For about 6 months now Claire has been obsessed with one day having a baby sister named Mimi. She decided this would be a great name for a baby sister after watching a Hello Kitty movie and that is the sisters name. We have already told her that if she is ever blessed with a baby sister, she will not be named Mimi. She wasn't very pleased with that answer, but has come to accept it. Since then, we (she) has been trying to convince anyone we know who is pregnant with a girl to name their baby Mimi. Believe it or not, we have not had any takers. Tonight at dinner Claire says, "it makes me sad no one likes the name Mimi." She did recently get a new baby doll and has decided to name her Mimi, but it's just not the same to her. So, anyone out there pregnant with a girl and want the name? Claire would be the happiest girl in the world!
This past week, Lillian and Claire started speech therapy. They will both receive services twice a week, thirty minutes each session. They recently both tested at a significant delay in articulation and speech intelligibility, which means the speech pathologist that tested them were unable to clearly understand what they were saying when in conversation. Claire was able to correctly produce 28 of 69 phonemes (sounds) tested. Lillian was able to correctly produce 27 of those 69 phonemes tested.
We will take them every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon to the school districts early childhood center and they are in a small group, I believe at this time there is only one other little boy with them. The girls know him as the boy with the cook ninja backpack. Anyway, on Tuesday, their first day, the therapist had them play and talked with each of them to listen to them talk and focused on which sounds they were correctly making, but unable to use in the correct order of the word. Thursday, they started to work on the /k/ sound. They are able to make the sound, but are unable to place it at the start of the word, instead they substitute it for the /g/ sound. So, cookie is said, "gookie," Claire is said, "gee." When talking with the therapist, she said since they can make the sound in words, it will be on of the easier sounds to correct and teach them how to place it at the start of the word. They will probably then move to the /p/ and /d/ sounds.
I am sure this will be a long and frustrating road for them, and us, since they can't hear the difference in what they are saying and they see nothing wrong with the way they speak. I am so thankful though that we have an amazing school district that is providing us with the much needed services that we need. I just wish I would have thought of taking them in sooner.
And since it has been awhile since I have shared photos, here is a quick shot from about a week ago.
Lillian and Claire have been obsessed with puzzles lately. Claire more than Lillian, but they both love them. Claire is a champ and is able to do most of the puzzles we have at home on her own as long as they have some sort of boarder. She has mastered the 25 piece board puzzles and is working on the ones without boarders. Lillian frustrates easily when she something doesn't come easy to her, so she asks for help with her puzzles. With help, Lillian complete a puzzle and is very proud of herself and quickly grabs for another. Earlier this past week I remembered we had a small stack of puzzles that one of Josh's coworkers gave us a few years ago. At the time, they were way too advanced for the girls, so they were tucked away in storage. While digging something else out, I spotted the puzzles and the girls started on them right away. They each had to complete every puzzle on the stack before going to bed that night.
I'm going to share a project that I am really proud of that I made (with the help of my wonderful husband) for my Dad and step mom for a Christmas gift this year. I have always felt that parents and grandparents are the most difficult people to buy presents for. After racking my brain for ideas on what I could purchase and coming up with nothing, I decided it was time to create. Last year I made them a lap quilt full of little green trees with the family cabin in mind.
This year I wanted to make something for the new cabin that is currently under construction and a wood sign came to mind. First I enlisted Josh for help. He cut, pieced and screwed together some scrap wood we had in the garage. After finding the time and motivation, I used paint I used to paint all of the living room trim and our mantle last winter. While I was waiting for coats to dry, I decided it would be an excellent time to add a fresh coat of paint to all of our trim in the hallway. Two and a half hours later, I was ready for my second coat.
Several weeks prior I typed up and printed the words I wanted to paint onto the sign. I used sidewalk chalk (because that is what I had) and rubbed it on the backside of the paper and traced over my letters. It left the outline on the boards, but wiped away easily when I was done. I bought a paint pen so I could have better control that a paint brush and it worked perfectly.
At the end, I wiped away all the excess chalk dust and I have a beautiful sign that is far from perfect, but I am proud of. My lines might not be straight and completely centered, but I love how it turned out and from what I could tell, it was a very well received gift. Hopefully this coming summer we will see it hanging in a finished cabin on our next trip up to Wisconsin.
Here are just a few of the many pictures I took of the girls while playing in the snow in Wisconsin. The weekend after Christmas we headed north to celebrate with my family. The snow started falling as we drove into Madison. It fell harder was we drove into Green Bay and did not stop until the following day. We had to brave the cold, but we had fresh and beautiful snow to play in. Lillian and Claire had a blast and Josh and I put on our snow pants and got covered as well.
My dad piled the snow in the back yard to create a sledding hill for the girls and from the ear to ear smiles and giggles, I think it is safe to say, they loved it.
We've only had a small dusting of snow since returning home, but we are all hopeful for a little more snow this year so we can put those boots and snow pants back on for more sledding fun.
Tuesday we had an afternoon full of appointments for the girls. Not too long ago I wrote about taking Lillian and Claire for a speech screening because we have had concerns about them being delayed. Last month we received a call that they qualified for further assessment, which was completely expected, and both girls took their turn with the speech pathologist going through the assessment. We set up an appointment to go over their result and that was Tuesday. Like I said before, we were fully expecting to hear they qualified for services, however, it took me completely off guard to hear that they both scored as a severe delay. I have another stack of paperwork to fill out and drop off before we can start their speech therapy. They will both receive 60 minutes a week, two 30 minute sessions. I don't remember all of the details of their scores and what they had issues with, but their scores were pretty much identical and they both lacked the ability to correctly make most of the sounds that they should by four. The speech path had to go back and make some corrections to the paperwork and then we should be receiving a copy. If anything is different than what I remember, I can update then.
After leaving their speech appointment, we we straight to their 4 year check up. Here are their stats:
Height: 38.5 inches
Weight: 32.5 pounds
Height: 39 inches
Weight: 33 pounds
Both girls are still peanuts, but healthy and growing. They did great through their entire appointment and were brave girls. As the appointment was coming to a close, our pediatrician asked if we wanted to receive their four remaining vaccinations at this appointment or wait until their 5 year appointment. These are the last four they need before starting kindergarten (fall 2014). We decided to go ahead and get them right away and just get them over with. While they were already being poked we threw in the flu shot as well since the mist is no longer available at their office. Let's just say, Lillian and Claire were not happy when they heard this discussion. We distracted them while we waited for the nurse to come back and give the pokes, I had jelly beans in my purse and bribed them. Lillian was the first to receive her shots, with the first she just said "Ow, that hurts!" The next one came with tears and the third and fourth were followed with sobs and screams. She held her arms straight out for at least a minute screaming in pain and not wanting to put her arms down. Claire started crying sympathy tears for Lillian and her story went about the same and Lillian. Even a giant lollipop did nothing to calm them down. When we arrived home, they both had a dose of Tylenol and finally calmed down. I am thankful for my two healthy girls and I am as thankful that they will not need any more vaccinations until they are ten years old.