Friday, November 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday


It's been forever since I've done a "Quicktakes", and it seems to be the only thing I have time for in the blogging life these days, so here are 7 mini would-have-been-blogs :). 
1.
Princess continues to amaze me as she gets older each year. She constantly comes up with games and activities to entertain her little brothers, all on her own. Before All Hallow's Eve, I found her planning a "Halloween party" for them. 
She made those herself!
Decorations

3.
I try to do all I can to set up the Little Guy for success with school. But he has so many challenges, sometimes it's just hard for him, no matter what. The other day he looked at me and said matter-of-factly, "Mom, sometimes school for me is like fighting for survival." Broke my heart! Thanks be to God he makes all things work for the good (Romans 8:28). It will make him a compassionate man some day for others who struggle with handicaps. 

4
My husband as I have mentioned before, brings laughter to our home. In the middle of dinner he will often play unexpected songs over the speaker. This one is a particular dinner music favorite. And no, we don't have chickens.

5.
We went to the Children's Museum today. There is an exhibit called "Grossology" all about, you guessed it, everything gross to do with your body. For real?! I have 3 boys. Exhibit. Not. Necessary.  And this is the stuff nightmares are made of....
A talking Faucet, but instead of water dripping, yep, you guessed it. 
This was Little Guy's favorite. The burp machine. Are we surprised?

6.
A picture of our life. We take up the whole dental office. What you don't see is the Little Guy sneaking around the corner to an unoccuppied chair, borrowing one of their tools, I think the sucker upper, just for kicks. 

7.
You know how a picture's worth a thousand words?
I give you, the Queen.
Today she runs our houshold, tomorrow, the world. or maybe a convent. Who knows. 

Happy, what's left of it, Friday! Look at some other quicktakes at Conversion Diary.




Sunday, August 25, 2013

Making "Sense" Out of Church (with Sensory Processing Disorder)

One of the many experiences I have had to learn to help the Little Guy cope with his SPD, is when we go to mass on Sunday. We have 5 children, and our 2 youngest are energetic little boys. So, my husband and I tag team. He gets Angel Boy who is currently 4, and I get the Little Guy. We have a routine, he and I. He sits in my lap, and either grabs my hands and puts them over his ears (I am guessing the sensory experience of being there may be too much for him at times) or he will literally grab my hands and make them slap his ears over and over again. Can you imagine what onlookers must be thinking? Sometimes I want to say out loud, "He likes it, really he does!" That is the hard part about SPD. He looks like an ordinary kid. But he is NO ordinary kid. Another thing we do is, he will pull my mouth towards his ear, and I am to understand this means, kissy time. He LOVES having his ear kissed. I do this over and over and it is very calming for him. Another thing he used to do, was to very unexpectedly lift my shirt to kiss my stomach. Typically this would be while we are standing, very close to the front, during a very solemn moment. Yea, I had to put a stop to that particular activity. It breaks my heart sometimes, to know that there is this constant storm brewing inside his little system. I know it is scary to him, and the worst part of it is, he can't always communicate what he is feeling. So I have to guess a lot. It is getting easier though, to read the signs. I read in an article the other day, that when such a child "acts out" by physically hurting a sibling or an object, or taking big risks, it is a cry for help. So when I went upstairs the other day after hearing some crashing noises, to find a very elaborate stair-step created, up to the top of the bookshelf, and the obvious crash pad situated right below, I chose not to freak. I calmly talked to him about it, and said "I know you need to crash into things, but jumping off the top of the bookshelf is not an option for you, jumping off the chair into the bean bag (it's huge) maybe, but not the bookshelf, ok?". You know what? He hasn't done it since. He needed to know that I understand what he is feeling, and that I respect him. Everything happens for a reason. I know God has a purpose for this little cross he has, and it will be for good. And when I think of all this in mass, and I look and see for a moment, he is gazing up at the cross, and he is perfectly still, I know that if anything will calm the storm inside him, Jesus will. Some day, he will know it.

  

Friday, May 17, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday


1.
The Little Guy and his older brother cracked themselves up doing this. stuffing the Little Guy's shirt with couch pillows and watching him fall over both pretending he had a big belly. Boys, how little it takes to entertain. 

2.
Here's the other part of it. Older brother invented a game called "catapult" where he pushes Little Guy off with his feet into the couch. 
Everyone gets in on it. Something inside tells me it might be a little risky, but this is good for his sensory issues! :)
3.
Can we say, stinkin' cute?
If we can't, here's another...
and another...
Those are upside down, in case you were wondering. Kind of futuristic looking though, don't ya think?

