Saturday, March 31, 2018

Did Tessie Say "Hi" on Her Way to Her Occupational Therapy Evaluation?

Tessie was just on a roll, interacting with me so much while I was filming this and playing with her.

It made my heart so happy!

And I really can't tell if she did say a little "hi" or not when I was carrying her into her OT eval.  It wouldn't totally surprise me, because she has been having some instances of echolalia where she echoes back "no" with the exact tone and pitch that I use when I say it!

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Calming Clippers Haircutting Kit: James Gets a Hair Cut

I filmed this yesterday, nervously.

James has a hard time with sounds.  Any loud or out of the ordinary sounds are likely to cause hysterics and cutting his hair with clippers was impossible.

He wanted a hair cut, but I knew clippers were out of the question.  When I saw the Calming Clippers I decided to give them a try.

And now he has a cute new hair cut!  These were definitely a success.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

In Violation of Her IEP

There are things that I'll let slide and then there's Maggie bouncing around in the back of the bus because someone decided she didn't need her IEP mandated harness.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Easter Egg Dying Part II

Last night after the last of the parent teacher conferences and ballet we managed to try out the last three egg kits.

And one of the kits definitely outshone the others!

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Healthy Wage Review: How I Won Almost $1500 and Lost 40 Lbs

I did it you guys!  I did it!  With two weeks left on the clock I met my goal and won!

And if you're interested in trying out HealthyWage or in just checking out the HealthyWage bet calculator to see what kind of a bet they would be willing to offer you, click on my affiliate link here to head over to the site:

And if you do sign up through my affiliate link, thank you! I get credit who sign up through the link and really appreciate it!

And if you missed the first video, where I talked about this (before I won) here it is:

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Dying Easter Eggs with Shaving Cream, Kool Aid, and Rice

Today we started dying Easter Eggs and decided to compare using Kool Aid with dying eggs with shaving cream and food coloring and rice and food coloring.

And the kids definitely had a favorite method (and so did I!).

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Fish Sandwich Challenge

I saw The Fish Sandwich Challenge on Facebook and was inspired.  And then it inspired our dinner.

I did not expect our boys to get this into it though!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Shark Bite

I let the boys do another toy review today, mostly because we found this toy marked way down at Toys R' Us, although truth be told, marked way down at Toys R' Us is the same price it is all the time on Amazon (insert affiliate link disclaimer here, which means if you use that link and buy something I get a small fee, which I'm incredibly thankful for!).

It was a game they had seen played that they really wanted to try and I'm always looking to slowly expand our collection of games for family fun night and so we ended up bringing it home and today everyone felt well enough to play (although I feel like my eyes still look red from across the room... because they do) so we gave it a try.

And you guys, it was fun.  Like I had fun playing it with them.

I mean I like haven't been out of the house in over two week because Strep and Pink Eye and everything else, so maybe that's shading How Much fun it was, but still.  It was a lot of fun.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed watching them play it (and playing for a minute when they insisted I try). A lot of kid games just aren't that fun or don't work that well or break easily and quickly.  But we had fun playing several rounds of Shark Bite and the boys loved it.

As far as preschooler games go I would highly recommend this one.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sick Week

I keep thinking that this has to be over.  Each time I text to cancel some appointment and say "see you next week!" and then text "I'm so sorry to cancel for a third week in a row but I still have sick kids here" (most in home therapies request we cancel if any kids are sick, so while I can send the well kids to various therapies, basically all in home therapies are done until everyone is well so that the therapists don't get sick), and it keeps going on and on.

My birthday is on Easter this year and I'm really, really hoping that by then, we are all well.

Especially my super tough girl.

I think she's finally got this thing beat.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hippotherapy with our Girls

Today was Tessie's first day of therapy and later in the week when the rest of the family is (hopefully) feeling a little better, I'm hoping to have a post up about it, but today I wanted to share this little (entirely musical) video about this weekend when she went to a hippotherapy session with her big sisters.  She had so much fun and enjoyed it so much!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Autism, Wandering, and Eloping, and my Most Terrifying Moment as a Mom

I thought about saving this for April.

Okay, let's be honest.

I planned on saving this for April.

But then I finished it.  And the next day I saw a news story, the first one (that I saw this year).

The first heartbreaking agonizing story of a child with autism wandering or eloping and not being found alive.  It happens every year.  Every summer there is a stream of them if you pay attention.  Sometimes weekly.  Sometimes a bit more time goes by.  Sometimes though its less and I find my heart in my throat, trying not to pay attention but also unable to look away, praying so hard for each child as the autism community prays and often grieves.

And it's only March.

Or maybe the years blend together now and there really is no, eloping season because there's no time that's really safe, just times when it happens less.

If you've been around long you know this story, but this will be the first time anyone outside our family has heard me tell it.

I got through it with, somewhat minimal tears.

Okay, that's not totally true.  There are tears.  Because it's been almost three years, but it's not something I will easily forget:

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.