Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Teaching Daddy to Sign (and school meetings)

Yesterday was Judah's IFSP meeting and Sebastian's parent/conference. Judah's annual date is always around the same time the parent/conference meetings are held at Sebastian's school. Last year they were back-to-back as well.

Sebastian's was first. We sat with his teacher for about an hour and talked. His progress report card is showing his proficiency as being limited in most areas, with the exception of counting in sequence and loco motor skills (no kidding). We do have to keep in mind that he is being taught in Spanish his entire day (with the exception of PE & music). The reading proficiency level they believe he is at has nothing to do with how well he reads & comprehends in English. It's his proficiency in reading & comprehending in SPANISH that is being reflected on the progress report. He works hard with Mommy, Daddy & Gramma to keep up with English and is doing well with that. Math is a struggle. It is also taught in Spanish (everything is). We work on that as well. Experience with dual language schools is zero percent for Scott & I. It's beyond challenging to sit down with your kid's teacher (especially your first kid in school) and try to figure out what the odds are of his Spanish taking off (which happens with some kids) and how to comprehend where he is really at because there are so many new scoring systems and confusing levels & his teacher is telling you that he's above some kids & below others.. and her facial expressions don't tell you anything.. there are so many mountains to climb, in every direction you look. Sebastian has no family that is fluent in Spanish. I took Spanish in high school & college and I'm pretty sure Sebastian has already passed me as far as my proficiency goes. I've sat in his class.. there's no way of knowing how he is doing (beyond socializing with his friends).. I can't understand anything she's saying. Today he came home and drew a preying mantis on the window with window markers. He labeled parts of the face & wrote a short paragraph about it. This was all in Spanish. This was not the kid his teacher was describing. That was great to see, but confusing as well.

Judah's meeting began on a super positive note, full of smiles & amazing stories about Judah's progress. When we first began talking about how much he had changed & progressed from last year, his school OT said, "I believe the term 'night & day' applies here." His goals were pretty much all accomplished and we were writing an IFSP for a new kid. It was amazing. Judah's main aide was there as well to chime in. She has connected with his school speech therapist quite a bit. At the meeting, the autism specialist asked her if she would like to meet to talk at some point in the future. His aide was eager to do so.

I just wanted to jot down some of that info in here - the meetings. I was getting a headache during J's meeting and ended up with a bad migraine not long after we got home. Sebastian wasn't feeling well - he actually missed karate. He's pretty awesome at karate. Some of his classes are pretty big & he is definitely one of the best in there. His reading has really progressed as well. Willow's talking is surreal. That pretty much happened over night. She speaks in sentences, coming up with new things to say all day long! I seriously have no idea where she has heard most of the things I hear her say. Sometimes she will ask me, "Does that make sense?" after she says something new, haha. And Judah is a new boy. This entire past week I've been able to ask him things & get a yes or no answer. He enjoys signing & uses his signs throughout the day (for fun & to communicate). He is watching what's going on and learning quickly. He knows his numbers 1-10 and can recognize no matter what the order. He is learning his letters & colors. He loves practicing these things & his sign language. Yesterday he began signing to Scott as Scott was giving him his nightly Qigong massage. Scott didn't understand what the signs were. So Judah grabbed Scott's hands and showed him how to sign what he was signing. He was teaching Daddy!

Sebastian had some outbursts of chaos tonight. He also had some interesting & thought-out apologies. Apologies in general are often surprising to hear from him after these things, so these apologies were really great. He sang some "I'm Sorry" songs for Scott & I, playing the 2 string guitar, which was laying across his lap. He strummed with a green guitar pick that he had just gotten from the music store downtown (his first guitar pick). He had his ball cap on and his head down low as he played. He wrote some apology notes & drawings that he explained were apologies. Those came at a couple different points during the day (they were apologies for smaller events of chaos) & some came in the evening as well. After his biggest outburst (right before bed), he made a chart for me & one for himself - he had drawn rows & rows of empty boxes on each one and put an "S" at the top of his and an "M" at the top of mine. He said those were all of the days we were going to have Mommy/Sebastian time & that we would write in each box what we had done that day. :)

I came up with something I want to make into a bumper sticker someday.. "Save the World, Discover Pinterest" (because you can't throw anything away after you find Pinterest!!!).

