Thursday, September 29, 2011

Leaving "The Leash" Behind

A time warp post!

Yesterday, as I walked Austin to school, he ran up a few feet ahead of me.  (He stays on the sidewalk and jogs up to the school doors where he waits for me to come and walk in with him.  I only allow him to do this on our way to school since he is familiar with the area.  He likes to walk on the sidewalk beside me or in front of me because he knows it is "safe".)  As I was walking behind him yesterday, I had a flash enter my mind from the past, "the toddler leash".  My, my, how far Austin has come from those days.

I am not sure if you have seen these little "leashes" or "harnesses" that they have for kids.  I used to have one for Austin.  It looks just like a leash, a opening on one end for me to hold onto and the other end wrapped around Austin's wrist and secured with velcro.  This little device saved Austin so many times I cannot even give you a number ... too many to count!  I used to put it on him when we would go shopping, out for a walk (sometimes) or to car shows.  He would take off running and sometimes right out into the street in front of our house (we were very lucky that there was very little traffic on our dirt road), so it was the only way we could keep him safe.  The looks we got, I cannot even tell you ... sigh ...  Then one day, an older man came up to my husband at our local car show and said that he thought that it was a really smart thing!  Really?  Someone actually understood that we were trying to keep Austin safe.  Even if it was just one person, it was reassuring that someone "got it"!

I do not see these little wrist "leashes" anymore.  They have a new PC version, a harness.  It is carefully disguised as a backpack where the child can walk in front of you and it is not as evident that the child is really attached to the parent, it just looks sort of cute.  Either way, despite what people may think of you, I recommend them for children who wander or run.  Someone asked my opinion a while back about her getting one for her child, who would walk off and run away from her.  I said, "Go buy one!"  I told her about the little backpack harnesses they have now and told her not to care what people thought.  Would she rather have her child safe on a harness or have them run into the street where they could get hit or killed by a car?  Easy answer when it is put to a parent in that way.

I am glad that I took such precautions with Austin years ago and it was at the suggestion of my mother in-law believe it or not.  I was not receptive to the idea at first because I was worried what people would think.  I did not see any other children "attached" to their parents.  The thought of Austin being harmed by not protecting him, changed my mind very quickly.

All the best!  *HUGS* :)

Monday, September 26, 2011


The last couple of weeks have been CRAZY around here!  There have been so many different things going on and so many changes in sleep, speech, growth, school and imagination.

First off, I have already disclosed that Austin has been having nightmares.  I am not sure why this is happening and it started right after his first few days of school.  He will not sleep in his room and dislikes being in there at night (I will explain more when I talk about his imagination).  He says that if he sleeps in my bed, he has good dreams, well, that is not true either.  I have found something that seems to be helping.  It is a natural product a wonderful girl told me about some time back that she gives her daughter.  It is called "Calm" for Kids 0-9.  Now, for some reason, this product helps children relax and it also helps with nightmares.  Sounds crazy right?  That's what I thought but I tried it randomly and each time I did, no nightmares!  How can you explain that?  I can't but it is working!  Did I mention is it all natural?  ;)  I intend to try it for a few days to see if the bad dreams stop, praying for Austin, they do.

Austin's speech has me a little concerned.  I am not sure if the introduction of French is having an impact or he is just really tired.  I was so happy when he recently could remember mostly everything about his day or what activities we did over a day or a weekend, this is no longer happening.  I thought at first it is because he is tired from school but I asked him what we did over the weekend and he couldn't tell me anything.  It is really strange.  I am not sure what is going on but intend to talk to his speech therapist about it.  There is another thing about his speech, he is becoming more sarcastic and he mocks me too (a good sign of development, right? lol).  Once I talk to the speech therapist I will post an update.

Austin is growing like a weed and that means he is eating more!  Yes, eating!  I am so happy about this!  As you know, he is a fussy eater but he is starting to eat even more foods, he even tried pumpkin pie lastnight.  He loves my homemade jam so I am making batch after batch to ensure he is happy and has his favourite sandwich.  It is nice to see him getting bigger and eating! :)

Austin is adjusting to school nicely.  He is happy to go everyday and looks forward to it.  I think this is wonderful! :) (Kaleigh has had a bit of a rough start adjusting to school because she is so shy but she is doing better.  That really stressed me out initially and brought up a lot of emotions from when Austin started preschool but this week is much brighter.  YAY!)

