Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Fancy And The Not So Fancy.

Fancy: Aja in her Easter dress.

The Not So Fancy: All kids climbing into my bed Saturday morning. Although, Aja cuddling her kitty is pretty darn cute.

Fancy: Aja in her pretty dress that Uncle Zach and Aunt Chalee gave her for Christmas. It FINALLY fits!!

Not So Fancy: Aja in the morning after her hair has been taken out of it's ponytail. Good thing it's bath time!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Are You Kidding Me?

So yesterday Cohen seemed bound and determined for me to commit myself. Yes, he was THAT hard.

Here is a small list of "WONDERFULS" we encountered yesterday: The morning started out with a diaper shimmying it's way down his leg and it taking me AND Anessa to get him changed. Cohen dumped ALL and I mean ALL of Aja's toys out of her toy box, and proceeded to dump his cereal on the counter. He didn't eat lunch, but managed to slide my computer chair over to the pantry so he could sneak candy. I gave him a few Hershey Kisses with almonds in it..He didn't like the almonds so thought he would disassemble the kiss and pull the almond out so he had chocolate smeared all over my clean counter (that I didn't have time to re-wipe as one of his therapists was at the door) and he ruined one shirt so I had to change him. At Peyton's gymnastics class he took off his shoes and busted out the door. By the way, it's not fun running with a baby. I managed to get him back, but had to literally sit on his legs so I could get his shoes on, I'm sure I was a sight.

I got a pizza for dinner to make my day a bit easier. Cohen will eat pizza pretty darn good. I have no idea what his deal was, but he dropped the thing on the floor about 3 times (of course it was pizza sauce-side down). He was "dunking" his hand in his water and sucking it off and then proceeded to spill the whole cup on the floor. This picture will be the end of my rope. He was scraping the pizza sauce off of his slice-o-pizza and smearing it all over his body. Now this picture doesn't do the damage justice as I was putting him in the bath right then, but it was everywhere. His pants, shirt, floor, counter, me and so on.

Where was I you ask? I was at the table, reading the grocery store ads. I was SITTING right there! Why didn't I see this? Needless to say, I said "Are you kidding me!" numerous times yesterday. He's such a little devil.

And for good measure, I wanted to show you a funny picture of Aja and her sippy cup. The thing is bigger than her head. It cracks me up.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Anessa's Testing Results: In.

Needless to say, I'm devastated. I was pretty stoked when I read the initial report and it said "No Dyslexia", but I didn't really know what everything else meant as they did many tests that I'm not familiar with. So I waited it out hoping and praying that the "other" scenario I was thinking of wasn't even an option. Boy, was I wrong.

What can I say? What do I say?

Anessa can hardly communicate. Of course she can communicate basic needs/wants, but when it comes to more complex things, forget about it. She can't even tell me a story. I have to try and guess what she's trying to say. For example: She was trying to tell my Grandma about the Grumpy Art Ladies (as Anessa likes to call them). She kept saying they have the "perfect time". Perfect time? So I asked her what she meant by that, and she couldn't tell me. She just kept saying they were grumpy and they have the perfect time and her class doesn't. The end result of this story was: The Grumpy Art Ladies don't give her class enough time to finish their projects. They, the Grumpy Art Ladies, get to finish their projects therefore giving them the perfect time. This story is a typical interaction between Anessa and me every single day. It's hard to deal with sometimes. Anessa can process what you are telling her on the inside, she can't get it out. She has such a hard time doing any type of homework because she knows the concepts, knows what she needs to do, but can't verbalize it enough to be able to do it. And school is such a "verbal" environment that she's always going to be behind.

I guess right now I'm wondering..Where did I go wrong? What didn't I do for her that she needed? But I have to remember that I did EVERYTHING that I could and knew how to do for Anessa. Before she even started Kindegarten, I met with her teacher and said "this little girl has a problem. I don't know what, but she has one" and got her signed up for testing immediately. Whenever we have changed schools, I have kept up on getting them all her paperwork and getting her back into Resource as soon as possible.

So I asked the professional who did her testing what Anessa's future holds for her. She recommended getting her into speech therapy and to get her evaluated by the Communicative Disorders clinic. Will she have this problem for the rest of her life? Yes. She's always going to be behind her peers and be immature for her age.

Anessa is the most accepting little girl I have ever met. She is compassionate and tries to be kind to everyone. That is one thing we have really tried to instill in our children. Is that they be kind and accepting of everyone regardless of race, religion, past behaviours and so on. Especially those with handicapps. She has so many good qualities about her, but those are the two that really stand out in her and the ones that people notice the most. What everyone needs to remember is that Anessa is the same little girl she always has been. Not even a "diagnosis" can change that. It just tells us that now we know what is going on and we can get her what she needs.

