Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Lessons Jack taught me while he was two

A half written post that's been sitting in my draft box since September. Publishing it now because I never want to forget.

(Are you ready for the birthday madness? We kind of are. Back to back birthdays are no joke... should have tried harder to keep Cora in for a few more days. Kidding, of course. )

Last year Jack's two year old doctors appointment fell right smack dab on his birthday. Super fun, I know. But we were rushing to get his last set of shots done before a fresh little baby sister joined the family and was exposed to all his germs on the daily. As the time came near to the appointment my mom kept offering to take him for me. I kept telling her a big fat no. I was super pregnant, super uncomfortable, and very near labor but I wanted to be the one to take him. Because I knew the doctor was going to want to talk about his speech.
So that how I ended up standing in the pediatrician's office balancing a grumpy two year old on my belly, timing contractions. When the doctor told me it was time to get some extra help for Jack since he still wasn't saying much at all, I was pretty upset. I was kind of a wreck. Emotions were high (I literally was holding Cora in my arms 12 hours later) but maybe I would have been upset no matter when it would have happened. Because it isn't easy to hear that your child is behind. Even if it is just a little bit. Even if everyone you know is saying that they know so-and- so who didn't talk until they were five and then were fine. That doesn't make it better. Not when you have a doctor handing you pamphlets full of information and telling you to call and get your child evaluated, he has several markers for autism.
Evaluations are rough. Sitting back and watching your child be asked questions or to do simple tasks and just watching kind of sucks. I never knew what to do with the information I was gathering. I didn't know what it meant that he could do parts a and b of the evaluation but couldn't quite figure c out. I was always a little stressed since his mood and how comfortable he felt always played a big roll in how he did. I am still not certain there is a great way to evaluate young kids. We did another one yesterday and I still think it's so subjective and easily skewed. But I have become a big believer in early intervention. I do think that getting kids help while their young is beneficial.  I am still deciding what is next for Jack in terms of speech therapy since everything changes when he turns three. But I am glad we have done everything the way we have so far. Seeing him improve has been awesome. Plus we have learned a lot of great things through the process.
So here is a little of what Jack has taught me the past year.
Hard work always pays off. Hard work doesn't always pay off exactly when or how you want it to, but it always pays off.
It is good to understand what it feels like to be different.
 For a while, Jack would run into problems playing with friends. They would get frustrated when he didn't understand them or the game they were trying to play. He would get frustrated that they didn't understand what he was trying to tell them. So he would hit, or cry, or just give up and come home and it was really really hard to watch.
 Fast forward a bit and that communication he had been lacking started to set in. Jack was making more friends and I felt so relieved. It was becoming easier for him to do what kids are supposed to do, play.
 Then we met a beautiful girl with a bright smile, and one extra chromosome. Although she was older, she could communicate even less than Jack. The moment we met her, I saw Jack's hesitation as he watched her try so hard to tell him her name. He studied her for a moment. Then went right up and took her hand and pulled her over to where he was playing. He understood her gestures, her half words. He knew everything she wasn't saying. Watching their friendship develop over the weeks made each moment of Jack being the odd man out worth it.



Right Now

Hello my forgotten corner of the internet, it's been a hot minute since I've been here.



Right now: Cora June,
Cora, do you want to know a secret? Every morning when I scoop you out of your crib, I walk as slow as I can down the stairs. As soon as I hit the bottom step, your head whirls around seeking out your brother and your dog. But all the way from your crib to the bottom of the stairs, it's just you and me. Some mornings you're already wide eyed and chatting. But your eyes stay on me and you giggle and laugh while you point out my nose and plant slobbery kisses on my cheek.  Other times you're waking up slow. You wrap your arms tight around my neck and rest your head on my shoulder. If I try to pause my steps to soak it all in, you pop your head up and point downstairs and exclaim, "Jack?!" So I keep moving, just slowly. 
You have claimed my lap as your own special seat. If I am sitting down, you are adamant about sitting on my lap. Usually with a book in hand. Because Cora you may look like your dad but, you read like me. You could read book after book, or the same book over and over, all day everyday. Reading to you is one of my greatest joys. 
You are strong willed and determined not to be left behind by your brother, many times giving me a heart attack in the process of keeping up with him. You are busy and wild with the most beautiful eyes. You chat up everyone and everything you come in contact with, you even kiss your bath water and tell it "buh bye" when I pull the drain.
You are a climber, escape artist and wanderer. 
You wear your rain boots everyday.
And we all love you to the moon. 

