Sunday, March 18, 2018

What's in Our Easter Baskets: 2018 Edition

I have to admit that I'm usually a last minute, up super late the night before a holiday, sort of mom.

But this year I actually got 99% of my shopping done early (which I'm extremely thankful for now that the entire family has been laid low with strep and I'm typing this curled up in bed wearing an adult size little mermaid fleece sleeper that may or may not have been intended to be used as a Halloween costume), and I actually put the eggs and baskets together last week during a quiet moment while the kids were playing quietly.

And while 80% of their baskets came from Dollar Tree this year, I was so excited to find a mermaid tail Easter basket at Five Below.  Maggie hasn't seen it yet, but I'm hoping she loves it!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

My Drugstore Makeup Routine

This post wasn't quite planned.  I planned on taking the camera in with me during the day in the life post that I did, and then this section stretched on and on, but when I watched it I didn't want to edit it heavily to make it fit in a minute or less.

And there was a post on A Catholic Mom's Life where she was getting ready one morning and I happened to get the notification for it when I was getting ready and it was fun watching it while I was doing my makeup.

So while this post wasn't quite planned, if it was inspired by anyone it was inspired by how much I liked that post.

I definitely cannot claim to be a makeup expert.  Not even close.  I was the girl in college whose friends were always trying to teach me to do makeup, and sighing over the hopelessness of the situation as we cruised the aisles of Sephora.

And there are plenty of days that I don't wear makeup.  But there are quite a few days when I do.  And most of my makeup is from CVS, Target, and Amazon, with affordable and sale, being key factors that I look for when I choose makeup.  Maybe someday that will change, but at the moment necessity dictates my makeup choices and I'm pretty happy with them.

So for anyone who's curious, this is my morning makeup routine, followed by my one minute hair routine.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Day in the Life

Thursdays are usually kind of relaxing and while this wasn't one of our busiest days this week I braved three stores with our three littlest, which was both fun and chaotic, in our quest for mermaid coloring books.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Conversations with Patrick

Earlier this week Patrick got all dressed up and asked me to make a video with him.  And this is what happened next:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Scarlet Fever?

This not-so little video is kind of like all of the updates rolled into one.

The best part (I think) was when the kids convinced me between appointments to let them get out of the car for a little bit to walk around in the icy cold at a park (they really, really needed to get some wiggles out and after 48 hours on antibiotics Sadie was no longer contagious).

I went in for another ultrasound (not for my gallbladder) and I talk about that and the biopsy my doctor ordered.

We get a call from Urgent Care with a test result that came in for Sadie.

And Tessie ends up getting pretty sick, but is pretty lucky that her big sister got sick first, so that the doctor knew exactly what she needed.

And I get a call from the gastroenterologist's office with a date for an appointment that is... not so near.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Feeling Better?

This was mostly just silliness, and some updates about Sadie's trip to urgent care... which will have even more of an update tomorrow because apparently the doctor's first instincts were right, the rapid test was wrong, and when my kids catch illnesses, they catch illnesses that make me feel like we're stepping into a 19th century novel.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Cutting My Own Hair

I wasn't planning on going quite this short.  It was one of those haircuts where you cut a little one off of one side... then you make it even...

But I thought that I would finally document what I've been doing for over half a decade.

This past year I went to a stylist a few times (and loved it) but things have been so hectic again that I finally gave up on the idea of getting in anytime in the near future and I took matters into my own hands.

With Patrick as my trusty assistant/ the person giving running commentary throughout the process:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Appointments, Appointments, Everywhere!

From Tessie's team meeting to the medical supply store (that I really hoped to avoid, but couldn't) to a glimpse of my HIDA scan, it's been a busy week and this video takes you along as we zoomed from here to there.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Shopping for Easter Outfits and Barely Surviving Trying Them On

I think this just confirmed what I already knew.

 My girls are excited about clothes.

 My boys are both way more excited and way pickier about their clothes.

I'm not sure if they could inject more drama into unwrapping a bag full of Easter clothes if I'd asked them too.

I'm looking at you James Ignatius!

He is the embodiment of the word "threenager."

But hey, he really, really liked that sweat shirt I found for him:


Friday, March 9, 2018

How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot using Jello Mix

I've been using my Instant Pot as an easy way to make yogurt for a while now.

But the kids weren't huge fans of the plain yogurt that I made, even when I'd add various fruits or jellies to sweeten it.

Enter the idea of jello yogurt.  I saw it online, but when I googled it I found that every recipe involved making jello and making yogurt and using a blender to combine them.

I thought that I should be able to add the jello to milk the moment I opened the Instant Pot up after it had just finished boiling.

And one of our family's favorite recipes was born.

So far the kids have loved cherry and raspberry and today we share exactly how we make our Instant Pot Jello Yogurt (which looks and tastes exactly like regular flavored yogurt and doesn't taste like jello at all.  The jello just sweetens and flavors the yogurt).

It's so incredibly easy to make and with the amount of yogurt our family can eat I can't beat the price (it's basically just a gallon of milk plus the cost of one pack of jello!).

Here's our not so secret recipe:

The Screen Shots

Yesterday when I made that vlog  I was taking deep breaths and trying not to descend into the fifth grade drama of screen shots.  

This morning I woke up to discover, via friends still in the group, that my name had been dragged through the mud.  The admin that had had a problem with me, had returned to the group and declared that I'd been kicked off because of my behavior in private messages.  

She'd done this in a group with thousands and thousands of Catholic women, a large number of who I'm friends with, and a number of who are readers here.  

At that point I decided that I needed to defend my name.  

I'm sorry no.  You don't get to lie about me and say that I did something that I didn't do. 

I didn't have a tantrum over private messenger although I suspect that Kellie invited me onto private messenger with the intention of making that claim from the very beginning.  

It also came to my attention, from friends in the group, the Kellie went back and deleted quite a few of things that were said about special needs children.  I unfortunately didn't get screen shots of everything that was said.  But I got some highlights of our interactions, because I suspected she might twist them.

I don't take screenshots in private groups.  In fact I didn't know how to take screenshots with my computer until two days ago.  But when she began to ask me to PM her I had... a bad feeling.  And google was my friend.  And screen shots... well, they felt like insurance against her lies, which ultimately proved true.  

My blog is small.  I know that.  Way smaller than the group.  

And I don't like drama.

But I also don't like being lied about in a group where other women who I respect remain.

 And a lot of people agreed.  And a lot thought it was funny.  And I avoided interacting with Kellie.

Until this happened:

Now there is a post missing here in which I said that it was true that I wasn't super active in the group because I'd seen some ladies come down pretty hard on other ladies for... well... all sorts of things.  It was reminiscent of the early days of this blog really.  And I said that the reason that I replied was that some of the things she was saying about special needs moms made me feel kind of sick.  I wish I had a screen shot of that comment but I didn't get it before I was banned.

And she told me that was why I was kicked out in the following message.:

I've since learned that Kellie's been spreading around the group some pretty huge lies about me.  That this text that she asked me to send her was harassing.

So here it is.

For the world to see.  Her words and mine.

Because I have nothing to hide.

I'm not sure she can say the same, since she lied to me about why I was kicked out and then lied to the group about my behavior.

If you have a kid with special needs I'd be careful about Catholic Mom's Building Cathedrals.  It's not a place that's friendly to those with disabilities with this admin in charge.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Kicked Out of My 1st Facebook Moms' Group?

When I began this blog I was not good at avoiding online drama.  And I like to think I've gotten better at that.  I think I've gotten better at scrolling along past people I disagree with.  I've gotten better at clicking away when someone is wrong on the internet.

But one in a while the temptation is too strong... once in a while I'm in a popular Catholic Mom's group (CMBC for those in the know) and I read a post by an admin first making fun of a program teaching kids struggling to read to read, and then saying that moms of kids with disabilities were really one of the biggest problems in mom groups because they put their sensitivity above the needs of others to "laugh or find things ridiculous" (the full quote is in the vlog, word for horrid word).

And you guys I couldn't keep scrolling.  There were a lot of special needs moms in the conversation.  I had to say something.

I said that I thought that the biggest problem in moms group was a lack of compassion.

