon as they called my name to come back she sprinted for the door and headed to the parking lot. By the time we finally got back in so that I could have my blood pressure taken, I told the nurse, "this might not be good". I was crying again. Katie then proceeded to fall off of her chair and onto the nurses foot while she tried to take my blood pressure. My BP ended up being fine (surprise), but I looked & felt a mess... When the doctor came in she asked me how I was doing, and yes, I started crying again. She checked me out and told me that I had strep and that my ear drum was very close to bursting. Lovely. No wonder I had been crying all day. We also had a really good conversation about parenting autistic children and how it's not always easy (especially when you feel like dog doo-doo and all you want to do is curl up in a ball and go to sleep!) She actually gave me a big hug, an entire box of Kleenex (the good brand-name stuff) and a couple of prescriptions for some good meds to help me feel better. The bummer is that it is now Saturday night (almost Sunday) and I am just now starting to feel a little bit better. Antibiotics help, but in this case they definitely did not work overnight. I actually felt worse on Friday than I did on Thursday. Thank goodness that I have wonderful parents who live close-by and have been a huge help while Bill has been working. It can be very hard to watch Katie when you are sick...especially as sick as I have been . I don't know what it is about strep, but it always kicks my butt. I used to get it a lot in college - and I would dread it because it seemed to take forever to get over. I am doing a little better tonight. My glands are still very swollen -- and my ear is still hurting, but my throat has improved a lot. I've been trying to get Mary packed for American Girl Doll Camp - she leaves tomorrow afternoon -- and that has taken about all of the energy that I have. Her suitcase is packed and her dolls are I'll have more about that later I'm sure. But for now, this sick-o is going to bed. Good Night.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quick Post

This is becoming a crazy week, but I wanted to do a quick update. I have some cute new pics of the girls...if I have time I will try to add them to the post when I get home from work tonight. Yes, work is starting to get busier. That is an answer to prayer -- for as much as I love being able to be home with the girls, the extra income that my job provides is a necessary part of our life. So if you think of it...pray that my hours would continue to increase. Only 5 weeks til school starts :)

The girls are good. Katie is fighting a cold - her schedule is completely out of whack this week. She fell asleep before 7 last night and then spent half of the night playing and "talking to herself" in her room...yikes. Mary is getting ready for American Girl Doll Camp next week. She went to a "Fancy Nancy" party at the library this morning with her friend across the street. I have a picture of her in her Fancy Nancy crown and dress that I will post later on... it's cute. Katie tried on the crown, too, which is also a really funny keep an eye out for those.

The garden is also really starting to come into it's own...we are hoping for lots of tomatoes soon -- I'm not holding my breath for the sweet corn -- but miracles do happen.

Okay - I need to get ready for work -- but look for those pics later -- and I think I was able to fix my music on this page, too -- so I think we're in good shape. Have a great Wednesday.

I was able to get the pics up before I left for work -- so the top is Katie with the Fancy Nancy crown on -- she doesn't look all that thrilled ;) and then there's Mary - the true epitome of Fancy Nancy -- all she was missing was the boa!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mia & Nicki

Mary received a package in the mail today. Her Great Aunt Kay (Bill's aunt) is a fabulous seamstress and makes the most beautiful American Girl Doll Clothes. Mary is going to a week long "American Girl Doll Camp" a week from tomorrow - and Aunt Kay decided to send some new outfits for the "girls". We are so blessed to have an "Aunt Kay" to do this for us...she is retired and has a little extra time on her hands....I especially love the orange crocheted jacket...too cute.

Friday, July 18, 2008

9:15 and All is Well...

As an update to my post earlier this morning....

I'm on my second cup of coffee and feeling much more awake and alive... and ready to face the day. As of 9:15 am here is our status:

Daughter 1 is :

Daughter 2 is:

Pretty typical morning... and I'm moving on to my 3rd cup. Happy Friday.

Weekend Update...Wow Do I Need Coffee...

This hasn't been a big blogging week for me. My hours are starting to increase at work as we head into back to school time...we do more hiring and that means more hours for me:). That is a good thing.....but it also means that I'm more tired and less motivated to do anything when I'm home.....

When you put on top of that the fact that it has been 90 degrees with high humidity for the last 2 or 3 days...(which isn't really that typical for a Michigan summer), you recognize that my kids have hit the mid-summer -- I'm bored-- phase, we havent' gone on vacation yet and the fact that gas in our area hit 4.25 for a 3 day stretch this week (although I hear it may be headed down under the 4 dollar mark after yesterday's drop in oil prices ) -- well, I'm spent. I feel very human -- or maybe I just feel like every other mom out there who works outside the home - torn between work and home -- wanting to be super mom when I am home, but not always feeling emotionally or physically able to be that person. Let's face it, the art of motherhood is a lot of work...especially if you want to do ...well, the best job you can do.

I know, this is getting deep for a weekend update -- but it wouldn't be my blog if it wasn't real, would it.? I think I just need to make today about the girls and I. Bill is at work. The dishes and laundry will be there tomorrow - or tonight after the go to bed. Maybe we'll hit the park before the heat index hits 110. :) ..and maybe I'll take some pictures or even think about re-kindling my love of scrapbooking... but first, I definitely need my coffee.

Wherever you are, have a good day...and remember, that laundry can wait, but your kids can't. And maybe, that's really the key.
This shows you where we've come to at this point in the summer. Laying on the island in the kitchen to watch T.V..... oh well, she's happy. :) Have a great day!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Need a Lift?

