E’s First Trip to Disneyland

Last week we went to Disneyland. Pure magic. As always. This was E’s first trip (outside of my belly) to Disneyland. It was his first trip anywhere, actually. There is no better way, in my mind, to introduce him to family vacations than by taking him to the happiest place on earth. I am not joking when I say it was magic.

H is a little older now than he was last time and gets it a little more than he did last time. His obsession with the carousels is still strong and fierce and he also has a deep love for the ‘Pww” and “Fis” rides (Winnie the Pooh + Voyage of the Little Mermaid). He was a great listener, he was shy and timid but also wild and crazy – which is a perfect description of who he is. He ate terribly but slept great. He rode in his stroller without too much complaint and when he walked, he stayed by us. I was proud of him. He was so anxious to take the whole park in he couldn’t seem to get to the next thing to look at quick enough. Disney magic through a childs eyes magnifies the magic significantly.

E was true to himself. He was happiest if I was in view and especially if I was holding him. If I was on a ride and he was left with someone else, he…lost it in most cases. That boy is a mama’s boy through and through. He ate great, he napped often and the loud noises of Disney didn’t wake him. He loved watching his brother run around and peek at him in the stroller. He was mellow and happy. He had a lot of blowouts but somehow managed to keep the mess of most of the blowouts just on the onesie he wore under his outfit. He slept through the night and was very go-with-the-flow. I know he’s only three months old but I’m going to go ahead and say he enjoyed his first trip to Disneyland.

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Hashtag Blessed

This past Sunday our sweet little E was blessed by his dad. We were able to bless him in our home, like we did with H. It was special and sweet and there was an overall, undeniable feeling that our little boy was going to be a good, good person. I am so grateful to be his mom. I am thankful for the Priesthood and to have a husband who holds it, honors it and respects it. I am thankful for my lovely eternal family and all of the many blessings Heavenly Father gives me and my family.

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February GBOMB

February was so much better than January. I stuck to goals, the weight I’ve been carrying on my shoulders *mostly* came off. Things felt happier and lighter. I’m so grateful it was a much better month.

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GOOD

  • We just returned from a really fun Disneyland trip. It was E’s first time there. It sped by way too fast, which was kind of a bummer, but everything else was so great. H was so good and I realized just how much he’s grown since our last trip. You can expect some posts and new pictures about that trip soon.
  • You people are good. I did a post about how we found out H has a speech delay and the response I got was amazing. So much support, so much helpful advice and encouragement, so much love. I was also met with so many people thanking me. Apparently I wasn’t the only mother in the world who was worried about their child being a bit behind in language. I hoped my post could help a person or two – I’m glad it did.
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  • H and I have been attending the library toddler class once a week and its so much fun! Its helping H learn some new words/sounds, its a way for him to get out and socialize and its just a really cute fun half hour for the two of us to share. Check your local library and see what fun kiddie stuff they do!
  • On a whim, I bought H a fish. Named Fish. You never knew a 2 year old could love a fish so much!
  • I broke out E’s Bumbo. He looks equal parts grown up and teeny tiny sitting in there. Its so cute. He loves being in there and feels so proud of himself. H also loves sitting in it and cracks himself up.

BAD

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  • The shooting in Florida this month. I know I really don’t need to expound on this. Its awful and terrible. Its spiked my anxiety and made my worrying skyrocket. I hate that things like this happen and I hate where things like this take my mind. I feel terrible for the students, faculty and families that had to live that tragedy. My heart has been so heavy since I heard about what happened. Its horrid.
  • We ended the month (and began March) with not feeling too hot. I’m pretty sure H picked a bug up in Disneyland. I’m hoping he’s on the tail end of it now, but he has thrown up once and has had diarrhea…many, many more times. He’s been mellow and lazy and it makes me sad, but he is finally starting to eat and drink and I think things are looking up. Then poor little E has a really mucus-y, phlegmy cough that breaks my heart every time it happens. He gets laggy and a little panicky, but then he’s back to being his normal little happy self. Babies shouldn’t be allowed to get sick.

