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Showing posts from 2017

I'm just out of catchy titles

So after tomorrow we are on the two-week plus a couple of days countdown. I cannot even believe it. Time has felt so slow some days, and on others it seems as if time is just flying. I've had quite a bit of thinking time most days. Probably too much thinking time. A strict part of my happiness level depends on avoiding political garbage. Unfortunately most every hospital television is on CNN, but I think they need to rename it to something more like - Suck All Happiness Out of America television network. Pot Stirrer television might also be fitting. Other networks could also fall into this category. My favorite thing to do when we get in is turn on TV Land or HGTV because it reminds me of a time when television was fun to watch. Shows supplied laughter and didn't just show people running each other down or solving crimes with some of the nastiest tutorials on how to murder someone. I've decided that the only way to bring up a better generation of kids, as a parent, is to t…

I Just Cannot Escape Vomit

This week has already been off to a rough start. Actually, EVERY week is a rough start. Kaydence has a horrible Monday and by Friday is amazing. Saturday is okay and then comes Sunday. I dread Sundays now. I like the daytime, but Kaydence wants to stay awake with the people who party behind our apartment building.

To explain what is behind our apartment building will tell you a lot about it. If you tell anyone in Baltimore that Baltimore Street is right behind our building, they all react the same way. Everyone from the area knows that it is the party scene. Not just any party scene. It's the scene that I would place my hands over Wade's eyes everyday driving through if he were with me. I can tolerate seeing the many homeless people on certain corners, but women who appear to be prostitutes, and clubs advertising strippers...well...that is a little different. Some may refer to these as "gentlemen's clubs," but let me tell you, I don't see many gentlemen stand…

The Griswolds, I mean the Neylands, take on Baltimore

We have had an eventful time here in Baltimore since my last post. Kaydence has been undergoing quite a bit of therapy. She has Occupational Therapy (OT) and Speech Therapy four days a week, and Physical Therapy two days a week. I am sincerely thankful for all of it. Speech and OT are a regular part of the feeding program, and PT is our bonus.

Speech and OT can address lots of issues, but for Kaydence, Speech and OT both focus on oral motor skills and acceptance of new textures. OT also works on self-feeding skills. We are making slow progress here, but we will make more progress before we leave. We will never again have the opportunity for such an intensive workout so many days in week, but I sure wish she could. I wish we could have had much more therapy when she was younger and maybe we wouldn't be so far behind. I also feel like we are starting over on the texture acceptance because we were grinding up cheerios, puffs, and crackers when we went to Dallas for therapy, but here …

A Week Feels Like A Lifetime

So Kaydence, my mother, and I have been here in Baltimore for a week. A very, very long week. I am afraid this may be the longest eight weeks of my life. I have ventured down to the business center in our condo building to locate the computer on which I am typing. I have to be super mindful to log off of everything when I am done! I just can't blog from my phone anymore. It's too hard! But probably not as hard as eating has been for Kaydence.

I'll attempt to give a good description of what she is tolerating thus far. The beginning of the week was the KKI staff evaluating and testing her. The first three meals I fed her. I would feed her what she normally eats at home (peanut butter mixed with mashed banana) and then attempt to feed her what she does not prefer, like strawberry applesauce. Therapists were evaluating her BEHAVIOR during this time. This whole program is actually behavioral therapy mixed with occupational therapy and speech therapy, the majority of it being be…

We are here!

Saturday, we began our journey to Baltimore, for the Intensive Feeding Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Tommy, my mom, Kaydence and I successfully made it to Love Field and flew Southwest to Baltimore, where a nice lady named Lorraine would meet us and take us to our apartment. Kaydence was a great flyer! She climbed all over her daddy and was up and down in the seat, peeking over the tops at unsuspecting strangers. She manhandled the pretzel bags for the sound they made and watched videos of her siblings and random kids online. We snapchatted away as well. She only yelled a couple of times and the lady in front of us commented on how well she did.

