Tag Archives: accomplishments

We Are So Thankful

The season of thanks is upon us once again and we have so much to be thankful for this year. Along the journey, we have learned to be thankful for everyday and grateful for all of the little moments throughout the year. As we reflect upon the last year, one thing stands out most; progress. We are so thankful for progress. Braxton has accomplished so much in a year and what once was very slow progress, is now exploding in so many ways.

This time last year, Braxton took his first unassisted steps and at most walked about 10 steps on his own. He was eating 2-4 ounces per day. He had no words and minimal sounds. Though progress was slow, there was, in fact, progress. Braxton can now walk unassisted, albeit a bit wobbly, an entire city block.

He’s on his feet more than he crawls around. He eats nearly 16 ounces every meal and you’d never guess there was ever a time he couldn’t or didn’t want to eat. He still has no words, but he is so much more vocal these days. Thanks to technology, he now has a voice through the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app, Speak For Yourself on the iPad. He’s learning everyday how to use the app to communicate with us.

Braxton pointing and telling me he wants to eat on SFY.

Braxton pointing and telling me he wants to eat on SFY.

His dexterity, focus, and fine motor skills are still slow to come, but he is so much farther along this year.

Braxton learning to string beads

Braxton learning to string beads

These are huge accomplishments for Braxton, but there are also so many little things we are thankful for this year.

 

 

We’re thankful for the coos and babbles that wake us before the sun, because it means we’ve been granted another day.

We’re thankful for the extra minutes of rest we can steal when Braxton will snuggle in bed with us.

We’re thankful for the sweet smile and not-so-gentle pat on the back that says, “Wake up, guys!”

We’re thankful for the sweet way Braxton pulls you close for a hug and rests his head on your shoulder.

We’re thankful for the way Braxton pulls our arm back around him when the hug wasn’t quite long enough.

We’re thankful for the look Braxton gives when he recognizes you and the way his eyes light up and his beautiful smile crosses his face.

We’re thankful for the way his whole body tenses up and he shakes with excitement, or kicks his little legs.

Big Smiles

We’re thankful for silent way Braxton says “I love you.”

We’re thankful for the incredible sibling bond he shares with his amazing big sister.

A sibling love that cannot be broken.

A sibling love that cannot be broken.

We’re thankful for the messes Braxton makes, because it means he’s mobile and independent.

We’re thankful for the countless hours of therapy that have helped Braxton along the way.

We’re thankful that we are down to seeing our specialists once a year.

We’re thankful for Braxton’s good health as of late.

We’re thankful for the sweet moments in parenting that melt away bad days and tell us we must be doing an alright job.

Sleeping

We’re thankful for therapists who have been in our home since Braxton was 8 weeks old. Their tireless work with Braxton goes far beyond therapy. They love and care for our sweet boy and share in our pride when Braxton reaches a goal. Braxton is not just a patient or a paycheck to them. We have been extremely blessed.

We’re thankful for wonderful teachers who have joined our team this year and have already fallen in love with Braxton. They have such a love for all of their students and we’ve seen such progress since Braxton started with them in August.

Braxton walking with his teachers

Braxton walking with his teachers

We’re thankful for the tantrums Braxton throws when he gets told “no” or has a toy taken away, because it shows he has the cognitive ability to understand and a way to communicate when something is unpleasant. It’s also a “normal” toddler reaction, so it’s a nice reminder that not everything in our life is atypical.

Braxton Upset

 

We’re thankful for the times Braxton gets himself in trouble by opening the oven door, swinging the lid on the trashcan, opening the cabinets and banging pots and pans, or unraveling an entire roll of toilet paper, because do you know what cognitive and motor skills it takes to do any of these things!? Although it can be frustrating and we get upset with Braxton, inside we are elated because this shows so much progress!

We are thankful for the sweet laughter that fills our home daily.

 

We’re thankful for family that loves and supports us in so many ways.

We’re thankful for friends who care and share in our joys.

We’re thankful for people who read our blog and share our Facebook posts and have fallen in love with a little boy they have never met.

We are thankful every day for so very much in our lives. We remain positive in our journey because positivity has so much more power and love than focusing on the negative. We have bad days, but they don’t last long because we allow positivity to permeate every aspect of our life.

We wish the same for you. Look for opportunities to be thankful. Live every day with gratitude and positivity. Let your thanks extend beyond today and this season. From our family to yours, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

 

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Who Flipped the Switch?!

He loves playing with his sister now

He loves playing with his sister now

In just a couple of days, (Jan. 24th) we will officially have a 19 month old on our hands! Braxton continues to make significant progress in all areas, and we could not be more thrilled.  Braxton is truly starting to come into his own person.  This little boy has developed an entirely new personality, perhaps not completely new, but we are starting to see new traits.  He is quite the little jokester.  He is really starting to do stuff like drop things on purpose to see if we will pick it up, all the while looking and grinning at us like he knows exactly what he’s doing.  He’s also developed purposeful play.  He will crawl over to a toy with intent and actually sit and play with it for long periods of time before moving on to the next toy.  You can tell that he is very focused and concentrating on the fine/gross motor skills required for the task at hand.

At the end of November, we sent his hearing aids off to be repaired and we JUST got them back about 2 weeks ago and he is adjusting to them again, but we’re definitely seeing improvement.  He is making new sounds throughout the day (naturally, he says and does nothing when the Speech Therapist is here – jokester, I tell ya) and laughing so much.  It is such a joy to sit back and watch him play and crawl around like I never thought possible.  Every single day I see him do something new and I just want to cry because I’m so happy to see him developing despite the initial prognosis.  He’s even enjoying playing with his sister more.  Aileen really loves that she can play with him and get feedback from him.  He laughs and squeals and is just overjoyed by the interaction. It just melts my heart.

