"Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature." ~St. Augustine

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Garage Sale Extravaganza!

So, we have decided to really give ABM therapy a serious go.  The good news is that we have already seen tremendous growth from it.  It is not a miraculous big change.  Parker is not walking or sitting up..yet.  But what I see, although small, is still amazing!  Number one - he is so much more happy than he has ever been.  He is content to be on the floor.  In fact, he prefers to be crawling (military style) rather than sitting or even being held!  He is noticing things so much more.  In fact, he is looking at things like he is seeing them for the first time.  He is interacting more with his brothers.  He is eating better.  And he is sleeping better!  I attribute all of these things to ABM and our wonderful local practitioner, Joanna.

However, she has recommended that we go to San Rafael, which I will call the mecca of ABM, and get some lessons from practitioners down there. And so we will.   I am excited and nervous both at the same time.  I am excited to see Anat and others work with Parker.  I am excited to see how he responds.  I am excited to spend some much needed time with my mom on this road trip.  BUT, I am nervous about leaving my other 2 boys for a week!  I am nervous about the logistics of how Parker will handle a 10 hour car drive and how he will sleep while there.  We are trying to save money by staying in a guest cottage at someone's house. It is just a studio, so I am not sure how the sleeping arrangements will go.  I am also nervous about which car we are taking on the drive.  I need to leave the Pilot here for Jimmy because it has 3 carseats in it and he will have both Brady and Ryder.  The Jetta just has one car seat which is all we need, but it is very small and old.  I worry about its reliability. 

Now the big worry is money.  This therapy is not covered by insurance, which is ridiculous!  I am sure it will be at some point - but not for a long time.  And it is expensive.  $200-$500/hour depending on the practitioner.  We are looking at about $2500 for a week of lessons and that doesn't include all of the travel costs!  That hurts.

So, my whole point of this post is that we are doing a fundraiser!  I am not as talented as my friend Shasta, who has written this amazing book to raise funds for Malachi's ABM.  You should totally check out her kickstarter page!  But I can do a garage sale!  So Jimmy and I were just going to do a normal sale of the stuff we have in our garage and baby items that Ryder is done with.

However, I was explaining what we were doing to a friend at work and he said that he had some stuff he would donate to our garage sale.  Then he suggested asking others at work if they had a "Good Will pile" that we could take it for our garage sale.  So we did just that.  And the results were overwhelming!  Our garage is packed full and we still have more stuff to get from people.  With each new call and email from someone, my heart melts a little more.  We are getting calls from people we don't even know because the people we do know are passing on our information.  We have everything from a ping-pong table to a huge freezer to a battery-powered mustang for little kids!  It is great!  This is going to be the biggest garage sale ever!

I don't even know what to say except, thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

Thank you to the staff at my and my husband's schools.  Thank you to dear friends.  Thank you

So we are going to have this amazingly huge garage sale next weekend.  My goal is to raise $2000, which I know is a lot for a garage sale.  But I feel confident we could do it.  That would almost pay for one of our two expensive ABM trips for this summer.

Now if everyone can just say a little prayer that it won't rain...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Zoo Fun!

Well, I said that we were going to go to the zoo on our first day of summer, and we did!  It was a beautiful day.  I actually broke away from Ryder's sleep schedule to do this, and we all know that is a big step for me.  As I said before, he is still taking 2 good naps a day.  He is a great sleeper.  But I only let him sleep for about 45 minutes this morning so that we could get out the door and to the zoo by 9:30.

He did ok getting woken up early.  We loaded up the car and got all the kids strapped in.  I always forget how long it takes us just to get out the door.

We got there and found parking.  Morning must be a good time to come!

The rare picture of me with the boys!

Parker has not been feeling so good.  He has a pretty bad cold, so he wasn't in the best mood, so he just kind of relaxed in the stroller.  Every time Jimmy tried to take him out of it to show him an animal, he started to cry.  So we just let  him hang in there.

It was a good day.  We had Parker and Ryder in the stroller and Brady walked the whole way for the first time.  We thought it was a good idea, maybe it would tire him out.  But what it did was significantly slow us down.  Because he not only wanted to look at every display, but he also wanted to pick up EVERY rock and EVERY stick and EVERY leaf that was in the path.  And folks, we are at a zoo...there are lots of rocks, sticks and leaves!  Here are just a few...

But besides the rocks and sticks, Brady was actually interested in seeing the animals this time.  I think this is one of the first times he has wanted to look at them and ask about them.  It is so fun seeing the zoo through a child's eyes!

About halfway through the morning we stopped at the grass concert field.  That is always a good spot because they can run and have some space.  However, for the first time, Brady took off and would not come back.  I kept telling him to come back and he just looked back at me and ran farther.  I was now that mom.  By the time I caught up with him he was at the stage about to go up the stairs.  So we had to have a little talk.  Ryder loved crawling in the grass.  He tried walking but it is uneven ground and it was tough.  Did I mention the grass was very wet and muddy in a few spots?  Good thing I brought a change of clothes for him!

Parker getting a snack break.

This is Ryder's contemplative look.

We continued through the maze of walkways and animals.  We stopped for the lions which are one of our favorites!  And of course we stopped at the drums of Africa, because I think that is Brady's favorite.

Still Parker preferred watching from the stroller...

Ryder (who's morning nap got cut very short) was very mellow, practically falling asleep.  But it was good for him to get out. As sad as it is, we have rarely taken him out.  It is just tough to get all 3 boys out. Brady gets out because he goes to daycare twice a week and I can take him on errands.  Parker gets out, well, because he has so many appointments!  But my little man Ryder gets neglected with outings.  (Mostly because he still sleeps so much.)

We got done with our usual loop, but had to do our obligatory "end of the zoo trip" pictures with the big bear.  Brady (whose nickname is Brady Bear) loves this big thing.

Parker thought he was pretty cool too.  He is really starting to look at things with more interest now.  It is so amazing!  I tried to capture it in these photos.

Parker is showing this bear how to growl and roar!

He is really checking out the bear here.

Ryder was so tired, he didn't actually care about the bear...

And so our zoo trip and first day of summer is done...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

And Summer Begins...

Well, it is here.  The beginning of summer.  I know that technically the first day of summer is not until June 20th.  But all kids (and anyone who works in education) knows that the TRUE first day of summer is the day after the last day of school!  And that is today. 

Now, what are we going to do with this summer?  I am not sure yet.  I got up early today to get online and try to find some fun summer adventures for our family.  You can bet that I am starting a list.  You know me and my lists... 

Ryder is still taking 2 naps a day (which sometimes is really nice) so that limits us a little bit.  But he might be able to be stretched a bit and go to one nap a day so that we can get out and about.  Some things on my agenda:  zoo trips, farmers market, warm afternoons at the fountains, Festival of Balloons, a trip to the coast, berry picking, Oregon Brewer's Festival (oh wait, that is just for the adults!), street fairs, Music Together class,  weekly trips to the therapy pool for all us, 2 trips to San Rafael with Parker to work with Anat at the ABM Clinic, and a HUGE garage sale to try to raise some money for said trips!

This is just the beginning of my list.  I am hoping to find more exciting things to do.  But I am sure there will also be many days just playing lazily in our own backyard, which is not so bad either.  We have water, sand, sun and shade.  Those are pretty much the essentials with little boys anyway, right? 

I think my goal will be to have at least 4 outings a week.  Jimmy has to work most of the summer doing camps, so it is not feasible to do something every day.  If anyone has some suggestions for some summer fun, please share!

But for today, the first day of our summer...we are going to the Zoo! 


Have a great day everyone!