Nope, but at least it still keeps the kids entertained!!
Help!!! They're attacking us!!!!
You see, when my husband and I met 12 years ago, I was amazed with his dreadlocks. They were very unique, and I was quite smitten. But they are alot of work. As the years passed, his dreads grew, and they began to get in the way........hanging on your shoulder as he walked by you, grazing your plate of food and finding their way onto my pillow at night (I'm starting to wonder if they weren't placed there on purpose.....hmmmm)!! They have become toys to the boys, and on occasion, if one of them is lucky, one would tear right off. Yeah, OUCH! Sorry honey!
Yes, they are real (not extensions). And yes, they are heavy. They are heavy just to hold them dry, imagine when they are wet?? Or, imagine carrying that extra weight pulling on your neck. He has had them for 17 years now. With that said, he is now 17 years older.....the "BIG 4-0" this June. I don't think all those aches and pains are due "just" from age. I can only imagine how light he will feel. So with that said.....
"FREE me YOURSELF" honey:)
(We've all done our time)
My 37th birthday was one week ago today. And my birthday wish.......did NOT come true! So, I must face reality......if you can't beat 'em........find some more constructive ways to use them! LOL:)
Like, a ruler, to measure how much the kids have grown!!
Boy, how they have grown.............the boys and the dreadlocks!!
You know how sometimes, when we catch ourselves staring at our children, wondering what they will look like 20 yrs. from now................
On second thought, why rush things.......let's just take it one day at a time!!!!
Oh well, I'll keep on wishing.........after all, wishes, eventually "DO" come true!
As parents of children with special needs, we often find ourselves having to make difficult decisions. We want so badly to live up to the standard that "parents know their children, BEST". So we inhale, take a deep breath and dive into that intimidating ocean of knowledge, grasping at bits and pieces of information that we "THINK" and "HOPE" will be valuable information.
When Landon was three months old, I had to return to work. It wasn't easy going back when all I could think of was how much faster would Landon do things if I was home (working with him) all day long. And, would those who were caring for him know exactly what he needed. Ha, who was I fooling, like I knew myself, what his needs were. Yes, those first three months were filled with doubt and worry. After all, raising a child with special needs was suppose to be more work. But as time past by, I slowly began to realize that I was overanalyzing.........everything. You see, Landon, was my third and youngest son. It's not like I was new to motherhood. I should be a pro by now. Why would Landon be any different. And so that first big decision was made, Landon would go to the same preschool/daycare with his big brother, Elijah. And with a deep breath, I dropped Landon off for his first day of school, and off I went to work. (And.....I survived!!)
I often find myself playing devil's advocate with every decision Scott and I must make, "in the best interest of Landon". Always doubting and second guessing the choices we make. Some decisions come a little easier than others, while others cast the darkest shadow of doubt.
You see, last week, Scott and I received Landon's "transition papers". Yes, Landon received papers to transition from the "infant" room to the "toddler" room. I was a bit surprised, not that Landon would be transitioning to that room(because we knew he would), but so soon?? Scott and I had been talking lately about how people see and treat Landon like he is still this cute and cuddly infant, and although he is cute and cuddly, reality is - Landon is 13 months old. Peers his age have already transitioned. Landon is the only child in the infant room. Maybe I should have said something sooner, or maybe, I just wasn't ready. Landon has been "visiting" the toddler room for a couple of months now. He loves circle time and music. I have actually been informed that Landon is the page turner during story time and that he is the life of the party when the music is turned on. Yes, music to my..... "heart"!! I "KNOW" that Landon should transition, but, I also "KNOW" that he still has needs. You see, Landon can sit independently....but he cannot get into a sitting position on his own. And what about snack time.......Landon cannot walk over to the table, sit in a chair and feed himself. And communication?? Landon has a hand full of "signs" but is pretty much (with the exception of making sounds) non-verbal at this time. How will he communicate with his peers??
When I picked Landon up from school on Tuesday, I had about a 20 minute chat with his teacher. I voiced my concerns about Landon's transition. Surprisingly, I was met with the ultimate accomodation.........either the teacher or a classroom helper would be watching over Landon at all times. Someone to watch over him as he plays with his peers (in case he falls over), someone (to feed him) at the table that his peers eat and someone to continue using sign language (his current form of communication). This school has been so good to us and so accepting of our EI team. Landon's school will be working with our EI team, building workshops for their staff (if & when needed), to give them a better understanding and the knowledge of working/teaching children with special needs.
I must confess.......although I agreed that it was in Landon's best interest to transition, I still felt a bit hesitant. How will he communicate with the other children? Will he be overlooked by his peers? Will he get frustrated?
And then.........something like this happens!!!
As I entered the toddler room to get Landon, a group of 6/7 children (including Landon) were sitting quietly in a circle for story time. The teacher told me that the class had been practicing and they would like to show me something. She proceeded to ask the children if they wanted......"MORE....BOOK.....PLEASE". And without hesitation the children together......SIGNED.......more.book.please.! And the flood gates were open. I was overwhelmed and speechless. Yes, these children, were between the ages of 1 and 3 years old. And here they were, SOAKING UP, all of this knowledge.......like the little SPONGES that they are. Yes, they were learning and being exposed to sign language....not just because of Landon......but because these teachers truly believe in "INCLUSION". You see, they already knew my fears, and were taking steps to reassure me that this definitely is..........in.the.best.interest.of.Landon:)
A few weeks ago, Landon started water therapy.......and I forgot my camera! Ugh! I have since had some inquiries about water therapy, Landon's therapeutic schedule and some requests for some pics.
Water Therapy is a service provided by our local EI Center. I have to say, I was a bit hesitant about adding another session to Landon's already busy therapeutic schedule (2-OT's, 1-PT.....soon to be 2, 1-ST.....soon to be 2 and now 1-Water Therapy). You see, Landon tolerates each of his 1 hour sessions with such will and determination and of course a smile on his face. Landon goes to daycare at a local preschool with his brother Elijah 2 days a week from 8am - 4pm. He receives 1-OT session/week there and 1 at home. The same for PT and ST very soon (as of now, each of these sessions are done in our home). It is very important to me, that Landon's services are consistent wherever he is. Our local preschool has been exceptionally welcoming to our EI staff and learning as much about Landon as possible. Yes, Landon is the first child with Down syndrome to attend this daycare/preschool. And I couldn't imagine sending Landon anywhere else. Thank you Melissa, Jen & staff for welcoming Landon with open arms.
I am constantly playing devil's advocate on whether Landon's therapeutic schedule is beneficial or overload. The bottom line is that my husband and I have decide to offer Landon all the services possible and we have agreed that Landon will decided what he will and will not tolerate. So far, this seems to work for us and Landon just loves spending time with his therapists. What a great "TEAM" we have. Landon is a very social little boy. He would probably rather babble to you over playing with a toy. He loves attention. I think he considers his therapy sessions as......."PLAYDATES"! If it works, then don't try to fix it:)
I am so happy that we decided to take on this water therapy session. An added therapeutic class with less strain on the body. Thanks Lisa and Jessica for being so creative and making this session so much fun! Landon doesn't even realize just how hard he is working. I truly believe that this will help Landon in lots of areas. Two major issues with Landon right now is extending his hip flexors and bearing weight on his feet. With land therapy, Landon shows some resistance. In the water, Landon shows signs that he's been doing this for some time. Oh the tricks water can play on the body! Whatever it is, it works. He will actually use his legs to push off the wall of the pool and will use his legs to jump on the steps. He will extend his legs when the weights are placed on his ankles and he will move his hips like he is swimming. It really is amazing to watch the differences. Landon will also keep his balance when sitting on the mat (very difficult when the water keeps the mat moving). We find that he will catch himself when he feels like he's losing his balance. It's amazing what our little ones can and will tolerate when they are in the water.
Don't get me wrong, this session is still alot of work and Landon definitely has his moments(like falling asleep in the middle of his session, yes, right in the middle of the pool). Once again, I failed to have my camera with me and I missed the moment.........*sigh* The flippers still haven't moved up on his list either! Ha! Here are some pictures of Landon during his sessions. You can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them.