Judah has a rash on his face again. I noticed that today. Impetigo may be back but he isn't acting sick.. just seems to have a cold (all of the kids do). Sebastian has an awful sounding cough right now.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Judah was diagnosed with impetigo today. He came home from school yesterday, crying & just wasn't himself. Once home he was fine for a long time. But by early evening the crying and needing to be held kicked in hard again. He also has a bad cold. Today a painful developed on his cheek and next to his eye. We started Bactroban cream tonight- he'll do that 3x day.

Willow is officially a size 8 in shoes! (Toddler size) Her feet grow so fast! She's almost caught up to Judah! He wears size 9! At only 7 years and 4 months, Sebastian is shooting up through his size 7 pants, some he can still wear though. He's  not quite at size 8. I predict that to be next week. And Judah is over 40 pounds and over 40 inches. He's growing. Even though he has been feeling awful, he's been eating like a horse!! Not grass... just eating a lot. ;)

The other night we were doing Judah's shot. Willow just would not sleep- she followed us in and tried hard to see what we were doing. "What are you doing? What are you doing to Judah??" After we were done she says, "You attacking Judah's body?" HA! Poor little thing was so concerned. :(

Willow took over our bed the other day.


Friday, November 14, 2014

The Woman Behind The Curtain

This is un-edited & I'm so exhausted.. i'm sure there are grammatical errors & what not everywhere.. I just wanted to write. And honestly, I just don't give a shit, but I do hope you get some enjoyment out of this.

I've had this overwhelming feeling of sadness balled up in my stomach the past 2 days. I couldn't tell you why. I could guess, but even when I'm not thinking about those things the feeling sometimes shows up. It's really weird. It really sucks!!!

Judah intentionally pulled my hair today & was intentionally trying to hurt the aide. She said this started a couple of days ago. She has some scratches on her arm.

Sebastian continues to be crazy right before bedtime. He just turns into another kid who doesn't seem to understand what he is supposed to be doing so he chooses the outrageous, harmful behavior instead. It's typically directed at Scott, but affects everyone. I don't understand it. We're trying our best. I feel like we really need to understand it before we can truly help, until then we are pretty much just shooting at a target with our eyes covered. Right now the plan is to have Scott spend more time with Sebastian one-on-one. I am really hopeful that this will bring about a big change. I could see this helping. But again, shot in the dark.. fingers crossed.

I volunteered in Sebastian's classroom for half the day. His teacher gave me a pile of work to take home - things for Sebastian to work on at home to help him practice reading, writing & math. I worked with a little girl in his class today. Her math skills were really close to where his are and most of her numbers were backwards. I paid attention to the behaviors of his peers & saw that most of them were taking things seriously about 15-20% of the time & the rest of the time were just having fun. My point being, they all seemed very similar to what we've been in seeing in Sebastian in a few big ways. His teacher says he is raising his hand more & is more confident. The principal pulled me aside when I was trying to stay within the stream of children heading outside to meet their parents. She told me that she sees him looking much happier and smiling a lot. What I saw of him in the classroom was that he was fairly reserved, looking down most of the time & seemed like he was doing what he was supposed to but wasn't really enjoying the moments in between like most of his peers were. We did music & P.E. next. Those classes were much funner of course. He danced & sang in music. He raised his hand to tell the teacher how the song had made him feel when the teacher had asked the class. "It made me feel tired." haha. Another kid said slowly, "It made me feel... like I was in a spooky house.." First graders have such personality & imagination. I just adore those kids.

