Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Our Weekend Through Monday

Well-- yesterday was a bit of a doozey as far as Monday's go and I just did NOT get around to catching up about our weekend {which was pretty fabulous as far as weekends go}. So here is a little rewind of our weekend plus a day!

{F R I D A Y}
Friday when Hudson got off the bus it just felt like the weekend was finally here! It has been so awesome to watch Hudson adapt to kindergarten, hear about his day and just watch him grow even more into who he is.

The weather was beautiful so we tossed his school things inside and played in the backyard for a bit. I also took some time in between playing to work on the boys' activity binders for the plane. I made one for Hudson and one for Beau. In them I put some busy bag activities, some color sheets, blank construction paper, stickers, mini post its and some worksheets from workbooks (my boys LOVE workbook pages...no idea why but I won't fight it!)

I thought we could do patterns with the stickers on the mini construction paper. They could draw with their crayons, write words, etc on the other blank paper. The mini post its are different colors to play a game of tic-tac-toe on the drop down trays. Just simple things to keep them busy. Gabe can also draw and use the stickers. He has packed some books, miniature animals and Disney characters to play with too!

My in-laws also gifted each boy with an mini activity book that works with a water pen. Hopefully they will have enough to keep them busy! If not, there is always the last resort of the iPad but I'm hoping that we don't have to use that until maybe the plane ride home! ;)

We grabbed some dinner after playing outside at a Mexican restaurant (our boys LOVE Mexican). We had some family snuggle time before bed and wrapped up our night. 

{S A T U R D A Y}
Saturday was Hudson's last soccer game of the outdoor season. Neither Andrew or I played soccer before so we really had no idea what we were getting into but we have grown to LOVE watching our boys play soccer. This has been Hudson's third season. He has played with the same friends each season and it is the most fun! They have gotten better each year and are learning so many skills, the importance of sportsmanship and teamwork. 

He ended the season on a high note scoring two goals! So proud of his hustle!!

We came home after the game and started working together to get a few things done around the house. Then I began the task of packing five people for Disney! Honestly, packing hasn't ever been too overwhelming for me. I can pull everything out but my problem is trying not to overpack. If it's just me, not a problem. But it's so long and I don't want anyone to need anything! 

We are checking one bag and have two carry on suitcases. The boys have a backpack with their snacks and activities and we have a diaper bag/backpack that we'll use in the parks as well. 

The boys took a nap while I finished laundry up and then the we loaded up to head to my grandma's for a cookout. 

We played soccer with the boys and my nephews, cooked hot dogs and s'mores. It was such a beautiful, cool evening. I love being close to family. 

{S U N D A Y}
I woke up early on Sunday to have some time to myself. I made monkey bread for the family and my own sweet breakfast for me. 

Our sermon was a new series on peace and oh man was it so good!! I am really excited to hear more. The biggest takeaway: "Peace redefined is not a temporary mental state, but a permanent state of reality." 

I stayed during our second service in one of our kids' rooms. I just love seeing them engage in the lessons, worship time and hearing about their weeks. 

After church I met Andrew and the boys who were at my in-laws. We stayed for lunch and played. My boys are seriously blessed with all the people who love them being so close. I went to the store to get a few things for the trip and Andrew took the boys home. When I got home, Hudson and Beau were playing and Gabe was asleep. Andrew said he walked into the house, grabbed his fox (his lovie) and went to his room and got in bed! Ha! 

Little man was TIRED!!

Sunday night is always our night to get ready for the week. So we played with the boys some and had dinner, read and put them to bed. They were pretty worn out from the weekend and we definitely need them rested before our big trip. 

Andrew and I caught up on some work, did a little more prep for the trip and went to bed. 

{M O N D A Y}
Monday was like most Mondays. Our mornings are pretty full. I made the boys breakfast, got them ready and Hudson on the bus. As he gets on the bus, Gabe's SP arrives. We love her dearly and she works with Gabe for about an hour. As she leaves, I get Beau and Gabe loaded up so we can take Beau to preschool. 

This week is Beau's week at preschool to share All About Me. I was carrying Gabe (who was being crabby) and Beau's poster into school and Beau was happy go-lucky as typical just chatting away. We both tried to walk through the door at the same time and I bumped him with my wide arm load. His head hit the door frame. Bless his heart! 

Whenever my kiddos hit their heads I hold them close and just rub the spot that got hit, except this time, I pulled my hand away to look at him and see you're ok and there was blood. Like a LOT. 

Fortunately, lots of other mamas were dropping off and helped me get me what I needed to clean Beau up (who was so calm and sweet) and see what the situation was. Thankfully it was just a small little nick. No need for stitches or anything other than a little TLC. He didn't want to stay the day. He had a good sized bump and seemed a little shaken up (we've never had blood like that before in our house) so he went home to rest up. 

See--crazy Monday!! 

Thankfully today was a calmer and we are all set for our trip!! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

#BrucesDoDisney- 1 Week!

It is finally almost here! When we started planning this trip, it seemed like it would never come but now we are just 7 DAYS AWAY!!!

Next week we are picking up Hudson from school early to make our drive up to Chicago since we have an early {ish} flight the next morning.

