Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday, April 30
{120/365} Twice a week, at least for now, a therapist comes in to work with Liam. The one good thing about having someone in my home each week, is that it forces me to clean and make my house presentable. I always make sure the kitchen, living room and dining room are straightened...the upstairs rooms on the other hand have doors that remained closed. ;) I spent a good part of last night and this morning putting things away, vacuuming, cleaning, etc. So why is it that it's 11:30 pm and my living room is a total DISASTER? I decided I would relax for a few minutes (if you consider watching the news about "swine flu" relaxing) , and this is what I saw! The funny thing? Usually it's much worse! Ah...more proof that there ARE kids living in this house!
Wednesday, April 29
{119/365} My friend Marilyn had to close her scrapbook store last summer and is now selling products and holding classes/crops in her home. On Saturday I was able to take a little break and take one of her classes. Of course I could never get out of there without buying something! I purchased an ADORABLE Chatter Box Purse Book, the "Fabulous Butterfly Book". I fell in love with it!! As much as I wanted to keep it for myself, I KNEW I had to use this for my Mom. With Mother's Day around the corner, I always try to give my Mom something personal. Tonight I decided to do a quick photo shoot with the kids so I could add photos she's never seen. As usual it was chaotic with Liam not wanting any part of it and Emily trying to get him to cooperate! I did get a few good shots but chose this silly one. It makes me smile when I look at it and reminds me that through the insanity, there is always laughter. :)
Tuesday, April 28
{118/365} When we renovated our kitchen/dining room a few months back, I was left with a big empty wall. I stared at that wall for months until I found some really cool shelves. They aren't ordinary, they are more like shadowboxes. On the one hand they are quite shallow so we won't be able to place anything large on them. On the other hand, they are really interesting and give the room an "artsy" feeling! The shelves have been up for weeks and slowly I am finding items to place on them. I have a set of very small, blue ceramic vases that have been in my family for ions, the cool giant "jack" that I found at Home Goods...and now my new "Home" blocks. I decided to make something personal for my little shelves. Each side is different and filled with words, quotes, paper and black and white photos. They were fun to make and add a splash of color to fairly empty space!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27
{117/365} My search for interesting symbols continues. ;) Last week I went to Home Goods for the first time. At first I wasn't sure if I would find anything but as I searched through a ton of stuff, I started to discover some really cool things! The kitchen area was a bit overwhelming and with Liam's "I must touch everything" attitude, I left that aisle fairly quickly. I found myself lingering in the space that looked like it had office odds and ends. I found this really cool cast iron jack (like the old fashioned game of "jacks" with jacks and a bouncy ball) and there on a shelf, as if calling my name was this "at" symbol! I just love it and can't wait to place it near my green ampersand. Now if I can only find a question mark and exclamation point...the search continues!
Sunday, April 26
{116/365} Grandma Eileen took Emily for the day so we hung out with Liam. My office/scrap room is across from Liam's room so I block off the stairs and Liam can run back and forth from room to room. This also means he can destroy TWO rooms instead of just one. ;) Today he dumped a basked full of stuff (in his room) that I didn't even know he could reach! While I was putting everything away, he noticed a pair of sunglasses and was fascinated with them. I have no idea why they were there but apparently they were from Emily's camp (it had the camp name on them). Liam brought his new found "toy" to daddy who proceeded to should him how to use them. To our surprise, the kid who hates shoes and socks and jackets...loved wearing sunglasses!
Saturday, April 25
{115/365} Having a boy after having a girl has been quite an eye opener for me. Emily was so easy compared to Liam for many reasons. Liam is my little monkey who needs to run and climb and touch and MENACE! Liam's energy shocks me every day! He can also pack it in when it comes to eating. I escaped this morning and went to a scrap class at a friends house. I decided to pick up some Wendy's on the way back for Emily since Frank mentioned Liam had just ate. I did offer him a piece of chicken when I got home and apparently Liam was in the mood for a "second lunch." I cut up some food and he obviously didn't care if it was served on a plate...the floor would do just fine ;) It's a good thing I keep it clean but... ewwww.
