Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Doggy Turned Princess

J's gymnastics instructors have recommended that he change to a 1:1 class, as opposed to his usual group class. It's been a month & his instructor is still spending too much time redirecting & instructing him, while trying to make sure all of the kids are safe at the same time. Obviously this is not fair to the other kids, they don't get their fair share of attention and help. They might as well be his siblings. His teachers believe he needs one-on-one to learn how to follow directions. However, the group gives him the social piece, which he needs as well. It's hard to read a surprise email from your kid's teacher that begins with them listing any & all strengths they can think of about your kid, because you know the end isn't going to be any good. It's not really bad news. My heart just breaks a little for him every time we are told things like this.

We had an exchange student when I was little, Kindergarten age I think. She lived with us for a year in a small Missouri town. She was high school age. She attended high school while she was living with us. She was from Japan. Our family kept in touch with her after she went back to Japan. She was part of our family. Years later she came back to live with us for an extended amount of time again. She started teaching English when she went back home to Japan. She posted yesterday on Facebook pieces of her history that she wanted to share & document. It was seriously interesting. I felt like I was reading the storyline of a good movie. She posted old photos of family members as well. That post began with her saying that she didn't think she would live much longer. She says she can hardly walk. She's been sick for some time, but I don't think any of us realized how bad it was. Even though we've been able to reconnect & keep in touch through Facebook, I still had no clue that her illness was this bad. Of course I commented on her post yesterday telling her that I loved her & how special she is to me & my family. She responded, she said our generosity & love were what had made her time with us so great. She added that she knew I was raising a kid with special needs and she explained how he was put into this world for a reason. Her thought was that he disrupts the cycle we are all accustomed to & helps to free our minds - so true. She chose to hand me strength in her time of huge weakness. She openly gave me love to carry with me into the future. The entire time I was reading her post I never pictured her crying or sad. Instead I pictured her telling a story.. which I'm sure would make her happy. She has been forced to give up control of her life little by little, yet she continues to be gracious, open & very loving... She's such a beautiful person.

I made a video of one of J's aide doing his signing flashcards with him. He's almost got those down. Unfortunately he decided to stop signing when I began recording. He still told her what the card said though. After signing a dozen cards or more, he just decided eating was a much better use of his hands.

I've taken Willow out a few times in the past 2 days. We finally have chunks of Mommy/daughter time & it's no fun!! She runs away, slides around on grocery floors, throws random items into the cart.. yesterday she took gloves out of the cart that I was going to buy for her costume (and Judah's!). I didn't realize she had done this until we got back home. Then I had a sudden flash back of those gloves laying on the floor in the sewing aisle. She seems to run farther away each time we go somewhere. I'm literally running, every single time, yelling her name. I look like a fkn crazy person, while she is smiling & laughing.. running down the sidewalk at the edge of a busy parking lot.. or running in & out of aisles at a store.. sometimes I can't see her & have to search.. it's awful. She loves to chat in the car & really enjoys her Mommy/daughter time at home, but if I want to go anywhere it seems to be pretty much guaranteed that her mind is set on going for a run.

The trash was supposed to go out last night. I came home from the store with Willow and saw the trash truck as it passed by our house. "Sh**!!!" Our trash was overflowing, we couldn't wait a week for them to come back. I was going to run after him & flag him down.. after all that's what I do, run & yell.. only this time after a trash truck not a 2 year old little girl. But I was tired of running & yelling. Although the truck was out of sight now, after turning left and heading towards our street's dead-end, I knew that he would come back in our direction & pick up the trash on the other side of the street. I grabbed our trash can and dashed across the street! I put it right in front of our neighbor's house (a cop no less) & ran fast as lightening back to our side of the street. Willow & I stood & watched & waited. The truck was heading towards our trash.. it slowed down and then passed it! As if he knew what I had just done. ?!?! He stopped 7 feet later, to pick up the neighbor's GREEN trash can (the one that you fill with grass & leaves). He wasn't the trash truck! Ugh!!!! I ran across the street again, grabbed our trash can and flew back to our side of the street with it.

Thirty seconds later I look down our street to see that another trash truck was headed towards our dead end! There were two!! Once again, I grabbed our trash can & dashed over to the cop's house as fast as I could. Then I ran back to our side of the street. I stood with Willow, who didn't know what the he** I was doing, ha. Thankfully, THAT truck got our trash. As soon as the truck was out of sight I ran across the street... again grabbed our trash can.. and ran it back to our house. I'm sure that was some good entertainment for the old couple across the street. They keep an eye out.

Judah's aide (the gorgeous musician) took him to McDonald's to play. Rainy day. She said he did really well. She thought she would brave the mall with him. His last time there was not good at all, she knew that. She had never gone to the mall with him before. Her eyes were so big when she told me, "He was sooo good!" As if she couldn't believe it, haha. She said, "At one point my hands were really full and I dropped a cup. He ran over to get it, picked it up and brought it back to me!" haha. She said he would look at displays, sometimes pick up items and then set them right back down. They stood on the sky bridge where he counted cars passing underneath them & told her "person" when he saw someone walking below. He pointed at the "person" when he said that. She asked him what color things were. She said he got all but one right.. he said blue when she thought it was more of a purple, haha. So super good outing for him!

Sebastian & I read, "Bear Snores On". I love books that have a rhythm, books that have good rhyming. I read it to him like a crazed rap star. He found that pretty entertaining. After that he read really well, trying to go back & rap out the sentences he had just read! It was fun. We read that book twice in a row!

Well, Willow seems to have chosen princess over  doggy. Ugh!!! I went through 3 managers & tons of waiting at Wal-Mart last night to purchase a yard and a half of fabric that I was going to use for her doggy costume. Of course during all of this waiting there was lots of fun to be had for Willow. At one point I turned around and she had somehow opened a SEALED bottle of bright orange paint and was holding it in her hand, looking into it with wonder. I grabbed it quickly!! Of course she ran away too... numerous times. And laid on the floor, and slid on the floor and crawled on the floor. It's like payback, but I'm not sure what for. The lady that cut the fabric couldn't get it to scan. I had to wait on a manager. When I got to the front of the store I realized that they hadn't tagged the fabric, it had no price! We had to wait on another manager.. she finally arrived. She then walked the fabric to the back of the store where I had found it. She took much time trying to figure things out. She came back & punched in the total.. which was wrong. She had to walk to the back of the store again.. it was ridiculous. We were standing for so long my back was starting to hurt and the cashier was trying to come up with conversation because I was standing 2 feet in front of him for so damn long.

So yeah, now Willow wants to be a princess. I have items that I could use to make her into a forest fairy. To her, wearing a dress makes you a princess, so she'll still be a princess. This costume will give me more room to expand my creativity. I just wish I would have had more notice that she was going to change her 2 year old little mind!!!!

Judah did not poop today. He did poop the past two days though (yesterday small & the day before that an explosion all over the playroom). The explosion was directly following 2 days of no pooping.

Judah missed nebulizer, folinic acid in injection, powder b-6 & iron-up. He had 2 doses of Miralax.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Six Moms!

Judah's Friday morning aide has a 4 hour shift. In that time they worked on writing letters, signing, she got him to eat mandarin oranges in his applesauce (a miracle in itself) & spent time trying to figure out if he's right or left handed - she's convinced he's right handed. He finally pooped. Unfortunately she had to deal with that, but never a complaint.

Willow & I ran out to sell an old Halloween costume to someone.. easy $12, which was spent within a few hours time, sigh. We stopped at Mother Goose (a resale kids shop) and I rummaged through the dollar rack. I found 13 items (some for each kid) & added to that a pair of sneakers for Sebastian at half off ($3.50). Unfortunately they seem to be too snug. Another half off shoe find was a pair of pink Hello Kitty crocs in good condition for Willow. Those were much needed!! And only $1.25! When we went into the store I quickly spotted a friend of mine. I swear I run into her every time I'm there (which isn't often!). She was leaving with her things when I greeted her. We stood there talking for over half an hour. We both have a son with autism - they are both the same age. We both have a little girl at the age of 2 1/2. We have many similar struggles. She was the one who told me about the company we get our aides from. I had messaged a group of friends for ideas on how to find someone to work with Judah & she had responded with the name of the company we are now using, saying she had heard good things. Turns out, she has never even used them!! She is struggling to get her son's hours covered & having pretty crappy experiences with the people she has hired. I gave her the name of the lady who schedules our aides (their supervisor). She was very eager to call. I hope they are able to change her life as much as they have changed ours. After all, she is the source that showed us that road!

