Saturday, February 28, 2009

"I Love You" Hand Sculpture

Long ago, Max's older sister started a little routine with him before bed. She would tell him good night, then say "I Love You!" and make the ASL sign with her hand. Then she would shape Max's fingers into the same sign and they would exchange their kisses or hugs or grins for the night.

Over time, Max started doing it back. He can't quite make the official ASL sign, but he sticks his thumb and pinky out and makes the official Max sign. And while he's doing that with his hand, he also says, "Eeee Oooo," which is not the official English phrase, but is definitely the official Max phrase.

The nightly routine has actually morphed one step further -- Max's sister often says "Eeee Oooo" now, too! (In fact, we all do occasionally.) In return, Max often initiates the routine and offers up his hand sign all on his own. This sibling love? It's a beautiful thing to see.

I enjoy having such a concrete visual in the house. The hand itself is beautifully rendered, but I also appreciate the symbolism behind it. It makes a statement: Our house is different.

But then again, everyone's house is different, right? Perhaps there is a hand out there for you, too!

These hands are hard to find online, but you can check here for several versions.....or go check your local TJMaxx, which is where I found mine for $14.99.

(Vitruvian Collection by TMS Inc.)

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Friday, February 13, 2009

My Funny Valentine (and His Valentines)

Max helped get his Valentines ready to take to school today. I did the punching out, card assembly, and addressing; Max added the stickers and his signature.

We gave his classmates some little punch out cards that came with Pixie Stix. I bought the cards without Max's input, but knew that I wanted to get something that he would recognize. No cartoon characters or animals this year, but they've been talking about heart shapes all week in school, so these fit the bill. I also try to choose Valentines that are somewhat interactive for him & his classmates -- like those that come with scratch-n-sniff labels, stickers, temporary tattoos, play dough, or candy -- as there are non-readers & non-sighted kiddos in there. Max was all about the CANDY this year!

Side note: I was slightly concerned that he would be reluctant to give them ALL away and not be able to keep one for himself, so at the last minute I added one that said "To Max, From Max." I don't know if that made things easier or harder (or neither). Details like this always remain mysterious to me unless I make a point of asking his teacher about them. Oh, to be a fly on the wall! He's a different kid at school than he is at home. I wish they had one-way observation windows -- or, better yet, web cams! -- in his room.

For Max's teacher and classroom aides, we gave plastic heart-shaped containers of M&Ms. I had Max decorate them with stickers and then sign his name in permanent marker on the back of the container. The first "signature" was pretty funny because he really enjoyed the permanent marker sliding across that slick, curved surface; he got all side-tracked putting that nice, dark line of ink on there and sort of forgot to write his name. It was actually a fairly challenging task, with all those teeny-tiny stickers and tricky surfaces, but he happily stuck with it for quite a while! (and only tried twice to free all those M&Ms)

When I saw Max after school, the very first thing he said to me was "CANDY!" in big, exuberant signs on his cheek and a satisfied, sugary grin. :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Headband Games

(Subtitle: Who knew $1.29 could provide so many hours of sensory fun??)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

On Vacation...

I forgot to post this before I left to let you know I was going away on vacation....and now I'm already back! And a lot of stuff happened there in the middle part, while I was gone.

If I can get warmed up enough to thaw out my freshly re-frozen fingers, I will type about it sometime. But for now, I'm just gonna go snuggle with my talented little illustrator instead.

(I missed him!)