So here it is: a breakneck tour through our past few months.
Jake and Izzy from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Sydney picked the costumes. Pirate Kaden (or Jake if accuracy matters to you) tolerated his look for about two hours while we went to a local hotel that invited special needs kids and their families to trick-or-treat through suites designed and sponsored by companies like Hershey and Crayola.
Kaden's Christmas was full of games: Trouble, Connect 4, Mustache Smash, and Jumpin' Jack. He likes Connect 4 and Jumpin' Jack. Sydney is obsessed with Mustache Smash. I don't take pictures of them playing because the sight of my iPhone would distract Kaden but it's a beautiful thing to behold. He likes to play games with his sister. Not always but sometimes. I'll take it.
Kaden was also reunited with a long lost favorite TV show that we lost from DVR when we moved last summer; the Classical Baby series from HBO.
Here he is dancing with daddy to his new set of Classical Baby DVDs. He LOVES these shows and could watch all 3 DVDs back-to-back on a loop for days. Me not so much.
As for Sydney, it was a Christmas full of dress-up and pretend.
She can spend hours and hours pretending to be a whole cast of different people: Doctor Sydney, Chef Sydney, Explorer Sydney, Ballerina Sydney, and, of course, over and over, Elsa or Anna.
2015 so far
Kaden is a first grader now and doing really well in his new school. He has a one-on-one aide in a self-contained class for most of the day with daily inclusion time in the general ed first grade and a few other classes like art. He also has an adaptive PE class where he's learning things like T-Ball and practicing his bike riding skills. (Despite the way it may appear in the picture, that's not a full face helmet. He tends to look at his feet as he tries to pedal so it's actually the top of his head.)
He's also doing a lot more communicating using a picture book as well as an AAC app on his iPad. Here's a pic of him experimenting with the phrases "I like it" and "I don't like it" on his AAC app.
On a recent visit to the eye doctor, he pulled up the app and repeatedly hit the phrases "I'm scared" and "I don't like it." As much as I hated to hear that he was feeling that way, I was totally psyched to see him expressing himself. He's getting there, this one, and I'm as proud as ever.
And despite the usual big brother annoyance with little sister, he loves to hang with Sydney. They are buds and their connection grows each day.
Of course, daddy is still his favorite. I'm going to assume it's because he gets to spend less time with daddy and absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that but, well, I think you can see that they're really just two peas in a pod.
That's not to say he's not a mama's boy too. He absolutely is, 1000%. Particularly when he's sick, which has been quite a bit in the past few weeks. And as much as I hate it when Kaden's sick there is one very big upside; he actually lets me snuggle and cuddle him all I want. Silver linings.
Sydney is very nearly 4 years old. She is whip smart, super-duper incredibly silly, and absolutely the most joyful person I have ever known. It's contagious. Usually.
She's an athlete in the making. She takes weekly classes in soccer, swimming and fitness . . .
And goes to play dates at friends' homes, the library, and a cool local art museum that hosts monthly preschool playdates.
She's a helper . . .
And very brave - here she is "roaring" through her fear at the dentist. (Did I mention she loves Katy Perry?)
She asked for a "Hello Kitty" birthday party. Shocker, right?
So that's what's next for us. And I can't wait.