Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thank you doesn't seem enough

What do you say to someone when "thank you" just doesn't seem to say enough? Is there another phrase that means more than "thank you" or "I appreciate you"?

Yesterday, Gavin went to Miss Andrea's for the last time. Next week, he starts his week of summer camp at his new preschool (work starts again for me) followed by Pre-K 3 the week after. Gavin has been going to Miss Andrea's for 2 years now. He loves her and talks about her all the time. Andrea was so patient with him and just knew him. She knew how to handle his difficulties with transitions, what he was really trying to do when he told her "my belly hurts", and how to convince him he didn't really need to take a nap to handle a new situation. Andrea knew how to help him do messy paint projects by telling him she would immediately wipe off his hand/foot when she was done. She loved on him and loved him like he was her own. What are we going to do without that? Who is going to snuggle him until he has adjusted to the setting? Am I going to get a phone call every day telling me to put my kid to bed earlier because he is always saying he wants to sleep or to come get him because he has a belly ache? Change is hard. I don't like change. Gavin really doesn't like change. Change is HARD. Did I say that already?

So, Andrea, thank you. Thank you for being you and for caring for my child. Thank you for waking up each day ready (with the help of coffee) to help shape my child (and other children) and help him grow. Thank you for your love and patience. Thank you for always telling me about how his day was and what funny things he did while I was at work. Thank you for all the wonderful gifts you helped him make for Carl and me. Thank you for laughing behind his back when he was acting a fool as soon as I arrived to pick him up (because, we all know he only acted that way once I arrived). Thank you for knowing how to help him regulate when he was overly emotional at your house over something like having to take his shoes off. You are amazing. It takes a special person to care for little ones and I'm so glad we found you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, we appreciate you, and you will be terribly missed!

We love you!

Saturday, July 11, 2015


It is a season of change in this house. This "Type A" personality of mine is going crazy with all the change! It is, for the most part, good change. Each of us in this house is having something changing (or just recently changed).

-Family: We traded in my car and purchased a minivan! I'm in love. I had always said I would NEVER drive a minivan. Never say never, huh? I don't have to worry about Hunter hitting his car door into another car door, no bending down to get them in, super roomy. It's great! I'm officially "old" as Kelly says.

-Carl: Lost his job he had for 10 years, but snagged an amazing job a few weeks later. The timing couldn't have been any better. He absolutely loves it! I'm so happy for him.

-Hunter: This is his last session at GBMS. We are so, so sad. I know he will do fine going into his public kindergarten classroom, but when you've had it planned in your head even before birth that he would stay there until 1st grade, it's a hard transition (for me, not for him). Everyone Hunter has had the pleasure to be with at GBMS is so loving and caring, I'm really going to miss that.

-Gavin: Our wonderful sitter will be finished in August. I'm so sad over this. She has been amazing. Gavin has grown to love his "Lele" and even this week snuggled up to her when I told him it was time to leave! She gave us plenty of notice, so we were able to find a new lady who seems very nice and was upbeat and energetic. Gavin is a creature of habit, so I'm sure the first week will be hard, but he will warm up and get there!

-Tiffany: My last day with our local pediatric outpatient facility will be August 6. I have accepted a position with our local school system. It is very bittersweet. I'm excited for all the time I will now have with my boys, but it's going to be very hard to leave. The ladies there are like family and they have helped me grow as a therapist in so many ways.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hunter turns 5

How did that happen?! I have no idea where 5 years went! I can't believe my first born will be starting kindergarten in the fall!

Hunter is my sweet boy. At his party, he was blowing kisses. "I'm blowing kisses to Aunt Kelly. Don't worry mom, I still have some for you!" He plays so nicely with Gavin and loves on him all the time. He does have his moments where I want to pull out my hair because of something he has said or because he is choosing to ignore me. That is the phase he's in now... I'm going to ignore you. Every year, it's something new.

Hunter loves to learn. He is always asking lots of questions because he has to know how everything works or why it is around. He is a problem solver and gets very frustrated when he can't make something work without asking for help. His teacher has complimented him on how he will look at an example of something they are working on to figure out what he's to do next instead of just asking.

