Saturday, September 29, 2007

Day Two

I was woken up by Jayce at 6-something AM and immediately knew I needed to get the kids out of the house! I called up my good friend Katie from MOMS Club to see what she was up to. (I was polite and waited until 8:30 to call!) I was so sad when Katie
moved from our town, but happy to find out she was so close to my dad's house now!

We took the kids to an adorable local park so they could swing, slide, and run some energy off.









After naps, (Jayce slept until almost 7 PM!), we just took it easy by eating some Captain D's fast food and watching "Barbie as the Island Princess" for our Movie Night. I am thankful to report that Jayce slept the entire night without waking up once!!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Atlanta, Day One

Well, I guess, techincally, its Night One. We didn't get into Georgia until after 5:30 pm. Thank goodness we were going towards downtown and avoided 85-North, which is deadlocked from 4:00PM until like 7:00 PM. But we weren't without our own set of back traffic, unfortunately. As we were passing the I-385 connector in Greenville, all traffic came to a dead stop. It seems as though a huge moving van hit an 18 wheeler. Not only did they hit the guardrail, but all the moving boxes were spread throughout the interstate on both 385 and 85. I felt soooo sorry for those people. It looked like no one was hurt (thank goodness!) but imagine going to start a new life in a new city and have all your stuff ruined :(

Anyway, it also started raining as soon as we hit the place on 85 where it merges with 316. (aka, heavy traffic area with like 6 lanes of cars). So, the trip took a bit longer than expected. Oh! And we had to stop in Toccoa for Jaina to pee and get some chips, lol!

And did I mention that Jayce thought that we were going to Gray's house and screamed for the better half of 45 minutes because we weren't? I was this close to lying to him and tell him that we were in fact going to see Gray, but I did realize that lying to stop screaming is not the best parenting method I could use. So we just buckled down, ignored it, and tried to distract him with the Barbie and the Island Princess CD Sountrack.

So, we finally made it. Jayce quickly got over his dissapointment at not arriving at Gray's house, when he realized we were at Grandpa and Grandma's House!!!! Even though its been since Easter since we were here, he remembered! He went up to the door and said," Chickie, chickie?" (My stepmom's kitchen is decorated in Roosters). It didn't take him long at all to find all the cd rom drives in all 4 computers downstairs.

Jaina, of course, wanted to drag out every single toy in the cabinet and practically lunged at Grandma Kim when she walked in the door. It was very chaotic! But after a nice dinner of Wendy's (cause you know, Grandparents have to spoil their grandkids), we settled down a bit.

The first night was a little rough, however. I had brought Jayce's toddler bed mattress with us thinking that he'd sleep better on it. And he might, tonight, but last night was horrible. Jayce was extremely overtired, overexcited, and overstimulated and it took him until 10:30 PM to go to sleep! I'm crossing my fingers that he is actually napping upstairs right now while I write this (Friday afternoon).

Well, my hope is to blog a bit every day I am here, then go home and edit in the pictures. But because I didn't take any pictures yesterday, I'm going to go ahead and post this :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Chimney Rock

Here's some recent pictures from the weekend. My camera battery died, so this is it!

Oh no! Jaina grew a house on her back!


"Nice turtles, Jayce... pet them gently"


A giant acorn... or a kid-sized seat?


Rolling the window up and down was much more exciting than hiking!

Monday, September 24, 2007

So much to say, so little time

I feel like time is slipping away from me. I blink and my kids are a week older. And its time for Jayce to have another therapy appointment. Or time to make Jaina another school lunch. Or take her to a daisy meeting. Or to take Jayce to another evaluation.

*sigh*

I know it will all work out. But only if I make things work. Suddenly, I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. But life goes on anyway, no matter how much I am dragged down.

We've been having a ton of fun lately. My best friend ever came to see me all the way from Seattle on Thursday :) Brian had a successful birthday party on Friday. We went out to eat on Saturday as a family (even Jayce!). On Sunday, I attended the Unitarian Universalist Church for the first time and then we all went to Chimney Rock for the day.