ON MY BRAIN

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  • Is there a ‘normal’ time for a baby to get blessed (in the LDS culture…)? E is 3.5 months old and we haven’t blessed him yet, but we are next month. Its basically the exact same thing we did with H. Yet I’ve had lots of people lately ask me why we haven’t done it yet. Are we doing it wrong? Does it really matter when it happens?
  • My sister in law that lives in California came out this month so we could have a baby shower for her (they hare having their first baby and I AM SO EXCITED FOR THEM). It was so much fun to see her and her adorable bump then to be able to celebrate her and her sweet babe for an evening. I guess I was in some kind of mood during her party because I kept getting so choked up about how kind people are. I think in the word we tend to hear a lot more about the bad thats happening, but there is also so, so much good happening! People are nice, people are giving and generous and have good hearts. Its refreshing to dwell on that rather than the…ugh stuff.
  • We have recently started Speech Therapy with H. He will be meeting with his speech pathologist every 3-4 weeks as of now. Going into this I’ve had a lot of thoughts and feelings. I’m so excited that he is getting help and I love his pathologist. There is also part of me thats nervous though. What if he doesn’t pick up on everything as quickly as I think he should? What if he is really shy (like he was the first time) and hardly ever says anything at all with his pathologist? Or maybe he’ll rock it!? You just never know. I’m just trying to stay positive and excited.

xoxo

ceecee

Magical Monday: Your First Trip to Disneyland Resort

We are gearing up for E’s first trip to Disneyland and I am so excited. He’ll be three months old and obviously will have not even the smallest memory of this vacation. But guess who will remember his first trip to Disneyland Resort? Me.

This got me thinking. Maybe some of you have never been to Disneyland. If you’re one of those people… This post is for you. If the day ever comes and you find yourself in the happiest place on earth this is what I, a seasoned Disney visitor, suggest you make sure you do on your first trip there. The list is short because you want plenty of time to explore Disneyland without feeling like you have to stick to some kind of guide. But these are the things I think everyone needs to experience on their first trip to DLR!

  • Go to City Hall (to your left right as you’re entering Main Street) and get yourself a First Visit button. Then wear it with pride. Cast Members pay close attention to your buttons – who knows, they may just provide you with a little extra magic knowing its your first time there!
  • Make at least one dining reservation. There are so many great places to eat in Disneyland. You can even bring your own food in if you’d like, but eating at a sit down place at least is really nice. There are character dining options – my favorite is Breakfast with Minnie at Plaza Inn (end of Main Street) and options without characters – my favorite is Cafe Orleans (in New Orleans Square).
  • Get yourself a pair of ears! Wearing a Minnie Mouse headband or a good pair of Mickey ears almost instantly ups the magic factor in your vacation. It adds a little more of that Disney sparkle in your pictures and it helps immerse you in the Disney scene.
  • Eat a treat at Jolly Holiday. Just do it. You won’t regret it. Might I suggest the Raspberry Rose Mickey Macaron?
  • Also eat a Dole Whip. You get them at the Tiki Bar right outside of Tiki Room in Adventureland. If you want extra magic, buy your Dole Whip and eat it while watching Tiki Room.
  • Watch the parades/shows/fireworks. They are some of the first things I think about when I think of Disneyland. They bring so much magic – and if you have kids, they especially love the parades!

Thats it! My quick suggestions of the things you absolutely have to do on your first trip to Disneyland! If you are planning a first trip and you need some pointers or tips – lets chat! You know I’m all about talking Disney with you!

Lots of Feelings

You guys!

I have all the feelings and emotions and my heart is so full.

A couple days ago I posted about our little H and his newly diagnosed Speech Delay. (link to that post here) The response I have got to that post has blown my mind. I really hoped it would be a post that was helpful even to one other parent out there, but this post reached so many more people than I anticipated.

I have received more messages and private comments on that post than I ever have before. So many parents have reached out to me and have told me about their experience with their own child/children with speech delays. I was given so many words of encouragement, advice and well wishes. You have no idea how much it means to me. Honestly, I’m not that stressed out or concerned about H’s speech delay. This is a common ‘issue’ and I know we have taken the correct steps in helping him catch up on his speech. I feel really good about where we are at and I feel so much peace still since getting him screened and finding out he would benefit from speech therapy.

