Sunday, September 19, 2010

Memorial Day in Chicago

Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, we drove to Chicago to see our family in Western Springs. We had a great time seeing the sights and listening to the sounds of the great city of Chicago. It really is wonderful to have family there so we can visit with them and enjoy the culture of Chicago. Ben and I also had dinner with two of his fraternity brothers (and a girlfriend) who live in Chicago. It was great getting to catch up with them!

Tyler and Granddaddy at the Brookfield Zoo

Granddaddy and all the grandkids making model airplanes

Waiting for our Water Taxi

Our beautiful niece Kate

Our precious nephew Ryan

Adam and Ryan riding the ferris wheel at Navy Pier with Nana and Granddaddy

Stefany and Chris riding the ferris wheel with downtown in the background

The kids getting wet in the fountain at Navy Pier
(we told them to stay behind the black section......they soon disobeyed and the kids were soaked!)

Indianapolis Children's Museum

May 28, 2010........

On our way to Chicago for a visit with the Southers, we stopped in Indianapolis to visit the Children's museum. It was really fun, but I wouldn't say we were totally thrilled with it. The coolest part was the dinosaur biosphere in the basement........the boys were a little scared, but they got used to it and began to enjoy it. (Too bad I missed taking pictures down there.........or maybe those pics are on our camera that died).

Gymnastics Exhibition

May 22, 2010.........

Adam's gym held an Exhibition to "show off" their skills at the end of the year. Sue Sue and Paw Paw came up to see Adam perform and we were all quite impressed! I've got to figure out how to upload our .mov movie formats so you can see his routines. Pics later.......

Adam's Last Day of 3 year old Preschool

May 20, 2010...........

Adam had an awesome year with Ms. Christi and Ms. Jenny! They were truly fabulous teachers.

Here's the picture from the first day of school to compare.

Tyler and "Toy Story"

May 17, 2010..........

Oh my! Adam never really had any big obsessions with characters from movies or tv shows, but Tyler LOVES "Toy Story." And Kohl's had these adorable stuffed characters for sale to promote "Toy Story 3" (which we've now seen twice in the theater!). Tyler is still sleeping with these guys today.

Spring T-ball

May 2010..........

Adam played t-ball again last spring and enjoyed every minute of it! His best bud Charlie was also on the team, so that made it even more enjoyable. It's so fun watching the kids learn the basics of baseball.........just precious!

Eek! Spiders!

May 4, 2010.........this is what I found at the bottom of our basement steps!


Wow, it's been 4 months AGAIN since I've posted! This is hard. Oh well, my goal now is to go back to all of the pictures I've taken on my phone and blog about them. In May of this year, our camera lost it's life. At Adam's preschool program, Tyler decided to throw it across the room while it was open and on. The camera did not survive. Unfortunately, we have not bought a new one yet, and the following posts will contain "terrible condition" photos. Please excuse least we are taking some pictures these days!

I will also be including speech updates for Tyler. We are just a couple of weeks away from his evaluation for our county preschool program at the local elementary school. If he qualifies, he will ride the bus to school 4 days a week. How crazy is that!?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tyler's Speech Updates

Here are the past few updates from Tyler's speech sessions with his therapist. He's really doing well! He's definitely trying to talk more, just not very clearly. But we're working on that. This week, we will begin working on the "sh" sound. Tyler substitutes several consonants with an "H" sound, so we're going to focus on one particular consonant sound each week.

I'm so proud of Tyler!! But there are definitely still days that we are all frustrated. It's been a very slow process, and that's hard, but he's doing so much better now. :)

Date: 3/31/10
Service Summary: Tyler is ready to play. Mom reports that he is doing well. He gets a little frustrated when she doesn't understand. He will lead them to what he wants. Reading a story and leaving off words to have Tyler fill in the blank. He repeats words and phrases after a model. Uses a four word sentence. Using touch cues with sounds today and he tries them. Labels farm animals and tries their names. Putting lots of final sounds in words. Using lots of sounds in words.
Family Ideas: Building on 2-3 syllable words.
Plan for Next Session: Continues building on longer phrases and multi-syllable words.

