Hello there! I'm Jillz. I'm 26 years old and currently reside in Texas with my high school sweetheart turned husband, Joseph, and our two sons Travis, who was born on October 7, 2010 and Nathan, who was born on May 15, 2012 I'm a full time mother to my two children, a full time military wife to my husband who is in the Air Force, and an RN.
I blog about a variety of things from the challenges and joys of parenthood, the bittersweet moments of being a military wife, the rewarding and stressful moments at work, and just life in general.
I haven’t been on here for a while (again). It’s such a warm day today and I hope that it continues to stay that way and not get any hotter or cooler. Spring is my favorite season (followed by fall & winter) and I want to savor every moment of it before it becomes scorching hot.
We are all doing well. Nathan is cruising now and has gotten way better at crawling so as y’all can imagine, he gets into everything that he shouldn’t be getting into. His latest thing is to stand himself up, let himself go from whatever it is that’s supporting him, stand for a few seconds while clapping his hands, and falls down on his butt. It’s so adorable! He’s also learned to feed himself puffs now and is slowly transitioning into table foods. Sometimes he still gags at certain textures, but it’s gotten so much better.
Travis is doing wonderful! He’s been at ABA now for a month and making steady strides. He’s following directions better. For example, if we tell him to go to timeout he now stays there and doesn’t try to run off like before. He’s also doing a lot of labeling these days and more pointing. We are very very pleased with his progress.
I’ve also found a sitter that can watch Travis and Nathan so I may be heading back to work! I’ve applied for a med/surg RN position at a local hospital so we shall see if I get chosen for an interview. If not, then it’s ok. I’m honestly not in a rush to go back to work. Either way, at least now that we have a sitter, Joseph and I can spend some time together w/o the kids (much needed).
Well I’m going to end this one here. Nathan is trying to climb on me to get to my laptop =)
Yesterday I had a meeting with Travis’s ABA therapist to get a quick update on how therapy is going. As of now they’re still in the “pairing” phase of therapy. He’s been going to ABA for about 3 weeks now and I have seen some improvements! I feel like his receptive skills have improved and he’s starting to point more now to show interests.
His therapist was happy to say that he has surprised them since he started doing things (for them) that he didn’t do while he was being assessed and during the early weeks. This is good because it shows that Travis has trust in them and is now comfortable with them. As a result of him surprising them, his therapist now has to modify his behavioral plan.
Other than that, we have also started supplements on Travis. We plan to do the biomed route in addition to the behavioral therapy for Travis. We have yet to take him to a DAN/biomed physician (which we hope to take him in the near future, I just need to do more research on which doctor to take him and of course how much it’ll be as it’s not covered by insurance), but we have started a bit of the biomed protocol (I suppose you can call it that) such as putting him on a gluten free casein free diet and starting on some supplements. Some supplements that we have started is a multivitamin (we went with Kirkman’s Spectrum multivitamin, powdered) and fish oil. I have started him on the fish oil first and have not seen any adverse affects. I will start him on the MVI sometime this weekend. If he takes the two well, I plan to start him on probiotics.
The three supplements are the only things that I plan to do for now until he gets seen by a DAN dr. I know there are other things such as chelators, MB12 shots, etc that are usually given, but like I said I won’t go into this until I see lab results and have the guidance of a physician.
Travis’s cold made everyone in this household sick! It started with him, then Joseph, then Nathan, and then me. It sucks because it’s going to be a nice week with spring like temperatures and we won’t be enjoying it.
Anyway, I haven’t been in the best of moods lately. I’ve gone through a combo of being angry, sad, and at times un-hopeful. While I’ve accepted the fact that Travis has autism, I do feel overwhelmed with the ABA therapy that Travis attends 5 days a week. I keep thinking, “what if Travis doesn’t improve,” or “God forbid he gets worse?” Today I made myself stressed by trying to figure out when/if Travis will “talk,” I put that in quotations because he does, “talk,” but it’s just random and echolalic. Granted the stuff that he does repeat, he does say it in the correct context, but still. I cannot wait for the day where Travis will even call me “mommy,”
He knows what “mommy,” and “daddy” is because when we give him a direction such as, “Go brush teeth with daddy/mommy,” he knows who to go to. He does have (for the most part) good receptive skills, which has gotten better the past few weeks. I just want to hear him talk. He talks a LOT, but in his own jibberish and language that we can only understand a few words of.
