Friday, October 31, 2008

Hannah's first Halloween outfit

Ok bloggers...get ready for some serious halloween pumpkin belly fun! Yes..that's right! Ericka painted my belly tonight and boy....was I a huge hit on the block! LOL A big ROUND hit!

Doesn't this look amazing? I was seriously impressed with Ericka's artwork and over the top loved my belly! Isn't this so funky to look at? I loved it!

I'll post more halloween pics from the night tomorrow. I just could not wait to post these and had to get them out there for your viewing pleasure. LOL :)

Thanks to Lisa Allen for the idea and paint! Oh! by Ericka O'Malley below. She not only painted my belly...she took these amazing pics! So fuN! Enjoy and be back for more!! Love you, A

p.s. Won't Hannah just love this when she's older? I think she'll love it! Not to worry...I'll post Lukester's outfit tomorrow. (a long story!)

Preparing for the fun

Hey blog family, well the day is here...big halloween fun. Jonathan has the entire house decked out and we actually have a screen cinema going! Video below. It's a projector on our garage door playing "Halloween themed cartoons all night, Charlie Brown, Scooby doo, etc". I have wanted to blog this all month! pregnancy has me so tired that my blogging has lacked. So sorry to blogbarde you but I wanted you to see this. The neighbors have loved it and of course we are looking forward to seeing all the little kids dressed up tonight. **pictures to come!

Of course, we are stalked and ready to go with glo sticks and glo necklaces. They were a huge hit last year.

BOO! That's what Luke just said to you.

I'm going to attempt to paint my stomach like a pumpkin! This was Lisa's idea so it should be quite interesting to see what happens! LOL

Ericka is coming over for the festivity fun and Lulu is 'somewhere tonight?'. She won't say. I think maybe she has a date and just won't tell us?! (hmmm, could be?)
Lisa has a costume party to attend and of course DEB ditches us every year for Tisha fun. LOL

So...stay tuned for more fun pics of Luke tomorrow. He's going to be Santa Claus!!

Below is our decor and Video Cinema! note: yes, it's been going on all month long!'ll get to see our electronic scary ghost lady moving and hanging from the patio ceiling. Creepy scary!
Love you!
The master halloween decorator below (DH)....and mildly obsessed with decorating I might add!! (Luke is in front of our cinema)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Organizational post is my organizational photo's of what we did this weekend. Wished there was a 'before' picture. However, I'm not sure I want to be reminded of how bad it really got. Seriously people, it was TOY HAZARD potential. I could not walk across the living room floor without almost falling over on a stuffed giraffe, metal car, block from 'somewhere' and your random plastic pieces that we had no clue went to what?

We got the shelving at IKEA. click here

These storage racks below are from Target. We bought one retail price and the other at a garage sale for $10. You can't beat this little system. Holds little toys perfectly!

Whew! Off to the next project!! Nesting, Nesting, Nesting!

Sunday, Sunday

Hi loved ones,

We've been seriously productive this weekend.
  • Cleaned entire living room out. Went to IKEA and bought the really cool Trofast system. I was in heaven organizing these toys and getting them off the floor. We even put 3 bins of 'baby' toys in the garage for Hannah and we will pull them out as we need them from the garage! Whoohoo! Space and breathing room.
  • Hanging all pictures / stuff today for Hannah's room and hopefully my closet shelving.
  • Cleaning out Luke's closet and almost done! I've had to take breaks in between doing this as it's just exhausting!

Oky Doky...almost done. Video below is Luke playing 'momma'. He's so fun.

Love you and hope your weekend was a good one, A

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Luke Meltdown

Hi blog fam,

I'm so behind in my updates. This video was taken in Sept? I believe. At any rate, it was dang hot here and Luke had a serious meltdown as he's always wanting to be outside. Poor little Hannah girl is going to be forced outside quite a bit. Luke loves outside. At any rate, for historical journaling purposes..I felt it necessary to post a meltdown. Someday..he'll see that we loved him through it. Poor little bubba. I seriously cannot wait for him to walk and talk. I really believe this will help the frustration of communication greatly. God's timing.

Love ya'll enjoy. (if you can get through it...somewhat painful..however, he does calm down in the very end)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Luke's school update

Hi Blog family! Happy Mon. (I'll explain the pic above in the end!) LOL. Hope your weekend went well. Ours was exhausting. Not that we did anything eventful on Sat/Sun. It's just that me/Jon were really tired this weekend. So, we sat around and did nothing. Much needed R&R for sure.

Ok....Luke's school update! We had his meeting on Friday and was so cool. They literally had this play assessment room with all sorts of kiddy stations, toys, tables with play doh, crayons, etc.

Jonathan took off work and me/the nurse and Luke were sitting in this room with about 15 people (therapists, diagnosticians, ST, OT and PT people). It was rather intense actually and somewhat stimulating for Luke. Luke definitely showed signs of his sensory stuff. Meaning, he would cover his ears when too many people were talking and interacting with him.

