Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Bad Day

I have really struggled before, with seeing all the posts people put up, seeming to have perfect lives and eternally happy kids, and while I also try to only write about the good things, it is nice to know when other people have bad days. I already wrote about a good day, so here is the more frequently occurring bad day!

8:00- Wake up late because I was up super late trying to “catch up on laundry” which really meant that I lost track of time while I read dumb articles online while the same load of laundry ran 5 times in the dryer. The only reason I woke up was because a child with a very wet diaper came in and sat on my face


8:10- After wiping the present off my face, I hurriedly try to clothe and feed the kids while not even wearing contacts so I end up squinting hard at everything and yelling at the kids to hurry up while they seem to dilly dally over everything

8:30- The entire house seems to have vomited up it’s contents since I woke up. I can’t find the kids’ backpacks, shoes, snacks, or pretty much anything that is needed for today, creating more stress

8:45- Throw the kids in the car and race off to get the kids to school, hitting every red light possible. I tried to sing to bring a better mood, but then the kids had a fight about which song

9:00- Drop off kid #1 to school, drop off kid #2 at work daycare, and work (I am a preschool gymnastics coach), where I get complained to by 3 different parents about the parking situation at the gym

11:00- Need to pick up Kid #1 soon, but remembered that there is no food in the house, so you need to shop, but you haven’t planned meals or anything. Rush to the grocery store with Kid #2, and a bag breaks on the way out. Scream of frustration here, and receive many dirty looks

12:00- Pick up Kid #1, and hurry her to therapy. Kids fuss because they are hungry. Kid #2 is cranky during the wait, and so am I, having forgotten to eat this morning, resulting in a very short temper

1:00- We finally get home, and have PBJs really quick. The kids and I are totally exhausted, so I put them down for quiet time, but they spend the time fighting and trying to get out of their room, and I spend that time frantically trying to put away groceries and clean from that morning

2:00- I finally let the kids out of their room, and realize that my sweet SN kiddo had a stinky diaper and smeared it all over her room- bed, herself, toys, clothes… Cue cleaning and bath time. I set out a reward snack for myself to motivate me to keep a good attitude and to keep cleaning

2:30- I put on a movie for the kids while I finish cleaning

3:30- The kids found my snack, which is not allowed in their GFCF diet, and eat it. Both vomit. More cleaning, and now the kids are mad because they aren’t getting attention. Break into my secret chocolate stash

4:00- After more baths and cleaning, I decide to try and make the day better by taking the kids to the park. We aren’t even there 5 minutes before one falls on the sidewalk, and the other burns her legs by sliding down the hot slide I told her not to go on. *sigh*

4:15- I attempt to practice speech words with SN kiddo, but she screams and refuses to cooperate

4:30- Attempt to play a game with the kids, but it results in marbles being scattered everywhere as SN kiddo has a meltdown. I wrap her tightly and put her in her hammock to swing for half an hour to calm down
Chelsea doesn't have autism, but some similar tendencies

5:00- I break into my secret chocolate stash again and check facebook while the kids look at books and listen to some music

5:30- I ask hubby to pick up food for dinner, but he has to work late (benefit of working two jobs to pay for little miss’s therapy), so we pull out frozen fries from the freezer and cook those

6:15- Movie time again! I hate using TV as a babysitter, but I was done for that day. 2 more accidents for little miss, who missed her seizure med dosage three days before, which means that she can’t control her body now

7:45- Bed time!!! I send the kids a little early because I can’t handle anymore. After putting them to bed, I sit on the couch, eat junk food, and play a computer game to not think

A Good Day

Here is what a very, very good day might look like! I have had these days, but they are not super frequent. I also have plenty of bad days!

6:00- Having gotten a full 8 hours of sleep last night, Mom wakes up on time, exercises for half an hour, showers, and gets hair and makeup done

7:00- Mom cooks a filling and healthy breakfast. While things were cooking, she gets in her scripture studying and journal writing

7:30- The kids woke up and came and cheerfully ate their breakfast.

