Monday, May 25, 2009

Conversations with Caleb- a double edition

Setting: sitting in the stall at Sonic drinking our Happy Hour drinks while I give Piper a bottle.

Caleb: Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama (evidently I don't answer quick enough)

Me: Yes, Caleb

Caleb: Can you get my Nemo ball?

Me: Caleb, I can't reach it. You'll have to wait until we get home (it's in the far back corner of my SUV, no way I can get it).

Caleb: Oh, come on now. You know you can do it! (said with a huge smile on his face!)

Who knew I had such a motivator on my hands!
Setting: in the car on our way to some event. Hm, there seems to be some sort of pattern here. We are ALWAYS in the car, it seems!

Caleb: I have brown eyes.

Me: Yes you do. What color are Daddy's eyes?

Caleb: Brown, just like mine.

Me: Yep, that's right. What color are mine and Piper's eyes?

Caleb: Angel. You have angel eyes, just like Piper.

Awwwww. (I know he's meaning hazel, but it's still sweet even if it's not on purpose!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Conversations with Piper

Piper: Dee, doot, boop, beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (think high pitched squeal)

Me: ...

Piper: Dat? (pointing to shoe)

Me: Shoe.

Piper: Dat?

Me: Shoe.

Piper: Dat?

Me: Shoe.

etc. etc.

Evidently, the 4 year old in our house isn't the only one with all the questions.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Just over 5 years ago, this little boy made me a Mama.

He brought so much joy and laughter to our lives that I never thought I could ever love another child...

...nearly as much as I loved him.

Then we went and made him a big brother,

and got this little love bug, whom I can hardly imagine my life without.

Boy, am I grateful for these two! Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

Thursday, May 07, 2009


On Tuesday, I had to pack up the kiddos and travel up to our local special education office to sign off on Caleb's ARD papers stating that he doesn't qualify for any services. If you don't remember what has all happened to get us to this point, here's a brief run down in my favorite of forms, bullets:
  • October 08- I got a phone call from the Mother's Day Out program that Caleb had been enrolled in for 3 years stating that he was having some significant difficulties and would I come to the school for a parent/teacher conference. I had a very difficult meeting with Caleb's teacher in which some very terrible problems were insinuated to be the problem and we were told to get him tested.
  • Late October 08- I was able to get Caleb an appointment with the special education department in our school district for some testing that was suggested. During this time period, I had been pulled aside by 2 more of Caleb's teachers (not from the Mother's Day Out program, just teachers from church) to tell me that they also thought something was "wrong with him". One actually told me they thought he was disabled...
  • November 08- We had our first appointment with the special ed department and it was determined that his major issue at the time that needed to be evaluated was most likely speech related. We decided to test his speech first and see if that would be an easily correctable issue.
  • Late November 08- Caleb had an in-class observation by one of the professionals, not a psychologist or speech pathologist, from the special ed department.
  • December 08- Caleb failed his hearing test that was completed by the special ed department and also failed subsequent hearing tests done by our ENT. After examination, it was determined that he had fluid in his ears, which had been a chronic, but transient issue, so tubes were recommended. We agreed.
  • December 15, 08- Caleb had his tube surgery and we saw results within days. We probably would have seen results sooner had the whole family not have come down with the stomach virus of death. Seriously, it's hard to pay attention to how much you or your child can or cannot hear when its all you can do to retain your bodily fluids in the compartments in which they belong.
  • December 08 (post surgery)- Caleb failed his post surgery hearing test that was conducted by a brand new, not yet licensed audiologist. Later we found out that his test was one of her first, so who knows what would have happened had we had a more trained individual. We were told Caleb would need a sedated ABR, a test in which he would be put under anesthesia to have his cochlear nerve (the one that transmits that signals for hearing to the brain) tested. We were referred to a pediatric ENT for just that test.
  • December 08- The pediatric ENT spent 5 minutes with Caleb and determined that his speech was too good for a kid who couldn't hear. He wanted his audiologist to test his hearing and Caleb passed. He was given a clean bill of health and we were sent on our way.
  • December 08- Caleb never went back to his Mother's Day Out class. We had decided to pull him out, due to his behavior issues that no other person had experienced with him. We were sad, but we are convinced that the stomach bug of death was God's way of protecting his little feelings by having to go back to class, knowing he wouldn't return again.
  • January 09- Caleb had his speech evaluation with the speech pathologist, which he passed. Surprise, surprise. I was told at this meeting that Caleb's observation was fine and he did not exhibit any of the behaviors that were expressed by his teachers. I would find out later that this was not true.
  • January 09-March 09- I fielded phone call after phone call from special ed psychologists who wanted to evaluate Caleb's behavior with the sole purpose of putting some diagnosis on him. It wasn't until I finally told them that we were not interested in them diagnosing our son with a condition he did not have that they stopped calling and backed off. It was at some point during this time that I was told that Caleb did in fact show some of the behaviors that his teachers were so concerned about. However, I was given no specifics and just assumed that I would get the report at some point in time.
  • April 09- I received a phone call from the speech pathologist stating that she finally finished up Caleb's report and wanted to email me a copy. This report contained the observation notes as well and reading it made me sick. I truely had no idea exactly what was happening until I read about it from a 3rd party's perspective. The way it is written makes my son sound like he's seriously delayed and completely autistic, which we know is not the case. The opinion in the report is completely skewed and is obviously written from the point of view of looking for something wrong instead of just observing. Not cool.
  • May 09- I went in and signed the papers stating that Caleb did not qualify for services at that time. The speech pathologist asked me about his behaviors and said that if we every wanted to test him in that regard then to just call. Then she said the following,"Caleb does not qualify for any speech services, however I am still very concerned over his lack of eye contact." Hm. She spoke directly to Caleb only two times with the first being while he was climbing a flight of stairs while looking for me and second while he was working puzzles. She was also concerned that when asked what his sister's name was, he responded, "Piper, P-I-P-E-R", spelling it out. If she would have asked, I would have told her that he does that because we do that. Most of the time people do not know what we are saying when we say Piper's name, so we spell it.

