June 30, 2015

So, whadda ya think...

I freshened the place up a bit.
What do you think of it?

Because this isn't an anarchy, my redesign process had rules.
I tried really hard to stick to these:
1. The color scheme can't change. Because I'm too tired to change everything.
2. It needs to look like...me.
3. The coffee cup must still be there. Somewhere. Anywhere.
4. At least some of it should look professional...without looking all professional.
5. Fun. It should be fun. But not too fun. A nice fun balance.
6. And last, but not least... free. The perfect price to pay is the one that is free.

There are a few areas that I can't seem to perfect, which is driving me crazy. But, at some point I have to put it down and walk away.

So this is me walking away.....

P.S. I apologize to those who are using mobile devices. I have no idea how to wrestle this template into a mobile-friendly version. Sorry.

June 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday...

On June 21, 2012 I wrote on my blog that I had taken the previous day off to do some pre-baby shopping and make a bazillion freezer meals. You can read all about it here.

I also posted a picture of myself at about 29 weeks pregnant...

Throwback Thursday Poem

Three years ago this month I was pregnant with our son;
Since then, so much we have seen, so much we have done.

We overcame numerous challenges and experienced great joy;
Accumulated many Happy Meal trinkets, for both girl and boy.

We launched our daughter’s educational journey, which has only begun;
Celebrated one college degree and, for whatever reason, started another one.

We made lots of trips to doctors, water parks, and zoos;
Watched our babies grow into children, and survived the terrible twos.

Three years from now we will be living in our new house;
We also hope to fulfill our promise to visit Mickey Mouse.

I don’t know what is yet to come, but let’s get one thing straight;
Only God can help me, to lose my baby weight!


This post inspired by:
Prompt #1: Throwback Thursday

June 23, 2015

Another Ryan update...

This fall Ryan will most likely start 3-year-old preschool with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) because of his "severe communication delay."  A few weeks ago he was tested again, and although he scored very well on cognitive and social skills, his communication score fell well below the normal range for a child his age.

He talks. A lot. Mostly with vowel sounds. Or, he leaves out entire portions of a word, usually either the beginning or the ending, but sometimes both. For example:

Milk: ilk
Book: uk
Shoes: ooz
Cup: uk
Popcorn: uk-or
Daddy: addy
Blue: ue
Cookie: uk-e
Car: r
Blanket: a-e (blankie)
Thank you: a-oo
Yea!: A!

But, he can say some words very clearly. Like:
mama, OK, no, uh-oh, mine, bye, cow

Some things that children his age should be able to say, or have a word for, he has yet to attempt. Such as:
Grandpa, grandma, Rachel (his sister), dog or puppy, (for any animal but cow, he just says the sound they make), outside, up, down, yes 

When Ryan gets really excited, he sounds like a chipmunk. On crack. Often when he tries to ask for something or tell us a story all we can do is shake our heads in confusion because we have no idea what he is trying to say. 

Even with almost nine months of therapy, we know that Ryan (still) struggles with communication. However, we are confident that with continued intervention, he will one day overcome this set-back. What we don't know, or are not yet willing/able to categorize or define, is why. It's all very technical and confusing and tedious.  This article summarizes what he could be up against. If you take the time to read it, you will see why this entire experience is a bit....exhausting. 

This is also still hard to explain. And I continue to hear from well-meaning friends and relatives who tell me all about how child Y or son Z didn't talk until they were X years old. And honestly, I would probably be preaching from that choir too if I wasn't on this side of the fence. I knew nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nadda about childhood development until about nine months ago. And after numerous tests and hours of research, the only thing I really know for sure is that I'm thankful for three things...

1. Ryan's primary care doctor, high risk specialist, developmental disorders specialist, speech therapist, and Area Education Agency (AEA) team all tell us the same things. They don't give us conflicting information or disagree about his ability level or care plan. Can you even grasp how amazing that is? All of these people, with various backgrounds, agendas, and training, agree on the direction this ship is headed. That is no small act of God.

2. We are so very lucky to live where we live. We have easy access to amazing medical professionals and live in a nationally recognized school district. I mean....wow. Just...wow. I cannot imagine facing this battle without the support we have from both of these resources. The educators and care givers that we get to work with are greatly appreciated.

3. As frustrating as this is at times, I have to remind myself that we are truly blessed. Ryan has had a tough few years but, thankfully, each obstacle has been one that we could overcome. He is a happy, healthy, silly little guy. His giggle lights up a room. He is curious and smart and wants to learn. His eyes sparkle and his run (belly first) makes us love him even more. He likes cars and trains and puzzles, and he loves to snuggle with his mommy and his giraffe. 

So, the saga continues. In late July we will know if Ryan is eligible for an IEP. If so, our special little guy will be off to school...at the tender young age of 3. 

Do they even make backpacks that small?

June 18, 2015

I'm confused...

The world is a confusing place, especially if you're a parent with young children...

1. Every day I pick up toys, carry forty-thousand pieces of junk at once, and make at least 300 trips up and down the stairs. Why doesn't the universe count that as regular exercise and reward me accordingly? 

2. Toys that come with more than 5 pieces should be illegal... and if any of them are smaller than a pencil, the manufacturer should be required to wait outside my home, ready with a replacement at only a moment's notice. Stickers should be un-invented.

3. Standing while eating a meal should cancel all calories that have been consumed. 

4. Sleep ought to be twice as effective when you have small children. 

5. Parents of young children should get special discounts too. I could really use 10% off every car seat I buy before 5:00 PM, a free gallon of milk on Wednesday mornings, or a punch card that rewards the purchase of stain remover.

6.  Why do they make baby books that go through a child's fifth year? Who are they trying to fool? The jig is up, man. We are well aware that after 18 months, the recording of memories in said book will cease, and most of the remaining pages will be used for scratch paper.

7. Evening meals that occur before 7:00 on weeknights should automatically be considered nutritious. And bonus points given for every vegetable or homemade dish that is served.

8. Every time a new toy is received, one that hasn't been touched in months should magically disappear. 

9. In what crazy, mixed up world does the act of a mother climbing onto an elliptical machine induce chaos? Before I begin, all is right with God's creation, but when I start to exercise... milk cups suddenly empty, toys mysteriously break, and art projects must be started immediately. When I'm done, silence returns and daddy once again becomes a viable option for assistance.

10. Parents should be able to ask telemarketers for money or donations if they call during nap time and wake up a child. And, if the call is political in nature, the candidate should have to come do my laundry and clean my house while I lecture them from my soapbox.