Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kenneth's first wave bye-bye

I almost fainted and no I did not have the camera ready. As Kenneth got off the bus today, he did what he always does -- he said bye-bye to the driver, Ms. Brenda, and watched as the bus drove away (we have to wait until it is completely out of sight). Only this time he WAVED!! He held his left arm up and moved his hand up and down at the wrist; something he has NEVER done before.

Life is good. God is good.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Family Photos - Fall 2008

We took a much needed respite from Dallas and went to see the family in the Arbuckle mountains in southeast Oklahoma. This is our third "fall reunion" and it was wonderful. As you know, our summer was unbearable, so fall is always welcome in my world. Blessings, Gina

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bathtime with Abuelito

video

Back to school - Fall 2008


Kenneth returned to Lakewood and we are so happy with his progress to date. He really blossomed over the summer months; his teacher aide even said, "Kenneth is a different kid now." I think she is grateful for less tantrums and crying. So are we :)

This is Steeler country

Go Steelers


Okay so I haven't ordered a bigger t-shirt for him, but Kenneth was in full swing with his "Terrible Toddler" towel as he watched the Steelers with daddy. Don't they look cute?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Our little sweet potato


This is one of my favorites from the summer. I don't even want to say how long I held down the shutter to get this one great picture.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008

Kenneth's First Word

Well it's official. Kenneth's first word last week was "Hi." If you are wondering, "why didn't she call us?", it's probably because I was waiting to make sure he used it multiple times and it wasn't just a one-off. So an entire week has passed and he is saying "hi" to everyone. Life is good :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Reflections


The last few weeks and weekends have been filled with activities. Two more support groups have found their way into our lives and I'm feeling more connected to the local Autism community. Amidst the meetings, workshops, and therapy days, I find quiet pockets of time to reflect on how far we've come. Kenneth is blooming like all the beautiful spring flowers around us. We are so fortunate. His fourth birthday is around the corner and like every parent, we naturally look back over those early days. What a blessing. What a gift. What a joy he is.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Brightening the day



March 31, 2008

Mrs. Waterman,

Would you mind if I commented on Kenneth and his general social behavior
in the school? I would love to mention how he brightens everyone's day,
and the comments the principal has made (she loves walking him in from the bus because he's so eager to get to class, and it's the best way to start her day).

Ms. Young
Special Education Teacher
Lakewood Elementary

Monday, March 31, 2008

Kenneth and "Ollie"


He got this owl from Highland Park United Methodist Church. We were on the waiting list to get into their "NightOwls" program; basically respite care. So they gave him this owl and he loves it. He has never shown interest in stuffed animals for fun... it is very cool.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

World Autism Day - April 2nd

CNN is broadcasting "Autism - Unraveling the Mystery" on Wednesday. This broad, deep examination of autism is being featured online and on CNN, CNN International and Headline News.

Check it out at http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2008/news/autism/
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We know Kenneth will lead a productive and independent life. Pray for him and all who are affected by this condition.
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Sand table



Kenneth loves his sand table. We had it in storage for months since he wasn't really interested. Then I filled it with rice to see if he'd like it. We are now in sand-land. I tell him "it's just like Galveston."

Happy Spring!

Well I finally got a weekend where I could focus on planting my pots on the porch. Kenneth was supposed to be helping me water the flowers, but instead kept trying to drink from the pitcher.

We've been busy the last two months and I hope my pictures can catch you up. We took a short trip over spring break to San Antonio. I love that place. I always feel so relaxed down there. Anyway, Kenneth did fantastic with all the stairs along the riverwalk; he did not cry or whine once! He had a more difficult time with sleeping at night. Two out of the three nights were a loss. We came back exhausted.

So it's good to be back home...sweet...home.

