Thursday, July 23, 2009

Top 10 Reasons I am Excited to Stay Home with My Family this Coming Weekend

Top 10 Reasons I am Excited to Stay Home with My Family this Coming Weekend:

1. My boys. They are my joys, just look at those sweet faces (above). If I were at BlogHer I wouldn't get to kiss these sweet pajamaed boys before bed.

2. My husband's cooking. He is the best cook. I don't want to miss out on one of his yummy dishes.

3. Swimming to beat the heat. I love watching the boys splash around and have a blast.

4. I get to wear my uniform and not uncomfy high heels (pajamas).

5. Although I may not be getting BlogHer swag and meeting awesome PR people and other great bloggers, I will be getting lots of little surprises from the boys.

6. We get to go shopping at one of my favorite places to help us get organized.

7. I get to cuddle with my doggies at night. I couldn't do that in a fancy hotel.

8. I can sleep in my comfy bed with MY pillow.

9. When I wake up in the morning, I can greet my boys with my unbrushed hair and wrinkled jammies and get a smile that makes me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world.

10. I get to catch up on household projects.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Finley Update With Video

As many of y'all know, Finley has been in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) for a few months now working with a physical therapist and another ECI therapist. He has been doing so well in his walking. He now wears SureStep braces on his feet that he was fitted for a few weeks ago (with Curious George on them... yay!) and they seem to be helping with his balance and his feet. Here is a video of today's PT session. He was really doing so well and showing off. This corn popper toy offers no support but I think he thought it was helping him. He's showed no interest in it until recently. He has been walking so much more and spending lots more time on his feet. He grabs us by the hand almost all day and takes us around to show us things. Thanks for your prayers. He is still scheduled for an MRI and EEG in August but all of his blood work came back normal. Praise God!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Last week, Daddy was off of work for a few days so we went to eat pizza, play games and have fun one day. Another day, we went to the circus (tip: If you take small ones to a big circus in a huge stadium, bring their booster seats and a double stroller... life saver!). We also went to visit the great-grandparents on the farm.

Finley loved the carousel.

Did Kieran? What do you think? lol He was on there about two seconds, only long enough for me to snap the picture.

Friday, July 10, 2009

From Walking to Talking: How to Encourage Development

As a member of Team Mom, I was offered the opportunity to have an expert answer my childhood development questions in the form of a guest blog post. I asked about encouraging walking and talking in my sons, especially my oldest who needs a little extra help.

From Walking to Talking: How to Encourage Development
Guest Post By Sue Adair, Director of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc.

Development is not a race; it is a process that unfolds uniquely in each child. Rushing development erodes children’s belief in, and enjoyment of, their own emerging abilities, replacing delight with frustration and discouragement.

Loving, responsive care-giving that includes play provides infants and toddlers the ideal setting for their own exploration of the environment – the royal road to learning.

From walking to talking, here are a few things you can do to keep your child stimulated in a healthy way.

To encourage walking and physical development:
Take walks around your yard or through the neighborhood together or hold hands and climb up and down the stairs together.

Make an obstacle course of pillows or boxes and encourage your child to walk, climb and crawl through it. Buy a few balls for kicking and throwing.

To encourage language and speech development:
Spend a lot of time communicating with your child — talk, sing and encourage imitation of sounds and gestures.

Read to your child. Look for age-appropriate books. Encourage your child to point to recognizable pictures and try to name them. Then move on to nursery rhymes, which have rhythmic appeal. Progress to predictable books, such as Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, in which your child can anticipate what happens. Your little one may even start to memorize favorite stories.

Use everyday situations to reinforce your child's speech and language. Talk your way through the day. For example, name foods at the grocery store, explain what you're doing as you prepare a meal or wash the dishes, point out objects and sounds heard around the house. Ask questions and acknowledge your child's responses (even when they're hard to understand). It is important to speak to your child as you would speak to any person: avoid “baby talk.”

