Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rule #129: Pictures never expire

Way back in October we had family pictures taken. Only the second time in our six year marriage. Once when Evan was just over 1, and right after Graham's birthday. I'm not sure if I should feel embarrassed by this or not. I know Alex thinks once every other year is plenty :)

It was colder than I was hoping/expecting. I probably should have had my boys wear jackets. Because of the cold, Graham wasn't his usual bucket of smiles, but we got some good pictures anyway. Though in most of the pictures he looks very concerned.

The colors were perfect, we all know how I feel about fall! Without further ado, these are two months old now, here are the pictures for your enjoyment.


Love this man!!


One of my favorite pictures of Graham. At the time, he was growling and sticking out his tongue all day long.







Brothers! note the concerned look :)

We also learned that we shouldn't take any pictures near water. Evan can't pull himself away. All he wanted to do was throw rocks in the stream...and he did NOT want to bother with taking pictures. Tuck that useful bit of information away for next time. :) I'm glad my mom was able to come with us, to get some smiles outta my boys. Thanks mom!



This little family is my whole world! Even if I only document them sporadically, they bless my life every. single. day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rule #128: You're never too young to be a cowboy

Last week my dear friend took my family to the Children's Museum for my boy's birthdays. The kids had a great time playing. I had a great time with one of my best friends. Alex...I'm sure he had fun, but mostly he was sweet and wrangled the kids so that I could chat with Eth with minimal interruptions. Love that man!

The boys favorite part of the museum was the ball station. Hands down. Eth has two boys as well, similar ages to my kids, and while Evan and Will didn't play too much together, Graham and Aiden played near each other, albeit with minimal interaction. (but that's more their ages and less that they didn't want to per se).
video
We didn't take any pictures at the water station, but that was a close second for favorite. I was surprised at how cold the water was, for some reason I had expected the constant movement in a warm room to heat it up a little. *shrug. The boys loved it anyway.

We moved over to the farm area. Graham had a great time moving the food from one bucket to the next. He probably did that for 20 minutes straight.

Evan kept talking about climbing the rock wall, but when it came down to it, he flat out refused. Silly kid. So when he started climbing up the stairs, talking about getting on the horse, I figured he'd back out of that too. It took some convincing, and an example by me..but he did it! He actually wanted to get on it "all by hisself" (Evan speak) but I wouldn't let him, he was not grasping the concept of gravity.

Then of course he directed Graham to be a cowboy too. Graham looks a little scared here, but he actually was having a good time. Promise.After a while we went upstairs. I think the upper level will be a lot of fun once my kids are a little older. There were a lot of building stations. Paper, blocks, magnets etc. My boys mostly tear things down, not a lot of building goes on in their lives just yet.

There was a wind tunnel that Evan was entranced with. Again, no pictures. Shame. You could fold paper into airplanes and they had paper cups to put inside the wind tunnel. It was like a mini, really mild tornado. :) I played with it for a while myself.

Thanks Eth for a wonderful time! I love how close we are despite hardly ever seeing each other anymore. True friendship is like that, and I'm very grateful for it!

Rule #127: Change is in the eye of the beholder.

Graham had his neurosurgery follow up on Monday. We started out with another CT scan. He did...pretty well holding still. I can envision it getting more and more difficult as he gets older, yet not old enough to explain to. We had the most success with the toy that I hate most, a wand that flashes lights and plays the most annoying music I've heard. But, it gets the job done. I can't complain too much.

Right after his CT we went to meet with his Dr. Naturally we waited a while. What to do, what to do?

Oh, I think we'll play with the x-ray board.
Still no Dr? Hmmm, we'd better play dress up.

Bono anyone?
Eventually the resident came in. (Don't worry coworkers, I met with Dr Kestle too). When I asked the resident how Graham's CT looked, compared to the first one, he said it looked good, but there wasn't much visual change. That's what I had expected. I asked to see it anyway.

Not much visual change my foot! I guess it's in the eye of the beholder, but if I can *see* the difference, without having to measure or do anything crazy, I think that's visual change. Silly resident.

We took pictures off the computer after the Dr left.

