Monday, December 22, 2008


It looks like maybe a foot of snow today. I know at least 8" in 5 hours. Wow!!! This is why I live a block from work.

Keeping Chloe stimulated all the time wipes me out, LOL. I think she's the only 15-month-old on the block who has a vibrating toothbrush (and it's a cheap one so it reeeeeally vibrates). I am making her an uber-sensory blanket with a ton of fun things on it to try and help at church, which generally involves roaming the halls trying to keep her from destroying things or yelling too loud or climbing up the super-steep stairs and breaking various body parts, and she's not allowed in nursery at all for three more months. I have to swipe the needle from my old machine since I broke 3 yesterday (thank you, cheap half-dead Brother machine, LOL) as I really don't care if I make the finishing blow on that machine with this quilt since my new machine *should* be here Monday! *happy dance*

I have been training for designing ads and have done a handful already. It's FUN. A little nerve-wracking making design decisions in front of an actual designer, lol, but I'm picking it up fast and learning a lot and so far, doing really well. Hopefully I keep up the whole "doing really well" part!

Got another box of presents in the mail for the first today from great-grandparents. It's awesome that they are getting so much stuff *I love you guys!* but honestly, they don't need that much. They don't really need much at all. Esp since some angel left us a ton of presents on our porch! :D So after the opening, some things will be sold/traded for other things we might need, and some of them will be donated. I know I'm donating some to the local Ronald McDonald House, and some to good ol' DI, and I'm looking into sending some to orphanages overseas. Gotta spread the love, you know. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Great news, even better news, and better-than-before news!

So, before I go join FaceBook to participate in a nurse-in for a friend of mine, I have awesome stuff to post!

Firstly, I couldn't figure out the background-on-the-sides thing so for now, no background so you can actually read this. Yay!

Okay, news the first.
I finally got my refund check and ordered a new sewing machine from Ken's Sewing Center (I think that's it). And they called the next day to say they were all out of that machine actually, oops--would I prefer a refund or to replace it with a BETTER one at no extra charge, and they gave me a choice of two machines by the same company, one that was $100 more and one that was $150 more!! That's almost double the value of the machine I ordered!! So my Janome DC2007 should be here in 10 days, and if nothing messes up, I should be very happy indeed with it. They also have a great return policy, even if you tried it out/used it and just decided it doesn't work for you. Here's my new pretty .

News the second (the even better one):
I sort-of got a new job, and a raise!! I was/am working as an editor, and have been for three years, and while it's stable, there is no upward mobility on my shift, and they have streamlined our processes so much that I basically copy edit and do filing-ish stuff all day. I am losing job skills, not gaining them. If I ever want to upgrade to actual "real" editor I need to be fluent in InDesign and other programs. I have been getting worried and thinking about leaving when I finally finish my last class for my longest-BS-degree-ever, lol. So the other day I was summoned to the manager's manager's office (eeep) and out of the blue, they offered me the position of graphic designer (!!!!!!!) with accompanying raise, and they would train me on how to use InDesign and do it all. *happy dance* They think I can do it and do it well, being a very fast learner and extremely detail-oriented. So instead of teaching a graphic person all the weird rules and formats and ins and outs, they are teaching someone who knows all of the rules/formats/everything how to use InDesign. Woot! More skills, more money, not going to be bored out my mind at work anymore, yay!!!!!!

Third news, not best but definitely an improvement--I've been researching more and I think I know what dd2's issue is. She did not fit autism or really the autism spectrum. She is much too social and lovey, and we are working on her speech, which is coming along a bit. She definitely makes more noises now. There is a support group for SID (Sensory Integration Disorder) on my cloth diaper board (diaperswappers), and I popped in there when I was really bored one day this week, and people were talking about their kids having really similar issues to dd2. One part really stuck out--sensory seeking. That describes dd2 exactly. She is constantly trying for more touch, every inch of her body, even in her mouth, to the point that she hurts herself. Besides the usual climbing super-high, falling, smacking her head on head-high things over and over and over again, squishing herself what should be painfully between the couch and the window and finally being happy, squished in there for twenty minutes against the cold, snowed-on glass, constantly needing to be held, and there are many, many more--besides all that there have been incidents this week that have really taken it from "high needs baby" to the next level. Did you know she eats glass???? I mean, she gets glass ornaments from the tree, bites on them until they shatter in her mouth, and then chews the broken glass shards, happy as a clam. So, I researched sensory seeking. This is some of what I've found. I dare anyone who knows dd2 to say this does not describe her to perfection. This is actually *good* news, lol, as it is much, much easier for me to handle and treat then developmental delays or autism spectrum. Whew! Here is some info, symptoms, and treatment ideas we are working on, and we will present this to the pediatrician at our new appt in Jan as well. Peeps who have watched her for us, we often get the comment that htye don't understand the problem, she was very happy the entire time as they played with her/held her/bounced her, she's a happy baby. Well, exactly--she is happy when she is constantly newly stimulated and touched with new people and new smells and new things. If you stayed here for several days it would wear off and then she would get more and more sesnory seeking and unhappy and "off" until you started pulling you hair out wondering when-oh-when will this "phase" pass, except we're way past the usual "oh, it goes away when they can crawl and explore for themselves." Yeah, she has been crawling for six months now, lol, and she is getting worse. Remember the whole eating glass shards thing? I don't know if any of the playgroup mamas will see this, lol, but at playgroup dd2 is the happiest/least symptomatic because playgroup is like therapy for her--there are sooo many new sights, people, voices, toys to touch, weird food to eat (remember how she ate those textured hard crackers constantly last week until she finally climbed the stool and stood there and ate every single last one until the container was empty, lol? Oral stimulation with hard/textured food, which was suggested to me as part of her therapy) that she is finally filled up with stimulation for a while and can just revel in it instead of needing to seek it out. So she looks a lot more normal then at home, lol.

