Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas!

I love Christmas. I mean, I heart/adore/squeal with glee/looooooooooooooooove Christmas. I know it's still over a month away, but I am gearing up to go into full swing Christmas mode.

Did you know that Aretha Franklin is coming out with a Christmas CD this year? Oh yes. I think Scott cringed when I told him about this cd (twice). I have the most robust Holiday music collection of anyone I know. From Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Take 6 and Brian McKnight to Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera, you name it and I likely have it. I like to fill our 5 disc cd player with holiday music and get my bake on. In fact, if I'm doing anything Christmas related, I must be serenaded with yule tunes. And if I'm driving, and it happens to be snowing out? I'm in heaven with my Tony Bennet Christmas album playing full blast.

I'm so in love with this season, that I can't help myself but buy all of the December issues of magazines I normally shun. Red cover with baked goods or celebrities in Santa hats? Must haves by my standards. And Christmas decorations? Don't get me started. Every year my mom, Jennifer and I do a three way ornament exchange. I search for weeks for the perfect ornament to share with them. One of my favourite things about going home for Christmas is seeing my mom's tree covered in the very same decorations I have on my tree at home. I really am a hopeless Christmas romantic.

Stay tuned for many for Christmas posts to come (I just can't help myself).

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Little Bit of Hope.

Max will be starting a six week program tomorrow called CIP ("Community Intervention Program"). CIP is for kids with severe communication and social delays, due to Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental delays. I have been applying for Max to be in the program since this past summer, so I am thrilled that he was finally accepted into this next session. There are only six kids in each session, so the program is in high demand.

The program focuses specifically on building social skills, speech and language skills, play skills and transition skills. These are all areas that Max has challenges with, so he can only benefit from participating in CIP. The staff working with the children include Early Childhood Educators, Speech Pathologists, Behavioural Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Resource Teachers. This will be a new experience for me as well, because prior to this, I have always participated in his therapy sessions. At CIP, parents can observe through a one way glass, but we are not part of the sessions. I am finally going to be able to sit and just observe instead of spending the entire session trying to get Max to cooperate. I tend to think kids will also do things for other people that they won't do for their parents, (this is very true for Max). He ate with a spoon at daycare months before he did it at home for us. So, we'll see. But we are really hopeful that this will be a catalyst for a new round of progress.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Cameron Elizabeth: 6 months old.

My dearest baby Cameron,

You are six months old now! Holy cow kid, where has the time gone? This post is actually your five and six month post because, well, day when you are a mommy you will understand. Sometimes time just gets away from you. I'll do my best to recap all of your progress over the past few months though.
Where to begin? Well little pickle (this is my favourite nickname for you), you love to play with your toes. You love to smile. You love it when we tickle you under your chin and ask you "whatcha got in there?". You laugh when we say "boo" or "chomp!", and you love to be held up high. You are most interested in your big brother and Cam, it may have taken six months, but I do think he is coming around. Yesterday when we asked him to give you a kiss, he planted a big juicy one on your face. I'm not sure what you thought of this, but we were thrilled. He is also quite pleased to rediscover all of his old toys, and you are a good sport about sharing with him. He also likes your new toys, so I hope this spirit of sharing continues.
So far you are what I would call an "easy" baby. You may wake up a few times to eat at night, but you always go right back to sleep. You really don't cry unless you are teething (there's been lots of this in the last week - we think your bottom teeth are days away). And a flirtier baby I have not met - baby Cam, you can turn it on like no other. I thought your brother was good, but you melt hearts left and right.
In the past month you have really found your voice. You have a little thrill scream that is quite something. Max doesn't think too much of it, but he does his share of screaming too, so you get a pass on this. You are also queen of the crocodile tears. As much as you are an easy baby, you are not the most patient one. If we take too long getting to you once you have "announced" your desire to be picked up, the tears come. Unfortunately for you, we are onto you, so while you do get picked up, we also laugh at you a little bit, because you are so darn cute.

Cameron, you are a girl that is on the move. You are strong, and can hold your upper body up and wiggle yourself around. You can rock back and forth on your knees (you like to do this in the middle of the night if I take too long to get to feeding you). You can almost sit up on your own, but you aren't quite there yet. This makes for awkward baths because you don't want to lay back in the baby hammock-thing, but you aren't sturdy enough to sit up. You usually have baths with me though, so it really isn't a problem.

One of the really cool things you are doing is participating in the Early Autism Study at McMaster University. It isn't that we think you have ASD, it's that we think they are doing really important work and want to help the researchers find out what the early signs of autism are so kids can diagnosed and treated early. We went for your first visit last week and you did great. It was neat to see you looking at pictures of faces and looking right at the eyes. You also responded to my pointing at objects and you even responded to your name! You thought the moving dots were a bit boring, but they kind of were, so I don't blame you.
Cameron, I hope that the next six months don't go quite as fast because I want to soak up every minute of my time with you and enjoy you. I love waking up to your smile in the morning and falling asleep with your little hand curled up in mine, your sweet face so at peace. You are a blessing and I never forget that for one moment.