Our Loves

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Not so lazy summer days

Wow, it's been a long time since my last post and summer seems to just be flying by. May was a very busy month! My Mom (and sort of my Dad) watched the boys the weekend of our anniversary and Randy and I celebrated with a staycation. We got a hotel by the Galleria and just enjoyed a fun weekend sans the boys!! We decided to take our family vacation in May because Preston would be doing a summer long feeding therapy at the Callier Center and we did not want to miss any of it. We had a Texas vacation and went from College Station after Ashley's graduation from A&M (how crazy is that??) to Austin for a few days and then went to San Antonio to see Christina and to go to Sea World with her and her newphew Jackson. Ashley went with us and we had a lot of fun!! We explored lots of different food trucks in Austin, went out on a boat on Lake Travis and even saw a friend from high school I hadn't seen in waaayyy to long. San Antonio was great as always!! We typically go see Christina at least once in every summer, but it's usually too hot to go to Sea World so we thought May would be better and it was. Preston still got a little over heated the first day, but the second day we did more water activities and he loved it!! Luke loved Shamu and he gagged on a grape in one the shows so for a while he was saying "I barfed at Sea World." Nice huh?? We all had a cold that week so the poor kid threw up at least once in each town we visited in this great state. All I can say is that's just the way we roll!

This summer Preston is attending the "Extended School Year" (ESY) program for two, 3 week sessions. It is supposed to help him retain his "skills" and continues his speech and OT from the school district through the summer. This week is his break week and next week will start his 2nd, 3 week session. He loves it of course and his summer teacher is extremely nice. He is even having some animal therapy this summer with therapy dogs. His teacher wrote me a note that said the greatest thing at the end of his first week. She said Preston is such a happy soul! She summed him up so well. Preston is such a happy little guy with the greatest smile. It warms my heart that others see that too!

Friday is our feeding therapy day at the Callier Center and Randy and I or Ashley and I go with Preston. The first day I was holding back tears the entire time we were there and I couldn't sleep any the night before. I think I was just putting too much pressure on this 10 week session being our last hope. While we were there that first day I was quickly realizing that this 10 week feeding boot camp wasn't going to be the magic pill that was going to cure Preston's feeding disorder. I was also feeling frustrated that Preston's delays where interfering with his therapy. The reality is that they do and they add one more complicated layer to it all that we just have to adjust for and work through. After getting home that day and working through it all I feel like the Lord just gave me a remarkable peace about it.

Honestly, I know I never even stopped in my anxious state to lay it at His feet. If anything I think I was praying, asking God to please let this be the answer. He knew what I needed and he took away my anxiety about it. I let go of all the expectations I had created and just had a peace that we are all just going to be on this path for a while longer. Preston won't be eating normally once these 10 weeks are over and he may not even by the end of this year, but I do have a comfort that this will be the answer. That we are in the right place now, and it will just be in His time, not mine. The main therapist at the Callier Center, Jenny McGlothlin is amazing and a huge part of this summer program is focused on parent education. I found Jenny and the Callier Center through a friend of a friend on facebook actually. This Mom's son has struggled with a feeding disorder and they would fly in from out of state to see Jenny. I am so thankful to have been led to the Callier Center. Jenny has a different approach to feeding and I know in my heart, that together, we will get him eating somewhat normally one day.

Letting go of expectations, altering our hopes and dreams is something that never seems to hurt any less as time goes on, but I will say the hurt does seem to fade more quickly now. I had a conference at the end of the year with Preston's teacher, school OT and school speech therapist. Randy wasn't able to attend so I went by myself and we spent quite a long time talking about Preston. These conferences always make me cry and at one point Preston's OT, who is a very caring lady and you can tell she really cares so much about Preston, said to me "what's your biggest fear?" I knew right when those words came out of her mouth that what I was feeling really had very little to do with Preston himself and was really all about morning mine and Randy's letting go of some of those normal parent dreams you would have for your child. Preston is happy and he is loved, as she pointed out, and I know that. I do of course have fears, actually more like terrors, of kids teasing him or ever making Preston feel different (and I have had multiple experiences with grown adults to children having straight up asked me to my face and his - "what's wrong with him" along with more obnoxiously rude questions and comments so I know it may happen again). But I know that day I was sitting there in that conference room bawling because we were even having to have a conference about my 3 year old - discussing Preston's improvements, his struggles and his path forward. I realized later that day that I just have to push those feelings away when they creep up. God gave Preston to Randy and I because we were the two people who were meant to be his parents and God created Preston perfectly. He will guide us along this journey if we let Him. Letting Him is where I struggle the most and I am really, really trying to work on that. Preston has made some amazing progress. It is at his own pace and seems to wax and wane, but we are really so thankful he is moving forward!! We were at a family reunion this past weekend in Lubbock with my parents and we were all piled into one room. My Dad wakes up way too early and he was banging around in the room and woke up Preston waaayy too early Saturday morning. Preston jumped on mine and Randy's bed and said "Mamma, Mamma!! Daddy, Daddy!!!" It just about melted all of our hearts. He is still so sporadic with his words and when they come out so effortlessly like that it just brings tears to your eyes. Those are the moments that I will never forget!

