Wednesday, May 9, 2012

One Word to Describe My Day

Today on Facebook a relative of mine posted a simple request to write one word on her status that summed up your day.  Since approximately 9:45 this morning...that would be Aspergers.  It really shouldn't have been a surprise, we've seen many of the traits displayed for over a year, but somehow hearing that what you assumed were short term corrections in your child are now long term character traits...well, I don't know how that would be easy for any mom.

Carter has had yet another thing added to his list of diagnoses...genu recurvatum, hypotonia, and now aspergers.  None of these thing define who he is nor do they change his quality of life or life expectancy.  All are relatively mild and have required little change (other than in my head).  And this diagnosis today doesn't change who Carter has always been.  There was no sudden change in his demeanor, behavior, or speech.  No light bulb suddenly went off over his (or my) head.  In fact, the day has been relatively the same as any other day.

Thinking about it can cause me to tear up or panic slightly, but then I remember that this doesn't change who Carter is.  He is NOT his diagnosis.  The only thing, in fact, that this does change is how I handle the frustrations that come up in our day to day lives.  The fits are probably never going to go away completely.  The frustration won't even out when he "grows up".  Instead of looking up "how to potty train your toddler", I'll be searching for "how to potty train your toddler with aspergers".  It will change how we handle what might otherwise be normal developmental frustrations/setbacks.  It will change how I assess his progress (even more than his hypotonia diagnosis).  But he's still the same kid.

In other news, since I'm awful at posting on here for all our wonderful family who follow me...

Carter got glasses!  His left eye was extremely far-sighted.  He looks adorable!  And his language skills have been growing by leaps and bounds since he got the glasses :)

Carter will be fitted this Friday for a shoe insert to help with his ankle/knee pain (from the genu recurvatum and hypotonia).  We're hoping this will help as he complains of his ankles/knees hurting from time to time and no one wants to see a kid in pain :(

Henry is running, tiptoeing everywhere, and LOVES wrestling with his brother...who takes it very well!

Henry is finally starting to really talk to us.  He went from saying a handful of words to trying to construct 2-3 word sentences in just a few weeks!  It's been really amazing to see how much he has to say now that he's learning how.

Henry and Carter are within one size of one another (Henry is in 2T and Carter 3T)...but both are really too skinny for the length they need in pants.  Yet another reason to love summer and shorts weather :)

They boys love popcorn, applesauce, oatmeal, shrimp, and sloppy joes.  They don't like most of the "normal" toddler fare (mac and cheese, sandwiches, grilled cheese, etc.)

Here are some pics from the last few months...enjoy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Exciting, exciting times :)

What an exciting last few weeks we've had!  James was out of town last week and so it was just me and the boys for about 6 days.  We had fun cuddling, watching Veggie Tales, and just hanging out (one day we didn't even get out of our pj's).  While James was gone, Henry learned how to sit up on his own :)  He'd done it once or twice before, but it became a multiple-times-per-day occurrence as of last week.  And, just for reference, this is about 6 months before Carter did it.

This week, it's been nice to have James home, but we certainly haven't finished our tricks!  Henry cut his 6th tooth :).  Carter has discovered he likes to make nests around the house with towels/blankets/sheets/etc.  And Tuesday night Henry pulled up for the first time ever!  We did get it on cell phone video and I'll try to post it later this week.  Henry has also spent a bit of time on his feet, leaning against our rather large footstool.  He's ventured a few steps and is learning how to sit down (so glad my kids are patient enough to learn this before  He and Carter LOVE standing on opposite sides of the foot stool and "talking" back and forth (Henry's becoming quite the motor mouth...though mostly unintelligible chatter) and playing the drums on the foot stool.  It's been so much fun, though they are certainly going to be troublemakers together.

Today I walked into the living room to find that Carter had pulled a carton of cherries out of the trash and Henry was eating them.  It had just happened so he didn't actually get to any pits (THANK GOD!).  Carter can be pretty sneaky and is good at giving Henry things he isn't supposed to have ;)  (Lara Bars, cherries, paper, etc.)

