At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Friday, December 28, 2012

Can't Make This Stuff Up,....

So the entire month of December I've been out of commission with a icky case of Walking Pneumonia,...this stuff loves me,...I've had such a hard time of getting rid of it,...I am on my third round of antibiotics and I don't want to even guess how many cough drops I've went through,...

Unfortunately Isaac's had to miss quite a bit of school,...as the children at the Bell Center are so delicate,...that the rules state that if ANYONE in your household is ill,...then the student needs to stay at home,...and that's fair enough,...I wouldn't want to give this cold to anyone,...much less one of those precious babies.

Only I've been stuck in bed,...so what is a little guy - with run of the house - going to do when Mama konks out for a nap?

How about making your own sensory activity with an entire jar of instant coffee? 

When I woke that afternoon,...after a very brief nap,...the house was WAY too quiet and WAY too fragrant,...it smelled like Starbucks,...

Here is the guilty party,....




Ran for my camera,...didn't even think about scolding because even if a very sick Mama falls briefly asleep she gets what she deserves for her lack of vigilance,...


 But gosh,...it was a mess,...and I hardly felt up to the task,...but what choice did I have? Into the tub went my little one,...several tubs for that matter,...he was so caked in coffee,...the bath water kept turning to decafe!!!!!



Thankfully the instant coffee grounds vacuumed nicely and the house was VERY fragrant for the remainder of the day.

Also,...I have picture-proof that we've have had a very interesting December....

Christmas was blessedly quiet for us,...and we are looking forward to 2013 where lots of adventures await us I am sure,...

Unti I post again,...may God bless and keep you!


















Monday, December 17, 2012

A Very Sensory Season,...

Christmas trees and preschoolers,...just how high do you put your tree,...or do you skip a tree,...or do you just let a toddler's creativity flow?

We did a little of all,...first by not putting up our tradition tree and ornaments,...too many were too fragile and it wasn't worth the worry,...

We purchased Isaac a tree to decorate himself,...plastic and paper ornaments have taken a lot of love.
Then,...I spent some time on Pinterest and saw felt trees for preschoolers,...most were tacked onto a wall,...but hello,...with Isaac that tree wouldn't stand a chance to stay on the wall....I searched for a solution,...then on Pinterest I saw a table-top tree made out of felt,...it was very small,...but I thought,...I can just expand those four triangles,...and so I did,...


3 equal triangles cut out of heavy green felt sewn together...very cheap.
1 triangle for the bottom,...
Extra felt and velcro for the ornaments,...
LOTS of stuffing,...I sacrificed a few cushions,...and I used aquarium gravel,...about two bags to weight the tree so it won't topple.

The star topper is three felt stars,...stuffed and sewn together at the points.
The ornaments are slightly stuffed to make them easier for little hands to grasp.
Getting creative,...I laminated pictures and added felt frames for ornaments.

I used cookie cutters and free-hand to shape the felt ornaments,...there is no right or wrong, I also free hand made some felt fruit,...because Isaac likes fruit and it was another sensory level to add.

From start to finish....it took three hours to make the tree,...longer for the ornaments, but I spaced that over a few days and most of the time was in the design and cutting out stage,..sewing was a snap and went very quickly on my sewing machine. 



This tree is holding up very well and its taken a LOT of love,...

It's a great therapy tool,...lots of sensory practice and targeted speech practice,...and it's just fun for Isaac to dismantle and redecorate about a dozen times a day,...

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Showers of Blessings


We've had some tough weeks lately,...needing showers of blessings,.....






Here they come,.......



Sometimes our blessings come from the most unexpected quarters,.....




A little trust and a lot of faith,...and assurance for the uncertain future,....


Deuteronomy 31:6

New International Version (NIV)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”



We are soooo thankful for the LORD'S provision,.....

From our family to yours: HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Birds,...fly...



Difficult week,...this week,...in so many ways,...but Isaac had a break thru,...he was playing with a plush toy,...a bird,...and he showed it to me,...signing: bird and trying to say, "bir-d" --- what's more though is he then signed and said, "bir-d" - and then tried to say, "fl-y" - and he showed me how a bird can fly through the air,...although his crash landed at my feet!

NOUN & VERB,...two words,...used appropriately!!!!

Isaac doesn't know it,...but his comprehension just FLEW off the charts.

Very nice footnote,...to a very tough week.

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Say My Name,...


Our Isaac is pushing three,...and his Apraxia has not allowed him to say his own name, YET!

What we take for granted,...just the simple motor planning necessary to articulate our own name.

So, what to do when you are still too little to learn to sign: I-S-A-A-C?

Mama gets busy on the computer and fires up the iron,...to iron-on,...iron-ons,...on Isaac's shirts.

For church on Sunday,...we have monogramed polo shirts that Isaac wears,...but personalized embroidered monograms can get pricy and I haven't been able to convince my husband I NEED an embroidery machine,...which is even pricier.

I can hand-embroider,...nicely,...but I have ZERO time for such delicate work with an active preschooler,...however Isaac can climb in and out of my lap while I tinker with illustrating his name in photoshop and such.

If,...you have a computer and access to design software,...iron-ons can be quite cost effective,...I can get at least fifteen Isaac labels for his shirts on one sheet of Iron-on,...and yes with play clothes,...Isaac has at least fifteen shirts,...easily....

Haven't done it yet,...but I plan to make a Iron-on for Isaac's undershirts,...with his full name, condition, and our contact information,...should we go to a event or location where the possibility of his being separated from us is in question,...just seems prudent.

Honestly,...until confronted with a nonverbal child,...you don't think about all the safety information he needs to know,....

It is nice that Isaac's verbal output is increasing,...but he's not quite ready to answer:
"What's your name?"

One day,...though,...my little man will be able to not only point to his shirt,...but to say, "Isaac!"




Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tangled In Red Tape,...

Not posted in a bit because I've been a bit busy with trying to set up appointments to have Isaac's developmental delays tested,...finally got an appointment for April, 2013!

Also, very tangled here with Insurance, Transition and EI meetings,...

Seems heartless how a child gets kicked out of the system when they turn the ancient age of Three years old!

Surely there could be a better system to get these children the help they need without having bewildered mothers and fathers tangled in all this red tape?

Not very encouraging either,...I went to a special needs preschool meeting and the director spent more time telling me how my child WOULDN'T qualify for their program,...then what could be done to HELP him.

She talked while my son played at our feet,...with barely six words at his command and I am thinking, "Whether or not my son qualifies,...he NEEDS helps,...if you can't help him,...where do I go please?"

Stepping off soapbox.

Today is election day and I am getting to blog,...because my husband and I headed to the polls early,...with Isaac in tow,...of course...







There is good news to report,...

Last Wednesday,...Isaac called me: Mama,...for the very first time....Miss Fern, his speech pathologist was there to witness,...Isaac trying to get my attention as he signed helped and said, "Mama!"

And of course,...Mama helped him open that toy --

Waiting for my next Mama,...but I heard it once and I know it's in there,...surely Apraxia will allow my little guy to say it again!

Also,...lots of jabbering and imitation from Isaac,...he's attempting to talk and to his mind when he's babbling away - I guess he is talking....Communicating anyway....

Isaac remembered the last time I voted with him - a few weeks ago on an amendments thingy....It was just him and me,...and afterwards I put my sticker on his nose,...he loved it,...and remembered because when he got a sticker this morning,...it went straight to his cute little button nose!!!

Hopefully all this red tape will get untangled and I can blog more frequently,...

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!














Saturday, September 15, 2012

Oh-oh,...


Oh-oh,....but not the picture,...nor the mess,...and yes,...Isaac did take every single paper towel off that roll,...but he was soooo cute,...I didn't scold,...I ran for my camera!

"Oh-oh" The Back Story:

Is there anything sweeter than a chubby baby lisping, "Oh-oh"?

As long as I can remember it's been a favorite "baby" phrase and my older boys were so adorable when they would go around knocking blocks and books and everything they could think of - down and saying, "Oh-oh!"

Hugs and kisses galore for them and when Isaac arrived, I eagerly awaited his first, "Oh-oh!"

And waited,....
                       and waited,..........
                                                   and waited,..............................................

To help him,...I uttered, "Oh-oh" at least a billion times,...despite his deadpan expression.

