Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Our week - looking back and a little ahead.

We've had a busy week - we'll it feels that way anyway.

Last week-end, we had sweet friends come to visit.  We stayed up too late talking and got far too little sleep - but it was fun to have uninterupted time to talk.  We hosted a year end Awards banquet for our Keepers of the Faith group on Saturday.  The children all did a fabulous job in working on the badges for the year.  Pretty soon it will be time to start up again. 

Here is a picture of Isaiah with a mosaic picture he made and earned a badge for this year.

We also enjoyed a Mommy-daughter tea party with friends.  The girls did a great job (this is one of the badge that they worked on this year for the Keepers group.)  It was fun having some girl time and the boys enjoyed having some of the treats.

This week feels full with therapy since we had none last week!  Here is a little of what we are doing.

Speech - Eliana is making good progress.  She has learned a new sign - music.  Not surprising given her interest in music.  She also signs "more", "milk", "eat", "hi" and "bye" pretty regularly.  She has signed "ball" and knows how to sign "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes".  She doesn't get all of the signs for the songs, but does a pretty good job! 

We are focusing on "biting" and "blowing" skills to try to strengthen the muscles around her jaw (that she uses to open and close her mouth).  This will help with articulation and eating.  We will continue to play games, use signs and talk about everything with Eliana.

Feeding - Eliana is doing well with eating.  She eats mainly lumpy baby foods and some table foods.  She is getting better at tolerating textures and likes a wide variety of tastes.  She is still not drinking well from a cup and takes a bottle during the day.  She is healthy and growing well.  Her OT commented that she would soon graduate from feeding and we will begin to focus on some other things in addition to eating during this therapy time.  Way to go Eliana!

Occupational - Daniel loves going to therapy!  Its a fun play time for him.  He is doing so many more things - things that he was afraid to even try 6 months ago.  It is fun to see him taking risks and learning to try things.  All of this is related to his sensory issues.  He is making slow progress with eating - very slow.  His OT told me that it will probably be a slow and long road for him. 

One of the down sides of this is that it affects his potty training.  *sigh*  I could use prayers for patience.

The things we are working on with Daniel is trying new foods.  For him this means first just smelling a food and then moving on to licking it.  Yes, licking it.  It's a step, a small one, but a step in the right direction.  We have been trying to focus on fruits and he has been willing to try a few new ones.  He is also supposed to be helping cook, spread foods and in general be around food helping as much as possible. 

Other work for him includes sensory activities involving "messes".  He does not like to get his hands messy.  Neither do I.  We've been a good match in this regard.  *sigh*  We both need to get out of our comfort zone. 

He has also started listening therapy - 15 minutes once or twice per day.  Five days on and two days off.  I don't really understand it, but a good friend has also recommended this and I'm happy to try anything that might help our sweet boy.

Physical - Eliana is learning to walk!  I know I already shared that - but  it feels so good to say it!  Today she took 10 steps.  Yes, we are counting.  Not always, but often.  We had started using "TheraTogs" to help strengthen her muscles.  Getting them on was a wrestling match.  I can't say if they really helped as we only used them a couple of times.  Here is a photo of us trying to put them on.  It took several helpers to entertain and several to help attach the many pieces of velcro!

Her PT worked with her on lots of games/activities today too.  We are needed to add more structured time to our day.  Teaching her to begin and end an activity.  Puzzles, stacking blocks, scribbling on paper, fingerpainting (yuck!), coins in a slot and more.  I'm going to get down a small chair and table that we can make into a place for her to do her "work".  Structure - something I can see benefit in, but definitely goes against my "go with the flow" nature. 

The PT is tracking her progress on a chart and told me that she has emerging skills in the 12-15mo range.  Not bad little girl, not bad!  :-) 

Other things going on here:

Preschool Activities in a Bag - I'm organizing a swap of these bags.  We have 28 participants!  What fun it will be to get all of these new bags!  I'm looking forward to having them and know that Daniel will be thrilled!  He loves the bags we have now and will be very excited to have some new ones.  I think that these will be great for Eliana down the line too.

Quilt Swap - I'm not participating in the swap, but just coordinating it.  It's for the FIAR curriculum.  I've participated before and help to moderate the group.  I'm hoping that all goes smoothly and quickly.

Field Trips - I'm working on scheduling field trips for our homeschool group - along with 2 other gals - for the upcoming year.  I love getting it all done now so that we are free to focus on other things during the year.  We schedule them approximately 2 per month (every other week) and work to tie them in with our curriculum.

FIAR group - Just getting things started with the new year.  Updating phone lists (someone else has this!), planning mom's meetings, and organizing our Family Event. 

Keepers of the Faith - Again, planning for the upcoming year.  At the moment, we are trying to find a date for planning and then will select topics and teachers for the year.

Family Time - We are hoping to go to the beach sometime soon.  I think that children and I will go down ahead of Roger and he will join us when he is able to.  We are planning around weather and are thankful to have the flexibility to do this.

Planning - I'm working on making my planner for the year.  I enjoyed my lovely - but huge - planner last year, but am hoping to trim it down to what I really need.  I'm going to take the day Sat for planning courtesy of my sweet husband!  I'm excited about having a day - uninterupted - to plan things out for the year.  I still need to purchase some curriculum, but hopefully will have all that done soon.

Cleaning and decluttering - Just happening in my dreams.  lol  I've made a small dent in the attic - but have a long way to go.  Now the rest of the house ... sometime.  ;-)  I did take some curriculum and books to the local homeschool store last night!  Yippee!

This is long - and hopefully not too boring.  Have a great week!