Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Break

Wow! What a week! We have had a great time on Spring Break! We started it off with Evan's 7th birthday party. I cannot believe he is already 7! Time is going by too fast! He had a GREAT time at the Jump Zone. After jumping, we headed on over to his favorite restaurant for some Mexican food and birthday cake.

The next day is when we headed to Great Wolf Lodge. Oh my goodness! It was SO much fun. Derek and I just had the best time watching Evan have the time of his life. Ella Grace loved it, too, but Evan was in heaven!

Once back home, we played a lot at home, did some shopping and went on a few outings. I really wanted to take them to Wye Mountain. It is a beautiful daffodil patch. There are daffodils as far as you can see. Well, we went, and I guess we missed the peak days because there were NO daffodils. Ha! It didn't surprise me. That's just how we roll I guess. The kids still had a great time running around and we did manage to find a few flowers left.

Saturday, my mom watched Ev and EG, so Derek and I could have a date day/night. It was wonderful. We got a lot done and went to church. It was a great service. Then, we settled in with some take-out. We slept in this morning and are getting anxious to go get the kidlets. It's nice to have Derek all to myself, but I'm always ready to go get the rest of "us!" Ha! I love that before bed Ella Grace asked my mom, "I want to call Momma." When I answered the phone, she told me "Goodnight, Momma," soooo sweet!

Oh, and if you get a chance, I need you to pray for me. Remember when I told you all about this scary thing I did? Well, looks like I'll be doing it again Tuesday morning at 10:00 in front of the Senate! Aaaagh! I'm a ball of nerves just thinking about it! Thank you!

I snapped this picture sometime during our break. They had crawled in our bed that night. Nothing like a family bed! Neither one had any idea they were THAT close together. Ha! I thought it was so sweet. Ella would have loved the idea...Evan not so much! Ha!

Well, I'm off to get the kidlets. I hope you all had a fantastic Spring Break and enjoy a restful Sunday!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Time in Texas

Evan is on Spring Break this week and we have gotten it off to a FANTASTIC start. We have been having a ball here in Texas at The Great Wolf Lodge! It is a kid friendly lodge that is adjoined with an indoor water park (we didn't want to have to worry about the weather, so indoor was GREAT). If you ever get the chance to visit a Great Wolf Lodge, go. They are all around the country. It is A LOT of fun! Evan and Ella Grace have been having THE best time ever! Derek and I are completely worn out of course (LOL!), but E and EG are going strong all day and having a blast. We all crash hard at night! :)

Here are some sneak peeks of the fun we have been having...

EG had to have swim goggles because she did not like the water to get in her eyes. She would pull them down herself when we were going on a ride where she was likely to get splashed.

Evan's favorite thing to do in the world is swim, so this was right up his alley.

Ella Grace's favorite thing at the water park! She loved to get on this and spray her daddy! She is cracking up in this picture. It makes me laugh just looking at it.

Evan's favorite thing to do was the water slides. He really liked the ones in this video, but he also tried the bigger ones, too, with his daddy! We timed this trip just right to our unknowing. He was the perfect size...small enough to still get to play in the kiddie pool but big enough to ride the big rides. Soooo much to do! What a lucky boy!!! By the way, he is the one at the top trying to decide which slide to go down. Awww, decisions, decisions! :)

Yay for Spring Break!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thick Skinned

I've come a long way from that girl who was self-conscious and analyzed every little thing that was said to least when it comes to my children. I don't put up with much anymore.

I've also come a long way in my journey with autism. I think today is a day where I've realized just HOW far I have come. I started this lovely Spring day with a trip to the hair salon. I have been looking forward to it for two weeks! Derek called me on my way to tell me our President was in hot water because he was on the Jay Leno show and referred to his poor bowling score as it being "like the Special Olympics." Honestly, it make me sick to my stomach. I really could not believe it. In this day and time, how could someone, much less our President, make such a hurtful statement? Of course everything coming from his camp is saying he in no way meant to say anything negative about Special Olympics. Ummm, okay???

This made me think about a co-worker that I was very close to when I worked out in the "real world." Every year our company had a campaign that benefited Special Olympics. Part of our sales would go to support the athletes. What a great way to help out! I was proud to be a part of it. I was shocked one day, while in this co-worker's office, and while talking about the campaign she started to act as if she was mentally impaired. I was mortified. I remember stopping her in her tracks! Not happening in MY presence. This was WAY before I even had a thought of becoming a mom, much less being the blessed mom of a special needs child.

I think I have always had a heart for special needs children. I think God has been preparing me from when I was a child. I remember in second or third grade being asked to move my desk near a child that had some sort of special needs. I'm not really sure what it was. He was a twin named Darren. I vividly remember helping him with his work each day. It makes me feel good now when I think about it...that my teacher saw something in my heart at that age where she thought I would be a good helper for him. I'm not bragging of course, just knowing that God was preparing me even back then.

Back to our day...

Our day continued on with a hair cut for Evan. We have only taken Evan to an actual salon twice and I have cut his hair myself ever since. With the encouragement of his Occupational Therapist, we decided it would be a good idea to start getting him used to going to get his hair cut at a salon. Keep in mind that my son with autism has a lot of sensory needs and while clippers have a small buzzing noise to us, they are amplified to him, not to mention the vibrations are as well. Evan did so well going in and sitting in the chair. He let her comb his hair, but when the clippers came on it was World Wrestling Federation! He was SO upset, crying, yelling, "Help!" The whole episode was stressful enough without the old man staring at and calling my son, "a cry baby." Oh yes, this man called my son, who was in obvious distress, "a cry baby." Okay y'all, it took every ounce of my being not to set him straight right then and there. This is when I realized how far I have come. I tried to stand in between his staring and Evan, but he would lean around to make a face at Evan. I didn't say anything to him because I have learned sometimes it is not worth my breath. However, as Ella Grace gets older, I will have to figure out the best way to handle be a good example to her to not get angry, but to show her that it is unacceptable when Evan is not treated with respect. I have, however, on occasion, when being stared at, given the staree a huge smile and the biggest wave so they get the hint without me saying, "You are staring. You are being rude, and I have this situation under control."

I got a call about an hour later from the hair stylist apologizing 100 times for the rude man. She was so sweet and so worried we had our feelings hurt. She said she addressed him when we left. Good for her! I appreciated that. I guess my feelings weren't hurt as much as I was frustrated. I just don't understand WHY someone would say something so rude. I have to believe that this man did not know Evan had autism. It would have been just as bad him taunting a typical child having a meltdown, which happens, too.

I know of another mom who came up with cards no bigger than business cards. They explained her son had autism and what autism was. She would hand them to people who were staring, etc. If I made cards, I would also include in my cards the positive things...the things Evan is good at and how incredibly smart he is.

Maybe I need to adopt these cards and send one to President Obama! :)

If you don't read Renee's blog, go by and read this post. She is an amazing mom. No matter what difference in abilities a child may have, all moms and dads feel the same way about their children with and without special needs. Go read it. It will touch your heart. No coincidence I read it last night. I know it helped me not react hatefully to this man today. I also know for every one inconsiderate person, there are countless others who love and support Evan and us. That's what matters to me.

Now, on to what's really important today, the hair cut...

Tell me, how cute it he with his little hair cut and evidence of a spaghetti dinner thoroughly enjoyed???

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Big D!

Yesterday was my better half's birthday. We celebrated with me in the bed with a stomach virus. Isn't that nice??? Hopefully, we'll get a chance to celebrate tomorrow when he is off for the day.

Happy Birthday, Derek!

Derek and I met (over the phone) the day after his 17th birthday. That means we've been together 21 years now! That's hard to believe. I always tell him I knew him back when he was all elbows and knees (oh my, he was SO skinny), but sooo cute! I still remember the outfit he wore the first time he came over to my house to watch television (I couldn't date yet). It was a pink and blue plaid shirt with acid washed jeans and completed by snake skin cowboy boots. Oh yeah!!!

I can honestly say Derek is everything I wish I was...handsome, smart, a loyal friend, has the sweetest heart of anyone I know, incredibly nice, generous, funny, athletic...I could go on! I'm a better person for having been his wife. I'm so thankful God brought us together at such a young age!

I love you, Der Bear. Happy Birthday! He's is going to LOVE this post (hee hee)!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wanna Know What Makes Me Happy?

On this foggy, cloudy Tuesday, I am dreaming of Ella Grace in this...

Her Easter dress.
It makes me SO happy!

I had spotted a beautiful smocked pink dress in this adorable local boutique and decided not to buy it because it was a bit pricey. I looked online and could have gotten it cheaper, but by the time I paid shipping it would have been about the same. So, I went back to the boutique ready to splurge on the pink dress when I saw this magnificent blue creation that had not been there the week before! I think I may have gasped out loud when I saw it. It is SO precious! She tried on both dresses and I just couldn't pass up this blue. I mean she looked like a princess (plus it was not as expensive as the pink one and I really loved it so much more)!

I love the blue color and the white sash. It is SO Spring! I especially adore this lace trim that is peeking out from the hem line. To die for!!!

And, look at the back. It may just be the best part. Of course she will have to wear a big white bow in her hair and I'll tie this bow in the back better. We'll get some lace socks and beautiful shoes.

I LOVE Spring and I LOVE planning my children's Easter outfits. I must have pulled this dress out three times just to look at in the last three days. Hurry up Spring. I'm SO ready!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Evan is Seven!

I cannot believe my baby is seven!!!

8 Weeks

1 Year - This was actually taken on his first birthday.

Age 2 - Since Evan's birthday is around Easter, his portraits when he was a baby usually involved an Easter outfit and a bunny. So sweet (However, I felt sorry for that bunny when Evan would shake the basket. Poor thing!).

One of my all-time favorite pictures of Evan at age 3.

Age 4

Age 5 (I just realized this portrait looks a lot like age 4 but it's amazing how his face looks more grown up in this picture in just a year. I love this picture and have it hanging in my dining room.)

