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!
The laughter is what I needed to hear from my baby. Yesterday was emotional. Today I’ve tried to be calm. This pretty much meant sitting all day when Owen said, “sit”. I could tell right away that if I didn’t sit that it was going to be a meltdown kinda day. It started early when I tried to go into his bedroom to put some clothes away. As soon as I flipped on the light he came running. And screaming. He was even in another part of the house. I tried to have him help me, explaining what I was doing, and he wasn’t having it. He kept screaming. He wanted the light off, he wanted me out of the room, and he wanted me to sit. Lights are becoming more and more of a concern for him. And then of course doors, as well. If I don’t close one of the doors properly there’s more screams, more meltdowns, and more emotions from both of us. I keep hoping that the more he makes connections to the lights and doors it will be easier for me to work with him on explaining why they aren’t always exactly as he needs them to be. I can only imagine the emotions he goes through when doors aren’t closed the way he needs them to be or lights are still on when he wants them off. The rules apply to some doors and some lights, and truly maybe all doors and all lights have rules but I might not understand the rules enough to know that I’m breaking a rule. And then I breathe. I have to remind myself I’m human and I can only remember so much. I always call them rookie mistakes when I know what happens if I do something that upsets him. I try to remind myself and him that we are a team and together we must figure this out. We sang, we laughed, we loved, and we sat, but we made it through our day. Remember to keep a smile on your face and a laugh in your heart. Embrace the world around you and know that you can accomplish great things if you set your mind to it. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I stood in my kitchen watching veggie straws flying through the air, landing everywhere. I started crying out to God. Please God, make me stronger tomorrow than I was today. That’s pretty much what I seem to beg him for lately. I put my hands to my face as I started crying harder. This was a mistake but I couldn’t stop the train. Owen immediately came running to me, laughing hysterically. He doesn’t understand how to process my emotions. He grabbed my arms with his food-filled hands, pulling them down away from my eyes. I begged God harder for strength. I can’t convince Owen to sit when he’s eating. He runs through the entire house with handfuls of food. Even if I’m sitting right next to him he still pops up every few seconds, jumping next to his seat. If I get up to get anything off he runs. I try to explain why he needs to sit but that doesn’t work. All I can do is hope that as he gets older he will make the connection to why he needs to sit. I tried a different strategy today, asking him to only take one piece of food in his hand at a time. This was met with more laughter and more running. I have to focus on the exciting parts of our day. Owen wanted to read me all of his books, especially the ones by Eric Carle. He has the books memorized but to hear his words flowing as he turns the pages still makes my heart swell with joy. I know he can read on his own as well. There is truly no stopping my sweet baby O. He is soaring to new heights every day. The challenges we face are the stepping stones for tomorrow. Never give up hope. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Smiles to all and donut daze!
A lightbulb, I’m still crying over a lightbulb. I sat down on the couch, looked into the kitchen and the light was off. I never flip the switch until it’s time to flip the switch but I was praying I actually accidentally flipped the switch. The panic was coming quickly. I was hoping the light switch was off. I was praying the light switch was off. But it wasn’t. I looked around and all the other things were on. I thought it was possible that the breaker might have popped but I quickly knew it was the lightbulb. Owen quickly knew too. The meltdown started instantly. He was running between me and the light switch, yelling “turn it on”. My kitchen light doesn’t have exposed lightbulbs for a quick change. I had to get the step stool, the lightbulbs, and keep him calm all at the same time. Lights are huge to Owen. Meltdown worthy huge. Hours later and I’m still emotional about it. I tried to explain to Owen that he needed to have patience with mommy and that I had to change the lightbulb but all he knew is he wanted the light back on and he wanted it on that second. I’m exhausted from that moment, I’ll be stronger for the next moment. He also doesn’t like me to be on ladders so I had to convince him to sit on the couch, by himself, while having a meltdown. I do not know how he did it and I’m beyond thankful that he did, he sat. He kept getting up but he also kept listening to me tell him to sit down. I had to remain calm. I could not drop the light cover, nor the lightbulbs. He kept running to the switch but sitting back down. I kept trying to hurry. I got it changed out and put back together. And I began to cry, we both were crying. It took him a little while to calm down. When he was calm he came over to me and kissed me. Today we grew. No words can describe an emotional journey that no words can describe why we are on the journey. Owen doesn’t understand why something doesn’t work when he needs it to, who does really. Lightbulbs will now be on the list of things that need to be changed before they could possibly ever need to be changed. I would give anything for peace for my sweet baby O. For today I reminded him that we are a team and we need to show each other patience. And he showed me the greatest love I have ever known. Share your smile, spread your joy, and remind someone they are loved. Smiles to all and donut daze!
