Thursday, June 26, 2008

P and B

Wynn started speech therapy this week. She's having trouble forming some of her letters, which is often the case with cleft palate. She's struggling the most with what are, for many kids, fairly simple initial consonants - P, B, T, and D sounds. We're focusing on the P's and B's to start with.

The therapy center we found for her is FANTASTIC. Their philosophy is to get the kids playing and then find opportunities to insert the therapy naturally into the play. (Much wiser than trying to sit a two year old down and say, "Now we're going to do this.") They do both physical and speech therapy, so there's a gymnasium with a trampoline and swings. Wynn even got to pet the therapy dog on her first visit. Becca, her therapist, is very engaging, and, even though Wynn was a bit shy at first, she opened up to her big time on the second visit.

Today we played with all kinds of toys - a Big, Bouncy Ball, several Pink Pigs, and some Pictures of PuPPies to get Wynn talking. Her favorite part is when we Blow BuBBles. She yells, "Blow!", and Becca and I take turns with the BuBBle wand. Wynn chases after them and says, "PoP! PoP!" as she catches them. When she wants us to do it again, she says, "More BuBBles!"

Becca laughed at Wynn's goofball sense of humor. (She started sneaking up on Becca when she was going to blow a big bubble; she'd pop it while it was still on the wand and then giggle at her own cleverness.) She also commented on how enthusiastic Wynn is about EVERYTHING.

It's nice to see Wynn having so much fun at speech, and I'm learning a lot of little things to do with her at home to reinforce what she's learning in therapy. As we left today, Wynn said "Bye!" to Becca and then blew her a kiss. Apparently, that wasn't enough, so she went over and gave her five too.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stuff Wynn Loves

Here's the second in our continuing series of Stuff Wynn Loves!

Good Guys!
I bought this shirt for her at Target a month or two ago, and it has quickly become her favorite. She picks it out of the closet and screams, "Good guys!!" When asked who the Good Guys fight, she says with dread and menace, "Bad Guys!" She even does a little shake of the head, as if to say, "Why do they have to be so darn bad?" Though she recognizes Spiderman, they talk about the Masters of the Universe at daycare; she has a whole routine of gestures and faces she makes when we call out their names. Cute, but a little bizarre.

Some days it feels like we're living with the touring company of Stomp! around here. Her two favorite "drums" are the laundry hamper (a metal IKEA trash can - very loud) and the toilet. For sticks she likes to experiment with hairbrushes, LEGOs, small plastic animals, etc. We took her to a parade last week and, you guessed it, she loved the drums in the marching band. (Note to well-meaning friends and family: This blog entry is is NO way a request for you to go out and get Wynn a toy drum set. Really. She's absolutely content pounding away on the toilet and the hamper. Really. We mean it.)

(No, he doesn't always look like that.)
Speaking of good guys ... Ranger is Wynn's best buddy, whether he wants to be or not. The other day she was mad at me, so she went over and buried her face in his fur. She threw her little arms around his neck and clung to him for at least ten minutes. He patiently sat there and rolled his eyes. There was never this much drama until SHE came along.

Hidden Vegetables
Two of Wynn's favorite summer snacks contain hidden vegetables. While she does love plain ol' veggies - spinach, broccoli, and, yes, even peas - V8 Fusion in Acai Mixed Berry flavor and the Flat Earth Baked Veggie Crisps in Farmland Cheddar are big winners in her book. When I ask what kind of juice she wants, she says, "Acai!" It looks and smells like an exotically-named grape juice to me, but, hey, she loves the stuff. The Veggie Crisps are kept in a lower cupboard at our house, so she can help herself, which she loves. She'll go and get one, bring it to me, show it and make the question sound to make sure it's okay to have. She does this a couple times, until I say, "Yep, but that's the last one."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Time Flies. Mosquitos Bite.

We realize that we've been negligent in updating the blog. It wasn't that nothing was happening in May; it's just that we never seemed to find the time to write it all down. May highlights include: Wynn's first exposure to the flora and fauna of Minnesota in the spring - and the allergies that go with it. Lots of sneezing. Lots of watery eyes. A couple "I got a belly full of snot and I need to chuck it up on you" moments. You get the picture.

The other kids at daycare have started calling her Wynnie, which hasn't quite caught on at home. As I left with her yesterday, the other kids all called out, "Bye, Wynnie!" as we passed by. She gave them her best rock star/ diva wave as we headed for the door. Now its cute. When she's twelve, not so much.

We're getting a lot more words out of her lately. She's started referring to animals by their names instead of their noises, and "circles" refers to cucumber slices. She also does a clear-as-a-bell "Go!" when she's ready for you to roll a ball to her. Her first REAL sentence came this week, and she uses it often - "I got that." It's said with pride as she climbs on the toilet by herself, gets into her carseat, helps herself to a cracker in the cupboard, etc. She's very into celebrating her independence; "I got that" seems a perfect sentence for her to have as her first.
A recent addition to our home is a roller coaster. Her maiden voyage on it was in the living room, but now it's an outside toy. She adores it and loves taking her panda and baby doll for rides on it. It's also great for rolling a ball down. When I asked her last night if she loves her Uncle Paul (Bringer of the Roller Coaster), she nodded her head and gave an emphatic, "Yep!"
Wynn has also created her own game, which she's trying to teach me the finer points of. I'm not certain how score is kept, but I know it involves wearing groovy sunglasses while rolling a soccer ball back and forth across the coffee table. Your hands are not allowed to touch the ball; you must grip it with LEGO's instead. (Notice those lovely mosquito bites on her arms and face.)
Now that June is here, we're having a lot of "A year ago ... " conversations. We marvel at how quickly the time has gone (and what a big girl she's growing to be). Was it really a year ago (today) that we got on the plane? Still, it's hard for us to remember our lives before Wynn. It's as if she's always been our girl.

Looking over pictures from last summer's trip, we are stunned by how small she was and how her face so often had that uncertain look on it. I sat cuddled up with her on the sofa the other night, running my hand through her hair while she contentedly watched Curious George on TV. There she was with her feet propped on my lap, leaning her head into my side - so relaxed, so comfortable, so at home. It's such a long and happy way from being in a hotel room with the little girl who wouldn't allow me to touch her those first few days last June.