Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Moving on.

Today was one of those days where it was easy to focus on how hard things can be and the challenges we face as a family. We're currently planning our biggest move yet as Caleb gets out of the military and chooses a career path. We'll finally settle into a place more permanent where we can regularly see family and friends. This has been my dream from the beginning. Right now there are so many questions and different "to do" lists running through my head and my thoughts go a mile a minute. Sometimes I wish I could just shut the darn thing off and breathe. I'm trying to "let go and let God" as my sister so sweetly reminded me this morning. Letting go is the absolute hardest thing for me to do. Hopefully it's something I can accomplish in this lifetime.

We took our youngest to his 9 month well checkup today. He's the smallest of the three, but still a bit of a chunker.  We started going through the milestone checklist with our doctor and every time I get this pit in my stomach.  Even though I feel like he's developing normally, I always have that seed of doubt in the back of my head. When you have one child with sensory or developmental delays, your chances of having another child with similar challenges go up. Sometimes it's so difficult to really enjoy this first year of our sons life, because I'm constantly waiting to see if he'll advance to the next milestone.

Earlier, before the doctor had come in, a different nurse than we normally have began taking his measurements.  The boys were fighting over a toy, and as usual, Ki began hulking out. We typically call him the Hulk, because he can get so angry where he not only tries to hurt himself, but the person who triggered his tantrum- usually his older brother. Anyway, the nurse started to talk to the boys and I simply said that he was nonverbal. She then proceeded to ask me "is he slow?" Now I don't know if this was sheer ignorance, or it just accidentally came out that way. Regardless, it caught completely off guard. To think that that's how some view children who are developmentally delayed in areas or who don't speak is heartbreaking. As his mom, it broke my heart even more because I'm constantly worried how the outside world will treat him just because they don't understand him or the situation. He's such a beautiful child with a beautiful heart who loves to laugh, play, and cuddle with you. If people had the opportunity to spend 5 min with him, they would understand that he's far from "slow", but has different obstacles in life that he's working to overcome.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Communicating with our nonverbal toddler.

When our son turned two and still wasn't talking, we knew that something was definitely wrong. We talked to our pediatrician who said we could wait until he was 2 and a half to see if he was a late bloomer, but with everything else stacked against him, we decided to start speech therapy anyway. His speech was evaluated in January and it was significantly more delayed than I thought. Parts of his language were at a 6 month level, but most parts were around a 9 month old level.

Up until this point we were communicating by us guessing what he was trying to convey.  This resulted in many meltdowns. He eventually learned to point to things which helped tremendously, but still wasn't ideal. Now, I spend so much time with him that I usually know exactly what he wants, but I still occasionally get it wrong.  This also isn't ideal, because I can't be with him 24/7 and other people won't just know what he wants. 

In speech, they do work on saying actual words and sounds, but they also have been working on signs. "More" and "all done" are the main ones. He's signed more before, but just like him saying words, he'll sign once and never again. It's like everything is a jumbled mess and he's trying to get it out, but can't. Recently I started working with him to sign "please." This, to me, was one of the most important signs he could learn. For the last two days he has successfully signed "please" when wanting something. Most of the time he has to be prompted, but he has done it on his own. This is a huge accomplishment for us and you better believe he got two pouches in a row because he said please by himself! 

Monday, April 6, 2015

The best kind of superheroes.

If you know me at all, you know that I have an extreme Type A personality. I'm a planner. I like things thought out, planned out, and organized. People who don't care to come up with a game plan or who don't stick to what they say they're gonna do thoroughly grates on my nerves. I try to avoid these type of people because they ruffle my feathers so much.  Funny enough, my husband is the polar opposite of me, but we work because he lets me be the control freak I need to be. We balance each other out well... Most of the time ;)

Since my last post, something I didn't plan for and actually tried the whole "ignore and it will go away" happened. I woke up and stopped lying to myself. I listened to way too many "oh, my friends kid was this way and turned out great" and read lots of "kids develop at their own pace" posts.  I know people are trying to instill hope and share their success stories, but more often than not, they're the exception, not the rule.  It's great to hold onto that hope, but as a realist, I say to hold onto what you know is true because the longer you sit and wait, the longer you're putting off getting the help your child so desperately needs.

Let me back up. Our second son Kiam is special needs. He turns 3 in August and in 2 months we have his evaluation for a diasnosis. He has a severe speech and developmental delay. We obviously noticed signs very early on, but because I wanted to control the situation and not believe my child might have different obstacles, I ignored it and relied on the "kids develop at different paces" line.  This is true to an extent, but I ignored major signs and had I not, he could have begun therapy a year earlier. That's something I highly regret and take responsibility for.

  He was such an amazing baby. Slept great from day one and hardly ever cried. He was always content to just sit. Around 6 months of age, we went to visit my family for 5 weeks while Caleb was in the field. Kiam cried incessantly the entire time. Even after a doctors visit, we couldn't pinpoint a problem. I just thought he was sensitive to routine change. He also stopped nursing during this time. When 9-12 months came along, he never learned to clap or wave "bye-bye."  When he had his one year checkup and they asked if he said a certain number of words, I said yes remembering a time or two where I thought he said this or that, but then never said again. Little did I realize that he was "losing language."  He didn't walk until he was 15 months old and then he started toe-walking, which I told myself was a phase. After he turned one, he also started crying all the time which was the hardest part for me. I thought maybe he's just a hard toddler since he was such a great baby. This was "just another phase." He never played beside or with other children is age. It was like he never even saw them. He still doesn't.

Now at 32 months, Kiam still doesn't say anything but "no" which is usually used correctly. He occasionally says "go."  He's said a few other words, but only once. He is amazing at puzzles, but his fine motor skills are lacking. These have improved drastically in just a few short months with the help of occupational therapy. He has speech and OT about 3-4 times a week.  His therapists are angels and he loves them. When I see him run into their arms, these are the times I kick myself for not opening my eyes sooner.

When we first started going to therapy and learning just how severe things were, I was on an emotional roller coaster. I didn't want anyone to know. Not because I was ashamed, but because I didn't want people to label my child. This world is cruel and I didn't want it to carry with him. I still don't, but I also don't want to hide it.  Kiam was quickly getting to an age where it was more obvious. People would try to talk to him and he wouldn't respond or when we would try to leave him in the church nursery he would be so upset he would be throwing things.  As a family, we have different daily challenges, but we adapt and overcome. We may avoid some things like going to sit down restaurants or expecting Kiam to act appropriately in a sensory overloaded environment, but this is our normal. I'm proud of my happy, energetic, sensory-seeking, blonde baby boy! He challenges us daily to be the best parents we can be. I used to ask how this happened and without skipping a beat, Caleb would remind me that he was born this way.. That God doesn't make mistakes. I cling to this. This child is great and will do great things. Kiam means "life" which is so fitting for his personality. You would be lucky to spend 5 minutes with this kid, if you could keep up that is ;)

I encourage other parents that if you have any doubt in the development of your child or just feel like something is off, please bring it up to their pediatrician.  Early intervention has the highest success rate. Don't fear the diagnosis. You are your child's advocate. Take comfort in knowing you're not alone. There is a special community that will welcome you with open arms.

If you have any questions or just want me to pray for you, please don't hesitate to ask.

God Bless!

Sunday, November 16, 2014


2012? Sheesh! I warned you that I'm a horrible blogger!  Right now I'm laying in the dark beside a bassinet putting a pacifier in my 3 month old babys mouth everytime he decides it's a good idea to spit it out... Even though he can't fall asleep without it. This is about the only time a day I get to myself. Occasionally the bathroom, but usually my two year old is trying to rip me up the moment I sit on the toilet. He's incredibly impatient and has to have something the instant he wants it.  So that's two of the 3 monsters I have.

Ezra, the newest addition to the Peterson clan, is 3 months old and doesn't do much besides eat, poop, sleep, and cry. Mostly in the order, although sometimes he'll surprise you ;)

Kiam or "Ki" as we call him, mostly because everyone mispronounces his name so we try help them out by calling him Ki. It doesn't, in case you were wondering. Least they don't call him a "she."

*side note* Ezra is constantly called a girl. Not usually for his appearance (although it's happened, while wearing blue and green, people are dumb), but because they girst hear his name and they automatically think girl. Has no one on the west coast read the Bible? Or geeze seen Pretty Little Liars?

Kiam is our sweet, sweet dare devil. He absolutely loves to cuddle, kiss, and hug you and loves to climb like a crazy man. Speaking of, he is currently ruinibg every night of sleep I have due to toddler bed sleep training. While Caleb was in the field, he proved that the walls of a crib won't confine him and he needs to be free. We spend our nights putting him back in bed 49 times because he thinks it's time to get up and play. He eventually stops doing that right?

And then there's Sam or "Sam I am" or "Samul". He's our social butterfly. Doesn't meet a stranger and everyone is his "friend." Too bad he doesn't feel that way about Ki... Maybe he wouldn't feel the need to deck him as he walked by. Seriously. Boys are mean. That's play, Ki usually Hulks out and chases him down with rage ripping through his body until he bites Sam. Don't with he's only broken skin once ;). I promise he's sweet as can be to everyone else. Most of the time. He can be a little diva though. He gets it honestly. Calebs quite the Mariah Carey.