You know when you think everything is going along swimmingly and then all of a sudden you are doing those tiny little strokes to stay afloat, well today’s that day. I’m looking at microwaves that I hope aren’t going to cause Owen to go into complete meltdown when he hears it. He loves watching microwave videos, he likes counting down with the numbers, he even is fine with some of the beeping noises it makes, but generally, that’s the first go around and if I try to start it again that will upset him. The part that really gets him though is the actual noise it makes. And this can go even further down the slippery slope because some microwaves don’t bother him as much as other ones do. And tonight of course my microwave broke so now the question is will the new one be the perfect sound pitch that doesn’t bother him or will we have to go through several before we find the right one. I ordered one that the buttons can be silent and I hope that will help but I’m concerned about the actual noise it makes. It will be a waiting game to see how it goes. I never imagined the stress of buying a microwave would cause me. But I also never thought I would have paper covering the window on a door so Owen can’t see the outside storm door to know if it is not shut properly. I can’t let the tears overflow my eyelids. I have to breathe and think of the positive side of life. Owen is doing fantastic. This is what I have to focus on, this is what I must focus on. I feel like his connections to words are increasing and he is truly trying to communicate with me using more sentences that we are working on. I’m feeling very blessed to see his growth and to know that the sky is only the stepping stone for my boy. I know he can do anything he wants if he sets his mind on it. Never give up. Believe in yourself and the rest will follow. Today is your day to shine. Smiles to all and donut daze!
The best part of my day is when I see Owen smile. I can’t always explain to him what’s going on or why things feel challenging to him but I can tell him I love him. I could tell he needed sensory input today. He wanted me to hold him and push his legs tight against his body almost making him into a ball. He is so incredibly flexible but it seems like he needs the help adjusting his body. There are days that he shakes his hands like he is trying to keep them from falling asleep. The way he does it makes me think about the prickly feeling when my foot has fallen asleep or the Charlie horses I get in my legs. He never cries out in pain but I can sense he becomes acutely aware of the feelings going on. I remind myself of all triumphs he has made and even though he can’t explain his need for input he is able to express when he needs it and where. He will put my fingers on his toes and sing out “this little piggy went to market”. At first, I thought it was about the nursery rhyme but as time went on I realized it was less about the song and instead more about the ways he communicates with me. I see miracles every day from him and his memory is incredible and long. He will randomly say things to me that we haven’t seen or talked about in months or even years. He’ll mention it or explain something about a situation that happened. It’s like once he can process it then he finally will talk about it. I still remember when one of the first times he used his words to explain something to me. When he was still very young he had gotten a stuffed animal for Christmas. One night, years later, he was in bed and he not only asked for the stuffed animal we called “buck” but he told me who the stuffed deer was from. Since then he finds ways to ask for items or explain something even though it may not be in the traditional sense. I’m thankful for the steps he has taken and his growth throughout the years. Never give up. Even through the sunshine tears will fall but I look at the journey and I know tomorrow is a brand new day. I’m thankful for today and look forward to the journey yet to come. Count your blessings, live in the hope for tomorrow, and never give up. Smiles to all and donut daze!
