Friday, September 10, 2010

Ebates Link Problems

I've just been informed by more than one person that they signed up for Ebates using my link and it did not credit my account. I recently sent an email to friends and that link seems to be working. So if you did sign up through this blog post, please email me at esmykay(at)yahoo(dot)com and let me know (with the email address you used to sign up) so I can call Ebates and get it straightened out. Thanks!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Help Fletcher Win an iPad!

A few months ago I posted on the incredible things the iPad can do for people with special needs. As the months go by, more and more of Fletcher's "virtual friends" have gotten theirs and it has opened up a whole new world. Check out what Caleigh, Daniel, and Nathan can do.

I can't wait until we can get Fletcher his very own. Problem is, with the new minivan and a few other unexpected expenses, money is even tighter than usual, so you can imagine my excitement when I read that Ebates is having a membership drive and one of the prizes is a FREE iPad!

If you don't know about Ebates, and you shop online, you are missing out. Ebates is a shopping site that gives you a percentage of money back each time you make a purchase at one of their participating stores. The stores pay Ebates a commission to send shoppers their way, and they pass along a portion of that commission to you. Simple as that. No fees, nothing to mail in, no minimum order requirements. I've been a member for a couple of years now, and have earned about $100. For doing nothing more than clicking an extra button or two.

In order to be eligible for the iPad, I have to refer at least 50 new members. I know many of you already belong to Ebates, but if you don't, please consider joining by clicking on this link (which will take you to the Ebates site and give me credit for my referral) before September 30th.

Thanks for checking in on us, and thanks for your help. Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back by Popular Demand

I've been taking a blogging break this summer and, at times, have thought about retiring the old blog completely as often it has turned into "just one more thing to do," if you know what I mean (and if you have a blog, you know what I mean). Although you may not have noticed, since my posts aren't exactly regular in the first place.

But, my faithful readers (all two of them) seem to kind of miss me, so I guess I will try my best to put up a post here and there.

It has been three months since my last post, so obviously I have much to report. Some good. Some very, very far from good. However, I'm not ready to get back into the blog quite yet. So, at the very least, I thought I would take a quick second to include a link to an insightful post from Kate, a teacher of learners with multiple special needs, titled Living the Least Dangerous Assumption, which discusses the idea of presumed competence. I think this is the single most important gift you can give a person with special needs. Reading the post, particularly her list of ways you can live the least dangerous assumption, is well worth your time.

I'll leave you for now with a blurry, yet cute, little candid I shot the other day of Trevor reading to the kids.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Kidwalk Parade

Still no time for a proper update, so I thought I'd share a couple of videos about what we have been up to around here (and when you see the mess of a house I have been keeping in these videos you will understand why I need to do some of the things I will be doing instead of a more in-depth entry).

First, I would like to share some footage from this morning of what I call the Kidwalk Parade. For those PTs who may be reading, please disregard things like positioning and form. We just got the Kidwalk and have been putting Fletcher in it for short periods of time and just trying to have some fun so he'll like it, and then we are going to start working on form, etc. And fun they were having. I took this video about five to ten minutes into the "parade," so Fletcher is starting to drag a bit (literally and figuratively) as is Audrey (just literally... why, I still am not quite sure).

The second video is also from today. Audrey has been pulling up on things for probably less than a week, and this morning I caught her during what I am pretty sure was her first transition from one object to another. Pretty exciting stuff for this momma.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day and hello, world, my child is not a tragedy

Trevor has been working a lot lately, and the last thing I should be doing while he is home is burying my nose in the computer, but I was inspired by this post by Ellen to spread a little awareness today. So inspired, in fact, that I totally plagiarized her title word. for. word. (which, apparently, is something I like to do).

I am also going to plagiarize her message, which, in a nutshell, is that people with cerebral palsy are so much more than their diagnoses. Before I had Fletcher, I had no personal experience with it. In fact, as I think I have mentioned on here before, the only person I had knowingly seen with cerebral palsy was Blair's cousin from Facts of Life. Seriously. I didn't realize that CP is just an umbrella term that refers to someone who has muscular and postural abnormalities due to brain injury, that it can be as mild as dragging a foot or as severe as to require total care for life. They have a good general overview on the Centers for Disease Control website.

