Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Outdoorsing" again!

We were able to snag a couple of camping sites for this weekend (not an easy task, but we're good!!) but that means we had to pay for the site since Sunday. It's ok though, because we decided to head out there last night (Wed.) already and plan to stay out there through Monday...except of course here I am at home blogging on Thursday morning. hee hee And James is working and Caden has to be brought to school and all of that.

Speaking of Caden and being brought to school...there was an incident yesterday in the morning. I don't know details, but "for Caden's safety" he will either be moved to the back of the suburban (a total pain as we'd have to climb over other seats to get him buckled in) or possibly the route will be switched up so Caden isn't riding at the same time as another child. Please pray for this situation. I am bringing Caden to school for the rest of the week (started this morning) while it gets ironed out. Caden is FINE, wasn't hurt or anything, but his driver is a wonderful lady who wants the best for all, so she's working on it. I brought him this morning and met his 1:1 aide, Charon, who is another wonderful lady! We talked for a bit and things are going really well for all!

And guess whose birthday is on Saturday? Avery Sue will be 4!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pictures of Caden's school bus departure

Here is Caden waiting for the bus, posing by the suburban he rides with his driver Diana (we LOVE her, she brings him to and from school) and in his carseat, ready to go!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First day of Kindergarten - wow

Today was a rainy, dreary day, but I think Caden brought some serious sunshine into Madison Elementary. I just got off the phone from a 10 minute conversation with Caden's Kindergarten teacher and I am so elated. She called me to say that it couldn't have possibly gone any better. He was cooperative and friendly and just a peach!!! She told me the day started out with playtime and then they sat together as a group. Caden was making some noise (typical) and gaining some attention from his peers, so she decided to get right into it and tell them about Caden and how he communicates, how he's different from other kids. He heard his name and marched right up to the front of the room to stand with her while she talked about him. "Perfect", she said. I made up a Caden Dictionary with all the signs he knows, words he can say, signs he's made up and his 1:1 aide got that out when he was up front and he just signed away for them. The kids were blown away and were trying to learn them.

She's an experienced teacher which helps TREMENDOUSLY, but I am just incredibly touched that she called personally to talk about his day.

Caden stayed in the K classroom for the entire day. His 1:1 aide did take him out to try to use the potty once, but that's about it. Mrs. B (K teacher) did tell me that he got into another little boy's personal space by snuggling and the other little guy wasn't so appreciative, but they talked through that and got permission to tell Caden to move away, etc, so all is well. She also said there's at least one little girl who has taken Caden under her wing and is helping him out whenever and however she can. I love kids that age!

She said he totally brightened up her day and made many of the kids smile. She told the class that she thought the rain had stopped and they could go outside to play, and Caden clapped like mad! He went into the hallway to help staple up letters on the wall and loved being a helper. She also said I can send along the words to Caden's prayer and his 1:1 aide will help him say it before he eats, which THRILLS me. I didn't know if they could get in trouble for helping a child say a prayer in public school, but it's a total non-issue. She also assured me that nearly ALL the teachers at the school are Christians and they love him as such, which made my heart soar.

I'm impressed folks. I love it. Here I was, just a few days ago, thinking I could never send him, and here I am tonight after a phone call thinking - this is it God! This is exactly how I pictured it! You are so good!!!!!!!!!

Pics to follow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Meet the teacher day

Today from 2:30-4:00 is Caden's Meet the Teacher time. We will have to go into 2 classrooms - his special education classroom to meet them and to bring his diapers and wipes in and then the Kindergarten classroom to meet that teacher and bring all his regular school supplies. It will be nice to have all that taken care of before school starts tomorrow.

I've told a few people - Caden's been a STINKER this past week or so and I honestly can say that I am ready for him to go to school. I have been praying that God would give me peace and make me want to send him and guess what? As always, God came through! Wasn't exactly how I pictured wanting him to go to school because I've wanted to pull my hair out, but oh well, it works.

