Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Educational (and other) Goals for 2012

What a big year next year is going to be.

Hunter is going to turn seven. Seven.

Wasn't he just, y'know, like two?

By the end of next year, this little crawling monster of mine is going to be an eighteen month old, talking-running-hopefully reading, full-fledge toddler.


There are also a lot of other changes coming up for our family next year, although I can't really discuss all of them on this blog. They will be big, though.

So here are a few little thoughts on things that I want to do and accomplish in this next year. (I might add to this more, later).

1. Start our running program as a family again

2. Build a new brachiation ladder (monkey bars) for Hunter's room

3. Blog regularly and increase readership with good, useful content

4. Read at least 10 "high level" novels aloud with the boys

5. Work with Hunter on improving his penmanship and composition

6. Teach Damien how to swim independently

7. Have Damien reading simple sentences and home-made books

8. Teach Damien (and Hunter) at least 1000 bits of intelligence (flash cards), (in: art, biology, general science, geography, history, human anatomy, languages, literature, mathematics, music, and scripture)

9. Potty train Damien

10. Build own website

11. Learn how to develop apps

12. Start online business - thousands of free downloads and a few material things to sell

13. Learn more about Montessori activities, specifically for infants and toddlers

14. Touch up on my Spanish - be able to hold a simple conversation again

15. Help Damien understand simple mathematics and numbers

16. Complete our studies of ancient history and move onto the middle ages

17. Read through the Bible with the boys at least once 

18. Read through Proverbs with boys at least 10 times

19. Visit all museums in local city

20. Have Hunter ready to begin algebra and geometry by end of year (Math 8)

21. Have Hunter working at at least a fourth to fifth grade level in most subjects

22. Inventory, declutter, and simplify school supplies

23. Teach Hunter to play piano beyond beginners level

24. Take the boys to Yosmite

25. See the Grand Canyon with the boys

26. Resume "Word of the Day"

27. Go to bed every night with a clean kitchen

28. Keep a simple homeschooling journal for each boy

29. Touch up on Hunter's geography skills

30. Eat homemade dinners 6x a week - limit processed food and eating out

31. Wean Damien from pacifier (by 12 months)

32. Limit sugar to once a day - less regularly for the boys

33. Learn at least 200 words in American Sign Language and use regularly with Damien

34. Take pictures every day

35. Have Hunter baptized (he voluntarily asked if he could be last December)

36. Smile. Be patient. Enjoy each moment.

"A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps." 
Proverbs 16:9

Hunter is 6 years, 9 months old
Damien is 6 months, 3 weeks old

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Year Where I Accidentally Discovered the Secret to a Stress-Free Christmas

It's Christmas morning.

Merry Christmas!

But this picture wasn't taken today. Or even this weekend. It was actually taken in the beginning of December.

Originally, the idea of choosing to celebrate Christmas several weeks early due to Daddy's military obligations was kind of a bummer.

I mean, it would have been "better" to have Christmas on, y'know, Christmas, right?

But this Christmas season turned out to have a million little hidden benefits accidentally twisted in. And I wouldn't trade the lessons I learned for the world.

You see, knowing that we were going to celebrate Christmas early, meant that everything else had to be done ahead, too.

Throughout the fall, we purchased the boys' Christmas gifts here and there. A little something one day and a little something another, as we were doing our regular day-to-day shopping. In the end, all of their gifts were all bought and wrapped by mid November.

No rush, no stress, and coincidentally, no big hit on our budget since it was spread out and gradual.

After Thanksgiving, when the actual Christmas celebrations started rolling out, we kept it simple.

No stressing out about perfection. Just enjoying our family, together.

And then, "our family Christmas" was over. But that's when the magic started happening.

For the rest of the world, they chaos called December began. Stressing. Worrying. About the lines at the stores. The crazy drivers. The money. The late night gift-wrapping marathons. The question of what to get who. Forgetting something followed by hectic last-minute store runs. So much to do in so little time.

And do you know what we did? We watched.

We watched everyone worrying and hurrying and stressing and fretting and... We drank hot chocolate and watched Christmas movies.

We played board games under the Christmas tree.

We built graham cracker houses and painted ornaments and took pictures with Santa.

We read books, and sang songs, and really thought about the reason for the season.

And it was incredible.

It wasn't perfect, of course. We missed Daddy, and that was hard.

But the accidental gift of having to have every obligation done early, was priceless.

Christmas was peaceful. Christmas was stress-free. Christmas was everything it was supposed to be.

The secret, one that I already knew, was one simple thing. Early. Ahead.

I've known that little trick for a long time. But never got to experience its magic until now.

So next year, when we will hopefully be exchanging sweet gifts and commencing festivities on the 25th, and maybe even enjoying it with extended family, I hope that I will always remember the magic that was this year.

And have everything ready before December rolls around. So I can once again enjoy the peacefulness that Christmas is supposed to be.

Merry Christmas!

May your celebrations be filled with peace, whenever and wherever they occur!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." 
Isaiah 9:6
Thank you for your comments!

Hunter is 6 years, 9 months old
Damien is 6 months, 3 weeks old

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chess Match

Merry Christmas everyone!

Hunter is 6 years, 8 months old

Monday, December 12, 2011

Inspirational Babies


Never content to stay at their current level of skill.

Always, always, always learning something new.

They're so inspiring, aren't they?

Damien is 6 months, 1 week old

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baby Homeschool: Week 19 (4 months, 2 weeks old)

Damien is 4 months, 2 weeks old [19 weeks].

October 15-21, 2011
Stage II-III on Developmental Profile

Some highlights of another beautiful week with a beautiful boy:
  • His balance while sitting up has improved. He can now sit for close to a minute sometimes, versus 10-20 seconds last week.
  • Everything goes straight to his mouth. He snatches things up and into his mouth it goes!
  • He remains "close" to crawling [creeping]. Every once in a while he gets up on his hands and knees.
  • He loves his family member name reading words.
  • He is taking great naps.


(Mobility) Damien has his usual floor routine during the day, which involves lots of "push ups" and "air swimming" (tummy on the ground with arms and legs in the air).

Quite a few times this week he has gotten up on his hands and knees. Still no creeping though!

His forward motion seems to be limited, but he gets around, mostly by moving in circles, scooting backwards, and rolling. He still doesn't spend much time in the crawling track anymore.

(Manual) He is pretty good at quickly grabbing stuff with both hands. He seems to prefer his right hand and leg, which has been the case since birth. Everything goes straight to his mouth! I have been trying to provide him with lots of graspable toys (and non-toy household items).

He still loves doing "up up" and hanging onto our fingers while we lift him up.

(Balance) No Doman balance activities this week. :( He spent some good time being carried in the sling, though. His sitting has improved to durations of 30-60 seconds sometimes though. He continues to prefer being on his tummy.

(Swimming) Not much swimming this week. We had one halfway bathtub swimming session.

Playing with spoons on the Boppy.. which he crawled out of after about 5 seconds


(Visual) We did our family member name reading words again this week, a few times. I would really like to start our reading program next week! He is getting so big and is so curious and interested in everything.

(Tactile) Lots of toys to play with but no Doman sensory. I would like to start doing contrasting textures this week.

(Auditory) Again, a fail on the Doman programs. But we have been talking a lot and naming sounds and objects. He lights up every time someone talks to him.

Favorite bedtime story, Goodnight Moon


(Language) His most recent reoccuring utterances are "ah BLAH" (which sounds exactly like the Spanish "habla", aka "speech") and even more exciting, "Dada". He has been saying both all week, along with lots of "g" sounds and vowel sounds. Hasn't been blowing razzes like he was last week.

We have been working on having lots of face-to-face conversations. No journaling this week.

(Sign language) "Daddy", "Mommy", "potty", and "nurse". I also signed his name for him a couple times (finger spelling) which he seemed to be fascinated by.

 Sleep, Eating, Elimination

(Sleep) One of his biggest improvements this week was in sleeping. Or I should say, my biggest improvement.

Although I definitely miss those sweet days where he would gladly fall asleep for a peaceful nap on my chest, or cuddling on the couch, or wherever, he will now only fall asleep (and stay asleep) in his bassinet.

And won't let me rock him to sleep. I just have to lay him down, give him his pacifier, and let him fall asleep on his own. Sometimes he needs a little patting on the back but usually he just wants to be left alone!

The good news is, though, that now he has been taking one to two hour naps on average now (rather than 20-30 minutes), and has been a much happier baby.

(Eating) Nursing is going well. The improved sleep schedule has meant for a much more regular, three-hour average nursing schedule. We are waiting until closer to six months old to introduce any solids.

(Elimination) He has had a very odd elimination pattern this week. Basically, most days he has had only ONE huge bowel movement and usually first thing in the morning. Didn't use the potty all that much, but a few times were a success.

"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." 
Luke 2:4
Damien was 19 weeks old this week

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Baby Homeschool: Week 18 (4 months, 1 week old)

Damien doing "push ups"

Damien is currently four months and one week old. He is a handful, and a joy.

With Hunter's school work and me going back to work (or, more accurately, work coming back to me), it has been a very busy past two months.

We have not started a math, encyclopedic knowledge, or reading program yet. The activities that we have done have been casual and somewhat sporadic.

And as always he has just been having fun being a baby.

October 8-14, 2011
Stage II-III on Developmental Profile

Some recent highlights:
  • He starting sitting up completely independently this week
  • Daddy came home after being gone for a month. We learned that he definitely understands object permanence and has a semi long-term memory! 
  • He loves to try and put his entire fist in his mouth
  • He blows "raspberries" and squeals a lot


(Mobility) Damien continues to spend a great deal of time on the floor, rolling, twisting, and making clumsy, adorable attempts at scooting. However, on most days he spends an equal or even greater amount of time being held, or carried around in the sling. Since learning to roll over 1+ month ago, he doesn't spend much time in his track. (2+ hours day opportunity to move on floor)

He recently loves to practice "push ups", where he lifts his whole upper body off the floor with his hands. He usually switches between "push ups" and " air swimming", where his tummy is on the ground but his legs and arms are lifted off the floor.

Every once in a while, he makes attempts to crawl ["creep"]. He gets up on his knees and elbows, but not yet on his hands and knees. He gets frustrated easily!

He still only rolls over to the left side! He will only roll over to the right side if I help him.

Stuffing his whole fist in his mouth is his newly developed frenzy

(Manual) Damien spends lots of time reaching for objects and can get ahold of them with a pretty good degree of accuracy. When you put something in front of him, he grabs for it with both hands. Everything goes straight to his mouth!

He still seems to have a preference for his right hand. He still only puts his right foot in his mouth, although he plays with both feet.

He can support his entire body weight while hanging from my fingers for a good ten or so seconds. Usually when I pick him up, I let him grasp my thumbs and he hangs on while I lift him up to me.

His fairly recent development is to constantly chew on his fingers and try and shove his entire fist into his mouth!

Shortly after turning four months old, Damien surprised me
by deciding he can sit up independently
(Balance) Damien learned how to sit up this week! Although most of the time, he doesn't really care to sit up, for the first time he showed me that he can, with no support and for a good 10 seconds.

For some reason I am still terrible about doing the Doman balance activities. But he gets rocked, moved around, and carried in the sling, so that counts, right?

(Swimming) Right now we have been getting about 1-2 bathtub swimming sessions per week in. We mostly do floating on his back, going under water, and just relaxing. He has kind of learned to go under water, if it is very brief, and at least he doesn't breath in the second his face touches the water anymore!


(Visual) We have not really been doing the Doman sensory activities. Along the lines of visual stimulation, a couple times this week we looked at reading words for "Mommy", "Daddy", "Hunter", and "Damien".

(Tactile) No Doman tactile programs lately, but we have done a few massages per week, and he gets to play with lots of differently textured toys and other things.

(Auditory) Our auditory activities currently include lots and lots of talking and singing (more on some days than on others), some occasional music, and pointing out environmental sounds ("Do you hear the sound of the water running?" etc.)


Ah, this boy is such a joy! He is extremely social, loves to talk, smile, and be with people and see what they are doing! He gets bored after not very long.

(Language) Damien laughs, blows raspberries, gurgles, squeals and screeches, and makes a lot of vowel sounds with a few consonant sounds. He is quite the conversationist and talks a lot throughout the day.

We have recently begun "journaling" with him, while he "tells us about his day" and we write down or video record what he says. He also recently got his chance to make marks with a marker in his journal.

(Sign Language) I have introduced him to the signs for are "Mommy", "Daddy", and "potty".

 Sleep, Eating, Elimination

(Sleep) Damien's sleep has not been the greatest as of the past few weeks. He doesn't seem to get enough naps during the day, which can make him grouchy. They are unfortunately often interrupted. Thankfully most nights he sleeps from 7:30 PM until 7:00 AM, waking up to nurse usually a couple times in the early morning still (between 4:00-6:00) but since I sleep with him it isn't a big deal.

(Eating) Nursing is going well. He is still exclusively breast-fed and we don't plan to introduce any solids until closer to the six month mark. He seems to nurse frequently a lot lately.

(Elimination) Damien goes potty on the Ikea potty sometimes a few times a day, sometimes not at all. Lately almost every time I put him on it he pees within a few moments, which is encouraging. He seems to "get" what it is for, at least!

"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." 
Luke 2:4
Damien was 4 months, 1 week old [18 weeks] this week

Friday, October 14, 2011

Of Three-Month-Old Babies, Object Permanence, Memory, and Deployment

How much can a three- to four-month-old really comprehend about deployment?

Daddy is here. Every day. Playing with me, talking to me, taking care of me.

Then he's not.

He disappears for a quarter of my post-womb life.

I wasn't sure how Damien would handle this separation. After all, aren't babies this young supposed to think that if something is out of sight, then it no longer exists? (aka object permanence)

Do three-month-olds even remember someone or something they haven't seen for a month?

Well, Daddy came home this week.

It wasn't a true deployment - he was gone a month. He left not too long after Damien turned three months old.

The homecoming was beautiful.

Damien had just woken up from a brief nap. Slightly dazed, we waited under a tree while a sea of people in blue digital uniforms flooded past us out of the terminal.

When Damien saw his Daddy come kneel down in front of us to say hello, first a huge, shy smile covered his face.

Then he laughed. He laughed nearly every time he looked at him for the next half hour.

Finally, we got home. Daddy went to say hello some more, and Damien reached out towards him with both hands. He put a hand on each of Daddy's cheeks. Then he pulled his head towards himself and started kissing (er, licking) Daddy's face.

It was perfect.

And, babies are amazing.

"To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant" 
Luke 1:72
Damien is 4 months, 1 week old [19 weeks]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Encouraging Day

Today, was an encouraging day.

I read a little something that encouraged me in my decision to go the route of traditional [early] potty training.

Not that I was planning on changing my mind. But more so that I no longer feeling that I need to be embarrassed by it.

Or that it is "weird" or "crazy".

I mean, I'm not the one that is unusual. Early potty training is the global and historical norm.

So anyway, it was nice to get a little encouragement and affirmation.

Encouraging thing number two:

Damien went in the potty four times today.

He pooped once, and all the other times I put him on the potty (three) he peed in it as soon as I set him down. Even though I wasn't trying to catch his pees.

So it would appear that he definitely gets what it's for. And has at least some control over his elimination functions.

Encouraging thing number three:

I read to Damien from the Bible today for the first time in quite a while.

And it made him stop fussing.

Mr. wiggle worm himself relaxed on my lap listening to me read the Psalms.

And it just made me smile.


On a side note, I got flowers. From a ship. And a text message.

It's the little things.

Damien is 3 months, 3 weeks old (16 weeks)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stone Upon Stone

"The world has many stately palaces and great cathedrals that tower in their loveliness high above the humble dwellings around them, and their beauty and wonder are the delight of our eyes. We look up at their high walls, their gilded roofs, their slender spires pointing to the sky; we admire the great strength and delicate tracery of their stonework, and whether in sunshine or under the stars, they stand out as monuments of what the mind of man has power to plan and his hands have skill to fashion.
But the foundations on which these buildings rest are hidden from our eyes, buried deep down in the darkness. Yet though unseen and seldom thought of, in every case there has been the patient laying of stone upon stone, without which the stately building could never have been reared.
It is much the same with the great lives which tower above the ordinary ones around us. Here and there we note them; we mark the noble deed, the courage, the heroism, the flash of genius, the habit of self-sacrifice, but we are apt to forget that all this did not come into being suddenly, that in each case there was a long time of preparation, a patient laying of foundations in the years of childhood, act by act, as stone is laid upon stone, before it was known what manner of life would be built up.
"When They Were Children", Amy Steedman

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Baby Mobility Development: Moving Around on Back

Damien moves a lot.

He scoots down his track on his tummy, but also, especially lately (over the past week or two) has been getting around on his back.

He likes to kick a lot when he is on his back (especially kicking me to get my attention) but sometimes he actually lifts his bottom off of the floor, or pushes off of things to do sort of a "backward scoot" in the supine position.

Hence, putting him on his back to limit his mobility (such as when I don't want him to go anywhere, like for diaper changes) is not exactly all that effective anymore.

Damien is 2 months, 2 weeks old [11 weeks]

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mobility Development: Up on Knees

Damien's most recent development: Getting up on his knees.

I must admit that, in all honesty it is quite humorous to see his little booty sticking up in the air as he scoots (crawls) down his track.

