My Million Dollar Idea

It was at dinner one night, must have been several years ago now, that this idea hit me.  Taryn has issues sitting in her chair at dinner.  It was going on looooong before we realized it’s related to her sensory issues.  But every time we sit at the table, without fail, we are reminding her to sit in her chair correctly.  She perches on the edge, sits with her knees and feet up, or just doesn’t plant her butt in the chair at all.  It drives us pretty crazy.  Anyway, so one night, long ago, I told her I was going to buy her some suction cup pants.  She gave me one of her crazy eyed funny looks and laughed.  As time passed, and she still wasn’t willingly planting her butt in her chair for 3 meals a day, we’d look at her, smile and say “Suction cup pants chic, it’s happening….” and she’d scowl / smile then sit in her chair.  One night on a whim, I googled to see if such a thing exists and do you know that it DOESN’T?!?!  Seriously, no one has come up with this idea?!  I was surprised.  I mean, I was ready to buy.  COME ON, suction cup pants, for kids of all ages?!  Brilliant.  Million dollar idea right?  And apparently, it’s all mine.  HA!

Anyway, so we did the 4 gifts thing this year, want, need, wear, read.  I immediately knew what I had to do for Taryn for her wear item.  I knew she wasn’t planning to be impressed with her wear item, she’s rarely impressed with clothes in the moment she receives them.  Later, yes, in the moment, no.

See, not impressed.  No, no, she’s not amused by my antics one single bit…

She can’t resist me.  She knows it’s funny.

Really funny.

“I am never wearing these….”

Good stuff.  She makes me laugh.

So here it is, my million dollar idea, parents everywhere need these.

I have tons of memories and holiday fun stuff to come share.  Hopefully this blog will liven up a little bit here very soon, I miss this place tons.

2012-01-02T06:36:10-05:00January 2nd, 2012|My Family|

kindergarten graduation!

I have so many things to come blog about, updates on all of us, my and Taryn’s girls trip to New Orleans…just tons of updating.  But I know if I don’t post this right now it will get lost in the shuffle.

Our sweet girl graduated from kindergarten this morning.  It was so very bittersweet.  She had a really rough start to her year.  School started during some very dark times for our family as it was just a few months after Teagan’s vaccine reaction.  We were in the midst of dealing with Taryn’s sensory issues and none of us could have anticipated just how hard the changes that school brought would be.  That rough start makes me even more proud of her.  She overcame so much.  She worked hard.  She found confidence.  I think back to that first week of school and all the challenges they brought and then I look at her now and she’s a different kid.  Strong.  Confident.  Happy.  She made so many wonderful friends this year, something her heart really needed and it’s been so great for her.  Her teacher is beyond amazing, I just think the world of her.  She’s one of those blessed souls that was made to be a teacher and her first year this year was a huge success in our eyes.  She’s helped Taryn in countless ways this year, we owe her so much gratitude.  She gave our girl a wonderful foundation for learning and that is irreplaceable.  Academically, she’s come so far, she started the year not yet reading and now she’s reading better than I’d ever have anticipated, I’d estimate at around a 3rd grade level.  She’s writing all the time, journal and pen always handy, her creativity has exploded.  Yes, my girl has grown in so many ways.  There was a time that merely walking across this stage with an auditorium full of people looking at her would have been a no go.  But not today!  The shyness has faded.  She’s confident and happy.  And on to FIRST GRADE!!!!  Congrats my big girl, we are so very proud of you!

2011-06-01T12:13:19-05:00June 1st, 2011|My Family|

10

1.  Hey Photogs, is anyone going to Imaging USA?  I will be at the expo on Monday and I’d love to meet up and say hi!  I’m super excited about the fact that I might finally get to meet THE Erin Cobb!  I’ve been hoping for our paths to cross for years!

2.  I am thinking about opening up a few mini sessions on January 29th or February 5th – just in time for Valentines Day.  Any takers?  Email me at [email protected] for details!

