Monday, May 23, 2011

Lost in the Madness

*phew* I have been missing now for 10 days. Not to good of a blogger I guess. But Life has somehow found a way to overtake things.
Along the way we made a trip to WV for my mothers Spring Egg Hunt. (Yes weeks after Easter.) and I took my sister and the babies on a road trip to Lynchburg, VA. Fun and exhausting. We were pretty sure at one point we were going to end up in a slasher movie. It was the perfect plot. So we made a plan. We told Little Baer to make sure he took baby Baer and ran when the Wrong Turn 2 crazies came and Mommy and Auntie would fight them off. LOL
But, alas we never were slashed and nothing too exciting happened except I was a movie star for a day. It was totally fun and it went great. Except I didn't get my fresh pinneaple cut in 1 inch squares and didn't get the brown M &M's picked out for me. So, I explained I must renegogiate my contract. HaHa I was told they would double my pay. Which is awesome! 2 x's Zero is well.....Zero. So all is well in the non profit world. LOL
Bike run this past weekend went well and MLH raised some much needed funds. We had a great day and things are good.
Otherwise busy rearranging schedules for the dreaded summer without school. I always think they shouldn't ruin summer with that arrangement. I'd rather have my winter ruined.
Well off to get some exciting things done. Like laundry and yard work. You're jealous. I know. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Day at the Zoo

So some of my mom friends and I decided to take our little ones to the zoo today while the older kids were in school. We are out manned with ALL the children and would probably need a day care clearance or something to take them all together. 5 moms....11 kids....Didn't sound appealing. So, off to the zoo we went this morning. Little Baer decided he had to walk, which would have been great if he actually would have walked WITH us. He was way more interested in his shadow then any animal at the zoo and basically followed where his shadow took him. Holding hands was a bit of a challenge as well. He dropped like a hat when you grabbed his hand. (And threw his hat quite often as well) So I carried him on my shoulders for awhile (He was super happy, but my hair was taking a beating and eating literally) So....walking with us moms herding him without grabbing his hand was the fun of the day. We stopped for lunch, which carried another see, I brought our lunch, but as soon as he saw there were french fries there...FORGET IT. He had to have french fries. So....We bought fries and i ate his lunch. He ate fries.

Baby Baer talked and hung out in the stroller. Happy for the most part all day. Which was good. 7 children to keep track of with 5 moms was still a task. We counted each kid (OK I counted each kid haha) as we moved from one area to the next. Hoping that one of the 7 I was counting was really ours and not someone elses. Speaking of....School trips were today and man oh man kids are out of control. The teachers apparently were out manned more then we were because the kids were running around like zoo animals.

Little Baer of course couldn't be left out of the Zoo key card club! He could put it in the boxes and hear about the animals. Except...he really didn't care about doing it. HaHa so I spent $2.00 on a necklace. He loved it though and wore it proudly all day long! I need to remember to keep the key card and take it to our next zoo trip. Unless they change the codes every day so they don't work the next time in order to suck the parents out of more money.

Little Baer's FAVORITE part of the day was the aquarium where he could see the fish and splash with the sting rays. My FAVORITE part of the day was my girlfriend taking him thru the underwater tunnel crawling. And then having to pull him out because he wouldn't leave. She was a hot mess afterwards. It was priceless really.

Little Baer and Baby Baer were sleeping before we hit the parking lot and are still sleeping now. I'm exhuasted but what a great way to spend the day with friends. It was well worth playing hooky from therapy for and playing hooky from housework. Days like this will be memories made forever and this house will be here tomorrow. I did try to throw some therapy in with animal sounds and signs. And he sure got enough physical therapy in for the week walking as much as he did! So somedays you gotta just say what the heck....and Go for it! And Spend the day at the zoo!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Manic Monday

Mondays are crazy here. And why? Mostly because I do it to myself. You see Monday is the day I always "think" is a good time to schedule things. Or put things off till..."Oh I'll do it Monday" "Yes, Monday works good" on and on I go. Well today I had scheduled 5 appointments. What was I thinking? OT and Speech this morning for Little Baer, along with a Dr appt for myself. Then dinner cooked and laundry done (Remember I'm still commanding that army) and then off for Little Baer and Baby Baer pics and another Dr. Appt for Brother Baer. Home for a quick dinner, bath, Wii (sticker chart reward) and then off to bed for the 3 baers. Then cleaning the rest of the mess up has left me crazy tired.

Good news of the day is that we got some awesome pictures of the little ones. And I can't wait to get them and share!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Positive Reinforcement Plans

I told you you might learn something! :) I thought a great blog post to start it off right would be our positive reinforcement plans here at home. As you know shaping little brains is hard work. Children respond so well to positive reinforcement. (So much better then negative!) Now, truth be told I yell too. But it's really not effective. That is more for my personal satisfaction of believing that I am in charge since I can scream louder. (Which by the way...I am not in charge, and mostly can't scream louder.) So instead I am the Sticker Master...

We have an entire wall dedicated to this process. (plus extras in spaces i'll show later...) First you must set rules! These rules are the House rules. And are followed by everyone. (Yes, even the sticker master) ...

