Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dear Baby,

It's taken me a while to realize that I'm not just sick. I have to remind myself that I'm not just gaining weight. We've had two sonograms and I'm finally understanding that you are real.

You are my child.

Sweetheart, you were a surprise but you are NOT unwanted. My head was set on having only three babies. My heart has shown that God wasn't done and that I truly wanted you.

I wish I had the right words. I feel like I can't explain myself. What I can tell you is this; I love you.

I love you, my Baby. You will always be the littlest of the family. You will always hold that special role of The Baby. I don't care if you're 35, you'll still be my Baby.

I don't know exactly who you are yet but nothing will ever change my love for you.

I am your Mama.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

School Days

Sophie and Gideon just brought home their first report cards a few weeks ago. It felt surreal to be on the other end of that piece of paper. Since my kiddos don't come home and tell me about school, it was also a glimpse into what's happened so far.

Both kids have made HUGE leaps with their vocabulary.  Sophie started the year using single words and repeating simple sentences occasionally. Now she uses simple sentences on her own. Gideon began almost completely non-verbal. The first month of school he used a little recorder with a big button to communicate. His teacher would record the answer ahead of time, ask a question and then let Gideon hit the button to "answer". Now he's repeating single words and using words of his own without the recorder. Actually, he's used the recorder the last few days. Ben and I have talked about trying to see where Gideon's autism ends and his introverted nature begins. Sometimes he just doesn't talk because he's too shy or there's too many people around. That's not autism; that's the Dyer male. (With the exception of my father-in-law who, I believe, got the talkative nature for 6 generations of Dyer males.)

In addition to the report cards, I've gotten an update in a binder each day telling me what they learned, what centers they played and other tidbits. They both started the year playing alone or playing with the teacher's help. Now Sophie comes home with "played with friends" circled almost daily. She's even mentioned a few of her classmates names! Gideon has even had it circled a few times. I really hope they're making friends. I know how hard it is even without the autism. Every time I see that circle, my heart swells to think of my little man stepping out of his comfort zone to play with his classmates.

Sophie has been going to the regular Pre-K room for 20 minutes each day for 4 days a week. She participates in their Circle Time. After 2 weeks, I spoke to her teacher who said that Sophie was quiet and a little afraid of the Pre-K teacher. She stayed close to her aide and wouldn't look at the teacher or talk to her. This broke my heart because it sounded so familiar. I can remember being terrified of a teacher each year in school until high school. It was never my homeroom teacher but was always one I didn't see all of the time. I discussed this with Sophie's teacher who said that she would talk to the Pre-K teacher to see if there was anything they could do. After a week she said that Sophie would talk and smile at the teacher. Now she eagerly goes to her other classroom and will interact with the kids and the teacher. I'm so proud of her for conquering her fears.

In 8 weeks, I've seen massive changes. I can't wait to see what happens by the end of the year.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Big Brave Girl

Milly had her ear tubes put in last week. Sophie had this done a few years ago so we had some idea of what to expect. My mother graciously came out to our house at the butt crack of dawn to be here for the other monsters. Ben and I loved on Milly and loaded her into the car. She had no idea what was happening but she was the only kid with Mama and Dada and that's just pretty wonderful in her book.

We got to the hospital and Milly began to get a little anxious. She watched from her perch on Daddy's arms with her thumb in her mouth and a worried wrinkle between her eyes. When we got to her room, she came to me and refused to get out of my arms. We coaxed her down onto the crib long enough to get her little hospital gown on and then she clawed her way back onto my chest. We turned on the little TV in the room and watched a little Chuggington. Then, Mickey Mouse came on.

She finally crawled out of my lap and went to watch her beloved Mouse cavort.

Ben says that even the kiddo gowns leave nothing to the imagination.
Nurses came in and out to have us sign forms and take Milly's vitals. Then we finally saw her doctor who told us that they were almost ready. A nurse came with a warmed blanket and I gave Milly over to her. We heard her little cries all the way down the hallway. No matter how used to this I was, that still made my heart hurt.

Luckily, I didn't even finish my terrible hospital coffee before her doctor came back in to tell us that they were done! We shook his hand and waited for our Sunshine.

Here's the thing; when Sophie had this done, the nurses and doctor told us that she might be "a little agitated" when she was coming out of the anesthesia. When they brought Sophie back to us...well...that kid Hulked out. It looked like she was about to hunt down every single person involved in this travesty so that she could burn down their house and kick their pets. She cried, screamed and raged for about 20 minutes before I finally pinned her to the bed with a blanket. Once we got her still and got Sesame Street on then she finally began to calm down.

Needless to say, we were worried when we heard our little Sunshine's cries down the hallway again. They rolled her hospital crib into the room and I picked her up. Milly buried her head on my shoulder and sobbed. We gave her some diluted juice and she eagerly gulped down half of the cup before tossing it down. I sat in the rocking chair with Milly wrapped in a big blanket and cradled on my chest. We turned off all of the lights and I just rocked my precious little girl.

5 minutes and that kid stopped crying. Her little eyelashes fluttered as she fought sleep. I was so grateful that she accepted my comfort and lullabies.

I passed her to her Daddy after a bit and gave her the rest of her juice. By the time they were done taking her vitals and making sure she was going to be OK, she was acting like nothing had happened. She was standing on the crib laughing at Mickey again.

While walking to the car, we realized that she was whipping her head around in confusion at the bird sounds. She can hear! While driving home, we gave praise to God that our sweet brave girl did so well. She's still responding so well to sounds and she's starting to make new sounds herself.

Also? That whole "sorry-mom-I-can't-hear-you-so-I-can't-do-what-you-just-ordered" thing is no longer valid. Now she has to come when I call her. Theoretically.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Life List

Here are the next 5 in my Life List. What are you going to do with your life?

6. Do a 5K and run the whole time. 
7. Finish my bachelor’s degree. 
8. Copy Bible verses into a homemade art journal. 
9. Learn conversational Spanish. 
10. Take a pottery class.