Tuesday, March 30, 2010

From Signs of Love to Words.... Our Journey Part 6

It was now mid March and I was working at about 18 hours a day to find not only the reason Joshua wasn't speaking, but a way to fix it. I know that it may seem kind of weird that I fixated so much on the "why" he didn't speak, and if you have never actually had a person on your life that has a speech issue then you don't know that with the different speech impediments comes different therapies and different ways of handling the "problem." If he was just slow that was a great answer in my books, but I knew he wasn't, and I knew that the answer wasn't just autism.

I have mentioned it before that people had used the word autistic on Joshua and I think that without understanding why I came off strong the wrong opinion might be reached about how I feel about it. I will admit that prior to any knowledge of autism I, like many others, had a preconceived idea of what autism was. I watched a movie when I was young that had this smart little boy sitting in the corner of a room rocking back and forth while his parents sat in another room behind a glass mirror (like the ones in the interrogation rooms) discussing how he should be placed in a home. With movies like that out there of course it is something that sends chills up your spine when you hear it, especially about your baby. However after the first few times that I had someone make the autism comment I really looked into it, and met other parents that had children that were diagnosed as "being on the autism spectrum," truly unless you had knowledge of the situation you would never have guessed that they had it.

Now the reason that I was so I guess you could say forceful with Dr.X (the pediatrician) was because I at this point had almost on a daily basis someone tell me that my son was probably autistic. I remember one girl made the comment that I was simply in denial, and that I needed to just accept it. She had knowledge of children because she was a daycare worker and thus had the capacity to diagnose him. I had many friends who read the book Jenny McCarthy wrote about her son and used it as a map on how to deal with my "situation." Please know that I am not saying one bad word about Jenny, but she had her own war path that she and her son were on, and Joshua and I were on a totally different path... we just had the same style flash light. It was this big elephant in the room with anyone who thought they knew Joshua, if they didn't tell me in person I could hear the whispers as they left my house, "she really needs to come to grasp with what is happening with her son, if it were me I would..." I would have cried had I not been so angry, I wasn't oblivious, I had professionals in the house almost on a daily basis, I was so happy that a majority of them were named Michelle, it really helped. At one point we have over 15 professionals reviewing Joshua and the only consistency that they all had (other than Dr. X) was that this boy indeed did not have autism.

There are so many tests that can be done to come to this conclusion, but the main one that I kept pointing out was that Joshua had ONE symptom which is a sign of autism, and that was that he did not speak. He was perfect in every way, but could not say a word, or even more than that anything other than "ahhhahhahh ahhahhhaha."

At this point we had ruled out quite a few different possible reasons as to why he didn't speak. It felt as though we were untangling a bundle of chain necklaces, you need to sit there and focus, and slowly look at each strand, and ever so carefully you pull one through a loop and you feel like you either took a step forward, or maybe you made it worse. Sometimes you need to walk away and stop looking at it because you are going cross eyed... and well I WAS! I needed out. I was breaking and so was Joshua... we needed some rest. So that's what we did on day 402 we rested.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Organize Me, Myself and All the Things Around Me.

As most of you know my hubby Chris and I just moved into a bigger townhouse. We bought a 3 bedroom with rec room which is for the kids... okay really it is to keep me from loosing my cool every time I walk into my living room and step on that proverbial Hot Wheel... GRRR! I need a space for me... so that we are not living on top of each other all the time.

So we moved here in January and immediately after I had back surgery to repair the damage done by the wonderful car accident I had back in July 2007. Some may wonder why I am just having the surgery now but that is another post... and that post is one I should right after a few glasses of wine because that is all I will be doing. As we moved in and the house was a disaster... it looked fine when we did our walk through but was a nightmare when we actually went in. It took 7 hours to clean the stove and oven because it had never been pulled out and cleaned... it was so gross! There was a slug under the oven! YUCK! Anyways the time that I had before the surgery and after the nightmare of a move was only 10 days... and so I set up the kitchen the best I could as well as the bathroom... The living room was pretty close and everything else would have to wait.

I had the surgery and I thought that I would be better in about 4 weeks... I am now on week 7 and I am really no better now than I was at week 2... which makes me quite upset. I have stared at these walls now for 7 weeks from a couch... and I am a get up and do it yourself lady... not a sit and wait for it to get done. So I have a lot of ideas and no way of exercising my requests... except to ask Chris and he has painted the almost the entire downstairs.

So I have come to the conclusion I will organize myself in small ways at first... doing what I can... financially, emotionally and then move to the house... it is my goal by summer that this house runs so smoothly that no form of distraction can change this new machine...

Here is my goal list:

Become debt free

Dedicate time to myself to do things that I like... sewing, scrap booking etc.

NO MORE LOOSE PAPER around the house... we always seem to have piles of stuff everywhere and I have no idea how this happens because I HATE paper... and I thought

I had made myself a paperless family... guess not!

Finish all the projects around the house... ALL 56 OF THEM.... Sorry Chris 55 of them you will need to do.

