The Great Wall Of Mama

You've probably heard of this Great Wall before....

A few of you have probably heard of this Great Wall before... (May it rest in peace)

Well I'm about to introduce to you the Great Wall of Mama.

But before I do, I need to back up a little bit. Remember this post? The one about a year ago when The Sasster invaded the Moose's room? How beautiful and cute and awesome it was?

Well, we've run into a couple snafoos with these two scouts sharing a room:

#1: Little Sassy Pants likes to wake up at 6:00 in the am. And while I'm sure this will serve her well as the First Lady, it does not serve her little brother well at all. He prefers to sleep till 8:00 or a little later even but because his crib was by the door, he would often fall victim to his sasster's morning exuberance.

#2: While the pictures from that post made the room look organized and awesome, I don't think it ever quite looked like the pictures again. It wasn't as "user friendly" as I intended it to be and given that the "user" was a kid, the room was a disaster most of the time. And guess who ended up cleaning their room most of the time? (If you guessed the 4 year old, you are wrong).

So we started praying through and thinking through options. I did not think it was an option for Fischer to share yet. His schedule just doesn't quite line up with the other two. We don't have another bed room.

So we came up with The Great Wall of Mama....(enter Super Mario Level Victory Music Here)

view from the door

still from the door
(also this is one of those 3D pictures...if you squint your eyes and look at it long enough you will see a dancing sasster)

View from closet door

The corner by the closet

The wall above LK's bed

There are still a few little things here and there that I want to do, but OH the organization! The best part is, this is much more user friendly for the kids to help pick up! Shep has slept longer for naps and in the mornings. Now they get the best of both worlds, their own space while still sharing a room!

Here's to hoping it lasts! Cheers!
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Heart Be Still: An Impromptu Valentine Photo Shoot

I decided I have the cutest kids in the world and should take some pictures of them today.

So I did.

And now my heart is mush. Just a puddle.

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Why I Stopped Folding My Children's Clothes

Ok yall. Before I get to my brilliant new plan, let me tell you what doesn't work before I tell you what does.

What doesn't work is letting laundry get piled up dirty, then washing 7 loads at one time, then letting it pile up clean and not having the time to fold it/hang it/put it up, so you end up digging out of a laundry basket for weeks on end only to end up where you started in the first place. Whew! Yall, that just doesn't work.

What does work?

One load of laundry every other day: washing, drying, folding*, putting up.

And yes, I'm serious, I stopped folding my kids clothes. I would finally get to a point when I couldn't stand digging out of a laundry basket for clothes and would neatly fold and put away all of the sweet little dresses, shirts, tutus, pants, t-shirts, dress shorts, jammies, etc....only to walk in the next day to find them strewn across their floor when they got into their drawers. Or, if I'm being honest, to find them all squished in their drawers when I myself dig through them to find the day's outfit.

So here's what I do: I line up their "drawers"(which are IKEA cubes) and have LK help me sort into piles (PJs/undies, tops, bottoms). The best part is, she can sort her own clothes, and she thinks its a fun game. And that's it. I stuff them in the cubes unfolded. When they are old enough to care about wrinkles, they are old enough to fold their own clothes. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Do you think I'm crazy? What works for your home?

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The Cheez-It Story

After a wonderful first meeting to launch our new small group with Imago Dei, I took The Moose into his and Sasster's room to change him and get him ready for bed. As I was changing him, I started to smell something burning. You know that smell? The smell that is not just the heater turning on but smells like something is about to catch fire.

I called out to the SBOAM and said, "Baby, it smells like something is burning in here..."

"What could be burning?" he responded.

On his way in to check it out, the Sasster peeks over the top of her lamp (that she had turned on earlier) and says really quick and staccato like... "uh-oh!" and then she ran away.

My hands are still busy changing the Moose so I couldn't respond immediately but my Studly Beast of a Man arrived just in the nick of time. He peered over the lamp and said "Oh MY!" as he pulled a burning cheez-it off of the lamp!

"Laura Kate! Did you see Shepherd throw that cheez it on the lamp?" I asked.

"No" she responded, "I just did!"

I finished changing Shepherd and put him in his bed and promptly removed the lamp from the room. Because you don't get to have lamp privileges when you fry cheez-its on it.

Last night I received this text message from a friend:

Yes. Yes in fact we would like an easy bake oven. Apparently we need one.

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Gilmore Life Lesson #3001

Did you know baby moose can climb? Well apparently, my little moose can.

Let me set the stage.

On Saturday night after church we had some friends over for dinner. And while the men were enjoying some guy time outside, the ladies were inside discussing a plethora of topics. Not the least of which was when to move toddlers out of the crib and up to a toddler bed.

My friend was saying that her toddler was already trying to climb out of her crib. And I responded saying how thankful I was that my little moose hadn't even attempted to climb out yet because I didn't think he was ready yet (and I wasn't ready yet).

Did you feel that?

The shift in the space time continuum?

That thing that happens when a parent boldly makes a statement like that?

Y'all, I broke the rule.

So on Sunday morning, while the kids were in roomtime (which means the moose was playing in his crib and big sasster plays in the room), Kyle and I were talking in the other room. Out comes the Sasster from room time and while we were telling her that roomtime wasn't over yet we hear the unmistakable bang of the door to their room swinging open and hitting the wall. We both thought it was the dog or cat coming out of their room, but no, it wasn't. Out comes the little moose running with all the pride his little body could hold. Beaming from ear to ear he ran out to us and said "Daddy!".

I immediately saw my error flashing through my head and my words "he hasn't even tried to climb out yet" began playing over and over in my head.

We did the next logical thing in this situation and asked the Sasster, "What happened? Did he climb out while you were still in the room with him?"

Her response: "No. I just showed him how though."

