Splish, Splash, A Boy and His Bath

Monday, September 29, 2008 11 Comments A+ a-

Before scrolling down to the picture, let me first set the stage.

Hudson had just been dried off from a bath, smelling oh so clean, when I decided to have him try on a new of pair of pants and shoes. A pair of brown cords and brown shoes, the boy was looking classy!

Then I turned my back... for just a minute.

I heard Devyn say, "Uh-oh, Bobo!"

I ran into the bathroom to find this...











Happy as a clam, in the tub, new pants and shoes and all. Notice the new tag hanging off the back of the pants?! **Sigh** I have a feeling that this is just the beginning!

Scream Heard Around the Web

Friday, September 26, 2008 5 Comments A+ a-

Please excuse me while I go to the private place in my head and scream for a while.


Ok, I feel better now, please resume your normal duties.

The Story Continues

Wednesday, September 24, 2008 6 Comments A+ a-

For whatever reason, I couldn't sleep. I decided to make my nightly trip to the bathroom, an ever-expanding belly will do that to a woman. I glanced into Devyn's bedroom before ducking into the bathroom and my eyes made out an empty bed. I stood there, completely perplexed and began to rub the sleep out of my eyes. I did a double-take, scanned the floors of her rooms for a blanket and a pillow, and decided that no, my eyes weren't deceiving me. Devyn was not in her bed, or in her room.

I felt my heart begin to race and I turned back to our bedroom. I turned on the bathroom light, enough to illuminate our bed and noticed there, right beside her daddy's knees were two small feet sticking out from the covers.

With a relieved grin, I closed the door to the bathroom, and completed my business. When I returned to the bedroom, I picked Devyn up into my arms and moved her from one side of our bed, to the other. Because I know as much as her daddy loves her, he'll sleep better without her there. And because I know that I'll sleep much better with her tucked up against my side.

We lay there, the three of us. Daddy, child, mommy. Every so often, I felt a kick from within, reminding me that soon our family of four will turn into a family of five. But there's something about the first child, the eldest, the one that made us parents to begin with. And as I lay there, still unable to sleep, I reflected on the day before. God was good to us, He has provided for us in ways I never dreamed, and I couldn't be happier with the results from Devyn's assessment.

On our way to the meeting with the speech and occupational therapists yesterday, Jon and I took a moment to pray. We prayed for guidance, we prayed for strength, we prayed for peace. We prayed that we'd be open to the results, to the therapists' ideas and treatment plans, we prayed for the right teachers and therapists that would soon be a part of our child's life. But mostly we prayed that to whatever end, Devyn and her story would be used for God's glory.

The results meeting was everything we'd hoped for and more. The occupational therapist went first, going over everything that she'd observed. Her conclusion was not only that Devyn's motor skills were exactly where they should be, some of her skills were advanced for a four-year-old. She felt there was no reason to be concerned about Devyn's motor skills. Praise the Lord! The speech therapist went next, again noting the strengths and weaknesses of Devyn's speech. The number of her vocabulary words are exactly where she should be, the letters that she pronounces correctly, and her observations of unclear enunciation, switching letters and words around, substituting b's for v's, k's for g's, etc. and mixing up she/her and he/him pronouns. All in all, nothing was said that was a shock or surprise to Jon and I.

Because of her inability to be understood, except by those of us who love and interact with Devyn on a daily basis, Devyn qualifies for speech therapy through the school district. The speech therapist suggested a therapy group once a week, for two hours a week. Basically, Devyn will be one of six children who all have similar speech difficulties. There is both a teacher and a speech therapist in the room; Devyn will alternate between playing with the other children and working one-on-one with the therapist. We were able to meet both the teacher and Devyn's therapist yesterday and personally, I've already fallen in love with both of them. There is an obvious love and passion, both for the children themselves and for what they do in their lives.

And the best part? The speech therapist believes that Devyn probably won't need this extra therapy for more than a year or 18 months at the latest. So here we sit, a mere three months after Devyn's initial speech therapy had to end due to changes in Jon's insurance, a renewed hope for Devyn and her speech. Where in private therapy, she was going for an hour every other week, she is now being moved to a play group with a very low student-to-teacher ratio for two hours every... single.... week. God is so good and provides mightily, wouldn't you agree?!

Well, that's it. I'm off to snuggle my daughter a little more and hopefully drift back to sleep.

Who God Is

Monday, September 22, 2008 3 Comments A+ a-

I believe in my God, not for what He is doing in my life but because of who He is. I hope this touches you as much as it touched me this weekend.

