Thursday, July 29, 2010

Speech Therapy

Soooo... Will had his follow-up appointment this week. Thankfully he has gained weight and grown a little so we need to keep doing what we're doing and come back in 3 months to check again. Phew... something good!

Now today Will had his speech therapy. He wasn't very cooperative to allow Rebecca to work with his mouth, but my progress with his lip exercises was helpful. She added some tongue exercises to do as well.

We were talking about some things and I was nearly in tears explaining that I don't understand what I've done wrong that my son, who is nearly 2 1/2, does not talk. She reassured me it wasn't my fault and it appears that Will has issues with his muscles which are preventing him from speaking properly. Since he understands everything we say it is obvious I have been working with him. Once his muscles start working properly it should be easy for him to begin saying words... but we have to also get that "spark" which helps him click words with communication.

My homework is to take pictres of Will's common foods he likes to eat. Rebecca will laminate them and create a poster board for Will to communicate which foods he wants to eat. When he points to or brings the picture we are to say the name of that food as well as sign it and then get that for him. Hopefully this will give him the spark necessary to associate a word with what he wants.

Another development --- Rebecca wants to get Will an Occupational Therapist to work a bit with his hands. She said he seems to be less coordinated than other kids his age. It's very noticable when he waves "bye-bye" and some of his signing. I didn't tell her this, but I've been trying to get Will to copy my hand and show numbers, but he hasn't been able to do that. Maybe the Occupational Therapist would be a help.

In other news. Alanna hasn't been herself the last few days. She's been incredibly fussy and I can't figure out why. One night she slept for 8 hours but the following night she was up every 3 hours. Don't know what's going on, but I'm really trying to keep from getting mad at her... she's just a baby, she doesn't understand that her constant crying between naps and feedings is making me incredibly frustrated.

Oh, I've got a little art project going on. I'm painting wooden letters which spell out Will's name and then want to get cute buttons and ribbon to hang them on the wall. I might also do the same for Alanna. Yes, I know I can just order some online or buy them at a store, but sometimes it's special if mommy makes it. I'm giving it a few more days to decide if I actually like my work before I scrap the whole thing and actually order them. We'll see.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Sierra!

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 25 == quarter century old. Weird how time flies. At church when I told Pastor Darrin it was my birthday and he asked how old I was he seemed a bit shocked at how young I was. I don't think it's all that common to see somebody my age with 2 kids and married. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I just seem more mature... or I just look old. How sad is that?!

Anyway, after church we had a little time at home before Hannah arrived. Ryan arranged for her to babysit so he could take me out. He wanted to do dinner and a movie and stuff like that, but I don't feel comfortable leaving Alanna for more than maybe 2 hours right now, so we just went to a movie.

I'd been wanting to see "Eclipse" with some friends but our schedules and finances were never panning out favorably, so Ryan took me as a gift... I couldn't really say no. It was fun and the movie was alright.

Once back and the kids woke up I opened my presents/cards. Ryan had attempted to order the Broadway season tickets but didn't figure it out so he gave me the money to order them. Unfortunately they're more expensive than he thought so we'll get them in the next paycheck or so. I've only got enough cash to buy 1 seat... not 2. The kids ended up getting me the next season of Dr. Quinn.

Then we had cake (with accidental trick candles which Will found hilarious) and ice cream.

It was an alright day. Got to talk with all my siblings and my mom and dad. Their present to me arrived on Friday: a GPS for my car. I had fun setting it up and downloading stuff for it such as an Australian guy voice for directions and a red van as the map icon.

Anyway, not much else going on at the moment. So here are more pictures and videos!



Will riding in his carseat.

The kids napping together on the couch.

Alanna in the Jumperoo -- she likes it!

Lana taking a quick bath in the sink.

She was smiling and sort of laughing, but we couldn't get it on camera - silly girl.

Ready for church. Alanna is now in 3-6 month clothing!

Will and Alanna. It almost looks like they have the same haircut.

Opening my presents


My cake

Will was really into the ice cream.
Here's a video of Alanna cooing. She was very vocal this day.
And Will FINALLY figured out how to blow my alarm whistle. Now I wish he still didn't know how.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Count Your Blessings

I've been reading some blogs of strangers and catching up with people and I just want to say that only after learning the struggles and tragedies of other families I realize how blessed my WHOLE family is. In reality we have not suffered as badly as other. Yes, we lost an uncle suddenly and have some distant relatives and friends who have some difficult, hard and sad life situations, but for the most part we seem to have been spared.

