Wednesday, August 27, 2014


The soap on the bouncer had such great reviews, it's been a regular activity around here. 
Today we turned the water on extra hard so the bubbles were extra thick. Oh my, did they have fun. 

 Hanna was absolutely hilarious! If anyone has seen the "LEGO MOVIE", you can compare her with Benny, the astronaut saying "Spaceship!!" Except she was saying "Bubbles!" over and over again in a high pitched scream. She knew how crazy she sounded, so she kept going. 
And going. 
So funny!
 Of course Ben was being a cutie pie, so I grabbed a bunch of him. I think one of these will be canvas worthy for my wall.

 After everyone was off the bouncer, Hailey kept going. I ran into the house for a second and was spying on her from the window, and she was jumping, while shaking her bum, and singing to her ducks like nothing I've seen. She is so funny!
The quackers just wanted to have a swim with her, and she was scaring them away with her crazy dance. I actually was even able to get it on video. Crazy girl!
These kids. What a drab place this would be without them. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

African Lion Safari

My mom wanted to give the kids one last hurrah before school starts, so together we came up with the idea for a day trip to The African Lion Safari. The last time we were there was when Gracie was just a baby, so it was a great place to go!
 I could've cropped Hailey out of this picture, but I thought it was so funny!! I'm not sure what the look is about, but she was having a good time. I promise. 

Anyway, we got there around lunch time, and decided to drive through the reserve first. My mom threw some doughnut pieces onto the windshield so we could get some up close action.
 Not sure why we were surprised, but it was disappointing how much Hanna missed out on. She couldn't make out very many animals at all.
We did make sure she got nice and up close and personal with the baboons though. That was worth it for her - thanks to the doughnuts!

 It was looking at her right in the eyes. So cute!
 Even the stripes on the zebras or spots on the giraffe weren't obvious and she actually called the giraffe "a dinosaur". At least she could make out the shape. She was even faking being able to see most of them. We made sure everyone was quiet so she could tell us what was outside the window and after looking really hard, she would respond with "um....I see....a......lion kitty". When really it was a mountain goat. 

 We made it out of the reserve to make it to see the elephants in their daily trip to the pond! They walk trunk in tail down the street to the pond where they hang out for a bit, and then return. 
All of the kids loved them, and yes, Hanna saw them, and proved it when she told us that there were two babies.

 My mom treated us all to soft ice cream cones, which are always HUGE and such a treat!! 

 Don't let the photos fool you. My mom and I ate a lot of ice cream.

 Next up: elephant rides!!!
What?! No one was expecting this one. My girls are I got to ride Jenny, the biggest elephant in the park. Very cool. 
We were so spoiled!
 They have an awesome splash park, with about 4 different areas for different age groups. Everyone enjoyed the water because it was so hot.

 Gracie loves the water. This was one of her favourite parts of the day, after riding Jenny. She was very nervous in the reserve because there's signs everywhere saying "dangerous animals! keep windows closed!" 
She made sure those doors were locked, and gave us heck if we opened the window to let Hanna see a little better past the dirt and glare on the windows. (In the safe areas of course.)
But. We decided to go through one more time to see if we could get some more animal action! This time I stuffed some chip crumbs on the windows and in the mirrors. We're rebels, what can I say.
 Everyone got a kick out of the baboons. Including me, which explains all the pictures. They were so active! 
Luckily we noticed that Ben opened the back windows before a little monkey hand could grab Gracie. She would have had a fit!
 We even got visits from the babies.
 About right here is where I realized that my idling engine was overheating - so we got out of there, pronto.  Wouldn't wanna be stuck next to this guy for very long.

We hit up the gift shop for some souvenirs that they took way too long to decide on, and then, we hit the ricky road. 

Of course my mom stocked up on snacks and goodies for the car ride, and everyone was mostly happy and sleepy for the ride home. 
Thank you Mom! 
I think it was a perfect day, and some priceless memories were made. 

*Note* The van turned out to be perfectly fine, and we made it home with no troubles at all.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

OT and Speech reports

I recently received Hanna's reports for her hard work with her occupational therapist for fine motor, and speech. 
 I will include just the summary from each report. 
*Note* The OT report is from her initial assessment since it was close to the end of the school year when she started. Since this report, she has improved a lot! It's amazing what ideas and help you can come away with from these sessions. 

