Friday, November 6, 2015

Monday, August 3, 2015

Judah Rides a BIKE for the FIRST TIME!!

Judah hopped on Willow's Hello Kitty bike and pedaled a few times - easy peasy!!! He never wants to try, but now we know that he knows how! I couldn't believe my eyes. He was even figuring how to brake with the pedals!! That was Sunday (8/2/15). Today (Mon. 8/3/15), he hopped on her bike again when she wasn't looking. Unfortunately, she turned around and saw him, immediately demanding that he get off of her bike. Judah is a very sweet guy. He got off and hopped on the plasma car instead. Yesterday when he was on her bike, after the short pedaling episode, he wanted to be pushed up the driveway and then released to fly down it. I'm going to make sure we get training wheels for Sebastian's old bike asap!! Judah has told me "no" every time I show him pics of bikes and ask if he wants one. We've tried going to the store to see them as well. He likes them, but doesn't want to get one. He does, however, have HUGE interest in the motorized cars that kids can fit in and drive. He made it clear that he DID want one of those. Sebastian has been asking for one of those for 4 years.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sebastian Phoenix Files Turns Eight!

Sebastian turned EIGHT today! You know a kid is an incredible older brother when he doesn't get upset that baby brother & sister have just blown out his birthday candles with him. He's that kid. He got his first pair of roller skates (something he's been wanting) & a new bike (something he's been needing). Scott and I stayed up until after 2 in the morning creating a balloon avalanche on his bedroom door last night. He loved that. He opened his door on his birthday morning & was greeted with an avalanche of balloons cascading down on him. We had told him stories about the day he was born & our time in the hospital with him before he went to bed that night. He loves hearing stories from the past. He always likes the part when we tell him that he was wailing so loud when he was born that Meemaw & Granddad could hear him down the hall & knew exactly which room to go to.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Discovery Center

Willow, Judah, Judah's aide & myself spent the afternoon at the Discovery Center/Gilbert House today. I was only able to capture pictures of Willow.
She loves pretend play - especially pretending to make & serve food. Tonight she was running around with a big couch pillow flopping up and down on her bottom.. telling everyone it was her big tail! ha.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Super Fun Things Judah & Willow do at Gymnastics!!

They go every Sunday morning. Their instructor, Sula, is also an ABA therapist. It's basically fun therapy that Judah gets to do with his sister. They love it. And she's great at her job.

These photos were taken through the viewing windows. Bad glare, sorry.

Judah on the rings, balancing on a hard cushion (which is moving underneath him). Willow has her feet on the trampoline edge & her hands on the bar, using feet & hands to move down the bar.

Willow is pushing Judah on the swing. The swing looks to have been made out of a pool noodle. Judah pushed Willow on the swing much harder. ;)

She loves to swing.. and swing.. and swing...

Judah was particularly affectionate with Sula today, seen hugging her here.

That "basketball" is actually a big, soft cushion.

The cocoon swing in the back is such comfort for Judah (pressure). I wish we could afford one of those to have at home.. a beautiful calming method.

Willow is playing with hand clappers while keeping her balance to walk down a beam, no problem.

While I was there at gymnastics, the two women behind me were talking about movies and how it was hard to find a movie with an original plot these days. I asked them if they had seen the Brass Teapot. I didn't mention that my little brother had written it. One looked puzzled, she obviously had never heard of it. The other one said, "Yes. It was so good, but really hard to watch." I told her that there was originality in that film. She agreed.
Tim is looking for actors/actresses for his next film by the way. To be filmed in June/July 2015. Link here:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Happy Birthday Claire

We took the kids to Super Bounce this afternoon. It's basically a building full of bounce houses. The rule is that kids must wear socks while playing, no shoes or bare feet allowed. Judah refused to keep his socks on. He kept ripping them off his feet & throwing them. He raced away many times, trying to get through kids and up the gigantic slide.. he made it up once.. then slid down all of the 1000 steps he had just climbed to get up there.. then made it up again and tried to go down the slide with Willow (must be one kid at a time). She raced to the huge slide on the other side and flew down before he even realized she was gone.

Poor kid. He's been there many times and we've never had a problem. They go, they jump, they get worn out.. we leave. Today he was set on being barefoot though. He typically wants to be either barefoot or with shoes & socks on... but not just socks. However, wearing socks with no shoes has never been a problem for him there.. until today.

The owner came out pretty quickly (we'd been there MAYBE 10 minutes) and told us Judah could keep his socks off if that was going to keep him calm. I let go of Judah. I had been holding him on the floor, trying to help him calm down. At one point I couldn't hold him any longer and Scott held him. Thankfully the other 2 kids didn't go far!! Judah was punching me and slamming his arm on top of my head repeatedly as I held him down. People were staring. When Judah would get away from me, parents would grab their kids if Judah was close by.

