Monday, September 26, 2011

Guess who?

Guess who has been holding his breath to put his face in the water at the pool?

Yep - THIS guy! He did it once at swim lessons last Thursday, and his teacher was very proud of him, and then we went swimming again on Sunday, and he did it about half a dozen more times. We are very excited!!
In other exciting news, Stephen has made some huge progress in the speech department! Now, I don't know what he is doing at school in Speech, but at home, we are hearing a lot more spontaneous verbalizing, and twice, he has called me Mama, with no prompts. In fact today, I was telling him our plans to go run an errand, and he said, very clearly, "Mama Mama Mama!" When I asked him who Mama was, he rolled his eyes (yes, the almost-five year old attitude is very much present in our house!), and pointed at me, and I could almost hear him thinking, "Jeez woman, YOU are my mother - I KNOW that!" He has also been making motor noises when playing with his cars, and when we took the wagon out for a long walk yesterday. Awesome.

Stephen has always shown such an interest in reading and letters, but I was having trouble engaging him with flash cards (but I know we'll use those again down the road), so I found a free Sight Word App for the iPad. He is doing really well with that! Given the choice of two different words, he will select the correct word about 90% of the time. I'm not sure if he really recognizes the word, or if he puts it together based on the beginning sounds, but either way, it's wonderful!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


At the YMCA, they use various fish/aquatic mammal names for their various swim class levels. The beginners are Pikes, and Stephen has now graduated from being a Pike, and is now an Eel. His teacher said that they generally expect that the kids in the Eel class are able to go underwater by themselves, but she understands that Stephen has a really hard time with the whole breath-holding/bubble-blowing skill set, so they are passing him based on his swimming skills alone. And since she is the Eel teacher as well, I'm not to concerned.

When we started Stephen in swim lessons in February, we were worried because he wasn't making any progress, and his teacher was very crabby and impatient with him. We worried that maybe this wasn't the right thing for him... but the next month, he had a different teacher, who was the picture of niceness and patience, and he started to make a little bit of progress. By the time summer rolled around, and we went to Tucson, he had been in 4 sessions of swim lessons, and was starting to get the hang of it. Of course, daily swimming in Tucson cemented his skills, and upon our return to swimming this month, Stephen was at the top of his class, and able to swim with only the assistance of a back float. His teacher this month has been amazing - she does not believe that there is a cookie-cutter approach to teaching these children how to swim,, and she really plays to their strengths, while challenging them at the same time. She is just awesome.

So, here are some fun swimming pictures! There are some photos where it looks like the teacher is touching him, but she is just trying to get him to bring his legs up closer to the surface.

In the photo below, Stephen swam about 30 feet on his own!
I know this one is a little fuzzy, but I just loved his goofy face. He is not very good at holding on to the kickboard, and after this picture, he let go, so the teacher had him CHASE the kickboard instead.

We also had a cool snap last week, and I managed to snap this pretty good picture of our little GQ model. It was during those 2 days, though, that we realized that our little boy is not so little anymore, and has outgrown almost all of his cool weather clothing. Luckily, it's warmed up for a few more weeks!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Silly Stephen

School has been trucking along for our big boy. He is making HUGE gains almost every day! We did some work on sight words this weekend, and even though he didn't really want to work on it, he humored me, and correctly identified the word "car." If I could get him to work on it for longer than a couple of minutes, I'm sure he would be able to identify many more words - Erik and have long suspected that Stephen can read a good number of words.

We went to a building event at one of the large home improvement stores this weekend, and Stephen was SO excited to make his police car, and then walked all over the store in his apron, just as proud as could be!

We started back with swim lessons last week, and Stephen was awesome! He even floated on his back (with support) longer than any of the other kids in his class! This weekend, we went to the pool to practice, and I got him to float completely on his own for a few seconds.

Last week, Stephen's teacher had mentioned that he had been very sleepy in class. We attributed this primarily to Stephen waking too early most mornings, but we've made some adjustments, and he is sleeping a bit longer, and he eats a good energy snack before he gets on the bus. He makes it through school with a good amount of energy, but he's pretty tired when he gets home...

This picture was from this afternoon - he didn't even want to sit up to have a snack after school!

And then after that, the silly boy went upstairs to play with his flashlight in bed. And no, he didn't fall asleep in there.