Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Piper, The Gymnast

Addy started gymnastics last fall in an effort to find her something school-like to do while Piper was in preschool.  She was pretty jealous of the fact that Piper got to go to “’cool,” so we called it Addy’s school for a while.  Of course, that was secondary to the fact that I had a one year old who was, literally, climbing the walls of my house and needed an outlet.  And to learn to move correctly.  And, you know, learn to fall correctly.  The first several sessions I found myself saying “There is no way Piper would have been willing to do this when she was Addy’s age…”  She has thrived in gymnastics!


As the year went on, Addy would learn a new skill and come home to practice.  Piper always wanted to take part, too, an often learned whatever it was that Addy was doing.  Because of school, I think, her willingness to try new things and stretch outside of her comfort zone was improving dramatically.  And with the end of school (Piper didn’t qualify for ESY/summer school), I needed something FUN for Piper to do this summer, too.  Addy’s class is for kids 2-3 1/2; I talked to her teachers and asked if I could bring Piper, too, even though she’s a little older.  My biggest concern was that the class for 3 1/2+ wasn’t a parent-tot class- and I wasn’t sure that Piper would be ready to try all of those new things independently.


On her first day of class, I asked the girls if they BOTH wanted to go to gymnastics.  Addy, of course, squealed with delight.  To my surprise, Piper was almost more excited.  She went into the other room, got her suit, got her backpack, and said “READY!”

She did a thousand times better than I had expected.  There were no meltdowns because it was scary.  She listened and followed directions.  She tried new things.  And she was good.  She was successful in her attempts- she was so tickled with herself!


She’s only been three times so far, but every time we go, I’m surprised at what she’s willing to do.  She’s walked across the uneven parallel bars with her feet on the bottom and her hands on the top- independently.  She bear walks across the parallel bars.  She summersaults, backward rolls, walks across the balance beam- forward and backward.  She balances on one foot on the balance beam.  She swings form the rings, and hangs like a monkey on the bars.  Like all the other kids in the class, she needs a little help and and little reassurance to complete the task, but complete she does!


Her teacher pulled me aside the other day and asked what, exactly, Piper’s diagnosis was.  She went on to say how awesome it was to see Piper working so hard, and that she even had to go home and brag to her husband about how much she’s willing to try.  I couldn’t have been happier or more proud, though, when she said “I’m just so glad she’s here!” 

Yup, it was a good choice to put Piper in the class.  I’m so proud of her!


Monday, June 24, 2013

ALL the tools

My dad has all the tools.  As in, my dad has all the tools. 

And usually not just one of each tool- at least two, and often times three or four of the same thing.

But I digress.

Dad has been up to our house a few times in the past month to help with a few things (thanks, Dad!) and in the process, the girls have seen some of Dad’s “toys.” 

You can imagine their surprise when Nana and Grandpa had a tool set they could play with!DSC_0361

Watch out, Grandpa- someone is going to want to play with wood scraps and wood glue soon!

Betchya can’t…

Bet YOU can’t do this!





Friday, June 14, 2013

The Brunt of OT Practice

I know we have an issue when Piper comes running to find me screaming “MOM!  MOM!  MOM!”  It’s always followed by a (usually intelligible) diatribe about what has transpired. 

Examples include “Addy beep beep beep car!” when Addy had found my car keys and hit the panic button on the key fob.  “Addy PEW!”- I’ll leave that to your imagination.  “Sissy uh oh!” is always a scary one because you have no idea what you’re about to get into- Addy climbing on the kitchen counters, Addy sitting in the bathroom sink, Addy making a mess…

Notice a pattern here?  Obviously, tattling has become the new norm in the house.  So I usually try to ignore it and focus on Piper talking well instead (“Oh, Piper- I like to hear what you have to say!” and then move on without paying attention to the tattle- not sure if it’s working, but I hate to have her speech, which is still very much a struggle, go unnoticed.)

But when Addy’s melting down and Piper comes running toward you hollering “MOM!  Addy PEEEE!” I got a little nervous.

This was not what I had envisioned.


Yeah- Piper had drawn a “P” and a “T” on Addy.  Right dab in the middle of her forehead. 

I have no idea why.


Addy was NOT amused.




Nope, not thrilled in the slightest. 

I didn’t know there’d be collateral damage in fine motor practice…

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Fun Thing of the Week

Sidewalk chalk.  Crappy paint brushes.  Water.  “Oh Boy!” Addy says.

When we were kids, my mom would hand us an old drywall bucket filled with water, set us up with a couple of big, old paint brushes, and tells us to “paint the driveway.” 

I think we spent hours “painting” growing up.  (I do remember the story of how my brother “helped” my parents with the REAL paint one time instead- I think the chain link is still painted after 30 years…)

So when I found five paint brushes for $5 at Walmart, I knew what we needed to do with them.  Then I got the super big pack of the aluminum chaffers from Costco (for about 20 cents a piece, I think) to make easy dipping.DSC_0058


We discovered that coloring with chalk on the water offers a whole new sensation- it’s smoother, and prettier (more vibrant) which both girls enjoyed.  I’ve decided that Crayola makes the BEST sidewalk chalk- it’s so bright!DSC_0060

It’s also fun to draw shapes with the chalk and then paint with water over the top- it makes it all smooth and pretty (okay, so maybe I enjoy this part a little too much…)


Piper has been borderline obsessed with rocks lately- they’re her go-to prop for anything pretend play- babies, food, drink, phones, animals, money…  It was no surprise, then, that she wanted the rocks to play (in whatever capacity she decided at the time), too.  She discovered that when the rocks were wet, they changed color!  She was so excited.  She “painted” lots of rocks figuring out which ones changed to “pretty.”DSC_0063

I think it was about this time that Nana and Grandpa showed up.  And gave the girls the brilliant idea to “wash” my car.  I had one really clean spot on my otherwise filthy car.  It really helped camouflage the dirt!  DSC_0067


They used up all the water on the car and needed more.  Have no fear- Nana to the rescue!  Thanks, Nana, for helping Piper figure out the water sprayer.  I’ve been soaked about a half dozen times since this.  As has Addy.  And maybe the neighbor as they drove down the street.  And I’m pretty sure a baby bunny got in the line of fire once.  We’ll call it fine motor practice- you know, using those hand muscles…


The full tub of water lasted about six seconds before Piper decided to pour it down the driveway.  And then sat in it.  She was not too thrilled that she had a wet bottom.  Darn those natural consequences!


The girls do get a little dirty doing this, but that’s no real surprise.  The chalk washes out of clothes with no issue whatsoever.  Only real word of warning is that if you draw on the sidewalk and paint over the top, the chalk can stay there a LONG time.  Especially here in Colorado when good soaking rains are few and far between.  I think we’ve had “P I” on our driveway for a few weeks- the “P E R” somehow got washed off and left the rest.  We are, admittedly, nerds in this house, but leaving “pi” on the driveway is overdoing it even for us!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

First Melons of SUMMER!

The first slices of watermelon this season came with some speculation.DSC_0328

Piper decided that it was good enough to eat, and dove right in despite being completely exhausted at the end of a long birthday party day.DSC_0337

In fact, she thought it was so good that she downright insisted that Addy take a break from the swing set to have a bite.DSC_0344

That was met with more speculation…DSC_0341

…tentative first tastes…DSC_0342

…and quiet contemplation.DSC_0357

And then…  she found a seed.DSC_0356

Ooooh the horrors!DSC_0352

Not sure she’ll be willing to venture down that avenue again any time soon. 

Piper won’t mind- I’m sure she’d be willing to eat Addy’s share.