Saturday, February 24, 2007

Nearly Naked

John's day on Friday was pretty darn good. He did well at speech therapy, even paid attention for the first 3/4 of the hour, silly boy, the last 15 minutes he was so totally on his own agenda. He was able to do well with the new verbs that he is learning though and also got into his gait trainer unassisted again, this is always impressive to see.

Swimming pool time was hilarious. John figured out how to squeeze the little water toy and squirt water at himself and Mr. Paul, he also figured out how to hold the toy in the water and fill it back up - smart cookie this one. John has now decided that he wants to be on his own, floating on his back, and also that he likes to go under so about half way through his session we took off his little padded swimsuit/floatie device. He wasn't so sure about getting back it the water in just his swim diaper, and was definitely out of his comfort zone for a little while, but once he was strapped in a little floaty thingy he was happy to be on his own again and was even good with going under at the very end. So no more suit/floaty for John and he gets to graduate to little swim trunks.

Today has been okay, we increased his formula concentration last night again, this puts him at 80% of the new formula, and so he's had kind of a not so great day but he's doing well enough that he's sleeping in his own bed and not riding to the hospital. He did play with his books this evening and made one heck of a mess in the living room, we didn't know he could reach so many things. He also figured out how to pull things off the end table and as you can well imagine the dogs were sure to stay clear of those little hands!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Good Check-Up Report!

We went to St. Louis last Thursday as John had a GI appt on Friday and he just gets too exhausted and sick if we make him go there and back again in one day. So we spent the night at a wild Day's Inn that the inside looked more like a theme park than a motel, but it was reasonably priced, thank you Cheaptickets, and it had a heated swimming pool! Of course the air was so frigid that you had to stay in the water but John loved the pool and also that it was bordered by trees decorated with lights, so he got to use his 'Christmas Tree' sign a whole ton of times too!

Friday's appt went great! John is now 21 pounds 9 ounces, that's still smaller than when we started the winter but a great improvement over his last discharge weight, so finally he's really starting to bounce back. He got the official a-okay on Coco Puffs. I was kinda nervous to tell the GI nurse that the child was hooked on coco puffs, after all he's not supposed to be eating junk food, but she says that they've reformulated many of the children's cereals, coco puffs being one of the reformulated ones, and that they are now pretty good for kids! Of course we aren't telling John this because at that point I'm pretty sure that he will quit eating them.

This weekend has been fun, our friend, Becky, from Springfield came up to stay and John thoroughly enjoyed showing her all his new tricks.

This is John's latest modeling picture.

When he was all done taking pics he was ready for a book break and amazingly he's getting strong enough to stand at the book shelf and pick out his own!

You can see dad's foot at the bottom right of the pic, he wasn't going very far, but John was able to stand at the shelf for a few minutes, flinging books on the floor and giving us commentary. Of course we have no idea what he was talking about but we're pretty sure it was important due to the volume at which it was said :)

Two Handed Goldfish

Tonight was John's first taste of Goldfish and oh does he love them! One handed, two handed, give me more! His other favorite is, of course, ice cream. The sign for 'ice cream' is to close your hand with the thumb sticking up, sort of a Fonzi position, and make the motion of licking your thumb, without actually licking it. Well, when your 3 and love ice cream that sign looks more like licking your whole hand and maybe going to eat it if you don't get some soon. We now have to spell 'ice cream' and I'm relatively sure that won't work for long either :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ready, Set, Boom...

...giggle, giggle, giggle! John ordinarily will not lay himself down, but wants to hold your hand and then ease himself backwards until he's laying down. This evening he discovered the fun of falling. He was sitting on our bed and we pushed him over and he giggled and signed for more, after a couple times of this he was ready to solo and would sign 'more' and then flop backwards and giggle, by the end of the show he was signing 'more', throwing his hands in the air as he flopped backwards and giggling from start to finish, what a silly guy. Of course he still needs help to sit back up, but he would lay there giggling sign 'more' and hold his hands up to be sat up so that he could go again. As you can tell, John is doing great!

Monday, February 12, 2007

07 Modeling Debut

John is doing great!!! He had a good day at school, even paid attention pretty well and all of the rest of his day went really well too. We started out the morning with pictures for the first auction of the year...

... as you can tell he was really enjoying it! He's been asking for this shirt for the past couple days so it was nice to get to let him wear it to school today. He loves to tell us that it has a 'dog' on it and a 'hat' too!