I guess yesterday's talks in Sacrament and Relief Society were preparing me for this day. They were both basically about our trials in life. In RS it was about dealing with our own Liberty Jails that we encounter on our way through life. It was about facing our trials and learing something from them. To quote the teacher "What a waste to recieve a trial and to learn nothing from it". That really stands out to me. I know that I have been given a lot of trials in the last couple of years, but I think that was to help me progress and to find my strengths and not to remain a stagnant person. I know that Heavenly Father is telling me that I need to have the faith to endure the frustrating and heartbreaking times and to lean on him when it seems to be too much. For some reason he saw fit to bless me with 3 children with special needs. And while I sometimes wonder what the heck he was thinking, I wouldn't change it at all. My kids do so many other wonderful things that are beyond "book smarts" that make them each unique and "smart" in my eyes and I love them endlessly for it. They have taught me to be a better person and a better mom.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sugar Induced Coma:

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. Easter and Halloween. The Saturday before Easter I always plan something fun for the kids to do. We then talk about Spring and the Resurrection and what it means to us. After our fun-filled activity day we all color eggs together and come up with some pretty interesting stuff. Welcome to the picture overload.

I made Easter shaped cakes and the kids decorated them. I really don't know what is wrong with Peyton. We are going to get him checked.

If it involves sugar Cohen will most definitely eat it.

So Anessa was totally paranoid about someone dropping an egg into the dye. Apparently eggs produce a nuclear mushroom when dropped from a height of 2 inches?

Mitch no doubt decorating the egg to follow.

The egg says "like ok". When we were at Macey's the day before I ran into a good friend of mine whose family was coming over for dinner that night. Anyway, we were figuring out the time and I APPARENTLY said "if you want to come over earlier just give me a call and tell me you are like coming over and I will be LIKE OK" and Mitch thought it was the funniest thing ever. He's been imitating me in his best valley girl voice ever since.

The kidlets with their Easter baskets:

Giving Daddy a snuggle while eating a York peppermint patty. I love this picture. Mitch misses the kids so much. He will hardly put Aja down when he's home on the weekends.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ness and Cohen: Two accomplishments.

Anessa had her school opera last night. Her class had been working on it all school year long. It was about karate masters who's class really stunk at karate. So the lunch ladies (Ness was one of them) fed them "magic" sushi. It was really cute. Unfortunately for Ness she had to hear the "Lunch Lady Land" song by Adam Sandler an insane number of times. We rock as parents! Anyway, here she is after her performance with some flowers I got her. She was so proud as was I. The only thing missing was Daddy of course. She was near tears because he wasn't able to be there.

Isn't she gorgeous!

Cohen really wanted to go bye-bye one morning so he decided he would take matters into his own hands and dress himself. Please forgive the full diaper, it was about 6 in the morning. I think he walked around like this, holding his pants up, for about 2 hours before he decided he needed some help.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April is Autism Awareness Month!

*taken from medicalnewstoday.com*

Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the U.S., affecting 1 in 150 children. Every 20 minutes, a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism is more common than juvenile diabetes, childhood cancer and AIDS combined.

Classified as a severe neurodevelopmental disorder with early childhood onset, the symptoms produce significant impairments in social, communicative, cognitive and behavioral functioning.

There are no cures for autism, but pharmacological, behavioral and psychosocial interventions can change the course of the disorder. Some of the current treatment options include occupational therapy, dietary restrictions, sensory integration therapy and speech therapy, with most interventions featuring highly structured educational programs aimed at improving communication and social skills.

What an important month this is for our family. It brings back the memories of when I started seeing my "red flags" for Cohen. I can remember when he stopped talking completely,when he would sit in the corner and play by himself, how he would never cry when I left actually he showed no emotions whatsoever,when he didn't cry when he fell down. It was heart-breaking for me. It still is. Especially when we have our hard days. When Cohen can't do anything but sit there and flex, and I can't get him to stop no matter what I try to divert his attention with. Cohen's diagnosis has been such an emotional rollercoaster, but I am so thankful for this little boy. He has taught me patience, understanding and acceptance. I wouldn't change him at all. I'm so thankful for the many therapists that come to our home and "teach" both Cohen and me. I'm so thankful for the ABC class that we attend weekly. It has helped Cohen so much and has helped me know how to "play" with Cohen. What a blessing. I truly believe that we were meant to come to Logan and be close to the CPD for this reason.