Kenneth in enjoying church and all the activities. We just had a date night this Friday and he loves going. We drop him off with dinner at 6:30, mix with the other parents, then go off on our own until 9:30. It's a great chance for us to not only get some downtime from Kenneth's routine, but reconnect with each other. I am really grateful to have this.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Kenneth sings a new song

I'm not sure the exact date since I'm writing this in late March, but Kenneth had me reeling when I asked him to repeat a song I just sang. It was "Ring around the Rosie" - a song he's always loved. Here is a video clip of him singing...
video

Friday, February 22, 2008

Valentine's party

Nose, Head, Tummy, Feet

I am still in disbelief... our little Kenneth is recognizing four body parts now. It is SO exciting because, like so many other things, it seems like we have been working on this forever. I was changing his diaper Thursday and when we were through, I asked him, "where is your head?" He promptly touched his head with his hand and looked straight at me. My first reaction was to scream and pick him up celebrating--then I asked him to repeat it. And he did.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Balls and beams

We had an amazing day at PT. For the first time, Kenneth kicked a ball with intention. He did it like he's been doing it forever. Funny how that seems.

He also had a banner day with the balance beam--going across 5-6 times without falling off (with Jacob holding his hands). It was great to see.

We are seeing so many progress signs this week. I feel truly blessed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Body parts

This weekend was the first time Kenneth touched his tummy when I asked him to. I was so thrilled I cried. He also recognizes his nose, although it looks a lot like the sign for "eat". I'll take it :)

Adjusting the braces

We had an appointment with the orthotist yesterday about Kenneth's braces. The last time we met, he said it might be time to try cutting down the SMO (calf-high left brace) and seeing how he does. So we agreed to try it and so far nothing major to report. I'm supposed to keep an eye out for toe-walking again. If that happens a lot, we'll have to revert back. We have a followup appointment in a month.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

School Recognition


Kenneth was recognized last week for his great progress at school over the last 6 weeks. Here he is with his fellow classmate (Eduardo) and teacher (Ms. Amy) getting his certificate. They were both excited to be in the auditorium with all the other kids. It was fun to see them get up there.

They also got a Super Stallion chain from the school (Lakewood's mascot is the stallion).

Speech Class


Kenneth with Courtney at Speech.

Exercise Class


Kenneth on the balance beam at physical therapy (aka exercise class).

Eat, Drink, and More

We are adding "Eat" and "Drink" signs to Kenneth's repertoire. He is still stuck on "More" so it may be a slow road. I have to hold his left hand down to prompt him to use his right hand only. Usually he gets it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Morning hugs

Now you all know I'm not a morning person, but the gentle embrace of Kenneth's little arms around my body makes me want to be a morning person ;) There is nothing else like it.

More snacks please

Yesterday during snack time, I asked Kenneth to show me the sign for "more" as I do every chance we get. Out of no where, he put his hands together, almost as if clapping. It's the first time ever he has brought his hands together. I stood there in disbelief, so I asked him to do it at least 10 times more. ha! And he did. I can't wait to tell his speech therapist.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Snack n' nap



Kenneth enjoying a snooze on our sofa. Seems he owns it now...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mmmmm...

Mmmmmm... is a simple sound really. Until you try and get Kenneth to repeat it. Courtney did just that -- about 3 different times yesterday. She would mouth the sound and put his hands up to her face to feel the vibration. The first time she did it, Kenneth stopped what he was doing and immediately gave her feedback -- the same sound at the same pitch. It was incredible. I wish I had my video camera with me. I'll have to pack it up for next week. We are seeing some great things now. The favor of God is with us.

PT Milestone

We had a fantastic day at PT and speech yesterday. You remember me jumping for joy over last week's 2 minutes of not holding on during treadmill time? Well today he did a whole 10 MINUTES! Jacob and I were like, wow, is this the same kid? This is a major milestone for us; it has been on Jacob's goal list for some time and yesterday he did it.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ch.. Ch.. Changes

Happy New Year! We are getting ready for some major changes at the Waterman house in 2008. Ken had the unbelievable luck of receiving two great job offers in the last 3 months. Though we are still in the "thinking about it" stage, this will be a major shift for all of us. I try not to focus on the challenges we still face with Kenneth but it is hard not to consider them. After all, I will be tasked with recreating our whole infrastructure of doctors, therapists, teachers, playgroups, etc. Not to mention finding work myself.

I know everything will work out in the end--this isn't the first time we've moved. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead because with them are great rewards. Here's to 2008!