Oh boy, Austin's imagination.  This, well this is a good thing but also a bad thing.  99% of the time he will tell me "tales" about really wonderful stories he has made up and they are quite entertaining and fun.  It is neat to hear these things come from Austin.  On the other hand, there are some dark "tales" which I quickly try to address and tell him such tales are not very nice and are scary.  An example, it has taken me about 3 weeks to convince Austin that there is no "Invisible Man" living in his bedroom closet and he most certainly is not real. (Austin is so upset by it that he does not even want to sleep in his room.)  Austin says he is afraid of the "Invisible Man" one minute and then says he is "brave" and "fights" the "Invisible Man" the next, confusing to me but I try not to focus too much.  (I cannot explain to him what invisible is because he doesn't really get it.  If you said you cannot see someone that is invisible, Austin would claim you could, not a debate you want to start.)  Finally, I have convinced him that the "Invisible Man" is not real.    Interestingly enough, the "Invisible Man" came to be just after Austin started school.  I am trying to get Austin to stick to telling nice "tales".  I have not had to address "tales" in a while.  The last time this happened (quite some time ago), Austin's speech changed drastically.  I wonder if his "tales" and speech development are somehow linked; another topic to discuss with the speech therapist.

I hope you all don't mind my medley post but time has really been a factor over the last little while.  :)

All the best!  *HUGS* :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Settling in at School

Austin is adjusting to elementary school so well.  He is going full-time (he was initially going 2 days, then a day off, then back for 2 days).  He is happy about school and sleeping longer at night because he is so tired.  He is learning more French everyday. :)  He is keeping up with his homework and we have a great system to ensure he does not get overwhelmed or too tired.  He has wonderful teachers, and of course, we are really happy with his aide who is great and Austin thinks she's "cool".  ;)  Good News! :)  WELL DONE Austin! :) OX

"Sweet Dreams"

Since Austin started school a few weeks back, he has been having more nightmares.  I have never seen him experience so many in such a short time period, a little overwhelming and heartbreaking.  What is interesting is he is verbalizing what has happened in the dream right away and will wake me in the middle of the night to tell me.  This is such a huge development for Austin because sometimes he has trouble telling me what is a dream and what is his imagination.  If he tells me right away about his dream, I know it is not his imagination but if he comes to me with a "dream" later in the day, I suspect it is a daydream.  (He still calls it a "dream".)  This is going to be a little harder to explain to him.  He is also having many wonderful, happy dreams too and can verbalize those to me as well, which is GREAT!

Kaleigh being the sweet and sassy little girl that she is, has heard Austin say he has had a nightmare and this makes her feel badly for him.  When it is time to go to sleep, she finds Austin and gives him a kiss and says "Sweet Dreams Austin!"  What wonderful babies I have ... :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Good News and Bad News

Austin started Grade 1 last Thursday.  Overall everything went very well and Austin is adjusting to school nicely, he even likes to go!  YAY! :)  There was one subject though that brought him to tears because he was "scared" to be in the class, French.  You see, in QuĂ©bec even though Austin is in an English school, he must take French.  They do not speak any English in the class as a rule, so Austin was terrified when he could not understand anything at all!  Poor guy!  I felt so badly for him.  I had to do something...

I wrote a letter to his teacher explaining the problem and asked his aide at school to translate for him, if possible (she does not speak French fluently she told me ... sigh...).  In the letter explained that Austin has receptive and expressive delays.  This is a boy who just this summer has learned how to ask "why", "what", "where", "when", "who" and "how" questions on demand.  (We never spoke French to Austin because we did not want to confuse him or take away from helping him with his speech development in English.)

There is good news to report, the aide is translating the words to Austin in English.  (She said they are very simple so she can do that no problem, thank God!  She is a really lovely lady.  We are very grateful to have her with Austin.)  I am also very happy that this situation was dealt with quickly and the French teacher has allowed Austin this courtesy so he may learn and be comfortable.  My husband and I are also doing our part by teaching Austin new French words each day and have downloaded flash cards from iTunes to help him learn independently as well.  (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the iPad?  FANTASTIC!)  He was thrilled when I picked him up on Tuesday because he had learned new words in French class ... YAY!  Well done buddy! :)  Mommie is so PROUD of YOU!  Je t'aime! ox :)

*HUGS* to all ... "Sweet Dreams" is coming up next!