A first

First off, let me share a photo of LH, because he is just so cute. Last week we celebrated Earth Day with Miss L.’s school, and LH wore his green shirt to take part

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Last week, LH and I were walking to school in the afternoon to pick up the girl. I was approached by a mom who was heading to the school as well. I knew who she was, as her son had been in L’s Kindergarten class – even remembered her name! Right away she asked if LH was a Little Person. She was the first non medical person to notice. Now, I am not one to hide the fact that he has dwarfism, I am happy to talk about it and answer questions, but at the same time I don’t make a huge deal. Often people remark how small he is – depending on who it is, or my mood that day, I will either smile and nod, or explain. Sometimes I worry that I will make the other person uncomfortable if I tell them. It was weird – I was a little surprised that someone else noticed, but in a way I’ve been expecting it.

It turns out that her sister has diastrophic dwarfism. I asked her if someone had told her about LH (while we have a large school, it’s a close community, and we do have kids in the same grade – definitely some mutual friends). But no, she could tell on her own – the way his legs and arms moved when he walked, his mannerisms reminded her of her sister.

It was a good feeling being able to talk to someone about this in person, face to face. It also reminded me that pretty soon, his differences will be more noticeable. I only hope that I am strong and prepared for the day that he asks me why. He is still oblivious to his size.

It was also a reminder that there is a community right here – the LPBC. The membership form is filled out, and ready to be mailed off. And, the gracious Marla, who despite having so much going on her in personal life, has once again reached out to us. We must get together soon. I’m also thankful for the families I have met on Facebook, from all around the world. When you have a question about something that most kids don’t worry about, like head size, or leg bones, it’s nice to have people who understand and have gone through it.

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Another speech post

At our last speech therapy appointment, the Speech therapist did another assessment on LH. This is what she did back in the fall, which found him to be very delayed in words, and moderately delayed in sentence structure. The assessment in March found he has improved in both categories and now falls under age appropriate. Great news! He still drops the first sound of a word, so he still needs to continue in therapy to work on that. She suggested a 6 week break, where we would resume therapy in May.

I had mentioned to her about the stuttering. The problem is, LH doesn’t initiate conversation with anyone outside of his family – not even his preschool teachers, so they don’t hear what I hear. The therapist listened in while I spoke to him, and she did pick up a few instances where he repeated the sound, but it was nothing like he gets at home. She also noticed that there was no eye blinking, facial tension or other physical movements that went with the stuttering. She graded him a 3/10 (with 1 being little to no stutter and 10 being the worst possible).

Well, in the last few weeks the stuttering has become more frequent. Also, I am seeing eye blinking and facial tension. I decided I wasn’t comfortable waiting 4 weeks to restart therapy, so I phoned and made an appointment to go in on Monday. I’m sure this is just a phase, that his mind is going 100 times faster than his mouth but I will feel better doing something, and not just waiting around.

And just because he is so cute, here’s a photo – it was right after a hair cut and he didn’t want his photo taken…

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Whistler Blackcomb 2013

The kids are now into their third season of snowboarding. We’ve always talked about taking them up to Whistler Blackcomb, and I know D has always wanted to show the kids where he likes to ride.

With Spring Break, and D getting some time off of work, we planned a weekend away. My friends sister owns a condo on Blackcomb and we were able to rent it. When traveling with kids, a condo is so much better than a hotel room. There is a separate bedroom for privacy, and best of all – a full kitchen. We all know how eating out, with a family of 5, can get expensive. I planned for dinners for 2 out of the 3 nights – we were on a mini vacation after all, so we did eat out once. It is so much easier and faster to wake up and cook breakfast than to go out.

We got into the condo on Friday, unpacked our groceries and headed out for dinner and a few errands. Saturday, we woke up early and D and the kids headed out. We put Miss L into a day long lesson. It was pricey, but such a good program. It was her and 4 other kids. She was outfitted with a GPS unit. The lesson included snacks, lunch and – most important, lol! – priority lift access. The teacher was great and L really enjoyed her day. She passed level 3!

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After we got home, we were able to log on and see all kinds of neat stats from her day. She was a little disappointed to see the speed – we had to explain to her that it was just an average from the day, and included time that she wasn’t moving at all, like eating lunch, or moving slower, like when they played at the playground (located on the ski runs, so kids can take a break – how cool! I didn’t even know that existed!). We could see her speed graphed out and she gets up to 25km/h at some points.

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I was anxious to hear how N and D did. When the three of them ride the local mountains, D is busy with L, so N rides on his own…which means I rarely get any video footage of N. They were joined by D’s friend who is a local. The three guys had a great day – N had no trouble with the bigger mountain. I think he is now at the point of out ridding his dad (who, in his defense, is taking things easy this season as he has issues with his knee 😉). D’s friend was really impressed by N’s ability. I do believe that it was D’s friend who took these photos…

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While the kids were boarding, LH and I spent the day hanging out. Our condo was located on Blackcomb mountain – you walked out of the complex and you were right on the ski run. A quick walk down put you in Upper village, and from there it was a short stroll to Whistler Village. We set out exploring, and found a bob sled, the Olympic Rings and a playground, as well as lots of snow piles to play on and things to climb on (he is just like his big brother that way!). Here are some photos of our afternoon.

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Saturday night was pretty low key – though N was ready to keep boarding. He was disappointed to find out WB closes at 4pm, too early in his mind! Miss L wanted to go swimming, so I volunteered to take her.

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I know the pool was heated, but I was not about to join her – couldn’t deal with the cold when it’s time to get out. I was happy to sit at the side, (wearing a spring jacket, a winter jacket, gloves, scarf and hat!) with my book and beverage 😉.

