Maddie Rae Gotcha Day

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sweet Sentiments...sort of

This past week found most of my family, most of my sister's family, my dad, and my other sister (who picked a very bad weekend to visit) all laid out flat by the dreaded stomach flu. When I was sick last week, Jack very sweetly made me a card to help me feel better. He is very thoughtful and always very good to take care of his momma. This is the front:

This is the inside. I happened to walk by the card tonight, which has been laying on the dining room table all week, and saw that Jonah had written in his thoughts:Translation:
Jack: Your the BEST Mommy in the world
Jonah: No your not. Jesus's mother is.
I'm trumped by Mary, and we're not even Catholic.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Unfortunately, we've hit that "stage" around here. All you mothers will know it well. It's the phase where you tell your child to smile for the camera, and something like this happens:

Or this:

Or if you're lucky, this:

Thankfully we have a good camera, so with enough clicks I can still manage this in between grimacing "smiles."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...

I'm back to the speech therapy topic again, so if you're completely bored by talk of therapy, ARC meetings, IEPs, and saying "Wu, Wu, Wu" 800 times in a row, just skip this one.

Maddie Rae has made amazing progress in the 2 months we have been working with her new therapist. She can now make many more sounds (D, B, T, P, L, R to name a few) and her oral muscle tone and breath support has greatly increased. She can now blow a whistle, blow bubbles in her milk, and make her air come out of her mouth. We are still working on getting her mouth moving by doing the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol (ok, I warned you...not the most exciting post) on the inside and outside of her mouth and face. Speech therapy is really fascinating, I have found, and there are all sorts of tricks to develop the muscles, cranial facial nerves, and tongue movement that really work. And it feels like such victory to hear her language increasing after all our hard work. On a moment by moment basis we are encouraging her to use her words, and we break words apart into seperate sounds for her so that she can hear the distinguishing sounds. Just this week she has said "up", "out", and "eat" completely with the p's and t's at the end. With sentences, we break those down too trying to get her to say each word. So it is a lot of work for her and for us, but she is doing so well and we are all so proud of her. Her confidence is increasing as well, and she will now speak much more and try new things (she went on a talking strike for a while during speech).

She currently has speech for 45 minutes 3 times a week in our home. Unfortunately, she ages out of this program when she turns 3 on May 8, and so now we are faced with the decisions on how to get her the therapy she needs this summer and next year. We are going to continue to take her to her speech therapist once a week in her office, and we have two other options we are considering. The first is just to take her to the boy's school for speech therapy. It would most likely be in a group setting, and I would take her once a week. The second option is to enroll her in early start preschool where she would be in a classroom with other 3 and 4 year olds receiving speech during school. I am leaning towards putting her in preschool because a. it's free! b. it may be good peer pressure encouraging her to talk c. the school she would go to is very diverse and she would be in class with a lot of Chinese and Japanese kids and d. if she were home all she would be doing during the times of the school are eating lunch and taking a nap (which actually turns into room playtime because she rarely takes a nap anymore). We have our initial ARC meeting next Monday where we will begin all the IEPs and testing. So if any of you have any insight into this whole realm, let me know. I am learning as I go, and although I've been in plenty of ARC meetings as a teacher, I've never been the parent in one.

Most importantly, we thank God for healing Maddie Rae's mouth and for allowing her surgeries to be so successful. Jon and I pray often that God would continue to heal her mouth, and give her the muscles and skills she needs to express all that is in that bright little head of hers. I feel like our speech therapist was a direct answer to that prayer. She is so amazing, and she loves Maddie Rae and encourages her and us in just the right ways.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesdays with Max

Every Tuesday my sister works, and so I get the priviledge of hanging out with this adorable guy. Those cheeks! The only time it gets a little dicey is when I have to drop the big girls off at "school" along with the infant carrier, two backpacks, two lunchboxes, and two girls who usually take off 4 shoes and 4 socks in the 5 minute drive to school. Then I do the whole thing over again at pick up, only this time adding in lots of miscellaneous papers and the whole carseat/seatbelt/load 'em up thing. Thankfully, my friend and neighbor Nancy picks up the boys for me on Tuesdays so I do not have to repeat the process a third time! Thanks Nancy!

And I know you have all been waiting on pins and needles to hear the verdict...Bangs or no Bangs? I chickened out in the seat. I went for the same cut I've had for the last two hair appointments (which looks sort of like Christina Applegate's Samantha Who cut). Then I got home and got really irritated with a big piece that kept hanging in my eyes, and so I hacksawed it off with kid paper cutting scissors. Shame, shame. Shame on me. So I have bangs...sort of. I think I need to just grow it out to my standard long locks again and call it a day. I always end up back at the long curls.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Kitchen Curtains

I asked, "Curtains or No Curtains?" and you answered by a landslide, "YES! Curtains!"

Here are my newest kitchen "curtains." I did have dish towels hung up with curtain clips, but these placemats work even better I think. This is a cheap and easy way to hang fun pattern in your windows, and you can even change it with the season or when you get bored for only a few bucks. And if your hands are wet and you can't find a worries, just use the curtains!
Now, I also asked, "Bangs or No Bangs?" and I got a much more varied response. My appointment is tonight, so I'll have to hold you in suspense until tomorrow for the outcome on that one.