August 24, 2015

Microblog Monday: Dental Hygiene

I went to the dentist today for a routine cleaning. I had to bring the kids, but fortunately my dentist's office is very kid friendly (or rather kid welcoming - they don't really have a huge kid area, but all the staff is really great with kids and understanding of them sometimes needing to tag along). But in order to encourage good behavior and keep the kids quiet for 15 minutes so I could get my teeth cleaned, I gave my children lollipops. That's right, sugar on a stick. At the dentist's office. They were organic, but not like that matters. And you know what, the kids were SO good. They were quiet and sweet and patient, but of course my dentist couldn't resist giving me a hard time about giving them a lollipop and I get it, I sort of walked in to that one. But I was also unjustifiably annoyed by it too. Because we brush their teeth, they fortunately have had no issues, are cavity free, etc. Finn gets his teeth cleaned twice a year (Mary will too, but I'm waiting until she gets more teeth), and they have very little sugar in the grand scheme of things. I, on the other hand, have a wicked sweet tooth and so when my dentist said I was cavity free (which means I've stayed that way since my last visit) I was really upset that there were no balloons or high fives or even an "atta girl!"because this is a really big deal, dude! Maybe he was too put off by my parenting choices to commend my dental hygiene. 


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August 16, 2015

Speech Therapy and Short Stature

Our little Meatball has been an all in her own time kind of gal, mostly when it comes to her gross motor skills, but when Mary had her 15 month well baby visit I asked the pediatrician when we should be concerned about her not walking. She said while it wasn't uncommon and she suspected Mary would be walking soon, she was going to give me the information about a state funded program called Babies Can't Wait. They could do an assessment on Mary and determine if she qualified for any of their services. They assess all areas of a child's development and while Mary was slow to walk, she wasn't considered "delayed" and scored too high to qualify for physical or occupational therapy. She took steps at 16 months, but wasn't really proficient at walking until 17 months. The one area she did qualify for service was in speech therapy. This didn't come as a surprise and I was really glad that even while so young she could get help early on. Speech is the most common developmental delay in children and with early help, she's likely to have no serious set backs. The reason she qualified for services was that at 16 months when she was assessed she didn't babble as much as a typical 16 month old and had very few words. 

Mary has been seeing a speech therapist for almost two months now, but as we were told, her speech would likely pick up on its own once she started walking. Babies can only handle so much developmentally, so once they master one skill they can move on to the next. I really think that has been the case with Mary. While her verbal skills are definitely improving, she's always been good at communicating. She signs better than Finn ever did and makes it known what she wants. Usually it's food. She's started to repeat a lot of words and even has a few compound words. Here's a cute video of just a few of the words she has now:


Mary also was referred to a pediatric endocrinologist. Nothing serious, she's just a little shortie. But seeing as though Miles is "5'6" on a good day" and I'm not quite 5'4", we knew we weren't going to be making any giants. But we are electing to do genetic testing, specifically to rule out that Mary isn't just short due to genetics (most likely) and not a growth hormone deficiency or a few other reasons for "short stature" like any kidney or liver issues. If there is anything conclusive from the blood test we may have Finn tested as well, but while short, he's not nearly as small as little Meatball. When asking if we even wanted to do the testing, the doctor said, "I can tell you aren't really concerned" and he's right - I'm not, really. Mary is happy and healthy and that's all that matters to me. But we just want to know for certain, after all, we've always joked about pumping Finn full of HGH to give him a fighting chance. We've been very fortunate that Mary and Finn have both always had good healthy upward curves for their growth, they just are on their own curve, not the average kiddo's.

But at the end of the day, short or slow to chat, I'm just so thankful for this little gal of ours and love seeing her developments. Truth be told, I'm glad she's little. I want her to stay a baby for as long as possible!


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August 10, 2015

Micro(ish)blog Monday: Mozarts in the Making

So we are proud owners of a new (to us) piano! Correction, we are proud owners of a FREE new to us piano! A sweet neighbor posted in our neighborhood Facebook page that she wanted to give her piano away to anyone interested (and that was willing to come get it). I couldn't resist and was excited (and surprised) when Miles was on board!

Miles and a couple friends picked it up tonight and put it in a temporary spot in the office. The kids are fascinated. I want them to grow up with some involvement with music; Miles and I both took piano lessons as kids and I wish I stuck with it longer (or at least retained more). 



I really, really want to paint this bad boy. It would be a total pain, but I think really awesome. Something like this:

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Or this:

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Or maybe even this:

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Thank God for Pinterest! And generous neighbors!
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August 4, 2015

Wimpy

We recently got back from a trip to Wisconsin. Other than leaving my phone on the plane (technically Finn left it on the plane, but that's neither here nor there), we had a really great time visiting family, attending the 3rd Annual Hidalgo/Warner Golf Outing, and soaking up some enjoyable time on Lake Michigan which I will blog about later.

The golf outing was awesome; it consisted of a fun tournament and silent auction to raise money for The Fisher House of Wisconsin as well as the memorial funds of Daren and our family friend Rich Warner (who was killed in Iraq in 2004). This year through donations and sponsors and auction funds, $40,000 was raised! Totally amazing.

When Miles' dad spoke at the golf outing he said how the great turnout meant so much because it was a reminder that Daren and Rich's lives mattered and still matter and still are important and how those reminders mean so much to their family who miss them every day.

Rich and Daren's lives were cut far too short, but the brevity of their lives does not diminish the significance of them in any way. I feel the same way in regard's to Cale's life.

I was saddened, but not shocked to learn today that my WWII buddy Mr. Williams has passed away. He was a kind and funny old man I was lucky enough to befriend while we lived in Texas and it was a real honor getting to know him. His nickname was Wimpy, but when asked how he got the nickname he said he's just always had it.  His niece, who he has lived with for the last several years, referred to him as "Uncle Wimpy" and today she called to let me know that he died peacefully while in his sleep. He was 98 years old and yet I couldn't help but find my eyes well with tears upon hearing the news of his passing.

Mr. Williams lived a long and meaningful and honorable life. He was with loving family at the time of his death and until a few months ago was very coherent and mentally sharp. He died of old age. Something that almost seems unheard of these days. And while unusual, when life (and death) don't happen that way it seems unfair and wrong.

It will always be hard to wrap my head around deaths that happen before their time, so today I'm going to be especially grateful for the life of Winfred "Wimpy" Williams and hope that I can only be so lucky.

March of 2014 - Telling Finn to wave at the camera.

Our last visit with Wimpy just prior to our move from Texas in April 2014.

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July 27, 2015

Microblog Monday: Puppy

I like the idea of these microblogs for quick posts about something worth remembering when I don't have time to post much more. We are traveling now, but I wanted to share this cute picture of Mary who is snuggling with her puppy. She managed to unzip the suitcase, pull out her puppy, say "pah-py, pah-py!" over and over in the cutest little voice, then fall asleep within twenty seconds of being put in the car. She's been snuggling with this particular puppy for a couple weeks now and I just love it because not only is it adorable to see her carrying it around, but it's a special lovie, one that was given to Cale from his Aunt Jenny. 

I love when my kids get to use Cale hand-me-downs. It's even more meaningful when those hand-me-downs are special to them as well.