Monthly Archives: August 2010

FINALLY

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When Megan was about two and a half, I thought: hmmm…maybe I’ll start doing some toilet training. Little did I know that because of Megan’s very unique learning style, toilet training would be one of the most difficult things we would EVER have to do.

This photo was taken in April of 2009 after trying to convince Megan to just sit on the toilet: fully clothed with a diaper on:

In May of 2009, I met a woman who had a son a lot like Megan. She is the woman who first introduced me to hyperlexia (which I blogged about: here). While chatting with her, I asked her about potty training. Megan was almost three at this time, and I had been trying for six months to figure out a way to get her toilet trained. The woman’s eyes darkened and her face fell. “Potty training” she said, “is the reason I will not have more children”. She went on to tell me how difficult it was to find something that worked for her son. I actually walked away from the conversation feeling more hopeful than I had in six months. There was a reason why Megan was struggling, but she would eventually overcome it.

It was hard to keep that perspective however, for the months and year ahead. We have definitely taken breaks over the last two years, waiting for when “she was ready”, but even though she gave every sign that she was totally ready, she still was untrainable. It has been SO DIFFICULT.

In the last few days, however, something has FINALLY clicked and she’s got it down pat. No problem. She finally used the toilet on Friday of last week and has not had a single accident since then. She doesn’t even tell me when she has to go. She just goes. It.Has.Been.AWESOME.

Adam and I have been praying that she might be trained in time to start preschool in September. I did NOT think it would happen. If you would have told me on Thursday of last week that she would be completely potty trained within a matter of days I wouldn’t have believed it one bit. Though cutting it close…our prayers have been answered. We turned in her preschool application two days ago. She still needs to be accepted, but she will probably be starting preschool in two weeks. I can hardly believe it.

Megan has never been officially diagnosed with hyperlexia, but I’ve done a great deal of research about it, and much of it fits her. The reason why I didn’t want her to be diagnosed is because it falls on the autism spectrum. Children with hyperlexia tend to grow out of it around ages 4 and 5, and I didn’t want Megan to wear a label for the rest of her life for something she struggled with only in childhood. She turned four two months ago and the changes in her are IMMENSE.

I have always considered Megan to be a genius with some delays and struggles. Slowly, one by one, those issues are dissolving away. Pretty soon she will be just a plain old genius. 🙂

Only 4 more months…122 more days…17 more weeks…

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Wait? Haven’t I given a post that title before?

I decided that it’s time to post another photo. This time, I went back to compare how I looked at this point with Jack. For fun, I took it one step further and decided to wear the same thing I was wearing then.

23 Weeks With Jack

23 Weeks With Boy Dos

I’m now twenty-three weeks pregnant. I continue to feel like the time is going pretty fast. We’ve all heard it a million times; women saying that the pregnancy goes so slow and then the time with the newborn babe goes too fast. I’m really hoping I might be the one exception!

I feel pretty good. There are times that my back acts up, but nothing compared to Jack’s pregnancy. Lately I have been pretty happy. I love walking past my reflection and seeing my pregnancy figure. I’ve admitted that I have gained more weight than I should, but it’s less then I have in the past, and for the most part, I feel strong and healthy.

Megan has been so sweet with this pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Jack she had no clue what was going on, nor did she really care. This time she loves to talk and sing to her brother. She talks about our baby all the time. She makes silly jokes about him and gives him silly names. She told me recently that she hopes that our baby is born on his due date, because it is the day of the Winter Solstice and first day of Winter. She sure keeps us on our toes. I am excited to see how she interacts with her brother when he arrives.

I never grow tired of feeling my little guy kicking and moving. I am anxious to start getting his room ready, but we will probably wait until I am a little further along…no reason to rush anything!

Well, that’s our little update. We are all happy, healthy, and feeling extremely blessed!

The Seven Days of Summer

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Early last month, Adam came home from work and asked me if I wanted my birthday present early. Little known fact about me: I always want my birthday presents early. Who doesn’t?? Adam, that’s who. In fact, whenever it is a gift giving season (birthday, anniversary, Christmas, etc.) I always ask Adam if he wants his gifts as soon as I have them ready. He always says no. I always ask if I can open my presents early and he always says…no. So when he asked me if I wanted my present several weeks in advance, at first I thought he was just being mean. But then I remembered that he’s never mean. So of course I got excited and said yes and was anxious to know what he had in store for me.

