Saturday, May 17, 2014

Computer

I haven't been able to blog because our computer has been broken, but good news! Tomorrow we are going to get a new computer!!! I have so much to write about! Trying to write on my little phone or tablet takes forever, so I am so excited! Kellen and Grayson are amazing and there is so much I want to say about them! So stay tuned!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Time!

Gosh its been so busy around here.  Kellen and Grayson are great!  Grayson is starting to say more words and is still a mommy's boy!  Kellen is seeing an OT on Fridays, and an SLP on Tuesdays.  With the 80 degree weather we've been playing outside every day, enjoying our time together.  I am still very content with my decision to stay home with them.  Kellen is about 90% potty trained!  Which I am sure would not have happened if I weren't home with him 24/7.  I have to admit at first it was really hard adjusting to this new schedule.  I wasn't sure if I had made the right decision, but for now, I am content.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Autism

When I was a preschool teacher, I worked with several students who were diagnosed with Autism.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that those experiences would be my life with my own child.  We had blood work done and found that Kellen's autism is not genetic.  I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  I was scared that Grayson would follow in his bothers foot steps, but since its not genetic Grayson will not simply be autistic just because his brother is.  I know that this is a new part of my life and I will love my son as much as I did before the diagnosis, I just know that our way of thinking and reacting to him will be more of a challenge and make me learn to be more patient that I already was.  However, I just have to say that once a child is diagnosed it is extremely overwhelming.  We were in the beginning of dealing with Evan's accident (and we are still really dealing with it) so God has given us a very full plate.  I know this challenge wouldn't be given to us if God knew we couldn't master it and I am mastering it.  I've made hundreds of phone calls, talked to some of the very best doctors and and learning what the best is for Kellen.  Now that everything is becoming more organized its not as scary as it once was.  So far this is what we are doing for Kellen: I need to write this down for my own record and if anyone reading this is in the same place as we are, hopefully this will help.

He went back to see the dr who diagnosed him with Autism (Dr. Adrian Saunders with Olsen Huff, he is no doubt one of the very best) and the appointment went really well. The work I've been doing with him since staying home has helped. Here is a list of treatment that I have enrolled him in: Speech, Occupational Therapy, Behavior Counseling, the TEACCH program (to help with his Autism and for me and Evan to learn how to help him) he goes back to see Dr Saunders every couple months, I am enrolling him in swimming since I've been told that this is a great form of exercise for him, and a parent support group for me and Evan, and the Children's Development Center wants to start seeing him too.

I am amazed to learn about all the help that is out there for him!  I am also going to contact our local schools and enroll him part time in a program to expose him to more professionals and allow him to have some fun with other kids his age.  I am very excited about that!  The hard part is finding these programs, but since I ask about 10000 questions, I am learning so much!

If anyone has any additional information, please let me know. 

 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Changes

There have been so many changes in our lives that I can not blog about it all right now.  The biggest change is that I've resigned from my job as the HR Coordinator for Genova Diagnostics to be available 24/7 for my family, who all need more more now than ever before.  But here are the changes that have happened since the last time I blogged.  As soon as I find a free moment, Iwill attempt to blog all about it.
*Kellen is saying many more words!!!  He goes for his first speech consult on Wednesday and I am very excited for that!
*Grayson turned 1!!!  We had a great party for him!
*Evan's health continues to concern us all.
*Evan and I celebrated 9 years of marriage!
*I turned 36, but still feel like I just graduated high school!
*We had a great trip to PA!
*Grayson is a full on toddler!  He gets into everything and climbs on everything!
*Stacey's journey of getting her Haitian beauties are getting closer and closer!

I promise to catch everyone up, but right now my 2 very cute bosses are calling my name!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Follow Up

I just have to say that I still honestly don't think that Kellen is autistic.  I know I am the mom, and I am very, ok, EXTREMELY protective over my babies and I think that they are the most perfect little babies in the entire world, but also, since I am the mom I REALLY know my children.  Better than anyone.  And I have the mommy instinct, something that I trust more than any drs opinion.  Several others who know my Kellen, who have interacted with, who brought their children to play with Kellen all truly feel that he is not autistic.  He doesn't do any of the typical autistic traits that a child with autism has, besides the fact that his speech is between a 12-16 month old.  I don't deny that he has a speech delay, but thats it.  I still don't think he is autistic, but since its now on paper, I will go through what I need to, just in case.  I don't think it will hurt him, I think it will help him in fact, and teach me ways to work better with him.  I am staying positive, instead of crumbling in fear.  I will not live my life in fear.

The appointment yesterday went so much better than I expected.  We met with the dr from the Autism evaluation.  He went over his write up of the previous evaluation and answered all the questions that Evan and I had.  It was helpful to have Evan there, he asked questions that I hadn't thought of, and the support of both Evan and I is exactly what Kellen needs.  Evan and I agreed that neither one of us would never miss a single appointment or therapy session.  Kellen will always feel the support from BOTH of us.  I was given more paperwork, more reading, and I was instructed to set up several appointments.  He will see a behavioral specialist to help show us how to deal with Kellen's melt downs when he acts like a typical 2 year old...or slightly more intense.  He will see a Speech Pathologist, which I've been waiting for!  I can't wait to see what this dr will do for him!  I am enrolling him in a few programs, some of which will come to our home to observe Kellen and give us ideas how to work at "joint communication".  So, its going to be even busier at our home, but bring it on!  My boy will master all these obstacles!  During the appointment his dr told us why it was important to move forward with the blood draw.  Apparently there are some very scary forms of Autism, one being Factor X.  And this can be determined by a blood draw.  My heart sank as I imagined Kellen kicking and screaming while the nurses held him down and talked about sedating him.  I thought, this is going to be a nightmare.  So, we thought it would be best if Evan took Grayson home (one less kid to think about) and I would stay with Kellen.  *sigh*  I carried Kellen into the lab where we were greeted by 2 nurses who immediately welcomed us and swooned over my beautiful Kellen.  We went to a room, sat on a chair, and I placed Kellen on my lap.  The nurse told me to hold his left arm down by wrapping my right arm around his chest to his arm, and with my left hand I was to wrap my arm around his chest and hold his right shoulder.  She told me when she says, "give Kellen a hug" I need to give Kellen a big bear hug.  My heart started to beat faster!  I heard my instructions and I hugged him and kissed his cheek.  Kellen squirmed a little and did a little whine, so my instincts kicked in and I started singing his favorite song, the ABC song.  The nurses sang along too!  They were taking 3 vials of blood from him, so it took a few minutes, but the entire time that needle was in his arm, he remained calm and didn't even cry!  I swear, Kellen is amazing!!!  I am SO proud of him!!!  What a trooper!  And, I have to give those nurses props for doing such a good job!!!  They wrapped his arm with bandages and let him pick out a sticker.  We were on our way home.  I was so happy to be leaving that place, so we got goofy, took pictures, and sang songs on the drive home.  As soon as we got home, Kellen went down for a late nap.  OH!  I forgot to mention that all of this happened in the middle of his nap time!  Yes, he is an even BIGGER trooper!  I love that boy!

Here are some pictures from the appointment and our goofy drive home. :)


Looking at his Thomas sticker

Singing!

 Getting sleepy


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Going Back

Today we have another appointment with Kellen's dr, the Autistic evaluation dr.  I don't know what to expect.  I am scared.  Luckily Evan will be by my side this time...and so will BOTH boys.  Wish us luck!  Say a prayer, or JUST HELP!

Friday, June 28, 2013

What Happened.

I've been resisting blogging about what happened.  I guess the reason why is because once I say it out loud and write it down, its real.  I still don't believe it, metaphorically and literately.  We went to the appointment, and we were there with 10 minutes to spare (a huge accomplishment for me!)  I told the receptionist that Kellen had a 1:00 appointment and she looked at me confused.  I was afraid of getting the appointment date/time wrong since I had scheduled the appointment back in NOVEMBER!!!  So, I called 2 weeks prior to confirm the appointment, and I know I had the date/time correct.  She told me that they had called me the day before to confirm, but since I didn't call them back they canceled my appointment!  I was furious! 1. I never got a call from them, and 2. Why in the world would you cancel just because I didn't confirm!!!!  That's never happened to me before!  I think it was horrible that at a drop of a hat, my appointment was cancelled.  REMEMBER I MADE THIS APPOINTMENT BACK IN NOVEMBER!!!  They are so booked solid that it takes months to get in there!  So irritated!  I told her that I took the day off of work and I expected to be seen.  She talked to the dr and he agreed to see us, but not until he finished his NEWLY RESCHEDULED appointment!  GRRRR!  So, Kellen and I waited for about an hour.  Its now 2:00 and in 1 more hour, it will be Kellen's nap time.  Oh Lord help me!!  We head back for the appointment and Kellen was in a great mood!  He was so happy to see so many new and differnt toys, so he started playing and laughing and making car sounds while he played with the cars, dinosaur noises when he played with the dinosaurs, he was having a ball!  As Kellen played, the dr asked me several questions, including Kellen's habits, family history, changes in Kellen's life, etc.  I was shocked to learn what he thought were issues.  At this point I will condense the hour long session.  Kellen's performance was frowned upon because:
1. He knows his ABC's
2. He knows the sounds of each letter
3. He can identify each letter
4. He knows all the colors
5. He knows his shapes
6. He can put a puzzle together
7. He was very social with the dr (allowing him to hold Kellen)
7. He wasnt interested in reading more than 3 pages with me (he was more interested in the toys)
8. He has only a few words in his voabulary
9. He stopped saying some words
10. He flipped out when the dr stopped playing with Kellen and conducted a physical exam

At the end of the session the dr got very serious, so I asked if he was able to diagnose Kellen, or if he needed to conduct more tests, or needed to review his notes (every time Kellen did the above the dr would scribble note on his pad).  The dr told me that he was sad to have to give me the news that Kellen is Autistic.  He labeled him as Moderate/High Functioning Autistic.  My jaw dropped.  I didn't know what to say.  The dr started giving me all sorts of paper work, and telling me to take Kellen to the lab to have blood drawn to find out if his Autism was genetic (I didn't take him.  I couldn't imagine putting him through needles after all of this!  They must be completely out of their minds if they think that I would subject him to that too!!!!), I signed some stuff and that's all I remember.  I just needed to get out of there.  By now its close to 3:30 and past Kellen's nap time.  He completely flipped out when I took him away from those new toys and then for what felt like a life time I had to sit with the check out nurse while she did paper work.  I was about to lose my mind.  It was awful.  Kellen was screaming and crying and just wanted to leave that awful place!  All I wanted to do was run out of that place and forget that we were even there.  As soon as we got in the car, Kellen calmed down and passed out, and I called his pediatrician and told him that he was GOING to refer Kellen for a second opinion.  I cried most of that night, Evan and I were devastated.  At this point, I am going to get a second opinion, but I am going to use all the help I can get since he's been diagnosed to help him with his speech.  In all honesty, that is my only concern.  I am worried about Kellen's lack of speech.  As for him having Moderate/High Functioning Autism, I do not agree with that diagnosis at all.  I've talked to several other professionals who know Kellen and not a single one of them agree with the diagnosis.  I am sad and still devastated.  But, I will be strong for my boy and I will do every single thing with every ounce of me to make sure that he gets the best possible treatment.  We are about to start on a new journey and I am confident that we will figure all of this out and Kellen will not, WILL NOT be haunted by a label.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

FINALLY Kellen's Upcoming Appt and 11 months

I've mentioned Kellen's speech issues before, and was referred to see a specialist...and have an autism evaluation.  His pediatrician saw something that scared him, and I've seen it before too.  I guess its the years of working in the developmental day program that helped me connect some of the dots.  After waiting 6 months for a freaking appointment, the day is FINALLY here! Kellen's autism evaluation day is here! His appt is at 1:00 and I took the day off for it. I am SO nervous and scared! I don't know what to expect. I don't know if I will be in the room with him. I don't know if he will be scared if I am not. I am just a nervous wreck. I am glad that he is getting evaluated though. He isn't saying many words at all and that really scares me. I just hope that he has a speech delay, not autism. My poor baby. I know its hard for him. He gets so frustrated when we can't figure out what his gestures mean and why he cries or screams. We need answers. We need to help my baby boy.
 On the other hand, Gray turned 11 months old yesterday!  1 more month until this crazy boy is ONE YEAR OLD!!!  I can't believe it.  So, this is what my little monster is up to...
*pulling up on everything
*crawls super fast everywhere
*separation anxiety
*loves to play outside
*sleeps like a dream!!  12 hours at night, and a 2 hour nap during the day!  LOVE!!
*big fat feet!
*size 4 diapers
*12 month clothing 
*love playing with this little flute, you carry it everywhere!
*you drink about 6 bottles, and eat lunch and dinner.  You love dinner, and you eat a lot, but you still want your milkie too!
*you absolutely LOVE it when we sing Patty cake, you love it!  You try to sing it with me, you are so cute!  You say, "daddy cake, daddy cake, daddy cake" and clap your hands, I swear its the best!  Daddy loves it too! ;)
*you like to clap your hands
*you scream when your brother screams
*you love it when Kellen plays with you, not so much when he is rough with you.  But you are starting to stick up for yourself and push him away or hit him when he gets rough.
*you love to play ball.  You toss it up and watch it bounce.
*your growing TOO fast!  But I love you more and more every single day.

Friday, May 17, 2013

To the mom...

