Sunday, October 4, 2020

Greyden Roy at 8 Years Old

Hey Greyden Roy!!

You turned 8 years old on July 28th! I usually try to get these birthday posts written within two months of your birthday, but I missed it by just a couple days this year. :)

You are still our energetic, social, chatty, cup-half-full kid. Not much keeps your spirits down. If something upsets you or doesn't go your way, you very well might cry, but the tears are usually short-lived and you're laughing and cracking jokes again before long. I described you with the following words in the past two years' posts (6 years old and 7 years old), and they are still 100% true, which is pretty neat to see: "happy, joyful, goofy, excited, outgoing, determined, social, and energetic. You always look forward to every day, finding something in it that you expect to be fun or exciting. Every night during prayers you say, 'Dear God, thank you for today and thank you that it was so much fun...and please let us have a fun day tomorrow.' You cry easily when you have expectations and they aren't met, but you get over it quickly and are grinning again before long. Really, nothing keeps you down; you are always making lemonade out of lemons." These words still perfectly describe you. You even still pray that same prayer every night.

You are doing very well in school and have managed the at-home virtual schooling quite easily. You are signed up to do all of this year (second grade) at home due to the pandemic. You sure do miss seeing your friends and teachers though. We have a couple friends you do get to see in person, and I know you are so thankful for that. You really crave social interaction.

You continue to love all sports, but this has been a rough year for sports due to the pandemic. So far, two soccer seasons and a swim season have been cancelled. We will have to wait and see what happens with basketball in the winter. In the meantime, you have developed a strong interest in disc golf and have been playing it with your daddy very regularly. (We're very thankful to have found an outdoor socially-distanced sport for both you AND your dad. ;) ) Almost daily, I see you in the backyard practicing putting discs into our disc golf basket (thanks to our awesome neighbors who gave it to us!), and you have begun gathering quite the collection of discs.

You honestly haven't been playing with a ton of toys over the past six months, but when you do it's usually Pokemon cards, Bey Blades, or a game. You mostly spend your free time playing sports or doing something active in the playroom or outside. It's really strange to see you and Krew phasing out of having a lot of toys.

You are still doing weekly voice lessons and piano lessons, which we've fortunately been able to continue via Zoom. You sing around the house constantly (whenever you're not talking), and you switch among a ton of different songs and tunes. We'll even hear you singing the notes to songs that Krew has written on the piano. Oddly, despite your singing talent, love of attention, and desire to belt out a tune 24/7 at home, you do not like singing for other people. This is something we are trying to work on, to help you to be willing to perform. You did sing "You Had A Bad Day" at a mini showcase this past February and did so great, but you've been resistent since then to participate in any of the virtual showcases. Hopefully you'll give performing another try soon!

We are realizing more and more that you are not a very sensitive person, in contrast to some of the other people in your family. ;) For example, you rarely, if ever, get emotional or upset by a movie, and you typically show little reaction to bad or sad news. You're also not very sensitive to being cold or hot, to bright lights, etc. (We notice these things because we other three people in your family all have extreme sensitivities to either movies (me and Krew), materials (me, Krew, and Daddy), sounds (me, Krew, and Daddy), lights (Krew and Daddy), smells (me and Krew), temperatures (me), etc.) Not you. You have been known to wear shoes that give you blisters without complaint, rarely claim to be cold or tired, don't care whether there's bright light or darkness in your eyes, and can handle lots of chaos and sound. The other day we caught you wearing two different size sandals on your feet. When we pointed it out, you admitted you'd had no idea. Things just don't really bother you. I guess your one area of sensitivity is your food (and this makes sense, given your history with food allergies and so many food restrictions and diets). You do not like food that is too hot, even remotely spicy, or the wrong texture. You really do not like cinnamon (you says it's "spicy") or black pepper or too much garlic. There are also certain foods that you have an incredibly hard time swallowing and we will occasionally allow you to spit a bite in the trash when we realize it's going to be very hard for you to swallow. You are an incredibly slow eater, and 99% of the time you are the last one done at dinnertime. The rest of us often leave the table before you finish, otherwise we'd be sitting there for what seems like all night.

You love to talk nonstop and we often laugh about it. (This is sometimes part of the reason you are the last one done eating.) If there isn't much to talk about, you will narrarate what is happening around you. We found out recently that Krew has been having a hard time falling asleep at night because you talk to him and ask him so many questions after we put you two to bed. One morning Krew seemed more energetic, and your daddy commented on it. Krew replied, "Oh yeah, that's because Greyden stuck to my 'one question' rule last night." Lol.

You are busting with energy and excitement and hate to sleep (hence the keeping Krew awake at night with talking and questions). You still go through weeks where you'll come out of your room almost every night after we think we've gotten you tucked in. Your reasons for coming out of your room vary...sometimes you say your brain is racing, sometimes you tell us you have an ailment such as a toe cramp. (Yes, you claimed to have a toe cramp a couple weeks ago.) Just tonight after dinner you pronounced, "I wish we didn't need to sleep." When I asked you why, you replied, "Because it's boring!" Then Krew piped in, "Oh, but it makes you feel so refreshed!" Lol that's our boys in a nutshell. So opposite.

Speaking of Krew, you guys are still best buds. It really makes my heart so incredibly happy and grateful. You rarely fight with each other despite your differences. (And you have more differences than similarities, that's for sure!) Somehow, at least for now, you get along great and play together all the time. It is such a blessing. I don't know how long it will last, but your daddy and I will enjoy it as long as we can.

You have now lost six teeth (four on bottom, two on top) and you have another one that is very loose. You still appear to be about average for height and weight, but we'll find out at your 8-year checkup which is a week from now. Another thing I want to remember about you is that, for apparently more than two years now, you've done the same thing every night when I tell you goodnight: you always hug me tight around the neck, wait for me to kiss your cheek or forehead, then turn your face and put a kiss in the center of my cheek. Every. Single. Night. (Sometimes multiple times in a night if you're really trying to delay bedtime.) It brings so much happiness to my heart!

I always like to give a small update in these yearly posts regarding where we stand with your EoE. Right now we are in a holding pattern - you are not well enough to reintroduce any new foods, but you are not unhealthy enough to require us to remove any additional foods from your diet or to try new medications. In the last year, we first found out that rice did NOT trigger your EoE and you got to keep it in your diet, which was SO exciting! We now eat rice all the time. We also discovered that you do for sure react to green beans, so those are on your official allergen list. A follow-up endoscopy the end of this August showed that your esophagus didn't look visually great despite following a diet and treatment regimen that had it completely healthy back in December 2019. Fortunately, your biopsy numbers from the scope were not horrible, and so your GI said that we can wait a year before doing any more follow-up or food removals from your diet (assuming you do not become symptomatic). So that is a big relief! Right now you cannot have gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, beef, pork, or green beans, with pork and green beans being your two endoscopy-confirmed allergies. Just as was the case last year, you have not had any of your cyclic vomiting episodes in the past year. That means you have made it over two years without an episode!! This is such a relief. Maybe the cyclic vomiting syndrome is really in the past.

Alright Roy Boy, I think that's all for this year! We love you so much!!

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Greyden Roy 8-Year-Old Video

 Grey is now 8!! Way to keep growing, buddy. :)

Below is his yearly video!! He was bummed this year to not get to have a party due to the pandemic, but he still had a good birthday nonetheless. :)

I've posted past years' videos as well! Enjoy!

We love you Greyden Roy!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Krewson Lee at 10 Years Old

Dear Krew Krew (as we affectionately call you these days),

You are 10 years old! I just can't believe you are now double digits. The past decade has flown by and has been so enriched by having you in our lives.

You are still our quiet, subdued, introspective, contemplative, creative, highly sensitive, and emotional child. Boy do we love you.

We've seen you mature so much over the last year, both physically and mentally. You are now participating in activities that challenge your body, like ninja warrior and bike riding with tricks, and you are getting so much stronger when it comes to handling frustration, fear, and other difficult emotions. You are sometimes even willing to step outside your comfort zone without much persuasion, which is something we've never experienced with you before. It's been so amazing to watch.

You are still on the smaller side (24th percentile for height as of last week) but fit in well for your grade. You continue to wear your hair long and would probably let it grow past your shoulders if we let you. You got glasses last summer when your eyes worsened and you finally admitted you couldn't see the board at school. You will only wear the glasses at school, when watching TV, and sometimes when playing the piano. Otherwise you prefer to leave them off. You have not lost any teeth since last year, but one of your molars is loose (which is freaking you out).

Early last summer you experienced a scary 3-week illness that exactly matched the (mis?)diagnosed mono that you had the previous fall. You underwent various blood draws and tests, and we took you to a UNC pediatric infectious disease specialist and also an urgent ophthalmologist appointment when you said your eyesight had turned fuzzy. We never did figure out what was wrong with you. You met many symptoms for juvenile idiopathic arthritis, but the markers didn't exactly match up and your body started to heal before the doctors were able to reach any sort of conclusion. It was an incredibly scary time. You were having daily rhythmic fevers that reached 104, severe fatigue, lack of appetite (you lost 5 or 6 lbs which is a lot on your little body), a rash on your face, pain in your ankles and knees and wrist, and fuzzy vision. I am so incredibly grateful that the illness has not returned. If it does, we have the number for the infectious disease specialist and we are supposed to go straight to him instead of wading through the pediatrician and referral process. Hopefully that never happens! Due to having the sickness twice in the same school year, you missed 29 days of second grade. However, your teacher was incredibly supportive and helped us get you through it without issue.

