Browsing Category: Rhys

Rhys | Three Years Old

Rhys Michael is now 3 years old!

Dear Rhys Michael,

Rhys Michael is now 3 years old!

You continue to be my pride and my joy. Every day, you continue to amaze me with how much you have learned and grown. It boggles my mind that you are three years old. You are officially no longer a toddler–no. Now, you are a preschooler. I have a preschooler! Continue Reading

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Dealing with a Speech Delay

Even if your child is advanced in everything else, they could still have a delay

It’s really hard when you have a brilliant son in every way possible, but everyone else his age speaks circles around him. Rhys has a speech delay. It’s frustrating for Justin and I and it’s also frustrating for Rhys.

Even if your child is advanced in everything else, they could still have a delay

The absolute worst is at night, he constantly asks for “A da da.” For months, we have wracked our brains with what that could possibly mean, even recruiting my mother for her ideas. “Door open,” “I don’t want to,” “Daddy,” “door open,” “attention,” we have no idea. We’ve asked him to show us, and he just stands still and says it more.

Rhys has plenty of words; his vocabulary expands every day. But, he really suffers with pronunciation. The most prevalent example is when he asks us to go to his room: “ee oom” (Rhys room). Sometimes, he doesn’t even get the “m” on room.

He is two and half and has started to get frustrated when we can’t understand him. Especially because he will be starting preschool in the fall and now has a baby sister who can only coo and cry, we definitely wanted to work on his speech. So, we called Early Childhood Intervention to see if we could qualify for speech therapy through the state.

A speech therapist came to evaluate Rhys, not only in speech, but also in other aspects of his growth and development to see if it was a compounded problem. This happened in early December, when he was barely 29 months old. Most thing: gross and fine motor skills, social development, comprehension and communication, and other knowledge based things, Rhys was scoring between 30 and 36 months–he was advanced.

I knew that already. I mean, if you look back at all his monthly updates, he was always ahead of the curve when it came to milestones. But, we wanted to figure out the issue with the speech delay. Tongue tied and lip tied was ruled out (that was taken care of the day he was born), he didn’t have a chewing/swallowing issue (which sometimes affects speech), his hearing and his vision was fine.

I described to the therapists that I called him “speech dyslexic.” He was mixing up some sounds. For example, instead of saying “bye bye”, he’d say “dye dye.” He uses a lot of “g”s for other sounds too. He can get his guttural sounds very easy but his nasal and his aspirate sounds are lacking, the therapists explained. That made complete sense to me because of how the Welsh language is set up with mutations of certain sounds (I’m not going to explain it since it’s a large grammar lesson, but you can read about it here).

Sadly, he scored barely above the bar for qualifying for speech. The therapists looked back over their test results and tried to see what they could skew in Rhys’s favor to qualify him. They said they really felt that he would truly benefit from speech therapy. But, ethically, they didn’t feel that they could risk their licenses to skew it in his favor. So, they gave me their information, a packet on how to help Rhys with phonics, and told us to look at private therapists through our insurance. They left repeating that Rhys’s case is the one they will feel most bad about the entire year.

So, for now, we are trying to really help Rhys with pronunciation. Really, that is where he is failing. Daily, he gains new words (he just can’t properly say them). He knows songs and tunes and will “sing” along with them. He “reads along” when we read books. We make him use his words. We try not to use “yes or no” questions. When he watches TV, I ask him questions as to what is going on, who is who, what color they are wearing, etc. He plays along with Nick Jr shows, answering how many balls there are, or which road is longer, or that’s the triangle, etc. He truly is brilliant. Rhys knows all the numbers 0-10 and can count forward and backwards (just not pronouncing them correctly). He knows all the basic shapes and every color. He can identify the different letters of the alphabet (and can correctly pronounce most of them).

And, he is willing to try to practice his speech. We’ll work on specific sounds in each syllable, then try to get them to connect….but it doesn’t always work…..

