Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Delayed Speech/Language Development

Big and Little Al both have delayed speech/language development. Big Al has come a long long way. It makes me very happy to listen to him talk, sing and tell knock knock jokes. His expressive language is exciting. Little Al is struggling with her development. I blame the EIOD from the summer. She couldn't see that she needed just a little more to achieve more.

Since Thursday Little Al has been sick. She got the virus that travelled from Big Bea to me to her. I look at her and she stares back at me. I know that she is in pain but she can't tell me where it hurts. She can't tell me what she needs to make her feel better. She looks at me, pokes my nose and says nose. When her cough gets really bad she cries and cries. She doesn't say my name. She doesn't say the meds taste bad.

The new EIOD increased her speech therapy to 3x30. With the increase and all the things we do at home, she has to have an increase in vocabulary by the summer.

Right now Little Al is here:
"12 to 15 Months

Kids this age should have a wide range of speech sounds in their babbling (like p, b, m, d, or n), begin to imitate and approximate sounds and words modeled by family members, and typically say one or more words (not including "mama" and "dada") spontaneously. Nouns usually come first, like "baby" and "ball." Your child should also be able to understand and follow simple one-step directions ("Please give me the toy," for example)." (Kid's Health, 2011)

There is where she needs to be by the summer:
"From 2 to 3 Years

Parents often witness an "explosion" in their child's speech. Your toddler's vocabulary should increase (to too many words to count) and he or she should routinely combine three or more words into sentences.

Comprehension also should increase — by 3 years of age, a child should begin to understand what it means to "put it on the table" or "put it under the bed." Your child also should begin to identify colors and comprehend descriptive concepts (big versus little, for example)." (Kid's Health, 2011)

I am really worried about my baby.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pee Pee Dance

We have made huge strides in potty training and Big Al. I thought this week off from school would put make him regress but to my surprise it didn't. He has successfully napped all week without a pull up and woke up dry. He has also recognized that the pee pee dance means it time to go pee. When he starts the pee pee dance he says, "Mommy, I go bathroom please." He won't go until I say yes and he runs off like lighting. I swear he is going to break my toilet seat because he doesn't place it down, let's it go. BAM!

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new" -Albert Einstein
I also have the pleasure of saying he has had no poopie mishaps. YAY! No more stickiness. (shake your booty, shake your booty) He still need help cleaning up but that is normal. I am a very proud mommy. I started potty training him during the summer of 2008. His teacher started intensive potty training with him in the spring of last year. We are almost there....I think this weekend I am going to try an overnight with no... (dare I say it!) NO PULL UP!!! (dramtic Dr. Evil stare!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Amy and the EIOD

Today finally arrived

(Disclaimer: I apologize now for typo and bad grammar. After the events of today the flu that I was ignoring took over. My fever broke long for me to blog. Once I get over this I will fix the mistakes. I promise.)

I have waited patiently for this day. Little Al’s IFSP meeting set for 3pm.

As soon as 10 am hit our service coordinator (SC) calls to tell me bad news. She was ill and couldn't attend the meeting. She sending a co-worker in her place. We spoke about what was going to happen during the meeting just to refresh my memory (as if I hadn't re-played it in my brain a million times). I also informed her that I filled out page 4 (functional outcomes) with the goals that I wanted from Little Al  Her response was, "Where did you get page 4?"

"I got it from the Internet"

"I NEVER had a parent do that before."

"Well... I need this to be right this time."

I hung up and  Karen was right at my door ready for Little Al  Karen assured me that things are going to be good because I am well prepared.

I paced our home waiting for this meeting. This is the first time I ever had an IFSP meeting in my home. I only had "in between" meetings at my home. Oh boy, I am never doing that again. I drove myself crazy waiting and waiting.

The phone rings... It's the SC calling with more news. The schedule EIOD had an emergency and another EIOD from Public Health Solutions will be attending the meeting at 3:30pm. I began to panic. Is this the same EIOD from Amy vs. The EIOD. If it was I don't want her in my home. Thank GOD it was not!

As time ticked away, I paced more. I kept reading my goals. The phone rings again. It's the EIOD confirming my address. I started sweating.

Finally! The doorbell rang! It's the replacement SC. We sat at the kitchen table. We started going over what I want to cover during the meeting. I explained what happened in August. She explained what may or may not happen today. "It’s up to the EIOD to approve the things you are asking for."

The door bell rang, in walked the EIOD. She introduced herself, stated her title and why we are meeting today. I look up and it's 3:46pm.

