Monday, August 29, 2011

My Princess Met a Princess!

It's no secret that my kids and I love to go to Disneyland. A lot. I got my first pass when Jeremiah was 13 months old, and renewed it last September when he was almost 3 and Evy 6 months old. Originally I wasn't going to get my pass til closer to Evelynne's first birthday, but Jeremiah's OT recommended we get him one so that he could get used to being around big crowds, loud noises, and become desensitized to lots of flashing lights/colors/etc. You didn't have to ask me twice! I got the most basic pass you could get (which still cost an arm and a leg!), that only lets you go weekdays only during non peak seasons and is blocked out the rest of the time. I kid you not, when the pass isn't blocked out we are usually there at least once a week, sometimes twice (and once I think 3 time in one week!). Luis didn't get a pass because too much Disney and him do not mix, but next week he will be getting one :) We usually only went for the afternoon, and almost always met a friend or two there for play dates. Both of my kids absolutely adore going. And now that Evelynne is getting older, more aware of her surroundings and more verbal she knows exactly where we are headed! In fact, we pulled into the parking lot today and she yelled out "Oh boy! Minnie!" before you could even see ANYTHING Disney related; just the boring parking structure. I think I'm in trouble :)

Jeremiah's OT was right- getting the pass has worked wonders for him. Definitely the best money I have ever spent! Some of my friends and family are in a state of shock that I think it's way easier to take both my kids to Disneyland for the afternoon, just me and them without any help, than to the playground for 30 min. I laid down the law very firmly and VERY early on that you always always hold my hand, stay put, do not run, etc. and it has worked beautifully. Now that Evy is very mobile things are getting a little trickier, but she has always been better at holding hands, staying put and listening than Jeremiah was in the earlier years. So far so good.

The picture to the right was taken today with Ariel- Evelynne's first time meeting a princess! I think she liked her.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Catching Up on Growing Up

Nearly a year has passed since the urge to blog has come. I used to blog a heck of a lot more when Jeremiah was small, and when I was pregnant with Evelynne. I had the best intentions of blogging last year, during her first year of life, but in the beginning I had the fall back excuse of "I'm so busy with having a newborn and a toddler!" Then as the year went on and Evelynne required less demands of me, the demands required of me from Jeremiah were growing so much more. Things that should have become easier as he grew up got increasingly harder, and were not getting easier. Last year was supposed to be one of the happiest years of my life- gaining another child, especially the daughter I dreamed of and prayed for so long and so hard for (especially after a failed pregnancy), Luis and I were doing well financially, and Jeremiah was growing up... yet it was one of the darkest times for me. One that I really had no desire to blog about.

I believe I posted that Jeremiah started receiving speech therapy and occupational therapy when he was 21 months old (September 2009). I went into his speech therapies thankful for the services provided for him, but thinking that he would "blossom" and not need the therapies within six months. I was wrong. I had a gut feeling deep down from the moment his pediatrician even suggested that I look into interventions for him that something bigger might be wrong with him than being a "late bloomer," and that feeling turned into stress. And fear. (Because what parent actually wants something to be wrong with their child?) And my worst fears were confirmed on October 5, 2010, when my precious Jeremiah was diagnosed with a high functioning form of autism. It was not something I wanted to talk about, let alone blog about. Only a small handful of friends and even family members knew for the first few months. But now that nearly a year has passed since the diagnosis, I am finally able to talk about everything with confidence and pride, not discouragement, depression and anxiety. I've had to take baby steps- talking about it first with friends and family, then talking about it here and there on Facebook, and now actually journaling about it. It's not a secret anymore. I never wanted it to be a secret, but for a long time it wasn't something I could really talk about without tearing up. It's one thing to mention casually to someone in person or on Facebook about Jeremiah's interventions or progress; it's another to actually tell its story. And I'm ready to start telling our story again- because I truly miss capturing my children's childhood in words. So I'm back... I'm going to start blogging again :) The pictures above were taken just yesterday. Jeremiah is going to be four years old in just a little over 3 months, and Evelynne just turned 18 months old. I can't wait to continue sharing our story...but for tonight this is plenty for me. Stay tuned for more!