Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More kite flying

Some funny posts below

Elena's first attempt at flying a kite.

Elena's successful attempt at flying a a kite.

Marisa's turn

Elena update

Elena is now 4 1/2. I can vividly see better days ahead. Fewer are the tantrums, the back talk, the dependence. I am amazed by how self sufficient Elena is becoming and also by her ease of understanding the world around her especially rules, and expectations. Restaurant visits are less chaotic because she loves to sit and color and and tell us about her work. When I can take my eyes off Marisa or when Marisa wants to join us, I am able to do circle time with Elena which includes calendar, counting, and literacy practice. I love that I can sit with Elena and do mini reading lessons and am so impressed with her readiness to read and her print awareness.

Elena will be going to real school next year! While I am nervous about her making it through a full day (she still takes a 2 hour nap daily!) everyday of the week I am thrilled at the opportunity she has for attending Dual language Pre-kindergarten next year. The public school she will be going to offers tuition based Pre-kindergarten for four year olds and happens to be piloting the dual language program next year. I couldn't be happier about her learning in two languages AT SCHOOL!!. She'll be getting all the academic Spanish that I never did.

Elena is quite the chatter box and loves to engage in conversation with us about EVERYTHING. She loves playdoh, drawing, reading, and playing with Marisa. No more parallel play here. They love dressing up together, filling backpacks and playing school. Recently Elena has been into pretend cooking and baking and I have to "try" everything!

I've been meaning to do an interview with Elena and I will post it as soon as we complete it.

Next month Elena will be having a tonsillectomy.:( I'm not too happy about her going through surgery again, but I am a bit relieved that this should solve Elena's sleep troubles once and for all. I was in a bit of denial that Elena was chronically tired for a few months now despite her getting a full night's rest and napping. Unlike last year where Elena's obstructive sleep apnea resulted in hyperactive behavior, this time around Elena was just plain tired all the time. Throughout different times in the day you would find her in a daze not interested in doing much. While I sensed something wrong I also knew that a looming tonsillectomy would be more invasive than the adenoidectomy. I didn't want to go there unless I had to. I figured I could modify my expectations rather than put her through a surgery again. Then, we had a parent-teacher conference at her preschool. Her teacher seemed concerned that Elena's demeanor had changed drastically. For months Elena lost interest in playing during centers or during outdoor play. Instead she would just sit and watch looking tired. The teacher thought she was sick because coincidently Elena's behavior changed after her bout with pnemonia. Hearing this made me sad. If you know Elena, you know she is joyful and energetic, but this is not how her teacher was describing her and even she knew something was not right so she encouraged me to check it out. I then realized I couldn't deny that Elena was probably suffering from sleep apnea again and I scheduled an appointment with an ENT. Sure enough the Doctor confirmed her enlarged tonsils and the effect they are having on her sleep and scheduled her for surgery. On the positive side, they will be looking for enlarged adenoids during the surgery and will remove them if need be. Yes those were removed last year but apparently they can grow back! Her recovery period will be 2 weeks! No swimming or playing outdoors then, just rest, rest, rest. Please pray for an easy surgery and recovery without complications. Thanks!

Elena and Marisa

Marisa update

Marisa is now 2 1/2. I've been meaning to post for some time but she has been keeping me quite preoccupied these days with new found skills. It's almost impossible or not smart on my part to let her out of my sight. Her most recent endeavor landed her at the ER. During nap one day, she climbed a 4 shelf bookshelf to get a piggy bank from the very top. The piggy bank fell and broke. I walked in on her just as she stepped on the broken piece, but I actually paid more attention to what she looked like when I opened the door before realizing she was injured. She was literally covered in Desitin from head to toe, her face her legs, her arms, all covered in white. I ran downstairs to get my camera. How could I not? and on my way up I saw a trail of blood on every step. I called Omar from outside and he saved the day. Thank God he was here. I would have panicked and probably rushed to the ER with my bleeding child. Instead, Omar stayed calm, bandaged her up and stopped the bleeding and I was complimented for his awesome "nurse" bandage. It was our longest ER visit ever, 7 hours for 4 stitches!!! and they poked and poked her many times because her veins were not cooperating. Eventually they gave up and administered the sedative through her leg muscle. Once she woke up she kept saying, "bank, bank, drop" but she was relieved and aware it was all over.

