Monday, May 30, 2016

Fighting the stigma of speech delay. Ridlee's story.

Ridlee will be 29 months in just over a week. While she started saying words about the normal time, they leveled off and there was a time she was not gaining many words. I am truly blessed to have a close friend who is a speech and language pathologist. She very graciously wanted to assess her around 18-20 months and we got started with speech sessions with her biweekly at that time. I was also blessed enough to have a friend who is an OT and agreed to assess her for that. Ridlee was found to be a sensory seeker, but did not meet the requirements to need any OT. At the beginning we had to have her hearing checked and an ENT to assess her need for tubes. She luckily had her ears clear at this time and didn't need them. I was sure she would, as she had repeated infections her first year. 

So here we are months later and she is doing much better but still somewhat delayed. I am guessing her word count to be around 100-150 words. We still are realizing words she has been saying all along, that we didn't realize were words. And she is not your typical delay. Part of the issue is, she absolutely refuses to mimic. She won't point to her nose or other body parts, but will randomly say "save the day" or "Mojo Jojo" after watching her favorite show Powerpuff Girls. She is very different. Compared to Heston at this age she is very behind, but he was very advanced and still is with his language. But Ridlee is very advanced in fine and gross motor skills. The child was doing a perfect somersault before 2. And she does them repeatedly now. It's part of that sensory seeking. She loves tumbling around, bouncing, tight hugs, climbing, anything that gives her that fun adrenaline rush. We may have a gymnast on our hands. Don't tell her dad that. One of the things that has helped me to not worry is realizing the fear I had mid-pregnancy when at her ultrasound I was told she was way too small for her gestation age. Repeated scans continued to say the same thing. Everything else appeared normal, but they weren't easing my mind much at the Doctors office. My midwife on the other hand did not seem as concerned. All mine are small, I am small. The placenta was working. We just did the watch and see approach. When she was born she weighed 5 lbs. 4 oz at 39 weeks 6 days. She was tiny, but healthy. All her milestones have been on par or advanced with the exception of her speech. And I am OK with that. 

Right now she is being seen weekly and we will go to twice weekly this summer. I have seen such a wide variety in normal with speech at this age. I have heard so many story's of children with speech delay's growing into highly intelligent adults. I just hate that there is such a stigma associated with speech and intelligence, when there is no truth to it at all. I myself had speech in Kindergarten and 1st grade. I also have some sensory issues, which actually helps me when working with other adults and children with them. 

My heart goes out to other parents who are dealing with this, but I do want to take some stress off of it. It really is OK, so long as you are doing what you can to help them. Early intervention is great and while it might take a few months/years or more to see a difference, every little bit helps. Every child is different, every quirk their own and interesting in their own right. They are not damaged if they do not meet a specific guideline. That's why they are guidelines in the first place. When in doubt, ask for a referral. Our Ped was OK with waiting because she was still within normal range. But I know early intervention is awesome, so I saw no harm in getting the assessment done. Some Doctors are more on the side of waiting and some are more on assessing. There is no right or wrong. But do what you feel is best for your child and family. But if an assessment is recommended please do not hesitate. It was recommended for a reason. And ignore the idea that if a delay is noted, that means something is wrong with your child. Just as if your child had a issue noted with his/her walking, you would want to get it checked out. Same thing with speech and other issues. 

I will keep updating Ridlee's story on occasion to see how far she comes. I know that for me I will want to see how and when everything plays out, because when she is grown I might not even remember this was ever an issue. 

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Run like a Diva (Branson) half marathon

I have been signed up for this race since December. My first destination race. This was before I signed up for the Bentonville half and didn't know at the time if I could do 2 in 6 weeks. When I ran the Bentonville one I ended up having issues after with runner's knee. Some days it was fine, others not so much, But it never fully went away. Steven, Ridlee, and I left on Saturday and the other kiddos stayed at home with Steven's parents. Our trip was fun and we got upgraded to a one bedroom condo for free. I am thinking because we were going to pay for late check out and they were too booked up to allow. We didn't find this out until I was about to run. Check out was 11:00 and was anticipating ending around 10:00, but didn't want to have to rush around. But had to anyways. 

Steven and I drove the route the day before to get an idea of what to expect. We couldn't get to all of it because some was on trails. The first half had all kinds of hills and I knew that was going to be brutal. I didn't know how much of the end of it went until I raced it. The elevation map didn't quite give a good idea of the amount of up and down that there was. 

I was shooting for a PR of under 2:11:40, but had no idea if it was possible because of the hills. I started off with a good pace in the first 3 miles, right before the big hill. And it was by far the biggest. I was able to run it without stopping and all others until finally in mile 8 when I realized they weren't stopping. I paused for short bursts of 10 seconds long and started again. Mile 9 gave a much needed reprieve and was mostly downhill. I was able to finally make up some time and use the momentum. They didn't offer gels on this race, but I brought my own and they were a different brand than I usually use. I had heard good things on Glukos gels being easier on the stomach. I was sick all day the last two half's and needed to try something different. These worked and they were more like a drink than a sticky gu. I highly recommend them. I took them at mile 6.5 and mile 10.5-11. I was trying so hard not to stall out in the last mile like I did in the past two races. I had even had a training run to 13 miles to help. But those hills on this race didn't quite allow for conservation. Right after receiving the boa and tiara at mile 12.5 I walked for less than 10 seconds to get more momentum to try and see if I could break 2:10. I managed to do it was 2 seconds with a PR time of 2:09:58. I was more than happy. I talked with another lady after that had run several half's including the Bentonville one, which she got under 2 hours in it. This one she agreed was far harder and her time was 2:08. Makes me wonder what I could do on a flat course. Looking at the results I noticed only 12 people got under 2 hours. That says something. I got 11th in my division and 46th overall. 

My knee started bugging around mile 5 but never got too painful to stop. As soon as the race was over and I stopped to talk to Steven, I could barely move. The backs of my thighs and feet started cramping up. I had to quickly get to the room to take a shower and stretch and roll before check out. We walked around the Landing and went and ate at Garfield's before making the home stretch home. My stomach issues have been non-existent, which is great. But I am by far more sore today than I was after the previous races. My legs, knee, and shoulders hurt. And it's Monday, which while I don't go to the office, where I can sit back, I have to stay home with the littles and do the SAHM thing. At least I don't have to dress up. 

Here are some pics from the trip.

Playing around with the tutu. I didn't wear it in the actual race, but most did.

Before and after. I felt like I was dying.

My medals. 

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Thursday, May 05, 2016

1 year runaversary!

So today marked my running anniversary for one year. Last year I ran my first 5k at 31:06. This year I almost didn't run because I got a cold right after my long 13 mile run on Monday. Unfortunately right after I hit the 3 mile mark I started having a coughing fit and had to walk a bit. I still managed a PR of 27:37 and got 4th in my age division out of 64. Gage got 3rd in his and got a medal with a time of 19:46. He got 9th overall out of 1060. He's doing awesome. To also put some perspective on my fitness improvement I ran my last half marathon at the same pace I ran my first 5k. I have my third one in Branson in just over a week on the 15th. Prayers my cold leaves me and I'm at 100% would be appreciated. I don't have a pic of myself. Mind was other things. But here is Gage with his medal.

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