Monday, June 4, 2012

Big Little Brother & Big Little Miracles

So this is how it's going to happen, huh.  When we least expect it.  The Big Little Miracles are going to hit us when we least expect them.  Ironically this has been a "big" week of such little miracles.  

In the middle of reading our new favorite library book, "Big Little Brother" to Tommy and Joey I read the line about the little brother eating donuts.  I just happened to glance over at Joey to see if he was enjoying the story and there he sat, signing "eat".  Like it was no big deal.  Like he does it all the time.  Only he doesn't and we'd never seen him sign "eat" before.  It was also such a Big Little Miracle because not only was independently doing a sign, but he was also doing it appropriately for the correct word.  Go JOEY!!!!!  He now is able to sign: More, Eat, Milk (also saw him doing this sign this week for the first time), Hi, Bye and Stop. I'm still working on trying to teach him to say (or sign!) Mama.  Stay tuned.  He just grins at me.

Stop is our new word in an effort to not have to say "no" all the time.  He picked up the sign for "stop" faster than any other sign he has ever done.  Our need for an additional way to say "no" is actually quite funny.  When he was just a little guy-- only 5 months old, I had someone tell me that I would have to learn to say "no" to him and not spoil him.  That I should not let him get away with things just because he has special needs.  I literally laughed out loud during this encounter and said that I could not wait until he was doing things that I needed to say no to.  I said that if I say no to him half as many times as I have said it to his older brother that it would still equal about a million "no's" in his first few years of life.  

Now "no" and "stop" are major parts of our conversations.  Right now it is "STOP" being frantically signed and yelled at the same time as our little shark, aka Joey, tries to bite us.  Anyone have any good advice on stopping the biting?  I have two major bites and bruises right now from his chompers.  

Other advancements are how Joey and Tommy play together.  Below they are playing "Ghosts in the House" inspired by our daily dose of Scooby-Doo.  Man-- those are some funny cartoons.  I used to watch them every single day after school.  I was obsessed with mysteries.  The only downfall so far is that Tommy has taken to talking liking a valley girl and saying "like" before every single sentence.  For the life of me I  could not figure out why in the world he kept saying "like" until Tom reminded me....Shaggy.  Ugh-- the one downfall to our Scooby-Doo marathons.  Tommy talking like Shaggy.  The other funny thing Tommy is saying these days is, "Oooooh Yuck!  That's isgusting."  Yes.  Isgusting.  No "d" and it's pretty darn cute that way.

Nothing but pure joy on these faces.
The other big development (in our occupational therapy realm) is Joey's new ability to take most of his long sleeve, tight, baby Gap pj's off before we get him out of bed.  This takes skills! We are working on trying to engage him in helping us put on his clothes and take them off.  This new talent is very impressive.  What is also funny is that Tommy used to do the exact same thing.  Arms out, but head still in. 

Speaking of Occupational Therapy-- Joey has a new therapist on his A-Team.  And, what I think is super exciting for Joey, is that his new OT is a guy.  One of the reasons I like this is that Robb is very firm with Joey, he uses signs throughout our session (we are both learning more signs!) and it is a different tone of voice and personality for Joey to be exposed to.  We are now going to private therapy for speech, OT and physical therapy every week now and we are working hard and playing hard to help Joey meet new goals and as always-- to become his best self.  

Any advice on stopping a 22 month old from biting would be greatly appreciated!!!  Happy Monday!

Coming up on Friday-- Joey's Heart Day celebration!!!  One year ago-- June 8, 2011, he had his open heart surgery.  More to come!

Also more to come-- getting Joey ready for his Nystagmus surgery on both eyes.  Okay.  He is totally ready.  Getting us ready for this unexpected surgery we learned about today.  Ugh.  Happy Monday!


  1. Joey the stripper! That is awesome about all of his progress. We use "stop" in stead of no as well. Ellie will saunter up to forbidden items and say "op!" before getting into them.


  3. I came to see if you'd had any great advice on stopping the biting too. Claire is 2 and half and such a biter. We have good days, even weeks sometimes, and then awful days. Our newest thing (besides time out and telling her how biting hurts) is saying no biting, just kissing. If you can remind her in that instant before she bites, she can sometimes stop herself. Biting is so hard! On me, her sister and the kids at daycare.


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