Friday, August 31, 2012

Therapy - Session 1

Well, session 1 is done!  I promise I won't write a recap to every session, but I will post as we progress.

Up first - OT!  T worked with Ms. Maggie today.  She was not the therapist who evaluated Trent, so she and I spent about 5 minutes hitting the high points of our areas of concern, and off she and Trent went to play in the gym. She said she wanted to do more observation with him to see which direction she wanted the therapy to take which makes perfect sense.  After 45 minutes, they were back to talk me through what she had seen.  We are going to work a lot of his self-regulation skills and we already have some homework and things to try.  
1) We bought a sensory brush.  We will use this multiple times a day to help relax/redirect him.  I have some literature to read, and I am so excited!

2) We are going to work on removing the word 'No' as much as possible when talking with him  As that is a big fit trigger, we are going to work on setting expectations (which I feel we do) but then when he asks for something outside that, for which we do need to say 'no', we'll work on using different words to explain what the expectation we set was and just focus on what we need to do.

Next hour was speech/swallowing.  We were supposed to see Ms. Megan who evaluated Trent (and he loved her), but her water broke for a baby not due until November, so our thoughts are with her!  We saw Ms. Julie instead and focused a little more on his food/swallowing issues because his speech needs are more clearly defined.  I actually sat in on this session as it was a little unexpected for Julie to be his therapist, and she hadn't reviewed his file yet.  She was extremely helpful and positive and said we're going to take this very slowly to keep his trust up in us and not make mealtime a challenge.  It may be months before we see results, but it's nice to know we're not going to be fighting over things!  We have several things to bring next week and also a homework cooking assignment (he likes sweet potato fries, but she wants us to make our own w/ coconut oil and serve twice...the second time adding carrots!!!).

Overall, I am so optimistic about what this is going to do for our family and specifically for T.  Baby Gurl isn't due for almost 4 months, so we have a good amount of time to really focus on him, and for that I am so thankful!!

Because, seriously, doesn't this kiddo deserve the best?

Therapy Begins!

It's been about a month since we had our speech evaluation.  I forgot to blog about Trent's occupational evaluation, but it was a very similar appointment with the conclusion being he could benefit from therapy.  {I have a tag at the bottom of my blog labeled 'therapy' if you want to read about some of our journey that got us here.}  After both therapists writing their reports and submitting to we are!  

Today is Trent's FIRST DAY OF THERAPY!  He will go twice a week for 1 hour for each type of therapy (occupational and speech), so we will be here for 4 hours/week.  I {so far} could not be more impressed with the center we have chosen.  Both of the therapists Trent will be working with on a regular basis are amazing.  So kind, friendly...Trent was smitten with both which is such a relief to me.  I am also so thankful for the amazing insurance my company provides.  We will only be paying a co-pay for these services, and we can get LOTS of treatments.  Whoo-hoo!

I type this post as I sit in the waiting room.  I won't need to be here going forward, but I wanted to be here at least at his first appointment in case he (or his therapists - ha) needed me.  I'm sure he won't.

I will post an update later today with how it went!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Overload!

Within the last 48 hours, I've read parts of 3 books.  Not THAT unusual for me to have multiple books going at 1 time, but what's totally weird is that all 3 of them are technically non-fiction. And all 3 insanely good in different ways.

Busy reading!

I don't want to turn this into a long 3-part book review, but I find my topics right now amusing.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - It's essentially about a woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951.  Doctors took her cells (standard procedure) and were able to get them to grow in a culture.  These cells were a part of hundreds if not thousands of scientific discoveries.

The Vaccine Book - written by a pediatrician presenting a lot of information about each vaccine. I don't think I want to get into a vaccine discussion here because I know it's a hot topic for a lot of moms.  But I wanted to make sure I was informed this time around.  With Trent, my post-partum had me too scared to even think about what I was doing.  I regret that a lot.  It was the place I was in at the time, but this time I around (especially given my more natural {weird according to B} tendencies), I wanted to make sure I know what I'm doing.

