Thursday, January 31, 2008

More Peter Cottontails Jump to the Rescue

Acer's beloved Unca Dawei (Uncle David) has now joined in the beeping egg making. I think I will now end up with extras, but I know of a few other young VI (visually impaired) kids who will get a special egg delivery if that happens. I'd really like to share Acer's good fortune with others. What a wonderful thing, that people are going out of their way to help one small boy have a good Easter.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Warning Pun minefield ahead!

I thought I was quacking up. I had this bee in my bonnet and went on a hunt for beeping Easter eggs. I want Acer's first Easter to be a good one, with all the traditions observed. I googled and read and googled and read, and tried many a trail here and there; but I couldn't find instructions or a place to find any of these never seen items, they were obviously well hidden. I had others searching with me, but their baskets were empty too. So, finally I hopped onto a site that had the advice to contact your local bomb squad. Bomb Squad you say, yes, yes indeed. It took three different phone calls to locate our squad, in a state police lab not too far from our house actually, but they called back today. I guess they like the ideas of helping a three year old and putting their skills to a positive use. Now,we should have eggs for the little man; he'll be able to hunt with the best of them.

Monday, January 28, 2008

No Milk! No Eggs!

That's what Acer woke up shouting this morning, not once, but three times, each a few minutes from each other. Obviously, Acer's new Favorite Book "Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type" has made an impression on him far greater than we knew.
In honor of this, I've started an Acer's favorite books section above the Acer's favorite music section on the sidebar.
I'd also like to send a huge THANK YOU to seedlings books, a braille children's book ministry that has sent Acer FOUR free books in braille. What a blessing they are.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Acer reaches new heights

Acer has finally broken the three foot barrier, he is now 36.5 Inches and 33 pounds to be exact! Yeah Us! We must be fertilizing and watering him properly to get such good growth.
He's not in diapers, and he's so muscular he's still in 24 month and 2T clothing, but he did finally outgrow his first item of clothing not too long ago. I was excited to be finally able to hand something down to someone else.

Friday, January 25, 2008

baby steps

When you have a Special Needs child, whatever his need is, you learn to take joy in the small things that others may take for granted. Acer's needs compared to so many others, are minor, but he still learns things differently and more slowly in different areas than most 'normal' kids do. His gross motor skills are terrific, actually above what most three year olds are able to do. (that combined with his fearlessness has made me get more grey hairs this year;)
It's his fine motor skills that need honing. On Monday in school, Acer stacked blocks on top of each other without being prompted by the teacher. Knowing from my Hadley Class on Learning through play that this is a extremely important skill developmentally, and that he was getting it made me so happy.
Today he was actually playing the zylophone on his drum table, holding the correct end of the stick and hitting notes over and over. His 8 month younger than he cousin Lulu may play better, but he was playing, and hitting and learning and I could feel the joy as he made his own music on something other than his beloved cymbal. Things like this make me stop, look and listen, smile and say 'Thank you Lord.'

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How do YOU go down the stairs?

I bet going down the stairs is a lot less exciting for you than for Acer. Acer loves stairs and has devised many ways to go down. Not much of that boring hold on to the rail one foot at a time stuff for him. I'll detail the ways I've seen because it happens too quickly for me to get the camera (I'm trying really hard to get some of these but am unsuccessful so far)
1) standard way, everyone else does, one foot at a time.
2) fall down (he does not recommend this, it's scary according to both of us).
3) back down not holding on to the railing.
4) bump down on his butte
5) surf down feet first on his belly (or back)
6) surf down head first on his belly (or back)
Now I know what you're thinking, those are all normal, well the next three are where he shows advanced stairs skills.
7) Hold on to rail. Slowly slide toes over edge of step, thud down to next stair.
8) Hold on to rail. Pick up body by holding on to rail, almost a chin up, swing down to the next stair.
9) Hold to the rail, put toes on the little piece of molding that runs along the side of the stairs. Climb down the stairs facing the wall. Audition for Spiderman.

That's our Acer always trying out new things to make his everyday life, and ours, more interesting. How did we live before we knew all these ways just to get from one floor to the other?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Who is that handsome young man?

Well, Acer's haircut has gotten rave reviews,

and now we've added a new element - glasses.