And well, the rest of the story is in the vlog.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sick Day

One kid with a fever and head cold.  Two with just plain old fevers.  One with a stomach bug.  And one with pink eye.  Today is virus filled around here.

I started making this post when we were on our way to the ultrasound place... and because of all those viruses I didn't finish it until this morning.

I have to say, I am ready for this cold and flu season to be over.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Genetics, Pulmonology, and Labs... Oh My!!!

This post has a little bit of every thing.  Genetics. Pulmonology.  A not so fun trip to the lab.  And a much bigger update about what's going on with me (although it's not complete because a I type I'm sitting and waiting for the results of an abdominal ultrasound from this morning and hoping it gave my doctor the answers that he needed):

Monday, March 5, 2018

A Sunday in the Life

Yesterday was busy for a Sunday.  It started with Mass.  And doughnuts.

Then I had to stop by the lab to have some tests done and I give a quick update about what's going on health wise (spoiler: there may be a surgery in my near future).

After that we made a stop to pick up a few Easter basket fillers (because usually I wait until the day before Easter and I wasn't going to let that happen this year).

And the kids went on and on and on and on about possible (not possible) things they wish they could give up for Lent.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Flat Tire Afternoon and Other Saturday Adventures

Want to watch Paul change a tire in the background while I sit in the background and the kids ask "is the tire STILL flat?!?!??!?!" in the back of the car?

Well then I have a vlog post for you!

This was not the afternoon that I had planned yesterday, but we still ended up have fun, cruising around Walmart while they tried to fix and then replaced our tire which had a large stone shard through it.

And this time instead of just Paul and I talking it was me, Paul and the kids, with a kind of hilarious conversation (or three) between Paul and Sadie:

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Tessie's Intake Appointment

Friday was a very big day for Tessie.

It was her intake appointment for the therapy center that Maggie has been going to for the last three years.  And so I bundled her into the car and we set off for this new part of her adventure!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Snow Again in Michigan

I knew that it wasn't quite spring yet... but I wasn't quite expecting this much snow quite so soon when I posted that warm weather post a few days ago when we were all out basking in the sun and enjoying being outside without jackets on.

I just loved James' reaction as he walked across the porch.  He still has a little bit of those Grumpy Baby expressions left to share with the world:

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Patrick's New Class

Yesterday was Patrick's first day of "Ninja class," something he had been waiting impatiently for for the last few weeks (and which James will now be waiting for until he turns four).  It's a boys class that's offered at the gymnastics studio that the kids go to and the class is a mix of martial arts, gymnastics, with a little dance thrown in.

And Patrick loved it.

James, for his part, was the only kid signed up for his class this session (so far) and he had a blast running around with his teacher having the big trampoline all to himself.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Not Quite Spring

I love this video so much because Tessie kept turning around and it looks like she was trying to kiss Sadie, although she never actually reached her.

She loves it each day when Sadie gets home from school, and Sadie absolutely adores her baby sister and is always talking about how cute Tessie is.  They are so sweet together.

In other news... we're supposed to get snow this week.  Three to six inches.

The kids are definitely ready for spring to be here... and so am I.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tessie's ADOS and Autism Test Results

I didn't expect instant results, but when we got to Tessie's autism test they already knew that the therapy center had set up an intake appointment for her on Friday and so they were ready to score her evaluation the moment it was finished...


Monday, February 26, 2018

Central Apnea Scare

Just when I start to relax and wonder if Tessie is outgrowing her central apneas, she has a night that let's us know that we can't let our guard down.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sadie and Patch have Fun at Nani and Bopa's House

Patrick and Sadie had the best morning over at Nani and Bopa's.

Maybe by the time Patch is old enough to drive it will be a little less terrifying to think of what he'd be like behind the wheel of an actual car.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

All About Paul

When you have kids dates, or even what you call dates, sometimes have to be creative.

Paul and I decided to declare out dentist appointments, which we discovered the night before happened to be at the same time at the same place, dates, because they involved two hours of uninterrupted conversation.

And he agreed to be interviewed on camera (a sort of ongoing joke between us since I started vlogging has been how he's pretty much silent whenever the camera is on and is then actually the louder/more extroverted of the two of us when it's off).

I laughed, a lot, especially on the drive home as I asked him questions and we chatted as we drove.

