Friday, August 30, 2013

First week in the new class

Circle time

Allie's first week in the new class has gone really well.  She seems to really like her teachers and all of her friends.  She still pitches a fit when we pick her up, which I take to be a good sign.

She's now in school four days a week, up from three days last school year.  We're still shuffling her therapy schedules to try to make it all work.

Here is her current Tuesday therapy schedule:
7:30-8:30am: OT at home
8:30-9:30am: PT at home
10:15-11:00am: OT at the Children's Hospital
11:30am-12:30pm: Speech therapy every other week at home

We have the poor girl's schedule packed but we're hoping it makes up for having the rest of the time with her friends.  We shall see.

Monday, August 26, 2013

First Day of School

"Hello friends?  When are you showing up?"
Today was Allie's first day in her new class.  Jonathan and I dropped her off together and were surprised that at 8am she was the only kid there.  She was a little anxious and hid behind my leg when her new teacher said hello, but she was quickly won over when the teacher gave her by a baby stroller to push some dolls around in.  I'm excited to pick her up and hear how her day was!

In other news, Allie's crib has been taken apart and moved to the basement, leaving just her big girl bed to sleep in.  She went to sleep like a champ last night without even sneaking an extra book from her shelf.  She really really likes the bed and this transition was so much easier than we thought it would be.  It's nice when some things just come easily.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Developmental Pediatrician and A NEW BED

Allie had her second meeting with the developmental pediatrician and it was wonderful.  She is still totally on track ("at or above age level") for her cognitive development.  She did wonderfully on all of her tests and still likes her doctor.  He even let him measure her head, which no doctor has been able to do since she had the ability to protest about it.

Allie was happy because she had Papa there to show off for.

We're still keeping an eye on her speech and doing all the same things for PT and OT.  He strongly supports Allie staying in her current daycare instead of transitioning to a specialized county-run preschool, which is an option once her early intervention ends at 3 years old.  Her PT/case manager doesn't think the developmental preschool is a good idea nor do we, but it's nice to hear it from someone else.

We got to talk about some normal developmental stuff too, such as potty training and moving to a big girl bed.  We're still teetering on the potty training but Jonathan and I sprung for the bed today.  Jonathan set it up right before bedtime and she could not wait for it to be finished.  She showed me every screw that Dada put in; she clearly was very impressed.  Our plan was to put it in her room so she could get used to it.  To our surprise, she wanted to sleep in it tonight.  She climbed into bed, said "no night-night" while waving away at her crib and pointed to her new bed, nodding and said "yeah, night-night".

After a brief bedtime routine exploration (she brought about a dozen books and her potty into bed with her), she got tucked in and fell asleep.  It was amazing.  Jonathan and I feel like we have such a big girl!

Yay Papa!

"I still see you, Papa!"

Allie was out of school last week in preparation for her transition to the new class and Jonathan's dad (aka Papa) came to visit and help us with Allie care for a few days.  Allie was stoked.

It was great having him around.  Not only did he help with all things Allie, he helped us with some of our ongoing bathroom remodel.

"I go weeeee!"
 Look Papa, two hands!

She woke up the next morning after Papa left and asked to look at photos of him.  She misses her Papa.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Farewell Friends

Until we meet again...

It was Allie's last day of her school year today and her best friend Minna will not be returning.  Minna is the spunkiest little kid I know and I can see why Allie adores her so much.  She always has fun things to say and is always planning activities for Allie and her.  Sometimes I see them on the playground just holding hands.

Minna's name has become synonymous with going to school; Allie refers to school as "Minna Wolf", a compilation of her two dear friends.  In the morning when I ask her if she had any dreams, Minna is always in them.  (Dream Allie and Dream Minna are usually climbing trees or conning Jonathan into driving them around in the car.)

I don't think Allie understands that she's not going to see Minna much anymore, which is probably why the sight of their farewell group hug made me teary.  I hope we have many playdates in our future.

The cheese stands alone

Allie had an amazing splash park experience yesterday.  It was empty.  Totally empty without another kid in sight.  Look at how brave she is when she thinks nobody is watching!  She even kept touching the water streams with Righty and giggling.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Arm vs. Leg

I never thought I would be saying this but I think I'm more concerned about Allie's right leg than I am about her right arm.

She has been doing so well with Righty; she's making more progress than we ever thought possible.  This morning, I told her to wash off the chalk board with Righty and she just did it.  At one point she dropped the towel and just picked it up with Righty and kept on washing.  She then had to put away her legos and she picked each one up with Righty and put them in their drawer without so much as a protest.

But, while her arm seems to be getting better and better, her leg seems to be interfering more and more.  Her run is staggered and her slight limp is getting more pronounced.

I really am not a fan of bracing her leg, although that may be short sighted.  I've heard stories of how braces help kids walk better but they further weaken muscles that need to be strengthened.  But, bracing could prevent some future problems caused by an uneven gait.

Botox is seeming more like something I want to try.  But, I think the big thing we need to do is find more leg-centric activities that she enjoys.  We're in kind of a PT rut.  She's figured out her own modified way of doing most of the activities that we are pushing.  We want her to continue to be adaptive and creative about how problem solves, but sometimes she's too creative for us!

We've thought about adding more PT to her schedule but we don't want her to get over therapized.  Maybe it's time to start signing her up for sports so she can get a workout while playing with her peers.  Time to look into her next swim session and maybe find a gymnastics class for her to try.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Zoo Field Trip

Allie's class had a field trip to the zoo yesterday.  She doesn't normally doesn't go to school on Tuesday but Abby was willing to take and chaperone so that she wouldn't miss out on the experience with all her friends.

Allie had a great time, especially holding hands with friend Maddox.  It seems to have been more exciting than her zoo field trip last year (which you can see again here and here).

Abby has been so wonderful watching Allie this summer.  We're sad that this is Abby's last week of summer and that her new school year is starting next week.  Allie will still see her often but we all think that Abby's students are lucky to get to see her every day! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Conversationalist in Training

Striking a pose

Allie has been cracking us up lately.  She copies a lot of what Jonathan and I do, which is both cute and frightening.  Sometimes it feels like she's mocking us.  She fake sneezes after we sneeze, coughs after we cough, and over the top laughs when we laugh.  I'll sometimes ask her "Allie, are you making fun of me?" To which she replies, "Yeahhhhh!!" and smiles.

Now that she's talking more and usually able to get her point across, it has been so much fun listening to what she has to say.  She sings the E-I-E-I-O part of the Old MacDonald song over and over again, attaching her favorite things to the end.

"E-I-E-I-O Allie!" 
"E-I-E-I-O Mama!" 
"E-I-E-I-O Dada!" 
"E-I-E-I-O Minna and Wolf!" 
"E-I-E-I-O water!" 
"E-I-E-I-O milk!" 
"E-I-E-I-O bike!"

It sometimes goes on and on until we're begging her to take up the wheels on the bus song.  "Noooo... Mama!  More E-I-E-I-OOOOOOOOO! E-I-E-I-O cat!"

From her perspective, the great thing about her talking more is that she gets what she wants more often.  If she asks for a glass of milk with ice ("Milk with Yice"), which I would never think to give her, she gets it.  Oatmeal instead of cereal for breakfast?  Done.  This improved communication thing has really reduced her frustration with us and has made us all happier.

She totally gets the If... Then conditionals too.  "You can have another piece of cheese if you eat a piece of broccoli."  She seems to mostly accept it (for now).  She doesn't eat the broccoli, she doesn't get the cheese.  It's such a trivial interaction but it has really helped with some things.

However, a big conflict arises when she wants to do something, she articulates herself, and I still say no.  We were walking through a store the other day and when it came time to go, I wanted to carry her and she wanted to walk.  She clearly stated her preference and got so mad when I picked her up anyway.  She slapped me and burst out laughing, which resulted in an impromptu time out in the aisle complete with crying.  Poor Jonathan was waiting at the front of the store while we re-started the time out three times because she kept scooting out of the designated time out spot.  After the two minute time out ended five minutes later, she apologized by signing "I'm sorry", gave me a hug, said "no hitting", and I carried her out of the store.

Maybe that's normal two year old behavior but it can be pretty embarrassing at times.  It seems to embarrass her too; I think one of us should go hide under a rock until she outgrows it.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Pleasantly Surprising Test

This was a photo from picking up Allie today.  She and Sam (some of you may remember Sam's moves from Allie's field trip fail last year) were getting cuddly in the back seat of the wagon.  My how the tables have turned!  Doesn't she look like she's going in for a kiss?

In non-kissing news, Allie had her 2.5 year check up this week and it was mostly uneventful, which is good when it comes to our doctor's appointments.  She has this intense hatred doctor's offices and screams relentlessly every time she is in one, but her pediatrician is used to it and just laughs it off.  It's funny because she is a total doll until we cross the door jam.  Outside the door: Normal Allie.   Inside the door: Maniac hysterical child.

Aside from a stat update---35.25" tall (39th percentile) and 27.5 lbs (35th percentile)---Allie's doctor entered some new referrals and her nurse gave us the standard take-home questionnaire to see how Allie is doing in different developmental areas.  This questionnaire is mostly just to flag kids to be seen by the developmental pediatrician, whom Allie already sees, so her doctor always tells us not to worry about filling it out.  But, of course, we always do it anyway.

The questionnaire was a shockingly positive experience this time.  She scored in the typical range in communication, fine motor, problem-solving, and personal-social skills.  The only area where she is behind is gross motor.  Jonathan and I were shocked because that it is the area that we are least concerned with.

The test works by asking a series of questions and we have to answer with "yes", "sometimes", or "not yet".  Here are the questions:

1. Does your child walk withe up or down at least two step by himself?  He may hold onto the railing or wall.  
- Yes!

2.  Does you child run fairly well, stopping herself without bumping into things or falling?
- Sometimes.  She has a limp and she sometimes trips, but she can run.

3.  Does your child jump with both feet leaving the floor at the same time?
-  Sometimes.  She is just starting to be able to to the two foot jump but it is not consistent yet.

4.  Without holding onto anything for support, does your child kick a ball by swinging his leg forward.
-  Sometimes.  She can kick but there isn't a dramatic swing.

5.  Does your child jump forward at least 3 inches with both feet leaving the ground at the same time?
- No.

6.  Does your child walk up stairs, using only one foot on each stair?
- No.

She scored 25 out of 60 points, putting her in the delayed range.

We're not terribly concerned because Allie gets around fine and is able to play on all the playground equipment with her friends.  We're still doing lots of exercises for her leg and looking into other options to help (botox, e-stim, bracing, etc.) but it just doesn't feel freakoutable to me.

So, moral of the story is that the test means nothing but it was pretty cool to see that the thing we are the least worried about is our biggest worry.  Let's hope it continues that way.