Thursday, 28 February 2013

Thumbuster



A few weeks ago while at Finley and Penelope’s dance class, I was chatting with another mom about thumb sucking.  Her daughter used to suck her thumb and kicked the habit in a week thanks to the T-Guard.  It sounded like a great idea but I wasn’t keen on the price.  Yes $100 plus shipping was A LOT cheaper then the thousands of dollars that may be spent on dental work but I was concerned about wasting money if it didn’t work.
So I went online and found Thumbusters.  It was like $12 plus shipping.  I ordered one immediately.
It showed up about a week later and I immediately put it on.  She was a little unsure of it but kept it on for the most part.  I thought she had switched hands to suck so I panicked and ordered a second one.  It turns out that I just had it on the wrong hand.  She took it off once and never again.
Soon the second one arrived.  It was so pretty and clean.  And she was ok with having it on both hands.  I tried to take it off so she could eat and not make the buster so gross but she refused to have it off.
Fast forward to this past Saturday.  We decided to take off the thumbusters and see how she would react.  She never touched her thumb.  Either of them.  We put them back on for bedtime and she was ok with that.  Sunday morning we took them off and again no thumbsucking and that was even with a long drive to and from the Saddledome. I forgot to put them on that night and on Monday morning I asked her if she sucked her thumb or not and she said no.  I haven’t caught her since but to safe, they will still be going on at night.
I wish I would have heard of this sooner because in 11 days we went from a chronic thumbsucker to nothing at all.  Truly amazing.  If you have children who do suck their thumb, I highly recommend the Thumbuster – Truly a great, great product.  I will keep you up to date on whether or not this continues, but I am confident it will!!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Speech Therapy Update




Last week, Finley had a one on one appointment with the speech pathologist at her preschool.  She is mini appointments during class with the Assistant SLP but I don’t attend those ones.  Those are mostly when Finley and S. work on Finley’s tricky words.
Finley has made great progress since her last center visit in December.  Finley is working on using her pronouns “his” and “her”.  When given a choice cues, Finley used the possessive pronouns with over 80% accuracy.  On her own, Finley usually substituted “him” for “his” and “her” for “hers”.  The goal is to get Finley to 80% without any assistance cues at all. 
Finley is also working on using the present progressive verb tense and has made really good progress.  She was 70% accurate using the present progressive with visual supports (we used 3 blocks – one for SHE, one for IS, one for WALKING or whatever the activity was).  The goal again is to be 80% accurate without cues.  She is working really hard on this and we are good and helping her with this at home as well.  I have noticed a huge difference with this!!  She is also starting to self correct and use proper verbs and nouns on her own.
To work on the above, we can look at books or people or pictures and ask Finley what they are doing.  She is pretty good at starting and we need her to do this as independently as possible.  Tell me about this picture in a sentence,….that sorta thing.
Finley is producing /SW/SP/ and /SK/ blends on her own.  She will be working with the SLP’s on the /ST/SM/ and SN/ blends in broken words – model using visuals. 
She still struggles with the L initial.  Finley can make the L sounds on its own and pronunciation seems to be better when she has a mirror to see her tongue touch her teeth.  We call these her “singing ladies”.  Her goal now is be shown functional L words such as like, love, listen, lets, little etc that she uses on a daily basis to help her nail down this sound.
We are able to take off Mickey, Minnie, Milk and Penelope from her tricky word list as she can say them successfully now.  We have added the words NEED, Trampoline, Cailey (her bff…she used to say k-yee but now calls her Keri)
This took up the first hour of our visit and then the last 30 minutes is one on one time with her teacher working on numerals and writing skills.
Finley was able to complete a puzzle where she counted the number of objects on a puzzle piece and found the matching numeral.  She did this for numbers 1 -20.  When counting, Finley has difficulty pronouncing “13”.  This seems to be a common problem amongst the kids in her class and technically the “th” sound doesn’t come until around the age of 7. 
Finley is correct when choosing numerals 1 -20. 
Finley is able to write her name using both upper and lower class letters.  However she  has trouble with the lowercase e and making the name a relatively normal size.  We have gone from an entire page for her name to a 1/4 of her page.  She can also write Penelope’s name too – which she is proud of.  She can spell lots of words and if you tell her which letters to write, she can pretty much do it all. 
It was a very encouraging visit and we are happy with the progress that Finley has made at PK.  She is registered for a 5 day a week junior kindergarten program at the Learning Experience so she only has a few more months of intense learning and help from PK.  She is doing very well at LE on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and I think it has benefitted her a lot to be with kids who don’t have the struggles like they do at PK.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Be My Valentine



In better late then never news, Happy Valentine’s Day!!  Finley loved decorating for Valentine’s day and even decorated her room.  I had no idea what I was in for when I went upstairs but she had taken her hair ties and decorated her door handles, ipod player thingy and her closet door knobs.  She cracks me up,

This was also a big hit in the house this year.  Only Finley actually got to count down to Valentine’s day since Penelope ate all of these before Feb 3 rolled around.

Before Finley’s first Valentine’s party at school.  Since we go to two preschools, we had 37 valentine’s to address.  It was painful and frustrating but we survived – barely.

Finley picked out her outfit.  A pink skirt with heart leggings and I an I love you Strawberry shortcake shirt.  She felt quite trendy she told me.

Penelope also participated with an I Love You Too shirt.

Her hull after day 1


School Party #2.  Both decked out in Valentine’s Tunics


Valentine’s Day Morning – Penelope was thrilled with her new Sofia The First Doll

Finley thought only Penelope got one, so there some tears shed before I got upstairs with hers

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!

At the Disney Store after breakfast.  We had a 25% off coupon and I promised Finley we would use it on a Doc McStuffins Stuffy.  She insisted we go that day. Penelope wanted another Belle doll despite already having one so she settled for a Tinkerbell one instead.
Finley and Cailey doing crafts

Penelope and Kirsten doing crafts

We finished off Valentine’s Day with Daddy taking us out for Sushi.  It was delicious.
Greg and I celebrated Valentine’s the weekend before.  I had won a free night in a luxury suite at Hotel Arts thanks to the Race for Pace so we decided to use it and had my aunty leslie watch the girls overnight.  We checked out a bunch of art galleries downtown and then had dinner at Rouge.  It was super fantastic and think everybody should eat there at least once in their lives!  Worth every penny!!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Inglewood Winter Festival



Last weekend, Greg’s stepmom Jen had heard about a winter festival over in Inglewood and suggested we meet up there for some afternoon fun.  The girls were very excited to see Grandma Jen as well as all of the fun things that were there.
Getting on the wagon for the horse ride
Grandma Jen with the girls
Petting the Newfoundland Dog
Enjoying the free hot dogs
Playing a massive game of Connect Four
Penelope being very helpful and cleaning up
Finley playing the bean bag toss
Doing a craft
Enjoying the petting zoo animals that Butterfield Acres brings
The girls LOVED getting carried around by the doggies.  Between the two of them, I think they rode each horse at least once and some even twice
Face painting time
The girls with Grandma Jen
The girls had so much fun at the winter festival.  I had no idea it even existed and am very happy that Jen heard about it and then invited us along!!!  It made for a great Saturday!!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Surrogacy Update



Things are going pretty well in the world of surrogacy.  I had an ultrasound on Jan 19 and found out the sex of the baby.  I had to keep it a secret for 2 weeks but was finally able to tell the mama to be the other night.  I still cannot share it as the daddy to be still does not know and isn’t sure that he wants to know……
We have hit the halfway mark and now I am more pregnant then weeks I have left which is always great!!  I am still seeing my family doctor mostly because they feel that I need to see a ob-gyn for the pregnancy instead of a regular pre-natal doctor like I did with my two girls.  The problem with this is that ob-gyn’s are rare and are have high demand in Calgary.  I have been referred to two so far, and my family doctor told me that they were both booking in “early 2014” which doesn’t really help since I am due in June.  My doctor isn’t too concerned and I guess really all I have to do is show up at a hospital and they would have to admit me, prenatal doctor or not.  The downside to having to go to a ob-gyn, despite the wait list, is that the odds are great that it will not be close to home and that I won’t be able to deliver at Rockyview where I had my two girls.  I will keep you updated as this plays out….
I am feeling pretty great for the most part – aside from the terrible heartburn.  With Finley I only had heartburn for the last month and Penelope I had it almost the entire time but it was usually cured with chewable Rolaids so it wasn’t much of a concern.  This time round, it was keeping me up at night, making me throw up and I couldn’t eat anything.  Some mom friends recommended Zantac 150 and the pharmacist said it would be fine being pregnant so I took one and voila it was gone.  The only heartburn I have had since was from eating some Twizzlers so I know not eat them. 
I definitely have a baby belly but I still don’t fit most maternity clothes and most of regular clothes don’t fit.  It kinda sucks.  I rely heavily on leggings and bella bands for my skinny jeans.  Maternity tops are hit and miss but I have a few that I rely on and I have a few Lululemon pullovers and Scuba’s that are working out quite well.  My goal for this pregnancy is to not have to wear maternity pants….wish me luck :)
The resulting baby belly has resulted in some awkward conversations with preschool moms and people i “kinda” know.  Most people are positive and I think are at a loss for words because it wasn’t the answer that they were expecting.  It doesn’t really bother me anymore so it’s all good.  
I would like to end this update by thanking each and every one of you for the positive comments and words of encouragement that came pouring in when I announced what I was doing.  When I went public, I certainly wasn’t looking for that to happen, but I am truly blessed to have the best and most amazing friends and family that any one person can have.  I was brought to tears by the words of you and for that, I will be forever grateful.