Saturday, May 9, 2015

Here I am

Here I am, AGAIN, needing to play catch up on the blog.  What has change? Why was it so easy to blog so much when LeAInne was little but I barely make it here to blog anymore?  LeAnne grew up on the blog while it seems Christian is growing up on Facebook.  Some of it may have to do with the fact I am not on my laptop much, well until lately that is, after I broke my iPad. So sad! Anyway here I am and lets jump into an update before the kids wake up.

Since I last blogged Christian has definitely make progress with his speech and we have continued to peruse more therapy.  Staring next Tuesday he will start going to see a Speech Pathologist at Walla Walla General hospital twice a week.  She said she doesn't normally see kids so young but thinks with him its warranted.  She said there is little chance he will just start talking if his receptive language isn't developed.  He is now saying bye bye (buh buh) while waving, he says oh oh for uh oh, he is signing more when he wants something independently which tells me he understands the sign, he is signing his version of all done and saying ah da, says sh for shoe and making various animal sounds from time to time (owl, cat, dog, donkey and pig) and making some pretty awesome car sounds.  He has started to point a lot more, and even got me his shoes one day to put on him so we could go outside.  He is imitating a lot more and has started to let us read more books to him.  I am so pleased we are getting him the therapies he needs.  I had mixed feelings when the Speech Pathologist told us she wanted to see him twice a week and saw definite delays.  Part of me was thrilled to get confirmation from an expert that he does need help and the other part of me felt like I was being punched in the gut. I would have loved for her to say he was fine and just to be patient. I quickly let that feeling slip away and focus on the fact that we are doing what needs to be done to help our boy be the best he can be.  We have yet to hear from Seattle Children's to schedule his full Autism screening.  I will try to call them again next week.  We are feeling less and less that he is Autistic but again we don't want that for him so were biased and we want unbiased expert opinions. Oh yes I almost forgot we had his hearing tested and he is hearing great. That was not such a fun experience!

He is 100% all boy for sure! Loves playing outside, getting dirty, and has little to no fear.  He gives the best hugs and is very attached to me!  He has most definitely entered the terrible 2's and boy can he scream!  He hates being taken away from his toys!  He absolutely loves playing with his big sister. LeAnne does great with him until she is done!  One day he was screaming on the way to school and she told me we would duct tape his mouth. Oh boy... I don't think so!

LeAnne is doing very well!  It floors me that she is reading at a 4th grade level while in first grade!  She has been a ravenous reader lately!  It's so much fun seeing her excited about books and reading with her at night.  She is also a very creative writer.  Her stories are  lots of fun to read!  She has been doing gymnastics twice a week in walla walla since April.  She has mixed feelings about gymnastics. There are parts of it she loves but other things are hard for her.  A lot of things come easy to her so I think its good for her to see its not always that way and she needs to work to improve.  She also likes to be perfect and we are trying to teach her that is necessary.  We want her to be driven to be good and always try her best but perfection isn't necessary nor realistic.  She recently has her first 3 fillings at a Pediatric dentist in WW.  It was an amazing experience and I so love the dentist.  LeAnne was on gas that smelled like skittles, and playing Mine Craft so she has no clue what was really going on. She has been talking a lot lately about wanting to go to the woods.  I am hoping we can make a trip this summer to the Hoh rain forest.

I hear young man stirring in his crib so I am writing quickly.  I am doing fairly well in my journey to becoming healthier.  I LOVE the Thrive!  It gives me energy and makes me feel awesome!  I continue to work on walking as much as I can and need to work a little harder on eating better.  I haven't loss a significant amount of weight but think I am losing inches and toning a bit.  I need to keep on working at it. I know my knees would not hurt like they do if I could lose weight and I want to be able to keep up with my kids!  Unfortunately I am going to have to stop the Thrive so we can afford to pay the co-pays for Christian's speech but that is what needs to be done.  I do have a lot of extras and we will try to buy some online as we can.  I will continue to walk and eat better!

