I will start by backtracking some to catch everyone up on how we have all been.
Alex and I are good. We are both still trying to make it in the health insurance industry. It has not taken off like we had hoped for it to, but we have not given up on it and are still trying to make our dreams of being business owners come true.
Marissa and Bailey are doing great. They turned 10 on December 28th. We have not had a party for them yet, but plan to do so once they get back in school from their holiday break.
Dominick and Justin are doing AWESOME in kindergarten. We are extremely pleased with their progress. Dominick LOVES school so much. In the beginning of the year I drove all of them to school every morning. They all wanted to ride the school bus, but we did not let them at first because I still have to drive Justin to school every morning. They kept asking to ride the school bus so we finally gave in. The first day I was really worried, especially about Dominick. I walked with them to the stop (which is in front of our next door neighbors house) and Dominick told me that he did not need me there because he was a big boy. The driver arrived, picked them up and off they went. I walked off crying, our baby is a big boy now!!
Justin has come so far in such a short time. Kindergarten has been the best thing that could happen to him. In the beginning of the year we were unsure which school he would go to. I was on the phone for 2 days with school board officials, schools, etc. On the second day I got in touch with the principal of the school they are all now enrolled in. During our first conversation she could tell how frustrated I was. I was still confused and had no answers. No one could tell me anything, even at the school board, it was an endless cycle of answering machines and being given new numbers to try to reach someone that could help me. She ended up being a livesaver. She told me to to worry about a thing and not to call anyone else. We lived in her school's district and she was going to handle it all for us.
In the beginning the school did not even have a special education teacher. The principal told me that we had a special needs child in her district and she would do everything in her power to get us a teacher so we could have all the children in the same school together! It was a close call, but 2 days before school started she got the green light for us! They would be able to meet Justin's needs with a teacher!
We are so pleased with everyone at the school. They all bend over backwards for us to make it easy for us. We get to skip the carpool line and go to a special location. The teachers meet us outside with Justin's wheelchair so that saves me from having to park and carry him inside. They ordered a special food processor to make baby food for Justin. Anything you can think of they do it for us! We got very lucky with the teacher as well. Her name is Mrs. Curtin and she is AMAZING. She is younger then us, a recent graduate still working on her masters. She is young, fresh, not intimidated by the school system yet, full of energy, and ready to "save the world". She has intensely worked with Justin this year.
Before he started school this year he was eating baby food and was starting to drink his milk out of the can that it comes in. While tube feeding him we would put the can to his mouth and he would drink it. Since school has started she has been working more on his eating and he is now gotten to where we can sit him down and put his can of milk in front of him, once we put his hands on the can he will pick it up and drink it by himself!!!!
The most recent improvement is that she has been working on him walking. She started out by making him stand behind his wheelchair and pushing it down the hall while he held on to the back. She then borrowed a walker from another student and put him on that. He is doing well on it. CRS, which is Children's Rehabilitation Services had previously told us that we could not order a walker until they knew he could possibly do it. Well the other day I took Justin and the walker into the clinic and we showed them his progress. They were all so surprised and excited. We now officially have his own walker ordered!! It will take a few months to receive it, but they have it ordered!