Friday, December 4, 2009

All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth

After all the drama of the tooth coming out (and there was lots of drama!), he said he wants to keep it instead of putting it under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy. I said that was up to him, and that the Tooth Fairy probably wouldn't go broke quite as soon that way. ;) Here he is holding it in the little tooth case he usually uses for when he puts them under his pillow. This is his fourth tooth he has lost. I'm hoping it will be a while before he loses any more!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

One month already!

I can't believe Ean is already one month old! Here are some recent pictures:

Here he is trying to talk to Seth. (We were trying to get him to smile!) He is beginning to find his voice and says "ah" more every day now!

Yesterday (the 2nd) he smiled at me for the first time! And I don't mean in his sleep, either! The first time he did it, I thought it was unintentional, but then he did it 3 more times! He was so alert and just studying my face as I talked to him for about 10 minutes. Of course I didn't have my camera nearby, and trying to get him to do it when I do have my camera around is still difficult. It won't be long, though, and he will be smiling a lot more! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Catching Up

It has been a busy few weeks in the Mango household, so I'm a bit behind in posting some important events!

First of all, our little Ruby turned 2 at the end of October!

Birthday Girl!

Blowing out the candle.

Hooray for Cake!

Opening some presents.

Baby Ean, 8 days before his arrival! Please ignore the dark circles around my eyes and lack of make-up! Focus your attention instead on Ruby! She already loved to give her baby brother kisses! :)


Next came Halloween. It seems so long ago!

Or maybe that is just because we're out of all the "good" candy already?

Ethan was Darth Vader again, cousin Isaiah was a pirate, Kibby was a princess, and Ruby was... well, we weren't sure. I got the costume at a used children's clothing store, and at first I thought it was a bunny, but we're now thinking it's really a lamb. What do you think? Either way, I think it's way adorable on her!

Lamb or bunny?


Next up is some more recent pictures of Ean. Ean with his siblings, Ean by himself, Ean being held, Ean crying... you get the idea. :)

With his sisters.

Hungry enough to eat his own arm!

Ruby just can't get enough of him.

I may never get a nice picture of all 4 kids... Someone is always bound to have their thumb in their mouth or not be looking this way... I'll keep trying, though! My blog header needs a new photo, for one thing!

We have a hard time keeping Ruby's hands off Ean. Not for lack of trying. We are constantly reminding her! Hands off, please! Well, off his face and hands, at least. Since it's flu season and all, you know...

He's always hungry! :) Here he is trying to eat the pillow!

Not happy, but look how strong he is! Holding himself up.

Until next time!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One Week

Ean is already one week old. Wow. Actually, he was a week old yesterday, but I didn't have time to put up a post then. I don't really have time now, either, but wanted to post a picture or two.

Or five. :)

So tiny!

Look Mom! A smile!

Sleeping on Mommy.

Listening to Ethan talk to him.

First shot of all four kids together. Of course Ean wasn't looking, Ruby's clothes have water dripped on them, and Kibby is displaying her newly-found wacky fashion sense... but I couldn't take another at the time because my memory card was full! I do think it accurately conveys how crazy life is right now, though, so it's definitely a keeper! :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Drumroll, please.....

Baby Mango has arrived!

The Details:

Ean Royal Keo (yes, he has 2 middle names, after 2 of his great-grandfathers) arrived on November 3rd at 5:27 AM. 8 lbs, 13 oz and 20.25 inches long. (A big boy compared to his siblings!)

Everyone is home and doing well!

More to come later! As you all can imagine, things are a little crazy around here right now, but I wanted to get an announcement posted! :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's been a while...

Yes, I know. I know.

It's been a while since I've posted anything! It's also been a while since I've:

...slept for more than 2 hours at a time.

...seen my feet when standing up.

...not had to visit the bathroom every hour.

...not waddled like a duck.

...not spent countless hours debating over baby boy names and agonizing over not having one picked already!

...not craved pumpkin something-or-other.

...vacuumed under my bed. (Yeah, the nesting instinct must be kicking in because that dust under there is just driving me mad but I can't move my bed by myself! ARGH!)

...not been overly-cranky with my kids, especially when they seem to want to fight with each other. all. day. long. every. single. day.


There are only 11 more days until my due date!

Then life will get really interesting, I'm sure!

So if you don't hear from me in the next couple weeks, it's most likely because I'm cleaning like a mad woman. Or can't waddle all the way to the computer before having to turn around and head back to the bathroom to pee. Or the kids' fighting has finally landed me a stay in the psych ward.

...Or my bed fell on me while I was trying to vacuum up that annoying dust under there.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Bunch of This and That

Where to start?

I've decided to do a casserole-style post today since I have lots to share and don't feel like doing 5 separate posts. So I'm just going to combine everything here and hope it doesn't leave a bad taste in anyone's mouth. :)

Speaking of mouths... Ethan lost another tooth a little over a week ago. It didn't happen without tears, drama, and a couple phone calls to Nana, though. Here he is after all the above-mentioned was over:
The kids spent the afternoon playing outside:

The girls made Ethan's soccer goal into a tent and had fun hiding inside and pulling up grass.

Seth pitched some balls for Ethan to hit. (Pardon the poor photo quality, no time to Photoshop!)

Kibby loves to be tickled while swinging, evidently.

Little Ruby!

Ruby loves her dollies. In fact, she loves all things BABY lately.

However, MY baby is growing up. Soon to be two years old. How did that happen?! Here she is, sporting all of her hair in pigtails (ponytails?) for the first time. (Yes, I know they are crooked! She kept looking around the room while I was putting them in.)

More proof that she loves her dollies. Everyday she pats my tummy and says "Baby!" She also loves to see pictures of babies on the computer, or TV, or on billboards, or in real life... she has been nearly obsessed with babies lately. I'm hoping her affection continues and she'll be nice to her baby brother. Who is due to make his arrival in approximately FIVE WEEKS! He will be one of her birthday presents, most likely, as my due date is the day after Ruby's birthday.


Switching gears...

Kibby had her Speech / Language evaluation yesterday. I was amazed at how uninhibited she was through it all. At first she didn't want to go in the room, and sat down on the floor, crying "No I don't want to!" Of course this may have been influenced by her hearing the doctor talk about how the hall was quiet at the moment, but they had had a bunch of kids in for shots earlier and it was a big old cry-fest... JUST what Kibby wanted to hear. I had to try to convince her that she wasn't there to get shots, only to play and talk with the doctor...

Once Kibby settled in to play with some toys at the table, things went better. Sort of. She surprised me with how assertive she was being. In fact, it was a little embarrassing at times! She has a hard time focusing on what she is being asked, so the doctor was trying to get her to answer some questions and then reward her with a toy to play with. Well, that has never worked well for Kibby. She just fixates on the toy and cries for it, saying "I want it! I want the ____!" She was being so demanding and trying to grab the toys... I couldn't believe it. She was acting exactly like she does at home. Which isn't necessarily bad... just embarrassing, like I said. The only good thing about it is that the doctor got to see her true colors! The real Kibby.

The doctor did manage to get the evaluation done, but I wonder if it took longer than most. I'll never know. I did get some more insight on her language issues, though. I don't have the report yet (they'll mail it to me) so this will be vague until I have the report to look at, but she said Kibby does have a definite delay. She is partly at a 2-year-old level, and partly at a 3-year-old level for her communication. I can't remember which specific part was which, but I'll clarify in a future post. Sorry.

We talked about autism a little bit, and how it could be hard to diagnose, since it may be hard to tell what is just a result of her speech delay and what could be autism. When I mentioned her lack of imaginative play and social interaction, she said that is what she meant... is it autism or is it just because she doesn't have the communication skills to play at her peers' level yet? Which is something I've wondered, but it was good to hear a professional voice it as well. She mentioned that the Early Childhood Special Education (people) may end up diagnosing her as on the spectrum, and that wouldn't hurt because it would get her help, however, it would also label her. What she said seemed a little bit contradictory to what the social worker told us a couple of weeks ago... The social worker said the Early Childhood program had staff that would do an in-depth evaluation (more so than what was attempted at her pre-K screening / check-in in August). However, the Speech / Language therapist said they have a checklist-type diagnostic system, and that she may end up being diagnosed as autistic "more easily" by that system. So I don't know if they were both talking about the same program or not. There seems to be different programs all under the same "Early Childhood" umbrella.

At any rate, the next step is for me to contact the program on the referral paper (one of the Early Childhood programs) and have them evaluate whether she qualifies for the program. The Speech / Language therapist said that I should show them her report when they evaluate her, so hopefully I will have that by the time of the eval. We are also still waiting for an appointment to be set up for Kibby to see the Developmental Pediatrician. Which could take up to a couple of months, I'm told.

So, that's been life lately. Appointments for Kibby. Appointments for me. Preparing for Baby. Trying not to stress over all of life's little trials and just enjoy our blessings.

And looking forward to MOPS starting up again on Thursday! I've missed it over the Summer.

And my stomach has missed the yummy MOPS breakfasts. :P

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kibby's Appointments

Kibby had a couple of appointments this week. The first was a hearing evaluation with the Audiologist on Wednesday. I wasn't sure if she would be able to be tested in the regular way, where kids push a button or somehow signal when they hear a sound. Kibby isn't the best with understanding or following directions. Especially when there are toys that she wants to play with. She doesn't like having to wait or follow rules. (We can't even get her to play Candyland with us. She just wants to hold all of the candy cards!)
However, they we able to tell, due to her body language and her looking for the sounds and such, even without much consistency on her part, that her hearing is normal. Which wasn't a surprise, but it was good to have her tested anyway, because it rules out an issue with not hearing a certain frequency or anything. So, all good there! She hears just fine!

Then on Friday we met with a social worker to determine what type of evaluation would need to be done by the Developmental Pediatrician. It took an hour and a half, and Kibby did pretty well considering the length of the appointment. She played with toys, showed off her knowledge of colors, shapes and letters, and whispered lots of off the wall things to me as I chatted with the social worker. I told her all of my concerns, and she took notes, asked questions, and we agreed that Kibby's use of language was the main issue to be looked at. Along with that is her social interaction (or non-interaction, perhaps?) and her lack of imaginative play.

I was given information on Early Childhood programs available through the school district, and an application and a number to fill out / call to see if Kibby will qualify for a certain program or not. Since she is already 3, she would go to a center as opposed to having someone come out to our house. (Which will probably be a blessing since my house is always a zoo!) :)

I also found out that it could be a long time until Kibby is seen by the Developmental Pediatrician. They lost some of their staff this Summer and although they are trying to recruit, she said they are really in demand and since there are only a couple hundred of them in the US, they can pretty much pick wherever they want to go. So... it could be a while. I don't know if "a while" means one month? Two months? Longer? We are on their list to call if there are cancellations, so if there is an opening, they'll try to call us. So we wait and see.

Next up is her appointment with the Speech / Language therapist, which is not this week, but the next. The social worker thinks that it's great that her pediatrician referred her to all 3 of these appointments, so she will get a thorough evaluation. We did also talk about the possibility of Autism. She wanted to know if that was a concern of mine. I told her yes, that it's been on my mind for about a year now. I would rather know now than continue to wonder. In my mind, having a certain diagnosis (whether that be autism or something else, or nothing but a speech delay) will be a relief because then we can figure out where to go from there, and hopefully get her some help before she starts school in 2 years. It's not to label her, and it won't change who she is - a diagnosis won't change a thing about her. She will still be the same Kibby as she's always been, but we will hopefully be able to find ways to help her communication development and social skills.

And that is something I'm really looking forward to! :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bloom (updated to include video!)

For my fellow bookworms...

If you haven't heard, Angie Smith and Jessica Turner have started an online, virtual book club thingy that's pretty cool. They have named it Bloom, and I'm super excited to share about it with all of you. They have a blog set up and a Ning site (which I was previously unfamiliar with, but have been checking it out today and it's an amazingly clever little interactive community!) You'll notice the new Bloom button in my sidebar, and you're all welcome to click over and check it out. The first book we're reading together is Crazy Love; Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan.

The idea is that we'll all get the book (I've started reading it. So good!) and we'll read a chapter a week, and Angie and/or Jess will post their thoughts on Sunday nights on the blog, and we'll chime in with our thoughts in the comments and in the ning community.

(Angie and Jess really do a much better job of explaining it themselves, so if you want to check out what they have to say, click here or here!)

Here is their video (attempt) at explaining and / or introducing Bloom. You gotta love these girls, no? :)

Bloom Introduction from angie smith on Vimeo.

But seriously. Join us. The more the merrier!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Appointments Appointments

Warning: Post may contain typos... Proceed with caution.

Or mercy, at least, please. :) I'm exhausted, but wanted to update everyone.

Yesterday was Kibby's appointment with her pediatrician. She did a 3-year check up and when I told her about how the early childhood screening went (well, didn't go) she agreed with my concerns and 50 minutes later we left with three pending appointments. One with an audiologist, although both the doc and I agree that we doubt this is part of the problem - it's certainly good to rule it out, if nothing else. Especially since she's never had a hearing test (except the newborn one, which she passed fine.)
The second appointment is with a speech / language therapist. Again, her speech is fine, but it's her use of language that will be evaluated.
The third is a more in-depth evaluation with a development / behavioral ... hm, what is their title? Specialist? I guess I don't know! With someone in that department, anyway!

After I posted this on Facebook, one of my friends commented that they had been through this stuff with their little boy and none of it was covered by their insurance and it wasn't cheap...


Well, I am hoping this is all covered. Otherwise I'll have to cancel and we'll have to find another way to help her. I'll do some checking later today. Her first appointment isn't until Sept. 9th, and the second one is later in the month. I am thinking the audiologist appointment should be covered at least, since she's never had a screening done. I guess I'll find out! Insurance companies can be such a hassle. Ugh.

More updates later. My bed is calling me. I don't sleep well these days, especially on nights I work, like last night. It's hard to get comfy on an old couch when you have a large belly and sciatica pains, so my own bed is sounding wonderful right now! (And since all 3 kiddos are still snoozing, I'm taking advantage of it!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

We've Only Just Begun

Those who have been reading my blog for a while know that we have some concerns about our middle child, Kaliyan (aka "Kibby"). She is 3 and a half and has some communication issues. She is easily distracted which makes it nearly impossible to have a conversation with her. She has meltdowns easily when she is not understood or does not get her way. It makes life with her very frustrating at times!

She also says off-the-wall things. For example: The other day we were having a snack and she said in a very mournful tone (out of the blue, seemingly) "Oh no! The meatballs are all gone!" (pause) "Are they upstairs in Bobbie's room?"

Okay, where on Earth did that thought come from? We haven't had meatballs in ages, certainly not at my sister's house (Bobbie is my sister, and lives 3 -4 hours away) and why would they be in her room, of all places? I did call my sister to tell her the latest "Kibby-ism" and said maybe she should check in her room for meatballs. They'd rot quickly in this weather and stink up her house. ;) We had a laugh over it, but this type of thing happens a lot with Kibby. She will say things that just make us shake our heads in confusion. I may never be able to figure that girl out...

Which brings me to today's events.

She was scheduled for her Early Childhood Screening / Check-in today. I'm not gonna lie. It didn't go well. We reviewed the things they asked us to review ahead of time and I filled out all the paperwork, listing all of my concerns. There were a few red flags already for me as I'd filled it all out, but there were also a lot of "normal" areas too. I was supposed to check off things that described Kibby. They asked if she could count from 1 - 10. Check. Can she stay dry during the day? Check. Can she transition from one activity to another without a lot of difficulty? Usually. Does she destroy things on purpose? Nope. Does she show physical aggression (biting, kicking...) towards other children? Nope.

So far so good, right?

But then.

Does she understand the concept of "one"? Can she bring you just one item, such as one crayon? (We tried this, because I didn't really know! First she brought me one block. Then I asked her to bring me one more, and she brought me 3. We tried again, and she brought me 3 more. We did something else and came back to it, asking for one block, and she ignored me and just played with them.) No check.

Does she compare things, such as one object being bigger or heavier than another? (We tried this, too. Several examples.) NO check.

Can she count items? No check. Can she tell which object is longer or shorter? No check.

This went on for a few more things. I began wondering if it was because we never really worked on these things with her or if it was something kids her age should be able to pick up on her own. I tried to think back to Ethan, but that didn't help. We never had any concerns about his development. Not a good comparison. Ethan had no communication problems, and started reading at age 3, and was always asking questions and trying to figure things out. Kibby's main concern for us was always her language. I think it still is her main struggle. If the communication is there, she could grasp these things they asked. But instead of pointing to which book is the bigger one, she repeats us, saying "Which is bigger?" Its as if she doesn't understand what we are asking her to do. It's not her speech (she can form words and speak clearly enough) so I don't think she needs speech therapy, but it's her use of language that gives her trouble.

Can she count to 10? Yes. When she thinks of it, or when we model it for her, she copies. She can say her ABC's and knows all of her letters. She knows her numbers, too. She knows colors and shapes. She is bright. She just gets lost when it comes to paying attention to a conversation or following one, or understanding how a conversation works, really.

So, after reading my long list of concerns, and trying to talk to Kibby about when she uses her toothbrush, and who lives at home with her (and getting nowhere, Kibby was looking all over the room, whispering about things she was seeing, and couldn't be redirected back to the conversation)... the teacher said she didn't think we could even do the screening.

Talk about disappointing. Not really a shocker, but sooooo disappointing.

So I still have no answers. The lady recommended we schedule a 3-year check up with her pediatrician and tell her all of our concerns, and she (the doctor) could refer us from there as needed. She said if the doctor is doubtful, I should explain what happened today. (Oh believe me, I will!)

We got home and after letting the kids chow down a late lunch of McD's, I called and made the appointment with the pediatrician for next week.

I have a feeling we've only just begun with this whole process. And it's going to be a LONG ROAD for this one.

On a brighter note, here is proof that she DOES sometimes color on paper. :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Artist or Stinker?

You know you've all had those days, too. When you turn your back for a minute (or five) and all Jello breaks loose?

Only this isn't Jello.

But it may be harder to clean?

Here's a look at some of Kibby's latest "artwork". You tell me, Artist or Stinker?

She looks so proud of herself, here, too. (For the record, the ink washed off fairly easily!)

Sigh. What am I going to do with this girl?

Maybe I should start with keeping a closer eye on her, huh?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Okay, I know lots of bloggers post less in the Summer because they are busier and all. I guess I would fit into that category. Somewhat. It's Summer, and we're busier than normal, but too busy to blog? Hm, well...

I can honestly blame some of my lack of posts to our internet issues, but that's only for the past month. (Issues now resolved, yay!)

But, instead of trying to figure out why I've been so absent, how about I just actually write a post, huh? :)

I wanted to share pictures of the kids at the local (small) zoo, but that won't be in this post. Neither will you see pics of my kids at a few other various fun events... They are still in my sister-in-law's camera. And she's on vacation. At Yellowstone.

And I'm not jealous at all.

I do however have pics of last week when Seth's sister and her family visited from out East. It was a fun week that went by too fast. The kids got to meet their cousins for the first time. Here are a few shots:

The Birthday Girl with Kibby

Just before their long drive home.


Cha Cha!

Awww... Ruby kisses.

So what have the kids been up to? Quickly, here's a run-down:

Ruby's been busy trying to learn all her cousins' names. Kibby's been busy... being Kibby. (More on that in a future post, but I will say that I finally set up her Early Childhood Screening appointment for later this month!)

And Ethan? Well, he's bored. Or at least that's what I hear about 20 times a day. I think it will be good for September to come and school to start up again. The routine will be good for him.

And me? I think I'm starting "nesting" already. Just under 3 months to go, and I've been sorting baby and kids' clothes, arranging beds, and rethinking furniture and sleeping arrangements. We still don't have a name for the baby, either. Seth and I need to sit down and discuss that some day, huh?

You know, in all our FREE TIME. Or should I say, free time when the kids are quiet enough for us to actually have a conversation beyond "has Kibby gone potty lately?" or "well, if you don't want pizza again for dinner what DO you want?" or "who drew that picture on the wall with brown crayon?"

Because I don't want to name the baby "T-Bone". (Suggestion by cousin Isaiah, age 10.)
Or "Max". (Suggestion by Ethan, age 7. Because then we'd have a Max AND a Ruby. You know, like those rabbits on that one show. Or in those books. Or whatever.)

No T-Bone. No Max. Anyone else have any name suggestions?