10) We built a deck! And by "we", I mean Adam, his Dad, and Mr. Bob. It's been a nice addition to our backyard and thanks to the table and chairs from Adam's parents it'll get tons of use in years to come!
9) Grayson turned 3 years old! He is 100% a momma's boy, but he loves to go outside with his dad. Most of the time he is good with Jackson, regressing to annoying little brother mode here and there. He has difficulty being told "no", has a stubborn streak like no other, and likes to win. Whoever thought 2's were hard, clearly coined the phrase "terrible 2's" before their child actually turned 3...
Overall, a sweet little monkey.
8) Jackson began his new school here is Carroll County. We have been so pleased with his new teacher and her team (PT, OT, etc.). They have done an amazing job getting to know Jackson and trying to find the best way for Jackson to learn. Some of the big things they've discovered: 1) Jackson needs less talk - Jackson does best with short, simple directions (with a visual model). This way he doesn't have to continue processing what you're saying but can process and then do what is directed. 2) He needs a model of what he needs to do. This could be verbal and/or visual. For example, Jackson continues to have a lot of echolalia (repetition of what someone says). So if you simply ask him, "What is this?", he will likely respond with, "What is this?". But if his teacher models it but saying, "This is a tree." Then if shown a picture, he knows to respond by saying what it is. 3) He needs wait time. For Jackson, he can need as much as 19 seconds to process the question. That's a lot of wait time. But imagine if you didn't realize this, you may assume that Jackson doesn't know the answer or that he doesn't understand. Try counting 19 seconds - its a long time. 4) Jackson has difficulty with tracking from left to right which is an important task when it comes to learning how to read. However, if the information is presented almost at eye-level (rather than flat on the table), he is much better able to track.
|Let the horrible school pictures begin...|
His teacher was almost apologetic at our review IEP meeting that she didn't really know as much as she wanted about Jackson - we were amazed at how much the team had discovered about Jackson in only a few short months. We continue to look forward to the progress that Jackson will make over the second semester and then we can make decisions about Kindergarten.
7) Adam and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary by going to my co-worker/friend's wedding. Seven year itch - lets hope not!
6) We were able to participate in trick-or-treating this Halloween. This may not seem very significant, but we didn't make it out of the driveway last year and Jackson wouldn't wear his costume. This year, Jackson not only wore his costume, but he was also able to walk throughout the neighborhood to visit the different houses. He exhibited some reservations initially, but once I modeled what to do and gave short directions (ie. Pick up candy, put in bucket"), he caught on pretty quick.
5) We celebrated Thanksgiving our traditional way by visiting with my grandfather at Charlestown for brunch and then headed over to my in-laws to celebrate with Adam's side of the family. The following day, my side of the family headed back over to my house to hang out and eat more food.
4) In November, we had a brief scare around midnight one night. Jackson was perfectly fine at bedtime but woke up struggling to breathe and crying hysterically (which didn't help the situation). Normally Jackson has a pretty high tolerance for discomfort, so when he didn't calm down when we went to console him, we knew we needed to take him to the ER. So I threw on some clothes and got Jackson in the car only to realize I had no idea where to take him. I ended up calling 911 and they directed me to Carroll County hospital in Westminster. Jackson cried and struggled to breathe the whole way...Luckily he was taken immediately back to be given a breathing treatment for croup. But because of the treatment he had to be monitored for 3 hours since it could raise his heart rate. He responded really well to the breathing treatment and was given a long-lasting steroid to help keep his airway open. While he was sleeping, they kept alternating between mist and oxygen. His breathing was so rattly that they ended up putting a tube down his nose to suction the mucous out (he was such a trooper). Unfortunately his oxygen levels kept dipping when oxygen was removed so they ended up admitting him to the pediatric unit.
3) Jackson turned 5! It is seriously hard to believe that this little barely 5 pound baby is now walking and talking more and more...and bonus-he now climbs into his own car seat! Makes it that much easier to get two kids into the car.
We planned on doing a movie-themed birthday party (low-key since Jackson is not big on large crowds) and since its winter and he loves movies (still loves Thomas, Cars, Planes, and Penguins). Who would have thought it would be super warm that day and we would be outside eating cake and running around...in mid-December.
Unfortunately Jackson had a bit of a melt-down later in the day (a combination of getting up at 3:30am that day, yes, you read that right and feeling a little under the weather). He did not want to open any of his presents and ended up crashing for a nap later in the afternoon. Overall though I'd say it was a success...
Jackson's favorite birthday gifts - mini iPad, Fisher Price Learn Through Music, Thomas Book (I'm ready to read with Thomas)
2) Which leads me to Christmas....this year we ended up having my parents up from Virginia for Christmas. My sister's family and our grandpa joined us Christmas day to open presents and hang out. Jackson, once again, wanted little to do with opening presents (perhaps I'll forgo the wrapping for him next year???) and I think just found the crowd overwhelming. Grayson, on the other hand, wanted to open everyone's presents, kindly asking between each gift if he could open another one. Lucky for Grayson, Jackson is typically disinterested in much of the toys in our house, so anything Jackson got ultimately gets a lot of play-time from Grayson.
|Showing Jackson how to play Pop the Pig|
|Using tools from his sensory kit|
and duh, duh, duh...
1) And then there were really three...
We look forward to the crazy, chaotic, and awesome addition to our family in 2016.
From our (growing) family to yours - I hope your holidays were wonderful and that you have a happy New Year!!!