Happy New Year!!
I'm probably one of the happier people around that was thrilled to say goodbye to 2011. I know that is pretty negative coming from me - but I dare anyone to blame me. It was quite a year. But let's not dwell on it anymore. 2012 has exciting things in store - I just know it.
Ed and I have had the same New Year's Eve plans for a few years now. Our friends, Elayne and Geoff (the couple who took our dog, Lucy, when we found out Gavin was allergic!) have an early, kid-friendly party every year. It's always a lot of fun. But this year - I just wasn't up to it. Between my black eyes and my blue mood - I kind of wanted to lay low and wallow. Well...I ended up doing neither. I decided to go out on a date...with Brian. Right after lunch on New Year's Eve I took Brian to his very first movie. The Muppets!
The entire experience thrilled him from beginning to end. Walking through the parking lot holding my hand...looking at all the movie posters in the lobby...going to the concession stand for pretzel bites...handing the ticket to the man behind the podium...and sitting in his own seat (and nearly getting swallowed up in it!).
In a classic rookie move, I didn't know until after the show that the movie theater gives out booster seats for kids so they don't get folded up in the seat. But in a classic move, dare I say GENIUS, I improvised with the diaper bag and my purse and my knee holding Brian in place. Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, he spent more than half of the movie on my lap. But I still say - diaper bag/knee/purse combination was genius. Thank you.
Brian was mesmerized. And, quite honestly, so was I! It's such an adorable movie - and it brought back so many childhood Muppet memories for me! I will admit I got a little choked up during the Rainbow Connection. The best part of the movie for me? The completely random and unsolicited kisses and hugs from Brian as we sat together. He would just turn around and kiss me!
When we got home I had another special surprise for him. I had bought him a "New Year's Eve cupcake" - complete with a countdown cookie clock! But in the biggest shock of 2011, he turned it down for a nap. I think the movie did him in and he slept for over two hours.
I put the cupcake away for New Year's Day...
Happy New Year to Brian!! Starting off the year with a cupcake - he was in heaven.
Gavin spent New Year's Eve with his Daddy and they had fun at home. Gavin has changed so much over the past several weeks. He's wanting more and more to be independent and has definite ideas and opinions about how he wants things to be!! We've been having a little issue with him lately. He's been gagging himself in his crib. It's mainly during nap time - and likely because he is bored. We've been through this before with him - so we're hoping it is just a phase like it was last time. It can be quite an ordeal. Twice it was right before we were leaving for a holiday event. This is what happens when we find him... he has to get in the bath - the crib has to be stripped and completely washed (trust me - it's so stinky!) - the crib tent has to come out and get taken apart and also washed - the mattress has to be wiped down well - his books (hard plastic, thank God!) have to be wiped down - the windows open - the fan on - the carpet sometimes cleaned - get the picture?
You might be thinking - well, he's four! He's probably outgrown the need for naps! Well, that might be true. But Gavin has always benefitted from having some "down time" where he can be alone. And lately all Gavin wants to do is wander the house and bang his teeth on hard surfaces - the furniture, the granite counter, the glass windows, etc. Sometimes, quite frankly, an hour that I'm not chasing him and pulling him away from cracking a tooth is important for everyone's sanity.
Gavin started back with his regular therapy schedule today after a Christmas break. Miss Janna, his teacher, was here after lunch. Janna has been bringing something each week to use with Gavin to start off their therapy. We were all surprised when he liked it! It's called "Play Foam." It's squishy and moldable and she'll have Gavin push his hands into it or roll it out. Her thinking is that working with that first warms him up and makes him more agreeable to hand over hand activities. Gavin typically hates when anyone forces him to hold or do anything with his hands. Using this play foam has actually cut down on his defensiveness!! Over the break I bought some on Amazon so Gavin could use it all the time at home. He loves it! (And it's super cheap!)
I can't wait until Friday when his Physical Therapist, Miss Wendy, comes for her session. She's going to be AMAZED at all the new things Gavin is doing. He now wants to WALK up the stairs - holding my hands pretty lightly, he'll bring his foot up to each step and lift himself up! And he's become quite the climber - almost to the point that it's scary. I'll let these pictures tell the story. I caught him in the act and wanted to capture the entire event - praying with each click of my lens that he wouldn't fall. See what I do for you people? *wink*
Finally... Ed and I have made a big decision. We are ending the great run we've had of Gavin's Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Over the weekend I went in the chamber with him and it was pointless. He refuses to keep the mask on...and we always said we'd never force it. So it is now on the market. The reason we bought the home chamber was for convenience...and to save money. We were originally going to take him to a Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Center in another town. It required a big time commitment - rearranging Gavin's therapy schedule to make these appointments would have been a feat. And driving to the center, doing the therapy and driving home would have taken a huge chunk out of our day. Not to mention the exorbitant cost. Believe it or not, buying our own chamber was cheaper. And then we had the added benefit of it being right there in our living room - we could fit it in whenever we wanted. Or skip a day if we wanted.
A lot of people ask if the Oxygen therapy helped Gavin. To know for sure, we would have had to stop everything else we were doing with him and JUST do Hyperbarics. We obviously weren't willing to do that. But what we can say is this: Gavin has made steady progress since starting with the chamber. Progress that was remarkable. Was it just the chamber? Who knows? It could have been all of his therapy...it could have been his diet...it could have been Dr. Trish...it could have been all of the above. We weren't willing to stop anything that we were doing to find out!!
The chamber we have is called the Vitaeris 320 made by Oxyhealth. It's the largest one they make and comfortably fit Gavin and one adult. We're selling the chamber with the chamber cover, the mattress and mattress cover, the compressor with a remote to take in the chamber with you, the tubing and even the oxygen compressor. If you are seriously interested - or know a family who might benefit from this healing piece of equipment - please contact me for more information.