Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall Gardening

We finally got top soil for our garden, bought some shrubs and did some fall gardening last weekend. Kayla was eager to help out and wore her kid size gardening gloves, perfect for those tiny fingers.

Lauren's feet are still a tiny size 5 and the smallest hand-me down rain boots I have from Kayla are size 6. So I splurged last weekend and bought Lauren rubber boots that will fit her for the fall, especially since she loves splashing in puddles and stomping in the mud.

Next year we'll have to work on the grass...or what's left of it...our grass has been raided by clovers.

Our outdoor playset is about 5 years old and is on its last legs (you can see that one of the walls is about to break off). And I've been waiting 3 summers for Lauren to enjoy the playset and finally, last weekend, she climbed all the way to the top by herself surprising both Steve and I. Now if only she liked going down the slide...

Happy Tuesday everyone! Lauren after a good spaghetti dinner.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Drooling and Bibs

Lauren has always been a drooler. While I know its normal for babies to drool, Lauren's low tone in the face magnified her drooling to the point where I remember Lauren going through 15+ soaking wet bibs per day around the age of 1.  A bib became part of her normal dress attire and the only time it came off was at nap time. We have christmas bibs, easter bibs, days of the week bibs, nice boutique bibs for when we are going out, crappy washed out, stained bibs for the days we stay at home and plastic bibs for eating. If Lauren didn't have a bib she would soak, i mean really soak, her t-shirts and tops. My purse was filled with bibs when we went out on day trips.

Last Christmas, Lauren went through a period of a 2-3 weeks with minimal drooling and I thought that I was finally be able to throw the bibs away, but then the faucet came back on.  Then this past summer Lauren's drooling stopped. I wasn't sure if it stopped or if the sun and heat was drying up the drool but I chose not to look into it and just enjoyed her not wearing a bib around all day. I crossed my fingers that this was it, but then once school started this past September, the faucet turned on again. While the drooling has lessened significantly over the past 3 years, Lauren still drools here and there, and more so when she is focusing and concentrating on a task. I brought up the concern of drooling to her pediatrician who told me that it was "normal" for kids to drool and that their is a drooling clinic, but i can't take her there until she turns 6!

Today I did a count and dump of the worst offending bibs. In total, Lauren has 70 bibs in my home, taking up a full dresser drawer. And this count is not including the bibs I had to leave at both grandparents home for the afternoons when they watch her. So I'm sure I have close to 100 bibs. Most are stained, have unsticky velcros, stretched necklines and are discolored. I threw all of them away with the exception of the "top 10" . Knock on wood that I did the right thing and Lauren doesn't revert back to her old ways. Please let the drooling stop!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Miss Those Summer Days

Some pictures from our trip to Centre Island this past summer..miss it so much.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New school year for Kayla and Lauren PECs update

Kayla started her first day at school this past Tuesday. She is a "graduate" this year in her Montessori class, meaning she is one of the older kids (the classroom has kids from 2.5 to 6 years) and she will be moving onto grade 1 next year. She was super excited and came home with a big smile telling me all about the new little boy in the classroom who wouldn't stop crying the whole day and how her teachers greeted her with a big smile and hug. She started off as a toddler in the classroom, looking up to the big kids for help and leadership, and now it's finally her turn to provide this to the younger children in the class. And boy is she ready! After playing big sister to Lauren, she has become very compassionate, patient and nurturing. She loves playing the role of "helper" and "mom", and I often call upon her to help Lauren when she needs help.

She was super excited to show me how she rolled down her knee high socks! I told her that's was the way I use to wear my socks in the 1980s when I went to school!! Now all she needs are those stir-up tights (which I saw at Baby Gap). The uniform dress she is wearing in the picture is the same dress she wore when she first started Montessori 3 years ago. So yes, that the same dress that used to sit half way down her leg which is now quite above the knee.

Next year, we have a few hard decisions to make about the girls schooling. Private, public, catholic, french immersion? There are lots of considerations and there is the constant worry of not making the right choice. And with Lauren we have even more considerations to take in. 

As she gets older, I am sure Kayla is becoming more aware of Lauren's differences. That Lauren does not play with other kids, that Lauren does not talk, that Lauren does not understand everything we would expect her to. And our response has always been "she's learning", which is in part true, but the reality likely is, Lauren will continue on her own path and in the end may play, communicate and understand differently that other kids. And that is OK - at least that's what I keep telling myself...And because Kayla has a lot of friends, I actually like that Lauren is around them, so that they can too learn that being different is ok too. If we grow up more accepting of differences and help each other out, than I think Lauren's has fulfilled her purpose.

We have been working on PECs throughout the summer. We have a small binder that has about 10 food cards and 4 toy cards that she knows. We were instructed to take the binder with us everywhere Lauren goes, so that she would have access to her "words" and could grab cards and give them to us whenever she had something to say.
I guess you could say with PECs, we are coming out of the closet more about Lauren's challenges. In the past, we could hide Lauren's delays with her short height and light weight (she looks like she is 1) and also because she was very young and cute (well she is still cute!). And because the only other visible difference was her SMOs, which were often covered with her pants or rolled down socks, strangers and family and friends would think she was maybe a little "off" but generally fine. But now since the introduction of PECs, when you bring out a binder with picture cards to ask her "show me what you want" at a restaurant, birthday party or at a family BBQ, it definitely signifies to others that something is different, so different it required an "intervention". Yeah it kind of sucks...who likes carrying a binder in their purse everywhere they go,  but I'm actually quite excited and proud of this little PEC binder because at least now she is telling me what she wants..and lately all she wants is cookie and raisins. And because I don't want to discourage her from using her pictures, she is eating quite a few cookie and raisins in a day!

Lauren has progressed with PECs much faster than we anticipated. I gave myself 6-8 months before we would have been promoted to a cards in a binder (this means Lauren can discriminate accurately between pictures), and we actually did it in less than 3 months! So we practice a little bit everyday, and I'm slowly training up the grandparents and family as well on this.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Going to the CNE always marks the end of summer for us. Last year we started the tradition of going with my brother and his family, and we continued with this tradition this year. Its so much fun going with them because they love to eat (and so do we) and they love to play games (and so does Steve!). We got there just after 5pm, just in time for dinner at the Food Building. 

Finally got a picture of all the kids looking at the camera after taking over 10 shots in a few seconds.

At the entrance to the Ex -  Lauren looks a little zonky looking cause she just woke up.

The kids play their traditional funball game and share a bucket of balls.

The doughnut hamburger. A meat patty sandwiched with 2 krispy kream doughnuts!

Steve's favourite game - Wack-A-Mole. A winner every time!

We stayed at the CNE until almost midnight! Kids were exhausted, but had a great time.

Lauren loved playing with Kayla's flashing wand, which she won at the duck pond game.

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