The Daughter Chronicles

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mia's first few weeks of school and her groovy birthday party!

Just when Mia went to school on the 13th of August, my computer started acting up. Now it seems better, so I want to post about her first two weeks, plus the birthday party we had for her yesterday (her birthday is on Thursday). I have, of course, many photographs!

I took her to school on Monday, the 13th. I've been taking her to school instead of having the bus get her because the school is a decent hike and the bus would come too early for her to even get breakfast. She comes home on the bus, though, as we shall see.

So I put her in the van and we headed out. School starts at 8.30, so I've been getting there between 8.20 and 8.30 every morning. It's quite the fun scene at school, with all the many kids running around. We meet her aides by the side of the school, who take her into her classroom. Occasionally, if I want to speak to her teacher, I go in with her. On the first day, of course, I went in to say hello. We had met the teacher the previous week at the open house, but I just wanted to make sure everything was dandy. We got the menu for each week, and sometimes she buys lunch because it's something she'll actually eat, but on some days we send lunch with her. She also needs a change of clothes in case, as on the second day, she gets her pants wet before she even reaches school. Oh dear. So I dropped her off and left. She hardly noticed my passing, as I figured. She loves new things, especially school, so I figured she probably wouldn't care when I left. Norah is going to be a problem, I think.

Norah and I went to Little Gym that day for her first session. Little Gym is a place where kids can play on gym equipment and get to know how to deal with other kids and adults. We want Norah to get more socialized, and it's cheaper than day care, so we decided to check it out. Norah cried for a good 25 minutes the first day, until she decided the teacher was going to be her friend and she followed her around the rest of the time. Eventually, of course, she started playing, and then she didn't want to leave. This past week the crying was down to about 10-15 minutes, so we're hoping that tomorrow it will be cut even more. We'll see. I think she gets a bit freaked out by the adults, not the children, because she plays at the mall in the play area with all the kids and doesn't mind that. She's getting better, though.

Norah went down for her nap easily enough, as I figured she would, and Mia came home on the bus about 3.30. She gets out of school around 3, so this is pretty good time. She is, interestingly enough, the only student on her bus. She has a bus monitor with her, and each one (there have been different ones) and the driver has said that she enjoys the ride immensely. Again, I figured she would. I was kind of hoping she would take a little nap on the ride home, but she hasn't yet. Perhaps it's just too exciting riding on the bus! She rides the little elevator off the bus, and that's her day. Too much fun!

The teacher sends home a schedule book each day with a brief summary of her work. We also get a folder with her work for the day and any papers we need to sign. She's been working on writing her letters and her numbers. Of course, she's not very good at it, but she's doing her best. Getting her to grip a pencil or crayon the correct way is still high on the agenda, because it's going to be difficult for her to write if she doesn't learn that. On Monday she comes home and almost immediately has Occupational Therapy. I was a bit worried that she would be too tired, but she's fine. On Wednesday I pick her up at 2 because she has Physical Therapy at 2.30. She has been fine with that, too, which is a bit more surprising because of the effort involved. She's still walking rather well (with assistance, of course) in PT, so that's good. On Friday I take her late to school because she has swim therapy (and once it gets cool, horse therapy) in the morning. She doesn't miss too much on Friday morning - in the mornings at school she spends some time with the regular kindergarten, so she might miss circle time or something like that. Nothing that crucial.

She's in a class with no more, I think, than four kids, with at least three aides, so we're pretty happy with that arrangement. We'll see how she's doing as she goes along, but right now, she loves school. Of course, I love it too, because dealing with Norah alone is a lot easier than dealing with both of them. Norah tends to do her own thing a lot, and all I have to do is keep an eye on her. It's still very hot, and Norah doesn't like going outside in the heat, so she just wanders around playing with her toys. I'm looking forward to it getting cooler so we can go outside, but right now, the best I can do is the pool. We've been in it a few times in the past two weeks, and she's enjoying it. She also sleeps very well in the afternoon, so I can actually relax and read or go on the computer. I'm sure she'll stop napping eventually, but by then, maybe she'll be ready for other stuff.