I was personally stressed about this and we did have an 'issue' upfront in the meeting. Long story short, there was this 'young' person that was a therapist and he kept getting in Luke's face and talking, asking him questions, talking in his space. Luke kept holding his ears and crying and I was getting anxious. Finally, after about 5 minutes of this...this PT therapist lady looks at me and says "I'm curious if Luke is bothered by him". (she pointed to the guy that was talking and in his face). YES! She said it. I said "well, I didn't want to say this...but yes, it's you". And, I pointed at the guy. (Awkward moment #1)

At this point, he backed off and all was well. Then, literally about 5 minutes thereafter Luke got stressed over a 'toy noise' and held his ears again. At this point, the same young therapist that was annoying Luke said "oh, that's strange".

Ok...pause here for a second. Note to everyone: Momma doesn't do well when people call her baby 'strange'.

So, of course, I immediately look him straight in the eye and said "it's not strange. It's called sensory integration issues. Nothing is 'strange' about it. The word strange is not valid here, he's sensory driven and you have to recognize that. Again..I repeated to him "nothing is strange".
I verbally bolded the word strange to him several times.

Insert Awkward moment #2 here. The room fell silent the the seasoned and mature therapists picked right back up where we left off.

My point was heard. Young therapist guy got quiet and not a word out of him the rest of the 2 hour meeting! Yes, you heard it. They spent almost 2 hours with Luke in this room.

Finally, after a few meltdowns from Luke I say "you know, Luke does so much better when Jon/I are not in the room with our home therapists. Would you like us to try that here?". They mutually and quickly agreed and guess what?! 5 minutes after leaving the main lady that was heading this thing up came out and said "we have a totally different kid in there". LOL. Yep...we know. Sadly, little Luke's parents cave in and protect him. We know this about ourselves. He literally pushes all of our buttons and boy was it apparent that day.

So...the great news and summary: After 2 hours of with parents present, not present, etc....they really, really got to see Luke perform to his fullest potential. Thank God the school has the foresight to give children 2 hours of play time so that they can see whom they really are. I swear if this had been a 30 minute meeting..they would have never seen Luke the way we see him.

The 2 therapists we talked too thereafter definitely said Luke is not ready for a classroom setting. However....

Here's what we came up with:
  • 9 hours of HOME BOUND cognitive teaching from a teacher that will come to our house 9/hours a week.
  • 4 hours of "WALK-IN" therapy that will include OT, PT and ST in the school setting! Meaning, we'll take him to school and he will have therapy in a room 4 hours a week.

Now, this is the beautiful part. They will bring 1-2 children in with Luke during his walk-in therapy sessions to get him accustomed to being around other children. The amazing part of this is that they can hand pick "healthy" kids that will not be sick and we can slowly transition Luke into the school system without him feeling so overwhelmed! Isn't that amazing?!!

Our goal is to slowly integrate him with other children and get him comfortable with the school building, the going to therapy and coming home, etc. We will slowly BUILD his school classroom in a way! Isn't that sooo cool. We are just so thrilled with the plan and we hope this will protect him from sickness during the flu season as well. (we are praying!)

This said, that's the skinny! Luke turns 3 in Nov. and this is when the transition from ECI to public school will take place. We hope to start Luke the 2nd week of December! Whoodeeehooo!

Ok blog family, thank you for your prayers for our sweet Luke. We are so proud of him and can't wait for the socialization he's going to get at school.

Personal note about being social: Had to say this real quick. When Luke was in the NICU (yes....2 mths old)...there was a nurse named Elsie. She came up to me early one morning when I arrived and she said "did you know that your son Luke is social?". I about fell over. I said "excuse me? how can you tell that?". She immediately explained to me that he was crying and wanted to face the nurses as they worked. So, they turned his little cribby around so that he could see them walk back and forth and then he was happy!". LOL

So...guess what! The same thing happened during this school meeting. One of the therapists walked out and said "your son is very social". Can you believe it?! I was like "uh huhhhh, just like his momma!". I had a proud mommy moment.

Ok family, I love you desperately.

Ok! Belly Luke shot below. This was taken at Luke's bday party! I'm trying to prepare him for Hannah. I'm not sure he really gets it yet. So funny! Hope you enjoyed. These pics crack me up!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Luke's turns 3 -- a month early!

Hey blog family,

I've been looking forward to posting this blog. We did Luke's bday party 1 month early due to ms. prissy pot is coming soon. I wanted to make sure I had the energy to give Luke a great party. His 'real' bday is Nov. 21st. So....he's one lucky little mister cuz he got to celebrate early! We had a great time. Everyone had a blast and I was thrilled that Luke was so good and enjoyed himself.

