Blingity Bling

Some Crochet Bling for me! I made this using Amy Swenson's pattern in "Not Your Mama's Crochet". link on the sidebar! It was SO much fun! In all the years I've been crocheting, I have never worked with wire or made jewlery. I am still waiting for the clasps to come from the e-bay seller. I need to get earring wires too. The earrings were an after-thought.. but I LOVE it! I think my next one will be something of the purple variety and I am going to use seed beads or some other kind or spacer on the alternate stitches. I may try some on hemp for another look... I cranked these all out this w/e while running all over creation with the kids! very simple, very pretty! and I think it is the sort of thing my "wardrobe" is lacking.. aside from clothes that fit... but that is another post!

Andy got some Karate Bling... Gold belt w/ black stripe! I am so proud of him! Martial Arts is really helping him more than I can clearly express in a blog! I am eternally indebeted to his instructors for their patience, consistancy, and values! they have the same expectations of him as they do the rest of the class and they know he is a SN student. he tried extra hard on Friday b/c he knew he was testing!

Ryan also earned his first stripe on his white belt on Friday! he will probably be a gold belt before he starts kindergarten!

Andy wasnt' the only one who tested Friday night! Todd tested for his Gold belt at his class Friday Night. It was too late for the boys to go, so no pics... but trust me! he has a gold belt! I'll have to get a picture of all 3 of them in their new belts this week! Andy isn't the only one benifiting from the classes. Todd is really getting in shape, eatign better and maybe he'll quit smoking again soon.. maybe! he wants to be around for his kids for a long time! and he doesn't want to be crippled for it either! I think he realized what ignoring his health was doing to him long term. he is also gettign the connection between a good diet and exercise and his BPD. it is a healthy release for him too.

How about some Karate BLAM BLAM? They let the kids beat each other with giant Q-tips!

Ryan seemed to be confused by being told to hit somebody... he needed a little help to get going....

Andy was really agressive! I was impressed - very un-Andy-like.. BUT he said he was doing his best b/c he was testing!


How could I forget!!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI got this in the mail last week! SO cool to actually have it in my hands finally!!! It really is a fantastic book! lots of great patterns that I can't wait to try! soem great recycled projects too! in addition to my design using recycyled silk threads from sari making, there is a pattern for a throw rug made out of old jeans and a tote made from plastic shopping bags! My next project is the "Crochet Bling" as soon as my silver beading wire gets here!!! GREAT job Amy!!!


I am trying to decide how much info about Andy, his testing, therapies and possible diagnosis to share on the internet...

on the one hand.. he is HF and may not be dx with anything and if he is, it is likely he'll be able to blend right in with the rest of us "normal" folks in short order. I dont' want his disabilities to define him or limit him. he is brilliant and loving and fun... jut not terrible coordinated or flexible (in any sense!)

on the other hand.. I don't want him to feel ashamed of who he is or that we are in any way asamed of him. I don't want him to have to carry a big secret around with him (weather he knows it or not) . the only way we can change poeple' s perceptions of ASD is by showing them ALL the faces of Autism...

so, I just don't know how much I want to get into.. but I will say this.. the school is evaluating him and trying to come up with a plan to deal with his behaviors. not a DX by any means, but if it helps him in school..GOOD! I am working with him at home to learn to make eye contact while talking. and Karate continues to strengthen him physically and mentally. (testing for his next belt tonight!!!!) that is all I have to say about that.. for now anyway...

Colin is doing great! he went to the ENT last week. she put a camera up his nose and found out that part of the nasal passage is enlarged and causing the "congestion". today is his last day of the sterroid drops. Todd will give her a call today and then she'll see him again in 3 weeks. we've noticed a big difference in hsi sleep! he has jumped from 4-5 hour streached to 8-9 hours! I woke up in a puddle of milk this morning! BUT I was able to pump an extra bottle form him before I left... good news there!

Ryan will be getting his very first stripe on his white belt tonight and Todd tests for his Gold belt tonight too! expect pics monday!

as for me .. I've been knitting and sewing away for my clients! BUT I am reserving my Thursday nights for quilting with Mom! I have been workign on a quilt now for.... crap I dont' know how long! 4y? anyway, I now have a goal! Mom is goign to sign me up for her guild this fall so that I can enter the quilt in the show next April....which gives me roughly 11 months to finish! AAAHHHH! a deadline!!! it is only a small wall quilt.. I've made bigger.. but this is FAR mroe complex! I paper pieced the fish. I used random blocks for the sea floor and now I am on th string piecing for the bottom, the water above the fish and then the fishing pole. then there are the appliques for the reel, more paper piecing for the lures then some embroidery and embelishments in addition to the quilting, binding, sleeve and label...
Hmmmm... maybe if I posted a little more often, I wouldnt' have a novel.. SORRY!
OH.. I may have a BIG announcement comming up!!! (and NO I am NOT pregnant!)


why Karate is better than Kindergarten...

