Thursday, July 11

Day Four Wrap Up

We've wrapped up day four at summer camp and are happy to be finally settling into a routine.  I won't lie - there are at least a couple of times each day that I ask myself, 'What have I gotten myself into?"  But then I talk to a veteran CLC parent or see the special, sparkly pride in Bryce's eyes and know we've made the right decision.

Immediately after dismissal yesterday I had Bryce's conference with his conductors (teachers/therapists).  The main purpose was for them to have a chance to get a full grasp on Bryce's (extensive) medical history, his current schedule and routine and our hopes and goals for camp.  I appreciated the one-on-one time and their genuine interest in getting to fully know Bryce.

While we were there, they showed me a new walker they are trying with Bryce.  Unfortunately he took a pretty good spill and so I didn't really get to see.  I'm hoping to have more on that soon.

They are also trying some orthopedic shoes that they had on hand.  They think he needs some more ankle support to keep from over-extending his calves/ankles back.  He has a tendency to lock his knees and extend his calves back behind his heels to help steady himself and make up for his poor core and hip strength.  The shoes, which look remarkably like a hiking boot, seem to help but they also seem heavy so I'm still waiting to see how they work out before we sink a couple hundred bucks into a pair of his own.

The last big thing they've been working, and working hard, on is potty training.  I remember when Bryce was two thinking oh, maybe he'll be potty trained by 3 or 4.  Last month on his fourth birthday, I honestly thought it would be another couple years still.  But they've got him on a potty routine, are working on earning "wishes" (isn't that a way better word than reward?  I mean, who doesn't want a wish!?) and insisting that I keep up with it at "home."

Let me tell you, potty training is exhausting!

It's way easier to just throw on a diaper and go.  But I know this will all be worth it for Bryce.  So we're constantly on the potty: picture me in a perpetual state of completely folded over whilst being climbed by a very mouthy little one-year-old and hefting 27 pounds here, there and everywhere.

We're all learning to be more patient.

Tonight was a great success too!  He kept his diaper dry from when he woke up from his nap until bedtime.  Apparently he also kept it dry all day at camp yesterday (not sure about today, no report).  He's doing so well, even, that they suggested we bring in some underwear for him to possibly try in the next few days.

Underwear, people - UNDERWEAR!

I happily drove us all to the nearest Target to get the smallest sized super hero underwear pack they carry.  And the day he starts wearing them successfully I will shout it from the mountain-tops.  Or at least the blogoshpere. 

They like for parents to observe one morning and one afternoon during the first week but since I didn't know that and have no one here with me (who's crazy?) I haven't been able to do this.  I'm really chomping at the bit to get in there and see what the heck is going on.  Fortunately, the vast majority of the families here have been here many, many times before.  Several have teens in the program that started at young as Bryce and many remember what it's like to be out here with little ones in tow.  To say they've been welcoming would be an understatement.  One such mom and former little one have agreed to watch Gage for me next week so I can do my observation time.  Yay!

So that's it for now.  It's going to be hard to compete with day two news, I know.  Trust me, I know.  But here's to appreciating the now and looking forward to the future too!

Thank you all for your support - we love and miss you!

Tuesday, July 9

Tears of Joy Today

Today was Bryce's second day of summer camp and I honestly didn't expect a thing. 

I most certainly didn't expect to peak around the corner to his classroom at pick up and see him WALKING!!

The look of pride and joy on his face was the most incredible thing I have ever seen. 

He was holding a loose piece of rope in both hands, I'm not clear on that method yet, and his conductor was walking backwards in front of him. She counted two steps and then gently touched his chest, reminding him to stop and find his balance. They did this for at least 6 steps before he got to me. It was amazing and I balled like a baby. 

Another mom put her arm around me, totally understanding the significance of the moment. She said it's hard to put into words the amazing things they do here and I said we could go home today and this would all be a success in my mind!

I can't wait to see what the next few weeks have in store for our Bryce!!

Monday, July 8

We Made It!

What a trip?!

We are officially in Grand Rapids and more or less settled in. Caleb is right now flying back to Austin, the boys are sound asleep in their "cribs" and I have a boat load of work to catch up on.

Just wanted to take a second to let everyone know we arrived safely and Bryce's first day of camp was great. He had a huge grin on his face when we picked him up this afternoon and the first thing he did was show off how well he can stand on his own for the entire classroom's parents.

I'll post more later but so far so good!