All in all, I'm glad that this whole disaster of an issue is done. Is this the conclusion to all this? I certainly hope so. This ball has been dropped too many times by too many "professionals" and assumptions have been made all over the place about my boy. I hope it's over.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Month 10

So, here we are again. Yet another monthly post on how big my baby is getting.

This past month has been, I think, my favorite. Piper has made some huge leaps in her development, particularly motor wise, in the past month. I'll get to that later, first we have to cover the big holiday that happened since I did this last.

This was Piper's very first Easter. In our house, Easter is a big deal, seeing that it is really THE holiday of our faith and the fact that it is my favorite. Some friends of ours host an Easter egg hunt every year for all the kids and this year Piper was able to participate. I guess, technically, she did last year too since I WAS great with child, her.

Some of my mommy friend were questioning this past Easter on the whole Easter basket/Bunny or no Easter basket/Bunny. We don't talk about the Easter Bunny in our house, much like we don't discuss Santa, but the Easter baskets are so fun and really just another way for me to give fun things to the kids. Here's Piper with her swag. In my defense, it really looks like I went WAY overboard in this picture regarding all that she got, but that basket is SO small and all that is in it is a toy that attaches to her stroller tray, a pair of shoes and some hair clips. That's all I could fit in it, so the Little People Zoo and cart cover had to sit in the couch. See, I don't just get frivilous stuff, some of it's useful!

Oh, and yes, this is yet another picture of my precious daughter in her brother's old pajamas. We're in a recession here people. If it fits her, she wears it... Just not in public!

Here's Piper in her fancy Easter dress, complete with bow that she insisted on taking off at random times and waving it around at me. She likes to have her hair "done", but I think she's quickly losing patience with the head bands. As I heard a very wise woman say once, "It is a hill that I'm willing to die on" and she will wear the headbands!

