How early is too early to go to bed or maybe how late is too early to wake up I wonder. Maybe I’m still sleeping. Owen woke up at some point and didn’t want to sleep in his “blue bed” until he thought about possibly getting his tablet and then going back to bed. He decided instead we would just be awake. As soon as I got out of bed he told me to sit. Some mornings he needs me to sit on the couch and hold him and sometimes he wants me to sit on the couch but he needs to run from one room to the next expelling his energy as he goes. He was ready for school, eager to get to the bus, but he didn’t want to get dressed. “Sit”, he told me again. I told him if I sat that he couldn’t go see his teacher and his friends. This started him moving to get ready. I put his pants and socks on the couch and went to get dressed. I came back to him putting on his pants on himself, I hadn’t even asked him to try. He had them pulled up and was spinning round and round trying to pull them the rest of the way. I wanted to do the happy dance but I had to help him. He, unfortunately, put them on backward but I was still thrilled beyond words. I truly wish I could have let him wear them backward only because I wanted him to know how huge the victory was and sometimes when I have to redo his clothing it causes him to have a meltdown. I told him how excited and proud I was that he did this all on his own. I helped him turn them around and I explained which direction goes in front. He is getting it. He helped with both his socks and shoes and away we went to the bus stop. He knew today was “therapy day therapy day” and he made sure “mommy going to pick you up me up”. He always says my words and his words. When I picked him up his teacher told me he had a great day and they are working on helping to transition him to winter clothes. He has a hard time with long sleeves or jackets instead of short sleeves. I can also hear a difference in him saying the correct words to describe an outfit. We got to his therapy and he had several great sessions but they said he was a little tired. Sounds about right when he got up before five in the morning. On our way home he was getting anxious. I've tried numerous ways to get him to find peace while we are driving someplace. One of the strategies I’ve worked with him on is to count cars as they pass us. Almost in the exact same place I originally suggested it he said, “let's count cars” and he started counting each one. He did it almost the whole way home. I can tell you I wanted to rejoice right then. I was celebrating that victory and all the other ones from our day. I’m very thankful for his growth today and every day. I tell him that he is moving mountains and can accomplish anything he sets his mind to. Never give up on the miracle yet to happen. Tomorrow is a brand new day. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Well, a little more sleep is better than no sleep again so I guess we slept better. Owen was very excited about going to the dentist but he was also upset he was not going to ride the bus to school. I told him he could ride the bus to school tomorrow and that seemed to make him happy. It is very hard to change routines on him but he also really liked going to the dentist. He gets very excited when he goes. He likes talking to the people in the waiting room. He usually goes to adults quicker than he does other kids. I was happy when he walked up to one of the other parents and told him that his shirt was black and it actually was. I explained that was one of the things we were working on, to get him to answer correctly. When we went back to the room Owen knew immediately what he was supposed to do. He sat in the chair and we talked to the assistant. He told her that he had to look in the mirror and he wanted to watch Mickey Mouse. They have TVs on the ceilings for the kids to watch. The doctor came in and he immediately started talking to her. He gets very excited about her counting his teeth. I explained that we were there because he kept telling me he wanted to pull his teeth out and picking at the one area in his mouth. She looked at all of his teeth and said they looked good. She explained that over the next few years he would lose numerous baby teeth and he may be starting to feel them shifting. I felt better having her confirm that he hadn’t knocked any of them loose again by chewing on things like his tablet. We left there and I took him to school. He wanted to make sure “mommy goes bye bye”. He loves school and that is his way of confirming that I will drop him off. He says this to me when I take him to visit his grandparents too. He wants that one on one time with them. When I signed him into school someone took him to his class. He stood there watching me to make sure I was going. It makes my heart happy to know he loves being at school. When he got home from school he was very calm. He wanted to make sure “mommy change” so that he knew we were staying home. I have to change to home clothes instead of jeans. He ate a big dinner, listened well until it was bedtime and then he didn’t want to go to sleep but this is pretty standard now. It seems like he wants to drag his feet every night but is ready for his bath as soon as he hears the water going. He fell asleep quickly in my arms wanting a “big hug” and I was thankful for a good day. Knowing that he is thriving at school makes me very happy. He loves going and he has a great connection with his teacher. Be inspired by the world around you. Know that you can make a difference. Smiles to all and donut daze!
