A Weekly (or so) Update
Every day brings new adventures and new challenges. I don’t remember clearly a time when I had days with nothing to report. I wouldn’t know what to do with such a day now.
We had visitors this last week from Pennsylvania and it was bittersweet. We loved seeing them and had such a blast with them but it also reminded us of a time when we had constant support right next door. People who would show up to help when the kids were sick, kidnap our dirty laundry and wash it for us during the trying times of adding new kids to the family, show up for every family event and help us plan and set them up, people who would take off work to help out when injuries or emergencies came up, people who were always there for us even when we did not know what to ask for or how to ask. We miss our village in PA/MD/WV. Unfortunately, villages take time to be built and they don’t easily form. It is going to be quite a while before we have a similar village here in Michigan. While they were here we also got to show off some of our favorite parts about Grand Rapids and enjoy the wonder of this place anew.
Damien is doing well. He has been asking me to teach him how to read a lot lately. He has the general idea but I think we are a few months away from him really reading. We have added a large chalkboard my parents got us to the homeschool room and he has been working on his letters on it and created very imaginative drawings. This has been really exciting because he has been doing a lot of scribbling still and that is developmentally a little behind where he “should” be so it is nice to see him bridging that gap. We went to the zoo while our company was in town, which is Damien’s favorite place so he was flying high this week.
Perry’s evaluation have come in and the results have been very informative. He is going to continue to receive Occupational Therapy to help with the ADHD concerns, sensory issues and fine motor. He is also going to be doing speech therapy through the summer at least to help him with connecting different ideas and increase his receptive language skills. The developmental evaluation was very eye opening. Perry is currently about a year to a year and half behind his chronological age. This could be something that will remain true throughout his life or it could be something caused by his earlier trauma experiences. The really interesting aspects of the results gave me a window into the ways Perry’s mind works. For quite a large aspect of how Perry understands the world, learns and processes information there are only about 5%-10% of people in the world whose brains work the same way. So our unique boy is even more unique than we knew. The therapist who completed the evaluation said that in her over 20 years of doing these evaluations some of Perry’s responses or how he did things was something she had never had a child do before.
Caleb also had an evaluation this week to get us back into a physical therapy groove. We had a physical therapist for him here and it was a horrible fit. The therapist was not able to develop a good balance between meeting his sensory needs and pushing him physically, additionally she did not listen to his cues when it was too much for him and it often ended badly for both him and I. The new place we are going seems fantastic, everyone we met with was great with Caleb and they are going to help us get him the new braces he needs and a compression vest which will be wonderful because all the compression clothing I have ordered him is too loose to be of any assistance. He has been adding new words every day and it is amazing to watch.
Alize is adding new words in a tremendous way. She is still speaking in a combo of words and Ze-Ze speak but she is now to the point that we can have conversations, like real conversations. It is amazing. Her personality cracks me up and she is unbelievably funny and quite sure she is hilarious. She is loving that she can more clearly express herself and be understood. There was a thought that maybe she would become less dramatic once she could talk, that is not the case as she has made very clear. The other morning I woke up to her screaming like she was being murdered and calling for me. I rush to her room for her to show me that the band-aid on her skinned knee had fallen off. Oh, my little diva.
Oliver is a man on a mission lately, whether that mission is running as fast as his little legs can carry him, trying to carry the dog, or climbing everything in sight. The child never stops. He is like four children in one all on his own. So far he has kept his new word apple and yells it about 100 times a day. He has also discovered that stripping his clothing off is hilarious at nap time. Oh the naked phase. I hope he grows out of it faster than Caleb, Caleb still thinks getting naked is the best thing ever.
I cannot share specifics or any real details yet but there have been some events going on that will be changing our lives one way or another. Possibly with a new addition in our house or just in our extended family. Please just keep us all in your prayers.
Our daughter Kaitlyn in Florida is doing great and has recently been fielding job offers and interviews. Maybe I am bias but I think anyone would have to be insane not to want to hire her, she is young, brilliant, and ambitious. Now we just need to move Florida closer to us.
Life has been a constant whirlwind for about four years now. It has been one major life change after another and as soon as I think things are calming down enough for me to begin to process it all, here comes another major change. The result has been I have not been able to be still long enough to even have a clue who I am anymore. I was asked recently if I got a day to do only things for myself what would I do and since I was told cleaning and sleeping did not count I could not come up with an answer. So I am spending some time focusing on myself more and doing some self-discovery. To that end I have decided to strip away everything else and just be for a while, no ” I shoulds” or “I am supposed tos” or ” I should nots” mucking up the process. I am just being, and letting myself discover who Cabrielle is in this new version of life. It is an eye opening process already.
Now to read some more of Whitman, or Emerson, or Thoreau, or Dickinson (because they speak to me so deeply lately) and sleep to prepare for tomorrow’s adventures.