How do I teach my child to blow his nose and not poop in the tub? These and other fine questions have come to surface today. Owen would rather make the snot nose sound than blow his nose and truly he doesn’t really understand how to do it but he won’t even let me help him with it. He finally asked me for a tissue. This actually brought me great joy because when I say finally I mean like he actually asked me for a tissue. This isn’t something he does, these weren’t really words he comprehended before, and he still doesn’t understand how to blow his nose but he asked me for a tissue. Using the word “tissue”. These are those little victories that aren’t so little, they are huger than huge and make this momma happy. He feels more mature and yet he also feels very immature. There is this line between the levels that seem to cross back and forth depending on the moment. His answer now seems to be throwing things. When I can’t explain a situation to his understanding or satisfaction usually something goes flying. Lately, it’s been his tablet. Some of it is still the attention-getter. But he is also working through a lot of these moments with the calming techniques we having been working on for years. My goal has always been to try to help him realize that he is having a meltdown and that he can focus his energy on trying to stay ahead of it. Today was one of those days he did both. Meltdowns and strategies intertwined and with that is when I see growth. One day at a time I remind myself. Everyone seems to have a very full plate right now and I’m thankful for every step forward we take. Remember you are important and today is a stepping stone for your future. Believe in yourself and the rest will follow. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I wish I could stop crying. Owen wanted me to figure out what was on his tablet screen. Let’s say he moved on quicker than I have. The meltdown happened so fast and I didn’t even know what I was trying to calm him down from. As quickly as it started it ended. It took me a while to calm myself but the emotional rollercoaster stayed with me all night. The days seem to be very emotional lately. One thing after another keeps me rooted in one spot, trying to push forward through it all but still emotional at that. I can tell Owen is making huge progress though. His words and attention span seem to be increasing almost daily. His sentence structure is something we have been working on and I can hear him trying to make more concise sentences. It’s exciting to hear his progress even though I feel like I’m the one backtracking. Today felt extremely lonely. He felt extremely connected and disconnected to me all in the same breath. He goes through phases where he listens really well to me and then other days, like today where he laughs when I ask him to do something but he wants me to do things for him in the very second he asks. It’s a give and take with us I guess. He didn’t want to take his bath tonight until late. There was no convincing either. But I pretty much wasn’t rushing anything because it seems like some nights it takes him forever to fall asleep. Tonight was one of those nights and once he did he woke right back up again. I have to be very quiet right after he falls asleep and I still can’t move my arm from draping it across him in the “big hug” maneuver. I’m thankful for his smile and the words that he gave me today. Through tired eyes, I know that tomorrow will be a brand new day and he will accomplish mote amazing things. Believe in miracles. I see mine right in front of me every day. Find your smile, rejoice all that you have accomplished, and be proud of where you are heading. Smiles to all and donut daze!
We sorta slept last night. And we sorta woke happy. I don’t think I drank enough coffee today. Although I don’t know if even gallons would have been enough. There was progress to be made though and we were on a mission. Owen let me see what the caption was from the video he was watching on his tablet. He asked me what something was on the screen and I said it was the warning label. He beat his foot once on the ground. I knew there would be more coming if I didn’t get it right. Without saying another word I moved his tablet closer so I could see the caption. He didn’t scream. There was the first round of progress. I pointed to each of the words under the video as I read them aloud. I wanted him to see why I needed the words underneath. He pushed the voice-activated control and I said it. The key for me is trying to remember all the words I had read. It isn’t always easy to memorize them as quickly as he takes them off trying to turn on the voice option. But hey there was progress. I tried not to rush when I was helping him put his clothes on. He wanted to rush to get back to his tablet. I made him hold his shorts as he pulled them on. It’s still a hard concept for him to get. He knows how to do it but actually holding the material in his hand, stepping in the shorts to put the correct leg on each side, and pull them up is not easy for him. I try to put a lot of shorts that have elastic in them so he doesn’t have to worry about the zippers or snaps when he goes to the bathroom. It’s been about a year since he’s been potty trained. I smile thinking about that huge accomplishment and life skill for him. There are still moments in time where he has a few hiccups in the potty training journey but there are more great days for us. I remind myself of this when I am overwhelmed with what feels like backtracking. I believe in the miracles, I believe in my son. Even on those stressful days, I make sure to tell him I love him and he can do anything if he sets his mind to it. Believe in the miracles yet to come. Learn from yesterday and grow into 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.