Age 6

I wanted to give Evan his name not only because I love it, but because it means "God is good." I am thankful every day for this sweet, precious child that fills my life with unspeakable joy!

Thursday I took cupcakes to Evan's class. His teacher presented him with a birthday certificate and the class sang to him. He just grinned so big!

Today, Evan had his favorite donuts for breakfast, and this afternoon we are taking him to eat at the Purple Cow and making a stop to our favorite local toy store. The real celebrating will be next weekend (Derek has been out of town for TWO WEEKS (ugh!), so we have to wait until next weekend to have his party). Nothing like partying two weeks in a row!

Happy Birthday, Evan! I Love You SO Much!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thanks, Ben!

I dread it when the time changes. I DO love the longer days and Spring. It just makes me feel better, but it seems like it takes my kids forever to adjust to losing an hour! I just learned Ben Franklin was behind the whole Daylight Saving Time idea. Why couldn't he have just stopped at electricity. Now, electricity is something I can appreciate. However, time change...not so much.

I'm sure when Ben thought up this "fantastic" idea, he didn't have a 6 and 2-year-old he would have to wake up at the crack of dawn to drive to school a town over in the dark. One day of hearing, "I want out! I don't want to go! I want out," (which is exactly what I heard this morning) would have changed his mind about EVER changing the time. This is what it was like for me this morning. However, this is not the full effect because of the cough interruption. :)

It did make EG feel a little better to take some snapshots on our way to school. I thought this one was funny that she took of Evan and me when I was getting him out of the car at school. Evan looks thrilled, doesn't he? LOL! I think he was still half asleep. Poor guy.

It would be fine with me if the time stayed like this and we never fell back! This momma would really appreciate it!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Boy

Ella Grace is asleep, so I have Evan all to myself for a bit before he goes to bed.

I love to get him laughing hard. It is the cutest, most infectious laugh!
By the way, that front tooth is going to fall out any day now.

I even let him jump on the bed. :) You should see his dismount!

Isn't he cute? Oh, how I love my boy!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Time to Hide the Mascara

This girl loves make-up, especially lipstick and mascara. I usually put a little lipstick on her when she asks for it, but never let her have mascara. Well, tonight she came into the office and said, "Look at me!" I was startled when I first looked at her because she looked a little like Charlie Chaplin. It took only a few seconds for me to realize she had been in my mascara.

"I did it myself," she told me proudly.

She cried when I wiped it off. I was scared she would get it in her eyes. Evidently during her make-up session, she decided to dump out my mineral make-up on the rug. I asked her if she made a mess, and she replied simply, "Kinda a little bit."

She also has on lipstick which is rarely on her lips but rather all around her mouth.

I have to mention two days ago she colored on the columns in our dining room with purple marker (thank goodness they were washable) and today she drew on the leather seats of the car and her own car seat with black ink pen. She must be going through her creative phase. Whew! She is keeping me on my toes!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cute Stuff

I'm sure a lot of you know the beautiful and talented Kim Wheeler from Endless Possibilities. If you haven't seen her blog or her work before, you should definitely stop by and check out her seriously cute artwork. She made the canvas with Ella Grace's name that I adore, but recently I ordered another piece. It is so stinkin' cute I can hardly stand it...

It matches perfectly with the paint on her walls with just enough contrast.

In person, it looks like real icing!

The sprinkles are beads she sewed on BY HAND!

She really is amazing. If you need anything special for your child's room or a gift for a shower, you should take a look at her website. Just SO CUTE! I also ordered an "H" for my living room from her "Classic" collection, and I love that, too. Thanks, Kim, for helping me put the finishing touches on EG's room! I love it!

I love mail! I especially love getting packages. This week, I got the order I had placed with Jamie's clothing party. L-O-V-E it...

Of course Ella Grace wanted to try on her new clothes. Evan, however, DID NOT want to try on his new shirt, so I didn't make him. I love the little purple and green swing top with bloomers, but I think the orange outfit is definitely my favorite. I also love that EG and Evan will have a similar outfit to wear this summer.

Ella Grace said, "Take my picture," so I did! She looks so cute! I ordered a bigger size than she normally wears, so the pants look cropped instead of capri. She'll grow into them. :)

Oh, how I LOVE ric rac! I remember my mom using ric rac on the outfits she would sew for my sisters and me. It is really back in a big way, and I LOVE it!

Of course, I HAD to get it monogrammed. I didn't get anything else monogrammed though! :)

On Saturday, Ella Grace was invited to her little friend, Emily's birthday party. It was a dog themed party, and EG was SO excited!

EG and Mommy ready to go to the birthday party.

The kids made these super cute dog hand puppets.

Emily's mom made this amazing dog cake! Is this not the cutest thing?!

EG had a great time and couldn't wait to get home and tell Evan and her Daddy all about it. When we left Emily's it was snowing! I couldn't believe it. I had been in the 70's just a couple days before. That's Arkansas weather for you!