Thursday, December 31

My baby girl is almost 2

I can't believe it. While I was on a blog vacation during the holidays, we celebrated one year of being a forever family. A year. Crazy stuff.

Last night we had her two year old pictures taken while I still had daddy home to help me. She was hilarious. In true Norah fashion, she went stone faced while this stranger tried to position her, make her smile and pose her. Just as she did to us in Vietnam and just as she continues to do when faced with people she is unfamiliar with, she goes motionless. (which is even more hilarious if you know her true personality)

The photographer: "Can you smile?"

Norah, not moving: "no"

Photog: "Can you say monkey?"

Norah, not moving: "no"

Photog: "Can you blow the duck off of my head?"

Norah: "no"

Photog: "where are your teeth? You have teeth, right? Show me your teeth."

Norah: "no"

Somehow, at some point, we changed her position, and I held her for a minute. After that, she turned on the "Norah charm" and performed with every picture. :)

Pretty easy photo session, all in all. I forgot what easy photo sessions were like!

Tuesday, December 29

Look what Will can do!

(and ignore the very excited mom in the background, please, because I sound like a total dork)

There are so many things he can do that I never thought possible. Recently, someone wondered what his future would be like. I am certain that I have no idea. Clearly, Will isn't like the other kids his age. I believe these little surprises are God's way of telling us to enjoy the moment and not try to search for the crystal ball.

Friday, December 25

A very cool Santa gift...

I'm taking a short break away from the hubbub of my house, but this gift that Santa brought for Caroline might make the top 10 of all times. She and her dad have played with it literally ALL DAY. (Yes, Dad likes it as much as Caroline.)

Merry Christmas to all of our family and friends!

Saturday, December 19

Blog Vacation

You may have noticed I haven't posted in a while. This month, I've decided to take a blog vacation and enjoy time with my family and friends.

Hopefully, I'll be able to restart things in January, though I must say I've enjoyed my time away from the internet! (Facebook and forums have been put on hold for the most part too.)

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 4

The Performance

Things were really quiet in my house this morning as I cleaned.

When I checked my bedroom, here's what I found:

She entertains herself this way frequently. It makes me smile, remembering where we were one year ago.

Tuesday, December 1

Home ABA: Two months later

I had the priviledge of watching my boy at ABA last Monday. His therapist was amazing with him.

Two months later, he is learning to fold his hands and wait. He is imitating lots of motor movements on demand and beginning to give pictures when asked for them. Even better, he is beginning to transition from one activity to the next and use his words to request things, even when he is upset.

Most recognizable of all.....he's sitting while working at a table for long periods of time. The reinforcer is beginning to be spaced out as well.

One of the things they use there is a favorite movie. They turn the movie off and ask him to do several things. He is then rewarded with a few more minutes of movie. He is beginning to allow the movie to be turned off without a huge tantrum - a sure bet before ABA.

At home, we are continuing to use favored toys as reinforcers along with some of his favorite popcorn. My goal is to continue to lengthen the time between me taking a toy (turn taking) and giving it back to him. We cue him with "3-2-1, my turn" and then take the toy. We're also working on waiting with folded hands, and some unpopular activities like cutting and gluing.

At the dinner table, we have been able to ask him to take a bite of an unfavored food (a green veggie) in return for a bite of a favored food. After a couple of bites of the veggie, he no longer needs the favored food each time.

It looks like he will be able to attend the ABA school full time - 5 half days per week - beginning in January. For the first time in his school life, he was called a "quick learner" by his ABA therapist. One has no idea what those words mean to a parent of a child like mine, but I can tell you....they mean everything. I can't wait to see what January brings.