Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hello from Sunny Flordia

Hello all. We made it!!!

I can't tell you how nervous I was for the travel! I was driving Jay nuts. I was so worried about everything - our luggage fitting in our car, checking in, security and then of course the flight. We made it and I am so happy to report that all went pretty well.

Packing the car was fun. We were slipping on all the ice on our driveway. We made jokes that it will be nice to not have ice to deal with for a few days! We had bags and luggage everywhere. One more piece and we would not have been able to fit it all.

We made it to the airport and parked the car. We had packed both of the boys car seat into one large bag that Granny and Pa let us borrow.

Walking from our parked car to the check-in gate - We were quite the sight. I had Griffin on my hip with the help of the hip hammock, Carson in the stroller, two bags on the stroller, I was dragging one piece of luggage with one hand and had one hand to push the stroller.

Jay had the giant bag with both car seats/toys/life vests, and two other pieces of luggage to pull. We kept having to take breaks because we did not realize that we should have gotten into shape for our vacation. Forget looking good in a bathing suit - we needed muscle just for the luggage. Then, at one stop - the big bag with the car seats BROKE.

We met a very nice man who worked for the airline and he helped Jay. It was very embarrassing. By the time we got up to the check-in, I was worn out and getting crabby. We made it though and the airline did not even charge us for our extra three pieces of luggage. We lucked out and headed to Security.

Walking up to Security I noticed the line and inside had to regroup - two kids that don't want to be contained! Fin does not like the hip hammock and Carson thinks he is too old for the stroller. This would not be a problem if Carson did not get distracted and just walk towards whatever is interesting - but I digress.

Then, all the sudden and angel appeared in a Security uniform directing me to the family line. I literally said - God bless you. As this line, this special, beautiful line just for families of stressed out parents and over excited kids had NO wait. We walked up to the conveyors and did the security thing with only a few minor issues.

On to the gate we went - our wait was not very long and then it was time to board the plane. Carson was now in a total fit of impatientness as he could not handle waiting one more second to board that plane. When they announced boarding for families I literally cut in front of all those annoying people that get in front when their line is not boarding for like another twenty minutes - but I digress again. At this point, Carson is trowing himself on the floor, Fin is screaming - Jay and I are trying to get all our carry-ons, tickets and ourselves on the plane. We had quite the group of people surrounding us during this time of entertainment. To make the most of the moment - I jokingly said that I knew all of them wanted to sit by us. Everyone laughed. Humor is great for diffusing stressful situations.

Once on the plane, the boys were PERFECT. Once we took off, Carson invited Fin to share his seat and watch his God Made Animals movie. They snacked, talked and just chilled out. It was amazing.

I have a funny moment. Right across the seat from me was a guy I went to high school with. I was nice to catch up and have conversation for some of the flight. They are on our return flight too. What a small world.

Grandma picked us up and when we got home - we hit the pool. Fin did not like it much but Carson LOVED it.

I am happy to report that everyone is sleeping well. The pool and fresh air is wearing the boys out and they both have napped everyday too.

Yesterday, we hung out by the pool while Bill and Linda worked. It was nice to just chill out. Grandma Ellie came over to visit as did Uncle Bob and Aunt Linda. That evening we had pizza with Uncle John and Grandma Ellie. It was really nice.

Today we went to Venice beach. Next Friday we are going to go to Siesta Key beach. Tonight we are just chilling out. We have been smart and are wearing our sunscreen.

Tomorrow the weather is not going to be great so, we are going to watch movies and if it is nice enough let Carson try fishing. I know that he will love that and has been looking at the boats going by, asking to fish.

Fin has started to like the pool. Carson is now tall enough to touch the bottom with his toes. Wow. time flies!

Monday night we will head to Orlando for three fun days of Disney Magic.

This is just what we needed. A nice long, relaxing vacation.

Just one comment - Carson told me tonight that he misses his bathtub and house. Fin has been telling me that he needs to go to Mommy's house. We love vacationing but the boys are homebodies at heart.


I am sure that there are tons of grammar errors in this post. I don't have much time and am working on a laptop with tiny keys. Please forgive me. You can make fun of me later!
Love you all and miss you - Em

Monday, February 23, 2009

Quickie!

I don't have much time to post as we have a very busy week ahead. All good things and we are so excited for our vacation!

I wanted to let you all know that your prayers and thoughts for Carson mean the world to us and we could never tell you all just how much your reading this blog and thinking of him means to us.

Are you ready for it?

Carson got all greens last week at school. Four days in a row he got a GREEN FACE! I can't tell you how excited we are for him. To know that he is listening and doing well while at school is huge for us. To know that he is not spending his day crying or in time out is huge for me.

He did it. I knew he could. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, these really hard times are usually followed up with some wonderful progress. I was too scared a month ago to really get my hopes up. Things were THAT bad but his hard work and all of our faith have come together and we are on the upswing of that horrible six weeks.

Jay and I are blown away by his language and behavior. The listening box we are using is a huge motivator and Carson got to cash in his listening poofs for a trip to the dollar store and lunch at Burger King.

I will post the pics soon. (I have to charge the battery)

Thank you again so much. When we have these amazing positive times - they re-energize us and keep us plugging along. As we leave for vacation, I have some worry of falling off of schedule but know that it will all be worth it.

Just so you know - these four green faces along with the three other green faces he has gotten these past four weeks - has earned Carson a trip to Mickey park. I made a big calender to count down our trip and decorated it with Mickey pictures and sparkles. Carson was told that he had to get five green faces in order to earn his trip. He did it and I am so happy. I never thought it would be four greens in a row but wow - just amazing.

When I discussed this idea with the behaviorist she recommended 10 green faces but had he not earned them - we would not have been able to go. I had to give him an achievable goal since there was no way we were not going. I am so relieved that he did it and now we can reinforce the positive behavior again in the future.

Love you all - Em

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A little bit of this and that!

Below are some pics of the past few weeks activities.


Chinese New Year
This past Sunday we celebrated Chinese New Year. We are a few weeks late but Tommy and Niki were in NY, so we decided to do it when they got home. Every year we celebrate in honor of my future niece Eden. If you are not aware, my sister and brother-in-law are adopting from China. They have been waiting almost two years already with a long journey ahead. We all love Eden so much already. We can't what to have her home and with our family.

Uncle Ron made this Thomas table years ago for Adrian. I must say, it is totally cool. He brought it over to my mom and dad's for the boys to play with. Griffin LOVED it.


Carson is into tools lately and although, he has two kiddo tool kits, he much prefers the kit my mom and dad made for him with real tool. We keep this at their house so that he has a treat to play with when we go over there. He even helped my mom change all her knobs on the cabinets this week. He is such a little handy man.


I thought this was very funny. This was Carson reaction when I threatened we would have to leave if he did not stop climbing the stairs. I guess he understood and decided to get as close to the carpet as possible and not move. (I did not have to tell him again!)


Griffin - happy as always, enjoying some ice cream!



Amiee and Ron went to a Chinese adoption conference in Chicago this past fall. While there they visited China Town and picked up some traditional New Year's crackers and candy. This is Amiee trying the New Year crackers. They were very pretty to look at but tasted horrible!

Jay being brave and trying one too.

Tommy and Niki - in just a few weeks they will be in NY permanently. I miss them already.


Our sweet Luca. He too tried the New Year cracker.


My beautiful sister. We also celebrated Amiee, Nonna and Uncle Ron's birthdays as well.


My parents love to entertain and go all out for every party. They decorate beautifully for Chinese New Year too. My mom makes stir fry, won ton soup, rice and almond cookies. Dinner is delicious. She also makes sure to have some GFCF goodies for Carson and Luca.

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Blakes 5th Birthday Party
We also had fun celebrating Blake's 5th birthday. He had a Buzz Lightyear party and got tons of toys. The boys had a blast playing in the new finished basement. Carson was very sad to leave when it was time to go.


Carson had to wear one of his Toy Story shirts in honor of the Buzz party. We might be having a Buzz party for him in just a few weeks. He and Blake are only three weeks apart.


Blowing out candles.


Being shy!

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Valentines Day!
Last week, I came home from the gym to find Jay, Carson and Fin making Valentines for Carson's school. It was too adorable. Carson did a great job and loved making them. We have been making them ever since.


Backyardagains Valentines. I got them at the dollar store. Yay for me! I love a good deal.


Fin's camera face. Whenever I get the camera out, he makes this face and says cheese. Too funny!


Putting on the stickers. What a good daddy!
(Oh! By the way, I got the BEST valentines day gift this year! I will have to fill you in on it at another time.)
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Sophia's 2nd Birthday Party
Earlier this month we also had Sophia's 2nd birthday. Sophia is my cousin Audrey's little girl. Sophia just became a big sister this past December. We did not take Carson to the party. He was having a very hard week and instead, he went to Granny's house to go sledding. Fin had a blast and calls Sophia - Fia.
Proud Nonno and baby Gianna. She is so sweet and looks just like Sophia did at that age.


I was showing Fin pictures of the party and he commented on this one - He very excitedly said "Fia's house!".



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In just one week we will be on our way to some warm weather. We can't wait. I plan on packing as much as we can this weekend to save us some stress this coming week.
Also - it would appear that I never go anywhere since I am never in any of the pics. I make Jay a calander every year for Christmas using the previous year's pictures, so I am always trying to get some good pics of him with the boys. I will have to be sure to get some pics of myself with the kids. Not that I love seeing myself in pics but to have some memories that I was there too.:)
Love you all and thanks for checking in!
Emily

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stay off of Facebook!

Okay...okay...sorry for slacking on the blog. Yesterday as I played on Facebook, our friend Margie IM'd me and told me to stay off of Facebook and update Carson's blog...so here I am. Thanks Margie! I've been relying on Em to keep this updated in all her free time at home...haha!

There is a lot going on. As you know, Carson got approved for the waiver, which is one of the biggest blessings for us. He started his new therapy center for OT about ten days ago. He goes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. He didn't do so hot the first day but this last week went much better. The therapist is very impressed with him and even asked Emily if she is sure it's Autism. Yay! She said that within two years, he should no longer be considered autistic. Of course, this is only one opinion but it is still great to hear. We are on the wait list for speech therapy so hopefully, that will start soon.

On another front, with the waiver, we quality for Respit (sp.?). This is basically having someone come to your home to help play with Carson, work on skills, etc. It is basically to give the parents a break to do something else. This person can go to family parties, shopping, vacations, etc. It's kind of like a nanny. We can get up to 38 hours per week but that seems like a lot and quite honestly, I can't imagine having someone here every night when I get home from work. After working all day, I usually like to just chill with my boys and Em at night through the week. I only get a few hours to see them. We decided to try about 17-20 hours for now, mostly in the afternoon when Em is by herself with both boys. We get to interview the people as they become available and decide if they are a good match for our family. We had our first interview last Friday. I won't go into details on here as to how it went but will be happy to tell some of you in person.....didn't pick that one. We didn't know how long we would have to wait for another interview but we lucked out and had one on Thursday. It went great! We hired her on the spot. She starts on Thursday. She works as a Para-pro at a local school and works with kids with Aspergers, etc. She also has a daughter with special needs so she knows exactly what we are dealing with. Right now, it seems like a perfect fit. She will be here M/W/F from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. and T/TH from 3:30 - 6:00 p.m. after Carson's therapy. This will give Em time to make dinner, etc. and we'll see if she can really cook???? haha!

We also started seeing a new psychiatrist. She practices homeopathy, which is very different but we're open to anything. We had an appt. a couple of weeks ago and she recommended a "remedy." We started it on Tuesday. He had been sleeping through the night before that but he is on two prescriptions and we'd like him off of them. Wednesday and Thursday he was up a lot through the night. She told us that the "remedy" may make him worse before better. It did! Friday and Saturday night went well and he seems to be improving so maybe she's on to something. We'll see. According to her, if the remedy works, it could cure all of his symptoms and he could start coming off the other meds and supplements. We'll see.

We started a new anti-fungal about three weeks ago. Nystatin is the one I read about and the one I had wanted the first time so the DAN Dr. prescribed it for us. This last week, Carson had tons of crazy BM's which seemed to be a lot of fungus coming out. Amazing! Disgusting...yes, but it is working! The other anti-fungal wasn't doing anything.

Our next step may be hyperbaric oxygen therapy. We're looking into it to begin in March when we get back from Florida. It's a big commitment because Carson needs to be in it for an hour at a time twice a day and it costs $2K per month out of pocket so we have to be sure that he will be able to be in it for two hours everyday, thus the reason to wait until after our vacation.

Carson did great at Blake's birthday yesterday so we're hoping for the same today as we celebrate birthdays for Nonna, Uncle Ron, and Aunt Amiee. Two nights in a row of sleep so maybe we're on an up swing. Keep your fingers crossed. A lot of good things have been happening this week......finally!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Off to see the Wizard!

There are many games we play in this house. With Carson's imaginative play taking off - we are often one character or another. Last night was a really fun game of The Wizard of Oz. Below are some clips of our playing.

Carson is always Dorothy - or as he calls himself - Carson Dorothy. Jay and I play many parts from the witches to the flying monkeys. Fin gets in on the action as Toto or the Lion. Those seem to be his favorite parts.
We have so much fun and the boys make us laugh so hard. Fin really gets into it. Although he is not even 22 months, he totally plays along and understands all that is going on. You can see both their personalities come out. Fin is observant and quiet but participates. Carson is the boss and gets everyone going. You can also see the love they have for one another.
As you will see, most of what we play ends up into a game of tag (in character, of course). Fin is barking throughout the video and does a great job of being the Lion. Carson will not let go of his basket and loves carrying Toto.

These types of activities are great motivators to get Carson talking and interacting with us.

Enjoy!

Disclaimer - the house is a mess so, please don't judge. I always pick up before bed and it was almost bedtime. Also, the video is bumpy at some parts. It could make you motion sick.

Oz #1
video

Oz #2
video

Oz #3
video

The End! (or so we thought)
video


When we were all done and I stopped filming. Fin ran upstairs (which is he not allowed to do alone) and came back with two monkeys for us to add into the fun. I guess he did not like Daddy's portrayal of the flying monkey and had a better idea! He amazes me with his insight and thought process. He is such a cutie!!





Have a great day!!!

Love you all - Em