Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Awwwww......The Good Ole' School Lunch Table

Had lunch at the school yesterday with this handsome fellow:


I sat at a table with him and about six other five year old boys and one girl.
Here is just a sample of some of the questions/comments that took place in case you're wondering what happens at the lunch table of five year old boys:

 Are you really his mom?
 No, I mean like really? Are you his real mom?
 Have you ever thrown up before?
 What did it look like?
 Has Isaac ever thrown up before?
 Did his throw up look the same as yours?
 Well, he told me he threw up once, but I didn't know if it was true.
Have you ever picked your nose? 
I pick my nose all the time.
 Has Isaac ever had a whoopin'?
 What? Why did he get one this morning?
 I get whoopins sometimes too.
 Is Isaac really gonna be Iron Man for Halloween?
 Well, I'm going to be a Power Ranger and I think that's cooler than Iron Man.
 Did you think Isaac was cute as a baby?
 Oh, you still think he's cute?
I think he's cute too. (says the lone girl)

Oh my.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hot Diggity Dog!

Holy Nondescript looking Sensory Brush, Batman,
this thing actually works!

We've been through a lot over the last 3 years and one thing I've learned is that doctors and therapists don't always have all the answers and sometimes I have to trust my gut instinct.

And sometimes I don't.

Because recently, my gut instinct was dead wrong.


Long story short, the picture above is known as a sensory brush. It is supposed to help the connections between Owen's brain and his senses by stimulating his nerve endings or something complex like that.

"The DPPT uses a specific pattern of stimulation delivered using a special type of brush and gentle joint compressions. It is believed to facilitate the coordination of mind-brain-body processes in a manner that influences positive change. It is applied every two hours for a number of days, which is specified by through the collaborative process between the recipient of the protocol and the trained therapist."

Rrrriiiiiiggggggghhhhhhhhttttttttt........[Occupational Therapist] who I just met five minutes ago, you want me, in addition to doing structured meals every three hours throughout the day, to now strip down this same child every two hours and "brush" him and compress his joints? And this is going to make a difference how exactly?

Well the truth is, even after explaining how exactly they hope it does make a difference, I still don't understand all of it. BUT, it DOES make a difference. So, as hard as it has been to throw my skepticism out the window and embrace the brush; embrace it, I will.

And here's one BIG reason why:







Yes, my fellow (possibly skeptical) people, what you saw was not a fancy camera trick and I promise that is in fact Owen strapped into the chair. What you witnessed was Owen self feeding his very first turkey dog. Not pureed.

Notice there was no gagging or vomiting involved. There were some tears, but they were mine not his, so they don't count.

So yes, we will continue brushing and compressing joints for as long as we are told to continue doing it because it. is. making. a. difference.

And you know what else?
My boy likes it. He often brings the brush to me.

He likes it even when we're in the middle of a pumpkin patch with very little privacy.



And I like it too.
Even when he makes me sing the embarrassing song we made up for brushing in the middle of the pumpkin patch with very little privacy.

Here's a list of some differences the brush has made:

1. His vocabulary has erupted.
2. He played in sand the other day. And enjoyed it.
3. He is more open to trying some new foods. You saw the hot dog, right?
4. He has been transitioning better at school.
5. He conquered the boat at the mall play area.
6. He has been happier all around.
7. His energy level has increased.
8. He has been more engaged with others.
9. We're seeing fewer temper tantrums.
10. He is now potty trained, cleaning his own room, cooking his own food, and he even walked the dog the other day. (Okay - it's not a miracle brush, but we're still super excited about the progress he is making!!)

So obviously, I am now a sensory brush supporter. I may even start my own support group or pyramid sales team to sell these puppies to people who need them.

Let me know if you're interested.

And to sum up in case you got bored while reading -
Owen finally ate some processed crap that none of us should be eating.
And we could not be more proud.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Besties

So you know how I was worried about writing too much about the hard times in life? Well get ready for a plethora of pictures that counteract the hard days. Get ready for Sap City. In fact, if you don't like sappy posts, you may want to skip this and check back in later for more reality and sarcasm. Because if I had been a movie character today, I would have been Rapunzel from the movie, Tangled. You know the scene where she finally gets out of the tower and she's swinging around the tree screaming "Best Day Ever!" at the top of her lungs? That totally would have been me today.