Not only have I got a lot of comments from parents who have been through this, but I have got even more comments from parents who have been where I so recently was. I have had so, so many moms reach out to me telling me how they’ve been concerned that their child has a developmental delay. Lots of wonderful, stressed out mommas have sent me messages saying they have been suspicious for however long that their child has a speech delay. I’ve been thanked for posting about our experience and helping instill some confidence and bravery into other parents so they will reach out to their pediatrician about their concerns.

I have also been asked for a lot of advice. I’ve tried to answer everyone, but in case I missed you – I will post more advice. But it will be later. We are still at the beginning of this journey. We have only barely began speech therapy and I’m still pretty clueless. But I know how it feels to feel alone and stressed out, so I promise you that as we gain experience and knowledge, I will share more advice with you. For those of you sweet women who asked me if I’d start doing videos about H’s speech therapy – yes, I will. I have actually been dabbling with the idea of starting a YouTube channel (is that embarrassing?) for a while and I think this is kind of my big push that will get me to really start it. Again, it likely won’t be for a little bit though. So stay tuned.

So thanks you guys. Thanks for the kind words and advice. Thanks for the encouragement. Thanks for telling me that post helped you. Thanks for being brave and putting your child first and planning to talk to your pediatrician if there are things about your child that worry you. Thanks for loving H and giving him your best wishes. You guys are amazing.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Speech

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It was a few months ago that I really started to realize that H wasn’t talking as much as other kids his age. He wasn’t even talking as much as kids several months younger than him. You hear all the time about kids who just start speaking later than ‘normal,’ and I just assumed that was what H would do. Just to get some help/ideas to assist him in maybe even trying to speak a little more, I talked to a friend who is a speech pathologist and got some advice from her. She gave me great advice that I immediately started implementing into our daily life. I didn’t tell anyone about my suspicions that he was a little behind in language. Not even Wild Man. I’m so quick to worry and blow things out of proportion and I was sure that was what I was doing so I didn’t want to drag anyone down with me. I used the advice my friend had given me and hoped and prayed I was just overreacting. I kept waiting for that thing you hear moms say all the time, “one day he just started talking like crazy!” I waited and waited..

As time went on and I kept on worrying I did something I very much regret. I went to the internet and went down a rabbit hole. A terrible, evil rabbit hole. I started doing research on toddlers with speech delays and how to identify if they do in fact have one. This ‘research’ led me to several hundred other articles (not exaggerating here) that sent me into a scary downward spiral. I was reading articles about how a speech delay is also a sign of several other much bigger issues. So then of course I start reading about those other issues/delays and next thing I know, I’m 100% convinced that not only does he have  some kind of speech disorder, but he also has this, this and this. It was the crappiest, scariest feeling. I physically and emotionally was hurting like I never have before. It was such an alien feeling. The thing was, I knew nothing would change if I did find out he had a delay or two – I would still love him and my opinion and attitude of him would not change. I just hated not knowing for sure. I still kept it quiet for several more weeks. I was probably overreacting. Thats what I kept telling myself over and over again. But I could never shake the aching feeling.

Finally, I decided to be brave enough to talk to Wild Man about this. One morning I just sent him a text addressing my concern. Come to find out, he was just beginning to be slightly suspicious that he was a little behind with speech. But then his crazy wife texted him and he too went down the dangerous rabbit hole – also becoming terribly stressed out and worried – stuck in this yucky rut of feeling completely helpless and confused.

