Thursday, October 23, 2008


The big day!! He started preschool yesterday and it went great! He was super excited about the bus ride and wearing his backpack. He saw the bus approach, though, and stuck his thumb right in his mouth (we're really hoping that's not a new trend for him) so he must have been a tiny bit nervous. He climbed on the bus no problem and got all buckled in. Here he's blowing kisses at us:

It's pretty neat, actually. There is a bus driver, obviously, and she had an assistant to help out. There are built in booster seats that fold out of the regular ones so he was buckled in a 5 point harness. He came home happy as a clam, talking about the bus like crazy. He didn't seem worn out or anything, but as the afternoon went on I could tell he was tired. HURRAY!

His preschool teacher called in the afternoon and reported that he'd done great, followed along with the group well and was speaking more than they expected. Good news! His teacher's name is Ms. Maki and she said that he must know her name because when he wanted her, he'd call out "Ma! Ma!" I can totally hear that sound in my head and cringed just a little because it'll get old fast! Maki said that he played kitchen with a couple girls and they were setting the table together. Cute boy! I guess he sucked his thumb a couple times at school, but she said that he was too busy to have it be a problem. That's good news. By the end of the day, however, she could tell he was ready to go home. He was obviously listening for the buses and saying, "home."

Today he woke up REALLY early (6 am I heard dinosaur stomping sounds coming from his room and the light ON!!) and was definitely grumpier. I'm helping in Ellie's class or I'd give him a nap for sure. Too bad.

The bus stop thing is working out great. His bus comes just before it's time to take Lydia to hers. Today was a little tight and I had to send her ahead of us, but made it there in time to kiss her and wave good-bye to her through the window. His returning bus comes at 12ish and we have time to eat lunch quick before taking Ellie to HER bus stop. What could be REALLY crazy is working out great. But 5 bus stops to remember a day?! That's insane. At least Carver's is at our house!

So that's preschool! More on his birthday to come.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

LAST speech therapy

I'm full of emotions these days because I had to have a good cry after our WONDERFUL speech therapist left for the last time today. Carver's graduated from the SKIP program (birth-3 yrs) and is now ready for our school district's program, a developmental preschool in our case. I've loved doctors in the past and teachers the girls have had, but there is something really profound about someone who loves and helps your child with special needs. It just tugs at my heart strings like nothing else. So here's a big THANK YOU to one really special speech therapist.

She had great tips for our preschool IEP in a week, getting into writing his oral needs and making a plan for sending the chewy tube and probably gum in his backpack. Also she noted an improvement in his drooling and suggested wrist bands for wiping his face himself. I think it's REALLY time I put that on my list for Target. :)

We talked about goals we made back in May at the beginning and it was exciting to reflect on Carver's progress. He's come so far in just 6 months. Those first appointments he spent throwing fits, begging and crying for milk or food all the time, with absolutely no attention span for play. Now he not only associates his ST with play-doh, but sits for a good 20 minutes or so playing with us. AMAZING. And he uses words for what he wants, he waits for the next activity so much better than he used to, understanding that we're doing something now and he waits for something to come later. We still have a lot of work to do (dressing, undressing, potty training, to name a few...) but we've come so far!

The transportation dept at the school district called today and scheduled bus stop times for Carver and it works out perfectly to have him picked up here. I can't believe it fit into my already bus-stop filled day. Hurray for that! We're going to go take a little mini tour of the bus the Monday before he starts to see what it's like. I hope it helps. What an exciting time. Change always makes me emotional, moving, graduating, maybe it's the change of seasons, too. Sometimes I'm amazed I don't cry when I take out or put away the winter clothes! What an exciting, stretching time for Carver and for me, too.

Monday, October 6, 2008

the latest

I'm getting behind! Therapy was last week, she brought "thera-putty" which is basically silly putty in various degrees of softness. It's pretty cool, but Carver's afraid of it because I popped a couple air bubbles in it at first, thinking he'd like it. Guess not! Grace loves it, so does everyone else. I like how it sinks back down smooth when you're done but feels so firm when you play with it.

We worked on a puzzle with him (an animal sound kind from Melissa and Doug) and he wasn't very interested in finishing it. We also built towers with wooden blocks and said, "up, up" with each block added. He wasn't interested in the tower until we made a garage for his car and then he was all about helping add blocks to the top! I guess it's always about finding the angle. :)

And now... drum roll, please..... we took away the pacifier! Saturday morning was the last time. I'd been prepping it on Friday by saying things like "where did your pacifier go? Is it on a boat? Did it go on a train? Is it at it's grandma's house?" silly things like that. I believe that helped get the idea of the pacifier being far away, not just in my pocket or in the kitchen drawer. I really think it's helped. So we didn't do a "fairy" or a trade or a big garbage throwing away moment and, while I'm using only good old fashioned lying as my technique, I think it's saving us trauma. Ellie talked about her "happer" in the garbage truck for MONTHS and never liked the stuffed cat we offered as a trade. what's the point? I've just told him it's gone, we don't have it anymore. That's true. Then we hypothesize about where it could have gone and that's that. Bedtime is tricky. He's requiring a lot of singing and arm rubbing, but that's how it started out when we moved him from his crib. It might take a couple weeks, but he'll adjust. As I type, he's fallen asleep on our bed without the "yum-yum." there is definitely hope! :)

It all started because the preschool teacher called and I asked which she'd rather we work on, the pacifier or the potty training. She said pacifier and I figured now was as good a time as any! We're working on getting the bus stops set up, as well. We meet on the 17th to make an IEP (Individual Education Plan or something along those lines) and his first day is his birthday, Oct. 22nd! Wednesday. Wow. So exciting.

He's a super Mommy's boy right now - pretty tiresome, but sweet at the same time. I love being needed and there are few things cuter than being taken by the hand by Carver to go play, unless of course he's whining and crying and pulling hard. I think that happens most often!

I'm sure proud of him for going cold turkey on the yum-yum. I hope this week is okay for all of us!