Tuesday, June 30, 2009
He uses his version of what animals say for both the noise an animal makes and the name of the animal. So, a dog says uh-uh and a dog is uh-uh. Except for my parents' SWD, he learned her name (Emma) and says it all the time. He won't say Mollie's name to save a life even though he can say both "mama" and "ollie" so he ought to be able to manage it. Similarly airplanes, airports, and the noise airplanes make are all the same sound "brrrrfpt." Some of it is, I think, just being stubborn. He says "gogo" for Grandpa, but won't use a word beyond "eh" for Grandma or GG (what we call Will's mother).
Lately the big thing has been learning his colors. He can say yellow, blue and (sort of) red and green; and he recognizes all those four colors and will pick them out and say his words for them if you ask. He also knows black, sort of. We're also working on recognizing and naming feelings, with an emphasis on happy (he'll say "happy, happy" but I'm not sure he's connected it to the feeling yet exactly) and sad. He is fascinated with pictures of people crying in books (e.g., the boy in this delightful book who cries because his pet kitten is hungry but won't eat the piece of birthday cake he is trying to feed it).
One really nice thing about this learning to talk is that now we can talk about what happens in the stories. This is neat. If you ask Liam what happens in the kitten/birthday cake story, he can pretty much tell you with his funny combination of words, sounds, signs and gestures.
One of the strangest things about raising a child is the realization that you really do have to teach them all this stuff: colors, feelings, names of stuff, numbers, letters, and those are just the easy lessons to contemplate. It's something.
Will is doing okay. The testosterone shots aren't making as huge a difference as we had hoped, but they are helping. He's starting to feel a little congested, so that's a worry, as always. The patio is done except for cutting the half blocks for the edge and putting in the edging. We'll get to that whenever, I guess. Similarly, the kitchen is basically done except for painting (who knows when that will happen) and patching the floor (also not likely to be a near term priority). So, we're enjoying our new spaces and all the sunshine we've had here lately. I'm off to Hanford at 0-dark 30 tomorrow, so Liam is at my parents' for the night. Sure is quiet without him.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
In the kitchen, what remains is: set the rest of the cabinets (this is mostly two small fill in base cabinets I got to, well, fill in after all the cabinets we already had were moved around); put the counter top on the rearranged cabinet areas, we're going to reuse the counter top we tore off a part of the "old" kitchen; put up shelves for mixing bowls, etc.; re-hang the pot rack; paint; figure out a way to match the tile or do something on the small new area of floor where the back stairs used to be. That's it, I think. I hope. Outside, it is mostly sweeping sand into the cracks between the new pavers and finishing the edges of the patio which will involve renting a special saw, I guess. Liam loves the patio. Previous to this he wasn't allowed in the back yard really at all because it was dangerous, filled with junk and I didn't like to go there. Now he can't get enough of it! We owe great thanks to grandpa DM, grandpa DH and the amazing Auntie Chris who worked and worked to make this a reality for us. Thank you! I'll post project pictures soon.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I will spare you a photo of my new crappy hotel room. One airplane ride and 300 miles of driving and. . .what appear to be exactly the same atrocious drapes as the last place. Oh well, at least Wenatchee offers the prospect of bringing home crates of fresh cherries and apricots and who knows what else on Friday evening.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Will had a somewhat productive doctor appointment today. The endocrinology doctors have decided to treat for primary hypogonadism, basically, low testosterone. This is most likely brought about as a complication from chemotherapy and/or just as a result of all the health challenges Will has had over the past years. So Will will take replacement testosterone shots once a week for a while and see if it makes him feel better. He's hopeful this will address a lot of the fatigue and mood problems. Let's hope.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Will goes back to endocrinology on Monday to see if his para-thyroid and related levels have stabilized and to get some more testing to see if there's anything going on there contributing. Hopefully they'll see something fixable. It has been a pretty tough couple of months, and Will certainly feels crummy. He has been reading Denis Johnson again and told me the other day about a story about a double amputee who was in a nursing home but not because of the amputation, "he was there because of extreme sadness." I think Will can relate. (I think the Denis Johnson stories are amazing, but mostly unrelentingly sad. Also, I was really surprised not to find anything more interesting written about him to link to; you'd think there would have been lots of stuff from when he won the National Book Award, but. . .not.)
Today, though, was a pretty okay day for Will, I think. Did some things around the house with all the house projects. Went out to dinner with Liam and me and then to the park and for ice cream and running around after. So, we'll take that and call it good.
Then, decide to be Liam again and ask to go see the real kitty. This is a lovely cat named (confusingly) Bunny who lives around the corner but sometimes comes to visit at our house and always rushes out to be patted by Liam whenever we walk by, which is about 4-5 evenings a week. But not tonight, because it was already 7:15 and we had played (a lot) at the park after dinner and it was almost time for bed, not time for a walk.
Explain to Mommy that it is really, really important to go see the kitty right now. Say please (a lot). [Liam makes the “please” sign by patting his hand on his chest. You can see the actual ASL please sign here, which is also the place I go to learn new signs for Liam.]
Have a fit when Mommy says: honey, we’ll go see the kitty tomorrow; now is time to either play in the yard or go inside for bath. Make it a really big fit, befitting deep disappointment at 7:15 PM.
Ask one more time to go see the kitty. Omit the please.
Calm down when Mommy suggests that instead we go into the garden and eat pea pods. Eat a lot of pea pods and all the strawberries. That’s it!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
PS -- photo is from a week ago; pre the kitchen rearranging project that has taken over the house.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
We will spot him, but we don't help him up; I figure tree climbing is one of those things that you should do only however much of you're really able to do on your own. I remember my olden' days of climbing and hiking and scrambling (although they get dimmer all the time), so I'll occasionally try to give him ideas along the lines of "what if you put your knee here?" but that's about it. So far he can get one knee and one foot up on a branch that is about chest high on him, but he hasn't figured out how shift his hand to a higher branch so he can steady himself to stand up. He'll get there. I'm sure by next year we'll have him up in the top of the tree with the pruning shears. Photos are from last weekend.
In other news, great progress was made on the back patio today thanks to Grandpa DM and the workers, Travis and Allen. All old concrete is gone. All the sod (about 350 sq feet of it) is gone and the whole place is ready for the water pipes to go in and then the planting beds and then the pavers. I think it could be done pretty quick after all. Thanks Grandpa DM, we can't wait to sit out there with you in the evening and drink a glass of wine while we watch Liam run around! Thanks also to Grandma KM who kept Liam all day and then fed us all a great dinner this evening.