Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wow, once again it's been a year since I posted last, lol.  I'm STILL super busy with school, but finally done with all the classes needed for my associates RN degree and preparing to enter the nursing program in the fall.  I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel! 

I guess my biggest news is that Blake is potty trained!  Yay!  We have waited for this for almost 7 years.  It happened just a week or 2 before his 7th birthday.  He was #1 trained a few months ago...we just started sending him to school in underwear, and he never had an accident!  For about 2 months after that he would still sneak off to do the other in his underwear.  A couple times we caught him in time to get him on the potty, and one day we just found him sitting on the potty all by himself!  The rest is history.  Since he has been #2 trained he has had no accidents.  (Still in pull ups at night, but who cares?) His little sister Alli (now 4) potty trained just before him, so now after years and years of changing diapers we are finally diaper free.  Weird.  One of my biggest worries was sending him to kindergarten not potty trained, and now that weight has been lifted and it is such a relief.

Speaking of kindergarten, he will be starting in the fall.  New school, new teacher, new friends.  And he will be going all day; until now he has been going half days so this will be a big change for him.  He is not a morning person...most days I have to wake him at 11 or later so he will not be happy at first.  But hopefully he will get used to it.  Alli will be starting preschool in the fall also, which is perfect timing for me to be at nursing school all day.  My oldest Paige is going into her junior year and currently taking driver's ed, Savannah is going into 4th and Ty is going into 5th.  My stepson Jacob just turned 13 so now we have 2 teens.  Lord help us. 

Blake is talking like crazy and just learned to write his name.  He recently performed in his first school program with a typical pre k class, and sang his solo in front of everyone, beautifully.  I can't believe we wondered if he would ever talk.  If you are reading this and your child has special needs, don't ever, ever give up hope.  They can do amazing things, they just need more time!

We just got back from our 2nd PTLS family reunion, in WI this year. It was so awesome to see the other families again.  Every time I leave with so much happiness but feel so sad because 2 days is just not long enough.  These are the only people who know what we have been through and although some of us have never met there is an unbreakable bond that will last a lifetime.  I will post pics if I can figure out how.  =.)  There is nothing like seeing Blake playing with other kids just like him, and seeing my other kids treating the other PTLS kids just like they would Blake.  Words can't describe how happy that makes me.

That is about it for now.  Updates are fewer and farther between now because he is older, and progress isn't as quick as when he was a baby.  But I will update when I can, or when anything exciting happens.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wow...has it really been almost a year since I last posted?  I have been back in school for about 10 months now so I guess that explains why I've had no time to do it.  School has actually been going really well!  It seems to be taking forever, since I usually can only fit in 2 classes at a time.  This fall is my last semester of classes before I start the nursing program, so that's exciting that I'm almost to that point.  I am hoping they will have a spot for me right around Dec/Jan, which is the same time I will be finishing up fall semester.  The timing would be perfect.   I have been getting really good grades and have to say I'm extremely proud of how I've done so far.

All the kids are doing great.  Paige just finished her freshman year of high school and after a rough patch (that we corrected-quickly) she managed to end the year like we knew she could.  Ty is going into 4th grade, Savannah 3rd.  She has Ty's teacher from last year, which has happened every year except for one.  So that is like a running joke between us and the school staff now. 

Now for Blake.  He is doing so so well.  He is talking like crazy, though we still can't understand everything he says.  In the fall he will be spending part of his class time with his ECSE teacher from this school year, and will be spending some of his time in a typical pre K class.  This is something that I felt very strongly about and fought for.  The awesome thing is that the school agreed and everyone is on board.  There is a pre K teacher who is just awesome-uses music, silly characters, etc. to help the kids learn.  I know with Blake's silly personality and his love for music this will be the perfect place for him.  Will he be on the same level as the other kids?  No, but we are hoping that he will learn a great deal from the other kids and will make great strides this school year.  The pre K teacher even suggested Blake stay in the afternoon class so he can be a part of his annual Mother's Day program.  I am so moved and appreciative of the fact that he is already including and welcoming Blake into his class, and the school year hasn't even started yet.  The plan is for Blake to gradually spend more and more time in the pre K class so by the end of the year he is in there for the majority of his school day.

I have to admit even though it was my idea, I'm nervous.  I guess my main concern is the fact that he is STILL potty training.   He has been making progress.  He has asked to go a few times, which he didn't used to do.  But he is still going 1 & 2 in his pullups, and I don't want him to be embarrassed.  I don't want to put the pre K teacher in the position of having a kid with poopy pants when I know all the other kids are going to the potty by themselves.  I am hoping for a potty miracle this summer.  Alli is also potty training so I have been taking them both at the same time.  I am hoping that she will pick it up and then he will pick it up, or vice versa.  Like I said... we need a potty miracle.

Now for my final bit of news.  This weekend we are going on our first family roadtrip to Ohio.  We are driving with 5 kids, so please pray for us.  It will be about a 6 hour drive.  The occasion is a PTLS family get together at the Great Wolf Lodge.  This is so amazing because although it has been 4 years since Blake was diagnosed, we have never met any of the other families.  We all keep in touch on facebook and honestly, they already feel like family.  But to actually meet them in person, and for Blake to meet other kids just like him...there are no words to describe how that feels.  This trip is a gift from my grandparents/great aunt, and I am so very grateful.  I will try to post again after the trip, and post some pictures. I'm sure it will be an amazing time!
Blake, on his 6th birthday.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Well Blake is 5 now.  He finished off the school year strong and will be doing one more year of ECSE in the fall.  We had the option of sending him to preschool, but with his speech/cognitive delays I don't think he would have gotten the individual attention he needs to learn and would have been way behind.  His ECSE teacher is moving to pre-K due to some physical restrictions, so he will have a new teacher next year.  But I am hoping in a couple years he will be able to have Miss Sheri as a teacher again.

His speech has exploded since the last time I wrote.  He is putting together many sentences and phrases, instead of just a couple.  "I don't want to" and "I didn't mean to" are some of his favorites!  He is also telling us to shut up (his dad is his favorite target for that one) and has gotten my 2 year old Alli saying it, so we are trying hard to break him of that habit before the school year. 

He is eating everything and his behavior has gotten a lot better.  He still has his days where he is really challenging, but most of the time it is just because he is bored and if we come up with something for him to do that helps. 

We have gone to the beach a few times this summer and he LOVES it.  He has no fear of water and is the first one in the lake.  A life jacket is definitely needed for him because he does not understand how far is too far, and would quickly get in trouble.  I think swimming lessons will be really good for him...maybe next year when he is a little older.

We are STILL potty training.  He is pretty cooperative and will always go when brought to the bathroom, but does not tell us when he has to go.  I am hoping this will come soon, because I feel like this is one of the main things that differentiates him between his peers.  Although he has special needs, he is still 5, and that is pretty old to be in diapers.  I don't want him to be the only kid in his class in pull-ups.

I took him and Alli to the mall the other day to play in the big tree house.  I was nervous the whole night before because I thought he would be ignored by the other kids because of his delays.  Then a little boy came up and introduced himself, and asked if Blake wanted to play.  He kept asking him what his name was, and Blake wouldn't answer..I don't know if he was being shy or just didn't understand how to answer.  Anyway I went over to him and I said "his name is Blake.  He can't talk very well but I'm sure he would love to play with you."  And that sweet little boy didn't care one bit.  Blake and his new friend ran around that place together for the next hour, and it was so nice.  So....normal.  And it made me so happy.

I am enrolled at GRCC and will be starting school in a little over a month.  I am so excited and so scared at the same time.  I know I need to do this, to get my degree so my family can have a comfortable life.  But what if I can't?  What if I am not smart enough, or strong enough?  What if I fail?  I wish I had done this years ago, but the reality is I had my kids.  I am only going part time, early in the morning or at night, so Nick and I can both still work, and I can still have time for the kids.  When my name comes up on the wait list, all the kids will be in school and I will be able to attend during the day. 

I feel so guilty because by the time I have my life together, Paige will be off to college and will miss out on the new house (with a pool) that I WILL have someday.  We will have struggled through most of her life, and for that I am sorry.  But we did the best we could with the cards we were dealt, and we can do better for the other kids.  And Paige can use the pool when she comes home for the summer, right?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Today at lunch Blake didn't want to eat, so he put the table cloth over his plate and just sat there.  Apparently he thought no one would notice his ENTIRE plate was funny!  I'm very impressed that he came up with that plan all by himself!  He has also started saying, "oh, I see"  when you tell him idea where he got that from but it's hilarious.

He's doing well with his switch to the afternoon class..  He gets a little rowdy with another little boy in there but really seems to like his new friends.  They have also been spending time in a typical preschool class and his teacher said he loves that.  He has been a lot naughtier at home; we're assuming that's because we basically had to switch his entire day around...hoping he calms down soon because he can be really challenging at times.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blake has made such improvement over the past few months.  He has started putting 3-4 word sentences together, even telling us "have a good day" when we go somewhere.  He is constantly talking at home (even though it is still hard to understand a lot of it.)  He loves school and riding the bus everyday.  He knows many songs from TV shows, radio, etc...he actually seems to have a really good memory.  It will be interesting to see how much he really has stored in that brain of his when he gets older.  It actually makes me kind of nervous--I hope there's not too many moments of, 'hey mommy remember when you got really mad and said all those naughty words?' 

Potty training is going slow but steady.  He still isn't initiating potty trips but is always willing to try when I bring him.  He is successful at least 3-4 times a day, although we are still working on the elusive #2...

I got a call from his teacher today who wants to move him to the afternoon class, which is a bit more of a higher level class.  I am so happy she suggested that because I have been wondering if his current environment has been holding him back a little.  He learns a lot by modeling others and in the class he is in now there aren't many typical behaviors for him to learn from.  So excited for him to learn some new skills and behaviors.  He is definitely up for the challenge!

Christmas was busy but really nice.  Blake was really into it this year and remembered the Christmas tree and Santa from last year...they talked a lot about it at school and he loves singing "jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle all da way..HEY!"  Christmas morning he sat on the floor patiently with all the other kids and when it was his turn for a gift he would say, "Yay!"  LOL, sooo cute!

I hope everyone's New Year is going well.  I'll try to update often but it is so hard to find the time with 5 kids!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blake had a repeat swallow study today and passed with flying colors!  There was no sign of food or liquid going in to the lungs, so we officially no longer need to thicken his liquids.  So very happy & thankful  that after a very long journey we can finally put his feeding issues behind us.  Yay!