Tag Archives: milestones

Braxton’s 2nd Birthday

Happy 2nd Birthday, Braxton!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Braxton!

Braxton will be 2 years old tomorrow! Today, we had a few friends and family over to celebrate with us. He wasn’t quite himself today though. 😦 I’m not sure if he is coming down with something, or if he was just overwhelmed with everyone. Nevertheless, we had a nice day. We set up an inflatable pool for Aileen and some of her friends. Braxton slept through the first part of his party or he would have been in the pool too! When he finally woke up we did cake and presents. He got lots of goodies!

I still can’t believe Braxton is 2 years old! The past 2 years have been incredible and crazy all at the same time. 2 years ago we were told our son wouldn’t live for 2 weeks and we had no idea what the future held for him and for us. Now, we have a diagnosis, a better idea of what his future might hold, and so much more hope. So many things we thought he would never do, we now see him trying to do and know, that in time, he WILL do them.

At 2 years old, Braxton is developmentally about 10-11 months. He definitely has crawling down! He is all over the place. He is pulling to stand pretty much every chance he gets and will even hold on with one hand, or bend and stoop from standing and get himself back up. If we hold his hands he will take a few steps before he drops down and crawls off instead. He is cruising furniture a little bit and able to transition from one object to another while standing without losing balance. Braxton is still babbling and making a lot of sounds. Just because the research says he won’t talk, doesn’t mean we will stop trying to get him to talk. We talk to Braxton ALL the time, sign to him the signs that we know, sing to him, give him toys that play music and he is responsive! Braxton is even doing really well with the iPad! He used to bang his head on it or try and eat it, and now he is finally using his hands instead of his head or mouth. This is great since we will be considering a communication device for him. It’s so nice to see everything clicking for him.

Happy 2nd birthday, little man! Keep on writing your amazing story, I know you will continue to surprise us all.

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child

Typical, Yet Far From Typical

Big Good Morning Smile from Brax

Big Good Morning Smile from Brax

Here lately, Braxton has made some significant progress.  As he is getting older, he is “catching up” on some things, yet far behind in others.  I catch myself thinking, yup that’s what a toddler is SUPPOSED to be doing.  Or saying things like, boy it’s like we have a real toddler around here! (Obviously, he’s real, but he’s not at all been a typical toddler until recently) Braxton will be 2 years old next month (I can’t believe it!), but developmentally, he is still at about 10-11 months I’d say.  For instance, he is crawling fantastically and pulling up to stand and trying to cruise, which is typical for a 9 – 10 month old.  Once he really starts walking, I’m certain he will make so much more progress.  He’s getting pretty good. Here he is during a Physical therapy session doing some assisted walking…he took 30 steps while I was there for the tail end of the session.

Toys all around him.

Toys all around him.

Braxton is also doing really great with exploring his environment.  One minute he’s at the patio door and the next he’s in his therapy room with all the toys in the middle of the floor.  Yup, typical toddler leaving a path of destruction behind him.  For a long time, Braxton just sat next to us, slept, and pretty much did nothing. We’d play with him and there was no registered emotion.  Now, I walk in to a room and he’s pulled toys off the shelf, emptied toy bins, and crawling over to another toy and playing all on his own.  When we sit and play with him, he is actually quite interactive and will laugh and smile the whole time.  Especially when sister plays with him. He likes to pretend to knock her over and when she exaggerates the fall, he thinks it’s hilarious.  The sound of laughter fills my home and heart.

Are you talking to me?

Are you talking to me?

Braxton now also knows his name.  Just one other thing we don’t realize actually has to be learned.  I would call him all day long and get nothing in return. But a toy goes off and his head whips around. At first, I figured he was being a typical toddler by ignoring mom and only paying attention to cool toys, but it’s just taken some time for him to learn we’re talking to him and not the wall.  In the past couple weeks, I have called his name and he turns around with a big smile on his face. Or if he’s across the room, he turns around, sees me, smiles real big, and crawls as fast as he can over to me.  It’s the sweetest thing, but it’s been a long time coming.  I never thought it’d be almost 2 years before he understood much of anything.  He knows his name now, and that’s huge.

