Friday, March 20, 2015

1st Grade

At the beginning of the school year I put in a request to get a little extra help with Josh's school work through a tutoring service. It took quite some time to get the ball rolling on it, but last week he finally had his first session.
We've felt very lucky through all of our experiences with Josh that there haven't been any developmental delays. However, first grade has been a difficult on for Josh. There seems to be some sort of disconnect that we haven't experienced in the past.  He did quite well with Mrs. Marinez in kindergarten & she assured us he's a regular old kid, nothing to worry about with him (she's been teaching more than 40 years, so I trust her judgment).  But this year just hasn't been the same and I can't pin point the problem.  I spend a lot of time with him each evening reading, helping him understand his homework, but even with that I feel like he's having some trouble retaining what is being taught.  I also notice he has a hard time maintaining focus. First grade is much more rigorous, and it's just been hard to adapt.
Thankfully, he's really enjoyed his first two sessions with his tutor.  She's been very encouraging and Josh responds well to her personality.  I'm really hoping that this extra help will allow him to catch up to where his teacher feels he should be & most importantly to build confidence in his ability to learn.
In addition, I have been have recently reached out to Stanford's department that advocates for their patients with educational needs.  I look forward to any advice/help they can provide to give him a little boost as well.
I know many of you who read this blog have kids similar to Josh so if you have any advice I'd love to hear it!

Lastly, here are a few pictures from opening day & Josh's first game...

(I can't stand how cute these little boys are in their uniforms!!)

Okay, one last thing...A dad from Josh's team approached me and mentioned he heard Josh may have some sort of heart issue.  I began to tell him a little about it and he asked "Is he a hypoplast?"...immediately I knew this guy was familiar with the heart on a medical level (hypoplast=doctor talk).  So he goes on to tell me that he was Dr. Azakie's perfusionist (the guy who hooks the patients up to the heart-lung bypass machine) during open-heart procedures.  We realized together that he was in the OR for all of Josh's major surgeries. How crazy is that? He couldn't believe that Josh was post-Fontan. He said, "You just don't see kids running around like this post-Fontan!"  He said he was going to call Dr. Azakie to tell him because he could hardly believe it.  That's how we feel too, Josh is a special kid. 

Monday, March 02, 2015

Spring Training

I'm happy to post about something unrelated to the heart.  If you've even glanced at this blog you likely know that Josh is a sports fanatic.  He spends every second of his day (outside of the classroom) playing sports.  Or if he has down time he's on YouTube watching highlight reels.  He's so knowledgeable it's mind blowing.  Anyhow, a couple months ago we signed Josh up for Little League hoping he'd be able to keep up & play with the team that consists of 1st-3rd graders.   He's just a first grader and a very tiny one at that.  But he's got great coordination and he's naturally very good at sports so we *hoped* he'd be able to play at this level without any problems.

So far it's been really good.  He's had maybe 6 practices and a scrimmage and I tell you he's really impressed us all.  His fielding skills are pretty incredible.  His coaches (who are wonderful!) have him playing mostly 2nd base.  He really enjoys it and he's been practicing a lot outside of team practice.  He really studies the position and knows just what to do when the ball is hit to him.
He's so focused and determined, it's so much fun to watch.
Because I never want to forget I wanted to write down some of the highlights from his first scrimmage.  It just so happened that he was playing his best buddy, Darius' team.  That was a fun surprise!  Well Darius isn't really a 'boy', he's a big, strong athletic guy, the kind with more talent than any one person should be blessed with! Darius and Josh have been best buddies since the first day of Kindergarten.  I know that Darius is looking out for Josh at school when I'm not there.  These boys are really tight.  Anyway, Darius was up at bat and his swing makes your heart race, it's not a little league swing, I'll tell you that! I felt a little nervous for all of our boys because when Darius connects that ball flies and fast! This particular at-bat when Darius connected with the ball it went straight to Josh who was playing second, he caught that ball on a bounce and threw it to first base before I could blink! It was a beautiful play & everyone was shouting to Josh telling him what an awesome play he made.  That catch was incredible.  It was really fun to watch! I don't think Josh thought much of it other than being excited his buddy hit it to him. :)

Another highlight (& this may be the highlight of Josh's life) was when Josh hit an in-park home run! He connected solidly with the ball and made it easily to first. But the ball was over thrown to first & he was coached to run to second & then third and then home! It was so cute watching him. At every base he threw his hand up and celebrated.  Jon told him he needs to save the celebrating till after he scores and that "a tip of the hat will do", ha!
Anyway, we are really enjoying this season with Josh feeling well enough to tear it up on the field.  We don't know how long it will last, but it sure is fun to watch!