Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Naughty Tiny Tyrant

Oh my Ella. She is really something else. We affectionately call her Tiny Tyrant, or TT for short, here around the house. Ella has been out of school for a week and a half now and I don't know how we are going to survive the summer. She misses school, I miss her going to school, I have my fears about her not being in school (but that's for another post.)
Ella's language is again exploding, unfortunately it is mostly used to be defiant, sassy and naughty!! Here are a few of her new favorite phrases....

"Do it myself."
"LET ME GO!!!" (which she screams at me when I try to make her hold my hand when we are walking in public)
"Don't wike it _____ (insert anywhere we are as in Walmart, Hunter's baseball game etc any food you sit in front of her, though she will eat it anyway, bedtime, bathtime)
"Ella turn!"
"Butt fay" Fay = Face
"Poopy head" caught on video below, it was the first time she has ever said that one

I'm sure there are more, just can't think of them right now : )

The problem is I have a hard time not giggling at a few of them, such as butt fay. I mean really, it's funny, and she says it to be funny, and it's just so.......typical?

She is getting pretty sneaky too. She will sneak upstairs and try to sneak snacks out of the pantry. Dump out all of their art supplies out of the cabinet, including her brothers 100+ marker set. She goes in her room and pulls all of her clothes that she can reach off of shelves and out of drawers. Last weekend she got in her backpack (which I had not emptied from her last day of school 2 days prior) and pulled out the dry erase markers that her teachers gave them, along with laminated worksheets, and drew all over herself, taking extra care to pull up her pant legs and draw up to her knees. She came upstairs all quiet and hid behind the curtains. Of course I saw her going back there so ran and grabbed my camera.

She is such a stinker!! Here is a video I took of her yesterday afternoon. I never want to forget her cute little voice saying "butt fay." I can't help myself.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ear Pierced!

I was finally able to do it, get Ella's ears pierced!!! I went over a year ago and tried to get them pierced only to be told that her ears are too small. Um, don't you guys pierce new born babies ears? Yep, but newborns have bigger ears than her. Okay.

So I attempted again yesterday. I went to Claire's in the mall. Walked up to the lady at the register and said I wanted to get my daughter's ears pierced, she looks at Ella and says sure! I told her about my earlier attempt and she says "how old is she?" I told her she is almost 4, she says "uh, we do newborn babies ears." Ha. So I tell her that Ella has low set ears that are closer to her neck and that they are really tiny. She says I think we can do it. Anyhow, the poor girl, I must have asked her 100 times if she was sure it was okay, if Ella would be stabbed in the neck by the posts, if the earrings would make her ears stick out, etc. She assured me they would be fine, and suggested I use the little flower earrings because that is what they like to put in babies because they lay flat against the ear. She asked if I wanted two people to do them at the same time, yeah, that would be a great idea! So this other girl comes over and looks at Ella and says "how old is she????" I tell her, wondering if I should explain why this almost 4 year old is so little. And she says "does she talk?" I eye her suspiciously wondering if I am about to be offended when she says " I have a 12 year old brother with Down syndrome. He doesn't talk at all, only signs." Oh. Then I liked her! I told her that Ella is learning to talk and we have a little discussion about what she can say etc, it was nice!

Ella did wonderful. She sat very still so they could clean her ear, then draw on her ear to mark it. She cried a bit when they had me hold her head still, she does NOT like to be held down at all! Then they pierced them and immediately gave her a mirror and Ella stops crying and says "OoooOoo pretty!" and that was it! I think they look so cute!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Blown Away

Something has been happening around here lately. I have on several occasions been blown away by Ella. Now, I like to think that I don't lower my expectations for Ella because she has Down syndrome, but I think that I am realistic. Maybe? I don't know. Maybe it is just my coping mechanism so that I don't get upset. The fact is that I know Ella is smart and I know that she is doing SOO good, BUT she has Down syndrome and with that comes the need for a little more help and the need for a little extra time.

Ella's yearly IEP meeting was last week. Usually I am a nervous wreck going into IEP/IFSP meetings. I don't know why but I just dread these meetings. It's a time when you get to hear how different your kid is, and plan for all the extra help that they need the next year, and that is still such a raw spot, and when it gets touched, it hurts. I will say that going into the IEP this year was a bit different, maybe I am getting a little more used to it? Maybe its because at Ella's age they no longer do the evaluations they did when she was younger, you know the kind that says your kid is 24 months and has the gross motor skills of a 12 months old, stuff like that (I do NOT miss those.) I think the real reason I was more at ease was knowing that Ella will be going into the same class next year, and I can't tell you just how happy I am about that!!!

The special ed teacher that visits Ella's class twice a week said that she has NO cognitive or social goals for Ella, so the only thing she will work with her on in class is functional communication. I asked her if she re-evaled Ella, and if she is sure that Ella wasn't behind cognitively. I guess I always question that a) because all I have to compare her to is Hunter and that boy is so smart and b) I've always known that Hunter is smart because he tells me every little thing he knows and has done that since he was 1. I have often said that if Ella could talk (yes I know she can talk, I mean talk like her brother) that we would be blown away by how much she knows. Anyhow, in response to my question they all started presenting me with some of Ella's work, things she does in class etc, and let me just say WOW!! She is doing some of the same work that the "typical" kids in her class that are moving on to Kindergarten are doing. I am amazed!!! Her therapists all had great things to say about her as well, she is making great progress.

A couple of weeks ago when I went in to pick up Ella, Stephanie (Ella's Para) said she had to show me something. The class was told to do a self portrait and Ella drew herself without prompting. I was expecting some scribbles. This is what I was shown.

I had to fight back the tears. This is one of those things that I was just blown away by, I mean, I NEVER even entertained the thought that Ella could draw a picture. I mean seriously? Never. But there you have it, identifiable features, hair, ears, eyes and a smile. Ella's wonderful teachers framed it for me and gave it to me, they are SOOOOO sweet, then they demanded that I make Ella do her homework. Prior to the self portrait the teachers sent home a paper and the kids were supposed to draw their family. Yeah right. I said "you know this is just going to be a lot of scribbles," they said that's fine, have her draw mom and even if it's scribbles label it mom and so on. As I would look up at the board where they hung the others students pictures that they drew, I kept putting it off. None of the others were scribbles. So, that night we went home and did her homework. Again BLOWN AWAY. I did not prompt her other than to say "draw Daddy here," and point to the paper "draw Mommy here" etc. Ella picked her own crayons and did everything on her own, I simply labeled them at the end. Here is that picture..... again, near tears.

Notice Daddy has no hair : ) and Mommy has crazy hair.

I am just so dang proud of her, my heart could burst. She is amazing!!

I realize that Ella is shirtless in a lot of my pics : ) I can't help it, the girl likes to strip. Here is her newest fav thing to do when she is taking off her shirt.