Saturday, October 30, 2010

In the Wee Hours of the Morning

Haley has not been sleeping well lately.  She has been getting up several times a night.  Usually when she does that she comes in to our room and gets me and I put her back in bed. 

In this last week she has needed her pull-ups changed in the middle of the night several times.  Sometimes instead of getting me up she goes into our office and gets on the laptop. 

Sometimes that wakes me up because she likes to turn the volume up, and I don't think that she has learned that if she keeps the volume down she would get to play longer.

She has also been getting up very early in the morning, before the rest of the family is up.  I don't always know what time she gets up. 

On Friday she got up early and she found my camera.  She documented her morning for me.

From 5:23 AM to 5:45 AM she took 94 pictures.

The first 45 pictures she took were of our cat Shadow at the front door.  She likes to let him out in the morning.  Shadow is not normally patient enough to sit for such a photo shoot, but he really wanted to go outside so he put up with it.  I assumed she let him out after that.

Maybe not.

Then there was a picture of the door of my bedroom, closed.

Then there is a picture of her sister getting ready for school.

And then one of her leaving the house.

Then there is a series of pictures Chelsea, her Schleich horse.  Very close pictures. A couple of pictures of her room, even the carpet.  Then there is a series of pictures of the computer screen, then some more close up shots of her horses.

These are some of my personal favorites.

Then I think her Dad came in to the office and took the camera away from her.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Good From Bad

OK, that title is deceiving, but I will try to explain.

Haley wants to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house, she has made that abundantly clear.  Her Big Sis came home from school yesterday and said "Haley wants to go to Grandma and Grandpa's doesn't she?"  I asked her how she knew that.  She said that she had heard her talking about it and also that she had seen the pile of videos and magazines and that her purse is packed.  She also noticed the white board on the refrigerator.

Haley got the white board out yesterday morning and wanted me to write some things on it.  I wrote Grandpa, Grandma, Heather, Tractor, Haley, 4449 Daylight, her sister's name and Shadow.  Haley told me exactly what to write.  She likes to go up to the refrigerator and read what I wrote.

Haley can say Grandpa, but she has always had trouble with Grandma.  I don't know why.  Certain sounds flummox her.  I think that both of her Grandma's found it disheartening that she didn't say Grandma.  I think in her head that is what she was saying, it just always comes out Grandpa.

Now that she has them both written up there she has made the distinction.  It is obvious to me that it is an effort for her to say Grandma, but she can.  I am really excited about it. 

I also noticed that she has a hard time saying Shadow.  I don't think about it very much because I know what she means when she says it, but it sounds more like Yadow. I asked her to try it a couple of times and I told her to put the "sh" sound on it.  She tried a couple of times, but didn't really get it.

This morning she walked up to the refrigerator and read through all of the words.  She said "Grandma" plain as day and then when she got to Shadow she said "Shayadow."  I am so proud of her.

So yeah, she is driving me crazy with her insistence on going to Grandma and Grandpa's, but she is learning to say some more words and she is reading.  Good from bad, see.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oh My Head

My daughter wants to visit her Grandparents again.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  It's just that she gets these ideas in her head and she doesn't let go.

This past weekend Haley and I had a girls weekend.  My husband was out of town and Haley' Big Sis went to the beach with her best friend and Haley and I stayed home.  It was a three day weekend.

Haley and I had fun.  We went shopping.  We shopped on Friday and on Saturday.  Haley bought a new shirt and a new coat and I got her a new set of luggage.  We got Chinese take out Friday night and we had a sausage and sauerkraut dish on Saturday that her Dad doesn't like.  We went to church together on Sunday.

This morning when I woke up she was already up.  She was convinced that we were going to pack her new luggage and head up to Grandma and Grandpa's house.  I told her we didn't have plans to do that and that she needed to get ready for school.  That upset her, there were tears.  A lot of tears.

I told her that we had invited Grandma and Grandpa to our house for Thanksgiving and so that meant that they would be coming here instead.  I asked her if she thought that was a good idea.  She liked it, but she still wants to go up there.

This is going to be a long week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

She Can't Spit

File this under Mommy mistakes:

Haley can't spit.

Well, not yet anyway.

I didn't think she would be able to walk, or jump or run either.  She has proven to me that she can, so I am sure she will figure out spitting pretty soon too.

I tried to teach her how to spit after I brushed her teeth a long time ago.  She couldn't do it.  She would lean over the sink and open her mouth, but she had already swallowed so nothing came out.  I tried several times to get her to do it, but it made her mad.  She would just grunt at me and walk out of the bathroom.  So I gave up.

I don't use very much toothpaste on her brush and I just hoped that whatever amount of toothpaste that she ingested wouldn't be enough to hurt her.

Lately Haley seems to be learning at an alarming rate.  I thought maybe it was time to try again.

