Tentative Success!!

Today was Eli’s third day of school and I must say that I am tentatively thrilled!!
So far so good! He seems to be happy when he gets off the bus at school and he promptly takes his coat off to hang it up (as opposed to his first day!). According to his teacher, he interacts well with his peers and teachers. They all love his endless dimples 🙂

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He tried to pull his usual non-compliant act with his speech therapist, but she was not fazed. She PROACTIVELY called me (I love her already) to tell me that he is a stubborn little guy, but that she doesn’t give in and plans on working towards using the PROMPT method with him when he gains more rapport with him.

Yesterday he had gym and computer class, today he had career day where a firefighter came with a fire engine to talk to the kids, and tomorrow he has music class. Just the thought of Eli being exposed to so many different activities makes me so very happy. This is my dream come true for him; what I had always envisioned for him. It makes me want to do the Snoopy Happy Dance! I am aware that everyday won’t be peachy and that he will have bad days, but for now I am relishing the good days. One day at a time….

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I am now preparing for a crazy next two days!! I took two vacation days for tomorrow and Friday to attend the Talk Tools seminar on feeding and speech clarity on Long Island. Hopefully this will give me some new ideas on how to help Eli on my own with his apraxia and feeding issues. Ugh.. But I have class back in Jersey on both days so I will have to race out of the seminars on both days to battle traffic and hopefully make it back in time for both classes. I was born and raised on Long Island and I LOVE going back, but I HATE the traffic. It’s ridiculous! I think the Long Island Expressway has been under construction for as long as I can remember!
It would have been great to see my grandparents and other family, but I really won’t have the time.
Bummer 😦 Once things get back to normal I really have to get my act together and see them!

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All about the kids…

Today was pretty much all about the kids. (When isn’t it!? 🙂

Eli had his first day at school at the out of district school. After balling my eyes out from watching my baby boy hesitantly walk on to the new bus, with the new bus driver and new aide; I had to get my butt to work. After settling myself in, I called the school and I received a “so far so good” response that pacified me somewhat. Then at the end of the school day his therapist called and i almost fell off my chair when she told me her opinion of his first day.. She thought he did great!
When he got off of the bus and inside he cried for about 10 minutes which can actually be pretty normal for a 4 year old in a new school. Then he stood by the door for another 10 minutes with his coat and wool hat still on as he refused to take it off. My guess is that Eli was praying that this was a big joke and that mommy would come storming through the doors to rescue him. (Awwwww!!) Thankfully, his teacher knew better than to fight him on his first day and let him keep his coat on until he was comfortable enough (and hot enough) to take it off himself.
Besides those small bumps Eli was a rockstar! He engaged well with everyone, smiled, laughed, played and transitioned well to other activities. Eli went to gym class for the first time ever and after a little convincing he participated and had fun. He even went to music class… I am not sure what he did there, but hey that’s pretty cool! He had snack and lunch without much convincing..

All in all, not a bad first day at all! I am really proud of him! The teacher even ended her first note to me by saying that he is ‘adorable and such a sweet little boy.’ Yay!!! The little bit of cologne and gel that Hubby put in his hair helped 🙂 He looked so GQ with his grey and black v-neck sweater, blue jeans and black boots.YES I know, we are not beneath making our kid look ridiculously cute to help him win some points!

I am well aware of the ‘honeymoon’ period that some children go through when they go to a new school. In other words, some kids behave well their first few days since they are still unsure of their surroundings, but then become terrors once they feel at home. That could very well happen with Eli, but hey, I’ll take the good days anyway!

On another note, Boogie came to work with me today since Hubby worked a double shift last night and I didn’t think it would be wise to leave a 7 year old with a sleep-deprived comatose father.
(Shameless brag alert!) She makes me sooo proud. All my coworkers were shocked at how well she behaved. In other words she did not make any loud disruptions! She quietly played her Nintendo DS, watched movies on her portable DVD player (thank God for technology!) and colored while Mommy worked all day. All day from 9:15 to 5:30! Not bad huh? I was raised very much in a ‘children should be seen and not heard’ household. I am not as strict about it as my mom was, but I have tried to teach her to be respectful in situations like the ones she encountered today.

After work she ate McDonalds and then we headed to her swim class… We got there early so we waited in the bleachers as we waited for Boogie’s turn to swim. At one point I looked over at her and watched her as she patiently sat. I couldn’t stop looking at her and suddenly I realized why. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Boogie no longer has the baby face I was so accustomed to. I could see a faint glimpse of her as a young girl. It seemed to happen overnight. Here is what I saw….

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Then it was Boogie’s turn for her lesson. She did awesome! This is the first session where I did not detect any nervousness or insecurity about swimming.

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Overall the minis had a wonderful day on this Martin Luther King Day… My dream of seeing my children be happy and well rounded children was accomplished; at least for today.

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Random thoughts….

This is my first week back at school since before my son was born…. At some points I felt exhilarated to be back and other times I felt utterly bewildered:
1) I am all for the students being unique, BUT why must they feel the need to antagonize the Professor on the first day of class? If you feel that you are so much more superior than everyone else then why the hell did you choose to go to community college. I am NOT saying the Professor is God at all, but I do not see the need to interrupt her every 5 minutes to give your counter point. Yes this kid was one of THOSE…. Humph.

2) Why is there no financial aid or scholarships out there for working parents? I scoured the internet and there was close to nothing. Unless you get a student loan you have to be practically impoverished to get any type of grant. I am not on the poverty level, nor am I looking for a free ride, but I sure could use some financial aid! At least to pay for textbooks!

3) Textbooks!!! Good Lord!!! I forgot how expensive they are!! With all the technology out there in 2012 why aren’t more of these books digitalized? Can you imagine all the trees that get killed with these books that are outdated even after 1 or 2?? You can’t even use those outdated textbooks. I saw many classmates show the Professor a textbook outdated by 1 edition and get told to try t o return it since they would not allow that book to be used.

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On another note: Eli starts his first day of school tomorrow…. And he has a runny nose and watery eyes that I have a feeling will turn into a cold. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal.

Sniffly Eli + 1st day in a new school (new bus, building, routine, therapists) = Miserable, cranky, non-compliant Eli

Sigh.. Way to start his first day.. I hope he will surprise me and be a superstar, but I am not holding my breath. His bag is all packed and I already wrote his new teacher a note advising her of his strengths and weaknesses plus a letter I found on CASANA website. This letter is helpful in giving teacher’s a crash course in apraxia (all in two pages!).
Yes she probably thinks I am the psycho parent already, but I would rather be known as the psycho parent then be walked all over!

I will consider it a success if I don’t end my first phone conversation with his teacher in tears! It’s tough to let my little guy out into the unknown.. Anyway, wish us luck!

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Incomprehensible….

There are few times where I am truly, truly shocked and disgusted by humanity. Doctor’s that feel that they have right to play God and choose who has the right to live and who doesn’t. Better yet they feel they know who DESERVES and is WORTHY to live.

I can only understand the frustration and helplessness that little Amelia’s parents must feel.
God help the doctor that would ever THINK of saying that my son is not WORTHY to be saved with an organ transplant because he is developmentally delayed. I am just so angry at how this hospital and their representatives can be so heartless and cruel…

Today is one of those days that I wonder what the hell is going on with this world… I hope that Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will renew my faith in the goodness of the medical profession and do the right thing; help this little girl live. They have no right to play God….

In the meantime, we can help by signing this petition

We can still make a difference.

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Back to school

Tonight was my first college class since before Elias was born. I must be out of the swing of things because after a mere hour and a half my head was already pounding. Working all day I am sure had something to do with it, but wow.. I definitely don’t have the energy that I used to have!

I would love nothing more to just crawl into bed, but I have homework that is due tomorrow by 5 pm. Just typing that made me yawn!

Tomorrow after work I have Economics 101 for 3 hours.. Yikes! I must admit however, no matter how tired I am, I feel ready to do this.. I am determined this time! Being the oldest student in my class is motivating me even more!

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Here we go again….

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As I was sifting through an obscene amount of emails at work today my phone rang and I looked over at my the caller ID. It was Eli’s school calling.. Oh boy… Something was telling me that this would NOT be a good phone call.

I picked up the phone nervously and said hello. His teacher went on to explain that it was Eli’s second day displaying very defiant behaviors. He fought her on everything; from coloring to snack time to playing with friends. A classmate snatched a toy away from him so he shoved the little boy to the side. When his teacher tried to make him comply with an assignment he yelled no and swatted at her. So here we go again…

He had gone through a good two months with no defiance issues. I would hold my breath everyday as I saw his teacher’s phone number on my caller ID and waited for his daily update. Everyone has their bad days, but with Eli the bad days are so much more pronounced since he has no words to communicate. When he does try to use the words that he knows they are so garbled that few people understand him. So the only way he can express himself are with non compliant actions; pushing, yelling, etc. I can only try to imagine how frustrating it must be try to tell people what you want with babble, gestures, jumping up and down, only to get the ‘Scooby Doo face.’

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To add insult to injury, his teacher also threw the dreaded term ‘possible regression’ out there. I felt chills run down my spine. There are few terms that a parent of a child with a special needs hates more than to hear the word ‘regression.’
It basically means that all the progress that your child has worked so hard to achieve is starting to roll backwards down the hill. I pride myself in considering a painfully realistic person; even when it comes to my son. So I am not quite sure how two days of bratty behavior would constitute a regression, but nonetheless I will keep a sharp eye on my little guy.

I am especially worried since Eli is scheduled to start his new school this coming Monday and I can only hope that he revert back to the sweet little boy that I know he can be.

Sigh… Things could be worse, but I can’t help to feel the slow poison of anxiety and fear begin to spread through me again. I just pray that it’s only temporary.

Gratitude…

There are days that my children drive me to drink… When I longingly look at my passport and dream of running away to a sun soaked beach that has a big sign that says, “NO KIDS ALLOWED!” Even if it would only be for a day…

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Ok so that isn’t exactly realistic, but I would settle with for being able to go to the bathroom without an audience or just to read a book in peace for an hour…. I look at my best friend from high school (no kids yet). She talks about all the exotic places that she has travelled to and all the wonderful experiences she has encountered as she lives abroad…. I think to myself…”Wow… what I would do to live life that carefree again!” No screaming kids, no worries, no IEP’s or major stress for that matter. Sigh, it does sound kind of nice, doesn’t it? I usually feel that way after a particularly trying day at work or maybe after talking to Eli’s teacher about how he pushed a little girl to ground because he grabbed her toy, or after paying the bills.

Before I become a pitiful mass of snotty tears, I stop what I am doing and look at this picture:

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My mom had snapped the picture as she babysat for me one night while I went out with my aunt and cousin. The minis had a fun filled day touring Charleston during one of the hottest summers on record. Still, they were sad that Mommy wasn’t there to put them to bed so they just passed out while they tried to wait for me and watched cartoons. When I came back from my evening out my mom showed me this picture and it literally made my heart swell with love and gratitude.

I realized that I made these beautiful, perfect little creatures. I carried them for 9 months and besides Hubby no one else knows them as well as I do. They love me when I am happy Mommy and sad Mommy.. When I laugh and when I yell… When I look hideous and when I am done up and ready to go to work. After a long day at work they come running to me to strangle me with bear hugs and cover my face with kisses. They are love in its most perfect form. They are mine and I love them fiercely.

After I stared at this picture the first time I saw it, I forgot about the palm trees and quietly snuggled up next to them, falling asleep and holding their hands….

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