Thursday, 31 January 2013

IEP: this might help you

I keep reading about IEPs on every special needs blog. I always wonder what the process of an IEP really involves as we do not have such an official process here. Of course, goals and objectives are also agreed upon for each child individually, but it is only the school teachers and the parents that set the goals. And most of the time the teachers come to visit us at home for this meeting, so the atmosphere is very laid back. As our insurance system is totally different here, things like coverage of therapies is not discussed during such a meeting as it is the paediatrician who discusses and decides about necessary therapies together with the parents. There are no other parties involved in all of this and I am glad about that. Because these are the people who know my son best. And they know - together with me and my husband - what is best for him.

Anyway, the preparation of those IEP meetings and the meetings themselves do not sound like much fun at all but rather exhausting. This is why I want to share a link with you that I found just recently. It involves IEP goals and objectives and I thought it might be helpful for some of you. I think that the IEP season is right around the corner (are IEPs always done at a certain time?), so maybe you are glad for a little help.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Slow cooker: I'm in!

I did it, I ordered a slow cooker! Yay! Looking forward to using it! And as soon as I taught it how to operate the dish washer, the washing machine and the vacuum I will let you know how it does! ;-)

But first of all I need your help. Which are your favourite recipes? Could you please provide me with some links? That would be great! And is there anything I have to pay attention to or to consider?

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

What if my son gets lost?

Last year I had a near-heart attack moment when Sunny seemed to have gotten lost. We were at some kind of zoo, it was lunchtime and we were looking for a place to sit down and have lunch. While my husband stood in line to get us something to eat I left Sunny on our bench for only one second because I had to get up and throw something in the bin. As I turned around he was gone. My eyes scanned the whole place and the playground. I could not see him anywhere. I started to panic because there was a road nearby. I ran around, calling his name over and over, each time a little bit lounder, searching for him. Nowhere. My heart raced in my chest, my thought wreaked havoc in my brain. My husband got aware what was going on and started to look around, too. And suddenly we saw him, sitting quietly on another bench next to the line my husband had been standing in. The relief I felt when I saw him sitting there peacefully is beyond words.

But I also became aware that he did not respond to his name although he knows who he is. And he did not come to me when I called out for him. This made me worry. What if he ever really got lost? He cannot even tell anyone his name or where he lives. And if anyone found him maybe they would not even realise that he is nonverbal in the beginning. Maybe they would think he is just a shy or stubborn child and leave him all to himself. I cannot even tell you how horrifying these thoughts alone are for me.

So I began to search online for rescue wrist bracelets and I finally found some that I purchased. I will still sure as hell watch out for him to never get lost when we are on an outing. But you never know and it might still happen. And so I feel (really just a tiny bit) better.

I bought two different types: a simple one and one which is water-protected inside and can contain a lot of information. You can also write medical stuff in there, too. And the good thing is that the simple one cannot be opened with one hand so the kids should not be able to open it.

If you do not have something like this yet you might want to consider buying one, too.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Finish the Sentence Friday - 2: When I was younger

... yes, I know it is Saturday now but I was unsure to post this. I did not know if this is the kind of stuff anyone would want to read about or find funny or even think this is TMI so I asked for advice. And Kristi thinks it's hilarious and that I should use it. So if you don't like it please blame Kristi! ;-)

When I was younger I tried...

tampons for the first time. And my first time was a really embarrassing experience. Let me explain why.

I was 14 and on holiday with my parents on an island where I met this wonderful girl. We immediately became friends (and she is still one of my closest friends!) and "fell in love" in a BFF kind of way.

Anyway, the hotel was chock-full with English boys, most of them older than we were. Boy, we were soo enchanted by them! They were cool and really hot and we were just starting to feel the hormones of young adulthood ;-)

So one day we had a beach date with two of the boys and I was afraid I would not be able to go because I had never used a tampon but I would have needed one that day, if you know what I mean. I had used sanitary napkins so far. So I told her about my problem and she said that she had some with her and explained to me how they are used. And wow, I got it immediately and I was soo proud of myself!

Off we went to the beach with the boys and had a wonderful time there and loads of fun. There were huge waves on the beach that day which added to the fun and we jumped around in the water like crazy and, of course, my bathing suit would now and then leave its place a bit. When we finally were tired we got out of the water. Suddenly she screamed "OMG, the string of your tampon is sticking out of your bathing suit!" (of course the boys did not understand us) and I was like "WHAT?? Where is it??? Where is it??" and I started running in circles trying to find that string but I did not succeed. I am sure I looked like a dog chasing its own tail, running and running frantically after that string. I mean, there were not too many place it could be, no? And the boys who did not know what was happening looked at me like I was completely nuts. I am still so embarrassed when I think about it.

