Favorite Books

Friday, January 23, 2015

After dinner Wip wanted to play library. It was adorable. He was the librarian and we had to line up to check out the books that we wanted. There was one rule, books only, no movies or toys were allowed to be checked out.

I do not want time to pass me by, but all I could think of was a seven year old little boy that cannot put his Harry Potter book down even after I have called him to come to dinner no less than three times. The other day I asked him if he could only have twenty toys what they would be {I am in serious packing mode} and without hesitation he said "my books!". It makes my heart happy that he is a boy that loves his books.

Favorite Books {in no particular order}:

It really all started with this gift from Patrick's first grade teacher, Mrs. Thomason. It really is the BEST word book ever.

This was put on the repeat list for several weeks and I knew it was a good book when I had read it every night for many nights in a row and never got tired of it.

When Wip was two he would walk outside and say "its a beautiful daaaaaaaaay". It was because of this book and it is still a staple. Definition of a classic if you ask me.

This week was W week at Wip's school. On share day I asked him what he was going to bring and he said "my toy wolf, my Wild Things book, and myself!". Perfect share day items in my opinion!
This was given as a Valentine gift from a friend and I am just going to go ahead and say it...it is my favorite. It makes me laugh out loud. It would not upset me if this was the bed time story each night.

New in the rotation, but it took one time of reading this book to Wip before he knew every joke. He loves telling jokes. There might not be any better way to start a day than with a five year old telling you a knock, knock joke. 
This book is weird. It is sad, violent, incestuous, and long. For some reason it has stayed on top of the favorites list for many years.
A friend gave me this book after I had Duncan. The first twenty times I read it, I sobbed {hormones}. Now I look at it as a tool with raising two children. It has some great ways of explaining how you can love two little people with all of your heart. 
Short. Sweet. Includes animals. Enough said.

This is one of those books that you create a personality for each of the characters. I always seem to bat my eyes and use a high pitched voice when I get to the part about the shy gazelle. 

The PERFECT book to read over and over and over (especially when you are trying to set up the "book before bed routine").  It took me reading it maybe 100 times before catching the "my two dads" scene on one of the pages. I am gong to mark this one as a CLASSIC in the Mulloy house.

Ol' chick fil a...while I might not agree with their opinions on social issues, the "toys" they provide to the children are actually used. We have most of the Franklin books thanks to the "eat more chicken franchise". Franklin stories are great lessons and bedtime stories.

This book made me want to raise a child in New York City {for maybe 2.5 seconds}. The pictures are so fun and the idea behind your child saying their first words is pretty darn cute.

A parent from KCD gave me this book and it is one that I will continue to read to my boys for years to come. The message is simple...enjoy each other, not things.

This is our second version of this book and as you can see it has become just as loved as the first one. In two words if you do not have this book on your book shelf....BUY IT!. We have had more fun with this book from creating a new story, to learning about patterns and colors.  It might be Wip's all time favorite.

We had {still have} a Moby Dick obsession. Not sure where it came from, but this book is not short and Wip knows if you skip a page because he has memorized the entire book. My favorite is when he says "Queequeg".

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK EVER. That is all. This is a great story, but even more than a great story the illustrations are gorgeous. I could look at this book a thousand times and never get sick of it.

This is one of those books that did not stay in the rotation long, but it is adorable and sweet and one that I will keep for my possible future grandchildren {did I really just type that?}

Santa brought this book to Wip because of his love for possums. It is adorable and even better it is about a ZOO! Instant hit.

BEST. BOOK. EVER. We have read this a million times and I can't wait to read it a million more. Bottom line...it is a keeper.

This was a book catered with Duncan's name/picture and it is not only hilarious, but everytime it is read the boys get so into reading along with me. As you can probably guess they say "more bears" a lot throughout the book. 

I think that this was Patrick's book as a little boy and it has been passed on and loved by Wip. I love his giggle when we get to the pink underpants part. 

We really only read one section of this book. Wip refers to it as the "baby in the barn" part. 

Wip picked this one out the other night and read {from memorization} the entire book. It is a sweet message and one I am glad he had put in the memory bank.

I cannot tell you how many times I have scoured the house looking for this book because I could not figure out where the sound was coming from {when you press the nose it plays the Thomas the Train song}. A former student of Patrick's named Thomas got Wip this book when he was born and I will never forget the smile on his face when he gave it to us. That memory alone makes all of the annoying times I have had to hear the song in the book worth it.

A book about Wip and animals. I really do not need to type anymore. This is an instant classic.

Precious. Precious. Precious. We have LOVED reading this story over and over and over. 

This is one of those "tell your own version" books and I have to admit that sometimes Noah's trip was forty days and other nights it might have been about three days. 

