I haven't mentioned Elijah's sleep lately because it is just about the same as before...lousy. He continues to wake up very early every morning and he is absolutely unable to fall back asleep. While we were at the waterpark last weekend, he woke up at 2:30am both mornings. UGH. We have no idea when he is waking up at home because he does a really good job of laying in bed quietly, but we know it is super early based on the way he looks when we get him and Sammy out of bed at 6:30.
Since being back at school, we have been putting him to bed at 6:00 every night to make sure he gets as much sleep as possible. This helps with behavior/tiredness, but doesn't totally eliminate the issues. For the past few weeks I have been playing phone tag with his sleep specialist because I feel like we need to get to the bottom of this. We finally spoke on the phone today and she had a medication recommendation that she thinks might fit him perfectly. Back when we were weaning E off Valium (that he took to help with dizziness/nausea after his ear surgery), we noticed that for a week or so his behavior (and sleep, we think) were improved. Markedly improved. Dr. W chose a medication that is a cousin of Valium that E will take in a very low dose before bed each night.
I called Elijah's primary doctor today just to run this by her and she agreed that this is a great next step. So we started the meds tonight! We probably won't have an idea about whether or not it'll help for a good week or two since we are starting at a SUPER low dose and increasing to a still really low dose. Dan and I are filled with HOPE! Please please please pray that this will help him get the rest he needs! The medication we are trying is also prescribed for anti-anxiety, so this could potentially kill two birds with one stone.
Elijah is in the middle of his fourth week back at school! He has been doing half days and they have been going great! We think. No news is good news, right?! :) I talked to his special education case manager tonight and she confirmed that overall he is doing GREAT! He is still struggling with independence while doing school work, but so far he has managed to keep outbursts and blurt-outs mostly under control. He has been coming home with notes from girls in his folder, so he must be sending out some sort of friendly social vibes. :)
I'll be chatting with Dr. L tomorrow regarding these next few weeks. We think it would be best for E to do a few more weeks of partial days. We'd like to increase his time at school but wait until April to send him back for full days. On my list tomorrow: call Dr. L, call the bus company and sort out another schedule!
We have not continued (yet) with the memory-attention-learning testing because we are still waiting for insurance to approve it. We are really hoping this goes through because I feel like we would get major answers/help from that. E's appointment with the developmental ped is scheduled for late April and I wish it were TOMORROW. I just know we'll get answers from that, too. Lots of things are in the works to make our oldest boy a happier, more rested little guy.
On the Sammy front.. I have been gathering tons of funny material to share with you about our littlest sweetie. He is a STITCH! Seriously, he is one of the funniest people I know and he is only three years old. He needs to open a comedy club! He has more wit and creativity than most adults I know. He's a sharp one, and so so handsome. I can't wait to share the tidbits I've been collecting.
That's all for now! Thanks for checking in!
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Elijah in his "factory!"
Dan and I wrestled about whether or not to take our annual waterpark adventure this year since finances are super-tight, but we decided to just do it. We began this tradition before Sammy turned one, so this was our fourth year! We did a lot of reminiscing about previous years and how much we all enjoy this tradition.
I love capturing this photo every year. The boys peeking in, anticipating the fun as we check in..
The first thing we do every year is...JUMP ON THE BED! The little boys and I jump our hearts out and Dan pretends to be mad. "Daddy, LOOK! We're JUMPING ON THE BED!" "NOO! No jumping on the bed!" This continues until our leg muscles are weak. I love how happy this makes our boys.
Another "tradition" is climbing up to the top bunk (this year it was Elijah's bed...his first time sleeping on the top bunk!) and taking a photo.
Our "first supper" with poses.
Sammy continued the jumping by JUMPING ON THE COUCH!
And posing, multi-socked, with feet on table!
"Sammy, give your brother a kiss!"
Waiting to get into the waterpark.
Elijah has always loved water and waterparks (minus being splashed in the face). He gets super excited about coming here every year. He anticipates it and loves it more than any other kid on the planet, I promise. Every time we drive by this waterpark (which is often), he excitedly says, "MY FACTORY! There's my factory! When oh when oh WHEN can we go back to my factory?!"
Once we get inside, he runs around in a systematic pattern. As I mentioned, he does not like being splashed in the face and he becomes very anxious about it. He calculates when the big bucket is going to drop water over the splash area and plans his fun around that. The math that must take place inside his head!
Gradually over the years he has become braver, which has been so fun to see. The first year, he waded in the 4-inch pool. The second year, he went down the baby slide. The third year, he went down the little orange slide. And this year? He went down the twisty blue slide all by himself! AND he went down one of the "big" tube slides with either Dan or me, which he LOVED! He was literally all over the place, wanting to go down the big slide and go around the lazy river and swim in the wave pool and play in the kid area. He was never still.
Sammy? Wanted to do NOTHING. This photo captured one of the only moments when he left his chair.
We think it mostly has to do with his independence and not wanting anyone to tell him what to do. I know he would have fun...he HAS had fun doing these very things. The first day, Dan and I worked so hard to get even a single toe of his into the water. The only thing he would do without screaming was snuggle his swim towel.
The second day, we decided not to say a single thing about getting into the water but it did no good. He loved wearing his goggles on his head, but refused to get close to the pool.
Last night after our waterparking, we headed over to the MOA to ride a few rides and have dinner. The ferris wheel is one of the rides Sammy will tolerate (only if he sits with Mama), so we rode that before dinner.
