Some happy things to tell you about tonight, beginning with the babiest…
He must have known it was March Forth Day. In spite of being one of the tiniest ten-month-old babies we’ve had, Ben is now…well…see for yourself!
Moving on to the little Verity-doodle, did I remember to tell you that after almost three years, she no longer needs to have her drinks thickened? Those of you who have traveled this particular road will understand just how significant this milestone is for everyday life!
A big thanks to the kind blog reader who sent Verity a pair of noise-reducing ear muffs! It has been The Solution! Now that she knows The Solution is right at hand if she needs it, she has been much more tolerant of the shrieking. She can still hear us talking to her with no difficulty.
As for Sweet-Kate! Wow, is she ever blossoming right now!
Almost-twelve-year-old girl is on her way to drinking from a straw! After more than a year of working with her using fruit puree pouches at the suggestion of Verity’s former occupational therapist, she began to close her lips around the spout. Not long after that milestone, she progressed to fairly consistently helping to suck the puree out rather than waiting for it to be squeezed into her mouth!
She has learned to say, “Yeah,” for the word, “Yes.” A few times she answered my question with a “Yeah,” without any prior prompting!
She is expanding in her cognitive capability and grasping more complex ideas than she formerly did.
She’s settling nicely into her new school routine as we knew she would.
She is happy to get on the bus in the morning and happy to come home again and have Mama shower her with squeezes and kisses!
Before the beginning of this year, I would have said that Katie may well be permanently autistic. Now I am almost 100% convinced that it is indeed institutional autism, which can improve over time, and not innate autism.
In other recent progress, she has begun scanning my face to read my emotions as well as doing other visual referencing.
She is seeking out and tolerating much more eye contact with me.
She is gaining control over her tendency to be easily over-stimulated, gaining in self-regulation.
She is more likely to come to me and request attention and affection.
Sweetest progress of all, she is tolerating close snuggling for longer and longer periods of time before pulling back. The last time she was sick, she actually fell asleep on me for the first time.
My daily life has been so All-About-Tommy over the past weeks that I haven’t been thinking about taking photos of him and didn’t realize it until writing this post! It’s been intense beyond words, friends, and most days my camera lies forgotten and neglected! Lest any blog reader fear that I’m playing favorites, my camera captured a grand total of four photos at the wedding rehearsal [forgot the camera, Daniel went back for it, the batteries died, no back-up batteries] and one of Joseph and me on his wedding day, all five photos of poor quality!
Here’s a fraction of Tommy, accidentally captured by my sister’s five-year-old granddaughter. Ben’s asking her, “And who are you, may I ask?”
The happiest news about Tommy is that, since the beginning of the year, he has been growing more and more relaxed, to the point that it’s obvious to those who see him infrequently.
After nearly constant teeth-grinding, he rarely does that anymore.
He used to sleep lying on his side in a tight fetal position with his arms bent on either side of his head. If he was awake in his bed, he was intently watchful, hyper-vigilant, tense, waiting. Orphanage Tommy. Now he almost always sleeps on his back, completely relaxed, arms and legs flung outward in a comfortable position. So rewarding to see this evidence of greater inner security and peace. Loved son Tommy.
And now for the grand finale!
Yes! At 10:30 in the morning on Saturday, the first of March, Joseph and Lindsay became husband and wife!
We had so much help in order to manage our part in their wedding, from loans of jewelry and little boys’ wedding attire to ironing the wedding attire to opening homes for out-of-town extended family to buying dresses and dropping them off at our house for me to try on and choose from. Our little ones were surrounded by calm, competent and much-appreciated helpers from the afternoon before the rehearsal until well into the reception. Thank you to every single person who generously offered a helping hand! What a gift you gave us!
It’s hard to imagine a more perfectly perfect wedding day.
Abundant laughter and happy tears.
Long-standing solidarity, close-knit friendship, open-hearted love.
Words of truth and strength and fierce commitment and blessing.
New family stories were written as one chapter closed and a new one opened.
And now there is one where there used to be two.
[For more wedding photos now and to come, you are welcome to visit the mother of the bride's blog, Creekside Cottage.]