We're still alive and kicking.
Some of us kicking stronger than the rest.
This has been the winter of, as the English say, feeling poorly. Antalya is finally doing better with her second round of antibiotics, Victoria is proving to have an immune system of steel (or maybe it's just all the clementines and the fact that she is only one in the house that gets a full nights sleep), and as for Jason and I, we are feeling like a double decker bus went off route and ran over us in bed. But we're getting through it.
We've been slowing easing our way into the new year. Jason hit the books working on a paper a couple days ago, and Antalya will go back to school on Monday. The girls and I have been having lots of fun this week, and it's been nice that the snow has been replaced with rain - lots of rain which make for lots of puddle jumping. To make the rain more fun, Victoria now has her very first pair of Wellies (rainboots).
With the New Year also came a renewed determination on my part to spend at least five minutes a day with Antalya working on speech and reading. It's amazing that in just five minutes of one-on-one I feel like we do more than she gets in a 45 minute group speech session. With just being consistent for one week, I'm already seeing improvements. We are using the See and Learn program that was developed by Down Syndrome International. You can download the material and print it off at home for free. This week Antalya, after spending a couple days reading "where is..." sentences asked me on evening, "Where is Daddy?" (it didn't sound exactly like that, but it was pretty close). It was a monumental moment because it was the first question she has ever asked. I was jumping with joy.
As if that wasn't enough excitement for the whole week, she blew me away with her reading yesterday. We have been working on "noun, is, verb" sentences. For example, "baby is sleeping", "dog is eating", etc. She does really good reading the noun and the verb, but always skips over the "is". But yesterday she was reading the full phrase without any help. My mama heart wanted to jump right out of my chest it was so happy!
And Victoria has been amazing me as well. She has learned how to pull her chair from the table to the kitchen sink. And this week, she has been spending several hours every day with her cups, bowls, and spoons and the sink. She loves to fill all the bowls with water, line them up along the counter, and then put a spoon in each one. Antlaya took this short video of her the other day:
Antalya has added a new level of energy to her High School Musical rock out sessions lately. It always makes me smile to see her enjoying herself so throughly. She's starting dance classes in two weeks, I'm excited to what new moves she will pick up.
**Sorry for the poor video quality. If you're wondering what Victoria is doing, she is practicing the sign we made up for yoghurt - we do that a lot (make up signs for words that I don't know the correct sign for).
All these things, and so many other little things that keep my heart beaming each day, are adding up to a perfect start for a new year that is sure to be filled with my many adventures, challenges, joys, and sorrows. 2011 will be another year of changes for us. Changes that I'm not even sure about. In six months time we will be packing our suitcases and saying goodbye to our English home and beginning a new adventure somewhere. And when I say, 'somewhere', I mean to say, 'we have absolutely no idea where we will be or what we will be doing when this new year comes to close. The unknown used to really bother me, but I've learned to find excitement in the fact that when something is unknown, it means anything is possible!
Here's to 2011...the year of possibilities!