3.  I feel like I owe a bit of an explanation about my poor fell asleep on the kitchen counter hubby.  He really was asleep like that and I was shocked to find him that way.  I was hanging out with Marti last night so he was putting the kids down and he fell asleep laying down with Teagan.  When Marti left I went to go wake him up and he said as he was walking through the house to his desk he stopped and thought that was a good place to rest for a minute.  All I can say to that is I’ve never been that tired that I thought the kitchen counter looked comfy.  I did tap him on the head 3 times before I decided that since he didn’t wake up he was then fair game for photographin’.  I have a feeling his loosing battle with fighting cedar pollen has something to do with it.  He’s been miserable since last Thursday, poor guy.  Poor, funny, guy.

4.  Speaking of men who don’t handle being sick well, have you seen this.  Brilliant I tell ya, brilliant.  If you have spare cash laying around, invest, you’ll be so rich you won’t know what to do with yourself.  But you will know what to do with your sick husband!  Click on the link in that post to view the video, hysterical! I laugh because I can relate 😉

5. Today Teagan and I started going to a new playgroup.  This is a big step, emotionally and physically.  With exposure to a whole lot of new germs we’re going to see what his immune system can do.  I was very nervous about it but it seriously could not have gone any better today.  He declared on the way there that he was not going to play with anyone except me.  I told him that was ok, it was his decision but that I was really looking forward to making a new friend or two myself.  We go there and he did good, he LOVED it and so did I!  It was so interesting to see him in the group setting and immediately dive in to the activities that are most like the time he spent in OT and with Marti.  He was a huge fan of the mini trampoline, the padded sphere and the sensory table that was filled with pretend snow and snowflakes.  He got to check out a book and a toy from the lending library and as we left he waved goodbye, said thank you and declared he wants to go back tomorrow.  Big success!

6.  We also took the big step of signing him up for a teacher taught / parent led pre-k program.  The director is wonderful and probably should have given up on us a few months ago but I think she knew we’d need this when he was finally ready.  There is a waiting list but thankfully it is short and we are only 3 families down.  I think this will be perfect for him.  Our initial intention was to start him in a MDO / Pre-K program at the beginning of this year but he just wasn’t ready.  We’ve had some challenges and while we don’t consider him special needs, nor does he need services, ECI or an IEP at this point, he’s not ready for a traditional pre-k yet.  This program is the perfect in between step until he is and I’m so excited to get that call that he can start.  He can go at age 3 and 4 so there is really no rush for him to get to it this year if we don’t make it to the top of the list.  We’re not in any big hurry, especially since there is a great playgroup to start working on those social skills.  The playgroup setup is absolutely amazing, very creative, very encouraging to development and play and movement and learning and sharing and interacting.  We can go to playgroup up to 10 hours per week even.  I couldn’t be more excited about it for him.

7.  Today in the car on the way home from carpool I was calling out math problems to Taryn.  I said 3+3 and she said 6.  I said 3+4 and while she paused to count Teagan yelled out “7!!!!!”  I was shocked.  Of course he knew what came after 6 but it was just so funny to see Taryn’s face in the rear view mirror as she realized he was right!

8.  Taryn wrote her first short story this past week.  Crazy!  It was about her and Abby playing on the playground.  I’ve also been throwing out words for her to sound out and spell while driving, cooking dinner, cleaning up.  I’m amazed at how many she gets right.  That kid is a sponge!

9.  Anyone need a pinterest invite?  I can send out a few.  Post in the comments and I’ll send them out until it won’t let me anymore!

10.  If you made it to 10 you get a fun little heads up.  Giveaway.  A big one.  With a fun opportunity….coming tomorrow!

2011-01-11T23:06:30-05:00January 11th, 2011|Uncategorized|

10 to catch up…

1.  Finally attempting to crawl out from under a rock and rejoin the land of blogging and working again.  I realized today I hadn’t posted a single thing in weeks about what has been going on with me and mine.  Our Christmas was a good one.  We succeeded in keeping things simple this year.  We enjoyed hosting Jason’s parents, grandparents and brother for Christmas.  I gave myself the gift of getting out of cooking by ordering dinner for 10 from Whole Foods.  We may have played a funny, but dirty, little trick on our family relating to the food.  We got them good!  HA!  I think it ended up being cheaper than it would have been to buy all ingredients and cook it all.  Plus that meant I got to just sit and BE with the kids and play and relax and I even took a nap on Christmas day.  It was awesome.