Friday, April 24
{114/365} I first realized that Liam had some "issues" when he lost his words after his seizure. It took over a month for me to figure out that he stopped talking. Once I made this discovery, other things started falling into place...someone could walk into the room and he wouldn't notice or a fire engine would go by and he had no reaction. I also realized that he never pointed...never. For a child his age this should be second nature so it was a cause for concern. When we started Early Intervention in February they asked what my goals were for the next few months. Pointing was one of them and we've been working on it every day. That's why I love this just about says it all. :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thursday, April 23
{113/365} I'm rarely a spontaneous person. I need advanced notice for almost everything. If you call at 10am and ask me if I'm free at 11am...most likely I won't be, even if I am. ;) Today was an exception. When I had my 20th high school reunion back in November, I briefly ran into someone I knew in the bathroom! We had a nice but very brief conversation which continued on Facebook a few days later. Molly lives about 5 hours away and was coming home to visit family (I live about 30 minutes from where we grew up). This morning through Facebook we discussed her trip and decided to meet for lunch! Here is a photo of her daughter Maggie and Emily. They had just met for the first time and an hour later it was as if they were lifelong friends!
Wednesday, April 22
{112/365} Emily had a half day today so Liam and I ran some errands before picking her up. Normally I try to stick to one place, knowing my adorable son can only handle so much. Today we had three stops. Good luck to us. We started at Home Goods...a place I had never been to before...and I quickly realized that I had about a 15 minute window. Somehow I managed to spend money. Next was Babies-R-Us where I found some adorable spring clothes as well a a new wagon for my little guy! (I've been wanting one of these for a while). Spent about 15 minutes there too...and somehow managed to spend a-lot of money (AND forgot my gift certificates). Last stop was Michael's craft store where I needed a gift...and tried to keep the blinders on...but stumbled upon a zillion $1 bins!! I knew Liam would get cranky, and he did, but not before I spent more money. ;) We survived the day, my credit card on the other hand...
Tuesday, April 21
{111/365} We took Riley home in June of 2000 when she was about 9 weeks old. She was our only "child" and had the run of the place, wreaking havoc wherever she went. By November of 2001 a tiny creature named Emily arrived and invaded her space. Just when she got used to living in harmony, the creature began to WALK and gave her a run for her money...literally! It was touch and go for about a week (Riley was NOT happy) but eventually she realized, she now had a partner in havoc wreaking! Our sweet puppy girl can still give the kids a run for their money BUT the run is often short lived. It's hard to keep up with a 20 month old all day when you're a 9 year old dog (or a 38 year old woman). ;) Each night when the kids are asleep, Riley finally gets some peace and quiet.
Monday, April 20
{110/365} You only had to mention something once to my Dad and he would remember. In fact, YOU would forget and suddenly, there it was. For example, you would mention that you thought you wanted to take a trip *where ever* six months from now and suddenly he would show up with tickets and an itinerary! :) My Mom is very similar, but in a different way. When she's at Babies R Us or Target she'll call and ask if the kids need anything. Today I mentioned that Liam was getting way too big for his pajamas and he could use a couple of pairs for the spring. She walked in with a pile of PJ's and proceeded to show off their cuteness with such excitement! When I tried to offer her money, she simply replied "it's for my grandson and it's my pleasure." So sweet. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sunday, April 19
{109/365} Today we took our Daisy Girl Scout troop to "Grandma's Kitchen", a cooking place about 10 minutes from the house. It's not easy to find the right place...or a good time to take seventeen, seven-year olds on a field trip! This was just perfect. The girls were given cookie dough and a ton of cookie cutters to choose from. Once the cookie was made, a stick with the girls name on it was pushed in to give it a "stem". While the cookies were baking, the girls decorated flower pots and then their cookies. "Dirt" (cocoa mix) was placed inside along with a gummy worm and the cookie "flowers" were then planted. ;) I often like to hang out at home on a Sunday but this trip was well worth it. The girls had a BLAST!