Finish all the rooms including my bedroom... with curtains and all (I am really bad at not ever having curtains... our neighbours love us)

I think that this is a possible achievement if I work hard.... okay make Chris work hard!

The Family Tree

Okay so my dad and I have been talking alot about our/ my family tree. Years ago he did a massive amount of work to identify where we came from. I went out for dinner with him the other night and we sat and talked about my Great Grandparents, my Great Great Grandparents, what their professions were and where in the world they came from. This got me thinking. I love family trees but no one ever displays them... I cam across a website called "A girl and her glue gun" and she had done the coolest family tree on her wall. I was then searching for some Bo Bunny scrapbooking supplies and I came across a family tree that is just simply the coolest idea ever for someone who is really crafty. I have since found many pictures of really awesome creative ways to display your family tree. Now that we are in our new house I will have to use one of our bare walls to be creative... Which one is your favorite?

Friday, March 26, 2010

From Signs of Love to Words.... Our Journey Part 5

Sign Language.

Now despite the fact that many strangers and people who know nothing about sign language consistantly made comments that I was wrong for teaching Joshua sign language it was the most wonderful thing we have ever done for this family. This is a picture of Joshua signing "daddy."

It was now January and I had yet to hear a single word, at this point we had been told that Joshua would never speak and the scary part was that I could think that the doctors were as wrong as ever but in the end Joshua still didn't speak. I decided to buy and research all the signing books out there. I was determined to have Joshua speak even if it was only using sign language. I felt that if I focused on this that maybe it would make the battle of the words a little less of a battle and more of a disagreement.

I did it the hard way and learned as much signing as I could then at about 20 words I sat down to teach Joshua. It was a Saturday night and I signed "I Love You" and for the first time he signed "I Love You, Mom" I cried... I simply turned into a pile of jello. He knew what he was saying and he understood, he then stood up went into my mom's kitchen and asked her for a banana using sign. By the next day he had learned all the signs that I had practiced for the last two weeks.

I have to say that instead of spending hundreds of dollars on all of the books to attempt to teach yourself and then your child buy the very simple "Signing Time" DVD's. These DVD's are amazing, they teach you and your baby and your kids will LOVE it. My husband watched them and learned in a day... it is simple sings and it is learned. The lady who makes them has well into 40 DVD's now... it really is amazing and little Peyton picked up the siging as well.

Within the two weeks that I had learned signing, and taught Joshua, our lifes had changed. Joshua was now letting me know what he wanted, juice, milk, crackers. It was a change for the better, we were finally understanding each other and we were working on the same page. I will forever think that sign language is what brought some sanity into our chaotic lives and I also think that it opened my eyes to a world around me that I was completly oblivious about.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

From Signs of Love to Words.... Our Journey Part 4

On the way home I called my husband and explained what Dr.X had said about Joshua, we both were quite upset. Would we really never hear him speak? Never hear mommy, daddy, grandma or grandpa... never hear those amazing three words that make you have goose bumps all over, I LOVE YOU?. I had two options, one was to accept it and just go down the easy path of acceptance, grief and then excuses. No, he doesn't talk and he won't, we have accepted it so he just grunts and we attempt to read his mind. Or option two.... FIGHT LIKE HELL to get the answers, dedicate my life to my son and be his ADVOCATE. I chose option two.

When I say "dedicate my life to my son" I mean it in every possible way. It was Christmas time and Chris' grandpa had sent money for the kids, I put that into speech therapy. I sold our second car and put that money into Joshua's therapy, Chris' mom began picking us up during the week to take Joshua to a drop-in class so that he could interact with other kids his age and hopefully have a break through. I found a private speech therapist and spoke with her over the phone, while she was expensive she was worth it for my son.(Lets call her Mrs.D) He would have a 2 hour assessment session which would be the kick start to this therapy sessions. The first session Chris and I both went in with Joshua and she spent two hours discussing her "legal documents" what would happen if we showed up late, how you need to pre-pay for sessions etc. When we left I was a little uneasy but I had never gone to a SLP (Speech Therapist) before, so we booked the appointments and began our sessions, or at least what I thought were sessions.

Session 1: $100, time: 30min
Use two words, no more. Look cat. Hurt knee.
Do not work on colours, shapes, numbers or manners. The reasoning behind this was that would you prefer him to say "hurt blue" or "hurt floor"? It made sense at the time, however I said manners are a must. If he wants juice he would have to sign please and thank you, he is two and can manage this. Mrs.D said she found it "unnecessary" but I can do whatever I want in my house.

We practiced using two words only, "want juice", "big dog", "mom loves." it was very hard and by the next session there was still zero progress.