Latte Play (my friend's coffee shop) is going out of business. Young at Art is going out of business. These were two very kid friendly businesses & two awesome places to take your kid in Salem on a rainy day. Just doesn't seem right. Salem needs them. People love them.

We had a meeting with J's school speech therapist & teacher at the house today. His main aide was here. She was very ambitious to exchange info & ideas with them. It was a very positive boost to the meeting. It created even more of a team feeling. His school speech therapist & teacher are very ambitious & dedicated as well.

Directly following that meeting, all of Judah's aides came in, along with their supervisor, and we had ANOTHER meeting at the dinner table. This time it was Scott, myself, Judah, four aides and the supervisor! Scott & I were there to chime in and offer ideas & knowledge about Judah. These ladies were sitting at our table coming up with ideas on different ways to help Judah's progress, sharing what they had been doing with him & basically just connecting to become one big aide for Judah, ha! They all exchanged phone numbers. The supervisor suggested that the aides all email her after their shift with info on what their shift was like. She wants to combine all of the information in these emails & turn it into a weekly Judah newsletter (basically). She said that she will email the finished product out to the aides & myself every week. I gave them a list of the school parent trainings. They can partake in those. The school speech therapist told me at her meeting that she would happily train the aides on the Star Program. Plus the aides have trainings at work & are given info on trainings taking place outside of work that are directly related to their kid's challenges (I didn't know that!!)

It's bizarre sitting back as a group of 5 adults discuss your child as if they were ALL his mom. "He's right-handed!" declared one. "We have to get him off of the baby food." stated another. They were talking to one another as staff, with us sitting right there.. it was weird. "Does he get bothered when his pants are under his feet when he potties for you guys?".. "How do you get him to the bathroom when he doesn't want his diaper changed??!" (Those two were said when the aides were all standing in a circle after the meeting, ha!)

It's such a good feeling knowing that Judah has sooo many people who genuinely love & care for him and are willing & eager to work hard to help him. And they have all helped him in enormous ways. The aides started over the summer & the teacher was brand new to him this year. All are incredible. We are so unbelievably blessed.

Judah missed fish oil (although Scott says he smells like fish?!), nebulizer, molasses & coconut butter (both of those came in the mail today), beta, iron-up, bethanechol, skin rash med should have been done but wasn't, dmg with folinic acid, powder b-6 not needed and folinic acid missed in his injection.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Open House

We had an aide for half the day today. She took Judah to walk around the mall (a different one this time) and then met us at his school for open house. I can't even begin to describe how amazing he was there. The teacher decided to have the kids sit in "circle" & read the book Judah had been carrying around. It was a very interactive book. She even had a puppet that went with it - she did the story again using that and they all took off pieces of the monster just like it was told in the story. Judah was repeating & interacting so well. He was incredibly excited but was able to stay in his seat and definitely participated much more than any of the other kids there. Willow was able to join in on this as well - which is superb because she always wants to go to school!

It was great to see how J's classroom is setup. I'll be volunteering there soon so I can see how they use all of the visuals throughout the day. They had so many! The teacher showed me his folder that she uses to work on his IFSP goals & Star Program throughout the day. She is very organized, knowledgeable, passionate about her work & is able to turn into a bubbly little kid when she plays with the kids.. she's pretty amazing. Gramma & Papa also joined. Judah was so excited to have everyone there!

Sebastian had his well-child check-up today. He's 58 pounds & 51 inches! He has a couple of really tiny bumps surrounded by a small rash on his leg. Apparently kids just get these sometimes. ?? The doctor said that they are harmless and will go away when he gets older. I forget what he called them. We talked a bit about behavior at home. Scott wasn't able to come to the appointment, so I wasn't able to have this conversation without Sebastian in the room. But I'm so glad Sebastian was in the room.. he was able to take it all in and give it some serious thought. He was much more behaved tonight & we all made a really big effort to keep him focused & keep the environment peaceful. There was still some screaming and acting out, but it was dramatically less than usual. He even came out of his room at bedtime and apologized to Scott for everything he had done tonight that he shouldn't have. He apologized for each behavior separately & sincerely. I had not asked him to do this.

Bash lost a tooth tonight when he bit into a chicken nugget! I took a couple of pictures of the new smile. He is so calm about losing teeth now. "Huh, I lost a tooth.." and shows it to me in his hand. "Sebastian... you need to go wash your mouth out." as blood is dripping from his gums.

Judah missed fish oil, nebulizer, bethanechol, beta, DMG with folinic acid, iron-up, b-6 not needed, folinic acid in injection (it disappeared!!!) & molasses. He had two doses of Miralax and still hasn't pooped. He didn't poop yesterday either & doesn't seem uncomfortable. If it doesn't happen tomorrow we'll have to intervene, which I really don't want to put him through.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"She's Talking To Me!"

Halloween is 9 days away.. maybe I should get going on making the spider and dog costumes.

No aides today. One had a migraine & the other let me know that she had gotten her period today & was having bad cramps. To anyone planning on ever calling in to work and starting the conversation with, "My period came today.", just don't do it. It's gross. "I don't feel well." is the same thing & so much better!!!

Judah said the names of two of his classmates before we even got out of the van at school this morning. He excitedly said all 3 of their names as he watched them get off of the bus, even saying, "Hi ____" to a couple of them.

Really rainy day today. I took the kids to a McDonalds play area that we never go to. A couple of the kids there talked to Willow - 2 boys about Sebastian's age. She would look at me & tell me, "She's talking to me!" seconds after they spoke to her. They were still standing right in front of her, haha. One of the boys played with Judah for 2 minutes and was then asking Judah to play with him more and referring to him, in a nice way, as "mister funny voice". They had so much fun. Although I did have to climb halfway up a tube slide when Judah began frantically screaming for help. I'd never heard him sound so scared. He truly believed that he was stuck, but I easily pulled him down. He sat with me at the table for a few minutes & then dove right back into playing with his new friends. I told Judah that we would be leaving soon a couple of times before it was actually time to go. Every time I let him know that we would be leaving soon, he told me "no" and shook his head . When it was time to go, he still gave me a "no", but it didn't take long for him to agree to shoes & socks. Then he wandered around, just waiting on Willow, who was hidden away somewhere in the gigantic play structure. I had to carry her out of the play structure. I knew she wouldn't come easily. Their stance on leaving is completely opposite what it used to be. She used to be easy & Judah was the challenge.

Dad posted in his blog that he was diagnosed with skin cancer today. I'll check up on him soon.  That's got to be really scary & upsetting. I hope he is doing okay.

Judah's missing meds are all on order. We didn't do his skin rash med but his rash is still there, just not as big. He missed bethanechol, DMG with folinic acid & b-12, folinic acid in his shot, beta & molasses.

He didn't poop today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Grasshoppers On Windows

I walked into the living room this morning to find Sebastian writing with his window markers on one of the living room windows. The random placement of words and art and the fact that he was writing very intensely, very motivated, reminded me of Good Will Hunting, when Matt Damon is doing math equations on the glass. Sebastian had drawn a picture of a grasshopper & had labeled the different parts of the grasshopper's body. Apparently they are learning a song about a grasshopper at school.  He'd also written some facts about the grasshopper all around it. The patio door had 3 heads drawn on it - 2 angry faces and 1 happy face (which was labeled "Sebastian"). The other door had a big pink splotch the size of the dog. Unfortunately we had a brand new aide starting today & our house is pretty funky looking as it is.. so the window drawings were cleared later that morning.

Sebastian is also learning , "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes" in Spanish at school. He's been singing that.

I got my hair cut today - same lady that cut it last time, same lady that shaved Judah's head (well almost). She was his first ever normal haircut experience. I'll never forget that. This lady & I have such random things in common. It's always fun talking with her. Willow waited patiently on the floor behind us... she was laying on the hairy floor making funny noises pretty much the entire time. My kids are never boring.

Sebastian was writing pages & pages of numbers in his notebook.. and had been asking us what the very last number was. We explained that numbers never ended, that they just went on & on forever. Apparently he was very motivated to prove us wrong, because when I asked him why he was writing numbers in his notebook he told me that he was trying to get to the last number!

