Monthly Archives: September 2012

Fall Roundup

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Here I am, desperately trying to get caught up on this blog.  Here are a few fun activities from the fall.

On September 21st, Megan’s school had a Fall Festival.  The girls had a blast.

Megan and Jane and their friends from church walking into the festival

 

Megan’s favorite activity was the mini golfing game

 

Megan loved the bounce houses and slides

 

Cousins Allison and Abbie were getting their hair colored and I think that gave Megan just enough confidence to join them

 

Abbie and Allison and Megan with their colored hair.

 

Megan loves her cousin Allison and loves going to school with her.  That night Allison actually also came over and spent the night.  Megan earned the sleep-over as a reward for good behavior in school.  She has been doing excellent!

On September 26th, our landlord’s daughter/neighbor/friend turned 4 and invited the girls to her birthday party.  The party was a cowgirl theme and was SO FUN.  There were all sorts of fun activities, goodies, and food.  There was also a REAL pony for the kids to ride!  Both girls and had such a great time and neither girl wanted the party to end!! I didn’t get a ton of pictures of the party because I was manning the pony ride and taking pictures of all the kids there (which I should probably send to their parents! ) but here a few of the girls.

 

Jane on the swings with her cowgirl hat. So cute.

Cowgirl Meg

 

Megan on the pony. I really need to look into equestrian therapy for autism because she LOOOOOOOOOVED it.

 

Speaking of riding animals, Jane is the ultimate animal lover.  Whether is be birds, cats, dogs, fish, rabbits…she loves them all.  Adam and I are not really pet people, and I foresee our daughter begging for a pet of her own some day!  She’s so cute…we’ll probably cave…

Phew…I think I am caught up to Halloween!  You can look forward to that post next!!!  Yeah!

 

 

 

 

 

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An Announcement

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On September 19th, we announced on Facebook that we are expecting baby number 4!

We posted this cute picture of Jane.  Her shirt says “Jane, Effective March 2013, Promoted to Big Sister”

We told Megan much earlier…like as soon as we found out, and she was so excited.  The day I told her, she was recovering from her tonsillectomy.  She was tired and didn’t feel well, but you can tell she was pretty excited.  Right before I told her the news, I told her that it was a family secret and she couldn’t even tell her cousins.  That’s why she makes a comment about wanting to tell her cousins.  Here is the video:

We are so excited to be welcoming a new baby into our family.  My due date is March 21st so I am just over 20 weeks today (November 5th).  I was pretty sick up until about 15 weeks.  I am feeling a lot better these days, but unfortunately, my back just continues to get worse and worse.  Hopefully it will hold out for another 19 weeks or so.

We had our big 20 week ultrasound last week, and as far as they could tell, our baby looks perfect and healthy.  We’ve also decided that we are not going to find out the gender this time.  We would be equally thrilled about a little boy or a little girl, so we think that not finding out until the actually delivery would be pretty incredible.  Also, with the little mix-up with Jane where the doctor told us she was a boy at 19 weeks and we didn’t discover that she was actually a girl until I was 34 weeks, we learned a pretty powerful lesson about how very little the gender of the baby matters.  I can’t even imagine what it will be like to find out only once the baby arrives if I am taking home a bundle of pink or a bundle of blue.  People have said, “it’s a surprise no matter when you find out.  At the ultrasound it’s just a surprise a little sooner.”  I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve come to find that logic is flawed.  I mean, compare it to Christmas.  Would you want to know what all your gifts were 5 months before Christmas arrived but then just wait until Christmas to open them? In terms of the “surprise” factor, I think it will be much more special to wait.  I am not saying it is better or the way everyone should do it, especially since I haven’t even experienced it yet, but I will say that people who have suggested that it’s foolish to think it will be more of a surprise by waiting until baby arrives are wrong.  As far as preparation goes, I have been prepared for a boy twice now, and a girl twice now so we are set either way.  We are just over the moon thrilled to be welcoming a fourth child into our family.

Emotionally I have been a lot more calm this time around compared to my pregnancy with Jane.  I think a lot of that has to do with being more distracted with Megan’s first grade transition and with my rambunctious-almost-two-year-old.  Sometimes I am still terrified that this baby will be born sick like Jack.  At our ultrasound, the doctor discovered that baby has a very long umbilical cord and so my mind has been racing with possible umbilical cord problems.  I also have an anterior placenta which means that I am not feeling much movement at this point, so I am more anxious to feel baby moving around throughout the day.  I know it is useless to worry, but fear of loss is something I think I will forever deal with.  I am trying my best to feel at peace and let the plan unfold as it will, and for the most part it’s working.  There is just this little voice in the back of my mind that constantly whispers “what if…”

So in the meantime, I am enjoying my two beautiful little girls who are growing up way too fast.  Jane will be 2 next month!!  And Megan will be 6 and a half!  It is so fun to watch them grow and become the little people they will become, but it goes soooo fast!  So as much as I am anxious for March 21st to arrive, I don’t want to take for granted this time I have with just my two girls.  I just love being their mother!

V.I.P.

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Megan’s first grade class spotlights a child each week and they call it the V.I.P. The night before the first day of school was the open house, and we were to sign up for what week we wanted our child to be V.I.P., and it was suggested that we sign up during our child’s birthday week, or half-birthday if our child has a summer birthday.  Well, Megan is a summer baby, AND her half birthday is the day after Christmas so there is no school anyway.  I decided to just sign her up for the first week, so she was the first V.I.P.  She LOVED being the first one.  We made her this poster and each day of the week the class talked about 3-5 of the things we had written about Megan on the poster.  On the last day of V.I.P. week, the entire family was invited to come in and meet the class and tell the children all about us.

