Friday, February 22, 2013

New Therapy

You may remember that, back when Piper got so sick this fall, her fine motor skills just tanked.  And while they’re on their way back, it’s still a work in progress.  The doctor at the Down syndrome clinic here in town theorized that her being sick affected the parts of her brain that control those motor functions, but expected that she’d find her way back with a little help.  He referred us to an occupational therapist at Children’s who works alongside the clinic.  I got really excited to meet with her after hearing the rave reviews he had for her.

It took about two months to be worked in to her schedule, but it was so worth it!  Piper LOVED her, which is really saying a lot for the kid who, when it’s not her idea, avoids fine motor tasks like the plague.  It was the first session that Piper did in a “real” therapy room.  I don’t think Piper would have left if we didn’t make her.  They had slides and ramps and beanbag pits.  But the most fun part is that the whole ceiling is ropes where they can attach different kinds of swings.  Piper LOVES the swings. 

Miss Syd never forced Piper to do anything, but used incentives to get her to sit and try things out.  And it worked out well all around.  We got some good work out of Piper and Piper got to do the fun things she wanted.  Hooray for therapists who understand three year olds!

We’re going to go back every other week for a few months and see where we can get.  The drive down there isn’t great, but not terrible, either.  One of the best parts about it, though, is that, because her appointments are in the afternoons, my mom is watching Adalynn on those days.  That means that I can spend the morning volunteering in Piper’s classroom, Piper and I have lunch together, and then we go down for our appointment.  It’s fun to have a day just with Piper!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Science Experiments

This week’s “Something Different” activity involved baking soda, white vinegar colored with food coloring, and eye droppers.  DSC_0036


Eye droppers were on the to-do list of Piper’s new occupational therapist, and I thought this would be a fun way to incorporate them.  And I figured that the vinegar would be nasty enough that it would eliminate any desire from my youngest to put the pretty liquid in her mouth.  I used colors that wouldn’t turn to mud when they mixed- I figured they would mix.  DSC_0045



I only had really big droppers which worked because they were easy, but it didn’t take much for the vinegar to flow out.  I just bought a whole bag of small droppers from Lakeshore Learning (the only ones I could find before were glass, and medical grade, neither of which were what I wanted!) to use for next time.  These worked really well, and they were easy, which is good, but I think the smaller ones, particularly for Piper, would be more challenging.  And besides, the vinegar wouldn’t get used nearly as quickly!



And I loved that this was a little science experiment, too.  The girls loved watching the bubbles grow and the colors mixing together.  They’d occassionally stir the baking soda with the pipette and then dip it back in the vinegar- we had exploding glasses more than ones.  Addy would ask for “more bubbles!” when the liquid ran out.




I was amazed at how long the girls played with this.  Piper sat longer than Addy did, of course, but even Addy played for at least a half hour.  We used old t-shirts, and I put the girls on their little picnic table, on towels, on the hardwood, just in case a glass of dyed vinegar spilled. 

And I’ll admit- even I had fun making it foam!

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Party!

Piper had a Valentine’s party at school this week.  The kids all brought Valentine’s “For My Friend”, and then most of the kids diligently wrote their own names on the cards.  They made heart magnets from craft foam, glitter, and rhinestones.  And, of course, the culmination of the party- ice cream sundaes and cupcakes!


I love going to her parties.  They’re complete and udder chaos (sixteen kids, a few siblings, and probably a dozen parents) but it’s so fun to watch Piper with her friends.  It’s fun to see the kids fight over who gets to sit next to her and watch how they help her out.  I’m always amazed by how many of the parents (not all of whom do drop off and pick ups) know Piper.  And Piper’s always proud to introduce me to her friends, show me her classroom and what she’s been doing. 

It’s no big surprise that Piper’s loved by her classmates.  I was kind of surprised, though, to see how many of her classmates chose to give her more than one Valentine.  And I’m a little nervous that most of the double-dippers were boys

And so it begins…

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


The kid hangs.  On anything she can.  Oven handles, public bathroom sinks, my pants pockets…  Hang and swing, swing and hang. 



So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when she started doing this on the trampoline:



















She’s about ready to flip herself around, and when she figures that out, I have a feeling she’ll never stop. 

In case you’re curious, ten pounds of wrist and ankle weights work very well to keep the trampoline grounded.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ice Cream Dough

Adalynn’s a kid with some quirks.  I love those quirks, but they’re quirks nonetheless.  She’s so very good about generalizing skills, so keeping her on her toes is a tall order.  Giving her something completely new and different satisfies some of her “cravings.”  She also doesn’t particularly like to be messy, and although she doesn’t have sensory issues, I think it’s good for her to go out of her comfort zone sometimes, too.  Piper’s always a good sport about it and certainly enjoys something new!

I found a recipe for “Ice Cream Dough” on Pinterest, and because I buy baking soda in a HUGE bag at Costco for mega cheap, I happened to have all the ingredients.  Who knew that baking soda, koolaid, and water could be so much fun?

DSC_0144“I will not touch it.  I will not touch it.  I will not touch it.”

DSC_0145“I just can’t stand it!  I have to touch it!”

DSC_0148“I didn’t like it.”

DSC_0149“Spoons are good.  Spoons are so good.”

DSC_0152“At least it smells good!"

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Valentine’s Party!

We host our community group for the local families of kids with Ds.  For our February meeting, I decided it would be fun to do a project with the kids.

I got canvas boards for each kid, taped off a border with masking tape, and then cut out hearts from Press-and-Seal saran wrap.  The hearts were pressed onto the boards, and then the kids finger painted (or sponge painted, if they preferred) with acrylic paint over the top.  When they were done, we peeled off the hearts.  They turned out really cute!  And the kids had a blast!






You’ll have to ask Piper about the efficacy of itching her face while finger painting.DSC_0077