Thank you to Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine… and Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic for hosting Finish the Sentence Friday!

Next week's sentence to finish: "When it comes to reality TV shows, I..."

Liebster Award - times four! Wow!! :-)

Wow ladies, that was a surprise for me for sure! This week I was nominated for the Liebster Award four times in a row! How awesome is that?!!? I am beyond humbled and happy and thankful! And I really feel like I belong to a community of awesome bloggers, and this feeling of belonging to a community is something I wanted to experience when I started blogging. So, thank you once again with all of my heart!

The Liebster Award in yellow was given to me from Alana at A Boy Named Silas, from Misty at Meet the Cottons and from Kerri at Undiagnosed, but we are okay with that.

The Liebster Award in pink was given to me from Stephanie at Mommy, for real.

BTW, "Liebster" is German and can either mean "favourite" or "darling". In this case I would say it means favourite (like in favourite blog), but you could also say “My (Mein) Liebster” as a noun, for example when you talk to your husband and then it means “my darling”.

Seriously, I feel like an actress being showered with Oscars!!! Just the beautiful evening gown is missing as I sit here wearing my yoga pants but just try to imagine me wearing one. A long, black, one-shoulder gown with a lot of glitter and bling-bling on it. This is UN-BE-LIEV-AB-LE!! 

Awards always mean a lot of work and since I was awarded it by four different bloggers I have a lot of work to do and questions to answer!

First of all, here are the rules:

Liebster Award Rules

1. You must thank the person who gave you this award - DONE
2. You must display the Liebster heart on your blog - DONE
3. You should nominate 3-5 or 11 (there are different rules out there) up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 subscribers
4. Each person must post 11 things about themselves
5. Answer the questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you
6. Create 11 questions for those you nominate to answer
7. Notify your nominees and provide a link back to your post.
8. Don't give the award back to the blog that gave it to you.

4. So, here are 11 things about me (this is never easy for me because I almost cannot come up with anything interesting about myself):

1. I used to write a diary on a regular basis when I was much younger, I still have all of them and I love reading them from time to time (although they are sometimes really embarrassing!)
2. As a kid I often refused to open my mouth at the dentist. When I was older my dentist read my file to me and most of the time it said "she denied treatment"!
3. I love my iPhone and my iPad but I would NEVER buy an iMac! Seriously, this is the worst computer EVER for me! Sorry Apple followers! 
4. I cannot stand it when people don't say words right (once I was in the living room with my MIL and corrected the newscaster because she said something wrong).
5. I met my husband online back in a time when it was not normal.
6. I am bad at throwing away things and when I try to I always think "what if you throw it away now and need it next week?". But no, I am not a hoarder (or at least I try not to become one!).
7. I love to surprise my friends with thoughtful presents out of the blue. 
8. The Christmas tree is still up, but I took the ornaments down this week and will get rid of the rest of the tree within the next days. Hopefully.
9. I hate hot temperatures. Everything above 28-30 °C is horrible for me.
10. But I am always cold in the winter.
11. I prefer phone calls instead of writing e-mails. I am a multitasker and do most of my household chores during phone calls, whereas writing e-mails needs me to sit down and solely write. That's why I don't like writing mails that much.

5. The next part: questions I have to answer. Since there are so many to answer you might want to skip that section before you get bored. If you still want to know all the stuff about me, go on reading...

Let me start with Misty's. 

1. Name a food that you would not eat as a child, but enjoy as an adult. I really like beetroot now, but only as salad.
2. What was the last movie you watched or the last book you read? Last movie: "Silver Lining". Last book: "The Agency" by Allie O'Brien.
3. What is your favorite Girl Scout Cookie and why? Sorry, no Girl Scout Cookies sold here! ;-) But I love chocolate truffles.
4. Do you have a favorite movie soundtrack and what is it? "Grease" with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.
5. Are you "a little bit country" or "a little bit rock and roll"? More rock and roll.
6. Do you think it's weird that I sort my dirty laundry? Absolutely not because I do it, too! :-D
7. What is your favorite ice cream topping? Ice cream toppings are not common here. But I love banana split ice cream!
8. What word do you almost always misspell? Embarrassment and necessary.
9. Do you have pets? Unfortunately not, my husband is allergic.
10. Words to live by. Faith is taking that first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
11. Are you a social butterfly or a recluse? Social butterfly, but I need breaks inbetween for myself.

