Saturday, July 31, 2010

pictures of the day

ABC and 1-2-3! Kristyn's blog!

I just wanted to tell all of you wonderful blogging buddies of mine that my sister, Kristyn started a blog recently. You should check it out. It's mainly about her kids right now, but later will focus on her adventures of homeschooling!
I've had countless pictures of her kids on my blog. I'm sure you'll recognize them. "Binny", Austin and Cameron.
Her site is full of pictures and fun, and is a joy to visit.
Check it out right here, and don't hesitate to follow. *wink wink* 
Thanks guys!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

oregon project results

So, I literally just received the results from Hanna's Oregon Project. Jody has been so busy, and just got the chance to e-mail them to me today.
If you don't remember what the Oregon Project is, I'll quickly fill you in.

The Oregon Project for Children Who are Blind or Visually Impaired is completed in our home through observation and interview. This Skills Inventory has three purposes:

1. Assess the child’s developmental level in eight domains while taking into consideration the child’s vision loss.

2. Assist in selecting appropriate teaching goals according to their developmental level.

3. Record the child’s acquisition of new skills and track progress.

Hanna was approximately 1 year 7.5 months when the skills inventory was recorded. In the eight categories Hanna’s skills ranged from 1 year 6 months to 2 years. Hanna’s strengths were her compensatory, social, and gross motor skills

Here are the results that Jody put together for us!


82% Skills achieved for 1-2 yr. category, functioning level at approximately 1 year 9 months on the Oregon Project Skills inventory.

· Hanna is beginning to assemble 3 part nesting toys and remembers where familiar toys and objects are kept.

· Hanna loves to explore cupboards, cabinets and all areas of her home.

· Hanna will match large mega blocks of the same colour when asked, one at a time.

Goals to include:

· Continue practicing puzzles, 3 piece inset puzzles to start.

· To continue with her play with blocks to build or stack with them, this practice will help with any depth perception concerns that could affect her stacking them vertically.


44 % Skills achieved for 1-2 yr. category, Functioning level at approximately 1 year 5 months of age.

· Hanna shakes her head for “no” and nods her head for “yes”

· Hanna points to go outside and to get a drink, she will grunt to say she has to use the toilet.

· Hanna will wave her hand to say Bye-Bye.

Goals to include:

· To continue with a few simple baby signs chosen by family, ie. “more” and “all done”.

· To continue to label everyday objects in Hanna’s life consistently and simply, put desired objects up out of her reach and have her gesture or initiate sound or sign before you give her the object.

· To continue teaching Hanna nursery rhymes and sing-alongs which are repetitive and interest her.


94% Skills achieved for 1-2 yr. category, functional level at approximately 1 year 10 months of age.

· Greets people at the door.

· Hanna engages in simple imitative play; repeats actions of others, patting hands on table, clapping hands.

· Hanna will share object or food with another child when requested.

Goals to include:

· To complete familiar task without assistance and to continue completing simple chores such as putting away cup and dish after eating, clean up toys. These would be ideal tasks for her to learn to complete without prompting through practice.


75 % Skills achieved on 1-2 yr. category, functioning level at approximately 1 year 9 months.

· Hanna imitates facial expressions, makes fishy lips and noises repeating mom.

· Hanna will point to herself in the mirror.

· Hanna will give visual attention to a video image, the Backyardigans.

Goals to include:

· Continue to work on self body awareness and learning more complex body parts, ie. elbows and wrists.

· Encourage Hanna to imitate scribbling, drawing vertical lines on paper with bold markers.

· Encourage Hanna to imitate play with blocks, stacking them and lining them in a row.


88% Skills achieved for 1-2 yr. category, functioning level at approximately 1 year 9.5 months.

· Hanna is self feeding

· Hanna can sit on the potty and eliminates regularly.

· Hanna tolerates having her hair brushed and she will brush her dolls hair.

Goals to include:

· To continue working with Hanna on self help dressing and undressing, locating clothes and helping putting them away.

· Give Hanna opportunities unzip clothing and coat, and to practice zipping zippers that are already engaged, either on a sleeper or in pants.


91 % Skills achieved for 1-2 yr., functioning level at approximately 1 year 11 months.

· Hanna finds a toy hidden in textured material.