Me: Baby

Rhys: geegee

Me: ba ba ba ba

Rhys: babababa

Me: be be be be

Rhys: dee dee dee

Me: ba bee

Rhys: ba dee

Me: ba bee

Rhys: ba gee

Me: baby

Rhys: geegee

For some reason, he can do the separate, individual sounds, but he can’t put them together. But, I have confidence that he will continue to learn and grow. I am a little worried about him being able to properly speak when he starts preschool in the fall–he’ll be little over 3. But, if his speech is still suffering, we’ll test him again at age 3 and see if we can get support through the school system.

As for now, I’m trying my hardest not to compare him to other kids his age. But, the hardest is I have two good friends who had daughters within a week of Rhys. Both girls can pronounce words correctly and speak full, long sentences. It does kill me a little inside to see that….and then when I watch Instastories or SnapChat and see my kids’ friends who are younger than Rhys speak better than him, it hits hard at home again.

But, I know it’s not my fault and it’s not Rhys’s fault. Rhys is just as smart (if not possibly smarter…I’m not bragging or biased at all!) than they are. He just has a weakness in speech. And, I am so glad that my friend, Susannah’s little boy, who is a few months younger than Rhys is having the exact same issue. It does make me feel better.

So, we’ll see what happens in the next few months.

Did your child have a speech delay? Did they qualify for speech therapy? What did you do to help your child to speak correctly?

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

To My Firstborn

Dear Rhys,

For the past two and half years, you have been my entire life. There are not enough cliches to describe it: apple of my eye, light of my world, etc.

This year has been hard on all of us with all the transitions we’ve made. But, you have rocked them. You have no idea how much you mean to me or how much  you have helped me this summer. Whenever I have needed cheering up, you have been right there with a cuddle and acting silly. Your two and half year old antics always make me laugh. The cuddles that you more than willingly give are my sweet nectar. I can’t get enough.

There are only three more weeks until you are no longer my only child. It is still hard for me to imagine life with two children.

I know you are going to be a good big brother. You already give little Evelyn kisses on my belly. You know where all her stuff is and you gush with cuteness when I show you her pink clothes and blankets. Rhys, you will be such a good big brother–you are a wonderful share-er already, and love to help me out. When babies or younger toddlers have cried, you have acted concerned and tried to help them feel better.

Sometimes though, I worry about how our relationship will change. Will you feel jealous or ignored? Will I get short and frustrated with you when trying to take care of a newborn? Our relationship will definitely change. But, I do know one thing for sure. My love for you will never diminish. That’s the wonderful thing about love–it always grows. There is always room for more.

As you begin your new life as a big brother, I hope you keep your personality. I hope you adore your little sister and shower her with love and affection. I hope as the two of you grow up, you become a shining example for her to follow. Continue to be a happy, active, life-loving boy with a hunger for knowledge. Continue to show your love for others. Protect Evelyn and be her best friend.

You are my first born. You are my pride and joy. That is why your middle name is Michael–the angelic name of Adam. I love you to the ends of the universe and beyond, Rhys. That will never change.

Love,

Momma.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

We Failed Potty Training

Even if and when your toddler is mentally ready to potty train and is very willing, sometimes their anatomy isn't. Just because they understand what to do and want to be like big kids doesn't always mean they are physically ready. It is ok to experiment with potty training and decided to put it off for a few months.

Rhys has always impressed us with hitting milestones. He has always been above the curve and has always been such a fast learner. For the past two months, Rhys has been telling us after the fact that he had gone poo in his diaper, or if he had a very full and wet diaper. We took this milestone of his acknowledgement and our want to not have two in diapers come January, and decided that we wanted to start potty training Rhys.

But, we failed.

Even if and when your toddler is mentally ready to potty train and is very willing, sometimes their anatomy isn't. Just because they understand what to do and want to be like big kids doesn't always mean they are physically ready. It is ok to experiment with potty training and decided to put it off for a few months.

We thought we already had a headstart with potty training. Rhys could already say “peepee” and “poopoo.” He had a little toilet we bought in the spring to peak his interest, and he had gone in it a handful of times. Rhys isn’t afraid of the big toilet–when we announce we have to use the bathroom, he rushes in, points to the potty, gives us toilet paper, and flushes for us when we finish. He wasn’t scared of the toilet at all. And, the fact that he didn’t like a soiled diaper gave us hope. Rhys is 2.25 years old, so we felt he had the potential to succeed.

I do have to toot my own horn for a bit here. I was determined to be positive and patient with Rhys the whole time. And I was! With every accident, I’d reassure him in a calm voice and never show disgust or disappointment while cleaning up any messes. It was EXHAUSTING!

So, I grabbed a few potty training books, searched on Pinterest, called my mom, asked my sisters-in-law and friends of recently trained preschoolers for advice. We were running out of diapers and decided that next time we went to Costco, we’d get pull-ups rather than diapers.

Day one we decided to do an hour here and there of naked time. Every 20 minutes or so, I’d tell him to sit on the potty. Rhys was always willing. He didn’t really go on the potty, but did go on the floor once or twice before we could rush him to the potty.

Day two was naked time the whole day. We had quite a few accidents, but he was becoming aware of when he would go and say “uh oh” and try to rush to the potty.

Day three of naked time, Rhys started getting better at holding until he got to the potty and we only had a handful of accidents.

So, day four, we decided to take him to Wal-Mart and buy him some underwear. Yes, we had pull-ups, but Justin and I decided that pull-ups would be just for nap time, long days out, and night time. Our main goal was to have Rhys fully trained while he was awake before Evelyn came around New Years. We didn’t care if he wet a pull-up during naptime or bedtime. Rhys chose Blaze the Monster Machine and PAW Patrol pullups.

The next week, Rhys got to wear his undies. We made a few different sticker/reward charts. Rhys loved feeling like a big boy and loved earning the stickers. He was always willing to sit on his potty every 40 minutes when we asked him to. The first two days in undies, we had a few pee incidents, but he was able to stop when he noticed until he got to the potty. We had some poo incidents during that week–Rhys would let us know he had pooed. Then, the trouble would begin.

He knew he wasn’t supposed to poo in his undies. Rhys would come up to us and say, “Mama, poopoos.” I would then say, “Ok, let’s change it and put the poopoos in the potty.” He would then freak out and try to run and hide. Every single time. He would fight me in trying to pull down his pants, tears running down his cheeks. It would take almost 10 minutes of holding him close, him crying into my chest, trying to reassure him that we weren’t mad and we were very proud of him telling us that he had gone. Finally, he’d let us take off his undies. He’d point to the potty and say “poopoos”. But, never went in the potty.

Other than those accidents, Rhys stayed dry. I had a 45-50 minute timer on my phone to remind me to remind him to go potty. Rhys never really caught on to the sensation of having to go. Although, he was very good at controlling his bladder. He could hold it until he got on the potty. Then, we would tell him to go pee and he would focus, and do it. He was very successful with his potty charts, and I was able to take him out and about again. Rhys wasn’t nervous to go on the big public toilets either–as long as I held onto him to help steady him. He was even waking up from his naps with his pull-ups dry. I thought we were doing to make it!

However, after two and half weeks of undies, Rhys still had yet to go poo in the potty–only in his undies. And, the freak outs were becoming more extreme when he told us he had gone and we wanted to help clean him up. He started hitting us with his hands and with his toys and screaming bloody murder. Poor boy was so ashamed. Finally, we decided to have two naked days to try to help him catch himself with bowel movements. But, the first day, he waited all day until his bed time pull-up was put on, then went big time. And again when he woke up the next morning. Then, the second day, he had quite a few accidents of both poo and pee. Same with the third day.

I was at my wits end and so was Rhys. After crying to my mom and to Justin, we decided to stop training. I didn’t mind cleaning his underwear every day. I didn’t mind cleaning up his messes or accidents. But, the fact that he had never gone poo in the potty was our roadblock. I wished that he would’ve gone. Then, I’d be more willing to push through if it was 50% successful, 50% accidental. And, because we were focusing so hard on bowel movements, Rhys was starting to regress with pee. So, we stopped. Rhys knew what to do. He knew how to act. He knew the process of going potty. But, he just couldn’t make himself poo or catch himself pooing. We believe that he just wasn’t ready for that part of potty training just yet.

We put Rhys back in diapers the next day–he was a little upset every time he pooed and we tried to lay him down to change him. He would keep pointing at his potty and say “poopoos potty.” He wanted to be a big boy. I kept trying to console him and still give him love, confidence, and hope. The second day back in diapers, Rhys acted as if he had never potty trained–he never asked me for his underwear and never mentioned the potty. My mom says that is a good sign that he seamlessly went back. She says that means he probably really wasn’t physically ready.

I am so proud of my son for the progress that he had made and his absolute willingness to try. I as just upset with myself as the fact that Rhys just couldn’t control his bowel movements. I felt like I had failed as a mom training her son. I never felt like Rhys failed. His body, his anatomy, just wasn’t ready and that isn’t his fault. But, for the first little bit, it definitely felt like it was my fault–kind of how I felt when Rhys wasn’t being successful at nursing at 4 months. But, I am ok now. Justin is ok. Rhys is ok. We are back in diapers and will have two in diapers at the beginning of next year, and we are ok with that. At the beginning of potty training, we discussed that we didn’t want to push Rhys, we didn’t want to rush him. We wanted to follow his lead, his progress. And, that is why we quit. So, we are waiting. If Rhys asks to go potty, we’ll let him. If he finally decides he has to poo on the potty, we’ll be overjoyed. But, unless he decides for himself that he is ready, we will wait a bit after his baby sister comes to try again. I mean, he isn’t even 2.5 years old yet! There is plenty of time. Yes, we will have to buy double the diapers, which we aren’t too happy about, but that is life.

What has been your experience in potty training? Have you ever had to quit and try again later?

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Welsh Names | Welsh Wednesdays

Rhys is a Welsh name with Welsh etymology. It means enthusiasm, but it's heritage and history goes far beyond that one-word definition.

I have always, always been interested in etymology. Even as a little kid, I loved looking through the big baby names books and looking to see what my favorite names meant. So, after I became obsessed with Wales and all things Welsh, I knew that I was going to use Welsh names for my children…all I had to do was convince my husband!

Rhys is a Welsh name with Welsh etymology. It means enthusiasm, but it's heritage and history goes far beyond that one-word definition.

Rhys was an all-time favorite Welsh name of mine. It is easy to say, sounds smooth, and has a proud heritage. Many princes and warriors have been named Rhys in Welsh history. The most famous of all is Prince Rhys ap Gruffydd. He held Wales together while the Norman kinds, especially ruthless Henry II, tried to bring Wales under their rule. Rhys stood up for the rights of the Welsh and kept them united. He ruled most of Southern Wales. Prince Rhys was a smart tactician and politician. He was very witty and wise. He also is the ancestor of Henry VII, who began the Tutor Reign.

Rhys is also in many fantasy books and videogames. They all happen to be red-headed warriors. Well, I knew I wanted my son to be a red-headed warrior who was proud of his Welsh heritage, as I am. It helps to now know that Justin’s family tree includes many Dark Age Irish, Scottish, and Welsh kings and princes, including King Arthur himself!

When I brought up to my husband my burning desire to name our firstborn son Rhys, he was ok with it. Mainly because one of his favorite characters from his favorite series of videogames, Fire Emblem, had a red-headed warrior healer named Rhys.

The true etymology of Rhys is “enthusiasm”, and our son Rhys definitely has an enthusiasm for life!

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Some other famous Rhyses are John Rhys-Davies (Gimli on Lord of the Rings) and Rhys Ifans the actor.

We have decided to have Welsh names be part of all our kids’ names, either the first or middle name. If this baby #2 happens to be a girl, we already have a name picked out: Irish first name and Welsh middle name.

Do you have any Welsh names or know someone who does? What is it and what does it mean?

Make sure you check out Llinos’s post to see what her very Welsh name means!

Join Llinos from the Lilac Linnet and Tayler from The Morrell Tale on the last Wednesday of every month for Welsh Wednesdays!Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.