Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Photography Class Part 2

Last night's photography class was waaaay better than the first one. The class started off with everyone showing their pictures that they brought for critique. Boy, that was nerve racking! But I made it through with no major wounds to my ego!

Then the instructor got down to the knitty gritty! My head is still swimming with F-Stops, Shutter Speads, Aperature, ISO, oh my!

So this is the jest of what I learned last night...

The bigger the ISO (the amount of light needed to capture an image), the larger the Depth of Field (how much of the picture that is in focus), the smaller the aperature.

The smaller the ISO, the smaller the Depth of Field, the larger the aperature.

Clear as mud?? That is what I thought too!

"Sweet Caroline"

So I am getting caught up on American Idol this morning, I had class last night. Let me first state that I am no Neil Diamond fan, so much so that I wasn't sure that we should name Caroline, Caroline, because I didn't want folks coming up to her and saying "Sweet Caroline, bum, bum, bum". It makes me cringe just thinking about it.

This week the Idols were singing Neil Diamond songs and David Archuleta sang "Sweet Caroline". I was nervous when he started, thinking "O'Lordy, this could be tragic". But he pulled it out Dog! I loved his version!! It wasn't cheesy (like Neil Diamond's version) and it really sounded nice.

While I am giving my American Idol opinions, can I just say...Paula, seriously, please! When it was time to give her comments to the contestants after round one, she had no idea who sang what or even who she was talking about. Are you kidding me!!! Get with the program Lady!!

My other opinion, David Cooke ROCKS!!! He is light years ahead of the other contestants. Amazing.

That's it, there you have it, my thoughts on Idol. Oh, yes and David Archuleta's version of "Sweet Caroline". Good Job!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Photography Class

So, I told you that I was taking a photography class and my first class meeting was last Tuesday. I told you that I would tell you more but then never did, well, here you have it.

The instructor is very knowledgeable in photography and I am very excited to learn from her. There are several students in the class with many different interests in photography (nature, portrait, etc). I am sure that I will learn so very much from the instructor as well as the other students.

Last week the topic was color theory. It was a very interesting lecture discussing the color wheel, complementary colors, etc. But I already knew all of the information. When I was in college (elementary education focusing on science) I took an entire semester class on color theory. So after 18 weeks of color, I know it. It has been beat into my brain. So I didn't really learn anything new. But I am still hopeful that I am going to be learning more than I even expect to.

For this weeks assignment we had to take four photos with composition in mind, using the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds, the short version, imagine a tic tac toe grid in your camera's viewfinder while taking a picture and placing your subject on an area where the lines intersect. So I have been working on that. I will let you know how this week goes, class is tonight.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Lilo says...

Ok, for this installment of "Lilo Says" I need to give you a bit of background so that you will be able to get the full funny.

So here is the background info needed...Josh is hairy. Not so much on his head (sorry honey!) but on places like his legs, arms and chest (very hairy).

I was in the shower when Caroline said this so this is the story that Josh gave when I got out. He said that he was giving Caroline a kiss and she told him that he was "scratchy" (he needed shave), playing around Josh said "no, you're scratchy". They went back and forth with this, "no, you're scratchy!", "no, you're scratchy". Then Caroline said "no Dad, I am not scratchy, I have skin. You have fur!"

The kid cracks me up!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hula Cutie

Josh and I went shopping at the outlet malls in Branson, MO over the weekend. It was how we celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary, woohoo! Anyway, there was a Disney Outlet and we found Lilo this super cute shirt.
Notice, it has Lilo and Stitch on it!! I am not one for clothing with characters on it (we save the characters for our pjs) but this was too cute to pass up! Josh and I were a bit bummed that they didn't have a Stitch shirt for William. It is really hard to find Lilo and Stitch items in the store because it is an older movie, so this was a score!! It says "Hula Cutie" on it. Here is Caroline giving you a pose.
ps. She LOVED it!! She wore it to school on Tuesday.

Service Meeting

Today, I sat down to watch American Idiol that I had recorded last night. I had my first photography class so I was not home to watch it (more on that later). I was watching the show, which I was not too impressed with anyone, and while David Cook was singing I started crying. Now, don't get me wrong, I really like David Cook, but his performance was not one to cry over. I was trying to get ahold of myself and I kept asking myself, "what in the heck is wrong with you??" Then I realized that I was crying because we had the service meeting for William's therapies today. The service meeting is something that we have every six months to go over William's IFSP and make any changes that need to be made.

I have mentioned this before about the evaluations and how much I really dislike them. They remind me about how "delayed" William is (because they so nicely lay it all out for you). The only real change that was made to the IFSP was that we are going to add physical therapy every week (it was only twice a month before). They want to get him walking (and I want to get him walking). The area that Will is really lacking in is Language skills. He is functioning at a 9 month old level. Will is able to say some "words" but not all of the time. He can say "cow", "all done", "go" and of course, "dada". He can also sign "more". But he really doesn't say any of those words when prompted, he just says them, hmmm, when he feels the urge.

I knew what the reports were going to say, I know that he is delayed, I know that his language skills are not that of his peers, I know that he is 20 months old and not walking and I know that he does eat well. So why am I so upset????

My guess...I just go through my day without thinking about it all. I just do what it is that I have to do. This is what I have to do to keep my sanity. I do the therapies, I do the feedings, I do the doctor appointments but most importantly I just "be" with my kids. Will is just Will to me, he is not a syndrome, he is not a delay. RTS does not define who William is, William is NOT RTS. So when it is all spelled out right in front of me, I remember, I think about it, I get sad.

So I sit here in tears, thinking about the "what ifs" and the "could have beens" and the "should have beens". But hey, I am getting better. This only happens every six months now and not every day like it was in the beginning. But for me, Holland sucks today.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My shopping addiction

Josh and I are working toward financial freedom by following the principals of Dave Ramsey. We are trying to "live like no one else so that later we can live like no one else", translated: We are working toward being debt free so that we can live the life that we want to later. We have a budget, which we both agree on and we both stick to. We don't use credit cards, we don't even have one. And we will never borrow money again. I know, shocking! This has been the number one best thing that we could have done for our marriage. We never fight about money, ever! We don't have to, we both know how much money we have at all times because we can look at the budget. Josh and I have been hard at it for about two years now and we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It has been hard and we have had to give up things that we like (Cardinal season tickets, shopping at the mall, etc). We only have one student loan to pay off and then we will be debt free except for our mortgage. When we pay off this debt it is going to be a happy day!! We can't wait.

I am a girl. Girls like to shop. Girls like to get good deals. And because our budget is tight and we want to save as much money as possible, shopping for the sake of shopping is not allowed (unless we have it budgeted). But I have found that I can still get the "shopping high" from buying things that we need and getting it at awesome prices. I do this by shopping at CVS. They have a rewards program where you can earn "CVS Money" called Extra Care Bucks (ECBs) so I can get alot of things for free, and I love free!! Anyhoo, I starting reading Crystal's blog Money Saving Mom and she shows you how you can really save some money by shopping at CVS. I am now addicted! LOL!
Here is my complaint...
There is only one CVS in my area. And if you don't get there on Sunday when the sale starts you are not going to get the good stuff that is on sale (the items that produce ECBs). There must be some SERIOUS CVSers in my area that go in at midnight and just buy the store out!! It seems that the last few weeks when I have gone to work my deals, they are out of everything. I mean, the shelves are bare!! So, if you shop at the CVS in Edwardsville, please leave some stuff for me!!
Here is the best part of CVS shopping...
I have a big enough stockpile that I can share it with others. My "CVS Free Shelf" in the closet it full and I can share my stuff with others. Remember my sister Marcea? She is in college and working really hard. I gave her a goodie bag full of stuff that I got for free at CVS (toothpaste, deodorant, lip gloss, body wash, etc) and she was very grateful to receive it. It makes me feel good to be able to help her out. I have also given items to my other sister, Leslie and to my Mom. It is like Christmas when I give it to them, they are so excited to see what is in the bag!! I love it!!
I also like to come home and tell Josh how much money I spent. If Josh is not available, I usually call my Mom. I always say, "I got all of this for ____!!" They are always very impressed. Like last week, I got two big bottles of laundry detergant with ECBs and coupons for 27 cents. I know, Can you believe it!!!??? When the cashier gave me my total, I think that I squelled in excitment (I know, I need to get out more).
So there you have it, My name is Myssie and I am addicted to CVS.
If you are curious in all of this and want to learn more, visit this webite. And if you want to find out how to have financial freedom, visit this website.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It was beautiful outside today so the kids and I went out into the backyard. They had fun. Will really likes the playhouse, he played in it the entire time that we were outside. Caroline was running around like a crazy kid! Here is Will in his Cozy Cottage! He loved to open and close the door and the windows.
I got my camera out and started to play. I am getting ready to start a photography class next week, I am super excited. The class is offered through the St. Louis Camera Club, it is one night a week for six weeks. I am really looking forward to learning some new skills and having some fun with my camera!
So here are some of my shots today...


Caroline striking a pose!
Will climbing the steps.
Peace Out!!

St. Louis Cardinal Game

Last night, my friend Laura and I went to a Cardinal's baseball game. Her work had an employee outing and she could bring a guest and invited me! Our seats were along the third base line in the Musial Bridge. During the game we were given a buffet with hot dogs, nachos, chicken and brownies to munch on as well as drinks (soda and water) and beer (after all, we are in StL!). It was a really nice night and the game was good too! The Cardinals won (we even got to see a few homeruns!).

Josh is in Albuquerque, New Mexico for work until Friday (he has been gone since Monday). So I had Christina (Josh's cousin) come and watch the kids while I went to the game. Christina is a FABULOUS babysitter (I highly recommend her!) and I am so grateful that she was available to watch the kids. Christina did great with the kids and she even had to tube feed Will (yes, we are still having to do that!) and she didn't get weirded out by it. Some people don't like to tube feed him because they feel intimidated by it or think that they are going to hurt him or something but not Christina, she is a trooper! It eases a Momma's mind to know that your kids are being well taken care of!

I don't normally leave my kiddos with babysitters only family (my parents or Josh's parents, or my sister and brother in law, etc) so I was a little nervous about leaving them. I told Christina that I was kind of freaking out about leaving and she looked at me a smiled and said "I have watched them before and they were smaller then." And I thought to myself, she is right, she can handle this and I need to chill out. I don't know what I was worried about, I knew that Christina could handle anything that my kids could throw at her. But just in case, I left my cell phone number!

She said that Caroline went to bed fine but it was Will that didn't want to go to sleep! But he finally gave it up around 9pm (an hour after his normal bedtime).

Thank you Laura for inviting me to go to the game, I had a really great time! Thank you Christina for watching my kids and allowing to get a little break this week!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Lilo says...

Caroline was on the verge of a fit because she wanted me to get her a drink of Apple Juice and I didn't jump to get it right away. I told her that I would get it in just a minute and that she needed to get some patience. To which she replied (and I quote) "I don't have that super power today".

I am serious, I don't know where she comes up with this stuff!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Miralax Miracle

Miralax is a pooping miracle!! I gave Will his first dose today and within 30 minutes of drinking it he was going. And he went, and went, and went, and went some more. I think the kid has gone more today then he has his entire life. And, as if I haven't told you enough already, he could go without straining. I am very pleased with the fast results, as so is Will!

She is ready for Broadway!!!!

Turn up the volume on your computer! And while listening and watching please remember that this is what I listen to all day long. The child is obsessed with Princesses, Ariel being one of her favorites. Do you think that I should turn into one of those "Stage Moms" and push my child to be a star?? She may just have what it takes to be the next child pop star!! LOL!

video

Monday, April 14, 2008

Will's 18 month Well Baby visit...a few months late.

Today Will had his 18 month Well Baby visit with his pediatrician. I know, he is 20 months old now but hey, better late than never.


The nurse checked his weight, height and head circumference. His stats are as follows...

Weight: 18 pounds 3 ounces

Height: 28.5 inches

HC: 43.9cm


The doctor was pleased that Will is growing on his own curve. His growth is charted on the RTS growth chart and his is continuing on a steady growth curve. I don't even ask what percentile he is measuring in because, frankly, I don't care. I don't like to get all caught up in the numbers, it can really be overwhelming for me. Will is growing, that is all that matters.


I spoke with the doctor about Will's constipation issues. He has been really backed up lately and he has been very uncomfortable lately. I asked him to prescribe Miralax, which should help with the problem. I will let you all know if it helps. I believe that every child with RTS is on Miralax, I think that it is part of the RTS diet!


He had to get two shots today. I think that Will took it better than Caroline did. She doesn't do well when the doctors make Will cry. Will doesn't like to have his ears looked at, it doesn't hurt, he just doesn't like it, so he usually cries during that part of the exam. So when the doctor started to check Will's ears she turned and faced the wall and put her hands over her ears so that she wouldn't hear Will cry. When the nurse came back in to give Will his shots Caroline said that she wanted to hold Will's hand but when the nurse had the shot in hand Caroline did the hands over the ears faced the wall thing again.