The Sensory Integration Network, spearheaded in part by occupational therapist Lucy Jane Miller, explains that Sensory Integration Dysfunction presents itself in a number of sensory-seeking, sensory-avoiding and dyspraxic (clumsy and awkward) behaviors, as described below:

Sensory Seeking children have nervous systems that do not always process that sensory input is "coming in" to the brain. They are under-responsive to sensation. As a result, they seek out more intense or longer duration sensory experiences. Some behaviors that can be observed are: Hyper-activity as they seek more and more movement input; Unawareness of touch or pain, or touching others too often or too hard (may seem aggressive); Engaging in unsafe behaviors, such as climbing too high; Enjoying sounds that are too loud, such as TV or radio volume.

Dyspraxic children are clumsy and awkward. They have particular problems with new motor skills and activities. Some behaviors that can be observed are: Very poor fine motor skills such as handwriting; Very poor gross motor skills such as kicking, catching, throwing balls; Difficulty imitating movements such as "Simon Says"; Trouble with balance, sequences of movements and bilateral coordination."

Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist: Signs And Symptoms Of Dysfunction

The purpose of this sensory processing disorder checklist is to help parents and professionals who interact with children become educated about particular signs of sensory processing dysfunction.

It is not to be used as the absolute diagnostic criteria for labeling children with sensory processing disorder. But rather, as an educational tool and checklist for your own knowledge. Professionals who can diagnose this disorder have their own tools in addition to checklists to observe and test for sensory integration dysfunction.

As you go through this list, you may say, "Wow, my child has so many of these characteristics/behaviors, he must have a sensory processing disorder!!"

That MAY be true, and I want you to take it very seriously if you find a host of these to be characteristic of your child. But, then use this as a guide to speak with your doctor and an Occupational Therapist so you can clearly explain why you think your child may need help.

Or, you may go through the list and say,

"No big deal, so my child has some of these behaviors/characteristics, doesn't every child?"

Well, this may be true too and your child's behavior may fluctuate from day to day.

What we need to be concerned with is which symptoms your child shows, which category they are having difficulty with, how much it interferes with their or other's lives and what kind of impact it is having on their level of functioning. They may have a lot in one category and none in another or some in all categories. This will help target diagnosis and treatment.

Lastly, you may go through the list and say,

"Oh my gosh, that is what I have been dealing with my whole life".

Then I say, I'm so sorry you never got the help you needed! Perhaps we can start to work on it now.

Identifying and understanding this disorder is HUGE!

Please understand the "Five Caveats" that Carol Stock Kranowitz points out in her book, "The Out-Of-Sync Child" (1995), about using a checklist such as this. She writes:

1. "The child with sensory dysfunction does not necessarily exhibit every characteristic. Thus, the child with vestibular dysfunction may have poor balance but good muscle tone."

2. "Sometimes the child will show characteristics of a dysfunction one day but not the next. For instance, the child with proprioceptive problems may trip over every bump in the pavement on Friday yet score every soccer goal on Saturday. Inconsistency is a hallmark of every neurological dysfunction. "

3. "The child may exhibit characteristics of a particular dysfunction yet not have that dysfunction. For example, the child who typically withdraws from being touched may seem to be hypersensitive to tactile stimulation but may, instead, have an emotional problem."

4. "The child may be both hypersensitive and hyposensitive. For instance, the child may be extremely sensitive to light touch, jerking away from a soft pat on the shoulder, while being rather indifferent to the deep pain of an inoculation."

5. "Everyone has some sensory integration problems now and then, because no one is well regulated all the time. All kinds of stimuli can temporarily disrupt normal functioning of the brain, either by overloading it with, or by depriving it of, sensory stimulation."

Tactile Sense: input from the skin receptors about touch, pressure, temperature, pain, and movement of the hairs on the skin.

