Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

Vada's attention span has always been rather impressive, that is it was up until this last week. Now she is quite the busy body! Don't get me wrong, im not complaining. You can just tell that her mind is preoccupied on how to get to point 'B' from point 'A' and then all of the way over to 'X' and back.

I know that I have been saying this for a very long time, but I mean it now.., I think walking is right around the corner for this girl! She is standing more and for longer periods of time and while she hasn't done more than two steps at a time and only a couple of times in total, something has changed. While I am on the subject of her standing, she is also dancing while she is up! It's super cute! plus, yesterday she took one unsupported side step. A SIDE STEP! If she can do that, then I think she is ready to walk, she's just being stubborn! Anyway, she seems really determined but only to do it on her own terms and in her own time. Meaning she still turns into a noodle if we try to get her to walk. Again, I. am. not. complaining. It'll all happen eventually.

Because Vada's attention span has shrunk to little to no interest when it comes to (but not limited to) seated activities she has been kind of difficult to work on learning activities with, not just with me but with her therapists as well (watch out Sara, your next!). Its been too hot to take her outside (she over heats easily and so do I!) so I am trying to be creative. I have a couple in door activities lined up for the next couple of days and with Kiliegh here, I think that were going to have a blast doing them! Stay tuned.

 We did get some playtime in today after our L.M.N.O.P. group at GiGi's and before her therapy session with Christy.

 Kiliegh, Vada and I started off playing with some of our older Learning Resource toys. For those of you who aren't familiar with LR, you should take a look at their site. Their stuff is amazing and durable! We have had the Cupcakes, Cookies and the Ice Cream Cone set for several years and they are all like they were when they were new!

I have used these cupcakes with Vada several times but she inst overly interested in them, yet. I think that they are pretty cool though. Maybe I should play with them more? They are pretty versatile with the things that they can be used for-- pretending for one, shapes and sorting, counting and fitting like you would do with a puzzle. There are shapes at the bottom of the "pan" and at the bottom of the cupcakes, so they each fit perfectly into their own spots. You can even step it up a notch and take the cupcake tops out from the "wrapper" and put them back together, again, like a puzzle. For now, were working on putting them into the pan and into the correct spots.

Playing with the cupcakes lasted maybe five minutes today, which is nothing! So we moved onto something that we knew she enjoyed playing with, the color sorting ice cream cones. 

Like the "kick stand" crawl? Also known in our house as "the one legger". Yep, she breaks all molds and isn't it fabulous!?!

Kiliegh is really good with Vada. She is patient and kind. She does the craziest of things to get her to laugh. She wants to learn new things so that she can teach them to Vada. She is everything I would want in a sister. (I have a sister (actually two) but we didn't grow up with each other, so the bonds that I get to see in my children I was unfortunately unable to experience with my own sister.)

Have you heard of Oriental Trading Company? It's another resource that I uses when I search for affordable learning and craft items. Its also where I purchased most of Vada's 2nd Birthday party items! I have another personal project that I am working on that I am using buttons on. I went to OTC to find the buttons and I found these big buttons! 

The buttons will serve multiple purposes as well. For the time being we are using them (typically with Vada's Muscle tape on her hands) to help Vada with her pincer grasp. and with the concept of in and out and underneath and on top of. Whatever it is that we are doing we say the color and most of the time we will also say the shape as well. "Oh Vada, you have the blue diamond." You have the ink star." Later on we will get more in dpeth with colors and with shapes. We will sort and categorize and we will also use the buttons to lace with! 

After we played for awhile Christy, Vada's therapist came (she also had a sweet girl with her who was doing her internship--Vada made her work!) They did something new together today. Mr. Clean "shaving cream" foam and little a little object scavenger hunt! While we were in Texas, we went to a zoo that happen to have these tiny rubber animals. I purchased on of each for this purpose! So naturally we got the teeny tiny animals out to add to the hunt. Christy brought these neon colored clear plastic animals. They were super cute too! Man, I love that toys have so many more purposes than I ever realized! Things last much longer now because we are constantly using them!

This foam was the only thing that kept Vada's attention this whole one hour session. I think Miss. K helped as well. V loves playing with her sisters and it is very rare that they participate in therapies.

After a long day of learning and playing I thought that I would give Vada and Kiliegh a dinner that they would love. Spaghetti noodles with butter. It was one of my fav's as a child and now it's one of theirs as well. 

I know, I know, not the healthiest of dinner choices but it is what it is-- a yummy dinner fit for two great kiddo's! And to be fair I do use whole wheat pasta. :)

L.M.N.O.P. at GiGi's

What's L.M.N.O.P (besides letters in the alphabet)? 

Language, Music 'n Our Peep's.

 Every Tuesday for the last couple of weeks, the girls and I have headed down to our local GiGi's Playhouse to participate in a new group called L.M.N.O.P, it's being held by Heather (above and in blue) and her handsome little man in training Christian (also above).

We sing and dance. We've learn about animals and numbers and we have even learned quite a few new ASL sign's! 

We do signing games like London Bridges...

... and Ring Around the Rosey.

This group is also beneficial for both of my older two girls. They get the opportunity to be with other children who happen to have Down syndrome as well as their siblings. 

The group involves everyone that comes, which means that everyone has to break out of their shells and participate (Not that anyone is actually being forced to participate, but why wouldn't you?) and for Kiliegh being social is a harder task than it is for Jasmine, but at GiGi's, Kiliegh becomes quite the little butterfly, after she warm up!

 Were all friends here at GiGi's and let me tell you, it is the place to be, especially on Tuesdays and during L.M.N.O.P.!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Page Fifty-Seven

Finally, after months of waiting Woodbine Houses newest book has been published and because VADA IS IN THE BOOK, we just received our free copy!!! Woot! Woot!

 Months ago I saw on Facebook that Woodbine was requesting pictures of young children who have Down syndrome to put into their revised edition of Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome. It turns out that Vada's photo submission was at the cut off due to their overwhelming responses from all of the other parents that had heard of this well before I had! So, I was pleasantly surprised when someone from Woodbine contacted me with release forms that needed to be signed and resubmitted. I filled out everything and then I was told that they may use one or more of the photo's and if they did use any of Vada's photo's then we would receive a copy of the book shortly after its release. 

 It was all extremely exciting but also overwhelming because I don't care to wait! Surprises aren't really my "thing" and I really, really wanted to tell everyone about this amazing opportunity but couldn't because I would look like a crazy fool if I had said she was going to be in a book and then wasn't. But she is! So now as I sit typing this all out my face is actually hurting from the ear to ear grin that I am wearing! Oh what an amazing blessing! That's my girl, Sweet Vada on page fifty-seven! 

Original photo from January 2012
Thank you Woodbine House for using a photo of our daughter in your book! You have given our family a gift to be passed down from generations! Yes, we are that proud of this publication!