Thursday, May 27, 2010


I swear these girls of mine were born with magnets that pull the two of them together. Almost every time I turn around either Victoria is chasing Antalya or Antalya is mauling Victoria (which means V usually ends up in tears - but at the same time I think she loves it).

Antalya's new favorite thing is to pick up Victoria and walk with her. It's great fun until she decides she's done which means she simultaneously drops and pushes her to ground.
I feel like I've had to have eyes in the back in my head lately with these two.

Countdown: Only 5 days till "Papa" and "Mama" arrive!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Coming to a Close

The school year here in England doesn't really end until the end of July - but for us it feels like this year is already coming to a close. Jason is done with all his classes and finals - only the looming dissertation remains. It's been nice having him around a bit more this week.

Antalya is still attending her preschool every morning - but not for much longer. In 1 1/2 weeks my parents will be here. We'll all head to the Emerald Isle for a week, spend a few days back here in London, then the girls and I are packing our bags and headed back with Utah with my parents for nearly six weeks of sunshine, family, and friends while Jason (hopefully) gets going on his dissertation.

There were times this last year that minutes felt like hours, and hours like days; but somehow when I look back now I can't believe it has already come and gone. I'm glad we've decided to stay another year because I'm such beginning to feel like we are getting settled here.

When we arrived here I wrote down some goals that I would focus on with Antalya for this year. I was thinking about them today and realized that she has accomplished almost all of them. It has been a year of huge growth for her. Each day she amazes me with the things she is able to learn. And I am awed by her determination. I've watched as she tries again and again and again to do something that comes so easily to her peers. I know she will do great things with her life - because she refuses to give up or take no for an answer.

Here are just some of the things she has learned this year:

Climb up and down stairs with no support
Jumping (on anything bouncy - we are still working on jumping on the hard ground)
Naming all of the uppercase letters and most of the lowercase
Recognizing her written name
Numbers 1-10
Shapes and colors
Using every function of the iPhone
Using a computer mouse
Climbing trees

I am so proud of her progress and can't wait to see all she learns in this next year.

Here's a short video clip I took of her at school this morning.

P.S. Anyone have any great ideas of a gift to give her wonderful TA that has been her one-to-one support every day?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Carnival Fun

This evening we made an impromptu trip to the carnival going on at our local park.

Antalya had a blast! It was her first amusement park experience and I think she throughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Since we only wanted to purchase one adult ticket, I was Antalya's designated helper.

We rode on rides and played in bounce houses until Victoria decided she was done being stuck in the backpack in the hot, humid air, watching her sister have fun.
Can you blame her?IMG_7772

Then we stopped for some very over-priced, and not-so-tasty jumbo sausages and chips for dinner, and washed it down with an ice cream.

Jason and Victoria headed home while Antalya and I wore ourselves out with more rides.

In the end, the bumber cars were her absolute favorite. She even waited in line for 15 minutes to ride them a second time. I was amazed at her patience.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Parent Partnership Conference

Yesterday I got the luxury of attending an all day conference for parents of kids with special needs. It was magical! I learned a bunch about what to expect with the school systems here if we happen to stay longer than expected, got lots of info about programs and resources (that I haven't had a chance to really look through yet, but I will), and attended some great workshops.

The first one focused on managing challenging behaviors. The speaker offered a great new perspective and some tips to manage the melt-downs before they happen and make the best of it when they do. Sometimes I feel as a parent I get so bogged down by little things that I forget the bigger picture. It was such a revelation to me when she explained that in order to fix a problem we need to stop focusing on when things go bad and start focusing on all the times when things are going good. The answer to managing the challenging behavior is not found by looking at the behavior, but by analyzing all the times it is not occurring to find a way to prevent the behavior - or minimize it when it does occur. I've only been home for 24 hours, but I can already see how me changing my perspective is helping make our home a happier place to be.

The second workshop focused on multi-sensory learning. The instructor had some really good thoughts and ideas to share. The ending consensus was that we all need to spend more time outside playing and getting dirty.

I'm so grateful I could have this little time-out for myself. I feel so renewed and ready for anything that comes my way. I feel like I can look motherhood and any challenges that come this way in the eyes and say, "bring it on!" (but only after some much needed Zzzz's)IMG_7736

Friday, May 7, 2010

Why I Haven't Posted Lately

It seems lately as soon as I get a chance to sit down to the computer this cute little face wakes up from her nap and demands some attention (in fact, just as I wrote that sentence she woke up...argh! I better make this quick).

We've been busy chasing birds.

And chasing each other.
IMG_0714(The white dot is Victoria crawling as fast as she can to get the pink dot (Antalya) who is sprawled out on the grass)

And doing coloring. Lots and lots of coloring.

We've been playing in sand.

And admiring the tulips that are everywhere!

What have you been doing to enjoy the springtime weather?