Signs Of Tactile Dysfunction:

2. Hyposensitivity To Touch (Under-Responsive):

__ may crave touch, needs to touch everything and everyone

__ is not aware of being touched/bumped unless done with extreme force or intensity

__ is not bothered by injuries, like cuts and bruises

__ may not be aware that hands or face are dirty or feel his/her nose running

__ may be self-abusive; pinching, biting, or banging his own head

__ mouths objects excessively

__ frequently hurts other children or pets while playing

__ repeatedly touches surfaces or objects that are soothing (i.e., blanket)

__ seeks out surfaces and textures that provide strong tactile feedback

__ thoroughly enjoys and seeks out messy play

__ craves vibrating or strong sensory input

__ has a preference and craving for excessively spicy, sweet, sour, or salty foods

3. Poor Tactile Perception And Discrimination:

__ has difficulty with fine motor tasks such as buttoning, zipping, and fastening clothes

__ may not be able to identify which part of their body was touched if they were not looking

__ may be afraid of the dark

__ may be a messy dresser; looks disheveled, does not notice pants are twisted, shirt is half un tucked, shoes are untied, one pant leg is up and one is down, etc.

__ has difficulty using scissors, crayons, or silverware

__ continues to mouth objects to explore them even after age two

__ has difficulty figuring out physical characteristics of objects; shape, size, texture, temperature, weight, etc.

Vestibular Sense: input from the inner ear about equilibrium, gravitational changes, movement experiences, and position in space.

Signs Of Vestibular Dysfunction:

2. Hyposensitivity To Movement (Under-Responsive):

__ in constant motion, can't seem to sit still

__ craves fast, spinning, and/or intense movement experiences

__ loves being tossed in the air

__ could spin for hours and never appear to be dizzy

__ always jumping on furniture, trampolines, spinning in a swivel chair, or getting into upside down positions

__ loves to swing as high as possible and for long periods of time

__ is a "thrill-seeker"; dangerous at times

__ always running, jumping, hopping etc. instead of walking

__ rocks body, shakes leg, or head while sitting

__ likes sudden or quick movements, such as, going over a big bump in the car or on a bike

3. Poor Muscle Tone And/Or Coordination:

__ frequently slumps, lies down

__ fatigues easily!

__ difficulty catching him/her self if falling

__ has poor body awareness; bumps into things, knocks things over, trips, and/or appears clumsy

__ poor fine motor skills; difficulty using "tools", such as pencils, silverware, combs, scissors etc.

__ seems to be unsure about how to move body during movement, for example, stepping over something

This category is HUGE with her, she has every single one on the entire list, I didn't leave out a single "not quite her" one (except grinding her teeth because she doesn't have molars, lol, but she would if she did):

Signs Of Proprioceptive Dysfunction:

1. Sensory Seeking Behaviors:

__ seeks out jumping, bumping, and crashing activities

__ stomps feet when walking

__ kicks his/her feet on floor or chair while sitting at desk/table

__ bites or sucks on fingers and/or frequently cracks his/her knuckles

__ loves to be tightly wrapped in many or weighted blankets, especially at bedtime

__ prefers clothes (and belts, hoods, shoelaces) to be as tight as possible

__ loves/seeks out "squishing" activities

__ enjoys bear hugs

__ excessive banging on/with toys and objects

__ loves "roughhousing" and tackling/wrestling games

__ frequently falls on floor intentionally

__ would jump on a trampoline for hours on end

__ grinds his/her teeth throughout the day

__ loves pushing/pulling/dragging objects

__ loves jumping off furniture or from high places

__ frequently hits, bumps or pushes other children

__ chews on pens, straws, shirt sleeves etc.

2. Difficulty With "Grading Of Movement":

__ misjudges how much to flex and extend muscles during tasks/activities (i.e., putting arms into sleeves or climbing)

__ difficulty regulating pressure when writing/drawing; may be too light to see or so hard the tip of writing utensil breaks

__ written work is messy and he/she often rips the paper when erasing

__ always seems to be breaking objects and toys

__ misjudges the weight of an object, such as a glass of juice, picking it up with too much force sending it flying or spilling, or with too little force and complaining about objects being too heavy

__ may not understand the idea of "heavy" or "light"; would not be able to hold two objects and tell you which weighs more

__ seems to do everything with too much force; i.e., walking, slamming doors, pressing things too hard, slamming objects down

__ plays with animals with too much force, often hurting them

2. Hyposensitivity To Sounds (Under-Registers):

__ often does not respond to verbal cues or to name being called

__ appears oblivious to certain sounds

__ appears confused about where a sound is coming from

__ had little or no vocalizing or babbling as an infant

2. Hyposensitivity To Oral Input (Under-Registers)

__ may lick, taste, or chew on inedible objects (did you know she EATS/chews on until they are forcibly removed from her, glass ornaments???? and foil wrappers too. She bites them until they break in her mouth and then chews on the broken glass pieces!!)

__ prefers foods with intense flavor; i.e., excessively spicy, sweet, sour, or salty

__ excessive drooling past the teething stage

__ frequently chews on hair, shirt, or fingers

__ acts as if all foods taste the same

__ can never get enough condiments or seasonings on his/her food

Other children may always be bumping their heads because they lack protective responses and do not "catch themselves" when they begin to fall.

Signs of SI problems

The following is a description of some of the commonly seen behaviors in children who exhibit sensory integrative difficulties.

* An acute awareness of background noises
* Fascination with lights, fans, water (water, toilets, faucets, cups, any bells ringing, lol?)
* Hand flapping/repetitive movements
* Spinning items, taking things apart
* Walking on tip-toe
* Little awareness of pain or temperature
* Coordination problems
* Unusually high or low activity level
* Difficulty with transitions (doesn't "go with the flow")
* Self-Injury or aggression
* The child may react strongly to stimuli on face, hands and feet.
* A child may have a very short attention span and become easily distracted.
* A strong dislike of certain grooming activities, such as brushing the teeth, washing the face, having the hair brushed or cut.
* An unusual sensitivity to sounds and smells.
* Frequently adjusts clothing, pushing up sleeves and/or pant legs. (Chloe, the one-armed shirt girl, lol.)

Body Position

* Continually seeks out all kinds of movement activities
* Hangs on other people, furniture, objects, even in familiar situations


Seeks all kinds of movement and this interferes with daily life
Takes excessive risks while playing, has no safety awareness

Attention, Behavior

And Social
Jumps from one activity to another frequently and it interferes with play
Has difficulty paying attention
Is overly affectionate with others
Seems anxious
Is accident prone
Has difficulty making friends, does not express emotions

Activity Levels. Children with sensory integration dysfunction may show problems in their activity level. "The child may appear disorganized or lacking purpose in his or her activity. The child does not explore the environment or lacks variety in play activities. He or she may appear clumsy and has poor balance. The child may have difficulty calming down after physical activity or seeks excessive amounts of sensory input" (Stephens). These characteristics can come from improper functioning in any of the sensory systems or a combination of them.

Behaviors. A child may exhibit negative behaviors that have an underlying cause. The child may "lack flexibility, be explosive, or have difficulty with transitions". The child may show unexplainable irritability or crying until the discovery of the underlying cause. Underlying causes could be that the child is fearful of certain sounds or visual stimuli or intolerant to the wrinkles in his or her socks.

Whoa! I have this one! Totally!! Well, I have half of the list, all of these. So maybe I have a touch and she is genetically predisposed. Anyone who knows me will find this amusing, lol.

2. Hyposensitivity To Visual Input (Under-Responsive Or Difficulty With Tracking, Discrimination, Or Perception):

__ has difficulty locating items among other items; i.e., papers on a desk, clothes in a drawer, items on a grocery shelf, or toys in a bin/toy box

__ makes reversals in words or letters when copying, or reads words backwards; i.e., "was" for "saw" and "no" for "on" after first grade

__ tends to write at a slant (up or down hill) on a page

__ confuses left and right

__ fatigues easily with schoolwork

__ difficulty judging spatial relationships in the environment; i.e., bumps into objects/people or missteps on curbs and stairs


__ difficulty with imitative play (over 10 months)

__ wanders aimlessly without purposeful play or exploration (over 15 months)

Internal Regulation (The Interoceptive Sense):

__ becoming too hot or too cold sooner than others in the same environments; may not appear to ever get cold/hot, may not be able to maintain body temperature effectively

__ severe/several mood swings throughout the day (angry to happy in short periods of time, perhaps without visible cause)

__ unpredictable state of arousal or inability to control arousal level (hyper to lethargic, quickly, vacillating between the two; over stimulated to under stimulated, within hours or days, depending on activity and setting, etc.)

__ frequent constipation or diarrhea, or mixed during the same day or over a few days

__ difficulty with potty training; does not seem to know when he/she has to go (i.e., cannot feel the necessary sensation that bowel or bladder are full

__ unable to regulate thirst; always thirsty, never thirsty, or oscillates back and forth

__ unable to regulate hunger; eats all the time, won't eat at all, unable to feel full/hungry

__ unable to regulate appetite; has little to no appetite and/or will be "starving" one minute then full two bites later, then back to hungry again (prone to eating disorders and/or failure to thrive)

Dude. How many time have you seen me slam into my own doorframe, or how I always point because I NEVER get "left" or "right" correct, LOL?? Dd1 has some indicators too, but just a handful where they don't affect her much at all and she is growing out of most of them, and she never had enough of a problem to even think about this sort of stuff. She just is a sensitive child but she functions just fine, just needs a good hug and a cup of milk or distraction sometimes when she's bothered by something. There is no distracting dd2. We have tried. Constantly, lol.

Things we will be trying:

Tactile input is the sense of touch and includes texture, temperature, pressure, and more. Don't forget that the tactile system includes not only the skin covering your body but also inner skin linings such as inside the mouth.

Making/providing hard, textured foods to replace the glass, metal, and textured cloth she usually eats. We also have a hard rubber giraffe (Sophie) under the Christmas tree. Maybe give her a little plain carbonated water on occasion. Play-doh. Making goop. We already let her eat frozen peas for the cold, hard sensation, and she LOVES that, and we let her shew on cold, wet terrycloth wipes.

Proprioceptive input (sensations from joints, muscles and connective tissues that lead to body awareness) can be obtained by lifting, pushing, and pulling heavy objects as well as by engaging in activities that compress (push together) or distract (pull apart) the joints like playing tug-of-war.

