Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I know there will need to be cuts made across education and to many programs. I understand that and I am ok with that. But they should be across the board in education, not cutting out an entire, very vitally needed program.
Thank you for your support and help.
In other news, the legislature is considering mandating insurance companies cover autism. This is a long long overdue move. We even had trouble getting McKay's gastrointestinal issues covered because it was autism-related. (Children with autism often have GI issues.) So, for some odd reason, anyone else can go to the gastrointerologist for intestinal issues and it will be covered, but not if you have autism. So this will bring a measure of fairness to people who are paying for insurance so that they can use it in the same way non-disabled people do.
I was so excited to read about this...and then I read those mandates will only be effective until the child reaches 9 years old. *sigh* I am glad that some kids with autism will get fair and equal treatment for awhile. But sadly, it most likely will not reach our kids in time. Bah. But hey, one step at a time towards equality, eh?
Sunday, January 25, 2009
There were lots of amazing models that must have taken their makers many many hours. I didn't get to see all of them, since some were on a stage and I was with the stroller, but the ones I saw were so neat.
Here is a sampling. I kept all of the photos big, so if you click on them, you can look up close.
What could this be? Yep, Hogwarts.
And Ella! Awake at nearly the end.
Isn't that fun? It was really really cute and very entertaining.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
It has been so cold out for so long. We've been staying indoors so much. We've also been sick on and off for a month. Ack. So, when I get all bored and need to get MY wiggles out, I forego dumping out lots of toys in the playroom (a favorite pasttime of other family members, who shall remain nameless...), and I pull out the camera and mess around. It IS my favorite toy afterall.
I wanted to try blacks and whites and exposing the white correctly without blowing it out or making it gray, and still getting the blacks dark. For the most part, I think it worked. Although on one picture, because of where I put the backdrop, the black looked weirdly blue. So, it was also a lesson in "seeing the light", as I moved my backdrop all around my front room. (My front room is tricky, because it has 4 windows--two that even have a rondelle on top--on two of the walls. This is why the kitchen is usually my room of choice, if I am using the backdrop.)
Anyway, heh, I know I post oodles of pictures of my kids. But dang, they are so cute. In fact, they're the reason I bought my camera anyway. ;)
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
In the Wasatch Mental Health Citizen's Advisory Board meeting today,Juergen Korbanka, Executive Director of Wasatch Mental Health, saidthat the Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee (HHS) ismeeting tomorrow morning at 11:00 am. They will be considering aproposal to cut 100% of the Autism funding for the various programsthroughout the state.
When asked about the GIANT Steps program [a Utah Valley Autism preschool], he said that if the autism funding is cut, they would have to immediately shut down the two classrooms that are funded from this money. In addition, they may have to shut down the third room (which receives its funding from Medicaid) or at least cut much of the staff because it would be difficult to justify the allocation of so many staff to so few clients.
What You Can Do
We need your assistance TODAY! DO IT NOW!
We need you to contact legislators on the HHS. Tell them of your opposition to this proposal. Tell them of the benefit this program has been to your child. Explain to them the principles of early-intervention and how it is critical in the lives of these young people to continue the program and that there are many more on the waiting list who also need this program.
Mr. Korbanka mentioned that there are three legislators on the HHS on whom we should focus our attention because they represent us in Utah County.
Rep. John Dougall - firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-492-1365 (a co-chair ofthe committee)
Rep. Keith Grover - email@example.com or 801-319-0170
Sen. Margaret Dayton - firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-221-0623
When the matter comes out of committee to a vote in the house and senate, you should also contact your local legislators to let them know how you feel too. To find who they are you may go to this address: http://gva1.utah.gov/elections/polling.aspx
The preferred method of contact is by personal phone call. Don't expect to get through to a live person, but be sure to leave a message; they are reviewed by the legislators and their staff. Sending a follow-up e-mail is also strongly encouraged. Numbers count so see if you can get everyone you know to do this too. We need to fight and inform our legislators of the folly of cutting this program that benefits a growing population of children who have autism.
Please be sensitive to the dilemma that the legislators are in. Because of the bad economy and declining revenues, they must makecuts; there is no way around it. However, the cuts should be "across the board" and not target specific programs. Endorse "horizontal" rather than "vertical" cuts. All of the programs work together to help the citizens of Utah. For further specific information about the proposed cuts, you may goto this web site which has a podcast of the previous HHS meeting along with links to documents detailing the proposed cuts:http://www.le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2009&Com=APPHHS
I am begging any of you in Utah (or really anyone), please contact these legislators and your legislator. Most autism families rely solely on the school district, because insurance companies do not cover ANY autism treatment. To be brazenly honest, we pay over $4K a year out of our own pockets just for McKay to get speech tutoring with a BYU student (not even a fully-licenced therapist). I cannot even begin to imagine trying to pay for the needs of two boys with autism entirely out of our own pocket. And I know so many other families in this situation.
