Monday, February 27, 2012

Quotes of the month

** sorry still no vacation pictures, I forgot to put them on my memory stick so they are still in FL on my mom's computer/camera. I'll get up a Disney post as soon as she emails them to me. Until then here is the post that should have gone up while I was on vacation but I didn't set it up right.

Some memorable quotes from my kids from the last couple weeks:

Cate - "Mommy can I have more meat?"
Mommy - "You've already had three helpings I think that is enough"
<< 10 second pause>>
Cate - "Mommy you focus on eating your dinner"  "Daddy can you get me some more meat"

Cate & Lucy fighting over which CD to listen to in the car:
Mommy - "If you girls don't stop fighting I'll turn the radio off"
Cate - "Mommy that is not one of your options" 

Cate (at dinner out of the blue) - "Lucy is in charge"
Mommy - "No, daddy is in charge"
Lucy - "Daddy is pudding, Mommy is macaroni and cheese, Lucy is in charge"
(I assume Cate is getting the "in charge" from school but how does Lucy know what it is or does she think its food?)

Cate (in the car a week+ after the tooth fairy came) - "My tooth fell out"
Lucy - "Let me see, let me see"
Cate (both hands over her mouth) "Nope"
Lucy - "I'll be your friend again"
Cate - "OK - look"
Lucy - "Cate that's COOL"

We were in the car talking about the number of days until vacation:
Cate - "I have a plan, lets pick up Lucy then go see Uncle Lane now"
Mommy - "We can't Cate, it will take all day to drive there"
Cate - "Mommy we should fly in an airplane.  Airplanes are fast"
Mommy - "Very smart Cate, airplanes are much faster, but it costs a lot of money to fly and we will need our car there."
Cate - "I'll buy the airplane tickets, I have lots of dollars"  (how sweet is that???)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Disney

Posting from my iPhone so this will be a short on before Ric & I sail into the sunset for a kid-free weekend!
The girls loved Disney for the most part, more on that later. The Dreams parade, meeting the princesses, tea cups and the safari were the biggest hits. Sorry I can't get my iPhone to load a picture - anyone know how? Promise lots next Monday! Well I'm off for 3 days without a phone - what a foreign concept!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Gator Alley

Unfortunately we brought some cold wind down with us to the Space Coast.  The girls were able to go swimming yesterday but today its only 62 degrees so no swimming.  We decided to take a drive out to alligator alley to see if we could spot anything interesting.   The first five minutes of driving on this tiny little dirt path through the marsh had us wondering if we'd see more than a duck.  Then daddy spotted the first little alligator hanging out in the water.  After that it was one sighting after another!! I think we saw like 8 different alligators of all different sizes.   There were lots of water birds including a huge heron. We also so about 200 ducks floating in a group which was pretty neat.  Grandpa remembered the binoculars and Cate was fascinated by them. 

They were self focusing so she was actually able to use them  - or at least she said she could see stuff!!!  Lucy napped through the bulk of the ride but awoke right at the end to use this guy -




We also took a golf cart ride on the nature trail and hit the jackpot with a herd flock gaggle bunch of wild turkeys and three huge turtles.  Cate is definitely a nature girl - she was as happy with our adventures today as she was swimming yesterday.  (And yesterday she was impressing all the neighbors with her awesome swimming!!! It is crazy how much stroke progress she has made after only 2 swim practices!!)

Fingers crossed for a successfully & wonder filled first visit for the girls to Disney tomorrow!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Vacation

I had great intentions of doing a lovely blog with lots of pictures today and getting some new stuff ready to post for next week but since it is almost midnight and the car isn't packed yet, I guess I was dreaming!!!
We'll be basking in the sunshine (fingers & toes crossed) by Sunday so I'm not sure if you'll see any thing from me for the next week but I'll try.  If not I promise lots a fun vacation pictures (maybe even one or two with a princess or mouse) and stories of our perfect traveling children (wishful thinking helps right???).
Wish us safe travels and good weather!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Cards

I am not a very crafy person.  But since I'm so proud of Cate's progress in writing, I love to show it off to the grandparents.  So this weekend Cate and Lucy made Valentine's Day Card for their granparents.  Cate wrote "Happy  Valentine's Day, Love Cate" inside as I dictated the letters to her then I added Lucy's name.  They decorated the cards with lots (and lots and lots) of heart stickers.  They did their work on time - mommy on the other hand might not have gotten them in the mail until Monday :-(


pretty good huh!!!

our craft set up - old wipes boxes make excellent crayon storage!


