Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Rough Start

So Andrew is 2 1/2 weeks old now. He's been home for a week and a half! Seems like he's been here a lot longer though.

We've had quite the rough start though. First his whole NICU stay. Then it took a lot longer than usual for me to feel "back to myself" after the c-section. The doctor said it was because I spent the first week of my recovery back and forth to and from the NICU instead of recovering at home. Ended up back at the doctor due to swelling in my legs and a pain in my calf. After that appt I ended up in the ER because they were afraid I had a blood clot in my leg. No blood clot, but the ER found something wrong with my heart. Seems my heart rate is extremely low. By low I mean instead of the average 79 beats a minute, my heart is beating at 38 beats a minute. They haven't been able to find a blood pressure on me. When they do find one it's extremely low at 96/70 or something like that. ER ran a bunch of tests and everything came back fine. I was then referred to a cardiologist. The cardiologist wanted to put me on a heart monitor for 24 hours and do an Echocardiograham. They also did an EKG on me too. During the EKG they found an extended QT interval. I did the 24 hour heart monitor and when I went back to turn it in they did the Echo on me.

I got a phone call this morning saying they couldn't get anything off of the 24 hour monitor because there was to much "interference". I went back this afternoon to have a new 24 hour monitor put on and was then told that they couldn't do another 24 hour monitor because it was the breastfeeding that was causing the interference. They talked to the doctor to see if there was another monitor they could put on me. They said that me lifting the netting on the monitor to nurse Andrew and my milk coming in caused the interference. They asked if I had thought about not nursing. I told her "the baby is only 2 weeks old." At that point I was told until I stop nursing there wasn't anything they could do. They told me to call back when I stop nursing to have a new monitor put on. Until then "if you experience any symptoms of heart problems go straight to the ER"

I know my health is more important than breastfeeding Andrew, but he's only 2 weeks old!


I'm really having a rough start here. I'm sure Andrew senses it too cause he's been crying constantly the last few days. I'm up every hour and a half to 2 hours with him at night and still getting up to get the boys off to school even though my mother in law has been here helping out. She's doing all the running around taking them to and from school and cleaning and cooking and everything, but I just feel like I'm not getting any breaks.

My Mother in law leaves Saturday morning and in one sense I'm looking forward to getting into our own routine and figuring things out on my own. On the other hand I just don't know how I'm gonna handle it all on my own.

I feel like the world is leaving me behind. I haven't had time to get online lately and it's almost like no one calls me anymore "just to talk".

I know this entry sounds like I'm depressed or have a touch of the "baby blues" but I promise I don't. I'm just trying to find my way with all this stuff going on.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My NICU baby

So after what seemed like an eternal wait Andrew Jacob was born on Friday November 19th 2010 at 1:45pm.

The c-section went well. We are glad that we had the baseball team of specialists in the OR as I did have a lot of scar tissue and I did have a lot of adhesions. I had signed the papers to agree to a tubal while in the OR but it didn't matter anyway as they were not able to get to my tubes. The doctor said there was to much scar tissue and because Roy has had a vasectomy already he had told me beforehand that he would just do the tubal if it was easy to do. He wasn't going to add any risks to me or fight his way in there. He told me after the c-section that he basically just did what he had to do. He got me open, got to my uterus, got Andrew out and closed me up. He said that was the most important thing and he wasn't going to add any risks to me without needing to. I was SO happy that things went so well.

Going into this c-section I was SO scared. I knew the risks, I knew what could very possibly go wrong. Before I went in I made sure I had kissed my kids and told them I loved them. I made sure I told Roy what to do if something happened to me. I was just very nervous and everything about this c-section. So when I was on the table and they said they were done and were closing me up I started tearing up.

We joked during the entire c-section about how everyone was to yell "It's a GIRL!" when Andrew was born even though he was a boy. I told my doc that I'd never heard that said during a c-section and I wanted to know what it sounded like. LMAO One of the nurses told me she was going to tell me "Surprise it's triplets!" I told her "that's fine as long as at least one of them is a girl!" LOL

When Andrew was born my doctor said "ok here you go, even though it's not true...."It's a girl!" LMAO! The other specialist was like "OMG is it really?! I didn't see what it was when we pulled the baby out!" And we all said at the same time "Nope sorry to disappoint you, but it's a boy." LOL

Andrew came out screaming. I listened to him crying for a minute and listened as the nurse's said how HUGE he was, then listened as they said how small he was. I was telling Roy I didn't understand. One of the nurses came over to me and said they were bringing the NICU team in to take a look at him and my face must have dropped because she looked me in the eyes and said "I'm calm, you're calm." "you don't see me running around do you?" "You don't see him being rushed out of here. The longer he stays in here the better!" And I just started crying and nodding my head.

I saw them wheel an incubator by my head and started saying to Roy "what's wrong with him? what's going on?" and Roy told me he didn't know that he couldn't see the baby because there was to many nurses around him. The nurse came back over to me and told me that they were going to take the baby to the NICU as he was having some trouble breathing. She said they would bring him over to me and let me see him first but that the NICU team thinks he's actually a lot younger than we think he is. I asked what that meant and she said my chart showed me as 39 weeks, but the NICU team thinks Andrew is closer to 35-36 weeks. He was having trouble breathing and that his "features" were premature even though he was 8lbs 4oz. When they brought him over to me I could immediately see what they were talking about. Although he was a good size baby his face just seemed a lot smaller. He had lots of wrinkly skin and just looked tiny.

I went into recovery and my dad and stepmom came in and I started telling them what was going on. We said how much sense that makes because the amnio had come back SO immature that we were questioning it. I had asked my OB "could something be wrong? It doesn't make sense for the levels to be SO low this late in pregnancy." Well it DOES make sense if I was actually only 31-32 weeks along at the amnio instead of the 36 we though I was.

Andrew has been in the NICU since.he had to be intubated and put on a ventilator. He has been given two doses of surfactant and was requiring pretty significant help breathing.

Let me tell you it has been the hardest thing I've gone though EVER I think. I've broken down more times in the last 4 days than I've done my entire life. Just seeing another baby being wheeled into the room next to me was enough for me to break down. A nurse walking into my room and asking where my baby was would cause me to start crying. I told Roy "do you realize how hard it is to hear a baby crying in the room next to you and knowing your baby isn't with you?" Just looking at Andrew with all the tubes and wires all over him just caused me to break on more than one occasion.

