Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tubes Scheduled

On Claire's 16 month post I mentioned that she'd had her follow up visit with the ENT, and while there was fluid in one of her ears, he was comfortable waiting on tubes.  Over the next week something I heard in a seminar rolled around in my head.  The speaker said that "any fluid in the ear is significant." He said that if the brain is hearing inconsistent sounds it will affect speech, and that if the brain isn't hearing correctly there is no way for the sounds to be reproduced correctly.  I realized even though the ENT might be comfortable waiting, I wasn't.

So, even though I hate to have Claire sedated again, she will be getting tubes a week from today.

You would think after we'd been through OHS, tubes would be no big deal (and they really aren't), but I'm still nervous.  I just don't like "procedures", even though I know this will help with her speech.  Claire is such a jabber box, and is trying hard to say words, but most things come out sounding like dada.  I hope this gives her the boost she needs to get all those words out.

And since my recent posts have been sadly picture free...here are a few for those missing Claire's sweet face!

showing off her teeth

being silly with dad

her new hat (which is an infant size and is STILL too big on her)

Bear and her bear

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Fine Line

Last night Claire and I were playing with her coffee can and links.  I cut a wide slot into the coffee can lid and the links fit nicely.  It's pretty much a homemade version of the Piggy and coins.

We've been working with this toy for about a week or so, and while she would humor me for a few minutes she just wasn't all that interested.  Until last night.

Last night she got the can and tried to open it.  When I helped her get the links out, she immediately grabbed them and aimed for the slot.  She knew what she wanted to do, but couldn't quite get them in the slot. With a little hand over hand practice, she started getting closer and closer until she could get them in the slot herself. By the end of the night she was easily getting the links in the slot. 

But that fine line?  That fine line is knowing when to help, and when to let her struggle.  A few times last night I waited too long to help.  Claire got frustrated and the links went flying across the room.  Some kisses on her baby and a song soothed her, and she would voluntarily return to the can and the links.  But there were also times I helped too soon.  Once I picked up a link she missed and tried to hand it to her.  That link went flying too. 

Other times I let her struggle, somehow exactly the right amount, and the success was sweet, and it was all hers.  Quite a few times last night she would try to get a link in the slot, and it wouldn't go immediately.  Instead of getting upset, she would use both hands to reposition her grip on the link, and would try again.  Completely unprompted.  There was lots of clapping and cheering at our house last night!

I want Claire to be independent.  I want her to be confident to try things on her own.  I constantly remind people (especially Darren) not to do things for her that she can easily do herself.  But last night was a good reminder for me.  A reminder that help isn't all bad. We all need a helping hand at times, but the grin on her face when she got it all on her own, was amazing!

Friday, May 13, 2011

16 Months

I meant to do this update post along with Claire's 15 month appointment, but with the car and computer trouble it slipped past me.  So, a little bit of bragging about my girl!

* Claire is pulling to stand on everything.  She's been doing this for quite a few months, but recently added vertical surfaces like walls.

* Claire is a speedy, crawling machine.  She loves to be chased down the hallway and just giggles like crazy.  She's started doing a half bear crawl sometimes, with one leg kicked out.

* Signs: milk, dad (occasionally), dog, all done (all the time!), eat

* Will point to things and people she wants.  Claire is great at pointing to her straw cup when she wants a drink while eating.

* She will follow directions like stop, come here, say goodbye (wave), blow kisses.  And she will also give you a look when she ISN'T going to follow a direction like 'stop playing with the blinds'.

* She is pretty much weaned from the bottle and completely on straw cups.  Sometimes it seems like she isn't drinking enough and I'll give her a bottle, but she'll only drink a few ounces that way too.

* Claire is a great eater, but still resists feeding herself sometimes.  The slimier the food (green beans, squash) the more she resists.  She doesn't have any problem self-feeding things like meat, grilled cheese and string cheese.

* Teeth:  She has 10 teeth in with 2 more on the way.  On the top she has, the 4 middle ones and the molars.  On the bottom, the 2 middle and the molars.  She just started getting the other bottom middles. The bottom molars, especially on one side, have been slow to come in and she has a sore in the corner of her mouth from the drool and something (usually her thumb) always stuck in there.