Another typical toddler thing he’s doing is dropping things on purpose and then crying dramatically to sucker mom into picking him up.  I have sat and watched him literally stick his pacifier over the edge of the play pen, swing it around, and then throw it.  He then stares at it, and then goes in to full on crocodile tears and drops to the floor just to make sure mom knows he’s really upset.  I just laugh.


Braxton is doing so well and I just love watching him develop.  Each and every accomplishment is celebrated in our home.  I am often so overwhelmed with joy that I just cry thinking of all the things he is doing that no one ever thought he’d do.  I’ve read the reports, I’ve talked to our therapists..they were all really worried at first, and so were we. And now, we all rejoice with his progress.  He never ceases to amaze us with his courage and determination.  Some days, in some moments, he’s just like any other typical toddler, although in reality he is behind and  so far from typical.  One thing is for sure, he is one extraordinary little boy who is going to continue to defy the odds and surprise us all.

1 Comment

Filed under Family, Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child

Braxton is 20 months!

It’s been pretty quiet around here appointment wise (thankfully), so quiet I didn’t even change my fridge calendar! Perhaps my own celebration of not having to keep up with appointment after appointment.  The calendar may not have changed, but another month has certainly passed.  I cannot believe that Braxton is now 2o months old. 20 months! Oh. My. Goodness! I already need to start planning his 2nd birthday! He’s mobile this year, so something like a bounce house is actually possible! We had a small party at home for him last year and since he can’t eat, we let him play with his cake.  He totally destroyed it, and he had so much fun.  I definitely think it’s something we will do again this year. 🙂

Demolished the cake!

Demolished the cake!

At 20 months, Braxton is crawling everywhere…and I do mean everywhere!  One minute he is in the living room, the next he is in the kitchen staring out the patio window.  I block him from the patio and he’s now discovered there is another window in the front room, so he goes there instead.  Smart kiddo!

Braxton also thinks he is a woodchuck.  He chews on EVERYTHING!! Poor kiddo has teeth coming in veryyy slowly, so naturally he is looking for relief.  He chews on anything he can get his mouth on (except for teething rings – he’ll chew anything but), so we go through lots of 409 and Lysol making sure everything is clean so if he happens to “taste” it, at least it’s not dirty or full of germs.  I think this is definitely something to do with sensory seeking, but I’m not really sure how that fits in to everything or what it really means for him.  I just know it’s a way for him to “know” and “discover” his surroundings.

Walking is not far away! I’m hopeful that Braxton will be walking by his 2nd birthday…that’s our goal.  He is doing better about cruising around the table.  He can easily get himself up to a standing position and back down.  He’s even getting brave and letting go and holding on with one hand or barely at all.  He will walk while holding our hands too.  We finally bought him some shoes too! 🙂

Exhausted after a long day of practicing walking...check out those sweet kicks! ;)

Exhausted after a long day of practicing walking…check out those sweet kicks! 😉

Eating is still a work in progress.  We’ve had very little success, but he is at least tolerating it now instead of completely refusing everything we offer him.  With his G-Tube he is still gaining weight appropriately, so we will just continue to work with him on eating.  He WILL get there eventually, I know he will!

There are also LOTS of new sounds! Braxton’s babbling has taken off.  He had ‘ma’ ‘ba’ ‘da’ ‘na’ down and I’ve now heard some ‘ga’ ‘la’ ‘ya’ ‘ti’ ‘ah’ sounds.  My day with him sounds something like, “babamamama dadada balababa ga ti ti ti yayayaya ahhhhh *loud shriek* bababbaba” We talk to him all day and repeat the sounds to him, make sure we name everything we do and show him.  We’re even learning some sign language and trying to teach him so that hopefully he picks up one or the other just so he can communicate with us.

He’s also much more playful now!  He is actively engaged, focused, and truly entertained.  We can sit and roll a ball with him for about 20 minutes before he loses interest.  He is practicing some excellent turn-taking skills (which are a pre-cursor to language) and so many other little things that are so important to his overall development.  I’m really excited every day for all the new things he is learning.   Here is Braxton playing catch with his Physical Therapist and Speech Therapist. 🙂

 

Look forward to all of the awesome things he’ll be doing next month!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Family, Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child

Super Saturday

Rarely do I post twice in one day, but today has been amazing! Braxton tried to WALK today!! And he played catch with me!!

