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Dear Carter at 8, Collin at 6, Rory at 3 and Owen at 1

on Nov 24, 2017

Hello my sweet children.  It has been YEARS since I wrote one of these state-of-the-union family posts, and I figured it was about time to do another one. Carter Glenn, how in the world are you already 8 years old??  You have grown so much, physically and mentally, since my last update.  You’ve always been tall for your age, but now you stand a head taller than everyone on your baseball team, and you’re going to pass me by sooner than I would like.  Your hair grows like crazy and you always manage to have that cool surfer boy look since you refuse to cut it short.  And your brain, oh my goodness, you blow me away every day!  We arranged for you to go from 2nd grade to the 4th grade advanced math class every day and you are loving that and handling it quite well despite our nerves.  (You could probably go to the 6th grade class, but I don’t think ANY of us are ready...

Rory’s November Apraxia Update

on Nov 19, 2017

When you take on the role of “special needs parent” it’s rarely something you planned for or expected.  I hear all the time, “I don’t know how you do it!” and honestly some days I don’t “do it” very well.  I yell (sometimes very loudly), I say things I regret, I mess up.  But as most special-needs parents will tell you, you have to fight for your child and be their advocate.  Even on my bad days, I know I do this part very well. So that’s what I’ve been doing since my last post.  I’ve been refusing to accept that therapy is the only thing we can do to help Rory, so while spending a crap-ton of time in the therapy waiting room while Rory gets speech and OT for three two-hour blocks a week {with my crazy one year old} I have been reading books, researching, and talking to other moms who are in a similar {lovely} boat...

Ode to Irma

on Oct 4, 2017

By Jenni, Carter and Collin McKay   In early September, twenty seventeen, Something in the Atlantic loomed huge and mean. Hurricane Irma, a category five, A catastrophic threat to property and lives. Over the coming days we predicted and guessed. Denis Phillips (with suspenders) was truly the best. Spaghettis and Euros and NHC tracks, Pretty soon we were all stressed to the max. Irma, Irma the hurricane, Did her best to drive us insane.   Panic! Off to Publix we fled, To buy non-perishables and loaves of bread. To Mobil! To Shell! To Cosco! To Walmart! For gas in our tanks and water in our carts. Evacuation, do we go or stay?! The track says east coast so we’ll be ok. But then a shift west on that fateful Euro. Our stomachs flipped and our eyebrows furrowed. Then another shift west up Florida’s spine. Not the best case, but we’ll still be fine. But then that last...

Nemechek Protocol and Apraxia

on Sep 23, 2017

The journey we’ve been on with Rory since figuring out a few months ago that she officially has apraxia has been such a learning experience including driving through a tropical storm to get a diagnosis. Throughout these few months I have read a lot of books that have opened my eyes to apraxia, sensory processing disorder, behavior modification, and the latest, the Nemechek Protocol.  Neme-what, you might be thinking?  This was certainly new to me, too. I really do believe that there are “signs” put out there from the universe that we really need to see, so I tend to fall down rabbit holes quite frequently in the various Facebook groups I’m a part of, exploring various disorders, treatments, and especially success stories to see if they might be that one magic bullet Rory really needs me to find.  Some have nothing to do with her, others are discredited with some...

Tropical Storm Apraxia

on Aug 3, 2017

Our daughter Rory has apraxia.  Finally we know for sure it’s what we are dealing with, and we literally drove through Tropical Storm Emily for that confirmation.  Sometimes metaphors are ridiculously obvious and kind of cliche, but just so true you have to expand upon them, so can we just talk for a minute about how the tropical storm and apraxia are so similar? Emily came out of nowhere and took everyone by surprise, just as apraxia caught us off-guard.  Sure it’s hurricane season in Florida, so duh, you should expect it, but the storm really did organize and appear overnight unlike most named storms.  Apraxia, too, has been a possibility since last April, but since none of the therapists who’ve worked with Rory really thought it was apraxia, we didn’t think so either.  When I read The Late Talker, BAM, it hit me just like Emily walloped the coast. But also...

Starting Rory’s Apraxia Journey

on Jul 22, 2017

We have been trying to “unlock” our three-year-old daughter Rory’s speech for the past year and a half. While apraxia has been on the table as a potential diagnosis since the beginning, I never really felt like that was “it” and I hoped that even though it wasn’t likely, that she would be one of those late talkers who just woke up one day and started speaking in full sentences. You know, like Einstein. When she turned three and still had only a handful of words, we took her to the developmental pediatrician, who pulled out her copy of The Late Talker to go through the symptoms of  apraxia with us.  When we got home I checked the book out from the library and joined the Facebook group of co-writer Lisa Geng where I read article after article about her experience with her son’s apraxia.  But it was this article about the soft signs of apraxia...

Owen’s Birth Story: Part 2

on Nov 21, 2016

One of the questions I hear the most from first-time moms is “how will I know I’m in labor?” and usually it’s pretty obvious.  However, when you have been having contractions for a few days–yes, REAL ONES, not Braxton Hicks–you definitely start to question yourself.  So here we are on Monday evening and Glenn just took Collin to his t-ball practice.  As soon as they left, my contractions went from every 30-45 minutes to every 10-15 minutes to every 4-5 minutes apart and the intensity was definitely increasing.  I was chatting with my mom on Facebook and timing the contractions on my app while trying to determine if this was really “it” and had pretty much determined that I needed to take another trip in to triage to at least get checked out.  Being 0cm dilated and not effaced at all that morning was making me feel pretty ridiculous...

Owen’s Birth Story: Part 1

on Oct 30, 2016

Dear, darling Owen, my beautiful fourth child who finds his first blog mention in his birth story post.  Get used to it, kiddo.  You have joined a wild and wonderful circus of a family and as our caboose, this sort of thing is bound to happen often.  I promise that despite our being busy and scattered, we will love you just as much as we love ALL of our children, and that infinite amount of love for each of you is something you will never understand until you have children of your own. My pregnancy with you was overall delightful with a few bumps along the way. The first was morning sickness, which once again reared its ugly head and turned me into a useless lump of nausea huddling on the couch for weeks on end.  Dada completely took over as Super Dad, driving kids to and from school, feeding and bathing everyone and generally being amazing while I read about 20 books and tried not to...

Palm

on Sep 14, 2015

So if you missed the news, we didn’t get the Woodcrest house.  We waited and waited and hoped and hoped, but it just wasn’t meant to be.  But I’m hoping the reason Woodcrest didn’t happen was so we could find this beauty. This lovely home in Dunedin caught our eye when we were in the process of talking ourselves out of the house hunting process.  But try as we might neither one of us could give up our Zillow addiction and a price reduction dropped it into Glenn’s search range.  When he showed it to me I felt the same familiar quickening of my heart that comes with finding a truly special house.  We immediately drove over to check it out and contacted our realtor to schedule a showing, all while hoping someone else hadn’t beat us to the punch again. Our showing was with all three kids again on a rainy morning.  They ran amuck around the empty house,...

Woodcrest

on Aug 2, 2015

Glenn and I have been “driving” around Zillow a lot lately, looking to see what’s out there in the real estate world since we know we need a lot more space for these growing kiddos of ours.  Between the two of us, we’ve virtually driven all around north Pinellas county where we live, pausing to show each other something here or there, swiping through pictures of bungalows, ranches and, our very favorite, mid-century moderns. On Wednesday night we were in the living room, “driving” around together, and there was a particular neighborhood I was trying to find when THIS house popped up in the right column as one of the suggested houses.  Even as a little thumbnail my heart quickened and I immediately clicked on it to see more.  One of the top things we are looking for is a house with character…nothing cookie cutter…a house that looks like an...