Andrew received his second dose of surfactant (which required him to be intubated again to do) and has gotten a spinal tap to check for menengitis, and a head ultrasound to check for brain bleeds. He had an umbilical line placed to be able to draw blood for blood gas level checking without having to poke him a million times each day. He was put on an IV to give him vitamins and minerals. He had a feeding tube placed to be able to remove fluid and air from him belly (which gets there due to the oxygen they have him on). He is now on a CPAP machine and making tons of progress. If you're on my facebook you already know all the nitty gritty details. If you aren't on my facebook go ahead and add me to find out! You can find my facebook on the front page of my diary.

It's now 5am and I just finished pumping. I am home now, without Andrew. And again it's been SO difficult. But I just keep telling myself "he'll be home soon."

I wish I knew who to "blame" for all this. But then I tell myself "having someone to blame isn't going to do anything to help Andrew." Roy keeps saying if Andrew IS only 35-36 weeks and was 8lbs 4oz he almost certainly would have ruptured me if I had gone full term.

SO I'm gonna end this now and just ask for any thoughts and prayers as we continue our NICU journey and pray that Andrew can come home soon and be with us like it should be.

That last pic was taken during the rare 5 minutes they remove all the tubes and wires to rub him.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It was a "no go".

So Monday morning I woke up and got all the boys off to school.  My husband had taken off work that day to be able to attend my son's "pumpkin run" at school and also because of my amnio that afternoon to check on the lung maturity of the baby.  If his lungs were ready we were scheduled to deliver Tuesday afternoon.

After taking the boys to school, hubby and I went to Target and I got 2 new nursing bras and 1 new nursing tank top.  We then went to Costco and got a couple items.  After that we came home and I sat down at the computer and got on facebook.  My Mother in law called then and I was talking to her and all of the sudden I went "OH CRAP!!!!"  My husband came running out of the bedroom and I looked at him and said "Aidan's pumpkin run!!"  I looked at the clock and it said "11:06".  My son's pumpkin run was from 10:45-11:45am.  I don't know why or how but somehow I had COMPLETELY forgotten about it!  We talked about it all weekend, hubby stayed home to go, my son had said to us that morning how excited he was that we were gonna be there and now we had forgotten!  We jumped in the car and I thanked the heavens above that we live literally 2 blocks from the school.  We got to the school and got out of the car JUST in time to see him run by us.  We yelled "Go Aidan!!" and he looked over and smiled and started running as fast as he could.  We walked up the field and saw him cross the finish line.  He came over to us all out of breath and told us he had gotten 116 "points" but didn't know what place he was.  He said over and over "thank you for coming to cheer me on!"  Talk about guilt!!  I was SO upset that I had forgotten.  He then went inside and I looked at my husband and said "Are you serious?? We got here just in time to see him cross the finish line and now I have to walk all the way back to the car?!"

We got back home and I sat back down and called my mother in law back.  My husband left to go to the gym. A little bit later I look at the clock and it said "11:49"  "OH MY GOD!!!"  I have to pick up Avery at 11:50 from preschool!!  What in the world was up with me?!?  I jumped up and took off out of here and thanked the stars above AGAIN that we live SO close to his preschool too!  Got to the preschool and got out of the car as the front doors opened and the teacher walked them out.  Seriously, what else was I gonna forget that day??

Got home and fed Avery some lunch and folded some laundry while talking to my sister on the phone.  My dad showed up at 1:45 to watch Avery and he was also going to pick up my older two boys from school while I was at the amnio. 

 Hubby and I left the house and headed to the hospital for my appt.  When we got there and we were called back my heart was pounding.  I seriously didn't know what to expect and all I could think about was how I wonder what the chances are that his lungs are mature at 36 weeks.  They did an ultrasound first and measured him and guesstimated his weight at 7lbs.  They then decided the best place to "go in" was at the very top of my stomach right under my boobs.  Since the baby is taking up SO much room in my belly this was the one spot where there was a pocket of fluid (between his legs) where they felt they weren't gonna risk him moving and sticking him with the needle.  They covered my belly in iodine, put sterile drapes around my belly and told me "don't touch anything!" At that point there I closed my eyes (I was told not to look at the needle by multiple people who had amnio's before!).  She said "a little pinch" and I felt the pinch of the needle.  That didn't hurt.  I'm used to needles and they don't bother me.  But with an amnio I kind of describe it like an IV.  First the needle goes in, but then they remove the needle and it's a little catheder type straw that is what they suck the fluid out with.  The needle didn't bother me.  When they were pushing the straw threw my belly is when it bothered me.  Not really "painful" but definitely not comfortable.  I could feel myself tensing up and just kept repeating "relax it will hurt less."  30 seconds later the procedure was complete and she showed me the fluid they had taken out.  I was then taken to another room and put on monitors for an hour to make sure I didn't go into labor and the baby tolerated the procedure well.  I was told I'd have results that evening and the nurse said if I didn't hear by 9pm to call the doctor on call.

We went home and I spent the rest of the evening just waiting for the phone to ring.  I am SO not good at the waiting game!  At 9pm I STILL hadn't heard anything so I called the answering service at my OB's office.  The doctor on call ended up calling me back and of course the doc on call is one that I have NOT liked the entire pregnancy.  The first thing she said to me was "you are so impatient".  Excuse me?!!  My procedure was at 2pm and it was now 9pm! I was TOLD to call by 9pm if I hadn't heard, I don't think I'm impatient at all!  She then told me she had just gotten the results back and they came back "immature" she said "I was going to talk to the other specialist but since you're so impatient I called you first.  At this point I do not think you should have your cesearean tomorrow."

I hung up with her and cried.  I cried because I am SO uncomfortable.  I cried because she was SO rude to me.  I cried because I just had this feeling he wasn't going to be ready.  I just cried.

Tuesday morning I woke up and prepared to go to my regularly scheduled OB appt.  Before I left I got a phone call from my regular OB.  She said she was "so disappointed". I said "you are!?!" and she laughed and said "well disappointed for YOU!"  She then told me not only did it come back immature, but it came back "VERY immature."  She said a typical maturity level is 55 and his was a level 6!  She said "at this point here we don't even think we should deliver you NEXT week!  I think we need to wait till 38 weeks."  She said she needed to talk to the whole baseball team of specialists they have scheduled to be in the OR and we would see if we could schedule everyone for either the 16th or 17th.

