Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Haircut Edition

OK, OK, I know it's supposed to be wordless but this last picture cracks me up! Look how intense she is! We were driving home from lunch with her Auntie N and listening to her VBS CD and at a red light I look back and see her singing along and praising!

Happy Wednesday to you!!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Topics - Labeling Your Child

All last week I was in charge of games for our church's Vacation Bible School. It was so much fun! We played a human ring toss game, a game in which the kids had to hold hands in a circle and pass a hula hoop all away around, and a lot of tug of war! Plus, because it was so hot out and games were outside all the kids got a popsicle and water after each game! Most of the kids were thrilled about being there but there were a handful who just weren't having it.

I helped with the decorations as well as the games and general brainstorming with our church's secretary (who I love so much) so I overheard a lot of plans and "issues" being discussed about it. I wasn't eavesdropping! These conversations took place in the same room I was working. I knew for sure that we were to have one autistic child from one of these conversations and I was prepared for him. However, there ended up being three or four and their parents never said a thing about it.

I do understand not wanting to label your child with a disability to a certain extent. I do not understand not letting someone know that your child is autistic so we can better prepare ourselves to help your child cope during the week. For the sake of reference I'll call this kid Greg. When Greg showed up on the second day of VBS he didn't have any desire to play the game we were playing. I would never force someone to play if they didn't want to so I told Greg he was welcome to hang out in the shade and I'd give him a popsicle with the other kids when the game was over. I turned around to give instructions to the other 15 or so kids and when I turn back around Greg was gone! I look around and he's slowly walking towards the parking lot looking into the sky and mumbling something in an unidentifiable language. I ran over and tried to get Greg back under the shade and away from the street and I had to push him along because he wasn't moving. Later that morning Greg just walked away from the snack area on his own. I found him in the craft area and again had to push him back to his group.

After putting away all of the toys and such for games I was taking a break from the hot sun in the refrigerated air conditioning of the church office. The secretary was on the phone and what I heard went something like this:
"Well he doesn't seem to want to interact with anyone and he's getting a little angry when we try to interact with him. We were just wondering if there is anything we should know to help us make him happy or help him interact. Oh. OK. So he is autistic. OK, I will have one of our volunteers who is about to graduate with a degree in early childhood education watch after him."

Why wasn't this information given at the time of registration? We were fully prepared for a wide variety of special needs but we need to know which children have them and what the needs are.

I posted this to my Facebook and Tumblr to see if anyone disagreed with me:
"Question for anyone willing to provide an opinion: Do you think it is ultimately harmful or helpful to a child when his/her parent refuses to label him/her with a disability to avoid special treatment or negative connotation. For example, if the parent doesn't let caregivers/teachers/anyone watching their child know that he/she is autistic."

So far only two people disagree. One said that her ex never got special treatment for his heart condition and that made him a better person. I can see that but I think I'd still like to know if the child I'm watching has a heart condition just in case something happened. The best response I've gotten really tied into that. A friend of mine on Facebook said, "... if the kid is severe enough to be diagnosed, then teachers/caregivers need to know in the event of an emergency, or any other situation that could arise. They will need to know if the kid does need special treatment."

A teacher I've known most of my life says that not passing on the information to teachers can be the parent's way of testing the system. The parent, being in denial about the diagnosis, won't bother letting anyone know to see if the teachers notice something wrong with their child and bring it up to the parent.

On the opposite opinion is a distant cousin of mine. She has a 30 year old son who has been given the diagnosis of "profoundly mentally impaired." She feels that her son was able to receive a lot of assistance that was needed that he never would have gotten without that label but at the same time it does give a negative connotation. She even said that as she commented on my post he was watching videos online with us own laptop by himself. Obviously he isn't too profoundly mentally impaired if he is able to do that on his own. He can not feed himself, walk, or talk but he communicates through a touch talker and sign language.

What do you think? Do you think that parents should let teachers/caregivers/etc know about special needs including autism? Do you think the parents should let the child with autism know?

Also, here's some links I found interesting while writing this:

Should I Tell My Child They Are On the Spectrum?
Don't Let a Label Define Your Autistic Child
Autism Speaks
Truth in Labeling

Finally, just to lighten the mood a bit, here's a photo of Gibbie with Duke the horse and me with Duke the horse from Vacation Bible School:

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend Review

Restful and relaxing and just what we needed. After volunteering with our church's Vacation Bible School all last week I was exhausted. Gibbie wasn't old enough to actually be a part of it but we had an amazing volunteer watching after her and one other little one while mama worked the games.

Friday night we had the VBS Family Night at church. Gibbie had memorized all of the dance moves so she went up with all of the other kids to dance.

She loved every second of it. We did too. After dancing we had ice cream.

Saturday we rested as much as possible. We were having an adjuster come out to check out the leaks from the past two or three storms so we had to clean a bit. After cleaning we did very little. We watched some tv, took a nap, then accidentally put fake money in a bunny bank and had fun dumping it out and putting all of the real money back in. 

The Hubs went to a gathering of men at a friend's house. We graciously stayed home and had some girly girl fun. 

Please focus in the little piggies painted purple and not the stains on my carpet.

She insisted on us matching.

We watched Tangled and stayed up about an hour later than usual. Fun all around.

Sunday after church we took a mini day trip to Old Mesilla. My favorite New Mexican restaurant, La Posta de Mesilla, is there and they have a lot of cute shops.

Gibbie likes the restaurant's milk cups:

My husband does not like that they don't have a place to hang his hat:

 Before we got to go to any of the cute shops (Gibbie loves the little local bookshop so much because the owner's dogs wander around) it started to rain pretty hard. Gibs and I ducked into the coffee shop while The Hubs went to grab the truck and pick us up. He's totally our night in shining pick up truck (anyone know what movie that's from?).

After the mini storm the hour long trip home was amazingly beautiful:

 It's hard to believe I live in the desert when I see this picture.

All was well until getting out of the truck at home when Gibbie was bitten by an ant. The bite swelled up and we were afraid she might be allergic so we slipped her a tiny bit of Children's Benadryl. She then insisted on watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I can only imagine the crazy allergy medicine induced trip she had while watching that movie. Children's Benadryl always makes her a bit loopy before making her tired. I'm not going to lie, it's hilarious, but I promise we only use it when absolutely necessary.

After Gibbie's bedtime The Hubs and I cuddled on our separate couches to watch The Breakfast Club while doing laundry and getting sleepy. I hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Well, well, well. We meet again, blogger! It's been a very long time. Between convincing myself that I'm a terrible writer and no one would ready my stuff ever and having a toddler to look after I just never allowed myself to find the time. Yet, here I am!

I think my major issue of never sticking to blogging has been my lack of structure. Thanks to Evernote (I'm not being paid by them... or anyone else for that matter) I can finally work on organizing what is going to be happening on this blog. There will be a lot of nonsensical crap as well as discussion topics (never anything too heavy). I'll post a lot of pictures of my beautiful nearly three year old daughter, Gibbie. There will be a lot of whimsical moments with my husband, The Hubs. I promise there will be a lot of silly things that I do. By the way, I'm Rue.

I suppose introductions are in order before I get too carried away with the rest of my this and that. I'm Rue, I'm 30 (gulp), I'm a stay at home mama who sells The Pampered Chef on the side. I craft when I feel like it and help run a MOPS groups at my church with one of my four best friends. We'll call this bestie (I hate the term bestie) J. I totes (I hate the term totes) have four best friends and I keep them all far away from each other so they won't collaborate their stories and see how insane I actually am.

My hubs is The Hubs. He runs a factory with his pops, he's got a really cute butt smile, he is absolutely hysterical, and I get jealous when other women look at him. We met 12 years while both of us were working at Barnes & Noble and I knew, as creepy as it sounds, that I was going to marry him. Eight years, a year long break, some long distance romance, and some crazy family issues later it happened. Patience and perseverance my friends.

Finally, there's Gibbie. She's the reason I get up in the morning and not just because she wakes me up. She's a dancer, magician, singer/songwriter, super Christian (she loves church more than anything on earth), and is going to be three next month. She loves ice cream but only if it's chocolate and loves pie but only if it's apple. All cakes are birthday cakes and she sings happy birthday to me at least once a day.

It's an amazing life!

This picture is us when we're in public family mode:

And here's a picture of us in normal weirdo mode:

You can't touch that kind of awesomeness.

Now that you have an idea of who we are I hope you stay tuned for some awesome updates and bear with me while I tweak the hell out of this blog and try to get it to my liking.