We’ve been matched!

I wondered if I would have the time/energy/desire to post again, and what the catalyst would be to push me to do so.  Then we were matched, and I knew I wanted to write about it and share.

When I say we’ve been matched, I really mean Bennett has been matched.  There is a really great nonprofit called “I Run 4 Michael” that matches runners with an adult or child with special needs.  One runner is matched with one buddy.  The runner ….well…. runs… and dedicates their runs to their match.  This group is so inspiring – the runners and the buddies.  There is so much positivity and encouragement on both sides that it just makes me smile, every single day.  Bennett’s runner, Christian, is super chill and totally hardcore.  He’s an ultra-marathon runner from Georgia and I’m just so excited to cheer him on as he runs for my baby!  Don’t worry, I had to Google what an ultra-marathon runner was too.  If you are a runner, or if you have a child with special needs, I can’t say enough good things about this program.  Check it out!  The wait list for runners is about ~3,000 deep right now, but there is no waiting for SN folks!

While we’re on the topic of running, you’re not going to believe what I did.  I started c25k program.  Seriously.  I’ll give you a minute to pick your jaw off the floor and stop laughing.  I’m serious.  In 8-9 weeks, assuming I don’t die first, I will be set to run a 5k.  This is sure to be entertaining, but I’m going to give it my best effort and see how it goes.  If BooBoo’s runner can run 100 miles in 24 hours, I’m certain I can muster up the energy to attempt 3.1 miles.

In unrelated news, my kids are still hilarious and awesome.

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Windmills, Tulips, and Rembrandts

I haven’t shared with many people yet, but we finally got some answers about Bennett in November.  He has Autism Spectrum Disorder.  I knew.  I knew as soon as I filled out the first M-CHAT and slowly watched the list of his symptoms, if that is what you call them, grow and intensify.  I’m happy to have some answers.  All I wanted was to know what was going on so we could get him the right mix of therapies and help him learn in a way that he understands.

We have a wonderful team of people working with us, and we’re still working on adding more.  He’s made incredible progress already and I’m so proud of him.  We have an early childhood special education teacher that comes to our home each week to work with him, as well as a speech therapist and occupational therapist.  He is still in private speech therapy and will be starting private occupational therapy after the new year.  We are in the early stages of working with the county to see what he can qualify for through them as well, and when we know that, we will add some additional services and/or therapies as well.

I have a lot more to say about this, but for now I’ll just skip to what I came here to share in the first place – this piece of writing.  I was first made aware of this of writing at a meeting I went to in November with other moms of children with autism.  Since then, I’ve read it, re-read it, and read it again.  And it just seems so… fitting.

Welcome to Holland

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

I think that I’m one of the lucky ones.  I got to go to Italy and Holland with these two handsome tour guides.

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Christmas Spirit

The Christmas spirit is running wild in our new home.  Griffin is most definitely my son, and much to his Papa’s dismay, he has even more enthusiasm for Christmas decorating that I do.  This year he got to spend the night at Nana and Grandpa’s and help put up their tree and decorations.

No more than 3 minutes passed after he arrived home from that adventure and he was asking to put up our tree.  Let me tell you, the kid was relentless!  So we put up the tree and in the next couple of days got out the rest of the décor until every bulb was hung, every strand of lights plugged in, and every wreath on their hook.

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Griffin the Christmas Elf still wasn’t satisfied.  The tree was up, but there were no presents under it.  I tried to explain that we could wrap gifts once we bought them, but we didn’t have any to do yet.  Unacceptable.  He got out the wrapping paper, his scissors, and some tape and started to wrap up toys he already has – like the guitar and saw below.  Still not enough.  Those presents needed bows!  So bows he made.

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When he was done wrapping presents I took the supplies away from him and told him we didn’t need to wrap anymore of our own things up, he moved on to his next task – ripping small scraps of wrapping paper and taping them to the tree for “extra decorations so Santa knows which tree is ours”.

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I just love seeing Christmas through his eyes.  The awe and wonder and excitement for every little detail is just precious.  This is the first year he really understands the concept of Santa and is just so curious and excited for it all.  The innocence of youth is just so refreshing. 

Black and White

Fun fact about me: I’m kind of an all or none person. I see in black and white and have a harder time with the grey areas.  When I do something, I want to fully commit to it and go all in. If, for whatever reason, I can’t give it my all anymore, I abandon ship and give up. It is a character flaw of mine.

Exhibit A: This blog. I wish I had made the time and had the energy to keep it updated. When days and weeks pass between entries, it makes me even less inclined to post anything new.

Exhibit B: Bennett’s PECS book. I wanted to make him one. I didn’t know where to start and my wonderful BFF offered to make one for him if I just gave her a list. I can’t do it. If I don’t  have exactly every picture we need, I don’t want to do it. All or none.

