Wednesday, June 29, 2011


There are plenty of posts talking about fits, tantrums, stress, and tears. Today we are having a good day and I am choosing to cherish the moments of joy and laughter that we have. So here are some pictures that I took recently... thanks Jason for my new Nikon camera! It is amazing. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


My third birthday
This weekend was the big birthday. For a year now everyone has been saying, "wow, so you are about to join the club, about to hit the big 3-0, how does it feel?" In all honesty, I feel the same. Last year, however, I had a really rough time. I mostly attribute it to the fact that I had an 18 month old (special needs that I didn't know was special needs) and a 3 month old, postpartum depression and if I wasn't nursing or making a bottle I was cleaning poop of off everything including the occasional diaper. I was stuck at home covered in all kinds of bodily fluids remembering that not too long ago I was able to leave the house without someone kindly pointing out the spit up in my hair, poop on my shirt, pacifier clipped to my shorts, etc. I was free to browse grocery aisles without watching one child eye gouge the other, or knock off an entire row of cereal boxes as we passed by. I could wear earrings without having them ripped out and thrown across the room. It was the end of a decade; the decade that changed my life. I graduated from college, lived and worked on my own, got married, had two kids, made mistakes, made memories, learned some tough lessons and had some really really amazing times all in that decade. So, 29 was rough. This year, I felt much more ready to take on a new decade. Probably since the last couple of years have been so challenging I am completely ready for a change. Something new and if it only comes in the form of age, I will take it for now!

The night before my birthday we had dinner at my parents house. The kids played outside and pushed cars around the back yard. After Wren went to bed, Cruz and I went outside together to find daddy. Jason was unloading the kids stuff and reloading our stuff in the car for our weekend trip to Kansas City. It was my favorite time of the day, just after the sun has set and before it is completely dark. Everything seems to cast this warm soft glow. Darkness crept over the twilight and pretty soon the lightning bugs came out. In the distance, fireworks lit up in bright green. "Mama" Cruz smiled at me and signed for more. We stood there cheek to cheek and waited around to see if there was another. A couple of minutes later we heard the 'thump' and searched the sky until we saw the red firework explode and then sizzle down. So, we just plopped down on the driveway which was still warm from all of the sunshine that day. Cruz sat on my lap and we just waited in silence together. The night was still, the breeze was warm, the humidity was low. Closing my eyes, I felt as though I was somewhere else, somewhere by the ocean. The 'thump' and 'mamamamama' brought me back around to reality. We cheered and clapped our hands and Cruz smiled so big. Soon Mimi and Papa came out and sat beside us as well. I am sure that as cars passed by and people caught a glimpse of four people sitting in the driveway in the dark, they were confused, but it was so nice. Jason finally joined us and we all sat in a circle with Cruz on my lap. The conversation was only briefly paused by the nearby occasional firework. We sang twinkle twinkle and Cruz signed moon and star over and over. It was such a pleasant evening and reminded me of all of the summer evenings growing up. It was the perfect precursor to my birthday.

The rest of the weekend was steady balance between fun and restful. The kids stayed with Mimi and Papa and did really well for them. They were perfectly fine all weekend... til mommy came home. They have been making me pay for leaving them! It didn't help that the power went out at 5:30 Monday morning. So the sound machines got quiet and soon Cruz came bouncing in. He loves to steamroll all over me in bed, and lay on me nose to nose and say 'mamamamama' on repeat. Its one thing to wake up early on your own, its another to be awakened. So, no lights, no coffee, no television, no computer, of course no gluten, no nothing. The temperature slowing began to rise and that was the start to a very busy, very hectic week full of appointments and meetings, school, therapy, etc. It has been crazy already. Both kids have had multiple meltdowns for no real reasons, other than to subtly tell me not to leave town again. So I will cherish the still moments, especially the twilights together. So, here's to another year. Hopefully a year of miracles, breakthroughs, laughter, and peace.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Take me out to the ballgame...