The total lack of  "Oh-oh" - from Isaac was actually among the first tolls within my heart and soul and disbelieving mind that something wasn't quite TYPICAL with our precious baby boy.

Over the summer Isaac did learn how to raise his arms and shake his hands as a means of exclamation.

We'll take any kind of communication,...so those little raised hands were as good as an "Oh-oh" to me.

This past Monday was my oldest son's 24th birthday - and boy did we have fun celebrating with a banner and balloons and presents that Isaac helped Teddy open. Only when you're an adult, you have to work on your birthday and so Monday morning after everyone left for work Isaac and I were alone at home.

Isaac was playing in the living room and I was in the kitchen when I heard a crash.

No alarm, I knew it was just a small stand, very sturdy and I wasn't surprised to hear it crash again, Isaac is a boy and little boys like to crash things, but I was surprised when Isaac came running into the kitchen babbling like wild. He was chattering so fast I couldn't make out what he was saying but it was important, he was tugging my skirt and telling me again and again,...I bent down and he grabbed my face in his chubby hands,...looked me in the eye and I finally comprehend he was saying "O-o!"

I nearly fainted!

We both ran into the living room. Isaac pointed to the fallen stand, "O-o!"

That poor stand was tumped and dumped for the remainder of the day - it survived but if it had been reduced to kindling I couldn't have cared less, each time it tumped, Isaac said, "O-o!"

We over stacked blocks, "O-o!"
Knocked over books, "O-o!"
And ever spilled a couple glasses of water, "O-o!"

Definitely a red letter week for us.

Adding to his vocabulary Isaac can also say: hot dog, bath and drink.

Not always at command,...Apraxia isn't that kind to us,...not yet, but Isaac is excited and proud of his achievements and that's our ultimate goal,...to allow Isaac to feel comfortable with his level of communication - no matter - where that level may be.

Onward with my guys!




 Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gluten-less Glee,....


Glee without Gluten?

Check out the gluten-free cookies I baked for a recent game-night with my guys! They tasted as good as they look, and they didn't last long with my guys.

And be honest if you didn't know they didn't have gluten in them - you'd never say just by the looks: "Hey, those are gluten free cookies."

The cookies were surprisingly available and easy to make. I made these chocolate chip cookies from a Betty Crocker gluten-free mix - I purchased at Walmart. I will say - they weren't cheap - around $4.50 - but they made nearly two dozen and I actually liked the 'lighter texture' than heavy-gummy wheat made cookies.

And why gluten-free?

For Mr. Isaac, of course.

Week before last, my husband and I discussed the benefits of trying a gluten-free diet for Isaac. It may help and it may not help with his issues, but it certainly won't hurt. And as it is such a healthier diet we don't have any qualms about trying.

Simply put, we love Isaac more than we love bread.

Not that you can't have bread on a gluten-free diet,...you can, but gluten-free breads in particular are pricy - even if you make them yourselves, so we are reserving that option for when a sandwich or toast attack hits.

So far, we've liked all the gluten-free products we've tried, breads, crackers and cookies. In particular, I've found some adorable animal cracker cookies made with arrowroot, which were soooo good I had to hid them from my bigger guys - lest they consume Isaac's entire stash!

So what are we eating?

Breakfast: oatmeal, scrambled egg, and whatever fruit is Isaac's current favorite - strawberries lately.

Lunch: lean protein like sliced chicken, tofu or tuna, with fruit and gluten-free crackers or chips. Or energy bites - made from peanut butter, oats and dried fruit whirled in the food processor - great for traveling or quick snacks.

Supper: protein: turkey, beef, fish, vegetables - whatever we are having I put them on Isaac's plate and he may or may not eat them like any other two year old - he likes okra, peas, carrots. We always have fruit, and a starch, either potatoes, brown rice, and some type bean - which I count as a starch - like kidney beans, black beans, or chick peas. If we have beans, I add cornbread, rice or nuts to help round out the protein potential in the beans.

We're eating lots more vegetables and fruit in our diet - and that's always a good thing.

Eating out is difficult - we tend to order salads now - and French fries - with a protein - like fish, or chicken fingers and then we take off the breading to give them to Isaac.