So yesterday we had a birthday party for Mia's fifth birthday, which is on the 30th. It was a fun time. We weren't sure how many people would come, because so many people have so much else to do, but we ended up seeing a good number of people. A few friends of ours came with their kids, Mia's pre-school teacher showed up, her ex-swim therapist and her husband made it, and Mia's day care teacher, who lives a few blocks from us, came over. There were three other kids besides ours, all around the same age, so they had a good time playing with each other. Krys had a Wiggles theme going on, so we had a Wiggles cake that came out pretty well. Mia got a bunch of clothing, some DVDs, and a few other toys. She was very happy to see everyone, and even though she couldn't play with the other kids, she had fun watching them. Norah got over her initial reticence and played pretty well with the other kids. It was nice to see our friends again, because it's tough seeing people when they live so far away and have such busy lives. Krys and I were exhausted at the end of the day, but it was a fine time. Everyone, of course, told Mia how beautiful she was. The girl is going to have a big head someday soon!

Here are some pictures of her party:

I would have taken more of the kids playing later in the afternoon, but by then I was busy chatting with the adults. So no more pictures! Oh well. I hope you liked these! Come back soon for Norah's odd fashion choices and why the kids enjoy torturing Daddy! You'll want to miss neither!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lack of posting

Mia started school yesterday, and I have pictures and stuff to say, but our computer is acting weirdly. It gets overheated very quickly, and we fear to keep it on when the fan is whirring so loudly I fear it's going to wake up Norah. I will try to post pictures and thoughts about her first days of school (she loves it, by the way) when I can. I know I have a few loyal readers, and I didn't want anyone to think I've abandoned the blog!

Well, there goes the PC again. I'll be back as soon as I can!

Monday, August 06, 2007

The curious case of the vanishing blanket

Look at how cute Norah is. She has her blanket wrapped around her neck, the blanket my mother made for her before she was even born. She loves that blanket, although we have been trying to wean her off of it. But we're not trying too hard. If Linus can have a blanket for fifty years, Norah can deal with it.

Last Thursday Krys came home from work. She went into Norah's bedroom to fix up her bed, and Norah grabbed the blanket. She carried it out to the laundry room, where Krys went next, and then brought it with her into the family room. I started making dinner (nothing better than Manwich!) while Krys hung out with Mia and Norah. The blanket lay on the floor for a bit. Then Krys got up and told Norah to pick up her shoes and blanket and take them into her bedroom. That was the last she saw of the blanket. After dinner Norah and I cleaned up. The blanket, I recall, was not on the floor. Later, Krys took Norah back to get her ready for bed. She couldn't find the blanket. Norah was a bit perturbed. She wasn't all that upset, but she did look around a bit confusedly. She managed to get to sleep, however, so that was good.

Krys went nuts looking for the blanket. I didn't go as nuts as she did, but we both looked everywhere we could. Krys looked in the laundry room, under furniture, in cabinets, everywhere. EVERYWHERE!!!!! She hadn't gone outside, but we looked there. She can't get into the garage, but we looked there too. Where had that confounded blanket gone? Krys was convinced that we either had a) a poltergeist; or b) some kind of vortex in the space-time continuum in the middle of our family room. Neither prospect sounded likely to me, but Krys claimed it was so!!!!

Friday came, and no blanket appeared. Norah had a good day, slept fine for her nap, and slept fine at night. We were still very puzzled about the absence of the blanket, but we couldn't think of any place we hadn't looked. On Saturday morning, Krys went to work. Yes, she went to work on a weekend. Boo! I was hanging out with the children, and at one point Mia needed to be changed. I took her into her bedroom to change her. I heard Norah playing with a rubber ball out in the kitchen/living room area - she loves bouncing balls on the tile and then chasing them down. Then the bouncing stopped. I took Mia back out and put her on the sofa, because we were going to go out for a bit. I looked over at Norah, who was sitting by the back door with her blanket wrapped around her neck. Yes, that picture above was right after she found the blanket. But where had she found it? Where had it been? Was our child trying to drive us INSANE?!?!?!? What was she doing to us?????

I called Krys and told her that Norah had the blanket back. As she freaked out because Norah was so creepy and possessed by Satan (how else could she have done it?), I noticed something:

We bought a tricycle for Norah a while back. She enjoys it. You'll notice that the seat tips up and there's a small space for storage beneath it. Norah was sitting right next to it. Mystery solved! We had forgotten about the space, and Norah closed the seat after she put the blanket into it. I don't know if she remembered where she put it or if she just happened to lift the seat up and think, "Hey! There's my blanket!"

So we're satisfied that we're not haunted and that the integrity of our house is not compromised by a black hole. Although I'm not sure Krys totally believes it's not. After all, I didn't actually see Norah take the blanket out of the tricycle, did I?????

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mia's visits to the doctors and some other stuff

On Monday Mia saw her neurologist. She hadn't seen him in a year and a half, so it was about time! It's always an adventure going to see her neurologist. He doesn't do morning appointments, which we would prefer, and very often it's tough to get in to see him early in the afternoon. So we get late afternoon appointments and then we wait for a loooooooooong time. This time we had a 3.45 appointment, and we actually saw him at about 4.35. That's impressive for him. He does his thing with Mia - he tracks her eye movements and her reflexes and talks about her progress. It's only a little bit helpful, but it's something we like to do so he can take a look at her. We told him we would like to get her off the medication she's on, and he said that he wanted to see her in January anyway to see how she's adjusting to school and when he saw her he might be able to get rid of one of her meds. That would be neat. Krys has been worried about her focus and asked about ADD medication, and her doctor said that they'll check that out at school and he wouldn't have a problem putting her on something if it's necessary. It was a relatively painless visit. Of course, it took us an hour and twenty minutes to get home (it's usually about a twenty-minute drive) because the monsoon has been throwing these really bad storms at us for a while and part of the freeway near our exit flooded, which meant that the traffic was at a standstill. Mia was perfectly well-behaved, as she usually is, even when we were sitting in traffic.

On Tuesday she saw her pediatrician for her "we won't let you into school unless you have these shots" shots. She screamed bloody murder when the nurse gave her the shots, but otherwise she was fine. She weighs almost 37 pounds and is almost 44 inches tall. Her height-to-weight ratio isn't very good, but the doctor noted that the curve goes downward about this age and she should be fine. He always checks her out and notices that she's perfectly healthy, so we're not too worried about her weight, but it would be nice if she ate more. That battle is, of course, constant. So she's doing well on the health front.

She has also been doing well with her physical therapy. Her PT and I have been helping her walk recently, with him holding her hips while kneeling behind her and me holding her hands as a I walk backward in front of her. We've been doing this for over a year now, and recently she's gotten better. Her PT no longer has to move her feet for her, which was a pretty big step. When he's not holding onto her feet, her biggest problem is that her feet tend to cross over midline - her right foot will be on the floor, and her left leg will move forward and then come across her right leg to block its progress. So we have to try to get her to move it back to where it should be on her own, which is never fun. However, this past Monday, she didn't "scissor" her legs at all - the worst she did was place one foot directly in front of the other, which isn't bad. She walked very well and confidently, and without making a fuss. It was very heartening, because we're always looking for a "spark" in her head that will make her realize that she needs to learn how to do things. If she understands that learning these things will help her in her life, she might work harder at learning them. Occasionally we think she understands, but this session on Monday was very nice because she's always been most resistant to walking without much help. She zips around in her gait trainer, but when she's unfettered, she has some issues. We'll see if it continues on a positive path.

That's about all that's been going on. My parents were in town this past weekend, so I'll have to post some pictures of the girls with them. All is well in the Burgas household. Soon it will be school time. Won't that be fun!