Dear Carter at 5.5, Collin at 3.5 and Rory at 9/10 months,

on Apr 18, 2015

Dearest kiddos, I just went back and read the last McKay state of the union post from last January and I can’t believe how much you have all grown up since then.  (Especially you, Rory, since you were still in my belly!) Carter, you get taller and smarter every day.  You are such a string bean, tall and skinny, and you have SO much energy!  Your latest move is doing the funny chicken dance you learned from Walker at school, and you do it to make Rory laugh and sometimes when you don’t feel like answering our questions (or you just stick your tongue out at us…you can be delightful!). VPK has been so good for you this year.  I was so nervous when we found out that you were in a class with none of the kids from your class last year, and I was so afraid you would have a hard time.  But instead you’ve just flourished even more.  Mrs. Hibbens and Mrs. Karalis have...

Ten Things I Wish I’d Known When I Was a New Mama

on Oct 20, 2014

In honor of my Carter’s FIFTH BIRTHDAY (seriously…how is that possible?!?!), I wanted to finally get this post published.  It’s something I’ve been making a mental list of for years now every time I have one of those AHA! moments in parenting, and the actual post itself has been hanging out for months now as I have a few minutes here and there to peck away at it. Between work, three kids and everything in between, this poor little blog doesn’t get much love. But as I was saying, my Carter turned FIVE yesterday, so looking back at that new mama Jenni in 2009 with her adorable (but kind of cranky) newborn, these are the things I wish I could go back and tell her. I will preface this by saying that if you know me, most of it will not surprise you in the least, but if you don’t, I consider myself to be a...

Rory’s Birth Story

on Jun 15, 2014

As I type this, my sweet, soft, cuddly, adorable, amazing baby girl is sound asleep on my chest.  We are home, healthy, safe and sound, and I thank my lucky stars that everything went relatively well this time around.  So here is my last birth story… After our false alarm on Sunday, I was feeling pretty down.  I moped around most of Monday, and I had convinced myself that Rory was going to make me wait way longer than I’d planned.  But at my doctor’s appointment on Tuesday morning, which I went to on my own just in case I ended up being sent to the hospital, my blood pressure was up again.  This had started the week prior, and every time since, it had been high (like 140ish/90ish) the first time it had been taken and then had gone down again enough that they would not completely freak out. But pre-eclampsia had been thrown out there as a possibility, and after never...

Faker: Rory’s Birth Story Prequel

on Jun 3, 2014

Well I suppose one false alarm out of three pregnancies isn’t the worst thing ever, but last night was a less-than-fun practice run for Rory’s delivery.  Knowing when to go to the hospital is such a fine balance…go too soon and you very well might end up headed home again with no baby, but go too late and you might end up delivering on the side of the road.  This gets especially complicated when there are older children that must be situated before you can leave.  Apparently I have gotten worse at figuring out what that magical “go” time is with my third pregnancy. Yesterday I decided it was time to push myself and try to go into labor.  I did this when I was pregnant with Collin and it actually worked, so I thought there might be a chance of a repeat performance.  So I mopped our whole house, then we went to the mall and walked around while Glenn was...

Five Minute Friday: Close

on May 23, 2014

We are so close to welcoming a new baby girl into our family.  My belly is a taut, squirming drum full of hopes and dreams about to become a reality.  Our family is about to irrevocably morph into something mostly the same but also very different. We are so, so close to meeting the new little person I’ve dreamed about for the past 9 months, wondering who she will look like, what her personality will be like, how everyone will react to her grand entrance into the world.  Soon those questions will be a distant memory and we won’t be able to imagine a time that she wasn’t here.  That I hadn’t memorized every curve of her face, every soft wrinkle, every coo and squirm and warm snuggle. So close to the bone-crushing tired of being a parent to a newborn, especially with two big-but-still-small kids who need so much attention and especially reassurance that while...

