Monday, December 29, 2008

Whew!


Christmas was wonderful this year. I cannot even begin to compare how much easier it was for Payton this year. The nice thing is, if she's having trouble coping she'll either go in a room by herself or she'll cry for 10-15 minutes, get it out of her system, and be okay. Christmas day was probably the longest for her and I got so tickled at her. By the end of the day she was completely zoned out in space and just sat there. The next day, she continued to zone out (while Koen played with every new toy he and his sister got) and she finally snapped out of it by mid-afternoon. It's nice to finally see that it just takes her body longer to process all the happenings that go on around her. Bob, Koen, and I can process it as it happens....but Payton, she still can be processing it for quite some time. I guess her mind can't just take it all in at once.

We made it through three Christmas parties, one birthday party, and even a suprise announcement that there will be another new little baby on the Littlejohn side of the family. Koen really got into unwrapping the presents this year, and unlike Payton, really paid attention to what was inside the package. All Payton cares about is ripping open the paper :) We got tickled at her because my grandparents put their packages in boxes that were already decorated, so they didn't need any wrapping paper. Payton separated the packages out and moved those boxes in the other room because they did not have any paper on them......and anytime someone told her one of them was her presents, she refused to open it and said "No, it's not mine!" and would give it to her cousin. For her, it's not what's on the inside that counts....it's definitely the wrapping paper!

Tonight, Bob's mom and niece are coming to visit. Payton doesn't have a clue yet because I knew if I told her she would get way too anxious about it. She is going to be ecstatic when she sees them tonight (and ofcourse so will Koen)! But, the neighbors will likely hear Payton's scream of joy as soon as she sees them.

Here's some pics:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dev Pediatrician

Friday we went back to KC to see the developmental pediatrician. I really do like the doctor and he was thrilled to hear how well Payton is doing with her medicine. He offered to put her on something for her impulsiveness (like Ritalin) but I said "No thanks". I told him if he could see where we were before and where we are now, he would be in shock. I definitely do not take for granted a day that goes by and Payton is sooooo happy. We have her set up to get her kidneys checked in February and Noel was gracious enough to give me the name of Abi's doctor, so I already feel more than comfortable with that doctor. Any time I know a doctor has seen another child with ws it makes me feel more at ease.

Here's a couple of pictures of Payton at preschool. Do you see how much her hair has grown? I'm really am so thankful Payton is able to relax now.

The above picture is when the kids all got to guess how many candies were in a jar. There were about 50 or so and I just had to show you what Payton guessed. Yep - EIGHT! And then after she proudly announces eight, she yells "That's My FAAAAVorite Number!" For us, there is nothing better than seeing a number "8" on a billboard sign, on the tv, etc. It truly makes her day :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just some pics

Payton has been obsessed with wrapping things lately. OK-a long time :) Usually we 'imaginary' wrap, but now that it's close to Christmas we decided it would be a good opportunity to practice with taping and cutting (scary thought, heh?). After much wrapping, she decided she wanted to be wrapped up - so we did it. She was in heaven - as you can kind of tell from that smile!
And here's my little man. He LOVES his hat. He's all the time, running around, tapping his head and saying "hat". Neat thing is, when I grab his hat, he says "coat". He knows the two go together, so if he has one on, he immediately looks for the other. He is the most loveable, squeezable little guy.

Disappointed

Payton had her cardiology appointment yesterday. She's always had the cardiac muscle hypertrophy they've been keeping a close eye on, but unfortunately she's developed the narrowing as well. Noel referred me to this doctor - and after everything Abi went thru I know Payton's got a great doctor. I still feel sad, though. Obviously, for now, just keeping a close eye on it. She's really started growing lately, so we are guessing this is the reason for it.

We were actually able to get a blood pressure on her. It was 155/111, but she was upset. The doctor said the only way to get a blood pressure would be to sedate her, and that's too much of a risk just to get her blood pressure, so he said until she starts complaining of frequent headaches we will assume it's okay. I've been having a lot of blood pressure problems lately and I thought my head was going to explode, so I really think Payton would tell me if her head was hurting that bad. For now, I'm going to try to buy a child's blood pressure cuff and practice with her at home to see if I can get some readings.

The doctor asked if she had any narrowing in her kidneys. I told him she hasn't had her kidneys checked before, so I guess we need to get that done(Noel, if you have a good doc on this one, let me know!). I felt sorry for Payton because she hates having all of those tests run, but we made it thru just fine. Now that we've got this appointment behind us, maybe I'll be able to get in the Christmas spirit :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Am I Dreaming?

Last night, I laid there listening to Payton in her bedroom talking to Thomas the cat as she tried to go to sleep. It really is such a peaceful feeling. We've worked so hard to get her on a good sleep pattern. For so long I thought we were just doing something wrong, but after having Koen it all just made sense that it was the syndrome wrecking havoc on her sleep. Payton loves Thomas so much and we make sure he's inside the house ready to sleep with her by 8:30. We try our best to atleast get her in bed at 8:30 and generally by 10pm she is asleep. There are still some nights, like last night, that for some reason she just couldn't settle and didn't go to sleep til about 2am, but it's not the hours of crying, so I can handle it. When I was laying in bed listening to Payton talk to the cat, ("Oh, Thomas, I love you so much", "Oh, Thomas, it's OK", "Thomas is fiesty"), I just couldn't help but lay there and smile. I honestly never believed her sleep would get better. She doesn't require much sleep, but I think she's getting to the point that as long as she has the cat with her, she's ok. It feels like a dream.

The other amazing thing: Payton's hair is growing. She already needs another haircut and it hasn't even been six weeks. My belief as to why......her medicine is helping her from being so darned stressed out, anxious and nervous. Before, her hair would fall out in clumps when I would comb it. Now, it doesn't and her hair is growing like crazy. For me, it's just another outward sign that she is doing better.

Koen's been fighting an ear infection for about a month now. For some reason we can't seem to get rid of it. He went back to the ENT yesterday and if he continues to have trouble, they'll just take his adenoids out. He goes to the same ENT as Payton and I just love that lady to death. She blamed it on allergies and said if we do take his adenoids out, they'll just do bloodwork at the same time so they can see what he's allergic too. Works for me! I don't know, they say there's that magic three that go together....allergies/asthma/eczema and he fits that pattern perfect. Funny, it's frustrating when they are sick like that and you just want to see them feel better, but I told Bob the tiredness I feel with Koen being sick and unable to sleep is different than the exhaustion I feel with Payton. I think it's because I know Koen will be just fine - his body is strong and can fight.....I'm just not nearly as confident in that with Payton.

Last month we took Koen to the cardiologist for a heart murmur and it was ofcourse an innocent heart murmur....he doesn't have to go back for three years (and that's only if he still has a murmur). Monday is Payton's turn. She's been such a different child lately that I'm even hoping we can get a blood pressure on her. Might as well shoot for the stars, right? :)

Tonight, Payton gets to go Christmas caroling. I can only imagine how much fun she's going to have (and how loud she's going to sing!!). Oh-and a big Happy Birthday! to Caleb and Abi. I wish Payton could be there to sing Happy Birthday to you both.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Things have changed....

