Friday, December 21, 2012

Update on Bella

I realized I never posted an update on Bella's speech therapy.  After her evaluation there was a question if she might have a mild form of autism.  I guess the signs start showing up around 2 years.  And expressive language delay, lack of eye contact, and a delay in social-emotional development are some big signs. Bella had several of the signs, so we were pretty worried. But after a couple months of speech therapy Bella is starting to blossom!  She is a lot better about making eye contact.  Her social skills have improved(less hitting, pushing, and less tantrums).  And she is starting to say things like, "More cereal, Mommy!" And is overall doing better.  Having the speech therapy take place in our home has been such an amazing experience and blessing.  I've enjoyed being able to watch and learn about techniques that I can use on a daily basis to help her.  It has been so wonderful to see such a change in Bella.  She has a really hard time not using the 'd' which is why I guess it is so hard to understand her. We're working on the 'b' 'p' 'c/k' sounds. She can use those sounds but it takes a lot of effort on her part. It will be exciting to see what the new year will bring for her.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Be careful what you wish for

I have always wanted a red headed little boy.  So imagine my joy when he came out with red hair!  But one thing I did not think of, was that red heads are sensitive to so many things.  I'm suppose to be on a no dairy diet to help with little man's belly problems, to help avoid tummy aches.  But trying to go without dairy is like trying to live with out air ;)( Bryan Regan skit)  So I'll have to remember next time, be careful what you wish for.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Because this is so hard!  Everything I make regularly has milk, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, or some other dairy product.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

4 months old

Charlie turned 4 months this last week!  He is such a fun little guy!  He's 14 lbs  so way to go little guy.  And he's pretty short making him smaller for his age!  He's not going to be a Michael Jordon :)  He received 4 vaccines which did not settle well with him.  He gets a slight fever and is just over all not a good sleeper (at least more than usual) and fussy when he gets his vaccines.  This time I was prepared and kept him dosed so it was more mild then his 2 month vaccines.  The Dr. deduced that he might have acid reflux which would account for the constant eating (because he can only eat in small increments) and a lot of his fussiness after he eats. She said solids should help with acid reflex, so good thing he is now 4 months.  We tried Charlie out on some applesauce and sweet potatoes so far. All seems to be going just fine. He's not a champ like Bella but he is doing OK.  He's interested in his hands and feet.  He's starting to grab for things around him and show some interest in toys.  When he discovered the johnny jump up he was a happy camper. He loves to play peek-a-boo, and has such a big smile. He does the huge gummy smiles!  He loves when someone talks to him or gives him attention.  He seems to be our most social baby so far.  I love when he nurses he will stop and stare at me and then give me a huge smile, coo or chortle.  Pretty darn cute.  He has these huge eyes that take everything in.  He has to be able to see me at all times.  He's a funny little dude :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Daniel Charles Clayton

I love my little baby boy.  I absolutely adore him.  And as I was pondering on how much I adored him, I realized why.  Because I love his daddy!  I absolutely adore his daddy.  Every time I look into my baby's face I see his daddy!  He looks so much like him.  I love how my baby has his daddy's ears!  I love how he gets a lopsided grin just like his daddy.  I love how his looks at me with so much love and that I am his whole world, just like his daddy.  I love how his happy, smiling face makes everything better, just like his daddy.  I love both of my Daniel Clayton's. 

I had a terrible,horrible feeling when I was up feeding my baby one morning about 1 month ago.  This terrible, horrible feeling came over me that something bad was going to happen to Dan and I was terrified.  I was up for over an hour feeling like I could hardly breathe with the prospective of something happening to him and not being able to share everyday with him.  When he got ready to leave for work I was absolutely terrified, I was choking on my fear.  I felt this overwhelming feeling to go to him and ask him not to leave.  To my relief, Dan listened to me worked from home that morning and I was able to breathe again.  Since that day I have had a new appreciation for him and all that his does.  He does sweet and simple things like letting me sleep in on Sunday mornings and bringing breakfast to me in bed. He is such a great dad!  He loves to tell the girls stories, to read to them, tease them and play with them.  The girls go running to the garage door as soon as they hear the door opening.  Dan makes everything better and has given me three beautiful children that I am so grateful for. He is such a good man.  And I am so glad that no matter what happens we will be together for all eternity. 