"Everything is funny, if you can laugh at it." 
 Lewis Carroll

First, I want to thank everyone for all of the notes, comments, and private messages you have sent me. Each one makes me smile and I am always appreciative of the encouragement! We seemed to be doing well for a while and then we took a drastic turn, behaviorally speaking. For the last week we have had a string of 'bad' days with constant crying for hours on end. Crying that ranged from whining and whimpering to full blown screaming at the top of his lungs. We have had many sleepless nights with Cruz refusing to sleep. He has finally chosen a spot in his room on the floor behind the door where he will sleep in both at night and during a daytime nap. He has been repeatedly asking for something specific only to refuse it, only to cry for it, only to refuse it, and so on and so forth. He has had these fights of rage where he will just start punching and kicking and throwing things and hitting himself. It has been a tornado around here. And then there was tonight....
Tonight we were invited by my parents to attend a Cardinals game, and pre-game dinner, with all of the employees that my dad works with. Let me start by saying that Cruz doesn't do well waking up from naps. It isn't uncommon for him to cry for an hour or two continually after waking up. I knew going into this that it was going to be a gamble. I made sure I had everything a mom could possibly need, food in separate bags and bins on ice, milk for both kids, water for both kids, all gluten free snacks for the 3 of us, diapers, wipes, change of clothes, etc. We waited until literally the last second possible to wake him up, change him and put him directly into the car. I had the sippy cup waiting, a video ready for the car ride, both blankets, etc. All day I kept reminding him it was coming, and telling him it was going to be so much fun. The car ride was okay as well as the walk in, then we got to the tent where everyone was eating. Hurricane Cruz hit pretty quickly. I'm not sure, as I never am, what specifically triggered this meltdown. It may have been the multitude of sounds, of people passing by, strangers waving hi, but he just freaked out. He looked like he was fighting Karate with blades and kicks and elbow swipes, while sitting on my lap facing me. The rest of the family was getting food and I sat with him on my lap trying to mute the 'no, no, no, no' that he was screaming. I am always afraid if I am carrying him people will think I am kidnapping the child! He would roll his head and push and kick for a few minutes, and then he would pause momentarily to hug me tightly and push his head into my chest. It didn't take long for people to start staring and it was one of the first times that I had felt both embarrassed and yet also defensive of him at the same time. Most kids respond to threats of a spanking, removal of a toy, etc., to curb their behavior. But those of us with special needs know that to a child with sensory issues, the threat of taking a toy away when something is 'hurting' you,  isn't really going to do much good. I wished I had one of those signs that I could hold up on a stick that said, "My child is special, sorry to interrupt your dinner, carry on... pretend were not here" There are always people that give you that look like, 'why can't she calm him down' or 'man if that was my kid....' or there is the occasional someone that comes up and offers something to make him stop crying, like a snack or sticker, which is kind but it can really send him over the edge. I need to make a shirt that says, 'Approach with caution, I'm a screamer' because it is awkward every time someone asks, "is he okay?" or "why is he crying?". Honestly, I don't know if he is either. If I did, I might be able to get him to stop. It is also very awkward if someone pats him on the back and he covers his ears or eyes and yells no, no, no. I just never really know what to say. So, after a very long time of struggling and panicking, (panicking to the point of shaking and heart racing) we finally realized that it was the texture of the dry cereal that was really bothering him. He wanted to eat and liked the taste but it has a strange texture that stayed on his fingers. He wasn't giving any indication of that for the first 30 minutes, then we realized it had to do with food, then we realized it was cereal, but the process of elimination took forever. Once we wiped his hands and showed him how to wipe his hands he seemed to do better. He walked back and forth on the aisle leaned over the row in front applying deep pressure to his torso, which he does to self soothe a lot. He was of course fixated on the clock and on the dirty things on the ground, but he had a lot of fun on the playground. Towards the end he had calmed down enough for mimi and daddy to explain the game to him and he really enjoyed watching them throwing the baseball. The weather was beautiful and he probably could have stayed longer but Wren was past bedtime. I wish I could post that we are on the up and up and everything is smoothly improving, but I wouldn't be truly honest. It has been a really rough week. But despite the behavior, I do have a peace. Maybe it is all of the natural supplements I am on, or the countless people praying for us and our family, or I may just be totally delirious from sleep deprivation, but I'll take it. I do feel a little beat up this week, but I am not 'down'. I know there are going to be these valleys in this journey that we are on. The moments, or should I say hours, can be very frustrating but we just kind of hunker down and brave the storm and look for the silver lining.
In a ball game, everyone cheers for their team. We are on team Cruz. Sometimes you feel like you keep striking out, sometimes you get to walk, and every now and then you hit that home run. You may be ahead on some innings and behind on others, but you keep cheering them on. There have been days where we've had grand slams and there are days when you want to kick dirt on the plate and yell at the umpire that 'Its Not Fair'. And sometimes you get those moments in between for a funny video on the screen or where someone throws t-shirts or a hot dog at you and provides moments of humor and distraction. Our friends and family and all of you praying for us are the cheering fans in the stands. And lets be honest, the game would be way different if the stadium was silent and nobody was around to celebrate the victory and booh at the defeats. As parents we don't have the luxury of just playing one position. We are the pitcher, the catcher, the short stop, and we are in the outfield. As pitchers, we throw our best opportunities and efforts to see what he can hit. As catcher, we stand ready for whatever he throws us. Tonight Cruz threw us a curve ball, we would love to sit back and review the game tape to strategize for the next time and see exactly what happened. So grab your peanuts and cracker jacks and root, root, root for the home team!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


At Christmas my parents gave one of the best gifts ever, a membership to the gym! With two babies that are 15 months apart, plus postpartum, plus, the special needs, I needed to get stronger, healthier and be able to have a break from them for an hour. Stroller walks are fine in early spring but the constant whining and need for me to stop for drinks, snacks, and the dropped toy, defeated the purpose of doing it to 'work out'. The gym is at our church and the facility is super clean and the childcare is amazing. So, it has provided the much sought after oasis in the desert for our family. I got these new Nikes for mothers day and along with them came the hope for a better quality of life. The smell of the new leather, the clean sole, the spotless laces were full of promise. Since then, those shoes have seen me through countless hours on the treadmill, up and down the court, stations in the weight room, and carried me when I thought my sore muscles would collapse.

The past two days that I have been at the gym and I have seen this girl there that is beautiful with these amazing sculpted muscles. She has to be a body builder or something with just rippling back muscles. Still very lean, very feminine, very pretty, but could easily go on the cover of any fitness magazine. I had been feeling really good about my progess at the gym until we sat side by side on benches. It felt like one of those before and after photos submitted to a magazine, much like the time the personal trainer and I showed up wearing the exact same thing. Looking around the weight room, I saw a varying scale of individuals that ranged from very fit, strong, and healthy to very weak and overweight. Part of me wanted to ask the girl what she did, how long it took her, etc., but I didn't. I just marinated on this simple thought that at the core, everyone is eating and everyone is moving their bodies. Some eat more than others, some move more than others. The different appearances is the result of the recipe that they use for life. Some use a better quality or mix of ingredients than others, some don't follow any kind of order whatsoever... She had to have worked years at creating her sculpted physique. I am only a few months in, but I am on the road to someplace better. Achieving peak performance requires continued effort for an extended period of time. She didn't get those muscles after 1 month of walking on a treadmill. No doubt there was sweat, fatigue, and days that she wanted to stay in bed.  Such is our adventure with Cruz. There is often fatigue and of course days I would like to stay in bed, at least past 6:00, and many days I feel sore and times I have to rest to avoid injury. But we just keep on keeping on.

 My cousin Nick has a little boy, Conal, who has neurofibromatosis. Nick put together an amazing youtube video that I linked below. I think all parents of kids with special needs can relate to Nick's metaphor that  "Life with NF is an endurance event." For those of us with special needs kids, we all know that every day is different. Sometimes every hour is different. It is a long distance endurance event. We are trying all the time to do the best we can day in and out to provide the right mix of treatments, stimuli, education, discipline, fun, and encouragement. Some days we do alright, others we'd like to forget. So we take note of what works and what doesn't and we make substitutions where we need to. There are highs and lows, days of exhaustion, moments of mental exhaustion, and then there are those moments of victory that make the training so sweet. As a family, we realize that there are so many families that have way harder and more difficult situations that us. Some families are in a race for the  fight of their lives, literally for life and death. We are so fortunate to just be striving for normalcy and a better quality of life. Nonetheless, we are in this adventure event with Cruz, thank you for following us. Just like those marathoners need their supporters on the side cheering them on and handing them refreshments, we appreciate all of your encouragement! Please watch the videos attached below, when you have a chance.

My Cousin Nick's Amazing Video

The amazing Hoyt Story.

