Monday, June 29, 2009

Therapeutic Listening

Mateo is starting this new program my mom (who is an OT) just got certified in. It's called "Therapeutic Listening". It's an Occupational Therapy tool for kids with Autism but also for other "issues" that relate to Mateo such as; impulse control, attentiveness, calming the sensory system, flexibility (in life, not body) and adaptability, motor planning, spacial awareness, fine motor skills, sleeping patterns, and speech and language improvement. The program consists of a special set of headphones and a series of CD's specific to each task. Mateo wears the headphones playing the CD on shuffle for thirty minutes twice a day. Okay, so we haven't quite reached 30 minutes yet. But hopefully we'll get there. We're doing a lot of bribing. But the child can still run around and play even with the headphones on and it doesn't block normal sound so they can still hear what's going on. It's actually really cool to listen to because the music is played a very specific way to trigger the brain to listen better and I think make certain connections in different parts of the brain. It sounds like someone is playing around with the volume on the CD, but that's the way it's supposed to be. I can't wait to see if we get any results.

We also made an appointment to have Mateo evaluated by an outpatient Occupational Therapist. He is attending Special Ed in our school district (starting tomorrow, actually) and he will get speech therapy and possibly OT (they are waiting to see how he does in the classroom first), but I feel that he needs more specific sensory integration therapy that the school does not provide. But this outpatient clinic has a special room (like a playroom with mats and stuff) that is all for sensory play and therapy. And that's what I'd like for Mateo. The sensory integration therapy combined with the therapeutic listening is supposed to have the biggest effect.

We've always said Mateo was a challenge, strong-willed, persistent, spirited and all that, even on this blog. But now that he's three, I feel like we're encountering more than just typical spirited child stuff and we're at a loss about how to manage him. Don't get me wrong, there are times when he behaves very well. This is especially true for babysitters and in public. But at home, he can be really difficult. So we're trying to pinpoint what he's having difficulty with in order to help him, thereby helping us. We've tried everything we can parenting-wise. I've read all the books, talked to an adoption therapist, been to conference about behavior, and tried lots of techniques. Unfortunately, nothing works. And really, I mean nothing. The main issues are what I mentioned above, but what make parenting him a challenge is his impulsiveness, his inability to listen long enough to be corrected, coping with change/transitions/"no"/waiting, and his frustration tolerance. Obviously lots of 3 year old's have these problems. But like I've always said, with Mateo, it's to the extreme. And I don't think it's about behavior anymore. I think the issue is something more organic, if that makes sense. Which is why we're trying different therapies, and even chiropractic care. Anyway, I'll write more about this another time.

If you're interested in learning more about "Therapeutic Listening", you can check it out here. And if you're interested in learning more about sensory integration, you can explore that same website.

I'll post any successes we have in the future. Comment below if you have any questions or comment (especially if you've tried this therapy before).

Bad Blogger. Bad. Bad.

Sorry I've been so terrible lately. I just can't seem to find a long enough length of time to be on the computer this week. That, and I can't seem to find enough brain cells to make a coherent thought either. We've all been sick. The baby's been congested but now we're thinking it might be allergies. I'm not sure if she's too young to take to an allergist or not. Mateo threw up once, then was fine for a few days, then ran a fever for a couple days. Swine flu? Who knows. Dave's been not feeling well. I'm usually the only one who's healthy when sickness runs through the house. Dave swears it's all my jobs working in daycares and schools. He thinks I've built up immunity to every single childhood illness. I suppose it's possible. I credit Airborne. Anyway, I do have some fun pictures and stories. And I'll find time soon to post more.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Tribute to Some Cool People

So I'm a couple days too late for a Father's Day post about my husband, and I just spent an awesome weekend with all my favorite people, so I figured I'd just do a tribute to the all the people I spent my weekend with.

Devan is my best friend. We met in college. She's an expensive friend because I left college early and don't have much to show for it except this friendship. But here's why she's awesome. She never gets mad or tired of me even if I call three times in one day. She loves my kids. She buys them stuff, spends time with them (when she visits from out of state), she watches all my videos of them on facebook and looks at all my pictures and likes them, and she babysits when she visits so Dave and I can go out. She's agreed to raise my kids if Dave and I die. Even if we have 10 of them, which we won't, but even if we did, she would still raise them all and love them all (and try her best not to go crazy or kill herself). She listens to me when I complain, when I'm mad, when I rant and rave about whatever, and when I'm thrilled, happy, or excited. She listens to all my stories about the kids and pretends to be interested. She's funny. She's real. She's interesting. She knows how to have fun (which is hard to find nowadays for some reason). And we love her.



Scott is Devan's husband and he's cool too. He didn't like me at first (in college) but he came around quickly. He loves Mateo. He thinks Mateo is the coolest kid ever. He never gets mad or tired of me calling three times in one day to talk to his wife. He lets and encourages Devan to spend money to come visit me. He came along this weekend to spend time with us and meet the baby. He is a great husband to Devan. He's good at Settler's. He's easy to get along with. And he seems to be okay with inheriting our children should we die.



They have a good marriage and it's inspiring to watch them interact with each other. They are truly awesome friends and very good to our kids.

