Thursday, January 28, 2010

We have a decission

Velcro Boy will be attending a communication/pre-K program at B Elementary 2.5 hours per day Monday through Thursday 8-10:30 am.   On his test, he scored a 48, 85 is "normal" for his age.   So there is a significant deficit.   His problems are only in articulation, otherwise he is a very smart "quiet, shy and polite little boy" (therapist's words).   No big surprise here.  

His errors:
final consonant deletion (cu for cup)
stopping (diding for fishing)
cluster reduction (pane for plane)
sound substitutions (dy for cry)
sound assimilations (mum for drum and thumb)
gliding (wabbit for rabbit)

We wrote an IEP.   His goal is to produce targeted speech sounds and patterns in words by the end of the school year (June 3) with 80% mastery.   Assessed by weekly logs and observation by speech pathologist (SLP).

Short term goals:
1. to imitate sound patters of c(C)onsonant/v(V)owel, CV, CVC, CVCV
2. produce strident sounds s, sh, f, v
3. produce final consonants in simple words
4. produce velars (k,g)

An assessment will be made at the end of the school year to determine if we need to continue over the summer.   Another IEP will be written for next school year if necessary.  

How fast he makes progress is entirely decided by Velcro Boy.   They will have exercises to do at home that will help and we will continue to do what we're doing to try to get things moving. (repeating what he says correctly, insisting that he try to say things right, learning letter sounds, etc).

I have to collect the paperwork and register him at the school (waiting on doctor's offices now).   The teacher/SLP should be calling back later today to schedule a time to come observe.   He should be starting next week.   We will be transporting him to and from school.

Given the hours he will be attending, this is going to put a severe dent in our household/schooling schedule.   I'm currently trying to figure that part out.

Making this decision was very difficult for me and has involved a GREAT deal of stress and a lot of praying.   I will provide updates and information as it comes available.   Please pray that he makes speedy progress as this is going to be a very demanding few months.

2 Years ago....

2 years ago...The crib upstairs was empty.
Today the boy that sleeps in it looks like he's outgrowing it.

2 years ago...the hands that belong to the tiny handprints on the wall were still inside me.
Today those hands hold crayons, tinkertoys and love to give hugs to mommy.

2 years ago...I had no idea that I was about to experience *the* most difficult month of my life.
Today I look back to how very fast those days passed.

2 years belly was very full, but my arms were relatively empty.
Today my arms, and my heart, are very full.

2 years ago...I was contemplating how much happens in the span of 9 months.
Today I'm contemplating how very much has happened in the past two years.

Happy birthday are so loved!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Daybook January 25, 2010

For Today...

January 25, 2010

Outside my window... icky looking skies and cooler weather.  Yuck to the first, but Yippee to the second :)  We've been having warmer weather lately, so the return to cooler is nice.  The skies preceding the cold front aren't so nice though.  It's been raining most of the day today, so we're inside :(

I am thinking...that I'm totally overwhelmed and not sure where to go from here.  But this is another post in itself.

I am thankful for...tylenol and ibuprophen.  Other wise I couldn't deal with my TMJ pain.

From the learning rooms... we started on some American History via living books.  We're working on moving from the Pilgrims to the colonies.  The Professor is enjoying it so far.  The World History and timeline programs came in recently.  Now to find the time to review them and get them set-up for use.  I also got a Teach yourself Piano program that just came in.  I need to review that too.

From the kitchen...baked chicken and pasta casserole & salad for dinner.

On weight-loss...I'm even with where I was the week before last.  Down 2.8 total.
I am wearing... black shorts and blue v-neck shirt.  Barefeet.  Tomorrow may be pants and long sleeves.

I am creating...trying to create order.  And a liturgical notebook.  I'm busily pulling ideas from others' blogs to create a notebook of ideas of things to do for the various feast days that we celebrate.  We haven't been very successful at doing much for them in the past, I want to do better this year.  Part of living more deliberately.

I am start a Jesus tree soon!

I am reading...nothing at the moment!

