"Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it."
~ Swedish Proverb, from Dr. Robert Melillo's book, "Reconnected Kids"

Friday, October 14, 2011

Under the gun...

Ok, so I have 38 minutes to myself (the little boys are at PLAY place, and Aidan is at Brain Balance), and my battery is at 21% - so we're gonna see just how good I am under pressure! Picking up where I left off...

Tuesday morning, we went to story time at the Sandy Springs library. The theme was "fire safety" and a few very nice fire fighters were there...with a fire truck! The boys were in heaven!

First, the firemen showed the kids what they look like all suited up - I never realized just how scary fireman look in their full gear.

Everyone got to climb INSIDE the fire truck - very cool!


And of course, everyone got a fire fighter's hat to wear!


After all of the excitement outside, it was very difficult for all three of my monkeys to settle down for the story. Very not good. I rounded them up and we left the room, and we very nearly left the library. But everyone calmed down, and I agreed to one more chance. And then, the kooky library lady played the bubble song, and everyone was happy!


Ash was NOT happy when it was time to go!

After our fun morning, everyone was ready for lunch and a great rest (Mama included!) Aidan woke up first, and did his school work like a champ! His attention and focus have improved GREATLY! He probably worked for at least 45 minutes straight that day - no whining, no complaining, AWESOME! His reading skills are improving every single day too. (He now reads a story to his brothers at least once a day - usually at bedtime, and they LOVE it!)

That evening, we headed to Kroger for some groceries, and everyone was very well behaved. I never thought that the day would come when I didn't dread the thought of taking all three monkeys grocery shopping, but that day has finally arrived! Ash and Ace ride in the buggy, and Aidan walks with me. And he doesn't run off. And he doesn't touch EVERYTHING we pass. And he doesn't throw a fit in the middle of the store when I tell him he can't have something that he wants. It's pretty amazing! We had a few rough moments (just MOMENTS) on Tuesday, but all in all, it was a pretty fun day with my boys!

Wednesday morning, we headed to the park to play after breakfast. My boys SO love the park! And watching Aidan engage appropriately with other kids is yet another little miracle that this Brain Balance journey has brought us. He asks kids their names, invites them to play tag or hide and seek, plays by the rules (the REAL rules of the games, and not the ones he makes up on the spot!) He even helps his brothers play along too! AMAZING!
This is how we do it...




A week or so ago, we were at the park and Aidan was playing with a group of kids that had been there a couple of days in a row. They were having a ball, running around and being silly. I started paying attention to WHAT they were saying - they were role playing, using their imaginations like crazy. The playground equipment was a castle, they were all knights and princesses trying to slay the dragon, and they were all avoiding parts of the grass (because that's where the lava was, of course.) Oh, and they would all run away screaming from the "hairy scary monster" who, by the way, was Ashwin. (Ash LOVED this - that he was scaring the big kids!) Aidan has NEVER played like this before, and it is absolutely how kids his age are SUPPOSED to play. Wow, just WOW!

That afternoon, the little boys went to PLAY place, Aidan had a great session, and I had an AWESOME meeting with Dr. Pete about ALL of the progress that Aidan has made. (That meeting deserves a dedicated blog post, and if I have to stay up all night long, I will post it tonight! Prepare to be AMAZED - I know I was!) We all played for a while at PLAY place after session, and the boys made cute pumpkin crafts that evening. (Again, not flashing here and ruining the surprise - got a mass mailing going out later today!) And we watched a movie before bed - another GREAT day for the brothers Pence!

Thursday morning, we headed to PLAY place for story time! Ms. Colleen (the director) does a super fabulous job, and the kids really enjoy it! The theme this week was "on the farm" and my little singers loved belting out Old Mac Donald and making all the silly animal noises!

And there was crazy dancing, with scarves...


And foot stomping...

And of course, BUBBLES! (Apparently, no story time is complete without bubbles!)


Great lunch and rest afterwards, followed by a pretty easy trip to Whole Foods. (We were out of pepperoni - GASP!)
On the way home, we stopped at a local pumpkin patch, and the boys had a blast. There was a bouncy house, and a TON of pumpkins.