Last week my mom and I loaded up the kids and headed to my sister's new home. As we backed out of the driveway it just hit me all of a sudden that I no longer have to worry when I put my car in reverse. I know it was sensory, but any time we used to put our car in reverse Payton would scream at the top of her lungs and just cry and cry (and at that time, it took a long time to get her calmed down). Looking back it is amazing how different our family life feels.

Traveling used to be awful. I know a lot of it was anxiety and I firmly believe the medication Payton takes has made her life so much easier. Like I said, the the processing of going backwards in a car was awful for her, she has since outgrown that. You know what else she's outgrown? The fear of windshield wipers. I remember when it would rain and I would need to go somewhere, I would try to figure out what to do.....it was awful hearing her scream and literally shake from the wipers being used. Passing big semis isn't really an issue anymore, either. Sure, she may say "I don't like it" every now and then because of the noise when we pass them, but she doesn't scream and cry.

Sleep. This has changed as well. For the better! Before, Payton would wake up and just scream - LOUD. She may scream for just 20 minutes or so, or she could possibly scream for 3 hours. We just never knew. What we did know: Exhaustion. Now, if she wakes up, she crawls down from the top of the bunk bed and walks into my room and quietly says my name. Now, that is just peaceful. Sure, every now and then she will wake up screaming, but generally it's because her back or legs hurt. Atleast now she can tell us what's wrong and we can help her. I've found out how important sleep is-and how important it is to take care of yourself so you can take care of your child.

Saying goodbyes. Goodbyes were awful for Payton. Maybe it was transitioning from one thing to the next, I'm not really sure, but anytime we left someone's home or someone left our home she was just devastated. It nearly got to the point where it wasn't worth going to other people's homes, she just couldn't get over it. This has changed as well! Every now and then she may have a meltdown over it, but generally we can get in the car and leave......in peace! This also feels amazing. I would love to get in her mind and see what she thinks, but maybe in the past she didn't understand that just because we were leaving didn't mean she would 'never' see them again.

Our home feels different now. It doesn't feel like the stressful, cut the air with a knife type feeling. For so long it seemed like there was constant crying, emotions, raging fits, etc that we were just living, but barely breathing. Bob and I went thru something that we never dreamed we'd have to live thru and we know we are stronger because of it (even though I feel like my life span is probably cut short :) I know along the way there were family and friends who were hurt because they simply did not understand what we were going thru, but now I feel like we are starting a brand new life. I feel like we are entering a world we haven't even been living in for five years. We're not afraid to leave the house anymore - we're excited about doing it! We're excited to see how Payton reacts to people and things - because she can handle it now. This is seriously going to be the best Christmas yet for our family.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Payton meets Santa

Last night we went to a Christmas Parade so Payton could sit on Santa's lap and get a picture taken. She LOVES Santa.....and even on her birthday was a bit confused because she thought Santa brought her all of her birthday presents :) Before leaving, she gave him a big hug and then a few minutes later she said she'd forgotten to give him a kiss. Anything to get to go back to see the bearded man.

This weekend has kind of been a long week. I was under the impression when a child had tubes they would no longer get ear infections. Koen had been sleeping next to nil each night and he was such a fussy little man (so unusual for him), so I kept blaming it on teeth. Finally on Friday he kept grabbing his ear and just crying in pain. So, Bob and I took him to urgent care and sure enough it was an ear infection. Nice thing was, by the time we got to urgent care, tons of fluid was coming out of his ear, so I'm sure it felt good for Koen to have the pressure off. They went ahead and put him on an antibiotic to clear up his cough and congestion (and infection) but said the tubes were doing it's job, the fluid was draining. So, that was kind of good to know. And-it made me thankful that Payton hasn't had any ear infections since she's gotten her tubes.

Payton's been pretty emotional this week. Last night she was up about four hours screaming that her back hurt. I kind of struggle to understand why her body seems to ache so much. I suppose she could be using these aches to play us - just to be awake screaming. But, I'm guessing she'd rather be awake just hyper (which I can handle the hyperness much better than the screaming and crying). I don't know.....I've read that it's not unusual for individuals with ws to have joint pain and maybe that's what she is experiencing. I just had it in my head that it would come into play when she was much much older. I'm trying to remind myself daily (sometimes by the minute!) that generally the emotional episodes last about two weeks and then she'll get back to herself. Sometimes after these episodes I notice a huge developmental jump, which would be awesome!

This next week Payton and Koen are going to go to Bob's folks for an extra night/day of playing with grandparents, aunts, and cousins. Payton is ecstatic!!! I'm a little nervous. This is the first time Payton and Koen have stayed the night away from me out of town before. But, I know they will have a blast - and it's so good for them to be able to have the extra time with Bob's side of the family. We just don't get to see them very often-so the kids will eat this up. And, I'm proud of Payton because I really feel like she's able to handle it. She's really changing right before our eyes. Ofcourse Koen is too. He is talking, playing, and amazing me every day. For a while this week I wondered if he was just waking up because his brain was taking so much in during the day and he was waking up to practice all of his new words. He would sit there and just ramble thru words that he knew (most importantly choo-choo). It really is a neat thing to see.

If I don't post before Thanksgiving, I hope everyone has a wonderful time with family and friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Check Out Nancy's Post

Nancy always writes so beautifully. Thought you all may want to check out this post.
http://heartofafamily.blogspot.com/2008/11/lock-up-when-you-leave.html

Monday, November 10, 2008

Five years old!

You had the best day on Saturday, Payton. Almost daily for a month you've been asking about Chuck E Cheese's, knowing you would get to go there on your birthday. Finally the day came! Unfortunately your excitement began around 2am and finally we got you back to sleep around 6am - you skipped from room to room, raising your arm straight up in the air and every now and then you would yell "we did it!!". When I would tell you to be quiet because Koen is sleeping you would look at me and say "I CAN'T!" Funny thing is, I really don't think you could calm down! You couldn't contain your excitement. Ask anyone in your family, Payton, and they would all tell you this is their favorite thing about you. Your happiness starts in your toes and just explodes through your body - the whole room can feel it! Your smile goes from ear to ear and as soon as it appears, everyone in the room lights up.

You are such a blessing, Payton. I am so thankful for everything you've added to our lives. You work hard to do the smallest of things and it's so inspiring. Do you know how far you've come? Your grandma and I couldn't believe how well you did blowing out your candles on your birthday cake this year! Last year it took a while for you to blow them all out - and the drool was flying :) This year, you blew them out in two big breaths - we were so proud of you!! And - the party.....a year ago you would have been unable to handle such a big group of people. Not this year! You got right in there and danced with Chuck E Cheese. Your daddy and I fought back tears watching you have such a great time. We've waited a long time to see you so happy, Payton and it's been worth every second. We're so thankful for you, Payton. You made it! You're five years old!!!

Click here for the pics: Payton's slide show

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Celebrate!


