Thursday, October 9, 2014

Back to school and other fun things

I realize that the kids have been back to school for a couple of months now, but it's never too late for back to school pictures, right?  We are getting into a good routine, and everyone is adjusting well to the new schedule.  Will is a big kindergartner now, Alex is a cool 3rd grader, and Nate is officially a middle school student!  When the boys all got dressed for their first day of school, Will was so excited and said, "My guys and I all match, except our heads!"  Will was also very excited about his rest mat, until he realized that he actually had to take a nap every day...

I was surprised one day to turn around and find Will eating his afternoon snack of goldfish with chopsticks...

Anna has started back at our church's Mother's Day Out 2 days a week and is really enjoying her time there.  She has 5 different therapists/teachers from the school system who are seeing her during the week (since Anna is a big 3 year old and has transitioned from the Early Steps program to the school system) and it has worked well to have 4 of the therapists/teachers see her at Mother's Day Out.  Everyone has been very kind to work with us on our crazy schedule!  Anna also attends a group speech class twice a week and is continuing with her outpatient speech and OT.  Thankfully she loves staying busy and loves all her teachers/therapists!

First day of MDO!

Love the new backpack!

Anna's true feelings about taking back to school pictures

The boys had a fun homecoming parade at school a few weeks ago, and they collected one of Anna's favorite things - beads!  One day I walked in to find Anna methodically placing beads on David, and I found out that David had told her to put the beads on him and she happily complied.  She will also wear the beads herself for about 5 seconds before she throws them on the floor.

A couple of weeks ago I had some problems in the morning with Big Blue (my super cool minivan), so in an attempt to get Anna to her group speech class in time, I quickly put Anna in the backseat of David's truck and put my laptop in the backseat as well (which normally I would never do).  As I was driving, I heard some banging and looked in the mirror to see Anna very awkwardly turning my computer every direction.  I start calling out, "Anna, put Mommy's computer down please!  Be gentle, careful please!" (as if that would work - ha)   Anyway, at a super long stoplight I looked back and saw Anna had positioned my computer correctly, opened it up, and was typing away.  No wonder my icons are always mixed up on my desktop!

People often ask how Anna is coming along with her speech, and it is a very slow process.  Communication is very difficult for her, and she gets frustrated at times.  She still doesn't have any words, but she is finally starting to catch on to the signing process a little bit more.  Her receptive ability is improving - I know she understands a lot of what we say, even if she doesn't always do what we ask her to do!  She is making some good progress in other areas, though - she loves painting and coloring (and playing in the water/mud is still her favorite).  Anna loves coloring so much that she is coloring everywhere - herself, walls, the kitchen floor, her dresser, etc.  But it actually makes me so happy when she develops these new skills that it doesn't bother me like it would with the boys!  David and I laugh and say that Anna's version of the "terrible twos" is even more intense than all 3 of the boys put together.  But she is such a sweet girl - very loving and curious, and she keeps all of us on our toes!  Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement as we continue to work with Anna - when I look back at those early videos of her, it reminds me of how far she has come!

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