Here's Isaac's plate from recent post-therapy lunch at Whole Foods - it was lots cheaper than a Happy Meal and he did have more raspberries - but he gobbled those down before I could get my camera out!



Process foods are loaded with gluten - the biggest surprise was soy-sauce - but I found a gluten-less brand that tastes BETTER than the regular soy-sauce I've used for years - so yeah, on stretching boundaries.

I've made a gluten-free chocolate cake - fantastic - so birthdays are checked off.
Those cookies are good enough to take to ANY potluck - so we can still socialize.
Eating out - will be a new adventure as we try new foods and restaurants.

All in all - we're pretty gleeful about being gluten-free.




Our PECS project hasn't gotten off the ground. Isaac gets the concept in therapy but in day to day - he seems to rather sign and his signing is taking off - he knows and uses: 15 signs.

Verbal comes and goes - classic Apraxia.

He's teething molars - so none of us have had much sleep this summer - and that's tough.

Like any other family with a special needs child - we're just hanging in there the best we can - trusting in the Lord and grateful for each day.

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Can You Hear Me?




Pardon the blur in the picture,...Isaac was very busy climbing up and down on the lobby furniture as we waited for his hearing test at the Children's Hospital.

What a little trooper for taking a test in a sound proof booth - he did great and was cooperative as a two and half year old could possibly be.

Test Results?

Passed,...well within acceptable range of normal hearing for speech development.

Hmmm,...normal hearing strengthens the Apraxia diagnosis for our little guy.  We're getting a lot of floater words,...once said,...and than float away without repeats: good job, hamburger, all right,....to name some of the most impressive.

Even more signs have crept in - and these are staying - thank you, good job, all done.

PECS, for us are coming along slow,...Isaac gets the concept in therapy,...but here at home, he really likes playing with the velcro backed pictures,...more than using them for communication and that can make complications.  So, we're going slow and stepping up on sign language,...which means my husband and I are trying to learn as many signs as we can, so we can reasonably sign - everything we speak to Isaac.

Communication can be complicated, but we're prepared to throw everything into the ring: speech, signs, PECS,....I don't care if Isaac has to hum or sing to me to get his message across,...we'll take it,...he can draw a picture, mimic, and hopefully be able to write whatever message he has that is being blocked by the misconnected connection - known as Apraxia.

What I love now,...is how Isaac looks deep in my eyes and laughs to share what he finds funny. I laugh too, even if the joke isn't obvious,...that's not important, but our communication is,...and I love his hard hugs that sing, 'I LOVE YOU Mommy!' - and all his hard working efforts to communicate.

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Perspective On P.E.C.S....

Until a few months ago,...I had never heard of PECS,...Picture-Exchange-Communication-System.

It's communication by means of exchanging picture/symbols for those with verbal challenges.

Since Isaac's been learning sign language, I never thought much about using PECS,...but last week Miss Fern, Isaac's speech pathologist introduced us to the complete concept,...and with a successful trial run during his therapy session,...I am on board.

ANYTHING to help my little guy communicate.

But, I am finding it to be an awesome task to put together.

Not the actually manual task of constructing PECS, I can use a glue stick, straight cutter and laminator in my sleep,...but the task of choosing what symbols to use - for what, where, when and everything else.

Perhaps I am over analyzing,...a tendency I do have,...but I can't shake the feeling that I am creating a vocabulary here,...my son's for the time being,...until he can grasp the concept of communication and begin to form his own means of categorizing his thoughts in a tangible form.

Start simple, advised Miss Fern,...handing me a five pound binder of PEC symbols to study,...and her advice is sound,...and I am trying to keep to the bare essentials,...eat, sleep, bath, diaper, play....but it's still an awesome task.

Hope I am choosing wisely,...hope these PEC cards help my Isaac,...hope one day I can pass our five pound binder to someone else,...and say, "It's going to be OK,...these helped us,...they will help you,...God bless!"

Nearly done with our first batch,...will start using PECS,...tomorrow!




Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Helping Others Help Isaac

Aside from pre-preschool at the early intervention center the only other time Isaac is ever left with others is at church in our church nursery which is staffed by caring volunteers.

