Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Goose Egg

Yesterday morning after Sammy and I got home from running errands, my phone rang. It was Elijah's school and as always, my heart sank when I saw the number pop up. This time, though, I heard something I did not quite expect! When E was walking into lunch from recess, a classmate accidentally ran into him which sent Elijah's forehead straight into the corner of a wall. He got a nice goose-egg and cut on his sweet head.

When the nurse called, she was concerned about Elijah not being able to tell her what exactly had happened. I think she was mistaking his inability to articulate under pressure as a concussion. After chatting with him for ten seconds over the phone, I assured her that he was just fine. When Sammy and I walked into the nurse's office ten minutes later, my sweet Elijah was crying uncontrollably. When he saw me, he said, "I WANT MOMMY!" and cried even harder. Then, "HOLD ME, MOMMY!"

He was fine. He was in a bit of pain (it's an impressive goose-egg!) and I think he felt a little embarrassed about the fall. Sammy and I loaded him up on LOVE...lots of hugs, gentle kisses and an afternoon movie. This morning he was back to new, minus a slightly bruised forehead.

The boys and I have been having a great week (minus the fall, of course)! We have played a lot of games, done tons of tickling and laughed a lot. We miss our Daddy this week and we can't wait to see him bright and early on Friday morning!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Spring! Ha!


We got a heavy, wet, large snowfall overnight last night that the boys and I had so much fun with today. Dan is out of town for the week for work, so he sadly missed out on the block's coolest, tallest, most awesome snowman. This one takes the cake! (Based on its height, guess who built 99% of it!)

A few days after Elijah's tummy was back to normal last week Dan and I both caught the bug. It was horrid. I spent two days unable to do anything. We were a miserable family over the weekend! Thankfully, we are all feeling MUCH better.

Elijah's teacher called me today with a mostly good report. She has noticed some "differences" in him in the past month. There are certain things he is fighting with his school work more than ever (math and writing) and this wasn't a surprise (this is an NLD thing). He fights these things at home, as well. The good differences that she noted are also things we have seen at home in the past month. He is able to transition much better, he handles himself socially much better and he can be talked down from an almost-bad situation much more easily.

We have noticed at home that things have been much improved. Sleep is better, using the restroom is (mostly) not a big deal anymore (umm, this is HUGE), anxieties overall seem to have lessened and situations that would have set him off two months ago can sometimes be averted easily. WHY? I have no idea. Essential oils? Prayer? We've been consistent with both of the above, so maybe one or both are the answer?? The ONE thing that has been worse than usual is his attitude toward Sammy. He is usually so good with Sam and they play together so well. Lately he has been mostly positive to everyone except for Sam. Tonight I had the thought that Elijah's confidence seems to have been boosted. When he interacts with all of us, he has a much more confident spirit. For some reason, that confidence is translated into negativity when he interacts with his little bro.

In conclusion! Ha! I have no idea what is going on, but I am accepting most of these changes with open arms and hope that they only continue to blossom into better times and attitudes. Whatever is sparking this change, thank you!

That's all I've got for now. More later, as the week without Daddy unfolds! Thank you for peeking in!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Heart mama love, jumping from buildings and tummy troubles

The past few days have been intense! I flew to Vegas to meet up with a handful of heart mamas. We all have TWO things in common...we all love Kathy (Isaac's mama) and we all have heart kiddos of our own. It was absolutely incredible. I am still processing it all and parts of it I'm not sure I'll ever be able to explain in words. Being in the presence of these humbled, kind, caring, beautiful women was an incredible thing. We shed tears, laughed A LOT and made some pretty awesome memories. I LOVE these ladies!


Memories include: a trip to urgent care, time spent in the rental house (it was beautiful!), checking out the Bellagio fountains and my favorite hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant, getting...uh, ROUGH yet enjoyable...massages, having a feast at the house with ALL the heart mamas (some live in Vegas and were not able to join us for the entire weekend) and...one of the most memorable moments from the entire trip was JUMPING OFF THE TOP OF THE STRATOSPHERE! We had been watching people do this on Friday and the skydiver-adrenaline-junkie in me really yearned to do it. That night I dreamed about it and woke up certain that I wanted to give it a try. I talked ONE other heart mom into doing it with me. We were both scared. Really really scared. But the second I left that platform that was 855 feet in the air, I LOVED IT. It was just like skydiving. It was peaceful and enjoyable.

Andrea and me before I walked out onto the platform. Yikes!


I was SHAKING!


Looking out over the Strip, ready to plunge!


Weeee!




Looking up at the Stratosphere from the ground. The blue dot at the top is where we jumped from!


