Peanut Butter Update

Monday, September 26, 2011

WHAT an amazing day I've had.

First of all, we got our permits submitted.  Until that had happened, there was this weird, irrational feeling like it all wouldn't come together.  Like it all wasn't real.

Secondly, we sold our house.  It was on for less than a week and we've sold for MORE than our asking price. Lovin' that.  I'll chat more all about the house stuff later.

Thirdly, I had this craving for Little Caesars cheese-stuffed crazy bread, so James went out about 10:30.  He called me just before 11 to say that they didn't have any, and wouldn't make any because they were closing at 11.  Bummer.  He wanted to know if I'd settle for the regular crazy bread.  I said sure.  He came home a few minutes later with not one but FOUR bags of crazy bread.  Seems the girl there felt so badly for not having any stuffed bread that she gave us all the bread that was left....for FREE!

Fourthly, Jairus' video in the Peanut Butter contest has been named a FINALIST!  This means we are in the running for a $10,000 prize.  I have sent out emails and messages through every possible online means I can think of so you've probably heard all about it. (lol!)  However, if you haven't, please go to and vote for him!  His video is called "The Night Raider".

As you've likely read earlier on this here blog, we entered Jairus' video into that to take a stab at winning the money to pay for his Tomatis therapy.  This past weekend however, all the funds needed were raised through the Garage/Bake Sale, Auction and BBQ fundraiser that the Quilting ladies put together.  Ever since I was contacted and told about the fundraiser, I had an idea about the contest, if by chance we should win.

There's this very special lady in my life.  I'm not going to name her, in case she'd rather not be named, but she has been with me, and helped me through two of the most terrible and stressful times in my life; the birth of my sons. (Update: yes, I checked with her, and she's ok with me mentioning their names)
6 weeks after she helped me deliver Honour, (yes, ok, she's my midwife) Tamara Youngberg gave birth to her own firstborn daughter, Esme.  (see her picture above)  I remember that she had been concerned on and off through her pregnancy: she kept noticing worrying things about the pregnancy, but we both figured it was just a case of 'the doctor doctoring herself' and finding things 'wrong' because of her vast knowledge of pregnancy.  Unfortunately, her gut had been right.
It took a few months, but Esme was eventually diagnosed with Albinism. With that, Tamara and her husband Jason have had to deal with many of the common accompanying issues of this congenital deficiency, but have also had to handle her further diagnoses of epilepsy and autism.  You can read an article about Esme here.
Tamara is now one of the moms I connect with often to share our latest therapy discoveries.  She became determined over a year ago to take Esme to the States to be a part of the Son-Rise therapy, a specialty therapy for autistic children pioneered by Barry Kaufman back in the 70's.  His son was autistic during a time when nobody knew what it was or what to do with children who had it.  The cost for this therapy is approximately 3-4X what we needed to raise for Jairus.
Despite her own dedicated fundraising through selling jewelry this past year, they have not reached their goal.  Still, they intend to follow through and take her at the end of next month, in any possible way.

I think you've probably figured out where I'm going with this.  If Jairus' video wins, we're going to be giving it to the Youngbergs.  She doesn't really know this; (Update: Um, yes, she does now) I joked about it last time we met for coffee.  She probably doesn't realize that I was serious; she said she would refuse it.  And I don't think she reads my blog, so she won't see all this.

So please vote everyday for Jairus' video, "The Night Raider".  I really want to help this precious family.

He's My Son

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hopefully, you've all noticed the link at the top of my sidebar. It's to a post about the Kraft Peanut Butter contest and how we hope to win it in order to send Jairus for some specialized therapy. Well, now there's something else happening. The ladies in my mom's quilting group at church were all talking last month about Jairus and the money it costs to send him to his therapies. My mom admitted that it was expensive. This is when they came up with the idea.
They wanted to hold a fundraiser and the ideas started flowing.  A garage sale.  A bake sale.  An auction (with, of course, a quilt). A BBQ.  Plans came flying thick and fast.  And now it's all in place.

On September 24th, from 8am to 2pm, all these things will be happening at my church, Mountain Citadel Salvation Army, in order to raise funds for Jairus to get his Tomatis Listening therapy.  A little about the therapy.

I first learned of Tomatis a number of years ago from a friend whom I would connect with every once in a while.  We both had children with special needs and would swap ideas about things we'd tried to help them in their development.  My friend had been especially impressed with the results her daughter showed after the Tomatis therapy.  I'm not expecting that Jairus will start spewing forth with words after this therapy, but it will strengthen and re-program his listening and focusing skills to better enable him to talk.  If you've read my blog for any length of time, you'll know that we're often looking out for therapies such as this.  For instance this past summer we tried some music therapy (why I waited so long is highly ironic and just plain weird, considering what I do).  He did fabulously with it.
The Tomatis therapy is offered at The Listening Centre in Toronto.  The program would take place over the span of 6 weeks: 2 weeks of active therapy involving 2-3 hour sessions daily, 2 weeks rest and then 2 weeks back in sessions again.  I would be driving Jairus in every day for the sessions.
I've recently been revamping Jairus' blog site, which was my original blog.  It's a little better organized now and if you would like to read more about what Jairus was born with and those early weeks of his life, read it here.
Finally, the quilting ladies asked me to make up a powerpoint presentation to show in church.  I put something together and James converted it to video.  Now you can see it too. :-)  Make sure your volume is up.