 

Megan loved being the center of attention, and the kiddos seemed genuinely interested in our family, and especially enamored by miss Jane.  I also allowed Megan to announce to her class that I was going to have another baby (we hadn’t publicly announced yet.)  The kids were pretty excited and Megan LOVED sharing the news.  I am grateful for activities like this that give Megan the opportunity to feel special.  When V.I.P. week was over, she wanted to hang her poster in her room and it has been there ever since.  She really is a very important person.  I love her so much!

These are the facts about Megan we shared on her poster:

My favorite color is RED!
My favorite TV shows are ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “The Biggest Loser.”
I was born on June 26th, 2006, in Henderson, Nevada. I weighed SEVEN pounds ZERO ounces!
This summer, on June 26th, I turned SIX years old!
This is my dad. He is a PhD student at BYU and he is a professor at UVU. He teaches astronomy.
This is my little brother, Jack. He was really sick when he was born. He only lived for six weeks.
I LOVE to read!!!
I love to play the Wii. My favorite game is Wii Party.
This is my mom. She stays home all day and takes care of me and my sister and cleans the house.
This is my little sister, Jane. She is one year old.
I have been taking piano lessons since I was FIVE years old. I love to play piano.
This Summer I had surgery. I had my tonsils and adenoids removed. The doctor made me go to sleep and when I woke up, my tonsils were gone!
My favorite food is pizza. I LOVE pizza!
My favorite toys are Lalaloopsies. I have almost EIGHTY of them!
I love to play in the rain!
My favorite season is Summer. I love to go swimming!
When I graduate from high school, I want to go to BYU!

The Bright Side

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On the second day of school I received a phone call from the special education coordinator expressing some concerns about how Megan was doing.  At this point we had only corresponded through email and she had only met Megan one time; that very day.  She was aware that Megan has Aspergers and in the summer we had been in contact about what teacher might be best for Megan and what things we might need to do during the school day to help Megan in what ever ways she needed.  I decided that we would wait and see how Megan did and then make decisions as needed.  When she called me on that second day of school, she implied that she didn’t think Megan should be in the Chinese Immersion program.  She was basing this opinion solely on Megan’s meltdowns the first two days of school during lunch, and what she knew of Aspergers and Autism.  Since this phone call, we have met in person and set up and IEP/504 for Megan, and I have found her to be a very nice and caring person who has Megan’s best interest at heart.  But at the time of the phone call, she spoke to me as if I had no right to have placed Megan in the Chinese program, and although she didn’t come right out and say it, she made it blatantly clear that she thought Megan should be pulled from the program.

I know where she was coming from.  Because of the nature of Megan’s Aspergers and because she also has a pragmatic language disorder (which comes with severe communication difficulties) the coordinator was concerned about Megan’s emotional well-being.  For half the day her teacher ONLY speaks Chinese.  No English at all, unless there is an emergency.  The concern was that Megan would doubly struggle with communicating with her teacher, given the language barrier.  I knew that Megan would excel with Chinese.  Letters, numbers, musical notes…anything “symbolic” comes very easily to Megan.  She also speaks by rote.  Meaning she can only communicate and say things that she has heard before.  She struggles with coming up with unique thought.  In Chinese class, the teacher speaks, and the children repeat it.  It is an understatement to say that Megan is EXCELLING in Chinese.  She has no problem decoding any Chinese character thrown her way.  She also has a knack for decoding the meanings of characters she has not seen before.  It wasn’t two weeks into school that her Chinese teacher came to me just in awe of Megan.  She was a little concerned that Megan never seemed to be “paying attention” and rarely made eye contact (welcome to my life) but she said even though she doesn’t pay attention, she still gets every answer right.  My only concern was that Megan would struggle with being able to speak in Chinese.  Looks like there was no need to worry there.  She speaks it very well.

Megan is doing equally as well in her English class.  When we were faced with the decision of picking a teacher for Megan, I just prayed and prayed about it, and hoped that she would end up with the teacher that was right for her.  That prayer was answered: BIG TIME.  Her English teacher is WONDERFUL.  She is kind and patient and she has a nephew who has Aspergers.  She is not flustered at all by Megan’s quirks, and genuinely likes her and wants to help her succeed.  She also can’t say enough about how smart Megan is.  She also expresses often that Megan has NO problems in class.  It looks like Megan’s only struggles continue to be in social situations and with lunch.

The first couple weeks of school were color days.  Megan loved wearing the color of the day each day.  The last day was rainbow day and Megan convinced me to tie-dye a shirt, a pair of shorts, and some tights.  She was colorful from head to toe.

Megan just loves learning.  She loves school and although she struggles with the social aspect, she loves her classmates.  We are definitely riding a rollar-coaster full of ups and downs, but I am so proud of her and the progress she is making.  She has such a good heart and she tries so hard.  I love my sweet little first grader and I see a bright future ahead of her.

This picture of Megan and her class cracks me up.  I am sure you can find her, but she’s the little tiny one on the far left with the cheesiest smile who sticks out from the rest of the group like the bright shining star that she is.  I’m not sure why they had her stand where she is standing since she is the tiniest person in the class, but I love the way it turned out.  She really is different and unique.  In every way.