He’s been taking a few steps holding our hands, but today he walked about 20 feet with me!! We caught him a little bit later on video:

So incredibly exciting!

And if that wasn’t enough, Braxton sat with me for a good 30 minutes rolling a ball back and forth. He just laughed and laughed the entire time! Dad caught us playing a little bit:

 

Moments like these are so incredibly precious to me.  For a long time, we thought moments like this would never happen, so to finally see such progress is so amazing.

2 Comments

Filed under Family, Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child

Moving Right Along

Have I mentioned how amazing Braxton is?! OK, sure, I’m just a tad biased, but this little boy continues to amaze us all each and every day.  Since we’ve had his hearing aids back from repair, he has been so much more vocal! He’s just “talking” up a storm now! It’s the cutest thing.  All of our therapies alternate between seeing him at home and seeing him at daycare.  I’m so thankful that they have been very flexible with us, and even more grateful for their continued perseverance with Braxton.  He has truly turned a corner and taken off in a way I never thought possible.

Since I work during the day, I communicate with all of the therapists via e-mail, texts and phone calls. Yay for modern technology! When Joseph is home, he fills me in on how the visits went, but I still stay in close contact with everyone.  I want to be sure Braxton stays on track and that we are doing all that we can at home to ensure his success.  They can’t accomplish all the goals simply by seeing him twice a week, there is lots of practicing and reinforcing throughout the week.  I’m glad his daycare is so instrumental in this as well.  Everyone in our lives has done all they can to help Braxton succeed, and he’s doing just that.

This week, his Occupational Therapist sent me a message mid-session because she was so excited that Braxton was playing with a toy piano using BOTH hands together and he even clapped a few times in a row without being prompted!! So AWESOME!! We’ve been working on clapping, bringing his hands together, trying to bring two toys together, and so far, he won’t do it.  We can prompt him or hold him at his elbows to make his hands clap and he laughs and laughs, but won’t do it on his own.  So for him to do it at all was a HUGE deal!

Today, his Speech Therapist called me after their session excited that he was very vocal with her today.  (It always happens that he shows off his vocal skills for everyone except the ONE person who NEEDS to see them…sheesh) But today, he talked to me in the car the ENTIRE way to daycare.  It’s about a 30 minute drive from home, so it was so nice to babble back and forth with him on the ride.  I was afraid he’d be all talked out for his session, but he wasn’t. 🙂 She told me that he talked almost the entire session for her.  He was very attentive to the books she had and since he was babbling “ba” over and over, they worked on the animal sound for Sheep.  It took a little bit for him to repeat it when prompted instead of saying it just because, but eventually he did it! A few weeks ago he even attempted to imitate a lion “roar” and our therapist sent me the pics above from that session! OH, and how could I forget! She said she walked in to daycare and he had his back to her so she called his name and he immediately turned around, recognized her voice, and smiled as he crawled over to her! At 19 months, Braxton still doesn’t really know his name or consistently turn to it when called, so moments like this are golden.

Our monthly supervisor visit for Physical Therapy is on Monday, and I look forward to a message from that visit too.  Braxton is quite the charmer when MEP comes to visit. hehe

Sometimes,  I feel guilty for working outside the home and not being instrumental in these sessions, but our therapists do such a wonderful job of keeping me in the loop and I do all I can to reinforce everything at home, so it’s like I’m not missing out at all. I love receiving pictures, texts and phone calls from everyone.   I’m grateful everyday knowing that we started therapies almost immediately once Braxton was home from the NICU. On paper, they all said the prognosis for Braxton seemed very bleak. Upon meeting him, they were all hopeful he could at least be helped. And now, they too are amazed by our little man and all of the progress that he’s made.  A teacher once told me, “The only limits you have, are the ones you put on yourself.” Braxton certainly seems to understand that his success is truly without limits.  I can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child