It was an interesting morning, afternoon, and evening but all in all it went pretty well. Thankfully Owen slept all night. We were completely exhausted from yesterday. It was a lot of fun but when you overthink everything it is hard but I tell myself I have to stay ahead of all the curves. He woke grumpy but quickly changed his tune. He came to my bed with his tablet but I could tell he hadn’t gone to the bathroom. I told him if he wanted his tablet he needed to go first. He screamed and I continued to the bathroom. He quickly followed suit. He was much calmer the second go around. We got back into my bed and he said, “eye doctor going to the eye doctor.” He never forgets a thing, never. I told him that I would pick him up from school and then we would go afterward. We stood outside waiting for the bus and it had been raining. The leaves were everywhere. He wanted to pick some up but they were all kind of stuck to the ground. I asked him what he was going to say to his teacher when he got to school. He said, “hello.” I asked him if he would say anything else to her and he said, “Happy Halloween.” The bus came around the corner and off he went. When I went to pick him up his teacher told me she had finally been able to get him physical therapy. I rejoiced. I may have cried a little. This is something I have been asking them for years. I’m thankful that his teacher has kept pushing for it. He has physical therapy outside of school along with occupational therapy and speech but the extra therapy at school will be wonderful for him. His body has clearly regressed with some of his skills and he still lacks body awareness in numerous aspects. It’s exhausting fighting for something that is so obviously needed and would benefit him for all of these connections. Before his eye appointment, we came home to get a quick snack, and then we were off. I reminded him again that they don’t wear blue pants in this doctor’s office. I wanted him to know that he would see the doctor wearing something else. Little did I know it would be a costume. When we got there the doctor said she had wanted to wear blue pants but forgot what day he was coming and they dressed up for Halloween. In a way, though it was good for her to see what he does when he is around someone that doesn’t have blue pants on. She was very kind about everything and she was good with Owen. He got through the test of matching objects and remembering details that you have to pick the correct items. It’s hard to judge something like this with him because he likes to give wrong answers so he can get a rise out of someone. Once we were done the doctor explained that she would score this test and she talked about us coming back the next week for the second part of the evaluation. She agreed that no matter what the scores were she believed the visual processing training would help him strengthen his point of view and how he looks at the world. I think it will help his physical aptitude as well. There’s an emotional riptide that is attached to going to doctor appointments. I know it is going to be hard for Owen to process. Sitting in the waiting room is the first step and the first rollercoaster ride. Two gentlemen were waiting. One had on blue pants the other did not. He wanted to immediately tell the one man in black pants to leave. I knew that if I didn’t keep reminding him to sit down he would have gone right to the guy and started pulling on his pants. The guy told Owen he usually wears blue pants and he agrees to wear them tomorrow. They called him back for his appointment and we talked to the other man in blue pants. All these steps wash over me like a waterfall. I have to mentally prepare myself to go places with him because I know how hard it is for him and how many hours of meltdowns this one thing has caused him. I pray there are answers in showing his brain other possibilities. One day at a time I remind myself. When we got home I told him we would be going next week to another appointment. He said no and then told me he wanted new glasses. I reminded him tomorrow was November and he screamed no and walked away. Acceptance was not there yet. Without me saying it again he said, it’s November feet in the chocolate.” These are the times you just go with it. I’m not sure why feet are going in chocolate. After dinner, he pulled up different videos and then got the corresponding books we have with them and read them. I love his love for books. The night closed with him screaming about wanting to take a bath after he had been screaming he wasn’t taking a bath. He took a shower. I pray for sleep and answers to come. I’m thankful that we are on the steps for more answers and help. Dance in the rain, sing in the sunshine, and with that find your inspiration to change the world. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I listened to Owen throughout the night. He was making noises but stayed asleep until after five. I’m not sure how that happened but thankfully he did. He woke and went to his tablet. He was laughing immediately. He turned up his tablet and I heard music and then singing. I could almost tell what he was doing without seeing him. He watches a video that has music but no words, he puts his hands over his ears holding the backs of his hands to his ears, and then sings what seems to me like a totally unrelated song to the melody of the music but he knows what it means. We got ready for church and he knew today was the day for the trunk or treat. I explained we were going for our regular church service and then we were going to go back later for the Halloween party. I had been preparing him for weeks. Sometimes it’s better to prepare him and sometimes it’s not better and it makes it harder if I do prepare him. We talked about why we go to church on the way there and then I explained all the steps that would happen when I picked him up. When I came back after the service was over he told me that we were going to come back and one of the guys was going to walk with him. I was absolutely thrilled that he said we were coming back. This is years in the making, years. He’s always had a hard time going someplace that is supposed to be for something else but today we were able to go and it was amazing. We got there extremely early. I knew if we had to wait in any car lines he would have not been able to deal with it. I told him on the way there he could sit in the little red wagon if he wanted and I figured I’d let him decide. It’s his comfort zone. When we got there he said he wanted to ride in the little red wagon. I was thankful for this because I knew it would be better for both of us. We walked around for a few minutes and they were still setting up but we said hello to a lot of our friends. We then walked over to the playground and he was hooked. We stayed there for a while and then it was time to walk around. One of the guys that helps out in his classroom volunteered to walk with Owen. It was such a blessing to have him take him around and then they went back to the playground. After a while, he was ready to go and I was shocked we had stayed about two hours. It was perfect for us to get there early so he was not strictly focused on the sea of people. Having the playground there helped as well. On the way home, he talked about how much fun he had. He’s not really a big sweet eater so the candy wasn’t something he cared about but the experience was worth everything today. I’m thankful for all the adventures that are coming our way. When we got home he told me it was time to go back to church. I have a feeling he’s going to want to go to more parties now. He fell asleep quickly tonight and I think this adventure might have worn him out. He wanted to wear his Spider-Man costume to bed but I told him he would have to wear something else. I don’t want that to be the routine so I have to mix it up for him. I’m thankful for this wonderful blessing of a day. It was exactly what I needed. There were only a few moments in time throughout the day that were hard but worth every moment to hear his voice shine bright with excitement as we walked around. Tomorrow is a brand new day. There is hope and it will shine through. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Owen woke at some point and got into bed with me but then slept until after six. When he woke he followed me to the bathroom. He then went to the living room and before he even got his tablet he went through the room telling me all kinds of things about what he saw. He talked about food, animals, and places to go. The pirates, Halloween, and pumpkin soup came next. He asked me if I wanted a hug and put his arms around me. He doesn’t usually put his arms around my waist like that. Most times he reaches toward my neck to get my hair. He felt connected to it all. He talked with me for at least thirty minutes before he even picked up his tablet. He then got into bed with me talking about different books and singing. It was a morning to remember. We got ready to go to my mom’s and that’s where the tiny hiccup started. Weather is not something we like to mess with and here comes winter. There was condensation on the windows so he couldn’t see out of them. This is an absolute no-no and here we were with condensation staring at us in the face. This is not something that is easily explained so the distraction technique is what I went with. I asked him over and over how to say “condensation” and then it was clear enough to start driving. He said, “condensation flew the coop.” This is his response to everything that isn’t where it once was. Duck flew the coop, houses flew the coop, lunch flew the coop, and followed by “it’s gone.” He stayed there for a few hours and then we ate lunch with my parents. While we were there he wanted to talk about his tooth being loose. He then asked for the video “dinosaur train” so that he could show me the dinosaur’s tooth. He never forgets a thing. We went out to the swings before we left and he enjoyed swinging on a rope swing that reminded him of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode that the cow gets stuck in a tire swing. I think he relived the whole scene numerous times. When we left there we went to the park with our friends. That was an adventure. I knew he would get “stuck” on the slide again yet I keep trying to go. He knows how to go down and has done it numerous times in the past but now he needs to process it and will stay on the slide for twenty minutes or more if I let him without even trying to go