We joined my sister's family at the farm Friday night and Saturday. The kids were in heaven! The weather was incredible, so we spent all day just lounging outside having fun. The kids rode the 4-wheeler, explored, had a tea party in the lilac secret garden, enjoyed swinging/spinning on the tire swing, and smothered the kittens with love! Cora and Eli both loved the kittens! They are at that adorable fuzzy and playful stage. Cora got a little rough (picture her trying to pick them up by the neck, squeezing them, and choking them) and she would get SO mad if the kitten left her. There was one little kitten that especially bonded with Eli, and he spent the whole time snuggling and playing with it. He would roll around in the grass and the kitten would chase him. It was so adorable! Eli has officially decided he wants to live at the farm! The beautiful scenery and country air did us all some good!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Last week Eli was sick ALL week. Not only was he having a gluten reaction (stomach pain, cramps, bloated stomach etc.), but he also had an ear infection and an uncomfortable fever all week long. I am in the process of scheduling an appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist for more support. I know what to do to keep him from getting sick, but I'm not sure what I should be doing when he does get sick. I'm looking forward to getting some answers! Needless to say, when Saturday rolled around I was VERY ready to get out of the house since Eli was feeling better. We decided to go to a place on my Summer "to do" list. Tanganyika Wildlife Park was a LOT of fun. It was very small, but very hands on. The kids loved getting to pet the rabbits, turtles, guinea pigs, goats, and the lemurs. We loved walking in with the kangaroos and the bird area. We had a lovely family picnic and just enjoyed the time together. Getting to sit amongst the Lemurs and have them climb on us was amazing! We bought Cora a stuffed Lemur she could snuggle and got Eli some more animals. For those who don't know, he LOVES those little animals/whales that come in the little plastic tubes. He sleeps with around ten of them at night and ALWAYS has some with him wherever we go. Later that weekend, we actually took the kids to the little carnival in town. Cora and Eli both rode the carousel and Eli rode the big slide and little motorcycles. It was just what I needed after a terrible week! One great piece of news is that Eli finished his first month of swimming lessons (and got to go down the water slide) and started speech this week (and did fantastic). I was a little discouraged when I got his speech report back from his screening. It ranked him as "severe" in both phonological deviations (a normal score is between 85 and 115 and he scored 139) and "severe deficit" in phonological patterns of speech. Instead of waiting for them to call me for scheduling, I went ahead and called immediately when I got the report in the mail (I'm a control freak if you haven't noticed). I am so glad I did! The lady told me that she was dreading calling me because there was a waiting list of 40 kids ahead of Eli. I just simply asked her if there were ANY openings at all, and she was surprised to find something had just opened up with the teacher I'd REALLY wanted and she GAVE it to me! It was pretty much a miracle! Eli had a lot of fun at his first speech session and I'm looking forward to watching his improvement!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Eli had his speech evaluation at Heartspring last week. I was really excited to get it DONE and figure out what we need to do! He was perfectly cooperative and sat and said all the words and sounds they wanted him to say. I am still amazed how willing he is to learn (he is rocking swimming lessons and Sunday school now) and am encouraged that he will do great in preschool. He definitely qualifies for speech therapy, but isn't even close to being severe. The speech therapist said she doesn't think it will take him very much time at all to correct the bad habits he's started with his sounds. She said he is great at imitating, so it should go quickly. In her opinion, he only needs one 20 minutes session a week, and that preschool will probably be the best thing for him. I am waiting for them to call me and schedule some sessions throughout the summer. In the Fall, I'll see about getting him in the public school system's free speech therapy. I am very encouraged after this evaluation and am looking forward to getting started (especially after seeing that he'll sit and do what they say). He is growing and changing so much! I am amazed at how his speech has improved just since he turned three, and my talkative niece being here has improved his speech by a TON! He talks in very long sentences now and is getting clearer by the day. When we work on phonics, he is getting better on the sounds he has trouble with (k, s, sh, ch, z). At night, he tells us long stories and his improved talking has pretty much stopped his frustration, tantrums, screaming, etc. I am absolutely LOVING this age! The 3's have rocked so far! The two's were definitely TERRIBLE in so many ways and most of it stemmed from his frustration in not being able to communicate effectively as well as all of his health issues. Most likely, he was feeling sick a lot of the time from gluten issues and we had no idea. I felt so bad for him. I just feel so excited to watch him grow into a little boy who is so active, who loves learning, adventurous, sweet, affectionate, and thoughtful. I am proud of him and how far he's come!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