Yes, after the little man appeared with a gouge in his forehead that neither Bill nor I knew where it came from I decided that he REALLY needed protective glasses and I'd better get him used to them before he started running in and out of the house for the summer. Our local optician's, a little tiny place, went out of their way to figure out what would be best for him, and ordered in three pair for us to try. The larger places I've seen, weren't even interested in trying to find him something that would work or fit him. So, now he has eyeball protection from pokes, from UV rays and his own hand rubbing them. He's even been really good about keeping them on, now if I can only figure out how to adjust them so the strap stays where it's supposed to and doesn't keep going lower and lower on his head and starts pulling his ears down too. He looks a little funny with the top of his ears bent out at a 90 degree angle.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

We Give Up...........................

Bed Head has conquered us. Bed Hed, Nap head, Hat head, car seat head, you name is, the little man has it in spades. Despite the fact that we liberally use conditioner and detangler and try to keep it in place with gel, it is literally a pain for the little man to get his hair brushed. He has a cowlick at the top/back to his head and since he's a wiggly sleeper, his hair is just horribly snarled every day. We can tame it for a little while, but at the first opportunity, his hair is back and worse than before. I've tried growing his hair out into a longer, more flattering hairstyle but it's just not not worth it right now. I already went from longer to halfway shorter in the hopes that it would be easier, but no, length, any length , ends up snarled. So, we're back to short, less flattering, but a heck of a lot easier to handle.
I thought that straight hair would be easier to handle/style than my riotous (rioting would be more accurate) curls, but I was wrong, I admit it, and I admit that we lost, we surrender.
Heather BT

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Disappointed Little Man

Yesterday after school, Acer and I headed off to our local thrift store to do what the bear did, see what we could see. We hit a bonanza because everything was at least half off. At this price I decided to buy Acer stuff he really didn't need, but would fit better than the too big stuff he has right now. He wears a belt with all his pants because they fall down. So $13.25 later,I have 3 pair of cords that shouldn't need a belt (one does anyway, bummer but at least it's not too long) two brand new shirts and one pair of almost new sneakers and on pair of brand spanking new work boots (so tiny, so cute) and a little tiny pair of flannel pj style lounge pants. Yeah us.
Acer was so good, he really is in stores, and so I decided to stop at the little sub shop next door to the re-sale shop for something for lunch. At the store he charmed one of the owners so much that the guy gave Acer 4 packets of sour candy. They were like koolaid packets and Acer happily played with it all the way home He was so happy and proud to have his own candy, he rarely gets any. He patiently waited until after his nap before I opened it.
Then Disappointment Struck!
He Didn't Like it!
I felt so bad for him, such highs, such patience, and such a horrible expression on his face.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cool new site for the parents of VI

Okay, so it may not be new to others but it is new to me
has what looks like lots of cool stuff, including teaching music, and the little man just loves music.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Blogroll, a technological advance for me

I've now mastered the art of putting Links on the sidebar. Yes, I know, I've been blogging for 17 months and JUST figured this out now. Oh well, I've always had Bill do this for me, but since I started my own blog, I figured it out. So... If you'd like/be willing to have me put you on my blogroll, please leave me a comment. I won't put you there unless you comment.
Heather BT

Smile and say PEAS!

We're just back from our first ever session with a professional photographer. Through the Celebrating Adoption (link on the sidebar) we found a photographer in our area whose style seemed to fit ours. Angie at Once Upon A Time Photography was a Pediatric Neurology Nurse so I knew that she would really be able to relate to Acer. She also has 4 kids of her own, so I knew she'd be able to handle whatever Acer decided to throw her way. Literally it turns out, because one way she got Acer to sit still and smile was to have him throw blocks!
We brought a couple changes of clothing, including his lovely suit from China, and several props, some food, toys to keep him amused etc. We actually had 3 muck buckets and his beloved drum table.
It'll take her a couple weeks & then we'll be able to pick out the ones we want made into 8x10's for the grandparents.
As part of the Celebrating adoption program, there were no sitting fees and we get free proofs plus it can be done anytime up to a year after we got home. I recommend this program to anyone! Please click the link, and if you live close to us, please use Angie.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Return To Normalcy