The Monster of Florence - about a serial killer in Florence, Italy who has never been caught and the disastrous police investigation to solve the crimes.

See?  Totally random, right?  But I highly recommend all 3!  {I guess I couldn't get away from there being a little bit of a book review after all.}

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Belly Belly Belly

We got to see Hagan yesterday - yay!!  The reason isn't so great because she was in town due to my uncle having his leg partially amputated - boo.  (He's had cancer in his leg twice now, and they were out of treatment options.)  The surgery was a success, though, and the doctor feels confident they got 100% of the cancer and were able to keep more of the leg than they thought. I am so happy for my uncle that he'll be cancer free and hopefully pain free very soon.  I know it'll be a tough road ahead, but a road that is free of cancer can't be bad, right?

Anyway, I made the 3 of us take another silly picture.  I love that they both humor me. {grin}

Baby, baby, baby!!!
I don't know why Patty looks off-center, she's not crooked!
And, for real, my bump is huge!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend Recap

We had a good and busy weekend!  I took a ton of iPhone pics and wanted to share.

I took Trent to the circus.  Dena came with her kiddos.  Overall it was a neat experience.  I hadn't been since I was about 10.  I still remember watching and loving 'Circus of the Stars' as a kid.

That hat? To buy cotton candy you had to get the hat.  $12.  Ugh.

Tight rope walkers were for sure the coolest part.

Saturday evening we went to my sister's house.  She was babysitting a nephew from the other side of their family, so we had 4 kids just the 2 of us!

I just think she is so dang cute.  Her fat thighs kill me.

This caught my eye.  Yowza!

First time we've had these 3 together in the tub!
They are all looking at Patty being silly.

Sunday was all about errands.  I was at HEB, Target and Home Depot.  Spent about $400.  Ouch.  

Trent was playing in this instead of napping.  Said he was riding a motorcycle.
So I had to push him around in it after naptime.  He is a mess.

Trent's BBR will be getting a fresh coat of paint today!  So excited we're moving along on that project.  I can't wait to have his room ready!  Brent puttied all the holes in there and we also took everything off the walls in the nursery and puttied those too.  I was a little bit sad to see his room lose its babiness.  But I guess it's very exciting to look ahead to how things will be in just a few months!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Baby Gurl Bumpdate - 22 Weeks

22 weeks!  

Time is going quickly and slowly at the same time.  There is not much new to report.  

We are still really focusing on Trent's BBR.  I can't even think about Baby Gurl's room until I get T into his.  His new room is completely empty as of this morning though!!  {Don't ask me about the 'spare' room...ha}

I still can't believe we're having a girl.  A few pink things may have been purchased.  By me and my mother-in-law. {grin}

I am feeling good.  I would give myself a B or B+.  I'm still working out with Rhonda - even hitting up Body Pump and running some.  

My back is hit or miss with the sciatica.  But starting to get better.

Brent says I'm snoring.  I don't really care.

Bump...I think still a little bigger than before but not out of control.  Maybe?
I think my outfit choice today is a little awkward.
Non-maternity so probably needs to be packed away. ;)

I look cross-eyed in Baby Gurl's pic.
What do you think about my size comparison?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Timeline

  • 10:30 - Allena goes to bed.  Brent is not home.
  • 1:30 - B is in bed snoring.  Obviously he made it home.  Allena pokes him.
  • 1:45 - Allena hears Trent fussing in the hall.  Allena lays down with him.  This is not normal.
  • 3:00 - Allena goes back to marital bed.
  • 3:00 - 5:00 - Allena pokes, punches, yells at Brent for continued snoring.
  • 5:15 - Allena goes to sleep on the couch.
  • 5:30 - Allena hears Trent crying.  His night light went out.  Allena lays down with him again.
  • 6:45 - Allena wakes up to back and hip pain and goes back to the couch for 10 minutes.
  • 7:00 - Allena gets up to start her day.
Allena is not happy today.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Recipe: Spicy Taco Soup

Brent went hunting with his uncle last year and came home with a recipe that I make often (or I guess you should say often for me since I don't cook much).  It is amazing.  I've made it twice in the last 3 weeks.