I'm still not certain I'm ready for tomorrow at 7:30 when the bus comes, but I know I'll make it. My good friend Val is having me over for what I call a Boo-Hoo Party. It will take my mind off it and we'll get to hang out and have fun. I can't wait until I can go into the school and see how Caden spends his time. That's what I want to know the most I guess and that's probably pretty typical of any child going off to school - what are they DOING with him all that time??

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Insensitive Hollywood....

I have read something tonight that makes my blood boil. It is found here:

Read that, try to calm yourself enough to sign the petition, and pass it along to EVERYONE you know. PLEASE do not see this movie. Do not perpetuate this kind of hatred.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

In a better mood now...

it's amazing what a little Dairy Queen will do for ya! I deleted an entire post here and no, you will not see it again. It was whiney and annoying, and it didn't need to be here. AND, it was also full of incorrect information (I love you Heather, but what are you smoking??).

Tonight was school registration for Caden. I went, paid a lot of money and now he's all signed up to go!

I am going to post an email that I just sent off to the RTS email list (all parents and family members of individuals with Caden's same syndrome) about how I am feeling on K. Please add your thoughts. I am really really struggling. The email is as follows:

I never thought this would be so hard. Caden has been going to ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education) at our local school for 3 years now. I have sent him off on the bus with a kiss and a wave and off he goes. He loves it. I loved it. Win, win.

But now this little man is entering Kindergarten. Never mind the fact that he looks at acts like a 2 year old. Never mind the fact that he is nowhere NEAR a 5 year old's capabilites. Just send him, right? Other parents do it all the time. He'll be fine.

I can say that to myself. I can post cute little inspirational sayings on my mirror and force myself to repeat them 100 times a day but it boils down to this - I'm scared (of what, I don't know for sure), I'm sad and I just don't want August 21 to come. I think part of it is the all day, every day thing. I mean, holy smack, that is going to be exhausting for him.

I'm at a loss. I really am. I am mustering all the courage I can and talking with him about it and I can tell he's getting excited about it, but I just want to keep this precious babe home with me for the rest of forever (and yes, I have thought about homeschooling him but it's simply not an option for many reasons). I love my other kids, don't get me wrong. But there is something passionate and fierce in the way I love my Caden. I can't explain it other than to say it feels like a piece of me is leaving home to go off to big school, and I am not taking it well. I want ALL OF ME at home.

Does this resonate with anyone else? How did you cope? I'm positive it will get easier as time marches on, but this waiting game is torturous.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Unexpected blessings

You know those times when you've been really down about life in general? When things just don't feel great overall but nothing you can do really seems to make it better? Well yeah, I've talked with you about my depression (I've increased my meds with my drs help and things are looking slightly up) so you kinda know. I've just been in a funk I guess. And seeing Kindergarten just days away for my precious firstborn is not helping matters. Especially when I now have the child who will be mainstreamed. I never imagined it. It's the grief process, starting all over again....

Today I got a phone call from a dear friend who also happens to go to our church and who also happens to have a child with special needs (mental illness but let me tell you friends, she "gets it"). We didn't talk for long - I haven't been chatty lately and she cut right to the chase. She volunteered her services from now until whenever to be Caden's 1:1 aide for Sunday School at church. This may not seem like a huge deal, but James and I have considered not putting Caden in Sunday School because it's always such a chore to ask someone to be there with him, help focus his attention, the list goes on. I'm crying again writing this...I really didn't have the words to say thank you, you have no idea what a gift from God this phone call was. But if ever there has been a time this week where the hand of God reached right out and gave me a hug, here it was. Thank you. You know who you are and I love you.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Home sweet home.

I think our kids are thinking that. Today we are finally home. Currently everyone is doing their favorite thing - I am on the computer, James is sleeping on the couch, Avery is sitting on said couch watching Noggin (Max and Ruby, someone needs to smack those bossy bunnies), Caden is spinning in his jumper and Declan is sleeping peacefully for the first time in a long time. AND. We're in air conditioning and not outside. It is SO HOT here today. With heat index it's like 108 degrees. Not fun. But we did have a great time!