Happy 5TH Birthday, Payton! We love you! (I'll put together a slide show soon!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Awe and improvement

I handed you a chicken nugget in the car yesterday, Koen, and I sat in amazement as you were able to chew it, swallow it, and eat it right up. 18 months and you are already doing that! Yes, you've done that for quite some time, but I'm still in awe that I can actually hand you a Happy Meal and turn around and drive without fear that you will choke and gag on it. Payton was past three years old before I felt comfortable turning my back on her with food. Who knew this came so naturally to kiddos! Do you know what else amazes me? You understand the things that I say!! I point, you follow my finger and immediately know what I'm talking about. I didn't have to teach you and work with you on how to learn this, it just came naturally! I am in awe. I told your grandmother that I seriously think you are Einstein :)

This weekend the kids had the stomach flu. Payton had it on Friday night and then Koen ended up with it on Sunday. Thankfully it seemed to be a light case and only lasted about 12 hours - if even that. YAY! Other than that, our weekend went really well. I've been trying to fight back all the emotions with Payton lately. Seriously, life could be so so so much worse. It is so tough to see your child struggle though. Payton's stuttering seems to be getting worse. We try not to finish her sentences and just wait for her to try and complete her thought, but it can sometimes take minutes for her to say what she's trying to say. Her speech therapist is supposed to be getting back with me on what they are doing to work on it. It doesn't seem to bother her at all that she can't complete her thought, but I struggle with it. And I'm not even sure I should venture in the area of her behavior. The post would be forever and a day. Payton truly does know what is right and wrong, she is just so darn impulsive! I left the room for two seconds the other day just to take laundry to the laundry room - not start the washer, just take the laundry in there. Ofcourse when I left the room I told her to be nice to Koen and I would be right back. I hurried thinking she may attack Koen, but instead I came back to find a lot of missing keys from my laptop - she had decided to take them off. How she did it so quickly, I have no idea. Then on to the prolapse. I know the prolapse bothers her - I think it constantly makes her feel like she needs to go to the bathroom. So, now when she goes to the bathroom she tries to pull the prolapse out herself or poop in her hand. Mix this with frequently wetting her pants (or forgetting to pull down her pants when she goes to use the potty) and I feel like I'm in a tornado. I have to remind myself that yes, she is nearly five, but developmentally she's more like three - so I should expect this behavior. It's just exhausting, I guess. I told my mom the other day that the gap is getting bigger and after seeing my niece (who is three) sliding past her, it's just hard. Probably the hardest part for Bob and I is Payton's behavior. We almost feel like we've failed because she truly cannot control herself.......

I don't want this to be a whole vent session - because I am hearing and seeing improvements with Payton. Her teacher said she heard Payton walk up to a group of other children the other day and ask if she could play with them. I thought that was fantastic! She has also been taking major interest in the piano lately. Oddly enough it used to kill her ears - now she seems to want to play on it nonstop - and sing along while she plays. I'm loving this! And, last night she was alseep by nine. Now THAT is a blessing!

This morning I took you and your friend, Tarin, to preschool, Payton. As we pulled out of the driveway you turned around and looked at Tarin and said "Let's say bad words!" and then you just giggled! My stomach immediately dropped and I thought 'oh my word, what are you going to say'. As I was getting ready to tell you no, you said "POOOOOOP" and you both just laughed your heads off. Giggling with your friends. It really can't get any better than that, Payton :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Parent Teacher Conference

I recently had Koen and Payton's pictures taken - Koen was turning 18 months and Payton is about to turn five, so I just took them both and had them done. Things have been going so well with Payton and I really wanted to capture this moment. As I know you all understand, it is very hard to look at past pictures - the feelings, exhaustion, heartache, etc all come back to the surface. Our family is now at the point where things are getting easier and I wanted to capture the moment, knowing I could look at these pictures and have good memories of it. We were just thrilled with the way they turned out. I told the photographer that my kids have completely different personalities and she managed to capture both - I love it :)

Today was Payton's parent teacher conference. It went okay - but she does have a major problem focusing (already knew that but it hurts hearing someone else say it). I saw some pictures of things she tried to draw - for instance they asked her to draw a picture of herself. It was just a scribbled line and that's hard to see, but atleast I know she's going thru the process of learning how to do it. I guess I should be thankful she is putting the pencil to paper and atleast trying to do what they are asking of her. Her teacher has read the ws book I gave her (which is amazing to me - I have such respect for her) and is working very hard with Payton. I really appreciate that because I know preschool will set up such a foundation for Payton - I'm glad this year she's been blessed with such a great teacher.









Monday, October 20, 2008

KC get together


We had such a great time on Sunday. For those of you who live on the east coast and get to see Noel's family when they go to CHOP, you are in for quite a treat. Abi is so full of hugs and I love you's - I really just can't get enough of her. The kids had such a great time at the gym. They open their doors one Sunday a month for special needs kids and it was so neat seeing all of the kids running around having a great time.

It had been a couple of years since I had seen Matan. I could not believe how much he had changed - he is such a doll! The last time I saw him, his hair was full of curls, just like Payton's, but now he's got the shorter hair and looks like such a little man!




Here's the group:

Once we got done at the gym, we went to Cabela's with Noel's family. Wouldn't you know as soon as we walked out of the gym, Payton climbed into Noel's van and made herself at home. So, she got to ride over to the store with them. I can only imagine how much fun they had in that van with Payton and Abi both. They had a great time looking at all the big fish (and turtles) in the fish tank - and then all the other huge animals. The day really couldn't have gone any better. I'm so thankful all of us can get together and live just a short distance from each other. It really helps out in the tough times.

Payton's sleep has still been really wacko (and nearly non-existent). Should I just assume this is part of ws? I'm guessing it is - but I just can't fathom how a four year old can thrive on such little sleep. We give her 3 mg of melatonin at night (and then if she's gone a long time without even acting sleepy, we give her some more), but I'm just suprised that she's not a bit sleepy after 3 mg. I haven't taken any melatonin, and I'm tired :)

******Please keep my Aunt Sue in your prayers. She recently had back surgery and has been in severe pain. She ended up getting shingles on top of trying to heal from the surgery so she has been put in the nursing home for about a month so she can heal (her husband is unable to take care of her because he has dementia). We're praying she can heal quickly and get some relief on the awful pain she's in.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Go To Sleep......

Time we gave Payton her Melatonin: 8:30PM
Time we gave Payton her second dose of Melatonin: 2:00AM
Time Payton FINALLY went to sleep: 2:30AM

Well, it's not unusual at all for Payton to get up for the day at 2:00am-3:00am.....but to not go to sleep until 2:30 in the morning, very very very unusual. And-I pray it stays that way!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

School Pic

I was really pleased with Payton's pic this year. Bob just looked at me when he saw it and said "Man, she's growing up". And, she is - which is a good thing! Every day it becomes more and more apparent to me how social she is becoming. For instance:
Yesterday we went to my niece's volleyball game and I had told Payton we were going that morning so she would halfway know her routine for the day. Her response: "Everybody say Hi to me?" She couldn't wait to go and see people and talk their legs off.
My sister had taken Payton thru the McDonald's drive-thru the other day and she was laughing saying she could not believe Payton. Evidently when they were getting their food, Payton had rolled down her window and basically was nearly kissing the poor person at the window....yelled "HI!!!!!" and "THANKS!!!!" right in her face. She's just a little chatter box. :)
Then lastly, my mom and I had stopped at the mall to get Payton some shoes after we had the kids picture taken. Had I been by myself I would not have gone to the mall because of what Payton seems to do when we go there. We carried Payton out kicking and screaming because she wanted to stay and work with the sales lady. OK.....what? It is unfortunately not unusual at all for her to throw a fit like that at places, but because she wants to stay and work? That had not yet happened. I couldn't believe it.......

This morning I took her to preschool and I think I am daily shocked at her inability to focus. At this point, I am again thankful that we have a diagnosis with Payton because I can't imagine how I would be feeling about everything - knowing that Payton was struggling and that something was just 'different'. But - I know why.....now it's just trying to work on it. It's tough, though. I feel bad telling her fifty times a day to "focus", but unless repeatedly reminded she just can't concentrate. I think I told her ten times before I left preschool to focus and put up her backpack, but every step she took, something sidetracked her (when I left to go to work she still hadn't put up her backpack). I'm sure before long she will start telling me to focus - I've noticed recently she's told me and our cat to "just relax" or "be patient". I was proud of her for saying those words and using them - I just wish she could put them into practice :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lumps, Bumps, and more

Last weekend we attended our first wedding together as a family. Sad, I know, considering that Payton is almost five years old. But - what's the point in taking her? All she's going to do is run like crazy and wander wander wander :) Because it was family we were there at the church for quite some time, then tried going to the reception. Let's just say by the end of the day I literally felt like I'd ran a marathon. I didn't say much about it afterwards because I think I was still in shock over how fast my child can take off without any one noticing. I really don't know how many times I felt like I had lost her and then finally came upon her. (At one point someone was vacuuming part of the church and I knew if I followed the sounds of the vacuum I would eventually find Payton in the same spot, fingers in her ear, watching ever so intently the gentleman vaccuuming). I guess I should be thankful for those noises - even though Payton doesn't like them she becomes quite obsessed with them and the sound of them usually leads me to my daughter :) I'm not really even going to mention much about the gentleman she walked in on as he was going to the bathroom. I'm sure that guy was just tickled pink over that :(

After the wedding, Payton cried most of the way home complaining of her legs hurting. After rubbing them I noticed she had two or three lumps in her leg. Because Payton still does not communicate to me the best, I thought I should go ahead and take her to the doctor. Bless her heart, she may tell me her legs hurt - but in all honesty, it could be her head hurting. They did an xray of her leg on Friday, and all is well. It is just a fatty tumor.

On to Koen, he is my child who always has a hug knot on his head. He took a major fall in the driveway (he was trying to go much faster than his little feet could keep up with) and crashed head first. He actually was pretty good about it - once he got his pacifier, he was good to go. I told Bob I was actually thankful when I saw these bumps and bruises on him because at this point, Payton wasn't even walking yet - so it's good to see these on him - it means he's being a regular old little boy!

Preschool is still going well. We haven't had an IEP meeting yet, but I'm still just sitting back and relaxing on it. I feel like all we've done with Payton is work, work, work. I want her to have fun - be a kid. It seems she's really trying to enjoy life (this medicine has truly worked wonders for her) and right now, I'm just trying to enjoy it. We can work after I can soak all of her joy in :)

This weekend: Williams Syndrome get together. Can't wait.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Stuttering

I know a lot of kids go thru a phase of stuttering and most of them stop almost as quickly as it started but I was suprised when Payton started doing this. I really think her mouth is trying to move faster than her brain (this happens to me!), so she will say "I-I-I-I-I-....." for about 30 seconds or a minute until she can complete her sentence. I didn't say anything to anyone about it at first cause I didn't know if she was actually stuttering or if I was the only one noticing it. Sure enough, my dad said something about it and then my sitter said something to me about it yesterday. She was worried about her because she talks so smoothly all the time and now all of a sudden she can't get a sentence out. However, it's not all the time. Just part of the time. I don't know if I need to talk to her speech therapist about this or if it's just a phase that will work itself out as time goes on. She doesn't seem frustrated at all about it and in my opinion, it's kind of cute :) (although I realize to others it may get kind of frustrating).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Here's to another first!

Last night I watched Payton walk down our stairs holding on to the handrail. She always scoots down on her bottom, has us carry her, or has to hold someone's hand. I couldn't believe it! I know it's all visual-spatial (we actually got tickled at her when we pushed her in the swing on the new swing set because a wood panel was sticking out wayyyyy above her head and she kept yelling that she didn't want to hit her head - it wasn't even close to her....another sign of the visual spatial deficiencies that affect most ws kiddos), but seeing her walk down the stairs by herself made me see that she will work thru the deficiency at her own pace - I know not all of them, but some of them.
After I watched her so delicately hit each step and slowly make it down the stairs and turn the corner, I ran down after her to go find Bob and tell him what she'd just done. YAY Payton :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Payton Goes to Preschool Book


Payton's teachers at school made her a book to help her learn about her routine at school and also so she can see pictures of herself having fun at school (so she won't obsess and worry about it at home). Payton LOVES this book. And, I do think it's going to help her. It's nice because it goes through each step of her day: Mrs. Miller tells Payton "Hello!", Payton puts her backpack away, Payton washes her hands, Payton finds out her important job of the day, They have playtime, etc. It's so nice - and it looks like it took quite a bit of time for them to do it.

Today was school picture day. By the time I had left her class, she'd already gotten in trouble three times because she wouldn't leave the teacher's camera alone. (I didn't realize she was carrying the teacher's camera until the aide told me....don't ask me how Payton got ahold of it - I still call her go-go gadget arms because she manages to reach everything). I'm hoping it's not a rough day for her because I know her well enough to know that she's going to obsess about that silly camera all day. The good thing about this is, maybe she'll get a good picture taken of her! Then, on Friday I take her and Koen for their 5yr/18 month pics. Hopefully they both cooperate :)

I just thought I'd show you the book the teachers worked on for Payton so if any of the younger kids struggle getting into the routine of preschool it may give an idea that will work for them.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Then and Now

Our weekend was great. We didn't do anything spectacular - which is always my idea of a good weekend :) I love being at home and just watching the kids play. It is obvious to me that Payton has adjusted to preschool and is doing much better emotional-wise. She still complains of her stomach hurting when we get there (or anytime she talks about it) but I do believe she generally enjoys being with all the other children. Because she has adjusted, it's easier for me to notice the changes in her since she has been on anxiety medication.
THEN: If we went somewhere (restaurant, ballgame, car, etc) and it was too loud, she would scream, kick, bite, etc. without giving any type of notice that noises were even bothering her.
NOW: She tells us it's too loud. She asks to leave or says "we get outta here". She doesn't scream or cry anymore. Sure, she may whimper and that's my que, but it's not nearly the fits she would previously throw.