2.  We cut our normal Christmas budget by almost 2/3 this year and you know what, the kids surely didn’t notice.  They were happy and busy and I’m so glad we made the decision to go the simple route this year instead of overdoing it.  Well, Ty would have noticed if it hadn’t been for my mom coming through with a last minute gift she’d been waiting over a year to give him.  But it was still simple.  And simple was good.

3.  In a very, very, very last minute decision we traveled over to see my mom and stepdad the day after Christmas.  We’ve wanted to go for over a year and had to cancel the last trip due to Teagan’s health.  He was doing well leading up to the holidays but we didn’t want to commit and disappoint everyone at the last minute if things changed for Duder.  We literally decided Christmas day to go.  It was j.o.b. getting everyone ready the next day, the whole feeding our family on a special diet on the road thing, taking meds, etc. But we made it work and the kids were beyond excited.  It is 14 hours without stops and we cut the trip over to two days stopping for the night in Jennings.  Teagan had a hard time with all the industrial plants on the way over but we managed to find an area to stop for the night that he was ok in thankfully.  And we were so, so happy to see my mom and we loved their new house at the beach.  It was weird to be at the beach in the winter though!  I love that I can picture in my mind where she is now and it filled my heart to see my kids playing and running and loving and making memories in their new home.  Unfortunately, I got sick about 30 minutes before we got there.  I let it go 2 days before I couldn’t take it anymore and went to urgent care (promptly after a round of putt-putt of course).  Strep, which sent me in to a panic.  Strep is really, really bad for those with neurological issues and we’ve had several strep scares in the past fearing Teagan had been exposed.  Our hearts sank and we prayed.  Later that day he started to get sick, we immediately put him in the van and drove to urgent care, 2nd visit of the day.  They took one look at him and confirmed our fear, he too had strep.  We took the antibiotics and called his doctor immediately the next morning.  I think it took all of 2.2 minutes for them to call me back, they don’t mess around with strep.  Another round of meds for him and we were put on watch for a laundry list of symptoms “just in case”.  We caught it very early in him and that really helped, especially since the night before I caved and went in I had a hard time breathing my throat and glads were so swollen.  The only way I could breath while sleeping was to jut my chin up in the air and to the side.  My face and neck were really swollen, thankfully Teagan’s didn’t get that far.  We are hopeful it is a good thing he had strep without a myriad of problems to follow along with it.  Could it be?!  A properly functioning immune system?!  Nervously optimistic!  We stayed for a week and truly did have a great visit with my mom.  Even though it rained almost every day and even though several of us were sick, it was good to just be together.  She made the effort to have a special date with each of the kids, they played ball and had picnics on the porch, painted nails and took trips to Target.  The trip home was long long long but we made it.  I swear we all ran for different corners of the house when we got home after so much togetherness in the van.  7 hours in one day turns in to double that with all the potty breaks and I’m hungries and gas stops and and and 😉  I am so glad we went, it feels like a success.  Even though the overload hit him by the end of the week, two night of less than stellar food choices, the stupid air quality, toxins from toys and off gassing of a new house, different water and soaps and every other little thing he is sensitive to now, it caught up with him.  But, he bounced back with both speech and physically within 2 days of being home.  And for that we are thankful.  It also helps us feel confident that what we are doing, all the changes we’ve made, all the effort we’ve put in, all the expense, is worth it.  It is working.

4.  I haven’t even opened our Christmas photos, except to post over on my one.frame.a.day.  Which, by the way, I’m kind of proud that I’ve been keeping up with it.  Go me!  I am so happy I started a month early, I feel giddy and like I cheated the system to get an extra full month of real, meaningful, everyday photos of my family.

5.  Pinterest.  OMG.  Pinterest.  Visual bookmarks.  Changing my life and instilling creativity in me multiple times per day.  You can follow me here.  And I promise to follow you right back!

6.  Oh wait!  #4 isn’t totally true, I did pull this shot just because it makes me laugh.  This is my mom’s new laundry room and it made me giggle every time I walked in to it!

7.  Santa brought Ty a mustache for Christmas.  For real.  Ok, so it probably isn’t a true mustache, more like peach fuzz of the upper lip, but it is there and he’s awfully proud of it.  I don’t want to talk about it.