The other person I spent my weekend with is, of course, my husband. Here's why he's one of the coolest people I know. He is devoted to our marriage and family. He is patient and kind. He does the dishes ALL the time and doesn't complain about it. He also takes out the garbage. He is understanding to my needs. He gets me. He loves me even though he gets me. He challenges my mind. He respects me. He thinks I'm smart and funny. He thinks I'm pretty even with spit up on my clothes. He puts up with A LOT. He is ambitious and stable and responsible and trustworthy. He doesn't believe in quitting. He encourages me to have nights off and do things I enjoy. He doesn't expect me to be wonder-woman or super-mom. He loves the kids. He's a great father. He is flexible and fun and funny and sometimes boring but that's okay cause we need it. He is a good person with a sincere heart. He is real. He is authentic. He is never fake. He means what he says. He can be counted on. And we love him.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Conversations with Three Year Old's Are Always Interesting (but sometimes also disturbing)

A little while after getting in trouble for poking Maya's eyes, this conversation transpired.

Me: Mateo, do we poke babies eyes?

Mateo: No. (thoughtful pause) Mommy, I poke Terry (daycare provider).

Me: You poked Terry?

Mateo: Yes.

Me: Oh. (Not really sure what else to say)

Mateo: I poke Kayleigh (child at daycare).

Me: (skeptically) Oooookay.

Mateo: Mommy, I wanna poke Kayleigh.

Me: Well, Kayleigh might not like to be poked. Just like the baby doesn't like to be poked. It's generally not a good idea to poke people.

Mateo: Mommy, I wanna poke cars. I wanna poke car's eyes.

Me: Okay. You can poke car's eyes. You can even poke Cowie's eyes. Just not the baby.

Mateo: Okay.

Me: Okay.


Weird.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pictures!


Race car third birthday party!






Mateo got this Powerwheels car for his birthday. He loved it, as you can see. Although, when we went to the store to see what he liked, he really wanted the bright pink Barbie Cadillac.


These are the things I remember from my childhood. Playing outside all day in the summer
then drinking from the hose.




Happy boy!


Well, it wasn't no Suri Cruise million dollar shindig, but it was fun. I'm glad I don't have to do it again for another year though.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mateo is 3 Years Old!

Things I love about Mateo:

- he makes me laugh every single day

- his cute high pitched voice

- he demands "big muaah!" (meaning big kiss) when one of us leaves, even if just to the mail box

- he is compassionate

- he has a good sense of humor and understands jokes

- that he loves to tell us about everything he does

- he wins everyone over with his charming personality

- he has strong views and opinions (will serve him better when he gets older)

- he's got lots of personality!

-he challenges me to be a better parent and a better person

- he is so lovable!

In honor of Mateo reaching his third year of life (and almost two years in our family) here is a video of the last year that I made for him.

Happy Birthday!



video

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Standards

My standards have dropped.

I used to:

put Mateo in pajamas for bed every night.

make sure his socks were clean, matching, and never worn more than one day in a row.

get myself dressed (other than sweats and t-shirts) every day.

clean the house for friends, family, and speech therapists.

make sure Mateo's clothes always matched.

planned enriching, stimulating, and educational activities that don't involve staring at lights and ceiling fans (poor Maya).


Now I:

make Mateo sleep in his clothes for the next day so it's less to do in the morning to get him off to daycare.

am happy to find socks that are the same color. The cleanliness is often questionable.

put a bra on before noon.

apologize to friends, family, and speech therapists for the condition of my house.

make sure Mateo has clothes on for the right season, matching them for church and special occasions.

convince myself that staring at the computer screen is enriching, the ceiling fan is stimulating, and watching mommy talk on the phone is educational.


Have you standards changed in going from one child to two?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I took the kids to the mall cause it was a rainy day and Mateo needed to burn off some energy (we have a very small house). The bad day started on the way back. We got a new double stroller and this was my first time trying to get it back into the trunk of the car. First off, it was a bitch to fold up. Then it wouldn't fit in the car. I was in the mall parking lot for at least five minutes trying to maneuver it this way and that, the baby was in the car seat screaming her head off, Mateo is yelling for juice, and I have never wanted to drop the F-bomb so badly in all my life. Which, by the way, I am not a big swearer at all, so that was kind of a big deal, especially when I jammed my finger folding the dang thing up.

So when I got home, Mateo was sleeping so I put him down for a nap. Our dog, Luca, usually stays outside when we leave the house, but it was raining so I locked her in the playroom like I always do. When I went to let her out, I noticed that she pooped. But not like an ordinary dog would poop on the floor or under a table or something. No, my dog had to poop on top of Mateo's train table. Seriously, have you ever known a dog to scale furniture to take a dump? Ridiculous. I was so pissed and disgusted I ended up calling Dave on the phone to complain about the whole thing. Then I cleaned it up with some paper towels and as I was carrying it to the bathroom, it fell out of the towels onto my bare foot. Gross. So, even more pissed, I washed my foot then went back to the train table to clean the rest up. But there were little pieces stuck in the track that I just couldn't get out. So, I had to wait till it dried up, then suck it out with the vacuum extension. I know it's gross but I feel I have to give you the full extent of what I went through (woe is me!).

So, during all this, I thought Mateo had gone back to sleep in his room. But no, instead, he emptied all his drawers all over the floor and made a huge mess. I felt a little bad cause I yelled at him and said, "Mommy is NOT messing around today!" But he eventually fell asleep. Right in time for the baby to wake up and poop all over herself (gotta love when it gets all the way down to their socks). I was so done with poop that day.