Friday, June 20, 2008

May "Local" Apert Gathering

One Saturday back in May, Jack and I traveled about 3 hours east to meet up with some other children and adults with Apert syndrome. We had a blast. if you'll remember, last year, Jack was not feeling well when we traveled. This year he was feeling good. He enjoyed wandering around a lot. One of the coolest things was how he really took to Morgan. Well it's not exactly unusual for Jack to like a pretty girl. What was super cool is that Morgan really liked Jack too and she did not seem to mind the "love that tackles." (When Jack hugs other kids, he often knocks them down.)

Here they's Teeter and Cat. Without Teeter, there would be no Teeter's page and the world just would not be the same!

This is apparently how Miss Carmen Rae wished to be remembered....

Jack and Jack meet again with Nicki and Morgan looking on....

I really like this picture of Liz....good job, Carmen!

Susie, Rebecca, and Morgan on the swing....

Let's see now, what am I gonna do about this?

Isn't this a cute picture of Nicki? Swing, swing!


This is what love looks like...

Most of the gang.....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

King of the Playground!

I am seriously behind on updates and pictures and I promise that I really will post them.....eventually. Anyway, I just had to share about Jack's latest triumphs. We have been taking Jack to our local parks since we moved to our small town. He has always loved being near other kids but other than swinging and kind of walking up and down the ramps a bit he did not really play on the equipment. Not so anymore! Big boy Jack is now climbing the climbing walls. We just help him to get his feet onto the little ledge but he pulls up with his hands and uses his legs to help push up. He is independently walking up and down the stairs holding onto the rails. He independently slides down all but the steepest slides. He climbs the bars with assitance for where to put his hands and feet. I think he could be more independent there but we are a bit cautious. He is also becoming a lot more social saying, "Hey" and waving at people. We were very proud to see how quickly he learned to follow !
d "rules" such as no climbing back up the slide.
He is so ready to start "big school". At his summer "school" (therapy program), they are getting the kids used to having group rather than one on one instruction. I was very concerned about how he would do with transitioning from one activity to another. Now I have no idea what I was so worried about! Jack is doing much better with tolerating seated table activities. He still does not LOVE painting and coloring but he will participate long enough to finish the short tasks they are given. He is actually playing with play-doh for short periods. David has started implementing a short "table time" in the afternoons to help Jack increase his ability to stay on task and it's going well.
Oh yeah, talking! I have just taken to randomly asking Jack if he can say certain words and you would be amazed how many things he can say. He is using a little speech to communicate such as "people" for his Little People movie. He still signs quite a bit and has learned a few new ones. It is so adorable to see Jack do the hand motions that go with songs like Wheels on the Bus. It's funny because he'll hear the name of the song and start doing the motions before you start singing so he's a little bit ahead of the song.
Breathing--that's important! With the reflux seemingly under control and careful monitoring to avoid allergen exposure, Jack's congestion has decreased dramatically. We've been able to leave some Puffs Plus at the store for other consumers. More importantly, we've reduced his Bipap pressures and he seems to rest well most nights.
Teeth. He's teething again. Some of the teeth come in and we are surprised to see them. Others, like the ones he is currently getting cause the drooling and the pain.
I'm sure I've left some stuff out....but don't worry, there will be more posts.
Join us in celebrating Jack's continued development.
Sent from my Palm Treo

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Yep, He's Three!!!

Persistence...that's how I am going to choose to see this. Jack is very persistent and is trying to order his world the way he would like it to be! At three, he wants activities, food, drink when he wants them and not a minute before or after. At three, he does not want to nap and thinks that sleep itself is just a waste of his time. At three, he wants to live outside outside outside outside!!! Whew! Is it possible that he truly is communicating MORE? Yep, it is. And he is communicating that he wants things a certain way. He's kind of like his Mommy! Pray for us as we try to teach him that the world really does not revolve around him! :)
This is a difficult phase right now but now that I think about it I'm really glad to be here!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Birthday Party 2008

This year Jack had a small yet ambitious two part birthday party. Jack loves loves loves a few things--chief among them are water and other children. So our theme this year was water and other small children. The last two years we had really large parties with Children's character themes. David and I had always said that we would not have large parties for the first couple of years of our children's lives but who knew those first few years would be so tough? Anyway, the last couple of years were more about celebrating Jack and not so much about Jack celebrating. This year, since Jack is older, I truly wanted the party to be about him having fun and doing what he likes. It was an unusual children's theme/cartoon/movie character since Jack does not really have a favorite and no singing Happy Birthday because, for some reason, it makes Jack cry. I tried to limit the number of guests because I did not want Jack to be overwhelmed and not be able to enjoy himself. I think it turned out well. I know that he had a good time so that's really all that counts. Special thanks to Oma (Anne) for providing top notch grilling services and Auntie Ninfa for delivering the dairy free birthday cake!

We started the party at our community pool since Jack loves to swim. See that smile?
Opa has a cool underwater camera. I love this picture of my little brother Noah.
Swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool......
After the "big pool", we headed back to the house where Oma grilled some excellent hamburgers and hot dogs. We turned the back yard into a soupy mess with the splash mat going and we filled up our "lounge pool".

When you're dairy free, you get two cakes. Well, you only get to eat one but still....

Jack really loved playing with his family and friends at the party.

It was a great day. And it ended with all the party guests (the adults anyway) cleaning up for me. Who are the best party guests ever? Jack's party guests, that's who!
I can't believe my sweet baby is three already!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Graduate

At three years old, Jack has already had his first graduation. We are really going to miss Jack's wonderful "school". Luckily, he is going this summer or I would have never made it through the graduation ceremony!
Jack is seated way over at the end of the little chairs to the right in this picture.
There he is with Ms. Jennifer, his Friday morning volunteer, sitting behind him.
Here's Jack and Ms. Jennifer getting Jack's "diploma" from Ms. Betty.
"Wooohoooo....I got it!"
Jack and Caleb after the ceremony. Caleb is Ms. Catherine's (Jack's Wednesday morning volunteer) son. He and Jack sort of matched, didn't they?
Jeanie and Elise enjoying cake at the reception.

The graduation ceremony was incredibly moving. I am choking back tears now as I am remembering the lovely powerpoint presentation that they showed of all the graduates and watching all of Jack's graduating classmates make their way across the stage. There's no way I can capture the magic of our time there at that "school" in this blog. The school is supported completely through private funding and donations. If you find yourself wondering how you can monetarily make a difference in the life of a child, please consider donating to Jack's school. I did not intend to hijack this post to ask for donations but if you would like to give, please click on the firstgiving widget to the left.