[Mason] Age 4 1/2, Glasses, and a New Speech Class -- Part 2

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Continued from yesterday's post which included the new glasses portion. You can find that post here.

I had originally intended for this to only be one post, but once I started adding pictures in and getting detailed on the glasses portion, I thought it was getting a bit long for one post. So, here we are in Part 2 -- Mason's new speech class and some fun facts about age 4 1/2!

As I mentioned last week, Mason transitioned from using our insurance to get speech services at a private speech provider to getting services through the public school district back on December 6th. At that time, we had met our out of pocket max on co-pays so we opted to keep him at the private speech place as well as the public school for speech until the public school went on winter break for two weeks. For those few weeks, he was getting speech four times a week.

Day 1 of his new speech class, I was worried how he would react. I mean this was a whole new environment, a whole new teacher, all new peers. There were a lot of changes all at once! But Mason... ROCKED it! He went easily with his new teacher and was so excited at the end of the session to tell me all about it. His teacher said he did SO well also! He's been about twelve times now and he loves it every time I drop him off. Right after they got back from winter break, he practically dragged me down the street to get to class. He couldn't get there fast enough! It makes my heart so, SO happy to know that he loves being there so much and he's learning so much too. His teacher asked me the other day how long he has been reading for and honestly, I didn't know what to say! We noticed that he could read some words, but we thought he was just memorizing the books that we'd read over and over at bed time and just knew what was coming next, but no, he can READ the words on NEW books too! They were reading a little book they put together that had little sentences on each page like "snow on the hill. snow on the tree. snow on the ground." and he knew exactly what the words were, but he said "snow" more like "know" and she said just to work on pronunciation. Seriously. The kid blows me away all the time at how much he knows!

They made gingerbread houses one day before winter break
in speech class. Mason was SO proud!

And with that, I thought I'd do a little recap on Mason at four and a half, since all of these changes seemed to happen around that time. I'm terrible at recaps and I always wait so long to do them because I'm always worried I'm forgetting something. So I wait and I add and I wait and I add, but for now, I'm just going to go with what I have and then update you at age five (say what!?!) in July if I remember anything else.

He LOVES letters and numbers. He can count from 1-100. He can count by 2's (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 18, 20 - we're still working on that) and by 10's (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100). I attribute most of that to YouTube Kids videos. Yes, YouTube Kids videos. I've sen a big change in Mason from wanting to watch all those Toy Review videos to actively searching out counting videos and letter videos. He also loves clocks and while he can't tell time, the other day he told me "12 and 7" when it was 7:00am, so I think he kind of has the idea. I'm planning to get him a clock "puzzle" type thing for Valentine's Day as a little gift.

He sings along to songs in the car. On November 15th, my beloved country radio station started playing Christmas music and ONLY Christmas music. Now, while I like Christmas music and all, I believe November 15th is a little bit early to switch over to those songs only. So, I changed radio stations. I made the move from 105.1 to 104.3 and have never switched back. I actually quite like their morning show (Bachelor loving friends - Ali Fedotowsky's fiancé is one of the hosts) and I really like the music. Mason NEVER used to sing along to any country songs and now he sings along to almost all of these songs. It makes me so happy in the mornings to hear him belting out words while the songs are on.

He LOVES helping me bake. We made cookies for Santa. We made muffins. And we made more cookies. He RUNS to get the chair from the table and pushes it over to the counter. I get all the ingredients ready for him and then he pours them all in to the bowl and mixes. I love his passion for baking!

He knows all the days of the week and all of the months in the year. If you ask him, what comes after Wednesday? He will say Thursday. And if you ask him what comes after April? He will say May. He can also just recite them to you Sunday-Saturday or January-December.

He's started asking questions. For a while, his speech was getting significantly better, but he was still lacking the conversation portion of speech. You'd ask him a question, but he'd never ask one back. While I'd say he definitely still can't fully have a conversation with someone, he has started asking questions of his own vs us just asking them to him. He'll say things like "what doing mommy?" "where's daddy?" and things like that. Seth and I actually went to a parent training class back in November for emerging talkers and I asked about how to get him to ask questions and it's like he knew because shortly thereafter, he started asking questions!

