Monday, November 12, 2007

Halloween Pictures

I finally found the charger
Here are the pictures, like I said before, pirates=not happy
Wait a minute... are they kissing?
Nope, they are fighting. This is what they are doing now. Fiona must chin Bianca and in turn Bianca hits Fiona with her head. Then they both cry. Then mama makes them kiss, and they forget all about it. Until a couple of minutes later.
Oh, but look... here is Diego and Baby Jaguar to the rescue!
And that smile fixes everything.
Happy Halloween!
Maybe next year.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Playing Outside

Yesterday was such a beautiful day. The weather was perfect for eating outdoors. So that's just what we did. Lela made "porotos granados" and we had lunch out on the back porch.
The little ones loved being outside all day. They played on the hamock to the point that I had to take it down because they were so excited that we had to save their little heads from hitting the floor a couple of times.
They played with bubbles and really had a wonderful day at lela's house.
At night as I was getting the girls to lay down (for the third time) Bianca looked straight at me and said Te Amo. Totally made my night. this is not the first time she has said those words. It is the first time she says this without me saying it first, and pretty much begging for her to say it back.
I don't know wether or not she knows exactly what she is saying, and it doesn't really matter because she said it to make me happy. She said it because she loves me.
Have a beautiful, loving weekend.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Its been a while

Just a "short" update:
My trip to Chile was great. The wedding was beautiful. There was nonstop dancing until 5 AM, only because they kicked everybody out at that time.
The rest of the trip was very relaxing. Just what I needed.
While I was gone, the kids did very well with daddy and Gina. They were happy to get mama back too.
Ethan is doing great in school. He does his homework without any major complaints and learns his vocabulary words quite fast. He seems to be 'getting' the whole reading thing lately.
Fifi has given us all a big surprise because she will be reevaluated in order to place her in another class, because the teacher feels she is ready for the next level. We do not know where she will be placed. We do know that it will be another school, so we will have to deal with the schedules again. We have been reading up and the next level would mean a classroom with a few normal children as well as autistic ones, where they will focus on social skills and communication. We are so berry proud of her.
The meeting is November 21st
Bibi is doing great. she continues to show progress. The teacher believes she will benefit from this class until the end of the year. She did say that she will probably be going into another class for the next school year. Which is very encouraging because at the beggining of the year she thought the girls were going to be with her for both Prek years.
Hallooween came and went and it kind of got away from us. I have not been able to post the pictures because as I was getting ready to do it my camera ran out of batteries AND of course I cannot find the charger. Just one of those things where I know I put it away some where all nice and comfy, and now its just waiting for me to remember where. As soon as I do, I will post the pictures. I will say that they are not great pictures. The girls were going to be Cinderella (B) and Snow White(F), but when it came time to put the costumes on they did not tolereate them, so instead they were pirates again. The benefits of having children who grow mostly tall and not wide. Ethan was Diego. He was a very good Diego and was saving animals all over the place. He even had his little baby jaguar. We did not go TT because there didn't seem to be much going on out there. The girls were not in a good place and mama was alone with them, and that's just not enough hands when little pirates are having fits. It was so dead that we had only one "kid" who was about my hight, come to the house at about 8 when I was getting ready to put everybody down. Ethan took it very well and he is already planning next year's costume. For now he has decided to be Tom and Jerry. I know its a year away but this kid does not change his mind very easily about his costumes. He takes it very seriously.
In the meantime I leave you with this, Dan and I were leaves for a halloween party. So if you just have to see somebody dressed up, here we are. I think we are just as cute as the kids.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The Z kids were visiting for the weekend

Ethan and I made cupcakes for chilean independance day. We made the little flags ourselves too. He made this snowman cupcake because yes there are so many snowmen in Chile on September 18th. Lela made empanadas. So so good.

Stashi got an accupuncture treatment which apparently was a bit uncomfortable. It did help with her cold though.
I think she enjoyed looking like a unicorn for a few minutes.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

More good things

Ethan has gone back to the ENT and his hearing is getting much better. His treatments are working and they won't need to put tubes in his ears.
The girls are doing great they are playing so much more with little man. He loves to make them laugh and it's the cutest thing. IMG_6126.JPG
Bianca has a little friend at school that likes to feed her. He puts her cheese in her mouth and also helps her with her water. Apparently they are adorable. IMG_6147.JPG
I whish I could go to school and watch them. They do so many things. They dance, play, color, paint, they have a little water table where they fish letters out, they all walk to the cafeteria holding hands with their lunch boxes on their arms. They have a very cute class. They are the only girls and they are the tallest apart from one little boy who is already four. The class seems to be at a similar level. The teacher says she is very happy with her class this year. There aren't any kids with aggressive behaviors, and they all seem to work together quite well.
School is really helping the girls and I am so thankful for this program.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Still Here

It’s been a long time since I sat down to write on this little blog.
We got back from vacation, and haven’t had much down time since. It’s a good thing we were able to have a little time off before the insanity began.
The kiddies started school. The girls had their EEG’s that same week. We had Ethan transferred to the girl’s school. Dan started school yesterday, so now coming home at 8:30 is the “early” night.
We are settling into some sort of schedule now, and the kids have been wonderful through all the changes.
Ethan really liked his first school and was not sure about having to switch, but he has adjusted very well and I think this school is a little better for him. The class is smaller, and the teacher seems to be more experienced.
He gets a weekly homework package that he has to bring back on Fridays. He does most of his week’s homework on Monday so he doesn’t have to do any more homework during the week. He’s a mart little guy.
The girls are doing so well. Their teacher is great, she has two autistic kids of her own (which is the reason for her becoming a special ed teacher) and she loves her job. She loves all the kids in the class and it really shows. We get little reports back every day, which makes me very happy. They look something like this:
My appetite today was: Good/Fair/Poor {except for the first day, which was fair} its always Good.
During rest time I slept: Yes/No. This one is always No. But now they are laying down the whole 30 min.
My mood today was: Happy/Playful/Cooperative/Tired/Fussy/Sad/Uncooperative. This one is always Happy and Playful. The first couple of days they got a Sad and an Uncooperative. Understandable I think.

I am now preparing myself for my trip to Chile. I’m having a lot of trouble with leaving everybody for 2 weeks. October 5th to the 17th. Dan will be going to school during the day, while the kids are in school. Then we are having my “aunt” who’s not really my aunt but my second cousin I think, she is my dad’s cousin’s wife. She will stay with the kids while Dan goes out to see some patients. Sounds like we have it all figured out doesn't it?
Gina, my “aunt cousin” is great, she has 5 kids so she knows a little something about kids. She also has a little 6 year old, Gisel, so Ethan will have someone to play with. Gisel’s best friend is autistic so they also know a little something about dealing with the girls. She will be coming over during the next weeks so the kids will get used to her, and she can see the kids “in action”.
I’m sure there is a lot more to tell but right now I just want to get something out there.
I have been updating the pictures, so even if there is nothing new on this site you can always check the flickr site.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Another Long Post

We took Ethan to the doctor on Wednesday. He gave us a nasal spray for him and wants to see him again in September. The doctor was pretty good answering our questions and is supposed to call Dan back when he reviews the results of the hearing tests.
Ethan of course is the one who remembers his spray in the morning because mama forgets.
We went to the bookstore to find his summer reading books (which we did not find by the way) and we bought this very good craft book, “My Book of AMAZING CRAFTS”, and he has been nonstop. Its great because all you need are scissors and glue AND I don’t have to sit with him apart from sometimes helping him with the directions he can do it on his own and is very good with it. I may have to go back and get another book so he can have something to do on the drive up to PA.
He had his first sleep over at his cousin’s house two weeks ago and did fairly well. He promised he would not cry and didn’t, although I was told he really wanted to at one point because he wanted to go home :(. He held it together and didn’t fall asleep till 1 am, but over all it was a success, and he may do it again soon.

Our sweet Bianca is getting so big. There are clothes that were big on her last week that now fit her perfectly. She is becoming more aware of the world and is learning so quickly. I was able to teach her some colors in about ten minutes with pompons. She now likes to tell me the colors of things. It’s very cute. She is also going through the “naked” stage. I cannot keep clothes on her. Ethan calls her ‘jungle girl’. Last night when I went to check on them before going to bed she was sleeping on her bed completely naked. The funny thing is, that she has no problem with me putting her clothes on, but then will take them off in a few minutes.
She continues to be very affectionate and now plays with Ethan quite a bit. She even gives him unsolicited kisses, which make Ethan very happy of course.

Our beautiful Fifi is full of surprises. We had our placement meeting for her, and were asked to bring her along so they could meet her. Dan was able to come this us. It was the same people that I had met with for Bianca’s meeting. Fifi charmed them immediately even though she was not very happy about being there. The speech pathologist was very concerned because it is so hard for her to communicate, which frustrates her so much. She made sure that if Fifi doesn’t start to communicate better by the first grading period that they will provide her with a “speech aid device”. We are not sure what that means right now. She will be in the same class as Bianca. Which from what they were able to explain to us is a mixture of different therapies. They use some ideas from ABA, Floortime and TEACH. They also use the PECS system and they are very structured. Fifi will also have 60min. of speech therapy a week.
As they were all writing their reports and we were waiting for our copies, the speech pathologist went to the computer with Fifi and was showing her a game that teaches the letters, which Fifi really liked. She told Dan that Fifi might already have some reading skills.
Dan sat with the speech pathologist as I was signing papers and was able to ask her about extra therapies for the girls. She suggested for us to wait and see how the girls do in school before getting them involved in extra therapy. She said that sometimes people try to do too much and the kids end up overwhelmed and still progress very little.
We believe that she may have a point and will wait, since school is starting very soon. I think that the girls are going to do great. They learn so quickly and I am reading all the books. I have four at the moment: One on ABA, one on Floor time, one on brain damage and “Autism: a parent’s guide”. Thank you Christie. I think that with school and the things that we can do at home with them they will be able to get better. If we see that they need more help after that first month in which we are supposed to have a meeting with the teacher, then we will look for more things to do.
Coming back to our little Fifi. That same day when she brought me the doodle pad to draw for her, I wrote CAT instead of drawing a cat. She said cat, I then wrote FOX, she said fox, she was able to read COW, DUCK, HORSE, and a few more. She recognizes the words, and yes they are all animals. Thank you Baby Einstein. It’s very cool though.
She has been a delight the last few days and between yesterday and today she has been going to the bathroom. Like she did with walking, she took her time and waited till she was ready. Great timing too, because they were going to teach her at school. Now, they don’t have to. She seems to be realizing that she can communicate with us, even if it’s by just pulling me towards what she wants or putting my hand on what she wants to do. Like putting my hand on her pajamas' zipper so I will take it off. So we have a little less meltdowns.
Over all we are all doing well and we are learning a lot with our little ones. They are learning new things each day and we are learning to be more patient and understanding and it is making our lives a little easier.
We will be gone next week end, and I will be back with many more pictures from our trip.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Here we go

I have so much to talk about.
I had the meeting to discuss Bianca's test results. It was with the staffing specialist, a psychologist and two special education teachers. It was determined that Bianca needs special education and will be starting a program this school year. The program is called Self-Contained/Reverse Mainstream Classroom. Here is the description:

The prekindergarten self-contained classroom may serve one exceptionality exclusively, such as a class for children with autism, or it may serve more than one exceptionality with 4 typical Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) children referred to as a reverse mainstream class in a full day program (8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.). Although all children placed in a self-contained classroom are disabled and may be functioning at various levels of abilities, each child's individual needs are met in the daily program. Children have opportunities to interact with other non-disabled children through a variety of different experiences such as eating lunch, playing outside, cooking, reading, or field trips. Many classrooms have 4 nondisabled children who participate as age appropriate role models (through a screening process) for the children with disabilities.

In order to provide an appropriate program for this population, a child-adult ratio of approximately 6 to 1 is recommended (a class size of approximately 14 children with one teacher and one full-time aide/assistant).
Sounds good, and I am hoping that it is as good as it sounds. They all knew the teacher of that particular school, and they all agreed that she was great. She also has two autistic children.

We should have had Fifi's meeting at the same time, but they had an open spot and called me last minute not realizing that they were twins. They should be calling soon for Fifi's and we will be more prepared with questions as to what kind of approach they use etc. Hopefully this time they will call us with enough time so that Dan can come with me.

