Archive for the ‘The Rest’ Category

Fresh Air and Sunshine

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Our Disney Training Plan continues! We’ve walked these kids all over town, practiced wearing Linc and Finn in different carriers, worked to break in new shoes, discovered Evan’s new sandals give him blisters, tried different combinations of kids in the stroller, and caught a ton of Pokemon. Because it turns out PokemonGo is a really great incentive to get a reluctant 8-year-old out of the house. Our town has lots of pokestops and plenty of gyms, so if we’re willing to put in a couple miles it’s pretty much guaranteed something exciting will happen in the app. I am fine with this plan. My new sneakers have proven themselves to be both light-weight and comfortable, my portable phone charger works great, and my legs are showing some definite muscle definition. WHO KNEW walking was good for you? WHAT A TOTAL SURPRISE.

As a photographer, it kills me a little when we’re in an amazing location and my kids are in…not the best outfits for pictures. I want them to be comfortable and be allowed to express their own preferences. I also want to take pictures I can hang on my walls. But as far as real life goes, this is accurate.  No children wear spotless neutrals ALL the time.

The next time we went walking, I brought my film camera. I’m super excited to see how this exact same photo looks on Kodak 400. It’s hilarious that after all the money and time I’ve spent on digital photography I am most into my $26 film camera right now.

p.s. She doesn’t have a scrape on her forehead. It’s barbecue sauce. I didn’t ask any further questions.

I will never stop being amazed by how much happier I am when I’m getting a daily dose of fresh air and sunshine. I mean, I’m not ready to throw out my Zoloft quite yet, but my stress level being down means the whole house is calmer. I few more weeks and we’ll all like each other so much our Disney trip will be extra magical.

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Next Steps

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

This guy. None of my other children make me want to rip my hair our more than Lincoln. And I don’t think it’s just because he’s the current 2-year-old and 2-year-olds are sort of terrorists.

Linc still struggles with his expressive language skills. He’s had a speech therapist for months now, and has made a lot of progress when it comes to trying to say new words. But for some reason he can’t. Like, he physically struggles to make ANY hard consonant sounds or string words together. “Cereal” is “bee-yo”, even though he can make a “ssssssss” sound separately. “I love you, Mommy” is “Ya. Boo. Mama”, with full sentence breaks between each sound. It makes him completely unintelligible to most people and even I struggle when there aren’t a ton of context clues to help me guess. We had a fight the other day because he yelled “bosh” at me for 20 minutes before I realized he wanted to go play on the “porch”. Did he point at the porch? No. Did he stand in the middle of the room and shout “bosh” louder and louder while I begged him to try a different word? Yes. It can be pretty exhausting.

Right now he is lying across the couch, headbutting me in the ribs because he wants to sit closer to me that is physically possible, hanging off my arm while I type with one hand. I asked him what he was doing and he said “nah-sa”. “Nothing”.

At the end of May, we have a meeting with the transition team at the preschool, to see if they have space for him in their special needs program when he ages out of the state Birth to 3 program. I both really hope he gets in and am super nervous about it. He has gotten a lot out of having a therapist to work with him one-on-one, especially during these past months when a lot of my time has been taken up with a new baby. I am sure his improvements have come from Miss Jill and he’d be even further behind now if it weren’t for her help. But he has so much trouble with his language, I worry about him being away from me. He can’t give me a report of his day, or relay what he’s nervous about, or tell me if someone is mean to him. He won’t be surrounded by people who “speak  Lincoln” and know what he’s trying to say with the nonsense words he uses consistently for other words. Is a teacher going to have time to learn those things? Is he just going to end up more frustrated and having more meltdowns and basically hating everything about school starting at 3 years old? That is not a good start.

Of course, there is also a chance at our meeting the team says: “Sorry, a severe expressive language delay isn’t enough of a problem” and he isn’t accepted into the school at all. Then we’re looking at a whole different set of questions.

I am sure that one day, whether it’s one year or five years from now, Lincoln will talk like everyone else. We are being as proactive as possible to make sure this doesn’t hold him back long term and it seems unlikely a speech delay is a permanent problem. I am looking forward to the day when I can read this post (like SO MANY posts from 5, 6, 8 years ago) and think “Oh man, I totally forgot that was such a huge deal”. Reaching out towards that future helps during the screaming fits and tears and frustration. This too shall pass and one day Lincoln will tell me “I love you, Mom” and sound like a big kid instead of my baby. And I’ll have mixed feelings about that too.

 

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Finnegan: 8 Months

Monday, May 1st, 2017

{Lincoln 8 months, Caroline 8 months, Evan 8 months}

Finnegan had a rough day today. There was a lot of crying. Like, a lot. Way too much. He’s started crawling and pulling up on furniture, which is exhausting when you’re a super chunk. Then his sleep schedule got thrown off and it was too late for his nap but too early for bed, so it was time for lots and lots of crying. I’m hoping he might actually be tired enough tonight to sleep for more than 3 hours in a row. I would really, really love to sleep for more than 3 hours in a row.

USUALLY, Finn is a super cheerful baby. He loves people, he isn’t afraid of strangers and is happy to be carried around by anyone. He likes the stroller, he likes shopping carts, he likes when I wear him. He’s the fourth baby, he basically has no choice but to go with the flow. Except for now, when he’s working so hard to become a person that he forgets how to be chill.