So what would happen? Most of these children would have to go without. So, in 10 years...1 in 90 boys will be out there without the therapy they need to live a full life. Already, even with the school district, there are some who need much much more than they can get currently. Imagine what would happen if this passed.
Already they have discontinued the Children With Special Health Care Needs division of the State Health Department this month. That was the division that dealt with autism, providing lower-cost evaluations and diagnoses. Often just a DIAGNOSIS can cost upwards of $1K. It still cost about half that, but at least there was some relief. So, autism helps are being stripped left and right.
Unaddressed mental health issues are huge contributing factors to poverty, homelessness, suicide, etc. Please, please, please send an email to your legislator urging them to think about this with some common sense.
I am completely sick over this.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Well, as soon as I put the camera to my eye, the smile vanished, and the joker popped out.
Hey, is she sticking her tongue out at me?
Finally...a smile, sort of! (She was also trying to get out-of-frame pretty quick.)
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
So, Ella and Garrett and I played together all morning. Ella showed off lots of her "baby tricks."
Looking pensive. Hey Kim, everytime I see this picture, for some reason, I think of Jonathan.
The appraiser did come (this evening), so hopefully we'll get everything done by this month. If you have not refinanced, now would be a good time to think about it. The rates are fab.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
You do have to pay for shipping, but $7.99 for a $34.95 album is not too shabby.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Vegetable Beef Soup
1 lb. stew meat, cut up.
3 medium carrots, diced.
2 med. potatoes, diced.
1 med. onion, diced.
1 clove of garlic, minced or crushed.
1 (12 oz.) can of tomato soup
salt and pepper to taste
Brown the stew meat, onions and garlic in 1 T olive oil. Add carrots, potatoes, and tomato soup. Add 3 C. water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer about 20 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are tender. If soup is too thick, add a little more water. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I am grateful for this blog, because at least I have some low-res versions. I also also glad I uploaded as large of pics as I could to the blog.
I am just sick. What a sad lesson to learn. :/
Friday, January 9, 2009
Hannah insists she will NOT grow up. If I press and wheedle for an answer, she says she will bake me pizzas when I am old.
Michael wants to be a spy or a detective or a scientist.
McKay wants to be a Teletubby.
Garrett wants to be a farmer or a cowboy or a Superhero or a Gingerbread Man or a puppy. (His words.)
So, I should be set when I am older. Someone to make me pizzas. Someone to call when I lose my keys and stuff. Someone to entertain me. And someone to help me plant a garden, rustle my cattle, save the day, and snuggle with me. (Honestly, I can't think of any real benefit to Garrett becoming a baked good. I tried.)
Thursday, January 8, 2009
When McKay saw the dolls, he literally gasped. Like his breath was taken away with the joy of it all.
It is all about the little things, isn't it?
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
We were all bored last night. Everyone has been so sick with this deep chest/sinus cold and Ella and her ears, so we have not been going out at all. The kids want to get out and go swimming or something, but we're not ready for public appearances.
However, boredom is the mother of invention. The sunlamp is a lot of fun to use for some crazy, dramatic light. So of COURSE we took pictures. ;)
I think this one will be the cover of Hannah's debut album, Kindergarten Songs. ;)
How's this for a dramatic 5-year-old girl?
Sunlamps...good for the winter outlook, and good for some boring evening fun!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
In the bathtub.
In the shower.
On the top bunkbed.
In the van overnight (she must have popped in while the kids were getting out and got closed in.)
In the gift bags at Christmas.
In the crib.
I am learning what they mean by equating cats with curiosity.
Monday, January 5, 2009
This cold weather is the pits. Ella's getting ANOTHER ear infection (her 3rd in about 3 months...) and that makes it seem even MORE frusterating.
I had gotten to this incredibly zen mom-of-many place about my kids and colds. I used to freak out when I saw kids with runny noses within a 25 foot radius of any of my children. But gradually, I lightened up. I realized that the immune system WILL get a jumpstart, be it now or in nursery, or preschool, or kindergarten. I might fight the good fight and delay the Year of a Million Colds...but I would never get rid of that year. And once that year passed, we would all be much healthier. Everyone's immune systems would be strong and while we might get sick once or twice a year, it would not kill us.
And then I had ELLA! All of my other kids were relatively ear-infection-free. Michael had one. McKay had one. Hannah had a few, but grew out of them by 9 months or so. Garrett never has had one. But Ella has had 4, and 3 of them in the last 3 months! So 1) we are trying some stronger medicine and 2) I am reverting into my old ways. When I see a runny nose, I turn the other direction. Every single time Ella has gotten a cold, it turns into an infection, which means medicine, which leads to a diaper rash...and so it goes. Ugh.
So, here's hoping the Omnicef does the trick. Still, look how happy she is for having a cold, an ear infection, and having her top two teeth coming through as we speak? Aren't I a lucky stinker?