Regan and I Are a Family!!

Shepherd, Regan, and I Are a Family!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Testing a video

Regan and Konnor have penpals in different countries.  Regan's penpal from Australia recently sent her a personal movie including videos and pictures.  It was genius!!!  I have never made a movie before, but I have spent HOURS the last two days figuring it out.  I have used two different computers and can not get the darn thing to save to a CD or a DVD.  I am now trying to see if it will embed in a blog and maybe I can just get them to look at the blog.  Ugh!!! So frustrating!!!  Let's see how it goes!!!


Monday, May 02, 2011

Something New- Friend Makin Monday



Kenz at All the Weigh has a answer and question session every Monday.  This week's post is about bookworms!!!!  I LOVE reading!!  Because it is more and more difficult to read at home seeing as how I have two five year olds under foot and because I travel alot for my job, I have discovered the beauty of the audio book.  LOVE.  Anyway, onto the questions:

1.  How often do you read?   If I had my way, I would read everyday.  Unfortunately, that doesn't happen so I get to read 4-5 times per week.  I also listen to audiobooks and we visit the library so often (4-5X week) that the librarians know my kids' and nephew's names.

2) What's the last book you read and loved?   River Marked by Patricia Briggs.  I love this entire series:)

3) What book(s) are you currently reading?  One Foot in the Grave  by Jeaniene Frost.  I've already read it before, but I wanted to reread the first couple of books again before I move onto books I have yet to read later in the series.

4) Share a few of your favorite authors.   My 4th grade teacher introduced me to Laura Ingalls Wilder and she is my absolute favorite author of all time.  I love that era of time.  I love the tv shows, movies, books, etc the revolve around Laura.  My more recent author loves are JK Rowling (Harry Potter books 1-5), Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris, Jeaniene Frost, Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison.

5) What's next on your list of must-reads? I am trying a new author, Nalini Singh.  She is another urban fantasy author I have heard tells an interesting tale. 

Link up at All the Weigh and see what other bookworms are reading!!!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Looking Back - State Fair 2011

I realized that I never wrote about the State Fair this year.  It didn't disappoint!!!  The highlight for Regan was that we arrived at the Elvis Impersonator Show and we got seats off to the side, but close enough so that we had a pretty good blue.  Regan kept saying over and over that she hoped that Elvis would wear purple.  I was trying to tell her that I had never seen Elvis in a purple outfit and she might be disappointed if she thought he was going to wear her favorite color.  I should just shut my mouth, because out came Elvis in a purple jumpsuit!!!!

It gets even better.  For some reason, Elvis came down the stage, through the VIP section (yes, there is such a thing at the state fair impersonator contest ....these people don't mess around:)  )  and through the front section right to Regan.  He then held her hand and talked to her and then proceeded singing to her!  Oh. My. Gosh.  I thought Regan was going to pass out!!!!!  He then went back on stage and finished his show!!!  I have no idea why she caught his attention in that sea of people, but she did!!!  I of course, had my camera on the wrong setting and did not get a good picture:(

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We each rode a couple of rides, but spent most of the day admiring the animals and visiting the animal shows.  It was a blast!!!!  Shepherd's favorite part was riding the rides (the faster the better and Konnor loved everything.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Swim Bop, Easter, and Jogging





Today we had a great time at SunSplash (or SplishSplash as Regan calls it;) We got season passes again this year because they were cheap for Cape Coral residents and a welcome relief during the hot summer. This is our third weekend in a row to go and Shepherd got to go today. To backup, Shepherd was not allowed to go last weekend because his behavior was so horrible the week before at the park. Shepherd has a lot of attention seeking behaviors that manifest themselves in negative ways. While in India, his orphanage director had told me that everyone praised Shepherd even if he was doing something he shouldn't be doing because he was disabled and didn't have to follow the rules that everyone else followed. What?!?! That doesn't work in my house, but 20 months later, we are still modifying his behavior. Shepherd LOVES SunSplash, however last week he screamed and cried and whined the entire time we were there because he wanted to monopolize the adults' attention. I ignored the behavior as best I could, but I had a game plan in mind. Last week I picked a time when my brother could watch Shepherd and I left him with his uncle while my mom and I took my nephew and Regan to the water park. I explained to him that he didn't have to go because I was sure he didn't like to go because his behavior showed me that he was having a miserable time. I was very sympathetic when I told him that I didn't want him to be miserable like that again and I certainly didn't want the rest of the family to have their time ruined with his negative behaviors.

When I was putting on my bathing suit to get ready today he asked me to please let him go and promised me he wouldn't cry anymore when we were there. I allowed him to go and he didn't cry and we all had a great time. I know that not everyone agrees with how I deal with his behaviors because not everyone sees these behaviors, but I do what I have to because otherwise he would be out of control. Like my mom says, better to deal with it when they are five years old versus 15 years old. I imagine we will have no more issues with tantrums at SunSplash;)

On really big, big news......Regan learned to swim by herself today!!!! She swims about 2 feet, but she does it all by herself!!! She told me that she was getting big and going into kindergarten and she felt she could learn to swim. So she did!!!! She is my Swim Bop!!!


