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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Little Cricket is 3 (36 months old)

Oh what a fabulous month we have had my Little Cricket. First off I cannot believe that you are 3, where did my baby go! You are such a big, funny, tall, always smiling, skinny, analytical, happy little guy. I adore you so much, my first waking thoughts are of you and your sister as are my thoughts going to bed at night. We have had a few rocky months but you are always smiling, always full of joy, and seriously the best thing in my world. And if I couldn’t love you even more you started actually calling me MAMA this month. Sure, sure you knew the word mama, but you didn’t actually use it to call me until this month. My eyes filled with hope the first time you did it… I wasn’t quite sure you understood and I was worried to hope too much that you finally got it. And then you did it later that day and I scooped you up and cried.

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This week you started playing alongside your sister. My Little Rose is crawling all over the place now, which means that she is always in the mix with whatever you are playing with. There have been a few issues with you getting upset, or trying to push her away but then there have also been some beautiful moments with you handing her a toy to play with you. In a few more months she will be running after you wherever you go. I can’t wait!!!

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Over the past month we have been working with you with photos. I am trying to get you to consistently recognize familiar people and extended family by their names. All of that includes our immediate family and of course you. You still point to yourself and say your name. I have been trying to get you to understand me as well. It is slow progress but at least it is progress.

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You are still sadly not making huge strides with your eating program like I had hoped. Of course I guess I should be happy that you are eating slightly more things. And you are eat least touching and taking tiny bites of new things before deciding not to eat it. Again slow progress, oh so slow progress, but moving in the right direction. Sometimes I can get you to try something by feeding me or your dad, you think it’s hilarious and then you will sometimes try it as well. I need to do more therapy meals with you, but that takes almost 45 minutes, that I can’t really do with your sister there and other distractions. But we are going to have to make the time.

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You got sick this month, and while your dad watched you took your first three hour nap in 6 months. My poor baby. Don’t you worry though; nothing keeps you down for long. Two days later you were bouncing off the walls… literally.

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This month was your birthday month, but it was also the birthdays of several of our friends. Although we didn’t go to many of the mom group parties I couldn’t miss our two favorite little kids birthdays. And so we went, and I followed you around to be sure you didn’t get into anything crazy (you did by the way, you somehow climbed into a basketball shoot game). I also told everyone why we haven’t been around to all the other parties and playdates. That we were getting you therapy and that it might be autism. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be, and everyone was so super supportive.

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We are outside as much as we can be. With lots of your time and therapies spent inside it is even more important to give you time to explore, and create, and test your boundaries. On the weekends we keep a very low key schedule. You have swim (which we will talk about in a minute) and if we feel like it we will hit up the Brentwood farmers market. But other than that it is hanging out in our jammies all morning and then hanging out in the backyard or the playground for hours and hours and hours. You still collect rocks sometimes storing them in your pockets for me to find while starting a new load of laundry. Most of them we release back into the wild, some I store on a shelf, little mementos that make me smile. Life in these moments is beautiful.

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Speaking of swim lessons you are doing fantastic. You love love love water, as long as you can touch the bottom. Which means that you love the bath, the fountain, tiny little streams of water we find out at nature and even the beach. However the second we jump into a pool, where you cannot touch the bottom and you kinda freak out. You latch onto me with both your arms and legs and then you make it very clear that you want OUT NOW. Since I would eventually like you to get into a pool and love swimming, since learning to swim is an important skill in my book, and since we are planning a big week long trip to Myrtle Beach, where it is so hot the water is the only place outside to be; I decided its high time you learn to swim. Although the first few lessons saw you clutching so tightly to the instructor I thought you might crush her neck, six sessions later you are doing great. You will now don’t fight when we are getting you in the pool, you are more gently holding onto the instructor, and you are even kicking your legs and going under water a tiny bit. I am so proud of you and I cannot wait until we get into a pool together.

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Your therapy schedule is just nuts. And it isnt even as nuts as everyone tells me it should be. According to the word on the street you should be in 40-50 hours of therapy a week. Currently we are in 16 hours of therapy a week and 6 hours of clinic based preschool a week. All this means that we spend way too much time in the car. We sometimes eat breakfast or lunch on the go, although I have your schedule set up so usually we are eating meals at home, shifts in the schedule sometimes creep up. Thankfully you are a ‘go with the flow’. Thankfully you don’t mind packed lunches, eating from plastic bags and drinking your milk on the go. Sometimes you even crash in the car exhausted from our crazy busy days.

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Your therapies are working. Thank GOD. I cannot imagine going through the amount of work and effort we both have put in without seeing the blessed improvement that we have. Every single one of your therapists adores you. Every single one of them is rooting for you to succeed. Every single one of them compliments you on how smart you are, how quickly you learn, how you never forget, how analytical your mind is and how they have never had an autistic child grow as fast as you have. It’s so wonderful to hear this constant wash of compliments and even better to see you improve skills daily. Your favorite therapy is OT. Ms. C in particular, since we see her four times a week she is the therapist we see the most. On top of that there are always obstacle courses, swings, things to climb and jump on. This gym is a little boys heaven. You said mama in her session for the first time and your first unprompted ‘I want’! We have been working on transitioning the listening program into the car without too much success. You were wearing them in the gym really well but then you kinda faded out of it. I wore them for a while hoping to entice you again but its hit or miss. We decided to take a break from them for a while and reintroduce them in a month.

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I know you really love OT but I am thankful that you love all your therapists. Often I will let you know that it is almost time for a therapist to arrive at our house and we will sit in the large front window and wait for them to pull up. Although it is hard having so many people in our home and in our lives all the time it is also an added joy. Looking at the glass half full your life is full of fun people to play and challenge you, and I am able to learn so much to continue helping you once they leave. The highlights this month with your floor time therapist was playing pretend play and you pitched your voice as the man you were playing with. We also took you to a preschool I was considering placing you in next fall and despite the fact that you were in a chaotic atmosphere with 15 new loud children you totally picked up on the math concept during circle time. Your language is shooting up so quickly and your spontaneous requests are rising exponentially as well. Your self-help skills, your motor skills, everything is getting better and better.

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Last night I read your last book as a two year old. I gave you your last two year old kisses. And I said goodnight and goodbye to two, goofy style just how we like. Today I greeted you as always with a huge grin and a hug. My baby, he is growing up!

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