Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer Sights

We've taken Wynn to see two great sights that we recommend to other toddler-totin' Twin Citians. 

The first was the Star Wars exhibit at the Science Museum.  Wynn has seen snippets of one of the movies and has a toy Chewbacca and an R2D2 she plays with, so she recognized what she was looking at.  Waiting in line was part of the journey, but she handled it well.  There were big posters of some of the characters hanging on the walls, and when she saw Darth Vader, she said, "Bad guy!" Apparently, he's so bad that she can't tolerate the sight of him, so she put her hands over her eyes too.

She did love the droids and the Wookies (Those suckers are HUGE!).  When she caught her first glimpse of R2D2, she started stomping her feet and flapping her arms.  I know him!

Her favorite part of the whole thing was the audio tour speakers by many of the displays.  She pushed a lot of big blue buttons but never figured out to hold the speaker to her ear.

The other cool thing we visited was Blooming Butterflies at Como Zoo.  They've enclosed a garden and stocked it with all sorts of butterflies from around the world.  It was fun to see the exotic ones from climates warmer than Minnesota can provide (No offense to our lovely monarch population.)  Wynn was mesmerized by all the butterflies swirling around our heads. She got very still and silent and just gaped at how they moved.  Even though it was rather crowded, it felt like the calmest place in the city.

In speech therapy news, she continues to make progress but resists identifying pictures on cards.  Today Becca was working to get Wynn to say pie.  She showed her pictures, said the word several times, and even talked about how yummy it is.  Wynn just looked bored and distracted.  Finally I asked Wynn, "If you wanted a piece of pie, what would you say?"  Over her shoulder she gave me the most clear-as-a-bell, matter-of-fact, "Pie."  It's in there, you just have to know how to get it out of her.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Work and Play

We had our first sign of a struggle at speech therapy this week. Much of the testing they do to see which phonemes a child can and cannot say is done by showing pictures or toy models of items and asking, "What's that?" Apparently, most kids cooperatively reply, "Cow," or "Cat," or "Pig." Wynn does not. She shoots us this look like You know it's a cow. I know it's a cow. Why are we having this conversation? Wynn likes talking in real situations, and being asked to identify items in pictures isn't real, so she shuts right down. When we get her playing, THEN she starts talking - mostly to tell us what we're supposed to do.

We're working on ways to get her to say the names of the items without asking the verboten, "What's that?" I've made up a game where I show her two items: "Wynn, I have a banana and a potato." Then I put them both behind my back. I pull out one hand, which has one of the toys hidden in it. I ask, "Do you think it's the banana or the potato?" She replies most of the time, so that's one way we can test her. It's pretty much our job to stay one step ahead of her, and it's getting harder all the time.

Another game at speech involved digging toys out of a big bucket of beans. She was, of course, to say what each toy was as she pulled it out. She pulled out what Becca expected her to label as bug; instead, she said, "Ladybug." A few toys later she pulled out another bug and correctly labeled it, "Dragonfly." She obviously has the vocabulary, and the syllables and intonation are correct; we're working on fine tuning the consonants - she tends to leave a few out here and there.

It's not all work around here; Wynn has also been having a lot of fun playing this summer. She likes to go to the park and ride on the swings. Splashing in the kiddie pool is a big favorite as well. When it's too hot to play outside, she loves her LEGO's, play food, books, and crayons.

We went for a walk at the nature center on the 4th of July. This picture shows why Mama's arms are getting so strong. (Wynn slept peacefully through the fireworks that night.)

Here we are checking out the interior of a small plane at our local airport's open house. Wynn says, "Airplane," whenever she sees one, which makes Baba very proud.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yep, She's an American

Even though she's only been in speech therapy for a week, Wynn's already showing progress. She's talking more often, saying more words, and is getting clearer (and funnier!) with each passing day. Yesterday she cheered, "Gramma house!" when I told her we were going over for a visit; we've never heard her put those two words together before.

Our proudest moment of patriotism was as she and I pulled up to McDonald's to get dinner last night. She saw the golden arches and started calling out, "McDonal! McDonal!" while happily kicking her feet. She pointed. She smiled. She knew exactly where we were. When the voice came through to take our order at the drive-through, Wynn shouted over and over at the top of her lungs, "Hi, McDonal!! Hi, McDonal!"

We brought the food home, and she HAD to carry the bag. While I got juice out of the fridge, she set the table; we each got two napkins, and she put our sandwiches at the appropriate spots at the table. She pointed at mine, grinned with pride and said, "Hamugger!"

In one short year she's learned SO much about this country and what it has to offer.