Emi does not care for the Easter Bunny or Santa to come into her room while she is sleeping so we have to put a chair at the end of the hallway to block anyone from going back to her room and just in case that wasn't enough she wrote a note to the Easter Bunny asking him not to come into her room :)
Easter morning!! Found the first clue to where her basket is hidden.
Easter was 3 days away and Emi was super excited about dying eggs. After dinner we decided we would go ahead a dye our eggs. I had the good sense of mind to tell Emi to go ahead and change into her PJ's for fear of her getting the dye on her clothes and I covered the table with pee pads and beach towels so my table would be spared. As we started to dye the first egg I realized that I hadn't put enough vinegar in the cups so I got up from the table to get the vinegar and Brian followed me - that's when disaster struck. Jack managed to grab the beach towel and pulled all 5 containers of dye onto his sister and the floor. I, always being the calm rational one, FREAKED OUT!! The dye was all over the table, the chairs, the floor, had splashed up all over the cabinets and was all over my children. As Brian and I were frantically trying to clean up the dye we instructed Emi to strip down in the kitchen and then go get some clean PJ's on. We failed to realized that she had dye all over her legs and bottom - poor thing had a multi-colored bum for days. Thankfully we managed to clean up the mess without any damage done to my kitchen or furniture. Next year we will be doing that OUTSIDE!!
We knew this day was quickly approaching and I have been dreading this day since we started therapy at lebonheur 3 years ago. In the state of Tennessee you age out of the early intervention system at 3 and you get placed in the school system - this means we must say good-bye to Lebonheur. We started when Jack was 5 months old going 3 times a week. That place became a safe-haven for me, no one judged you or your child and if you were having a problem with anything that was the best place to be. During a time of such heartache and grief I would find such comfort in talking with the other moms or just hashing things out with our therapists. I should also add that 99% of my friends are moms that I met sitting in that waiting room. Jack's therapists quickly became part of our family and I just could not imagine our life without them. The therapists threw a "graduation" party for Jack, here are some pics from the party.
When you graduate you get to put your handprints on the wall. Paulette volunteered to do Jack's handprint - she is a brave soul!
the finished product
His therapy friends singing Happy Birthday
Paulette and Jack (his Physical therapist, she has been with him since day 1)
Every month Brian's mom hosts a monthly birthday party where we can celebrate everyone who's having a birthday that month all at once. Jack got to have his first birthday celebration at Mimi and Poppy's house.
Each year Jack's school hosts an Art Show as a fundraiser. Each class paints a canvas and on the night of the Show you can view the original canvas and then buy prints for yourself. I think it is a great idea! And of course, Jack's class was the best! :)
As we all know Jack is completely obsessed with Elmo so when I saw that Elmo Live was coming to Memphis I immediately purchased tickets and not just any tickets but 4th row, center tickets that cost a gazillion dollars but like I have said before there are not too many things that Jack actually cares about so that is how I justified the cost. I was so excited to see his reaction when he got to see all of his favorite Sesame Street characters literally in front of his face!!!
The big day arrived, we got to the Forum, we got into our seats and the show started. To my horror he could have cared less. I think he was overwhelmed with all of the music and people and we were so close to the stage that it was just too much for his senses. After intermission they had the stage set up like Elmo's World and I thought for sure he would get into that - nope. He was checking out the people behind his and looking at the ceiling, I'm pretty sure he never even noticed that Elmo was 10 feet in front of him. At least Emi enjoyed it :)
The Wolfchase mall has this thing called the spider jump. They put you in a harness and then you jump on a trampoline and you go ridiculously high in the air. Well Emi has been doing it for over a year and Brian is always wanting to let Jack do it - UMM, NO WAY!! Well, one day Brian wasn't taking no for an answer and he insisted that Jack do it with Emi. Well, Jack loved it. We have never heard that boy make so many happy squeals - if someone had tried to sell us one of those contraptions right then and there we would have bought one!
So anyway, there I am watching Jack jump in the spider jump in the middle of a crowded mall and sobbing uncontrollably - there are very few things that give him that much joy and guess what? we will be doing that every time we go to the mall now!!
I purchased a new carseat for Jack and with it came this wonderful big box. The first few days Brian would put Emi and Jack in it and pull them all over the house and then it became Emi's personal playhouse. She carries it with her all through the house wacking it into everything and banging it into the walls. Every morning when she wakes up she asks for "my precious box" - oh good grief!
Two nights ago she busted one of the sides and I got excited thinking that she would finally let me throw it out but no! She decided that her "precious box" would be ok with one busted side. I have to say as much as I can't stand her dragging that thing all through my house, I absolutely love how she has been playing with it quietly for hours every day. I guess you have to take the good with the bad right?
After talking about it for almost a year, Jack finally has his wheelchair. His therapists starting approaching us about it when he turned 2 and I just wasn't ready to go there yet - I mean, he was only 2 for pete's sake!! But eventually we had to face it head on and realize that our precious little boy will probably not walk and will need to have a wheelchair. So here we are many months later with the wheelchair. We are still getting use to it - that sucker weighs a ton which makes getting it in and out of my van a challenge. I am working on ordering ramps for my van so that I don't give myself a hernia every time I need to get the chair out of my car.
I hate this chair. Everyone says it'll be so much easier for you. Well, it's not. It's a pain in my butt to get it in and out of my car and I especially hate the looks we get in public. It's like a huge, flashing neon sign that says - my kid is different than yours. hate it. (and I'm not even a fan of the word "hate") But on the same token I am very grateful for this chair. Jack is too big for a stroller and strollers don't give him the proper support he needs like the chair does plus eventually he can learn to maneuver it himself which will be awesome for him. The chair cost more than my first car did and insurance denied almost half of the cost and a friend of Brian's boss paid what the insurance company wouldn't. He is an angel and that helped make the experience of getting this chair a little more positive for me. It was like God's way of assuring me we were doing to right thing.
This is a story that I haven't told anyone except Brian because I just can't get it out without crying so I'll share it on the blog :) The chair we bought has two bases, one manual base that I push and a motorized base that he can learn to maneuver with a joystick. His therapist works with him once a week on using the motorized base with the joystick. She takes him into the hallway where there are lots of plastic plants and trees and chairs that he can ram with his chair. I usually don't hang around during his therapy sessions because he won't do anything but look at me and whine but for whatever reason I hung around this day. Everything's going as normal, he's ramming the walls and kept going straight into the trees so we would correct him and he continued to drive straight over to the trees so we finally just let him go to see what he would do and he was wanting to see the trees. He drove over to where they were, stopped perfectly in front of them and touched the leaves and looked at the branches. And I started weeping - he was exploring. In his 2 1/2 years he's never been able to do that - he just sits where ever we park him. So I guess there is another reason that the chair is a good thing. I know in my head that this wheelchair is good for him, I just haven't convinced my heart yet. He does look cute in it though :-)
I am a stay-at-home-mom to Emi Joy and Jack and wife to Brian for 9 years. Jack has Cerebral Palsy and requires a little bit more of our love and attention. Please follow me as I try to navigate this crazy life of ours. :)