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Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits
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Using Sign Language To Support Speech In Kids With Special Needs
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Who Let The Dogs Out, WHO, who, who, who?
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Was It Something I said??
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* Lost Vegas
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Hope I Don’t Get LOST!
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I Bumped My Head
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Flowers In The (playhouse) Attic?
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Heads Up
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The Ultimate Picky Eater

Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits

No, I’m not reciting the rhyme that is supposed to ward off campfire smoke. I’m literally saying there are rabbits, rabbits, rabbits EVERYWHERE this summer. Back yard, front yard, side yard, boulevard…there are herds of marauding fuzzy bunnies everywhere. They’ve been grazing on our lawn, which I don’t mind. I’d like it more if they’d focus on eating the weeds. So far they’ve stayed out of my garden, but that’s probably due to the fact that I’m a horrible gardener surrounded by excellent gardeners. These bunnies are well fed. And they’re BIG. And plump. I wonder if any of my neighbours have ever trapped one? Maybe roasted it or put it on a spit? Eww. You’d have to skin it first though, right? How disgusting would that be? Remember that movie “When Rabbit Howls” starring Shelley Long? And why do I even know that? It’s odd I can remember who starred in a 20 year old made for t.v. film, but I can’t remember where I left my car keys (that’s not a metaphor by the way. My keys have been missing for three days). Anyway, if a neighbour had skinned a rabbit I suppose we’d have heard some kind[…]

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Using Sign Language To Support Speech In Kids With Special Needs

“It’s Signing Time With Alex and Leah!” This is the refrain that goes through my head all day, every day. Avery loves this show more than any other. Signing Time teaches sign language in a simple but engaging way. We signed with DS from the time he was a baby. He picked it up right away and was soon signing, “More cookie please!” before he could speak. It was fun and novel, but soon he began talking a blue streak and left the signing behind. Then Avery came along. When she was first diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality doctors told us she would likely never be verbal. We had already been signing with her for “fun” but continued to sign out of necessity. Her signs came slowly but steadily. As she grew she was able to easily communicate her needs through sign. Eventually she had more signs than her average peers had words. Her vocabulary was extensive and impressive. I can only imagine her frustration level without sign language. We were confident in what we were doing but others questioned our choice to sign with Avery. “Why would she even try to speak if she can just sign?” I explained[…]

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Who Let The Dogs Out, WHO, who, who, who?

It was a ruff night last night and I’m dog gone tired. The kids didn’t wake me. They slept like babies. It was the wild animal kingdom outside my open bedroom window that woke me. It started with a single dog barking his furry head off, which soon spread to dogs near and far (I don’t care about the far off dogs, it’s the near ones I had a problem with). There were low growlers, high pitched yappers and assorted yelps in between. When I thought the canine chorus couldn’t get any louder, a screeching cat joined the cacophony…or catcophony in this case. To make matters worse, the woman in the house “kitty” corner to us (funny enough, not the cat owner, but the owner of the dog who started it all) began yelling, “Lucky! Lucky stop it!! LUCKY!!!” It took every ounce of self control I had not to yell, “Sir (this woman has a very deep voice), stop shouting at your dog and bring him inside!” She finally got Lucky under wraps. Then the cat settled down and the other dogs followed suit. In the words of the Baha Men, “Who let the dogs out?” and why? It[…]

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Was It Something I said??

Avery has been attending an amazing program. Only six children are accepted into this class which focuses on intensive speech and communication skills. She loves it. I love it. And I especially enjoy watching the action behind the one-way window. As I observed along with a handful of other parental voyeurs, I struck up a conversation with the mother of one of the boys in the class. We exchanged “diagnoses and prognoses” and the basic list of details. The next class, this same woman was cool and barely seemed to know me. Perhaps she was having an off day. However, the next class she sat beside me and was back to her warm, chatty self. But today, she was stand-offish once again. She didn’t sit next to me and only nodded a brief hello. And to make things even more bizarre, she suddenly referred to herself as the boy’s aunt. What the hell? Was she unstable? What? At the end of the class this afternoon I overheard her mentioning her twin sister. Her TWIN SISTER. Hahahaha! The boy’s mom and his aunt take turns bringing him to the program. Phew, I was starting to think it was something I said…because[…]

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* Lost Vegas

The internal turbulence I felt before jetting off to Vegas was appropriately matched by the turbulent plane ride. High winds and strings of thunderstorm activity resulted in a bumpy, nauseating flight. No matter – I arrived in Vegas unscathed and ready to roll. Though I didn’t end up rolling any actual dice, I did win a whopping $40 on the penny slots. (This is a pic of my “big pull”). The Pit Boss had his eye on me after that. It’s what they do with us high roller types. (I’ve seen Rain Man and Oceans Eleven so I’m sort of an expert…) So Vegas really is the city that never sleeps. It’s been over a week and I’m still exhausted. There’s so much to do there. Apparently in Sin City, your ass and boobies hanging out of your clothes is a major fashion do. Cursing loudly, carrying your heels in hand while walking barefoot along the strip, littered with shards of glass is another “hot look”. I’m too old for those looks or spandex yoo-hoo revealing minis and glass stilettos, but I held my own. Hippy Birks are hot right? The weekend with my girls passed in a blink of an[…]

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Hope I Don’t Get LOST!

