Thursday, October 11, 2012

life in snippets

Just a quick post before the troops wake up.  Peyton has just fallen asleep after her long, frequent morning feedings (I'm not going to complain since she sleeps all night like a champ!).  Life with 4 kids is so darn BUSY.  But also so fulfilling and fun!

-Peyton is growing like a weed.  We blessed her Labor Day weekend, and it was such a memorable experience.  We opted to do it at our home again and it was wonderful.  It's amazing to think how much she had even changed since that day just three weeks ago.  She is a giggly, rolling (yes, you heard that right), teething (yes, that one is right, too!), interactive little sweetheart.  She LOVES to observe the world around her and be part of the action.  She loves her brothers and although she doesn't always love how noisy they can be, she is fascinated and awed by some of the things they can do.  And they love her right back!  It's so heartwarming to see how they love on her and talk/sing to her.  They are all the big, strong, protective brothers who are also so tender and sweet with her.  I love it!

-Peyton LOVES the carrier and we use it for her often.  Wes and I love having a hands-free way of holding her sometimes.  I love to wear her as I do housework, cook, walk the boys to the bus, etc.  She usually fusses for a few minutes and then goes right to sleep.  Lately, she does stay awake and observe her surroundings.  Wes and I took the littles (Peyton and Jonah) to the gardens at Thanksgiving Point a couple weeks back when the big boys were busy, and she loved it.  Added bonus: it was the first time I finally convinced Wes to try wearing her and he loved it.

-Jonah is finally starting to talk.  It's still a far cry from Kolton when he was two.  Most of his words run together, and most of the time there is still only one word at a time. Many of them are only discernible when you apply them to the situation, but nonetheless we are so proud of him!  He's come a long way since his first word, and it's been fun watching his speech develop and expand.  He has turned into quite the gutsy boy, and I have to watch him like a hawk on our swingset because he'll climb all the way to the top by himself!  He loves to visit the park as well and will follow the big boys around anywhere (including the rock walls, HUGE, high, slides that give Mommy a heart attack, monkey bars, etc.)  He loves to push anything from cars to strollers and lives for walking up and down our street pushing something.  He's recently decided that sidewalk chalk is pretty cool as well and is having lots of fun with it lately.  He loves the "Gossie" books and my heart just melts every time he asks for "Go-ggie". 

-Jonah has decided that he is very interested in going on the potty.  We have pulled out the kid potties, washed the cloth training pants, bought a box of pull-ups from Costco, and are now armed and ready for the next free weekend to begin the next adventure!

-Jonah has grown so attached to his blanket now that we have to keep one in the car to get dragged around with us all day, every day.  I had bought him smaller versions of the same blanket, but he won't have anything to do with them anymore.  I'm thinking that one of his Christmas gifts will be one or two more blankets to throw into the rotation so I can wash them more often.  ;)

-Jonah rarely lets me comfort him when he gets hurt.  I will never give up trying to hug him and "kiss it better", but right now he usually cries and gets angry and pushes me away when I try to comfort him.  It breaks my heart.  Today, he let me hug him a couple times after he got hurt, so I'm hoping this is the beginning of the end of that.  When our Occupational Therapist heard this recently, he decided it was time for us to move forward with more thorough testing.  We are planning on the worst, and hoping for the best.  Jonah seems to make strides, and lately he's been progressing faster, but he's still lagging way behind and all of our "helpers" are starting to get concerned.  We are trying to do everything we can for him, while at the same time, trying not to worry too much until we have some more definitive answers.  I am anxious to get some answers and move forward.  I am starting to get a little nervous for what the future holds for this little guy, but for now, I'm trying to focus on doing everything I can for him while we are waiting for test results from early intervention programs in our district, as well as an appointment with a specialist.  Please keep our sweet little boy in your prayers.