A couple of days ago after I brushed her teeth I said "Watch Mommy." and I put some water in my mouth and immediately bent over the sink and opened my mouth so that all of the water came back out again.  I asked her to try it.  She did it.  I almost couldn't believe it.

The next time I brushed her teeth I showed her how to slosh it around in her mouth before she leaned over the sink.  She thought that was hilarious, but when she tried it she swallowed right away and there wasn't any water in her mouth to slosh around.  I tried to get her to do it again, but she was done and out the door.

The next time I brushed her teeth I showed her the same thing.  This time she got some sloshing done, but then swallowed twice and there wasn't any water to spit out.

I just happened to be out of the house for a couple of mornings and evenings.  This morning I tried it again.  She did really well.  There really wasn't any sloshing, but she did lean over and spit out some water.  I praised her and made a big deal out of it.  Her Dad came in to the bathroom and said she had been doing a really good job for him.

So many times Haley is held back by my inability to teach her something.  Whether it is because I don't know how to teach her or it never occurs to me that she should be able to do something on her own.  I am so thankful for the people in her life, like her teachers and her aides.  They don't second guess her, they just show her how to do something.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. 

And sometimes we just need to try again later.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Haley's Hobby

Haley's hobby, of watching trains, that she shares with her Dad means something else to her Dad.  He likes to watch them go by, just as much as Haley does, but he also likes to take pictures of them.  He is not the only one.  There is a whole society of people that like to take pictures of trains going by.  Not only do they like to take these pictures but they like to share them with each other.

My husband belongs to several groups that post pictures of the trains that they take online.   They also like to get together occasionally and look at each others pictures.  A couple of years ago my husband got together with some friends and set their pictures to music and they made a night of it watching their shows, having dinner and drinks and just enjoying their mutual hobby.

My husband became the video guru.  People send their photo montages (set to music) to him and he makes sure that they will run smoothly.  Then at the appointed time he runs all of the shows for the group from his computer on a big screen.

The advantage to this is that Haley is left with a plethora of train pictures set to music.  She gets immense joy from watching these shows.  The people that make these shows know that they will be enjoyed by their friends for an evening.  I bet they have no idea how much joy they give to one little girl forevermore.

The weekend is coming up where everyone will get together and share their shows and so my husband has been previewing a lot of shows, making sure that they will be presented without a problem.  Haley has been enjoying them.  She also had gotten into looking at the shows that we still have from several years past.

The fun thing for me is that in general the music is good, so when Haley wants to watch the shows I enjoy the music.  This weekend Haley watched the shows over and over again.  She sang at the top of her lungs along with some of the songs.  She had a great time.

She was so in to it on Sunday evening that I could hear her from downstairs.  She had the show on pretty loud and she was going from the computer room to our bedroom and back singing along. 

Pretty soon I couldn't hear her singing anymore. 

I went upstairs to put her to bed and I found her sitting at the computer with her legs crossed on the table, her hand on the mouse and her head on the back of the chair.  She was nodding off, just about asleep.  I gently got her up and turned off her show and put her in bed. 

She was so happy to watch those shows and she really got in to the music.  I think she had worn herself out. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

No Holes

A couple of weeks ago Haley was looking at one of her train websites and she saw some earrings that she liked.  She didn't know that they were earrings, they were railroad heralds and she thought they were cool.  I told her what they were for and showed her my ears and told her that she didn't have holes in her ears so she didn't really have a use for earrings. 

It wasn't really a big deal because the next item was a necklace with the same herald.  I told here that a necklace would be much better for her anyway.

This morning Haley came to me during breakfast pointing to her ears and jabbering about her ears.  I didn't know what she was talking about so I followed her.  She had a catalog open to a certain page and she pointed to the earrings at the top of the page.  They were tiny railroad crossing signs.  They were adorable.

I told her again that she didn't have holes in her ears.  She said "No holes."  I told her there was a lot more to earrings than just finding a cute pair.  I know she doesn't understand, but I am not about to put holes in her ears.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Little Reminder

Last night my husband and I went to two different meetings aimed at providing help for families of special needs children.  The first one was an information fair where I picked up some fliers for different services in our area.  The second one was an informational meeting about navigating the school system.

I found some interesting things at the fair.  My favorite was a girl that teaches Yoga to special needs kids.  She has a background as a special needs teacher and she also teaches Yoga so she decided to join the two.   I think Haley might really like Yoga, she really likes the weight room at school and she loves music.  I am kind of excited to have her try it.  It will be a while before that will happen though, the girl is about to go on maternity leave.

In the second meeting we learned about the transitions that kids with special needs make during their school careers.  Some of this we already knew, Haley has been "in the system" her whole life.  We have not had any problems with IEP's or her schooling, but apparently that is not always the case.  There were some parents in attendance that have had some major questions about their child's education.  It was interesting to hear about special education schooling in a comprehensive way. 

