Wednesday, July 31, 2013

we call this the love bush, sadly the love bush died :(
Today, I have been thinking about brothers. Most specifically three brothers. These three were meant to be together.  We played at the park with another family we sometimes see at church. Michael, brother number three,  isn't super familiar to their kiddos. I think Jacob, brother number two, had noticed for a moment his younger brother from these new friends' perspective. He asked me in a candid unremarkable way, " If Michael didn't have special needs (saying a term that comes so easily to my lips, but for him wasn't a phrase but two separate distinct words), he probably wouldn't need so much help. When he gets bigger will he still need help? " It was a moment quickly over after I answered simply, "I don't know. Probably."

Just before bed, I heard squealing as brother number three scrambled up onto the couch saying, " I safe! I run from Jacob!" This a concept that brother number two had taught him - if Michael was on the couch he was safe from tickles. Later Jacob changed the safe spot to try to convince him to go to the bathroom and have his teeth brushed before bed. The game worked so well until Michael became too excited and tickled him - in the eyes. His tickles come without typical restraint. Jacob was hurt - his eyes were a little sore, but his feelings were hurt, too.  He came to me a little bewildered, he was trying so hard to play and help. I scooped him up and told him I knew that Heavenly Father could send Michael to our family, because of his big brothers. Because Brother number one and two had something special, are something special.  As I looked deep into Jacob's eyes, I knew he knew. He was meant to be a brother, to help teach and to be taught.

We went to a follow-up appointment with the developmental pediatrician. It was summer, so all three brothers came along. Michael knew that he "need to let Mom talk".  The older brothers knew that they also needed to let Mom talk and stay quiet and out of the way. They knew all the special treatment, all the toys to play with, the stickers and encouraging words weren't for them.  Mom needed to hear the Dr give their brother another official label, hoping that giving a name to a  piece of him would help in the whole brilliant puzzle. Autism's puzzle piece seems appropriate for my little man. One piece of his puzzle. Numbers one and two were quiet almost the whole hour and a half, reading books and playing on the iPad.  The singular nature of the iPad eventually won and some whining occurred. Not too bad, considering. Number three wandered and walked in circles, walking through plot lines and familiar stories, making drinks and dinner for Mom and the Dr.. We escaped the exam room and back up to the front desk to make another appt while Number one  wrestled Number three from the automatic door.  Another little boy, struggling while waiting to begin the process we had just endured, didn't seem unusual to my boys, the older brothers. They didn't even blink. They knew he was special, like their brother.

But, I hope they know how special they are. Their journey is just as important. I hope they understand that while Michael gets a good portion of the attention pie, they are so loved and so needed. I hope that we give them enough special treatment. I hope they know that this didn't happen by chance. They didn't get the short end of the stick. Even though sometimes it might feel that way. Our family was designed by Someone who understands, who truly understands what they are feeling. He knew each of these brothers before they lived in these cute little bodies. He knew what each had to offer and allowed me to experience it all.




I hope. I pray. I know - that He knows each one of  them and didn't leave them here to figure it out alone. We fit together, like pieces in a puzzle.
Oh, By the way - Jacob is Baptized! I need to get back into this whole blogging thing!








Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baptism




On December 4th, Andrew was baptized. It was such a sweet day with our little man. He was a little nervous, but very excited. He listened so intently during the talks and was so aware of the choice he was making. We were so proud of him. After the baptism, he was eating his cake and he said - I feel really happy. I hope that he will always remember that. We were so glad that family came into town to be with us on this special day. My parents and Nathan and Mandy flew in from Texas and Taylor, Justina, Aiden and Eva drove in from Vegas. It was going to be a Stake Baptism, but the Sunday before we found out that Andrew would be the only one being baptized. So, we were able to plan it with family being involved. I really loved that it was so personal. Both his Grandmas gave talks and Taylor and I said prayers. Justina was going to, but she lost her voice right before. Our home teacher, Brother Pehrson led the music. My Dad and Taylor were the witnesses for the baptism. Jacob was so excited for his brother and kept talking about when he would be baptized. Andrew, Jacob, Aiden, Nathan, Mandy and the Bishop's daughter sang Baptism. It was so sweet to hear them.