down but upset because he is stuck. So now to find a different place to take him but not many parks nearby have a fence around them. Winter is coming so that will change our trips to the park as well and maybe by next year he won’t get stuck on the slide. He stood there pushing one of the little girls in the baby swing which was absolutely amazing to me. He tried to fix several people's pants but thankfully I caught him. The world seems to be turned upside down some days. It feels like everything is something until it’s not. Today was a roughly good day with a side of wonderful amusement. He growing, progressing, and making huge strides. His sentence structure and fine attention to detail are becoming very impressive and I’m so proud of him. And he wanted to wear his Spider-Man costume all day. The laughter, songs, and excitement filled the air and my heart with gladness. Find your sparkle and let the world see you shine. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Sleep has been in our favor this week for the most part and Owen woke in a great mood. Last night I showed him a song that had screaming in it. I told him if he was going to scream he should learn how to harmonize his screaming in song. When he got his iPad this morning he pulled up the song to show it to me. He laughed and walked away saying but not playing “wed zeppelin” or singing. I thought it was interesting that it was the first thing he pulled up. Maybe he will start singing it at some point. We stood out by the bus stop and I love how he tells me the questions to ask now and he doesn’t wait for me to even ask. He knows he is going to have his morning meetings at school with his teacher and he is preparing for what she will ask. He was happy when he came home from school. I told him we were going to the indoor playground and he said no but yes and no but yes and no and yes. His shoes came off when he removed his Spider-Man costume that he wore for his school party so we put his shoes back on. I fixed his snack while he went to the bathroom and he took his shoes and jeans off and told me to put on a dress. I said let’s put your clothes back on and go. “Nopedy nope” was the reply. He was putting his clothes up and he had his jeans and one sock. He came to me and very calmly said, “where’s my sock” and pointed to the living room. I said let’s go see. He walked in there and started looking with me. He said, “where’s my sock it’s here somewhere.” It was on the opposite side of the room so he must have dropped it when he was putting away his shoes but that was such an incredible exchange we had and he remained so calm. To hear his words and him take possession of them sounds amazing to hear. He was playing a game and it had Santa talking about letters he received. He told me he wanted to write a letter to Santa. It always surprises me when he says he wants to do something like this. I got out the paper and a pen. He took the pen and I lightly held my hand on his wrist. He started writing D for dear. He told me he was going to ask Santa for a “new hat” but then after he wrote “dear Santa, I want a” he said, “dog” and then spelled each letter out. He signed it “love Owen.” He grabbed up the papers and said, “all done.” I love all of these connections and conversations we are having. Every time a car parks near my house or honks its horn or people walk by I wait for the screams or for him to take off running to look out the window. He’s thinking they are coming to our house but he doesn’t want them at our house unless he does. It’s always a moment in time. The screams aren’t all because he’s mad in fact a lot of them are the happiest little squeals ever but when they lead to meltdowns I pay attention to every single one of them. That’s why I’m even more thankful for the connections and conversations. Today his laughter was brilliant and his conversations were even better. His teacher sent me a message to let me know he had a great time at their Halloween party and he came up with nightingale for the animal in their meeting. Nightingale is a new one for me. He usually says “n is for newt.” Never give up on the hope for tomorrow. Everything can change in the blink of an eye and those little moments become your huge victories. Smiles to all and donut daze!
This has been one of the hardest weeks for me in quite some time. Or maybe since last week. November is crashing down on us soon. Each of the firsts will be over. Then it’s the seconds. Grief is a beast. I tried to go to sleep last night not feeling the waves of emotions. But they were there. I’m sure Owen felt them. Maybe that’s why he had a rough night. The good news was he slept all night and woke up to our new routine of me getting my coffee, him waiting to turn off the lights, him saying “no chocolate milk no cereal”, and then crawling in bed with me. He had his tablet and I had my phone but I was armed with tickles and a timer for when we had to get dressed. He laughs so much now, at everything. I love his laugh. His laugh is the bandaid my heart needs. The bandaid is ripped off so many times during my day when I see any hint that Richard is a memory but Owen’s laugh is the melody I need. We were a little slower and the bus got there a little earlier so we didn’t have