Piper took her very first ride in the cart (with the afore mentioned cover, of course) at our beloved Sprouts. She had the best time bouncing up and down, swinging her little feet and just looking around at all the fun stuff to grab! Now that she's able to ride up front, and really should be out of her carrier when we are shopping, I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do when I have to shop with both she and Caleb. I guess he'll be relegated to the large part of the cart with the groceries!

This has been a month of change, healthwise, for our little P. If you remember, Piper had the flu back in February and has had some significant coughing ever since. She was put on a couple of rounds of antibiotics that should have cleared anything bacterial in nature, but was still coughing. While we were at her brother's pulmonologist check up, the respiratory therapist took a listen to her and heard her wheeze. They, obviously, squeezed her in right then and there. A couple of days prior to this, Piper's pediatrician put her on a reflux med to see if it would clear, but the pulmonologist wanted to see how she was swallowing to rule out that issue, since her brother had significant issues in that area.

I was very concerned, not about the test, but about the demeanor of our little diva. Piper rarely cried, except when she is hungry. Did I forget to mention that she could not have anything to eat that morning? Oh, and her test wasn't until 11:30. Despite all this, P was so happy and just charmed everyone we came into contact with over and over again. This picture is her in the therapy chair waiting for the test to begin, playing.

The swallow study was normal, but the doctor did see some reflux, so we'll have to reevaluate with the pulmonologist in a couple of weeks.

Here's Caleb trying to listen to her heart. Notice the perfect placement of the stethoscope. Think we do this much?

This past month I realized that Piper's hair is in the in between stage. It is really too long the way that it is, but to cut it would make her look like she's a boy. So, my solution? I started putting it into a water spout. Her hair is pretty straight and fine, so it just sticks right up in the air like this. It's silly looking (well that and the tuft of bangs in the front that are just too short), but it just makes her all the cuter.

Last month, I mentioned how Piper was starting to get in the position to crawl and made the prediction that she would have it mastered by the end of the month. I am happy to announce that my prediction was half right. She has very much mastered the army crawl, but just isn't really into perfecting the crawl on all fours type. She gets around quickly, to fast in my opinion, with the army crawl. Many times I have come around the corner and have had to ask Caleb where she went. I often find her in the cat food or under the dining room table and have to extricate her from whatever situation she has seemed to find herself in.

Here's P perfecting her Longhorn look. You know I HAD to go there!

As you can see in the above picture, Piper has started standing. She cannot necessarily pull herself up in this position anywhere but in her crib, but if you place her standing up, she will stay that way. I think that she's going to start cruising around just as soon as she's able to get all the way up on her feet. Right now, she gets her upper body up but her feet are so far away from her that she's at a perfect 45 degree angle. I have to laugh when she gets stuck, but it SO frustrates her!

Piper has also experienced an explosion in her vocabulary this past month. She has been able to say Mama, Dada and Baba (brother) for awhile now, but she has added Dat (that?), Babe (baby), and Me to her list of words. She is also proving to be somewhat decisive lately. When I'm feeding her carrots or peas and carrots (the real thing, not the baby food mush), she loves to stick out her pudgy little first finger and point to the next veggie that she wants. I, of course, oblige, but Jes swears that I'm spoiling her. I just figure that she's a girl who knows what she wants!

It's taken a couple of months, but Piper's first tooth popped through in the last 30 days. The tooth hasn't grown up enough that an average person would notice it, but I can see it and am slightly sad that her gummy smile will be gone soon. I just love that smile with the 2 bottom teeth peaking out too!

I got brave one day and decided to give Caleb and Piper a bath one day and thought it would sure be much easier if I could do them both at the same time. Piper is sitting up very well and has outgrown her infant bathtub so I decided to give them their very first tandem bath. As you can see Piper loved the water and Caleb had a great time pouring water over her head using the washrag.

It's been a really great month and Piper is just the sweetest little girl! We can't wait to see what next month brings!