The brain on the right is from his CT in June. The brain on the left is from Monday. Keep in mind that this is the view of a single 'slice' of his head, the most dramatic slice. If you move up or down the space gets smaller.

See, you can see a difference. Now, granted, there is still a lot of fluid and the problem has not completely resolved, but it has improved. Dr Kestle has finally committed to saying Graham will need the shunt forever. His exact words were "I'd be surprised if he ever gets it out." Where was that surety six months ago?

How am I doing with the forever shunt plan you ask? Just fine. I knew, honestly, I did. I may have wanted a different plan, but I'm not surprised. Truthfully I'm better without the unknown hanging over my head. I don't do well with "maybe" or "wait and see" situations. I just don't.

The current plan is to have another CT scan in June, a year after surgery and see how things look. After that, I have no idea what the plan is. As far as how often they want to see Graham. Since he will have the shunt for the rest of his life, I can't imagine they will need/want to see him frequently. Not even every year. As long as he's acting okay maybe they'll want to see him every few years. I have no idea. I'm an ICU nurse after all, not a clinic nurse. I'm out of my element trying to predict future visits. :)

The main things to focus on are these:

~The shunt is intact and working well

~There is visible improvement in five months!

~We have a definite plan for his shunt, keeping it forever.

~Graham is healthy, happy and developing on track! ***The most important one, really.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rule #126: Meycomb is Evan for "thing"

Big news, Big news!

Graham took his first independent steps yesterday! It was really only two-three shuffles...but I'll take it! We've been expecting this moment for a few weeks now. He's been cruising around the furniture, the walls, standing unassisted, and visibly *thinking* about how to get from A to B for a while. I was so proud of his tentative steps!

There were no real bold attempts at walking today, but it'll happen. My little baby is hardly a baby these days!

I also want to document things about my children that I don't want to forget.

***
Evan's vocabulary is quite extensive. He learns more and more every day. And yet...sometimes he comes across something he doesn't know the name of. (Or 30% of the time, he does know the name but can't remember, or is trying to be funny. I'm not sure which) He has come up with his own word for such situations.

"Meycomb."

I don't know where it came from, or what he thinks he is saying. But anything can be a 'meycomb.' A missle, a dinosaur, a book. Who knows. It's a word of all trades.

"This is a meycomb."

"I actually think it's a dart gun."

"Oh, this is a dart gun."

It cracks me up. But the best part? When he is talking to Graham, he dumbs it down for the baby. :) Instead of telling Graham something is a meycomb, he tells him it's a 'mana.' Apparently that's baby talk for meycomb? Funny kid.

***
If Graham sees us eating something, and if it looks like something special and tasty, he will come toward the food while smacking his lips, eyes focused intently on the food. Then he will stand at your legs, smacking his lips until he gets food. Or yelling at you because you clearly did NOT understand what lip smacking meant. Or at least you didn't understand fast enough. :) We now have two beggars in our house. Graham and the dog.

***
Evan wants to play with Graham all. day. long. He gets very upset when Graham has to take a nap. He always wants to close Graham's door at night before he goes to sleep. It's really sweet. I just wish he would stop pushing him, trying to pull him down the stairs and throwing things at his face in between all the sweet moments. sigh. Even with all the abuse, Graham thrives on attention from Evan. Lately they have been spending a lot of time in their train tent. (you remember, the one from Evan's birthday party) They have such fun. I love to see their friendship grow.
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***
I love my one and one time with Evan when Graham is sleeping. We play games like "go away monster" that he thinks is the funniest game. ever. He'll even play it by himself if I'm busy. He just cackles, all alone. He's such a happy boy. Truthfully, it doesn't really matter what we do together. He loves to be with just one person. It's his element, where he feels the most comfortable. I'm grateful that we are able to give him that time, where he feels loved, and important and listened to.

***
Graham has started fake laughing. Puts a smile on my face every time. He's also started using his fake laugh when he's accomplished something. I'm not sure why he thinks it's "funny" but he laughs. It sounds more like a scoff at times. Hearing my children discover their voice thrills me. What an amazing time in their life, so much development, so much learning, so much to be proud of!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rule #125: Baby faces trump stuffed faces

I really struggled this year trying to decide what my children would be for Halloween. Evan still has very little interest in any one thing that could be a Halloween costume. He has opinions, mind you. And they were all "no, I don't want to be --" whatever I had suggested. Finally I asked if he wanted to be a newsie, to which he replied "no....yes" so I took it and ran with it. It might have been the only yes I was going to get. Newsies is a current favorite movie of his.

With Graham, none of Evan's old costumes fit because he is the opposite season. So we had to come up with something new. Part of me wanted to think of something theme-y, like my sister does with her kids. But nothing really goes with Newsies. Just yesterday someone suggested that I should have made Graham the newspaper! That would have been darling. Ah well. Graham got a generic costume from the store. Alex insisted on having a costume that didn't already have a face on the hood. (which is a lot of little kid costumes) We did finally find one that would showcase Graham's cute cheeks all on their own. He made an adorable little blue monster. Even if it had nothing to do with Newsies.
My kids were able to wear their costumes 4 times this weekend. They first dressed up for my mom's Halloween dinner. Doug and Susan took the boys to boo at the zoo on Saturday. Then later that night we went to our wards trunk or treat. After every car, and I mean every single car, Evan would lean down to Graham and scream "candy, candy CANDY!" It was hysterical.

Then on the actual holiday, we took the boys down Main Street to go trick or treating. It was fun to see all the other kids in costume, but other than that, I could give or take it.


Aren't these kids the cutest?

Evan loves this haunted music box. He played it over and over...and over again.

Graham enjoying his very own sucker.

As far as he's concerned, the holiday was a hit!



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rule #124: Llamas eat corn, not hay


Every year we get a pass to go to the Black Island Farm. I look forward to this every year. I love autumn. I love the colors, I love the crisp, cool air. I love the change in wardrobe. I love it all. And while I may not LOVE Halloween, free pumpkins and an autumn activity are right up my alley.

We weren't able to go last year due to the fact that we had a one week old baby in the house. I missed it. We had gone to a different pumpkin patch with my sister before Graham was born. It was fun too, just not the same.

Evan is starting to remember the farm too. I told him where we were going, tried to describe everything he would see, to decrease any anxiety he might feel. When we got there he was really excited to see all the animals and go down the slides. It was so cute to watch.

My mom joined us on the outing, though you'd never know from the pictures. Sorry Mom. I'm glad you came, even if I didn't capture it on film. :)

There are cows, mules, chickens, turkeys, peacocks, goats and llamas. The llamas were quite assertive this year. One kept hanging over the fence, waiting for people to feed it. We tried giving it hay from the ground, but it was not impressed. Then Alex found a pile of corn and offered that to the llama. It sucked it right up. Side note: llamas are kinda ugly. They have scary teeth, and they look mean and angry all of the time. Not at all cute and endearing like the llama from Emperors New Groove. (Though the animators got the look of them eating just perfect!)

We took the boys down all the slides. We started with the little ones. I'm not sure if Graham liked them or not. There were no squeals of delight, but no crying either. I'm sure he'll love them next year. Evan, on the other hand, was all about the slides. He got pretty good climbing up the bales of hay too. He can *almost* get up the little slide independently.
Then we moved on to the BIG slide, which we only did once. We were in kind of a hurry and only had an hour and a half at the farm. It was Graham's birthday and we had to get back in time for his party! (It was the only day that our free pass worked, otherwise we wouldn't have tried to go on his birthday)

Then Alex took the boys down the REALLY BIG slide, that's a tube. I can't believe he took Graham. I didn't expect him to. I went to get the stroller and the next thing I know I hear Evan's voice coming from the tube. "I don't want to go down. I don't WANT to go down!" I start yelling through the tube to Alex that he doesn't have to go, when suddenly all three of my loves are at the bottom.


We went on the cow train. Which is a really silly and uncomfortable ride being pulled by a tractor. The things we do for our kids. Evan had to sit by himself this time, and he did pretty well. My mom was trying to get a picture of us the entire time, most of them had her finger or the ground as the main focus. It was a bumpy ride. This picture however turned out great.
My mom treated us to the slingshot game this year. We've never really bothered with any of the games before. We got to throw corn cobs at targets in the field. We are terrible shots, but it makes me want to try it again next year!
video
We ended our day with the tractor ride to the pumpkin patch and we all picked out a pumpkin to take home. I kept trying to nudge Evan to pick a smallish pumpkin so it wouldn't be so cumbersome to carry. But he wasn't having any of it. I think he picked the largest one we got!

We had to hurry home to make sure everything was ready for Graham's party. We didn't play in the corn box (sandbox filled with corn kernels) or go through the corn maze. Next year I'm planning on three hours so that we can do it all! I can't wait!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rule #123: Parties are known to induce labor

Looking back I realized that I never told Graham's birth story. Alex summarized it after he was born, but I never wrote down the details. You may stop reading if you want, you know how it ends. :) A perfect little boy was born, if you'd like to hear the nitty gritty, by all means, read away.

I was very excited to have an October baby. It meant that I was going to have ALL of the holidays off that year, something that hasn't happened since I was 16. It also meant that my son would have a "cool" birthday. Being born in the 10th month of 2010.

I was hoping he would be born on 10/10/2010. That day passed without so much as a braxton hicks contraction. Next I was hoping he would be born on the 20th. Since everywhere else but America lists the date first, his birthday would be 20/10/2010. Awesome! Naturally he came in the middle. :)

We had our long time high school friends over for a movie night. We joked about me going into labor, at a party...again. It happened with Evan with this same group of friends. Halfway through the movie I start contracting. I didn't say anything to Alex, they might not be real after all. But he notices anyway, mostly because I keep grabbing his leg every few minutes.

The movie ends, and we turn the lights on. One of my friends (who was also pregnant) looks at me, and asks if I'm in labor. They all laugh, thinking she's just kidding around. I say "I think so" Half of the friends jump up and start to leave. A few stay and chat with Alex and I as the contractions grow stronger, eventually they leave around midnight.

Here's what should have happened. I should have left for the hospital then, knowing that I was GBS + and needed at least four hours to be given two doses of antibiotics.

What really happened? I debated at home for at least an hour whether or not I should call my mom, if I was progressed far enough to go to the hospital. (Which in hind sight, it wouldn't have mattered, they would have admitted me for the GBS anyway) Finally after getting ready for bed, and lying down, I doubled over. Holy Moly! Out of nowhere the pain tripled. Alex called my mom and we got ready to go to the hospital.

Mom came to stay with Evan while we made another late night trip to have a baby. Alex and I mused over what it would be like to have a baby during the daylight hours. We drove to the hospital at 1 am two years prior as well. We arrived at the hospital around 2 am.

As soon as we enter the Labor and Delivery unit I start telling them that I am GBS + and need to start my antibiotics now. They smile, try to reassure me, they need to check me first, yada yada yada. They bring my into a delivery room, I ask for one nurse to be starting an IV while another checks me. They wont. Then comes the *gasp* "You're already 5 cm dilated! we need to get these antibiotics started!" (no kidding, I think in my head)

An IV is placed, antibiotics up and running, and then I ask for my epidural. I asked so quickly for two reasons. one-I like my drugs, I feel no need/desire to feel more pain than necessary. two-epidurals can slow down labor, and I'm feeling very anxious to make sure I get that second dose of antibiotic.

While I'm still glad I got an epidural, it was not as perfect this time around. My blood pressure dropped, and I had to wear an oxygen mask for a while. Still totally worth it in my mind, just not *perfect* like it was for Evan. I could still move my legs like last time, and once Graham was born the effects wore off nearly instantly. That part I love.

I tried to sleep as I had done during Evan's labor but was unsuccessful. I was so uncomfortable, and in order to get a good tracing of the baby, I needed to be in the only position I didn't want to be. I felt pressure around 4:30, told the nurse. She didn't check me, I still hadn't had my second dose, and if I could hold off it would be better. The pressure kept me awake for the next hour and a half. Around 6 they started my antibiotic early, knowing I was never going to last.

With the green light to finally start pushing, they removed my foley catheter and the pressure was full force. I'm fairly certain the only reason I was able to keep my baby in was because I had a plastic tube in the way ;) They saw some meconium in my fluid, so the called the NICU team to be present for the delivery. This stressed me out. Alex gently reminded me that this was why we chose the hospital we did. So that if something were to happen, skilled people would be present to handle it. In literally two pushes Graham Douglas Davis was born. At 6:48 am. I was whispering for him not to breath yet until they could suction him out, and of course he screamed and cried. They took my baby over to their table, sucked out his mouth and nose, looked him over and handed him into my arms. It was lovely, and he was perfect.

I wasn't nearly as tired with Graham's delivery. I only pushed twice vs the hour and a half it took to get Evan into the world. I was on the high of being a mother, yet again. I was shocked to see that Graham looked so different than my other son. I had assumed that they would look similar, or at least like brothers. But he was so different, and yet...I knew that's exactly what he was supposed to look like. I saw him, and rationally thought "he doesn't look like I expected" and emotionally felt "there you are, just like I knew you would be" It was remarkable.

I wanted to be discharged that evening I felt so good. But because of that silly GBS, Graham needed to be monitored for 36 hours. Luckily, he was fine and we were able to go home the following night. It felt so good to be home, and to be with Evan again as well. Our family of four felt perfect to me. It still does.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rule #122: You can have your cupcake and eat it too

Graham turned one year old on Monday. My little baby is growing so fast! He is mastering so many skills and his personality gets more distinct every day.


We had a birthday party that evening to celebrate with family. It was quite crowded. Having a fall birthday vs a summer birthday makes a big difference. We'll keep tweaking it over the years, we'll figure out something that works a little better. But, we are grateful that it was crowded with so many people that love our little boy! Thank you all for coming!

I made a Teddy Graham cake and cupcakes. The cupcakes turned out cuter than the cake in my opinion. Graham, I'm sure, knew no difference. But he did love the taste of the cupcakes!

Graham had his doctor's appointment on Wednesday. He is healthy and growing well. He seems to be right on track with his milestones, so the shunt doesn't appear to be affecting his development in any way. We will know more about his shunt next month when he goes for another CT Scan.

Height: 30 1/4 inches (65%)
Weight: 20 lbs 2 oz (15%)
OFC: 19 inches (90%)

I guess I have to stop calling him a fatty...his genes are starting to catch up to him it seems. :) In more exciting news, did you see his head growth? Or lack thereof, really? That's right, my boy just keeps growing into his big noggin, it's starting to look ALMOST proportional. In five months he's gone from off the charts to 90%...I'll take it!
Graham loves people, especially Evan. Well, truthfully, he's still a mama's boy, but Evan's a close second I think. Despite the things Evan does to Graham, he still loves to be around him. The above picture is courtesy of Evan, pushing a foam square over Graham's head. ;) video
This is a common occurrence in our house these days. I will walk into a room to find Graham and Evan laughing at each other. Graham laughs because he thinks Evan is hysterical, and Evan laughs...because, well, he thinks Evan is hysterical too. Graham is crazy mobile these days. Walking could be right around the corner. He crawls all the time, this picture is from he early crawling days, when he would get sucked under the furniture. Now that he pulls himself up and cruises around the furniture, he doesn't get stuck nearly as often. :) He has also started to stand unassisted for very short periods of time! He's getting so close! He can climb up and down the stairs, he's even starting to turn himself around to go down safely, he's remembering.

He gives me kisses while he attacks my chipmunk cheeks. It really is adorable. He finally has one tooth!! I still haven't *seen* it, but I have felt it. He won't allow me to see it, his tongue is perpetually hanging out of his mouth and in the way. He wouldn't even let the doctor see it with her tongue depressor. Funny kid. But, at least the tooth is there. More are sure to come.

He claps, waves and says "Hi" That's his only word. He babbles constantly, but that seems to be the only one with meaning so far. Do worry, he's very clear when he wants something, he points and then screams. It's lovely. I can't wait for him to use more words.

Even though he isn't saying words, he mimics tone a lot. Evan was telling us that "dinosaurs say Rrarr" Next thing we knew, Graham was trying to roar, but it was more throaty, so then Evan was trying to copy Graham with this horrible gurgle. My kids crack me up.

