I’m telling myself to breathe today. Deep, long breaths. Yesterday it seemed like the carnival came to town and I was stuck on the merry-go-round. I’m just gonna breathe through that and move on. I have too many emotions trapped from yesterday. I need to let go of it and move on, but when it’s concerning my child it’s hard. How do I explain his behavior to others when sometimes I can’t even understand them myself. Love and compassion help me through our days. Some days I feel like we are drifting in space, bouncing off meteorites as we float along, waiting for what’s going to crash to earth. Owen lost his third tooth last night. It added to the stress of an already emotional day. It had been loose for days. He walked over to his tablet, using it as a mirror, touched his tooth, and it fell right out on the screen. I grabbed it as quick as I could, beating him to it only by a second. “Fix the ball”, he kept yelling. He wanted his tooth back in his mouth and he wasn’t taking no for an answer. We watch videos about teeth together, trying to help him through these moments, but until it happens to him I don’t know if he really understands it. Once I got him to calm down he hasn’t really been upset about it, only putting his fingers to his mouth a few times here and there. My heart explodes with emotions. I wish I could explain it to him in a way that he could process. I wish I could process more of it myself. I’m getting better at expecting the unexpected, but there are still moments when I’m truly not prepared enough. Today as we were heading home it wasn’t even a light that got us, Owen started yelling about me not turning. As I breathed through the moment I had to think positive and realized he yelled, “turn right”. That’s progress. He normally says, “straight up” or “turn left”. Find the positive moments in your life, smile through your sadness, and let your light shine. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Let’s just face it, I’m cranky. The new supplement has been working like a dream to get Owen to sleep, but staying asleep is a whole different ballgame. He got into bed with me and then from there, it was rock and roll. He didn’t fall asleep for several hours. He kept talking about school and his teacher. He moved on to his diaper upsetting him and the blanket being pulled all over the bed. Milk was his next move and at that point, I’m like dude ya gotta go back to sleep. Nights like these don’t happen very much anymore, but when they do it takes a lot for me to process and deal with. I have to stay calm, I have to think through the right answers because the wrong answers will cause more harm than good, and I have to figure out if there is something wrong with Owen or if he can’t sleep for some other reason. There was a span of months, I would say even close to a year, where Owen woke two and three times a night. I am thankful that we aren’t at that stage, but nights with no sleep have me on the edge that this will keep happening. Luckily he fell back asleep and we slept as late as we could, but I dream about the day he is calm through the night, even if he is awake. He woke with a purpose, “school”, but he moved on when he realized he was going to spend the day with “grandma”. I’m counting the days till all his ducks are back in a row, the bus, his teacher, and school. All in all the summer has gone well for us, but breaks in routine, no matter the amount of time are hard on Owen. He thrives on the predictability of his days. And I thrive on him having the comfort of that routine. The world is ever-changing, I get that, but for Owen, the consistency of a schedule helps him get through his days. Unpredictability is not easily explained. Each and every day I’m thankful for his words and his growth. It helps us to keep stepping forward. In the middle of our struggles or those moments that seem never-ending, I remind Owen that he is amazing and can work through these times. And I try to be kind to myself. That sometimes is the hardest part. Through strength and understanding, we can accomplish great things. Walk on the positive side of life and see how your world blooms. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Adapt, adjust, avail, that’s what I kept repeating to myself yesterday. It was my mantra to get through the day. All in all, he had a good day, but the meltdowns were in full swing. He got very upset when one of his apps kept freezing. Luckily, now he brings me his tablet instead of throwing it across the room, most times. However, I was unable to fix the app. It seemed like it was a software glitch, plus it was in Chinese. He loves downloading the kids’ apps in Chinese. He will have the English and Chinese versions going at the same time. The app not working was upsetting to him, but me not being able to fix it caused him to go instantly into a meltdown. He ran from the couch before I could even try to go through the steps of keeping him calm. He ran to his hammock swing, falling to the pillow beanbag I put underneath to cover up the bars from the swing’s stand. I put it there so if he fell he would land on it. However, it is also where he likes to fall asleep and do meltdowns. He threw himself on it, flattening an area, moving the pillow as he kept banging his head on the pillow. He kept doing it. He must have hit the bar underneath because he immediately popped up. He ran to me. “Did you hit your nose ouch it hurts”, he said. Rejoice and cry in the same breath. The bittersweet words of knowing he can tell me he’s hurt, but I need those words to help him through moments like this. He stopped pulling at his nose within seconds of running to me, maybe it was shock. We got through it. This is why it’s so important for me to try and stop the meltdown before it even starts. He emotions come quick and he finds ways to get those emotions out. Meltdowns can last for hours or minutes, either way, it’s emotional for both of us. I’m learning to adapt, so we can adjust, and together we will avail. Take one day at a time. Know that you are a lot stronger than you can imagine and you are not on this journey alone. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I am not sure if Owen understands the days of the week, but I do know he understands his routine. He fell asleep easily last night, woke up very early, but it seems like he was almost sleepwalking to my bed. And then we slept for hours longer. He woke saying, “church” and hasn’t stopped asking for it since we got up. The dude knows what he likes and what’s important. This past week no less than ten times, each day we went over his schedule for the week. Talking about the days of the week, looking at his calendar, and when he will start back to school. His teacher is asked about every day. This will be his third year having her and then he transitions to another school and a new teacher. I can’t even imagine that yet, but I’m trying to embrace the preparation for it. Stoplights have become really hard for Owen. It was a particular one at first but then it has progressed to all of them needing to be green. And now it’s to the point, even if we are stopped for any reason in the car, he yells, “green”. He wants forward progress. There is a fine line of him being upset and us not moving that causes his meltdowns. I have to be on top of his emotions and keep mine in check too. I constantly try to distract him as we are approaching lights so a meltdown doesn’t happen. They can last for hours with him crying and screaming. Yesterday, as we were driving from bowling, I said to Owen, you have to get over the stoplights upsetting you. And I thought, no that’s wrong. I have to get over the stoplights upsetting Owen. I have to help him work through these feelings. I have to find ways to explain it to him and get him to understand why there are stoplights. This morning we have spent time watching kid’s videos about stoplights and what the colors mean. I’m hoping the songs will help him become something that helps him through this. The more I can expose him to how things work the more he becomes comfortable with it, but this isn’t a quick process. We have to go over it again and again for him to understand. Today and always we are a team. One day at a time and we are learning as we grow. Be inspired by the world around you. Let today be the stepping stone to your future. Smiles to all and donut daze!
The words spilled out of his mouth I think before he was even truly awake. Owen said, “bowling”, ready for our Saturday. He had gotten into bed with me around five in the morning and he actually went back to sleep for another few hours. That’s a win. I keep thinking about Owen’s words. I asked him, “what’s your name”. It was something we worked on for years and then one day he said, “Owen”. It was the most glorious day ever. The other day I asked him again to tell me his name. He wouldn’t or he couldn’t at that moment. My heart fell. It wasn’t something I had kept working on with him. I asked him over and over and over again, hoping he would say his name. I told him to say, Owen, almost pleading with him. I moved on trying not to put my own emotions out there. I talked to him about how old he was, telling him to say, “seven”. After a few minutes of trying, I moved on from that as well and we sat in silence. From the back of the car, he said, “seven”. It had been at least five minutes since I asked him to say it. I rejoiced and wanted to cry in that very moment. How could I not ask my son “what’s his name” every day, knowing how hard it was for him to answer questions. I feel like it’s back to square one, knowing it’s not, but my emotions sit heavy with me. He stores words, holding onto them until he needs them. I know this, but it’s still emotional. He’s learning so much right now and I know it all has to be overwhelming to him. He’s laying across the arm of the couch and it reminds me of when he was a toddler, always trying to put pressure on his gut. That one action lead us to the journey of dairy and gluten free. Through research, I learned about the brain-gut connection and the path to supplements. Within days of taking Owen off whole milk, he was pulling letters out of a box saying what they were. I will never forget that moment. Never give up. Every day I tell Owen he is amazing. I’m learning to be kind to myself and taking one moment at a time. Believe in yourself, be kind to your soul, and know that you are amazing. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Last night Owen paced, crying, and inconsolable. Except for the pacing part I was probably right there with him. It hurts when my baby is crying and he can’t tell me why. He was close to settling, not far from being asleep, and then the tears started flowing. He had cried earlier in the day, but he was able to tell me why. Or at least I think I understood why. But last night the tears were so strong, his emotions overflowing, and my heart was breaking. As quick as the tears came they went away because he fell asleep mid-cry. The new supplement is helping him fall asleep faster and it seems to make him sleep more restfully. We shall see how it holds up to the test of time. For today I’m thankful he’s falling asleep earlier. The late nights, early mornings, and waking up multiples times were becoming harder for me. He is very anxious tonight, repeating his words, and wanting things that make him scream, like the vacuum. He also has a touch of his allergies. And we both might be a little cranky. He’s asked for his teacher multiple times and we’ve discussed what the days ahead hold. He’s asked to go bowling several times and insisting for me to turn off the vacuum that isn’t even on, let alone out of the closet. Deep breaths for me. I have to remain calm when sometimes I want to scream right along with him. His words are forming and communication is coming, but there are still times where he can’t express himself or answer questions. I know he needs to work through these moments and vacuuming is on his mind. Life is ever-changing. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Be inspired and make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
The good news Owen fell asleep quickly last night. He didn’t sleep as late as he did yesterday, but when he woke, he got in bed with me and slept for another hour. He seems calmer the last couple days, but yet still anxious. We have gone over his schedule multiple times each day. For that matter, multiple times each hour. He hasn’t stopped asking for his teacher since the school year ended. He will have her one more year until he transitions to another school. I am already trying to prepare him for the change. In some ways, it seems like he flows with different transitions and in other ways, he wants what he wants and will ask for it over and over and over again until he can process the answer. I’ve always been an over-explainer and I find myself in that boat often. I try to distract him, but I seem to circle back around to explaining anyways. I am trying to find ways to get him to understand the process better. Most red lights cause anxiety in Owen now. When we have to stop I prepare for the scream or the explosion of words wanting the light to turn green. He doesn’t want us to stop for any reason. He wants to get to the destination quickly. I struggle with which direction to go, trying to think through all the stops ahead. I find myself anxious to drive places, wanting to sit in the comfort of our home, but that too has rules and routines we have to follow, so we keep pushing forward. His communication skills are improving every day. I marvel at the things he can do now, following instructions, and helping with self-care more; still in his way and his terms, but he is learning. Every single day I give thanks for his words. The waiting and the wondering if they would ever come still weighs heavy on my heart when I think of other families waiting for words. I had every emotion waiting and I still have them hearing his words today. Life is not always easy to explain, but know that you are important, your story is important. We all got something and you are not alone in this journey. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Nothing like a good night’s sleep for my baby to make my day start off right. One night, it’s only the first night, but I’m so happy Owen was able to sleep. We are trying a new supplement and within a half-hour of taking it he was out, slept all night, and woke up laughing. I hope that night two goes the same way. I sat for hours after he fell asleep thinking about the past couple of months. The struggle he goes through to fall asleep and to stay asleep has always been hard, but it seems like it has been causing more problems during the day. I can’t say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree though, because I’ve never been a great sleeper. It’s hard to explain to Owen why he needs sleep or that he has to at least try to go to sleep. His body fights through those quiet moments with constant stimming and restlessness. We had several hours before we had to leave this morning for our day. He screamed his happy, high-pitched squeal of delight, looking over at me as if to say try and stop me. He knows he’s not supposed to scream, but the appeal is too great. There’s a difference in his screams that somehow I can tell apart now. Happy screams and meltdown screams come from two different places and leave us both with different emotions. As we were getting ready to leave I put Owen’s shoes on him. I didn’t get his left shoe on just right, because he instantly started grabbing the Velcro and trying to move it. But he didn’t know how to pull it up. It’s a skill we have been working on, but he hasn’t mastered it yet. I adjusted the strap and went to get our things to leave. I put Owen in the car, got in, and he immediately started crying. His shoe was bothering him again. I was able to fix it and he stopped crying. From there it was all smiles and for that I am thankful. One day at a time. One moment at a time. And know you are not alone.