Spicy Taco soup:
2 pounds ground beef
2 cans hot Rotel*
1 can corn
2 cans pinto beans (I've done pinto and kidney too to mix it up a little)
1 package ranch dressing powder
1 package hot taco seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium chopped onion (I usually omit this, ha)

1. Brown meat with chopped onion
2. Add everything else and cook for 20 minutes
3. Eat!  Brent and I put it over crackers with shredded cheese.  Delish!!!

This version makes a lot.  I will eat it for a week solid.  Cut in half if you prefer, but I will think you are crazy if you do!

My sis was actually going to try a vegetarian version with just more beans, so I will ask her how that turned out.  I bet delicious!

*I actually puree the Rotel with my hand mixer because I hate tomatoes, and this way I'm eating them instead of picking them out, and I think it helps make more of a soupy texture.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Movie Review: Friends with Kids

Brent bought 'Friends with Kids' off our pay-per-view yesterday.  Within 10 minutes of starting it, he texted me that I should watch it.  When it was over, he texted me again to tell me to watch it.  So last night, I did!

PlotTwo best friends decide to have a child together while keeping their relationship platonic, so they can avoid the toll kids can take on romantic relationships.

Review:  I thought this was a great movie!  I usually don't review a lot of the stuff we watch on demand, because it's a different experience than in the theater, but #1 - I liked this enough to blog about and 2 - I am short on material today. {grin}  A lot of the movie was stereotypical about how having a kid impacts your relationship with your spouse.  But it's stereotypical for a reason.  Brent and I both identified with the movie a lot.  One couple argues a lot and cuss at each other, but at the end of the day are solid.  That's me and Brent.  Ha.  At its core, this movie is a romantic comedy, so that definitely scored points with me, but the subject matter made it great too!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Memories...Like the Corners of My Mind

As a part of Project BBR, we are having to consolidate what is in 2 closets into 1.  Over our almost 8 years of marriage, we have been given back a lot of childhood stuff from our parents which has just sat in boxes.  Thinking of everything I need to do to get Trent's room ready, it was high time to tackle those boxes.  Then I read a post by Misty sharing some of her favorite mementos.  I thought it would be fun to share some of the gems I can't part with...

My beloved track spikes
I wanted a pair of Mizuno's that everybody had, but my feet were too small.  My dad is the one who took me shopping and he picked these out.  He didn't even mind the $125 price tag!  I thought they were hideous but at least matched our school colors.  Several guys on our track team bought them AFTER ME, so then I felt that maybe they weren't so bad. {grin}

You have to keep your senior prom picture {especially if you marry your date}, graduation cap/gown and hideous school photos, right?  See how my track shoes matched? 

Some that I just can't get rid of and hope to pass on to Baby Gurl!  Do you remember any of these?  I could happily bust any of these out right now.

I can't even stand to open these because it's so embarrassing.  I'm not sure why I keep them, I would die if anyone but me ever read them.  But I think the 80 year-old me will find them hilarious.  

Love notes
Brent and I had one class together and managed to fill my entire spiral for class notes with notes between us.  AND we passed notes between classes, so I kept all those too.  Flipping through it, we fought a lot...and about stupid stuff.  I guess not much has changed!

So there you have it.  A few random things from childhood.  It's definitely fun to pull these out every once in a while and remember.  Do you save stuff or chunk it?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Trent's Big Boy Room...Oh the Drama

I'm consumed with decorating Trent's Big Boy Room and redoing the nursery.  Trent's BBR is the priority because we want to move him soon to get him used to it before Baby Gurl's arrival (Aunty K Dub christened her with a new blog name.  It's totally perfect, huh?).  Plus, I think it's a little more exciting to decorate a room for a child who has a personality and can let you know what they want. can be a little dramatic too.