Toddlers and Preschoolers
Make a "sandwich" by firmly pressing on your child's arms legs and back with pillows or make a "burrito" by rolling her up in a blanket. She can push her own stroller, and a stronger child can push a stroller or cart filled with weighted objects such as groceries. Your child can wear a backpack or fanny pack filled with toys (not too heavy!).

An idea for when she gets older:

Sample Sensory Diet

Here is a sample sensory diet, created for a second grade child whose sensory seeking behavior interfered with his attention and learning. We've used the annoying term, "as directed," to avoid providing a cookbook recipe. Activities should be individualized for each child and modified frequently to meet changing needs. A separate program was worked out for this child with the school, including frequent movement breaks, an inflatable seat cushion for wiggling while remaining seated, and providing crunchy/chewy oral comfort snacks at handwriting time.

Morning Routine
Massage feet and back to help wake up
Listen to therapeutic listening CD
Use vibrating toothbrush and vibrating hairbrush
Crunchy cereal with fruit and some protein
Spin on Dizzy Disc Jr. as directed
Jump on mini-trampoline as directed
After school
Go to playground for at least 20 minutes
Push grocery cart or sister's stroller
Spinning as directed
Mini Tramp — add some variety: have him play catch or toss toys into a basket while jumping
Massage feet to "reorganize," use theraputty, body sox, make body sandwiches, wheelbarrow walk
Do ball exercises as directed
Listen to therapeutic listening CD
Oral work — sucking thick liquids through a straw (smoothies, etc.), crunchy and chewy snacks (to give input into jaws and teeth) prior to and/or during homework

Dinner Time
Help with cooking, mixing, chopping, etc.
Help set table, using two hands to carry and balance a tray
Provide crunchy and chewy foods
Night time
Family time: clay projects, painting projects, etc.
Warm bath with bubbles and calming essential oil
Massage during reading time

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Someday, I will fix the background so y'all can read it without squinting, lol. I tried to follow the directions to put it only on the side and it didn't work, so I have to figure out where I went wrong.

So, suddenly Utah has remembered that it is, in fact, December. We had snow in October and then early fall temps until about two days ago, when suddenly the cold snap hit. Yesterday it snowed, melted, and then was snowing again when I left work (at my usual insanely late hour). Now there is 4-6" built up, depending on where you look (6" on the steps). So of course we went out to play. Realized that we are short on mittens and gloves so Chloe didn't get to play as much. However, she very much wanted to check out that fluffy white stuff, and as a consequence kept sticking her hand excitedly in the snow on the porch, looking at it, crying mightly when she realized it was very cold,, sticking her hand in my mouth to warm up, seeing that fluffy stuff again, sticking her fingers in it again, crying again, wanting to go inside, going inside, seeing the door start to shut with all that beautiful white stuff outside, crying to back outside, wash, rinse, repeat, lol. After a while she realized that snow was cold and she would have to deal with it, so she sat down on the porch and ate tiny pieces of snow very carefully. The whole time, of course, Alanna was running around like a snow pixie having a blast. Then we came in and had hot chocolate--Chloe had some watered down and Alanna had two, lol.

On the other Chloe front, she has regained "hi" as a word! It's not really a new word per say, but she had not said it since she started saying "Yeah" and now it is back. Losing previous skills is another warning sign so having her back in possession of both of her words is a great sign.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Much calmer now :)

We're working on her speech with her and if it goes well hopefully most of it will be resolved, as that is the biggest issue by far and I think the other issues tie into it. Lots and lots of book reading, naming everything we are doing, and working on imitation (or trying--she's not really interested in books or in imitating, but she is making her few sounds more often!).

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Developmentally delayed"

That's a fun phrase. So are "warning signs," "moderate PDD," "ASD signs," "therapy," "evaluations," and all that jazz. Technically my youngest is very delayed in communication and slightly in physical things plus extreme frustration over the tiniest things. On the checklists for ASD and PDD she scores enough warning signs to warrant a definite closer look. Dh and I are going to be working on her verbal skills (her non-existent verbal skills) until her appt next month to see if she just needs more help with that, more attention or maybe speech therapy, or if there is something underlying. Fuuuuuuun times, I tell you what. But she loves people and gives kisses and stuff so I don't think it would be something like autism.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


So, we had the whole no-money thing before we paid tithing. And then we had enough for food (yay) but that was it until the next payday in a couple weeks. So last week, someone left a bag with a couple nice dresses on our door (oldest girl was in heaven, lol). And then yesterday someone rang our doorbell and ran, and left an entire kitchen-size garbage bag FULL of presents, and a gift card to the grocery store. *sniff* We are so blessed here. I actually have a quilt that was gifted to us when I was really young that I need to find someone to Doorstep Ninja gift it to who needs it. Pass on the love.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I love tithing

Two days after we paid tithing (without the funds to pay it and rent), the bank gave us back our tithing amount and then some in fees that I thought they had decided not to refund a week ago! Now we can pay rent and pay for our other expenses this week, like copays and food and all of that good stuff. Yay!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another quick update

