When Problems Don’t Stink

Whew, Owen is down for his nap.  It’s been a busy morning!  He’s truly on fire lately.  I think he’s starting to live up to the red-head stereo type.  B-U-S-Y!

Busy is actually the way that only a mother could say it.  It’s kind of like when Grandma Sandy remembers Kyle’s teen/college years as “he had fun.”  I didn’t know Kyle during those years, but the stories I’ve heard, definitely sound like fun.  I’ve also nearly cried tears laughing so hard at the mullet pictures.  Yes.  Mullet.  Business in the Front, Party in the Back.  Minnesota Mudflap.  Hockey Hair.  Whatever you want to call it, that God-Awful 80’s do (that apparently was still cool in Kyle’s part of Minnesota in the mid-90’s).  I’d love to post one of the pics on here, but Kyle would be mortified.  I mean really, isn’t that part of what we bloggers are supposed to do?  Mortify our husbands in the most public, shareable way possible?

Oh, that’s right, that’s not the theme of this blog.  This blog is about celebrating the small things that make the way into amazing things.  For Owen, being “busy” (always) is pretty amazing.  We had a joint PT/Speech session and an Early Intervention with PT session this week and everyone is so excited about the things Owen is doing right now.  Fun, fun stuff.  Busy stuff.

Like opening doors.  Nothing is sacred…he can get into any room of the house, including bathrooms.  Joy!  No, seriously.  Joy!  The balance it takes to reach on your tip toes and open a door.  The ability to stretch through the scars covering your core to reach waaaaay over your head and pull down a lever.  The curiosity to explore and cognition to remember what’s behind that door.  The fine motor skills to grasp and pull.  Child proofing never felt so good!

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There is also a lot of climbing into the dishwasher and pulling out the drawers, silverware, plates and pans.  The help with the dishes can be a little annoying…for about two seconds…and then I think about the fact that he’s interested in helping.  Wants to pull things out of silverware trays AND put them back in.  Traversing a BIG step up.  Stretching his whole body as he pulls open and pushes shut those relatively heavy drawers.  It’s pretty hard to stay annoyed.

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And then when I do remove him…he does this!  A temper tantrum.  As in, thoughts and opinions about how he wants to spend his time.  He is learning to negotiate and communicate his wants and needs.  And seriously, that sad face is pretty hard to resist.

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I’ve already told you about this type of busy that Owen has started to be…but here he is caught in the act of disconnecting is tubing from the O2 tank.  I posted this picture last night on Facebook and opened it up for captions.  Click the link to add your suggested captions and like your favorites (you don’t need to be on FB to see the captions, but you do need to have an account to comment or like).

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What I can tell you for sure, not all problems stink.  Owen is keeping us busy and it’s nothing to do with his health.  I love these problems.  Love them.

Anyone else having some problems that you love that you want to share?

Before I go, I’m feeling a little guilty about telling you about Kyle’s mullet.  Not guilty enough to delete it before hitting publish, but guilty enough that I suppose I should add in some self-deprecation as a show of good will.

You want to know the worst kind of problem?  When you didn’t realize that this was a problem.  Ahh, the hat, the bangs, the perm.  The eyebrows.  (Yes, those eyebrows do deserve to be their own sentence.)  The MC Hammer-inspired, tight on the bottom and baggy on the top pants.  If it weren’t for the buttons, I’m sure I would have tight rolled them.  The serious, look-out-the-window-profile-pose.  1989, I’m glad you’re history.

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On that note, enjoy your weekend!

A note:  I’ve been asked if Owen knocks his Oxygen tank over.  The answer is, no, once he became mobile we started laying the tank down so he couldn’t pull it on top of himself.

90 Day Physical Therapy Goals

I’m back from a wonderful vacation, feeling refreshed and breathing easier. I spent the weekend with two of my college roommates doing a whole lot of eating, talking and relaxing in Vail, Colorado. Even with the rain today, it was just what I needed. I, of course, missed the boys terribly, but am a firm believer that you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.

Unfortunately, one of my concerns from Friday did come true – Kyle got sick and spent 2 of the 3 days mostly in bed. Grandma Sandy was a trooper and handled the boys on her own. I know she must be exhausted, its tiring for me and I don’t have to think too much about what I’m doing, so I have a feeling she’ll be happy to be back home this morning.

