It's been quite a while since I've blogged about Nolan and his adventures, but I'm thinking of returning to blogging more regularly again. When we added Maggie to our family, time (and sleep) required for blogging became scarce, and with Nolan getting older it seemed a natural time to stop blogging. However, I've recently felt the urge to write about him again, as a way to share with others the joy he brings us, and as a way to help me process the struggles we face. Since Nolan is getting older, I may keep certain details vague or omit them entirely to be sensitive to Nolan's privacy, but feel free to ask questions and I will share more if I can.
The first big change since I last blogged is that Nolan is no longer a preschooler! He had an amazing two years of preschool at a local Christian school (where he'll continue on to Kindergarten and beyond) and a year prior at the public special education preschool. After three years of partial school days, full-day Kindergarten will be a big adjustment for him this fall, but I think he's socially and academically ready. I'll hopefully write more about this in the future.
|One of Nolan's favorite people, his aide this past year.|
|One of Nolan's other favorite people, his teacher from this past year.|
We've known for a while that Nolan has a tendency to run off by himself or escape from the house (ours, or someone else's) on a solo adventure, but the issue became clearly magnified once school ended and Nolan had more energy to spend, more opportunities to elope, and newly developed skills for undoing locks. So, we had to up our game and quickly beef up security. Our two biggest initiatives were improving door locks, and getting Nolan a GPS tracker. Since Nolan had mastered most of our locks, we had to get creative. We have another exterior door that is now Nolan-proof too, but here's what our kitchen door looks like:
A friend recommended the GPS watch we chose for Nolan. It's a GizmoPal through Verizon and we really love it. Adam and I have the corresponding app on our phones so we can check Nolan's location any time. And the watch is programmed so Nolan can easily call us from his watch, and we can call him! When he first got the watch, Adam was getting a lot of phone calls at work. :) But that has diminished now that Nolan's more used to it. And he's so proud of wearing it. Anyone he meets also gets introduced to his watch.
|Here's how the app looks|
Nolan's never been very interested in talking on the phone, so we were surprised to see how well Nolan could carry a conversation when he called us on his watch. Here's the end of his conversation with Adam. ("Bye Dad. Love you too.")
Last summer was kind of a bummer because Maggie was so little (and fussy), and I wasn't getting enough sleep to take Nolan on many fun adventures. Now that Maggie's a little older, she enjoys a lot of the same adventures as Nolan. So, we're trying to cram in as many fun things before her afternoon nap as we can.
|Playground! When we left the playground that day Nolan said "Bye Playground! Love you!"|
|Big beach (Lake Michigan)|
|Brushing goats at the zoo|
|Library story/craft time. I don't think we'll do this again... He was very disappointed there were crafts. :) (Fine motor activities are not his preference.)|
|Sleeping in? HA! I wish.|
Aside from traditional summer activities, Nolan is also attending weekly occupational therapy and speech therapy. Fortunately, he enjoys therapy since it's play-based. He especially likes when therapy appointments occur near lunch time and he gets to enjoy "sandwich (burger), fries, juice box" before or after. And on Fridays, Nolan goes to daycare at his school to stay in touch with his friends. It's like summer school for preschool!
|Balance beam at OT|
|He loves this swing at OT.|
|Having lunch at summer school (daycare)! Good practice for Kindergarten :)|
Big Brother Status
Maggie was still pretty little when I last blogged. She's a full-fledged toddler now at 17 months old, so Nolan's relationship with her has changed quite a bit. When Maggie was a baby, Nolan thought she was a pretty great sister. She always smiled and laughed at his silliness and never bothered his food or toys. That's changed now that Maggie is independent (and strong-willed), so he enjoys her presence a little less. I'd say their relationship is probably equal parts sweet and sour, but it's always changing as Maggie grows and they both learn from each other. It's fun to watch. Most of the time...
|Because she's so much smaller, one of Maggie's only lines of defense is her teeth. And she knows how to use them.|
|Maggie wishes she was in therapy! Nolan didn't want to ride the bike, but Maggie did, so Nolan got to pull her instead. :)|
So that's what's new with Nolan! School ending was a rough adjustment at first, but now that we've all settled in to the summer schedule, I'm hopeful we'll continue to enjoy our summer. And the best is yet to come: Nolan's birthday in August! Stay tuned. :)
Thanks for reading!