Now on to Stephanie's questions.

1. Are you superstitious? A bit (is that possible?).
2. What is your favorite part of the day? When the day is over and I can huddle up on the sofa with something delicious to drink and my blanket.
3. Name something you are really good at. English ;-) (compared to many others here, not compared to a native speaker probably). If you think this answer is not appropriate I can offer you dancing as my second choice.
4. Name something you are really bad at. Keeping the house tidy.
5. How much sleep do you need at night to get through your day? Sunny did not sleep through a single night before he was 4 1/2 years old and he still does not do it regularly but rather now and then. I think I got used to little sleep so when he has bad nights I function just as good as after a good night. I take as much sleep as I can get and make the best of it. 
6. If you could have any job, what would it be? I always dreamt of being an astrophysicist, work in an observatory and discover new stars.
7. If you could go on vacation anywhere for free, where would you go? Japan
8. What is your favorite thing about blogging? Connecting with other awesome bloggers
9. What is your least favorite thing about blogging? That as soon as my post of the day is published I have to think of the one for the next day... sometimes, when I am uninspired, it feels like being Sisyphus ;-)
10. What is your favorite movie? Dirty Dancing (oops...)
11. What is your worst habit? Procrastinating things until I have the pressure to finish them! I hate it but still I do it again and again.

Next: Kerri's questions.

1. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be? I would change the structure of my hair (from curly and thin to straight and thick).
2. High heels, sneakers or flip flops? High heels, flip flops or barefoot.
3. The Beach, the City or the Mountain? Definitely the beach! And I am so sad that we live so far from any beach! :-(
4. Who is your favorite singer/group? I really like Maroon 5 but I don't really have one favourite group or singer.
5. If you could vacation anywhere (expense is not a consideration) where would you go and why? Japan because I love the mixture of modern, traditional, and crazy and because I think the landscpape is beautiful. 
6. Do you mind that my blog is sometimes snarky? Not at all! Snarky is good and I like being snarky, too. It is just difficult to be snarky (or funny or anything else) in a foreign language, but I try my best to keep my writing interesting.
7. What is one thing we would be surprised to know about you? I guess what I look like ;-) because there are no pictures of me on this blog.
8. Favorite, guilty pleasure, TV show? Grey's Anatomy.
9. Favorite book or author? I like the books by Sujata Massey.
10. Do you admit to having a favorite child? Ha! This one is easy! Yes, I admit that I do, because I only have one child!
11. If you could replace your life with one from the Disney Channel which show would you pick? Sorry, no Disney Channel here.

Last but not least: Alana's questions.

1. Think of the day your child received his or her diagnosis. What is the first word that comes to mind? Since we do not have a diagnosis the first word that comes to my mind is frustration over the lack of a diagnosis (I used to be frustrated at the beginning of our search for a diagnosis. Meanwhile I am okay with not having one.).
2. Who is your favorite doctor, specialist, or therapist for your child and why? Our paediatrician. She knows Sunny since he was 8 days old (which was the day after we were discharged from the hospital) and I know that we are on the same team. She totally understands him and she does everything she can to help us with whatever we need. And she is always so tender when she treats him. I love her!
3. What symptom of your child's disability breaks your heart the most? That he is almost nonverbal. Because there is so much he tries to tell me. 
4. What symptom of your child's disability is actually somewhat endearing? How he speaks in his own language.
5. What is something your child is REALLY good at? He has got a magnificent commemoration! I am always astonished what he remembers!
6. In three words, describe how you have changed after becoming a special-needs parent. More tolerant, grateful and aware.
7. How has having a special-needs child impacted your spiritual life? It has not really changed anything, to be honest. I am not a very spiritual person although I do believe in God. But I do not blame him or hold him responsible or anything.
8. Would you take away your child's disability if you could? Why or why not? I would take it away because he would have it so much easier in life. However, I would never want to change his personality and who he is. But I would like to help him to struggle less in life and to insure that he can live independently when he has grown up. This would be the most important thing why I would like to take it away from him.
9. What is the most disrespectful thing anyone has ever said to you or your child? It was on a playground. Sunny walked around there and another child placed himself right in front of him, pointed at him, laughed out loud and shouted to his friend "Now look at that guy! Boy does he look funny!". Wow. That really broke my heart and I was so overwhelmed because I had not expected something like this. And it was the first time this happend to us.
10. "One thing I wish more people realized about my child is ..." awesome he is and that there is more than meets the eye!
11. If you were to articulate all the wishes you have for your child, what would they be? I wish for him to learn how to talk, to never stop progressing, and to be able to live an independent life when we are old and gone.