It felt so good to not be the only one worried anymore, but I also felt bad for dragging Wild Man down with me. It wasn’t a fun place to be. So we quickly decided we wanted to talk to our pediatrician about our many concerns about H. Our little E had his two month check-up coming up the following week. I texted our pediatrician (he’s a family friend) and asked him if he’d have time to talk about these concerns or if we should schedule a separate appointment. Thankfully he was able to make time during E’s appointment to address our questions. The day of the appointment came and I was so anxious! Our doctor told us he didn’t really think we had anything to worry about. Boys apparently statistically speak a little later than girls and since H wasn’t even two and a half yet he said it wasn’t really anything to stress about. Except he knows us and he saw it in our faces and actions – we were stressed. So he gave us the information of a highly rated company in our area that screens children three and under for speech delays (and other developmental delays). We weren’t even out of the parking lot and I’d already logged onto their website on my phone and was filling out the form to talk to someone about getting H screened as soon as possible.They would even screen him for some of the bigger delays we’d worried ourselves about – not just speech. Our doctor didn’t think he necessarily needed those particular screenings but he knew it would give us peace of mind. We just needed answers.

We had the screenings. We said 8 billion prayers. Our testimonies of prayer and faith grew incredibly. A few days ago the answers came back. H has a speech delay. Thats it. (I hope you’re learning from my mistakes – don’t let the internet diagnose your child. Talk to professionals – they know way more than you/the internet. Also if something is worrying you, don’t keep it private for months. Its toxic and painful.)

We have just begun Speech Therapy. Right now I really have no idea what the future holds. I don’t know how fast H will catch up on his language and communication. I don’t know if it will be pretty simple, I don’t know if it will be hard, frustrating and stressful, I don’t know if it will be somewhere in the middle. We are just at the beginning. You know, maybe he is just a late talker – turns out Wild Man didn’t really start talking until he was three. H could just be following in his dads footsteps. Maybe one day he will wake up and be a chatterbox. There is no way to tell. What I do know is I’m grateful I talked to Wild Man and we talked to our pediatrician then talked with the company that is helping us with Speech Therapy. I feel good about the decisions we made once I finally opened up. I feel good about the help he is getting and I am so confident in H. He is smart, attentive, curious and a good, good boy. He’s going to rock speech therapy. I’m already so proud of him and the progress he has made. He has a family that loves him unconditionally and is very supportive. We are his greatest cheerleaders.

There is nothing this boy of ours can’t do.

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Spiritual Sunday: Mom-Love

Sometimes being a mom is really, really hard. Not for the reason you automatically think though. Its not because my kids are hard – I’m actually very fortunate to have two good, very well mannered boys. I’m lucky. Its hard because I make it hard. Its taken me a while to admit that I’m the reason I feel the way I do sometimes. Its not always hard, but lately its hard a lot of the time. I know without a doubt that its because I AM SO DANG HARD ON MYSELF. I expect myself to be strong and tough and perfect and flexible and able to function while spreading myself thin. I have this vision of a ‘perfect’ mother and for some reason I get caught up in expecting myself to be that mom. That mom that 100% does not exist.

Am I the only one like this? I sure hope not. I tell myself I’m not. Thats why I’m doing this post. In case there are other moms who get stuck in this rut of mom guilt and being really, really, really hard on yourself and you need a boost. Maybe I can be a small little boost for you.

When I’m needing my own boost I typically turn to words. In writing and venting it out, yes, but also reading other peoples words. I’m all about inspirational, uplifting quotes and scriptures that instill hope. Over the last couple weeks of battling my mom-demons I’ve compiled my own list of moral boosting quotes and I’ll be sharing them here today with you guys. I hope at least one can make you feel a little lighter and more confident in yourself. Because ladies, we as moms are freaking awesome. There is no reason for us to be so hard on ourselves. As long as we love our children, ourselves and are doing the best we can – then we are being good mamas. Promise. Easier said than done, I get it. But for real. We are good and we are strong and amazing and everything our children need.

“God will be as close to us as we will have him.”

-Marvin J. Ashton-

“Now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren the Laminates and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.”

-Alma 26:27-

“We learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass.”

-President Thomas S. Monson-

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

-Jeremiah 29:13-

“She woke up every morning with the option of being anyone she wished. How beautiful it was that she always chose herself.”

-Tyler Kent White-

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

-Isaiah 4:10-

“Your prayers for those in need are heard and answered by a loving God. He neither slumbers nor does he sleep.”

-Henry B. Eyring-

xoxo

ceeceesparkles