He gives the BEST open mouth kisses. So slobbery yet so full of love!

He's a BIG helper at the post office.

He LOVES sitting in my laundry basket (why???).

Some Mason-isms...

Seth - "Who's your favorite baseball player?"
Mason - ME!
Seth - "Who's your favorite baseball team?"
Mason - ME!
Seth - "Do you want to go to the baseball stadium and watch a game and eat hot dogs?"
Mason - YEAHHHHHH!!!!!

Mason : A, B, C, D... what next?
(with his little shoulders raised and his hands in the air)

Singing the ABCs...
A B C D E F G.
H I J K yeah yeah yeah yeah-O P.
Q R S.
T U V.

Cough cough. 'Scuse me!

Seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty-teen!
(He has since corrected that to say twenty, but I never want to forget how he used to say it!)

Mason, what show do you want to watch?
Patrol! (for Paw Patrol)

While eating dinner...
I hold up a chip.
Mason holds out his hand.
(Seth and I laugh.)
Me : What do you say?
Mason : I love you!
(Seth and I laugh. My heart melts.)
Seth : Not quite. Can you say "I want chip please?"
Mason : I want chip please!
Me : Great job!!! (I hand him the chip.)
Mason : Thank you!

While in the car on the way to school, a song comes on the radio...
I love this song!

When a song comes on in the car, I start singing to it to get him to sing....
Wags his finger at me. No, no, no!
Guess he doesn't like my singing! 😂

Up high!
High five.
Down low!
Low five.
Too slow! (even though I low five'd him lol)

Seth and Mason are upstairs getting ready for bed and reading books.
Mason : Be right back! Runs down the stairs.
Me : What are you doing down here? Are you getting something for Daddy?
Mason : Yeah! Grabs pillow and runs back upstairs.

Rock a baby on tree top!
(Hold me like a baby and sing "rock a by baby on the tree top")

"Please, mommy? Please. Please. Pleeeeeeeeease!"
...and then I hand it over because I'm a sucker.

Happy 4 1/2 year old birthday sweet boy! Mommy and Daddy are SO proud of you and love you so much!

[Mason] Age 4 1/2, Glasses, and a New Speech Class -- Part 1

Monday, January 30, 2017

This is a follow up to the "Transition to the School District" post from last Tuesday.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that Mason has had glasses for a little over a month now, but I thought I'd do a little post on it here anyway to really document the experience.

So back in October when we did the initial intake evaluation to transition Mason to the school district, they did a test on his hearing and his vision. He passed the hearing test, but the vision test came back saying "refer". They said this meant that he didn't pass, but it also didn't mean that he failed either. I was confused. They said, their technology is good, but it couldn't get an accurate reading to say that he passed, so they recommend that he see an ophthalmologist. Simple enough.

Only problem is, we don't have vision insurance for Mason. I never even thought that he would need glasses, so I never even thought to add him on to our plan (side note: we don't have dental insurance for him either, though he has been to the dentist. It was cheaper to pay out of pocket the two times a year he goes rather than adding him on and paying monthly -- something to check in to if your child needs to start going to the dentist). So, I called our pediatrician and dropped off the "refer" paperwork and asked her to put it through to our regular medical insurance (which we do have for Mason). She had no problem with this and I got a referral letter in the mail a week or so later. I made the appointment for Tuesday, December 6, 2016 (also the same day he started his new speech class -- more on that tomorrow).

Normally I like Seth to come to appointments with me, especially since this appointment was going to be around two hours and involved getting Mason's eyes dilated. I definitely envisioned it going as well as the dentist (which involves holding him down) and I was worried I couldn't do it alone. Unfortunately for me, Seth had important meetings at work all day so I was on my own.

