Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Finally, scrapping is FUN again

Well, I am 3 pages into the 1st gift calendar I am making. And as I dig through my (not inconsiderable) stash to find papers and flatter embellies, I have noticed that I am scrapping without worrying about page design, all the silly design rules, and whether or not it is trendy. Most of the papers are from my forgotten slabs. Remember that Michaels' Rob & Bob slab (slab 5, I think it was)? And DCWV winter slab 2005. All those mat stacks, etc etc. These LOs are cute, and I hope the recipient likes them.

I think my appreciation of this recent spurt of creativity comes from my spending freeze. I am, stretching my stash, finding lost treasures and playing with them. Frankly, the newer releases are starting to get boring. Other than Mellow and Infuse, most of the new Basic Grey merely looks dirty to me. Tinkering Ink papers? Ewww--what I am going to do with huge graphic flowers & patterns? Scenic Route is looking like same patterns new colors--frankly, how many patterned arrows can a scrapper use in differing colors within one album? I think the only New paper line I have seen that I LOVE is the Imaginisce Candy Cane Lane. But, as I have too much Christmas paper, I will no doubt abstain.

So, I have come full circle. I like my style and stuff. I am having fun and getting creative. I am preserving memories for my family and friends. If there is more to scrapping than those things, I don't know what it could be.

Halloween Costume Vent

You know, I hate having to buy costumes for Halloween each year (in no way am I talented enough to sew or create them myself). It seems like 85% of costumes in little girl sizes are flimsy little knee length nylon witch/angel/princess/fairy things. I hate these. First of all, we live in an area where it is just TOO cold to trick or treat in this. Heck, on a 90 degree someone would catch a chill in these things! Second, I find these totally inappropriate for my children. They are too suggestive, for the most part, as I have no desire to promenade my child in front of the Lord knows who with billowy, shimmery nylon fluttering around. There is no real way to bundle them up without covering the costume, so why buy it in the first place?

So, I was thinking of taking the girls to a Halloween party this year. There are parties at the Natural History museum, at the zoo, and a few local spots. The problem is, Sophia, having the world's best memory and logic skills, will not accept these activities as a substitute for trick or treating. Especially as we have a safe little neighborhood with lots of other trick or treaters.

I never had the opportunity to trick or treat much growing up--we lived in the middle of nowhere, and there was often snow on Halloween. So, I like that my girls get too. But that was back when a costume was pretty much an ugly plastic mask (that the elastic string broke on after wearing it for 15 minutes) and a plasticky smock that tied in the back that you wore over your clothes. I remember walking into the store and looking at the aisle of boxes. Super heroes, clowns, occasional monsters and princesses were the usual selection.

OK, vent over. Just makes this parenting thing a little harder. Do I let my girls freeze their tushies and get too much candy (but be way happy) or keep them warm, take them to a fun party (with some candy) and watch them mope Halloween night?

Maybe I'll get lucky and it will rain. ;-)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Let's hear it for my girl!

Today was a banner day! Sophia has had two wiggly upper teeth for the last month. Today, she came home with 1 in a little baggie. She is way excited about the Tooth Fairy coming tonight, especially as this is her third tooth out. The first one went under her pillow, but the 2nd one got swallowed (oops!).

Here is my girl, with a beautiful toothless grin!

Woo-Hoo! 1st Sentence

Anneliese put three signs together to get her point across. Not oral, but still a sentence. She signed I, the love, then applesauce. Guess what she wanted for breakfast?

I love these milestones, that may seem like small things to the parent of the neuro-typical child. Just one more step on the journey to making herself heard and understood. I am convinced that if we can get a greater level of communication going between Anneliese and ourselves as parents, her tantrums and meltdowns will be cut by half.

Even as overcast as it is, the world seems a bit brighter to me today. :-)

Totally Cool--Dinosaurs!

We took a way cool day trip yesterday, over to the Natural History Museum at the University of Michigan. Little did we know that U of M has the biggest dinosaur exhibit in Michigan. Sophia was chomping at the bit to get over there once she heard where we were going.

The immensity of the fossils on display was amazing. The first big skeletons you see upon entering the gallery are a mastodon (the smaller one--lived 20 million years ago) and the mammoth (larger, lived 7 million years ago, and is the precursor of the modern elephant).

Anneliese seemed more amused by the museum than Sophie. She was giggling and running from display to display. This Allosaurus head fascinated her, and I loved this thoughtful pose I caught without knowing it.

