Monday, August 30, 2010

Big Girl

Boo-hoo-hoo...my big girl is too big for her high chair. Well, not really, but she wants to stand up in the high chair all the time. So, we decided to get her a booster seat for the kitchen table. I cannot believe it. My baby is now sitting at the kitchen table with us for meals. She absolutely loves it! She loves buckling and unbuckling the seat belt. She is doing so well in it too! Lily loves it because Zoey gets to sit next to her! She was actually saying, "Cheese," in this pic below. I don't know where she got that from because I don't think I've ever asked her to say, "cheese" for a picture before. LOL Maybe it's innate...hahaha
I played around at bighugelabs.com today. What a fun site. Thanks to my friend Pam for enabling me to try out that one! Made this cute mosaic of pics from the Booze Cruise from a last weekend.




Friday, August 20, 2010

New Pets - Take Two

I know that you are asking yourself this question: Why on Earth would the Stankevicius family get new pets when Lily couldn't keep her hands out of the fish bowl last month? Well, it's not that simple to explain...
For those of you who know Lily, you may know that although she has an official diagnosis, I have never been comfortable with it. I have been saying for many, many years now that there is something else going on her in sweet, little body that is causing her to act in a way that typical children don't. Despite lots of doctor visits, neuropsychological testing and many evaluations by so-called professionals, I have been repeatedly told that she is just too young to diagnose. So, she has some symptoms that might sound a bit like OCD, some that are more similar to ADHD and others that may resemble Autism, a mood disorder or other related neurological disorders. We do know that she has Sensory Processing Disorder and some other behavior disorder. It's pinpointing that "other" that has been difficult because of her age.

Thus, her latest symptom has been perseveration. If you are familiar with Autism you may have heard of this. It's when a child gets fixated on a topic and all conversations revolve around it. From the moment Lily began to speak, she has always said how much she loves animals and how she wants to be a vet when she grows up. We have 2 cats who she desperately wants a relationship with, however, fickle cats don't want much to do with 6 year old girls! However, Lily's perseveration on animals goes beyond just wanting to pet them. She has been begging and begging for a pet that she can hold. We've even had a few episodes where she has looked up at us with tear-filled eyes, explaining how lonely she feels, and that a pet would give her some comfort.

So, after much discussion with her occupational therapist and her pyschologist, we decided to create a reward program for Lily (and Matt) that allowed them to be rewarded for positive behavior in order to prove how responsible they can be for a pet. For every responsible behavior we observed (without being told) they received a sticker on a chart. Things like: brushing teeth without being told, cleaning up after meals, doing chores without being asked were acknowledged with a sticker. When the chart was filled up, the children were rewarded with goldfish.

Of course, we have since learned that goldfish were not the right pets for Lily. She wanted something she could hold and pet (probably related to the sensory disorder). We learned this the hard way. So, after much discussion and contemplation, Jack and I agreed to let the kids work towards earning a pet that they could hold. Due to my severe allergies (yes, we have cats and yes, I am allergic to them), dogs were ruled out. However, guinea pigs were put on the table.

After another month of responsibility stickers, Matt and Lily earned their next rewards. We took them to the pet store yesterday following the first day of school and we came home with these girls.... Meet Butterscotch. I think this is the first time Lily chose a name that really fit. Butterscotch is a baby girl guinea pig. She is going to get much, much, much larger. ...Sigh....
and this is her sister from the same litter, Astro. Astro was Matt's choice. LOL

Here is their home. The igloo is where they spend most of their time. The tunnel is for chewing on.


You can see they are pretty tiny. Their claws are not sharp and their teeth are pretty dull now, but guinea pig teeth never stop growing...so we have to give them hay to chew on, to keep the teeth filed down.



They are herbivores and drink water from a bottle.