We are fortunate that many of the volunteers know at least some sign language and the regular volunteers are well aware of Isaac's speech challenges, but for the other volunteers who perhaps aren't that familiar with signing I felt it important to help them - help Isaac with a signing chart, so they wouldn't be at a loss to what in the word is that little guy trying to say with those gestures!

Thus,...I set up Isaac a new diaper bag.




I needed a sturdy clear bag and found exactly what I needed in this travel kit, which I scored for only $8.00. The pockets hold the paper with the sign chart perfectly. 

With sign images, I made the charts on my word processor program and kept the signs very simple. 

The blue labeled signs are signs that Isaac knows and uses regularly. The red labeled signs are what we are working on and what might apply in a church setting.  

It was so easy to just slipped the charts in the side pockets where they are protected and highly visible!
On the largest front pocket, I also added a cover letter with a brief explanation about Apraxia and our contract information - blocked out for this posting on the net, of course. 



As always I added pictures of my little guy so there is never a question that this is Isaac's bag!


The two other pouches also came with the travel kit, so we are super organized!!!!

A great inexpensive way to help others,...help my Isaac!



Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why I Love The Man I Love,...


Why I love the man, I love?

A picture is worth a thousand words,...and after twenty-three years of fatherhood,...my man,...just gets better and better!

No wonder our three sons all call him: "Daddy!"

Happy Father's Day to one and all!





Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Recycled/Up-cycled Diaper Box

Have to thank Pinterest for this idea!



The cut-out box on Pinterest was WAY prettier than this one, but Isaac's not been picky. He's been too busy playing with this Recycled/Up-cycled diaper box.

Lots of good therapy potential in this activity - fine motor, matching, sharing,  and practice words: 'in, out, down, drop, get, find, oh-oh,...ect.

Very good toddler activity for a rainy Monday afternoon!

Note:  I am writing this a couple hours later from my original blog post,...and I have to state that Isaac is STILL playing with this box,...doubt it will last until tomorrow evening...its taken a lot of love,...but WORTH what little time we had to take to tape the thing shut and saw out some openings....TOTAL SCORE,...and best thing to know is that for the time being there will always be another box next month!!!!


Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dear Young Sir,...

Dear Young Sir,...

Yes, you, the young man,...twenty or so,...in the black polo shirt at Zaxby's this afternoon. You watched our Isaac zooming around and round the circuit of booths, running off pent up energy from having been confined in his car seat.

You, were sitting next to a vending machine,...an ol' timey pinball machine,...that discharged little rubber balls,...that pinged and ponged against the game board paddles until rolling out,...into a child's hand.

Exploring the vending machine,...Isaac was being Isaac,...trying out all the leavers, and he stopped to smile at you, with that sunshine smile of his.

And,...I guess he won your heart,...because you unexpectedly pulled out a quarter and put it in the machine for my little son,...and we all laughed at his delight as the ball came out and bounced across the restaurant with him chasing with giggles as fast as his chubby little legs would carry him.



When your order was announced, you went to the counter and collected it,....smiled at Isaac and us,...and said, "That is one cute kid!"



All of this,...you know,...Dear Young Sir,...you were there.

What you don't know,...is that Isaac's mother,...and that would be me,...had cried all the way to Zaxby's so burdened for her little son with Apraxia.

There are so many unknowns for us,...when and if,...Isaac will be able to speak with the ease of his peers,...and what will happened between here and there,...and especially how will others,...others, who don't know how darling our precious little guy is,...how will they respond to him and his challenges.

I can only hope they follow your generous example and reach for a quarter,...because that was a small price to pay for Isaac's happiness,...and mine.

May God bless and keep you.

Janet

-----------------------------

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chasing Round Rainbows,...

Ok,....some weeks with speech therapy are better than others.  Some sessions in Kindermusic are more productive than others.

For Isaac,...perhaps this week hasn't been the most stellar week with his therapies.

But, he's been a busy little guy the past couple months,...meeting  lots of new adults,...that all seem to want to play the same 'MORE' game.

All be told, Isaac's been a sport,...you want him to sign "MORE' so he can get that ultra cool toy,...ok,...'MORE' it is,...he just wants to play!

And today after Kindermusic didn't go quite as well as one could hope, it was obvious that we needed to switch gears, release a little stress and go chase some round rainbows at the local splash park.

















