Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I was completely prepared (in my head) for this week's WFMW, but never got around to actually taking any pictures or typing it all out.
It's gonna be cool, though, if I ever get around to it. Next week, perhaps?
Anyway, more Dinosaur Math for Eli. Found some really awesome websites that led me to a bunch of links, that led me to a bunch of more links, that led me to 2 day's worth of printing, cutting, and laminating - which led to.... drum roll.... Eli actually asking to do Math!
(Insert major happy dance!)
Hopefully, I'll get all that ready for next week's edition of WFMW. In the meantime, we are headed to OT and then Nandi gets admitted to Scottish Rite Hospital this afternoon for a series of evaluations and tests and then gets some Botox done on her leg in the morning.
I am promising myself that I will not make any Botox jokes or comments about Nicole Kidman's forehead in front of the doctor. But seeing that I tend to get verbal diarrhea in most social situations, the likelihood of keeping my lame jokes to myself is not very, um, likely.
But, hey, I get to watch American Idol from the comfort of a hospital room tonight. Just me and Nandi, chillin' with that delicious 25 cent popcorn that Scottish Rite sells. Like a little mini-vacation.
Hasta la Vista!
Monday, February 23, 2009
Wow, I just woke up. And I did NOT have the weirdest Oscar dreams last night. They did NOT include the cast of Slumdog Millionaire dancing in a bottle of buttons with Hugh Jackman standing next to them in a coat and tie.
If you are reading this and are one of those people who interprets dreams, I do not NOT want to know what it means. I'm pretty sure it means that I should've gone to bed earlier and not watched 4 hours of television that congratulated a bunch of movies I have not seen.
Because, let's face it. I'm a mother of 3 kids between the ages of 4 and 7. Our movie outings are NOT solely limited to things put out by Disney, Pixar and any movie that promotes itself via Happy Meals.
Ooh! Look! They mentioned Wall-E. Hey honey, we've seen that!
But wasn't Hugh Jackman great last night? I am so NOT crushing on him a little bit more this morning.
After last week's issue of sleep deprivation, colds, and a good ol' dose of stomach virus, I did NOT decide it was time for a little beau-ti-fi-ca-shun.
Which basically means that I did NOT hop up on the bathroom counter and inspect my face like a greedy plastic surgeon. I did NOT discover, to my horror, that some of those fine little wrinkles around my mouth were, in fact, hairs.
As in hairs!
As in "What the hay is Tom Selleck doing growing on my upper lip?"
As in, I always knew they were there but how on earth did they sprout like a field of mating bunnies?
I did NOT at any point during this um, facial inspection, glance at the razor sitting on the counter, glance at my upper lip, glance back at the razor sitting on the counter, glance back at my upper lip, have painful flashbacks to a time in my life when I tried waxing and seriously thought I was going to be buried with half a wax strip attached to my face, GRAB the razor and proceed to shave my 'stache like a man.
That's right. Like a man.
And I am NOT a man.
Or should that be not NOT a man? 'Cuz, you know, really I'm NOT. Or is that not NOT?
Anyway, at one point, I did NOT glance down, lift back the top of my pants, peer in, and say, "Yep, still a woman."
I also did NOT pray during this shaving expedition the following words...
"Please don't let Sim walk in during this. Please don't let Sim walk in during this. Dear God, there are some things a man does not need to see or know."
I must admit, the results were stunning. Fast, easy, and painless. And smoooooth.
And, of course, since I can't keep a secret from Sim, I did not excitedly exclaim, "Dude! Check this out. Is that like a baby's butt or what??"
We did not then spend a few minutes checking out each other's upper lip and comparing whose was smoother. And since I'm a chick, I did NOT ask him questions about stubble and five o'clock shadows.
All things I'm proud to say that have not been an issue since my journey into mustache shaving.
And can I just take a moment to say.. is my husband NOT awesome or what? His wife starts sprouting facial hair and he still digs her. Yep, I'm a lucky gal.
