Friday, February 27, 2015

Teaching Maxwell to Read

I fell into the trap of thinking that he would just fit into the Abby mold and pick it up like she did, naturally, as a Psych degree holder you would think that I would've known better than that. Big surprise that Maxwell didn't fit the Abby learning how to read mold. He didn't want to even attempt to, which scared me, but I'm a worrier. I love being able to be in my kiddos' classrooms and being involved in that way in their education.Being in his classroom I've learned techniques to use with him at home, like: echo read, word groups, listening to books. It's CHAMPION to be on the same page with his teacher.
One week that I was in his classroom, I saw Max reading Captain Underpants to his friends. His excitement was contagious. 
We've found that Maxwell will put in the effort to read these books: Captain Underpants,  Comic books, & STARWARS. It's a start.I do remember that when I was doing literacy workshops for KUED for parents the information said to let them pick what they would read.
He's catching on, even reading everything while in the car. It's been quite the process, but worth it.
When we are at church we bring a churchbag with some paper and crayons to help entertain the kiddos. A few months ago, Max showed me what he'd been working on, he wrote a  Halloween book about the costumes. He was very proud to show me the illustrations.We took it to family dinner, where Amber Shaffer, Lex's sister-in-law commented that he may be a writer,  instead of a reader. I'm happy that he could be both now.
 He's constantly looking  for shortcuts to be able to crack the code.Not wanting to follow rules or to work too hard.
it takes time. I kept telling him, but really was reminding myself this fact.
I got him STARWARS phonics books at the library. I was so excited that one Saturday morning instead of sitting in front of the TV, he brought the books to me and asked me if he could read them with me. I almost cried with joy.He wants to read fast, getting ahead of himself. A CHAMPION  problem to have. 
I was looking on GROUPON, a weakness of mine. I've had to learn to check with Lex before I buy anything.I saw and didn't buy, I'm proud to say, a pack of Tshirts, one of them said, "World's Okayest DAD." After this learning curve with my Maxwell I felt that I could've gotten away with someday owning one. One of my lines that I always tell people about my kiddos is, they're a lot of work, but worth it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My 2015 New Year's Goals Review:

I cannot remember where I heard it, I think that it might have been on a Dr. Oz episode, but was appalled when I found that by the end of February, a mere two months into the new year, that most people have forgotten and, or given up their New Year’s resolutions. This is my attempt to keep mine alive.
My wheelchair free year isn’t as free as it could be, but it’s a step in the right direction, freer than 2014. I’ve used it at the school on Tuesdays, but did walk during their jump-a-thon and at church for the past two weeks. One day out of seven isn't to shabby.On President’s day Lex used her day off to help me get it repaired; with a new axel, a casualty of our Disneyland trip with new tires and bearings too. When I had Cole-Cole home sick with me the other day we went to feed the ducks at the parkway near our house and it felt like s new chair.
Getting back to the temple, have you ever felt close, yet so far away from something at the same time? As a “recovering perfectionist” a term I get from the book, Am I a Saint Yet? I understand that I’m a work in progress. I will get there and am excited for the desire of my heart to be evident in my life.
I told my Pa that I need to schedule a time with him to come and spot me while I walk over to his home sometime this year. He smiled and said, Sometime this year? Sometime this month! He then told me that I could just walk home with him an my kiddos from church on Sunday, but after walking in church and teaching a Sunday School lesson every other week to the youth, I'm mentally not up for the marathon quite yet.
I added the goal of using George, my left hand, more, specifically to turn on and off light switches. Lex laughed at/with me a few weeks ago as she watched me attempt to do this, but kept turning the light back on right after I’d turned it off. Frustrating and rewarding. At times I’ll forget after reaching with my right hand, only to notice that the light is already on or off. I’ll flip it back to what it was before my overly anxious right hand beat George to it and do it again with my left hand.
I remembered the other goal that I had was to start to do presentation on distracted driving. I've been given permission to use the video that was done as a PR promotional piece, so please contact me if there are any takers. I still believe that if there is anything good that can come from the accident. I want to make it happen.