Again I just felt crushed.  Now not only was I not having my baby that day, but I wasn't even going to have relief in a week!  I mean don't get me wrong, I don't want him born if he isn't ready, or if he's going to have problems, but I am in SO much pain!

But I'll suffer another 2 weeks to make sure I have a healthy baby.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's an update on my other boys!

Ok so in the last entry I updated you guys on the pregnancy/new baby.  Now it's time to spend some time updating about my other 3 little men!

Aidan is enjoying 3rd grade.  He's actually being sent to the 4th grade pod for math because he's been moved up to 4th grade math!!  His teacher has nothing but praise for him whenever I talk to her. He's at the age though where he wants his own "space" and his own "privacy" and he spends a lot of the time telling us to ask Austin and Avery to leave him alone.  I try to be understanding of that.  I remember when I was his age and my sister and I shared a bedroom.  We used to put actual duct tape across the carpet on our bedroom floor and did the whole "this is MY side and you can't come over here."  As we got older we did more of that and even tried to hang sheets and stuff between our beds to give us our own rooms and everything.  So I completely understand his feelings.  At the same time though he ISN'T an only child and he DOES share his room.  I can't tell Austin he needs to stay out of his own room, and I can't always make Austin leave wherever he is at because Aidan wants to be in the basement or watch TV by himself.  It just doesn't work that way. 

Austin is doing well in 1st grade.  He's getting used to having homework.  That took a while to get used to! LOL I finally have it now to where he comes in from school and immediately sits down at the table and does his homework at the same time that Aidan does HIS homework.  It took a lot of doing though because he always told me he didn't have homework or he would "do it later".    He seems to be a pretty popular boy at school! LOL  Everytime we're walking through the halls or at a school function everyone seems to be yelling "Hi Austin!" he says Hi back and then I say "who was that?" and he'll shrug and go "I dunno, a 4th grader" or "oh he's in kindergarten" or whatever.  I always say Austin is the typical "middle child"  Nothing is ever "fair" and he gets great pleasure in picking on Avery.  Tonight for example I gave Avery his 10 minute warning before bed and Avery decided to tell Austin "Aussie, 10 more minutes!" and Austin started yelling at Avery for talking to him or whatever.  Avery started crying and Austin said "oh yay, Avery's crying!"  It's kinda like Aidan picks on Austin so Austin has to pick on Avery.  Totally to be expected, but also totally "middle child syndrome" LOL.

Avery is making a lot of progress finally!  I think getting him back to school and back into Occupational therapy and regular speech therapy is really making a difference.  He's also seeing a therapist for Anxiety and she's doing a lot of work with him on not only his anxiety but also getting him ready for the new baby.  She's been also consulting with a behavioral therapist for potty training issues with him.  He is finally really enjoying school and no longer screams bloody murder when I take him in the mornings.  I recently had to drop his therapy from 3 days a week to 2 days a week.  With all my OB appts and everything going on recently having to get ready for the baby and still take the other boys to and from school and other appts it was just getting to be to much.  I dropped him back down to 2 days a week and said once the baby got here and we got into a routine we would talk about increasing it again.  He really enjoys these therapists and I really like them so I think we've found a great place for him there.  And he gets all of his therapy in the same place, so they all know what is going on and talk about his treatment so everyone is on the same page.

All 3 boys have their halloween parties at school today and their halloween parades too.  All three of them have decided to be "ninja's" again this year (3rd year in a row!).  I can't complain, those costumes are only 9.99 a piece and are really simple. Thankfully Avery's parade and party is in the morning and the older boys are in the afternoon, which makes it so I can attend all of them and no one gets "left out."  I went yesterday and bought all the stuff the teachers had requested for their classroom parties so I could send them with the boys this morning.  Saturday the boys have been invited to a halloween party in the afternoon and then sunday we'll be heading to my dad's house and spending the day and trick or treating with my sister and stepmom and dad.

Gonna be a busy weekend!  Nothing new about that though! 

What's your plans for halloween?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wow I've neglected you!

I can't believe it's been SO long since I've written an entry!  Time has just completely gotten away from me!

I am now almost 36 weeks pregnant.  I don't know what it is, but this pregnancy has really done a number on me.  I don't know if it's because it's my 4th pregnancy, or if it's because I'm chasing 3 boys also while so hugely pregnant, or what.  But this has been the hardest pregnancy for me yet!  I've had quite a few "complications" with this pregnancy.  I failed my 1 hr glucose test and had to take the 3 hour test.  I passed the 3 hour test though.  I've been diagnosed with polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid) and had to have quite a few more ultrasounds done to keep an eye on my fluid levels.  Although my level HAS dropped, it's still on the high side of normal so they're still keeping an eye on it.  I'm having extreme back and hip pain and it's made it very hard to walk.

At my last sonogram last week (35 weeks) the baby was estimated to weigh 6lbs 9oz.  My OB has scheduled an amnio to be done on Monday (at 36 weeks 2 days) to test lung maturity.  I've got a c-section scheduled for Tuesday afternoon if his lungs come back as mature.  If they don't come back as mature then they will reschedule the c-section for the following week.  I've been flipping out wondering just what the chances are that his lungs are mature.  I slept like absolute crap last night cause it's all I could think about.  I've googled till my fingers are raw and basically haven't come up with anything but it being a "50/50 chance".  I'm just in so much pain that I think it would devastate me to have to wait another week!  Of course I will if I have to because I want him healthy and fine, but I really hope the amnio shows his lungs are mature.

There is still so much for me to do to be ready though.  I haven't packed a hospital bag, the carseat hasn't been installed (we do have it though), I still need to clean the house and make sure everything is done so if I DO have the c-section Tuesday everything is caught up when I am in the hospital next week.  I need to make a list of schedules and times and everything for my mother in law for her to take care of the boys while I'm in the hospital.  The list goes on and on.

I want to update on the other boys also, but I don't want to make this entry to long, so I'll write another entry about them :)

So tell me....what's new with you?!  What have I missed?!

Monday, September 13, 2010

You could WIN and help out too!

The Childhood Speech Apraxia walk is this saturday!  As I've said many times lately, We will be walking in support of my son Avery who was diagnosed with Speech Apraxia almost 1 year ago.  There is an Auction going on right now for this bow/clip:

You can participate in the auction to win this bow by clicking HERE.  All proceeds are being donated to my son's walk and Childhood Speech Apraxia Association!

You can also go to THIS website.  Hailey's Hair Clips is having a raffle in which all proceeds are being donated to my son's walk and Childhood Speech Apraxia Association.  You can enter the raffle and win a $50.00 gift certificate to the website!!

