Speech Delay Update

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I haven’t really kept my blog up to date on H’s speech delay and thats mostly because I thought we were kicking the speech delays trash – and we are. H is. Seriously if you could hear him when we started this process back in January to today, you’d be astonished. He’s an amazing boy.

Today (the day i’m typing this up) we had a special screening for H at the preschool he’ll likely be attending here very soon to help with his speech. We always knew it would be a long testing day and it had the possibility of being a hard day – but I didn’t expect it to turn out the way it did.

H is 5-7% intelligible – and getting that 7% put on the paper was only because I told the lady I swear he’s easier to understand than what he was showing today. 5%? I didn’t know they were going to come up with a percentage of how easy to understand he was, but if I would have had to give my own prediction of what percentage I thought he was at, I probably would have said fifty to sixty percent. Not five. I know that since I’m his mom and I am with him 24/7 I understand his funny words and sounds, but I was just feeling so confident that other people, even strangers, could understand him at least half the time.

My immediate feeling was guilt. I should be working harder with him on sounds and words. If I would have done that and been more diligent about that, he wouldn’t be at 5-7%.

Then I was just sad. How sad for H that he’s only understood so infrequently. Is he frustrated? Is he mad about this? Does he feel as misunderstood as he is? Ugh.

The people who tested him were so sweet and patient. They gave him lots of chances to get his words out and for the most part he did a good job with that. Then he started getting sick of it. He didn’t want to cooperate anymore and I couldn’t blame him – he’d been there almost 2 hours at that point. So we ended up rescheduling the last part of his testing for a later date.

I left feeling really defeated. I felt really frustrated. I was frustrated that H didn’t perform as well as he could have or as well as he would have at home. I was frustrated that the people testing him couldn’t understand his words. I was frustrated that we had to do more testing later and that we couldn’t get it all done in one day (now i have more testing to feel anxious about). I was frustrated at myself for thinking he’d fly through this testing and nail every part of it. I was frustrated that he wasn’t into the testing so he wasn’t doing well on the other elements of testing that didn’t have to do with language – like are they going to think he has other issues we need to look at now too? I was frustrated that I was able to see the scores the testers would write down on the papers in front of them when they would ask H a question, and in his own ‘language’ he’d answer, but they didn’t speak his language so they didn’t know and they’d mark that he answered incorrectly or not at all. I was frustrated that I’m not tougher.

But I wasn’t frustrated with H. He did awesome. Thats a lot to ask of an almost three year old. He got wiggly and lost interest in it all, but he did so good. I’m proud of him. He’s amazing, patient, smart and sweet. I couldn’t ask for a better buddy. I see so much progress from him. So much. He used to ‘talk’ with this throat and never opened his mouth. Now he will pretty much repeat any word you ask him to, its just a matter of how easy he is to understand when he says it.

I need to be patient. I’m fully aware this breakdown I’m having is an overreaction. Its just because I really love my boy and I want the best for him. I want him to be able to communicate! He can understand everyone, I wish everyone could understand him! I just keep thinking about how frustrating it must feel to not be able to really talk to anyone besides your parents.

He’ll get there. It might be fast and it might be slower, but he’ll get there. This testing is going to show us as his parents and his future teachers just how to make sure that he does get there! I’m thankful that there are ways to learn about kids individual delays and ways to make an individual plan for that child so they can succeed and thrive. Most of all, I’m thankful for my H. He is awesome and he never ceases to make me proud.

 

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My Sisters Birthday

Earlier this week my sister had her 20th birthday. My other sister and I have sort of made it our tradition that on her birthday we dress like she does. The girl likes her color black and she has a specific niche when it comes to her t-shirts. We always feel so clever copying her style – and one of these days I’ll remember to wear my glasses instead of my contacts on her birthday so we can match even more. I feel like we did an awesome job this year once again. I even got H in on the action and he wore his little Adidas joggers – so cute!