Exhibit C: The boys’ baby books. Don’t even get me started. I had to dig through Griffin’s earlier this week to get his immunization records and had to brush aside a cobweb or two to get to it.

You get the picture.

News flash! Things aren’t always black and white. The world will not implode if I only get around to blogging once a month. Some PECS is better than none. And my boys won’t really care if there is no record of the first time they sat unassisted.

Whew. I feel better already. Grey might be ok so sometimes.

I love to write. And I’m thankful for a new friend for inspiring me to post again. Even if you haven’t seen me for months and it may be months before I make it back again; I’m here today, embracing the grey!

evals and more evals

B has had five sessions of ST now with little progress being made, though I can’t say I expected to see much at this point.  Two sessions ago his SLP suggested he be evaluated for additional services.  She thought he could really benefit from Occupational Therapy as well.  Sigh.  Of course she did.

So I got on the phone.  Last week a team from the early intervention services came out to our house and conducted an initial screening to see if he would qualify for a full evaluation for state services. Of course he did.

On Thursday another professional from EI will come out to do the paperwork and parent interview with me.  Unfortunately Travis is working in North Dakota this week, so he isn’t able to be a part of that portion.  The following Tuesday she will come back and do the part 1 of the full evaluation with B to determine which type(s) of therapy he qualifies for.

More evaluations more therapies.  I’m just ready to get some answers and get B the right kind of help he needs.  It is clear that there is more going on than a language delay.  I’m his mama – I know something isn’t right.  We just need to figure out what it is.  I don’t want to make something be there that’s not, but at the same time if there is something there, I want to figure it out sooner than later.  And now we have a team of objective professionals to do just that and help us navigate through this, whatever it is.

I do have to say that I am SO impressed with the school district’s EI process.  They are quick and incredibly supportive, informative, and helpful.  I don’t feel like it’s a big waiting game with them.  They are on the ball and have kept things moving along quickly.  The service coordinator even sent me a list of Pediatricians that families going through similar things as we are have found helpful.  I can’t even explain what a weight off of my shoulders that was.  Being new to the area and not knowing (m)any people has made finding a good doctor for B a shot in the dark.  I’m a big fan of word-of-mouth referrals, and now I have some.  I am going to cross check her list with our insurance tonight and hopefully pick a new doctor sooner than later.

Progress is being made.  Bit by bit.

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Dogs

We are in the midst of an adventure right now.  Our first real go at dog sitting.  I’m not an animal person and I wasn’t raised with pets.  I think they’re slobbery and gross.  They mess up my house, and I can do that on my own, without the added help from the four-legged pals.

My parents (and the rest of my family) are all in CO this week for my cousin’s wedding.  Sadly, we chose to stay back rather than navigate the airport and a week away from home with Bennett.  Which left us with the pleasure of hosting two furry friends at our house for a week.  It’s just one week and I knew Griffin would love it.

Griffin is in his element.  He feeds the dogs, makes them sit before giving them their treats, tells them to be good before we leave in the morning, and shares his room / bed with them at night.  It’s pretty adorable to watch.

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“Hey Mama, Ralphie is a horse!”

 

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“I think Ralph is cold, so I covered him up.”

BooBoo is more like me.  This is what he thinks of the extra company.

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Dogs? What dogs?

 

I’m being a tad dramatic, because we really did have a lot of fun playing outside with them last night and they have been VERY well-behaved so far.  They leave us alone at meal times, they don’t bark, and they go outside and do their business (relatively) quickly.  So far, no complaints.  Not that I want to keep them or get any of my own or anything, so don’t go getting any ideas about that.

 

Monster Bathroom

We’re poking away at projects around the house and I’m pretty darn thrilled with how our first repainted and decorated room has come together.  We plan to be at this house for a very long time, so unlike the last house which we kept pretty white the entire time we were there, with the exception of the boys’ bedrooms, we want to decorate this place and make it homey.  I have so many ideas and projects I want to try, now I just have to find the time (and money) to get them done.  One room at a time.  First up, the boys’ bathroom.

I searched for the perfect shower curtain for weeks.  I couldn’t decide on what theme I wanted and kept going to different stores and leaving empty-handed.  I finally found and fell in love with this one online.

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Unfortunately it was last season’s design and none of these cute coordinating pieces were available anymore.

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It didn’t matter, because it was too cute to pass up – I had to have the monster theme for the boys!  I ordered the curtain and got in touch with a wonderfully talented women and asked her to make some wall art to complement it.  She did an amazing job and I just love them.  The picture is from my phone and not the best quality, but they say Little Monsters Wash Their Hands, Little Monsters Flush The Toilet, Little Monsters Love Taking Baths, and Little Monsters Brush Their Teeth.

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After we had the curtain and wall art, I let Travis pick the paint color (scary, I know, but he did great) and get busy.  I happened upon the rug on a clearance end-cap in Target for $5 and voila, our bathroom is complete.

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Next up is Griffin’s room.  Goodbye pink walls!