Wow. Since I blogged last,
I have worked a lot of overtime,
Jeremy has worked more overtime,
we somehow went totally broke (probably due to the last class I paid for but it still doesn't add up, but paid tithing anyway, so now we have no money for a week and a half, livin' on mac 'n' cheese and turkey soup)
I am very glad we have a bit of savings so we can pay rent! Textbook is going to have to wait though.
I did a balance transfer of our single horrible store credit card balance to one very nice low rate regular credit card, so we will save literally hundreds on interest this year alone, and once that is paid off we will have this one card for emergencies. And my credit monitoring report told me there was a change when I got the card so good job, credit monitoring thing, lol.
Chloe is walking!!!! Completely, totally walking with that super-wide baby stance.
My sewing machine died as I was getting ready to sew all holiday for my store opening. Hah. Hah.
A friend left his Kung Fu Panda DVD here and the girls are now in love.
We might have a newer, cleaner RPGing group in the works. Yay!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We're back!

Wow, it's been a while. We've been super busy with work and school, plus family came into town two weekends in a row (and more next week), and then we played pass-the-weird-illness around. Alanna ended up with roseola, and the rest of us had what felt like a nasty, miserable, exhausting cold. Mine kept triggering migraines. Boo. So we're slowly recovering from that. School was on hold for most of last week, but we'll be on track this week. I am also making progress on my cloth diaper design. I had a very (surprisingly) successful first round of testing, and I just finished the new version of my pattern to be tested again, and shrunk to the next size down and tested, before official release. Hooray! Oh, I also got the pair of longies that a WAHM crocheted up from some yarn I dyed with Kool-aid to match some owl fabric I am using for Christmas presents. It's gorgeous stuff! I need to figure out how to put pictures on here, and how to explain "early Christmas present" to the girls since these are NOT waiting until December to be worn! Maybe like my dad says about Mother's Day, that every day is Mother's Day, can apply....
Our garden went *poof* when the freak snow hit last weekend. It pretty much melted, especially the "winter" squash (hah!). I have to figure out how to avoid that next year.
Oh, and I found a great price on a SSC (soft structured carrier) to carry little miss high needs around, lol. I got an APLX (Angel Pack) and not only is it super comfy for carrying the little one, and super-fast to put on with the buckles so that she *lets* me put her on my back instead of flailing around and yelling like she's drowning, and makes her happy for a very long time riding around with mommy while I get stuff DONE, but--it's super comfy carrying her big sis. Who is THREE. Wow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Good times, good times :D

So, had the double birthday (decent haul for a "no presents please" party, oddly enough), fun AAQ at the park, lots of friends (even some for Alanna!), great food. Yum! Homeschooling is going well so far, and we'll get to open the giant art supply box this weekend. I'm printing coloring pages right now (a "B" in a butterfly),a nd we have a field trip about vegetables this week.
And cooelst news (really fast because the girls miss me), Alanna has been potty learning since last Tuesday, and was dry ALL NIGHT last night!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


So, Jeremy and I have been learning a lot with our first garden. Number 1, water is important. Number 2, Utah is slightly different from Ohio so things grow differently. Number 3, when you read "eat it before it goes to seed," they mean it.

So, the early crops that passed the gardening exam and will be invited back next year are sweet peas (bumper crop, climbing/pole style), butter lettuce, spinach, and carrots. Early flunkouts are bush beans (two handfuls from eighteen plants), broccoli, cauliflower, and a bunch of herbs. We got one herb to grow, a single basil plant. We're just admiring it for now, lol. Next year we will try more herbs in conjunction with the whole "watering" thing. Right now the fall crop is coming up, and we are getting some yellow and butternut squash, a late burst of extra peas, and an explosion of winter sweetmeat melon and cucumbers. Next year we are expanding and I want to try tomato and onion starters as well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Advanced Math

Here I thought Alanna and I would just be counting Honey Nut Cheerios, working up past 10 to 20. Well, come to find out not only is counting and addition fun, but her favorite part is SUBTRACTION. ;)
12 Cheerios, eat two, leaves 10! It quickly devolved into any Cheerio beyond 10 being eating with a vacuum sound, so I started adding them in twos and threes to change up the addition number before getting to chorus "and 12 minus 2 is 10" as she made more sucking noises and crammed them in her mouth grinning, lol.
Today was Mom's tired & grumpy day so most of the work has just been potty learning! We're going to color shapes now though.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Home sort-of-schooling

Well, Alanna's almost three and I started some homeschooling preschool stuff this week. We're not "unschooling" but we're not using a set curriculum or sit-down-and-do-your-papers type, either. Somewhere in between. Right now I'm supplementing my ideas (and what I did before, just more of it now) with Letter of the Week and soon Sound of the Week. It's free online, sort of a general guide/ideas for teaching phonics and reading.
Over the weekend we used Play-doh and Alanna learned how to make snakes. We played outside and kicked a ball around, and talked about the garden. Yesterday we played with an alphabet puzzle set Alanna got last yearb ut wasn't ready for--a lot of lowercase letter pieces and some word puzzles with pictures. So we got to work on the lowercase letters and sounds, as well as puzzle work. And we talked about what sounds different animals make, and had Alanna pick her favorite animal and draw it (she picked a dragon, LOL, and said dragons go raaaaaaaaaaaawr rawr, and drew it with lots of pink and red). We also played outside a bit--Alanna had a long play at the playground by lil' bro's apartment, mastering the mini-cargo net. So far today we've talked about animals--what color turtles are, what do horses eat, talking about how turtles pull into their shells when they're scared, and we got to run around the house like horses or cheetahs, crawl around like turtles, and jump around like cats. Now I'm online for an alphabet coloring page. I think we'll read more this afternoon, and work on more counting/basic addition.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Survived Labor Day with my pesco-vegetarianism intact!