By the way, I feel the need to recommend Children's Hospitals since we've been to two of them. They always have a child life specialist on staff who helps your child with distraction (if they are young) or understanding what is happening to them there. Marisa got the little plain doll in the picture and performed every procedure she would be going though on the doll. We gave the doll an IV and drew a little laceration on the heel. I can't tell whether she correlated what we had done to the doll and what eventually happened to her but it made her visit more enjoyable and not all scary. She couldn't let go of that doll afterward. That is until we went outside of course and she dropped it in the parking lot. Oh well.

Her biggest accomplishment is mastering potty training 2 months ago. I was not prepared for this at all and even more so on the fact that she would also be potty trained through the night. She wakes up dry partially because she wakes up once a night to use the potty and then goes right back to sleep. Unfortunately she does need help at night so I wake up too.

She really is lovable despite the daily trouble she gets herself into. Before the piggy bank, stitches incident she had a typical room. We had to remove a few things and add locks to the doors. But prior to bedtime she'd go into her closet and dress herself in the silliest outfits. Each time we went in to tell her to go to bed she'd have a new getup. Some examples...cowboy boots and panties, only cowboy boots and nothing else, underwear on her head and a tu tu, no shirt with a tu tu and cowboy boots. It was very entertaining.

Marisa is incredibly affectionate. I get at least 10 random hugs a day and always one every morning. She also adores Jake though Jake does not correspond. (See picture below...she put Jake and herself in there, don't worry though I disallowed this from happening again but not before I took a picture) She always makes sure to tell me when his food or water bowl are empty even though it's usually during her mealtime. She wants me to feed him first.

Marisa continues to be helpful and often helps Elena with tasks Elena prefers help with. Most recently I loved that I sent Elena to my bathroom to get my glasses and when she said she could not reach them I asked Elena to ask Marisa for help. I knew Marisa could climb to get them. She is quite strong and uses just her arms and chest strength to lift herself up like in a push up. Anyway, they both came downstairs happily and Elena was so excited to say that she told Marisa where the glasses where and Marisa climbed up to reach them.

My dear Marisa while your persistence keeps me on my toes, I know this will be a wonderful quality later. I love to see your sheer determination especially when it's followed by your soft side that just as quickly needs comforting and affection.

In the waiting room with a pitiful face.
Finally food after 7 hours!

Favorite buddy number TWO
Favorite buddy number ONE.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Mt. Bonnell is one of my favorite locations in Austin. Back when Omar and I were dating and I was attending UT and he was attending A&M we took this little hike to the top of this hill called Mt. Bonnell. You actually walk up some limestone stairs to get to the top so it's not really a hike but the view is beautiful. Anyway, on our first hike when we were at each other's rival school, Omar carved I love Josie, Omar loves Josie or something like that on a limestone rock. A couple of years later I was surprised to see the carved inscription still there so I took a picture which is now filed away in one of my many photo boxes. Now everytime we go I can't help but look for that same inscription which I'm sure was washed away with erosion and I get warm fuzzy feelings of our initial dating days. I'll scan and post that pic if I ever find it.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bluebonnets and the SLR

Last month my sister and I walked to a patch of bluebonnets in the neighborhood. I decided to pull out my SLR. I realized how much I missed this camera but it's not digital and apparently that must mean it is now ancient. It took a whole two weeks to get these pictures developed and onto CD's!! I do long for a digital SLR but for now I'll stick to using my ancient camera on these rare occasions and wait patiently for the photos.

My niece and Goddaughter Carolina
My niece Cristina

This one below was not taken with the SLR but it is a great shot of everyone.