Session 2: $100, Time: 28 minutes
Use two words, no more.
Play with him.(sorry but duh)
Mrs. D's daughter was much younger than Joshua and she was already talking, she insisted on telling me this every time I saw her. She had used the same two word strategy, and it worked wonders on her daughter. I just needed to work harder, I obviously wasn't dedicating enough time to this. I was to stop reading to him, he could never watch any TV and should be practising ever hour that he is awake. I went home and we tried, but my son is the biggest book worm and to attempt to stop reading made no sense, I could see a limitation on TV but all day every day therapy? I started to talk to my mother-in-law about how I felt that this was maybe not the right fit, how I felt that the class was more her asking me to sit on the floor for half an hour and "play" just using two words and then at the end of the session I would give her $100 and she would give me a sticky note with her instructions. She told me if I didn't feel like it was working then to stop, find another SLP, but out of either fear of making a hasty decision or out of pressure from Mrs. D and the promises made by her I stayed a few more times.

Session 3: $100, Time 26 minutes

Use two words, no more.
Play with him

These words were on three sticky notes now... and if you notice the time I am paying her $100 for 30 minutes and yet only getting 26... I was always early, I would show up 10-15 minutes prior to make sure that I was in no way late. I asked Mrs.D about the two word strategy and I said that we had been working on it for weeks now. I have followed all her rules and yet we are not any closer to speaking then we were before she started. I also said that I wanted to know what the diagnosis was, I know he doesn't talk but why? Mrs. D said that she would need more time, and that it is because he is "stubborn" and it will just take this type of therapy for awhile before we will see true progress.

The next day I went to a drop-in class that I always took Joshua to, and I was sitting next to a girl (lets call her Laura), that I had met a few times but I had not seen for the last few weeks. I started to talk to her about what was happening with Joshua and that I had not heard him speak. She had four boys and three of them needed speech therapy so she was offering great advice. I explained that we go in for a session and that these are private sessions; Mrs. D sits in a chair and tells me to sit on the floor and play with him. At the end of the session Mrs. D hands me a sticky note and it says the same thing every week. Laura said that her kid's therapist sits with them and works with them on a one on one basis, she said she simply sits outside or in a corner while they work. All that being said maybe this therapist had a different technique and I really should give her a chance.

I was pretty sure that the Mrs. D's chances had run out but I had an appointment booked and if I didn't go I would have to pay anyways, so I would give her one last shot.

Session 4: $100, Time: 20 Minutes!

The appointment was booked at 3:35pm, and we arrived at 3:20 and Joshua played in the little kitchen while we waited. Mrs. D came out and took Joshua in at 3:35 exactly. We sat down and she asked us how our holidays were, she said that she had had a busy time. Her kids were just running her crazy over the holiday season. She said that her little 1 year old had been singing holiday songs and has really advanced in her speaking abilities. Her daughter now spoke at a 3 year old level. I looked at the clock and it was now 3:45 and I had been trying all this time to interject with information pertaining to my child. Don't get me wrong I am happy for people who have kids that just get the whole talking bit, but at this point in my life on this day, I am paying her $100 to talk about her child! Mrs. D asked me to sit on the floor with him and play the same game we had been playing, two word strategy and lets see what he would do. I asked a handful of questions because I wasn't entirely sure that he was "just stubborn" and maybe it was something else. One of the questions I asked was if sign language would be beneficial to him, she said that it would set him back because he would use sign language and not attempt to talk. At 3:55 she looked at the clock and said "okay, times up!" I looked at her and said "no, the appointment was at 3:35 and we went in at that time, this session should be over at 4:05, I am paying you for a half hour session and I want half an hour. I actually want the therapy to go till 4:15 because 10 minutes was spent talking about how great your daughter is!" Mrs. D argued with me and said that she took us into the class early, and that she has other people waiting, and that she needed a bathroom break. I had a lot of words that I would have loved to express to her at that moment but, I just laughed and gathered my things and left.

As I was leaving Mrs. D told me I would need to make sure that she got payment for the next session and to book it with her receptionist, she reminded me that I had signed a contract with her to this effect. As she said this she had a smirk, almost as though she knew she had won. I went up to the receptionist and opened up my wallet, I started to flip through it, I gave a confused look, then said "I am so sorry I must have forgotten my cheques, can I drop one off tomorrow?" the receptionist said that it would be fine, and we walked out of that office and never looked back.

I called and cancelled the appointment and told her that we would no longer need her services. She returned our call and said exactly what I thought she would, she demanded that we pay her as per the contract. I explained that the contract was that she would provide 30 minute sessions, and to this date she has only provided one, so she breached our contract and if she felt that strongly to take me to court. We to this day have never heard from her again, and we have filed a complaint with the BCSLP services.

This was one of many "battles" that we have made... however this was the most costly battle.

Happy St. Patty's Day!!!

So I hope some of you took one or a couple of the ideas... I have had a few e-mails from people who said that they did the pudding and it was alot of fun.

Remember to wear green and be safe!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Inside Edition does a report on Children with Apraxia

I loved this report because it lets you see other children with Apraxia and adults... I thought it was quite helpful!

Check it out...


What is Apraxia?

For those of you reading out there that want might want to know what it is and what the sympotoms are here is some information from the Apraxia of Speech website.

What is apraxia of speech?
Apraxia of speech, also known as verbal apraxia or dyspraxia, is a speech disorder in which a person has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently. It is not due to weakness or paralysis of the speech muscles (the muscles of the face, tongue, and lips). The severity of apraxia of speech can range from mild to severe.

