To say we slept pretty good kinda works. Neither of us went to bed early. And neither of us slept late the first time. But we went back to sleep once Owen got in bed with me for another hour. He has been seeking input since he woke. He wants to be squished in a ball or jumping across the room. I always called him my little kangaroo before I even understood why he needed to jump. I wonder if his body is ever at rest. I had to change his diaper and I took off his shirt. I didn’t have one ready to put right back on him so he started screaming. “Shirt on shirt on”, he repeated in his screams. How do I convince him that he is fine without a shirt for a few minutes. It breaks the rules that are set in stone. We got ready for church and we headed for the car. Owen has a fascination with doors. He wants to put his fingers in the door jambs of our house and he wants to stick his foot in the car door jamb as I’m trying to close it. Every single time I put him in the car he sticks his foot right out as I’m about to close the door. I have to remember that he is going to do this. It doesn’t matter how many times I tell him not to stick his foot in the door he does it. Luckily, he has never got his foot caught in the car but he has been quicker than me a couple of times with his fingers. He hardly even reacts to the pain and he hasn’t stopped doing it. Most of the time it is our front door, so I make him stand on the opposite side of me now and luckily that has helped. Pins and needles ain’t got nothing on me, I live on knives and grenades. I literally have to stay one step ahead of Owen to keep him safe. He understands no fear. I am thankful for his words because the more we can communicate the more I can keep him safe. As we were driving to church Owen said, “I go to church I need to go to church you need to go to church”. And off we went. His happy content laughter is making me smile as the afternoon goes by. Through emotions I’m so joyful for my sweet baby O. Find your happiness, share your story, and know that you matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
The dude did not fall asleep until almost eleven last night. He woke early having a diaper problem, coming to me to fix it. Now that’s something I’m thankful for. He’s starting to process that his diaper is wet. He wanted to get right in bed, but I had to fix his diaper first. This upset him, but once I changed him we were back to sleep for several more hours. He woke in an amazing mood. Owen’s words, comprehension, and connections are really blossoming. I always worried that he wouldn’t be able to tell me if he had a rock in his shoe or something was wrong with his socks. But today I know he can. I put his shoes on him, got up to get our stuff so we could go bowling, and he runs to me, lifting up his leg, yelling, “shoe”. I rejoiced right in that very moment. Many times he has said, “ouch” or has tried to tell me something hurts, but it was always one of those things that worried me. I was afraid he wouldn’t be able to tell me when something was really wrong. And here he was lifting his foot because he had a problem with his shoe. We sat back on the couch, I took his shoe off, put it back on, and that seemed to fix the problem. That little moment felt like a huge victory for us. My sweet baby O could tell me something was wrong with his shoe. I went back to getting our things together and he walked up to me holding my shoes. Blessing number two. There were days he was ready to walk out the door with no clothes on. I’m thankful and grateful for these changes. Today is a bridge for tomorrow. Celebrate the little victories because they are the hugest of rewards. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Sometimes you gotta roll with the punches, even when those punches hit you right in the gut. Not everything goes according to plan and sometimes the new plan is even better, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself. Owen has been listening more to instructions. Sometimes I have to pepper them with rewards, but he is paying more attention to what I’m asking him to do. We are up and down with food choices again it seems like he is doing better about eating his meals, but I have to stay on him to actually sit and eat. Some days he is willing to try new foods and other days they quickly get thrown across the room. I tell myself I have to keep trying though. He’s now drinking banana almond milk. I started mixing it in with his chocolate milk and then slowly reversing the amount of each helped the process. Chocolate milk is about the only thing that Owen likes that is sweet. When I introduce foods to him, depending on what it is, I’ll give him half of the food he is used to and half of the food I want to introduce. And sometimes I say, here take a bite. I have to judge his mood and what’s going on around us. There are foods I know he will like if I can get him to take that first successful bite. That’s the key. When he asks for more of something I feel like we have won a big race. He’s having a great day, full of words, and interactions. I’m thankful for these moments. I love watching him figure things out. The more words he learns the more I see him trying new things. He always has me say the words for the voice-activated option on his tablet, but now his voice is strong enough and he is pronouncing the words so his tablet understands him. The excitement that runs through him makes me happy. Every day is a new day and I’m thankful for what’s yet to come. He came to me saying, “big hug” and I’ll take it. My sweet baby O is amazing and his smile melts my heart. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Let yesterday go and embrace tomorrow. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I woke in the early hours with a massive headache. I had a stern talk with my body, telling it we didn’t have time for that. Luckily, Owen slept in his bed all night. It’s hard to explain to him when I don’t feel well. I can’t say to him mommy doesn’t feel well and you need to not scream. He screams all the time. Happy, sad, and in-between he screams. It’s his go-to expressive form. Owen is growing and learning, today proved that. He still screamed, but he was calmer. I laid down on the couch. This in the past has caused Owen to scream, even if I didn’t fall asleep. He wanted me to sit up. And falling asleep would cause him meltdowns. Over the years he has gotten better about me laying down, but today he actually came and laid with me, giving me a “big hug”. And he wasn’t mad at me because I didn’t have my glasses on. Another big step for us. I see the connections being made, right before my very eyes. My headache eased as the morning went on. My emotions run-heavy. I have to remain strong. I have to keep my spirits up. And most of all I have to stay healthy. It’s easy to let the sadness wash over me and win. But I have to push through those moments. There are expectations in life and sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan, but I focus on the positive moments and keep moving forward. Owen’s smile is the bright spot that pushes me through every day. His mischievous laugh and his “wanna hugs” make me know that everything is going to be fine. Every day we grow together. Owen has taught me patience and understanding when I thought I was the one teaching him these things. Life is what we make it, so let’s make it grand. Smiles to all and donut daze!