I arrived back home on Sunday and could immediately see that Elijah wasn't feeling well in the car. Dan had been telling me that his tummy was upset for most of the weekend, but it seemed like the second I got into the car things escalated. He vomited A LOT on the drive home and started complaining of a bad tummy ache. I dropped Sammy and Dan off and drove straight to urgent care. The doctor there thought stomach flu was the culprit, but she was concerned about Elijah's neck hurting whenever he vomited. I asked why and she sheepishly said, "Well...that could be meningitis." She went to get discharge papers and a wheelchair (he was hardly able to walk at this point) when he vomited again. And again, his neck started hurting. When I told her this, she said, "Go straight to Children's."


My brain was swimming. I was exhausted and wanted to be home with my boys. A nurse and I loaded Elijah into my car and I headed to Children's, crying. Three minutes into the drive, Elijah perked up. Like, he was completely back to normal. No more hurting tummy or neck or anything. I was so conflicted, especially having just spent time with a friend who lost her son because doctors had ignored important symptoms. Yet I did not want him to have to endure hours of poking and torture for no reason, either. I called a good friend of ours who is an ER doctor. I ran everything by her and she kindly implied that heading back home would be a safe thing to do. She strongly felt that Elijah had a nasty case of the stomach flu and that meningitis was VERY unlikely, given he had no fever and no other symptoms aside from neck pain (which can also occur with the flu).

I felt a ton better after talking to her and headed back home. E stayed home from school today. He didn't throw up all day, and was able to keep food and water down. I limited his eating and it drove him crazy! He was soooo hungry and kept sneaking into the fridge to steal handfuls of sliced turkey. After dinner he complained of a tummy ache again and then had an accident and went to bed feeling crummy. He still didn't vomit, so I'm hoping tomorrow will be the turnaround day. I'm thinking he will be staying home from school tomorrow, too. Poor guy. I hate that he isn't feeling well, but I am SO THANKFUL that meningitis is not a likely outcome. I had about an hour of total panic yesterday after the doctor uttered that word.

I hope you all had a nice weekend! My head is spinning a bit after so much excitement. I want to see my heart moms again...I miss them. At the same time, I'm so happy to be home. I love my boys!

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Climbing the mountain....slowly..

Today was a day of overwhelmedness for this mama. I'm heading out of town tomorrow..SOLO..so wrapping up a hundred loose ends has been a little bit stressful. It'll be worth it 24 hours from now! I'll report more about my trip after I get back. It is going to be a hugely momentous and awesome adventure! Something I will certainly never forget.

First, birthday party pics!





Isn't this so like Sammy to be a unique part of the picture? :)



I have a few things I wanted to write down before I leave town. The most exciting news is that I took Elijah in for his ENT follow-up today. Dr. L wanted to see how his hearing compared to six months ago and after his most recent ear surgery in July. His hearing test today revealed that the hearing in his left ear is even BETTER than it was six months ago! His left ear is now officially completely within the normal range. Amazing! Dr. L was literally stammering over his words. I don't think he said one entire complete sentence. What I heard: "This is...just...unbelievable. I am...stunned. Un. Believable. See you in six months." The outcome of this whole ear ordeal has been a HUGE answer to prayer. I will never ever forget the miracles that have happened to Elijah in this area.

A funny thing from the appointment today.. While he was getting his hearing test, the audiologist directed some white noise into his right ear while testing his left. Elijah stopped her and said, "Um, excuse me, but are you giving me challenging wind?" That's my boy!

Overall, we have been seeing gradual improvements with our oldest boy recently. He has been so much better about telling us details about his day (good or bad) and about expressing his feelings. He also can occasionally catch himself when he is doing something undesirable and he can express sincere apology more than ever before. A lot of the things that "they" tell us Elijah will never be able to do...he is starting to do. At 6:00 pm, when Dan walks in the door, he will remember that at 7:00 am Dan had a sore throat and he'll say, "Daddy, how are you feeling? How is your throat? I hope you are feeling better!" In Elijah-land, these things are a pretty huge deal.

Sleep recently has mostly been average to good. We have had very few "bad" nights recently, although Dan and I are still waking up early because we've been trained to do so. :) The end of daylight savings has been a blessing because we haven't had to change Elijah's internal clock, yet he's going to bed later and waking up later!

I think I forgot to mention Elijah's recent well visit with Dr. Judy. Everything looked fine, but she was surprised and disappointed that the ASD label had been thrown on him. She has never believed that it's a suitable label for him. I agree, but if it is helping him get the assistance he needs in school then I'm not against it. School has been going much better since he has been receiving more one-on-one support. We love his teachers. They work really hard to keep him happy and productive. I still don't feel like he is completely understood, but he is a tough one to understand!

I think I've covered what I've wanted for the week. You won't hear from me again until at least Sunday. Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Snow play!