6. Now I have to think of 11 questions that my nominees have to answer. Here goes:

1. What household task do you hate the most?
2. Which positive event or situation from your childhood do you remember the most?
3. If you had a time machine to go back in time, would you change anything in your life? What would it be?
4. Do you do any sports?
5. Which famous person would you choose to have dinner with?
6. Name three things (not persons!) you cannot live without.
7. Something you would love to be able to do but never learnt or are not talented enough for?
8. What is your most favourite song of all times?
9. What would you do if you won 1 million Dollars in the lottery?
10. Your favourite meal?
11. What do you see when you look out of the window right now?

3. Ta-daaa! And now on the the award-passing ceremony! It was actually hard for me to choose the nominees because a lot of blogs I would have given the award to either received it within the last days, too, or they have much more than 200 followers or they gave the award to me. So I nominated 8 instead of 11. Some of them might have a bit more than 200 followers but I chose them nevertheless. After all, this is my Oscar night! While I have been reading some of them for quite a while, there are others that I just recently discovered and now I would like to know more about them! Please check them out!

My nominees for the Liebster Award are:

Tatum at Ain't No Roller Coaster
Annie at Simple. I Just Do.
Leah at Sunshine in a Hypotonic World
Rachel at This Journey Our Life
ProfMomEsq (sorry, I haven't found your name anywhere on the blog!)
Jacqueline at My So-Called High Functioning Life
Amy at Taking It Day By Day With Developmental Delays
Jeanie at Reinventing Mommy

Congrats to you! Please put a link to your response in my comments section so I don't miss it! You can choose the pink or the yellow award. If you have one of them already, just pick the other one.

Wow, I made it! This was hard work! ;-) This is probably the longest post in the history of mankind!

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Back in my teenage days I was a Heavy Metal girl. And we are not talking Bon Jovi and Europe or Whitesnake, although I liked some of their songs, too (and still do). No, we are talking the really hard guys like Slayer, Megadeth, Sepultura and, of course, Metallica, by that time one of my most favourite bands. And James Hetfield was my crush.

One of my most favourite songs was "One" by Metallica (and I still like the song and get shivers when I hear it, although I do not listen to Heavy Metal any more).

The last few days I have been doing some archiving of my old VHS tapes alongside of what I normally do. And one of them contained the video of "One", a video I had seen a dozen times and more in my former, younger life. I remember I even showed it to my English class when each of us had to do a presentation about some topic. And I chose "One" back then.

So two days ago, as I was typing on my computer, these videos of my former life were on the TV screen while being copied to my DVR. And when the first notes of "One" were heard I stopped what I was doing, stood up and placed myself in front of the TV to watch the video of the song I had loved so much more than 20 years ago for the first time again since then. 

But this time the video and the song struck a totally different cord in me. Although I knew the video very well and although I still know the lyrics by heart I was shaken to the core while watching it. Of course I already knew back then that the song dealt with war, with a life that almost everything was taken from, with an individual left helpless by professionals and doctors and every other human being around him, with the devastation and the desparation this individual suffers and with an end to the story that is absolutely horrifying. But it was not before the day before yesterday that I really could relate to it all somehow. And since then I cannot stop thinking about why it hit me so hard although it was nothing new to me that I saw.

I do not know if it is because I am older now and more comprehensive. If it is because I witnessed so much cruelty and brutality and horrible things that happened around the globe since I was young and carefree. Or if it is because some years ago I have dived into the world of special needs, gradually but steadily, and thus my universe was expanded in a way I never wasted any brain power on, being the healthy, quite intelligent, athletic teenager that I was. Because now my antennaes are out on everything dealing with special needs or disabilty. I actually notice people in wheelchairs or with other disabilites. I read stories about people with disabilities being abused, maltreated, institutionalised. People who cannot speak for themselves and who cannot defend themselves. People who rely on other people and who are let down by their caregivers. And these stories break my heart.