Just to give you an idea of how loved this book has been in our house. Wip is sleeping with it even as I type this. Ol' Dylan knew how to make a little boy very happy when he wrote that song.

One of Mimi's friends got this book for Wip and I remember when he had just turned one and we were in Colorado Springs in a dumpy hotel {Patrick was at a conference} and he asked me to read this book to him no less than ten times. He would act out all of the emotions and to this day he will gently "pat" the nice bunny when we get to that page.

This has fallen off of the rotation but it went strong for so long and there was even a birthday party theme after the book so I had to put it on the list:)

This is another book that you just fall in love with after the first time you read it. Catchy, cute, and fun. Continues to be in the rotation {and I hope it stays that way}

If you cannot tell by now, I am a little obsessed with Richard Scarry. This book has SAVED us so many times. From sitting in church to going on a road trip, this is one of those life savers that you can never leave home without.

This book is about a boy named Duncan. Enough said. 

Just like Richard Scarry, this book goes everywhere with us. I feel like it has been Wip's resource for learning about continents, habitats, and of course animals. His godfather sent this to him years ago and I do not think he had any idea what kind of an impact it would have on a curious, animal loving, little boy.

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My son has hypotonia (low muscle tone), dyspraxia (difficulty with motor planning), and lack of coordination. Damn, that is hard to type.

Starting at age two, the mom gut was telling me that something was not right. It had nothing to do with how sweet he could be or how much I loved him, but something just felt a little off. We were getting notes home that said "Wip was laying on his friends" or "Wip had trouble keeping his hands to himself". At home he seemed fine, but he was our first, what did we know?

Right before he was turning four we had him evaluated. We had no idea what we were really evaluating him for, but something was telling us that we needed to get our little boy help. After hearing, psychiatric, visual, and speech and language testing we were told that our son had a developmental coordination disorder (dyspraxia) and would benefit from speech and language as well as occupational therapy. Done. We started immediately. We had his teacher and staff at his school on board and we were going to work through this hiccup.

We definitely saw improvement. We saw focus that was not there before. We noticed a child that did not seem as "loungey" for lack of a better word. He always seemed to have friends, so that was not a concern. I witnessed some bully behavior from a little boy in his classroom a birthday party one day and informed his teacher, but it really never went beyond that point. He was four and he was happy. That was really all that mattered. Then we moved to Florida.

His behavior at his new school was weird. Constant phone calls. Behavior charts. Telling me that he did not like school. Let me tell you...the first few weeks, I wanted to just take him in a rabbit hole and the two of us would just hang out in our lair and not worry about the big bad world around us. I was heartbroken. I just wanted him to have friends. Be happy. I wanted him to want to go to school. It was almost like a magnetic force from the school was preventing his happiness.

A few weeks after we arrived in our new town, I went to a networking workshop at Rollins College. Little did I know it would change my life. The speaker was talking about public speaking and tips and tricks on how to "fake it till you make it". She mentioned that her son had a sensory processing disorder as a child and she learned that when you press your joints together it gives off a relaxing signal to your brain. During a break I went up to her to explain that I had just moved to town and my son was also struggling with the same symptoms. She gave me a therapists to meet with and a recommendation for an occupational therapist. I truly believe it was a sign.

We met with Dr. Thetford and she said to "run not walk" to a occupational therapist. She then went on to explain that she was putting on her "mom" hat and her son went to Lifeskills and that you don't get better than Sandy Wainman. Say no more...the appointment was made.

Sandy from Lifeskills spent two hours with Wip (we had only paid for a one hour evaluation). Patrick and I went for the consultation and she explained that Wip was a bright little boy, but his muscles need work. It is like his brain is the flower and the stem needs some strengthening. She said that when she talked to his teacher that she mentioned when he acts out or uses his hands inappropriately that immediately after doing it he knows it was wrong and the look on his face is almost like he could not help it. Sandy explained that he really in fact could not help it (not saying that hitting a friend is ok), but his muscles do not yet have the communication skills with his brain to let everything talk to each other on an appropriate level. Patrick had to hand me his handkerchief. I was a bit of a mess. But I was so hopeful. She mentioned that the worst part about having sensory processing issues is that you look like a normal functioning child so people expect you to be that. He will be a functioning, normal child and just needs a little help strengthening that core and the stem that talks to the brain.

During dinner one night I asked Wip "what was the best part of your day?" He did not take long to respond and said "not being taken to the office". I looked at him and said "you know sometimes when you are taken to the office your body has accidentally done something that your mind could not control". I was not saying it was not his fault, but I just wanted to make sure that he knew he was not a "bad boy". He looked at me and said "mommy, when am I going to go back to that meeting place with the dinosaur book and the climbing room". He was talking about the occupational therapist's office. It was like he knew. He is so damn smart. He knew.