Recently I was reading of a family who lost their mother/wife. She had 3 kids, the youngest was only about a month old when she became incapacitated. She recently passed away -- the baby was only a year old. I could not imagine going through that. Alanna is only 3 months old now and to have to be separated from her or William would break my heart.

In another family, the husband passed away after being married a short time and the wife was only a few months pregnant with their child. This is hard to imagine. The woman is extremely strong and has a loving family to help as well as a strong faith -- and a beautiful blog.

And then I also think back of people I've known from church. A guy who became a quadraplegic, but has been going through recovery and beginning to walk again. Then there were families who seem to have numerous members fighting cancer at the same time. And another family who recently lost their 3 year old after a battle with cancer.

I realize bad things happen to people and God will not give anybody more than they can handle. I sometimes wonder why we have seemed to be so blessed. Not that nothing bad will ever happen, or has not ever happened, but it just makes me realize the sweet mercies God has provided and what blessings he really has showered on us. There really is so much to be thankful for.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Kid Health News

Alright, let's get a quick health update about the kids.

Will had his bloodwork done and thankfully this time everything came back normal! Even though his white blood cell count was low before, it is back up to normal. And, like we thought, there is no sign of silliac disease. He goes to the doctor on Tuesday for his full follow-up. I'm hoping he did gain some weight.

Today Alanna had her follow-up. She now weighs over 11 pounds! She still looks skinny, but that's alright the doc says. The eczema has cleared up, thanks to the aquaphor. It did not seem to be diet induced, just incredibly dry skin and the doc says there's a good chance she'll grow out of it. Yay! On the other hand I mentioned there's a bad odor when I change her diaper, even after wiping and a bath so she took a look and low and behold Alanna has the beginning of a yeast infection. I was told it's not my fault, just a normal thing with babies so we were prescribed some ointment for that too.

Oh my goodness! Picking up the prescription was frustrating. Apparently they are doing construction on the prescription pick-up place so it was moved to a different area. It now takes even LONGER for people to get their drugs. Since I knew we had a wait, I went ahead and had 1 of Alanna's 3 month shots done and they were out of the other one she needed. After sitting over 30 minutes for our name to appear for the prescription window we get up there and I say it is for Alanna and hand over my ID. They look around for quite awhile then come back and ask when it was put in because the last prescription was done in June. They were looking for me, not Alanna. So, after some clairification, they try again. After another wait they then inform me they ran out of that medication so I would have to go to the satellite pharmacy on base to pick it up.

That really isn't a big deal because it is a drive-up window so I didn't have to carry the kids in anywhere.

It was just annoying though.

The base Summer Bash was also today. Originally Alanna's appointment was at 12:45 but the clinic asked if we could move it to 2:00. That was fine because I figured it would be maybe an hour with everything and then we could go straight to the party which ended at 5:00. Well, with all the delays with the medication by the time I got home both kids were sleeping. I got the big stroller together and put both kids in and headed over to the field.

I am not kidding. As soon as we stepped onto the field the high winds began. And these were some MAJOR winds. There were announcements going on for people to take their tents down to prevent injuries from poles and flying debris. Since there wasn't a lot of time left, people began completely tearing down their booths. I just walked around the field but we didn't get to do anything because it was basically over. Kind of bummed out about it. Oh well, maybe next year.

Oh! I never mentioned about Will's speech therapy. Last week it went well, I think. The therapist says that Will seems incredibly intelligent but also appears to be more on the prefectionist side so he may not want to speak until he can do it "right". With more examination she found that there seem to be some muscular irregularities with his tongue and lips which could be preventing proper speech, which could be frustrating to him and why he doesn't talk. She gave us some exercises for his lips to do to help with the muscles and we're supposed to get him to chew on this stick thing, which he doesn't like. This week his therapist is on vacation, but we begin again next week.

Guess that's all for now. Everybody is healthy and we move ahead. We'll see how Will's appointment goes on Tuesday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Botanical Gardens

Today I took the kids to the Botanical Gardens at the ABQ Biopark. I hadn't gone before, but thought it would make a nice walk. It was HOT! But, then again, when is it not in this high desert?

We wandered around, I showed Will how to toss pennies in a fountain, looked at flowers, Will pointed out every creature that moved (calling it Kiki of course), and once done walking we ate a little snack in the shade.

I was also very pleased that Will didn't have any accidents and he told me when he had to go potty each time.

Within 10 minutes of being in the car Will passed out and is still sleeping. I've nursed Alanna and took a wonderful shower to get all the sweat and sunscreen off.

We're going to have to go back again sometime. I didn't see about half the park and it's nice to wander around along the trails.

And now, some pictures. Sorry some are the wrong direction... I downloaded directly from my camera so there was no rotating.

Couldn't find Will in the morning while getting ready and then discovered him laying next to a sleeping Alanna in my room.

Will under one of the arches.
Alanna next to a little fountain.

my babies!

We went in their Japanese Garden, but I must say it was not as good as Showa Park. Then again, how do you beat the original?

Lana and I by the falls.

Stretching out in the cool shade.

Enjoying a snack.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Roswell

Over the weekend, Ryan and I took the kids on our first real family outing since moving here. We drove down to Roswell, New Mexico! It's supposed to be like 3 hours away, but with my driving we made it in 2 1/2 hours. Not much to see on the way there, mostly flat, brown and green land with shrubbery... though you do pass through about 2 dilapidated towns on the way there.

The highway leads straight into the city. Roswell was interesting. It has a small town feel to it, though all major retailers and stores seem to be in place. Also, the New Mexico Military Institute is located right at the heart of the city --- it has some beautiful buildings and surrounding fields.

We had to do the tourist things, of course. First we went to the NM Museum and Art Center. After driving around we checked into our hotel, got dinner, picked up some bathing suits for the boys and enjoyed our evening after our drive. Then on Sunday we checked out of our hotel, wandered main street to see the UFO Museum, some of the alien stores and laugh at the neat things around there. After lunch we headed out to NM's first state park, The Bottomless Lakes. Overall it was a really good trip. The kids were GREAT in the car and we had a wonderful time.




Me and the kids by an actual painting by Georgia O'Keefe!

Going to dinner... love the aliens even included at IHOP

this big guy made us laugh


even WalMart had a space ship and an alien painted on the building. On the windows there were alien characters as well.



You can't see it well, but that green blob is a street lamp. They glow green!

Ryan and Will swimming at the hotel pool. Lana was sleeping in the room so that's where I had to be.

Outside the UFO Museum.

Will by the alien mascot.

Alanna wasn't too thrilled by this stop.

These are the street lamps that glow green at night. Too funny!

One of the many flying saucers that seem to be crashed into buildings all over main street.

Having a bbq with a new friend.

Will likes his new buddies.


Alanna and Will ready to get out of town.


The special space ship themed McDonald's


At the Bottomless Lakes.

The kids were sleeping in the car, so only Ryan and I enjoyed the scenery.


The cliffs were so huge up close. You just can't imagine until you see them.


There was only 1 lake you could swim in, but we didn't know which one, 'cause while there we saw nobody around.

proof that it does get hot!


And finally, here is a snapshot of Alanna at home learning to sit up. She turns 3 months tomorrow, but she's strong!


And a little video of my smiling little girl!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Big Brother and Baby

It's amazing how fast time flies when you have little ones! Will is being a great big brother. He still likes to hold Alanna and tries to play with her while she's having her tummy time or even if she's hanging out on the couch. Sometimes it's great to tell him to play with sister and he does occupy her enough to stop the crying so I can get something small finished -- sometimes. He even helps with throwing away diapers, tries to help during her bath, and fetches things for me while I'm nursing.

Alanna is doing great. She still likes to roll from side to side and if I lay her on her side she will flip on her tummy or her back, which ever she prefers at that time. It won't be long before she's rolling over all on her own. Right now she's really into sucking on everything... those little hands hardly get a break! I THINK she's trying to start laughing, but it's not very often and I might just have it confused with her cooing and gurgling she does while smiling and being social.

We just got a call today from Inspirations, the Early Intervention people, and Will's first session for speech therapy is this Wednesday. Hopefully everything goes well.

Here are some cute pics of Alanna I recently took.


Sleeping in the Bumbo

Ready to go "bye-bye" in the new carseat

Dressed up all pretty for church!




Saturday, July 10, 2010

Nekked Doggy

Took Maya to the groomers. Since we decided to get her groomed every other month and it's very warm we made sure she would stay cool in this HOT weather. It's so weird to see how tiny she actually is under all that fur.

Here's what she looked like BEFORE:

And here's Maya AFTER:




Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Toddler Photography

Will enjoys getting a hold of my camera and taking pictures. Usually I delete them, but I decided to start keeping several and call them "Toddler Photography" since sometimes they are interesting. Hope you like some of Will's art.