Monday, February 16, 2015

What I Wanted to Say in My Story Video

Peta, the author who read my blog and contacted me to do the video piece for her exhibit on distracted driving, Exit By Text sent me a list of questions that she wanted me to answer on the video. I wrote them down, but they didn't come across completely, but I am a recovering perfectionist.She emailed me and underlined here are those responses that I attempted to convey.
Some of the questions I’d like to ask you in the interview (I won’t be on the video, just you) include the following:
  1. ·         What lead up to the accident?
  •  it was a normal Sunday
  1. What do you remember from it or know about it?
  2. My first memory of after the accident or bump as we call itbwith my kiddos is my mom stranding over me making vowel sounds.
  3. What were you doing in your life at the time prior to the accident?
    was fiercely independent,  living 100 miles a minute: with full time school, a full time job, training for half marathons
  4. How has it altered your perspective on life, being a dad…?
    • My kids saved & save me, not the other way aroundWatching Abby wake up one morning, getting Maxwell out of bed now.
  1. ·         If you met the young woman who ran into you today, what would you say to her?
    • It's not your fault, I don't blame you. Live & learn from the past, don't let it hold you hostage.From A Touch of Wonder, change if only to next time. From a thought by pres. Monson,
  1. ·         You could be bitter, why aren’t you?
  • It's not noble, it's selfish,  I have enough on my plate as it isx being bitter could send me over the edge of depression
  1. ·         How did the accident affect your body and brain?
  • Humor me, i'm a Psych undergraduate B.S. Degree holder from the U of U. My right side of the brain was damagedx so my left side of my body is effected with paralysis, i've been told that I present like a person who has had a stroke, with the accompanying effect of left side neglect. Meet George & Bob
  • My progress in rehabilitation is how Dale Hull, the founder of Neuroworx put it, glacerly slow. Others see the big chunks fall off, but I feel every inch of grauting progress forwaed.

·         How do you explain to your children what dad can and cannot do?
  • Focus on what I can do, i'm not in a hospital bed or gone all day at work or school
  1. ·         Tell me why you respond “CHAMPION” when people ask you how you are doing?
  • Over 10 years ago Brother Grossen, one of my LDS seminary teachers in High school taught a lesson asking us why if we knew what we know we didn't respond with CHAMPION when we're asked how we're doing. I'm just now catching on. I want my   Kids to know that they can do hard things

Relearning to Walk Insights

Working on breaking bad habits, unlearning them with Matt Carter, my fellow Brain Injury friend and therapist at Neuroworx. It's more effective to patiently learn things correctly and not just to get by, than to have to unlearn things and have to learn the better way any ways.
Faith walking and stepping:
 weight shift onto "Bob(my kiddos named my left leg this)"
 for a "longer step with your right, Curtis!" The voice in my head from Neuroworx,  or my Pa, and any friend or family member who aspires to be my therapist(you're all so hopeful & helpful)

My relazation that when I look in a mirror and see myself leaning to the right and it feels like I'm balanced, to trust what I see and not what I  feel? Isn't this the opposite of living by/ walking by faith?

Walking to actually get some where. With the longer step with my right leg(Abby's named him, because he's obviously a boy, Ralph and not pausing after each step to reset my balance.
Starting point of pointing my feet in the right direction.

Turning off the lights at night with George and losing equilibrium because then I further handicap myself, without being able to see as well as being hemiparalized.

Get up in the morning to use the bathroom, the joys of getting old, growing up is so oveatted. I won't use my cane .This started me having the confidence to walk inside my house without it, that and talking with my Grandpa Morgan about how he doesn't use his at his home. Thanks for your example Grandpa.
  1. It doesn't just happen, just like anything else worthwhile, it takes hard work and persistance.
  2. Process of moving from one stage to another.
    • Step by step
    1. Desire
    2. Effort
    3. Consistancy
    4. My confidence has to wax strong
Paradigm shift:
Who knew that it was all a mental battle? (Lex knows that everything is one to me.)
      • from I cannot
      • to there's a possibility.
      • I don't want to
      • This is hard
      • I'm scared
      • I finally want to.
      • i'm going to try and even if I fail, I'll be better off than before,
      • to look what I can do! And what's next? 
      • My thespist Mikey told me that I was doing, "better" with the exercise of getting of the floor in case I fall at home. He then asked me to do it two more times. He said, "why stop at better when you are able to get to "best?"
      • My evolution better to best:
        1. No wheelchair on Saturdays when we lived in West Jordan
        2. No wheelchair in new house
        3. No cane  bouts"
        4. Cane-fee home
        5. Unassisted step in my livinroom and steps with cane instead of someone's shoulder out in the real world
        6. Next step: Walking to my parent's

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Environmental Psychology

was the name of one of the classes that I took up at the U of U for my BS degree. I remember that before I decided to drop the class, it conflicted with another one that I wanted to take, I went to a few lectures that were about how city planners, civic engineers and architects used shapes, Geometry and light to influence the feeling of a place.
One of mine and Lexy's friends heard about me being trapped at home and unable to drive myself, so she volunteered to come to my home once a week and bring her kids to play with mine and give me some adult conversation. Antoinette did this, she said because she had been on bed-rest for a few weeks and understood what it was like.
It was CHAMPION to have her over and I love the perspective she has on life. she is one of those positive people that enters a room and you feel of their energy, speaking of environmental psychology.
I would frantically attempt to clean up for her once a week visit. I told this to her and made a joke about how you need a room in your house that is kept clean for the Home and Visiting Teachers to come and sit down in once a month. Sh gave me a courtiousy laugh and told me that she tries to keep things clean because she noticed that she was less stressed in a clean environment.  Once again someone else is better able to put into words something that I have always felt, but didn't know exactly how to say it.

Friday, February 6, 2015

My story video

Exit By Texts did this video of me so that I can be a public speaker to compliment the exhibit. Here is the link: