Saturday, December 5, 2015

Seth Garrett Hudson

Welcome to our family, little man!

Seth Garrett Hudson
November 28, 2015, 1:22 pm
6 lbs. 8 oz.
19 inches long

Rocking out to music in the hospital...Or doing the newborn hearing screening test (which he failed the first time in his right ear. Passed the second time)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fall and Stuff

Day 2 of preschool was a field trip to the pumpkin patch. We started it off strong with a fall in the mud...

Followed by an alpaca sneezing in Evan's face and making him cry.

There was quite a bit of, "Wait in line," "Get in line," "Stay in line" kind of stuff for this 3-year old. Also quite a bit of walking. By the end of the day, this was a common sight:

But he was a trooper and kept up with everyone and loved the hayride and maybe even learned a thing or two about farm animals while we were there. We actually went back to the pumpkin patch a few weeks later to enjoy the activities at our own pace, without any lining up stuff, and he loved it.

Our next adventure was a day trip to Apple Hill with some friends. Apple Hill is a community of farms in the foothills where there are a variety of apple/farm related things to do/eat/see. We also started this trip with a fall in the mud, but carried on bravely and were able to enjoy apple rings (peeled, cored, sliced, and put on your thumb), a corn maze, farm animals, and apple doughnuts. 

For Halloween, Evan was...a firefighter! Let's all act surprised about that one. I tried to coordinate our car for trunk-or-treat to match his costume. We had "burning buildings" and the bowl of candy was inside the flames for the kids to reach into. Between trunk-or-treating and two trick-or-treating experiences on Halloween, Evan actually started to learn the whole "Trick-or-Treat!" and "Thank you!" concept. He had no problem walking around the block, knowing that more candy was waiting at the next house. 

We will now be changing Evan's middle name to Monet. Or Claude. This kid will do art projects for HOURS every day. Chalk outside. Chalk inside. White boards, paper, water colors, paints, stickers, crayons, markers. You name it. And no need to ask what he's drawing. It's a temple. Every time. With a "huge, huge, fantastic, big steeple" and Angel Moroni on top.

He also loves reading books (pronounced "bokes") all the time. He's fully convinced that book I'm reading him (On the Way to Kindergarten) is called On the way to Preschool. Nobody better tell him otherwise.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Evan's 3rd Birthday

I don't know that 3rd birthdays are usually that big of a deal for most kids, but in the world of therapy services, turning 3 actually changes a lot of things. For Evan's whole life he's qualified for early intervention services which cover kids' therapy needs from birth to age 3. Now that he's 3 his services transfer to the school system. No more in-home therapy.

Evan had an extensive assessment with the school district to see if he qualified for therapy under the school system's requirements for "disability." He was observed and questioned by a school psychologist, a speech-language pathologist, special education teacher, an occupational therapist, physical therapist, and an adaptive p.e. teacher. We had a lovely meeting with all of them about a month after the assessment where they went through their findings:

Pre-Academic/Learning Skills and Fine Motor: Evan has mild delays in fine motor and academic skills. Not enough to qualify for OT or academic therapy at school.

Speech: Evan is a speech genius. He talks a lot. He makes lots of typical 3-year old articulation errors but is understandable enough that he doesn't qualify for speech at school.

Gross Motor: On a physical assessment where the standard scores are between 8-12, Evan scored a 3. This shouldn't be a surprising finding for anyone who knows Evan. This is the area that qualifies Evan to start attending preschool where he will be able to continue receiving physical therapy as well as adaptive p.e. sessions.

Cognitive: This area was super interesting for me. We know that spina bifida is primarily a physical disability, NOT a cognitive one. In fact, it kinda bugs me when people act surprised when Evan does "smart" things. It sometimes seems that people assume an intellectual disability accompanies a physical disability. But anyway, we do know that spina bifida is often associated with learning delays--typically math and executive functioning kind of stuff. So Evan's cognitive assessment showed a wide discrepancy between his ability to process verbal and nonverbal tasks. (Verbal task meaning responding to oral instructions to identify objects and pictures. Nonverbal task meaning matching pictures by visual concept or constructing blocks to imitate a model.) His assessor said they don't usually see such a wide range between the two areas, and that this kind of a gap tends to signify a learning disability. While I've known this could be something we experience, I was surprised to see that a learning disability can manifest itself at such a young age and through an assessment like this. Since he's still so young they won't formally diagnose anything yet, but he will be monitored closely in his preschool program to see how he's progressing. It's possible that by kindergarten or 1st grade they will be able to better identify or label his cognitive needs at school.

So preschool started Monday.

I wish I had been a mother of a preschooler prior to being a preschool teacher. Now I "get it." It was tough to walk away. The report at the end of the day was that it was a rough start but after circle time he was fine and became really chatty. His former speech teachers would probably be in disbelief that "chatty" was the descriptor used for Evan. I was proud.

Evan's class runs Monday-Friday from 7:30-9:30 am. Evan's class is all 3-year olds. One special education teacher and two para-educators. Mon/Wed/Fri will have 7 students who all qualify for preschool based on some sort of disability. There are speech and occupational therapists who regularly visit the class to help these other students and they will continue to monitor Evan. Tues/Thurs will have an additional 7 students who are "typically developing." I love that Evan will have this kind of mix of friends to learn with.

On another note, Evan chose a fire truck birthday this year. He also chose his cake. Eating cake and blowing out candles is basically all he understands about birthdays. All I understood was that Evan LOVES fire trucks, so his party was tailored accordingly. We invited a few friends for pizza and cake at the park and then went to a nearby fire station for a tour. It was Evan-style. Simple, and FIRE TRUCKS.

The 90+ degree weather was not anticipated for his October birthday, as evidenced by the melting frosting on the front of the cake.

Lounging at the fire house

For Evan's actual birthday--the day after his party--I kept asking him what he wanted to do. All he said was "eat fire truck cake." He said no to most restaurant choices as well as the carousel at the mall, but finally agreed on Costa Vida and a trip to walk around the temple. We closed out the night at home with the requested cake and candles in the new ninja turtle pajamas.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 1, 2015

We bought a house and moved. (That'll probably be a full blog post in the future)

Mama and Uncle Josh's b-day dinner at Pizza Bell
Evan turns 3 next week and starts preschool the week after. (This may also become a full blog post...once I've accepted it)

We put our Halloween decorations out today and we've got Evan's Halloween costume ready. It rained yesterday for the first time in forever and it finally feels like fall in Sacramento, including the bags and bags of leaves we've raked from the backyard. We're making final preparations for Evan turning 3. Presents bought, party planned, updating immunizations for preschool...

Baby Hudson #2 is fighting to be just as spoiled as Evan was. He is getting a full nursery make-over by Mama and Dada. Our overly-generous friends are making sure he has all the toys a baby could ever want. We've already been given his first pack of diapers.

Baby also seems to want to follow the Hudson trend of abnormality. When I met with my doctor a few weeks after our gender ultrasound she asked, "Has anyone called you about your ultrasound results?" "No." "Well, first of all, it's nothing major..."

Oh boy. This is starting to feel familiar.

To make a long story short, there were two not-so-interesting findings from the ultrasound that resulted in a Level II ultrasound which confirmed there was nothing very interesting going on. For now Baby just has a big head, which obviously is nothing new for us. It's not hydrocephalus big, just Hudson big. We'll count it a blessing that I'm required to have a c-section. We're 2 months from little man and his big head joining our family. If you want to know his name, try asking Evan. He's got some good ideas.