I have tons of pictures to upload, but no time or energy in which to do it.

Tomorrow will be better. It always is. I've already vented my frustrations to all my friends (both online and in real life) so I am feeling better already.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First Day of Fall

Well, technically, the Fall equinox isn't until this weekend, but the weather decided to cool down for a bit this week! Even though its still 80's and even 90's in the afternoon, the mornings have been a nice 55 degrees!

Jayce and I went to the park near the lake yesterday morning. His first time wearing size 3T pants! They were a little long, but fit in the waist and crotch just fine. And we had to break out the jackets for the first time this year, too!






So, Jayce's EIC (early intervention coordinator) came again today. I think Jayce is warming up to her just fine, even though he suggested she go "bye-bye" a couple times during the visit :) We set up an appointment for an OT (occupational therapy) and ST (speech therapy) evaluation next Monday. The speech place isn't the original one we wanted at the local hospital, but this will do until he can get into the other program at Christmas time :)

We're trucking along!

Tonight I go to Jaina's first PTA school meeting. If you are a member of APU, you've already heard my rants about Jaina's Kindergarten experience. It doesn't seem to be going as well as the first week did, unfortunately. I'll keep updating everyone on that as I go along :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Our Weekend

On Saturday, I took Jayce to my mom's and Jaina to the next town over to meet Barbie, the Island Princess. Walmart had some promotional thingy going on. We had the best time! And Jaina even won a cd player in the raffle!!!

Jaina and her friend:


Jaina, and Barbie, the Island Princess:




I am sorry that I do not have better pictures of Greek Fest. The lighting was horrible since we went at dusk and stayed until after sunset. And you know me... I hate to use my flash!

Jayce saw one look at the rides and said, "Go bye-bye??? NO NO NO NO!!!" so I quickly wheeled him away to the other end of the festival, while Brian and Jaina did all the fun rides. Jayce and I went to the tent where all the live music and dancing. And Jayce absolutely LOVED it! He danced his little heart out. And even got in the middle of the circle while all the greek dancers surrounded him. You should have seen him study their feet movement and then try to mimic them! It was too cute!

Jaina and Brian had a wonderful time! They did all the rides and bouncy slides and other fun stuff. I hate that I didn't get any pictures, but we still have good memories!

Jayce, dancing in front of the band on the "stage":


Jaina, eating dinner at Greekfest:

Friday, September 14, 2007

Jayce's Evaluation

Let's see... our adventure begins about this time last year.

It wasn't an overnight thing. He didn't just wake up one morning and have issues. But there have definitely been problems that have developed over time.

I noticed that Jayce had a huge vocabulary, but was only speaking in one word phrases. It wasn't too concerning, but since he said his first word by 9 or 10 months and had a decent vocabulary by 15 months, I kept expecting that he would continue to make those developmental leaps with his language. But he wasn't.

I mentioned it at his 18 month Well Baby Visit and got the standard answer "you can't compare kids. Boys are slower than girls. It will happen. It will be like a light bulb going off and then he won't stop talking!"

The realization came when I was at a local park with the MOMS Club. My friend's little boy is 3 weeks older than Jayce. She was relating a funny story about her son's understanding about her most recent pregnancy. The first thing that hit me was, "Wow, he really said a sentence like that?" and then I realized that Jayce wouldn't have had any understanding of the concept of "babies in the tummy". Yet Jaina understood that at age 2. She was just 2 years and 2 months old when I got pregnant with Jayce. And she understood right away that I had a "baby in my tummy" and could say things like "I want to give the baby a hug and a kiss!". The fact that Jayce would have only been able to say "baby?" and not understand anything beyond that was eye-opening.

So, I mentioned it AGAIN at his 2 year old check up. She recommended watching his speech and re-evaluating it in 6 months.

In the mean time, we went to another activity with the MOMS Club. A fellow mom watched as Jayce got overstimulated with the noise and the crowd. Then she watched as he got fixated on one activity for a length of time. She asked me if I had ever had him evaluated for developmental delays.