Andrew






I am a bit behind in my posting! I want to update on some important things. Our Andrew turned 8 years old! I can't believe he has been here in our family for 8 years. He was born on Veteran's Day, so it is fun that he always gets his birthday off school. We went to the Children's Museum in Phoenix and had a great day. The boys really had a great time with all the exhibits and could have played all day. I made him a Lego cake and he loved all his birthday presents. On that Saturday we went to Gilbert and celebrated with Emily and Armando and the kids.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

More pictures





Here are some closer pictures of his cast. It is heavy, but I have been able to pick him up a couple of times. We tried a wagon out and took him down to the lobby and tried the interactive wall. He is doing well and tomorrow we will try to wean him off the epidural at 6 am and possibly release him if we can get a handle on his pain orally.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Surgery

spica cast with blanket keeping him decent :) (he still has a catheter) brushing his teeth :)


this popsicle was the beginning of calmer times. I am so glad he has his bear
Finally settled in his room, armed with his bear and watching Winnie the Pooh

They gave him a medicine to help calm him before they took away - starting to get sleepy while Grandma blew some bubbles :)
Here he is pre-op. What a cute guy - He melts my heart, I am loving his half smile here. :)
Michael had his surgery today at UMC in Tucson. It went really well and Dr. Valencia was able to do both hips today. The second hip was scheduled to be done in two weeks and I am so glad that he was able to do both today. Hopefully, we can be done with surgeries for a while! They cut out a wedge of the femur on each leg and tipped the head of the femur into the hip socket. They put a steel plate and four screws in to hold it in place. Then they put him in a bilateral spica cast. They put in an epidural to help with the pain. This way they can numb him with a non narcotic medication and limit the amount of medicine they need to give him. They had to give two doses of morphine when he was waking up, because the epidural hadn't fully kicked in yet. Ironic that my youngest son was the first one in our family to have an epidural! But, it seems to be working very well and he has only had tylenol since he left the recovery room. They will try and wean it tomorrow and we will see how that goes. It is really hard to watch your child in pain. I am so proud of him. He is tolerating everything so well. He has sensory issues, so he hates the IV and the leads on chest and pulse/oxygen monitors on both his big toes. But he hasn't fought them as hard as I thought he would. I know we have a hard road ahead of us, but this bump (It is a really big bump) is done!
I picked the red cast for him because his brothers love red(I love you, Jacob and Andrew). They gave me the option of a couple colors, including bright pink. We are brainstorming coping strategies for the cast. The nurse and surgeon both suggested a red wagon loaded with pillows to get him around the house and other places. It isn't as bulky as a wheel chair. He will need the wheel chair for preschool, but I am not sure otherwise. Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

School!












All three of my babies are now in school, at least part of the day! It is incredible to me, I am not sure where the time went. But, when I look in the mirror my wrinkles also show proof that time, indeed has passed! :) Andrew started 2nd grade and Jacob started Kindergarten. They are both in a Spanish Immersion class half of the day. It seems to be going well. I don't know how much spanish they are picking up, but neither one of them are extremely frustrated. They warned us that that might happen. Andrew is not crazy about the increase in homework, but loves that they get two recesses. Jacob really likes school, but is way ahead of many of them. So we are on our second big 1st grade reading book at home. We read stories while the other kids are doing letter flash cards at home. I am thankful for the spanish, because that is something that is completely new to him.

Michael also started preschool! My baby! I think it is a really great thing for him, but hard for me to let him go. He is getting speech, OT and PT services there. He is in a small class, which is wonderful. I am happy with the teacher. She seems to work well with him. The bus (!) picks him up at 11:35 and then I pick him up at 2:45. The first two days of school I took him and he cried when I left. But, the bus has cured the separation fears. He is a bit intimidated, but loves the bus. He takes his teddy bear and hugs him for dear life and enjoys the short ride to school. Mr Dale picks him up and buckles him in and he is set to go.

I am sad that my boys are in school. But glad they are gaining knowledge and working hard.

I am volunteering in Andrew's and Jacob's classrooms at least once a week. We decided that it wouldn't be a good idea to go into Michael's. I am glad that I can be there and am so happy that they get excited when I come and they still want to be seen with me in public. :) I am so grateful that I am their Mama.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Michael's birthday




Our baby turned three years old on July 3rd. I can not believe he is three, but it feels like he has been part of our family for even longer. His birthday had a bit more meaning this year, because I had been so scared he might not make it when we were in the hospital. We love him so much and are so grateful to have him in our family.
I made him an elephant cake and we opened presents. I think he loved them. Then we went and spent the day with Emily at her place and ate delicious food, played on the slip n slide and enjoyed each other's company. Thanks Emily!
It has been so hot here that everything wants to have a drink all the time. If given the choice - which he normally is not :) - Michael will always choose Dr. Pepper. A little of his Daddy in him.