Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Nov '09

Wes Is a Climber


Progress with a picky eater

Wes is a picky eater. You can offer all sorts of foods but 99.9% of the time his response is a clamped-shut mouth and frequently, now that he’s learned a new word, “NO!”

But recently we’ve had some breakthroughs. A couple weeks ago John and I got a some things from the fine eatery at Costco (pizza and a chicken bake), which we split between our two plates. Wes sat on my lap. Occasionally I would offer him a bite (see above about clamped-shut mouth and “NO!”). So eventually I gave up and enjoyed the food myself.

Then, after a few minutes, to our great astonishment, Wes reached out and picked up a piece of chicken and put it in his mouth. And chewed. And swallowed.

And then he did it again. He even tried a piece of sausage from the pizza (which took him about five minutes to chew). He didn’t eat much, but we were so glad he was willing to try some food on his own accord.

The other breakthrough isn’t quite so celebratory of Wesley’s own initiative. I learned this trick at the playgroup I take him to twice a week that’s for 2-3 year old kids with developmental delays. They end every session with a snack that’s designed to introduce the kids to new textures and flavors (again, see above about clamped-shut mouth and “NO!”). Wes usually leaves playgroup hungry.

The excellent employees there told me that sometimes to get a kid to try something new you have to force him. It’s not always pleasant, but they’re right. It works.

Last night for dinner we had pizza. I offered Wes a bite (you can guess what happened). So I pushed the pizza into his mouth and forced him to taste it. The result? He liked it and asked for more. He polished off an entire piece of cheese pizza and half a breadstick. That’s the first time he’s ever eaten pizza.

I also gave him a shortbread cookie covered in chocolate. He looked skeptical but finally took a nibble. And then ate four of the cookies in rapid succession.

This morning we had pancakes. I gave him his pancakes plain at first, but then I thought I’d try to feed him a chocolate chip pancake with whipped cream. He wouldn’t try it. But I made him, and he wanted more.

It doesn’t always work, like if he really isn’t interested in the food, but so far I’m having success in getting him to at least taste stuff he normally would just clamp his mouth closed at and say “NO!”

Nov '09

Grocery shopping goodness

Today I took Wes to Walmart. A few minutes into our browsing we passed a Walmart associate who said, “Oh! What a doll!” (She meant Wes.)

I smiled thanks and we kept on going. Not a minute later we passed another associate who looked at Wes and said, “LOOK at that cutie!”

So two people said something nice about Wes. Not totally unusual. Then we hit the produce section and a young lady looked at Wes and said, “He is so cute. Just adorable.”

And then I started wondering why he was raking in the compliments. Was it his haircut? I just trimmed his hair on Sunday but believe me, it’s not a good cut. At least it’s shorter, and that’s all that counts. In fact when I took him to playgroup on Tuesday a couple of people remarked about his haircut and said, “He looks like such a little boy!” (which is code for, “His haircut is crooked!”).

Um, yeah. Here’s the proof.

So just as I was thinking about this, while still in the produce section, a fourth person–a guy this time–comes whooshing by, obviously on his way to the checkstand. “You have a beautiful boy there. I hope you know that.” I stuttered out “thanks” as he waved and wished us a happy holiday.

We continued our shopping. I still didn’t know what brought on the attention. Especially considering it was 8 a.m.–not really Walmart’s busiest time. Wes probably received compliments from about 5% of the Walmart population.

As we passed the frozen food aisle on our way to the checkstand to pay, we were stopped by an entire family: a grandpa wearing a BYU hat, his daughter, and her three daughters. They wanted to visit with Wes.

I got Wes to wave hello, and they asked how he’s doing. Not really sure what they wanted to know, I told them that he’s doing great–walking, running, into everything. Then the mom told me that she has two siblings with Down syndrome. Both were adopted and are now in their late twenties.

We made small talk for a minute, and then the grandpa looked me in the eye and said, “You have a very special boy here. I hope you know that.”