What are the types and causes of apraxia?There are two main types of speech apraxia: acquired apraxia of speech and developmental apraxia of speech. Acquired apraxia of speech can affect a person at any age, although it most typically occurs in adults. It is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that are involved in speaking, and involves the loss or impairment of existing speech abilities. The disorder may result from a stroke, head injury, tumor, or other illness affecting the brain. Acquired apraxia of speech may occur together with muscle weakness affecting speech production (dysarthria) or language difficulties caused by damage to the nervous system (aphasia).

Developmental apraxia of speech (DAS) occurs in children and is present from birth. It appears to affect more boys than girls. This speech disorder goes by several other names, including developmental verbal apraxia, developmental verbal dyspraxia, articulatory apraxia, and childhood apraxia of speech. DAS is different from what is known as a developmental delay of speech, in which a child follows the "typical" path of speech development but does so more slowly than normal.

The cause or causes of DAS are not yet known. Some scientists believe that DAS is a disorder related to a child's overall language development. Others believe it is a neurological disorder that affects the brain's ability to send the proper signals to move the muscles involved in speech. However, brain imaging and other studies have not found evidence of specific brain lesions or differences in brain structure in children with DAS. Children with DAS often have family members who have a history of communication disorders or learning disabilities. This observation and recent research findings suggest that genetic factors may play a role in the disorder.

What are the symptoms?People with either form of apraxia of speech may have a number of different speech characteristics, or symptoms. One of the most notable symptoms is difficulty putting sounds and syllables together in the correct order to form words. Longer or more complex words are usually harder to say than shorter or simpler words. People with apraxia of speech also tend to make inconsistent mistakes when speaking. For example, they may say a difficult word correctly but then have trouble repeating it, or they may be able to say a particular sound one day and have trouble with the same sound the next day. People with apraxia of speech often appear to be groping for the right sound or word, and may try saying a word several times before they say it correctly. Another common characteristic of apraxia of speech is the incorrect use of "prosody" -- that is, the varying rhythms, stresses, and inflections of speech that are used to help express meaning.

Children with developmental apraxia of speech generally can understand language much better than they are able to use language to express themselves. Some children with the disorder may also have other problems. These can include other speech problems, such as dysarthria; language problems such as poor vocabulary, incorrect grammar, and difficulty in clearly organizing spoken information; problems with reading, writing, spelling, or math; coordination or "motor-skill" problems; and chewing and swallowing difficulties.

The severity of both acquired and developmental apraxia of speech varies from person to person. Apraxia can be so mild that a person has trouble with very few speech sounds or only has occasional problems pronouncing words with many syllables. In the most severe cases, a person may not be able to communicate effectively with speech, and may need the help of alternative or additional communication methods.

How is it diagnosed?
Professionals known as speech-language pathologists play a key role in diagnosing and treating apraxia of speech. There is no single factor or test that can be used to diagnose apraxia. In addition, speech-language experts do not agree about which specific symptoms are part of developmental apraxia. The person making the diagnosis generally looks for the presence of some, or many, of a group of symptoms, including those described above. Ruling out other contributing factors, such as muscle weakness or language-comprehension problems, can also help with the diagnosis.

To diagnose developmental apraxia of speech, parents and professionals may need to observe a child's speech over a period of time. In formal testing for both acquired and developmental apraxia, the speech-language pathologist may ask the person to perform speech tasks such as repeating a particular word several times or repeating a list of words of increasing length (for example, love, loving, lovingly). For acquired apraxia of speech, a speech-language pathologist may also examine a person's ability to converse, read, write, and perform non-speech movements. Brain-imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be used to help distinguish acquired apraxia of speech from other communication disorders in people who have experienced brain damage.

How is it treated?
In some cases, people with acquired apraxia of speech recover some or all of their speech abilities on their own. This is called spontaneous recovery. Children with developmental apraxia of speech will not outgrow the problem on their own. Speech-language therapy is often helpful for these children and for people with acquired apraxia who do not spontaneously recover all of their speech abilities.

Speech-language pathologists use different approaches to treat apraxia of speech, and no single approach has been proven to be the most effective. Therapy is tailored to the individual and is designed to treat other speech or language problems that may occur together with apraxia. Each person responds differently to therapy, and some people will make more progress than others. People with apraxia of speech usually need frequent and intensive one-on-one therapy. Support and encouragement from family members and friends are also important.

In severe cases, people with acquired or developmental apraxia of speech may need to use other ways to express themselves. These might include formal or informal sign language, a language notebook with pictures or written words that the person can show to other people, or an electronic communication device such as a portable computer that writes and produces speech.