Back in my teenage days I thought this was just fiction. And although the subject is a different one, on Tuesday I saw the video with different eyes for the first time.

PS: Something weird happened on Tuesday with regard to this. I copied and saw the video on Tuesday morning. On Tuesday afternoon I saw a Facebook status update of Metallica saying that this exact day, on January 22, 1989, the video for "One" debuted. As I said, I hadn't see it for probably 20 years or more until Tuesday. What a coincidence.

PPS: The original film is called "Johnny got his gun". I found out I have it on VHS tape, too. I have never watched it so far and now I am not sure if I will ever be able to do so.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

I am busy right now: our AAC journey starts here

I just wanted you to know that I will not find the time to blog properly today. This post was written yesterday.

However, I also just wanted you to know that right now, this very minute, I am in a meeting with two kindergarten teachers and the guy from the company that supplies us with the talker. He is doing a training course with us on the talker and I AM SO EXCITED about that!

I cannot wait to hear what Sunny wants to tell me and cannot do so far. I hope he will soon find out how to do it!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Another shattered dream

Since Sunny was a tiny toddler and even before he even started kindergarten I worried about the school he would attend some day. I told our paediatrician about my fear of him having to attend a special needs school. She tried to calm me down and said that it was much too early to worry about that, that he was still so little and that there could still be so much progress in the next years. She asked me not to think about that for the time being but to concentrate on the now and to foster and stimulate him as good as possible, like she knew I already did anyway. I felt a bit like a fool because I worried about something still so many years ahead, with our future certainly unknow. Yet my gut feeling about it never left me in all these years.

Last week there was a meeting with Sunny's kindergarten teachers. In September this year, when school starts again after the summer break, Sunny has to go to school because of his age then. And as we discussed his possibilites it became clear that he would have to attend the special needs school that the kindergarten belongs to. And I have to admit I still have a very hard time accepting this. I cried most of the meeting.

Of course, in the end it is our decision which school he will be attending. But our choices are limited, with inclusionary schools and kindergartens still more a plan than a reality in our country. And him visiting a regular school is impossible. The classes are often very big, sometimes up to 30 kids or more. The noise, the peripherals, the large number of kids, the expectations of him sitting quietly in class for 45 minutes straight and learning stuff that is not individualised but following a strict plan... he would not be able to manage that. I am realistic enough to see that. He would be too consumed by all that would be happening around him that his attention would not be sufficient anymore to really LEARN something. He needs an environment that has little distractions, small classes like in kindergarten, clear structures and an individualised plan according to his skills. I know that. But it still hurts like hell. Of course you could think that maybe the school wants to talk us into something because it tries to keep its students (this is what is often said here, mostly of people who are not familiar with the SN system at all) but we were told exactly the same thing back in October 2012 when we stayed at a therapy facility for three weeks and I talked to the psychologist about the school question. But back then I heard it and did not hear it. Did not want to hear it. I was in denial. Because I still hoped it would not happen like that.

My dream had always been that we let him stay in kindergarten for another year and that he will then be able to attend a regular school after that year. But our kindergarten, being a SN facility, is not allowed to keep him for another year. School laws in our country are very strict, there are due dates depending on the date of birth when a child has to go to school. Homeschooling is not allowed here at all. In general, the prolongation of kindergarten is theoretically possible but it is not easy to get the permission and it is only granted if it is clear that the gap a child might have as a reason for the prolongation will be closed after the additional year. And, let's face it, this is not going to happen in our case. Because back in October the psychologist also told me that the gap had widened since she saw Sunny the last time - although he is constantly making progress, but not fast enough. I could fight for Sunny to be granted the prolongation and we might even have a chance. But he would still have to leave his kindergarten since they are not allowed to keep him after his due date for school so we would have to find another kindergarten for him and his needs and there is none. Apart from that I do not think it would be good for him if we transferred him to another kindergarten for one year. So we do not really have a choice but to accept this.

Giving up on dreams is always hard. So far this is the dream that giving up hit me the hardest. Living in limbo is like that, you never know what will happen or how things will develop. You hope and pray constantly and when another dream dies, one of so many other dreams you already buried, one you had for so long, one you really clung to, you grieve and mourn what will never be. I know I will get used to this like I always get used to the things I cannot change. How else would I be able to cope and move on but with hope and acceptance in my heart? And maybe I will even see the good in the situation eventually. But right now my heart is broken.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Monday is the new Sunday...