He's also a very smart man. Like, for instance, last night when they were getting all the past Best Actress Oscar winners ready to announce the newest Best Actress winner.... and when I asked him, "So, if you could make out with one woman right now at this very instant, would it be Meryl Streep or Sophia Loren", he did NOT look at me and clamp his mouth down shut.
Would not answer.
Would not budge.
All I wanted to know is if he preferred the more natural looking Streep or the darkly spray tanned and Botoxed (but wonderfully bosomed) Loren.... but he somehow thought it was a trick question and would not answer.
I'm pretty sure he was NOT thinking, "Why don't you throw Kiera Knightley into the mix?" but he knew that I would NOT clobber him for uttering that out loud.
Because there is NOT an unspoken rule that when I give him a free pass to tell me who his movie star crush is, it can not include starlets who are too young to grow moustaches.
But, Kiera, honey, if you're reading this and you do happen to have facial hair, shoot me a PM and I'd be happy to add you to the list of movie stars that Sim's allowed to fancy.
And that's about it. Hope you all have a great week!
Friday, February 20, 2009
People have left the sweetest comments for Noah! I put him in my lap and read them out to him and he gets so excited and babbles and claps his hands. Honestly, ya'll don't know how happy it makes him. He loves it!
So, let's hope Anoop gets voted back for the American Idol WildCard week - and don't you know I'll be sending out a personal plea for everyone to vote.
P.S. Noah pulled an all-nighter Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Screaming, crying, stimming.
You know.... that also happens to be the very same night Anoop was eliminated... hmmmmm... just sayin'.
For Mama's sanity... BRING BACK ANOOP!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
It really does show the wonderful benefits of sponsoring a child.. not only for the child but for the sponsor, as well.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Noah has had no interest in the show whatsoever - in fact, he's basically been rolling around on pillows in his room all evening.
But when I said, "Hey Noah - come watch this. This guy's Indian" .... you know, for no reason, just to include Noah... he actually came running.
Holy cow, were we shocked!
Thank goodness I had enough sense to grab the video camera. It's rare to see him like this...
Abby goes back into the hospital tomorrow and her dad has asked everyone for a special request. I know you all can do it!
Here's his original request.....................................................
We have a request for all you video-junkies... Abby is most likely going to be in the hospital quite a bit in the next two weeks. It would be really sweet, and very comforting for her, if some of you could make videos of READING A STORY. It could be a children's story, or Bible story... and would be really neat if your kids were involved.
I can envision you reading the story, and occassionally holding the book up to the camera so she can see the characters or illustrations.
Everyone seemed to have such a great time making videos last time, I thought this would be a great way to comfort Abby when things get rough again. The best way would be to make a video and post it to YouTube or some other online video service (too big to email).
What do you think? I will create a page with links to these videos so that other families can have their children watch them too when they are in the hospital or sick. If we do this, then we should make it where others can be blessed by it too.
If you haven't read it, the last post is an update on Abby going in to the hospital tomorrow.
If you have a suggestion or question, leave a comment and I'll answer them all. If you plan to participate, leave a comment and let me know so I can see how much interest there is.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Such a shame, too, as this stomach virus has provide me with loads of things to blog about. 'Tis a pity how you won't get to hear how I was NOT pooped on, did NOT step in the..uh.. result of what happens when a kid doesn't make it to the potty on time, and have NOT been up all night with sick little ones.
Good thing the dog does NOT have it, too! Now that would just be a bit too much, wouldn't it? So glad that has NOT happened to me. Whew! Aren't I lucky?
I am NOT counting down the hours until my husband comes home. Will absolutely NOT call in a pizza at the local pizza place. Will NOT crawl into bed by 7:00 and turn on the TV, - which is good because then I will definitely NOT make runs to the bathroom during the commercials while watching The Bachelor.
