Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hurray! A New Post!

It's taken nearly two months for me to create a new post so I guess I'm going to have to make it a good one. I'll do my best.

Since I know Kaden has lots of fans who rarely get to hang out with him in person, I promise to include lots of pictures. The first shot was taken over the summer so it's not terribly recent but it's one of my absolute favorite pictures of Kaden. He just looks so grown up, you know, like he's pondering really deep philosophical questions while picking the grass.

Even though he's not yet talking, his face and eyes are incredibly expressive. He tends to get his point across without saying a word. That skill may not appear on any milestone chart but I happen to think it's pretty damn impressive. And adorable.

The big news around here these days is that Kaden is going to be a big brother. We're expecting Kaden's little sister to arrive in the first week of March. I'm 7 months pregnant and doing extremely well, though exhausted and increasingly uncomfortable in my rapidly expanding body. Kaden thinks my belly is quite funny. He giggles every time I put his hand on it to feel his sister kick. Here's a cute shot of him smiling as he reaches out for a rub.

Kaden continues to work incredibly hard every day at various therapies and is extremely close to walking on his own. He's taken a few independent steps here and there but balance is still a bit of an issue, which is not surprising given the nearly 40 degree curve in his spine. Here's a few shots of him strutting his stuff with the help of a walker during a recent physical therapy session.

About two months ago we began a preschool class on Wednesday mornings where Kaden (and I) do crafts, participate in circle time (which includes singing and the teacher reading books), and snack time. Kaden liked the singing and book reading right away but he's still warming up to craft time and snack time. So far it's been a really good experience and a great transition to preschool, which Kaden may start attending a few days a week in September.

Kaden has also been doing a fairly intensive new speech therapy program twice a week. Despite a pretty rocky start that included tantrums and a series of really clever avoidance techniques that Kaden devised to avoid participating in the sessions, he seems to be getting used to his therapist and is even (dare I say it?) trying to participate and make new sounds. It's a lot of work for him but I think he's starting to understand that it will help him so he's becoming more receptive. And that's a start, so we'll take it.

The only down side to preschool and all the new activities Kaden has been doing recently is that he's had the sniffles off and on several times already this season and had a really terrible cold that lasted the entire week of Thanksgiving. Needless to say, it wasn't the greatest holiday but Kaden bounced back and returned to his old charming ways by the following week.

So that's about it for us. We're hoping for a healthy and laid back Christmas and New Year.

Happy holidays to you!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Good News . . .

We recently had our 6 month follow up appointment with Kaden's orthopedic surgeon and, after a very tense wait for x-ray results, got the great news that Kaden's scoliosis has not progressed! A year ago the doctor gave us a very grim outlook -- she said it's extremely unlikely that a curve like Kaden's will resolve on its own, that such curves almost never stay the same as the spine grows and, basically, that it's virtually guaranteed his curve will do nothing but progress and require surgical intervention. Based upon her measurements at the time, Kaden was only 3-5 degrees away from needing to be fitted for a brace or a cast. And, oh yes, the best part was that she said there was really nothing we could do about it. I walked out of the appointment in tears and wondering why some doctors seem so determined to make us feel helpless. Maybe they think it's comforting because it lets us off the hook. It's not and it doesn't.

After that appointment I began researching alternative therapies. I managed to find an amazing online support group for parents of developmentally delayed children and learned about ABM (Anat Baniel Method) therapy. After reading numerous impressive testimonials, including one about a child with infantile scoliosis whose curve stopped progressing after ABM therapy, we decided to give it a shot for Kaden.

ABM is fairly intensive therapy. When we began, Kaden had 4 one-hour appointments per week. The main thing that kept us going back is that Kaden was making tremendous progress with each visit. There was no way to tell if it was stopping or slowing the curve in his spine, but it was clear that he was getting stronger and using his body much more effectively than he ever had before.

The ABM therapist strongly suggested that we take Kaden to a doctor of osteopathy for craniosacral manipulation. We'd never heard of it, but we were open to the idea. I have to admit that to this day I don't really understand what it is or how it works, it looks like a deep tissue massage of the back neck and head, but Kaden responded to it immediately. Not only did it significantly reduce the rigidity in his back and neck, it seemed to just light him up. He became so much more alert and attentive. The DO and ABM therapist speculate that by loosening up his trunk, neck and spine, Kaden has more energy to focus his attention on things other than simply holding himself up. I may never know exactly what happened but I can tell you that Kaden has really blossomed and it seems to me to be a direct result of his therapies.

So, take that, doctors who say there is nothing we can do about things! I don't have a crystal ball (oh, how I wish I did!) so I don't know whether the curve in Kaden's spine will ultimately progress and require surgery but I can tell you that we're doing everything we can to avoid it. So far so good, and that's good news!