Now I was WAY too cheap to fork over the THIRTY FIVE AMERICAN DOLLARS for a big carving pumpkin (I'm all for supporting a church fund raiser, but really??) But I did fork over $5 for ten little pumpkins for the boys to decorate at home. Let me show you how my monkey math worked out Thursday evening. 10 little pumpkins + 1 box of markers = 25 minutes of something close to peace and quiet for Mama! I'm calling that $5 well spent! Check out their happy pumpkin tower.

For the record, I made it to the pumpkin patch part of the blog before I ran out of time - pretty darned close. WAY over on the 600 word count, though. Sigh. More later - stay tuned!

Much love,


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our FUN weekend in Savannah! Arrrgh!

So Thursday was a late (and SUPER fun) night for us, and we were dragging quite a bit on Friday. Aidan and Andy ran a few errands, and the little boys and I did some shopping for cool weather clothes. We hung out at the house, and had a very low key evening. Man, it was good to be HOME! We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Atlanta, but we are all SO ready to be home for good!

Saturday morning, Aidan and I visited with my grandparents, Mema and Mepa, in the hospital. My grandfather has had such a difficult couple of years, but he is one tough old bird. We brought lots of artwork that the boys had made to brighten up his room! Aidan was exceptionally well behaved at the hospital, and we had a very nice visit.

Later that afternoon, the boys and I headed to Tybee to get our pirate on at the Pirate Fest Parade! Mimi had her pirate supplies ready for us, and she set to work transforming my little monkeys into a fierce band of pirates! Seriously cute pirates, at that! See?




Nanny Ange and Baby Kayley even got in on the fun! Couple of wenches!


Grandma Reta and the little pirates!

The parade was a LOT of fun, especially with Mimi, Papa, and Nanny!




The pirates in the parade were very entertaining!




After the parade, we headed back to Mimi and Papa's house for a visit with baby Kayley and Grandma Reta! Ashwin Michael became a green-eyed monster BIG time when his Reta held baby Kayley!

Aidan and Kayley, sweet cousins!

And here is the sweetest photo EVER - Ace and his Reta!

Sunday, we hung around at home for most of the day. Andy and the boys watched some football, and I got us ready for our return to Atlanta on Monday morning (laundry, packing, organizing Aidan's school work, etc.) You know, the REALLY fun stuff. That evening, Mimi and Papa took Aidan to evening mass at Sacred Heart, and out to dinner with Mema afterwards. (Now I was a little nervous about this plan, but Aidan wanted to go, so we had him ready and waiting when Mimi and Papa arrived.) I hadn't heard anything from Mimi and Papa yet, and then I got this message on my facebook wall! Thanks Donnie!

Donald Bell: I saw a well behaved little man tonight at Sacred Heart!

Allie Sheffield Pence: I LOVE this! I was cautiously optimistic, and he wanted to go. So glad he was good!

Donald Bell: You should be very proud!

WOW! SO proud of my little man! Way to go, Aidan! And THANK YOU BRAIN BALANCE!

Monday morning, we headed back to Atlanta, bright and early. Well, not quite as early as i had hoped, as usual. And the weather was TERRIBLE for most of the trip. But the boys were mostly good in the car, and we made it to Brain Balance exactly on time (WHEW!) It was raining when we left, so PLAY place was more crowded than usual - we took a pass on that for the day and hit the Red Box on the way home for a flick. I made a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner, and we watched a movie before bed. The boys were exhausted, so bedtime was fairly smooth.

And now I am officially VERY close to caught up - and also very close to my 600 word count. Tuesday was pretty fun - story time and fire trucks (and lots of cute photos!) And I had a super awesome meeting about Aidan today with Dr. Pete, which I promise to tell you all about tomorrow! Right now, my bed is a-calling my name!

Much love,


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Plugging along - thank goodness I take notes!

So last Wednesday was a pretty normal day, whatever that means, right? The weather was gross, so we made a giant arts and crafts mess in the morning. We headed to Roswell in the afternoon for Aidan's Brain Balance session, and some (MUCH less dramatic) fun at PLAY place. And we even managed to hit the park that evening after dinner. Hurray for low-key and "normal!" Here are some cute photos, clowning around at PLAY place!


Aidan made a new friend, and was WAY too busy playing with him to pose for any photos - but Aeson was all about the close-up!

Thursday was interesting (morning), LONG (afternoon), and a rockin' good time for Mama (night). We began our day early, with a NAET appointment in Cumming (a few exits north of here). Here is a very brief explanation of NAET treatment, taken directly from their website. "Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Techniques, also known as NAET®, are a non-invasive, drug free, natural solution to eliminate allergies of all types and intensities using a blend of selective energy balancing, testing and treatment procedures from acupuncture/acupressure, allopathy, chiropractic, nutritional, and kinesiological disciplines of medicine." To learn more about NAET, please visit their website at http://www.naet.com/subscribers/what.html

Anyway, we have been seeing Tom Dill at North Georgia Wellness for a few weeks, and he has been treating all three boys for their many allergies. I was concerned that strep was once again an issue for Aidan, because of the recent and very dramatic changes in behavior that he had been displaying. (Been there, done that, got the dang T-shirt.) Tom uses muscle testing to determine if the patient is sensitive or reacting to a substance, and he found that Aidan was very strongly reacting to two different strains of strep. He cleared Aidan for both strains, and once the body is "cleared" of a substance, it should no longer be an issue. (Side note - while we were home over the weekend, I had Aidan swabbed for strep and no active infection was present. We also did a blood test to check his strep titers, and his number came back lower than it had EVER been - I'm becoming a true believer in NAET, as I very strongly feel that strep was at least a big part of the behavior problem last week.)

We headed to Roswell a little early for Brain Balance, so we went to PLAY place to burn some energy before our long car ride home to Savannah. Everyone played well, and we even got to attend story time at PLAY place that morning, which the boys LOVED! There was lots of singing and dancing, and some pretty cool scarves to play with too!



And apparently, no story time is complete without bubbles...who knew?

Aidan had another great session at Brain Balance, and everyone was (mostly) good on our long car ride home!

Thursday night, Mimi kept the monkeys and Andy and I headed to Live Wire Music Hall to see the fabulous Sonia Leigh, with Coy Bowles (of ZBB) and his super funky band opening the show. It. Was. AWESOME!! And I will now once again hijack Aidan's blog to show you all the fun that I had that night!

Walking in the door, I FINALLY got to meet the very fun co-captains of all things Sonia Leigh - Susie and Ginger. These ladies work tirelessly to support and promote Sonia, and work any show that they can, selling her merchandise and pulling folks off the street to experience her talent. They even got to spend a few days touring with the band, on the tour bus and everything (SUPER jealous, ladies! I have ALWAYS wanted to go "on tour!") Hey Sonia, if Susie and Ginger are ever too busy, I'd be happy to fill in...;)

The show was AMAZING, as always. Coy and his band were on fire - unfortunately, the lights were always strangely red or purple when I reached for my phone, and I couldn't get a decent shot to save my life!) Sonia and her band rocked the house - they are always SO much fun to catch live!

Jam session - there's Coy on the right!

And they ALL could not be any nicer or more gracious in person! See?

Me and "Tube top" Gregg Shapiro - the bad a$$ bass player! Thanks Tube Top and Sonia for the photos!

What a super fun night with my honey! (Thanks Mimi for taking one for the team and monkey-sitting!)

Sonia's album, "1978 December" and Coy's album "Love Takes Flight" are both AMAZING and available on itunes. Do yourself a favor and add them both to your collection - you'll be very happy that you did!

Once again, I'm over my 600 word goal...sheesh, it's harder to be "brief" than I thought it would be. Well, not really. I knew it was gonna be tough, but I'm trying! Until next time...

Much love,


The Brain Balance Motto

We Believe that Within Every Child Resides...

The Body of an Olympic Athelete...
The Brain of a Scientist...
The Mind of a Poet...
The Hands of an Artist...
The Ear of a Composer...
The Heart of a Saint...

NEVER Stop Believing That Your Child Has Unlimited Potential!