Monday, January 25, 2010

16 months old

My little man is 16 months old today. He's still my little snuggle bug. He begs my mom for youtube videos and is imitating hand motions and the "la la" sound occasionally in songs. He still loves his lotion rubs. He's eating a tad bit better, and shocked us tonight by downing some edamame at dinner. He had been starting to wean from breastfeeding down to a few times a day, but now with being sick he's back to frequent nursing. It's a little tricky, but for now I'm rolling with it. He can be loud, a bit clingy (he is sick though) and is perfecting his throwing arm. He loves mickey mouse (ka ka...which is also other things, but Mickey is consistently ka or ka ka), snowmen, watching birds at the bird feeder, and all dogs. He's my little man and I enjoy him so much. Well, I guess I would enjoy him more if he slept! Other than that, he's perfect!

all boy

Jason is a typical boy. The second that he has the opportunity, the hands are down the pants.

lazy days

I was happy to get Tyler back to school during the week, as Jason was STILL sick and therefore neither of us were getting much sleep. Luckily he was feeling a tad bit better.

Tyler's behavior was drastically improved, which was awesome. My mom had been working to clean up the loft to give him some of his own special play area. It's not pretty, but he LOVES it!

Probably due to Tyler's improved mood, Jason has been really interested in trying to snuggle with Tyler. Too cute!

And luckily it warmed up a tad bit so that we were able to get outside and play. Thank goodness!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And he's off again

Al deployed for Afghanistan again yesterday. Tyler is a little sad, but luckily it's easier on him this time because he hasn't been with him on a consistent basis as it is. Sadly though he says the kids are "teasing" him because his daddy "shoots people". I know they aren't truly teasing him, he's just overly sensitive about that issue (he hates guns). We've explained that daddy's "job" isn't too "shoot people" and hoping that he accepts the fact that Daddy is "trying to help people" where he is. Poor kid. I also let the teacher know what is going on with him.

Anyway, please keep him in your prayers. Even though we have decided to part ways and move forward with our "new" lives, I still have the utmost respect for what he does. I know I couldn't do it!

where does the time go?

We're more than halfway done January? How did that happen?

On Sunday, after a boring day at home, we decided to venture out for dinner with my parents. Aside from Chick-fil-A and the buffet in Atlantic City we had not been out to dinner at all since I arrived here (in June). We decided to go to Friday's (goodbye healthy eating) Jason did pretty well, but LOTS of food ended up on the floor. He did like my pasta though. Tyler was a bit hyper, but heald it together. Then it was home to bed.

On Sunday we had to run to Walmart and produce junction to get a gift and flowers for Grandmom and Pop-pop Johns' birthday. Tyler also insisted on buying flowers for my mom, which he was very exciting about. At produce junction I got starfruit, which Tyler enjoyed trying. Jason took one bite and then it was tossed.

That evening we went to grandmom and Pop-pop John's for dinner and to celebrate their birthdays. Both boys had fun and we had good food. Tyler was happy to get dessert, and then literally was spinning around their house afterwards.
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On Tuesday morning Jason decided to wake up at 3:50. For good. What a fun time. NOT (yes, I just said NOT). After taking Ty to school I ended up napping with Jason for almost 2 hours, thank goodness. After that we picked Ty up at school and hung out on the playground for a while before leaving Ty with Beth for a bit longer so I could home with Jason. His early intervention goal setting appointment was that afternoon. He happened to be finishing up his lunch when they arrived, which ended up working to my benefit. They were noticing that he apparently doesn't chew his food at all, and based on his oral motor skills they opted to request his therapies to be conducted by a speech therapist (as opposed to a teacher), so that's good. They've since called and scheduled his first therapy, which is on February 1st. He'll be getting speech once a week for an hour and will be re-evaluated in 6 months. Oddly enough, he's been makings some progress on his own. He's been trying to imitate sound. He FINALLY made some type of "la" sound last night (thanks to Elmos' Song). He's been babbling more as well.

Shortly after they left Jason went down for his nap and my dad stayed with him while Tyler had his counseling appointment. That went much better than the last time. I told her about the red dye issue and we worked on house rules (nothing new to us, but maybe it will mean more coming from someone else).