During P.E. the kids played games in the gym. They were hysterical! "Where's Waldo" and another one, which Sebastian was picked to be a team leader on. The teachers in both music & P.E. both mentioned to the class that he was being good.. amongst other kids of course, but he was usually mentioned. Many kids didn't have tennis shoes on. They have P.E. four times a week, for just 30 minutes at a time. Every 2 minutes a kid was falling down or sliding across the floor. It was so funny! It looked like they were running on ice! And they were never hurt - they're kids, but they were constantly falling down! The teacher never once checked on any of them.. most of the time the kid bounced back up in seconds, smiling & laughing. But sometimes a kid wouldn't immediately get up but instead lay on the floor, posing dramatically or just taking a breather. Again, I adore these kids.

The aide took J. to Super Bounce. He made a friend and was taking the initiative on encouraging him to go down the big slide.

Last night I went to see Dr. Silva speak. She is the woman doing the Qigong research studies. She's really well known. It was only an hour long & unfortunately there wasn't much said that I wasn't already aware of. Most of what she was saying could have been summed up in 30 minutes. Even more unfortunate was the sound of crickets when she asked if anyone had questions. I was sitting there thinking.. "This is the woman behind the curtain people!!" She didn't even make an appearance at the research meetings - we could only watch her on video! She is highly spoken about & very well known. My kid has a new life because of this massage that she teaches & studies! Why the hell weren't there 20 hands in the air??! It wasn't a large turnout - maybe 50 people? They raffled off a few of her books & dvds. I didn't win any, but I already have both.

Anyway, someone finally asked a question, breaking the dead silence. Then the guy at my table raised his hand. Then more silence. I had been trying to come up with a question, just because I am so fond & enormously appreciative of this woman. I was baffled that she wasn't getting questions!! No one had been asking them throughout the presentation either! So I threw my hand up & decided to act as if I didn't understand what she had said about how it was best for both parents to be involved in doing the massage. I told her that my husband does the massage & that I honestly thought that he did it better. "So you're saying that my child would benefit even more if I did his massage too?" (that was basically my question). Since she looked puzzled when I said Scott did the massage better I felt the need to explain.. "Well, you know, his hands are bigger and stronger.." and before I knew it I was seriously sounding like I was telling the room how handsome & sexy my husband was as I continued to describe his hands & muscular abilities, lol. All I wanted to do was give her a question. She looked more & more confused as I babbled on. The ladies in front of me had turned around to look at me.. but eventually turned back.. likely thinking, "okay.. we won't look at you anymore.. it's gone on long enough.. and now we just feel bad for you", haha. Anyway, Silva responded to me by explaining that sometimes parents are afraid to touch because they too are on the spectrum, they just don't know it. "But I don't get that from you", she said. I was seriously excited because the amazing Dr. Silva was going to analyze me! Holy crap! "From you I see a lack of self-confidence..." and then she added completely unnecessarily, "which is sad". Ha!! She's right, my self-confidence isn't bounding, but I was asking a question in a room full of people, sounding like a complete ass, telling the room how sexy my husband was.. all just to give her a question! I felt bad for her! She deserved questions!! (And I also just wanted a chance to speak to her.) Who does that?!?! And then she announces to the room that I have low self-confidence, and boy is that sad!! hahaaa. She also recommended that I seek help & find a therapist. hahaha, I'm dead serious.

You know what's amazing though. And I swear on everything, I was not at all offended or embarrassed. Her comments just rolled off my back. I was still sitting there listening & engaging. Two minutes later someone mentioned something that I felt the need to chime in about.. I didn't raise my hand.. I just spoke, "It's part of our routine. Daddy does the massage.. Mommy takes care of the other two.." And I wasn't uncomfortable in sharing this. And the ladies in front of me were now nodding their heads as if they were in agreement. ??? And the famous Dr. Silva proclaimed, "Well THAT is okay." hahah, what?!? Interestingly enough - and I had honestly NEVER thought of this.. I couldn't count the number of times it was mentioned in those handful of questions about how the man has more control and is sometimes the best person to do the massage. I swear. Even she herself said it!

Anyway, I laugh to the point of tears when I think about that story. Which is good. Because I need something to laugh about.

