We have had a whirlwind six months since Gus's arrival. While getting used to life as a family of four, we have had many adventures.
Aunt Peggy accompanied us on a trip to the Anat Baniel Method Center in San Rafael, California in September. We cannot thank her enough for all of her help. Henry had a week of intensive therapy with Anat Baniel and some other practitioners. Peggy and Gus became fast friends while Henry was otherwise occupied with his lessons. Henry responded positively to the lessons, and we hope to return to the center in 2012.
We live not far from the Glenview Public Library. Henry is the proud holder of his very own library card:
We also live near Wagner Farm. Here, Henry got to pet a cow:
Over Halloween weekend, Gus had his first long road trip to Pennsylvania. He also saw his first snow. He and Henry were subjected to costumes appropriately humiliating for their respective ages:
Here is Gus on Pap's lap:
We snapped a quick family portrait at Thanksgiving:
Henry turned 3 on November 26. We celebrated with his first real birthday party.
The most major event since our last post is definitely that Henry aged out of the Early Intervention program and officially became a schoolboy. His first day at the NSSED Pleasant Ridge Early Childhood Education room was Monday, November 28. He attends school daily from 9:15 - 2:45. He has a wonderful aide, Miss Carolyn, who rides the bus to and from school with him and is with him all day. Henry participates in Speech, Physical, Vision, and Occupational Therapy throughout the week with various therapists. His teacher, Mrs. Kay, along with Miss Carolyn, see to it that Henry is included in group time and play time with his classmates. He's even done a couple art projects (proudly displayed on the fridge). This has been a significant transition for all of us, but the reports are good, and we are excited that Henry has the opportunity to be with his peers and to experience school.
Sadly, Meade's uncle Toby Potter died in August after battling leukemia since last spring. We (Sean, Meade & Augie) were glad to be able to go to Portland shortly after his death to be with Meade's aunt Jenny and cousin Stu. Meade and Augie went back in December for the memorial service; it was good to be with all the family.
Gus's first Christmas (and Henry's 4th!) was a lot of fun. As always there were many wonderful gifts for both boys and lots of family time.
The last major bit of news to report on is that Henry had adductor myotomy surgery on December 28. Since Henry has throughout his life consistently pulled his legs inward, in adduction, the heads of the femurs are not seated properly in his hip joints. Therefore, his hip joints are at risk of becoming malformed. In Henry's case, the problem is much worse in the left hip than the right. This surgery helps weaken the adductor muscles, allowing greater range of motion from the hip joint. The idea is that, over time, with practice in weight-bearing activities such as standing and walking, the heads of the femurs will come into place. We have our fingers crossed for that; if this process is not successful, hip and leg reconstruction could be necessary.
After he had the surgery (while still under anesthesia), he had another ABR (auditory brainstem response) test. He had one in January 2010 which showed poor auditory processing in his brain. This one showed near-normal hearing in the left ear, but did not get interpretable results from the right ear. This result is consistent with the improvement we have noticed in Henry's responses to sound over the last several months/year.
Lastly, here are a few pictures of some of our recent visitors (as always, you can see more pictures on our Flickr site.) We love to have company and hope to see many of you in 2012. Happy New Year!