Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Last week I had the whole week off for "President's Week." It is always such a welcome break every year!! My own littles were off on Monday, so I stayed home with them that day, but sent them into preschool Tuesday and Friday (P.S. Connor cried Saturday, Sunday, and Monday because he couldn't go to "school to his teacher." He LOVE, LOVE, LOVES school!).
I was able to get a whole bunch of stuff done during my much needed week off.
I went to the DMV to get the bank taken off the title of my car - because we paid it off!! Yay! I changed my address with our escrow company. I went to book club! We met with our realtor and superintendent of our new house. I did ALL the kids' laundry and all of my laundry and Mr. Howard's. We bought six ceiling fans and light fixtures for all five bedrooms in our new house, plus the family room. We looked at beds for Connor's room. Mr. Howard and I went out to breakfast one morning and a sushi lunch another afternoon. I went out to lunch with friends one afternoon. We also had the babies' well baby visits (stats coming soon!), got all three kids' hair cut, went on a family hike, had their IFSP (individualized family service plan) meeting, and met with their developmental therapist. And I even had a little bit of time to catch up on the Jodi Arias trial (I'm fascinated with trials). Whew!
Busy, but productive week! I'll do separate posts with some of our fun adventures, but this post is going to be all about the adventures I had with my husband.
Our Breakfast Date on Tuesday:
Saturday, February 23, 2013
I haven't done a post about how the babies' therapies are going in a while. I got a question about it on instagram (follow me @thehowardbunch) the other day and it reminded me that some of you who have been following the babies' journey, might be wondering. For those of you who are new to my blog, you can follow THIS LINK to go back and read about their journey. Just scroll to the bottom to see the first post.
At twenty months old, they are doing so well!! I am so thankful I sought out resources for them and went with my gut to get them tested. I do not believe that therapy is the end-all be-all solution and I certainly don't believe that more is always better. Therapy is only a teeny tiny part of the solution; the biggest portion of services is learning what WE can do better. But therapy cannot be dismissed.
TEACHER SIDENOTE: It's been so interesting to be on the other side of an IFSP, because as a teacher I have attended IEP's for seven years. I'm thankful I have been able to experience the parent side of the table, because I certainly think it makes me a more compassionate teacher. It also gives me more credibility and honesty when I'm trying to talk to a parent about realistic expectations about special education. =) Now, having said that, I am just like every other parent in that I pray my children no longer qualify for services because they are 100% caught up. And if that day never happens, I know that they will still be such wonderful, special, unique little people with their own talents. I also pray that these experiences teach them to be more compassionate and understanding of those who don't learn and develop typically!
Aiden and Isabella receive occupational therapy each for one hour once a month. Mr. Howard stays home in the morning with both babies so that they can work with Kay. She often gives us things to work on and do. It's always so helpful to get new ideas for productive play.
Additionally, they are getting therapy with a child development specialist for one hour each once a week. This is the therapist we see the most often. Mr. Howard stays home for one hour every week with one child (the other two go to preschool) and we alternate who that is. They work on all sorts of skills - like stacking blocks and finding hidden objects. She is very generalized, so we work on speech, occupational therapy skills, and then generalized development. Just like the OT, we often get activities and strategies that we are then supposed to implement and work on when she is not there.
And finally, they JUST qualified for speech therapy for one hour each, twice a month. When we start services, I will come home early each week for one hour to work with her and one child. I think their speech is coming along and we're constantly excited about what new words they are learning and repeating, but they are a little delayed still. Aiden is a little further along in his development than sissy, but she is never very far behind. I am excited to see where this goes. We've added in a couple signs that we never did with Connor to help give them some choices for when they are feeling frustrated. We've taught them "help" and "yes" to reduce their frustrations, and I've noticed a difference recently.
Aiden's words: "what's that?" "bottle," "mama," "daddy," "nana," "shoe," "all done," "doggie," "uh-oh," "no," "yummy," "ball," "Bella," and "night night."
Izzy's words: "yummy," "bottle," "mama," "daddy," "doggie," "uh-oh," "ball," "night night," "catch," and "no"
Friday, February 22, 2013
I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner Blog to show you some of my favorite family pictures!
We have three beautiful children here on earth, two of whom are twins (plus our angel in Heaven). So I thought I'd focus on our big family photos and the ones of the twins to give you picture ideas!!
Our family photographer is here in Sacramento, California and her name is Katie Taylor Photography. She took almost every single photo below:
I have been working on a photobook of our Building a House Journey, and I thought it was about time I updated you all.
First, the photos of what our construction crew has been up to.
We learned some important features that our builder uses. They use "water wise landscaping" which means they use California native plants. Plus they use irrigation systems with programmable "smart timers" that deliver water in gallons per hour instead of gallons per minute and even turn off automatically if it rains. Did you hear that?!? Thank goodness. Because I am always the jerk whose sprinklers are going off while it's raining. Yikes! They also have a pump system for hot water that has remote switches in every bathroom and kitchen, so that you don't have to turn on your bath for 10 minutes and waste all that water while it's heating up. Amazing!!
The moment we were most excited about was when we got our 100% completion date!! The house should be completed on April 29th and then we'll be able to close escrow a few days after that!
In the meantime, we spent about two hours looking at fans at all sorts of places. We've picked out all five bedroom's fans, but we're stuck on the living room. We know what we want in our head, but can't find it anywhere. What we really want is to pick up the one from the living room of our old house. You don't think they'll care, right? Ha!