ONE

My sweet baby wildflower is ONE today!! I know the years pass faster the older you get, but wow, this year truly flew by! Wasn’t she my tiny squeaky newborn just a couple of weeks ago?

I’ve yet to find the words to accurately express how much I adore this girl and the absolute pride and honor I feel as I get to be her mother. She is such a light and a joy in our family. She changed our whole dynamic the second we brought her into our home, and she helped shape us as we’re continually working on becoming exactly who we should be.

This girl is special. She’s kind and caring and motherly. She’s curious, brave, adventurous and doesn’t back down from things. She’s feisty and loud, she’s opinionated and fiery. She’s social and happy and loves her family in a remarkable way.

I am so very grateful to have this girl in my life. She’s my little girlfriend. My sidekick. My bestie. Having a girl is quite different than having a boy, and I’ve really enjoyed the adventure. She is bright, beautiful and wonderful.

Flora girl, Happy Birthday!! I love you more than I’ll ever be able to say. Thanks for choosing me.

Love, mom

We Did Disney World

Not too long ago we returned home from a maaaaagical trip to Walt Disney World. Are you totally shocked to hear that we had the best time and it was 100% one of our highlights from 2021 even though the year isn’t even halfway over yet? Ugh. I love Disney World. I always have, but it gets a whole other kind of magic layered on top of it when you take your kids there. Oh also, it was Flora’s very first trip to Disney (which is soo unlike our family – but hello #pandemicbaby) which gave it yet another sprinkle of Disney magic. The. Best. I could ramble on for ages about how wonderful our vacation was, but I’ll stop around here so I don’t bore you with my obsession.

The kids, my mom, and my sister, Adi went for nine days and we adored each and every one. I’m so very grateful we got to go. It was so special, happy and wonderful. Now enjoy a small photo dump of some of my favorite images we captured while there.

SatisFACTual Saturday: Tower of Terror

TOWER OF TERROR

Did you know?…

  • The attraction stands at 199 feet tall, making it one of the tallest Disney World attractions
  • While falling up and down, you reach a top speed of 39 mph
  • The drops are randomized sequences, making it very possible that you may never ride the same sequence twice
  • Its rumored that originally, the attraction would be both a ride and an actual hotel but, (if these rumors are true), Disney decided it would be too expensive
  • The cobwebs in the lobby are made of glue from a special hot glue gun spinner that essentially shoots the “webs” out
  • If you see the wait time listed for Tower of Terror as 13, you better get in line – 13 means there is a nice, short current wait

SatisFACTual Saturday: Splash Mountain

SPLASH MOUNTAIN

Did you know?…

  • Its original name was Zip-a-Dee River Run. But Michael Eisner then suggested the name Splash Mountain, as it sounded more like a thrill ride
  • Splash opened in Disneyland Resort in 1989 and was so popular, that Imagineers decided it needed to expand, so Tokyo Disneyland and Walt Disney World gained the amazing attraction in 1992
  • Legendary Imagineer, Tony Baxter, is the mastermind behind this iconic ride, and he came up with the idea while in LA traffic
  • In Disneylands Splash Mountain, its animatronics are repurposed animatronics from an old Disneyland attraction, America Sings
  • There are 3 drops in Disneyland Resorts ride, 4 drops in Tokyo Disneyland’s ride, and 5 drops in Disney Worlds ride

Opening Day!

Today is a magical day! Today is a special day!

Happy opening day, Disneyland!! Today you open for…forever!!

I’m typing this with actual tears in my eyes. It has been so long…too long…since Disneyland Resort has been open and I’ve felt the sting of its absence so, so frequently. I’m not a California resident, so I’m still unsure of when exactly I can make it back to the happiest place on earth, but the fact that its OPEN has my heart fluttering non-stop today.

The world is right again. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be stalking all social media accounts of California residents who are in the park today!