After a very rough sleepless week grieving and my Grandma passing away, it was time for Cora's birthday party. I had to literally just put all of my emotions on pause and focus on what I had to accomplish to make it a special day for her! The kids were SO excited for their family to come visit! Brandon's parents, his grandparents and aunt from Arkansas, and Brandon's sister's family from Texas all came up for Cora's birthday party. It was so wonderful to see how much Eli appreciates and loves them all. Cora (being her shy self) was actually quick to warm up to everyone and had a great weekend. We had quite a few friends join us for the party as well: the Horsts, Racchinis, Childress, and Owens families came. The theme of her party was "You are my sunshine!" We had sunflowers on the table, yellow streamers and balloons, yellow sun cookies, punch, and sunflower cupcakes. For food we had Texas brisket, jalepeño sausages, cream corn, and Mark Owen's homemade salsa. It was a wild party with the kids playing everywhere having a ball! We sang Cora "You are my Sunshine" and "Happy Birthday" while she ate her cupcake! She enjoyed all the attention. She loved opening presents and was thrilled with all her new loot (she got new hair clips/caboodle/brush, a sun dress, a doll, tons of clothes, a purse, and a percussion set). It was so much fun celebrating my little girl and sharing the joy with our friends and family. It was been a wonderful year! I really am so grateful to God for all the support we have and for giving us Elijah and Cora! I feel like our family is just absolutely "perfect"!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
My grandmother passed away on Friday night. She died peacefully in my very dedicated mother's arms. I miss her so much, but am so glad she is not suffering from Parkinson's anymore and is getting to taste the fullness of God's glory right now! Although my grandparents have always lived in Reno, NV...we were fortunate to get to spend time with them every summer at Lake Tahoe and every Christmas on a trip with all of the family, and every Spring they would come visit the farm. I have millions of wonderful memories that have been running through my mind all week. I think there have been many moments where I have just burst out laughing or burst out crying while praising God for the time I had with her. She was such an inspiration to me as a homemaker, wife, mother, and grandmother. I love her so, and am so glad that my little girl carries on her name! This isn't goodbye Grandma, it's see ya later!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Now that Cora is officially one, I have started cutting feedings and pushing whole milk in her sippy cup instead. She really likes her sippy cup and is doing well drinking out of it, so that has really helped. She is down to nursing three times in the day. She was nursing twice in the night, but over the past couple of weeks we have cut BOTH feedings. This week we just decided to end it. She has been sleeping so much better and almost sleeping through the night and it was time. The first few nights were a struggle. She's woken up once each night this week and we have rocked her with her pacifier and "Miss Kitty". She was not too happy about not getting to nurse. I think the first night she fussed for around 40 minutes. The next night it was a TWO HOUR struggle. That night both Brandon and I kept taking turns until we finally got her down. I'm proud of myself for not giving in. This is one of those "not fun" parenting things you just have to do. Last night, I am happy to report, she didn't even wake up until 3 a.m. and I rocked her for less than 5 minutes before she was happily sleeping. No fussing! My milk supply is dwindling and I am so happy! I have had wonderful nursing experiences with both my kids (besides the bad pain that always comes at the beginning, clogged ducts, and mastitis...ha ha) and am so fortunate that I was able to nurse and that both my kids were great at it. Neither of my kids have ever had to have formula of any kind, and it's so nice just to go straight from breastmilk to whole milk at a year! I know many aren't so lucky! I have been taking prenatal vitamins + DHA for FOUR years because of pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and nursing! It is going to be very strange to stop taking them. Over the next three weeks I will slowly cut out the last three feedings and we should be good to go!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I am very preoccupied this week with Cora's birthday party coming up and my Grandma doing poorly...so forgive my lack of posts. I had a glorious Mother's Day this year. I couldn't stop holding and snuggling my two little blessings and just thanking God for them. I also was just praising God for the wonderful Godly women in my life! I am so thankful for my incredible mother, Louise Corman, my mother-in-law, Donna Judson, my grandparents, Eleanor Buck and Barbara Louks, and my sisters Rebecca Isaacs and Brittnie Bragg. They are all wonderful mothers or grandmothers and I am forever grateful for their influence in my life. For the first time ever, Eli cooked me breakfast! He was so excited! Brandon cooked eggs and put Eli in charge of the toast. It was so rediculously cute. He put the bread in the toaster, and when they were done, buttered them. We couldn't stop snickering because he just loaded the toast with butter. He was so proud and I really enjoyed my breakfast! Brandon had to lead worship, but instead of resenting it, I truly enjoyed the morning with the kids. Eli has moved back up to the older Sunday school class at church and is doing great! The comments from his teacher afterwards (about how wonderful he was and how excited they were to have him back doing so well) were a Mother's Day present in itself. When I inquired what he learned he said, "Jesus loves me!" Also in the car ride home he said, "Celebrating MY Mommy today!" What a sweety! I gave the boys a "to do" list of chores I wanted them to do and they picked up Olive Garden for supper. Another "present" for me was the fact that Cora finally has enough hair for BOWS! I am thrilled! It was a wonderful day and I never wanted it to end! P.S.-Eli did amazing at swimming lessons this week (he wanted Brandon to take him so I didn't get to watch) and had no problem doing them on his own without us being in there with him. The teacher even made a point to come out and tell Brandon how wonderfully he did! YAY!