It's been a few months since I've blogged so let's get to it! Carter had his yearly vision appointment and boy, was that an adventure (we'll stick with that word instead of nightmare). Taking all three kids with me was quite an undertaking. Needless to say, I was pretty shaken up that by the time the doctor came in I told him we wouldn't come every year if his vision was good. I can't handle all these appointments even if they are just yearly! I may have scared the doctor but hey, he wrote in the note to come back in 1-2 years because his vision was good. We haven't liked Carter's new wheelchair quite as much as we did at first, its lightweight causes it to rock easily and it has actually tipped over several times. We made some adjustments and hope that it will help. During the Christmas season we did the typical things such as seeing the lights and attending family parties. My side of the family even attempted to take a surprise picture of all 13 grandchildren (ages 7 and under) for my parents. Oy. Chris and I had a nice date night to see Celtic Women at Abravanel Hall, it was great. We all got a stomach bug right before Christmas (except Keaton) so by the time it came we were pretty worn out. Christmas was quiet at home, we didn't go anywhere. We were very blessed this year because my best friend nominated us for sub 4 santa and through United Angels Foundation in Orem and a private sponsor, we received more than we needed!
Keaton had his 6 month autism follow up a few days after Christmas. We went over my frustrations with his sleep and his behaviors. His doctor will be moving this summer so we'll have to see someone else which is too bad. She's been great at keeping in contact with me and answering my emails. We did start Keaton on a little medicine at night to help him sleep. I'm not sure what exactly was going on with him, but there were weeks where he was up before 5, one time at 3:15! And he wasn't always taking his nap either. He has since given up naps altogether which has made going to bed so much easier! He now sleeps soundly and solid but now the days just drag. We are going to increase his therapy hours though now that he's not napping, so we'll see how he handles it. Keaton has been doing really well with therapy, cooperative and learning new things. Since his words come and go it's hard to say how many words he does know, but the ones he uses on a regular basis are 'ball', 'bobba (bottle)' and 'yes'. He has said 'Momma' several times which is super sweet! And he said 'what' the other day several times. Now that his sleep seems to be good, I can breathe a sigh of relief. His behaviors are still busy or even naughty when he's bored or not being entertained. He makes plenty of messes and some days I just want to cry because it seems so much. But he sure has the sweetest and most happy smile! He loves to wrestle and jump on us and dance; he loves mirrors and his routines.
Christmas break was a little rough with all the kids home and bored and there was nowhere to go because of the effort and weather. Then Keaton got croup and shortly after an ear infection; the ear drops weren't enough so after about a week we had to add an oral antibiotic so the poor kid had to deal with medicine for over 2 weeks for one infection! Carter seemed to go from cold to cold to cold/cough, poor guy. We missed another date from the Young Women because of all the sickness, that's 3 in a row! This winter has been a bit rough with all the snow especially where we live on a busier road. And it seems like right when I feel somewhat caught up, the kids don't have school or someone is sick. Both cars also needed a lot done- Chris's car needed snow tires (terrible in snow), new wipers, an oil change and registration. The van needed new tires (we drive so much) and two handles because they broke off. Unexpected expenses around Christmastime are never fun.
We got new carpet in our TV room which was so needed! The carpet that was there when we moved in was light so it showed foot traffic and pretty much everything. With the New Year came 9:00 church, the return of great shows, politics (blah), and goals. Some of my goals have been to enjoy life more and not to just endure or survive. I'm not exactly sure how to break that goal down, but one of my priorities was to find the right medicine for my anxiety. I found a great doctor and I'm on my second new medicine and so far (fingers crossed) it seems to be working. I've also started to be more organized with a new detailed planner and with it, I'm writing notes of things to be thankful for. With this I've been able to notice more of the things we have received. In January alone we were given two meals, someone shoveled our huge driveway multiple times, a friend dropped off a treat, a relative gave an unexpected gift of $.
Sierra is still enjoying preschool and dance- we were able to see her costume for her recital and it's so cute! We applied to 2 schools for Kindergarten so we'll see what happens. She's still seeing her speech therapist at school and IHC in Bountiful and doing so good. Her teacher met with me briefly to have a mini parent/teacher conference and said how well she's doing. Her main concern is one of mine, that she doesn't know how to respond to certain social situations. She avoids conflict by not talking and doesn't stand up for herself. At home though she can be feisty and is definitely outspoken. I'm still a little concerned with her level of activity- she's always so busy and wound up. We're always trying to limit screen time and keep her busy but we can't always entertain her! It can be frustrating for both of us. Hopefully with warmer weather she can play outside, take swim lessons again and maybe soccer. She's still so helpful around home and affectionate, always learning new things and being silly.
The new Seaquest Interactive Museum opened up in Layton Hills Mall, so we went and had a lot of fun! We ended up getting a membership and I've done the fish pedicure twice now lol! The kids have ridden the train as well at the mall and love walking around and eating pretzels. We also stopped at Scheels to ride the Ferris Wheel. It was kind of scary because Keaton got so mad whenever it stopped to let people on or off so we had to get him off, I was worried he'd squirm right out of the seat! End of January I turned 31 and was blessed with a lot of birthday wishes, gifts, friend get-togethers and celebrations. We saw Vocal Point with Chris's family, that was fun.
We were able to get a discounted Blendtec for Carter through their medical assistance program. It gives me peace of mind in case something happens and we're out of formula for him, that we can mix something up for him. I also plan to use it for Keaton to get him to try new things and variations. I got a quarterly update on Carter's school goals and he seems to be progressing well in most of them. He's getting super heavy and carrying him is getting pretty hard. Even with all his colds he's still been a sweetheart. He loves music and his toys and hugging. Since his autism diagnosis we're trying to get therapy started through the place Keaton goes to. He has an appointment in a few weeks and a mountain of questions to go through. I'm not sure if he'll respond favorably but hopefully it can help in some way. Carter has some behavioral issues like slapping his leg in frustration and doing it too hard causes him to cry but he doesn't seem to understand what he's doing. He also gnaws on his wrist but not enough to break the skin, and plays with himself on occasion. In the spring if we're still living up north, I want to re-start horse therapy and maybe find some summer activities for him to do.
Taxes were just done today hooray! I'm hoping that the weather continues to get warmer so we can get the kids outside. I plan on enjoying my time when/if I get it before spring break and summer comes. Being a Mom is so tough! Sometimes it seems fine than others so unexpected and busy. I know this season is a tough one with little kids, especially with 2 special needs kiddos. I hope that with my new medicine and goals that I can make this a better year. There were some pretty dark times last year. We're also looking at possibly maybe moving so we can be closer to family. We've lived up north for over 1 1/2 years and we drive so much and I feel so isolated. Always doing things for your kids all day long, watching what they want and going to the bathroom and eating only because you were lucky enough to get a second wears on you. There's so much you're in charge of and responsible for, not to mention cleaning a house! We'll see what life brings us, I feel like I never know. And for someone who's a planner and OCD, it makes me uncomfortable. I hope the sicknesses and snow stay away so better times are ahead.
What's Coming Up: Carter's ABA therapy assessment, Valentine's Day, 8th wedding anniversary and Backstreet Boys concert in Vegas