And I absolutely, positively, will probably NOT - not even once - hop on the scale to see if this virus has cancelled out the effect of eating sweetart hearts all weekend long.
Nope, nope, nope. Not me!
That's all. Duty calls. Gotta go.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
And then she does this.
I adore her. I truly do.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Yep. Like a big ol' goober, I pulled out all the stops for my first two posts and now I'm left blogging about the type of shampoo I use on the kids and the organic suckers we give Noah.
Actually, I've been swamped since Eli got back from England on Monday (I forgot how much of a chatterbox that child is) and we've been diving back into school. So, I thought I'd post some of the flashcards we use with all three kids.
Right now, we're really focusing on reading, spelling, and math. We do a little zoology course on the side, but English & Math are our two biggies. We use Sing, Spell, Read, & Write - although we don't do the songs or the writing part. We just do the workbooks. Currently, we are doing "On Track" which is beginning, basic spelling.
Here's how we tackle that. Keep in mind that each child is different:
1. Noah is nonverbal and very auditory. He cannot write or hold a pencil. We are focusing on spelling words on his alphaboard.
2. Eli is very visual and has dysgraphia. We also suspect dyslexia. Reading and spelling is hard for him. He just mastered the alphabet at 5 1/2. Has a habit of spelling things backwards.
3. Nandi has a brain injury and short term memory problems. Significant speech delay/articulation issues.
We are currently learning "-AT" words. Like fat, cat, sat, mat, rat, bat, etc. We made simple flashcards made up from the words we're studying and then cut corresponding pictures out of magazines.
(Sidenote: I love, love, love the Hi-5 and Highlights magazines. They always have the exact pictures I need. )
This is how we take one word list and use it for all three kids:
Let's start with Eli. As I said, he's very visual and has a hard time with spelling. Here are some of the ways we use the cards with him:
1. Make two columns with the word list and two columns with the pictures - side by side. Have him match the each word card to the corresponding picture card.
2. Lay all the pictures out in rows. Put the word cards in one pile, face down. Have him pick a card, turn it over, and find the corresponding picture.
And he touches the correct letter on his alphaboard.
Monday, February 09, 2009
It's Monday! Time for MckMama's NOT Me! Monday!
Sim's coming home today! Sim's coming home today! I honestly don't know if I can contain my excitement. Cartwheels! Dancing around the living room! Mad dash to clean the two weeks' worth of coffee mugs and laundry that have accumulated all over the house!
My sweet hubby has NOT been in the UK for the last two weeks with my little boy Eli. They definitely have NOT been stuffing their face with fish and chips and Cadbury's chocolate while experiencing the worst snow that England's had in, oh I don't know, 200 years?
I did NOT gloat about that. NOT even a teeny, tiny bit. Especially not while going for walks with the kids and enjoying the lovely T-shirt and flip-flop weather we've been having.
Nope, NOT me!
And while Sim was away, I did NOT enjoy a fortnight's worth of self-indulged gluttony that included fast food, chick flicks, and a little online shopping.
Nope. Did NOT do that. Did NOT do that at all.
I certainly did NOT turn into a total slob while he was gone - and most certainly did NOT spend the last two weeks feeding my kids a steady supply of mini corn dogs and Hannah Montana Mac-n-Cheese.
I also did NOT watch practically every soppy, tear-inducing, heart-warming film known to man - including, but certainly not limited to, the entire 6 video set of the Love Comes Softly series.
Nope. Certainly did NOT do that!
And my plan of health and fitness and having at least a two-pack by the time Sim got home was NOT foiled by the fact that Nandi's teacher gave me a list of supplies to bring to the Valentine's Day party this Friday. That list did NOT include a package of Oreo cookies and for the first time in my life, I did NOT actually buy something ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute.
Those Oreo cookies did NOT call out my name on Saturday night and I did NOT sit with Nandi and eat half of that package while watching Love's Unending Legacy. And we most certainly did NOT polish off the other half last night while watching Love's Unfolding Dream.
