Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Happy Birthday, Cassidy!

Cassidy is 2 years old today! It sure doesn't seem like that much time has passed since she came into the world. We had a joint birthday party for her and Jacob yesterday. They played in the kiddie pool while Silas grilled and I cooked indoors. Everyone ate and had a nice time. The kids opened presents next and the living room is now a mess of new toys and clothes. We ended the day with cake and ice cream. My MIL actually made the cake, and she did an excellent job! I'll post party pics later, but until then, here's a little something I put together in honor of Cassie's big day. :)

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Time sure is flying!

Well, tomorrow my oldest will be 6 years old. Unbelievable! It doesn't seem all that long ago that we could have his head in my hand and his tiny body fitting the length of my arm. He was such a tiny little thing. He was about 4 weeks early and only 5 lbs, 2 oz at birth. He wasn't breathing when he was born, but after three breaths of life he was fine. :) Here's a little something I put together in honor of his day:
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In other news, Elena received a dipe in the mail from her birthday exchange buddy, Kaylee. :) It is embroidered with Elmo and Grover on the bum and was made by Mary at Sweet Baby Boutique and it is sooooo cute! These embroidered dipes are spoiling me. LOL How can I buy a plain dipe again? I wish now that I would have known how easy they are to use back when the boys were little. Here's a pic of Elena's new dipe:
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Funny, I always change the words in the "Elmo's World" theme song when I sing to Elena. She loves it!

"Lalalala, lalala Lena's World.
Lalalala, lalala Lena's World.
Lena loves her brothers, her sister too.
That's Lena's world!"

Someone tell these kids to stop growing up! LOL

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Cassidy got mail!

Believe it or not, Cassidy will be two years old on the 31st! Unbelievable! She received her first birthday gift in the mail this week, and I just have to show it off. It is too cute for words! This is from her friend, Brenna. :) Her mama, Sunshine, owns Flutterbybaby (you can see the link in my list of favorite sites!) and has been a dear friend to me for quite some time.

Here is Cassie wearing her new Very Baby dipe....(please ignore the just woken up look)
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And here is a close-up of the embroidery....
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Isn't it adorable?!?! This is our first embroidered diaper and Cassidy LOVES it! She hugged it (yes, she frequently hugs her favorite dipes *lol*) and said "Pincess". And she thinks it is neat that it has her name on it. She points at the name and says "Chi-chi Melia", which translates into "Cassidy Amelia". LOL

We recently made the discovery that "Chi-chi" is how Cassie says her name. Our favorite thing to do is ask her to point out different parts of her body and ask her about her cheek. It is darling to hear her say "Chi-chi's cheek". What a fun age this is. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Playground observations

On Friday I decided to take all of the kids, pick up my mother, and all head out shopping. We have a new upscale shopping center in town that we all were interested in, so we figured that would be as good a time as any to check it out. We had heard rumors that there was going to be a Macy's built there, but we were unable to find it if it was there. So, after a disappointing run-through, we headed over to one of the larger malls.

We ate lunch there and then headed down to the children's play area. When we first arrived Jacob took right off to where the other kids were playing, Joshua went to an area that was pretty much away from crowds, Cassidy stood there begging me to take off her socks and not just her shoes, and Elena was content to hang out in the stroller taking it all in.

I made sure to take a seat that made it easy to watch all four of them without much trouble. There were a few kids in the area that were above the height limit and one in particular was a bit of a bully, pushing the smaller kids out of her way. Lucky for us, her parents decided to take off soon after we arrived.

Jacob made a new little friend while he was there. The little boy was wearing an Incredibles T-shirt, so it automatically caught his eye. The little boy even somewhat resembled the character, Dash, who is his favorite character in the movie. They got along great! LOL

Cassidy was hesitant for a long time and I was baffled as to why until I saw her slip because of the socks she was wearing. I guess I forgot about that happening the last time we were there, but she didn't! Once they were removed she took off. She always has been one to kind of watch the other kids and take everything in before actually doing anything, so she sat for a long time. Other kids came up to play with her and she just sat and stared them down. LOL Eventually I told Jacob to go and get her hand and ask her if she wanted to play. He did, and from that point on she seemed ok.

Elena in the meantime decided she was done watching and was ready to practice her new crawling skills and go exploring. She had a ball crawling to the dolphins that were on the floor. She'd get excited and start bouncing and dancing. It was pretty cute.

Joshua was the one I watched the most. At first, he was pretty much where there were no other kids. He was having a grand time on his own. After a little bit, I sort of encouraged him to go to where some of the other kids were playing. He did, and he appeared to have a good time. Some of the other kids were drawn to him and were copying him, and he did notice. However, he didn't really initiate anything. He soon went to a different section and some of the kids followed him over. He did sort of get upset at one little boy who was wanting to play with a wheel Joshua was spinning. Josh moved the little boy's hand off and told him "No, it's Joshua's turn", so I explained to Josh he needed to share. I told him one more time of spinning it and then it would be the other boy's turn, and there were no more problems after that.

