Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The million dollar question

How does Emmie think? Well, let's see. The other day we were on our way to take her big sister to clarinet lessons. We were sitting at an extra long red light when Emmie noticed there were pigeons sitting on the light pole. Yeah, those rats with wings! I made a comment about them sitting all in a row, that it wasn't a group of them but a row of them. Emmie, very matter of fact, informed me it was because they were having a family meeting. After a few seconds and the continuation of the conversation, she realized that they weren't facing each other so they couldn't be talking to each other. So, what else could they be doing? OF COURSE! If you are sitting all in a line together and not talking to each other then you must be watching a movie! Did you know when pigeons sit on light poles they are watching a movie together? Yeah, me either!

The things you learn when you live with Em. Just remember that one day if you are on a game show and the question is asked.."what do pigeons do for fun?"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Speeding by

Does anyone else feel like there aren't enough hours in the day? It seems the days rush by like a speeding car, but the tasks to complete are so overwhelming they are spilling out the trunk!

So, alas, I left you with a message of a medical discovery. No, discovery health hasn't called me yet..but I'm waiting! haha Okay, maybe I was being a bit over dramatic when I said I had a medical discovery. Someone has already made the discovery, but I JUST discovered their discovery! Mouth full!!

Emmie loves apple juice. Seriously, if I could hook up an iv and pump apple juice non-stop, she would be on cloud 9! Well, I discovered the best apple juice for her! It's a new one from Juicy Juice with DHA. DHA stands for Docosahexaenoic Acid. DHA is an awesome omega 3 fatty acid and essential for brain development. According to Dr. Sears, "it is found naturally in most tissues throughout the body, and is especially concentrated in the eyes and brain. Fats are a major component of the brain cell membrane and the myelin sheath around each nerve. So, it makes sense that getting enough fat, and the right kinds of fat, can greatly affect brain development and performance." His research goes on to say some poor school performance, because of ADHD or other developmental disorders, have been shown to have insufficient essential fatty acids in their diets. Now, this wasn't the only thing I have read about DHA and omega 3, I have don't extensive research on the topic. However, Dr. Sears is "reader friendly" most of the time, so I use his research to share to you. So..what does this mean for Emmie? We haven't had her DHA levels tested and I'm sure it will take an act of Congress to even get her doctor to listen to me long enough to say, until the miracle occurs, I have to find creative ways to increase her omega 3. Now, Emmie drinks her Juicy Juice with DHA daily. It has a lower sugar content than most juices because they use filtered water. So, it's healthy and there are other benefits other than the great taste! I also have been adding milled flax seeds to some of her foods. She is unaware of this change because the milled seeds really have no taste and don't modify the foods. I use flax seeds in some of my foods, such as smoothies, but lately have been adding it to oatmeal and other treats. Emmie has made great progress this year and with creative ways to increase her memory and school performance, we will continue to see growth!

I just realized I needed to post photos...coming soon :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New house=new PECS

I know what you are thinking...but you are thinking about the wrong kind of pecs! I am talking about the Picture Exchange Communication System! Nice try, though! haha. There are many ways to use PECS, including for verbal and nonverbal children. However, I use them as a reinforcement and reminder for Emmie for everyday activities. We will soon expand our PECS system, right now however, we have finally hung up some basics for her in our new home.

By the front door, her pecs consist of "AM" activities. Backpack, homework, lunch, jacket. The restroom features: flush, wash hands, brush teeth, get dressed, brush hair, dry hair, pick up clothes, pick up towel. Her room has pick up toys and put clothes away. And finally the upstairs has no running, no climbing, and get socks (she always forgets to get her socks in the morning). Our homework area has random pecs including snack, put your homework in your backpack, and read. More pecs are coming soon along with photos..have to locate the camera in a random box in the garage first. Yeah, I said I would keep it handy throughout the move but somehow in the disaster of packing it was packed in some box...somewhere!

I have also made a medical discovery. Yeah, I can see the look on your face. One eyebrow raised, head to the side like "what in the heck is she talking about?" Okay, so it's not actually a medical discovery. But it's medical related and I discovered it about Emmie...does that count? lol I doubt Johns Hopkins will be knocking on my door anytime soon, but I found some very interesting research that I will be sharing soon!


