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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Sleepless Night, Occupational Therapy and HOLY COW!

So, last night I got three hours worth of sleep....thanks to this lovely face just below. She decided that at about 11:30 p.m. she was going to start crying. It was a soft cry..normally it sounds like a weird dream and she goes back to sleep. But not last night... The next thing I know so starts screaming to the top of her lungs as if she was hurt. I picked her up and she thinks its party time. HAY PARTY! So... I place her back in her bed and the screaming starts again. Her screams slow down and I heard Big Bea singing to her. All of a sudden.......AAAAAHHHHHHH! I take her out of the bed and calm her down in the living room. She falls back to sleep on top of me. I bring her to my bed.... HAY PARTY! She is: playing peek-a-boo, jumping around, pulling my hair, playing and having good o' time
After a few hours of that, I took her crazy behind to her bed.... she fell fast asleep. I rest my head and the alarm rings....I hit the ground running... just like every morning.
The lack of sleep makes my days longer. I don't even know how I am writing this post.
Good things did happen today. Occupational Therapy with Karen started for Little Al today. Now Karen is amazing...you know why? She was Big Al's OT. (I have to stick with who you know and I know she does awesome work.) She was Big Al's OT for a year for EI. She started her home-based sessions when Little Al was three weeks old. Big Al aged out at the end of August. I called her not too long ago,asking if she had space for us on her schedule....She made space for us. I was so excited when she came to our door. Big Al even remembered her name.(Which isn't that hard for him because in EI all of his providers were named Karen...crazy huh?) We had a round of hugs and right to business. We missed her so much, she was a big part of our family and we are very lucky to have her back. She told me that she had an empty nest feeling when she didn't have to come to our home any more. Welcome home, Karen!
More news:
Those who have been following my blog and Facebook posts know that I have been reading "Raising A Sensory Smart Child" by Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske over the last couple of weeks and I completed it just a few days ago. When I completed the book, I posted my success on Facebook and got to work on post-iting the section that my husband needed to read, pictured above. This morning, my sister and I had a conversation about the book and it was noted that she needed to read it when my husband was done with the post-ited section. It reads like a textbook so it wouldn't cut into her school time.
I am pleased to say that Nancy Peske, co-author of the book, responsed to my Sensory Diet post. HOLY COW! The first thought that came to my mind with "I HAVE TO CALL A LIBRARIAN!" I called my Bestie, Roxy and told her the exciting news. It is a great feeling to be recogized. I love reading the book and I learned so much more about what is going with the Al's.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My 160th Post & Big Bea

For some time now my blog posts have been about the Al's. They have taken alot of my time, between service providers and doctors, they have me running circle. The person that has been by my side from the start has been Big Bea. She is the greatest 9 year old I know. She had not one delay or development issue. She was a strong baby dealing with very, very bad eczema and allergies. She is very smart and understanding. She is class president and at the top of her class. She helps out even when it's not needed. She is a great role model for any child. She is an artist. She loves to draw and create. She is a ballerina and a jazz performer. She is my sunshine and you can count on her for a giant hug. This girl is going to do big things in her life and I am going to be by her side every step of the way.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Junior's, Pickles & The Brooklyn Bridge.

Well, today we were suppose to go to the New York Police Museum...but plans changed. We ended up at Junior's. What is Junior's?... You may ask....

It's only the greatest cheesecake made in Brooklyn. So I hear they have them in other parts of the city but who cares about those place. The only place to get great Brooklyn Cheese Cake is to go Flashbush and DeKalb Aves. Well if you are not as lucky as me you can get it shipped to you... just go here.


When you first sit at your table you are given Pickles, Beets and Cole Slaw. Yummy! As soon as they got the table Big Al exclaimed, "Mommy, PICKLES! I want pickles." So I gave him the ok... You chowed down. I was able to get one pickle.