Our house is very full, fun, and chaotic. Even though most days I can't handle the crazy, I stull couldnt imagine being "done." I still want more kids. I want another boy first. 4 boys would be ideal. And then maybe we could finally add a girl or two... You know, in case my vote counts :) Family is everything to me. If I could have anything for my children, I would want them to have a closeness with their extended family. I pray for Sunday dinners where everyone gets together each week. I pray for get togethers to happen each week instead of every few months. Hopefully when Caleb leaves the Marine Corps we'll be able to settle down in Tennessee to start a life near our family. Ok enough rambling. I need to go pump so I can go to bed :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

jumped ship.

Guess who dove head first off the weight loss ship?!  You guessed it, yours truly.  I could give you a million excuses on why I haven't been sticking to my goal, but the truth is I'm lazy.  It's beyond easy to just sit here and play with my kids or play around on the computer instead of getting out of the house and working out.  And what's even more easy than that is eating whatever I want.... candy, oreos, ice cream... you name it, I probably ate it.

There was a point, that I thought to myself, okay it's time to do this again.... but then I just shook my head and said nahhhh... :)  I'm not proud of this, but it's the truth.

Life has been a little crazy with all of us getting sick and it's only going to get crazier considering we're moving AGAIN and will be spending 2-3 days in the car.  Fun, I know.  Have I mentioned that we don't have a place to live yet either?  Oh the joys of being in the Marine Corps :)

Don't worry though, I will get off my lazy butt and start to actually push myself.  I don't want to be a blob that has morphed into a couch because that's where I've taken up a permanent residence.  I want to finally get rid of this beautiful mom gut once and for all... well until baby #3 comes :)

I just need a little accountability from friends (Anna) and a little motivation (Jessica Biel). 


Monday, October 22, 2012

my growing babies.

Today was a day that I've been dreading for a while.  Both boys had checkups with shots and I had to do this solo. :/  Last night I was so anxious, but I had a sweet husband to cuddle up to and ease my fears.

Getting ready this morning went very smoothly.  Both boys were dressed, changed, and fed with time to spare.  It was time to put my big girl panties on :)

I carried Kiam in his carseat and my big boy Sam walked holding my hand to the car.  I was beyond proud of him.  He didn't even try to go play, he just walked like a big boy!  I put both boys in the car and got to the doctors office before the rain.  Thank the Lord!  Sam continued to walk like the big boy he is all the way up to the pediatrician on the 2nd floor.  They were great in the waiting room, but then they called us back.

Sam HATES the doctors office and is petrified of the nurses and doctors.  He pretty much screamed the entire time and the only way he would settle was by holding him.  Luckily, Kiam was a trooper and was happy as could be...until the shots at least.  They both got stuck several times, but don't worry, I brought suckers!  When all was done, I gave them both some Tylenol, packed them up, and walked down to the 1st floor again.  And guess what?  It was raining :)  I managed to get both boys in the car (a little wet) and only hit the truck beside me once with my car door.  Good thing he was in his truck to watch ;) 

When we finally made it home, Sam walked again holding my hand in the rain...  I didn't notice he had undone his velcro straps and he lost his shoe, which made us more wet, but who doesn't love to play in the rain... Kiam that's who!  Sam laughed the whole time.  Such a sweet boy!  Now we're all home, it's finally done, and the boys are napping peacefully! 

26 lbs 10 oz
31.5 inches

15 lbs 10 oz
23.8 inches

Thursday, October 18, 2012

just another update.

It's that time again... to fearlessly tell you about the progress (or lack thereof) I made this past week.

This last week Caleb was gone in the field from Tuesday until late Friday night, but thankfully I had some pretty good ladies to keep me company!  I made several meals from and they were delicious!  I loved the Skinny Pesto Chicken  Slow Cooker Pulled Pork  Cilantro Lime Rice .... but I didn't really care for the Pork and Green Chile Stew and I hated the Baked Corn and Crab Cakes . Won't be making those again :)

I went on several walks that usually lasted about 45 min to 1 hour on what I like to call the "hilly trail."  I like this trail, because it makes me feel like I'm doing more and working harder.  This week I didn't do a single lunge or squat :/ but I did continue to do crunches so all was not lost. 

Caleb graduated from his BOLC (basic officer leadership course) on Tuesday and man was that a hectic day!  I had to get 2 babies and myself all dressed up, changed, fed, loaded up in the car, unload from the car, and get them into the auditorium.... Thankfully I had help from my amazingly sweet neighbor!  She put Sam in his carseat and carried Sam all the way in (This was actually a looongggg walk that included heels).  My arms were killing me from carrying in Kiam "The Tank" Peterson in...  That kid needs to lose a few lbs unless he decides to start walking soon.

In last last few weeks, I also discovered a new obsession: Hot Chocolate Milkshakes from Braums.  Talk about YUMMY!  This could be very bad....


Bust: 35.5 inches
Waist: 29inches
Hips: 37.75 inches
Weight: 128 lbs

I actually gained 1.5 lbs.  :/  But I am not discouraged, because I did lose in other areas :)  I lost 2.25 inches.

Until next week....