They are basic rules that allow everyone to feel safe and loved in the house. And are not excluding of anyone. These rules require and demand immediate action here if they are broken. Time outs in his room are what Brother Baer gets for breaking them. Everytime, consitently. Little Baer is redirected and told the proper way to act. (He's a little young for punishment) And then baby Baer and Goldilocks thankfully aren't in the applying rule stage.

Remember....too many rules and you muddy the water. If your always correcting you not enjoying. So pick a few and stick with them till they are mastered. Then you can move on. Now we move to praise! And praise here is in the form of stickers...with rewards...

Each completed Task is rewarded with a sticker. If the task isn't complete, there's no yelling or screaming...there are reminders...but then there is no sticker *muhahahaha* So...the little monster complies for a taste of the sticker....for the reward at the end of the rainbow...

Mostly each reward level is granted about every other day. Which works nicely. It also works nicely that Brother Baer has no concept of money and a Matchbox car is an awesome present on private mommy time (Note to self: Change that to $2.00 toy next time around...I would go broke) Everything for the charts were purchased at the dollar tree. I spent $13.00 on EVERYTHING and have enough stickers to last for months and months. I change the wall monthly though to ensure that boredom doesn't set in.

Then we have some fun learning things on the wall. Brother Baer works with Little Baer to teach him his ABC's and numbers. We can also use the number chart for math and the ABC chart for speech and spelling.

So that's our wall of praise! We also have 3 other tools that we use here. One is a feeling monitor. How are you feeling....on a scale of green (happy and awesome) to Red (MAD MAD MAD) and then we process those feelings as they occur. Yes you must be a therapist too. A degree would be helpful, but you can wing it like I do. Chances are they will need therapy when they grow up anyways. LOL (Don't we ALL?) And then you won't have to pay for it.

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Then there's the "I rock jar!" This is a fast moving fun thing...catch them doing something good...and point it out, and drop some rocks in their jar. (I use glass pretty rocks from the dollar tree!) This is filled usually daily. If not twice a day. And the reward is immediate, and something fun...fruit snacks is Brother Baers favorite.

And the last thing we have is our goal chart...It's a GREAT day to.... And have them fill in the blank. What can we do today? Be nice, make a friend, play outside, soak up the sun! Whatever they feel is a good goal for the day. this is posted right beside our front door. So it's the last thing we do before leaving for the bus!

War on Laundry

So, on this Mothers Day as the world is safer from the acts of terrorism. This home is over run. It's over run by the little socks, underwear, and towels that all my amazing little monsters leave behind. Everywhere I look it's there. On the floor, the tables, the beds....actually not EVERYWHERE I look....there is none to be found in the hamper. You know, that thing that is designed to hold laundry of the dirty kind.'s all clear there. Funny how that works. Silly commander mistake #1...setting a designated spot for things.
So as of today with my army of Tide, Downy, Bounce, and Spray and Wash i shall commence that we will win this threat of laundry. I have organized the home base known as "Camp Whirlpool" and set in motion "Operation Tide".........Wish me luck.

Welcome to my world

So, here we are. A "typical" American Family. Full of craziness and love. Oh but of course there is nothing typical about us, except that we put the function in dysfunction. There is Pappa Baer who works hard and supports, protects and loves his family. Momma Baer (That's me) spends my days cleaning, cooking and loving...oh and organizing therapies, play dates, support groups, raising awareness, advocating, Volunteering full time for Mended Little Hearts and trying not to loose my mind. (Which I'm WELL aware has probably already happened)
There is Brother Baer who is 6. Full of love and spunk. Loves to play outside and believes that I'm his best mom ever (Thankfully his "other" moms aren't so awesome!) Brother Baer has Autism and we spend alot of time trying to put the pieces together for him. He loves baseball and Wii (who doesn't love Wii)
Little Baer is 2 and is the most amazing pure example of LOVE that there is. His smiles, cuddles, and kisses are seriously second to none. There is never a time that he doesn't light up the room and those around him. His belly laughs are to die for. He is a true Warrior and has Down Syndrome and a Congenital Heart Defect. He has changed my world. From the day he was born he has been a leader! He is destined to greatness.
There is Baby Baer too! She is 3 months and is my little social butterfly. Smiles and coos and love pours from her soul. She loves to giggle and smile and watches her brothers closely. I'm sure she's learning alot from them. (Probably alot of tricks to tantrums and getting her way....but learning none the less)
And finally there's Goldilocks. She completes our family. She is my first born and is now an amazing young woman. Full time college, full time work, learning to navigate this world on her own and making me proud. (Although there were YEARS that I wasn't sure she would survive, or I would survive, the pay off has been great!) She's a blonde and it shows. Not only in her looks but her amazing way of being funny without even trying. Her plan is of greatness too....She is going to need to take care of me in my old age and lord knows that will be a chore. I don't plan on taking that lightly and I figure I can sit in my wheelchair and use my cane to smack people and laugh...I mean that should be a good payback for giving up the fun now...Right?
Well...that's it! Welcome to my world. I hope you enjoy the ride. You might learn something along the way and I promise entertainment as most of our life people would never believe as true.