this is the puddle jumper life jacket that we use for our boys! it all started with my sister buying one, and loving it, so naturally we had to search one out for o last summer. o used it all summer and it gave him confidence to be in pool without latching on to an adult. suddenly this spring, after a winter of not swimming, o jumped into the pool (quite literally) and began "kicking and paddling" to the other side. i have never tried to teach him to swim, just thought he was too young last year and that it'd be something we'd work on this summer. this life jacket gives him enough confidence that he just followed suit! it wasn't hard to think about what to get for aiden this year -as he has totally outgrown his baby float! (the one pictured is actually his design too...quite appropriate!) the beginning is a little tricky, because they have to kick a little to keep from floating towards their back. aiden has not figured it out quite yet, but i think he will in just a couple more trys. they're great and adorable! if you (or someone you know) are looking for a great life vest, this is a great option! as a bonus, they're only about $16 at target right now!!!
some days exhaust me, plain & simple! today happens to be one of those days. for whatever reason, i didn't sleep well last night. that always seems to be the weapon of choice for the dirty devil -with me, anyhow! on these kinds of days, it doesn't matter how quick and easy (we'll say straight-forward) i'd like the day to be, there always seems to be loop-de-loops thrown into it (hence, the crazy straws). since i was up, and wanting to keep the commitment of exercising, i decided to go to the gym (my jogging buddy is on vaca). i did work harder today than i have been able to do thus far, but somehow going to the gym, or exercising in general, just exhausts me! yes, i iced my exhaustion flavored cake with exhaustion flavored frosting, all before 8am!! today was also aiden's speech/development evaluation. it is an in home process so that he can supposedly be watched in his own setting. that makes sense, but when the woman (evaluator) brings all her own "toys", it makes it slightly pointless in my opinion, esp when we had most of the same items or something very similar. i have also heard stories of evaluators coming in and including other children...ours did not and the entire morning became a battleground for owen to show off what he knows and aiden to show off his samson-like strength (fits included) when he was challenged by his brother. my head is still trying to process what happened through all the drama. basically it comes down to this as far as his levels go:
cognition 21-24 mos
language 13-15 mos
self-help 15-18 mos
fine motor 13-15 mos
gross motor 18-21 mos
social/emotional 21-24 mos
according to today's evaluation:
he is very social/emotional, and very cognitive! who didn't know this?!?
he is slightly behind in self-help. she wants him to walk, not crawl, the stairs and feed completely unassisted. i wonder, does she have kids? does she understand the mess that is created when you just hand a 19 mo old a spoon and a container of yogurt?!? or what about the lack there of food that would enter the mouth b/c of it....
his fine motor is behind b/c he couldn't stack 4 blocks alone. this one surprises me a little! they were tiny blocks and we have the same ones that i put way up on a shelf b/c of the insert in mouth things that happens with such young ones. we've been asked to take these down and work with him on it.
he is right on track with gross motor. this is things like jumping, climbing, walking, etc.
he is behind on language (the obvious). i have much hope for this as i have seen huge improvements in the last couple weeks (since he's been on antibiotics). he babbles, says "ca" for cat, "cu" for cup, "hi", and even will nod his head yes when you ask him a question.
there are also some other concerns she has. he holds his mouth open often and drool just pours out (lots of people have noticed this, myself included, but blamed it on teething). she says that is because the muscles in his mouth are not strong at all, because he is not talking. when we return to the ENT she wants us to ask for his tonsils and adenoids to be checked as well. she said they are often the root of chronic ear fluid/infections and the mouth staying open is a sign of them not "being right". his daddy also had similar issues as a child and had to have his removed! it's hard to hear there are things your child is developmentally behind in, because it's hard not to take it personally and think you've done something wrong! lets just face it, it's hard to hear there is anything wrong with your child!! but especially when it's something you've worked hard at and there have been no changes (something you can't control/change). with this situation, having watched aiden the last couple wks on antibiotic, i really feel strongly that he was not hearing us well before (if at all sometimes). i could have tried til i was blue in the face, and he wouldn't have responded b/c he didn't hear a single ounce of it!! dealing with people can also be hard sometimes! this woman assured me that she "could tell i was stimulating him" and that "i cared" so we "needed to get to the root of the health aspect to figure out what was causing this delay", but then also said things like "you need to make him aware of his drool! make him clean it and tell him he's yucky and wet!" with a condescending voice as she was freaking out that drool touched her arm [and wiping it with lysol]. i'm allowed, at any time & w/o explanation, to switch the speech therapist (and in our case the TAC teacher)...so luckily if we get one with a similar disposition as this evaluator, we can "trade her in"! well, things that i have learned or been reminded of so far today are:
not everyone loves my children as much as i do, enough to wear their drool, but that's okay (i love them enough to cover a multitude of everyone else)!
that i can't fix everything, no matter what my efforts are, so i better just get used to trusting god!
that my boys are sinners & they won't be well behaved everyday (this one is obviously not new, just a reminder!)
that speech days are going to take a lot more effort, organization and patience on my part if i'm going to keep the world from wwIII
that some days, no matter how many dishes are in the sink (or how much you want to blog, in fact), you just need to take a nap -it's better for EVERYONE this way! (and it's ok!!!)
that i will be having meetings like today once a week for the next several months!
i'm sure i learned and/or remembered more, but now i'm too tired to even remember what i remembered. please continue to pray for aiden as we dig deeper into what's going on & try to solve these delays!
