Thursday, December 29, 2011

When everyone is sick

I'm terribly sick with a "coughing your lungs up cold".  The little guy is teething and generally feeling down.  So we're taking things slow and auntie is helping us from completely melting down.  I think his expression in this photo explains it all...though I took this a couple of weeks ago.

Hope everyone else is doing well and enjoying some holiday time!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Milestone: Going up steps

Baba went up 3 steps by himself.  I didn't have to show him how to do it!  He was so proud of himself!

I didn't know I would be celebrating milestones on a "typical" schedule.  I really feel blessed.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sensory overload

I wanted to take nice pictures.  The kind that require nice outfits and beautiful settings.  I just didn't plan on the rest of the day.

The day went like this:
      11am--getting special clothes on
 12:30pm--drive in traffic
        1pm--ate Hawaiian BBQ
   2:30pm--nurse and nap
        3pm--long photo session
        5pm--busy bookstore cafe for too long
        6pm--walking among bright lights
   6:30pm--ate at really overwhelming cafe
       7pm--more walking in bright lights
  7:30pm--nurse and attempt to de-stress
      8pm--drive-got car sick
  8:30pm--stop at Babies R Us to recover from car sickness
      9pm--peak in Toys R Us--cause I'm crazy!
  9:30pm--back to Babies R Us to recover from Toys R Us
10:00pm--auntie almost gets a ticket for illegal u-turn because we're trying to
                find a place to park because Baba is crying
11:00pm--stop at In n Out parking lot for a break and nurse to calm down
11:30pm--long drive home
12am--crawl into bed

Yeah.  I was insane!  A 40 minute drive turned into a three and a half hour nightmare!  Good thing his memory is short!

    He just loves nature!

    Wish it was lighter, but perfect smile!

    He loves water fountains!

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    a different point of view

    Taking time to look at a different view!

    There is so much I wish I could impart all at once, but time is short and there is so much to say.  I didn't realize how complicated my thought process was, until I began to write it down!  However, I am continuing to work on Part 2 about "wearing baby as treatment".  I am also simultaneously writing other informative articles.  So come back and visit us!

    Milestone of the Week:  
    Baba stood on the bed without holding on to anything for 4 seconds before plopping down!  Yeah!!

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!  Baba and I are going to spend some time outside!

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Love Burst

    I thought I knew what love was...  I didn't.  I thought I knew how to love.  I didn't.  Now as I discover an ever deeper love for my son, I'm bursting with love. 

    Guiding him into becoming a good, loving human being is my goal.  He may have "disabilities" that make him different, but he will not be disabled in heart.  There, he will feel an abundance of love.  Hopefully, this abundance will overflow freely from him too.

    Then I will be happy.  I will not ask for more.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Wearing baby as therapy--Part 1

    There are many ways to accomplish a similar therapeutic goal.  It's a matter of finding what works for you and your child.  Of course, that's the hard part.

    I started "wearing" Baba (his nickname) long before I learned about "Attachment Parenting".  Before he was born, I knew my physical limitations would prevent me from picking him up and carrying him without assistance.  So I bought the one I saw on everyone...the Bjorn.

    When he suffered a stroke, I knew one of the usual problems was sensory regulation (the ability to organize sensory information in a useful way).  Vestibular or movement input is on way babies begin to organize.  It starts in-utero, when mommy is walking and continues outside of the womb for months.  Touch is also a powerful organizer, since the skin is the largest organ.  Deep touch or proprioception is below the skin level and is often a calming sensory input.  As you probably guessed, these are the main sensory inputs a baby gets inside the uterus.

    Being able to organize vestibular, touch, and proprioception input vastly affects a baby's ability to calm himself, his ability to perceive the physical world, and eventually his ability to learn movement.  Everything that affects his senses also affects his brain development, which of course affects his physical development.

    Sound like we're going round and round?  Hang in there!

    Typically this all happens without needing therapy.  Baby cries, mom picks her up and gently rocks her and starts breastfeeding.  Both activities provide touch, movement, and deep touch input and baby calms down and sleeps.

    Sounds easy?  Well...maybe not easy, but logical?  The problem is that babies all need different amount of input.  Some need very little and some need a lot.  The amount of input needed also varies from day to day and even hour to hour.  The key is learning your baby's cues, which most parents begin to learn.

    In general, boys usually need more vestibular and deep touch input for good development.  This later looks like rough play.  Of course, this is not always the case.

