Sunday, May 30, 2010

We've Added Tools

Anna has been self-feeding herself with her fingers for about a year now, so I decided it was time to finally introduce some utensils.

We tried a couple of times with a spoon, but I couldn't stand the mess. So, I decided to move on to the fork where the food wasn't some form of sticky mess.

She is doing quite well. She knows what to do with the fork, she just has a little trouble getting the food onto the fork. Probably because she likes to hold the very tip of the handle instead of gripping it properly.

And, she seems very interested in using the fork (maybe because she likes banging it on her tray). She even protested when I took it away so she could finish eating before we had to leave.

My goal is to have her feeding herself well with a spoon and fork by the end of the summer. I am hoping that we can do some meals outside where I can just strip her down, and then hose off the deck (and her) after she makes a huge mess =)

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm Leaving On a Jet Plane...

By the time this posts (don't you just love scheduled posts!), I should be somewhere over Western Jersey or Eastern PA. Most likely I will still be stuck on the runway at Newark, but at least I will be alone!

Not that I don't love my husband and children...we just all need a break sometimes.

Where am I going? I am headed to Boulder, CO to meet up with some of my good friends that I went to college with (Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!). We have a relaxing weekend planned, and then we are all running in the Bolder Boulder 10K Race on Memorial Day.

It will be low-key, and a great chance for me to recharge. And, I am really looking forward to catching up with my friends. It has been almost 3 years since I have seen any of them (they all either live in Denver, KC, Florida, or Chicago)...and A LOT has happened since then!

Pic from last time I saw everyone at a friend's wedding

Soooo, I hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day Weekend! I check back into reality late Monday night.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Chair

"Well, excuse me, but I think you've got my chair."
The Chair, by George Strait (yes, I am country girl!)

Anna got a chair for her birthday.

And so did Paige.



Charlie is now wondering why he didn't get a chair for his birthday. We told him it was because he did not ask for one like the girls did. He asked for Star Wars toys.

(6-yr. old)Charlie's response: "I didn't know it was an option!"

So, Charlie, being the clever and resourceful boy that he is, came up with this solution. =)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Splish Splash!

Summer weather is upon us, so it is time to break out the water toys!






PS - Anna does have a swimsuit (about 5 of them thanks to hand-me-downs from Paige and cousin Eliza) - but she just wouldn't wait and had to get right into the water =) The kid loves her baths too!

Monday, May 24, 2010

IFSP

We have been enjoying some beautiful weather, and therefore I am outside and not on the computer as much. Anna has been enjoying playing in the yard. Now that she can crawl properly instead of on her belly, crawling around the yard is a little easier (on her belly, and on my laundry!). Here she is enjoying the sunshine and the grass =)

Anyway, last Friday we had Anna's IFSP. For those who don't know -- that is the meeting where we meet w/ all of Anna's therapists and her service coordinator to set goals for the next year and plan out how we hope to achieve those goals.

As far as IFSP's go, this was fairly painless. We really have a great team of therapists who are working hard to help Anna reach her full potential. There wasn't as much talk this time about Anna's developmental age (unlike last year), which can really hit you hard if you are not prepared for it. Instead the focus was on what Anna has accomplished and what we think she should be able to do in the next year. We also talked a little bit about her transition to pre-school (gulp! I am not ready to think about that yet!).

For now, we are going to stick with our current therapy schedule...Developemental Intervention (DI) 1X/week, Physical Therapy (PT) 1X/week, Speech Therapy (ST) 2X/month, and Occupational Therapy (OT) 2X/month.

Actually, that is our plan, but we currently do not have a PT. Anna' PT moved to Alaska =(. We miss you, Miss Catherine!

So, for now, Miss J, Anna's OT, will be coming weekly and working on PT stuff. This is only temporary, until the agency that provides the services hires another PT, or we request that our service coordinator look to another agency. We are fine for now, but if it is a prolonged situation, then we will want to make a move because Anna really needs PT.

One of the new things that her therapists suggested as something to try is Listening Therapy. Anyone heard of it or tried it? My understanding is that it is basically a set of CD's that you play for your child (older children would use headphones), and it is supposed to help train their ears to listen and be more attentive. Since Anna is really not making any strides in her speech, we figured it is worth a try.

Also, we still need to get Anna's hearing evaluated. I have been putting it off because she has been so congested since January, but her ST thinks it is always a good idea to rule out hearing as an issue. I mean, we know she hears, but is she hearing all the sounds and pitches that she needs to be able to help her develop her speech? We shall see!

So, look for lots of posts soon about Anna's new skills and accomplishments! =)
------------------------------------------------------
Updated: Yes! We love Baby Signing Time too! In fact, Anna has picked up many signs and uses them regularly and appropriately. We are just concerned because she is making no effort to make any sounds for the words that she regularly signs. We are hoping that it is because she is focusing on her gross motor skills right now...but we want to do what we can to encourage both.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sleepy Girl

After a couple of late nights and busy, busy days...Anna just couldn't wait to fall asleep! In fact, she couldn't even wait to lie down to fall asleep =)

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's My Party...

Paige certainly knows how to celebrate a birthday.

I often worry about Paige getting lost in the mix. She is the middle child and her birthday falls right in the middle "Birthday Madness" around here, and just before Mother's Day.

But, this year...Paige got it right. She had a birthday celebration that lasted for a couple of weeks.

On the Saturday before her birthday, we went to the Spring Carnival in town.