Our other new thing for the day is starting to help, require, urge John to use complete sentences with his signing. He did pretty well with it and this evening was even coming pretty close to "I want more ice please, mommy" on his own.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pull Up

Today John did something entirely new and entirely worth celebrating!!!! After speech therapy was all done, and he did well, very well the whole time actually, he was sitting on the little couch and I pushed his gait trainer up to it so that I could help him stand up and step into it, well, he reached out grabbed the back handles and stood himself up and walked into the gait trainer on his very own!!!!!!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Some Winners

A couple real winners from the Wednesday Library trip this time a few oh-so-so and blah ones too.

The winners:

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems - Oh we love this! It is fun, funny and John is really starting to get into it as much as we are.

Does a Cow Say BOO? by Judy Hindley - So very cute, and John loves it, even holds his hands over his eyes in anticipation of the end.

Ginger Finds a Home by Charlotte Voake - Well okay, but really by the end we don't care.

Aardvarks Disembark! by Ann Jonas - Ugh, they could have stayed on the ark.

Alphabet City by Stephen T Johnson - Nice city type art, alphabet book maybe not.

Alphabet ABC by Marianna Mayer & Gerald McDermott - Cute but ripped up by some other kid, hmmmm, somehow we should really try to treat library books better.

I Unpacked My Grandmother's Trunk by Susan Ramsay Hoguet - Packed or unpacked by the end we don't care.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson - This one is still too old for John, so we're keeping it on his needs to read list because we both think that he is going to love it!!!

And where did I get the idea to get all these books from the library, well all but the winners were recommendations from the New York Times Favorite Children's Book or something like that, well that book is certainly going back to the library and why in the world did I ever think that the New York Times had a clue what a good children's book would look like. The winners this time, well the Pigeon book was a recommendation by Amy, John's speech therapist, and the Boo book we just happened upon in the library.

So anyone that wants to leave comment, we would love to hear what your favorite children's books are for kids John's age, or even older and we'll put them on our someday list.

If I'm Holding My Hand Up Then I Win...

...even if I just threw my last domino in the floor instead of playing it. Hmmmmm, this may work for toddlers, at least in John's own mind it works, but I doubt it's a sane playing strategy for others. On a good note though we were impressed with how fast he was deciding on what dominoes play and how quick he was to figure out what 'I Win' means.

School Wednesday went pretty well. John started the trip by taking his hearing aids out in the driveway and then riding pretty quietly into town. By the time we got to Columbia, rather too early, he was giving me the sign for 'hungry' and so I stopped to get him his favorite Happy Meal. Well silly mommy, I thought it would be nice to drive the mile more to school and park so that John could get out of his carseat and sit to eat and not have to be put back into it before getting out. Ah how little I know about this parenting thing, we got to school and instead of being happy that he had food or even his favorite 'Red Drink', Coke for the rest of us, he went, shall we say, ballistic, screaming, arching his back, stomping his little feet, which don't feel so little with shoes! So I got him out, put him in his gait trainer and assisted him across the solid-sheet-of-ice parking lot and he gleefully ran into the school. He ran right to the gym, did his couple of laps through the hallways and was ready to go back. Stopped for the obligatory 'drink' sign at the coke machine and made it up the two wheelchair ramps with no assistance, other than stopping him from rolling backwards when he stopped to play with the handrail that he still can't reach. Up at the classroom level he did his best impression of running towards the classroom, alas it was 15 minutes early yet and his therapist had another kid she was working with. I stopped him before he rounded the wall, curtain, thingy to the room and my what a hullabaloo he raised, you would think that I had smacked him or something, good grief. He was finally settled with a puzzle for a few moments, and did great signing for the animals and putting them in their proper places and such and then he was off screaming again because Miss Amy was not paying sole attention to him. And this is why we tease that John has Lack-Of-Attention-Disorder ;)

Once the drama king was finally in class he did very well, remembered his signs, paid pretty good attention and even verbalized well but the very best part came when Amy let him ride the little trike, well actually it's not a trike it's a scooter thingy, you sit on it, it has handle bars and you push it with your feet. At first John was unable to go anywhere, but he was happy, happy, happy! Then slowly but surely he figured out how to move it and got a good 20 feet or so before he was tired out and ready to go back to class. Therapy went well afterwards too!

The trip to the library was aided by the umbrella stroller which John rode in for a few minutes but then well the books rode in it because after all the books don't caterwahl when they are in the stroller and draw the attention of everyone in the entire library. Finally on the way home he slept but was oh so excited when we got home and daddy was there to greet him!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Happy Birthday Daddy!

