Friday, August 30, 2013

Let's Get Physical... Therapy

"Your baby is cute! How old is he?" "Thank you! He's fifteen months." "Oh I bet he's crawling all over the place." "No, actually he's not crawling. Or walking."

I have this conversation a few times a week. No, Parker is not crawling or walking like other littles is age. But Parker has started Physical Therapy. And we are excited about it!
Our pediatrician in Tennessee recommended physical therapy to us at Parker's one-year-well-check because my sweet, happy, curious, loving little fifteen-month-old baby boy has not started to crawl, or pull up, or walk. Our pediatrician was not concerned about this whatsoever during the first year of Parker Bear's life as his growth pattern will differ from "normal" until he is 24 months old as a result of his premature birth.
Although he is not attempting to make himself mobile like other babies his age, our pediatrician called Parker "advanced". She said that babies progress in different areas at different paces. Parker might not be attempting to get mobile but he is certainly the most social baby she has ever seen! She called him "socially advanced".

It's true. Parker doesn't just stare at people. He engages them. He wants to make eye contact and smile and wave and give a high five. He doesn't have a fear or even an indifferent attitude towards people that many babies his age have. Instead he wants a connection with every.single.person he encounters from the waitress at the restaurant, to the girl at the checkout line, to the guy hooking up our cable, to the person in line behind us at the post office.
Yes, he's social. Even perhaps socially advanced. But he's not mobile. And the recommendation for physical therapy is a means of early intervention to ensure we take the correct steps to get our boy moving.
We asked questions. Does he have to crawl before he walks? Should we continue to encourage standing? All of which I address a little further in this post.
Ultimately, Honey and I agreed that physical therapy sounded like the right step. But of course as our Army life goes, we received this news three days before our movers were coming to pack up our home. We weren't going to be able to get an appointment with a therapist in Tennessee! Our doctor sent us along to Kansas with a letter explaining her recommendation.
Armed with her recommendation letter, several cups of coffee hot tea, and one million deep breaths later, I had Parker booked for an appointment with a renowned physical therapy office in downtown Kansas City, a location that is 50 minutes away from our home on Fort Leavenworth.
First Parker and I went to the center, called the Infant Development Center, to meet the director and have a one hour evaluation with the therapist. Parker thought it was playtime and had a wonderful time playing and exploring. Our time was spent discussing specifics about Parker Bear and watching him do some exercises. The therapist will use what she learned from the evaluation to build her plan for our appointments going forward. She recommended that we meet for 30-minutes each week, every Wednesday afternoon.
I feel like this is a good time to get the *sympathy part* out of the way. What do I mean by that? Well as I mentioned earlier, Parker has started physical therapy and we? Are excited about it! Recently as I was sharing this (with someone I hardly know), they frowned, said awww, followed by I'm sorry. I wasn't prepared for this reaction and it caught me off guard. What were they sorry for? Sorry that we are able to find the help we need to get our baby boy mobile?
At first this response irked me. This apology, by an almost stranger, for something good in our lives. Then I realized, people don't know what to say. This person didn't really know how to react because I hadn't yet said if this was a good or bad thing. People need a little help sometimes. So now? I say every time we talk about this new chapter of our lives, Parker has started physical therapy, and we are excited about it! In other words, don't apologize. Don't glance sympathetically over at Parker. Don't tilt your head and attempt sympathy with me. Instead? Give us encouragement! Give us a positive response! And if you have questions, please ask! I realize that this is different. I realize that this is not the normal experience. But it is still good.
Well now that I got that out of the way, let me also answer a few questions about his therapy. These were our questions to the doctor (and physical therapist) and these questions have come up with family and friends.
Does he have to crawl before he walks? No, he doesn't have to. However crawling teaches a lot about balance and coordination. Missing the opportunity to crawl means learning about balance and coordination later - and on two feet - when it is easier to learn about them on hands and knees.
Why is he not crawling? According to his therapist, all babies develop "patterns". The steps he would need to take to start to crawl are not part of Parker's "pattern". His content attitude and happy demeanor have not helped. He is just content where he is.
Does he stand? Parker loves to stand! We will pull him up to play with some of his standing-up-toys and he just loves it! He loves to play with toys standing up next to our couch too. He has very good balance according to his doctor.
Does he cruise? No.
Does he pull up? No.
What does he do in physical therapy? As you can see in some of the pictures, he practices building strength in his arms and his core. He is beginning to learn new "patterns" which will lead to crawling, scooting, whatever eventually becomes his mobile method.
Is therapy uncomfortable? No! Honestly I was afraid that it was going to be uncomfortable or even painful but it is neither! Parker thinks that therapy time is play time and it is wonderful! He doesn't really know that he is "working". His therapist is so tender and loving with him too. I am so pleased with how she handles us!
So what's next? We will continue to attend our weekly therapy sessions. Parker's progress is being monitored by his physical therapist. We will do our "homework" at home. And then we'll see what happens.

Thank you for reading and for supporting us!


