Friday, July 25, 2008

Laundry

About six months before we moved into this house, our trusty clothes washing machine started making this HORRIBLE noise during the spin cycle... kinda like a cross between thumping and grinding. It was loud and long. We called the repair guy out to our house ($75 for the house call!) and he basically said, "Its the blah blah blah basket thingy (obviously I can't remember what its called) and he said we would be better off buying a new washer. He said that either the motor would burn up and catch our house on fire, or else it would just stop spinning one day and we'd be left with a washer full of wet soapy clothes.

Well, I guess I should be thankful that we never did see a fire ignite, but I was not happy with the alternative either.



I had to take each towel and piece of clothing out individually and wring it out as best I could. And it wasn't just wet, it was wet and soapy with dried bits of undissolved powdered detergent on them. The long beach towels were the worst to deal with. I got water all over the floor, of course.

Thank goodness my mother came to my rescue. She stopped by after work that night and picked up my basket of wet things to take back to her place.



A few days later (and two children with stomach viruses later!) we got our new washer and dryer delivered. After much internet research, we narrowed our choices down to three brands. The Maytag Bravo, the LG Elite, and the Whirlpool Duet.

Then we called our neighbor Dennis from across the street. He works at Lowe's in the Appliance department. He said he loves his Whirlpool Duet. Then it just so happens that Brian's company gets a discount on Whirlpool appliances! Can't beat that! So, the Whirlpool was the winner.


So, this was the source of entertainment in our home that evening:


I was really surprised at how high tech it all is now. Sensors, lights, buttons, etc. Of course, Jayce is absolutely obsessed with the buttons, lights, and noise. And the child lock on it? Yeah, can be undone with no problem by him. We had to get yet another doorknob lock on the laundry room door and sneak in and out so he won't hear us do laundry. He loves to watch it go around and around and he repeatedly asks us to go watch it. Except that we aren't doing laundry constantly, so the answer is usually no.




So, do I love it? Yeah, not really. I mean, they are great and all. I'm glad I am using less water in this new washer. But I have to admit that I am not overly impressed. I am just not sure its worth the money. It takes longer to wash, about the same amount of time to dry, the clothes don't feel any less wet when you transfer them, I can't use my good smelling Surf Sparkling Ocean detergent anymore, and I'm just not convinced that they get the clothes any cleaner. For $2,000 you would think that I would be in love with them! Maybe they'll grow on me :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vegetables

Yesterday, while I was cooking dinner, Jaina came up to me and announced:

"I don't like vegetables at all. Only meat, grains, and squash."

I gently reminded her that squash, was indeed, considered a vegetable.

"Oh, well... that's the only vegetable I like."

I replied, "But I thought you liked zucchini, too?"

"OH! I do like zucchini!" she exclaimed.

"And how about broccoli and cheese?"

"That's my favorite!! I LOVE broccoli and cheese!"

Then she pondered for a bit and said, "I just really don't like corn."

I said, "Okay, sweetie, you don't have to eat corn if you don't want to."

"Well," she replied, "I do like that corn with the butter sauce that you made one time. But only that corn."

And tonight? She ate french style green beans and exclaimed, "I love green beans and they are my favorite!! YUM!"

So much for not liking vegetables!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hannah Montana

I have a kid obsessed with Hannah Montana. Yeah, and its not my 6 year old little girl! Don't get me wrong, Jaina likes Hannah Montana a lot. We don't really watch the show (kinda over her head and doesn't hold her interest) but she loves the music and the t-shirts and the whole idea of being a "rock star".

But no one likes Hannah Montana (or hannah BO-tana, as Jayce says) as much as my little 3 year old. This is his rendition of the theme song from the Disney show, "Best of Both Worlds".


Monday, July 21, 2008

Sickies

Here are pictures I took on Saturday. By 6:00 PM, Jaina was tired of being cooped up inside all day and wanted to "get some sun" in her pajamas :) They are still cute, even if they were sick!






Thankfully, the stomach bug was only a 24 hour bug, to the dot. We spent Sunday letting the kids rest and recover from it and now today we are good to go :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Another Crazy week... recap

I know I haven't been posting much. That's because my computer is a desktop, not a laptop, and it actually requires you to be home to get on it. And home, we have not been lately!