............ (speechless. just speechless)


Luckily, I had a solution to this problem thanks to Gilmore Girls. If you'll recall in Season 5, Lorelai goes over to help Christopher whose girlfriend has just left him and their 18month old (ish) daughter GiGi behind. Lorelai gets to his apartment to find his apartment a complete disaster. He hadn't showered in a while and Gigi wouldn't stop crying. Chris tells Lorelai that she won't sleep because every time he puts her in her crib she tries to climb out. Lorelai promptly walks over to the crib and get this: she turns it around so the short front side of the crib is against the wall and the taller back side of the crib is facing out, making it impossible to climb out of.


Take that Sassy Pants! Bwahahahaha. You'll have to do better than that!

(uh oh....did you feel that?)

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Here's What's Been Going On With Our Little Shepherd Boy

In addition to the holidays, trying to figure out life with 3 thousand babies, now holiday hangovers, Grammy Detox, laundry for 3 thousand babies, etc..., we've had a few things going on with Shepherd that deserves a post all to itself.

When Shepherd was around 15 months, I started getting a little concerned about his speech. He was hardly saying anything and really would only say "dada" for everything. There started to be a lot of pointing and yelling and the frustration set in both on our part and his.

We started a conversation with our pediatrician who at the time wanted us to really watch and be concerned with his comprehension more than necessarily the words he was using. He said he was happy to have him evaluated but also felt comfortable watching him with a little bit more intentionality on our parts.

After that, we came home and watched him and felt that he could comprehend most things and we updated our doctor accordingly. But as we have watched him a big word kept coming up that couldn't be ignored: INCONSISTENT. Some days I would feel like he had a great understanding of what I would say and a lot of days he wouldn't. And the frustration continued.

You would think that since he was our second child we would be able to tell if he had a speech delay, but because his big sasster is gifted differently than him, and tends to excel at all things verbal, I didn't really know what a good middle "normal" was.

At Thanksgiving, I observed his behavior with his cousins (At the time: Cohen 2.5 yrs, Jackson 16months, Cason 10 months) and just noticed some subtle differences that I couldn't ever really articulate but the best way I can describe it is just that the way he digested the world around him was just a little big different.

At this point his vocabulary was about 6 words: Daddy, fish, cookie, balloon, uh-uh, and bubble. (Occasionally ball, duck, and outside but not regularly).

I decided I was ready to have him evaluated for peace of mind and I just needed some resources to help me parent him well during this season. I was coming to an end of my limited knowledge.

So we called our pediatrician's office who referred us to ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) Services. It is a public service and the evaluation was free. I called them and made an appointment for a couple weeks out to have him evaluated, my main concern being his delayed speech.

The day of his evaluation I felt like was an average day for him: not his best and not his worst. We went into their office for the evaluation (A lot of friends who have worked with ECI have had the experience where they came to their house for the eval). Even though our main concern was speech, the evaluation is comprehensive on all areas of development. They explained to me that while the evaluation was very clinical, ECI services after the eval were very customized to each child. To qualify for services there needs to be a 25% delay in any area and then we could work on a plan. They also explained that they had to evaluate him on what they saw that day, even though there might be some discrepancy since he was in a new environment around people he didn't know.

The evaluation was long - almost 2 hours - and consisted of interaction with Shepherd and questions from me. 3 women with different roles conducted the eval and I was really impressed with each of them. Very warm people who obviously loved children and loved their jobs.

Afterward, they left the room to calculate his score and came back in about 15 minutes later to discuss everything with me. They explained that Shepherd shows delays in every area: Adaptive, Personal-Social, Communication, Motor, and Cognitive.

Part of me was relieved to have affirmation for my concerns and I was also a little sad. After they explained the results of the evaluation to me, they explained that Shepherd definitely qualified to receive services from ECI. I chose to enroll in the program right away and we started setting some goals for Shepherd.

We were assigned a team of 3 people who will come to our house: 1. A Case Manager who keeps his file up-to-date, manages the team, makes us aware of resources available to us, and kind of acts as a liaison for us and ECI as a system. She will come out once a month with either the specialist or therapist. 2. An Early Intervention Specialist (EIS)who's main goals for Shepherd are helping to decrease frustration, follow instructions, and increase play skills. She will come out to our house once a week to work with him. 3. A Speech Pathologist who will mainly focus on speech. She will come out once a week.

In addition, we had a hearing screen done (common for any speech delays) and are happy to report that Shepherd showed age-appropriate responses to the test.

We also had an MCHAT screening which is a "test" (checklist) that screens for any red flags for autisms. ECI does this with any child over the age of 18 months who shows any delay. I am also happy to report that Shepherd tested "low-risk" for Autism.

We have had one session each with our specialist and therapist. The speech therapist happens to be the same one who performed his evaluation and she was very encouraged with his improvement since she had last seen him. In 4 weeks he has almost doubled his vocabulary. She explained how great that was but also to be prepared for plateau or even back-tracking a little bit.

At this point, Shepherd can say these words:

Daddy, plane, car, fish, dog, go, uh-oh, bubble, ball, outside, yeah, nana, duck, blue, cookie, mama, Grammy, uh-uh

Though a little overwhelming, we are really thankful to have a game plan and to have good resources available to us for very little cost. My heart as Shepherd's mom is just to be able to parent him well all throughout his life. I know that the Lord specifically chose me to be Shepherd's mom and I want to do that to the best of my ability, all the while pointing to Jesus. Ultimately, this is just one more reminder that Shepherd is not mine. Shepherd belongs to the Lord and HE is the one who has planned his days.

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Sassy World Record Breaker

Picking up LK from school:
"Mommy, I want to be a world record breaker."
"That sounds like a good life goal."
...."Am I old enough to be a pogo stick bouncer?"
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First Cereal

Laura Kate 



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