What’s old is new again. Rinse repeat seems to be what we do. Owen goes for days telling me he needs to potty and then the potty train is derailed. Luckily, we aren’t back to the fecal smearing, but here we are off the train once again. Last night, right before his bath, I asked him to get ready for his bath. He came up to me saying, “big hug”. This meant something was up. Whenever he wants a big hug I know he is trying to get away with something or he knows that he has does something he isn’t supposed to do. I try to explain to him about right and wrong and consequences from those moments. I always tell him I love him and that he is learning, but he needs to help mommy and follow instructions. I’m the self-proclaimed queen of over-explaining, so I often wonder how much he understands. But I want him to connect the dots and I always want him to understand even when I use the stern voice that I love him. I think he gets the big picture because now he is coming for the hugs. My sweet baby O has grown so much. His words and actions tell me he is putting more of the connections together. Every day I’m thankful for the connections because it helps him understand our everyday life. When things are not routine it is very hard for him to understand. The words are helping him through those moments. I reference the days of the week and show him a calendar, explaining what is happening each day. Last night he talked about Saturday and he said, “Saturday after bowling I go to grandma”. My baby gets it. The routine, the moments, the words, the connections, they are all working together to help my baby grow. The doctors told me Owen might not talk. I couldn’t hold that in my heart. I believed in Owen. I believed that he could talk. And I told him all the time that he could. I asked him to prove it to me, to search in his brain to find another way to tell me his words. I have to say I almost begged him to talk to me. A tear escaped. Believe in miracles. Believe in yourself. And believe in others when they may not even understand how to believe in themselves. Make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Nothing snaps me back to attention like my voice coming right back to me through Owen’s mouth. It dawns on me not only how much words mean to our soul, but how we say it and express our love impact as well. He interprets expressions in his precise, beautiful way. But that also means everything I say is dissected and evaluated. I can see how my emotions affect my sweet baby O and I know that I have to be aware of my tone and attitude when I’m speaking with him. The fine line of stern voice and let’s keep the meltdowns at bay voice are hard to get right some days. The more Owen understands language the more I can see him trying to filter through my emotions. He’s always been very in tune with my emotions and now I see it more and more. I’m always amazed by how he puts certain inflections on words, making them sound like the person or video he learned it from. I’m thankful for his words, I’m thankful for his growth, and I’m thankful to learn through his eyes. He has taught me to be a kinder more patient soul. My emotions still run-heavy, I still have those hard moments, especially when I’m behind that slow person on the road going twenty less than the speed limit, but I now breathe and remind myself one day at a time. We’ve come a long way. My greatest joy is seeing my son happy. The smile that washes across his face brings joy to the world around him and even on my darkest days, I know one smile from Owen will take my blues away. He knows when momma needs a “big hug” and will come running to me to brighten my day. He also knows when he has not followed directions and he comes to me with his big hug to get away with it. I’m on to him. And I’m thankful. What’s changed your world. Find what inspires you and make your dreams come true. Smiles to all and donut daze!
