Friday, January 22, 2016

Speech Screening.

Will and I stopped by the pre-k center today to drop off paperwork for him to be screened for speech. He was my late bloomer for speaking at all and while he talks non-stop now, most of you would only get about 50-75% of what he's saying. I speak his language and when you've been around him a while you would, too, but if you've just met him or you're not around much, you wouldn't get much from him. 

His teachers mentioned in the fall that they thought it was time to have Will evaluated for speech.  His Sunday School teacher is one of the ladies in the preschool intervention program. Once I mentioned to her that we were questioning whether or not to have him screened she told us that she highly recommended it because she can only understand about 60% of what he's saying. I've sort of still dragged my feet getting him evaluated because I can understand him and it hasn't posed any problems yet, BUT the Sunday School teacher told me on the phone last week that the longer we wait the less of a chance there will be to get him in. Once he's in kindergarten they would likely skip right over him because it isn't causing him any problems academically. The thing that did me in is that James has started to mimic him in a teasing sort of way (not to be ugly, just to be funny) and I've decided it's not cute's going to begin affecting his self-esteem and it just needs some work!

SO. Today is all about our starting point with Will. First, you need to know that Will is VERY shy. If he knows you or really if he's just playing around you, he is fine. If he has to speak to you he just won't unless he knows you well or feels comfortable with you. And even then sometimes he will cower behind me. He is a Mama's boy for SURE. He has always taken time to feel people and situations out where James will jump right in. Typical second child, I guess. He bases his feelings often on what he's reading from us and he's very introspective and quiet. Second, when he is speaking and we run into trouble understanding him, he is a PRO at context clues. I may have shared this story before, but we were coming home from school one day and I asked him what they had done in his class. He said they read a book about a "nom." After asking over and over what a "nom" was and trying different words that I thought were possibilities, he finally said, "Ugh. MOM. A NOM. Where chickens wive!" He told me yesterday (after becoming very frustrated that I couldn't figure out the word he was saying) that, "I just wish NAMES was wiff us!" James is usually his interpreter. Will has a HUGE, HUGE vocabulary. It has nothing to do with not knowing words...they just don't come out! 

I will also say that between ages 2-3 we saw HUGE leaps and bounds with his speech but from 3-4 we haven't seen as many changes. I'm going to include two videos on this post that I'd intended to share next week. Both are "interviews" as he is approaching his birthday. I took the first one last year and the second one this year, just a  few weeks ago.

We actually have a speech pathologist at preschool with us, only she isn't in the role of speech pathologist right now. She's a 2 year old preschool teacher who stays home with her four kids and just happens to have a speech degree. BUT we pulled her in the other day when considering what to write on Will's application. I know NOTHING about speech, but there are plenty of sounds that prior to four they don't worry about because they are developmental and he isn't behind. I *think* the sounds that concerned her were Fs, Ts, Ks, and Gs.

The screening today went great. We actually stopped by to drop off his paperwork and Mrs. A. (his Sunday School teacher) saw us and pulled us in to meet the speech pathologist. We interrupted their lunch, but Mrs. A wanted to get us on her calendar for a screening and while we were there she wanted Will to speak for the speech teacher. He was very, VERY shy at first and I thought he might not speak at all. He climbed into my lap and wouldn't answer any questions. They finally pulled him over to a table and pulled out a sheet with pictures on it and pointed to a picture to get him to say each word. He definitely thought it was a game. Mrs. A also got Will to tell the speech teacher about his Sunday School lesson recently. I think it's just because she knows what he knows (I don't think it's because of any sounds in particular), but she's gotten him to do this for me a few times recently, too. He will say that, "Dee-zus was baptized in da Dordan Wiver by Non da Baptist and a dove tame down fwom da sty." He actually said today that a pigeon came down from the sky and everyone thought it was hilarious.