Do you need some encouragement? Check out this and watch the video. To see the story behind the video, go here. Thanks to Pastor Pete for once again finding ways to encourage us from hundreds of miles away. Enjoy the music...and take comfort in the fact that our God is the Healer.

11 years and counting...

Well it was quite the weekend to say the least. I have yet to recover as I sit here with my eyes half open. Katie is at respite care today. She & Dorie went here today (which of course made big sister jealous...but we're working on that). Mary & I have plans to go to the park and do some fun things this afternoon. I just wanted to get some things done around the house first...then I can relax without feeling guilty.

Saturday was our 11th wedding anniversary. Hard to believe. We had a great time. We had been given a gift certificate, so we were able to go here for dinner (otherwise, even for an anniversary dinner, this place is way out of our price range...but it sure was delicious.) We had a sitter for the whole evening but called it a short night and came home to watch the race. I know, we're pathetic...but that's just how we are.

On Sunday we did "church" and then came home to tear down the swimming pool, re-level and re-surface the area and then put the pool back up again. It was a lot of work, but the pool looks much better. It was becoming very sloped -- so we should be good for the rest of the summer now :)

Overall, it was a great weekend..but actually a very emotional one for me. I did a lot of thinking, and a lot of talking with both Bill & my Mom about how Katie has changed our life so much, and how she will continue to change our life forever. I think it was part of the ongoing process of having a special needs have to grieve the loss of certain things.. the loss of your hopes and dreams for them - or at least the loss of what you had thought your hopes and dreams were - we have new ones for Katie now... but it's all a process. Obviously when Bill & I were married 11 years ago we never dreamed or imagined the things that have happened over the past 11 years -- and I don't think any couple imagines that they will be parenting a special needs child. But one thing is for sure - we are a team, we are in this together. It is a process of learning and loving and figuring things out day by day. So, happy belated anniversary honey. I love you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

First Fruits

I believe that we have entered the "lazy days of summer" -- at least at our house we have. Katie continues to spend countless hours in the pool (that was the best gift the girls have ever received -- thanks Pa Pa & Grandmoo --) Mary and I have been focusing on the garden which has now begun to bear it's first fruits. We have had a handful of jalapeno peppers and in the picture Mary is holding the first pickle and first banana pepper. The tomatoes are coming, too -- which is for me the best part of the garden. We are still holding out hope for the corn....We'll keep you posted.
We actually were able to do speech therapy twice this week -- therapy is the part of summer which is definitely not 'lazy' - its a lot of work, even at home. We are concentrating this week on having Katie point to objects that she wants and not giving them to her until she points and says the first sound of the word. Easier said than done in the world of autism...but the consistency seems to be paying off.
Well, I'm off to enjoy my lazy day.....
P.S. -- Yes, Katie really is THAT's unbelievable actually. One of the therapists at the hospital actually asked me if we had her hair highlighted (LOL)...nope...she just lives in the pool. (Like she would sit to have her hair highlighted -- she doesn't even sit for a haircut. Grandmoo cuts it while Katie is in the bathtub :)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Good Times... was a good 4th. Katie now loves fireworks. She never used to be able to handle the loud noise. The top picture is her reaction to the great works on the lake. It was awesome. The weather was perfect earlier in the Mary was able to swim. I then took pictures of the fireworks (not an easy task).....and got a great shot of the hubby and I with an amazing sunset. Life is good...How was your 4th?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Weekend Update - Holiday Edition

Well, it's been quite the week....

Mary & I went to see Wall-E on Monday while Katie was at respite. Cute movie with a good 'earth-friendly' message. We will definitely buy the DVD if you get a chance to take a child (or even by yourself) go see it!

Wednesday brought a massive rain/hail/thunderstorm to our area. We were without power from dinner time Wednesday until noon on Thursday. Autism and no electricity don't really go very well together (I think I have blogged on that previously -- as in last summer when we were without power for 4 days). About 2 hours after the power had gone out, Katie was so crazy..she was beside herself b/c her precious videos wouldn't play. I literally sat at the table with her curled around my legs. I was rubbing her back and I prayed, "Lord, I need you to take over here. Please either turn the power back on or do something to help Katie." Within 15 minutes she was asleep, and she slept all night. Thank-you God.

The other good thing that came out of the storm is our new generator. My parents bought us a generator as an early/late birthday, anniversary, Christmas present. They know that with Katie, it is too difficult for her to not be able to watch TV and to not have lights on. She is very OCD and she has to have lights on/off at specific times. Autism is (as I always say) such a complicated illness. So now, we are all set for future power outages (and I won't lose the food in my fridge/freezer, as we have a deep freeze that I use to stock up on meat when it goes on we really didn't want to lose that either.) Thanks Mom & Dad.

The power came back on and we had a good Thursday. Katie didn't get to go to speech either time this week which was kind of a bummer. Ruth was sick on Tuesday and on Thursday we were without power and trying to get the generation situation under control. She goes back Monday before respite. I'm hoping to get an update on how Ruth thinks she 's doing with the blending of the two different vowel sounds. I'm not too overly optimistic as I personally have not seen a lot of improvement with that at home....

Gas continues to hover anywhere from 4.04 to 4.19 in our area....thank goodness for Bill's motorcycle. It's saving our gas budget in a big way!

Oh, and by the way HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!!!!

P.S. The tooth fairy also came this week - I'm not sure how I forgot that. Earrings were the "prize"...good thing the tooth fairy is so educated about what children want when their teeth fall out that she keeps a supply on hand.....