Sunday, July 2, 2017

May 2017

It turns out occupational therapy is pretty fun! I'll write more about it at the end of this post, but Ty's always happy to go to his appointments. It also doesn't hurt that they have an awesome train table in their waiting room.

Both occupational and play therapy are in the Mill Creek town center, so Allison and I often visit the playground at the nearby Mill Creek library while Ty's at his appointments. It's been nice to have some regular one on one time to spend with her.

Falling asleep cuddling with daddy
Ty briefly returned to preschool during the first two weeks of May while we had an evaluation done by the school district. He made these flowers and butterflies for me for Mother's Day.

Remember the missing computer bag from our flight back from Florida? We immediately reported it missing on the 18th and didn't get it back until May 4th. That seems a bit excessive for a bag left at the airport. It cost $79.50 to ship it. We weren't thrilled with the cost, but we were very happy to have our electronics and Oscar's work computer back. Fry was also happy to have his comfy bed back.

Allison decided to sit on Nibbler, which resulted in much cuteness and everyone but Nibbler.

These are the moments when I'm so happy I have two kids. It's just so awesome to watch them play happily together. I love when he squeals "whee!" and she tries to imitate him with her little "whee."

Dressed up cute for church! That dress says it's meant for 9 months but it still fits at 20. If only she would keep those cute little headbands on.
 Allison loves when daddy holds her up to touch the ceiling lights. She often says "light" whenever he picks her up.

She also loves playing with and drinking out of the water fountain. I let her play for a bit before taking her to the mother's room for a quick snooze.

We were invited to a barbeque after church and Allison was just adorable walking around the grass and playing with the soccer ball. Grandparents will melt while watching the above video.

Daddy put her on his shoulders while she was eating a hot dog bun. It was so cute I had to take some pictures.

 Fun times at the children's museum! We're definitely making our annual pass investment worth it.
Allison once tried to climb through one of these tube windows. She just naturally assumed she could and banged into it pretty hard.

Kids celebrating daddy's birthday. Oscar made his own steak, potatoes, and brownie dinner. I offered, but he wanted to cook it himself, and he didn't want cake. He added cocoa powder to make the brownies taste more like dark chocolate, but it actually made them more gooey, which I loved.

In the video Tyler sings daddy "Happy Birthday" all by himself before I join in. It was super cute! I wish I could edit my own singing out.

Oscar got to take Tyler to the "Touch a Truck" festival this year. I took him last year, but this year they held it on Mother's Day weekend, so of course, I had to work.

This video does not want to upload, but you can watch it if you go to this link.

Driving the garbage truck!

Climbing that huge mower like a boss
Fire truck and ambulance

 Allison got hurt being cute. Oscar tells me she was running happily along the sidewalk before tripping and falling on her face. Poor girl!

In the middle picture she's attempting to climb up the changing table to pet the kitty, and in the one on the right she's sleeping on the floor in a classroom at church. Usually I rock her down in the mother's room during the first hour, but it was Mother's Day, so I had to work until 12. Eventually she crashed on Oscar just before the 3rd hour, so he laid her down on the floor and let her snooze.

 My sweet little girl helping me sweep the floor. I always have to get her her own broom whenever I clean up. She always wants to be a part of the action, no matter what the action is. If I start putting toys away, she'll put them away too. She's a great little imitator.

I accidentally gave myself a black eye while swinging Allison around near Oscar's pull up bar, but for the first several days it could pass for dramatic purple eyeshadow.
I even attempted to imitate it a few times. Not too shabby!

Allison terrifying me in the big kid climbing area

Playing at the petting zoo! Allison was absolutely delighted. She kept calling the sheep and goats "kitties" and trying to ride them. She could have stayed there all day.

 Sibling cuteness! I  love watching them play together, even if they're just bonding over screen time. I like how she goes right into the sandbox.

It started warming up enough to play on the outdoor playground at the Y. They also remodeled their adventure zone recently, and Tyler really likes the new bean digging area.

Daddy took Ty to a fish hatchery later that day. He wants to have summer Saturdays to take Tyler out on adventures.

sad attempt at a Mickey pancake
A friend of mine gave me the decorations she'd used for her own boy's birthday, so I decorated the main floor with them on Tyler's birthday. He loved it! He kept grabbing them and randomly saying things like "mommy there's a Mickey behind you!"