It wasn't hard, actually. I just brought Morningstar burgers to the BBQ. Now I need to figure out how to have veggie BBQ when eating out. If we ever eat out again, that is, lol. Not much until we're more caught up on bills, that's for sure. 
This weekend I had a mini-sewing-marathon for making more of my personal design of cloth diapers, but I ran out of touchtape (super-velcro). So I have one completed, and three finished up until the first touchtape-sewing step. I'm hoping to make enough of  mine to sell the commercial AIOs and fitteds that I have, and make some in the next size up eventually. I made these so they fit Chloe on the smallest setting, so they are like a M/L anyway. Alanna likes them too but she needs to pottytrain the rest of the way, dang it, lol, so I'm not making some for her. She has used the potty exclusively for several days in a row, and then decides it's easier to go back to diapers. Boo. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I played midwife's assistant for the day

Fun stuff! It was hard to just "observe" and keep my mouth shut in the appointments, lol, but I did. I suppose it really is a good indication that I want to be a midwife that I was quite pleased to be dipping test sticks in cups of urine (checking everything from specific gravity to pH) and making homebirth packets. I think I'm going to take a couple months off when I finish my BS classes, save up a little $$, and start my midwifery classes in Nov or Dec (before the next tuition hike).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I found it!

I found the term for vegetarian-who-eats-fish! This is from the Dr. Sears website:
Pesco-vegetarians eat fish, dairy products, and eggs along with plant foods. (We believe this is the healthiest diet for most people).
So I am a pesco-vegetarian. Cool!

I feel smart

Jeremy and I went to a day of Education Week yesterday for a little anniversary fun (5 years on the 31st, yay!). We had been planning it for a while and it was really cheap, so we kept it on even with the tight $$. It's anniversary, you know. Some things are important. And it was amazing! We went to several classes on brain function (one on the brain and mental illness medication, one on prenatal brain development), one on stress (on payday, we're getting some lavender and chamomile--it works!!), one on marriage (similar ideas to Stephen Covey), one on the culture wars, and a devotional by Robert D. Hales. I think we stretched our brains and our feet more than we have in a year or two! Jeremy really enjoyed a day of learning, with no pressure for grades or anything, and I'm always happy to be drinking in new information. The prenatal brain development is a nice addition to my future-midwife-knowledge brain area, lol. I will be observing some prenatals with a local midwife soon, hopefully next Tuesday. Score! And Jeremy is coming around slowly to my being vegetarian-who-eats-fish. He even asked if there are any vegetarian restaurants in town. I have no idea. There should be!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I hate money. And meat.

Because I don't have it. We are really trying to budget and take cash out for cash stuff and not use debit cards, but it doesn't work yet because we have so much "we'll pay it next paycheck" stuff left over from the last month (mostly bumped from when we paid for mom-in-law's car repair, which delayed our rent payment, which just set off a cascade including two of our own car repairs), resulting in our having NO money for the next week, and having to pull almost all of our savings into checking just to cover the bills we already wrote for, and we'll still be late on a couple that have to wait again. There goes my (ideally) down payment on my midwifery course. *cry*

Anyway. On the flip side, I've successfully been vegetarian-except-for-fish (there has to be a real term for that somewhere) for a week now. Woot. Jeremy thinks I'm crazy but he doesn't have room to talk on that subject, lol.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Doula training rocks!

Wow. That was nine solid hours of amaaaaazing information. Massage, counter-pressure, acupressure, aromatherapy, laboring positions, birth information, business info, etc, etc, etc. And I might already have a client! We'll see. I have a potential client, how's that? And I got more information on a possible midwifery apprenticeship to start later, too! I went to DI today and got a recent Medical Terminology book--I'm doing one midwifery/doula education thing at a time while doing my regular classwork in the morning (okay, mom, lol? It's just not interesting to put in my blog, "I read three teen novels this morning for my class, Weetzie Bat was awesome" like I did Wednesday). I did get my official grades for my last two regular classes, A- in both classes. I just don't see a big increase coming in my income when I finish. I am finishing. I'm just less excited about that. Jeremy is working on videography stuff these days, which he actually tried to go to school for (yay, ADD), and he's working on what he can do without a degree, which is pretty much everything, lol. He'll be using what he tapes of the girls' birthday, for instance, for his portfolio, and offering low-cost event taping/editing around here for a bit to build up his portfolio. He's got most of the stuff already.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Umm... Wednesday?

