Ear Tubes — November 19, 2019

Ear Tubes

Hey y’all. It’s been awhile. This summer/fall has been no joke. It’s flying by and we have holidays and birthdays that will continue to make this year a blur.

Today, I’m hoping to take a few moments to reflect on Jaxon’s speech journey. I do not plan on going into it too much as I think the kids should be able to decide what we discuss about them on social media (and Chris for that matter) but let me know if you have any questions.

One year ago today, Jaxon had his ear tubes placed. One year ago today, Jaxon could not say more than maybe 15 words. He had been in speech therapy since he was a baby to help with his feeding issues (wouldn’t drink anything from any bottles), but there weren’t any signs to point to hearing issues. 

We knew he was behind in speaking but that all kids develop differently.  I mean he was walking at 11 months; but there’s always something to point to.  Girls and boys are very different.  Boys speak later than girls.  He’s a physical boy and walking/running/climbing are easier for him.  He had a tongue tie.  His sister is chatty and won’t let him get any words in.  Oh wait, I added that last one only because it’s true. 

Obviously everyone’s lists are different. We are all going through something. But with Jaxon, we finally followed our gut and requested a hearing test once we moved to the PNW away from the typical military Doctor who we were accustomed to seeing. The Audiologist could not perform the hearing test because his ears were so blocked.  No “waves” could get through.  The ENT could not clear out the blockage as it was so backed up along with Jax’s general disdain for doctors. A surgery was scheduled to not only clean out his ears but place tubes because the ENT Doctor was 90% sure there was a fluid behind his ear drums. We consented because we knew something was up.

Jaxon had never had an ear infection. He didn’t rub at his ears.  No Doctors stated he had buildup or may have fluid behind his ear drums previously at his wellness appointments. His Speech Therapist never mentioned any potential issues with his hearing.  The signs for needing ear tubes were not present.  But we knew Jaxon was smart and were trying every avenue to find a solution.  

Today, Jaxon can speak in three to five word sentences. He knows thousand(s) of words. Family and friends understand the majority of what he’s saying now. He’s in preschool.  He’s the best snuggler you’ve ever met.  He will yell at his sister if she doesn’t let him speak.  He continues to attend speech therapy as he needs to work on his enunciation and a couple difficult sounds for him but we want him to be as successful as he can be.

I am so thankful for following our Mom and Dad guts. I am so thankful for speech therapists. What a cool profession!  He has gone from feeding help, to letter phonics to beginning sounds to final sounds to two words to sentences.  We’re still learning but seeing how much this crazy kid has grown this past year has been so wonderful.  

For anyone having any speech questions, please let me know.  We found a site called mommyspeechtherapy.com that has wonderful content to practice at home.  Since slowly talking more about his speech issues over the past few years with others I have learned so many of my friends/family have children in speech.  

To be completely honest, Jaxon’s tubes are still in; however, he now gets ear infections more frequently.  If he’s anywhere near a pool or hot tub, he gets an infection (splashing or swimming are usually the causes here).  Chris checks them regularly and we have a lot of yucky drainage and pricey ear drops to help us along.  But we would do the ear tube surgery again in a heartbeat in order to have conversations with our son.  

Let’s end with listen to your gut. Love your kiddos just as they are but push them to be the best they can be!

Last Few Weeks of Summer — August 10, 2019

Last Few Weeks of Summer

Hey y’all! It’s been forever I know but this summer has been flying by. And we haven’t really done anything so I’m not sure why it feels so busy! We have three weeks left or so until school starts back up so thought I’d hop on here to just let ya know what we’ve been up to.

It’s our first full summer up in the ‘Couve and we have made some wonderful friends! I’ve loved a neighbor before but having a neighborhood FULL of friends is so much fun! We started meeting neighbors last year and every month it seems we’re adding another awesome family to our mix. Our newest friends even have their own three-year old Jackson (ours is Jaxon but samesies)! Let’s just say we have a wild bunch of friends now and it’s wonderful after moving cross-country to have friends who make you laugh as well as have children to entertain my children. lol

We’ve had plenty of adventures too! Great hikes, camping, bike rides, swim lessons, visits with old friends and amazing family time.

This summer has had it’s hard moments with work stuff, kids bickering, house projects, carving out quiet time, etc but overall I just feel so grateful for my family. The other night Chris came home from work and we threw the kids in the trampoline, made some moscow mules and just sat outside and talked. Liv decided we should go to her favorite brewery to sit outside and who are we to say no to that so we just continued our fun.

Though we’re definitely starting a new chapter here with Olivia starting Kindergarten soon; and as much as I’ll miss her, I’m going to love hearing her stories about her new adventures. She is my social butterfly and I love seeing her meet new friends and watch as she grows from these experiences. And Jaxon will be at our new church’s Preschool4 class and continuing his speech therapy so he will be slammed too. Just seeing how much he has grown this past year with potty training and hearing him talk in sentences is so special. He can now keep up with us and tries to put one of us in our place with his new words (“No Ya-Ya, get out of my face!”).

Carpe Diem folks! Off to make more memories as soon as this darn drill weekend ends.

~Mel

PS. My new favorite sprinkler/Splash Pad is this in case y’all are interested. We may have borrowed it from friends, poked a hole in it and are still using it (and bought a new replacement one for our friends). Sorry Tara 😉 But the kids have been using it daily the past week or so!

