Friday, July 11, 2014

Just. Let. Me. Sleep.

This could possibly be the cutest video we've ever posted. Maddux and I left for a date and the boys fed Ruby dinner. From the looks of how it affected her, she had something similar to Thanksgiving dinner.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Fork It Over

I've been working with Ruby for a while on fork-feeding. Not me to her, but the other way around. This video was only the third time we worked on it. Not bad! I don't think she put the fork anywhere other than her mouth this whole meal. This video also shows Ruby's newest speech trick: saying "MMMMM" for 'more' (she dropped the sign last week).

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Therapy Update

We are still working on the crawling, but Ruby is progressing more and more with that each day on her own. The next stage in PT is getting her to pull herself up from the ground. Correctly. She's a pro at pulling up from a small seat, but from the ground is different. She basically tries to do a pull up and doesn't use her leg strength if left to her own devices. I've been working on helping her do it correctly for a little while though, and after just one session with her therapist, she's doing it almost exclusively successfully AND correctly.

*Note: I do not always use food as motivation, but after she's worked on a skill for a long time and I finally remember to pull out the camera, Ruby needs a little coaxing to still be interested.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Just Another Maddux Funny

That girl....
I make up 'morning work' for the kids each morning. In an effort for them to not lose everything they learned in the last year(s), they do some math and/or reading and/or logic each morning while they eat breakfast. Nothing crazy, but enough to keep their brains from rotting.
This morning I incorporated some good ole language arts. Maddux's work required her to identify some adverbs, some pronouns and some synonyms. She had forgotten what each of those was, so we went through them one by one.
When we got to synonyms, I asked her if she knew what that was. She looked at me a little quizzically and then said, "Shhhh Shh Shh", as she made a shaking motion with her hand. "You know, like on yogurt." And then she put her hand down and looked at me very seriously, indicating that she absolutely meant what she just proclaimed.
They don't make many like this one....

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pincer Grab

One of the many things we are working on is improving Ruby's ability to pick up things with her pointer finger and thumb. When she's shoveling in finger foods eating, she still tends to 'rake', using her other fingers. Sometimes she uses the pointer and middle finger, but her palm is always involved.
We've tried to give her one puff at a time with varying success. Oh my, how time consuming is that! We still do this sometimes, but whenever we give her something on her tray, she reverts to the rake.

We then tried taping her fingers. She did ok with the tape, but because of the whole-fist approach she takes to eating, the tape was soaking wet after just a minute. That made tape-removal very difficult; taping was a one-time thing.
For now we have landed on the socks. I put two small holes in the feet of old Ruby socks for her thumb and pointer fingers. Then we put puffs or other finger foods on her tray and she has some practice using the pincer grab. The socks do get quite dirty, requiring washing after almost every use, and it's not perfect because she still can push against her palm a little, but for now, it's our best option.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Look Out!

One of the most anticipated moments of her short life so far occurred this afternoon; Ruby crawled!!

Pretty much every exercise we've done with Ruby, almost every single PT session, and the majority of our 'play' has been in an effort to prepare Ruby for mobility. While she's been rolling, sitting up, and inching her arms and toes to move around her play area for quite some time now, she has yet to army crawl or even inch worm so far. Today things took a big turn.

Just before nap time I told the kids that I was going to do some PT with Ruby for about 20 minutes. I started with her version of pull-ups and progressed to working on cruising. (She stands forever, but doesn't appear to want to cruise.) It was a particularly frustrating session as Ruby was not showing any progress on the cruising things I've been working very hard on with her every day for the last week. To finish out our time, I enticed her with some puffs to do some army crawling. This is another area I've been working with the same set of exercises with for a looong time with no progress. Much to my surprise, Ruby resisted almost immediately, but it was because she decided to try the REAL crawl instead of the army crawl. HOOAH!!

After a few passes, I had the kids video a few attempts. Of course her best runs were not caught on film, but we still got a good representation.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Summer Swim

Here we are, in another swim season. Every year we start off with a bang, practicing after school each day for the last few weeks of school and transitioning straight into the fast-paced June craziness. This is one of the 'bonus' years for Eli and Maddux; with summer birthdays, every other year they will be at the top of their age group. This means that they opt to practice 'up', but usually still swim with their actual age group. This year, however, they asked Maddux to swim up for half of the meets! She got to participate in several relays (both medley and freestyle) with the older age group.
Eli always swam in events within his own age group, but he remains to be one of the few swimmers proclaiming to enjoy the IM (Individually Medley). He doesn't always finish first, but he loves swimming and his skill set is so impressive.