a very long time to talk before he was off to school. He did tell me to ask him about how many animals he could name and started listing them immediately. He also wanted me to know that I had selected the wrong colors for my clothes today but I chose to move on through that conversation. When I picked him up from school for therapy his teacher said he has been having some really great days. I was glad to hear it. When we got to his therapy I asked him if he wanted to wear his Spider-Man costume to his sessions. They were working on the steps to do trick or treating and taking the kids around to the different classrooms and offices. His therapist said he did a great job and loved it. We have never gone trick or treating before because the concept was too hard for him and he did not like to dress up or go to other people’s houses and then walk away. We are going to a trunk or treat at our church on Sunday so hopefully, he will like that. It blends all the rules together but we are going to try. After his therapy, we went to see the “tractor with a seatbelt ride the tractor with Goofy.” He went on “Professor Von Drake will be there we’ll have to wait and see.” He enjoyed sitting there and then he told me he wanted to ride it to the stoplight. He also remembered the associate's name that we saw last week that walked around with us. She was wearing blue pants this time and Owen was pleased. She was very nice and told him she remembered. He was glad he got to see her again. He asked to go to the tents but I told him we could do it another day. When we came home it was a calm evening. I suppose I tried not to rock the boat or ask too many questions either. I did point out that Mickey and Donald both do not wear blue pants but he was not interested in that or that I was thinking about dressing up like them. This is when I decided we should not get too riled up. Since Owen is an excellent screamer and mimics different videos he hears I told him he needed to learn how to sing scream. I let him listen to a song and he went to sleep wanting to listen to more “wed zeppelin.” So now I am currently researching songs that have screaming with a purpose to see if we can work on those harmonies. It’s never a dull moment around here. He fell asleep quickly in between requests and hopefully he will sleep through the night. Thankful for his laughter which makes my heart happy. Find what makes your heart sing and puts a smile in your soul. Smiles to all and a donut daze!
Today is one of those days I wish I could have thrown the “gone fishing” sign on the door and sat by the water not catching anything. I needed the sleep last night but I think I tossed and turned more than I slept. The good news Owen slept all night and had a great morning. When I got up to go the bathroom he came around the corner and sat on the couch. He then went to the bathroom while I got my coffee. He even crawled back into bed with me while I sat there drinking my coffee. He was talking about the “fairy” again and getting coins in his bed. We shall see what happens when he loses it. All of these connections are a lot for me to process as well. I’m amazed and sometimes daunted by everything that is coming from him now. It’s both wonderful and exhausting at the same time. He gets upset when I don’t understand what he is trying to tell me or yells at me because we are stuck in traffic or there is construction and the list goes on. His emotions run deep when the world around him is doing something unexpected or to him it is unexpected. I have to focus on his amazing progress to keep me moving forward. He was again very talkative when we were waiting for the bus, full of information and answered the questions he wanted to answer. He told me that you wear sunglasses when it’s hot because of the sun. I asked him something about the moon and he said, “can you name five things and more animals?” He ran with the list. The morning was so calm and wonderful. And the afternoon was chaotic and emotional for both of us. When he got home he picked up a clump of bird poop that was on a rock to tell me it was a “baby pinecone.” He wasn’t pleased I wouldn’t let him keep it and that he had to wash “bird poop” off. I told him we could go look for pinecones. He did not want to go look for real “pinecones or acorns”. He was so proud of himself for identifying a pinecone. It technically did not look like bird poop so I can see why he thought that. He was not thrilled I was changing my clothes and not throwing them in the trash. I put them on the bed for a few moments and he started screaming I should throw them in the trash. He was however fascinated by his pumpkin on the counter and finally calmed down to look at it. He was eating a bean and cheese burrito until I walked away to get more to drink and he threw it away. He liked them but it was not what he wanted. He promptly asked for chicken and waffles, deciding waffles would be the choice. Today has not been one of our easygoing days. I hope we both can wake up on the right side of the bed tomorrow and start fresh. The progress is what’s important and he has made a lot of it. Our days are not always easy to explain but the love sure is. Never give up on the hope for tomorrow. Smiles to all and donut daze!
Happy boy again. Owen woke in the middle of the night but came to me after getting his tablet. We slept a couple more hours and he didn’t want to get up at first but he said the magic word before I did. “School school,” he said, and off he ran to the bathroom. We had to hurry to get out to wait for the bus. I actually like rushing him along so that I can have more time to talk with him while we are waiting. He was telling me all about frogs and he told me to ask him how many animals he could list. I think he gets asked similar questions at school but he likes to talk about the animals. He also talked about going to the pool and the park with his friends. Plus Santa the Pirate is coming back soon before January when we will have balloons. I’m not sure why he thinks January has balloons but he knows February has hearts. Maybe January has balloons for the celebrations. He truly is making so many connections. When he came home from school I asked him what he had for lunch. I think the food pyramid has changed a little since I was in school and after a great debate he said, “iguanas and lizards.” I said you ate iguanas and lizards? He said, “no it was frogs.” Spookley the not-so-square pumpkin happened tonight. He was playing with his pumpkin and he asked to make pumpkin soup. I asked him if he wanted to carve it and he said no so I asked him if he wanted to draw on it. He said yes and he wanted to make it Spookley. Once he was done drawing on it I then cut the top off per request to make pumpkin soup but he got one look at the insides and he was not having it. “Put the top on,” he said after trying to eat the stem but before he saw the insides. He is letting me keep the pumpkin on the counter though so that is a good thing. I’m glad he is finding more things interesting and he is following through with it all. He had shrimp for dinner. I watched him like a hawk but I’m still looking under all my pillows. I’m not sure why shrimp is one of his favorite things to put under the pillow especially since he loves it so much. He told me “Santa has red pants” and I was absolutely thrilled because he didn’t mention blue pants first. He was listening to Old MacDonald and he said he was going to the “big petting zoo.” He went on “hello rooster you little rooster you are at the petting zoo.” He laughed and went on “hello big rooster big rooster you belong at the big petting zoo let’s go.” He was singing up a storm and trying to harmonize more before bed. So many wheels turning. He had another amazing day. I’m thankful for his smile and his attitude. We are growing together. You are a lot stronger than you think you are and you will move mountains when the mountains need to be moved. Smiles to all and donut daze!
My sweet baby O is feeling much better. He woke at some point but got in bed with me and went back to sleep. He had brought his tablet but gave it over to me before he even got in bed. When we got up he went to the bathroom first, sat on the couch while I got coffee, and then came to sit with me without his tablet. It was nice while it lasted. He then wanted Spookley the Square Pumpkin on Netflix. He’s been asking every day for over a week so I gave in today. I showed him on YouTube but then he said, “Spookley the Square Pumpkin OE” and when I looked it up on YouTube it wasn’t what he wanted so that’s when I did the trial for Netflix. He wanted it on there so he can change the speed and that’s what he was trying to tell me. He then listened to it slower with the different languages. When we were waiting for the bus I asked him to say, “I want cheese please in Arabic” instead of “I want chocolate milk please in Arabic.” He said the word “cheese” instead of “chocolate milk” but everything else was in Arabic. I tried it with numerous languages and foods and each time he did the other language and replaced the word with the English word he didn’t know. He came home and said he wanted to go to the park with his friends. I made the mistake of saying we could go to a different park because they could not come. He did not want to go then. I have to remember to go and then tell. He saw an avocado on the counter and he said, “that’s an avocado it’s a fruit” and he told me I had to cut it. He asked for chicken for dinner after I had asked him several times without an answer I put a pizza in. He came into the kitchen and I said I would cook him chicken but I had made pizza. He said, “no chicken today” and ate all of the pizza. He was very interactive all night, sitting with me, and laughing at everything. We sang together and read. I feel like he has been very calm the last couple of days and it makes this momma’s heart very happy. He still talks about “blue pants” but right now it feels like it is less daunting to him even though he mentions it all the time. I have been trying to get him to talk about other colors as well so hopefully, this will help. I’m thankful for today. I feel so blessed that he is wanting to do more things with me and initiating interactions first. Sing from your heart and let your soul shine. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I can’t change yesterday but I can be bold in my tomorrows. I keep reminding myself to move forward. Sorrow will be there, joys will be there but the steps forward are where I have to be, where we will accomplish our dreams. We slept all night. Owen seemed like he was feeling a lot better. We sang all morning and he asked for pancakes then waffles then pancakes and back and forth for several more rounds and then he settled on pancakes. He laughed as he went back and forth like he was pulling a fast one over me. He ate most of them. The pure adrenaline rush of yesterday’s electricity being out for several hours was met with a calm attitude today once he understood that he was still getting to go to church. I think about this often. The places he wants to go are the places that fill his heart with gladness and he always wants to make sure he gets to go. He was vivid in all of his expressions today except when he was asking for food. It seems he is struggling with saying please and thank you. On the way to church, he told me he wanted an elephant to come to his party. He also asked for a tent and marshmallows. I think he is mixing all the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes with everything else and coming up with what he wants to do. I try to give him real-life versions of what he watches but I’m not sure if I will be able to invite an elephant to his party. And I’m not even sure which party he is referring to. He had a great time at church and then the request for the tractor came in. He also wanted to go to the tents but I told him he would have to decide which one he wanted to do. I don’t want to keep it where we have to do all the same things each week because that can get hard. Next week I told him we were going to get something different for lunch but today we went and got his cheeseburger and nuggets. He told me that the “house flew the coop” in the section where they are putting the new road and they tore down all the houses. He is finally starting to calm down about the houses being gone. It’s a discussion that we go over numerous times as we pass the area. And even when we are not right there. He keeps having me hold his tablet and then he will take my finger and puts it on something to select it like he used to do. I’m not sure if this is connected to his visual processing or a need for input of some kind. He’s been cycling through so many different emotions and behaviors. Like breakfast and lunch, dinner was interesting. He ate the middle of his sandwich and left the crust. This felt good to me. Like a memory running through my mind of when I was a kid. My mom would cut my crust off for me. Owen has always loved bread so this was interesting for me. He is fully invested in this month. He asked for a Halloween bed and to have pumpkin soup. He however does not want to carve or cut up a pumpkin to make it or a jack-o-lantern. He fell asleep with parties on his mind and going to school tomorrow. I loved hearing him sing today and he’s working on his scales again all on his own with a big ole smile on his face and opening his mouth wide. It brings me joy. Give yourself time to walk in the expectations of tomorrow’s journey and let your own victory take place. Smiles to all and donut daze!
A much happier boy today. Owen slept till about five, got into bed with me, and then we slept until after six. He was needing a lot of input when he woke but he was otherwise calm and very talkative. He listed about ten food items to see if I had them. I am not sure how he compiled his list but he went through them. “Do you have peanuts,” he said, continuing to ask me the next food when I said no. He got to eggs and I said we had them. I asked him if he wanted some and he said, “no.” Most of the foods he listed were not ones I would think he would eat. Like pickles, he’s really not a huge fan. His request for breakfast came in “cereal chocolate milk chicken.” I asked if he wanted waffles and he said, “just chicken please.” We’ve been having a hard time with the word “please” lately. So chicken it was. When his chicken was cooking he spilled his cereal. I can tell they are working with him at school on when he gets upset or just maturity. When he spilled his Cheerios normally it’s a high-pitched squeal. Not today. He calmly stated we had to sweep it up and that it was ok we’ll get some more. I say that to him but usually, he’s screeching by then. He requested to know when his telescope is coming. I haven’t ordered it yet because he hasn’t reacted to which one he wants and told me to get two more books. He went to visit grandma today and he requested pizza. When I brought the pizza he requested more turkey. This is a common occurrence now. He also wanted to have grandma go to the park with him where he promptly got stuck on the slide once again. His main goal is to get stuck on the slide. I’m not sure if he is seeking the behavioral response or the visual change. We only stayed a few minutes and came home where he requested chicken again and did not want to eat the pizza. This is about the time our power went out. I’m not sure what happened but they sent a message saying it would be off until the middle of the night. The power going off does not sit well with Owen. He ran around the whole house flipping the light switches and yelling about the lights. The internet was out and this made it all worse. I was hoping it would pop right back on but it was off. I was able to have his tablet connect to my backup internet but he still comes to check on it and turns his tablet on and off. He talked about the last time the lights flickered and when our power was completely out. He will talk about this power outage for days, weeks, months, years. Thankfully he wanted to take a bath when I suggested it and this helped calm him. And then it was close enough to start the bedtime process and he took a little longer than most nights but he was out. It was several hours before the lights came back on. He will be happy in the morning and thankfully he will be able to go to church which was a huge worry to him that we would miss it. I’m thankful through it all he was in a great mood and he was able to find his calm today even in the struggles. Find your joy in the little things. 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.