My guy just finished up Spring quarter and is now a Junior at WSU!  I am so proud of how hard he works with his school, his job and for our family.  It's a lot to balance and I know there are many times we would all like if he has more time to relax and do other things but I admire his dedication and am grateful for the example it gives our kids.  There as been a lot of police violence and controversy these days.  I have been doing a lot of praying and trying not to worry.  It's very scary and it hits home when another officer is killed on the job.  I pray God will protect my husband, give him strength, courage and help him to rely on his years of training and bring him home safely to us.

I will try to get here more often to update ya'll but in the meantime here is some pix. Little man is up so I will upload more late.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Christian

Happy Birthday Christian Happy 2nd birthday to my sweet boy Christian!  It's so hard to believe you are already 2! It seems like just yesterday I was on my way to the hospital to have you! You are definitely 100% ALL boy! You're into and on top of everything, love playing outside getting dirty and playing with your cars.  You are a very determined little man! You said your first word "bye bye" a few weeks ago. You know bye bye means its time to go outside.  You love playing with your big sister LeAnne and she is so good with you!  I love watching you spend time with your Daddy. He loves you so much! You give the best hugs EVER!  I am so incredibly blessed that I get to spend everyday with you little man!  I thank God for blessing my life with you!  Happy Birthday!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cautiously Optimistic

I am so overweight and out of shape it's scary!  I think daily about how I need to do something. My weight affects my health and how I live my life.  I am scared it's going to lead to an early death and I think daily how I don't want to be a burden to my husband or children later in life because I am so unhealthy.  I think daily about how traumatic it would be to my children if something happen to me. I hate being overweight! I already have high blood pressure, I am pre-diabetic and I struggle with depression/anxiety.  I want to be a healthy weight.  I want to be able to wear cute clothes.  I want to have more energy.  I want to be able to live easier.  I want to chase my kids and go hiking.  I want to be sexy!  I want to take self defense classes.  I want to compete in shoot competitions.  None of those things can happen if I don't lose weight and get in shape.  

I've struggled with my weight most of my life.  After I hit puberty the only time I didn't struggle with my weight was when I was working in Kentucky on a Thoroughbred breeding farm.  The only reason I didn't struggle then was I physically worked hard 8-12 hours a day 6 days of the week.  I began to struggle even more with my weight after I had my gallbladder removed in 2000.   Being overweight runs in my family.  I have PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) which makes it really hard to lose weight.  I've tried so many different diets, but none of them stick.  I always seem to go back to my old ways, what is easiest and my biggest obstacle is my own stinking thinking. I always get discouraged when I don't see results.  I don't know why I think the weight should come off quickly because it didn't go on overnight. I know what needs to be done.  I must eat healthier and exercise!

I am going to try new things.  First I am telling myself this will not happen overnight, next I am going to move my body, then I am going to buy & prepare healthy foods (vegetables, fruits, nuts, proteins), and I have started taking some new supplements called Thrive.  This supplement will give me vitamins and nutrients my body desperately needs, act as a appetite suppressant, give me energy, help me to burn fat, speed up my metabolism, help with my moods, and help relieve aches and pains. I have started walking in the morning after I drop LeAnne off at school and am drinking more water as well.  I am working on making better choices with what I eat and working on portion control.  

I say I am cautiously optimistic because I am afraid to be overly excited for fear of working myself into a high and then my stinking thinking gets the best of me again and I fail again.  I want to make these changes stick.  I want to develop new habits. I know it will not be easy at all and I will have to stick to my convictions. I know I have been thinking and eating like crap for a long time and it will be so easy to fall back into old ways.  I am going to have to fake it until I make it.  I am going to have to P.U.S.H (Persist Until Something Happens).  I am going to have to pray because I can't do this on my own but with God all things are possible.  I am going to have to change my thinking.  It's so easy to say all of this now but I must keep it up when it gets tough. I think for me its going to be important to keep walking, to take the time to cut up fruits and veggies for easy meal preparation, to cook meat ahead of time to be able to grab for healthy lunches, to cut way down on sugar, limit starches and keep drinking the water.  I am excited that I have walked a mile each day this week, drank more water, made better eating choices and I am feeling really good.  I can feel the Thrive working.  I am feeling a little sick once in a while (stomach ache and headache) but realize this is my body detoxing.  I have filled it with junk for a long time.  

