Saturday, March 31, 2012

That's What Chloe Said - March

Chloe has taken to throwing little fits when she doesn't get what she wants. She flops down on the ground and cries. And then she calls out to me, "Mommy! Co-ey Kie-ing!" (Chloe's Crying.) "Mommy! Co-ey Thad." (Chloe's Sad.) I realize that flopping on the ground in a fit shouldn't be cute but seriously....

Dora the Explorer is definitely Chloe's favorite TV show. It seems to be influincing her. She was trying to get Solana's sandals on and was having trouble.
"Mommy help! Mommy help! Ayudame!"

Walking around the house singing songs:
Wheah we goin? (Clap. Clap. Clap.) Tall-less Mountain!
Wheah we goin? (Clap. Clap. Clap.) Tall-less Mountain!
Wheah we goin? (Clap. Clap. Clap.) Tall-less Mountain!
Wheah we goin? (Clap. Clap. Clap.) Tall-less Mountain!
Wheah we goin? (Clap. Clap. Clap.) Tall-less Mountain!
You get the idea.

That's What Solana Said - March

Solana came home from school telling us a very dramatic story about a boy who was acting naughty in class. She went on to tell us that the teacher told him to stop and he didn't. So the teacher counted to three! Three! After she counted to three he continued being naughty and the whole class "gasped in horror!" Oh the drama of first grade!

Driving home from the farmer's market Solana thought she saw Dave on his motorcycle.
Me: No, that's not him, Solana. He's still at work.
Solana: Oh wait!! Is that?!? [disappointed voice] No. It was just a pigeon.

I was telling Solana about all the great stuff her teacher, Mrs. Eckhart, said about her during our parent-teacher conference. Her response:
"Well, if you went to Ms. Johnson's room she'd have a LOT more to say than that. She'd probably be happy crying because I do such a good job in music."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Let's Go Fly A Kite

Solana always notices the wind. If there's even a slight breeze she asks if it's a good day to fly a kite. Unfortunately for her the answer is usually "no." It's either snowing or about to rain or dinner's cooking or something. She got lucky on this particular day. I finished dinner early and we left for the park as soon as we were done. Solana and Dave spent a really long time trying to get the diamond kite up but just couldn't. Poor Solana was running her little heart out. It seemed perfectly windy for kite flying but that darn kite just wouldn't catch the wind. They finally gave up and got the butterfly kite out. Success! It looked really pretty.

I like how you can see the kite string in this picture. It looks so LONG and makes Solana look so tiny.

Chloe could even see the bullerbye. She wanted to touch it.

Getting Closer to School

As we get closer and closer to Chloe's 3rd birthday I'm getting more and more nervous. Scratch that. Terrified. My biggest concern, of course, is her vision. Chloe can either look out in front of her OR down at the ground. She can't do both. We're usually in a safe and familiar environment - our house - but when we're in a new environment she'll either trip on something or walk into something. She does it regularly. Chloe also has issues with balance so she tends to move quickly. I know that seems odd but moving slowly means she can lose her balance and fall over more easily. If she moves quickly and has some momentum behind her movement then she's less likely to wobble and fall over.

Pair her quick speed with her inability to see obstacles and you have a recipe for disaster. Now I know what you people with typical kids are thinking. You're thinking that toddlers are just clumsy and that your toddler has also fallen down, walked into things, tripped, etc. But please don't get my blood boiling by telling me about it. I know you mean well but it's.simply.not.the.same. Without close supervision Chloe will walk into things and smash her head on corners of tables, door frames, chairs, walls, people's knees, you name it all the time. She even falls over after standing up half the time. She's tough. She's really tough. Solana cried the other night because she scraped her foot climbing down from her bunk bed. I was glad Dave comforted her because, let me tell you, I was having a hard time mustering up sympathy for her. Chloe hurts herself like that a dozen times a day. Three times she's run into a door frame so hard that she was hurtled backwards and hit the back of her head on the other side of the door frame. Her vision therapist told me that if she hits the back of her head she could damage her vision even more. I can only imagine if Solana slammed her head into a door frame the way Chloe has. We'd never hear the end of it.