The new aide turned out to be a musician, artsy beautiful gal. It was her first day on the job. She was helpful & apparently spent hours chasing Judah on the playground this afternoon. She came back exhausted, but was still very positive & looking forward to spending more time with Judah. She let me know that Judah had been running because he was playing with other kids on scooters that entire time! One of the parents told her that he wished he would have brought their extra scooter so Judah would have one to ride. Total strangers. I love hearing things like that. :) She should be here regularly on Tuesday afternoons from now on.

Judah said, "Ross! Jacob!" when his friends were getting off the bus at school this morning. One of the school aides cued him to tell them, "Hi Ross, Hi Jacob", which he did. One of the boys came up and wrapped his arm around Judah's neck, giving him a tight head to head hug. They were both wearing huge smiles.

Willow is saying the funniest thing. "Are you ok Willow?" and her response.. "I'm doing just fine."  Gosh, I can't think of any others right now. But she is pretty hysterical! And of course so serious when she says these things!

Sebastian had Gramma study time today. We're having a lot of trouble getting him to bed at night - he starts acting up around bedtime, he gets really loud, once he's in bed he continues to be loud & act crazy. This of course keeps his brother awake. We need a new idea. Our ways of handling this are not working.

Judah missed fish oil, DMG with folinic acid, nebulizer, bethanecol, beta, coconut butter & had about 1/2 tsp molasses (supposed to have 1 tsp). He had a big poop.

Monday, October 20, 2014

If You're Crappy And You Know It Clap Your Head!!

I apologize for the leap in blog entries. Even worse, Judah has been having beautiful, unimaginably huge growth in the past few days! He sat with the aide today as she went through 2 sets of signing flashcards with him, probably 25-30 cards total? He said the word on nearly every one of them and signed every so often with no prompting from her! This evening I saw him sign "all done" to the vacuum cleaner, haha. He hates that thing. Willow does too. They run. Willow is afraid we are going to vacuum her feet or vacuum her up (she says these things!!) while Judah seems to be really bothered by the loud sound (Qigong lady believes this is due to him being more open to sound from doing the massage). Vacuum cleaners used to be exciting & fun to him. He didn't know I had seen him sign to the vacuum cleaner. I asked him, "All done with the vacuum cleaner Judah?" as I signed "all done". He smiled & did another sign (I don't know what it was, we have to learn!!). I said, "You want me to stop?" (one of the other signs I know, I wasn't actually vacuuming I just wanted to use a sign I knew to relate to the situation somehow).  He smiled again and signed "stop". He opened the closet door, told me, "put away" and helped me put it in the closet. Then I said, "thank you" and looked over to see him with has hand at his chin, signing "thank you" and smiling.

Judah likes to sing "If You're Happy and You Know It" to himself sometimes. I started singing it to Willow tonight, who came up with many different things to be happy about.. If you're happy and you know it clap your head! She got very creative. Her enunciation is still not quite there with some words.. and some words she must hear differently than us.. because who calls their fingers their "nickas"?? She sang, "If you're crappy and you know it..." for quite a while tonight! While I was laying with her in bed she put her "nickas" on my eyelid and told me that she had just taken my eye out, haha.

Aide took Judah to the mall. I guess they have a toy store again.. which apparently has a pretty cool electric train! He had a meltdown when they had to leave the food court. He hasn't been to the mall in a long time & I honestly thought it would be a fun idea for them. But unfortunately that meltdown was unusually bad & he clung to her ankle for what sounds like a very long time.. across the mall... ?!??

Judah is so funny. I say to the kids, "YES.. or NO?" fairly often. I'm a parent. Judah was answering a question with a "no" answer when I was really looking for a "yes" answer (trying to get him to do something). He told me "nooooo" every single time. He stopped with his no's when he realized that his answer wasn't going to stop me from nagging at him. Then he started shaking his head no! Then he said my line! "YES.. or NO???" He followed that with a "NO" while shaking his head "no" back and forth. hahaa omg

Judah says "Wait!!!" when he wants us to wait, usually because he is afraid someone is being left behind. Today he told me "Wait!" because he didn't want me to leave the living room. He wanted me to put a movie in. I told him we couldn't watch a movie. Then he looks me dead in the eye and says in a calm manner & voice, "wait.." hahaa He's never done that!!

Sebastian exploded today when I wouldn't allow him to rearrange the garage to ride his plasma car. It just wasn't possible - but of course that was heard as me telling him he couldn't do something. That just got worse & worse & spun quickly out of control. He started punching things in the garage and was screaming at me things about how he doesn't want me to be his mom anymore, and how mean I am, etc. This traveled to his bedroom where he started punching his door & was actively looking for other things he could hit or do in his rage. Of course we had an aide here. That is what kept him in his bedroom. He wasn't going to do that in front of her, he would be embarrassed. Anyway, hugs & apologies eventually came & things calmed down for a bit. Then all the kids spun into crazy mode not long after.. I was running around trying to manage each kid tornado throughout the house. It was embarrassing, insane.. and just so disheartening as a mom. I just feel helpless sometimes when everything seems to be going quickly in the wrong/bad direction and I can't do enough to even slow it down! One of those days.. those "I need a new Mom days".

I'll try & back track & post either pictures or tidbits of our days. We did OMSI yesterday. Judah's regular aide was able to join us for that - she ended up working 8 hours that day! We all got up early to go to Judah's gymnastics & then followed that with a big day at OMSI (which was a much different experience than last time, the only other time we've been). It was really nice. Meemaw & Granddad got to watch Judah's gymnastics. His aide was also there & got a chance to talk with Judah's instructor (who happens to be an ABA therapist). They were able to chat for quite a while before the rest of us arrived. Very busy & awesome day.

Judah missed these today & yesterday - fish oil, nebulizer, dmg with folinic acid, bethanecol. don't think he needed skin rash med today but did it yesterday, no beta today or yesterday, no iron-up today, no molasses either day. Had miralax both days. Eyedrop has stopped for now. Powder b-6 done yesterday (done with iron-up).

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Drum, drum,drum...

This is judah playing a drum at music therapy. His therapist is playing a drum next to him. He picked it up and held it correctly and started drumming with her! He usually will drum some but she always holds them. Today he just picked it up himself and did it! Really amazing session. We drove to speech therapy directly following this, where his progress took off even more!!! I heard him talking in sentences, initiating conversation, answering questions.. I'd never heard him talk that much and in all of those ways in only 45 minutes time!!! Really exciting progress today! 
Also, he is watching himself and his teacher in the mirror as they are playing in this photo. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Granddad & Meemaw Are Here!

Judah threw a fit about going to the park with the aide on this gorgeous practically summer's day because he was afraid he would miss Granddad & Meemaw. He was very aware that they were coming. He was saying, "Meemaw!" as the aide struggled to get him into the car. They stayed out for nearly 3 hours & Judah made a friend, who happens to be his age, lives on this side of town & was just diagnosed with autism. The aide said this kid has good verbal skills & poor social skills. Judah has the opposite going on. The aide and I are hopeful and excited that these boys can help each other out, as well as become friends. The aide got contact info. The boy's mom was interested in getting the boys together too.

Willow, Judah & I got to tour the Keizer fire station. We were in the huge garage with all of the fire trucks the entire time - a firewoman (??) gave us all tons of information & let the kids mess with the fireman in his full fireman gear. Judah wouldn't get too close to him, but was smiling & laughing. This guy had the big mask on his face & sounded like Darth Vadar when he talked. Willow was fearful of him & of going into the firetruck. Judah went in the firetruck twice. The first time he went from passenger side to driver side & right out the door as if he was going through a tunnel. The second time he decided to stop & check things out. He was very in awe of the fireman's hat sitting on the floor. He wouldnt' touch it though, he looked at it as if he had just spotted gold. Willow was scared through most of the "tour" and clinging to me. She did cheer up near the end & enjoyed the pink fire fighter hat she got. Judah got a blue one. They were both well behaved. Surrounded by fire trucks, lots of kids & parents and even an emergency medical call while we were there, Judah never had one meltdown & never ran away or ran around. He stayed with the group & sat with us all on the mat when the woman gave the long talk. He did loudly sputter out many sounds & words & got up twice to walk from one end of our group to the other, but that was it. He was so excited. The event was short & sweet. The kids had no issues leaving. On the way home they both gently looked through their bag of goodies the workers had given them. (I'm seriously not exaggerating about ANY of this!!) Before Sebastian got home I had put up the fire fighter hats & bags. I put myself in his shoes...that would be a pretty crappy feeling to find out you had missed a really cool event because of school & that your younger siblings went and had an awesome time. I was shocked that Willow wasn't bragging about it to him! Although she did tell Daddy before bed that she saw the firetrucks today.

Granddad & Meemaw went to Sebastian's karate. Sebastian got a certificate there for cleaning the living room today. He did a good job of cleaning! Afterwards, he went outside to rake leaves & pull weeds in the garden.

Willow has been walking around with the toy blood pressure cuff. "Mommy let me give you your check-up!" Then we would do the cuff & she would say, "Okay, you're fine." ha!

Judah missed nebulizer, molasses & fish oil. No skin rash med needed.

Did eye drop for the last time before his eye appointment on the 30th.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pledging For Prizes

Our aide called in sick, but we did have one from 3:30-6. That gave Judah lots of one-on-one play time. The aide and I chased the kids around the backyard for a while. She is from another country and has never experienced our holidays before. She's very confused about Halloween. Judah showed her the monsters on our playroom windows. "So, you're trying to scare people?" Halloween is tough to explain without sounding like an idiot. We scare kids.. your children go door to door collecting candy... they say, "trick or treat!" but they aren't really giving you a choice.. you have to give them a treat.. kids eat handfuls of candy, from strangers even, and the parents don't seem to show a lot of concern.

At bedtime Scott said, "Here's your pig Judah, oink! oink!" and handed him his Angry Birds pig to sleep with. I asked Judah if he wanted to dress up like a pig for Halloween. "Do you want to be a pig Judah?" His response? "Oink! Oink!" haha

I sat in a parent club meeting at Sebastian's school for 2 hours this evening. There were MAYBE 30 people there, total, that's including the principal and board members who HAVE to be there. We voted on the design for the new school t-shirt this year. Only 20 something kids had submitted designs.. ?!? Budget was discussed in and out of the meeting, so much of the meeting was budget. Some people did bring some clever ideas on how to cut costs & had ideas on healthier ways to help the kids enjoy school more. I should have counted the number of times "prizes" was said at that meeting. If a school could win a prize for giving out the most prizes it would be this school!! Gift cards, a bike.. ? It's really good stuff! It's not fair at all how they are being awarded and the parents are very much unaware of this (unless their kid wins a prize and they investigate to see what their kid did to "earn" this prize). And most important of all, it's completely unnecessary & unhelpful. At the tail end of the meeting there was enough time for someone to get in a couple of really good, important questions. He talked about how excited his family was to get his kid into a Spanish immersion school in the beginning & now things have changed so much. He told the principal that parents are not being informed of what is going on & what changes may be ahead in the road to come. The principal said she will now wait a couple of days before she sends out her newsletter - it was almost as if this was news to her, that parents aren't being given information. Another woman mentioned that the teachers should use the I-pads we were talking about funding to communicate with the parents! ha. Had there been 6 more parents there that really wanted to know what was going on & had genuine concern & interest in their kids education, it would have been a very worthwhile meeting. It was informative, I know how much money goes towards each teacher toolbox and how much weight prizes hold, a lot!!

When it was mentioned that the kids were being rewarded for having the most number of pledges on their jog-a-thon sheet, a parent brought up something that seemed to knock reality back into the room. "The parents are the ones doing that job." At that moment I realized that my mind was being sucked into believing that prizes & competitions were hugely important to the education system, because her response actually surprised me! Gahhh!!! If you don't allow your kid to go door-to-door, like we didn't allow ours, then he probably won't win that contest. Your co-workers will sign up as a pledge.. a couple of your other parent friends might do it because you did it for their kid last year. The parents take on the job of getting pledges & the kids have fun doing the jog-a-thon with their friends. The parents bring you the money with hopes that you will use it to better their child's education. Reality. It's not a competition.

Judah missed fish oil, nebulizer, probiotic. Skin rash med wasn't needed but the aide did notice some red bumps on the back of his right leg.. need to have Scott look at those. He is much better at that stuff than me.
We did eye drop & powder b-6.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Just a minute, Scott. I'm trying to talk to Molly."

While watching Judah at gymnastics this morning I saw that he is still running away from the group to jump into whatever he has just caught out of the corner of his eye that looks really fun. He is very aware of his class, what the teacher calls "his friends". He didn't like when the teacher tried to get him to jump backwards down the long mat instead of forwards (what they usually do). I don't think it was refusal, because backwards is probably more fun, I think he just thought he was doing it the way he was supposed to. So I started making a list at that point, of things we can work on with Judah that might give him a step-up in gymnastics & possibly knock out some frustrations & upsets that could happen during the sessions to come. I'll make sure he learns what backwards means this week. ;)

What hasn't changed a bit about his gymnastics class is the level of enthusiasm & excitement he has when he is there! Today he mimicked his teacher after she said, "Oh, mann!!" to another student. He followed her quickly in a very similar tone with an "Oh, mann!!" of his own. His instructor & the other instructor who was giving a separate lesson away from his class were both laughing. I've never seen them both laugh during classes! He definitely brings a big scoop of his wonderous joy to gymnastics!

After we arrived home I laid down in bed for a bit (gymnastics is early!!!). Willow came in and sat beside my head. I don't remember what she was talking about. Scott came in and told her that she needed to head out of the room. I do remember what she said then, "Just a minute, Scott. I'm trying to talk to Molly." ha! Scott couldn't help but smile. Willow didn't know what to say to me because she was so surprised that her comment had bought her some time!

Sebastian had some work time with Gramma today - she said he did a tough lesson today! Then they decorated the Gramma/Papa house for Halloween (I think).

Things to work on with Judah:
  • Directions - forwards, backwards, sideways, up, down, etc.
  • Reinforcing & rewarding "wait". He gets excited at gymnastics and often can't seem to wait his turn.
  • We need to get a routine of him going potty right before class down so it's not a fight. Can't do "potty first, then..." at home because we want to encourage his independence of going on his own when he needs to. He waits until last minute & I'm nervous that he will not be able to make it to the bathroom in time at gymnastics.. running from the gym to the waiting area, or that he will be so insistent & excited about being in class that he will wet his pants. Or maybe I should just stop worrying so damn much! If he has an accident he will likely learn from it & then the issue would probably dissolve fairly quickly.
  • I want to teach him what somersault means just to make sure he knows. They do a lot of somersaults. He knows how but often does it just when he wants to, as if he doesn't get when he is supposed to do it and thinks maybe it's just something you do when you feel like it! ?
  • We definitely need to work on waiting in line!
  • We need to work on helping him remember who he is behind in line - this may help with the waiting in line.
  • We need to teach him what "find" means. That was another direction she gave him that I am pretty sure he didn't completely understand & I don't know how she would motion that one out!?
  • We need to let the instructors know that he is learning to sign so they can use that - it will likely help since it's a visual and doesn't involve listening, because listening is hard to do when you are excited and doing things like walking across high bars on your feet & hands (Yes he did this!! I got a picture!).
Judah missed probiotic (it is ordered though! many bottles of it!), didn't do powder b-6 & missed nebulizer (still no gluta, trying to find a pharmacy that can fill it sooner than 3 weeks!)


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Star Wars Reads Day!

Oh how I love it when someone else blogs for me!! Gramma was so sweet to send me an email about their day with the kids. Sebastian also told me the story.. that one was filled with much laughter!!

Written by Gramma:


Judah is playing trains and I'm checking my email. Sebastian just hoped on my trainer and said, "I saw the letters f a n and thought it said 'fan,' so I turned it on.

Willow and Sebastian had their pictures taken with the entire Star Wars crew but I hit the wrong button on my phone and have no pictures. Sigh. I have some really great photos of the crew with the other kids there! David ran to the car to get my real camera but it was parked half a mile away and the Star Wars crew stepped into the elevator minutes before he came running up the escalater. Then we had lunch at Joe's Burgers. It took a very long time for them to make two hamburgers and a hot dog. Lots of people.

