Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Priceless Gifts

This time of year you see a lot of bell ringers asking for donations.
We generally wave and go on in to the stores and buy things we don't
need. So I feel a little guilty.
Today we were buying food we did need when G picked up a
donation can. The tag said "Local family with triplets needs help."
It's that kind of store that would actually be supporting a local effort.
The picture had a baby with oxygen, and monitors hooked up.
As examined the can the cashier implied that G wanted
the money. Feeling embarrassed I suggested that Geoff wanted me
to give him some money to put in the can. So I gave him a dollar.
He carefully folded the bill and slipped it through the slot. The baggers
looked on with smiles and gave him high fives.
When we got out to the car I asked G about it. "Why did you
put the money in the can?"
"Baby sick" he said.
"That's right, the baby is in the hospital and the family needs money
for the doctors."
So for a dollar I had a chance to teach him the priceless lesson of
charity.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

ABC and Handshape dictionary

I made G two dictionaries. One organized alphabetically and another done by handshape. So we sat down and I asked him to tell me a word for each letter of the alphabet. Then we would decide what hand shape it was made with and write it down in the hand shape dictionary.

Awesome.

This is what he came up with: Airplane, Ball, Cat, Dog, Elephant, Fox, Geoffrey, Helicopter, Ice, Jet, Kangaroo, Lion, News, Mom, Over, Puppy, Quiet, Run, Snake, Team, Umbrella, Violin, Wet, X-ray, Yo-Yo, Zebra

Only a few of those are made with the hand shape of their corresponding alphabet letter. I am so proud of him.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Going Up!

G can read this whole book. We've tried having him read a few sentences before but this is officially his first Book. I guess that means I need to go and buy a copy. It's worth it. We read it and talked about what each page meant. Beautiful!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Great Kid

Today I signed the lyrics to "I love the whole world"
and G signed along with me. This is going to be an awesome movie. It's great to have an adorable little boy who is so willing to go along with my schemes.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Creative Play

Yesterday G pretended he was digging. I asked him if he was pretending to be a dog
and he said yes. Then he ran around digging in different corners. Suddenly he started to find "dinosaur bones" and carry them laboriously over to the table. He'd tell me what bone it was with a huge smile on his face. After a few bones I asked him if he could find the head. Then he ran into my room and came back pretending to carry a huge dinosaur head. I asked him where it came from and he said it was in dad's bed.

This was the most pure imaginative play I have ever seen from him. He has seen a Clifford episode where the dogs search for bones, but it has been months since we watched it. So while it's not like he invented the idea of a dog digging up bones, but it was some very beautiful imaginative play with no concrete models to spur the idea.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

With Love

Today we were decorating grandpa's present with the most cute writing of super guy G himself. I wrote out on a paper "I love Grandpa" and he copied that out even substituting some upper or lower case letters as he preferred. Then I drew a heart and told him to write out his name. Just for good measure I wrote it out for him on the paper so I would get all the letters in there.

He started to write "Fire" on the paper so I knew what was coming when he went to the gift and proceeded to write "Fire Truck" on the handle of the oversize fly swatter.

"I love Grandpa Love Fire Truck"

Oh yeah...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

All by myself

G did two things today all by himself and it was awesome.
I encourage him to help put away the utensils and he is usually reluctant, but then does it enthusiastically. Today I just left the tray out and when he went in the kitchen he jumped up and did it. Then he called out to us and said "myself!"

Shortly there after we were making cookies (which he frequently decides will be a good idea) and he cracked the egg all by himself. He use to not want to have anything to do with the egg. Then he would knock it with a spoon. Eventually he would put his hands over mine for the breaking part. Today he cracked it with a spoon and then took it over and broke it over the bowl. He got his hands in the white, but was so psyched that he had done it himself. I love it that he loves to be competent.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

4+2= 6!

The other day we were talking about chicken nuggets. G was having 4 and I wanted him to put out 2 more for M. He was stuck on the idea of 4, so it took me a while to convince him.

