Indianapolis Temple

Indianapolis Temple

Genevieve at 18 months

6/29/2010 06:39:00 PM Edit This 4 Comments »
I can't believe that it has been 18 months since Vivi was born! (I should say that this is a belated post. She was born on December 24th). She has grown so much just in the past few months. Yesterday, I was looking at pictures and there was such a difference between her in April and her now. Whoa.

A few Genevieve highlights:

1. Vivi is a mover and a shaker. She dances to anything! Hymns, Music Together songs, world music, Disney, etc. Her new trick- spinning around with her eyes closed. This means occasionally running into walls.

2. She loves to talk. She can talk in complete sentences, just not in a language I can understand. She has, however, mastered the words yes, eat, help, and more in sign language plus spoken.

3. She absolutely loves nursery. She went in a few weeks early, thanks to me teaching Sharing Time in June and Reed teaching the deacons. She was soooo ready. No separation anxiety trouble for that girl. She had been standing at the nursery door, knowing that there was fun inside, and me not letting her go in, for weeks. She would just stand there, knocking on the door, and crying to be let in.

4. Vivi loves her big sister, Lara, and wants to do everything Lara does. An absolute cute blessing.

5. Vivi continues to be quite the chunk. She weighs around 35 pounds, more than Lara.

6. Vivi loves to read books, especially Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Baby Bear, Baby Bear.

7. Genevieve is such a blessing in our lives. She is so cute and sweet and we know that she will be a wonderful older sister when the time comes. Genevieve, we love you!
The above picture is one from April. Below are some from June.

Love the thighs!

New Artist

6/26/2010 05:51:00 AM Edit This 2 Comments »
www.rachelgubler.com

My friend Marlena posted about a friend of hers who is releasing an album. She said Rachel sounds like a cross between Mary Poppins and a Disney Princess, a combination that would win over Lara :) I'm all about promoting amateur artists so here is the link to her website.

Happy Father's Day

6/21/2010 04:41:00 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
I know this is a day late and that Reed, since he is away at scout camp, is not going to see this post until the end of the week... But I still wanted to brag about my wonderful husband and the amazing father he is to our girls.

This picture shows off Reed's greatest talents as a dad- the ability to get down and play with Lara and Vivi, and not care what anyone else thinks. For instance, he'll show up at the Dancing Bunnies, just off of work, with dirt caking his legs, arms, and hair, without a swimsuit, sweaty, and he's still willing to run around with the girls and play. You can tell that Lara and Vivi love their Daddy! Happy Father's Day, Reed!

5 Years

6/17/2010 07:08:00 PM Edit This 9 Comments »
Happy 5th Anniversary to us!

Love you :)

My Autism Advocacy Moment

6/11/2010 10:07:00 AM Edit This 4 Comments »

I just returned from a very fun trip with my Mom and my sister, Lindey, to Branson which I will probably post more about later. But the point of this post is to tell of an experience I had while at a water ride at Silver Dollar City.

I was waiting in line with Lindey and her friend, Shelby, when I saw one of the logs being loaded with a boy, probably around 8 years old, his little brother and his Mom. I immediately thought that the boy looked like he had autism. I've worked as a music therapist with children with autism for 4 years now and I sometimes can pick them out of a crowd. I remember being pretty impressed that this boy wasn't freaking out. Soon it was our turn to get into our log and while we were sitting waiting for the log to start out of the gate, we heard one of the ride attendants start shouting and a commotion behind us. I looked and saw that the log with the boy was returning and he was in crisis mode. He was yelling about wanting to get out and he was trying to exit the log before it got into the dock. His mom was having a hard time holding on to his flailing body. The power to the ride was quickly shut off and we were told to exit the log and wait on the landing. All the while, the ride attendant was freaking out. I think he was trying to figure out why the boy was trying to get out of the log even while being shouted at to sit down.

The boy ended up getting out of the log prematurely and walking along a side railing to the exit. The boy's mother was very distraught and apologetic and the little brother was very upset and crying, probably out of fear and because his head had been pushed down in the melee. Since we were standing on the exit platform I helped the little brother calm down while the mom went to gather the older boy who had already exited. The attendants were working on getting the other passengers off the logs coming into the dock since the power was shut off and one of them ran after the mom because a manager was coming down to talk to her. I knew she was upset and I wanted to make sure that she didn't need any help. So many people don't know anything about autism and it's hard for a parent to explain. I went and talked to her, explaining that I worked with children with autism and she was so relieved. She said that her son had gone to Disney World and Six Flags and had been on several rides. For some reason, something on this one had set him off. It could have been the heat, the water, the time of day, or several things combined. Who knows? She felt so bad about everything and I just wanted to reassure her that things would be OK. Luckily the manager was very nice and understanding. He just wanted to make sure that the boy was OK. The mom left to return to her family and I waited on the platform for the ride to start again, although I was too shaken to actually ride. I just waited for Shelby and Lindey :)

With the number of children with autism on the rise, for whatever reason (that's a whole different post), the chances of you encountering somebody with autism in public is very great. If you work in a field that work with children with special needs such as a therapy or special education, you should be looking for ways you can advocate for the parents and the children. If you don't know anything about autism, I urge you to educate yourself. Autismspeaks.org is a great website with good information, or you could find a family with a child with autism or a professional who works with them. The ride attendant might have been better prepared for the shock of seeing a boy trying to get out of the log if he had known that there was a special need. I was able to talk with several people waiting outside of the ride about autism and the types of challenges they have. None of these people knew anything about autism, just there were people who existed that had this condition.

My advocacy moment is not done. I am actually going to write to the amusement park, asking if they will consider making a special needs pass for families. These passes don't have to necessarily mean that the child skips to the front of the line (although at Disney World they do) but at least if you had a special needs pass you could show it to the attendant to give them a heads-up.

OK, I am going to get off my soap box now.

Oh, the Irony

6/01/2010 04:36:00 PM Edit This 7 Comments »
Last Friday our beloved Ford Focus, Luna, bit the dust through a broken transmission. We were going to be buying a minivan anyway next year with the addition of another kid (no, I am not pregnant but I'm sure I will be sometime), so we just decided to buy one now for the same price it would have taken to fix Luna.

After 3 Craigslist scams, we decided to try some dealers instead of private sellers. We found a wholesale dealer on Stringtown Rd (Car Source Auto. Definitely recommend them and will probably be buying from them when we want a truck) with a few Honda Odyssey's for sale which is what I wanted. Today we came away with not a Honda Odyssey (maybe next time) but a 2001 Mazda MPV for a steal. KBB price- $7,800. Bought for- $4600. Nice! It felt so good to drive that van off the lot. Reed said it made him feel like a parent. :)

Fast Forward 3 minutes: So I'm driving our new van to work behind Reed who is driving our Ford Escort, Aunty Em. I call him up and tell him his car is smoking. Pulled off to the side of the road, found oil dripping in the engine, promptly unloaded Aunty Em into the Mazda, Reed dropped me off at work and spent the rest of the day figuring out what to do with the Escort and the Focus. Could Murphy have spaced his visits out a little farther apart?

We will get through this just like everything else. To end, some happy pictures of our new van!