Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Little Secrets

I giggle even thinking about this post. 

On Sunday, my oldest came up to me while I was sitting in the dining room and wanted to "tell me a secret".  Excited that he was possibly confiding in me, I bent over.  This is what his secret was, "Is 'ASS' a bad word?".  I paused (trying not to laugh or get mad that he just cursed) and whispered back, "Yes, it is a bad word and we don't say that word."  That response apparently was suffice, because he then said, "OK" and walked back into the living room to watch his TV show.

This morning, as I am laying in bed trying to psych myself to get up and get ready for the day, N comes into our bedroom only wearing his underwear.  He says to me, "I have a secret for you" and then proceeds to say, "Can you make me look like Justin Beiber?"  Awww!  I got out of bed, melting at how freaking cute N is, and walked into his room to pick out a Justin Beiber-ish outfit.  We picked out the jeans we think he would wear, a cool t-shirt and I confirmed for him that - Yes, Justin Beiber wears socks and sneakers.  He then followed me into my bathroom, wanting his hair like Justin's.  Now, I am not a fan of Justin's hair style at all, nor does N's hair really look like his at all.  I took some of my husband's hair gel and messed around N's hair a bit.  Eh, it'll do.  Oh wait - I forgot something - Justin Beiber wears sunglasses so N had to grab his super cool red sunglasses.  I wish I took a picture.  It made N feel so good to "look like Justin Beiber".  I remember those days - but with me it was Madonna.  Time flies.  I'm old.  LOLOLOL

(I also made a point to tell my husband that when he picked up N from school to comment on how much he reminds him of Justin Beiber.)  :)

Just so you know...this was the only "decent" picture I found of Justin Beiber in terms of hair styles...it's a lot more clean cut.  LOL

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Trader Joe's is Coming to Florida...

...across the state in Naples, but it is finally making its way down to the Sunshine State!  The next closest Trader Joe's is in Mt. Pleasant, SC so I think we will visit the Naples one first.  :)

Let it be told that I will continue to email the people at Trader Joe's on how badly I want to have my own store here on the East Coast of FL.  

Check out their website for great recipes and tips (and maybe email them too...for me!)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cucumbers...Who Would Have Thought?

I love cucumbers!  I had some in my Jimmy Johns sandwich for lunch today, actually.  My mom sent me this email all about cucumbers and I had to post it here!  Very interesting...

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C,Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber React with the aluminium to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been Used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick Meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also Rrpels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath.  The phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a Slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove Years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm You fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Who Doesn't Love a Sale?!?

POP UP SALE!! The Cascading Chains at 50% off, Cross Necklace at 30% off, and Toujours earrings at 25% off!!! Add these deals to the customer special and, check some gifts off your list at a steal!! Shop here: http://www.stelladot.com/danapeller

Friday, November 4, 2011

You are Your Child’s Advocate


Beginning with N’s 9 month well-visit, and every well-visit thereafter, I would ask our pediatrician if it was odd that N wasn’t producing any sounds and would also projectile vomit if I gave him any food remotely solid. He would say that every child develops differently, and that N would eventually “eat cheerios” and say “mama”. Finally, (and I am embarrassed to say it took me even this long), at his 18 month well-visit, I requested a prescription to have N tested for speech and feeding delays. I knew N the best, and knew that there was something up…

We took him for a speech evaluation in November of 2006 and he was diagnosed with speech and feeding delay. It was there that I was introduced to Florida’s Early Steps program (many states have similar programs). Early Steps is an early intervention program funded by the state that helps children acquire the therapy they need (until the age of 3. At 3 years of age, the child gets turned over to the school system for any needed specialized schooling and therapy). N started private speech therapy until our ES evaluation on December 22, 2006. I remember that day as if it was yesterday – we were brought into a room with 3 therapists and a psychologist and were basically bombarded with questions about N’s daily routines, behaviors, etc. All the while, the therapists would take time “playing” with N to better observe. When they told Rich and I, at the end of the review, that N was approved for speech and occupational therapy I was so happy I could cry! I knew from that point on that N was going to be able to get the training and attention needed to get him on track.

We took him to a pediatric neurologist at the Dan Marino Center here in Weston, FL to confirm that there was nothing neurologically wrong with N. We met with a psychologist there who diagnosed N with PDD-NOS. They recommended a genetics test (blood draw) which came back negative (yay!). He underwent an EEG and specialized hearing test which came back negative (thankfully). We visit the neurologist every 6 months for a check-up and she is very happy with N’s overall progress.

I found out about the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) – they are a nonprofit organization that offers behavioral and other therapies for children diagnosed with Autism and other PDDs. We now see a behavioral therapist there who helps us understand and communicate better with N. He gets very frustrated when you cannot understand what he is trying to tell you and would express his frustration through hitting and throwing objects.

He started with the therapy through ES in January of this year. He goes to speech 2x a week for 30 minutes, occupational 2x a week for 30 minutes, as well as physical therapy 2x a week for 30 minutes (for range of motion). He is now starting to speak – he says “car”, “cool car”, “hat”, “door”, “this”, and “carousel” – when he’s at the zoo. He can sign a few words to aid in communication and we have a picture book that helps with the rest of his daily communication needs. His range of motion in his neck is great – he still favors the left side so we are continuing that therapy until that releases a bit. N still only eats pureed foods, but he can feed himself with a spoon now! I see improvements in him every week.

Long (very long) story short, I have learned that I should have never waited as long as I did to get N tested. I should have pushed harder, but am glad I didn’t wait any longer. I know it may seem like we went through so many different tests, but they were all to make sure that N was going to be diagnosed properly and get the best care he could ever receive. I still, to this day, research different organizations and support groups to learn as much as I can about PDD and what I can do to help N. Through conversation, I am referred to all kinds of friends, cousins, etc. that have helped me better understand PDD and that gave me great pointers, exercises, and books to read.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We Stayed at the "Lickilodeon Hotel"

This past weekend the Peller clan took a short vacay north to Orlando.  We loved Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party so much last year that we had to go again this year!  The only difference was that this time we decided to try out the Nickelodeon Hotel, as the kids are not into their many cartoon characters, like Phineas and Ferb, Spongbob Squarepants, Diego and Dora. 
The entire ride up, the boys asked "How much longer?", "Are we there yet?", "What exit are we getting off at?", "What mile marker are we at?" - multiple times.  Of course this was because they were so super excited.  This was one car ride that they didn't really want to watch their DVDs...needless to say it was a LOOOONNNGGG ride. 

Once we (finally) arrived, the boys were basically freaking out with excitement!  "We're at the Lickilodeon Hotel!!!"  (that was my little one...I asked him to repeat when he said and sure enough it was "Lickilodeon".)   The boys bounced all over the lobby, waiting for us to get our room key.   We unloaded the car and off we were to our room.  The hotel is large...there were all outdoor hallways, something I am not totally fond of, but that's OK.  We dropped our bags off at the room which looked like a redone Holiday Inn suite, with a mini kitchen area, pull out couch, bathroom and 2 bedrooms.  The kids' bedroom had two twin beds with a mural of Spongebob across one wall - and no door.  Interesting...

The weather was cloudy and yucky so we decided to skip the super large water park area and head out to the "Mall".  Along the walking path to the mall there were different Nick character statues.  Once inside, there was a Starbucks (YAY!), some food vendors, a 4D movie theater, kids' spa, arcade and auditorium like room.  My little guy was afraid of the 4D movie (I think the arm/chainsaw that came flinging out at us did the trick) but once it was over, he was all smiles at the arcade. 

The outlet mall and dinner followed, and we were back to the room by 8:30pm.  The boys loved the fact that they had their own room that had a TV in it.  They unpacked all of the toys that they brought in their Toy Story rolling luggage, and felt right at home.  The best was when I looked in their room and noticed that they brought a picture of themselves and my husband, from home, to make it feel "more like their room".  (On an aside, when my husband went away on vacation and the boys slept in my room, they brought their pictures and put them on my nightstand...it was really cute). 

The next day we hoped to play in the water park portion of the resort, but the weather dictated otherwise so we were off to Hollywood Studios.  This was the first time the boys went to this particular Disney park, and they loved it.  From the Disney Junior play to Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground, the Toy Story ride, and finally the Star Wars ride, we had a blast!  (Star Wars was hands down the favorite of all of them.)  On the way back to the car to go to the hotel and get the costumes, the boys fell asleep giving me time to run into some of the outlet stores and speed shop. :)  That should become an Olympic sport. 

Mickey's party was great, as usual.  Once the boys woke up, they dressed up (Optimus Prime and Spiderman) and the fun began.  We trick or treated throughout the park, had no waits on the rides (awesome!), and watched one of my most favorite parades.  By the end of the evening we were spent. 

We are already planning next year's trip up to Orlando for Halloween, but this time we are ALL going to dress up.