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Graham is very loving and is happiest when playing with others. He loves books of all kinds and songs! Oh, the songs! He claps and giggles whenever I sing, and it is the quickest way to calm him down. I love this little man, and I feel eternally blessed to be his mother, and to be trusted with his life and spirit.
Happy Birthday little munchkin!

Rule #121: Cousins are better than airplanes

Last week we went to visit my sister in Colorado. I failed to join the caravan in the summer, and when Southwest had a killer deal on airfare, that sealed the deal. All four of us flew out for a week, and we had a great time!

I wish that we had taken some pictures on the plane, but the flight to Colorado...was well, awful. We were separated, and Evan freaked out for the first ten minutes, "I want to get off, I want to get off!!!" Over and over. Thankfully he did calm down once we leveled out in the air, and I was able to turn on sword and the stone. :) DVD players are magic. Because we were separated, Alex and I were trying to pass toys and such across the aisle and up one to keep Graham entertained. But we also had to make sure that Graham didn't see me, or else he would have realized that he NEEDED me, and only me. It was a stressful hour. Luckily Annie no longer lives in Oklahoma, we might not have made it. :)

Once we got to Annie's house, things were great. We mostly just relaxed and played at home. I loved it. Once we finally got the kids settled down for the night, we'd play games all night, and keep Mark up way past his bedtime. Thanks for indulging us!

We had packed half a suitcase full of games. As much as I love having family close, I kind of wish that everyone lived farther away, so we could justify spending a weekend, or week, with them. Playing games night after night, getting quality adult time that is so hard to come by at sunday dinners. Ah well, I guess I'll have to live with so much family and support in my neighborhood. ;)

We did venture out with the six kids a few times. We went to a farm, the children's museum, the park and the Denver Temple.Evan at the children's museum, inside a nest.

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They had the coolest bubble room at the museum. Evan could have stayed in there for hours, if not days. He loved it! He jumped around and laughed! It was great to see.
This was taken at the park. It was a fantastic park. There were three different playgrounds, with such a variety of slides, for all ages too! I wish we had a park like this at home. Evan kept avoiding Annie and her camera. She finally succeeded, she's sneaky like that. :)

The Denver temple was undergoing some renovations/landscaping, so we walked around with the kids, and tried to explain what a special place we were visiting. All the kids wanted to do was play with the water. Go figure.

The rest of the week was spent playing at home. Graham mastered going up and down stairs while we were there. It's his favorite past time. Anytime he sees the gate being closed at our house he screams in protest. He's still not good enough to do it unsupervised, but he's getting close. He enjoyed all the attention from all of the kids, and generally had a great time. He slept in a closet in the girls room, and with the exception of one night, did very well.
Evan had a great time with his cousins. In fact, once we returned home, for the next few days he asked to go to Annie's house multiple times. If that's not a sign of a successful vacation, I don't know what is.

He took a moment to warm up to the kids, but I think it was more typical of a shy kid vs social anxiety that he's had in the past. (Yea!) He played really well with Brenner and Davis. More Davis toward the end of the week, but he's always been more comfortable around younger kids anyway. He and Davis would close themselves in a room and get into trouble. Piling every book they can find on the bed, Playing in the sink and toothpaste. Playing in the sandbox together. I think Evan taught Davis some bad habits unfortunately. The night we left I went to bring Evan inside. I found Evan and Davis on the side of the house....dumping any toy in the yard into the window well. (Sorry about that Annie) That's a typical "Evan activity"...pretty sure it didn't start with Davis.

We had to buy a door knob for the room Evan was sleeping in. One with a lock. I think that just about sums up how Evan did sleeping. :)

The rest is just us chilling at home. The kids watched some Sesame Street Videos.
They put on a piano concert for us. Graham clapped for every song. Evan did not participate. Truthfully, it was probably just too loud. :)


video

Annie also whipped out their bounce house for the kids.
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Thanks for having us Mark and Annie!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rule #120: Hope brings a new day

A few events have happened in the past few days that I wanted to share. They may seem like small things to you, but my heart swells with hope and happiness when I think of them. I don't want to forget how important they were to me.