So then Adam told me that he and his parents wanted to combine forces (and money and love) to buy Megan, Adam, and myself season passes to Seven Peaks. I thought this was an awesome idea, and was totally thrilled. Since that night, Megan and I have spent at least three days a week at Seven Peaks, and Adam has been able to join us more often then expected. It has been such a wonderful treat for all of us, and probably ranks up there with some of the best birthday presents I have ever gotten.

Megan has LOVED our trips to Seven Peaks. I don’t know what we did every day before we had the passes, and I don’t know what we are going to do once the season ends…but in the meantime…it has been a great Summer activity. Thanks Mom and Dad Johanson!! Happy Birthday to me…over and over and over again!!!

I’ve Got the Blues

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Megan looks a lot like her mom (that’s me).

From the day of her birth, I have heard over and over again that she is a little miniature me. It is something that I love hearing. I always took it as the ultimate compliment…who wouldn’t want to be likened unto such a beauty (Megan being the beauty)???

With time, however, she has come to resemble her daddy more and more. She still looks like me – a lot – but as she has grown older, we can see more of Adam in her. I don’t mind it. She just gets more and more gorgeous, so I don’t care from whom she gets what trait (although, it would be nice to be able to take all the credit!!).

One thing, however, that I hoped I would pass on to Megan is my eye color. I have always loved having blue eyes, so I was delighted to discover that Megan was born with the most beautiful blue eyes, and they stayed that way for several years. Not too long ago, however, Adam noticed that her eyes were looking less and less blue and more and more green…like his. I refused to believe it!! I LOVED her blue eyes!!

I have finally decided that I can deny it no longer…Megan’s eyes are no longer blue. Of course, they are still strikingly beautiful, just.like.her…But they are a strikingly beautiful green instead of blue.

I’m still told that she looks just like me. And I still love hearing it. I’ll miss seeing my eyes mirrored in her own. But I wouldn’t change one thing about her. She’s just too beautiful.

Peace, Be Still

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In the book of Mark, chapter 4, Mark writes about journeying across the Sea of Galilee in the midst of a storm. As the Savior slept, the disciples grew more and more wary and indeed feared that they would perish. They awoke the Savior who immediately calmed the storms of the sea. He then said to His disciples:

“Why are ye so fearful? How is that you have no faith?”

I’ve been thinking a lot about faith, and the thought that keeps pressing itself on my heart and mind is that I can not have the faith that I proclaim to have while harboring such strong feelings of fear and trepidation. From the beginning of this pregnancy, I have been very happy, but I have also been very fearful. I have feared the worst, that my baby would be born sick and would die. But why? Why am I forgetting to have faith and trust in God? Why am I allowing darkness and despair to unnecessarily creep into my life and dictate my happiness? Why am I not fully appreciating the blessing and miracle that God has bestowed upon me?

I’ve decided that it’s time to fight the fear I have been facing with faith and hope. I hope, with all my heart, and with all the strength I have, that this child that I am carrying will be healthy and will be perfect. I hope that I can raise him in this life. That I can teach him about Christ and that I can lead and guide him with love. And I have the faith that no matter what happens, and no matter how the story of my life is penned, that it will be for my good.

It’s time to get off of the emotional rollercoaster that I have strapped myself into. I should and do expect that my baby will be healthy and perfect. Adam and I prayed about whether or not we should have this child, and we feel like our Heavenly Father granted us His approval. What more evidence do I need that things will work out?

Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea
Or demons or men or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies.
They all shall sweetly obey [his] will.
Peace, be still!

A Boy! Oh Boy!

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So I have been meaning to share my feelings about having another boy. It’s difficult to put it into words…so let’s just say I feel like this:

Now the metaphorical jumping me probably wouldn’t be any higher or lower off the ground if I was having another girl, but the reasons for the bounce in my step would be very different.

