Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sweet Sleep

Wade's sleep patterns have always been somewhat of a mystery to me.

As an infant, if I had not awakened him, he would have slept the night away every night.  He never woke up crying in the night. (Didn't he feel hunger pangs?) I had to wake him up to get him to eat, and even then it was a struggle keeping him (or me!) awake long enough to feed him.  

But as he became older and more ambulatory, he started to wander in the night and we seriously wondered about the quality of his sleep.  Was he actually sleeping all night or was he just silently awake? 

We finally had a sleep study done with a resulting diagnosis of moderate sleep apnea.  In hopes of improved breathing and better sleep quality, his ENT performed a tonsillectomy to remove the large tonsils from his small airway.

Now, seven months after the surgery, we are happy to see that both his snoring and his night time wandering have ceased.  He does seem to be a social sleeper, sometimes getting out of his bed and moving in with Randall in the middle of the night, or sleeping half a nap in his bed and the other half wherever he happens to lie down closer to the action of the household.  

And he still gets up early in the morning, but apparently he is just wired to be a morning person. At 6:00 a.m., Wade goes from deep slumber to stark awakening like toast popping out of a toaster.  One second he's sleeping, the next he's fully functional.  And then this warm little piece of toast likes to crawl up on us and pry open our eyelids to see if we're waking up yet.   (Well, yes, now we're awake!)

But while he is asleep, he always provides me with the most interesting photo ops:
folded up...covered up...stretched out...tucked under...with spectacles...with George...with underwear.

With underwear??????

No, I don't understand either.

But before sleep, he likes to tell God about his day and I'm sure God is much better at understanding his prayers than I am.  I only catch snatches here and there.  

Sometimes, instead, he sings his favorite bedtime prayer in which he remembers most of the words and occasionally adds a few extra.  In the video below, he forgot to bless Mommy. Guess that's what I get for videotaping his prayers!

Dear Father in heaven,
look down from above,
bless Daddy and Mommy,
and those whom I love
 (he often quickly inserts the words Randall and Chris in place of the word those)
May angels guard over
my slumbers, and when
the morning is breaking,
awake me.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Good Kiss Is Like a Sandwich

Here's a love story that I'm predicting will last.  Forever.

It's called "When Bill Met Shelley".   Listen to their story and celebrate true romance where good kisses and sandwiches both have something to do with Cupid.

And then to kindle another warm glow, take time for a visit to downtown Tinley Park in Illinois, where the non-profit Garden Gallery & Studio  has created a gentle blend of art, diversity, inclusion, and good coffee.  There's just something I really like about seeing all of those words together in the same sentence.

And in other news, here is my favorite spontaneous sentence of  today, "Mom, you are my sweetheart!"

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 08, 2013

This Is a Test

For Wade, freedom of speech comes at a high price.  He has had many hours of therapy invested in acquiring the verbal skills other children seem to pluck from the air.  We've been working especially hard on teaching him to speak slowly and clearly.  Without frequent reminders, he tends to rush through his sentences as though he were speaking in shorthand.

Part of his language disorder is cognitive, i.e. lacking the ability to express complex thoughts in ways that make sense to others.  But another part of his language delay stems from a mild muscle weakness in his tongue, lips, and jaw, making proper articulation more difficult to achieve.  When you think about what very minute changes your tongue and lips make to produce each separate vowel sound, for example, it is easier to understand how a slight muscle weakness could significantly garble the clarity of your words.

Sometimes I wish someone would invent little speech bubbles that would automatically float up above his head any time he would speak.  What an amazing technology that would be for the language impaired!  The possibilities would be stunning.*

In the meantime, however, my measuring stick for whether Wade's language is really improving has been to observe how well other people outside of the family can comprehend what he is saying.

So here is a test of your interpretive skills.  This is a video clip during one of Wade's speech therapy sessions this week. Can you understand what he reads from the paper in this clip?

*(After the therapeutic usefulness of the Auto-Bubble Speech Clouds had been thoroughly explored, then you could branch out to other realms such as making your own speech bubbles float above someone else's head.  Imagine what interesting things I could make Nevin say that he never thought, for example.  It would be written ventriloquism.)