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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End Of A Year

I can't believe it's been one year since we made the move to Maryland, I can't believe we are thisclose to the end of the deployment; yes thisclose...but it'll still be about 6 more months before we're all together again. We're staying here until Kayla finishes school, and no, Joe can't be temporarily assigned here to spend the next 6 months with us. It's a nice thought, but it doesn't work that way!

At times the year seemed like it would drag on, but now that we're at the end I can't believe how quickly the year passed!

This year, like every year, had it's up and downs. This year also brought quite a few get-togethers with online friends!

In January Kayla started putting on make-up.
In February we said good-bye to Joe, met online friends Julia and her daughters, and Lucas turned one.
In March Kayla got her first real taste of snow and sledding and she was diagnosed with celiac disease.
In April we found out where our next assignment will be, the kids experienced the DC Metro, had a fun weekend with 2 more IRL get-togethers.
In May I realized how much Lucas had already changed in the 3 months since Joe deployed, sadly, Joe's grandfather passed away.
In June we decided to have Kayla repeat Kindergarten, she started sight-reading in her books, and we again went to DC for another IRL with The Special Ks.
In July Lucas got his first hair-cut, Kayla celebrated her 6th birthday at Disney World, and I struggled.
In September we went to Wisconsin and met Michelle and Ruby, attended the first of two Buddy Walks, and my dad was diagnosed with cancer. (He had a port put in this week which has made receiving the chemo easier; he's been doing 'well' with the chemo - all things considering).
In October we went to Port Discovery and met Sue and her girls, Lucas showed some of the signs he learned, and we went to our second Buddy Walk where we met Rachel Coleman.
In November Kayla revealed that she sat at the 'naughty table' at lunch
In December Kayla and Lucas performed, we had snow fun, and of course there was Christmas, Lucas also started potty-training himself (!) but I don't have a post on that yet!

Happy New Year! and bring on 2010 (it feels so weird saying 2010, doesn't it?)

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Gym



Kayla and Lucas love going to My Gym - almost every day Kayla asks, "go to My Gym?" She loves it there. All the things they have to do there are great for Kayla to work on balance and coordination too ... along with some self confidence.

A lot of times Kayla is hesitant about doing something, thinking she can't do it, or she doesn't feel secure in what she's doing.

She loves the monkey bars but can't go across them by herself. One week the ball pit was moved under the monkey bars and Kayla really, really liked going across and then dropping in to the ball pit. But she wouldn't take that first 'swing' off the top step and go by herself. She was always calling for me to help her, she wouldn't do it unless I was holding her legs or waist.

Then one day...it's not a great quality video because it was from my cell phone...

She was so proud of herself and kept saying "I did it!" and she would do it over, and over, and over again.

Then last week they moved the ball pit somewhere else and we're back at square one! She wouldn't step off the top step even with me standing right there...even though she did it herself when she was trying to get to the ball pit. I kept telling her it was just like when the ball pit was there and to take that first step off by herself and then I would help her the rest of the way...no go. So we've gotta work on that confidence again :)

Lucas has so much fun there too...and he's building his strength up as well...because he has to do everything Kayla does!






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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Sleep Battle

Finally got around to getting all my cell phone pics on to the computer, and had to chuckle when I came across these.

Going...


going...


GONE!

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Recap

When Kayla woke up on Christmas morning she asked me, "Did Santa come?" Guess someone was excited! The kids had a great Christmas ... and I spent last night weeding through the toys so we can have some semblance of order in the playroom!

I don't think Kayla's taken her slippers off yet!


Kayla and I must have played Cariboo Island 10x yesterday!


Lucas likes his new Winnie the Pooh movie:


Elefun was a big hit with both kids, and it's a game they can just about set up and play by themselves...just the trunk is a little bit too long and Kayla can't quite get it to stand straight up. (I also find it annoying that all the butterflies don't shoot out):


Lucas couldn't wait to try his hand at the fire engine puzzle:


Celebrating Christmas the deployed way:


Kayla loves her microphone:


and some attempts at getting some family pics:








She wouldn't put the microphone down:


Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Little Performers

A couple weekends ago (has it been that long already?) we attended the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia's Christmas party.

Lucas wasn't thrilled with being up close and personal with Santa, but he obligingly sat in his lap while Kayla displayed a subtle hand message.


The received gift bags filled with goodies:


Their favorite part was being up on stage. The group that provided the entertainment brought a lot of musical instruments for the kids to play with.


Lucas loved walking around with this drum; so you know what he's getting for Christmas!




But then Kayla decided just playing with the instruments wasn't enough...she wanted to be where the real action was...


You know, at the microphone


so she could sing


She totally took over from this lady as if she owned the place. So yeah, you know what she's getting for Christmas too.


Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Special Exposure Wednesday

5 Minutes for Special Needs

Kayla is loving the snow - she's just too funny! I know it looks like she face planted in the snow, but this was actually intentional.


Here's what happened before...

She was trying to climb over this little snow bank:


and then tried to slide down on her belly:


Which didn't quite work, so she tried to give herself some leverage by sticking her legs straight in the air in the above picture.

That still didn't work, she just couldn't get herself to slide down on her belly (it was bumpy and uneven, not smooth for sliding down.)



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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow Fun

We're going to have a White Christmas this year! With all the snow we got on Sat it'll be hanging around for several more days!



I thought I had some helpers with the shoveling, but they didn't last too long!




Why shovel when you can go sledding instead?


Then there was a wipe out:


But all was good because they got right back on:


Someone was happy to play in the snow:


and our "Osty Noman" (as Lucas pronounces it)



I think snow fun is a great example of Life Is Therapy - in Marie's words..."learning can and does occur most effectively through everyday life experiences at home and out in the community--for children with both typical and special needs."

Playing in the snow fits that description! Tactile and sensory exposure by touch and taste, and physical therapy by shoveling, walking in it, and building snowman, occupational therapy by using those hand muscles to make snowballs!

Take It Tuesday theme of SUN and SNOW!

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