One of the hardest things for me, every single day, is when to push us forward. The fear of the unknown and known keep me rooted to the ground. A year ago Owen and I started bowling together. A year ago I was a mess taking my baby to a loud bowling alley. One of my greatest fears is that he would run to the pins. It didn’t happen our first few times out, but it did happen. We now wear a safety band that tethers me to him. I will never forget that moment. I was so scared thinking he would get stuck in the ball return contraption. I had a Willy Wonka flashback thinking the Oompa Loompas were going to come to rescue my son. All I could do was race slowly down the slippery lane, while Owen was yelling “bye bye bawling pins”. I was crying when I got to him. They were so nice at the alley, helping me, and reassuring me it was okay. Meanwhile back at the ranch, I was a nervous wreck. I immediately ordered the leash that would bind us together and protect my baby from moments like these. He understands no fear, I understand it too much. That moment in time changed me forever. Owen loves bowling. I love bowling. But taking him that first time was one of the hardest steps for me. He didn’t want to go. Stepping out our door is hard. Besides the unknown, it’s the days, weeks, months, and years later that can affect us. He asks for his teacher every day and he won’t see her for another month. He talks about our lights being out months ago. He reminds me of moments he doesn’t want to repeat and tells me where he doesn’t want to go. His no is a strong word. It keeps me rooted in my spot a lot of times. “No” can lead to meltdowns and moments for years to come. How do I push us without pushing us over the edge, that is my daily struggle. Bowling is something we both absolutely love and it’s what reminds me that as much as I want to keep us safe, in our home, we have to keep pushing forward and walk out our door. And I have to remind myself that it will be okay. Owen inspires me to find new ways to grow for both of us. Find what inspires you and soar. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen slept through the night and I think I actually slept most of the night, too. Owen has been very anxious lately. Seems like everything we do causes him to want to be home. But at the same time, he loves being out doing things. It’s the days that follow that I always have to be aware of. The emotions come later. He’s been hitting me again, but he has also been walking up to strangers and randomly hugging them. In one breath I’m like the world needs more huggers and I’m also the one cringing hoping the person is okay with that. Do I smile, apologize, explain, or let it go. And I’m also the one that overthinks everything. Owen didn’t always like affection or attention. For a while, he wouldn’t even look at me. Those were very emotional times. He couldn’t talk and express himself, so he hit me a lot and also banged his head on the floor or wall. Lots of sips of coffee to get through those emotions without crying. Years later and they still bring tears to my eyes. My question I still ask every day is how do I help my baby. One day at a time I tell myself. I wish I could help calm his anxiety. I’ve never been an organized person, but Owen sees organization in our chaos. Everything has a place and everything needs to be or not be in that place. I had a pair of pants sitting on the bathroom vanity. Owen saw them. His foot started tapping, his hands went to his ears, and he started yelling, “it not makeE de noise”. The meltdown began. The pants were there only a few minutes. I sat them there instead of putting them in the hamper that was already overflowing. We moved the pants together, I held my baby on the couch, and I distracted him until he calmed down. The rules apply to certain places and things. I opened the refrigerator to get cream for my coffee. Instead of closing the refrigerator I stood there pouring it into my cup. From across the room, Owen comes running to close it and runs right back to his game. And just like that, he came to me, giving me “big hug”, sitting on my lap, and putting his foot in my hand for input. My sweet baby O is growing every day and I’m thankful for where we are today. Always remember you are a lot stronger than you think. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen woke in the middle of the night. He woke crying. It was a high-pitch squeal of a cry. My heart stopped. I jumped up and I could hear him getting out of bed at the same time. He stopped crying as soon as his feet hit the floor. All I can think is he had a bad dream. He got into bed with me and went back to sleep. Me, not so much. The screaming nights like these don’t happen as much as they used to, but they still fill me with emotions. He couldn’t tell me what was wrong and I wanted him to know he was safe. When he woke this morning he was fine, no lingering moments from his night before and he was ready to start our day. He knew it was bowling day. I was excited to go. We got his new ball drilled for his finger holes and I couldn’t wait for him to be able to use it. We were going against routine a little bit today, breakfast at a restaurant with our family, then bowling, then some time for Owen to be with his grandparents, and then to the coffee shop. I told him how we were still going to do everything, but in a little different order. He handle it well, only asking for me to change clothes a few times, which is his go-to response when our routine is different and he wants to go home. Home is where he has the most control and comfort. His anxiety is increasing, but I also see growth and a whole new way he is processing things. We had a few moments today that stopped us in our tracks, a stoplight got us, and there was something not right with the angle of the door, but my boy got my shoes for me, even getting a matching pair. My heart soared with excitement as he handed me my shoes. I’m thankful for these moments of growth. The littlest of steps are the biggest of victories. In this journey of life there are always twists and turns, but know that tomorrow is a brand new day. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen’s anxiety rocks me to my core sometimes. My sweet baby O gets so upset about certain situations. Routine is everything to him and when we don’t stick to routine it can throw us off for days, weeks, and months later. Last night we went to the bowling alley to get his new ball drilled. We normally don’t go through the week. He wanted to be home. As much as he loves bowling it was still hard for him to process that we were going at a different time. As soon as I picked him up from daycare he started talking about bowling. I had been preparing him for days. But he also kept repeating “momma change”. He wanted us to go home, me sit on that couch, and him run around playing. In the car ride home, he repeated over and over that he wanted me to change. We had to go home for about an hour before our appointment at the bowling alley. I told him that we weren’t going to change. This is where progress meets anxiety. Normally when we walk in our door, off goes his shoes, his socks, and then his shorts. This time that didn’t happen. He left his clothes on, he kept telling me to change, but his clothes were on and he wasn’t pushing me to change, even though he kept talking about it. This was amazing. The drive to the bowling alley consisted of Owen saying, “bowl first and then momma change”. He went on to change the words a little, “after bowling then momma change”. There is so much progress happening with my dude I can’t always keep up. His words are forming and he is figuring out how to change his sentence structure. We got his ball drilled, we bowled, and then we got home and changed. This morning, however, he didn’t want to go anywhere. He kept asking to stay home. And then he would ask for his teacher. The summer is so hard on him. Being out of routine for weeks on end cause his anxiety to soar. My heart breaks for my sweet baby O. In a world that’s ever-changing how do you explain change. I’m proud of Owen and all he is accomplishing. He’s learning to express himself and what he wants. He motivates me every day. Find your motivation and inspiration and go after your dreams. 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.