Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lost in the Shuffle

With a lot of time these days being devoted to Ben and his care, I have to make an extra special effort to make sure that my middle boy, Max, gets his fair share of attention, too. Max is so full of life and light, always happy and bringing such joy to our home, how could I possibly forget about him?

A few fun things about Max right now:

  • Max is semi-obsessed with Caillou and will even watch the cartoon in other languages using a YouTube app on Daddy's phone
  • Max LOVES Starbursts
  • When Max is really upset, he resorts to name-calling, coining the expression, "Naughty Supermall." Not sure exactly what it means.
  • Max adores his brothers. He will hit if he is provoked, but Max is usually very good at sharing. He is protective and gentle with his baby brother.
  • Max is one of only two carnivores in our house--he likes to eat chicken nuggets and Dad's steak.
  • Although he has a very charming personality, Max is very shy and when he is approached by a non-family member, he will make a "pppfffttt" spitting noise and then turn and hide.
  • Max gets scared when we drive in the car at night and will ask to hold hands in the dark.
  • Max is a character! He talks with different voices and instead of walking will do a little march/stomp swagger.
  • Max's favorite song is Jingle Bells, which he calls, "ho-ho-ho."
  • Dad reads the same two books to Max every single night at bedtime, "Cheerios," and "No Matter What."
  • One of Max's most used phrases is, "how about me?"

"There is no role in life more essential and more eternal than that of motherhood...Recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments.There will be hard times and frustrating times, but amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction...What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else." - M. Russel Ballard

Thank you, Maxwell, for the many, many shining moments of joy and satisfaction that you bring me each day. I love you deeply, Mom

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Good Sport

1: persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired; adj.
2. Benjamin Z. Grover

Besides Ben's rigorous therapy schedule that includes seven sessions of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, vision therapy, and aquatic therapy each week, Ben has an intense at-home therapy regimen, too. Ben is an incredibly good sport and puts up with a lot of the crazy alternative therapy approaches that I come up with. For example:

As a sensory exercise, I let Ben explore a giant crunchy, mylar blanket. Its also not unusual for me to give him sensory stimulation by sticking his hands and feet in a bucket of rice or dry beans.

Numerous times each day, Ben is placed in his car seat, on top of a turn table, and spun around and around. The centrifugal force of the rotation drives a visual reflex that expands Ben's lateral gaze.

Following the Wilbarger sensory integration theory, I use a corn-husker to brush Ben's hand and arm several times a day to develop attention and decrease tactile defensiveness.
Not pictured, Ben also does a neuro-fitness patterning program that involves a series of bilateral exercises that we perform each day.

This nubby brush is rubbed inside Ben's mouth, along facial massage, to develop Ben's oral/motor skills.
Ben's latest peice of equipment is this gait-trainer, which is designed to help Ben develop lower body strength, coordination, and balance to hopefully aid him in gaining mobility.

With all of the wacky things that we put Ben through everyday, he earns a good rest.

I am so proud of Ben for how hard he works every single day. Oh that I could face my challenges with half the courage, perseverance, and tenacity that Ben does.

Good Riddance

Dear Phenobarbital,

You and I have always had a love/hate relationship, but now I'm breaking up with you for good. As of tonight, you can pack your bags and leave because we're through with you! You did a great job calming my baby's brain waves so that he didn't have any seizures and for that I am grateful, but, you will not be missed. Its over! So long, Phenobarb.

Love always,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Look Out!

This little boy melts. my. heart.

A few of Ben's latest accomplishments:

- Ben loves to blow wet, juicy raspberries
- With a major song and dance routine, Ben is finally accepting some baby food
- Ben says, "Ma-ma" - Thats right, he knows whats up
- Ben is loving his glasses and seems to focus much better while wearing them
- Ben can transition from his back to sitting position by curling straight up--all of Ben's PT has built abs of steel under all that baby chub!

To steal a line from Hank, "I love your stinking guts," Ben! Keep up the good work, baby:)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lovin' on My Boys

Valentine's Day or not, I just love these boys to bits and will take every excuse I can get to give them all hugs and kisses!

I love my sweet Hanky-boy, so sharp and playful.

I love my Max-y, even his stubborn two-year-old-ness.

I love my Benjamin, always such a joy.

I love this boy most of all!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I didn't think it was possible for this boy to be any cuter--and then Ben got his new glasses....


I know, I can barely stand such cuteness!