Monday, October 13, 2014

End of Summer 2014 Recap!

I have so much to write about!  I wanted to wrap up the summer stuff, but then school started, and E's knee here I am, a few months late.

The biggest thing we worked on this summer was independence.  Things like getting dressed (everything except putting on her kiddiegaits, which can be tricky), brushing teeth, brushing her hair.  If she forgot something upstairs, she had to get it herself.  Carrying books and toys and things.  Elena can already undress herself completely and get into the tub; this summer she was able to wash herself (including her hair), get out (wet and slippery), dry off, and then get dressed for bed.  We worked on doing these things in a timely manner, as to prepare for school mornings and evenings.  We still get a lot of complaining, but overall Elena has made a lot of progress being self-sufficient.

When we did special events, we let Elena try things herself--getting in and out of cars/carts/rides/doors, navigating steps/trails/water, figuring out how to carry/build/transfer items--and then, as always, how to balance doing these things in a reasonable amount of time.  Our biggest issue right now is making Elena start something early; she knows it takes her a certain amount of time, but she procrastinates a lot and then complains tons about being rushed (hooray for age appropriate behavior, right?).

All of this work on independence is scratching the surface of an essential skill:  problem-solving.  It's a long, arduous struggle--but we are making progress!

So, here is the end of our summer, in recap form:

W e went to Busch Gardens with our friends, the Rs.  I brought Elena's wheelchair.  Elena used it when we were going longer distances, and she had enough energy to climb the huge playground--even the rope bridge (!) and stay up late for fireworks!  Vivian hitched a ride whenever she could. As always, Elena is the adventure seeker.  Vivian is getting braver every day, but not as adventurous as her big sis.

Water Play

That's E, white shirt--did all those steps herself, no crutches!

She couldn't do this last year!

I love that Viv is big enough so they can ride together! 

Monster Shirt Girls

Awesome Fireworks with Friends
Roller Skating at the local community center is always a fun, free (!) time.  Vivian is an independent skater (and working on going backwards!).  Elena needs a lot of help, and grown-up backs need a lot of breaks--but it's still great fun.  

Dad and E
Aren't they adorable?

We spent several afternoons in parks/playgrounds, and biking when we could.  Vivian is an independent biker.  Elena's upright bike is small for her.  The larger bike frame seems too big for her to put her feet down quickly, but the smaller one she tips with the small training wheels.  I think the solution is to get the bigger bike frame, and extra large training wheels.  In any case, she has spent more time on her recumbent pink trike.  

Art in the park

Walk Bike Play Day

We went camping with our friends, the S-R family.  We met some great new people, and the weather was really nice this time (not much rain!).  We played games, sang songs, rode bikes, and broke in our new tent!

E's gorgeous fairy house

Our "Taj MaTent"

Lake Exploration

Great way to end the summer.  Huge thanks to our friends for making these little trips possible and super fun!  Next up...return to school!

Bonus Vivian:  washing my car

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