I am get some clarity soon.  I've been feeling very frustrated, and disordered lately.

I am complaining. 

Around the house...starting to prepare for Lent.

One of my favorite things..."eating" my baby.  He has the cutest giggle!

A few plans for the rest of the week: school, grocery shopping, a meeting to determine the intervention Velcro Boy needs for speech therapy.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

The Professor reading the Atlas!

To view more daybooks, please visit Peggy!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Desert Cactus story

As I mentioned earlier, my plant is still alive!  And it bloomed!  Pictures as promised...

This is a desert cactus...

It's not all prickly like most cacti, it's actually quite nice.

When the buds start, they look like this...

Hard to see, but they're the two tiny pink dots at the end of the leaf.

Bud gets bigger...

and bigger...

and bigger still...


it turns into this...

Isn't it magnificent?!?

There are several more buds on the plant already.  I wonder how long the blooms will last...

Thanks so much Tina!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The writer...

We had the carpets cleaned the other day, boy do they look nice. If you've ever had your carpets cleaned, you know they leave behind these little signs so you can't sue them later.

The boys were all having a great deal of fun playing with these signs.

One thing led to another and...

Velcro Boy brings me this to look at.  At first I couldn't make it out.  Then they showed me the sign he copied it from!  If you look closely, you can make out the "C A U T I O N" he wrote.  It looks like he scribbled over it either before or after he wrote the word.  I think he did a phenomenal job!  Especially considering I've never done any handwriting practice with him!  We trace trails and a few shapes, but that's about it.

Not too bad!

Friday, January 22, 2010


We heard back from our case worker today. From the message hubby passed along...Velcro Boy qualifies for therapy by the school district. Now, what *that* means, I have no idea. She wanted to schedule an appointment to meet with us, but hubby didn't know my schedule and I was out. So...I left a message and should hear back Monday.

Chocolate Boy!

Forget Doodlebug, his new nick name is Chocolate Boy!  Check it out...


He sure is cute though!  Under all that chocolate you can see the little boy he's growing into.  I can't believe he'll be 2 in a week.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Small Successes

"It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that."

We finally got the speech therapy evaluation done!  We should hear back about our options in the next week or so.

I finally made some changes to our curriculum!  The books are starting to come in and it's like Christmas all over again.  It's exciting and I'm really looking forward to getting started.

Getting this post done. Today.  Before midnight.  I just can't seem to catch up and stay caught up lately.  Post-holiday blahs???

What are your Small Successes this week?

Stop by Faith and Family Live to read more of this week's Small Successes.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Daybook January 18, 2010

For Today...

January 18, 2010

Outside my window... cooler than the past few days, but not nearly as cold as it was for a couple of weeks there.  Partly cloudy, but nice.

I am thinking...that I need to get to the gym later today.  I'm really enjoying going.  I never thought I would.  Exercise? Enjoy? Me?  Are you kidding???  But it's a lot of fun to watch the calories burned counter going up up up!

I am thankful for...non-moving ground and so many things that we take for granted that the people in Haiti don't have right now.

From the learning rooms... back to school (again!).  After a week back, we ended taking last week off too.  I wasn't at all motivated, things kept coming up and I needed to be productive in some planning areas.  I've made quite a few changes.

We never really had direction on Social Studies, so I found some direction!  We're doing some World History with this program:

Old Testament and Ancient Cultures: Creation to 63 B.C.
Focusing on the Biblical history of the Israelites as the "chosen people" sent to prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah, Volume One includes the surrounding cultures of the Mediterranean world: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome.

Some American History through this.  She refers to it as the American History Trail and offers a few options.  They start Colonial America shortly before the Revolutionary War, so I'm going to fill in The Pilgrims and up to that point with library books as well as some we already have.  If you look at her site, it looks like it's totally too much (and it probably is :) ), so we'll only be following it loosely.

Throughout our history studies, we'll be making a timeline scrapbook.  This site also has lots of options for history projects when the boys are a bit older.

We're also going to do some US Geography.  We're going to study the states in order of statehood and make a scrapbook as we go along.  Ideas found here.

For Science we're doing some computer science.  I found a basic computer book (for seniors) that's written to be understandable to a 6-year old, as well as a few other intro books on computers.  The Professor's enjoying them so far and seems to be learning quickly.

In a few weeks we're going to introduce a Physics course my parents picked up for us last year.  I'm embarrassed to say I've had it for a while and haven't started it yet.  I think it's going to be lots of fun.

I also found this!  I think it's going to be right up The Professor's alley.  Not sure when we'll start it though.  Boy meets machine!  He'll love it!

Everything else is going well.  Except spelling.  It's not even a matter of him not getting it.  That's the problem.  He does get it.  Too well.  He's 6, and in a 3rd grade spelling book, knocking it out too quickly.  We do a lesson, then I quiz him on the next 2-4 lessons.  If he gets all the words, then he doesn't have to do the written work.  When I make him do a lesson, he drags his feet forever.  Regardless of incentive/punishment.  He doesn't like to do spelling.  He doesn't really need to either.  We may table it for a while and come back to it another way later.

On to the Alphabet Path for Velcro Boy and Doodlebug.

From the kitchen...tomato soup for lunch and bean tacos for dinner (totally yummy homemade refried beans!).

On weight-loss...Last week: down 2.8.  This week:I'm up a pound from last week.
I am wearing... back to shorts again (for 2 days).  Tan shorts and a deep purple scoop-necked t-shirt.  Barefoot.

I am creating...more lists!  Lots of books to buy, borrow or steal :)  See the above.

And a new ministry!

I am start a Jesus tree soon!

I am reading...nothing at the moment!

I am hoping...that I can accomplish all that *I* would like to this year.  I wonder what other plans God has in store for me :)

I am hearing...silence.  The kids are asleep.

Around the house...Christmas if finally put away.  The Nativity is still up in honor of the old calendar marking Christmas season until Feb 2nd as the presentation of Mary.  Otherwise just reclaiming some spaces for decorations and toys.

One of my favorite things...perusing homeschool catalogs.  It's almost that time of the year again!

A few plans for the rest of the week: school, grocery shopping, MOM's meeting, oh...and my first...massage!  I can't wait.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
I only looked away for a minute!

Doodlebug's belly.  He was scribbling on paper with a pen.  I only walked away for a minute!  Honest!  I found this a while later when I changed his diaper.

To view more daybooks, please visit Peggy!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My own group

For the terminally insane!  Only kidding :)  Actually, I'm going to be one of  the facilitators for the next MOM's group!  This is something I've been praying about for a long time now.  Ever since I joined the MOM's group back in September.  This group got started about a year or so ago when someone brought the program to Holy Name.  3 people from that group were the facilitators for our group (MOM's 2).  A new group is forming and needs facilitators.  After praying about, and feeling called to do this, I'm going to be one of them.  Another woman from our group is also doing it with me, but we still need a third.

We'll be meeting about every other Monday evening from 7-9 from Feb 8th until May 24th.  We're currently recruiting people for the group.  We've placed ads in the bulletin and made announcements at a few of the Masses this weekend.  We'll do the same thing next weekend.

The study is really interesting.  It makes you dig deeper into yourself, make new friends, and really get more in touch with your spirituality.  I'm really excited about doing this, but I've been wondering lately what I have to give to this new group of women.  Then today's second reading about the gifts given by the Holy Spirit.  Each persons' gift is different, but still given by the same God.  Then the Gospel about doing whatever He tells you to do.

On top of that, yesterday I picked up a 2010 calendar on the "spur of the moment" (I've been missing having one near the desk).  Inside is the following saying:

Just Think
You're not here by chance,
    but by God's choosing.
His hand formed you
    and made you the person you are.
He compares you to no one else-
    you are one of a kind.
You lack nothing that
    His grace can't give you.
He has allowed you to be here
    at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
    for this generation.
-Roy Lessin

All this and an out-of-the-blue email from a list I unsubscribed from over a year ago has convinced me that I am supposed to be doing this group (and  a few other things).  I've also realized that while I'm getting better at reading His signs (I think), I still need to work on listening for His voice.

