Thursday, December 27, 2012

A simple conversation

Yesterday Caroline had a very simple conversation with Levi.  The girls were coloring in the playroom.  Levi was in there too and looked to be interested in coloring as well.  Caroline asked him if he would like to color.  We usually ask him questions based on his hand gestures or when he signs.  He doesn’t usually respond verbally. We just put him in position to do whatever it is he asked for.  This time when Caroline asked him if he wanted to color, he said “yeah”.  She asked him again.  Again he answered, “yeah”.  Needless to say this caught Caroline a little off guard. She said ok and told him to go sit in a chair.  Levi promptly went over to a chair and sat down.  Caroline gave him a piece a paper and crayons and he began to color.

This little conversation was so awesome. Caroline and I both know that he understands a lot of different things but it is usually a case of us acknowledging him instead of him acknowledging us.  Also for him to verbalize it is very exciting.  I hope this is the beginning of many little conversations with Levi.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It was a great Christmas

Santa had arrived!  Our living room was filled with toys from the man himself and presents from our family.  Our morning started a little after 6 am when Levi woke up.  He doesn’t get the concept of Santa or Christmas so for him it was just a typical morning.  The girls wouldn’t be up for another hour. We didn’t want to set Levi loose in the living room as we thought he might just tear through all the toys that Santa had spent so much time setting up.  So we fed him some breakfast to buy us some time.

Shortly after, he was done and ready to get out of his high chair.  We took him over to the pile that Santa had left for him.  He was curious but not overly excited.  We have found it very difficult to shop for Levi.  You just never know what he is going to be drawn too.  Last year, we tried to pick out things that we thought a typical 2 year old would like and that could help him with his therapy.  That pretty much backfired.  He hardly played with anything that he got last year. So this year, we just took a stab at things we thought he might like. We just wanted to find things he would enjoy playing with. So this year’s list included a dream light, a doodle board and Leap Frog Explorer 2 among other things.  Yes, we realize the Leap Frog is a step backward from the iPad but we had hoped it would be a good substitute.  We were wrong.  He hasn’t had much of a chance with it but the one thing we have noticed is that everything loads a little slow.  Levi gets impatient and starts to move on to the next thing.  Hopefully with a little more time, he will learn to like it a little more. By the way, this year’s favorite toy…. a stuffed buzz light year.  Go figure.

Soon after, the rest of the house was up and our living room was filled with the sounds of laughter and littered with wrapping paper.  I think Levi was a little overwhelmed at times but seemed to enjoy all the excitement.  We are hoping next year he will understand the concept of Santa so he can take part in the anticipation.  It was a great day.  I hope everyone had a great Christmas as well.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Levi's favorite day of the week.

Tomorrow is Friday and that can only mean one thing.  Swim lessons! Levi LOVES the water. It doesn't matter if it is a swimming pool, bath tub or a puddle in the street.  Levi is drawn to it like bees to honey.

Unfortunately, his lessons for the week are cancelled.  His swim instructor is out of town.

Levi has been taking swim lessons for quite some time now.  He attends the SEAL Swim School in Lutz, Fl. His teacher is Ms. Erin.  She is certified to work with children with special needs.  She has done an amazing job of teaching him not only how to swim but how to be safe in the water. Here is a video of Ms. Erin and Levi working in the pool.

As you can see, he is quite the accomplished swimmer.  Currently she is working on getting him to turn over on his back while swimming so he can take a breath.  He is REALLY close.  Once he is able to do this, she believes he will actually be able to swim the full length of the pool!

Swimming has been so good for Levi.  Besides the fact that he absolutely loves it, it is really good for his muscles.  He is always so relaxed and loose after a swim.  I also think it gives him a sense of freedom being in the water.

For us, the best thing about swimming is that really big smile on his face every time he gets into the water.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A new milestone today!

I always get excited when I see Levi do something for the first time.  Today, Levi climbed down the stairs by himself.  When he got to the edge of the stairs, he turned himself around and made his way down backwards.  Of course I was behind him all the way but he certainly didn’t need my help.  Usually he would attempt to go head first so it was wonderful to see him maneuver himself down. Way to go buddy!

Over the pass few weeks it seems like Levi has really taking a liking to coloring.  He does a pretty good job of grasping the crayons in his hand but he doesn’t have enough strength to apply a lot of pressure. So his drawings are very light but he doesn’t seem to mind. Lately we have been giving him markers when he wants to color.  They are thicker, so they are easier for him to hold and you don’t need a lot of pressure to make a mark on the paper.  He does like to use multiple colors so it is important to have a nice selection in front of him.  He likes to take the caps on and off by himself and he does a pretty good job of it. It is great to see the improvement in his hands.  He works so hard in therapy during the week and he is doing so well.  

Here is Levi during an OT session at United Cerebral Palsy:

Flu Update:

We are still working on getting healthy.  Hannah seems to have gotten through this.  I am getting a little better everyday.  Rachel seems to be having a little bit of a relapse.  We are concerned that she may have bronchitis. We are going to take her back to the doctor today.  Levi spent the weekend at his grandmother's.  So far he shows no signs of catching this. I feel like if we can make it through the next few days we will be good.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blogger Down!

Yep.  I think I have caught the flu and it is a miserable time. Hannah was also unable to escape its evil clutches.  She seems to be reacting well to the ibuprofen which is good news.  Rachel seems to be over it. If I could just keep her still.

Levi, so far, seems to be feeling fine. We continue to pray he doesn't catch this.  If he can hold out for a few more days I think we are going to send him to Grandma's.

That's it for today.  I think I am going to lie down.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ugh. It's the Flu!

On Sunday afternoon, my 4 year old daughter Rachel, started to complain about not feeling well. She had a fever and was very lethargic.  Shortly after giving her some medicine to reduce the fever, she was back to her normal self.  That stuff sure works fast!  Of course, once the meds wore off, she was back on the couch feeling miserable.  We decided to take her to the doctor and confirmed it.  Rachel has the flu.

Unfortunately there isn’t much we can do for her outside of letting it run its course.  We continue to give her meds to keep the fever down while keeping her well hydrated.  The trick is going to be keeping her calm once the meds kick in.  She really needs to lie on the couch and rest.  Something she isn’t very good at.  The doctor told us that fortunately it is a mild strain that is going around and she should be back on her feet in a couple days. 

Our biggest concern right now is Hannah, my five year old daughter, or Levi catching this.  So far so good.  We are a bit more concerned with Levi.  Levi still struggles to eat solid foods and it is all we can do to get him enough caloric intake on a daily basis.  We just got him up to a respectable weight.  When he is sick, it is 10 times worse.  He struggles to keep anything down including his milk.  The last few days he hasn’t eaten as well as he has been but he doesn’t seem to have any other symptoms.  We are keeping our fingers crossed.

As for Rachel, it looks like a day full of movies.

Monday, December 10, 2012

My first post!

So here it is..... My first post! When I first decided to start a blog, I just thought it would be a great way for family and friends to keep up with Levi's day to day.  People ask me about him all the time so this just made sense.  The last few weeks, I have been caught up in reading under people's blogs.  There are some great ones out there.  I have found one in particular to be truly inspiring.  So I'm hoping that this blog will become more than a place to catch up on your daily Levi.  I'm hoping that other people will share and learn from our experiences as well.  If this blog can help just one person or family, it will be well worth the time and effort.  So it ends..... My first post!