The Right Perspective

Friday, April 27, 2007

Big Fun Friday Night

Around our house, on Friday night, we have started a new tradition that I thought I'd share. It's lovingly called "Big Fun Friday Night". The evening starts after daddy gets home from work, changes into "going out" clothes (jeans instead of the suit and tie) and reveals his plans for "Big Fun".

We've only just recently instituted BFFN, but some of the adventures we've had have included feeding the ducks in a local park, followed by dining at Cici's Pizza, going to the "puppy store" (aka PetSmart) and dining at Cici's Pizza, walking around Walmart and dining at the Subway housed inside, and my personal favorite...walking around the mall, visiting the pet store and eating "rice" (Chinese) at the food court while topping the evening off with a ride (or 5) on the "Bid Uhstairs" or as the rest of us know it, the escalator.

Can you think of anything more fun?

Here are some recent pictures that I'll share as well. The first is of Emily "helping" daddy install a new kitchen faucet. She has her "heemer" at the ready. The second and third are from today. We are going, along with our extended family, on a vacation to Disney World in June, so I bought Em a bathing suit with Minnie Mouse (her favorite). This is the second try. The first one (a size 4) was too short and small. This is a size 5! The bottom is a little too big and the top could still be bigger. Our 2.5 year old is going to be Amazon woman!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

An Emily Update (What Else?)

In my last post, I mentioned that we had an appointment with a developmental specialist to discuss Emily and her speech struggles. Initially I had made the appointment to try to determine if Emily had a disorder known as Verbal Apraxia. I was referred to the specialist (by our pediatrician) sometime before Christmas, when Miss Em was saying only 5 or so single-syllable words. The appointment was this past Friday and it went well. Now that we have a very good speech therapist in place, Emily is making dramatic the point where yesterday she said a seven-word sentence more than once. So, while I'm thrilled with the improvements and I felt a little sheepish about still seeing the dev. specialist, I decided to keep the appointment to get a second official opinion.

As it turned out, I'm glad I kept the appointment. It was nice to be able to talk with doctor and get a brand new set of eyes and ears to observe Emily as she talked and played. I found out that, at 2 years, 7 months old, she is 31.7 lbs and a whopping 39.25 inches tall. (This kid is going to be 6 feet tall if she continues growing like this....she's always been above the 100th% for height.) Anyhow, I also got to talk to the doctor about Emily's sleeping battles, her sensitivities to certain things, her persistence (otherwise known as extreme stubborness), her insistence on routines and her speech difficulties. What the doctor had to say was helpful and encouraging.

She started out by stating that Emily was most definitely a very strong-willed child. Now, while this was not news to me, it did sort of reafirm what I have believed all along....and it reminded me that I am not simply a bad parent with poor parenting skills. Instead the doctor encouraged me to keep doing the things I was already doing and to be even more firm at times (like bedtime, in particular). I needed to hear from a professional that it's okay to let Emily cry for a LONG time, if need be at this stage, because this is her strong will coming into play. It's hard, but it's okay and it's what she needs.

Next the doctor encouraged us to continue with speech therapy, as Emily will definitely still need it once we are finished with our current program that will kick her out when she turns three in the fall. Again, this was nothing new, but it was nice to hear that the progress she's making is good, and that the specialists' opinion was the same as our speech therapists'. When I brought up the concern about Apraxia, the doctor agreed that there was probably some component of that at work in Emily. (For more info on apraxia and some pretty accurate representations of what we hear from Emily, visit Signs of Apraxia). Apraxia is a motor planning disorder. It's neurological in nature and a lot is still largely unknown. It is the same disorder that makes it difficult for some stroke victims to speak. In other words, it can be quite serious and difficult to overcome. It also has varying degrees of severity and is often misdiagnosed. In Emily's case, I think the diagnosis is correct and it seems from all accounts that her case is rather mild, for which we are all thankful. Still, it's going to be a long road to travel.

