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It’s been quite some time since the last edition, and there is so much beauty to share.
Ezra is responding incredibly well to treatment at his therapeutic day program (TDP) – aka “school.” The staff is amazing and is giving us a lot of evidence-based parenting advice that is tailored to Ezra’s specific needs. We are already seeing improvements in his moods, sleep, and behavior – not just at school but also at home AND out in the community!
Ezra’s first day of the program:
Here are some incredible things that we have witnessed over the last few weeks:
- Ezra riding a tricycle (including pedaling!) – a skill he had refused to even try to master over the last two years! At school he gets to ride tricycles in the gym several times a week and with the positive peer pressure, he quickly caught up!
- Watching Ezra color for ten solid minutes, at Chickfila, specifically to color 3 separate pictures for all of us. (All while holding the crayon correctly!)
- Being able to go to the park nearly every afternoon and not have to correct Ezra for physical aggression or spitting.
- Having Ezra explain to us the concept of “personal space” (ie. “This is my personal space, that is your personal space”) after being taught at the TDP.
- Ezra regularly putting on his shoes and socks on his own!
Russ and I have both been able to be extensively involved with his care by attending parent wellness connections workshops, meeting with our licensed clinical social worker regularly, and directly observing care at the TDP. It’s truly been amazing and life-changing, not just for Ezra, but for the entire way that we parent him.
We are reshaping our parenting to be positive – firm and consistent yet kind and gentle. We are amping up our adherence to a MUCH stricter routine while still allowing for flexibility. We are instilling boundaries, especially physical and visual boundaries. And it’s all happening in a way that works and makes sense specifically for Ezra.
In more sobering news, Russ lost his job toward the end of October. While this has been a shock to us, there are definitely still some blessings in it all. His job was very stressful for him, agitating his anxiety problems. As he’s been out of work and subsequently started anxiety and sleep medication, his anxiety levels have started to go down.
God has also already come through in very big ways financially for us, including giving us over $1400 in checks and gift cards from different sources, which has helped us get through at least the first few weeks of unemployment!
Having Russ home, in spite of the circumstances, has given us a lot of time as a couple to reconnect, rest, and relax. It’s also giving Russ more opportunity to interact with Ezra in positive ways and be more involved with his treatment. The timing of all of this is working out well.
There is also beauty in…
The boys, slowly working their way through the first Star Wars movie:
Enjoying our local YMCA Membership.
Having a run-in with the police at the grocery store!!!
Baking this cake. Well, in reality, this was a lot more mess than beauty, and I’ve sworn off baking for the rest of my life. At least, until the next craving.
There is beauty in our yearly trip to the pumpkin patch. This year we ventured out to Kersey Valley Maize Adventure and were so impressed with all of the attractions:
There is beauty when your kiddo asks to watch Praise Baby Christmas and you go downstairs and find the boys like this:
There is beauty in so many after-school trips to the park:
There is beauty in attending our local Chick-Fil-A’s Fall Festival, which was a blast:
There is beauty in this goofy boy and his hats and mismatched pajamas:
There is beauty in very early morning pumpkin painting sessions:
There is beauty in friends who send you hand-me-down Batman ponchos and little boys who ask to wear shorts in October and end up going to school like this:
There is beauty in finally getting to meet my blogging bestie who flew in a day before Allume. Ezra was a fan:
Here we are getting ready to drive down to Allume!
And Allume was a blast, especially once we met our amazing roomies!
The four of us pretty much spent the whole weekend like this:
One highlight of the weekend was getting to meet singer-songwriter Brian White, who writes for some big country stars. Brian is the co-author of “If You’re Goin Through Hell” and “I’ve Been Watching You” (co-written and performed by Rodney Atkins). Brian and his wife performed at Allume and I got to hear “I’ve Been Watching You” live – which was one of the first country songs I ever heard.
There is beauty in returning home to this boy and his bag of candy from a local church festival that he was so glad to share with Mommy:
There is beauty in all. the. hats. …and sunglasses:
There is beauty in this boy who got to go Trick-or-Treating and have a big Halloween parade at school. Ezra was thrilled to be Batman for the first part of the day, and his teacher just happened to have a pair of Batman glasses tucked in the cupboard! And have I mentioned how much we love this poncho?
There is beauty in a very lazy Saturday morning marked by a Halloween candy hangover (I know I had one), more candy for breakfast (at least for Mommy), and these boys playing puzzles and Uno:
There is beauty in getting to see Big Hero 6 in theater as a family. It’s a great movie (go see it) – and Ezra loved reenacting the flying scenes as Baymax.
And last but not least, there is beauty in this friend of mine who told me about these things called Command Strips that make STRAIGHT photo-hanging a breeze with no nails or hammers or staring at crooked pictures every day required. Why didn’t I hear about these sooner? #totallynotsponsored #totallyshouldbe
And so, seven months after moving in, there are FINALLY pictures on my wall!