* Claire's hearing is great.  She knows that when the front door opens Daddy is home.  She also knows the sound of the bathroom door, and rushes to join whoever is headed that way.

* Yesterday we had the follow up appt with the ENT.  Her left ear still has fluid and isn't showing ear drum movement, but her right is great.  After talking with the ENT, he is inclined to be a little conservative and not do tubes yet.  He didn't want to do them too soon.  Any thoughts from experienced tube moms?

All in all, Clairey is doing great.  I'll have to add pictures a little later as the squirmy worm on my lap is done sitting still!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Tradition

Our Mother's Day tradition started way before I was a mom.

And actually has nothing to do with me at all!

Our Mother's Day weekend is all about making our COWS mothers again.

For whatever reason (maybe a conspiracy by all the guys???) we always spend Mother's Day weekend AI'ing (artificially inseminating) our cows. 

The days start early.  We are in the corrals by 6am heat checking the cows.  Since this involves standing around watching the cows mount each other I skipped the photos.  You're welcome.  We then sort off the cows that are in heat.  If they are sorted in the morning, they will be bred that night.  We heat check and sort off a group of cows each morning and night for about 4 days.  We finally sit down for dinner around 8pm, which makes for some long days.

Last year Claire was only a few months old, and she stayed inside pretty much the whole time with Grandma.

Mother's Day 2010

This year, since she's a big kid, she helped heat check.  I strapped her on, and off we went!  We didn't have a hat for her at the farm, so we had to improvise...Claire didn't mind the cows at all and enjoyed being in the middle of the action.  She would make it about 30 minutes in the carrier before she was tired of being constrained, and needed some time on the floor to play.

yes, my eyes are closed...

And just a few more pictures because she looks so cute!

signing 'dog'

kissing the dog


And since this is not a traditional Mother's Day post, here is probably more of what you were expecting.  My friend Patti put together a beautiful post.  I was excited to be included as one of an amazing bunch of moms  who answer the question As a mom, what do you wish others knew about Down syndrome?

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I posted this a couple of times on Facebook, but if you missed those, you really don't want to miss out on your last chance to get some of this toffee.

My friend Renee is adopting Paisley from Russia.  They will be traveling on their first trip soon, and still have some more funds to raise.  To help with the fundraising, Renee opened Paisley's Pantry

Her first Pantry offering is White Chocolate Toffee, and to say it is amazing is an understatement!

My jar arrived last night. 

This morning the toffee is half gone.

And I was the only one home last night...

No, that doesn't say much about my will power, but it does say something about how delicious this toffee really is. 

Friday, TOMORROW,  is the last day to order this treat.  It comes packaged in a jar, ready for gift giving.  It would be perfect for end of the year teacher gifts!  I've also been told it freezes very well, but I don't think any of my toffee is going to see the inside of the freezer.

Just click ORDER THIS TREAT and you will be sent to Renee's blog for all the details. 

Trust me, you will only be sorry if you miss out on this toffee!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter Pictures

I think I'm probably the last blogger to get Easter pictures posted...but better late than never!!

The day was windy and cold.  Claire wasn't AT ALL interested in crawling around for the eggs, and instead was quite happy banging a couple of them together.  But she was happy doing it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 17: What’s in your purse?

For those of you that have been paying attention...my 30 days are up and I'm barely halfway through the topics.  I think it's official.  I am not a good daily blogger.

My purse...I just had to buy a bigger one (mine's white).  Yes, I carry too much stuff in it, but Claire's stuff takes up quite a bit of room too.

It always contains diaper and wipes.  A straw cup.  Some sort of teether or toy.

My wallet.  Checkbook.  A pile of wadded up receipts that haven't been entered into that checkbook...

Nail clippers and files. A wide assortment of lipsticks, glosses and chapsticks.  Mascara.  Lotion. 

Coupons...that I may or may not remember to use.

Cell phone (which also doubles as a book).

And even with all that stuff I carry with me, it always seems something is missing....