Sunday, October 04, 2009

He said "Yellow"

After two weeks of school in a total communication (TC) classroom where the teachers use signed exact english and speak concurrently, Burke has learned his colors and the beginning of his ABC's. Everyday he asks to go to school, even on Sundays and then signs "crying" after I say "no school today".  Regardless of the day (school or no school) we sit together at lunchtime and do a review of what Burke is learning. Usually this involves him quizzing me on my colors in sign. So the other day, this is how it went: I bring out two or three different colored bowls and ask him which colored bowl he wants. Burke then points to each and tells me what color it is, then gives himself a choice of which bowl he wants (and usually chooses blue). The other day, he chose yellow and instead of doing the sign (think of a hang loose sign) he looks up at me with those big blue eyes of his and promptly says "ye-yo" for yellow...aaaahhh...that was a huge amazing step for Burke to spontaneously articulate a difficult word and do it without me prompting him over and over...I think I applauded him for at least a minute (he liked that part!)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Bug is Dead & Don't Stir Your Poop

Today Burke learned two very important"life" concepts so naturally I was inspired and decided it was a good day to start blogging again. I can't say that I'll always be faithful to blog everything or even have interesting, funny or smart ideas but I can promise that what I have to say is real, no fluff... that's my policy...

So this is how it happened...Burke has been fascinated with bugs. He knows the sign for bug, he watches a PBS movie about bugs and he will sit and watch bugs crawl around for a long's a really nice distraction actually and I always feel better when Burke is sitting down. So there was this "bug" today who found himself in the living room at the Little People House. Burke loved that bug was in the house and I think he was pretending to put him to sleep (all living creatures take naps with the exception of Burke). Before too long, Burke came to get me out of the kitchen and he was saying "nigh night bug" and wanted to show me...upon my arrival to the Little People House, I discovered that bug was laying very quietly belly up in the's true, bug was a goner. Upon further investigation, I discovered that bug had been violently run over multiple times by Doc Hudson "the hornet". Poor bug. Burke continued to say "up up" (which means wake up) and sign was then that I realized we were about to have the "death" conversation and I sickly got really excited. This was so profound, I thought to myself! My 3 yr old special needs child with almost no language was about to learn this way way earlier than I'd ever imagined...I figured he'd be at least 5 yrs old before his language and cognition was mature enough to grasp the obscure "death is not sleeping" concept. So this is what I said, "Burke, the bug is dead"...just like that! He looked up at me and said "up up" and I said "no, the bug is dead", he's dead. In a hurry, I grabbed my trusty new best friend (the sign dictionary), found the sign for "dead" and restated myself while signing concurrently. To drive the point home, Burke and I buried "bug" (who at this point was slowly moving a few of his limbs...uh oh, don't ruin this teaching moment please!) in the dirt outside the sliding glass doors. To memorialize his passing, we gave bug a small grave marker to help us remember his untimely death. Over and over Burke has been passing by the sliding glass door and peering out and signing bug sleeping, bug wake up? Then, the BEST thing happened, he signed "crying" and made a pout face with the stuck out lower lip (so cute) like he was sad...another profound milestone! If you have deaf children or even child with delayed communication for other reasons, you can understand how crazy exciting this is!! An appropriate feeling associated with an event in the right context and communicated correctly is an incredible feat and we parents wait anxiously for these moments and this is why we keep going...this is the fuel that keeps my engine burning and inspires me to blog, etc, little Burke understands an abstract concept and adds a feeling to! for the stirring poop part you've all been waiting for... At nap time we usually sit on the little boy potty and read a book. Today we read "Plop" which has cute illustrations of a bunny learning to use the potty. Burke loves this book! Today he noticed an illustration of the bunny stirring his potty with a wooden spoon. Hmmm...I wonder why we read this book?! Anyway, he's cracking up giggling and pointing at the bunny stirring the potty and I can just see his brain going a hundred miles per hour...I know he wants to stir his potty too! So I emphatically state "NO, you can NOT stir your POOP"! I repeat myself and over because this is how you teach a deaf child to listen and talk and understand, you must keep it simple and enunciate the words you want them to really pay attention to. Mind you, I only know a handful of signs and so am desperately trying to portrait that this is NOT how we go potty...I think he got the point because he didn't ask for a spoon and promptly laid down in his bed and pooped his pants 20 minutes later (which is the normal routine right now). Later my husband came up to me and said how funny it sounded to hear the words "no you can't stir your poop" coming from the closed bedroom door...thank God it was only a story!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 31, 2007...Updates!

