Welcome to Growing a Person

on Jun 23, 2013

Hello! I’m Carter, Collin, Rory and Owen’s Mama, known to some as Jenni. I started this blog when I was, quite literally, growing our first person in my belly, and now that I have grown four kids and continue to “grow” them every day, it’s where I record the thoughts and moments I want to make sure I remember someday when these crazy kiddos of mine are all grown up. In my spare time I run Perceptivity Studio, a small graphic design firm, from my home, with the four most demanding “bosses” I’ve ever had. Life is all balls up in the air, all the time, but it’s always interesting, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Apraxia and Medicaid

on Sep 2, 2017

I just did the math and it’s been about a month and a half since we figured out that our three-year-old daughter Rory really does have apraxia.  It feels like way longer than that because we have learned so much, done so much, and while the progress is still slow, I feel like Rory has made more progress in that time span than in the previous year and a half she was in therapy. As of my last post we had just had our evaluation with Dr. Jonas and we had just gotten our preliminary approval for the Gardiner scholarship.  Our weeks since then have been focused on getting Rory approved for Medicaid through Florida KidCare and their CMS (Children’s Medical Services) Insurance that is specifically for children who need more medical help than typical children.  I’d originally heard about CMS from Rory’s Early Steps therapists, who basically described it as a...

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...


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,...


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...