On the day of her actual birthday, she took a special treat into school, and then after school, she went to lunch with some of her friends.


And Saturday, Paige celebrated with her cousin, Eliza (who will be 5 on Tuesday!). The girls got pedicures, and then had a fun dinner at Dave & Busters.





Hope you had a Fabulous Fourth Birthday, Paige! =)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Flying Colors!

Charlie came through his surgery with flying colors.
He got a little sick from the anesthesia, but otherwise is recovering quite well.
Praise the Lord!





Under Things

Anna loves to crawl under and through things. It is a good thing she is flexible!





And, if you could keep our little man, Charlie in your prayers today. He has to undergo a small surgical procedure. Nothing serious, but hospitals are never any fun!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

When you were growing up, did you ever say, "When I grow up, I am never going to be like my mom" -- or something along those lines?

I am pretty sure I did. And, in the end, I am pretty sure I am a whole lot more like my mom that I care to admit.

But, as I think about it, turning out to be like my mom is not such a bad thing. She is a strong, independent woman who can take care of herself. She is smart, and courageous, and an awesome cook! She is a woman who loves her family, and makes sacrifices to take care of them and make them happy.

Yes, if turning out to be like my mom means my kids will remember me and things that I do for them like I remember my mom, and the sacrifices she made for my and my sister's happiness, then I will have to say that being like my mom is the definitely the way to go.

There are two incidents that I remember from growing up that really puts my mom's love into perspective. There are others, but these two, specifically, come to mind.

The first was when we first moved to Kansas from Indiana. When we lived in Indiana, my sister and I played softball all summer long. We each played on about 3 different teams and travelled all over the place on weekends for tournaments. We loved softball, and were therefore, devasted when we moved to middle of nowhere Kansas (Liberal, for anyone familiar with the state) where there really was no youth softball program at the time. My mom hunted and searched, and finally found us a team to play on that was out of Dodge City, a mere 80 miles from Liberal. But, my mom would drive me up there twice a week for practice and then all over the state of Kansas for tournaments on the weekend. Seriously, I can't fathom the idea of driving my kids 20 miles for something that is unnecessary, let alone 80 miles.

The second incident that I remember is when we went shopping for my prom dress. Ok, the style when I was in high school (I am going to date myself) was really gaudy, brightly colored, full-length sequined gowns. The gown I fell in love with, which I am totally embarrassed by years later because it was this three-colored, full-length sequined gown, with one cap-sleeve and asymetrical hemline, was pretty expensive. But, my mom knew how important it was to me. So, she pulls out this roll of cash that she must have saving for awile, and pays for the dress. Then she gives me a little wink and tells me not to tell my father =) (Sorry Mom, secret's out!) I don't even know if thanked her at the time because I was such and arrogant teenager...so, thank you for the dress, Mom!

And, thank you for all the sacrifices you made for us. Thank you for always being at our all of games, concerts, banquets. Thank you for being class mom, and active in the Booster club. Thank you for hunting down and helping me fill out countless scholarship applications. Thank you for putting up with a bunch of whiny girl scouts on our camping trip. Thank you for making me come home from my slumber parties at 9 am to vaccuum (wait...I still think that was insane, but I am sure you had your reasons). Thank you for driving us all over the country for various events.

Thanks, Mom, for always putting me and Heather before your wants and needs. I am in your shoes now, and I know how hard that is.

Have a Happy Mother's Day! I love you and I thank God for you everyday!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Prayers for Sweet Ella Grace

One of our dear friends, Sweet Ella Grace, and her family need our prayers. Ella is just beginning her battle with Leukemia, and needs our support.

Children with Down syndrome have an increased risk of developing Leukemia. Ella was born with Transient Myeloproliferative Disorder (transient leukemia), which gave her a 30-50% increased risk.

Many may remember Ella from the Anna and Ella World Tour. She is a spunky little thing with the greatest facial expressions in the world. If you are in need of a pick-me-up, just a quick glance at Ella's blog will have you smiling at all her adorable pictures.

We love you Sweet Ella! We know you are a fighter, and so is your family. But mostly, we know that God is faithful, and in control.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Movie Stars!

JibJab movies always make me laugh. I couldn't resist the opportunity to make a Star Wars movie.

Click on the link below to enjoy! =)

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Starring Charlie (Luke Skywalker), Anna (Han Solo), Paige (Princess Leia), Jonathan (Lando Calrissian)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Paige!!

Today is Paige’s 4th birthday!

We love her because she always has something funny to say to make us laugh.
We love her because she wants to be independent.
We love her because as independent as she thinks she is, she is still our little girl.
We love her because she cares so much about others – especially when they are sick or hurt.
We love her because she loves to sing – especially songs about Jesus.
We love her because she puts on the best “Ballerina Show” in the country.
We love her because she can produce tears on demand.
We love her because she has the cutest, crooked little smile.
We love her because she loves her sunglasses.
We love her because she is curious about everything, and will likely destroy something in the process of her investigation.
We love her because she wants so badly to do "therapy" with Anna.
We love her because she always wants to "help" cook.
We love her because she can't stop talking, even if bribed with candy.
We love her because she thinks a stranger is just a friend that she hasn't yet met.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful, independent, caring, emotional drama queen! We love you so much, and as much as you drive us crazy at times, we know that life without you would be D-U-L-L!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Break Out the Gates!!

Anna has learned to climb the stairs!




Tomorrow is Anna's PT's last day (she is moving). Won't she be thrilled! =)