Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Once again, the Riplets had a very eventful weekend. We were able to spend our holiday weekend with family- eating, playing, and preparing for Easter. On Saturday, we got to dye eggs (okay, actually just Addison dyed eggs with Isaiah while Jack and I played basketball) and hang out at Auntie Dawn and Uncle Mark's house.
Today, we got up and found a really fun surprise that the Easter Bunny left us. It was a basket for each of us with some new toys and a few books. We had a blast trying out our new things before church, then we headed out in our new outfits memere and pepere got us. After church, we went home to take a nap (mommy said so that we were ready for the big "egg hunt"...this we were so sure about. I mean, how do you hunt eggs?) and off to Auntie Dawn's again for dinner.
Here's some pictures from our weekend. Enjoy!
Addie & g'ma Jean
Me & my cousins
Getting help with the egg hunt
I really love playing basketball, can you tell?
Addie & Uncle James
Jack-in-the (sand)box
Addie swinging on her own!
Us with mommy

Isaiah dying eggs
Addie & Mommy

post signature

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bad Habits Start Young

I would like to preface this post by saying, I do not think my habits are all bad ones, but I do like the title, so I'm sticking with it. This past week we thought we'd be getting away with our daily routine sans the paparazzi, but of course mommy pulled out her point and shoot just to get some pictures. We spent the week getting used to a new routine that involves Jordan going to school all day (in my room, too...ummm what's up with that?!) while Jack and I are hanging out with mommy and still going to college 4 days/week. One of my favorite things to do now is bring all of my blankets off my bed in the morning and have mommy cover me from head to toe. I laugh and giggle the entire time she does it and then make sure that I still have eye holes just in case she decides to let us watch Sesame Street. I've also learned how to eat an apple all by myself! Mommy used to always cut our apples into sticks for us, but I really wanted to just take the whole thing and try eating it. I finally got my way and I have to say, its so much more fun getting chased around the house by mommy when I have the whole thing. She tells me she's chasing me to make sure I don't set it down somewhere and forget about it. I cannot understand why that would be a problem? I would love to find that treat later, it would be a great surprise. Jack's decided that he wants to eat all of the time. He asks to eat and always wants to eat a bowl of (get this) peanut butter. Just plain ol' PB. I gag each time I see him eating it with a spoon, but he loves it. This past week we also got to experience our very first Happy Meal from McDonald's. Up until now, we'd each just get a cheeseburger and share some french fries. I cannot believe mommy and daddy waited this long to give us "the meal" because did you know it comes with a TOY?! I have a sneaky suspicion that daddy has been taking our toys all along and finally decided to give them to us. Either way, we are really hoping that we get McDonald's every Friday. I mean, the first time we got to try Happy Meals was after Jordan finished his first week of full time school. I vote that he (ie: WE) get to celebrate this huge accomplishment every week. Finally, we got to spend a day at the park. We had so much fun climbing the jungle gym, steering the wheel, going down the slide and of course swinging! Here's a few pictures of our day. Enjoy!

post signature

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April is Autism Awareness Month

Mommy is back wanting to guest post today. How can we tell her no? (I mean, its easy telling her "NO!" when we don't want to listen or eat our veggies, but- its hard to say no about guest posting since she is the mind behind this blog. lol)

Thank you kids, for letting me take your spotlight today to talk about Autism Awareness. I think the Riplets would agree, its a subject that hits close to home for us. This year, two of the Riplets were diagnosed with Autism. Jordan was diagnosed in January, while Addison was just diagnosed this past week.

As a mother, I wasn't sure how to handle this topic on our blog and I was really confused on when was the appropriate time to mention it at all. When I realized it was Autism Awareness Month, I knew my opportunity to share our journey with Autism was finally here.

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you know that all three kids go to "college" 4 days a week. Well, the college is actually the Campus Autism Project or CAP and its an amazing program. Its run by an amazing professor who works with under graduate students, getting them hands on experience with kids that have delays. Originally, it was set up for kids specifically diagnosed with Autism, but since then its become a program to get additional help with speech and development for any child. My kids went into this program (Jordan alone at first, he had no verbals and we were concerned) very delayed and within just a few weeks, I noticed a significant difference in all three of them. After Jordan was diagnosed with Autism, we set up appointments for both Addison and Jack to be evaluated, too. Addison we already had concerns with and we decided Jack needed to be tested, too. We just wanted to be certain he wasn't slipping through the cracks since he had a delay in speech as well (turns out he has significant fluid in his ears and has a consult for tubes next week).