When sleep doesn’t matter you get up at three o’clock in the morning. Owen woke extremely early, got into bed with me, and then decided it was time to get up. This meant the party was on. I suppose when I was his age it was fun to wake up or stay up all night. Now, not so much. He didn’t slow down at all. I told him he could stay up if he went to his bed. He said, “the blue bed” and I told him yes that he had to stay in there hoping he would fall asleep, knowing he wouldn’t. To quote Owen, I think I may have gotten “two more three minute twenty second minute” nap in after that. However, those minutes were interrupted with him talking to me about the games he was playing on his tablet. He likes to lose but he also gets mad because he has lost and has no more lives left. He will even quit some of his lives so he can lose quicker. This goes back to his reaction to liking when something is wrong or expressing the wrong answers. He thrives in those wrong answers and trying to make him realize that if he wins he would be able to play the game longer is a hard concept for him to comprehend. He couldn’t wait to go to school this morning and his early morning didn’t slow him down at all. When he came home from school he was still going strong. He started talking about what his next couple of days held. I had told him that he would be going to the dentist tomorrow and he was confirming it with me as soon as he stepped off the bus. I made him an appointment, even though he had one a couple of months ago. He has been picking at his teeth and then saying, “pull a tooth”. We do not want that again. None of his teeth are loose but they are more crowded as his adult teeth come in. Even though I don’t see a particular reason for him to go to the dentist I still want him to understand he has control of his health care needs and it is good for him to go through these motions. I always make sure he understands that doctors are our friends and they are there to help us. I asked him what his dentist would have him do. He went to the mirror and stood there opening and closing his mouth. He said, “she count teff” and he then counted to ten. He opened his mouth really wide again and said, “Spider-Man teeth”. For some reason that is what he calls his teeth. We’ve talked about his mouth and that he might have to get braces and he has found teeth videos on YouTube. I’m always torn about him watching these videos because this might be where he has gotten the idea about pulling his teeth but it is also good for him to see what the dentist would do for him. He had a great night and for the most part, was calm. He fell asleep quickly and I hope that tonight is the night we make up for some sleep. Happiness comes from seeing my boy smile. Find your joy, share your story, and know that you matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
His laughter, that’s what I hold on to. And him letting me sing with him. That doesn’t always happen. I’m trying to get Owen to understand that his words matter. He will say the opposite about something so he can see the reaction of the person he is talking to or because that is how he has to process it but he doesn’t understand how his words might matter to someone else. He will tell someone they are wearing purple when they are wearing orange. He also likes to call things by different names like “lamp” or “lamb” and screams it until you correct him or he moves on. Some of this is because he is working through different letters and how they sound and some of it is emotions and processing. His newest discussion is about the weather and it always seems to be at the same place when we are in the car. I prepare myself for his words before he has time to even react. He yells out, “it’s raining”. I brace myself for what’s coming next. I try to distract him before we even get to the intersection. If I can’t distract him he goes on, “it’s a it’s a it’s a it’s a”. He wants me to tell him it’s not raining. I do not know what has triggered this new response to this particular intersection but here we are. I try not to cry thinking about it. The screams echo through my mind and I think how hard all of this can be on him. This same intersection has caused hours and hours of meltdowns over being stopped at the light. Those meltdowns aren’t as frequent and I pray we have been able to work through those emotions. When he got home from school today we went to the park with our friends. He couldn’t wait to go but he also had a hard time processing that we were going. “Two more five more minutes”, he said. He had fun once we got there and that’s what matters. I love seeing him actually climbing on the playground equipment. I also get very anxious when he does it because he has no fear or safety concerns but he has come so far and seems like he is climbing everything like a superstar. When we came home he ate a huge dinner and then he sat next to me under a blanket. He needed the comfort and input. He was calm the rest of the evening and I suppose I was too. I said, “you know what” and he said, “I love you”. We have to make every single day count, even if it is just being kind to ourselves. Make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Calm is nice. It felt like one of those good days. Owen got in my bed at some point but he actually slept a little later than normal and a lot quieter or maybe I was just exhausted. When it was time to get up he said, “gotta go potty let’s try” and off he ran, knowing full well that he said it because he was ready to get up but hey, it works. He had one major thing on his mind and that was “church church church”. Calm keeps running through my mind. He was mostly calm on the way to church, mostly calm on the way home from church, and mostly calm all afternoon. He even listened when I said it was bath time and within a few minutes he started the bedtime routine. When we left church he kept asking for ice cream. The dude likes to order lots of foods that he doesn’t like but I thought let’s try it again. Besides chocolate milk, he likes very few sweet foods and will only eat a bite or two generally. He must have heard them talking about ice cream at church. We got his food and came home. The no screaming thing was amazing. He’s always on edge when he is in the car but at least he was talking with me and not screaming. He ate some of his lunch and then asked for the ice cream. I already knew how it would go but I always like to try foods over and over with him because he may grow to like something and he specifically asked for it. I got him a hot fudge sundae. I first tried only the vanilla ice cream and he would hardly open his lips to even take a bite. I added the hot fudge and he opened his mouth a little further. He had maybe three bites of the tiniest amount he could take off the spoon and ran to play. About thirty minutes later he finished more of his lunch and asked for “more ice cream please”. Shocked, but I was like OK. He had even less than the first time but again he was asking for it and eating it even if it was a smidge. The afternoon flew by and he was still doing great. We played and he sat with me asking lots of questions about words, languages, and songs. I try to quiz him without it sounding like I’m quizzing him. He was ready for school tomorrow and the park with his friend as soon as church was over. He told me he goes to school on Monday to see his friends. That makes this momma very happy. I love that he is including more of his friends in his conversations with me and naming them. I felt a sense of maturity in him today that I hadn’t seen in a while and it felt good. It was one of those good days. Dream big, smile for the world to see it, and share your story and share mine because someone needs to hear it. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen woke early early. He had come to my bed at some point but I was too tired to even think about it. I told him it was still nighttime and that we needed to go back to sleep. He was not having it. Every few minutes he was talking to me and if I didn’t respond he was screaming. At this point, I told him that he could stay up but he had to go to his bed and he could take his tablet. This helped but he kept coming to me asking questions. At least he wasn’t screaming though. When I got up he started talking about going to the coffee shop and bowling. This hadn’t been a focus for him in weeks so it made me very happy. He wasn’t going to see his grandparents today because they had other plans but I kept distracting him when he would ask about it. I didn’t want to derail the bowling train. After we ate lunch we got ready to go. He had started the “coffee shop coffee shop” chant. After the last few weeks being hard on him for our weekends, this was a great sound coming from him. We got to the coffee shop and he wanted “ice coffee”. They make a special drink just for him. It was great to see him happy but I also had to remind him not to roll around all over the floor. I try to make him understand that we have to respect the businesses that we visit. When we left there his words went back and forth about going bowling and not going bowling but I could tell this was more to push buttons and express his emotions. He knows how to pull on my heartstrings and also what to say so that he can see me react. The hard thing is keeping myself aware of this. I want him to be able to make choices but I also have to make him understand that we can’t go back and forth constantly on our decisions. He will say one thing but really wants something else. He has a hard time with saying the correct answers to questions because he likes the negative feedback he will get for the response. This started on apps that would give special effects when he would lose a game. He will say the wrong color of the shirt someone is wearing so they will say the right color and that the color he said was wrong. His teacher and therapists are all working on ways with me to help him overcome this. We got to the bowling alley and he was excited to bowl but he was also stuck on talking about not going to the babysitter that he hasn’t been to in years. He is so worried that he is going to a babysitter again. He likes his routine and he wants to know what it is at all times. I was thankful he wanted to bowl. He helped me roll every ball down the lane and he was good about listening to instructions except that he wants to constantly put his fingers in his mouth and I can’t convince him otherwise. We got home and he started talking about “church church church” tomorrow and that he goes to school on Monday. Listening to instructions today was hit or miss but I was very thankful he wanted to go bowling and the coffee shop. He stayed happy all day. Here’s to a pretty great Saturday. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Yesterday is written in stone but tomorrow is full of endless possibilities. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Some days feel impossible. Today was that day. Owen woke up on edge. Every little thing was not little. My blue pants were not blue enough or maybe they were too blue. His pants were also the wrong shade of blue and the wrong style. And all I can think is how hard this is for my baby. He didn’t want to wear his jacket to the bus stop. Some days he doesn’t mind wearing it. Other days it’s all too much for him. The tears want to fall from my eyes. I’m trying to concentrate on how good the rest of the week was. As we were walking to the bus stop he noticed a car that was on the side of the road. I knew from other days it was another family waiting for a different school bus. Owen did not like that it was sitting there. It was turned backwards and had its lights on. He started yelling, “pull over it’s not pull over”. He went on and on. I pulled out my phone and quickly asked Siri some phrases in Russian trying to distract him. He started asking for different words but he was still very distracted by the car. The bus came in a few minutes and he wanted to run to it before it even stopped. When he came home from school nothing felt much different from the morning. He was still very much on edge. He got off the bus and immediately started asking about the car and listed off where we were going over the next few days. And then his words expressed emotions about the car again. He never forgets a thing. We got into the house and he immediately started talking about the weekend and what he was and wasn’t going to do. Oh, how I pray tomorrow is a calm day for him. His repetitive behaviors were over the top and he kept screaming at me because I didn’t answer every single time he said the same thing. He was afraid I was going to take him to see a babysitter he hasn’t seen in years. This caused screaming of epic portion. And these emotions made him have other behavioral issues. He sat with me and wanted a “big hug” but he wouldn’t let me move my arms around him. He screamed, “no big hug today” when I attempted to hug him but kept asking for hugs and input. The night was hard, the emotions for both of us were stronger but the love is always easy to explain. Falling asleep was hard for him. As soon as I thought he was asleep he would pop up and talk about the weekend ahead. Hours after he fell asleep I still hear him waking up or talking in his sleep. I prayed for a good day tomorrow, in fact, I begged God for a good day tomorrow. Today I reflect on how far we have come instead of trying to dwell on how many changes of clothes he went through when he got home or the screams that etched spider webs into my heart. I just wanted to hold my sweet baby O and remind him that he is loved beyond words and emotions. His laughter is what I’m holding on to. Through challenges, we grow. Walk forward, know you are not alone, and tomorrow is a brand new day. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Five o’clock in the morning comes awfully early when you are awake most of the night. Owen’s not sleeping again. He goes back to sleep fairly quickly but he is waking up numerous times all night long. I wish something worked for him more than a few weeks or that he wouldn’t have reactions to. He woke refreshed and ready to go. Me, not so much. He couldn’t wait to get to his tablet this morning and he started asking Alexa how to say different phrases in all the languages she can translate into. This seems to be the new trend. We got ready to go to the bus stop and he couldn’t wait to get out the door. I have to make sure he doesn’t take off running in the opposite direction or even start walking without me. He thinks it’s funny to act like he is going to walk a different way. When we got to the bus stop he wanted me to use my phone so he could listen to animal noises. His laughter keeps me smiling throughout the day. Today was “therapy day therapy day” oh how he loves therapy day. He is doing really well for each of his therapists. I also like that they work together to create a strategy for him to grow. This makes it better for me as well because I can follow through at home with the same directions. He is becoming more interactive and reactive to situations. He was watching a Disney Junior show and the children were dancing. I asked him to dance. And he did. Then he told me he “jumped around”. This all feels huge to me and I’m thankful for these steps. He once again ate a big dinner and I am sure I’ll see a growth spurt soon. I’m thankful for the great report from his teacher and therapists. Together we are growing Owen and I know I am growing too. Be inspired, dream big, and know that you can move mountains if you believe. Smiles to all and donut daze!
