Monday, September 17, 2012

Progress, Part 2

Talia and Declan started gymnastics today!

Talia did gymnastics last year.  Her coach looks like she's about 18 but she really is an accomplished OT with a Master's Degree who just happens to enjoy coaching gymnastics on the side. She recognized Talia's physical challenges and was fantastic with her.

This is Declan's first year in gymnastics. He's only 2.5 and although he's the most obedient of our children BY A MILE, this is his first solo activity! Gymnastics is a drop-them-off-and-pick-them-up activity this year and I was not sure how he would do, so I told the coach that if she changed her mind about the "no parent spectators" rule after her first class with Declan, that was cool with me.

Declan's class is first and when it was over I was happy to hear that Declan was a great listener and did well during his class - even though he never said a word the whole time. Haha. She thought that was really funny since she was used to getting the silent treatment from Talia all last year.  (But she said he was great and there's no need for either of us to stay with him - which totally bums us out, because preschool gymnastics is the best show on earth. Last year Talia's "nastics" class was the highlight of our week.)

But I was over the moon thrilled when Talia's class was over and her coach came up to me and said "what a difference a few months makes!" We chatted for a few minutes and she said that our physiotherapist is going to be AMAZED at the improvement when she sees Tal this fall. 

So happy for m'girl!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

First Day of School

Talia's first day of school, 2012.

This year Talia is back at the same school, in the four year old program. She has the same wonderful teacher as last year and is doing amazing things already.  Last year she didn't talk at all and her school *may* have suggested she get tested for selective mutism. Haha. This year she hasn't stopped talking and I'm pretty sure her teacher's ears are tired of m'girl's chatter at the end of the day. I'm so proud. :)


As you may or may not know, our kids all have varying degrees of "gross motor delays" - which basically means they were late to do things like stand, walk, jump, and they have been slow to catch up to their peers. They don't move their bodies like other kids and all 3 receive physiotherapy services through the POTC program.

At the beginning of summer we had our last session with the physiotherapist for a few months as they work with the school year. These session are usually either really fantastic, or kind of discouraging. This was one of the kind of discouraging type. Ruby was coming along nicely, Talia needed some extra help in some areas, but it seemed like Declan was so far behind where he should be. He couldn't jump, he couldn't walk the perimeter of the flower bed, he couldn't pedal his bike, he couldn't climb the ladder to the playstructure...... he had no idea he wasn't able to do the things he was "supposed" to be doing, he just thought all the games and activities were fun.  But it made me sad to think he has a hard time.

Anyway, fast-forward to a summer full of swimming, playing in the pool, playing in the park, and basically living outside.  The progress he's made is incredible.  When we play "animals" in the backyard, he can hop like a frog all the way across the yard. When we go to the park, he climbs up the slide like any other pain-in-the-ass kid, getting in the way of the kids wanting to come down. When we play in the pool, he jumps right in. He almost looks like a "regular" kid when he runs. And much to the delight of his father, who spent a week building the monstrosity of a playstructure in our backyard, he can now do this:

Way to go, Dec!

To Talia at Four

Dear Talia,

It's hard to believe you are already 4 years old. It seems like just yesterday you arrived on the scene and made us a family of 3.  You've only been here 4 short years and already you are the ring-leader of the 3 Raine Circus.  You are still as stubborn as you've ever been. My favourite trick of yours these days is how you pretend the alphabet doesn't even exist with me, but you can correctly identify all the letters for your brother or Grammie. Stinker!!

You are getting so grown up. I love having chats with you about whatever happens to be rattling around inside your head. I hope Daddy and I are always going to be the ones to get your tough questions.  You love to help any way you can - you take the recycling out, you run out to the curb to bring the garbage cans in, you help me in the kitchen, you sing the clean-up song and boss your little brother and sister around when it's time to clean up....... you are lots of help and such good company.

You are so sweet these days. Often at the supper table you'll say "Sanks for making us a nice supper!" Recently I went away overnight and you were so worried I wasn't coming back - you asked me "Mommy, are you sure you aren't going to stay here anymore?" You take on the weight of the world on your little four year old shoulders. You're a heartbreaker, kid.

You are paying more and more attention to the world around you. Every morning when Daddy leaves for work, he says "Daddy's got to bring home the bacon!" I didn't think you'd ever paid attention to that until the other day when you told Grammie "Mommy is at work and Daddy went to the store to buy some bacon."  You are Daddy's little shadow and love spending time going on "adventures" to Home Depot and Canadian Tire.

You take your responsibility of being the big sister very seriously - which is kind of hilarious, considering how close in age you all are. But Declan is still your best buddy and neither you or Ruby can sleep without the other being in the room.

Hanging out with the French kids has rubbed off on you, you almost always call me "Maman." It's super cute. Often during the day you screech "MAMAN!!!!" repeatedly until I exasperatedly say "WHAT?!?" - then you smile sweetly and say "I love you."  You were never snuggly or cuddly as a baby but suddenly you love to crawl into my lap. I love it. Every time I pick you up these days I think that it might be the last time I ever pick you up, but at least we've still got lots of time left for cuddling.  I can't wait for all the fun things we'll do together as you get older.