Friday, May 31, 2013

The One With May's Friday Photo Dump

Once again we had a very eventful month.  It's officially summer... wahoo!!  But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's talk about some of the things that we did this month...

 Lindsey turned 5 months old (and is now almost 6 months old... I can't believe it!)
 As some of you may know, she ended up being a pretty fussy baby starting when she was about 3 months old.  We made many changes this month (in hopes of helping her to be happier & more comfortable), and probably the biggest change was we got rid of this...

She's turned into such a happy baby again & it's been a lot of fun!

She also learned how to roll over from back to tummy.  There was no learning curve for this girl, she just all of a sudden did it one day & she has been doing it ever since.

She also found her toes this month.

I've been trying to get pictures of her eating her toes, but it's a lost cause... Every time I try, she stops.  Sheesh.

It's been so fun to watch Paige & Lindsey's relationship grow.  Every day (since Z was born), Paige interacts more & more with her.  This month, Lindsey started interacting back to Paige & they love each other   It makes me a happy mamma.

Paige has had a big month as well...
We played in the rain, did pedicures, read a lot, learned how to put a puzzle together, played with friends & had fun playing outside.  Oh yeah, and Paige learned how to write her name.

We also celebrated the first ever Apraxia Awareness Day!

We finished reading the Book of Mormon... okay, okay, the Book Of Mormon Stories :)

We also had fun playing at grandma's house...
  And especially playing with Grandma's new toy!
Paige finished her first year at preschool.  I'm so sad because I knew how much she loved it.  But, we got her signed up for horse therapy for the summer, so that is nice that we have something to look forward to!
I enjoyed lots of special gifts from my grandma.  They have made my house a happier place.
We celebrated Mother's Day (BTW... I have THE best mom ever!)
Rick's mom always takes Paige over Memorial Day Weekend.  This tradition started the year we all 3 had surgeries within 2 weeks of each other... and it just kind of stuck.  Rick's dad had invited us up to Bear Lake, so last minute we packed up the car (and Lindsey) and took a mini road trip.  It was an adventure (both Lindsey & I got sick), but it was good to get out of the house.
We started planting our garden... We still haven't planted the corn (we ran into some technical difficulties), so I don't know if we will get it planted, but we're trying to figure it out.  Crossing our fingers.

I've had more mommy guilt than normal this month.  Thankfully people write posts like these to help us through times like these. (do you know any more?  shoot them my way!) 

Oh yeah... and can't forget one last thing...
We also wore our clothes backwards!  :)
Next month we are looking forward to a family vacation, horse therapy (for speech therapy for Paige) another trip to see Rick at work & hopefully lots of family time! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

The One With Photo Friday - Singin' In The Rain

Earlier this month we had a nice rain storm.  It was an almost perfect spring rain storm (besides being a bit chilly).  The smell was perfect, it wasn't too heavy & the thunder was just far away that it was almost comforting.

I've always wanted to take pictures of Paige jumping in puddles in cute rain boots and a some-what matching umbrella in her hand wearing a some-what matching rain coat.  Well... it's not quite what I imagined (snow boots instead of rain boots... not big puddles... not matching umbrella... hand-me-down & too small rain coat), but I still couldn't turn down Paige's request to go outside to play when she saw it was raining.  Of course, I brought the camera along... (and of course I'm glad I did!)



