Saturday, August 30, 2008

School News

Christian came home with a packet of papers telling us about a work program at a nearby school, which services teenagers and people with disabilities up until the age of twenty-two. The school helps these kids learn life skills, social sills, work skills, and stuff like that. Anyway, his teacher recommended him to the program, and he had an "interview" there if we gave our permission. It is just down the street from his middle school. So yesterday he went and met with them, and he was "hired"! How cool is that? He will go there for 1st and 2nd period every day and work in their greenhouse. AND, he gets paid for it. He is so excited to have a "job"! I don't know how much he will make. I know it will be a small amount, but what a great idea. We even have to fill out a W2 form and everything, so they can issue him checks. He starts on Tuesday! They said parents were welcome to come and check it out at certain times, so I'm anxious to go see exactly what he'll be doing. I'll keep everyone posted!

Back to School Night

Now I know where Jillian gets all her words from. I went to back to school night for Cayson, and as I was looking for his desk, his teacher told me he was quite the chatterbox, so she had to surround him by girls. Yep, girls on every single side of him. I don't think he minds that too much, though! For several months now, we've had the name Audrey spelled out with magnetic letters on our fridge. As I took in all the girls around him, I wondered which name would go up next! Oh well, knowing that he's a talker isn't the worst things I could find out from his teacher. i guess I'll take it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Baby Talk

Jillian is such a chatterbox! She jibber-jabbers all the time and has the cutest little voice! Her language skills have just exploded over the last few months. She is repeating so many things and says words that I had no idea she knew. As she is approaching 15 months, I thought it would be fun to document all the words she can say. (Yes, this is a bragging moment for Mom!)
*Please note that a good portion of these words might not be recognizable to others!
  1. DaDa
  2. Mama
  3. Christian
  4. Cayson
  5. BaBa
  6. Milk
  7. Banana
  8. Nummie
  9. Bite
  10. Yogurt
  11. Cheese
  12. Cracker
  13. Chair
  14. Bye-Bye
  15. Go
  16. Door
  17. Shoes
  18. Pants
  19. Bow
  20. Pretty
  21. Brush
  22. Bubble
  23. Bath
  24. Baby
  25. Pooh Bear
  26. Brown Bear
  27. Eye
  28. Ear
  29. Hair
  30. Nose
  31. Mouth
  32. Uh-Oh
  33. Blankie
  34. Night Night
  35. Toes
  36. Tickle
  37. One
  38. Two
  39. Buckle
  40. Ball
  41. Wow
  42. Cool
  43. Thank You
  44. Please
  45. No
  46. More
  47. Soft
  48. Quiet
  49. Bite
  50. Ow
  51. Where did it go?
  52. What's that?
  53. Moo
  54. Cow
  55. Baa (Sheep)
  56. Maa (Goat)
  57. Neigh
  58. Meow
  59. Doggie
  60. Ruff Ruff Rufff
  61. Bzzzzzzz
  62. Duck
  63. Quack Quack
  64. Hissssssssssss
  65. Hooo Hooo (Owl)
  66. Eee Eee Ooooh Oooohh Ahhhh Ahhh (Monkey)
  67. Oooh hooo hoooo hoooo (Tigger sound)
  68. Outside
  69. Grandma
  70. Grandpa
  71. Crap (I'm so glad she knows this one)
  72. Run away
  73. Hello
  74. Hi
  75. Boo
  76. Diaper
  77. Ewwwwwwww
  78. Wipes
  79. Down
  80. Dance
  81. Come Here
  82. Mirror
  83. Remote
  84. Loud
  85. Quiet
  86. All gone
  87. The end

I'll add more to the list as think of them - I know I'm missing some.
What amazes me more, is what she understands. I think she is sooo smart! (Yes, this is her mother talking!) There is just never a day that goes by that I am not in awe of her. I love watching her figure things out, and I love watching her play. This age is so much fun!

9th Grade

Christian started 9th grade yesterday! Wow, that makes me feel so old! He is quite the opposite of Cayson. He gets ready for school in a flash and has plenty of time leftover. He has all his supplies perfectly organized in his new backpack. Everything has a place. No nerves. No stress. He just tells me goodbye and heads out to wait for the bus. He looked so handsome with his new clothes and haircut. (Of course, my camera is having issues, so I'll have to post a pic later.) I think this is going to be a good year!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Random thoughts

Christian: Mom, you're halfway to being really old.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Birds and the Bees

Explaining the birds and the bees to my kids is not something I've ever looked forward to, but it makes it that much more complicated when you are explaining it to a child with autism. Just how much info is appropriate? We didn't give out too many details, but after a conversation of how babies are made, Christian left the room. About thirty seconds later, he came back down the hall and said, "Well, I sure hope grandma and grandpa aren't doing any of that sex stuff, because they're definitely way too old to be having a baby."