We try to go to the park at least once a week, sometimes more. Every time we get close, Evan gets prematurely excited that "there are no kids there" even before we are able to tell if there are kids there. Having kids at the park usually ruins it for him. Which is one of the reasons we go so often.

A few days ago we went to the park. There was a family playing tennis, but no one on the playground. Evan was excited. Then a little girl, around 2, saw Evan and came to play with him. Do you know what happened? He played with her! He even talked to her after a while. It started out with him mouthing words to her, trying to direct which slide she should go down, but eventually he actually spoke, out loud, directly too her. Not to me about her, to her face! That might not seem like much to you, but that has not happened, not ever with someone that he doesn't know. Ever. They took turns, he laughed and smiled. It helped that she was younger than him, so that he could be the one directing the play and not feel pressured, but I was beyond excited!

Then yesterday happened. Evan was fairly anxious going to preschool, telling me with eyes welled that he didn't want to cry, and he didn't want me to leave. But when I went to pick him up a few hours later, Ms Jessie pulled me aside. I was a little nervous. Then she beamed. Told me how amazing Evan did that day. He spoke in sentences that they could hear, he joined the social circle all on his own, he even asked the aid Maylynn for help. Turned to face her and said "I need some help" Apparently Maylynn nearly fainted. :) Again, some of you may be thinking, so what? But this is a big deal people! He's only been to school three days and he's talking. Of course he talks non stop at home, but sometimes even around family he won't. He gets uncomfortable, or unsure and he just shuts down. Three days and he feels comfortable. !!!! I know that a big part of his improvement are those wonderful teachers in his preschool, and I am so grateful that he gets to be in this class. I cried on the way home I was so happy.

And to keep adding to the wonderfulness that is my son, we had a new friend come over for dinner last night. Evan has only met her once really. He was cautious around her at first, per his usual. But he quickly overcame it, and talked and smiled and acted as if he's seen her a million times in his life.

I think we may have really turned a corner in his little life. It thrills me. I want nothing more than for my child to feel comfortable with himself, and to feel comfortable and loved by those around him, family, friends etc. I'm not delusional, thinking that these moments will always be, or that he won't have anymore anxiety and stress in social situations. But I have hope, tangible hope, that things will continue to improve. Let me tell you, it feels great!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Rule #119: Afternoon for the win!

Evan started his first week of preschool on Monday. I'm really excited for Evan, I think it's going to be great for him. It's two days a week, for two and a half hours. We picked an afternoon class for Evan, since he is so much like his father, and mornings are the bane of his existence. So far, things have gone really well.

The Wednesday prior to class starting we had gone and met the teacher, and explored the classroom. It's held in a local elementary school and the class looks like a lot of fun. There are three adults in the class, and 11 kids. I think that's fantastic! Evan really does well with that kind of attention. One general ed teacher, one special ed teacher and one aid.

The first 6 weeks of school Evan will be under observation to see if his anxiety and social issues impede his learning in a classroom setting. This will be based on the special ed teachers observation/opinion. Truth be told, I don't care one way or the other if he qualifies. He will remain in this class regardless of the outcome. But it will be interesting to see what she thinks come the end of October. I think it could go either way.

He was a apprehensive the first day walking to class. In fact, he demanded that I carry him. I brought him to his seat, gave him a kiss and left. When I came back to pick him up the teacher, Ms Jessie, said he did better than she had expected (yea!) There were a few tears, and then he was alright. Quite, subdued and very standoffish. Yep. That sounds about right for my kid. :)

Wednesday was a different story as far as the drop off was concerned. Alex took him that day, and Evan had worked himself into a frenzy by the time they even reached the parking lot. Sobbing and fits were seen, Evan was handed off directly to Ms Jessie.

Despite the beginning, he was able to calm down quickly and while he still didn't really participate in any real way, he explored a little more outside at the playground. He walked near the social circle, didn't join, but came closer than on Monday. I think that's great progress for it only being his second day of school!

I'm so excited for Evan, I think preschool is going to be amazing for him.

I tried to get the "first day of school" picture. Evan was less than cooperative. As usual. But here are my attempts.


He picked out his backpack. Which he won't wear. But he does like to carry it around. His only requirement was that it needed to be blue, so blue it is.