So, Andy - who we suspect is mildly Autisitc, but cant get anyone to test him any time soon, has been taking a martial arts class since the fall. he's NOT the athleate in the family, but he enjoys it and he gets some exercise... Todd started takign the Adult class (he needs the exercise too!) and the 2 have been practicing together. we have found that when we tell him to stand at "attention" (they have another word for it - but I can't remember) he will pay attention to us and listen... really! he even stands still and makes eye contact! so, Friday we were telling this to his instructor. we were also saying that we are trying to get him eval'd for autism. she said "Oh, I thought he was" really.. the KARATE teacher (who is a beautician by day!) can see the that the behaviors are autistic!!! she told us that when they were walking into teh gym one day (it is an after school program), the walked by the office which has "mailboxes" for the different rooms labeled with the numbers. well, there is no room 4 or room 9 - they were converted to computer labs. he noticed that w/o really looking at them and he finds it EXTREMELY upsetting. to this day! that was when she figured he had ASD and then when he had a hard time paying attention and focusing in class.. which is why they moved him to the smaller class...
and his SE teacher actually listed his disruptive behavior then told me they wouldn't test him b/c they didn't think he was autistic b/c he has friends! (one of which has AS btw...)

Ryan did jump in to the class on Friday as well. the boy is GOOD! a natural athleate! he needs to work on listening adn following directions.. not to mention showing me a LOT more respect. Not the same issues as Andy - he is just being a spoiled little brat! he is pushing me to see if my rules are the same as Daddy's. I also think he is still bent about me going back to work... I think the MA class will really help. I also think more school will do him a world of good! he'll have to spend more time taking turns and waiting in line next year.


Frogwebs, Fish, and appointments

First - cute fluff pics.. cause it is my blog and I can!
Spiderfrog - made by me! Cotton print outer, lime seuadecloth inner, red snaps

I also got my custom KND from www.clothdiaperoutlet.com Beatiful craftsmanship. crazy fast shipping - she MUST know someone! nice trim fit! it is higher in the rise than I am used to, but that may be a good thing! the monkey has worn it once, so cant give a full review on fit, but A+ on quality and shipping

Thing #1: PPT was tuesday. Good: He is doing GREAT academically, he has a nice little group of friends and he has made tremendous improvements. the SLP said his vocab and comprehension were above grade level. the teachers were also impressed that he was so proud of his faith and that he was donating a part of his allowance to charity...(a Grandmother in need of children to Granny gave A&R each $1 for being SO good in church on Good Friday! she told them to buy themselves something. what did THEY decide to do? they put it in the collection basket on Easter! THEIR idea! I'm a VERY proud Mama!) oh - he is also grasping hte concept of "personal space"!
Bad: he still doesnt get that talking is a 2-way form of commumincation that involves speaking and listening! his voice is almost always too loud. he has a lot of ritualistic behavoirs - and has a FIT if life deviates from the ritual. he is stubborn and usually insists on having things his way - or he melts down. they finally noticed his stimming, humming and retreating into "Andyland".
Ugly: It took reminding adn pressuring to get them to retest him for speech w/pragmatics before his 6th bday or he will lose eligibility. I also asked that he be screened b/c ALL of those negative behaviors the teachers noted above are Autistic behaviors. they are disruptive to the class and make learnign difficult for him. BUT when I asked them to test, they tried to tell me they didn't think he was Autstic. I do not wnat him to be... but the reality is that he may be. he may need more services and I will fight for him to get them! I have begun with what I think was a nice f/u letter to the principal reiterating what was said in the meeting, confirming the Speech testing and requesting the ASD screening. we are also takign him to a psychologist and looking into a developmental pedi. fun never ends!

Thing #2: had his MMR and medical forms complete for kindergarten! he is starting Karate tonight (attempt #2). he is cute, smart, and a PITA.. but I love him!

Thing#3: is trying to crawl when not being smothered by two overly loving big brothers! he had his check up on Tuesday as well. he is up to 15.9# which is good, but still the 5%ile. we wen tover the allergy test results and she gave teh go-ahead for more solids... YAY.. he is sucking down food like he has never been fed.. but still isnt' catching up. since he is STILL congested 24/7 we are takign him to the ENT. the same one the sleep center referred us to for Ryan. we really liked him. I hope we'll get some answers there. if he could breathe better, I KNOW he could eat better! speaking of food.. as much as it kills me to have to supplement, we ahve been able to get teh insurnace to cover the formula... further reinforcing my view of it being medicine.

And a belated Happy Easter & Passover



almost 3 years after the fire, we've settled with the insurnace company. Still not nearly what we should have gotten, but it would have cost more in legal fees than the difference is worth. suckd when the systems screws you. suck when the insurance company hires a contractor that does more damage than they fix. You pay your premium and you expect your insurance company to be there when you need them. well, we found out the hard way that just in't true! IMO, Vermont mutual is out for the $ and could care less about the people and the homes they insure! at least that is the message they sent us! the FD did an EXCELLENT job! they responded in just a couple minutes and they kept the damage to a bare minimum. so WHY did it take 18m before our house was livable? and 30m after the fire it still is not completely finished b/c we've been fighting over several tousand dollars! If your house ever catches on fire, get teh family out and let it burn!