Tuesday, February 26, 2008


A bit about Kyle. When I was pregnant with him, we had never even heard of Fragile X Syndrome. The pregnancy was quite normal, as was the delivery. Then it all began. He had an AWFUL time learning how to nurse; if he had been my first child, I would have given up. He was a very mild mannered baby---so sweet, and he slept a lot! I don't remember the exact times, but all of his development was delayed.

At around 15 months old, I temporarily switched doctors because I was concerned about his development. Everyone around me told me that "he was fine" "he's a boy" "he'll grow out of it," etc. This doctor that I switched to was the first to say that yes, there could be something wrong with my baby. But he did so with his back turned to me while filling out paperwork....saying things like, "Yeah, we'll check to see if he has an extra chromosome." I was devastated. We didn't end up going to the hospital (Riley Children's Hospital) at that time.

We didn't go until Kyle was almost 3. Our original doctor was the one that suspected Fragile X. At this time, Matt was almost one. I'm guessing he suspected it after he delivered Matt; one look at Matt's ears (which he has grown into quite nicely :) said it all. But he was very gentle on delivering the news that Kyle should be tested for FX.

He's been in a Moderate Mentally Handicapped class since kindergarten. He had the same teacher for K-5 (whom I adored), and a wonderful teacher for 6-8th grade. He was mainstreamed a little. I was so worried about high school; I was afraid he would be totally isolated from the gen. ed. population. Well, he is for classes, but they have a great "Best Buddies" program. Kids from the gen. ed. sign up to be a buddy with someone in the special ed. They get together with their buddy at least once a month (I never thought I would see Kyle get into the car of a teenager). They also get together as a whole group once a month, either at the school or "somewhere." For Halloween, one of the girls hosted an outdoor Halloween party--cookout, hayride, etc. It was the FIRST time that John and I watched Kyle get out of our van and head off into a group of teenagers....how awesome! Kyle is very shy, so this was an amazing event.

Kyle's first experience fishing....loved it!

It's hard to recap 16 years without boring the reader, so I'll sum it up. I'm so proud of him!!!! He makes me laugh everyday, he doesn't like sadness, he's so sweet, kind, loving......the list could go on. It's not to say that there are never difficult times; that list could also go on also. But the good times far outweigh the difficult times.

Kyle's Interests: A life-long Thomas the Tank Engine Fan, Buses and their numbers, the pool, Pixar movies, Transformers, NASCAR (until a couple of years ago, I couldn't tell you the name of a single driver.....now I know many--along with their numbers :), would like to go camping, bowling, and game shows.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Maybe early potty training???

For the past couple of weeks, I've noticed that if I left Evan alone without a diaper on for even a minute, he would pee. Last night when I was getting things ready for his bath, he took off his diaper, stood there, looked down, and went pee. After I took him out of the bath, he stood there, look down, and seemed to be pushing as if he was going to have a bowel movement. And sure enough, out came a very small amount of pee. I'm tempted to get a potty chair for him and see what happens. He definitely has an interest in what happens down there!

Evan's new word (going on 3 days): "diaper" (said in a high-pitched voice)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Senior Night

Chelsey and me (photo courtesy of Kyle)

Last night, Chelsey had "Senior Night" at her school during the basketball game (between junior varsity and varsity games). Seniors who play basketball, do cheerleading, or are on the dance team were recognized. The parents got to escort their child onto center court while their names and future plans were being announced. So hard to believe that this is her last year of high school and the fact that there are only three months of school left!

Don't hide Chel!

All of us went for the special night...even Evan who had only an hour long nap. We got there at the beginning of the JV game and got to see Chelsey and the dance team do their thing at half-time; an excellent performance! Near the end of that game, the parents had to go to the lower level (we were sitting on the upper level) to get ready to escort their child. While we're waiting, I peaked up to the upper level where Matt and Kyle were sitting. I see Kyle standing up (as if he's looking for us--which he was), and Matt's hands twisting as fast as could be. (He's never done the "up and down" flap---he keeps his arms at his side and twist his wrists). That meant one thing---he had to go to the bathroom. So I rushed up there (there was still a minute left in the game) and brought him to a bathroom. There is no way he would have went looking for one on his own. Of course, there were people sitting in that area; they were probably clueless as to why my 5'7" son was twisting his hands so desperately.

