Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Three and a half years old!

Reece turned 3 and a half while we were at our first ever week-long beach vacation to St. George Island, FL. This is a picture of her looking at the ocean for the first time! She wasn't very sure of it!
What she lacked in enthusiasm for the ocean, she made up for with enthusiasm for the sand and making sand castles and filling the buckets! You can see all the buckets lined up behind her!
This is a picture from the next month, when we went on a Pumpkin Patch field trip in the freezing cold! I just love this picture of her! Her eyes are so striking to me!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Reece at age 3!

Who can resist this face?? This is my baby girl on her third birthday!
Here is Reece after she had opened her presents!
Reece loved, and still loves, playing with shaving cream! Sometimes, it even stays on the cookie sheet!

3 was a big year for us as a family! It was the year that we finally agreed that she was not developing in a typical manner! I have a video I am going to embed as soon as YouTube has it ready, and I put it here for two reasons. The first is to show how we missed some very clear signs, and how we were really compensating hard for her. The second is because I intend to put up another video of her on her 5th birthday, to show how far she has come in the last 2 years! :) She is a remarkable girl, and she's really made some great progress!

Ok, here is the video (I hope!).




Monday, February 26, 2007

Two and a half!

Time sure is flying, it seems! In today's pictures, Reece is 2 and a half years old! She looks so much like her current self, just smaller and with a baby face!

I love this picture! She had been in her room 'playing' while we were doing school! She had taken all of the books off her bookcase and put herself there instead! What a silly girl!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Reece at TWO!

Here's a picture of Reece on her 2nd birthday! I just love this outfit! An online friend, Chandra, made it for her! We spent her 2nd birthday at the Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, a childrens museum, with our friends!
This is one of my all-time favorite pictures! This was taken through the cut-out window that peeks from my living room into my kitchen! Austin was trying to get his school work done, and Reece just sat on his lap and started to color! He just kept up doing his work! This is one of those moments that just makes me so happy that we are a homeschooling family! I firmly believe that Austin and Reece would not be as close as they are if they were in school. Austin would have been gone all day for all of Reece's life.
This dress is also one of my favorites! It reads, "Arrr... swash, swash, buckle, buckle" which is something that Orlando Bloom says on the Blooper Reel on the Curse of the Black Pearl Bonus features disc! She had a pirate diaper to go with it, and I'll try to hunt down a picture of that diaper! I believe I ordered this outfit when we hit 2 years of nursing! LOL
Speaking of Pirates of the Caribbean.... did anyone else notice that there are only 3 MORE MONTHS POTC 3 is out in the theaters!?!??! I cannot wait!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Define Spillproof?

This is another picture of Reece at around a year and a half old! :) She got ahold of the "spillproof" paint cups and decided to draw a picture all over the floor and herself! I'm glad I had the presence of mind to take a picture, because I was really upset when I saw this! But now, all this time later, it really is funny! She looks very proud of herself, doesn't she?


Friday, February 23, 2007

18 months old

LOL Yes, it's another 'make a statement about nursing' shirt! This one reads "Breastmilk... It does a toddler good!" Here is Reece at just about 18 months old! She's starting here to really look like herself!


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Reece turns one year old!

Here are pictures from Reece's first birthday! She was none too impressed with the smush cake we had given her! And Riley ran up and blew out her candle! LOL

Here is a birthday cloth diaper that I had made for Reece's first birthday! :)
As I celebrate milestones in our nursing progress, I would reward us with little presents, like this tshirt. This one says, "Yes, I'm STILL nursing!" :)




Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My favorite Reepie baby picture

Here is another scan of a picture from Reece's baby book... and as you can read, she is 5 months old in this picture! This is probably one of my favorite pictures of her as a baby. It's funny to look back and see what a huge baby she was, since she is so petite now! She loved sitting and rocking in this little bouncy seat! :)


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Reece as a newborn

In honor of Reece's upcoming 5th birthday (and stolen straight from Heather's blog --- for HER daughter's 5th birthday!), over the next 11 days until Reece's actual big day, I will be featuring pics and some possible videos of the girl herself --- through the years!

Here she is at birth! These are all scans since I wasn't digital yet back then! The picture on the left is right after she was cleaned up after birth. The picture on the right is of her sleeping at the hospital in the basinett. If you look closely you can see polaroids of Austin and Riley that we put in there so she would have her brother and sister close by! :)

This is a picture of my wonderful husband and me, during Reece's first nursing. I was so proud of nursing, and I wanted to document our experiences! (I had not tried to nurse Austin, and had only made it a few days with Riley -- ended up nursing Reece for 2.5 years!)