The only thing he never forgets is eating. Finnegan eats so much he’s actually almost taking a bottle. That’s a huge accomplishment for one of my babies. He also eats: crackers, fruit, veggie sticks, rice, cheese, you know what, basically anything he can get into his face he will eat. Even if it’s not technically food. Paper is pretty high on his list of favorites. But all the solids haven’t slowed down the nursing at all, which is one of the reasons he’s up so many times a night and also why his thighs are so ridiculous. He wears 12-18 month clothes at minimum, and I’ve started taking stuff straight out of Linc’s drawers and put them on the baby.

Likes include food, nursing, standing up, crawling, knocking things over, the dog, the cat, his blankey, rolling, music, water, his feet, my feet, looking at new things, smiling, snuggles, dada, mama, his siblings, scratching me, pulling hair, laughing well you tell him not to bite.

Dislikes include being tired, falling on his face, getting stuck under the furniture, waking up alone, not being allowed to eat things he found under the couch.

How do you get an 8-month-old to stay in a chair for pictures? Physically push him down every 3 seconds. These are not all in focus because he is strong and fast.

Look at his filthy baby feet from walking around out on the porch. My inside floors are clean, but the porch is FILTHY.

 

8 Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Says “mama” or “dada” to parents (isn’t specific) – Is this really a skill most kids have at 8 months? He can say “mama” and “dada” but they don’t mean anything yet.
Passes objects from hand to hand – Yes

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Stands while holding onto something – All the time now, and he can almost always sit back down again
Crawls – He can crawl. He mostly does a one legged monkey scoot, like his brothers before him. But he isn’t as fast or as adventurous as previous kids.
Points at objects – No pointing.
Searches for hidden objects – Sometimes

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Pulls self to standing, cruises – Yes, mostly successfully
Picks things up with thumb-finger pincer grasp – Does it fit in his mouth? Then he will pick it up.
Indicates wants with gestures – No, he mostly just cries

 

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Sit Back & Relax

Friday, April 28th, 2017

April shower are just about over and that means I’m excited to get my May flowers into the garden in the next couple weeks!

Wayfair sent me two unfinished wood Adirondack Chairs to customize so I could put my own spin on them and add them to our backyard patio. I’m still in the process of cleaning the space up and getting our garden ready for spring and summer. Nature does not want to cooperate. I don’t want to plant anything until I’m sure it won’t freeze. I can’t do yard clean up if all the leaves are wet because it’s been raining for days. I can’t paint chairs on the patio if it’s pouring. And also (this has nothing to do with nature) it’s hard to make my garden dreams come true if my handyman (aka husband) is always gone on work trips.

But between rainstorms and travel, E got the chairs together and out to the garage and I got them painted and accessorized.

The chairs are solid wood and really sturdy. They came in long thin boxes and it took E a little while to put them together, but they are definitely not coming apart again. (They almost ended up living in the basement though, because they baaaaaarely fit up the stairs.) They’re very generously sized, with wide armrests perfect for resting drinks.

The idea of painting in between every one of the slats with a brush was exhausting, so I went with the easier option. I bought 3 cans of the yellow and used 2.5 of them to cover both chairs. I used painter’s tape and some old paper to define the stripes I wanted to paint. To be totally honest I just did my best guesstimate and it turned out FINE – the screws on the back of the chair made it easy to line up the tape and I was trying to finish during naptime so finding a tape measure wasn’t going to happen.

How fun are those colors? Our outdoor seating is dark brown with beige cushions so that bright pop is going to be so cute out in the yard. Our old wooden table fell apart over the winter so we’re in the market for new patio furniture table too, but these will be perfect for sitting and relaxing with snacks and a glass of wine or a beer now that it’s finally warming up.

And today it is FINALLY nice out, so I moved the chairs to the yard where I can keep an eye on Linc’s dirt digging work while I enjoy the sunshine. I picked up a couple of throw pillows to make them even cuter. I got super lucky and found these at Big Lots – aren’t they perfect?

Linc definitely approves of the new chairs.

And now that the sun is shining I can mow that crazy grass. I’m so happy it’s finally time to sit back and relax in the yard!

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My Week(336) in iPhone Photos

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

I can’t believe I am still doing this, even after falling behind, even on weeks that are super boring, even though when I started I had ONE KID and was pregnant with Caroline. The blogger friend who inspired it hasn’t blogged in years. And yet I refuse to give it up – it’s like the longest baby book in the world.

Sunday:

Feeding baby goats is fun even if you’re a cool 8-year-old

Baby snuggles, front and back

We are SO GLAD it’s spring

Monday:

This is a good look

Selling some of my favorite baby wraps

Unicorn helmet is life

Tuesday:

This is why I usually wear him

So far, the Caffeine eye cream and the Niacinamide are fantastic

I’m being attacked by balloons

Wednesday:

Eight today!

Sup, frog?

Linc has to ALWAYS be touching someone

Thursday:

Rainy day walking

Super excited to be at the doctor, I guess

I don’t know what’s happening here

Friday:

Skillz

Everyone loves Bumpa

Oreo cake was requested, Oreo cake was purchased

Saturday:

Still 8, and I still can’t believe he’s so old

They made hand puppets out of the silverware sleeves

Bubble bath + tub jets = LOTS OF SUDS

We turned off the heat in the house, which means I’m putting away the winter coats but also wearing a sweater all day because it’s actually still pretty cold. But the trees and flowers and blooming and that means winter is OVER. I had forgotten how dirty children get when they’re out in the garden. I should buy stock in a bubble bath company.

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