Friday, July 22, 2011

If everything is bigger in Texas…

…then my brother in law should live in Texas.  Tony is not a big guy.  He’s the guy standing at the water’s edge on the right.  That’s Jim beside him.


But Tony has a big heart.  And he’s got a big truck.  :)  Because of Tony’s big heart, I’ve been driving his big truck the last 2 days.  Tony and my sister used our travel trailer to go to the beach a few weeks ago.  In exchange, we get to use their truck when we hit the road for vacation soon.  Pretty good deal, if you ask me.  But oh my goodness!  I drive a Suburban, so I’m used to a ‘big’ car.  Uhhh….not so much.  Tony’s truck is a Dodge Ram 2500 quad cab long bed.  It’s 40” longer than my Suburban.  And it sits so much higher!  The little guys have to stretch to reach the door handles!  Seriously!! 

Yesterday I brought it home from their place.  Fortunately, I’m fairly comfortable in a big vehicle, and it was during the middle of the day so traffic was not too bad.   Today, because we were spread out all over the state, I drove it to Costco to do some grocery shopping.  Parked in the back of the lot.  Yep…it’s the truck that needs 2 parking spaces in a lot like that.  But it’s fun.

The thing I noticed about driving the truck had me laughing.  Heads turn.  I get second looks.  Not like last summer, when Brent’s Mustang was here and I got to drive it some.  No, those looks were ‘NICE car!’   These looks are ‘Huh?  SHE’S driving that??’  Makes me laugh.   But I like driving the truck.  At some level, I find that exceptionally frightening.

Once we get the trailer hitched to the ‘big truck’ I’ll take a picture.  And you’ll see.  Big truck. Somehow, it’s very fitting for the guy with the big heart.  Thanks, Tony and Pam! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

78 minutes? Is that all?

Heat.  Could the rest of you share?  Those of us in Seattle would LOVE some.  It’s been a mostly crummy summer—cool to cold and often rainy.  But I didn’t know just how cold it’s been until I read this

I sincerely hope that when we head east of the mountains for vacation, the cold weather stays HERE and doesn’t follow us.  I’m tired of wearing fleece in July.

Off to find my sweatshirt…again.  <sigh>

Sunday, July 17, 2011

thought of the day

“Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps.”  ~ Rachel Jankovic, from a post found here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

at the beach

We hit the beach over the weekend.  It was such fun!  My sister and her family were there, so the little guys had an opportunity to play with their cousins.  They had a ball!  Flying kites, playing in the ocean, swimming in the pool, eating ice cream…what more could a kid want? 


The ocean was COLD, so the little boys found this ‘hot tub’ to play in.  They were in heaven.  My 11 year old nephew, however, found the ocean more refreshing. 


These 3 guys had a ball!  It was so funny watching them play.  My guys are so dark (duh, they’re Chinese!) and my nephew is VERY fair, and as we were watching them run up the beach my sister said, “Hey look!  It’s a moving Oreo!”  Cracked us all up.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.  :) 


This is what happens when you apply sunscreen just before the child lays down in the sand.  Guess the sand is nearly as effective as a sunscreen.  Especially when it covers so well.  Fortunately, my twosome didn’t get quite as sandy.  They did, however, love flying kites with the big cousins.  Overall, it was a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

do not become weary

Speech therapy.   Someone jokingly told me before we brought Logan home that I needed to choose a speech therapist I liked because I would spend more time with her than I did with anyone else in my family.  Guess what?  It’s true.  Well…almost.  I spend more time with the speech therapist than I do with my biggest guys or my closest friends, that’s for sure!

In July 2008, we started speech therapy.  Logan fell instantly in love with his therapist, Tina.  She was delightful, and perfect for him.  She had high expectations and didn’t waver, even when he didn’t cooperate.  She understood him and encouraged him.  She took time to ask questions, to learn about him, and to help figure out how his hearing loss was affecting his speech.  In short, she was a gem.  Logan’s beloved Tina left for maternity leave after 18 months with him.  We liked the therapist who filled in just fine but were anxious for Tina to return.  Then the therapy center had a change in policy, and ‘chronic’ kids like Logan had their access to continuous therapy restricted to better accommodate the patients on the waiting list.  We opted to find a new place for therapy.  It was/is too hard for Logan to adjust to a new therapist every 20 sessions.  Logan’s new therapist has training in a hands-on method of speech therapy successful for children with apraxia.  Logan likes her just fine, but she’s not Tina.  :)  She works him hard too, but progress has been painfully slow.  During the school year, Logan also has speech therapy at the local school.  Ellen, his therapist there, is a huge advocate of Logan.  She adores him, and he really likes her.  Because she has less experience with Logan’s combination of issues (hearing loss, cleft lip/palate, and apraxia) she’s chosen to focus on one aspect of Logan’s difficulties:  the grammar and construction.  She still works with him on articulation, but her primary focus is grammar and construction.  It works well, and I am eternally grateful for Ellen’s time and effort.

