Monday, October 20, 2014

31 for 21: #20

Hands.  Those little hands.

I remember those hands curling around my index finger when he was an infant.

I remember those hands playing with my hair when I would rock him to sleep.

I remember helping those hands do the motions for "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" and "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".

I remember wondering what those little hands would be able to do.........stack blocks?  Turn knobs?  Zip up a coat?  Hold a cup?  Use a fork?  Paint a picture?  Turn the pages in a book?  Pick up food?  Toss a coin?  Dump leaves into the waste container?  Hang up a back pack?  Manipulate an iPad?  Write a name?

Hands.  Those little hands.

They do all of those things now.

In the future I suspect they will do more.....high five a classmate, put books in a locker, raise one to answer a teacher's question, dribble a basketball, empty the dishwasher, make a bed, tie shoes, hold the hand of a special gal.

But I was the first one that got to hold those little hands.  And I'm still the one that gets to hold those little hands when we cross the street or take a walk.

I love those little hands.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 for 21: #19

Whenever we go to the Mall of America, Owen HAS to go to the large water feature/fountain.  He demands some change so he can throw it in, so I try to save any coins I might have just for his amusement.  He likes it most when the coins make noise as they bounce off of something.  Luckily he hasn't hit me or another shopping patron.........yet!

Oh yes, lots of coins for me!

So happy that I got to throw my coins away!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 for 21: #18

In the afternoon when Owen gets home from school, we do a little homework--about 10 minutes worth.  Sometimes there is something from one of his teachers that needs to be done or it is something I have created for him to work on.  We always do a bit of writing and then we do either a cutting page to work on his scissor grip and control, a little math game to work on number recognition and correspondence or a sight word card matching game.

I'm really proud of how much better his writing has gotten over the last 2+ months that we've really been working on it.  He has a way to go, but it's getting better everyday.  Slow and steady.......slow and steady....really does win the race.  For awhile we (private OT, spec. ed. teacher and myself) were trying to get him to choose one hand dominance because he just wanted to use both hands all the time.  During the summer, he finally chose and ..........he's a lefty!  Of course, Dad is a lefty too, so once again, Mom is left in the dark.  Hmpph.

As you can see, Owen is doing pretty well writing his own name.  When we do hand over hand, I can feel every movement he makes and he knows how to make the letters.  I barely hold his hand and just say each letter and off he goes.  The right hand side are the sight words and letters his entire class is working on.  Again, I can simply rattle off the letters and he will move the pen to write them.  Holding his hand is really only for pen grip/control.  He doesn't need me to help him shape anything....he knows his stuff.  I am hoping by the end of the school year that he won't need any hand over hand assistance.

Friday, October 17, 2014

31 for 21: #17

We've been going to the therapy center for nearly 5 years now.  Owen knows all the therapists and office staff.  He knows where everything is--the gym, the kitchen area, the snack cabinet, various therapists' rooms.  He also thinks he's in charge!  One of the front desk workers, Jackie, loves to let him sit at the desk as if he works there.  I always tell wouldn't want him to work here, he's a disaster and will likely use the computer to find Youtube for Curious George and baseball.

Always wants me to take more pictures every. single. time!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 for 21: #16

Owen and Solito........two peas in a pod.  They truly are best buds and are so much alike, it's scary!  Having a child with a disability can change a person.  I've seen my husband become a softer person; he cares about Owen's well-being and loves the little boy that he is.  I feel so lucky to have both of them in my life.

Watching home run highlights......what else is new??

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

31 for 21: #15

When Owen was a baby, he was terrified of all of those light up, blow up, talking "things" at stores for holidays--Santa and a sleigh, a shaking witch for Halloween, a floating get the picture.  He would cry, sign all done, sometimes even scream.  So we tried to steer clear of those things at stores.

But last weekend we came up on a display of Halloween ghosts, goblins, witches, and coffins.  And not only did Owen want to see them, but he ended up sitting down in front of a Dracula coffin that opened and closed and signed more each time it closed!  It was too funny to watch.  Then for his final trick, he went over to a very creepy skeleton with glowing eyes and proceeded to point to various body parts and demand that I name them--arm, hand, leg, foot, eyes, teeth.  If nothing else, we had a good anatomy lesson!

More coffin opening and closing, please!

Man, I could sit here all day and watch this guy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

31 for 21: #14

We started swimming lessons again last month but we decided, upon a friend's recommendation (Hi, Anne!), to try a new place that is just about swimming lessons.  It's called Aqua Tots--it's small, friendly, and very focused on swimming and being safe in the water.

We enjoyed our time taking lessons at the YMCA pool, but it's a very distracting place for Owen--lots of other kids taking lessons, lots of yelling, the slide pool with everyone playing around, and of course, being able to see the basketball courts!  He couldn't concentrate and the last 2 swim instructors we had were only so-so in terms of instructing, so I was on the fence about doing more lessons there.

I really like Aqua Tots; O gets his own instructor since he still has to work on being patient and waiting his turn.  He is working hard on getting his arms moving, but he's been wearing goggles, putting his whole face in the water, floating on his back with little to no support, and jumping in and swimming about 2 feet to an instructor.  So, he's getting the hang of it and just needs to keep practicing.

I fully expect his wall to be filled with Special Olympics swimming medals in the coming years!

He kept signing more when I took his picture, so I had to oblige him.

Monday, October 13, 2014

31 for 21: #13

When Owen was born, I didn't know what he would be able to accomplish.  I was always worried about things like eating and walking.  And walking did take awhile and we saw a physical therapist for over a year before Owen finally had the strength to bring himself to his feet and stand and then finally take those steps.  I'll never forget July 26, 2011 because that was the day that he finally let go of his push toy and walked on his wobbly little legs over to me.

And now?  Well. we don't really walk........we RUN!

This is typically my view when we are out on a hike....always ahead of me!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

31 for 21: #12

We went to one of our local home and garden places yesterday and they had a fall fair with a free petting zoo.  Owen has always liked animals but has been scared to ever get really close up to them.  Until now!  He was really into checking the animals out and he loved this little pony that was there, petting it on the mane area and laughing when the pony shook its mane because of a fly.

Hey there, Mr. Horse!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

31 for 21: #11--A First

Well, we finally punched our ER virgin card Thursday night.  Owen had been coughing for a couple of days, so I figured he had a cold.  It was keeping him up at night even with some cough syrup, so I kept him home from school on Thursday so he could rest.  He was up and down that day but didn't want to take a nap, which he probably should have done.

He went to bed at 8pm and seemed fine.  3 hours later, as I'm getting ready to go to bed, I checked in on him.  His breathing was not like it is when he has cold--it sounded like he couldn't catch his breath and I could hear some wheezing.  I just knew this wasn't just a cold, so I pulled him from bed and the three of us hustled to Children's Hospital in St. Paul.

We were checked in right away and the nurse suspected croup.  We waited for a little bit before being taken back to a room and a little longer to see a doctor, who confirmed the nurse's suspicion.  Owen got an oral steroid and a nebulizer full of epinephrine as well as some pain reliever for his fever.  

We've never had croup before, which might seem odd since a lot of kids have had it.  Somehow we by-passed that one.......until now!  He is on the mend; the steroid is working.  He only gets upset when he coughs because his vocal cords are swollen and it is sad when he tries to talk because it's raspy and high pitched.

I will say with this being our first ER experience late into the night, the staff at Children's was great.  I wasn't sure if I was overreacting or not, but they took everything seriously and answered all of our questions.  I just hope that we don't have visit the ER ever's not on my bucket list!

Watching some late night TV

I might look comfy but I just want to go home!