Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The peaks and valleys of speech delays

Lately, it feels more like a deep, dark, endless abyss than just a valley.  Melodramatic, I know, but some days seem more challenging than others.  And we've had a lot of those recently.  Cadence has been in speech therapy since her last surgery over a year ago.  One of our biggest "leaps" was when she finally started to initiate words on her.  This was a very welcome change from the previous behavior of "point, whine, grunt, cry" when she wanted something.  Now, she talks all day!  I know that she is forming the words in her little brain and they are working themselves over her tongue and out of her mouth, but it just isn't coming together.  I probably understand about 10% of what she says the first time she says it.  And she talks a lot!  Which means that I spend about 90% of my time with her desperately trying to figure out what she is saying.  It's like language immersion into toddlerese.  It can be exhausting.  Truly exhausting. 

An example of what happens about 27 times a day:  Cadence points towards the front of the house and says "uck".  I say "You want the window open?  You want to go outside?  Is there a bird outside?  An airplane?  Should we go look at some flowers?  Can you say it again?  I don't understand."  Granted, she takes most of it in stride.  But as you can imagine, there is often varying degrees on frustration on everybody's part.  Most days I know it will get better.  I know that she will be intelligible when she goes to college.  I know that I need patience... something that has NEVER come easy to me!  Is it too much to ask to know what's going on in my little girl's head?  Of course, I have a feeling I'll be saying this in about 4 years regarding Sierra!  Maybe I should just be content with the fact that Cadence is at least sharing with me right now rather than worrying about understanding it!

Regardless of what she says, doesn't say, what is comprehensible or not,
this little girl is surrounded by love!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ready for spring!

We are ready for spring (and summer for that matter) to get here. We got a small glimpse of it this weekend and more so this week.  I am tired of being inside.  Cadence is getting her 2 year molars.  Either that, or her body is being inhabited by the devil.  I'm going to go with the former and hold off on the exorcism - for now!  We all need fresh air, sunshine, and space.  We need to run and jump and hula hoop.  We need to get out and we did. 

Brad has done an amazing job of clearing a path through the woods.  It's fun to meander down the trail and feel like we have our own special forest all to ourselves.  We busted out the sidewalk chalk and worked on our hula hooping skills.  Come on sunshine, come on spring!

She's workin' it!

She doesn't give up easily

And there she goes!

Sierra perfecting her masterpiece

And Cadence too...

There is mine!

Another good sign of spring... these girls have picked back up again!  Yay for eggs!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

My handyman

Growing up, most household tasks and projects (and by projects I mean hanging a curtain rod) involved a lot of words that I wasn't supposed to be hearing!  My dad was not the handiest guy.  He could usually cover the small things, with the expected expletives, but big projects involved the help of my very handy grandfather.  Therefore, the desire to marry a man who could tackle big projects around the house never entered my mind.

At our first house Brad built an arbor and a shed with our neighbor's help.  When we moved to our second home he talked about larger projects that he wanted to do - by himself!  I was skeptical to say the least.  He said to me "If I can do this you need to stop doubting me and let me do what I want to do."  And he did it!  And I stopped doubting him. 

 Now, I am amazed by all that he does!  In the works now:  building a barn, building a fence, walkway with steps to the pool, retaining walls, and an area for a chimney fireplace.  Yes, there are times that it's not so convenient.  A lot of his free time is tied up in these activities.  But he enjoys doing it and it saves us some money.  Despite "handyman" never being on my "husband material" list,  I sure did luck out here!

The retaining wall and steps that will lead from the side yard to the pool

Retaining wall on the opposite side of the house

Seating and space for the chimney fireplace

The barn so far

All we need is some grass!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Say cheese!

This is a girl after my own heart!  I've always loved photography and have never had the time to do as much with it as I would like.  Apparently Cadence is getting an early start!  A few months ago she strategically laid her two blankets on the floor, arranged some candy on them, and then got the camera and took a picture.  I thought it was a fluke, but it seems she is already getting in to creating scenes to photograph!  She's also aware that sometimes you need to stretch, bend, and twist to get just the right angle for the shot you want.  Now, if only she can figure out that she needs to smile on cue when I am taking a picture of her and her sisters!

Taking a picture of my new picture arrangement

She set her doll and random objects up

We've been spending a lot of time in here (yay for potty training!) so I guess it
seemed like a natural place for a photo shoot

Turning the camera on the momarazzi!
There's my smile!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chinese New Year and birthday celebrations

We finally were able to hit a Chinese New Year celebration last weekend at the mall.  The girls had their names translated into Chinese and their faces painted.  Cadence held still so well throughout the painting!  There was an awesome group that came  from out of town to perform the dragon dance.  The kids all waited patiently, but once Cadence caught sight of the very large dragons, she did not want to hang around!  She clung to me like she does when she sees clowns.  Laurel said that the music hurt her stomach.  I, on the other hand, thought it was very cool!

We came home after that to celebrate Brad's birthday.  I'm always astonished to realize that our 40's are just on the horizon.  How the heck did that happen?!  Our parents came for dinner and one of our favorite families joined us for cake (or rather, warm chocolate chip cookies top with ice cream and homemade hot fudge... yum!).  It was a good weekend for celebrations!

Face paint
Waiting for the dance

Brad and his girls!

Birthday kiss from Laurel

"Happy birthday to you!"