So we have had feeding therapy this summer, swimming lessons, story time and drum roll please......this June brought about the successful potty training of Luke Jackson Hall. This has been a long time coming and Randy was seriously at his wits end and about to throw in the towel one day and something just snapped in my head. I took Luke into the bathroom and we had a very frank little talk about "gross things" and how big kids, Mommies and Daddies and all big people don't do gross things and bam he has been wearing big boy undies ever since with not one accident, not one! After two weeks of pull ups at night he's even wearing big boy undies to bed. I am kind of thinking we experienced divine intervention, but what ever it was after five days of the big boy undies we were at Walmart buying a bike for the kid. (That was the bribe first purposed in March and we had even made a visit to sit on the bike, touch the bike, ride the bike in the store to increase the motivation which had seemed to fail miserably.)

We figured a bike was cheaper than continued pull ups so the bonus of the pull up free nights has made this deal even sweeter. We have also been able stop the onslought of sugar highs from the one piece of candy for being dry, one for a teetee and another for a poop. Now we just say your a big boy with a bike. You don't need candy for going potty. This whole potty training thing has been quite an adventure that am not looking forward to repeating, but I know once the time is right for Preston it will be worth it! (Oh we got Preston a bike too because we didn't want him to be left out and he has been working hard with his feeding boot camp!) Man do these boys love their bikes. They like to sit on them for just a min every time we go out into the garage to get in the car and they try to do the same on the way in. I can see a lot of bike riding in out future this fall.

We have been trying our best to stay cool in the heat but still find some time to be outside. We are working on our skills we learned at swimming lessons and the boys even saw their first movie in the theater, Cars 2 with their cousin Caleb on opening weekend. I hope to get to the blog for another post with out such a long dealy, but if I don't just know we are all doing well, working hard and having a lot of fun along the way!!

I posted A LOT of pictures this time! Enjoy!

We had a our pictures taken at the Arboretum on Memorial Day weekend when Caroline was in town. The photoshoot was a little rocky because two little monkeys were in wild moods, but we still got a few good ones.

I framed this pictures and gave it to Randy for part of his Father's Day present.

Mother's Day lunch at Houston's (or whatever it's called now) If you can't tell Luke has Nannie wrapped around his little pinky. He's so silly!!

My sweet boy on Mother's Day!

Lunch on the first day of our vaca in Austin at Maria's Taco Express. Muy Bueno!

Boat hair and boat face!! Both boys had a blast!!

Luke being shy and silly as always!

Sea World!! Just before the boys first rollercoaster ever - Shamu Express!!

Worn out from swimming in the wave pool in the Lost Lagoon!!

Waiting to see Shamu with Aunt Ashy!!

Brotherly love!!

Waiting for the Mav's parade to start! Randy took the day off and we went down to the West End at 7am and had a nice breakfast at Corner Bakery.

Presty waiting for lunch at Campisi's after our fun time at the Mav's Parade!! We had so much fun and downtown was packed!! Go Mavs!!!!!!

Trying out our bikes at the store!

Loving his bike! Preston needs a little help and is working on tolerating his helmet, but he loves his bike too!!

Still smiling!!

Cars 2 with Caleb!! The boys had so much fun and then spent the afternoon swimming and having pizza!!

Nannie watched the boys after we got them to bed and Randy and I got a night out. We celebrated Natalie's big 22nd birthday at the Glass Cactus. Ashley and Natalie have been friends since 2nd grade and she just moved back to Texas this summer. I used to take Ashley and Natalie to the mall when they were little!! We had a great night!!!

Ella sporting her patriotic attire!

Nix family reunion!! We just made up a part of the family there. This the family of my great grandfather, Jim Nix. There were family there of his 8 siblings as well.

The reunion was at the Lubbock Windmill Museum. That windmill in the background is a Parish Windmill, which I learned that day were made in Earth, Texas (my Mom's hometown) and my grandfather, Ross Jackson Brock used to sell them.

Happy Preston having fun exploring the museum!!

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