RIP Jack

It's never easy to lose a pet, especially when he was only 7 months old, just a puppy. On Friday January 27, I came home to find my dog was not in the backyard like he should be. I immediately was annoyed knowing he jumped the fence to chase a dog or squirrel. He had done this before but he came back or our nice neighbor brought him home. We searched for him and asked our neighbors but they hadn't seen him. The thought that came to mind was animal control picked him up and now I am going to have to pay to bail him out! But then a very sweet police officer called me and came to the house to talk with me. He informed me that Jack had been hit by a car in front of our house by an incredibly broken up distant neighbor who did the right thing and called the police department. I just lost it. Broke down in tears blaming myself for thinking about petty fees and that I was annoyed with his energy of jumping the fence and felt terrible that my puppy, all energy and sometimes annoying habits but incredibly sweet puppy, was now gone.
I took this picture last week.


Heart of the Matter

Update on the lil' Mags heart condition.

Maggie has finally broke the 40 lbs mark! That's right I'm excited about my child gaining weight... this is excellent for a variety of reasons. One being that the procedure which would go through the blood vein through her leg is an option versus opening her chest up.

Pro's of Leg Procedure:
Small scar - on her upper thigh, no one will ever see it!
only a couple stitches - compared to many more on her chest :(
less pain - morphine still required absolutely and will be completely sedated.

It looks like they can schedule the procedure to occur in June which is perfect with my school schedule and hopefully by then she will have gained another pound. One can hope right?!?

Lana Del Awesome

Disclaimer : I listened to everything I could find of hers and fell in love with it. Then I watched SNL and although I will never pay to see her live, Kuddos to the unbelievable engineers and producers who created these fantastic tracks!

I like music that sounds different from the same old top 40 you hear on the radio or in Target. I search iTunes and read music blogs and try to keep my music eclectic. I came upon this woman, Lana Del Rey.

Mixture of electronic, blues music. With dark and haunting lyrics. Beautifully different.


My Baby Girl

Today I took my baby girl to the Children's Heart Clinic of Minnesota, which I will go into more detail in my next post. But this post is all about my love of photo apps and my favorite subject - Maggie.

Maggie wasn't too excited about her doctor's appointment...
Waiting for her heart echo...

The blood pressure cuff has to be her least favorite...
Post echo. On the positive side in her room they have ESPN on the TV to watch. Negative - strange computers and jelly on chest with probe poking chest and ribs that she did not care for.
Post traumatic experience in need of Mum
My beautiful baby girl
I love you! I'm sorry that you have to be poked, probed, sedated, monitored, asked a million questions and have to meet new doctors, nurses, receptionists constantly. But I know you will be healthier, stronger, smarter because of all these experiences.
Ever yours
Ever Mine
Ever Ours


Artistic Expression

Tattoos - Taboo or Skin as an art median?!? Well seeing as this is my blog, therefore my opinion. (I have total creative control, Mags is cute factor) My opinion is that Tattoos are a beautiful and artistic way to express yourself. Deeply personal and should be done after much thought and consideration to placement, size and meaning.

I Understand the argument that you are permanently altering your body. I respectfully disagree.

I am not about to go out tomorrow and get full sleeves! However I have decided on a couple of designs that are personal. Specific to events in my life. A part of who I am.

These are my thoughts and rules on getting a tattoo
1. Any action or thought that is permanent should take place in your normal and sober state.
2. Names - think twice
Children, parents, siblings(you like), grandparents... possibly pets but I'd stop there
3. Location, Location, Location
4. Going into a shop and choosing butterfly design #16 is not only lazy but unoriginal - it's your tattoo and therefore should be unique to you!
5. If you work in the music or the restaurant industry - Ink It Up! Otherwise, perhaps refer to #3

More pictures to come but I would love to hear your opinions on the matter:)


Lincoln Park Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo is in downtown Chicago, free to the public and open 364 days a year! It's fantastic and full of cool animals. Maggie and I ventured downtown to explore the new gorilla habitat. No surprise Mags liked running free with the wind n her face and licking rocks more than the gorillas but it was fun getting out and having a new experience.

I never knew how geologists could be so fascinated by rocks! Apparently Maggie understands...
The gorilla was as fascinated with Mags and she was with him :-)

Anything in water is a winner for this lady!
And of course... SNAKES. She loves them. As long as they are behind glass I'm fine with them too. But hear my words child - No pet snakes!
Then She mouthed everything! I have given up on germs. The fact she is not constantly sick reminds me she has an amazing immune system and with all her other challenges I am grateful for an iron immune system!

Her awesome pointing skills! Makes me smile to she her progress!

Caught in the act

Sleep, Sleep. One of Maggie's cutest signs that she uses often. She loves her sleep. And when she is ready to sleep - that's it! She is done! However sometimes she is just cute and wants alone time or when she is really worked up and on the edge of meltdown, she will even give herself a timeout. So when she asked to go to sleep...
It was adorable finding her sleeping on a pile of pillows softly snoring in her cute girly way.
Still breathing, I checked.
But then after a short time I heard laughing. I hear active sounds as if she was playing.... hmmm now pillows and a bed have never sparked active time for children before right?!? HAHAA

This was the look she shot me when I opened the door - Deer in the headlights... busted!


Play Date

A Play date is a strange activity where typical children want to play together... A play date between two autistic children... is a tolerance of each other in the same room playing with similar toys and maintaining each others personal bubbles! Mags has a friend from school, Maxwell who is just the cutest child on the planet, who is her perfect play mate.

1. He loves Trains!
2. He doesn't like to be touched.
3. He will make eye contact at least once an hour which is enough for Mags!
4. He has a house full of trains, cars and airplanes (all things Maggie loves)

Today we spent several hours enjoying Maggie and Maxwell playing together. And by together I mean in the same room and making occasional eye contact :) They are sweet together. And being around other parents who experience the same situations that I do make it seem.......... REAL. Real in the sense I'm not the only parent who has these experiences. both kids were 'Stiming' on the floor. Mouthing everything! Throwing, crying, melting down over nothing and chewing on my clothes and crying then laughing all while I am trying to understand her 'signs'

It's not easy - But I'm not alone!


Maggie AKA rapunzel

A Haircut is usually a simple, non-eventful activity. Nothing is uneventful or simple with autism. Maggie has had two haircuts in her life, both something out of a horror movie. SO... her hair is longggggggggggg. Something out of a movie long. And surprisingly minimal tangles. 'Tangled' - clever name for a movie :)

But hey, she's cute and she always lets me put it up in a messy bun or ponytail even braids. So Im not going to lose sleep over the issue.

The girl pulls it off!

Car Rides

Do you dread taking your child for rides in the car? Have you ever referred to your child as a 10lb terrorist? Well then do we have a lot in common! When I brought Mags home from the hospital as a baby, she cried but everyone knows that's what newborns do! However as time went by and with each excruciating road trip, changes had to be made. I would plan trips to the store while she was at therapy or have my parents watch her if I needed to run to the bank. Even short trips were miserable. Now I don't have any brilliant solutions but I can tell you, when she was finally big enough (20 months) to change car seats to a forward facing seat, life got better. I mean not drastically at first but gradually. Baby steps! And I am happy to say there is light at the end of the tunnel - this sweet child was happy the majority of the road trip from minneapolis to chicago! What more could a mom want?


Vegan, gluten free cookie decorating? Why, yes! That sounds like a fabulous and fun idea... Of course after being creative and trying to figure out an activity Maggie could participate in, she had no interest. The adults though, had a highly enjoyable time! We made stars, trees and other nontraditional creations.
The creative process
Urlacher, defensive player for the Chicago Bears - Can you see the resemblance?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season. Happy New Year!