As for my little baby boy, I love him so much!  And can't believe how fast he is growing! He will be 4 months at the end of the month! He has started to reach out to grab things.  He rolled over from his back to his belly twice yesterday (this might just have been a fluke).  He has the biggest smile and loves to be social! I put him in front of the mirror last month and he gave his reflection the biggest smile and began to coo and 'talk' to the other baby.  And he LOVES to cuddle!  This little guy is such a cuddly little guy and eats all the time!  And I'm not sure if it's all little boys but this little boy still fills at least 3 diapers a day and I'm not talking about wet ones ;)   I love how his eyes follow me and that I'm the center of his world, at least for now :)  I sure love these two guys in my life.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Removing Hannah's Stitches

Yesterday Hannah had her stitches removed.  You would think it would be simple and easy enough, right?  Surely it wouldn't be as bad as getting them in.  I followed the Dr. orders and returned on Saturday.  And an Urgent Care on a Saturday is a busy day!  We waited in the waiting room for over and hour. Then spent another hour waiting in the patient room.  The Dr. was a young guy, who I'm pretty sure knew nothing about kids and was not happy when Hannah starting freaking out when he pulled on her stitches with the tweezers and then cut her lip with the scissors instead of the stitches.  She freaked out and would not calm down and started to squirm.  I was holding Charlie, who was very sad at this point too.  After trying to get the stitches, the Dr. said we should let her calm down first. The nurse who he had brought in to help did not do a good job of holding her arms.  It was just a disaster.  So we waited and waited, while Hannah cried.  Finally he came back in and she started screaming when she saw him.  So finally I asked if there was a way to wrap her arms up so we could just get the whole ordeal over with.  So they brought in the thing and strapped her into it.  She was NOT a happy camper.  She screamed and cried but we got the stitches out in less then 5 min.  Maybe the Dr. and nurses thought I was mean to suggest strapping her down but I did not want to keep sitting there and having the whole experience last longer than it had too.  The Dr. was VERY glad once it was all over and was very adamant that if we had and questions or concerns to follow up with her Pediatrician.  Hey,  I would have taken her to her Pediatrician if they had answered their phones!  Either way it was a terrible experience that ended up being more traumatizing then getting the stitches put in thanks to the Dr. who was rude and had no empathy.  I wish we could have gotten the same Dr. that we had who put them in.  I really liked her and so did Hannah.  She was very encouraging and the crying was pretty minimal, where after getting the stitches out it took me a good 20-30 min to calm Hannah down. Overall I spent all morning and good part my afternoon in an urgent care.  I left feeling drained and not wanting to ever go back there.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

This year we had a very busy Halloween! Friday, Oct. 26th we went and did trick-or-treating downtown on Main here in Fuquay and also went to the 'Not So Scary' story time that included face painting, painting tangerines into pumpkins and some coloring.  Bella got to have her picture taken with the Librarian who was also a witch, and we had to sign a release form so they can use it if they want. The girls had lots of fun and it was fun to be out as a family.
 Monday, Oct. 29th, we carved a big pumpkin as a family for FHE.
Tuesday, Oct. 30th was suppose to be Hannah's preschool Halloween party.  I am in charge of teaching this week and next.  About 15 min into preschool, Hannah fell and bit through her lip sending us to the local Urgent care to get stitches and some antibiotics.  She bit through the front of her lip and her bottom teeth scrapped the bottom of the inside of her lip pretty bad.  Hannah was able to sport stitches for the ward Trunk-or-treat that was that night and then on the night of Halloween.
 Last night we went out for 2 hours and scored TONS of candy!  I guess our neighborhood is where it's at to go trick-or-treating, at least according to our ward. The girls scored full size candy bars and we ended up with over 2 lbs. of candy with about 80% being chocolate.  And I guess someone was also giving out money somewhere in the neighborhood!  Crazy!
 Today we had our Preschool Halloween party.  We cut out, baked and decorated cookies.  Painted bats made out of egg cartons.  Made spiders out of suckers.  And had fun coloring some fun pages.
It has been a busy and fun holiday! 

Bella woke up Sunday morning with a black eye.  So she was sporting a black eye for Halloween.  Tons of fun over here!

Love this little monkey!

Inside of her mouth.  It was pretty beat up.
Outside stitches.  It was not a fun experience.  They had to hold her still while they injected a big needle full of numbing stuff into her lip.  It started to bleed tons again as well.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bella's Evaluation

At about 18 months of age I noticed that Bella wasn't speaking as much as other kids her age.  When I brought it up with her pediatrician she said it was worth having her evaluated by a speech pathologist.  She referred us to an office here in Fuquay but after talking with them and finding out our insurance would not cover the evaluation (which would cost like $200) or the therapy sessions (They cost like $80) unless my child was diagnosed with autism, brain damage, or had a cochlear implant.  Bella was none of the above and their advice was wait 6 months and see how she progressed.  Well, at her 2 yr. check up her pediatrician asked about what had happened and when I explained that our insurance wouldn't cover it she said she was willing to write a letter saying she needed or anything else it would take to get them to cover it.  So I called them and asked about how to get it covered but they said they would not cover it unless she had any of the above conditions and a letter saying she needed it would not help.  I was very frustrated.  So later on that day I was heading over to an Elementary school in the area that does a program called Ready To Learn, which is like a free preschool for an hour every week.  And I decided to sign Bella up on a day Hannah is in preschool.  When I went to the school office trying to find the RTL office, they asked if I had come for the speech therapy program for Bella.  That's when I remembered that a sister I use to visit teach mentioned that her young daughter (who was 4 yrs. old) had gotten free speech therapy through the public school.  So I went home and began to do some research.  RTL does screening and can help get your child any help they may need but not until a child is 2 yr. and 10 months. Bella had just turned 2 and I felt like another 10 months was too long.  So while researching online, I found a program done through the state called NCEI- North Carolina Early-Intervention.  NCEI does free evaluations and if you qualify for their program they will help you get  the help needed and it is all done in your home!  And the child has to be under 3 years of age.
Once we passed the phone screening, we were given a Service Coordinator. And she helped to set up the evaluation for Bella. The day Bella was evaluated the Service Coordinator, a speech/language pathologist and Clinical Social Worker came to do the evaluation.  They did an overall evaluation that evaluated her: gross motor skills, nonverbal problem solving, fine motor skills, receptive language, expressive language, cognitive development, adaptive/self-help skills and social-emotional development.  She scored significantly delayed in the expressive language category and is at the level of a 13 month old.  She scored above her age in problem solving about 29 months.  And was in the average range for everything else.  She just barely made the average for social-emotional development.  We qualified for their program because she is so behind in her expressive language development.  And since they go on last years tax returns and since Dan was job hunting for a significant part of the year, we do not have to pay for anything.  Some other concerns that they raised were that she would not make eye contact when communicating.  And their is a few social skills or lack of that they are worried about,  She only pronounces a few consonant sounds and said very few words during the whole evaluation.  She also does not consistently respond to her name.  There were a few other concerns that were listed, which they did not mention at the time of the evaluation but were in the written evaluation that they sent to us.  We have some major concerns and we will see how they pan out.  She has not been clinically diagnosed with anything.  They had a hearing screening performed to make sure that was not a contributing factor and her hearing was mostly fine, we will go back in for a follow up in 6 month because she had has a cold a few days prior that might have skewed some of the results.  But overall she appeared to have fine hearing.  The biggest worry for me is that she does not have the ability to expressive herself, she understands everything we say just fine but forming words of her own to tells us what is on her mind she can not do.  It could just be how her brain interrupts things or some other things. If it just how her mind works it could make expressive language difficult for her for the rest of her life. We will see what her speech therapist says and I have some questions for her Pediatrician.  She might get screened for some other things.  We will see.  I am glad I followed my feelings and did not listen to everyone telling me she would just grown out of it.  She can now get the help she needs and can hopefully have less challenges as she gets older.  I know the Lord is directing me and is answering my prayers.  I pray every night to know how to best meet my children's needs and I know he was listening.  I will post after her first therapy session!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hannah's 4th Birthday Party

This year we decided to throw a birthday party with friends for Hannah.  When I asked her what kind of party, with out hesitation she said, "A mermaid party!"  I decided to make the party real small with only a few friends.  And after talking to Hannah about what she had in mind, I knew she wanted it to be super girly!  So we decorated the dining room to be a 'mermaid cave.' I made each girl a mermaid tail to take home and to wear if she wanted during the party. And Shalyse made matching hair flowers to go with the tails for me.  Shalyse helped me so much with everything including the mermaid tails!  Thank you Shalyse!  As the girl's arrived they got to choose what color of tail they wanted.  We made necklaces, fixed their hair, painted nails and talked about mermaids :)  We had a lunch of shelled mac n' cheese, fruit salad as 'fruit of the sea,' fish sticks as 'chicken of the sea,' and then 'sea' water which was just plain water put the girls all thought it was pretty novel.  We then sang happy birthday and had cake.  We finished up with 'going fishing' for prizes of things like necklaces, ring, bracelets, and glow sticks.  And then last of all we opened presents.  Hannah really had a good time and it made everything worth it to see her enjoying her special day.

Birthday girl in her mermaid tail!  She wouldn't wear the top I wanted her to.

'Mermaid Cave'
Tissue paper pom pom.  They are so easy and fun to make!

Birhday cake.  It's a sandcastle!  I didn't put as much time as I could have on it.  I finished it 10 min before the girls arrived.

The other 4 mermaid tails.  I made a total of 6.  2 gold, 2 purple, and 2 turquoise.

She was pretty excited.

The girls who were there.  There were 2 more girls that were not able to come.  I was so glad it was a smaller party!
Going 'fishing'

What beautiful girls!

You can see the pretty matching flower that Shalyse made in Lela's hair.

The matching beautiful flowers!