Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Big Boy Bike

Up until now, Jackson's "bike" has actually been a tricycle.  Santa Claus changed all of that with the delivery of a big boy bike made for Jackson.  He was pretty excited once the sleep wore off and he realized it was just his size.  
The trick is going to be getting him to actually pedal.  Right now, he is into only putting on the brakes or foregoing riding altogether and walking beside the bike instead of riding!  I have a feeling by this time next year, though, he'll be an old pro!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Morning

My sweet boys on Christmas morning 2011.  They are normally late sleepers, so I had to wake them up extra early in order to enjoy Santa's gifts before we went off to church.  This meant for the first thirty minutes we were in the living room they were having trouble focusing on what was actually happening! You can tell by the zombie-look on Clayton's face that he wasn't even awake yet when I started snapping these photos!
As an aside, they are holding two of the SEVEN trains they received between the two of them this year. They are set to go when it comes to railroading for the next year!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a magical Christmas and peace throughout the coming year!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prank Caller

Clayton has a new favorite past time:   swiping people's phones.  Most kids these days are wanting phones so they can play games.  Not Clayton.  He goes straight to the contact list and starts calling people!
He thinks it is absolutely hilarious to call all of these (usually) random strangers!  As for the person on the other end?  I'm sure confusion abounds when they get a call from a little boy who only laughs hysterically.  He loves it even more if he hangs up on them and immediately calls them back.  Talk about a regular prank caller!
It doesn't help that he has a few people who indulge him this pleasure.  He has several ladies at church wrapped around his finger and they just let him call and call and call on their phones.  I'm sure their friends thank them repeatedly for having to participate in this little game.  :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ring the Bells

At the beginning of the school year, the Sunday School classes at church were promoted as usual.  There was only one small problem with that--basically, Jackson's whole class was promoted and left him behind to a virtual solo existence in the toddler class.  Before his friends were promoted, he loved Sunday school; afterwards, not so much.  So after a few Sundays of trying to figure out what to do, he was invited to the preschoolers class on a trial basis.  And except for the not being potty trained part, I think he's fitting right back in with his old buddies.  He may be a tad bit shorter than the rest of them, but he definitely hangs tough in all of their play.  :)
From all reports, he was really getting into the singing and bell ringing in the practices leading up to their performance, but at the dress rehearsal on Saturday, all he did was stand on the stage and chew on his fingers.  He didn't do much more during the actual performance on Sunday.  He just stood, stared, and chewed as the rest of the kids sang and did their motions.  Thankfully though, he decided to participate in the bell ringing song, and it was of course, the most precious thing ever (spoken like a true Mother, right?).  All things considered, I was just happy to not have a repeat of last year's performance!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Artists at Work

We're having to be creative around here in order to get everyone's (read:  Jackson's) energy fully spent in a day.  With it being quite chilly outside, I'm not particularly wanting to spend hours in the backyard playing while our teeth chatter.  But even before it got cold, we had several days of rain that just about made us go stir crazy.  
Brian decided to make the garage the new play area and this seemed to satisfy both boys.  Mainly because Daddy decided they would get to "paint" with all of his supplies.  The great thing about this painting was that it didn't involve paint!  Brian just poured some water in some bowls and both Jackson and Clayton went to work painting on their cardboard boxes.   
Another bonus?  Clayton was getting all kinds of sensory therapy.  He won't do this type of activity for his O.T.  In therapy, he gets weirded out by the liquid and the brushes.  But for Daddy, there seems to be no problems . . . funny how it works that way.
Of course it always helps to have Jackson along to motivate him.  Watching Jackson at a task always seems to push Clayton to have his turn at whatever fun is to be had.
I have to say, though, that Jackson seemed to be taking his creation quite seriously.  Who knows?  We might have a mini-Picasso on our hands!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Faith of a Child

For many years, Clayton has repeated with us as we pray before meals:  "God is great.  God is good.  Let us thank Him for our food."  Only in the last couple of weeks has he ventured on his own into the conversation of prayer.  His prayers are very topic appropriate, and very age-appropriate.  But above all, they will make you think . . .


Thank you for my sandwich.

Thank you for my chest muscles.  


Chest muscles aside (don't ask, it's a long story!), the striking part is this:  Clayton remembers to give thanks for a sandwich that he isn't even able to eat yet.  Talk about another dose of perspective!  We are told to pray, and to be thankful to God even before the blessing comes.  Clayton's life has put him on the fast-track of believing without seeing--it takes most of us a lifetime to get to that point!

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.  

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, December 05, 2011

LiteGait Demo

Clayton is one of the hardest cases the therapists at his clinic have ever dealt with.  They have all been at a standstill of ideas for a couple of years now as he has seemed to reach a plateau on progress in gross motor skills.  This is why we were all excited for him to try out a new piece of equipment at the clinic:  the LiteGait.  Clayton was chosen to demo it with the rep from the company and by the end of her "session" with him, he was walking easily on the treadmill, doing about 60% of the work himself!
It took a lot of trouble shooting to figure out what setup would be best for Clayton.  The rep ended up taking his AFO's (ankle/foot orthotics) off, taping his left leg for better position, and eventually adding another therapist for better control.   After all these tweaks, Clayton got into a smooth rhythm of walking with their help.   

Most of my video is of her trying to figure out what would work best for Clayton.  I didn't video much of his actual walking.  By the end of the session, he had walked 300 ft.  YAY!

This machine is going to be great for Clayton!  For one, his therapist basically has another set of hands to help her with the positioning of his upper body, which means she can concentrate on helping him with his legs and feet.  It can be used for more than just walking activities, even sitting to standing practice.  Not to mention the impact it will have on his endurance!  

Our physical therapy goals for Clayton are simpler than ever these days.  We would simply love for him to be strong enough to help us transition him from one place to another.  I'm hoping this equipment will help build those muscles he needs to help us help him.  

Friday, December 02, 2011

In Which We Stretch

Or more appropriately, "in which Clayton's legs stretch . . . ."  

In order to battle Clayton's ever-present spasticity, we've added yet another weapon to our already over-flowing arsenal of equipment.  Welcome the knee-imobilizers.  These little babies replaced his rather wimpy (in comparison) leg splints that he used to sleep in.  Their job is to straighten his legs, and in turn stretch the hamstrings.  
Since Clayton is more or less in a sitting position with his hips and legs in a 90-90 degree position most of the time, his hamstrings are getting harder and harder to stretch out into a complete standing position.  In fact, it is impossible for him to stand completely straight up.  The pain from the inflexibility is finally getting to him and is increasingly hindering his physical therapy.  And since his growing body is starting to interfere with his ability to stand in his stander, he must be stretched in another way.  He is supposed to wear these immobilizers all night long (can you imagine sleeping in these things??) and during the day if possible while sitting on his bed or stretched out on the couch.  We are supposed to get his leg as straight as possible, but as you can see from the pictures, it just isn't happening yet.  Hopefully with more time, his legs will loosen up a bit.  
For now, I consider us off to a good start.  He has slept one full night in them and tolerated them for a few hours on a couple of afternoons.  He's been a lot better patient than most of us would be if our legs were in these monsters!