His perfect timing

It really is.  Perfect.  Here we are, the second Sunday in Ordinary time, and several extrordinary things have already happened.  Of course we've all heard about the terrible earthquakes in Haiti.  Yes, quakes with an "s".  Once an aftershock reaches 5.0, it's considered another quake.  So many horrors that we don't have to deal with here even under similar situations.  So many dead.  So many dying.  So many injured, homeless, injured.  I heard a reference on the radio about how every building had been leveled; be it an office building, church, mansion or cardboard shanty.  God is the great equalizer.  It makes me think of the Magnificat: He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.  Well...He may not have lifted up the lowly, but He certainly brought down the mighty. 

I think He has given us this opportunity to take care of each other.  For each of us to come together as brothers and sisters.  To unite as one human family.  To do what ever He tells us to do.

Today's Liturgy of the Word spoke to me on so many levels today.  Oddly enough I was actually able to pay attention to it ;) 
Isaiah 62:1-5 about God's faithfulness.  He will not leave us alone.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 about the gifts of the Spirit and how each person has a different gift that comes from the same Spirit.  I had been wondering about my gifts lately.  More in another post.
Then of course the Gospel: John 2: 1-11 The Wedding Feast at Cana.  Mary's instructions to the servers: "do whatever He tells you".  How we all need to live that one simple message.  Do what He says to do.  So simple.  Yet, so hard.  We are called to help "the least of these".  Well, right now it's the people in Haiti.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm blooming!

A while back, my prayer partner for the MOM's group that I joined gave me a Christmas cactus.  It's not your typical cactus, It's not prickly at all.  Rather pretty actually in a simple way.  She said it should bloom in about 6 weeks, that was a month ago, if I kept it in indirect sunlight and watered it once a week.  OK, I thought, I can manage this.  Now, I've never been able to keep a plant alive for more than a couple of weeks.  I either over water, or under water.  Too much light, or not enough.  It's always something. 

So I put this plant on hubby's dresser, in a north-facing window (indirect light) and hoped for the best.  I semi faithfully watered it each Sunday (easiest to remember, right ;).  Well, not only is it still alive, but it's budding!  One of the buds is starting to open, the others are taking more time.  I think it took so long because it's not very cold in it's location.  Interestingly enough, the buds are ALL on the side facing the window.  The cold side!

I'm so excited!  Once they open up, I'll post some pictures.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Speech Therapy evaluation

We first met with the case manager (Bonnie) and she looked at the paperwork and asked a few questions.   Then she did a hearing screening.   As my SIL predicted, playful, biting the bottom lip, smiley, silent Velcro Boy came out.   She turned on the machine (it makes a "tweeting" sound) and tried to get him to put up his hand when he heard it.   No cooperation.   Then she had him drop a block into a bucket when he heard it.   Took a few tries, but this worked!   And he cooperated.   They practiced for a bit with the headphones off to get him used to it.   Then she put the headphones on.   He did fine on the test, and passed.  

Then she did a vision screening.   UUGH!   She had him stand facing an eye chart with pictures rather than letters (house, umbrella and apple).   No cooperation what so ever!   Finally he cooperated under threat of my having to leave the room.   Not sure how well that would have worked...but I didn't need to go.   Vision's fine ( knew these two things already anyway!).

Off to the speech therapist's room.   Nice lady too!   She bribed good behavior with truck stickers.   She must know my boy :)   She showed him a few pictures and asked some questions and had him point to certain specific things that required some thought and differentiation.   Passed this section fine too.

Finally, she showed him a (long) series of pictures and had him name the items.   Some she needed very specific names (telephone instead of phone, etc).   She ran him though every letter sound and combo and letter position (beginning, middle, end) I could imagine.   She was making notes the whole time and it looked like she was trying to write down how he said each thing.   She came to the same conclusion that I did months ago (without   a degree or fancy paycheck) that he has articulation issues and everything else looks fine.   She has to score the test, review the results with Bonnie, and Bonnie will call in about a week to schedule to review the results with us and go over our options.

Overall it took about 40 minutes, not too bad.   During the part with the therapist, Jake was sitting in a little kid sized chair.   Boys really don't sit still well for any length of time.   He just HAD to get the chair in the exact spot that he could get it to rock back and forth!   Annoying.  

So we're probably looking at about 2 more weeks until we know something.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We have a date!

The agency that we're going through for a speech therapy evaluation for Velcro Boy finally got back to us yesterday.  Only 1 day short of 8 weeks!  There's government efficiency in action for 'ya!  Anyway...we're scheduled for Thursday morning, my MIL is coming to watch the other 2 kids.  Hopefully all will go well.  I (think) hope they decide he needs therapy, but that it's something easy to correct that won't lead us to months of work and appointments.  We have to bring "the book" that I filled out a while ago, his birth certificate, utility bills and a pint of blood (just kidding!).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Unheard of!

Well...I finally did it...I packed up the shopping cart cover!!!  We got it when The Professor was ~6 months old and it's been in the car ever since.  The timing of the kids' births never allowed for me to put it away.  Well, Doodlebug is old enough not to need it.  And, quite frankly,  it's getting to be a pain.  I pulled it out of the car after our last shopping trip, washed it and it's ready for the next box destined for the attic.

I'm also packing up the high-chair cover, though we haven't used it for several months anyway.

Small Successes

For the week of: January 3, 2010

"It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that."


We got started back to school this week.  I *really* didn't want to, (I have so many unfinished things...)but I know it's what the kids really need.  We all do.  It feels good to be getting back to some structure and order around here.  


I got my projects list for the coming year made up.  I even figured out a loose schedule of sorts so that I can actually get them done this year!!!  I'm so happy.


I got a *bunch* of the kids' older toys packed up into the attic or off to Goodwill.  Stuff they had outgrown or stopped playing with and a few things that just drove me nuts :)  I'm sure we all have a few of those toys around the house.  I'm keeping stuff since I think we're done having kids, but then never know.  I *do* know though, that if I were to get rid of things, I would regret it.

A New Years' Small Success: remembering to actually use the new date each time I've needed to write it (so far)!

What are your Small Successes this week?

Stop by Faith and Family Live to read more of this week's Small Successes.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

1st workout

OUCH!  I went to the gym this morning (did I mention how much the kids like the Kids' Club???) and spent some time on the eliptical.  My legs are *sore*!  I wasn't on it for very long either.  It's going to take some getting used to I think.  I got there just in time to catch the last half of the show Charmed.  I haven't seen it in a few years, you know no tv and all :)  There is a mini-tv attached to each of the machines and a headphones jack.  There is also a book/magazine "shelf" on the machine, but I'm not sure how easy it would be to read while moving around like that.  Comments?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


To the gym anyway.  I went to the gym with hubby today for a look see.  The place is huge!!!  I can't get over the rows upon rows of machines.  It was the first time I've ever been to a gym before, so it was a bit intimidating.  I tried out a few of the machines and got comfortable with them.  I think this may be fun.  The kids went to the "kid's club".  Basically a large playroom with an indoor play structure.  They really like it.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Daybook January 4, 2010

For Today...

January 3, 2010

I can't believe that another year is already gone and another one is here.  Time goes too fast.

Outside my window... Darkness again.  The daytime was beautiful though.  Clear blue sky.  Cold as the dickens (for south Florida ~58 degrees.)  The days are passing too fast lately.  I feel like life is spinning (nearly) out of control and that I can't catch up. 

I am thinking...that I want to live more deliberately this year.  I feel that I've been just drifting along, more-or-less just reacting to things that come up or happen.  Rather than having a prayerfully thought out plan or goals that I would like to meet for the year(insert the sound of God laughing).

