Sunday, April 29, 2012

The “Oppice” and Andad

Blair is all about going to the barn and to the “oppice” to see her daddy or Andad. They all have these silly games they play like throwing her shoes, jumping over bottles of water, or rolling off of the couch into her daddy’s arms. The three of them exude silliness. And Blair eats it up.

Lately, whenever we can catch Andad there, she wants him to “write” (draw) with her. She sits in her aunt’s childhood desk and tells Andad what to draw. Last week it was a barn and a tractor. With a driver. Then the driver needed a driver’s seat.

at the awpice with andad and daddy 042512 (9)

She both watches and does her own writing.

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Lots of pictures to prove that she’s actually still! This is rare!

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Today we were at the “oppice” for a bit after taking the dogs swimming. After throwing shoes, she sat down to draw. She drew the pond with some “ew” in it (the green stuff around the edge). Then she wanted Andad to draw the ranger, the horse, and the horse’s pink bucket. She took the whole thing to her daddy and explained it to him. She’s got such a great imagination!

the oppice 042912 (3)Watching Andad.

the oppice 042912 (10)Telling him about the ew in the pond.

We’re so blessed to have such a happy child. She makes great memories for us!

Friday, April 27, 2012

iPad, Blogging with Blogsy, and the J. Crew DODOCase

Just before Christmas, I reintroduced myself to the Apple world when I got an iPad. My iPod use had dwindled significantly since nursing school, Blair, and work. Since my blogging had as well, I thought an iPad would help. We have thoroughly enjoyed the iPad - probably Blair has even more than I! I downloaded some speech practice for her, and she loves it.

Until the last few weeks I had not been able to get into a groove blogging from the iPad. There are times at work - especially when I was on nights - that I have a few minutes here and there to sit down with my iPad. I didn't do a ton of research, but the first blogging app I downloaded - Blogpress - had nothing to offer in terms of ease of use with Blogger and with pictures being stored on my laptop. So I put off blogging almost all together.


Then I discovered Blogsy. Wow. It's so easy! The interface is super simple, and I can drag and drop pictures from the browser! I use Smugmug as an online backup for all of my photos. Blogsy works seamlessly with Smugmug. All I have to do is locate the picture and drop it into my post.

The other iPad related review I have is of my DODOCase from J. Crew. My sister gave it to me for Christmas, and I have received so many compliments on it. It's so cute and functional. It looks like a book for the most part. I wouldn't say that it's going to keep my iPad from cracking ifmindrop it on concrete, but it's great for tooting it back and forth to work. And I like it a whole lot better than the smart cover I ordered from Apple.

I have the orange polka dot DODOCase.
The case is bound like a book and has a bamboo frame on the inside. The corners are lined with rubber. You squeeze the iPad into the frame and it stays. The camera on the back is of course occluded, but it's no problem to take the iPad out or use the flip side of the camera. I don't use the camera much anyway. The front part of the case can be used as a prop for standing or a little tilt when using the iPad horizontally.

The only thing I have to say is that I'm disappointed in the fraying of the interior. However J. Crew is willing to replace the case without question. The other case Lin bought has also had to be replaced for a different reason, but the customer service makes up for the few shortfalls of this case. I think with the functionality, appearance, and good customer service the case is even worth the somewhat high price (cases run from $60 to $85).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It’s a Pish!

I was home all weekend last weekend so we played outside a good bit. We tried to fish on Saturday, but the ladies who were at our barn pond sitting right next to us were tearing up the bream while we sat with a floating cork. And that lasts all of about 10 minutes with Miss Busy.

Sunday afternoon we went fishing with daddy, and Blair caught a nice fish!

fishing 041512 (2)fishing 041512 (12)fishing 041512 (7)fishing 041512 (8)She was so excited!

And then she ate him for supper. This girl loves some “pish”!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Friday Blair and I went to the nail place for a pedicure. She is really into painting her toenails, and though she won't sit still all day long, she'll sit as quiet as a mouse to get her nails painted!

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She requested orange polish and a flower on her big toe. And she concentrated on that flower being painted!

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She talked and talked to the girl, asking where her orange was, what she was doing, where she was going each time she got up.

And then she sat while they dried!

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They’re pretty now, but I assure you with they way this one plays outside, they won’t last long!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Toddler vs Rooster

A month after the fact it's easier to think about. But I will tell you that Blair's being flogged by our rooster scared me to death. Forget being a nurse; I was terrified.