... this is what I thought yesterday night. Because it dawned on me that by Sunday night I am always so spent from the weekend. It is very exhausting to care for Sunny the whole weekend. He has increased motor agitation meaning that he does not sit still the whole day. In addition, he needs to be watched permanently and he wants to be entertained because he is not good at playing for himself. So from Friday afternoon until Sunday night this small bundle of energy wears me out in a way that I pass out on the couch on Sunday night at 21:00 pm at the lastest. And sometimes when I think how glad I am that he will return to kindergarten on Monday I feel guilty immediately that I wish my child away from home and I feel like the worst mom ever.

And today I did not even have time to regenerate a bit because I was out of the house by 9:00 doing grocery shopping and running errands around town the whole morning. This Sunday sucks! ;-)

But I am already looking forward to him returning home to me in about two hours again and when I think about that moment my heart skips a beat!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Finish the Sentence Friday - 1: Vacation

Finish the Sentence Friday

The last time I went on vacation...

was nice but pretty uneventful so I do not want to bore you with it.

But there was a time before Sunny was born when I took weekend trips with some of my friends from time to time. In 2005 we went to London and had loads of fun, some of which including a pajama party with Tequila shots at our hotel, a boat trip on the river Thames, schlepping two really lange boxes filled with top boots from my favourite shoe shop Shelley's to the hotel (and, later, to the airport, along with my big suitcase...) and generally walking around town because I love London so much.

When we returned to the hotel with me dragging these enormous shoe boxes along we walked past a construction site and were very amused when we saw where the restrooms were located. Seriously, isn't this the best place ever? And what was even better was that it only could be accessed with the hydraulic hoist. So I guess you better did not have any urgent "business" to do!

Thank you to Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine… and Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic for hosting Finish the Sentence Friday!

Next week's sentence to finish: "When I was younger I tried..."

Thursday, 17 January 2013


Dear friends,

I read about this thing called Crockpot EVERYWHERE! It seems like the holy grail to every decent housewife in the US.

So please tell me: what is a Crockpot? What can it do? Will it do my laundry, mop the floors, shave my legs, make the bed? If not, what is so special about it? And the most important question of it all: do I need one, too?

Yours truly,

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

I am so NOT Martha Stewart

Being undiagnosed can have a lot to do with genetics. Because it is possible that developmental delays are of genetic origin and that the gene causing the delays just has not been found yet. 

However, what I DO know for certain is that I am missing a gene. And this, my friends, is the decoration gene. I don't know what it is all about. I think I am a totally untypical woman with everyone else decorating their homes in a nice way and always corresponding to the seasons and special events like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter etc. Me? I fail. Again and again.

This occured to me again this morning when I was cleaning the corridor of our home. And there, sitting quietly amidst other things, was my proof of failure. Can you imagine that there is an Easter bunny sitting right there? And not in anticipation of the Easter season yet to come. No, it is actually sitting there since last year's Easter. Um. Now, maybe you would think it is a small and tiny Easter bunny and it can be missed easily? Well, thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt. But actually this Easter bunny is made of a tree trunk which is 54 cm (1,77 ft) high and has a diameter of 15 cm (0,49 ft).

Can it get any worse? Oh yes, it definitely can! As I already mentioned, Sunny finally loves the Christmas tree so I just do not have the heart to take the tree down. This means that there is this huge Easter bunny sitting in the corridor and the Christmas tree still fully equipped in the dining room. Oh well. 'nuff said.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The wave of influenza

I learned on the news that there is a really bad wave of influenza going on in the United States, especially in the New York area, and that a lot of children already died :-( This is so tragic and I think about these kids very often.

Sunny is very prone to infections. His immune system is quite weak and he is ill very often, especially during the wintertime. Therefore, we have him vaccinated against the flu every year as the flu might be too much for his tiny body and his weak immune system to handle. I know that the pros and cons of vaccinations are an issue that is hotly debated by parents. Some parents I am in contact with think that an influenza vaccination is exaggerated but as these news occured to me I was so glad that we do it every year. Yes, it might be exaggerated for other children but for Sunny it is just the right choice. We have to keep as many infections as possible away from him, especially those that can be really bad. And this is what the real flu can be to children like him.

I do hope and pray that none of you are affected by the flu. Stay healthy and well!

Edit: I just noticed that Ellen Seidman is blogging about it, too!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Taking a deep breath

I have been crazily busy last week so that there was not really time for blogging. I also fell behind on following my favourite blogs and I have a hard time catching up on them.

The next weeks are already full of appointments both for Sunny and me as I finally managed to make appointments for my skin and breast cancer prevention and one at the dentist. I made an appointment for the application of our Mother-Child Convalescent Care. I am also planning on taking yoga classes again. There will be a date with the kindergarten teachers about Sunny's transition to school in September and another date for the introduction of his talker. These are all in additon to Sunny's regular therapy schedule.

Somehow I feel worn out. The grey weather and the darkness make me pensive, sad, and tired. I hope my mood will shift soon to my more positive and motivated self again.

On a much lighter note, I had a wonderful evening with an old friend of mine on Friday. We had not been in contact for more than a year but when we met again it was like no time had passed at all. We indulged in delicious food and I spoiled her with one of my famous Cosmopolitans. So I stayed at her apartment until 2:20 in the morning. It had snowed while I was with her and it took me more than one hour to drive home so that I hit my pillow at 3:30. Being the early bird that he is, Sunny woke up at 5:30 which means I woke up at 5:30, too. To say I was tired that day was an understatement but it was totally worth it. It was so good to have a lot of laughs and fun that night.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Social media love

The past few days a status update has gone viral on Facebook in my corner of the world that I would like to share. Maybe you want to participate, too!

You have to copy it to your Facebook status and do what is requested. Here it is:

The first five people to comment on this status will receive a surprise from me at some point in this year - it could be a book, something home-baked, a candle, music, or another nice surprise! There will probably be no premonition and it will happen when I feel like doing it.

Here's the catch. These five people must make the same offer in their Facebook status. Let's do nice and funny things for each other in 2013, just for the reason to make someone smile and to show them that we thought of them. For a more friendly and joyful year. :)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

I must confess something

I feel guilty. And then again I do not feel guilty. Let me explain why.

We certainly all know the situation. In our case, it often happens when we are at the paediatrician, waiting for our appointment. We are not together with typical kids very often so this is where we meet NT kids the most. (And, unfortunately, we have never ever met any SN kids there. Although our paediatrician says that there are others she also treats. So it is always an isolating experience.)

You sit there and wait. And while you wait, it just happens that you notice the other kids in the waiting room, playing, drawing, going on the slide, as kids of their age do. And while you do not actively compare, you look at a child about the age of your kid or even younger and then it hits you like the blast of a hammer: this child can do so many more things than your child. You realise that younger kids are developmentally light years past your kid. It cuts deep into your heart, all of a sudden, without a warning. And you feel sad and wish your child could do that, too. And even more, at the same time you feel bad for not appreciating all the things your child has already learned and achieved. Things that doctors questioned he would ever do.

So I sit there, watch the scene and muse about all that. And then, suddenly, I see more. I notice how the boys act. Most of them act typical, just like boys their age do. Meaning that they are wild, are not considerate of other kids, want to show off whatever they feel is worth showing off: who can jump highest, who can go down the slide the fastest and in the most crazy kind of way, who can climb up highest on the play house in the waiting room. All the while glancing at the other kids: are they watching me? Can they see how brave and fast and wild I am? I feel a lot of (pre-)testosterone in the air and then it hits me like the blast of another hammer again: I am so glad that Sunny does not act like that! These kids and their behaviour are really a pain in the neck. Oh how it would get on my nerves to witness this the whole day!

I find all of this showing-off extremely annoying, maybe due to the fact that I am just not used to it and, yes, I am glad that acting the big shot is a concept that is totally unknown to Sunny. He never wants to impress anybody. He is reserved when there are other kids around, he would never fight if someone took a toy from him but rather step back and search for something else to play. If other kids are too wild he goes out of their way.

Sometimes I feel guilty for having thoughts like these about the other kids. Having learned that it is not okay to judge other children I try not to think these thoughts but sometimes I just cannot help it. And then I think about how often we are judged for Sunny's untypical behaviours and how often I am condemned (silently or with looks) as his mom because people think I have not parented in the right way or taught him an appropriate behaviour and how much that hurts my feelings. Just to make that clear: I do not in any way judge or condemn these parents or their kids, they just act naturally and that is okay, of course. In this case I am just glad that Sunny does not act like his typical peers. ;-)

Is it okay to be annoyed of things that typical kids do and being glad that he does not do that? I think it is. It is okay just like it is okay to be sad about things that typical kids do that Sunny cannot do (yet). And this is why I feel guilty and do not feel guilty at the same time.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

I Knew You Were Trouble

Check out this cool and awesome video and song! I found it yesterday and love it! I guess it went viral these last few days, so maybe you already know it. Anyway, these guys totally ROCK!! And doesn't the singer totally look like Julia Roberts, only with blond hair?! And I LOVE the long-haired guy, he really is in the groove! So cool! Gives me chilles each time I listen to it. I like this version much better than the original, to be honest!

