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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

speech evaluation

For a year or so, I’ve been listening to my firstborn and wondering, just wondering, about a few of the sounds he makes.  Now being an early childhood educator, I knew I was probably being a little over-curious.  But this past spring, I called Unit 4 and requested a speech evaluation.  Finally, a few months later I got a call saying his eval would be August 12. 

I took Ellie to a friend’s house because I knew they’d get nothing accomplished with her there. ;)  We headed to the Early Childhood Center where we met Maureen, a very sweet speech pathologist.  She explained they would do the whole early childhood evaluation, as many times they get parents worried about “speech” but there are many other issues that are revealed in the screening. 

Owen didn’t want to go in alone, so I sat outside the open door which was nice because I wanted to see what she did anyways.  She asked Owen to do a series of things like stack 9 blocks, draw lines and shapes, and describe objects she laid out on the table.  He had fun doing most of them, as witnessed by his hands in the air here:photo-001She said (later) that she won’t ever forget Owen because of what he did during one portion of the “test.”  He was asked to look at 2 pictures and then she turned them over.  Then she held up a matching picture and he was to tell her where to lay it down so it would be on top of it’s matching card.  Does that make sense?  Well, he did the 2 cards just fine.  But then she did it with 3 cards, a house, a duck, and cup.  He placed the first one fine, but looked confused about the second.  He pointed at where to lay it down and then looked at the cards (which were turned over).  He said “that one is wrong.”  She asked him how he knew that since they hadn’t turned them over yet and he said “the numbers don’t match on the back.”  We both laughed!  She said she’d never had a kid pick up on the fact that they were labeled with numbers (for her benefit) on the back before.  But of course, she still had to dock him that point even though he showed a higher level thinking skill.  (boo to standardized tests)

Overall, he passed with flying colors and she said he an absolute joy to work with.  She did hear the 3 sounds I was worried about, so I wasn’t a complete nutcase for requesting a screening.  He replaces his /th/ sound with a /y/ sound.  For example, instead of this, it sounds like yis.  He also has trouble with a /r/ sound when it’s in a blend.  For example, in crayons, it sounds more like cwayons.  And lastly he struggles a bit with the /l/ sound.  It sounds more like a /w/ or /y/.  For example glasses sounds likes gwasses and leaf sounds like yeaf.

She said she never does speech therapy for the /th/sound because it almost always corrects itself.  And for the /r/ and /l/, she said it is totally normal at his age.  I’m supposed to just model over and over and she even suggested using a mirror so he can see what it looks like to make those sounds.  So we’ll just work a little on those sounds extra hard as we start preschool here in a few weeks!  It was an interesting experience to be on the other side of the teacher table for the first time.  :) Glad to know that on paper, he’s right where he needs to be! 

Freezer Cooking (with friends!)

Awhile back, I hosted a Prep.Freeze.Cook party with some friends.  It was super fun, but at about $12 a meal, not something my budget could do every month.  Enter: my friend Amy.  She decided to take the concept and adapt it for a smaller group of friends and do the shopping/prep ourselves.  This month I invited myself to her house for the “party.” :)  William held down the fort and Miles and I headed over on Saturday 1-001 photo 1 (2)-001How it worked was a week before the party, Amy sent us an email with different shopping lists divided up.  We each picked a list to buy.  It also had a few items that needed to be prepped ahead of the cooking day.  Here’s what my list looked like:
  • PREP ITEM - 32 medium sliced green peppers
  • 64 oz white vinegar
  • 4 bottles (16 oz each) zesty Italian dressing
  • 8 limes
  • 7 jars (4.5 oz each) or 28 oz of minced garlic
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) of ketchup
  • 64 freezer bags
  • 8 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 cans black beans, drained
  • I also decided to pre-label all the bags to save us some time on the morning of
Every arrived and unloaded all their 5-001These 2 guys were adorable together and were so great throughout the morning.
photo 3-001 Again, each group of ladies tackled one meal at a time.  We simply found the indreitent on the massive table of food and dumped it into a gallon freezer bag.  Once all the bags for that meal were done, we sealed them and put one meal in each lady's laundry basket.

Here was our list of the 10 meals that we prepped (can you tell we're big chicken fans?):
Taco Chili
Black Bean Chicken 
Coconut Lime Chicken
White Chicken Chili
Chicken cacciatore
Creamy Italian Chicken
Italian Buffalo Chicken
Crock Pot Aloha Chicken
Crock Pot Philly Cheese Chicken
photo 4-001photo 5 (2)All in all, it took us only about an hour and half for everything.  And even better, the total was $89.52 for all of it!  Definitely worth doing a little of our own prep work to get our cost down.Amy has a full run down of the meals with links to the recipes.  I can’t wait to make this a monthly (or bi-monthly) tradition!

Friday, August 8, 2014

meet Weston!

We would like to introduce you to a new name you’ll be seeing pop up on my blog in the next year, Weston!
Our favorite little childcare kid, Sam, is having a blast with his mom and new brother Jack. We were so sad our time with him ended and I really thought there was no way I’d ever find another single kid who only needed care for a few days a week.  And then God landed 2 potential jobs in my lap.