Another Step in Speech

It is so beyond crazy to me, and a little bittersweet to be honest, that Harrison is about to close a big chapter in his Speech Therapy journey. He has been in Speech since he was newly two years old. At first, a wonderful Speech Therapist would come to our home frequently to meet with him and help teach him (and me) how to even begin speaking. When we started, Harrison ‘spoke’ through a mostly closed mouth and communicated with grunts. When he did speak, it was a jumble of vowels and very, very, very few people could ever even get close to figure out what he was trying to say. Our in-home therapist taught us so much and got him started on the right foot. He made great progress fairly quickly. There were set backs, there were frustrating days, but there were also glorious triumphs and really exciting milestones met. Its been a fascinating, exhilarating journey. More than anything, its shown me how resilient, dedicated and smart my Harrison is. He’s been setting goals and crushing them for years now, and its so inspiring to me. I’m so proud of him.

Harrison right about when this whole journey began! So tiny!
Buddy with some of his sensory activities that his in-home SLP had us get to help promote speech and sound!

His early intervention place (that provided us our in-home speech therapist) only takes little ones until they turn three. So a quick year later, we got Harrison transferred over to our local school districts speech therapy program. It started with an evaluation that was maybe one of the lowest, most frustrating times of this whole journey for me. The evaluation was long. Harrison didn’t want to cooperate at all, he didn’t connect with the woman giving the screening at all.. it was a train wreck. I sobbed the whole way home and throughout much of the day. It was frustrating. I wasn’t frustrated with Harrison, just with the process. We had to reschedule him to do the entire screening over again. I was terrified and dreaded it, but knew it needed to be done. I wanted my boy to keep progressing with his speech and sounds! So we went back to the second screening and thanks heavens, it went a billion times better. He was cooperative, he connected with the new screener. It was awesome. And honestly, its been awesome ever since.

Harrison’s first day of Speech School!

We got little three year-old Harrison into his little Speech Preschool class, and we have been doing that once a week ever since. I owe the SLP’s who’ve worked with him over these years so much thanks and gratitude. I will be eternally grateful for the work they put into Harrison’s speech and success. They are heaven sent humans. These classes have been fun, educational and have got Harrison to the point where he is now. And if you knew Harrison at the beginning of his speech process, then you know just how far he has come. Its amazing.

This Fall Harrison will start Kindergarten (what???) and with that, he will be closing the chapter we have both loved so much, of Speech Preschool. It’ll close the chapter of me being with him while he does speech. Its so bittersweet. Now he will be meeting with a SLP that works in the school he’ll attend who will pull him out of class once a week. He will still be setting goals and tackling them. He’ll still be practicing and learning. But I won’t be there. Thats weird to me. It feels so grown up on his part. How is my boy going into Elementary School!? Sheesh, time flies, but thats a post for another day.

Harrison surely still will be in the speech program for several more years. He’s doing incredible, but still has a ways to go. I love knowing he’s surrounded by a wonderful support system and teachers who are dedicated to helping him do his very best when it comes to something thats been so tricky for him his whole life.

Now, I’m obviously not a SLP or a professional on any of this, but I am Harrison’s mom, and have been very invested in this for most of his life. So I know a thing or two. I’m asked pretty frequently some of the same questions. I answer them occasionally on comments or instagram DM’s, but I’ve chosen to answer my most frequently asked speech-related questions here to make it easier on all of us! If your question isn’t here, message me or comment and I promise I’ll get back to you! This is something I’m passionate about and highly support, so I will most definitely respond.

FAQ About Harrison’s Speech Journey

Do you think Speech is worth it? One trillion percent, yes. Speech has taught us tricks, tips and techniques I never would have come up with in a million years. It has given us the tools to use at home to help Harrison progress. Its held him/me accountable in working with him. Its given Harrison confidence. Its given him classroom experience. Its provided comfort and calm. Its been incredible. I can’t imagine how much more behind Harrison would be if we didn’t choose to put him into speech.

How was he diagnosed with a speech delay? I’d been panicking about him for a while. I took my concerns to our wonderful pediatrician and he gave us the information for an early intervention company nearby us. If you’re concerned about your little ones speech, I’d suggest either asking your pediatrician for a referral, or calling your local school district and asking them what your school system suggests.

Could this just be done at home without intervention? I mean, yes. But in my honest opinion, not as well. There are resources online and so many YouTube videos, etc., but I just know Harrison has learned so much better from SLP’s in person, who really know what they’re doing. Even though parents are awesome and can learn so much, I still 1,000% recommend going to a SLP.

