Tuesday, September 18, 2012

She made it a week....

So I should have written this post last week, but just didn't feel like it because I was bummed out.

I knew that I was probably being naive thinking a new daycare would just instantly fix all the biting...and it didn't.  She made it a week.  Three bites last week  Two on one day, one a couple of days later.  Two were squabbles over toys, the other one was a "big" kid helping too much.  I get it.  She was frustrated.

But I feel so bad that I haven't found the "thing" that teaches her this isn't okay.  Usually, I feel like I know her so well, and now I just feel like I'm missing something...

Drop offs in the morning are a bit rough too, and we're both struggling with that.  I can literally count the number of times she cried in the mornings going to her other daycare, and now the mornings are filled with lots of tears.  When I pick her up in the afternoon she is great, just playing away, but I really hate leaving her crying every morning.

I know this is a big change and she's still adjusting, but *ugh* I really hope things even out before we have to introduce preschool in a couple of months...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and Buddy Walk

Two weekends ago was the first of the two Down syndrome walks we do every year.  We've met so  many friends around Colorado Springs that we drive down there every year for the Buddy Walk and to visit them.

This was the first year that Darren was able to join us for the walk so we headed down and day early and went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.  Even though I've lived in Colorado my entire life, I'd never been to the zoo, and taking the girls was good excuse to go.  The weather was perfect, and the zoo was fairly empty so we gave in to Claire and let her out of the stroller.  She was pretty much uninterested in the animals, but she had a great time walking around the zoo for over two hours.

Claire did stop and pet the wallabys too, but I couldn't get a good picture.

I loved this big guy.  He sat in the window and hooted.  Claire couldn't get enough of him.

This baby was only a few months old.

This giraffe wasn't nearly that close to Claire's hair.  She was being a bit of a drama queen.

Nursing momma.  :)

Bridget loved our new stroller and I did too!  It fits both girls great and fits through doorways. 

Before we left we went to say goodbye to the giraffes and give them a little treat.  I wasn't sure what Claire would think of them getting so close to her, but she loved it.  Each time we ran out of lettuce she signed more.  After the third bunch of lettuce we called it quits and went to find dinner.

I'd kind of forgotten it was Friday night, and the restaurant was slower than I would have liked.  Claire was hungry, but by the time food came she was so crabby all she would eat was fries.  We piled everybody back into the car and drove to the motel with two very tired girls crying all the way.  Claire took a quick bath, and since I knew she was exhausted I figured she would lay down and go to sleep easily.  I was soooo wrong.  She tossed and turned and talked for over an hour.

The next morning we got up and headed to the Buddy Walk.  We met up with old friends and got to meet some online friends in person for the first time!  The weather was wonderful for the walk.  The last couple of years have been HOT and this time it was warm, but still comfortable.

After the walk we met another friend and her kids at a park to run some of Claire's energy out of her.  Our girls are only about a week apart in age and it had been two years since we seen them last.  The girls had so much fun playing together and I wish we lived closer!

We ended our very busy weekend with a photo shoot with Erin.  I shared some of Bridget's six month photos already, but wanted to include a few more of Claire too!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Half a Year {All about B}

Today is Bridget's half birthday.  She is changing so fast.  Two weeks ago her tricks pretty much included rolling over.  Now she is sitting on her own, starting to get her knees under her and she has 4(!!!) teeth coming in.

Even with the mega teething, she has been just as sweet as ever, though she hasn't been eating quite as well as usual.  Not that I can blame her.  Her mouth has got to be a bit sore.  We've started a few solid foods, but we are pretty much in the exploring stage, not the eating stage.  I'm still so in love with nursing, and am glad to have that quiet time with Bridget.  Unfortunately, it brings out some crabby behavior in Claire, and I'm trying to help her feel included too.

Bridget is still getting up at least once a night.  Once a night is doable.  Two or three times really starts to wear on me the next day.  Claire will move to her big girl bed next week (eek!!) and the crib will be available, but I don't see Bridget moving down stairs any time soon.  I'm not willing to do stairs in the middle of the night to feed her.

I love to watch the sister bond develop between my girls.  They adore each other.  Claire loves to entertain Bridget by dancing around and acting silly.  Bridget will just laugh and laugh, which she hardly does for anyone else.

All of these awesome pictures were taken by my friend Erin. If you are in the Colorado Springs area, get in touch with her. Trust me, you want her to take some photos for you!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

{big sigh}


Claire's first day of her new daycare yesterday went very well.

I was so nervous about how she would do.  While Claire seemed good when I dropped her off, the staff seemed a little overwhelmed with all her exploring.  She was apparently all over the place for about an hour, but then she settled in a just played.

After nursing Bridget around lunch I drove by the daycare hoping the kids were playing outside.  Everyone was just heading out so I turned around, parked, and just watched her play for about fifteen minutes. She played in the sand box for quite a while, and then wandered over by the building to talk with the teacher and some other kids who were sitting in the shade.  And with a big sigh of relief I felt so much better.  She was good.  No tears, no problems, just doing her thing.

I got a call about an hour later that they were having a hard time getting her down for a nap, but that was the only complication of the whole day.  She played, she ate decently, she finally napped some.  And no biting! I'm almost excited for tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New School

Today is Claire's first day at her new school.  It's a brand new facility, and it is a combination preschool and daycare.  Right now, Claire is going to start with just daycare, but we might add morning preschool two days a week for her.  She will start at the district preschool in January, and it will be four mornings a week.  I think the two mornings of preschool might be a nice transition for her.

Claire has been at her previous daycare center since just before her first birthday.  They were there through so many milestones...crawling, walking, first signs and first words.  It's bittersweet to leave, but Claire needs a different environment.  A room full of 13-16 months old isn't challenging  her to do new things, and they are prey for her constant biting.  Her last day at daycare was *hard*.  She came home with six bite reports, when her previous record was three.

Claire will know four or five kids at the new center.  They are mostly kids that were in the previous daycare, but that had to move because they had turned three, so she hasn't seen a couple of them for a while.  I'm glad she will have some familiar faces, but am still awfully nervous.  It will take the staff a  little while to get to know Claire, and while her speech is coming along, her two dozen or so words won't tell them much.  The director has been brushing up on her signing skills, but I have a hard time with some of Claire's signs occasionally, and I know my girl well.

The drop off at school this morning went....ok.  I wasn't as impressed as I wanted to be.  The daycare room has doors off of it that lead to the kitchen and the lobby.  Apparently, they usually leave these doors open.  In the 20 or so minutes I was there with Claire she was (obviously) in and out of all the rooms many times over.   She may stay in her room with the doors open, but I seriously doubt she will.  Other things will probably need to be moved if the staff doesn't want her touching them.  A cd player on a low table just calls Claire's name.  I know we will get these things all worked out together, but today I have a feeling that Claire will show the staff * exactly* what changes need to be made.  The staff that was in there this morning already remarked on how busy she is...yes, she's 2 1/2.  She's into everything, exploring and playing.  You will not be able to sit back and just watch her....

The daycare room only had about six kids in it this morning, since a lot of them are in preschool.  This should give the staff a chance to get to know Claire a bit more before they add a bunch of kids for lunch and afternoon daycare.  

I hope that this change will be exactly what Claire needs.  She'll have peer models that are once again older than her.  I hope that her speech continues to take off, and that her behavior gets under control.  I hope that this is just the transition she needs to be successful in preschool in a few months.