I was right there. Right next to her. I just didn't snatch her up in time. It was like slow motion. I knew it was happening. All i had to do was reach down and grab her, but I couldn't do it fast enough.

And this is what we ended up with. He hit her right on the nose. And I was right behind her - she was right in front of my legs. I know we're blessed it wasn't worse.

He was young. We had never had problems with him. But they got attacked by a dog not long before, and that's the only thing I could think of that might have made him more on edge than he used to be. But maybe not.

It happened, it's over, she's fine, and we have no more rooster.

Now when I post my beach pictures, you'll know the whole story behind the eyes. I can't tell you how many people stared and asked. And when I told them, they said, "What?!" and really started listening.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Watermelon Transplanting Videos

For my next installment of Watermelon Elementary, I have finally uploaded videos – as promised!

planting watermelons 032212 (95)Look at the little babies ready to get in their warm beds!

planting watermelons 032212 (96)See the seeds stuck to the leaves?

planting watermelons 032212 (94)Stacked up in the trailer waiting for transplanting.

Now for the videos… The first two videos are of the transplanting rig and the crew as they plant the watermelons. You can see the empty racks on each side of the transplanter. These racks hold the flats of watermelons to be transplanted. They allow the tractor to stay in the field longer since they don’t have to get new flats every time they finish just one. At this point they are about to break to refill the transplanter and for lunch.

Transplanting watermelons

Blair talks about watermelons (and the Baby Bowee) at the end of the next one.

A closer view of the watermelon transplanting

Here is where they break for lunch and get a ride back to the trucks and where they will reload the transplanter. The transplanter picks the crew up just like this at the end of each row. If they were going to keep planting the tractor would turn around, start down another row, and put the crew back on the ground!

Breaking for lunch

planting watermelons 032212 (5)Riding to break for lunch.

Last, the crew loads the plant flats from the storage truck onto the transplanter.

planting watermelons 032212 (21)Empty transplanter!

Loading the transplanter with watermelon plants.

They take the flats off of the truck and restock.

planting watermelons 032212 (27)planting watermelons 032212 (33)planting watermelons 032212 (31)

planting watermelons 032212 (48)All full and ready to go!

Our future crew member got some practice, too!

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Atlanta Speech School Visit

Blair had an awesome visit to the audiologist this week! She had the best hearing test ever. And when I say that, I’m not talking about the level of her hearing, I’m referring to how well she performed during the testing.

We have never gotten a complete audiogram (hearing map) for her testing. It’s just not that easy to do with young ones. Now that she’s a little older and she’s practiced a lot, she is MUCH better at testing. She pays attention better, she’s more consistent, she tolerates testing one ear at a time instead of both. All of this is probably foreign to folks who don’t have hearing impaired kids, but I want to give those parents who read this hope that testing is not always a pain in the neck!

Blair used some wooden puzzle pieces at first (and I’m kicking myself for not taking pictures!). The pieces were oblong shapes that fit vertically by shape into a puzzle. She loved that. She put each piece up to her ear and placed them one by one into the puzzle as she heard the sounds. Then we used pegs that she placed into a foam mat. She loves those. I would get them at home for her, but I’d rather her look forward to use them for testing! She did just as well with the pegs, and all of this testing was with headphones on to test each ear separately without her aids.

We got a full audiogram from which the audiologist changed her hearing aids a little. She turned the left one down some and the right one, for the ANSD ear, up. After Blair put them back in, she said she liked them, so we believed her. She’s extremely reliable about her aids working. She’ll say, “Mama this hee-in’ aid’s not wohkin’ good. We need to check the batteries!”

Afterwards, we tested her again with her aids on, and she tested fabulously in both her reliability and her hearing – normal levels across the board!

Even more exciting was how Blair did on the word discrimination test. This test is done in the booth as well. The audiologist reads out words one at a time and has Blair repeat them. She got every single one correct! 100% discrimination is very hard to reach with Auditory Neuropathy. In fact, poor word discrimination is typical for those with ANSD. This was a very exciting finding in Blair’s very first discrimination test.

We are looking into new hearing aids and will know more during the summer. There is a brand aid that is especially good for ANSD, so we have to decide if we want to try that kind for Blair’s right ear. We’ve got to do some research before we decide.

Yay for good news! We are so thankful. God gave us this amazingly happy, strong girly girl in a very small package (24 pounds!). What a blessing she is, and what wonderful blessings we’ve received!

