Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Halloween, First Haircut, Updates on the Last 2 Weeks

The last few weeks have been BUSY! I get up at around 5:30 in the morning (4:30 now-Thanks to Daylight Savings), to get to work at 7 am. I work from 7 am - 4 pm. Then get home spend time with kids, do dinner, a little more time with the kids. They're all in bed around 8:30 pm. By then I am exhausted and ready to wind down for the night. Which means I haven't kept the blog updated. 

So let's play catch up over the last few weeks.

I do billing for an Appliance Repair company and I'm LOVING it! It's a small family business, which works for me. I really like my co workers and just enjoy doing billing again. I didn't realize how much I have missed it. The best part is I can leave work at work. I don't proof bills from home or stay late to meet tight deadlines. (Or maybe my priorities have changed over the last 4 or so years). 

I do miss getting to spend my days with the Littles. Char will send me photos at least once a day of what they're up to. 

Heidi Anne was a nurse for Halloween. She picked out the pink scrubs because the OR green and ER blue colors were "to ugly" according to her. She went trick or treating with a group of friends this year. (Don't worry, a friends' mom was there with them). 
I had this cute plan last year for Anastasia to be Tinkerbell and Rowan to be a pirate. It turns out Rowan is terrified by masks. Oh, that and he wasn't a fan of his costume. So I kept the babies home figuring we'd get a lot of trick or treaters for them to see. We only had 10 kids show up. 10! I went ahead and put on Anastasia's costume just for the heck of it. It was also this picture which convinced Char that Anastasia needed a hair cut. 
I got a treat at work for Halloween. Each person in the office got a special cupcake. My boss remembered that I mentioned how I just LOVE cookie dough everything and wanted to try Cookie Frosting sometime. This was my surprise. A cookie dough cupcake with cookie dough frosting. It's nice when people remember the little things. 
For the last 2 weeks of October Heidi Anne would read the book "Mouse's First Halloween" to Rowan every night. He began to memorize parts of the book. Now, he'll randomly recite some parts to himself out loud, saying, "Eeekk! Mouse Squeak! What could it be? A pumpkin that all. Not so scary at all."   

Later that week Char's side of the family were all going to St. George to celebrate Grandma & Grandpa's 40th wedding anniversary. We were unable to go due to work. However, they we kind enough to take Heidi Anne down with them so she wouldn't miss out on all the fun.

There was a marathon that Grandpa and some of the others ran. Grandpa came in 1st place for his age group. They also had races for the kids to participate in. Heidi Anne got to run her first 1/2 mile race. She came in 3rd place, Cousin A came in second. Heidi Anne even got a cool medal. In addition to that she also got her first official marathon tee shirt.
I guess the kids were still full of energy because Aunt E took the girls hiking. They climbed to the top of Red Rock in St. George. We even got a cute picture of all of them together. The neat thing is I have a picture somewhere of me around Heidi Anne's age (9) on top of Red Rock as well. I'm grateful to have such a wonderful family that includes Heidi Anne on their adventures when we aren't able to. 
Last week Char took Anastasia to get her first hair cut. Well, it was more like a trim. Apparently, it's nearly impossible to hold down a toddler getting a hair cut AND take pictures at the same time. Char sent me a picture after everything was over and Anastasia was well fed.
Here's a picture a day or two later from the other side.  She's getting so big. She can say "Up, Please", "Wader", and "Cookie".

Thanks to ABA, Rowan is learning his name. Well, I guess how to introduce himself would be more accurate. The exchange goes more or less like this, you ask him "What's your name?" He'll ask in a slightly confused voice, "Name?" Pause. Then he'll nearly shout out "ROWAN!!" 

One afternoon Rowan was jumping on the floor when something tripped him and he fell down on his bottom, with quite a thud sound. I was expecting a good cry out of him. Instead Rowan looked up at me, laughed and said "I drop!" 
He also knows his colors and shapes, according to ABA/ Pre-school there isn't a shape he doesn't know. Here he is showing off his skill to Char one morning. 

We accomplished something we haven't been able to due in over a year. We attended all of church. Normally Rowan freaks out over the loud speakers / microphones. Typically we have to take him to the hallways where he'd run away. Also previous teachers have expressed difficulty with Rowan. 

I think ABA / Preschool has really helped him. He was able to stay in the chapel as long as we feed him snacks and had a car to play with. Until he started toss cars at other members of the congregation. I took him to the hallway expecting the worst. He'd explore empty classrooms, felt the different textures of the walls, exposed brick, the floor. Then we discovered his classroom was empty, so we went ahead and entered the room. 