The owner had asked me if Judah was "special needs" when he was letting me know that Judah could keep his socks off. Would my answer to his question have really mattered? What was he going to say if I said that he wasn't special needs? "Sorry, he isn't allowed to behave this way if he doesn't have a diagnosis.. sorry, only special needs kids can have a meltdown here..." ??

Judah raced off and climbed up their gigantic slide in his bare feet the minute I set him free. That's when the owner told us that we had to leave. Climbing up the slide is not allowed. Climbing up the slide is not possible anyway.. or so we had thought. I've never seen a kid make it up that thing. I've never seen a kid make it HALFWAY up that thing. It took Judah about 10 seconds to make it to the top. Judah continued to run up the slide until Scott could catch him. He ran up it at least 3 times. Scott knew he wasn't going to be able to run up the slide. All he could do was wait at the bottom for Judah to come back down and try to catch him before he headed back up the slide.

Super Bounce had bounced us out.

In the van, Willow was crying. Sebastian was complaining that we were only there for a few minutes and that he didn't get to do anything. Scott and I were pretty much speechless in the front seat.. I was holding back tears. Scott grabbed my hand and then the tears came. The kids didn't see.

From there, of course, we had to do something super special.. we drove through McDonald's for ice cream, went home to pick up Sebastian's bike and Willow's basketball and headed to the park. We all had a nice jog at the park, chasing Sebastian down forest trails as he raced off on his bike. I pushed Willow in the swing for quite some time. That girl could swing for hours (the boys went through this stage as well). We ran into one of Sebastian's best friends from school. His friend was playing tennis with his dad & siblings. I got their number, so we can hopefully have a play date soon. Then we played basketball. Judah & Willow each threw the ball straight up in the air and then chased it as it rolled away... and then fought over it. Judah was doing well taking turns.. Willow, not so much.

Willow has a princess basketball. She seems to like basketball and is already learning to dribble at the age of 3. I've also taught her how to fold clothes, wash & put away dishes. Sebastian is learning how to do his own laundry and has recently learned how to clean toilets, clean up dog poop & sweep. :) Judah is now able to put on his own socks and shoes. He's also learned to build train track (and does it well!). He hardly ever screams "Mom-meeee!!" for help with toys anymore. He's learned to wipe down the table, fill Pixie's water & food bowl & put his dishes in the sink after eating (he does this better than anyone). It's tough keeping them motivated to do chores. Willow is the only one who remembers her chore. She never refuses to do it (the boys often refuse). Willow usually asks for more chores in addition to her daily chore. They all have a daily chore, which changes daily.

There was a 6 year old having a birthday party while we were at Super Bounce. Happy Birthday Claire. I hope Judah didn't steal your turn on the slide.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Library Chutes and Earthquake Drills

Sebastian is going to show this picture during his final project at school on Friday. It's a picture my dad sent recently of the roosters on his farm. They are doing presentations on farms - the kids wrote about the animals they would have, the name of the farm, etc. I'm looking forward to seeing it!
His group chose to have goats, sheep, piglets and roosters on their farm.
Yesterday, Willow & I went to pick Sebastian up at school early & got caught in the middle of an earthquake drill! They wouldn't let us in! Finally one of the front desk people came out & very seriously told Willow & I to pretend there was an earthquake happening. She told us to "take cover", ha. So Willow and I stood under the little roof near the entrance and "took cover". The entire school was emptied in a little over 2 minutes and it was QUIET and organized. It was a sight to see. Afterwards, I told Sebastian that we had tornado drills when I was in school. I asked him if they ever had those at his school. He said, "No, we don't have those kind of drills. Oregon doesn't really get tornadoes." ha. Silly me! That was my first earthquake drill!
Sebastian had his first "hot lunch" at school the other day. He's taken his lunch every day since he's been at this school. When he came home he told me, "The lady put carrots on my plate! I told her that I didn't like carrots and that I didn't want any, and she told me that the GOVERNMENT makes her put carrots on my plate!! Can you believe that?? The GOVERNMENT makes her do it!!" hahaha
It occurred to me days later that I should have told him that the GOVERNMENT makes you take 2 bites of everything on your plate. ;)
Willow told me yesterday that the wind had knocked a tree down. She said, "It was a little tree. And the wind made it fall over! The wind pushed it over! And it didn't even say sorry!!" She was very serious about this. Ha!
Judah is suddenly talking up a storm.. sentences, questions.. it's pretty surreal!! Today he was at the library with his favorite Thomas book in hand. He had brought it from home. He watched someone return her book through the chute inside of the library. He thought it looked fun. He walked up and sent his Thomas book down the chute. When he realized that he couldn't get it back, he panicked. haha. We got it back, don't worry. ;)