I am sincerely thankful to this dear friend of mine. If she had not said anything, I probably would still be here twiddling my thumbs, waiting for Jayce to talk. See, I've felt that his poor diet, screaming fits, inability to handle new stimuli, and anxiety are all related. Jayce has certainly not been an easy child to parent. So I've often questioned myself and whether or not I was doing the right thing. I knew that the way I've chosen to listen to my children and practice gentle discipline was the right thing for our family. But I didn't understand why it was so difficult to parent Jayce no matter what I did.

Since I knew my pediatrician would be no help, I took the plunge and called a state-wide service called BabyNet. Their goal is to catch children birth to age 3 with developmental delays and get them help... quickly. I called the day after the MOMS Club activity. So far, its been the best decision I've ever made about Jayce.

Within two weeks, they sent a caseworker out to evaluate Jayce and see if he even qualifies for services.

And qualify, he did. It was heartbreaking to answer every developmentally appropriate question with "No, he can't do that" :(

So... Jayce qualified for not only speech, but feeding therapy and behavioral therapy as well. He was then referred to Play Works, which is the company that coordinates his various therapies. We had his first consultation with an Early Intervention Specialist on this past Tuesday. His EIC (Early Intervention Coordinator)is so wonderful! She is a breath of fresh air. I can tell that she is going to fight hard for Jayce to get him all the services he needs.

She did, however, recommend that we go through the Autism Division and have him tested for an Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has a few "red flags" that need to be evaluated. If he meets Autistic criteria, then we'll have another huge window open up for services. If he doesn't, then we can breath a huge sigh of relief that Jayce is not autistic and move on from there with the help of a Developmental Pediatrician.
So far, I think we are leaning towards him being diagnosed with SID (Sensory Integration Dysfunction) and/or APD (Auditory Processing Delay). He has some characteristics of PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) and Autism, but I'm not going there yet until we get a diagnosis from a Developmental pediatrician.


But I can't put enough emphasis on what Jayce can do. His motor skills are fine. He's affectionate, cuddly, makes good eye contact, has a great memory, and very empathetic to other's feelings. He's sharp as a whip when it comes to memorizing stuff. He can repeat song lyrics after hearing the song 3 times.... But he has no idea what he is saying/singing. Those words are meaningless to him. He's just reciting. You can't have a conversation with him, ask him questions, give him commands... nothing.

I checked out two books from the library. Out-of-Sync Child is a book about SID. Although I do think Jayce has some sensory issues, I recognize that they are mild and nothing we can't handle. And with some Occupational Therapy, he might not even have these issues later on.

The other book, "Could it be Autism?" just made me burst into tears. Especially the part where I read a personal excerpt from a mom who said, "My son had a vocabulary of 50+ words. But I realized he was just labeling things. You couldn't have a conversation with him. He was later diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 3 years."

I've cried about all of this and am over my initial denial that something is wrong. Now I'm ready to do stuff about this and hit therapy head on. My goal is for him to be in regular Kindergarten, not special needs 5K, by the time he's ready for school. I think if we start all these therapies now, he'll be okay.

Still, its all really scary. Lots of things that I've labeled as "just his personality" or "just a quirky phase" are really characteristics of a bigger problem. The fact that he'd rather stand at the VCR inserting and ejecting a tape over and over and over again, rather than play with toys is a real problem. And he still loves baby toys. He's obsessed over this Fisher Price Ball Blast and Playskool Ball Popper that were Jaina's when she was a year old. I put them in the attic when she was 15 months old because she was bored of them. Jayce has been in love with those two toys for 18 months now. He plays with them ritualistically.

I've been watching tapes of Jaina at 18 months, 2 years old, and 2.5 years old. The difference is absolutely amazing. Even when Jaina wasn't very verbal at Dad and Kim's house for his birthday party, she still understood a ton more than Jayce does. And she was talking in sentences, well, by 22 months old. Jayce has never talked in a sentence, nor does he understand basic concepts that a normal two year old should. He doesn't understand "If you do this, you get this" like cause and effect. Or time or order, like "Jayce, FIRST we are going to put your shoes on, THEN we will go outside".