4.
Meanwhile Barbie gets a spa treatment. 

5.
And Spot's getting potty trained...

6.
As I said, it takes so little....

7.
But then some boys grow up to be absolutely amazing men. LOVE our new Papa!

So there you have it folks, the most lame, most random, disconnected quicktakes, ever. Hope you enjoyed. Check out some others at Conversion Diary.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Homeschooling with Sensory Processing Disorder

I have had the privilege of being able to watch some talented OTs work with my 6 yr. old son, and have learned alot from them about how to help him adjust to his surroundings and maximize his potential during school seatwork time. I wanted to share what we do with him (I say we, b/c when you homeschool, everyone's involved) on a daily basis. I would not do all of the following in one day, I took these pictures over a period of several school days.

There are different types of SPD, and you can learn more about it in the blog I wrote here. Between the 2 OTs my son has worked with they both discovered he required a great deal of heavy work and stimulation to be "grounded" in order to sit down and focus on a task, especially one that requires coordination and dexterity. Here are some of the things we do.

Tug-of-war with a towel

Climbing up and down the stairs on all fours

Pushing furniture from one side of the room to the other

Swinging

Swinging with an added sibling for weight. :) Don't worry, this part only lasted a moment.

"Wheel barrow" walking

Oh how I love this shot. "sandwiching". Can't you tell how much he is enjoying it? (on the bottom) And don't you love how I am the only one posing for the picture?

 The after "sandwiching" shot
Another sandwiching shot, without me (phew!) He's in the red shirt

As for seatwork, there are 2 things I wanted to share. 

When my son's current OT started working with him this year, we could not figure out a good grip for him to get a proper grasp on the pencil when writing. Because of his challenges, he was very shaky, unable to control his lines. Then she recommended this grip. In my layman terms, she said it might be better because the pencil was lined up with his middle finger, which allowed a direct connection to his neuro-receptors. I think I explained it roughly the way she did : /. All I know is, it worked like a charm!



Here's one activity to improve dexterity with fingers, easy to put together. Just a box and some clothespins. I numbered them and asked him to put them on and take them off one at a time in order.

You might ask, why go to all this trouble? What good will it do? Does it really make a difference?

Last year, this time, he was barely able to make shapes. Maybe a deformed circle. Not much more than that. And then the other day, he drew his first stickman in his math book.
 Is that not the cutest stickman you have ever SEEN?! I think he is wearing boxing gloves. Not a big deal for an ordinary six yr. old. But for him, a momentous occassion. 

  

Friday, March 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday


Guess what we did today?
1.
A little of this....

2.
and this....

3.
and this....

4.
and this...
5.
a lot of this...

6.
But not alot of this...

7.
or this...

For more quick takes visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary.

Friday, March 8, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday

1.
I come out this morning and get lots of "Hey Mom!"s. Little Guy is filling up a cup of water and says, "Hey mom, I'm just getting a cup of water. That's what this house is for. Water. Food. Protection." #101conversationswiththeLittleGuy
2.
The one joke repeated by my kids today that made me laugh a little? (from Garfield) "Arlene: Garfield, do you love me more than food? Garfield: Do chickens have lips? Arlene: No. Garfield: Bingo."But PLEASE don't tell my children. Otherwise I will hear this scenario repeated over and over again until I want to vomit, Garfield. Thanks.
3.
This is the Queen's doll family out for a drive. I am thinking they are at full capacity. Might be some safety hazards there. Just sayin'. 
4.
You wanna know what defeat feels like? When you have just finished doing all the boys laundry and you go upstairs and see this. 
5.
Wanna know what makes me feel better? These pretty pencils I found at Michael's. I would tell you I got them for the girls but I would be lying. If I could I would decorate a whole room around these. Would you think me crazy if I told you I bought some clothespins to match? Who buys pretty clothespins?!!!  Apparently I do. 
6.
Wanna know what really makes me feel better?
Walking in my room and seeing this face again.
7.
I had a moment today. Sometimes, when you homeschool, you doubt yourself. alot. "Is this what we are supposed to be doing?" you ask yourself sometimes. I looked out the window while the kids were playing. All five of them were playing a game together. It was such a beautiful day, and a beautiful picture. The five of them, absolutely having a blast together, being at home together, playing outside. They were at the moment cheering Angel Boy on as he threw the ball. And I had a flash forward, if there is such a word, that when they all grow up, they will still be really close, and they will be there for each other, through the joys and trials in their lives. They will remind each other of the things they learned together, the important things. And I felt completely satisfied and full of joy at what I saw. 


For more Quicktakes click here!
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