25 Weeks

25 weeks (20)

How far along? 25 Weeks

Size of baby: About the size of a rutabega (according to BabyCenter… but what size is that?!) – 13.5 inches long and over 1 1/2 pounds.

Maternity clothes? Finally ordered some tops to wear to work. One of my coworkers said it was time to get some maternity clothes because my scrubs were mashing the baby!

Sleep: Yes! I haven’t gotten carpal tunnel this time, so I sleep great. Knock on wood.

Movement: All the time. And he’s had the hiccups multiple times ever day since last Friday. And he bounces on my bladder. I have to go and then I don’t… and then I do.

Food cravings: Probably Dairy Queen hamburgers the most but nothing really strange.

Symptoms: I’m feeling great. I haven’t had any headaches in several weeks. I’m tired, but that’s easy to fix. I’m really enjoying being pregnant – and I did with Blair too.

Gender: A “baby bowee.”

What I miss: I miss sushi, but I did have some cooked the other night. It was delish!

What I’m loving: I love full panel shorts and pants. Weird I know. I’m loving the baby moving all the time.

What I am looking forward to: Nothing specific. Getting his room ready would be good!

Milestones: Hiccups for the first time Friday – and every day since!

Best moment this week: Our Easter egg hunt at our house, the hiccups, buying lots of baby boy clothes on sale at Carter’s outlet (now at least we can dress him!), Blair’s awesome hearing test.

Spring Smiles

We are always smiling with this little one in the house. It’s going to be neat to see how she reacts with another little one! Here are some of the latest Blair “things.”

We have renewed our obsession with taking the dogs to the pond. Only now the pond has “ewwww” in it, and the “ewwww” gets on everything. (Ewwww might be Buddy’s slobber, which there is plenty of, green stuff from the pond, whatever. She loves saying it.)

“Mama, chill. Herious. I’m trying to cook this!” (Serious – we’re still putting H for S at the beginning!)

sweet girl and the cinnamon melts 031012 (4)Baby girl loves some cinnamon melts from McDonalds. She either eats them with a napkin or with a fork – can’t get those hands sticky! And notice the napkin so her dress stays clean too!

Blair sleeps on the old-fashioned unfolded cloth diapers. She puts them right on her pillow. While we were in Florida, I went up to get Blair after her nap one day, and she told me that she had turned her blanket over so it would be cold.

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Gigi and Blair were discussing her favorite M&Ms. “Purple?” Gigi asked. “Gigi, they don’t have purple, silly!”

She has named Gus “Herbal” and me “Haga Waga.” Gus gets called Herbal Mutt Dog, Mutt Lab, Tuppy Herbal. You name it. Whatever she makes up, she mixes together to call him. And she loves him to pieces. She loves all over him – wollers all over him too --  and tells him he smells good. And he sleeps in her room every night and nap time. If he’s not in there, we hear from her room after putting her to bed, “YOU WANT GUS IN HERE!”

The “you” thing is funny. She says “I,” but she also uses “you” a good bit to refer to herself, especially when requesting something. ie the middle of the night… “DADA, YOU WAAANT SOME MIIIILK!”

all the blue in the drawer 031912 (10)The birthday owl dress… whenever she talks about someone’s birthday party, she says that she’s going to put on her “owl birthday dress.”

When I asked her a question while were were at the Speech School this week, she answered, “I can’t know.”

My parents have a cattle gap at the beginning of their driveway, and Blair uses her favorite word “kadoonk” to describe the bump when driving over. We also let her drive down the driveway, so now well before we get to the turn it’s, “Mama, do NOT go kadoonk in Gigi’s driveway! I want to drive!”

Speaking of driving, we’re on the road a lot. Speech, Atlanta appointments, going to Gigi’s, etc. It amazes me how she knows where we’re going. She’ll say at the interstate, “you turn right here to go to Gigi’s.” And she knows how to get home from the barn. She knows where a lot of places are. Fascinating how observant kids are.

double run 040112 (29)She’s getting pretty good at taking pictures!

She has started calling Brad “Brad-da.”

JPEG Image (242812)She loves icing and batter, just like her mama!

She plays on the ipad like a pro. She loves the Dr. Seuss books, some Christmas cookie and tree decorating games (especially the cookies because she gets to add ingredients and stir the batter). She also likes Temple Run, which she calls “Mister” because Brad says, “run mister run!” while she plays. We have speech app that is wonderful. It came with “p,” and we’ve purchased the “b” and “s” modules.

And her speech continues to make leaps and bounds in improvement! Here she is singing one evening coming back from riding the ranger on one of our farms. She loves to sing!