FINALLY, after maybe a month, Tyler earned "loft time" yesterday. We have a "loft" above the living room, which has been strictly storage for as long as I can remember. Each day where Tyler had good behavior my mom (and sometimes msyelf) worked on clearing it out a bit so that Tyler could have his own play area in a Jason-free zone. He was sooooo excited.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

the warm-up

Saturday continued to warm up, which was a nice change of pace after a long stretch of bitter cold weather.

We decided, nearly 3 weeks after Christmas, that we'd finally try out that new bike Tyler got for Christmas. He did pretty well. He fell once, immediately announced that he thought he'd need an xray, and then determined (with a little nudge from me) that he was okay and he'd survive. Hopped right back on "and just tried again". He's pretty fast, and I now actually need to jog a bit with the jogging stroller to keep up. As you can tell, he's a bit dramatic, so I imagine it will be a while before those training wheels come off but for now I'm happy with his progress and he LOVES his bike.

On our ride we decided to hit the playground at Ty's school. After weeks of Jason being cooped up, I figured he coudl use some fresh air. Unfortunately I hadn't planned on ending up there, so the kid ended up walking around in his blanket sleeper. By the way, rememeber how i said it warmed up a bit? Well, you know you're in NJ when all high school boys start wearing shorts because it hit all of 50 degrees!

On the way home from our walk Tyler found this tree trunk and, for some reason, thought it looked like a face and wanted his picture taken with it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Can you help?

I know sometimes we want to donate to a good cause and think that we'll get around to it. We all have busy lives and finding that checkbook, making a phone call, or even logging onto a website to donate is something that we often don't find the time to do. Well, here is an incredibly easy way to donate:

Send a $10 Donation by Texting ‘Haiti’ to 90999 (the money gets added to your cell phone charges). How easy is that?

If you want more details, visit the American Red Cross webpage.

EDITED TO ADD: less than a minute after I posted this I stumbled upon an article that claims that over 10 MILLION has been donated in the US via this texting option. And it looks like all major cell phone companies have waived any texting fees you may have normally incurred. I literally have chills.

just when I think I have it all figured out

On Monday they came and did the paperwork for the financial portion of Jason's therapy services. As expected, we do not owe any money so services will be 100% free. Yea!

Early in the week I found tooth 6 in Jason's little mouth.

Wednesday was maybe day 4 or 5 of a "healthy eating" spree out our house. I was hoping that maybe food was playing a part in Tyler's behavior and I was shocked to see that Tyler was responding beautifully. He had had 3 days of wonderful behavior, and was like a new child (or should I say, I had my old child back). I posted about this on facebook and was shocked with the number of responses. I began to be convinced that perhaps red food dyes were playing a big part in the negative behavior (which I had always questioned). After all the holidays (when the behavior got worst) were riddled with cookies and sprinkles and junk food and candy canes...not to mention the red food dye in the cough medicine he had taken for probably a week straight. Well, the next day shot that theory down, as he had terrible behavior from the point he woke up. Cooincidence or not, Jason had had probably his worst night EVER that night and the boys rooms are separated by only a very thin door so my mom thought that maybe he was just really tired (also something we had questioned). At this point, who knows.

Speaking of Jason having a HORRENDOUS night, I actually took my friend Beth up on the offer to come over and listen to his lungs (she's a nurse...used to be a peds nurse). Apparently, just as the doctor's have said twice (did I mention I went a second time????) his lungs are clear. At this point I was actually hoping maybe it was something more because at least then they could medicate him, but apparently it's just a waiting game. He's miserable though. MISERABLE!!!

Thursday was finally a "warm up" in weather and I think it was the high 30s when I picked Ty up from school so I actually put Jason in the stroller and walked. I figured the fresh air may do him some good. I put together Tyler's new scooter (which he got from Grandmom and Pop-pop John for Christmas) and we met his friend Mackenzie at the beach for a playdate while my mom stayed with napping Jason.