Henry is also eating really well!  The other day we had carrots, pears, and I'm pretty sure he "vacuumed" some of Carter's oatmeal off the floor during breakfast.  He also enjoys bananas (whole, not cut in bits), avocado, blueberries, cherries (peeled, pitted, and cut up), and grapes (also peeled and cut up).  It's been so nice to not have to worry about feeding him purees and he's really enjoyed learning to eat new foods.  We've actually had fewer (read: zero) choking issues than we did with Carter!  Both boys are growing like weeds and it's been fun to watch them grow this summer :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to kick start your kids modeling career ;)

I had totally forgotten about this picture until the subject came up in a conversation on Facebook today.

So a few months ago Carter was having HORRIBLE diaper rash issues.  I thought his cloth diapers were the culprit and put him back in disposables only to have the same problems (though slightly better b/c I could use a zinc-based cream).  We finally figured out that he has trouble with milk and has a horrible reaction that last for about 24-48 hours after ingestion (though he does ok with many cultured products like yogurt and with most cheeses).  He would be all red and swollen anywhere that his poo touched his skin.  One night I was fed up with it and remembered hearing someone say (before I had kids) that they would cut the bottom out of a diaper with boys so they wouldn't pee all over when she let them go naked--to let the skin breathe.

I will preface this by saying that I never intended to share this pictures publicly.  I took pictures only to send to my mom because it was SO funny looking.  She, in turn, showed them to a nurse she works with that is constantly harping about letting wounds "breathe".  That nurse then asked for my permission to use the picture in her teaching materials :).  So I guess this is the birth of Carter's modeling career...though I'm not sure how appreciative he'll be in the future.

***I DO NOT recommend doing this with a disposable diaper!  The little moisture absorbing beads get everywhere...on your floor as well as on the baby's skin which can be even more irritating.  I have since done this with a cloth diaper and used pins to keep it in place (snappi's don't work as well as there isn't any material to "catch" with the bottom of the Y shape).***

Monday, July 11, 2011

I am way past due on an update on this site :)  Life has been crazy lately (but that's pretty much become our new normal).  The boys are doing great!  Henry has a total of 5 teeth now (3 on top and 2 on bottom) and is interested in eating everything he can get in his mouth...books, paper, Lara Bars (that Carter gives him or leaves within reach), fruit, etc.  He is also scooting around quite well!  It's not a crawl, more of an army/belly crawl type thing.  But man is he fast!  At his last Dr appointment (about a month ago) he was 29 inches and 20 pounds.  He's doing great and is still just the happiest baby I've ever seen...I love waking up to his smile :)

Carter is also doing great!  I think it's good influence on the part of our friends children, but he has started talking a lot more!  Unfortunately, he is also copying me a lot and I have learned a few things...for instance, I apologize all the time even when it isn't my fault that something happens (something rolls off counter, Carter drops something, someone has an boo-boo) and Carter does it too.  I think I also spend WAY too much time on my phone b/c he is constantly "making calls" into his hand (or shoe, or remote, or truck).

The diet has been going well and Carter has gone from not really growing/gaining at all (dropped from 95th percentile to 25th) to getting back up to a normal weight.  He is now in the 90th percentile!  I attribute this COMPLETELY to our dietary changes.  He is eating so much more and it is healthy stuff...especially healthy fats.  His diet mostly consists of fruits, veggies, and nuts :)

We also moved both boys into the same room a while back.  I was worried it would be a problem, but both boys have actually done much better sleeping when sharing a room.  They sleep through one another fussing, go to sleep quicker, and wake up "talking" to one another (which is a nice change from Carter waking up screaming).  There have been a few instances where I've had to put one of them down for a daytime nap in a different room, but that doesn't even happen once a week.  We are so blessed to have these two amazing little ones in our care!  I am so thankful for my "miracle" babies and so blessed by their amazing hearts and beautiful smiles!

Btw...if you are interested in reading about my struggle with getting pregnant, the first part is up on my other blog.  You can find the post here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Carter got another hair cut.  It's amazing how much older he looks when his hair is short!

Henry, playing at Oma and Opa's house.

Henry is such a great eater!  Loves bananas, avocados, and beans and rice :)  He also despises being

A lot has been going on in our house and it's keeping us very busy!  But it's been tons of fun.  Yesterday we got the boys signed up for their "Diaper Dolphins" swim class for the summer and for the summer reading program at the library!  It's gonna be a great summer!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gluten week down

Thought I would write an update on how we are doing on a gluten free diet and some other things that have been going on lately.  Here is more info on why we are going gluten free.  So far we have seen a bit of an immediate improvement in Carter's attitude and some other physical symptoms of his hypotonia.  One things is that he is falling less.  He used to fall up to 20 or so times a day on a bad day (I mean falling as he's walking not tripping over things--it was worse in shoes) and has bruises all over his knees.  Now he seems to only fall when he is starting to get tired so it's significantly less.  Hopefully this will get better.  Carter has also made huge leaps in speech...stringing two words together without prompting (something he hasn't done before) and his vocabulary seems to be expanding.  He is also actually asking for food...real food!  It used to be a struggle to get him to eat anything that wasn't a cookie (animal cracker/graham cracker) or crackers (goldfish mostly).  Now he is actually asking for things like eggs, beans and rice, and bananas.  He also seems to be overcoming some of his texture issues when eating.  He used to not like anything that was crunchy or hard to bite into and that seems to be getting better.  I can't say for sure that the diet is the reason for this, but it's still exciting!

I have also been doing better.  I think this diet has actually been hardest on me as I am so used to grabbing something quick and easy for lunch and that was usually a sandwich.  Gluten free bread (at least the kind we bought) makes me avoid sandwiches unless neccessary :(  I so very much miss  The good thing is that I had been having constant migraines, at least once a day in the week or two leading up to the diet.  Now that I'm going strong, the migraines are almost completely gone!  I have had migraines since I was in my early teens and so this is a great relief!  I still notice them when I eat sugar, but we have also been limiting that and it helps a lot.  It is so true when people tell you that the more bread and sugar you eat the more you crave.  I used to crave them all the time and now it isn't so bad.  I have also lost 3 pounds so far, mostly I'm sure because we are just eating better food (almost nothing overly processed) and I'm not snacking as much.

In other news, Henry is definitely mobile now!  He is rolling everywher and likes to scoot around in the walker from time to time.  He also loves to bounce in the jumper at James's parents house!  I was telling James the other day that it is almost like being a first time parent because we never went through these "normal" things with Carter.  He was so content to just lay on his back, I think he only rolled twice before he was one and Henry will roll just to reach things on the floor.  It is so fun to watch the boys together.  Carter loves kissing on Henry, as long as Henry keeps his hands to himself.  Henry watches EVERYTHING Carter does and so wants to be with him all the time.

We also moved Carter back into his crib.  He had done well for weeks in his "big boy" bed, but began getting out every 5 minutes at bed and nap times.  He would scream, throw a fit, and run out of his room every time we put him back.  He wouldn't sleep with us laying down with him or with us in the room.  We decided that maybe because of all he has been learning, he was overwhelmed with the thought of making all of these changes and the comfort of his crib might help him to sleep.  I think we were right b/c we have had hardly a problem putting him down since the switch.  Now our biggest issue is getting him to be quiet for a while during nap time as he goes through this transition from two to one nap each day.

I'm excited to see what we have in store in the coming weeks and I'll try to post more pictures soon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Guitar Lessons

A few days ago, James gave Carter a 3/4 guitar that he used to play.  Carter LOVES it!  He plays several times a day (just picking and strumming the cords) and has started singing to himself :)

This is a video of how I found him today...I took it on my phone so the quality isn't excellent and the sound is really low (I had to crank up my speakers on the computer to hear him).

And here's one of Henry for good measure :)