I'm proud to say that Nandi is now a whopping 27.4 lbs!
And that I am NOT going to have to meet my husband at the airport wearing a baggy T-shirt and the overalls that I save for the one week out of the month that I'm bloated.
Because nothing says, "Hey Baby, I've missed you SO much" like wearing a pair of ragged overalls and an XL Lollapalooza concert shirt from 1992.
And I must NOT have to end this blog post in order to make a mad dash of cleaning before the flight arrives. I do NOT have two bathrooms to clean, overflowing recycling to clear out, a couch that is buried underneath mismatched socks and towels, or cookie crumbs to sweep.
And I definitely do NOT have eyebrows that need to be plucked, hair that needs to be straightened, legs that will most likely need TWO razors, and make-up to dust off and slap on.
Now, if I can just find a safety pin to hold up that overall strap, I'll be good to go.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Besides, if any of you know me personally, I don't exactly scream high maintenance. The last jewelry I regularly wore was a nice little stud that Noah yanked out of my nose at 13 months old.
Haven't really seen the point in it since then.
But I just HAD to buy myself a present this afternoon. I called up Sim just let to him know that I was buying myself a Valentine's Day present TO me FROM him.
Would you like to know what was so pressing that I just had to buy it ASAP?
Ahhh, yes. Can you guess what type of things we're going through right now??
I'm thinking about buying Sim a set of ear plugs and a bottle of Advil.
And you thought romance was dead!
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
What's a letterboard? Glad you asked!
It's called a rolled letterboard and is basically the alphabet on a piece of paper that is rolled around a swim noodle. (Another mom came up with this idea. Aren't we autism moms creative?)
This is a great letterboard for kids who are new to spelling and the concept of spelling out words. However, you don't want your child to get stuck on it because the ultimate goal is for the child to completely and independently communicate on his own (without you giving spelling hints by rolling to the proper line).
Ah hah! Lightbulb moment.
Just a basic child's puzzle that you can get for a couple of bucks at Walmart. We, though, have a ton laying around with missing pieces so we just used one of those.
They come 60 to a thing, so there are at least two of each letter of the alphabet. Hot glue the letters together (the two A's together, the two B's together, etc) so that you can get a really good height on them. Then paint them any color you want. We did two boards. One painted black with white letters and one board we left unpainted but painted the letters black. Then hot glue the letters to the back of the puzzle.
It sounds really time-consuming, but it took no longer than 30 minutes tops.
Oh my gosh! I cannot tell you what a difference this had made. Not only with Noah but with Eli, too! It really helps to separate the letters from the "page". Otherwise, for some kids, it just all runs together and looks like Greek.
Which is great if you know Greek....
Noah still has a little trouble with his vision field cut, but he is getting the letters right more and more. I think because the letters are raised instead of being flat, it just stands out more to him. Honestly, I can't scientifically tell you how it makes a difference, but trust me. It does!
We also did a rolled letterboard using glittery foam letter sticks. It's perfect for a child with autism! You've got your 3D letters. They're sparkly. And they have a cool, sandpaper-y texture that makes Noah want to touch them.
Sooooooooo cheap and easy!
Actually, ( as a sidenote) Noah's therapist, Erica, realized that Noah loves the feel of sticky tape, so she rolls up pieces of tape and puts them on the letterboard and because Noah sooooo wants to feel the sensation, he is motivated to reach out and spell out words with his finger.
Okay, well I am rambling way too much, but one more thing. If you don't have a child who gets overwhelmed by lots of colors, you could make a cheap letterboard by just buying a simple alphabet puzzle at Walmart, turning it over, and hot gluing the letters on the back. Like this:
This is just an example. (We're missing some pieces). We chose not to go this route because Noah and Eli both get overwhelmed so easily.
Anyway, I hope this helps. If you want more info about RPM, then check out their website at: http://www.halo-soma.org/ . You can also look at clips of kids doing RPM on their site.
