Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It was Just Like College

Here in Alabama, we take severe weather very seriously.  We'd been hearing for 4-5 days that there was a moderate threat for severe weather Monday and Tuesday.  It never fails that if there is going to be severe weather, Patrick is going to be on second shift.  I sent out a text on Sunday afternoon to three of my best friends that don't have basements that they could come ride out the storm at my house if they wanted.  I thought "this will be just like college" Ha.
They took me up on my offer and everyone arrived around 5:00 Monday evening.  We ate pizza and baked cookies and settled in to what would be a long night of storm watching.
I didn't take long for it to look like a tornado had already passed through the living room. Ha!  We bathed the kids and Kristen bathed the dogs and we were ready.
The kids had a blast playing together.  It was fun watching them play!
We tried to get them to lay down in hopes they would fall asleep.  We had no such luck but these pictures were so cute of them together.  Elise would have probably fallen asleep if Barrett wouldn't have been picking at her.  He was so tired he was doing everything he could to fight sleep.
It wasn't long until the storms were headed our way.  There were several storms in the viewing area and we spent many hours glued to the TV.  There was a storm headed right for us and for a few minutes they down-graded it to a thunderstorm and focused their attention on another storm in Tuscaloosa.  Well during this few minutes Joseph went upstairs to get something and we had that tv on a different channel. He came back down saying that channel was saying it was headed right for us.  About that time James Spann said he was getting reports of a tornado on the ground at our exit (about 2 miles from our house).  Cue the silent panic.  I quickly put on my tennis shoes and we grabbed up the kids.  We sat in the floor all huddled together.  Once I realized that the power was still on and the satellite was still on my nerves calmed a little.  My phone started blowing up with people checking on us.  That will make a girl feel loved.  It wasn't long till we started hearing reports of damage in Kimberly (about 3 miles away).  We were hearing that Lorie and Joseph's neighborhood was hit, so of course we were all a little on edge.  Patrick was still at work and stayed a little late to make sure it was safe.  
This part is kinda funny now.  After we got the all clear for our area, Joseph and I were upstairs for some reason and he casually said look outside, it looks like there's a funnel cloud.  Sure enough the lightening lit up the sky and it looked just like a funnel cloud.  I panicked and ran down the stairs and Joseph was right on my heels.  We got in the corner of the room and put the kids in the built in book case for more protection.  It took a few minutes to realize that they weren't saying anything on tv so we probably didn't see anything.  Which is funny to me now.  While this was going on, Barrett lost it.  He was screaming and crying. He was exhausted and needed his bed to sleep.  There was still more bad weather on the way so I wasn't comfortable putting him in his bed so I went and rocked him and he went to sleep easily in my arms.  It wasn't much later that Patrick got home from work and he and Joseph left to see if they could get to their house.  The highway was blocked by downed trees so they just came on back.  We stayed up late tracking the last of the storms and watching the damage reports.  It was 3:00am when we finally crawled into bed. (not before watching an interview with a local woman that rode out the storm in her mobile home. I felt sorry for her and was embarrassed for our area that she was representing all at the same time.)
We were all up by 8:00 Tuesday morning.  Joseph left to go check out the house.  He came back and Lorie and I rode with him to get her car.  There was a lot of damage in their neighborhood but thankfully they just had a few shingles blown off.  
I took a few pictures of damage as we rode through.

We got home and relaxed and watched movies and hung out most of the day.  They were predicting another round for Tuesday night.  Luckily it ended up not being as bad.  We watched tv and just had fun together.  Around 8:30 Joseph got a call saying their power was back on.  We were so surprised.  He left to go get the house aired out while Lorie and Elise stayed and helped pack and clean everything up.  It wasn't long until my house way empty again. 
 I was so thankful that I wasn't here with Barrett by myself.  We laughed several times commenting it was "just like college" with two kids and two dogs.  In college we would spend days on the couch catching up on tv shows and watching movies, which is exactly what we did Tuesday.  I got to see Frozen which is 100 times more adorable hearing Elise sing the songs.  We also watched Beauty and the Beast, which is my all time favorite Disney movie. 
I'm still exhausted today.  I can not recover from a late night as quickly as I did in college. I'm still dragging today.  We are so thankful that is wasn't any worse than it was in our area.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weekend Review (Alternate title...iPhone photos of Barrett)

