Sunday, November 16, 2014

Few Words, Big Attitude

Look how big!!! 
Long time no...yadda yadda.


So.....where were we? Oh, Yeah...

Liam started daycare in August. We LOVED our private sitter, but with our speech concerns we thought that a daycare may help. Also, it is super close to our home and my work. (And, as you's really all about me.)

Choosing a daycare setting was an easy choice for us. The daycare that Liam attends is also at our church, so that is nice. I grew up working in a daycare center. My mother has been a daycare director for as long as I can remember (she still is, but in another city). I have no "qualms" with the daycare some people do.

Liam had no trouble adjusting to the setting. (That is a HUGE lie.) He didn't cry when I dropped him off, and well...that is pretty much all of the positive.

Turns out, Liam is a bully. Yes. My child, the ONE year old in the TWO year old class, is a meanie. Remember that temper tantrum form the doctor's office...well, he had some for the daycare too. Not to mention  a whole ordeal with biting, hitting, and scratching (teachers...and other kids). =( 

I was pretty much mortified. 

After several weeks of "incident reports" from the daycare and some extremely stressful tantrums at home, I went on a quest for help. Now, I realize that toddler tantrums are normal, but these were injury inducing, body convulsing,  i-hate-the-world tantrums. Most often they ended with Liam in the play pen and me crying in the corner. These were not normal.

I sought out an Early Intervention organization (Early Steps). I felt that these tantrums were coming from a deep place of frustration. That frustration...probably stemming from not being able to talk. 

Just a few weeks ago Liam received a complete developmental evaluation.

After about two hours of working with a speech therapist and an Infant & Toddler developmental Specialist he was diagnosed as Developmentally Delayed. His deficiencies lie in communication and cognitive skills. Now, this might scare some folks, but not me. I actually welcomed a "diagnosis." Now that we know what is going on -- we can address it.

Liam will start developmental and speech therapy this week. I am hoping that with some guidance we can help him develop in his weak areas and finally feel comfortable in this big world that he is a part of!

The evolution of a Liam tantrum...

All because I warmed up his milk...because he wanted me too.

When Liam wants something, you will know it! You just might not know what the "something" is that he actually wants. 
Every day is an adventure...and we love it!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Boy of Few Words

I recently found myself in the pediatrician's office feeling so sorry for the mother of a screaming toddler. This child had thrown himself on the floor (I'm not sure why) and laid at his mother's feet, kicking her, and screaming some kind of unrecognizable language. The mother's face was flushed and sweat was forming on her brow. She politely apologized to the other people in the waiting room and tried a wide range of tactics to end the tantrum. End new tactic came with a new version of a tantrum. She tried to hold him. The child slapped at her face. She put the child down, the child kicked at her, banged his head on the floor, and then began rolling about the waiting room. I truly felt humiliated for this mother.

This mother was me.

The child was mine.

I love this boy. I love him. I love him. I love him.

The tantrums ended when we finally got called into the exam room, but they didn't stay gone long. By the time we left the doctor's office. I was sweating and crying. My 11 year old was a nervous wreck (and pretty ticked at me because he ended up getting a shot). As we were leaving the lady at the front desk looked at me in sympathy and asked, "Are you going to be okay?" I assured her I was and practically ran to the car. Liam was asleep within about 5 minutes of us leaving the parking lot.

You see, I knew it was going to be bad. Once again I forgot that I now had a toddler who is very dependent on his nap and scheduled a doctor's appoint. Right in the middle of nap time.

Big mistake. Huge. (cue "Pretty Woman" scene here)

Lesson learned.

This was Liam's 18 month check up. Healthwise he checked out fine, but the doctor did confirm what I already knew. Liam is, by definition, "speech delayed."

His current vocabulary consists of: Hiiiiiiiiiiiii (he drags it out), Bye, Uh-Oh, Ba-Ba, and Choo-Choo (he says this every time he sees a train).

He understands and babbles a lot, but as far as recognizable speech goes, that's it! He will not even attempt to say "ma-ma." He has said "da-da" before, but I am not sure if he was saying the word or just sounds.

We did discuss a few things like Aspburgers and Autism (because I asked), but the doctor does not seem concerned...yet. With his speech and some of his behaviors, I was curious. We are going to wait until he is two to address the possibility of speech therapy. I feel confident enough to do some home therapy on my own (we've been down this road with our first child). Liam understands what we say to him and he does interact and communicate with us. Truly, from what I have learned about his personality, I think he knows how bad I want him to talk and that is exactly why he won't.

Boy...I may be in for it!!

ISO: Copy of the book, The Strong-Willed Child

Sunday, July 20, 2014

18 Months...Really???

As you can tell...I've pretty much stopped blogging. I didn't mean to really; I just can't seem to find time to sit down and do it...and I HATE trying to do it from my phone. (Also, I kinda forgot my password.) I think of great blog posts all of the time, but actually getting to the key board is a different story!

I will try to start promises, but I will try!

Liam is going to be 18 months old tomorrow. He has turned out to be a very interesting child. A sweet, adorable, hilarious, mean-as-a-snake, child! =)

Don't let that adorable squishy face fool you!

He is walking, running, and even climbing stairs like a champ. He gets mad at me because I won't let him climb the stairs. All. Day. Long. He loves to play with his big brother. They play chase and hide-n-seek, which Liam thinks is just the best! He is still not talking too much. I am not really worried yet, but a tad concerned. He says: bah-bah, hiiiiiii, bye, uh-oh, NO, and choo-choo...that's it. He loves to walk around the house, pointing his finger, and yelling "no-no" at the dog. When he is hungry he just goes and gets his high chair and pushes it into the kitchen (it is on wheels/rolly things). If he wants something he will grab my hand, or clothes, or whatever he can, and pull me over to whatever it is that he wants. It's usually a bottle.

I know. I know.

He is 18 months old and still getting a bottle. Judge all you want. You can raise your kids your way. He only gets 1-2 a day. Usually when he first wakes up and one after his bath. He just loves it so much. And is a bottle any different than a sippy cup? I don't let him sleep with either one. He only gets milk in the bottle (only about 16 ozs a day), juice in the cup. We are encouraged to nurse as long as we can, but stop the bottle at 12 mos cold...I don't like that. I have yet to find evidence strong enough to convince me that 1-2 bottles a day is going to cause harm to my child. He is my last baby, too. If he wants to stay a baby a little longer...I'm okay with that.

He really loves that bottle!

We have been able to go on a few trips this summer, and Liam has been pretty "good" for all of them. He has become a great car rider. We have a travel DVD player, and that works GREAT! He loves to watch Toy Story and Mickey Mouse (I can't wait to take him to Disney when he is older)! We stayed down at the beach for a week; that didn't go as well as it could have. Liam did not care for the beach...or the pool. He was still really good. He just wanted nothing to do with the beautiful beach or crystal clear pool. Nothing.  We had fun, we just had to get creative. Usually, Troy and I took turns going down to the beach while the other one stayed in the condo with Liam. Not what I had envisioned for a beach week, but still had a great time.

We have had our share of fits and tantrums. I mean the real deal, kicking and screaming, slapping (him slapping me -- yep!), throwing one's self on the floor fits! Lucky for us, most of these fits happen in public!!! He is just a seriously strong-willed child and when he wants something...he REALLY REALLY wants it. I probably apologize to just about everyone I see these days. Most people are great about it and just give me that "Been there" look. I am sure a few are judging me and my, what may seem like possessed, child. Once, a very kind lady just looked at me and said, "He must be two." She gets it! I love this child and prayed so hard for him to be when he is trying to slap my face in the middle of the grocery store -- I remind myself of that! There are days that he is wonderful and so amazingly sweet...those just happen to be the days when we stay home. Haha!

This is pretty much happened when we went to the condo pool...he went to the gate and wanted to leave.

We also went to a theme park. It rained. Normally, the rain wouldn't bother me but it made it kind of hard with a toddler...and a stroller. Once the rain left, it was great. (It helped that the theme park served adult beverages!!!) =)

My good little car rider!

Brothers and a friend playing!

It is so hard to believe that it has already been 18 months. I wish I could slow time down, but then again I am ready for him to do some older things (like talk) too. I am really excited about the memories we are going to make!!! This entire journey is a miracle. Even though I don't say it as often as I should...I am so grateful that God allowed for this to happen! I know that my family is blessed! We prayed for 7 years for a child...and boy did we get one!!! Hahahaha!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Most Amazing Year!

Liam is now ONE year old! His existence truly is a miracle! I thank God for my family every day!
Our very first trip to the Zoo!

9 months old! Halloween Costume!

10 Months Old

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An "In Awe" moment

As I sit here typing, I watch my beautiful baby boy sleeping away on the baby monitor. My eyes become is just one of those days.

Every now and then I just have a moment when I realize, "It happened. My dream came true. I had a baby." Today, in the midst of nothing really, I realize this.

So many nights I cried myself to sleep and days I prayed, waiting and hoping that "today would be the day."I dreamed about it, prayed about it, Lord knows I talked about it...and it happened. It really really happened.

Everything I wanted - I have. Exactly what I prayed for - I have. I am so blessed. I am in awe of the fact that I was given this miracle. I know I don't deserve him...but God gave him to me anyway.

Today, I watch my sweet boy on this little baby monitor, just sleeping, and I am just in awe of God's grace!

I don't say it enough - Thank you, Lord for this amazing miracle!
8 months old today!