Blair singing

Monday, April 2, 2012

Speech and Hearing Update

We’re still working! Blair is coming along. She’s still got a lot of things to work on, but she works so hard and makes continuous progress.

She is saying d and t very well now. The only place we have trouble is in blends: drink, twinkle, etc. She usually uses the back -- G or K -- instead of the correct sound.

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She puts S and SH on the end of words. We’re still working on the beginning. She’ll say it if I make her, but it’s a battle. The end S is now coming on its own though.

We’re working on F, TH, S/SH in the middle of words, and still hitting on some of the things she’s been doing. She’s still nasal on her “oo” like “you” and “do.” I just have to remind her.

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I think her vocabulary is coming along great. Everyone says she’s so growny! I think she lacks some things by not being around other kids, but that’s okay. Overall she’s doing great, and I think she’s where she needs to be. Plus, my friend took her child to visit the pre-K class that the special ed coordinator and speech teacher want Blair to attend next year, and he was sick three days later. No thank you! I know it’s going to happen to Blair when we decide start school, but we can wait until she can handle that a little better! After January’s cold (that lasted forever and put her back on full-time O2 for over a week), we know we’re still not ready to be around others without extreme caution.

The only issue we’ve had lately is her asking us to repeat things. She says, “Again?” I don’t know if it’s a habit or if she really is not hearing as well as she was, but I have her scheduled for a hearing test this week to check. She’s still making progress with speech, but her asking worries me. Usually, if I ask her to repeat what I said she will, but sometimes she gets it wrong. We’ll see what they say after her test.

gus jumping the bushes 020712 (15)

I hope she’ll be getting new hearing aids soon. Phonak released a new version of her aids last fall – a water resistant version! Blair is very good about protecting her aids, but water resistant would be a great option for us – especially with summer coming. It’s so humid here, and I think the humidity wears on her aids.

I think that’s about it for now. I don’t know what I’d do without all of the folks who have helped us thus far – especially the Atlanta Speech School, our GA PINES parent advisor, and most of all our precious Mamie about whom I cannot say enough good things. We’re blessed to still have her working with us! All of these people have taught me so much that allows me to really work with Blair at home – without being too boring!

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

The First Easter Egg Hunt

I have to work the entire weekend of Easter this year. Disappointing to say the least. And, today was the first day I’ve been to church in probably two months. For that long I’ve either been working or out of town on the weekends. So I guess I’ll miss Easter too. I’m really tired of missing. My class is going to do the Dave Ramsey financial study, and I hate to even think about it because I can only be there every other week. The every other weekend working is not too fun, huh? I also have to work the entire Masters. Every. Single. Day. Not so crazy about that either.

But lets talk about fun things. This year, I felt like it would be okay for Blair to attend her first public Easter egg hunt. She’s pretty good about washing her hands and keeping her hands off of her face, so I thought we might try it. (Bless her heart, she even rubs her eyes with her arm if I remind her that her hands are dirty. She tries so hard.) And she LOVES Easter. She talks about hunting eggs all year round. I think she likes it better than Christmas! The only hunt she’s ever been to is the one for her and her cousin last year at her Grandmom’s house. And she talks about it all the time. For a while she thought every time we went over there we were supposed to hunt for eggs!

The only issue is that I have to work next weekend, and there really wasn’t a hunt in our area this weekend. So what does a mama do? She has one of her own!

I decided late Friday to invite a couple of kids over for a hunt at our house. Our yard is huge and perfect for an Easter egg hunt. So Blair and I set out to the “dolla stowa” to get some supplies to decorate our first eggs ever.

She had a blast with the dye and the eggs. We did “tie-dyed” eggs first. They were easy because we dropped the dye in a bag with the egg.

easter eggs! 033012 (2)Always animated. Always happy.

easter eggs! 033012 (4)So proud.

We used the tabs next. She didn’t want to use the yellow!

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We got some good colors! We used light blue and light brown eggs from our chickens, and they turned out great!

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We even put some tattoos on a few. This was not so easy!

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The hunt got rained out yesterday, so we hid the eggs this afternoon for Blair and three friends. It was just right. I probably did 10 dozen eggs, and the four of them found them in no time!

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My Mema had a neighborhood hunt every year growing up. We loved it. I had so much fun today, and Blair loves hunting so much that I think we’ll try it again next year for the kids around here – just with a little more planning! I’m looking forward to a new tradition!

And I may not make it to the Masters this week, but we have egg salad!