Monday, May 20, 2013

The One With Quirky Monday - Things That Melt My Heart

Oh, Ms. Paige.  She is so sweet and adorable.  She has been doing things lately that make my heart happy, so once again, I decided I better post about them before I forgot about them forever (thank you mommy brain...)
Sometimes I call Lindsey 'Lindsey Lou Who'.  I taught Paige how to say that & all of a sudden she started calling me 'Mommy Lou Who' and Rick 'Dadda Lou Who'.  It's the best.  The following are my favorite times she uses those names:
     One morning she came in and said, "oh, good morning Dadda Lou Who" in a very adult, matter of fact way (she's never said good morning to us before that day).
     Sometimes Paige still thinks that I need to come and get her out of bed after naps (she doesn't need it in the morning anymore, so I don't know why she still does this for naps...).  I heard her talking after she woke up from a nap one day & as I was finishing what I was doing she yelled as loud as she could, "Mommy Lou Who!!!".
It makes me smile every time she calls us that.
Paige is not much of a touchy-feely kind of girl.  I often have to trick her into hugging me, or sometimes I make it a routine for her to hug me since she's such a routine girl (like I tell her she has to give me wake up hugs after naps and before she goes potty).  She was crying the other day (I assume she got hurt) and as she walked up to me she said in a sad voice, "momma, hug me".  Well melt my heart why dontcha... How can I NOT hug her in a situation like that?!
As I posted about before, I've been trying to get Paige to recognize her name & learn how to write it.  For Mother's Day & Teacher Appreciation Day, we gave cards where she told me what to write.  I thought this would be cute & good practice if she tried to sign her name at the bottom of them.  I figured I'd have to help her, but she surprised me & wrote the 'P' all by herself.... for the first time without the dotted lines to guide her.  I was so proud of her.  I was really excited that it could be on the Mother's Day cards for the first time ever & that it would be a fun present.

We also sent out some more mail to some family members & I told her we needed to write her name at the bottom... once again she surprised me and wrote her whole name almost completely by herself.  I love it when she surprises me like that!
Isn't little kid handwriting just the best?!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The One Where We Had Another Mini Photo Shoot

Earlier this month we decided to do a mini photo shoot (surprised?).  It was kind of fun & although the pictures aren't perfect quality I kind of liked them.  And, as usual, I wanted to remember how adorable these 2 girls are, so I thought I better post them.  :)  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The One Where It's Apraxia Awareness Day

Today is the first ever Apraxia Awareness Day.

For those of you who don't know what Apraxia is, I'll simplify it as best as I can... It's a neurological speech disorder where she knows what she wants to say, but her brain has a hard time making her body (especially her mouth) move in the correct way.  Therefore, it makes it hard for her to communicate verbally.  

If I were to read that for the first time, I might think, 'oh, that's sad...' or maybe, 'that would be really hard...' and not much else.  

But it's more than that.  

Some people think, 'oh, she's just a late talker'.  

But it's more than that.

Apraxia affects her whole life & the lives of those around her.  It makes it really hard for her to talk to other kids her age at school, people at the grocery store, her grandparents, and even her own parents.  Because of this, it will be harder for her to make friends at school (not to mention she will be 'different' than the other kids).  

This likely affects her in many other ways.  Often Apraxia makes it hard for kids to do basic things like tying their shoes, or writing, or playing sports or even something as simple as eating.  

This is not a pity party, though... 

Because Paige is amazing.  Paige is one of the hardest workers I know (even at the age of 3!).  Paige is a silly, happy girl who loves normal kid things.  She loves shoes, playing outside, reading books, princesses and ice cream.  Other kids who struggle with communicating might get very frustrated & throw lots of tantrums because they can't communicate.  Not Paige, though.  She's always been a very happy person & has a great temperament.    She's very patient with herself & with those around her who are trying to understand her.  She is progressing each day and more than expected, and I am so grateful for that!  Although, I work all day with her, Rick works every night with her & he has helped her so much.  

She combines 'words' like it's nobody's business (a big deal for anyone with Apraxia) & she is a chatterbox at home.  She uses more approximations than I can count, and even though other people can't understand them (and I can only understand some of them), I am so proud of her for getting to where she is today.  

The Apraxia community is raising awareness for many reasons.  One of the main reasons, though, is because children with Apraxia need speech therapy often for several years.  This can be very expensive (our personal SLP was costing us $90 per visit while she needed at least 2 visits per week... needless to say, we can't afford that), but insurance often does not cover it, and if it does, it will only cover a couple of month's worth.  If we raise awareness, we can encourage insurance companies to cover this appropriately.  Of course there are many other reasons we'd love to raise awareness.  

Our children with Apraxia all seem to be amazing & dealing with their challenges in amazing ways.  I wish that Paige didn't have to go through it, but since she does, I'm so proud to be her mom & to be able to learn from her.  She's amazing.  I'll say it again... I'm so proud to be her mom.

