Saturday, October 31, 2009


Don't you wish this sweet face greeted you at breakfast every morning?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Speech Therapy" at the Park

We learned about Dr. James D. MacDonald and his approach to helping children learn to talk from one of Jack’s speech therapists last summer. We began applying the things we learned but didn’t really truly “get it” until after we joined his Yahoo Communicating group and a similar Yahoo group called Natural Late Talkers. I combed through the resources of their file section and dove headfirst into Dr. MacDonald’s book Play to Talk. It changed the way we began to think of not only Jack’s speech therapy but all of his therapy. It made us remember that every person has to go through stages of development. You can’t leap through development. You go through each part before you get to the next. I can post more on that later….
Anyway, we’ve put Dr. MacDonald’s ideas into practice and Jack’s speech continues to flourish. Here’s a little sample of Jack and I having a communicating partners-style conversation at the park. In this video, our conversation does happen to be with words but you can interact with your child non-verbally before words and even after words begin to build a foundation for a child to learn to stay with people, to enjoy people, and to be interested in people.
I’ve included a transcript here of our conversation since some of it is difficult to understand.

M: You gonna swing? (Great vocab, Mom!)
J: Whee
M: (laughs) Whee!
J: Highlights from 5 symphonies (sometimes he smooshes lots of words together. I recognize what he says because it comes from the beginning of Baby Beethoven). Hamster. Hamster (When he thinks of his favorite videos, he thinks of his favorite parts and Baby Beethoven has a hamster that spins on a wheel. These days anything that spins reminds him of the hamster.)
M: Hamster?
J: Doo doo doo doo (more Beethoven)
M: Doo doo doo doo
(Notice we continued to do the “musical exchanges”. These may not be real words but Jack enjoys interacting back and forth this way. See how many “turns” he takes with this?)
J: Swing
M: Swing!
J: Hey shhhh….Hey hey swing
M: Swing!
J: Help
M: Help?
J: Stop
M: Stop?
J: Stop
M: Push? (I was suggesting that he stay on the swing and I push him some more. Since he was using one word phrases, I did too.)
J: Push

J: Stop stop stop
M: Stop?
J: Stop
M: Stop?
J: stop
M: Stop yes? (This is a little bit of a technique called recasting. We are trying to get Jack to learn to answer yes instead of just repeating what he wants.)
J: yes (He’ll answer yes but right now it usually requires prompting. He’ll get there.)

J: Swing. Push.
M: push?
J: All done get out (again smooshing of the words)
M: All done?
J: Da (that could have been stop but sometimes he goes Russian on us and says Da instead of yes.) All done.
M: Stop?
J: Stop. Irish. (It’s his lovey—a green basketball with “Luck of the Irish” on it for those of you who aren’t familiar with Irish.)
M: Now what?
J: Searching. (Jack has visual difficulties and used to just ask us to bring him stuff he wanted. I began encouraging him to help me look by walking around with him saying, “Searching, searching, searching for _____”. It stuck and now whenever Jack wants to look for something he says “Searching”)
M: We didn’t bring Irish.
J: Go go. (There are certain words and phrases he tends to repeat. Go is usually go go and sit down is usually sit down sit down.)
M: You want to go? (Sometimes he’ll actually say “I want _____”)
J: Irish. Please (we were kind of overlapping here at the end)
M: Go get Irish?
J: Please. (Instead of saying yes he will either repeat what you say or say please.)

Cotton Pickin' Food!