Big Al is a self-proclaimed vegetarian. He will protest meat until the end of time. He'll eat it if it's the last thing on his plate and he is still hungry. Pickles are a treat for him. He loves his Broccoli and Carrots. Aly on the other hand ....loves some meat. She throws the veggies right off her place. Big Bea....she is the perfect child...eats everything on her plate.
Our trip to Brooklyn with challenging for the Al's. Weekend traffic meant a long car ride just to get to the Brooklyn Bridge. Little Al was going nuts... Big Al decided to make motor boat sounds all the way there and back. On the way home I decide to take Big Al's shoe off. He was confused. I am sure in his mind he said, "I am outside Mommy, I need shoes when I am in the car." He quickly took him and place them back on his feet. I guess he felt whole again.
Today's trip pushed Little Al's limits. She is always upset when it comes to a car ride...short or long.
PS: Junior's is on the borders of sensory friendly. The volume on the diner side isn't too loud but all the pictures on the wall can distract. The lighting is easy on the eyes. So depending on the sensory disorder, Junior's may or may not be sensory friendly.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Macrocephaly, Developmental Delay and Little Aly


What the heck is Macrocephaly?

Macrocephaly is a condition in which the head is larger than normal.

"Also called macrocephalia and megalocephaly, macrocephaly is diagnosed when the circumference of the head is more than two standard deviations above average for the child's age, sex, race, and period of gestation
. The fontanelle (soft spot) of the newborn is wide, but facial features are usually normal. Macrocephaly is distinguished from hydrocephalus in that there is no increase in pressure within the head; however, hydrocephalus can result in macrocephaly in some children. The disorder can result from a defect in formation during the embryonic stage, as a result of certain degenerative diseases, as a part of various genetic syndromes, or as an inherited family trait. Mental deficiency, seizures, and movement disorders are common in macrocephalic children."

So what do I do next?....

Put my cape on and do what Super Mom will do...

We were refered to Pediatric Neurology. So what is pediatric neurology... "it relates to the study of infant's and children's central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord, and the diagnosis and treatment of its disorders. Examples include neuromas (benign tumors), stroke, ticks, movement disorders, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis." (iumg.iu.edu/ClinicalSpecialtyDefinitions)

Once we gets some answers from the neurology maybe we can have an answer for Aly's developmental delay. Her not walking unassisted is my biggest worry.

I will walk until to the ends of the Earth to figure out what is going on.

Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Sensory Diet, Orthotic Devices and Health Insurance Denial

After reading, "Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Integration Issues" By Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske (I am not done reading it....darn interruptions like work and sleep...lol) I am putting my family on The Sensory Diet.

"A “sensory diet” (coined by OT Patricia Wilbarger) is a carefully designed, personalized activity plan that provides the sensory input a person needs to stay focused and organized throughout the day." (http://sensorysmarts.com/sensory_diet_activities.html)

Just like I need my large coffee, one sugar in the morning to get me going in the morning, kids and infants need something to get them going. Children of all ages with sensory issues can flourish with a sensory diet.

Sensory diet activities can wake up your nervous system in the morning and settle it down at night. It also helps the nervous system to handle:

"-tolerate sensations and situations he finds challenging
-regulate his alertness and increase attention span
-limit sensory seeking and sensory avoiding behaviors
-handle transitions with less stress" (We all know Alex needs the most help in this area)


We worked on Proprioceptive input today (sensations from joints, muscles and connective tissues that lead to body awareness) with my exercise ball. Big Bea doesn't have sensory issues but she enjoyed doing the superman on the ball.
Now on to Orthotic Devices and Health Insurance Denial!
Big Al was evaluated by the OT and PT at Easter Seals and he needs a leg brace and a shoe insert. We filled out the paper work ASAP to get the party started. Last week, he was fitted for these orthotic devices. Today, I got a phone call from the lovely people casting the brace and insert and they told me "XYZ insurance does not cover durable medical equipment, prosthetic appliances and orthotic devices." What?!.....Ok.... Well how much do they cost?.... the shoe insert costs $400 and the leg brace coast $600. OMG! Hold up!
I work my behind off as a mother, wife and paraprofessional and xyz doesn't cover orthotic devices, but people on Medicaid get them handed over to them. (I don't want to offend those who genuinely need Medicaid.) I am frustrated when I heard the word no. When there's a will....there is a way.
PS: My fairy god sister will do everything she can to help all my kids.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New York Hall of Science, Italian Ice and Turkey

Well..... we did it! We successfully visited the New York Hall of Science. My inner and outer geek felt like a kid in a candy store. Totally! Every experiment was greater then the last one. We didn't complete the entire museum, in hopes that we will go back there really soon. Everyone had a blast. I am very happy that Big Bea was able to join us on our trip. Here is the museum's website. Everything science related this packed into this great place. This museum is location in Queens, right down the block from Terrance of the Park (Where I attended the USMC Ball this pass November).
Something amazing happen while at the Museum... Little Al walked! She walked unassisted for about 10 feet. My husband was putting on her jacket and she stood unassisted and began to walk towards him. He walked backward and she walked towards him. AMAZING! This is the longest distance she had ever walked! I am so proud of her.

After the museum we went Benfaremo - The Lemon Ice King of Corona. Two minutes away from the museum are heavenly Italian ices. They have a whole lot of favors. We picked up: grape, mango, pina colada and coconut.... in that order. For more info go here. Last but not least, we visited Jive Turkey located on Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, NY. Jive Turkey is unique to NYC because it is the only place you can get deep fired turkey. Yes people, the southern tradition of deep fried turkey in Brooklyn. For more info on that go here.
PS - The Hall of Science is not sensory friendly. Big Al did the best he could with the sensory overload.

Friday, April 16, 2010

HOLY COW!


So last night, we were sitting reading "The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog." by Mo Willems. (Great Author!) I asked the kids what did you like about the book. Big Bea said "My favorite part was when the Pigeon went crazy for no reason." Big Al said clearly and pointed, "Front cover, back cover, spine." HOLY COW! I asked him "What did you say?" He said again, "Front cover, back cover, spine." I was so excited I sent a text my bestie and my sister right when the Al's were asleep. I wrote in Big Al's notebook a thank you note to his teacher. She was very happy to know that he remembered what they covered in class. I am amazed with his progress. AWESOME!

Find out more about the Pigeon here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Al's, Cool Culture & New York Transit Museum

Today was the beginning of Mom's Museum Hopping Adventures.

What sparked this? Many things did. I've always wanted to visit many, many museums here in New York City. In the past, I came up with many reasons why not to go. "Oh, I am busy." or "I'm tired" and my fav "The kids are too young." No more excuses. This is the best time to go to museum. It give us things to do as a family and we can get some culture in our lives. Speaking of culture... another thing that sparked my motivation is the Cool Culture Family Pass with are lucky enough to get. Cool Culture is an organization that connects families of low income areas with the opportunity to take advantage of cultural institutions. This program give us free admission to 90 museum in New York City. AWESOME! Easter Seals proudly participation in the application process this school year and We got our family pass. I first learned about the Cool Culture Family Pass from my sister. She applied when her youngest was in Pre-K and got a pass last year. My card expired in October and I plan on using it every free weekend I have. To learn more go here.
What sparked today's adventures was I needed some change. This is a drill weekend for my husband. He has been away with the USMC since Thursday. What normally happens on weekend where he is away, I do nothing. I sit at home with the kids and clean and play and watch TV. That is not always fun. Big Bea visits her father and I am home with the Al's. So this morning, I decided to change that. I decided that I am going to live up to being a SUPERMOM and push forward and do things that just plain awesome. I did just that.

I took the Al's to the New York Transit Museum. Big Bea wasn't able to make this trip because of the short notice to her father, but she is making the next one. We travelled to Brooklyn Heights. The train ride was about an hour. This drive Big Al crazy going there and coming back. He didn't understand why we had to stay in the same spot for so long. His sensory was out of wack because of all the noise and movement. He was very happy to get out of the subway.
We got to the museum and for a moment Big Al thought we were taking another train... little did he know we were going down into the museum. The museum is located in an old subway station. It is the largest museum about urban public transportation in the United States. For more details about visiting go here.
The Al's loved this museum. We were able to drive different buses and board old school trains. This museum is sensory friendly. There the noise level was low even with a birthday party and a guided tour happening all at once. The lighting was not super bright and the exhibits were very large and interesting even for Little Al.
I can't wait to go back with Big Bea, my sister and her kids.
Next week, we are heading to the New York Hall of Science.
P.S. Who needs the gym? Just take two special needs kids... on the train... to Downtown Brooklyn... to the Transit Museum...alone... Best workout EVER! I'll do it again in a heartbeat.

