May, 2005

Yesterday Sam went to Wimpole Farm with Håkan, Uncle Björn, and Auntie Lena. I think they had a lot of fun. Sam discovered the little toy shop also and came home with a pair of binoculars and a "korkpistol" (cork gun?) whose sound Nina is now getting used to. ;) Sam really likes the binoculars. He also really likes to wear my glasses; he can keep them on for a long time. I wonder if there's something he likes about seeing the world fuzzily.
When they all came home Sam had a little down time and then it was off to Focus as Auntie Lena felt our garden needed a bit of help (quite right). Sam rode in the police car toy twice. They came home bearing plants and then it was time to garden. Well Auntie Lena and Uncle Björn made quick work of it and within the hour our minigarden had received a fabulous facelift. :) Thanks guys! Sam helped out with some watering and cleaning, and Nina and I supervised some of the work. ;)

Nina continues to love watching the helicopter mobile. She also keeps having good conversations with everybody. I think she is also noticing that H. speaks a different language. A couple nights ago she listened very intently as H. read "Pannkakan" to Sam before bedtime. She is pretty fascinated by Håkan in general really. :) I'm trying to give Nina more tummy time. She is more into mouthing so we got the play mat H. made down out of the crawl space so that she can mouth something that's not our scary wall-to-wall. Nina is still having tummy pain pretty much every evening although it was better today, maybe because it's Sunday. I think maybe my tiredness at the end of a weekday rubs off on her. She continues to outgrow her clothes. One funny thing she does is, whenever I put her on the changing table, she tries to sort of crab walk. She makes serious attempts to get purchase with her feet. It's very cute.
We are still going to Barnabees but now we only go for the free play hour and I stay with Sam. That is working pretty well although it's hard to have Nina too, especially because there's this one girl who goes there who can not leave Nina alone. But every now and then Sam has even played a bit with some of the other kids. So I think it's worth the trouble.
Lauren very kindly sent me an OT questionnaire that she then scored. It indicated that Sam has serious trouble with auditory processing and some trouble with his vestibular system. Lauren suggested swinging to help with the vestibular piece. Sam sure has been enjoying that, especially spinning in the park with Pappa. ;) (I'll have to get a pic someday). I've been trying to use clear language and I've been upping the ASL as well so he gets the message visually too (his visual skills were good according to the questionnaire and that fits with my assessment too).
A woman at Barnabees leant me two books about the gluten-free casein-free (wheat/dairy-free) diet and its positive effects on kids with ADD or anywhere along the autistic spectrum. So, I gave it a try for a few days. My basic take: it's too difficult and Sam got fairly cranky. So instead I'm going to try to keep wheat and dairy to a minimum and cut out cookies. Hey, it's something.
We've also been going over to play at DeeDee's almost once a week. That has gone pretty well too although Sam was a bit hesitant on Friday. But he got over it to the degree that he and Joe did good turn-taking with a fishing game. We went out and got our own and it has been very requested since its purchase. :)
Beth L. got Sam a lovely book about being a big brother that he really likes. He keeps trying to do all the things the big brother in the book does with Nina. Very sweet.
We still haven't completely worked out how to transport two kids. For now I'm carrying Nina but that probably won't work come September as Sam has an afternoon place at Brunswick nursery which is probably a 15 minutes walk away. Hmmm...
One very sad thing happened this weekend. Sam went with Håkan to Sainsbury's yesterday. Sam at one point tossed his much-loved fire engine baseball cap on the floor. Håkan says that it was there for 10-15 seconds before he realized it and then it was gone. He asked twice at customer service and I called them after H. and Sam got home but although one family had seen the cap being picked up, no one turned it in. :( H. says if he ever sees it downtown, he "pities the fool." (well, ok, he didn't put it quite like that, but that general idea.) It is really sad that people would be like that but I know it happens. I know of a little girl who lost a much-loved stuffed toy in a store not too long ago so it definitely does happen, but it sure seems wrong. So we are mourning the loss of Sam's cap but who knows, maybe we'll get a chance to go to a fair in Vermont ourselves this summer, and if so, we'll get two...