Monday, November 25, 2013

I Have Lost My Mind

About two months ago, a friend sent me this link.  First of all, Sedona absolutely LOVES My Little Pony.  Secondly, a giant quilting project made of a 1 inch squares is just the kind of craziness that inspires me.  All hope for my sanity was lost when Sedona saw the picture on my computer and excitedly asked, "oh Momma! Can you make ME a quilt like that?!"

Her favorite pony is Twilight Sparkle, so I searched out a cross-stitch pattern and found this one online.  Then I made a trip to the fabric store and started doing a lot of cutting.  And a lot of sewing.  And a lot more cutting.  And a lot more sewing.  Even lots and lots of pressing and pinning.  I hate both, but with all those seams to line up and such small squares, skipping it wasn't an option.  I've learned that 1 inch squares are really tiny, and strip quilting is a completely necessary skill.

Right now, my sewing table is covered in bags of itty bitty squares:

And Josh set up another table for me to cut fabric and lay out blocks on:

So far this is what I have:

I'm about a quarter of the way done. I would love to be done by Christmas, but I'm going to be cutting it close. At lot of the center is large blocks of the same color for her body and I've already made a fair bit of progress on that (used strip quilting to create a lot of rows of 10 squares), so some of that will go quickly.   What do you think?  Any chance of getting this done in the next month? 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Secora's Birthday

We had a little birthday party for Secora yesterday.  She's not real big on being around crowds of people, so it was just us and Grandma and Pa-paw

Opening presents all by herself without any help
I wish I could have gotten a picture of her face, but she was so excited, she kept the book up where she could look at it.  This is one of the David books.  Her speech therapist introduced her to them to teach her to use negatives in her speech and now she wants to read them all the time
Getting a card that sings.  She opened it, shut it real quick and made this face while saying, "wow."  It was totally a "wow.  that's a noisy card" type of wow.  Funniest thing she said all afternoon.
Socks!!  She has to have socks on ALL the time.  She loves getting new socks and last Christmas, my brother got a pack of socks, which she promptly stole and hid in another part of the house. 
Another David book!
She got her own razor scooter because she kept ditching her three wheel scooter and stealing her sisters' scooters.  While Daddy was setting it up, she was "reading" the directions.
Her cake.  She wanted a Thomas cake, so I tried my hand at frozen buttercream transfer for the first time.  I learned a few things about making it easier next time around, but this is definitely a technique I'll be using in the future. 
Still not too sure about the birthday song even when it's a small group singing quietly
But she blew out the candles all by herself and on the first try! 
Her speech therapist had practiced blowing out the candles with her and she seemed so thrilled with herself to get them all on the first try. 

All in all, a great little party that was just her speed.   She put on her new socks, we went to grab some dinner, then she came home and played with all of her new stuff.   As I type, she's scootering circles around the living room. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Me Too Is Three!

Me Too, a.k.a. Secora, is celebrating a birthday today! 
Little miss joined us three years ago and met her immediately smitten big sister
She spent most of her first year in Montana, getting used to snow suits and being poked and prodded by two little girls who wanted her to be big enough to play.
We moved back to Texas when she was about 9 months old and she quickly adjusted to the change in scenery.
By 18 months, momma and daddy finally clued in that she needed some extra help coping with her world and she started getting the intervention she needed to make her days a little easier.  She greatly increased her eating and decreased her meltdowns.
2 year old Secora was getting along just fine now that we understood how to help her out.  She's had some tough work to do, but she was definitely starting to enjoy herself more.

Miss Me Too has grown by leaps and bounds.  She loves to play with her sisters and wants to be involved in everything they do.  Since her stint in the hospital six months ago and a change in her therapy services, she's managed to progress on her eating to the point of having a big growth spurt and she weighs 29 pounds now.  She is talking more and stringing sentences together.  Her favorite "food" is chocolate pediasure, but she also liked chicken nuggets.  She loves to play card games, which mostly consists of dealing out cards to people, picking them up, and dealing them out again.  She also loves to be involved in schoolwork, which is where we hear most of the "Me Too!!"  Her favorite school time activity is to practice cutting paper.  She has great fun picking out books at the library every week and will sit and look through books, even without pictures, for a long time.   She usually wants her hair in pigtails and likes to pick her own clothes now.  If I pick something that doesn't match, she'll fuss at me that the outfit doesn't go together.  We've discovered this year that she gets carsick, but also dialed in on the perfect dramamine dose to keep her from puking without knocking her out.  Her favorite outdoor activities are jumping on the trampoline and "riding bikes" (sitting on a bike or trike while it rolls down our down-hill street).  When I asked her what kind of cake she wants, she told me, "a BIG cake", so clearly, she is wise beyond her years. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Two Wheels!