8.  The little kids seem to be noticing the mood swings of aforementioned mustache toting teenager.  In the last two days I’ve heard Teagan tell Ty to “drop your att-i-tude Tyyyyyyy” and “Ty, why you so ornery TY?!”  HA!  Do you think he’s heard us say those things a time or two recently?!  It’s so funny to hear it come from the fit throwing 2 year old though!  Thankfully Ty thinks it is funny too.

9.  The little kids got Plasma cars for Christmas and I can’t even tell you how much fun they have been.  I got them at a super low price via an online black friday sale and I’m so glad that I did, they LOVE them.  Taryn named hers “Sting”.

10.  There is a lot of fun stuff coming up, I just need to find the time to blog about it all!  Much more soon….

2011-01-07T21:49:29-05:00January 7th, 2011|My Family|

10 on Tuesday and 2 mini session openings!

1.  I am thinking about opening up 2 last minute mini session spots for this coming weekend with guaranteed Christmas delivery.  Any interest?  Email me at [email protected] for details!

2.  My kids are so addicted to these right now.  Especially Teagan.  Obsessed.

3.  This morning I stopped at my desk to pick something up and noticed there was still solid ice in my favorite cup that had been sitting from the night before.  First, I thought to myself, wow, this cup really IS awesome.  Second, I thought to myself, I wonder what time I actually went to bed….  Third, I thought to myself, I wonder if Ty did this to be sweet, he IS always bring me water refills.  Turns out the third one is the charm.  Love that kid.

4.  Duder’s new favorite activity is swiping the water bottle we use to tame Taryn’s hair each morning and tormenting people with it.  It drives me nuts and I’m constantly getting squirts to the leg, back, face, whatever is within his range.  Getting it away from him is always a battle that involves running and wrangling a toddler who insists on screaming “NO IT MIIIIIIIIIINE”.  I started putting it out of his reach but he’d just grab the step stool in the kitchen and move it to where he needed it to be to get it.  It was driving me (and the dog) nuts.  This week, I finally gave in, I handed it to him and we headed outside so he could squirt whatever he wanted till his little heart was content.  He was thrilled.

$0.99 water bottle = hours of entertainment.  Unfortunately, I too, fell into the category of “whatever he wanted”.  Stinker.  (Update on duder here)

5.  Taryn has her first crush.  And he is not in kindergarten.  MUCH to her daddy’s dismay.  Dismay isn’t a strong enough word for what he’s going through.  Anxiety ridden ought to begin to cover it.

6.  Add her first crush to the fact that she asked for a “green ipod” for Christmas and my husband is not in a very good place right now.  His little girl is growing up quick and he’s soooooo not ready.

7.  I absolutely LOVE this.  And this blog is also one of my new favorite places to check out.

8.  Bob has been very busy trying to keep up with all the goings on around here and all 3 kids.  First though, he had a little bit of ‘splaining to do about that whole ‘borrowed rocket thing’….

9.  Then the next night, just before bed, Jase and I got a good giggle at the expense of my friend Jodie and her elf.  We laughed it up, then went to bed.  Ironically enough, forgetting to move our elf because we were too busy laughing at Jod for not moving hers.  Karma right?!  So, Bob hung out on the TV for 2 days.  The kids were concerned, but not being nearly as creative as Jod, we just blew it off and said Bob likes to watch TV a lot.

10.  The next morning they found Bob had gotten into the cereal.  Thankfully, he was picking up after himself with the dustbuster.  We’ve been working with the little kids and picking up their own messes so it was super nice of Bob to be such a great example 😉

2010-11-30T21:41:31-05:00November 30th, 2010|Austin Photographer, Elf on a Shelf, My Family|

swiped

I swiped this off my facebook feed:

Ty: “Mom, If they sold ‘patience to deal with taryn’ in a bottle, I’d use my entire allowance and stock up on it.”
Sigh…..me too Ty, me too.

I swiped this off my husbands facebook feed:

Playing Wii with Taryn. She is in the lead so there is a crown on her head.
Me: Oh look, it’s princess Taryn.
Taryn: With a sheepish grin and a nod – “they call me queen”
Love her!

Speaking of our girl, “funny football fan fisheye Taryn” always makes me laugh….

2010-11-23T21:03:00-05:00November 23rd, 2010|My Family|
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