Those giggles and that smile,....
                                                  my little man,....
                                                                             had one happy day,.....
                                                                                                                  just like any other two year old!!!





Until I post again,....may God bless and keep you!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Headlines Read,...







Toddler develops taste buds on fingertips




Taste by touch? 

Perhaps not, but our Mr. Isaac majestically refuses any food that he deems to be 'gooey' or 'sticky' or just doesn't pass his teeny tiny fingertip touch test.

For us that translates to NO ketchup on his McHappy meals.





Not that hamburgers and fries make up the extent of Isaac's diet, but with his 'sensory issues' - we do find ourselves scrambling to find healthy alternatives to meet his particular 'sensory' criteria.

Unfortunately the adage: 'kids will eat when they get hungry' -- doesn't apply when dealing with children with sensory processing issues, because his aversion is not the result of defiance, but part of his challenges in 'processing' the sensory input.

Offering a variety of foods, including gooey and sticky foods, is part of Isaac's therapy, unfortunately most of these foods have not yet been able to cross his 'sensory' boundaries, which are guarded by his discriminating little fingertips.

So what is a mommy to do to make sure her little one is getting adequate vitamins?

A supplement would be a great alternative, but Isaac isn't open to the taste or smell of liquid vitamins, he has issues with soft foods, so I can't slip them into yogurt or applesauce. Such a little guy with still developing teeth, he's not quite ready to try chewable vitamins and I am not sure if 'gummy' vitamins will pass his fingertip test.

But, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve: whole wheats breads, cereals and pasta, mashed banana slipped into his oatmeal, which fortunately he will eat with a spoon. Aside from a McDonald burger and fries treat, the alternatives that Isaac is offered - are healthy or healthy  - he can take his pick which healthy food he wants to eat, the orange slices or sunflower kernels. Also smoothies with frozen bananas and V8 splash have been a hit and have helped cover the vitamin C gap in Isaac's diet when we run short on oranges or strawberries.

Vitamin A is my biggest concern in Isaac's dietary needs.

I wish sweet potato fries had worked, that's a great source of vitamin A, but Isaac just gave me a funny look when I offered him some, although he will eat sweet potato 'chips' and dehydrated veggie chips, but they are expensive and a tad too salty for daily consumption.

Chasing vitamin A, I scored big time with: Pumpkin Cookies.

Nice and dry and not too sweet, because Mr. Isaac does not have a sweet tooth, these nutritional cookies passed our little guy's fingertip test.

I baked the cookies yesterday afternoon and last night, Isaac unknowingly consumed an adequate serving of vitamin A, and bunch of other nutritional 'goodies' I slipped into the recipe - including: protein, omega 3, calcium, potassium, iron, and fiber.

Pumpkin Cookies:

1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 cup mashed bananas
1 cup butter or margarine (I used Smart Balance sticks)
2 cups sugar
1 tbs black strap molasses
1 tsp salt
3 cup whole wheat flour
2 cup whole oats
1 tsp baking powder
1tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
4 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup sliced almonds
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar. Add pumpkin, bananas, eggs, flax, chia seeds, molasses and blend. Add flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and combine into a dough. Fold into the dough: oats, raisins, almonds, cranberries and chocolate chips.

Not having a lot of time, I spread the cookie dough onto two cookie sheets. I forgot to time how long they baked, it was probably about 15 minutes,...or maybe even a little longer.







With a base recipe, I can add a variety of different dried fruits, nuts and seeds to keep these cookies interesting and nutritional and that for us and Isaac that is great headline news!

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!









Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day,...Thanks

Baby Issac



Never too early to teach our little ones the importance of Memorial Day.

Thanks to all our service men and women for all of their sacrifices for our freedoms.



---------------------------------------------------------------------

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Shape Sorts, Sorta,...

Toys for therapy motivation have kept me on the thrift store prowl. So far I've had great success finding very expensive educational toys for $3.00 bucks and under and most of those have been well under a dollar.

Shape Sorters for example can be quite pricey when purchased new with even the simplest I've priced in store starting at $10.00.

My little Isaac loves playing with this type toy and he has several in our toy closet which I regularly rotate  to avoid them acquiring the dreaded JTS: Jaded Toddler Syndrome.

