You must be feeling good

Jonah has recently had a language explosion of sorts (better late than never? YES!) and he’s finally starting to, not exactly converse,  but at least be more conversational. He will also tell you what he wants. All. Day. Long. We’ve been going to the pool a lot lately (must get our money’s worth!) but today after speech I just needed to stay home, because I’ve been a rather “fun mom” for several days in a row, including taking the big kids to do fun stuff in the morning while Jonah is in summer school. And I just needed to be home to get some crap done, ya know?

So  of course, Jonah said, “I wanna go to the pool and go swimming.” and “I gotta go swimming!” and “I gotta go to the pool.” about 679 times this afternoon. He also put his shoes and socks on and said “I wanna go bye bye!” and I said “Where do you want to go?” and he said “I wanna go to the pool!” I promised him we will go tomorrow (unless it rains).

But anyway. Before all this communication about the POOL, we were at speech therapy, and he did a pretty good job cooperating. When we were done, he said to his SLP, “Bye, see you next week!” Then he went to the top of the stairs and said, “I’m going downstairs now, Mom.”

Kristen, his SLP, looked at me and said, “Wow, Jenny. You must be feeling…you must really be feeling good about him!”

And I almost didn’t know what to say back. Because the truth is I have a hard time letting myself feel good and encouraged. I am not sure why, but maybe it’s because I know there is so much work left to do still and I don’t want to allow myself to slack off or let him get off pace. So when she looked at me and said that and I saw on her face such an expression of happiness, I let go a little bit. I let myself feel it. I smiled back and said, “Yes, I am. I am feeling really good.” And I realized it was true.

I am so proud of my boy, proud of what we’ve done together. I can honestly say I wish there was no more work to do, but just seeing him make progress like this lately helps me know that we will get there.

Just now I was letting him watch a Laurie Berkner video on my phone (look, I get desperate around bedtime, ok?) and without prompting or anything, he looked up at me about halfway through and said “I’m watching a video!” Earlier during our “Mommy-Jonah” time that we do at home to work on speech, he volunteered the information, “I’m having fun!” Those are both new things I’ve not heard him say until this week – and it’s awesome!

So yes. I am feeling good about my boy. And I am trying to just really let myself feel it and enjoy it. Progress, we are a-makin’ it! And it. feels. good.

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Swim Team Win

I’ve written before about our adventures with the kids’ swim team – how Kate’s first year we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, then how we’d grown to love it, and eventually how we’d become a total swim team family.

Today I want to tell you about a swim team moment that will stay in my heart forever.

So, as background, last year Sam was not such a fan of swimming.

Here’s how he spent most of the season.

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This year? He loves it. He wants to be at the pool all. the. time.

Last Saturday, Kate and Sam swam in a local invitational (Jenny, “invitational” means there were lots of teams competing against each other). It was an optional meet for our team, and our two were among five kids from the Gators. All season, Sam has been swimming in the “assisted swim” events, which means that he has had a coach-in-training in the pool with him. As the season has progressed, he’s needed less and less assistance and had gotten to the point that the helper really wasn’t even touching him as he swam. None of the coaches-in-training had made it to the invitational, but we were all sure that this time, he could do it on his own.

Before his first event – the 25 meter freestyle – he was pumped and ready to go. Does he not exude confidence?

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(Self-appointed) Coach Kate gave him some tips…

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And he was off.

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He did great. He put his face in the water, he kicked, he did “big arms.”

For the first 30-ish meters.

Then he needed a breather, so he swam over to the lane line to hang on. At that point, the other kids (who all had helpers propelling them forward) were nearly to the end of the pool, and Sam was just a little more than halfway there. He looked around and saw that he was in the middle of the pool all alone, and he flipped out.

He clung to the lane line, looked at me and Andy and screamed “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!”

We both tried to reassure him, while at the same time motioned frantically to Kate to jump in the pool. It was probably 10 seconds, but felt like forever.

She had been standing by at the ready, and when we gave her the high sign she dove in and was by his side within seconds. When she reached him, I heard her say “Hi buddy, need some help?”

With Kate there, Sam decided to give it a go. As he swam – the only kid in the pool – all the parents, coaches, and other swimmers encouraged him. When he finally reached the end of the pool, the entire place broke into cheers and applause.

I was in tears.

Days later, I still can’t talk about it (or, evidently even write about it) without getting choked up.

I don’t know what it was, exactly, that made it such an emotional experience for me. I guess it was just the combination of things – seeing Sam in distress, watching Kate respond so quickly and assuredly, and witnessing so many people – complete strangers – support and hearten my little boy… it about did me in.

It’s something I will never, ever forget.

And when Sam’s backstroke event came around, Kate wasn’t taking any chances. She was right beside him, just in case.

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That’s really all I want for them. To know the other is there, just in case.

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Rough Week

Forgive me if this is not all that coherent – I am not operating on all cylinders at the moment. But here’s the story…

In January 2012 I wrote a post about how Kate had been randomly vomiting since the December before. Months of tests and MRIs and all kinds of stuff led us to find out that she had Rotovirus, and it was taking her system a long time to rid itself of the bug. But, it was a diagnosis, and we thought we would eventually see the end of it.

Two years later, we haven’t really seen the end.

It’s weird. It doesn’t happen with any regularity, but I’d estimate that about once every 4-6 weeks Kate has a bout of vomiting and/or other digestive issues. Typically, she’s sick once and then fine (which makes me REALLY PLEASED to have to take a day off work). A few weeks ago, though, she had an episode that lasted about four days, and we found ourselves back in the GI department at Cincinnati Children’s.

Initial blood and, um, other tests showed that something was off. She has inflammation of some sort in her intestines, but those tests weren’t enough for a diagnosis, so Wednesday (my 35th birthday, coincidentally) we headed back to Children’s for an upper and lower endoscopy.

I’m not sure which was more fun – Wednesday, the day of the actual procedure, or Tuesday, the day of preparation for the procedure.

Those of you who have been through such things know what I’m talking about.

It was really not fun for any of us, but overall Kate was a champ. She handled 36 hours of a liquid diet much better than I had anticipated. (I agreed to do it with her in solidarity, but you’d better believe I hit the vending machine for some M&Ms as soon as we got into the waiting room.)

The worst part – for Andy and me anyway – was watching her be sedated. I had a long list of things to worry about going into that day, and the moment of sedation wasn’t one of them. I was caught off guard by how disturbing that sight was.

Fortunately, everything they were able to see through the scope looked good. They didn’t see evidence of Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis or any of the other chronic conditions her blood tests indicated were possibilities – huge relief. But, we don’t know what it is yet. They took some samples to biopsy, and they’re running another test for a bacterial infection; hopefully one of those things will turn into a diagnosis of some sort so we can figure out what the heck this is and get it fixed.

I know this is a minor issue in the grand scheme of things, but I still hate to see my baby sick.

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