Thursday, February 11, 2016

BFBN: Dealing with Delays

Today is Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day! I'm posting over on Giving it Grace and my topic is something I get pretty passionate about: limiting entertainment choices in our home :) Carrie from Wiley Adventures is blogging here today and she has a GREAT topic that SO many mamas are concerned about: delaying with delays. Be sure to visit all the fellow Babywise Friendly Bloggers today!




Dealing With Delays

Of our four children, two of them have shown signs of delay. My experience was a little different for both of them, but we learned some things the first go around that helped us navigate through the process the second time. 

Identify As Early As Possible

The normal range for development can vary from child to child, but sometimes there are things that raise concern that need to be addressed. The sooner a delay is identified, and the sooner you can address it, the better the chance you can have at making progress and many times catching up.  

The first time we noticed delays, I didn’t speak up soon enough to our pediatrician. I think I was afraid of the process because it was unknown and ultimately because I didn’t want anything to be wrong with our baby! Thankfully, once we started services for him, he started THRIVING and I was so very thankful we were getting him the help he needed. 

There are a few different areas to watch for:

Speech – Language and Talking
Motor Skills – Gross and Fine Movement
Adaptive – Social, Emotional, and Self Care 
Cognitive – Comprehension and Thinking
(Other areas could be Vision and Hearing.)

I am a big believer in the “Mamas instinct”. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, I would follow your instinct and address it until you know for sure that everything is ok. 

Ask Questions

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone, but sometimes it can be difficult to tell if something is normal development or not. Ask questions and do your research. 

If you have regular “Well Visits” with your child’s pediatrician, all of these areas are inspected and observed. If you have questions or don’t know, your doctor is the first and best person to ask about your child’s development. It’s important to remember that you are your child’s greatest advocate! Your child’s doctor can only know what he sees in front of him or what you tell him. So speak up with any questions or concerns so that you can either put your mind at ease, or you can begin to seek the help you need. 

If you seek help and advice from friends or family, keep in mind that children do develop at different rates so take advice with a grain of salt. Even well-meaning friends can be opinionated and since this can be a very sensitive area for parents, comments can sometimes feel offensive.

Seek Help

The good news if your child shows delays is that there are so many available resources that can help you. Your Pediatrician is the best place to start. In many states there are low-cost or income based services available to you with a referral from your physician. This is the route we have chosen with both of our boys both for speech delays and now this time with motor and adaptive delays. The first go around we were in Texas and this time we are in Alabama. Both services have been so very helpful. In both experiences there is an evaluation process and then if you qualify they come to your home and help you child with whichever area(s) they need it. I truly feel like they have completely changed the course of our childrens’ lives by helping them completely catch up to their developmental levels. 

The downside to those services, is it can often be difficult to schedule. If you have the insurance and/or means available, you can search your area for private services. Oftentimes your Pediatrician can also refer you to someone. 

Emotionally Coping

Developmental delays can be sensitive for parents because no parent wants there to be anything wrong with their child. It scares us and makes us question whether we have done something wrong or made a mistake. I remember feeling this way when we first started to question whether our second child might have some delays. I was fearful and worried and it felt so big because it was such an unknown process for me. 

Once we started services with him, every week I saw progress and I was so validated in speaking up and seeking help. There would be days that I would cry with gratitude because his vocabulary was growing so quickly and his voice was the sweetest music to my ear. 

All along the way, we gathered tools for our “parenting toolbox”. The beauty of these tools, ideas, and methods is that they are totally applicable for other children too. It helped to educate me just as much as it has my boys. More tools means more options to try before I lose my cool. 

After having such a good experience the first time, I had no fear at all in seeking help with our fourth baby when he showed signs of delay with his motor skills. He has also responded very well to help and is quickly catching up with where he needs to be developmentally. 

I’m so thankful for how we have been able to meet these needs and I hope our experiences can help ease worry and fear for other families facing delays. 

Related Posts: 



Carrie is married to Kyle and has four children: Laura Kate (7), Shepherd (4), Fischer (3), and Archer (14 months). You can read more from her at www.wileyadventures.com .




Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tess Summary of Month 17

This post covers Tess's 17th month of life from Nov 30-Dec 30th! She was 16 months old during this month :)

Eating: Tess out eats Britt at every meal. She's def in the pickier toddler phase and is LOVING some carbs right now. ALL of my kids did this. I used baby food with Kye and did Baby Led Weaning with both of the girls. I honestly don't think methods matter...I think our taste in foods is hereditary! I LOVE me some carbs and peanut butter goes great on anything and all my kids are the same exact way. We continue to expose them to variety of foods but it is kinda neat to see their preferences change as they get older. If it was my first kid, it'd stress me out haha Advantage of third kid? I now sit back and find it interesting how she has favorite foods :) 

Tess is LOVING using utensils. I clearly should have started using them with her sooner b/c girl picked em up and used them appropriately from the first time we gave them to her :)


I STILL have a decent bit of breastmilk in my deep freezer! Tess gets 3-5 oz a day. I run it under hot water while I make breakfast then pour it in her sippy mixed with her whole milk. I don't think she loves the taste of it as she tends to drink more milk at dinner time when the breastmilk portion is gone! I'm pretty ready to get rid of it all as I'm hoping it'll help her poop get more solid. But I know it's liquid gold and is giving her those great antibodies to fight sickness which is a blessing with two older siblings in school and during cold season!


This really has NOTHING to do with Tess eating but is related to breastfeeding and I feel like I should mention it. It's a TOTAL TMI so you have been warned. But I get my period pretty quickly after giving birth, even with nursing. Ugh so annoying. This time around though my cycle has been INSANE and CRAZY. It makes me wonder a lot about my hormonal changes. Maybe it's why I had the struggle with PPD? When I weaned Tess my cycle got WAY CRAZY. Like I'd be super late or it'd come super early and then it'd last forever. I had some pain and some other concerns and ended up going to my OB and even getting an internal ultrasound to check things out. We discussed options and decided to wait it out a bit. Since I had JUST weaned her the thought was that maybe i just had a "build up" due to nursing for so long. Which makes a TON of sense right!!? Anyways it was all pretty scary for me but seems to be working itself out now that I've been done nursing for awhile. I keep track of my cycle on Pink Pad. It's a GREAT tool for TTC and the longer you track everything, the more accurate it becomes. So I always start tracking my junk as soon as it starts back after birth. I thought this was HILARIOUS. My cycle was intense in Dec and it said I had 1844 days left bahahaha 


While I'm not in any hurry to move Tess to a booster seat, she did SO WELL in Britt's class for Britt's birthday celebration! She sat in a little chair with the big kids and ate off her plate and it was precious and one of those moments where I looked and her and realized she's growing up!



Schedule:

6:45-7:00: Up for day, breakfast
9:00-11:00: Morning Nap (YES! I need to drop it...still holding onto it though ha!)
12:00ish: Lunch
1:00-3:00: Nap
3:00: No more snack!
5:30: Dinner
6:00: Bath
6:45: Story and Prayers
7:00: Bed for night

Potty: So this month I realized Britt was already hardcore potty training at 16 months old. I hadn't even really been putting Tess on the potty AT ALL at that point! We take her to the potty before bath each night but that's really it! I read over my potty training posts with Britt and decided to just sit Tess on the potty randomly and see what happened. Um. She went tee tee twice in a couple hour period! I was NOT prepared for that to happen!

Like with all my kids, I jumped on it. If you want to train your kids to use the potty young...then you can't miss the window of opportunity! I pulled out all my potty training stuff and took Tess to Target to get some big girl panties. 



Third kid to rock the Cars pulls ups! Still the same box I had from Kye!



Clearly thrilled about the panties haha


We did the panties thing for a few days. Maybe a week? I took extensive notes, of course, which I will make into a full post in the future. When Kye was training he'd go tee tee every single time I took him to the potty. So he understood the connection of releasing the tee tee into the potty but didn't fully grasp the goal of keeping his underwear dry as he couldn't hold it for very long. With Britt she held it and would never go on the potty. So she understood the goal of not getting her panties wet but didn't know how to release it. With Tess she neither was holding it for long periods nor was she releasing it into the potty. I could have stuck with it. And the hardcore side of me felt like I should stick with it. BUT it was early December. It was Christmas time. And my goal this year was to have THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER. And I couldn't handle keeping all my personal emotions in check while also dealing with potty training struggles.

So. 

I decided to stop using panties BUT to continue to use pull ups during awake times. I started taking her potty at regular times and talking up the potty etc but just not commenting when she'd go in the pull up (which I only ever referred to as a diaper). I will be writing a full post on this in the future but this allowed for me to REALLY enjoy the holidays and was a VERY relaxed approach to early potty training and: IT WORKED OUT BEAUTIFULLY (spoiler alert but when I re-introduced panties in early Feb she took to them instantly!)



Potty multitasking :)


This month Tess got to spend some quality time with several people! She stayed with Big Papa and G-Mama while Zach and I were in Savannah! Big Papa scores points with the babies via the golf cart :)


She also got to spend time in bible class with her bff cousin Carter!


