Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten

10. A random fever of 101.3 for the boy last week. No other symptoms. I don't like fevers.

9. Continued progress from both kids on the speech and language front. Thank you, Aetna, for covering this much needed therapy!

8. 60 degrees in January. In Chicago. Weird.

7. The almighty dollar getting in the way of me giving good care at work. That sucks!

6. Snow. What snow? It's gone!

5. Having two kids who absolutely LOVE school!

4. My husband losing his wedding band yesterday. I don't know who is more upset: him or me!

3. Planning an awesome SuperBowl Party!

2. 49 days until Spring. Wait, it's going to be 60 today! Maybe it's here already?

1. I LOVE my kids!

post signature

Monday, January 30, 2012

Raising Small Souls

My son's teacher shared this on her class email listserv.

Breath taking.
And this reminds me to always fight for my children and how they learn.
You can view more wonderful subjects on the Raising Small Souls website.

post signature

Friday, January 27, 2012

Who's Guilty of These?

I saw this posted on Facebook and had to read it immediately!
I am sure that I have done one...or two...OK, maybe even three of these at one point or another.

*Hanging head in shame*

But no more!
The amazing Laura Mize over at TeachMeToTalk.com posted this on her webpage.
And if you haven't checked out her videos or shopped on her site, then you should.
Click here for some great tips and ideas (and a few no-no's) on ways to help your toddler talk.

Have a great weekend!

post signature

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


If only everyone thought like this.................

Have a blessed and beautiful day!

post signature

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten

10. A new swim coach this week. The kids took to change very well!

9. Progress, progress, progress on the speech and language front for both kids!

8. A bump in the road with reading for Kate. That's OK, we've got a plan.

7. A massive snow in Chicago last week Friday! We LOVE snow in our household!

6. Neighbors who are close-minded. Don't need garbage like that in our lives.

5. Networking and support! Thanks!

4. Kate's report card: satisfactory! She is so great!

3. My daughter informing me that "hummus" was a "dip" and that she ate it and liked it.

2. Friends.

1. I LOVE my kids!

post signature

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy National Handwriting Day 2012!

Something that many of us Moms and Dads don't do a whole lot of anymore since the computer, iPad, smart phone, and email has become the "norm".
But to those kiddos struggling with handwriting and other fine motor skills as such, keep up the great work!
Below are a few links to some of my favorite handwriting sites:

Handwriting for Kids

Handwriting Without Tears

The Therapy Shoppe

Writing Resources

Happy Writing and Happy Monday!

post signature

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Forget it Mom, I'll Just Dance"

It seems so long ago, but I remember the days when we could barely understand 90% of what Kate was saying due to her severe apraxia.
Translation: we only grasped about 10%, if that!
But with the progress that she has made, those numbers have reversed and she is thriving and making great strides!
And while her expressive language is booming, her receptive language is improving as well.
Now, we are focusing more on cognition and executive functioning and processing...no small task.
Her private SLP made a statement to me the other day that makes total sense to me this morning.
She said:

"She has so much that she wants to say. So much in her head. She is expanding her vocabulary and newer concepts are popping into her head and she wants to get it out. But this is when we are going to see her apraxia come out, too. I've seen her stutter and grope for words. We've got to kick it into high gear now."

I wish she said this to me two weeks ago.
It would all make sense.
Two weeks ago, we were driving towards the mall, dancing to "Let's Dance" from Lady GaGa.
And two weeks ago, Kate was trying to tell me something from the back seat of the car.
And I couldn't get it.
I couldn't figure out what she was saying.


So I asked her to repeat herself.
"Say it again, Kate."
"Say it again, hon."
"One more time."


I couldn't figure it out.
I felt like we were thrust backwards about 6 years again.
She was struggling to get a word out.
I was struggling to figure out what she was saying.
I felt defeated by apraxia all over again.
And then our eyes met in the rear view mirror.
Quiet eyes saying the same thing to each other, knowing exactly what the other was feeling.
"Kate, do you want to tell me one more time what you were trying to say?"
"No, Mom. Forget about it. I'll just dance."

