Saturday, April 30, 2011

We Are Fine

A huge mile-wide tornado blew through our town the other day. We are fine. Our house is fine. All we lost was power for a few days and the contents of our refrigerator. A far cry from the loss that others in our midst are experiencing. We are counting our blessings, and appreciate so many you who have contacted us to see if we are okay.

We woke up early the morning of April 27 to tornado sirens. Danny looked at weather reports on his phone and decided we didn't need to take cover. We lost our power and later found out there were a lot of trees down in our neighborhood, and a lot of damage done to areas around town that we frequent. Our power never came back on and we knew there was the potential for really, really bad weather that evening, so Danny went out and bought a weather radio. It's a good thing we had it because we would not have been very informed on what the day would later hold.

That afternoon, we huddled downstairs in our basement. The kids did remarkably well for being in a dark house all day, and then being confined in our tiny storage room.

At one point, they predicted the tornado would come toward our side of town, but it didn't. It followed I-20 and ended up hitting and destroying much of the north side of town. I cannot even fathom a mile-wide tornado (even though I have seen pictures and video of it), but it is heartbreaking to watch the news and see the devastation it caused. This morning, Danny went and a group from church to help with cleanup. Our state and city have a long, long way to go. Please pray for the many people who have been affected by these storms. It is heartbreaking to see so many people who have lost so much.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Britton's Words & Speech Update

I did a post on Lia Kate's funny words a while back. So here is a speech update on Britton and the funny things that come out of his mouth lately.

Lia Kate -- tee tate or ta tat
park -- parp
alligator -- chomp chomp
yogurt -- wogurk
Elmo -- melmo
water -- wawak
owl -- ow wow
Handy Manny -- mammy
Woody (from Toy Story) -- weewee
Buzz (from Toy Story) -- badow
train -- choo choo
treat -- tweet
TV -- teedee
cookie -- cook
cup -- cuck
phone -- baw (no idea why a phone is a "baw")
blue -- bwew
white -- watt
yellow -- wewwow
blue -- bwew
red -- ratt
pink -- peen
green -- geen
brown -- bwow
orange -- ohwench
Mickey Mouse -- icky
march (as in the verb form of the word) -- mawch
suckers -- cuckers
circle -- kirkle
spoon -- poon
kitty cat --tee tat
Aunt Ali (my aunt) -- Ocky
"Marna" (my mom's grandma name) -- Mocky

Britton's first legit sentence ...
What is it you do with that?

Britton has had an expressive speech delay for awhile now. Thankfully, it is just an expressive delay (his ability to produce words) and not a receptive/cognitive delay (ability to understand). Anyway, his speech has picked up some steam lately and he is talking a lot these days. We are so proud of him and we love hearing this little guy express himself with words.

There have been quite a few people who have helped Britton along the way. Back in January, Britton aged out of the Early Intervention program we've been in since Britton came home from the hospital. Over the three years there, Britton received excellent therapy from an OT, a PT, two speech therapists, and a music therapist who worked with us. We LOVED EI and are so grateful for the services the people at Hand in Hand offered us!

Britton and his music therapist.

Britton and his EI speech therapist.

When Britton was nearing his 3rd birthday, we decided to have him tested to see if he qualified for preschool services in our local school system. We weren't sure if he had a severe enough of a speech delay to qualify for services, but we went through the process anyway. Britton seemed to do really well on the tests he was given. The people testing him raved about him, so much so that I thought there was no way he would qualify for services there. And, frankly, a part of me was glad because I was not ready for my baby to start going to big boy school. When we got the test results, we found out Britton tested in the normal range (among typical peers) for cognitive, preacademic, self-help and another area I can't remember right now. In speech, he qualified for preschool services by ONE point. This was huge, because it indicates he is not significantly delayed in speech, but he still gets the services we believe he needs. I found out afterward, that if we lived in the school district just next door to us, he would not have qualified for services with this score. Because he only qualified by one point, they gave him another speech test to determine whether he should receive one-on-one speech therapy or if he should be in their speech-oriented preschool program. And he actually scored too high to qualify for one-on-one speech. So, we made the decision to put Britton in our school district's preschool program three mornings a week. The other two days, he goes to our church preschool program (which we love). I was not ready for my boy to be gone every morning, but I knew this was something we needed to do.

Here is Britton on his first day of "big boy" school.

Needless to say, mornings are busy around here now. We have to be out the door at 7:20 in the morning on the three days a week he goes to "big boy school". His school day is from 7:45 to 10:45, and he is doing so well there. He always has a huge smile on his face when I pull up to the carpool line, and a huge smile on his face when I pick him up. His speech is improving and his speech therapist believes what our former speech therapists thought as well, that he will catch up in time. And he is busy right now catching up!

Such a big boy.

Other than speech, he is perfectly on target with his peers and is even saying all his letter sounds and even writing some letters these days! I don't think anyone would have predicted he would be doing as wonderful as he is when he was born three years ago. We are so grateful!