Friday, July 7, 2017

From Mommy #4 - Probably don't read this until you're older so you'll understand

Dear Jonas,

Life seems to be making you more and more anxious lately. And while that is worrisome by itself, you are also starting all-day kindergarten this fall, and Spencer and I want to make certain that we don't have a repeat of last school year when anxiety shut you down. 

We are constantly trying to uncover your inner workings and whenever we make a major discovery I always feel both relieved and heartsick; I'm so glad we helped you but I'm so sad that you had to struggle for so long while we were clueless. We figured out that the integrated classroom was not right for you, and the minute we took you out we saw that cloud of anxiety dissipate. Now at therapy we're learning the process of "graduated exposure" and how to give you enough time and attention to adjust to anxiety-provoking situations and how that process requires a great deal of dedicated Katie-Spencer-Jonas time. The little we've been able to implement of this strategy has already lessened your anxiety so much. 




And as Spencer and I talked through what this new strategy will look like going forward, I realized it wasn't going to be possible if I was still working. So we decided I'd quit. 

I quit despite the fear of not knowing what my life will look like from now on. I quit despite the fear, sadness, and instability of losing a major part of my identity. I quit despite the damage it will do to the career I always felt called to do and then worked so hard to achieve. I quit despite the fact that it meant leaving my career in the same week that we left our best friends back east when we came home. I quit despite knowing that it would isolate me from work friends and from mom friends who are either going back to work/school now that their kids are all in school or who have several kids and have busier schedules. 

But if we're weighing the pros and cons of this decision, each of those cons is like a grain of sand compared to the Jupiter-sized pro of making sure that you are happy and well-adjusted. 




The decision was validated when we returned from our trip back east which included nearly two weeks of uninterrupted Katie-Jonas time along with practicing gradually adjusting to anxiety-provoking situations and there was an immediate change in you; life isn't making you so anxious anymore and it's already so clear that this is the right path for you.



Obviously I would do anything for you. And I don't understand how it works but somehow you are the saving grace from the challenges we face with you. In other words, life is really hard with a child who has such challenging and often confounding needs, but being with you helps me get through it. And that either makes no sense at all or is stupidly obvious, but I can't tell which. 


All my love and every part of me,

Mommy

Sunday, May 7, 2017

From Mommy #3 - Smartest, Sweetest, Coolest

Hey, cutie! I wanted to make sure we remembered today, or at least times like today, because it's the funny little things that happened today that I always forget but are always, inevitably, way more meaningful than the more dramatic things that I do remember. Little things like the fact that you have called me and your dad by our first names for a few weeks now (and it's so consistent that I don't notice until someone points it out) are the things we have to remember. (Unless this first-name basis thing is permanent, in which case I'll remember when you stopped calling me mommy...)



Other things to remember about today:

This morning as I got ready for church you played on the iPad where you learned how to spell words. It kept giving you really random words like ferry and barge and you would ask me what each word meant. I loved telling you, seeing you get it, and then move on to the next word ready to learn more. You also asked me a lot of questions about the things we saw on our walk today and I was so delighted to explain everything to you because it means you are developing a need to understand your world. And I love that you aren't asking just to ask questions, but to really understand. Sometimes we struggle to get a conversation going because you're still learning to express your thoughts through speech, but these moments provide us an opportunity to have a good chat. We also took a break on our walk to sit on a step and watch the cars. You are soaking up everything around you. Because you are the smartest.



On our walk you also insisted we walk with our arms around each other. It was adorable but difficult so it didn't last long and you settled with holding my hand. Because you are the sweetest.





Then tonight we played Go Fish while you wore just your underwear and my sunglasses. Because you are the coolest. 






Love, 
Katie


Sunday, February 5, 2017

From Mommy #2 - Tenacity

Sweet Boy,

Today at church was rough. And it was partly my fault, so I want to say sorry. I was impatient and unkind. The games you were playing with the hymn books were actually pretty creative (you first made a ramp for your animals to go down and then you set them up like dominoes in a circle) but I started to worry about what our new ward would think of the freedom I give you to play quietly in the aisles and I let that become more important than giving you time to adjust to the new expectation to sit in our row. I really hope I haven't permanently scarred you by always threatening to throw away your toy animals. You love those things so much.

Then I left you in primary but you had to leave a few times because it was too overwhelming. It breaks my heart when I see you cry in those moments because it means I've missed your attempts to tell me you weren't ready for that situation.

But despite all of that, you kept trying to be good and to communicate and participate in primary. You are so impressive. I think the word that best describes you is tenacious. You don't give up. You don't stop trying. And even though I constantly misunderstand your attempts to communicate, you keep at it until I understand. You probably think your best quality is how funny you are, but I think it's your tenacity. And that is how I know you'll live a happy and successful life in spite of any obstacles you face and despite mine and daddy's many shortcomings as your parents.

Thank you for teaching me so much and being so forgiving. And for always making me laugh.

Love,

Mommy

You think it's hilarious to sabotage the selfies mommy tries to take with you. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

From Mommy #1 - Bedtime laughs

Hi, Sweet Boy, 

I just got done putting you to bed, which always has the same effect as exercising: exhausting but satisfying. Bedtime is always endless giggles and kissing and trying to lick my face. It takes forever to settle you down but I always leave your room happy. Tonight you insisted we each say our own prayer before bed. Yours went as follows.

"Dear Heavenly Father, please bless be good. Be health. Be strength. Be energy. Name of Jesus Christ, Amen." 

Then you got into bed, said, "Oh yeah!" folded your hands in front of your face and bowed your head, and said, "Jesus." Haha! I guess it had just occurred to you to mention Jesus since I had in my prayer. I laughed really hard because that was so sweet but so random, and if I laugh hard then you laugh even harder (but not as hard as when you see me accidentally get hurt, like last night when I accidentally walked into the door jam - you laughed like a maniac) so we laughed for awhile before we got around to reading.

Those moments are some of my favorite because they are evidence that we have something very special. There are so many more experiences and reasons that I think we have something special - and I'll be sure to talk about them as I continue writing to you - but those sweet silly moments stick with me the best. Those are the moments that make me smile as I recall them later in the evening and are the ones that I get the most excited to tell daddy about. He'll laugh really hard, too, when I tell him. You are so dang funny!

I was about to write something like, we are probably your biggest fans, but quickly remembered that that is definitely not true. You have so many fans and friends that I think it often overwhelms you. Anyway, I got off track.

The thing that you and I have that is so special is that we are best friends. (I mean, I know right now Olivia is your best friend, too, but really she's more like a sister...) I truly love to hang out with you and laugh with you and show you cool things. When I went to Ireland, I wasn't wishing I could share the experience with daddy; I was wishing I could share it with you. I know you would have loved it almost as much as I did. And I often daydream of taking you there, just you and me, and exploring abandoned castles together. We will someday and it will be epic.

My point is, you're my favorite. And I'm excited to use this blog to explain why. 



Love,

Mommy

(I took this picture at your occupational therapy evaluation a week ago because you were so proud of the doggie you made and I was very impressed with it)

Monday, January 30, 2012

MORE photos!

Getting a haircut that turned into a buzz.



Happy baby Jonas!

Spending some time in the Bumbo.

He's even cute when he's angry. I think he was trying to tell me he was ready to be held.

Some photos

4 days old

2 weeks old - Photo shoot with Missy

First time he found his thumb!

We love our little Goober!

Christmas baby. SO SWEET!

Christmas Eve

Beautiful baby boy - 1 month old

Sunday, January 29, 2012

UPDATE!

Okay, so it's been awhile since my last update. Though, to be honest, there really isn't much new information. But here's the latest.

We had Early Intervention come to test him a couple weeks ago. Because of his Mosaic Down syndrome, we get the advantage of bimonthly testing to see how he's developing and any therapy he may need along the way. They test his social/emotional development, his fine motor skills, gross motor skills, expressive development, self soothing ability, and... I can't remember what else. This first test showed he's developing right on track so far - like a typical 2 month-old. In fact, for his social/emotional development and fine motor skills he tested a month ahead! We're thrilled! Our case worker, Carrie, will come twice a month to see how he's doing and if at any point she sees he's falling behind and needs help we'll set up therapy appointments.

Our sweet baby boy is doing amazingly well and we love him more each day. He's started to smile at us, especially when he first wakes up in the morning, and it's so fun. He tries valiantly to suck his fist and thumb but can't figure out how to keep it in his mouth. I love how he squawks at us before he cries. I love how he quiets down as soon as I put him on the changing table and stares at me intently. I love how he snuggles in when we hold him. I love how he stays asleep in his car seat when we're out in public and wakes up to squawk at us as soon as we get home. He's the sweetest baby ever and we love him with all our hearts. 

We'll keep you posted when there's more to post!