Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Elk Ranch

We took a trip a couple of weekends ago to the Hardware ranch. It was very eventful, but we had a good time. It is a bit of a drive from our house and we forgot wet wipes...I'll let you use your imagination, but overall we just have to laugh about it and we still got to enjoy a fun trip as a family.

Isn't he cute?

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's time...

Zac and I have talked a lot about whether or not to post this on our blog, but it feels like the right time to do so. Owen has autism. I thought I would talk about how we found out and what we've been doing to help him and how we feel about it and just fill you in.

How we found out:
I took Owen in for his 18 month apt and there was a survey/form that you fill out that indicates what your child can and cannot do at that age. As I met with the pediatrician, he discussed with me concerns that he had about Owen's current development. He was very sensitive about the subject, but said that with what I was telling him and what he was seeing in Owen, we should look into getting him tested. I sobbed the whole way home and came home and told Zac about it and we both just fell apart. We didn't know much about it or what it meant or what to expect, or even what end of the spectrum he was on. We were terrified and testing took a lot longer than we expected to arrange. So, in the meantime, we just shut down. That's all we could think about and we were so scared of all of it's implications for our son that we love so much.

Like I said, we shut down for a couple of weeks and there was a lot of tears and frustration and fear and anxiety. We could hardly sleep and we were both a mess for awhile. However, we prayed that things would get easier and that we would know how to handle it. We felt at peace a little more, but we didn't feel like it was something that was going to go away, we just felt strengthened to be able to handle it. During this time, we both got multiple priesthood blessings. We have a good friend in our ward that gave Zac a blessing in the beginning and the spirit was very strong and I was so grateful that both of us were able to enjoy the blessings of the priesthood. It also made me grateful for the blessings that Zac has given me and the courage I've received from that. We have been so much closer through all this. He is the one person that I can vent to and he completely understands. He is right there with me and we have been through good days and bad days together. Our prayers have been more sincere, and we have been able to see so many blessings in this period of time.

Soooo many tests. It is very difficult in the beginning to have multiple people observe my son and all be in firm agreeance that basic skills and communication milestones are not where they should be. As a mother, I think that my son is brilliant and wonderful and believe me, none of these tests changed my mind, but at times, it made it hard to accept these struggles he was inevitably having. We have met with 2 doctors that have diagnosed him with mild to moderate autism, we have also met with occupational therapists, speech therapists, case workers, and again with our pediatrician. Let me just clarify that I am so grateful for these programs and wonderful people that he has worked with. He is now taking a class for development, does multiple in home visits with 3 different specialists, meets with another occupational therapist outside our home and I am currently taking a class for us as parents to learn more about how to communicate with Owen. We also go to community activities and we are really happy with his progress.

Oh, how our life has changed in the last few months. When we were deciding whether or not it was the right time to have another baby, we debated about when. I got a really strong impression that this baby needed to be here now and that we shouldn't wait any longer. We followed that prompting and within months we found out about Owen. We both agreed that had we found out about Owen earlier, we would have waited to have another baby. We are so grateful for Will. We can already tell that they are going to be good for each other. We love our sons! Well, that leads us to the last few months. I can't even begin to tell you how difficult it was to be pregnant and uncomfortable and have a meeting for Owen at least three times a week. It was a very difficult time for me and I just kept thinking, I just want to play with Owen again. But somehow we survived and we are making it day by day. Thank goodness for family, good friends, VT, and ward members.

The amazing thing about Owen is that for the most part, he is extremely mellow and happy. He hates being restricted (like reading a book on our lap) or being held for very long. This is hard for me as his mom to not be able to console him when he's sad or hurt. He doesn't talk yet, he will occasionally say da da when he gets excited, and he likes to babble, but his words have no real meaning and he doesn't have the attention span to learn sign language yet, although it doesn't keep us from trying. We work constantly on eye contact, and he is really good at grabbing our hands and leading us places. We are so proud of him and the good happy boy that he is. His smile just melts us and nothing makes us happier than when he hugs us randomly and when we get to hear his sweet little laugh. He gives us so much joy and we know that he understands a lot of our words and so we are just on his time table and that is the way he has always been. He has to do things on his terms and in his own timing. He is one amazing boy! He loves to smile and laugh and he has a lot of good skills that he is developing. We have him in every program available and are very optimistic about where we're heading.

I think I just wanted to have a place to express my good days, hard days, and maybe even help someone else that may be going through something similar. We have been so blessed to see the Lord's hands in our lives and know that we lucky enough to be Owen's parents and give him all our love and encouragement. We know that we are watched over and that Owen has a great life ahead of him. We love him so much!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Treehouse Museum

So, we went to the Treehouse Museum in Ogden with my sister, brother in law and my adorable little nephew. (There aren't many pictures of them since these kids had a million things to explore and I could barely get pictures of Owen). :) Anyway, they have all these fun sections of toys that kids can play with and Owen loved it.

This is my son kissing the window. It was soooo cute!!!

Here are some pictures I took after we got home. I love these boys!!!

I hardly ever get Owen to smile for the camera, but lately he likes the flashing light and so I capture some severe cuteness like this! That face just melts me!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A fun visit

My mom came to visit for a few days and I LOVED it! I always love it whenever she comes. Anyway, while she was here my sister and my nephew came to visit with all of us. These are some of the pictures I took while they were here.