At gymnastics a couple weeks ago I had to go out in the gym & do Judah's gymnastics with him.. not sure if I mentioned that one in here or not. The small crowd of parents got to watch me look like a total asshat jumping down the trampoline, trying to keep my balance. I haven't been on a trampoline since I was ten!! Of course that was a day that we brought the aide, the other 2 kids & Scott was there too. Might as well have sent out invitations to the spotlight on my awkwardness!

Seven years ago these kinds of things would have temporarily traumatized me (if there is such a thing). Something even less embarrassing than the gym thing happened to me when I was in my 20's and it bothered me for years. I was upset about that for YEARS. Maybe it was going into battle for my little boy with special needs.. a realized life-long battle & heartache.. maybe it's having 3 kids.. maybe it was giving birth.. maybe I became an adult at some point... I don't know. But somewhere along the way I stopped giving a shit. Did I ever talk about the time Judah pulled my shirt down in Wal-Mart? I pulled it back up, closed my jacket, muttered a curse word and continued waiting in the check-out line. Instead of being embarrassed about it, I shared the story with friends.. who all got a big laugh. I guess life events that would have been pure humiliation for me in the past have now blossomed into opportunities to spread laughter, and laughter feels incredible. Hopefully I'm somehow spreading the reminder that we are all human. And that honestly, nobody really gives a shit.. I promise.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gramma & Sebastian Today - Written by Gramma

Post written by Gramma..

My printer isn't working so I will just email you how Sebastian did tonight. We read a book that we got him in WY about a chipmunk who lives in a museum. He learns how to figure out math concepts and recognize shapes in art. We did a few math problems in the book.  We walked over to the Hallie Ford museum as there's an exhibit that I think he'd like intending to do a math and word walk but it was closed for a class. We will try again on Wednesday.

Then we headed back to my office where we did some work on colors moving from English to Spanish. We worked on his N words and he wrote two sentences and read the other three, translating them from Spanish into English. Well done! 

We discussed the rule, "when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking," to get him to understand "ee" and "ea" sounds. He did well! We began lesson 9 which introduces "ar" words and some new sight words. "You" is the big one. He traced it, repeated it, and then closed his eyes to photograph it into his mind. He said he'd photographed the picture of the girl sitting beside the word, too. HA.

He's getting good at filling in blanks to a sentence which teaches comprehension. He wrote two sentences in his home writing notebook. I kept the numbers book for Wednesday when we'll go at the math harder. His understanding of addition and subtraction is growing.

Supper at Pita Pit. He loves that place.

Karate was challenging! They did some complicated moves, kicked the punch bags, dropped to the floor and sprang up again, and must have been exhausted at the end. A real work out. One thing he might work on at home is "right," and "left." He kept getting confused. I thought he knew those pretty well so maybe it was just a mix up that threw him off a bit. But, he's probably one of the few in the group who've not been through the moves before and he did great. His other two patches are on order so when I get them, I'll sew all four on his second uniform.

Feel better everyone!! Hi Willow! Hi Judah!! love, Monka

Lone Survivor

Sebastian was sick the 6th & 7th.
Judah started getting sick yesterday (9th) and was sick all day today (the 10th).
Willow started getting sick on the 7th and was sick all day on the 8th.

After the second full day it seems to linger a bit. They all had fevers the first two days, were very tired, sore throats too.

Sebastian was out of control tonight. Scott was giving him positive attention, looking at the work he had done with Gramma today, etc. Then Sebastian got on Willow's ride-on toy (something he knows he isn't supposed to do - constantly doing this and it seems to be without him even realizing that he's doing it, constantly being told to get off of the toy). He was told to get off of the toy and then it quickly escalated into Sebastian riding on any toy he could find, making very loud noises/chants/songs & laughing hysterically.. Judah was on the floor not long after this began, covering his ears & crying. Scott pointed this out to Sebastian - nothing slowed down, Sebastian's behavior continued to escalate out of control. Sebastian later apologized to Daddy & Judah after he had been in his room calming down for a few minutes. "Judah I'm sorry that I was being so loud & scared you like a monster."