Still kickin'. I have been so behind in updating. You see, I have this problem. When time opens up for me I go right ahead and fill it up with thirty projects, all of which I want to finish NOW. I'm super excited about some personal projects I'm working on. I keep thinking about writing an update here and I get caught up in those other things.

This week Elijah had a "mostly on" week at school. He had his moments, but for the most part did fine according to his teacher. They have been able to get him more one-on-one help, which helps. He still doesn't have his own para, but we're working on it! His sleep has been up and down and up and down. It seems like every other night is ok and every other night is not ok. He gets SO TIRED in the evenings.

When Sammy and Elijah aren't fighting like brothers do, they are loving each other! Their new favorite place to play (and cuddle) is behind the chair in our living room. It looks cozy back there!


We haven't been able to get out to play in the snow much this year because it has been so cold. One day this week it was snowing and NOT below zero, so we bundled up and made a small little snow-dude. Sammy named him Cutie. I think he names all of our snowmen Cutie.


Then I put the boys to work! And their most favorite part...hot chocolate afterward.


This morning my stepmom and I were able to go to Elijah's classroom to watch this week's Reader's Workshop. It was so cute. Elijah did great! He followed along and read great!

I just remembered that I have pics to share from last weekend! We had family over to celebrate Elijah's 8th birthday. It was fun! Pics to come!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Rainbows and smileys

Hello! We are still alive! I have been immersing myself in personal projects, so I haven't made much time for this beloved blog. School for Elijah is going ok. He has "pretty good" days and some pretty rough ones still. At this point I am taking it one day at a time, trying very hard not to over-analyze or stress out. There seems to be absolutely no consistency with behavior/sleep patterns, which can make me crazy if I think about it too much. Sleep is still overall pretty rough, but we are continuing with the oils. Dan and I get by on so little sleep because we are basically awake for the day at 4:00 (sometimes earlier). I still have not heard back from Dr. M regarding another med recommendation. I haven't put a second call into him because I secretly don't want him to recommend anything else.

I feel like we've fallen into a good place during a rough stretch. Does that make sense? We have learned how to make the most of a sleepless/impatient/stressful time. We are doing fine. Tired, but fine. We have each other and tons of love and faith. Thank you so much for peeking in! It means so much to us!

I have saved up a few Sammy funnies from the past week..

Sam is so good at thinking through things ahead of time. There was a coloring sheet of a rainbow that he had colored at the club a couple times. The next time he was there, they were out of that particular sheet. So the next day at home he sat down with a black sharpie and drew the outline of a rainbow on a white piece of paper. Then he brought that "coloring sheet" with us to the club and colored it while he was there. I thought that was impressive!


Another thing he likes to do is take band-aids from the box, draw hearts or smiley faces or rainbows on them...and put them back in the box! He told me his drawings will make owies heal much faster. :)

Driving through the grocery store parking lot, Sammy said, "Mommy, go faster! Speed makes me come alive!"

Other Sammy quotes: "If you don't give me whatever I want, my heart will explode!"
"Will you do me a huge favor, Mommy? Will you please take away the whole world?"

He is constantly worried about things he does not need to be worrying about. I field at least 100 questions/day about "bad guys." He wants to know if bad guys were bad kids? Do bad guys watch us through our windows? Can good kids turn into bad guys? Can bad kids turn into good guys? What would I do if a bad guy tried to steal him? Could a bad guy get in our house through our windows? Where do bad guys live? What is prison like? What kinds of food do bad guys eat in jail? Are their beds comfortable? Seriously...and that is just one topic. Other topics of choice: tornadoes and car crashes.

Needless to say, our front door is ALWAYS locked. He asks me a bunch throughout the day, "Is our door locked?" and then runs to check it.

Sammy: What happens if my foot turns purple?
Me: Then your foot probably needs blood. 
S: What if it doesn't get blood?
Me: Then you could lose your foot. 
S: .......
Me: Having feet is important, right?
S: No-ight. (a new, creative version of "no-kay")
Me: Sammy, you are the funniest person I know.
S: You don't know me! I live in Russia.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy 8th birthday, Elijah Daniel!


Today was a strange, happy, tearful day. Little bouts of crying surprised me a handful of times when I would think about Elijah turning eight. On one hand, I feel like the past eight years have lasted 20 years. On the other hand, I can't believe our oldest boy is EIGHT!

This boy. His beautiful, smart, funny little self has transformed me into a kinder, more faithful and patient person. He has added a great deal of color, richness and depth to our family. Dan, Sammy and I love him to pieces. We would not be the same without him!

Happy 8th birthday, Elijah Daniel! You are a LOVED little person! I can't wait to experience many many MANY more years with you.