About 6 weeks ago, I was researching hearing loss and literacy rates on the internet when I came across something intriguing.  Essentially, it’s a program that is like an EEG for the mouth.  A specially made ‘retainer’ that is embedded with electrodes plugs into a computer program.  With the retainer in the mouth, the electrodes project a graphic of the tongue placement in the mouth.  Very fascinating.  Complete Speech makes the palatometers and trains speech therapists to use their equipment.  (Watch some of their amazing videos here)  After a conversation back and forth, we found a therapist who uses their program.  We discovered that we can use their home rental program and only see the therapist once a week.  Good thing, since it’s 45 miles one way!  Man…is this program a work-out.

This new gal is amazing.  She’s not Tina, but Logan seems to like her okay, which is nice.  We knew Logan had low muscle tone and low core strength.  The new speech therapist has helped us to see where Logan is clearly compensating for the things he can’t do.  Problem is that his compensations don’t allow for him to physically form some speech sounds.  His lack of core strength, his low muscle tone, and his coordination issues combined mean that in some areas we are starting with true basics.  Right now, we go to speech on Tuesdays at 11.  Therapy is 60 minutes.  At the end, Logan is exhausted.  He’s so tired he hardly says a single word all the way home.  She works him HARD! The rest of the week, we do the homework.  What kind of homework?  Well, we work on core strength.  His daily routine consists of sit ups, v sits and crossover v sits, bicycle sits, jumping on the trampoline, riding his bike, hanging upside down on the monkey bars and trying to sit up, using a straw (without using teeth to hold it or using the whole jaw to create suction), biting on chewy tubes for jaw strength, playing ‘name that tune’ while humming (to work on breathing through the nose instead of the mouth), and, of course, time with the palatometer and the computer.  Whew! Some summer vacation we’ve got going.

Therein, though, lies the rub.  I’m mom, which generally means chief disciplinarian since I’m the one here most of the time.  I’m the teacher-- 1st grade this fall.  And now therapy supervisor.  Or slave driver, as he would say (if he knew the term!).  Where’s the limit?  When can I just be plain old mom, the one who plays with and has fun with her guy, instead of being the meany and the teacher and the slave driver?  I have a much better understanding of my neighbor’s dilemma a few years ago, when she finally decided she had to remove herself from some of her child’s therapies in order to just be mom.  And the other, sometimes harder, question:  how do we adjust our expectations to better reflect Logan’s abilities?   Are our expectations too high?  How far do we lower them?  In what areas?  How do we decided?  What about this thought:  If post-stroke apraxia causes issues with the person’s ability to connect thought and actions, what about a child with global apraxia?  Do they have the same problem?  If so, what does that do to learning?  To behavior?  To the understanding of cause and effect?  The whole mess is so intertwined that it’s very hard to separate out the threads and know what’s best for him.  So we lump along, doing the best we can.  And we hang on to what we know to be true

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” ~Galatians 6:9

because once in a while it’s the only thing that keeps us going.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Guess what’s for dessert tonight?  Strawberry shortcake, with these:


fresh from the backyard.  Delicious!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Or how we spent the last few days.















Friday, July 1, 2011


“I’d pay money to see that!”  he said with a laugh.  “They could sell tickets!”

There was no malice.  No evil intent.  No hidden agenda to hurt me, just some words.  I knew that. But…maybe there was not much thought, either.  The words were definitely not carefully chosen. Unintentionally, they hit the mark.  And boy did they hurt.  Knowing that they weren’t meant to hurt didn’t lessen the pain…

Every insecurity I’ve ever had about myself came flooding to the surface.  Every doubt about my ability.  Every criticism of my efforts.  I started second-guessing myself, decided that I really couldn’t do this, so why bother even trying.

The problem is…I can do it.   I know I can.  It requires practice, and effort, and stepping outside my comfort zone.  I had hoped for encouragement, but it didn’t come.  After wallowing in self pity yesterday, I decided that letting the naysayers win again was not a good choice.  There are lots of things in my life that I’m good at.  Most of them involve doing things for others.  This is something I want to do—need to do—for me.  So this morning I put on my shoes and got back at it.  Will I succeed?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But I won’t let the negative comments win.

Ironically, or perhaps providentially, the lesson came later, as I was reading Proverbs 18.  I came across this verse “The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” (Prov 18: 14) and realized just how ‘on the mark’ those words are.  A crushed spirit. It’s an apt description of how I felt.  It made me wonder:  do I measure my words well?  Do the things I say unintentionally crush the spirit of my children?  Of those God has put in my life?  Am I doing well at putting Ephesians 4:29 into practice (Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up…)?  Maybe I need to guard my tongue more carefully. 

So today, I will try.  Today I will think before I speak.  Hopefully, knowing how painful careless words can be will stay with me for a bit, will help me choose carefully.  Hopefully I’ll remember long enough to develop a new habit. 

How about you?  How are your words received?