Monday, September 12, 2016

Happy Birthday Cody!

Happy 2nd Birthday to our little man Cody! He is such an adventuresome, independent, determined and "mostly" happy little boy and we are so thankful for all of the ways that he completes our family! He has changed so much recently with how much he is doing and saying and he makes us laugh all of the time! We love you so much Cody!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

1st Day of School

Today was our first day back to school and to our normal routines again and I think overall the day went as smoothly as it could go. For Colin and Kailey, we had prepared for this day for awhile by talking about it a lot. Colin is dependent on and feels most comfortable when he knows what is coming next and what to anticipate. To help with our morning routine and transition, I created a visual schedule for both Colin and Kailey so they knew what Chris and I expected of them when they got up in the morning. They both followed them really well and enjoyed taking the cards off (they are velcroed on) as they completed each task.

Cody, on the other hand, struggled a bit more. I don't think he was quite ready to get up (he had been up at 5 and we got him back asleep in our bed) but with all the chaos in getting ready, he woke up as well. It took him awhile before he would even crack a smile but once we got him going, he slowly came around a bit.  

Kailey was the most excited and she couldn't wait to get walking to the bus stop and head to school. I could tell that Colin was happy and ready to go, but he also had his "nervous face" (his lips get tight and he almost looks like he's going to cry) and was especially irritable at times (more when the rest of us weren't doing things EXACTLY how he wanted us to).

We  made sure we had everyone organized earlier than needed so that we could take some pictures outside and get to the bus stop with plenty of time. The bus stop is a new routine for us so we also had to do some talking about this as well.

We were really happy with the bus driver as she was really nice and had remembered seeing Colin in the past. She helped ease our worries with Colin's transition (which went great!). We had a whole plan in place that included the kids sitting together and that didn't happen either way which also meant that both Colin and Kailey were comfortable with that. We are also incredibly lucky this year because one of our neighbors and friends from church will be getting Colin and Kailey off of the bus every day so now they will just be able to be home and relax until I get home every day. It is such a nice relief to have that opportunity for them!

We are happy with our first day and all were exhausted so hoping for a continuation through the rest of the week! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Back to School

Tonight I am ending my 2 month break from blogging on the eve of our first day back to school and to our normal routines. For as much as we all enjoyed our summer, this structure is necessary for everyone. We had lots and lots of adventures, spent a lot of time at the beach, and grew (physically and metaphorically) in many ways. I am excited to see what this year is going to bring everyone and how they are all going to continue to change.

Colin has done so much growing this summer and has really matured a lot. He has really impressed us with how well he listened and complied with most tasks. Things that were always super challenging like cleaning up around the house,  getting dressed, handing over the ipad, etc. have really gone pretty smoothly. That's not to say there haven't been "moments", but those were also handled differently than they had been in the past. While we still always have to anticipate "what's next", I feel that I have been able to relax a tiny bit because for the most part, he's just been so good. We had a tutor for him this summer so I feel as though it took away some of the stress and worry that always accompanies the feeling of "are we doing enough?". He has really made progress and so we are thankful for the teacher that worked with him.

Colin will be starting in a regular first grade class with the same para as last year and the same special education teacher he had 2 years ago. Although this is where we want him, this placement is because he is currently in "stay put" as we await our trial that will begin in October (we have 4 court dates set). Last year was really such a great and positive year that we are cautiously optimistic that this will be the same. We really feel that last year "set the tone" in the sense that inclusion can be successful for him in his homeschool so we are hoping that his teachers going forward embrace him in their classrooms the same way his Kindergarten teacher last year did. New this year will be his transition to the regular public transport bus; he will now have a bus stop with Kailey and they will be riding together. After his success last year, we believe that this placement is the best one for him to reach his potential. We have learned to take each day one step at a time though as this is a fluid process and is ever changing.

Kailey is so ready for her transition to Kindergarten. In all honesty, this summer has been the most difficult with her because she has just been so emotional and in a lot of respects, not as compliant as she had been in the past. We think a lot of this is due to the transition taking place but it has been hard learning how to handle all of this appropriately. I also think that in her mind, she's growing up faster than her physical age of 5 so this has been tough for her. However, she has also really grown and matured a lot. She is so helpful with Cody and is really gentle and loving with him. She often takes on a "Mommy" role with him which is sometimes met with resistance (Mr. Independent). She will be starting Kindergarten in the same school that Colin currently attends on the same bus. To say she is excited is an understatement and we know that she is absolutely going to soar this year.

And lastly, there's Cody. He has been physically exhausting this summer because he is 100% all boy. He feels it is absolutely necessary to keep up with and do everything that Colin and Kailey are doing. He has a great personality and is always making us laugh but we have spent a lot of time working through typical toddler behaviors. We are currently dealing with difficulties in getting him to bed but we are REALLY hoping this will all get worked out with the onset of school. He will be returning to the daycare he was at last year with the same teacher he ended with. I think he's going to have a harder time than anyone but I also know that he will get there, no matter how long it takes.  

Here's to a great school year for the 2016-2017 year!