He did GREAT on the screening. She wrote down a ton, TON of notes about his sounds and then she decided to start with two sounds - sp- and st-. We are supposed to work on those for at least 10 minutes a week for 4-6 weeks (and I need to tell his teachers which sounds to focus on as well). After 4-6 weeks they'll bring him back in to see if any progress has been made. I'm not sure where they'll go from there. She did mention speech twice a week today so we will see if that winds up being the case. 

She said his is a phonological disorder (he is substituting sounds made in the back of the mouth with those made in the front of the mouth...because it's easier to say but at this point he should've outgrown that). For instance, he says "tup" instead of "cup." James actually did this for a LONG time, but his was very mild compared to Will. She also mentioned the word "liquid," but I have no idea what it was about. I can't wait to see all the progress he is going to make!!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

8 years.

Eight years ago on a Friday night I drove to Dublin, walked into Eddie's apartment (he was temporarily living in Dublin, GA while he trained for a job...he was there for a little over a year), and he proposed. We had dated for almost five years and he was moving to Perry that summer. We were going to look at houses for him that weekend. And I was all in a dither because I had a school contract on my desk at work and hadn't signed it because I didn't know what to do. If I signed it, I had to stay in Tifton for one more year and that meant we weren't getting married for one more year. I didn't know whether to sign it or wait on him to figure his head out. Thankfully he made that decision a little easier that weekend. Eddie does things in HIS time. No one else's. He had asked my parents weeks (months?) earlier and they'd all been waiting around wondering if he'd forgotten or changed his mind. Because Dublin is a tiny little town our celebration dinner options were limited. We landed at Applebee's. That next Tuesday (we were off for MLK weekend), I marched into my principal's office and handed him a letter of resignation. It was bitter-sweet because everyone had been sort of waiting on us to get engaged, but I sure HATED to leave my job at 8th Street. I had the best team that I taught with. Crazy that THAT was eight years ago, too. And then I only taught one year at HOCO before I "retired" from teaching. {Possibly/Probably forever?!}

 That sure doesn't seem like eight years ago. And it sure doesn't seem like we've been together for almost 13 years. Seems more like 40. I'm kidding! (Sort of.)

I started blogging right before we got married so you can actually read all about our story starting just a few months after our engagement. We have packed a TON into 8 years. It's been a fun ride!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What I'm Watching.

There was a time when Eddie and I watched TV together every night. I would watch my DVR-ed shows during the day, Eddie and I watched our shared shows at night, and the few shows that Eddie watched alone he would squeeze in on Sunday afternoons. Those times are GONE. I have full confidence that at some point again we'll be able to watch all our favorite shows together (they'll be brand new shows by then!). In the meantime, I do watch a few things by myself. Mostly things on Netflix. 

I watched Making a Murderer in 3 days on Netflix. I am not going to over analyze it because that's been done on every website imaginable, but I enjoyed it immensely. I am a Dateline, Snapped, etc. junkie so this was right up my alley. My take is this - IF we were given all of the details, whoa. But you have to imagine that the documentary is one-sided. But seriously. Don't get in trouble in Wisconsin. Sheesh!

I'm also almost finished with Gilmore Girls. I'm way late to the party on this one, but I've enjoyed it! The show is HORRIBLY unrealistic, but I do love their relationship. I like that it's a chick-flicky show with enough goofiness to make me laugh. Funny, not too sappy!

I've started rewatching X-Files. I loved that as a middle schooler and high schooler and the new reboot starts on the 24th (I think...). I'm looking forward to that!

We've been watching our way through Planet Earth sometimes before bed. The boys like to watch a show before we go to bed and I am SO OVER Paw Patrol. So I told them they COULD watch something, but it has to be educational. Bonus: They're usually out about 5 minutes in!

So once I'm done with those, I'm going to move on to a few that have been in my Queue for a while (remember when Netflix called it that?): Parenthood, Blue Bloods (I've watched several seasons already), and Hart of Dixie. Anything else? What are you watching?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Fevers, Basketball, and Christenings.