What research is being done?
Researchers are searching for the causes of developmental apraxia of speech, including the possible role of abnormalities in the brain or other parts of the nervous system. They are also looking for genetic factors that may play a role in DAS. Other research on DAS is aimed at identifying more specific criteria and new techniques that can be used to diagnose the disorder and distinguish it from other communication disorders. Research on acquired apraxia of speech includes studies to pinpoint the specific areas of the brain that are involved in the disorder. In addition, researchers are studying the effectiveness of various treatment approaches for acquired and developmental apraxia of speech.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Personalized Kids Pillows.... Fun and Easy to Make!

How cool is this, a great personalized pillow just for your little one made by the one and only YOU! I fully plan on making a bunch of these... As soon as my back is better. If anyone tackles this before me let me know how it worked. As I have said in earlier posts... I like to sew but am not the greatest... we will see.

You can go to:


And see more images and get the pattern yourself... I am so excited!!! YEAH!

Friday, March 12, 2010

St. Patty's day arts, crafts and recipes- Torn Paper Shamrock

Torn Paper Shamrock
This is a super simple paper project for younger children that actually looks like something when they are done. You can adapt the idea to make a greeting card or decoration.

What You'll Need:
Green construction paper
Large sheet of contrasting paper
What to Do:

1. Tear green construction paper into small pieces. Half inch squares work pretty well, but you can go a little bigger if you're working with a very young child.

2. Draw a large shamrock shape in the middle of the sheet of contrasting paper.

3. Spread glue around the inside of the design. Try to cover the entire surface of the shamrock so that covering it will be easier.

4. Put the torn green paper on the glue to create the shamrock design. Let the glue dry completely.

Drizzle a little glue on top of the torn paper and then sprinkle with glitter.

Use this idea to create a greeting card for parents or grandparents.

Use the torn paper idea to create a pot of gold, leprechaun, or other St. Patrick's Day design.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Angel's Lullaby... for my little Peyton

Midnight moonlight shining through the curtain lace
Paints a perfect picture on your perfect face
One sweet angel sleeping in my arms
You are the promise I knew God would keep
You are the gift that makes my world complete

And you'll never know how much I love you
But I'll keep on telling you my whole life through
Now I believe in miracles, and you're the reason why
So dream on while I sing you my angel's lullaby
-Reba McEntire

St. Patty's day arts, crafts and recipes

St. Patty's day is a great day to spend playing games with the kids, arts and crafts and having a fun time with the food that you serve. I will be posting new recipes everyday till St.Patty's day and I challange everyone to try at least one of these ideas... take pictures or just tell me how they work....

-Leprechaun Pudding
1 box of vanilla pudding (follow the recipe on the box)
green food colouring

Add the green food colouring until it is the right colour for you... remember that if you make it too dark it can have a bitter taste to it... so add and taste as you go.

While it is cooling in the fridge get the kids together with a couple boxes of smarties or mm's and have them arrange the colours according to the colours of the rainbow. Ask them what their rainbow would look like. You can have it as a group pudding or little individual puddings for each of them to make their own rainbow on.

When the pudding is ready add the rainbow and serve with a gold chocolate dollar. There you have it Leprechan Pudding.... so easy and fun... (as well as really good.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

From Signs of Love to Words.... Our Journey Part 3

It isn't my fault that Joshua has apraxia, but it is my fault that I didn't get him the help that he needed when I started to notice the problems. I will live with that for the rest of my life. I will always feel as though I let him down, and I don't think I will ever be able to take the compliment that I am a great mother and actually feel it as the truth. Everytime I hear those words "great mother" it flashes pictures of him in my mind of all the times I thought this isn't right... of all the times that I shrugged it off as "he is going at his own pace." As I write this I am crying because this is the first time I have ever written down how I feel I let him. He needed me and I didn't beleive in myself enough to stand up for him. I remember yelling at my own mother when she would try to bring up the subject that something could be wrong. What? No! He is smart. He understands me. All children grow at their own pace. I did take him to the doctor, and he said he is fine... no I don't think he needs a second opinion. MOM JUST STOP IT AND LEAVE ME ALONE! I AM THE MOTHER! I didn't want to think something was wrong... but the morning after Peyton's Dr's appointment I sat on my bed and looked at him and he was talking his usual "ahhahhhahh hhaaahhaahhha" and I burst into tears and accepted that he needed help.

Having a world class neurologist telling me I needed to get a referral for Joshua to a pediatrian to find out what could possibly be wrong was my wake up call. We know something is wrong.... but the question is what? I call the doctor's office, I book an appointment and plan my questions, my concerns and my requests. It is important I have found to ALWAYS go over what you are requesting of your doctor in order for you to get the best treatment. Unless you have the worlds greatest doctor (which we do now) who will read your mind and send you or your kids for the tests required, do the lists. My concerns were:

-He is 2 and not speaking
-He was in a car accident and hit his head
-Can I get a referral to a Pediatrian?
-What is my next step?

I got to the doctor' office, and I explain what has been happening. I said he is 2, hasn't said a word and I would like a referral. That was followed by a very stupid look in this doctor's face and a "all children develop in their own time", it was a fight and an argument to get him to answer these 4 simple questions.SIDE NOTE: If a doctor won't answer your questions then he/she can't answer your questions, I have learned this along the way. He finally asked me to wait a little longer just to see what would happen; that is when the big mama bear came out... I demanded a referral, I explained that had I listened before with Peyton I wouldn't have a baby girl and that if he wanted me to leave he better get that referral, and not to any doctor but a specific doctor I had talked to.