She may not know apraxia, but she knows what it does to her.
But she doesn't let apraxia win.
She takes the high road and dances like no one is watching!
I love this girl!

post signature

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Every kid is different.

Every day is different.

Every age changes the way in which it manifests.

Diet and nutrition can make all the difference one day and do nothing another.

There is no “cure”,.

No antidote.

Not enough experts.

Differing opinions.

Too many sceptics.

Too much politics.

Not enough... support.

Way too much ignorance

And far too much discrimination from those who don’t get it.

And yet if I was given the opportunity to “send him back” and make him “better” I wouldn’t.

He is my blessing, my joy, my challenge.

More meaningful than any troubles I might ever have.

Much more important than anything that rises up in my own ego.

More precious than any metal I own and exactly as he is meant to be...

Perfect in his imperfections.

~Author Unknown

post signature

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten

10. Back to school after a long Winter Break, only to have a four day weekend to recover. WHEW! I needed that!

9. A new pair of glasses for Kaitlyn.

8. A boy who can navigate an iPad better than anyone I've met! Way to go, Andrew!

7. New reading programs ready to go.

6. A break-up that was long overdue! Glad that is over!

5. When you make me choose between you and your drama or my children, I will always choose my children. Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out!

4. At speech therapy...my little guy eating peanut butter for the first time! OMG!

3. Continued progress with Speech and OT for both kids. YIPPEE!

2. Our first major snow in Chicago last week!

1. I LOVE my kids!

post signature

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Friendship Circle Will Vote, Right?

There is a little contest going on....and it's not going to last long.
And there is a lady that I know who has entered this contest and needs your votes!

This is the lady: Mary Clare.
And she already wants to win the iPad2 to GIFT IT to a well-deserving child that she knows!
Because this is all about giving, not receiving.
And the gift of voice for a nonverbal child is the closest thing to a miracle that she can do for this child.

Contestants were asked to "snap a picture of the Friendship Circle magnet in a creative display or a unique location. Your could be the big winner of an Apple iPad 2, a $200 Visa gift card or autographed celebrity apparel!".

Voting only runs from Jan 15th through Jan 19th.

And this is all you have to do:
1. Search "Friendship Circle of Michigan" on Facebook.

2. "LIKE" their page.

3. Click on "View Photos and Vote".

4. Click on the vote box for "Hot Rod Magnet"

That's it!
Only one vote per photo per person.
Do it today, and I won't bug you about it anymore...I PROMISE!

And thank so much for voting!

post signature

Friday, January 13, 2012

SpellingCity Website

Once again, another great site to share with you: www.spellingcity.com.
It's FREE, too!
We all know that kids with apraxia and other speech and language issues also have problems with spelling.
This site is a great supplement to some of your homework!
VocabularySpellingCity.com is dedicated to helping students, teachers, parent-teachers, and school systems. VocabularySpellingCity is an award-winning site with ongoing introduction of new features, many based on input from existing users.

The site was launched on the web as SpellingCity in 2008 and has grown primarily through word of mouth. During the 2008-2009 school year, the site was used by over a half-million people in the peak months. In 2009-2010, SpellingCity was used by over a million unique visitors a month. The site's services have been steadily expanded over the years. SpellingCity became VocabularySpellingCity in January 2011 to reflect the addition of significant vocabulary capabilities. During the 2010-11 school year, the site attracted nearly two million unique visitors per month - over four million visits total, and over 40 million page views monthly. (source Quantcast.com). This level of traffic and usage gives VocabularySpellingCity a ranking as a top 1000 site in the U.S. during its peak months. VocabularySpellingCity is supported by revenues from Premium Memberships (which are priced low for maximum accessibility) and advertising displayed to non-Premium Members. VocabularySpellingCity prides itself as being amongst the best values in education

You can totally customize your spelling lists to your child's current abilities!
Having them see their successes will encourage them to continue, making learning fun!