I feel like it's been a while since I've done a "life lately" post, so I'm going to recap last week and weekend for you today. SO much going on these days but most of it is the humdrum regular stuff.

{No, Mama. I didn't eat an Oreo.}

{Bert and Ernie. Get it?!}

Last week the boys had Monday and Tuesday off to finish up Christmas break and then school started back on Wednesday. On Monday we met Grandmama at the movie theater to see Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was a cute movie. We haven't seen the other two, but it didn't matter. James LOVED it and danced and laughed through the whole movie. Will was fidgety but I think it was because it was the time of day that if he is going to take a nap he falls asleep. He wiggled so he WOULDN'T fall asleep. We just fed him through the whole thing and he sat still.

We went later to a local church's playground that was new to us and played with some friends. We had a great time! James had basketball later that night with some of the same friends. He has THOROUGHLY enjoyed basketball this season. I'll post an update on that soon.

Tuesday we pretty much just enjoyed our last day of freedom before school started back. James started complaining of a headache, but when I asked if he was just apprehensive about school starting back he said he was. It's tough to beat your mama at her own game. ;) Later at supper, though, he didn't finish his meal (he normally eats THREE helpings at lunch and supper...he's a bottomless pit!) so I knew something was up. He was also FREEZING. Greeeeat. After his bath I took his temperature and it was low, but he had a fever. Double greeeeat. I secured a sub for Wednesday morning JUST in case and sent him to bed. 

I checked on him about fifty times over night and his temperature hung around 99-100*. So on Wednesday morning I went ahead and called the doctor's office and they could see us at 10:30. We dropped Will off at school and headed over a little while later. I was completely convinced that they'd swab him for strep and tell us it was positive, but they didn't! The 10 minute culture came back negative, but THEY were so convinced it was strep that they sent it off for the 24-hour. We got sent home with a prescription for amoxicillin to take unless the second test came back negative. It was tough having to miss school, but we made the best of it and Mr. James got some much-needed rest for a few days. Thankfully, besides school we didn't have much going on. He DID, however, tell Dr. G. immediately when she walked in that he was headed to see his baby cousin over the weekend and wanted to know if that would still be alright. Ha! He got right to the point. Forget school! We need to know if we're safe around Merritt!

He wound up missing Thursday AND Friday because he ran fever through Thursday. He was feeling much better, but still not 100% on Friday. Since he had been fever-free he played in his basketball game on Saturday and that WORE HIM OUT. He and Will BOTH took naps on Saturday afternoon and that's unusual for James unless he's exhausted.

I have to tell you about two things just because they were fun for me. FIRST, this is the worst selfie...I don't do selfies for a REASON...but I'm sharing anyway. A friend of mine (hi, Jen!) and I have for a long, LONG time lamented the over-posting of Facebook ladies that have direct sales businesses. One of those that we felt was annoying was the Younique lady. This is not anyone in particular, just that we see a lot of over-posting from some. We also thought that the 3D mascara was dumb. A lot of pictures we've seen look VERY you know what I mean? Anyway, Jen got 3D mascara from her best friend for Christmas and lo and behold, she loved it. NOOOOO. We so didn't want to like expensive mascara. We really DID NOT. She came to my house and showed me how to apply it in person and it looked really, REALLY great. So here is my selfie because I broke down and bought some and I have to say...I really, REALLY love it. If you need a local lady that isn't annoying or sales-y, let me know. My girl is GOOD. She delivered it and I didn't pay shipping or anything.

The second fun thing (for me) was that I won a prize at Bunco on Thursday and I just thought it was so pretty and so ME.

On Sunday morning we got up SUPER early and left our house before 7:45 to head to Merritt's christening. Her service was at 10:30. We hadn't ever been to her church before, but it was BEAUTIFUL. Oh my goodness! The service itself was very, VERY traditional and Eddie and I loved it. We are *almost* Episcopalian. We would really LOVE the Episcopal church. And this was as close as you could get. It was wonderful! The whole service was about baptism and they had several baptismals set up around the church and the preacher asked everyone to come around and renew their own baptism and dip their fingers in the water and mark their foreheads. I'm not sure how many times will baptized himself before we left, but he made sure he and God are good. :) 

{We had a side-of-the-road potty break for the boys - the trip to Anna and Lance's is through the middle of nowhere! We changed the boys into their church clothes while we were pulled over and we saw a wild hog. The boys wanted to go and see it so we had a quick tutorial in wild animal behavior. James was standing by his door buckling his belt and he said the hog dragged its foot through the dirt and he thought it was going to charge so he left his belt unbuckled and jumped in the car quickly!}

{Will has a love-hate relationship with bridges. He giggles the whole time we're on a big one but he white-knuckles his seat!}

We ate lunch together with everyone who went to Merritt's christening and Mom brought out a birthday cake she had had made for Anna's 30th birthday - a Minnie Mouse cake. Because who doesn't want Minnie when they're 30?! Ha!

After lunch we went to the fort for a walk. It was chilly!!!! The boys enjoyed running around. Will didn't make it long before he had a complete meltdown so we headed home soon after. The boys passed out in the car on the way home, but thankfully they still slept good on Sunday night.

We've had a good week back at school! James has been catching up on all of his work and Will has been working on writing his name. James got his report card on Monday and I'm happy to report that he's reading on a Level H (kindergarteners need to be reading on Level E before the end of the year). We are so excited for him! He is doing GREAT in reading and writing.

Other than that, it is business as usual around here! Hope you're having a great week, too!

Friday, January 8, 2016

January Goals.

I planned to write this post on the first day of the month and share my "Word of the Year" and goals for January. But I can't figure out my word of the year. I've tossed around a ton of things, but I can't come up with ONE that fits all.

As a wife and mom I want to be more present, take it all in, not miss the big things, not sweat the small things, and enjoy it.
In my business(es) and big girl job I want to hustle, work harder, earn more, learn more, and grow.
In the health and wellness part of life I just want to do better, get stronger, get leaner, and go farther.
In my spiritual walk I want to jump in, cling tighter, trust more, and focus.
And in my every day life I want to be more intentional, move more, listen more, talk less, read more, get organized, and be kind.

So what's my one word? If you know it, tell me. ha!

I do have some January goals that I'll share here. One of my favorite bloggers shares her goals each month and then how she did before sharing the next month's goals. Maybe I'll start to do that here to get my focus and organization going. :) Y'all are going to laugh at some of these goals...

1. Read 4 books.

2. Finish my one year Bible through March. I actually started this back in November because I'm trying to read the whole thing by my 33rd birthday for 33x33. This would keep me on track.

3. Finish Gilmore Girls. Did y'all know they're redoing this for Netflix? Hoooray! Now I have to finish the series before that comes out.

4. Take down Christmas decorations. Ummm....I still haven't finished this. I've never dragged my feet like I have this year. I may never decorate again.

5. Start X-Files on Netflix. There's ANOTHER show that's being brought back. I can't wait. Haven't watched these since high school!

6. 200 miles logged on my FitBit. Ahhh! Can I do it? Step one, CHARGE my FitBit.

7. Business training for Jamberry and Keep. I have a few new girls joining me in Keep and I need to make sure I know my ins and outs.

8. Revisit the budget with Eddie.

9. Eat at home 20/31 nights.

10. Begin Round 1 of 21 Day Fix!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January Meals.

I have meal-planned our ENTIRE month of January and I'm so excited about it. The worst part of cooking (in my humble opinion) is deciding WHAT to eat. And no one in our house is helpful when it comes to figuring that out, so I decided to sit down ONCE and plan for the WHOLE MONTH, list where I got the recipe, and each week make a grocery list from that.