Right now we are the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, so we're not leaving the house, but before this all started you were actively enjoying weekly ninja warrior classes at the nearby gym and you had begun attending a weekly computer programming club at the local coffee shop. You were also very much into riding your bike, which fortunately is an activity that we've been able to continue during the pandemic. Lately you've been learning to do tricks on the bike, which has resulted in a few wipeouts (including a pretty scary one that resulted in a lot of deep scrapes and you nearly passing out), but you always get back on and that's so impressive.

You have stopped playing on soccer teams, but you still join in with your brother and friends for practices for fun and exercise. Last summer you did swim team and we were hoping you'd do it again this year, but we're not sure if there will be a season due to COVID. Actually, we don't even know if the pool will open this year, but your mommy sure hopes so.

School is going well for you most of the time now. The schoolwork is not hard for you, but dealing with the emotions of the day sometimes still is. You especially struggle when something doesn't immediately make sense to you, you feel a lot of pressure, or you feel like a lot of people are looking at you. You were having a really hard time last spring, and so we had you attend therapy for about six months. Amazingly, by fall you had seemed to outgrow the need for it (which was so exciting), and you haven't needed to go back since. You recently began attending AIG classes which started triggering some anxiety relapses, but overall you are doing so much better.

You are such a creative kid. You will spend hours designing and building things. You have a bin in the garage full of old electronics which you combine with items around the house to build contraptions. Oftentimes if you're nowhere in the house, I'll find you in the garage, cutting or drilling or putting things together. You still build with Legos quite a bit, usually designing things on your own rather than following instructions. You also build on the computer. You've been getting more and more into coding and have created computer codes that do all kinds of awesome things on the screen. You've built an entire dormitory in a Roblox game which is now 3 or 4 stories high and has all kinds of crazy features in each room. You are also creative with drawing and coloring, both using paper and pencils or markers and also using paint features on the computer screen for school. It really blows me away. I am not creative at all. I'm good at copying things, but I'm not talented at coming up with ideas. You are absolutely full of new ideas, all the time.

You are still very cautious and an extreme rule follower. It is incredibly uncommon for you to do anything risky or that might not be allowed. Something happened recently and you accidentally damaged something, and you came to us crying because you were so disappointed in yourself and also expected to get in trouble. Instead, your daddy and I told you that we were proud of you for taking a risk. I think you thought we were nuts.

You still avoid large groups of people but absolutely love your closest friends, and you reveal your goofy, sarcastic, jokester side when you're with them or with family you feel comfortable with. I'd even say you get a little hyper-crazy at times. You keep us all on our toes. :)

You are still learning piano, although we've let you sit out of the last couple piano recitals because they are so stressful to you. However, you love to express yourself through playing the piano when you're feeling emotional. In fact, you've even written some songs, which you go and play when you need a release. Again, not something I could ever do. I don't know how you do it. And I love watching you when you're in your element. I've been known to stand to the side and watch you play with tears in my eyes. You feel the music so deeply.

You have been a great big brother to Greyden, and you guys are still the best of friends. I am especially grateful for this right now during the pandemic, when you mostly only have each other to play with. You two spend almost all day every day together. You do step away from Greyden sometimes to read a book in your favorite corner chair or in your bed, because you do need much more quiet time than he does.

Speaking of books, you are still an incredibly enthusiastic reader. You read literally hundreds of books a year. You usually read a full novel every day and a half or so, but sometimes it's even more quickly than that. You like to read multiple books at a time unless one really sucks you in, and then you focus only on it (and usually finish it in half a day). I have a hard time keeping up with you, and when the library was open we were stopping by once or twice a week. Fortunately, we managed to collect a large pile for you from the library before the pandemic shut everything down. You've been working your way through that and have also been reading a ton of digital books on your iPad through an account the school provided you with. Your favorite genre is still fantasy and it's sometimes hard to get you to venture outside of it.

Alright buddy, I think that's about it for now. We are so proud of you and feel so blessed to call you our son.

Love, Mommy (and Daddy)

Friday, April 3, 2020

Krewson Lee: 10-Year-Old Interview

Krew turned 10 years old on March 5th! Yay!!

Below is his 10-year-old interview so you can see what he's like as he crosses into the age of double digits. I did this interview with him a couple weeks ago, but with the pandemic going on it's taking me a while to get it uploaded. :)

Past years' interviews are below, too, if you'd like to compare and see how he's changed. :)

We love you Krew!!

Age 10:

Age 9:

Age 8:

Age 7:

Age 6:

Age 5:

Age 4: