Monday, November 29, 2010

Cheerio stealing Cousins!

I would LOVE to know what they are both thinking in this picture above...

Friday, November 19, 2010

My baby is growing up so fast!

Emma is now pulling herself up on EVERYTHING, AND trying to surf the furniture. I love watching her grow and learn new things, but wish I could just slow it down a bit and enjoy it more.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All grown up

I'm talking about myself here. Sad, but true....I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I am 90% sure I am going back to school to get my Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree/Certificate. I may eventually work on my Masters, but going to take this route right now. OTA's actually make a very good living, and it's something I think I would really enjoy. I got my degree in Child Development with an emphasis in Child Life Therapy which involves working in hospitals. There were ZERO jobs out there when I graduated, I moved, on and am no longer eligible to be a Child Life Therapist b/c I got my degree a decade and 1/2 ago....sad. So, I am going to try something else. I will hopefully be able to transfer a lot of classes I took at NIU and use them towards this degree. We will see. It's in the works- I have contacted an advisor, I am getting transcripts sent over from NIU, and I have done all my research on the field. It's expected to grow 30% over the next few years. There is a huge need for OT's, and they are utilizing Assistants more and more because they are overloaded with cases. I looked around the area for places hiring OT Assistants and there are a TON with very generous hourly rates and salaries.
I say 90% sure I am doing this b/c it's going to be a challenge with the girls, Macie's therapy, my work, Phil's work, etc. I don't want to say with 100% certainty b/c if I do, and don't make it through this.....I will only be 90% a failure....just kidding!
Wish me luck on this journey!!!
And thank you to my most amazing Husband. He is so encouraging about this and really helping me get everything going and organized! MUAH.....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You had me at "FREE"....

Anyone that knows me fairly well knows I am frugal (OK, broke...whatever you want to call it), and I LOVE me some coupons. I am that woman standing in the middle of the aisle at the store fumbling through all my coupons to find the best deal. I am not an organized frugal person, and can usually be seen dropping coupons on my way through the store. This was most certainly a frustration for Phil when he had his first ever shopping excursion with me when we moved in together. Now that he's been around the coupon block with me a few hundred times, he is on board. I save us a lot of money with coupons, and I am sorry if I have ever pissed you off in a store- it's so worth it! He does make me organize the coupons according to the layout of the store. Sounds annoying, but it's so worth it- especially since he does most of the shopping since we've had kiddos.
Free is good. No, make that GREAT! I hopped all over free tickets to the Bears game on Sunday. I am not a big football fan, but Phil is so I did it for him, and did I mention they were FREE?
So while I was stalking some other blogs yesterday I came across a mention that Shutterfly is doing 50 FREE holiday photo cards for bloggers. Sounds too good to be true, right? You all know how expensive Christmas cards can be, right? I am actually pretty good about doing them every year, but it's painful to spend the money on something that more than likely will be thrown away (hopefully recycled) at the end of the holidays. I did some research, signed in with Shutterfly and proved to them that I have a blog, and I received an e-mail from them with confirmation that I would indeed get my 50 FREE cards.
I have ordered photo cards from Shutterfly before, and they do a great job. I am really excited this year since they have some really great layouts to choose from. Here are some I am considering:
What do you think? There are so many to choose from. Go see for yourself, and they are very reasonable (even if you're not getting them for free).
I have also done photo mugs for family, and they were a HUGE hit.
And have also done photo calendars which are my fav since it's the gift that gives for 12 months!!!
They have an amazing selection of gifts, and I have never had any issues with ordering and/or quality of their products!
Remember if you are a blogger.....
Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from shutterfly, just sign up at

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pictures- Macie 2 years, Emma 9 Months

Once again, Kim did an amazing job on pictures for us. It's quite a challenge since Macie won't sit still and Emma is on the move!
Here are a few shots she got. Sadly, this is our first professional family picture, but we LOVE it!

