Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Buckle Up for Safety

Er, unless you're from California.....Every time we get in the car with the kids, we remind them that we buckle up for safety. Elise has really taken this to heart. This morning, she made sure that Woody was safely buckled in too.

Poor J J Bear (our little yellow travel bear friend) did not get buckled. Guess Jack figured since the 'rents get him all safely buckled up somebody must be buckling up all the other passengers too.

Fortunately, I'm a careful driver and everyone arrived safely at school.

Elise!

Life at the All Access Pass to Jack household is a bit busier these days....Jack's 5 1/2 year old niece, Elise, is hangin' out with us for awhile so we're figuring out life with two kiddos close in age but at very different developmental stages.

The kids are having a blast and we are having sharing adventures!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Letter of the Week: a

I wanted to show you Ms. Sunny's neat little idea of cookies for dots but somebody would put the cookie on the dot 1 for a then just as quickly remove it for his consumption! At least he knows dot 1 and A says /a/ (I think that's how you denote a short a as in cat).

Sweetheart?

Some people call it the terrible twos, others the tyrannical threes. Whatever you call it, the phase has arrived in our household. You know, the one where a child discovers he has so much to tell you but little ability to do so. He wants to do things all by himself but is not quite able. He doesn't need Mama but Mama don't you go anywhere! You experienced Mamas remember this--cuddly, snuggly baby one minute, foot stomping, demanding I don't know what the next!

I'm gonna admit I have cried over this just this morning. It is such a challenging time! BUT when I am able to be centered and calm, I can realize that this such an exciting time of growth and development and that is a good thing!

Please continue to pray for us as we help Jack learn as he moves through this phase that usually occurs when a child has a lot less muscle, strength, and size!

Sweetheart?

Some people call it the terrible twos, others the tyrannical threes. Whatever you call it, the phase has arrived in our household. You know, the one where a child discovers he has so much to tell you but little ability to do so. He wants to do things all by himself but is not quite able. He doesn't need Mama but Mama don't you go anywhere! You experienced Mamas remember this--cuddly, snuggly baby one minute, foot stomping, demanding I don't know what the next!

I'm gonna admit I have cried over this just this morning. It is such a challenging time! BUT when I am able to be centered and calm, I can realize that this such an exciting time of growth and development and that is a good thing!

Please continue to pray for us as we help Jack learn as he moves through this phase that usually occurs when a child has a lot less muscle, strength, and size!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Told You She's the Best EVER!

Jack is writing! Jack's preschool teacher came up with the idea of getting him to make braille letters with his cookies at lunch. He has to put the "dots" (the cookies) in the correct position for the letter of the week before he eats them.

So today was dot 1, dot 3 for k. I'd show it to you but he ate it!
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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shade! S-H-A-D-E Shade!

If we had a big ol concrete floored pavilion in our backyard, he would never want to leave home! Who knews all that fancy playground equipment when you have shade?

Breakfast for a Man-Boy

I jinxed myself a couple of weekends ago as I told my friends how easy Jack is to feed. He has so much congestion that I am not sure he can really discriminate a whole lot between different tastes. His only pickiness revolved around texture. If I could get things the right texture, he would eat them--not always self feed but he would eat.

I continued on telling them how great and easy it was that he would still eat "baby oatmeal" for breakfast every morning. You know the stuff loaded with vitamins and minerals and fiber? "All I have do is add some fruit purree and water and he gets a great start to the day!" I told my friends. Well, shortly after that Jack was pretty sick with an ear infection and would not eat much of anything. As he has recovered, he has slowly but surely begun refusing all such "baby food".

*sniff, sniff* My baby boy is growing up and he is eating like a man!

PS He requested cheese puffs and chicken sticks for breakfast. I politely declined and offered eggs and sausage. As a compromise, he did get his two potato rolls.

Art Wall Re-Invented

Well the art wall never really took off. Jack got a little excited about having his artwork posted but not enough to just fall in love with doing art. So....behold the new letter of the week wall! Can you guess what this week's letter is?