Let's get started!
I explained to the SC and EIOD Little Al s global delays and why the services she has received over the last year needed to change because of the very little progress she has done. I told her that I was unhappy with the goals given by the evaluators and I have created 6 Functional Outcomes for Little Al  The EIOD's question was "Who gave you page 4?"

"I got it from the Internet."

I continued and explained my concern in the five areas of concern (Motor, Adaptive, Communication, Cognitive and Social Emotion) When I was done explaining and answering questions I looked up, it was 4:30pm.

The EIOD looked down at all the papers. You can see the wheels turning in her head. "First, we need a Psy Eval; we need to know what is going with this baby." The SC pulled out the paper for that. "Second, I apologize for the last EIOD behavior. There is no reason why Little Al is not getting what she needs." I accepted her apologize on her behalf. I was overjoyed. We spoke about the last EIOD and she felt ashamed. She accepted all of my Functional Outcomes and Objectives and re-worded two of them. They weren't parent friendly. HA!

Getting a psy eval for Little Al outside of EI means $$$$ we don't have. The EIOD gave me an assignment. I have to call Easter Seals in the morning and find out the scheduling of OT and ST because Little Al is getting increases.

This is the breakdown of the changes:

Special Instruction goes from 3 days a week for 150 minutes a day to 5 days a week for 150 minutes a day.

Physical Therapy will begin 2 times a week for 30 minutes

Speech Therapy goes from 2 times a week for 30 minutes to 3 times a week for 30 minutes.

Occupational Therapy changes from home-based 2 times a week for 30 minutes to depending on scheduling center-based 2 times a week for 60 minutes or 3 times a week for 30 minutes.

Bus transportation goes from 3 days a week to 5 days a week.

The changes start as of Monday, February 28, 2011.

All I could say is thank you. Now we can make real progress with Little Al. They left at 5:10pm

As soon as, they were gone my body said "Hey! You are sick.... spike a fever!"

While the fever started to take over I called Karen to tell her the GREAT news.

The events of today bought an angel to my door. Thank you so much Ms. EIOD.

Edited 2/24/2011: Gosh I am sorry for all my errors. You could totally tell I was half dead when I wrote this yesterday. Thank you for taking the time to read through my mistakes. xoxo

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Tomorrow is Little Al s annual review for her Individualed Family Service Plan (IFSP). Back in August, I had to face one of the creators of the new forms. This EIDO fought me at every step. I fought back. Here is the post covering the play by play Amy Vs. The EIDO. In August, I had my first look at the new forms. Here is the new and improved IFSP for printing. We the help of some co-workers and Karen, our favorite service provider, I was able to create Functional Outcome for Little Al aka PAGE 4.

Here they are:

1-Functional Outcome:
Little Al will verbally communicate so that her family and service providers will understand her needs and wants
-Little Al will ask family members and center-based service providers to play with her and her favorite toys for age appropriate play.
-Little Al will be able to point and identify family members names.
-Little Al will eat meals with family members and center-based providers and will intimate sounds and/or label foods that are commonly found in the home and at the center.

2- Functional Outcome:
Little Al will walk up and down stairs with little to no support from adults so that she can independently walk up and down stairs.

-Little Al will begin to walk up and down steps using just the hand rails or walls along the sides of the stairs case.
-Little Al will regain her balance if she leans too far forward or backwards when walking and walking up and down stairs.

3- Functional Outcome:
Little Al will improve her moto skills to help with bilateral hand use and play skills.

-Little Al will use both hands to string 5 large beads.
-Little Al will copy simple line, strokes and shapes (Circles, squares and triangles.)

4- Functional Outcomes:
During play, daily routines and circle activities, Little Al will follow simple commands and self-regulate to improve attention span.

-Little Al will be able to attend to a task for 3 minutes without prompting.
-Little Al will be able to transition from one activity to the next without tantrum.
-Little Al will be able to self-regulate with her haor is being washed and brushed.

5- Functional Outcome:
Little Al will improve her motor skills to help with self-help.

-Little Al will participate in dressing herself in the morning and after bath time.
-Little Al will be able to grasp spoon, scoop food and bring to mouth without spillage.
-Little Alwill be able to drink from an open cup 1/4 filled; return to surface with minimal spillage and without dipping her hand in cup.

6- Functional Outcome: (I created this one after Little Al walked out of her room with a blue mouth, again. blue crayola markers are her favs)
Little Al will improve oral sensitivities to with oral motor development and the reduction of mouthing objects.

-Little Al will use a "chewy tube" when drawing to keep her from chewing on crayons and markers.
-Family will assist with oral sensory stimulation by using an ARK's Probe prior meals and during bath time.

If you are a parent in need of goals feel free to use the above and adjust them to suit your need.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Antonio’s Trattoria With My Cupids

This past week has been insane. I didn't have anytime to blog about my wonderful dinner with my cupids. I took my kiddies to Antonio's Trattoria. Every day we pass by Antonio's and say we have to go there. So for V day.... we went. Antonio's is located on the outskirts of Little Italy of the Bronx on Crescent & Belmont Avenues and E 186st. We got to the restaurant for a very early V day dinner. The kids were very excited that we were going out on a school night.

Alex jumped out of the pic.
Monday was extra special. Antonio's is usually closed on Mondays but they opened their doors for love birds. We walked in to a dramatically lit room. The kids eyes were wide. The friendly staff walked us to our table. The table was huge! The black table had enough space for all of the kids but they wanted to stay close together. The very nice waiter place bread on the table and the kids grabbed a piece right away. The bread with so yummy. Big Bea helped Big Al spread butter on his bread. His word for a knife is "a slice."  He was a little upset that I took his slice away. He got over it when he was able to spread the butter with his spoon.

We were ready to order our food from a fancy leather bond menu. All of the Italian food on the menu sounded so yummy. The kiddie menu has the basic foods on it. Big Bea order chicken fingers and fries. Big  and Little Al shared a kids pizza. I ordered eggplant parmigiana with veggies. When the food came out we all started drooling. We could only eat half of what was on our plates. As we were leaving the manager hand over cute heart valentines to the ladies. I gave my heart to Big Al. Very sweet.

Antonio's Trattoria is sensory friendly. The dramatic lighting helped the children focus on the table. The music that was playing was not too loud.

What a great night with my little cupids.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why Alyson? Why?

Why was the question of the day? I wish Little Al could talk and tell me why she does these things. Little Al was the subject of yesterday morning's post: It Too Early.... (Yes, it not its. It was just too darn early to use good grammar) She kept it going for the rest of the day.

While I was washing dishes, Big and Little Al were in the living room watching Blue's Clues. Yo Gabba Gabba and Blue's Clues save me when I need to cook and clean and I need them to be at a safe distance.

I began to wash what was in the sink. (Lalala, wash, wash, wash) I open a sappy cup and say to myself, "Dang that cup smells gross, I have to boil it." (scrub, scrub scrub) The smell didn't go away. I smelled the cup again. "Wait a minute....that smell is not coming from here." I ran to the living room and see Little Al with one arm in her diaper. I grabbed her arm, pulled it out of her diaper and ran her to the tub. (raise, raise, scrub scrub) Alex did not want anything to do with Little Al  He was grossed out. I run back to the living room to access the damage. (sniff, sniff) Big Al says, "Mommy, poop on TV! Nasty!" (scrub scrub) She rubbed poop across the TV. I guess she wants to share it with Blue & Steve.

This morning she attempt to do the same thing when I was doing my morning bathroom routine. I caught her before she touched anything.

She is beyond really for potty training. She doesn't have a special place where she goes cookie diving. She is very uncomfortable when her diaper is a little wet.

According to the Mayo Clinic, this are the questions you have to ask yourself before potty training begins:

"-Does your child seem interested in the potty chair or toilet, or in wearing underwear? (She is very interested in what happens with the toilet. She thinks is a bowl of water that needs to be stirred.)

-Can your child understand and follow basic directions? (She can follow one step directions. Sit down, don't move and stop are the ones she understands the most.)
 -Can your child ask simple questions? (No, she has a speech delayed. She has the speech patterns of a 15-18 months old.)

-Does your child stay dry for periods of two hours or longer during the day? Does he or she wake from naps dry? (YES  & YES)

-Does your child have fairly predictable bowel movements? (Yes! When I see the signs I open the potty and sit her down. This usually messes up her flow and she poops when I am not in the room)

-Does your child tell you through words, facial expressions or posture when he or she needs to go? (Yes, the signs are very clear for #1 & #2.)

-Is your child uncomfortable in wet or dirty diapers? (Yes! Oh God, Yes!)

-Can your child pull down his or her pants and pull them up again?" (No! She has physical delays that prevent her from pulling pants up and down with out falling over.)

I have introduced the potty to Little Al already. She doesn't like it. The kids and I will be home for Mid-Winter Recess starting 02/19/2011. It's the perfect time to start potty trainin' bootycamp. Here is my list of tools I have for bootycamp:

1- Boon Potty Bench - I used this bench for Alex's potty training. This bench has storage on the side for TP, wipes, toys and books. It's the perfect height and width.

2- ITZBEEN timer - This multi-timer helps us keep track of when to go and when was the last time #2 happened. I got this timer when Aly was born and used it to time breast feeding and napping.

3- Pull-ups - Diapers are counter productive. She was too relaxed in diapers. Pulls-ups can be opened on the sides when mistakes happen.

4- Swedish Fish - Incentives makes things easier. Nothing like a cup of swedish fish and sitting on the potty. It's a great picture too.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Three More...


Today, three boys (that's right THREE boys) started the Creative Moment class at Bronx Dance Threatre. AWESOME!! Big Al has been in a class full of girls for six and a half months. When we arrived at BDT, we saw one little boy, then another and another. Alex shouted, "LOOK BOYS!!" He began to jump for joy. He still has a very difficult time with social interaction but he made it clear that he was happy to see boys. The boys were scared because they didn't want to go in with all those girls. Oh boy did that change once they saw Big Al ran in pushing passed the slow girls.

When class was over, I asked my usually question,"Did you have fun?" He said, "Yes, I have fun." On the way back home we stopped at the bank. While waiting on line I asked "How many boys are in your class?" He thought really hard about it. He began to count using his fingers, "One....Two....Three...and ME!" How exciting!!!

I wonder if those boys are going to be in the big show in June?

It Too Early.....

It is 7:30 am. I have been up since 6 am. Sleeping in on the weekends here are rare. I am lucky if I get to sleep until 8. Before Aly became mobile, I was able to push staying in the bed until 9. Alex doesn't leave his bed until someone comes to take him out. Aly on the other hand she wants to break free as soon as she can. She has now mastered turning knobs, so nothing can stop her now.

This morning I was tossing and turning I noticed the light from the TV peeking pass my bedroom door. I thought to myself, "That must be Aston going to drill." I rolled over. I rolled back over to see the time. It was 6am. That's not Aston is the living room. Oh Crap!!! I open my bedroom door and see:

-Big Al on the sofa trying to stay away from Little Al

-Little Al stick her hand in our stereo system taking the CDs out and tossing them across the room

-Crayons everywhere

-a spoon

-a fork

-the loaf of bread

-foot loops cereal holder that the kids can't get open

-the TV playing an infomercial on Comedy Central
How long were they awake without me knowing? Little Al got into everything and Big Al was staying out of her way. So where's Big Bea? Sleeping. They need to learn from her.
While I was cleaning up the mess, I guess Little Al didn't want to see the infomercial any more and put out the cable card from the cable box.
Why Little Al?
Can anyone say early nap time today?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Drill Weekend

In 2007, my husband enlisted in the USMC. I'll never forget Jan 22, 2008. That was the day he started his journey to Parris Island, SC. I was one month pregnant with Aly when he left. I didn't blog for 12 weeks out of the 13 weeks he was in boot-camp.

He officially returned him May 2009. Once a month, every month since his returned he goes away on drill. That's when the USMC says to return to us no matter what is going on in your life.

This weekend is one of those weekend.....

Right now my husband is tearing up the apartment looking for everything he needs to be prepared for this weekend.....

I hate these weekends.

The days leading up to these weekends my husband is uneasy. That's all he thinks about.

I have to deal with the seas bag and uniforms thrown every where.

My life gets pushed to the side when these weekend comes up.

The weekends that he actually has to sleep over or camp out are WORST.

I just want this weekend to be done with.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Potty Training Really Stinks!!

I really want to pull my hair out!!! Potty training TWO children with sensory integration disorders is just not fare.
Just earlier today I spoke to my co-worker about potty training and Big aL. I told her that he is doing great but number two was the only problem. He will go to the potty unassisted and do number 1 or number 2. He knows how to approach the toilet for the different numbers. He will do this ONLY when told. He is not able self direct. If he really has to pee he may or maybe not do the pee pee dance. If he does the pee pee dance I am lucky, if not ...where's the mop?

So this evening he did the pee pee dance and I sent him off to the toilet. Problem, Big Bea was in there. Big Bea, like the great big sister she is, let him in so he can do his business. When he walked in, he saw her sitting, so he did the same. Problem two, he didn't get his clothing down quick enough. He shot pee across the bathroom and finished up ALL over the clothes he was wearing. He didn't want  to go off the toilet because he didn't want to get into trouble.