If you remember, Caroline doesn't do so well with shots so I have a feeling that her not wanting to look at the shots going in was behind the hands over the ears and facing the wall during that part of the exam. But I think that it is so sweet that she doesn't like to see her brother upset. She sure does love her brother!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tricycle

I went to a yardsale on Saturday morning and scored this awesome tricycle for only $5.00!! I know you are all jealous! Just kidding! Anyway, the great thing about this tricycle is that it can be turned into a rocking tricycle or the rocking component can be turned into a handle that I can hold on to and push him. My discription is lacking something but I hope that you get the idea. I am going to have to figure out how to rig a seat belt onto it though. Anywoo, it is always a mistery whether or not Will is going to enjoy something that I buy him or not. There have been serveral items that I have bought and thought that he would just love them and he could have cared less about them. So I am happy to report that he likes the tricycle. Here are some pictures of the little guy trying it out.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Duocal update...

So we have been adding the duocal to Will's pediasure since Tuesday. On Wednesday we had to tube him his last bottle of the day because he had slowed down so much that he would not have been able to get it in before bedtime. That was pretty frustrating since we hadn't had to tube him in 2 months.

He is continuing to struggle to get the full 24 ounces a day in, so we are back to tubing him in the evening. I guess I can handle tubing again as long as it is not followed by the vomiting, like before. I will keep you updated.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Evaluations

We have a service meeting scheduled at the end of this month to update Will's IFSP. So all of Will's therapists are doing their evaluations to prepare for the meeting. We have these meetings every six months to re-evaluate Will's goals for his therapy and to make sure that we are happy with all of the services that he is recieving. We have these meeting in our home with Will's service coordinator and all of his therapists.

I have bitter sweet feelings regarding these evaluations. I get excited to see how much Will has grown in his progress and to look at the things that he has accomplished during the six months. But it also makes me fully aware of how "delayed" he is compared to "typical" children his age. I know, I know, I shouldn't compare but that is what these evaluations do! Again, bitter sweet.

Today Will had his evaluation by his physical therapist, Jenny. To date, Will is 19 months and 21 days old. These are the results...

In stationary skills (skills done while sitting) he scored at 18 months.
In mobility skills he scored at 13 months. He scored low in this catagory because he is not walking yet.
In "ball" skills (skills done while playing with a ball) he scored at 15 months. He would have scored higher if he were able to kick the ball and throw the ball over handed.

All in all I think that he is doing fabulous but it still hurts my heart to be shown his delays. You know what I mean?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Weight Update

Today Will had an appointment with Cassie, his dietician. We had not been to see her for two months. That was when Will was switched from the baby formula to the pediasure.

So today was a follow up. She checked his weight and he had not even gained an ounce! Boo! We were hoping that since the pediasure was higher calorie that he would gain weight faster than before. Not the case.

She thought that maybe the no weight gain was because Will is more active now and he is burning more calories. Nonetheless, he needs more calories. We are now going to add the duocal to his pediasure. If you remember, we had to add the duocal to his formula. Duocal is a calorie adding powder that mixes into the pediasure and doesn't have a taste. He doesn't even know that it is in there.

So we have an appointment with Dr. Brady next month and we will re-evaluate then. Cassie is the dietician at Dr. Brady's office so the two of them can discuss our plan of action at that time. We are hoping that Will gains some weight by then, if not we may have to add a feed while he is sleeping, through his feeding tube. I would really prefer to avoid doing this because I think that it will be pretty difficult to have Will attached to a pump while he is trying to sleep.

On a positive note, Cassie was very happy that we have not had to tube feed William in over month and a half. She thought that was a really good sign.

Please pray for weight gain!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Old Friends Reunited....

When we went to Indiana last month Caroline forgot her favorite critter, Baby Scrap at the Hotel.

Today...

She got a box with her name on it.


She was very excited to see what was inside.


Mom, it's Baby Scrap!!


Friends Reunited!!!

Peek...



A Boo!



I couldn't find Will today. Then I heard my pots and pans moving around in the cabinet. Then he opened the door! He had been sitting in the cabinet for several minutes before I had found him.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Look what Caroline grew!

Last week at school the theme was "Spring". As a project the kids decorated a flower pot and then planted a tulip bulb.

Caroline's tulip bloomed today! She was so proud. I was proud that I managed to not kill it within a week!