Oh, and since the GEMA kindly :-/ blocked the video once again for Germany here is a link where I can see it, too:

Monday, 7 January 2013

Back to my own routine

The house was quiet today. Sunny had returned to kindergarten, the hubs had returned to work. And as much as I love my boys being at home with me, today it felt good to return to my own routine again. As good as slipping into a pair of old, comfy shoes or cozy yoga pants.

I worked a bit from home today, did some laundry, had a quick lunch that was totally unpretentious but just perfect for me as I did not have to cook for anyone else, chose a beautiful and cool handbag out of some handbags I ordered online, went to the post office and returned the rest, talked to one of my friends on the phone for one hour, and just enjoyed being my own boss today.  

I was going to put away the Christmas tree today as we always do that after Twelfth Day. Did I mention that Sunny is not interested in the tree at all? Well, that has changed within the last days. Now he requests me to turn the lights on as soon as he enters the room and then his eyes light up just like the tree when I do so. It is so wonderful to see him love the tree like that! It just took him some time. Now I would like to keep it some more days for him (but I would like to get rid of it). We'll see how long I can still stand it ;-)

So far I am also quite good at sticking to one of the things on my not-really-resolutions list: taking better care of myself. I returned to my skin care routine (something I like to disregard from time to time just because I am lazy), I floss regularly again. This week I will also call my doctors and make appointments for various check-ups. Being important to yourself feels good.

Hope you all had such a good start into the week, too!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

A few minutes of perfection

Totally love this video!

If you give a little love, someone else will remember... and give a little love to someone else! Random acts of kindness are so easy to give! But they may change the world, slowly but steadily. I really believe in this!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Where has the time gone? Aka I sound like my grandmom

Some weeks ago I told you about that scrapbook I bought when Sunny was still in my belly. As I said, it is to keep memories for the ages 0-5. So it was finally time to take his hand and foot prints again as he reached the age the book requests for the second pair of prints. We took them two days ago.

When I look at them I am totally surprised and full of wonder. When did he become such a big boy!? It was only a blink of an eye ago that he was a tiny, dependent newborn baby, small and fragile. Oh how time flies! And oh, all the things he learnt to do and be since then! My heart swells when I think of all his accomplishments!

PS: I will be back to posting regularly again when Sunny returns to kindergarten which is on Monday. 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2013: Good things in store

The last couple of days I saw it on various platforms: Pinterest, different blogs, Facebook... and it instantly resonated with me. "That's awesome, I want to do that too!", I thought and yes, I will be doing it. Because I am all about keeping good and precious memories that are normally forgotten too quickly.

I decorated an empty jam jar. It will come along with us this year. Every time something beautiful, good, meaningful happens, or every time Sunny learns or does something new, I will write it down on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. I am sure it will fill quickly And when I am feeling down and need an encouragement or, at the end of this year at the latest, I will open my jar and be reminded of the wonderful things that happened this year. Things we saw, we heard, we did. I just LOVE the idea!

This is the jam jar that is going to be filled with good stuff! Can't wait!
ProfMomEsq is even doing a blog hop for it! She calls the project "Resolve to be successful". Maybe you want to joint, too? On December 31, 2013 everyone joining it is going to post what is in his/her jar.

There are good things in store for us in 2013, of that I am sure, and I don't want to forget a single thing!

Happy New Year!

It is now shortly after midnight and, therefore, the start of a new year! Welcome 2013!

I wish each and every one of you only the best for the coming year. I hope you and your loved ones will stay healthy.

I hope that all our children will make good progress in the next 365 days.

I hope that our community will grow and that we will be kind, supportive, and good to each other. I hope that we all will experience lots of moments filled with magic, joy, happiness, fun, gratitude, laughter, and love with our families and friends.

Photo credits

Happy New Year, dear friends and readers! Thank you for taking the time to connect with me here! I really appreciate that! I wish you all the best! xoxo