Well, the house has emptied out and Acer is slowly adjusting to a normal bedtime and schedule. He still thinks that every day we should open a present and that there are cookies or treats hiding around every corner. He'll get used to it again, the everyday, boring normal life that is. He no longer has 4 Big People at his beck and call, no Brandon to play blocks with or Alex to play giant legos with, just regular old Mama & Baba. Oh well.
I think he's coming down with a minor cold, there are three or four coughing episodes a day and some fairly green mucus slowly leaking out his nose. He doesn't seem to have any other symptoms, no fever or sore throat as far as we can tell. So we ease his cough roughened throat with honey when he seems to need it and watch. We've been lucky so far that he really hasn't had any major illnesses since we've been a family.
He was supposed to start back at school on Wednesday, but he had a snow day. That was fine for me, I think school the day after New Year's day, after being off for 2 weeks would have been really tough. This gives me 5 extra days to get him used to regular life again.
Today is our first weekend together as a family, with all of us home. I've had to work every weekend so this is different for us. Bill will have to work 2 weekend days a month now at his new job and I'll go back to work in April, but for now we're enjoying our weekend.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I'm nominating us for....

Parents of the year!.
Okay not really, but we should, Acer this year, between his birthday and Christmas, received the following sound making devices.
1) drum, toy type but reasonable loudness can be achieved.
2) Finger beats drum toy. A full drum set at your fingertips, complete with demo's and recording mode.
3) TWO keyboards with microphones. We can now have one upstairs and one in the front room - Double the joy! Go Mum, work with those little fingers in your weekly piano lessons & soon he'll be able to make great music.
4) A piano horn. You have to press keys as you blow to make noise.
5) A recorder, the type with finger holes, not cassettes.
and last but not least
6) a wonderful music table with:
a tambourine, a xylophone, two bongo drums, a castanet, maraca, and a cymbal (Acer loves cymbals)

He already had
1) little tykes electronic drum
2) little tykes keyboard
3) harmonica
4) xylophone/piano toy shaped like a cat
5) kazoo
6) tambourine
7) two egg shaped shakers
And best yet, we won't ever tell him not to use them, unless of course he's doing something like swinging the microphone against the wall. Go Music, Rock on little man!

Note, I've been in retail horticulture for more than 20 years, if I can tune out the horrible music at work I can tune out anything. The little man can rock on to Manamana to his heart's content.

Invitation for those with slightly older adopted kids or SN kids

Acer's school lent me a book entitled "Everyday Exposure to Experiences for Enjoyment" by Nancy Smith from the American printing house for the blind.
I think this is a great tool for Acer (and other kids) because it not only breaks up the learning into small chunks, but it's learning about things we might take for granted because we grew up sighted or in this culture.
I'm transcribing it onto a new blog at and welcome others to join me, basically because I do better at stuff if someone else is doing it with me.
There is an activity for every day and some alternate activities to swap out for ones you can't do. I've changed the format it was written in slightly because it started out on a day instead of a date and the date idea is easier for my brain to follow. It's also not entirely in yet, I've just gotten January and half of Feb. in so far.
Please join Acer and myself as we travel through the book this year.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Please Go Back...

To the 24th, Bill has added more pictures and I've added more words to that day and several others.

2008 Snow day

We woke up to this beauty on New Year's Day. Lovely packing snow had blown all night and covered everything. If we weren't going to my in-laws, I would have really enjoyed making a snowman with Acer. As it was we hit the road mid-day, and the roads still weren't plowed. These are views of the crabapple across the street, our maple (no a snow blower didn't do that) and our short section of privet hedge.
It was deep enough that we were scraping the snow on the roads with the bottom of the car, and when we got going fast enough the scraping started throwing snow up into the engine compartment. The poor Beater (the name of my loyal but battered Minivan), we had no idea what was wrong until Bill tried to start her up after we'd been at his parents for a while. She wouldn't stay running so he popped the hood & discovered - Snow! I've never heard of an engine compartment being filled with snow before, but Bill's mom said it had happened to her once.
Bill borrowed his mom's car for the trip and Acer stayed there with me instead of taking the hour and a half long drive with Bill for a lovely nap. Acer and I took a nap, with my idea being that after Bill got back, we'd work on the Beater. No, thankfully we didn't have to, Bill's brothers and uncle worked on it while we slept and it was almost all done by the time Bill returned. A great job guys, Thanks!