Friday, February 16, 2007

TGIF 2/16/07

We've had a really busy week this week and I apologize for not keeping up with blogging! It all began last Saturday when Reece had 3 birthday parties she was invited to attend. The first party was for her friend at preschool, and it was held at the same place where she will be having her birthday party in a couple of weeks! It was a fantastic place for a party, and I know we're going to have a wonderful time! I just cannot believe that she's going to be FIVE already!

Something really neat happened at the party: we arrived late and everyone was already running around and having fun! I told Reece we needed to find C's mom and tell her we were there, before she could go play. So we did that, and C ran by. He saw Reece and she saw him and it was hugging time! Then they ran off to play together. She wanted to go from one thing to another, and instead of just running ahead, I saw her stop, turn around and look at C, wait for him to catch up, and then they ran off together! I wanted to scream, "HEY! Look at that referencing and coordination!" But I don't think anyone would have appreciated it as much as I did!

The party went smoothly. The night before, during her bedtime story, "Princess Reece" had gone to 2 birthday parties for her friends. It was sort of a 'social stories' way to prepare her for what she might experience. It worked well! Except I didn't realize they would turn off the lights while they sang Happy Birthday! LOL I started to dash over to her when the lights went out, but she was fine, so I stayed put.

We went home and picked up Riley and headed to the next party! This was a pottery painting party and was excellent. I started writing this Friday and ran out of time... now it's Saturday evening! Reece did so well at the pottery party... she chose a ballet shoe to paint and did a really good job with it! She also did well at paying attention to the lady who was running the party! Riley had a blast with her friend, too (the birthday girl's big sister).

The early part of the week was busy getting ready for the Valentine party at preschool. I had signed up to be the one in charge of the party, but with Reece being sick the first week of February, and Miss Angie's children being sick the 2nd week... I didn't find out about the party until it was too late to recruit any help! But I got it pulled together and it was great! I think all of the kids had fun! Wednesday and Thursday we buckled down and got our work done, and caught up on Monday and Tuesday's work as well.

Austin lost another tooth over the course of the week, and then he just lost another one tonight! LOL I don't think he could possibly have any other teeth to lose in there! We go to the dentist in a couple of weeks so they should be able to tell me! Maybe they will give me a discount on his cleaning since there aren't all that many teeth that could even be cleaned! ;)

That's about all I can remember from the week! It was so busy! :) I will try to do better this week about keeping up with my blog!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

More Artwork from Reece

Can you tell what the story is that she's drawn? :)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Disappointed

Today we went to the JumpZone for Homeschool Day. JumpZone is an inflatable play area, known to our family as a "bouncy place". I had been looking forward to going, and now I sort of wished we had never gone.

Right after we walked in, a boy came to Austin and asked him to play air hockey. Austin said sure and they ran off together. I was really happy! About 20 minutes later, Austin went running by me and I asked if he was done with the air hockey. He said, "Yes! And the boys gave me a nickname!" I said, "Cool! What is it?"

"Nerd."

I stopped him from running off and had him repeat himself to make sure I heard him correctly. I had indeed heard correctly. This is a group of homeschoolers... cannot believe that Austin would be called a name like that by another homeschooled child.

I told Austin that 'nerd' is not a nice thing to call someone, and that people who might call him a nerd are not the kind of people he would want to play with. He said OK and ran off. I saw him playing with these boys again later. (I also saw the boy who came up with the nickname back-talking the workers at the place several times.)

Austin just didn't understand that they were making fun of him. :( That is so sad to me.

None of the mothers spoke to me either.

The kids still said they had a good time, and they can't wait to go back so I guess we will. But I will be prepared next time. I won't go in thinking we'd make some nice, new homeschool friends.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

1 in 150



This was everywhere in the news today. I needed to get a grip on myself before I could blog about it. There needs to be more attention to this! I know alot of people think it's not 'real' or it's just the 'diagnosis of the day', but that couldn't be further from the truth. People need to open their eyes and realize there is an epidemic among us. And we need answers! Our children deserve some answers!!


Autism more prevalent than previously thought, CDC finds
By MIKE STOBBE
The Associated Press Published on: 02/08/07


