Monday, March 30, 2015

Zillupdate: Annual Review

Last week we had our annual with Early Childhood Intervention Services.  It has been such a joy working with these individuals the past year!  We went through a few changes; with ECI switching companies, going from one OT to a new one and back to the original, and working with three different special skills therapists.  Each person has played an important role and I am so pleased with Zilla's treatment team right now!  I can tell how much they all care about him and his success and it warms my heart to know that I can be very raw and honest with them when I have questions or concerns.

I remember starting out this process so scared and worried how we would progress.  Our first special skills therapist did an amazing job calming my fears and listening to me as I sat at Zilla's daycare and cried.  And our OT, I just love her.  She might be one of the most optimistic people I know and she works great with Zilla.  And he loves her too.  When she came over to our house (we usually meet at daycare) he was so excited and kept running over to her to give her big hugs.  And our newest special skills therapist has made me see how truly amazing our son is.  She honed in very quickly to Zilla's talents and did such an amazing job challenging him and helping him to build on his strengths.  It has been such an amazing journey and I can't help but think what a blessing it has turned out to be.  I get to spend extra time with Zilla, that I wouldn't have spent with him otherwise; we've gotten to help him develop skills that he may have struggled with otherwise; I've gotten parenting tips and advice from the experts; I've learned new techniques and games that will help me be the best mom I can be. 

More than anything I am so proud of my little Zilla.  I just got his score report from a year ago.  At the time he was 14 months old and with his left hand was testing as a 4 month old.  And in communication he had a 5 month delay.  But he has worked so hard, and I've been lucky enough to watch him in sessions where he truly tries his best and adapts and learns new skills.  I am so proud of his resilience and I am so proud of all of the little personality traits that while frustrating at times, I believe have helped him tremendously through all of this.  I remember one time expressing to our first special skills therapist in frustration how stubborn he is.  She just looked at me and smiled and said she notices this in a lot of the kids she works with and believes it's truly a gift.  Because sometimes when life hands us some extra limitations, it's that stubbornness that will get you through.  So Zilla, today I am so grateful for your stubborn self, because you have come so far!

Okay, mom brag time.  The whole time they were doing his assessment, they just kept commenting how exciting it was to get to do the different tests because they had never been this far with a kid as young as Zilla.  So of course I'm all beaming and stuff and trying not to interfere because I know it's all standardized, but I just want to jump down there and cheer him on.  Instead, I just let him do his thing and kept watching in amazement.  If he would miss something the therapists would quickly reassure me that it was a "high level", 4 year old skill and not to worry.  So I didn't.  Maybe next year I shouldn't be in the room while all of this is going on.  But really, I enjoyed watching the testing process.  By about 45 minutes in (the typical length of his therapy sessions) Zilla was mostly over it.  But he hadn't gotten enough wrong answers for them to stop, so we went for another 30 minutes.  In the end, here's how he did:

His lower scores were, not surprisingly, in fine motor...but I am no less proud!  Zilla has jumped 7 months in his fine motor skills!  I've known there has been progress, but it's nice to see it on paper too.  And before they adjusted for his left hand, his right hand fine motor scored at the equivalent of a 40 month old.  He also scored a little low in his peer to peer interactions, which didn't surprise me too much because he doesn't always get along with other kids great.  But it wasn't anything drastic or too concerning. 
On the other hand, he scored in the 91st percentile compared to other kids his age in: personal responsibility, adult social interactions, receptive communication, expressive communication, attention and memory, and reasoning and academic skills.  In these areas, he tested equivalent to a 31-35 month old. 
In the end, we decided, per recommendation from our treatment team, that we would no longer receive the special skills therapy service, but that I could send her emails if questions came up.  We will continue with weekly OT. 
So yeah, I was just a little bit beaming with those scores.  Not because they are so great, but because it reaffirms to me that I should trust in God's plan.  I was so scared when all of this started but, it truly is in His hands, and this is more than enough.  The day after we found out about his diagnosis, a dear friend of my family text me and asked me to find a song that gave me strength to hold onto for the day.  And here's the song I sent to her that was on my heart then, and continues to remind me of the incredible journey we have been on the past year. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Vrlyfry-Day: Week 12