Now what most parent's ask us is "How did you know? What do I need to look for in my own child?" Autism is such a broad spectrum disorder that there are a variety of "red flags" or behaviors that could both be signs to look for OR could be a quirky time in your child's life. My first advice is, please don't read the signs my children have and assume the worst for your own. To get our diagnosis, we went through months of testing and specialists/therapists meeting with my kids. Also, both Addison and Jordan have Autism, yet both act very differently so not all kids have the same behaviors. Since I am not an expert on Autism, I recommend you visit Autism Speaks for more information or if you have additional questions you may want answered. I will do my best to answer any questions you have for if you have for me, but I am by no means an expert!

Here's a list of signs my kids (one or both) have shown that lead us to get them tested and diagnosed.

-Lack of eye contact

-Lack of speech or lost speech (saying words but then losing them from their vocabulary)

-Doesn't point to people, objects or pictures in books or wave (this was by or around 12 months)

-Lack of pretend play (not being interested in using the play phone properly, no interest in playing house or with babies, not using the toy cars or trains for their intended use).

-Self Stimulation or "Stimming". Mine vary on this, one does a lot of hand gestures (flickery or fluttering of hands) or movements and the other will spin items or spin themselves in circles (repetitious movements).

-More interested in the details of a toy rather then playing with the toy.

-Sensory or texture issues. Addison needs to touch or lick everything, even non-food items. Jordan doesn't like to get dirty, so he will avoid sticky or wet food textures unless its on a spoon.

These are just the signs for my own children, here is a complete list of signs you can look for if you suspect your child could be on the spectrum. The list I mentioned is from Mayo Clinic's website and it gives you a good idea of what you need to be looking for and what steps you should take from there.

I have decided to start my own blog about our journey with Autism, just so that this blog can remain a place for my kids and their adventures. My blog is just getting started and is called Organized Chaos. If you would like to read more about my thoughts and experiences with Jordan and Addison's journey with Autism, feel free to become a follower of my blog at .

post signature

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Children's Museum

While memere and pepere were here, we got to go to our local children's museum for the very first time! We tried to go once before, but ended up deciding against it because it was getting too late in the day. I'm so glad we waited to go with memere and pepere, because there was so much to do, we needed extra adults around just to keep us all together. Our children's museum has everything you could think of for kids our age, from coloring to a kid's grocery store (with a real cash register!) and our own post office. There was also a toddler section that had veggies and fruits that we could plant and harvest. Our favorite part of the museum had to be the water part though. The last spot of the day (mommy said it was a good thing, too because we were drenched by the end) was the water exhibit! We got to splash and splash and SPLASH all over the place. There were balls everywhere and we got to push boats around in the water, too. Daddy said next time we will need to bring a change of clothes because we each had to take off our shirts and just wear our jackets home because we were that wet. Mommy tried to get a few pictures of us (okay, really she took like 200 photos) but her camera was acting up and she said she only got a few that turned out. Lucky for us, her camera is now "in the shop" being repaired so we are off the hook for good pictures this week.

post signature

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Visit from Memere & Pepere!

Last week (while mommy headed to a girl's weekend to Savannah, GA), our memere and pepere flew out to see us from Boston. We were so excited to see them and I kept trying to figure out how they got out of our computer (we always Skype them, so seeing them on our laptop is how I always see them) and why don't they do that all of the time?

While they were visiting, the weather finally turned warm (for Wisconsin, that means in the 40's) and we decided to head for a walk to the nearest park. This was our first visit to any park this year and boy was I excited. Addison and Jordan were excited, too but I really wanted to swing and go down the slide so I figured I must've been the most excited. After playing for about 20 minutes, I accidentally fell down and landed in a huge puddle. I was really mad it happened, because everyone insisted we had to head home then because "poor Jack is going to freeze-to-death". I have to say, I doubt I would've froze to death but I guess grown ups know best.

Lucky for us, memere loves to take walks, so we got to go in our choo choo wagon every afternoon when we woke up from our naps. In fact- when mommy got home, we insisted she take us for walks each afternoon, too. If she tells us "no", we just tell her "bye bye! bye bye! bye bye! BYE! BYE!" until she finally gives in.

Besides spending a lot of time outside, we also got to enjoy some of memere and pepere's home cooking. Jordan was most excited about memere's chocolate chip cookies (I'm not gonna lie, I really loved them, too!). Daddy really loves pepere's red sauce and he even got to learn how to make the infamous meatballs that go into the sauce, too.

Here's a few pictures of the week. Mommy has a few more, but we're saving those for another post this week. Enjoy!

post signature