Friday, November 30, 2012

A Magical GetAway: Day 2


Day 2:  Each group was invited to a character breakfast and ours was first thing on our first morning.  The kids were beyond excited to meet everyone...Eli even got some autographs!   We then proceeded to enjoy our day.  We played shuffleboard, checked out the princesses (which we thought Anna would be ok seeing from afar...she was not!  We had to wait in line the next morning).   That night we got all dressed up for our Prince and Princess Dinner.   After a delicious dinner we decided to check out the "lounge" complete with a lounge singer and dancing.  Next to the princesses this may have been Anna's favorite part.   (We think she like how the singers dress and microphone matched...)   

Day 3 Tomorrow!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Magical Get Away: Day 1

Now that I no longer feel like I am rocking, I want to document our magical adventure before I start to forget all of the details. 

Day 1: We ended up staying at a hotel the night before that offered free parking throughout the week...this made it not as stressful the next morning as we waited to board the ship.   Once the shuttle dropped us off at port we were greeted by a friendly staff!  We wish we would have checked more bags but weren't sure just how long it would take to get them back that night.   After meeting Mickey and reading up on the boarding activities we were welcomed on board the ship!   We headed straight up to the pool for some lunch and exploring.  We were immediately struck by the enormity of the ship and the water surrounding us.  After some swimming we checked out the Oceaneers club (available for ages 3-12) and they were gracious to let Anna in even though she is still 2.  We then showered for dinner at Animators Palate (Eli's personal favorite because the pictures came to life while we ate) and Anna and I weren't even able to make it all the way through : )   (Anna passed out and I was still suffering from early pregnancy symptoms : ) ) 

Day 2...Tomorrow!

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Direction

So I'm going to make this very straightforward just so you aren't confused because of this previous post:   I AM PREGNANT, AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR THIRD CHILD IN MAY 2013.   

No, we were not "expecting" this, but YES we are absolutely excited.  God knows I wanted a third child, and this is how He has chosen to bless us.  I am extremely thankful.  This pregnancy has been my most difficult thus far and I have had what's felt like the stomach flu for the past 6 weeks.  (No worries, my body refuses to lose weight, even when I throw up 5 times a day).   So if I have failed to call, email, text, facebook, smile at you, etc. just know I have been in survival mode the past few months.

What does this mean for our adoption?  It is on hold indefinitely.   I called the agency right away to let them know, and they said I could call them back once the child was 9 months : )   I will never say never, BUT I do not believe that will be happening.  To be completely honest, while sitting in those classes I coveted the empty nesters and their stage of life.   My heart upon hearts was longing for an older child either in middle or high school.   With the ages of our kids however I didn't think that was the best move for our family.   I'm not going to try to guess God's plans for our life, but that is the most sense I can make of the events that have lead us to this moment.

Todd's one request is that we don't find out the sex of the child, so sorry...just like me you'll have to wait until May to see how this all unfolds : )

Thursday, November 8, 2012

SPD...a new chapter

I can't believe it's been a month since I posted!   Believe me there has been plenty to post about, just not the time.   I did want to take a post and celebrate Eli.   It's been over 1 1/2 years since his initial diagnosis with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).   We've seen 3 occupational therapists, a functional neurologist and a behavioral therapist.    All (well except his OT in St. Louis) are in agreement that Eli is at a point where we can cease external therapies and focus on home therapy for his disorder.    I am reluctant because they have been so helpful, but trust that they are the professionals.  This is great news!    It doesn't mean he's "cured" but it does mean it's become more manageable for him and our family.
Currently this is what I understand to be true about Eli's brain/nervous system:   
*he has a difficult time regulating serotonin (the happy feeling ).     Once it gets released from his brain he over reacts in some way...flapping his arms, jumping, yelling, squeezing or baring down with his jaw, acting slap happy
At home tips: explain exciting activities to him BEFORE they happen so that he gets a spike of serotonin rather than a surge, talk him through what's expected in those moments, give him chewing gum, remove sugar from school/anyplace we need home to be "calm" (er).   
*his vestibular system (controls all of our senses) doesn't always function as it should.   This results in him running into walls, "acting drunk", appearing to be in another world
At home tips: before school I brush him with a therapy brush and give him joint compressions, after school I do the same and give him some sort of huge movement activity (trampoline, swing, crashing into pillows) followed by some "hard work" ( taking laundry downstairs, play dough, trying to push me over).  
The below 2 changes have really helped.  They were acting like "gas pedals" for Eli, when we really need to strengthen his "brake pedal".   
*decrease screen time: we were down to 1/2 hour a day but it's snuck up to almost an hour this fall.  We just try to keep him in a 3 dimensional world as much as possible.   His brain is way more prone to addiction of electronics and it makes the above 2 issues harder to control.    He does however enjoy it (as does the rest of the world) so we are trying to find a happy medium.   
*removal of casein: I still don't fully understand this one but you can read about it here.   Some how the casein (milk protein) in dairy, processed foods, fortified cereals and processed meats, acts like an opium to his brain and he doesn't metabolize it correctly. Again it affects our first 2 concerns.   (we have not been awesome with this one this fall either).   I am hoping to looking into more dietary additions/removals to see if we can't achieve just a bit more progress and optimum brain function for him.   

All in all he acts just like a 5 year old boy and is awesome.   He is extremely smart, loving and hilarious.   I want to pull my hair out FAR LESS now than before we started (some of that is age and change in me I'm sure!).   I just hope and pray that I can stay on top of *most* of this for his sake!   Thank you for all of your support along the way.