Saturday, April 18
{108/365} For some reason when Daddy and Liam get together it means "time to wrestle"! Is this some sort of manly ritual that I didn't know about? I will admit, from the moment I get him in the morning I feel the urge to grab Liam and squeeze him for hours. He's just this big smooshy kid! Frank on the other hand likes to grab him while he's on the floor and start rolling around! What makes this photo classic however is the fact that he has been grabbed and pulled yet he's STILL watching Yo Gabba Gabba. It's like, "yeah, been there done that let me watch DJ Lance dancey dance!" ;)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday, April 17
{107/365} Although I've been keeping up with my photos, and the blog, I have yet to put one single thing into my Project 365 kit. Each day I have something else I need to do and then there's the fact that NONE of the photos have been developed. Normally I would print out my own photos but I draw the line with this project! When I hit day 100 I thought it was time to get the ball rolling. I went through every photo, cropping and fixing and finally placing my order. I received the finished product today and I'm so excited! The photos look great (although I have to avoid taking phone photos...they do not print well at a larger size) and I can't wait to get started. I have even come up with a solution for my never ending journaling! :)
Thursday, April 16
{106/365} I know this sounds bizarre but Liam has never been in our basement. He sees it when we go through the garage but he's never hung out there. About a year ago I officially made the room a "playroom" instead of the "room full of stuff". I cleaned it out and put a bunch of Em's toys down there. At first Liam was too young, and there were too many Polly Pocket type toys lingering about. Eventually we got a desk and some cabinets where we could house those small, dangerous toys. As time went on, the room became a mess again (thanks to beautiful "sloberella") and last weekend I whipped it back into shape. Today Emily and Liam played down there...together...for over two hours!! They were playing so nicely and I was able to make dinner in peace! Now the only problem is that he keeps banging on the door leading to the basement and yelling (OK more like moaning) "let me in"!!
Wednesday, April 15
{105/365} One downside to "no bread" during Passover is the crazy amount of matzo you have in house. Granted, with two kids and a non-Jewish husband, we do have plenty of flour based products in stock...but we also have A LOT of unleavened bread! Today I decided to "use up my stash" (yep, the scrapbookers will get that one) and make some matzo brie for breakfast. It's a traditional dish made by soaking matzo in water for a few seconds, mixing it with eggs and frying it in butter or oil. Some people prefer salt as a seasoning while others enjoy sugar. I prefer the more savory variety and I even like to add some sauteed onions and peppers as well. Yum!
Tuesday, April 14
{104/365} Emily LOVES Ikea and has been asking to go for weeks. She enjoys playing on a small slide (too small for her) in the middle of the store and eating in the restaurant. I admit, going anywhere with both of the kids stresses me out a bit. The entire experience all depends on a little monkey named Liam. ;) Well, seeing that we were the only people home for spring break, I thought we should get our butts out of the house! Liam had early therapy and we were all up and today was the day. I needed three desk chairs for Em and that was the perfect place to get them. After a long lunch, and the throwing of small pair of sneakers, we set off shopping. Emily got three very cool chairs and Liam had a great time looking at everything. It may not have been Disney but we had a great day together!
Monday, April 13
{103/365} Meg and Emily, to see these two together brings a smile to my face. When Kim and I met on the CK message board, we not only bonded because of our hobby, we had girls the same age. Kim and I first met (in person) at a local scrapbook convention here in NJ (we live about an hour away from each other). We had a blast and decided we should get the girls together one day. It took some time, but last May they came to visit. We were both wondering how the girls would get along, they were strangers after all...but they clicked instantly! They also had a ball making mini scrapbooks...something they do each time we get together. Luckily Meg's last day of spring break fell during our first week so we were able to get together. Once again they worked on scrapbooks and once again said good-bye wondering when they would see each other again.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunday, April 12
{102/365} Today is Easter Sunday. Each year we go to Frank's parent's house to celebrate and my Mother-In-Law always makes the Easter baskets. This year Emily decided that she had to make Easter "bags" for us, leaving me feeling a bit guilty about not making her a basket (she really doesn't need THAT many chocolate bunnies)! Em's gift included items such as a pen, a sticker, crayons, raisins, hair items and various other items. In addition, we had to change the plans a bit and Liam and I remained at home (unfortunately the house isn't "kid-friendly" enough for an active 20 month-old). Before leaving, Emily left a note on her dry erase board with the stipulation that it can only be read when her and daddy were on the road. "Dear Mom and Liam, it's A (april)/12th/09 Emily and daddy miss you orettey (already). I love you so mach (much)! XOXOXOXOXOXO We will see you later! :) Love, Emily and Frank". I love that kid!!