We had a party for Dave on Saturday and there was a little boy two months "younger" than Chloe (he should be two months older than her) running around weaving his way through the crowd. There were 45 people in our house. And I thought to myself, "There's NO WAY Chloe could do that." Oh, she'd try. But she'd fall on her butt several times, fall on her face several more, get kneed in the face, run into a chair, plus more just on her way through the crowd one time. How on earth is she going to get along in a classroom with kids who can do what he just did and where the teacher is also watching a dozen other kids? How many times will she smack her face on a shelf that she didn't see and I won't ever know about it? She's talking really well and, unless you know what to look for, you could easily forget that she has a vision impairment. But I know her better than anyone. I know to warn her when she's moving too quickly without looking where she's going. I watch her like a hawk outside of our house. I follow her up and down the playground equipment because I know the different circumstances that she loses her balance. Who's going to do that for her at school? I know I need to be able to let go. But at what cost? Ugh. I'm about to start bawling right now.

We haven't had a transition meeting yet and I haven't observed the preschool classroom. I expect and hope that many of my fears will be eased during those meetings. Chloe's EIS and PT were telling me today that Chloe will have IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and I'll put goals on it like, for example, "Learn to Safely Navigate Her Surroundings." They assured me that Chloe won't be just thrown into the mix and have her special needs forgotten.

Here's my plan so far:
-Visit the school before the year is over.
-Work up a list of questions for her transition meeting.
-Make sure Linda (Vision Therapist) is at the transition meeting.
-Request that her Vision Therapist accompany her on her first few days of school.
-Request the Mobility/Orientation person work with Chloe to orient her to the school.

And finally, drink wine. Lots of wine every night after the girls go to bed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lift Your Bottom

I injured my wrist on Chloe's bottom. That's right. For weeks now I've been trying to figure out what to do about it but, next to potty training her, I couldn't come up with anything. It's the act of grabbing her ankles and lifting her up to slide a diaper under her bottom that has done it. I even considered mentioning it to my chiropractor to see if he could do anything to help my wrist. Every once in a while I'd say, "Chloe, you're getting too big for this." For weeks this went on.

Then the other day she laid down for a diaper change and I said, "Chloe, lift your bottom up." I showed how to put her feet down and lift her bottom. She now happily lifts her bottom for me and my wrist is fine.


She can also now hold onto my shoulder and step into her own pants. Super DUH.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Daddy Got A Bike

Dave has wanted a motorcycle for as long as I've known him. We've been married for almost 8 years (Wow! Has it been that long?) and he's almost bought one on multiple occasions during that time. Once he bought a pop-up camper instead of his bike. Family recreational vehicle instead of a motorcycle? You gotta love him!

But Dave turns 40 on April 1st and if there's ever a time/excuse for a man to buy a motorcycle it's when he turns 40. I usually have a pretty strong aversion to spending money and, in the past, anticipated that I would be annoyed when he bought his bike. But we had a surprisingly large tax refund this year and, while we could certainly think of more responsible ways to spend it, we just couldn't think of a better way to spend it. And look at the expression on his face. There is one content almost-40-year-old man.

2006 Honda VTX1300S

I ran outside to take a picture of him leaving on his first ever ride but the lens of the camera was stuck. I got it open just in time to catch him riding down the street.

He went out again after dinner so I got a better picture of him heading out for his second ever ride. The girls and I watched him go past the house a couple of times from our big front window as they finished their dinner. It was very exciting. Those girls eat so slowly. He rode around the neighborhood for a good 10 minutes and they were still finishing dinner when he returned!

He said it's pretty heavy and he needs some time to practice but he's very happy. His boss, Dave Goe, is an avid rider and has put together a Kentucky distillery tour in May. They'll be riding for two days and stopping for tours at about 6 distilleries, staying a couple of nights in hotels. Dave has already booked his. He should get lots of practice between now and May. And Solana can't wait for him to get good so she can take a ride on the back!