After a lot of tears and conversation we moved him to a K4 class. He had made friends in his K5 class and the mama bear in me did not want him to have one more transition. During a conference with his K4 teacher I told her that I found it a little odd that we went from a phone call for behavior almost every day to not one call since the move. She said "I would call you if there was an issue, but the only time I have had to say anything to Wip was asking him to not pull the buttons on his shirt". Moving him to K4 was like taking a huge weight off of his shoulders. He was no longer stressing out and his behavior improved because of it.

He understands that with the help of Sandy, Tara, mommy, daddy, his family, his teachers, etc. that we are all here to make him the most healthy, happy, and contributing member of society that there ever was. I am so proud of my son. So proud.

I know that we have this mountain to climb, but we are going to climb it with love and support and I can't wait to get to the top.

Holidays N Such

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

So a funny thing happened today...I was reading some blogs and one of my favorites posted how she thought this shirt was adorable. I love her style so when I clicked on the link I immediately thought the same thing! Side note: I am a HUGE buffalo check fan. So if you are any rational human you probably noticed as soon as you clicked on the link that it is for a little girl (as in it only goes up to 5 years). At first I was bummed, but then I thought...I HAVE A NIECE!  That is right ladies and {maybe} gentleman, while this post is meant to give you every Mulloy holiday moment in December, the most important and joyous moment of the month came on December 27 at 10:12am when Frances Lowe Creason "Francie" was born. Healthy and perfect just the way we like them:)

Proud Papa

Uncle Patrick

Sweet baby girl

William really could have cared less, but just wait...he will never know life without his baby sister
The month was filled with ice skating (in FLORIDA), magical moments at Disney, hanging with cousins, and more love and joy than you could ever fill a room with...yep, I am feeling pretty blessed as 2015 is rolling in (can someone just please find a way to stop time?). Here is proof:
Ernie (our elf) brought holiday jammies for the boys...for some reason Duncan thought it would be cool to wear my name tag to bed

I had a "work" function at Universal Studios and took this pic in honor of William

We went ice skating (in shorts and t-shirts!).

Wip loved it (until he hit the ice pretty hard and was over the ice skating)

Taking a rest

It was probably more work for daddy than enjoyment for D

After skating we rode some rides, ate some sushi, and went SLEDDING!

Duncan made a Baby Jesus 

Wip had a gift fair at his school and was SO excited to share what he bought for his loved ones

Ernie looking all cute letting the boys know that they will be visiting Disney

It was such a treat taking the boys to this event...might just need to make it an annual thing.

We started at the tree (if you look closely you can see the castle)

Had some belly laughs on the tea cup ride

I think Wip was over saying cheese

We almost missed the parade because we were tired (and D wiped out while running towards me and a rope met his neck..not a pretty sight). So glad we caught the parade...it was magical.

Sleepy boy

They each got to pick out a toy

A sloth came to visit me at work

And so did a penguin 

and Shamu!!!

I almost missed D's pageant (thanks traffic)...thankfully I got there just in time

Would not want to have missed this.

I find it funny that D has a "laugh of the day" at school

Then we went to Sea Island (happy place). Click here to see Wip singing one of his favorites "Wild Lips".

Duncan and his Dinosaur

Acting silly in front of the Frozen gingerbread house

Now that is some sugar

Wip and Duncan met some friends and it was so much fun watching them play (while I enjoyed a glass of wine:)

The stockings were hung...

he is the best {especially when he is asleep}

Ready for church!

Mimi's basement was a HIT!

Present time!

Granddaddy and his first

If Francie had not come along, this would have been my most liked insta pic:)

Side note: Baby George looks just like William!

Duncan entertained us during the drive..click here for proof.

We headed to Grams and Poppy's for more presents and fun

Grams and her boys!

Can I take your picture?

Hunter and D = TROUBLE!

These boys love each other so much...and I love it.

Hanging with the bestie

Toys, toys, and more toys!  Thanks Aunt Miranda!

We took William to the mall and he ran up to this picture and said "MOMMY!"...love that kid.

Duncan and Drew did not miss a beat...when we got in the car, D said "Drew is my best buddy"

The boys asked me to watch "Up" with them one morning...I did not say no:)

Loved hanging with another bestie on New Years Eve!

So proud of Uncle Omar and his new adventure in Seattle!

Sure am going to miss seeing that red head when I come back to town!

Good thing that these two will always be best buds no matter the distance

But seriously...can we get back to the fact that I have a niece and she is perfect?