· Hanna can touch 3 body parts on request when they are named.

· Walks barefoot on grass and a variety of surfaces independently.

Goals to include

· For Hanna to name 3 body parts on request.

· To match a variety of textures.

· To identify objects as rough, smooth, hard or soft.


43% Skills achieved on the 1-2 yr. category, functioning level at approximately 1 year 4 months.

· Hanna can remove rings from a stack on dowel, large pegs from board.

· Grasps two objects in one hand.

· Pulls apart pop it beads.

Goals to include:

· To string large beads on a pipe cleaner or stiff string with knot at end.

· To put at least 4 rings on a post and 4 pegs in board.


100 % Skills achieved on the 1-2 yr. category, functioning level at approximately 2 years.

· Walks independently around and over obstacles.

· Propels herself on riding toys by pushing with feet on the ground.

Goals to include:

· To jump in place with both feet.

· To sit cross legged on the floor.

· Introduce play with hoola-hoops for outdoor play.

Hanna’s Skills Inventory can be updated in 6 months time to track her progress and establish new goals, approximately December 2010.
Thanks Jody!

So, there you have it! I think she's doing excellent!! Keep up the great work, baby girl!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

just for fun

This song in the video (I've Been Workin' on the Railroad), is constantly playing in our house. And every time it comes on, both the girls start doing some sort of crazy dance. Hanna could be on the other side of the house and runs out to dance to the song. It's crazy.
 Gracie knows what number to press, and exactly the sequence of buttons to press to turn it on.
"blue button...then ..3...1...and play!"

This keyboard isn't even ours. I have to return it to my mom's house, so I've been letting them have fun with it while it's here.
As you can see though, there's no place for the thing!

Anyhow, watch her dance. Haha...I don't know where she learned this.
Like Hanna's arm dance?
I'll have to get one of her shaking her little bum.

Monday, July 26, 2010

in, on, open, close

We've had to work on certain things with Hanna because she just plain old wasn't interested in doing them.

A couple of these things were:
-putting in, and taking out
-vertical alignment/stacking
-opening and closing

We just changed how we played with her. It wasn't that she wasn't able to do these things, she just wasn't interested in the whole concept, unless you made it a game.

So, we started putting babies on there bed, little people into their cars, opening the doors for little people, etc.

Now...we see it all over the house.

and, yep...she had to open the cupboard to to put the pony in, and on the peanut butter.

I was just cleaning up and getting ready for lunch when I noticed both of these things. It really made me think about how far Hanna has come.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I can't believe I forgot this!!

While we were up North, camping last week, Hanna, Gracie, Ayden, and I were all hanging out in the camper because it was wet and rainy outside. Gracie and Ayden were colouring, and Hanna and I were practicing our colours!
Well...mostly Hanna was. :)

We took out some poker chips, red, blue, and white. I got rid of the red ones, and picked up one blue one at a time, and one white one at a time while repeating the colour with Hanna.

After a few minutes of just repeating and looking, I held a couple white ones and a couple blue ones in my hand, and asked Hanna to find either a blue one, or a white one.

She would bring her little face right up to my hand, take a really good look at all of the chips, and grab the right colour!
We did this several times, and she now knows blue and white!

How exciting is that? For one thing, she can differentiate between colours with her eyes, which if your remember, we were told may not have light perception!
But she knows two colours. By their names. I think that's very smart, and very "typical".

Months ago I noticed that whenever she was in the ball house, more times than not, she would hand me 2 of the same coloured balls. She would match them. I always thought this was fluke because I never knew if she'd be able to see colours or not. But I guess I know now!
It's exciting, because now that she's getting older, we will start to learn how she sees. Just in how she plays. She acts older now, and responds differently to things. We're learning every day. We're seeing progress every day.
It's truly, an amazing thing.

back to work

No, not me! Whew!
Matt. He has been off work for two weeks for shut-down, and today was his last day.
The girls will miss having him to snuggle with in the morning.
He couldn't handle sleeping with all of us, so when the girls get up in the morning, the first thing they do is jump onto the couch with him. :)
Hanna was up first this morning, so Gracie's missing in the photo.
They're going to miss their daddy.


