Friday, May 14, 2010

This, that and Disneyland

March 25th was the last time I posted - wow - ok clearly I lost a month somewhere ;-)

Life has been full of new fun things and normal everyday things. Karter resumed riding in March, as was mentioned in the last post. He generally complains when he goes; it is a lot of work for him to hold his body on the top of that horse. We are pushing through it though as we think it is a really beneficial activity for his core muscles and his muscle tone. He does like it when they ride outside and with the weather cooperating these past few weeks, he has been able to be outside for a good portion of the lesson.

It has been a little entertaining to see Karter protest. As soon as we turn onto the street where riding is or get into the parking lot, my happy boy turns into a bit of a complainer. The riding helmet goes on and he gets upset with me. It has been nice to see that he is starting to tell us when he likes or dislikes things.

Karter continues to verbalize; lots of sounds and different tones have started to emerge. He has even started to yell a bit! He usually responds when we ask him to say "Ya", he will repeat that back to us. If I ask him to say "Ma" or "Mama" he just laughs at me - little monkey!

He is still rolling a lot to the left side to grab at objects. He now will remain there and play instead of rolling and immediately retuning to his back. He is getting quite strong and confident on that side. He gets about 80% of the way over to his tummy. However when I try to get him to play on his tummy he still really protests. One day he will love it...

Karter will at times plant his feet, while lying on his back, and lift up his whole body. That encourages me a lot because that is weight baring through the feet, which will really help with learning to stand. I notice it also when I am changing his bottom. He will push and lift up so that I can pull his pants up. Repetition in routine is something that is the key to learning.

I think that he is starting to get a bit frustrated with his lack of mobility. He tends to get bored in one position and so I am finding that I move him a lot more than I ever did before. Now that things have settled a bit more around here (since the move and surgery) I am not starting to get back into being more active in his equipment search. We need to get Karter a stander and in time a walker. There is some funding available for these times, but the reality is, that funding will only cover about 30-40% of the cost of the two items. So I am exploring fundraising options again and will start putting applications together for various Children's Charities.

On that same note, I have confirmation that Karter does have one to one support funding in place for preschool next year. If you recall, we found outside funding for Karter so that he could go to preschool this past year. The government was unable to help us with that this year. I am so thankful we did explore other options because preschool has been such a good things for Karter.

Karter had been struggling a bit with his sleep since January. He will wake in the night and early in the morning. While we were away my SIL told me to try giving him calcium at night. Apparently, that helps with growing aches and pains. I started to so that and the night waking has stopped. The early mornings still continue at times, but they too have gotten a lot better this past week as we have started to purposely pray peace over him; I wonder if he was also having bad dreams.

We had the great gift of a trip to Disneyland this past month. My parents took our family and my bothers family for 6 days. We had a wonderful time! All the kids really enjoyed themselves.

I had really wondered before we left how Karter would enjoy it. I did not know if he would just be "along for the ride" or really participate in our time there. He definitely experienced the latter. There was so much to take in, so much to stimulate him and he just loved it. I think "It's A Small World" was one of his favorites, so we did that one 5 or 6 times - much to Grandma's delight! He loved the parades and the marching bands. He even enjoyed Splash Mountain.

Disneyland does a wonderful job of being inclusive of children with special needs. Most of the rides in Disneyland are not wheelchair accessible, so you have to enter through the exit. This was wonderful because we did not have to wait in most lines.

Karter commanded such favor. We had three people stop and give him their Mickey Mouse balloons. Another person gave him a teddy bear and one of the staff at Disneyland moved us to the front of the VIP line for the Aladdin show; we had seen her the day before at another show and she took a real interest in Karter there, she told us that he touched her deeply. I know that it is something much greater that is within Karter that draws people to him. Someone even commented to us "He does not even need to say a word, his face says it all"

Here are a few pictures of Karter in Disneyland:

(I just love the look on his face - like he is saying "Really, another stupid picture?")

As the months continue to go by I am always amazed at the grace, strength and patience that has been bestowed on us from our Heavenly Father. Karter has been one of the greatest gifts ever given to us. Although life with Karter presents itself with challenges, hard times and different realities; more often, those are over shadowed by the joys, precious moments and wonderful miracles we are privy to on a daily basis. Yes, life is hard and it is not always what we signed up for, but sometimes the things that best shape your life are the ones that you never expected.

We continue to stand on the promise that there will be a day where Karter will be well and life will look much different than today; however we accept with privilege each day that we continue to walk this journey. God is good in ALL things.