If you don't have a little girl and would still like to help support my son and children like my son in learning to speak you can go to AVERY'S ARMY and make a fully tax deductible donation!

To learn more about Speech Apraxia and this cause follow the link below :)

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Some deep thoughts...

This morning I got the boys ready for school and as I was getting Avery ready for school he whined a little bit, but there were no tears!  He got his backpack on without issue, got in the car without issue, and even told me "Avery's school" when we dropped the older boys off and I turned to him and said "now where are we going?".  We got to his school and he climbed out of the car without any crying and after his teacher came out and I went to leave he made me hold his hand for the count of "10" and then I said my goodbye's and I left.  Again with no tears!  We're making progress!

As we were standing at the wall waiting for Avery's teacher I watched as some of the other parents whose children are more severe then Avery dropped their children off.  I watched as they pulled up to the curb, had an "aide" come get their kid out of the car and watched as they peeled wheels out of the parking lot, seeming to not be able to get away fast enough.  In that minute I thought to myself "why can't I do that?"

It really had me thinking about the therapist who had asked me if I "favored" Avery over my other boys.  When dropped the other boys off at school, I do exactly as those other parents do.  I pull up to the curb, they climb out, I said "Have a good day!" and I drive away.  When I get to Avery's school I park the car and walk him to the wall.  I sit at the wall with him and the aides that are there until the actual teacher comes out.  It is THEN that I leave.  I hold his hand for the count of "10" like he asks, I give him a kiss and tell him I'll pick him up after school and I leave.

Is this "favortism"?  Am I treating him different then the other boys?  Part of me says, well yes of course I am!  Then the other part of me says, well yes of course you are BUT it's because he's 3! The other boys are old enough to walk up the sidewalk themselves and stand out front of the school until the bell rings.

But that doesn't explain why these other parents of children who are more severe than Avery can do like I do with the older boys.  Is it because they are more severe so the parents are more "fed up" and can't wait for the break?

Or is it because I'm to protective of Avery and I'm scared that he won't be "treated" the way I want him treated while at school?  I mean the aides are out front, they are more than capable of dealing with the kids till the teacher comes out.  Yet I don't trust them to treat Avery the way I want him treated.  I don't trust them to understand him the way I do.

Does that make me an over protective mother?  Or does that make me "favor" Avery more than the other boys?  Or am I no different than other moms of special needs kids?

I just don't even know anymore.

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A lot can happen in a week!

Wow so it's been like a week since I've written! There just seems to be no time lately! I am really hoping to get back in the swing of things soon! Until then we'll stick with some paragraph type updates

Avery started preschool again. He's only gone once so far (he started tuesday and doesn't go wednesdays and today they are off school for Rosh Hashanah.) He cried when I dropped him off (which I was totally expecting) and I just kept telling myself he'd be fine after 5 min. I picked him up with a huge smile on his face and he said he had a good day. We'll see how tomorrow goes!

Avery has started at a new therapy place and I'm really liking them. They are going through a bunch of evaluations right now. We're trying to find out whether Avery has some type of anxiety disorder or whether he has aspergers. I'm really hoping we can find out soon though. Although I'm glad they aren't rushing to a diagnosis. Once they decide, if it IS aspergers then we'll be referred to their autism team who will do their own evaluation and decide just where on the spectrum he falls and what therapy we should be getting. The new speech therapist he is seeing though is so awesome with him. She may start seeing him twice a week. She completely agrees with the Apraxia diagnosis and is using the Kaufman method with him which he seems to be doing really well with.

At my last OB appt I was told my amniotic fluid was high and that the baby was measuring 3 weeks bigger than he should be. I was then referred to a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor and was informed of all the things that could be wrong with the baby.

Got word that I bombed my gestational diabetes test, and they want me on a special diet for a couple days then I have to go take the 3 hour glucose test. There is NO way I am having the kids with me at the lab for almost 4 hours. After talking it over with Roy he's going to come home early on Monday so that after I take all 3 boys to school Monday morning I can head to the lab. Roy will then come home in time to pick Avery up from school and will meet me back at the house after I'm done at the lab.

I got a letter from the principal at Aidan and Austin's school. My first thought was "oh no!" As I read on I see that Aidan was put into the gifted and talented program at the school and also will be in 4th grade math this year!!! *beams* Proud mama moment!

Went to my Maternal Fetal Medicine appt and went through an hour and a half long sonogram where they measured everything you can think of on the baby. They measured all his bones, got pictures of his heart, spine, diaphram, kidneys, liver, brain, cerebalem, nostrils, eye sockets, palette, tongue, etc etc. Absolutely amazing to me to watch him on the screen kicking and also feeling him at the same time. Wow! They measured my fluid also. Good news is that the baby is absolutely totally PERFECT! There is nothing wrong with him!! They said he is measuring a little big, but that could be either genetics or the gestational diabetes. But with the 3 other boys being BIG babies that isn't something to be concerned about at this point! She said typical doctor cut off for amniotic fluid is anywhere from 24-25 and my number is 24.7. So yes it's on the "high" side. But it's the "high side of normal". They even did an internal sonogram to check on lower uterine wall thickness and said it looks good and doesn't look like anything to be concerned about right now! I'll now be seeing the MFM doctors every 2 weeks in addition to my OB every 2 weeks and their on opposite weeks so I'll be having an appt every week now. Just about 8 weeks left to go!

I've been slacking on picture taking lately and need to do some more picture taking of the boys so I have some new pics to post! Until then I'm off to referree again since all the boys are home.

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Top 20 reasons Moms of Special Needs Kids ROCK!

Was shown this article today and thought it was just to good not to share!  Please click and read :)

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happiness Project! Back to School edition!


Oh the joy of back to school!

And the quiet house it brings!

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Monday, August 30, 2010

First Day of School!!

Today was the first day of 3rd grade for my oldest son!

And the first day of 1st grade for my middle son!

Yay for quiet days around the house again!  My youngest son (for now anyway until the baby comes!) doesn't start preschool until September 7th, so he's still home with me for now.  But I was able to get the house clean, strip the beds, wash the sheets, make the beds, do the dishes, empty the dishwasher, and it will all stay that way for at least the next 4 hours!! Ahhh!  Have I mentioned how much I love school days ;)

I'm not looking forward to my 4pm "hell hour".  That's when everyone is back home from school and the fighting starts again and homework has to be done and dinner is trying to be made etc etc.

But until then....They're off!  Have a great first day boys!

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Miss me?!

I can't believe it's been a week since I've posted!   Things have just been SO hectic around here!  The older boys are home and having all 3 kids home now all day is definitely keeping me on my toes!  I realize just how spoiled I was this summer with my mother in law having the 2 older boys.  I wasn't able to sit down at all yesterday, which made for a very uncomfortable evening.  I can't believe how uncomfortable I already am so early in this pregnancy!  My back is absolutely killing me by the end of the night if I can't get enough "sit down" time during the day.  Having 3 boys I'm having to chase all day everyday isn't making it easy to get my "sit down time" either!

I've been fighting for the past 2 weeks now to find Avery (my youngest son) a new speech therapist and get him some private occupational therapy also.  After everything I've been through with his speech therapist he has now I decided it's time to try something/someone new.  I found a place that sounds really nice and looks nice online.  I called and was told they would verify insurance and get back to me.  I then emailed the lady every 2-3 days for updates and was told "we're still in the process of verifying insurance I'll let you know ASAP when I hear something.  Again I'd email in 2-3 days.  I can fully admit I'm not a very patient person when it comes to this kind of stuff! LOL

I finally got a phone call yesterday that the insurance has gone through and they wanted to schedule a time for Avery's Evaluations. I was so so pleased and tomorrow morning we'll be going in for a speech evaluation at this place.  Here's to hoping it's as nice as it sounds/looks!  Now I have the job of telling his old speech therapist that we'll be going elsewhere for therapy.  Not looking forward to that either!

The older boys have their "meet the teacher" night this friday at their school, and Avery has his "meet the teacher" on the 31st.  The older boys go back to school Monday and Avery starts back on September 1st.

Here's to hoping once everyone is back in school I'll have more time to keep up with blogging!!  Until then I hope you don't miss me to much!

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

SURPRISE!! It's a Baby Shower!

So for a few weeks now my older sister and my step mom and I have been planning to spend Sunday (the 15th) at the Outlets near my sisters house doing some shopping.  We made plans for my stepmom to pick me up so that I could leave my car with the carseat for my youngest son with my hubby.

The night before our "girls day out" my hubby gave me some cash for shopping and I was telling him what I was going to buy for the boys for back to school clothes.  Sunday morning I woke up and was getting ready for my stepmom to pick me up. She got to my house with my little sister because she wanted to go shopping too, and hey it WAS a girls day out!  We headed up to my sisters house and when we got there we went inside to decide what store to hit first.  This video explains what happened next!

OMG!!  I was SO clueless!!  I couldn't believe it! I wasn't expecting a shower.  Especially with this being my 4th baby and another boy at that!

I found out that this has been in the works for months!  Even my hubby was in on it!  We had SO much fun.  I got lots of great things for the baby and had so much fun playing games with family and friends.

After the shower was over we DID end up going shopping, but only because I was SO looking forward to it and my sister and stepmom thought I was going to be so upset by not going! LOL

So not only did I get a surprise baby shower, but also a night out with the girls shopping and dinner!

Just a couple pictures from the afternoon.  Not nearly all of them!  If you have me on facebook you can see them all there :)

What a great day!  I don't know how to thank my sister and stepmom enough.  They seriously made this whole pregnancy for me!

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Feeding the Duckies!

All out of bread :(

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happiness Project 8/10/10


Linking up for the Happiness Project!  Click the picture above to see more pictures of things that make people happy

 Park Days!

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another Bad Sensory Day

So after our really bad day Friday at the speech therapists office, which you can read about in my Letters of Intent, I knew we've hit the point where things have taken a bad turn for the worst with Avery.

Saturday was a pretty decent day.  We did some school shopping for my older boys and ordered pizza for dinner and ate in front of the TV downstairs (a big treat for Avery!).

This morning we woke up and after a little while we decided it was way past time for Avery to get a haircut.  We've been putting the haircut off far to long because it is typical not a good experience with Avery.  We called Avery upstairs and told him it was time for a haircut.  We immediately were met with "no mama. no haircut. no mama" and crying.  I was trying desperately to get him to climb into the chair himself so my hubby could use the clippers on him (it's typically a whole lot easier to just buzz him, then take him somewhere and deal with the freak out.)  I wanted him to do it himself and for it to be on his own terms.  After a while it became apparent that was not going to happen.  At that point my  husband picked him up and placed him in the chair.  He continued to buzz his head while Avery completely broke down.  Tears, screaming, shaking, etc.  I kept trying to reassure him that nothing was hurting him and he was fine.  After a while I just had to leave the room because he was just completely unconsolable.

My husband finished his haircut with the crying, screaming, shaking continuing to take place.  After the haircut I got a bubble bath ready for him and tried to coax him into the tub.   He was still completely inconsolable and crying and shaking.  I placed him in the tub and started pouring the warm water over his body with my hands.  A few min later my husband came in and ended up having to bath a completely stiff, screaming, crying, statue of my son to get all the loose hair off of him.

When the bath was done I wrapped Avery in a towel and carried him (still screaming) to his room.  I sat down on the floor and started "shhh'ing" him and rocking him.  He moved himself into a position as if I was rocking a baby (lying across my lap in my arms) and I rocked him. As I rocked him his screaming turned to these moaning type sounds.  Those lasted a few minutes and then it was completely silent.  I looked at Avery and he was laying in my arms with this complete blank stare on his face.  He wasn't moving, he wasn't talking. He was just laying there.  I started talking to him and asking questions "are you ready to get dressed now?" and got absolutely no response from him.  Just stayed in that blank stare into space.  I asked "do you want to go to the park and swing?"  Still no response and a blank stare.  He wasn't looking at me, wasn't making eye contact.  Just staring into space.

As I sat there rocking him still all I could think was "this is what rocking a baby who has had a seizure must feel like."  In that moment I broke down.  Tears started to flow and I just looked at Avery and said "mama loves you, you know that?"  This typically would have gotten a "I wud ew moe" (I love you more) from him.  Instead all I got was a stare.  My husband walked into Avery's bedroom and I just looked at him and said "he's not responding to anything, he's not making any eye contact with me either."  My husband bent down and kissed Avery on the forehead and said "hey buddy, look at me."  and got nothing.  I started sobbing again and my husband took Avery from me and started rocking him and talking to him.  I went in my room and cried.  It took a few more minutes and then I heard Avery start giggling slowly.  I got in the shower and got dressed.  My husband got Avery dressed and they went downstairs.

