When I was younger, I thought I knew what the “perfect guy” was. Turns out, I was looking for all the wrong things... Until I met Super Dad. I really lucked out with this one. Among the things that I love about him, he is first and foremost THE most incredible Dad. It’s moments like this one I captured at the pumpkin patch, when I can’t help falling in love with him all over again.  I’m a lucky girl. What is your favorite thing about your significant other?
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When I was younger, I...

Iyla is one-of-a-kind. At only 10 years old, she’s always extra sensitive to others feelings, as much as she is her own. #ad But this beautiful trait also causes her to be extra cautious. Living in Florida, we have pretty regular, nasty storms, including hurricanes. She often hides and seeks shelter, not only for herself, but for her little sister. She creates a comfortable space, in our laundry room and sets up pillows, blankets and has plenty to keep them distracted. Crafts are a great option, because they keep her busy and she is able to create something to remind her that she made it through the storm. 
Loopies by @alex_toys is a new favorite because she’s able to create her own plush character! They are pre-sewn and come with the softest Chenille yarn and a crochet hook. All she had to do was just stuff, pull the loops of yarn, and add the Loopies’ features like faces and paws. Crafts like #Loopies help Iyla to feel in control of the situations that she would otherwise feel a little helpless. 
They have a variety of characters available, including this adorable puppy and are perfect for ages 7+. Check out more Loopies characters at Walmart!  Do your kids love crafts too?
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Iyla is one-of-a-kind. At only...

As a mother of three daughters, it’s so important for me to teach my girls about strong, talented women who were able to turn their dreams into success. I love that Lucia chose to honor Frida Kahlo and her own Hispanic heritage by choosing this particular costume as one of her Halloween looks. I was even more pleasantly surprised that she was able to put together this DIY Frida Kahlo costume for under $5! Head to our blog to find out how. Have you ever made your own costume? .
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As a mother of three...

If this isn’t perfect for Halloween, I don’t know what is 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣
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If this isn’t perfect for...

Want to make some fun treats for your kids but don't have hours or a big budget to do it? Or, do your kids want to have some fun in the kitchen and you don't want to deal with a huge mess? These spider cookie treats are made of just 4 ingredients that are prepackaged and easily purchased from your local grocery store. In just minutes, you can have these fun and super yummy Halloween spider treats ready to put smiles on everyone's faces! Head to the blog for the step-by-step recipe!
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Want to make some fun...

I will never forget the day we brought Elle home from the rescue. Super Dad took one look at her and said he was sure she was part lion... She was just missing the mane. So, when we had to decide what type of costume to get Elle this year for Halloween, I knew she HAD to be a lion! And @chewy had the perfect costume for her! Of course, Super Dad and Falynn had to get in on the action too. 
Now tell us, WHO WORE IT BEST?
Super Dad, Falynn or Elle? 
#ChewyPartner #ChewyHalloween .
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I will never forget the...

AD: What's for dinner tonight? How about this quick Chicken Parmigiana? In just 30 minutes, you can have this easy and delicious meal prepared for your family. That's why I love the convenience of foods like Tyson® Crispy Chicken Strips. Sure, my kids LOVE them as is, but I love to use them in our favorite dishes to save time. They taste SO good and are new and improved and even crispier! I always make a few extra because everyone wants seconds! They are a good source of protein and are made with 100% natural ingredients so they’re minimally processed with no artificial ingredients and no antibiotics ever.The large club pack size is available at Sam's Club, in the frozen aisle and can be used for multiple meals, so you get more for your money than you would get at a fast food restaurant. Want to save even more time? Order these @tysonbrand Crispy Chicken Strips online using Sam's Club pickup! Head to stories to check out this simple step-by-step recipe! https://lnk2.io/w6yDGlw
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AD: What's for dinner tonight?...

Yesterday we visited a local farm and Falynn had the best time ever. She desperately wanted to hold a chicken but she didn’t know how. I love that she wasn’t afraid to ask for help. After learning the right way and trying a few times, she finally got the hang of it. I believe she held 3 different chickens. One 💩 on her shirt and we told her it was good luck. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣 How was your weekend? Did you try anything new?
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#farm #chickencoop #targetstyle #targetdoesitagain #targetfinds #targetdeals #rooster #chickensofinstagram #farms #farming #farmgirl #pumpkinpatch #pumpkinspice #ghouls #girlsrule #countrygirl #countrygirls #countryliving #countryhouse #halloween🎃 #halloweenfun #halloweentime #learnsomethingnew #mommyblogger #loxahatchee

Yesterday we visited a local...

Finally... A costume that has already paid for itself in entertainment value. 🤣 I can’t stop laughing. .
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Finally... A costume that has...

World Mental Health Day is a day that affects us all. Whether it’s you or a loved one, it seems as though more and more people are speaking out about their struggles with mental health and how it affects their lives. Since having been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder myself years ago, I’ve connected with so many people through social media and am so grateful for this platform where we can reach out to others and let them know that they aren’t alone. What hurts my heart the most, is hearing about the amount of kids that deal with anxiety these days. I wish there was a magic button we could press to take away anxiety from our kids, so that they can enjoy their childhood, but unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Fortunately, there are steps we can take. I am grateful to @theanxietyhealer who has written another guest post on our blog today for those with teenagers who may be struggling with anxiety. She shares what signs to look for and when to seek help. I hope you’ll take a moment to check it out and pass it onto anyone with teenage kids. Let’s help in any way we can. .
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#mentalhealth #worldsmentalhealthday #mentalillness #anxietyrelief #depressionhelp #depressionawareness #anxietysucks #anxietyattack #mentalhealthisimportant #mentalhealthblogger #mystory #endthestigma #endthestigmaofmentalhealth #anxietyproblems #mentalhealthblog #anxietyproblems #dontsufferinsilence #mentalhealthhelp #changeyourthoughts #mindsetmatters #anxietyisreal #teensandanxiety #anxietyinteens

World Mental Health Day is...

Speech Therapy and Why I Hope You Don’t Make the Mistake I Did

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It was just after Iyla’s third birthday. She seemed to be on track, at least according to the pediatrician’s checklist.   She could follow instructions, name most familiar things, knew her first name, spoke in sentences and could carry a conversation, though she was hard to understand most of the time. We enrolled her in preschool that year and she was a little social butterfly.

Then one day, I walked into the preschool and I was stopped by the Director and pulled into her office. She sat me down and told me that Iyla’s teacher noticed that she’d been having issues with her communication skills. They wanted me to consider signing her up for a speech therapy program. I don’t know why, but I immediately felt defensive. Sure, there were moments when we couldn’t understand what she was saying, but every child is like that when they are small. She would outgrow it, we just had to give her time.

When I picked her up from school a few weeks later, her teacher stopped me on the way out. She asked if I had considered contacting the speech program. She shared moments where Iyla had trouble saying what she needed to say and was often straining to get the words out, which would cause her to stutter. She said that she told her to slow down and stopped her when she started stuttering.

I went home and spoke to a friend, who is a speech pathologist. She immediately sent me links to local speech therapy programs and suggested that I ask the teacher not to point it out. By making a big deal of it and calling Iyla’s attention to it, that could make it worse. The following day, my husband spoke to her teacher about it and we dropped the subject. I started to notice her stuttering at home, but I didn’t want to admit to anyone that something might be wrong. So I thought if I just ignored it, it would go away as quickly as it started. Not my proudest moment as a Mom, but a moment that is important to acknowledge.

It was toward the end of the school year when the preschool Director again pulled me into her office, but this time, she included Iyla’s teacher and one of the VPK teachers in the conversation. Iyla’s stuttering was happening more often and they encouraged me not to wait any longer. It had already been nearly 6 months. I went home that day and filled out the online form to see if Iyla would qualify for the county’s speech program.

It was a couple of months before we finally got a phone call. I realized that my waiting so long could have made it harder for them to correct this. That’s when my guilt set in. They wouldn’t be able to schedule an interview until the beginning of the school year (more waiting), but she said that this was common in kids with older siblings because they are often trying to talk over their brother or sister and may feel rushed to get their words out. When they are this young, it’s not as easy to do and that can cause the stutter. She told me to talk to Lucia (who was 7 at the time) and explain that when Iyla speaks, that she should allow her to finish her sentence without trying to talk over her. Lucia was great about it. As great as a 7 year old could be, but it didn’t seem to stop the stuttering, which at this point became more and more hard to ignore.

They scheduled a meeting at one of our local elementary schools where they interviewed us and observed Iyla and her speech issues. Even with no other children in the room, she struggled to get a sentence out without stuttering. Her forehead would scrunch up, as though she was straining to speak. I had to look away. I didn’t want her to see the tears in my eyes. I felt like this was my fault. I should have applied for the program right away. I should have gotten her the help she needed. I had one job and at that point, I felt like I had failed miserably.

When we got the letter stating that she had been accepted into the program, I felt a sigh of relief, but couldn’t get over my lingering guilt. I went into the school that day and sat down with the Director to let her know the good news. I told her that I was worried that I waited too long, but she assured me that it was fixable and that I had nothing to worry about.

For that entire year, Iyla was bused from her VPK class to an elementary school, once a week, for her speech therapy classes. They worked with her for an hour each day and sent her home with homework so she could practice speaking slowly and annunciating. By the end of the year, the stutter was gone. She was speaking clearly and with no issues. It was emotional for her and the therapy teachers on her last day. They had become so close and since she was planning on going to a different elementary school, they wouldn’t see each other again.

She continued speech therapy classes through Kindergarten, since she was still having issues with a few sounds. This time she was able to take them at her own school. I started to see an improvement almost immediately. Her speech went from barely understandable to beautiful and fluid. The change was night and day. Today, at 10 years old, if you met her, you wouldn’t even know that she ever had any speech issues.

Honestly, I wasn’t planning to share this, but I realized that if I struggled with this situation, there must be other parents out there that are going through the same. We all let our pride get in the way sometimes, but when it comes to our children, we have to learn to push it aside.

If you notice your child is struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Early intervention is key in these situations. According to ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association), you can find your community’s early intervention office by:

  • asking your child’s pediatrician, child care provider, or teacher for a referral;
  • calling your state department of health or education;
  • reaching out to the Parent Training and Information Center in your state;
  • contacting the pediatrics department of a local hospital; or
  • visiting the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center’s state-by-state contacts page.

I felt like I had failed my daughter by not paying attention to the signs. Here's why it's so important to seek early intervention for speech therapy.

XOXO
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34 Comments
  • keikilani
    September 18, 2019

    We are going through something similar to this right now. Asking for help is not always easy, but it’s worth it. This is such valuable information for parents.

  • Laura
    September 17, 2019

    I’m glad she was able to get the help she needed! Speech therapy can be really beneficial.

  • David Elliott
    September 17, 2019

    I totally get it the worry when you feel that something isn’t right with your child. I’m sure I have felt that way about my daughter more than once. That’s great you did finally listen and put your daughter in a good situation now with a great chance to succeed.
    David Elliott recently posted Single Dad’s Guide To Jury Duty Part 4: The Deliberation RoomMy Profile

  • Jessie
    September 16, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was in speech therapy for 10 years, and it was a life saver. Now people always tell me I have a good speaking voice and they have no idea how much I struggled. (My parents waited too, and I turned out perfectly fine and now speak as part of my job, so drop that mama Guilt you’re doing great!!)

  • Mommy Peach
    September 15, 2019

    I enrolled my daughter in speech therapy earlier this year and there was great improvement in her speech as well.
    Mommy Peach recently posted Make Weekends More Delicious with DIY S’mores BoardMy Profile

  • Nicole Bertrand
    September 15, 2019

    I think it’s so awesome that you shared this. I’m a stutterer and have been stuttering since was about your daughter’s age (I’m 40 now!). Be proud of yourself for getting her help. My parents got me help…but not until I was in middle school! I don’t fault them…things were different back then…but I’m sure if I had gotten help earlier I would have had an easier time all around!

  • WanderlustBeautyDreams
    September 15, 2019

    Before I switched majors I took many speech classes and it opened my eyes to the signs to look for for speech therapy in kids. It’s really important to keep up with how many words a child is able to speak in different age brackets. This was an awesome post and awareness!
    WanderlustBeautyDreams recently posted Magnolia Streamside Resort | Poconos, PennsylvaniaMy Profile

  • Kara
    September 15, 2019

    Speech therapy can be so beneficial for kids that are struggling and its amazing how fast progress they make with a bit of extra support. Glad your little one got the help she needed

  • Viktoria Altman
    September 14, 2019

    Intervention as early as possible is super important. But you are human, and you are a mom. It’s sometimes really really hard to making objective decisions when it comes to the kids. We all make mistakes, the important thing is that you corrected it quickly!
    Viktoria Altman recently posted Renting A Car In Ireland – A Complete GuideMy Profile

  • Yeah Lifestyle
    September 14, 2019

    My daughter did speech theraphy when she was 4 years old for a year and that really helped improve her language skills, so glad your daughter is doing well now

  • Chad
    September 14, 2019

    Oh Heather, this is amazing and what I personally find great is that you re sharing your story for others to learn. Kudos to you! Sharing it on my network.

  • Lyosha
    September 14, 2019

    My close friend is a speech therapist and I know from her how hard it is. You did great! The achievement is fantastic and it is very important to talk about it too
    Lyosha recently posted CPM, part 2My Profile

  • Shani
    September 14, 2019

    I’m glad you were able to work with speech pathologists to help your daughter.

  • Sarah
    September 14, 2019

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sure there’s someone out there it will help. My daughter had to go through similar therapy but when she was very young due to her heart condition. Glad everything’s good with your daughter now.

  • Wren
    September 14, 2019

    This is a great read. Important to point out the things we falter on to make us better and those around us.
    Wren recently posted Some of You May Die…My Profile

  • Ruth I
    September 14, 2019

    Happy to know she is all better now. It is important for us to be aware and know our options. Thank you for sharing!

  • Ntensibe Edgar Michael
    September 14, 2019

    Nnniiiccceeeee…I am so glad Iyla pulled through on that one! It’s quite the mountain to climb.
    Ntensibe Edgar Michael recently posted S.W.A.TMy Profile

  • Rhea
    September 14, 2019

    I can relate and understand your situation. My niece has the same issue but with different case, that is the difficulty in expressing herself. The speech therapy has been continous for over a year now, wherein it should have been earlier.

    Glad your daughter is doing well,
    All the best

  • Kelly Martin
    September 14, 2019

    This is good to know. Early intervention seems to be the key for speech therapy.

  • Catalina
    September 14, 2019

    Thanks for sharing with us about your experience. It’s so important to be there for our kids, sooner or later!

  • Sherry
    September 14, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your story. My brother had to go to speech therapy when we were in elementary school due to a stutter as well.

  • Cinny
    September 14, 2019

    I think it’s important to seek help early. Rather be vigilant and catch things instead of to miss them is the philosophy I go by so thank you for sharing.

  • Celebrate Woman Today
    September 13, 2019

    Such a powerful post! So good to know it before it happens to you. I was really worried about my child when he could not speak in full sentences for a long time.

  • Romy Schorr
    September 13, 2019

    I think every parent with young children should read this. Many parents feel like if they hear that their child has a speech problem that there’s something wrong with them, and that’s not always the case.

  • Ronnie
    September 13, 2019

    My aunt went through a similar story to yours, and in the end, speech therapy was the absolute best path for my little cousin. He grew out of a very strong stutter and although his speech is not quite like the rest of ours, he is able to express himself to be understood.

  • joy
    September 13, 2019

    your daughter is very cute. i did speech therapy as a young kid in elementary school both at school and a company in town. it was very helpful for me too. thanks for sharing.

  • Paula @ I'm Busy Being Awesome
    September 13, 2019

    I’m happy you decided to act out on her issue and that she’s better now.

  • Brianne Tursi Manz
    September 13, 2019

    I have my thoughts and opinions on the matter, which I’ll keep private. I do feel that if a teacher informs a child’s parent(s) that their child has a possible speech issue, they need to take action.

    • Heather
      September 13, 2019

      Yes, but we don’t always act immediately in all situations, because we all have moments where we falter. That’s why I’m sharing my experience.

  • Linda
    September 13, 2019

    I don’t have any kids but recently relied on speech therapists for my dad (who passed recently too) after his stroke. They’re amazing people.
    Linda recently posted 7 Reasons to Take a Cooking Class with CheeniMy Profile

  • Krista
    September 13, 2019

    Every mom needs to read this! It is so true! Don’t be ashamed, don’t be defensive! If you have any doubts, why not seek out services so that your kid doesn’t have any issues when they are older and more aware. I had 2 of my 3 in early intervention simply because it was free and they qualified. Why the heck not!

    Good for you mama!

  • Tara Pittman
    September 13, 2019

    I had two children with speech problems. One because of her hearing issues and another because. of week mouth muscles. These kids are now adults and are doing fine
    Tara Pittman recently posted What To Expect When Switching To Sulfate Free ShampooMy Profile

  • Audrey
    September 13, 2019

    I think that’s a normal defense mechanism, like our kids can’t possibly have a speech issue. If we step back and realize that the teachers only want to help your child, that’s the first step. Your post was very informative.
    Audrey recently posted Fall Outfits for Moms – Get Ready in Less Than a MinuteMy Profile

  • Emman Damian
    September 13, 2019

    They say that early intervention really helps. I know that when you talk to your kids, it’s much better. They can relate more.
    Emman Damian recently posted Melon Macadamia Surprise RecipeMy Profile

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