Because I just can't resist, here are a few recent pics of our handsome boy . . .

He just loves to watch TV in bed

He's never let us put sunglasses on him, at least not until we tried giving him daddy's sunglasses

His favorite activity these days is going round and round this toy, hard at work on each little part of it

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This Little Boy Loves the Fall!

Kaden took his very first trip to a pumpkin patch today. Although it was an unseasonably warm and blindingly sunny day, Kaden got right into the Halloween spirit. He picked out the perfect pumpkin and giggled his way through his first hayride.

After a long hot summer of sharing local parks with older kids on summer break from school, Kaden seems blissfully happy to have the now empty parks virtually all to himself again. I think slides are still his favorite but swings are definitely starting to grow on him . . .

And, well, as usual Kaden has lots of doctor and therapy appointments to keep him busy nearly every day of the week. He's seizing the opportunity to show off all his new Fall clothes.
Here's a picture of him waiting to see his opthamologist. The glasses the doctor is planning to prescribe (in a few months, when he's a little more mature) will really complete the look, don't you think?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Being a Big Boy . . .

Kaden is a "Big Boy" now. He's doing "Big Boy" things like pretending to drive the car . . .
and sliding down the slide all by himself (or at least he will when he stops being afraid to let go) . . .

and sitting in his very own chair to watch his favorite TV show (these days it's Elmo and Sesame Street) . . .

and laughing and smiling and filling his mommy's heart with joy every single day.

We're having a great summer!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lost and Found

Isn't it funny how every once in awhile something happens that restores your faith in the universe? It happened to me today and I wanted to share.

Sometime during our fabulous beach vacation last week, I lost my wallet. A frustrating ending to a very good trip. I was annoyed with myself for being so careless. And what if it was actually stolen and someone was using my driver's license to steal my identity? I checked with the local police, beach patrol, hotel staff, store clerks, but nobody had found my wallet. Ugghhh! I resigned myself to an unpleasant trip to the DMV and learning to live with the nagging fear that someone else had my license.

That all changed when I opened the mailbox today to find a package from the U.S. Postal Service containing my wallet. Apparently, whoever found my wallet dropped it in a mailbox and the USPS took it from there. Though it was missing some cash (I never claimed it was a perfect world!) everything else was completely intact, including my faith in humanity and the universe.

The world is good and there's always hope. Thank you, universe, for reminding me of that today!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Family Time at the Beach

Kaden loves to spend family time at the beach. The best part is that his smiles and giggles are totally contagious. See for yourself . . .

Not only does Kaden look adorable in madras plaid, he apparently finds it hilarious because he laughed his face off the whole afternoon that he wore it. The pictures of him and me above were taken at a restaurant where I was helping Kaden bang his hands on the table to demand a sippy cup of iced tea, his new favorite drink.
From catching waves to playing in the sand to lounging under a tent with daddy, Kaden thoroughly enjoyed the beach.

And the park that just happened to be a few blocks from our hotel.
I think we may just have ourselves a new family tradition.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Birthday Boy at the Beach

Kaden's birthday fun continued with a trip to the beach.

Despite the 100 degree heat, we had a blast! More photos of our gorgeous little beach bum coming soon.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kaden!

We learned a few new things about Kaden today. He's not crazy about balloons or cake (even cupcakes!!) but he absolutely loves presents. And singing. And knowing it's his special day.

Happy birthday, little one.

Psssttt! It's Kaden's Birthday!

And we're about to have a Yo Gabba Gabba themed cupcake party! Pics of the birthday (big) boy coming soon . . .

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This Boy is Almost 2 Years Old!

Where does the time go? From adorable baby to adorable toddler in barely two bats of an eye. My stars, that was FAST . . .
It's been a few weeks since my last post. In the meantime, Kaden and I tagged along on a business trip to Miami with daddy but we both had terrible relapses of the colds we got about a month ago. I was planning to post pictures of Kaden relaxing on South Beach but unfortunately our colds kept us from doing much swimming or sunbathing on this trip.

Kaden did get to indulge in one of his all-time favorite activities; he sprawled out for many a cozy afternoon nap in our very large hotel bed.
It always amazes me how one little person can take up so much space.

I also discovered that he's quite the little politico -- he reviewed the morning paper every single day. He may not say much but he's definitely taking it all in. Smarty pants.
Next stop, Kaden's birthday!
I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Days

The weather last weekend was beautiful! Since Kaden finally seemed fully recovered from his little Spring cold, we headed out to a new park for a little fun and exploration. As you can see, Kaden had a great time.

Back at home on the ranch . . . Kaden has NOT forgotten bubbles.

He has a toy chest in the corner of our livingroom that he routinely plunders in search of just the right toy. One of these days he's gonna fall in. Head first. He'd probably be in heaven . . .