Once there he found a ride on train. I also learned that his teachers have a child with autism as well. I just told them some of Rowan's quirks and favorite things. (Cars, trains, airplanes, slides.) They immediately pull out a slide and found a box of cars. They just let Rowan be Rowan. We he went to the corner to spin some car wheels, they gave him space. They'd try to include him in actives but understood he has his own little world that he lives in, too. It was nice to have someone totally understand his needs outside of therapy, or ABA / preschool. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Job Interviews, Grandma's House, Time at the Park, NEW JOB!!

I have been super busy this week (10/8-10/14). I've only taken 1 photo of Anastasia (at least it turned out cute). This week I've have nearly an interview a day. Furthermore, the time I would dedicate to blogging and photo taking have been replaced by filling out hours worth of applications online. 

I actually got a job at a call center and start training the end of the month, however, I'd really like a more long term position. So I continue to apply to places and having interviews. I know if nothing pans out I at least have a job in the wings. 

On Sunday, the 15th, we went to Grandma's house to celebrate her birthday with the rest of the family. We got her a set of construction trucks because Grandma's been saying she needs more toys for the little boys. These aren't just any plastic toys, they are recycled from milk jugs, durable, and BPA free, (safe if babies chew on them).

Rowan couldn't wait for her to open her gift. He started playing with them right away. I think they were a hit with the cousins. 

Anastasia was busy toddling and exploring everywhere. She likes to say "Up". I feel like one of her Aunts summed it pretty well when she stated, "Anastasia I think you want that word to mean more then it really does." It's true, she uses that word for nearly everything. What to be held? Up. What to see what's on a screen? Up. Want food? Yep, Up. 
We took the kids outside to play while it was nice outside. Rowan was excited to get to the top of the swing set and go down the slide by himself. It was still on the steep side for him, so he went down 1 time.
His favorite thing was the swing! He would have stayed their all afternoon and into the night if we'd let him. Rowan was just giggling and having fun. Later we played on the tramp, which he really enjoyed. 
While dinner was cooking he went out to see the doggies, Huck (Aunt E's lab mix) and Maverick (Aunt M's lab mix of a different sort). He loved tossing the ball and watching the dogs fetch. He ran around laughing and saying "Doggie!" 

I've been job hunting for awhile now. Numerous applications have been filled out, I've had several job interviews, nothing was panning out (besides the call center position). I did an interview for a billing position on Monday morning, which is a job I enjoy doing, seriously. I loved my time at ConService and this position was very similar in many ways. 

Monday afternoon I got a call offering me the job. I started the very next day!! I do the billing for an appliance repair company and so far I'm really enjoying it. Right now it's a bit of a commute but they should be moving locations around January. The hard part has been juggling everything with 1 car. We thought we could manage with just 1 car, however, it's our first week and we're already realizing it's not balancing out well at all. (I foresee a second car in the near future.)

Thursday I had to take a day off work for a doctor's appointment. While I was at the doctors Char took all the kids to a nearby park to play (It's Fall Break right now). 
Rowan climbed up the stairs by himself, which really impressed us. Anastasia needed some help, especially when walking on the uneven bark. She'd walk, stubble, fall down, get back up and repeat the whole process over again. Heidi Anne was a great big sister and took the Littles' down the slides. 
The weather was lovely, a perfect morning for a visit to the park. Oh, there was a bouncy horse that really entertained Rowan for quite some time. Which was good because my doctor appointment took much longer than planned. 
Funny story about Rowan, he loves to watch musical truck videos on Children's YouTube. He'll come up and ask "Car Tunes?" It took a few failed attempts before I realize he meant "Car Tunes" instead of "Cartoons."

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Wedding Pictures and Lots of Little Stories

Here are a few more pictures from the wedding.
Anastasia on Daddy's shoulders.
There was an ice cream bar at the wedding reception, complete with a soft serve ice cream machine. Here's Heidi Anne topping off her delicious treat. 
Heidi Anne had fun playing on the swing set with other wedding quests. She's pushing a sweet little girl on the swing.
Rowan enjoyed his time on the swing as well. I think this was the happiest he was during the whole day. 
Here's a picture of our not-so-little-anymore family. If you told me 5 years ago we'd have a family of 5, with the 2 youngest being only 11 months apart, I would have laughed at the idea. Yes, our life is a bit busy with 2 toddlers and a 9 year old, even chaotic at points. I just can't imagine it any other way. 
Last Sunday Rowan and Heidi Anne are playing with helicopters, flying them to different destinations in the living room. For example; flying to the sofa, then to Anastasia, next the dog, and on and on. 
When they were done playing Anastasia took both helicopters and would spin the rotors on the tops and tail. Rowan had his "turtle" (Kindle) and could care less, however, Anastasia looks like the cat that ate the canary.
Rowan was content with his Turtle, which was good because Char and I were still recovering from our illnesses. Char's almost better from this never ending fever, I'm still a little on the weak / recovering stages.
On Monday Rowan just couldn't stop spinning in circles and asking to go "UP-side-Down". I got a few videos of his spinning, which is stimming. Sometimes he'd stop, come over to watch the video I just made then spin again. Hit replay and that was my morning. 
Rowan had a good day at at ABA. I get little notes about his day. But I don't get the time to chat with his therapist, thus making some of the stories lack that flourish or background information. For example, the note today read "Rowan had a good day today. He laughed really hard when one of the other therapist sang "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" really goofy." That's all she wrote.

On Tuesday Heidi Anne had guitar lessons. But Char had work at the time Heidi Anne would need to be picked up from her class. He dropped her off to for her lessons. About 30 minutes after they left, I loaded the Littles into the double stroller and we walked a long 2 mile round trip. (We're very dedicated to Heidi Anne's new hobby). The babies were content as long as the stroller was moving. But if we were at a cross walk waiting for cars to pass, they tried to wiggle out of their straps.    
Occasionally, when things happen, I cover my hands over my mouth and say "Oh No!" in an overly dramatic fashion. I typically do this with the Littles' when; they spill, knock down objects or throw toys. Mostly to get the idea across that they did something naughty or mischievous.
Well, Anastasia has started to copy me half the time. She covers her mouth and dramatically says "Oh NO!" I finally got a picture of her doing it. Unfortunately, no video recording, despite how hard I try she can't do it on command (as of yet). 

Rowan loves to look out the window. There's cars, bikes, trucks, airplanes, etc. out there to see. Anastasia doesn't want to be left out of the fun. She'll toddle over as Rowan runs to look outside. There's just 1 tiny problem. Anastasia is way too short to see anything. She's just shy of being as tall as the bottom window sill. Therefore, she ends up just looking at the wall. 
She has at least another 4-6 inches to grow before she can even tip toe to glance out the window. Based on the faces she gives me, I think she knows this fun fact, too.
Rowan was so funny the other morning as I put him in the car. The birds were singing outside. He perked up and said "Tweet, Tweet!" He was so excited when he heard them call back. He yelled out "Again! Again!" Alas, they did not respond to his cries of an encore. 

Life has settled into a new "normal", Rowan has preschool / ABA 3 days a week. Heidi Anne is back in school. Anastasia is...well...Anastasia. Time to shake that up. We've decided it's time for me to get back into the workforce. It's a couple years sooner than I planned (after-all, ABA doesn't pay for itself). Now, I'm job hunting and we're trying to figure out how to juggle everything. Wish me luck! Any tips would be great!!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Fevers All Around, Appointments and Playing Pretend!!

On Fever Day 4, also known as Sunday, the babies' fever continue. The doctors won't check on the Littles until they've had a fever over 100.4 for 5 constitutive days.  

Heidi Anne was reading silently on the sofa when Rowan came up and cuddled her. He asked her "Read?". Heidi Anne played along and read a passage of "Hatchet" . She stopped and returned to reading silently. He then demanded "READ, READ, READ!" She read aloud to him for a good 45 minutes. All the while if she so much as paused to catch a breath, Rowan would request "Again! Read!". 

A little later in the day Anastasia copied me in playing with her baby dolls. I'd rock one back and forth and she would "rock" the doll. She even said "Baby" once. 
Hooray!! The Littles' fevers have broken. Which is great because my fever continued. Currently, I'm the only one still suffering from a fever. 

Since Rowan was feeling better we sent him off to ABA. Rowan had an exceptional day compared to Friday. He was listening, paying attention. They've changed his programs and goals a tad since he's completed so many of his tasks. Granted, he's been doing the same goals for nearly 4 months now. 

They've been working on yoga with the kids at pre-school as a coping skill and good exercise. Currently, Rowan is having nothing to do with it. The teachers are trying to get the kids to do poses and Rowan is either sitting in the corner not playing or sprawled flat out on the floor, still not participating. 

Today at ABA they were playing a game where the balloon couldn't touch the floor. Rowan kept missing when he'd try to bop it with his hands. Then he started kicking it instead and he'd keep it in the air.     
Later in the day I had a doctor's appointment. I didn't feel up to driving the distance on my own so I had Char drive and we brought Rowan and Anastasia with us. Yeah, it was a disaster. Both needed snacks and naps and could have done without the 90 minute car ride. Rowan did settle down after the MA showed him that he could color on the touch screen in the exam room. 

On Tuesday, just as my fever was going away Char has begun to suffer from one. It's like playing hot potato here in the house. 
Rowan has begun saying "Monk-EY" when jumping on the sofa. I think he's referring to the "5 Little Monkeys" song. When he says "Monk-EY" while jumping I'll sing the "5 Little Monkeys" song to him. 

Rowan's speech therapist, Jill, brought a doll and accessories for his session. He actually played with the doll! He held it, pretended to give it food and feed it a bottle. Anastasia even said "Baby" and had a turn holding and feeding the baby doll. 

Heidi Anne had guitar lessons for the first time in 2 weeks. The teacher was impressed with how good she did that he gave her 2 songs to learn this week. Mary Had a Little Lamb and Jingle BellsIt was student appreciation day, which meant Heidi Anne got a cupcake, a sucker, and a little prize. 

As we left I noticed a little cat by the door. I picked it up so I could call the owner to let them know where their cat was at. However, when I looked on the collar it read "I live by the school, Please leave alone, Don't take me away." So I pet the cat a little and put it down, leaving it there like the collar requested. 
Wednesday was a little slow. It's been fevers, doctor and therapy appointments nearly every day. I guess some days you can use a break. 

Rowan went to ABA and had a good time. Char's fever got a little worse but was able to go to work. 
Thursday all the kids got flu shots. The nurse asked me "So oldest to youngest?"  I had put a lot of thought into the order of who would gets shots when. I decided Rowan first because he wouldn't have heard anyone else cry out and would be as relaxed as he could be. He looked at me with betrayal as he was injected. He whimpered for quite some time. 
Next was Anastasia because Rowan's cries wouldn't really warn her of impending doom and she forgives easily, (sometimes). I helped the nurse hold Anastasia down. She screamed at the initial poke but quickly stopped crying before it was even Heidi Anne's turn.
Ah, Heidi Anne. I wanted her last because she's horrible with vaccines. She screams and cries so loud with shots that I knew if she freaked out the Littles would too, beyond any doubt. She started to cry when the nurse was applying the alcohol swab yelling "It BURNS!!" The nurse and I were like, "It's just the first part where she's cleaning your skin of any germs. Calm down." Heidi Anne continued to cry from then on. Making the babies (who had settled down at this point) start to freak out with her. I told the nurse dryly "This is why I wanted her last." Finally she was injected, she SCREAMED at first and then as the shot went on, Heidi Anne began laughing. According to her "This time the flu shot wasn't as bad as I remembered!" I had told her in the beginning it wouldn't be bad. Que eye roll from me.   
The next morning Rowan had a reaction to the flu shot, he was sick to his stomach and had a fever (again) of 100.4 F. This boy can't catch a break these last 2 weeks. We kept him home from ABA and I skipped a play date I was going to take Anastasia to. I'm trying to make friends in the area we've moved to and all these moms have at least 1 child with autism around the same age as Rowan and astonishingly enough an NT around Anastasia's age. We'll just go to the next meet up. 

Char was still suffering horribly from a fever now mixed with nasty congestion. I decided to run to the store and take Anastasia with me. This was a big deal because I hate crowds of any sort, I loath shopping and I normally leave the Littles at home to get done quicker. I thought 2 babies would be to much for Char so I took the healthy 1 with me. (I could just see Rowan getting sick at the store-Clean up on aisle 4).  We had a good shopping trip and even brought some lunch home for everyone. 
Char was super sick and went to the doctor's where they determined he had a virus of some sort or another. He called into work because he's still got a high fever and just feels crappy all around. 

Well, Char is still sick and now I've got a fever and feel crummy. It's been a sick filled weekend. Fortunately, all the kids are fit as a fiddle now. If only I had the energy to match theirs. 
Anastasia is just climbing all over the place. Rowan and Heidi Anne are playing with helicopters, flying them to different destinations in the living room. For example; flying to the sofa, then to Anastasia, next the dog, and on and on. 

Anastasia just sneezed and Rowan responded "Bless you" all on his own. We tried to pretend sneeze ourselves but we didn't get a reply from him. He just adores his baby sister.  

