Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Emmelina the Ballerina

Emme was so excited to start Ballet this week!

She practices her ballet almost every day (can't you tell by her form!?!)

So much joy when she dances!

Such concentration!

Such cuteness!

Yes, she likes to raise her hand.  And ask questions.  And tattle.  Oy, such a teacher's pet!

Again, can you believe her perfect form? 

The tap-tap-tappy (as she calls it) is her favorite part of class!

OT Update

Well, we had some issues between the facility we chose and our insurance.  So we have decided to move to a new facility. Delays, delays, delays.  But we were able to get into the new facility fairly quick, and we have our second evaluation tomorrow morning.  We will wait for the results (which we kinda already know, but the new facility has to do their own evaluation), and then set up OT. 

It's been a long week for us.  Leo was up all Sunday night with a barky cough, and he was (naturally) screaming through a lot of it.  I felt horrible for my little man!  We took him in and he had croup and a double ear infection!  No wonder he was so miserable, and it came on SO quick!  The nurse gave him some shots (which wasn't fun right away), but by the next morning he was back to normal.

Hope to have some answers for OT by Friday or Monday, and hopefully we can get started ASAP!  We are also looking into a weighted blanket for him, he still can't sleep through the night.  Just one more reason why I'm anxious for OT!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wishing and Hoping

Four months ago Leo was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder.  Earlier this year I thought I was a bad Mom.  I thought I couldn't teach my child how to be respectful.  I thought he hated me because how aggressive he was towards me.  I cried a lot.  Leo cried a lot.  Emme cried a lot.  It was hard.  We entered attachment therapy, which helped some.  Some days he would be great!  Others.  Well, let's just say it was bad again.  Then our pediatrician noticed this behavior and said "we need to step back, something is wrong here".  She explained Sensory seeking behaviors to me, and I just nodded my head because it made sense!   His lack of self control, his aggression, his disregulation.  I still don't understand it entirely, I just know that every time I read about it the more I understand my son. 

Now that we have this diagnosis does not mean that it's gotten easier.   It just means we are seeking help.  We are just now getting him started on Occupational Therapy (yes, it's four months later.  Let's just say insurance has been hindering this a bit).  We stick close to home, not venturing out too much.  We are picky who our play dates are with (Leo doesn't handle younger children very well right now).  We do a lot of sensory play around the house.  Sometimes it makes a big mess, but sometimes it's very much needed.  I don't decide to do something outside of the house until I can see Leo's mood.  We have been back on a bottle now, which helps calm him.  We stay pretty low key for Leo's sake.

We have had good weeks, we have had horrible weeks.  One of the bad weeks was for my Grandfather's funeral.   We decided that Trent should stay home, it was crazy busy for him at work.  I should have thought this through a little better.  We had some moments that were good, we had lots of other moments that were bad. I saw people watching me closely, I felt their thoughts seeping into me.  "Wow, she can't control her two year old", or "I would never allow my child to do that", or "If that were my kid I would...".  Oy.  I know that's what people think, because I see those looks a lot. 

I see these looks every time I take Leo somewhere new.  He gets overstimulated, I try to calm him down, and he goes back to what he knows best.  Biting, because he didn't have enough food when he needed it most.  Hitting, because he couldn't hit when he was faced with traumatic events when he was younger.  And I can handle his rages because I have an idea of what he is thinking.  But it doesn't make the looks any easier.  I know my son.  I know that he is aware of right and wrong.  He just can't control it right now.  Afterwards, he will say things like "I try not to be bad, I really try!"  Or "I'm sorry Mom, I don't want to hurt you".  But those people don't hear him say that.  They don't hear the pain in his voice when he is insistent that he REALLY is good!  They don't see him sigh in relief when I tell him "No matter what you do, I am your Mama.  And I will always be your Mama."

So we have gone back to basics for Leo, until we can get into Occupational Therapy.  Next week we have our first appointment.  I'm hoping to learn more about his needs, and how I can help him.  I'm hoping that they teach me the appropriate way to react.  I'm hoping that Leo will learn how to calm himself, or be able to take himself out of the situation before someone gets hurt.  I just wish that every person could see the happy, sensitive, creative and smart little boy that I see when we wake up in the morning.

I will send an update after our fist appointment, wish us luck!

Monday, April 30, 2012

She's a Talker!

Please excuse the bedhead, and YES she did ask for "Justen the Beaver" (we were checking things out on Netflix and she saw the Bieber movie).  Man, this girl cracks me up!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Oh the Places We'll Go!

Ergh, is this thing on?  Oh it is?  Oops!

So yes, it has been awhile since I have updated this blog.  We have experienced some changes in our life, and I still feel that we are trying to get into a "new" routine.

Our biggest change has been that we moved!  Trent was offered a job in a bigger city, and with this new job I am able to stay home with the kids.  So within a month and a half we packed up our lovely little house, and headed to parts unknown.  It was a whirlwind of a move, and I still have moments where I can't believe we actually did it!
Although we LOVE living where we live, the transition has been somewhat difficult on the kids.  Little Miss had a hard first week, and she still asks to go back to our old house (on occasion, 7 months later).  Little Man initially took to the move.  After the first of the year he started regressing in his attachment, and also started showing different behavior than what we have ever seen from him.  I was torn, is this age related?  Is it adoption related?  Is it something I fed him?  I had no idea, and I felt lost.  I was calling Trent regularly during the day in tears.  I was furiously reading every single parenting book I came across.  Nothing was helping with his aggression.  His need to constantly GO.  His inability to hear anything remotely close to "no". 

