Sunday, April 21, 2013

Three months down!

Well, on Thursday it was exactly 3 months since we've brought James home.  In some ways it feels much longer, and in some ways it seems like 3 days!  Some days I feel like we are all finally getting the hang of this new family, and other days I wonder if things will ever be "normal" again!  The first half of April was relatively quiet as far as appointments and such go, but last week and this coming week are making up for it!  Last week we celebrated Aedan's birthday, had chiropractor appointments, Liana started soccer at the Y, Aedan had baseball practice, James had an evaluation with the cochlear implant speech therapist (more about that later), we had our second post placement visit with our social worker, and my niece got married (yay!).  This coming week we have to pick up James's hearing aids, visit the pediatrician to be cleared for surgery, soccer, a field trip, first baseball game of the season, much needed oral surgery, and a big fundraiser at church called Arts for Adoption.  (Anyone local reading this, please come out on Saturday, April 27th between 8am and 3pm to Monroeville Assembly of God!  AFA is a big craft show with over 30 crafters and vendors, plus a variety of other things.  It's going to be awesome and proceeds go to our church's adoption fund.) 
James is doing really well, except for that tooth that needs to come out!  We feel like his behavior has greatly improved, and we hardly ever have to put him in the corner anymore.  He gets along much better with his siblings and they can all actually play together for longer periods of time without fighting.  His language is definitely improving as well.  I think he understands much more than he did before, and is using more new signs, as well as starting to put signs together.  He will often repeat a sign over and over and not give any other information, which drives me crazy.  And he doesn't respond to questions, but we are working on that.  He has "can I please have.." down pat, but he thinks that's the only way to ask a question! One time he said, "can please have move" when he wanted me to get out of his way.  And once at work he asked, "can please have home."  So we are also now working on other types of questions!  He can sometimes identify a few colors, and we are working on counting and size comparison.  Yesterday at the wedding he was seated next to his one-year-old cousin who was banging the table and making all kinds of ruckus.  James looked at him and signed CALM.  I laughed so hard because I am always telling him to calm down, but that was the first time I'd ever seen him use the sign.  Very exciting!  He also tries to mimic words with his mouth, and he now says ON, in addition to HOME.  It comes out sounding more like OMMM, but he does the sign too, so it's clear that he is saying ON.  Which brings me to his speech eval.  The therapist was very impressed with his overall communication skills, given his background.  She wasn't sure what to expect after reading his file, but she was quite pleased with what she saw.  She feels very optimistic that he will do well with implants and is excited to work with him.  He did really well with the tests she did, which were the same as some of the ones the developmentalist did with him, only this time he did them much better than a month ago.  It's so wonderful to see him making progress.  He can also completely dress himself now, including socks and shoes  He likes to put his underwear on backwards though!  He still can't do buttons or snaps or zippers, but that's ok.  He's also doing better about sitting other ways besides in the W position.  He's not a fan of it. but he will change his feet when I tell him to.  He also is playing with toys for longer periods, which is very nice.  I made a few file folder games to work on certain concepts.  He gets very irritated when I make him sit and do them, but he has to get used to it.  He will be starting therapies in June.  I wish it was sooner, but his IEP meeting isn't until May 23rd, and therapy won't start until after that.  So in the meantime, mean mom makes him sit at the table and do "school work" with the other two. :)

On a completely random note, it is my humble opinion that brussel sprouts DO NOT belong in cupcakes.  Ever.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Today is my baby's 7th birthday.  Seven years ago from right now I was drugged up on morphine, having just delivered a bruised and lumpy-headed-alien-looking child by emergency C-section.  (I don't have any baby pictures on this computer or I would show you.)  He had some fluid in his lungs at birth and I never heard that first cry, but thank God all was well within a few minutes.  And now I have a beautiful red-no-longer-lumpy-headed boy that I wouldn't trade for the world.  Aedan is funny, creative, smart, athletic, and sweet.  He loves super heroes, legos, baseball, hockey, drawing, and music.  Funny thing though, he hates to sing.  Well, really I think the problem is that he hates for anyone to hear him singing.  Sometimes if we are lucky we can catch him singing quietly.  But he will often say, "I love this song!"  He has no desire to be on a stage for any reason, but put him on a baseball field and he shines!  He is so excited for this season of baseball, playing coach pitch.  He will probably be one of the youngest on his team, making the cut off for his age division by only 2 weeks.  But the Lord has definitely gifted him in this area and I know he will do great. 
 He's not into school and I have to force/bribe him to read, but he is an excellent reader nonetheless.  Coming to the end of first grade, he is reading well above grade level.  I even gave him a sample from a third grade PSSA reading test a few weeks ago just to see how he would do, and he got every question correct.  Homeschooling this year has been quite interesting, and we had many tough days, but he is becoming quite a good student, and I am looking forward to continuing to teach him at home.  Of course, rewarding him at the end of each day with ipad time has done wonders for his motivation! :)
Aedan loves his brother and sister, and I love seeing them all play together now, especially after such a rough start with James.  His imagination is fantastic and he can amuse himself for hours. He loves to draw and create things out of paper and legos (not together!).  He is ALWAYS thinking about something, and asks about 300 questions a day.  He said to me once, "I just like to know things."  He is so my son in that way. 
Aedan can be very shy and hates talking to people he doesn't know, and even ones he does!  He is riding in a bike-a-thon this week and I made him ask people to sponsor him himself.  You would have thought I asked him to recite the Gettysburg Address in front of a stadium full of people!!  After ten people you think he would have gotten used to it, but nope!  Not my son!!  But he did it and has has over $100 in sponsors so far!  Now as long as he actually rides the whole hour, he'll be in good shape.  He just learned to ride without training wheels last week!
He loves to eat and some days I can barely keep up with his appetite.  I don't even want to think about what it's going to take to feed him in a few years!!  He sweats like a horse and Jason thinks he will need deodorant soon.  His feet stink and he thinks farting is hilarious.  He is such a boy in every way and I love him like crazy.  Happy birthday, buddy!!