THEN: Payton wouldn't obey - hardly ever.
NOW: She actually tries to listen and obey. Don't get me wrong, the impulsiveness is still there.....I get tickled at her because she knows when she is not supposed to do something and she'll say "but I have to". She's still impulsive but since the meltdowns aren't there, it's easier to handle.

THEN: Payton was more to herself, didn't really pay attention to anyone around her. I think she was completely focused on what was coming up next.
NOW: Payton acknowledges EVERYONE! My favorite question from her is "What's that?". She says this while pointing at someone. So, what she is really meaning is "Who's that?"....she just asks it in a different way :) Everyone gets a "Hi!" from her. There's actually been two times now that we've been in our driveway and older kids have rode their bicycles by and said "Hi Payton" and I had no idea who they were. She is obviously making herself known.

THEN: Payton couldn't sit thru church. She wouldn't even try covering her ears, she would just meltdown and we'd leave about five minutes into it.
NOW: Payton does well. She doesn't make it thru the whole service, but she puts her fingers in her ear when it gets loud. She even made it through the choir singing, which in the past has been awful for her. This past Sunday she yelled "GREAT JOB!" after they were finished. And, during prayer, I heard her singing the hymn we had just finished singing. Beautiful.

As you can see, she's doing quite well. I do believe she could talk 24/7 withouth pausing to take a breath. She has shown me that she will not know a stranger and will walk up to anyone and everyone and ask them what their name is. I'm loving her contagious happiness.
And, on to Koen. He's not my baby anymore(as you can see from his picture). He went to his 18 month appointment today. He weighed a big ole 23 lbs and is my happy little camper as usual. He's got such a wonderful personality and giggles just like the mouse "Gus" on Cinderella (the little chunky mouse). He's got about 8 teeth in now and just seeing his smile makes me melt. He's now starting to talk (saying cheese when it's time to smile for the camera, he says "shoe", etc) and most importantly he understands so much of what we say! I remember when Payton was three wondering when in the world she was going to start understanding what I was saying. I feel blessed to experience this with Koen. Don't get me wrong, Payton is a blessing. She has changed us for the better - but to see Koen doing things so quickly is like a miracle. I really do not know what I would do without my children.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A first!

Driving home in my car yesterday, I had a cd in that I hadn't listened to in quite some time. I'd picked the kids up, so the volume was down fairly low but you could still hear the music. When it got to the chorus, I all of a sudden heard this voice in the backseat singing along with the cd. She's never done this before! I almost started crying. Now, we all know how our kiddos have the scratchy, deep voices....so I'll admit it wasn't the most gorgeous singing like Gloria Lenhoff (ws) hehehhe, but it was beautiful. I know this doesn't seem like a big deal, but I always loved it when my nieces and nephews would start singing with the radio (Laney, who just turned three, loves singing all of the High School Musical songs and totally cracks me up when she does). So when I heard Payton sing "Nothing's gonna change my world" I couldn't believe it.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Social Bug

This past week I've realized what a social bug Payton is. She's always been talkative, but now she really goes full force. Yesterday she had an appointment with the ENT. On the way down, she continued to roll down her window, wave at passing cars and yell "HI!" at the top of her lungs. I loved it! We left a little early for the doctor's appointment because Payton was so excited to go (this still shocks me) because she couldn't wait to play with their toys and read their books (actually, I think she just wanted to go visit with everyone in the waiting room). As usual, we went to Braum's and got her some sherbert beforehand to waste some time so we wouldn't get to the office way too early. She was full of hi's and hello's and what's your name? to everyone - some people spoke back, some smiled, and some just kinda looked at her. I really do wish I had Payton's personality! As we were eating, a man came from outside and when he was about three tables away she started yelling "Swiper no swiping! Swiper no Swiping! Swiper NOOOOO Swiping!". Obviously we've watched way too much Dora. I'm sure the guy had no idea what she was saying or why in the world she was yelling at him but I was about to roll on the floor laughing.

Next it was off to the ENT. She worked the waiting room like she usually does - greeting everyone and finding out everyone's names and then they called us back. With the help of my hand and the nurse's she stood on the scale (very cautiously), we got her weight and off we went to the room. The nurse asked if she could take Payton's temperature in her ear and Payton said "SURE!", so that was a piece of cake. Payton asked what her name was and she said "Desiree". Payton responded with "Hi Desiree!" and the nurse just talked and talked with her. As the nurse was leaving Payton yelled "Bye Desiree!" and the nurse smiled and stuck her head back in the door and said "you know, she is one of our favorites". Ahh, even though they probably say that to all of their patient's moms it still made my heart melt.

When Dr. Walker walked in she couldn't believe how tall Payton had gotten. Payton immediately started asking Dr. Walker what she was doing, what she had and started trying to grab all of her equipment. Dr. Walker laughed and said "my, someone has gotten bolder!" She couldn't believe it was the same Payton she saw six months ago - how well she was talking, how much she'd grown, etc. Her tubes were still in (one ear she couldn't see for sure because of the blood and wax but she was pretty sure it was still in there). She's always called Payton the Queen of the Bloody Ears. I've always guessed it's because she loves to stick things in them (and in her nose!). But, her ears looked great :)

Once again on the way home she rolled her window down to wave and yell hi to everyone as we passed. I love seeing Payton this way - happy. And I think she even made some other people happy because they sure did smile when she waved as we passed.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Spa Time

Since Payton was born there's been someone I've forgotten......me. Just like every other mom in the world, I forget to take time for myself. Last month for my birthday, Bob got me and my mom a trip to the spa for a massage, facial, manicure and shampoo/style. Today was the day and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to drive home afterwards! I felt rejuvenated and ready to go. They told my mom she had years of knots in her back they needed to work out. hehehe. I thoroughly enjoyed the time with my mom. I actually wish my sisters could've gone with us. The last time all four of us got together was when I first found out I was pregnant with Payton. Looking at it now, it's kinda sad we don't make the time to do that more often. Life gets busy, kids are involved in activities, etc - it's just tough. But, it was more than nice to be able to spend time with my mom (usually it's spent taking Payton to the doctor or something and that was not the case this time!). Today did open my eyes to how taking care of myself really helps me take care of my family as well. Why do mom's feel guilty doing that???? (I always give myself a guilt trip!)

Payton's still doing fantastic. This evening we took her to a suprise birthday party for one of my friends. We usually are very 'choosy' on parties that we attend because we know what Payton does to people's homes (hehehehe). The party was at my friend's parents house and Bob and I are crazy about them. Payton did her usual 'find the games/boxes and empty them all out' and took every toy off the shelf down and pretty much destroyed the playroom while the other kids all played together. But - she had a ball and we just picked it all up before we left. She was full of "what's your name?" to everyone and could not wait to yell "SUPRISE" when she walked in the door. I love seeing her this way - she's happy and settled. I can handle the hyperactivity, the going nonstop with no direction, etc the hardest part for me is the anxiety and meltdowns and the past few days she seems to have settled in and is not experiencing it nearly as much. I was questioning whether the medication was working any longer, but now I realize it's still working she was just needing to adjust to going to preschool. She still tells me she doesn't like preschool, but she's sleeping better, so I feel better about it.

Koen.....he inspires me. He loved watching the 'big' kids play tonight and even tried to get in there and join them. He acted like he owned the place and wouldn't slow down enough to eat a single bite - I loved it! He really thinks he's a big boy and oddly enough he is capable of being worn down and goes to sleep quickly at night and requires sleep! (I don't know why I find this amazing, but after having Payton I really thought every child must not require much sleep) :) He still amazes me at every turn - I feel like I'm witnessing a miracle every second of the day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two weeks

Well, Payton's been in school about two weeks now and after last night, I would say she is beginning to adjust! She talked pretty much from the second I picked her up til close to midnight. From 9:00pm on she was in bed, but she was still talking. Finally I told her she could look at books and talk all she wanted, but I was going to go to sleep. I'm usually not comfortable doing that with her because I fear she will just take off and leave to wander around (or run in Koen's room and wake him up) but I was ready to crash. She must've talked herself to sleep because when I woke up in the middle of the night she was sound asleep.

I keep trying to ask her different questions to see if she's made any friends while at school but so far the only child's name she mentions is Tarin. Then, she ofcourse names her teachers as her friends. So when I was talking to her about it yesterday I said "So, the teachers are your friends too?" Her response....."No, their SNAKES!" I have no idea where that came from or why in the world she would call them snakes, but she did :)

I get tickled at Payton because she can give me bits of things that happened throughout the day, but I really have to try and put the pieces together to figure out what may have happened. I say 'may' have happened because a lot of times she just makes things up (for instance, last night she told me her daddy pushed her off of her bike......and I know that didn't happen :). I've also found that if I ask the same question ten times, but use different wording, I might finally end up with an answer. She told me that Shawna (her aide) told her "No!" and that it hurt her ears and she cried (cried like a baby is what she told me :). After about ten to fifteen minutes I finally came to the conclusion that she was coloring on the floor. NOT a suprise to me at all! I reminded her again that we are only supposed to write on the paper - but one reason we do not keep pens, crayons, etc anywhere within her reach is because even though she knows better she will still grab them and write on everything.....walls, furniture, floor, etc. I do wonder when she will start using these things appropriately. She works on using crayons and pencils (holding them correctly) but she really has no interest whatsoever in drawing. I also wonder about scissors - her hands still seem awkward when trying to use them. They work a lot with her on it in OT, but something that seems so easy really is difficult for her hands to figure out. She'll get it figured out though, I expect it to be quite a while before she does well with or can even use scissors.

The only 'not so happy' thing yesterday was we discovered Payton is prolapsing again. It's only been a year since they fixed it last time......and I'm guessing low muscle tone is really the cause of it all. For now, we're just going to do fiber fiber fiber and just kind of wait and see before we call the specialist. She's had a lot going on the past month or so, so maybe we can kind of take care of this on our own.

Anyways, just had to share my news that Payton is getting back to herself - sleep is not there yet, but she'll get there shortly I would say. Too bad school doesn't 'exhaust' her :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What's going on?

I'm finding myself in a strange sort of funk lately. I think my bubble has been burst. I naturally assumed that as Payton got older, things would get easier. She is able to communicate, she can go where she needs to go, etc. and we are past the days of nonstop crying. While we were in the phase of continual crying (or screaming), I really didn't think it could get any harder. And honestly, it's not that I would trade one for the other.......both hurts. But as Payton is getting older, it seems like it's getting tougher - I guess it's just a different kind of 'tough'.

She's been up since 3am. Generally telling me that her stomach hurts. "Take care of me", "Pray to God to make it all better", "I'm sick, I can't go to school", etc etc etc. I know it's anxiety and that this is generally what the future is going to hold.....atleast everything I read says it is. Payton just kind of seems stuck - she doesn't want to go anywhere....grandma's, church, school, Dawn's, etc. Thankfully, Noel reassured me that it is Payton's way of keeping her routine. If she's at home, she's almost in control of things. It's her normal routine. I knew these kiddos liked their routines, but I had no idea they were this rigid.

Yesterday I went and picked Payton up from preschool. I walked in the door and the students were all sitting on the floor listening to the teacher read a book. Well, all but one student. Payton. Payton was standing up, with her back to the teacher, spacing off to the wall and picking at her scabs from the blister bug. It's hard for me to see my daughter that way. I mean, I really envisioned her being the one listening intently to the story being told, but it's actually quite the opposite. I know as she gets older she'll tune in more, but for now, she really seems oblivious to everything around her.

On Sunday during the church service, Payton made it thru a lot of it. She covered her ears and was fidgety, biting her nails, and quite anxious, but she did it. We've never made it through the entire service with her, but I'm pleased to see her make it for about 30 minutes (even though she still talks quite loudly thru a lot of it :) Again, it was disheartening to see the blank stare on her face. During the 'greet' time, people would come up to shake her hand. She would shake their hand, but it was like she was looking right thru them. You look in her eyes and it seems there's nothing there. Ofcourse during the service, the preacher said something about how trials can make you bitter or better. And when you hear that, you do think to yourself - okay, how have we handled this. I don't feel bitter. I'm not angry about this, I'm sad. It's the kind of sadness that I wouldn't wish on anyone or want anyone else to feel. The depth of sadness that I wish I'd never known. Sadness that hurts so bad, sometimes I want to run as fast and as far as I can and just throw myself on the ground in tears.

I guess it's a feeling you can't really explain. I feel guilty for feeling it. Payton is Payton, why would I want to change that? I want to see that life in her. I want to see that 'light' in her eyes. Not the empty, gazed look. Part of struggling may be because of everything I see in Koen. Before him, I really had nothing to compare it to. But, Koen. Oh my goodness. Watching him run down the driveway is enough to bring Bob and I to tears. Maybe part of it is because I now see him and am beginning to mourn everything all over again. I don't really know. I guess it's a process - a long process.

This morning when I took Payton to school she did very well. Maybe she was groggy since she'd been up since 3am (haha). Tarin (she's three years old and basically takes care of Payton) met us at the door and she and Payton walked off holding hands to go put Payton's backpack in her cubby. Bob picked them up from preschool today....here's their pic. I hope there are a lot of "Tarin's" that cross Payton's path.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kangaroooooo

Yesterday was my niece's birthday, so she had a little party at Kangaroo Gym. We'd never been there before, but the kids had a great time. Koen totally cracked me up because there was one little jumping slide he was trying to get on and a little girl probably around his age kept pushing him back down. Being the easy going little guy Koen is he just let her push him and I ended up just taking him a different route. About five minutes later, we happened upon this same little girl and Koen ran up to her and smacked her across the face. I could not believe it! My sister and I both gasped and ofcourse apologized to the other little girl's mom and scolded Koen, but more than anything, I was thinking....watch out Payton because he's ready to fight back now! :)
Here's some pics of the kids

Payton and Carlee going down the slide:






You know, Payton couldn't do the things the other kids were doing (climbing up the slides by herself, etc -there were some she could, but not many)....but she had fun. As long as someone was holding her going down the slides, she did great! She really did have a fantastic time.....and did not want to leave :) Now, Koen, he LOVED going down the slides -preferrably by himself and most enjoyed going down on his stomach, backwards. Needless to say, I think we'll be making a trip back there soon.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Laney Gracie


This weekend is my niece's 3rd birthday - she was actually born on her parent's anniversary :) Laney was the first baby born in our family after we received Payton's diagnosis and I still feel guilty about how 'stand-offish' I was when she was born. Thankfully I'm blessed with a sister who is very caring and compassionate and holds no grudges at all. Payton and Laney are two peas in a pod.....I actually credit Laney for many of the things Payton does. Payton's picked up many of Laney's phrases, such as "what did you say?" with her face all squished up....and they pretty much follow each other around all over the place (and can also beat the fire out of each other if in the right mood!). I really can't tell you how thrilled I am that Payton has a cousin so close to her in age that lives close to us. It kind of gives me a 'security blanket' knowing that someone will be there at school to help Payton out if someone is giving her a hard time. I love you, Laney, and hope you have a great 3rd birthday!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Lovin the Teacher

Last night, Mrs. Miller called us to check on Payton. Wow- what a good impression that made! Neither of us expected that at all and we were totally shocked and thrilled. It's going to be a work in process, but needless to say she was just fine with going to preschool today since it was raining and they couldn't go outside :) The day seems a bit brighter when you know you've got a good team trying to make it go smoothly for her.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Whistle

I've heard so much about this darn whistle that I think my head is going to spin like the lady on the movie "The Exorcist". Geez! It was all just bad timing. They brought Payton back from therapy and took her outside about the exact same time Mrs. Miller was blowing the whistle for kids to come back inside. That was yesterday - so, really, there's not been a break from the whistle. Last night Bob and Payton ran into Mrs. Miller at Walmart. I ask Bob if Payton said anything to Mrs. Miller and he said "oh, yeah.......'where's your whistle?'" I just looked at him and laughed. In all seriousness I was not a bit suprised that she asked about it - it has been a topic of conversation at our house every second of every day at our house now. She's was up til 11:00pm worrying about it yesterday and has been up since 4:30am worrying about it this morning. I feel sorry for her because of her constant tummy aches and inability to sleep because of it, but I really don't know what more to say. So, this morning, off we go to school again. She's in the back seat telling me she doesn't want to go to school, she doesn't like it, her tummy hurts. Is it strange not to get emotional anymore? I feel like we've been doing the school thing since she's been diagnosed - okay, not really the school thing - but therapies. I almost feel numb anymore - and sad that something as small as a whistle has taken all the fun out of preschool for her.

Once we go inside her classroom, I ask Mrs. Miller if she is doing okay during the day. Mrs. Miller said "yes, actually, she's doing very well. we're not having any problems". I told her that was great, but I was just concerned because Payton is complaining of her tummy hurting a lot and that she doesn't want to come to school. She said it's going smooth at school and then up walks Payton to Mrs. Miller. She said "We go outside today?" and Mrs. Miller said "No, we can't today because it's raining". Well, knowing how Payton thinks, I knew she didn't ask that question because she wanted to go outside, she asked because she didn't want to hear the whistle (it's only blown when it's time to come in from playing outside). So, I left knowing that today Payton would not have to deal with the whistle.....althought still feeling like I hadn't gotten my point across that she is struggling with the whistle and can't quite get past it.

Three hours later, Bob goes to pick up Payton from preschool. The teacher explained to Bob that Payton was having trouble understanding why they couldn't go outside today because of the rain (basically Payton asked 10,000 times if they were going outside today). The assistant teacher happened to walk by as Mrs. Miller was telling Bob this (her name is Miss Christy and she taught Payton at the learning center when she went there) and she told Mrs. Miller "well, no, actually, she was concerned about the whistle and was just repeatedly asking about going outside because she didn't want to hear the whistle". SHE GOT IT!!! That's exactly right! So, there is hope. I know this little bump will be worked out, but it's hard seeing Payton so stressed out and obsessed over the whistle. Poor thing she's so stressed out for a little four year old :(

And the most amazing part of all - yes, she is mentally retarded....but in her own smart little way she knew if they didn't go outside, she would not have to hear that whistle. The only part I hate about it is that she couldn't take the first 'no, we can't go outside because it's raining' and be calm the rest of the day knowing they weren't going out. Instead, she was still anxious over it and had to repeatedly ask. Oh, Payton, how I pray your little insides can just be calm for a while and not get so anxious.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Home?

Well, we're officially in our new house. It ofcourse doesn't feel like home yet, but it won't take long. My poor daughter is having an awful time adjusting, but I know in a couple of weeks she should be doing just fine. Friday morning I had planned on having the morning to get some things packed and cleaned up (she would be at preschool), but she woke up with blisters on her arm and back. It honestly looked like she'd been burned but I told Bob I would've known if she'd got burned because she would've screamed in pain and never did. Turns out, she'd been bitten by a blister bug. I've heard of these bugs before, but had no idea they really do cause blisters! We didn't have to take her to the doctor or anything (although she was requesting to go) but they really have annoyed her and basically set her off from the moment she woke up. So, Friday was an exhausting day for her and I. (Actually it was at the point I was questioning whether I was going to make it through the day :)

Saturday we couldn't have asked for the move to go any smoother. We had everything loaded in the trailers and trucks by 8:30am and my sisters and I worked on cleaning. I think by 2pm both parties had gotten moved into each other's homes and we were set. I had my mom bring Payton in around noon or so, but within a couple of hours she was already WAY overstimulated, so Bob just took her up to our room and spent some one-on-one quiet time with her until she was able to calm down. It helped, but she really has been emotional all weekend.

Koen seems to be enjoying the new house, digging everything out of cabinets and inspecting everything - like I would expect him to :) He's just gotta make sure he knows where everything is! I already feel like a big load is lifted off my shoulders. The house is smaller, the yard is smaller, no pool to clean, etc. I just feel 'lighter'. It's funny how you look at things......I needed things to be more simple because I have a daughter who requires so much of our time (and strength). I'd give up everything I own to see my daughter not have to walk this road. I really do hate what williams syndrome does to their bodies. I've listened to my daughter complain of nonstop tummy aches (it's nerves), wake up in the night shaking with her fingers in her ears because she's dreaming of a noise that's not even occurring at the time, and then this weekend I watched her run up to a car that had stopped to welcome us to the neighborhood and she tried to get in the driver's side door and the passenger side door. Ugh, teaching stranger anxiety is tough. I took Payton to preschool this morning after her long weekend away from it. She was still talking about the whistle, saying her tummy hurt, and she wanted to go home. Isn't it funny, I really think part of us thought when we moved to a new house things would be different (okay, not really, but we can dream, right?). I really really really just want her to be happy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tears (and Cheers)

Before I post, I wanted to let you all know that Louie's mom has a great post on her blog. Check it out here.

