Monthly Archives: February 2014

Lucy Lately

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“I win! I finished my hot dog first! I win other things, too. Like championships. And bingo places. And breakfast, dinner, and lunch of course!”

“Pretty please with sweet cream on top?”

“Barbie, you just gotta be yourself. Everyone will like you.”

Me: “You guys have been getting up from the table before you’re finished eating and we need to practice better table manners. So when you get up from lunch today I’m going to take your plate and assume you’re all done.”
[five minutes later]
Lucy: “So I said to myself, ‘Stay in your seat!'”

[giving her a hug]
“Don’t squeeze too hard, you’ll break all my bones.”

“Mom. I was looking at Mimi’s house the other day [when we were facetiming] and I saw that her [yep] has a lot of blank walls so I made her this picture of our family. Oh, and I put it in a frame.”

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Me: “Lucy, do you want to pray for dinner?”
Lucy: “Yes. Jesus, please let tomorrow be Valentine’s day.”
Me: “Why don’t you try praying for other people instead of just something you want. Maybe pray for some of your friends.”
Lucy: “Jesus, please let tomorrow be Valentine’s day so my friends can have it.”

“I don’t want to go outside it’s too cold. [Touches window.] Yes, it’s too cold. [Is forced by her mother to go outside.] It’s not too cold [It was 57]. It’s summer. Let’s go to the beach. I’ll watch your kindle in the car. We can build sandcastles. It’s summmmmmmmmer.”

[We recently had a wind storm and lost our internet connection for the night. We don’t have cable.]
Lucy: “Mom, can I watch a show after dinner?”
Me: “No, we don’t have any internet so shows won’t work on the kindle.”
Lucy: “Oh, I’ll go get the plug [power cord]. I can fix it and make the shows come back.’
[Chuck and I spend most of the night trying to explain how the internet works to a four-year-old.]

[Sitting at breakfast. Early. Very early.]
“Mom, do you like to eat? I like to eat. I like carrots and that orange stuff you made for my birthday [butternut squash]. I like pasta. I really like pasta with cheese. I like it when you make me bread pizza. I like pancakes. When I’m a mom I’m going to learn how to make pancakes so I can teach Daddy. But I don’t like soup. But I like chicken and hotdogs… [This went on for 5 or 10 more minutes.] Mom, how come you’re not talking very much? [Forrest.Gump.]

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What He Is

I had sort of a rough week last week. I spend three hours of my week with therapists working to help Landon become the best version of himself. Or something like that. He does an hour of speech therapy, an hour of occupational therapy, and an hour-long play group for children with sensory needs. If that sounds like a lot, well, I agree. We started this journey when he was 22 months old with just speech and have gradually had services added on. But that’s not really what made my week rough. I mean I think most any mother will tell you that when your kid needs something you just sort of do it until it becomes your new normal.

The rough came when I was talking to his occupational therapist about how far he’s come since she first started seeing him when he couldn’t sit unassisted for longer than a few minutes. She has been amazing. Honestly, I feel like we owe her so much and she’s helped our little man so much. But in not trying to overwhelm me with all the things we need to work on, she’s instead been gradually introducing new things to work on. And she gives us the next step in the best compliment sandwich. But I sort of had it in my head that he was doing so well there couldn’t possibly be too many more things to work on. And then the compliment sandwich came. And the worst part about them is how crazy inadequate they make me feel. Only because when something is pointed out I can’t help but think, “Oh my gosh I’m with him for all of his waking hours, how did I not see that?” And that is the exhausting part of having a special needs kid, as moderate as those needs may be. It’s like a Groundhog Day compliment sandwich experience.

I felt so defeated. And then we had speech therapy. And his speech therapist (who is also super great) had to tell me we’d reached a therapy plateau. That she was getting the same sounds but he wasn’t adding any new ones. We’ve been in speech therapy for nine months and we haven’t added a single word. We’re still talking about sounds. And I know Einstein didn’t talk until he was four. And I know he’ll talk when he’s ready. And I know it’s nothing I’ve done. And I know in the scheme of his life it won’t matter if he was a little late talking. And I hear you when you say that when he starts talking I’ll be wishing for these quieter days. But. I don’t know. He is in this place where he wants to communicate. He wants to be heard. And he can’t. And that’s sort of heartbreaking to witness daily. And when he gets frustrated and yells and has fits because he doesn’t feel understood, that’s heartbreaking too.

This is the third time I’ve tried to sit down and write this post. It’s sort of personal and I questioned even sharing it at all. But I started writing it anyway. As a way to work through my thoughts and to put real and truthful things on the internet. So as I started writing about this the first time, I realized it was a post full of justifications. But that felt wrong and not helpful. So I tried again with a post full of clinical explanations. But then I questioned how much of Landon’s diagnoses were mine to share, so that one went in the trash bin as well. And I realized that I was tired of trying to explain why Landon does the things he does. And which of his quirks are actually sensory “issues” that he needs help with instead of just quirks. I don’t want to dwell on how long he’s been receiving therapies and which are working and which aren’t. I want to be his mom. I want to focus on the blessing that it is to have him as my charge while on Earth. So I don’t want to talk about what he isn’t doing. That’s exactly what left me so exasperated after his therapies this week. Instead I want to rejoice in who he is.

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Landon Jude is quite possibly the sweetest person I know. He’s sweet because his lack of verbal communication has made him an early expert in non-verbal cues. He is so empathetic. He’s the first to console his little brother and the first to give me a much needed hug when I’m upset. He also feels the joy of others.

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He’s hyper intuitive. He loves to foresee and meet the needs of others. Every morning when I carry my oatmeal from the counter to the table there’s a spoon waiting for me. I know that seems like a little thing, but I can’t help but smile every single morning. When I lay Cohen down for a change, Landon loves to grab the diaper and wipe. His occupational therapist has always been impressed with his ability to understand his body’s needs. He may not be able to copy you when you point to your nose but he knows when his body gets tired and needs to rest [the alternative would be a crazy rolling on the floor tantrum].

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Landon is the first kid to try a new food. He loves hugs and holding hands. When we’re playing with playdoh stamps he finds the heart stamper and gives it to Lucy because he knows it’s her favorite. And even though he can’t talk, I’m pretty sure he’s setting himself up to be a World Champion in Charades.

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He’s a little different, but I’m a lot lucky.

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Homeschool Preschool | Letters H & I

After eight weeks of “maternity leave” we’re back to school.  You’ll have to overlook the fact that these pictures were taken with my phone, it seems to be the best way to capture their activities naturally and without interrupting their work flow.

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The construction paper letters continue to be a favorite.  I’d intended the blue squares to be windows but Lucy insisted it was a windowless house with two chimneys. Sounds good!

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We also painted hearts with q-tips. I just took a sheet of cardstock and folded it in half. I cut out a heart and then taped the frame of the heart to a clean sheet of cardstock. When they were finished painting we took off the top sheet and had some hearts.  I asked Lucy who she’d like to send them to and she couldn’t decide so she said, “Maybe we should just keep them.”

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We also talked about being helpers and one day when Daddy came home earlier from work we all made dinner together.

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I can’t find where I saw this idea to credit it, but we also said H was for hammer and hammered the alphabet pieces into our crepe puzzle.

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For ‘I’ we drew icicles.

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While Lucy was in quiet time one day I set up a ‘big I’ and ‘little I’ for her to put together when quiet time was over. It was actually pretty awesome because it extended my mama time juuuuust a little more.

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We also had some fun sensory play with a big bowl of water filled with water beads [instead of ice]. We threw our Toob penguins and whales in as well, but of course transferring the water beads from big bowl to little was the favorite part for both kiddos.

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