Then Sebastian wanted to go back to Barnes and Noble.  At Barnes and Noble after he had his picture taken with Princess Lei, he said he wanted to buy a book. He chose a book over toys! He got an early reader Star Wars book. He also wanted to buy a workbook for writing and reading that are Star Wars themed. How could I say no? He was trying to read all the book titles in the bookstore and some of his book on the way home. Wow! We tried to buy Willow a book in another section of the store. She kind of liked one but put it away as we were leaving taking my hand and saying, "I want Star Wars." She wanted something from the SW collection where Sebastian had found his books so we found her a little doll that looked like something from another galaxy! She talked to it all the way home.

Big problem: After we were done looking at books and ready to check out, I noticed my wallet was not in my purse. We looked everywhere. I had not had it out at all so I figured someone had stolen it from my purse or it had dropped out somehow in the car? Hoping...So Dave ran back to the car, that was parked a half mile away, while I was losing my mind. He found it on the floor under my seat. I've not been so relieved in a very long time.

Sebastian copied the first page of his new SW book in his notebook on the way home, presenting it to me to read. Willow thought what he was doing was pretty fascinating. Earlier that day, he'd filled a page and a half of his notebook with words he "was just thinking about." Some sentences that were similar to those we are doing with our reading lessons.

After we picked up Judah, we were driving home and David coughed, forgetting to cover his mouth. From the back seat this little high voice said sweetly, "Cover your mouth, please." We were all stunned. Judah was smiling. It was him! He's been very calm today and gone to the potty on his own.

Everyone helped put up Halloween window clings. Judah made sure they were all smoothed over and wouldn't come off! He found a pumpkin snowball and told me, "pumpkin." Then he explained, "water," since it's full of a liquid. I asked him to turn it over and make snow. He looked at me like I was crazy and then did it, saying, "Snow."

Off to cook waffles, nuggets, and whatever else is requested.

Judah had no bms today.
Judah missed iron-up, probiotic, beta & nebulizer. Skin rash med not needed. B-6 not needed.

Friday, October 10, 2014

"Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetle..".

Tonight we went to a family movie night at a friend's local business. It was a Halloween theme. The adults watched "Beetlejuice" on the big screen at the front of the store while the kids watched "The Nightmare Before Christmas" at the back of the store. Beetlejuice is so much funnier when you see it as an adult and/or surrounded by friends! That was probably the longest amount of time Scott & I have been able to sit down & relax with all 3 of our children awake in the same room. The kids were really good. There were other parents getting up & some hanging out in the kid area for a bit.. they didn't all have it as easy as us! Scott got up some, but it wasn't really all that necessary. It was probably more out of nerves & habit!

On the way to movie night Judah was so happy & chatting away! I had the cord out for my phone & was going to charge it. Judah told me repeatedly, "put away". I looked back at him & said, "You want me to put this away?" He smiled. Suddenly it didn't seem so important to charge my phone anymore.

We got home from movie night & Scott took off for his gaming. The kids & I all snuggled into the Mommy & Daddy bed. Pic below. I posted this on Facebook and got so many "likes"! ??

I took Sebastian & Willow to Young at Art in Keizer this morning. Sebastian sat focused, calm & creating for at least an hour. It was incredible. I love that place- I was making art too! Willow really enjoyed the Play-doh & sensory table filled with sand. She also liked using the glue over & over, ha. They both loved painting the car! I wish I would have remembered my good camera. The camera on my phone is so delayed it's insane. And the pictures are never good.

Judah had a large bm.

Judah missed fish oil, beta, probiotic, iron up, & nebulizer. b-6 not needed. Eye drops not done.

Aide did Judah's rash med after his bath.

Judah missed massage (home late & Scott had to rush off).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Teaching Kids to Eat Sawdust

Today somehow became a whirlwind of appointments & confusion! When we finally made it home around 5pm I could hardly keep my eyes open! I was so exhausted. Our activity seemed to have filled up the invisible chargers on our children, you'd think we had been feeding them candy all day long. Their kid batteries were at 110%!

I took Willow & Judah to a park play date in S. Salem. It turned out to be a WARM day! After playing in the sun for a while I was damn near sweating! Judah had fun climbing with the boys. Willow seemed bored. I played with her while she served me fake food (handfuls of sawdust chips that I had to pretend to eat). Our little drive-thru activity drew a tiny crowd of children. I was the only adult playing - I looked ridiculous. Two of the moms kept telling their boys to leave our imaginary food activity, as if it was not something the boys should be doing... later one of those boys found me and handed me a pile of sawdust chips, telling me that he had made me cookies. Sweetness. Before he could hand me my sawdust cookies, his mother yelled for him to get back over to her & to stop doing what he was doing. Ugh, so ridiculous. I gave him a great, big, lovely "thank you" right in front of her. There are times when you just can't even pretend to be on the same Mom team. That was one of those times. It was really cool to see how using your imagination can draw kids in so easily. Willow instantly had kids surrounding her wanting to play.

We came home. J's aide took him to the library. W & I went to get Sebastian & run some errands. Sebastian gets so upset when he finds out that we went on play dates without him. Somehow that came up.. and led to, "I hate Willow's friends!!!!!!!!!!" He didn't even know that we had a play date today. He was just remembering one day when we had a meet-up play date at the house while he was at school.. 2 little girls that Willow had played with once before came over to play for an hour. Being a kid is hard!! And Willow really doesn't have any consistent friends. Any kid near her height is her "friend" according to her. Poor Sebastian, Willow has a world of friends everywhere we go!!!

Willow & Judah chased each other around the house today, created games jumping off of the time-out chair into a bean bag, Willow grabbed the back of Judah's shirt as he ran away laughing, they crashed into one another on the floor still laughing.. at one point Willow ran up to Judah and said, "best friend!!" and gave him a big hug. They were hugging & both smiling. Even after Sebastian got home they were still playing. Sebastian sat & watched.. I was surprised he wasn't trying to join in.

Judah had a big poop. He requested a diaper early afternoon, wore it the rest of the day, went pee in the bathroom & never in the diaper & finally pooped at the end of the day. His communication has been astounding, leaps & bounds. In the van he said, "Mommy..." and then more words but I couldn't understand. For him to just say, "Mommy" and try to tell me something as we are just riding along in the van, is really huge, it was surreal to me. And those words will come.. I can see them cooking.

I had a talk with J's regular aide. We are going to try hard to be consistent with meltdown strategies. Use a timer if we can to prepare him for a transition.. if meltdown happens then wait it out until he is calm enough for us to explain what is going on. Picking him up & carrying him away during a meltdown makes things worse - it doesn't give him a chance to understand what is happening & adds to the frustration. Not to mention the fact that it's got to be very upsetting to be picked up and physically removed from a location against your will! So that's a last resort - if there is a safety issue or something along those lines, then yes, we'll have to do that, but otherwise we want to give him that time to calm down & a chance to understand what is happening & a chance for him to tell us what he needs & communicate his thoughts to us.

No stomach pain for me today, thank goodness.

Judah missed fish oil & nebulizer (although I did find a place that may be able to fill that script), missed beta & probiotic. Skin rash med & eye drop not needed. Did the iron-up & b-6. B-12 arrived and will be in his shot tonight.

Cool Gramma Moment

 Hi Molly, ATA,

I wanted to write about Karate tonight. Sebastian was so proud! So was I.

We got there just in time and he politely greeted his Karate Masters at the door. Hello sir, Hello mam. Then he joined his group at about the time this very tall, big older man came up to me and introduced himself as the owner (headmaster) of the club. He was all decked out in his uniform, black belt and various levels of badges. He thanked me for attending and wanted to know which one was my grandson. Sebastian was waving at me and the master went over to greet him. They are so into politeness and respect. The class was large again tonight but they had four teachers. Three men and a talented young woman. All demonstrating various moves and helping with the class. I noticed that Sebastian is really following directions closely, and he's getting the hang of left versus right. They did some kicks and hand moves and he got them all right. The headmaster explained the moves and theory behind them very well and in such a way that the kids understood.

After the main instruction, they handed out stars for the performance sheets the kids bring for showing respect to family, doing chores, and acting like a leader. I filled out two for Sebastian before class and added them to the stack, based on his tutoring successes with me and his help with the yard decorating last week end. He wasn't expecting to have his name called and get two stars. He just beamed and dashed up to receive his treasures, bowing politely. He looked at me and grinned. Cool Gramma moment! Then the big surprise came when the master and other teachers announced that tonight was a special night for one of the members. Sebastian was being inducted into the ATA (American Taekwondo Association)! They presented him a lovely package with badges, and his bag with a DVD and spare uniform inside. Everyone clapped for him. (It's on his bed in case you're wondering. The stars he carefully stored in a drawer in his closet organizer.) He was so pleased!

It was a special evening, and I think this experience is going to be well worth the investment. I'm hoping Meemaw and Grand-dad might get to visit his lesson next Thursday.



PS When I brought Sebastian home, Willow greeted me at the door with a handful of books...four of them! "Hi Monka, want to read some books?" She talked to me a lot. Judah had just filled his diaper so Scott was kind of busy but Judah told me bye and talked a little from the bathtub. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Twinkle Twinkle Little Starfish

Today Judah had a diaper on. The aide thought he needed to poop. He kept it dry and went to the bathroom to pee when he needed to! Dry diaper is new. He hasn't worn a diaper that long in a while! Once today he yelled, "Potty!!!" as he ran to the bathroom, haha. He tends to wait until the very last second. Lucky for him that so far the bathroom has always been unoccupied during this moment of panic!

Judah's progress today was through the roof!!! Tonight he walked into his room and grabbed one of the starfish off of the wall. He held it up singing, "Twinkle, twinkle little star. How I wonder what you are.." When Sebastian was 1 or 2 he would belt that song out, once while riding in the kid car through the grocery store with Gramma & Papa, haha.

This morning I told Judah that it was time to eat breakfast. He was at the table playing with some trains. He said, "Playin po spress" (playing Polar Express). Wow! Not long after that, the usual morning chaos ensued. I said, "Good morning Judah" while everyone was running around and being loud. He was across the room and immediately turned around to look at me.. I couldn't hear what he said, but he replied something! He also repeated much of what the aides asked him to today. He enjoyed doing his signing cards so much that he brought them to the aide at one point because he wanted to do them again! Willow joined in with the signing & was learning to do signs almost with ease! Judah liked it when I tried as well, especially when I would sign "stop". He loves saying "stop" at stop signs.

I've had bad stomach pain on a daily basis lately. It makes me nervous because the appendix problem that landed me in the hospital for 4 days began with stomach pain as well. I'm paying attention to what I'm eating & trying to get some probiotic into my system too.

Willow's sentences were so awesome today. She knocked on Sebastian's door tonight, "It's me, Willow. It's just me, Willow." Judah says "Wiiii ohhh!!" pretty regularly now. And it's not just in panic mode anymore, he'll do it for other reasons too.

Sebastian has been doing 20+ minutes of reading every night at home & writing three sentences as Scott or myself say them word for word. We make them up. This is now his daily homework from school. His reading is really taking off!!!

Again, no poop for Judah.

Judah missed probiotic, iron up, had one miralax, no b-12 in shot, no beta, no powder b-6 needed, no skin rash med needed & nebulizer not done - pharmacy issues are putting that off for weeks!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Crazy In the Night

I'm trying hard to keep this blogs short. The amount of things I want & need to do plus time I want & need to spend with people is a tunnel with no end in sight.

Judah today - grabbing my leg, "Stay!!" or "Wait!!" He talked to Willow & then they exchanged Polar Express cds. Nothing exciting to him.. chatter, chatter.. then he set his case in front of her & took hers and went on watching television.

Judah told Sebastian "Po Spress!" then chased him to his room, grabbing him and pulling him to the living room. Judah said, "Sit!" and pushed Sebastian down on the couch. Sebastian didn't know what to do or say! He always realizes when Judah does things that are pretty huge progress wise. Often Sebastian just looks at me with a smile and eyes that tells me he wants to laugh. The aide & I were watching this unfold, not saying a word. It was entertainment!

Apparently Judah sang a verse from Brown Bear on his own to the speech therapist at school! She is eager to change his old goals. She realized that he had surpassed those over the summer during the first couple of hours she spent in his classroom this year.

Apparently they have the big Judah poster we made up in the classroom. They say that he goes to look at it every day, haha!

Judah signed "bike" on the way to school. He said "bike" when I saw him doing it. He shook his head no when I asked him if he wanted to ride his bike today. He was smiling & very proud of his signing. Later that day he nodded yes when I asked him if he wanted to ride his bike. We must do that!!!

Judah found the gymnastics business card on my bed & was looking at it, probably trying to figure out where he had seen the logo before. I told him "gymnastics". He immediately lit up, "a stix.. guh mastics!" He can say "nastix", but this time he was trying very hard to say the entire word correctly. He wouldn't let go of the card, so I showed him a pocket in my purse where he could put it. He knew that he could find it there when he wanted to look at it or use it to communicate gymnastics to us. I told him that's where it would be.

The aide here today said she can do the picture cards - she's been working with those for a long time. The paragraph above speaks to how well those could help Judah with communication, confidence and progression. I told her definitely.. definitely we will abuse that skill of hers!! ;)

Judah is now nodding for "yes" and doing thumbs up as well, saying "Good job!" when he does thumbs up. I showed him that one on some picture cards I was printing up. He liked it. He also liked the picture of the face with a tissue flying off of the center of it (blowing his nose). He's trying hard to blow his nose lately.  He's been doing somersaults! He used to do these but then stopped for a while. Gymnastics has brought them out again.

When Bash got home from school the kids all danced & jumped all over the place. The aide was working her first day here at home with Judah - she had only done an outing on her other day. So now she thinks that when brother comes home the house shakes and the kids fly!

Tonight Scott was standing at the bedroom door of the boys' room. He had the door cracked. Judah got out of bed and stuck his cup of milk through the space between the door and the doorway. All we could see was his arm, haha. He said, "all done".  Scott received the cup and Judah went right back to bed, haha.

Judah came to our bed in the wee hours of the morning. I cuddled with him and forgot to make the effort to get him back to his own bed - usually Scott will do this if I can wake him up. Judah is suddenly wetting the bed again (he sleeps with no diaper now but was keeping the bed dry for quite a while!). Of course after he climbs into bed with me he sleeps for a while and then wets the bed.. like half the damn bed. I had to get up and change all of my clothes! Scott changed Judah. I changed all of our sheets, scrubbed the bed & put a towel down on it. Scott put Judah to bed in Judah's bed. After finally getting back to sleep, Willow mozies in and wants to climb up in our bed. I'm so tired that I forget Judah was the one who had peed our bed & decided that Willow was the one who had done it. I jump out of bed & tell her, "No way. You are going to sleep in YOUR bed." I walk her to her bed & somehow end up sleeping in her bed with her the rest of the night. Not long after (when it was time to actually get up & start the day), I hear panicked Sebastian & Scott.. "Where's Molly!!??!" haha.

The even weirder night was the night before! I got up thinking it was 8am. I knew the aide was scheduled to be there at 8am so I popped out of bed, went to the boys' room, laid out their clothes for school & turned on their light in hopes of waking them up. Then I went to the kitchen to start breakfast. While in the kitchen I noticed that the oven clock read 2:08. Gahhhh!!! I turned around and saw Scott looking into the boys' well-lit bedroom. He then turned to look at me, with the expression of "What the hell is going on!!??" hahaha. I walked by him & mumbled, "I didn't see the clock right." and went back to bed. Man, thinking about that the next day made me feel like I was mentally nuts!!

A few nights before that night, Judah was again in our bed. He started coughing. I woke up, pushed him out of bed into a standing position while saying, "Scott!! Wake up!!! Oh my god!!" Then I started trying to do the Heimlich maneuver on Judah from my seated position in bed. Judah wasn't even coughing anymore, he was just standing there, not knowing what the hell was going on. Then I told Scott Judah was okay and we all went back to sleep, hahaaaa.

I talked with one of the dads at Sebastian's school. He was at Sebastian's birthday party - his son is friends with Sebastian, but got stuck in the other 1st grade class, so they only see each other at recess now. The dad said his son LOVES school & apparently grandma knows Spanish & mom understands it. I smell play date in the air!!!

