Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Speech Therapy

Graham had his last speech session today. I am so proud of him. He has really come a long way! 

We were first referred to ECI when Graham was 15 months old. He was not saying any words or very many sounds, and not copying us at all. Our case worker, Kindy, has been such a blessing right from her very first visit. She was kind, understanding, and helpful. A whole lot of testing showed us that Graham was delayed in several areas, and qualified for speech therapy.

His first therapist was a woman named Katherine who we really liked, but after a few months she left ECI. Graham was then placed with Lori. She started coming to our house for an hour once a week, and Graham just fell in love with her. Lori has been helpful for us in so many ways. She is always encouraging us that Graham is making excellent progress and that she's very impressed and proud. She also gives me lots of pointers on how to work with Graham on his different speech issues.

When Graham had his next evaluation about 6 months ago, he barely qualified to continue receiving services (I was really glad that he did though, because I wanted him to be able to keep having speech until he turned 3). He literally talks all day long, and is ahead in many areas! ECI is only for kids under 3. If we were going to be staying here (which we aren't) and if he continued to need speech (which he doesn't) we would begin receiving services at John T. White Elementary School.

I'm so thankful that this early intervention program was available for us. As a former Head Start and Pre-K teacher, I am fully aware of how important early intervention is! I wish more people would take advantage of it.

Here is Graham with Lori (left) and Kindy (right). He wasn't really in a "picture mood." Thank you ladies, we love you!!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Molly 4 Months!

I may not have mentioned it yet, but WE ARE JUST CRAZY ABOUT THIS GIRL! :) She is just a ray or sunshine everywhere we go. What a blessing it is to us that God has trusted us with this sweet, precious little one.

Molly has turned 4 months. She's doing a lot of new things this month:

She weighs 18 pounds (above 95%) and is 24.5 inches long (50%). Her head size is 90%.

She is wearing size 6 month clothes (and some 9 months) and size 3 diapers. 

She is nursing 6 times a day and has gotten to be a really fast nurser. 

She is taking 5 naps, 1 1/2-2 hours each. Although, at least one nap a day gets skipped or shortened because we are out. She still sleeps in her carseat, but we are in the process this week of transitioning her to her crib.

She is sleeping 9 hours at night. 

She has started blowing raspberries. 

The drooling has started! She can soak a bib in no time. Teeth are on the way! Though I know from experience that they will take a few months to get here. 

She can sit up assisted, if you hold her hands or prop her up on the couch. 

Her "talking" has gotten much louder!

When she's awake we get big smiles all the time and the occasional sweet giggle. She is a very happy baby.

She can bat at things and reach out to grab toys close by. But she's not very interested in toys yet. 

She loves to look at her hands and often has one or both in her mouth. 

She found her toes! She loves to see them and try to grab them.

What We've Been Up To

1. Lots of brother/sister play time! Graham is so sweet, gentle, and perfect with Molly (so far). She loves to watch him so much. I am praying every day that they will have a great relationship. 

2. A fun trip to the Canton Trade Days with Mimi. Graham liked looking at the antique trains and running up and down ramps. I bought 2 scarves and a necklace. It was only my second time to go and I thoroughly enjoyed walking around and hanging out with my mom and the kids!

3. Riding the Forrest Park Mini Train with Mimi. My mom was on spring break last week so she came and spend a couple of days with us. Man, we had fun! Graham LOVES riding the train. He got to try popcorn for the first time (ate a whole box). The weather was perfect for some Fort Worth fun!

4. Packing. Packing. Buying stuff. And more packing. Our container ships in just a few weeks....AH!

5. Fun times at Papa and Mimi's house. We are treasuring up as much family time as we can possibly squeeze in lately! That means going to Kaufman almost every weekend. Graham's favorite thing is playing in their backyard with the dogs. He could seriously do it all day. Last weekend had the added bonus of seeing my grandparents from Arkansas. 

6. Petting rabbits at the Wataga Library. Graham was SO excited. But of course when it was finally our turn he got scared. He would touch them but wouldn't hold them. Until the very end when it was time to leave, he decided he wanted to hold one and threw a fit. Go figure! But we always have fun with our playgroup peeps. :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Daphne DuMaurier

If I had to name my favorite author, it might be Daphne DuMaurier. 

I first read her most popular novel, Rebecca, in high school. It's one of my mom's favorite books. Rebecca follows a nameless young woman who falls in love with a much older, very wealthy, widower named Maxim. As newlyweds the couple returns to Maxim's family home in Cornwall. At first they are happy, but the heroine is haunted by the presence of Maxim's first wife, Rebecca. It seems that she can never live up to her legacy.

Rebecca is easy to read and spooky, without being scary.  I also love the movie, which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and won the Oscar for best picture in 1940. It stars Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier. 

After enjoying Rebecca so much, I decided to check out some of DuMaurier's other books. I breezed right through every DuMaurier book that the Sweetwater Library had. Including: The Scapegoat, The House on the Strand, and My Cousin Rachel. They are all very original and eerie. 

Later in college I read The King's General, which is nonfiction, and Jamaica Inn. The later became my favorite of her works. 

Jamaica Inn takes place on the Bodmin Moor in Cornwall (DuMaurier loved Cornwall and lived there much of her life. Many of her books take place there) in 1820. The story follows a young woman named Mary who loses her mother and is forced to leave home to live with an aunt that she barely knows. She discovers that her aunt has married and her husband is landlord of a very secluded coaching house called Jamaica Inn. Mary learns on arrival that her uncle is a dangerous, violent man and that secrets lurk around every corner of Jamaica Inn. 

The unusual twists and turns of this book seem to surprise me every time I read it!

*Note: Jamaica Inn is a real place that Daphne DuMaurier really visited and based the book on. The story goes that she got lost on horseback in the mist of the moors and wound up at Jamaica Inn. It is still a functioning inn and museum. I would love to go visit someday!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Book Review

I have been a huge fan of Kate Morton ever since my mom gave me a copy of The Distant Hours. I loved it! I like to think that I've read a lot of books, but I have never read such an intricate story web. Kate likes to tell stories from the perspectives of several different characters in different time periods. And then in the end ties it all together in a way that you couldn't have imagined. When I finished the distant hours I immediately checked her other two books out from the library: The Forgotten Garden and The House at Riverton. They were both great reads!

*Note: if you like Downton Abbey, you would probably enjoy The House at Riverton. It takes place in a similar setting. But its a great murder mystery!

So I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Kate Morton's latest book: The Secret Keeper

I secured a copy, and in my (very limited) free time I've been able to read it over the past several weeks. LOVED IT!! I am especially fascinated with World War II history and much of this book takes place in WWII London (exciting!). But I am getting ahead of myself...

At the beginning the book's main character, Laurel, witnesses her mother (whom she loves dearly) murder a strange man. This terrifying event happens in the 1960's when Laurel was a teenager. Fast forward to 2011 and Laurel has decided (as her mother is dying) to find out what happened that day. Who was that man and why would her mother be scared enough of him to kill? We also learn the story of Laurel's mother, Dorothy, living as a young woman in WWII London. 

The story skips around between 1941, the 1961, and 2011. But not in a way that is jarring. Each of the stories is truly interesting and fun to come back to. The characters are realistic, possessing both likable and unlikable characteristics (as I've found most of Kate Morton's characters to be). And as I expected, the story was brought to a very satisfying finish, tying all the story lines together in an unexpected way. I was not disappointed. 

If you like to read fiction, I recommend checking out Kate Morton!