Just a quick note. First of two doula classes tomorrow! And then a service project with the (I think) younger sisters in my ward so I might actually get to meet someone in the neighborhood, yay! Well, someone else. I'm comfortable enough to say hi to one other mom in my ward, lol. I have to miss some work for the class so I figured I'd go to the service project too!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Books and breasts

I'm starting a local two-part doula course Thursday, yay! And then I'll tack on my HypnoDoula cert. I'll be done with my Adolescent Lit class for my BS by the end of the month, and only have one 2-credit class left before I can graduate and move on to midwifery studies with my whole mind.

Last night a friend of my husband's asked me how long I was going to breastfeed Chloe. My first "one of those" questions. Mind you, she's only 10 months now. I told him I was probably going to let her self-wean, and his face about fell off as he said kids DON'T self-wean, and she'd still be trying to breastfeed at seven. I did my best not to fall off my chair laughing, as Chloe was bfing at the time and she wouldn't have like that. Kids don't self-wean. Uh-huh. His jaw dropped a bit too, when I quoted the WHO stats of breastfeeding being recommended for at least two years. He's the same one who said I wouldn't be able to give birth without drugs (did it!), etc. I keep winning, LOL. I'm doing better with my little brother on bfing/cloth diapering/natural birth education, but more on that later. (Today while I was talking about bfing, he commented sarcastically that of course no one would want a baby to have the milk its mother made for it; that would be silly. I'm so proud of him, heehee.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

I'm finally saying it

I want to be a midwife.

There. I said it! I'm becoming less scared and more excited. I mean, I felt the call but I was terrrrrified, lol. Now, (okay, so not that long--it's been a week, but a week of researching and reading like mad about midwifery and birth) I can honestly, firmly say that I want to be a midwife, and that I am getting very excited about the idea. I just read a post by another midwife about catching a baby, and the very line sends a thrill through me--I will be doing that someday!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Options, options

So, I applied for a rockin' part-time job that, if I get it, will pay off some debt and then be enough part-time to focus on midwifery studies. I'd be writing summaries of books for entrepreneurs--basically Cliffnotes for businessmen. I am currently thinking about the following options for school stuff:
Ancient Arts Midwifery Institute for my midwife education. It is by all accounts a very tough, challenging, educational course that will more than prepare me for the NARM. Also an apprenticeship, hopefully with Better Birth!
ALACE doula certification, plus HypnoBabies hypnodoula certification.
Possibly HypnoBabies instructor and ALACE instructor. 
Possibly breasted lactation consultant course, and being a LLL leader, working towards IBCLC. That's a lot of work. I'll have to think about it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

New life path

So, I have been putting this off because I wanted to type things out completely, but I might as well admit I'll never have or take the time so here's a start! I was getting my BS in English/creative writing so I could edit. I have been editing for almost four years now while getting my degree. I have 5 credits left before I finally get that special piece of paper. I still intend to start up my freelance thesis/dissertation/etc editing Website. However, I'm not aspiring to be "an editor" anymore. I've been there for almost four years, generally underappreciated, underpaid, and away from my family as my husband and I work opposite shifts. So the freelance thing will be nice, if it brings in enough. But I'm not expecting it to be enough alone, and I've been feeling this weird call to something else entirely, something I am actually passionate about. I am tossing around various related options: doula, childbirth educator, lactation consultant. All things that dance around one option: midwife. Even the word is scary, so full of portents of responsibility, blood and fluids and sweaty brows, women in bathtubs, on hands and knees, latex gloves and "I feel the head!". But I feel the call. So I am definitely becoming a doula, and getting the bonus certification of hypnodoula, and I will be seeing birth from that perspective for a while. But I also emailed a very experienced CPM near me about job shadowing and a possible future apprenticeship. I'll be busy trying to distract myself until I hear back from her. Eeeeeeeek.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Hello all! This is my first blog. I think I am the last... no, wait, I am not the last person to start a blog. Neither of my daughters have one. I am therefore ONE of the last people in America to start a blog. As I am at work right now, I will simply throw out my intro/about me for the moment, and go from there later.

I am a crazy-busy working, schooling mother of two girls under three. I am in my last semester of my BS in English, and am debating on grad school. I work as a copy editor at night, while hubby works during the day. I have slowly transformed from a traditional hospital/epidural-birthing, fully vaccinating, mostly formula-feeding, bouncer-using, follow-the-leader mom to a co-sleeping, breastfeeding (in public!), babywearing, selective/delayed vaccinating, cloth diapering, natural birthing mom. We do not have cable...but my kids watch a lot of DVDs, especially when I have homework to do. I have a garden for the first time, as I have a yard for the first time! I am a geeky gamer chick who is painfully shy in person, but very opinionated once I open my big mouth. I am a 24-year-old who listens to NPR, a Utah Democrat, and a brand-new Real Diaper Association Circle Leader. I am thinking about starting a cloth diapering/crunchy mom podcast. Someday. I am also working on a home business doing freelance editing as well as sewing skirts and wool interlock/cloth items.