Cheap letterboards for under 5 bucks. Works for me!
Monday, February 02, 2009
I did NOT buy myself a new pair of Birkenstocks over the weekend.
They are NOT blue. They are NOT gorgeous, and they do NOT look like this...
I did NOT just look at that picture and say to myself, "The woman who bought those shoes has STYLE!"
I am so NOT in love with these new shoes.
I also did NOT feel just a teeny, tiny twinge of guilt for buying my new Birkenstocks - even though I did get them for a steal off of Ebay and they're from Germany and include FREE shipping.
I did NOT just try to justify my purchase by saying that they were a steal off of Ebay, come directly from Germany, and include free shipping.
I also did NOT try to justify buying my new Birks by telling myself that my current ones are NOT being held together by gorilla glue and a piece of duct tape and that I would probably wear these new ones until I'm 65.
I did NOT try to do mental math in my head.
I did NOT then try to do it on paper.
I did NOT then attempt to do it on a calculator.
I did NOT come to the conclusion that if I wear my new shoes every single day and it costs one penny a day to wear them that they will be completely paid off in 11 years.
I am NOT going to tell you how I came to that conclusion in case I'm wrong.
I did NOT say to myself, "Girl... how did you ever pass 3rd grade math?"
I also did NOT say, "... and you plan on homeschooling?"
I did NOT come to the conclusion that it would have been much easier to just admit that my gorgeous new Birks cost just a mere $41.99.
Did I mention that it includes free shipping?
I did NOT feel guilty because I knew that I could have sponsored a child from Uganda for an entire year of education for the price of my new shoes.
I so did NOT then sponsor a child from Uganda for an entire year because I felt guilty for buying a new pair of shoes.
That's right. I did NOT justify buying a new pair shoes by turning around and sponsoring a child from Uganda.
I am such a rational person.
I did NOT think.. "My husband's going to kill me when he finds out..."
I did NOT then say... "AARRGH! What am I doing here??"
So I did NOT turn around and buy The Love Dare thinking that if I were to rock my husband's world for 40 days that he would forget that I just bought a new pair of Birkenstocks and sponsored a child from Uganda for an entire year."
Nope, NOT me!
I did NOT casually flip through the pages of the The Love Dare and say to myself...
"AARRGH! What am I doing here??"
I did NOT write a blog post last week titled.. "A Letter to Myself at Twenty."
It should NOT have been titled.. "Oops! Things My Mother Did Not Know....."
I did NOT nearly set my parents' RV on fire by attempting to microwave a thing of Easy Mac.. but forgetting to add any water.
It did NOT look like this...
Obviously, my mind was NOT on other things...
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Was that necessary? I mean, really? Was. That. Necessary?
All I wanted to do was go to the Tyler Zoo and you led me on a wild goose chase.
It's the zoo. In Tyler. The drive should've been filled with highways, gas stations, and Golden Arches.
Instead, you led me down one-lane, rural, back country dirt roads in Deliverance, East Texas.
Now, maybe because you're just a computer, or a satellite, or whatever it is that you are.. . because you are not REAL.... it probably doesn't concern you to drive down one-lane, dirt roads past houses held up by cinder blocks. Maybe you don't start hearing dueling banjos playing when you see houses with rusted out junk cars in the driveway, 30 feral dogs running around, and about 12 men sitting on the front porch in overalls whittling sticks. Maybe the thought of ending up in somebody's potluck doesn't send shivers down your back, but it does mine.
Granted, you did shave 20 minutes off my normal drive. But, seriously, was it worth it? I was a nervous wreck by the time I got to the zoo.
If you're going to direct me to a shortcut could you please make it someplace that gets cell phone reception? I'd like the opportunity to try and send an SOS just in case the need arises. Really? What if I'd broken down??
So. Consider this your warning. You'd better straighten up or I'm going to trade you in for your great-great-great grandfather, Mr. Mapsco.