Hey all! Happy First Birthday to Burke and 31st to Chris!

We're doing well.... Burke is on the surgery schedule for his cochlear implant on October 9th! We're so excited! He's doing well with his hearing aids but we're ready for the implant as it will give him even more access to sound for language development. He's being evaluated for growth hormone definciency and currently taking testosterone shots once a month for 3 months to help his little male parts grow :) He's stronger and has hair on his chest (haha...j/k)....actually he's stronger and is holding his torso and head much better. He still needs support to sit but can do it on his own for about 30 secs to a minute if he's well occupied. He still isn't crawling but can spend more time on his tummy and hold himself up on hands and knees...I know just one of these days I'm gonna be putting up baby gates all over the place...he's such a busy bee! (that's a nickname for him by the way...bzzzz...bizzy beeee!)
Nate is currently working on his counseling practice in the evenings and staying home with Burke during the day while I work until's going very well! Burke really likes spending time with his daddy and visa versa! It's really helped him develop physically as Nate is great at doing physical therapy stuff with him during the day. The speech and language pathologist told us he doesn't need feeding therapy...oh my goodness...we were super excited!!! Oral skills and feeding were supposed to be the area that he was expected to need the most help with...we are so fortunate!
So, we're looking forward to a trip to the Washington Coast with the Nelson clan this coming month...we can't wait for Burke's mouth full of sand and salt water :) We still have lots of appointments in preparation for the cochlear implant surgery in October. We have 2 different home visitors (physical therapy and auditory verbal therapy) coming each week along with more testing for his possible growth deficiency. Busy times! All in all, we're in good spirits and so thankful for our happy and amazing little boy who lights up our lives each and every day! praise praise for such a beautiful blessing!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Burke enjoys memorial day weekend!

Just a few cute updated photos of our boy! We're currently doing well after a big scare on Wednesday morning when Burke stopped breathing after eating his bottle. I (Chris) had to ressucitate him and thankfully was successful. he was blue and limp for approx 1 minute but started breathing again after I gave him mouth to mouth. We took a ride in an ambulance around the block to Childrens and then spent the night in the hospital but all checked out well and the tests on his swallowing and esophagus were totally normal. The experts think he was so upset and refluxing his milk so much that his body naturally shut down his airway to protect itself from aspiration. Burke bounced right back and has been fine ever since...the nurses thought he was so cute and happy in the hospital and asked if he was always this happy...the answer is yes with the exception of Wed morning :)! We're in the process of getting approved for a cochlear implant. We have approx 3 appts per week and they are pretty intense and exhausing for all of us (hence the lack of blogging lately). We hope that Burke will be approved (basically his hearing has to be bad enough to need an implant which we believe it is) and will have surgery sometime in July or August for the implant. The surgery is complicated but we have the best of the best surgeon who is one of the leading experts in our country! We've also discovered that Burke is lacking growth hormone so we'll be going to have more testing done in Endocrinology clinic and then he'll begin to receive injections of growth hormone for the next (get ready...) 16 yrs! aaaahhh...that is overwhelming but we're glad that they are catching this early so he doesn't loose inches or time for growth! Burke is a trooper and we're trying to hang in there with him...he's quite a kid with lots of personality. He's got a great sense of humor, loves to laugh and play, loves music, rides in his stroller, the wind in his face, his kitty cat, his silky green blanky, putting things (everything) in his mouth, the cool grass on his feet, stroking my hair when he falls asleep, eating, socializing and getting a bath. He doesn't like naps or being hungry and that's about it...pretty content for such an "exciting" lifestyle! :) Much love to you all...thanks for keeping up with us! Chris

Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 30, 2007

Awesome DAD!

