March 2011

And I’m just about all ready. We really fell down on the job last year…since Tj deployed and Gmom was spending so much time with Aunt Dolly she ended up not coming here at all! Tj and Max did go see her (when Tj was supposed to be getting his ATP), but she hasn’t seen Jack in over a year. I know that boy has changed so much, she’ll be surprised!

Max has really been making friends here on our street. Noah, Aden and Austin have all been over here, and he’s been over at their houses too. This really started last week, and he’s eating it up! :-) It’s so sweet…well, actually I guess when I’m watching/listening to them they’re really too big to be sweet. He’s really a boy now. Jack is sweet to watch play, and Max is sweet when he plays/takes care of Jack, but watching Max with his friends is just funny now. He gets so sweaty, and thinks it’s so funny to say potty words (butt and fart are big around here, though I disapprove). I try to let him work out his relationships with the boys and I don’t have to step in too often. It was sweet to hear him ask Aden if he had Jesus in his heart! I was so proud of him. Aden emphatically yelled no, though. Heh. They talked about it a little and Max told me later that Aden does have Jesus in his heart.

We made a fire in the backyard and cooked hot dogs. Tj set up the tent and he and Max slept in there Friday night. Saturday morning I took Jack garage saleing with me and let Tj sleep in…he’d hardly slept at all in the tent, and it was horrible sleep at that. I thought it was super sweet that he’d sleep in there in the first place and think he doesn’t have to do it again. Max has slept in there every night since. We have such a wonderful life! The neighbor girls (Addison and Leelee) were surprised that we let him sleep alone, I was surprised that he did with no fear at all. This week is spring break so no therapy/Hippy/Co-op, etc. I think he may have to go back to sleeping in his bed when school resumes. We’ll see.

We went to McDonald’s for breakfast today and this was the first time Jack went up into the slide all by himself! He’s really progressing so much. His doctor heard about Applied Behavioral Analysis (I think it’s called)…a therapy given through Autism Services North but which hopefully will be given in our home. We’ve signed up for the ECHO program through the military and this therapy should be covered as long as we’re active duty, so for another year. I signed Jack up and got a call stating that though their brochure says it addresses symptoms (not sure if that’s the word they used) of Down Syndrome, he still had to be on the Autistic spectrum to receive the therapy. I wasn’t sure if he qualified…I don’t know much about Autism. The main thing I think about Autism is lack of eye contact and diminished emotional connection to people…neither of which Jack displays to any degree. I mentioned it to all four therapists and his doctor to see if they could come up with anything to help. I was excited when his OT came back with a full page of things to tell the ASN people. The most obvious and biggest sign of Autism is his self-stimulation: he has always waved flags/socks/water bottles/anything back and forth repeatedly and stared at it and at its shadow. When I read them the whole list she asked if there was anything else. I told her I didn’t see any signs of Autism but all I knew about it was what I listed above. She asked if he had ever regressed. I said the only regression I could think of was that he used to say Max’s name correctly, and that he’d stopped saying it for 4 months or more, and now he says Bax. Other than that no. I was planning on going back to the therapists for help but she said she had enough, Jack wasn’t Autistic but he was on the spectrum enough to qualify for help. We’ve said several times since he broke his leg that he hasn’t regressed since then, and it still is holding true. I know that he’d plateaued before then probably like any child plateaus, but since his cast came off he hasn’t even plateaued I don’t think!

We had a weenie roast Saturday night. It wasn’t planned, but we hope to have a planned one this weekend. Tj’s invited his bff and son over. They’re supposed to bring a tent, Tj will set up our tent, I’ll buy smore/hot dog stuff and we’ll all have a good time! Now that’s what I call camping. In my backyard, with my bathroom and bed (and tv).

Should be cutting all boys’ hair today. Gonna try using the ear guards.

Nothing else really to say. Grandma’s coming next week, I need to get my meal plan ready.

I bought a Saxon 3 book for 3rd grade, but it looks as if Max is ready to start some things now.

Jack hasn’t climbed out of his bed since he needed the humidifier and we binder clipped the blue velour blanket to the top of the fence around his bed. He’s torn that blanket so I’m going to replace it with a looser weave white blanket. We’ll see how that goes.

