Monday, May 10, 2010

Detroit Mommies Lilith Fair Giveaway and discount!!!

Courtney over at Detroit Mommies has a discount available for Lilith Fair and is giving away two tickets too! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Sarah McLachlan. Somehow I never managed to make it to Lilith Fair when I was in college. Sarah's music got me through some rough times, and she finally wrote a happy love song right before I got married.

Check out Courtney's blog and the info at:

"Detroit Mommies:Lilith Fair Discount and Giveaway"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Many hats

I can't believe I never blogged about our diagnosis and Ella's new therapy? It has been such a roller coaster the last couple of months. I will definitely put some thoughts down very soon. This week is so crazy.

We have a houseguest! We brought my niece (Jason and Jenny's little girl), Saoirse, back from Cleveland with us. Saoirse is 5, and she is so very smart. I was worried that Saoirse would be bored because she is getting so big. We have had to find like 20 books every night just to keep her reading long enough to get sleepy. Today we bought her a Star Wars Clone Wars book- she's 5!! She has been just blowing me away these last couple of days. And Ella loves her cousin so much!

I just wanted to share a funny story. Ella's favorite game is to assign new roles to everyone in the house. She will be "mama", I will be "Ella", and Dave will be baby or some other mixup. I think because she knows these words well she likes to drag this game out for as long as the participant(s) will allow. We try really hard to avoid it sometimes. Lately she has been really trying to work it in. Today we were getting really confused as to what to refer to ourselves as because with Saoirse here, we wear many hats- Aunt, mom,Heather, Dave, husband, dad. So we discussed it for a minute and decided I was Aunt Mama and Dave was Uncle Daddy. Dave, Saoirse, and I had a good chuckle about the silliness of our new titles. Ella was really quiet through the discussion and all of a sudden she gets talking really fast...."I'm baby. You're Ella and You're Ella, and Diddy Ella. No, I'm Mama. Mama Ella...."

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The power of love or our crazy family- you choose

Ella has really begun to understand what it means to have aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. and can tell you through yes or no questions who lives where and what they are to her. We had a wonderful Christmas with Dave's family, and Ella loved playing with her Chicago cousins. We heard so much expression and had some really big moments like when she told her cousin (who loves to play teacher) - "No! Three. One, Two, Three." Everyone was in various rooms and got really quiet. I finally said, "Did Ella just count to three?" Ella has known "two" and "three" for awhile but we go through times when everything is "two" or "three" depending which is easier for her to say but its been clear that she knows when she has two things or when she has three. I have heard "one" maybe a handful of times. It was a really big moment!

Then we had a few days recovering at home and we worked with flash cards to keep the momentum. On New Year's Eve we left for Cleveland to celebrate the holidays with my family at my sister's. My family is anything but quiet when we get together. It's loud, crazy, and often dramatic. My daughter fully embraces the insanity and becomes a part of it. She gets so excited about everything that she just blurts words out left and right. We got full sentences and tons of random new words. I heard a lot of "I need...", "I want..." which isn't totally new but to hear it all day long is incredible. She told me she wanted "apple juice" instead of signing it. She talked about "snow", told us there were three dogs, and pointed out every "E" to let us know that "Ella" started with "e". The whole weekend was full of very proud moments. And to see her face, when she said what she wanted and we

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Year, New hopes

I am really excited and nervous about 2010. Dave and I have made a decision that may end up being expensive but also very helpful. Ella has finished the first half of the year in her new preschool. We have seen a huge increase in confidence and definitely more talking. Unfortunately there hasn't been an increase in vocabulary. Ella is great at letting mom and dad know what she wants or needs. She has her ways. We still occasionally run into those situations where she wants something and I can't figure it out. These sometimes lead to melt downs, but they are also rare.

We have decided it's time to get additional therapy for Ella. Her speech therapist at her school did not offer much encouragement when we suggested it may help. She is really worried Ella will be too shy to respond. I can definitely see that happening, but I also know that Ella is often more withdrawn in large groups and busy places- i.e. a classroom. One on one or in small outgoing groups she will talk and make sounds as long as she feels comfortable. She loves school and we are really excited about her growing confidence and her new skills. She is like any other three old except that she doesn't say much at all.

I have grown increasingly frustrated with things being said to us. One thing that drives me crazy- "She'll talk when she's ready." I know it is always said as encouragement and with the best of intentions, but we know that Ella is more than ready to tell us what she is thinking and we want to do everything we can to help her with that. I started making some calls and got some ideas about where to start. First off- we should be able to recoup some money through insurance but most will probably begin as out of pocket. I was just going to call Beaumont's speech center, but then my good friend Barb reminded me of the Kaufman Children Center. Nancy Kaufman is always referred to in reading about apraxia of speech. This is the disorder I suspect Ella to have. In my research, I have learned that often these kids need more intensive therapy. We have an appt January 11. Nancy Kaufman will be evaluating Ella and already has called to discuss. I am encouraged by the quick response. It may not be right for her but we have to try!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Coming to terms

I haven't blogged in so long. As many friends have been saying, what is there to blog about when you have Facebook? Well, we may have something to blog about but not sure how open I can be. It still feels like an open wound sometimes that I just don't want to share. Then I have to ask myself, am I ashamed? Never. Could it help me to put it down in words? Maybe. Am I scared to share? Definitely.