When Tyler came into us for some snuggles at 4AM that morning, I couldn't help but think about how much more pleasant it was to be holding him now than it was 4 years ago when I was exhausted and in pure pain from being in early labor all night long. Oscar called the hospital since I didn't want to talk while contracting, but the nurse insisted on speaking with me. I didn't sound all that distressed since I'd just finished a contraction and spoke with her during the 2 minute break before my next one, so she encouraged us to stay home a bit longer, but I insisted on coming. Once we got in I was examined by the same nurse who'd spoken with me on the phone, and she quickly realized that I was in active labor. This was the start of a common theme for Tyler - tell professionals the issues I'm having with him over the phone, they tell me it's nothing to worry about, I insist on an appointment, then when we get in the problem is blatantly obvious.

Ty requested lemon cake for his birthday
Lia and Hana came up for a family party that evening. They gifted him a Lego Duplo motor train, which he has played with every day since then.

Allison thoroughly enjoyed whacking with the dollar store swords I'd bought.

Here he is snoozing on the way to the gym the next day. It's hard to get him to settle for nap, though he'd clearly still like one. He usually ends up crashing instead, and nearly always falls asleep in the car if he doesn't get a nap at home. At least he's cute!

Opening up his birthday package from granny and grandpa Hunt. She sent him compression and other sensory items he could use while he goes running with daddy.

Tyler had his birthday party at the children's museum on Tuesday the 23rd, his original due date. It was half price to do it then than on a weekend, so I went with that. Instead of buying one large decorated sheet cake, I got him 3 smaller sheet cakes for less money. This way I got multiple designs and was able to do two white cakes and one chocolate (the chocolate was, of course, the digger cake to represent dirt).

Tyler began struggling a couple hours in (pushing, snapping, and getting upset with people for telling him "Happy Birthday), so Oscar took him with him while he picked up the pizzas. This allowed him a change of scene and time to recharge, so he was back to his normal, cheerful self by the time the party started at 11:30am. He looks so cute sitting on the birthday throne with Allison.

They say this room can hold up to to 50, but we had about 30, and I wouldn't have wanted to add any more than that. It was a good group! We only had a couple slices of pizza left at the end, so we estimated well on that, though we did have plenty of leftover ice cream, soda, and party favors plus an extra cake and cupcakes. We had the extra cake since I'd also made cupcakes for people who had to leave early for school and naps. I thought we did pretty good for our first time throwing a birthday party with more than adult friends and family.

The video shows us singing Happy Birthday to Tyler while I rush to light the #4 candle. He decided to blow the candles out one at a time.

We'd brought along Tyler's friend Mace, and he fell asleep in the car on the way back. Tyler slowly ate a cupcake most of the way and didn't start dozing off until about a minute before we got home. Oscar took him right up to bed where he protested a lot but then completely crashed at 3:30 and slept through the night for the most part. He woke up around midnight and came into our room for snuggles, so we comforted him and put him back to bed before we both fell back to sleep. At 3am we checked in his room camera and found he'd turned on his lights and was playing with his Legos, so who knows if he fell back asleep at all or if he did for awhile before getting up and turning on his light. We put him back to bed after that, and I saw he'd fallen asleep in his camera before I went back to bed. Next we checked his camera at 6AM and saw he had his light on and was playing with his Legos again. Hey, I can't complain about a 6AM wake up when he goes to bed at 3:30pm.

Little miss adorably shoving cake in her mouth
Already a TV zombie
The next day we celebrated his birthday again with the extra cake and five friends that weren't able to make the party at the museum. We played for a bit at Legion Memorial park on the only day that was rainy during a super sunny week. At least we had a covered pavillion to have our picnic at.
Running in the sun at North Creek park boardwalk

At the end of May I was happy to have my CPS case officially cleared up and marked as "unfounded." This was from back in early February when I was reported for slapping Tyler's hand in swim lessons during a desperate attempt to stop him from scratching the kid next to him for the 5th time. This was all before I knew about his sensory issues and was just getting desperate to stop him from hurting the other kids. There's nothing illegal about what I'd done, but they'd also reported Tyler as having visible bruising (which I think was just them seeing his temporary tattoos from a distance). The worker made a surprise visit on Valentine's Day, then Oscar and I both had to sign some paperwork, and three months later she came again to close the case. She explained that the least urgent cases often take a long time to resolve because they're so focused on the ones where the kids are in more obvious danger.

Also, I learned from her that there's nothing wrong with leaving your kid out in the backyard unattended as long as you can see and hear them and they're not out there for extended amounts of time. I told her I'd heard about cases where people are reported for that, but she said it's only a concern if the kid has access to a dangerous area or is left out there for extended periods of time. As long as I can observe/hear him when I need to and it's fenced in so he can't run out into the street, it's just considered an extension of the home.