Macie's 6 Month EI meeting

We had Macie's 6 month Early Intervention meeting on Thursday last week. All of her therapists, the social worker, and the coordinator were all at our house.

We basically just sat down and went over Macie's original evaluation, her goals, and her progress so far.

Macie has made amazing progress since she started, and all the therapists are very happy with everything. When all of this started Macie would basically cry the whole time, she would avoid any play, interaction, and would just wander around the room. Now she engages in play, she initiates play, she lets the therapists touch and hold her, she can stay with a task for quite a while (45 min. most times), and her anxiety level is almost non-existent. She has learned some sign language, is becoming more verbal and vocal, she is playing more appropriately with toys, she is imitating, she loves playing with other kids, and she has stopped avoiding adult interaction.

They all commented on how smart she is and how quickly she catches on to things, and just her overall knowledge of things. She gets frustrated at times because I think she really would like to talk and vocalize her feelings and/or wants, but it's hard for her. With her sensory issues, she gets overloaded, or overwhelmed and can not express things verbally so she gets angry. Short fuse like her mommy!

All of the therapists are leaning more towards Sensory Processing Disorder rather than Autism. They are not diagnosing, and they are not completely ruling our Autism, but they all feel that with the progress she's made, and most of her actions are a result of sensory issues.

We are continuing therapy as it was, and in 6 months they will do another formal evaluation. At that time we will be able to see the age at which she is functioning, and adjust services accordingly.

We couldn't be more happy with EI, and Macie's progress. She's really exceeding everyones expectations!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A very proud Mama!!!

 Emma just pulled herself up on my leg to a standing position.
Macie chose to have an apple for lunch, and she let me know that by saying "apple Mama".  She also just ate her entire lunch (ravioli and yogurt) with a fork and spoon.  She's been working so hard using utensils, but she usually gives up and uses her fingers.  AND....the bottomless pit just asked me for a cookie!
I think Macie is making up for yesterday.  She climbed on the little "gate" on her big girl bed and the whole thing cracked off.  Then about 5 min. after that she was bouncing (a new found fun for her) on her bed and fell off and hit her cheek.  She cried forEVER, and a hard cry!  I was close to taking her to the Dr., but I turned on some Yo Gabba Gabba for her, and AMAZING....she was back to bouncing in the living room on the couch.  DJ Lance saved me hundreds of dollars!
Now I just need to get Macie back to taking an afternoon nap.  She hasn't taken one in three days-ugh!
Today is her 6 month review with EI, and all her therapists.  I am anxious to hear what they have to say!
Will post later on that.
Yep, still no pictures....can't upload them on here for some reason. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ignorance is not always bliss