Judah did not poop today.
He had no l-carnitine or probiotic. I think I forgot Miralax today. No b-12 in shot. No eye drop. No skin-rash med needed. No nebulizer treatment (found out the pharmacy we use for that can't do it for 3 weeks due to new FDA regulations - they have to get everything within code before they can fill that prescription). Had we called 2 days prior they could have done it. That pharmacy is in Wilsonville, the only pharmacy in the entire state that we've found that could fill that medicine. The other pharmacy Scott found is in Washington! Maybe we could talk Ben into grabbing it & meet him in the middle somewhere, jeeez! This is ridiculous!!!

Post From Proud Gramma!

Well, it's actually part of an email she sent me, turned into a post. =)

Sebastian made a real breakthrough on his reading yesterday. He read a simple story once, needing help with only two words and then he read it again perfectly. He is learning how to distinguish patterns in words to help with word recognition which I have been working on a lot with him and it's paying off! I was so pleased with his progress last night. Two weeks ago he could not have done that. The spelling method I sent you really worked, too. We used it on his Spanish words with "m" sounds. He was awesome.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Retouching School Photos

We had 3 aides working here today! Judah's regular aide came in for a few hours. A new aide worked with her, getting to know Judah. Judah & his regular aide were getting ready to head to the park when the new aide arrived. We had forgotten she was coming! Everyone was chatting, getting to know one another, but Judah was ready to go! He began trying to get everything together himself! He brought the aide the snack bag & even dragged the car seat out of the play room and put it by the front door! ha! As he was maneuvering the car seat he said, "On our way!!" hahaaa.They went to Bush Park & played.

The company that sends J's aides had a staff meeting at 2pm. So we had no one from 2-4. The lady that came in at 4 had been here shadowing other staff here on two different occasions. This was her first time working on her own. Unfortunately I had to leave 10 minutes after she got here. I was gone for all of 30 minutes. When I returned, I opened the front door and walked into a gigantic cloud of poop smell. She did get a diaper on him - she saw the signs & got it done. That was almost like a test, haha! He just wouldn't let her clean him up - which is how he is with everyone, even us. I set the timer & he got up & went to the bathroom after it rang. He wanted to stay in the bathroom & play in the sink when we were done. He wanted to put some of his talking cars in the water. When I wouldn't allow him to do this, he ran past the aide & into his room. He laid on his bed & pulled the covers up to his shoulders, ha! He didn't stay there long, but that was a rare sight!

Willow loves copying me while I'm getting ready in the bathroom. Today she had to lotion her arms & feet.. just like Mommy! ha.

Apparently you don't have to order school pictures to get into the yearbook. So this year we aren't buying them unless they turn out good & show his personality! He's had some school photos in the past that have not shown his personality at all. They just weren't genuine. It wasn't Sebastian. I nearly always end up with pictures that are better than the standard school photo when I use my own camera, personality & all! School photos have changed so much. The company that is doing Sebastian's photos have options on their form for basic retouching & premium retouching. Retouching??! Childhood photos are supposed to be captured memories, genuine memories. How confusing it would be for a grown-up to look back on their childhood photos & see how white their teeth once were. Then they would begin to wonder why the birthmark on their face wasn't there at age 7... ?? Crazytown.

Sebastian read for 25 minutes with me tonight. We read, "The Little Red Hen". His reading has really improved. Then I asked him to write out 3 sentences. I used the three Gramma had recommended since they involved sounds & words they had practiced at their lesson & in school today. He wrote all 3 sentences as I read them word for word. I read his sentences & saw that only two words were misspelled, amazing!  muy (my) and backpac (backpack) His teacher sent home the letters they will be learning this week & words using each letter/sound. It was a good size stack of papers! Gramma had requested these when we saw Sebastian's teacher on Friday. La maestra followed through!

Over the past 2 days, I was able to sell enough toys to fill a large box! They were all abandoned toys that haven't been played with in forever. I split them up into $5 lots. Each lot was worth more than $5, but I wanted to move them quickly. I sold all but one lot yesterday & the last one sold today! Also sold our huge play mat today! Space created!!

R. Symone (the adorable little girl from the Cosby show), tells the big "O" (Oprah), that she doesn't want to be labeled as "African American". She says, "I'm not African American. I'm an American." That's like standing in front of a wolf wearing a steak around your neck. Ha. Good for her. I mean, I doubt Oprah was asking, but good for R. Symone that she used her spotlight to give people who feel the same way more confidence in speaking up. You don't hear what she said very often.. if ever. But it's something that would probably be heard much more often if the fear of being rejected/hated/bullied, etc. wasn't so engrained into our minds as the outcome of being honest. She says that she doesn't know what country in Africa she is from, but she does know her roots are in Lousisianna.. she adds that (and I love this part) "I'm an American, and that's a colorless person... I have lots of things running through my veins." True that Raven.

Judah had his eye drop today. He had his b-6 powder, beta, fish oil & miralax too. He had all meds except probiotic, nebulizer treatment, & b-12 in shot.
Judah had large mushy bm. Skin rash med not needed.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sebastian's Grave

Sebastian & I spent time doing some Halloween deco in the front of the house. Hopefully I can get some pictures of that on here. He came up with an idea. I was busy hanging the spider & pumpkin deco when he asked me for the scissors. When I finished I walked into the garage to find him cutting out a piece of cardboard in the shape of a grave! He wanted his name on it & his shovel sticking out of the ground in front of it. This was a "Little Tikes" shovel, so perfect. He wrote the letters of his name on black squares I cut for him. Then I cut out his letters & we put them on the grave. Finished product below (soon).

Judah came in Willow's room to find me today. He waved and said, "Hi Mommy!!" He did lots of "Mommy Daddy" labeling today. He finally had a huge poop. It had been 2 days. Required bath immediately afterwards.

Scott did the store trip with Judah & Willow today. He said Judah destroyed about $100 worth of food. He told a good story.. I'll try to have him write it in here.

Judah had no b-12 in his shot or nebulizer treatment. No probiotic or b-6 powder, no iron-up.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Earaches Bring No Music

After spending too much of the day in bed with back pain, I decided to work on the garage. So that's what I've been doing for the past 6 hours or so.

The kids were with Gramma & Papa all day. Scott took Judah to speech therapy today & we had to cancel on music therapy due to Willow's earache. My back hurt so bad, I knew I couldn't take her to the doctor this morning. Someone also needed to get Judah to music in Portland this morning. So we cancelled music & Scott took Willow to the doctor. There he was told that she has an ear infection. She was up a lot last night complaining of ear pain.

Judah had no bm.
Judah had no skin rash med, probiotic, iron up, or nebulizer.

Friday, October 3, 2014

We're Off to See the Wizard!

Today was Sebastian's Jog-A-Thon! Gramma, Papa, Willow & I all went to support him & volunteer to help out. Gramma & I were on the blue station for the 1st grade boys, while Papa & Willow played. Sebastian ran 4 laps.. which I'm guessing is a mile. Gramma & I went back to his classroom to meet him afterwards & realized after we had been standing in his classroom for 15 mins that all of the children's backpacks were missing. ha. The kids were leaving from the gym. Sebastian's teacher walked in. I went out to make sure Sebastian had someone meeting him at the front door. Gramma was able to get sentences that are used in class on a regular basis from the teacher, as well as the promise of a weekly class lesson plan to be sent home with Sebastian every Monday. So that was pretty good!!!

We went to the Children's Museum in Portland since they were having 4 hours of free admission. The museum was themed Wizard of Oz. It was really cool! The kids all had a great time. We were there for about an hour & a half & we didn't even see it all! Judah's aide joined. It was weird having her in the van with all of us, and at night, going on a journey together, haha. During the ride up & back home, Sebastian fired away with his questions & she answered every single one. By the end of the ride home it was easy to see that Sebastian & the aide had connected.

I made Rocket pops, an easy way to get good stuff into the kids. Ingredients - organic berries, banana, coconut oil, honey & almond milk. They were really good!!!

Judah had no bm that we know of. There were 2 aides here for the first half of the day, one of them was shadowing for her second & final time. Judah's usual aide came in this morning & didn't leave until 9:30pm.

We got home so late that Judah had no massage or shot.

Judah had no: probiotic, nebulizer, b-6, coconut butter.

Judah had eye drop.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Quietly Painting

Judah & Sebastian were talking to their animals in bed. Judah had Spiderman and holds him up, "Hi, I'm Spiderman!"

Judah had a big outing with his regular aide  today - Gilbert House & waterfront park. He was all smiles on the swing in the backyard when they got home.