Damien is 2 months, 2 weeks old (10 weeks)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tutorial: How to Make a Picture Detail Checkerboard (Infant Visual Stimulation)

Damien loving his new picture board, 8 weeks old

Once baby is seeing more details (rather than just outlines), a great way to encourage them to use their vision and give them something interesting to look at and explore is to make a simple picture board.

In How Smart is Your Baby, Glenn Doman recommends adding different colored silhouettes of various objects to your baby's checkerboard, and rotating them regularly so that they don't become "like old wallpaper: beloved but not very stimulating".

There is the recommendation of course but not really any guidance on how to build this rotatable checkerboard. 

Here was my solution:

I printed out the colored silhouettes and attached them to black and white squares, then laminated them. My original idea was to stick velcro dots on the back of each one along with velcro dots on the board, but with as many squares as there were it would end up not only being costly in velcro but also difficult to store all the now-bulky cards.

My solution was to make clear pockets on the checkerboard where the squares could be slid in, using clear contact paper. This tutorial will show you how to make those pockets.


The materials you will need are:
  • The checkerboard (a piece of foam board with 5-inch black squares glued on - tutorial here)
  • The picture cards (printable color silhouette version available here, as well as a stencil [ink-saving] version here)
  • 12-inch wide roll of clear contact paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Yard stick (or ruler, straightedge

1. Cut a piece of contact paper that goes about an inch over each end of the checkerboard.

2. Cut that piece in half, to six inches wide. The piece you will use for your pocket should look like the one above.

The next step is to take that piece of contact paper, and fold part of it over so that it sticks to itself and creates a clear, non-sticky plastic pocket.

3. Use yardstick/ruler to make a straight line that is 2.5 inches away from the edge, then fold at that line, backing-side up, and crease with your fingernail. 

You will then have this (above): a 2.5 inch "pocket"with one inch of sticky contact paper on the bottom to secure pocket to board.

4. Next, cut a piece out of the ends where they will wrap around. This part will secure to the back of the board. 

The end result will look like this (above). It is important that you cut out this rectangle about a quarter inch past the end of the board. You don't want any of the sticky part of the contact paper to be on the front of the board - if there is, the picture cards will stick to it when you slide them to the edge.

5. Next, unfold contact paper, lay flat, and carefully remove backing.

6. Take the contact paper and very carefully fold it over so that the "pocket" section sticks to itself. Start in the middle, at the edge, and carefully smooth out little by little towards one end, then go back to the middle and smooth out towards the other end.

Note: you will notice from the above pictures that the contact paper was actually folded "backwards" when it still had the backing on it. This is very important to do because then it will "stand up". If you fold it the other way, as soon as you take off the backing the entire thing will stick to itself and will not be smooth at all.

Your end result should look like this.

7. Flip over the pocket you just made and line up the bottom of the non-sticky part with the bottom of one row of boxes on the checkerboard.

8. Smooth out pocket so it sticks securely to board.

9. Pull on end pieces as hard as you can to make the pocket lay as flat and tight as possible, then wrap around and attach sticky ends to back.

The end result (after you've added all of your pockets) should look something like this.

The folding and sticking the contact paper to itself is the hardest part - I actually had to throw away three different "pockets" due to incurable bubbles and wrinkles that happen when the contact paper sticks to itself too soon. Try not to be too worried about perfectionism, though - the point is to grow your baby's vision, not win any kind of award.

10. After you've made your board, get out your cards, slide some of them into the pockets, and enjoy!

It's as good idea to change out your cards and/or move them around daily. Keep baby visually exploring and, in turn, visually growing!

"Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see..." 
Isaiah 37:17
Damien is 8 weeks old

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Damien's First Anatomy Lesson: "This is Your Foot!"

"Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:" 
Psalm 8:6
Hunter is 6 years, 4 months old
Damien is 7 weeks, 6 days old

Monday, July 25, 2011

Damien Crawling at 7 Weeks

I haven't posted a video of Damien on his crawling track since, oh, he was less than a week old.

He has made a lot of progress since those first reflexive movements. 

Since about, oh, five or six weeks old has been really getting the hang of this mobility thing and digging his little feet into the floor intentionally and really getting places.

Another milestone? Less fussing. Which is great. He really seems to be enjoying his mobility.