We have a long road ahead of us, but I am confident that we are headed in the right direction. Any prayers or good vibes you are willing to throw our way will be very much appreciated :)

Of course, I'll keep everyone updated. But I don't want this blog turning into a therapy journal for Jayce. His developmental delays are just a small part of him and our daily activities. We still plan on being active with MOMS Club, going to the park, and enjoying each other. He's still my Jayce, no matter what label his diagnosis may bring :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Nature in our yard

I know its been a while since I've updated with pictures. I have a ton of things to say, but kinda don't know where to start. Lots of new developments in our family, mainly surrounding Jayce. I promise to update soon.

For now, enjoy the pictures that Jaina and I have taken in our yard. Can you tell we like having flowers in our new house?




Saturday, September 08, 2007

Success!

Our first "NO TV DAY" was a huge success! It seems as though if the TV goes off in the morning, Jayce just forgets about it all together :) It helped, though, that we were out of the house for a lot of the day, too. But he hardly asked for it even when we were home!

Friday, September 07, 2007

No TV

Jayce has gotten into the habit of watching entirely too much TV. And he gets fixated on ONE show for a period of weeks that he just asks to watch constantly. Currently, its The Wiggles on Playhouse Disney. Since Jaina liked the Wiggles at this age, too, we have several VHS tapes of them already.

Yesterday, Jayce and I tried to play together numerous times with the toys in his room and playroom. Instead, he abandoned a toy 5 minutes later and would ask to watch Wiggles. Again. And again.

One of the books I am currently reading suggests that kids with sensory issues LOVE the TV and can't get enough of it and have trouble transitioning from TV to other activities. This describes Jayce, definitely.

So, today we are going to watch The Wiggles at 7 AM (so I can sneak out and take Jaina to school) and then the TV is going to be "all-gone" the rest of the day. Can I do it? How is Jayce going to handle it??? Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Dressed Up Like a Rock and Roll Star

Jaina must have been EXHAUSTED today, because she was Little Miss Emotional this afternoon. She ended up in tears because she thought that I wasn't showing her all the pictures from the zoo yesterday, but I was! Honest!

She started whining in the car, big time, after we picked it up from the shop this evening. I turned up the stereo to drown out/ignore her whining and realized that my Dayroom/Guster/JLC mixed Cd was in there.

As the electric guitar blasted out of the speakers, she immediately got quiet. After the guitar solo introduction, she announced that she "loved this song" and that it was "her favorite, ever!" I am sure Jay, Ward, Matt, Evan, and Johnny would be proud!

I'd like to see you out one night
Dressed up like a rock-n-roll star
Straight out of some strange magazine
Then I know I'd love you
But if I see you out somewhere
You might think I don't care

'Cause I love my guitar
I love my guitar

Monday, September 03, 2007

Horse Crazy

We just got back from one of the BEST Birthday parties we've been to! Well, Jaina says it ties with Tulita's waterslide party this summer, but you know what I mean! The weather was gorgeous... not too hot, lots of shady trees, cool breeze. The kids were so well behaved around the horses, too! Everyone got at least two turns around the stable on a horse of their choice. Then they got to feed and pet the horses both in the stable and the corral. We also got to see the owner of the stable jump a new horse. She was thrown 3 times from a stubborn horse that refused to go over a huge log, but was completely fine. He eventually made it over!

Anyway, Jaina pretended to be a horse all the way home and we had to make a little paddock for her out of boxes in the playroom. Then she ate some carrots for a snack.

When she turns six, she can actually take riding lessons at this place. Its not too terribly far from our house!

Ride 'em, Cowgirl!


Givin' some lovin' to the random dogs that roam the barn.


Riding "Dimples", Jaina's favorite horse there.




One of the horses in the stable. They had about 10.


Jaina's turn at the pinata:


The very friendly dogs thought they should get some cake, too!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Butterfly


We have a visitor amidst our zinnias and morning glory.