I've had a headache today. Scott was feverish yesterday & is starting to get better - missed work today. Willow seems much better. Sebastian spent 3pm on with Gramma - working on reading, etc. and then went to karate with them. We told the aide not to come in since Judah was sick. I forgot she only worked through early afternoon and that another aide came in at that time. The other aide called in - less than 10 minutes before her shift was to start - telling me that her mom was sick so she couldn't come in, and that she had heard Judah was sick anyway. Mom, Dad.. please let me know when you are sick in the future so I can call into work (if I am employed that is). I'm sure that must apply to in-law parents as well. ;) She's the same one who called in because she got her period. haha.

The past few days Judah has been carrying around one of his sign language books & reading it. He knows all of the signs in it by heart now. He also knows the flashcard signs (the cards go with the book). We need the next Signing Time books (Mom is looking into purchasing these). The next Signing Time dvds are needed as well - I found someone who might be able to help us out with that and it would be for free (just one Mom relating to another Mom's situation).

Sebastian's handwriting is improving a lot. His teacher is no longer sending home classwork for the following day. She hasn't been for weeks, not sure why. Maybe there are no sentences to send anymore?

I need to volunteer in Sebastian's class again very soon. During the field trip on Halloween the teacher & I discussed Sebastian's attention span. She told me that she could explain things in English repeatedly but Sebastian wouldn't do it until she showed him how - doing it herself. Then he would do a bit & then suddenly stare off into space. This made me sad.

Judah missed his massage tonight. He was pretty lethargic - has been all day. He drank a smoothie & ate a handful of Veggie Straws. He had apple sauce today as well. He missed his fish oil, nebulizer (still need gluta), folinic acid in shot (still need some), iron up & b-6 (I've been doing these 2 daily really well lately) and probably missed his beta. We are out of Miralax and in desperate need of some to get his bm's going daily. He usually has one every other day or daily - but has missed 2 days in a row lately  (a number of times). Only had pain 2 days (a couple weeks ago) and that was when we were out a lot. He is still pooping in diaper, wetting the bed every night (lake-size quantity) and going potty completely on his own (pee) every day, no prompting needed.

Judah had no bm.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sick Sebastian

Today Willow, Judah & myself spent 2 hours trying to get out of the house. This isn't anything new. I literally had to lock myself in my bedroom just to get dressed.

Sebastian wasn't feeling well today - the school called me to go get him. I had Judah & Willow with me, so Scott offered to meet me at the school to help. Unfortunately Scott took forever to get there & I ended up just going in with the kids. Willow made it through the first school entrance door and then threw a fit because I wouldn't allow her to open the second door on her own. So she laid in the entryway, screaming & crying, while Judah walked up to the office, leaned over the counter and said something like, "Hi! What are you doing?" He was happy & very chatty! He took Sebastian's hand and walked him outside. I had to carry Willow out. The next meltdown happened at the van. Judah didn't understand that Sebastian was sick & we needed to go home. He refused to get in. Now he was kicking & screaming.. even on the ground in the parking lot at one point (rainy day). As I had finally almost gotten him into his car seat, I look over to see Scott driving up. I notice the front license plate hanging a bit sideways. He was late because he had gotten into a small fender-bender. He was fine, just upset.

Sebastian spent the rest of the day on the couch - feverish, tired & achy.

The massage therapist came over to show Scott J's massage study results (the amount of change in specific areas since we first began doing the massage). He wasn't there when she had brought them the first time. We all gave Judah a nice long massage. He nearly fell asleep! I'd never seen him melt away like that before during his massage - and quickly too!! The results were beautiful - but you would've guessed that I'm sure.

