Braxton just had his third birthday! We are so thrilled with the progress Braxton has been making and cannot wait to see what the future brings. We are getting ready to embark on the next journey with Braxton as he starts school in the fall, and took time to celebrate this milestone with family.
Some milestones for Braxton this year:
- Braxton is officially cruising along walls, furniture, and anything that can hold him up!
- He still likes to “walk” on his knees, but he’s doing more cruising than crawling which is exciting.
- He took his first independent steps in therapy in November of 2013, and will take a few steps now, but mostly he walks with one hand being held.
- If we try to hold both of Braxton’s hands, he decides his legs are spaghetti and refuses to walk! Little joker, that kid!
- Braxton is FINALLY eating by mouth as of January 2014 and is officially over his severe oral aversion. He eats up to 40 ounces of pureed foods a day. We are still working on solid table food, but as of now he’s not a fan.
- He is also working on straw drinking and has so far only taken a few sips, but he’s getting better!
- He still has not learned any sign language or shown any interest, but we are continuing to learn and model for him just in case he decides to catch on and begin using signs.
- We have been working with an iPad to communicate with Braxton and letting him make his own choices. We use an app called Sounding Board and use 4 pictures of objects Braxton knows. (Or 4 activities he can choose from). Braxton effectively scans the board and makes a selection indicating his preference. He understands the purpose of the iPad and will reach out for it again when he’s made the wrong selection or is done with the current activity.
- Braxton’s receptive language has grown by leaps and bounds! He understand so much more now. Some words/phrases he knows are “It’s time to eat” – he whips his head around so fast and gets right over to his chair to eat. “Let’s go bye-bye” – he will stop his activity and go to the door when it’s time to leave. “come here” – About 70% of the time when we call his name or ask him to come to us, he will.
- Peek-a-Boo is hands down his favorite game. We ask “Where’s Braxton?” and he covers his eyes with his hands and waits a minute before uncovering them. When he uncovers his eyes we say “Peek-a-boo” and he has THE biggest smile across his little face.
- We are down to annual appointments with all of his specialists, which is great! At this point, Braxton is “medically stable” and we are just monitoring a few things to make sure there is no cause for concern later.
- Braxton is still receiving Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy twice a week. Our therapists will continue to work with him once he starts school as the school therapies are not enough to ensure his success.
- It seems like there is something new every week here lately, so be sure to keep up with us on Facebook so you don’t miss out!
This year,Braxton’s birthday party was superhero themed! We asked all of our friends to come to his party wearing their favorite superhero costume or t-shirt. At the party, we had felt capes and foam masks so that everyone could decorate their own! I also made a large city scape background for photos and just as a decoration. Braxton did get a little overwhelmed again this year, but he participated a little more in activities and enjoyed his special day. Here are some fun photos from his birthday party!
With so much turmoil in the world and our own stressful and emotional week, I was very much looking for a distraction to keep my mind off things. Today, we joined our amazing friends of U.R. Our Hope at Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio. While I wanted a distraction and to not think about our very recent diagnosis, instead I found myself willingly talking about it with the other families and by the end of the day, I had a reminder of how wonderful our life is and the gift we have been given.
After 21 months of being undiagnosed, we had truly formed a bond with many of the families we met who were on the same journey, so they had complete understanding of what we were going through every step of the way. In U.R. Our Hope we have a second family and a strong support group. I love our monthly meetings and getting to see everyone and how well the kids are doing and just getting to talk about everything. Although we have a diagnosis, we’ll still be very much a part of U.R. Our Hope and they will always have a special place in my heart for helping me heal when I didn’t even realize I needed to be.
Having formed real friendships with some of the other moms, they were genuinely interested in hearing our news about the diagnosis and talking it out with me. The more I talked about it and said everything out loud, the more my understanding and acceptance grew. Yes, there is still a long road ahead and I still have many questions, but for now, I’m content with the answers I have. The other moms also helped me to see the good and hope that exists within our diagnosis. I needed that outside perspective and I’m so thankful to have gotten it today.
In addition to talking, as I watched Braxton laugh and play I was reminded of my own words to embrace this life we have been given and take it day by day. This loving and joyful child in front of me is such a gift and he is going to write his own story. Everything is absolutely going to be okay.
I saw so much joy today and my heart is full again. Not just Braxton, but the smiles on all of the other kids in our group was exactly what I needed. Braxton loved the park and we’ll surely be going again! I was a little worried at first if he’d like it or even be able to do anything, but he was able to do everything! We rode on the carousel, he got to drive a car, he LOVED the swings, we rode a train through the park, and his favorite was the Xylophones set up in the middle of the park. Braxton definitely has the love of music in his genes. He was in the best mood today, and at lunch time we played peek-a-boo!
I’m so grateful to have a place like Morgan’s Wonderland to take him to! It was a fantastic day!
Picture Overload from today 🙂
Before we left!
Brax driving mommy!
He was so happy today
Swings are so fun!
Mom and Brax at the Carousel
Today was so fun!
Brax playing the wooden xylophone
Cross-Post from sister’s website about our fun preparing for Easter!! It’s been a great weekend! 😉
According to Aileen
We have had so much fun preparing for some Easter fun! Friday I was off of work and Aileen had no school, so we spent all day filling up plastic eggs with candy and then dying hardboiled eggs with Kool-Aid!! A friend suggested a different all natural DIY dye, but I forgot the list of ingredients and couldn’t get my stupid internet to work at the store, so Kool-aid it was.
Aileen had been watching the calendar like a hawk. So much so that she thought Easter was last weekend because the Sunday was split in half and she didn’t understand that it represented the next week. So all last week she was going around upset and yelling at me that she was going to miss Easter because I didn’t want to let her paint eggs. Sheeesssh!!! Drew out a different calendar for her and finally made her understand she…
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A few weeks ago, I started a second blog for Braxton’s sister, Aileen. Partially to help curb some of the behavior problems we’ve had recently due to some sibling jealousy(brother has a site, why can’t I), and partially because she’s completely awesome and hilarious and I wanted to post many of her stories, but they didn’t have a place here…now they do! 🙂 You can visit her over at According to Aileen: Life Lessons From My Daughter – Here are a couple posts you should read to see what an amazing sister she is 🙂
World’s Best Big Sister – Aileen playing with Braxton and her deciding to be an advocate for tube feeding without any prompting from mom 🙂
Faith, Hope, and Love – Our weekend of fun
I know I’ve mentioned it before on this blog that Aileen has been really great with Braxton. It continues to get better as Braxton gets older and is able to do more with her. Braxton really enjoys playing with his sister now. Aileen took over his Sit ‘N Spin yesterday, and as she spun around and made crazy sounds he watched and just laughed and laughed. We all played catch together, and Aileen played alone with him and let him crawl over her and even helped him work on climbing up the stairs.
This past week was Spring break for Aileen, and Braxton got to join in on some Spring break fun. We took Aileen to a Jumpy Place and let Braxton sit in a bouncy house while Aileen jumped. He laughed as she bounced him, but wasn’t too sure what to do, so he just sat in the same place, but it was fun to see them together. Yesterday, the kids played together and we went to the store to buy some clothes to wear to Church for St. Patrick’s Day and bought a couple movies too. It’s been a fun weekend 🙂 Now to prepare for the back to school week ahead.
Picture overload of my two little loves enjoying each other: