Friday, April 20, 2012


I love Friday evenings. They tend to be my very favorite part of the week. Friday night is either date night or family night. Either way, it is awesome and greatly anticipated. I think Ellyn loves Friday nights too. We tried doing after school tutoring sessions on Friday afternoons and they were met with great resistance. Tonight we are eating homemade chocolate chip cookies and watching a movie. Ellyn will hang out on the couch or lay on the family room floor. She'll usually have her iPad and watch something she wants to watch on Netflix. We are used to Dora being the Soundtrack of our lives. She has branched out a bit, "Phineas and Ferb" or "Hannah Montana" have made the play list as well. It greatly depends on what she can find on previously watched videos. She does have a choice though and it's pretty cute that she is making more "big girl" choices. So it's time to veg out, the rest of the weekend will be insanely busy.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ellie Hanging Out With Zoe

Ellyn is actually acknowledging this little girl far more than she ever has with Kujo, our grown cat. Tonight I came in from doing the dinner dishes to find Ellie looking at a Toy Story book on her iPad while Zoe lay curled up next to her. Occasionally Ellyn lays hers hand down on Zoe's back or pulls gently on her ear. The night before last Zoe was trying to play with Boo. Ellyn picked her up, gave her nose a smooch, and set her down farther away. That cute, clever, kid. I couldn't believe she was so affectionate. Normally Ellyn doesn't really give animals the time of day. She does show an interest in horses, and sometimes a dog. Kujo is always so gentle and patient with her when she does pay him a little attention. Most of the time it is only when she wants to pry his eyes open and stare at his pupils, poor cat. I wonder if Ellyn is influenced by the tiny little cuteness of this kitty? She really is pretty endearing. Either way, it's cool to see.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 15, 2012

No Way!!!

Today Ellyn tried to get her cereal out of the pantry. This is nothing new. She does it a few times a day. However, she had already had cereal for breakfast and as a snack and she needed to eat something else. I peeled a banana and started giving her bites, she took a few and wandered away. A few minutes later she was back, iPad in hand. She had gotten into her proloquo app and made it to food and was looking at her choices (we have only had pictures of what was available for snack during tutoring session up until now). She kind of dumped it on the counter when she didn't see her choice. I immediately loaded all the pictures of food choices we have on her "I want to eat" page. That smart little cookie! We had snack right then, giving her the choices she asked for- chips and oh, something... I can't remember.

From there I updated her fun activities page, including a picture of Ellyn on the tramp. When she headed towards the door I called her to me, she obeyed and came over and I asked her what she wanted to do. She pointed right to the picture of the trampoline, she hit it three times!!! Ellie Boo and I were out jumping in seconds! I'm so excited. I really hope we can get her to start instigating more often, that would be awesome.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

An Apple Today

This afternoon Ellyn stuck a piece of apple up her nose. My friend Jen was here with Ellyn and her tutor. I was making a milk and Honey Nut Cheerios run to Costco. Jen called to see if I had plastic tweezers anywhere. No. I called Jane and told her to start walking home from track. I rushed straight home and attempted to remove the apple from Boo's nose. I came close, couldn't do it. Left to take Sadie to piano after sending a quick text to my cousin's husband, Tony. He's a P.A. and also has a special needs daughter. He gets fun experiences like this too. Alas, Mike got home from work and got the apple out. Phew for that, that's what I always say. Tony called, in case you are wondering... you can't leave it in there. You can get a bacterial infection. He gave me some techniques my cousin has mastered. Nice to have those in my back pocket. Apple out, Ellyn happy. The End

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ellyn is My Cow

A couple of years ago my mom and sisters were visiting me for Spring Break (we were living in Carmel Valley, they were living in rainy Washington). My sister, Meagan, a rockstar of an athlete commented on how buff my arms were. I told her it was from carrying Sawyer and Ellyn everywhere, often at the same time. Ellyn would have been four and Sawyer would have been 17 mos. or so. It was just easier to scoop them both up to load them into the van, remote controlled opening doors you know. Any ways, my mom told us a story of a man who could lift his cow (no, I don't remember the particulars). When asked how, he replied that he had just lifted that cow every day since it was born. His strength had just grown with the maturation of his cow. I can't picture a normal man lifting a cow.

Ellyn does not like to fall asleep by herself. Every night she takes medication to help her fall asleep. Some nights she is asleep in 10 minutes, some nights 2 hours. Most of the time she falls asleep about an hour after her meds. Ellie falls asleep on the living room floor. We lay out her blanket, or she grabs one from our blanket basket, and a pillow. Ellie looks at books, watches t.v., listens to the family, whatever, until she finally dozes off. After Ellyn is asleep it is best not to wake her for about an hour. However, after that you have a window of time to take her to bed. You wait too long and you are in danger of our little Boo waking up and feeling very rested, happy, and ready to party the night away. You don't wait long enough and she wakes up cranky and angry and violent. But, after an hour you can bend down, tell her it's time to go to bed, and walk her up the stairs. She will lean against you for the first few steps and then she is awake enough to hold your hand and walk up to bed. She will happily climb in, let you tuck the covers in around her, and fall fast asleep.

There is the occasional exception. Some nights she is just too exhausted. Tonight would be one of them. Ellie and Sadie and Sawyer spent hours on the trampoline today. I spent an hour with them, Jane spent 20 minutes or so and so did Mike. It was our first nice day since Monday and we spent the entire day in the sunshine. Mike and I finished putting up the net on the trampoline, Jane, Mike, and I all did some yard work, and all the while my three crazies jumped and played. Tonight, when I tried to wake up Ellyn and walk her to bed, she was boneless, a limp noodle, a sack of potatoes. I scooped my little girl up into my arms and headed to the stairs. Since I do not carry Ellyn nearly as often as I used to I nearly always think of that cow story when I do. I wonder if I do it often enough and at what point my girl will get too big for me. She is going to be a very tall woman.

But... in the meantime I giggle at myself as I think in my head that she is my little calf definitely on her way to becoming a cow. I wonder if she'll ever be completely offended that I call her my cow (of course, until now it has only been in my head). I hope she'll understand it is with absolute love and adoration.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 5, 2012


It's spring break. You would never be able to tell by the weather we are having. Really, this rain...

We have been staying up late and, with Ellyn's help, I've been waking up early. Not exactly the restful week I had in mind.

This morning was filled with errands, all the kids hate them, except Ellyn. Boo is so happy in the car. She could drive all day, every day and be completely content. Mike and I tease that when all of the kids are grown and out of the house we will become truckers. Ellyn and I will ride along (since I really am a terrible driver). We'll travel the country, Ellyn happily kicking back in her seat and taking the world in through her window.

(By the way, that isn't a straight jacket, it's my coat that we wrapped her up in to go out to the van. Her jacket was in the very back)
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We finally have a new trampoline

This is why I wanted us to have a trampoline again! It's 8:30 and my kids don't want to watch a movie. Ellyn has lead me to the door five times today, every time there's a sun break or at least a rain break!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 2, 2012

First Day of Spring Break

On Monday morning we got a text from our friend, Lindsey. It said something like "this is going to be our only sunny day this week. Let's get to the Cider Mill." So that was the plan for our first day of Spring Break, after everyone woke up of course.
Ellie and I were awake. We snuggled together and played on the family room floor, tickles, and blanket wraps.
It ended up getting warmer, but when we arrived at the mill it was blustery and chilly.

Sawyer lead Ellyn and I through this wooden fence maze. When Ellyn and I came out Ellyn played on a little mini tiny tots like playground. Her legs were at the bottom of the slide when her booty was at the top but she was having fun. Jane and I did a little tether ball with our friends. I even had a picture of Jane and Carrie playing that was so cute but my highly self critical daughter deleted it off of my phone. Sadie lead the rest of the kids in some version of Hunger Games. Nothing like 7 children acting out living in the wild and trying not to be killed:) They hung out, playing in the maze for half an hour. I love me some good imaginations!
We finally lured them away from the maze with the promise of seeing lots of baby goats!

Sadie and Sawyer were enthralled. Ellyn, not so much.
However, Ellyn was pretty intrigued by this fellow. He was gobbling like maybe his life depended on it. Ellyn thought it was pretty funny. She would have stayed there all day if we let her.

Is this guy handsome or what?

Oh my sweet Jane, all of her friends were gone for Spring Break. We chose to go nowhere for Spring Break. Mike just got home and I was just not ready to leave him again. We are working on getting our family back in sync after daddy being gone for seven months. Plus, I wanted to buy a good trampoline, something that would last much longer than one week (I know, memories last a lifetime, but that doesn't help with this particular argument). Luckily Jane likes our friends but it is incredibly tricky having a 15 year old and then three younger children, especially when there are many things we are limited on doing with Ellyn. Janie is a good sport. Oh, and she's beautiful too.

The day ended with turning on our blue lights for "Light It Up Blue" for autism awareness. My neighbor thought is was because I was trying to add a little disco to the neighborhood. I told her I already did that!
Sawyer wanted us to take this picture and post it. He is very in to taking pictures and videos right now and seeing how cute he is. I'm glad he's so self-assured. Hopefully that stays with him, along with a dash of humility!