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Monday, July 28, 2014

Stoping To Smell the Roses

It's hard to believe that summer break is almost over and that my kiddos are headed back to school.  I find myself second guessing myself on sending Hayden and Ruby to school.  Don't get me wrong they go to an amazing Montessori school that I love and know that they are in good hands.  If this school didn't exist I would with out a doubt be homeschooling.

When we took Hayden out of school three years a go to run a full time Son-Rise program.  My main goal was to get Hayden to a place that sending him back to school was a good fit for him emotionally and physically.  When we took him out of school Hayden was unable to communicate his wants or needs, screamed / tantrumed the majority of the day, could not follow directions, and was in a completely stressed state the majority of the day. So we kept him home and did our best to provide him a nurturing environment that met his physical and emotional needs.

When we were running our program being able to send Hayden to school was a dream for me.  A dream that I held on to every single day.  I looked forward to the day that he could be so independent to play with other children, sit at a desk, communicate with his teacher, follow directions, learn and grow, and do all this with ease and joy.  Well the day came two years into Hayden's Son-Rise Program.

I was a complete wreck sending him to school.  I was also full of pride and oh so grateful!! The first year back (last school year) Hayden attended school 5, 1/2 days a week.  He did great.  He had maybe three challenging days the entire year.  He made progress, made friends, and over all enjoyed being at school.  He separated from be beautifully (something I was extremely unsure of).

Well, here I sit again and emotional mess.  This year both Hayden and Ruby will be attending school all day 5 days a week.  I am worried that all day might be too much for Hayden.  That is a lot to ask of him.  In reality it is a lot to ask of me. I am not ready to let my babies go.  I love spending time with them and the thought of them being gone 5 days a week all day and then me being gone all weekend to work breaks my heart.

There are aspects of them going to school I am excited about.  I will be able to workout uninterrupted, catch up on some reading, and maybe take a nap.  Maybe I will start writing my book or figure out what I want to be when I grow up :)

Part of me feels guilty about being so emotional about Hayden and Ruby going to school all day.  I know a million Mommy's out there that would love to be in my position of sending their child to a typical classroom with out any extra help.  To those Mommy's: I am sorry if I come across ungrateful or ridiculous.  I know your struggle.  I know what it is like to dream for a break.  To wish for the day that you get to eat a hot meal, take a shower, and sit down for five minutes.

Recovery is not what I pictured at all.  I always thought we would be skipping through a field of flowers holding hands with out a care in the world.  The truth is I am left with PTSD.  I have an extremely hard time letting go of Hayden and often find myself hovering.  I feel that at any moment the ball can drop and he can face dive right back into the disconnected world he was in.  I sit on pins and needles think that we are one nasty strep infection or tick bite away from autism.  I fear that I will "loose" him again.  Honestly, I don't know if I have it in me to do it all again.

That is why I have continued on the aggressive treatment protocol we are on for so long.  Out of fear.  Fear is not a good place to be in.  I often tell myself that I will not let fear drive me or that I will not make decisions based on fear.  I have let go a bit and we are transitioning off the aggressive protocol and going into a more manageable protocol that I have basically designed for Hayden.  I am really focusing on rebuilding his immune system right now and continuing to heal is gut.  I feel that his pathogen load is in a good place but his immune system could still really use some work.

I have started to allow some grains back into Hayden's diet and he has down really well with them.  Slow and steady, one day at a time.  That's what I am doing.  We will never eat the standard american diet but I know one day Hayden's diet will be much more manageable and realistic.

This blog post really got off track from what I initially was going to blog about :)  Basically I keep chugging away, living my life, and loving my babies the best I can.

Sending lots of love to all of you :)

XOXO,
Brandi

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy 7th Birthday Hayden James :)

Dear Hayden,

It brings tears to my eyes thinking about your turning seven years old on Friday.  I can't believe it!!!  SEVEN…..you are almost SEVEN!!!  I am so stinking proud of you.  You have faced and over come more than any child your age should have to.

You have given me more than I could ever think about giving you.  I am so blessed to have you in my life.  You have taught me what pure, real, unconditional love is.  You have given me the gift of patience and selflessness.  Whenever I look or think of you I smile and see you for the beautiful, spirited, fun loving, and sweet little boy you are.  You are a real gift from God.

Your sixth year of life has been one of big changes and lots of fun.  You transitioned from doing therapy 40 hours a week to 3 hours a week.  You started going to Montessori School 5, 1/2 days a week.  You played pee wee basketball and tee ball.  You continued going to lego club and story time at our local library.

For the most part you like school.  Your favorite parts of school are snack time and p.e.  You really grew and developed socially and emotionally through out the school year.  This was your first time since you were 3 years old being away from Mommy.  You did beautiful. This coming school year you will be in Kindergarten and going to school all day, 5 days a week.  I am so proud!  You go to school on your own just like the other kids :)

You loved basketball and even scored a basket at one of your games.  You got really good a dribbling and understanding the basic concepts of the game.  You liked baseball and by the end of the season you were grasping the concepts of the game and seemed to be enjoying playing.

The biggest change in your sixth year of life is that you stopped playing with your precious cars.  The cars that you would line up for hours and examine their wheels as you spanned them.  The cars that no one else was allowed to touch or even look at, at times sat untouched for weeks at a time.  You still play with them occasionally but they are no longer an obsession / security object for you.

Your favorite things to play with now are Angry Birds, legos, and markers.  You still love to be read to.  You enjoy singing songs and dancing.  Your sister, Ruby is your best friend.  You two are inseparable the majority of the time.  You play well together and pick at one another too.  You have a bond like no other.

I have also noticed that you are gaining more and more independence.  You no longer want Mommy right there by your side all the time.  You will often gravitate to Grammie or Daddy for love, help, and support.  You want to go in the boys bathroom all by yourself when we are out and about (sorry for not letting you but there are sick people in this world).

You play board games following the rules and are happy regardless or winning or losing. You still love to swing, play in the water, and dig in the sandbox.

You have mastered the art of turn taking and waiting in line patiently.  You use your words to communicate and the majority of the time have a smile on your face.

Your favorite foods are fat stake, brussels sprouts, bacon, and fruit.  You love to help in the kitchen.  Your favorite part in operating the blender and cutting up produce.  Well, maybe sampling all the food and produce might really be your favorite part.

You amaze me every single day Hayden!!  You have come so far from the little boy that had no language, stimmed all day and night, screamed 90% of the day and night, and didn't want anyone to touch you.

I am so blessed to be your Mommy :)  Happy 7th Birthday sweet boy!!!!!  May all your hopes and dreams come true and if they don't you choose happiness and never give up!!!

Love,

Mommy

P.S.

We had a lot of fun your 6th year of life :)

Snuggling with sissy at bedtime


Loving leggo club

looking for frogs

Our pet pig, Parker that we had for a week before Daddy took him back

Rainy day fun……fishing in the bathtub

Ridding your new bike

A butterfly on your shirt

Last day of school :)

Chilling after a day of hyperbaric oxygen treatments :)

Playing in the rain

Puppet Show

Trying hard to catch a fish

You caught a frog

Ready for picture day

Yummy, we made almond milk together

One of your masterpieces at lego club

Giddy up Daddy
Hanging out with Mommy waiting to pick up our Co-Op order

Painting nails with sissy ;)

My little fish

6 year old check up

Working hard at school

Science experiments at library

Playing air hockey with Mommy

Snuggles for Mommy

Bff's