Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer month 1 in the books! And a discovery...

The boys have had an awesome first part of summer so far. They had 'VBS 2016' (vacation bible school) where they learned about our sister church in El Salvador and they raised money to send a bunch of kids there to school, which is also teaching them how lucky they are that they "GET TO" go to school here so much easier.

Then the following week we returned from a cruise out of NYC for this year's Leaders Conference through Jay's work. It was a successful trip, although a bit rainy and cold on the day we were docked in Nova Scotia and the first cruise day back.
The boys had an absolute blast. We were able to explore NYC for the first day and a half before cruising out of port. Jax has a tough time with all the walking, but thankfully he's small enough to still ride on Jay's shoulders at times!
We had fun on the boat with all the activities and different places to eat, although I don't see us going on a cruise as a chosen vacation anytime soon, it's not Jay's cup of tea too much. But as for the conference, it was neat. Although the conference wasn't like it was last year in Orlando since there weren't 'meeting rooms' for morning sessions for the agents and large enough theaters to hold everyone at once for speakers, but it worked out.
The ship broadcasted the awards ceremony on every tv and screen since the theater couldn't hold too many people. So it was neat for the boys to see Jay's picture and at times us on stage (Jay received his national award for 'Freshman Five' and top producer in two categories for 2nd year agent as well).

One interesting detail was our photo we had taken on stage as a family. We received a professional photo to our room the last night and we noticed Jax was grabbing his pants as if he had to go to the bathroom. We were all like, "Ugh, seriously?" And of course, it seemed funny to everyone that of course one of the kids were doing that, right?
Well, when we were home, I saw a couple photos from last year's conference and noticed a strange coincidence... Jax was holding his hand the exact same way. Huh. Then in another photo, and another photo.... then I looked through the photos of our trip last week... sure enough. Jax has his hand in that position in front of him for probably 85% of the photos if his hand is free. I then looked  back at photos in my collection further back over the years... how did we NEVER notice this? His right hand, which has always been his "weak side" always goes into this defense position, for lack of a better term.

I felt really upset and can't explain why. I guess I had this 'ah ha' moment and felt incompetent to only notice NOW, 8 years later? And what does it mean? Obviously I'll bring it up at his yearly physical at the end of this month, but it could mean nothing (I guess) or after some research, it may be a physical signal of what I've always thought about Jax, and that's that he's suffered from mild CP with his lack of oxygen and blood flow from the beginning, which explains his milestone delays, motor issues, low muscle tone, feeding issues, growth issues, etc etc. But again, it could mean nothing, so I have to do what I have always done... try to leave it be since we always seem to chase our tails since there are no definitive tests for this kid it seems. And really, he gets all the support he needs for his symptoms so nothing would change. But, is it a puzzle piece? Even Jay was stunned to see the repeated hand position go so unnoticed by us.

Of course, I'm bummed as the mom for this kid that he's turning 8 and still struggles with these things, but damn... we are SO lucky. He has such a great life and while he can't write his name well, tie shoes or ride a bike without trainers yet, he CAN hit a baseball pretty darn good and run around with his friends and have tons of friends going into 2nd grade (different motor groups I know). I certainly do know how much different it could all be, so I absolutely am grateful, thankful and always humbled by how great of a life these kids have at the end of the day. They're SO happy!

So, I'll move on from that whole subject for awhile and try to remember the last few days!
We were home for the 4th of July for the first time in years since our trip ran into the holiday weekend. It was SO quiet. We were able to catch up with the house from being gone and really kind of chill out. We made some birthday plans for the boys (which are becoming simpler and simpler now that they grow) and we also went to a friend's house for some pool fun. I realized I don't photos from the weekend, huh!

The boys also started summer school this week, which we actually missed the first week with being gone, oh well! Brady gets his 'extended school year' speech therapy during this time to help keep him on track. I have the boys in only 2 classes, which are about animals and other fun stuff, so they're only gone for 2 hours, but after the first day they seemed pretty pumped to see a few friends from school to run around with.

We're still doing swimming as well, and we're seeing definite improvement with them to be able to handle pool safety and at least 3 ft of water ;) They seem to love diving down to collect toys so far, so they'll be working on actual swimming a lot these last two months of summer. I'm hoping August is a big swim-month for us since we don't have a lot planned that month.

Well, enjoy some photos!
Papa and ping pong

A week of vacation bible school rocked!

The boys and some cool police officers

The infamous photo
This photo from one year before is what made me realize to look at other photos and make the discovery!
It's uncanny over and over.
Glow party the last night

First day in NYC port

Ready for their performance

Ropes course

Shipping out past Lady Liberty

Halifax Nova Scotia

Brady dancing away

Times Square

A long walk to lower Manhattan. The walks always prove tough for Jax Man

Hibachi fun on the cruise

Empire State building fun

Oh Brady... party was over

These boys are becoming travel-pros

Front of the ship

Finance District

Jax loved the zip line at the end

Top of the Empire State Building looking down lower Manhattan

911 Memorial

These two...


Kristin said...

Annie, I don't know if this will help ease your mind or not: my youngest (who also had quite a few developmental issues and has worn glasses since he was a baby) also grabs his crotch. All. The. Time. He has been doing it forever, since well before he was potty trained. He seems to do it most when he's excited or nervous. You made me have an "aha!" moment when you called it a "defense" position. That sounds about right! I have never talked to his doctor about it, it's just something we deal with. We get lots of laughs and questions about if he has to go to the bathroom, but that's about it. I'll be curious to know if you find out more. Just wanted to let you know that Jax is not the only kid who does it!

Annie said...

Thank you Kristin! I really appreciate your thoughtful response to never feel alone! I will let you know if anything substantial comes of mentioning it to the doc during the physical at the end of the month. I have a feeling there will be no news about it, but in case there is, I'll certainly bend your ear!