Avery spent the rest of the evening by himself again only coming out to eat.  He would talk to us, but still no eye contact.  Tonight after putting him to sleep my husband came downstairs and said to me "he's still very quiet.  It's so unusual."

What in the world has happened in the last two months that has made Avery regress so much?!  Why is he shutting down so completely and staying shut down for the entire day afterwards?  What is going on? Could it really just be that it's summertime and he's out of his routine?  Could it be that he's not getting the consistant therapy he gets while school is in session?  I mean his speech therapy has been so sporadic due to vacations and stuff and he hasn't gotten any OT this summer.  But he only gets OT once a month at school.

I don't know what has been going on but I do know that first thing tomorrow I am calling an OT and getting him in to be seen.  I can't handle seeing him like this anymore.  He was making such progress and strides and to see him regress so horribly is killing me.  Not to mention today scared me to death.

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Letters of Intent Friday - Special Needs Child Edition


Linking up for Letters of Intent!  Click the picture above to read more letters and join while we laugh, cry, and scream.

Dear Speech Therapist:
    This isn't the first "letter of intent" I've written to you.  After 20 min of my son screaming bloody murder in the room, yes I DID open the door.  When you told me "I think it's best if you stay out." I left again.  After 45 min of him screaming bloody murder I was DONE.  I am NOT paying you all that money for him to spend the entire hour screaming and crying while you do nothing but say "ok, when you're done crying you can come play."  Yes I said that to you too.  And yes, I DID leave without paying you.  My son who is usually so easy to "bring back" after a shut down has now spent the last 40 min since being home not even looking at me, and sitting by himself in the other room.  Thanks!  Thanks for absolutely nothing.

The woman who isn't going to let her son scream for an entire hour

Dear Husband,
   When I call you because I'm tired of listening to our son scream bloody murder in the therapists office it would be nice if you answer your phone.  When you DO finally call back and I'm now at home, when I start telling you about therapy it would be nice if you didn't completely act like nothing is wrong.  Telling me "well he's not going to have a perfect day everyday" doesn't help.  Telling me it's my fault because he plays his DS to much, or telling me I obviously did something that set him off, doesn't help.  You're son has special needs.  He has sensory integration, speech apraxia, motor planning problems, and some low tone.  He isn't PERFECT. I never said he was perfect.  But him having a "bad day" has nothing to do with something I am or am not doing.  Thanks for making me feel like absolute shit.

The woman who just wants to smack you right now

Dear Self:
   You've shed enough tears about Avery to last a lifetime.  No need to shed anymore.  But seriously, what were you thinking having another baby when Avery has so many issues and still needs so much?  Are you looney??

The "man in the mirror"

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Rejection sucks! Plain and simple!

As you all know I've agreed to be a co-coordinator for this years Walk for Apraxia in our area.  This is something so near and dear to my heart because of my youngest son suffering from this disorder.  In being a co-coordinator one of my responsibilities is to contact businesses, shops, etc and get donations from them.  Things like gift cards from Costco, Sams Club, Giant, etc etc to cover the cost of food, drinks, etc that will be served there.  Local businesses willing to give giftcards or gift baskets to donate to a raffle we'll hold at the walk.  Everything we do at the walk or plan at the walk has to be donated by someone.  Of course these places that donate money are given a donation form so they can claim it as a tax deduction.

We'll be holding a "fundraiser night" at a local pizza hut where a portion of the proceeds will go to the walk.  Of course the catch is we have to sell $200.00 worth of pizza that night in order to get any portion of the proceeds.

Another thing I'm in charge of is trying to find some "entertainment" for the walk.  I've been contacting local clowns, magicians, face painters, etc trying to see if they would be willing to donate (of course) their time and do a show at our walk.

I have received more rejection these past few weeks then I've ever gotten in my entire life. I'm getting emails left and right "sorry but my policy is not to do charity events." and "our company has already met it's maximum allowable donations for this year."  "I won't donate, but I'll reduce my price by $50.00."

No matter what the circumstances we all know rejection sucks.  Plain and Simple.  I was told I would get a lot of rejections when I agreed to take this on.  I didn't expect it to effect my self esteem so much though!

I mean I completely understand that if I had my own business I'd never make any money if all I did was charity work, and donated my time all the time to shows.  But the other part of me says "what's an hour of your time to entertain some children who struggle enough as it is?" Is there no one out there that does charity work anymore?

I pay thousands of dollars a year on therapy for my son.  Would it really kill some of these business owners to donate a $25 dollar gift card to help us?  Would it kill someone to say "that's a good cause and I'd love to help out."

Or I could just keep repeating.....

"A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success." - Bo Bennett

Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

23 weeks!

Today I had my sonogram for heart views on the baby.  The last sonogram I had the baby was being stubborn and wouldn't allow her to get the shots she needed of his heart.  I took my youngest son with me today (like usual) and he did really well again with just playing his ninetendo DS while I had my appt.

The baby again was really stubborn today!  He just doesn't want to give us what we ask for! LOL  He was fighting the tech ever step of the way to get the views of his heart that she was trying to get.  She did eventually get them though!  And his heart is PERFECT!  So yay for that!

She was trying to get me a 3D picture of his face and everytime she put the wand over his face he would cover his face with his hands!

What a booger!

He's measuring perfectly on time at 23 weeks 2 days, except for his head which is measuring a week bigger.  All of my boys have HUGE heads!  And they all measured 1-2 weeks ahead in that department!  I had her confirm gender and she was laughing about there being "no doubt" that he's still a boy.  I had a small glimmer of hope, but that's completely gone now! LOL  She even gave me a "money shot" to take home so there's no denying it.

He weighs in right now at 1lb 5oz and is head down now (was breech at last appt) but that can still change at any point, and doesn't really matter since I'll be having a c-section anyway.

Here's some pics I got today :)  I had to take a picture of the pictures with my cell since my scanner isn't working :(

3D face

It's a boy!

3D face again


Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

A raffle where you could WIN $50.00 to Hailey's Hair Clips!

If you have a little girl in your life (whether it be your daughter, niece, granddaughter, etc)  Check out this raffle going on over at Hailey's Hair Clips She is holding a raffle where you could WIN $50.00 to her website.  This raffle will also help support my son!  Check it out HERE please!

If you don't have a little girl in your life that could use that raffle, then Please check out this important Blog Entry! Click HERE to read about something near and dear to my heart!