The cage is pretty large as you can see compared to Lily's dresser. We had to get the large cage since we have two and they will grow pretty big. The pet store wanted us to take the mother of these two...she was 2 years old and too old to be sold. They were going to throw her in for free, but I really didn't want 3 guinea pigs. So, they said they'd throw her in for free with the next customer's order. LOL



So, no judgements...no opinions....no "what were you thinking".... We are going to give it a shot and hope for the best and hopefully these two creatures will fit in with the rest of the brood here.






Monday, August 16, 2010

Pumping It Up

Had some crafty fun using up some embellies from a few kits I bought recently: Scrapbook Circle and Studio Calico.
Since the summer is winding down and the kids are getting ready to go back to school (in 3 days...can't wait!)...I decided to take them for one last jump at Pump It Up.
Matt learned some new tricks with hula-hoops...





Zoey had her first experience on a jump with the help of her big sis...

















But Z spent most of her time riding around in style...(and stealing it out from under other toddlers)...

Hoping for a few more fun experiences before school starts back up!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Girls' Cottage Weekend!!!

What a wonderful weekend! I spent it with three amazing ladies at Maureen's lake cottage in Dowagiac, Michigan! We were so red in this pic, so I thought I'd change it to b&w!
See how red we are...LOL It might have something to do with the fact that Lorri adorned us all with some of her Bare Essentials glow...


This is where we sat all day Saturday with books, magazines and cocktails in hand!


The front yard...




Oh-em-gee...Maureen is going to kill me for posting this one...





We each took turns washing the dishes and/or preparing food....

We joked that this was just like Mary Alice's wedding photo...LOL

"Hazel" doing the laundry...LOL


The make-up application...Haha


This is where we sat all night on Friday and Saturday...playing drinking games...making fun of people we don't like...gossiping...dreaming....heehee...oh, and btw...what happens at the lake, stays at the lake.




The view from the Adirondacks. We watched the sunset and fireworks from these chairs.


Beautiful Sisters Lake... We never did go out boating or kayaking like we had planned. Watch out for the leeches!


It was lovely, restful and relaxing. Can't wait for next year!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Kids, Kids and More Kids...

If you don't want to see pics of my kids, you best not continue reading, because you are about to see lots of pics of them.

First off is Lily's new hairdo...I love it!



And Matt's cute new haircut....doesn't look much different than it always does...LOL


and my hysterically-laughing baby....isn't she precious?...I know I'm a little biased...










I tried so hard to get her to pose with her two favorite stuffed animals...Melmo and Melmo. LOL That's how she says Elmo. I lovvvvvve it! She also says Gover for Grover, BeeBer for Big Bird, Nernie for Ernie! It's so stinkin' cute!



I haven't had a good pic of the three of them in awhile so I tried really hard to just get one good pic...No such luck...but for your viewing pleasure you can see the outtakes, which are pretty cute, but just not frame-worthy...













There's always next month....See you then.








Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Good Times with Family from Near and Far

A couple weekends ago my aunt Peg had the family over for a barbecue. My grandpa and his wife, Lee, came in from Arizona. My aunt, Cindy and her three kids, Hannah (with new baby Seth), Nathan (with pregnant wife, Brit) and Laura came in from St. Louis. The Weirs, Sianos and Vizdals came from Tinley Park. It was nice to have everyone together!

It wouldn't be a BBQ at aunt Peg's without one of my children breaking one of her frogs. She collects frogs, displays them outside and for some reason, one of kids manages to accidentally break one every time we are at her house!



A bean bag tournament took place...

And of course, indoor, we all took a turn holding the new baby cousin and passing him around.



Great Grandpa with his 11th great grand child: Seth!



Matt's had a lot of practice at this...

So cute...

My cousins from St. Louis...



We decided to throw all the kids into the pool!


Good decision!






Aw! Sibling LOVE!


Back at home I tried to get my three love birds to pose for just one picture. It's been awhile since I got a cute one of the three of them. Obviously...this was the one pic that was semi-decent.

And now Zoey has had enough and would not sit any longer...Oh well! I'll have to try again another day!


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