The past two weeks have been action packed! Grandma Cathie and Grandpa Jim came to visit, just in time for Ruby's first birthday. As always happens, we thought we had plenty of time to hang out, but the days flew by and they were gone again before we knew it.
While they were in town, we did several fun things. Bowling, pool visits, dinner dates, walks, 18 holes of golf, a Gigi's visit, roller skating....and that's probably only half of it! Each kid got ample one-on-one time with Grandma and Grandpa (including Ruby), and Lehr and I even snuck away for 48-hours. Life is good!

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Ruby's First Shindig

When Lehr and I started to plan Ruby's first birthday, we initially thought of keeping things small, as I usually prefer to do. But individually, the wheels started turning for both of us in the direction of including much more of the larger "Team Ruby". That type of thing always stresses me out because we do not have a basement or any other adequate space in our house to host such events. Even with our plan of the backyard as location, the threat of rain is always a factor. Lehr assured me that summertime travel and weekend schedules would keep our numbers small, so we'd be lucky to have even half of our invite list attend.

After one day, five families had already responded 'yes', and halfway through the week, we were up to ten.

The night before her party, only one family had responded in the negative and our number was 51. AND the forecast was for rain.
Thankfully for my sanity, we woke up to a breezy but sunny morning. Grandpa Jim and I blew up 50 helium balloons and put them all around the yard. We set out muffins, protein bars and fruit cups on the back porch and hung a few clothes lines of Ruby pictures for decoration.
Starting at 9:30, all of Ruby's guests arrived and enjoyed our outside accommodations while Lehr and I tried to make the rounds with her. We centered her high chair in the midst of her fan club and let her have her own cake. She was very observant and quiet during the whole singing and candle blowing fanfare; I can only imagine how confusing that must be! Regarding her response to the cake, she didn't have much of one. She slowly and methodically picked up pieces of frosting and sometimes a little cake and ate them, very much like she would any other food. The kids surrounded her for the whole process; they wouldn't even be swayed by a cupcake of their own!
We let her go at it for about thirty minutes until most of her guests started to clear out. When we took her out of her chair, much clean up was necessary, as she had the orange frosting everywhere. The timing worked out perfectly for her to sleep off the party excitement just after the last guest left.
When Ruby woke up, the kids were chomping at the bit for her to open her presents. They each got her a personalized stuffed 'doll'. (They drew themselves and I found a woman to create a doll based on their drawings.)
All joking aside, Lehr and I were so amazed and humbled by the response to Ruby's party. Most of the families that came had one, if not two, other commitments that day, but they still made sure to come by, even if just to see Ruby and her cake. The amount of love and support we have felt from Team Ruby is unparalleled and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect celebration.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Therapy Update

Try as I might, I cannot seem to keep up with Ruby's therapy updates. She moves so fast through her milestones, meeting goal after goal! This update has a little less progress, but that's only in comparison.

Physical Therapy
She has not made much strides in this area lately. She is not crawling or cruising, BUT she is taking one 'step' crawl here and there. We are still working tirelessly on army and regular crawling. Ruby will stand at a short table or couch level support and play for a long time, and she will pull from sitting on a seat to standing as many times as you'll let her.

Occupational Therapy
Ruby is waving. A lot. She loves to wave at people and will do so again and again and again. She will imitate some actions (banging toys when we do, dragging toys when we do, etc.), but has yet to imitate sounds on cue.

Speech Therapy
Ruby is saying 'MUHH!' and signing more. She will give 'dadadada' all day long, but not in reaction to Lehr (so it's just a babble at this point). She will sometimes sign all done, and she will sometimes point to her hair or nose when asked to.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Golf Pro

When the kids went to visit my parents last summer, my dad took Eli golfing...the whole experience with the golf cart and everything. Unfortunately it was a crowded day, and Eli may have felt a little overwhelmed. Not that you'd know it from talking to him; he has been asking to go again all year. So when Grandpa Jim booked his tickets for Ruby's birthday, Eli's first request was another day of golfing. As luck would have it, a friend of mine just handed down a great set of smaller clubs for Eli.
The two of them opted to tackle 18 holes and, as luck would have it, the day was slated to have some dicey weather, so the course was pretty empty. This allowed for Eli and Grandpa to enjoy golf at their own pace. However, Eli started the morning with chipping a ball in on the first hole. Not too shabby, especially for an 8-year-old rookie!