Monday, March 12, 2012

2nd Lost Tooth

I didn't intend to post about another lost tooth but this is too good of a story. Solana will get a kick out of this one in the future...

With the first tooth out of the way we started focusing on Solana's second loose tooth. That one also had a new one growing in behind it. Solana worked on it a bit but then lost interest. I asked her about it on Sunday and she showed me that it was really quite loose. Dave said that he could tie a string to it and do the doorknob trick. When I was a kid, my Mom told us that Papo (my grandpa) pulled out Aunt Linda's tooth that way. The doorknob story was one of those that grownups told just to scare us kids. They'd threaten us with it every once in a while but we never believed them. She also told us that they used to iron their hair straight with the iron - like, as in, the one you iron your clothes with. I wasn't sure I believed either story. That's why, when Dave mentioned it, I expected Solana to balk at the idea.

She didn't. She was all for it. And dear ol' Daddy was ready to go for it. Mommy, on the other hand, quickly dissolved into a wobbly kneed panic attack mess. The conversation happened over lunch and I tried to hold it together and act apathetic as they left me with Chloe at the table. "Yeah. Sure. Whatever. Do what you want." I failed miserably. Solana was excited. Dave was pulling string out of the "drawer" and I sat there staring with wide eyes and unintentionally making hateful faces at Dave. "Nothing's wrong. I'm fine. Carry on."
They went to the back room and I tried to follow them but my feet were glued to the kitchen floor and Dave shut the door. I guess he didn't want my nervous energy seeping into the room. I took a picture from the kitchen because that's the best I could manage at the moment.
Besides, Chloe was still in her high chair. I took her down and paced a few times in the living room and actually cried. I could just imagine the sound of a door slamming and Solana screaming. I remembered my 7 year-old self wiggling my teeth for my Mom and freaking her out. It was hilarious. So if I could remember that why am I so creeped out when Solana does the same? And why am I having a panic attack now? I couldn't answer my own question. I left Chloe playing with blocks and went to brush my hair but my nerve endings were all on high alert. Every tangle felt like a cactus was attacking my head.

Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer. They were taking way too long. I went to the office and opened the door and blurted, "Oh my God!" when I opened the door.
They had already tried once but the string slipped right off because Solana was sitting and the angle was wrong. They were about to try again but she was hesitant. After about a minute she decided against it. I literally breathed a huge sigh of relief (hoping Dave wouldn't hear) and ushered her away from the door of doom.

Later that evening I was brushing her hair before bed and mentioned that she should work on her tooth a bit. This is what she did while I brushed her hair.
The tooth fairy brought her $5 for tooth number one but only $1 for tooth number two. What a disappointment. After all that work? Where is that tooth fairy? I need to have words with her.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Solana Lost a Tooth!

Yesterday Solana pointed out to me that she's growing a new tooth behind her loose tooth. I took a look and, sure 'nuff, there it was. A little bit of white was poking out of her gums right behind her loose tooth. The fact that her loose tooth seemed far from falling out made me nervous. I called the dentist. They said to encourage wiggling and twisting. Eww. Just the thought gave me the heeby-jeebies. And just after I finally got that finger out of her mouth... I gave Solana a tissue and said, "Go for it. You need to wiggle your tooth out within the week. If not, the dentist will want to pull it." By the time she went to bed she was proudly showing me blood on a tissue. I went weak in the knees and congratulated her for her perseverance.

After school today Solana jumped off the bus yelling, "Mommy! Mommy! My tooth fell out at school!" If I didn't see it I wouldn't believe it!

Interesting Solana tooth fact. You can see that she has four teeth remaining on either side of the missing tooth. Knowing that this is her first lost tooth you may think, "Hmm. That doesn't make sense. If she lost only one tooth shouldn't she have four on one side and five on the other?" The answer to your question is, "Yes." That is, if two of her teeth weren't fused together. The tooth that you see to the right side of her gap is actually two in one. They say the permanents will grow in as two. That just happens sometimes with baby teeth. Weird, huh?