Macie has been AMAZING lately.  She is "talking" up a storm, and just overall doing great.  It would take me a week to blog everything she is excelling at. 
Backing up a bit.  About a week ago I was working and my neighbors came in for some drinks.  They told me their adorable daughter, Veronica was turning two, and they would like us to stop by the party.  I thanked them for the invite and gave a brief explanation on Macie, and it depended on her mood that day.  Veronica's mom said "oh my gosh, don't worry about it, it's a kids party and Macie will be fine.  She can run around and play, have cake, etc.".  We are by no means "sheltering" Macie from social situations, we just have to choose carefully where we take her, and it depends a lot on the kind of day/week she is having.  We decided we were going to go regardless of her mood since we really need to expose her to more situations with children and "strangers". 
I was so excited to go to this party since Macie was having such a good week.  I wanted to see how she would be/react, and I wanted her to run around, play, and have  good time.  We arrived and Macie immediately was running around, laughing, interacting with other kids and adults.  She was quite a ham- she was doing silly things to make people laugh.  Everyone there was really enjoying her, and goofing around with her.  Emma was really in a lot of pain that day- she has four teeth coming in right now, and I can't blame her for being uncomfortable.  She was crying and then Macie had to follow along and start whining.  No big deal right?  WRONG!  There were two people sitting at a table near the girls.  We'll call them WTB (white trash bitch) and CDG (creepy drunk guy).  While the girls were fussing WTB says "I am going to rip my eyes out if they don't stop", and CDG says "hopefully they are going to be going home soon.". 
Now keep in mind, I didn't hear them- Phil did.  He decided to take Emma home, and I stayed there with Macie.  When I got home Phil told me what they said.  He had to stop me from going back over there and saying something.  I was beyond pissed, and I don't think sometimes before I speak.  After I cooled off a bit I then got upset, and a bit sad.  I was sad because this is the EXACT reason that it is sometimes hard for us to go places.  Macie gets anxious in unfamiliar places sometimes.  I don't like to put her in situations that I know will upset her.  She was having a great day, she was just feeding off her sister and trying to get attention from us....she wasn't anxious, upset, etc. 
How dare them!  They are children, and they have no idea what the situation is.  Through all this I have become more understanding, patient, tolerant, sympathetic, etc.  I understand that crying children can be annoying to some, but this was a 2 year old's birthday party for crying out loud. 
After a few days of thinking about this and going through some serious anger, frustration, and sadness I am not going to let it slide.  When I see our neighbors again I am just very politely going to explain that we are "very sorry we had to leave early, but we were made to feel very uncomfortable about our kids being fussy (for about 2 minutes).".  It's perfect because they kept asking me why we were leaving so early. 
Ridiculous, ignorant people. 
Before we left Macie and Veronica were busting a move for a big group of was adorable!  WTB, and CDG were not in attendance for this....maybe they would have found it cute too.....probably not!  Jerks!

Emma- 9 Months


Sorry Mommy is a day late in wishing you a Happy 9 months.  I am also sorry that I can't post any pictures of you at 9 months on this blog. 
You are so busy!  You crawl like a pro now, and you are trying so hard to pull yourself up to stand.  I think it's just going to be a matter of time before that happens.  You are into EVERYTHING, and that includes getting up in your sister's business when I am trying to change her diaper.  I don't get the appeal, but I think you are just nosey!  This curiosity sparked the first brawl with you and Macie.  You slipped and fell on her, and she reached up and whacked you across the face.  Your binky went flying, you started screaming, and then Macie joined in and started crying!  Pretty soon you two will be brawling over clothes and bathroom time!!!  You adore your sister, and you follow her all around the house trying to pull yourself up on her legs, you play with her hair, her fingers and toes.  She's not #1 in your fan club, but you have to remember she's two and she is two with an attitude!!!  She can't be bothered with you right now, but that doesn't seem to bother just keep trying.  I love your determination. 
You are such a good sleeper.  You let me know when you're ready for a nap, or bed by making a noise that sounds like a bullfrog, and you crawl up into my lap and cuddle....I LOVE it!  I read you books, put you down in your crib, and you are out in 2.2 seconds.  You are getting four top teeth all at once right now so that wakes you sometimes, but you still love your sleep.  I really thought you were just going to have those two bottom teeth and that's it! 
Since I do flashcards pretty often with Macie, I decided to include you while I am doing them.  I show you two, ask you which one is.....and you pick the right one 8 out of 10 times!  Makes me so proud when you do that!  You also know animal sounds.  I pull out your baby animals book, make the sound, and you pick the right animal. 
I can't believe you have graced us with your presence for 9 whole months.  It's been an interesting yet amazing 9 months.  I love you more than I could ever express!

Love you little Ems,


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ok, I take back the "stupid blogger" comment.....

Now it's "stupid computer".  I haven't blogged in 2 weeks, and have come to realize that I want to continue blogging.  I want to do it for the girls so they can look back and see just how amazing they were/are! 
I am having computer issues, and it's really frustrating.  I can't upload pictures or videos at all, and I am pretty computer illiterate to even begin to try and figure out why I can't do anything! 
I have so many things to blog about, but can't-errrrrrr.