Summer’s end

Today was a perfect weather day (high 60’s), but cool enough that it makes me fear the end of summer is coming to a close. We have spent more time outdoors this summer than we ever have since Matt and I have been married (nearly 9 years). We go outside, set the stroller up, and Noah taps it because he is ready to get in and go for a ride. He knows how it all works :) He seems to really enjoy being outside and seeing puppies (big and small), smiling at people, and taking his books for an outdoor “read”.

We have found a new way to ride this summer! (Bike trailer/jogger for all four seasons, notice the pull down cover in the picture below).
All set for the long early morning run. Noey is set with toys, books, drinks and a banana for entertainment! (I’d love to switch him places halfway though).
We have been using his new communication device for motivating tasks. Recently, he has been into play-doh (specifically the tools that accompany the PD… for example, you shove PD inside a person’s head and hair comes out). We have set his device to say “squeeze”, so once he pushes it, we squeeze the dough out. I think Mattie and I forgot how fun it is to play around with PD.
Baby patches :)
I don’t get nearly enough of these afternoon naps on my chest anymore (since he’s nearly half my size). I cherish these moments with my little boy. I tell him every single day that I will hold and hug and kiss him everyday of my life, no matter how big he grows.
Walking around at the gym with the big guys playing basketball. We are constantly seeing improvements with his gait and mobility. I think his shoe inserts for stability are most definitely helping. He’s slowly, but surely figuring it all out in his own time.
“Hey Mom, 
Dad and I were chasing balls, playing with a frisbee, chasing the big kids, and screaming really loud!”
At Trader Joe’s, they hide a bee each week for kids to try and find. If they find it, they get to pick out a free snack. The sample lady gave us a good hint, so we went and found it and Noey got his special treat! A big yummy apple!
My first try with my new donut pan. Vegan Pumpkin donuts with maple cinnamon icing. Not bad!
Matt and I LOVE trying new coffee shops, it’s what we do… Our best entertainment! This past Sunday we found a cute little spot downtown that we checked out called Java’s. Noey was SO excited for his little treat. I was taking my time (purposely) taking the saran wrap off, and he was SO anxious! The whole joint could hear his little eager squeals :)
AHH! Hurry, mom!
We have been working on dipping with Noey. This is a fine motor skill that builds on gross motor. Let me explain: In order to have controlled distal movements (handwriting, eating/dipping, coloring, etc) you have to have a strong core (proximal). Distal is referring to “away from the body” (arms, legs, fingers, toes, even speaking) whereas, proximal is considered the core of the body. Here he is dipping pretzel sticks in peanut butter. He does it in his usual unique manner… But, he gets it done and is so proud of himself! Not that I need to say it, but, we are continually proud of our dear child.
Matt doing a little hand over hand to help demonstrate the proper method.
 I’m sure that I was one of those people who would have claimed that “I will never use food as a reward”, because food is intended to nourish and protect. Ha, looks like old Briana had no clue about how to get things done! Food is motivation, for young and old. Food still will nourish, but it will also serve as a wonderful teaching tool.
This is a little something I was excited about today! BULK BINS at Wegmans! They recently renovated the Wegmans (the best grocery store… better than whole foods… that’s saying something) by our house… But, crazily, they neglected to put in a bulk section :( Today, as Noey and I were crusing the aisle, looking for our usuals, we ran across this glorious sight! YIIPPPEE.(The store worker that I expressed my excitement to didn’t appear to understand my joy… But, Noey did! We clapped together!)
Today, we started a new tool in speech therapy (with Jeanine). It’s called interactive metronome, you can read more extensively about it here, if you’re interested. I can try and simplify it for you though! It’s basically a computer based program that is used to improve a child’s processing abilities, like attention, sensory input, motor planning by using a repetitive sound to improve rhythm and timing. Originally, it was created to help athletes with reaction timing and later was used on children with ADHD, CP, Auditory processing disorder, etc. Jeanine described it by saying that it can help to create new pathways in Noah’s brain, which help to make tasks easier and more streamline. We feel really optimistic about trying something new and different. Noah was really receptive today as she introduced it to him. Parts of it will require that he wear headphones, which will be a bit of a struggle for him (MOM, NOTHING CAN TOUCH MY FACE/HEAD… glasses/patch). We are so  thankful for our devoted therapists and their willingness to think outside of the box for Noah. 
These past few weeks we have been looking into 2 day developmental groups for Noah to attend this fall. It would be the equivalent of a preschool for younger children that focuses on different skills in a therapeutic environment. We have until next Thursday to decide on a good fit for Noah. Currently, he is attending a one day parent developmental group, which has gone just swimmingly for us both! The new challenge will be him attending this group on his own, twice a week! I may take it harder than him :( I guess it’s time for me to find a hobby (for 4 hours a week)!
Speaking of hobbies, I have signed up for a class, something that I haven’t done for quite a while! This fall I will be attending a training course through the Rochester Area Vegan/Vegetarian Society (RAVS) and Strong Hospital. We will be going through the basics of Plant Based Eating and a Vegan Diet. We will learn cooking techniques, going through research articles, reading books (my favorite) and I will get all the nutritional information that my little brain can hold (plus, it’s led by doctors, so it’s legit)! I am beyond excited! I haven’t had something that I have been so passionate about in a long time (outside of Noey, but that goes without saying). I am really looking forward to meeting other like-minded folks and finding out how I can be more involved in the RAVS and how I can be a part of this wonderful movement.  A little “me” time, right :)
Matt has officially started his fall semester as of last Tuesday. He is a course coordinator this fall, which is a new responsibility for him to undertake. In other words, he will be organizing a weekly meeting of the minds (other professors) who teach the course he is leading and discuss topics/issues/etc. He’s a smart boy and I’m so proud of all the work that he has accomplished for us all. 
I apologize for the long update, but lots of great things coming for our family. We are encouraged and joyful.
Lastly: A wonderful video of Noah dipping his pretzels in PB the other night. 
A very happy birthday to Gramps Mark tomorrow! We love you dearly.

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