Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lately... (a bit of this and that)

Lately we've been in a very busy season of life.  Swimming lessons, soccer, piano lessons, speech therapy, church commitments - it all starts adding up.  Thankfully everything is winding down now in the next few weeks, and I'm really looking forward to taking a break over the summer.

On Friday was the kids' last swimming lesson.  Neither of them passed their level, but that's okay because that's what I was expecting (it was the first time for both of them in their levels).  Plus, I had registered them for these same levels for summer lessons (1 week, 45 minutes each day), so I was actually glad neither of them passed because then I'd have to try to re-register them in a different level.  They both did really well though, and I was very proud of how hard they worked.  This was Emmett's first time doing "real" swimming lessons (without a parent in the water) and aside from a few tears on the first day, he really enjoyed it.

Yesterday Annika really got the hang of riding her bike with two wheels.  We'd been practicing for a week, but it wasn't until yesterday that it really "clicked."  She still has a few issues with steering and stopping (and starting on her own), but she's pretty much got it figured out.  Very proud of her, since it wasn't that long ago (just after we bought her new bike) that she was quite scared of riding it, even with the training wheels on. 

Father's Day this morning.  We had a pretty low-key day, as we had celebrated with my family on Friday night and with Carey's family yesterday.

Last week in church the children's feature was about Psalm 23 (as was the sermon) and it was generously promised to the kids that if they could memorize all of Psalm 23, they would receive $5.  Annika worked very hard all week, and she was so excited to receive her $5 this morning.  I was quite impressed with how quickly she was able to memorize it all (I typed it out and added a few pictures to help with word associations), so now we need to find something to work on next.  It was good practice for me too - it's been a long time since I've memorized Bible verses and even the ones I learned as a kid (like Psalm 23) have gotten a bit foggy.  It's definitely something I want us to keep doing as a family.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

2 wheels

This weekend Annika started learning to ride her bike without the training wheels. I say "started" because she's not quite there yet, but she's getting the hang of it. Just needs a little more practice and a little more confidence.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Speech therapy

I've been meaning to write about Emmett's speech therapy for a while, so here it is.

Ever since Emmett started talking (and even before that, when he wasn't talking and I thought he should be), I was a bit concerned that his speech was delayed (although my main comparison was Annika, who I think was a bit advanced, so perhaps it wasn't really a fair comparison).  He was slow to start talking and even now, although he has no shortage of words (some days it seems like he never stops talking!), he can be hard to understand if you don't know his "language".  He mispronounces many letters that most children his age can pronounce.  So, with the recommendation from our doctor, we started speech therapy with Emmett about 2 months ago.  

In just 2 months, we've seen him improve by leaps and bounds.  Sure, he still has quite a ways to go, but seeing him learn and master the sounds he's been working on is amazing.  Even his speech therapist seems a little surprised by how quickly he's progressing.  He doesn't always like practicing at home, but he loves going for his weekly sessions and seeing what games/puzzles/toys he gets to play with there.  The speech therapist is excellent with him and knows how to keep his attention and keep it fun while working.  She also knows when to push him to work a little harder at a sound, and when to back off, when he's just not ready (some sounds come later on, as kids mature).  And I can tell that he feels good about himself when he gets a pronunciation right.  Lately he's even been correcting himself from time to time- he'll mispronounce something, then he'll repeat the word with the correct pronounciation!

I know that once Emmett starts kindergarten there will be help for him in school if he's still mispronouncing sounds (Annika talks about several kids in her class that go for "speech"), however, I'm hoping by then he will have the majority of his sounds mastered (either through therapy or just by maturing and learning on his own), so it's not such a big deal for him - maybe he'll only have to work on 1 or 2 of the later-coming sounds by then, if anything.  We are very fortunate, though - the cost of the speech therapy is partially covered by our insurance, and I have the time right now to take him to appointments, so that made the decision to pursue therapy easy.  It seems to have been a good decision - good timing - given how well he's responding to it.  We'll soon be taking a break for the summer, but we will likely start up again in the fall.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

New 'dos

The kids are sporting some new styles.  Emmett finally got his hair cut today (he was looking quite overgrown and shaggy) and he even got a little blue gel (or "jell-o" as he would say) in it.  I think this will be much more comfortable for him for summer.

Annika decided not to get her hair cut when we went to the salon today, as she's decided she wants to grow out her bangs.  Sniff sniff.  Yes, I'm a little sad about it.  Her bangs were so cute.  I'm not quite ready for this - just another way my little girl is growing up.  We've been exploring a lot of new styles, though, in the past few days.  I'm thinking this summer will involve a lot of clips, bobby pins, braids and headbands.