About one in 150 American children has autism, an urgent public health concern, said U.S. health officials Thursday who reported on the largest study done so far on the troubling disorder.
The new numbers, based on 2002 data from 14 states, are higher than previously reported.
Advocates said the study provides a sad new understanding of how common autism is, and should fuel efforts to get the government to spend hundreds of millions of additional dollars for autism research and services.
"This data today shows we're going to need more early intervention services and more therapists, and we're going to need federal and state legislators to stand up for these families," said Alison Singer, spokeswoman for Autism Speaks, the nation's largest organization advocating more services for autistic children.
The study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which included children from the metro Atlanta area, calculated an average autism rate 6.6 per 1,000. That compares with last year's estimated rate of 5.5 in 1,000.
The research involved an intense review of medical and school records for children in all or part of 14 states and gives the clearest picture yet of how common autism is in some parts of the country, CDC officials said.
However, those states are not demographically representative of the nation as a whole, so officials cautioned against using the results as a national average. The study doesn't include some of the most populous states like California, Texas and Florida.
Also, the study does not answer whether autism is increasing — a controversial topic, driven in part by the contention by some parents and advocates that autism is linked to a vaccine preservative. The best scientific studies have not borne out that claim.
"We can't make conclusions about trends yet," because the study's database is too new, said Catherine Rice, a CDC behavioral scientist who was the study's lead author.
Autism is a complex disorder usually not diagnosed in children until after age 3. It is characterized by a range of behaviors, including difficulty in expressing needs and inability to socialize. The cause is not known.
Scientists have been revising how common they think the disorder is. Past estimates from smaller studies have ranged from 1 out of every 10,000 children to nearly 1 in 100.
Last year's estimate of 5.5 out of every 1,000 U.S. children was based on national surveys of tens of thousands of families with school-age kids. That fit into a prevalence range found in other recent studies.
The CDC also has been developing an alternate way of measuring autism prevalence, building a network of university and state health departments for ongoing surveillance of autism and developmental disabilities. The study released Thursday is one of the first scientific papers to come out of that effort.
"This is a more accurate rate because of the methods they used," said Dr. Eric Hollander, an autism expert at New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
The study involved 2002 data from parts or all of 14 states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Researchers looked specifically at children who were 8 years old that year. They said most children with autism are identified for medical or educational services by that age.
The researchers checked health records in each area and school records when they were made available, looking for children who met diagnostic criteria for autism. They used those numbers to calculate a prevalence rate for each study area.
The rates varied from 3.3 per 1,000 in the study site in Alabama, which was made up of the state's 32 northernmost counties, to 10.6 in the site in New Jersey, which involved four counties, including metropolitan Newark. Georgia's rate was 7.6 per 1,000.
Researchers say they don't know why the rate was so high in New Jersey. They think the Alabama rate was low at least partly because researchers had limited access to special education records there.



Why reading the news is depressing

I just spent 30 minutes reading the news from various online sources that I trust. I am now officially depressed. Here is why:

1. The Bird Flu is coming and it's going to kill over half of the people it infects. There may be vaccines, but as I have no trust left in the vaccine manufacturing industry, I don't know if it would be safe to take it.

2. Georgia's Health Insurance program for the middle class and poor is effectively bankrupt. They have stopped taking new applications, and money for current members is expected to be gone in March. The federal government denied emergency funding. I don't think socialized health care is the answer... but something has got to be done! Health care costs are astronomical, and insurance rates are insane for families.

3. Anna Nicole Smith has died. I feel so sorry for her poor 5 month old baby. :(

4. Georgia Power was just given the approval to institute a $5 per month rate increase, starting next month. More money out of our pockets.

5. In order to apply for a scholarship for Austin to attend a special day camp this summer for one week, I would have to register to participate in a fund-raising walk. The entry fee is $25. Why should I have to PAY to be eligible to get scholarship funds?


There's more but it's just too darn depressing. What on earth is going on with the world?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Heat Wave?

The forecast for today indicated we'd have highs in the upper 50s! I figured we should take advantage of such lovely weather and head to the zoo to see the baby panda. Isn't it funny how our perspectives can change? I used to not even let the kids go out to play it it was in the low to mid 50s! LOL Anyway, it was beautiful today! We took jackets and sweaters, and I had packed hats and mittens because it was very windy. We didn't end up needing them, and the girls dumped their sweaters soon after arriving!

Here is Miss Riley posing in front of the reptile house:

And Miss Reece didn't want to be left out of the action:
Here is the whole reason we headed down to the zoo today! And she slept the whole time we were there! LOL I think next time we will go early in the morning and try to catch her while she's awake and alert! She sure is a cutie pie though!




Friday, February 02, 2007

How do I love thee?

Austin and I, the two remaining sick members of the BPA, are laying in bed watching ESPN. Well, mom is typing away on her laptop! LOL

Austin just leaned over to me and said, "Mom I love you more than the words I can say. It's here (taps chest), in my heart! I'll even buy you a Pibb on Super Bowl Sunday!"

What greater expression of love is there than a son buying a Pibb for his mama? :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Someone is listening in to our grammar lessons...

Riley is nearly finished with First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, and one of the last big tasks is to memorize the definition of a preposition and then memorize a list of prepositions. So we were working on this this morning... and Reece came into the kitchen and jumped up on the chair behind me and started reciting:

"A preposition is a word that shows the relationship of a mumble mumble pronoun to a word in the sentence. "


We all just cracked up! I guess she's not going to have trouble with FLL in 1st and 2nd grades is she? LOL