Day 75: 3/16
Zilla really really wanted to go swimming.  "Look mama, I'll just sit in the float like this and won't get wet!"
Dada was out of town for the first part of the week and our wonderful neighbors were gracious enough to invite us over for delicious salmon! Roodle is an excellent hostess.
Day 76: 3/17
Hubskie will obviously be thrilled this is on here.  Kissy selfies get us through those business trips.
 Day 77: 3/18
 Zilla's school had a curriculum night and I got to go watch him do some Montessori work.  Here is stringing beads without looking.  What a pro.
We also got to look at his artwork
I asked Zilla if he wanted to hold his boat and he said yes.  Turns out it was because he wanted to try and eat the Cheerios off of it.
Day 78: 3/19
Mimi watched Zilla the night before and left him a block message for when he woke up in the morning!
 Day 79: 3/20
Zilla decided to fix mommy's hair.  It was so beautiful when he was finished.
Day 80: 3/21
Mommy wakes up earlier, so mommy gets to dress the Zilla.   Here he is practicing being a Yell Leader.  Precious!
 Day 81: 3/22
 Zilla and dada working on the yard together.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Vrlyfry Day: Weeks 10 and 11

Week 10
3/2: Day 61
 This was the ridiculous shopping trip I took.  It included lingerie, wine, gum, ginger ale, and diapers.  Sounds like a good night to me.
3/3: Day 62
 This was me after I hosted Girls Night.  It marked the end of my party hosting for the month: a wedding shower, a birthday party, and GND.  It felt good to relax.
3/4: Day 63
Oops! No picture today.
3/5: Day 64

It snowed!  I mean, really snowed!

 Pretty snowy house!
3/6: Day 65
 Zilla and I took a roadtrip to Houston!  This is me eating my first fast food fish sandwich.  #Lent
3/7: Day 66
 Ooooo baby!!!  I finally got to meet this sweet little girl (2 weeks old)!  I love that my college friends are starting to have babies :)
Also, Bachelorette Party!! Woot!
3/8: Day 67
The kiddos were shaking it off at Sunday Night Dinner
Week 11
3/9: Day 68
I know this is not a good picture, but he rarely smiles in pictures with me  :)
 3/10: Day 69
Hubskie sent me this picture of Zilla.  He had built a tower and then started to pretend it was a guitar.  Because, why not?
3/11: Day 70
Zilla was telling me a very animated story about his bib.  It was adorable.  I couldn't understand most of it, but he was really into it.
3/12: Day 71
So I acutlally sent this to Hubskie to ask if it was the right salsa, but there's a decent story to go along with it as well.  I was looking at the salsas and this mom and her son were also in the salsa aisle.  She asked me a question about one of the flavors of the same brand and if I had tried it.  I told her I hadn't but then gave a detailed description of the pepper used in the salsa and how it has a great flavor and slow building heat.  She then joked with me about needing to have a few drinks before she committed buying something that spicy.  Next thing you know, she was asking me if I was available and would I want to go out on a date with her son.  He was of course mortified.  I then had to thank her, but explain that my extensive knowledge of peppers is credit to my husband.
Day 72: 3/13
Another Friday, another roadtrip.  Zilla was really into this book that he got for his birthday from his friend Bash. 
3/14: Day 73
Zilla loves when we visit Giddings Texas.  There's just so much room out there for a boy to roam! Also, Camo is his favorite dog ever.

That night, we got to go to the wedding reception for some friends from college and see lots of our old Thursday Night group.  These are some of the best people I know, and I love getting to see them!

 3/15: day 74
 Zilla saying goodbye to his buddy, Camo.  These two are too sweet together.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Vrlyfry-Day: Week 9

I completely missed a week!  So sorry.  I had originally planned on making this a week 9 and 10 post, however my Google Drive stopped working on the desktop for some reason and I don't have the energy to try and fix it tonight.  But here is week 9 and hopefully week 10 will be here shortly!
Day 53: 2/23
 Snow day!  We spent the morning playing with our new Lego Airplane set!  SO FUN!
Day 54: 2/24
Snow Day #2!!  Rest assured, there was plenty of guitar playing during our snow days.  Later that afternoon Zilla went over to play at Roodle's while momma went to the doctor.  Thank you Aunt Berly!

Day 55: 2/25
 No Snow day today, but Zilla did have his 2 year old check up.  He's in the 60th percentile for weight and 75th for height!
Day 56: 2/26
 This was a rare glimpse of the sun for this week, so even though it was still in the 30s/40s, we bundled up and took advantage!
Day 58: 2/27
Zilla has a new thing for pulling my hair and tying it into a giant knot.  It's really fun.

Day 59: 2/28 
 We had originally planned on going to Houston for the weekend, but Zilla started to feel sick so we stayed home. He woke up extra cranky in the morning so he took an early morning nap with dada.  So Sweet!
Day 60: 3/1
 Y'all, this is me wearing Zilla in our new Ergo.  I have a weird obsession with different baby carriers and had been wanting to get a more mainstream soft structured carrier, since forever.  Hubskie and I were going to a movie one night and got there super early so we stopped by TJMaxx.  I found this new for $50!  They retail for around $120 and usually sell used for around $70, so I was pretty darn excited!  Zilla is indifferent about getting in it, but once he's up there he usually doesn't want back down for awhile.