April is Autism Awareness Month

Here are some links for organizations trying to figure out the puzzle:

Easter Seals: Act for Autism

Autism Speaks

Autism Science Foundation

Autism Society of American

Autism Research Institute

Sunday, April 4, 2010

It's a Perfect Day for a Smoothie.

Smoothies have made its way to Little Italy. YAY!


The latest etsblishment to make its way to my neighborhood is called Quick Fresh. This is their second location.

They offer a variety of smoothie combinations, wraps & salads and gourmet baked empanadas. I've must of had visited them a dozen times since they open on the first day of spring. The staff is friendly and the more importantly the fruit and veggies are fresh. My favorite smoothie is the berry mix of Blueberry, Blackberry and Strawberry. AWESOME! It's located on the corner of E187 ST and Hughes Ave. You must visit. (If you are in town that is)


Quick Fresh is sensory approved, by Big Al.

Link Tutorial for Wanda

Here you go Wanda.... A few east steps to adding links without seeing the URL.

What is a URL? It is an abbreviation of Uniform Resource Locator. It is the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. So my URL to my blog is http://alexandbeckysmom.blogspot.com/. Sometimes an URL can go on for days. For example, http://crochet.about.com/od/freecrochetpatterns/ss/Openwork_Dishcloth_Pattern.htm .... this one is still kind of small.

The neat thing the Blogger does for these cluttery URLs is create a hyperlink. A hyperlink is a graphic or a piece of text in an Internet document that can connect readers to another webpage, or another portion of a document. Like this: Mrs. G


How do we get blogger to make these hyperlinks...Here we go.


1-Type the words that you want to be your hyperlink:



2- Highlight the words:





3- Click the link on the blogger toolbar.





4- Copy, Paste or type in the URL you are going to use.



5- Click away:

The Bee Hive

Saturday, April 3, 2010

150th Post, Blogroll & Turning 30.

HAPPY 150TH POST! Wow... Do I really have that much to say? I guess I do since I've made it to 150. Sweet! I hope to continue with another 150 post. AWESOME!

I have updated my Blogroll.... What is a blogroll, you say? A blogroll is a list of links to blogs that the blogger likes. Here we go...(alphabetically)

1- Boggle Me Thursday - This blog is straight up Boggle! The blogger post pictures every week of a boggle shake. It's good clean fun.

2- Hula Seventy - This blog is about Andrea and her family from Portland, Oregon. She takes great pictures using different types of cameras. She is currently using Polaroid for your pictures.

3-Pedimedica Health Blog - This blog was created by the pediatricians of Pedimedica in Teaneack, NJ. This is the clinic that stole my pediatrician, Dr. Wolloch. It's the perfect place for him. From what I have read, he is being treated better then he was treated at Bronx East. We miss you very much Dr. Wolloch, it's hard breaking in a green pediatrician.

4-Speaking On The Spectrum - This blog was created to honor Beauty. Beauty is the daughter of an old friend, Margie. We attended high school together and she moved to the motherland of Utah. We are still connected via autism. Beauty & Alex are both on the Spectrum. We share experiences and help each other the best way we can.

5- Sulu Design - This blog was created by a former co-worker. She is a teacher turned jewelry maker. She lived in NYC for many years and moved cross country to Portland. She blogs about her jewelry and her adventures with Barry, her husband.

6- The Bee Hive - This blog was created by Wanda from South Texas. She came across my blog when I blogged about Becky's first day of first grade and we have been connected ever since. She is my kids virtual grandma. We have found each other on swap-bot and shared great stories together on Facebook. She is a very crafty. Hugs for Coco.

7- Tired Mom - The title says it all. This is Margie's first blog. She keeps us updated on what is going on with the Walker Tribe.




Now on to turning 30....nothing is going to magically happen to me on Tuesday. Life is going to contuine just like it always has. Here are my pictures.... I've been using my Blackberry to take my pictures lately. Good Stuff.




Big Bea and her first set of Pokemon Cards. Big Al lining up his cars at the new Dr.'s old office. (If that makes sense)
SUPERSTAR LITTLE AL!

Friday, April 2, 2010

IT'S ALIVE.....

I was able to bring my laptop back from the dead....It took forever but its back....oh how I miss it so.xoxox...lol