Monday, June 29, 2009

Life is Beautiful

Bob and I just finished up possibly the best week of our lives with Payton. The huge meltdowns were few and far between and they only thing we were really dealing with were the repeated episodes of wetting her pants. Even the destruction of my house was kept to a minimum :) I attribute most of this to us being able to be outside nearly every hour of the day playing in the swimming pool. I don't know if I could even put into words how stress-free I felt last week. It felt pretty darn amazing!
After attending my niece's 1 year old birthday party on Saturday, Payton and Koen went home with Bob's mom and dad. They were in much need of some one-on-one time with their grandparents because they just don't get to see them that often. They stayed two nights (we get to pick them up this evening, and the hours cannot go by fast enough for us!). This is the longest they've been away from Bob and I and it's been pretty darn tough. Plus, we honestly have no idea what to do with ourselves! We were able to go out to decorate Kayden's grave in some peace and quiet, which was nice. It doesn't seem like it's been five years ago.....time doesn't even take away the feelings you felt. Going to the grave site always brings the feelings straight back. However, I take much comfort in the fact he is safe in the arms of Jesus.
Saturday after the birthday party, Bob and I went to see the movie My Sister's Keeper. I'd seen an interview with Cameron Diaz and thought it was definitely a movie we needed to watch. Wow-it was a great movie. Some of it was a little to close to home and heart breaking to watch, but still a fantastic movie. In the interview, Cameron Diaz was explaining how this movie is about any family that has a sick child - whether it be a child with cancer, autism, syndrome, etc-it shows how it affects the family. Bob and I both felt like they did a really good job with this movie. The father in the movie stated it best:

"Having a child who is sick is a full time occupation. Sure, we still
enjoy the every day happinesses of family life. Big house, great kids.
But, beneath the exterior there are cracks, resentments, that
threaten the very foundation of our lives.
Somehow, the very things that tore us apart would bring us
together in ways we would have never imagine."

I won't go into anymore detail on the movie because I don't want to give any of it away. But, it really is an amazing, touching movie. Just take a box of kleenexes :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Potty training

Welp, Payton's been potty trained (thru the day) for quite some time now. However for the past three weeks she's had accidents daily. I am AMAZED how often this little peanut has to go to the bathroom. Every fifteen minutes sometimes. Have any of your doctors explained why they have problems with this? Just small bladders?
I'm also wondering if it's just the transition from preschool to no preschool....and she's just not transitioning well. Hmmmmm........

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Koen's first haircut

Koen got his first hair cut this past week. He is losing his baby look and is starting to look like a little boy. I can't believe it! I need to post a video so you all can see his personality. He is the funniest, easy going little man. And-since his second set of tubes, he is really starting to talk more. The other night he ran up to me and said "BIG HUG!" (ofcourse, it was in his deep 'manly' voice) and he wrapped his arms as tight as possible around me and gave me the biggest hug. I've been blessed with two really affectionate kids. I know Koen will probably grow out of that (and be embarassed to be around me!) but I imagine Payton will be affectionate forever :)

The kids have really enjoyed their summer so far. Most of it is spent in the back yard in the baby pool. We put a little tikes slide in the pool and the kids have a blast sliding down into the water. I've been tempted to put Koen in swimming lessons because he really likes the water, but I think I will wait until next year. Payton has only had one lesson (they were cancelled yesterday for the weather) but we have another one tomorrow and I feel really good about them. Being one on one really changed how she handled them.

Bob took Koen to the ENT yesterday to have his ears checked and they look great. He took Payton along because the doc and nurse really enjoy her company....they were thrilled Payton came along with Koen and she got to leave with stickers and suckers as well. That is one doctor that Payton is not afraid of. And, ofcourse, Koen is not afraid of that doc either. Payton's BP also seems to be staying steady right now at about 105/65 so we are more than pleased. Right now, we are really just enjoying our time at home and watching the kids play.

Please keep the Calvert family in your prayers. They lost their 3 year old daughter, Ruby, who had williams syndrome, last week. I can't even put myself in a position to imagine what she is going thru. My heart is aching for their family.

Monday, June 22, 2009

You make my heart so very happy!

-said by Payton Littlejohn, right before bed. Perfect ending to a fantastic day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Somebody pinch me!

Payton had swimming lessons last night and she did fantastic! We decided to try private swimming lessons this year and it was perfect for Payton. The young lady who taught Payton had also taught another little boy with down syndrome, so I thought she would be a good fit. She was so patient and Payton loved every minute of it! After the experience last year - I am thrilled. It's amazing what one year can do :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Kind of Blah

I don't know what is wrong with me, but I have been in a funk lately. I have been trying to 'go' a bit more with Payton. For instance, last week I decided I would take the kids to walmart with me. Bob had some much needed yard work to get done and I thought it would give him the opportunity to get it done without little hands trying to help. I still can't figure out why I can not take my child to walmart. I was humiliated - and still when I think about it I get really sick to my stomach. Note to self: Avoid the vaccuum cleaner aisle when with Payton at walmart. We were in the vaccuum aisle for over 20 minutes and when it was time to go - woah. I had a cart full of stuff and she screamed at the top of her lungs for a good ten minutes while I endured the awful glances of the other shoppers. Everytime I placed an item on the table to be checked out she would scream "NO! That's mine!" I still can't believe how ridiculous it was. That's when I feel I need a sign for she and I both to wear on our backs. Just be patient, she's special. Sadly, she and I both walked to the car in tears. (Koen didn't though - yeah!)

This past weekend we went to see Dora Live! Payton loved it - she watched it the entire time with her fingers in her ears (it was noisy!) but she LOVED every second of it. Intermission was tough on her - she cried/screamed thru the whole thing because she thought Dora had left for good. After that, I was concerned about the end of the show, but she did okay with the fact that Dora was off the stage and gone. Leaving the theater was a whole other story. Now that Payton's five and a half years old, it's tough dragging her out of places. She is one strong little girl and even at the zoo it's embarassing to try and carry (or drag) a thirty pound, long legged little girl out.

I feel numb and quite emotional at times. I love Payton so much and she literally brings such happiness and joy to our family but I am so ready for her to show some type of change in the area of meltdown and temper tantrums. I wish so badly she could handle change. Someone with older kiddos chime in she ever going to realize this behavior is completely inappropriate? Or does she already understand it but just can not control the behavior. She has us stumped....and again, flabbergasted because it is so obvious Koen 'gets it' when he is in trouble. I really want to be able to take her places and not be scared of how she's going to react.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Payton will answer questions logically.

When I opened the letter from the special education cooperative, this is the first goal I saw. She hasn't achieved this goal, but is still working towards it. I don't know why, it's not a sentence I haven't seen before, but this time it kicked me in the gut. I imagine it's because I had such an incredibly rough weekend with her and seeing that sentence on Saturday evening made me realize the reason the weekend had been so tough is because she lacks in reasoning and logic.

Routine is still very important for Payton. Thursday evening, Bob picked Payton up from Dawn's instead of me. Generally it's me that picks her up and she was 'off' all night long. I couldn't figure it out, but as I was putting her to bed she informed me she was not happy with me. When I asked her why she said "you not pick me up". Then, the whole messed up - full of meltdowns - night made sense. I always find it so strange that it really throws her off when one little thing is different, but when something changes for her, it really messes up her clock or something. I guess it's the anxiety coming out. This is where reasoning and logic comes in. Forget trying to explain something to her - things just don't make sense for her. I'm sure in time it will come to her but it's hard talking to someone who is in a five year old body and see that she can't 'get it'. And it's really strange because if I say the same thing to Koen, he does get it.

The conversation can simply go like this:

Payton: I want to go outside.
Koen: outside!
Mommy: OK, before we go outside, we have to put our shoes on.
Payton: screaming and crying
Koen: OK (and we put his shoes on)
Payton: I want to go outside!!!!!! (screaming)
Mommy: Ok, Payton, but we have to put your shoes on. Look at bubby, he put his shoes on. Now let's put your shoes on.
Payton: Screaming and crying, sometimes laying in the floor, sometimes attacking me. This can go on for atleast 30 minutes and my 2 year old typically waits patiently until we go outside.

Something as simple as putting shoes on - my 2 year old gets it, Payton doesn't.

To make things even better, Bob left on Friday to go and spend some time with his brothers. He came back Saturday evening (and in my opinion, his arrival could not come soon enough). Preceding his arrival, Payton had given me about 2 hours full of just plain screaming. It was becoming very obvious that her ability to cope with things being different was reaching an end and I was about ready to pull my hair out. It's sad because it is always good for us to get away but we always feel guilty leaving the other spouse behind because we know what they're trying to deal with. I know Bob had a good time, but I also know his thoughts are always at home and wondering if everything is going okay. I hate that for him, but again, am hopeful that as time goes on, payton will do better with this. I know it's so hard for people to understand, but this is why we generally stay home in our protected bubble and choose not to deal with the meltdowns. Things are hard enough as it is, but to try and do the 'extras' can easily ruin our week or weekend. And, it really just isn't fair to Payton because she just can't settle herself down for some reason.

Tomorrow Koen gets his tubes put back in. We are so excited to get this done. I know it's not a cure all, but he'll feel better and not get so many infections, so it'll be nice. I get to spend the day with him tomorrow and get some one on one time, so I'm excited for that as well. He is such a little cuddle bug :)