I’m looking at the SONshine instead of the clouds. Over the last few weeks, one thing after another has kept me spinning in circles. Add in the fact that what I’m going through and dealing with is not something that I can explain to Owen. He doesn’t understand that things break when they aren’t supposed to or our ever-changing world is ever-changing, who does really. So as I cry over the spiraling spilled milk I can’t make him understand that mommy doesn’t always have the answers. Owen picked up a handful of veggie straws stuffing as many as he could in his mouth saying, “veggie straw” which always means he wants more of something, even though he knows to say,”I want veggie straws please”. He started doing this the other day, demanding more when he still had plenty of them on his plate. Now I wonder if he needs something else but doesn’t understand what to ask for. He feels more patient to me. I remind him all the time that we have to have patience with each other. I needed to do something on his tablet to set up an app for him. He didn’t want to give me the tablet so he starts saying, “patience patience patience” mimicking my words that I have used so many times with him. Every day I thank God for his growth and the connections he is making. I tell Owen that I like hearing his words and that he is doing amazing. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in our growth. Remember to be kind to your own heart, forgive yourself for yesterday, know that you are important, and watch your world bloom. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Focusing on the good stuff, that seems to be the plan of action the last few days. It however doesn’t mean I still don’t cry most of my days. How in the world can two different doctor offices have problems with appointments for me. One cancelled an appointment, twice, and didn’t tell me and the other told me one appointment time on the phone, sent a confirmation with the time I couldn’t go, and then when I called to confirm the correct time had it scheduled at a completely different day. It all makes my head spin. And that was only 15 minutes of my day. I’m supposed to remind myself to focus on the positive side of life. My boy can read. And he’s reading more than I thought he was. He also threw poop out of the tub. Hey wait, I’m supposed to be focusing on the positive, the amazing reading skills. I can’t believe how much he is now sounding out words. He asked me to find videos that he was sounding out. The words aren’t completely there but I can make out enough of them that I know what he wants me to find. I see the way he is processing it all. I’m very thankful for his growth. I pray every day for my strength. It took him over two hours to fall asleep, kicking himself all over the bed. I wish I could find peace for him at night. One day I will figure it out. I remind myself one day at a time. Through these moments I’m growing and I’m thankful Owen is too. Find your strength, know that you are amazing, and tomorrow is a brand new day. Smiles to all and donut daze!
There are days all you can do is walk through your emotions. As parents sometimes we forget we have to take care of ourselves as much as we have to give our all to our kids. Owen has been doing incredible the last few weeks and I’ve had one challenge after another. Sure he has moments but the growth has been incredible. I also see how the non-structure of the last few months has been extremely hard on him. Now that we are slowly introducing his routines back into his days I can see how it is helping him but I can also see the strain and anxiety it brings to him. He asks over and over for the same things to happen. It feels similar to how he used to want to go over his schedule but now the tone is a little more pleading and demanding. I’m so excited about how much he wants to read. He is starting to see the connections with the words and how we can use the words to pull up the videos he wants to see. Before he would run up to me, demanding I find a video without even truly showing it to me. It was in a paused state with the one frame showing and he wanted me to find it again. After months of me explaining that I had to see the name of the video or he had to play it he is finally wanting to read the caption words. I put my finger under each word sounding it out with him and we both get excited when he knows any of the words. There’s magic and wonder happening right before my eyes. Now if I could explain personal space to him that would be golden. I lost count how many times his toes were in my nose or close to it when we were sitting on the couch. One day at a time and today I’m celebrating his words. They feel like the biggest victory to me. Celebrate your victories no matter how big or small, count them all. Know that you are important and you are not alone. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I begged Owen to come to eat dinner with me. I could say the magic words, “I’m going to take your tablet” and he would hurry in as quickly as possible yelling, “tablet tablet”. But I wanted him to come on his own, I wanted him to be in the moment with me, I wanted to not feel so alone. The last month of one emotional rollercoaster after another has taken its toll on me. But who isn’t going through a hard time right now? I tried to stay focused and positive today. I think I was more sad and depleted. Owen is full-on energy most of the time, stating questions constantly, or repeating sounds as the day goes on. He wanted me to find a video that was already on his screen. Over the last few months, I have been trying a new strategy hoping it will help. I make sure he understands that I have to read the words of the video, that we can’t find it by knowing there is a cow on the screen, we have to know what the video is called. Now that he is reading more I’m having him sound out the words under the video he is trying to find. The key to this is that some of the videos he watches are in foreign languages. So not only does he want me to find videos but a lot of times they are from a foreign country. I still have him sound out the words with me. I’m amazed at how many he understands in numerous foreign languages. Owen is my extreme sensory seeker and he doesn’t understand how strong he actually is. He will take his head and push it into mine trying to get close to me but he doesn’t how much his head weighs, especially when it is boring into my head. I remind him about personal space but that isn’t something he really understands. One day at a time I remind myself. My baby read with me throughout the day, making my day as he did it each time. Never give up on the miracle right in front of you. Find your inspiration, be motivated, and now that you can soar to the skies if you set your mind to it. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I wish I could explain danger to Owen. I wish I could make him understand that there is nothing funny about jumping up and down in the bathroom after he takes a bath. Why, oh why are bathrooms not safer. I try to not show emotions about this because he wants to do anything I react to in a grander scheme. Three nights in a row he now gets out of the bathtub and starts jumping. The first two nights it wasn’t what I expected and certainly, his reaction of then laying down on the bathroom floor because I told him not to jump was even less expected, but add in snow angels on the wet bathroom floor and I have to let it all go. Night three I was prepared for the jumping. I reminded him not to jump, stating if he jumped he wouldn’t go to church. Well, I didn’t state no running and I didn’t add on no snow angels. Our bathroom isn’t that big. Overwhelmed about covers it with a side of overwhelmed ish. I can’t cry, I can’t cry, I truly can’t cry but oh how I stood there and bawled my eyes out. Saying to him he can’t do something isn’t a form of reprimand he even understands. Me trying to correct him or set boundaries takes repeated reminders and days, weeks, months, years of going through the actions and reactions. He finally fell asleep more than two hours after we started. I want to remember the laughter, songs, cuddles, kisses, words, and smiles my sweet baby O gave me today. The smiles give me the energy to keep pushing forward. I told him many times today that we have to work together to grow. Find your strength, follow your heart, and grow through your dreams. Make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
One of us slept last night and one of us didn’t. I slept in Owen’s bed hoping he would sleep better. He did but I never do. Mister octopus doesn’t even cover it. He is all over the bed and I’ve yet to figure out how no matter what bed he sleeps in he moves so that he is sleeping sideways. I had some bananas delivered with the groceries today. They were sitting on the counter. I didn’t think about it until it was quickly brought to my attention. Bananas are one of those meltdown foods. It was a bunch of bananas so that makes it better for Owen but he still wanted them gone. We worked on this for years to even get this far. He loves the taste of bananas but if he sees them it’s another story. However, this rule does not apply in all places. He wanted to read his books with me. They were sitting on his table in the living room. Once he was finished with them instead of leaving them on the table he “put dem up”. I was kinda shocked by this. He likes things in their place but he doesn’t always but things in their place once they are in a different place. I saw growth. He came to me talking about his “birthday candle”. I immediately knew what he meant but I still wept a river of tears for his words. As soon as he sat down to show me his foot he changed the words “birthday candle” to “toenail”. He had made that connection awhile ago that they were called toenails but he’s been calling them birthday candles for as long as I can remember. But it was me that had to make the connection he was calling his toes “birthday candle”. I cried wondering how many other connections I have missed for my baby. All I can do is push forward. I try to listen to his words and when the exact words are not used for what he wants to express I try to help him make the connections but here I sat still weeping because I know I don’t always get it right and his struggle becomes harder trying to get me to understand something. “Getindecar”, he repeated hundreds of times before he fell asleep, his words all running together. He had started asking to go somewhere after dinner but he didn’t tell me where. I asked him where he wanted to go in the car and he said, “we need to go to church we all need to go to church”. And with those wise words, I hugged my baby a little tighter. Never give up on your dreams. Be bold, be beautiful, be you, and watch your world change. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I think if I could actually get some sleep that would be a plus. The exciting part of my day was finding something new Owen wanted to eat. He loves seafood and chicken, will eat some pork but has never been a fan of beef. Well, tonight I found something he liked and it made this momma’s day. I made a country-fried steak entree. I cut a bite and was about to say to him “try this”, putting the fork next to him. Before the words even came out of my mouth he grabbed the bite off the fork and shoved it into his mouth. It was gone. I started cutting the meat into more pieces and Owen’s nose turned up. It still amazes me how the look of an object can completely turn Owen against it. He, fortunately, tried another bite and he finished it all off completely. He smiled through most of the night. I tried to keep us moving forward. His words, his actions, his smile keep getting brighter. He’s asking me more questions and the connections are increasing. I’m not focusing on the potty training hiccups we had again tonight but instead focusing on his smile. He listened really well tonight and we were able to keep him from going into a meltdown over the way I sat down or didn’t sit when he needed me to right that very second. He yelled, “patience” and I knew he needed my attention. Learning to grow as a team is very important to me and I see those days becoming more fluid. Never give up. The unspoken words of yesterday are being shared with the world today. Find your strength and keep moving forward. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Squish, squish, squish there went the pizza through his fingers. He rolls the cheese into an intricate ball as he sits there eating it. I remind Owen one more time to take a bite and put the pizza down. I get tired of explaining how to eat food but I know I have to keep going over it with him. He has both hands full of sauce, a little piece of pizza dangling from his nose, and it pretty much covering every surface near him. It’s funny how opposite we are about food. I didn’t want to eat a lot of finger foods growing up because I didn’t want to get more than two fingers on my hand dirty. Barbecue was one of those things I never wanted to eat because I didn’t want the sauce on my hands. And if something was in a wrapper I never took it out. I would pull the wrapper down as I ate it. I can say for sure I grew out of a lot of it but my sensory seeker has got me beat when it comes to food. I watched Owen struggle to go to sleep once again. New, old, different supplements don’t matter. His body seems to have a way to adjust through all of them. What should be calming to him causes him to be hyper and vice versa with everything it seems. He was so hyper as he fought to stay awake tonight, yawning the entire time, and kicking on his already stretched out bed rails. I put my fingers to my eyelids, underneath my glasses. Why, oh why did I do this. It sent him into overdrive. It was dark in the room but he can still see everything. He got so upset, pulling my hands off my eyes. He became like sizzling bacon in a pan, moving all over the bed, kicking his feet as a mermaid would. I cried. Another hour or so until sleep would happen. I’m holding onto the glorious laughter and words he said to me today, wanting to sing, and read with me as the night wore on. His smile is my gift, his joy shines in my heart, and his words calm my restless soul. Even in the chaos of the world find your calm ray of light. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I want to put out the “gone fishing” sign and call it a day. I think that was around four in the morning. I fell asleep on the couch last night. It had taken Owen hours to fall asleep. I sat on the couch writing and trying to decompress from our day. I’m sitting here now trying not to cry about it. I have so much to do, my list gets longer daily, and I want one night of sleep. It always seems like there is something to do and referrals to get for Owen. And when I think I have it figured out one more step becomes one more referral. He woke before two. I was too tired to convince him to go back to bed so he crawls up next to me on the couch. I woke a few hours later and we were soaking wet. I had to get him up and to the bathroom. We had to get cleaned and change our clothes. This was met with screaming and pure frustration from Owen. If I ask him not to do something, especially when he is already upset, means he is going to do it anyway. I cleaned him up first and instead of going to his bed as I asked him to he went back to the wet couch and sat right where it was still wet instead of anywhere else on the entire couch. Me asking him to move made him lay down on it. I walked away going to clean up myself and then back to him again. We still had a few more hours we could sleep and I was going to do everything I could to keep moving us forward. Thirty minutes later we were back in “mommy’s bed” as he still calls his room. He doesn’t understand it’s his room now. He has made no connection to the dinosaurs on the walls or comforter. In general, he sleeps better in my old room. It’s darker and it was easier to trade him rooms. He woke for the day struggling with the lack of sleep I’m sure. Tonight he asked to paint “Thomas de traineNa” and he was excited, telling me what we needed to do. I’m was thankful for the words he could use to describe what we were doing and the excitement he had for painting. Never give up on the magic waiting to shine. Tomorrow is a brand new day and you have a new opportunity to share your smile. Believe me, someone needs to see it. Smiles to all and donut daze!
It’s coat weather. My heart skips a little beat thinking about it. I love the cooler weather but preparing Owen for the change in seasons is not easy on him. When I start wearing sweatpants around the house and long sleeves this alone is enough to set a meltdown in motion. I’m supposed to be wearing shorts. I’ve been trying to change it up a little more for him and wear other clothes at home so that it’s the unexpected sometimes. This does not always go over well and he will say, “momma change” over and over again until I do. If I don’t that may lead to a meltdown too. The change in his clothes is also difficult for him. When I put jeans on him he immediately starts pulling his pants’ leg up and down to cover over his shoes. He does better with shirts but preferably over his head. He has gotten really good at being able to put his arms through and pull his shirt down. When he has to put on a jacket or shirt that doesn’t go over his head I can see him go into sensory overload really quickly. His hands curl up and his elbows become plastered to the side of him. I have to convince him to stick his hands through the sleeves. If it’s a jacket with a zipper the process to find the right spot for the zipper is hard for him. He is learning to pull the zipper up and down but he can’t settle if it isn’t exactly where he wants it to be. Buttons on clothes cause their own set of interesting moments and my sensor seeker likes to chew on both buttons and zippers. When spring comes around all of these moments are like in reverse order, him looking for ways to adjust his clothing as well. One day at a time I remind myself and look at how far he has come. Every day I see changes and growth and I know tomorrow is a brand new day. You are stronger than you can even imagine. Let yesterday go and focus on the brand new tomorrow. 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.