Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Growing up

I created this 2 page LO the other night, after seeing how grown-up my girl is starting to look. Anneliese is getting to be such a big girl! We are up to a few words now--Hi, Bye, Me, Yeah--and she is asking for items with signs. Where did the baby go?

Technically speaking, I know she is a four year old, and not a baby. But with all the physical and verbal delays, she is a year or two behind emotionally. All of a sudden, we have a pre-schooler asserting her independence, and seemingly in the throes of the terrible twos. Yikes!

On the flip side, she is running, jumping, dancing. Her hair is finally growing (thin hair is a Sotos trait) and she has curls and we can do fun things with it. She is cute as a button and loves to play tag with her sister, and ball with anyone she can find.

Emotional Roller Coaster

Well, I have been just up and down over the Sophia school choice. Last Monday (10th) her kindie class had a grandparents day program with singing etc. The noise crowded room etc just stressed her out. Hands over her ears, turning her back etc--my little lost sheep. As soon as the program ended, Sophia went straight for me, crawled in my lap and began to script one of her TV shows. Totally stressed out. After having a cookie, we went outside and she played on the slide. Calm settled on her then. Soon after, class resumed and all the families, including us, left.

Her aide seems very nice, but I was not aware that she is for afternoon only. My first reaction after getting home and thinking about how Sophia reacted was to wrap her in cotton wool and keep her safe. But, I was also aware that the program occurred on only her second day of school.

God was looking out for me that day. I thought to check the answering machine after a while, and there was a message from the specialist's office in Ann Arbor. A cancellation had opened up an appointment. So, I called the office and took the appointment for the following morning.

Dr Tsai was the doctor who had initially diagnosed Sophia in August 05 as PDD-NOS with emergent Asperger Syndrome. After David and I met with him last Tuesday, I was relieved. He gave us a game plan on what to request from the school, how to get OT and her psychologist involved, and a referral to a child psychiatrist locally to get her treated for anxiety. As Dr Tsai is well known as being anti-medication, I did not take his recommendation lightly. Sophia's anxiety permeates everything she does lately--school, going outside, reaction to outside stimulus. He would like her to be treated for 3-4 months, until the school day becomes second nature and she becomes accustomed to the roiutine and noise levels.

So, I now know what the school needs to be doing. I have a great team in Sophia's corner, I just need to get the wheels in motion.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Scrapping confidence

Well, last weekend I had my BFF Larisa to visit, and we stayed up to the wee hours scrapping, talking, and drinking wine (not necessarily in that order). Needless to say, it was fun. I began a theme album I have been planning since the beginning of the year--all my autumn pictures from 2006. It was a fall full of photo ops. We had taken the girls to the orchard for a hay ride and the pumpkin patch. Also, they helped decorate the yard for Halloween, and there were all my fall color pictures. Plus, trick or treating and the loot afterward.

So, I pulled out the kit I had prepared--Daisy D's Gypsy Harvest/Vintage Halloween. I also decided to try a different album size--a 8x12 landscape Baybox album. So, I started scrapping, a little nervous at first because I was still getting used to the size.

Well, I chugged along all week, and finished the scrapbook tonight. It was incredibly freeing to use one coordinated line, and be able to put things together easily. I also realized that about half way through the week, the pages got easier to do, no worries about titles or "design" and I began figuring out ways to arrange my page elements to best showcase the stories I wanted to tell.

In other words, scrapping was fun again. No thoughts filled my head about how to arrange the LO, and I didn't stop to look at an idea book once. Very freeing. Also, other than some Making Memories bling Halloween brads and some Karen Foster autumn loopy brads I bought, everything I used in the book came from my stash. I pulled out old vellum quote stacks from 4 years ago, my bins of brads and eyelets, and used up a bunch of ribbon I have been hoarding. Chipboard alphas? check. Sticker alphas going back 3 years? Check. Stuff I completely forgot I even had? Check. Cricut that is completely ignored? Check.

I need to do this more often. I am trying to go back to scrapping for ME. I noticed as I let myself scrap this book my way, I saw my linear, symmetrical style emerge. It looked GOOD. And I was able to see a few of the famous design techniques there on the pages, without me even realizing it. The one page I got a bit more "freestyle" on is my least favorite.

So, I am feeling "back in the groove." And as I love to say, Life is surely good.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Well, today Sophia starts Kindergarten, at School D. Frankly, I am both amazed and relieved.

It has been a long haul to get here! I finally spoke to the head of Special Ed Student Services, JB, last Friday. She assured me she would get back to me Tuesday. I didn't hear a word. So, I called the Principal at School D. No one returned my call. Finally, I talked to SW on Wednesday afternoon--she is the district teacher consultant for children on the autistic spectrum. She go to work, told me she would drive to school D, make phone calls, and get back to me by Thursday morning.

Thursday comes. My MIL and I take the girls up to Anneliese's preschool open house. Get home at 1:o0. No message from SW. So, I call her on her cell. She tells me after a barrage of phone calls to schools with later start times, all the Kindergartens are filled to capacity. So, I asked her what they would do with a new child in the district? Make her stay home until there was an opening. I expressed my frustration, and anger over the lack of returned phone calls, the issues with busing (both last year and this) and my dissatisfaction with this school district in general. SW did assure me she understood, and that her supervisor, JB, was at School D again, insisting on Sophia's admittance.

Well, I cried off and on for the next 2 hours. Then, finally at 4:00, SW calls. Sophia has been admitted to School D, and her busing is arranged, with a pick-up time of 8:00am. YES!!!! Also, the teacher is staying late and would like to meet her. So, I call MIL, and at 4:45 we are pulling into the School D parking lot.

Turns out the teacher is an old family friend of my husband's family. She is great relating to Sophia, and when a fly got into the room, got to see Sophia's reaction to it. So at least she knows what we are dealing with. And Sophie saw the playground--loved it. The play structure has a huge dinosaur on it. (A dinosaur is the school mascot, which Sophie loves. Good Karma anyone?)

So, here we sit waiting for the bus. And Anneliese starts on Monday. 3.5 glorious hours alone are to be mine daily. Lovely!