Friday, June 17, 2011


"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" 
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to." 
"I don't much care where –" 
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go." 
 Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)

Our new gluten free foods
I love to cook. At least, I really loved to cook before kids. Now, I am not as organized and don't have as much time to really enjoy it. I can't count the number of times I have started to cook or bake something new only to realize I don't have all the ingredients. It really really ticks me off. Especially, when I actually went to the store that day! I am the queen of having to find 'substitutes'. With cooking its easy, with baking, not so much. I have to look up how to substitute baking powder, soda, or eggs and it becomes a fiasco. According to Racheal Ray, baking is an exact science and you can't change the measurements. Cooking, on the other hand, can be very creative allowing you the freedom to personalize every meal. Recently, I went to a naturopathic doctor for various health reasons and found out that I am off the charts sensitive to gluten. Needless to say, the whole family is going gluten free and we are trying all kinds of things. Sorry Jason, tonight's dinner was a flop. So I am cleaning out pantries, the fridge, you name it. Some gluten free stuff is good, and some tastes horrible. But, I am realizing with help from others, that living this lifestyle is not as hard as I thought. It does, however, require switching and substituting some things around. In retrospect it completely makes sense. It is so strange how some people can be allergic to very specific things that don't bother another family member.  In order for us to be healthy and function at our highest capacity we are going to have to try out some new ways of doing things.
And such is our way with Cruz. He is made just a little different, has some different sensory issues, so we are changing some things around. We are having to tweak our routines a little. And since we are lacking a few ingredients we are researching and trying everything we can possibly do to benefit him. Since part of his brain needs to reconnect we are really trying to improve his diet, his amounts of Omega3, and anything that effects the nervous system. He has a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, we've seen the naturopathic doctor, the neurologist, the chiropractor, the acupuncturist (she only did pressure not puncture), you name it, the list goes on and on. Some things work great, others don't show an effect. I am definitely excited to see how changing his diet will effect him. I have heard numerous reports of changed diets that have helped children with autism. So, I just keep mixing and stirring this pot trying different spices and ingredients as we go, hoping that we'll get the blend just right so that the recipe is a success for him. We are trying all the time to do the best we can day in and out to provide the right mix of ingredients. Some days we do alright, there are others we'd like to forget. So we take note of what works and what doesn't and we make substitutions where we need to. 
Yesterday was a good day. Minus the crying when he wakes up from naps. Everyday he will cry for at least an hour after waking up. Like wailing at the top of his lungs, crying for an hour. He usually needs deep pressure but he gets extra upset because he isn't quite sure what he wants and he can't communicate feelings. So, we are trying something new and getting a little creative. Since the deep pressure is a constant need we are trying out a pair of Jason's "ear pro" (hearing protection earmuffs) that he uses when shooting guns. They are very tight and keep a lot of sound out. I randomly saw on tv today a story of little girl with autism and how wearing the headphones helps. Cruz likes them. They apply constant deep pressure on his head, which is a nice change instead of ramming it into the ground (or me). He was using the Mrs. Potato Head glasses to squeeze around his face before, so this isn't as comical but hopefully it works. I had thought about getting him a helmet, but we'll see...We tried having him make sounds with the ear pro on. He actually seemed to do better. It's almost as if since he couldn't hear, he had to focus much more intently on watching our mouths. Its just a pinch of this, a dash of that, a sprinkle of some creativity and wham you've got a recipe for success. So, cheers to a good day, to new adventures, new recipes, and hopefully some tasty ones, even though we are now gluten free! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I know that I know that I know...

"Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way."
— Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass)