Friday, January 8, 2010

The laugh

It is a miracle. Emmie made a 100% on her spelling test. I have come to realize that her short term memory is blah. She can keep, as I have mentioned, about nine words in her working memory but we have never really be sure about how much she can recall from day to day. All week we have practiced her words and she has missed a whole slew of them. The first practice test yesterday was a total bomb, but later the second she only missed three. Then today, one hundred! Wow.

Emmie is currently sitting in the living room floor in a clothes basket. Lord only knows why. She is practicing her evil and happy laugh. Today was a good day for her. Yesterday. sucked. There is no other word for it. We had tears, we had sleepy kid, we had down in the dumps Emmie. That's our roller coaster.

Tomorrow is a new day. I hope we end up with the happy laugh kid because the evil laugh is getting on my nerves! Off to bed!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I forgot to tell you..

I forgot to tell you...Emmie got a new art table to go with her new room. It's a "real" art table purchased at a store that sells paint brushes and special paper. She believes she is a real artist and plans to not only be an artist when she grows up but also a teacher and chef. She has it planned. She said yesterday as she helped me stir the potatoes, "In the AM, I can be a teacher. Then I'll take a nap. In the PM, I'll be a chef. I can be a artist on my days off." She is planning ahead.

Well, with her new art table has come art (imagine that!). Being the real artist she is, she is selling her artwork. She created a beautiful flower and sold it to her dad for 25 cents. An hour later, she called her Paw-Paw (my dad) and sold another picture for $1.00. So, if by chance you are approached by Emmie, be prepared to pay a fair market value for her beautiful creation! I have to admit, I talked her down. She wanted to charge $100!!

I read a quote once from Picasso that said, "All children are artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up." I don't see that as a problem, after all, she sold her first masterpiece at the tender age of 8!

The big move

Do you know while most people were enjoying the holidays with family and friends, opening gifts, creating wonderful recipes, and having their break from school..WE WERE MOVING? Oh my gosh! What a HUGE undertaking it was. On December 28th we picked up the keys to our brand new house on base. Finally, we are in a four bedroom home. The kids were out of school until the 3rd, so we had one week to get the house packed, moved, cleaned, unpacked, and ready for school. Whew! We did it. Barely. It is a miracle sometimes that couples can stay married after moving. ha ha I love my husband dearly, but there are moments during a move that we test each other! But we survived and are, for the most part, unpacked. There are a few random boxes in the house and the garage needs major organization, but we are "functional".

One thing I wasn't prepared for was the toll it would take on Emmie. She is excited to have her own room and excited to have new neighbors and a playground so close by. But it was emotionally draining for her to move. She doesn't do well with change and I know that, but I wasn't fully prepared for this move. There were tears, moments of complete shut down, moments of sleeplessness, and even moments of just plain not understanding. Anytime there is a change, there is usually a spurt of regression from the progress we have made and this time was no different. She had a day or two where it seemed she didn't understand anything that was said to her, there was no confusing it for something else, she just didn't understand period. And excited as she is to have her own space, her own things decorating the walls and shelves, her new art table...she still needs to feel that security and safety of having someone near. It is not unusual for her to awake after hours of sleep to inquire about where her brother is or where her sister is, or even to talk to them in her sleep. Security has always been a huge issue with Emmie, however she has slept in her own bed which is a great progression.

With a child with a special need, even if it is an invisible need that can't be "seen", there are transition issues. A lot of people don't understand or think they do. I hear the "oh she loves her new room". Yeah. We know that. But what people don't get is they aren't here for the rest of it! They see happy Emmie, Emmie with a smile, Emmie talking about her room and her things, Emmie being around her friends...they don't see Emmie "in the dark". Emmie away from the hustle and bustle of school. They aren't the ones wiping tears at midnight or trying to find another way to explain something to her for the third time in ten minutes.

But that's okay. Just like the move, we'll survive :) Hopefully with a few more boxes unpacked!