Lastly the doctor mentioned that our pediatrician was concerned about possible Asperger's (related to autism). This was sort of a shock to me as our pediatrician had never told me she had that concern. I knew she had asked me several times about some signs of autism, but my answers had always been no to her questions, so I was a little surprised and concerned that she had not mentioned this to me. I've never been overly comfortable with this new pediatrician, so I'm thinking of switching again. Anyhow, the developmental specialist thought is was a possibility too, but only mildly and it doesn't affect her social skills. (Emily is a little social butterfly 99% of the time.) I don't know how I feel about this diagnosis. I don't really agree, but then again, I think it's also still too early to make a real diagnosis, and the specialist just mentioned it as a possibility, so I guess I'm okay with it for now. Overall, she told us that she thinks Emily will outgrow most of our concerns and that she was a delightful little girl and that we didn't even need a follow-up appointment, so I think for now, we'll just keep doing what we're doing.

So, that's our update. Thanks to all who prayed for us on Friday. Thanks to all who have read through this monster post and stayed awake! I've been trying to process everything and get my own thoughts straight, so I apologize for the slight delay in it's really nice outside!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Few of My Favorite Things...

Emily has been learning to sing some songs recently. Here are some of her renditions of the classics:

1. "Pintle, Pintle dittle I wonder what you awe." (Heard while Em was "taking care of business" in the bathroom the other day.)

2. "Baa baa back seep, have you enny foow, yessir, yessir, yessir, yessir, yessir, yessir, bads foow."

3. "Wheels bus, wheels bus, wheels bus...."

4. "Oh dingle tat, oh dingle tat, oh dingle tat, oh dingle tat..." (This is her own creation, based upon a Christmas book entitled "Jingle Cat".)

These are a few of her favorites, and in case you were wondering what the first three were.

1. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
2. Baa Baa Black Sheep
3. The Wheels on the Bus

We have got to get this on video!

I'm Baaaccckkkk!!

Yes, I am still here and still alive, though on Sunday, I didn't feel all that lively. I've been sick with a nasty early spring cold, brought on, I am certain by all the crazy temperature fluctuations. Today I feel a bit more human and capable of doing the everyday stuff again. I'm glad to be on the up-swing.

So, although I know that I hardly posted at all last week, don't expect too much this week either. I have A TON (and I don't think that's an overstatement) of laundry to catch up on plus some other everyday stuff to do and an important doctor's evaluation for Emily this Friday at 8:00 am. (That time's gonna be rough for mom and miss Em.)

For my praying readers, keep this appointment in your prayers. We scheduled this evaluation with a developmental pediatrician sometime before Christmas, when Em was barely saying any words. Her progress has been stunning, but she still has a long row to to speak. We are keeping the appt. because I still think it's a good idea to get this doctor's more specialized opinion on Emily's speech issues, so I'm excited and hopeful and a little nervous too. It's been a long time coming so I'm curious to see what she thinks of our darling Emmy (as she calls herself these days).

And now I'm off to put some clothes in the dryer....Let the fun continue!

Friday, April 06, 2007

This Easter Week in Pictures

Emily dyeing her first batch of Easter eggs.
Emily wearing the "baabaa ears" that Aunt Kathy sent her.

The egg-dyeing process in full swing.

Below is the view from the front door today.

On Tuesday, the temperature was 72. Today, it's 28 with a fierce wind and constant snow. Is this really necessary?

Cat Saves Family

I know that several of my loyal readers disagree with my preference of cats over dogs and the battles have been fierce, but here is proof that cats are indeed intelligent and worthy of some love.

From Fox News:

NEW CASTLE, Ind. — A cat helped spare a family from death by carbon monoxide poisoning by jumping on the bed and meowing wildly as fumes filled the home, the owners said.

Eric and Cathy Keesling said their 14-year-old cat, Winnie, played a crucial role in saving their lives March 24 after a gasoline-powered water pump in their basement caused the odorless but deadly gas to build up.
About 1 a.m., the domestic shorthair began nudging Cathy's ear and meowing loudly.

"It was a crazy meow, almost like she was screaming," said Cathy, who hesitated to get up until Winnie's caterwauling and jumping persisted.
When she finally climbed from bed, she realized she was nauseous and dizzy and couldn't awaken her husband. Because he had undergone minor neck surgery the previous day, she decided to call 911 but was so disoriented she had trouble dialing.

Paramedics found the couple's 14-year-old son, Michael, unconscious on the floor near his bedroom. The Keeslings were taken from the home in oxygen masks, treated for carbon monoxide poisoning and soon recovered.

Cathy Keesling said Winnie acted similarly last summer when tornadoes tore through the area, 45 miles east of Indianapolis.

So there you have it, folks. Cats aren't all bad...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

An Unexpected Honor

When I woke up this morning, I certainly wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary...particularly not a blogging honor, but one of good internet friends (we still have yet to meet face to face despite living pretty close and knowing each other for several years now) bestowed upon me the "Thinking Blogger" award.

I'm pretty sure that I'm not the most qualified recipient of this award, yet I am still honored that Beth chose me. It's nice (and somewhat suprising) that my semi-weekly ramblings occasionally seem coherent to anyone else out there, much less provoke any serious thoughts.

And now it is my turn to bestow this award to some bloggers who make me think.

First up is Malott's Blog. This blog is one of the first that I routinely read, thus spurring me on to begin my own blog. His posts range from the extremely deep and thought-provoking to the zany and bizarre, but always entertaining. I appreciate his views on life and politics and I appreciate his encouragement here at my own blog.

Second is Skyepuppy. I found Skyepuppy's blog when I first began visiting the links from Malott's blog. I was immediately impressed with her ability to paint with words and to capture such a vivid image and share it with the rest of us. Her love for life is obvious and she is an amazing Christian lady who has encouraged me on quite a few occasions, both in my Christian walk and my new adventures at motherhood. I expect great things from her blogging as she is getting ready to set out on a year-long RV adventure across America with her mom. So if you haven't yet visited her is a great time to start!

Third up is Bekah's Bits. Rebekah is a dear friend of mine for 10+ years now. We were college roomates and our friendship has lasted even though we don't live quite as close anymore. Blogging helps us keep in touch, but it also allows me (and the rest of you) to know Bekah on a deeper level. Her writing is funny, heartfelt, thought-provoking and real. She has a way with words that can make me laugh and touch my heart at the same time. Her friendship and encouragement mean so much to me and this is the least I can do to thank her for both.

Fourth in line is Janice. Janice is another "find" from Malott's blogs link column. Janice is passionate about politics, among other things, and her updates help keep me informed on what's going on in this increasingly busy world. She has also been a wonderful encouragement to this newer mommy, which is much appreciated.

And finally, I honor Adrienne of Noah Steven's blog. I stumbled across this blog from another blog that I frequent and have been so touched by this young mother who has been through so much lately. I started visiting Adrienne's blog a few weeks before she lost her baby boy. The blog chronicles Noah's and the family's struggles as he spent months in the hospital battling a mystery illness that eventually took his life. It's and incredibly sad story, yet Adrienne has somehow managed to share her story, her faith and her pain in such a way that I have been encouraged and challenged as well. Check it out if you have some time, but be forewarned that you may end up reading nearly a year's worth of posts over several days, as I did, to get the background of this amazing woman's journey. It's not easy to read, but she has some really good things to say.

And so, I pass along this award to all of you, who are much more deserving. Now it's your chance to pass the award along to 5 more people who have inspired you to think.

Thanks to you all!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Links Column Updated - Check out the New Additions

I finally had a few minutes to do a little updating today. So, if you haven't already noticed...take a few minutes and check out some of the new links. I tried to separate them into more personal blogs and those that are affiliated with an organization of some sort. Some of the new links under the "Favorite Blogs" title have some really good (but tough) stuff relating to personal tragedies, yet they are uplifting and encouraging at the same time, so I wanted to share them with my faithful readers.