Happy Happy Birthday!.... Again!
So this portion of the festivities took place at Ft. DeSoto, on what turned out to be a VERY crowded Sunday. Probably the last nice weather before the "tropical winter" sets in. But we managed to secure a spot under a shelter alongside a nice family from Polk County - brought their own gas grill on the back of the pick-up. Resourceful, no? I spent half an hour with the briquettes like some dude from Quest For Fire, meanwhile Zeke & Co. were grilling steaks inside 5 minutes. That's okay though. I take solace in the fact that charcoal makes burgers taste better no matter how old I get waiting for it glow. Well that's my story, anyway....
We had a nice little turnout and everyone seemed to have a good time. We had told Dante we were going to have a party at the beach and all he wanted to do was make a beeline straight for the water - well, we were at the beach, right? So let's go!
Everyone seemed very impressed with the cake, which was designed by the Little Man himself. The Publix bakery folks had to call twice to confirm the layout. Couldn't quite grasp the concept. "No, lots of little 3's all the way around. Yes, half of the cake blue, and half red. No just the numbers 1, 2 & 3."
After cake we all went down the beach for a little splashing and screaming, as toddlers (and, as it happens, not-so-toddlers) are wont to do in the water.
All in all, a good time had by all. When Jen arrived home we had two sleepy monsters sacked out in the back seat. Jen and I soon followed.
Dante and Tyler - double trouble...
Heather and Gretchen
Takin' care of bizness...
Jennifer and Ryan enjoy the beach.
Monday was Dante's official 1st day back at preschool. Yet another milestone. Daddy's been waiting for this day for a long time..... We had a few preliminary visits the last two weeks, to reacclimate, but Monday went the best. I left for a couple of hours and Miss Laura, his new teacher, said he did great. Had fun, listened well, ate all his lunch. I asked her who was this kid and what had she done with my son? - I kid, I kid.
However, we do feel that this is a really big step, and there was considerable anxiety about his response to all the other kids. And sharing. And not grabbing. And sharing.
Since Dante has been out of preschool and pretty much devoid of regular peer contact for the past 9 months, there are considerable social skills that he is lacking but are evident in some of his friends that remained in school. He has a gap there that the other kids don't. But I expect he'll catch up pretty quick. And regardless of where he's at now, it's really great to see him out there with other kids.
One day, on the way out to the playground one of the other kids, a little cutie named Brooke, took his hand, and at first he was a little taken aback, but he held on and by the end of the hallway, he was smiling and jabbering away with her about going out to "play on the playset and swinging on the swings and climbing on the ladder and bouncing on the bridge and and..... "
So we are very excited about the past week and things to come.
In Dr. news, Dante had a Speech & Language evaluation, and another Audiogram with Dr. Carr and the grad students over at USF (a really great operation and nice people). Both of these are ongoing and are side effects of the Cisplatin they used for chemo in his treatment. The S & L eval looked good. Age appropriate mistakes and no real obvious problems. Nothing that would immediately be attributable to hearing loss anyway. We were advised to keep an eye on how certain words and sounds develop, but no hearing aids recommended yet.
The Audiogram went well too, especially considering it was late afternoon. There is more hearing loss evident in the upper frequencies, but all within the same pattern as the earlier test (which occurred just prior to his last round of chemo). Dr. Carr seems to think it should level off now, but we'll be back in 3 months to check again.
So all around, no bad news, and everything remains on track.
And we remain cautiously optimistic.
Consider leaving some ice cream out just for good measure :)