The Daughter Chronicles

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Mia peed in the toilet!

Yes, stop the presses. Parents out there know that this is HUGE news. HUGE!!!!

We have been trying to get Mia potty-trained for a while now, and it's been going very slowly. She is saying "pee-pee" a lot, and whenever she does, we go through the rather laborious process of getting her pants down and getting her on the toilet. She never actually pees, but we want her to associate saying "pee-pee" with having to go and sitting on the toilet. A couple of times she said "pee-pee" and then peed soon after, so we're pretty sure she knows what it means, but getting her to go on the toilet is still a pretty futile endeavor. Last night, however, Krys got her onto the toilet and a tiny bit of pee came out.


Krys, of course, danced her around the bathroom singing a happy song, which is what you're supposed to do when your kid successfully uses the porcelain throne. Well, that's what the experts tell us, anyway. She seemed vaguely amused by all the to-do, but she's often vaguely amused by Krys' antics. We told her teacher about it today, and she was very impressed. Of course, she didn't do it today, and who knows when she'll do it again, but it was pretty cool.

Man, what a slow process. I'm sure I came out of the womb as a fully functional child and never caused my mother any consternation.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Mia's Makeover

Today was the big day! Mia's first professional haircut! I took her to Dolce Salon & Spa. I was a bit worried because it is a fairly upscale place, and I was concerned that there would be lots of screaming, but "Shayla" (quotes because that is not her real name. Everyone at Dolce seems to use a pseudonym--don't ask) assured me that everything would go smoothly.

I bathed Mia and washed her hair before we left for the salon. I figured the haircut would be traumatizing enough without throwing in a trip to the shampoo bowl. Greg then took a "before" picture of Mia's hair. We arrived at the salon a few minutes late, but still in time to check in. We had barely sat down in the waiting area (& my iced tea had not yet arrived), when "Harley", Shayla's assistant (also not a real name--I think his real name is George) came to escort us back to Shayla. Mia took one look around, put 2 and 2 together (the early morning bath, Mommy's frequent references to "getting a haircut"...hmmm), and burst into tears.

The tears continued while I took Mia out of her wheelchair and sat her on my lap in the styling chair. Shayla did her best to charm Mia, but Mia was having none of it. She cried as the cape went on, but cheered up a bit when Mommy got a cape, as well. Then the comb came out. Mia tolerated the hair combing and the clips, but eyed Shayla with suspicion the whole time. She didn't even do her usual "Hi, Hi, Hi" to everyone in sight, even as other stylists & patrons came over to exclaim over her beauty.

Then the scissors came out. Shayla deftly cut Mia's hair, even though Mia was moving around somewhat. Mia finally seemed to realize that this wasn't going to hurt, and was quiet and still while Shayla continued to cut her hair into layers.

Mia got upset as the stylist at the next station fired up a blow dryer, but we assured her she would not need to have her hair dried. When the cut was finished, however, Mia pointed at the now quiet hairdryer with interest. Shayla put a diffuser on the hairdryer, and we decided to give it a whirl. Mia giggled nervously the whole time her hair was dried.

By the time the whole experience ended, Mia and Shayla were best buddies. Mia blew kisses and waved happily, even tossing her hair around a bit as everyone made a fuss over her. We left with a few new products to try & a promise to schedule her again in six to eight weeks. Maybe eventually we can try the shampoo bowl.

Mia is getting her hair cut today

I pity my wife, who has to hold her during the ordeal. Highlights later!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The undiscovered country

No, not death. Parenting a child!

You may say we're already parents. However, a few days ago Norah passed 7 months and 19 days, Mia's age when she got in her accident. So since then, we haven't had to deal with a "normal" child. Mia is certainly a lot of work, but interestingly enough, for a few years she was actually less work than I believe a "normal" child would be, because she wasn't mobile. We didn't have to keep an eye on her at all times. We do now, because she's crawling quite a lot, but we didn't for a long time. Of course, I would have done pretty much anything for us to have that problem, but that, as they say, is water under the bridge.

So Norah has passed that day (it was on Friday or maybe Saturday). From here on out, we're pretty much virgin parents, and it will be very neat to see where she goes. She's this close to crawling, and she seems like she is saying things with more purpose (it's still gibberish, but she has more thought behind it), and she's rolling like crazy. And I keep my eye on her all the time.

I have mentioned a couple of times recently (and probably other places too) how depressed I get when I think about Mia. I'm not going to go into it even more, because who can stand the self-pity, except to mention that with Norah around, it's going to be even worse. I want Norah to fly through her development, but I'll always be thinking about Mia and how she's still struggling. But making progress. Slow and steady wins the race.

So Norah is into unfamiliar territory. Soon she will be climbing our bookcases and we'll be freaking out. Should be fun! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The plague house - update!

I mentioned last week that both the children were ill. Mia seems to have recovered, although her voice is still a bit gravelly, and Norah is slowly getting better. Here's the story.

Last Tuesday/Wednesday night was the breaking point. Norah did not sleep. She cried. She cried from about 10:30 at night until 4 in the morning. Krys tried everything to get her to sleep, including making me try. Nothing worked. At 4 she took Norah to the emergency room, but of course by the time she got there she was calm, so they took all the other kids first. At about 6:30 I called her and she said she was coming home. Later that morning I called the pediatrician and made an appointment for Norah.

She had an ear infection. Charming. Even worse (!), she had bronchialitis, which is also known by the ominous acronym RSV. This can lead quickly to pneumonia. So that was a bummer. We got some medication for her ear, and the doctor ordered a nebulizer for us to treat her lung problem.
We put saline solution in that little plastic cup and turn it on! Steam comes out and goes directly into her lungs! According to the doctor, it was fine if she just breathed in the saline solution without putting her mouth on the mouthpiece. So we've been holding it in front of her nose while she breathes in. She has gotten somewhat used to it, so it's not as annoying to do it as it was in the beginning, but we need to give her a treatment 4-5 times a day, so that gets a bit tedious. A treatment takes about 20 minutes, so it's hard getting her to sit still for that long. But it seems to be working.

She has slept much better since she went to the doctor, so that's nice. We're not sure when we have to stop - I keep forgetting to call the doctor and ask. Her ear infection medication is done this Saturday, and that seems to be gone, so we may be out of the woods.

Just another thing we can chalk up to Arizona's horrible weather. We have thick polluted air and it hasn't rained since October, so everything is just hanging in the atmosphere instead of being washed away. Allergies are getting worse. This place is poisonous. Yet people keep moving here with their kids. But that's a rant for another day and my other blog. Norah and Mia are feeling better. Not great, but better. Phew! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Mia's day at school

On Tuesday, 31 January, I hung out with Mia at school. I had never done it for the whole two-and-a-half hours, so I was curious, and I wanted to check on her physical therapy, since I mentioned that her PT changed the configuration on her gait trainer and I wanted to see if the one at school was still okay for her. Krys is taking the week off before she starts a new job, so Norah wasn't an issue, and I got to sit in class and observe. The teacher was nice enough to let me take pictures, so here's a photographic journey through Mia's day.