In my case Tyler can't just come back in whenever he wants to because the yard is around our house and we have no back door. Because of that, his young age, and hearing about people being reported for it, I've been afraid to leave him out in the yard unsupervised, particularly while I was waiting for the case to resolve. I have easy access to viewing him from our back porch, and I can hear him easily if I open the kitchen window, so I've never been concerned about his safety out there, but I didn't want to get yet another CPS report.

Harbour Point men singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" at the ward picnic while Tyler cuddled with daddy. He'd fallen asleep in the car on the way and was a wee bit tired.

Tyler got to have a private swim lesson on memorial day weekend when his other classmate didn't show up. He had lots of fun jumping into his teacher's arms and getting all the attention.

At the end of those sessions, Tyler didn't advance up to the next level, but I don't think it's because he doesn't have the skills to do so. I work with him regularly and have seen him do everything on the report card, so I know he can do them when he puts his mind to it, but he's not willing to perform on command. He's strong willed and stubborn, like a certain mother of his was at his age.

I dressed the kids in patriotic gear for memorial day weekend. Tyler went to Noah's party (the boy behind him in the pic on the left) and got to whack a pinata.
This festive cuteness is what happens when mom hits Kohl's after the 4th of July

 My "mermaid in the USA" in her Blue's Clues thinker chair. I like how she set herself up to sit down and play with the buttons on her walker.

Daddy got Tyler a sleeping bag and LED lantern in preparation for the stake campout in June. He loves both.

And Leela found a new place to snooze in the toy cubbies

May ADHD/SPD Update

After 2.5 months on the occupational therapy list and months of simply waiting for Tyler to turn 4, we were finally able to get Tyler in for occupational and play therapy.

I got Ty's evaluation from the occupational therapist in mid-May, and I realized some sobering things. While I may be Tyler's advocate and have his best interest at heart, I don't always know what's best for him. For example, I've been responding to his tantrums like traditional parenting techniques suggest - trying to ignore and not give into them, sending him to his room to let him blow off steam there, occasionally punishing him or getting angry and threatening to take him home if it happens in public, etc. Turns out his fits are more than just childhood tantrums. His fight or flight response is being triggered, and it's happening so much more than it should that it's started taking its toll on his brain and body. He wants to be good, he wants to please his parents and teachers, he wants to make people happy. But when he goes into that state he can't behave appropriately because he's panicking. How would I feel if I were imprisoned, punished, and ignored while I was in fight or flight mode? Rather than disciplining or ignoring him, I need to focus on calming him down. It doesn't mean that I give in to what he wants (sometimes I can't, like when he wanted me to turn the sun off while driving), but I have to help him relax and get out of fight or flight mode.

I was surprised when I learned that sensory issues often cause motor problems, and I didn't think that applied to Tyler since he's always seemed so smart and capable to me. I didn't think he'd score low in any of those areas, but there were definite issues. We parents don't always know what skills to expect when, especially when it's our first kid. While Tyler's building and visual/perceptual skills are above average, he's behind in several other areas, particularly object manipulation. In cognitive functions it said he is very bright but that his difficulty staying focused on a task hinders his ability to perform at his best capability. He's pleasant while seated at a table working on paper, but he's busy making unsafe choices throughout the testing session.

While it's always a bit rough to learn your child is behind his peers, it's been such a relief to finally work with an expert and have her spell it out for us. She also explained that while he's definitely behind in those areas, he's not so behind that he can't catch up. He has good potential for improvement with therapy. When I originally got on the waiting list for itl, I didn't have a clue what exactly a psychologist does verses an occupational therapist verses a play therapist. I just knew Tyler needed something I clearly wasn't able to provide for him. I've learned a lot, and I'm happy to finally have Tyler on the right track to improvement.

Here's a random fit he threw in May. Nothing had happened to upset him. He was just in one of his moods and nothing Oscar did could calm him. This happens to us fairly regularly. It's hard to stay calm with him when it happens in public while I'm trying to wrestle Allison too.

Here's an example of his above average visual/perceptive skills. The test for his age group gives a picture of a 3 tier pyramid of blocks that he was asked to build with limited instruction. He breezed through it, and a few days later built a 5 tier pyramid entirely of his own accord with zero instruction. The test also included being able to see shapes and copy them accurately on paper and being able to aim a ball at a target.The areas he's below average in are object manipulation, which makes sense since his sensory issues are primarily tactile. These include his grasp of writing utensils and scissors, the way he throws and catches a ball (can't throw underhand, always throws either way too hard or way too soft, and scoops to catch rather than using both hands), and how he kicks wildly without opposite arm and leg movement.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Love this blog Stacy until I saw his melt down. I can understand how hard it can be and hope Tyler gets as much help as he can. Love him so much and can't wait until we see you all in the next l2 days or so. Hand in their sweet daughter. Such precious pictures