Because today was all about the meat of life. You know what I mean? It was one of those days where we ignored the laundry and the many tasks that needed to be done and spent it where it really mattered - with the people we love. Plans changed at the last minute and Todd took the kids to soccer while I met Whitney and Hogan for lunch. I got to hug on this sweet baby boy and his mama. In fact, we hugged so much in the parking lot that people may have gotten the wrong idea. We didn't have long so we soaked up every second of our 120 minutes together with laughter, tears, and good old baring of the souls. Soul baring like you can only do with the people who have known you since you tight rolled your jeans and had three layers of bangs stacked on top of your head and sprayed with so much hairspray that a tornado could not have moved them.




Love ya my fruit loop sista! I know Colorado is cool and all, but I'm about to launch an all-out, no holds bar campaign to get your skinny butt back to NC where it belongs. You've been warned.

After lunch, I ran home to grab the rest of my crew and we headed to Hillridge Farms for more fun with friends. It was a beautiful day and the kids had a blast.





And continuing on with the theme of friends.....here's some more besties: You know - the people who go through the good and the bad of life with you. People like Donnie and Cinda who drive all the way to New Jersey to help you when your littlest needs special treatment. People like Joel and Erika who make you laugh until you cry and show up when you're having a bad day just so you can go for a run. People like your own kids who know you inside and out and love you in spite of your many flaws.)
 







And these two? They have been friends since they were toddling around. And they still love each other and I hope they survive the teenage years only to find that one day when they live across the country from one another, they too will soak up any amount of time they can have together. I hope they will love each other's children like their own. I hope they will stand outside of a Moe's and hug each other for an embarrassing amount of time.



Because the blessing of true friends is one of God's greatest gifts.

And I am blessed immeasurably.

Friday, October 14, 2011

For Realz?

Ever had one of those days where you get a surprise phone message from your oldest friend (who currently lives in Colorado) and she says, "hey - what time are your kids soccer games tomorrow? I'm coming to watch them play and hang out with your family."

Seriously?

I knew she was going to be in Charlotte sometime this week, but seriously?!

Come on, Auntie Whitney!
(here with Owen shortly after birth)


We CANNOT WAIT to see you and your own adorable little boy!

Best. Surprise. Ever.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Good Friends and Technological Addictions and Boots and Other Random Nothingness

Good friends are those who have 3 babies around the same time as your 3 babies so there will always be a potential playdate when you get together.  The largest age gap between any two of our kids is six months and they all adore each other.

Owen and I rushed home from OT this morning to a waiting Leah Kate and as soon as we ran in the door, they were yelling each others names from opposite ends of the house and running to greet one another. They played all morning and when they started begging for lunch at 10:40, I did what every good and creative mother/caretaker would do.....plopped them in front of the tv for some Backyardigans to hold them off for another half hour.




And as I snapped pictures of them loving on each other, it reminded me of their older siblings around the same age.





(Okay the boys are a little bit younger here.....but as they are both middle children, there just were not as many shots to choose from. Sorry Isaac and Ben. I'll make it up to you one day. We'll have a full blown photo shoot with wardrobe changes and all the works. Of course it is also possible that there aren't as many shots of you two because you rarely sit still when you're together. Just sayin'.....)

Anyway there's just nothing quite like a date with good friends and my boy deserved it after his workout this morning. We're adjusting to our various new therapies; He enjoys seeing Ms. Ashley even though he has to wear compression vests with weights while pulling heavy things, getting messy, and basically pushing himself to do things he would rather not do. Go Owen. You rock with your bad weight lifting 2 year old self. Pretty soon you'll move from the "low tone" title to Heavy Weight Toddler. I just know it.

Thanks Leah Kate for being here to greet us when we walked through the door. Thanks for trying to teach Owen how to use the potty and asking if you two could watch Harry Potter. You make me laugh.

In Other News?

Todd has me hooked on Pandora Radio.

Did you know you can just type in an artist and they will play songs by that artist and others with similar sounds for free? Wicked cool. Everybody else has probably been doing this for eons, but whatevs. Won't be the first time I'm late jumping on a technological bandwagon.

Speaking of such, my sister also got me hooked on Pinterest.

I hate her.

I went on there looking for cute boots and ended up feeling completely and wholly inadequate in all areas of fashion and creativity and mothering, etc. I mean seriously, somebody had made a wreath out of lemon slices and it was even kind of cute. Lemons?! Who knew? I guess you know what they say, "when life gives you lemons and you don't have enough water to make lemonade,  make a wreath....." or something like that.