I guess this is why I don’t blog much anymore.

he was wearing a safari hat and carrying a ‘suitcase’ (box of books). I said a traveler, and guessed a couple of other things. “Nope, I’m a man with a hat. And a gun; I need to go get a gun.”

But I deserved it…Tj gave me the week before off! I left Saturday after Max’s Upward basketball game (this is his first sport ever, what a hoot!) at 9:45am. I drove to visit Laura/Joe/Luke/George. I stayed Sat/Sun night and left Monday around 10am for Mom’s. Mom/Jo worked all week so I did my own thing: shopped for red shoes, took Momee out for crawfish etouffee, caught up on some blog reading, etc. Friday at noon Mom/Jo/I left for Covington where Mom had us a suite booked. I left for home Sunday at 10am. All in all a wonderful getaway! I keep saying the whole time I only fed/bathed/dressed/wiped one person…me!!!

Last week was an adjustment week, as every week is after a vacation. It wasn’t quite as bad since I was the only one on vacation…the boys’ lives didn’t change too much. But Tuesday after J’s therapy I took J to the dr’s because his toenail got infected just before I left for vacation and wasn’t a whole lot better. Also Tj was diagnosed with strep about 5 days after he finished antibiotics for strep. That’s happened all 3 years we’ve lived here! I think they need to give him stronger or longer doses. Also our 20-year-old dryer up and died this week.

Another thing that happened was I really started panicking about 1st grade. I started out with a really big school-load for kindergarten and really toned it down as we went along. My plans were: Hippy (HIPPY is a 30 week school readiness-parent involvement program for parents of three, four and some five year-old children. Most programs operate concurrently with the school year and are staffed by a professional coordinator and well-trained homebased educators.), Weaver (from Aunt Wendy, it’s a whole curriculum), Hooked on Phonics (which I got at a garage sale), homeschool co-op and hopefully Spanish. We started off ok, but we didn’t have a lot of free time, and I found that I was cutting out a lot of the fun stuff which didn’t seem fun/fair/right. Our week was pretty tight. Monday we had co-op from 8:45-12:30, Tue/Thur we had J’s therapy from 8:30-10:45, Wed we had my Bible study from 9-11:30 and then we went to McDonald’s for lunch until 2pm or until J was ready to go to bed and then we had Awana at night, so Friday was our only stay-at-home/dr’s appt day. Homeschool never started until after lunch, and almost always after I’d had an hour or hour-and-a-half nap. Then we had to rush to get it finished before Tj came home from work. There was no time for Max to play with his friends or the wii.

Over time we got it down to reading (Hooked on Phonics), writing (whatever homemade pages I typed up), and math (whatever I could find) with some HIPPY thrown in there. Lately I’ve been getting better about pushing M’s responsibilities onto him. We just stared telling him if he does his chores and marks them off w/o us mentioning them to him he gets a dime every day. If he does them all week we’ll give him a dollar. Today was the first day he got a dime. He doesn’t have that many chores to do, but I can’t think of any to add. His chore chart says dress, medicine, make bed, clean living room toys, clean off table (all three meals), vacuum (dustbuster in kitchen after one meal), schoolwork. He does have to help me unload the dishes whenever I ask…but that’s not usually a designated time. I’m thinking about making him fold/put up his own clothes. He does know how to sort the clothes…maybe I should make him do that and I’ll do the wash. I’ve bought him his own feather duster and he dusts the house with me…although we’ve only done that 3 times I really want to make it a weekly thing. I’m really starting to crack down on him leaving clothes on the floor and just not paying attention to what I say therefore not completing a job. I think I need to require more of him.

Speaking of requiring more…Jack is really coming along! I’m so excited at all he’s doing now. He’s 3 months short of his 4th birthday. He consistently says his numbers (1-9) correctly. He can point them out on his puzzle when you ask, and he can point and say the correct name when you point to one. He knows some of his alphabet, he always gets H right :-) He sings the alphabet song, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes, and Jesus Loves Me. He’s very hard to understand, but I know the speech will come. He knows his shapes really well (square, circle, triangle, star, oval) and he does ok on colors. He’s really moving forward.

Well, that’s a pretty big post for now, guess that’s a good summary.