Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 for 21: #21

It's the 21st of October so.........here are "21 Things About Owen"!

1.   He likes writing.  He is really getting into working on his name and his sight words everyday.

2.  He is a salty snacker--he likes goldfish crackers, tortilla chips, and potato chips.

3.  He loves vanilla ice cream.  Plain, simple, sweet.  Just vanilla.

4.  He conquered the rock wall on his swing set last week.  He doesn't need any help anymore!

5.  He really loves Curious George and understands when something is funny or when George gets in trouble.

6.  He is really getting in the swing of this potty training thing.  He isn't afraid to use public restrooms and several times in the last couple of weeks he has initiated and expressed a need to go.  This is big....really big!

7.  He loves going to the library at school.  He gets excited when he comes home with a new book each week.  It's the first one we read every night before bed.

8.  He understands so many things now without needing to be shown what I'm trying to indicate to him.  I can say things like "put your letter tiles away" or "let's load the dishwasher" and he gets it and comes around to help out.

9.  The kid loves it when I vacuum.  He runs himself into a frenzy and actually has a fit when I'm done.

10.  He is starting to chose his own clothes in the morning.  He isn't super specific, but he likes to look at some shirts before making a choice.

11.  Sadly, we are moving away from Sesame Street and Elmo.  He is much more into Curious George, Dinosaur Train, and Super Why than ever before.  He is growing up.

12.  He is communicating so much more these days, putting 2 and 3 signs together.  It's not rare anymore to see him request something "more milk, please, Mom" without hesitation.  I'm pretty sure school requires him to use those signs!

13.  He recently decided he isn't afraid of the shower anymore and wants to take one instead of a bath.  Now he's really growing up!

14.  He loves looking at pictures of his class.  His teacher sent home a picture of the class in front of the fire truck from the fire department visit a couple of weeks ago and a recent one from the apple orchard trip.  He likes pointing out his pals, Mrs. B., and himself.

15.  He is majorly in love with "The Incredibles" movie.  I'm pretty sure we're going to have to use that as his birthday party theme.

16.  He is slowly understanding the ideas about Halloween thanks to a bunch of books that we read regularly.  I wouldn't say he's going to care much, but I think he will understand the concept more this year.

17.  He makes up games outside.  His favorite one is to take a bunch of balls up to his clubhouse and drop them down, trying to hit the swing.  Rolling them down the slide is a second favorite choice.

18.  He loves riding the school bus.  He has charmed the bus driver and aide on his bus and he loves to say hi and bye to his friend "C" who sits across from him each day.

19.  He loves the ladies, no doubt about it.  But if you're a blonde, he'll stare at you a bit longer because this gentleman definitely prefers blondes!

20.  He goes through purple, seedless grapes like they're going out of style.  Seriously, I must buy like 3 lbs. a week and he eats every single one!

21.  He still falls asleep every night to a CD of lullabye music I made him when he was just a few weeks old.  I enjoy staying for a few songs while he falls asleep....yes, I'm creepy mom that watches her child sleep.  There's something so innocent about him when he's out!

Me and my bestest buddy ever!

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 them......you 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 ghost.......you 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!