Someone posted on Chambana moms that they were looking for part-time care and people were posting suggestions for lots of centers.  I put my info out there saying if they were looking for in-home care, I’d love to chat.  Rachel emailed me quickly as did another family who saw the post.  We met with the other family who needed care for a 1 year old, 3 days a week.  While he was adorable and the mom and I had very similar styles of parenting, I was pretty nervous about his age.  And I really would prefer the majority of the school week be with my kids (3 days vs 2).  So I was thrilled that Rachel and her husband, Dane wanted to 4They came over and Weston played with the kids and we all chatted about every issue under the sun.  Then on Thursday, Weston came over for a “trial run” while his mom worked in her classroom.  It couldn’t have gone better.  He played so well with Owen and Ellison and is such a sweetie. photo 4-003 He loves a good art project like my 2 (1) photo 3 (1) And who doesn’t love some outside play time?photo 4 (1) And the kid sleeps. 5All in all, it was a great first day.  We’ll be getting to hang out with this sweet little guy on Tuesdays and Fridays.  I’m so thankful I’ll be able to help add to our budget while still just hanging at home with my kiddos.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Casey’s Birthday Weekend

This past weekend, we packed up and headed to Peoria to help celebrate my brother Casey’s birthday!  He flew in from Colorado and we were excited to see him, Philip and Kara, and my folks.  We got there mid-morning and just had a fun time hanging out. Picture 1961 Picture 1962 Picture 1963The kids had a blast playing in the basement, running naked in the hose outside and feeding the cows. Oh and just being crazy.Picture 1943Picture 1965The parental units made an amazing dinner for Casey us.Picture 1966Then we finally got to the part Owen was waiting for, Cake and presents. 
Owen was pretty concerned that Casey didn’t get any presents to open, just cards.  Welcome to adult life 2-002 We made the mistake of thinking Owen and Ellie could possibly sleep in the same room together.  Parent FAIL.  I guess we should have known that putting 2 terrible sleepers together is just going to result in more terrible sleep.  So somewhere in the middle of the night, we divided and conquered.  Ellie came and slept with me (and Miles) and William slept with Owen.Picture 1950-001Sunday morning we finally got a picture of my parents and the kids.  That’s been a long time coming.  I took about 40 and this was the best. :)Picture 1931Picture 1944 We had a great time at their church, the Vineyard Church Peoria and after a quick lunch, got on the road.  The kiddos were asleep before we got on the highway.Picture 1953-001When we got home, we finally got around to something we’ve been talking about doing. . .making Ellie’s crib into a toddler bed.  As you can tell, she was thrilled!Picture 1973Picture 1970It really hasn’t done much to make sleep better or worse this week which I guess I should be thankful for.  Of course we’ve had a few more things to clean up as she now loves to pull books off her bookshelf and take shoes out of drawers.  And one night, she did walk downstairs in the middle of the night looking for me.  But other than that, we’re on our way to true toddler-hood.  Next up: paci only at night and maybe potty training?  Lord help us.

Friday, August 1, 2014

B&N Frozen Event

Today we decided to have an outing after naps (rare for us) and we headed to Barnes and Noble for their Frozen event.  It was billed as super fun thing for kids and I thought there would be a few more characters present.  It wasn’t a glamorous event by any means, but the kids did awesome and it’s always fun to get out and about.Picture 1951-002At the first table, they poured what looked like salt into a cup.  Owen got to dump in water and it turned into “snow.”  They go to play with it in pans and bury animals and such.  Then, we build snowman (Olafs) with glitter playdoh.Picture 1950We cut out some snowflakes and hung them up on the little stage area.  Of course, we had to belt out some Frozen tunes while on the stage!Picture 1954-001Picture 1952-001 They were so awesome that when Owen asked for a treat while we were leaving, I had to oblige. :)Picture 1959Picture 1955 Picture 1956 Picture 1957 Picture 1958It was a fun way to ruin our dinner. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Miles {2 months}

I was gearing up to start writing Miles’ 3 month post and realized I didn’t finish his 2 month one.  Oops.  So here’s the short list of that post:
  • his first smile was on June 20.  Now he gives us smiles and full belly laughs all day long.  Never had a baby so smiley and I LOVE it!
  • in size 2 diapers and 6 month clothing (around 13 pounds)
  • awesome nurser
  • takes 4-5 naps in various locations (swing, stroller, crib)
  • sleeps in his crib 7:30-1ish and then up every couple hours.  But what?!  Did I finally get a sleeper.
  • loves to be swaddled and only sleeps if all arms and legs are snug tight and on his back
  • adores his paci
  • loves his siblings
  • doesn’t love or hate bath time. 
  • hates tummy time
Picture 1931
ahh, a sleeper :)
Picture 1720-001
his first smile - I caught it on camera!
Picture 1713-001
love his hair line
Picture 1742-001
June 23 - first time on his playmat
Picture 1888
smiley man
And some from our 2 month photo shoot:IMG_2531-2 IMG_2504IMG_2510-2 IMG_2522-2 IMG_2525-2 IMG_2529-2
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