Sunday, November 24, 2013

Noah's Dream House

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The Engineering Department at CU Boulder is building the ultimate playhouse for both Noah and his little brother.  Really the first of it's kind - a playhouse that incorporates play features a typical child and a child who has special needs so that they can play alongside each other.  The lower portion will be "Noah's Cave"  the upper portion "Luke's Loft."  I had a chance to see pieces of the project and I'm just in awe of the talent and time that these college students have invested in this project.  I never would have thought about half of what they have done to make this playhouse extra special.  It has always been a dream of mine to have a play area that both boys could enjoy and that would assist them in playing together - this kind of goes beyond the dream. 

The playhouse is rather large - 7 feet wide by 12 feet long and around 7.5 feet tall.  So it will be much like having a shed in our basement.  The dimensions of the the playhouse were really driven from the desire to be able to have Noah's wheelchair be able to fit through all doorways and have an adult attendant with him be able to actually stand comfortably in the playhouse.   The students have broken up the project in several teams.  One teams is handling a rock climing wall and slide for Luke, another the exterior, another for interior painting and decor, sconce lighting, paper rocks that look so real,  an airplane that will fly overhead, LED lights that Noah can control with an adaptive switch, sensory lights that recognize Noah's movement, a mailbox that will sing his favorite song when you open it, a matching shapes game that will offer light rewards if you get choices correct, and a stand for his IPad so that he can pull up and play with it in a wheelchair.  The house will also have soft sensory flooring for Noah to lay on.   We are so excited to see it all put together when it is done and then built in our basement early December.  I think the boys will just love it. 
One wall of the Playhouse

Interior Walls of the playhouse (yet to be decorated w/Jungle Theme)

Future Rock Wall

Flying Airplanes for the top of the playhouse

LED lights activated by adaptive switch

Luke's Loft and Noah's Cave

Noah's sleeping continues to be a challenge.  We still can't seem to find the true root of the additional sleep disturbances that he is experiencing.  He's just restless, but his brother is the same way, so it could just be typical toddler sleep patterning.   We weren't sure if Noah was cold in the night, so we've bumped up the heat quite a bit and are dreading our Xcel electricity bill when it arrives.  I know it's going to blow us away, and we don't qualify for LEAP financial assistance.  Noah may always lack being able to safely sleep with a blanket and he cannot move in sleeps sacks and could be susceptible to pressure sores if he was unable to move himself as much as he currently can - and even then often times we need to reposition him - especially if he gets stuck up against the side of a bed wall.  

The Christmas tree went up yesterday.  Noah is celebrating.  This is definitely his time of year.  We still have to put up his Christmas train, which I sure his little brother will attempt to place off track, before Noah has an opportunity to derail it.  Just hoping this train continues to make it another year.  It sure gets a lot of Noah abuse with Noah rolling into it and swatting it around.  But it is one of his favorite things to do.  It's hard to believe that it's almost December - and soon to be Noah's 5th birthday.  Although time seems to fly, it never travels faster than one day at a time.


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.