I am trying to make a much greater effort to help Jack realize that those little dots mean something so along with large, tactile print letters, I am posting larger-size braille letters. These large braille letters will help with learning what dot numbers represent which letters (or so I hope). Wish us luck! And if you have any suggestions, feel free to post them!

PS In case, you are wondering our letter sound magnet K is missing. If you have a spare, we'd love to have it!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hooray

He's saying, "Hooray for Peanut Butter & Jelly!"

Hooray for hunger!

Jack: I'm hungry.
Me: Hungry? You are hungry?
J: Yes!
M: Do you want a sandwich?
J:Peanut butter and jelly.
M: You want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
J: Yes. Mama get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, please!

There was a time when I wondered if I would ever get such a complete request.

Who knew a request for a sandwich could be such a blessing?
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It's HOT!

Gotta get in the water!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bye bye Kisses

Jack thought he and his daddy were leaving without me. He hollered, "Mama, kiss!" & stood at top of stairs waiting for a kiss. His daddy has taught him so well!
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How Working from Home Causes Weight Gain

Beware all you teleworkers! I have just spent a small portion of this afternoon working from home using my blackberry for emailing and phone calls and I've gained 47 sickly, ear infected pitiful pounds!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Scripting, Turn-taking, Habit-forming?

I just spent a delightful hour rolling around my bed playing and "talking" with Jack. It was a full hour of back and forth "turn-taking" in conversation. He did not overtalk me and I did not overtalk him so we were quite balanced in our interaction. I talked in short phrases like Jack and often repeated what I heard him say so we were also quite matched and responsive. We shared control--sometimes he introduced a new topic (more on that in a minute) and sometimes I did--so no one dominated the conversation. And, of course, we enjoyed one another's company! So I feel like we scored a big 10 out of 10 on being good "communicating partners".

However, a lot of the "talking" by Jack was scripting. He was repeating lines from books and movies. Some of the phrases I was able to apply to what we were doing and make them more "present". Other times, it was just kind of off the wall but I went with it anyway to keep the conversation going.

Throughout all this scripting and talking, we were able to have a few "real conversations"--actual exchanges of information or just social pleasantry.

I really feel like Jack's social and speech development are taking off like a rocket. I love spending this time talking with him and part of me feels (and I do know) that the investment I am making by engaging in these "non-sensical" conversations now will pay off in the future. Well, I know it will since Jack has more "real conversations" with me than anyone else. He actually talks to me about stuff. He doesn't have these conversations with anyone else.

I know that he is using the scripting to practice talking. He knows the phrases and feels successful and confident in using them. We are forming a great habit of being responsive to another person in conversation.

I am a little concerned though that I might be helping him form a habit of just completely veering off topic during conversation.

Trying to establish a balance is so hard!
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Jack just told his first "lie"

He was sitting on the potty "reading". This often takes awhile so I went to get a cup of coffee.

Suddenly he comes running through the living room.

"Wait," I cry, "I thought you were using the potty."

Jack said, "All done. All done."

M: Not all done. You have to go flush.

J: All done. All done.

M: (kind of incredulous) Did you flush?

J: Yes.

M: You did? Did you flush? (Really incredulous thinking he may have)

J: Yes I did. All done.

Turns out he didn't flush and of course he needed to wash his hands.

I never knew that I would be so excited about my child's first lie! BUT it is such a typical behavior. It's the most natural thing in the world for a five year old to give the "correct" answer (the one they know you want to hear) even if it is not the most factually accurate.

For Jack, this represents so much development. There's the plain old speech aspect of using the language to answer me and the fact that he answered a yes/no question.

But it also shows an awareness of what another person wants and a desire to please. While those characteristics needed to be molded so that it does not result in lying, this is a great sign of desiring to be in relationship with another person! That is HUGE for social development.
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And He often Brings His Pal

ELMO!

Good morning!

