Friday, November 30, 2012

Seeking Second iPad... Because of Positive Results

Sometimes it doesn't make to get a second item of something simply because you have twins.  When they were tiny I would buy two teddy bears, two of the same books or games, two of the same toys.  Now that the boys are seven I am finally learning that sharing is a life skill that we all need to learn.  So I no longer buy the second item when it comes to things they may "want".

Now shoes, coats, and clothing... I guess I have a hard time breaking that.  I love to dress them the same.  I do not do it every single day, probably like four out of seven days, but its something that "mom" still likes to do while they are young.  Its still really fun confusing people because so many still have a very difficult time telling them apart.

So onto the topic of this post.  Caleb had a wish from Make A Wish back in August of this year, right before school started. I just realized I NEVER blogged about that yet YIKES!!    Part of his wish was to receive an iPad with Proloque2Go software to perhaps help him communicate.  Both twins are non-verbal, have Autism and Down Syndrome.  Our primary means of communication right now is sign language.  It works for us, but not so much for family, friends, and community members.   I was skeptical about using an iPad for communication.  I didn't know if they would actually be able to understand the concept and form appropriate answers or questions.  Today I learned different!!!!!!

Today their speech therapist from school called me.  She is so wonderful and also just happens to be the "Autism Expert" at our local school district.  She wanted to express how amazed she was at how well the boys are doing with the iPad.  They are requesting things from their calendar at school, they are interacting with stories, and they are asking to play specific games on the classroom iPad... Her concern is that we only have one iPad and two boys so she cannot get them to use this to their full potential.  Ideally she would like for us to have TWO iPads so that they could communication to each other.  WOW!!! I could not even envision seeing this happen right now.  They laugh together and play together but I really have never seen them sign to one another or communicate with each other.  I guess other than one throwing a toy at brothers  head and the other retaliating by scratching big tiger marks down the middle of the perpetrators back.  To me that means: "I don't like that!!"

So, its Christmas time.  We have five children.  Husband works very hard and long hours to provide.  I work very part time from home, but also do all the mommy tasks that consume my days.  Life is expensive.  How can we find a way to get a second iPad without asking for charity or waiting to be chosen from the hundreds of iPad giveaways I've entered over the past year or grants I've applied for?  Has anyone ever done a fundraiser for their child to get an iPad?  If we were to try to save up the extra money it would be nearly the end of the school year before we could probably get one.  We could skimp here and skimp there... yes, but how can we find one either used at a good price now or raise the funds ourselves....

Speech therapist recommended looking on Ebay for used ones.  New technology is out there, iPad mini's are out and people will be getting rid of their "old stuff".  I browsed Ebay for 30 minutes or more tonight and found nothing less than $300 plus shipping, which to me is not a great deal for a used item. I don't want to spend hours browsing for something I may never find....

SOOOOOO I come to you, my blog readers.  Shout out some suggestions.  

Again, I am NOT looking for a hand out.. I am not looking for charity... I am looking for a way to provide my second son with a communication device quickly.  I am hoping that the feedback I receive will also help someone down the road that may be in the same situation as we are.

Bragging Moment:

Caleb's school work papers

Needed help writing his name but glued number is correct order INDEPENDENTLY!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Down in the Dumps....

I always wondered why my grandma would use the term "in the dump".  I always thought it was kinda funny.  The past three weeks I have been dealing with a strained back.  I have been in pain, I have been unable to pick up my twins, I have been unable to keep the house up like I NEED to with five children, I have been unable to be my happy cheerful self because I have this dull nagging pain in my lower back.  I am being treated by a chiropractor and my doctor.  I'm not to the point of being depressed, but I think I am just down in the dumps.  I think I get that saying now.  Each day I try to wake refreshed and start on the right foot, but each day something pops up and shoves me back to the dumps.

Let me give you a PERFECT example of a typical day lately.  Here is yesterday:

Wake up, get five, ok four  kids off to school. Tristin is capable of getting herself off to high school. *check*
Pump up radio with Christmas music to get in the mood to clean house *check*
Coffee *check*   another Coffee *check*
Start feeling the energy pumping through my veins and begin accomplishing things *check*

First load of laundry goes in and I go out to visit and feed our rabbits.  Come back in to switch laundry and what do I find??? A diaper had been thrown into the mix and all those annoying little water beads were EVERYWHERE.... Ugh!!!!

What do you do when you launder a disposable diaper with your clothes?

First, I shook out the clothes over the garbage can, then I scooped out whatever I can of the annoying beads from the washing machine  and then I Googled what I am supposed to do. Isn't that what everyone does when they are in a pickle these days??  I will save you this step, in case this ever happens to you, first of all.. I'm sorry if it does.. Second, its not as big a headache as I thought I would be.  I envisioned me sitting there picking every single annoying little water bead of every individual piece of clothing.  Thankfully, not so.  Simply put clothes into your dryer and run on high heat.  It dissolves the annoying little water beads and your filter catches the little debris.  You WILL have to run your dryer twice as it will take longer to get everything dry.  Then I got as much of the annoying little water beads as I could wiped out of the washing machine and ran it empty.  It worked like a charm and I was off and running to get my second load of the day going.

Laundry situation fixed *check*
Get dinner in crockpot *check*
Start making bread and dinner rolls for dinner..... and then my second hurdle for the day happened..

As I was pouring the last cup of flour into my Kitchen Aid my husband called me on the phone.  I answer the phone before actually pouring that last cup into the Kitchen Aid and chat with him all the while forgetting where I am in bread making process.  Oh, I needed to dump in last cup of flour.  As I continue my conversation with hubby and remain distracted from my awesome bread making skills, I dump in the last cup of flour quickly.......... ok anyone who bakes bread should be laughing right about now.  YEP my Kitchen Aid spewed flour up in my face, all over my counters and floors and surely made more than a cups worth of flour MESS!!!!!

Clean flour mess *check*

Giggle to myself thinking of the day I've had thus far........ Rrrrrrrrring... Rrrrrrring.. phone call?

I answer and its the school nurse.  They found some head lice on Isaac!!!!! SERIOUSLY???!!!!  I jump in the car to go into school to pick him and his brother up. I call my other children's schools to have the school nurse check their heads out.  Within five minutes I get a call back from the other school nurse.  Come pick up so-in-so.  (I've decided to keep the other victim confidential to forgo any teasing)

Lord Help Me!!!!

This happened to us one other time, only one child out of the five was infested.  I had never ever seen or dealt with head lice before.  I was freaked out beyond belief and scratching every single moment of the day with the heebie jeebies...  This time around, I just got to work.  Here is the result of the twins:

This is the shortest we've ever cut their hair, I think its a good look for them :)  

Today's Agenda:

Sweep and disinfect *check*
Apply overnight cream to other childs head *check*
Wake up and Clean Clean Clean *check*
Comb for nits *check*
Laundry..Laundry..Laundry... checking EACH and EVERY load for a stow a way diaper *check* 
Keeping a Smile on my Face *CHECK*

Tis how I envision someone who is "Down In the Dumps".... I need a shovel about now!!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Great YouTube video describing Down Syndrome

I watched this today and would LOVE for everyone who knows my family to watch this.  I can only hope that some day Caleb and Isaac will have friends who love and accept them like the beautiful people in this video love their friends.