It also doesn’t help that upon my Googling, I’ve read stories of some not even talking. That made me panic a bit because I would be devastated if my son never talked. Hopefully his therapist(s) are correct in that he will talk one of these days since he “talks” right now.
Other than that everyone is doing okay asides from the cold that we’re all afflicted with. Travis is getting less anxious with attending ABA, but he still cries when we drop him off. It never fails to break my heart! Improvement wise, he seems to be pointing more, a bit better at following directions, and (in contrast to what I’ve written above) MORE verbal. Nowadays he likes to count (he can count 1-10, but seems to skip 5), showing interest in ABCs, and even sings along to songs now (though we can only understand parts of it since the rest is in his jibber jabber). Though most of his language is his jibberish, we have noticed that he TRIES to talk more, so that in a sense is good.
Nathan is doing well. He is getting better at crawling/scooting and is getting around our living room, which keeps him content. He’s also been having some major separation anxiety whenever I or Joseph leave the room. He still sleeps in our room and he is an awful sleeper (well to me anyway). Last night he didn’t go to bed till 11 PM and then woke up around 1 AM just bawling his eyes out! He still wakes up once at night to eat, which honestly surprises me considering Travis slept through the night at 4 months old. No worries though, every child is different.
He’s learned to say mama, dada, bubba, and sometimes it seems like he’s saying bubbles! He hears me and Travis saying bubbles a lot since I’m always blowing bubbles for them. He loves cuddling just like his older brother at this age. He loves kisses and will give you slobbery kisses all over you face!
We got through the first week of ABA for Travis, which consisted of getting both kids up at 7 AM, getting them changed, fed breakfast, and out of the house by 8:10 (at the latest) to drop off Travis at the therapy center (he starts at 8:30). Both boys have been extremely cooperative. The only hard part for us is when Travis cries when we drop him off. Breaks my heart every single time.
However, Travis has been improving in terms of being separated from us. I think he’s done extremely well considering that he’s never been in a daycare/preschool type of setting before. The most he has cried according to his therapist has been about five minutes. He usually starts whimpering and having little cries when we pull into the parking lot (especially during the first few days), but his cries have decreased in length by the end of the week. On Friday, he only cried for about 10 seconds when him and his therapist got to the classroom! I am so proud of my little boy.
So while Travis is at therapy (which by the way we tell him he is going to school), Nathan and I spend some much needed quality time together snuggling and playing! We also do errands that I usually do when Joseph comes home from work.
Oh and guess what? Nathan is CRAWLING now! It’s not a real crawl yet, it’s more like an Army crawl, but it gets him around and that’s all that matters to him! The other day he made me panic for a few seconds because I couldn’t see him while fixing lunch for Travis, it turns out he was under the train table, which is kind of low on one side so it was hiding him.
So glad that the week went well. The only downside is that Travis caught a pesky cold! My boo boo hasn’t had an appetite, has had a runny nose and cough. No fevers though, so that is good. I hope he feels better by Monday.
Travis began his ABA therapy last Friday! Today was his third day of ABA and so far so good. He will be attending ABA therapy at a local therapy center five days a week, three hours a day so 15 hours a week total!
He’s been doing well, but he does cry when I drop him off, which is fine since he isn’t used to it yet. His therapist will text me when he’s stopped crying and has calmed down, which is usually about five minutes. Today he was crying when we had pulled into the parking lot and I felt awful! I wish we could have had ABA at home, but the therapy center does not provide it. Anyway, his therapist often meets up halfway to the classroom to get him. Travis gets MORE anxious if I actually drop him off and leave. He’s not as anxious if he’s the one “leaving” me.
So for the next few weeks, they’ll be doing a lot of getting to know one another versus actual therapy. Once they’ve gotten a more accurate measurement of his strengths, weaknesses, and his likes/dislikes, they can then compose a lesson plan (in simplest terms) that has goals for him and skills that they will target. She said so far that he’s gotten a little better with following directions so that’s great! We are very excited to see what ABA will do for him!