8:00- The kids are washing up and getting dressed! Of course the laundry is done, so both kids get to wear their favorite outfits

8:30- We clean up the kitchen from breakfast and do a devotional with the kids and talk about how to be an example to others

9:00- Time for a home learning day that Mom prepared at the beginning of the week! We start with circle time, sing, and discuss today’s theme before reading some themed books

9:30- We trace our names, do a letter identification game, practice making patterns with differently colored shapes, and practicing counting out objects

10:00- We go to the park to play and have a snack, and we remember to bring bubbles, a ball, and truck. While we are there, we practice gross motor skills in a fun game

11:00- Back to the house, it is time for a science experiment that the kids are excited about

11:30- The kids work on a simple art project with classical music quietly playing in the background while Mom makes a delicious healthy lunch

12:00- While eating lunch, we talk energetically about what we liked best so far that day, and what we hope will happen later in the day, then tidy up and get ready for rest time

1:00- Quiet time! The kids quietly look at books and play puzzles while Mom has a break to read and work on projects

2:00- Play time! We play baby dolls and doctor them when they get hurt. Once that gets boring, we build a masking tape road and have a car race, then play Hungry Hungry Hippos

4:00- We work on speech and occupational therapy home practice, and have great success! The kids get a little marshmallow prize for working so hard, and they say I am the nicest mommy in the world

5:00- Power Hour! The kids clean up their room while mom tackles the rest of the house.

6:00- Kids get an educational video while Mom fixes dinner and chats with a friend on the phone
Haha, yeah right...

6:30- Dinner!

7:00- A family walk after dinner

7:30- Baths for the kids, family scriptures and prayer, then brush teeth and the kids willingly go to bed at 8:00

Monday, May 16, 2016

Summer Speech Therapy

Speech is the area we work on most with Chelsea. I want her to be able to communicate more than anything, and we try for 15-30 minutes of dedicated practice every day. We also incorporate as many opportunities for verbal success as we can. Here are some of both:

  • Any time we go somewhere (the farm, zoo, museum, on a hike), we practice saying, "I see _____" or "I hear ______"

  • Target word BINGO. This one is Chelsea's favorite. We have little BINGO cards with pictures of her target words on them (puppy, mop, pen, etc). I use mini marshmallows as tokens, and when I call out the word, she has to repeat it 3 times, and gets to place a marshmallow on that square. Once she gets a BINGO, she can eat all the marshmallows.
This isn't one of Chelsea's, just one I found online that I liked
and hope to use one day when she is learning opposites

  • Play Candy Land with target words/ sounds on each card. I like playing this one, but Chelsea is hit or miss.

  • Sequence simple stories! This is a receptive language activity. For Chelsea, I tell the story, then mix up the cards and have her put them in the correct order. If you type in "3 Picture sequencing worksheets" into google, there are a ton!
  • Do our ABC sound book. We go through the alphabet and sing "Apple, apple, ah, ah, ah", practicing the sound of each letter.
  • Oral motor practice! Honestly, I don't like this one at all, so we don't do it as much as we should. This means practicing sticking out your tongue, opening your mouth, breathing in and out on command, etc. This was a big part of Chelsea's therapy when she was about 2, and I am burned out.
  • Practice signing correctly! This is good for snack time or when Chelsea wants to play something. I will form her hands into the correct shape for what she is trying to say, model it, and have her practice.
ASL Alphabet
  • Have a contest to see who can hold a vowel the longest! This is super good for breath control, and fun for Chelsea to "beat me" at something. So we will do "eee" or "aaah" for several seconds.
  • Animal sounds! This is fun for when we are playing with her plastic animal toys. Usually when Chelsea plays, she is totally silent. I try to get her to say "moo" for the cow, "woof" for the dog, etc. Still a work in progress!
  • Prepositions!!! We have been working on these for so, so long, but it is still a hard concept for little miss, so we keep at it. I usually get two objects, and say "Put the block on the table" or "Put the book under the chair" OR have Chelsea model the prepositions "Hide behind the chair" or "get on the couch"

Monday, May 9, 2016

Summer Occupational Therapy

I always get so so excited about summer time coming up! This is a time when I can really focus on the kids- have fun, learn lots of fun new things, develop skills, and just spend some special time with them. I try to do 15+ minutes a day of occupational therapy practice with Chelsea, and here are some of my go-to ideas for things she likes.

  • Astronaut drawing! I tape papers under a table, and let Chelsea lay on her back to draw

  • Race to our white board to copy lines/ shapes/ letters

  • Peel off stickers and place them on opposite sides of body, or cross midline to place on target

  • Scissor skills! Cut cardstock, yarn, tape, playdough (I love Chelsea's pop open scissors!)
  • Practice writing name

  • Break all crayons to practice tripod grip, not fisted

  • Color within broad lines

  • Wheelbarrow races

  • Propel self on scooter to find puzzle pieces, and place correctly in board

  • Get mini M&Ms out of a mini muffin tin to work on pincer grasp

  • Gluing activities! Glue sequins, rhinestones, paper, anything! Practice practice practice cutting and gluing!
  • Do sensory bins, playdough, and theraputty

  • String beads and do lacing boards

  • Carry something heavy

  • Climb, swing, slide, run, jump, any gross motor activity!

  • Pick up coins from a flat surface and put into a piggy bank