Teagan’s Two and a Half Year Assessment

We did Teag’s six month assessment a little early this time around, in preparation for baby.  Her whole crew came out to our house – six people from the school district!  Her PT Melanie and her intern, OT Nicole, ST Jacque, teacher Kristin and service coordinator Dedra.  Plus Joel and myself.  TT is always happy to have an audience.

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The whole crew!

At the end of 2013 I was pretty frustrated, feeling like our progress had plateaued – but 2014 has been very exciting.  We are super pumped about the goals we have for the next six months!

Communication
T’s progress in this area has been growing a lot over the last six weeks.  Between signing and noises, she is able to tell us what she wants quite a bit – not as much as most 2 and-almost-a-half year olds, but her progress is a good sign.  She understands a ton, and knows signs for milk, go, up, down, open, help, more, on, all done, drink, eat and me/mine.  She understands a lot, follows directions, and answers simple questions – if you want to know what the sheep, cow, lion, snake or monkey says, Teagan is your gal!  No help on the fox though.  Or bobcat, sorry Grandpa Lorin.  She’ll also put an “mmm” sound with the milk or more sign, makes a p sound when she sees a puppy, and a “ba ba” for baby or bubbles.  Our next step here is completing words – so bay-bee for baby instead of ba ba – and  word combinations.  We’re getting a bit of this already; this morning I got a “ma ba” out of her for more bubbles, and at daycare she will do the signs for me and down when she wants to go downstairs.  Our measureable goal for 6 months is for her to say 5 different words (the actual word, not just part of it) and to use 75 words or signs daily.

We’ve also found a new, private speech therapist to use.  Her name is Amy and she comes to our house – she is very assertive, and makes Teagan work, which I love.  We’ve only had two sessions with her, and we’re super excited to see where we are by the end of the summer!  So for now, we have stopped working with Children’s.

Occupational
We’re continuing to work on eating.  It has gotten better, but meal time is still probably the most stressful part of the day.  She’s doing stellar with the sippy cup, now our goal is to get her to use an open cup or a straw.  She’s doing relatively well with a fork and can pierce some foods – although it would work better if she would look at her food, instead of us, when trying to do this ;-).  Our six month goals here are for her to feed herself 2/3 of meal – which she does, if you consider how little she actually cares to eat (according to Grandma Ann, she gets that from her daddy).  Also to pierce 5 pieces of food in a row, and to use open or straw cup to drink 2 ounces of liquid at least twice a day.

T is also doing a LOT of drawing now, which Nicole is really excited about.  She’ll imitate vertical and horizontal lines, as well as dots, which is good for pre-writing skills.

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Teagie at her coloring table

Physical
T gets around pretty well – she is a pro at going up and down the stairs, as long as she can use the bars on the railing.  Our next steps here are doing the stars facing forward, vs. sideways as she does it now, and jumping.  She’ll start preschool when she is three, so we want her to be all set to move around independently there.  Also, she is working on catching a ball – she’s made some great progress here, thanks to her buddy Levi at daycare 🙂  Maybe he can teach her mom to catch a ball as well.

Cognition
We’ve been working a lot on play/learning toys – shapes in sorters, puzzles, stacking, identifying pictures.  Kirstin would like to see her expand her problem solving skills.  Our six month goals are for her to be able to seperate toys during pick-up time, and bringing things she needs help with to us.  She does this a bit – especially when she gets into the cupboard and finds a package of mini-muffins.  We also want to see her identifying up to three different pictures of people, animals or objects in books and pictures.

Otherwise, life in the Petersen household has been spent watching Cyclone basketball, moving Teagan to her new room, and preparing for baby sister!

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Big girl room!

Teagan is doing swim lessons, which she continues to love, with Daddy this time around.

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Can’t wait to see where we are come the next six month assessment, especially now that we are working with the new speech therapist.  And can’t wait to see what TT thinks of being a big sister!!!

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Teagan’s Progress – Happy 2014

“Joel feels that we will see a path similar to what we’ve seen in other therapy areas…very slow progress, and then all of a sudden a super quick uptick.”

These are words from my cranky last post about Teagan’s therapies – guess I should listen to that man more often!  After a frustratingly slow couple of months, 2014 is looking pretty amazing!

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NYE at Mark and Laura’s.  T was not excited about the glasses.

Actually, the first exciting thing happened at the end of 2013.  When my parents came to visit for Christmas they brought their cat, which Teagan loves…and calls “Ditty.”  ??!!  So yeah, she won’t call me Mama, but she knows kitty.  That child.  😉  We also switched her to a toddler bed, which has been…entertaining.  And mostly successful.

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New toddler bed…and the first night

The second exciting thing…the sippy cup.  YES YES YES!  Finally!  It’s like one day she just decided, hey, I’m going to drink out of this now, and hasn’t looked back!  It’s been two weeks since that wonderful Friday, and now she’s only having bottles at nap or bedtime.  Hopefully in another week or two she’ll have kicked them to the curb altogether!  I tell you, that day she decided to use the sippy cup, there weren’t happier parents than Joel and I.  Today when I printed T’s workout sheet for the week, I deleted the sippy cup line – felt soooooooo gooooooooood!!  Continuing the subject of meals, she’s also been attempting to stab food with her fork, rather than have us put the food on the fork and hand it to her – she’s been successful a handful of times!

The third exciting thing is speech therapy.  I have been kicked out of the room at Children’s therapy (apparently I am a distraction ;-), but Melissa tells me her sound mimicking is getting much better.  Joel and T had school district speech therapy with Jackie on Thursday morning, and it was awesome…

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Translation: the letters and ahh, etc. are sound mimicking.  Roly Poly and Row Row are songs with actions – so that is action mimicking.  Mimicking is so important because that is how kids learn to say things, by repeating what they hear from others – normally they just do it, but in T’s case, we have to teach her to do it.  And the tube is something we got paperwork mailed to us in, that she likes to hold up to her mouth and make sounds into – it’s disgusting, but you take what you can get.  Another song she loves is Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes – she taps her head until we start singing.  I’m pretty sure I sang this song more today than the cumulative of the rest of the world combined.

And lastly, we’ve seen some progress with her fine motor skills.  She is putting some large puzzle pieces in their spot, and shapes in her cookie-jar shape sorter.  She’s even coloring a tiny bit.  She is far behind, I’m not kidding myself – but after working on these things for so long, it’s nice to finally see some action.

Other than that, we had fun Christmas celebrations with both sides of the family…

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Opening some pink bibs from (of course) Grandpa Petersen

…and T and I started swimming lessons again – she could not wait to get back into the water.  She is so happy at swimming lessons that it’s almost counter-productive.  Every time I hold her out in front of me to show her something, monkey cheeks for example, she kicks her legs and flails her arms and laughs, and it’s so funny that it makes me laugh.  We might not be the best students – but I’m fairly certain we are having the most fun.  During play time, we play with her baby doll a lot; less than three months for her to get ready for her little sis!

Joel and I are feeling pretty good overall right now.  Of course I have no basis for comparison.  I know T’s behind, but I’m not all that familiar with 2 year olds other than her, so by how much isn’t obvious to me.  I’m trying not to compare – she is making progress, and for that, I am grateful.  Until next month!

November: Speech Therapy and a _____ Colored Balloon

First things first: Teagan would like everyone to know she’s going to have a little…

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SISTER! Thanks to Teag’s godmother Molly for the fab pictures (which I obviously haven’t purchased yet).   We are so excited!  My doc had us get a level two ultrasound (we opted out of the extra testing, but she didn’t give me much choice on this ;-)) and baby girl looks great!  I find it a tad bit amusing that my husband, who can grow a beard in a day, is very passionate about sports, and likes his truck and red meat cooked to a lesser temperate than I would consider edible is going to have two darling daughters.  So precious :-).

We’ve been in speech therapy for a month and a half now.  We do this once a week at Children’s, and twice a month with the school district.  Speech therapy looks a lot like playing – sometimes I have no idea what they’re going for, but Teagan really seems to enjoy it, so what the heck ;-).

We practice making noises – she’s got D and M down, and is getting better at T, V, and H.  We’re struggling with B…not as in she can’t make B’s, she can – she just doesn’t do it when you ask her to.

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Melissa and Teagan making noises in the mirror so she can see her mouth’s shape for different sounds.

At Children’s we also work a lot on baby sign language.  She’s pretty consistent with more (actually, it’s a more/again hybrid, but we’ll take it), go, up, and all done.  Working on sign doesn’t mean we’ve given up on talking – it’s just a step while she’s working on communicating with her voice.  Now that she’s learned more, for example, we work on making an “mmmm” sound when she makes the sign.

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When Teagan makes the sign for “go” she gets to go down the slide.

Jackie, our school district therapist, has given us some fun, homemade tools to work with.  We use these faces to make different animal noises.  Ideally, we’d hold up the animals and make sounds, then give to Teagan and she’d make them.  Right now, she just gets a big kick out of holding them up for Joel and I to make the sounds.

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A favorite of Teag’s is her songbook.  We’ve been able to tell for a long time how much she likes music.  This book has small pictures that depict a dozen or so different songs, and a velcro strip on the front.

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We put two pics on the front and she picks the one she wants and hands it to us.  This helps her with recognition and making choices.

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“Sing ‘Bingo’ please Mommy!”

So we sing a lot around our house.  Row Row Row Your Boat is her favorite.

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Slightly fuzzy picture of us “merrily merrily merrily-ing.”

Progress feels…slow.  At times, non-existent.  But we’ve been trying to teach her the more sign for like a year, and that she’s gotten four signs in about a month tells me something must be working.  Melissa sees progress because even though she doesn’t always make the sound you want her to, she usually tries (for example – we say B, she says D), and at this age, often times the biggest challenge in speech therapy is the kiddos not trying at all, or not even paying attention.  Joel feels that we will see a path similar to what we’ve seen in other therapy areas…very slow progress, and then all of a sudden a super quick uptick.  This happened with crawling, walking, and feeding herself.  I will try and be as optimistic as my husband :-).

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