Use pictures, books, objects, or ongoing events to stimulate language development. Model correct pronunciation and use repetition to build speech and language skills.

About Sue Adair:
Sue Adair is Director of Education for Goddard Systems, Inc. (GSI), the franchisor of Goddard Schools. As an expert in early childhood development and learning, Sue oversees teacher training and early childhood education programs for 330+ Goddard Schools across the United States. In her 21-year career in early childhood education, Sue has taught multiple age groups ranging from infants to Kindergarten in both private and corporate child care settings, and has seven years experience as a school director including several years at The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development in Blue Bell, Penn. You can visit Sue’s blog at:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sharing A Piece Of My Heart Today...

Recently, I have become a fan of the television show called "The Little Couple" featuring Dr. Jennifer Arnold and her husband Bill Klein. Jen, as she is known to viewers, is the Medical Director of the new Pediatric Simulation Center and a Neonatologist in the Texas Children's Newborn Center. Watching their show and seeing the tiny little babies treated at the hospital, brought up a yearning I have had in my heart since mid-2007.

When my oldest son was four weeks old his spitting up got so bad that I knew something was very wrong. This wasn't normal spitting up, it was projectile, across the room (no exaggeration) spew. After several calls to the doctor's nurse, I finally spoke to the doctor on Finley's four week birthday and he advised me to take him straight to the local hospital for a barium swallow test. He explained that they would do an x-ray to see what was going on. Me being the Internet Googler that I am, I had a pretty good idea what the diagnose would be, but I didn't voice my opinion to the doctors.

Long story short, I took him to the local hospital where he swallowed the thick white barium out of a bottle and they performed an x-ray to see what was going on. Shortly after, when the x-rays were read and the pediatrician received the results, we were sent straight to Texas Children's Hospital because Finley was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis (click on the words for a good site that explains it well, in my opinion... it's the site I found during my "googling" when Finley was so sick). Basically what pyloric stenosis is, is a condition where infants vomit forcefully. It requires immediate treatment (surgery). Food cannot empty out of the stomach correctly. The next morning he underwent surgery and was released the following Monday.

The picture above shows him shortly after his surgery. He was so tiny, only 7 lbs. and so vulnerable. He needed to be loved and held. He needed his family and friends around him. Thank God he had us all there. It was a holiday weekend and my husband was off as well as other family members (I hadn't gone back to work yet either). Looking for photos from that time, I came across some video as well and thought I'd share it with you.

Sadly though, not all babies have constant arms to hold them when they're hospitalized and it's not because their parents don't love them. Many parents have babies that have to stay in the hospital for weeks or even months. Those families have to make ends meet and take care of other children. I am sure they want to be there, but they can't always be at the hospital. It broke my heart to hear little babies crying in their cribs with no one to comfort them. I know it must break those parent's hearts to leave them as well.

After the surgery, my Finley was 100% ok. He did end up having other unrelated outpatient surgeries, but we were always able to be there with him. So for two years now, it's been on my heart that I want to be a "baby holder" at Texas Children's and volunteer in other ways as well. Today, I took that first step and hope to be able to comfort other babies that need love while their families are taking care of things that are unavoidable.

I just wanted to share this very personal post with my readers because it was on my heart. Finley has had several health problems (all different issues) since birth, but with modern medicine and prayer, he has had a much easier road than many babies that are much worse off or gravely ill. He will be getting a few more tests in August since he's having some trouble with balance and walking and the neurologist wants to see what those tests show. I did get blessed news today that all of his genetics tests and other labs were 100% normal. Praise God!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kieran Sleep Eating (Video)

Yesterday after church, we went to Grandmommy and Pabba's house and had fried fish. The boys really enjoyed it, so much so that Kieran decided to multitask and nap while eating.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Kieran's First Haircut (Video)

Kieran got his first haircut yesterday! Here is a montage documenting the momentous occasion! He did so well until the car scared him at the end and then he was D-O-N-E.