Thursday, May 29, 2008

words, words, words

Here's the words that Lydia can say. Most of them are just in imitation of me saying them, but she does do a few of them spontaneously. Her cutesy pronunciations are listed where applicable. The others she says pretty clearly already.

cheerios (she says like yo-ee-yo)
cheese (w/ a soft "s" at the end, rhymes w/ "peace")
shoes (again w/ a soft "s" at the end, rhymes w/ "loose")
belly (but it comes out "baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah"... not sure why she can't say this, but "hello" comes out clear w/ the L's and everything, lol)
no no (she tells herself this if I redirect her from something off-limits
bite (comes out "baah?")
doggy (sounds like "dah-dee")
banana (sounds like "na-nuh")
yogurt (sounds like "gert?")

She may be saying a few more things, but I don't understand them yet. As for understanding stuff, here's what she understands consistently. When I say these things to her, she does them. :D

Go get your blanket.
Don't touch.
Give mama kiss.
Give mama hug.
Come see mama.
Can mama have (it)?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

more job questions and uncertainties

May was a good month for hubby in car sales. Will June be? Will July? I don't know. It's hard to plan a budget for income that fluctuates so wildly. Tim understands this, and has been keeping an eye out and applying at a few other places. There's one job that he's going to pursue that would be something completely different than he's ever done before. I don't want to post a whole lot about it here and get my hopes up, but if he gets this job, he'll have more time with me and Lydia, be closer to home, still be able to go to church, and the income will be steady and regular, so we could likely try to buy a house next spring/early summer. The hiring process for this job goes for about 2 months, with several steps to go through, so I'm just hoping and praying that he's able to make it through all the steps. Or if not, that something else will show up for us. I don't want to go back to work, but if we have any more skinny months like February and March were, I may have to get something part-time to help out. But how can I be a keeper at home when I'm not AT home, ya know?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

win a free ergo baby carrier

I want to spread the babywearing love, so here's a contest you can enter to win a free Ergo baby carrier from Along For The Ride. I think babywearing is great for babies and toddlers of all ages, and can't wait to start wearing a newborn again if hubby and I are blessed with another baby sometime.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

therapy is moving right along

Update 5/7/08: We had Lydia's third therapy session today. It wasn't all just singing and games today... we worked on lots of cognitive stuff, too. M (therapist) brought over the DAYC (that was the original tool they used to see where she was at, developmentally) today to see if Lydia has gained any new skills that she could mark on that. M asked us if she gets upset when we leave her, or if she prefers one of us, but she's never done either of those.

Lydia can point to several of her body parts, although she needs to be in the right mood. M wants us to work on throwing with her. (!!!) Good thing we have a small stash of soft balls, lol. M also wants us to work on having Lydia actually say what she wants, instead of just pointing and hollering, lol. Like if she's thirsty, keep the cup just out of reach and encourage her to say "cup." (Lydia CAN say cup, but it comes out "Guh!" lol) Today we also worked on having her do stuff with our help (like squeezing one particular bear's tummy to make it sing the ABCs), and then when she couldn't do the same thing by herself, to give the toy to us to have us do it. She gave her bears stuff to pretend eat and drink. And then this afternoon just now, Lydia had a pretend egg, and I pretended to eat it... then she pretended to eat it. That was a first b/c usually she wants everyone else to eat it. :p We also tried to get her to drink from an open cup, but she mostly just lets it dribble down her shirt. M wants us to work on that some more too.

Updates from 5/8/08: (I posted this exchange on a public message board, asking for help for if I'm doing it right. The replies (in the colored boxes) are from someone who has been on both sides, both as a therapist and as a parent w/ a child who is in therapy. I have posted her replied with her permission.)

Well Lydia and I are both frustrated. See, she knows what to expect when I say yogurt, or cheerios, or cup. If I say cup, she even looks around and tries to find it, and she'll get it and take a drink or give it to me or just hold it or something. But now that I'm trying to encourage words with her by keeping things out of her immediate reach, it's frustrating us both.