Judah had a phenomenal day, understanding so much & responding appropriately. He again asked me to watch Toy Story while he waited (for food), "Toy Story while wait?". He wanted his picture taken, posing & running back to see what the picture looked like on the camera. Willow & J were wrestling a lot today- hugging a lot, best friends forever. I told Judah to tell me what he wanted. I wanted him to say the full sentence. Typically I say the sentence first & he repeats it, but he just did it on his own today! Sometimes he says part of it, but today he just said it like he knew exactly what I was asking him to do - which he obviously did.

Some pics from today below. Sebastian was sad that he couldn't join in the jumping off the couch fun. He wanted me to take his picture but told me to wait until his tears "went back up", ha.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Surrounded In Signing

Toy Story of Terror came on television recently. It pops up on cable around Halloween time. We DVRed it & Judah wants to watch it every day lately! He kept asking to see it when he got home from school, but I needed him to eat lunch so he could be ready to go when his aide arrived. He asked at another time too, but again it was time for him to be doing something else. He & Willow were waiting for me to make their dinner. I had let them know that was what I was doing. Judah came into the kitchen and said (probably incredibly determined to watch Toy Story at this point, haha), "Toy Story why waiting?" As Judah's mom I can tell you that his words were equivalent to - "Can we watch Toy Story while we are waiting?" It was unreal. I kissed him & praised him & immediately turned on Toy Story of Terror!!

I posted an "ISO" in a FB selling group tonight. ISO = In Search Of. My ISO was for ASL material. Never would I have guessed how many responses I would get! In about an hour's time a river of responses began to flood underneath my post. These were ideas, people offering to help, people offering ASL items, etc. The one person who had books to sell even came up with one she could give me for free when I told her I couldn't afford her books (they were college text books). From what I've heard & seen, there is a pretty large deaf community in the Salem area. Add to that people using sign language to communicate with their babies & people with various disabilities using sign language and you've probably got a fairly substantial amount of resources & help floating around nearby! The trick is to find it! Just like autism, there are people everywhere who are raising kids with autism.. but finding them is not easy by any means.

Below are some of the responses I received..

  • I has some sign kids and adults too in storage box
  • Yes they are expensive (Baby Sign Language) but keep an eye out as they do have deals and bundles often especially around the holidays. I think Netflix has some too now that you can stream...
  •  I know ASL and would be willing to help in anyway.
  • I am Deaf and have been using ASL for my whole life, let me know if you need help with anything. :)
  • Also Willamette education school district does have sign language teachers to visit babies to 5 yrs old at homes also help parents to learn too!
              ?!?!?!?! - my brain's response to the comment above
  • You might be able to check out the Signing Time videos at the public library.
  •  I have ABC poster but it tear down. I can give it to you free you can tape it together because I have extra poster. Also I saw sign language book at upon a child store few days ago
  • Once Upon A Child is a children's resale shop.
  • You tube also has lots signing times videos and ill PM you some more info
  • I don't know if you checked it out but netflix has a show called signing time geared towards kids
  •  Are you familiar with Camp Taloali? It's located right outside of Stayton on Hwy 22. It's a camp for deaf and hearing impaired students. The staff is super nice and they would probably be a wealth of resources as well as connecting you with other families who sign.
  • Oregon School for the Deaf, has all kinds of resources and can answer any questions you may have.
These folks were messaging me with ideas & info as well. One woman lives in our neighborhood, has taken 8 years of ASL classes & said she would be happy to help however she could. She has offered to give us some sign language dvds. She recommended music as well - even sharing the name of a lady in W. Salem that runs some type of music program that might be helpful for Judah. She highly recommended her.  