The Push and Pull

on May 9, 2014

I type this post with one hand as Collin sleeps on my chest, Rory fidgets in my belly because Collin is squishing her, and Carter is begging for a snack.  (He just got himself some yogurt and I am reminded that independence is one of the benefits of his getting bigger.)  Just a snapshot of life lately.  At 36 weeks pregnant, we are on the verge of a huge life change and I think it’s pretty electric in the air that life as we know it is going to be capital-D Different.  And soon. Life is such a dichotomy right now. Sometimes it’s so hard I just want to scream, run and hide.  When the whining is incessant, the NEED is just so, so, so intense, and the anger swells inside my chest until it boils over and I find myself screaming like a lunatic and wondering who the heck I am.  But then other times it’s EASY.  When my guys are playing nicely together in their room, giggles...

24 Weeks Pregnant

on Feb 16, 2014

Since this is my third pregnancy, it’s really not all that surprising that this is my least documented one.  With Carter I had a whole pregnancy journal that sits on our bookshelf.  With Collin, I was pretty good at weekly blog updates.  But now, I’ve managed a few measly updates in 24 weeks of pregnancy.  Sorry, Rory! As it’s most likely my last pregnancy, I’m trying very hard to enjoy every bit of it. Despite being tired and sore, I really do enjoy this part of being pregnant.  My belly is fully “popped” so it’s pretty obvious I’m pregnant and not just chunky.  And I’m finally getting some of the delicious movement that I love so much.  My placenta is up front again, so the movement] hasn’t been as prolific as it was with Collin’s pregnancy, but I’m enjoying feeling the thumps and bumps and finally some little...

Dear Carter at 51 months, Collin at 28 months (and Rory at 21 weeks pregnant),

on Jan 25, 2014

Dear Boys, I had to stop and count on my fingers how many months old you are now in January 2014.  When you were little, this was a given, but once you started getting into the “teen-months” and then up over 2 years, it got harder and harder to keep track of just how many months had passed since you came into our lives.  Now I have a 4 year old and 2 year old, but for the purposes of these state of the union posts, it’s good to capture exactly how old you are at this moment. Carter, you are growing up so fast.  We have seen such a change in you these past few months as you’ve finally started mastering the independence we’ve encouraged you to find.  You started pre-school last August with pure hysterics for the first month and a half because you didn’t want me to leave you there.  Despite always having a great time and a smile on your face whenever I...

Perfect

on Dec 9, 2013

Our family is far from perfect.  Our house is almost always a mess, I never dust my baseboards (or really, much else) and toys and random miscellany are constantly strewn across the floor no matter how many times I pick them up or yell at the boys to pick them up.  The laundry is going to come to life one of these days and take over my house because it’s really that out of control. I have two overflowing (clean) laundry baskets on the floor in our bedroom that I haven’t even attempted to put away for literally months (just living out of them), ditto for the boys’ room, and their clothes never even get folded when they do get put away (more often than mine), just dumped into their dressers–if it wrinkles too badly, it does not survive in this house.  My cooking skills are somewhat better than my housekeeping ones, but not much.  Glenn and I are picky, but in...

Here we go again!

on Oct 29, 2013

So it’s still a bit too early for any sort of formal announcement, but considering just how many people we’ve already spilled the beans to, it’s time to announce it here…I’m pregnant!  Yes, again.  Yes, it was on purpose.  And yes, I think we are a little bit crazy for thinking that we can handle 3 kids.  But let’s hope that we really can! I am 8.5 weeks now, and we got to see the new little one last week at our first sonogram.  It was so, so nice to see a heartbeat and know that for now at least, everything is looking good!   So that’s the good news.  The bad news?  Morning sickness is just horrendous this time around.  It started full-force at 5 weeks (it was 7 weeks for both of the boys) and it lasts pretty much allllllll daaaaaay looooong (it was late afternoon before it hit its peak before).  I am on Zofran and dabbling in Reglan to try...