Potty Training — May 20, 2019

Potty Training

OK folks, I’m going there. The place no one wants to talk about. Potty training. Ugh. Just typing it makes me hate it more.

Not everyone wants to talk about it because some kids get the hang of it very quickly, and some take much longer.  And it’s usually the parents of the kids who’s kids are potty trained first who want to bring it up.  But it doesn’t matter. It will happen. And if it doesn’t for some reason, it’s no big deal either. You’ve got this!

Potty training for us has been a journey. With Olivia, we started her very young and just made it a fun thing. Sit on the potty before bath time and go.  Oh, and here’s a jellybean. Around two-two and a half, she figured out how to go number two in the potty and never looked back on that particular number.  But we were still working on catching every pee in the potty when she started Preschool3.  We had a wonderful program and teachers in Georgia who helped with potty training during the three mornings a week she went to school. The teachers had even stated “all children will be potty trained by Christmas”.  By November, the teachers were telling me I could send her to school in underwear because she got it.  And that was that.  Or at least how I remember it as we’re working with Jaxon now.

With Jax, potty training has not gone as smoothly.  Really, life has not gone as smoothly if I’m being real.  First off, Jaxon doesn’t talk as much as Olivia did/does.  He’s my happy lazy snuggly boy.  We started him off the same way with sitting on the potty before bath time.  Followed by said jellybean.  But oh boy, is having a little boy different than a little girl.  lol.  Jaxon liked to sit on the potty but only if we took him.  He never wanted to initiate going to the potty. (And yes, I say potty and not bathroom, restroom, toilet, etc as it’s easier for kids to say so get used to it.)  We got so that every time we took him to the potty, he would go potty.  But he never initiated.

Once we moved to the PNW, we enrolled him into a Preschool3 class as well but this one stated he had to be potty trained.  WHAT?!  Where are my helpers at?!  So, we pushed Jaxon harder to try to meet this deadline.  I tried the three day potty training method after we moved into our new house.  And Chris was on TDY (travel or away for any non-military folks).  I set a timer.  We went to potty.  He peed in potty.  Another timer.  More pee.  An occasional poop.  But never once did he initiate having to go potty.  Not once over these three days.  While he did get better at holding it a tad longer and actually going to potty when I said it’s potty time, this method did not work for us.  So, Mommy told a little white lie and he was in Preschool3 as a “mostly” potty trained boy who still needed pull-ups.  Oh, and help going potty sometimes because he was nervous.  lol.

I’m not trying to put Jaxon on blast or anything because like I said, every kid is different.  He just wasn’t ready and I’m not sure pushing him didn’t make it harder on us.  The teachers would somewhat help him into the bathroom at school but if he ever had a number two accident, I had to go change him.  I think this happened two or three times in almost five months; and by Christmas, the school told us we needed to step up our potty training game.  And by the way folks, by potty training, this school means fully going to the bathroom all by yourself.  Initiate it, shut door, pants down, go potty, WIPE and pants up all by himself.  I’m sorry, that’s just a bit much for any three year old in my opinion.  I know six year olds who still don’t wipe after number twos.

So, we refocused on potty training.  First off, I started by waking him up by 6:45am so he could eat and drink and run around before school or errands to ensure I could get him to go number two on the potty before leaving the house.  This worked great for most school mornings. But, we had to find something else that would work for Jax.  For us, and him, it was the beloved iPad.  We started with poop accidents.  If he had a poop accident, he didn’t get his five to ten minutes of iPad time like he normally does before bed.    And then I think he may have had one or two poop accidents resulting in no iPad time before bed that had him initiating going to the potty more.  And maybe a meltdown or two.  And then bam, it sunk in.  This worked amazingly well for us.

Now, I’m not saying we haven’t had blips on our radars from time to time whether it be sickness or forgetfulness, but he’s been doing great.  After he grasped initiating going potty (we had him say potty as well as grab the privates/bottom areas to ensure others understood his meaning), we started the no iPad time before bed for pee accidents.  And again, it took a few sobbing night time routines after having an accident that day for it to sink in for him.

And now, I’m knocking on wood before saying we are nearing the end. Jaxon still uses a pull-up at nights but has been dry the last two weeks. He’s even been waking up crying at night because he has to go potty and is a bit confused in his tired state.  But we manage to make it to the potty during these middle of the night wakes as well as first thing in the morning.  I do still send him in a pull-up to school just as precautionary as his teachers don’t always seem very responsive to him.  And hello, he’s not there with wiping yet so that’s safer than the skid mark tundies.  I also help him fix his tundies and pants as he just yanks them on up with no regard for the waistband being folded in and pants twisted.  But in my eyes, he’s potty trained.

To close, hang in there on your potty training journey. We’ve hit both ends of the spectrum and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Jaxon is almost three and a half and we are close to being diaper/pull-up free.  And if you’re like me, don’t feel embarrassed or bad for Jax as he’s doing the best he can.  We’re rocking life the best we can!!  And next year in Preschool4, Jaxon will continue to grow and learn and be his best self!! As I will.  (and Chris and Olivia too for that matter)

As I always say about life, “Everything is temporary”.  So if you’re in the diaper phase or the potty training phase or the up all night phase or whatever your baby/kid phase is right now, it’s temporary and will pass soon before you’r on to the next phase.

Adios.

~Mel