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The cold didn’t bother her, and she swam until I couldn’t read anymore…

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Sunday morning we slept in and had a big breakfast. Pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns, bacon…LH wanted to show the older two the playground, so we set off for the village…

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After strolling the village, we went back to the condo for lunch and to wait until the lifts closed so we could do some sledding. Our friend was kind enough to leave a couple of sleds for us to use. LH wasn’t too sure at first – we were over in an area that was clearly marked ‘no tobogganing’, probably because it was way too fast! We moved to a smaller hill, and found a perfect run – he could do it all himself.

(The building on the left side of the photo? That’s where we stayed – cant get more convenient than that!)

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I have a great little video of LH sledding down, right at the end you can hear him say ‘More!’ I will upload it with the boarding videos (over 60 clips of Saturday and today!).

Monday was check out time. We left early so we could stop at Shannon Falls Provincial Park on the way home. I had visions of the kids being bored, and me begging for just one more photo. Boy, I was wrong! All 3 kids loved it, and we had to beg them to leave after an hour and a half. N actually asked to go back today! They had so much fun climbing and exploring. I took many photos, but will only share a few…

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(I ended the weekend with an evening out with friends and many laughs – perfect ending!)

The day after we got back, D and the kids headed up to the local mountain. They spent the afternoon at the park – so now between the 2 days I have many (many!) video clips to go through. /

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Sometimes…

It’s good to be wrong.

LH had a quick visit with the ped today, as I was concerned that his head was growing too fast. The ped measured his head, and it was much different than the number I got. According to his numbers, LH’s head has only grown 0.5cm since November – I feel so much better! So now we don’t need to see the ped for a year from today, with a check up at the family doctor in 6 months.

On another note, I don’t know what it is, but LH has been stuttering so much today! Maybe it’s because I’ve only recently been playing close attention to it, but it’s much worse today than I’ve ever heard. Will see how the rest of the day goes…

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

(And here are some photos of LH at his preschool Easter egg hunt yesterday)

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A little update…

Things are moving along in life…it’s now almost mid March. It seems time goes by faster each year.

LH is now 3.5. Can’t believe he will be 4 soon. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t remind me that he is three and that his favorite color is blue. Too cute! My favorite thing right now, is when I ask him to do something and he answers “Otay Momma”.

His speech is coming along and other people are starting to notice – his preschool teachers and his Sunday School teacher. He does still have trouble with pronunciation. Understanding him has a lot to do with context. I have noticed a bit of a stutter in the last few months. Sometimes he gets excited and really wants to get his point across he will repeat the same sound of the word 5-6 times. I brought it up with his speech therapist who did an evaluation – of course she never heard him stutter like he does at home, but she did hear some other stuttering. She assessed him at a 3 out of 10 so not a huge major worry, but something to keep an eye on. It could be just that he is experiencing an explosion of speech right now. At his next appointment she will do another evaluation, like we did a few months back to see where he is at, and from there we will decide the next steps – either continue on, take a break, or move him onto monitoring.

His speech therapy is done at the public health, so after his last appointment I had the volunteer measure his head. She got a completely different number than I get, so now I am wondering if I measure wrong and have been worrying about his head needlessly. He sees the pediatrician on Friday for a head circumference check so we’ll see.

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Ortho update

LH had his update at the Ortho today. Before we met with the Doctor, LH went for more X-rays – his legs were done again, as well as his neck (from the side and front). He was a great patient – did exactly what was asked of him, even without me standing right beside him. He got a lizard sticker for being so good.

The visit with Dr. M. was quick, but good. The doctor has no concerns with LH’s developments. He is quite happy with how things are going, though he did mention bowing of the legs will be an issue later on, but we will deal with that when it comes up. I asked about activity restrictions, and he said the only one would be summersaults. Too bad that’s something LH loves to do. He gave me two options – to continue to see him, or be followed by the ped. I chose him.

I mentioned my concern about his head growth and he suggested going back to the pediatrician as Dr M doesn’t keep track of head sizes. I called the ped, but the receptionist will have to ask the ped if he will see LH without a new referral. Not a big deal, just frustrating.

We don’t need to go back to the ortho until next Feb!

One photo of his neck…

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Oh my…

I can’t believe that we are are more than halfway through the month – and it’s been 4 weeks since my last post! How did that happen?

Things have been busy here…earlier this month LH went for his follow up hearing test. He did great and passed. I know many kids with dwarfism have ear and hearing issues, so I am thankful that LH is all clear on that. He is still in speech therapy once a week, and he is so much more verbal than he was 6 months ago. I’m still the one who understands him the most, and its definitely not 100% of the time. In speech we have worked on the ‘p’ sound and he was doing pretty well but I do notice he forgets and goes back to dropping the sound. He needs to be reminded to ‘pop his Ps’!

He goes for his check up with ortho tomorrow. At our last appointment, they mentioned X-rays of his neck so I guess that will be tomorrow. I also want to have his head measured – when we saw the pediatrician in November, his head was 52.8cm and I am measuring it at 54cm. I know everyone measures differently, but I still want to bring it up to a doc.

(To those whose blogs I follow…I read your blogs all the time, and want to comment but I do 99% of my computer stuff on the iPad or iPhone and I can’t comment from those devices. I need to spend some time on the desktop…but please know I do read and enjoy your blogs!)

A few photos of LH…(the one where he is pretending to be an airplane he was flying to his cousins house, and the one of him on the bench with his soccer ball – he insisted on a photo with him and his ball and he posed exactly like that).

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