owen loves intern chris!!! intern chris leaves tomorrow for a trip back home to see his family. though only a [less then] 2 wk trip, it will be like an eternity to my little man. this blog is for chris, so he knows he'll be missed, but also for owen to remind him of the "good times" (when he needs remembering in the next couple weeks, and when he wants memories from childhood some day in the future). safe travels chris, i am SURE you will be in our daily conversations!!!
so there wasn't much watering that happened, and then there was that wind storm that blew all our seedlings over the back yard. needless to say, our garden is pretty much done. there was one beautiful (and delicious) strawberry that o and i were able to sample. it would def be worth it to try again with those next year!!! i have officially decided the garden will be my thing next year. i don't promise it will grow well or that i will water it perfectly, but i will do my best! (anything is better then being ignored) i think i will work hard in it this fall. dig it out and lay down stuff to keep the weeds out. then fill it with a mixture of the dirt and some good soil. i will arrange the plants in rows next year and water it every day (or as needed). i have already started collecting seeds and am sure i will have the "perfect plan" mapped into my journal sooner than later!! does anybody know, is it too late to "try again" with some veggies?
so maybe god is trying to prepare me for life in africa?!
our kitchen sink has been leaking, pretty regularly. i usually try to conserve water while washing dishes anyway, but it still leaks! this makes for me NOT wanting to do dishes even more than i already don't want to (beings that the kitchen is the hottest room in the house anyway). i've been letting dishes pile up... so frustrating!!! yesterday i decided we REALLY needed some clean dishes. while aiden was napping, i took on the adventure of doing dishes in basins. it worked quite well! we had a "dirty dish" bucket, a "wash" bucket, a "rinse" bucket, and lastly a "clean dish" bucket. then i brought them into the house and put them in dish drain to dry. while i admit, this isn't REALLY how it gets done in africa, or anywhere, it worked! my dishes got cleaned, my sink didn't leak, and we conserved loads of water!!! i still have to admit, i hope the sink gets fixed soon!
little scribbler has become an ar-tist! owen is having loads of fun learning how to draw. these are his first faces, EVER! they are from last night. as i currently am posting, he is adding to it with hats, and feet!!! what great fun to see your child learn to enjoy something you enjoyed sooo much as a child (& still do)!!!
above is an "elote" (pronounced e-loat-eh) an elote is a common street food in mexico. it took me several years to be brave enough to try one, but ever since i frequently have the urge to have one. last night was one of those times! to make an elote, you start with a corn on the cob (boil it, like normal, which is part of why i needed to be brave in mexico). then you cover it in mayo. sounds gross, i know! then you sprinkle on some parm cheese, and sprinkle with some lemon/lime juice. i have even heard of people sprinkling on some crushed red peppers. it is de-lish!!! (in a once in a while kind of way)
this is a google image of a real "elote" (and yes, you really do eat it on a stick like this). if ever you're in mexico (or apparently chicago) make sure you're brave enough to try one!
while i am not a writer, and i will do no justice to many things that i could decide to 'write a review' about, i am going to attempt to start reviewing things that i think are worth while, or worth checking out. i have been greatly interested in documentary movies lately. having netflix provides much more awareness of movies that are out there. i happened to have time the other month (while boys were napping) and decided to 'treat' myself to break from chores. this movie was suggested to me by netflix itself. knowing [from the real review] that it is based on a true story, i completely entered into the story of soraya, as if she was a good friend or a sister. it is quite obvious from the title, that soraya gets stoned (i'm not ruining it for you), but let me just tell you that i sobbed during this movie! i don't know if it was because i see this as something i could potentially have to witness as a missionary, hence it becomes all the more real to me or if it's because i wonder if i would have the same courage as the older woman (i forget her name) to come against odds [and town officials] and spread the story like she did. this sort of being risky enough [in a good way -not necessarily b/c of the outcome, but because of the truth] thought has been on my mind a lot lately! i recently was reading through acts where it talks all about paul and his missionary journies. towards the end of the book, paul is confronted many times and told not to go to jerusalem b/c he would be imprisoned. yet paul stands firm saying, "why are you weeping and breaking my heart? i am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in jerusalem for the name of the lord jesus." just like soraya knew there could be consequences for not doing as her husband wanted, and her [i believe it was her aunt] knew there could be consequences for telling the truth, paul knew there could/would be consequences for sharing his faith in jerusalem.
soraya dies in the end of the movie...
the aunt gets her voice heard thru the world...
paul does end up being imprisoned...
would you be willing to "take risks" for such things?
we couldn't just walk past the playground, aiden loves the swings:
aiden and i in the tube slide: o and i going down the tube slide:
boys climbing up slide:
such serious-ness on little aiden's face: o in the sand dunes:
aiden discovering the sand (he actually rolled around in it, he loved it so!):
running to "the beach":
cool shot of boats:
both boys running thru water:
o splashing in the water:
a splashing in the water:
my 3 boys on the beach:
daddy plays in sand too:
stomping daddy's sand castle (i seem to remember the reverse last year):
a working in the sand:
o working in sand:
owens fabulous sand castle:
i seem to have a problem picking pictures!!! they're all my favorites, because they all tell different parts of the stories. believe it or not, these are just a few of the shots i took on our overnight stay to wildwood!
there were 175 to choose from. you can thank me later for not boring you with them all!!