Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Best Friends!

Whenever I spoke with my mom on the phone, she would always ask me if Kai had a friend.   Last school year if I asked Kai if had any friends he would smile really big and say "yeah" and sign L for Lydia and C for Connor.   The reality was that neither one could tolerate Kai.  He had some really annoying social behaviors like wiping his face on the person sitting next to him.  Especially annoying when you have excessive drool.   Putting his feet on the person next to him.  You get the picture, it is hard to have friends when you are the most annoying person in the room. LOL!   This summer we did a huge push in all therapies and added social play therapy.   What a difference it has made for him!  Last week I went and watched Kai's classroom through a two way mirror.   He sat in the circle and never once touched another child.  He listened to the story being read and get this...he raised his hand when the teacher asked a question!  I almost started crying.  When you have a child that has multiple special needs it is so heart warming to see him fit in with typical kids.  So getting to the picture above, Kai finally has a friend.   Nolan is so excited to see Kai in the morning that they walk in together every day holding hands.   If you ask Kai now, who his best friend is, he will say "Nolan" and sign the letter "N".  This time it is a true friendship!   

Thursday, October 16, 2014

School 2014

The boys have had a good start to their school year.   Bei amazed me by telling me that he was fine walking into to school the first day all by himself.   I see so much growth and maturity with him.   I not only LOVE that kid but I REALLY REALLY LIKE him.   Does that make sense?   I really like who is as a person.   He is such a good and honest person.  

Kai is repeating preschool.   He is so socially delayed that everybody felt that it would be beneficial for him to spend another year learning to play and improve his social skills.   He also has an ASL teacher assigned to him 3 mornings a week.   And he is receiving ASL instruction 4 days a week.   I recently went in to watch him at school.   I was so impressed.   He sat with the other kids, didn't put his feet on them.   He didn't wipe his drool on them as he has been known to do in the past.   He sat and listened to the teacher read a book.   When the teacher began asking the class questions, his little hand went up because he wanted to answer a question.   I am seeing growth by leaps and bounds.   His language is increasing and improving daily.  Thankfully he signs and speaks.   If I don't catch the verbal, I can follow his signs and know what he wants.   He recently started signing the question why?  Why does this blanket have cords from it?   It is an electric blanket!   Why does Dad work?   I LOVE IT!  Another sign that he recently learned is "hard".  It is so nice for him to be able to tell me when he thinks something is too hard!   He is very smart, I believe he is reading and understanding words.   He is a number crunching kiddo.   He loves his numbers.     Personality wise he is sweet and loving! 

I have been blessed beyond anything I could dream of!   

Friday, July 25, 2014

Inch Stones

In the "typical" world our children meet milestones throughout their life.   With our "atypical" kiddo's they have "inch stones".    We celebrate each and every little accomplishment as a huge victory of our child developing into who they are meant to be.   Back in March of 2014, Kai actually had a milestone, which was the fact that he went from having 4 words "mom", "dad", "Bei" and "dog" to 14 spontaneous words by the beginning of June.   Most recently I have recorded over 30 spontaneous words in a day and even some phrases!    That is a HUGE change in our world.   We basically went from a non-verbal child, to a child that is babbling and attempting to talk.    The words that he knows are ones that have been repeated often to him or labelled in a book, words like banana, yes and no.   Our inch stone moment that I have been celebrating for the past two days is that Kai is picking up incidental language.   Yesterday, we came home from grocery shopping and I was unpacking the bags when I looked in a bag and loudly blurted "OH NO!"  Kai had somehow snuck in not one, not two but THREE ORGANIC Blueberry cartons and this was on top of the two non-organic blueberry cartons I put in the cart.   Honestly, I was having more of a cow about the cost of organic blueberry's.  I can only imagine that they are $50.00 a carton!!   I refuse to look at my receipt to verify!   Anyway, Kai walked around saying "OH NO!"   I loved it!!!  Later that day he broke a ceramic bowl and I said "Uh Oh!"   Yep, he went around stating the same thing.  Today we looked at a book that was ripped up and I asked him "What happened?"   Kai then said "what happened?" clear as day!   Inch stones!  Each and every one of them moving him towards conversing in 3 to 4 word sentences!  It is exciting for me to see his development and to celebrate where he is today.    

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I'M BACK!!!!

Special Friends!

 Spending the Summer Together!

Having fun!!
You wouldn't believe the reason that I have been MIA...I couldn't get logged into my blog!!!   For some reason has me logged under Dan's gmail account instead of the one that I initially had with google.  Frustrating to say the least!   I don't have time to write a lot tonight, but I will back!

I know I am going to do a lot of posts about Kai and his development, so that is why there are three pictures of Bei.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wonderful Life!

As summer started to wind down and the horizon of school began to creep upon us, I was filled with angst.   I was not ready for my kids to go back to school.  I wanted to keep them at home and just continue to hang out together.   Oh how I envy those homeschooling mom's.  But it is not written in the cards for me or my kids.   When you are a self-described C- personality type, you know it would not benefit your kids or society to raise a bunch of underachieving off to school they had to go.  
Bei and I spent weekly sessions at an attachment therapist to help with his separation anxiety.   The work that she did to help prepare us was very understated, yet effective.  It was so nice for us to have that one on one time together and to have something all about him.   As the summer progressed Bei was able to verbalize his anxiety about school, which we could then address his feelings.   The week prior to school started I just knew in my heart that this year was going to be different.   Both Dan and I noticed an increased level of maturity on Bei's part.   The first day Bei cried a few tears, wiped his eyes and walked in the classroom.   There has not been a tear since that day!   He LOVES his teacher!  She is a great fit for him; kind, gentle and nurturing.   Honestly, God has been watching over him since day one because he has had the best teachers.    On his second day, they asked the kids to bring 5 things in about themselves and discuss them.   Bei was the star that day!   Bei wowed the class by twirling a basketball on his finger (he is REALLY, REALLY good!).  He showed the kids how to solve the Rubik's cube with different color patterns.   He showed them his origami boomerangs, planes and balls.  (I can't remember what the other two things were that he brought in).   When I picked Bei up the second day, I could tell Bei had a very successful day!  His teacher told me how impressed everybody was by all his different talents.   Now from my perspective, this is a little boy that has never participated in extra curricular activities.  I love that he worked at something hard, achieved it and received the reward of acknowledgement and praise.   Then later in the week Bei couldn't wait to show me one of his math sheets.  It was a timed 50 question math quiz and he got them all right.   I love that he is having one success after another.  I'm praying that his confidence and success continues through the school year.  
Kai started at the Auditory/Oral school last week and tomorrow he has his first day at the Deaf School.  Surprisingly, Kai has cried pretty hard each day that he has gone to school.   Last year he never cried once and seemed to really enjoy it.   Tomorrow will be telling to me about what is going on.  I explained to Kai that he will be going to two different schools; one with Miss Barb (A/O) and the other school will have Miss Julie (Deaf).   He had summer school at both schools this summer so he knows who the teachers are.   When I told him about the two different schools, he signed to me that Miss Julie is "better".   He walked around the house, signing "Miss Julie is silly".   I think he really wants to go to the Deaf school and when he see's that we are going to the A/O school he is really sad.   The A/O is very rigorous and not very nurturing.   Last year at times, I felt like they were very fed up with Kai.   He is the only special needs child and I don't think they had the patience to handle him at times.   The other thing that might be happening is the fact that he and I have really bonded this summer.   He still wants me to hold him all the time and play with him, so he might be having separation anxiety...ugh...not another one!!!  
I have to say I am so incredibly impressed with Kai.  At his 3 year evaluation, he tested low cognitively -1 standard deviation from the mean.   Let me tell you, I don't think there is anything low in this boy's IQ.   He is fingerspelling all of our names at home...which I did not teach him, he just started doing it on his own.  He started with Bei's name, not even his own name.   He also is spelling words like Sam, cat and hat using the IPAD with no prompts.   He can complete a 25 piece puzzle by himself! He LOVES books!  And then we all know this kid knows his numbers!!  Now that Kai is unlocked from his own out world!!!    

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer Fun 2013

This pretty much sum's up our summer, lots of fun at the cabin with family and friends.  We hit it hard during the week and then head back up for another fun weekend.

Miss me???   Anybody even still checking this thing anymore???   We have had an incredibly busy summer, so much so that I haven't had time to blog!  Kai has had 6 therapies a week, including an aqua therapy where they provide a co-treatment of OT and Speech at that same time.  Plus, he was in a music class, had summer school in the mornings for the auditory/oral school and currently is in the Metro Deaf Summer School program.   That little boy is busy but tired!  The most terrific news in the world has happened this summer, not only is Kai potty trained for peeing but he is totally off the bottle.  Yes, go ahead and insert your eye roll here if you want, but he was still on a bottle at night.   I finally told him that he was too big and that big boys don't have a bottle only babies do!   I honestly walked around feeling like the most courageous woman in the world for getting him off the bottle.   I had been so scared to take the one thing that calmed him away from him.   He has finally out grown his fainting spells where he would lose consciousness to deal with difficulties.  He has grown so much developmentally I knew he finally had the coping mechanisms in place to handle it.  

For Bei we go to attachment therapy on Thursdays which is incredibly insightful.   The therapist is wonderful she does everything in play mode.   Bei really enjoys it.   I am learning a lot and hopefully Bei is gaining some of the tools and skills he needs when we  separate.   Beginning school is very much on his mind and he has a lot of anxiety about it...poor thing.   I tell him that he is strong and that he has done it before many times.   Dan most likely will take him to school the first week, since separating from me is harder for him than from Dan.   It was our therapist suggestion and I think it is a good one.  Bei did not want to be in any organized extra-curricular activities this year which I agreed to for one more year.   He knows that next spring he has to join something.   He loves to play basketball and baseball in the yard and he is darn good at both.    One of Bei's strengths is that he loves challenging mind games on the IPAD that deal with physics and math.   He is fascinated by the Rubik's cube and is able to get sides of it one color but never at the same time.   He is determined to figure it out.   I love his tenacity.   He also loves anything origami.   This is sooooooooooooo out of my league.  He builds boomerangs and balls that you blow air into and they stay blown up.  I am amazed since I always hated that kind of stuff. 

This summer has also been busy with family and friend fun.   We spent an extended weekend in Chicago with my family, which was a ton of fun.   After that we have had people at the cabin every weekend.   We have enjoyed our time with each family!  It has been fun! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Christ Has No Body

Teresa danced in her recital Saturday !!!!  She was so excited . 
She loved it .      Thank you to our wonderful community of friends, Teachers , family , Church and transplant teams that came out to Teresa's fundraiser on Saturday Evening.  We are so grateful to each of you for your generosity , love and prayers for Teresa .

The little girl in the picture above is named Teresa.   Her parents adopted her from China with the knowledge that she had a serious heart condition and that she would need a heart transplant.   Her family was called yesterday and as of now she is fighting for her life.   Her little body is rejecting the heart.   The adoption world and many other communities are lifting her in prayer.   Her story, her life, her families decision to adopt her, made me think of a poem that was recently published in our church bulletin.   It really touched me and spoke to me about what our purpose is here on earth.  

Christ Has No Body
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)