September 30th, 2011

As autumn is upon us, I’m still reluctant to let go of summer.  So I found a few more summer photos we never posted.

Of course we visit Grandma during any season, but we aren’t swimming in the pool any longer.

Saying good-bye to Katie, as she heads off to college . . . and enjoying her short visit for her BIG birthday!

My girls love grocery shopping . . . at certain stores anyway – you can probably guess why.  I had to snap this photo because this particular store is going out of business.  What a disappointment!

Cell phones don’t take the best quality pictures, but just look at all the pictures we wouldn’t have without them!  Most of the ones in this post!

Like our playdate at the park with E and L↑; and our visit with Liliah↓ and family after Ami’s clinics at Children’s Hospital.  Thanks for the great hospitality, Sharon!

Or what about Ami wearing her church dress in the mountains?  (That’s what happens when you have mountain plans after church, and she falls asleep in the car on the way home from church!)

My window washers,

And animal lovers (stuffed ones, anyway),

Thank you Ruben and Ashley!

Well, if we’re going to start a new season, (yes, autumn officially began a week ago, but since we’ve still been having summer temperatures we’ve ignored that fact)…

We might as well get a new haircut.  It’s about time, eh?  Ami, you’re next!

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REALLY Growing Up!

September 23rd, 2011

I found several unpublished photos from the past couple months of this little lady who is growing up way too fast.

Although still somewhat tentative, she is becoming much more adventurous.

In way too short a time, Miah went from using this swing, (and needing a push),

To becoming a BIG Kindergartener, (and doing things all on her own.)

But Mom isn’t ready to let go yet.  So we’re trying out homeschool.

So far so good.  The girls are playing together now better than I ever imagined.  (We do have semi-structured school time as well.)

I don’t have any doubts she’ll be ready for 1st grade next year . . . with Ami right behind her!

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Growing Up

September 17th, 2011

These photos are a little old, but I haven’t taken the time to do much blogging lately, so it shouldn’t matter, right?

As Ami is about to grow out of the Early Intervention (0-3 yr.) program, she had a speech evaluation this week to determine if she would qualify for services through the school system.  Let me just tell you, that she is a talker!  She has amazed us with her progress in speech over the past 6 months.

We also give credit to her wonderful SLP (Speech Therapist) who works with her each week, and gives us specific areas to work with her on, as well.  After her palate repair, we started with blowing bubbles, blowing through a straw, sucking through a straw, blowing a whistle.  Things we take for granted, that Ami was unable to do without closure between her oral and nasal cavities.

The first sounds we worked on were “B” and “P”, the voiced and unvoiced “plosives”, which require air to come out of the mouth without escaping through the nose.  (Once her palate was repaired and healed, Ami has had to learn to use new muscles to close off her throat when speaking.  Thankfully she didn’t develop any fistulas, and thankfully her soft palate is long enough [reaches far enough back in her throat], that she can make that closure.  Otherwise, air would escape [and sometimes still does] out the nose when speaking, making it difficult to form many sounds.)

As she practiced and mastered those sounds, we worked on the “D” and “T”, also voiced and unvoiced, just requiring a different mouth formation.  Ami is such a little mimic, she would be learning the new sounds consistently within one or two weeks.

Our next sounds were the “G” and “K”.  These were a little trickier, but it was gratifying to hear the progress from sometimes, to often, to always.  As a teacher, (and someone who enjoyed taking linguistics classes), I find it fascinating to work with Ami’s SLP and learn some of her “tricks-of-the-trade”.

Other sounds we have worked on are “F” and “S”.  We are just now working on the voiced equivalents, “V” and “Z”, as well as the the many “S” blends.

Ami’s pronunciation and vocabulary are pretty good for an almost three-year-old, especially one who has a CL/CP diagnosis.  (And especially considering that she has only been hearing English spoken for one year).  We were all curious.  Would she even qualify for speech services?  When giving one-word responses to the SLP evaluating her?  No.  When being observed in play and hearing spontaneous speech, coupled with her CL/CP diagnosis?  Yes.  We are happy.  Ami will continue receiving speech services, and while she is still young be given every opportunity to speak well.  She still has areas to improve, and I know that it will be easier to work on those areas now rather than later.  We are just so proud of her persistence and how far she has come.

Huckleberry Time

September 8th, 2011

Even though they are ripening late this year, the last couple weekends we’ve successfully picked several quarts of huckleberries.

We actually picked more than we put in the freezer, but many of the little blue berries never made it home.

I wonder where they went?

We were reminded of this little book.  If you haven’t read it, it’s worth checking out at the library.

The girls were even reciting, “kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk,” as they dropped the berries into their makeshift buckets.

Although, unlike Sal, we didn’t come across any bears, we discovered a den (big hole in the ground under a stump) that was most likely used by a bear last winter.

Since we were in the right area, we got a good hike in as well.

The berries must pack a lot of energy, because Miah hiked the whole 6.5 mile round trip unassisted!

It certainly helps having seasoned hiking buddies.

Our destination was Lake Janus on the Pacific Crest Trail.  Another fun memory to add to our summer!

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