Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cade's Evaluation

Monday was Cade's evaluation for Sensory Processing Disorder. The day started badly when Cade had to be woken up in order to get ready for his appointment. He had a major, screaming meltdown that we have learned is a part of his sensory issues. I had hired a babysitter for the day so that no distracting brothers would be present for the appointment. I had arranged for the babysitter to arrive at 9 so that I could make it to his 9:30 appointment in plenty of time. When she still had not arrived by 9:12, I called her (she lives around the corner) and she told me that she would be there in 5 minutes. That was very irritating!! I finally am able to leave for the appointment at 9:23!!! I had to call them and tell them that I would be 15 minutes late - so annoying!

(Stacey, if you read this next section then please feel free to correct me, educate me, or expand on my thought processes)

Cade's evaluation went like we expected. The occupational therapist was wonderful. She really listened to what I told her. I had to fill out some forms and she did some testing with Cade. It is really hard to watch your child struggle at something that you know should be easy for him. It was very clear to her that Cade does indeed have Sensory Processing Disorder (sometimes called Sensory Integration Disorder). His main areas of difficulty are auditory (he is very sensitive to sounds, sounds can send him into meltdown mode especially if he is trying to concentrate on something) and motor planning (dyspraxia - I think that is spelled correctly). Motor planning is the ability to figure out the order that things need to be done and the ability to be able to put the segments together. This is why Cade has such a hard time at soccer, he cannot put the individual elements together. This is why he sometimes cannot figure out that he should do A, B, then C. He might try to do C first or he might do A and then C and then B. Cade will need to start therapy as soon as possible. He will be going twice a week at first. Unfortunately, there is a waiting list to start therapy. The therapist really wants Cade to start before he starts school but she does not believe that it will happen that soon. It is so frustrating that it takes so long to get him the help that he needs. We started this process back in January!!

Mark and I are not surprised by the official diagnosis. We had both accepted the fact that this was what has been going on with Cade. We have both been reading and researching and learning some techniques. We are both so sad for Cade. It is incredibly hard to watch your child struggle. The future holds many obstacles for him. I have a lot of fear for him. I don't want him to be labeled as a behavior problem - he is not. He wants to please and he is incredibly loving and snuggly. I don't want him to struggle in school. He is very bright but I am afraid that his struggles will get in the way of his learning. I fear that he will learn to dislike school. He is super excited about Kindergarten, I don't want him to dread school in the future. I worry that he won't get the right teacher. I am concerned that he will begin to struggle socially when his differences become more apparent to other children. I love him so much that I become very emotional about his future. I hope that I can be the right kind of mom for him, a mom who can help him learn to deal with his differences. A mom who can teach him that he truly can accomplish whatever he wants to accomplish. A mom who can show him that everyone has challenges and everyone has gifts. I want him to be equipped to deal with his challenges. I never want him to use his challenges as a crutch. I want him to feel in his soul that God designed him just the way he is for a reason. I want him to realize his blessings. Is all of that too much to ask?

If you have taken the time to read my novel, please say a prayer for my sweet Cade. My heart hurts for him.

Worn Out!

Here is Nate at lunch the day after we got back from Phoenix. Think he is tired?! The boys have had a hard time getting back on a Texas schedule. My poor, tired baby.
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Coming Home

Traveling with 4 boys can be challenging. Sometimes, it is a breeze and other times it is a tornado. Coming home on Saturday was a tornado. It made the trip to Arizona feel like a piece of cake. Nate had eaten A LOT of salad on Friday night. On Saturday, he had a lot of diarrhea. I don't know if he had a bug or if he did not do well with the salad. The end result was the same - not fun for traveling. On the first leg of the trip, he had diarrhea. I could not change him because of the timing so he had to stay in it until we landed. It got on his clothes and all his extra clothes were in his checked bag. We had to change planes in Albuquerque so we head towards the bathroom as soon as we are off the plane. I can tell that Nate is going to throw up so I lean him over a trash can just in time. Dylan was so impressed that I could tell that he was going to throw up. I don't know if he had a bug or if the bumpy flight got to him. After that, I made it to the bathroom and changed his diaper. He has super sensitive skin so a day of diarrhea had done a number on him. He SCREAMED BLOODY MURDER. After I came out of the bathroom, Chase and Dylan wanted to know what I was doing to Nate because they could hear all the screaming. Next step was to buy Nate a shirt since he had poop all over his clothes. This took all of 2 minutes, but Nate crashed in my arms. He was out so I just put him down. He slept the entire layover time (2 1/2 hours). I changed him into his new shirt on the plane and Nate started begging for water and fish (goldfish) so I gave him a little. Can anyone guess where this is going? Yes, Nate threw up all over me during the flight. Lovely!! Luckily, since I had just given him water and fish the throw up was not of the smelliest variety. I was so glad to land in Dallas! We finally made it home at 11:30 that night. We had left Phoenix at 3 in the afternoon. We were tired! I had to fly to Corpus Christi the next day for work so Mark stayed at home with the boys. Since we did not know if Nate had a bug or not, they stayed home from church and were just lazy all day. I know they were just lazy because when I came home at 11 that night lunch was still on the table!! They were worn out!