When used for therapy the Shape Sorters are helpful for modeling: 'sharing' - he takes a turn, I take a turn, words: the shapes and colors, prepositions: down, in, out, exclamations: bing, bong, ding, or whatever else applies. It is also a good fine motor activity and perfect: cause and effect.

Only there is a teeny tiny catch to second-hand Shape Sorters,...it is very rare to find the original shapes that actually go with the original Sorter. To make matter even more complicated, the shapes to most sorters are very specific in size and shape to fit only that sorter.

How very cynical of the toy companies, it's as if they were scared to death a child might actually consider trying to play with their toy with rogue shape!

However some shapes do happen to fit other sorters and wooden blocks fit the bill pretty good for generic square and circle shapes, but what if the ultra cool sorter you have found for .59 cents has shape holes are too small for even wooden blocks?

Mommy starts flipping through possibilities.

First Thought: make some bean-bag type shapes out of felt, but my 'art and craft' time is quite limited.

Second Thought: cut shapes out of thick cardboard or craft foam, this could and would work, but it would be difficult to make the shapes 'thick' enough for easy manipulation - we're talking a two year's chubby little fingers, here.

Third Thought: actually I didn't have a third thought until I was in the check-out lane at the thrift store this Saturday and saw some thick foam - gardening kneeling pads. Immediately I saw the possibilities for potential shapes: nice bright lime green color, easily cut, yet thick enough for little fingers to grasp easily and most important, at $1.25 I wasn't take a huge gamble, so I purchased two pads.

Score!


In theory these should have cut perfectly, but in practice my circles weren't complete spheres.



But they were close enough for Isaac to get the idea. Most of the shapes I cut, I made to jusssst fit, so Isaac would have to push down,...a task he loved,...he started playing with these before I finished all the shapes,...as I stood at the counter,...he kept signing for 'more.'


Please note that these shapes are made of thick foam,...which a toddler or infant could and would easily take an experimental bite out of,...even Isaac,...who doesn't have 'mouthing issues' isn't to be trusted to play with these on his own,...so parental supervision strongly advised....It's always better to be safe than sorry with little ones.


From Isaac's point of view these Sorta, Shape Sorter Shapes are winners!


Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Moving Forward,...Even If You Feel You Are Sitting Still



This photo I took of Michael in the car the other day really struck a cord with me as I noticed the blur of scenery in the window contrasting with the serenity of Michael's pose.

So engrossed Michael doesn't even seem to realize he's moving forward,...if fact later he did look up with a quizzed, "We're already here?"

With Isaac's speech and developmental therapy we don't always see immediate improvement and it can be easy to get discouraged when it feels like his progress is Sitting Still,...but it's not,...just like the speeding car,...other forces are working to propel us and Isaac toward our goals.


Philippians 4:19

New International Version (NIV)
"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."


It can be so easy to forget when life gets difficult that 'all things do work for good'....and...'all your needs' will be met.

Frankly I was panicked when our pediatrician recommend I contact a speech therapist IMMEDIATELY!
In tears, I called the number our doctor gave us the moment I got home,...and praise the LORD,...the therapist was able to see us the next morning for an evaluation:

That was just this February.

Since then:

0 Isaac has learned over ten signs.


0 Isaac meets with his speech therapist Miss Fern every Tuesday.


0 Isaac has been enrolled in an Early Intervention Pre-Pre-School Program,...that has a very limited number of slots available for students....We had no waiting list,...I just picked up the phone and praise the LORD,...since it is the end of the school year they had no waiting lists and several vacancies from children that have graduated to the next level!


0 Isaac's vebal vocalization is rapidly improving,...we just have to get on the same page to what the precious little darling is trying to tell me with his expressive babbling. 


0 Isaac is enrolled in a summer program that will include Kindermusik.


0 Isaac is also already enrolled for the fall semester,...again no waiting lists.


0 Isaac will began receiving services from the State Early Intervention programs to supplement his private therapies. 

Until I tapped all of this onto the computer screen,...time seemed standing still with Isaac's progress,...but actually it's been a blessed blur,...we are moving forward and that is our goal.

Onward for this little guy!



Until I post again,....may God bless and keep you!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

SUCCESS!!!!!!

WOW,...social stories really do work!

Isaac had a GREAT week at school with nary a tear and LOTS of happy smiles!


I need to break out my ironing board,...more stories to come!

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Social Stories To The Rescue,...

Last week was Isaac's first classes at an Early Intervention Preschool center. To say he wasn't exactly happy with his new school routine is putting it mildly,...way too many tears!

Thus,...hopefully,...Social Stories to the rescue....

Social Stories,...are simple narratives for children explaining to them what to expect in new situations or to reinforce their daily routine. If you'd like to learn more, Google: 'social stories' for lots of great websites that offer 'how-to-write-a-personalized-social-story for your child.

These type stories are helpful for ALL children,...I used to use a version of 'social stories' with my older guys when they were little,...explaining that we were going shopping and what to expect and how they were expected to behave in a store or what to expect at the doctor's office,...ect.

Isaac being a preschooler I made a simple book with pictures that I took last Friday.


I used card stock weight paper, digital photos, our Mac and ink jet printer, lamination paper (from my office supply stash,...it is tons cheaper to purchase in bulk, by the way), glue stick, hole punches and clip rings.


After printing out the pages, I glued them together and then laminated them with an ordinary clothes iron set on low.


Hardest part was keeping all the pages aligned properly....I just kept lining them up to check that they were correct,...not that a two year old would notice or care,...but 'whatever you do,....work at it with all your heart as if working for the LORD not man' - Colossians 3:23.

Of course the real question,..."Will this 'social story' book really rescue Isaac from daily preschool tears?"

I am frankly not sure.

Isaac is NOT a bookish type child,...he doesn't like sitting still long enough to listen to a story or to look at a book,...and he wasn't too crazy about this one either,...until he started noticing the pictures,....I saw the comprehension on his little face, "Hey that's me!"

All we can do is try,...and the plan is to 'read' this story to Isaac as much as we can,...especially on school days,...and I'll be sure to report,...'success' or 'now all we have is a nifty photo album of Isaac's first week of preschool!'

It's difficult not knowing exactly 'what will work' with your child,...but Mr. Isaac is worth the effort and I'd gladly stand at the ironing board laminating pages from sunrise to sunset if I will help him with his challenges,...and if this book IS a success,...I just might find myself with an iron permanently attached to my hand!

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Meet Isaac

Here's our Isaac,...


Check out that smile,...doesn't he look like he's about to burst out laughing? Our Isaac certainly loves to laugh especially at his big brothers Teddy and Michael. 

 Here's my three guys together,....


Yes,...that is quite an age difference between my three sons,...respectively their ages are: Teddy 23 yrs, Michael 21 yrs, and Isaac 27 months! 

Teddy's the one with the beard, he's a graduate student completing his master's degree in Education and our technical guru-extraordinaire, Michael is a lifeguard and broadcasting major completing his junior year at the university,....while our Isaac is a pre-preschooler just starting classes at a local early intervention center.

My husband Lynn and I have been blessed with 28 years of marriage,....he's a great guy and a great father to our three blessings.

The star of this blog is our Isaac,...he is in the process of being diagnosed for his special needs. His speech delay is quite obvious,....he only has about eleven words he can say and they are rarely used. We're about six weeks in from his first evaluation,...and he's made rapid progress his therapy sessions in learning sign language: eat, drink, more, again, please, ball.

No one will pin down Isaac's other needs,...he apparently is toeing the fine line of apraxia and autism, with some red flags,...not not enough definite proof to offer a clear diagnosis.  

But he's cute,...and his nonverbal communication skills are off the chart,...because he has no difficulty in getting his message across,...whether happy or otherwise!

We're just looking to the future,...because we know his cuteness is not going to be a safeguard foil for his furthered communications with the greater and wider world. 

So that's just a quick peek into this blog,....more later,...but now it's time to get Isaac ready for his third day of class,....this is his first week,...to say the first day didn't go very well would be putting it mildly,...but his teachers assure me a bumpy start is VERY typical,...so we will just take this process one step at a time.....

Until I post again,....may God bless and keep you!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Work In Progress

Round Rainbows and Other Realities is in the process of being developed,...this blog will focus on life with a special needs child.