Short Takes

Friday, September 19, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

I’m leaving this afternoon for a 3-day, 2-night retreat with the woman’s group from my church. We’re going to the same place that we went two years ago and I’m looking forward to the time away with other women, my sisters, friends, and Mom. I’m especially looking forward to hearing what God wants to teach me and checking out the changing colors of the Aspen leaves.
Please pray for my dear husband, as he will be alone with the two kids all weekend.

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We have decided on a different boy name for this baby. For some reason the name Brayden just wasn’t appealing to me as much I’d hoped. So after MUCH discussion, we have decided on a new name. I’m debating whether or not I should share it with you all; I fear that I already look like a fool announcing the first name and then reneging on that. Oh well, I laugh because all of this discussion on boy names will be for naught when this child comes out a girl.

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We have opened a baby pool if anyone is interested in playing; just click on the game listed below the family pictures or click here, the game name is "Baby_Trece". If you’re going to play, we ask for the following rules:

1. Please do not list any last names! This will not only protect you, but us as well.
2. Please NO cities listed either…for the same reason.

You will need an email address to play but other than that, it’s fairly self-explanatory. Let me know if you have any questions. FYI, brother-in-law, Josh, won both Devyn and Hudson’s baby pools in the past. I’m wondering if anyone will be able to break his winning streak.

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Some things have come up with my job and I’m living in a constant state of the unknown. I gave my final decision to go part-time (20 hours a week) to my supervisor last week, which was to start in December. However, based on some circumstances in the office, both our interim director and my supervisor have no idea what is going to happen in the months ahead. At this point, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will have no idea what’s going to happen until after I get back from maternity leave.

However, I am resting comfortably in the idea that God is ultimately in charge; that He already knows what is going to happen; and it will all work out according to His will. This is a very foreign place for me to be in; I’m used to being in control and having a plan. But I’m peaceful that I have followed His direction in deciding to go part-time and devote more time to my family. The rest is up to Him…

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And I love, love, love the spiced pumpkin lattes that I’ve been getting in the mornings. Nothing says “Fall” like a spiced pumpkin latte. Yummmm!

Coming Full Circle

Thursday, September 18, 2008 7 Comments A+ a-

We hit a milestone last night! Devyn and I went with our friends, Cassie and her daughter, Addison, to a church not far from our house to register the girls for this year’s Awana’s Club. This isn’t our home church, ours is a good 30-minute drive from our house. But this is perfect because a) its so close to home and b) Devyn will start meeting some of the other children her age in our town.

For those that aren’t aware of Awana Clubs, they are a great organization whose goal is “Helping churches and parents worldwide raise children and youth to know, love, and serve Christ.” Each week Devyn will be dropped off for an hour and a half of play time, story time, crafts, music, and learning about Jesus. Both Jon and I attended Awana clubs as children (not at the same church), and I can’t tell you how many fond memories I have of those weekly meetings.

In fact, about a month ago I was at a friend’s wedding where guests were tasked with coming up with a song that reminds them of the bride and groom. Surprisingly, I recognized many former Awana leaders and fellow Awana attendees at the wedding. One group got up and starting singing the Sparkies theme song. Instantly, the words came rushing back and I found myself singing along (obviously under my breath so no one could hear me). It was surprising to see how fast the words and the tune came back to me!

It was equally as surprising to find myself walking Devyn into the registration room and signing my own daughter up for Awanas. Since Devyn is a preschooler, she is not old enough to be a Sparky yet but will start out at the Cubbies level. I was never a Cubbie but Christine, Allison, and Courtney were all Cubbies, and as Devyn and I looked over her Cubbie handbook, complete with verses to memorize and stories to tell, a major case of déjà vu came over me. How is my daughter old enough for this already?!

And then as I was searching for a Cubbie picture to attach to this post, I came across the Cubbie theme song and started laughing. I have SO many memories of singing this song with Courtney over and over again, when Courtney was just three and four years old. (I wish I had a picture of Courtney in her blue, Cubby vest.) Do you remember the song, Court? Oh man, we’ve come full circle, haven’t we?!
Cubbies Song
We are Awana Cubbies,
we’re happy all day long.
We know that Jesus loves us!
That’s why we sing this song.
We hop because we’re happy
and we jump and shout for joy.
For Jesus is a friend to us.
He loves each girl and boy.

An Afternoon at the Playground

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 2 Comments A+ a-

Sugar 'n Spice

Monday, September 15, 2008 6 Comments A+ a-

Over the weekend, in one the frilliest dress she has, Devyn played with a toad (frog?) in our backyard. Jon's ecstatic that our little girl likes to play dress-up, but isn't afraid to get her hands dirty too. And I'm happy to report that the toad survived!

Just Some Thoughts

Friday, September 12, 2008 1 Comments A+ a-

As of recently, Hudson has become quite the mama’s boy. We’re not sure why and wonder if it’s just a phase but I’m enjoying it. This morning I went into the nursery to pick up my crying babe from his crib and decided that we both needed a cuddle. I sat in the glider in the corner of his room, wrapped him in the blue gingham, Winnie the Pooh blanket made especially for him, and rocked with him to the sound of rain falling on the roof.

It was a wonderful cocoon that I’d created for just the two of us. There we sat, his little chest pressed to mine, his head fitting so perfectly in the space between my chin and shoulder, and I reveling in the scent of his baby shampoo. I stroked his head, his cheek, his shoulder, basically any bare skin that I could get my hands on. Every so often, he’d lean back from our cuddle to smile at me or give me a kiss on my mouth. We laughed some, we talked some, but mostly we just sat in the silence. It was a beautiful morning and a moment that this Mama isn’t likely to soon forget.
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Have I mentioned before what a charmer my son is? Jon and I often just shake our head as we realize that we’re in for it with this little man. Just last night, during dinner time prayers, the little man reached over and, not just once but twice, kissed my hand. Oh…my…goodness! How does a mama’s heart not melt?!

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Every day this baby is making its presence more and more known; the kicks, turns, and summersaults are getting more pronounced and I love it. Baby Trece seems to be most active whenever Devyn or Hudson is around, as if to join in on the action with his/her siblings.

I’m almost positive that that both Devyn and Hudson have felt this baby move, whether they realize it or not. Any time I lay or sit down for a cuddle with either one, the baby constantly pushes against or kicks the offending child. Baby Trece is not a fan of sharing his/her personal space.
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I literally have to tear myself away from all things political right now; be it personal blogs, newspaper articles and the subsequent comments, even talk radio. (Yes, I have officially declared myself as “old” when I realized that I actually enjoy listening to talk radio!) I am so very passionate about this year’s election and get easily fired up over misconceptions, innuendos, and just plain smear tactics. It’s going to be a l-o-n-g campaign until November 4th and I’m not sure if my blood pressure can take it.

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I had a wonderful birthday last week that involved sleeping in, a dozen roses, and a ready-made breakfast when I finally woke up. Isn’t my hubby the best?! The rest of the day included calls, emails, text messages, and cards from family and friends; a wonderful lunch with my sisters and Mom; and then a family barbeque later that night. It was great!

I’m determined to enjoy this last year in my twenties, reflect on my life thus far, write out some personal goals for the next five years, and prepare to take that leap into the thirties.

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Fall has officially declared itself in this state, some areas already experiencing snow today. This past week has produced chilly, cloudy, and rainy days; days that promise warm sweaters, cozy fires, and all things pumpkin and spice. For the past two days I have woken with a desire for a warm, aromatic cup of coffee and I have indulged that craving gleefully.

Tomorrow promises another day like today and I intend to make full use of the indoor weather. I have accumulated boxes to start going through Devyn and Hudson’s closets and drawers; removing anything that no longer fits or appropriate for this weather. Take inventory of their wardrobes and make a list of things needed to outfit them for the fall and winter ahead.

I am giving thanks for changing seasons and for the opportunity to begin my nesting.

Devyn's Assessment

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 8 Comments A+ a-

Today was Devyn’s assessment and while I walked in there feeling apprehensive and teary, I left feeling pretty hopeful and proud.

Unless you’ve had a child assessed by therapists and professionals; unless you’ve read the words “special education” in regards to your child; you can’t understand what its like to sit in those rooms and watch helplessly as your child struggles to complete tasks. Its extremely hard to sit across the room from your child, struggling to answer a therapist’s questions through a clogged throat from holding back tears, all while your attention is elsewhere, ears straining to hear the other therapists interact with your child. "But by the grace of God, go I."

But oh my child, my strong-willed, determined, lovable, good-natured child. She did an amazing job! I chuckled when the occupational therapist asked Devyn to draw a Mommy and Devyn responded with, “You do it.” One thing about my daughter is that she is very good at getting others to do things for her, even in the midst of an assessment, the therapist obliged her, drawing one side of the mommy and having Devyn draw the other side.

I wanted to clap my hands in glee when Devyn used scissors to cut paper and the occupational therapist informed me that it’s usually a four to five-year-old skill. I shook my head when the therapists used a ringing sound to get Devyn to answer the play phone and Devyn made direct eye contact with the phone but refused to answer it. I was worried when they pulled out a puzzle, an actual-no-wooden-cutouts-or-pegs puzzle. I held my breath when Devyn said she couldn’t do it but didn’t stop trying. I was never so proud as when Devyn stuck with it and actually completed her first puzzle! The look on her face echoed everything that took place in my heart. Way to go, my Devyn-girl!

While we won’t get the official results for a couple of weeks, each of the therapists pulled me aside for an unofficial chat. The occupational specialist told me that she had no concerns about Devyn regarding her motor skills, that she is spot-on where she should at her age. There are a few things to work on: hopping, catching balls, memorization, and coloring, but overall, Devyn is just where she should be. The speech therapist told me that Devyn is right where she should be regarding the number of words in her vocabulary (praise God!). Of course there are concerns regarding some sound issues and the continual misuse of he/him or she/her; or even putting words in the wrong place of her sentences. All issues that are easy to work on and correct.

But the highlight of our visit today? Being told that Devyn is a precious and delightful child; having the therapists tell me that she is a shining light from the moment she walked into the room; hearing that Devyn is obviously a bright child, who is eager to learn. Of course we already knew those things about our little girl, but it does a Mama’s heart proud to hear them from someone else. I’ll let you know about the results and what decisions are made because of them, so stay tuned!

"Devyn Paige, you are a testament to your Maker; you are beautifully and wonderfully made. That tenacious streak of yours is going to come in so handy in the future; it is a beautiful thing to watch you tackle something until you get it right. I continually praise God for giving me the honor of being your mother. Always remember how much you are loved Munchkin. Gratefully Yours, Mama"

Pregnant Bellies

Monday, September 08, 2008 9 Comments A+ a-

Christine and I thought it high time that we start taking photos of our growing bellies together. After all, this is the sister that I shared a room with for 17 years; this is the sister that I would whisper to late in the night; this is the sister that I shared clothes with. It seems only fitting that we share a pregnancy together too! Christine is 26 weeks pregnant with Elliana in these photos and I'm 22 weeks pregnant with Baby Trece. Enjoy!

This Mama's Heart

Friday, September 05, 2008 9 Comments A+ a-

Please excuse this mama as she pours her heart out all over this blog; its taken a few moments to collect myself to even be able to type these words. I don’t have time to go back and look at my archives, so I’m not sure if I mentioned this story or not. I’ll start at the beginning:

Devyn was in speech therapy from December of 2007 through the end of June 2008; at that time Jon’s medical insurance changed and we had to put speech therapy on hold. Her therapist kindly pointed us in the direction of the public school district and the possible speech therapy services and preschool services available through them.

When Jon took her to the initial assessment for the school district, we were told at that time that the preschool took place four afternoons a week, for three and a half hours a day. Ummm, not an option in my mind. (Please know this is JUST my opinion for my little girl, I am not judging or condemning any other decisions made by other parents for their children.) We were of the opinion that our three-year-old daughter is not ready for a kindergarten-type schedule and should still be at home playing with her brother, her best friend. We continued with the assessment, even though we already knew that if she qualified for the program, she wouldn’t be attending the preschool. Besides I felt, and still feel, that we could work with Devyn on her speech-sound issues at home and if at the assessment next summer, she still qualified for the preschool program, she could go once she was four.

Fast-forward to today, I’m at work when an early childhood therapist called to follow-up on Devyn’s assessment. We discussed my concerns about the four-day preschool week and discussed the speech therapy services that are available. It was then that the therapist mentioned Devyn didn’t have to attend all four days and could only do two afternoons a week if we preferred. Suddenly, I felt better about the situation and hopeful that something could be worked out.

I was told that Devyn needed to come for a second assessment with a panel consisting of a speech therapist, a teacher, and an occupational therapist. We set up the appointment for next week, and then Jon, the panel, and I will have a team meeting another two weeks after that to discuss the results from the assessment and form a plan to help Devyn succeed. At this point in the conversation, I’m feeling blessed and buoyed with hope.