Hanna is a pleasant young girl who participated well during the assessment. She was motivated and appeared to give her best effort. She had difficulty completing the foundation fine motor skills including the in-hand manipulation skills of translation, rotation and shift. She also had trouble with bilateral activities including cutting tasks and manipulating containers. She demonstrated an inefficient pencil grasp and had trouble with pencil control on visual motor tasks.

Hanna has been seen in her home on a weekly, bimonthly basis from November to June 2014. She has made steady progress in her speech skills. It is recommended that she continue to be seen in September 2014. 
The treatment plan is to produce the sounds: 'k, g, f, 's, l' including blends.  
Hanna has progressed from production of 'k' in isolation to single words, 'f' in syllables to single words, and 's' in single words to the sentence level. Several instances of carryover into conversational speech have been observed. 

So there you have it. A simple summary on her work! She has a long way to go with OT, mostly strength related, but she is on her way. 
I think she's doing great!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I have to work on that

The other day was one of those days like I felt like I was the worst mother on the face of the planet. 
We went to the park down the road after our bike ride. We haven't been to this particular park for a while because we've been going to a different one a bit further since it's quieter and there are never any other kids there. 
Anyway. This day was a perfect one for the park and it was even empty. Win win!

All of the girls ran as fast as they could to the "big kid" area, and I quickly told Hanna and Hailey that they should stay over at the smaller one. 
Hanna couldn't figure out where to get to the top, so I quickly gave her a walk-around of the outside of it, showing her where the steps were, and told her that was her best bet to get to the top.

At this point I walked away to get Ben off of the ladder on the other side, and Hanna was already at the top. As soon as she stood up at the top, she walked right into and hit her head off of the steel captain's wheel. 
Ouch. She cried, but got over it quickly, and went one more level up to check out the spinning gears. 
Again, I was trying to keep Ben entertained, and I was just not putting enough attention to what Hanna was doing. 
She decided to go down to the slide, but didn't see where the big step down was and walked like normal, falling right onto the lower level, twisting her ankle.
She was physically okay, but I think it took her self-esteem level down a few notches. 
Poor kid. 
She was heart-broken. 
 She does so incredibly well in play centres, but we're usually at the same ones over and over again.
She has an amazing memory, and I think sometimes her memory tricks us into thinking she sees better than she really does. 
If we go somewhere new, all I have to do is walk around once with her, and she remembers where steps, doorways or poles are - or at least when they are coming up and she has to pay a bit more attention to where she's going. 
She's not exposed to new places very often. We stay close to home most of the time, and she knows our house, and my mom's house like the back of her hand.
If we're getting groceries, she's in the cart. If we're shopping or walking in town, all of the kids hold hands. She doesn't have to pay attention all the time, and neither do I. 
I have to start looking at her a little bit differently from the rest of my littles. She needs extra help, and I can't forget that. 
I think one of the reasons she's doing so well is that she's not treated differently, but she is different. She doesn't have to stand out because of it, but she does deserve the extra attention. 
I have to work on that.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

my big and little

photo shoot

These don't usually go good for me when I'm trying to get my own kids. 
I got them all semi-coordinated and out in the backyard for some before dusk photos. 
We were out there for about 7 minutes - total. 

Take 1:
 Take 2:
 Take 9:

 Take 10:
 Then a poor kitty comes around...
Take 12:
Just about this time is when Hanna started complaining about the itchy grass going up her we tried a new pose.
Take 22:
 25: close!
 Take 37:
 And we have a winner! 
Almost perfection. A couple points deducted for the lack of smile from Hanna, but I think they did good. 

My beauties!

Friday, August 15, 2014


I'm not sure I mentioned it before on the blog, but Yuli has been teaching the kids Spanish during the school year. 
 We go once a week to her house, and she does an hour of Spanish with them. They all love, it and catch on so fast. It's actually incredible. 
Well, she's been planning a fiesta for them since summer started, and since her brother, Santi was coming down to visit her, she waited for him to get here first. 
She finally had it today, and she did such a great job!
The kids were so spoiled and had such a great time. 
They played multiple games that included both the big kids, and the little kids together, so it worked out beautifully. 

Here's some photos from the day.

 Ben just enjoyed watching everyone! He's got a "heeeey ladies!" look about him here.
 Hailey still wasn't feeling really great, but of course she felt good enough to play musical chairs, and the pinata at the end! 

Thank you Yuli, for a great fiesta!!