The little pumpkin fell asleep early so its left to Mom to finally fill you in on what’s been happening.

In short, we have:

  • We have started homeschooling; and we have a new sparkling room for it;
  • We have had surgery and drama around it
  • We have had lots of fun
  • We have had some playdates
  • Horseriding
  • Speech
  • OT
  • Been camping (to be accurate Dad and JayBee camped)

In long, we have had an amazing two months of the first year.

Jarrod has matured remarkably. He is reasoning things out for himself and a nice change to his ongoing journey is that his short term memory is getting better daily.

His questions are becoming difficult to answer as I am convinced he is 7 going on 17. My favourite one is about Santa, I think we’ve mentioned it before. “Mom is Santa, the tooth faerie and the other ‘guardians’ real?” “Well Jay-Bee what do you think?” To which he answers; “Well looking at the evidence I must say I have found Santa footprints and carrots eaten by Reindeer, and Reindeer are real for sure. However I know you buy my presents and I really don’t know how you get them to Santa. (Mom doesn’t give Santa the credit for spending the money). However (and he holds my face in his hands) I think something is amiss!” Jarrod is to say mildly too big for his boots.

The other day while building a dimensional time machine out of Lego, Jarrod took me on a tour of what resembled a Tardis styled entrance with two doors. I asked why two doors. “Well Mom as you know time bends when in a wormhole (HUH?) and you have to have an in and an out so that you can come back. So you need to ensure that you have an escape plan!” “OK”, I say, “but why travel to another dimension?” “Endless opportunities Mom, Endless.”

In actual fact his logic is impressing both his neurologist and OT as much as it humours them when his Mother rolls her eyes heavenwards and announces ‘he was born to the stage’.

I am sure you can tell he is becoming quite verbose in his descriptions. His vocabulary is improving greatly. He loves using big words and sometimes when he is in a descriptive mood we have a hard time to always understand the words but the content is mostly clear. The other day he was playing with a TMNT Foot Solider and said to his Dad “Dad, look the arms and legs are artilucated.”

We’ve been going through to our original speech therapist Elmien Kraamwinkle in Pretoria every Monday. It’s been most rewarding, he is moving along so well. Just shows what a caring, passionate therapist can do. He is encouraged by her, they have fun and he doesn’t at all feel fear when dealing with the exercises. She is just amazing. I am sure this has contributed to the short term memory improving as our exercises involve shouting out combinations of words or numbers or letters. Jarrod has to get the format correct.

As far as school goes, we rely a lot on where he is in the Occupational Therapy state. So his executive functions and abilities to focus and work. He is very intuitive in his ability to ask for what he needs. We use Lauren’s techniques in our work at school.

Despite calling it school, we have a very different approach. We are focused on functional and multisensory approaches. I am very lucky that I can give Jarrod this opportunity to develop at his own speed. We have our own little school room outside our house in the old servant’s quarters which Norwin made to look beautiful.

We have agreed that our approach to our teaching will be love, understanding and encouragement. We have good days and bad days but we try to focus on the good as it only gets Jarrod really worked up if it’s bad. He hates getting things wrong and this leads to lots of tears.

He’s a good boy and our routines are working well.

His surgery last two weeks ago went well and despite screaming like a banshee in the theatre the doctors were very understanding and made all concessions to us being available to him. He suffered from a bit a trauma for a few days but we did things like making a bracelet with 23 beads that he chose for all the surgeries he’s done. Leaving out the brain surgeries as those were very special.

We have had to move Psychologists for Jarrod, as Braam moved to Cape Town, we are trying out two different ones to see how he goes. This is going to be a challenge for the little man. He adored his therapist. We’ll find a way.

We have noticed his left ear is picking up no noise whatsoever, so we are off to the audiologist and ENT. Turns out there isn’t permanent damage (which we thought could be a possibility). There’s just so much infection in his ear that even his grommet was bunged up. Fortunately the cochlea is functioning correctly.

His neurologist wants a night splint for his left leg (the weaker one, from the stroke). So we are off for orthotics. I think this may take some convincing. He understands better nowadays, but it’s always difficult being different. He doesn’t have many friends his age and this bothers him, but despite this he has begged us not to send him to school. So we try to have playdates.

