Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Those are Rexy's feet on our sidewalk and her friends lined up waiting for - ? Probably something involving the Wonder Pets and saving the day. (Her favorite pretend play activity. A few weeks ago she came up to me with a cardboard box and an empty paper towel roll and asked me to make it into a fly-boat for her. If you have toddlers you know what that is.) I would say that we are single-handedly causing a future water shortage with all the running water playing that Rexy has been doing in this heatwave we've been having here, but since I'm not wasting any water on silly things like laundry and dishes my conscience is clear. BTW, in Seattle a heatwave is officially defined as any temperature over 75 degrees for more than 14 daylight hours in a row.

One of my card displays at the EtsyRain Street Team sale

I'm so excited - perhaps too excited? - I created a new playlist for my blogs! In honor of the season, no less! Only 16 songs, though, I may get tired of it before the season is over. (Yes, I use my blog playlists as my stereo - otherwise Noggin would be the soundtrack to my life!) Not to mention the repetitiveness of the selection. Take a look at the list. They're not all the same song, it just looks like it - although I did include several different versions of the classic. I'm interested in the different interpretations.

I didn't get a chance to take a picture of this on Friday night, so I had to catch a quick picture at the sale. It didn't turn out too well, but you can get the feel for it.

I painted these mod little birds - completed them Friday night - and they sold immediately at the sale on Saturday. My husband was so enamored of them he asked me not to sell them! Since he knows the artist, I told him he was out of luck. I had so much fun with them, that I'm now painting more to put in my Etsy store. Look for them in the next few days...

I ended up running out of time on Friday, so I had to put all the earrings on their cards and all the price tags on the jewelry and paintings at the venue. So I was pretty feverishly busy doing setup in the morning. See that white light behind the display, below? That's looking at the windows with their blinds drawn. The sun was streaming in and it was about 95 degrees in there. All the makeup melted off my face and I ended up having to put my poor, limp hair up in a clip. I got up an hour early to get ready and ended up looking like I do every day! Oh, well.

Display in progress - never did get a pic of the completed display!

So, I did decent business at the Etsy team sale. Enough business to encourage me and keep my motivation up, that's the important thing. We got turned down for Headstart for Rexy. That means I have to come up with enough money to keep her in private preschool for the next year - both her Spec Ed teacher and her head therapist from the UW program recommended that she do both Spec and Regular Ed programs concurrently until she starts Kindergarten. She needs the peer models in Regular Ed and yet she still needs some of the therapeutic aspects of her Special Ed preschool. Everyone's goal is that she be fully integrated by 1st grade - no more special ed! She's been doing so spectacularly, I'm sure we'll be able to achieve that.

A view of my new earring card design

It's hard to believe that two years ago she could only say "milk," and "more." To give you a little perspective on that, at age 24 months a common milestone is for children to have 100-200 words at their disposal. 2 years ago she was 28 months old. You can see why we decided to get her examined, and she was subsequently diagnosed as Autistic.

You might have noticed that "Mommy" and "Daddy" are not on that list (of two). We were so thrilled when she started calling us Mommy and Daddy. First Daddy, and then, around mid-August, she finally called me Mommy for the first time. She was standing with my sister about 50 feet away from me and I was standing next to a car salesman. I turned to him, absolutely delighted and near tears and said, "She just called me Mommy!" He just looked at me oddly and said, "Oh!" I realized later that he probably throught she said it all the time and that I was somewhat strange to have made such a big deal about it.

Also 2 years ago we were accepted into the Early Intervention Study at the University of Washington. It was a 2 year study, consequently our participation ended last week. I've been in tears about it, on and off, for about a month. We've had therapists coming to our house 5 days a week for 4 hours a day for 2 years. Rexy doesn't remember life without her friends coming over to play. I can never thank them enough. That therapy was worth a million dollars. My girl talks a mile a minute now, plays pretend (Autistic children don't figure out pretend play naturally - it has to be taught. Who'd have thought about that? It's an essential base skill to learn as many other skills are built on that foundation.) gives us hugs and (some) kisses, looks us in the eyes, speaks when spoken to, spontaneously greets people, and can have a regular conversation. All that sounds like it would be just natural behavior, but it's not for Autistic kids. When we started this, Rexine would incline her head, regally, and that meant she was feeling affectionate toward you - kind of a sign language hug. If she really liked you she would extend her closed fist in your direction and let you kiss it. Her progress since then is a miracle. Since we always think she's fabulous and the best girl in the world, every bit of progress is a true gift. Those hugs and kisses are like winning the lottery every day. Well, seeing her sweet face is like winning the lottery every day anyway.