Maddie Rae Gotcha Day

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Living in America

Maddie Rae has adjusted really well to all the recent changes in our lives. She is a busy little girl these days with all sorts of new activities. She is attending a local Mom's Day Out program with her cousin two days a week, and so far she seems to love it. She bops in with her backpack and lunchbox and usually a toy or two from the car, gives me a hug, and gets to playing. On Wednesdays, a speech therapist comes to our house for an hour to do speech therapy with her. Her speech is extremely behind due to her cleft palate, but we are making small gains. She can currently only say the vowel sounds and "m" and "n". The speech therapist has explained that these sounds are all nasal sounds, and that is why it is easy for her to say them. Saying consonant sounds requires a flap in the back of your throat to close off. The therapist is a bit concerned that this flap is not there or else not working right because she can't make any other sounds, but there is a surgery to correct that if needed in the future. We are working on getting her air flow to come out of her mouth rather than her nose by doing things such as blowing party blowers, blowing bubbles, blowing bubbles in milk, and blowing a cotton ball across a table with a straw. Last week she couldn't do the party blower at all at the beginning of the hour. Slowly, we started to see the blower wiggling a little bit, and by the end of the hour she could blow that thing all the way out! The speech therapist could not believe how much determination, will, and attention span she had to keep working on that thing until she could do it. She's a tough little cookie! I have also noticed her trying to repeat words more and saying more sentences, even though most people wouldn't understand her. She came out of Mom's Day Out last week with a duck puppet on her arm saying, "Quack!" (well, really "AAaaaa"), so she's trying! She can say several sentences and many times will repeat the same thing over and over to me, but I won't know what she's saying. Most of the time though, she is really good at communicating her needs either through sign language, body language, or pointing. She understands everything, and we are praying that she will be able to talk soon.
She and I get a lot of one on one time now that the boys are in school. We usually eat our breakfast and drink our coffee and milk watching the Today show together on the couch :) She entertains herself really well at home and usually spends the morning playing or "helping" me with whatever I'm doing. She loves to be out and about and likes to stand on the back of the cart (NOT sit in the seat, thank you very much) while we're shopping. The car puts her right to sleep, so a lot of days she falls asleep in the car and then I transport her inside to her pack n play and she never even stirs. Once the boys are home, it is time to really play. The kids usually spend the afternoons outside playing while I make dinner, and she loves to be outside. She was a little bit scared of our dog, Chloe, at first, but now she loves her and loves to give her treats and make her do tricks.
She still loves her pink crocs, and won't wear any other shoes. The other day when I had her try on some winter shoes in Target, you would have thought I was trying to break her arm. She screamed and screamed. She is already so picky about her clothes and shoes, and I am finding myself already telling her that I'm the mommy and I get to pick out her clothes. I foresee some fun in the future on this one! She is very physically advanced, I think. She has always been able to control her body really well, and she is very muscular. She can do a perfect somersault and loves to tumble through the grass while we all cheer. She can also run FAST, and she always walks out to the car on this little rock wall we have with nearly perfect balance. I think there may be some gymnastics in her future.
And just so you don't think it's ALL sweetness and sugar, here she is throwing a fit. She must cover her eyes and not look at me....
but, she always peeks out just to make sure she has an audience :) She's a cutie!


Carol said...

We miss our Maddie Rae!!!!! Thanks for the MR update. Keep our pictures around so she won't forget us :) Give her OXOXOXOXO from Auntie Carol, Ellen and Zoe