Saturday, January 10, 2009

Birthday Boy!

We have been celebrating James' 4th birthday and we have had so much fun! He had muffins in the morning. You can get him to do almost anything for muffins. Then we opened presents and he played with them all.
His dad got him a trike and he rode it in the house. This is exciting because he's not doing it at school and his teacher has told us it's an important activity for him because it helps him integrate portions of his brain, as will improve his hand-eye coordination.

Both kids helped frost and decorate his cake (he chose vanilla all the way) before we left to set up in one of the two rooms at our local pizza place. It was our first attempt to have a party for James with his friends from school, and we were a little nervous about how it might go with a group of special needs kids without teachers on hand; it ended up being so much fun. Three boys from his class (and one sibling) came. The parents were so happy their kids were being asked to a birthday party and all the adults really liked having other parents to talk and touch base with.

The kids liked playing with James' indoor bowling set. They were not really into Pin the Tail on the Donkey but hey, we tried. I brought a CD player and used the Express Train music from their classroom and that seemed to help the kids relax a bit.

The big hit was the stomping rocket that one of the parents loaned us. That and my husband getting all the boys to play with him using their noisemakers got the party going strong! The rockets are all foam and lightweight plastic, and are powered by stomping on on a little plastic pillow thingie. The parents even gave one to James for his birthday present -- oh yeah, we'll be playing with that in the park. Big grin.

Well before the party's end, the boys were rolling on the floor under the tables, laughing & blowing noisemakers, taking turns running & stomping on the rocket launcher, and asking for second helpings of cake. We had carrot sicks and corn tortilla chips in addition to pizza and everyone seemed to have enough to eat.

On the way home, James seemed lit up, he was so happy. We are so glad we could do this.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New Power Word: "NO!"

Portrait of a nearly 4-year-old boy:
James, as he says: No!

Do you want some more water? Time to go to bed! Come here, please ... these are all met with the same answer: "No!"

There is no "yes," there is only "okay." Maybe. Sometimes.

James is so excited to have his big boy bed that he has decided to really be a big boy. He has not been taking naps these past two days, and he found the big boy underpants that we put away a few weeks ago and brought them out to me, so we are starting potty training afresh.

He will sit on the potty at home, but only the big one that his sister uses. He does not like the underpants with black -- he wants the ones with blue or red on them.

He does not want his mommy to put him to bed -- only his big sister can do that now. I'd cry except ... I am really tired by then, so I slink off to the next room and go "ahhhhhhh!" and wait for my chance to give him a good night kiss, tell him how proud I am of my big boy and that I love him.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Monday, January 05, 2009

I Heart Play Doh

We are wrapping up a 2+ week school break and the weather has turned cold and nasty outside. The kids brought all their school germs home and fell sick, but not too badly. Oh what to do when they are recovering, but still not completely recovered?

Play-Doh! Good enough for a Mommy sanity break. Fun for them, plus I feel like James is still getting a little OT in. Ooh, and vocabulary, because he'll talk about the colours of Doh that he is using, and the names of the shape cutters he likes best. Better add in social skills, because he plays (and occasionally shares) with his sister at the table. She can talk a mile a minute, so he's getting some cognitive time in there too.

Play Doh is the best! Especially when properly corralled on the kitchen table.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Despite colds and a bit of GI bugginess, we had a great Christmas and quiet New Year's Eve.

Before I even opened one package, I had my best Christmas presents: watching the kids' faces as they opened their stockings and presents. Especially James. Two years ago he was so disinterested in the whole event that we just stopped opening his presents. It made me cry. Last year he was politely interested. What he really liked was playing with the tissue paper: Wheeeee!

*This* year, he ripped those wrappings and got into what was inside. Sounds awful to say this, but my heart sang. Because he was engaged and right there with us. Best gift hands down!!!

He loved his laptop toy so much he wouldn't put it down ...

... until his dad helped him open his bowling set:

Which encouraged him to open his toy stick/wand that makes things slide, twirl, and make noise:

He got a Leapfrog fridge Word Builder magnet set from his Nana. He and his sister have been playing with that, and his laptop. On his new bed. And they play really well together. THANK YOU!!!