Even though the trip was very challenging, I am so glad that we went. If you don't do things because they are hard then you miss out on the fun, and we had tons of fun in Phoenix. Sometimes you just have to face the challenges one step at a time and keep in mind that you will survive it!

Here is Nate crashed at the airport! Notice his lovely rash that he has had for weeks. It is not contagious but it looks awful. It is finally almost gone.

The 3 older boys were the best travelers, both trips!!!
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Happy Birthday, Drew!

Here is my crazy nephew, Drew. As you can see, he is a hoot!! We were in Arizona for his 10th birthday. He is wearing the birthday hat that he got at the restaurant that we ate at for his birthday. His personality is shining through!! The word that sums up his personality the best is mischievous!! From the time that he was a little baby he has always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He is very smart and insightful. He has a unique way of understanding and handling people. He LOVES to push buttons (just ask his brothers). He is normally the one nearby when a brother gets upset. He loves to speak with poor grammar around me because he knows that it drives me crazy. He gets intense joy out of that!! He is charismatic and very fun to be around. I miss him living close. Happy Birthday, Drew!!

Dylan with the hat
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More Arizona Pictures

Trent loves to have his picture taken!!
Nate hiding out
The cousins - it would be great to have them all smiling just right, but there are just too many boys!
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bowling in Arizona

It is very hot in Arizona. The kind of hot that drains your energy. You go outside in the afternoon and it is eerily quiet, because no one else is crazy enough to be outside. Because kids need activity and it is too hot for outside activity (except for swimming), bowling is the big thing in Phoenix. Charlotte's boys are in a summer bowling league so we were able to go with them. Chase and Dylan were even able to bowl.

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More Bowling Pictures

This picture of Trent cracks me up!
Nate and Cade did not bowl but they did enjoy "driving"
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Bowling Pictures

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The best part about Charlotte getting a new sewing machine is that the boys had boxes to play with! They made the cutest entrances to their "forts" I love the writing. "Young Nate filled with peace" "Good Cade" "Old Lee" "Peace Out" Cracks me up!!

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Arizona Pictures

Nate "helping" Brad put together Charlotte's stand for her new sewing machine
Nate thought that he was going to be able to sleep with the big boys, he was NOT happy when I moved him to his crib. Doesn't he look so happy in this picture.
Nate found Drew's Sponge Bob pajama bottoms - "Bobs, Bobs"
I told Trent that I was going to put his pouty picture on the blog!
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Being Lazy

Charlotte's boys are so sweet to Nate. They need a new brother or sister, right Charlotte :-)

Most of this week the boys have spent their time playing together, playing on the computer, and swimming!
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Some Fun in Arizona

Look at the cute bug that was caught!

Nate is loving swimming. I got in the big pool with him and I did not think that he would ever want to get out. I am so glad that he loves the water. Cade is still not comfortable at all in the pool.

Here is my Dyl.
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Moral of the Story

I was not able to put up a Father's Day post because I was so busy packing and finishing up a few work projects on Sunday. There was no time to blog!

Those of you who know Mark know that he truly is a wonderful father. He is very involved in the boys' lives. He plays with them and enjoys being with them. When he makes a mistake, he is quick to admit it and apologize to them. That is something that I am horrible about so I am glad that they are learning this skill from one parent :-) Mark often has the 4 boys all by himself while I work. I never have to worry about them because I know Mark is taking care of them. He never dreamed that he would have 4 kids, but he feels blessed to have every single one of them. I love him more every time I see him loving on our boys. He truly is a fantastic father!

Cade was going nuts on Sunday so I made him lay down with Daddy for a little bit. He snuggled up to Mark and went to sleep. So sweet!

On Sunday, I had scheduled an 8:05 p.m. departure to go to Phoenix. The plane was delayed until about 9:30 p.m. Picture holding heavy carry-on bags along with a heavy, wiggling, protesting boy!!! I was exhausted by the time we finally set down on the plane. Nate entered the past bedtime, slap-happy, wiggly boy phase. Imagine sitting next to a working jackhammer and you can get an idea about how enjoyable the first leg of the flight was. Sit down to buckle, stand up out of buckle, look out the window, crawl in my lap, stand up to say "hi" to the strangers behind us, put down the tray, put up the tray, put down the tray, put up the tray, stand on the tray and say "hi" to my brothers, spill my very thirsty mommy's water, protest loudly whenever Mommy tried to correct my behavior. Exhausting!! The second leg of the trip was so much better. After loud protesting (I know the other passengers were loving me), Nate fell asleep. The joy of holding my sweet, sleeping baby made me forget about the first leg of the trip (mostly). Sweet sleeping baby. We arrived in Phoenix around 12:30 a.m. Texas time. I was so glad to see Brad! Moral of the story - evening flight times are not the best option for Nate!!!!!
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