Last night I finally gave in and gave Jason 1/4 teaspoon of Delsym before bed (the doctor on the 2nd visit said I coudl do it if he were really struggling). He did much better, but by 4am he was caughing so much that he was chocking, so he spent the rest of the night on my chest. However, there was much less crying for Tyler to hear and he woke up in a great mood. We did have an incident right after school, but he's doing well otherwise. So, at this point, I'm hoping and praying that his poor behavior is very much linked to red dye issues and lack of sleep. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'd prefer that thought over the one that says he's just plain screwed up!

ice skating

On Sunday, after seeing countless children (and parents) ice skating, I finally felt confident that it was safe enough to bring Tyler out on the ice. He didn't have skates, but I figured he'd have fun sliding around on the ice. I was right, he had a ball, but he was a bit jealous of the kids on skates playing hockey. It was a fun experience though.

The next day my brother did some searching and found his girlfriend's son's outgrown skates and came over to lend them to Tyler. After school, while my mom stayed home with a napping Jason, Tyler and I set off to do some skating. Tyler did better than I expected...meaning he didn't fall once and then announce that he's never skating again. He kept getting up and trying again, and eventually sorta got the hang of it. While we were there some high school boys came by to play hockey after school. They were really cute about encouraging Tyler on the skates. And, as always, hot chocolate was served after the event!

same stuff, different year

2010 got around to a rocky start. Tyler's cough was getting worse and then Jason started running a fever and developed a cough as well. Fun, fun.

We never got around to the gingerbread house making BEFORE Christmas, but this task couldn't be ignored. Luckily my mom had a kick-butt gingerbread house kit that was preassembled and just needed the decorating. She and Tyler worked on it on (I believe) New Year's Day (our traditional New Year's Day celebration at my aunt's house had been cancelled due to illness in their family). Tyler refused to copy the image on the box, opting for his own "design" instead.

Meanwhile Jason, still sick, wanted nothing other than being held and watching youtube videos.

On Saturday I ended up bringing both boys to the ped. The doctor said they were both just suffering from bad colds. Tyler's was "on it's way out" and Jason's was "just getting started". Unfortunately I could do nothing for Tyler other than using a humidifier, nose sunctioning thing, fluids, and Tylenol for the fever. Fun, fun.

My brother Chris was able to get a day pass to come home and visit for a few hours. We had my grandparents over for dinner, and otherwise just hung out.

Jason learned how to push things to the ottoman to assist him in climbing up. As you can tell, he was quite proud of himself!

Monday, finally Monday, had arrived, and Tyler was back at school. I could breathe a sigh of relief, as it had been a LONG and cold holiday break, mixed in with some pretty rotten behavior.

That afternoon Jason had his early intervention evaluation. The evaluation was completed by an occupational therapist and a teacher, which I found quite interesting to watch. After they evaluated him they went into the kitchen to write up the report and tally his scores. I was shocked to learn that I would have an answer right then as to whether he would qualify for services. Although I'm not surprised (I was the one who pushed for the evaluation) I was a little disappointed to see how delayed he was. He did in fact qualify for services based on his speech delays (his expressive speech tested at only 7 months of age) and was close to qualifying in other areas. I'm thrilled that I trusted my gut in this situation and know that he'll hopefully get the head start he needs to catch up.

On Tuesday Tyler finally had his appointment with the counselor. I was relieved (and mortified) that Tyler displayed exactly the types of behaviors I was worried about. He literally was bouncing on the couch, interrupting me, being rude, defiant, etc. They basically took a history and we'll be working on a plan in 2 weeks. Hopefully they can do something to help him before I lose it. He can be such a sweet boy, and then a switch goes off and he turns into a nutball.

On Wednesday Tyler had a library program, so Jason stayed with my parents while I brought Tyler there.

On friday I finally tested the ice and let Tyler "skate" with his shoes on our pond. Initially excited, he decided it wasn't that fun. Not surprising, being that it is about 2 by 3 feet. LOL.

Meanwhile Jason learned that he could bring people lotion bottles, sign "please", and he's get massages.

Saturday rolled around and Tyler was complaining quite a bit about missing his daddy. I found some old, likely to be unused, scrapbooking supplies and then had some pictures printed at Walgreens. I couldn't handle the indoors any longer, so we set off for the library for some books and movies and then went to pick up the pictures. Tyler had a ball making a "Tyler and Daddy" scrapbook. Oh, and our movie selection, Air Buds, was a hit with both boys.