You guys rock!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

There's a LOT of hurt there

It's been just over 3 years since I've had any kind of contact with my mom.  The last time I spoke to her was not long after my youngest son Avery was born.  What exactly was it that was the "straw that broke the camels back" so to speak?  I honestly don't even remember.  I know there was a huge blow up and either I hung up on her or she hung up on me, and that was the last contact we had.  I've seen her at my sister's house at Christmas, but barely 3 words were spoken between us.  She has gone to one or two of the birthday parties my sister had for my niece, but again when she did come we didn't speak.

The last time she came to a birthday party for MY boys was when Austin turned 2 and Aidan turned 4.  She stayed for exactly 20 minutes then left.

I could seriously list SO many things that she has said/done that have hurt me to my core.

The very worst one was the comment "he's just another boy, nothing special about him" that she made when I questioned why she didn't bother coming to see us after my youngest son was born.
Or I could tell about all the times she went to my sister's house for birthday parties, get togethers, etc and never bothered to even attempt to make it to a party for my kids or even send a card.

I really don't want to list everything she's said or done because that isn't the point of this entry.

I'm also not going to say that I'm completely innnocent in all this.  I know I've said things to hurt her feelings. And I'm not trying to say I was perfect in all this.

I've been told multiple times by my sisters and stepmom "be the bigger person. Just call her" and they've told me plenty of times "that's just the way mom is, you have to just take it if you want to have any kind of relationship with her."  I've also been told I'm "to sensitive" about what has been said/done.

When I think about why I'm so hurt by what she has said/done to me I only come to one conclusion...

I was always the one that was so close to my mom.  I defended her during the very very nasty divorce between her and my dad.  I chose her over my dad when asked who I wanted to live with.  I did everything for her while growing up.  I practically raised my two youngest siblings.  I got up in the middle of the night for bottle feedings, changed, clothed, played with them.  I took them to school, friends houses, birthday parties.  I did the grocery shopping, ran all the errands, cleaned house, etc etc.  I could go on and on.  Then for her to say these things to me, and treat me the way she's treated me?  It just hurts.

My mom was diagnosed with M.S (Multiple Sclorosis) back when I was still in High School. My mom's disease has progressed and gotten worse. She has fallen into a major depression. She won't admit it. She never leaves her house. NEVER. She doesn't want people to see her having to hold onto someone to walk. Because of her shame in herself, she refuses to use a walker or any kind of medical equipment to help her. She doesn't admit she needs help so the drs can't prescribe her medicines that would help her. Heck, I don't even think she has seen her dr in 6 years. How she keeps getting refills on her meds is beyond me.

I know she'd kill me for talking about her disease on my blog.  But hell, what is she going to do? Stop talking to me?  Did that 3 years ago!

Lately I've been thinking a lot about all these years we've wasted not speaking.  The other day a friend of mine lost her mom to cancer.  It was very quick from diagnosis to her passing away.  I read her blog entries as she talked about how hard it was watching her mom be taken by this disease.  I cried as I read about her memories of her mom and about her taking care of her mom in her final days.  I still cry when I read about how much she misses her mom.  I cry not only because I feel for her, but also because I think about how I wish my mom and I were as close still as we were a long time ago.  

My boys don't know my mom as "grandma".  They see a picture of her and ask "mom who is that?" and I say "that's my mom" or "that's Kelly's (my sister) mom"  She doesn't call or see them on holidays or their birthdays.  No birthday cards in the mail or anything like that either.

I think back to how close my grandmother and I were and I wish with everything in me that my boys had a relationship with my mom like that.  I look at my boys and wonder how anyone could NOT want to be in their lives.

Sure you could ask "if you feel that way why don't you just "be the bigger person" and call her?"  and to that I say...

There's a LOT of hurt there.  And I feel like if she really wanted that relationship, or really wanted to know her grandkids wouldn't she be showing some kind of effort?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Having All Boys is MY fault?!

So a friend shared this article with me yesterday.  I have to completely and totally disagree with it!  I don't find myself "assertive and competitive" at ALL!

I'd love to hear what YOU think about this article!

The article can be found HERE and this is what is says:

It's a Boy... Thanks to Mom Scientists have found that a mother's testerone level during pregnancy may influence both her behavior and the gender of her baby.

By PT Staff, published on November 01, 1995 - last reviewed on June 03, 2005

Fertilization, say biologists, is a maniacal, winner-takes-all race between millions of sperm. If the first to arrive bears an X chromosome, the result is a girl. If a Y-sperm shows up first, it's a boy.

But a New Zealand psychiatrist believes it's more complicated than that. Valerie Grant, M.D., contends that mothers, not dads, determine the sex of a baby -- and that a woman's personality may be a window to her son- or daughter-bearing potential.

Grant assessed the personalities of young women likely to conceive soon, then checked back nine months later. Those who bore sons, she found, were more assertive, competitive, and self-reliant than those who had daughters, she reports in the British Journal of Medical Psychiatry.

Her theory: Testosterone levels influence both a woman's behavior and the sex of her kids. (Yes, women have testosterone too, though far less than men.) Grant believes the hormone turns an egg into an active player in the fertilization sweepstakes, causing it to play favorites as sperm try to fertilize it. When testosterone is high, for example, an egg might turn an X-sperm away, letting a nearby Y-sperm sneak in.

As Grant sees it, there's a key testosterone level above which a woman's offspring wind up a particular sex. But our testosterone levels aren't stable: Stress and other factors influence its production. So women with average testosterone might vary on either side of that point over time, giving birth to daughters or sons as conditions change. But women with extreme levels may remain on one side of the threshold most of the time, dooming them to children of a single sex.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ECOstore USA Product Review!

Recently I had the chance to review a couple products at ECOstore USA.  I'd never heard of the website before so of course I did a little research ;)  This is what ECOstore USA has to say on their website about their products.

Our eco friendly, plant-based household cleaning products are as effective as the leading supermarket brands, and our body and baby care ranges are gentle on your skin and are simply beautiful to use. All of our products are made from plant- and mineral-based ingredients, free of toxic chemicals that bring people closer to nature with non-toxic, environmentally safe solutions that also help to reduce our carbon footprint.

