Saturday, October 10, 2009


I have many excuses for my (seemingly unusual, if you were reading my blog this time last year) long silence... they start with Busy and end with Busy, with two colds thrown in between and an awful lot of pregnancy-induced moodiness that has me wanting nothing more than to spend the few hours after the kiddos are in bed curled up on the couch zoned out to and/or ranting along with my favorite left-wing liberal media shows on MSNBC. :P But with our lives about to get even busier, it was time to sit myself down and get this posted!

Cade is doing very well in Kindergarten - he didn't have a hint of nervousness that first day getting on the bus; he's a pretty independent and adventurous (albeit shy and quiet) kiddo so I guess I should've known better than to worry over him. Social skills are his weakest link but he does seem to be opening up more with his classmates and interacting. He's so funny, he seems to know how important this issue is for us - yesterday while heading out the door to the school bus I called after him, "Have fun!" and he responded with, "I will! And I'll talk to a lot of kids!" Hehe. :)

Parker screamed for 15 minutes the first day we dropped him off at PreK. 5 minutes on Day 2. Not at all by Day 3 and he's been fine ever since. He really loves it and is a much more social creature than his big brother so he's not having nearly as much introverted trouble as Cade did early on in PreK. There is a disproportionate number of girls in his classroom and I think they may have noticed his adorable dimples - the other morning while dropping him off three little girls were chiming, "Hiiii Parker" as soon as he walked in the room.

Macy was a bit depressed the first couple weeks of school - it was obvious she really missed having her older siblings around and there was a lot of extra fighting going on when the boys got home from school. She seems to be adjusting now though and she likes the Mommy & Me tumbling class we go to each Saturday (no, no tumbling from this mommy LOL) and we're very glad we signed her up for it as it's become clear that she is going to be our toughest send-off to PreK next year; she has all of Cade's shyness combined with all of Parker's clingyness and though she's now happily jumping around the gym course, she won't really interact with the other kids and prefers to wait until they've moved on to another area before she plays.

Dawson got the brunt of our latest cold, down in his chest for over a week. He has another psych eval coming up next week since we declined adding a Special Education teacher to his services last eval. I'm guessing about a 6 month delay or so. He's doing so many neat things, it's easy to forget where they say kids his age are "supposed to" be. He has a great vocabulary, over 50 words, but he only uses it when he feels like it. He has a few two-word combos like putting "a" and "and" in front of words and "thank you" of course. He understands a few commands and this weekend followed his first complex one when I asked him to go get Emerson's shirt (which he'd tossed a few feet away) and give it to me. He just looked at me sheepishly at first but then I repeated the command and added "Look!" with a point at the shirt first and that did the trick - he scooted over and grabbed it, scooted back and handed it over. He is a doll baby. :)

He has been giving tons of his open-mouthed kisses, grabbing my face and covering me with drool LOL. He has really started to show how much of a sweet and sensitive little soul he is - if one of the other kids is crying he gets very concerned, leans over and looks near-tears himself. The other night Emerson managed to cut her lips on the sharp edges of her teeth worse than usual and as I was holding her trying to stop the bleeding Dawson was leaning over and planting kiss after kiss on her cheek. It was so sweet and it made me feel so much smaller than him, as I think I've grown a bit immune to all of her self-injuries.

Em is doing... pretty well, I think. Physically she's progressed so much - she pulls to stand on anything she can, even climbs up on top of toys and boxes and tries to get up on the couches LOL. Mentally we are getting there, though she has days where she really regresses. She has definitely become more aware, especially the last few weeks; she has very few moments now where she sits and stares into space as if she were the only person in the universe. She still has a lot of institutional-like behavior, i.e. banging her head against walls, banging toys into her head, poking herself in her eye repeatedly and pulling her hair very hard (especially when eating.) It feels like just in the last week we've turned a corner as she has been so THERE with us, doing less teeth grinding and much more babbling and happy vocalizing. When the therapists come into the room she gives this adorable joyful greeting that sounds very much like "Hi-i-i-i-i!" complete with inflection at the end. The little girl who hated to be held initially now opens her arms up to strangers.

We were still having so many problems with feeding - she basically figured out that the bottle was always an option, so she started refusing all baby food including ones she seemed to like, and then wasn't eating the bottles consistently either - we decided to take away the bottles completely one day. It was a tough decision because I am always so (maybe overly) concerned about her weight gain, but we just couldn't go on like that anymore, especially with a new baby coming. The first week was a bit bumpy and she lost a bit of weight, but now nearly a month later she is a baby food-eating champ. She eats between 8 and 10 jars of Level 2s each day, exceeding 1000 calories the last several days. She not only gained back what she lost but has broken the 19 lb mark. :) Our new challenge is liquids - she basically refused any at all the first couple weeks and we ended up forcing her to get a few ounces sip by sip throughout the day. She's doing better though and now drinks several ounces of apple juice through a straw on her own.

I hate to jinx anything, though I try to keep my expectations for tomorrow and beyond safely neutral, but today was the first day since the behavior began that Em did not grind once. :)

She had her second appointment with the ENT earlier in the week to see how the drops had worked on the impacted ear wax. Good news is the wax was cleared, bad news is she still failed her hearing test, even considering her as a 6-month old. Meaning, she has to have tubes placed. The surgery is under general anesthesia and is tentatively scheduled for 10/28. I'm nervous about that and luckily she has a cardiology appointment next Wednesday so we can talk about the use of anesthesia with her heart defect, but mostly I'm scared the tubes won't solve the problem. If it's not a matter of built-up fluid, we will then be sent to a "super" specialist in Syracuse or Philadelphia for her to have a brain-stem test to see if there are bigger issues behind her lack of responses. We will hope the tubes are all that is needed though.

I think I am coming more to terms with her delays and her specific issues. Dawson had an EI meeting this past week where I got the customary progress reports on his development. And it is always hard that first day to see the delays in print, to see them growing larger as he gets older. And for just a few short hours I can feel the wind knocked out beneath me and the fear of the unknown of Down syndrome creeping back. But then as I am rocking him to sleep and he is tickling my hand and smiling up at me with those big brown eyes, the reports get burnt up in the radiance of just how much I love him, and I don't care how big the number is before the percentage sign and know that I never will and the fear is defeated anew. And though I will always be so much smaller than him, he once again pulls me up a bit taller by reminding me of what is really important, and telling me wordlessly to feel the same way about Emerson. I am so lucky to have Perspective come in such a beautiful package. ^_^