photo taken by Angela Speiker

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Zachary starts school

No words, yet, but I will add them soon.  Trying out a new version of blogger, and just trying to figure it out!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

My blessings are endless...........
My beautiful daughter, my hilarious son, my easy-going little one, my amazing husband, my faithful puppy, my ever-loving family, my friends, and so, so much more. I am truly blessed!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Enjoying our journey.......each step of the way

Our little lion

Showing how a lion walks

My 3 monsters, I love them so much!

Sometimes this boy gives me a different perspective on life............

I remember sitting in my college classes, hearing about SPED (special education) and IEP's (individualized education plans), and different needs based upon different kids. I remember thinking at different times in my life that I was thankful that I didn't need to worry too much about may sound wrong, but it's enough to worry about taking care of all the other things going on in life.

I'm sitting here today waiting for my SPED meeting for Zachary that will take place tomorrow. We will "be discussing his IEP" for school. He was evaluated last week by a team of people at school, and tomorrow I will get the "results" of that evaluation. I'm waivering on wanting him to qualify, b/c it's what is good for him, and not thinking he should b/c he's not "that bad" compared to others. I'm nervous, I'm a little worried that there will be judgement. I know they aren't supposed to, but you wonder if someone along the way will think about what he should be doing, how I could have done something better/different. I wonder if they will think he is behind, b/c he is. He doesn't even begin to hit those milestones in the same way as his siblings, his cousins, his peers. It makes me nervous and cautious--and I find myself hiding behind my happy smile. Of course, I get that happy smile from him, b/c he doesn't know he's behind, he doesn't care he's not within the spectrum of apporpriate behavior. He smiles through it all, trailing about 5 steps behind, but always trying, always wanting to catch up, always expressing his desire to! He keeps me in a good place about his delays. I find myself always struggling, b/c truthfully I am really happy he is walking, talking, singing, etc. I know there are so many out there that might never walk, they won't be functioning members of our society. I don't have that. My son will do all of that, and again I repeat I am happy beyond belief that we don't have to go there. However, I struggle with the fact that he is delayed. People try so hard to make it ok, their kind comments of "it's ok" mean well, but don't really make him stronger. They try to justify it by his prematurity. Yes, his prematurity doesn't help, but he shouldn't be this behind b/c he was ONLY 9 weeks early, not 16, and he should be approaching caught up.

I hope he is able to go to school and get what he needs through therapists, and teachers, and speech, and peer models, and so much more. I don't want to lose my time with him at all, but he needs this, for him.

I am also waiting for a call from Children's Mercy to schedule yet another surgery for my little man. Saturday night he displayed signs of a hernia, something we've suspected for awhile. Saturday night it became worse, and was really hurting him. It is a fairly minor procedure, an outpatient surgery, but a surgery nonetheless. He will have to be sedated, again. He will have to visit Children's Mercy, again. He will get one more thing added to his list, again. As I was filling out paperwork for his preschool, it is funny how they give you a teeny, tiny little line that says, condition at birth ___________, medical conditions ___________, any surgeries _______. Should I just type up a brief rundown of all of his "stuff" and attach to any and all future documents? He's going to apply for college and have to fill all this out. It's crazy! So, one more thing to add to his list. He was sedated for his MRI for his possible tethered spine, it was fine. He was sedated for his 4 hour hypospadius repair and urethra reconstruction, and he was fine. He was sedated for his tongue tie clipping, super minor thing, and he was fine. This will be just the same, right? Calvin has had a minor little procedure, too, in the last 2.3 years. Add to that our emotional roller coaster with Walt, and any other stuff, and let's just say I am tapped out emotionally. I'm done. I am so ready for normal.....but what is that anyway?

It's just one more minor thing, and we shall continue to enjoy our journey through IEP meetings, and surgeries, and paperwork, and the love and laughter that fill our days.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Blessings....

.....too numerous to count! Had fun going to Powell Pumpkin Patch on our annual pumpkin picking trip. Perfect, perfect fall day.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Daisy Scout camping

Emerald got to go camping with her Daisy Scout troop. They ordered a perfect September weekend, gorgeous weather, fun friends, awesome location, and an all around fun time. I was lucky enough to get to go, too!

Lost teeth

Daddy came to school to be the Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students). I love that we have this program at our school.

Emerald and her first lost tooth

Our tooth fairy buddy. We have to write on the green card whose tooth it is, too many lost teeth around this house happening all at once.

Both Em & Cal have lost their 2 front bottom teeth, w/in weeks. Each lost a tooth w/in about 24 hours of each other, twice! Can you say sibling competition?

Zac keeps trying to show us his lost teeth, too. Always trying to be just like his siblings!

Fun at the arboretum

We have just had fabulous fall weather!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 4, 2011

A train to Nowhere

My birthday present was to go to Baldwin City for their Maple Fest. If you haven't been, go! It was a lot of fun, gorgeous, perfect fall weather, and just a fun day. We rode on a real train, literally to a sign in the middle of a field, Nowhere. It was a blast and the kids had so much fun. I loved the day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Enjoying fall 2011

He is just getting so big

Showing off his boots (note tongue, it's hard work lifting your boot)

Watching for the train

Enjoying a gorgeous fall day w/ a train ride to nowhere.

