Wednesday, February 26, 2014

dog-sitters

My mom and dad, and Timmy and Yuli took off for a short getaway to do some skiing and boarding in Montreal, so the rest of us took over dog, pony, rabbit and cat duty. 
My job was the dogs. It's so much easier for me to spend the nights at my parent's house because it's a second home to Koda, and we're right next door. 
Koda's been having to be tied at home because I think the wolf in her (that's my excuse anyway) just can't help but wonder, making some neighbors a little bit unhappy with us. So. To avoid having her shot, she's being tied while she's outside. Usually, every morning she runs through the field to visit Luna and Shelby until they go in to eat. Then she makes her way back home to eat with us. Apparently though, she was making detours on the way home. Bad idea, Kodes. 
So, this meant no more morning visits with her friends. 

It goes without saying, having to spend a few nights at my parent's was going to make her one happy puppy.

Shelby is a very senior dog now, and can't be left alone for too long. She also has trouble going up and down stairs, so the easiest thing for us to do was sleep downstairs in the living room. 

Night 1:
The girls were pumped to go! We got there a little bit late, so they really couldn't do much aside from get ready for bed and go to sleep. 
Harder than it sounds. 
Ben fell asleep on me earlier than expected, which is great - if I can put him in his crib. No crib, means I can't move without waking him up. The girls were good about this though, and pretty much stayed put, although Gracie and Hailey didn't get to sleep until about midnight. Hanna loves her sleep, so this wasn't an issue for her. 
Shelby started bugging to go outside about an hour before that. I would let them all out, then in. Shelby wouldn't come, and since she's mostly blind, and deaf, this is a problem!
I had to wrap up sleepy baby and go out and physically get her. 
She did this for a good hour. Back and fourth, crying at the door like it was a life or death emergency. 
Finally, I figured out that the "emergency" was that the garbage was at the road, and she figured it was her job to eat it. That was it! I called my poor mom at 1 in the morning to figure out if this was a norm for Shelby. She assured me it definitely wasn't and to keep her inside for the rest of the night. 
At this point, Hailey was up again, and wanted to sleep with me, and Ben was awake and ready to play. 
So was Luna. 
Forget about my 30 Day Shred I was waiting to do! Forget it.
I did get Ben back to sleep eventually, but since Hailey wouldn't fit on the recliner with Ben and I, the only other option was the loveseat. For all three of us.
It wasn't too bad. Hailey slept (if you could even call it that!) in a pretzel type position for most of the night. Her head was lodged between one of my knees and the couch cushion for the rest of it. 
I felt so bad for her, and was so surprised that she could even function in the morning, let alone be the first one up with a big smile and a "good mornin' mum!" in the morning, excited to go to Co-op.

Night 2:
The girls weren't quite as "pumped" to go this night. No one slept good the first night, so we had to change something. 
We set up the two loveseats together to make a "bed". I let them have a treat and watch a couple shows before bed. It was working out much better!  
Until the dogs came in for the night. 
It started like this.
I had just come downstairs from a shower, after doing my Shred (yay!) and Matt was on the couch with Ben on his chest asleep. 
I walked over to Matt to take Ben so he could go to work, and noticed a small bunch of feathers on his pillow next to his head. 
I picked it up, and figured it came out of the pillow, and just tossed it onto the floor. 
After grabbing the baby, and continuing into the hall, we noticed Shelby and Luna munching on something. 
Then we noticed more feathers. 
A bird.
Frozen.
A bird-cicle.
*gag*
Oh it was disgusting! And to think, that was the feathers on Matt's pillow! Gross!!
Anyway. That was the most drama that night. Smooth sailing after that!

Night 3:
Perfect. No issues, no drama. Everyone slept good after filling tummies with popcorn and heads with Honey I Shrunk the Kids. 
I'm sure some interesting dreams were had by all of them after watching that. 
 Our duties here are done. Tonight we return to our usual chaos at home, and will be sleeping like rocks tonight! 
Thank you, dogs, for a change of scenery for a few nights. 
It was....fun.
 :)
 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

the dramatic clothing war

After getting dressed in the morning, Hailey comes out of her room with a new pair of pants. 

Hailey: "Mom! I wanna wear these ones!"
Me: "No, you already have nice pants on."
Hailey: "But I don't like these ones!"
Me: "Oh, but they're so pretty! Hanna, doesn't Hailey look pretty in her clothes today?"
Hanna: "Nope. She doesn't."
Me: "Hanna! Tell Hailey she looks pretty today."
Hanna: "Yeah. Okay. You look pretty nice today, Hailey."
Hailey: "Tank you, Hanna." And she walked away with her head down.

Made me laugh. Such drama in this house sometimes. 
:)

Hanna's tablet

In my last post I mentioned that Hanna got a very special gift from her wonderful grandparents. 
Matt's mom keeps up with the blog and saw in this post that we thought she would do well with some sort of tablet. Without even thinking twice, she was on it. She started her research, and together we decided that the LeapPad Ultra was the way to go. Hanna has absolutely no experience with touchscreen, and Lord knows it should be durable, so we figured something made for kids is where we should start before spending a fortune. (I was initially thinking an iPad.)
It's been taking a little while to get used to, but I think she has it mostly down now. She figured out that she can't touch the screen anywhere other than where the stylus is, or it will disrupt her objective with the stylus. 
 It's been causing a little bit of frustration, because it's so sensitive, but she's getting it. And she loves it. 
I think it's just what she needed!
 She calls it "My special computer from Gramma". We're not forgetting about you, Grandad! She knows it's from both of you!
Gracie has a separate profile so that she can save her progress without affecting Hanna's. I want to know exactly where Hanna is, and make sure she's doing everything herself before moving on to something new. 
Her control in the stylus has improved so much already, and she can slowly and steadily trace letters and lines with it - as of tonight. 
She still gets frustrated, and impatient, so that's when we take a break, but she'll be a pro before we know it. It's going to help so much.
 Thank you so much, guys!
You don't know how much it means to me. I've been struggling with her schooling and knew I had to change things up for her, and I really think this was a wonderful place to start. 
You made it happen, and I appreciate that so much. 
It's a bonus that there's games on there, and it's a nice treat for the other girls too at the end of the day when we're settling in. 

