Sunday, December 11, 2016

Felt Christmas Tree and Making Strides

December 3- Char relapsed. He's super sick, again. 
December 5- Today we drove down to Riverton to have Rory's hearing double checked (per the first audiologist). It was a 3 1/2 hour drive back and forth. Since this was Primary Children's it was a lot more kid friendly. 

Rory had to sit still for the first test, which checked that his eardrums are functioning (they're perfect). The second verified that his nerves were working properly (again we got the all clear). 

The last test we had to sit in a booth with speakers on opposite sides of the room. Then different tones and sounds came out of the speakers, which he would turn his head to the side which produced sound. As a reward the speaker would light up with a little toy spinning around. He loved that bit. Again, he passed with flying colors.

So it's official, he's hearing is perfect and not the source of his issues. Not surprising but reassuring to know it's pure autism and not autism with hearing impairment. 
We started a new tradition this year, it's our felt Christmas Tree. Now the babies can play with the Christmas Tree to their hearts content. Rory can move the ornaments around all he wants, no harm done. Just try to keep him away from the lights of a normal tree. We discovered that his rule of "nothing can be on a flat surface" extends to trees. It was a disaster trying to keep him away from the ornaments. 

December 6-Each of the kids has their own special song that I sing to just them, frequently before bed. 

Heidi Anne's song is "You are My Sunshine", she always lights up a room with her smile. She tries to make new friends and be nice to people. She was also our Rainbow Baby, and we thought we'd never have another child. Her nickname for years was Sunshine.   

Anastasia's song is "This is My Fight Song", perfect for a NICU baby where everyday was a battle to survive. I loved the lyrics, they just fit her so well. There was a Piano Guys version which had bagpipers playing Amazing Grace in the background. It would make me full on cry, because that's my tiny baby, a little fighter, and most importantly, a survivor.

Rory's song is "Carry on My Wayward Son", It just seemed fitting since we named him after the Rowan tree which according to legend would guide weary travelers on their journey. But now with his autism it has more meaning when you read through the lyrics with autism in mind. Especially since wayward can mean-hard to control or predict due to unusual behavior.    

December 7- It's the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  I had a great uncle that survived the attack on USS Arizona. He sadly passed away just before I was born. I think I would have liked him. In case you didn't already know, I love WWII history / stories. It could be about; the home front, the European or Pacific theaters, life behind the axis lines, ect. Pretty much anything regarding WWII fascinates me. Wow, that was a tangent. 

Well, Anastasia is making great progress with her physical therapy. She's starting to do some of the neck stretches all by herself, as long as you give her a reason to look in that particular direction. She's getting better at rolling around, it seems like she thinks "Why crawl, when I can roll around to where I need to go?" 

We had a goal of getting her to sit up by herself at Christmas, but she doesn't have the core strength just yet. Here's to hoping and working more with her on her daily physically therapy. (As of today I have 18 days left before Christmas, who knows?)
Rory had a huge breakthrough with his language therapy. Today he got off my lap and interacted a little with Ms. L (the therapist)! She's been coming once a week for 3 months and this was the first time he got off my lap to play the game she laid out for him to play with. She had an empty wipe container and little cards. The game is played by Rory, who opens the container lid, put a card in the wipe opening, and closing the lid. Now repeat for as long as he wants to play. 

He even made a few babble sounds. This is the first time he's babbled for her. Rory normally won't make a sound or do his mouth closed, muffled talking. But he actually opened his mouth and made sounds for her.  

December 10- It's been a slow latter part of the week. Filled with keeping a close eye on Rory and Anastasia while Char is still trying to get better. Anastasia is rolling all over the place, (which is technically a form of crawling). You have to watch her closely because she will get under the rocking chairs, find wires then tugs at them, and finally everything goes into her mouth. 

Anastasia got weighed on Friday. She's now 14 pounds, 11 ounces. The nurse said babies tend to stop growing so rapidly around 9 months old, she's now 10 months old. I can hardly believe she's almost the same age Rory was when I had her! Time does go by quickly! 

Rory's been obsessed with some boxes and wrapping paper. He loves to walk on the paper, making crinkle sounds while grinning happily. Anastasia likes to roll over to where Rory is playing and tare pieces off. (She's practicing for Christmas morning). Rory keeps trying to protect "his" box from Anastasia, even though I found another identical box for him to play with. Nope, he wants box 1 and only box 1. I don't know how he can tell the difference but he does. It's been more entertaining then it might sound.