I hate flying. I haven’t always. Back in the day, if someone said “Let’s jump on a plane!” I’d say, “How high?”…and not even care. Now I care. Hurling through the sky in a hunk of metal propelled by combustible jet fuel does not thrill me. I’m sure post 9/11 I’m not alone in this. It doesn’t help matters that my son said, “I sure hope your plane doesn’t crash like in LOST.” Crap. I’d be interested to know how many other people have developed an adult onset fear of flying? I’m pretty sure that the responsibilities of parenthood are the culprit. Anyway, I’m going to suck it up tomorrow and take these white knuckles on a plane to Vegas. I can hardly wait to spend some quality time with my best friend. Tiff and I met in third grade and have been sisters from other misters ever since. It’s hard living so far apart. I’m also excited to see my old travel buddies. In the ’90s Tiff, Lisa S., Michela, Paige and I backpacked through India and South East Asia together. There were LOTS of plane rides involved, and my knuckles remained flesh toned every time. Ahhh, to be[…]

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I Bumped My Head

Today DS came home with this sticker stuck to his shirt. With my trip to Vegas coming up, I’m thinking I should ask the school for a few to take along with me. Kidding (mostly). The safety policies and procedures at our local school are outstanding. (I say this both as a parent and as a teacher). With Avery going to the same school next fall I can only say….PHEW. When DS bumped his head on the playground, he was examined, I was notified by phone and he was “stickered” so everyone in the school and at home would be on the lookout for any unusual behaviour. Frankly, I’m surprised his actual head even made contact with the ground. Did I mention it was Crazy Hair Day?

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Flowers In The (playhouse) Attic?

  I love my brother. Not in a Flowers in the Attic sort of way, but a… Iamsoluckytohavesuchanamazingsibling kind of way. A few weeks ago my brother Michael and my niece and nephew came to stay with us during American spring break. I said it then and I’ll say it again, “BEST…VACATION…EVER” said oh so sarcastically. I am so sorry little bro. I truly wanted to show you a good time. Instead I ended up showing you the hectic hell that life in this house can sometimes be. Avery’s seizures started up again a few days after Mike and the kids got here and she had at least one every day while they were here. I was a bit of a wreck and took helicopter parenting to a new high. Also during their stay my dad was “packaged out” of his job (which turned out the be a GREAT thing. Early retirement couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy. Love you dad), Mike got sick, my nephew sprained his ankle and I basically had a nervous breakdown. Goooooood times all around. So, they left for home a few days early. I can’t imagine why. I think I heard their tires screeching as[…]

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Heads Up

Look up. See that pitiful header? No! Not YOUR head. You have a perfectly nice cranium. I love your hair by the way. I mean, look up at the top of this blog. The title header is making me crazy. I can not get the damn thing to stretch (that’s what he said) or at least appear in the centre. Is that too much to ask? Is it?? Ok, I’m getting a little shrill here. I hate when things are off kilter. I feel at ease when things are fully on kilter. Is it really a big deal that the thing is off centre? It shouldn’t prevent me from continuing to write, especially since writing is therapeutic and calming. So the header’s a little askew. Big deal. Deep breaths. Shake it off. Just shaaaaaake it off… Bah! It’s no use. I won’t rest until my header is at it’s maximum length (again, that’s what he said). Any blogger experts out there who know what my problem is? (ahem, by that I mean my blog problem…)

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The Ultimate Picky Eater

Parents often complain about their child’s picky eating. It’s common and it’s SO frustrating. You go to great lengths to make a nutritious and delicious meal and your ingrate of a child tosses the whole thing on the floor. It makes me crazy(er). Avery is a picky eater to the extreme. On a pickiness scale from one to ten, she’s an eleventeen. I plan on buying this book asap -> Not that it will likely help much in our particular situation, but at least I’ll have some laughs while cleaning spaghetti sauce off the wall and using a Tide stick to remove a blackberry stain from the canvas mat of a painting in our dining room. True story. At three months of age Avery refused to nurse and we have struggled to feed her ever since.  She was hospitalized at eight months of age for “Failure to Thrive” and was scheduled for g-tube surgery on four separate occasions. Due to illness, the surgeries were postponed. We ended up canceling the last scheduled procedure and got lucky; Avery started eating enough by mouth on her own to get by with out the tube.  Three years later, Avery is still a skinny[…]

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