Here are the "Christmas lights" that caused all the commotion in our house last night

Saturday, July 24, 2010

thanks, steph

Today Steph came by with a big Dora the Explorer wall decoration with little lights on it. Someone donated it to the day care she works at, and they couldn't use it. She thought Gracie would love it, so she brought it by.

Gracie calls it her "Christmas lights" and even wanted to sleep in her room, in her own bed, so she could have them on.
Gracie hasn't slept in her own bed for one entire night yet, so this was huge.

Now, for those of you who don't know, Hanna is extremely attracted to lights. Like a little bug.
She thought this thing was the best thing, ever.

We gave Gracie a kiss, and left her in her room to go to sleep.

Gracie came into my room about 3 minutes later to get "something to snuggle with", and when she mentioned her "Christmas lights" again, and left the room, Hanna flipped out.

I tried to distract her by singing, but there was no calming her.
She was mad.

She wanted those lights.

She carried on for a good 5 minutes.

Finally, I couldn't take it anymore, so I asked her if she wanted to see the lights one more time.
She responded with a histarical laugh, "yeeaaah" and a nod of her head. She couldn't have made it any more clear that was what she wanted.

We went to see them one last time. She pointed and stared in awe. Then we went downstairs this time, to get a drink for her, and get her mind on something else.

Didn't work.

I actually had to tell Gracie that she probably wouldn't want to  sleep in her own bed tonight because I had to shut the "Christmas lights" off. 
I brought Hanna in one last time and showed her as I unplugged the lights.
Well, that almost made it worse.

That was all I could do at that point. I handed both kids over to Matt, and listened to Hanna and Gracie crying over those darn lights!

Thanks a lot, Steph. :)

poor koda

It's been almost 2 months since we moved into our new house, and Koda is still very bitter about the move.

She sleeps upstairs under the daybed, all day long...
and if we leave for more than a 2 hour stretch, she's completely destructive.

Our first couple days here, we bought new safety gates for the stairs. One for the top, one for the bottom...

2 days later...


We bought 2 more.

We now have one gate on the bottom of the stairs, that Matt put back together with the salvageable spindles from all the broken gates.
It's a very pitiful sight.

We've come home a handful of times to an entire loaf of bread mauled to pieces on the floor.

Another time to a torn apart screen.

We've been dealing with this quite graciously, I must say.

Tonight we went to Gram's house for dinner, like we do every Saturday.
We pulled in the drive, and saw that the main door was wide open.
Koda was whining on the inside of the screen door, all excited to see us, bouncing around in a nice puddle of drool, and pee.


Somehow, she got the inside door open, and figured she'd find a way out the screen door.
Luckily, there is no screen in the door right now. It's just a glass panel.
She chewed the door jam.
Like...we have to replace the door jam...chewed.

This dog has gone loopy.

I feel bad for her.

She was living in a nice, big, wide open space at my mom's, with another dog, and now she's stuck in a little house, with a little yard, and no other dogs to play with. :(

But come on!
Get over it.
Sorry Kodes, but the pity party has to end!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Earlier in the week we took a couple days to go camping with Matt's family. They were at Arrowhead Park for a week and a half, and we figured we'd just drop in for a couple nights.

After not paying attention and totally missing our exit, and going almost 3 hours further than we should have....
we finally got there.
The girls were absolute angels in the car. Considering the fact that we only stopped once, and drove for almost 11 hours.
Gracie was hilarious.
The kid. did. not. shut up.

She went on and on....and on...
and on.
Matt's sister, Samantha drove up with us, and Gracie thought that was just the best thing, ever.
"sam? member when i was a baby and i played with my feets?"
"sam? member when i saw a little tiny bear that was this big and it was blue and yellow and orange?"
"sam? guess what! i saw little baby chickens and they were so so small and they had 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, eggs."

30 seconds of silence...

"so, sam? sam. sam? saaam? sam!"
"oh. sam's asleep."

It was very entertaining. I think the radio stayed off most of the trip.

Anyhow, we got there at about 1:30 am, and went right to sleep. Hanna was all excited when we got there, and jumped around in the camper for a good hour until she fell asleep. Gracie got a real kick out of sleeping in her very own sleeping bag.

Gracie and her Uncle Ayden.

Hanna is a Dorito fiend.

