So many of my recent posts have been all about Maddox…he stays in the forefront of the funny stories because he talks…and so much of what comes out of his mouth is hilarious (especially to me). However, this does not mean in any way that Cooper is any less exciting!! He has some news of his own.
Yesterday we had an evaluation at Scottish Rite with a Speech-Language Pathologist to see what steps we could take to help him swallow solid food. He’s so close to perfect!!! Now that we’ve gotten the sleeping thing pretty much under control our next order of business is getting this baby off the boob and on solid foods!!!!!! He loves to lick all kinds of food. He’s also very interested in everything that you are eating…however, if a piece of food gets near the back of his mouth he immediately begins trying to push it out and if it doesn’t get out fast enough he gags until he eventually throws up. Not fun. Since he was 4 months old (and the pediatrician gave me the green light to start baby food) he has not been a fan of baby food. But, who can really blame him…it is pretty nasty stuff!! At each well child check up I would let the doctor know that he STILL wasn’t tolerating baby food. I was continually told to keep trying, it takes a billion times of introducing a food, blah, blah, blah. When I took him for his 12 month check up I went in armed with a plan. I was ready to insist on some intervention and help. I just wasn’t feeling like this was an issue that was going to magically resolve itself on it’s own. Dr. Cox agreed with me totally (especially since Cooper had LOST weight, not a lot, but enough to raise a red flag) and we were referred to Scottish Rite. Of course, we get the referral and then head off on vacation the next week. So, this brings me back to yesterday’s appt. I was extremely anxious about the appointment. I wasn’t exactly sure what would go on. Would Cooper freak out? Would he be uncomfortable? Is there a bigger problem than just his gag reflex? Can he be “healed”? and the big question…How much is this all going to cost? There was a part of me that hoped it would be kind of a crock…not extremely necessary (because all I kept hearing was that insurance rarely covers this type of therapy). We arrived at the office after I parked in the wrong parking deck and went on a tour of another deck before finding the correct building. Scottish Rite is a fantastic place. I am extremely grateful to live in an area where we have access to such a fantastic children’s hospital. But I digress…Cooper was a trooper!!! Heidi, our Speech Therapist, was fantastic! Cooper could not take his eyes off of her!! She was very engaging and he was really hamming it up for her!! He was laughing and clapping and playing with all of the food she was putting in front of him (not swallowing it, mind you, but really doing his thing). She watched his tongue, his mouth, and determined that all appeared to be normal. Her thoughts are that he likely had a bad experience at some point…it may have been a texture that freaked him out, a taste, or a feeling of not being able to control what was in his mouth. Now, he has a negative association and just flat out refuses to swallow food! She gave him dried fruit and veggies and he just munched and munched on them…he accidentally swallowed a few pieces for which we all clapped and praised him!! It was so funny. He was so proud to be receiving all of the praise although we are pretty sure he had no clue as to why we were clapping!!! He even got to eat some ice cream since that is one thing that he seems to enjoy small amounts of. All in all, we walked away with a tentative plan. We will continue to work with him to erase the negative thoughts of eating and eating utensils (spoons make him clamp his mouth shut). It is based a lot on POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT and praise. It is going to take us being consistent and patient and Jim is likely going to play a big role (since Cooper looks as me as his all you can eat buffet). So as the evaluation was coming to an end I had this pit in my stomach…I thought, oh great, I think this is exactly what we BOTH need, I think it may work, and how in the hell are we going to pay for this? Heidi flips the page and says, “OK, you get 30 visits, so…” to which I reply, “WHAT!!! Our insurance is going to cover this????” She said “Yes, oh wait, for feeding therapy you have UNLIMITED visits!!” WHAT!!!!!! I could have burst into tears at that moment…but I kept it together! However, the people in the next room probably heard me exclaim!! I was happy, alright!! What an answered prayer. Praise the Lord! We are hoping that this process will not take too terribly long (whatever that means) and that Cooper will be chomping on something delicious very soon! Will keep you posted!
Oh my Maddox, he is a smart boy! He is coming to the realization (at least once a day) that I am RIGHT! He will be dancing all around and I’ll politely ask him to go to the potty...he will deny, deny, deny that he has to go…I’ll ask again in a few minutes…nope, still don’t have to go! I’ll then insist that he at least go try…he barely can get his pants down before the floodgates open…hmmm, guess I was right! He will say, “Mommy, I guess you were right! I did have to tee-tee!”
Last night he had another realization of my “right-ness”. Jim just got the Mustang painted so he wanted it in the garage for the night. My van was in “my” side and all of the leftovers from our garage sale was in the other side (the ‘stang side). I told Maddox to come with me to move the van out of the garage. He asked why? My answer was simple (and truthful). “Because, Daddy wants his goofy Mustang parked in the garage.” Maddox went along with my plan to move the van and loved it because he got to sit in the back seat! When we came back inside from all of the car shuffling I saw that Jim had WRITTEN ACROSS my to-do list!!!! WHAT??? You don’t mess with a girl’s to-do list!!!! That’s a big no-no and I expressed myself in a way that let Jim know that he should not do that again. There were no ugly words, there wasn’t a heated conversation, but Maddox KNEW that Daddy had done a bad thing. His reply...”You’re right Mommy (wait for it…), Daddy’s Mustang IS goofy!” Hahahahahaha!!!!! Jim could not believe his ears…and frankly, neither could I! We were both so shocked! Maddox LOVES the Mustang (along with all things boats, trailers, motorcycles, and race cars)! Finally, my boy is sticking with me!!!! He’s no dummy! Of course, about 5 minutes later he had decided he was back on Team Mustang and that maybe it wasn’t that goofy. Oh well, it lasted for a few moments…at least Cooper is on my side (for now)!