I am thankful for...blogging!  I've gotten so many wonderful ideas for schooling, and living the liturgical year that I can't even begin to thank all the lovely ladies that give of themselves so freely.

From the learning rooms... back to school (finally)!  We took the last 3 weeks off (mistake??)  We start back tomorrow.  And I'm looking forward to getting into a routine again.  We're doing full days for 3 days per week for a while, so we can enjoy the beautiful weather that is sometimes a Florida winter.  I'm not sure how long this will go on though.

I created a bit of a household schedule and as long as *I* stick to it, it works quite well.  The problem is not getting distracted by this wonderful machine I'm typing on right now ;)  In addition, The Professor and I sat down and discussed his subjects and revised the way we do our school days.  I think we came up with a workable routine.

I'm also revising (again) how I do the lesson plans.  It drives me nuts to plan out to do a certain amount of work each week, not get to some of it, and have to flip backwards in the plan book to see what was planned when we're into a new week.  So I was doing a new plan each week.  Time consuming!  So I decided, last night no less, that I *think* I can live with making a month's worth of plans.  That way I can change the plans if we get behind, or ahead which does happen, and hopefully not drive myself too crazy.

From the kitchen...chicken with duck sauce, brown rice and mixed veggies.

On weight-loss...I started out this year with the same resolve I started last year.  To get healthier and lose some weight in the process.  My goal last year: 40 pounds.  Real results:  12 pounds lost.  Not so great.  Good start though.  A vacation half-way through the year got me off course and I never got back on again.  So, I'm starting this year with a more realistic goal:  18 pounds.  By May 31st.  I think it's quite doable.  About a pound per week, with a few set-backs allowed.  I'm also renewing my goals of eating healthier and getting some exercise.  I want to feel better as well as like the scale a bit more.  So, I joined the same gym that hubby goes to.  They have a kids club and everything.  While I sweat, they get to play.

I've eliminated high fructose corn syrup, partly and fully hydrogenated oils and interestified oils as well.  There are one or two products in the house that still have these items, and some slip past on occasion.

I am wearing... jeans and a purple sweatshirt.  It's chilly!

I am creating...a very long list of projects and some organization.  I have so many things that have piled up on me that I want to do that I decided they might actually get done if I were to put it all down on "paper".  I started a list.  It's a very long list.

I'm also working on some reorganization.  The bookshelves need a major overhaul.  Especially now that my blockade to keep Doodlebug from the "big kid" books no longer works.  Fortunately it doesn't seem to be necessary either.  He is so good with books most of the time that I'm not too concerned.  The books with tabs and flaps and pull outs, that's a different story.

I am bed soon.  I'm tired tonight.  I have been a lot lately.

I am reading...nothing right now.  I finished the other books I was reading, so I'm taking a bit to get a reading list together for this year.  Any suggestions??

I am hoping...for a productive, peaceful and purposeful new year.

I am hearing...blessed silence.  Which is something the Professor also likes!  Leaving Wal-Mart today (after a marathon shopping trip), he's sitting in the car with his brothers while I'm finishing loading the car.  I get in, and before I start the engine, he says "mommy, I like the sound of silence."

Around the's still Christmas.  And it will be for another week.  Sunday ends Christmas season with the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, and we're celebrating Epiphany here on Saturday with a 3 Kings get-together with the family. 

One of my favorite things...cuddling with my kids.  I've been able to do a lot of that lately with all the books we've been reading lately.  So many little time.

A few plans for the rest of the week: School, visit the gym (never been, want to see the lay of the land prior to my first work out), my first gym workout, MOM's meeting, Epiphany celebration, knocking out some of my short-term projects.

Here is picture thought I am sharing... nada!  No new pictures, except for Christmas.  I need to break out the camera again.

To view more daybooks, please visit Peggy!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Happy Feast of the Epiphany everyone!  Not officially until Wednesday of course, but since the Feast was moved to today...

He really did come for all man-kind.