Lorraine came and picked us up as promised. She manages Chase Street Properties in Baltimore, and they began as a company specializing in medical relocation services. She is an angel here on earth for sure. From the moment I spoke with her on the phone, I knew she was sent to help us. She brought us to our little apartment, explaining l…

Challenges, Acceptance, Winning, Defeat

Life with Kaydence always presents us some challenges. Last spring, I started a little business, which I really wanted to emphasize embroidered items for kids, and ladies retail apparel, but has morphed into custom heat transfer shirts mostly. It's okay however my business venture turns out, because the ultimate goal for me is to make a little income and still be flexible enough to accommodate Kaydence's appointments. I have really been blessed and kind of busy. Now, the retail part is not working as I had hoped, but I think in our area, a storefront is just better. I've always wanted to own a gift shop that had wedding registry items and baby things, but that just hasn't been feasible...maybe someday it could still happen. But this custom apparel? It works. So well in fact, that I started working in my little crafty area and then it scattered into my dining room. Tommy being the neat guy that he is, well, it wore on him a little. He was very patient all summer. One d…

School Smacked Us in the Face!

I must preface this whole entry with: I'm typing on my phone. Please don't judge me based on potential errors. Ha! School started and man, did it ever smack us in the face here in the Neyland household. It started great. Kids all at school. Mom acting like a modern day June Cleaver: walking a few miles at the track each morning, planning meals, cooking every night, and getting all of my shirt orders done. Then....BAM! "Wendy, this is the school nurse and Kaydence is sick." Or "Wendy, I'm so sorry I'm calling again, Abigail has a headache." Within the first few weeks of school, all three of my kids have missed due to illness. Kaydence missed about 7 days off and on. She'd be done and then I'd get a school call. I think we finally got her straightened out, but geeze Louise, it took a while. She had a stomach bug, an ear infection, and a mycoplasma infection. Oh, wait, haven't heard of that? Me either. Apparently it falls within the same ca…

She is an official Kindergartener

So Kaydence Grace begins Kindergarten officially tomorrow. It's hard to wrap my brain around this in some ways, but then it feels like the norm because she has been at school in PPCD since a few days after she turned three.

For those who are unfamiliar with this, Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services begin very early for kids like K. She actually was about a year old before we were introduced to the program. It seems like we are never helped to the help we need until it is later than it should be! ECI services include therapy of different kinds, and probably some other stuff, but we weren't able to receive anything but Occupational Therapy and that is a whole other story for later. ECI services terminate at age 3 and kids enter their local school districts for services. Kaydence has make big strides since and I am very thankful for our school district.

But tomorrow she starts Kindergarten as an actual 5 year old with the other kids her age. It is truly bittersweet. I kno…

Wade's Wild Ride

I'm going to preface this with "July has not been a super easy month." Kaydence doesn't want to eat, I lost a person I'm going to miss, I keep having dang migraines, my insurance got cut off early and that is not easy to fix, Vacation Bible School at church happens, and now Wade has broken his arm. It is also appointment kick off time, and now in addition to Kaydence's appointments, we now have a boatload for Wade complete with higher copayments for specialists. Please hear the excitement that I am radiating at this moment.

I can't fix most of these issues, but I can fix the way I react. I am trying to do this boutique thing and these headaches! Why? I have to take meds, and I can't do what I need to do for this business. It's frustrating. VBS at church. I have been director enough years that I need to pass it on. It's time. I enjoy VBS, but I lost my oomph for it recently. It still turned out great with great attendance. There are kids who vi…

Smiles Today

Last week was a busy week. Wade had a district baseball tournament. It was hoooootttt. Three days in a row at 5:30 PM, on a hot July afternoon is not cool (as in "cool man" and in temperature.) The first two days we were on the dugout and fan side facing the setting sun. I purchased Kona Ice from my beautiful friend Karey, and poor Kaydence Grace sucked them down and was just laying there, sizzling like bacon in a frying pan. I was sweating so profusely that Abigail made sure to tell me how bad I smelled. I was so exhausted I think that I am still catching up. By Wednesday night, I left Kaydence to stay with her Aunt Jenni so at least she wouldn't suffer another night.