We are NOT eating at home 7 nights. We have various things going on (I'm actually not going to share our calendar with you...I used to lay it all out week by week and write when we had other things going on and that caused some privacy problems) 7 nights of January so I left those off. But here are 24 meal plans - most with links for recipes - that I hope will help you. (Sidenote: Some are healthy, some are seriously just pick and choose what works for you! I also make my own seasonings pretty often. You can clean up a LOT of these original recipes by making your own, eliminating the cream of chicken soup, and avoiding the processed foods. If it calls for canned biscuits, make your own! If it calls for  Except cheese. Because I can't live without it.) We throw a veggie or two with each for a side (or none for James who we've been telling that Will is going to be bigger than him because he eats his veggies...James woofed down the spinach in the Italian Tortellini Soup because of this...). I realized as I was putting this together that I included so. many. pasta. dishes. My boys are big fans of pasta, but we don't normally have THIS many. I think next month I'm going to have designated days of the week - Soup Sundays, Taco Tuesday, etc. and I'm also going to pull from some of my cleaner cookbooks next month. I just wanted to get this kicked off this month.

Hoppin' John
Put the following in a crockpot on low for 3-4 hours: 1 can black eyed peas, 1 can mild Rotel, and link sausage. About 30 minutes before you serve, add in quick-cook rice.

I added a can of tomato sauce!

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas
This recipe/blog has been removed. VERY sad. I think it was frozen chicken breasts + beans (whatever kind you want...don't drain them) + a packet of fajita seasoning.

BBQ Beef Ribs - Big Green Egg Cookbook

Burgers and Roasted Corn - Big Green Egg Cookbook

Taco Lasanga - I can't find the recipe for this. I'll post when I find it.

Steaks - Big Green Egg Cookbook

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


I need to get my memories down on paper before it's Valentine's Day and I forget them all. We had a great Christmas this year! The boys have always been excited about Christmas, but it was just HUGE this year for them and I'm so thankful for that.

On Christmas Eve our tradition is {normally} to go to our church's Christmas Eve service and then have Christmas Eve with Mom and some of her friends. On the years we were with Mom for Christmas Eve, that's what we always did so we did this every other year. When we lived in Perry the tradition died out for us for a few years {when James was two-three} because we wanted to have Christmas morning in our own home. Now that we live much closer to "home" we spend Christmas again with the same people that I did growing up. Last year it was a little bit crazy because we tend to go to the early service {4:30} but those with grown children like the later service better. So we wound up waiting around for a while last year between church and the "party" and then it was late and our kids were wound up and blah, blah, blah...Eddie boycotted it this year. BUT THEN {gah, this is the longest story ever that wasn't even supposed to be a story} Melissa {the daughter of one of mom's friends - her sister Mary Beth was my college roommate...Melissa is Anna and John's age...we've known her forever} said it wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't do it and what if we just did it with us and them. So we did. We had Christmas Eve supper at Mom's house with my four, John, Kayla, Mom, Mrs. Lynn, Mr. George, and Melissa. It was so nice!

All of my friends were posting these beautiful photos of their children on Instagram and I was like, here's ours! This is on the church lawn, by the way. There were probably 100 people milling around. #whosekidsarethose

James tracked Santa on Norad's Santa tracker ALL night long. He kept informing random people where Santa was. The excitement was OFF THE CHARTS. At one point we were trying to gather things up to leave and he shouted, "There's no time to waste!" HA! Boy was PUMPED. Eddie and I put them in their jammies and planned to drive and look at Christmas lights until they fell asleep. Will did fall asleep and was out for the evening, James was WAY! TOO! EXCITED! to sleep! FINALLY he fell asleep and we could go to bed so that Santa could come!

Santa {tries} to go small in our house. We figure we're going to get 1,000,000 toys from so we ask Santa to bring three things. In this case the boys each got a set of Legos {the Raptor Rampage was the hit of the show!} and they got a Wii U and Paw Patroller to share. He also brought books and stuffed their stockings to the brim!

On Christmas morning, I set my alarm at 6AM to get up and start breakfast (I made monkey bread in the crockpot and Kayla brought a hash brown casserole over). I was back in bed by 6:15 or 6:20 but by 6:30 someone was bouncing off the walls. We finally woke Will up a little before 7AM and let them see what Santa brought.

I got a selfie stick in my stocking so we have a lot of pictures similar to the following:

After we played with what Santa brought we opened our presents to each other. James gave Will a trapeze for the swing set, Will gave James a telescope for the swing set, and we gave the boys a football goal post for the back yard. I made a big push for OUTSIDE toys this year.

Around 8, Kayla and John, Cacky, Grandmama and Granddaddy, and Kelly and David all came over to see what Santa brought. We had a little impromptu breakfast. If we do that again next year I'll try to remember to have more!

After we showered and got ready we made our way over to Eddie's parents for Round 2. The boys got a basketball goal as their big gift over there. #outsidetoys I got the Uggs featured in the ONLY picture I took while we were there. How sad is that? Those Uggs have been on my feet 24/7 since Christmas Day. I take them off when I leave the house or shower and that's about it! They're so cozy and I didn't realize what I'd been missing! We had a fun, laid back Christmas afternoon eating and opening gifts.

The day after Christmas Dad and Laura came down to our house to spend the day. John, Anna, Kayla, Lance, and Merritt all came over. We opened gifts first because the boys (who had opened 1,000,000 by this point) were too excited to stand it. Eddie scored a Big Green Egg that we are looking forward to using! He has it pulled into the garage until he gets a chance to stain it. We've been looking at all sorts of Big Green Egg recipes online, but send us your favorite if you have one! James also got an awesome toy called Snap Circuits. I highly recommend it for all kids. It comes with a book of diagrams for building different circuits that make lights come on or doorbells ring (on the toy, not in your house) and James has had the best time with it. It says 8 and up, but he's able to do it by himself for the most part. I'm not sure I could.

We had soup for lunch and then everyone stuck around for boston butt for supper and Papa and YaYa spent the night. Because Christmas weekend is a whirlwind, we ate breakfast with Papa and YaYa Sunday morning and then went to Mom's for ANOTHER Christmas. 

We gave Merritt a hand sewn cloth baby doll dressed in Minnie Mouse ears. I told her it was her own Minnie Cate and apparently she's a pretty big fan. Anna said she got mad at her the other day because she wanted to chew on her ears and they wouldn't stay in her mouth, but for the most part their relationship seems pretty solid. I will be tickled if she loves her. Anna was worried about her loving the doll TOO much, but I will just get another if that's the case so that she can be rotated. :) 

I have to work pretty hard for this girl's smiles and when my phone is out she won't do it. She has her mama's very stoic face. When Anna was little she would give you a death stare. Merritt seems to be following in her footsteps! HA! Will is constantly asking why Merritt is mad.

Both boys got UGA uniforms at Cacky's. I suggested she get those even though Will is digging in his heels at being a Georgia fan. I'll support my children's decisions for a lot of things, but being a Florida fan is not something I can support. Sadly, Will is determined to make all of us crazy and insists he likes the Gators. He opened his uniform and told Cacky he didn't want it. So James opened his and IMMEDIATELY suited up. Cacky told Will she'd be happy to return it for an FSU uniform (random side story is that we were FSU fans first *gasp!*...we grew up going to FSU games, not UGA games...and Eddie used to be a HUGE FSU fan before Bobby Bowden retired so FSU is something we are certainly ok with). He agreed to get an FSU uniform until he saw James dressed and he decided he wanted to be "wike Names." So we have two Georgia football players in our house A LOT. James even fell asleep in uniform with his helmet that night. 

Christmas was fun this year! It was pretty chaotic, but that's just what it is, right? I STILL have my {undecorated} tree out and a ton to put away, but it will get put away at some point. I may only put my tree and stockings out next year and Bah-humbug the rest.

Hopefully I will update a few more things on the blog today so be on the lookout!