And when we stopped he said he didn't think I had enough footage and I laughed even more because I knew this was going to be a longer post even after I was finished with editing.

The end of our conversation, where the talk turned to Paul starting his own Youtube channel (Will it happen?  Was he serious?) was totally my favorite part.

So here it is, Paul talking about everything from work to books to life (and a quick tour of Ann Arbor before our dentist appointments):

Friday, February 23, 2018

James goes to a Neurology Appointment

He doesn't have as many appointments as he used to, but once and a while James still heads to neurology for a checkup.

Okay, to be totally honest I was really hoping that they were going to discharge him today and say to come back if we needed to. But I also knew, because of the new breathing things going on with his sleep, and some weird eye things, that might not happen.

So instead he ended up with two new doctors.

Not quite a win.  But he did have a lot of fun dancing his way around the office being silly.

So maybe a win anyways?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A Very Tessie Introduction

I made fun little introduction video/interviews with the boys (and there's one with Sadie that I shared here a couple weeks ago when she gave us a tour of her room), that I ultimately want to put on the "Who's Who page at the top of the blog, once I've made one for each member of the family.

The boys loves them and have watched their own a bunch of times.

Although James managed to pick out Patch's comment about "making a video without my brother" at the end of his video (I think even I missed it) and was fairly furious when he heard it.

He has to do everything with Patch at the moment.  Which, relatedly, is probably why Patrick was so thrilled to do a video that was all his own.

But then James and I made his own video when Patch was at school.

And finally it was time to make one for Tessie.  But I was having a harder time making hers because I couldn't interview her since she only really says "mama" and only "mama" occasionally.

Last night I started watching old videos of Tessie and by the time I went to bed I had come up with this little Tessie montage, which goes through some of my favorite moments from the last year, along with some descriptions that I think really describe our favorite, daring little bunny:

I don't know what it is but that llama dress that she is wearing is one of my all time favorite pieces of toddler clothing ever.  It's just so Tessie.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Visit to Patrick's Ballet Class

Patrick is such a little performer and he waited for such a long time (not always patiently) to be able to take ballet at Sadie's dance school, asking me regularly if he was old enough to be in a class of his own yet.  Last year he was able to take a few sessions of the preschool dance clinics they offered, but wasn't old enough at the beginning of the year to start the beginner's class.

This year he's finally old enough to be in a ballet class and get ready to be part of the big recital.  And he is so excited.  Last night was Visitor's Night and I took advantage of my visit to make a little video that he could watch later (probably over and over again) and now I get to share it with you too!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Sleep Study: An Update

I shared that initial sleep study post where James talked with me about his sleep study and so I wanted to share this here as well, complete with the clips that Paul was sending me before I told him I was totally okay with him not sending me any thing else.

Apparently my concerns that James is maybe slightly more stubborn than the average three year old are not entirely unfounded:

Monday, February 19, 2018

What I Wish I Had Known

This is something I am passionate about.

And there's an apology stuck in the middle to a blog reader that I went off on back in 2011, who probably isn't still reading because I was so, so very rude, but if she is... I really do appreciate what you said and I really am sorry I didn't listen.

Because I should have.  And I wish that I had, well, frequently if I'm honest.

And this video is totally dedicated to you.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Sleep Study and A Prayer Request

I wasn't planning on posting twice in one day, but Paul and James are gone right now and the house seems very, very quiet.

James had a lot to say about his sleep study and was very excited about it, but Paul texted and let me know that (as we anticipated) our super sensitive sensory boy is having a tough time being hooked up to all those wires.

I told the doctor I could not imagine a reality in which a sleep study would be possible for James and he said that they had kids with autism successfully do it all the time, so we should give them a chance.  I think our little bouncing three year old might give them a run for their money in this case.  He is stubborn to say the least.

He was so excited to talk about it though, and make a video watching himself talk about it.

But my favorite moment is at 4:45 when we were walking up the stairs and he asked me to do something for him while he was gone.

My heart!

So if you have a moment please say a prayer for our little guy tonight so that they can get accurate results.

The kid can't tolerate wearing socks.  I just don't know how they're going to get him to sleep with all those sensors on him.