Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 28, 2007

It's birthday time!! I can't believe my little pumpkin is turning 6 on Monday. Time flies and we've been busy.

Jakob started first grade last week. It's so hard to say for sure how he's doing since he can't tell me. I haven't quite figured out at the end of his school day if he's just wiped out or shut down. There's a big difference but the look can be the same. I'd say at this point, he's handling it pretty well. He comes home and is in a fog for about 30 minutes. Then he gets his second wind and it's playtime. I don't want this month's water bill...the hose is constantly running...nothing beats playing with water.

I went shopping for presents today. I walked in the store, telling myself that I'd just pick up a few things...yeah, right. I found some pretty cool stuff and I hardly spent any money. At least nowhere near what I used to blow in one outing. I'm becoming more fiscally responsible (and it sucks). But I'm really looking forward to giving it all to him...I know there's a ball toy and some gears that he's gonna go nuts over. I'll never make it 'til his birthday. I'm already picking out which one I want to play with tonight.

I decided to keep his party simple...tons of water and lots of people. It's gonna take some manuevering to keep him calm and cool with the craziness but I know we can do it. He'll have a blast if he's in the right frame of mind. It's my job to get him to his happy place. May the force be with me. (I love Star Wars very much)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

August 6, 2007...a simple smile

He's just so darn funny. Even if he's screaming, he's still funny...and cute.

He's been on a kick lately...water is too much fun. I got him one of those inflatable water slides...just a little one. He loves it. The back yard has paid the price...one big patch of dead grass and right beside that, a big area of mud. Oh well, it's just grass. I'm not sure what he likes more...going down the slide and playing with the water as it pools at the bottom or watching it inflate and deflate. He got into the pattern of asking me to blow it up (by looking at me, pointing up and saying "up, up, up, up"), going down it twice and then telling me "all done". Then I deflate it, wait until it's completely deflated and he tells me "water, off". Quite a process to only go down it twice. So I decided there would be a 10-slide minimum and I explained this to him thoroughly. Oh yeah, did I mention he usually steps outside, takes off his pants and wanders around until he finds his swimming trunks?? Nudity is big in our back yard. Anywho...the 10 slide minimum...it was 2 slides and he was done. So, I start running around like a crazy person explaining that he had 8 more to go. WIth some excited encouragement, I got him all the way up to 8 slides. He was pretty adament at this point that he was all done and wanted it off. We came to a compromise...I picked him up and he went about half-way down. A total of 8 1/2 slides...not bad. If anyone had been watching, they must have thought I was nuts...crazy, sweaty lady forcing a kid to go down a waterslide.

I've decided to just leave the darn thing up. It's a multiple-times per day activity. Fifiteen minutes here, 20 minutes there. Water, water everywhere. Every once and awhile, he'll decide he wants the hose detached from the slide so he can fill up his little pool and water table or run it up the swingset and run water down the 2 slides. As long as there's water running, he's pretty happy. It's just been too darn hot out there...nice and cool for him with the water, a sauna for me.

Jakob's latest favorite video is one that has a bunch of kid's favorite songs. He sings along...he definitely has the melody and inflection. Occasionally, I'll hear a word that sounds a little like a word. He's trying so hard. One day, I was sitting and watching with him and "Where is Thumpkin" came on. So, I took a marker and drew a smiley face on my thumb. He thought it was pretty funny but wanted it off. He even took a white board eraser and tried to erase it...didn't work. Now, every time that song comes on, he draws a smiley face on his own finger...and tries to erase it. It's so cute and he gets pretty tickled with himself. We're both so easily amused.

It's only been a few weeks since he first started using his DynaVox and I can't believe how good he is with it! So smart. For most everything he wants...food, toys, bath, movie, he uses the DynaVox to ask for it. Sometimes, I have to point to "his talker" and remind him to tell me what he wants but there are plenty of times that he just does it on his own. I'll be in the living room and I'll hear coming from the moose room, "I want cookie". He gets lots of cookies. If he asks for it, I fetch. The only way he'll be inspired to use it is if he gets what he asks for...he has to see results to be motivated. I've programmed some things in for bathtime and they seem to be some of his favorites..."wipe my eyes" and "dry my ears" really crack him up.

He's such a great kid. I just adore him. Without a doubt, we have our challenges...every day. But I've really begun to not look at them as challenges...they're just Jakob and me doing our thing. It's an understanding between us, it's a lifestyle. If I feel myself starting to get frustrated or lose my patience, I just stop what I'm doing and smile at him. A big, genuine smile that comes from deep down inside. A warm look and a big smile always soothes him...and me. It's a quick fix to any issue...him wanting to do something I don't want him to do, me wanting him to do something he doesn't wanna do or if he's just in a "leave me alone" kind of mood. It may take a few minutes to work, but it always does. I'm so lucky to have figured that out...