THIS week I am in full on planning, final detail mode.

Going through checklists, deciding what to pack where.

I've broken down my pre-trip lists to the following:

> Final shopping trip/last minute items
> Last minute to-do around the house
> Carry-ons
> Luggage
> During flight entertainment/snacks
> Amazon Pantry Order

The boys are so stinking excited! We have never flown with our kids. In fact, I can't even remember the last time Andrew and I flew together for a trip!! I have lots of fun ideas to keep them entertained and fun tips that were shared with me, but honestly, with it being such a short flight and their excitement I am not too worried about them getting antsy!

As excited as I am, my expectations aren't crazy high. Meaning, I know we are going to have so much fun that I am not stressing about any of it. I know that they can't do everything. I know Gabe might not remember a whole lot of it. I know we aren't going to see it all in the brief time we are there. But there is something pretty amazing about knowing we are going to experience something fun and magical all together for the first time.

Be prepared for a few Disney overload posts when we return!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Gabe Update

At the beginning of this year I started to have some concerns surrounding Gabe and his speech, or his lack of speech to be more exact. I remembered both Hudson and Beau beginning to talk, the time frame, the progression. I wasn't seeing the same pattern in Gabe. I knew from all my child development classes that children reach certain milestones at different times. I knew that is where there is a range versus an exact date for children to do things. And I knew that, with Gabe, he was one to do things in his own time.

This summer though, without seeing progress, with still have this sweet boy quiet more often than not, my mom intuition was desperate to seek out some answers. I didn't want to wait for his two year well visit. I didn't want to prolong getting him help if he was showing a delay. I wanted to make sure I was his advocate.

Fortunately there are services that help determine if there is an actual delay or if your child is just progressing on his own timeline. With Gabe not being able to talk for himself, there were certain aspects of the testing that I had to answer for him. What I had observed. I knew even before we got the results, just from answering the questions, that Gabe was going to show a pretty severe deficit in his area of communication.

Where all other areas were normal or above average, Gabe's expressive language was showing a 40% deficit. He was understanding and comprehending language, he just wasn't talking.

We began services at the beginning of August. Speech therapy once a week with support from a developmental therapist once a week as well to encourage what was happening in speech therapy.

If I'm honest, I wanted to see progress right away. I wanted to see that gap close. I wanted to hear my child talk and express himself. Gabe's sweet personality, silliness, and joyful disposition (most of the time....he is still a typical two year old), I wanted expressed in words!

Two months in, some progress has been made. His attention has gotten better as he focuses on the tasks in front of him. He is using his known, strong words more frequently with more clarity. He is imitating vowels better and making syllables with "repeating" back a word.

But there are still missing pieces. Although he is making a great effort, he still is missing a lot of the sounds.

This week we are diving into two possible scenarios that could be slowing Gabe's progress: a tongue tie or a possible apraxia diagnosis.

We've read up some on both, on how they can effect speech. Our prayer is for God to give us answers. For God to show us how to best help Gabe. For God to give us patience as we wait to see what he needs or if it is just waiting on Gabe.

I'm thankful for early intervention, for knowledge of speech-pathologists and the patience of ours in particular who is so caring and loving with Gabe, even when he is in a salty mood.

I'm also thankful that God already knows what awaits us and is more than capable of taking us on this journey.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Waiting Phase

We have gotten so much support since Andrew and I announced our plans to adopt. The messages and comments and questions have all been really awesome. It is neat to find out from others who have experienced adoption; to hear their perspectives, their stories, their passion surrounding such a decision. Each story breathes new excitement and hope into our journey ahead.

We've gotten a lot of questions about what's next; where we are in the process.

And this is the hard part. We are in the waiting phase. And not the waiting phase everyone typically assumes when they hear of adoption. We aren't waiting on a child. We are waiting to BEGIN.

One area Andrew was very clear on being secure was the area of our finances. We got married young, had a child young, and added to our family quickly. We never really built up a nest egg, both of use paying for and working during college and then moving so quickly into marriage. We don't regret it. But we do know the role financial stress can play in a marriage. We've heard of the stress the adoption process, especially fostering to adopt, can add to a marriage and a family. We want to eliminate as much stress as possible.

So we wait. We work. We pray.

With each inquiry it has been hard for me. I wonder why we have this desire so strongly if now is a season of waiting. I wonder if we are even really equipped enough to be adding another person to our family. If I'm strong enough. If it will ever feel like the time is ready to take that next step.

I've been praying about all of this. About my doubts and insecurities. About God's plan and timing in this. About helping me to have faith and patience to wait on His perfect timing {because His timing IS always perfect.}

And like water to my thirsty soul, He gave me this thought.

Adoption isn't about how good I am. It's about how good HE is. And that's enough.

This journey is not about Andrew or I. It's not about our timing or our plan. It isn't about what we see as the next right child for our family.

God already knows. I believe he knows the age, gender, and time our next child will enter our family.

This season is absolutely about waiting. I'm to lean into who God is and what He's promised. My faith is to carry me through this season, however long it is. It is not my job to understand this journey, but to GO on this journey, wherever it leads.

This is the waiting phase. And I have complete trust that it is only a phase. The next part in our story.