Sunday, June 23, 2013

Late Spring Fun

Naomi completed another year of preschool in the IU08 special education program.  She had a great year.  So good, in fact, that she is going to advance next year to the 4 year old program.  Her teacher, Miss Stephanie, and I had originally planned to keep Naomi in the 3 year old program until she starts Kindergarten in two years.  We planned this because Naomi does better in smaller rather than larger groups, due to noise, chaos, and a need for predictability on her part, and because it is a 3 day a week program.  Naomi's transition from home services to school last year was...not easy.  The 4 year old program is 4 days a week and it is combined with the Head Start kindergarten readiness class.  So rather than a class of 5 to 8 students alone in the classroom, it is a class of 5 to 8 students embedded in a Head Start class of 20 some students.  That is a big difference.  This year, however, there was about 45 minutes of overlap between Naomi's class and the Head Start class and she did better than anyone expected.  So she is moving up.  If it doesn't work out, we can always move her back to the three year old class.  One big positive about the 4 year old class is that it is in the morning, when Naomi is at her best and brightest.  Her class has been an afternoon class the past two years.  Naomi still naps most days, so that has been difficult for everyone.  I hope it goes well.  It is fun seeing her become such a big girl.  The only big concern we have is that exposing Naomi to an additional 20 young children a day will expose her to a lot more illnesses.  She was sick a lot more this year than any year so far.  Illnesses are especially bad for Naomi because high fevers cause regressions for her and she has never come completely back after each regression.  Some things have always been lost forever.  It is hard.  It is hard to balance these things.  Because batten's disease is always progressive and always fatal, and because she is already in the age range (4 to 7) where her disease will start to cause her big problems, we have decided to allow the additional exposure.  Regression is going to happen regardless of what we do. And if she can have 1 year, or 1 month, week, day, of a more typical experience, then we are going to give that to her.  We are in the phase of her life where we feel like we need to go for broke with her as much as possible.  

The end of the school year also brings the end of the year festivities.  The first event was the fishing trip to to the Frankstown Sportsman's Club.  I did not take Naomi last year because I was afraid she would scream and have a bad time.  That was a mistake.  So I took her this year.  We had a GREAT time.  Since Lydia was born, Naomi and I don't have very many, as I like to call them, Good Old Fashioned Mommy and Bear Days.  This was one of those days.  Just Mommy and Naomi, two girls having a good time fishing together.  Naomi loved it.  I loved it.  It was so obvious she was really enjoying the one on one time.  Until Lydia, we spent almost all of our time together.  Things are very different now, as they always are when a sibling enters the picture.  She was smiling, laughing, turning in to me, pressing her forehead on me (a sign of affection, like a hug or a kiss).  The sportsmen at the club were great too.  It was so obvious they really enjoy the kids.  They made sure each child got a fish and handed out medals at the end.  Loved it.  

Naomi at the fish pond.  

The little pond.  Just right for a group of preschool kids. 

Naomi is loving it.  We were outside, the sun was shining and we were together.  It was perfect.

Naomi's fish!  They all got thrown back in. 

Naomi with her medal.  

She fell asleep during the medal ceremony, stayed asleep when I put her in the car, stayed asleep the whole ride home, and stayed asleep when I brought her in and put her on the couch.  That NEVER happens.  She always wakes up when we try to transfer her.  She was worn out!

 Then there was the end of the year program.  The parents all come, and sometimes grandparents too, and watch a little performance by the students and their teachers of songs they have been practicing.  It is a demonstration of what the do at Circle Time every day...taking attendance, singing songs, checking the weather, practicing counting, saluting the flag.  Then they get their certificates.  It was SO CUTE.   Naomi was such a good girl.  So big.  She sat and waited so patiently to begin and was full of cute smiles while her aid Deb helped her participate in the songs.  She was so proud of herself.  She loves the songs and the little motions they do with the songs.

Naomi and Deb during attendance.  Naomi indicates that she is present by Deb helping her push a switch to play a recording of her name.  

Naomi getting her certificate.  We didn't get any pictures of her performance during the songs because we were too transfixed by her enjoyment of it all.  

Naomi and Lydia finally got a double stroller!  This is great.  I haven't been able to take the girls out together since Lydia got too big for me to wear in a front carrier, which was when she was about 8 weeks old.  She's kind of a big buffalo, that one.  Naomi      L O V E S being in the double stroller with Lydia.  Here they are on our first trial outing in it at Toys R Us.

And now some random updates.

Grandma and Poppa's pool is open!  And we have been swimming.   Naomi still loves the pool.

Here is Naomi sleeping in her bed at night.  It's basically a double bed sized crib with a drop side to get her in and out.  Naomi has two sleeping styles.  Starfish, which is her sleeping on her back, arms and legs out so she looks like a, well, starfish.  And Side of Beef, above.  That's Duchess, her stuffed cat Lydia got for her when she was in the hospital having her feeding tube placed.  I put Duchess under her arm.  She tells me with her cards that she likes that.  Naomi can't grab a favored toy to hug, so we have to make sure to put them in her arms.  Then she does hold them.  It is sad, how little she can do for herself and how typical her wants and needs are.

In the double stroller in the yard, checking the garden with Mommy and Daddy.  The burned out patches are where I am trying to use vinegar to kill a nasty thistle infestation.  I won't use chemicals.  We drink the water under that ground. 

DelGrosso's Amusement Park is open!!  We made our first trip of the season last weekend.  Naomi still loves rides. We bought her a season pass.  As much as she went and rode last year it will be more economical.  

Swinging in the yard.  

An unexpected nap on the playroom floor.  One minutes she was rolling around listening to Violet sing to her, the next she was sound asleep. 

Naomi was invited to her first friend birthday party!  This was very thrilling.  Who knew if she would ever be invited to a party independent of relatives and her parents' friends?  She had a great time.  Happy, laughing, enjoying the day.
I just love her little face.

So cute.  So sweet. 

So silly.

1 comment:

  1. You do a heart-felt, beautiful job of making your children known through this space. Naomi often comes to my mind. Your love for her and commitment to every part of her well-being is very evident.

    I don't always comment, but I do always read what you write. Thank you for sharing your beautiful kids the way you do.

    Cathy in Missouri