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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Monogram Custom Frame :: GIVEAWAY DAY

On Monday I posted about this fabulous giveaway I am so excited to be hosting! One of my readers will receive a gorgeous monogrammed 5x7 tabletop frame which they will completely customize using colors of their choosing and a pattern they select from Raised in Cotton Distressed Frames!
Jes the owner and incredible crafter behind Raised in Cotton Distressed Frames sent me this frame a few weeks ago and I have absolutely been in love with it ever since! I selected a muted gray and blue palette with a more formal pattern but the possibilities are endless! From polka dots to chevron, from fancy to fun Jes will work with you to individualize your frame and create a masterpiece to fit beautifully into your decor!
How does the giveaway work? I am so glad you asked! It is super easy! At the bottom of this post you will see where to enter to win.

And your prize? A frame like this one. The hardest part about this giveaway will be deciding what picture to put in your new frame. And where to place it. And if you're like me, you'll move it three times before you go to bed.
If you absolutely can't wait to get your hands on one of these amazing creations then go ahead and pick up a custom frame today from the Raised in Cotton Etsy shop. Jes is offering all Suddenly Snowden readers 20% off!! With Christmas just around the corner you certainly won't want to miss out on this special offer!

To see some of the incredible creations Jes has come up with please look at the stunning photos of her work on her Facebook page and in her Etsy shop.
Well I wish you the very best of luck! The giveaway will run for a full week ending Wednesday, September 4th at midnight. I already can't wait to see what gorgeous frame you choose to place in your home!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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So What Wednesday

So What Wednesday
"What day is it? C'mon I know you can hear me!" Oh that commercial still cracks me up. Probably because due to the lack of TV I catch these days I've seriously only seen it twice. 
Well that aside it is Wednesday and I am so excited to be saying SO WHAT Wednesday! Here is what I am saying so what to this week:

So What... If this sign hangs on our door every day all day long during nap time. If the UPS man knocks on the door, then a chain-reaction beyond my control is immediately set into action: the dog barks, I jump three feet into the air, and the baby *might* wake up. I'm not taking the chance. Trust me, I'm tracking my packages. No need to knock. Now back to your regularly scheduled programing.

So What... If I don't iron. My husband asked me (before we were married no less!), "how do you get things ironed if you don't own an iron?" Um, the dry cleaners. Hello! They do more than clean, they can iron. They can even iron stuff you already washed. Yes, you can get an iron-only service and it's usually same day. So that's how I get things ironed.

So What... If this beautiful Vitamix box is siting still all sealed up on the floor. I am so excited to crack this baby open! But truthfully, I feel like reading the book it comes with and watching the video are going to take some serious time dedication and intense concentration. So I'll have to get back to the Vitamix when I have at least one of those to give.

So What... If I actually filed a complaint with the recreation service here on post for closing the pool on school days. Do they think the rest of us don't want to swim? Well thanks to their give-us-your-feedback website which is regularly distributed, I "provided feedback". Normally people don't even ask me for my feedback before I share it. I was just glad to be asked! *By the way, I checked the box saying - Yes I would like to be contacted regarding this feedback. I'm still waiting.

So What... If I made the most un-healthy, un-clean, un-Paleo, most-fabulous dessert treat ever, not once but twice this week? Yes. Honey requested chocolate-covered-cookie-dough-truffles for us to take for dinner at a friend's house and again for Honey to take to class. Oh don't mind me as I wear one of Honey's size L t-shirts over my body this weekend. Blech.

So What... If I can't remember a darn thing if it's not written down but I was able to recite completely from memory the book "Little Blue Truck Leads the Way" to Parker Bear? But it is his favorite book, and one of mine too! (Photo from July 18th when we were moving in. That's our air mattress.)

Well that's what I'm saying SO WHAT to this week! That felt pretty good. What about you? What are you saying so what to this week?

Oh! Don't forget to stop back by tomorrow to enter my gorgeous monogram frame giveaway!

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Brand New Baby

It was 3:15 a.m. when we got the phone call. As I woke up I heard Honey's sleepy voice quickly saying "sure... yeah... ok". I propped up on one elbow squinting in the light of the bedside lamp as he hung up.

Then I realized why we would be getting a call in the middle of the night... the new baby was coming!

Our friends, who also moved out here to Ft. Leavenworth from the south like we did, were preparing to leave for their one-hour drive to the hospital to deliver their fourth (!) baby. We had already arranged for Honey to stay at their home with their other three children whenever they went into labor. Well the time had come!

I kissed Honey goodbye and promised to call and check on him when Parker and I got up.

Later that morning as Parker and I ate our oatmeal and banana slices for breakfast we called Honey to see how he was faring. His morning had started several hours before as the three children each came downstairs to find him ready and waiting to prepare their breakfast and pour their juice.

I asked him how they reacted to seeing him in the kitchen instead of either of their parents. He said they were totally fine with it - of course after he explained what was going on. They basically wanted to have some cereal and watch cartoons and since he was equipped to handle that they were pleased!!

He sent me this adorable picture of the game, appropriately named "burrito", he made up with these three cuties!
Meanwhile their grandmother was on an airplane from Tennessee to relieve Honey.

And a teeny tiny baby boy was born to join this special family!
A week later I snuggled that sweet peanut!
And that little peanut's daddy held my little peanut!
And a week later when all the visiting grandparents went home, I prepared a couple of meals so they could have just a few nights with one less thing to worry about in the precious moments they were becoming a family of six!
Welcome to the world JMC! I can't wait to watch you grow over the coming year!

PS - Don't forget that the fabulous custom frame giveaway starts Thursday! Did you miss the announcement yesterday? Click here to read all about it!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Custom Painted Wood Monogram Frame :: GIVEAWAY

It's time for a GIVEAWAY! And who said you could get something for nothing?! Well, my dad said that but he didn't know about this fabulous giveaway! And with two chances to enter, what are you waiting for?!

Three of my greatest loves are custom designs, pictures in frames, and monograms. When I laid eyes on this beauty that ties each of these together, my heart absolutely soared!
I fell head over heels when I discovered these amazing custom wood frames from Raised in Cotton Interiors, each one personalized for a completely unique look! I first bonded with the owner and creator, Jes, over our common background of babies born early and our love for the deep south. When I discovered she also had this incredible shop producing such gorgeous masterpieces, I just could not wait to own at least one of these beautiful frames!
Well I am so excited to share that Jes is going to give one lucky Suddenly Snowden reader a customized frame of their very own! The winner gets to pick the colors, pattern, and monogram for their unique 5x7 tabletop frame! Single letters are also available which reminds me that a certain little boy needs one for his room...
The styles and possibilites are absolutely endless! And Jes is just fabulous at helping you come up with a frame that perfectly suits your style and personality. She can also work with you on any color scheme to compliment your home. I was amazed looking at the pictures available in her Etsy Shop and FaceBook Page.
I had such a good time working with Jes. She makes the process so easy and loves helping you create something totally one-of-a-kind to display in your home. Seriously, if she could work with me then she can work with anyone!
You have TWO chances to enter this fabulous give away! My sweet bloggy friend Stephanie is tag-teaming this giveaway with me! You can enter TODAY on her blog over at Wife Mommy Me AND you can enter here on my blog starting this Thursday 8/29!!

Just can't wait to get started on your frame? Starting TODAY Jes is offering Suddenly Snowden readers 20% off their orders through her Etsy shop! So if you are dying to get your hands on one of these babies, head on over to Etsy and get started! Just used the coupon code Snowden to be sure and get your discount! This offer is good through September 17th!


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Friday, August 23, 2013

H54F



Whoo Hoo! It's Friday and another great week is coming to an end while a super fun weekend awaits! Here is what I am saying HIVE FIVE for this FRIDAY!

ONE - Getting my hair did! This is huge because it was my first time at a salon in our new town of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and I loved the salon, stylist, and outcome! (We walked around outside while my color set. What? You mean you don't do that??)
TWO - I now have a www and FaceBook page for my little tiny blog. So fun!
THREE - This week Parker and I spent one day at home all.day.long. It was so much fun to have the day to play in our playroom, take our time with breakfast and lunch, go outside to swing, take a wagon ride around our hood. It was just a good day. All the way around!
FOUR - I am hosting my first ever G I V E  A W A Y !! Check back soon for the big announcement and enter to win a custom made monogram tabletop frame - so excited!
and FIVE - Breakfast for dinner. Sometimes there is just nothing better!

Happy Friday!!


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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Exploring the Frontier Town of Itty Bitty Weston

Diaper bag? Check.
Portable high chair? Check.
Parker's lunch and snacks? Check.
Doors locked? Yes.
Did Cash go out? Yes.
Water bottle? Got it.

One of the best parts about this year is taking the time as a little family to explore our year-long-home-away-from-home here in Kansas. And regardless of how long or short the drive is, Honey and I run through that checklist every single time we head out.
Recently  we spent a Saturday afternoon visiting the charming little nearby town of Weston. There is so.much.history in this part of the world! Where we currently live was at one time the very edge of the frontier and getting to see that part of our history first-hand is a fun bonus to living in Kansas.



Home to "Buffalo" Bill Cody, the oh-so-adorable town of Weston, Kansas is just a short drive from our house. 
We walked along ancient brick sidewalks as we poked in and out of shops from antique stores, candle-making shops, western-inspired furniture markets, funky clothing shops, this town had a little bit of everything!
There were plaques on nearly every single one of the buildings to explain what that particular building once was. We enjoyed reading about the former butcher shops and saloons that once lined the streets of this pioneer town!
We had a fabulous lunch in a wonderful little 1800's-farmhouse-turned-restaurant. Just the walk to this particular eatery was lovely!
We ate right across the street from what just might be the most picturesque cottage this side of the Mississippi. I mean, who lives here?
The three of us had such a great time checking out the town of Weston.
And since it was Saturday afternoon, and a warm one, and it sounded so good, we finished off our fun family day with a chocolate malted milkshake!
Now the only question is, where to next?!

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