I like to have little refreshers from time to time.  We tend to get into ruts with Haley.  Everything is going along fine, so we don't really question things.  It is nice to stop and think and plan.

I was moved by a film that a parent showed of her son graduating from high school.  His classmates supported him and clapped and yelled as he walked across the stage and got his diploma.  It brought tears to my eyes.

There is a PTA in our area for special needs children.  I went to the very first meeting a long time ago.  I wasn't too interested in it at the time.  I don't really know why, but I think I was not really prepared for my child to grow up and change.  I still am not, but I am starting to realize that it is going to happen whether I am ready for it or not.

I think I am going to get involved with the PTSA and start to learn more about how Haley will become part of the community.  There is even a meeting  for Dad's and I hope that Haley's Dad will get involved too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Aren't You Glad

I am sure, if you have been reading this blog at all, you realized that I didn't blog much last week.  Life gets busy sometimes.  Sometimes my time is taken by things that I want to do.  Sometimes it is full of just taking care of Haley.  Last week was full a lot.

You don't know it yet, but You Are Glad that I didn't blog about everything that happened last week.  I am going to give you the condensed version.  I won't always do this so if some of this subject matter bothers you I am sorry.  Don't give up on this blog if this is the first post you have read.  Again, I am just keepin' it real.

Here are some of the blog posts that I didn't write:

Is It Raining in Here?:  Haley is a growing girl.  She is getting tall, but she has not grown "around" much for several years.  She is really thin.  I have gotten away with keeping her in the largest Pull Ups they make, which are 4T-5T (meaning they are for five year olds.)  They have Velcro on the sides which make them really nice for changing, but they are really too small.  It would seem that they have a capacity that would be more for five year olds too.  Haley is a big girl now.  In the last week she tested the capacity of her Pull-Ups at least once everyday.  We have been cleaning the floor, the furniture and her clothes. A lot.

She is Growing:  So, bra shopping sucks.  It has never been something that I have enjoyed.  Females will understand this. It takes a long time to find one that fits properly and that feels right.  Imagine trying to find a bra for someone else, especially when you really don't want to take that person with you when you shop.  Haley loves to shop, but she has a tendency to want to take half of the store home with her, so I don't like to take her unless I have a budget worked out.  So my daughter that hasn't grown much "around" is growing out.  She needed a bigger cup.  I bought several and brought them home to try them on her.  I was able to get her the same bra in the same size that I bought her last time, but the cups are TWO sizes bigger. Oy!  Now for a second just imagine putting a bra on another person...

The Perils of Poopy Pull-Ups and Pubic Hair:  Enough said.

Really, if you want to know more I can tell you, but why would you want to know?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Such a Big Girl

I just have to say that I am proud of my daughter.  I am sure you can tell that by the tone of my posts, but I thought I should point out some specifics.

Last night we went to our church for a potluck as a family.  There was a time when something like that didn't seem possible.  Haley wasn't always well behaved in public, especially at a restaurant.  Haley also has some experience memories associated with church. 

When I say that I mean Haley has been at church for various functions and she remembers them.  Haley has a tendency to remember what she has done in certain locations and expects to do exactly the same things or do something very similar.  She gets frustrated when that doesn't happen.

Haley has been to church on Sunday mornings where her expectation is to sit still in the pew with me or her sister and listen.  She knows to stand up when everyone else does, she sings when anyone else is singing and she says "Amen" every time the pastors do.  She has that down.  She even knows that she needs to sit still when I get up to sing with the choir or to play hand bells.

Haley has been to church for Vacation Bible School (VBS.)  She knows that she will get to dance and sing during the opening and closing.  Unfortunately she has been allowed a little too much freedom at VBS so she also thinks that she can run around "willy nilly" while she is supposed to be focused.

Haley has been to church for the Christmas Program, where she knows to sit still a watch.  She has even made a gingerbread house a couple of times at church.  That was fun, but she does get a little stressed out.  I don't really know why.  I think it has something to do with the commotion and the fact that she sneaks candy from the bowl and gets hopped up on sugar.

There have been times at church when Haley has been allowed to touch the piano, a thing she does with respect, but a thing that she isn't always allowed to do. So for a while she wanted to touch the piano every time she went to church. That took some effort on my part to stop.

So anyway, last night we went to church and sat at a table.  Then we got up and went through the food line and filled our plates and then sat back down to eat.  Haley ate really well and we even got up for a second helping.  She was awesome.  She fed herself and drank her water.  She asked for more water.  She even asked to go to the restroom.  She sat still and listened during the program.  She raised her hand a couple of times in answer to questions (everyone else was doing it.) She clapped when everyone did.

She was what we call "A Big Girl."  I guess we should really start calling her "A Young Lady."


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