Damien is 1 month, 2 weeks old (7 weeks)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Damien's Programs 6 Weeks Old

July 16-22, 2011
Stage II on Developmental Profile

We still aren't 100% consistent on checking everything off of our daily lists, but Damien is still growing and developing beautifully, we are getting in lots of cuddling and smiles, and all in all having a great time with this new little one. I try not to beat myself up about "not doing everything". 

The most important thing is to talk to him, hold him, and love him - all of our little "programs" are just fun extras.

Some highlights of another beautiful week with a beautiful boy:
  • He is crawling faster than ever, and more happily, since the addition of a receiving blanket under his head.
  • He has outgrown his contrast board and is wanting more varied, interesting things to look at.
  • His long rang vision is improving. He can see me from across a small room.
  • He is having even more wonderful conversations, "talking" so much and using all kinds of sounds and body language to communicate.
Damien hangs independently for increasingly long periods

(Mobility) Honestly, he is still nowhere near spending the recommended 4-18 hours a day in his crawling track, but his crawling and head control are still doing great. He was averaging probably 30-45 minutes on his tummy in his track daily, but that time has been extremely shortened now that he is crawling so much faster. He usually descends down his inclined track (5.5 feet long) in 2-4 minutes now, instead of 10-20. So his sessions have been shorter, but I haven't really upped the frequency much yet.

(Manual) He hangs from my thumbs completely independently pretty much 100% of the time now instead of only sometimes. He really enjoys this activity. He is in stage II now but I haven't really been practicing the vital release yet.

(Balance) I have been doing a few vestibular exercises, beyond the typical rocking / carrying / moving. He has become really sensitive to movement, and frequently startles when we pick him up too quickly (which is not even very quick). I try and be extremely slow and steady with him because of this.

(Swimming) We had a few sessions of bath tub swimming. Even though I have been cleared by the doctor now I still haven't taken him to the big pool - we plan to this weekend though. He loves "swimming" in the tub though and gets some good movement time in there.

Hunter, 6, showing Damien "square"

(Visual) Damien's vision is growing so fast! He can spot me from across a small room now. I recently wrote how he had "graduated" from his simple checkerboard and is now moving onto more sophisticated visual objects. I am in the works to make him many simple picture boards. I didn't do any light reflexes with him this week, I am really bad at being consistent with that. We haven't done "spotting a light" exercises either.

Also for his visual stimulation program we have done some outline "bit" cards. I can already tell that we are going to need to move onto more detailed outline bits and very soon to move onto "detail within a configuration" type pictures.

(Tactile) Damien's Babinski reflex is very strong, and I think that accounts partially for his substantial improvement in crawling. He is very good at digging his toes into the sides and surface of his track and pushing himself, thanks to his many stimulations. His babinski reflexes have been the most consistent simulation.

Sadly we did not do any hot / cold / pressure stimulations for his tactile program yet this week.

(Auditory) I tried using an air horn to stimulate his vital response, only to find that my dollar store air horn does not work (should I really have been surprised?). Next I tried an air horn app on my phone. Far from loud enough. So we have done the blocks to stimulate his startle reflex now and then but still have to go to the store and get another air horn.

All smiles

Oh, so many smiles! The older he gets, the happier he gets. It is so fun seeing him develop in this area.

(Language) I have been more consistent with our language development program. We have been having many conversations daily, of me talking and giving him the opportunity to "talk" and "answer". I recite our short poem frequently - he lights up for this. He has been developing strongly in this area and his ability to communicate.

 Sleep, Eating, Elimination

(Sleep) Damien is still on a 3-hour schedule, and sleeps for about 5-6 hours straight on most nights. Others he is up every 3 hours. Ugh. I'm sort of working on getting him to sleep longer at nights, but I think I'll have to get him in his own bed, first. (maybe?)

(Eating) There is no news for nursing. He eats, he eats well, he eats quick. Although I think he might have been going through a "growth spurt" because there were a couple of nights that he wanted to eat every 2.5 hours and was somewhat fussy.

(Elimination) Elimination communication still mostly consists of me continuing to help him associate the physical action of having a bowl movement with the sound (words) "poo poo". I haven't been taking him to the potty much, although the two times I did this week, he went without a fuss.

"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." 
Luke 2:4
Damien was 6 weeks old this week

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Crawling Anywhere

Damien thinks the hotel bed is as good a place as any to practice crawling.

Tummy time? Yes. Getting anywhere? Not so much.

"And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth..." 
Ezekiel 47:9

Damien is 6 weeks, 2 days old [1 month + 2 weeks]