Like the cup, for instance. I can tell she's getting thirsty, and I'll get her cup and hold it so she can see it but not touch it. I'll ask her if she wants her cup, cup, cup, cup, cup? She reaches for it and hollers instead of trying to say cup. Same thing with the yogurt this morning. I fixed up her yogurt and tried to get her to say either bite or yogurt, and she wouldn't. She just looked at the spoon and bowl and hollered and cried. I can just see her thought process... "Mom, I KNOW that's yogurt, and I KNOW that's my cup! Why aren't you giving it to me? You don't have to tell me what it is, just feed me/let me have a drink!" I don't know if she's maybe just not used to the "change" yet. But I'm so sad for her.

I "give in" and let her have the cup or food or whatever after only a minute or so, but I don't know if there's something better or something else I should be doing to try to encourage her to verbalize what she wants. She hasn't had to ask for anything her whole life b/c I've always been right there to anticipate her needs, and now that I WANT her to try to learn how to ask for something, at the same time, I don't want to teach her that "enough hollering and Mom will give in anyway" ya know? But on the other hand, if I just sit and wait for her to say words... we'll be sitting and waiting a year from now, I'm sure. lol.

Awww mama, don't be discouraged. This is very normal. Most parents have a hard time with-holding things from their child. I worked in EI doing the therapy and knew exactly what I needed to do to help my son's speech delay and STILL had trouble doing it. I will tell you what I had to tell myself, hubby, and many other parents along the way. You need to do what's best for her even though it will sometimes be frustrating, hard, and sometimes heartbreaking for both of you. We had really good luck with my son using signs. Maybe you could ask M how she thinks that would work for Lydia..... It helped my son learn he had to do something to get something and he was using words in no time. I have seen it work for many many children. Please PM me if you need someone to talk to or ask questions about all this EI stuff. I know it can be tough bc I have been there as a mommy and a therapist!

My reply to her:

That's the thing though... I'm having trouble deciding what the "best thing" is for her... is it for her needs being met and her knowing that I'll take care of her, or is it that she NEEDS to learn to talk? Should I be withholding for longer than a minute? I don't want to hurt her or make her not trust me. I mean, I NEED to feed/water her so obviously I can't withhold stuff for days at a time until she finally says something.

I'll start trying signs again. She did them here and there a few months ago, but stopped when I stopped. She seemed to know what they meant (although she mostly just signed "more" for everything... like I'd lay her down for a diaper change and she'd be laying there signing "more" lol). I want to do something proactive that's not going to end up causing us both to cry several times a day.

I understand the dilemma mama! I do really. When I was going through it I decided it was best to stick it out and with-hold until an attempt was made. I don't think some crying is going to make her not trust you. The way I did it and suggested to other parents to do it to try to get her to repeat the word. ANY ATTEMPT calls for rewarding her with what she is wanting. At this age the words often aren't going to be clear. Articulation normally isn't something to worry about until 3. I would definitely go for longer than a minute. She will learn the point you will give in and push you to that point. What I did was try to get my son to say it and if he didn't even attempt after a few tries then I would put it up and try again after a few minutes. I also always suggested to parents to leave things the child really likes in sight but out of reach. They are more likely to attempt to use words for these highly desirable items.
Just remember that it is going to be hard. I am not going to lie about that. After she gets used to having to verbally communicate to get something, it will be easier. She has to learn that to move forward though.
Children often have to have to do things that are upsetting b/c it is best for them. I can't imagine how hard it is for parents to watch their children get PT or feeding therapy which can be really invasive but must be done bc it is best for them. I have seen mommies cry right along with the child through feeding clinics. They had just made the decision that it was best for their child to get the therapy they need.
Just remember that if you stick it out, you should see improvement and it will get easier. It is something new to her and she just needs to get use to it. Change is always hard. Let me know how it goes mama!

My reply again:

Hm, I just tried it again. I set her up with some peas and cheese just out of reach, and she first tried to reach them, but when I said peas or cheese, she said cheese (or something like cheese, anyway, lol). She LOVES cheese so I figured if she'd talk for anything, it would be for that. lol. Then I took her cup and set it up, and she hollered and reached for it. I said "cup" while doing the sign for it, and she did the sign and said cup! Then I brought out the cheerios again, though, and she tried to revert to her old ways, but did say it after minimal hollering.

