Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas photo dump

Christmas is always a wonderful time as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

 Christmas 2013 did not disappoint for our family.

Christmas Eve we are joined at church by my brother and sister and their families then we come back to our house and eat and open presents.

Before Christmas Eve service
All the cousins

Her favorite Uncle Ed!

Aunt Elise did not disappoint with matching sit and spins!
Christmas morning after we sang happy birthday to Jesus the packages just couldn't wait any longer.  Let the opening begin!

Dariya was thrilled with opening gifts this year and had so much fun.

Bubble bath, nail polish and lip gloss...girlie girl


For the popcorn addict in the family

Real smiles!  YAY!

Angel tree dollars make a perfect stocking stuffer!

Daddy was pleased!

Best gift ever! 

Note to self...take family picture BEFORE chaos occurs!

We are truly blessed beyond measure.  We hope your Christmas was wonderful.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Aidan's first band concert - for the grandparents ;)

Aidan has been playing saxophone since September.   I was impressed by their Christmas concert.  How much they have learned in such a short time.  Can't wait until the end of the year concert!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fine motor success, caught on video

One of Alayna's weaknesses has always been fine motor skills.  Another reason we added an outside school OT each week.

I have tried and tried to get her to do more things to work her tiny little fingers.  We do puzzles, theraputty, sort small items, dry erase boards, use scissors, color etc.  Anything to get her to use her fingers.

She has never been much into stringing things, even the big chunky blocks (which she can easily do).  So months ago I bought a package of small minuscule beads at the dollar store (love that place for thera-play items!)  I thought Dariya would love stringing these beads onto a pipe cleaner as her fine motor skills are crazy good. However, these little beads proved to be too much for her.  She could do them but, after 3 or 4 was done as it was pretty difficult.  Alayna couldn't even begin to do them without hand over hand assistance.  So I put these beads away for another time.

Lately Alayna has decided that she likes coloring inside the lines.  Don't misunderstand we still get the scribble some but, she knows the difference and is able to stay INSIDE the lines.  That is big.

She also loves writing on her dry erase board (thank you Target  2 for a dollar aisle).  She will practice her letters and writing her name over and over.  Then she draws pictures and tells us all about what she has drawn like she is doing show and tell.

As it had been a while and I have seen some real progress in fine motor skills from Alayna I thought I would try the beads again just to see how far we have come.  To my surprise Dariya still could do them and gave up after 4 (boring!) But, Alayna wanted to do it and was busily stringing tiny beads when I had to grab the camera and document it!

Yay Alayna you have come so far!  Super proud of you.

Thanks to Jana and Suzy, Alayna's awesome OT's who work hard to help her master these skills

Don't mind me saying it the 18th on the video, it was early and I didn't know it was really the 19th!  LOL

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas came early

Shadow (on the right) and Aidan both have been so sad since we had to put Champ (our 11 year old dachshund) down last month.

Aidan and I were out running errands a week ago and he talked me into going to the SPCA. Of course we fell in love with Tully (on left).  He is a super sweet 2 1/2 year old schnauzer mix.  He loves being around people.

I sent a message to Jason with a pic of Tully and Aidan and he called and said come home!

As the week went by Aidan kept talking about Tully and leaving us emails and messages with Tully's picture attached.  He made his Christmas list and it had a Toby Mac CD, some starter track pants and Tully.

Shadow over the last few weeks has taken to sleeping much of the day, we think he was grieving still.

Saturday our church blessed us with a respite afternoon for all kids with special needs (and their sibs if they wanted) however, my sister took Aidan to the movies.  While the kids were having fun we took on Christmas shopping and I wanted Jason to at least meet Tully.

Well you know what happened next....the boy got his Christmas wish.

Aidan was in shock when he got home and Tully was actually here.  Needless to say, both dogs and all kids are happy as can be.

Thanks SPCA for working with us!  Rescue dogs are the best!

Monday, December 2, 2013

New glasses...finally!

At the end of October the girls had their yearly ophthalmology appointment.  Both were given new prescriptions for glasses and we headed out to the optical places that are covered under our insurance to get new glasses.

Dariya's first pair of glasses were from Specs 4 Us. However, after she tossed those into the lake during family pictures we opted to try a regular pair of glasses.  Unfortunately, her bridge is so flat that the glasses kept sliding down her nose.  So this year I was determined to go back to Specs 4 Us to get both  girls glasses.

Sounds easy right?

Wrong!  In the whole metro area of optical places that take our insurance we found one that wouldn't even come near the girls, some that wouldn't order the frames for us even though they could do it on a customer approval and would be out no money, one place bent over backwards to order the frames in for us, try them on the girls and size them up only to figure out they don't take our insurance.   The lady there felt so bad for giving us the wrong information she personally contacted other opticians that were on our insurance and gave them the information on how they could order the frames (she had done ALL the work) and help us all to no avail.

It took us over 2 weeks and contacting Maria Dellapina, the creator of Specs 4 Us to have her help us find an optical shop that takes our insurance and would work with us to order what we wanted.  Maria went out of her way to contact a place here locally and explain how they could order the glasses and not be out any money.   Honestly, if she wouldn't have called they weren't going to order them.

It was a hassle that I hope we won't have to redo next year as we now have hopefully streamlined the process with the optician we used and they were delightful to work with once all was said and done.

But, I think the final outcome is beautiful!!!