Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Fall, Y'All!

We had speech therapy this morning and before heading back home we had to swing into Buehler's to pick up some necessary groceries. Emily was PUMPED when she noticed the stacks and bins full of ginormous pumpkins all over the entrance to the store...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Swimming We Will Go...

On Sunday afternoon, we went to Aunt Shell and Aunt Laura's house for a pool party and a cookout. Tom would have joined but he had to lead youth group. Here are some fun pictures from the afternoon.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vacation Scrapblog

Trying something new here. I spent some time yesterday researching some new web technologies that I might be able to share with some of the teachers at my school. Here's a neat online scrapbook called . I tested it out with some of our vacation pictures from July. I like the final product but it seems to take for e-v-er for it to load on the page. Maybe I missed something when I saved the files that might help this speed up.

Of Storms, Speech and Bunny Slippers!

Just a quick (yeah, right) wrap up of our week in this post.

On Sunday afternoon we had the remnants of Hurricane Ike sweep through Ohio. There was quite a bit of damage in southern Ohio and by the time it came to us it still had quite a bit of power behind it. We were very blessed and only had a couple of limbs come down in the backyard. Others in our neighborhood had trees snapped off at the base, trees laying across roads and shingles flying off roofs. We had a big enough limb come down in the backyard that we had to have a friend come over and cut it up with a chainsaw and then we hauled the rest of the branches to the curb for the village to pick up. Our pile is a little tough to distinguish from the pine tree in the picture. The pine tree is on the other side of the road...the branches are in our yard in front of Tom's car... the pile made his SUV look really small.

On Fridays we have speech therapy. Here is a picture and a short video clip of what goes on there. About 20 seconds into the video you'll hear Em say "What is that?" She heard something in the next room that distracted her a bit.

We also took a road trip into town for supper on Friday night and along the way we had some conversations with Emily... enjoy!

Emily also outgrew her fun slippers from last year and since her daddy likes to keep the temperature in our house like a suburb of Antarctica I thought maybe a new pair of slippers would be in order for this fall and winter. Emily liked them in the store, didn't want to wear them when we got home and wouldn't take them off when it was time to go to bed. Who could pass on this pair of slippers....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Heartwarming Week

Just wanted to share a praise that we've been having a REALLY good week this week. Here's the "CliffsNotes" prologue:

May '06 - Emily, was born in Kazakhstan
Jan/Feb '07 - we officially became her parents and brought her home to Ohio
Fast forward a year and a half and we celebrated her 2nd birthday
Aug '08 - Emily was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy (spastic diplegia) and Botox treatment was prescribed

Fast forward again to this past week...

Praise 1.) Emily had an appointment with the neurologists at Children's Hospital on Wednesday to get a second opinion about a possible apraxia of speech diagnosis. I got to see her MRIs from last year for the first time and had them explained in layman's terms to me. She has does have global/overall scarring on her brain from her premature birth and apparently her brain didn't grow/develop as fully as it should have... but overall, the doc felt she would have some mild developmental delays but didn't see any major areas that would be affected. He didn't feel she has apraxia of speech. Woohoo!

Praise 2.) This is the one that really has my heart melting this week... our daughter is 28 mos. old today and just this week started calling me, "Mom". We've been doing sign language with her for quite a while now and she has been signing "mom", but it seems she's just now finding her voice. On Monday alone, she began saying: Mom and momma, Da and Dad-da, RyRy (for Ryan). On Tuesday, she added Papa (in a really cute whisper) to the mix and on Wednesday she started saying Nana. While she's been able to communicate her needs to us using sign language, I didn't realize how badly I wanted to hear her voice and to hear her say my name. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.... My God and this kid never cease to amaze me!

Emily continues to go to speech therapy on a weekly basis and we have almost run out of physical therapy visits per our insurance limitations so we are banking one visit for after Em's botox treatment or until we know if we are eligible for BCMH funding to help provide more physical therapy. This week at speech therapy, while Em was playing/working with Audrey, I spent some time compiling a list of the words/sentences that Em says and signs. I was amazed at the length of the list. It seems odd to me that Em says things like, "What is this?.... What is that?... That's nasty.... and Are you ready?" but she's just now learning to say our names.

Stay tuned... I'm hoping to post a video of Em's new words in the next couple of days!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

...nothing to do with Emily

As the title says, this story has nothing to do with Emily but it happened last night and it made me chuckle.

We have a 1st grade boy at church named Bryce who has become my buddy. He makes sure he finds me every Sunday morning to give me a hug. That's the "who". Here's the "what".

Our church held it's monthly community/family meal last night. I was sitting around the table with Bryce, his mom and several other friends and we were catching up and sharing kid stories. Apparently, I was monopolizing his mom. He quietly got up from his seat, walked clear around to the opposite corner of the table, tapped me on the arm, and as he leaned in he loudly whispered, "Excuse me, can you please stop talking to my mom so I can say something?!?"

Now I've heard his mom tell him on several occasions not to interrupt her when she was talking. Looks like he found the loophole!

Again, as in my "Cranky Emily post" what could I do, but hug him, plaster a big grin on my face and oblige his request? (He DID say "thank you" as he walked back to his seat!)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Saturday's Zoo Trip

We really didn't have any advanced plans for this long Labor Day weekend and it was kind of nice. On Saturday morning, we ALL slept in! We were pretty lazy and then decided mid-morning that we might like to take a trip to the zoo. This is where the joys of a zoo membership come into play... we can go for just a few hours whenever we want!

I thought Em was old enough and mobile enough
this time around to try out the petting zoo. She
loved it and probably would have spent the rest
of the day there if we had let her.

I promise... there was no prompting in the above
picture. I was surprised when I turned around
to see that Emily felt the goat should be wearing
her hat. It was very accommodating.

We also found 1 lamb in the mix of all the goats.
Boy, was it soft... and mellow!

We also tried out the train ride and it was a hit!

And, we made sure we visited Daddy's favorite - the Red Panda.

Although I don't have pictures of it this time, we did visit one of Emily's favorites -- the aquarium. Tom's opening comment as we walked in... "Forget about the stroller, you now have a battering ram in your hands." It was a wee bit crowded and certainly the ratio of people to strollers had to be about 2 to 1. I was content to hang back with Em and let her see the big picture of the tank. Tom felt she needed to get right to the glass and took the reins... or the battering ram by the...horns?

She loved pointing out the biiiiig fish and the itty-bitty fish with Daddy. After a few minutes, I noticed there was a diver in the tank and he was feeding the fish. He swam down to the corner where Emily was parked and waved at all the kids. He waved specifically at her and she was thrilled and blew him a kiss. To which he responded with a blown kiss back at her. After he climbed out of the tank and Emily had had her fill of fish watching, we rammed our way out of the aquarium and mosied back to the car.

It was a wonderful afternoon to hang out as a family and we all took a big family nap when we got home.

The End. ;-)

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