Pictures speak a thousand words...Nate you rock!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Burke E. Nelson poses for the camera

Hello everyone, sorry it has been so long that we posted our last blog. Our schedules and appointments have kept us going day after day. Burke has been doing very well and he has been working dilgently at listening, talking, gaining muscle, playing, and growing...he's approx 15 lbs now! We're full on into the process for getting a Cochlear Implant for Burke...we think he's going to be a candidate but there is much testing to be done before they'll make a final decision. Our days are filled with lots of time spent eating, practicing our "auditory verbal" therapy, dealing with his hearing aids (which are working great but are a pain to keep on his ears and from buzzing with feedback) motor skill development and just playing and loving our time with this precious boy. He is soooo happy, content, playful, adorable, funny and giggly! His sweet little personality is really starting to show...he's totally cute! We have more good days than hard days now...but, we're still a little low on sleep and a little stressed with all of the appointments during the week. We hope that after his Cochlear Implant stuff is over the appointments will be slowing down a bit.
On another note, I should mention that these gorgeous photos are just a few of our favorites from a photo shoot that we had with our friend Jenny in Yakima. She offered to take professional photos of us and let me tell you, they turned out amazing! It was so healing to look at Burke interact with us through the lense of her was like stepping back and getting a fresh perspective on just how amazing he really is and how the hours of hard work are paying off!
Wow, it's been a long road through the winter months and we're sure glad it's springtime...the flowers and trees are in full bloom here in Seattle and we get out at least every day for walks. Yipeee! Burke loves the fresh air and all the sites and sounds on the Burke-Gilman trail! (he even likes going shopping with mommy at U Village :)) We are looking forward to a good summer...we plan a road trip to visit Nina (Chris's mom) in Sacramento with a stop in Central Oregon to visit Uncle Dave, Uncle Stealth, Auntie Shelly and Auntie Jenni (Chris's bro's and sis in laws). We pray that Burke adapts ok to the car ride (he gets a bit antsy in his car seat so we'll be making lots of stops to stretch our legs)!
We hope to post more in a few weeks when we have more info about Burke's hearing and CI stuff...keep checking in! :) Love to you all!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Papa Tom's photos from 2-19-07

Papa Tom had a fun photo shoot with Burke a few weekends ago when we were in Yakima visiting family! Isn't he the cutest?! We think so!
As of Friday 3/9 Burke weighs a whopping 14#~~ gooooo Burke! He's holding his head up much better and tolerates being on his tummy more now (our OT/PT will be very happy to hear this)! Our weekend on Bainbridge went fabulous last week...Burke and Nate had a total bonding experience as they survived a whole 24 hrs without me! Nate later told me that he realizes just how much work it is to be the only one caring for Burke during the day...he is a lot more sensitive to my needs now and knows how to be more helpful...this is great for us all! :) We took Burke out into pulic with us for the first time...went to church with our dear friends Mark & Elle (and Burke's future wife Avery) :) then out to lunch for Indian food..yummy! Burke LOVED it (not the indian food) but being out and about...he's such a social little guy! People were good and stayed away and didn't touch him...I was on high alert and had purell ooooozing out of every pocket just in case! :) This past weekend we took him with us on our monthly run to Target & Best Buy...he sat up in his stroller with his eyes as wide as saucers taking in all of the sights and sounds of the world...he really loved the TV/Speaker section of Best Buy and Nate thinks he thought the lady on the Wii video game was a real person...hehe...I think Nate wants to make a case for why we should buy a Wii for Burke's communication development then he can play with it too..hmmm...these guys...always trying to play video games no matter what age! All in all we feel so liberated to get out and about with's so much fun to show him the world and watch his reaction to life outside of these 4 walls (which are slowely closing in on us as we continue to accumulate more baby gear...ugghhh!)
This week we have a big appt with the urologist for evaluation of Burke's undescended testes (don't tell him I told you cause he'd be pretty embarrased!). He may need a minor surgery to bring them down to where they are supposed to be (hopefully no big deal but we'll see). We also have an regular check up with his pediatrician. On wednesday we have a date with our friends Mark & Elle to go to the ballet (complements of Microsoft) and our good friend Elysia will be watching Burke (sleep hopefully). Nina comes in for a weekend visit from Sacramento so we are really looking forward to a full week of fun!
Thanks for checking our blog and keep checking back for more updates!

Nelsons-From One 2 Three