In an effort to be completely transparent and honest with myself I have to admit that on Friday mid afternoon I had my first meltdown in front of the kids. It was the first time that either one has seen me cry. It is embarrassing to admit, but I feel like I have to be truthful that there are times the kids just push and push and push (literally) until I can't take anymore. I told Jason, jokingly, that I feel like I am in an abusive relationship sometimes because Wren will scream at me and hit me with toys and with Cruz's proprioception he is so rough with me and yells as well. When mommy's temperature starts rising I just pray "Jesus please give me strength to get through this" "Lord, please give me patience". Sometimes the moment passes and I cool back down. Friday was a different story. Somewhere after we had friends over for play dates, after they both refused afternoon naps, after snacks were spilled, after Wren picked up dog poop in the yard, after they got caught eating dog food, after they got caught dumping a box of new crackers, and before daddy came home, I sunk into a ball at the end of the couch and cried. Not that cute single tear cry where you can wipe it away in one sweep of the finger without messing up your makeup, but the other one. The one where you cry so hard at times no sound comes out of your mouth. The one where snot and mascara mix on your cheek like a mud mask. The one that sounds like an old dog howling at moon, or the neighbor. The one where you look like an old cartoon character with the eyes bulging out of their sockets. Neither of my kids have seen me cry. I will say that their screaming immediately stopped. They both just stared at me and slowly approached like they had discovered a wounded wild animal... not sure of what would happen next. They were both only wearing diapers as they toddled like twins towards me. Both knelt down in front of me and took turns kissing me on the lips and cheek. The moment was really sweet and tender and only compounded the guilt that I felt in that moment. I debated hiding my emotion to not let them see mommy as weak or let them see that it is frustrating and it is important to learn how to be compassionate. Regardless, I couldn't stop crying anyways, so I let them watch. I just prayed the whole time. I have never questioned 'Why' to God in regards to Cruz's issues. However, I did tell the Lord, "I am just so sick of it. I am tired. I am exhausted. I am just plain sick of this." I can't in all honesty say that I completely felt immediately better upon venting, however, the high waters seemed to slowly reseed. Between both of the kids I probably received fifty plus kisses. It did make me feel better to see their response to someone in distress as Cruz has never shown the appropriate response to emotion. And, if he had laughed at me or hit me I probably would have just cried longer and harder. Afterwards, I noticed some mascara on the kids cheeks from lots of side hugs. I think, for once, the kids realized that I was human instead of the robot that just grants their every wish throughout the day. I felt very vulnerable then and do even now as I write this and uncover my raw emotions to you. Throughout the weekend I will say that I have still felt exhausted. I have still struggled with nonstop necessity to be 'on'. Cruz has been waking up around 530 or 6 in the mornings and in the evenings finally goes to bed around 11 after a few hours of attempting to keep him in his room and crib. In fact, last night Jason just slept on the floor with Cruz after 4 hours of constant back and forth struggling. Needless to say, the hours are taxing and there is no 'real' break, especially with the nap protest that they have been on. Everyone is overtired. But I do believe that God is good. I do believe that He is in control. I do believe that He is able to do all things. I do believe that He has a plan for each of us and I can't wait to see what He will do in and through Cruz. So, because I believe these things I continue to pray for healing, for strength, for patience, for love, for joy, and mostly for peace. The volume in our small home is off the radar sometimes! Well, God hears all of our prayers. This morning he had little reminders to me that He is at work behind the scenes. When we can't see the answer, He is still working. Even when I feel like I may snap, He is still working. In my futile human thinking when I can't see the bigger picture, He is still working. We got to church this morning and decided to keep Cruz with us to take him down front to be anointed with oil and prayed for. After sharing our prayer request with the elders, the man said, "I will have my wife pray for you because she is actually a Special Education teacher." She said she knew exactly how to pray for his specific needs. Upon returning to our seats, someone tapped my shoulder behind me. "Excuse me, I have seen you all here before, may I ask you about your son?" I told her briefly about him to which she announced, "I am a Speech Therapist" My jaw probably dropped. Cruz's teacher in his Sunday School class just happens to be a Speech Pathologist and she works with him every Sunday! My mom's good friend Joy, who taught Special Education for years and years is coming over tomorrow to 'play' with Cruz and see if she can help. At a prayer service a while back my mom filled out a prayer request card for Cruz. Shortly after, a woman contacted my mom via facebook. This woman had received the prayer request and what do you know, she was studying sign language and non verbal communication to become an interpreter for the deaf. What are the chances of all of these things happening? It is amazing to see all of these little reminders that God is with us. He is putting people in our path and He is with us on this journey. The rest of the day today was at times stressful and at times fun, just like any other weekend day. (Its always better when daddy is home with us) There wasn't immediate relief today. But, I know that I know that I know that God is with us.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Roller Coaster!

As I contemplated what to write about this week, I scrolled through our photos from the past week on the computer. I am trying to grasp some sort of inspiration before I head off to pick up the kids in five minutes. As I looked at all of the thumbnails across the screen I almost laughed out loud. The images appear like an old comic film with no sound. We are always trying to capture that million dollar smile from one of the kids or get that perfect shot of them hugging so we just snap away under the false pretense that we will delete the 'bad' photos later. There is a succession of emotions from each series of pictures. It would be a great tool for an acting class. I may actually print some of them out and laminate them to teach the kids about different emotions. Anyways, the faces go from happy, to frustrated/confused, to angry, to peaceful, and so on. Which is a really good example of our lives these days. They will both go from happy to complete meltdown in about 10 seconds. My goal is to figure out why. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. This week Cruz had a major breakthrough in therapy. Saying the "O" sound has been one of his hardest tasks. A couple of weeks ago he would start with a small mouth and end up big, so it sounded more like 'wahhh'. We finally got him to go from big mouth to little mouth to make that "O" sound. We all sit around like a pack of wolves howling at the moon as the sound takes a good 10 to 15 seconds to make. Wren looks at all of us like we are crazy. Maybe we are. There are days were I think I might be going coo coo. I'm not pretending like I have this mothering thing down perfect. If anything I probably tend to beat myself up more often than not. We just ride this roller coaster of extreme emotion repeatedly. I am still trying to figure out exactly what to do when they are both having a fit. This week Cruz has been really aggressive towards Wren and me. When he gets frustrated he will walk up to one of us and hit us. So, we are trying to iron out some of this aggression. But we are all strapped into this ride and unlike the theme park, there isn't a chicken exit to back out. We have to ride it out. My one hope that I am holding onto is that as sure as the roller coaster bottoms out, it does rise back up. I have to be looking for the positive and looking for where it takes a turn for the better. I just take a gamble every time we leave the house with just me, Wren, and Cruz. In public, he is distracted enough that he usually behaves pretty well. The car is a different story. Nine out of ten times he screams at the top of his lungs. Day to day, I wake up just praying for an overall good day. Everyone has been on good roller coasters and bad roller coasters. They all have the highs and lows, just some are a lot jerkier and rough and sometimes painful. Others don't seem to have much thrill. So, we just try to coast as often as possible and not hit the extreme highs and lows. We just have to try to do something fun everyday. When I lay my head down at night I want to make sure that on a pass/fail system that each day is a pass, even if they aren't perfect.

Friday, June 3, 2011


I recently started reading The Out-Of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz. The book goes in depth into Sensory Processing Disorder and it is really helping me to learn so much more about Cruz! One of his problems that I have mentioned before is Proprioceptive Dsyfunction. (It's one of the hardest to pronounce) This is the difficulty to motor plan. Those with PD have difficulty conceptualizing and figuring out what each part of his/her body needs to do in order to move a certain way or complete a task. (the brain may know what to do, but they can't figure out how to make their body do it) They have difficulty knowing how much pressure is needed to complete a task (i.e. hold a cup of water, hold and write with a pencil, turn the page of a book, hit a golf ball into the hole, etc.) They also have problems with postural stability. Today Cruz did several things that made me laugh that were textbook examples of this. This morning we were working on flashcards and he was so excited when I showed him the one of an ice cream cone that he grabbed two cards and squeezed them as hard as he could. He immediately started crying and screaming 'mama'. He couldn't figure out how to let go of the cards. He wanted so badly to let go of them but he got so excited his hands couldn't release them. He didn't know his own strength! It was both funny and sad at the same time. Several times today (mostly during therapy) he was 'W' sitting and I had to correct his legs. Within about ten seconds, he would just topple completely over and couldn't figure out how to get back up. Also, twice today and most days, Cruz pushed over his cup of water which spilled all across the table. When he is done with his plate he 'pushes' it away so that I will take it. Usually that plate ends up on the floor or on Franklin's back. Cruz doesn't walk down the hall or around the room he stomps as hard as he can. He is constantly moving, climbing, bumping, and yelling or singing at the top of his lungs. Those of you that have had play dates with him probably think I am crazy since he is quiet and tends to be more reserved. He is just shy and insecure around other kids as he is aware of his issues. Throughout the day I hear mama echo throughout our tiny home all day long as he 'sings' at the top of his lungs. However, we are in this seemingly endless dilemma with him. We want to encourage the exploration of his voice, however, not at 5 in the morning when he jumps out of his crib and stomps up and down the hall, or when his sister is asleep. So we try to keep him outside when Wren is asleep or at least in the family room. I both roll my eyes and laugh when he parades around the room and yells at the dog and jumps and stomps. He is like a little tiny Superman that doesn't know his own strength. Bless his heart, he has been trying so hard lately at therapy and even just with me during the day. He just can't make his body do what his mind wants it to do. He gets so frustrated and hangs his head and cries. Tonight at therapy we were trying to get him to just touch his lips together on command. He tried several times to no avail. But close enough, he of course still got praise. Tonight at dinner (don't tell daddy) I gave Cruz a small piece of gluten free chocolate cake that came in his meal and he was so excited he jumped up and down and signed cake with his hands over and over. He took one bite and smiled really big, until he gagged and threw it up because he just couldn't chew it very well. After he threw it up, he asked for more. Bless his heart. He knows what he wants he just can't make his body cooperate. (No, I didn't give him any more cake) He is just my little superman from another planet sent here to our family teaching us as we go.