I am so thankful to have the support of my amazing husband and family!  

Monday, February 23, 2015

I am back...Again (post surgery update)

I am back again! I took a brief break because I had Carpal Tunnel Release surgery on my right hand and tying was just not an option.  The first two week after surgery I found myself wondering daily why I had the surgery!  Am I insane?  I have a wild 22 month old son who is into and on top of everything 24/7.  Life without my dominate hand was rough!  I found alternate ways to do things so that I could get things done but by the end of the day I was in pain and exhausted.  I had my stitches out last Thursday and was very encouraged by the next day how much more I could do.  The surgery site is still sensitive, I still have numbness in the tip of two fingers, my wrist aches a bit and it will take time to regain strength.  My doctor said I should see a big difference in two months.  So the verdict is still out weather this was a good idea and I am certainly not in any hurry to have it done to my left hand.

All Early Intervention evaluations were completed with Christian, we met with all coordinators, developed a plan and he had his first session last week.  An early intervention para professional will be coming to our house once a week to work with him, the early intervention coordinator/Special Ed. Teacher will come with her once a month and the Speech Pathologist will come with her once a month as well.  Most of the goals have to do with his development of speech.  Hearing your child has developmental delays is hard to swallow. I immediately start to wonder why and blame myself.  I have heard from so many people that boys talk later than girls, people have told me about boys they know who have not talked until they were 4 but it still stings that my son isn't talking.  He will be 2 in two months and says no real words.  He is starting to make new noises and more open mouthed sounds like ma, ba, and la.  I have made a check list of  activities to do with him that will help him meet his goals and hopefully get him talking.  Now I need to develop a daily routine of working with him.  It makes me so upset with myself how impatient I can be in regards to seeing results.  I've been praying lately that God will help me to work with him consistently and trust in His plan for my boy.  The day I hear him say his first word is going to be like Christmas, my birthday and Easter all rolled into one!

Then there is our high spirited, hot headed, emotional drama queen, LeAnne.   She has always been fairly advanced intellectually for her age.  Always busy, always thinking and asking questions. The other day on our way to a birthday party she asked questions about so many different topics it was comical.  She has been into making cards for people she loves and there precious.  Almost all of them say "I love you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much"!  Daddy and I are going to sit her down and have a little chat tonight about how she treats me.  She gets frustrated easily and lashes out at me.  This is not something new.  She has had melt downs like this since she was 2 or 3 but for a little bit now she has focused them towards me.  We have been talking about how she needs to respect me and its not okay to yell at me.  We have been talking about her breathing, and walking away for a bit.  She puts a lot of pressure on herself to be perfect and we have to constantly remind her that is not our expectation.  Oh the joys of parenting! :-)

Little man is up about an hour early from his name today, so much for some quiet time to write. I have started a new journey so stay tune to hear about that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

This, that and the other...

Hello from our little corner of the world!  Life with the Leonard family is going well.

I am thankful and down right overjoyed that our guy will switching to day shift starting Monday Feb 2nd!!! Night shift is terribly rough on him and the whole family.  There will be a bit of an adjustment period since we aren't use to having him home in the evenings. The kids and I have our normal routine from homework to play time, to dinner time, bath time and quiet time before they go to bed.  The most insane time is the time in-between homework and dinner (around 4-6pm) because that is when I am trying to do dinner prep, cook dinner, feed kids, get kids bathed and into PJ's and clean up the kitchen.  Things usually start to calm down around 6-6:30 pm when I usually let them play quietly and/or watch some TV they enjoy.  It will require patience from us adults to readjust.   I am looking forward to having him more alert, not having him sleeping on his days off, having help with the kids during the crazy evening hours a few times a week, being free to volunteer in LeAnne's class once in a while since he can watch after Christian on his days off, and once of the things I am looking forward to most of all is being able to sleep peacefully at night knowing he is home safe.  I sleep so much better when he is home!!  LeAnne will miss sleeping with me at night.  I will miss not having to share the television at night. Ha ha! At the same time it will be nice to have some real adult conversation with my husband in the evenings.