Late when dad came home I asked G to tell him how many chicken nuggets he ate. G said "6."
I said "no no, you ate 4 and M ate 2" then showed him 2 on one hand and 4 on the other. Bringing my hands together I changed it to 6 Magic! He really loved this and did it himself a few times. Awesome.

Then in a moment of speechless beauty G did his own expansion. He took 1 in one hand and 1 in the other and smacked them together, changing to 2. Wow. Amazingly he continued to smack 1 into the other, adding 1 to the other hand each time all the way up to 6. I don't know about you, but I think that is some pretty amazing abstract math skills for a 4 year old who has never been shown anything like that.

How do I know he hasn't practiced that every day at speech? It's unlikely that he's ever seen it before. And I'm his mom with him for all but 1 hour each day, so I get to be super proud of his abilities.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I understand the 9

Through the last 4 years my life has been touched daily by so many people for good, mercy and love. The burden of that gratitude is hard. When I stop to think of the kind doctors, nurses, friends, family, teachers and strangers I can't do anything. I think I should do more to express my gratitude, for I have been given much.

4 years ago we entered a vision (for it was neither nightmare nor dream) that has since changed how I look at my son, my husband and life. I'm grateful for things I never would have noticed. When I look back on how my husband dealt with everything, from weeks at home alone, to visiting us every night, and being the strong one for me, I am amazed to know him.

But I understand the 9 lepers who were caught up in their joy and release that they forgot to give thanks. It's almost like you run away from that which cured you because it's hard to be so grateful. It's hard to know you needed so much.

I think that's part of humility.

Super Guy "Guh!"

Speech therapy is one of the consuming activities of our lives. G has a few basic limitations that we always try to figure out. These sounds are most of the fricatives (f, th, ch, z...), guh, and the long e. So with these limitations, there are so many words that just don't come out clear, even in a focused therapy session.

Today I was trying to get him to say the guh, which he usually says as duh, and I held down the front of my tongue to show him that it is said with the back of the throat. Then I did the same to him and out popped a giggle and a perfect "guh." I was trilled and spent the next 5 minutes pestering him to do it again. Each time he did I either hugged him like crazy or threw my arms in the air in triumph. Using this technique I he is able to say his sister's name correctly and we will hopefully be able to get past this block on that sound.

Hurray!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sight Words

When G was 3 he could read these words:
Water
Cow
Mom
Dad
Baby
Ball
G (his full name)
Bus
School
Office
Red
Blue
Yellow
Green
Car
Truck
Train
Boat
Big
Little
Up
Down
Go
Stop
Yes
No
Sun
Moon
Star

Now that he is 4 he is reading so many words it is a little strange sometimes, but awesome.
He surprises me all the time with the words he can read. Some of it is our routines I'm sure. I don't know if he would be able to know "sugar" if it weren't on our cookie recipe. But he'll pick out words he knows in a page of letters. Like if we're singing a hymn, he'll pick out the word "Jesus" in the title or text.

Hurray for reading!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I can Read!

The other day we were at a park and G read a sign "No Dogs, No Bikes."
We had started to spell it out for him since that is our usual pattern "N O, means No..."
But G just busted out, signing and saying the full sentence.

Totally awesome.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Living is good

Today we got to go to the Ice Cream store and had a great time.
The Dance Marathon folks were holding a fund raiser and had an ice cream flavor created by G. It is so cool how far we have come in the last 3 years. G is just 4 years old and has been a survivor of ALL for 3 years now.
We're thinking about getting a CI. Already we are being pushed to make him oral. It all sounds so reasonable, let him be as oral as he can be. It often feels like nobody sees the benefit of his having sign language.
He is starting to use a lot of spoken sentences. He'll say I want to go find the red car. "I wan doh ... rah cah." Also, he is developing great determination. I love to see him really stick to what he wants and say it over and over. His determination will be such a benefit for him.
We have a great life. G adds so much joy and love to our life.