Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Birthday Wish!

It looks like Anna will get to make a birthday wish this year!!

Once Anna learned how to blow on a flute and her harmonica, I made it our (my) goal to get Anna to blow out her candles on her cake this year on her birthday.

We have been practicing blowing on our fingers. We have been practicing blowing on a pinwheel, and she has gotten really good at blowing bubbles during therapy.  So, tonight, we decided to practice with a candle...

Oh, what will she wish for?!?   I know my wish has already been granted. =)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Potty Time?

So, the other day, Anna came to me, signed "potty", and then grabbed my hand and led me to the bathroom.

She obviously wanted to go potty, so I took off her diaper and set her on the toilet with the little potty seat.

She sat there for a bit, and then signed "book".

So I went and got a couple of books, including her current favorite, "The Little White Duck".

I started to read, and it wasn't long before she signed "potty" again, and then signed "stinky".

Ok - "Stinky" isn't really a sign, but when I change her "stinky" diaper, I always pinch my nose and shake my head and say, "Stinky!"  So, that has become her sign for going number 2.  The funny part is that Anna's "stinky" sign looks a whole lot like her sign for "flower". =)

Anyway, after she signed "stinky"and "potty", she went!!!

Then she signed "all done" and asked to get down.

Seriously?!  I couldn't believe it.  Until, it happened again the next day!

I really had no idea that Anna could do this, and I am pretty good about knowing what Anna can and cannot do (yet).  I was completely flabbergasted that 1) she clearly communicated via sign language what she wanted, and 2) that she knew what to do (including the book - ha!) once she was on the potty.

So, is it potty training time?  I think it might be.

Anna definitely knows when she is going "stinky" and can communicate it, but she doesn't seem to know (or care) when she is peeing.  We will have to work on that.

I am not one to force potty training.  I prefer to wait for the child's lead.  Ok, take that back..I pretty much forced Charlie - or bribed him is more accurate.  He was a late trainee, but he mastered it within 2-days once he decided to do it.  Paige, on the other hand, had a fascination with the potty early on, so we just went with it.  It took her a little longer, but she was trained much earlier.

Anna may be ready, but I am not sure I am.  Anyone who has potty trained a child knows what a humbling (and tiring, and frustrating, and messy) experience it can be.  But the reward is soooo great - right?

Anyway, stay tuned for more possible adventures in potty training coming soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Don't Hate Me 'Cause I'm Beautiful (Dance-A-Rama!)

Paige had her final dance class yesterday.  At the end of the class, the girls gave us a little performance (2 actually -- so it was twice as cute - and funny!)

The song they used was "Pretty Girl Rock" by Keri Hilson.    Appropriate for 4-yr olds?  Questionable.  But the girls were clueless to most of the lyrics, so I won't harp too much.

Keep in mind this was a little 6-week (45 min.) rec. department dance class for pre-schoolers, so it is far from Broadway.  And, this was supposed to be an intro to all types of dance class (ballet, jazz, hip hop, etc.) I think it is mostly hip hop, though. Either way, it is, ummm, entertaining?

Enjoy the show!

Ha!  I think my favorite part is when they are walking forward and back and Paige looks like a turkey or a peacock.  Too funny!  Definitely saving this gem for future boyfriends! =)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March! March! March!

Anna finally has her new orthotics.

She has pretty much been without them since Thanksgiving because her old ones were just way too small.   Her old orthotics fit a size 4 shoe.  Her new ones -  a size 8!  Anna has done just a little growing over the past year. =)   Then, we had to go through a lot of red tape with the insurance company, had weather delays and scheduling conflicts in making the appointments, but...we have them now!

Since she has been without orthotics for so long, and has basically never walked in them considering she didn't really start walking until around Thanksgiving, she was not a happy camper when I first put them on.  In fact, I don't think she walked for the first two days...just crawled.

She has gotten used to them now (fortunately!).  They really make a difference in the way she walks.  They force her to lift her knees more and be more deliberate about her stepping.

