I’m thankful for a day that moves us forward. Today felt like that kind of a day even though none of it seemed seamless or effortless. Owen repeats himself a lot. And by a lot, I mean a lot, a lot. It’s a lot. A lot of repeating, a lot of repetition. And then a lot of the repeating repetition. There are days I try not to get on the repeating train with him but most days I seem to derail myself more than I ever get him off track or maybe it’s back on track. He slept great and once again was ready for school. I’m glad he loves going and loves his teacher. We got out to wait for the bus and he was on the overpass/underpass train and wanted to go see the depot. I keep wondering if the overpass he wants to see is close to the depot. He’ll figure out how to tell me. “Do you eat grass,” he said numerous times as we were waiting. He goes back and forth with his no and yes answers and the correct answer isn’t generally first. He heard a noise and said, “do you hear it it’s a giant.” He’s so full of words and working on his sentence structure. He asked when he would see his doctor and he then answers himself. The questions are being formed and answered. I went to his IEP -Individualized Education Program meeting today to plan for the year ahead. It’s emotional. I talk with his teacher all the time so technically there are no surprises but it’s still emotional. Plus, the big plus, I wanted to hold him back next year. I also want to cry. It’s a big decision but for him, I think it is the right decision. He’s tiny for his age and the progress he is making will increase by keeping the same plan in place with his teacher. Thankfully the school agreed and it all progressed smoothly. His teacher and his therapists all talked about the progress he has made and the areas they will continue to focus on, and it all made sense to me. I’m truly thankful for how much this group supports and fosters my son’s growth. When he got home from school it luckily stopped raining when he got off the bus. He asked to go bowling but they are generally busy so I told him we could go Friday or Saturday if he wanted since he had therapy tomorrow. Then he asked to go to the depot and look for the overpass but he decided instead he wanted to take a bubble bath and talk about eating. We read together, ate a snack, and then he took his bath. Bathrooms really should be completely waterproof. He was wound up today. He thought it was funny to kick the shower walls and kept splashing all of the water out of the tub. I don’t want him to think he can do something like kick the walls but the more I corrected him the more he kicked them and laughed. He has no concept that his actions result in things being broken or destroyed. Every time he kicked the wall his foot came down on the faucet. I was concerned that he was going to hurt his foot either by kicking the wall or from the faucet. Thankfully he moved forward and stopped. I sat watching bowling with him only he wanted me to watch it from another chair. I was sitting in the wrong spot and I kept telling him I was fine but he wanted me to move. I knew what was going to happen. As soon as I moved he was done watching it and then he wanted me to move so he could sit where I was sitting because he wanted to play on the computer. His nighttime prayer was “Dear God, thank you for Thanksgiving and my friends Mickey Mouse. Amen.” He only got out of bed one time but I heard him several more. I pray he sleeps the night. The plan, the expectations are never as great as the love in my heart for my sweet baby O. He is what matters. Find your joy, share your story, and make today matter. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Sleep is working for one of us, mostly. Owen has been falling asleep after generally getting up several times first to talk to me about all the noise I am making by sitting on the couch, with all the lights off, and not moving. This takes about an hour sometimes and I think it all depends on what is on his mind. He woke with another happy day smile and was ready for us to do what we do. I’ve been trying to divide up our time better and that seems to be helping more. I also think he was ready for the break to be over. He played his drum for me and laughed about not singing with it. He was playing on his tablet and he was talking about the different objects on the screen for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He was being very descriptive and this makes me happy. There were several shapes and he went through each one explaining why they were different sizes and shapes. He told me the paint was in a rectangle shape. His words are really flowing now. We got ready for school and he was doing everything I asked him to do. He told me that when he got home he wanted to go to the overpass. I told him we could or maybe go for a bike ride. He started insisting that it was winter as soon as he got off the bus and went on to talk about the cold. He kept going with everything you could think of to do. Then he wanted to go to all the places and he even told me he could go see a babysitter that he hasn’t seen in over five years to watch Mickey Mouse with the kids. I didn’t rush him to decide. I offered walks and bike rides and overpass looking but he decided to stay home because he wanted to take a bath and get ready for school tomorrow. He didn’t eat much for dinner tonight but had a lot for his snack. The world was making a lot of noise as he tried to drift off to sleep and bedtime was not quick tonight but at least he was happy about tomorrow. Never give up on the hope for tomorrow. Life is what you make it so let’s make it grand. Smiles to all and donut daze!