Finally, we saw a "fossil bed " with an Edmontosaurus ( a huge duck-billed dinosaur) and the size again was overwhelming. You can READ that a dinosaur was the size of 2 school buses (or however big it was) but then, when you see the bones, it blows you away. At one point, we stood next to a sauropod leg (I imagine it was an Apatosaurus--formerly brontosaurus) and it was almost twice my height (I'm 6'1"). No wonder Sophia was overwhelmed.

Well, the day was totally cool, but we had to leave before the tour as the girls were a little overloaded, sensory-wise. I did tell Dave that we needed to go back, just the two of us, as there was so much to explore in the rest of the museum. Yep, I am a total dinosaur nerd, and proud of it!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

How do you do it?

OK, I started to make a calendar last night for a Christmas gift. After finishing my 1st LO, I thought, dang, this is pretty good. Then, I started worrying about what would happen to the LOs after the year is over. And, what about protecting the pages--if the calender were hung in a kitchen, would there be splats and dirt thrown on it from cooking food? And how come there is no way to protect the page? Should I include a 12x12 album to put the LOs in after the year is up? How should I attach the LOs to the calender base without damaging them?

I think I am way too invested here. Who would have thought I would get this involved in my gifts. Last year I made a digital LO brag book for each grandma--cool beans, as I could keep the originals.

Now what? I need to think about this a bit more. I was thinking about getting a digital LO calender made (I use the Top Line Creations Lifetimez software) as I know they have a calender service. But doesn't that defeat the purpose of the cost effective personal gift?

Sigh. Today life isn't quite as good as yesterday. Decisions, decisions. :-(

Friday, October 12, 2007

My kids are seriously cute.

I was just looking at last Halloween pictures and noticed two things.

1. My kids have grown a lot since last year.

2. They are CUTE. Personality plus. Although they look very much like they did last year, so much has changed. Sophie is getting social. Anneliese is getting words (She has 4 now. When you ask her "who's cute" she says "Me.") and a lot more signs that she uses regularly.

I guess some days I forget the good stuff. There are days I don't want to be a special needs mom anymore. I saw a post on Writer Girl's blog (she is also a Sotos mom) stating a similar thing and felt RELIEVED. I felt OK with things after that.

And, the number one thing I keep remembering is that I love these girls the way they are. I celebrate with each little gain and milestone, and stress over any perceived slight. The little quirks that are caused in part by the ASD and Sotos are part of them--parts I love very much. So, no, I guess I wouldn't want to change my children, but I would like the gains to come a little quicker some days.

But, I can deal. And really, with those seriously cute faces, I am finding it easier and easier to do.

Christmas is Coming...

Sigh... I realized today, as I began to plan Christmas gifts for the girls' teachers and aides, that I was acting like the discount stores--planning Christmas before Halloween and Thanksgiving.(Yes, Target is already combining the Christmas and Halloween merchandise.)

So, as I ponder the gift possibilities this year, I want to do more meaningful gifts rather than just rush to the store. I know that Anneliese's teacher has a new grandbaby, so a possible brag book for her. And since this will be the third year of having a child in that pre-school, I don't want to do my usual chocolate/cocoa biscotti basket.

And as far as my folks go, since they are so far away, I want to scrap a photo calender for them. (Yay, a valid excuse to go scrap!) Target had them for $1, and I have enough paper etc for 500 calenders easily. So, I think that tonight I need to organize my scraproom, and get to it.
I also want to try a couple little tin/accordion albums, as well as an exploding album.

Yikes! But, this will be fun. We are trying to stay on a budget for Christmas this year, so this is something easy for me to do. Fun, too. But, if I get overwhelmed, you know who you will see shopping on the Sunday before Christmas?

Yep, my husband. I am not going out in that mess. ;-P

Sunday, October 07, 2007

So pleased...

Yesterday we went to the 1st Annual autism support group BBQ/picnic. It was at a park, the food was great and there was a lot for the kids to do--both of them painted pumpkins and enjoyed cider and donuts. David took Sophia over to play on the swings/slide/play structure. There were other kids there, and everyone was really friendly when I came up to check on them. I was glad Sophia didn't seem shy around the other children.

I bought a few things at the craft booth, and after eating an awesome BBQ plate, we took the kids home. Last night, Dave and I were talking about the day, and how much fun the girls had. He then told me that when he and Sophie went to the slide, she actually INITIATED conversation with the other kids by introducing herself and asking their names.

Doesn't sound like much, right? Well, maybe not for a neuro-typical child, but for Sophie this was huge. She tends to be very shy and close up around others. I can only credit her month in Kindergarten for the changes so far.

And, Sophia is growing so fast! Her bottom 2 baby teeth have already come out and adult teeth have grown in. Today, I noticed the top two are wiggly. Yikes! And Anneliese has a wiggly tooth on the bottom.

Where does the time go?