Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bed Time in a Big Bed

Okay ... so the big boy bed we bought for James this past summer?

Is now in his room and he is sleeping in it!!!! Yes!! Victory over procrastination!

Putting it together:

A bed!!! What shall we do with it? PLAY!!!


Arrr, Mateys!

Happy Guy:

Bedtime stories by big sister:

(now the real test is next morning; I hope he doesn't realize he can get out of that bed and his room by himself!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

CATS: The EoS Party

Yesterday we attended the End of Semester party for Sonoma State University's CATS program. The students who had been working with us and other families pulled together wonderful food and personalized gift baskets and put on a fabulous shindig that left me rather misty-eyed and truly thankful for all efforts of these dedicated folk.

The room was decorated within an inch of its life with holiday ornamentation and poster presentations from the class. The students filled two long tables to the breaking point with savory potluck dinners and sugary treats. Many of the dishes were wheat and gluten-free. Everything I tried was marvelous.

We got a chance to talk with James' student and the kids got over being shy and played some of the games and activities around the room. The parents got to socialize. It made me think of something I read somewhere "being friends means not having to explain why we smell & taste the Play-Doh." I was crazy, fun, relaxing, and heart warming.

Even my daughter came away happy. She won a raffle prize:

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Favourite Tune

I just met this song yesterday. And already it is embedded in my brain x 150 (which is how many times it's been played "by request")

It's all about Rockin' & Talkin' this week! Anyone else been listening to the Kids' Express Train a lot?

Don't get me wrong ... it may be an ear worm, but I am thrilled James is singing and being excited about vocalizing more.

I wonder if I should introduce him to The Bobs or They Might Be Giants? Hmmmmmmm!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Waiting for Now

I remember all the waiting when I was a kid. How endless the day seemed as I hung around, waiting for things to happen. I remembered it all well watching James wait for his SHAPE assistant this afternoon. As the wait for Christmas heats up. And the wait for nap time to be over. And the big birthday Numero Four-o ...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Decking Those Halls

We are starting to swing big time into the winter holidays. This year is so much fun because James is present and full of fun and wonder. It hasn't been like this before.

Last year he was just starting to make developmental and speech progress. He loved to toss wrapping paper and tissue up in the air and *laugh*! The year before ... well, I cried. It was like James was on Mars and the holidays did not exist.

This year we went to partake in holiday mayhem at our gym. Two floors devoted to ornament making, handmade signs & reindeer goggles. The rock climbing wall was in full swing. The kids were jumping in the games and exercise rooms. James' favourite thing? Making spinning art. Some genius had taken an old record turntable and poked paper plates on it. The plates would spin around and felt tip markers could be placed on the plate and make spinning art. Very cool for James, lover of all things Spin!

Bonus, Santa came to visit!!! The kids were good waiting in line, munching on popcorn and downing apple juice outside, then running the length of the room (and checking themselves out in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors on one wall) once inside the room to meet Santa.

Amazingly, the kids were not shy or weepy when it came their turn to meet the Big Guy. In fact, we gave him a good laugh:

I like to think trying to talk to James about Santa in a social story format helped him prep for their meeting. Social Stories are on my brain right now. I attended an awesome presentation on them just yesterday.

James did not seem too phased by all the noise and confusion. He enjoyed his special peppermint stick from Santa. Several of the employees knew him well from childcare and called out "Hey, James! Good to see you!" What a nice start to the holidays!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

See Spot. Sit, Spot!

James is a bit afraid of dogs. First, they can be big, loud, unpredictable, and bumpy. Second, his grandparents had an Airedale puppy, whose antics put him further on alert. His sister, meanwhile, adores dogs and puppies.

His teacher has a companion dog, who is helping James become more confident around dogs. This is great because he used to scream and panic whenever he saw a dog. Now he is unhappy but tries "SIT, doggie!!! No touch!" before panicking and then screeching. The great thing is, the words work a lot!

Recently, we've found something else that can help. Our local library has a new (this Fall) "Read to a Dog" program. His sister is just about its biggest fan and recenly I started bringing James along.

I finally brought my camera this week and here's what we did: We had two new dogs to read to yesterday! A Pomeranian/chihuahua mix and a chihuahua. My daughter was in heaven. She was so good with the dogs, who adored her.

The library program is such a neat idea. You follow the dog paw prints from the entry to a reading sofa:

And you read to the dogs. Alvin is on the left. Jalapena is on the right, and was sporting a Christmas holiday dress to help keep her warm. First we say hello:

Then we read (when it's our turn):

And what was James doing? Well, he found he computers with games loaded on them:

We love our library!