Friday, December 20, 2013

The Next Step

I have had this "looming" feeling that we are quickly approaching a crossroads in our lives. Well, I know we are... It's just a weird feeling, not a bad one, but one that makes me anxious, excited, sad and fearful all at the same time.

In addition to adding another member to the family, we've been working on the next school step for Will. He turns five in April. An age I really wasn't sure we would achieve. After a lot of thought, research and trusting our gut, Neil and I made a choice for where we hope Will will go for Kindergarten and then on.

He has been in a Montessori program near our house and it's been awesome. The teachers are very loving and kind and they have kept him safe. We started Will in OT and Speech therapy nearly a year ago and have seen that type of intense 1-2-1 work really help him. We know he needs more than a public school system could give him so we have decided on a school for children with learning differences.

Learning differences means everything under the sun...

The application itself is a doozy.... 7 page application, 300 questionnaire via scantron, speech, OT, PT and neurologist reports and recommendation letters along with a 6 page current education backgrounder. I guess that's one way to see who is really serious about applying!

Class is lead by a Master's holding Lead teacher and is supported by one Bachelor's holding Para-educator. Additionally, a Speech Language Pathologist works with each classroom about 8-10 hours each week leading instruction, working in small groups, or individually with students. There are a maximum of 10 children in each class, and at least a 1:5 ratio is kept throughout the day.

We submitted the application and are number 3 on the wait list for the 2014/15 school year. The only remaining step is a cognitive evaluation which will be completed in early February. It's a four hour test, so pretty intense! We also will go through the interview process in person, including a day where Will would be in the classroom environment being observed. We should know something late March.

The admissions process, in my opinion, is pretty subjective. I've been told they build classes based on each individual child's strengths and weaknesses. It's not based on just one thing, or one score. Not like a Vanguard or Magnet school program where they need the smart kids. If only it was that easy.

If we are not accepted, I know we are going to be absolutely crushed... we really feel like this is the best environment for Will to thrive and be happy in. So, send up a prayer for us please. One thing is for sure, he does NOT need nor want to be home schooled. We would both go insane. :-)

When did my little baby get to be nearly five?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Turkey, Sniffles, Pulled muscle and a Tree

Hope each of you had a very nice Thanksgiving. Ours was quite low key, but enjoyable. We spent the afternoon at my parents house with wayyy too much food. Will enjoyed all the dishes and even saved room for pie.

Carson wasn't feeling photogenic that day, but Will and Cameron hugged it out.

Waiting to be served...

Playing outside post-turkey

I've thought a lot about what I am truly thankful for this year and it is simply this.... my son. Will. There is plenty of other stuff... babies yet to be born, husbands who are amazing, family and friends etc. But none of those could ever surpass the fact that I have woken up every day for the past four years and 7 months knowing I could and did talk, see, hug and kiss my son.

Will also has had his first major cold/congestions since starting on the immune system (IGG) infusions. We made it an entire year on that drug without a single slimy green booger or cough. I will happily take that. However, it didn't make for a very fun time for him. He slowly got over it and I don't think it hit him nearly as bad as it could have. So I'm thankful for that too.

This next part is mostly for my own record keeping... We went to a lake house for a little fishing and Will probably was more active going up and down stairs, fishing, playing, wrestling with dad in a four hour time span than he is all week.

He woke up the next morning complaining that his right leg hurt, behind his knee. Then he started walking around and essentially collapsing on the floor. He couldn't put much pressure or stand on his right leg for very long. Maybe 3 or 4 steps then fall. Of course we both wind up paranoid that it is some sort of disease progression, but for now, we have decided to chalk it up to extreme activity. We spent the next few days keeping him home from school icing his knee, using motrin and rest. By Thanksgiving he was able to walk around without too much trouble, but it wore him out. By the end of the day he was not able to keep good control of his body.

Now, about three weeks later he seems just fine. He has been able to use his leg again for stairs and hasn't had any problems. I'm really hoping that this was a fluke and not something else. One of those little shoes waiting to drop that I obsessively worry about.

Random pic too cute not to post. He asked me to tie his sweater around his neck
and make it a superhero cape.

We managed to get our Christmas tree up after Thanksgiving. Will loved helping decorate and it was so sweet watching him pick out an ornament, find a good spot and then hang it up with such concentration. His fine motor skills were rocking!

I am happy to report that this year our Christmas decorating went smoothly - or as smoothly as it can when you're 8 months pregnant and can't bend over very well --- dragging boxes out of an attic, rearranging furniture and keeping a four year old from breaking it all!

Two years ago we used some really old lights and the bottom third of our tree was on the fritz - we didn't seem to care much as it was the year Will was diagnosed so we just kind of went with it. Then last year we decided to buy new lights (the LED Corona beer style) and made multiple trips to Home Depot purchasing more.

This year the tree went well, but the outside lights had a little issue. I had hired a guy to hang them - I don't encourage my husband to get on a ladder, much less me or Will. Well, they looked great, but the next morning half of them were on the ground. Thankfully, he came back and fixed them (no charge) and they are still up.

So, Merry Christmas!