Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Big Splurge!...

Yesterday's Yard Sale was a huge...and I mean HUGE...success. The sale was to start at 8am. At 7:20, when I went out to fix some signs in the neighborhood that had fallen in the night, there were already ten cars waiting on the street. I made my first sale by 7:40 and it was non stop from there. I love having yard sales. I love the organizing...I love love LOVE the advertising portion...I love the set up...and I love that second when you declare yourself "open for business". I love the people - young, old, families, singles. I hear the most interesting stories and I even tell some of my own when an item is picked up that has a history. I love seeing our things - junky things and treasured items - go to nice people. Ed was particularly happy that the boys helicopter toy - which he lovingly bought for them - went to this gorgeous little girl named Phoebe.
Phoebe's Mommy adopted her from an orphanage in China. She waited four years to adopt and was blessed with this sweet little girl. I related to her desire for a child...and the stress of having to wait on all the stars aligning to make it happen.

By the end of the sale I looked around and was thrilled that I had cleared out so much. I brought the non-children items to the curb and advertised them as FREE. I then had fun watching the parade of "shoppers" stop in front of our house to pick things from the boxes. I felt like Santa Claus! While I was watching the curbside show, Ed was counting my money.

This is when you might want to sit down.

Combining yesterday's sale and my Craig's List pre-sale over the past two weeks - my grand total was six HUNDRED and NINE dollars and seventy nine cents. Staggering.

As I celebrated, I quickly thought about what I wanted to do with the money. Savings? Nah. New shoes? That would be a waste. In a matter of seconds I had made my decision. It made total sense to me. Gavin was going to get his very own iPad.

We all jumped in the car and went to the Apple store. I looked up and it seemed the Heaven's parted when I saw this sign...
I almost cried I was so happy. I felt such pride that my hard work (trust me - it was a LOT of work!) could lead to such a huge purchase! Gavin has been using my iPad - but Brian has, too. Brian likes it to read books. Getting Gavin his very own iPad will allow him to have more time with it and it will decrease the jealousy factor in the house.
But the main reason? I've heard of so many special needs kids that take their iPads to school with them. The teachers and therapists help them use it to learn and/or to communicate. To me it was like this extra money fell from the sky - so why not now? This iPad will be his from now on! I even had leftover money which I plan to use to purchase a cover called an Otterbox. I'm confident that someone will drop this iPad at some point and the Otterbox is apparently the most durable cover out there to protect it. The video shows a mountain climber dropping one. So there you go.

When we came home from the mall and put the boys to bed, I instantly got on the computer. I went on Craig's List and posted an open letter to everyone who attended my Yard Sale. I wanted them to know what their purchases allowed ME to purchase for my son. I wanted them to know - whether they bought something for a nickel - or spent $50.00 - that they are now a part of Gavin's progress. I even invited them all to follow along on this follow Gavin on his journey to hopefully saying "Mommy" and "Daddy" and "I love my iPad". *wink* Several people wrote to me after seeing my post which made me so happy. I may have even made a few friends.

Last night I sat in bed and cruised the app store. I came across an app called "Touch Trainer" and it seemed PERFECT for Gavin. One issue we've been having is trying to teach him to touch the screen the right way. Not with his palm...not with his head...or his mouth...but his fingertips. It's been frustrating. Touch trainer is a very user friendly app that rewards the child immediately with lights - action - and music, encouraging them to want to touch it again. After a few tries today, it seemed to click for Gavin and he started touching the screen for more!
I think we'll work very hard during his therapy break with Touch Trainer. Miss Maggie, prepare yourself to be impressed when you come back at the end of August!!
So to everyone who guessed that I'd splurge on things for me - an iPhone, a food processor, a new camera, red soled shoes, massages when we go to the Bahamas - you were wrong. They were all interesting guesses, but this splurge made me happier than any of them. Gavin communicating what's going on in that cute little head of his seems like an unattainable dream at times. To think that this device could help him talk to me one day...

Need I say more?


  1. WOW! IT IS PERFECT!!! I should have known it would have been for one of the boys and not you, you amaze me.... =)


  2. (Relatively) recent lurker here. I came to your blog via 'Love That Max'. I almost never comment on blogs and have no internet presence myself, but I just wanted to say that this entry really touched me. And I also just wanted to say, quite simply, that you seem to me to be a lovely mother. All children should be so lucky. I so hope you will have your wish for another.

    And yeah, I love me a yard sale too.

  3. Oh, Kate! I didn't even buy anything and your purchase/post made me so happy!!! I LOVE the look on Gavin's face!!! That is worth all the money in the world... on days when my DD is driving me to distraction with her never ending WORDS, I remind myself of how my heart would ache at the alternative. My prayerws for all of you, always!


    P.S. I'm not sure what the problem is (I'd appreciate any insight)... I've tried to leave my comment several times now with my google ID and my open ID/URL but it won't 'take'.

  4. What an awesome piece of technology for Gavin to have all to his own!! I am friends with parents of a child that is 12 and has severe CP. They purchased the original Ipad for themselves. One of their daughter Sarah's teachers recommended they let Sarah try out the Ipad and see what she could do with it as the teacher felt it might improve her hand eye coordination. Over a year later, Sarah is doing SO many new things thanks to the Ipad!! She can speak, but at times it can be difficult to understand her, so the Ipad has greatly improved her communication skills, she has learned not only her alphabet but is also now reading 2-3 letter words! Her parents really feel that the Ipad has motivated her to learn because of all the action and sounds when she does something right and nothing when she does not. The immediate feedback of whether or not a child has answered correctly is SO motivating for these children and any child for that matter!

  5. How wonderful! I wish I had been part of that group. I had looked up your listing on Craigs List and as going to hop over on Saturday for the dog dish set with the stand, but my day did not work out that way! I am SO happy it was successful. You should sell your strategy to successful yard sale-ing. Is there an app for that? I think and iPad is in my future.. now to figure out how to make the extra cash (we can't have yard sales in our apartment community!)
    Have a great day, I look forward to hearing of Gavin's progress!

    Mom on Caffeine


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