True, Fletcher leans more toward the severe side than the mild at this stage in his development, and that may never change, but he is still so, so much more than his cerebral palsy. He is a bright, happy, inquisitive, social little boy and I want everyone to see that side of him. Which is why I blog in the first place.

I will never forget a comment on this blog I received from Laura (which I don't have time to go back and find to quote exactly) to the effect that reading this blog and learning about Fletcher's life made her realize for the first time that a happy and full life can coexist with a cerebral palsy diagnosis, which her son recently had received. And that is exactly the message I want everyone to hear.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nine Months

Audrey is nine months old today (which happens to also be Aunt Niki's 31st birthday... happy birthday!) and I thought it was high time that I caught everyone up with the latest on Little Miss A.

As you can tell by the photo, in addition to one of many outfits given her by her generous, zebra-print-loving Aunt Angie, she is also rocking two teeth, with more to come any day now if drooling is any sign. She is on the brink of holding her own bottle or sippy cup, eats lumpy purees, and will hold and chew on teething biscuits and crackers. The other day I read something about kids developing a pincher grasp at about her age (who knew?), and thought, hmm, wonder if Audrey could do that. So I put her in her high chair and gave her a few cheerios, and sure enough, pincher grasp. Man, those developmental milestones come so easy for typical kids!

Speaking of being surprised by a typically developing child, a couple of months ago I met my mom and my sister for dinner. As usual, I was holding Fletcher for the meal and asked my mom if she would hold Audrey, as she was getting too big for her infant carrier. She just looked at me with a puzzled look and said, "you know, she could sit in the restaurant high chair." Um, no, I hadn't even considered that! Fletcher does not have enough trunk strength to sit in restaurant high chairs, or shopping carts, or things of that nature, so it never even dawned on me to put Audrey in one! In fact, Trevor just got back from a trip to Lowe's with Audrey (he is attempting a DIY plumbing project, be very afraid) and mentioned how much easier shopping with a kid is when you can just plop them in the cart.

When not moving around via cart, or double stroller (which was worth every penny of it's overpriced price tag), Audrey is doing a pretty good job of getting around by herself. She has been pushing up on hands and knees and rocking for about a month now, and doing a good job at scooting backward, but had not yet gotten the confidence or coordination to pick a hand up and move forward. That changed last week, and each day she is getting more and more mobile. She loves to move from belly to sitting and grab at whatever she can get her hands on, her favorites being cords and shoes.

She is still a good sleeper at night, decent napper, and generally good natured. She is loud, and inquisitive, and loves crawling all over Fletcher, who tolerates her, most of the time. She also loves the dog, who, despite her sometimes over exuberant petting, also tolerates her, most of the time.

We don't have her nine-month well-baby appointment until later this month, so I don't have any stats for you, but she still seems to be growing like a weed with no sign of falling back onto the growth charts. She is wearing mostly 12 to 18 month clothes, and I have gotten a couple of 24 month items for the summer. So yeah, still big, and with plenty of nicknames highlighting that little fact; "Big Momma" and even "Fat Momma" being some of the more common. We stayed with Trevor's Aunt Shelly for a couple of days last month and she was not a "big" (ha) fan of the nicknames, and, even though it is all in good fun, I understand why. I am actually trying to get away from calling her such things as she develops better receptive language skills. I mean, I just posted a video on the power of words, so I should understand.

But it is hard, because she is such a cute, chubby little thing. And, to me, every little inch of that chub is something to celebrate. It means that instead of being burned up by inefficient lungs or by high-tone muscles or other struggles her brother has to face that causes him to be rail-thin, her calories can actually go to a little baby fat because she enjoys the benefits of a healthy central nervous system. And, all seriousness aside, there is no denying it: the girl's just chunky.