I went home annoyed and mad, this wasn't the first time I had brought up issues. When Joshua didn't walk I took him to the doctor and asked for a referral to a pediatrian, I was told I was "over reacting" and that " new moms do this." If you take nothing from my writing other than this I will be happy. NEVER EVER let a doctor make you feel as though you are a bad parent for having concerns, just because the doctor doesn't see it does not mean it doesn't happen, or that something is not wrong. Even new moms know when something is wrong...the difference is making a move and advocating for your child. I let this crap go on for way too long and it was going to stop. If he thought I was bad before he NEVER saw me mad...

I waited for weeks and finally called his office and they said that the doctor that I had requested was booked for months (if I remember correctly it was 3-4 months.) However, if I wanted his co-partner who was in the same office then I could take Joshua to her. I thought why not they are in the same office so they could consult and if I ever needed I could switch Joshua over to Peyton's doctor.

The appointment was in January, I went to the building and as I read the list I realized they had booked the appointment with a lady who was yes in the same office building... But 3 floors away from the doctor I had requested. I was already there so I decided to give this doctor a chance... We walked in, waited about 30 minutes then we met this doctor; and so that it becomes a little less confusing lets call her Dr.X. She sat with Joshua watching him for about and hour and a half and then asked me to get his hearing checked, and eyes checked. She referred me to The Center For Child Development, I told her that I had already done all of that. His hearing and sight are perfect and he has been put on the wait list for a speech therapist, however as the wait was quite long we were going to try to find a way to hire a private speech therapist (otherwise referred to as a SLP). Dr.X took a long look at me and said, "I am thinking it could be autism" I chuckled as I had heard this before and usually from the inexperienced daycare workers who think that they have the ability to diagnose anyone because they work with children. So I replied with, "no he doesn't... that is just the flavor of the month diagnosis... look at him he has one out of all the signs. He doesn't talk" She said that she would call around to other Dr's to get their opinion but her opinion was "be prepared to NEVER hear him speak." I was crushed... and sobbed the whole way home. I want her to be wrong so bad... but is she right?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Worlds Greatest and Easiest Banana Bread!

I am a BIG fan of banana bread and I LOVE making it. I found a wonderful recipe that everyone should really try... Hope you enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.

2.In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.

3.Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Peyton and her baby!

When I was Peyton's age my Grandma (on my dad's side) made me a little baby doll and basket with bunting bag. I kept it all these years in hopes that I would one day have a little girl and I could give her the little doll that I loved so much. These are some pictures of when my mom found it and gave it to her this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

From Signs of Love to Words.... Our Journey Part 2

The day after the dinner party I immediatly went to the local book store and searched for books that would help him. Well books that I thought would help him. I picked up a book called "First 100 Words", this book was suppose to show the picture and we would say the word and he would mimic. I sat with this book for weeks, I placed it in front of him and he would look and point at the pictures but all he would say was "ahhhahaahh hahhhaaahhha." It was as though we was reading it and saying the animals names but I had no idea what he was really saying.

It is a vivid memory I have sitting at the edge of his bed crying, I asked him to just please try to say something... anything daddy, mommy anything. There were days where he would make a sound that sounded like daddy and I would call my husband just so happy " he said daddy, he said it he is talking!" and then I would put the phone on speaker and my husband would say "hi buddy, it's daddy" and in return get "aaahhhaahhaa hhaaahhhaaah"

I had talked to lots of parents and Dr's and they all said the same, "just you wait, he will turn 2 and bam! He will be talking and you will wish he was quiet again." I honestly believed them, so when his 2nd birthday came around I had high hopes, this was the year, he will turn 2 and days later he will be speaking. I found myself thinking "wouldn't it be so awesome if he just up and started to talk at his birthday party? That would be great!" I had so many expectations. Joshua's 2nd birthday came and went, days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and yet we waited. When Joshua was 26 months old we welcomed our little girl into the world, Joshua thought nothing of her, he even packed her diaper bag and baby seat and set it at the door when she was 3 days old. He was not impressed that he had to share his time with this thing.

When Peyton was 10 days old I noticed that she was grey when she would sleep, I took her to the Dr, and he said it was nothing, just go home. Well I trusted my insticts, and while the details are all for another post about Peyton, I will tell you that I took her to the hospital. I took her one night because these "grey spells" just seemed to get worse, and I had a gut feeling, one that I had not listened to very well with Joshua. But I was not going to doubt myself this time, I insisted that she was admitted, they did however we were released the next day. Out of fear something would happen, I stayed up all night watching and waiting... making sure that she was breathing. I finally met a Pediatrician for Peyton and when I saw him he asked why I was so tired. I explained that I had a feeling something was wrong, that she would die while I slept and I wouldn't know until it was too late, so I stay up all night every night watching her. This Dr listened, he admitted her to the hospital and that night in the hospital I slept, for the first time in 3 days! That morning at 3am Peyton coded, she had stopped breathing! I begged with God, I sat on the floor and begged, I offered everything I had, but at that point I only had a voice I promised if she made it through I would be and advocate for my kids and I find out what was wrong and I would scream it from the roof tops so that other parents wouldn't have to go through what I was. Peyton was sent to Childrens Hospital in Vancouver where we lived for 6 weeks, and I talked, asked questions, cried, sobbed, begged and pleaded with Dr's and nurses and we got our answer, Peyton had Epilepsy.

