Friday, December 17, 2004

December 17th, 2004

Today is my last day at work before my 2-week vacation. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to have time off work. I’m one of those lucky people…I love my job at the radio station but for the next 2 weeks, I get to enjoy the job of just being Jakob’s mom. I can’t wait to see him every morning when he first gets up, feed him breakfast, snuggle with him while we watch an Elmo video…

I think this is gonna be my best Christmas so far…Jakob is becoming more and more observant every day. The other night, I set off the car alarm accidentally and he screamed!! He used to not even notice loud noises and the darn alarm made him scream and he even started to run!! Sounds crazy, but it was so exciting to see my child startled and scared for the first time!

I have to say…I don’t know what I’d do without his teachers and therapists. Not only have they helped him so much, they have taught me how to help him. Our lives have become so much easier because we’ve learned so much about our son. There is more laughter and an overall feeling of “calm” in our home. I often think so many people who work with kids don’t get the credit they deserve…so please, this holiday season, make sure you thank the people who help you with your children. I’m really trying to thank those who have helped us…

During this vacation, we are going to start a therapy program with Jakob. It’s a relatively new program and we’re lucky to have it offered here in the Tri-State. If you have a child with a learning disability…you may want to look into Sensory Learning available at the Therapy Learning Center. There are 2 locations. Just go to I’ll be telling you all about it when I get back. There are some amazing stories about what this program has done for other kids like Jakob…I pray that it will help him…wish us luck!!

I’m off to play with my little guy…Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

December 14th, 2004

I am having such a great Christmas season with Jakob. This is the first year he’s really noticed any of the decorations around the house. He really loves all the lights and the fireplace. He just looks at all of it and giggles.

Jakob has never opened a present. I’m hoping to change that. I’ve started the process of teaching him how much fun it is…I’ve started with his favorite book. I took the book and put it into a big Christmas bag and then showed him how to get it out. It became a game for a little while. After a couple times, he started to get aggravated with me so I had to stop. He was tired and cranky so I didn’t push it. That’s such a valuable lesson to learn with Jakob…don’t push it. So hopefully we can go back to it tonight. Once he has the hang of the bag thing, I’ll wrap up a couple of his favorite toys in Christmas paper and we’ll tear into it. It will be a process just like everything else.

The trick is to keep the process fun and I really think I’m getting the hang of it. He is so bright and he loves to learn new things…it’s all in the introduction to it. Kenny and I had a big discussion about that last night. We want to get him a sled for Christmas and I was explaining to Kenny that this year Jakob will probably just want to be pulled around in it and maybe go down a small hill or two. Kenny wants to take him to the BIG hill and just send him down. No way. The little guy will be so terrified, we’ll never get him in a sled again. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.

I try to explain to people that when you’re trying to teach Jakob something new, take the way you’d teach a “normally developing” child, then take a few steps back. Most kids you can just say “get in the sled and hold on”…then push them down the hill, not Jakob. With Jakob it’s more like…”This is a sled”…put one of his favorite toys in it…help him climb into it (if he’s even willing to do that)…play with his toy while he sits in it and leave him there. Repeat until he gets in the sled on his own without us telling him to. He has to show signs that he’s interested in it. Once he does that, we move onto the next step…pulling him in the sled. Then the next step and so on. It could take weeks, ya just never know. Some things he takes to quickly, other things not at all. It’s impossible to know what he’ll like until you try it. The trick is to be patient and understanding.

I’m looking forward to teaching him the present thing tonight. I hope it goes well…but if it doesn’t, that’s ok. We’ll try again tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that…as long as it takes. And if he NEVER gets it, that’s ok too, I won’t love him any less.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

December 8th, 2004

Wow. Just when I’m at the point of complete and total exhaustion, Jakob does something to send me into hysterics that makes me realize that all the thought and work I put into making our home a total learning environment for him is all worth it. Last night, he’s standing at his magnetic white board with all his letters and numbers and we’re spelling some of his favorites…green, purple, quiet, Jakob, go, fun…these are words that he’s just starting spelling, we didn’t teach him to do this. Somewhere along the line he’s just picked them up. Well…he takes the “Q”…then the “1”…then the “0”…then the “2”….little booger was spelling Q102!!! I fell over laughing and he just grinned…God, I love that kid!

Ya know…I never talk about my personal religious beliefs.’s probably the only thing in this world that I don’t openly talk about…too personal. I will say this…I have a good relationship with God…She and I are very tight. And I believe in all the clichés…everything happens for a reason and God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. God gave me Jakob for a reason…probably a bunch of reasons…to teach me to have more patience, understanding, tolerance, unconditional love, priorities in life…all of these things I’ve had my whole life but certainly they’re things no one can ever have too much of. Every day Jakob teaches me something new. And yesterday he reminded me to slow down, take a moment and have a good laugh. I can’t wait to find out what my little angel has for me today…


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

December 7th, 2004

I’m finally recovering from our Thanksgiving guests and our Radio-thon for St. Joseph’s Orphanage. Jakob’s not quite there yet. He’s not been sleeping very well and he’s been a little obstinate (like his father!). He really needs some Mommy/Jakob alone time and hopefully we’ll get to that this week.

Last week, we went to a book fair at his school and he was pretty good. He didn’t want to stand still but he never wandered too far from me…showing a little more independence, but not too much. I’m buying every book I see that’s about numbers and letters. His teacher told me that we’ll probably reach him that way since his loves them so much. I now have 756 books (just kidding but it does seem like it).

I’ve also been putting some his favorite things like puzzle pieces and balls in plastic jars that he can’t open. I then put a picture of what’s inside on top of the jar. He has to bring me the picture to get me to open the jar. Sounds kinda crazy but it’s how we’re trying to get him to communicate with us what he wants.

His OT gave me some great ideas for Christmas. Jakob has never opened a present, he’s never known what to do. Today we will begin to wrap everything around the house and I’m gonna show him how to tear into it…this should be a treat.

I wish I had it in me to say how I’m “feeling” right now. To be honest, I’m just wiped out. Between day-to-day trying to help Jakob, the big picture of helping Jakob, work, home, Kenny, the pets, family, friends, Christmas and 8 million other things, I just don’t have the energy to be overly “in touch” with my emotions. Sometimes I just have to be a machine in order to get it all done. I’m ok with that as long as I make sure Jakob gets all the love and attention he needs….that’s pretty easy to do since the hugs and kisses are by far the best part of my day.