Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This little boy

Oh Alton.  What would we do without you?  We sure would listen to way less toddler music haha... but our hearts wouldn't be nearly as full and we would be missing out on all the hugs.

Alton is such a sweet boy and I am so thankful to have him.  Looking back at some old blog posts- he has changed!  That boy LOVES music.  LOVES it.  He doesn't call it music though.  He calls it "dance".  He somehow manages to make that word two syllables but you can understand it.  He is constantly singing songs.  It took us a while to figure this out though.  He'll randomly start to squeal... I can't say scream.. because that makes it sound like he's upset... but it's this high pitch squeal and then he'll say a word that you understand and you're like "oh.. that's definitely this song".  Currently his favorite song to sing is "row row row your boat"  However, it's one of those things where only I know that that's what he's singing.  "wo wo wo uh oat.... may may may may.  Eye-ff deem"... yeah... lol

I am a little worried about his speech, but that may just be being a first time mom with no idea.  He used to mimic everything we said- now it's very selective.  If he really wants something he'll use his words.  Or if it has to do with food.    At his 2 year appointment his doctor was a little worried about it (thanks for giving me something else to stay up at night for...).  She kept asking all sorts of questions to me  "What if he wants something?"   the answer to that is that he'll say "more" and make the sign for more too.  Or sometimes he'll say the word.  For example, we got him up one morning after they had been put to bed by a babysitter the night before.  Unfortunately, the sitter really didn't feed the kids dinner.  That is a whole other story... Anyways, so when we got him up instead of saying "hi!" or anything that he'll grunt or squeal.. all he said was "chicken??".. sorry.. "chickuuuuun" haha... so, he does communicate things to us.  It's just hard to know if it's laziness or something else.  Especially when you have Ashlyn saying 2-4 word sentences. "See friend day?"  day = today.  Or my favorite lol  "See elle-fant day??"  Alton doesn't do that.  He is a very one word kid.  Park, walk, slide, sky, sun...  well.. okay, the one two word phrase he says is "all done".  Can't go without giving him credit for that :)

If you are ever with him and you need him to cooperate with you- tell him he's getting "straws" and he'll immediately do anything you want.  These are veggie straws.  Don't be that fooled, they're not like amazingly healthy... just better than giving him chips :)   He begs for them constantly.  Last week I caught him eating Ashlyn's.  Whenever we run out of "straws" it's a bad day... kind've like those recent commercials where the kid runs out of those halo oranges?  lol...

Oh, and I'm convinced that he will be very like Jon in this one way (well, probably in a lot of ways, but i'm focusing on this one).  So, maybe it was the mission, but Jon is really good at figuring out where he is.  He can look at a map for like 5-10 mins and he pretty much has a large area memorized for the most part.  Alton has learned my routes.  Walking or driving.. he knows what direction we're going.  If you start heading in the direction to where we go to church but we don't end up going to church he starts going "church? church?" Or if we're walking and I make a turn that wouldn't end up taking us to a park (park isn't even visible) he starts going crazy "park! park!".  So, if you ever get lost, just ask Alton.. he'll at least be able to give you directions to a park, church or grandma's house :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ashlyn's Eye Appointments :)

This goes without saying, but I'm really slacking at this blog.  Sorry.

So many things have been going on.

As many of you know, Jon has been traveling again.  He was put on a new project at work in November and has been traveling every week since around Thanksgiving.  This has been quite challenging for me.  He has traveled before for long periods of time, but that was before kids.  He has been on small traveling assignments over the last two years but not for very long.  Thankfully, he is able to come home late Thursday nights and is home over the weekend.  However, I'm being real here, it's hard and it's no fun.  But, we do what we have to and we are so very thankful for the job and all that it provides for us.

With all of this being said- I'm needing to spend a little time writing about positive things. :)  This post is about Ashlyn's latest eye appointments.

