Sunday, January 23, 2011

Around the house

Our little ones are sick right now. Nothing serious, but runny noses and lots of sneezing. Doesn't make for a fun weekend, but we'll do the best we can to keep them busy. Caught a few cute photos.

Morgan and those ABCs. She worked very hard to put this together. I tried to get her to look at me for the picture, but as soon as she saw the phone/camera, she yelled "see Morgan see Morgan!" as usual and ran out of the picture to "see herself" in the phone. I've been practicing with her on smiling on command. She's getting better at it so hopefully we'll have a smiling photo for you soon.

I think we have a girly-girl with Piper. She prefers her stacking rings as bracelets. This also goes for the mason jar lids in a drawer in the kitchen. She already has her own sense of style. The image is not great, but she is actually smiling and quite proud of herself. Silly girl.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"No singing!"

This command has been directed at me lately. Morgan LOVES the CDs of kid's songs we have at home and in the car. She requests them at home especially at mealtimes. Even when she's done eating she camp out near the CD play to listen and sometimes sing along..."peanut, peanut butter...jelly!"

I've heard these CDs so much that I know all the songs too. Sometimes I sing them loud and silly to amuse Morgan and Piper and sometimes I even find myself even unconsciously singing along. The last few days Morgan has been starting to protest my singing. I think she likes to listen closely to some of the songs so she can learn the words. Sometimes she sings along too. Today I started singing in a silly way to one song and she busted out with:

"No singing the songs Mama!"

Then I tried again:

"No singing, no singing!!!"


"No Mama!!!!"

I giggled a little and let her be. She has her moods. She used to say "Mama and Daddy sing too!" to get us to join in. This is new with the "no singing!" What's next?!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Newly Diagnosed and Mommy Guilt

Since Morgan's "official" diagnosis I have spent, what feels like, every waking hour researching websites on autism, blogs and therapies. There is so much to learn and I want to learn it all as fast as possible so we can help our Morgan girl learn. She is at such a crucial age now so I want to take advantage of it while I can.

In my research, I find the blogs of so-called "Autism Moms" the most compelling. It's nice to read the stories of others out there like us. Moms who have dealt with the questions, the diagnosis, diets, really find what works best for their child(ren) and their families. There are many opinions out there on what works and what doesn't (more on that in later posts), but mostly I like reading about these women for inspiration and their kindred-spirits. As we have yet to dive into the autism community in our area, these blogs are my connection to families like mine and kids who "look" like my girls. They are surviving and many are thriving. It's about holding on to hope for a good future for my little girl.

As I slog through all the information out there, there is some Mommy guilt too. I was reading through some milestones for Piper for her age and came upon the statement "can name one body part." I thought, oh, we've got that covered. I put Piper on my lap and said, Piper, show me your nose! To my surprise she totally ignored me, busy looking at the book she had in her hand. I quietly freaked out a little. A few months ago she had this down, ears and eyes too! Did she forget? Possibly. Oh, no, more freaking out. Since then I've gotten her to show me her nose once and she says very sweetly, "no-, no-". OK, so she can say it, that's good. We're not out of the woods with her yet on the neuro-typical (NT) front so that fear is still there.

I'm also feeling guilty for not moving forward more quickly with the RDI therapy for Morgan. Per the book we have, we're working in the first few activities into our overall communication, but looking ahead I'm a little intimidated by the lessons and whether I'll be able to execute them well enough for her to learn. We've been given a contact in the area who consults on this therapy...though it may cost us some money, we may give it a try to use the consultant. It's not as costly as some therapies who require many hours of one-on-one time, but at least this consultant can make sure we're on track and Morgan is making progress. More research on that to do...

This is what is keeping me busy lately. Very busy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jump and Bounce

This is Morgan's favorite place in the whole world (so far)! Please excuse my iPhone images, but I forgot to bring the get the idea though.

Jump and Bounce is an indoor play area with a ton of inflatable slides, castles and bouncy houses. It is the best place to get these kids' energy out in the winter time. Whenever they have "open bounce" hours we jump on it. This may be a future birthday party site too. Such fun!

These pictures are from a few weeks ago, but we happened to go again last night with Gram and Grandpa B. I've never seen Morgan get ready to go somewhere so fast. She went and got her own coat and put her shoes on all by herself. Unheard of!!