Okay I think it's actually orange slices.

Doesn't matter. 

The point is that I am clearly inadequate.
And my favorite pair of boots on there were $438. Not thinking that will go along with the budget plans. 

Thanks, Sarah Ellen.




Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hilarious

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Ru4Q0p5j4AQ/Toz3FU2RLnI/AAAAAAAAHpw/sjxIEgAslMo/s1600/children%2Bdiagnosis.jpg 

Saw this on FB and it made me laugh. A lot.

Dude - that is so me some most days.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Fun

Have I mentioned that I love me some fall weather?!!

 S'more time:








Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Isaac

Disclaimer:
Sometimes I find myself feeling self-conscious about my blog. I'm worried that sometimes it talks about our struggles too much. Or not enough. Or that it is boring (to everyone except grandparents who love the pics). Or that people will take what I say the wrong way. But then I remind myself of the reason I started it in the first place. And it is for them - the three awesome people God has blessed me with. I hope they will one day read it and enjoy the glimpse of their lives growing up and how their crazy mama handled it all. So this one is for Isaac. And if it feels like I'm talking too much about struggles lately, it's because sometimes life has seasons of struggle. And that's real life. But rest assured that God is carrying us through the rough days and giving us MUCH  joy in the midst of a tough season.


There have been some tough conversations in this house the past few weeks. We've read the books and talked to other parents and we knew that upon entering school Isaac may for the first time hear comments about our family that would confuse and upset him. (He says nobody has said anything to him at school or on the bus, but the timing seems a little too coincidental....) There have been struggles and hurts and insecurities rearing their ugly head. I wish I could erase his past and give him the one he so longs for, but I can't. And without his past he wouldn't be who he is today. And I love who he is today. I too wish he could have traveled a different road to our family, but sometimes the world doesn't work that way.

Regardless of how he came to be here,  he is in our family and to see him question his sense of belonging breaks my heart.

I understand that this is part of the adoption world. We knew it before we ever stepped foot on a plane headed half a world away. It could never change our minds about building our family this way. But when these issues come up; when we have to spend a lot of our time reassuring and hugging and loving until he feels secure again, it still breaks my heart.


So for my Isaac who I hope will one day read this blog:

You are mine.
 
Wholly and completely mine.

You came from a different body, it's true,

but since the moment I held you in my arms,

I've loved you.

You did not grow in me like your siblings did,

but rest assured, that does not make you any less mine.

You are my first boy.

You carry my father's name in yours.

You are the one I turn to when I need a hug and a good laugh.

Without you, our family would not be complete.

Please know that, sweet boy.

If I could ingrain it in your soul I would.

You are first and foremost God's.

But you are also mine.

Just as much as your siblings are mine. No more. No less.


You.

Are.

Mine.


And I could not be more in love.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Volvo for Sale?

Other than the fact that I don't own a volvo, I think I officially became a "soccer mom" today.

We started our morning bright and early at the fields for some soccer, self feeding, and coffee. (Okay technically the coffee was mine and Todd's.)


Isaac had a blast at his first practice and scrimmage. 


He listened intently to the coaches and when the time came, he went for it.


He didn't care who was there or what was going to happen, he kept his eye on the ball and even got a few kicks in. They may or may not have been in the right direction, but really, how important is that in soccer?


After his game we came home for some lunch and then headed back out to the fields for the diva's turn. She was a little bit more hesitant about going after the ball unless nobody else was around.


This next pic may explain some of that hesitance. They assured us there was no mix-up with team assignments and I told them that she had zero experience........but is it just me or does number 11 look like he's at least eleven years old?


Yup. That's one of her teammates. Let's just say this game was a bit more intense than Isaac's and even though she was a bit timid, she followed the rest of the football players 5 & 6 year olds(?!) and tried to keep up. Way to go diva.

And I know this picture is blurry and I hate to brag, but look at the stride on this girl. Can we say cross country?  I mean, only if she wants to. I would never push my kids into running just because I love it. Of course not. That would just be wrong.......right?


And what was sweet Owen doing during all this time?

Playing soccer, exploring, and making friends, of course.




And thus began our sojourn into the world of competitive sports.

Anybody see a volvo for sale?