We had a fun day celebrating her. She is one of a kind and had a very one of a kind day that greatly revolved around animals, which couldn’t be more perfect for her. The girl loves animals and wants them all. Unfortunately for her, our other sister and my dad are both allergic to fur so she can’t have all the furry animals she wishes for (they do have two hypoallergenic dogs at least). She has a (very spoiled) beta fish and had a crawfish that recently died (RIP little buddy) and she was very much wanting to grow her creepy-crawly collection. So we helped her out this year for her birthday. For a while now she’s been telling us the only thing she wants for her birthday is a Crested Gecko and as luck would have it, I got a new client who happened to breed and sell Crested Gecko’s! It was perfect. So we arranged to pick her new little pet up on the afternoon of her birthday. She had her little gecko she’d been dreaming about and her birthday was complete. But she’s turning 20. Thats a big deal. We decided to add a little more fun. My sister gave her another crawfish and me and my family gave her two hermit crabs. Of course she still has big plans for several other reptiles, etc to add, but we got her a good place to start.

I love this girl and I’m glad she’s my sister! My wish for her this year is lots of happiness and a few more critters — just please no snakes or spiders.

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..the actual birthday girl is in the middle..

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My Chris List

I’m not sure how many years the debate has been going on, but make no mistake, it’s still very much alive and well. Which debate? The which-Chris-is-better debate. I’ve given this a lot of thought. I, myself, am a very big Marvel fan so I definitely have strong feelings towards three of the four famous Chris’s, but I also really love Princess Diaries 2, so that causes me not to completely disregard the fourth Chris.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll fill you in real quick. There are four rather famous Chris’s. Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pine. All four are lovely and wonderful and easy on the eyes (is that something only old ladies say?) so it’s rather hard to pick your favorite. But…everyone’s doing it. So now I’m going to as well. Oh! Another note, just so you know what I meant in that first paragraph, Chris Pratt is Star-Lord/Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Evans is Captain America, Chris Hemsworth is Thor and Chris Pine is in Princess Diaries 2 (and a lot of other movies, but that’s my favorite of his – maybe you know him better from Star Trek). K, we can continue now.

I had to actually sit and really think about this. I knew quickly who my fourth place would be, but the other three were hard for me. It took me a while to commit to placing each Chris in their ranking. But after much (I’m not even kidding) thought I have finally come up with my list.

MY CHRIS LIST

4. Chris Pine. I feel bad putting him last on this list. I like him. But if I’m being completely honest, he didn’t make it higher because he isn’t in a Marvel movie. Because of this, he’s the first Chris to slip my mind and the last one I remember. To all the Chris Pine fans reading this, I’m sorry.

3. Chris Evans. This one pained me. Chris Evans seems like a really great guy. He seems so laid back, confident, hilarious and fun to talk to. He’s like a really cool bro. Also, I love him as Captain America and I love how much he loves dogs. Ultimately he landed third on my list because of his political twitter stuff. I’m totally fine that he does it (not that he cares), it’s just that politics lately make me feel so much anxiety and stress and puts me in an unhappy space.

2. Chris Hemsworth. Thor is my favorite so it was hard for me not to put the man who played Thor in first place. I adore Chris Hemsworth. I love that he’s a devoted father and dedicated husband. He seems very humble. His accent is dreamy. Let’s be honest, all of him is dreamy. There is no reason he shouldn’t be in first place. So how did he find himself here? I don’t know. Well maybe I do. Maybe it’s because his eyebrows were just way too blonde in the first Thor.

1. Chris Pratt. Winner, winner! Does anyone not like him? He is happy, true to himself, positive and uplifting, great to his fans, a wonderful dad, hilarious, quirky and not the typical look of your everyday Hollywood heartthrob. He leaves a lot of positive messages in what he says. He’s down to earth. I just don’t see what’s not to admire. To me, he’s the obvious choice for number one.

So what’s your Chris list?