Of course the highs and lows of the pregnancy rollercoaster have only increased since discovering the baby’s gender. To be blessed with another son after the death of our first…what elation!!! But the chance that this son might also be sick…it’s an anxiety that I can’t even begin to describe.

Yesterday I sorted through all the baby boy things I have. I laughed and cried my way through the boxes: so sad that Jack never got to use any of the things that were prepared with him and mind, but so so so happy that soon those items will be lovingly passed on to his baby brother.

I am so patiently enjoying each day of this pregnancy, but at the same time, I am so very anxious to hold my little boy. Some days I don’t know how I can stand the wait!! Other days time just flies past me and I worry that the pregnancy will be long gone before I know it.

Last night Adam got to feel the baby move for the first time. Although I have been feeling him for a while, I think my own excitement at that moment rivaled Adam’s pretty fiercely. We just love this new little guy so much!!!

What a blessing he is to our family!

Fresh Courage Take

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This morning I woke up and immediately found myself in a depressed mood. Lately I have been struggling with some of the more difficult emotions that accompany finding oneself pregnant following an infant death. Since the beginning of this pregnancy, I have built a dam that has held in most of the emotions and pain pretty well. Recently, however, the dam has begun to crack, and this morning it was so near breaking that I found myself grasping at straws trying to find the strength to patch up the dam and hang in there a little longer.

For some reason, I found myself reading through old blog drafts that I have written but never posted. I found one that I wrote exactly one month after Jack died. I had not forgotten the experience, but since I never published it, I had forgotten that I had written about it. It is a pretty special experience to me and I am so glad that I found my own personal detailed account of it today – on a day when I needed to be reminded that prayers are answered.

29 January 2009
Almost every morning, they would take Jack off of the medication that was paralyzing him – in hopes that he would move around a little to help get rid of some of the excess fluid. It usually took about eleven hours or so for the paralysis to wear off, and when he started moving around “too much” they would put him right back on it. The most movement Adam or I ever saw during these “holidays” (that’s what they called them) was slight twitching of the hands and feet. They would always tell us when we called in the middle of the night that he started moving too much so they had to put him back on. We never got to see what “too much” movement entailed.

One night, during the last week of Jack’s life, I went back up the hospital by myself. It must have been ten or eleven, and although we had spent another long day standing by his side, I wanted to be back with him. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence; quite often Adam or I would go up at night after we would grab something to eat and had gotten Megan down for bed.

So this night, I went back and he was doing the twitching as usual. I loved sitting and watching even the slightest movements (the nurses used to laugh at how excited we both got when he would move). I removed his eye shades, so that I could see his eyes because occasionally they would be open (not that he was looking around; they would just be open). Whenever his eyes were slightly opened, I always would always say: “Hi baby! Can you see mommy? Mommy’s here…” or something like that. I had always seen his eyes either opened or closed. I never once saw him “opening” them, or “closing” them.

On this particular night, his eyes were not open when I took off his shades. This time, however, as I sat watching him and talking to him, his eyes opened. And not only did they open, but I watched as his eyelids opened wider and then closed a little and then did it all over again and then they were still. It was but only for a brief moment, but it was so wonderful! I remember praying to my Heavenly Father, asking that I could experience it again, just one more time.

My heart grew heavy as I watched and watched and nothing happened. In my mind I wondered why Heavenly Father had not answered this, a very simple request, that I just might see my son’s eyelids move once more. Defeated, I said my goodbyes, and turned to leave. Then I thought to myself, “you know what? No. Heavenly Father does hear you. He does answer prayers, and you are not leaving here with even the tiniest ounce of doubt otherwise.” I once again petitioned my Heavenly Father that I might see movement from my little boy’s eyes. I looked up at Jack and watched as he immediately again opened and closed his eyes ever so slightly.

I will never forget that tender mercy and the reminder that Heavenly Father does answer our prayers. Probably my faith would not have been ill affected had Jack not fluttered his little eyes, but it did become stronger as I witnessed a direct answer to prayer.

Today I was reminded that Heavenly Father hears my prayers. I know that he will comfort me and strengthen me at this time and that he will be the glue that patches up my weakened dam.