It seems my posts lately have mostly been about me so it is about time I talked about my adorable, funny, goofy kid.
Jackson’s big achievement this summer has been sitting up. On March 13th he sat up by himself for the first time. He did it again a few times over the next few months. But in the last month something has clicked with him and he is constantly sitting up by himself. It’s a beautiful sight to see. Not only is he able to sit up by himself but he is also rotating while sitting. If he is facing away from something he wants to see he twists his torso, moves his legs and swivels around. It is awesome! It has given him some independence and confidence too. His frequent sitting up has also increased his ability to sit for longer periods of time. He used to only be able to sit up for a couple of minutes. Now he is sitting up for as long as 15 minutes. When Jackson starts to fall back or sideways he has learned to reach his arm out to stop himself. All of these skills he has acquired over the last month or so have been a small miracle to me. It has taken 4 years to see my son sit himself up, words can’t express the joy I feel when I watch him do it. I just can’t get enough of it!
In May Jackson had a seizure. Then in June he had another one. Last weekend we were swimming in the lake when he had another seizure. These new seizures are different from his old ones. His body goes limp, he seems unreachable, he dry heaves, he has tiny little twitches, they last 5-10 minutes, he gets overheated and turns red, I can’t feel his heartbeat, and when they are done he is exhausted and falls right to sleep. They scare the crap out of me. The one last weekend prompted a call to the neurologist and an appointment with him this week. His neurologist says they sound like Complex Partial Seizures. The seizure medication he is on now also treats these types of seizures. He is on a very low dose of the medication right now so we have room to increase his dosage, which is what the neurologist suggested. Also, the last time we saw his neurologist was back in March. Since then he has grown 4 inches and gained 6 pounds. It seems he has gone through a big growth spurt. Jackson will have an EEG at the end of this month to see what is going on in that cute head of his. In the meantime I just hope the seizures stay away. The last year has been a dream having those seizures gone. I know that fighting seizures is something Jackson will do his whole life, but seeing who he is and the progress he makes when the seizures aren’t happening is wonderful and something I want to continue to see every day. Fingers crossed!
Next week we head back to Seattle Children’s for another ERG (eye exam). We have to do this every 6 months to test if there is any damage to his eyes from the seizure medication he is on. Not looking forward to it as they have to put him under anesthesia to do the exam and I hate that. But it has to be done and if this is the price to pay for his relative seizure free life then so be it.
Communication with Jackson continues to be a battle. He knows a little sign language – eat, more, please. I am trying to teach him a new sign right now for “up”. That way if he wants us to pick him up then he can sign it. Signs are hard because he only really uses the right arm and hand. The left arm still doesn’t work very well and the left hand is better but not real useable. Trying to come up with one hand/arm signs is tricky. He does have a couple of words he uses – Mama and Papa. Papa is just coming around, meaning Jackson is just now starting to use it. He has said it a handful of times as of now but I am hopeful that soon he will be saying Papa as much as Mama. I just love hearing Mama come out of his mouth!
Jackson continues to throw his fits, although I don’t think they are as numerous as before we went to Yellowstone on vacation. I have been trying to keep him busy and on the go. It is a lot of work! The other day I saw a couple of friends post on Facebook about how sad they are that school is starting. I thought to myself “I can’t wait for school to start!” My kid needs out of the house and to be around other little kids. And Mama needs a little down time from entertaining. Bring on the school! We have had a lot of fun though on our quest to keep busy. Lots of trips to the lake and pools, Art on the Green, short and long road trips, walking trails, anything I can find that will make my kid happy.
Lots of people have asked about Jackson and his puppy. Jackson and Loki had love at first sight. Then Jackson went through “I am sick of this puppy biting on my feet, hands and arms” phase. While at the same time Loki went through “Oh I just love biting on Jackson’s tasty little feet, hands and arms” phase. They didn’t mesh during this period. Luckily Loki’s biting phase is coming to an end and the kid and dog are back to loving one another. Jackson loves Loki’s kisses, he thinks they are hilarious. He also loves pulling on Loki’s ears, tail and anything he can get a hold of as Loki walks by. They are particularly cute when riding in the car together. Loki lies across the backseat and has his head on Jackson’s lap while Jackson pats/pets Loki’s head as we drive around. They are buddies. The only downside is that Loki has grown, really grown, but is still under the assumption that he is a tiny little puppy. He still tries to sit on Jackson’s lap and needless to say that is a recipe for disaster. The best is when Jackson is rolling around and rolls onto his tummy. Loki runs over and lies across his back, pinning Jackson down and squashing him. Jackson yells in protest and Loki has this big grin on his face like “Oh my boy and I are having the best time.” Loki never understands why I pull him off Jackson. Jackson is forever grateful I did.
That is where the kid is at. Growing like a weed, sitting up on his own, hanging out with his puppy, and throwing fits until Mama finds something to entertain him. Jackson can be exhausting but fun. Sometimes I find it hard to find happiness in my life when I am so caught up in trying to make him happy. I think I just need to remember that “Happiness is a place between too much and too little.” -Finnish proverb