30 August 2016

Dealing With Delays

(This post originally appeared on The Journey of Parenthood blog on February 11, 2016 as part of a Babywise Friendly Blog Day!)



Of our four children, two of them have shown signs of delay. My experience was a little different for both of them, but we learned some things the first go around that helped us navigate through the process the second time. 

Identify As Early As Possible

The normal range for development can vary from child to child, but sometimes there are things that raise concern that need to be addressed. The sooner a delay is identified, and the sooner you can address it, the better the chance you can have at making progress and many times catching up.  

The first time we noticed delays, I didn’t speak up soon enough to our pediatrician. I think I was afraid of the process because it was unknown and ultimately because I didn’t want anything to be wrong with our baby! Thankfully, once we started services for him, he started THRIVING and I was so very thankful we were getting him the help he needed. 

There are a few different areas to watch for:

Speech – Language and Talking
Motor Skills – Gross and Fine Movement
Adaptive – Social, Emotional, and Self Care 
Cognitive – Comprehension and Thinking
(Other areas could be Vision and Hearing.)

I am a big believer in the “Mamas instinct”. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, I would follow your instinct and address it until you know for sure that everything is ok. 

Ask Questions

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone, but sometimes it can be difficult to tell if something is normal development or not. Ask questions and do your research. 

If you have regular “Well Visits” with your child’s pediatrician, all of these areas are inspected and observed. If you have questions or don’t know, your doctor is the first and best person to ask about your child’s development. It’s important to remember that you are your child’s greatest advocate! Your child’s doctor can only know what he sees in front of him or what you tell him. So speak up with any questions or concerns so that you can either put your mind at ease, or you can begin to seek the help you need. 

If you seek help and advice from friends or family, keep in mind that children do develop at different rates so take advice with a grain of salt. Even well-meaning friends can be opinionated and since this can be a very sensitive area for parents, comments can sometimes feel offensive.

Seek Help

The good news if your child shows delays is that there are so many available resources that can help you. Your Pediatrician is the best place to start. In many states there are low-cost or income based services available to you with a referral from your physician. This is the route we have chosen with both of our boys both for speech delays and now this time with motor and adaptive delays. The first go around we were in Texas and this time we are in Alabama. Both services have been so very helpful. In both experiences there is an evaluation process and then if you qualify they come to your home and help you child with whichever area(s) they need it. I truly feel like they have completely changed the course of our childrens’ lives by helping them completely catch up to their developmental levels. 

The downside to those services, is it can often be difficult to schedule. If you have the insurance and/or means available, you can search your area for private services. Oftentimes your Pediatrician can also refer you to someone. 

Emotionally Coping

Developmental delays can be sensitive for parents because no parent wants there to be anything wrong with their child. It scares us and makes us question whether we have done something wrong or made a mistake. I remember feeling this way when we first started to question whether our second child might have some delays. I was fearful and worried and it felt so big because it was such an unknown process for me. 

Once we started services with him, every week I saw progress and I was so validated in speaking up and seeking help. There would be days that I would cry with gratitude because his vocabulary was growing so quickly and his voice was the sweetest music to my ear. 

All along the way, we gathered tools for our “parenting toolbox”. The beauty of these tools, ideas, and methods is that they are totally applicable for other children too. It helped to educate me just as much as it has my boys. More tools means more options to try before I lose my cool. 

After having such a good experience the first time, I had no fear at all in seeking help with our fourth baby when he showed signs of delay with his motor skills. He has also responded very well to help and is quickly catching up with where he needs to be developmentally. 

I’m so thankful for how we have been able to meet these needs and I hope our experiences can help ease worry and fear for other families facing delays. 

Related Posts: 



Read more »

26 August 2016

{Friday Favorites} Maks is Back Edition!!!!!!!

Happy Friday! And happy it is... because yesterday it was announced that MAKS IS BACK on Dancing With the Stars as a PRO!!!!! I was so excited that I posted this picture on Instagram and FB and guess what happened??? 2 LIKES!! No one cares (well except for Shephanie and Corie). Do only 3 people watch Dancing With the Stars? Do only 3 people like Maks??? He's the bad boy of the ballroom, for crying out loud. Anyway, I guess Corie and Stephanie and I will just be excited that our FAVORITE guy is back on our FAVORITE show. 


