Thursday, April 21, 2011

I want ball.

Tonight at dinner, I very unexpectedly found myself sobbing into my tofu scramble.

You see, in the past 5 months since we have been working with our new team of Early Intervention Developmental Specialists, they have been using picture cues with Dylan.  He hadn't been introduced to these in the past.  But now, both his Speech Therapist as well as his Educator bring with them a set of many different pictures which they use to help Dylan make choices.  During the visit, they will pick out 3 cards with pictures of different toys on them.  They will then set up the first Velcro card that reads, "I" and then the second one that reads, "want".  They will say and sign "I want".  Dylan will then choose a picture card of the toy that he would like to play with and will place the Velcro card after the word, "want".  Together they will say and sign, "I want (whichever card Dylan chose, for example "books").   "I want books." 

Once Dylan is done playing with that particular toy (books), he will take the Velcro card (a picture of books) and will place it at the end of the sentence that reads, "All done".  They will then say and sign, "All done books.".  

This is repeated for every choice and is done each and every time his specialists are here.  Recently it has appeared as though Dylan is definitely grasping the concept and yesterday was even beginning to initiate the process a bit. 

Over the past couple of days, I have noticed a drastic improvement in his motivation to imitate all words.  His ST noticed as well and as I read her notes from yesterday, I see that this is so.  She wrote, "He showed some great strides in his communication.  He was trying to imitate almost every word and was really looking at my mouth and touch cues for clarity....".

So anyway, dinner...

Tonight Dylan and I sat together eating our dinner while Cassidy played with her toys.  Apparently the meal that I had made for Cassidy, the same one that has been enjoyed many, many times by her before, was yucky tonight and was not worth eating.  So I sat sulking, frustrated, thinking about orthotics and why it is that getting a prescription for a larger pair of them for Dylan had to be as difficult as it was proving to be, when, out of nowhere Dylan said,  very clearly, "I".  I looked up at him as he clearly signed while attempting to say, "want".  I couldn't believe it.  I put my fork down, covered my mouth with my hands and waited.  "Ball".  He said a sentence.  He said a sentence!  He communicated what he wanted with no prompting whatsoever.  He wanted a ball and he told me so in just those words.  "I want ball". 

I couldn't believe it!  "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh", I just kept saying over and over. 

I was so surprised!! 

I sobbed into my tofu scramble and it is hard now to explain exactly why. But I know that in the moment it just felt so huge.  Huge.

Once we regained out composure, I tried to get him to say it all over again.  It's certainly not exactly what it was the first time, but still...

video
  Huge.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Could it be?

So much for my, "There's always Friday" idea.   Um, no.


The rest of the week looked pretty much like this:



And this:

This:


Aaaaand this:



Just as we were feeling like all hope was lost and that we'd be stuck in our pajamas with the stomach flu forever, tonight Dylan sat at the kitchen table with a regular shirt on, and ate half of a cereal bar and a piece of banana.

He also gave me one of these:


Oh, how I missed that smile! 

Cass isn't there quite yet, but Dylan's got a few days on her. Hey, at least tonight she was upright for a little while...


We may just make it through this thing after all...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

First Three Days

This week was my very first week of going back to work.    Well, it was suppose to be, anyway...

Unfortunately, it was also the week for both of my kids to get really sick.

Day 1:


Dylan lying on the floor.


Day 2:

Dylan lying on the floor.  Again.

Day 3:

Cass lying on the couch.

And we are not out of the woods yet.  In fact, I have already called for a substitute for tomorrow, too.

Well...there's always Friday.

Thank you all for your comments and best wishes on my last post!  I really appreciate it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Going for it.

Days like these, walks in the park, will now be treasured even more on the weekends.
Dylan remembering what sand feels like in his hands.

Cass chillin' with a duck.

Mama's going back to work.   It is time.  It may not be absolutely ideal, but nothing is, really. This is awfully close.  It all happened very quickly as I was interviewed and then hired on Friday, and I start on Monday. It's an opportunity that I believe I must take. My foot is officially in the door.   


There are many "best parts" about this situation, but I have to say that the very best part is the daycare that the kids will be attending. They. Are. Wonderful. They are over the moon excited about having both Cassidy and Dylan. They have accepted Dylan with open arms and have embraced him just as he is.

As it should be, however as I now know this isn't always the way.

But it is the way at this daycare.




I am thrilled to be taking this next step.  I am also...
stressed.
anxious.
excited.
terrified.
overwhelmed.
happy.
at peace.
joyful.
We're going for it!
I am grateful as I remember to take it all one day at a time. Is it going to be easy? No. Being a single mom with 2 young kids, taking a grad class and now working full time...it's not going to be a walk in the park, no, but I know that life isn't always meant to be that way.

We're jumping in.  We're going for it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Syndicated!


I received an email from BlogHer recently asking me if they could syndicate a specific post that I had written on Days with Dylan.  I excitedly agreed - especially because of the particular post that they had chosen. 

It was published today!  Click here to check it out. 

Go Dylan, go!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

A big day

for the Big Guy.

**I wrote this post last night, but couldn't get it to publish for some reason...



Today was Dylan's first day attending a child-only (aka: no mama) playgroup at his Early Intervention Center. A couple of months ago, his educator encouraged me to sign him up for a group with the hope of preparing him for preschool this summer. I dragged my feet for a few weeks and then finally signed him up and received a call that he would be starting on the 31st.

His class meets one morning a week for 2 1/5 hours. It is an integrated class - some kids are from the EI Program, some are not, and they are all around age two.

We got ready this morning - backpack and all.



When I dropped Dylan off in his classroom and began to say goodbye, I lingered probably longer than I needed to. I crouched down and said, "Bye Dyl". I think he thought that he and I were both leaving together because he looked up at his teacher and said, "Bye!".



When I first brought him into the room, his teacher mentioned to me that she is currently in graduate school studying American Sign Language, so she is very familiar with sign. It really helped knowing that because even though Dylan has about 20 words now, he does still communicate primarily through sign.

So, after I closed the door to his classroom behind me, couldn't help but peek through the window, just for a second. Dylan was fine. I took a deep breath and left.



When Cassidy and I went to pick him up, the kids were out on the playground. Dylan did not see us and we watched the class for a little while. I was so happy to see that he was happy! He was in school, all by himself, and he was doing well! My Little One, not so little anymore.

I felt rediculously proud.

But yet, in the very next moment I also felt a quick, unexpected pang of hurt as I watched all of his classmates running around the playground and climbing on small structures. All while Dylan sat. Wanting. Watching. Occasionally he would scoot to catch up, but...

My heart ached a little bit.

It ached not for me but for him. I want everything for him. Everything. Including feeling like a part of his class, like his peers. That includes walking.

I don't want his heart to hurt. And as I watched him, I wondered how he felt as he watched the other kids.

.......

As we headed to the car, I overheard the receptionist ask a man to please move his car as he had parked it in the fire lane. He was obviously not happy about it as he walked outside and, as his young son grasped his daddy's hand, yelled to the person inside the car, "Hey! You need to move our car! These f#!^ing re*@%ds have no parking spaces here!".

......



We went home and later sat on the couch together awaiting a snow storm. With Dylan and Cassidy on each side of me, we snuggled under our fuzzy blanket and read books together.

My conflicted emotions from the morning began to melt into just one, and life began to feel right again.

I am learning. The bumps along the way are just that - bumps. They are fleeting. At the time they hurt like heck, but you do the best that you can at the time and realize that they do pass.

This road, while it is filled with twists and turns and even the occasional bump, it's life.

It's our journey and I go to bed every night thanking my lucky stars that I am on it...