Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Little Gymnast

Livi is now taking gymnastics classes. It's a parent-child class that allows me to work with her as she is not yet ready for an independent class. It's a lot of fun for both of us. If I could just get her to quit pulling the other kids' hair, it would be great! Surprisingly, for a kid who has balance issues, Livi does really well on the balance beam. She just trots from one end to the other, turns and trots right back. She is great with the tumbling activities, too. She has significant upper body strength, but tends to let go of the bar when we try to turn her over on the parallels, but I have no doubt she'll do well with those, too, once she realizes she needs to hold on.

Interestingly, tonight the US gymnastics trials were on television. Livi was riveted! Every flip got an exclamation of "Oh, gosh!" (Where she got that from, I haven't a clue!) When they would pause and throw up their arms, she would throw up hers. At the end of each routine she'd jump up and start doing tumbles across the floor. She was so excited by it and literally followed every move they made. It was incredible to watch.

Later this week Livi and I are driving up to Atlanta. Livi is going to stay with my aunt there while I audition for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. It would be so cool to get on that show and win some money! Wish me luck!

Livi also starts back at daycare this week... My mother is having surgery on her hand and won't be able to watch her for about a month. Livi's not going to like it, but it's got to be done. Thankfully, because of other things we have going on, she'll only be there three days each week.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

~ Jeana

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away...

The weather has been simply awful lately! If it's not so bleeping hot and humid that we can hardly stand to go outside, it's pouring rain! I know we need the rain, but why can't it rain late at night and give us the evening to enjoy the pool and the slide? Grrrrr!!!!!

Livi had an appointment today with a genetics doctor. She agrees with us that Livi is most likely an FAS child. She is going to test for some other things, too, though. The appointment went well--I like this doctor and she talked to me like an equal, which was nice. Yesterday we had an appointment with Livi's developmental specialist. He was very encouraging this time--said he could see that Livi had made a lot of progress since he saw her in October. That was great to hear. I mean, we know she has made considerable progress, but it was really nice to hear his professional confirmation of it.

This weekend Livi will be starting gymnastics and dance lessons. It's a program that was designed for the developmentally challenged child and focuses on building confidence and ability. They also say they can help improve her attention, listening skills, and ability to follow instructions. We'll see how *that* goes!

I'm taking lots of photos lately--trying to get a few good ones to send in with her post placement report. I thought these were really cute! Livi was trying out her princess look and her glam rocker look. She's such a little cutie!

~ Jeana

Friday, June 06, 2008

Summer of Insanity

So far this is looking to be one heck of a summer! Livi and I have been extraordinarily busy lately and it doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon. In the past month we have had Livi tested for school (cognitive, psychological, speech, occupational and physical evaluations), we have enclosed part of the backyard to make a play area for Livi, terraced that area so we could put up a swimming pool, pulled up a couple rows of hedges (roots and all!), planted several new flower beds, taken a long weekend vacation in Georgia to visit family, went to Canaveral to see the space shuttle launch, rebuilt the deck, and killed the front lawn (we're getting ready to put in a sprinkler system and resod...)

Livi actually is a pretty good "helper". She loves to get right in the middle of whatever it is I'm working on, but can be entertained well enough with simple tasks to keep her from slowing me down too much. She loves to "clean up" after mommy and has her own Livi-sized broom and everything. I'm going to try to get some more pictures of her this weekend to post here--I need them for our post placement report anyway. We just had our visit from the social worker this past week and will be sending that off soon. It's hard to believe that our two year anniversary is coming up!

I had, after much searching as reported in a previous post, decided on a private pre-school for Livi. Then I started debating whether to send her to school this year at all. She's not potty trained and has no interest in it at all and she loves the time with my mother and is thriving there. Livi is still receiving therapies (OT, PT, speech and early intervention services) from Early Steps until the end of this month, though, and they asked if we would consider having her tested by ChildFind to see if she qualifies for the State's ESE (special education) program. I agreed and she was tested and has qualified for their full program which will enable us to receive speech, OT and PT for as long as she needs it at no charge while she is in the school system here. So... now it looks like Livi will be going to pre-school in the Fall--and at one of the State's "A" schools (top-rated by the State and by the parents.)

I have a meeting with ChildFind in a few weeks to go over all the details, but I'm very pleased with what I know so far. It will be a M-F 8:30-3:00 program with a max of 6 children per teacher. They will work on all the usual pre-school stuff, but also provide her with the OT, PT and speech therapies she needs. They will also work on special skills like potty training, dressing herself, and otherwise helping her become more self-sufficient. The goal is to have her ready to go to kindergarten with her peers with the option of continuing any therapies she may still need. I'm hopeful that they will help us come up with a sensory diet that works for her and that her socialization skills will improve, as well.

On a lighter note, Livi and I had a fun day today (I'm off on Fridays in the summer and we try to make the most of all those three day weekends.) We lazed around the house in the morning, but this afternoon we went to the park and fed a huge flock of ducks and geese, played on the swings, and just enjoyed being outside. Tomorrow I plan for us to do a little shopping and then go swimming in the afternoon. Maybe a visit to the zoo next weekend...

I hope everyone else is enjoying their summer as much as we are!