Date: 4/7/10
Service Summary: Tyler is ready to play. Mom reports he is doing well, but he can get frustrated when others don't always understand. Overemphasizing sounds in words and having him try to sound after a model. He is able to repeat the sounds on his own, but not always in the word. Trying to use new words/sounds today. Very willing to repeat words. Discussed ways to work on sounds. Connecting sounds to a word can be hard for him.
Family Ideas: Build on sounds by having him repeat a sound.
Plan for Next Session: Try some hand signals with specific sounds.

Date: 4/21/10
Service Summary: Tyler is happy and ready to play. He chooses to play with pattern block puzzles. Labeling shapes and colors. Tyler repeats words and phrases after a model. Mom reports that he's occasionally using up to 3 words together. He still uses "H" initiation on some words he says. Counting 1-6 after a model. Using good final sounds in words: s, g, d, k, etc. Still doesn't use "s" initially in words and that is okay. He substitutes "h" for a lot of initial/beginning sounds. Answering some questions with 1-2 word phrases. Using touch cue for gulping sound "g" and he really was able to do "g."
Family Ideas: Model sounds and use touch cues.
Plan for Next Session: Build on touch cues while playing.

Date: 4/28/10
Service Summary: Discussed with mom how he is doing with his speech. He's using longer sentences and putting more sounds together. Using preposition in phrases more. Trying blends in words like star - initially used "har." Tried a touch cue first and he used "sar." Less "h" initiation in words. Labeling colors while lacing pegs/shapes. Using good final sounds in words while we play.
Family Ideas: Try "Hop on Pop" to listen for sound differences.
Plan for Next Session: Building on longer sentences.

Date: 5/5/10
Service Summary: Mom reports that friends are starting to understand him more. Choose to play Zingo. Modeling carrier phrases. "I have a ____ ____," etc. Modeling "sh" - shoe to try and "k" in cat. Overemphasizing initial sounds in words. Trying a blowpen to work on oral motor skills. Tried it. Using 2 syllable words like yellow while coloring.
Family Ideas: Build on "sh" sounds and words.
Plan for Next Session: Find "sh" words to play a game.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In the jungle, the mighty jungle...

I can't believe how high the grass got in the backyard this spring! Some areas were as high as Adam's waist, so I couldn't help but take pictures while I was mowing tonight.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Snap? Crackle? Pop?

Tyler is intrigued by Rice Krispies and he loves them! He listens to the sounds they make every morning...

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Night with Daddy

Tyler enjoyed a Cincinnati Reds game tonight with Daddy. He was glad daddy's client stood him up!!

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Waiting to ride the Tractor

Down in Georgia......doing our Georgia things!!

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Monday, April 5, 2010

New beds!

This weekend, we bought bunkbeds for the boys to sleep in and they are so happy! Needless to say, they aren't falling asleep too easily because of the excitement, but I'm sure that will catch up with them.

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Playdoh eggs

Adam shaped his playdoh into his favorite word......eyeballs!!

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Happy Easter!

The Lord is risen! We had a great Easter this year with beautiful weather provided by our God, a crazy egg hunt at our church, a wonderful Easter day service from our new senior pastor, and topped off with a fabulous lunch at Sue and Larry's condo with extended family.

I am, however, mad at myself for not taking a single family picture yesterday all dressed up! I was a little stressed about the deviled eggs I was supposed to make. :)

Here are a few pics that I did catch on my phone......from adam's egg hunt at school, dying eggs at home, and Easter bunny treats.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rug surgery

Ben took a box cutter to the boys' rug today. Tyler threw up in the middle of the night a few days ago, and unfortunately, my cleaning efforts weren't good enough. So instead of throwing the "spot clean" rug entirely away, we shortened it. We'll see how long it lasts now!

Thanks Nana and Sue Sue for the wonderful rug that has lasted a pretty long time, don't you think? :)

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Parking cars.....

These boys are silly! They dumped out all the Hot Wheels and parked them in straight rows. I sure love when they play well together!

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tyler's Speech Updates

Date: 3/17/10
Service Summary: Mom reports that he is doing well with his speech lately. Chooses to play with playdoh and use words like "roll," "ball," etc. Play a game and overemphasize words "my turn," "spin it" while playing. Using some new sounds today including final sounds in words like t/k etc. Noticed h/g, h/d in duck and game ("huck" and "hame"). Trying more 2 word phrases "my turn," "want that." Using cues to put on sounds for final sounds. Used one 3 word phrase "let me help."
Family Ideas: Build on having him use more words when taking you to what he wants.
Plan for Next Session: Build on 2-3 word phrases and final sounds.