To say Owen was excited about his Monday might be an understatement. He knew as soon as he woke up that it was his day to shine. He couldn’t wait to see his teacher and friends again. He woke right on time. I thought he might wake early but thankfully he didn’t. I on the other hand was up way too early. He went to the bathroom and then started talking about his teacher. He gave me a quick hug, stood by the light switch, and continued talking about his day. He was ready for us to “sit in the white bed” and start our morning. I’m learning to pace us a little better now. It seems like this was not always the case even though you would think I would be on it. He listened to my instructions and he couldn’t wait to get out to wait for his bus. As we were waiting he started talking about his vision therapy. He immediately mentioned the doctor’s clothes and I looked at him. He said, “we don’t talk about blue pants elephants eat peanuts with Goofy.” I told him that his emotions were valid but we needed to not judge others about their clothes. I always talk to him about kindness and grace for others. I told him that if he didn’t talk about blue pants with the doctor he could get something. He said, “a present.” I told him yes. He then said, “a new skateboard and new flower.” I told him absolutely. He quickly added a “new rocket ship.” I knew that most likely he would still talk about it but I was happy he was at least thinking the steps through. When he got home from school he was in a great mood and he talked to me about seeing his teacher tomorrow. When we left for his vision therapy he started talking about the room we would be in. He wanted to be in one of the other rooms he had been in when we first started going. I knew we wouldn’t be in it but he still wanted to talk about it. As soon as he saw the doctor he started talking to her about what she was wearing. I kept hoping he would get a new skateboard even though he’d never had one at all before but I knew it would be very hard for him to not talk about blue pants. He did great even though he was a little hyper. Maybe next time he will get a new skateboard. When we got home he immediately wanted to take a bath so he could get up tomorrow and go to school. I said after he ate dinner and thankfully he agreed. He ate, we painted, and then it was bath time. I knocked something off the counter and he usually screams but thankfully tonight he handed it to me. The night flew by and he talked about getting ready for school tomorrow. He asked to go to the underpass and I said we could look for it tomorrow. Sometimes he calls it overpass and sometimes underpass. He told me “Tuesday look for the overpass” so that’s what we can do or at least try. I’m thankful for progress and strength as the days can be long. Dream the big dream and know that you are amazing. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I woke early, waiting to hear Owen’s footsteps at any moment. The quietness of the night is never truly quiet. I wait for sounds that will wake him. He slept until almost six o’clock. His words, actions, and reactions all seemed to flow and he was relatively calm. Relatively if I was completely engaged with him unless he didn’t want me to be. “Sit right here,” he said one minute, and “go to the white bed” seconds later. Some days are harder than others to distract him from his demands and commands that he wants to put on me. Instant gratification is also something else we are walking through. His words and connections were flowing today but he also repeated so many of them over and over again. It’s amazing how he told me his robot BeatBo is like Goofy’s Goofbot from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He brought me his tablet showing me Goofbot and explaining all the similarities to BeatBo. He then had me help him play one of his games and he pointed out all the blue pants’ characters. I’m always trying to get him to move to watch how his body functions. I wanted him to move his shoulders. He attempted to move them and he said, “jiggle wiggle that doesn’t work” and took his hands up to his shoulders. I wanted him to sing songs when we were going to church. I like to distract him from yelling about the stoplights and he said, “I can’t play that game you sing.” His foreign language skills are ramping back up. He is listening to all kinds of phrases again and he started talking and said, “that’s spanol now for Arabic.” I truly wonder how many languages he speaks. When we came home from church he ate his lunch and immediately started playing his keyboard. He goes through phases where he will play more music but I always encourage him to play different instruments. Music does wonders for our souls. He wanted to take a bubble bath so he could go to bed and see his teacher but he technically didn’t want to go to bed. When he got in the bath he told me “bubble bath with tomato juice please pour head be red Owen.” All I can think is he has watched a video with a skunk and this is what he wants to do now. He asks for food and drinks when his plate or cup is not empty but he doesn’t ever want them empty so as soon as he finished dinner he asked for more. I’m on to him I tell him so he says, “this is the last time no full cups today” mixing my words altogether. Then he waits for me to tell him that he can have more. He starts filling in my words before I even start to say them. “You can have more if you need it,” he continued. I want him to know he can always have more if he wants it but it doesn’t need to sit there if it is to just fill the glass. This is a hard concept to make a connection with. I told him it was bedtime and he said, after he “finish your Toy Blast” so I let him finish his game. After getting up three times sleep happened with a smile on his face because he knows he is going to school tomorrow and seeing his teacher. I’m so thankful he will be back into his routine. His laughter in his joyful moments is more than I could have ever dreamed of and I’m thankful. Follow your heart, sing the melodies of your soul, and know that you can make a difference in this world. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I woke up yesterday thinking it was Saturday so when today was actually Saturday it was kind of a surprise. Owen slept a little tiny bit later than he has been but still before six. He was ready for bowling and started Wii bowling before he even ate any of first breakfast. Strikes and spares for my sweet baby O and then on to cereal. He is getting very descriptive with his words. Every time he starts talking about something I whisper a little thank you to his teacher and everyone on his team. I can see all the hard work he is doing to learn new sounds to make each and every one of these words come to life. He, however, is making a new sound that is not my favorite. It’s like a screeching velociraptor that wants to spit in your face all at the same time. It’s a mix between learning how to make sounds and knowing he is technically not supposed to be doing what he is doing. I didn’t rush him this morning, letting him have his time as the day moved on. By the afternoon I told him we could go bowling or stay home. He wanted to go. It is wonderful to have him wanting to go places again. When we left to go bowling he wanted me to take him to the underpass but he couldn’t exactly tell me where it was and I don’t know what he is referring to. I’m going to ask the bus drivers if they might know because he wanted me to go in a direction we haven’t been in years which doesn’t mean it isn’t that direction. He really enjoyed bowling today. He didn’t want it to end. In fact, when we were done he tried to start the scoreboard again. On the way home he wanted to drive by the train depot and the underpass but I still couldn’t figure out where he wanted to go. He was talking about the construction on the road while we were looking for the underpass and he said, “that’s an excavator a green excavator do you eat excavator no you eat grass.” When we got home he was bowling a lot on his tablet. He wanted to know what the “curtain” was that came down for the pins. I told him it was called a pinsetter and then he started saying things about the pinsetter. He once again was being very descriptive and explained that there was one pin left and the pinsetter was going to take the pins. His speech therapist is helping him with sentence structure and I can see a big improvement. It seems like we ate little meals and snacks all day and he got out of bed a couple of times before he was finally out but I think he had a great day. One more day for us to conquer before spring break is over and he will be so happy to be back in his routine. I’m trying to keep the thought that keeps me rooted in the past to not keep me from propelling myself into the future. Owen’s laugh and big hugs give me the smile that I need. Find your joy in the little things and know that you are amazing. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Some days, most days the emotions are raw, really, really raw. I have to remember that the goal is to make life happy and love with all my heart. Owen got up at about five ready for the big slides. I told him we had to wait until they were open and he said, “next time.” It’s about that instant gratification. He may not relate to it like that but if something isn’t happening right this moment then it’s “next time” or “next week.” I’ve been working on how to tell time with him and he is getting closer. I said we are going today but at two o’clock. He said, “bowling open” and I went through the same scenario with him. The boy was ready to be on the go to the big slides. So bowling by six on the Wii it was. He got upset that it started raining because he thought we couldn’t go to the big slides. I told him the rain would not keep us from going since they are on the inside. I explained that we would have to only walk through the rain to get inside. He started looking for raindrops on his night shorts and we were still inside. I fixed him breakfast and I set his glass down. He picked it up and starts walking away fast and said, “chocolate milk in the bed.” I told him I don’t think so and he said, “well think so.” We got dressed and we went to the “big slides” when they opened so he could process it all. He likes to talk about finding “the robot BeatBo” in their closet that he’s not supposed to go into and run next to the bathrooms because he likes the noises. The only thing was he was expecting our friends to be there when we got there. I told him they would be coming in about an hour. His attention was all about when they were coming. I should not have told him that anyone was coming. You would think I know this by now. He was focused on when they were coming and not doing any of the activities. He was also focused on the closet, the bathroom, falling off of things, climbing the wrong side of the structures, and a guy he kept calling “uncle wichard.” He had a hat, a plaid shirt, jeans, and shoes. From there he did not look anything like him but he kept running up to him and talking to him. He didn’t want me to order any food there but when I suggested pizza he asked for “shrimp and hotdogs.” He only said it because he thought I was making him eat. He didn’t want any mention of his birthday but when his friends gave him a present he actually took each one of them out of the “present” and looked at them. I have to remember that even if someone is meeting us someplace I have to try to not tell him plans besides the things he knows because it’s too hard on him. Someone dropped their sock on the trampoline and it almost caused him to have a huge meltdown. I was able to calm him and gave him a few more minutes but I knew it was time to go. Every experience is an opportunity for growth. I have to remind myself that he is navigating the waters that are already in motion for him. We left in the middle of the rain. I prayed that we could get to the car without a meltdown as he picked up each leg a little higher to see the “dots” on his jeans as he walked. Thankfully we got home and the rest of the day was filled with food and fun and exhaustion. He took his bath and he was out quickly. Tomorrow he wants to go bowling again. As he says, “we will see.” I’m thankful for his laughter and his progress is what I focus on. Be kind to the heart of people because their story is not always written on their face. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen slept until after five and was ready to get in the car to go to therapy. “You open the window check in,” he said after being awake for only a few minutes. Routine means absolutely everything to him and routine has to absolutely mean everything to me or the anxiety that it causes him ripples across the ocean like waves trying to reach the shore. He asked me once, twice, thirty, or more times before breakfast was even over. He wanted to make sure he was going to therapy today. Spring break breaks my heart and I’m already dreading summer. Thankfully there is summer school but that’s such a short amount of time compared to the weeks off he has. My heart aches for the hours he spends thinking about the days ahead when his routine is not what he wants it to be. The more I can do to help him redirect his energy moves him forward but it’s draining. I drank some coffee and I swallowed wrong. I tried to explain I was coughing and needed space to just catch my breath. He got right up to my nose and fake coughed in my face. He doesn’t like the emotions I show. He’s still learning to process his own and mine don’t always work with his. I asked him are you ready for breakfast, a waffle, sausage dog, or some eggs? He said, “no therapy.” That is how almost every question was answered except when I talked to him about the big slides tomorrow for his birthday that we aren’t calling a party. It’s too much for him to handle so we just have a few fun moments and let him run around and have fun with a few friends coming. He was so happy talking to Alexa this morning. He was back to asking her words in all the languages. He hadn’t done that in a while. Sometimes, a lot of times, I sit because of the silence it provides. Owen gets overstimulated by my actions and reactions. It causes ripple effects and sitting provides the calm for my soul. This isn’t always the right answer or a solution but calm is what both of us need on those days. He did great at therapy with all three of his therapists. His occupational therapist had him work with scissors and they were squeeze scissors. These seemed to work well with him. Then they played the pirate game he requested. He told her he was going to play it with his grandma. His speech therapist was very excited about his sounds and how he was doing with his sentence structure. I put some jeans on him that had a tiny frayed spot a little bigger than a pin head and then did a second thought but decided to leave them on him. He was swinging with his physical therapist and he jumped off the swing on purpose as he does and the hole split open. He didn’t realize it at first but once he did I thought he would have a meltdown or want new pants right away but he did great. He talked about the hole, wanted it put back together, and asked for new pants but he didn’t scream or go into meltdown mode. It was a great moment for me for him. It felt like huge progress. He was full of great words and explanations throughout the day. He talked about Donald Duck as Humpty Dumpty and explained what he saw in vivid detail. He wanted to take his bath early and he was happy about bubbles in his hair. He said he was “splashing the bathroom wet” and he was. My sweet baby O sailed through the day with only a few ups and downs. He is ready to get in the car for his big slide adventure tomorrow. Through challenges we grow and we learn that the victories come from the steps we take after we walk through the obstacles of life. You are strong and you can rise above those challenges to celebrate your victories. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Last night Owen told me we couldn’t go anywhere today because we had to get in the car on Thursday to go to his therapy. I can safely say he stuck to his word. Trying to get him to go somewhere when he doesn’t want to is virtually impossible. And if I do make him go, even if it is a place he loves, it doesn’t go over well. That’s where we were today. He woke early, before four, and proceeded to tell me we had to get in the car tomorrow. Any and every break are so incredibly hard for him. He had a pretty good day but asked numerous times about all the things that are important to him. He burst out with “oh snap” at one point during the day. I remember it seemed like it was a phrase for a while but what video or person said it I couldn’t even guess. He never forgets a thing. The day was busy. I was on a phone call for the program he is on and he recognized the one lady’s name from only half hearing her on the call. He came numerous times to me while I was on the talking to make sure I was going to get off the call quickly. I used to never be able to make calls without him crying or screaming so it feels like progress. Something is always breaking, broken, or beyond repair, it seems in this house. Plus, Owen jumps a lot and doesn’t know his own strength so he pulls the doors off their hinges sometimes. He doesn’t know he is even causing anything to happen or that it’s a problem. I told him that I had to change so he would understand why I was in regular clothes when the guy was here instead of the pre-approved “dress” that he associates with staying home. He was in a complete meltdown when he got here because I spilled my tea on my jeans as I stood up to get the door. He had his tablet on me and I just miscalculated moving it. So he was screaming and went to get a towel to wipe off my jeans. Plus the tv wasn’t working right. Thankfully the guy completely understood. He asked about the guy numerous times when he left talking about his clothes and that he was allowed to wear white shoes because it was too cold. He stood blowing air with his mouth and he said, “it’s a tongue.” For added emphasis he was jumping off the couch trying to “get a bandaid please,” he said. I told him he absolutely did not need to jump off the couch for a bandaid trying to keep that thought at bay. He knows he is going to the “big slides” on Friday for his birthday but we can’t discuss it. He gets upset and overstimulated. I haven't said party too many times because he says “no no no” and runs or pulls my hair so I just say people are coming. You never know if he is dealing with it, processing it, or happy about the party. And I’m sure there is more to it. He lay in bed talking about his friends coming to the “big slides” and that made me happy. Tomorrow is his favorite day. He would be happier if he was in school but at least he gets to go to therapy. I’m thankful for his smile and that he wanted me to play his games with him today. Never give up on the hope for tomorrow. Your miracle is right around the corner. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I heard Owen get out of bed so I met him in the hall. He smiled from ear to ear when he saw me. I started singing “happy birthday to you happy birthday” and before I could finish he reached up to my head pulled my hair and brought my head down towards him. It was too much for him. He needed what he wanted this morning and in his time. To say today was a full day is probably an understatement. We went to breakfast with grandma. As we were getting ready he looked out the window and saw snow. He came to me and said, “it’s snowy it’s winter Mickey Saves Christmas.” He then asked me when he would see his teacher again. We got ready to go and as we were driving, it was snowing, but he said, “it’s raining.” He followed it up with, “you told me the wrong thing.” We are all trying to get him to realize when he is saying the wrong thing he needs to make sure he says the correct thing about the moment he is talking about. Like he will say it’s raining when it is sunny so now I guess he is telling on himself. We when got to breakfast we had to wait for a table. He was sitting right next to his grandma and he repeatedly asked me if he was going to see her on Saturday after she just told him he could come over. I tried to get him to understand he needed to enjoy the moment. It is all hard for him to process. Once we were at a table he did great and he ate a lot for breakfast. We came home and we played some games and then we went bowling before his therapy appointment. He did amazing at bowling and throughly enjoyed. He was very hyper with me while he was seeing the doctor but calmed down when he saw the therapist. We came home and he ate a huge dinner from what my mom and I had left from our breakfast. His birthday is more precious to me than I can ever explain. He filled my heart when I needed it most. I’m so proud of how far he has come and what he is learning. On Friday we’ll celebrate his birthday again at the big slides. I’m glad he had a good day and got to do some of the things he loves. He doesn’t want to go anywhere tomorrow until it’s Thursday he said so he can get in the car and go to therapy. We shall see how that goes tomorrow. There are no words to describe being a mommy except love. You have my heart always my sweet baby O. Follow your dreams, motivate your souls, and remember one day at a time. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Thankfully we slept. I need that calm to wash over me. Exhausted beyond exhaustion still doesn’t cover it. It’s been calmly rough the last few days. In so many ways Owen is calm but in other ways, he is beyond upset because his routine is nothing like he wants it to be. Repeatedly he asks for his teacher all day long and if he is not asking for her he wants to make sure he’s not supposed to be at school and if he’s not asking about school he wants to make sure he is going to therapy. He thrives on his routine and without it his world spirals. How do you explain it’s going to be fine when routine is so very important to him? He learned to blow bubbles in his water this morning. He had done something similar but it was right there in his glass and he just laughed and laughed. Last night he threw away his shrimp because I told him he could take a bath after he ate his dinner. Today he pour out his milk repeatedly because he was ready to go to therapy but then he wanted more back in his cup. His new old thing is he wants to fall. When he was younger I had to keep him from jumping out of the window sills or off the table. Today at his vision therapy he kept jumping off the trampoline and falling to the ground asking if he was hurt. When he got home he sat on the dining chair and said, “you can fall from the chair you need a bandaid on your knee” and it wasn’t long that he pretended to fell off the chair. This is a trend I wish would have not come back. He got in my bed and pulled all the covers off of it in and in two point two seconds he was under them watching bowling telling me he wanted to take a bath. He then wanted his tablet in the bathtub but settled for bubbles on his head so he could see them in the mirror. After his bath, it was sound asleep quickly for my sweet baby O. And my exhaustion just amped up. Tomorrow is a brand new day and it’s his birthday. We have a full day ahead. The most exciting part he knows it’s his birthday and he knows he will be eleven. Focus on the good stuff. Try to let your dwelling heart rest in the good of the day. I need to listen to this on repeat. 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.