The first thing the kids do is sit in circle time. There they say hello and discuss the day of the month and the day of the week and the weather (that's a hard one - I think we're at 107 days without rain). Their teacher, Miss Libby, goes around with the microphone and says hello to all of them and they say hello back. These microphones are pretty cool - we have one here. They're simply echo chambers, but they work pretty well. Mia digs them. Here she says hello (well, "HI!" because that's one of the very few words she says consistently).
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They also count the kids in circle time. Miss Libby asked them who wanted to do it, and they all raised their hands but, crucially, did not keep their mouths shut, which is a pre-condition for counting the kids. Mia raised her hand and kept her mouth shut (see above), so she got to count the kids. Here she is being helped around the circle by Miss Libby.
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Circle time also means singing time! Mia likes songs, and she likes making the hand motions with the songs. She's very good at "Itsy-Bitsy Spider." I can't remember what song she was singing here, but she was hitting her thigh because the kids were "walking" somewhere.
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After circle time the kids choose where they want to go play for a bit. Mia chose the "house" so she and three of her fellow students went to the area of the room with the kitchen implements and homey things. The three other students (all boys) wanted her to wear hats. I was kind of surprised that she kept them on for as long as she did - Mia is notoriously not fond of hats. The boys are very funny - they kept saying "Mia hat!" and offering her hats. This isn't the greatest picture because I was hiding behind a shelf so she wouldn't see me.
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They also gave her a tiara. One of the boys wanted to wear it, but Mia was having none of it!
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Then Mia was off to physical therapy! Her gait trainer at school is metal, so it's heavier than the one we have, but that's okay - she's tough and can take it! It's also higher than I remember, so it's not that much of an adjustment from the newer position at home and that one. She worked very hard at PT and did some good walking. Her PT (behind her in the picture) was a bit concerned with her clonus that she gets in her gait trainer, but I told her that her home PT isn't that worried about it. She seems to experience it much more at school than at home, though, so I could understand her concern. I have to bring it up next week when her PT shows up here.
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After PT, it was back to the classroom, where the kids played while the aide changed them. Mia was in this chair for some time, and she sat very well. This time of the day depressed me, because the teacher only has one aide and he was off changing the kids. So she had to run around making sure six kids weren't tearing the place up and had to ignore Mia for a while. Mia was perfectly happy, but I was sad because she couldn't get up and tear the classroom up with the rest of the kids. But she played with the puzzle (in the second picture) and seemed to enjoy herself.
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Then it was on to snack time! The kids, of course, dig snack time. Mia sits at the head of the table because, well, she rules! Here she asks for something on her AugCom device - presumable cookies, because who doesn't like cookies?
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Finally, the kids headed out to the playground. Watching three-year-olds play is fascinating, because they don't play together. They're each in their own world. I mentioned this to the grandfather of one of the students, and he said when his grandson goes to the park, the five- and six-year-olds play together, but not the three-year-olds. It's interesting. Mia, of course, can do little but go on the swings, but she digs going on the swings! Here she is with her speech therapist. I stayed out of the playground, which is why she's so far away.
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So that was Mia's day at school. She had a fun time, and I liked observing her. I hope to be able to visit both the kids when they're in school, because I think more parents need to be involved in their kids' education. It's always good to know what your kids are doing in school!

You must love the pictures!

We started a new roll of film on Christmas and recently finished it, so some of these pictures will be from 25 December. That's just the way it has to be!

First, the cat. Smokey digs Christmas - lots of stuff to bat around! - but he's always a little freaked out by a lot of people. So he was torn. Here he makes a rare public appearance.
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Here Mia, with help from Daddy, opens her Mozart cube. She digs the Mozart cube - she likes to bop along with it when it plays music.
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Here we are, ready for Christmas dinner. Our kids are not there because they were napping, like my niece and nephew should have been! That's Matthew, my father, Lindsay, Barbra, my mom, and Krys. My brother-in-law was at the other end of the table and couldn't be bothered to get up and move so he'd be in the photo. Those lazy West Virginians!
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Mia is wearing a paper crown in this picture. My mom got those popping things with the goofy little prizes inside, and Mia's held a crown. I just like her expression.
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These next two pictures are Norah in her Exersaucer. She doesn't really like it all that much, but occasionally she'll play in it. It's somewhat surprising - when Mia was her age she dug it. We think it's because Norah isn't hopping when she's in it yet - once she figures out her legs can do that, she'll probably like it more.
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Norah really likes trying to drink from whatever Mommy or Daddy is drinking from. She's not terribly interested in a sippy cup yet, so that's annoying. Here she is trying to get some water out of Krys's glass. I like the second one, in which she appears to be French-kissing the side of the glass.
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Here's a shocking picture of Norah! Shocking, of course, because she's smiling.
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Another smiling Norah picture, this from a few days ago. She's sitting with Mommy, so of course she's going to smile! You can't really tell, but Krys pulled her hair up into a "Pebbles" style. I think she looks goofy. But that's just me.
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I got a digital camera for Christmas, so big photo posts may be a thing of the past. I will probably just stick up one every so often, because we don't need to get them developed. That means you have to come here more often, and I have to post more often. It's a win-win situation!