Date: 3/24/10
Service Summary: Mom reports that he's using a lot more words. Using words for requesting - "cut it up" and "more help." Playing a fishing game and requested "more help." He's using 2 word phrases on a more regular basis. Repeating words/phrases after a model while reading a book. Answering questions while reading a book with 1-2 words. Using "no, my cars" while playing with his brother. Using some final sounds in words.
Family Ideas: Building on final sounds in words.
Plan for Next Session: Continue touch cues for sounds in words.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fun at Home Depot

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Adam's Chore Chart

Time to try something new! Adam has a new chore chart. We are hoping this helps with some of his erratic behavior lately. His favorite restaurant these days is Skyline Chili for 2 hot dogs with shredded cheese on top, so that is one of the incentives for him to be good all week. If he has 15 stars on his chart for his actual chores each week, he gets to pick something out at the Dollar Tree.

Wish us luck!!!

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tyler's Speech Therapy

The following post is going to be pretty boring to most of you..........I want to keep track of Tyler's speech therapy sessions, so I'm going to type his weekly session notes here so I have a reference to how he's doing.

At Tyler's 2 year check up back in October 2009, Dr. Kelly recommended I call First Steps about Tyler's speech delay. He said at age 2, children should be putting two words together, and Tyler barely had a vocabulary of 5-10 words all together. So, we called First Steps, and within about 6 weeks, Tyler was starting therapy once a week in our home. Our speech pathologist is awesome, and we've really enjoyed getting to know her. She comes once a week to our house and interacts with Tyler through play. Being in his own element really helps him, and he's come such a long way! There's a lot of room for improvement, but he has definitely improved since we started.

So, the rest of this particular post will be all of his session notes since he started therapy back in December. His therapist takes notes while we are playing, so these evaluations are written by her.

Date: 12/9/09
Service Summary: Tyler is happy and ready to play. Reading a book and introduce signs for book and turn. He repeats "hooray" "mine" and "tweet tweet." Introduced a touch cue for M in "more" and t t t for "turn" and he repeats the sounds. Really trying to repeat words. Discussed ways to help Tyler with his speech and had mom try sound cues with Tyler. Used "no ime" in protest while playing with trains.
Family Ideas: Collect labels and work on picture list to develop words
Plan for Next Session: Overemphasize sounds in words

Date: 12/16/09
Service Summary: Mom reports that he's been making some choices with cereal and snacks. Use touch cue for M, P, and he's not too interested. Overemphasizing sounds in words. Modeled help and he did a word approx. of it. Uses "uh huh" to answer some questions. Labels the color blue, uses "boo." Repeated "bike" after a model and said "beep beep" on own. Discussed ways to help at home with his speech.
Family Ideas: Continue overemphasizing sounds in words.
Plan for Next Session: Bring poster with refrigerator items to reinforce words.

Date: 12/23/09
Service Summary: Tyler is ready to play. Mom reports that he's now saying yogurt. He chooses to play with puzzles and labels some pieces. Using some commenting words: "wee," "go," "boom." Using some final sounds in words. Makes a "thth" sound for train word. Overemphasizing sounds in words. He said "help" after a model. Chose to play with train table. Using "ought oh," "choo choo," "cookie," etc. while we play. Tried the word approx. train and then used "zzz."
Family Ideas: Expanding his words into phrases.
Plan for Next Session: Continue overemphasizing sounds in words.

Date: 1/6/10
Service Summary: Mom reports that he's using lots of words - "milk," etc. Repeating some words after a model. Using "off," "down," "here," "pink," "duck," etc. Playing a duck game and he's repeating lots of words - two syllable words: "circle," "purple." Overemphasizing 2 word phrases "my turn" during a game. Used his "thth" (for train) to request to play trains. Reinforced choo choo and he repeated "choo choo." Used "bus" and put on the final sounds. Answering questions with one word. Trying to use his brother's name "Adam."
Family Ideas: Modeling words and phrases for him to repeat.
Plan for Next Session: Continue expanding his words/phrases, overemphasizing sounds.