Love it when he wakes up all happy and smiley! He jumps up in my bed and rolls around playing, laughing, and talking.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Speaking Jack-ese

Jack is teaching me his language again.

J: d-li-oM: d-li-o

J:(slower this time) d. Li. O

M: d-li-o

J: (even slower) yest-er-day, to-day, d-li-o

M: (very surprised & excited) oh! Tomorrow!

J: yes, d-li-o! T-E-E [his attempt at spelling it]

M: tomorrow. T-O-M-O-R-R-O-W tomorrow!

J: Yay Jack!

What a patient teacher I have!
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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Even Breakfast is Therapy

Jack is great with independently feeding himself finger foods. Utensil use, however, has been a challenge with the exception of his morning oatmeal. At least part of it has to do with his fine motor challenges--small hands with fingers that don't bend.

However, it also recently occurred to us (DOH!) that it is also a visual challenge. Jack has not yet learned to completely accomodate for his lack of depth perception. He often does not use his vision in fine motor tasks--kind of like his brain decided it was too difficult so it took the path of least resistance--and instead feels for things rather than looking.

It occurred to me that he does absolutely fine scooping his oatmeal so perhaps we should try making all of his food spoonable and putting it into a bowl. This worked pretty well for foods that were okay to get mixed up like your meat and veggies. But not so well when things like oatmeal and scrambled eggs with cheese, mushrooms, peppers, and onions got mixed together. Jack wouldn't eat that. (Who blames him?)

Enter the divided plate. We have a bunch of these from taking lunches to work. They are great because they have high sides for ease of scooping and they keep foods seperated.

So far, so good.

If you've got any tips for teaching utensil use to a child with fine motor issues or a visual impairment or both, I'd love to hear them!

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Late Night Concert Courtesy of Coke Zero

So Jack decided today that sodas taste good after all and slurped and slurped my Coke Zero. It's over an hour past usual pass out time and he's giving concerts instead of going to sleep!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Is he too young

to be made to wash and vaccuum my car? Most of it is his mess!

Summer Time--Picnic Time--Upcoming Review

It's a first for All Access Pass to Jack! Y'all know how much Jack loves being outdoors. The folks at CSN Stores have offered us a kid's picnic table to review. With 200+ stores, CSN carries everything from toys and games to mailboxes to sofas.

We are looking forward to using our new picnic table all summer long. Keep your eyes peeled for the review coming soon!

Ready for Water Play

Reason number 5,439,552 I love my son's school: It's water play day! The kids HAVE to come to school dressed in their swimsuits. They really DO believe in learning through play. It's not just something they put in their literature. It's a philosophy at work!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bike Seat with Back

I'm throwing this crazy or maybe not so crazy thought out here on the internet for a little feedback and ideas from all you oh so wise readers.

Jack has fabulous balance. I think anyone who can stand on a green basketball while lightly holding onto a table with one hand that does not grip well has fabulous balance.

He absolutely loves to ride his tricycle. He is a big kid and will soon outgrow his trike. I think he is ready for a bike. He doesn't really like riding his skuut bike (it's one of those walking/training bikes--there's no pedals or chains). I think the problem is that Jack has always preferred to have something against his back when he rides.

He's the same way with swinging. He loves to swing but only if there is a back or it's a big porch swing. You can lay a porch swing flat and he'll still swing on it.

I think he likes the feeling of support. Or maybe he actually needs that bit of extra support to balance out his still large for his body size head when sitting.

I don't know.

Anyway, I am wondering if there is some way to put a tricycle type seat (you know that has a back on it) on a bicycle. Or does it sound like I just need to leave him alone and let him enjoy his trike?

I can't wait to hear your thoughts.
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Who loves finger art?

I do! I do! Jack's little round thumbs make perfect little flower petals!

Publix Potato Roll

Dinner's over. Jack wants a little more to eat. Does he ask for some candy, cookies, or maybe a sugar loaded fruit snack? Nope, a Publix potato roll. He just loves those things!

What rain?

Jack is trying hard to pretend he doesn't feel the rain!