Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Check It Out!

I'm off to bed but I had to share a quick update on the progress of our homeschool room. I'm getting really, really excited! I can't wait to unpack everything and organize and use our space!

Stacking, Beading and Fine Motor

Vada and I read a lot! It is one of her favorite things for us to do together. She is constantly bringing me a book to read to her. In her room, I made her a little reading corner where she goes and makes piles and pies of books that she has looked through (It's where she is sitting in the picture below. Usually, her little pink rocker is sitting there too.). At her nap time and before she goes to bed I am reading her the fourth book in the Little House on the Prairie Series, On the Banks of Plum Creek (our third chapter book in the series because I skipped, Farmer Boy, if your familiar with the series at all you'll know what I am talking about.) You'd think that she wouldn't sit still for a series book like this but she does and she pays attention as well. Sometimes I will read a word like "candy" or "baby" and she will do the sign for it and surprise me with how much she is following along. 

Anyway, we read other books as well. Usually on the days when we have nothing planned and nowhere to go (I just love those days!) we spend the early morning in Vada's room doing what she wants to do and today, she wanted to read...

This was today's stack of read books.
After we spent some leisure time reading I thought we should spend some more time focusing on stacking blocks, this time I brought out some bigger blocks that I thought may be easier for Vada. I figured if she could get confident in stacking these big blocks than we could move to the smaller ones. 

Today, Vada would get as high as four blocks then she would knock them over. If I am remembering correctly yesterdays highest was four as well and then she would do the exact same thing. I agree baby girl, its way more fun to knock them over than it is to build them up.., but that's not where your points are going to come from!

I began thinking that maybe this "non block stacking thing" had more to do with a lack of polished fine motor skills and maybe I just needed to focus more on those skills in general and that it would all come together. So my plan is to work on fine motor "stuff" on a daily basis.

I plan on doing the blocks daily but also throwing new stuff in there to keep her interest. One thing I brought out that she has yet to use is this Melissa and Doug Bead Sequencing Set, I basically used it as a lacing set, which we have but like I said, I wanted to use new things to keep her interested. 

Another game I got out was Pop-up-Pirate only my version came from Tokyo or Hong Kong and that was an accidental purchased on my behalf through Amazon! Long story. I meant to buy the American version but this one will do. This game is great for color recognition and fine motor skills but is not intended for Children Vada's age, unless supervised!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blocks and Puzzles

With Vada's third birthday quickly approaching the therapists and I have been discussing all of the things that she should be doing and some of the things that she is not yet doing and that we really should be working on. 

Some of the things, like stacking blocks were things that Vada mastered long ago and we moved on from, only now she doesn't quite "get" and is cause her developmental testing scores to be brought down. Quite frankly I think that she is past this stage, stacking blocks can be boring when there is so many other things that you can be doing and she shows no interest in doing this activity when it is presented to her. Either way, when your in a position like Vada is, where you are being tested by your skills and you kind of have to prove your self to others, it makes it hard to just be done when you want to be. So, her and I, together have to keep working at it until she is able to gain some of these stacking skills back. Don't let her cute smile fool you, she was yelling and throwing these one inch blocks all around! There was serious attitude being exerted today! However, she did try and that is all that I ask.

After we worked on stacking blocks we moved onto puzzles. We did the puzzle a total of three times. Each time we did the puzzle I gave Vada less directions and each time she gained more confidence in what she was doing.

Monday, January 14, 2013

In the Church Preschool Room

Yesterday was Vada's first day in the Preschool room at our Church. I knew that this day was quickly approaching but I hadn't realized that it was already here. Yesterday also happen to be my "helping day" in the Preschool room, (for the days first service). Shortly after the children started to arrive my friend brought in her daughter, who is roughly the same age as Vada and who was also scheduled to begin coming into the preschool room at the same time that Vada was. That's when I realized the date had crept up on me! Since the morning had barely begun I eagerly went to get Vada from the nursery to bring her down to the preschool room. I was both excited and nervous about this moment but mostly grateful that it was my morning to be helping out. Now I could keep an eye on Vada and not feel like I was being an over protective mom by sticking around. 

I mostly watched from the side lines as Vada played and explored the bigger room and all of the new toys and kids. Things went smoothly and she seemed to be really enjoying herself. While Vada played, I couldn't help but notice a slight difference in her play in comparison with the other three year old's, mainly that she wasn't pretending or talking quite as much -yet. Everyone however, including Vada, were all doing their own things, keeping themselves busy and entertained!

During the first service, in the preschool room, was more of a play session for the three year old's. They were separated from the older children who would come in during Sunday school and during the second service of church. During those two portions, I would be away. The adult also take classes and then I personally would be going to the second service. Which would mean that Vada would then spend her time in the preschool room with her teachers (all ladies that I know) and her classmates (children three to six years old). 

I was nervous. I had no reason to be. Like I said, I knew everyone and I love them and more importantly, I know that they love her. Yet, there I was, with the feeling of a weighted pressure on my chest, tears in my eyes and both hands shaking. The youth pastor happened to be walking through and happened to have asked me how it was going. If he hadn't asked me.. well, I wouldn't have spilled those tears for all to see, but he did ask and I was emotional and I cried. Lol. Poor guy, he probably wasn't expecting that! But an amazing thing kind of happened as I was talking to him.  I was telling him that Vada was fine, that these emotions were all on me, that this was good for her that being with older children was going to be good for her and so on and so on and so on... 

Vada happen to be sitting a couple of feet in front of us. She was out of hearing range but within sight. My sweet little soon-to-be three year old turned around so that she could see me and she waved in our direction and then she blew me a kiss, kind of like she was reaffirming that indeed, everything was going to be alright!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Just Rambling

You know that feeling when you are absolutely mortified about something. When the blood seems to have rushed out of your body and you sort of go numb for a fraction of a second. Nausea seems to well up from the very pits of your gut threatening to rear its ugly face only to make a mockery of you once again. Yeh, that feeling. Well I had it, recently and all because of a stupid conversation that probably should have never had happened in the first place.

I was at a friends house and we were talking about one of my daughters and a question was asked about my past. Because this was a closer friend of mine, I answered openly and honestly and then began to get further into detail. This is where I went wrong. 1.) Because this wasn't the place or the time and 2.) There just wasn't enough time to fully explain things properly. I ended up spitting out a name of someone that I "dated", and by dated I mean (at the age of twelve or thirteen and just barely getting into my "troubled teen" stage), held hands with and day dreamed of kissing. However, I said this name and wouldn't have if my husband were around because that would have been rude to him and if he would have done the same with me around I might have put the smack down! (Not really because he would have only been twelve, hello!) So, later when I got home I began really dwelling on this conversation. Did I sound like I was glorifying this stage of my life? Did I sound like I was proud of the crowd I used to run with? What did my friends now think of me and my capabilities of mothering? Just thinking about it again made me sick with worry all over again. 

The fact is i'm not proud of my past. On the contrary, i'm proud of who I am today, despite of my past. I have a lot of rough edges left that need to be smoothed and polished and I am hoping that by the time that I reach grandmotherhood i'll be closer to a gem of a person. For now, I am happy with me and what I have over come and who I have became today. Long story short, my daughters inspired me to become a better person all around. I found God again, through them. No joke. The moment I met Jasmine, I looked at her and knew that I was naive to think that there wasn't a God. With Kiliegh, she was in the NICU for a little over five weeks having been born at thirty-two weeks. I saw a strength in her that I never knew was possible and she taught me to be stronger and work harder. And then there was Vada, She made me feel like Justin and I as well and Kiliegh and Jasmine were chosen for something more. And while I am on the subject of God and faith, When I was growing up all I prayed for was a family. Today, I have the most amazing family I could have ever asked for with an amazing husband and father to our children.

I know that this is a bunch or rambling on my behalf but it has been bothering me terribly! Sometimes I tend to open my mouth and spew things that I wish I never had. More often than not! I think that is my reason for having become such a quiet person. That and the saying "If you cant say anything nice don't say anything at all." Sorry, that's the truth too. Anyway, that's a whole other subject! Thanks for letting me ramble once again!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Learning to Use Scissors and Drawing Lines

This week Vada's OT, Christy, came to our house to do Vada's six month assessment report. It's crazy to think that we are all getting ready for Vada's annual IEP but more importantly her three year IEP! This is a monumental moment, in my humble opinion. There is even talk of discharge or cutting way back on therapies  throughout! Anyway, with Christy, we went through all kinds of different skill testing activities to judge where Vada needed the most help and where her skills were the strongest. 

At the beginning of this school year when we were buying my older two girls their school supplies and thinking I was ahead of the game, I picked up these scissors for Vada. However, I forgot all about them since Justin has been working on building the schoolroom. After meeting with Christy this week she brought up the fact that Vada should already be well on her way to knowing how to use scissors.

So im confused.., if Vada should already know how to use scissors and she isn't three, then why does the package say three plus? Is there scissors made for ages three and under and did I somehow miss those ones? Let me just say that these "Preschool" scissors are really hard to use and maybe that is because my hands are five times the size of the handles or im a complete whimp.., but I am seriously thinking of upgrading V to a better pair. Any suggestions?

Yesterday, Vada and I had to go to Peoria for a day filled with doctors appointments. In between appointments V and I spent our time surrounded by books at Barns and Noble. The Barns and Noble in Peoria has a decent Education selection especially compared to ours! I found these Kumon learning books that focuses on specific fine motor skills. The ones that I bought were for cutting and folding which are two of the main areas that Christy and I discussed really working with Vada on. I also found books by Kumon on stickers, tracing, pasting and coloring. Since Cutting and folding is Vada's main area's of needed attention, I decided to not go overboard with all of the other "cool" stuff available!

Vada and I worked on cutting and holding scissors this morning for about twenty minutes. A good start, if I do say so myself.

I did most of the cutting and Vada did most of the watching but she did let me put her hands into the "proper" scissor/hand holding position and several different times too, either i'm not complaining about the work we did or didn't get done. Baby steps are a very important part in the learning process!

After Vada experienced scissors for the first time I decided to work on drawing vertical and horizontal lines with her. 

We also worked on other fine motor skills like coloring in the circles that I drew. In the picture below, I colored in the circles to demonstrate what I wanted Vada to do. 

The following pictures show the circles that Vada colored in on her own!

I used the orange crayon. Vada used the green crayon.

I colored with the orange crayon. Vada used the green crayon.

I made the orange circle, Vada colored with the red crayon.

Considering this was the first time that I have asked her to color "in" something for me, I think she did an amazing job!