Monday: went to the water fountain with MOMS Club, then off to lunch at the brand new McD's playplace by the circle. Then to the Train Park with Angie and her girls. Can you believe that Jayce DIDN'T take a nap after all that?

Tuesday: Jayce's EI came and did therapy, then we canceled our plans for Pump It Up and went to Chuck E. Cheese instead.

Wednesday: What on earth did we do on Wednesday? My mind is blanking. OH! We went to Laura's house for a business meeting/playdate. Jayce did SOOOO well there!! YAY! Then Monica and Jeff came over for dinner at our house. He's a devout Jew who typically keeps kosher AND is vegetarian to boot, so dinner was a toughie! But we had a blast! Finally, my husband met someone who is a bigger goof than him!! :) Jaina was wowed by Jeff's amazing thumb dissection trick.

Thursday: Storytime at the main branch with lunch after with the Simpson's. Then we invited them back to our house to play. Then Monica came and picked Jaina up for a spend the night party at her house. I went out that night with our local LLL group to see the movie "Baby Mama" which was pretty darn funny!

Friday: Jayce and I were supposed to go to the train park again, but didn't quite make it. Instead we walked with our neighbor and played at the house until it was time for Taco Bell. Then after lunch we went to Target. Friday night I packed the car for our weekend trip to Atlanta to see my parents.

Saturday: Jaina wakes up at 6:30 AM with diarrhea and Jayce wakes up at 7 with puking. From then on it was a contest to see who would throw up the most. Jaina quickly won out that contest and is currently at count number 8. Jayce only threw up twice, but his was definitely the messiest. I had to steam clean about 5 times to get it up from the bonus room floor.

So, obviously we canceled our trip to ATL. I am so bummed because not only did we have a sweet hotel room thanks to my parents, but Brian was actually going with us. And of course, the car was completely packed. We even had Alli staying at my mom's house. Also, my best friend Meredith from high school was having a party for her baby that just turned 1. Oh well, my kids are hardly ever sick. Not much you can do about it!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

90 more days

Ugh. I got some frustrating news yesterday that has prompted this grumbly post.

When Jayce turned 3 years old, he no longer qualified for the state's Early Intervention program. The good news is that when he received his High Functioning Autism diagnosis, he became DDSN eligible. (DDSN stands for the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs). However, DDSN doesn't really do squat for us. Okay, so that's not fair. They pay for our EI coordinator to come out to our house once a week. We also just got approved for 12 hours of respite care paid for a month (at the huge rate of $5, lets all roll our eyes together). They declined to pay for our diapers and wipes because supposedly Brian brings home more money than we spend (so, we are getting punished because we don't have loads of debt?). Anyway, long story short, DDSN does NOT pay for private therapy.

When a child with special needs turns 3 in the state of South Carolina, it is now the public school system's job to pick up where services leave off. After a huge long fight, Jayce now qualifies for both Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy (Sensory Integration Therapy included) at the school along with special instruction in their Preschool Child with Disabilities classroom. Except that Jayce turned 3 on April 28th, so by the time we got processed through the school district, there was only 2 days left of school. And the school system does not believe it to be important to continue THERAPIES through the summer. Believe me, if I had money, power, and influence, that would be the first thing I change about their stupid system!

So, here's a recap. When Jayce turned 3, we lost state funding for private therapy that we were getting at the local hospital. And it was summer so school wasn't going to help us. And DDSN doesn't pay for therapy. The end result of all this is that Jayce had to take a break from therapy this entire summer.

Oh, we could have still sent him to the hospital for private therapy. At $1,000 a WEEK. I'm not kidding. And this is only for 4 hours of therapy! Even full time ABA therapy is the same price! And for some parents, I can totally understand justifying going into debt and taking out second mortgages for the sake of your son's future. But Brian and I agreed that dropping all that money right now doesn't feel right to us. Maybe its because Jayce is very high functioning and the whole "autism" thing doesn't seem so much like a burden anymore. Or maybe its because I felt like I could help him a lot here at home this summer. At any rate, we chose to stop therapy when Babynet stopped paying for it.