Once we received the diagnosis that Peyton had Epilepsy I immediatly asked if it was possible that Joshua had it and we just didn't notice it. Was that the reason he wasn't speaking? Did I have a gene that I passed down that gave my kids seizures and that was why he didn't talk?

I had met AMAZING Dr's and I used them to my advantage, I would ask them to look at Joshua, I would ask their opinion. I was fully ready to be turned down but I never was. I met a neurologist for Peyton and she told me to get a Pediatrician for Joshua, because we needed to get him tested as soon as possible.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

From Signs of Love to Words.... Our Journey Part 1

My son Joshua will be 4 in May, and honestly I catch myself looking at him and thinking really? It has only been 3 years since this amazing and wonderful little boy changed my entire life? 3 years, almost 4 now since he was placed in my arms and I was told "Congrats Mommy"... wow! I had no idea what the word "mommy" truly ment... what it is to hold that title... now I do. Here is our story.

I was young when I had Joshua, I was 21, 5 days short of 22... I was two weeks early but I had been on bed rest from 28 weeks so I was happy to meet the little man/ or lady as we opted to keep it a suprise. My water broke at my best friends house, on her couch and as I was driving home I received a call asking if "I felt wet?" I replyed "no" and Holly (my best friend) said "cause, um.... your water broke on my couch" I was so embarrassed that I actually found my self lying "Really? cause I am not wet at all... maybe it was your cat?"

2 Days later I was induced, and it was a very hard and painful labour. I am allergic to Latex and I had explained that to the Dr's and nurses however there was an accident and they ended up using latex gloves and a latex catheter. As a result my body swelled to three times the normal amount... I actually got stretch marks from it! 21 Hours and 2.5 hours of pushing later I met my little man, it was literally a second I saw him and he saw me, and then we realized I was in trouble, and now so was Joshua. There was a code blue on Joshua, and I went into shock because with all the swelling the placenta broke inside of me and I went toxic. The nurses and Dr told my mom who was with me to step outside while they worked, she told them that if I was as serious as they said I was she was going to stay. She said "I was here when she was brought into this world, if she leaves it I want to be here." WOW. I have to say I adore my mom, and she is other than my husband and kids the most wonderful thing that has ever happend to me.

After alot of issues at the hospital I was released and went home with my husband... we were so very new at being parents. I look back now and am amazed that we managed to keep him alive. Honestly you have to take a course to learn how to do anything now, a computer is really complex so you take a course, and if you really mess it up and fry the mother board you buy a new one... but you can have a kid with no course, nothing... and if you mess it up... well therapy will be the least of your issues.

I was young and that is not an excuse, but I didn't know that there are places for you to go in your town or on the internet. I had no idea what I was doing and my family Dr at the time was not helpful. Joshua was always quiet, he was what most people would describe as the perfect baby... (after the colic was gone) I could take him on airplanes, to weddings, on car rides and he would would sit quietly, he might play with a toy, but he was SUPER cuddly and loved to be held. His milestones were met but very late, sitting at 6 months, crawling at 13 months, walking at 19 months... and now first word at 3 years 2 months!

When Joshua was 14 months old he and I were in an automobile accident. I was driving, he was in a childs seat in the back, asleep. We were stopped at a red light and a drunk driver rear ended the car behind me which rear ended me and then I was slamed into the car in front of me(a 4 car pile up). Joshua stopped crawling, cried all the time and we just all felt like something was wrong. The hospital released him and me, and our Dr said he was fine, and that he probably just had whiplash. I should give him a few days and it would be better, so as I had always done I waited, because I trusted my Dr.

When Joshua was 18 months old I became pregnant with our daughter Peyton. We were still getting our lives in order after the accident, and I took him to the Dr regularly because he was still not walking, and had not said anything yet. He had his own language, "ahhhahahhaaa ahhahhaahhhaa" but nothing over that. The dr said not to worry... So I tried not to. I held on to hope that walking would be like crawling, one day he decided to crawl and it was perfect, no rocking, he just made the choice to crawl. As it turned out he began to walk on Halloween, he stood up and took one step, then two, then started to run, and never crawled again.

When Joshua was 21 months old we went out for dinner with a friend and his group of friends. There we met a girl, my age, with a little 19 month old son, and she too was pregnant. Her little boy was pointing to him mom's tummy saying baby, and mommy, daddy, hi, bye and so many other words. My husband and I looked at each other and there was a almost disbelief. When we got home we began what I call the search for words.

The Family Rules...Lets begin...

A few months ago I found this AMAZING idea when I was wandering through my favorite blog Design Dazzle... it lead me to another great blog called The Pleaded Poppy and it is an idea so many moms and dads loved that I wanted to post as many pictures of different ones that i could find because I had to go to so many websites to see every ones design... I will attempt this and post mine as well I am just not sure if I will do paper or fabric... still trying to make up my mind.... here is the instructions so you too can make it.

(Please note these instructions are from the pleaded poppy blog... check who i am following to see her blog and AMAZING wonderful ideas and little poppy's that she makes and sells...http://lindseycheney.blogspot.com/2009/09/family-rules-canvas.html Nicole is her friend who wrote out the instructions... I have fallen in love with this so I wanted to post it but want to make sure credit goes where credit is due! )

1. get a huge canvas. nicole's was 30" x 40". mine is a little smaller, but not much. get it on sale please. Paint the canvas (you see the paint on the border and on the sides). its best if the canvas is wrapped all around the edges rather than the exposed wood. just paint it sloppily - no need to be perfect, just make sure all the edges are covered.

2. Spend a whole lot of time at the paper store picking out paper you cannot resist. nicole felt some of her papers, although she loves them, were maybe a bit to dark or had too much contrast in them for the final writing to come out really clear. so remember: less contrast, not too dark. got it?

3. Write your rules. Be careful of what you put. My kids often refer to the canvas. My favorite is…”Daddy, hug mommy”. A rule is a rule, ya know? I should have put HUSBAND- MASSAGE YOUR WIFE’S BACK DAILY. check out the links above to the blogs. they also have a few suggestions for rules. i think i will steal most of mine, but add in things like, "tummy to the table".

4. Now, cut that beautiful paper into strips. I varied the widths, used “torn” scissors, scalloped scissors, and so on. Use glue, mod podge, or spray adhesive to lay it out on the canvas. i would definitely recommend mod podge the most on this.

5. I then went on to the computer and typed all the rules in different fonts. I am a font junky thanks to lindsey’s sister, Jennifer, showing us how to download free fonts. Do it…get hooked! It is easy and wonderful! just google "free fonts" and you'll get more than you'll ever need.

6. I printed them and “eyed” or copied them onto my papers with black and white paint pens.
and here's where all the questions come in: "the canvas is obviously wider than standard 12 x 12 paper. how did she fit this in the printer/get the words on?" she cut her paper in half - it's not actually one long strip. you can kind of see it in the pic below where it says "forgiveness is mandatory". maybe she taped them together in the middle? i've done that a bunch, and if you are really careful it will work and you can still carefully take the tape off when you're done. just make sure to change the settings on your computer for your page layout before you print to allow for a larger paper size. when she says she "eyed" them, she did just that. she'd print out the rule in a font she wanted on plain paper, then look at it and copy it with a paint pen directly onto her fancy paper. most of us can't do that. she's just good. but i would still print it on one long strip of paper and go over it again with a paint pen just to thicken up the font's lines. just a thought - i think that's what she did.

***edited to add!!!: do a layer of mod podge on your canvas, add paper, smooth out, then let dry. then add another layer of mod podge on top to seal. let dry, then add another. it will still probably be a little bubbly.****

7. Cover that baby in mod podge and make your man hang it! do a couple few layers of mod podge. did you know there are different sheens of mod podge? i think nicole prefers matte, but there are also ones with more gloss to them.

in case you couldn't read all her rules, here they are:

















These instructions are for paper... and I will post for fabric... I am trying to find a good way to do the letters... I am a little hesitant to free hand as when I get tired I get sloppy... I have slowly been writting down my "family rules" and I have alot of the same as above but I know I want

** Always compliment the Cook...

Mainly because it wasn't until I was an adult and realized how important it is to say something nice for something that is done all the time.... and saying thankyou for cleaning the toilets I just don't think I want hanging in the kitchen....

So I will keep you posted and please if you like this idea, and have one of your own I would love to see it... post a link!!!

Check out the Pleaded Poppy... and her talents and ideas at:


Images are from her!

Monday, March 1, 2010

To sew or not to sew? That is my question

So years ago I was taught by my amazing and wonderful 4-H member mother how to sew... (this woman is amazing... and she in seconds can see an outfit and make a pattern and then sew it buy the end of the day and it WILL look store bought... but me??? ) I have tried to sew things and they are okay but very well... lets call it "creative" and they just never look right... I will give you an example... I made this what I thought was a really cute pillow with lots of colours etc. and when we moved we got rid of lots of stuff I tried to take it to the local Value Village (a second hand clothing store) and they said they would not accept it... I was like really even as a cute give away? Maybe some person is out there thinking I wish that there was a round blue, yellow,red, green alien pillow and look they have one and now I found it... they guy laughed and said he doubted it... CRUSHED!

So after that I have found lots of little projects that I would like to attempt... I will post some of the ones I love and later will post what I chose...