Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mama Hop, Aunt Leanne, and the Sweetest Mother's Day Gift Ever

Our nomadic lifestyle has it's benefits and drawbacks.  One thing that can be difficult is moving to a new community without a support system.  It's easy to feel envious of people who live in the community they grew up in, surrounded by family and friends who are willing to lend a helping hand at a moment's notice.  This becomes even more important when you have children.  It's really nice to know, in a pinch, that Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne will take a 6 hour drive to help us out with the kids.  That's just what they did last weekend.
 We were offered an opportunity to have an appointment with a stellar behavioral psychology team at a hospital in another town.  I've discussed how behavioral psychology has made a huge difference in our lives as it pertained to Josie's eating (read about our G-tube wean here and here).  We've seen, firsthand, how Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) principles can help in numerous aspects of life (not just eating) with all of our children (not just those with special needs).  I was eager to take advantage of this appointment to help us learn to navigate Josie's behaviors and to set her up for success as she prepares to enter kindergarten in the fall.  Did I just say 'kindergarten'?!  I need a tears emoji for the blog.

Enter the dynamic duo: Mama Hop & Aunt Leanne!
(They really need capes)
 We used the appointment as an excuse to have a fun weekend together and that's just what we did.  Mama Hop & Aunt Leanne even brought gifts in honor of this little doll's upcoming 2nd birthday (where is that darn tears emoji?!)!
 Our almost-2-year-old cosmetics enthusiast really loved her Barbie Styling Head.  Let's hope this will halt her daily attempts to try and pick the lock on my makeup drawer!
And, of course, there were lots of loving moments between our two divas.  It's a lot easier to put video clips on Instagram @CatfishWithKetchup.  You can check them out under the hashtag #JosieAndLeanneLoveFest (click HERE).
 Mama Hop did art projects with the girls.
 Aunt Leanne and I took them to the park.
 We ate, drank, and grilled out and had an all around fun time.  

On Monday, I was able to make the trek to take Josie to her appointment while Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne watched the other two girls and made sure Merryn made it to and from preschool.  We plan to implement an intensive behavioral therapy plan with Josie over the next few months and I'm hoping to be able to share some information on the blog as I learn more about the method.  One of the things I absolutely love about having a child with special needs is that she provides me with the opportunity to hang out with, and learn from, many knowledgeable and fascinating health and developmental experts.  I truly find it to be a stimulating reprieve from the monotonous daily tasks of motherhood.

Now on to the big surprise Mother's Day gift from Mama Hop.  As you may or may not know, Mama Hop is quite artistic.  She has her undergraduate degree in art (and her Master's in Special Ed) and she has also taught art education.  Now that she's retired, she still enjoys artistic endeavors.  For Mother's Day, she surprised me with framed sketches of the 3 girls.
 She was worried I wouldn't recognize those faces.  Are you kidding me?!  Biddy (Lydia) identified all 3 faces without hesitation!
 Since the frame has hooks, we found a perfect spot for it above our bath tub in our master bathroom.  The girls' bath towels hang underneath their precious faces.  
I'm so overwhelmed by how thoughtful and perfect the gift was.  We're also incredibly grateful that Mama Hop and Aunt Leanne are always ready to come help us out!  Stay tuned because YaYa and Papa will be visiting soon and then we will be heading to Mama Hop's house for a birthday celebration with Aunt Leanne!


  1. Such a beautiful gift! I think of the time it took her, pen in hand, choosing the frame, your mom is amazing! Glad you had a great weekend away.

  2. Biddy is so good at facial recognition!

    Love the bubbles!

    I will be VERY interested to read about any Intensive Behavioural Intervention.

  3. Not sure if you have ever seen this play makeup. Looks and feels like the real thing, but without the mess. My godchild loves it and Biddy probably would too.