Willow & I had some quiet time while Judah & his aide were out. She did some painting at the table while I puttered around the house, in complete disbelief that this was really happening. Quiet house, content Willow at the table for over 15 minutes, nobody hanging off of my leg.. Miraculously Willow agreed to a bath after painting & I was blessed with even more tranquility & time to get sh** done.

Judah brought me a diaper this morning to let me know that he needed to poop?! I put it on him, then he walked right to the playroom & had a big, mushy poop. He had an accident today. That hasn't happened in forever! He didn't seem bothered by his pants & underwear being wet. In the past there's no way that wouldn't have bothered him! He refused to change. I had to help him with that.

Sebastian went from school to more work with Gramma to karate. He got another mark on his sash for doing a good job. Gramma  & Papa got to experience watching his karate session this evening.

I've been feeling awful all day, I'm really fighting it though! Congestion, runny nose, headache, aches.. all that crap. Tomorrow is Sebastian's Jog-A-Thon. Willow, Gramma & I will be there. Directly following that, J's aide and I are planning on taking the kids to the Children's Museum in Portland. The kids don't know about this - it will be a really good surprise!!

Apparently Judah ate some of his non-preferred snack at school yesterday! (mandarin oranges) He's been taking these to school for a month and has eaten them only with tiny bits of them shoved into his Rice Chex. I'm curious how much he ate of them yesterday. He also got the potty cue and brought it to the teacher (letting her know he needed to potty). Amazing!!!

Judah said "hi" to kids & responded to kids greeting him as well while he was out with his aide today.

Judah missed fish oil, 1/2 bethanechol (just got it), didn't do eye drop or rash med. Also missed probiotic. Didn't give him Miralax (we are working towards phasing that out & adding more oxy-mag and senna as needed - much more natural). Missed glutathione (nebulizer). Haven't done that for nearly a week - need to get more.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Volunteering In The Wrong Classroom

Volunteer day at Sebastian's school went well. I walked into his class & sat down in a tiny chair, where I had a good view of la maestra conducting class. The kids were gathered on the large rug in front of her. There happened to be another volunteer there. I asked her if her kid was in the class. She said that her kid was in the other teacher's class & added that the class in front of us was her child's class. I looked down to find Sebastian & quickly realized that he was not on the rug. I casually slipped out & found him next door.

There were 7 kids total in Sebastian's reading group, including him. The woman teaching them was a volunteer, another child's mom. There were four reading groups. The teacher (the other dual language teacher, not his regular teacher) taught one group and I don't know who the other 2 ladies teaching were. I really liked the woman teaching Sebastian's group. I sat with them & helped when I could. I helped the kid next to Sebastian read his book. I read the entire thing, pointing to each word, when I finally understood that he didn't know how to read & only spoke Spanish. Sebastian looked at me when I started reading and said, "Molly, I don't think you know how to read Spanish." I kept reading & Sebastian didn't say another word about it. How different the school environment can make you! Sebastian read more than he did during his last reading group, according to the lady instructing them. She said that she could hear him this time. I heard him too, he wasn't repeating a lot of the words that were being read, but he was repeating some & with confidence. Even though that was my first time in his reading group, I still knew for certain that there had been definite progress with him.

And progress turned up when his usual maestra taught as well! She drew sticks for one exercise. She called upon the child whose name was on the stick she drew. She drew every single stick. Sebastian's turn was near the end. The students had to use at least one of the "S" words that the teacher had written on the large paper behind them & create a sentence with it that contained at least one adjective about it. La maestra did not allow any repetitive sentences. There were less than 10 "S" words to choose from and 30 kids so they had to get creative pretty quickly! I was nervous for Sebastian, but found out there was no need to be. She called on him. He thought for all of 6 seconds and then said, "El sol es grande." Nicely done!!

Sebastian was tense during reading group, but the level of confidence he had during his regular class had gone up. He did the alphabet loudly with his class, doing all of the movements they do for each letter. That he had learned in kindergarten.

It was 11am and Sebastian's class appeared to be heading to lunch. I didn't actually know what she had just told them to get in line for, but I did see 2 kids, each holding one side of a large laundry basket full of lunch boxes. I assumed wrong. They were heading to P.E. to run the track & learn about flash football. Before I left to find them at P.E. I talked with the other volunteer who had just shown up. She was able to explain the homework that was so puzzling to Gramma & I. Her daughter had been able to explain it to her well enough for her to figure it out. Turns out they speak Spanish at home, which might be what helped the girl understand her homework directions. But she still wasn't able to tell her mom that it was only practice & that they didn't have to return any of the work they had brought home so far. I know this because her mom asked about this stuff when the teacher came back into the room. The teacher said they will have real homework later, including 20 minutes of reading every night in either Spanish or English.

The teacher hadn't looked at me once when I had sat down to watch the wrong class in the beginning. When the other parent & I questioned her about homework it was obvious that she was being more delightful with the other lady. I am hesitant to think that the principal went to her with our names & concerns. I am betting that la maestra just figured it out. She hasn't emailed me back at all since then. I emailed her yesterday & the day before. The only other time I've emailed her, she returned my email in under 12 hours. So there's that, sigh.

The other dual language teacher was very sweet. I could easily see why my friend had described this teacher to be very "motherly". Her son had been in her class the year before.

Willow refused to walk down the sidewalk when we arrived at Sebastian's school for pick-up. The only way she would continue down the sidewalk was on her hands and feet, jumping like a frog & saying "ribbit, ribbit". Sebastian was upset because we walked around the building in a way that he could see us from his classroom. He said that it reminded him of crying at kindergarten & made him upset. He had also been very upset when I had left from volunteering. I had to get a teacher to walk him to the playground. Turns out he cried through recess & part of class. He told me this when he pulled out a little green card from his backpack. It had a smiley face and a man's name on it. According to Sebastian, that's who you go to when you need a smile. I am assuming this guy is a counselor, but I'm calling tomorrow to make sure & just to see what happened. Sebastian had a substitute teacher the rest of the day after recess, a teacher who taught in English & knew a little Spanish. Even this didn't calm him down. Although he did say it was much better with an English speaking teacher.

While I was with Sebastian at lunch, the teacher announced that all of the students needed to sit "boy girl boy girl". I asked Sebastian why they had to do that & he told me that he thinks it's because it makes the kids quieter. Lunch is a break to eat, relax & chat with friends... right? Maybe I'm crazy. I enjoyed talking with his classmates that were sitting with us at lunch. We discussed of course, Halloween costumes. Apparently Star Wars costumes are going to be big this year. One boy that I hadn't heard speak all day got excited and spoke up when Halloween was mentioned! I talked about Monopoly with one of the kids, apparently there's a Star Wars Monopoly that kids Sebastian's age can play. The girl that came to sit by Sebastian to complete our "boy girl" pattern is a kid that I always end up talking to when I volunteer, usually her doing. She let me know what class was at each table & explained a couple of lunch rules to me, as well as told me about an old friend of hers from preschool, haha. A few kids told Sebastian that we needed to be at the "special table", where kids sit when they have an adult visiting at school. Sebastian didn't like that & gave the last one a very irritated look. I let these children know that I wanted to sit with Sebastian & his friends instead, ha. Lunch rules... sheesh!!!

We had a fill-in aide here today with Judah, along with a new aide shadowing her. They were really fun & sweet. Judah's regular aide was in for a few hours before these 2 arrived. Judah hadn't seen his regular aide in a while. He screamed when he heard her voice after she walked through the door. He was excited to see her. She bragged about a couple of things she had seen & heard him do within the first ten minutes she had arrived. Later they went to the park where Judah approached a little boy saying, "Hi!" Judah & the little boy spent time playing together at the park.

Judah refused to get up off the ground in the school parking lot this morning after he learned that his regular aide would be coming today. He said her name a few times during this rebuttal. One of the teacher's aides came up to save the day. He was happy after school. The teacher told me, "He was awesome." and gave me a big "thumbs up".

I've felt like crap all day. Congestion, runny nose, cough, etc. It is really sticking around!! Everyone else in the house has some form of it as well. It seems to be taking it's toll on Scott & I the most. We're old though. ;)

Judah missed fish oil, coconut butter, vitamin b-6 not needed as he took recently. Missed beta, Iron-up & vitamin d.

He had his rash med & had no bowel movements.