Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mommy and Alyssa day!

Friday was a special day for Alyssa and I.
I took the day off work and we spent the entire day doing all kinds of fun girly things. We started by having a bit of a sleep in followed by breakfast at home and then we went shopping in Sidney.... there's a little consignment store that has tons of great stuff for kids.... we found some books, a summer dress, new capri pants and we also found Maggie..... Alyssa fell in love with her and we had to take her home.

Here she is outside the store with Maggie

Then we drove to Brentwood Bay and met up with Daddy for lunch at Smittys. We hardly ever get the opportunity to go meet dad for lunch so that was fun.

Maggie and Alyssa shared the most amazing chocolate milk!

After lunch we went to the Victoria Butterfly gardens and saw some really neat things. Here are some of the pictures we took while visiting the gardens...

Just outside the entrance to Butterfly Gardens

Butterflies that had just come out of their cocoons, drying their wings

The biggest Moth I've ever seen . It's the size of both of my hands!!
Alyssa was terrified it was going to land on her head!

Pink Flamingoes!!
We never see those birds here in BC - It was neat to see them.

More Butterflies, there were so many different kinds and they were everywhere. One even landed on me and another landed on the camera. Made it hard to take a picture of it. That's one smart butterfly alright!

A quail... there were a few of them running around the gardens

Alyssa and I.
She was keeping a close eye on the butterflies. She was worried they would land on her. She was also worried about another bird that we saw that likes to peck feet. The bird is the size of a duck and has a long very narrow beak. He scared her and she then referred to the bird as
" the evil bird"

Then Alyssa had a mini spa experience at Lizzi Lee and Me. A kids salon here in town. Unfortunately the pictures are nowhere to be found. I'm not sure where they went to so I can't post any of them. Sorry!

Alyssa got her hair washed, cut and styled followed by a manicure, nail art, tattoo and ring. It was fun to watch her, she couldn't stop watching herself in the mirror.

We ended the day by stopping in at the library for some good books to take home.

I was completely pooped out but what a great day we had on our mommy daughter day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Communication begins!

March 17th, 2010- Nathan was introduced to Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) at school and has responded quite well to it.

PECS is a great tool for helping non-verbal children communicate without words. PECS allows Nathan to make choices and communicate his needs by using pictures of desired objects (such as toys).

Here's how it works:

When Nathan wants an item, he gives the picture to his School Teacher or School Aid. The Teacher then hands Nathan the toy; this reinforces communication.


I'm so excited that this form of communication was introduced to Nathan and that he is picking it up as quickly as he is.

Here are some statements from his school over the past few weeks:

March 17th- Introduction to PECS, Nathan did great!

March 18th- Nathan worked on PECS again this morning, he was able to do it independently after 2 times.

March 19th - Nathan had another good day! We worked on PECS again today and he was a superstar!

March 25th - Nathan had a pretty good morning. He was a little fussy about doing PECS but we worked through it and got it done.

March 26th - Nathan had a good morning we worked on PECS and he was able to travel around 3 feet across the room to give me the card!!!

March 31 - Nathan had another good morning. We did some PECS work and it went really well.

April 12 - Nathan was looking at friend's PECS book (who had stolen a toy he was playing with). He found the card for the stolen toy and brought it to his friend. WOW!!!

April 15 - I am now going to be sitting with Nathan at lunch and doing PECS. We are doing PECS with one of his peers as you need two people for the first phase.

April 19- Nathan had a rough start to the morning, he was quite grumpy and was really into throwing things. He did snap out of it for a bit and we got some really good PECS work done

April 21- Nathan seemed a lot happier today! We have been working on PECS all week and we now have 4 highly preferred items that we are using. Nathan is very close to mastering Phase 1! We will most likely start Phase 2 next week. Phase 2 is called " DISTANCE and PERSISTENCE" which means Nathan will travel across the room to exchange the picture for what he wants. Oh! and Nathan is also exchanging pictures with his peers which is very cool!

I can't tell you how excited I am about this. Coming to terms with the very real possibility of having a non-verbal child was difficult. For the past two years I persisted and hoped that Nathan would grasp signing but to no avail.

In one month Nathan has progressed so much with PECS, it's absolutely unbelievable- I have to pinch myself. Obviously, this is Nathan's preferred method of communication. It's what works for him. I'm so thankful that Nathan is at this school. It's been great for him and the tools they are giving him are helping him in so many more ways than I ever thought possible.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nathan knows when he needs a nap...

Today's Guest Poster: Nathan's Dad

I was looking after Nathan this weekend when he decided he needed a nap. He found Bunny Bear and a soother and went and climbed into his little bed. He fell asleep in a few minutes. I snapped this photo before I closed his drapes and covered him up.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A basket full of ....

Hint 1- Of course none of you could figure out the sex of the baby. The ultrasound pictures are of the torso and head- you silly, silly mommies!!!

Hint 2- Was no hint at all because....

If the baby was a boy than Nathan would have a brother and a sister

if the baby was a girl than Alyssa would have a brother and a sister

A basket full of sunshine,

A house full of joy.

What could be sweeter,

Than a new baby boy.

The ultrasound technician had a difficult time telling us the sex of the baby as the cord was in the way. It took several attempts, but in the end, our technician felt fairly certain we are having a boy. I was shocked!! I actually thought we were having a boy but my track record has not been good so I wasn't expecting them to say boy. I thought I was having a boy with Alyssa and a girl with Nathan soooo I finally get it right third time around...

Now for names............. I have some in mind...... but I'm not tellin.......

Got to keep something a surprise..............

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cereal Killer

'Twas early this morning, when all through the house

A creature was stirring, and it wasn't a mouse...

Hint about the sex of the baby:

"Now one of my children will have a brother and a sister..."

Answer will be in tomorrow's post...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We're having a...

...well, I could tell you the sex of the baby, but it is more fun to let you see for yourself! Check out our ultrasound pictures:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter 2010

Wow what a jam packed weekend we had. We haven't stopped! I am pooped out but if I don't blog about this now I never will... so here goes (This way I am forced to sit with my feet up and relax- so really it's a good thing!)

Good Friday was a busy day.
Nathan went to play at a friends house while Daddy, Mommy and Alyssa tackled outdoor chores. Not little ones... No we are all about the massive projects in this household. We started a project last year and we plan on finishing it before the summer so there's not much time... Last summer we had to fix a BIG retaining wall on the side of the house, 40 feet long and 6 feet high. We used massive bolders and had an exacavator in the yard to move them and build the wall. The original wall was made with railroad ties and it wasn't done properly so we decided to fix right. We completed the wall last summer and in early fall we built a nice fence around the area, which will soon be our outdoor patio... Anyway having an excavator roll around on the property didn't exactly help. It made quite a mess actually, all of the irrigation lines got destroyed along with a few trees and plants.
So because it was a long weekend (4 days) Sean decided to work on our irrigation system and get everything working again. Lots of digging, pipe fitting and cutting and adjusting. Now that the irrigation is working, I won't have to do any hand watering this year!!! YEAH! I did take some pictures but I will post the before and after pictures once everything is complete.... meaning once the patio is done!

Saturday was a fun day for the kids... we went to our friends house to pick our fresh farm eggs. Alyssa was all over it... Nathan.. not so much he was more about walking around and checking things out... He wasn't really sure what to make of the chickens, didn't seem really all that interested in them.

Here's Alyssa with our friend Keith getting ready to pick the chicken eggs

Wow there's lots of eggs in there! Here comes the first one!

Carefully placing them in the egg carton.
AnnaKate inspired us to get our "best big ol' hair bow" in for the visit

Here's the chicken who laid some of the eggs...
Alyssa was excited to pet and feed the chickens.


Grabber start exploring...

We posed next to the Koi pond to have a family picture taken. Keith has much nicer grass than we do at home, but that won't be for long, especially now that we have the sprinklers working!! (Can you tell I'm excited!)

Alyssa finished off her visit at Keith's house by jumping on his trampoline! What fun she had! Nathan was simply interested in watching her.

Sunday- The bunny came.... Oh and did I mention that when the bunny comes, no one seems to want to sleep in???? Why is that?
The Easter bunny left the kids some metal pails this year to collect their eggs.... THANKS BUNNY!!! I knew Nathan was up when I heard the pail on the kitchen floor going at 7:15 am...
He did find it next to his bed and did collect a few eggs along the way... but hey why collect eggs when you can spin and dump?

So Nathan was the first one out of bed and this is what he was doing.

It spins quite well this way..
and when I angle it more, it goes faster.

It even works upside down. Check it out!

Hey?? Where did all the eggs go?

Oh yeah...
I forgot I dumped them all out to spin the pail.

I'd say Nathan scored big time!! Look at all those eggs!

and Alyssa did just fine too! Look how pleased she is with her find

Later, we went to our friends house for Easter dinner. We had a Ham dinner and it was simply amazing. Alyssa and her friend Josh played and Nathan enjoyed playing with all the toys. We had a fabulous visit with out friend Matt and Janet, sue and Grandpa. We always have fun when we go there, Alyssa never wants to leave.. but she's always worn right out when we do. Nathan actually fell asleep in the car on the way home (something he never does) It was a good night for all.

Today was a fun day too! Nathan school organized a picnic lunch and Easter Egg hunt at a local park. The weather was beautiful, it was a perfect day. We played at the park for 3.5 hours, then came home and had our turkey dinner. The perfect way to end a long weekend...

Hope you had fun too!