Saturday, April 11
{101/365} We started Early Intervention with Liam at the end of February. I decided it was very important that I was part of the process so we have a therapist in a couple of days a week and I work with him the remainder of the week. For the most part I only work with Liam while Emily is in school so she hasn't really seen his therapy in action. Yesterday Emily had off from school so she watched our session. This morning I threw some laundry in the washer and came upstairs to find this. Emily started her own "therapy" session! She helped Liam into his high chair and drew a red circle and a blue circle on her dry erase board. She then tried to show Liam that "Muno" (from Yo Gabba Gabba) matched the red circle and "Toodee" matched the blue circle. This kid wants to be a teacher so badly and she finally found the perfect student!
Friday, April 10
{100/365} Today is Riley's 9th birthday! Each year I like to give my first "child" a little something for her big day. Last year, Emily decided that we must start a tradition of making a cake for her birthday...a cake which Emily could eat, not Riley! This year I thought it was unfair for Emily to use Riley as an excuse to eat, along with the brownie cupcakes I made for Em, I made a dog friendly cake as well! It was a peanut butter/carrot cake which I topped with a bit more peanut butter. I made both from scratch and was in the kitchen forever!! It was worth it though. Needless to say the moment after I took this photo, my pooch scarfed up her tasty treat! Oh, Emily scarfed hers up as well. ;)
Thursday, April 9
{99/365} Tonight is the second night of Passover and my Mom took Emily to a Seder and sleepover at her house. Liam and I stayed home and I decided it was good night to work on his room. I needed to pack up some old clothes and organize things a bit. I thought I would change his room around as well, only to change it right just wasn't working! (I really annoy myself sometimes)! I kept placing things in the hall as I cleaned and vacuumed. Liam spent the entire time running back and forth from his room to the office, observing the changes taking place. Finally he needed a rest and decided this TV would be a good spot. At least he didn't climb into the laundry basket! ;)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wednesday, April 8
{98/365} Tonight is the first night of Passover. I decided to have the family at our house since it's much easier for Liam. It's also nice that I won't have to chase him around all night and I can actually enjoy the evening! The food was delicious as usual but the highlight of the night was when Emily read the "four questions". Seeing her read on her own was just amazing! We definitely do an extremely condensed version of the Seder but we cover the important aspects. Another year, another Passover..."next year in Jerusalem"!
Tuesday, April 7
{97/365} About a month ago Emily brings home a "script" and informs me that they are doing a fairy tale show in school. She is Little Red Riding Hood but really wanted to be Cinderella. Then she proceeds to tell me that she doesn't want to perform in front of the parents. First, I had to assure her that Red Riding Hood was cooler than Cinderella. She's smart and sassy and didn't depend on a prince to save her from the wolf! Then I explained that we had a month to practice and by the time she read her part, all of her fears would be gone. Tonight was the performance, it was terrific and needless to say, once it was over she was ready to take the stage again. Ah, a chip off the old block. ;)
Monday, April 6
{96/365} I took a photo of the day of my desk on day 18 and I realized that I need a better way of organizing my stuff. Yes, I have a lot of stuff...but I like my stuff! I love being surrounded by my scrapbook supplies. If I'm working on a project I usually have everything I need (which of course doesn't stop me from buying more). I took a trip to Ikea recently and found just what I needed in the kitchen section...go figure!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sunday, April 5
{95/365} I grew up in a household where if something stopped working, we called someone to fix it! There was no opening of things and "checking them out". Imagine my surprise when I married a guy who actually likes to open things! We have a great Sony TV that we bought about six years ago. there is no reason that it stopped working...but it did. Instead of just calling someone, Frank decided to get in there and see if he could find anything. Aside from a lot of dust (he even tweaked our hairdryer to get the dust in the little crevasses) he couldn't get the darn thing to work...even with the help of his furry assistant. ;) I guess we'll call someone after all!