He also needs another 24 hour EEG to see if the Lamictin is working, bloodtests to check the level and he needs Botox in his leg again. We also rather desperately require an MRI and with the suspicion on the ENT probably needing to do grommets again we are likely to be spending some more time in hospital.

A first for him with past weekend was ‘camping’. Its camping in inverted commas as it was just in a tent at Jen and Matt’s place. Little Mickey has a campout at Redhill next weekend, so this was a practice run. Matt and Mikey got a beautiful pop-up tent – you take it out the bag, aim and voilà, a tent appears. Ours needed but more construction. We started the evening with a braai, some dessert and fried marshmallows. To be honest it was only JayBee and Norwin that slept in the tent, and Matt and Mikey in the other tent. The girls slept indoors! The dads didn’t have a great night, but both boys loved it. JayBee hardly budged!

Enjoy the picture laden Blog, we have really neglected keeping everyone up to date.

Love, the Lederer’s,

Photo 1 Ryan getting a Lala for his 21st!

Photo 2 Tammy acting 18 on her birthday!

Photo 3 Birthday cake happiness

Photo 4 Reading to Lala

Photo 5 Missy

Photo 6 Dad bought a new router at Nology – I had lunch in their boardroom!

Photo 7 Riding Little Wonder

Photo 8 In saddle exercises

Photo 9 Some more workouts

Photo 10 Coke Light tower

Photo 11 Wimpy breakfast FTW

Photo 12 Bathing with Gracie and Mikey

Photo 13 Gracie in the sun room

Photo 14 Mikey fell asleep reading the news

Photo 15 Mickey and Rhino saying hello

Photo 16 Some artwork

Photo 17 Swimming with Mom

Photo 18 Lunchtime with Mikey

Photo 19 Sleep over at Mikey’s

Photo 20 Yum!

Photo 21 Swimming with Liya and Emma

Photo 22 Mischka saying good morning

Photo 23 At dinner with Di on her visit to SA

Photo 24 Playing with Matthew

Photo 25 Swimming with Matthew, Mikey and Grace

Photo 26 Going for a ride

Photo 27 Dad and Matthew putting up a basketball hoop

Photo 28 Grace and I ‘observe’

Photo 29 Practice time!!!

Photo 30 To a job well done!

Photo 31 Acrobranching

Photo 32 Looking good!

Photo 33 Loving it

Photo 34 Expert climber

Photo 35 Chilling out in my hammock

Photo 36 Getting some chiro from Mike Marinus after horse riding

Photo 37 Dolphin surfing

Photo 38 Mandatory play with the reclining hospital bed

Photo 39 Passing the time, waiting to go to theatre

Photo 40 Post theatre play

Photo 41 Sort of feeling better smile

Photo 42 Try is I will, this time I couldn’t walk out of hospital

Photo 43 The most reliable Highveld Thunderstorm warning app

Photo 44 Out to lunch

Photo 45 Mom and I collected Mikey from school

Photo 46 I love Minecraft!

Photo 47 Tree climbing

Photo 48 Mattress surfing!

Photo 49 Sleeping furballs

Photo 50 Chilling with Mom!

Photo 51 Helping to unpack our sofa

Photo 52 I got my own bank account for my pocket money!

Photo 53 Delivery from Helen

Photo 54 New slippers!!!! Just in time for winter

Photo 55 Shopping with Mom

Photo 56 Just JayBee

Photo 57 Dad’s new toy from Discovery!

Photo 58 Heading to school. Next door.

Photo 59 My first purchase on my own bank account – signed by me!

Photo 60 Campers setting up…

Photo 61 Dad and I chatting with Gracie

Photo 62 Camper Gracie

Photo 63 Mikey’s tent

Photo 64 Late night swimming (instead of bathing, cos we’re camping)

Photo 65 Marshmallows around the ‘camp fire’

Photo 66 Mikey

Photo 67 Me and fire

Photo 68 Camp fire stories

Photo 69 Pro-campers….

Photo 70 Bedtime

Photo 71 Dad and I settling for the night

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