Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Summer 2013 In Photos

This summer we experienced family; friends here in TX; over there in Washington state while Thomas was at the 2013 Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria; traveling; beaches; sleep deprivation due to fussy Orion; checking off items on the list of places to visit and things to do; etc. Every summer we notice the kids have grown in many ways.

We were not able to see everyone we wanted to see, we got so busy! We'll see you on Facebook and finally, next summer.

These are just some of the sights, friends and family; many were left out as the Internet is not our old-days living room slideshow review. 

Enjoying a fast-melting Ikea cone.

Skyler practices typing on the Perkins Brailler.

I'm glad Skyler insisted on taking Orion down the slide. 
They did at least 20 times together! (Austin, TX)

Orion and I in our precious shade at Silver Lake (WA).

We visited with Christine "Coco" Roschaert, a Deafblind globetrotter 
extraordinaire, motivational speaker and advocate. 
Photo thanks to Christine "Coco" Roschaert.

Orion at Bothell's Blyth Park overlooking the Sammamish River. 
His great-grandpa John Byron Lightfoot was born in a house not far from here. 

Orion got a kick out of the hole Skyler dug part of the way to China. 
(Brackett's Landing, Edmonds.) 

The kids and Uncle Jack at Brackett's Landing, Edmonds. 

My best beach finds! 

One of the usual Brackett's Landing sights: ferry, water and sunset. 

Just 2 hours and 40 minutes' drive north from Bothell, WA takes us to Vancouver, BC.  Skyler and Tasia have passports from when we went to the 2009 Deaflympics in Taipiei, Taiwan; we used Orion's birth certificate for the border crossing.
The kid pile and I get to see dear Jodi!
Photo thanks to Jodi Birley!

Air is coming out the top... You know those floating ball dancing in the air due to sitting on strong air flow? He loves blown air and breezes so this was a hit for him, motivating him to stay standing. It lasted a good 2 minutes! 
(At TELUS World of Science, Vancouver, BC.)

During this moment he alternated between tippy toes and feet flat on the ground.  This photo still amazes me. Orion looks so different standing vertical! I love it.

Yes, museums inspire kids in many ways!

View outside TELUS World of Science. 

We lounged around at Kitsilano Beach. We had very warm and beautiful days every single day we were visiting.

*Eyes inhaling the sweet view of mountains and water*
Behind Anastasia: trees on the left is Stanley Park; the high-rises is downtown Vancouver.

Orion usually enjoys snacking on a red delicious apple. Small and medium sized  apples are excellent for grab-and-go food for anyone.

Skyler awash in blue light from the beluga tank at the Vancouver Aquarium, which is in Stanley Park. 

A Stanley Park sight. Anastasia was in awe, looking up at the horses.

I just had to introduce the kids to the totem poles.  I've always loved Haida artwork and designs.

Hollow Tree, along our Stanley Park perimeter drive. 
Vancouver, BC, we'll be back! 

Orion changes his mind about giving back Skyler's lollipop.
(We're back next door in Washington state by now.)

Cousin Amanda gets married! 
Fun procession, beautiful dress, handsome Brandon.
(August 10, 2013, which is the 10th anniversary of Thomas and my wedding.) In the photo: Orion, Grandpa Dan, Skyler, me (Heather), my brother Jack, Gramma Hildy, Anastasia, Amanda and Brandon.

Skyler and Orion checks out planes at the Museum of Flight. 

Orion LOVED the hurricane simulator! I vaguely recall the speed was up to 60 m.p.h.  I know he would love one permanently installed in our house.

What the video doesn't show is Orion becoming really upset when the fan stopped.  So, trust me, if you want to give him a tricked-out fan, he will enjoy it thoroughly!

Back in Texas, the kids took in a lesson on horsemanship and went on a ride in Wimberley. 

It started raining at the end of the session. (Rain is welcome in Texas!) 

A barn kitty checks out sleeping Orion. 

We played at the Blue Hole with friends in nearby Wimberley. 
Skyler gets ready to go on the swing as Anastasia watches on. 

Last but not the least- Thomas, Orion and I at the Blue Hole. 
Photo by Teri Montgomery Hammen

Next post: Back to School!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Orion's Third Birthday Party: Photos and a Video

We hosted Orion's 3rd birthday party at a pool on his actual birthday, July 19th.  (Many thanks to T.S. for helping with the cake time photos!)

Happy 3rd Birthday, Orion!
 Orion's name is tactile via glued yarn as well as brads punched in as braille cells for each letter.  The "Happy Birthday" banner can be used for anyone's birthday.  The birthday kid has his/her own name banner.

Devil's food cupcakes!

Orion as his latest birthday casualty awaits candle lighting.
We make a point of giving him an extra candle (green one in this video) when it's time to light up his cake! Check out this link to his 1st birthday party photo- he's checking out a candle.

Skyler and Anastasia blow out the candles.

Sugar-loading siblings.

Animated Orion on the pool "beach" with spray features.

Two of Orion's classmates came!

The girl was leading the boy by his hand around the water features.  So cute!

The Withrow boys

I think Orion had an exciting afternoon. Do you agree?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nose-Wiping and Head-Bumping

Driving in our van back on September 16th, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw Orion wipe his dribbly nose with the back of his hands. Ewww!! Just then I caught myself, "But he can!  Yayyyy!"

I never thought I'd be so thrilled my kid can wipe his nose with his hand.  Nevermind about using tissues!!  That is the next skill to be excited about: nose-wiping technique 2. (1b would be him using a sleeve.)

Fast-forward to me bumping Orion's head against something.  He rubbed his head where I bumped him. I rubbed it, too. We took turns rubbing the area. He didn't cry.  He thought about it. Still, he didn't cry.  

The next day, Orion rubbed his forehead the same way he rubbed yesterday's owie. Headache? That, along with other cold related symptoms, brought us to our clinic's after care. We got him antibiotics for a sinus infection.  Fluid (not infection) was also seen in his left ear. 

I'm wondering if we are getting somewhere regarding communicating where Orion is hurting. It's frustrating for me to try to solve the mystery of whether something is a behavior thing or if he's not feeling well and if that, where is he not feeling well or hurt. I have been signing "HURT" where/when I know he has an owie but was unsure if it made sense yet to him or not. Deafblind kids learn through routines and we don't want to be hurting them every day, right?! :)

Orion enjoys toddler Lego bricks in his own way at this month's free mini-model build night.