In Music Therapy on Saturday, Ms M did a spelling song with Cate for Valentine's day.  She sang 3 letter of the word then Cate repeated.  On Sunday in the car, Cate starting singing it and trying to get Lucy to repeat it - I was so proud of her for remembering!  I grab it on tape as soon as we got home - Check this out Ms M!

video
by the way - you won't be able to see this video on an email version - please go to the blog link to view it.


Happy Valentines Day from Cate & Lucy

Monday, February 13, 2012

First Swim Practice!!!

Sorry for the late posting - I'm not in the habit on the weekends yet!
Friday afternoon was Cate's first Swim Team practice and it went great!!!!  Cate was so excited - she keep saying "I'm going to swim team like all the big kids".  She got ready in record time and off she ran.  The head coach is actually one of Cate's favorite former therapists.  There are about 12 kids on the team that practices in our time slot.  Four of those are in Cate's age & ability range, one is also a friend from ST.  In addition to the head coach there were 4 other coaches, so the kids got a lot of one on one time.  She was a little shy in the warm up circle and Coach J had to introduce her since she was so quiet saying her name but the smile never left her face.  She tried hard to do the stretches and was ready to go when they did lane assignments.  She actually listened really well and stayed in her lane with her group much to my amazement .  I almost cried at how big she looked in her new goggles in that big pool with lanes.  My guess is they did about 10 laps (she used a tiny bit of flotation help) some front crawl and some on her back.  Cate had so much fun she didn't want to get out of the pool.  And the proud look on her face when she told her daddy about it was priceless - wish I had a picture of that!
"I want to go first"

"Did everyone see that awesome jump?"

and back she comes!

High-Five from a coach

Waiting for her next turn and dreaming of being a future Olympian I hope!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

All I want for Valentines Day is my two front teeth

So it finally happened, the moment I'd been dreading - the loss of the second front tooth.  Cate lost her bottom teeth last May and the big teeth showed up soon after that.  The first top front tooth fell out way back on October 14th and there is still no sign of the new tooth except this tiny hard ridge.  The second front tooth was wiggly for months and I keep hoping it would hang on until the first one decided to appear.  No such luck - it fell out on Wednesday morning.  So now Cate has a huge gaping hole in her smile - I admit it is super cute but I'm worried it will impact her speech.  At least this time I can already see the tip of the new tooth so maybe it won't be years before she has big teeth up there!  She is excited because the tooth fairy came and brought her a gold dollar coin (otherwise know as treasure) and a new spinning toothbrush you can decorate with stickers (we do one per night).   She keeps her gold dollars in a special glass piggy bank that a friend of my mothers gave her so she can see them. 
I wasn't home on Thursday morning when she woke up so I made her recreate the piggy bank deposit and got some pictures.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How long do children with Down Syndrome do Physical Therapy?

I remember asking Cate's first PT that question about a year into her starting PT.  She told me the true answer for most every question that includes the phrase "children with Down Syndrome" - "There is no way to tell, it really depends on the child".    She followed that up with something like "For Cate my guess is she'll need PT until she starts elementary school".  Well she was right.  Cate graduated from PT yesterday 6 months after starting kindergarten.  We started traditional PT with Cate when she was 6 weeks old and was this cute -

Cate - Feb 2006
We added Aqua Therapy at 18 months old and she was not walking or cruising but was just as cute -

Cate - August 2007 (she is sitting not standing here)
 
Then we dropped traditional when she was about 3.5 years old and did Aqua only.  We have done PT at least one hour weekly without a significant break right up to yesterday.  Yesterday was Cate's last Aqua Therapy session and it made me proud since she worked so hard for every milestone and it made me sad because we love all 3 of the PTs we've worked with over the last 6 years.

Cate showing off her new swim team goggles & float last night

The 6 year old attitude coming out!
Opinions on therapy for children with DS fall from "who needs it" to "do as much as you can".  My personal opinion is that it is necessary and in truth any child benefits from one on one attention with a professional in most any area.  Do I think Cate would have rolled over, crawled, walked without PT? Of course she would have, maybe weeks or months later but she would have hit each milestone with just our help.  The biggest benefit for us in doing consistent PT was that Cate never got behind and we never had to scramble to find a therapist or rearrange our schedule to deal with a delay.  I think by doing PT constantly for 6 years, it helped our family by making it a habit we didn't have to think too much about and it helped Cate by making her stronger physically and keeping her schedule consistent.  My recommendation for anyone who is wondering if they should add PT for their baby with DS is to give it a try.  If it isn't too demanding on your schedule or your finances then you can't go wrong adding PT with a therapist that you like.  Cate's PTs have not just made her stronger, they have made me more confident with their excellent advice and guidance.  Thank you J, J, & K!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chores

I am really inconsistent when it comes to making my kids to chores - granted they are only 6 and 2.5 (ok almost 3 - I'm just not quite ready to admit it) so I don't think its too late to change my behavior.  I don't know how many parents of kids this young think about assigned chores.  I, on the other hand, have major guilt because I don't consistently make my kids do things because every time we have an evaluation with a therapist or doctor, one of the questions is "what chores does Cate do around the house?".  The insinuation to me of course being that she should have regular chores.  Partly I'm inconsistent because its still so much easier to do things myself instead of make the girls to them.  I know that excuse is not a good one - they need to learn good habits and have age appropriate responsibilities.  The other part of the reason is the opposite, my girls almost always bug me to "help" especially when I'm in the kitchen.  So I give whatever little job is on hand to keep them happy,  though as I write this I'm realizing it much more Lucy than Cate these days - I think Cate might have wised up to the fact I don't give out any "fun" jobs.  
My goal now is to figure out what they should do and make them do it regardless of how much more time it takes.  I know one of these jobs should be cleaning up the toys they play in the living room before bedtime.  They both frequently help me set the table - I'm even getting brave enough to let them both carry the "real" plates and glasses, so that is a good candidate.  Also another good habit would be making them pick up their own rooms on some predetermined schedule.  The problem with all three of these options is that they all require better time management on my part.  I never ask them to clean up their toys until we should have already started the bedtime process, on the days they don't ask to help me in the kitchen I don't even thing about setting the table until the food is already starting to get cold, and bedtime is a rush for me so cleaning up their room is normally something I do while they are watching their wind-down episode of Curious George. 


Here is one real possibility for Cate - I was in a rush yesterday to get ready for the Super Bowl party and she helped me empty the silverware bin in the dishwasher.  She did a great job with no help from me - that's a job I'd never thought of before.
I'm going to try to be better about time management and consistency but maybe like the dishwasher there are better chores she could be doing that are less time sensitive.  I'm looking for good ideas - what chores do your little ones do consistently?

(she is standing on a step stool)


she really was concentrating on this task

she was so proud of herself!!  She told me she was sorting into groups.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pictures (because I'm worn out!)

I don't have the brain power to write anything decent today so here are some pictures I LOVE.  I caught Daddy, Cate & Lucy dancing to music on the TV.  These girls sure love their daddy (me too!!!)!




Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ear Plugs

If you haven't been in the ear tube circuit for a while you probably haven't gotten the word that kids with ear tubes don't have to wear ear plugs to go swimming as long as they are not diving or going underwater more than a foot.  This of course isn't the case when you just had the surgery less than a week ago.  I am very thankful I don't have to have the ear plug fight every week because here is how it went last night at aqua therapy:
Before swimming -
Me:  Cate you have to wear ear plugs because you just got new tubes
Cate:  But I don't want to, they will hurt
Me:  Cate ear plugs don't hurt, feel them they are soft
Cate:  Nope they will hurt
Me:  You can't go swimming without them this week, do you want to leave?
Cate:  OK (followed by whining while I put in the plugs)

5 minutes into class -
Therapist:  Lisa, Cate's plugs are out do you want to put in new ones?
Me:  Nope, I give up just don't let her go under much.

After swimming -
Me:  Cate you can't take your ear plugs out during swimming, next time I'm going to make you get out of the pool (idle threat of course)
Cate:  Mommy I can't wear ear plugs because I don't like them.
Me:  Cate you have to, the doctor said so
Cate:  No I don't mommy, I put them down the drain so I can't wear them anymore - Sorry, Too Late (and of course she did)
Me:  (trying very hard not to laugh)  Cate that is NOT OK.

Imagine this face making an appearance in this converstation (this pictures is from over the summer but she pulls it out when needed)

She wins - I give up.