Usually when I talk to her, I'm "asking" her if she wants something, so my sentence has that upward tilt in pitch at the end b/c of the question, and DD has picked up on this b/c all of her "words" sound like questions, lol. And her little voice can get SO high and cute, and sometimes it's hard to tell if she's singing a song or if she's trying to talk. I'll have to take a video after a while and share it.


Ok here's a couple of videos. First one is just her having fun, where you can hear how high her voice gets.

Second one is where I'm trying to get her to talk. You can see her sign "more" and "eat" in the video, and just after I turned off the camera, she signed "all done." She had only had 3 bites, but I went ahead and removed the sandwich from her sight, and she just went off to play. (If I had removed it and she really still wanted some more rather than being all done, she would have hollered, lol).

Wow, that is really good! If you keep doing things the way you are, you will see improvement. Seems like there already is some improvement! IMO, progress is already being made! Keep up the good work!
And BTW, I love reading your postings about this! Since I staying home now, I miss it. You and Lydia seem so great to work with. Y'all are one of the families we would have fought over. Everyone always wants the good families. Lol.

So that's the latest update on that from me.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

more miscellaneous updates

DH's dad may have first-stage kidney disease. I can't remember if he's still in the hospital or if they let him go home, but he's going to have more tests run on Monday. He went in for chest pains, which is the second time in the past few years that he's done this. Last time it ended up being his esophagus. I'm glad it's not his heart, but he needs his kidneys, too. I hope it's something treatable, and more, I hope that he actually makes the necessary lifestyle changes that they tell him to (he hasn't really done that in the past).

DH got Lydia to say "cheese" the other day (with some actual cheese, not like "say cheese" for taking a picture or something, lol), so that now brings her total word count up to.... 2. Ok maybe 4-5 since she does say "daddy" and "nap" and "cup" occasionally too. But cheese is still brand new so it's just in imitation. Diaper, though, she easily uses spontaneously and appropriately. Like usually I'll do diaper laundry while she's taking a nap, and I'll stack them up just outside her bedroom door. When she wakes up, if I open the door but then jump away before she can see me, she'll see all the diapers on the floor and be like "diaper? diaper? diaper?" lol. She can now point to her nose, tummy/belly, teeth and hair. We're still working on eyes, ears and mouth. Oh and the other day, every time the phone rang, she would walk into the kitchen and look up to where the phone was. (We have a phone in the living room too, that actually has the louder ringtone, but only the kitchen one has the caller ID on it, lol). And if I say "kiss" then she'll start making kissy noises. And she's finally working on her 7th tooth... and her 8th, 9th, and I think 10th as well (two molars and the other one/two lower incisors). Poor little girl, no wonder she's been so frustrated lately.

Her therapy's going well. She gets SO excited when M comes over. It was funny this week, b/c Lydia was so excited for a good 10 minutes that I couldn't show M all the stuff she'd learned how to do since last time. I'd ask her to do something, and she'd just grin and giggle and run away. M brought over a flyer w/ a playgroup that's on Monday mornings. It happens to fit into my tight schedule, so I may go check it out.

DH's work continues to go better. April was still a little scary b/c he "lost" a few deals from earlier in the month, and the few others that he sold on the 15th (the last day of the pay period) didn't get booked until the next day, so he didn't get a check at all on the 23rd. But he's sold 6 cars for May already (they call it a "locate" where the customer wants a particular vehicle that's at either a different dealership, or it's something that's not in stock anywhere yet). So that's good news. He's still keeping his eye out for something else... but for now I feel like I can breathe again. I actually slept w/o worry last night for the first time in a long time. Oh and due to a subtraction error, when balancing my checkbook yesterday, I found an "extra" $30, so that's always nice.

Plus my tiny business is "thinking" of picking up, too. I'm getting a few inquiries here and there, which is the first step to sales. But I'm not having a lot of time to devote to it right now what with all my other duties and activities going on. I'm going to try really hard to take a "break" from online this weekend and get caught up on my to-do list. I won't be able to stay entirely off, but hopefully I can limit it and actually get some stuff done. Plus DH will be happy if I'm at least off the computer while he's home.