These people totally made my day.
Judah was signing to me in the van. One sign at a time, then he wanted me to say what he was signing. He was on probably the 6th sign and it was something I didn't know. A few guesses later he smiled, letting me know that I had finally guessed it. He is really getting it down!! I found some other sign language cards that we hadn't shown him yet. A friend had given them to me months ago. I had his aide work on those with him today. He really enjoyed them - there were lots of new signs! Although I'm not sure he'll need to use the sign for "mouse" or "horse" anytime soon, haha. Hopefully not the mouse anyway!!!
Sebastian had some behaviors last night & this morning. Scott & I are going crazy. After school Sebastian worked hard to stay calm. He got upset not long after he got home because of some confusion as to what I was asking him to do. It took a bit, & any other day it would have likely escalated out of control, but he worked hard to calm down & was able to move on & have a good rest of the day. He did his reading & sentences before karate & dinner. He pulled weeds in the garden. And he wasn't nearly as loco at bedtime as usual.
Willow has been using so many new sentences today. We were putting window clings on the playroom windows with the aide this afternoon. They were numbers, shapes & letters for the kids to use. Willow & Judah were sticking them on & Willow says.. "This is really hard." She continued on though, even after we had all left the room! She stayed in there for another 20 minutes! She told the aide, "Bye...(insert Chinese name here)." clear as day, twice!

Judah missed his shot last night since I went to bed early. It looks like Scott is doing the early bedtime tonight.

Judah didn't poop today (that I know of!). He missed his fish oil, nebulizer (we need to call again to see if they can fill gluta script yet). Scott did his skin rash med. J's rash isn't looking so good, hasn't gone away in a week or so. We may need to go back to dermatologist. We also need to start eye drops again. The eye doctor said his eye condition has improved a lot and told us to continue with what we were able to do (eye drops once a week). I can see his affected eye beginning to lose that strength as we haven't done it in so long.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Match Card!

Yes, I realize gaps are starting to form between blog posts. I feel really selfish about not blogging, but it does give me more time & ultimately makes for a happier Molly. There are days though, when writing makes me feel really good.. and on those days, I blog. Blogging every day is a struggle.. because once I start writing it's hard to stop.. and as I'm writing I'm reminded of other things that happened that day that would be good to include.. and then I go back and re-read what I've written.. and I correct things and add better descriptions.. and when it's all said & done, I've spent 3 hours of my night typing on a computer. 3 hours blogging about everything that happened that day.. which I've already lived, my kids have already lived.. we've all already lived. I want those 3 hours to connect with my husband, to do things that need to be done around the house, to come up with ideas on how to help each of my children enjoy life more.. which would obviously help them to progress more as well. I want to do art. That's one of the best feelings for me.. calmness, creativity, excitement, sharing.. I love art. I don't want to blog every day. I want to do art every day. And I honestly do feel like a selfish a-hole for not writing in here on a daily basis anymore. Blogging daily doesn't feel right to me.

My parents didn't blog when I was a kid. That didn't make my childhood memories disappear when I hit 30. It took over 3 hours to mow our damn lawn. Even if the internet had existed at that time, they wouldn't have had time to blog! My mom always had a long drive to & from work. And she worked late a lot. Blog time would not have happened for most people that had that lifestyle - but my mom has some kind of magical powers that allow her to work & work & work.. she has unexplainable motivation. She would have found blog time, somehow. She made books for each of us when we were little. We each had a story that she had written about us. I wonder where those ended up. My brothers & I went to work with my dad every day. We came home when he came home. He was our principal. That has nothing to do with blogging, I just felt like sharing. ;)

We went to J's gymnastics yesterday. From there we went to lunch.. and then to the Children's Museum. All of the kids went in for J's gymnastics. They weren't upset or jealous at all! Well, until I was asked to come in & help out. Then Willow got upset. She wanted to go too. Judah was having his first 1 on 1 session. We took the instructors advice and switched him to1:1. We'll try it for a couple months & then maybe go back to group. I'm pretty sure he was upset that his friends weren't there. He had many meltdowns. His aide had come with us. She went in to help. He started yelling for me. I was asked to go in. His instructor told me to jump down the long trampoline, then he would follow (like he did in his group class). Then I had to jump off the trampoline, jump into circles, etc. Ha. It was ridiculous!! Totally didn't see that one coming. She said we would try that for one more session & then see how it goes. She wants to do a social story for him and use me as the last step. So a picture of me would mean that it's time to go home. Man. I'm totally committed now. It's too bad I'm in ridiculously bad shape!