In PT, we have been working on marching and stepping over obstacles.  In the video below, you can see that Charlie and Paige wanted to get in on the act as well.  They got out my metal measuring cups and spoons and had a little parade =)

And, once again, we went with the Converse All-stars because  1) they are really cute, and 2) they open up nice and wide to be able to get the orthotics into them.  I might have to get her a pair in every color !

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Day is Coming...

The day that Anna turns 3 is coming.
The day that Anna turns 3 and ages out of Early Intervention is coming.
The day that Anna turns 3, ages out of Early Intervention and starts pre-school is coming.

And it is coming soon!

One month from today, Anna will turn 3...our Tax-day baby (do you have yours done, yet?).  Anna will start pre-school on Monday, April 25, the day after Easter.  We have spring break the week before, otherwise she would have started then.

Ever since our initial meeting with school representatives, this inevitable day has been looming on my calendar, and in my mind.  I am not sure I am ready for it.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself" - Matthew 6:34

I am not a worrier.  In fact, my husband gets upset with me because I often show no concern about a matter that should concern me. And, it is not that I am not concerned - I just don't outwardly worry about it.  I see no point in it.

And, it is not that I am worried about Anna starting school.  I know she will love it.  I know it will be great for her.  I know it is the right thing to do.  I am just having a hard time coming to grips with putting my sweet angel on a bus with her not really knowing what is going on.

I had no problems with Charlie going to school, and will not fret when Paige starts Kindergarten in the fall.  They are ready.  They know where they are going, what to expect, and they are excited about it.  Anna doesn't have a clue...and that is what bothers me, not that my baby is going to school (I am also not an overly emotional person).

I am sure it won't take long for her to "get it" and be excited about it as well.  Over the past couple of months, Anna has made huge strides in her cognition and communication.  She is so much more engaged in conversations and activities, and she seems to be making a real effort to communicate.  Her signing is beyond impressive.  I have lost count of how many signs she knows, and uses appropriately.  She has been trying to learn her animal sounds.  Current favorite: the Rooster  - cock-a-doodle-doooo! =)  And her babbling has really taken off.  Now, if we can only get real words out of her =)

Yes - school is the right next step for her.  I know all this.  I just have to get my heart to accept it.

I know that God will be with her and protect her.  I just have to remember to trust in Him.

"Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." - Psalm 55:22

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Whole Lot of Fun, and a Healthy Helping of Hope!

This past weekend, the Bigs (Charlie and Paige) and Jonathan and I went to Lake Placid, NY for a little ski vacation.  We had so much fun!

Charlie and Paige both did AWESOME at skiing this year.  This was only their 2nd time, and they both really learned a lot!  They did lessons for one full day, and then another half-day.  Their instructors were great, and you can see the lessons really paid off.

The next time we go, Charlie will probably be ready to move over to the big mountain.  Paige still has a little work to do, but I dare anyone to try telling her that.  Her response to when we suggested that she follow us down the hill to work on her turning: "I know how to do it, Mom.  I like to go fast!"  Yep! That is our little daredevil!

Here is a little video montage of our ski weekend.

Oh, how I wish we could do that more often!

Anna didn't make the trip with us because she is still too young for skiing.  Instead, she stayed with her Grammy and Papa, where she was showered with attention and love by them, and by her aunts, uncles and cousins.  I am pretty sure she didn't miss us a bit -- but we missed her TONS!

As Jonathan and I were riding up on the gondola, we wondered aloud to each other if Anna would ever be able to ski and join our family in this super fun activity.  We plan to make skiing a regular winter activity, and we can't imagine Anna not joining us when she gets old enough and strong enough.

And then, God answered our unspoken prayers and gave us a HUGE helping of hope!  Sitting in the lodge having her lunch was a young lady named Mia.  Mia is a 12-yr. old girl with Ds.  She is in a club that skis every Saturday.  We talked with her grandfather who was there with her this weekend and he told us about how Mia is doing and how much she loves skiing.

She looked so much like Anna with her long straight braids.  And, maybe I was just really missing Anna, but I just wanted to give her a big hug.  But, Jonathan said that just because we have a kid with Ds, that doesn't give me the right to touch her - ha! =)

It was a really, really great weekend...and, now we are ready for summer!