When YouTube’s suggestion is for you to listen to a new version of The Wheels on the Bus you might need to set up a separate account for your child. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve sung the song over the years and what went on that famous bus ride; rocket ships, animals and friends alike have been on that bus. I tried to always entertain Owen with that song and made up different versions to keep his attention. I would always ask him to sing loud and proud with me, over-exaggerating the words at the end “all through the town”. I can remember the day so clearly that I heard Owen sing “town” from the song. We were driving to his preschool and there it was, my baby singing with me. I started crying instantly. I couldn’t wait until I finished another verse, hoping he would sing it again. He ran to me last night, holding his tablet, asking for me to pull it up with the voice-activated option. He still doesn’t understand that his words can get it to respond as well. He doesn’t always pronounce his words so it understands him, but many will automatically pull up for him now, however, he still comes to me to search for him. He fell asleep a little earlier last night, but it was a struggle. We are going to try a new supplement with him to see how he reacts. The never-ending decisions of how to help my baby don’t end when we go to sleep either. He laid there sleeping, but I could tell it was fitful sleep, moving around constantly, and making random noises. I know there are rules for this sleeping thing, but he seems to throw all the rules out the window. And with any noise being a noise, Owen seems to hear every car that is miles away. He pops up from his almost asleep state to see who is out there, running to the window, and then checking to make sure the front door lock is still in its upright position, luckily it’s still locked. My baby is growing and together we will walk through life’s moments and memories. Make your memories today. Find what motivates you and go after your dreams. Smiles to all and donut daze!
The answer is no sleep for me. Seriously, who needs sleep anyway. Let the sleep be gone. Owen did not fall asleep until almost midnight. Midnight. All I can think about is midnight. He paced for almost an hour crying. No words to describe his emotions. I have tons of them. I’m sad, mad, upset, bewildered, and downright emotional, with a cherry on top. Why does it have to be so hard for my baby. He kept popping up, wanting milk, his tablet, and anything else that would keep him awake. I tried to distract him. I tried to hold him. I tried not to cry and scream. There are a million emotions floating through my brain and all I can do is push forward. This is my baby. Why, oh why does this have to be so difficult. I hear those words that people say this gets easier. I want to stare back at them with that no expression emoji, like what are you talking about. I see growth in my baby and I certainly see progress, but when your child is walking around so sleepy, crying, and you can’t do anything to help them, it’s hard. And me, I’m a walking zombie today. Long gone are the days that I don’t require sleep. The good news Owen woke happy as could be. He only wanted to follow the instructions he wanted to do, but who doesn’t. We have been working on his fine motor skills and I can see an improvement in them. The words are flowing, but many of his phrases are rote, coming from the videos he likes to watch. He is able to make more requests for the things he wants. For me, that’s like oh glorious day. That statement is peppered with a little bit of sadness because he doesn’t ask once for something, he asks multiple times. It’s all part of the process for him. I tend to repeat myself more than I ever did before. In fact when he has stopped saying something I will still say the words that I’m supposed to answer because it’s engrained in the moment. His laughter kept me going this morning. One day at a time I tell myself. We grow together and I’m thankful for how far we’ve come. Be kind to yourself and know that you are amazing. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.