Friday, November 20, 2009

2 Legit, 2 Legit to Quit

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How could I resist an Mc Hammer shout out on a day like today!!

Today is an auspicous day. There's a lot going.

One year ago today Simon was discharged from Children's Hospital after 4 months in the ICU. We have only been back once for an elected surgery (his G-tube) and once for an ER visit due to dehydration (where thankfully we were NOT admitted).

His heart funciton has improved AND we've had no reason to return save for the occasional "Hi" to our nurses on outpatient visiting days. One year ago. 12 full months. So much has happened. Swimming, crawling, school. Trips to the beach, Mendocino county, L.A., Sushi dinners, dog walks, Grandparent time, Auntie time. Babies have been born, babies on the way. Meds have been refilled, enteral feeding pumps have been replaced. Another cycle. Another return. It's all likely to come around again. And again.

And yet things are different and ever changing.

Today is a marker too.

Today, for the first time ever, the federal government recognizes Jaime as a full parent to Simon. Today the federal governement catches up and recognizes the three of us as a family. It may not recognize Jaime and I as a couple but hot damn, today it at least recognizes the two of us as full and equal partners in parenting Simon.

It's a mostly wonderful moment. I'd say 15%-85%. 15% ridiculous and offensive that Jaime even has to go through the process of adopting her own son that she and I conceived (not literally) of together, were married before he even arrived, and she has mothered since the moment he came into being.

85% wonderfull that there's no where we can't go now that won't recognize her as a full parent. It's not just us and our amazing community. Jaime is Simon's Mama. Always has been. That's not in question or even in celebration. It's the simple relief that there's no one that can take that away now.

Ecchhh, the more I'm writing the more I'm thinking that it's so stupid that we even have to go through this. Now I'm even feeling angry that some judge (nice and lovely man that he was) get's to hand down some decree that get's stamped on a thin piece of tree that says there is this bond between Jaime and Simon. That's BS. Ooooh I'm too angry to keep typing. What a wonderful and f-up world we live in. It's makes me shake a little to think about Jaime and Simon and some one even thinking that they're not family to each other. Grrrrrrr

I'm going to take a break.

What a family...

I will say too that November 20th is auspicious for a third reason in that two of our dear friends became engaged today!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

School Daze

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It's been a heck of a week here in Shimmy La land. We've been battling colds, sleeping and not sleeping, making new sounds all over the place, and settling in to a regular weekly schedule with swimming and school.

Mostly it's the school thing that I want to share with y'all. As mentioned before, Simon started the Parent Infant Program a couple of weeks ago. It's a state run program for children ages 0-3 that have developmental delays. There are senior staff there that are trained in both OT and PT as well as several interns in early childhood development. There's singing and signing and snack time and an amazing array of toys to stimulate all kinds of senses and motor activities. Oh yeah, then there's the parent support group that I actually got to go to twice this week!! Simon (as was expected) did not miss me at all while I was gone for an hour. He's quite the independent explorer. What's nice though is the first 5 minutes when we arrive and he's still clingy. After that though it's "Mommy? Mommy who?" until we're ready to leave 2.5 hours later.

It's so interesting to see him be less verbal and less responsive at school. When we're singing the "wheels on the bus" at home or in the pool he'll almost always do arm motions (windows up and down, doors open and closed). At school, where that song is a regular, I see him just staring. At first I was disappointed and then quickly remembered that this is totally new to him, highly stimulating, and challenging him in ways that he's never been challenged in his 19+ months. And, it's awesome!!! One of the senior staff women just keeps telling me how much she notices him taking everything in. I imagine that in a few more weeks as he begins to feel this place and time as 'his', he's just going to take off.

As for me, it was absolutely incredible to be a part of the support group this last week. Twice I got to be sitting in a room with other parents that really get it. This altered,unexpected, no way to plan for parenting where you have to completely recontextualize milestones, strengths, and what a success looks and feels like. Really, it was kind of dreamy. How weird is it to say that?

I've started a new love affair with PIP and I'm so thrilled to have it continue for the next year and a half.

Here are some photos of Simon at his new 'school'.

So much to be giving thanks for again this year. Ginormous thanks heading out 'to you and you and you' (that's a take off from one of the morning songs that we sing at PIP...yes, I'm going to be one of those parents)

Some one's very excited about heading to school
(I can't wait to show him this when he's in High School)

Simon at snack time

Parallel playing with Simon's new friend Robin

Simon working out the order of things (going up the steps and down the slide)

Love to all