Kale turned two in September. We had a pool party with lots of food to share with family and friends. Kale absolutely loved it. Sure you can say "He's two--he won't remember. What's the point?" Even if he doesn't remember, we know he had a blast. He loves the water (just like his daddy) and was pretty much in heaven the entire time.
In October we took the kids to Disney World. It wasn't a long trip--just a long weekend, but that ended up being a good thing since on the morning of our last day there, Maile came down with an awful stomach bug that had her sick the whole trip home. Poor thing was on fire and unable to keep anything down. We ended up having to keep her home from school an extra day but it all worked out. We had a good time but I think we're going to wait on another Disney trip with them until they're both much older.
Speaking of school--Maile came home today with her report card. And once again she made the A Honor Roll! We're so proud of her. Seriously--the stuff first graders are learning now is so much more advanced than what I was learning when I was that age. It's crazy! But she never falters--she enjoys learning and just really loves school.
She's turning seven in less than two months. She's been planning her next birthday party since December. Thankfully this time around it's just a small little slumber party. I don't think I went to my first sleepover until I was in third grade! How does this happen? Where does the time go? Is there any way for me to stop this? She lost her first two teeth within a week of each other and is about to lose her third. Did I mention that she's only thirteen inches shorter than me? I'm so not ready for her to not be a little girl anymore.
As for Kale, he has come a long way in the past six months. As I had mentioned in previous posts, he finally started to walk on his own over the summer which was such a big milestone. We're hoping that towards the end of the school year (if not sooner) he'll be working with an O&M teacher (orientation and mobility specialist) to start learning how to use a cane or just get used to one. He's also finally taken to eating pretty much anything without choking--thanks to his amazing OT. She had started coming over to the house in addition to us going to see her at PNC. During her home visits, she comes during lunch time to help figure out ways for Kale to eat. She's been such a miracle worker having him accept new textures, to holding a spoon or fork by himself and as of last week he finally started to drink from a straw unassisted! Huge step! He still has some things to work on but he really has come so far.
He still has his random freak outs during bath time but he's gotten much better about allowing me to cut his hair while he's awake. I've learned that as long as there are cookies around, I can pretty much get my way with him. Just like his mama!
It looks like he'll be starting preschool in the fall. Not sure if we have to wait until September (when he turns 3), I'll know more towards the end of the year. But basically there are two elementary schools nearby that have preschool programs for kids with special needs and one of them has had a blind student before. His TVI (teacher of visually impaired) recommends he go to that one but it really is up to me. She and other teachers (and other specialists if he still needs them) will be there to help him. Hmmm. Will someone be here to help me? I don't think I'm ready for him to be off and in the care of others. I had a hard time with Maile going off to VPK when she was four. I eventually got over it but I'm thinking I'm going to have a harder time with Kale being gone. I know it's for the best and he'll be learning so much more than I can teach him here. But still...
As for what I'll be doing to use up all that extra time--I have an idea but I won't go into that until it's set in stone.
As for the Mike and me, we're good. Just working and trying to keep our heads straight.
We had a great holiday season with our friends and family. We aren't too big on taking the kids to see Santa because 1) Maile has been kind of creeped out by him the past couple of years and 2) Kale probably would be creeped out by him. So instead I took Maile downtown one night to some Christmas in Seville thing they tried out this year and we had a lot of fun. And she actually sat with Santa--all on her own, no problem!
Christmas really was great. Kale got a miniature piano (he's still blowing us away on a daily basis with the things he can play) and Maile got pretty much everything she asked for.
I remember posting at the beginning of 2010 that the year wasn't looking too good which was disappointing after such a rough 2009. Well, somehow it did get better. And at the end of it, Mike and I were able to look at each other and say that 2010 was definitely a lot better than 2009. (Good god. Any year is better than that one!) We entered into 2011 with an even more positive outlook and while nothing spectacular has happened just yet, nothing horrible has either (knock on wood). It was a relief coming into this new year without worrying about future surgeries for Kale. That's all we dealt with it seemed for the first year and a half of his life, so it's nice to finally be without any of that emotional stress.
We're finally just enjoying being a happy little family of four and that's all we ever really wanted.