Christian's evaluations for Early Intervention have gone well.  We meet with the Early Intervention Specialist on Friday to discuss the results of evaluations, and talk about where we go from here.  The early intervention coordinator from our school district was saying she would recommend her paraprofessional coming out once a week to work with him and thought at least once a month for Speech therapy.  I am looking forward to learning from the Speech Pathologist how I can help him on a daily basis.  He continues to do more things on the right track developmentally.  Just today he and I were playing in his room when he put his construction workers hat on my head, the first time I put it on his head he knocked it off since he doesn't care for hats much but then a few minutes later he put it on his own head. He has also started to try to comb his own hair with a brush and he is babbling not just humming.  He is adding consonants!  Whenever he does any of this I am quick to celebrate which makes him do it more and he gets so proud of himself.  He is getting over a little cold. Thank goodness his fever is gone and I hope his cough will be gone soon too.  I am feeling more and more like once we get his speech on track the rest of it will fall into place.

LeAnne is doing super!  She got her report card today and is doing excellent in school.  I am floored by how awesome she reads and her hand writing is beautiful. She wasn't feeling well on Monday.  I let her stay home and rest just in case she was coming down with what Christian has had.  I am not so sure she was really sick or just tierd and wanted to see what was happening at home while she was at school.  I think with the extra attention being paid for Christian for his evaluations and such she might be feeling a little left out.  Though I do try to make sure she has her time too.  Another good thing about John going back to days is that LeAnne and I can have a girls night every once in a while and Daddy can hang out with Christian.  LeAnne is talking about not wanting chickens now and a rabbit instead.  Daddy is hesitant to get a rabbit for fear she will change her mind and then we are stuck with a rabbit to take care of. Plus it is another expense.  I see where he is coming from but I would like her to have the experience of having a rabbit of her own and I think that if it doesn't work out that we could find the bunnies a new home pretty easily.  I do plan to have her do some research online first to learn about rabbits and how to take care of them.  There is more to having rabbits (they are happier in pairs) than I think I knew when I had a rabbit as a kid.  Our rabbits had a plain Jane rabbit hutch, we fed them and cleaned up after them and that was that.  Rabbits are pretty smart and I am learning lots already. So I think LeAnne and I will get busy learning then get prepared for a few rabbits to join our family this Spring.

I have done such a bad job of taking care of myself for so long that changing seems so overwhelming!! I want to be better but my I fail when it comes to my long term drive and determination to do the work and get it done.  I am a really bad example to my children, not happy with how I look or feel, I want to be better and it's constantly on my mind.  I know I need to eat better, step away from all technology, and exercise.  Then why don't I do it?   I know what I need to eat and what I shouldn't eat.  I do okay for a while then I fall into my old ways.  I want to exercise and need to get out walking. I know this. Why don't I do it?  It hurts! My feet hurt so bad sometimes! I know all the more reason to do it. No pain no gain right.  I know all of this but what will it take for me to get my rear in gear?  I am at risk right now for major health complications like Diabetes and heart disease.  You would think that would be enough. I have been researching things like Thrive and Shakeology thinking if I could get some good nutrition into my body it might help me feel better and if I feel better I will keep moving forward one day at a time.  I have the ability to change in my hands, I have what it takes to get rid of my risk factors for health issues and be a better role model for my kids.  How do I stay motivated?  How do I make new habits stick?  I know one thing I am going to try is buying fresh fruit and veggies then preparing it ahead of time for salads or cutting it up to be steamed.  I get into trouble when I get hungry I grab whatever is easiest/quickest which is never what is healthy.  If it's prepared ahead of time in containers then I could make better choices.  I've thought about putting an old picture of on fridge so I could be constantly reminded of where I want to be. I am a work in progress.  One thing is for certain though and that is I must start working no matter how hard it is or hurts.  All so much easier said than done.