Playing outside. I once prayed for this specific moment to come true. It did.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

M.R. Eye Results and Up date

We are on our way to 8 months old and I seriously want to cry!!! It is going by way too fast!

Liam is the sweetest most active baby I have ever known. He is into every thing. That could be a good sign or a very very bad sign...either way he keeps us busy!

I know it has been a really long time so I will try to just do a random update...

Horner's Syndrome / MRI Update:

Liam had his MRI in July and it went well (at first). I was a nervous wreck the whole time, mostly because the poor guy could not eat past 5am and his procedure wasn't until much later in the day. I prayed for God to satisfy his little tummy the whole day, and I believe he did. Liam did great up until about 10 minutes before they took him back. He was calm and playful most of the morning, but just before his surgery he had a royal meltdown! When the doctor came in for pre-op we basically had to yell at each other to be heard over Liam's screaming. by this point he was exhausted and hungry, I'm sure. Luckily, they took him back gave him his medicine and he was asleep in minutes. I, on the other hand, was a mess. I felt terrible, I just handed my screaming (SCREAMING) baby over to complete strangers, when I knew what he wanted was his mama to rock him in her arms with a warm bottle. I cried...and then I was ok. We went to the cafe and had some lunch and tried not to think about it (yeah right). When we returned to the waiting area the very sweet lady at the desk very kindly asked, "You alright, mom?" I cried again.

He was back there for a LONG time. The procedure started at 1:00 and we didn't get to see him until about 3:30 or 4:00 (I can't remember exactly). He was so pitiful when we saw him. He was still asleep from the anesthesia, and was laying in a regular hospital type bed, all wrapped up in a giant warm blanket (there was a nurse there with him the whole time). He looked so tiny and helpless. As he began to wake up he just started smiling and then it faded into a cry, then a smile, then a sob, then a smile, then a laugh, then a cry again...this process went on for about 15 minutes and was quite hysterical to witness.

Liam was back to his old self within about 2 hours. We came home and it was business as usual...until about 2 am. I heard this horrific sound coming from the baby monitor. It sounded like an animal of some sort. I immediately headed for Liam's room and found him just sitting (surprisingly happy) in his crib, but he was breathing as if he had something in his windpipe. He sounded like a seal, or a goose, or a dog...something other than a human infant, that is for sure. He eventually started to get upset and the sound got worse. After a phone call to my sister (who is a nurse) and a review of the hospital discharge papers, we headed to the ER.

By the time we arrived Liam was all smiles again, but Ben was crying hysterically; he cares so much about his baby brother. After the doctors checked the baby out they concluded that he was either having a reaction to the contrast material used in the MRI or maybe it was just coincidence and he had "Croup." They treat both the same way so they gave him an epinephrine breathing treatment and kept him for a few hours. It was miserable! We were finally headed home around 8:30am. After a follow-up to the Pediatrician, we still aren't sure exactly what it was - but he is fine now!

So the MRI came back normal. I knew it would. One of the causes of Horner's Syndrome is a very serious tumor on the spine - that is what they were checking for. We are so thankful that they found nothing! His Horner's Syndrome was most likely caused by trauma during birth. We don't know exactly if there will be any long term effects other than the droopy eyelid, smaller pupil, and eye color so he will be checked out yearly.
Liam - being a big boy, waiting to go back for his MRI.

Monthly Picture Updates

6 months

7 months

The picture above is on our last little "vacation." We took Ben to Universal & Islands of Adventure for his 11th birthday. Liam did AWESOME in the parks during the day. He loved strolling around watching all of the activity. He did not, however, do AWESOME in the hotel room at night. He is an excellent sleeper at home (now - thank you , Jesus!!!), but he does not do so well when he is not in his bed! It was fun though...and memories were made!!!
The birthday boy!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I Get It!

As I sit here this evening, I realize (yet again) how good God really is.

We had a crazy day today. I mean super nuts (and I'm not even working right now)! Looking back over the craziness of the day - I get it! I get why God's plan for our children was much more spaced out than my own. I get why God allowed us to wait ten years to meet our second child.

You see, I am a wearer of many hats. I have many irons in the fire. My plate is pretty full. I mean really full. Really really full. I'm busy. You get it. I know.

Today I realized that if I had two small children at once there is no way I could be as active and involved as I am. No, with two small children at the same time, I am pretty sure I'd be completely insane!

 I was able to do one hundred different tasks at once today, but only with the help of my precious 10 year old. He was a true hero. He fed the baby, helped me bathe the baby, and even helped me cook dinner (among a million other things).

Having an infant is still not an easy task, but having the best big brother in the world makes it a lot easier!

I think God had this plan for my life for many reasons, but one of them (most definitely) was for my sanity.

Again I am reminded that God knows best and his timing is perfect. Always. Perfect.