Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jan 21, 2010: Happy 3rd B-Day Marco!!!

I can't believe he is 3 already. It seems like he was born just yesterday. And on the other hand it feels like a lifetime...
Marco's birth day was so incredibly special, such a wonderful beginning as a parent. We have been through our share of things over the past year, and Marco has rolled with the punches right along with us. There are plenty of moments where I worry about the future of my kids. Will they be independent one day, will they be happy, will they have an OK time in school or will they be teased? I think every parent goes through those moments, special needs or not (sometimes I hate the term 'special needs').
Today I made it a point to just relax and enjoy Marco. Enjoy the moments with him, especially picking him up from school and taking him to dinner before his Speech Therapy. We sat and enjoyed dinner and I took a picture of him. He asked me to turn off the lights when they came on, I explained to him that these were not lights I had any kind of control over. He tried to stand on the chair, I made him sit. He danced outside the window by shaking his booty, and made the people who were sitting on the other side laugh. I was told how cute he was, once again. (Good god, if I was given a dollar every time someone told me how cute he was I could send him to College one day. As it is I just hope he can become REALLY good at soccer.) Then we went to Speech Therapy. Probably could not have had a better B-day party for him if I had planned one. ST is really a kind of play therapy. Although maybe on the surface it looks like play, Marco is learning from it. He laughed a lot today. He has an incredible report with his ST that warms my heart. I am so glad that Marco bonds with people (besides his Dad and I) who help shape his life, from whom he learns. Many of Marco's behaviors do not point to autism at all, which makes me happy.
Now that Marco is 3, he will have his ST via the LUSD. I met Ms Gabby, who seems incredibly nice and like Eric, is gifted at what she does. I look forward to Marco's chance to spend some time in the classroom, to get a feel for what that is like. He will go to his ABA school only 5 hours a day (8-1) and on M-W-F he will go to daycare in the afternoon (both are near my work so I will shuttle him in the middle of the day). The same day care he was going to before he started ABA. It will be nice for him to be around kids and just get to BE a kid. Play and interact when he feels like it, but to not be forced into anything. I felt 40 hours of ABA was a little too much. I was bringing home an overly tired child every night, who did not even feel like having dinner. Now he will have some energy to spare, and I dare think he will actually absorb more. (That is just my mother gut-instinct, of course studies have shown that 40 hours of ABA is what is needed for the biggest amount of benefit. I am going with my study can beat a mother's gut instinct, right?!?!?!?)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jan 18, 2010: Milestones

Proud Daddy
Wind-blown Annelies in front of Lake Tahoe

It has been a while since I wrote. Last entry was when Annelies and I were in Holland. It turned out to be a wonderful trip, Annelies and I both enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

It was good to see our guys again though, after almost 2 weeks! Marco had grown, and has many more words in his reportoire in both Dutch and English. He now counts in English really well, and in Dutch pretty well. At first he counted One-Two-Three-Four-Five-Six-Mama-Eight. So very cute. He laughs a lot, and communicates much better although he does not yet communicate very directly (we can not yet have a conversation with him). I got to a point last week where I asked Marco's ST if I will ever have a conversation with him. It is difficult because I see the kind of progress kids his age make and I get a little freaked out. I do not doubt Marco's abilities. He is also very careful but steady physically and he most certainly understands dangerous situations in play (he respects heights, for example). I still have to be careful in the parking lots but he seems to understand the urgency of staying with me. He is now mimicking both speech and actions a LOT, so I think he is developmentally going forward and will catch up at some point.

With Annelies, he is pretty cute. Annelies is crawling now, so to stimulate her, I put toys or her bottle on the floor for her to crawl to. Marco picks those things up and brings them to her, so cute.

We took 2 family day-trips up to the snow. Marco took some time to get used to the snow but before long he was throwing snow balls and running around in the snow. We are going up for a couple of days in February, looking very much forward to that.

Annelies is now crawling (really crawling, on all fours). We also started standing with her, where one of us sits in front of the table and she sits on a bent knee so she can pull herself up and sit back down on the knee. I am taking it one step further and making her bend one leg at a time. She got a great little rocking horse for her B-Day (Thanks Joan!!!) which she will be using a lot (I just put it together). Her balance is wonderful, and she loves to be in an upright position like that. Adding a couple of pictures of the kids....Will write more soon.