What else? Ham buh guh

Why Jack needs a car vaccuum 4 Christmas

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cutie at the park

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Festival

If you follow my twitter feed, you know we went to a fall festival a few weeks back. We had a good time just being out in the fresh air. Although, we made a critical error when we chose our first ride. We all rode the tilt a whirl first. Here's Jack watching it go round and round.
We were actually a little dizzy so we took a break to get something to eat and drink. That took a whole lot longer than we thought it would.
Jack got to drive a couple of older boys around for a bit. Then he drove a boat. I thought he liked the boat. David wasn't so sure. You decide!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Labelling and other Developments

When I went to pick up Jack at school today, he was so excited. He said
Nana(Imagine making the "n" sound kind of in the back of your throat and the
"a" sounds just like the a in Mama. It's the way Jack says Mama). I said,
"Hey Jack" and we shared a sweet hug. Then he backed up and with a huge grin
he reached down and said, "Rocks" as he felt the mulch. Jack is visually
impaired and I guess playground mulch might feel a lot like little rocks. I
said, "Rocks? Mulch" so he said "noch" (long o). Next he walked toward the
little playhouse and extended his arm to point and said "House!" Then as we
were leaving, he happily announced, "We go shopping!" as he pulled my hand.
We were actually headed to the park and when I told him he said, "Pok!
Pwgw!" (Park! Plaground!) We got to the park and he said "Gidut"(Get out--as
in get out of the car). I helped him out of his seat and he said "Pokn not"
(Parking lot) pointed at a wall and said "Tosh duwol" (Touch the wall). The
labelling continued at the park with a few phrases thrown in to get me to
slide with him, take him over to a bridge he likes to play on, run with him,
sit with him, help him swing, etc. He climbed up the playground equipment
and only once did he get anywhere near stepping off an open platform into
empty space. He's getting better about slowing down for his own safety. You
can actually see him trying to determine the height of things. And he's
getting bolder about doing things on his own. He's still in that check in
with Mama stage and Mama's my favorite playmate stage but he seems to be
quickly moving forward. Today, there was a little girl at the playground. At
first, she was quietly hanging around us and Jack did not see her. For some
reason Jack did see her when she was leaving with her mom. He noticed her
and yelled out "Siddow, siddow" (sit down, sit down). I think he was trying
to get her to stop and play with him. My little guy is growing up.
I'd love to hear. What are your kids up to?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snapshots of Sleep--Not completely Wordless Wednesday

Doesn't he have cute PJs?

1st the pulse oximeter is attached. It tells us how much oxygen is getting to his body tissues.

Command center--The machine on the left toward the head of the bed is the Bipap AVAP. Then on the little shelf is at top a clock radio, second shelf all too important puffs plus, and bottom rack the pulse oximeter display. It's not on yet so you can't see anything.

All hooked up

A picture of our rigged up headgear before we connected the Bipap tubing.

For other Wordless Wednesday and Special Exposure Wednesday posts, click on the respective phrases.

Making Lemonade

I am so honored that Taryn of More Skees Please nominated this blog for a Lemonade Award


The Lemonade Award is given to bloggers who show a positive attitude, gratitude and a willingness to share their ideas, support and online friendship. In other words, people who make lemonade when they get lemons!

The rules of the award:

1. Put the Lemonade logo on your blog within your post

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude or gratitude

3. Link the nominees within your post

4. Let the nominees know that they received this award by commenting on their blog

5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award

So, without further nominations are going out to (going with alphabetical order here):

Bridget's Light for a blog written with such love and acceptance of life as it is not as you might have feared or for life as you wish it had been and for reminding us that "Disability is Natural".

I'm thinking of starting a blog for sharing life with Emma, Audrey, and Ashlea with us.

Isaiah updates for raising awareness of Adams Oliver Syndrome and keeping us up to date on cutie Isaiah's progress.

No Whey Mama for sharing so much of her family's food allergy struggles and triumphs with all of us and let's not forget those yummy recipes too!

One Frugal Foodie for all those delicious recipes that can suit many individual dietary needs.

The Mitchells for sharing the worries and triumphs of raising Baker with us.
***It looks like the Mitchells don't allow comments on their blog. If anybody in bloggy world knows how to get in touch with them, please let them know about their award.