Also on Wednesday, I turned 40. Forty years old. I don't feel 40. Well, I did after the late afternoon heat three days in a row, but I'm trying to process what 40 is supposed to be. I commented on Facebook how thankful I actually am to be another year older, because so many do not make it to that a…

Reflections

Since we've been home from KKI and our trip to Baltimore and back, Kaydence Grace has decided to declare a food war on mom. Now, if you can think about how picky some kids are in their eating, then multiply that by infinity, that's Kaydence Grace. Before we left, she was eating a full bowl of oatmeal each morning, maybe something for lunch like a sweet potato, and then her traditional banana and peanut butter at night, all interspersed with pediasure for the extra vitamins and calories.

Now, I am lucky to get her to eat half a bowl of oatmeal and a half of a banana and PB, but she wants that pediasure ALL the time. She is probably actually taking in more calories, but I need her to take in solid foods and not liquids. I wish she and I could switch food intake patterns for a while and we would each be happy - I could lose a little weight and she would gain enough to make her fill out some pants that match the length of her legs. I do not know why we are fighting this battle, bu…

Mommin' Made Easy

Just KIDDING! There is NO easy mommin' around here! As a matter of fact, I think I am not one of the best there is at all. This is not a request for reassurance either. I just like to keep it real. Maybe my title would be best with "Mommin' Made Real."

What's real today? Well this week we headed on into some busy days followed with horrible naptime schedules. Monday was just a "let's just figure out how to be at home again" kind of day, complete with some visits from amazing friends. Tuesday, we loaded up early and got Wade off to Huntsville for a little extra baseball help. I'll come back to that later. All of the kids had dental appointments. Two out of three just loathe brushing their teeth and the third reacts to tooth brushing as if I had stuck hell fire into her mouth. The dentist is a great gal, but we have a lot of work to do on our end. Enter naptime.

This week, Kaydence has been her normal self, which actually means that she is just a …

Outtakes in DC

So we decided to round out our trip by touring Washington, D.C., and it was a great decision. Kaydence has actually tolerated traveling much better than we expected. One of our close friends who lives in D.C., recommended a Bed and Breakfast near her neighborhood for us to stay in. What a fantastic decision! First of all, this place is what I would consider "super swanky." It is a row house with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths with a kitchen that is straight off of HGTV. We have been able to spread out, do laundry, and live a normal lifestyle. We learned how to use Uber and also UberEATS. Honestly, if I had had the chance to come to D.C. before husband and kids, I could have easily stayed. Ordering Chinese takeout was just too fabulous for me. Haha!

Our first day we toured Arlington National Cemetery. Tommy and I have been there multiple times, but never with our own kids. Let me say, learning to be a parent toting a handicapped child is hard and frustrating lesson. Kaydence is just …

Oh the Places the Neylands Go

Today was our appointment at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. All I can say is WOW! What an amazing place! But before we get to the details of that appointment, I would like to first share some of the journey here to Baltimore.

We left out on Saturday morning. We stopped in Memphis, Tennessee, and took the kids to Beale Street. While there we ate at the most Memphis kind of place...The Pig. What is better than pulled pork in Memphis? In this bar-diner atmosphere blaring the Blues, I figured we were really in for it as Kaydence Grace is not a fan of loud places. Turns out the kid likes the Blues. Hard core, did not even plug her ears, likes the Blues kid! I can work with this. We made sure to ride in a cheesy horse-drawn Cinderella carriage for Abigail. Abigail's Memphis observation: Why does everyone in the city want money? Homelessness and begging has been a little hard to explain to our small-town kids.

Sunday we traveled on to Knoxville, home of the Tennessee Vols. It is also hom…