On to other favorites. Like moments like this. This sweet puppy does NOT like it when the kids are in room time and can't play with the babies. Look at her watching Archer boo.... I almost can't stand the cuteness. Almost.


This week I got to help this sweet friend plan her dream vacation to Disney World and Universal Studios. Can I just say how much I am LOVING my job! The only hold up is that I need more trips to plan! Tell all your friends to call me! It's free and I love love love planning vacations! Contact Me ANYTIME to ask questions or get a FREE quote.


Last Sunday we went over to the Nicholsons for Sunday lunch and it was so wonderful! It reminded me of Sundays growing up where my parents always had an open invitation to friends and people to come over and eat lunch. It was so great! The kids were pretty excited too!


Archer and I had a spontaneous lunch date with our favorite guy on Wednesday this week. Some of us ate good BBQ and some of us only ate chocolate chip cookies. We were all pretty happy. 


I wrote a letter to my high school self this week! You can find it here.. Dear High School Carrie


One sweet thing about LK and Shep both being in school means extra time with this sweet boy! We are all learning new rhythms with only 3 of us at home now, but we are starting to get the hang of it. I even talked him into giving me kisses again. :)


For our City Group on Wednesday, I made Fun Jen's Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos and I cooked fresh Tortillas to go with them... because THEY ARE MY FAVORITE. You can buy raw, uncooked tortillas at Walmart and then heat them on a skillet. The make all the difference! 


I'm looking forward to a laid back weekend with my people!

I'm linking up with MomfessionalsGrace and Love Blog, and Little Bit of Everything Blog for Friday Favorites!

Read more »

25 August 2016

Transitioning From Nap Time To Rest Time



My kids have always been solid nappers and I do credit a big part of that to Babywise. It has always been a big part of our schedule and our routines. There has never been an option to not nap. The afternoon nap time is an important part of my schedule because it is when I am able to work on some things like my travel planning business or preparing Bible Study notes, etc.

My kids also have held on to their naps longer than most kids their age. Both LK and Shep were still napping about half the time right up until the week before they started Kindergarten. But, right around when they turned 4 they did start having some days when they couldn't fall asleep or would fall asleep too late and it would mess up their night sleep. But they for sure still needed some down time and I for sure still needed that time as well. So we decided to transition to a "rest time".

These are our guidelines for rest time:

1. I still turn off the overhead light, but I do open the blinds and curtains for natural light to come in.

2. They are allowed to choose a few books and a few toys, but they must stay in their bed.

3. They must be QUIET. In order for this to be down time for them, they don't need to get hyped up playing. I tell them if they cannot play or "read" (for Shepherd it has just been looking at books) quietly, then I will take their things away.

4. They do not HAVE to fall asleep, but if they are feeling sleepy it is OKAY to fall asleep. There are still some weekends during rest time that LK or Shep will still fall asleep. In fact, Shepherd does still nap most weekends. If they do fall asleep, then we still wake them up at the normal awake time.

5. If at all possible, we don't room share during rest time. It has never worked well for us. I still put them each in different rooms. Sometimes that means that LK is in her sleeping bag in the playroom or someone is on the couch or in our room.

6. There is a distinction between Room Time (Independent Play Time) and Rest Time. The point of Room Time is play and practicing safe independence. The point of rest time is to rest. During room time, they have the freedom to play in their whole room. During rest time, they must still rest in their bed.

Transitioning to Rest Time still allows for a peaceful afternoon with down time for everyone and helps us stay on a good schedule and routine.

Related Posts:





It's Pinterest Day for the Babywise Friendly Blog Network and we are all writing on the topic of "Transitions"!


Emily from The Journey of Parenthood:
5 Tips To Ease Transitions and Avoid Meltdowns

Katrina from Mama's Organized Chaos:
Transitioning Your Focus To Positive Behavior and Natural Consequences

Kimberly from Team Cartwright:
Helping My Child Move Across The Country

Natasha from Let's Be Brave:
How We Transition A New Foster Kid Into Our Home

Valerie from Chronicles of a Babywise Mom:
How To Transition To Just One Child Home


The BFBN has a plethora of tips, tricks, ideas, sample schedules, etc... all ready for you to explore on our Pinterest boards. You can check those out on our Pinterest Page:  https://www.pinterest.com/bfbnnetwork/



Read more »

24 August 2016

Back To School 2016

We kicked off Back to School with a fun cookout. LK had been BEGGING me for a full on BASH, but with just getting home from Jamaica, and the Epic Olympic Party in the same weekend, all I could muster was to ask April across our yards if they wanted to cookout with us. We grilled BBQ chicken ate and watched the Olympics. And then each kid shared what they were excited about and wanted us to pray for for the school year starting. It was a really sweet time and a nice "deep breath" together before school started. 