I wanted to write about Ashlyn's last eye appointment.  In January we went in and it was a horrible visit.  Eye drops and lots and lots of tears.  The nurse who put the drops in apparently missed and after waiting around for 20 mins, we had to have them put in drops again because her eyes hadn't dilated.  By this point she was just traumatized.  She kept begging for her glasses. "Glasses on!"  It was really sad.  Then, the doctor said she would need to do some patching on her left eye for 2 hours every day. They then told us as we were leaving that she would come back in March and they would do a few "games" to test her vision.  The main one is called the H-O-T-V test.  They told me it would be a matching game.  I really wasn't sure what that meant and I had a hard time finding a lot of information online... it probably has a different name.  Anyways, at that point I decided that I would start practicing letters with flash cards.

Every day we get out the flashcards while they eat or something (usually only when they're in their high chairs) and we go through them.  I started by showing a letter and say it and sometimes they'd repeat the letter sometimes they wouldn't.  Alton was the one who was most interested.  He picked them up so quickly.  He loves it when we do "letters".  His favorite letter to say is "M" and when he says "U" he points to me lol...  it's really cute.  Now, I just hold it up and they say it without me saying anything- there are a few times where I have to correct or remind- but they are doing really well with recognizing them.

Anyways, I didn't think that Ashlyn was really paying much attention.  A few weeks before her eye appt, she was starting to say some of the letters but she was mixing some of them up.  I just wanted this vision test to not be stressful for her.  Normally I wouldn't have worried so much about them getting their letters down because they just turned 2... but I was nervous for her.

We got to the appointment (March 13th- Jon's birthday) and thankfully, no eye drops.  We didn't have to wait long either- always a plus.  They show videos in the little exam room that have animals and she was having fun pointing out a few of them. Especially her favorite "elle-fant"  She loves elephants.  Anyways, the "game" came.  They handed her this large laminated paper with the letters H, O, T and V on it.  The nurse then said that we were going to play a matching game.  They would show the letters on the tv screen and then she would have to point on the paper which one she saw.  I immediately was a bit nervous.  Ashlyn can be very stubborn.  I was worried that she wouldn't follow the directions and decide that she was "all done".  So I kept saying "Wow! Ashlyn this is going to be so fun!".  The nurse was also promising a lot of stickers lol... so Ashlyn was a little excited for stickers.  Then the letters started to appear on the tv screen.  The first one the nurse kept saying "Okay, Ashlyn, what letter is that?  Which letter on the paper is it?"  Ashlyn looked a bit confused and started to point to "H" and then looked up and just said "H".  Then O came up on the screen.  The nurse kept encouraging the paper thing but Ashlyn said the letter.  It went like that for T and V.  I was a little in shock but wasn't letting that show.  Then Ashlyn was waving the paper around lol... so I just gave it back to the nurse and she kept showing the letters in different sizes and in different order.  Ashlyn did very well.  The nurse and I were cheering her on and Ashlyn had a huge smile on her face and as promised she was given 4 stickers :)  and one for Alton.

The doctor came in after this and expressed how well she did and how proud he was of her (I have to admit, I was proud of her too).  It's hard to do vision tests with toddlers.  IT's not like they can say what they can see more clearly... A or B? 1 or 2?  yeah... so this little "game" is the the easiest they can do.  It's not perfect, obviously, but it's better than nothing.  He noted that it seems like her vision is the same in both eyes and that we could reduce her patch time.  So now she only has to wear it for an hour/day.  Woohoo!

I'm so thankful for those flashcards! She still mixes letters up, but we will still work on them.  Best .50 I've spent in a while!  If we hadn't started "letters" I think that appointment would've been so painfully long and would've probably included tears because she would've been frustrated because of it.

Thankfully, this appointment was on a Friday and Jon was working from home and was able to hang with Alton.  I had planned for him to go to a friend's house, but Alton got sick that week and I couldn't send him over there with him only being a day or two out from when he first got sick.   Ashlyn ended up getting sick on the next morning in the car.. on the way to the zoo... thankfully we were only 5 mins out from home.  Ah, the life of having twin toddlers :)