We have been seriously slacking in the blog department. Why, you ask?????? Because my time has been devoted to so many other things. After the horrible cabin fever of last winter, we have been doing everything we can to be outside and enjoying every.single.minute of the absolutely incredible fall! It has been spectacular, filled with colorful leaves, perfect "no weather" (where you aren't hot, or cold, you can wear shorts, or a sweatshirt, and be perfectly happy), neighborhood spontaneous parties of 11 (kids that is) in our backyard, visits to the arboretum, pumpkin patches, fall festivals, train rides, walks, leaf jumping, park play dates, craft projects, camping, hiking in "our" woods, family pictures, pumpkin painting, visitors, birthdays, weddings, family time, and so, so much more! This isn't even including finishing out the soccer season, homework, projects, house painting, PTO craziness (I am vice president), Daisy Scout times, clearing out closets (b/c these kids insist upon growing up too fast), lost teeth, etc. I don't even feel I have enough time to sit down, perhaps that's why I've been at the chiropractor for my hurt back. However, we have definitely been enjoying our journey.....and that's what it is all about. I plan to do a photo blast soon, so beware. I have so much to catch up on.

Small updates: Em has lost 2 teeth, is reading much better, getting to be a super awesome speller, improving those math skills, making some new friends in the neighborhood, finished soccer, attends Daisy Scouts, went camping with DS, sold cookie dough, is now selling Girl Scout cookies, working hard at school projects, saved and saved her allowance. Hmmmm what am I leaving out? She is developing a bit of an attitude that gives me a minor glimpse of our future, yikes! Those legs are getting longer and longer, and she is definitely getting more independent.

Calvin got to take a field trip with his class, he is also improving his writing skills (made me a great birthday card), reading more words, getting taller, also lost 2 teeth, finished out his first soccer season, and getting a tiny bit less crazy. He is in a good place right now! He still doesn't love to clean up, nor does he love most food items offered, but he has been more cooperative lately, and I'll take it! He has been very into everything involving firemen lately and keeps a look out for every fire truck we pass. He is developing this love of geography that makes me smile. We have a placemat of the USA and he loves to learn all sorts of facts about the various states, regions, lakes, countries, etc. He listens intently as we share stories of the different places we've visited. I think he is going to be like me and love to travel. He's a sponge right now, soaking up everything!

Zac got to go to school. He is nearing the age of 3, when he gets kicked out of the Infant/Toddler program. At that point, he should be able to begin the developmental preschool, which is the same preschool Em & Cal have gone to, at our school. He went for his evaluation last week and we will hear the results next week. There is a good chance he will start school in January, but not sure if that is a certain thing, and how often it would be. He is gaining a lot of skills lately including true 2 year old tantrums, a great vocabulary and sentence structure, better gross motor skills, and a slightly better skill at the table. We are still working hard at some recall and learning those basic shapes, colors, letters, numbers, etc. He has begun some basic potty training, but shows no interest at all. He is still our little cuddle bug. Z is always content trailing behind by about 5 steps, but trying as hard as he can to keep up with everyone, constantly reminding us all "I do it myself". His love for cars and trains remains as strong as ever, many a night falling asleep clutching tight to a car and it is still there in the morning (who needs a stuffed animal, right?). He is a great little helper as he and mommy get to go "bopping" on mornings that brother and sister are in school.

Both Skip and I have celebrated birthdays, one year older, wahoo! We are actually planning a weekend getaway from the kids soon, and I am just a tiny bit excited :) Don't tell the kids, don't want them to be sad thinking mommy wants to escape. I just look forward to spending time with Skip, alone. We celebrated our 17 year anniversary of when we first started dating. Wow, I've been with him nearly half my life at this point! That's impressive, especially since I'm still madly in love with the man.

Be on the lookout for tons more pics.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Calvin lost his first tooth!

We noticed a big tooth coming in, actually all the way in, Friday morning at breakfast. The baby tooth wasn't even loose Friday evening, and by Saturday afternoon, it was out! He bit into a peach and realized it was very loose, and worked it out himself after 5 minutes of quiet time in his room. Daddy was home with the kids, so I found out thru a text. Emerald has had a loose tooth for about 3 weeks, and hasn't yet lost a tooth yet. Despite that fact, she was still excited for her brother. He helped introduce our Pankewich family pillow to store our lost teeth in for the Tooth Fairy. She left him a sweet note and a super special prize since this was his first lost tooth. He got a Scooby Doo fire truck, both things he is pretty excited about.
Posted by Picasa

Red Friday

Our school held a Red Friday last week. We are trying really hard for a $10,000 grant and asked all the kids to dress in red. They learned a lot about healthy eating habits and excercise. A good friend made the cute hair accessories and ribbon for Emerald. They held a tailgate party for lunch and then a pep rally in the afternoon. I helped out by dressing in the colt costume! It was very hot in that mascot. The kids loved it, even Zachary came running up to me screaming, "horsey mommy, I love you." Too sweet. Calvin was pretty excited to get Mr. K (the gym teacher who was our districts Teacher of the Year and AWESOME!) in the football gear.
Posted by Picasa