Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Winter came early

We had our first snowfall last night...barely more than a dusting but just enough to cover the lawn and provide some wet, sticky snow to play in. The girls were so excited to get out in it...I was less than excited to get back into dressing for winter weather (especially since it isn't even November yet!)

It took me about 45 minutes to get both girls bundled up and ready to rock (I'm a little rusty!). This is the first year that Hannah is walking in the snow with her walker so her first steps were a little rocky. It was so slushy and wet that I think she was having a hard time pushing the wheels through the snow so she wasn't that psyched about moving around. But I figured out that I could pile snow up on their sand/water table and Hannah could stand at it with some sand toys and play with the snow that way. Of course with her big bulky mittens on, she was getting really frustrated trying to figure out how to pick up and play with her toys.

Hopefully we'll get our winter groove on soon and find the best way for both Hannah and Isabelle to enjoy the snow, since it seems like we might be getting a lot of it this year! We did manage to make some snow "busts"--not the full snowman, just the heads!



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Notable Quotables

The girls have SO much to say all of the time and I keep meaning to write some of the funnier/cuter quotes down but time gets away from me.

Here are a few of the more recent ones:

ISABELLE
  • Mommy, listen to my words. Understand what I'm saying.
  • I'm angry about that so I can't sit on the potty right now.
  • I want to go to India and help the Bengal Tiger. You can come in my airplane to this country (This one's the result of the one Wonder Pets episode the girls have seen about 20 times).
  • If I go to preschool and feel sad and only, I'll hold Hannah's hand (Isabelle says "only" instead of lonely. I love it.)
HANNAH
  • Did you cook this chicken, Mommy? Thank you for this dinner, Mommy (What a kid!)
  • I work up in town at my preschool. And I take care of the kids when they're sad.
  • Isabelle is my favorite sister.
  • I have a baby growing in my belly but it's not ready to come out yet.
  • Maggie is a good dog. She's an old girl.
  • Oh, there are so many things to look at here and fun projects to do!
There's so much more where that came from...it's just all I can think of right now. My girls are CHATTERBOXES. They may be able to sit in one place and play for long stretches of time which is great, but MAN can they TALK!

Birds' Nest Swing

Check out the cool swing Hannah's OT loaned us. You can get them at IKEA. We hung it in our kitchen and it will give Hannah opportunities for "rebalancing" her sensory systems. Our girl gets overloaded easily by different stimuli so things like swinging, massage and other techniques help her to dump out that extra stimulation and be better able to stay calm and focused during the day. When we put her in this swing, Hannah definitely seemed to get right in her "zone" so I think it will work. It's like what happens to her when we go for walks in the stroller. She just kind of checks out/zones out/takes a sensory break. I think we could all use the birds' nest swing now and again, don't you?




video

Friday, October 10, 2008

Big stuff

I caught Miss Hannah standing by herself today, totally unsupported, on two different occasions!!! This is such huge news that I'm a little afraid to believe it's true. The first time, she and I were playing and she let go of her walker and reached for one toy with one hand and another toy with another hand. I checked and sure enough, no part of her body was touching the walker. Then tonight after dinner, a similar thing happened. She was in her walker and listening to some music. She had her feet firmly planted in a good supportive stance and she started to clap her hands to the music. I checked again because she often looks like she's standing without support but in reality, her hip or her bum will be resting on the back of the walker. But just like earlier in the day, no part of her was touching it.

For awhile now (maybe I posted about this already?) Hannah's been playing around/trying out the notion of standing on her own. She'll be standing in front of me and just barely holding on with one hand on my shirt. Or she'll be in her walker and one teensy part of her hip will be resting on the back of it but otherwise she'll be unsupported. So now she's doing it on her own! B tried to get her to do it again outside of the walker and she did manage to stay up for a few seconds before she got too excited and arched her back and lost her balance. The best part is that she wants to keep trying and she is really so proud of herself.

I can't wait for the day when she can just stand there on her own two feet. We're getting closer, I can feel it in my bones!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Apple picking

Last weekend we took the girls apple picking at an orchard near our house. It was a warm but misty/rainy day and we weren't sure we were going to brave the elements, but I'm so glad we decided to go. The girls had a great time picking. eating apples and cider donuts, and getting pumpkins to bring home. Later that day we made a yummy apple pie. All in all, it was a really nice Fall outing with the family.







Sunday, October 5, 2008

Terrible Threes

What a misnomer: the terrible twos. At least in our family. The emotional ups and downs, whining, tantrums, frustrations and defiance have not abated since the girls turned 3. Don't get me wrong, it hasn't been ALL bad. Hannah and Isabelle are more and more fun to be around as we watch them become their own individual people with their own individual personalities, wants and needs.

But...

Interspersed with this fun are some moments of misery. And God love her, Isabelle seems to be the one most striken with these fits of "terrible-ness." You could say that she just feels everything in her world with such passion and intensity. Yeah, something like that...

Isabelle's battleground for control often centers around the potty. I'll tell her she needs to go potty, because she really does need to go, and she kicks and screams and refuses to sit down to do her business until I all but strap her onto the seat. Or after she goes when I tell her to wipe, she says she's still going and refuses to get off the potty. Won't get on, won't get off. Pretty much she won't do whatever it is that I ask her to do. It's always great fun when it happens in a single public restroom with a line of people waiting outside for their turn.

We're trying hard to teach the girls to use their words to express themselves instead of hitting, biting, pushing, etc. It's coming back to bite me in the keister now as Isabelle is also fond of telling me, "I'm very frustrated right now, Mommy, so don't do that to me," when I take her away from something she's doing. So I'm stuck: great that she's using her words, but not great that she's using them to get her way. Argh!

A lot of this drama is related to the fact that I can't remember the last time Isabelle took a nap. I think maybe it was last week some time, but I'm not sure. I keep telling myself she is no way ready to be done napping, because we've been through stretches like this before where she doesn't nap for over a week and then gets herself back on track. She is so much happier and easier of a child when she naps, and I'm a much happier mama. But I know many kids drop their nap around this age so I'm preparing myself for this possibility. If it is part of a permanent trend though, I think things around here are going to be pretty ugly for awhile until she gets used to having less sleep.

HELP!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Health care policies and the presidential candidates

As a parent of a child with special needs who depends on the health care system to maximize her quality of life, I found the following report by The Commonwealth Fund to be very informative. It's so difficult to parse through the specifics of each candidate's policies amidst all the spin, but this report and the interactive Web feature make it so simple that even I and my addled brain could make sense of it!

The report, The 2008 Presidential Candidates' Health Reform Proposals: Choices for America, describes how each candidate would seek to expand health insurance coverage, improve the quality and efficiency of the health system, and control costs.

The interactive Web feature allows you to compare the Obama and McCain plans side-by-side in 24 different areas.

Check it out!