I can't wait to see how she does with more practice and learning!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

The girls have been counting down the days to Valentine's Day this year. Gracie even ordered some earrings from Avon, and made sure that they would be delivered in time so she could wear the heart pair today! 
They woke up this morning and had special Valentine cookies from us waiting at the table, and had breakfast. You can just go ahead and assume that they ate cookies for breakfast...because they really actually did. 
After that, we did our regular school routine. Gracie was a little grouchy about having to have school on Valentine's Day, but she did what she had to do. She was lucky and got to take a break when Matt's mom came over with Brendan, (my brother-in-law) Valentine treats, and something very special for Hanna, which deserves it's own post.
They stayed for a little visit, and then we finished school. 
Kristyn, Michelle, and all the kids were at Kristyn's waiting for us to show up so everyone could exchange Valentines. We still had to eat lunch though, so I hurried and made the simplest, fastest lunch I could. Bagels, and leftover rice, if you had to know. 
I know. Mother of the Year. 
:)
When Ben was finally finished eating, we got ready to hit the road. This is an event all on it's own with all the boots, hats, and baby snowsuits! I'm lucky that we all live so close. Kristyn's house is about 8 minutes away. We had to make a few stops first though. 
My mom and dad needed their Valentines, so we stopped their first. Next, all of my aunts and uncles, and Nanny on the next street over. The girls had Valentines for everyone! 
(Thanks Gramma!)
Then, we were on our way. They all got to decorate cookies at Kristyn's and of course had treats for eachother.  The girls felt so good to give everyone their Valentines. They had a lot of fun with it this year.  Hailey even "signed" hers. 
It was a good (and busy!) day out with all the kids together.

After our visit we came home and I started dinner which I can assure you was better than today's breakfast and lunch! And the girls went outside. I had to show you Hanna's swing pumping in that snow suit! Pretty darn good!


I can't say enough how great of a winter we're having. I heard we've had a total of 49 inches of snow fall so far. That's nuts! It's great though. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Anyway, the girls came in for dinner and got some hot chocolate, of course, and the rest of the night was quiet!  My day was spent with all of my favourite little Valentines, so it made for a perfect day.
And...I have to include a couple pictures of Benjamin too, you know. Just for good measure. He's always here, and always happy.

Happy Valentine's Day!

  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

had to quote...

*While eating zoo animal fruit snacks*
Hailey: "Mum! I two-otor-ut!"

What she meant:
"Mum! I rhinoceros!" 

:)

braille and others

Wow.
The three girls are outside playing in the massive amount of snow we got - again, and Benjamin is asleep - in his crib. 
I have a homemade iced-coffee at my side, and General Hospital on the TV. I don't remember the last time I was able to sit to watch TV in the middle of the day like this.
I feel really....weird! 
Anyway! What a better time to give a good update! 
I'll start with Hanna's Braille.
Maryse is coming every other week and she's covering a lot in her hour when she's here working with Hanna.
Hanna knows all of the numbers of the dots in a braille cell, which means she'll soon start to learn the alphabet.
Until then though, she'll continue to practice the numbers, and begin to learn money - the different coins, the difference in the look and feel of them, and their value. 
They're also working on strengthening Hanna's fingers and hands. She wants her tying at least a knot on her own by the summer. Think she can do it? 
I do.
 We've run into a little bit of silliness from her while Maryse is here. Like, she'll purposely give Maryse a wrong answer with a big smile on her face, or keep repeating what Maryse is saying, while holding back laughter. She gets bored, and Maryse does a lot of the same things over. And over. 
I don't really blame Hanna for getting tired of it, but repetition is how she will learn, and she can't start to be defiant. So right now, my main mission is to make her realize that it's only for a short time, and somehow reward her when they're done. 

We've been actively using her cane lately, to get her used to it when out in public. My mom was taking her to the Early Years Center before Christmas, and she was doing a great job with using the cane then. It's hard to remember to bring it with us, but I bought some nice, shiny stickers, and she decorated it up, which I'm hoping will help make her a little more willing to use it.  

Well, my alone time only lasted a few minutes - as expected. :) 
I took a couple minutes and made them some hot chocolate, and then realized I had a picture from last year that I could redo this year, so I did! Here it is:
 My girls are growing up! 
And my table has even more "memories" engraved and stained onto it!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 3, 2014

tids and bits


Hanna started speech therapy a few weeks ago and is doing great! I've also noticed a difference in her drawing and colouring. She's really improving all around. For school, I think we may have to go a different route and perhaps try doing all of her writing, and anything visual with a tablet of some kind. Something back lit will really help her. We're still trying to figure out how to get our hands on one sooner than later.
As for memorizing - she's amazing. She knows her vowels, and every day she learns a new letter sound.  
 
Benjamin loves his baths.
 Hailey's keeping us on our toes. She's stinker. 
That's all I can say.
Gracie's becoming quite the little book worm. We have an alphabet series that features one letter in each book, and builds the story around that letter sound. She made it to book Q in two days! I'm pretty proud of her. 
Other than that, we've been keeping busy outside. The girls love being out, but it's a bit too cold for Ben. I try to get out when I can, but I'm mostly getting stuck inside with him. Gracie's been going out with Kristyn when they go skating at Nanny's pond, and I finally made it out with her. The other three stayed in with Matt.
 Braille update coming up next!