Now I had recently been telling my husband how I wanted to go "natural" with my cleaning products but that I love when my house has that "clean" smell.  I'm a little OCD about it actually!  All of the "natural" products I've tried from the grocery store never really fit the bill for me.  They either didn't have that "clean" smell or I was concerned about the job they did.
I was offered 2 products to try on the ECOstore website.  The two products I choose were:
Citrus All Purpose cleaner
The ingredients in the cleaner:
•D-Limonene (from citrus)

•Palm and coconut based non-ionic and anionic surfactants

•Fatty acid derivative


•Filtered water
I also choose the Coconut and Vanilla Body Wash
The ingredient list is:

•Water •Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate
•Sodium Lauroamphoacetate
•Wheat Germamidopropyldimonium
•Hydroxypropyl Hydrolysed Wheat Protein
•Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride
•Sodium Hydroxymethyl Glycinate
•Certified Organic Fragrance
A couple days after ordering the products I got an email stating that there was a delay in shipment and to show their appreciation for my patience they were throwing in a bar of their coconut soap!  Heck I didn't even complain and they are apologizing and throwing in a free item.  How nice of them!
I have used the All Purpose cleaner all over my house.  In the kitchen, on the computer desk, on the dining room table, and other places!  It really does clean really well.  I was pretty skeptical because of my past history with all natural cleaners.  It smells really nice, and doesn't leave any kind of film or oil or anything on the surface of what I'm cleaning.  It is definitely one I will order again!

The body wash smells really good!  It lathers really well and again I haven't had any kind of film or soapy residue left on my body.  I've been very very pleased!

The soap goes very well with the body wash and also smells excellent!

Out of all the "natural" Earth friendly products I've tried ECOstore has been the best!

They're offering a Buy One Get One sale throughout the month of July!!  Buy any product and they will automatically DOUBLE it!!  They are also offering free shipping on any order over $25.00!!

This is the perfect time to stock up!

Go place your order! I'm about to :)

Visit ECOstoreUSA on their website: HERE
Follow ECOstoreUSA on facebook: HERE
Follow ECOstoreUSA on Twitter: HERE

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the product mentioned above for free for review purposes from ECOstoreUSA. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Baby Shopping!


Linking up for The Happiness Project again!  Click the picture Above to see other things that make people happy!!

So last week we did some baby shopping!  That always makes me happy :)  I mean who doesn't get happy doing some retail therapy?!  And when it's cute baby stuff????  Even better!

This is what we bought!

Pack and Play

Bedding Set

Infant Seat

Travel system.  (I got the sit and stand because when we got places I just know Avery isn't going to want to walk all the time, especially when he sees the baby in a stroller.  So I thought this was our best option :)


Friday, July 16, 2010

Repeating a story

Today while Avery had speech therapy the therapist was asking him about our vacation and what we've done in the 2 weeks since he's been seen last (We were on vacation one week, she was on vacation the next). 

As soon as she asked him I knew what was about to happen...

I always semi dread someone asking Avery a question or asks him to tell them what he did/is going to do this weekend or whatever.  Avery has no problem talking most people's ears off.  The problem comes from him having Apraxia.  With 2-3 word sentences he's 40% intelligible.  But when he goes off gabbing your ear off or is telling you a story it's a completely different story.  Unless you are listening VERY carefully and know his speaking patterns/substitutions you aren't going to understand a single thing he says.  You may catch a word or two here and there, but I always end up getting a "huh?" look with a "what did he say?"

So the minute she asked him to tell her what we did on vacation I knew what was about to happen.  I was about to have to repeat everything he said after he said it.  When we got done telling her all about our Great Wolf Lodge vacation and all about our Day on the Water, she looked at Avery and said "That is so awesome! Lets go work on some of those sounds so you can tell me the story even better!"

He went off to do his hour of speech therapy and I sat there wondering just how long I was going to have to repeat a story.  He's made SO much progress, but we still have such a long way to go.

To read more about Apraxia you can click HERE.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

2nd Annual Apraxia Walk!

As most of you know, my youngest son Avery was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech back in October of last year.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a motor speech disorder. For reasons not yet fully understood, children with apraxia of speech have great difficulty planning and producing the precise, highly refined and specific series of movements of the tongue, lips, jaw and palate that are necessary for intelligible speech.

Children with Apraxia of speech require frequent intensive speech therapy. Avery has been seeing a private speech therapist for almost a year now. He also receives speech therapy through the special education preschool program he attends and gets therapy there 3 times a week. When he started therapy he had the expressive language of a 12 month old! Avery is now 40% intelligible with 2-3 word sentances. This progress is do to hard work and dedication.

Avery also receives Occupational therapy at school for sensory and motor planning issues. He's also making progress in these areas!

Last year we participated in the Baltimore Area Apraxia Walk, which helps raise money for these areas:

•Ongoing funding for the Apraxia Treatment Research Fund - Very little research exists on appropriate and best treatment for children with apraxia of speech. CASANA funds pilot research grants so that researchers can begin studies to best help children as early as possible.

•Apraxia Child Research Registry- A new program, CASANA is establishing an online searchable database research registry so that researchers are able to identify children for participation in qualified research projects to further understanding about the causes and nature of CAS. In particular we will seek children with known genetic, metabolic, or neuroanatomical findings. As interest in CAS research heightens based on the growing availability of advanced genetic and imaging technology, CASANA will be on the forefront of research support.

•Multimedia Education Projects - CASANA is using walk funds to create educational DVDs and products to further teach parents and professionals about childhood apraxia of speech.

•Training for future SLPs - Most who graduate from a Master's program in Speech-Language Pathology have had minimal if any exposure to childhood apraxia of speech, its assessment, or its treatment. This is part of an isidious problem which leads to unprepared professionals. Walk funds are being used to create more opportunities for students and practicing SLPS so that our children with apraxia receive the best possible treatment.

This year we are co-coordinating the 2nd annual Baltimore Area Walk for Children with Apraxia of speech.

The walk will be taking place soon and I'm looking for people to help support us in our walk by making a FULLY TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation to our Team (Avery's Army) or by joining us and walking with us during the walk!

Any amount you can give would be SO appreciated and would help us on our journey to helping Avery learn to speak. Please look into your hearts (and wallets) and support Avery in his struggle to speak!

You can go to the website below to make your contribution.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A day on the water


I know this isn't "one" picture, but it's the whole kind of "day" that causes me so much happiness :)

Sunday we spent the day on the potomac river with my dad and stepmom and little sister.  We took my dad's boat and 2 jet skis and decided to have some fun for the day.

I just love being out there.

So much fun!  Can't wait to do it again :)