Saturday, January 25, 2014

Scurried Blog of Magic

This entry was written in a scurry. I had to unload the magic of today in a safe place, before it traveled out of my head.

This morning was a flurry. It felt like we were under huge time constraints. Mom & Dave had to pick up Sebastian & Willow before Judah & I left for his music therapy in Portland. Scott was supposed to be gone but he hadn't been able to leave yet because of all of the chaos. He snuck Willow & Sebastian out, Sebastian freaked out because Willow left when he was still on the potty. Judah stayed in the bathroom with me, but he knew quickly that they had gone. He ran to the front door & banged on it. Judah & I rushed to music therapy and ended up being around 6 minutes late. That may not sound like a lot, but that six minutes belongs to a 30 minute session. She did the full 30 anyway and seemed kind of rushed. We probably threw her schedule off, causing her to rush, but she was too polite to tell us. That sounds like her. She was packing up her car minutes after we were done.
  • Words in his session with Angie that he can now say clearly - Nine, chick, happy, egg (I think he knew already), bee.. and more I can't remember.
  • They do animal sounds - which he does a lot now.
  • He has recognized some letters at home - he does an alphabet app with Angie that involves touching & saying letters.
  • They work on direction as well - we need to see if he knows right & left, it's very possible he may.
She counted eggs as he put them in the drum. I told her that he could count to ten (she didn't know). She stopped at eight and had him say nine, and he said it, crystal clear. He won't count if you start the counting, but if he starts on his own he will count, and if you join him he will stop . Then he'll just sit & enjoy listening to you count.

He is fascinated by candles, loves to blow them out. He didn't want to start the music therapy session until he was able to blow Angie's candle out.

He didn't touch the light switch and only ran around a bit at first. He used to turn the lights on & off, run around the room, grab random instruments & play them, run up and play on the piano when it wasn't time, etc. He always opens the door to a small room inside the studio and runs in. Today he went up to the door, I followed and suggested we close it. He closed it and went back and sat down. He was playful, jumping on me, but nothing near how he usually is. Typically he is very active during his sessions, or "kinesthetic" as Angie calls it. She used to spend a large part of the session just trying to catch him.

Angie followed his lead at times, not much. They worked together harmoniously. He followed her directions like never before. She asked him to put an animal that was across the room into her drum. He walked over, grabbed it, walked back & dropped it in the drum. When we drummed in a circle he watched both of us closely as he drummed, as if he was figuring out what he was supposed to be doing. She went slow and said "slow", he followed, going slowly. He did the same with fast. He stopped exactly when we did. They do this routine every session, so he knew when to stop. He's never done that before though. He was pretty focused & definitely watching to figure out what to do and quietly listening a lot. At times it was more like he was following the rules rather than the usual crazy fun (although he did have fun). He was calm and at times seemed to be waiting on Angie to tell him what the next event was.

Angie told us to clap, which we did for a few seconds, and then Judah started to run off. We stopped clapping and Angie got up to grab him. She stopped him & he turned around to head back. As he walked back he started clapping, all on his own. haha.

He grabbed her hand when it was time to jump and then grabbed my hand so we could all jump together, haha.

I am going to see if she can record a session soon.

On the way there I had shown him a purple car, a yellow car & a blue house.. one after the other. During a break between songs he touched the purple part of a frog - looked at me and smiled, saying "prrr" (purple). He was sweetly proud of himself.

We drove to Bauman's after music therapy. I said, "Hey Judah" and looked back to see him looking at me, as if he were going to say "Hmmm" or "Yeah?". THIS NEVER HAPPENS. His face was serious, just like Sebastian & Willow would be in that situation. I asked him where he thought we were going. He looked around, studying the landscape. When I told him Bauman's he said, "Bauman".

He was in complete awe when we were driving today. He would say, "Wow.." as if the views were amazing (which they were not at all). He would tell me what he saw. He is calling a lot of things train or cookie lately. He also likes to point out things that are similar to tires or train tracks. Bridges were exciting to him during our drive. When we passed tractors he would say "Trac!" And of course he said "cars" at times, while looking at the cars. Cars never seem to get old to him. They are all unique, like everything in life. I think that's how he sees things in life.