It's great that our boys are now able to sit through a basketball game, and kind of enjoy it. Matt decided to go home with John and Evan (very tired) after the senior night part, but Kyle stayed with me. When they were younger, the sound of the horn terrified them. Thanks to Chelsey, we've taken them to many "events" where they were expected keep themselves under control (easier said then done). It was very difficult at times (both on them and us), but well worth it. Another example of why Chelsey is the best big sister in the world!!!! Thanks Chel!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2 Hour Delay

2 Hour Delay! Let's see.....Chelsey is still half asleep; she likes delays. And this is the first year that Kyle truly appreciates the extra time in the morning (and he's not constantly checking the clock). But Matt's feelings on delays, well, his words of the morning say it best, "They're stupid and they're boring."

Monday, February 18, 2008


I'm not very good at tracking Evan's development (except in my brain), so I'm going to try to track it here. (I'm also going to "try" to blog on a somewhat regular basis). So first, I'll rewind to the early days. When he was born, we didn't know his Fragile X status.....which was our choice. Throughout my pregnancy, I told myself that he probably did have the mutation, but there was always that small sparkle of hope that said, "Wow, can you imagine how great it would be if he didn't???" I'm glad we did it that way, although from day one, I was "checking him out" for signs of FX. The first thing that I noticed was that the roof of his mouth seemed awfully high (he had an awful time learning how to breastfeed), but I never had that confirmed by the doctor because I didn't want to "find out" yet; I just wanted to love my new baby! He also had a definite preference for being held facing away from me which I first noticed at 4 weeks. John and I made a quick trip to the mall to pick up something, and we forgot the stroller. I tried carrying him facing me, and he squirmed and whined until I turned him around. I treasure the few times times that he actually wants to put his head on my shoulder (they're rare occurences, but they do happen :-)

He rolled over at 3 months, both ways by 4 months. He also babbled quite a bit. When he turned 6 months old, he could sit up, unsupported for 10 minutes. He was also saying "Da da." Even though he was hitting these marks, I couldn't let myself believe that he was not affected. So, I told my doctor that I was ready to have him tested. He said that if I could wait, doing it when he turned 1 would mean he could have that blood drawn when he was tested for lead. I agreed.

I don't remember the exact age, but he was clapping before he turned 1, and at 11 months, he could say "Hi," well, that is for at least two weeks he could say it. It's now one of his "lost" words. At 10 months, he was doing an army crawl, actually crawling didn't happen until around 12 months. For a couple of weeks, he did a whole arm wave. He took his first steps at 13 months---around 8 steps----and started walking independently at 15 months.

Although we had him tested at 1 year, we didn't get the results back for 2 months! The first results were "inconclusive," but eventually, we got the result back that he had the full mutation in 95% of his cells......hey, in 5% there is a premutation....maybe those 5% can work some overtime :-) I cried hard for a day and a half, prayed about it, and woke up the next morning with an extreme feeling of being at peace. I still sometimes get angry and sad, but I don't let those feelings consume me.

Back to lost words, which is something my older boys didn't do. Like I said, he could say "hi" for 2 weeks. He also said his version of "Chelsey" for a few weeks. Around 15 months, he said "sock" approximately 7 times. He also said "up" 3 times. From 15 months until around 18 months, he would say "Whose that!" when we would look at photographs on the wall. At 20 months, he started to say "ball" (which he stills says now that he is almost 22 months). Also at 20 months (for a couple of weeks), he could say "dough du ball" (translated to "throw the ball.") Technically, he hasn't said "Ma ma," although he does make the "mmmm" sound, and sometimes, it would sound like "ma." Recently, he has been saying something that sounds like "Mom," and I think I've heard "juice." I thought we were going to skip "flapping," but he started doing that around 15 months.

His favorite activities are looking at books and playing ball. He loves to be read to; his favorites right now are "Dr. Seuss's ABC," "Green Eggs and Ham," "The Three Bears," and "Dora's Bedtime Adventures." He also loves music, Raffi is his favorite. When he was younger (6-8 months), he was fascinated by the CD player when I played his music. He likes "Goodnight, My Angel" (song by Billy Joel, book illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert). I sometimes hold him and I sing along with the song as we turn the pages. It also seems to be a great calming tool for him. In the evening, I'll turn the song on (repeat a couple of times), and he'll flip through the book. It seems to work well when he is fussy. Oh, and he LOVES to be outside.

He's not the greatest eater or sleeper, but we're working on both. He's underweight, so every bite counts!