I had clear eyes as we got everyone ready for the first morning. They were all so excited. Kyle stayed home with the little boys so I could take LK and Shep into their classes for the first day.

Shepherd was SO EXCITED. I kept asking him if he was nervous but he was just so happy and excited to go to school "like Laura Kate".  







This big girl was so excited too! She admitted to being a little nervous but was mostly excited. 



Look at that big boy! Getting settled and ready on the first day. Don't mind me mopping the floors over here WITH MY OWN TEARS. 



And this precious one, ready to take on the world! Love her so!


Shep's teacher asked if I could come for lunch to be an extra set of hands to help get everyone settled at the tables with their trays. I was so happy to help! I also got to peek in on friends in Kinder and sneak in a hug (and a happy picture for their moms too :). 




Fischer was honestly more clingy and nervous that anyone about starting back to school. He has the same (wonderful) teach that Shepherd did last year and its still only 2 days a week, but he cried when I dropped him off on the first day! I didn't expect that at all, but I know this is a hard transition for him with Shepherd being gone to a different school for 5 days a week!




Overall, it has been such a great start to the school year and I am really excited to see how God is going to use these little people of mine as lights in their school. 

Related Posts:




Read more »

23 August 2016

Dear High School Carrie {Show And Tell Tuesday}

Dear High School Carrie,

First thing...RELAX. Don't get so worked up about everything. The drama isn't worth it and there's a little girl in your future who will hold a big mirror in front of your face one day with the drama. Take a deep breath and don't worry so much about every little thing. Don't let your emotions rule you. They can sometimes lie to you and it's worth sleeping on before you get so worked up.

Also, right around the corner in college are some awesome, Godly men you are going to date. So it really is ok to just hang out and have fun with your friends in high school without worrying about anything more. You might want to re-think asking that super popular guy to prom... he's going to say no and then you'll feel dumb. Just go have a blast with your friends (since you will anyway).



Those girls you spend all your free time and weekends with? Treasure them. Savor those memories because 15 years later, when you're still friends with them, you'll think back to these times. They are building blocks in your heart for all your friendships to come.

Enjoy your skinny, tiny self! One day you will wish for the days you could shop the 0 rack at 5-7-9!

Hang out with your parents more. They really are pretty great. And don't let the whole family tease you about not knowing how to cook. Make them teach you!

Rest in who God made you to be, and don't try to be anyone else. The sooner you learn that, the more you will enjoy the places He takes you. There are times coming in your future that need that grounding to be in Him and not in the approval of men.

And finally, when that cute bearded boy hugs you and says "Carrie, I'm not moving my face", don't you dare move yours either! That kiss will knock your socks off and loving Kyle Wiley will be your favorite part of life for the next decade(s).

Love,

Hot 32 Year Old Carrie



I'm linking up with Momfessionals today for Show and Tell Tuesday!! Read my other Show and Tell posts here:




Read more »

22 August 2016

Epic Rio Olympic Party {Summer 2016}

You guys. The Rio Olympics were so fantastic. SO FANTASTIC. I have thoroughly loved every minute and am so sad they are over now. 

We celebrated to the max starting with an Epic Olympic Party for the Opening Ceremonies. Fun Jen came into town just for this event because NO ONE olympics like the two of us. 

We had a blast planning and decorating and cooking. Just like last time, we asked people to bring food from around the world and our friends did not disappoint. 

We set up an extra TV outside so we could have two different places to watch. Overall, compared to previous opening ceremonies, I would give Rio a B-. It just wasn't super exciting and we have all seen much better in the past. It wasn't Sochi but it wasn't Beijing either. The highlight without question was our boy Michael Phelps, the MP, carrying the flag for us. 

The party lived up to the hype! Thanks to everyone who came and brought food! Mark your calendars for the Winter Games in South Korea in 2018! 












































Read more »