At the beach Hanna loved the water, but hated being held by us. She was trying to pull her arm away the entire time, and throwing little tantrums, so I made her play with Gracie in the sand.

They buried Uncle Brenden.
And Gracie watered him.

Matt and Ayden made a sand castle.
Ayden was so proud!
Hanna had her nap. :)

We spent one more night, and hit the road the next day around lunch time. It was going to be a rainy day, anyhow, so we felt better about leaving so soon.

Thanks guys, for a fun-filled mini-camping trip!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Peyton Marie

That's the name of our new baby! Not sure if the spelling is right, but you get the idea. :)

I went to visit them again at the hospital, but this time brought the rugrats and Matt with me.

The girls were so excited. Every time I said the word "baby" Hanna's eyes would light up and she'd go "aawwww".

Michelle was holding Peyton when we got there, and I lifted Hanna right up so she could see her sleeping. She was so quiet and gentle. She brought her hand our to touch her little face, and then stopped herself. :) She was cute.

On the way out Gracie got to hold her.

Then we helped Hanna hold her too.

They love their babies.

Monday, July 19, 2010

what the...?

I was making breakfast for the girls and glanced out the kitchen window.
I'm not sure what to call this thing. I'm thinking...maybe a "squink"? Maybe a "skurrel".



I dunno.

I'm stumped.

You tell me.

I apologize for the very poor picture quality.

I just had to get a quick shot of this...thing.

I can't decide if it's a cross between a cat and squirrel, or a skunk and squirrel.

Very interesting...

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I just got back from a whole day spent at the hospital.
This was a good hospital visit! This visit was to welcome Michelle's new baby!!
She had a little girl, still nameless, but absolutely beautiful!!
I haven't been there, in the waiting room, just waiting....and waiting, since Kristyn had Austin 4 years ago.
Since then I've had little ones of my own, and sometimes end up keeping siblings of the new-comers while we wait for the news. Even though that's all well good, I love being there when daddy comes out holding the new little addition. :)
Check her out.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

my little hacker.

Okay, so earlier this morning I was playing around on the laptop, and the "update windows" window popped up. I hit the tab to update, and restart.
A few minutes later there was another pop-up that said "restarting in 7...6...5..." so I hit "restart now".
As soon as I hit that, my curser starts going mad! My screen resolution was changing, my background wallpaper was changing, it was nuts! I called Matt in the room because I thought it was a really weird update!
He said right away that something wasn't right, and someone probably hacked into my computer!
Oh no!! I had just got done all my banking a few minutes before. I was in a panic!
He shuts down the computer, and starts it back up hoping all would be back to normal.
As soon as it loaded up, the curser started back at it. Oh my gosh. We have a problem.


I see Gracie in the living room playing with the wireless mouse and keyboard that we have for our other computer. I forgot that I had used it the night before, and still had the USB transmitter in my laptop!
Phew!! What a crazy thing. She was "pretending to check her email" and had no idea we were in complete distress in the next room.
Funny funny girl.

Monday, July 12, 2010

pictures of the day

Matt and I attended a wedding the other day.
He calls this look "the smoulder"....
Ain't he handsome?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Up and Down

My dad and I were playing with the girls at the play centre earlier today. Hanna usually has shoes on because she doesn't like standing on the stones.

Today she didn't.

Watch what she can do with no shoes on!

She did this for the longest time.

She thought she was so smart!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

crazy people

A couple weeks ago, I brought Gracie, Alex (the neighbor), and Hanna to the park down the road. Gracie and Alex were excited to see a couple other little kids there, and raced down the road as fast as they could.

Koda came with us, and the woman (mother of the other kids) also had a dog with her, so we were both trying to control our dogs, and started talking.

She asked me how old Gracie and Alex were, and I did the same. Then she just started comparing our kids every way she could. She started saying how well Gracie talked, and that her son, who was the same age as Gracie, only says a handful of words.

Her daughter was a month older than Hanna, and twice her size.
The woman asked me how old Hanna was.
I always lie...only because I don't like having to tell complete strangers Hanna's entire story.

But I didn't this time.

Her reaction:

" she gonna get any bigger?"

I'm sure the expression on my face was a little more than confused, but I just said "well...I hope so. But if not, that's okay too..."
And that ended our conversation. 

People are crazy. 

Pictures of the day