Tess LOVED visiting Britt's class to celebrate Britt's birthday! She was the star of the show for sure. All the little kids LOVED her and didn't mind when she totally interrupted their story time :)


While Zach and I took the big kids to see The Good Dinosaur Jolee came and babysat Tess. Tess does NOT do well with "new" people. And by new I mean like anyone that she doesn't see on a daily basis. We timed it out so Tess would wake up from her nap with Jolee there rather than us leaving and Jolee having to put her down for nap. She was super upset but got used to Jolee pretty quickly! I LOVE the pic Jolee snapped of her too :)


Tess is my little helper! When I run errands with all the kids I feel like people just look at me and think "whew she's a hot mess" but when I just have Tess people look at me like "aw a first time mom!" I LOVE hearing all the compliments about her and I love that feeling of people thinking I'm young haha Hearing the advice people give is super fun too ;) 



Tess had her booster flu shot this month. That's THREE sets of shots that I've handled SOLO with her. Um. SUPER MOM right HERE people!!! I freaking loathe needles but I man up when it's for my kids :) She did really great with the flu booster surprisingly! 


It's super exciting that Tess is showing more of an interest in coloring! It makes dining out WAY easier b/c it's simple entertainment! And it's important to me that my kids learn at a young age to be able to sit and focus on one task...coloring is so great for that!


A few months ago I was mildly heartbroken that Kye said he was ready to pack up his Toy Story friends. They have been part of his life for SO LONG and have always sat on a shelf right by his bed. I didn't have the heart to pack them away so I put them in the playroom and was SO HAPPY when Tess found Woody and instantly bonded with him. He's her fav and it makes my sentimental self overjoyed :)



She may like Woody like her brother did but this girl is ALL GIRL like her sister! It cracks me UP how she runs around picking up random dress up items of Britt's and puts them on. Doesn't she look SO PROUD (and adorable of course!)?



Tess is also a lot more interested in "reading" and will pick up any sort of reading material and lay down to study it :)


More About Tess:
  • During her naps she will lay there and make this gargling sound over and over
  • She obeys decently well. She understands when we tell her to do something
  • She loves balloons and will kick it while walking
  • She really draws people to her! She has such an infectious smile and creates smiles all around her. We met an older man at Hobby Lobby who kept coming up to see her and he ended up talking to me about his daughter and how their Christmas would be very difficult as she had just given birth to a baby who was stillborn. I was thankful for the opportunity to pray for this family and that wouldn't have happened without sweet Tess bringing that man some joy during a difficult time
  • She doesn't use language a lot. She's moaning and whining a good bit but we are working on being more consistent with her signs, especially "all done" with sitting on the potty
  • I skip her morning nap as needed and she does FINE without it. I know she's probably ready to drop it but I'm holding onto it as it's SO NICE having that time in the mornings! Especially with the kids home from school over break it's nice to have a block of time to spend with them where we don't have to worry about watching her!
  • She is cutting her canines...all at the same time which is MISERABLE
  • Her skin is sometimes dry or spotty so I make sure to use lotion
  • She likes to line up all of her toys in the bathtub along the edge just like Britt
  • She does WAY better for Bible Class if Zach is the one to take her! If I take her she bawls and I end up having to stay with her the whole time but if Zach takes her she happily waves "bye bye" to him like it's no big thing!
  • She was eating snack and put down her cheese stick and leaned forward and asked me for a kiss!
  • Her vocabulary really exploded this month. When we were at Aunt Debby's Christmas Party she said Carter a ton and kinda said G-Mama and the next morning she said both Britt Britt and Kye! And on Christmas day she said Papa for Big Papa!
  • In the tub one night she blew me a kiss and then wrapped herself in a hug
  • She says "mmmmm" when giving a kiss
  • Tess LOVES opening presents! It made Christmas SO FUN!
  • She knows several body parts and will point to eyes (and say eyes) and will also point to nose and ears
  • She's OBSESSED with her daddy right now. She's constantly saying Dada and running to him. She heard the garage door and immediately stopped playing and ran to the back door to greet him. She's really our first kid to be like that and it makes him SO HAPPY :) 

Videos:


I took a couple pics of Tess solo in my dress as a toddler! You can see the pics of her and Britt together here as well as pics of her wearing the same dress last year here!





Sibling Comparisons: You can see Britt's summary of month 17 here. I LOVE how they are starting to catch up to clothes sizes! Tess is wearing a shirt in this post that Britt is wearing the same month in hers :) I also love how much they have in common with their accessories and phones and just the cuteness of my girls! Gah Britt was such a cutie at this age and it's such a fun stage for sure! You can see Kye's 17th month summary here! Omg his bottom teeth look EXACTLY like Tess's. That is crazy to me! Hers get stuff in them very easily too! I like the squirt bottle activity I did with him, I'm so thankful for the blog b/c "first time mom" Emily was on the ball with stuff that "third time mom" Emily needs reminding of haha






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