Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Potty Talk

Off in the distance, a small figure was peering from behind the downspout at the back of the house. "Jacob? Do you have to go poop?", Mommy asked. And Jacob turned away, head down, sad face, shoulders limp. "Jacob? Do you want to use the potty?", Daddy asked. "Yah. Yah. Elmo!", Jacob exclaimed as he turned back towards Mommy and walked briskly towards the stairs. "Elmo". "Elmo." And so he went to use the potty and he went poop but only after making noises that seemed poop-appropriate. "Eeeeee. Uuuuugh." We have a Sesame Street potty seat - hence Elmo. But Jacob also uses "Elmo" for his juice boxes and for going into the basement where the Elmo Restaurant lives. His diapers have not been dry or unsoiled by any means but he went from rejecting the potty entirely to using it about 8 times in the last few days. I thought he was getting ready when he started telling me at night before bed that he had pee in his diaper and wanted me to change him. Again, I love when Jacob knows that he has accomplished something. He smiles at me and giggles when he uses the potty.

Like EVERYTHING else in Matthew's world, potty-training was a battle. He was interested in the potty before he turned 2 years old but it wasn't until last summer when he was 3 and-a-half that I finally told him I wasn't going to diaper him anymore, except at night but those diapers were different because we called them night-night diapers. Those diapers faded away within a few months when he was dry through the night but we've probably had about a dozen accidents since then. Matthew told me once that he must have been so sweaty that the bed got wet and another time he said he woke up and somehow water had spilled on his pajamas. Hey I just change the sheets and put him back in bed. No questions asked. As long as he isn't peeing all over the house or on the front lawn...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Two Front Teeth

I feel as though we have weathered the storm of our lives. But somehow every time Jacob is injured I find myself in crisis. I seem to have limited coping skills. Jacob fell face first into our driveway while "running" to chase Matthew. I was no more than 10 inches behind him and managed to get my hands on him but his body rotated and I wasn't fast enough. I saw him falling in slow motion. He was like a cat trying to right itself while free-falling. He just didn't have enough time to even try to put his left hand out to break his fall. He definitely has delayed motor control... it takes him about 6 seconds to throw a ball with the ball in his hand and his arm cocked back. I grabbed him off the pavement and ran inside the house to the bathroom. I was looking for his owee and when he opened his mouth all I could see was blood. I started dabbing the blood with a wet towel because I wasn't sure if he had lost any teeth and I didn't want him to choke on any fragments. I couldn't tell at first if he was bleeding from the top or the bottom, but once I cleared most of the blood, I could see that he had all of his teeth and the blood was coming from his top gums. His front teeth looked longer than usual, the gums above were all cut up. Then I felt one of his teeth and it wiggled. I felt like I was in a horror movie. The bleeding seemed to stop and Jacob stopped crying so I got him some ice cream while I was trying to call the dentist. I had to call three times because I just couldn't concentrate on the number I was supposed to call. I couldn't find a pen. I ended up typing the number on the computer to remember and then called to leave a message. I was also looking up the number for the ER at the hospital. I didn't know if he would need stitches or something for his gums. I calmed down once Jacob seemed himself again and waited to hear from the dentist. When he called me back he said that at this age, they wouldn't do anything even if he had lost his teeth. I was relieved and Jacob was fine minus the gash in his gums and some scrapes on his chin.But the next morning when I was changing him I looked at his teeth and one of them near his front tooth was half its normal size. Once again... horror movie... blood rushing to my feet, heart rate out of control. I touched the tooth with a wipe and something came off of it. OATMEAL! Oatmeal was concealing his tooth. What is wrong with me? Seriously. Jacob's teeth are fine. His gums are healing and the teeth are already solid again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


The end of the school year is always cathartic for me but this year was special. I was on leave with Jacob for 3 months, 10 weeks of which were consecutive, with recurrent pneumonia, neurosurgery, and specialist appointments. As I was cleaning and organizing my classroom, I was already looking forward to the next school year. A new year. A full year. Jacob will begin weaning his medication in September when I go back to school and in October he will transition to the public school system for his therapeutic services.

My last day was Matthew's first day at Jacob's school. Both boys will be going there 2 days a week through the summer and 5 days a week beginning in September. Auntie Mary, who has been Jacob's "playground assistant", said that Matthew and Jacob were holding hands today through the gate that separates the toddlers and infants from the pre-school children.

I'm still sad about Miss Edie, but her classroom is now filled with... babies. Jacob is not a baby anymore and he is doing really well in his new classroom. His social emotional development is far more advanced than mine.

Matthew also did really well today:)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Big Boy

Auntie Betsy visits Jacob at school...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Toddler 2

As I was packing up Jacob's belongings, I looked around the classroom and I was sad. Very sad. My eyes were watering and I was embarrassed for crying. I quickly thought of other things... Where did Matthew go? Why is the rug so dirty?

Jacob will be moving to the Toddler 2 classroom (next door) on Monday and he will be leaving Miss Edie (dee-dee) and Miss Hannah (nah-nah) who have loved him all year long.

I am very sad.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Jacob and Matthew played nicely in the backyard this afternoon giving me hope for the summer when I am home with them for 8 weeks. Jacob has been using two hands more and more. Today he grabbed both rings of the monkey bar and walked back and forth to "swing". He was so proud of himself. I am loving that he knows when he has accomplished something.

What will become of Jacob?

The question that fueled my anxiety and fear so long ago.

I have the answer.

He is becoming Jacob.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Jacob had a follow-up appointment with his pulmonologist yesterday and he believes that Jacob's pneumonia was aspiration related to acid reflux. Since Jacob has been on Prevacid, he has not needed his Albuterol inhaler for three weeks. He is 85% improved from a month ago. I am so relieved and thankful that we decided to seek the advice of a specialist. Unfortunately, for months we were told asthma, asthma, asthma but he does not have asthma. He will need to take Prevacid for years and we will have to see how he does next winter when the flu and cold season peaks.

Jacob has a new thumb brace that he will wear during the day to keep his thumb out of the way of his fingers when he uses his right hand. When I asked to put it on him at school to see how it fit he said uh-uh. And when I asked him where it was supposed to go, he gestured towards the garbage! He did put it on though and it does make a difference without restricting the movement of his hand and fingers.

I feel so lucky.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Stem Cell Revolution, Part 2

Amanda, my step-brother's wife, knitted Matthew's My (blanket), over four years ago when she was blind. Check out this clip...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

License to Drive

"Tactah." You want to drive the tractor. "Yah. Yah." "Bih." The big tractor? "Yah." "Me."

Jacob figured out that if he sat in the middle of the two seats of Matthew's John Deere Gator, that he could press the pedal with his left foot. He cannot steer however so Mommy and Daddy walk alongside while he drives. His new obsession in stark contrast to "shuvoh." I liked shovel better.

He also drives the small tractor, which I prefer because it actually has greater therapeutic value. The pedal is on the right so he has to apply pressure with his right foot to propel the tractor. It took him about a week to be able to do this on his own. Every time he drives, he holds on with two hands. I love watching him open his hand and grasp his fingers and thumb around the steering wheel.

He is also learning how to climb on and off of the Gator by himself using two hands.

STOP is our next lesson.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011