Thursday, July 30

Congrats to Brooklyn!

I don't think I have ever blogged about Brooklyn and the speech therapy she started this summer. When she turned 2, I noticed that she wasn't talking as much as most of the 2 year olds I was around. Our pediatrician didn't seem concerned since her understanding of language was so good. (she understood everything at an early age and used that to get by instead of talking) A good friend who is a speech therapist did an informal evaluation and it was determined that she was a little below average, but not severe enough to qualify her for therapy. She suggested giving her until she was 2 1/2 and then re-evaluate. We also did a hearing test at that time and her ears were perfect.

I did not see a big improvement between 2 and 2 1/2, so I contacted the Early Intervention program (which is free to those who qualify) to ask if she could be evaluated. I chose Children's Therapy TEAM to be her provider (after some recommendations from friends) and they evaluated her speech and language skills. Brooklyn was placed with an awesome therapist named Jessica, who I ended up recognizing from college and we had some mutual friends. She was nothing but great with Brooklyn over these past 3 months. Brooklyn has been going 2 days a week for 45 minutes each day and has loved it. Jessica made it so fun for B. There was never a day that Brooklyn hesitated going back with her. I can't blame her. She got to color, paint, play with bubbles, and use chalk during her therapy. As rewards after, she would get to choose between the swings, trampoline or ball pit. This place is fun! Emma asked every time we dropped B off if she could go back there and play. Unfortunately, she wasn't allowed back.

As of today, Brooklyn graduated from speech therapy! We are so proud of her and the progress she has made. I believe part of it is age and the decision to begin talking, but a huge part has been the therapy. She is talking in partial sentences now and asking questions. Her progress in numbers is amazing too. She had a 78 on her expressive score in May and today scored a 114. She went from being below average for her age to normal. Her articulation scores are still a little low, but leaps and bounds above where she was. She had scored a 65 in May which was considered "severe" and she is now at a 84 which is just slightly below the normal for her age. She is doing great and I can hear her speech improving daily. It is so fun to finally hear her sweet little voice!

Thank you to all my speech friends and to Jessica. I have a new respect for therapists in all the different areas after being up at that clinic 2 days a week. They all seem to have a passion for helping people and really work hard to do their job and make it fun.

Tuesday, July 28

4th of July

I was determined to post this before July was over and I have barely made it. I still have our Mtn. Home Retirement weekend to post and that was in June. I am behind. My spare time during the day is spent balancing cleaning up and organizing our house to sell it and having fun with my girls.

We went to Branson over the 4th of July weekend with John's parents. We got there on Thursday night late and went straight to bed, so we could get up early the next morning and hit the parks. We went to Silver Dollar City Friday morning and stayed for about 3 hours. (Ah, the joy of season passes is that you don't have to feel guilty when you go for a short time) The crowds were surprisingly low, so we were able to ride the rides quickly. We also went to a magic show. We went back to the condo for Brooklyn to take a nap and the most unusual thing happened! Emma fell asleep on the couch! I say surprising because this girl gave up her nap when she was about 3 1/2 and has maybe taken 5 naps between then and now. (that's 2 years) 3 of those naps were at Disney World. It worked out great because we knew we would have a late night.

The girls (and us) woke up and we went to White Water. It was our first time there this summer and we had a great time. Emma went down her first "big" waterslide with me. At the end, she said she didn't like it, but just the other day she told me she wanted to try it again. We'll see. We stayed there until they closed and then had dinner at the condo.

John's parents watched the girls that night and John and I went to Branson Landing (along with everyone else in Branson that weekend) to watch fireworks and listen to some bands. It was fun, but I'm not sure the traffic back home was worth the night out.

On 4th of July, the weather was a little gloomy. Before the rain started, we went to a park to play. There is also a creek there, so we played around in that for a while. B took a nap and then we headed over to the swimming pool for a little while before dinner. Ate some yummy burgers and then went to a parking lot for John and his Dad to show off the fireworks they bought. Most of you know that I'm petrified of fire and fireworks are on the top of list of things I really really dislike. I sat in the back of the car and tried to keep my mouth shut. After the people next to us shot a rocket right past John's head, I insisted we pack up and leave. :) There were about 4 major firework shows going on that night. From the condo balcony we could see 2 of them. We had great seats and no traffic to get through at the end. Just straight to bed.