A note to CMS Parents: Luke still cannot eat solid we allowed him to taste the icing on the cake. Thankfully..he didn't like it. (we were worried he would want to eat the cake part..) Choking is still a huge fear for us as he'll choke on cheese puffs in therapy. We are still working on this. Also, Luke has offiically been diagnosed for 1.5years. That's a big deal for us. He's making great progress physically and cognitively.

The pictures below are a 'serious' summary of the day. I have so many pics ya'll as Aunt Lisa and Aunt Ericka were snapping away. But, I don't want to overwhelm you. So, here's a quicky recap. Now..keep in mind, everyone was there in the family with the exception of a few missing. I just chose to recap the highlights. Enjoy!

Luke's turns 3!!!

THEME: ZOOLOGY PARTY! Jungle animals and little animals have been his favorite thing this year. So, I chose a fun zoology kit that I got off the internet. It was perfect!

Oh ya'll! THE CAKE!! Jon/I went down to the bakery and ordered a huge TREE CAKE. We put animals under it and we were so, so,so, so excited at how the Cake turned out!! Isn't it so cool?! I was thrilled. In addition to cake, the food we served was hot dogs and chips. Can't go wrong with that huh?! Cheap and easy!

The birthday kit that I ordered came with a sign that I could personalize! Fun fun!

Luke preparing for his big day! He loved watching the balloons and all the goodies on the table.

OF COURSE! His latest obsession are BALLOONS! We made sure we stocked up on balloons and Aunt Lisa got him the mother load of Balloons as well. He was in Balloon heaven!

Luke opening up his GIFTS with me and daddy! He loved everything he got. He got wooden blocks, tons of books, great clothes, educational toys. We were elated! Thanks everyone! You did good!!

Papa Roma and Luke playing and having fun. My dad really bonded with Luke! Luke normally covers his ears when dad makes animal noises to get his attention....this time.... Totally different! He was screaming and laughing and begging for more. We actually have some of this on video. I'll post later this week. So adorable!

CAKE EATING TIME. Luke got the topper of the tree. However, one bite of frosting and he was done. LOL. Honestly, a great thing for us as we were afraid he'd want the cake part. So, we didn't have to fight that battle and we were relieved. (you know..the solid food thing is still a work & progress)

GUESTS and an attempt at a family birthday picture below! I loved the picture. We are all smiling! Just not 'at the camera'. LOL

The rest of the pics were the recap of Deb's new mini van. Luke playing and having fun! favorite part..Luke actively scooting over to Jillian (Deb's little girl) and wanting to give her a hug. This will be a whole new blog post later this week. It was over the top adorable and confirmation that my baby needs to be around more kids!
I hope you all enjoyed. We had a great time as did Luke. We are so proud of him that it's hard to put in words. Jonathan and I just adore his personality and disposition. God (as always) just does so well giving gifts to us. Lord, we thank you for our Luke. He's amazing and so very perfect to us. If by chance we don't think you daily for him and get into the busyness of the day......please know that we thank you in advance every day for this precious child. Thank you Lord for year 3! He rocks our world.
Love you all so much blog family,

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin Patch 08

Ok, so. Here we are. Pumpkin Patch 2008.

  • The girls took a pre-shot of me to test the light. Yeah...that's me below. Thanks for the side view shot. Sexy.
  • Ericka and Lisa were the photoggies and by God's grace...I just have amazing friends that would care enough early Friday morning for a much needed photoshoot! Love ya'll!
  • First 10 seconds and doing ok.
  • After about 20 starts making the sad face. (mom started to panic)
  • 1 minute into starts lifting his hands to his ears. (oh Lord, here we go)
  • 1 minute 10 starts holding ears, crying and then leans forward away from the sight of camera's.
  • 3 minutes breaks down, gives him a paci and we pretty much say "ok..whatever we get....we get".

TOTAL Happy Pumpkin time: 3 minutes (give and take)

TOTAL Meltdown time: 30 minutes (off and on)

TOTAL FUN TIME: girls had fun! LOL

TOTAL RATING OF THE DAY: 7 points. (I gave us 2 extra points as Luke did calm down but just wouldn't look straight and/or smile)

Enjoy the sequential order of the pics below. You'll definitely get the picture!!

FOR MORE PUMPKIN PICTURES: CLICK HERE for ERICKA's PHOTOGGY SITE (they are all so cute!...meltdown and all)

Umm, dedicated photographers always do whatever it takes to get the shot. If you need this type of the 2 girls below. LOL!!

umm, yeah...the above picture is called: Strange belly pumpkin out of nowhere?

My heart: Gracious me. Well, we really tried. The Sun was brutal and Luke just wasn't into the posing on pumpkins. I'm so ok with it. This is my sweetie pie. Meltdown and all...they are adorable to me!! LOL

My belly above cracked us all up! All I needed was some orange paint!

Hope you enjoyed our Pumpkin Patch excursion. Love you! A