Date: 1/20/10
Service Summary: Tyler's using more words now. He's using "yes" and "no" more. He uses "up" to have mom help him. Used "open" and "my turn" after a model. Playing a mine game labeling a few lace-n-shape items. Using "help" while playing a game. Used "ish" for fish. While playing a fishing game, a little tired today. "Yeah me." Uses "more" and "up" while driving a train. Makes train sound.
Family Ideas: Work with favorite items to label during play.
Plan for Next Session: Build on using words to gain items or comment during play.

Date: 1/27/10
Service Summary: Tyler is ready to play. He chooses to read a book. Mom reports that he's using between 2-3 word phrases now. Answering questions using final sounds today. Mom reports that he's leaving off some initial sounds in words. Overemphasizing initial sounds in words. Using "out," "green" ("geen"), "I done," "all done" while playing with puzzles. Used "out" on own when dumping some things. Uses "stop" ("op") and "go," "oom" for boom.
Family Ideas: Build on initial sounds. Overemphasize sounds in words.
Plan for Next Session: Build on initial sounds in words.

Date: 2/13/10 (with Daddy)
Service Summary: Dad reports that he is doing well. He used the word "read" this week. Choose dump truck and blocks to play with. Using "in," "yes," "book," "back," "stack," and "milk." He uses "in" "over" and carries it over into other activities. He requests items from dad and he uses word approximations. Answering questions using one word. Using "yellow," "bee," "match" after a model. Using lots of final sounds in words today: s, p, n, t, k and r. Trying some two word phrases after a model playing.
Family Ideas: Build on final sounds and 2 word phrases.
Plan for Next Session: Work on two word phrases.

Date: 2/20/10
Service Summary: Tyler is ready to play. Repeats some words after a model. Discuss his progress with mom. Working on final sounds in words and modeling 2 word phrases. Using final s, p, m, z in words. Modeling ways to try and have Tyler use 2 word phrases. Consistently using final p in "up" and other words. Discussed ways to work Tyler at home with mom and dad.
Family Ideas: Build on final sounds in words and repeating words back to him.
Plan for Next Session: Oral motor fun and water play.

Date: 3/3/10
Service Summary: Tyler is ready to play. Mom reports that he is using 2 word phrases now. Uses final sounds in words k, s, r, p, f, and n today. Repeating multi-syllable words after a model. Trying "yogurt," "Maggie," "doodles" while playing. He uses "mea" and "minea" at home mom reported. Reading a book and he labels pictures: frog, snake, fish, fly. Prompting jump frog jump while reading and he repeats. Used "my mommy," "my turn," etc. Repeats 1, 2, 3 dump after a model. Used a touch cue for s blends st (star) finger @ elbow and get to hand and put on t sound.
Family Ideas: Try s blend cue.
Plan for Next Session: Build on consistent 2 word phrases.

Date: 3/10/10
Service Summary: Mom reports that he's using more 2 word phrases and some new words. They've been using the touch cue for s blends. Using 2 word phrases while we're playing: "hi daddy," "hi mommy" while talking on the phone. Building on compound word books - butter + fly = butterfly after a model. Using plurals and possessives - "eggs," "yours." Labeling items with color words and uses final sounds. Counting with mom.
Family Ideas: Build on phrases and using touch cue for blends.
Plan for Next Session: Build on phrases.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Adam is blowing up a balloon by himself!

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Disneyworld 2010

In January, the Souther family took a huge family trip to Orlando to see Mickey! It was so much fun to hang out with the whole family, including cousins who live in Florida. Tyler and Adam had an awesome time!

In the photo below, I took this picture in our kitchen. The frame on the left is a picture of Ben and me at Epcot in 2000. The frame on the right is a picture of all four of us in the exact same place 10 years later, 2010.

More pictures from the trip.......

Disney World 2010

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Adam's Sock Hop

Adam's preschool has a cute little sock hop dance each year as part of an outreach program. The kids bring in new socks to donate to the needy - very creative idea! It was fun to dress Adam up as a 50's guy, but I should have found some gel for his hair rather than mousse.

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