    A stroke can have profound affects on this developmental process.  The stroke victim's ability to process sensory input may be affected.  Most children begin to learn when they need more input (i.e. pick me up, rock me, I need to suckle, cuddle, etc.) or when they've had enough (i.e. put me down, look away, I need space, etc.).

    Children who suffer a stroke, may not be able to read their body cues accurately.  They may need to be picked up, but they don't realize it.  Their inability to organize makes them feel uncomfortable and when time passes they feel awful.  By the time they cry, nothing seems to make it better.

    Her parents try to figure out whats wrong, but it seems that what worked before isn't working anymore.  They try rocking, feeding, light rubbing, and finally swaddling seems to work.  She needed deep touch.  Suddenly she starts to cry again.  They take her out of the swaddling and she screams harder.  They put it back on.  She stops crying for a minute, only to start crying again.  Mom starts rocking her gently and singing soothingly.  Baby finally goes to sleep exhausted.

    What happened?  By the time baby cried, she was extremely uncomfortable, which also made her more sensitive to stimuli.  So everything the parents were initially doing was making her feel worse.  She needed deep touch to desensitize and followed by movement to calm down. 

    Most babies are able to read their body cues a little more accurately and they aren't as sensitive to stimuli.  This means that they are able to communicate their discomfort in a timely manner and are easily comforted by rocking, feeding, swaddling, rubbing the back, etc.   

    So how does "wearing my baby" help with this problem?  Read Part 2 here!  Part 3 here. and Part 4 here.

    still napping in sling after being carried


    The little guy is teething.  The two upper teeth and two bottom teeth are coming in at the same time!  Is that even normal?  Not only is he a giant 8 month old...over 25 pounds...29 inches, he's also getting four teeth at the same time!  Isn't there some kind of rule against that?

    The pain is causing fever and even vomiting!  He already woke up a few times, screaming in pain.  He doesn't cry much, so seeing tears in his eyes is so disconcerting!  Acetaminophen is helping to bring the fever down, I'm not sure the pain is better.  I wish he could talk.

    Mama:  Does it hurt?

    Baba:  Duh!

    Mama:  I guess it's obvious.

    Baba:  Duh!

    I guess I don't need to ask.

    Rejoicing the milestones

    A good writer, blogger, and mom, who has adorable twin boys, posted something that really rang true for me.  Her son Malachi suffered a stroke and is a little delayed in reaching his milestones than his brother.  Recently, Malachi was able to reach several milestones within a few days, yet she didn't feel ecstatic like her friends and family.  After a good cry, she realized that she was so focused on his future and the milestones ahead that it sapped the joy of his current success.  (Read the post here.)

    I realized that I was doing the same thing, only I was still blind!  I feel so grateful to Shasta for writing such a moving post.  Perhaps, I would have spent several more months missing out on my son's progress and sapping the joy of his successes!

    My son, I rejoice over your success at starting to crawl, pulling yourself up to stand, and really trying to talk!  I guess it's better late than never!

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Individual milestone schedule

     I'm so sorry for the delay in posting.  Baba (nickname) is crawling and pulling up to stand, but he thinks he's walking and talking at the same time!  He is so dangerous in this temporary, but child unfriendly house!  I really thought he was going to be delayed so I didn't think this hazardous house would be a problem! 

    I can't leave him alone for a second.  Sigh...   Although he's moving pretty well, he doesn't always pay attention.  He's also trying to do things way beyond his capability.  This sets him up for nasty accidents...already many close calls. 

    Goes to show you that no on can predict when a child will reach their developmental milestones!  I was dead wrong!  So if anybody tells you what your child will NOT be able to do, just ignore it.  They can't possibly know for sure.  Assume your child will reach every milestone on their schedule, not anyone else's schedule!

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    Baba wins!

    Baba:  I want to stand up, mommy.

    Mom:  That's a great idea!  Why don't we go to the living room?

    Baba:  The living room's boring.

    Mom:  Why?

    Baba:  I've done the pull to stand on the sofa a 100 times!

    Mom:  You can count to 100?

    Baba:  Mom!

    Mom:  But this bathroom is seriously dangerous!  You could hit the toilet, bathtub, and sink in one fell swoop!

    Baba:  I won't fall.

    Mom:  But you might.

    Baba:  Aren't you a therapist?

    Mom:  Yes.

    Baba:  So isn't that why you're here?

    This is an example of the conversations I feel like I'm having with my 8 month old.  In reality, just replace all words with "mama-baba".  Then repeat.