To celebrate Mark's birthday today we got to hang around together, visit with family via phone and enjoy John getting to try out his new tricycle, thanks Auntie C and Uncle R for that gift card!

As you can see we are still a wee short for the trike, but he really likes it and even asks for it by name.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Giggle Prayers

It's been a rather long, but very good day. John did quite well at speech therapy today. He learned the signs for 'motorcycle' and 'bicycle' and was pretty good about paying attention and doing what was asked. I got to talk to the therapist, Amy, about his being able to tell me more info without his hearing aids in than with and she thinks that it all just points more and more to the dyspraxia, which just means that John has lots of therapy to go before he is going to be able to talk.

He had a great day though and the new formula seems to be helping, he looks like he's starting to gain weight again and he's certainly acting like he has more energy! He even ate well for lunch today and was ready to go straight to a nap when he got home, but wasn't tired and crabby like he had been there for a while.

When he got up from his nap he got to do one of his absolute favorite things, open packages. Mark's sister sent him Christmas and birthday presents, thanks C, and he loved opening them and loves the presents. One of them is a little set of wooden dominoes that have cats, dogs, frogs, cows and dolphins on them. This evening we sat down and played with them and he really liked them, and was able to pick out the right domino to play, even though he was a bit exuberant about placing them on the table he had the attention span for a whole game and we can't wait to play again!

Prayers tonight, well that's when the giggling got started. We've taught John to cross himself before meal prayers and bed-time prayers and also during the Apostle's Creed and Lord's Prayer, and tonight he was just full of himself. He still doesn't have the whole motion down, so he puts his finger on his forehead and waits for help. This evening I think he crossed himself 30 or so times during prayers, of course it didn't help the situation that he was so darn cute doing it that I started giggling. 'I Am Jesus Little Lamb' is a very entertaining hymn when someone decides that he is going to cross himself for every couple words.

Book Lists

I need a place to keep a running tab of all the books that we've read to John, this seems like as good a place as any. So any time you see 'Books' it's just me, keeping up with John's first love - books!

"In the Forest" by Marie Hall Ets - One of my favorites from childhood, and John likes it pretty well too. He likes to sign for the different animals, especially for the elephants putting on their shoes.

"The Five Chinese Brothers" by Clair Huchet Bishop and Kurt Wiese - Also a favorite of mine from childhood. John likes this one, mostly he likes counting the brothers wherever they are standing together and looking at the poor brother trying to hold back the sea.

"There Once Was a Man Named Michael Finnegan" adapted by Mary Ann Hoberman - This is one of a series of sing-a-long books. I love them, John is amused by them, and so we are sure to check more of the series out of the library.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

One Little Step

John's progress in life seems to be more in one little step and then another little step and maybe a step back here and there but always, always another little step forward. We continue to see this as this week we again had new earmolds made for his hearing aids. Even though on the official growth charts he is making no new progress in height, and even though on those same charts he's going backwards in weight - due to recent illnesses, his little ears are growing one little bit at a time, enough so that he is ever in need of new ear molds.

John is also progressing onto a new formula for his g-tube feeds, here we are going a little step forward, two back, three forward, another back and so forth, but all in all he seems to be going forward in his own way. The new formula has a lot more calories to it so that is a jolt to his system but he's doing okay with this change that a year ago he could have not even attempted.

School on Friday, well let's just say that the steps forward were little and the attention span was little too! John's grasp of sign language is amazing to everyone that works with him, but it seems that even in his sign his dyspraxia is showing it's head now and again. John can readily show us the sign for dog, when ours bark, or just whenever he wants to, but if he is presented with a dog and asked "what is that?" he has a hard time coming up with the answer until he hears us say 'dog' and then he has no problems. This seems to be the case with many things, well except for shoes, which he never has a problem signing at any time. I notice that he has more of a problem with his hearing aids in and me asking him what something is than he has with his hearing aids out and my just holding the object up or pointing to it. Does this have anything to do with anything? Who knows, but I'll be asking his speech therapist on Monday. All in all our little guy makes leaps and bounds in knowledge but the baby steps in expression keep it kinda bottled up, which is frustrating to a little guy, but he keeps trying and working and one of these days he will conquer this too.

His new favorite is to flip through the sign language dictionary to one of the large displays for a letter and then get us to make the sign for that letter and sing the little phonics song for it. He also loves to find every cat in every book, picture or anything and let us know that it is there, and lately all the apples too. We are constantly amazed at just how wonderful he is and axiously await the day that he can readily tell us!