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.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rule #118: Objects in motion stay in motion

This is a little update on Graham. My 11 month old! I can't believe he's almost 1, seriously, that blows my mind a little.

He started crawling a few weeks ago, so around 10 1/2 months, about the same time as Evan actually. I think for different reasons, but I think it's interesting that they happened to be the same age when they became mobile.

As I had hoped, crawling and this new found independence has made Graham a titch happier. It really depends on the day. I should have written this post last week, because it had made a big difference. But the last few days my ball of happiness has been a whining machine!! There are moments throughout the day where he is happy to explore and play by himself or with Evan, but lately, those moments are so few and far between. He just....needs, all the time.

What he really needs are teeth. :) We are also struggling in the eating department again. Not with bottles, now that he could actually start weaning. But from baby food. The boy just wants REAL food. We've been branching out a little, seeing what he can gum down and what he's still not ready for. He's been liking this experiment I think. He tried small pieces of chicken nugget yesterday, and it rocked his world! He was so happy.

One of my favorite things to witness these days, is Evan and Graham playing together. It is the cutest thing. Ever. Evan is really getting into Graham, thinking he's fun to play with, loving the reactions he gets. And Graham has always thought his brother was the coolest thing since sliced bread. Evan will ask to go downstairs with Mommy and Graham, then when we get there, he asks me to leave. He didn't really want to play with me, but he needed Graham to get downstairs somehow...it's cute until Evan hits him in the head. Or decides this moment he is no longer okay with sharing. But it's a work in progress, and I love to watch it unfold.

Here are two videos of my little teddy graham. The first one was before he could crawl, like days before. We were waiting at the doctors office. He just kept spinning and spinning, he loved how slippery the floor was.

The second was his first *recent* experience with swings. I know it's a crappy resolution, (I've got to stop using my phone) but I think you can still see the pure joy all over his face!

Love this kid!!