And then a niggling thought crept in my brain and I realized that we would not be going into all this trouble if there weren’t a reason or cause for concern. I asked the question, dread filling my every word, “What does her first assessment say?” Then with tears in my eyes, I listened as the therapist checked each point off Devyn’s assessment. “Severe speech-sound issues, unintelligible words and conversation, scored low on motor schools.” Each bullet point pierced this mother’s heart and I had to do everything within my power to keep the therapist from hearing the tears in my voice. We hung up the phone and I dropped my head to my desk and had a good cry.

This is hard, one of the hardest things I’ve had to watch and endure as a mother. Even Jon had a hard time watching Devyn being poked, prodded, and assessed. It’s horrible knowing that your child isn’t where she should be; it’s heartbreaking to watch your daughter struggle with words and struggling to respond to questions; it takes everything within you to not reach out and want to fix it yourself, or even to shut out the rest of the world.

I told Jon that I think it was such a shock to me because I’ve seen the progress that Devyn has made in just eight months; its so easy to focus on all that she’s accomplished that I continually ignored the areas where Devyn still obviously needs more work. Jon is handling this so much more calmly than I am, and truth be told, I need his voice of reason right now. We were (are) aware of these issues, we have ways to deal with them, and we’re dealing with it now. God is good, He’s providing some incredible services for us, and I don’t doubt for a minute that Devyn is exactly who He created her to be. He obviously matched Devyn up with us as her parents for a reason, and all we can do is love her and offer her the kind of support she needs to succeed.

Pray for us, won’t you? Beneath the quiet demeanor and shy exterior, lies a sassy, little girl with spunk and a willingness to fight. Pray that we can help mold those qualities to help her overcome her speech issues. She is beautiful, my baby girl, and perfect just the way God made her!

Its a Good Day!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008 4 Comments A+ a-

My birthday came early this year! Three days early to be exact!

I came into work this morning and my coworker handed over my first birthday gift of the week, a gorgeous necklace that she had made for me. I'd been admiring a necklace she's worn over the past years and casually mentioned how much I liked it. Lo and behold, a similar one to call my very own! My coworker is heavily into metal-smithing, is an incredible artist, and my words could not do the necklace justice. I'll just have to take a picture of it sometime soon.

Speaking of pictures, my second birthday gift arrived a few hours after the first. Some of you may remember this post, when my car was broken into and my beloved camera was stolen, along with my wallet. I have been using my father-in-law's old camera ever since, thanks Dad! But I'd recently decided that it was finally time to replace it. And so, without further ado, my new camera… a Canon PowerShot SD750. While it sounds so much fancier than it really is, it's just a point and shoot camera and I couldn't be happier about it. I can't wait to get home and start playing with all the settings!

We're planning a family barbeque on my real birthday but it’s a nice surprise to start celebrating so early this week. I guess I'd better enjoy this last one in my twenties, for next year it’s the big 3-0!

Placenta - What?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008 8 Comments A+ a-

Thank you, dear family and friends, for the well-wishes, thoughts and prayers in regards to our latest pregnancy news. I especially love all the encouraging stories and am earnestly following a couple of other blogs with the same diagnosis.

However, it appears that placenta previa is a little more serious than I was originally led to believe and am now on "pelvic rest" according to my doctor. Basically this means I should be taking it as easy as possible, as well as some other restrictions. Apparently, with the placenta covering the birth canal and cervix, the cervix is more easily irritated and pre-term labor is common. Hence, the need for "light to moderate" duty; we'll do anything to avoid bed rest for this mama. (Of course, I'll do whatever it takes to ensure the health and safety of this baby if the need arises!)

A little more on my condition… There are a few different types of placenta previa; there's a low-lying previa which means that the placenta is lying close to the cervix; there's partial-previa meaning the placenta is partially covering the cervix and birth canal; and then there's complete previa, meaning the placenta is fully covering the cervix and birth canal. Guess which one I have? Yep, the complete previa-one, which will make it a little harder for it to move completely out of the way but like the comments have said, "What's a little placenta compared to the mountains our God can move?!" Hear, hear!

I really am doing ok at this point, although I am anxious for my appointment with my regular OB on Friday and anxious to hear her more thorough thoughts on all of this. I only got a brief phone call on Friday afternoon with my new restrictions via her nurse, but haven't actually talked to the doctor myself.

And as I said in the last post, I'm walking a fine-line between preparing myself for a c-section and praying that God will move that placenta out of the way. This pregnancy has had lesson after lesson for this mama, first the surprise pregnancy and now what could be a surprise ending. I'm learning some big lessons that there is someone else in control of both my life and the life of this baby. And guess what? I'm becoming more secure and peaceful in that knowledge.