Run Away

As I was sitting on the floor with the diaper and wipes, Jillian took off down the hall as fast as she could...

Me: Jillian, you need your diaper changed. Where are you going.

Jillian: Run away.

Isn't that too cute?!?!?

All Dressed Up

I just love this baby girl so much! She makes my heart smile when she twirls around and oooohs and aaahhhhhs over herself being so pretty. She already spends way too much time in front of the mirror...

Monster Bus

Christian loves buses, so when he saw this monster bus in the Sears Parking lot, it was all he could talk about. He just had to have a ride on it. Shawn was a sport and went with them, and he liked it as much as the boys. Just thought I'd share a couple pics...

Dentist Nightmare

Just when I thought my day couldn't get worse, Cayson had a dentist appointment this afternoon. We took him in last week complaining of a sore tooth, and it turned out to have an infection. Well, after a week on antibiotics, the dentist decided the tooth still needed to come out. Luckily, it was a baby tooth, so one might think this would be a simple and quick procedure.

Well, think again. For those of you who thought that obviously have not met Cayson. He FREAKS out over the dentist. The dentist hadn't even touched him yet, and Cayson was crying, then covering his mouth, then sobbing, then yes, screaming. He had a Star Wars movie playing for him, root beer gas hooked up to him, but will he relax? Of course not. I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. I couldn't possibly be the mother of this panic stricken, out-of-control child, who sobbed when the assistant put the stupid suction straw in his mouth. The dentist had to get up and close the door, so he wouldn't scare the kids in the waiting room. Am I making a clear picture here? I had to help hold him down it was so bad. Where did he get this from? I know he wasn't trying to be a brat. For some reason, it just scares the crap out of him. He was shaking because he was so scared. After it was over, we had to stay extra just to get his heart rate down.

OH MY HECK!!! I'm so glad this day is nearing an end.

Fourth Grade

I can't believe Cayson started 4th grade today! Where did the time go? It seems like I just brought him home from the hospital! He is growing up so fast. He chose his Clone Wars T-shirt and Pokemon shoes to wear for his first day. Such a boy!

For the past four years, Cayson has been bussed to school, but this year our neighborhood school is finally built, and we can see it from our front window. All we had to do was send him out the door and watch him walk down the sidewalk. Of course we had to remind him not to stop and pick up rocks, bottlecaps, straws, milk tops, you name it and I've found it in my washer, or else he would be late for school. Yes, only my son could be late when school is only a hop, skip and a jump away!

Then he was off, and I thought how nice it was for school to be back in. One boy down, one to go. I could work more easily, clean more easily, have more one-on-one time with Jillian. Yes, this could be good! Boy did I enjoy my hour of back to school! Yes, one hour. That was all it took before I got a call from school saying that Cayson had almost passed out at the flag ceremony outside and could we come get him. Sighhhh......I almost had it.

And yes, Cayson is just fine. I think it was just a case of the back-to-school jitters from my very sensitive nine-year old. We'll try again tomorrow....

Monday, August 11, 2008

School Shopping

I remember making a day out of getting ready for school! It was so much fun and always something I looked forward to. I had to try on twenty different things before I found just the right outfit, and I always had a long list of stores I wanted to check out.
As my nieces got older, I would make a day out of it with Elizabeth and Jolyn. I was the one they wanted to take them shopping. I would watch them try on all their outfits, we would laugh and talk and go out to lunch. Such great memories...

Yes, fun school shopping is now just a memory for me. Why? Because I have BOYS! Arrrgghhh!!!
They are NO fun to shop with!! They want in and out and fast as they can. They have Star Wars and Pokemon on their minds. Christian just grabs the first pair of jeans he can find, and Cayson tells me that they all look the same to him. They're both distracted and talking about other things. I have to ask them both ten times which shirt they like best. Neither one of them want to try things on. "Do I have to?" they both say. This is not the school-shopping experience I envisioned as a mom. I wanted to be the laid back, cool mom who was fun to shop with - not the frustrated, disappointed mom who looks like she is ready to pull her hair out!

To ease my pain, I took Jillian to Carter's for some fall clothes. She's only one, but as she would grab a shirt and say "Cool", I knew there was hope!

CRAP, I just remembered the boys need shoes.....

Friday, August 1, 2008

Jillian's story

I've wanted to write my experiences down for a long time but never have. Other blogs I've read recently (Dana, Tamra) have inspired me to finally do it!

Jillian Mirinda Larsen was born June 2, 2007. It was a Saturday morning when we left for the hospital. After 4 hours of labor, Jillian came into this world at 1:17 in the afternoon. She weighed in at 8 lbs 10 oz and was 21 inches long.
I, of course, cried when I was able to hold her for the first time. I was so excited to finally meet her. I looked at her in awe, thinking how pretty she was and couldn't believe she was mine. She had dark hair and such a pretty complexion. I couldn't have been happier. Shawn was such a proud daddy and couldn't stop smiling as he held her. He even played her some Star Wars music on his cell phone. I could tell that she instantly had him wrapped around her finger.
We were so happy to finally have our little girl. We had been waiting and praying for six years to have another baby, and now she was finally here! We knew that we were supposed to have her in our family, and we never gave up hope. The years of waiting didn't seem to matter anymore as I held her. It was perfect timing, and I couldn't imagine having her at any other time in my life. I knew that we had waited for a reason and that we had learned something from it. Here is Jillian's story.

This was our family 1 year before Jillian was born. Christian was 12 that summer, and Cayson was 7. It had been five years since we had decided to try for another baby. The boys were growing up so quickly, and sometimes we wondered if starting over was crazy. It had been so frustrating and heartbreaking month after month finding out I wasn't pregnant, especially after so many years. We thought our prayers had finally been answered when I found out I was expecting the beginning of June. We were so happy and excited. We were finally going to have our baby, or so we thought.

I was feeling wonderful. I was sick and feeling pregnant, but I was so happy that it didn't matter. I went in for some blood work on a Wednesday and Friday. It was a routine thing they do to measure the level of hormones in my body. They were supposed to double every day, so I had to do it twice. On Saturday, everything changed. I was feeling just fine, but I was bleeding. I tried to tell myself that it was normal and that everything was fine. I went about my day trying hard not to think about it, but down deep that was all I could think about. On Sunday morning, nothing had changed. I was preparing my Relief Society lesson that I had to teach that day. I couldn't concentrate very well, as my thoughts kept turning to the baby I was carrying. My lesson that day was on the scriptures and finding answers in them. I finally put my lesson aside and starting praying. I asked Heavenly Father for everything to be alright. I told him how much I loved and wanted that baby. I told him that I just needed to know what was going to happen, so I could feel peace. I said that my lesson was on finding answers in the scriptures, so if that was true, to give me an answer. I picked up my scriptures and starting thumbing through them. I felt discouraged and alone. I didn't really think I would find anything. Just as I was about to give up, my scriptures fell open to a verse in the Bible. I stopped and read it as it called out my name. I don't remember the exact words or exact verse, but it said something like this: "The mother will not be strong enough to deliver. " I remember reading and rereading that passage as a numbness came over my body. I closed my scriptures and tossed them aside. (That's why I don't remember exactly where it was.) I didn't want to believe it. It was just a coincidence I told myself. I wouldn't tell Shawn what happened, and I went to church and taught my lesson. Deep down, I was scared, but I wouldn't let anyone see that. Monday morning I awoke in pain. I called my nurse at once. My blood work had come back, too. Everything had looked good on Wednesday, but my hormone levels had dropped by Friday. Between that and the pain, she said that I would miscarry, and there was nothing I could do about it. I don't think I have ever cried harder in my life. I was devastated. Shawn was too, but he tried to be strong for me. I lost the baby Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday afternoon, I sat at the kitchen table with my scriptures. I didn't understand why I had lost the baby, especially after so many years of trying. I definitely questioned why it had happened because I felt like that was our one and only chance at having another baby. I decided the best thing to do was to go to Heavenly Father in prayer. I prayed for peace and comfort and asked Heavenly Father to help me through it. I told him that I couldn't physically or emotionally go on with this trial any longer and that if we weren't supposed to have anymore children, to please let me know so that I could accept it and move on. After I prayed, I began looking through my scriptures. I had found my last answer there, so I wondered if it was possible to happen again. I came upon a passage, again in the Bible, that caught my eye. I felt peace come over me when I read, "The Lord will respect you, and you will be fruitful and multiply".

On Wednesday, I had to go to the doctor to get a shot. After leaving, I was feeling especially down. I had just been in a doctor's office full of pregnant women. I was crying in the car as I was driving home. I wanted to believe in the experience I had the day before and believe that I would one day have a baby. You would think that would be enough, but I found myself praying to Heavenly Father and asking for more. I told him that it was too hard for me to wonder if I was pregnant every month. I couldn't start that over again. I told him I believed it would happen, but I just wanted to know when. I really didn't think I would get an answer to that question. I was asking too much. But as I was praying, I had a feeling come over me to be quiet and turn up the radio. The radio had been on all along, but it was down so low that I hadn't even realized. I didn't think much about it as I turned the radio up, but then it happened. A song was just starting. A song I knew and had heard many, many times. At first, I didn't think anything about it, but as I listened to the words, I felt like they were spoken directly to me.

Green Day - Wake Me Up When September Ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Like my fathers come to pass
Seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends

Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are

As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends

Ring out the bells again
Like we did when Spring began
Wake me up when September ends

I felt this incredible, overwhelming peace as I listened. It talked about how 7 years had gone by so fast. Cayson was 7. It talked about being drenched in pain. That is certainly how I felt. It said my memory would rest, but I would never forget what I lost. Oh, and one more thing. It said I could celebrate like I had in the spring and that I would wake up when September ends. I knew it was crazy. I knew no one would believe me. But that was my answer. I would be pregnant by the end of September. Was it really possible to have such an exact, clear answer?

Of course, I didn't tell Shawn what had happened. I didn't want September to come and go and end up looking like an idiot. But I did hint to him. I would tell him that I was okay and that my guess was the end of September. He would just look at me. I think he was worried about me getting my hopes up. He probably thought I was crazy.

I went to see the doctor the end of June. I didn't know how long he would want me to wait before trying again. I had heard many times over that you should wait a few months, so your body can recover. And yes, that is exactly what he said. My heart sank. If I had to wait that long, then I would never be pregnant by the end of September, and everything I experienced was just too crazy to have happened. (I was already second guessing myself) As the doctor was leaving the room, halfway out actually, he stopped and came back in. He just stood there, then looked at me. I was shocked when he proceeded to tell me that If we needed to wait and give ourselves time to recover mentally, that we should take all the time we need, but if we were ready, I was just fine physically and we could begin trying. My heart was so full. Maybe I just wasn't so crazy after all.

Of course, all was easier said than done. The reason I had such a hard time getting pregnant is because I don't ovulate very often. The doctor didn't want to put me on anything just yet. He wanted me to wait a month to see if my cycle would start on its own. JUST GREAT. I tried to stay positive. If September was supposed to happen, then of course things would go right with my body. WRONG. Now it is the end of July, and nothing! I have two months left before the end of September and now what? That's right, I'm going on birth control. Uh, doesn't that go against the whole baby thing? Fast forward...

Now it is the end of August, and I can finally go off the pill. A few days into September, I started my Clomid. Okay, let's look at the big picture here. We had been trying, unsuccessfully, for 5 1/2 years now, and I am supposed to believe that I can get pregnant in the next few weeks? I think I was testing Heavenly Father. Not to give out too much information, but there was only 1 chance that month for me to get pregnant. There was no way! Of course I was second guessing everything that had happened. The rest of the month seemed to me to have been the longest ever. I was anxious, worried, nervous and scared. Maybe I had just imagined it all...
At the end of September, I was feeling nauseous and tired. Could it be? I knew I didn't need to take a test to tell me that it was true. We would be able to celebrate again.

After talking to Shawn and telling him my experience, he told me that he had been praying, too. When I had gone on the Clomid the beginning of September, he told Heavenly Father that it was too hard to watch me go through this anymore and that if I wasn't pregnant by the end of the month then that was it. He would know it wasn't meant to be and we would move on.

I know that Heavenly Father loves me, and I know he has a plan for me. I know that I went through this as a learning experience. I know with all my heart that He hears my prayers and answers them. I know that they are not all answered to this degree, but I now know that I won't second guess the answers I get. I know that he cares about what I am going through. I know that when I feel the spirit, I need to listen. Jillian is our little miracle, and we love her so much! I thank God every day for the gift He gave me.

Now I'm almost afraid of asking if we're supposed to have another one... I told Shawn it was his turn.

Wrapped around his finger

So, last night we're at Wal-mart, and the boys each wanted an action figure. Shawn told them they would have to use their own money because we weren't buying toys tonight. Shawn then came to find me and Jillian a couple of aisles over, and she was holding a toy, pointing and jabbering away and giving it hugs. He then turned around and told the boys to go back and get the one they wanted because he had to buy Jillian what she was holding. Boy, does she know how to work Daddy, and she doesn't even know it yet! Wait until she figures it out....