Wednesday, March 27, 2013

C's Parent Teacher Conference

We have been beyond happy with Conner's pre-k teachers this year. They really seem to get him and are teaching him so very much. His first conference of the year went very well so I was hoping for more of the same. The conferences are only 15 minutes long which is not much time to talk about all that C has going on. So the time before mine was not taken so the teacher let me come a little early...when I was there, the person after me was a no show too, so I got about 45 minutes of time which was great. 

So, socially, Conner does very well (even though he tells me he doesn't have any friends at school...apparently that is common). He plays with many different kids and the kids are kind to him and take time to listen to everything he wants to say. He loves the morning meeting which is a time for the kids to talk and share information. His stuttering has been much better the last week and a half and that makes life/school a little easier for him. As we have seen so many times, it's really a cycle so I hope that it will continue to improve and I dread the day that it gets worse. The teachers have definitely noticed a difference. 

Conner struggles hugely with certain self-care and necessary tasks. He has trouble with his shoes, boots and snow pants and he can't zip his coat.. He is stubborn and it's hard for him so he is very resistant. It's frustrating that at times he won't even try even though I know how much he can do. He does fine with the bathroom mostly because his pants are either elastic waste or his jeans are so big that he can pull them up easily. I'm hoping this stuff will get easier but it's a very difficult battle to fight with him. Now we are talking about adding braces to his feet...getting shoes on is going to be torture. 

Handwriting is difficult but coming along and the teachers stressed to me that although handwriting used to be a big gauge for how kids are doing in school, teachers now know that there are many other things that determine intelligence. They have told me that Conner is very smart and that although some skills are challenging, that cognitively, he is doing really great. He thinks abstractly when necessary and really is getting some difficult concepts. His favorite things in school are story time, media (library), science and playing. He HATES handwriting at school. So it is challenging. 

Overall, it was a really great conference and I'm hoping that the skills that C has learned will continue on as he gets ready for kindergarten next year. 

March 27, 2013 - Update

Lots going on around here and we have been pretty busy. C's schedule is crazy as always and B is adding a few of her own things to the mix. I have been terrible about taking pictures with the camera lately, but I have a ton on my phone that I have to get uploaded.

A few weeks ago, C started a few new activities to add to his normal days. He started swim lessons at this amazing place called Aqua Tots. We tried it out one day when The Friendship Circle was doing free classes and they were so good with him. They felt that he would be fine in a group lesson (the only way we can afford lessons) so we gave them a try. Backing up, Conner has been pretty terrified of the water, even though he has taken many swim lessons so I was thrilled that he was so excited about getting in the pool. Most of the lessons are great, although the progress is VERY slow. The biggest problem for Conner is the breathing and holding his breath under water (oh, and floating on his back). Always having trouble with breathing. Anyway, it has gotten a little better over the weeks. The problem is that many of the kids are moving up to the next level, but Conner has a long way to go, so the kids in his class are getting younger and younger. I feel like they might make us start doing private lessons pretty soon which is pretty cost prohibitive for us, so we are just trying to get as much from this as possible. I have definitely seen progress and we have figured out some ways to get him to put his head in the water so we are happy. Water in his ears drives C crazy and that is pretty hard to prevent under water. He refuses to wear ear plugs so we ended up buying him an ear wrap (a waterproof ear cover - like a headband). So far, so good. He is now able to float on his back much much better.

C also started 2 OT classes, Eye Spy and Handwriting. Eye Spy works a lot on strengthening eye muscles and hand eye coordination. Handwriting is just a basic first handwriting class. Both classes have 3 kids, 2 girls and Conner...which is right up his alley!, and very strange for therapy classes because normally they are all boys. Anyway, he is really enjoying them and loves doing "therapy type" activities with friends instead of all by himself. He has also been on a little break from OT because our insurance isn't so great this year so these classes are helping with that a lot. We just started back last week and are SO happy to have our awesome OT back.

B started gymnastics classes 2 weeks ago. We won a free class at a fundraiser a few months ago and this is a perfect way for us to try it out. I go with her and so far it's okay. She seems excited about going but is so shy around the teacher and other kids that she really won't follow along with the routine. Maybe it will just take some getting used to. She still loves going to the gym playroom and I would love to get her in to their preschool class but it's full at the moment. When this little girl gets older, I'm pretty sure she will get a big kick out of dance class.

Still deciding what to do this summer for both kids. Lots of stuff up in the air right now and there are not too many options at this point. We do need something for sure. Only thing for certain is a long weekend trip up north with The Friendship Circle that we have been looking forward to all year.

Friday, March 8, 2013

March 8, 2013 - B turns 2!

So hard to believe that B turned 2. I say it all the time, but really the time does fly by. She went in for her 2 year check up and her stats are same as usual:

Weight: 28 lbs (75%ile)
Height: 34 inches (50%ile

She is about the same weight as Conner at his 3 year appointment. She doesn't seem huge though, just your average kid.  At her annual exam, the pediatrician asked lots of questions but not anywhere as in depth as I remember the first go around with C. The one thing she did harp on was to give B more vegetables and less "snacks". B doesn't eat a ton of junk...but she likes to snack. She likes squeezy pouches of any kind of sauce (I usually get the kind that have some kind of fruit/veggie mix), yogurt raisins, pretzels, veggie straws, fruit. Nothing I consider that bad. But her pediatrician would like her to be only offered vegetables for snacks. I did mention that she is pickier with foods but it's really not that bad. She has started to try more things and really likes salad all of a sudden. I feel like this might be the first time that I am defying my doctor (such a rebel, I know!) because I don't like peas, I'm not going to give them to B for a snack every day. I feel like she is too young to not give food just because she doesn't like what I make. We try to mostly do healthy foods at home and she really is starting to try more things...but when she doesn't want something, you know it. She gives a terrible face and will hand it right back. B's favorite foods are yogurt (she LOVES some Chobani...LOVES), fruit, and sushi (she likes the soup, salad, edamame and california rolls). She's getting more adventurous!

B is doing great at school. She takes a bit to warm up every morning, but she is happy there and enjoys it. We are so glad to have found a good place for her for the rest of this school year. She loves the arts and crafts projects and music the most, at least that is what we think from the information we get. She was lucky to get to celebrate her 2nd birthday at school with her new friends.

B loves being read to and her most favorite books are all the Pinkalicious stories. I have no idea why or if she really "gets" them, but at nap and bedtime, we must read at least one of them. She loves singing time too and her favorite song is "Row Row Row Your Boat". I love hearing her sing along to "Down By The Bay" and "You Are My Sunshine". Her little voice is so cute. She doesn't sing all the words...just the ends of the phrases, but so cute! She also lately must pick out a blanket for bed/nap and it's different every time. She has a bunch of baby blankets and she picks from the ones in the basket on her changing table. She sleeps with tons of stuff and there is nothing we can do about it. She has 2 hippos she got for her first birthday that she won't sleep without, Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and an assorted bunch of other stuff. Sometimes there is hardly room for her.

We decided not to do a big party this year because B doesn't know a lot of kids her age and because she is pretty shy and we didn't want to do anything that would freak her out. So we just had dinner with family and it was perfect for her. We had pink balloons, a Pinkalicious cake and pink cupcake shaped cookies (from the book).

At 2, B's favorite toys are probably her babies, a favorite hand me down stroller/car seat, and anything for the baby. She also likes Conner's toys...but only when he is home playing with them! She knows what she wants and has already started having some pretty good tantrums. She is pretty easy to redirect at this point, but I think she has the makings of a drama queen! She is such a fun, great kid and she LOVES her brother. She asks about him all day when he is at school. She is talking a lot more and although I have NO idea what normal is for her age, I think she is doing okay. She strings about 3 words together much of the time and she has tons of words. She isn't quite conversational, but she's getting there.

Overall, it was a great, low-key birthday for Brennan. It was a little emotional for me because I just can't believe how old she is getting. She is so grown up already!