About a year ago, we tried to teach Sedona to ride her bike without training wheels.  She was scared to go fast enough to balance and it just wasn't happening, so she asked for the training wheels back on.  Lately, she's been talking here and there about taking off her training wheels again.  Yesterday, she stood in the living room and said, "it's time for me to ride a bike without training wheels, come on daddy!"

Josh took her outside and about 5 minutes later, he was back in saying, "well, that's done".  Guess it was just time, because she didn't have any trouble at all this time around!  She was even able to start herself on an uphill slope. 

 Of course, after watching the excitement, little sister wanted to give it a try too (she's got a long way to go, she hasn't figured out pedaling yet). 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Festivities

We had a great Halloween.  The girls are getting to an age where it's easier to do more activities without me or them getting totally overwhelmed.

We started out the day with a few crafts.  They made spider finger puppets

And since I only had one bottle of craft glue, they had to take turns and you know how much kids love to wait, especially on an exciting day, so we also made pumpkins to fill the time.

Secora's philosophy was straight from the cowbell skit of SNL..."needs more googly eyes!"
After crafts, we had a tea party.  This is a suggestion of our new writing curriculum (Brave Writer).  The idea is to have a really fun, "fancy" time sharing poetry and talking about writing. I made mini pumpkin scones the night before and I had bought an assortment of hot chocolate and apple cider mixes.  I got out my grandmother's teapot for hot water, along with coffee mugs and real china plate (what's the point in having nice things if you can't use them?  and the kids felt so grown up they did really well acting grown up).

I had picked up a few Halloween books and poetry books at the library earlier in the week.  After the girls chose their drink and got their scones, they enjoyed snacking while I read the Halloween books to them.  Then they each looked through the poetry books looking for poems they wanted to read aloud to everyone else and talking about what they liked about the poems. 
I expected Sedona to need a lot of help, but she did so well figuring out the words she couldn't read based on context clues.  I was pleasantly surprised how well she did all on her own and how motivated she was to do it on her own. 
Of course, Miss Me Too had to read also.   She would look through the books and pick a page and I would say, "okay, do you want me to read that one?" and she would get mad and yell, "no! me do it!" 
This particular book has a picture of a quilt on each page and then a poem that goes along with the quilt.  When she was "reading" this one, she says, "and momma said, 'sewing table off limits!'"
After naps and some school work, I made Halloween pancakes for dinner
Then it was trick-or-treating time!  Secora had been a bit iffy about trick-or-treating.  Her speech therapist had talked to her about it quite a bit and I had been trying to prepare her.  She wanted to go, but was uneasy about it.  Costumes/clothes can be an issue for sensory kids as well, so when we picked out costumes, I had her try them on in the store and wear them a little bit.  Her first choice was exciting for about 30 seconds, then she had to have it off NOW.  She finally settled on an adorable monster costume. 

Halloween night, everyone was very excited to finish up dinner and start getting their costumes on.  Even Secora was happy to put on the clothes she'd wear under her costume and run around with her sisters.  Then it was time to put on her costume and she totally flipped out.  I took her to her room so it was just me and her and tried to talk to her, but she was crying and insisting she wasn't wearing a costume, she wasn't going out, she didn't want candy.  At one point, she wanted to put on her costume, but had to get out when I started to zip it.  It's silly because I'm the adult and whatever she wants to do should be fine, but I was so disappointed.  Had it been one of the other girls, it probably would have been fine, but this was just one more thing on a long list of things being a struggle for her. 

I finally asked her if she just wanted to put on a dress-up skirt to take a picture and she agreed to that.  The big girls were already in their costumes and eager to leave.  Sedona had found this unicorn costume that she was completely enamored with.  At first I told her it wouldn't fit because it was a toddler costume, but she loved it so much I finally let her try it on and she managed to make it work.  I'm still not 100% sure what Sierra was, some sort of vampire. 
It was starting to get cold and with everyone out of the house, Secora decided she wanted to go back in, just me and her, and try putting on her costume again.   This time, success!  If you know her, you can tell she looks much more relaxed in this picture, the anxiety had definitely started to ease up for her.
She even gave me a few super cute roars
She still needed to be carried up to the houses, but she was definitely happier when candy was involved.  One house was handing out the fruit snacks she absolutely loves (and they didn't have at the store last time I went shopping), she was SOOO excited about that. 
The bigger girls had a great time.  We had a friend come over to trick-or-treat with us and then picked up neighbors on the way.  One of the neighbors recently broke her leg quite badly and had to be in a temporary wheelchair type contraption, which didn't work so well because most of the houses in our neighborhood have stairs on the sidewalks.  Sierra and Sedona would always ask for candy for their friend too and bring it back to her.

Overall, it was a great day with lots of fun.  Now Sierra and I are packing up to go on a girl scout trip over the weekend!


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