He is reading sight words and sentences with sight words. He is starting to sound other words out. He can identify and write all of his letters and identify their sound. I'm very impressed with the curriculum at GMS.

He completed his last school year at GMS. He will continue there for the summer program, but will start in public school come fall. I'm a hot mess of emotions. I know the love and attention he receives at GMS and it's going to be a harder transition for me than it will be for him. We are currently looking for a place for him for after school care.

He completed another year at The Little Gym in the sports skills program. He loves it. We are taking a break this summer for the first time since we started at 3 months.

He continues to love dinosaurs and books about dinosaurs. He has also started to be interested in super heroes, Legos, and cars. Trains are starting to fade as an interest and I think we will be moving those to the attic soon.

Hunter enjoys his time with friends, but he still likes his alone time as well. Sometimes he sneaks off to his room for time to himself. He is becoming more adventurous. He is riding rides at Busch Gardens that he would not go near last year. He is becoming more comfortable in the water and his sensory issues with water on his head/in his ears are beginning to become less and less. He has even tried new foods recently.

This year, I asked him the same interview questions as I did last year. I love seeing his answers and comparing them to what he had said last year.

Favorite color: blue and red
Favorite toy: my bike
Favorite Fruit: strawberries
Favorite T.V. show: Voltron
Favorite thing to eat for lunch: A sandwich
Favorite game: PBS Kids (computer)
Favorite snack: Graham crackers
Favorite animal: Lion
Favorite book: Runny Babbit
Favorite song: Centuries
Best friend: Quinn
Favorite thing to do outside: Ride my bike
Favorite drink: Slurpee
Favorite holiday: Easter
Favorite thing to take to bed at night: My loveys
Favorite thing to eat for breakfast: Pancakes
What do you want to be when you grow up: A paleontologist
Favorite thing to do inside: Play with toys

Gavin at 15 months

Gavin is now 16 months and I'm just late writing this, but he did have his appointment on time.

At his 15 month check-up:
-Weight: 25 pounds, 12 ounces (65%ile)
-Height: 31 inches (45%ile)
-Head Circumference: 50 cm (off the chart)

It's so interesting to see how percentiles change over the years. Hunter was .5 inches taller than Gavin at his 15 month check-up and was in the 75%ile for height and weighed 8 ounces less but was in the 90%ile for weight.

Gavin wasn't having any part of this visit. As soon as I put him on the table to undress him the screaming started. "Up! Up! Noooo!" He pushed the nurse away, fought when she tried to measure his head, push Dr. Scott away. I'm not used to this. He is the total opposite of Hunter. Hunter was always one to go with the flow, not fight you, even if he didn't care for what was happening. Not Gavin. If he doesn't want to do it, he's putting up a fight. He's been like that since day 1. He wants what he wants and he lets you know!

We have to take him to a pediatric dentist. There are some spots on the bottom of his teeth that I noticed so I brought it up. Dr. Scott would like him to be seen and our dentist does not see kids this young.

A week after his appointment, I noticed his eye doing weird things. It's so hard to explain, but it is like it is delayed in tracking. It becomes very noticeable when he is tired. Of course, I didn't have him on my dental or vision plans, so I'm waiting for the new plan to kick in come July so he can be seen.

He is taking a few steps, but not full out walking. He has very controlled movement when standing up or sitting back down and he can bend his knees to squat and then come back up.

He has over 50 words in his expressive vocabulary and is combining two words together. He loves to read, he loves his "Buhbuh" (Hunter), and is the biggest Daddy's boy ever!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spring Time Update

I've been slacking with the blogging (go figure). It's hard to find time to sit down and blog after working until 5, coming home, eating dinner, getting the boys ready and in bed, then trying to spend a little time with Carl before we head to bed. Blogging just doesn't always fit into that schedule.

Carl's job recently downsized. After 10 years with the company, he lost his job. It was a blessing in disguise. He hit the ground running looking for a job and landed one with a large, commercial real estate company. He is one of 5 (or maybe even 4) IT people for this company. They have locations in Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, Newport News, a few offices in North Carolina and South Carolina. The benefits he will be receiving are amazing. He is currently in a week long training and is enjoying what he is learning and the people he will be working for. I'm so excited for him.

Hunter has almost completed his last preschool year at GBMS. I'm so, so sad! My plan (when he was first born) was to have him go there through kindergarten, but life happens. He will go to our public school for kindergarten and an after school program until we can pick him up. He has really enjoyed his teachers and the school and I'm just a nervous wreck. I know he will be fine and this will be harder on me than him. I'm very comfortable with the staff, we know everyone, and I know he is very much loved there. Sigh. Academically he is doing great! He is in Reader 4, just finished his first math book (he is adding on his own without having to use the counter cubes now), and is in his second phonics book. I'm positive he is ready for kindergarten. I am so proud of that little boy. I had an awesome parent/teacher conference with his teacher earlier this month. I almost cried when we were talking about what he would be doing next school year. He will remain there in the summer though, so I'm very excited about that.

Gavin is still his crazy self. He has the biggest attitude I have ever seen on a 15 month old! I didn't know they knew to hit when they were mad or to throw something that has hurt/upset them! We don't hit Hunter nor does Hunter hit anyone, so I have no clue where he has learned this (maybe they are born with this and I just don't remember Hunter doing that). He is standing independently and can go from a crawl position to a stand independently. He is still not walking. I'm pretty sure he could, I think he just has to build the confidence. Once he does, I'm sure we are in all kinds of trouble! He is up to 50 spontaneous words and imitates just about anything you ask him to (and ones you don't). I'm very impressed with his language skills. Today he asked, "Buhbuh (Hunter) go?" when Hunter went into the play area at Chickfila. Yesterday it was, "My dada!" and "Dada kisses!" with /s/ in both places.

As for me, nothing new. Still at the outpatient center for the children's hospital. Love my coworkers and my kids on caseload. I have a good variety of disorders and have a couple of feeders now (for a while I had none). I also just earned another ASHA ACE. This means I've earned 70 hours of continuing education within 36 months. I was pretty shocked when I checked the mail yesterday and discovered that. I don't remember all those hours, but I apparently completed them!

And 10 years ago this month, Carl and I started dating. I cannot believe it's been 10 years! I can't wait to see what the future holds!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Gavin's 12 month check up

I was a little worried that the snowmageddon we got hit with this past week was going to close our pediatrician's office (this happened to us on Hunter's 6 month check-up). Thankfully, his appointment was scheduled for 9:30 and they had a delayed opening at 9. It is very hard to get an appointment with my favorite pediatrician, so I always schedule their check-ups as soon as the schedule comes out.

Gavin weighed 25 pounds, 3 ounces (80%ile) and was 30.31 inches long (65%ile). Short and chubby like his mama. He has a 95%ile head circumference. This is why hats that are made for his age do not fit.

I discussed with Dr. Scott Gavin's crazy tantrums. It is like the exorcist- he throws himself backwards so hard I'm afraid he has suffered multiple concussions. If he's in your lap, he will arch so far backwards and keep himself like that. According to Dr. Scott, he has not hurt himself badly enough to learn not to do that. He assured me he would one day. I'm sure we will be making a trip to the ED for that one.

He did say, "Even though you tell me about these tantrums, every time I see him he is just a happy kid. Very social." This is while Gavin is bear walking around the room because the floor is too cold to put his knees down. Gavin was good and let Dr. Scott listen to his lungs and look in his ears without a fight this time.

Gavin had his hemoglobin checked and his vaccines. The nurse came in to do his hemoglobin first, without the vaccine tray. I assumed she would prick his toe like they did with Hunter. Nope, they did his finger. Poor buddy, that stuff hurts! This child does not clot well. It looked like a murder scene in that office! He would not let her put a band-aid on, so he was flinging blood everywhere as I tried to keep pressure on his finger. She left, then came back with another nurse to administer his vaccines. Meanwhile, Gavin is still screaming and fighting me while I try to put him on his back on the table. He was not happy with those nurses when it was all over. His finger finally stopped bleeding and he was able to get dressed. Good news- he's not anemic!

Since his last update, Gavin has been working hard on new skills. He is consistently using the signs for "eat", "more", and "milk". We are working on "all done". He has added two new words: apple and owl. Today, he was able to climb stairs all by himself (I was spotting him). He also pushed from his bear walk up to a stand and held it for 1-2 seconds before sitting back down (all controlled movements).

Here's Hunter's 12 month stats as a comparison.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

1 whole year!

I cannot believe I am writing this! I am excited and sad all at the same time. You are no longer a "baby", even though you will always be "the baby".

Months 1-6

Months 7-12

You arrived 10 days past your due date. You do things on your own time. Crawling? Eh, I'll wait until I'm almost a year. You want me to walk? Talk to me when I'm about 15 months old. Rolling over? I'll do it once at 3 months, then not again until I'm 7 months.

Those first few months were rough, buddy. We had colic, reflux, milk/soy allergy, eczema, frequent night time wakings. Daddy and I were EXHAUSTED! Those months feel like a big blur. I'm not exactly sure how we got here. Once separation anxiety hit, it was so hard to get anything accomplished. If you even thought we might be leaving (you know, we changed the position of our legs as we sat on the floor), you started to scream.

But then you started crawling. Oh, glorious crawling! You were able to follow us where we went. Sometimes throwing yourself out Superman style once you got to us and felt you should be picked up. Your whole attitude changed once you were on the go. Even Miss Kimberly said you were a totally different child. Now you just chased her into the kitchen when she left a room you were in. Her son even made the comment to Daddy today, "I can't remember the last time I heard Gavin cry." Music to my ears.

You continue to be my sensitive boy. Loud noises frighten you and anything louder than an inside voice has you "Uhhh, uhh!!" looking me in the eyes, needing to know what that noise was and who made it. If I don't say, "It's okay, it was just....." you continue to look at me and make distress noises. You do not like when we raise our voice at the dog (or yell at him because he is trying to get something he isn't supposed to have) or if Hunter gets into trouble. This typically causes you to cry, big, sad tears.

Books, balls, bubbles and putting things in/out of containers are currently your favorite activities. When we are in your rocking chair you constantly request "boo(k)", even after we've read 5 and the lights are now out. If you even see the bubble container or wand "bubble! bubble!" (this makes for a fun first 40 minutes at The Little Gym because you see the bubble container the whole time and constantly ask for them).

Transitioning to a hard top, small spout sippy cup is not going well. You will take the soft nipple sippy cups no problem. Bottles will not be hard to throw out, but those sippy cups are basically bottles, just flatter nipples.

Your word count/environmental-animal noises is: ball, book, bubble, mama, dada, buhbuh, Hunter, woof, roar, uh oh, hat, on, night-night, bye, hi, hello, nana, bank (blankie), door, duck, baba, tree, that. You will imitate words (the other day you imitated "summer" during a Frozen song in the car that you hear a billion times a week). You can follow simple commands with and without gestural cues, you respond to "come up/come here/sit down", you look for things when asked, "Where's ____". You will sign more/eat occasionally. If I wait for you to do one after modeling it for you, you will quickly sign it.

You still suffer from eczema. It can get so bad. Reflux is gone. It appears you milk allergy may be gone, but I'm not 100% sure.

Gross motor wise, you will get in and play in high knees, can pull to a stand (but your feet are facing out when you stand up), and can walk with max assistance. You are crawling and are super fast.

You are sleeping through the night, to about 4/4:30 (occasionally later, usually when it's Daddy's turn to get up with you), but then you go back to sleep after your milk until at least 6. Sometimes around 2:30/3, you begin to cry/whine in your crib, but it's usually because you have wedged yourself in a weird angle and can't roll out of it without hitting the side of the crib. You work it our yourself. You love sleeping with your lovey blanket.

We've also made it a year in cloth diapers! Woohoo!
How can you not think a booty like that is cute?
Your birthday party was a blast! We missed a lot of our friends because they fell victim to illness, but we still had a bunch of our other friends! You hate the parachute, even with Hunter sitting on it with you. The cake wasn't a big hit; you weren't a fan of how sweet it was (or the fact that your hands were messy). But overall, it was great and you loved being with family and friends!