Developmentally, I’d say Braxton is more on track with a “typical” 9-10 month old who is actively crawling and playing and making attempts at standing/walking.  He still has no real speech.  He makes sounds and babbles a little bit, but no words yet.  I get to sit and make silly sounds back and forth with him and am just thrilled to see him carry on the turn taking as he should.  Not quite imitating yet, but natural turn taking seems to be kicking in.  We are trying to focus on more sign language and even though he hasn’t quite developed the coordination, I’m hoping that seeing the signs over and over will help him to eventually pick it up.

We’ve even seen more cognitive problem solving skills develop.  He is actually thinking about things and how to do things differently.  For example, I’ve had to section off the living room to keep him from going to the kitchen and staring out the patio window.  I set his playpen between the couch and the wall so he can’t pass through. Well, Braxton will often kneel and try to push the playpen out of the way so he can get through! If I leave even a small crack and he thinks he can get through he will squeeze himself in and push and push until he gets stuck or edges the playpen out of the way so he can get through. Absolutely amazing.

Focused on his Xylophone

Focused on his Xylophone

There are significant advancements being made here and I’m so grateful to see Braxton reaching milestones left and right. It’s literally like a light switch flipped on in his mind.  He may still be quite a bit behind, but you can’t rush perfection 😉 He will do it in his own time, in his own way.  Keep up the great work, little man! Mommy and Daddy could not be more proud.

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Farewell 2012!

I cannot believe another year is coming to a close! I seriously think once you have kids it’s like someone presses fast forward on your life.  We’ve also been so busy this year it’s no wonder I have no idea where the time has gone.  Braxton has come so far this year and we’re so excited to see what 2013 has in store for him.  Cruising? Walking? Talking?? Eating?! All of the above??! Only time will tell.  Braxton is doing so well and doing everything in his own time.  With every milestone, we celebrate with him and everyday I’m amazed to witness all that he’s accomplished.

Noteworthy Accomplishments:

  • Oral Feeding – Before we ran into issues, Braxton was able to drink 4-5 ounces from a bottle and eating 4 oz of pureed foods 3 times a day!! We were fairly certain he’d have his G-Tube out by the end of the year…unfortunately, he had a major regression and stopped taking anything orally.  He’s making some progress now and we’re hopeful we can get him back here.
  • Rolling Over – Braxton was about 9 months (March 2012) when he was finally able to roll over from front to back and back to front.
  • Unassisted Sitting – Braxton was finally able to sit up on his own without assistance (pillow, boppy, mommy etc) at about 10 months (April 2012) he was a little wobbly for a while, but by May he had it down pretty well.
  • Up on All Fours – It wasn’t too long after rolling that Braxton started pulling himself up on all fours and rocking getting ready to crawl (even though actual crawling came much later)
  • Getting from a sit to crawling position – Braxton mastered this at about 13 months (July 2012) and was able to get himself from sitting down to his belly and up on all fours getting ready to crawl.
  • Pivoting from all fours – Once Brax was able to get up on all fours he wasn’t able to crawl, but he learned to pivot himself around to get where he wanted to go
  • Scooting Backward – Backward movement is important developmentally, and we were so excited to watch Braxton finally be able to scoot himself backward to get where he wanted to go. He’d scoot a little, sit up, get down and scoot some more until he got where he wanted to go.
  • Crawling – And finally, at 15 months Braxton started crawling.  He is all over the place now!
  • Kneeling – Now that Braxton can crawl he can get himself to a kneeling position to play with toys and back down to crawl to the next toy
  • Pull to stand – Braxton is now pulling up to a standing position on toys and furniture! Getting back down is still a little scary, but he’s getting better.  It won’t be long before he’s cruising along the furniture and then running away from us!
  • FIRST BIRTHDAY! – Braxton turned ONE June 24, 2012 – amazing in and of itself. He wasn’t supposed to make it home from the hospital, so to see ONE was a true blessing. As is every day he is here with us.

Medical Stats: 

  • I wish I’d kept better count, but we’ve had about 3-4 specialist appointments every month this year. Looking at our calendar this year I count about 48 appointments with specialists. [Feels like we were in the pediatrician’s office every 2 weeks due to Braxton’s congestion, so that adds quite a bit]
  • Therapy – I think starting at the beginning of this year we were up to 2 visits weekly for Speech and Physical therapy.  We started Occupational Therapy in August, adding another 2 weekly therapy visits.  That’s 6 therapy sessions per week for Braxton.  Thankfully, we have in-home therapy sessions, so we weren’t driving all over town for therapy.  We also had Vision therapy through the school district that came out twice a month.  She brought out Orientation and mobility services twice a month as well.
  • Next year, I’ll actually tally everything up…this year, I just know it’s been a lot!
  • Braxton had to go under anesthesia twice this year, once in April to have his ear tubes placed and probing & irrigation of his tear ducts.  An ABR to test hearing was also done at this time.  In May, he had a light anesthesia to have the ABR repeated since the first one was not accurate due to fluid draining from his ear.  The second time was in August when he had his hand surgery and another ABR to confirm his hearing results.

So, I started this blog on August 19th this year and we’ve had about 8,700 views in just 4 short months! You guys are awesome for visiting and reading and taking this journey with us!! WordPress put together an awesome little stats page for me to share with you and you can see that below.

Some of my personal favorite posts are:

Some of YOUR favorite posts were: [based on most page views and not listed above]

Some of my favorite pics this year: 🙂 

Stats from WordPress

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 15 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! MAY 2013 BRING US ALL BLESSINGS AND HAPPINESS!

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