Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Called in a Professional

I just recently realized I was needing some new pictures of the boys, so when my friend Amy Dawkins (professional photographer) offered me a photo shoot, I jumped on it. I wasn't expecting more than one or two half way decent photos (the lighting was bad at the park and the boys never sat still for more than 0.5 seconds at a time). So I was psyched when she sent me a good 30 pics! These are my favs from the bunch. Thanks again Amy (and Lee for watching their three boys while his wife and I chased my two all over Ft. Yargo Park.) 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Kindergarten Day 1

I'm so sorry I didn't get a picture of Alexander in his first day of school outfit. But I wanted to share this email his teacher sent me this afternoon because it made me happy. I'll try to update with pictures again soon...

"We had a fabulous day! This morning seemed a little crazy trying to get everyone organized and make sure everyone had what they needed. Alexander seemed a little nervous at first this morning and had a few moments where he just wanted to be held, which is quite alright. We love him!!! He did really well I think for his first day in a new school and he really took up with Mrs. [parapro] =)

We are looking forward to the school year as well, we love Alexander already and can’t wait for a fun year =) We have a wonderful class and a great group of parents that support us.

Thanks so much! See you soon!

[home room teacher]
Special Education Teacher-MOID"

Saturday, July 27, 2013

July "Annual" Update

I started massage school at the beginning of July and I'm sure some of you are wondering how it's going. Well, it's going GREAT! I love the school, I love the teachers, I love the little hand exercise ball they gave us in our supply package. I love the course material, I love the teaching methods, I love the low tables that keep us from hurting our backs. I love the books, and the overhead projections, and the little quizzes every morning that help us prep for the big tests. I love the people, I love the building, I love the short distance it is from my house. I love my mom for coming to watch the boys during July, and I love Kami for coming to be my nanny for the rest of the year. It's all love, baby.

And now for a boys update (I never remember to do this on their birthdays!):

Alexander got an extension on his Marcus Autism Center Language and Learning Clinic services. They gave him another 6 months so he'll be going until February next year. He's also scheduled to start kindergarten on August 5th. (He's turning 5 on Monday can you believe it??) Because of the Marcus extension he'll only be going to a half day at school but I'm looking forward to seeing if it helps with his progress. I really liked his teacher when I met her at our IEP meeting back in April so I'm hopeful things will come together nicely.

Alexander still says "Go" verbally when he wants to play. He also has picked up a few modified signs that he uses consistently when we give him a chance. (Mommy has to be on top of things and not keep reading his mind.)
Sign list:
Candy (index finger tapped at cheek)
Drink (fist to chin)
Movie (hands rubbed together)
Popcorn (like this)

Jacob turned 3 on July first. We had a fun party for both the boys a couple of weeks ago at Lunar Golf at the mall. (This video will be hard to see but it shows Jacob playing golf.)
Jacob finished up with Babies Can't Wait back in June (it only goes til they turn 3) and he's slated to begin preschool in a couple of weeks. He'll be going to the same preschool Alexander was going to because he's way behind on talking (although he does say a few words) and he's a little behind on some social and fine motor skills.

Kami and I are going to do some home "preschool" type activities with both of them, like, we'll be continuing the color of the week and stuff. They've really loved all the color sensory bins and baths so far.

Water Beads - the coolest sensory bin material ever!
With help from my mom, I created a nice big chalk board wall for Alexander's room that we'll be using for "school" activities.
I primed the black side with magnetic paint so it can be like a real chalk board. The other side is just for drawing cuz I ran out of magnetic primer. Both boys really like drawing and playing with the magnets. The first thing Alexander did when we handed him the chalk was start drawing smiley faces.

I'm really looking forward to busting out my massage schooling in the next few months and also getting some good quality time in with my sister, and with Kevin and the boys. Here's to new beginnings.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Yellow Week Day 1

Browsing around on Pinterest the other day, I rediscovered the blog Play Create Explore. Specifically I came across her color of the week series and about flipped my lid (in a good way). The extra bold, bright colors really grabbed my attention. I just love all her tutorials for variations on sensory bins for each week. And I think my favorite idea (one of those, "I think I know why I didn't think of it, but since someone else tried it first, I'll totally give it a shot, cuz it sounds awesome" ideas...) is Color Themed Baths
Photo Credit: Play Create Explore
You take a little food coloring or kool-aid and dye the bath water the color of the week! And then you add homemade dyed and scented bath paint and other color-specific bath toys and let the kids go to town!

So this week we're doing Yellow. (And Loving It!)

If you want to see intensity just watch Alexander with his sensory bin.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Our Walk for Autism Speaks!

It's been raining all weekend so I ran to Target last night to get ponchos. Don't we all look smashing? 

We had a really good time, in the rain! This last picture only shows the tiniest portion of the people that were there. The crowd was massive. We filled the Atlantic Station block! It was great to see such a big group and feel the camaraderie abounding. Another big thank you to everyone who supported our family and Walk Now for Autism Speaks! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

This morning my boys and I had the new park all to ourselves. :-) A totally magical day for Mommy.
Alexander did a once over of the shiny new equipment and then made his normal beeline for the swings. He was perfectly content to sit in his swing as Kevin and Jacob ran around with our kite.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Special Circle

For those of you who may not know, Alexander goes to occupational therapy once a week in addition to his speech and other therapies. Occupational therapy for a child his age involves working toward "age level skills" in drawing, writing, self help skills (to name just a few). His therapist, Miss Cheri, has a big mirror on one side of the room and they use markers to practice drawing on the mirror. Up to this point, the drawing practice has been getting him to imitate lines in specific directions (up, down, across, etc.) and some circles and squiggles. Miss Cheri always makes her circles into smiley faces after they're done, but it's not part of the objectives. And last week, when prompted to draw a circle, Alexander drew this.

Miss Cheri had started cleaning up before she remembered to take a picture, but this was originally a full circle smiley face. Getting Alexander to imitate anything has always been a challenge. But this one he picked up on his own. I'm so proud of my happy boy.

Monday, April 15, 2013


For those of you who don't know, Kevin and I won tickets to the Big Splash at the Georgia Aquarium, which is a fundraiser event for the Marcus Autism Center. It was this weekend and we had a great time. For some silly reason I didn't bring a camera with me but here we are all dressed up ready to go.

Kevin wasn't feeling well but we both had a better time than we were even expecting to. The food was yummy, the entertainment (Michael Israel) was phenomenal and the spirit of honoring and giving to the autism community was palpable to point of tears (from me). 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to Brenda and Ali for helping me find everything I needed for my "Black Tie Optional" outfit. :-)

And another thank you to my good buddy Nicole over at Moonstone Gifts for creating my new signature autism awareness piece. I attached it to my clutch purse for the event and plan on wearing it every day for at least the rest of April (autism awareness month).