We applied for something called TEFRA as soon as we got Jayce's official medical diagnosis. Its a supplemental insurance for special need kids and its funded through our govt's medicaid program. Its very hard to get. Jayce has to be approved 4 times by four different groups. We were told to submit absolutely everything we had on Jayce. Every evaluation, every medical record, every IEP, every IFSP review, everything. It took me 3 weeks to compile copies of everything. I was told by countless people that the TEFRA application process took 90 days to complete.

We are currently 60 days into our application.

I received a returned phone call from my TEFRA medicaid caseworker. It only took me calling her 3 times and leaving 3 voicemails for her to return my call.

She gave me the good news first: "Jayce has met the level of care part of the TEFRA application. Now its up to the 2nd agency to determine whether or not his autism is a disability".

"It will take another 90 days for that process".

Great. Just when I thought we were 4 weeks away from heading back to the hospital for therapy, they drop that bombshell. Oh, but it gets better. Our new (actually, our former who returned just now) EIC told me that its not uncommon for TEFRA applications to take 6 MONTHS! And that's if we get approved. If we get denied and have to appeal it, then it can take even longer.

I am so disappointed and frustrated.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Partied Out

In the past 10 days, we have:

-participated in one sleepover
-attended 4 children's birthday parties
-celebrated one 4th of July holiday
-gone to one adult's 30th birthday party
AND
-one MOMS Club end-of-the-year BBQ

Can you say "Partied Out?"

Here are some highlights of our partying ways!

Sleepover:
Our new friend Ravyn came over for Jaina's very first sleepover at our house!



The next day was the 4th of July. Here are the firework pictures I took with my canon powershot.



The next day was my good friend Patty's youngest son, Liam's, 2nd Birthday:
He had a baseball themed play-outside-party. I got to meet a new neighbor of Patty's who is into homebirth and natural living. She was really awesome to talk to! I hope she comes to LLL when the new baby is born!

Jayce is just keeping it real in the Little Tykes car. Patty's got this awesome driveway (for bikes and things, not for backing your car out of!) that we tried to teach Jayce how to pick up his feet so he could go fast down the driveway. He wasn't having any of it, though!

Jaina and Elizabeth (Liam's older sister) aka, the twins. They did not plan to wear those dresses at the same time but it happened! I had gone with Patty up to the outlet mall to the $2.99 sale at The Children's Place.

Liam is TWO!

My favorite picture of Liam... he didn't want us singing because he was embarrassed!

Jayce eats cake:

Jaina eats cake:


After Liam's party, we had 2.5 hours to kill until our next party. Thank goodness Ravyn lived nearby and we could come crash at her house for some playdate time!

Then on to Faith's party. She celebrated her 6th birthday at the "paint your own pottery" place in town. Jaina picked out a cat, as you can plainly see. We had a great time. Thanks, Gray, for watching Jayce for us!








Friday night was a party sans kids in Greenville as we celebrated our friend Sara's 30th birthday party. Sara's boyfriend is Hal, a co-worker of Brian's.








Then, yesterday, we attended our new friend Ravyn's 6th birthday party at her neighborhood pool:









After Ravyn's swim party, we hurried home to rest before our next party at the science center!

Happy Birthday to Jaina's very best friend, Anna!! We miss our next door neighbors very much and are glad we still can get together with them often!










Then it was home for all of 15 minutes before heading back out to the MOMS Club annual family picnic. Unfortunately, Brian and I were invited to a reception the same night. We had to divide and conquer :) I took the kids with me and he drove up to NC with his co-workers.

Sarah was nice enough to host this year's party. Her inlaw's house was GORGEOUS and looked like something out of Southern Living magazine.





The kids had a great time! We swam in the pool (no pictures because I was holding Jayce the entire time). We ate hamburgers and hot dogs picnic-style on the grass. The older kids went down to the farm and saw baby chickens while the little ones played ball in the yard. Jayce had the BEST time ever at their house and didn't want to go home 3 hours later. Jaina fell in love with their dog Molly (oh, why did I not get a picture??) and has not stopped talking about her since. Rachel, Ravyn, and Cody had a great time too.