Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Spring Break! That means we went from doing everything, to doing absolutely nothing. Oh well, at least we have horseback riding tomorrow.

Today we got our Easter cards from Grandma Jan...thanks Jan! Cooper's card had blank egg pictures and came with stickers of face parts etc. to make the eggs into people. I figured Cooper would just put the stickers on the sofa like he does with all of his stickers, but just in case I showed him on one egg how to decorate it. I was really surprised when he started decorating the rest of the eggs by himself! He had no problem getting the eyes and mouths in the right place on all the eggs, even though some of the stickers were a little abstract. I was so proud of him!

He has also been starting some pretend play (I think). The last few days he plays this game with his rocking horse where he knocks the horse over on it's side. Then he pretends like he is mad by grunting and making fists and says "Oh, Quinn!". It is so funny! Quinn is never around but it seems pretty clear to me that he is pretending that Quinn knocked the horse over. I know he isn't actually mad because it only lasts a second and then he is happy and goes and does it again. I haven't been able to get it on video yet :( Between that game and his constant "No, Quinn", he says the word Quinn at least a 100 times a day. Oh well, there could be worse words he could be saying :)

Quinn seems happy to be home from school. I think he needed a break, he works so hard most of the time. He doesn't seem to mind that Cooper says him name all day long, thankfully.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

He really loves his letters!

So apparently Cooper has been teaching himself the sign language!!! There is one of those displays at the playground at his school that has the alphabet and next to each letter is a hand showing the sign. His ABA therapist has been going to school with him and has noticed that he is starting to sign some of the letters. What a goofy kid!!! As his therapist said "Cooper is freakishly good at the strangest things". Yup, that pretty much sums it up :)

Today his therapist went to school with him and when he was having trouble concentrating on his art project she recommended they put a tri-fold board in front on him on the table. It worked great and really helped him block out a lot of the distractions. What a great idea!

When I went to get Quinn off the bus today there was a substitute aide. She actually let Quinn fall over and slam his head on the bus drivers seat right in front of me! And I thought his regular aide was bad....she better thank her lucky stars I am not one of "those" mothers. I am not going to call and report her or anything but that should not have happened. Quinn is a trooper and he didn't even cry so it must not have hurt too bad.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Talkative Mornings

Cooper has been having really talkative mornings lately! This morning he went over to the sofa and started looking under the blankets etc and saying "book, book, book". Then he found his book and said all happily "Book!". So then he sat down with all of his books and started labeling them "Numbers Book", "ABC Book", etc. It was so cute, I just love to hear him talk. Tonight, he was taking a bath and he hit his head on the soap holder. He started crying and Matt told him "It doesn't hurt that bad", and Cooper stopped crying and looked at him and said "It doesn't?" That's my kid, he can't even really talk yet and he is all ready a smartass :)

The boys both had horseback riding today. They did great and really enjoyed it. Cooper got on the horse the right way for the first time and said lots of words for his therapist. Quinn did a great job with his PECS telling the horse to go. When we walked out to get on the horse there were a few horses out there and Cooper looked around and said "Horses!" I think he is finally starting to get to a place where he feels comfortable saying all the stuff that he usually must just think. He has had so much spontaneous language in the last few days!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This morning Cooper had a little time before we had to get ready for the bus. He decided to go play downstairs and as he was going down I heard him pause and they say loudly "Lights On"! It was so cute!! He had turned on the light and I guess it just popped out. He had a really good day even though he didn't get a lot of sleep last night.

Quinn seemed to have a good day. He has been trying to get me to give him a Capri Sun all week, he takes it out of the box and then starts sucking on the straw even though it is still in the wrapper and attached to the side of the drink :) Today I finally gave in and let him have one and boy was that a mistake! He was soooo hyper all night, now I remember why I give him water instead of juice. His teacher had her baby and I heard today that the substitute is actually a certified special ed teacher. That is good but we will have to see how it goes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy World Down Syndrome Day! We didn't celebrate this year. I just can't get into because Quinn is just nothing like the other kids I know who have Down Syndrome :( Sigh....I remember when he was born and we had such high hopes for him...double sigh...

Anyway, last night was date night but Grandma Jan was not feeling well enough to take the kids. So Mommy and Daddy braved a night out just the four of us. It was great! We took the kids to Pizzeria Uno for dinner and they could not have been better behaved. We brought a belt (like the kind you put around your pants) and buckled Quinn into his seat. This was originally his grandparents idea and I was against it, but I figure it works and it looks a lot better than trying to squeeze a 6 year old into a highchair made for a 2 year old. Quinn doesn't mind at all and I think it just reminds him to sit still, he could totally get out of it if he wanted. Cooper never has a problem sitting in his chair, as long as you are feeding him! There were lots of other families with kids there and I can honestly say our two special kids were the best behaved out of the bunch! We all enjoyed dinner very much, and I have to say I think Pizzeria Uno is the boys favorite restaurant :)

After dinner we took them over to the big playground right behind the restaurant, the one in the park and ride. They loved it! It was a beautiful night and the place was packed but both boys had such a great time. They really missed being outside after all this time stuck in the house because of winter.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eye Doctor

Today we took Quinn to the eye doctor. That was fun, not! Going to the eye doctor involves waiting, followed by struggling (eye drops), then more waiting and even more struggling when the doctor finally examines him. The good news is that I liked this doctor a lot, he is new to us, even though I think he examined Quinn in the NICU once. Also, Quinn's perscription has not changed, so we only have to get one new pair of glasses (since I decided we need a backup). The best news is that the doctor doesn't see any need for surgery at this time or in the future, but that could always change. That is much better than hearing he will need it in the next few years like our last doctor said. This doctor feels that Quinn's eyes are in good shape and actually unusually good for a child with Down Syndrome. As usual, Quinn's eye condition is the opposite of what most kids with DS have. I guess Quinn never got the memo....sigh.

Cooper is still singing his heart out everyday and driving me crazy with worry. The good news is the tune seems to be changing a little everyday so that makes me feel a little better.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Okay, not so cute....

So that little song Cooper was singing is not so cute anymore. He has been singing it repetitively and obsessively for the last two days. Jeez, just when you think things are going good the kid comes up with the strangest behavior!! I have been advised by his speech therapist to ignore it because we don't want to encourage it. So we are ignoring the fact that our son suddenly is singing "Na na na hey hey" 300 times a day. Isn't Autism fun! Not!!! I am hoping and praying it is just a phase, which it probably is (fingers crossed).

The good news is that Cooper has started saying "up" when he wants to be picked up with no prompting whatsoever. The bad news is he is so big only his daddy and his freakishly strong ABA therapist can lift him :) Also, Matt has been doing this little bedtime chant with Cooper for at least two years now. It goes like this "What time is it? "Bedtime!" For the past two years Matt has had to say both parts, in the last week Cooper finally decided he can handle taking over the "Bedtime" part! Yay Cooper!!! It is so cute, and it is about time!

Quinn is still Quinn :) Not much going on there. He really missed going out with his grandparents tonight. He was cranky and whiny which is unusual for him, I think it was his way of saying "What happened to my fun Saturday night with Grandma Jan and Grandpa Don?" Don't worry Quinn, I am sure you will get to see them next weekend.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cooper Cuteness

I wanted to share a couple of really cute things Cooper has been doing lately.

He has a new favorite word..."awesome"! It isn't a word I use that often, but I said it once on Monday night and he started repeating it. He has just popped out with it a bunch of times this week and it is so cute!

Whenever I use the microwave, he runs into the kitchen and starts counting backwards from 20 (no matter how much time I put on it). When he gets to zero he makes a loud "beep" sound! Adorable!!

He must have had a song stuck in his head today. I didn't recognize it so it may have been something he made up, but he sang it over and over all day today!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Dentist

Cooper went to the dentist today after school. Matt came home from work for the occasion since he is my muscle. Cooper was so happy to see his daddy and really excited to be going somewhere just the three of us. It is so cute because on the rare occasion we go out without Quinn, Cooper always insists on holding both of his parents hands the entire time :) He was even still happy when we got to the dentist's office. Then he saw the special playhouse that the dentist has in the waiting room. Cooper remembered the playhouse (and what happened after he played in it last time), and immediately burst into tears. He cried pretty much the whole time we were there :( He calmed down a little when Matt put him on his shoulders and walked around, maybe he felt safe because he knew the dentist couldn't reach him there? Oh well, it was a really difficult appointment and I am so glad Matt was there to help. The dentist said everything looked good with his teeth, except of course his 90% overbite, sigh. Maybe Cooper will mellow out a bit before he has to go back in 6 months. I just hope he gets over this fear of dentists before it is time for braces, because he is definitely going to need braces :(

In other Cooper news, his ABA therapist went to observe him at school today. His teacher thought he did well, but his ABA therapist knows better. She told me she has never seen him act like that. She said it was like he was a zombie. Yup, Cooper acts like a totally different person when he is at school. He is so reserved and uncomfortable there. I don't know what it is, maybe extreme shyness? So his ABA therapist is going to start working with him at school some too which hopefully will really help. He is such an amazing little boy when he is at home and in his element, I just wish he could show some of that at school too.

Not much new with Quinn today. He did stop and give me a huge hug when he got off the bus this afternoon. It was very sweet and was very obviously just a hug, he didn't try to get me to pick him up or anything. He is doing really well lately, I love that little boy!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Video of Cooper identifying actions...