Saturday, August 18, 2012

Our Olympic baby is 4

and he isn't a baby anymore.  "I BIG!"



He was born 08/08/08 at the time of the opening of the Olympics in Beijing.  After a fairly normal birth and first few days, he sure had an interesting first few months.   Fortunately he's been healthy ever since and his pancreas has been doing its job.  In the last year he has really grown up.

Now he can take responsibility for more things.  He can dress himself, put away his clothes, buckle his own seat belt, clear his place at the table, and put away toys.

Isaac's communication skills are night and day from where they were a year ago.  Last year he had little more than a handful of words that were decipherable and maybe a dozen words more that he was trying to use, but we couldn't understand.  He started speech therapy just after his third birthday last year and began a preschool speech therapy class in February.  The speech therapy has done wonders for him.  When he first began his voice was very high pitched because he was straining so hard to get the words out of his mouth.  He'd also mostly given up on trying to make us understand a lot of what he wanted and needed.  Instead he became very adept figuring out ways to get it himself.  He was a master of finding, climbing, and opening difficult things.  He was also a master at temper tantrums and meltdowns, having several of those every day.  A lot of his difficult behavior stemmed from his inability to express himself, I believe, since he has mellowed so much in the last year.

Initially, to encourage Isaac to communicate, the speech therapist gave him a picture exchange book, PEC.  Isaac quickly figured out that putting the pictures in a certain order on the strip got him the things he wanted.  This was a great break through for him and in short order he was requesting TV shows, books, food, the park, and even tried to get ice cream for breakfast.  I had to say sorry charlie for that one!   Over a few months as his language skills improved, he realized it was faster to speak what he wanted than to get his book, find the pictures, and place them on the velcro strip.

Now we can understand much more of the things he is trying to say.  He is less frustrated, his pitch has lowered, and vocabulary has exploded.  We've discovered that he knows his colors, ABCs and sounds the letters make, shapes, emotions, and names of important people in his life.  He has started to use past tense, make up short stories, and use contractions lately too.  His sense of humor is starting to sparkle through and he makes simple jokes and laughs at them.  However, he still does struggle in making his sentences understandable.  When Isaac adds words together, he often loses enunciation.  So, he still has a ways to go, but he has made tremendous progress!  We are so proud of him!

Isaac wants to be BIG, sometimes big like Daddy, sometimes big like his brother and sister.  Wherever they are and whatever they are doing, he wants to be in the midst of it.  When Jonathan taught Matthew and Melissa chess, Isaac wanted to play too.  When Matthew makes his oatmeal all by himself, Isaac wanted to make his oatmeal by himself as well.

Isaac also loves all things electronic.  He isn't afraid to play around with the computer to find new programs and games.  He especially enjoys puzzle type games.  When the computer isn't available, he is happy to play on the kindle or phone.  Sometimes his curiosity has led to him to delete things or copy programs we don't want him to, but as long as he is playing with his own username the damage is minimized.

I am excited to have a big 4 year old in the house and I believe 4 will be even better than 3!

The tepee his Grandma Ellis sent him.  All the kids love to play in it.

Isaac riding his new plasma car.  Again his present was a hit with all of his siblings.

Checking out the cool new Ants in the Pants game that Aunt Kirsti and Uncle Brian gave him.
Aunt Andrea and Uncle Jeremy also gave him a fun game of making faces.  Right up Isaac's alley.  

Grandma Linda gave Isaac an Indian costume and bow and arrow.  Isaac immediately wanted to put it on and test the bow and arrow.

Pingu cake as Isaac requested, made out of two round cakes.  I got a bit behind on party prep, so the cake was quickly iced and not as smooth as I would have liked.

But Isaac liked it anyway.

We had fun with Uncle Jeremy, Aunt Andrea, and Gwendolyn at the inflatable bouncing place before breaking for pizza and cake at home with Aunt Kirsti.  Thanks for coming and making the day special for a very special little boy!

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