Thursday, January 26, 2012

January Stuff

A very well mannered lunch date at La Madeline
A random update of random things on a random Thursday seems to be in order.  January is it's usual self...totally lacking in Christmas cheer, but here nonetheless.  I have been feeling rather blah for the last couple of weeks, but nothing out of the ordinary.  I have never been a big fan of this month.  :-)  The good news is that it's almost over!  I am feeling a burst of energy at the moment while I contemplate how much glitter I can use for Colin's class Valentine party and gearing up for a vacation to the cabins in Oklahoma with literally every single one of our best friends.  AWESOME! 

This guy is the best lunch date ever!

A handsome boy at school
Colin is blowing me away at the moment in all sorts of ways.  It seems like he has changed overnight again and that he is much older and wiser right now than he was even last month at this time.  We have the most amazing conversations and I wish almost daily that someone was over my shoulder with a video camera to document the unbelievable things he says.  We added a third day on to his school week when we got back from Christmas break and it was the best thing we have ever done.  Only 6 children attend school in his class on Fridays, so we added that day to his schedule.  His teacher reported back after only his second Friday that he is a completely different child.  He loves the tiny group and the back and forth that he gets to have with his teacher and the other students.  He has 23 kids in class on the other two days, so this is a huge difference and one that is suiting him extremely well.  He told me that "Fridays are peaceful" and "I wish it could be Friday every day!".  Bless his heart.  Any child on earth would do better with a small teacher to student ratio like that, but Colin REALLY thrives in that environment.  It makes me long for a giant trust fun so that I could send him to private school forever. 

After Mrs. Courtney reported to me that Colin was not interacting with the other children at recess and only wanted to play with her, I told Colin's therapist about the situation.  Courtney was giving Colin obstacle course like things to do (run to that fence and then gather up 5 rocks and then run back to me) in an effort to get him moving during their outdoor time and not just talking to her.  When I mentioned this to his therapist, she popped right in with the idea of Courtney taking another child of similar temperament and asking that kiddo to do the tasks with Colin.  Sheri thought that teaming him up with another child would help him create a relationship that he was struggling to do on his own.  Well, she is brilliant because it worked perfectly!!!  I feel so blessed that we have a teacher who is willing to try new things and had no problem implementing Sheri's advice.  She tried it immediately and asked Gabriella (who Colin already clearly liked) to join in.  They played that whole recess and have been best buddies ever since!  Courtney was excited to tell me about the success and has reported back that they play together all the time now.  And - the BEST part - Colin told me on Monday that when they went outside to play,  Presley asked Gabriella to play with her.  Presley is one of those girls who doesn't want to play with boys and won't include Colin.  (Girls will be girls, after all!)  Gabriella said, "No, thanks.  I am going to play with Colin."  Oh, melt my heart and soul right there!!  I could just kiss that girl!!!  Colin was puffed up and grinning from ear to ear when he told me this and I had to hide my face because I teared up right on the spot.  That precious girl has no idea what that moment did for Colin, but it certainly did a lot.  He talks about her constantly and refers to her as his best friend, which he has never done with a school friend before.  He has already informed me that he is making her "a special Valentine that is not Star Wars and has extra hearts and stickers" and also told me that, "We have to stick the stickers on carefully because Gabriella might cry if they came off and I DO NOT want to make Gabriella cry!".  I hope she doesn't break his heart right away.  ;-) 

Colin and his best girl, Evi
This month has also arrived with another big change for Colin - reading and writing.  He has always struggled with his grasp, ambidextrous issues (switching back and forth constantly without favoring a hand) and low tone in his arms.  We still go to bi-weekly OT for this, but he has never been interested in writing and is very awkward with his grip.  He is a perfectionist and never likes doing something he isn't automatically good at.  Therapy is clearly working all the way around because out of the blue, his skills have jumped leaps and bounds.  He writes his name on everything now and practices all the time.  It looks great!!  He is clearly proud of this accomplishment and is constantly asking to play with his markers and workbooks, which is new and amazing.  He used to throw his markers across the room when the "C" in his name didn't look right to him and now he sits and happily writes the whole thing.  He doesn't even get upset when part of it doesn't go right - like running out of room and not spacing properly to complete a word.  He just shrugs it off now, which is a huge step for the little man.  He also loves to sound out words around the house and figure out how they are spelled and can get the first letter of almost any word figured out on his own by sounding it out.  Today's exception was "knob".  He was pretty mad when I told him there was a such thing as a silent K.  ;-)  This interest in letters and words is brand spanking new and brings me so much joy.  As the only "literary/artistic/math sucks" leaning member of this family, it gave me a sigh of relief.  Ha!  I think he is going to be reading soon, honestly! 
My son, the genius baker.
Also going in full force this month is Colin's intense obsession with all things Star Wars.  He now owns all 6 films on Blu-Ray, as well as Star Wars underwear, pajamas, shirts and shoes.  He has the light saber (thanks, Mimi!) and tons of the Lego stuff, too.  He loooooves it.  His favorite of all the films is "The New Hope" and he watches it from start to finish constantly.  He loves the Storm Troopers, Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi (which is Oki-One-Benobi when he says it).  I can't get over how he isn't scared during any of the just never know with this kiddo!  Jer is loving this turn of events, let me tell you.  :-)  Here are a few more snapshots from our month...

Super cool dude and a dog
Colin in his fort with Enzo and Evi (the black heap on the chair)  :-)
Fine fort workmanship for a January day.  Colin dictated the sign to me.  ;-)
My latest creation - polenta with garlicky swiss chard and olive oil fried eggs! 
Lastly, as a note that actually does not involve my son, I am heavy into my cooking these days.  I have been trying to branch out and try new techniques and push my skill level and I am having the BEST time.  That is a whole other post, but suffice it to say that I am still in love with all things food related.  :-)  And there is your random January update post! 

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