Wednesday, July 1, 2015


My, my, it has been a while. In fact, it's been nearly a whole year! We've been busy. VERY busy. Let me update you a bit.

I stopped blogging when I did last summer for two unavoidable reasons:

1. The school year started & I had to go back to work.

2. I was pregnant and dealing with terrible morning sickness.


The work thing is a big challenge for our homeschool. For now, I work two full days every week, plus one half day twice a month. Thankfully we have family members who are happy to come and sub as homeschool teacher for me when I work. I prep all the plans, worksheets, lessons, etc. ahead of time and the kids work through their lists or tasks. At least in theory. This was made incredibly difficult last year by the persistent nausea that gripped me for 4 months, then by the heartburn that lasted until the baby came in April. Add to that fatigue, swollen ankles, and insomnia, and we ended up with some very half-arsed plans and school days. Also, a LOT of laundry piles. Ahem.

This year is shaping up to be a huge challenge as well, but now it is because we have four children in the house, TWO with special needs (but we will get into that more later). I believe I may have to give up eating and possibly showering in order to get everything done. And that is WITH the tremendous support of my husband and family helpers! They make that dry shampoo stuff, right? I wonder how many days in a row one can get by with using that before one must finally do the whole lather & rinse thing? (Forget the "repeat" part, because sister, Ain't nobody got time for that!)


Anyway. In April we welcomed child number four into our family (a full three weeks early)! Her name is Alice, and she is so sweet and adorable, and wonderful! She has Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), but we knew that before she was born. We also already knew that she has the complete AV canal heart defect that so many DS babies are born with. She spent her first 12 days in the NICU, and we've spent every moment since her release trying desperately to fatten her up before surgery. I won't lie. It's been a rough go. She has struggled to put on weight. We are currently doing NG Tube feelings every 3 hours around the clock, and she is finally packing on the ounces!

Rest assured I'll be posting more about Alice & her surgery later. surgery is coming up later this month, and it is, quite frankly, too frightening for me NOT to share. I need to get this stuff out. For the last few months, the stress and anxiety have been all bottled up, & it's starting to have physical &cognitive effects. (Seriously, my skin looks terrible and yesterday when Rocket asked if he could have screen time, I replied, "No, I don't think we will have flagpole today," because I was looking at a van that had the word "flagpole" printed on the side!)

For now I shall leave you with this very recent photo of our girl. (The tape is necessary to hold the NG tube in place. If she must have it stuck to her face, I can at least make it fun & cute, so I decorate it each time I change it. You can check out the #FaceTapeArt on my Instagram feed - Keowdie)



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Update on the PetCo Letter

A few weeks ago, I posted this open letter to PetCo about the time they sold my six year old a terminally ill pet rat.

I'm happy to report that PetCo really stepped up. I received a phone call from a very apologetic representative who absolutely made things right.

 He promised to launch an audit into the location in question. The health of all the animals in that store is going to be checked. Additionally, he promised to implement an updated training for the staff in that store; apparently they violated several of the company's policies regarding the health and wellness of the animals, as well as several others with their very poor customer service. In the end, PetCo reimbursed us for the vet bill and refunded the cost of the rat.

I am satisfied with the outcome, and will likely use PetCo in the future, though I'm not sure I'll be returning to that particular location again.

So, thank you PetCo, for making right a bad situation.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mission and We Statements

As we prepare for our new school year, we identified our Mission Statement and We Statements.

I'm not usually one of those "Rah-Rah, Go Team, Mission Statement" kinds of people, but for our homeschool it seems important to know what we do and why. I used the mission statement planning worksheets from, which made it really easy. (She has lots of other great ideas, too!)

The "We Statements" are basically a list of behavioral expectations that we all worked together to create. Some of them may sound a little basic or "goes without saying," but when you have a student on the autism spectrum, there is nothing that "goes without saying;" everything must be said!
What do you think? Do you have a mission statement for your family or homeschool?