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Friday, October 28, 2011

Equipment is being ordered!!!

I ordered some equipment for Brendan's therapy room this past week. Since everything takes at least 6 months to come in it should work out perfectly. I ordered Brendan a Rifton dynamic stander. I am so excited for this one. He can stand and wheel around the house while standing. I knew we had to have this as soon as I saw it. It will be great for his leg muscles and I will be able to keep him occupied so much easier than with a typical stander.

I ordered a wheelchair multidesk so he can work on his homework, computer, or just play with toys. He can wheel right in and sit comfortably. He has a t.v. tray in his room now and he doesn't look comfortable at all while sitting at it.

I also ordered a new kaye therapy bench since he outgrew his last one. Insurance won't cover exercise equipment...go figure. Isn't exercies what these children need to gain strength and overcome challenges in life? Why will they cover a $3000 stander but not a treadmill? It doesn't make any sense to me. Anyway I will buy him a treadmill with front and side handrails. I already have a huge therapy mat, a yoga mat, and a bolster so I think his therapy room will be set!! I am super excited this is all coming together.

I took out a bunch of books at the library to get more ideas for his bathroom. I want it perfect for him! My contractor is amazing and is really trying to make sure everything fits nicely and works out for us in the best possible way. He spent an hour here the other day just measuring inside the garage. It looks like we have to make some changes with door placement due to the ramp in the garage. It is causing some tight areas so we may go with a verticle lift instead. I guess they cost about the same by the time you are done. It will take up much less space and I won't be worried about hitting more door into a ramp everyday.

I have no idea what our house will look like in 6 months. It will be so different but life will be so much easier. Brendan will learn to do many more things independantly. He will be more comfortable in his wheelchair and get the therapy he needs!

Friday, October 21, 2011

PASS Program and Brendan does NOT need Botox!!!!

I had 4 appointments yesterday, three involved Brendan ~ the story of my life! I worry sometimes that I revolve my life around him too much but sometimes I realize that it is simply impossible not to.

I finally was able to go to my training program for PASS yesterday. I have been trying to go for months but the timing has never worked out for me. The PASS program lets me hire someone to come to the house and work with Brendan for up to 20 hours a week. I struggle with the thought of this but as life goes on and becomes busier I realize it may be a good thing for our family. I worry the girls will one day resent Brendan for steeling so much attention. As it is he has Therapy on Thursday, (sometimes in the pool with jealous girls watching) hippotherapy on Saturday, (where he gets to ride a horse) and Special Olympics on Sunday. None of these things cost us a dime and are all great for him but from a siblings point of view I am sure they look like all fun activities that he is involved in. They are involved in nothing because we simply can't afford gymnastics or dance class. I will work on this because I feel it is important that they have some activities as well. Actually Chloe is involved in girl scouts so she does have one activity. phew! :)

Part of me worries that his sisters will see this as something else Brendan gets but I hope in the end it allows me to shift some of my attention onto them. Basically I hire a worker which the state pays and we come up with an IEP (basically) for him. They work on three maing goals with him: self help skills, socialization within the community, and safety. I am excited about this change in life and I really hope I can find someone our family really meshes with. I hope I don't feel guilty someone else is working with my son while I am home. That is something I have to get used to. I have to realize sometimes I am not superwoman and sometimes this life is difficult! I honestly hate admitting that!

Botox ~ Brendan had PT yesterday and then his 6 month appointment with his neurologist, they are in the same building. We were there for 3 hours but Brendan did amazing. He loves everyone that works there since we see them once a week. Everyone also loves him and gives him special treatment. The neurologist's assistant constantly gives him a special snack after his therapy and always comes to say hi to him. He has a little crush I think. He wheels around like he owns the place. He colored a picture for the assistant and she hung it up near her computer, so cute. The Dr., his physicaly therapist, and I all agreed that he does not need Botox yet!! It has been one full year since his last round. He has gained so much progress since his PERCS surgery this past April and we are still seeing the benefits. I am super excited. I am so happy he doesn't have to be put under in the near future and super happy he doesn't need this because his legs did not get tight enough to need it. He is gaining strength and walking better than ever before. He hasn't walked well since his major hip surgery when he just turned 5. I am finally seeing major improvement and am very impressed. Recently he started walking a little odd but I realized he is walking this way so he doesn't trip over his feet. He is compensating all on his own which is huge for him!

I was feeling overwhelmed yesterday after the PASS meeting. Sometimes the reality of life hits you but I wound up having a great night with some weight lifted off of me. This child of mine is amazing and has come so far in life and I know that isn't stopping anytime soon!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Coupon deal of the week! Flat Tire & My Back!

Coupon deal of the week for me was at Shaws! My total came to $73 after all savings and let me tell you I was nervous. The budget was very tight this week and I didn't want to spend much. Just by using coupons my total dropped to $37 and I got a $10 coupon to use next time!! I impressed myself. Just from coupons I got 2 free toothpastes and 4 cans of tuna.

Deal of the week: Shaws had an offer...spend $25 (after all coupons) and get a $10 coupon towards another transaction. I should have broken up my transacations and used the $10 towards my other items but I hate doing multiple transactions. I apparently will never be an extreme couponer!

What did I buy: 6 boxes of green giant vegetables, 3 boxes of toaster strudles, 6 boxes of brownies, 4 boxes of pizza rolls, 8 boxes of fruit snacks, 1 macaroni grill boxed meal, and 4 boxes of betty crocker instant scallop potatoes.
These items came to $28 after coupons so I got my $10 back which technically means 32items cost $18 or $.56 an item.

Only 4 like coupons will double at this store so you have to be careful how many of each item you buy.
Coupons used:
$.35 off one pizza roll which doubles
$.75 off two boxes of brownies (which double)
$.50 off two boxes of fruit snacks (which double)
$1 off 3 boxes of vegetables (used two)
$1 off 3 toaster strudles
$.75 off macaroni grill dinner (which doubles)
$.50 off two boxes of potatoes (which double)
Total coupons used just for this section: $17.80

Yesterday I got a flat tire. I have to drive over 30 minutes to pick up my son to drive back over 30 minutes to bring him to school when he visits his dad mid week. I wasn't in the mood as it was this week and then I get a flat tire. I had 5 YES 5 screws in my back tire. This tire was obviously unrepairable and cost me $321!! So much for saving with coupons this week. I questioned why I bought the sport van when I found out exactly how much this one tire cost. Not to mention no one had the tire in stock, not even Toyota, Thankfully Town Fair Tire was able to get it delivered that same day. I was 45 minutes from my house so we hung around the area all day. Brendan even got to skip school. My x husband met me at a gas station and actually changed my flat for me!!!!! I was shocked. He doesn't usually say two words to me nevermind help me out. Some other guys that were making a delivery at the gas station even offered to help (before my x arrived) which was awesome. People aren't usually nice around here. My x was struggling getting the tire off and a person delivering gas helped us out too. I must say I was impressed with everyone helping me out yesterday. :) I honestly do not think I would have gotten that tire off myself. Although you never really know what you can handle when you have to.

It was nice to spend the day with two of my kids. We had to run around searching for a tire but then we had to go to the DMV which surprisingly didn't take much time at all. We then went out to lunch together at Subway and walked around Target. The tire was due in after 1pm so we headed back and hung out there for a while.
Overall it was a good day except today my back is killing me!! I lifted Brendan way to much throughout the day. I counted a total of 13 times getting his wheelchair in and out of the van. However, I probably couldn't have gotten out of bed today if I was actually lifting that wheelchair and him into and out of my old van all day! So I am beyond thankful I have my handicap van even if my tires cost over $300 each. I am not looking forward to replacing those bad boys!

Today is supposed to be rainy which means me and Makayla are relaxing! I will probably clean and do laundry but we are not leaving the house!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Coupons Coupons Coupons!

I have been couponing for the past few months. I am not entirely sure when I started. I don't think it has been 6 months yet. I already have a stock pile in my basement. I spend less each week than I used to yet I have so much more food and household products. It feels great!

I quit my job in February so I could care for Brendan after school. He had no where to go after school anymore. There are hardly any places for disabled children to go. I have no idea how parents work full time. I guess we could have tried to work opposite shifts but I am a total family person so I wouldn't be happy. I decided to coupon to save money and buy more for our buck. We have a tight budget every week and lately I have been under budget.

Next week I have a goal at one grocery store. I will buy 26 products from fruit snacks, toaster strudles to a Macaroni grill dinner for $17. Once you start to coupon and have a stock pile you can shop based on sales combined with coupons. I still have to buy my fresh produce and meat but in the end almost everything else I buy is just to stock up on. For example I have 14 jars of pasta sauce, over 30 boxes of pasta, 13 bottles of bodywash, 7 shampoo/conditioner/16 deoderants and on and on and on. I get toothpaste, floss, toothbrushes for free. I usually pay around $1 for shampoo, deoderant, body wash, razors and other items. It is really amazing what you can do with coupons. I might post a deal of the week each week if people are interested!

I will post some pictures of my stockpile. :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Life has been crazy!

Some things I don't feel the need to publish yet but lately life has taken a toll on me. September was not a good month to say the least. I am trying to push through and continue on happily like I always do. I am getting there.

Fortunately we have a big project going on to keep my mind busy. We are putting an addition on for Brendan. We are renovating his current bedroom into a handicap accessible bathroom and adding a new bedroom and therapy room attached. The process has started. It is a bit overwhelming and will continue to be so I imagine. I am not the best at making decisions so I am sure once they start inside I will be beyond overwhelmed! Brendan loves watching the big machines come in. He calls them all workers and loves to knock on the window and say hi to them. He loves when they wave back. He loves the trucks and all the commotion. He has begun to bang on our house walls again as he did when my brother in law did some small projects for us in the house. He is excited about his new bathroom and bedroom. He pretty much ignores the therapy room.

Brendan will basically have his own wing. A space for him to grow into. I am sure he won't do therapy forever so that room can become his own space. Maybe we can even put in a small kitchen one day so he can live at home but independantly. Only time will tell. I am thrilled we can do this for him and he can learn to become as independant as possible.