The theme of the week so far has been a pretty happy Owen. He woke up numerous times last night but he went right back to sleep. Not that we needed the alarm but when it went off he said, “two more minutes”. He went on to tell me he wanted a “big hug” but as soon as I went to hug him he said, “no big hug today two more minutes sit”. All his thoughts run together and so many times I have to decide what he is wanting me to do. Deciding wrong also means screaming or maybe not. Sometimes my pins and needles have pins and needles waiting for the other shoe to drop but luckily the last few days he has felt calm to me. Once he was past his “two more minutes” he was ready to get to that bus stop and get to “school school school”. Before we even walked to the bus stop he started asking Alexa different phrases in all the languages she translates into. All week this has been his focus and animal noises. I truly wonder how much he has stored in his brain. I will ask him how to say something in one of the languages and he doesn’t always answer but when he does it is exactly what the phrase is. He tries to even say it with an accent. When he got home from school I was thrilled with all his words pouring out of him. He always talks about his teacher, the aide, and one of his friends but today he talked about numerous friends, listing them off as he was eating his snack. Friendship is a hard concept to grasp and for him to be talking like this with me brings joy to my heart. He doesn’t completely understand how to interact with his friends but he is learning to share and his teacher is great about having them interact with each other. This is building a strong foundation for his future and I’m thrilled. I think he is growing again because he ate numerous snacks and first and second dinners. Maybe it was just constant snacks. I once again can’t think about the potty train we are on but they say if one skill is hit or miss that big things are happening. I see growth in him this week and I know that he is changing right before my eyes. Through life’s challenges, we learn to adapt and grow. With Owen I see those challenges taking him to new heights every day. He is doing great things and tomorrow is a brand new day. Find your purpose, shout it from the rooftops, and keep moving forward. Smiles to all and donut daze!
There’s got to be a noise, song, supplement, something that will help Owen sleep all night. Until I find it I know that he will come to my bed at some point in the middle of the night. Or wake up before I have even thought about going to sleep like he did tonight. He wanted “two more twenty minutes need a big hug sit thirty seconds” before we could get out of bed this morning. He listened really well though once we got out of bed. It was almost with the first instructions too. Sometimes it seems like it takes a numerous times for my words to process with him and as many times until he does the steps. But he is making progress. His teacher let me know he had a great day. When he got off the bus he was full of words and excitement. He let me have a meeting with his advisor on the phone and he sat with me most of the time. After the phone call was done we played, painted, and ate dinner. I spent 30 minutes listening to Owen ask Alexa everything he could think of in all different languages. He was also asking her for songs. All his words are very encouraging. He will still occasionally ask me to help find songs or videos but he asks for mostly everything himself. This is huge. He felt like he was calm all night long. He wanted to immediately come to my bed as we got him ready for sleep. I asked him which bed was his and he said, “the blue bed”. I’m trying to get him to understand that even if he wakes up he can still sleep in his bed. One day at a time. His laughter tonight was once again the highlight of my day. “Whale noises”, he said to Alexa and then laughed and laughed and laughed. He fell asleep quickly after his bath and even though he already woke up once I’m praying he will sleep the rest of the night. I try not to dwell on the past but I do think back and reflect on how far he’s come. Never give up on the miracles yet to happen. Believe in yourself and the rest will follow. 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.