It is so hard to come to terms with the fact that something is going on with my daughter. First, I am so grateful and so glad that she is very healthy, very loved, and very happy. What is hard for me is to know that now it may start to really hit her that she is different. I think when she wasn't talking at 2 we really thought she would come around with some therapy. We went to our first few classes and I saw how well the other kids were responding, and I was SO hopeful. When she wasn't progressing as fast as the others in her class, I started to worry slightly, but it was obvious she was also battling extreme shyness. Really she was also doing so much better compared to where she had been 6 months before. She was communicating with us and picking up new words faster than before.

It's almost a year now since we started with Early On. A year ago Ella would barely answer yes or no questions and now she speaks in 3 or 4 word sentences and even though she won't say "yes", she has several affirmatives. She has lots of words but still nowhere near what she should at her age. I am very proud of her and try to let her know as much as possible. Since we hit three, people expect so much from her and when it doesn't happen for her, I hurt with her. I see it on her face. She has something to say and I want so badly to help her find her voice. She is so silly and has a great sense of humor!

Why am I having a harder time now than before? I think it is becoming more obvious to us that Ella isn't just a "late talker" or simply shy. I have done some research and found a book called "The Late Talker: What to Do If Your Child Isn't Talking Yet" Right away things hit me harder than I expected. There was a chart right in the front on the differences between a delay and a disorder. Ella fit right into the disorder column. The wonderful news is that Ella does not have any other conditions that could accompany speech disorders. She is also talking which is better than some kids. Things could be much much worse.

The book at first depressed me. I kept waiting for the good news like she would grow out of it or it would mean speech therapy for a few years but then we would be done. Instead I read that she may always struggle and may have learning disabilities. Then I started to feel empowered a bit. I have been struggling with what to do next and kind of playing the "wait and see" that everyone has suggested. I am not waiting anymore. We are going to get whatever help we can for her now. Her preschool is great but they can only do so much. Now we just have a lot of phone calls and work to do!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Not Me Monday

So my friend, Barb, always does a wonderful Not Me Monday post and I keep thinking I will do one but I always run out of steam. She got the idea from another blogger whose place I visit from time to time MckMama. The idea is to air your dirty laundry by announcing things that you would never do but actually wished you didn't. It's a lessons learned really :).

Where to start? I did NOT decide to read my book the last two days instead of cleaning up something. I did NOT let me daughter watch 2 hours of Barney on two seperate days. I did NOT punish my husband for playing golf by sitting on my butt last night. I did NOT ignore the baby crying so my husband would get up and get him. I did NOT try to convince him that the baby was just teething and didn't need to eat. I did NOT sleep in until past 8 am even though we were supposed to be getting on the road by 9 am.

And then there was tonight....

I did NOT drag my children out past their bedtime for ice cream. I did NOT decide to carry baby around rather than accept he needed to go home. I did NOT pay $6 for a quart of ice cream. I did NOT forget to let the dog out for awhile and she did NOT pee on the floor. I did NOT forget to change my daughter's pull up yet again. I have NOT been putting my daughter in Pull Ups and then not even attempting to get her to use the potty. That would be ridiculous and a sign of true laziness. I did NOT tuck my daughter in bed 2 hours late. I did NOT just let my baby cry himself to sleep for the first time. Same little boy is NOT still sleeping in the living room because his parents definitely did finish his sister's new bedroom so he would be able to move into her room.

Whew! I do feel better. Feel free to play along!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Ella had a birthday!!! She turned 3 years old last Saturday. I can't believe my baby is 3. We celebrated with family at Chuck E Cheese, and she had a blast with her cousins. She also got a lot of loot. We are big believers in recycling toys. She got a ton of toys from my sister that used to be my niece's and then a gorgeous baby bed that used to belong to the Chicago cousins. She also got some cool clay that I have yet had the courage to get into. It says it is not messy but I think anything you have to add water to is automatically messy. So we are saving that for a day when Dad is up and can help with baby. Ella's three year check up went great. No shots thankfully but there was a blood draw and an attempt to pee in a cup. She screamed through the little poke in her finger and then was fine. All afternoon she kept trying to tell us about her boo boo that went bye. I think she was trying to explain that it didnt hurt so bad and was barely there. She weighed in at 31 lbs 6 oz and 37 inches tall. She was in the 50th percentile for both which is a huge change from when she was an infant. My girl was a skinny baby and is chunking up. She loves her eggs and cheese. We are back to working on potty training but it is tough with the baby. I think we will be doing good by the end of summer though. Luckily it is perfect weather to run around half naked.

Luke also had an appt for his 8 week check up. He unfortunately did have shots. Poor guy! He did great through the checkup but then we had to wait and by the time the immunizations came, he was really tired. I had given him tynenol before we left so hopefully that helped him deal. He weighed in at exactly 12 lbs and was 22 3/4 in. He is a really happy baby and smiles and coos all the time. I feel bad because I know he is left to entertain himself a lot because of Ella. He loves his bouncy seat and will happily kick his legs for an hour. He has really strong legs now! We are now officially pumping all the time. He gets to nurse 2 or three times a day when time allows. He likes to but often falls asleep and still needs more. I find the bottles allow us more freedom to do stuff.

Wish I had pics to share but the camera got left on by accident after Ella's birthday and we still haven't had a chance to replace the batteries that cost a fortune. Hopefully this weekend!