Sunday, September 24, 2017

IDEA!, Forts, Sick Kids, Anastasia Speech Therapy

Sorry for the Anastasia overload lately. Heidi Anne only likes her picture to be taken on occasion right now. Rowan is a little whirlwind, constantly moving and hardly ever looks towards the camera. That just leaves little Anastasia. Isn't she adorable though?
Rowan has a new phrase he likes to say. He'll point one finger up in the air and declare "I have IDEA!" Sometime's it'll be shortened to just the word "Idea!", still with his finger pointed upwards. He gets so excited when he says it, I'd love to hear what exactly his ideas are. But alas, we can't at this point. One day we will, perhaps sooner than I expect. Who knows? 
This week has been filled with doctor appointments. Mostly, well visits and a sick kid appointments, that couldn't be put into 1 visit because that would be too easy. Here's Anastasia's view point on being dragged everywhere. She is done. I love that I can start playing with her hair! Now I just need to get tiny scrunchies, some cute clips, maybe a little bow or 2.  
On Tuesday Heidi Anne came home sick from school. We got her a doctors appointment. It turned out to be a nasty cold but we kept her home on Wednesday to be on the safe side. As you can tell by the picture taken Wednesday night she felt much better.  
We rearranged the living room and got some new decorative pillows. I've never had decorative pillows that actually matched the furniture before. (It's the little things that can make you feel like you're finally doing this adult thing right. Oh not the 3 kids. But decorative pillows). Well those suckers weren't on for more than 40 minutes when the kids realized "Hey, I can turn these pretty pillows into a fort!" And so they did.   
On Thursday the babies woke up with fevers over 100.5 F. (I believe they caught whatever Heidi Anne had). Forcing us to cancel their flu shot appointment. Which I'm sure they were heart broken over. Here's Anastasia after the Tylenol kicked in. 

As I'm writing Rowan is pretending to sleep. Complete with snoring sounds. 

Oh, Anastasia tried to play pretend early this afternoon! I was playing on the floor with her baby doll rocking it back and forth. (I play with her toys hoping it encourages her to copy me). Today, she came over, took the doll away and tried to mimic me. It's one of the first times she ever showed interest in playing with her toys "properly". Normally, she just tosses the toys down the stairs or throws them and chases after the object, just to repeat the cycle. 
 Friday was a long day. Anastasia woke up with a fever of 102. Rowan on the other hand was just at 98 degrees. I assumed he was better and sent him off to preschool. 

I came home for Anastasia's first Speech Therapy appointment. We mostly reviewed what she can and can't do, made a game plan complete with goals. Language Comprehension wise she's around a 9 month level. Everything else speech wise, she's around a 12 month old.  Even if we adjust for the 3 month delay, she should be at least a 16 month old level, she's still behind. 

Instead of letting this gap get wider, Jill wants to intervene now. The hope is Anastasia has been focused on gross motor skills that now she can turn her attention to her language development. There is still that possibility that she has autism, as she failed the toddler Mchat again. Yet, we have to wait another 2 months for it to be an "official" concern.    

About 3 hours after I dropped Rowan off at preschool, I get a text saying Rowan has a fever over 101 and was acting very lethargic. I went and picked him up early. I tended to sick babies all afternoon. 
Fast forward to later that night. Suddenly, Rowan's fever spiked to between 103.7 F-104.2 F with Tylenol. (The thermometer kept fluctuating between the two readings.) Char was on call for work, making it difficult for us to try the Emergency Room and it was to late for InstaCare. 

Char made a run to the grocery store to get Motrin, Gatorade, Pedilite, (in varying flavors). In a effort to push some fluids through him. It all must of worked because around 9:30 pm his temperature was around 102.5 F. Still high, but no longer in the seizure / brain damage danger zone. 
Saturday, everyone but Char had a fever at some level. It was mostly spent laying down, resting, making sure everyone was drinking fluids, and full of sick baby cuddles. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Wedding-Lots of Cute Pictures

Last Friday we went to Aunt S's wedding. Heidi Anne and cousins A & H all wore matching beautiful,blue and cream dresses.
I try not to post pictures of the rest of the extended family unless I have permission, which I forgot to ask for. SO here's a lot of cute pictures of my kids while waiting for the bride to come outside for picture time.  
The poor photographer had a hard time getting Anastasia and Rowan to look at the camera. Here's 1 cute shoot of Rowan (out of 20 plus pictures).
I adore this one Char took of Rowan and Heidi Anne walking around and exploring the gardens. 
Here we are at the luncheon. Anastasia and cousin E wore matching dresses. They looked so cute. The babies were obsessed with the carrot cake. The 2 of them had 4 slices total. 
Rowan became restless so Char and I took turn watching him outside. He loved watching the water run down the mill. He also liked running around outdoors.  
Heidi Anne got a flower headpiece. She was so well behaved all day. 
Char took a picture of Anastasia and me in Grandma's backyard as the reception got started. The photographer took a few pictures of all the little families in addition to the big family photos. I don't think our babies looked in her direction a single time. I had been wanting to do family photos for a while and this was the perfect opportunity.  
Here's a picture of my corsage. There was some more rosemary on it but Anastasia pulled it out.