So we stepped back, and looked for help outside of the home.  It has been a slow go, but it's getting better.  Somewhere along the way, my son and I have lost some of our attachment.  We are now growing back together again.  He has been turning to me a bit more, attempting to make eye contact with me.  But it is still very fragile. Mr. Man has also been diagnosed with sensory integration disorder, which we are waiting to get into therapy.  We are in the middle of a giant learning curve right now.

My boy has already shown some AMAZING transformations in the last few months.  He has amazed me with his intellect, his perceptiveness, and his will to change.  These traits may be hard to parent at the age of 2, but I can already tell how amazing he will be as an adult. 

As for Miss E?  She is so much fun to watch grow.  Her flair for drama, her way with words, and her ability to love everyone has been flourishing every day.  That big sunny smile can light up the room, and she has everyone wrapped around her finger in a moment.  She is preparing for preschool next year, and she is ready to take on the world. 

My goal is to get back into blogging, to start recording our family's growth.  I would like to update the blog once a week, but I will keep you posted on how that goes!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Little Leo is the most dramatic, passionate, delightful, headstrong, endearing, charming, confident, SMARTEST one year old I have ever met. Today at the Library, he was getting the evil eye from another mother while he was throwing a huge fit on the ground. Within seconds, he had her wrapped around his finger with a nose scrunch, a smile, and a "wook at dat". She was all of the sudden head over heels in love with the kid. I just sat back, and thought "wow, that boy is good".

This little Leo grounds me. I will be stressed, trying to handle his outbursts/ mischeviousness/hunger/biting/hitting (or whatever else he was up to that day). But then at night I put him to bed, and he falls asleep in my arms without a fight. He wraps his chubby little arms around my neck, his sticky fingers pat my back, and he breathes softly into my ear. All of the sudden my feet reach the ground, and I see how far he has come. We struggled the first few months with putting him to bed, because he would fight us and cry out in his sleep. But now... He falls into our arms. It reminds me of the game "Trust", and I realize that he was challenging me all day because he was testing me. Then he just falls into my arms at the end of the day, because I passed all of his challenges and he still trusts me.

Every night I think about how much he grounds me. When I am putting him to bed, I realize he has brought me exactly where I want to be... Both feet on the ground, rocking back and forth, enjoying my baby boy. Sticky hands and all.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Year Ago...

It's hard to think that a year ago one of the most important men in my life left me, and shortly after another important man entered. The two men have never crossed paths, but I have spoken before of my thoughts about their resemblance. They are two peas in a pod. Leo is just like his Grandpa Grady. He is just as mischievous, stubborn, and playful as his Grandpa was. He likes his cookies, and he teases puppies to NO end! And I know that he is being watched over closely by his Grandpa.

This last year has been full for me. It has been full of joy and full of sadness. This year has been full of grief and full of new life. It's amazing to think of the many transformations that can take place. How one day can change it all. One year ago today my thoughts were consumed with trying to bring Leo home. Not realizing that I only had moments left with my Dad. How many times do I wish I could go back to those last moments? Honestly, probably too many to count. But my focus goes back to trudging through this first year. And I often am amazed at how far my family has come.

This past year our family has struggled through the holidays, the mundane days, and the celebrations. We celebrated my Dad’s 60th birthday the day of his funeral, and we enjoyed his favorite Oreos. We even found some of his hidden chocolate in the garage freezer. I then warned Mom that she was going to find hidden candy all over the house. We struggled through Father's Day, thinking of the one card we wanted to buy.

We had two new boys enter our family, both named for the one person we all miss. Every day we wished that Dad could see his two newest grandsons, and still be there to see his older grandchildren grow. Some of the kids asked difficult questions, others assumed that Grandpa was in the sky with balloons (that was Miss E, she was on a big “Up” kick at the time).

The holiday season loomed over us like a dark, stormy cloud. However, Dad sent us a message at Christmas that told us loud and clear that he is happy where he is. In January we learned that my Mom, who may not have looked at it in years, would be sure to start searching for her wedding album when we had snatched it for a surprise on their 40th wedding anniversary.

We have laughed, we have cried, but most of all we have survived. Something that this time last year, we weren’t sure was going to happen. This past year passed in a haze. There are months I don’t remember, summer flew by in a blur. Special times stand out in my memory: meeting my son for the first time; bringing him home; introducing my two children to each other; finally introducing Leo to his grandparents and extended family. All of these moments so special, but something was missing from all of those moments. A piece of me was gone.

However, I look at our family today and I see healing taking place. We all are walking around with a little bit of relief, a relief that is generated from the realization that we made it through all of the firsts. Our survival mode is slowly going away, replaced by confidence. A confidence that comes from the awareness that, although we miss him terribly, we can make it through the day… the week… and the year…

Dad, we miss you. We would love to have you back here on earth with us, but we know that your time is not our time. Thank you to you and Mom for creating a wonderful family. Our family may be missing an important link, but we now hold a newfound strength. Thank you for giving us that strength to carry on without you. We feel your presence as our lives change, and please know that we need you here with us as much as you can be. We will love you forever, and we will miss you always.