Inhale.....Exhale..... I put him in the tub.

Not 15 minutes later Big Bea says, "Somebody STINKS!" 

Shake my head.....Little Al.... I checked her hands.....exhale.... she had what she did on her hands.

Inhale......Exhale..... I put her in the tub.

While in the bathroom with Little Al, Big Bea knocked on the door and says, "Big Al peed on himself."

Exhale.... I put him in the tub with her.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel..... the tunnel is really long.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Raising A Family in New York City For MMJ

Here's my first MMJ posting:

As a teenager, I thought before I started my family I would move away from NYC. I thought that I would move to the mid-west or upstate somewhere. Now that I have been a NYC mother for ten years, now I cannot see raising my children any place else. How foolish of me to think living elsewhere would be better. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinions about where to raise the kiddies, but NYC is where my family stays.

These are my reasons why I HEART raising my kids in the Big Apple:
1- Culture: Everywhere you turn there is culture. From the graffiti morals in the BX to classic art at the MET. You can’t walk a mile without walking into culture. If museums aren't your thing, you can grab your culture through food. You can visit many different countries without getting on an airplane.

One of my favorite cultural stops is the Queens Museum of Art in Corona, Queens. When I took my kids to this museum, I didn’t know what to expect. Yes, I visited their website to get a feel of the place, but we were all shocked when we walked into the room that holds “The Panorama” of the City of New York. Amazing is the only word I can use to describe the mini New York City built by Robert Moses for the 1964 world.

Once you are done at QMA, you must walk over to Befaremo “The Lemon Ice King of Corona.” They service-up over 3 dozen flavors of the best Italian ice.
2- Diversity: NYC is still a melting pot of the people of the world. This is the only city I know that every thing is translated into every language. If it is not translated in your language, we’ll find someone to do it.
3- Ease of access: I am 30 years old and a non-driver. Who needs the expense and headache of a car in NYC? You can walk nearly everywhere, which is great for your health. Even with the cuts made by the MTA, you can get around in no time using mass transit. Only in NYC can you rely on public transportation to take you there (where even there may be).

Friday, February 4, 2011

Aly & The Black Letters

The black letters are the letters on the evaluations pages. The evaluations for her 12 months IFSP meeting finally made their way to me via Big Al's Book Bag.

The black letter say:
-Little Al has cognitive function of a 15-18 month child
-Little Al has language function of a 12-15 month child

Little Al is 28 months old. After reading that she will only eat with one on one supervision my wheels were turning. I need to ask from more. When I meet the EIDO, I need not ask for more....I need to demand more. My baby need more help.
I believe she needs leg braces. Her feet are rough at the balls of her feet because that is the only place touching the floor and inside of her shoes. Who walked tippy-toed inside of high top boots? Little Al does and I don't know how. EI pays for them until she ages out.
She needs a one to one paraprofessional to help her eat.
She needs more OT because her sensory integration issues.
She needs to be at the center five days a week.
She needs to be in Helen's class in Sept.

I need a hug.

Cool Culture Family Time Newsletter Spring 2011

The day has come! We are the featured family for the Spring 2011 Family Time. I am famous! (Some what) The newsletter is going to be handed out to 50,000 families in New York City. Right now it's available for the whole world to see on the Cool Culture website. Here is the link.

This morning I got an email from Cool Culture from the mail list that I am on. Something told me to look at the Family Time section of the website. I loaded the .pdf and was at near tears when I saw my picture of Big Bea and Alholding up the chocolate bar from El Museo del Barrio.  I scrolled down and noticed that the girls name was misspelled. I scrolled down more and saw that (HOLY COW!!) my blog mentioned as a Cool Fact. I was so excited by the newsletter I was distracted from my worries the entire day.
Here it is...with the right names. Double click the picture to see it closer.
It's so hard to pick out what is my favorite part of the article. I love it all. I think the funniest part about it all the rest of the newsletter features a museum in Staten Island. I've always said,"How goes to Staten Island anyway." I guess this is a sign that I need to go

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day Two

Day two was so hard....I was sitting at the kitchen table and it felt like I couldn't breathe. The muscles around my rib cage was killing me. I am very proud of myself because I didn't tell that stop me. I did my Day two. I was very slow on the bike but I did the whole hour.

Day Two

Day two was so hard....I was sitting at the kitchen table and it felt like I couldn't breathe. The muscles around my rib cage was killing me. I am very proud of myself because I didn't tell that stop me. I did my Day two. I was very slow on the bike but I did the whole hour.