Anyone else have some great sites they'd like to share?

post signature

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Attention: Mommy Bloggers

Meet Jake.

He's a cutie of a boy with an infectious smile and dancing eyes.
A typical boy, I am sure.
And like my children, Jake has apraxia of speech.

I have been folloiwng Jake's Mom's blog for about a week now, and she falls in the same category as every single Mom that I have met who has a child with apraxia.
What is it with apraxia and strong Moms?
You look around and do not see a weak Mom out there!
It's basic math like "A+B=C".
Child with Apraxia + Strong Mom = Determination and Progress

You can meet Jake.
And his Mom.
And follow their progress here at Jake's Journey To Be A Little Man as well as on her Facebook page!

Strong Moms stick together!

post signature

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten

10. Back to school yesterday!

9. Boy, do I miss having my kids around all day, now that they went back to school yesterday. :*(

8. Expressive/Receptive language explosions from both kids over the holidays!

7. Is this the last semester before we mainstream? Are we going to go through with it?

6. Chewy tubes and wiggle seats.

5. My heart breaking as I watch my scared boy during swim lessons cry as he tries to float on his back with the coach. *sniff sniff*

4. Networking and great friends!

3. Being betrayed by a neighbor who I thought was a friend. So long!

2. Back to work after 2.5 weeks off. No comment.

1. I love my kids!

post signature

Friday, January 6, 2012


Look who got her new glasses!

For 8 days, we were without glasses.
Hard for someone with a vision deficit.
Even harder for a child with special needs to understand what happened.
A freak accident caused them to break.
My poor girl lost her footing and tumbled down, face first, five cement stairs.

Face first.

A bloody mess, I tell ya!
Thankfully, I held my composure and the RN in me kicked in:

"Never let them see the panic on your face that you feel inside".

Xrays confirmed that her "hurt tooth" was OK and she just had some soft tissue swelling.

But her poor face was ripped up, fat lip, blood everywhere!
Thanks to some diligent cleaning and antibiotic ointment, she is about 98% healed.
And we are so blessed that her shattered glasses didn't lacerate her eye!
Once again, a rainbow.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What does "RETARDED" Mean To You?

Yesterday was my first day back to work in almost 2.5 weeks.
While it was a nice mini-vacation, it was also nice to get my hands back into what I really love doing: being a nurse.
My job is to help people: help fix them, help their pain, help them move on after an acute hospital stay.
But I can't help everyone's "hurt".
And what you are about to read below is something that really hurts.
When I got home from work last night, as I plopped on my bed to decompress from the day, I ran across this blog post from my friend, Jessica, over at Jumping Waves.




In fact, I don't think I breathed once as I read this.
I didn't feel my heart beat.
I am sure that my jaw was wide open in awe.
I have thought about this topic many times, yet never had the courage to write something such as this.
It's not that I am afraid or ashamed...I just didn't know how to put pen to paper and do it.

I’ve reposted this from Jessica's site, not in its entirety, so maybe someone will think twice before using the word “retarded”:

All around me, people use the word retarded without a second thought. Sometimes, I’ll say “Um, dude, really?” and they’ll say “Oops, my bad! But really! I was being so retarded!”

Sometimes, I let it slide. I realize that it’s a word that’s ingrained in our society’s vocabulary and people use it without a second thought to its meaning.

But what does it mean to be retarded? Well, I know what it doesn’t mean.

It doesn’t mean not being able to choose something for lunch despite 100 choices in front of you.

It doesn’t mean not being able to find your car keys.

It doesn’t mean saying the wrong thing to a person.

It doesn’t mean forgetting your best friend’s birthday.

It’s not something to describe yourself as when you’ve spilled your coffee, or tripped on a crack in the sidewalk.