J's aide sat in the back with Sebastian (I offered her the front all day long, I swear!). She helped Sebastian work on his math all the way from Salem to Beaverton (gymnastics) and then from gymnastics to McDonald's in Beaverton and then from McDonald's to the Children's Museum in Portland and then all the way back to Salem! He got frustrated one time (that I saw/heard). She praised him a lot & showed him different ways to do math problems, different ways to think. And he was learning. They had at least 3 notebook pages front & back overflowing with math. His answers were correct the majority of the time on those pages. It was pretty awesome. He was able to teach her a little Spanish throughout the math time as well. This morning I walked into the living room to find the aide again helping Sebastian with his math.. probably for a good half an hour. He was completely dressed (usually this happens after breakfast & isn't a smooth process). She helped him make his breakfast.

Sebastian told me that it was cold inside his school today. "It was like an ice box in there!" He said, "I thought about getting really angry so I could get hot." ha! I told him that wasn't a very good way to get warm. He replies very seriously, "I've done it before." ??! ha!

After school I rewarded Sebastian with some math dry-erase flashcards that I had recently bought. He was happy. Each card has 10 math problems on it. Immediately upon opening them, he made his way through about 7 cards, answering every problem on each card. When he wasn't doing problems right, I would explain how to do them & then ask him for the answer. He would give me the correct answer & then go on to correct his other problems. Not a fuss at all. When he is interested in something & wants to do something, he gives it his all. He must have the same mystery motivation gene that Gramma has. Not long ago, he wanted to learn how to use the pogo-stick. He would be outside on it, wearing his bike helmet & bouncing around the front yard at 7 in the morning every single day, until he finally mastered it. Sebastian is going to do something for J's aide to thank her - I'm trying to help him come up with an idea. He was able to stay focused for over an hour at a time with her. It was insane. I doubt she knows how unbelievable that was. With us he gets frustrated easily & distracted every 10 minutes or sooner.. and obviously progress isn't going to be much at that rate.

Today Judah's aide worked with him on matching. He hadn't seen this matching game in probably a year? The last time I had tried it with him he didn't seem to understand the concept of matching - he didn't know what he was supposed to do. Instead he would pick out a few of the cards (they all have trains on them) and study them. This usually lasted for about 10 mins max. She videotaped him matching today. He did it with EASE and was enjoying it! Even stranger, she was holding her phone right in front of him, recording him & he wasn't bothered one bit! She even warned him beforehand that she was going to video him. Typically he avoids cameras, looks away, walks away. It's just something that makes him really uncomfortable. You would never see him having fun with a video camera a foot away from his face.. and even looking into it from time to time! But today that was the case. And the matching trains (which were different but still all trains, not really that easy to do quickly) was unreal. He did it quickly. She had a lot of the cards out at once and still it didn't phase him. Link below.


Tim, Erin & "my Olive" (as Willow calls her) left yesterday. They were here for a few days. We spent time with Olive at the Children's Museum where they were still doing the Wizard of Oz theme. She had a blast - especially with the make-up! Dave, Mom, Scott, myself & the aide were all there & it was still difficult to keep up with the kids!! We were continuously trying to make sure we had them all in sight & that they were all safe. Five adults & only FOUR kids!

The kids got to trick-or-treat with their cousin Olive, uncle Tim & aunt Erin. I'll throw in some costume pics below.

Sebastian started his black belt classes today. He was one of 3 kids in his basic class asked to move up to the black belt classes. He is enjoying it & doing really well! It's 3 years of work to get to black belt. There's no doubt in my mind that he will keep up with it & do well.

Judah has been getting his supplements & nightly Qigong massage. We are still out of folinic acid and aren't able to get the beta in every day (but we have been lately!!). He has been having some constipation issues again. He was in pain yesterday & the day before (but we were also out & about a lot, doing exciting things, so he was likely holding in what needed to come out). Today he was home with his aide all day. No pain before bowel movement and it came quickly.