I do see some improvements. Before, if other children had followed him, he probably would have had a cow. Firday, he was fine with them following him around and giggled a bit about it. He didn't converse with any of them, but he did acknowledge them.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Social Skills Class Eval

We met with Mrs. G this morning to discuss Joshua's participation in his socialization classes. This was series one for him, and she seemed very impressed with him. Mrs. G said that she is happy that he was in the class, because she was able to see him in a group atmosphere and it reiterated the fact that the skills tests he was given intially were indeed an underestimation of his abilities. She went over his strong points, of which he has many. He is very good at remembering names and is extremely good at connecting them with people. He has the sing-song voice that is very typical of autistic kids, but she said the way his sounds is inviting to other kids. He has a very positive sound to him and therefore other children and many parents would feel comfortable around him and not think of him as out of place because of it. He has a positive attitude and seems very happy (though not so much this morning lol) and that helps tremendously. He also tends to want to learn socialzation skills, where some autistic children want nothing to do with it. He also is really cute and both Mrs. G and her assistant love his cheeks. LOL

Overall, his disabilities are subtle, and she feels that having his sibling group has been a big help to him. We need to work more on eye contact. He has improved quite a bit in this area in the past 6 weeks of classes, but he still needs a lot of verbal reminders to do so. We also are needing to work more on his initiating play. He has improved at home in this area, but we will be working on trying to do it at the park and beach this summer with other children.

We again talked about schooling, and she still is ok with my homeschooling. I was planning to wait and really dive into it this fall with him, but she feels maybe I should go ahead and start now. So, I think I will start prepping this week and get started full force with him next week and really focus on school a lot with him while Jacob is on summer break. That should be fun. I have heard that homeschooling kids like Josh at times can be more fun than with other children because of how visual they are. I guess I shall soon find out. :) I think I am going to learn a lot from teaching him. It will definitely take creativity on my part, but I think he will do well.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

9 months old

Little Elena is now 9 months old as of yesterday. I can not get over how quickly time is flying by. She now is crawling, can get to a sitting position on her own, gets to a kneeling position and is desperately trying to pull up to standing, says mama and baba, and has 2 teeth. Her favorite games are peekaboo and rolling the ball. She is about 23 lbs and is wearing 12 -18 month clothes. I am hoping to get her appointment made for sometime next week so I can get the official measurements. :)

I talked to Ms. G today and we have an appointment for next Wednesday. She will give us an overview of Joshua's progress with the group sessions and her recommendations for the summer. I hope it goes well.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

New template!

Yay! I finally got around to setting up a new template I found at http://homepage.mac.com/ravasthi/blog_templates. I had to tweak a few things, but I *think* it is functioning properly now. :) If not, please be sure to let me know!

Monday, May 02, 2005


I watched Joshua's interaction with others a lot this weekend. I noticed that he has improved tremendously with making eye contact, not only with us, but with strangers as well. He also has come up several times this weekend and asked me to help him do something. People with "normal" kids don't know how amazing it is when they have a child like Josh start to do things other kids his age have been doing for some time. He just started drinking out of a straw about 2 or 3 months ago - something his little sister Cassie has been doing for many months. We got a Moolatte from DQ today, and I shared it with all of the kids. In January, he would have never gotten anything to come through the straw...today though, he beamed when he sipped it and then he asked for more. :)

He still needs to work on playing with other kids. He starts to, but is quickly in his own little world. I did notice this quite a bit at the reception after the funeral. He was perfectly content to play with the stroller wheels. He did play for a few minutes with my best friend's baby. I think it will improve with a little more time.

I'm so proud of him and all of the progress he has made already! I can not wait to get him into the occupational and speech therapy. I think he will blossom so much once they start!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Silly me

I forgot to mention, my husband dedicated the "Scene of the Week" on his website to Meemaw. You can see it here.

An emotional weekend

Wow. This weekend has been hard. Friday was the family viewing and visitation and Saturday was the funeral for Meemaw. Her obituary can be found here. She was an amazingly strong woman, and as my uncle told me later, I come from very strong genes. Meemaw will be sorely missed by so many people.

These pictures were taken about 2 weeks ago at the nursing home. Meemaw had asked that we get everyone together for pictures. I had been up until 1am that morning, crying, because the last pictures I had were from October 31st. It broke my heart that we had not gotten anything more recent, so you can imagine how surprised and grateful I was to hear she asked for us to do this. It was a wonderful gift.

This is my grandparents with their four children:
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...and with a few of the grandkids:
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...and with less than half of their great-grandchildren.
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