December 6th - getting fitted for glasses

We arrived at the appointment and only had to wait a few minutes before getting called back. We waited in the room for a few minutes before the doctor came in and Mason seemed to be pretty calm. I asked him if he wanted to sit in the big boy chair and he said no, so I left it alone. The doctor came in, asked us a few questions, Mason sat on my lap in the chair and read some letters on the screen in front of us, and then she dilated his eyes. She warned me that the drops would b-u-r-n a little (which I know from my own experience) and I was prepared for the worst. Mason cried a little and moved a little, but she was able to get the drops in his eyes the first time. We went to the waiting room to wait the 45 minutes that it takes for his eyes to dilate. She told me to check his eyes after about 10-15 minutes because I should see some dilation going on, and I did, though it was hard since he has brown eyes, but it seemed to be working. We played with some puzzles that they had, a magnetic board, watched Finding Nemo, and read some books and then after 45 minutes, we went back in to the room for the rest of the exam.

December 19th - picking up the glasses

The doctor looked into Mason's eyes with her light and he was very cooperative during the whole thing. He looked up when she told him to look up and he looked to the side when she told him to look to the side. She then tried to put those funny glasses on him so she could test his vision and see what his prescription would be, but he wanted none of that. She was totally fine with it. She tried to hold up the little glass pieces in front of his eyes to see which one helped him see better and he did it to some extent. We tried to cover one eye with a eye patch stick thing and he did it a little but then didn't like his eye being covered. Overall, I didn't think he was being too cooperative, but she was able to get all the information she needed and didn't seem to think it was a problem, so I was totally happy. She gave us the prescription, they told us to come back in a year for a check up, and she gave us a recommendation of a good glasses place that is used to dealing with kids and we were off.

December 23rd - first day of wearing glasses!

December 23rd - making cookies for Santa

December 24th - Christmas Eve

The lady at the glasses place was AMAZING. So, SO amazing. She was so patient with Mason. He was actually really into it also, which I was surprised about. I wasn't sure how he'd act because in the past he has HATED sunglasses on his face and rips them off in 3 seconds, so I didn't have high hopes. I actually didn't tell her that he has autism because I really don't think that defines him, so I rarely, if ever, bring it up unless it's at the doctor's office or something (I did tell the eye doctor and I have told the dentist in the past).

He was absolutely obsessed with checking himself out in the mirror! She had one of those mirrors on a little stand so you could see how you looked in the glasses and he could have stared at himself all day. She pulled a few different options for him to try on and I narrowed it down to a few that I liked. I actually really liked one particular one but they weren't as durable, so I went with the others ones, per her recommendation, that looked very similar but were much more bendy and durable for a four year old. They are ever so slightly too big for his face right now, but the other ones looked ever so slightly too small and she said she'd rather have us get more use out of them and have him grow in to them and possibly not need new ones next year after his next check up versus for sure needing them because she knew the others would be too small. And boy was I was ever so appreciative that she tried to save me some money!

December 26th - shopping, a movie, and ice skating

December 26th - Hanukkah

So, we chose the glasses and ordered them and paid for them and then were supposed to go back in a week or so to pick them up. A week or so went by and I didn't hear anything and so I called to check and unfortunately the glasses lady had had a family emergency and was closed for a few days. We made an appointment to go back on Tuesday, December 20th to pick up his glasses. She said he wouldn't be able to tell her if they fit funny or felt weird so she'd do all the adjusting before hand (she does this for all the kids) and they were perfect when we went to get them. He put them on, she did a little adjusting to make sure they sat on his nose correctly, and then we were ready!

I asked when she suggested that we start him with the glasses and mentioned that he would be at school with a bunch of other kids for the next couple days and then would be off for a small winter break. I asked if it would be better to wait until the weekend to start them since he most likely would "fight back" and take them off a bunch and we would need to watch him. Plus, with all the Christmas weekend festivities, I thought he would be busy and distracted and maybe wouldn't notice the glasses as much (she recommended we let him do a preferred activity or something to distract him for the first few hours). She said yes. She also recommended that he not wear them in the car the first day as well because it could make him dizzy.

We actually ended up starting the glasses on Friday, December 23rd when we dropped him off at ABA because his therapist said she would watch him. Plus, he'd be distracted. So, that's what we did! He did great the first day, only tried to take them off a few times, but was very cooperative when asked to put them back on.

Same with the next couple days (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). We had everyone on Glasses Watch 2016 and his big cousins did a great job telling us if he took them off. Good thing also was... when he'd take them off, he'd either fold them nicely and place them on the counter or fold them and bring them to us. Of course we made him put them back on, but at least he was treating them well.

January 8th - helping me take Stitch Fix photos

January 19th - before speech class

January 27th - taking his glasses in for an adjustment

Fast forward to today and he's been doing GREAT! He wears them without problems about 85-90% of the time and we have to remind him not to play with them or to put them back on the other 10-15% of the time. Overall, I've been VERY happy with him! They get insanely dirty super fast, they have some small scratches, but overall, he's been treating them well. I'd say mostly it's just normal wear and tear. There was one day at school when he was really bothered by them and was pulling on them a lot so the teachers put the glasses in their "sleeping bag" (glasses case), but I was able to get him to put them on easily when I picked him up. Then there was the day that he tried to pull one of the curly q's off that keep them around his ears, but it was easy to put back on. He also got one nose pad replaced the other day when we brought them in for an adjustment.

But, overall, like I said, he's adjusted REALLY well and is doing great! I'm so glad we had that assessment that told us that he needed to see an ophthalmologist and that we found out early. I definitely think he can see better now with the glasses. And, I know I might be a little bias, but I think he looks mighty cute in his glasses too :)

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 -- Mason's new speech class!

The Guys Behind the Blog // January.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Welcome to January's Guys Behind the Blog link up!

As most of you might know, Betsy from Heavens to Betsy and Laura from According to Laura Jean hosted a series on their blogs called The Guys Behind the Blog. I used to link up as often as possible ever since I found out about the series - I think I only missed one month in the past year and a half since I found out about it. I recently went back to Betsy and Laura's blogs to find out what the questions were for August only to find out that they weren't hosting anymore - July was their last month. I was SO bummed! I truly loved interviewing Seth each month and seeing what questions they came up with. So, I decided to email Betsy and Laura and see if they would mind if I continued on their series. Thankfully they said they wouldn't mind and would be happy to see the series continue on. Crystal from Hall Around TexasEvelina from Fortunate HouseJamie from Cocktails and CarseatsJessica from Secrets of a Stay at Home Mom, and I are excited to continue the series on! 

For January, we decided to focus our questions on the theme of "cold weather". Here are this month's questions and answers:

1 // Are you a New Year's resolution person? Why or why not?

Laughing. No. I am not a New Year's resolution person. I don't discipline myself enough to follow through with them.

2 // Do you like the colder months or do you prefer the warmer months? Why?

Seth : Gotta love living in Southern California, there really aren't any cold months. That being said, I am always hot, so I prefer the colder months here. I prefer shorts, flip flops, and short sleeve t-shirt weather.
Me : Sooooo.... March through October?
Seth : January through December!

3 // Have you ever been skiing or snowboarding? If so, did you enjoy it?

I've done both skiing and snowboarding. I enjoyed both of them. Though I do tend to hurt myself doing either, because I'm a klutz, but I do have fun doing it and do consider myself good at it... sort of.

4 // Where is your favorite winter vacation you've ever taken?

I've been to Park City, Utah once. That was the first time I ever got to snowboard in fresh powder.

5 // If you were paid $100,000 to stay in a cabin in the mountains (in the winter) with no Internet or TV for a month, could you do it? How would you spend your time?

Looks like his mind is blown.
Umm... yes, I could do it. I'd just go snowboarding a lot during that time. And read books. I could go snowboarding A LOT for $100,000.


February's link up will be on the last Thursday of the month, February 23rd, and the questions will be:

1 // Name two things your wife has taught you.

2 // What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

3 // Valentines Day is usually more about the girl...but tell me, what is something YOU would love to receive on Valentine's day?

4 // What was the best date you and your wife ever had?

5 // If money was no option and you could go anywhere in the world with just your spouse, where would you go and what would you do?

Bonus Questions:
6 // Valentine's Day - Hallmark Holiday or Real Holiday?
7 // What is your favorite romantic comedy movie?

We hope to see you back here on February 23rd to link up with us and share what your significant others have to say! (Also, feel free to grab that first graphic to add to your posts if you'd like!)


A HUGE thank you to Betsy and Laura for letting Crystal, Evelina, Jamie, Jessica, and I continue on their series. It's an honor to be able to continue on what they created.

You can find the original series on Betsy's blog here and Laura's blog here.

Thanks for playing along again, Seth!

[Autism] Transitioning to the Public School District

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

About a year and a half ago, I explored the option of transitioning Mason out of the private preschool that he's in now to the public school district's special education preschool. I basically saw zero dollar signs and thought "YES!". I mean, same education with zero cost? Sign me up. I inquired about what it would entail, talked to some people at the district, even got mailed the packet of papers that I'd need to fill out, and then... ultimately decided that the time wasn't right. At that point, Mason was just about three years old and I didn't feel comfortable with the plan that would happen. I think I was a little quick to jump the gun and say no, but at the time I didn't feel comfortable with him going to a whole new school for four hours a day then taking a bus BY HIMSELF to a whole new daycare center. It just seemed like too much and I didn't feel comfortable with my baby on a bus - alone. Of course I'm sure they wouldn't be like "bye, go walk to the bus alone", someone would have walked him to the bus and on to the bus and strapped him in and then I'm sure take him off the bus, but just knowing I couldn't be there, no. So we dropped it.

Then, around June of last year, I decided to revisit. I emailed my contact at the district and asked what I'd need to do to get the process started. She basically told me I'd need to fill out that packet and drop it off at the district's special education office. So I did. This was around June 16th or 17th - right before they closed for summer break. She told me that I probably wouldn't hear back from anyone until late August/early September when they got back to school and I said that was fine, at least I got my paperwork in.

So then I waited. All summer.

Right before we left for our Northern California vacation at the end of August, I got a call from someone at the district asking when we could come in for our intake meeting. This meeting would basically be a meeting telling us what the process would be, answering a few questions, and them giving us our assessment dates. We scheduled it for the day after we got back from vacation, September 7, 2016. Everything went great in the meeting, we got our dates for our assessments to come back, and we went on our way. Our first assessment was scheduled for October 12th. As we were walking out, of the BIG KID elementary school, I almost wanted to cry. How is my BABY old enough and big enough for big kid elementary school?!?! Well, I know it's not kindergarten (yet!), but going to the big kid school just gave me all the feels - for lack of a better term.

October 12th came and I was super nervous. I really had no idea what to expect. Everyone thus far was SUPER nice and helpful, so I don't really know what I was worried about, more fear of the unknown I guess. We got there and the school nurse greeted us. She said we were going to start with her and then move on to the assessment. So we went into her office and she did a quick check up on Mason to check his vision and his hearing. She started off by asking if we'd had those tests done before and we said yes. The hearing one always goes HORRIBLY because he HATES the headphones they make him wear (to test for all types of sounds and to test one ear over the other) - with a passion. He cries and rips them off instantly. Without the headphones, he does great. But headphones, not so much. Then they tried to test his vision at his four year old check up in July and it was a sh*t show. They basically wanted him to stand on this line and cover one eye and read the eye chart. Right. Do any four year olds actually do that? Anyway, she said she had a different way to test his hearing and his vision, and I was so excited. She did the vision first. She had Seth sit in a chair next to him and I stood behind her to get Mason to look in her direction. She zapped this machine and pushed a button and BAM. Done. Say what? Yeah, it was that fast. It came back saying "refer" (to a ophthalmologist). I questioned it a little and she said she'd try again. Same results. So I guess we need to take him to the eye doctor (which we later did - more on that later). Good thing we don't have vision insurance on him currently. (insert eye roll here). Though I can't say that I'm REALLY that surprised, he does hold the iPad pretty close to his face. But anyway, then she did the hearing test. Mason sat in the chair again, only this time alone. Seth and I stood on the other side of the room and he looked at us while she shook different toys behind him. He'd have to turn and look the way of the noise and that would show if he could hear or not. He passed this test!

At this point, Seth and Mason went into the other room while I stayed and answered some questions for the nurse. She had his file and was going over it and just asked me basic questions like if he was full term when he was born, if I had any complications, when he was diagnosed with autism, etc. When I was done answering her questions, I met up with the boys. When I got to the other room, Seth was answering a questionnaire and Mason was answering questions too. Seth's questionnaire asked things that you had to rate on a "always, often, sometimes, never" scale. Questions were things like "calls others names", "puts on his shoes alone", "uses a fork to eat food", etc. Basic things just to see what developmental level he was at. Mason was answering questions like "which one is the number" when give the choice between a number, a letter, a pound sign, and a question mark. Or things like "follow the pattern" when given a picture of blocks in the pattern "top row : black, black, black" and "bottom row : yellow, yellow, yellow" and he had to put down the blocks in that order. Or things like a picture of a top row with square, square and then bottom row with square and then a question mark and he had to point to the correct picture of what would match -  a square, circle, a heart, or a star. Mason was very cooperative and answered all their questions (not necessarily correctly, but without protesting).

On October 19th, we had the second assessment and similar questions were asked. Mason was again very cooperative and only got distracted by the toys in the room a couple times. Overall, he was very agreeable. He actually blew Seth and I away with some of the answers that he knew. At one point, he had to get five wrong in a row to be done with that activity and he'd get four wrong, and then know the answer. Some of the questions were at a level way higher than something he should know, so the test went on a little bit longer than anticipated. Because he was so agreeable during assessment one and two, those latest a little longer than an hour (the scheduled time frame) because he was answering the questions so well. Because of this, they cancelled assessment three. At the end of the second assessment, they gave us a questionnaire to give his preschool teacher, which she would then mail back to them and they would use as a part of their assessment. This questionnaire was very similar to one that Seth and I answered in the first assessment.

As a part of the whole process, the autism specialist came out to our house to observe an in-home ABA session. She came on October 24th and stayed for a half an hour. Mason's ABA therapist didn't know if she was looking for anything specific, so he just conducted the session like normal. They played cars for the majority of the time and transitioned to another activity at the very end of the observation. Overall, Mason is very agreeable during sessions, but I do wish she has observed him attempting to use the potty since this is the only time that he protests during session (or ever really), just so she could have gotten the whole picture.

Also as a part of the whole process, one of the IEP team members (I believe the special education teacher) went to Mason's school to observe him there also. She happened to be there during their playtime and she saw him interacting with the other kids and he even came up to her to show her a Lego tower he built.

On November 1st, we had the IEP meeting. I will admit, I was nervous. This was a meeting with EVERYONE and I truly didn't know what to expect, so it made me nervous. The special education teacher was there, the psychologist, the speech teacher, the autism specialist, and my contact at the district (I forget her technical title). There were 5 of them and 2 of us. As soon as the meeting started though, I felt more at ease. They went over the reports and basically didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. The conclusion of the whole thing was that Mason didn't qualify for the special education preschool (for lack of a better way of explaining it - they deemed him too high functioning for the preschool and said that he wouldn't gain anything from being there - which is good!) but they did recommend that he get speech services and had a whole slew of goals to go along with that. They did recommend that we switch the preschool that he is at from where he is now to a mainstream preschool. (We later looked in to it and decided against it for various reasons.) We decided not to sign the IEP at this time (you can do that) because I wanted to go over it with Mason's preschool teacher, his speech therapist, and his ABA supervisor. I also had a speech language pathologist friend look it over. A week or so later, I contacted the school with some questions and instead of answering them through email, we scheduled a follow up meeting on November 16th.

November 16th we went for our follow up meeting, they answered our questions, and we signed the IEP. They turned in our request to start speech therapy with the school district and said that they would call us to schedule a day to start speech.

Somewhere in there was Thanksgiving break and the school was closed for a week.

Sometime the following week, the speech therapist called to schedule a start date. I believe this was on November 29th. I missed the call and called her back the next day. She said Mason could start on December 1st. This was like 3 days before one of my work events and I said that wouldn't work, so we agreed on Tuesday, December 6th, the following week Tuesday.

On Tuesday, December 6th, Mason started his new speech class (more on that in another post). That afternoon, he had his appointment with the ophthalmologist as well (more on that in another post). It was a big day for him!

We opted to continue his speech through the place that he was going which went through our insurance. We had already reached our out of pocket max in co-pay payments for the year, so it was technically "free", so we thought we would finish out the year and then not continue in January. December 30th was his last day of speech services through our insurance.

To summarize, here is the timeline.

June 16th/17th-ish, 2016 -- apply for special education program through the school district

August 29th-ish, 2016 -- get a call to schedule our intake meeting

September 7, 2016 -- intake meeting

October 12, 2016 -- assessment #1

October 19, 2016 -- assessment #2

October 24, 2016 -- in home ABA shadowing

October 25, 2016 -- (would have been) assessment #3 (cancelled since he did so well on the first two)

November 1, 2016 -- IEP meeting

November 16, 2016 -- follow up IEP meeting, signed IEP

November 21-25, 2016 -- Thanksgiving week, school district closed

November 29, 2016 -- get call to schedule speech

November 30, 2016 -- returned phone call to schedule speech, scheduled start date

December 6, 2016 -- first day of new speech class

December 30, 2016 -- last day of speech services through our insurance

All photos are from October 12th, after Mason's first assessment.
He was so excited to be at the big kid school!

There are obviously more details than what I shared, but I don't want to share too many personal details on the internet. If you're in a similar situation or would like more details, please comment below or email me directly and I'd be happy to share more.

Overall, I'm very happy with how things have worked out. Mason has been doing AMAZING with his new speech class and has been thriving at his preschool. I know we made the right deacons and I feel confident that we did what is best for Mason at this time. Now, we wait for our transition to kindergarten meeting and I grab a box of tissues because I can't believe that my baby will be going to kindergarten in the Fall!

Family Photos 2016.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Better late than never, right? Apparently that is my motto for 2017 as I share family photos that were taken alllllllll the way back at the end of September 2016. Yes, you read that right, September. 2016.

I had been meaning to share and meaning to share, but then I didn't want to spoil our Christmas card photo, but as it turns out, my favorite photo that I ended up using on our Christmas card, I had already shared, and then as the holidays came and went, time got away from me. I've already shared most of these on Instagram, but for those who don't follow me there, I thought I would share all of our family photos from our photo session with Erika from Free Bird Photography here too.

Erika is my friend, Brooke, from college's best friend and we met at Brooke's bachelorette party many years ago. She actually lives in Colorado but her family lives in LA so I always sign up for one of her photo sessions that she does while she is out here visiting her family. She's done our family photos for the past three years [2014 // 2015] and each year I fall more and more in love with them. She's simply the best! All of these photos were taken by Erika in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA in late September 2016.

Though they can be stressful, family photos are my very favorite thing to do each year. I try to take photos all throughout the year, and while I have TONS of Mason and a good amount of Seth/Mason, me/Mason, and some of all of us, I love the way that a professional can capture us all together. Plus, she definitely knows her way around the camera better than I do. Times a million.

Thank you so much for capturing this pictures for us, Erika! I can't wait to have you do it again this year!