First, I found the perfect quilt for our truck loving little boy.

But, alas, it only came in a twin and we're putting a full bed in the BBR.  Ugh.

So then I found a great quilt that is more neutral.  I did buy this, so I at least have this purchased!!

The plan with this was to get truck sheets.  The perfect pair that had lots of different types of trucks...sold out before I could order.  Sigh.  

I have a set of sheets that at a minimum will be a backup set (bought by my fabulous MIL or FMIL), but it's all construction trucks, and as soon as T saw them, he asked where the garbage trucks were.  We're contemplating trying to make sheets.  Crazy?

Next up, paint.  The Big Boy wants a green room.  Green is for sure his favorite color, and I think it's adorable he has a favorite.  My FMIL and I had decided on some samples to start with and she surprised us with them (along with T's sheets), so of course, we got painting.

Happy little painter
And yes, we did let him do all the initial painting (my job was clean-up)

Our initial 4 colors...'BL' is my favorite at this point

I already have ideas for a rug and certain things to go on the wall, can't wait to get them ordered but am trying to not spend ALL our money in one month...

To say this is a project is an understatement but SO much fun.  Of course I say that with the majority of the work ahead of me.  Brent and I have already argued about how to clean out the closet (there are baby boy clothes in there which Brent is adamant we get rid of because he is DONE having babies...which prompted me to almost burst into tears because I am NOT done...but maybe we should have this baby first?!?!), and I still have to actually clean out the room and closet, paint the room, move all the furniture into it, and decorate it...after finishing the plan.

And then?  Onto Baby Gurl's nursery!  Oy!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Homemade Goodness Part 1

I've talked many times about trying to be more natural.  I annoy Brent because he thinks I'm a weird-o.  But the older wiser I get, the more I am concerned about what I put into my body {although I fail miserably at this more than I'd like to admit} and into the earth.  And especially what goes into Trent as we try to raise him 'right'...even though that kid only wants to eat goldfish.

One thing I mentioned was wanting to make my own cleaning products.

What I've made so far is glass cleaner, all-purpose cleaner and laundry detergent.  All recipes I found came from Edible Perspectives.  I want to put a lot of information here, so I've included links to all the ingredients so you can read about what makes them 'good' products for your home and the environment.  I'm also going to make it a couple of posts to make them not quite so long!

Laundry Detergent
1 c. Borax
1.5 bars Castile soap
1 c. Baking soda
1 c. Super washing soda {This was the hardest to find.  Sold mostly at Ace Hardware stores, but the closest one to me was 20 miles away...which i drove to just for it to be sold out.  My dad suggested a local store that did have it!  Score for dad.  So local peeps, go here.}

All my ingredients ready to go!

1. Grate the soap bars.  I used a cheese grater.  {I also increased the recipe by 33% to use the full 2 bars.  Yes, I'm an accountant and like math.}

I used Almond and Peppermint and the combo smelled AH-MAZING!
And it looks like cheese, huh?  Don't eat it!

2. Mix all ingredients together.
3. Use approximately 2T per load of laundry.

Bottom line?
It's good for your clothes.
It's good for the environment.
It's cheaper than store bought detergent because everything but the bar soap will make SEVERAL batches - and each batch can wash about 30-40 loads.  I spent less than $ do the math.

I've washed a lot of loads and think my clothes come out great and even a little softer! #hippiemomwin

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Baby Dos (GIRL!!!) Bumpdate - 20 Weeks

Lots of baby talk lately, so I will try and keep this short.*

As I posted yesterday, we found out that Baby Dos is in fact a baby girl!  I am in shock still and just so excited!!  There is a joke in the Gurley family that these men only make boys. Brent's dad is from a family of 7 and 5 of those are boys.  Brent's brother has 1 boy and we had Trent first.  It was a very special moment when I told my FMIL** she was getting her first granddaughter.

