Saturday, August 26, 2017

My Kindergartener

After much thought and investigation, the public school vs. homeschool decision landed on the homeschool side. So far, Apple has learned to read quickly and is already on her third "Bob" book and the first book into another series in less than a month. She can do simple sums in her head, can play Uno and is beginning to teach herself Q-Twist. She can count to 100, knows the days of the week and our schedule for each day (i.e. Tuesday is gymnastics day), and she knows most of the months. She is developmentally behind the average child her age, but not by much. Some of that delay is due to her physical limitations. Writing is hard for her because of her fingers, but she does have the concept and with the right assistive tools can do it. She can spell and write her first name and often her last name, too.

I've not ordered a specific curriculum yet, but I'm investigating a couple of them. Some things, like science, she'll learn along with Blossom and Jie Jie but with more simple worksheets and activities.

She loves to sing and she's into Air Supply right now. I played a CD in the car on our last medical trip and she and the other girls just flipped over Air Supply for some reason. It's cute listening to her. She's very good at carrying a tune and gets most of the words right, too.

She loves to "walk" her dog and train it, imitating what I do with our live dogs. Our puppy, Peyton, is in obedience school right now and Apple is learning the techniques and commands right along side me and the dog really responds well to her.

Dancing with Yoshi. They weigh exactly the same. He's such a great dog!
He never pulls on the leash and adjusts his walk to her speed.

Our Summer

June: We were still in the midst of a ton of appointments so we grabbed our summer fun in little bits and pieces whenever we could. The month began with a few days of mild summer weather then quickly jumped up to 105 and even 108 for several days. Thank heavens for our swimming pool!

This cute little town a bit south of us is famous for this ice cream shop that serves obscenely large sundaes. It's surprisingly inexpensive, too. This was one of the smaller sundaes on the menu!

When we still had only two dogs, I set up this rig on our bikes so we could safely take the dogs along. They loved it! I haven't figured out how to put all four dogs on yet and the puppies still need more training and maturity before it would be safe.

Neither Cara or Yoshi likes to swim in our pool, merely tolerating it, yet Yoshi will go into the irrigation canal every time on his own.

The girls play house often, being sure to serve and feed as many babies as they can fit around their little table. I let Blossom join in sometimes, but her play isn't as developed and tends to turn silly, something the other two girls don't always find fun. I am working on helping Blossom find more appropriate activities, but it's hard for her when she sees her sisters enjoying themselves so much.

Apple is finally tall enough to touch the bottom of the shallow end of our pool. She's been unable to figure out how to truly swim, unable to physically exert force enough to propel herself, but she does understand how to hold her breath well and float.
Half way through June to the end of July, Sissy and Blossom attended a special summer camp that focused on skills for independence and included taking the city bus, visiting our city and state representatives, learning about bank accounts, safety, shopping/money, and more. After three weeks of lessons, they volunteered under supervision for two weeks. Both girls volunteered in a café, serving customers, sweeping, wrapping brownies for take-out and other jobs. Blossom did extremely well and even earned her Food Handler certificate with some help. She completed the two weeks in an exemplary fashions. Sissy didn't get past the third day of volunteering due to some behavioral issues at home that led her to decide to give up the program. The people running the program are all about helping individuals with disabilities advocate for themselves and deal with the consequences of their decisions, which was great since it was the first time I'd gotten true support in this area. Most people can't separate the girls' small size and little-girlish looks and behavior from the fact that they are young adults. It was a good lesson for Sissy to see that being over 18 means being responsible for her actions and that self-control is extremely important. Blossom made friends and developed relationships with leaders and co-workers/students in the program. Getting Sissy to see the human element and be social is a great challenge and something we constantly work on.

We passed this sign twice a day taking Blossom to her volunteer job
and just had to take a picture of such a contradiction! We'd joke every day
about which sign we should obey, the stop sign or the no stopping sign.

Don't let this adorable face fool you.

I spent a lot of June dog proofing after learning the hard way that dogs love to chew EVERYTHING.

I also replaced the screen in the sliding door and added a doggy door.

Watching and waiting.

One morning, a group of gardeners knocked on my door and offered to grind the stumps of the many, many trees I'd cut down over that past year or two. Even though it reached 108 degrees that day, I was out there with my chainsaw cutting down the rest of the unwanted trees in order to take advantage of their great deal.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Girls and Dogs

This is my skate/walk rig. It keeps the dogs from pulling on the leashes and dragging
me along on my Landroller Skates since this stroller doesn't have a stopping break.

What do you mean, this is a cat bed?

Really, I fit in it just fine!

See? I'm not the only one who thinks so.

What are you talking about, I fit, too, see?

Who needs a bed when you have a friend?