We’re starting off the normal week on big note. Owen finally has his feeding evaluation Tuesday (today) morning. Hopefully it goes well and we get a good plan towards helping him orally eat. We also see Pulmonary Thursday. Due to his recent Prednisone (steroid) course, I’m not expecting any changes but this is when we will discuss the plan for keeping Owen healthy through the winter. Who knows, maybe she’ll say that we don’t have to go into hiding until October, versus September? At least that’s my dream. I’ll keep you posted on both outcomes.

One place that we do have a plan is in Owen’s Gross Motor skills (large muscle activities like; sitting, standing, crawling, walking, jumping). Owen had his evaluation on August 2 and from that, his therapist recommended goals that will stretch Owen but, with health and practice, should be achievable. Here are the agreed on goals:

Official Diagnosis: Gross Motor Delay and Muscle Weakness (currently at 6-7 month old age equivalent)

2 Month Goals:
1) Crawl Five Feet on all fours
2) Side Sitting (supported on hands or elbows) as a precursor to be able to transition from sitting to laying on stomach.

2.5 Month Goal: Transition from sitting to all fours

3 Month Goal: Pull to stand from kneeling

These goals have my heart a-flutter. When I have to baby proof my house will be a big day!

Owen’s Amazing Week

I’m not really sure where to begin. It’s as if Owen’s turning 15 months actual last week caused this transition from passively amused observer to active participant in the world around him. The only thing a little disappointing is that I have no good quality photos and videos, so bear with what is here to see and help me celebrate Owen’s amazing week.

Owen achieved each of these milestones in a span of ten days.

Imitating sounds and using repeated consonant sounds: Owen and I had just picked Kellen up from school. Owen got a little fussy so Kellen and I started making his favorite sound, “Owen, Ba Ba Booom”. Kellen reported after the first, that Owen started smiling. After a few times, we stopped and then I hear, clear as day, “Ba Ba Ba”. Kellen and I started cheering and Owen did it again!

Clapping his hands and doing it Interactively: A couple weeks ago, as I was writing a post, I reported that Owen was clapping his hands together for the first time. At that point, it was physically the act of putting two open hands together. By early last week he was doing it in a social context. He claps to “Clap, Clap, Clap”, “Yeah”, or “Patty Cake”. Last week when his Early Intervention teachers were visiting, Barb was smiling at him and saying, “good job, Owen” and he started clapping with excitement. Here’s a 7 second video of him clapping for me last week.

Up on all Fours and Rocking: Last week, I reported that Owen was just starting to come up on his arms or legs, but was still working on getting them both together. By Thursday he was up on all fours and by Saturday he was staying up for 30-60 seconds and rocking. With assistance, he will raise one hand at a time and has made some tiny scoots backwards. He is really interested in moving, he practices and practices all day and night. Sunday/Monday night his monitor started alarming at 2:30 AM because it couldn’t get a reading. I went in to check if it came off his foot and there is Owen facing the foot end of the bed on all fours and rocking. It’s time to move the crib down.  Blurry picture alert, but here is an image of him this weekend when he was still using his forearms.  As of the last couple days he’s using his hands, not his forearms.

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Standing Against the Couch:  This one shocked me a little – We were playing at his Leap Frog table on Saturday and he was really close to standing against it without my help but couldn’t hold it for more than a couple seconds.  I then tried the couch, thinking it might be a little more supportive since it’s higher.  I put a book out, stood him up and let go and he kept playing with the book – long enough for me to grab the phone, turn on the camera, take a picture and cheer (and tear) a little.  it was at least 20 seconds.  He’s since done it several times.  Besides talking this is the skill that really meant something to Kellen.  He’s so excited to watch Owen “not be a baby anymore”.

Taking Steps in Assisted Standing:  This one is still in the earliest stages, but with us leading his weight, he will pick up his legs and step.  They are active steps, not just feet dragging.  He walked, while I held his hands, a couple of feet into Kyle’s arms when Kyle got home on Sunday.

I’m seriously grinning as I type all of these.  What a wonderful week to savor.  To me, what’s really amazing is that he made significant advancements in fine motor, gross motor, language and social all in one week.  I actually am excited to go to his Gross Motor evaluation on Thursday so he can show his Physical Therapist that he’s not been resting since he last saw her a couple of weeks ago.