What You Shouldn’t Miss at Disneyland Resort During Halloween

If you didn’t know already, let me fill you in real quick – I am obsessed with Disneyland, especially Disneyland during Halloween time. The season started on September 7th and goes until October 31st, so you still have time to go see Disneyland Resort during its very best time of year.

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We go a lot during the year, but we always make sure we go during Halloween Time for sure. Seriously, its the best. I wouldn’t lie to you. Because I’m getting antsy waiting for our trip to Disneyland coming up and its still just the beginning of the season, I wanted to share with you my five can’t miss list of things you have to do/see while you’re in Disneyland Resort for Halloween.

Mickey’s Halloween Party – Just so you know, Mickey’s Halloween Party is a separate ticket event. Meaning you have to buy another ticket for this party. Yes, its an added expense, but its worth every buck. When you attend Mickey’s Halloween Party you get to dress up in your Halloween Costume (all ages can do this! – but its not required, if thats not your cup of tea), and you can trick-or-treat around the park! Oh, and they do not skimp on the candy (but there are also some healthier options). There is also a special parade for Halloween which is…I don’t even know the appropriate words to describe this parade. Its phenomenal. I highly, highly recommend you watch it if you choose to go to the Party. There is also a special firework show! There are extra characters out and about in their adorable Halloween costumes, lots of villains, fun photo backdrops and ops all over.

Typically this party happens in Disneyland in the evening. Disneyland closes for everyone else and just people with tickets to this event are allowed in Disneyland. As for everyone else, they get to go hang out in California Adventure!

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Photo Ops – The photo ops aren’t just during Mickey’s Halloween Party. There are also so, so many cute holiday-themed spots to take your picture throughout both parks and Downtown Disney that aren’t special for the Halloween Party. My favorites are the giant pumpkin at the top of Main Street, all of Cars Land with their Haul-O-Ween overlay and the outside of Haunted Mansion, which is Haunted Mansion Holiday during September through December, which brings me to the next can’t miss thing…

Haunted Mansion Holiday – Through the Halloween and Christmas Seasons in Disneyland, Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas takes over Haunted Mansion, making it Haunted Mansion Holiday and its so much fun! The original Haunted Mansion is my very favorite attraction in Disneyland, but I’m ok with it not being its original spookiness for a few months because when Jack takes over, he does a great job! Its a perfect mix of Halloween and Christmas and its something that just can’t be missed.

All the Food – Meals, snacks and treats at Disneyland are undoubtably some of my favorite things about Disneyland Resort, and Disney really ups their game when it comes to holiday food. I’m contemplating doing a separate post all about the treats in Disneyland Resort during Halloween because they are phenomenal. They taste great and look magical.

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Cars Land/Haul-O-Ween – I still can’t get over how incredible the Cars Land overlay is. Haul-O-Ween in Radiator Screams is everything we never knew we needed. The attention to detail is ridiculous. You could spend hours in this land just oogling over all the decor. Lightning McQueen and some of his friends even come out to visit for pictures and are dressed up in their own Halloween costumes! Make sure you also check Radiator Screams out at night. The lighting is so cool. Lets face it, everything about Cars Land is cool at all times of the year, but especially September and October.

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10 Months Postpartum

Before I had kids I knew that the first few weeks after having a baby would be unpredictable with postpartum stuff. But I foolishly also believed that once my child was like 2-3 months old I’d be in the clear. Silly me. I was so wrong. In my case, my postpartum anxiety gets really bad and scary right around 2/3 months, so I was definitely  wrong in assuming I knew how life after baby would be.

A couple days ago I hit 10 months postpartum with my second child. I am still deep in all that postpartum craziness. Some days are awesome and some days are not. Some things are going pretty well and others aren’t. These things all swap places, moods and feelings fluctuate and its really hard to tell what day will be a good one and which will be harder.