As you all know, preschool started Monday for Payton. She always loves being around other children and I think she really does enjoy it. With that being said, our evenings this week have been tough. Payton was reverting back to her outbursts, tantrums, wetting her pants, etc but Bob and I thought it may just be because of everything going on (the fair, preschool, getting ready to move). She's definitely had some bumps in her routine so this is how she's dealing with it. Last night (as she did the other two evenings) she was constantly telling me her stomach hurt, was telling me she didn't want to go to school, and wouldn't sleep. It's tough because she still is not the best communicator, but I really was trying to get out of her why she didn't want to go to school. Finally she said something about a whistle, put her hand to hear mouth and made a 'whistle' noise. I couldn't believe we narrowed it down from 'noises' (like she first told me) all the way down to a whistle! I told her we'd go in a bit early this morning and talk to Mrs. Miller about the whistle.

This morning on the way in I asked Payton what she was going to talk to Mrs. Miller about. She ofcourse said "the whistle". I wasn't suprised she remembered because my lands the child talked about it all night long :) When we got there Mrs. Miller said "Good Morning, Payton!" and gave her a hug (like she does with all the children) and then Payton said "talk about the whistle". Mrs. Miller held out her arm and sure enough she had a whistle on a bracelet on her arm. Mrs. Miller said "yes, I use the whistle outside when it's time to come in for snacks". Payton just kind of looked at her, so I tried to finish it up there. It was chaotic and I felt like I didn't have time to really get my point across, but Mrs. Miller told Payton she would stand far away from her when she blew it. Payton was her usual self and smiled huge and said "OKAY!". I wasn't comfortable with the answer, feeling that even though she was far away, Payton would still focus on it all night. I, myself, was still nervous about it and then as I left the intercom went off paging for one of the teachers. I didn't dare turn around and look at Payton's face when it went off because I knew I would be brought to tears. In my mind, I can picture her hands going to her ears and the frightened look on her face.

Once I got to work I decided I'd give her aid a call. She was ofcourse very nice about it and then Mrs. Miller wanted to talk with me. I explained to Mrs. Miller that I didn't have a chance earlier to explain that Payton is making herself sick over the whistle - up late at night, up by 4am worried about it, and basically venting it out on us at home - and that I was concerned that blowing it when she's far away from Payton is probably not going to be enough. She said she always tells Payton before she blows it to give her advance notice that it's coming and the day before Payton told her not to do it. She said she explained to Payton that she had to blow it because it was time for everyone to come in for snacks. Payton ofcourse said "OKAY!" and went along with it because that's her nature. In a strange way she is a people pleaser and really does WANT to do what the other children are doing. The teacher asked if I was aware of anything else bothering her and I told her Payton just kept saying "noises" and then finally said "whistle" so I think the whistle is it. Thankfully, she said they wanted to do whatever would make Payton comfortable and help her want to come to school. Thank you God for a teacher that cares.

So, this morning my heart is aching because we're just a few days in school and already noises are getting to her. She'll ofcourse adjust to many of them, but I hate it because I still don't think people realize how bad it hurts her. How do you explain to people that you might as well just slap her across the face because it hurts that bad to her (actually probably even worse than that)? The mother in me ofcourse wants to protect her and it brings me to tears just thinking about it. But yet I'm also cheering her on because she communicated to me what was bothering her (that's huge)!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Family!

I just added a new little girl to my blog roll. Her name is Brynlee - check our her site! So happy we can keep up with another family :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Not a baby anymore

He's not my little baby anymore. I can't believe how well he fills out his carseat. How time flies! He is now a whopping 24lbs - quickly approaching his sister - and before long will be able to get her back for all the times she beat up on him :) Actually, it's really neat because Payton will try to get him to go with her wherever she goes, "Come on Bubby, let's go!" It's music to my ears.

I think Payton had a good day at school yesterday. It was her first day and she was definitely still taking it all in last night. She just kinda spaced off....wet her pants on the way home, sat in the high chair (for some reason it really relaxes her to either sit in her car seat or sit in the high chair), wet her pants again and then seemed to snap out of it around 8pm and get back to herself. It was just all new to her and she was really processing it I think. When I took her this morning she was ready to go and excited to see her teacher. She really enjoys being around all of the kids.

Payton and Koen both seem to be feeling better from the bug they caught (Payton only had it for two days, so that was good). So far Bob and I have avoided it somehow. Next on the list: moving this weekend. I'm so glad it's a three day weekend!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sense of Special


I am still seeing a profound difference in Payton. It's actually unbelievable to me. She still gets nervous and anxious (she got up at 4am today - first day of school....took two baths and continually said her tummy hurt) BUT her way of handling it is different. I guess I should say she is able to cope. Instead of screaming at the top of her lungs nonstop and having very low 'lows' she is actually coping with situations. Even her 'routines' of things are changing. For instance, before going to bed at night certain doors in our house had to be shut - she wouldn't go to sleep until these certain doors were closed. It sounds minor, but some things had to be 'just so' or we were going to be looking at a good one hour fit. Our lives have changed and I'm thankful for that for our family and most importantly for Payton.

This past week was our town's fair. Koen had ran a fever for about a week, so we kept him home and took turns taking Payton. Again, she was a different child. Everyone she saw that spoke to her got a hug....and sometimes even an "I love you" or a kiss on the cheek. There were noises that bothered her, but she covered her ears, gave a startled expression but was able to cope. She loved the kiddie rides, but her favorites were the big kid rides :) My sister and I had taken our two girls together and we agreed that keeping up with Payton is exhausting. I'm amazed how she just walks off with no purpose in mind. She has no idea where she's going, really has no place in mind she wants to go, she just wants to wander - and has fun doing it! The most frightening was when we were on the ferris wheel (it's the kind that seats four and you face each other). We're sitting at the top and Payton decides she's ready to go - she gets up and just tries to walk out - absolutely oblivious to the fact that she's going to fall a long way. Thankfully Sara grabbed her - but we both feel ill anytime we think about it. She is just kind of in her own world doing her own thing :)

The only thing difficult with the fair is I'm realizing that now that Payton is older, people are going to start giving her the 'look'. You know, as your child is a toddler, the things they do are seen as cute, but as they get older it's not so 'cute' anymore. Payton loves riding the little cars that go around and around - and I really think she believes she is driving them. She smiles from ear to ear and gets really dramatic about it; screaming "THIS IS FUN!!!" Other parents were looking at her strangely, giving her an almost "oh my gosh" look and it's hard to start seeing it. I know this is just part of it, but I don't find myself ready for it. Although the first five years of her live have been extremely difficult, I find myself wishing she could stay young forever. However, one little person at the fair must've sensed Payton was special. Payton wasn't too sure about him, but he gave her a big ole hug:

Anyways, I'm so proud of Payton and how she's doing. Here's some pics of her at the fair: