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Walk for Autism Speaks

Jun 12, 2015 - 0 comments

On Sunday, June 14th, we are participating in the Walk for Autism Speaks in support of my son Michael and other's who are affected with Autism.  If you'd like to support us, we would be very grateful!

Thank you!

Or go to:, search for team "Michael's All Stars of Hope."  

Cancer, Autism, and everything else...

May 05, 2015 - 2 comments

It's been really difficult trying to keep up with everyone and I just wanted to try to get a new journal up while I have a few minutes.  

As most of you know my dad's cancer has returned after 21 years, something we certainly never expected.  We certainly didn't expect to be going through cancer again so soon after my mom.  It's been difficult because it took us awhile to get results, doctor's visits and finally a treatment plan.  So far there have been just a few bumps in the road but for the most part my dad is doing well.  His third round of chemo treatments start May 13th.  He goes for three days then another Pet Scan to see where we are at.  Then those results will determine if we need to change anything or keep going.  All I can say is that now that I am the main caregiver for my dad, there are so many things my sister and I missed during my mom's treatments and I wish I could turn back the hands of time for some do overs.  And yes, I am the main caregiver for my dad.  My dad decided to do treatments at a cancer center close to my home and moved in with us during this time.  It's been challenging and I had to make some adjustments to my schedule, so I stopped my classes in January.  I plan to start again in June God willing I can do this.  

In the meantime, my boys are getting so big.  We are having their 3rd birthday party in May and this year's theme is Western Cowboy Theme.  I'm even going crazy and getting a pony! What the heck, they are only 3 years old once.  Alex is talking up a storm and he attends day care every morning 9 to 12.  Michael has been doing very well with this therapy and is now up to 7 words! This is huge for him but he still has a way to go.  In a few weeks we will find out what program he will qualify for to go to school full time (9 to 3) with our local school district.  This program is a full day of ABA therapy and is what he will need to continue to improve.  At this point I don't see Alex qualifying but I may put him in full time where he attends now.  He absolutely loves it.  

I've been through so many changes the last few years and many of them have been difficult to get through at times.  I miss my mom terribly and without her to talk to its even more difficult.  I've cursed every one from the donor, to the agency, myself, the fertility Gods, everyone when I'm upset over Michael.  I don't understand what went wrong and I'll never accept this for him.  I try to manage my feelings but sometime I just lose it.  Every day with a special needs child is such a challenge but I love him so much I will go to Hell and back to get him whatever help he needs.  It's difficult enough taking care of twins but when one of them needs added attention, it's harder.  

But we are planning on walking in the Autism Speaks 5 K walk on June 28th.  We formed a team for Michael, "Michael's all stars of Hope" and we are raising money as we speak.  If anyone would love to join us for the walk if you live in the tristate area, please send me a message and I'll send you the info.  I am hoping to reach our goal of 1500.00.  

My husband's father is finally being released on Thursday.  After being in the hospital since January, and rehab, he is finally going home.  He has  a long way to go and will need continual physical therapy but at least he is home.  I can't tell you how hard it was when dh was in Florida every three weeks for three weeks to help out.  I was doing everything and I was exhausted.  

I think I covered everything and I hope to be back on here touching base with everyone more individually soon.  I think of you all often and pray that all of your dreams come true.  

Mariah Carey - Do you care that her pics are photo shoped?

Sep 30, 2014 - 4 comments

Below I will be posting a few websites for you ladies to refer to.  After taking a look at the pictures please answer as many questions as you can.  Answers can be short or long and everything will be confidential in my report.

1.  Please state your age range
            over 40
            over 50
2.  Female or Male

3.   City/State, you reside in, doesn't have to be exact.

4.   Marital Status

5.   What kind of messages do you think is being sent by this advertisement for Mariah Carey's products?

6.  What kind of messages do you think is being sent in Mariah Carey's  photo's being retouched?

7.  Who is the suggested audience of this message?  What age group do you think they are targeting? Will other groups be affected by these ads?

8.  How do you think these advertisements/pictures/messages could affect women's health?  Is this necessary?

9.  Could this message be sent more effectively in a different format?  How could this company still achieve their goal?

Thank you so much ladies, I appreciate anyone who is interested in helping out.   It's a little time consuming, and I appreciate you taking the time, I know how busy you all are.  

I will keep you updated on the progress :-)


My boys

Feb 13, 2014 - 12 comments

Hi Ladies,

It's been awhile since I wrote anything about my boys,  It's been hard with my mom passing to talk about anything other that that.  However, there has been other things going on and I have a few minutes before I start work so I thought I would try to get this done.  
Back in October I had my boys evaluated by Early Intervention.  I didn't think there was anything specifically wrong with either of them but my best friend who is a nanny thought that they should be doing and saying certain things by that time and she was starting to worry me with it.  I talked to their pediatrician and she advised that she usually waits to the 18 month visit before determining if they should be evaluated but if I wanted to do, it was ok to get it started now.  
Some of my friend's concerns were they were talking or saying 10 to 15 words back then (that was October which they were 17 months then).  I thought it was a little unrealistic because I thought they were still too young but being a first time mother and with her experience I figured she knew what she was talking about.  
The one thing I did notice was a difference between Michael and Alex.  Alex is more focused, willing to sit and play with you, generally catches on so much quicker.  He's not picky with his food, willing to try new things and takes direction pretty well.  Michael on the other hand, is not focused, consistently in motion and picky with trying new foods.  
After they were evaluated in October, it actually took so long to get their therapist in.  They just started in January.  Michael gets OT 1x a week and DI, 2 x a week.  Alex only gets DI once a week.  
They are both doing well with it, however, last week the DI therapist brought a behaviorist to evaluate Michael.  He is recommending that we have a Pediatric Neurologist to take a look at him.  He said just to be sure and have him checked for other issues.  He said not to get overly worried, it could just be he is just delayed in development.  So now we have an appointment next Saturday, the 22nd.  I have no idea what to expect and I'm scared.  That's why I asked if anyone had any experience with it and what you can share with me.  
In the meantime, Alex is saying more words, playing make believe, and generally doing very well.  Michael has tantrums due to his lack of communication but we are working on it with the therapist and they are slowing down since we started a month ago.  He is not saying any real words but babbling up a storm.  He loves peek a boo and love to hear the animal sounds while looking at the book.  He has great eye contact but working on the focusing is what we are working on now.  He does very well with the therapist sitting for 45 minutes (in his booster seat) but following along with her so I'm happy about that.  
So ladies, I've been wanting to share all this with you but its been so difficult with everything going on.  I lost it last week when they suggested taking Michael.  All I could do was cry wishing my mom was here.  I know she would make me feel better.  I felt bad because my dad was here and I know I didn't make him feel better hearing me cry for my mom.  
Anyway, for anyone can share their experiences with me, it would be great.  I've spoken a few times to Donna (Kricket) and she's been very helpful.  
Thank you as always for listening.  
Joann xo