Monthly Archives: May 2011

Story time

The evening routine (from about 17h00) goes something like this….

Supper for Grace (which normally starts well and often ends with us following Grace around feeding her on the go), some bike riding, a walk in the garden (which includes looking over the wall at the neighbours pool, "swinging" on the wash line, picking lemons, and so forth), tidy up time (mostly mom & dad), being chased around the house by dad ("I'm going to catch your bum," – either running or riding her bike), bath time, story time, bed time.

One of my favourite parts of the process is story time. I probably love it because I have very special memories of story time when I was a child (my mom reading "The BFG" to us stands out in particular). I cherish that time with Grace. Now that it is winter we cuddle under a blanket and read as many books as we can before it is time to go to sleep. I saw "The BFG" lying on a table in the library when we were there yesterday, and I really look forward to reading that (and other stories) to Grace.

Story time
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Garden walk

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Climbing the washing line

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Waiting for the bunnies

Grace explaining what will happen when Keren arrives for a visit….

Cleaning out

I'm definitely not a neat freak, but I am also not a hoarder. I can throw / give away things, or recycle, without feeling a sense of loss, but I do tend to pack things away / shove things into cupboards, because maybe it will come in handy one day. The result is messy cupboards, messy desk etc. It eventually really frustrates me and I throw things away.  Anything I haven't needed / used in the last year tends to go.  

Today was one of those cleaning out days and it was most satisfying because we got to take all our electronic rubbish to an e-waste recycling bin. I find electronic stuff that no longer works (like old computer screens, broken toasters, video recorders etc) to be the most frustrating items, we don't give them away because they're broken, and we don't throw them away so they just gather dust and create clutter in my life. It really was most rewarding throwing all the broken electronic goodies in the recycling bin and my home feels a little less messy.

Grace reading in the car. It makes me feel sick watching her, but she doesn't seem to have my motion sickness problems and quite enjoys it.

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Out on the farm

Yesterday was Donné’s monthly get together with her friends from digs and they were at Mel’s family’s egg farm. When they came home Grace told me all about the machine which packs the eggs into the egg trays – she had even made up her own sign for the machine. She also told me all about the chickens that lay the eggs and about the dogs and their tails. I was fascinated by how much the egg machine had made an impression on her, and that she had developed a sign which shows how the egg machine works – and the sign demonstrates the action quite well. We were all on the farm again today, so a visit to the egg machine was a must (but unfortunately it is not in action on a Saturday afternoon).

It was also encouraging to hear Grace saying some new words today – sock and chair – along with putting some sounds together in different ways and more complete pronunciation of some words (actually saying dog rather than gog).

Taking the tractor for a drive

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Wise Friend

I just wanted to share this little story, it has been on my heart for awhile: 

A friend of mine told me about a conversation she had with her 10 year old son, she told him: "there will be things that you'll see me do, things you will experience in our home that you think are wonderful and there will be things that you don't agree with. When you have your own family one day hold onto those things you cherish and leave the rest." I think it is such an incredible gift to be able to give your child that freedom to decide what he / she wants for their lives, to let them know its okay if they don't agree with everything that happens in their home, and at the same time to acknowledge that we as parents sometimes get it wrong (and right). I hope to be able to give that gift to Grace.   

Blowing the whistle

Grace learnt to blow a whistle today. Whistles aren't really the type of thing that I would think to buy for a child, but there is method in this madness….

We have been concerned about Grace's speech for a while now, and it has become very obvious that she is a bit behind other children in the words she can say. Her comprehension is amazing, so we have not been worried about that, but her ability to actually say words is definitely behind. We decided to give it some time and to see if she suddenly started catching up, but there have not been any leaps and bounds in her speech development. Her speech is improving, and the number of words she can use is growing, but it is still behind.

So today we had an appointment with a speech therapist. We wanted to find out if there were any problems, and in the best case just put ourselves at ease that we did not have to worry about anything. She did an assessment which was mostly asking us questions about what Grace can do, and about her development (when she started "speaking", when she started signing, etc.). One of the things that we were impressed by was her observation of Grace and of Grace's little nuances – she read Grace really well and picked up on her tendency to just need to be left to get used to the environment. Grace mostly just played with the toys while we went through all the questions. She brushed Barney's teeth, squeezed the talking Teletubby, played with the school bus and explored the other toys.

As we expected her comprehension is excellent and advanced, but her speaking is behind for her age. It seems that she has a problem with oral motor planning. So to work on that we have to blow whistles, blow out candles, blow bubbles (all things she could not do), work on sounding vowels for her (by giving things noises, like "ba ba ba" for a boat in the bath) and few other things. We will work on that from home and then be back in about a month to see how things are going.

She also said that it is really good we have been signing with Grace, as it helps to develop language, and has given her a way to communicate – it has prevented a lot of frustration.

What was great was that we both felt really good about the appointment and we're excited to work on it to help Grace. As Donné said, you know she is a good therapist when you leave there feeling good even though she has just told you your child has a problem 😉

Donné went and bought some whistles and Grace learnt to blow a whistle today. She also thought it was quite funny when she managed to blow out a candle by blowing through the whistle.

We'll work on it and hopefully see improvements soon.

Voting for more hair

Municipal election voting day…

I have been quite excited in the build up to today's voting. I don't think that there is going to be a big shift in the voting numbers, but I do think there are going to be some small shifts which signal a turn in the tide. I'm not sure that I am not ideologically aligned with a particular party (I don't know enough about each of them to be able to say with certainty), but there are a few things which I am for. I am for the balance of power – it makes everyone work harder to secure their positions, and in the end the people and areas they govern over benefit. I am for good governance, and I feel that the DA has proved themselves in this regard in Cape Town.

So I am hoping for more municipalities where power hangs in the balance and everyone has to work hard to keep the voters happy. I am also hoping that at least one more metro is governed by a DA led coalition which will give them the opportunity to prove that their policies can work anywhere. I am quite keen to see the results….

Grace's hair is slowly making progress. I think the pony tail is quite cute.

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