We went to the Neurologist yesterday where we were told without a doubt that the girls have autism. He said he would not even put them in the PDD category. They are definitely autistic. Which broke my heart yet again even though I was not expecting any different. It just doesn't get any easier to hear those words, no matter how many times you hear them.
They need to start therapy as soon as possible. He recommended ABA therapy, which is not surprising since it is the only therapy recognized by the "community" for Autism Spectrum Disorders, and speech therapy. He also evaluated Ethan and concluded that he is perfectly fine. He does have some comprehension issues and recommended a comprehensive speech evaluation. I think he is still having trouble hearing and that is the reason for the confused look in his face sometimes. So he has an appointment for the ENT on the 25th, and then we will go from there.

We are now looking for therapies for the girls, which will be done at home by me. I have already spoken to somebody at an ABA therapy place and got some information.
We also need to look for a speech therapy program. I'm looking at a lot of books I will be getting on therapy approaches and will also be taking seminars courses etc. so that I can do everything I can to help my little girls. I have created a wish list on Amazon with some of the books I have looked at in case any of you are interested. It is an old list so there are a lot of other books that have nothing to do with autism in there also. I will be posting the names of the books I have and have read in case anyone is interested in borrowing them.
I am going to create some PECS for them too. These are little cards with pictures or drawings on them so that the girls can communicate better. They use them a lot with autistic children because it is understood that they are very visual, and since it is hard for them to speak they can use pictures to communicate.

There is so much to do. They start school August 20th and I'm so sad they are going to be there for a full day. I wanted to keep them at home as long as possible. They are not going to the same school as Ethan and they have the same schedule so we have to figure that out too. The schools are only about 10 minutes from each other.
I'm also not looking forward to Ethan getting lots and lots of homework as I have heard is the norm nowadays. How will I be able to give him my attention and help when I also have to work with the girls on their therapy? Curve balls all over the place, but we will find a way.
It is a lot to deal with but I know we can do it. The more we do now, the less we will need to do later, and it will all be worth it.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

We are Back!

We had such a great time this past week. We couldn't have asked for better weather. We were able to go to the pool every day, and even twice on some days. We played mini-golf almost every day too. The kids had so much fun playing in the water. Ethan was soo happy he kept telling us all that he loved us. He got to play with his big cousins who were very helpful and would watch him when we were in the water while Lela and I watched the little ones. The girls would not stop smiling the whole time they were swimming around. Bianca just sang the hole time and Fifif was sure she could swim. We did take some pictures in the pool, I should have them soon. The girls were also very good about leaving the pool. There were no major meltdowns.
Dan went up to get us on Saturday and we went to The Magic Kingdom. It was the hottest day ever. We survived and had a very nice time doing it. We asked for a handicap pass so that we would not have to wait in line. It was a great idea. We were able to get in to all the rides almost right away and the girls kept it together pretty well. Leaving the rides was trickier, they had meltdowns at the beginning because they didn't want it to end of course. They got the hang of it by the fourth or fifth time. They realized that we would go on to something else.
Bianca's favorite ride was It's a Small World, and she would cry and try to go in there every time we passed by. Ethan says his favorite one was the jungle boat ride where we saw the elephants, hippos, Tiger, and snakes. Fifi I believe also liked It's a Small World. She went and sat on her own, and was dancing to the music. She looked very happy in there.
The Dumbo ride was great too. Bianca would say "Yey elephant!" and clap while we were waiting in line.
Over all it was a successful trip, and we are very glad to have been able to take our little ones on vacation where they got to do so many fun things

Friday, June 22, 2007


We (the kids and I) will be in Orlando all week. Dan is driving up with us tomorrow and will come back on Sunday. We will be at Lela & Lelo's time share for the week and then Dan will come back to get us.
We are planig an escape to Disney next Saturday before we drive back home. This will be the first time we take them so I'm very excited. I will have lots of photos to show when we get back... I hope. I sometimes forget to take pictures when we are away. I just get a little too raped up in the moment but I will do my best. Until then...

Yanek and Stashi
will be with us too : )

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Wonderful Father's Day

We had such a nice day on Sunday. We left to the beach around 11 AM and didn't return home until 7PM. It was a beautiful morning. The kids played in the water, and in the sand. It rained in the afternoon so they also played in the rain. We went home and had cake with Lelo. It was the perfect end to the day. They were so tired that as soon as we got home they went to bed.
I have so many photos I want to share with you that I have posted them on Flickr. You can view them
here Enjoy!