Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's been far too long!

Oh, how I love to blog.  And oh, how little time in the day there is to do it!  Somehow, other things take priority, like laundry, dirty diapers, kids, dogs, life.  But here I sit hoping to update a bit that's been going on in the world of us.

A while ago, my little N got some braces for her legs.  Her tone is so low that she can put her legs around the back of her neck without touching her legs to move them back there, which is really cool to see, but doesn't help her learn to walk at all.  So, thanks to Shriner's Hospital she got these braces for her feet and legs....

...AND these cute shoes!!  It's really hard to buy shoes for kids with braces so I guess they decided to give them with the braces so they are fit properly.  She doesn't fight us to put them on her and she is walking around more thanks to a walker that was donated to the Early Intervention program that sees her.  It's a bit tall for her, but at least she doesn't have to crawl everywhere or wait to be carried.  I can't wait for good weather so we can go outside.  I think she will really take off, then.  (She has been sick the past few days and I sure miss her!!)

I found this old picture of Alex from a 6th grade dance in some computer files I was looking through and guess who he is dancing with?  Yup!  That's Ashley that took him on his first date!  Even then she was 2 feet taller than him!
 Meet Dex.  He's the cute, little guy on the left.  He is actually my son's family dog, but they are moving soon and can't take him with them.  He has been hanging out with us during the day because while they are at work they put him outside, and it's been just too dang cold, so I've told them to just bring him when they bring the girls.  It's really sad that he's so much smaller than my cat - even though he's closer to the camera in this picture - but I thought it was cute they were trying to snuggle on the bed together.  I don't know if you remember, but when they first got Dex he surprised Moose while he was sleeping on the chair and Moose attacked him.  Dex was a beaten man after that, but they both seem to have forgotten that.  He's a good little dog.  Follows me everywhere!
And then there's my sweet Gracie Goo.  Here she is laying on her favorite couch, which she has completely taken over.  A few months ago she started freaking out;  standing in the backyard, even in the snow (she hates the cold and wet!!) and just looked around like she had no idea where she was or how she got there.  And she would get so scared of every day sounds that she would just hide in the back bedroom instead of on her couch.  I found out that Danes have a higher chance of getting Alzheimer's.  Yup!  My dog has Alzheimer's and my cat is a diabetic.  Between all of Alex's meds and insulin, giving the cat insulin and the dog Prozac, it's surprising I'm not standing out in the rain wondering where I am and how I got there!!
And now meet J & L....
...and Little J
  I signed Alex up with a group called "I Run 4" that matches up competitive runners with people with special needs that would never be able to run competitively.  Well, J, L and Little J are Alex's runners!!  They have been so sweet to keep in contact and tell Alex (via Facebook through me) all that they are doing to stay active.  J and I have talked quite a bit through e-mail, too.  It's so nice to have another adult to talk to!  They are awesome and I'm so glad Alex was matched with them.
So this may seem weird to some people, but the kids and I just HAD to make a thank you card for our garbage man!  He's been on this route since Alex was little, so at least 14 years, and every week if we are watching him, he makes a point of waving and honking at the kids.  They get so excited when they hear him come up the street so they can wave and yell at him.  So they all colored a picture around the THANK YOU and while he was dumping our cans M took the poster out and gave it to him.  It's good to know there are nice people still in the world.
N and A have gotten in the habit lately of climbing into our upstairs fireplace.  Don't panic!  It hasn't been used in years!  But, still, it's nothing but a dark, dirty hole.  And that wall has always been a problem for me because it takes away valuable space for seating.  So, my daughter, her husband and I came up with an idea;  let's make the hearth a seating area!  With their help, and some help from George and my dad we created this beautiful bench that the kids LOVE to sit on to read books and color.  The lights that shine on the bench were on some bookcases downstairs, but the lighting downstairs is so much brighter than upstairs so we've never used them down there.  We brought them upstairs, and voila!  No more dark hole, no more hard, cold hearth for the kids to bonk their heads on and hello comfort!!  I'm pretty proud of it if I do say so myself! (See the before and after below!)
And last, but not least, I wanted to share another little project.  Did you know the month of March is Special Education month?  And on the 5th is "Spread the Word to End the Word" Day (retard / retarded), and on the 21st (3/21 for TRIsomy 21) is National Down Syndrome Day!  Because it's such an important month in the life of Al and since he's been so bored since wrestling is over with I thought he could help make some posters to put up in the hallway near his classroom to make others aware of these happenings.  When I asked his teacher if he could put them up in their hallway, she said, "No!"  After the initial shock wore off and I said ok, she said, "I want the posters put up all over the school, not just our hallway!"  I asked TJ  to help since she's our resident artist - even though there's no drawings on them - and she came up with these amazing posters in a short amount of time.

And this one is my favorite!  Especially the part that says "4.0 stubent".  Classic!!  (We will put a picture of Alex in the bottom left corner)
We will make some more over the next few days so they can be hung up at school soon.  I will take pictures of the others so we can show them off.
So Happy Special Education / STWTETW / National DS month / day!!