Today the boys and I went to church. Maddox is really enjoying his “new” class and especially “putting his money in the box.” After church we were going to go to Rudy and Jaynie’s house to take them a little gift. On the way out of the parking lot I suggested we go pick up some lunch on our way to their house. Maddox thought that “Blue Chick-fil-A” (aka Burger King) would be a good place to eat lunch. I agreed and then he said…”You know, I had bears there today. Not real bears, but LUNCH BEARS…and I don’t like lunch bears so I’m really hungry.” I finally figured out that they had teddy grahams for snack in Sunday School and he’s not a fan!!
On a sweet note, when we gave the towels that we had monogrammed to the Bennors Maddox said, "thanks for letting us go to your mountain house!" Without being prompted. He has heard Jim and I talking about getting them a little gift as a token of our appreciation and he picked up on it! So nice to have him pick up on something nice every once in a while!!! He told them that he would be happy to come back and visit at their house anytime...just let him know! So FUNNY!!! He insisted on hugs and kisses before we left and told them goodbye the whole way out of their driveway!
Since Maddox has given up his paci (for 3 nights) he has discovered that he can use it as a bargaining tool. He has been saying, “you know how I gave up my paci…now I can (fill in the blank)! This afternoon he told Jim that since he doesn’t need a paci anymore he can try to drive the Mustang! I’m sure that Jim threw up in his mouth a little from just the thought (the Mustang was just painted and it just returned home today)! Last night after going through Maddox’s nighttime ritual I was telling him goodnight and that I loved him and would see him in the morning. He got this surprised look on his face and said….”Mooommmyyyy, you know what I can do special tonight because I don’t sleep with my paaaaaccccciiiiii???? I can sleep in your bed!!!!” To which I replied, “nah, I don’t think so.” Well, he gave it a good try! He’s always thinking (scheming)! A lot like Jim…heeheehee!
Maddox has been attending Sunday School a bit more regularly here recently…ok, so like, 3 Sundays in a row (which is good for us, sadly). He seems to really enjoy it. After the first week in his “big kid” class (and not the nursery) he announced that he didn’t have “any money to put in the box today”. Well, I wasn’t going to send him without an offering to give the next week. So, Sunday came and I gave him his “monies” (change) for the offering. I told him that he should keep it in his pocket until it was time to “put it in the box”. He said, “I know, I’ll keep this and use it to buy a new boat!!” OH NO! I reminded him that it was for the offering plate so be sure to leave it at church. When I picked him up his teacher told me that he was the first in line to put his money in the offering. She said that it’s not uncommon for the kids this age to have a hard time giving their money up…she also told the story of how her daughter appeared with $23 one day. When they asked her how she had that much money they realized she had been saving her offering money that her parents were giving her each week! Ha ha ha!
If you have ever been present for a Maddox haircut, you will appreciate this next post...Maddox did not shed one tear during his last haircut!!!! Woo hoo! We were so very proud! We are not sure exactly what scared him...his first haircut was great! After that, they have almost progressively become more traumatic and he has gotten more hysterical! I tried and tried to get to the root of the problem...was it the buzzing sound? the sharp scissors coming at his head? what?? He finally decided that it was "all the scratchy things" that fell on his back when his hair was cut...SOLUTION: wear the cape! He thought that would be a good idea and then by the time we would enter the hair salon he would be in hysterics and sweating! So, at the beginning of the summer Jim and I decided that maybe we could give him a summer buzz at home. It was a little better, but still a lot of crying (and sweating for all 3 of us). I trimmed around his ears with scissors a few weeks ago and he did fine. We talked about it and he decided that it would be ok (since I told him that if we just did the sides he wouldn't need a haircut all over for a little while longer). He was soooo proud of himself for not crying...and I was too! So, last night Jim told him that the beach condo has a new rule...you have to get a haircut before you go (going on Monday). Maddox said he needed to get a few supplies before we went upstairs for the haircut...he went to the drawer and looked for the fingernail clippers. He said that those clippers would be better than the big ones. We discussed how long that would take and he agreed with us. We went up to do the deed...he was not thrilled, but not freaking out and running away either (a VERY GOOD sign!!). He sat all by himself on the bathroom counter (another huge milestone) and Jim first used the scissors to trim around his ears. He then used the clippers and did the rest of his hair...we had Maddox almost chanting...I'M NOT SCARED! It seemed to be working so we continued. As we were finishing up Jim suggested he get a treat for doing so well. This was such a huge accomplishment I think both of us were thinking that whatever he said (within reason) was an acceptable request. His request...A WHITE ICE CREAM CONE! SOLD, to the boy with the new haircut!!! He and Jim went to McDonald's and got a vanilla ice cream cone (with Maddox in his pjs, which he also thought was hilarious). The only sad thing about the whole experience was when we brushed him off and turned him around to see his new 'do he had this look of SHOCK! He said, "whoa whoa whoa, something's not right...I look DIFFERENT!! Not like Holden! I want my big hair back!" It was so sad...but I can totally relate! You know when you get your hair cut real different than what you are used to and everytime you see your reflection in a window you almost do a double take because you know that that person looking at you is surely not yourself!!! That's exactly what he kept doing! He will learn to love it (as will I, it's a bit shorter than I would have preferred). He's a cutie and we are just so proud of him for conquering his fears and working through it!!!!! WAY TO GO, MADDOX!!!! You are growing up before our very eyes!!!!!!!!!!!
Maddox and I were determined to go to Six Flags last Friday. He had been asking me for a week to go (and I would in turn ask Jim who decided it was too hot to go...maybe he was right). We found some free passes that were in our season pass booklets that were good through Friday. We started down the list of friends who we thought might be able to go. My goal was to find a friend that had a child about the same age as Maddox to ride with him. I assumed I would take Cooper and that hopefully whoever went with us would understand that if a child had a meltdown (and I assumed it would be one of mine) that it would be time to leave. The search was on! I finally bit the bullet and asked Bebe if it would be possible for her to keep Cooper for the day and I would take Holden and Lucas with me on a field trip!! Cooper is still not eating food and refuses a bottle/cup at this point so he is not an ideal babysitting opportunity…even for a grandmother!! She agreed! I had explained to the boys that if at any point Cooper was unhappy and Bebe called us to come home that we HAD TO LEAVE RIGHT AWAY. They said that the understood and off we went! We arrived at Six Flags at about 11:00…Maddox was beside himself! He LOVES it there and it was almost more than he could handle to have two of his favorite “guys” with him. They were super sweet with him and didn’t complain about riding the “kiddie” rides. Thankfully, they were all a little too short for the bigger roller coasters…although I do believe that each of them would have gone on any of the rides without hesitation! It was blazing hot…I carried water and snacks in a backpack and we stopped at every “mister” to cool off. Even though it was hot and the lines were longer than Maddox had ever experienced we all had a great time! To top it off, Cooper did AWESOME!!! Bebe said that he took his two naps without too much fuss and was a happy little boy! Our sweet friend Alexandra came over and helped out with him so what was there not to be happy about!!!! He was the center of attention and he loved it! What a relief!! We were all exhausted by the end of the day. We didn’t smell very good and our feet were really tired but we had fond memories of the day!!! I told Holden and Lucas that I would take them again any day (that I had a free ticket) because they were so well behaved. And though they probably wouldn’t admit it, I think I may have gained a couple of “cool auntie” points for the trip! Maddox is ready to go again!
We celebrated Cooper’s first birthday family style! The grandparents, aunts, uncles, and 2 cousins all came to celebrate with us. We had a yummy lunch (if I do say myself) and a delicious cake (compliments to Emily on her superb decorating). Cooper, who does not care for food, had a great time with the cake! He squished it, played in it, turned his plate upside down and smashed it all over the tray of his highchair! He was covered in cake from chest to knees…but not a single speck of cake or frosting on his face!!!! His did enjoy a few licks of a vanilla ice cream cone for his birthday treat! This entire experience was so different than Maddox’s first birthday who would not even TOUCH the cupcake on his tray!! To this day, Maddox still doesn’t want to even taste a piece of cake. To me, getting ready for this party was a mixture of emotions. I didn’t feel overly prepared (what else is new in my life these days) and I’m not sure if my lack of preparation was my unwillingness to accept that he’s really turning a year old! This year has gone by so very fast. It really doesn’t seem possible that 12 months has passed since this little man has come into our lives! I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun (or when you are incredibly sleep deprived and functioning in a daze). He’s a great little guy with a fun personality! He’s changing everyday and continues to amaze us. Watching Cooper interact with Maddox is amazing. The first year is such a huge transformation. It’s amazing to see your tiny newborn grow (in what seems to be overnight) into a cruising, babbling, funny little boy!!!
Monkey Joe’s is a wonderful place (apart from it’s ability to make a perfectly healthy child come down with a fever within 3 days of visiting) to jump, play, and get a lot of 3 yr old energy out!!! Last week we went TWICE! WHOA (which may explain Maddox’s fever and runny nose/eyes today)! We went on a rainy afternoon with some friends from the neighborhood. I had been sitting talking to Heather and Laura for a little while when Cooper started to get restless. We took a little walk around to see what Maddox was up to…we came to the bottom of the slide just as he came barreling down…head over feet!! When he got to the bottom (and I knew that he was ok) I cheered for him and told him good job! He replied, “well, that was embarrassing!” And then as he was climbing off he said, “That wasn’t supposed to happen!” Even tumbling down the tallest slide in the place didn’t stop him from climbing back up as fast as he could go!!! However, he was careful to slide down feet first for the rest of the visit!!