Is Speech Therapy expensive? Not at all. We have been in this about three and a half years. Guess how much we have paid? $0. I love that they’ve truly made this accessible for everyone.

How did you know he was behind in speech? He wasn’t talking as well as kids his age, which at first didn’t concern me. But then I notice he wasn’t talking nearly as well as kids 6+ months younger than him. So then I started to be mindful of it and worry. Trust your gut though!! Testing is free, too! So if you’re worried, I say test. You’d rather know for sure instead of sitting in the scary unknown.

Progress is Progress!

In January, I decided enough was enough. I was going to make my health a priority. Healthy eating. Daily exercise. Mindfulness. Taking control of my mental health. Nurturing my spiritual health. I knew it would take a lot of self control and discipline, and truth be told, I was nervous that I’d start this goal out strong, then eventually it’d fade out and I’d go back to my past ways.

But I promised myself I’d do my best. I’d hold myself accountable. I’d believe in myself and I’d push myself.

And now I am three and a half months in and still going strong and I am freaking proud of myself!

I’ve never had a goal weight or clothing size in mind. I just wanted to feel healthy, strong, confident and empowered. I’m happy to say that I’m doing so well and 100% doing exactly what I know I should be doing right now. My self confidence is higher than it’s been in so long, I feel good, I feel strong, I feel empowered and confident and my mental health is doing leaps and bounds better.

Like I anticipated, it really has taken a lot of accountability and discipline, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come and that I’m doing it in a healthy way. No foods are off limits, I’m giving myself grace and I’m being realistic. It feels good to get fit and healthy while also keeping a healthy, happy mindset! I can’t wait to see how I’ll feel months from now!

Easy Entertainment

I feel like the internet is full of ways to entertain and promote curiosity and learning for toddlers and young children, but something I struggle to find are ways to do the same for the little ones even younger than the toddler stage. Don’t you agree? Well, a while ago I found the idea to use painters tape and tape some of Flora’s smaller toys to the wall and let her go at it trying to free the toys. It sounds simple, maybe too simple, but she honestly loves it!

I tape the toys in various heights and she is so proud of herself as she removes each toy from its tape jail. Its adorable. Simple as ever, cheap, promotes learning, coordination and curiosity and so stinkin’ to watch!

Happiest of Easters!

Happy Easter, my beautiful friends!!

I love this day, and this specific week, so very much! If you didn’t already know, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints. I believe in Christ. I believe that Jesus Christ died for all of us, even little old me, so we could all live again even after death, and that we can be eternally with our families. That knowledge I have has got me through so many anxiety attacks, stressors and worries of mine. Knowing that Christ has paved the way for me and is always there to help me…there aren’t words to adequately express the gratitude and hope that gives me.

This weekend is our church General Conference. Thats when our church leaders and our beloved Prophet speak to us. Its absolutely one of my favorite weekends of the whole year. I feel so uplifted, inspired and excited to start a ‘new’ life. Its a beautiful weekend with beautiful, inspired words.

I hope this Easter Sunday is a lovely one for you. I hope you find joy, love and peace, weather you’re a religious person or not, you deserve a great day.

Love to you all!

Better with Time

I’ve been on my healthy lifestyle journey for about two and a half months now. In two and a half months, I’ve learned so much and a lot has changed.

Did you know I enjoy exercise now?

I don’t crave Diet Coke as powerfully anymore.

I eat so much fresh fruits and veggies, and I like it!

My mental health is feeling so much more in check and my anxiety is a little less crazy.

I’m more confident in my body image!

I believe in myself more and have learned I can be powerful and self-motivated and reach the goals I set for myself.

I’m just feeling so good. I’m feeling empowered and excited. I’m proud of myself for deciding to make this lifestyle change a habit and for sticking to it. I didn’t realize just how much my body needed this. It wasn’t because I felt I needed to lose weight or look a certain way, it was because I wanted to make myself a priority and show my body that I love and respect it. I wanted to nurture the relationship I had with this body of mine. And it’s working!

If you’ve been on the fence about starting a similar journey for yourself, GO FOR IT!! I will cheer for you! I’ll be a member of your support system and I’ll be here if you need someone to chat with! We all deserve to treat ourselves with kindness and respect!

Love you all