Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Milestones I Didn't Count On

It seems Kindergarten has been a big year for Lainy Ann. Not only has she learned to read, do addition and subtraction, she has gotten her dental appliance removed and wears glasses in school. She just recently got a dramatic haircut too! But the next two months will have the scariest of milestones, for me; an alone playdate, Kindergarten graduation, and Summer Camp. This coming Saturday Lainy Ann has been invited to a birthday party. Unfortunately, Caskey and I have plans that evening as he is receiving an award in connection to his SELP degree. Our babysitter, Melanie, would be happy to take Lainy Ann, but as the previous blog states we don't have a car that will fit all the kids. So that meant finding someone else to take Lainy Ann to the party.

3 + 4 = 7

Its a simple number sentence and the result doesn't seem like a large number. But when you change the number sentence into a word problem the result seems much larger.

3 Cahills + 4 Dicksons = 7 children under 6 years old.

Seven children seems to overwhelming. Although, I only have true responsibility for 4 of them, the Cahill children will always be in my heart and thoughts (and even sometimes in my schedule). Just as my kids are often Melanie's responsibility as well. Melanie and I are such good friends that we spend several days a week together. At this point that is *only* 5 kids. I can't believe that 5 children seems like such a small number. In a few short months when we have dinner together or set out on an outing we will have 2 newborns, 2 toddlers (almost 2), 2 4-year-old boys, and a 5 year old girl.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

He Can't Talk, But

William is delayed in speech. At 18 months old he still wasn't babbling and had only said a few words spontaneously, but would not imitate any of our sounds or words. He was speaking at a 9 mo level. We contacted Lanterman Regional Center and set up the first of many assessments and began the journey into Early Intervention and speech therapy. I purchased books, talked to friends, and made many calls to our caseworker. I am now enrolled in a behavior workshop, have completed a complete hearing exam, and am awaiting a behavior assessment. I have also been told that the Regional Center will pay for preschool when he turns two and respite babysitting for any workshops I need to attend, up to 16 hours per month.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Constructor or Destructor

Connor is going through a 'building' phase. He is always making telescopes by rolling up paper or other things. However, he is usually ruining thing in the process, like when he rolls up the cover of a book, or today when he bent the tube part of our squirt bottle. Last week he was simply looking at a marble pastry board, he dropped it and it broke into two.

I am really happy that he wants to build and create, but why must he break things in order to do it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Atlanta Zoo a Nice Surprise

I have to be perfectly honest. I was not looking forward to going to the Atlanta Zoo. I had heard that it wasn't that great, I looked online and found that it was significantly smaller than the LA Zoo, and it was about twice the price. Being pregnant it didn't seem like a fun way to spend the day; walking around seeing animals we have seen before to the tune of $18 for adults and $13 for kids. Especially since we have a pass to the LA Zoo.

William's Newest Skill

William has learned how to fake smile on demand. This is not a skill I am particularly pleased about, especially since we just had professional photos done and they almost all look like this. We are entering the next phase where good photos will be candids and professional photos will be fakes. *sigh* And we just finished this phase with Connor.

Snip, Snip and 5 years of Effort is Gone

About a year ago Lainy Ann started talking about how she had long, pretty, princess hair. She wanted to grow her hair long like a princess and never cut it. I started talking to her about one day cutting her hair and donating it to Locks of Love. I didn't have a preference of long or short hair on my daughter really, but I feel its important to teach children philanthrophy at a young age so it is always a part of who they are. We donate to goodwill, women's shelters, canned food drives and friends who are in a pinch. They are actively involved in that donation so they see it as part of our life and who we are.

My husband is WONDERFUL

My blog has been down for a few weeks. Thanks to those of you who noticed. :-) It was nice to get your emails. We were waiting on a new piece of server equipment. Our first new piece in nearly 10 years. In fact, most of the delay was the shipping process from Penguin. Well, the server arrived on Friday afternoon. The kids and I left for vacation on Saturday morning and by Sunday evening my blog was back up. He is such a great guy!!! He had to go to LMU to work, do whatever reformatting/uploading stuff required, and drive to the data center. And not a single blog was lost.

I love you, Caskey! You are the best tech guy ever.

Beating the System

Most airlines have a rule that says luggage can be no more than 50 lbs. However, each person is allowed to check 2 pieces of luggage. So when I flew to GA with my 3 ticketed kids I was allowed to have 8 pieces of luggage checked. Well, there was no way I was going to be able to manage 8 pieces of checked luggage, 4 carry-ons, and 3 kids. So I took our biggest suitcase on wheels, its about the size of Lainy Ann, and one small toiletry bag. I also checked 2 boosters. So in all I had 4 pieces to check, but only one suitcase. Well, if you shove clothes for 4 people for 5 days into it, plus diapers, blankets, loveys, and bottles it is bound to be over 50 lbs. 55 lbs to be exact. Well, I thought I would just pay the overage fee. Until I found out it was $80! For that price I could go buy a new cheapo bag from target and just check another bag (or two). We managed to move some things around and put some stuff in my mother's underweight bag.

But for our return flight we beat the system. We went to the post office on Thursday morning and paid for a first class express mail box for $13. I stuffed it full of coloring books, board books, and 2 lbs of pancake mix from Cracker Barrel (YUM). It was just enough weight that all of our bags were under 50 lbs and I received the package on Saturday. It was great. The kids didn't notice that they were missing about 15 books and we were able to say under that magic 50 lb number.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Survey

I came across this survey and article in one of my support groups. Grab your kleenex though. This isn't for the faint of heart.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pine Mountain, GA

We decided to visit the Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, GA today. I had heard about it online and it seemed like it would be a great rainy day activity since you could stay in your car and drive around.

We decided to rent their zebra van for about $11. I was hesitant to rent it since it meant my three kids wouldn't be in car seats and I'm a bit of a car seat freak. But we had 4 adults and three kids, so plenty of hands available to help the little ones (5, 3, and 20 mo). I was concerned that the youngest would be afraid of the animals so we sat in the back in the middle of the seat, far away from the windows.