Saturday, April 4
{94/365} My mom wanted a new photo of the kids for her cell phone. She's a typical grandma and in this technological age, the cell phone is the new "brag book". So, I was on a mission! Frank was taking Liam for a ride in his car and of course Emily decided to hop on. Does Emily know she is way to big for this thing? Well, Liam thought it was hysterical and we ended up with this great shot! Needless to say, grandma is very happy. :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Friday, April 3
{93/365} This is the face of Autism. Today Liam was officially put "on the spectrum". I should be upset, but I'm not, he's the same child he was yesterday. He's still loving and mushy and sweet. He still giggles and runs and climbs. He still looks in my eyes and touches my nose. He's still my delicious, handsome boy. My child is delayed but by no means insignificant. He understands but in a more limited capacity. The road ahead will be long and it will take hard work and determination to make our way through. We'll get there, we have time, we started early. Although I'm taking this "glass half full" approach, I still reserve the right to feel sorry for myself at be frustrated at wonder "why". I also have the right to be angry...why is this happening to so many children? Why my child? Was his seizure caused by the vaccinations he had that day and did it ultimately cause this? Could one single moment change his life forever? I'll never get answers to these why torture myself? I choose to focus all of my energy on positive thinking and helping this amazing little guy become all he can be. We just need to take it one day at a time.
Tuesday, April 2
{92/365} I think we have a short window of time when our kids still like "easy" surprises. I'm not talking about a new puppy or a trip to Disney, I mean buying those iCarly PJ's or a Ring Pop or a the latest Barbie movie. Easy stuff that makes Emily so happy. One thing I like to do is give her little surprises in her lunch. Sometimes I'll write a note or I'll include a Hershey's Kiss. Her favorite is when I make shaped sandwiches. In the winter I have snowflakes and in the spring I have flowers and then there are hearts and stars. Today I thought a Mickey turkey sandwich would be fun....and she loved it! Sometimes it's the little things that put a smile on her face. :)
Wednesday, April 1
{91/365} I'm sick of good shows getting cancelled. No, in the scheme of life this isn't important BUT it's annoying! I rarely go out at night or on the weekends, so I rely on in-house entertainment. I like TV but every time I get into a good show...POOF, it's gone! One may argue that a "good" show wouldn't get cancelled, but I prefer to think I'm smarter than those higher ups making the decisions. ;) Life on Mars was a great show so why was tonight the last episode? It's frustrating! Good-bye Life on Mars, it was fun while it lasted!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tuesday, March 31
{90/365} Apparently this is what croup looks like. Liam had a really strange cough so I thought I would take him to the doctor. We had to wait about 20 minutes in a HOT room and here is my kiddo in a onesie having a grand old time. He ran back and forth, opened drawers, played with the paper on the table, sat on the scale, pulled things off the counters and shouted as if it was the best day of his life! Meanwhile, 45 minutes later we left and I haven't heard a cough out of him since. How very bizarre!
Monday March 30
{89/365} Grandma was here tonight and that can only mean one thing...Liam gets to play with his food! She loves letting him go at it no matter what he's eating. In theory I should feel the same way, but I often opt out of a messy situation. ;) Here is Liam demonstrating the "double spoon" method of eating applesauce. I must admit, it may have been a sticky mess...but this boy had FUN!
Sunday, March 29
{88/365} Emily has been begging to see Monsters Vs. Aliens. Yesterday I asked Frank to take her to the movie. One of us had to go and one had to stay home with Liam...I always have WAY more to do at home so he gets the honor. ;) When they returned, Emily decided to hang out in the basement for a while. This morning, while going to the laundry room, I noticed the "Bob the Blob" drawing. Apparently there is also a bowl of jello. The drawing simply says "Hi, I'm Bob". Definitely "photo of the day" material!