Archive for May, 2012

T-ball Year 2

May 27, 2012

We are closing out on yet another t-ball season. We only have 4 games left. It’s hard to believe that a month ago it was so cold we had to put a sweatshirt under O’s jersey. Now it’s 80+ degrees.

On that cold chilly day at the end of April, my in-laws came in to see Owen play. I stayed home with Jillian because it was too cold to drag her out. PeePaw Thomas took a bunch of great pictures that I’m finally getting a chance to share.

Overall, Owen is doing SO MUCH BETTER this year than last. His hitting is better, his fielding is improved, and he is able to understand the game a little better. I think it’s because 1) he’s matured a lot over the past year and 2) this year Mike is the head coach and he’s doing a decent job of taking his Green Monster crew and teaching them the basics. Owen loves having his Daddy as a coach. The other day I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and he said he wanted to be a coach and teach kids baseball like Daddy. =)

A video monitor is a great invention. I love watching her sleep from another room. I wish I would have had one for the boys.

Getting wheeled out to the playground at school for her first Easter Egg Hunt.

Let’s fill up the bag.

This is fun!

Hanging out with her girlfriends.

Saturday morning in her crib playing with some toys while mommy puts away her clothes.

First time in her big girl car seat.

WOW – this hat from Grammy T is great. Perfect for T-ball.

Oh – and sparkling pink shoes too! Being a girl is so fun!

LOVE her smooshy face smile!

Playing with her brother.

Jillian’s turn to be the McDonlad’s worker at Grammy & PeePaw’s.

After feeding her one night, I set her on the floor to clean off her high chair. 90 seconds later, this is what I find on the floor. Baby food coma.

She loves baths in the sink.

My favorite towel she has… Our Little Mini Mouse.

Jilly’s first deck dining experience at the Caddy Shack.

“This is GREAT!”

“Owen – you are my BFF.”

Hanging out at Owen’s first T-ball game.

Trying to feed herself her bottle.

Happy girl playing on the floor.

First time in a restaurant high chair.

A Happy Moment

May 9, 2012

Where do I start… I guess from the beginning.

Back when Owen was 18 months old, his behavior was just awful and very uncharacteristic for a child his age. We took him to the doctor and were told he was hitting his terrible twos early. OK – we can deal with that.

As the months and years went on we saw more evidence that there might be something wrong with Owen, but again, we just chalked it up to a phase he was going through.

Once he entered preschool when Mike went back to work, he had a hard time in the classroom. At first we thought it might be a transition from home to school issue, but we gave him enough time to become assimilated and the problems got worse, not better.

Back in the summer of 2010, we had a conference with Owen’s teacher and told her our thoughts/observations and she had the same concerns. In fact, she was going to talk to us about it during that meeting, we just beat her to the punch. She put us in touch with the local IU and we started the evaluation process on Owen (well, we wanted to start then, but do to their back log he wasn’t seen until Feb 2011).

Right away the professionals at the IU saw what we were seeing. It was reassuring to know that we weren’t imagining this and that indeed our son needed help. They identified the areas he needed support in, mostly with social integration, sensory issues and pragmatic language. The IU wasn’t authorized to make an official diagnosis, but they developed an IEP and started their services with Owen over the summer.

Then, Kindergarten started. Owen was so excited to be going to real school. We got him re-evaluated through the district, updated his IEP and he stared to receive services through the school – OT, Sensory Room breaks, and speech therapy for help with his pragmatic language. His IEP is good through December of 2012, but to make sure he gets the more focused attention he needed, Mike and I would have to get him an official diagnosis to put him in the “priority” case load.

The first half of the school year went fairly well. A few bumps in the road, but overall, better than I anticipated. After Christmas break though, his world at school took a 180. In his class they have a color coded behavior system: Green, Yellow and Red. He started coming home with more yellows than greens and he even had his first red day. I don’t know what triggered it, but his behavior and his inability to follow directions were huge distractions and problems for him, his teacher, and his classmates. We were getting weekly emails from his teacher, frequent behavioral incident reports from the principal, etc. School was getting to be very hard for Owen emotionally. He lost his love and gusto for reading, he lost his excitement about going to school, and he was overall just really down on himself.

As soon as we saw the drastic changes happening at home too, we knew we had to get a therapist involved sooner rather than later. We scheduled an appointment with a very highly recommended psychologist and got the ball rolling. Miss Melinda has been a god send and after spending a good deal of time with Owen over multiple visits, we were FINALLY able to get the official diagnosis we had been waiting years for. Owen is a classic case of Asperger’s – an Autism Spectrum Disorder. To some parents, this would be devastating, but to us, it was like a weight had been lifted off our shoulders. We now had a starting point. We finally knew what we were dealing with.

With all disorders like this, there is no quick fix. It will take time, a lot of time, but we are seeing baby step improvements. He is back to having more green days than yellow and the support his is getting from his teacher and support specialist in the sensory room is helping. It really is.

Proof of that was last Thursday night when his school had their Open House. All the kids in the school put on a performance, “Seussical the Musical”. To see him up on the risers signing the songs he was taught in music class and doing the little hand motions that went along with it was awesome. He was also very eager to take us to his classroom to show us all the projects he has worked on all year long. He was enjoying himself. He was proud of himself. And most importantly, he looked HAPPY to be at school for once. My eyes welled up with tears. It was such a proud Mommy moment and it gave me hope that we can help Owen overcome and manage the effects of Asperger’s.

Now, he still has his bad days, but that is expected. There are some days when I feel like Asperger’s is going to get the best of me too because it can be a lot to deal with from the perspective of a parent. But, on those bad days, I now have this happy moment to look back on and to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel – that we are doing the right thing. We just gotta keep doing what we’re doing, take it one day at a time, and continue to love and support our Owen with all we have.

Jillian – 8 Months

May 8, 2012

Jillian, oh Jillian, 2/3’s of your first year is over already. I’m very much missing your infant stage, it just went so fast. But I must admit, it’s been a hoot to see you change day after day into more of your own person who is making her own decisions. It’s amazing how interactive you have become and watching the wheels turn in your head.

This month Jillian:
* Tried more foods … apples, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes and bananas to name a few. She does not like green veggies and Jilly and bananas do not agree. She also explored several mixed fruits and veggies and she likes those.
* Blew raspberries for the first time.
* Had her first taste of a milk shake.
* Started to prop herself fully and support her weight on her arms.
* Had her first school pictures taken (they were horrible – thank goodness Mommy is a hobbyist photog)
* Celebrated her first Easter, including an egg hunt at school.
* Moved up to her big girl car seat.
* Started to hold her bottle by herself and try to feed herself.
* Had dinner dates at Panera with Mommy & Ben and had her first deck dining experience at one of our favorite restaurants, The Caddy Shack.
* Cheered her brother on at his first t-ball game of the season.
* Ate some cupcake for the first time.
* Gave kisses to her friend at school… and she’s even given us a few too!
* Started to wear more 9 to 12 month clothes… gotta cover those chunky thighs!