Tuesday, July 21

Art Camp

Last week, Emma went to Art Camp at the Nadine Baum Studio in Fayetteville. It was from 1:30-4:00 each day and she loved it! It was a mixed medium class, so they sculpted with clay, painted, made sketch books, etc....For anyone who knows Emma, this was right up her alley. And for anyone who knows me, you know I was jealous that Em was getting to go to Art Camp and not me. :)
I was in Little Rock for their "Art Show", but John went and took pictures for me.

Emma's description of the island was this, "It is an island where the turtle and princess live. They also have a slide and a diving board."

The canvas is what they worked on all week. Each day they would learn how to draw the next part of the picture. At the end, they had drawn mountains, grass, trees, sunshine and the sky. Not bad for a 5 year old.

I did ask Emma what the red was (thinking parts of it kind of looked like blood) and she told me some were flowers and some were the apples on the apple trees. I should have known that!

As much fun as the Art Camp was on its own, I think it helped that all of these fun friends were there too!

Monday, July 20

One on One Time

My sister will turn 40 tomorrow, but I was able to celebrate with her and Terral, my parents and a few of their friends last Thursday night. Brooklyn and I went down to LR on Thursday afternoon. We went to dinner that night (and Cathy and I shared a sitter) and then the next morning Terral and Cathy left for Memphis while Claire stayed with my Mom, Brooklyn and me at Cathy's house. We had a great time! Claire still takes 2 naps, so during her morning naps I got to take Brooklyn swimming in the backyard. It was awesome having the pool right there. It was so easy! It was great to do that with just her since usually my time at the pool is split between 2 girls. My Mom and I ventured out with both of the girls and went to a neighborhood park on Friday. Then headed home for both girls to take a nap. After naps, we played, gave them a bath and went to bed! That night, my Mom, B and I all slept together in a king size bed. Hillarious, but actually was manageable. Saturday was much of the same day. When T and Cathy got home that aftenoon, B and I headed back home. She is our late sleeper, so I took advantage and slept in until 8:30 on Sunday morning. She got up at 9 and we went to the grocery store quickly and were back home when John and Em got there! I loved my time with Claire and loved watching B and her together. They are only 15 months apart and will be best of friends growing up. I also think B likes the fact that she is bigger than someone! My time with B got me excited for the school year. It won't be long from now that B and I will be hanging out alone every day together while Em is at school. AH, can't believe its almost here.

Emma did a fun little Art Camp at the Nadine Baum Studio in Fayetteville last week. It was for 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon each day and they played with clay, painted, crafted, etc....She had a blast. Since her Art Camp was all week long, she was not able to go to Little Rock with me and Brooklyn. It worked out really well because it enabled John and I to have some good one on one time with each girl. John went to Emma's "Art Show" on Friday and then they headed up to Branson. They ate dinner out at Branson Landing on Friday night together. Apparently had a good time throwing their leftovers into the water to the ducks. John's Dad was in Branson at their condo, so they went back there to spend the night. The 3 of them got up the next morning and went to Silver Dollar City. John has been wanting to take Emma through the cave there, but we never could with Brooklyn in tow. It is just to much walking for a 2 year old. They did that on Saturday and Emma loved it. They rode a few rides and then headed back to the condo to practice snorkeling in preparation for our rescheduled Mexico trip in November. John said she did good, but really just wanted to swim normal, so they did. John's Mom and Grace came up to Branson that afternoon and they all ate dinner together. John ventured out that night with Grace and Emma to The Track to ride go-carts and play putt putt. (unfortunately, no pictures to document the occasion)
It was a great weekend for Emma and John. I love when we are able to have one on one time with each girl. I think they need it and we do too!

Wednesday, July 15

For Sale by Owner!!

We finally have the house sell-worthy and everything is ready to go! We have created a website for showcasing the house, which makes getting the news out much easier. Plus, being able to see color images helps a lot, too. And all our neighbors won't steal our flyers trying to see how much we're asking. Call it environmentally-friendly FSBO real estate. That's the way we roll, yo.

Anyway, the house site can be found here. Please share it with friends, family, or yourself to help us get the word out. Between the blog, Facebook, & Twitter, surely we can find SOMEONE to buy the house, right? Once we sell the house, we'll get a rent house and break ground on the new house in Harber Meadows! Rockin'.

Thursday, July 9

Our Family

I am so behind on blogging, so at this point, I will start backwards and catch up that way. Today, Emma wanted to go outside during her "quiet time" and paint with water. She was out there for a while before she ran back in to tell me to come look fast. (in this heat, the water drys quick!) This is what she painted: Our little family of 4. Pretty cute, huh?

As for Emma's outfit, you never know with her. Jeans and a leotard over the top in 90 degree weather. Go figure.....