Shepherd realized that she was getting such attention for learning to swim and so he got brave and tried to swim and then tried to open his eyes underwater.  Peer pressure can be a good thing;)  I hope the lesson learned is that it is rewarding to earn positive praise.

 We also saw the Easter Bunny!  Our church had their annual Lenten Party with an Easter Egg hunt, games and crafts.  Shepherd really got it this year and loved every minute.  Regan loved doing the crafts.  Konnor almost thought he was too old for an Easter Egg hunt except he really wanted candy;)  We then went down to Bass Pro Shops to see the Bunny.  It was so cute, they had an ongoing Easter Egg hunt going on through the store.  The kids loved it!!  It was a great weekend!

With my news, I have completed Week 5 of the Couch to 5K.  I just jogged twenty minutes straight!   I love this program.  Never in a million years would I have thought that I could do any physical activity for 20 minutes.  I really, really struggled in the beginning and although I am not fast by any stretch of the imagination it feels good to get out there and exercise.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Gardens and Monster Trucks



 We got free tickets to see Monster Jam and although it was nothing I would have paid money to see, for free we had an absolute blast.   Out of all of them, I think Regan was the most excited in the beginning....until she realized how loud they were!!!  Shepherd, who is obsessed (and I mean quirkily obsessed.....crazy obsessed) with cars, he was in hog heaven once he realized what a Monster Jam really was.  Konnor loved it also and couldn't wait to see Gravedigger:)  All in all, a really fun evening!  Regan and I have also been working on a garden.  She planted this gladiolus from bulbs and is so excited to see them sprout.  She also planted the iris from a bulb and we are hoping the rest begin to bloom.  The rest of the plants are annuals because we wanted immediate results:)  Shepherd could care less because if he thinks it involves manual labor he wants no part of it;)  Next is trying to start a butterfly garden.  Regan and I bought some pentas and some milkweed and have our fingers crossed we will have some butterflies in our future.  Regan is also saving any change she finds because she wants to buy a rose bush.  She is currently obsessed with roses.  Maybe the Easter Bunny will have to drop one off at our house:)


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Could Ya Grow Already?!?!

This is a picture of 12 months shorts that we are going to donate to Goodwill because they are too short. Yay!! The shirt is also going because it is too small.
Look how scrawny he really is:(
The above picture was taken about 1 month after he came home....look how sallow he looks, so pale. He is definetly is healthier now.
This are 24 month shorts, but we are celebrating because they no longer fall down!!!


Above and below are pictures of how small his clothes are, but he has finally outgrown some clothes and we hope for continued growth.

I have no problem growing...outwards (darn those salsa and lime chips!). Unfortunately, Shepherd is not growing. Since he has come home almost 20 months ago, he has only grown about 1 inch and about 4 pounds. I kept thinking he would catch up, but this hasn't happened. We have been seeing an endocrinologist for another health issue with Shepherd and he became concerned with Shepherd's lack of growth. I am so glad he was concerned because I had been expressing concern for several months prior to our initial visit with them but no doctor shared my concern. When he told me that Shepherd would be only 4'6" at adulthood if he continued with his lack of growth, I was a little bummed. I have not shared Shepherd's entire health history because  it is personal, but believe me when I say that he has several major strikes against him and I didn't want one more for him to overcome. After an MRI of the brain and pituitary, bone age x-ray of his hand, ultrasound of his thyroid and a 7 hour blood test (where he had an IV in his arm and had to sit completely still for 7 hours! Thank goodness he fell asleep after hour 4), it was revealed that Shepherd has a deficiency in his IGF-1 hormone. His human growth hormone is "talking" to his body fine, but with his low IGF-1 his body is not knowing to grow. Of course, the test for IGF-1 deficiency is only about 5 years old as is the growth hormone replacement. It is also a freakin' fortune at ~$45,000-$60,000 freakin' dollars a year!!!! Nuts, I say, Nuts. Thank goodness I just changed insurances and my co-pay is $10 a month. After several months and a gajillion phone calls talking to the insurance company, doctor's office and nurse educator we finally got approved for a 6 month trial of hormone replacement therapy!!! Yay, yay, yay!!!


Two weeks ago, Shepherd started on the hormone. It is injected twice a day and he is doing well with the injections. I give it to him at breakfast and at dinner. It can cause low blood sugar, but so far we have seen no side effects. I really, really hope this helps him to grow. In celebration, we went through his clothes drawer to see what sizes of clothes we have. We have plenty of 3T and 4T clothes because when he first came home he was four and I assumed he would be a little small for his age so I stocked up on 3T clothes. Unfortunately, he has yet to grow into those 3T clothes. He is wearing 12 -18 month shorts and 2T-3T shirts. He is 5 years 7 months old !!!!:( Luckily, he has a lift in his shoes so he doesn't seem quite so short, but he is so scrawny!!  The lift is to adjust for his leg length descrepancy, not for cosmetic purposes.)  I also want to help him to grow prior to kindergarten because I want him treated age appropriately and not like the 3 year old every thinks he is.......Cross your fingers and wish us luck!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

IEP




Today was Shepherd's riser IEP. The meeting which determines where he will attend kindergarten. He has made huge gains academically, he knows all of his letters, initial letter sounds, can count to 15, signs all the letters, can write his first name independently and his last name when it is spelled for him, etc. My biggest concern for him is his language, speech, and social interactions. Shepherd needs to learn the power of language. The good and the bad. We are having major struggles with him lying. ALOT. And if I hear one more time that it is his age, I am going to scream!!!! It is not his age, it is deeper than that. It is more hurtful than that and it is damaging to himself and those around him. We got over a stealing stage, where he would come home from church and school with cars hidden in his pockets. He would hide stolen objects under his pillow. We had to "frisk" him before he could come home. We got past that and we have had no recent incidences. Thank God! But, the lying is so ingrained it is scary. I hope that when he understands the power of what he is saying (good and bad) than he will understand more of language. I so hope that this can be mediated. He also has other behaviors that I won't outline on the internet. He needs to learn non verbal communication. He needs to learn academic language. Etc, etc, etc.

It was decided that he would attend an Intensive Language class. The school district intially was telling me he would not qualify because he is an ESOL student. I countered that in that he is not a "true" ESOL student as I don't speak any other language other than English at home. Besides that, what does it matter the cause if the end result is that he is not language ready for kindergarten?!?! I was not pushing for regular ed, I feel he needs more support than regular ed can provide. He will spend the first half of the day in a regular education kindergarten and the last 1.5 hours in an IL class with a speech therapist and an ESE teacher. I am so hopeful that he will receive the support he so desperately needs! As his mommy, I hope that when he has a better ability to express his thoughts and feelings that some of the negative, attention seeking behaviors will subside (please, please, pretty please!!) I also desperately want him to have friends. He has little idea of how to interact with children his own age and would rather hang out with adults. His teacher reports that he has improved in this area and I so hope so, I want him to have a friend soooo badly.
The other bonus of this placement is that he will automatically be assigned to the school that houses the IL class. There is only one in our school zone. Only about 3 in the district. I have already gone to school choice to put Regan in the kindergarten lottery and if she receives my first pick they will be in different schools. This may sound odd, but I am requesting they not be in the same school. Because they are the same age there is the possibility they would share alot of specials and lunch time, etc. I do not want them compared to each other (as they already are) and I want them to develop their own unique personalities independent of one another. They already spend so much time together in extra curricular activities because of their identical ages. I hope this is the best decision for Shepherd.






Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guess Where We Are Going This Weekend?!?!?

videoRegan is so excited she can barely contain herself!!! We are headed to the Elvis Extravaganza so that Elvis' number one fan can shake her purps to her favorite purp shaker!!!

We had to sit in the back so that Regan could get her groove on. She had her signs all ready and Elvis actually came back to talk to her and tell her that he loves her! She was shell shocked that her idol came to talk to her and she talks about it all the time!!! The videos are of Regan at last year's extravaganza. We went to both "concerts" at her insistence!! :)

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Sunday, February 06, 2011

Handmade Christmas

I am just beginning to learn to sew and so I decided to make most of my mom's Christmas gifts. It was a lot of fun!!
I made my mom this laptop sleeve using this tutorial from The Cottage Home! I loved it. I also made the gathered camera strap, but forgot to take pictures!!! It is probably pretty obvious that my mom likes purple!
I have no clue how to do buttonholes on my machine and so I sewed on faux buttons and just added velcro to close the straps. Next week when my grandmother comes down for a visit she is going to teach me how to do buttonholes:)
My grandmother bought Regan a sewing machine because Regan wants to learn to sew REALLY bad!!! She has been "sewing" for hours!!!

My mom also likes chickens and so I sewed for her a sewing machine cover using this tutorial. I have ribbon ties on both sides instead of a fabric strap. The sewing machine organizer thing is from this tutorial on Hoy Joyful. Super cute and easy!! I chose not to make the pincushion, but it turned out cute even without the cushion!

(And yes, I do sew on a tray table. One of these days I'll be able to invest in a real sewing table:) )
Another note: Regan dressed herself:)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year's Eve

I had the best New Year's Eve!! My mom and I were running to JoAnn Fabrics to look for more fabric (go figure) and we decided just to go to DQ and get ice cream for dinner. While there, my mom ran into a friend of hers who told us she drives all the way from Estero (~45 minutes away from the Cape) to see a Christmas light show set to music. We had never heard of this show and when she told us where it was we realized it was about 5 minutes from our homes!!!! We stopped on the way home and watched an amazing 45 minute light show! Fantastic and the kids LOVED it!!!! It was such a great surprise and I loved sharing it with all the kids who had a BLAST! Here are some videos from last year's show that I found on youtube:





Don't you love it when great things just fall into your lap?!?!?