The conversation went like this:
MIL: Hello
Me: So...
MIL: So...
Me: Are you ready to buy some pink?
MIL: Yes.  {Sounding very skeptical.  Later said she wasn't sure if I was teasing her or not.}
Me: Well, start buying!!!!!!!!!!!!!
***Cue MIL crying and laughing all at the same time.***
She then thanked me (ha, so sweet) and said she'd be buying lots of pink.

I left a few hours after our appointment to head to Chicago for training, so I didn't get to do any of my special ideas for sharing Baby Dos' gender which is a little disappointing.  Everyone was still just as excited though!

Overall, our appointment was great!  Baby Dos was very stubborn and spent the majority of the ultrasound on her stomach.  Random, right?  I feel like every ultrasound picture you see is the baby being face up.  The technician kept pumping on my belly, but she {SHE!! I get to say SHE!!} wouldn't budge!  Finally, we got her to turn to see a few more things in her body (pulmonary artery for example) and determine that she is a she!!!!!!!!!!  She flipped back over pretty quickly and put her hand over her face as if to say 'No more pictures.'  Ha!

I'm really starting to for sure feel her move, so that makes me feel so much more relaxed.

Her heartrate today was 141, so the lowest yet.

When I told one friend that Baby Dos was a girl, she asked about names.  I had a little laugh over that.  {grin}

20 weeks (looks more like 22-23 weeks with Trent)

*I lied.  This is not short at all.
**Fabulous mother-in-law

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What a Wonderful Wednesday

Wednesday is a big day!  We have our 20 week ultrasound - the most exciting part being when we find out if Trent is getting a little brother or sister, but the most important part being we will check on the health of our wee little love.  It is definitely exciting to know our baby's gender, but I am more anxious to know the heart, brain, stomach, intestines, etc. are all A-OK!

Wednesday is also my first official post as a contributor to the Austin Moms Blog.  Given it is also our gender day, I put together a post going through a lot of the myths for determining your baby's gender.  That will be up at 8:00 AM!  Pretty interesting results...  So check it out.

I am not sure when I'll be able to update my multitude of blog readers because I also have to fly to Chicago tomorrow for a 2-day training.  I love Chi-town, but I had to reschedule this training (due to my work inspections), so yesterday I booked all my travel arrangements (and got crummy flights) - makes me a little flustered!  It also spurs my mom guilt for leaving Brent to single-parent duties for THREE nights!  

But I can't wait to know and share whether we'll be redoing our nursery in pink or more blue!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Flying L

As I've mentioned a few times, T and I went on a family vacation with Brent's family (minus Brent).  We stayed at The Flying L Ranch in Bandera.  We had such an amazing time!  This resort was perfect for families.  They had golf, miniature golf, a small water park, children's activities (including pony rides), s'mores every night, horseback riding, a playground, wagon rides...the list goes on!  Approximately 99% of my pictures feature Trent, but he had such a great time, it was hard to not take pictures of him!

At the water park

My MIL and SIL gossiping in the wading pool

The kiddie area of the water park

Playing checkers at the general store

Dinner on Saturday night was at Ghost Town.  At first, we weren't real happy about that given it was outside with no air conditioning.  In case you didn't notice, it's the summer and we live in Texas.  BUT it was SO fun!  We took a wagon ride over there (Trent was beside himself with excitement), and they had a lot of activities - live music, a gun fight, horseshoe making, face painting...again a child's dream!

He wanted a crocodile on one cheek and I got 'I Love Mom' put on the other because duh.

It was so random that a sign at Ghost Town was for 'Swope Realtors'.  My dad got a kick out of that.

He wouldn't eat s'mores...just marshmallows.
And we've added a shark to the face.

 Detoxing on the way home 

I think we will be going back next year, Brent's mom is already talking about which villa we'll get.  I can't wait for T to see it again and for Baby Dos to get to play too!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I Make 32 Look Good

I have had a great birthday.  Yay!  