The Ramer Bunch for enduring unspeakable tragedy and yet continuing to put one foot in front of the other each day as you trust that the Lord really does have a plan for your good.

The Allergic Kid for sharing all those recipes and awareness of food allergies but mostly for challenging me to keep my kids lunch at least semi-interesting!
To the Max for being so very real!
5 Minutes for Special Needs for connecting me with so many other parents of children with special needs so that I can learn from their perspectives.
Thank you again, Taryn                                               ,

for the nod. I enjoyed compiling my list and thinking about what each of these blogs means to me. I read alot of other really great blogs too and I appreciate those also. I chose the blogs above because each blogger writes about some specific atypical medical or emotional need otherwise defined as a "special need".

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ever Faithful

Ever Faithful Irish isn't sick. He is happily spinning around keeping feverish Jack happy.

We're pitiful

Look at us! Sick! Send prayers. Jack doesn't really get that he doesn't feel good and Mama isn't readily available to entertain him and make him feel better.

Monday, October 12, 2009


A little Irish spinning action while waiting to see the doc. Thank God for Irish. He gets us through some stressful stuff.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Kashi--Part of an Active Preschooler's Lifestyle

He he so we're doing a Kashi commercial. :) Not really. In the interest of full disclosure, I purchased the product consumed in this short clip and we are in no way associated with Kashi. Their fruit and grain bars are good though. Jack was enjoying a Pumpkin Pie Bar while running around our yard and our neighbors' yards. I thought it would make a cute commercial and so I taped some of it and here you go....

Gorgeous Rainbow

I cannot capture the beauty with my cell phone. It's the most gorgeous rainbow I've ever seen. So what does this have to do with Jack? I wonder if he can see it. Even more so than my cell phone camera, Jack needs sharp contrasts in order to see objects well. Does he truly miss out on this beautiful symbol of God's promise?

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Somebody call a fireman?

rain boots

Rainy Sunday

Rain boots! Jack hated them until today when he needed them to retrieve Irish off the wet porch.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Elmo Love!

Tonight, after he finished dinner, Jack picked up his plush Tickle Me Elmo.

Next thing we know, Elmo is dancing in Jack's lap as Jack says, "Dance! Dance! Dance" (a la Mel's Super Swell Dance Party episode of Jack's Big Music Show).

A few weeks ago, E was the "letter of the week" at school. We were reviewing Jack's alphabet book. I read "E is for" and Jack jumped in with "ELMO!". Well, he was right, wasn't he!

Jack really enjoys vestibular stimulating activities while being held tightly. I made up this little thing we do where I wrap my arms around him and roll from side to side as I say " Iiiiiiiiiii Lllllllllloooooooovvvve" then I quickly roll him to one side and say "YOU!" Tonight, Jack picked up Elmo and squeezed him tight as he rolled side to side and yep, said, "I love" then quickly turned to one side and said "YOU!" Too cute!!!

Wordless and Wednesday--Sunday afternoon

For other wordless Wednesday posts, see here and for Special Exposure Wednesday posts, see here.

Jack and Jill

If you've been following my twitter feed or read here, then you know that I have been doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.

Here's the rest of the story...
When I put my DVD in, Jack was hollering  sweetly requesting, "Jack's Big Music Show!" I told him that Mama was going to watch her work out movie first. He brought over the exercise ball he likes me to sit and bounce him on while we watch tv and we bounced and watched. When it was over, I tried to put on Jack's Big Music Show and take my DVD to the other room to actually do the workout. Jack followed me and kept saying, "Workout! Workout! Workout!" I thought, great, I'll get to work out and Jack's going to hang out with me. Nothing doing. While I put on the DVD, Jack grabbed the exercise ball, pushed it over and said, "Bounce high!" He wanted to watch it again. Too funny! He loves Jillian Michael's.

Here he is Sunday morning ....

Ever try to maintain proper form and not clunk your preschooler in the head with dumbbells? It adds a whole new dimension to the workout!