Daddy did her hair today. 

He loves his cars so much

Put hat on all by himself

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Encouraging signs

My husband & I have been seeing some encouraging signs with our son.  One of the things we've been concerned about is how Christian doesn't seem to bring us into his world through pointing, bringing things to us or imitation. Until last week he had not done any of those activities.

One evening I was in Christian's room playing with both kids.  We were building with blocks, throwing the ball, and reading books.  Christian started stacking his blocks as high as he could go without them falling over.  He would go like 6 high.  Then he looked at me in the eyes and started handing me blocks to play with him.  I nearly jumped out of my skin and cried at the same time.  I praised him big time.  Then a little later LeAnne and I were playing catch with one of his balls and I rolled it to him.  He picked up the ball and carried it over to me.  :-) Ahhhhh!! He did that many times!

Then another time he brought my husband his favorite truck book, actually took my husband's hand and put it on the book. WOW!  Then he imitated my husband sticking his tough in and out. He thought it was really funny and actually copied him.  He now brings me his favorite truck book on a regular basis and yesterday brought me a different book.  He is also clapping a lot more again.

Both my husband and I have hope that he is starting to develop int he right direction.  A part of me wants to stop all testing for Autism and just assume he is on the right track at his own pace but another part of me says no there are still other signs we are seeing and we need to follow this through.  Today I am meeting with the early intervention coordinator in our school district and the speech pathologist to do another evaluation.  It sounds like this will be more questions for me and observation of him.  Then on Friday the early intervention specialist will bring some toys and do another evaluation of him.

I took some time to look back at videos of my daughter today when she was Christian's age.  I can't wait to hear him babbling.  His first word is going to be like Christmas, my birthday, Mother's day and Easter all rolled into one!   A few of the videos that really touched me:

Christian gives the best hugs. It's awesome how he wraps his arms around you, squeezes and rubs his hand on your back.  His hugs melt me! Little man is waking up I am going to sign off for now.
Lovng his new truck

Getting some fresh air at the park

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Next Step & other happenings

The Early Intervention Specialist came to our house today for the initial evaluation.  She explained the Birth to 3 program to us and went through a developmental survey with us.  It was one of the many surveys we had filled out online and then again at the pediatricians office. So we were familiar with the questions and based on the survey Christian does qualify for Birth to 3 early intervention services.  So the next step is to go through a more in-depth evaluation with the gal at the school district who coordinates the birth to 3 program.  She said we should be hearing from her this week to schedule.  On one hand I am thankful we are moving forward to get Christian the therapy he needs.  On the other hand I am sad, because I think I wanted to have someone along the way tell us he doesn't need services.  I know in my head were doing the right thing for Christian and that early intervention is the best thing for him.  Emotionally I am just not feeling very strong today.  I have people I should talk to about today but I am not feeling strong enough to put on the strong front I need to.  I am trying to stay in the moment, take everything one step at a time and not worry about the the future.  The most important thing is doing whatever is necessary for Christian. He was a champ during the visit today.  He was even smiling at the specialist and then when she left he was so excited to play with Gracie.  Gracie is so good with him just like she was with LeAnne.  I love watching him play.  

LeAnne bought hot lunch at school yesterday for the first time.  She was so excited and had a great lunch.  She was excited to buy lunch again today.  She has decided now that she wants to be a baker, not a scientist.  Looks like I had better find some recipes and get ready to do some baking with her. 

Time to sign off for now, fold some laundry and then do something to get out of my own head.