Saturday, June 19, 2010

I've seen it work on other blogs.

As it is now obvious that I can't be trusted to post here in a timely and consistent manner let's just see if I can't ram a few blog posts worth of stuff down your bloggy gullet.

Issue the First: The Celtics.

My reaction to the Boston Celtics' playoff run of which I watched nearly every game? . . . You're living in the past man, the Red Sox are only a game out of first place. Basketball season is sooo last night. (My post in which I respond to how wrong I was here to follow.)

If the side effects are my entertainment, count me in.

Now this one definitely deserves its own post and will get one soon.

I've been thinking a lot about the ipad lately and I think Liam needs one. The interface and its portability are perfect to be used in his occupational therapy and development. With Liam's poor vision, putting DVD's on our TV to entertain him is pointless. The ipad could be positioned close enough for him to really see helping both to entertain and teach him. But more than that I am interested to learn if there has been any research into therapeutic ways to teach developmentally disabled children with identifying shapes, numbers, letters and sounds in any new and interactive ways. We often use flash cards with Liam to track his vision and help him practice his small motor skills. I would expect that pressing and selecting objects and moving them around on-screen could be used in many more positions and placements for the child. Grasping and holding can tire Liam out quickly. Pointing, touching, and sliding may make for longer work and play sessions between rests while adding to and not replacing his arm and hand exercises.

I think it could also be used in aiding communication for children like Liam. Press this section of the screen to tell mommy your diaper needs changing press the green box to say 'I'm hungry'. Press the red section after a kiss to tell Mommy that you love her too! Think Stephen Hawking but simplified. Although he can make sounds vocally, Liam's diagnosis may prevent him from "speaking" to his mom and I. He can still communicate needs and wants. He can still appreciate cause and effect relationships and I'd like to see if the ipad interface could be customized in ways that flash cards and the big buttons and switches (which we currently use) can. As he grows older I think this could come in handy.

Does anyone (out of the 4 or 5 of you who read this blog) know of any research into this, or apps for the ipad that are designed for this? I plan on asking our occupational therapist and speech therapist (who handles all sorts of ways to communicate other than speech.) if they have seen anything of the sort.

This is not a veiled attempt at justifying the purchase of an ipad. As much as I would love to go and buy one, that is an expense far too great for our budget and I don't expect to have one for years. But I've been thinking about its educational potential for Liam's future and am curious to find out more. Karin and I have always held to the same mission of nearly all parents; to give Liam every opportunity and tool that we can to help him achieve his fullest potential. If the ipad figures into that I'd certainly like to know it.

I've had similar questions regarding the wii system but the remotes are far too heavy for Liam and he's still stuck on the easy level for Guitar Hero (gotta get the pinkie finger involved kid.)

Read, Read, Read

I started the year tearing through books. A clip of almost a book a week. I haven't read any fiction in a few months now and only recently figured out why. Ever have one of those errands that every night before you fall asleep you remember that you need to do but by morning its gone and another day goes by without it accomplished? Yeah, library books are like that for me. I think I am not reading because of my guilt about overdue library books. Tremendously overdue library books. I just forget to throw them in the car in the morning to make my way there, but every night I remember.

The worst part though isn't the impending fine as I intend to make full restitution. I fully support the Library and will love giving them a bit of money the worst part is that somewhere someone may be waiting to read Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. (read her blog here) and can't because I'm a big irresponsible jerk. The book is all kinds of awesome by the way which makes me feel even worse about the whole situation.

Speaking of Librarians....

Park the car over at Makeout Point.

Please support Denver band Makeout Point by checking out their website and hopefully buying their record at itunes. The drummer (whose super hero disguise happens to be that of a librarian) is my only true lifelong friend. Some family you get to choose and even if I didn't love Patrick like a brother I would tell you to check out Makeout Point because they do in fact, rock the house.

Moving Day?

Contemplating a move from blogger to WordPress but not sure it would be to any great benefit unless I get my butt in gear and actually, you know, write a blog. If you've got any thoughts either way send them along.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Eating calories instead of burning them.

A day off from work today. All day yesterday Karin and I talked about leaving the house at the same time together today. A real treat since it hasn't happened in months, the plan was taking off to hit the gym. We slept late since we've grown pretty comfortable with our new day nurse (just in time for the agency to cut back her hours of course.) and got all gussied up in our gym clothes and headed out. Somewhere along the line our plan changed though. Somewhere between getting dressed in our gym gear and actually arriving at the gym the plan changed into going out for breakfast. A meal in a restaurant. A waitress taking our order and bringing food to us at our table?! I think we both forgot how much fun that could be.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

bad blogger.

I guess all it takes to get me to blog again is a truly terrible day. Some increased seizure activity and random fever spikes had us spending most of the day in the Dr.'s office and a trip to the hospital for an x-ray. The x-ray was complete overkill if you ask Karin and I but we completely understand the doctor's reasoning for ordering one and his need to check it off the list. We know our boy and we know his breathing better than anything. If he were having respiratory symptoms we would see it in his ventilator readings and pulse oxymeter. We shot home as soon as the films were taken knowing that there would be no need to admit Liam. The doctor called three hours later to tell us what we already knew.

The kid caught a bug. He got sick. It happens. With all of the extra information we have about Liam's body it is difficult for us to accept that we can't point to a specific cause. Guess what? Kids get sick. Happens everyday, but when that kid is on a ventilator we have to worry about x-rays and white blood cell counts. Yippee.

He's doing much better now after an afternoon of sleep anyway. We've been taking his temperature every few hours to watch for another spike but things have been just fine since we returned home. He's definitely uncomfortable and possibly in pain. I can tell because his heart rate is a bit elevated but it's nothing we can't deal with at home. The pain and fevers can both raise the likelihood of seizures though so we watch, and we hope he gets the rest he needs to fight off whatever bug he's picked up.

It's a shame I waited so long to blog. We have enjoyed a bunch of awesome milestones and events including Liam's first backyard cookout here at the house to celebrate a special mother's day and the anniversary of his initial trip home from the Nicu. We had a great time at a special private event at the local zoo for kids who have spent significant time in the Children's Hospital; and have made large steps forward in his therapy and development. All of these stories would have made wonderful blog posts (and maybe still will someday) but I get tired at night. Having an 18 month old at home is hard, ask any parent, and sometimes I have to decide between sleep and blogging. I used to think I could do both, I'm getting wiser in my old age.

G'night all.