It’s not something to describe your computer, car or phone.

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary the word “retarded” means -

: slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress

For me, it’s not just any old word – it’s my daughter. My beautiful, bright, happy, loving, amazing daughter who is slow or limited in intellectual development and academic progress.

In our household, being retarded means something different.

It means not being able to fully care for yourself.

It means not understanding what the doctor is going to do to you.

It means not being able to explain what hurts when something hurts.

It means not being able to ride a two wheeler. Or read. Or ever be able to live on your own.

But ever the optimist, I also know that retarded means…

…never realizing the negativity behind the word retarded.

…never knowing the insensitivity surrounded the word’s usage.

…never realizing the ignorance of people.

…never knowing how other people view you.

Being retarded also means…

…loving unconditionally.

…finding joy in the smallest of things.

…being self-confident.

…not realizing that there are limitations.


One of Emma’s diagnoses is cognitively disabled. Which means retarded. When you call yourself retarded, you’re also calling my child stupid. Because you use the word as just that – another form of stupid.

Let’s get something straight here.

My daughter may have cognitive issues. She may have delays. She may never live on her own. Scratch that. She will never live on her own.

But Emma* is not stupid.

In her own way, Emma is very smart. Maybe smarter than us at times. She has more self-confidence than anyone I know who’s called themselves “retarded”. She is the best judge of a person’s character than anyone else I’ve ever known.

Yes, she is slow to learn things. But she is not stupid.

I know that most people don’t use the word “retarded” maliciously. Most people I know use it in a self-depreciating way. And when I point it out, they go “Oh wow! I’m sorry!” and they truly feel like a heel. But the thing is, you’re still using it in the way that people who do use it maliciously use it as – to describe stupidity.

So why not just use the word “stupid” instead? Because I know what “retarded” is. I live with it in the form of my daughter. And in our world “retarded” doesn’t equate to “stupid”.

*I have replaced Maura, Phoebe’s daughter, with Emma. Because I couldn’t have said what Phoebe has said any better.

How many times did you breathe when you read this?

post signature

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Helpful *FREE* Stuff!

I love finding great freebies on the web.
And when they are free advice, checklists, and so on....that's even better!
Click here for this great link to some pretty cool FREE STUFF to help you and your child on the road to special needs!

post signature

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten

10. A more than happy holiday for our family!

9. Two kids NOT afraid of Santa Claus this year!

8. Ringing in 2012 at home...in pajamas...eating deep-dish Chicago pizza with the kids!

7. A very long 2 week Winter Break. *sigh*

6. Homeschooling for two weeks. Boy is this hard! Props to all of you parents out there who do this full-time! I have an even deeper respect for you now!

5. Still no snow in Chicago. What the heck! I want to go sledding!

4. A sassy 8 year old girl who is really making progress in syntax and semantics!

3. Continued progress on the OT and ST front from both kids. HOORAY!

2. A wonderful 23 days off from work. Not a scheduled vacation, but a decrease in census causing me to be cancelled several times. Trust me, I'm not complaining....it's been nice to recharge my battery!

1. I LOVE my kids!

post signature

Monday, January 2, 2012

Another Use for Straws!

It may be Christmas/Winter break, but therapy doesn't take a vacation.
Crafty Moms need to be sneaky in finding ways to entice kids to work.
Let's face it, we're all still recovering from the "holiday hangover".
But take some scissors and add some straws and you have a fun activity!
With just the right amount of resistance (as compared to cutting a piece of construction paper), the straws provide a great avenue for increasing hand strength.
Nothing like pieces of straws flicking here and there while being snipped!
And yes, my daughter loved the projectile objects!
Now, to find a broom to sweep up this OT mess!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

Thanks to Teri Mauro for allowing me to share these awesome calendars!

May 2012 bring you new sounds and words, new achievements, and the brilliance of new outlooks in your child's future!
Best wishes for a prosperous and successful 2012!

post signature