I like to look back on my life and reflect on things. This is the post to someday remind me what 10 months postpartum with E (and 34 months postpartum with H – haha) looks like:

  • Postpartum Anxiety is still real. I had a few good months where I felt like I had a handle on it, but the last two months haven’t been as lucky. There are so, so many scary thoughts floating around my head that I have to work hard at battling every day. Sometimes I can combat the fear and anxiety easier than other days. I never know what to expect.
  • My body isn’t going back to my pre-body as quickly as it did with H. Granted, I’m aware I’ll never have that pre-baby body fully back, because I’ve now had two babies. I am poochy and soft in some places, but honestly I don’t mind too much. I’m feeling quite confident in my mom bod. I exercise daily, I eat good (ish) and I know that my body is what gave me these sweet boys of mine. So right now, I can’t complain.
  • More of a Mama Bear is emerging from me. I’m very much a person who hides away from confrontation, but lately I’m a lot better and puffing my chest up and standing up for my kids benefit. Maybe someday I’ll figure out how to do that for myself haha.
  • I know I’ve said this before, but I feel like I fully mean it this time – I’m getting my groove back. I’ve finally figured out how to manage keeping the household under control and (basically) tidy, while taking care of two little boys. I’ve still got a lot to work on and learn, but I’m getting the hang of it and feeling confident about it, so I’m proud of myself.

Its so crazy to think that in two months E will be ONE and H will be THREE. What? Where does time go? All I can say is I hope the next two months are kind to me and that I’m kind to me as I continue to be in this postpartum ‘fun’.

The Halloween Time @ DLR Pump Up Post

Just in case you needed it, here is a post to get you pumped up for Halloween Time starting at Disneyland Resort! (disclaimer: a good chunk of these pictures are from Cars Land because I still can’t get over how awesome the overlay is there)

Halloween Season officially begins in Disneyland Resort today, September 7th, though decor, etc has been popping up for the last couple weeks. How excited are you? On a scale from 1-10, I’m definitely at a solid 100. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again, Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort is the very best time to go to that magical park. I promise.

I’ve gathered several of my favorite Halloween Disneyland pictures for this post to get you all excited for your upcoming trip, or give you some motivation to get there. Or, if you can’t make it, then hopefully this can help fill that Disney void for you!

*Most of these are taken by my dad – he does such a good job.

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A Bugs Land

You guys, I’m just sad about this. Today, A Bugs Land in California Adventure closes down for good to make way for a new, Marvel-themed area. Don’t get me wrong, I am really excited to see what this ‘Marvel Land’ (thats not what it will be named) will look like and entail, but I’m pretty devastated that it comes with such a high cost. A Bugs Land is adorable. The theming in that area is some of Disney’s best, if you ask me. Its such a great place to take kids as well. With this gone, I feel like options for little kids in California Adventure are so much smaller. Its a bummer.

A Bugs Land opened in California Adventure on October 7th, 2002 and consists of several child friendly rides which are, Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train, Fliks Flyers, Francis’ Ladybug Boogie and Tuck’n’Rolls Drive ‘Em Buggies. There is also Princess Dot’s Puddle Park (a splash pad, essentially) and the best a 3D show called, Its Tough to be a Bug.

I’m going to miss A Bugs Land. I really am. I have some awesome memories there. H’s very first ride in a Disney Park was in A Bugs Land (Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train). We would always laugh when we rode Ladybug Boogie because it seemed to spin just a little too fast and would whip us around. I’ve never felt fully prepared for the part in Its Tough to be a Bug when the bugs leave the theater under your seat or when you get stung in the back (if you’ve been you know what I’m talking about). We have a really funny story with Wild Man’s family on the Drive ‘Em Buggies. The shade there is unbeatable. I know I’ve already said this, but the theming is spectacular. The popsicle stick benches, the huge 3 (and 4)  leaf clovers  up above you and the fact that when you enter Bugs Land you really do feel as if you’ve shrunken down to the size of a little bug. I can’t say enough just how cool it felt to be there. It was certainly overlooked by many people who entered California Adventure, but it wasn’t by me or my family. We love it and we’ll miss it.

bye. A Bugs Land! Thanks for the memories.

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