Trent and I finished our family vacation with Brent's parents, his brother and his family.  We had an amazing trip, prepare for a Trent-filled picture recap later this week.  I'm sure you can't wait.

Once home, I was able to get T down for his nap easily (a miracle from God), then got to finish reading an amazing book (Shadow of Night, the 2nd book in the Discovery of Witches trilogy), and had my ah-mazing leftover taco soup complete with my mother-in-law's delicious fudge crispies.  

My parents agreed to keep Trent tonight (since B is gone), so I could enjoy an evening out with girlfriends.  I got to shop a little with my sis and Dena.  We had a great dinner at Kona Grill (and of course, lots of inappropriate conversation) and finished the meal with frozen yogurt.

Gorgeous gossiping girls

Now I'm finishing the evening blogging (duh), watching Olympic gymnastics and track and field, and contemplating another fudge crispie.

Happy birthday to me!!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Speech Evaluation!!

We had Trent's speech evaluation yesterday.  It was a fantastic experience!  The place we went had a neat facility, courteous/patient staff, and the person we worked with today was super helpful and great with Trent.  We were just evaluating Trent's speech today, but Ms. Megan talked through all my concerns which was so helpful.  She was wonderful with Trent.  I cannot say enough great things about her interactions with him.  He instantly warmed up to her and did everything she asked.  I think he charmed her a bit too. {grin}

Essentially for the speech evaluation, he looked at pictures and would say what was in the picture or answer questions about the picture while Ms. Megan rated his pronunciation.  She quickly assessed that his language skills would not be part of the problem.  I do have quite the talker!  When that part was over, she graded his results and said he was in the 'normal' range, however his 's' is an obvious problem.  The difficulty is that 's' is a sound that isn't typically considered mastered until 5 and combining that with his normal test scores, she worried insurance wouldn't cover treatment (as it could be considered proactive).  However, after discussing some items related to his open bite (he still has a tendency to drool some and has difficulties chewing certain food) and food aversions that may or may not be related to his bite, she thinks coupling all that together will get us covered.  Great news!

I was also able to talk to her about his impulse control/anger issues and his difficulties calming down when upset and at bedtime.  She recommended we have an occupational therapy evaluation.

After that, Ms. Megan showed us around the facility.  They have a lot of individual therapy rooms as well as 2 indoor gyms and an outdoor playground to cover numerous needs.  Trent played for awhile in one of the gyms and was not ready to leave when our time was up.  In a nutshell, Ms. Megan got to witness one of his tantrums.  As a mother, I was embarrassed (as I typically am), but given where we were, I was very happy one of the therapists could see what I meant.  Megan said I handled the situation perfectly {pats self on back and breathes sigh of relief}, but she reiterated she thinks Trent will benefit greatly from occupational therapy!!

So...long story summary?  We will begin speech/occupational therapy soon to focus on the 's' issue and the food/texture/swallowing issues, and we have our occupational evaluation set for August 15.  Insurance covers 30 visits per calendar year with just a co-pay.  I am so thankful for that!

I've received several emails/texts/phone calls offering words of encouragement, and I am so thankful to have great support from friends and family and to have so many people who love Trent and are rooting for him on this journey.  We are so excited to begin this course of treatment, and I can't wait to see where it leads!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I love August.  As I have grown up my reasons have changed somewhat (going back to school used to interfere a bit with my love of the month - ha).

  • My birthday is in August!!  Yippee!
  • Gurley Family vacation!
  • Taking a road trip with Dena!
  • Trent's speech/occupational therapy starts - evaluation is tomorrow!
  • We find out if Trent is getting a sister or brother
  • I start writing for the Austin Moms Blog!
  • This SHOULD be our last month of extreme heat.  By the end of September, we've usually cooled off somewhat.  Lame, I know, but I could use some cooler weather - which I never thought I'd ever say!
I do have 2 work inspections that are this month, but I'm going to ignore them and not let them drag down my month!  So yay for August!