Today is not my tomorrow

My minion alarm went off this morning at 4:53am.  It was too early, and he is too loud.  After a quick shower, I rallied a smile for my little men, and started the day.

While sitting with my coffee in the dark, my mind was already on all that I had to accomplish.  Making mental notes, talking to myself, and moving from thought to thought.  It seemed like as soon as it began, I was already longing for the day to be over, and for some rest.

I am over committed, and exhausted.  I apologize often.  I have 4303 emails in my gmail inbox.  That is with filters ON that file away things like coupons, recipes and purchase receipts.  My to do list ALWAYS includes going through my email to make sure that something did not slip in that requires attention.  I cannot ever seem to get past the daily fires to get to most things on my list.  I actually confess to people often, that if they need to reach me, they will need to hunt me down.  I give people permission to stalk me.  How sad.

The last year and a half has been a blur.  I am grateful for the fuzzy memories, as I know in the deepest parts of my soul that this season has not been filled with my most shining moments.  I was not the best mom, wife, employee or friend.  I was just surviving in each role.  I humbly AM still just surviving in each role.

At the beginning of the year, we were consumed by worry about Trevor’s developmental progress.  Both language and motor delays had us running from assessment to assessment, and doctor to doctor.  The Google machine on my computer was also working overtime.  The choices, the appointments, the home therapy meetings, and the hours spent in the waiting room chasing Lucas are finally starting to wind down.

It is hard to truly know what made the most impact on his development, but this swamp is slowly drying.  Was it the group speech classes, the individual speech therapy, the holistic therapies, the elimination of chemicals in our home and food?  In all honestly, I do not care.  None of the things we did  caused additional harm.  I am over the obsessing.

As a mom that is prone to worry, it is hard to see light.  It feels so lonely to carry the burdens of the minutia of running a home and little lives.  Couple the worry with lack of sleep, and it really does feel like whatever milestone you are trying to reach will.never.come.

Raising littles is a series of groundhog days.  While it appears that each day is the same, and I will never emerge from the weeds, I have to believe that new days come.  In the moment of crisis (or perceived crisis), the situation seems so very permanent.  I remember thinking my kid will never sleep through the night, will never walk, will never talk.   Logic gets lost.  Time S L O W S.

I need to really believe that it is all just a series of seasons, and remember that each new day brings hope of milestones met.  I need faith to believe that today is not my tomorrow.  After all, we are overdue to begin potty training and at some point we will have to move Trevor from a crib to a toddler bed.  Just pray.

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He talks!

In the last few weeks, Trevor has begun putting two and three words together.  He consistently tries to say new words, and really seems pleased to be able to communicate.  It is so very cute to witness.

It all started with his first official two word utterance, “Big toot.”  Let this be just a small window into the life of a mom with three boys.  (Of note, I always count Dave as one of my three sons.)  T wakes up in the morning and from nap time jabbering away in his bed.  He describes things in his room or just plays, “Trevor ‘wake!” on repeat until we come to rescue him.  At night before bed, he lets us know his plans for the morning.  “Cars a morning,” “Books a morning,” “Train a morning.”  Ca-ute!!!!

Two weeks ago we began individual speech therapy.  This explosion of words may have just been coincidental, but progress is progress.  Dave and I knew we he would get there, and that one day it would just click.  The waiting though…not fun at all.

Our new challenge with him is getting him to eat enough.  He has always been our tactile sensitive boy, which means meal time is a chore.  Anything crunchy, is his favorite, but how many non-fried things are crunchy?  We give him waffles in the morning that are a bit on the over-done side, toasted pb and honey at lunch time, and uh….crackers, rice cakes and chips (found some that are just OK) for snack.  If you are wondering what else this kid eats….right.

We are able to squeeze in some rice and beans every now and again, the occasional banana and avocado, and he still LOVES his green juice.  Honestly, not sure we would get any veggies into his belly without that juice.  Also started giving him some mango flavored omgea smoothie supplements.  He actually asks for more when the spoonful is gone.  Thank the Lord for some semblance of nutrients.

I am learning that some seasons are longer than others, and patience and prayer need to be my focus.  Next week, he may be eating us out of house and home, so I will ride this wave in stride.

Being present

Last week Dave and I finished a 13 week course called “It takes two to talk”.  The course is for parents of kids with speech delays, and it is designed to give you skills to help encourage language development at home.  There were five other couples going through the course with us.

The very first week of the course, we discussed how to “OWL”.  It emphasized the importance of Observing, Waiting and Listening.  The premise is that we need to give kids a chance to initiate language.  We need to WAIT on them to communicate, and take the time to really understand what they are trying to say.  Sometimes, this means playing in silence until they have something to communicate, while still giving them cues to take their turn.  It was such a departure from what I knew.  I thought you were supposed to fill the void with words and descriptions, and sounds.    Of every lesson we learned…the very first is still my biggest challenge.  The other topics were equally valuable, but weaved throughout every single class….the speech therapist would remind us be OWLing at home.

On the 10th of May, we went for a six month follow-up appointment with the developmental clinic that originally referred Trevor to speech therapy back in December.  It was a LONG appointment with tests, and questions, and other gross and fine motor type activities.  During the appointment, while I was encouraged with much of Trevor’s progress in his gross motor skills, there was a noticeable delay or lack of response to many receptive language exercises.  Also, he is still not joining two words together consistently.  I left the appointment feeling pretty mixed.  It had been officially six months since we began all of the appointments and meetings, and I had hoped we would be farther along.

Just a few days  later on the 14th, we finished up our “It takes two to talk” class.  Dave hung with the boys while I attended solo.  Good thing he did, since I was a hot mess.  Because it was the last night, we spent some time watching videos of the kids, and parents shared about successes we’ve had as a result of what we had learned throughout the course.  It was really hard for me to hear about the strides everyone else was making, while it appeared that we were not much farther than when we started.  This, combined with the assessment a few days prior, was crushing.  I stayed a bit after class with the teacher, expressing my concerns through tears.  She was very gracious, and helped me understand that the going can be quite slow, but we WERE making progress.  She pointed out that Trevor is saying over 200 words now, and was only saying about 80 when we started the class.  Even though he is still not joining words (which typically starts when a child reaches 50 words), she thinks that he has come far.  I left there feeling better, but I still cried all the way home because she again reminded me to OWL every chance I get.

My dilemma…  I am SO VERY distracted.  My co-worker once said that her husband wins arguments by throwing balled up foil in her line of sight.  That is ME!!!!  I was ADD before it was diagnosed.  With work, and home stuff, and cooking, and my sweet Lucas doing things like this….

Lucas

…I do not give Trevor the time he needs.  I am not fully present even when I am physically with him.  My phone buzzes, or the timer goes off, or someone just drives by on our street (for.the.love) and my OWLing is over.  He gets a partial presence at best most days.

It would be easy for me to say this is how I have always been, or give some other excuse about not having enough time in the day, etc.  Life leaves me little time to just observe, and WAIT for him to point out what he sees, or what he wants to say.

But I need to remind myself that it is not about me.  It was never about me.

I can see that Trevor wants SO very much to speak to everyone.  He looks right at you, and you can see him try to find the words.  Often, I end up asking him to show me what he is trying to communicate to reduce his frustration.  Sometimes, the struggle is really hard to watch.

My “Operation Presence” plan is not formed yet, but maybe I do not need a plan.  (Wait…does Pinterest have such things?!?)  I digress.

Maybe that is the issue.  All of my planning is leaving me with little unplanned time to get on the floor and play.  To walk aimlessly at the park with his favorite truck (aka cruck) while daddy plays with the teeny guy.  With no agenda.

Tiny

I know he is making small strides.  And I LOVE to witness the joy on his face when he repeats a new word, or when he does utter the rare two word phrase.  The little victories are encouraging.

Until I invent a device that allows me more than 24 hours in a day, our future might look a little like: less time in front of the TV, less faces in cell phone screens, less comparing to other kids.  I see more one on one dates, more legos, more train chugging, more previously cooked meals pulled out of the freezer, and more PRAYER!  For those others out there that pray, send a few our direction.  We need unity, endurance, patience, and most of all, we need to not allow discouragement to creep in.

Thanks for loving us.

~S