We've had a nice weekend!  The weather has be beautiful.  We've tried to enjoy it as much as we could before the severe weather gets here.  Here's a few pictures to catch you up.
Thursday after his bath, Barrett tried on his swimsuit for the summer.  I thought he looked particularly adorable.
Friday I went to get my nails done and took Barrett with me.  He did so good.  He ate his snack and visited with the other ladies.  Thankfully none of them seemed to mind.  He even stopped when I told him not to clean off the coffee table.
We had dinner on the deck.  It was fun and I think we both enjoyed it.
Saturday we went to the Magnolia Festival.  We do the signs for the festival so it's always fun seeing our work.  I missed the last few years so it was fun to get to go this year.
After the Magnolia Festival we to my brothers house for Porter's 7th birthday.  I can't believe that boy is 7 years old. Barrett had a blast playing in the ice.
Today Patrick got up super early to pick up his fun new "toy".  Barrett and I went to Mass then to lunch at my parents house.
They finally got it in the basement and Patrick couldn't be more thrilled.  I'll admit it is pretty cool.  Patrick says he's always wanted his own coke machine since he saw the movie "Big" in the '80's.  
It's been a beautiful weekend.  I'm loving these warm sunny days.  We're preparing for some severe weather tomorrow and Tuesday.  I so hope it doesn't get bad but I've invited my basement-less friends over just in case.  I'll be just like college (plus two kids and a two poodles.)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter

We had a full weekend to celebrate Easter.

After the 5K we all headed to my Grandmother's house for lunch.  It was all delicious as usual and we enjoyed the afternoon outside enjoying the beautiful weather.
This was Barrett's first time with the eggs.  He had no interest in finding them for his basket.  He only wanted to hold, throw or chew on them.  I just loved his cute little bunny shirt.

We left there and headed home for naps.  We went to the Easter Vigil Mass because Hope was coming into the church.  It's a really long Mass (2 hours 45 minutes) so the boys stayed home while I went to support Hope.  I'm so excited for her.  

The Easter bunny came.  We try to keep things low key for holidays and gifts.  I want to celebrate and I love the tradition and fun but I don't want Easter to be about the bunny.  So Barrett got mostly practical things.  2 swimsuits, new training silverware, crayons, goldfish and yogurt melts.

Barrett was so excited about his new swimsuits.

And his yogurt puffs

We got ready and went to Mass as a family of three.  It was a bit of a disaster.  We sat in the church at first and Barrett had a meltdown and we realized it was either going to be one of us standing in the  back while the other sat in church (which defeats the point of going to Mass together) or we should just sit in the cry room as a family, so that's what we did.  We decided from now on we'd rather have the loud kid in church than brave that room again. (For the record most of the kids aren't bad, but when you get several moody toddlers in one room for an hour and a half trying to keep them semi quite, it's exhausting.)

We left church and headed to my mom and dad's house for lunch.  Barrett's a lucky boy because he got an Easter basket at both of his grandparents house.

Dad sat him on this pedestal and he wasn't sure what to think about it.

My sweet little family.  I am so thankful for these boys.  They make life worth living.

Second outfit of the day.  Harper wanted to hide eggs for him.

Once again he wasn't really interested.

All the grands at Mom & Dad's house.

After lunch we headed home to take naps and then we headed to Patrick's parents house for dinner.  Before we ate the kids had an egg hunt.  Here's a picture of all the grands at Patrick's parents' house.

It was such a fun and exhausting day.  I love being with our families but I hate getting off our nap schedule.  We are trying to wind down and get ready for the week.  It's our busiest week of the year at Signs of Sophie so we've got to hit the ground running tomorrow.
Happy Easter from the Horton House!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sister Time

I was so excited to see my sister it felt like forever since i'd last seen her.  That has to be the worst part about them living 3 hours away.  Some days I'd love to just be able to grab lunch together.  It's also difficult because I know how busy they are when they get to come home and as much as I'd love to kidnap her and make her spend the whole weekend with me I just can't.  When we realized the NCAA National Championships for gymnastics were in Birmingham we knew we had to fit it in if possible.  Alabama was competing in the evening session of Friday so we decided we would go.  I was so excited because we got to go together and cheer on our school.  Plus we both love gymnastics.

We sprung the 4 extra dollars for the lower level seats.  We were right behind the media tables and beam.  It was a little bit of sensory overload trying to watch 4 events at once.  
UCLA was on beam first rotation and I thought one of the team managers looked familiar.  I figured out it was Jordyn Wieber from the 2012 Olympic team.  So that exciting.  
Alabama tied Florida and advanced to the finals on Saturday night.  We weren't able to go though because of family obligations.  (They came in fourth).

After we left the gymnastics meet we went to the see light tunnel in Birmingham.  Pretty cool.

We decided to have a slumber party at mom and dad's because the second part of sister time included running a 5K race in Gardendale Saturday morning.  
It was supporting two local charities and we knew several people running it.  We were excited. 
Here we are before we left.
I had not really trained for this.  Like at all.  I'd been running a little for some cardio but not 3 miles.  I knew it was going to be tough.  I only had two goals.  1.) Not finish last.  2.) Finish under 40 minutes.  I realize that 40 minutes is a really slow 5K but I knew that was going to be pushing myself but still obtainable. 
I'm happy to report I met both goals.  When we rounded the corner I say 36.xx on the clock and realized we were faster than I thought. I realized I could finish in under 38 minutes I kicked it up a notch. 
 I love these next two pictures that were taken at the finish.
My sister is way more fun than I am.  She was posing and smiling.
Then she says I jumped in front of her right at the finish to beat her.  I know she doesn't believe me but that was not the case at all.  I really wanted to finish under 38 minutes and they clock read like 37.57 so I was trying to finish. They also told us to stay in line so one of us had to be first. I really did feel bad because she could have finished a lot faster.  I probably wouldn't have finished if it hadn't been for her.

Our sweet friend Anna.  She finished way faster than us and was cheering us on at the finish.  That was one good thing about finishing later, there were a lot more people to cheer you on. 

I went to pick this crazy haired boy up at my parents house then headed home to get ready for the start of our Easter festivities.

I was so excited to get to spend so much time with my sister.  I'm hoping to get to Atlanta more this summer to visit her.  She has been a huge encouragement to me lately and I try not to take for granted all the fun ways we have to communicate.  We talk often but nothing beats face to face laughter and a hug.  
Easter post coming up.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday Weigh-In

I realize it's been a month since I last posted a Wednesday Weigh-In.  (I also realize today is Thursday)  Life got in the way for a bit but I'm back.  I fell off the wagon for a few weeks.  If I had lost all the weight that I've gained and lost over the last two months I'd almost be at my goal weight. *sigh* But I'm not going to let that get me down.  I've still got a way to go but I'll get there.
Current Weight: 173.6
38.6lbs to go
My goal is to lose another 15lbs by May 31st.  That's roughly 6 weeks.  I know I can do it.  I've just got to get serious. 
I haven't been going to the gym as much lately and I haven't been paying as much attention to what I'm eating.  I'm trying to eat breakfast and make wise choices.  Patrick is on second shift so I either have to go to the gym in the morning or get a sitter and go at night.  I like going in the morning but that 4:15 wake up call is early.  Which makes me sound like a baby because Patrick gets up at 4:00 when he's on day shift so I guess I should just suck it up.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend Review

I'll start with Thursday since it's been a sweet forever since I posted.
Barrett is really into books finally.  Well he really just likes pulling them off the shelf but we read a few too.  This is our bedtime routine.   Patrick reads while Barrett is eagerly waiting to turn each page.
Actually this was Wednesday night.  It was after bath time and Barrett and I both needed some fresh air so we headed out.  It was a beautiful night.  We watched the cows on the other side of the neighborhood.
Thursday we had a fun play date with Drake. We met at the soccer fields so Anna and I could walk on the track.  Barrett took a quick nap in the stroller then we let them swing for a while and finally ended up on a blanket in the grass. 
Luckily, Anna is a good mom and brought the boys a snack to share.  Barrett enjoyed that. 
These pictures crack me up because Drake is 6 months younger than Barrett but they are the same size. They play really well together when Barrett isn't trying to tackle him.  It was a fun afternoon of much needed mom conversation.
Barrett was cracking me up Saturday at lunch.  I gave him some cheese and crackers.  He took one or two bites out of EVERY cracker.  Then he looked at me like he wanted more.
Saturday night we went to John & Hope's house to eat hamburgers for Hope's birthday.  We took Barrett's car because we don't have a level place for him to ride it at our house.  He had a ball.
Sunday after Mass I took his picture in front of the blooming azaleas at Mom and Dad's house.  Barrett hung out with them while I went home and did housework  took a nap. 

Today we were supposed to meet with our service coordinator to get Barrett's therapy plan mapped out but she had to cancel due to the stomach virus.  So we enjoyed the morning with Daddy and then headed to work.

We got to work late so Barrett ate lunch then he went to sleep and slept for 3 hours!!!  It was much needed because I have so much work to do this week.  I had to get a picture of his little feet.  For some reason when I looked over at him sleeping so sweetly I was just overcome with emotion.  Something about watching him sleep so peacefully.  I love him so much it feels like my heart could explode.  I think the fact he started walking this weekend really made me realize how fast time is passing.  He is not quite a full time walker yet but he is definitely walking more than crawling.
Patrick rotated to second shift today so our routine looks a little different.  We are looking forward to Easter this weekend and spending lots of time with family.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Can you Hear me now? {An Update}

{Another long boring post}
Last week we took Barrett for an evaluation for the Early Intervention System.  {Here's last week's post for the reason we were doing this.}  We were anxious to say the least.  I thought I was going to vomit in the parking lot before we went in.  We were early for our appointment so we were able to chat with the women that do the evaluation for a few minutes while they finished their lunch.  They were all so nice and we immediately felt at ease.  The evaluation process itself was fairly simple for us.  There were three women, one of them talked with me about Barrett while the other two were in the floor "playing" with him.  They were trying to get him to do the things that he should be doing at 15 months.  He did several of them but there were several tasks he wasn't able to complete.  They were so helpful to Patrick and I giving us several things to be working on with him.  We asked when we would hear back from them and they said in the next day or so.  Meanwhile I was gathering as much information about Early Intervention as I could.  I was so surprised to know how many people I know had used the program or been evaluated.  I was hearing nothing but good things.  
Fast forward to yesterday, I hadn't heard from them so I decided to call fully expecting them to say that he didn't qualify.  I was a little shocked when she said that not only did he qualify but he qualified in 4 of the 5 developmental areas.  He was borderline physically which combines gross motor and fine motor skills.  My biggest concern was communication.  They told us that more often than not when there is a delay in communication it will affect other areas. 
This has been a hard thing to hear.  No one wants to hear that their child has a 25% delay in 4 developmental areas.  While it's not the easiest thing to hear, I'm so thankful that our pediatrician saw a need for the referral.  I never thought he was as delayed as he is.  Part of that is because I'm his mom and didn't want to see it and part is because I just wasn't really sure what a 15 month old is supposed to be able to do.  I'm also thankful that if he was borderline it went in the direction where he qualified.  I would hate to think he had a 23% delay and didn't qualify.  I'm also thankful that this program exists.  I'm trying to not let myself feel like I've failed.  I know it's not my fault.  I know there are probably things I could do better but I'm a good mom.  We are eager and excited to start this process.  We are waiting to be assigned a service coordinator.  She will sit down with us to write out a plan and then we'll work together to get Barrett caught up to where he needs to be.  
We will also have a hearing test scheduled for May 7th to rule out any form of hearing loss.  Once again we think he's fine but want to be sure.  
Thank you all for your prayers and support. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Review

We had a fun, busy weekend.  Thursday I took this adorable picture of Barrett before work.  It's officially bubble suit weather and I love it. 
I know he's mine but I think he's adorable.

Friday night Patrick's mom and sister hosted a little bridal shower for one of Patrick's cousins.  I was worried how Barrett did since he's usually in bed by 7:30 or 8:00 and the party didn't start until 7:00.  He did fine but I was exhausted by the time we got home at 10:30.

Saturday morning I let Barrett feed himself with a spoon.  He did a pretty good job and was very proud.
I put him down for an early nap since he was up so late the night before and we had somewhere to be right in the middle of his normal nap time.  He slept for 3.5 hours.  While he slept I cleaned house.  My house was a disaster so it felt good to get it cleaned up a bit.

Ally caught up on her sleep too.

When Patrick got home from work and Barrett woke up from his nap we headed to a gender reveal party for some of our friends.  They have one son who is 3.5 and shes due with this baby in May.  They didn't find out what the first baby was so this time they decided to find out with friends and family.  I'd never been to a gender reveal before but it was a lot of fun.  My friend Brittany with Sweet P designs did the party and it was so so so cute.  The theme was "One Fish, Two Fish, Pink Fish, Blue Fish"

Barrett was not interested in having his picture made.
Love my little family though.  We stayed way to late but Barrett was so good and we enjoyed just getting to hang out as a family with other families.  
Sunday we got up and went to Mass, then to lunch at my mom and dad's house.  It was a rainy, gloomy day so we came home and took naps and watched movies.
The evaluation went well last week.  We still haven't heard back from them.  I plan on calling today. We felt much better about the situation after going last week.  Since we decided to tell everyone what was going on, we've received so much support from people that either went through the evaluation process and weren't eligible or qualified and loved the system. So we are very encouraged.  I'll do another post when we know what our next step will be.