At the boys' request, we had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. The boys enjoyed the monkeys and butterflies and the rainstorm.
The boys took a calming, warm, silly bath before bed.
And enjoyed a bit of a movie.
Snuggle time with my boys!
We had an amazing adventure! We went out for our typical IHOP breakfast afterward and also experienced our typical super-tiredness after that. We got home and literally went promptly to bed and slept for 2+ hours. All of us.
We are thankful for this experience! We love our boys so much and we cannot wait for next year's waterpark adventure.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Elijah had a great Despicable Me-themed birthday party on Sunday. I'm confident that he was pleased. We had him take a nap that day, and when he came downstairs afterward and saw all of the decorations up he said in his super-cuteness, "OH MY GOSH! Look at my party stuff! Thanks so MUCH, Mom and Dad! I'm so surprised! You surprised me! THANK YOU! I love it! Wow! Thank you!" :)
Meanwhile, Sammy was doing his most favorite thing: watching a show on the iPad. Could his snuggliness be any cuter?
No Despicable Me party is complete without minion cupcakes, right?! Elijah and Sammy swooned over these. They were a party hit.
One of my absolute favorite things throughout the years has been the Happy Birthday Face, as I call it. It's that moment when my boys realize they are loved and being sung to and that they are the total center of attention. I ALWAYS capture this moment on camera. Or, uh, moments...as people hear my camera click-click-clicking..
The minion cupcakes were devoured and all bellies were pleased.
The birthday boy got to eat the one purple minion of the bunch. He was very happy about that, ice cream on the forehead and all.
We stuffed so many people into our little home. It was cozy and awesome!
Elijah and Grandma!
Grandma and Grandpa hugs!
We were all so excited to have Elijah and Sammy's sweet little friends from daycare over for the party. Elijah and Paigey are a year apart and have known each other since they were babes. Sammy and Lainey are also a year apart and have known each other since birth. Our boys don't attend daycare full-time anymore, but we get them there every once in a while so they can spend time with these sweet little girls. They are just the sweetest little things and we are happy our boys have them as friends! Completely out of the blue, Elijah said to me the other day, "Mom, Paige is going to be my wife." I told him that Paige needs to want that, as well!
The coloring station, which Elijah later told me was his favorite part of the party. Special time with his Paigey and Lainey!
Leave it to Sam to NOT cooperate for a picture...in the cutest way ever.
This morning we brought the boys to see the dentist. It was Sammy's first time and he did GREAT! He was so cooperative and cute. He told the dentist, "I have twenty teeth!" :) Elijah did great, too, our little dentist pro. Neither boy had cavities, which was a relief. The whole ordeal took way longer than we anticipated, so Elijah ended up missing his half-day of school this morning. He will be back at it tomorrow!
Thursday, February 20, 2014
I love birthdays. It is so important for me to make our boys' birthdays as special as possible. While Elijah was at school this morning I ran around town like a chicken with my head cut off, purchasing balloons and cake mixes and wrapping paper. I'm a last-minute gal! :)
We started the day off with a pancake breakfast! A shirtless one!
Elijah had requested lemon cupcakes, so they were awaiting him upon his return home from school. In the shape of the number 7, of course.
When he saw his stack of gifts, he said, "THANK YOU for the birthday surprises, guys! How nice! I'm so happy!" :)
I LOVE seeing genuine smiles on our boys' faces. This is greatness!
One of our gifts to Elijah was a knock-knock jokes book. He LOVES telling (and hearing) jokes, so this will be fun.
Enjoying a lemon cupcake with fart gun close by. Yes, a fart gun. His favorite gift, by far.
I love this happy face!
Have I mentioned lately how adorable Sammy is? He has been sick recently, so he's been SASSY. But normally...oh man, is he a sweet and handsome one. And SO very funny.
Look at those beautiful brown eyes!
Ok, this was NOT staged! :) Dan was doing something or another and Sammy came up behind him in a timely manner and shot the Fart Gun right into his backside. This is my life with boys! Constant potty talk and potty behavior! :)
After all of the love we gave to 300 Pillow Pets, Elijah and Sammy each found favorites. We got each of their favorites for them for E's birthday. Eljiah's was the red dragon (Fiery) and Sammy's was the puppy (Arfy).
Dan, putting together Elijah's Lego Movie lego castle. So intent. And with such huge hair. :)
Sammy with the Fart Gun. So serious!
This is the scene outside our home. The snow continues to fall and we expect to be completely snowed in by the morning, as we listen to the snowplows work almost constantly outside.
Elijah wanted to pose with his Fart Gun! :)
It is almost impossible to comprehend where we were at seven years ago today. We have all come so far since that day. We would not be the same people/family without the experiences we have endured since February 20th, 2007. Our journey has been INCREDIBLE! We are thankful and grateful and we wouldn't want it to happen any other way (aside from taking away the pain Elijah has experienced).
HAPPY 7TH BIRTHDAY, ELIJAH! We love you more than you will ever know, sweet boy of ours.
Dan's mom, who we love so very much, put together a very special memory book for Elijah from our trip to Florida in December. It is AMAZING! We have all looked through it thoughtfully, carefully and tearfully. It was such an incredible trip and we appreciate her efforts so much! Thank you, Grandma! We love you!!
Elijah is looking forward to his family birthday party on Sunday, when we will eat Minion cupcakes and play silly games. Thanks, as always, for checking in on us!