Sunday, January 29, 2012

Elf on A Shelf Ideas

This past Christmas it was brought to my attention that our Elf "Jolly" was hiding in the same places that his did the year before. I realized this was the third year with Jolly coming to our house during December..Since I could not let him continue the hang out in the same places, I had a talk with Jolly and helped him think of some fun ideas (props to other bloggers of the elf on the shelf). Here are pictures of some of the places we found Jolly!

Roasting Marshmallows over a candle.  My son thought this was so funny. I took a toothpick and some spare small marshmallows. Place one on the end of the toothpick stick the other end in his hands. Sit him close to a tealight (electronic) candle. Don't forget to turn on the candle!
 Looks like someone likes chocolate kisses! Melt one of the kisses to smear over his face. Open some others and place the rest all around. I used a candy cane full of kisses and left the open container out. 

Jolly Elf helped hang lights around some plants. Looks like he wasn't finished come morning.

My son woke up one morning to find Jolly Elf was playing with his Lincoln Logs. I guess he wanted to play with toys too!
Hiding in the coffee mug. I think he might have been waiting for some hot chocolate.
Making cookies!! Jolly made some great cookies while my son was at school that day. He came home to find the cookies were finished!
Jolly was found one morning stuck in a stocking...I think he was trying to get the candy cane full of candy!
We found Jolly one morning hanging in the pots and pans. I think that he was wanting breakfast...
One night Jolly brought us a fish! As you can see, he decided to go fishing that same night. We ended up naming the fish "Lightning".
Countdown till Christmas!
Hanging out in the tree hanging an ornament.
Sitting with a snowman, hoping it would snow.

 Jolly went missing one day. He was captured by someone without any Christmas Spirit! Poor Jolly was gone...we didn't know what to do. He was held captured by evil fighters.
Luckily he wasn't gone long and found hanging at the top of the Christmas tree safe and sound during our Christmas Craft Party!

Jolly was touched by accident so Dominic decided to write him a letter and send it to the North Pole and let Jolly know that he was sorry.  Jolly returned the next morning. He was found tucked in the centerpiece reading Dominic's letter.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

One Step at a Time

This year has already been proven to positive. Dominic has "graduated" from special services!!!

It's official, Nic will no longer be receiving special services for speech, language and occupational therapy. I am so proud of him! He has really worked hard the past few years to meet and exceed all the goals set in front of him.

Starting back at the beginning as a baby, Dominic, dealt with a series of bad ear infections. Just under the amount to have the doctors intervene. Around 16-18 months he was not talking and seemed to have trouble hearing. We prepared for the worst starting Nic on baby signing and everything else that we could imagine. After speaking with several doctors and specialists, we made the decision to have tubes put in his ears.  Surgery went well, so it was on to the next step. Dominic attended a great preschool where the teacher recommended he get tested by First Steps. They are an early intervention system for infants and toddlers, birth to age 3, who have delayed development or diagnosed conditions that are associated with developmental disabilities.  Dominic was accepted immediately for development, speech, and language delays and therapy began quickly thereafter.

Once Dominic turned 3, he moved into special education services with our local school district. He attended special classes where he was able to work closely with teachers and therapists until he started Kindergarten. His teachers were wonderful and really took the time to work with Dominic making sure that he stayed on track with his goals. I truly believe that if it was not for the teachers he had during that time, Dominic would not be where he is at today.  He received double the exposure to learning in two different classes during the week. One half was in the regular (normal size) preschool class to learn, and the other half he spent in a special class (smaller size) learning even more.

Dominic was able to enter into Kindergarten fully prepared, and at times ahead of the other kiddos (my biast mom insert) only needing to still work on his speech/language goals with some occupational therapies.  It was mid kindergarten that Dominic was diagnosed with ADHD. Being familiar with the disorder, I knew his time was coming. We tried our hardest with therapy to not medicate him, but that eventually stopped working and he needed something to slow his body down so he could concentrate on school. Dominic really struggled the first semester in Kindergarten. The classroom was very busy and so was was very difficult for him to handle the "normal" day. Since Dominic had been under observation since he was two it was clearly evident to all parties, including doctors, what the underlying issue was and how to help alleviate some of his daily struggles.

Since being on medication for a full year now. Dominic is thriving in school and sports. He is able to be "normal" kid. He has truly worked extremely hard over the past years to catch up and surpass his school mates. His speech and language is up to par and his reading level is advanced for his age.

I am so proud of Dominic! It makes me feel good as a parent to know that I did make all the right decisions when it came to his health and learning obstacles. As for right now, we keep working hard and I anticipate that he will go far in his school!

Congratulations Nic Nac, mommy is so proud of you.

Let's start at the beginning...

We have just begun the beginning of a new year and January already more than 1/2 over!. Every year resolutions are written down and somehow forgotten after so many months. This year is different. It's a new year and time for new I have decided to start journaling. It seems that the years are going by faster every year and yet it becomes so hard to remember everything that I have accomplished in that year.  I tend to remember the repetitive actions, but not the fun times spent with family, successes, new adventures even the oops days and pitfalls through the year. 

I made a "new year resolution" to start a journal of some sort to document the year. It seems that every year I make a resolution, I have already broken the resolution by the 10th of January. This year I decided not to start until the end of January and hopefully I will have a better chance at keeping my resolution. My goal is to journal something at least once a week. With a busy schedule, I need to make time to take a break and reflect on my days.  I am hopeful that by the end of the year I can look back at the journals and see all the good things that happened over the year. I know that there will be times when things are not so pretty in life, but as with everything else...we have to take each day and turn it into something positive, even if the day doesn't seem to be going in our direction. For me this is only the beginning of change. I cannot wait to see what the year has in store for me.