-Micah started kindergarten!  I can't believe I now have 2 babies in school.  He's struggling a bit to find his place.  Wes and I are trying to figure out (along with many teachers, the school psychologist, and the pediatrician) if he's just young for his age, if he has a learning disability/different learning style, if he has an ASD or something similar, or if public school is just not for him.  We are currently "double-dipping" him, taking him to kindergarten in the mornings and then preschool two days a week.  He was recently invited to join the school's "Booster Club" which meet for a few minutes before school several times a week.  I hid and spied on him the whole time, and then spied on him during the first few minutes of school.  He seems happy, but insecure. He prefers to play alone at recess, which I was surprised to see.  The teacher (who was Kolton's teacher last year.) has been keeping us filled in, but the reports lead to more questions.  He can't follow basic directions, he's listening but not hearing/understanding, he doesn't seem to know what's going on.  It breaks my heart to hear him laugh and tell me I'm silly when I try to tell him he's smart.  He's 5, he should know that he's intelligent!  I have never questioned that.  But because of his insecurities, the teacher's thoughts, etc. we are thinking long and hard about pulling him out of kindergarten and trying again next year.    But we'll see.  We are just trying to keep an open mind, do lots of research, and find the path that's best for our little Micah.  Thankfully, he comes skipping home from school each day, and doesn't seem disheartened at all about school and learning.  But I am anxious to see his confidence level and his self concept go up.  Hopefully way up.  Until then, I'm grateful that his cheerful little disposition is getting him through the tough stuff.  For now, we are keeping him with our plan as we wait for his turn to be tested by a specialist.  We are anxious and worried about him as he seems a little more stressed and anxious and symptomatic of an ASD each day.  I am feeling a little, and sometimes a lot, guilty for not seeking help earlier.  But I didn't realize the extent of his challenges until recently.  We did have him tested last year at our district's assessment center, and he did have some pretty substantial delays that entailed a few red flags for Asperger's, but when they had me fill out a questionnaire, he was just barely in the gray area and they said it could just be immaturity and not to worry about it too much yet.  I am kicking myself for not pushing harder to get answers then.  He just seemed happy, and he seemed to be getting along with others just fine, so we weren't too concerned.  We are probably more concerned about Micah than Jonah right now, but we have several guardian angels, and I know the Lord is aware of us and Micah and the struggles he is going through.  My heart is breaking for him and at times I find it hard to think of much else because it feels like he is getting more frustrated and sad every day and I can't figure out how to help him.  I want to make it all better, make it go away, but I have to find it in myself to be patient as we anxiously wait for answers and guidance about how to best help him.  I think this year and maybe the next will be some very big years for him.  Please keep this little guy in your prayers, too.

-Kolton is really starting to enjoy first grade.  He did NOT like it at first, and he still complains frequently about being away from home for too long, wanting more time with me (I have to say that inside I am thinking, "I agree!  I miss you and Micah so much when you are not here!"), but he finally seems to be adjusting.  He likes his teacher and he's starting to make some new friends.  I'm proud of him....he's SUPER shy, and he's trying very hard to be "friendly" and stepping out of his comfort zone.  It takes lots of incentives and encouragement, but I feel like for me, practice being friendly was the biggest thing to help with my own shyness.  I'm hoping it's the same for him.  Kolton LOVES to read and is getting very good.  I really enjoy helping out in his class whenever I can.  I love the way his face lights up when he sees me, and I instantly feel so grateful and blessed to be a stay-at-home mom.  I'm so lucky that I get to really "be there".   He's been such a star with everything that's been going on.  I feel so blessed that he is my firstborn.  He's such an amazing little boy.

-All of the boys are totally smitten with Peyton.  She has already become so spoiled because she gets special treatment here from everyone!  She eats it right up and turns on the charm.  She is so happy and eager to interact with her big brothers, and they are so wonderful with her.  It melts my heart.  Actually, any time any of my kids are playing sweetly together, laughing together, or helping one another, it melts my heart.  I love being a mommy.  Thankfully, so far she is hitting the developmental milestones a little ahead of the curve.  I am just trying to remind myself to focus on her sometimes because she's so easygoing that sometimes I forget she's there when I am surrounded by three boys that can be a little all-consuming.  Nonetheless, we enjoy time in the early morning, Jonah's naptime (when he'll sleep), and in the evening before bed.  She's such a cheery little soul and she is just full of charisma.  She wants to be a part of everything we do, everything that's going on.  She's a little chatterbox already and loves the sound of her voice.  She loves the bath.  She loves her brothers and finds them absolutely fascinating.  And of course, she loves her Daddy!

I'd better finish this post and get it up!  It started two weeks ago and I've found myself editing a lot tonight because so much has changed in so little time and my life has become a little overwhelming.  I feel like most days lately have been consumed with to and fro from school, appointments for the boys', doctor's appointments for me, calling insurance, the new kittens, Rocky (for my sanity).  One of the perks of all the stress lately is that the baby weight is finally coming off despite my inability to wake up early and exercise.  I just don't seem to have an appetite - probably all the stress.  I am excited to have my big boys out of school for the break and am hoping we will all get some much needed rest and relaxation.  We've got some big changes happening and I am hoping we cans steal some time this week to focus on strengthening our family to prepare for what's coming.  Despite all the "hard stuff", I feel very grateful and comforted.  I know everything will be okay, and that we will figure out a way to find a nice quiet rhythm very soon.  Until then, I am releasing myself of guilt and responsibilities that can wait (aka our house has been a MESS lately, but I am doing my best to turn the other cheek and get myself in bed and remind myself that all this chaos is temporary.  We will hang in there, laugh a lot, and find a good routine once we realize what we are dealing with.), and just enjoying the sweet angels that are my children, and the amazing rock that is my husband. 

I am so grateful for Wes and the strength he's given me lately.  I am a lucky girl to be married to him and he motivates me every day to keep going on not quit when things get hard.  He gives me his love, support, and advice and I appreciate it all so much.  The advice I'm trying to give myself is to find the gratitude and the blessings...the little serendipities throughout this.  And lucky for me, they are everywhere, and they are getting us all through.  :)

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