Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Easter Time

Happy Easter! Okay so it's a little late...buy you have three little children under the age of 5 and see how long it takes you to post something!! :) I load the pictures on one day and then several days later, get to the writing part of things!

Anyway, we had a wonderful day. It didn't turn out the way WE had wanted it to, but it still ended up being a beautiful Easter. Here's why:

We didn't go to church as a family...Mike had gone to the Easter Vigil to watch some friends receive their sacraments to become members of the Catholic faith on Saturday night, so I went to Sunday morning mass at 8am with Rebekah!

We didn't do an Easter Egg Hunt...we usually attend our friends hunt at their house but this year due to the snow on the ground the eggs couldn't be hidden outside. So they had to cancel it. It would have way too much to have that many children in their house hunting eggs.

We didn't make the kids their Easter Baskets, (er the Easter Bunny didn't)...with all of the illnesses, hospitalizations, new baby, tired mommy, inability to get out of the house and do any kind of sane shopping, and a serious lack of money due to the above...we just didn't get around to it. Plus, I have to admit, I knew they would be spoiled by their grandparents, (thank you Grammy, Grampy, Pepere, and Anne Marie).

They were also surprised by their Auntie Lee Anne and Uncle Pete who sent them a gluten free basket in the mail from a bakery in California. It had chocolate covered peeps, pretzels, and marshmallows. It also had two different kinds of flavored popcorn as well as some chocolate chip cookies. It even came with a little blue bunny and a plastic basket. Then their Auntie Lori and Uncle Dan gave them the ultimate treat...a large box of Junior Mints (for each of them), also known simply as Juniors. Ya, I don't think they noticed a lack of baskets from us!

What we did do...we had a terrific tasting gluten free coffee cake (Gluten Free Pantry Coffee Cake Mix) with the kids, followed by a fantastic meal as a family with Grammy, Grampy, Auntie Sherry, Uncle Mark and cousin Jack. We followed that up with chocolate fondue at Auntie Lori and Uncle Dan's house where we visited with Auntie Lee Anne, Uncle Pete, Pepere, Anne Marie, and cousins Ian and Emma.

We dressed the kids up in their Easter outfits because how often do you get to see your children looking so handsome and pretty in pastels?? (Looking at the thumbnails of all of those pictures makes them look like Easter eggs.!)

"That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil-this is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:13

We ate, we drank, and at the end of the day we were able to count our many blessings from our family. Our children were tucked into their little beds at the end of the day...full of chocolate...but tired, happy and loved. What more could we ask for...it wasn't perfect in our eyes, but it was the way it was meant to be. Maybe it's my age...(32), maybe it's having been married...(6 1/2 yrs.), maybe it's from being pregnant so many times...(4), all I know is I've come to trust in God more now than at any other time in my life. What better time to find trust in Him than at Easter time. Just look at my three beautiful little blessings.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Therapeutic Listening (TL)

"Therapeutic Listening (TL) is an expansion of Sensory Integration (SI). It is an auditory intervention that uses the organized sound patterns inherent in music to impact all levels of the nervous system. Auditory information from TL CDs provides direct input to both the vestibular and the auditory portions for the vestibular-cochlear continuum. The emphasis of TL is on blending sound intervention strategies with vestibulo-proprioceptive, core development, and breath activities so as to sustain grounding and centering of the body and mind in space and time. Providing these postural, movement, and respiratory activities as part of the TL program is critical." In other words...our ability to function in our world relies heavily on what we hear and how we perceive it. Listening is completely voluntary, and when we use it our ability to monitor and then actively respond to changes in our environment, happens without us even aware of it.

Above I mentioned the vestibular-cochlear continuum. Basically it's the link between the two systems and how they effect they way we act or react in situations. The cochlea, utricle, saccule , and semicircular canals form the the bony labyrinth in the inner ear. This processes the higher frequency vibrations that we know as sound. The vestibular end of the canal, processes the lower frequency vibration that we call movement. They work together to send information to the brain to help us function and exist in our surroundings.

The program involves listening to a CD that varies in musical style, types of filtering, and levels of complexity. The music is electronically altered to elicit the orienting response which sets up the body for sustained attention and active listening. (Note: I listened to this music and I thought I was going to grind my teeth out of my head! That's how "altered" the music is. Ethan listens it to without question...doesn't notice a difference!) A new CD is introduced every 2 weeks and the program is completed in three months. Then the child is put on a "maintenance" CD for a while after the initial treatment.

Ethan is on week 5, his third CD. He is supposed to do his "listening" twice a day for 30 minutes each session. We at least get it done once a day. We try to set him up with coloring, playing in his kidney beans, or playing his new favorite game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos. He can do anything while listening to his music except watch TV. We've done it in the car, but problems arise with the headset fitting on his head within the confines of his car seat. It's a lot tougher than I thought to get the second session in during the course of the day though. We do our best.

His OT, Jessica says that she has noticed an improvement in some of his vestibluar (movement) areas. We have noticed that Ethan is now hearing things that he's never noticed before like the birds chirping (which he became quite angry at the other day because they were too noisy!!)

Unfortunately, (like anything else) things have gotten worse instead of better. We were warned that as changes occured in his system, these things would happen...frustration, anger, testing. All of which are normal 4 year old issues, but more so than usual. We are only half way through the treatment, so we'll see what the future holds.