Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! We are spending our day lounging around... Stephen got sick to his stomach this morning, so we decided to take it easy today, as he seems a little under the weather. Fortunately, the Easter Bunny made his visit earlier in the week.

First, the Easter Bunny hid some plastic eggs at Stephen's preschool.
Miss Megan is Stephen's physical therapist, and she made sure he was doing a little "work" while having fun. Stephen was kind of annoyed about that, and lost interest in the egg hunt after his first 3 eggs...

On Friday, we went to the annual Egg Hunt at Daddy's school, and got to meet the Easter Bunny. Stephen kissed his hand...

We had to wait for a little bit before the hunt began, and Stephen kept busy with a shoulder ride.

Despite the fact that most of the kids in his age group (4 and up!) were much faster, Stephen managed to snag some eggs with his Dad's help.

That was it for our egg hunting adventures. On Saturday, Stephen spent some time reading. We know that he recognizes some words, for sure, because he has demonstrated the ability to do some simple spelling, but we aren't sure how many he knows exactly, because he's not always very cooperative with those activities (Stephen just isn't one to perform on demand...), but the way he was looking at his book leads us to believe that he was really reading some of the words. He was concentrating pretty hard on it!

After dinner last night, we decided to dye some hard-boiled eggs. This was our first attempt, and knowing Stephen as we do, we decided to stick with 2 colors, and make it really simple, because chances were pretty good that he would lose interest quickly... (and he did, after 4 eggs).

The picture below was my attempt to keep little hands out of the dye. He was very interested in what happened to the egg after he dropped it into the cup.

We'll definitely dye eggs again next year, and hopefully Stephen will find it more entertaining (I see his point, though...)!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Easter.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wow, we've been busy!

A few weeks ago, we were at The Home Depot for some dirt and mulch, and when we walked in, they asked if we were there for the children's building activity. We weren't, but we took Stephen over to check it out! He was interested, but he was too short to get to the tables, and the hammers were all too heavy. So we brought his kit home, and he used Mommy's girl hammer and stood at the coffee table to build a small planter box! Daddy only held on to his hand with the hammer to make sure it didn't go flying in to Stephen's face or the television, and Stephen pounded in about 2/3 of the nails (we started them for him).

We helped Stephen pick out a "Jelly Bean" tomato plant at our favorite nursery to put in his box, and we planted it for him (Stephen is not a big fan of dirt...).

Stephen helps us water his plant, and we are eagerly awaiting it's first fruit!
We have also been spending time on the trampoline. Stephen still struggles with jumping, and we were having trouble motivating him to work on it, so I moved his trampoline downstairs, and he can watch his favorite show while he works. We have seen major improvement in his leg strength due to his increased trampoline work, and swim lessons!

Here's what has been going on THIS week:

Yes, that is our master bathroom (to be fair, it's actually a Jack and Jill bath, but the second door leads to the hallway - semantics!). Our house was built in 1963, and we still had the original tile on our counters, and the original, under-counter mounted sink. The sink was starting to rust, and disintegrate in spots, so with our savings from no longer needing our flood insurance (HOORAY!!), we decided to upgrade both of our bathroom counter tops and sinks. The other one will be done next month sometime. Contractors in our area are almost always roofers as well, and often have to put off smaller remodel jobs to replace roofs due to severe weather this time of year. We don't mind, since we were in that position LAST spring.

This is the finished product, before I wiped it down again and put on the grout sealer. We also had it raised 2 inches, so now it's at industry-standard height!

Yesterday and today, Stephen went to TWO Easter Egg Hunts, and today he met the Easter bunny, but I'll share those with you another day. Stephen was outpaced by the kids in the older group, but he had a good time, and came away with a few eggs. The hunt yesterday was at his school, and all of the kids got the same number of eggs.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What all we've been up to

Wow! The last couple of weeks have just been jam-packed with activity! Stephen continues to do really well with swimming, and Erik and I have been taking him to the pool on Sundays to practice his moves - and it has been paying off! Our biggest challenge continues to be getting him to close his mouth in the pool. He is just so excited and happy, that the big grin is constantly plastered to his face when he's in the water - the perfect size for letting in a good bit of pool water! He has been doing really well with his kicking and paddling, though, and just this weekend, we were able to convince him to relax enough to get in to the floating position. While my parents were here, we built a train table for Stephen. I'd seen many online and in stores, but none were quite the right size for Stephen's train set. He will also be able to use this for Legos, cars... whatever he wants! The really big and exciting thing that we have been working on lately has been communication with the iPad. We started out using one program for about 2 weeks, but it became to difficult to program, so we switched to a program called Proloquo2go. Here's what the screen he uses looks like:

He is doing very well with it, but is better so far at tapping than swiping, so I have to make sure he has the correct options available whenever we are using it to talk to each other. Today, in fact, he did a little bit of spontaneous "talking" with it. He hadn't wanted to eat the oatmeal I made him for breakfast, so I asked him if he watned something else, and he used the iPad to say "I want something to eat." I asked him if he wanted a Nutrigrain bar, and he answered, "yes, yes, yes." We are primarily using it so that he can answer questions right now, and he's really starting to get the hang of it!

Stephen continues to be more and more independent. He has taken to going to the pantry when he wants something to eat (usually Teddy Grahams or Vanilla Wafers). He opens the doors, gets what he wants, closes the doors, and brings me his "prize."

Last Friday, we went to the zoo with some new friends to see the new Elephant exhibit. I'll get pictures of that next time, but it was QUITE impressive!
Stephen was very engaged with the animals during this visit. Usually, he'll go see them for a few seconds, and then he's ready to move on. This time, however, he really wanted to watch the animals - especially his favorites, the gorillas!

His new friend is a little girl named Audrey. If you can believe it, she is actually THREE, but she is very tiny. I'm not used to seeing Stephen tower over another child to that extent...

I loved this picture, because both kids were so focused on their drinks, and completely oblivious to the otter doing water acrobatics next to them! Stephen and Audrey really hit it off, and Stephen even tried holding her hand a couple of times.
So it's been a fun, and busy couple of weeks around here! I don't anticipate it being any less busy any time soon, but I'll try to be better about updating.