(Our heart friend Evan took this photo of the boys and me and it is one of the best pics EVER taken of the three of us!)
I'm not sorry that we took the trip but if I had known the extent of the struggles Elijah would have endured on this journey beforehand, I may not have left our cozy home. He struggled. He REALLY struggled. There are many moments I would rather not remember. My amazing heart mama friend Sarah and I discussed Elijah's behavior at length, and because of those conversations (and, of course, the ones over the phone with my amazing hubby...and the ones after-bedtime with my stepmom) I feel like we have deeper insight into our boy. We are still so much in the learning phases, but we know that there are a few main factors at play:
- Sleep We are controlling sleep as much as possible right now by reverting to what we've always done and putting E to bed EARLY. Thankfully, all parties on our trip were completely understanding about this and I was able to get Elijah to sleep at an ideal bedtime every single night while we were away.
- Stupid sleep meds Dan and I feel that the recent dosage increase of E's sleep meds have been counter-productive. We think the latest dose caught up to him while we were in Kentucky, causing him to behave in ways I've NEVER seen. I contacted his sleep doctor and she agreed that we should immediately begin weaning him off the meds. Not only was the higher dose bad for him, but the weaning process has been a big change for his body on top of it. I cannot WAIT to get these stupid meds out of his body.
- NLD I finished my NLD book while on vacation and Dan has been reading it, too. We feel like this is such a huge part of why Elijah has so many struggles, especially while away from home and in visually "chaotic" and/or new environments. It gives us so much compassion for him and makes us realize how difficult it must be for him to exist in visually busy and also unpredictable places. There is so much to report about what we've learned about this. New environments are SO scary for Elijah, so testing the waters with Dan/me may be his way of testing his safety/security. Perhaps his acting out could BE his security because he knows what to expect from us (even though it's a negative response) in an otherwise unpredictable setting.
There will be more to come about our trip in the next few days! I have fun photos and stories to share. We had a great time overall and we are so grateful for the friends and family members who totally took care of us on our journey. We drove 12 solid hours today (730 miles) and we were EXCITED to be home at the end of the day. Hugging Daddy/Dan felt amazing!
Thanks for checking in! Here are a few pics from our journey. I'll post Lazy 5 Ranch (zoo) pics tomorrow (I have a lot to share).
Checking out some trails with heart friend Evan!
My boys love their Evan so much!
"GET UNCLE JOEL!!"
Story time with Grammie and Gramps.
Both boys LOVED their pool time at Grammie and Gramps' house!