Today I was looking on my news feed on facebook and saw this post.  I teared up instantly and feel in love with this message.  I haven't said much about this, but there is something that is really bothering me.  I've been breastfeeding Grayson since the day he was born.  But its been a struggle with my milk supply.  For me, breast feeding was a personal goal.  I want so badly to breastfeed Grayson for 12 months, just like I did for Kellen.  But, as I mentioned my supply has been taking a beating for several months now.  When Evan had his accident I either got the worst tummy bug in my life, or I had food poisoning.  I got so dehydrated that I went from making 24 ounces of milk to 2 ounces in 1 day!!!!  I started pumping more often and for longer amounts of time.  I started taking an organic herb remedy called "Lactation Support" by Gaia Herbs.  This stuff is awesome!  It helped me make at least an extra 12 oz a day!  But, my body is tiring (especially from the stress of whats been happening in our life) and even the herbs aren't helping me anymore, but they did for a good 4-5 months!  I also rented a hospital grade pump, but I don't think that helped as much as I had hoped.  I think I am going to return it this week.  Anyways, back to my point, Grayson is 10 months old today, and I am hoping that I can hang in there for just 2 more months!!!!  I know that Grayson is very healthy, and I've done a great job breastfeeding for as long as I have, but it still hurts me so much to know that soon I won't be making anymore milk for him.  I don't think anyone understands how upsetting this is unless you've been a breast feeding mommy.  The only way I can explain it is for the 9 months that Grayson was inside me, I was 100% his life line.  I was all he had and all he needed.  Then he was born and my milk is what kept him alive and growing and healthy and he had to have me.  Now all of sudden it feels like he doesn't need me anymore.  I feel like my body is in a way letting him down.  I know, its dramatic, but hey, that's me.  That's how my crazy brain works.  Evan keeps reassuring me that I've done a great job and am a great mommy.  My friends are trying to lift me up and make me feel good about what I've done for the past 10 months, but it was this message that made me feel SO much better.  I just had to share it and save it on my blog.  
 
To the mom who's breastfeeding: Way to go! It really is an amazing gift to give your baby, for any amount of time that you can manage!  You're a good mom.

To the mom who's formula feeding: Isn't science amazing? To think there was a time when a baby with a mother who couldn't produce enough would suffer, but now? Better living through chemistry! You're a good mom.

To the cloth diapering mom: Fluffy bums are the cutest, and so friendly on the bank account. You're a good mom.

To the disposable diapering mom: Damn those things hold a lot, and it's excellent to not worry about leakage and laundry! You're a good mom.

To the mom who stays home: I can imagine it isn't easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. You're a good mom.

To the mom who works: It's wonderful that you're sticking to your career, you're a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it's fantastic. You're a good mom.

To the mom who had to feed her kids from the drive thru all week because you're too worn out to cook or go grocery shopping: You're feeding your kids, and hey, I bet they aren't complaining! Sometimes sanity can indeed be found in a red box with a big yellow M on it. You're a good mom.

To the mom who gave her kids a homecooked breakfast lunch and dinner for the past week: Excellent! Good nutrition is important, and they're learning to enjoy healthy foods at an early age, a boon for the rest of their lives. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the kids who are sitting quietly and using their manners in the fancy restaurant: Kudos, it takes a lot to maintain order with children in a place where they can't run around. You're a good mom.

To the mom with the toddler having a meltdown in the cereal aisle: they always seem to pick the most embarrassing places to lose their minds don't they? We've all been through it. You're a good mom.

To the moms who judge other moms for ANY of the above? Glass houses, friend. Glass houses.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Growing up Grayson

Grayson has gone through so many changes the past week I had to document them!  First, he had his 9 month check up yesterday.  Here are his stats:
Weight: 20 lbs 3 oz
Height: 29.25 inches
Head: 18 inches

He is in the 50% percentile all around, so he is growing just perfectly!  His appointment went really well and he didn't have to get any shots!  YAY!

This past week he has started to crawl!!!  He was just doing 3 crawling steps and then falling forward, then on Thursday night he saw the remote on the floor (he loves the remote) so he went crawling full speed to get it!  After that, he was off like a rocket!  That night he crawled from the living room to the bathroom, and then in the kitchen, into our bedroom, into Kellen's bedroom.  Thank goodness my house is already baby proofed!  He hasn't let me take a picture or video of it yet, but I will soon!

This past week he has started holding his own bottle!  I have to admit that this made me a little sad since I love that bonding time with him, but it does make it a little easier too!


Yesterday after his appointment Grayson and I decided to go to the grocery store.  I put him in the front of the cart where he sat there like a big boy!  I was so impressed!


This past week he has started eating more different foods.  He likes spaghetti!


This past week he started making the "skinky" nose noise.  Its hilarious!  Grayson starts doing it, then Kellen starts doing it and I can't stop laughing!

This past week he took a bath with out his baby bath tub!



He is in the phase where he eats everything off the floor!  I vacuum everyday and he still manages to find something to sneak into his mouth!  Drives me nuts!  Kellen did the same thing and I know that this phase won't stop ANY time soon.

He is still sleeping in our room, but I think that very soon we will move him back to his room.  He was moved from his room to our room when Charlene stayed with us after Evan's accident.  I love having him so close to me, but I think he is old enough to be in his own room (of course with his angel care monitor!)
 
 We got Kellen his first set of Hot Wheels and he loves those little cars just like his daddy did!!!  And he still love cuddles from his mommy.  Love these boys!