While at Bauman's Judah used the adult toilet three times in a 3 hour period. He pottied at Mom & Dave's twice after that, keeping his diaper dry all day long. He rode a teeter totter completely on his own for the first time and for quite a while, even bucking around like he was riding a bull & sometimes flying off his seat & holding on as Sebastian would hit the ground hard with his seat. Judah went from doing this activity with physical assistance to having wild fun, just like that.

Today Judah started letting us know consistently when he needed to potty. He holds his lower belly, either saying, "help", "poop", "pee", or "potty" to tell us this. I think he will learn quickly to go on his own when he needs to go. This communication was complete assurance for us that he knows when he needs to go. He kept a dry diaper all day long until he apparently tumbled into Gramma's jet tub trying to reach a toy.

There is a new area at Bauman's, only kids 4 feet and under are allowed (but they never have anyone on site watching over people). Bastian is right at the mark. Very, very soon he will find himself above that mark & will likely be extremely upset. The tube slide in this area ends a couple of feet from the wall - Sebastian would swoosh out in a blur and end up with his feet up in the air against the wall. He is so tall!!

Gramma pushed Willow in the swing. Willow is feeling better, although she wasn't too talkative at Bauman's. She had fun sitting w/Papa while Judah ate his lunch.

After Bauman's I stopped at Home Depot and picked up 150 pounds of play sand. It cost under 12 bucks! As I put the 3 bags in the back of the van I could see the van dropping. When I got home I set out a big rug and put them on it to drag them to the spot I wanted them. It was like dragging a body. We are going to fill the base of the basketball hoop with sand. If we have left over we can use it in the sand box.

After that I stopped to buy some clothes & shoes for Willow from a lady I had met online. After talking with her for a few minutes by her car, I learned that her daughter (her only child) is autistic. I wasted no time suggesting we have a play date. These people are hard to find!! She just wants to hear her daughter talk. Her daughter is 2 1/2. I know that feeling all too well. Like me, she hardly knows anyone else who has this life, a life taken over by something that appears with no explanation, has no known cure & is impossible to define, autism. We agreed to keep in touch online. Before we had only talked about her baby clothes, now we have a completely different relationship. I met her for 10 minutes and we were both almost in tears, promising to keep in touch. Our worlds are different than many - they can be very lonely, frustrating, confusing, exhausting, dramatically surprising and hugely stressful. It's emotional when you run into someone & learn that they live in that world too. She's my 3rd acquaintance in this place. She told me that I gave her hope.

Next was home alone time - loud music & random projects around the house.

Scott was at Comic-con all day.

The most incredible thing about today was that Judah was here, he was with us more than he has ever been. He was laughing, smiling, & acknowledging what was being talked about. When he arrived home with Gramma, Papa and his siblings, he pointed to his shirt & said, "oh no!" he was saying things like, "mine!" to let me know that he wanted HIS pajamas on. He came home in Gramma's "emergency" pajamas because earlier he had fallen into the tub & soaked his own pajamas. The emergency pajamas consisted of a pink tank top. As if that weren't embarrassing enough, he was wearing one of his baby sister's diapers. I grabbed him & he pointed to his room, "that way!!", he yelled. I asked him if he wanted his pajamas, he waited patiently for me to find them in the laundry pile (usually that is a moment of panic for him because I am not getting them from his room & he thinks I'm doing something else).

When Mom & Dave were here Judah was smiling & laughing as they told the story of him falling into the tub. He told me, "Waa" (water) while patting his head and smiling, his eyes bright & happy. He spent most of the time they were here engaging & listening. Only a small portion of the time (near the end) was spent playing with his trains on the edge of the couch.

update: Judah woke up in the middle of the night & walked into the living room to find Scott & Willow asleep on the couch. Scott told Judah to go back to his room (one time). Judah turned around & headed back. Scott & Willow followed. Judah went right to bed. Scott & Willow stayed by Judah's bed for quite a while. When they left Judah was still awake & did not get out of bed. If he is awake in bed and there is not an adult near him, he will come find someone. And he never walks away to go back to bed on his own, he must have an adult with him. This was all very different behavior for him!

Judah took- L-carnitine - 0.2 mL, 2000 iu Vit D, a probiotic, fish oil & reflux med. No bowel movements, but acts as if he needs to go.

Below are Gramma's notes from today -
Lest I forget: here are bullets for today
  • Judah said "Baumans" as he and Molly pulled into the drive. I've heard him say it only one time before.
  • Judah pottied three times at Bauman's and twice at Gram and Papa's on the grown up toilet, letting us know when he needed to go. Dry diaper all day. Pulled his pants up and down himself every time.
  • Motor skills are definitely improving. His balance and confidence have improved a lot. Not near the stumbling and falling that he has shown in the past. Examples: sped up and down the wooden stairs in the fort at Baumans and never stumbled on the rolled log floors of the fort; raced down a hill with Sebastian and wasn't clumsy at all; rode the teeter totter without assistance with Sebastian (MILESTONE); rode on the merry-go-round at our park which is sloped so kids have to hang on with hands and feet. He only fell off once when Sebastian got going faster than Judah could climb on and get positioned. Never done that before. (MILESTONE)
  • Talked all the way home in the car identifying: train, truck, some letters, car, bye, go. We were trying to keep everyone kind of quiet so Willow could fall asleep. Usually it's Sebastian who's the talker but today it was Judah.
  • Said "hi" to a lady at Bauman's and flashed a big smile.
  • Was waiting politely while a Bauman's customer got a cheese sample from a covered dish. (Don't panic, Molly) and got himself a cracker. Normally, he would have pushed to get to the cheese fast!
  • Made clear eye contact with me several times and smiled...kind of like that special smile Sebastian gives me. Judah caught me watching him brush his teeth tonight, carefully finished, then smiled and handed me his toothbrush.
  • I would tell him "all done" with some things and with one exception, he complied gracefully.
  • Said "zip" (zipper).
  • Did not crash the trains or get into the the things upstairs at our house that I forgot to put up today. He's really processing.
  • While waiting in the car for Sebastian to go to the bathroom so we could go to the park after Bauman's, Dave said he talked a lot. Asking for the "key" (pushing the panic button, ha!) and said car, out (wanted out but we were only making a pitstop), and said other things that Dave didn't understand but he was trying to have a conversation. Great progress!
Funny things: Dave was watching Sebastian in the big tub tonight and Judah was in there watching in his pajamas fascinated with the jets. Judah reached into the tub to get a toy he wanted and before Dave could react, he tumbled into the water, soaked. He thought it was hilarious and Sebastian is still laughing. When he got home, he couldn't wait to get out of the makeshift shirt I'd found to replace his pajamas and into his own things. Tugged on the shirt, signaling to his mom that this was not routine and he wanted his own pj's. Ha! Sorry, Judah!
Willow was sitting on my lap eating her waffles and yogurt. She managed to drop a couple of bites and when Dave went under the table to get them, she grinned and swiftly ran her fingers across the top of Dave's head, lots of syrup, whipped topping, and strawberry jam provided him with a nice hair gel. HA!! She did the same to me a few minutes later, but it was funnier with Papa, I think.
Sebastian had a great day. He ate and ate at Baja Fresh, had a rollicking good time at Baumans, (Molly joined us for a couple of hours and he wanted to show her all his special things there which was sweet), asked a million questions about gravity, mass, and density. Why does paper fall to the ground and not float even though it's light? If I attached myself to balloons, how could I get down from space without falling? Could I breath above the clouds? So, tell me, what is oxygen, again? Also, picked up a kazoo and played a great tune or two. I still like his harmonica playing the best. Willow wanted the harmonica so we stopped to see about buying her one, too, but they were out of stock. I ordered two more so we'll have a harmonica ensemble of three, soon!


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