Wednesday, May 2

A Little of This, Little of That

I was way too overwhelmed on Monday (at pick up just as much as at drop off) to take any pictures of Bryce at school. But I made up for it yesterday - here are some pictures of him going into the school with his teacher, on the right, and his vision instructor, on the left.

And here's Bryce realizing that I'm leaving - breaks my heart...

And since that picture from yesterday didn't go so well, I took a video this morning without driving up next to him.  You can see how far he's walking now - it's a pretty good distance just to the doors from the car and he still has to get down the hallway from there.  It's a S.L.O.W. process!

In other news, my dad was tied up at work yesterday afternoon so I got the rare opportunity to take Bryce to hippotherapy and stay with him. For some strange reason my phone's video isn't recording audio but on this video there isn't much to hear. I'm just asking Bryce if he had fun and I think you can tell the answer by the huge smile on his face.

He was pretty wiped out from the four hours at school in the morning with only a 30 nap in the car on the way to therapy but even still you can see how relaxed he looks on Maggie. I can't stop going on and on about how much I think this therapy is helping!

And then after therapy we went out to my dad's so Bryce could take a little nap and I could get some work done. That's when we discovered that some where, some how Bryce has learned to tell people how old he is.

When my dad first showed me I was so shocked I didn't really believe it, thinking it was just a fluke. But we tested him several times last night and then I got it on video this morning. It may seem like a small thing but keep in mind that Bryce doesn't really say any words and the signs that he has are limited (go, eat, more, all done and milk) so this is a pretty big deal to us. Add to that the fact that I have no idea who taught him this - it now seems kind of miraculous.

So without further ado, here is the video (keep in mind, still no audio so you'll just have to imagine that I'm saying to him, "Bryce, how old are you?")

His fine motor skills, even in his left hand, are not great but there is no doubt he's holding up two fingers. And last night while he was sitting in Caleb's lap we were talking and Caleb said "two" in a completely unrelated way, to me, and Bryce did the same thing.

I'm pretty psyched about this new "sign" and excited about the possibility that he may be getting ready to start signing more.  Any additional communication would make our lives so much easier.

Exciting times!!

Tuesday, May 1

Overdue Update

April was such a busy month that I've fallen very behind on keeping everyone updated. We had Caleb's birthday and his and Jeremy's annual crawfish boil, then the very next weekend we had a big surprise 60th birthday for my dad. In the midst of all of the partying, I had the initial visit with Leander ISD where they told me that this week would be Bryce's evaluation. That was two weeks ago today - they don't really give you much time to plan considering how busy Bryce's schedule is. Nor is it near enough time to mentally and emotionally prepare for such an endeavor - but then again, maybe there isn't enough time in all of the world.

Bryce is also officially in the toddler room at his day care. This is most certainly a double edged sword. I love that he's getting the exposure to kids closer to his age and it certainly seems to be helping. But they've had some wicked high teacher turn over in that class (it's a tough job) and I worry about the inconsistency. Plus, no one will ever take as good care of him as his Miss Becky, his infant room teacher for the last year, did. Too bad she didn't just move with him!

He's also started trying to walk in his walker from the car to his classroom at day care - which is a pretty good distance. Some days he scoots right along and others he battles me every step of the way. One thing I notice though, is no matter how hard it is to battle the world's most stubborn little boy (trust me, that is NO exaggeration) it sure is easier to have him walking than for this pregnant momma to carry him, his back pack, his walker and his napping blanket.

Over the last week Bryce has gotten really brave and starting letting go of things when he's cruising. I think sometimes he just forgets he doesn't really stand. But I also credit his remarkably improved balance and much stronger core muscles to the hippo-therapy because before he wouldn't have dreamed of it, nor would he sometimes balance for a few seconds before falling. We're trying our darnedest to get him in twice a week before they quit for summer but there haven't been any other openings just yet. I know that one of these days soon he's going to stand and as we continue practicing with the walker he's going to get better and better.

I'm excited to see the changes coming in these next months and hope that they mean he'll be better prepared for whatever Leander ISD deems he needs by the time Fall comes around. With Bryce's birthday only a month away, the new baby coming over summer and him going to school in late August it's going to be a hectic, exciting, challenging couple of months. Better go get my big girl panties.

Monday, April 30

The Longest 4 Hours of ... Today

I just dropped Bryce off at Knowles Elementary for his first day of a five day evaluation for the Leander ISD Early Learning Environment. He'll be there for 4 hours each day this week to be assessed by their vision, physical, occupational and speech instructors/therapists. This will determine if he qualifies for the program after his 3rd birthday and for how much of it.

I can honestly say it's been years since I've felt so much anxiety over him. Leaving him there this morning broke my heart and took every ounce of courage I have. Not crying in front of him or them may be one of the hardest things I've ever done.

I walked him in, which apparently I wasn't supposed to do (they come out and get them all at once). And in the five minutes I was there he face planted into a bookshelf, danced and cried twice.

I sat out in the parking lot as the first class was picked up by parents and the second was picked up by staff. The smallest kid in either class still towers a full head over Bryce and it was obvious that there were no other students who couldn't walk or talk.

How is it possible that it's a good idea to leave him there? Who's idea was it to send the most challenged to school a full two years before their peers? Why isn't there a special place for these special children?

How will I survive a week of this?

My best inner self just keeps saying survive this week and then you have until August 27th to get him walking proficiently, at least with his walker. In an ideal world he'd also be signing maybe 10 basic words or even talking a few but I'm trying to be realistic.

Those are the hardest parts. How will I know if he hit his head on the playground when no one was watching? He can't tell me that his diaper was never changed or that another kid was mean to him. He can't even open his lunch box by himself and going these four hours without a nap is going to push him to his absolute limit.

I take some solace in the knowledge that he is sweet and cute. Unfair as it is, things in life are often easier for the nicer and better looking. But he may not always have those advantages so I hope he never learns to use them as a crutch but rather finds a way to catch up. There's just so much catching up to do.

And how can we add another person to our already full plate in the midst of all of this? It's not fair to Bryce and it won't be fair to BOTW when he's being constantly lugged here and there for therapy and specialist appointments.

Will I ever get to a point where I'm not overwhelmed with worry?