It has been awhile since I blogged. So I thought I would give some life updates.
Emery has been doing really good at ABA therapy. She started the first of the year and has already accomplished a number of things. She can put all of her winter gear on by herself now, including zipping her coat! Winter gear in Michigan consists of several items, so this is a big deal for Emery. She can now sit at a table and play with a classmate for 30 minutes. Wow! She has never actually played with a peer for more then 5 minutes. She is using more words. It kind of catches us by surprise, but we love hearing her voice. The most important accomplishment relates to her behavior. Since last October, Emery has been pushing, hitting, throwing objects at, and poking others. Especially classmates and her brother. Therapy began working on the throwing. It has virtually been eliminated. The next behavior they worked on was poking. The poking has nearly ceased. A few occasions per week, but definitely a drastic improvement. The hitting and pushing have kind of lessened on their own. These items will be the next behaviors to the eliminate. Emery has been getting great reports from school. Amazing, after over 3 months of negative reports. She loves therapy. We are told that she is a hard worker and has a great memory. I think after 2.5 months Emery has accomplished a lot. I also think that her therapists know her very well. This picture pretty much sums up Emi.
Blake has been doing fairly well too. He still loves to argue, is mouthy and many times completely ignores family rules. We have responded to these behaviors with consequences involving the loss of tv and all electronics. These consequences would result in a major tantrum about 75% of the time. The tantrums have been reduced to about 25% of the time. He is still angry, but is able to control is temper. I still hear that I am "mean" and the occasional "I want a different family". But, the fact he is controlling his outbursts better, is progress. Mean mom enforcing rules. What a bummer. He recently had a song fest that he participated in and absolutely loved it. He so loves music. He loves being in our church choir and he is still doing First Tee golf.
Blake still struggles in school. We are considering a school change for him beginning next Fall. Tough decision, but we think the school we are looking at might be a better fit for him. We have been at St. Anthony for 14 years, so leaving is not easy. Praying for the best.
The girls are doing well. Nicole is looking at colleges. I called about scheduling senior pictures for this Summer. I can't believe she is almost done with her junior year. She is still at the top of her class and is as dedicated as ever. She never gives me any problems and I enjoy her so much. I am really going to miss her when she heads off to college.
Ashley is doing good as well. Competitive Cheer just ended and tryouts for Sideline Cheer began this week. (yes, sideline cheer for football in the Fall). She received several awards at her cheer banquet last week. Including an academic award for maintaining a GPA of 3.8 or higher while doing a sport. Very proud of her.
Both girls volunteer their time at various venues, including tutoring, Kids Food Basket, school fundraisers and our community, The City of Walker. They recently worked the voting polls for Walker. They left at 5:45 am and did not return until 9:30 pm. A very long day, but such a great experience.
As for Bruce and I, we recently spent an entire week on the Island of Kauai in Hawaii. Bruce was on a business trip and I tagged along. For the cost of a plane ticket and my meals (and my mango margaritas), I enjoyed a very relaxing and reviving week. Kauai is a very low key Island. Perfect. My mom stayed with the kids and I'm certain the twins wore her out completely, but she is a trooper. I never dreamed I would be In Hawaii. I wasn't sure about leaving the kids at first. So glad I took advantage of the opportunity. The kids were fine and I really enjoyed the rest.
Needless to say, Kauai is beautiful.