For more information on Apraxia, please visit

*I hope I am using the affect & effect in the proper way!  :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The One With April & May's Craft Line Up

As I mentioned in my last post, we've been creating a lot more than usual.  It's been fun & some things were helpful, so I thought I would post about it.

We made a doll house out of card board for Paige's smaller toys. Thanks to a similar idea from Pinterest.
It's not quite as pretty as the pinterest version, but we had fun making it together, so that's all that matters, right?

I felt like Paige was wanting to watch tv more than I would like (thanks to her getting sick), so I decided it was time for an intervention... well an intervention of sorts :)  I was ready to teach her some responsibility & some work ethic (as much as you can teach a 3 year old), so I decided she was old enough for a chore chart.  

I saw this idea & decided to tweak it a bit.  I used a larger paper & Velcro (because that's what I had on hand).  I used the chore images from this cute idea.  I debated on doing the latter (and still might one day), but I thought this one would work a bit better for now.  Her chores are: go potty, brush her teeth, eat breakfast, get dressed & read scriptures.  It's rough being a 3 year old... :)

We do our "chores" first thing in the morning then she can play &/or watch a little bit of tv.  She really loves it.  She goes to get her chore chart every morning (without me mentioning it) & then she tells me which order we are going to do things.  She really loves closing each one as she finishes it.  
*a word to the wise:  after a while, this chart will get pretty worn out.  I was considering laminating it, but didn't think that would work well with the folds, so I just reinforced the folds with tape on the inside and outside.  It's worked well.

Along those same lines, I wanted to encourage her to want to help more (instead of just wanting to watch tv), so I made a helper chart.  I put pictures of different Disney movies where they are helping to clean.  She gets a sticker every time she helps & she loves it.  I even let her pick between watching tv & helping with dishes or laundry occasionally & she often chooses to help me.

You're welcome to download it here.

In preschool, they are working on name recognition, so when I saw this idea, I had to jump on it.  It's basically like a puzzle of her name & she matches it.  I laminated it & used the Velcro again.  She's awesome at it, but it's still fun for her.

I also saw this idea, and loved it, so I tweaked it a bit & made my own.  It's a binder with some dry erase crayons (in a pencil case) with some pages I printed off (info below) on card stock for her to trace.  

Apraxia can make it really hard for kids to write (their brain has a hard time telling their body what to do even though they want it), so I decided to use it to help her learn to write (especially her name).  Since I made this last month, I've noticed a difference in her drawing, too... it's not just scribbles anymore, so I guess this has paid off!  

I made some pages that had pictures of each person in our family, with their name written below a few times so she could practice writing all of our names.  I just used Word & copied & pasted some custom handwriting work sheets.  I think it was this one, if I remember correctly.

It also allows me... ahem, Paige to use her creativity...

A: Name & First Letter Page Trace found here
B: LDS Church & General Conference Pages found here
C: Hidden Pictures found here
D: Trace-able Pictures & Shapes found here
I will also be adding this one to the book soon & will continually be adding more as she gets older.

I also made some sign language thank you cards to give (tied to their bananas to give to the people who joined us for the 2013 Apraxia Walk).  On the front was a picture of Paige saying thank you in sign language (her hand moved in that way & on the back it said 'Thanks! Love, Paige' in traceable writing so Paige could practice writing her name.  
I kind of loved how they turned out & I'm nervous for how I'm going to top them for next year!  They may or may not have been a big hit.  :)  Good thing I have a whole year to figure it out.

For mother's day & teacher appreciation day, I decided to have Paige do a little something for her preschool teachers & for some of her grandmas.  Of course my idea stemmed from yet another idea on pinterest, but as usual, I tweaked it a bit for us.

I just wrote some prompts, asked Paige what she wanted to fill in, then I wrote it for her.  So far the teachers have loved it & I am sure the grandmas will, too.

Paige also learned how to write her P's all by herself & on the Mother's Day cards for her first time, too!  I can't think of a better time to learn.  :)  She's got pretty great timing.  I'm super proud of her & I guess some of the activities above have been working!  

PS - I linked up here, herehere, here, here & here.  :)