Monday, July 28, 2014

I Feel Beautiful When...

I was recently tagged on facebook, but am choosing to post this here.  I am supposed to post 5 pictures of when I feel beautiful.  I have been thinking about it for over a week.  Beautiful is more than skin deep for me. 


I feel beautiful when I am with Brian.  He brings out the best in me.  He tells me I am beautiful, and he's a pretty genuine guy,  so I know I am beautiful to him.  If you all thought I was ugly I could get over it because I have him.  He builds me up.
(This was taken by Rylan.)  I feel beautiful being a mother.  Motherhood is the most challenging thing I have ever done.  It is in moments like these that I see the true beauty of being a woman, even with my postpartum belly.  Mother love is beautiful!
(photo by Rylan)  I feel beautiful when I am creating.  Here I am where I do most of my projects and just like this picture shows, I am usually surrounded by kids and it is a mess.
I feel beautiful when I overcome.  This photo was taken at Isaac's burial.  At the time, I did not feel beautiful, but when I look back at this I see a woman who in the most difficult circumstances, held her head up.  I carried on.  I survived.  I did not let this take me down.  I grew closer to Brian instead of letting it tear us apart. I felt the LOVE of God. This trial was HARD, and I am stronger because of it.
I feel beautiful when I accomplish something amazing.  This is a picture of me as I delivered Eden.  As in, I caught her!  It was AWESOME.  I see beauty in pregnancy and birth, so so much. This was kind of the ultimate experience for me.  I loved it so much.

Monday, July 21, 2014

James' Speech

This video of James saying his abc's shows that he is saying a LOT of the sounds on his own, but still needs to improve.

I have started writing this before and stopped.  I'm not sure exactly what to say, where to
start, and what to include, but want to remember this journey with James
because someday It will be behind us!

James was a late talker. When he began to speak,  we could not understand him.  No matter what we tried.  I thought it was my fault.  He and Wesley are only 19 months apart and
I thought I neglected him through my pregnancy and Wesley's early months. I expected him to catch on as he got older and that he was just behind.  I finally called for help.  I called early intervention.  It took weeks for them to call me back to schedule a time for him to be tested, then the appointment was weeks away.  I had already waited thinking he would figure it out, and now it was taking a few more months to get him in.  He qualified for a speech therapist to come to our home.

George began coming but the first appointment was the therapist telling me all about the program.
He didn't even want to visit with James.  Then there was a meeting because he was almost three and we needed to transition him, my goodness, lots of paper work!  George finally started working with him. He came to our home a couple times each month.  He worked with him for three months and wasn't a ton of help.  He was used to dealing with little kids who DON'T speak.  James talked, a LOT, we just could not understand him.

James spoke with little to no consonant  sounds.  He spoke in vowels.  I joked that he should live in Hawaii.  It was really strange.  It was really a challenge, for him and us.  This was hard.  One time in nursery at church he tried to tell the adult that he needed to go to the bathroom.  He said, "I ed Ee er, Ee-er, uh ee ooent i'en" (I said teacher, teacher but she wouldn't listen)  He peed his pants and was so upset.  I felt so bad for him.  Brian was with him at the grocery store one day and there was a sudden really strange smell.  Brian wasn't sure what it was.  They were waiting in line when James smelled the odd smell.  He said [and he doesn't whisper], "Wha dah ell?" (What's that smell?)  In church one Sunday I asked James if he was excited to go to his class.  He was happy to go to his (cl)ass!  He told me he has a big (cl)ass and a small (cl)ass.  We have that problem with glass and grass too.

When James transferred out of early intervention he began
going to a speech pathologist once a week at an elementary school that was
close by, but not the same school my other kids attend.  I was surprised when they sent us there.  That therapist was A-MAZ-ING!!!  She was so good with James!  A couple months into his therapy she thought he might have Apraxia of Speech.  She tested him and said that he did.  She changed the approach of the therapy.  It was not immediate,  but he began to make improvements.  I was blown away with what she has helped him to do.  He still has far to go, but he is self correcting himself, which is huge.  He is adding more sounds.  He will let me help him and then try to say
it correctly.  He still gets frustrated, but there was a phase where he refused help.
He insisted that I was not listening to him.  I now tell him that I am listening and trying to understand. 

I could write lots about the different techniques that
"ee-er aimie" (teacher jami)  used to teach James and taught me
how to help James, but this is already  so long!
I will make a list because I want to remember as much as I can.

-started by just marking the final sound in a word

-using cues to help him find the sounds he needs .  This was like touching the front of the lips
with the pointer finger when he said a "b" sound. (these helped him SO much!!)

-saying nonsense words to help him mark the middle sounds

-adding more sounds to his repertoire.  She taught him how to say "G" and "K".

-flash cards with words and picture on them that focused on certain sounds

-phone that he held and it amplified what he said into his ear so he could hear how he is saying things

-using the ipad

-playing games and changing things up quickly when he lost interest

He earned lots of bouncy balls, really earned them!  He worked HARD!  She could even get him to say boun-cy ball.  I was amazed!!

This new school year he will have a new speech pathologist.  I am SUPER sad that they
are changing his teacher!!!  I just have to hope that the new one will have new things to offer and different insights.  James is making progress through the summer even without me sitting and drilling him with exercises each day.  I usually have to work it into conversations as we walk, cook, read, play, and talk.  He likes to tell me stories.  I have to be sneaky about making him practice his words because when he realizes that we are "saying my words" he is less willing to do it.

He is such a cute little boy with a big imagination!  He is very bright.  He is sweet and thoughtful.  I have worried a lot about his speech over the last year and a half.  He turns four in September and he has improved so much over the last year.  I see an optimistic speaking future!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sweetest thing I heard today was Eden laughing in her sleep as her head rested on my chest.

Funniest thing I heard today was Reagan saying he wanted to go trick-or-treating all over the world and Rylan's response was, "Your legs will get tiered!"

Scariest thing I felt today was the feeling of terror when Reagan, Rylan, and I nearly got ran over by a large Ford truck when we were crossing the road after the truck drove by, but then it switched into reverse and gunned it to see what was at the yard sale they just drove by. It was INCHES away from me as I jumped and screamed, then looked up to see Rylan right in it's path.  I think when I screamed that alerted the driver and he slammed on his brakes not far from Rylan. We were pretty shaken up.  Truck zoomed off.  You don't expect a car to stop in the road and hit reverse so fast.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Eden in her Blessing Dress

Eden's Blessing

Eden was blessed Saturday at our home.  Brad also was ordained to the office of a teacher.  Here are a few things I remember from Eden's blessing.
-Remember your divine nature and that you are a daughter of God
-Turn to prayer when things are difficult and when things are going well
-Have a healthy body, mind, and spirit