I think I do. But if I forget, I get occasional reminders.

Nov '09

No no no!

So I already mentioned how Wesley has learned to say his first word that starts with a consonant sound: “NO!”

We’re really thrilled.

Recently he’s picked up an additional skill: saying “No!” while shaking his finger, just like we do when we’re disciplining him. It kind of shows us how smart he is, because he only does it when he gets in the vicinity of something he KNOWS we don’t like him messing with. And then it’s like he’s telling himself, “No, no, no!”

Like in the video below. We always tell him (about 1000 times a day, it feels like) not to play with the alarm clock, the phone, the lamp, etc., on the shelf next to our bed. By the time I grabbed the camera he had already knocked down the alarm clock.

Nov '09

Vampire, Werewolves, and Zumba–oh my!

One of my friends (Melissa) got me a ticket to the 12:20 a.m. showing of New Moon the day it was released. After I agreed to go I had serious second thoughts because, um, who is it that’s always dead tired by 9 p.m.?

Oh, yeah–that would be me.

But as it turned out I had no trouble staying awake, even though I was tired. Maybe it was the adrenaline from Zumba mixed with the anticipation of seeing my boyfriend, i.e., Edward. In any case, I was alert the whole movie and the drive home.

The night started with my Zumba class in Lehi at 8 p.m. I used two songs from the “Twilight” soundtrack to get us in the mood, plus I wore my vampire shirt. I used it to experiment with t-shirt cutting.

Zumba was insane that night. Usually when I get to class there are a few people lined up outside, waiting to go in once the class before ours is finished. But when I got there Thursday night about twenty people were already in line. The facility puts a cap on the number of people allowed in to Zumba, but we exceeded it. The front desk sent someone up to ask me if they could let more people in even though there weren’t any more passes. I let them in. Everyone had fantastic energy and we had a good time.

Melissa’s in my Zumba class, and afterwards she kindly let me into her home to shower (since I live 20 miles away). We headed to Chili’s for a late dinner wiith her sister- and mother-in-law.

We each wore a Twilight shirt for the occasion to appropriately profess our love (we have the same boyfriend).

We saw a lot of different Twilight t-shirts at the movie theater. And a few guys. My favorite t-shirt was worn by a guy and said, “Real men read Twilight.”

We had a few minutes to pose with our boyfriend.

And with our boyfriend’s rival, Jacob.

About the movie…it made me like Jacob a lot more. But I may have been a tiny bit swayed by his rockin’ body. And I’m not even shallow like that.

I thought the movie was funny and entertaining. Unless I was drugged over with fatigue and just thought it was a good movie. I think I would see it again.

Melissa and I agreed that the only real downer about the movie is that we see Jacob walking around for half the movie shirtless (see “rockin’ body,” above). And then near the end Edward takes off his shirt and…well, it didn’t really compare. At all.

But we’ll still take Edward over Jacob.

Did anyone else see New Moon yet?


Signs and More

Wes is two now. He doesn’t talk much but he’s gradually picking up more signs. Sometimes he surprises us with what he knows. The other day he picked up a leaf that had fallen off a houseplant and automatically started signing “Tree.”

In this video he signs Tree (turn hand side to side) and Wind (move arms back and forth, like the wind).

In this video he’s signing Dog (slap leg), Cat (shows the whiskers), Sheep (move scissor-like fingers up the arm, like you’re shearing), Horse (two fingers on top of the head like ears), and Pig (hand under the chin, fingers wiggling). In the middle of the video, as I’m trying to get him to sign Sheep, he may also be signing Grass (hand under the chin like you’re smelling the grass). I didn’t ask him to sign it, but he was watching Signing Time, and Grass was the sign being shown on TV.

And for better or worse he’s starting to make sounds that resemble words, including “No!” In this video he signs Me (touch chest), More (put both hands together), and Milk (squeeze fingers together). He also says “No” and signs/says “Head.”