.  



Right Now: Jack
Jack, thank you for pulling me head first into a world of your own creation everyday. I know sometimes I say, "Not right now" or "Maybe later" but thank you for being persistent until I put down whatever unimportant task I was preoccupied with and play pretend. Inside your imagination is my favorite place to visit. 
Currently your favorite things to say are "Ohhh come on, Mom!"  and to your dad's delight "Cash Money" You also like to say "Many" every chance you get "Look Mom, many cars!" or "Many kids outside!" Occasionally you will take a page out of your dad's book saying "Ok here are your choices, I play computer or I play your phone." I still translate for you sometimes, but you are communicating with others better and better everyday. You have actually become very social and play with friends everyday. 
You still sneak out of your bed at night and into the playroom to play ,"good guys and bad guys". 
You are kind and considerate. Your laugh is infectious.
Netflix gave Jake and the Neverland Pirates the boot but he still holds a prominent place in your heart and consequently holds a significant amount of space on our DVR. 
You hated your first swim lesson, but have agreed to try again. 
Part of me is still in disbelief that you'll start preschool in the fall but I also know you're so ready for it. 
Currently your favorite books is Hiccupotamus, you giggle from cover to cover. 
Sometimes you sing what you're doing as you're doing it. Your dance moves can't be beat. 
You are my 'treasure and adventure today' and everyday. 






Monday, September 26, 2016

Disneyland: All the Friends

My kids liked meeting the characters a much as they liked going on rides! We REALLY wanted to meet Captain Jake and were pretty bummed when we found out he only comes out on rare occasions.  But one of the days we were there Jake was filling in for Princess Sophia. Jack was in heaven. We also went to Disney Junior live on stage twice because.. Jake AND Mickey. But the best part was when Jack met Lightening McQueen. Jack was SO excited he was shaking. Let me back up. When we walked over towards Carsland Jack recognized the music! The moment he saw those red rocks he knew where we were. When he got to go up to Lightening McQueen, he threw himself on the hood giving that car a giant hug, and wouldn't move! Dreams came true. Cora was not scared of the characters and actually really liked them all! Well the ones that she saw. She liked the characters but she LOVED the churros. So sometimes she'd get to go get a churro while Jack waited to see Lightening McQueen .... again and again.
















So I like most things Tim Burton but have never ever been a Nightmare Before Christmas fan. But Jack was actually one of Jack's favorites haha. He was funny and goofy and just appeared out of thin air over by the exit of Pirates. 


Chief and Shell spent a whole day with us at the park. Such a fun place to make memories all together. Had no idea the Chief likes roller coasters! Now I know where Parker gets it... 









Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Disneyland: All the Fun

A whole week with my very favorite people and four days of that week spent in Disneyland!! Pinch me! Too good and still true. First family vacation as a family of four and I will cherish the memories forever and ever. I hope you are ready for an overload of Disneyland pictures. Starting with my favorite pictures of my kiddos on rides.

Jack's favorite rides were:
1. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
2. Pirates of the Caribbean
3. Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
4. Tarzan's Treehouse

Cora's favorite rides were:
1. The Golden Zephyr
2. Winnie the Pooh
3. Small World
4. Teacups

Honorable mention for both kids, The Chew Chew Train
































First time on Buzz and he just wanted to spin the car. By the end of the week sharp shooter was a high level two all by himself. Almost a level three..... which is what I am.















These rushed and blurry photos make me so happy! There is nothing like watching your kids be overjoyed.