Heading up the steps to the slide, again. Some of the more agile kids would squeeze by her, but she did seem to mind at all.

Woosh! You can't see it here, but she always comes down the slides with a HUGE grin on her face. It's such a thrill for her!

Piper loves throwing the balls. This one has basketball's so cute that she tries to throw it, though she's no where near the hoop. Our friend Sasha and her kids Ian, Micah and Annalie came too. That's Sasha and Annie on the right.

So blurry, but here's Daddy and Piper coming down the slide. Last night she just kept saying (and signing) "more, more, more!" She loves it too!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Just some stuff

Just wanted to include a post today with some interesting Morgan-isms and Piper-doings as of late.

I walked in the door from doing some errands the other night and David was helping Morgan in the bathroom with a poopy pull-up. I heard him start laughing and he said "Quick! Come here!" I hurried to the bathroom and saw Piper "helping" Daddy by taking a wipe from the package and gently wiping Morgan's tush. What a clever, observant girl!

Morgan has had a few language bursts lately. We were riding home from our outing to the Play Place at the mall and Morgan said "Piper got an ouchie!" (We call any sort of bumps, scrapes or bruises "ouchies" as we tend to call Morgan "boo-boo" as a nickname.) I looked back at Piper and didn't see anything ouchie-ish so I asked Morgan, "Where is the ouchie?" She pointed at Piper and said very simply "on her face." Piper's cheeks were somewhat red from being outside in the cold, so I think that was what she was talking about. David suddenly said, "I think we just had a sort-of conversation" ...then we both got teary.

The way Morgan talks is not really in a "natural" tone of speaking. She tends to emphasize the wrong syllables or words. It was surprising that the way she said "on her face" was so matter-of-fact and natural. Hmmm. Maybe she's working things out somehow.

Morgan also has busted out with "okay" instead of "yes" sometimes (she is saying "yes" more and more). And about half the time she not only says "okay" she says "okay, honey!" This is still in that odd tone of voice, a little affected, so it comes out sounding really funny. The other day when I asked her if she wanted some milk she said "okay honey Mama!" I'm not sure if I'm the one who calls her honey... I wasn't aware I said that, but I must.

As Morgan was back at her "typical" preschool today I told the director and one of her teachers about her diagnosis. This particular teacher has a child with special needs as well, so she's been very helpful to me and encouraging with Morgan. I was relieved that they were very supportive and had a lot of questions for me as well. I'm so glad they are open to having a not-so-typical kid in their school. There are a lot of options for us for school for Morgan next year, but if we want to stay with this school a few days a week they gave some good suggestions on what might be best for her, possibly staying in a class with this teacher who knows her needs best. I was also relieved to hear that there were some 3-4 year olds in the class above Morgan's that still wore pull-ups to school. Hopefully we'll have made some progress in that area before next September, but if not, it's good to know that it won't be an obstacle for her attending the school next year. Whew!

I must have more for Piper...she's just turning into a sweet, funny little girl. We still tend to call her "baby" all the time and we're not sure when/if that will stop. It's so funny to see her walking from room to room of the house. She's getting more agile and able to carry things with her. She can get herself standing up from the middle of the floor now without having to pull up on anything. She can also reach down, pick up a toy and stand back up again. Good girl! She's also adding some more words, what I'm pretty sure is "bath" (without the "th"), ball (ba) and apple (a-puh). Keep them coming little one! She's very much a Mama's girl and doesn't let me get too far away in new places. I love her sweet hugs and the way she puts her head on my shoulder.

Lastly, bedtimes are a BIG challenge in our house lately. Piper has decided that she does not wish to adhere to the routine anymore. When I was nursing her it was bath, jammies, book, nurse and in bed. Then the nursing was replaced by some rocking and I would sing her a song. In the last two weeks she's decided instead of a book and a song she wants to walk in and out of Morgan's and her own room, sometimes observing Daddy reading Morgan a book. She wants nothing to do with actually going to bed. Morgan will do her routine fairly well, but when it comes to going into bed and saying prayers with Daddy, she wants none of it. The last few days we've had to deposit both of them in their beds, close their doors and listen to them yell. Ugh. We hope it's a phase.

Gram and Grandpa B are arriving on Thursday for a week! Yippee!