Friday, April 9, 2010

Color advice / Kitchen table

6:15a I woke up because Denis got up to prepare for work early. Then I heard Nikko start to babble, so he was obviously awake. I didn't hear him start whining when Denis walked around on the creaky floorboards so I lay in bed until 6:30 and then decided to hang out with Nikko until 7a breakfast time. Ronin and Audrey woke up around 7:15.

There wasn't anything extraordinary on the school report today. Lately I've been checking the Snack box to see what they fed him at school, which may determine if he's hungry for lunch. Today it was rice cakes, which Nikko's not a big fan, so I was prepared for an appetite. What I wasn't prepared for was his requests for pancakes, the blueberry Wal-Mart ones he had for breakfast. By his second one I threw a few chicken nuggets his way. Maria showed up at 1p and I took a few minutes to ask her two questions before starting with Nikko.

Q: Nikko's learning colors in school, and Maria told me he's getting better at colors in therapy. How are some ways I can teach him colors, too?
A: Maturity level. Just as Ronin kind of picked it up, along with language, keep on doing what I'm doing and talk to Nikko about colors. Offer him things in a field of two and ask him which is blue and which is yellow. She shows him two crayons and tells him to pick up the red crayon. He does it. Trial and error, maybe, but it's learning. Nikko will pick it up along the way. (Maria said at the end of today's session, he did great with colors, but he's not able to generalize yet; he can do it with crayons but not with other objects yet.)

Q: Since ABA is not covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield, we want to submit a claim to Denis' flex spending plan at work. Does she have any clients that have done this? Does she have experience with the paperwork/invoice information that they request?
A: Maria said they would be happy to help in any way, because this would be an example to anyone else who would use flex spending. She said to just tell her what we need, whatever we want reflected in the invoice, and she'll do it.

Maria said Nikko had a great session. He started with gross motor activities using the tunnel and tent, and her notes say that he did the obstacles without any verbal prompting. She also said that the whistle reinforcers worked really well with Nikko. I'm glad they had a good session, and I heard minimal whining but lots of cheers.

After ABA, I was really waffling about whether or not to take the kids to the store after snack. Our Costco & grocery list are growing. I was even planning on going to Meijer and then Costco, just so the kids could get out of the house and walk around. During snack time, however, the determining factor for the remainder of the afternoon activities happened when I lifted Ronin to put him in his high chair. The little bugger is at least 30 pounds and possibly heavier, and I felt it in my lower back really badly this time. "We have got to get you out of this high chair," I stated. That's when I decided to put together the longer kid table we purchased from IKEA last weekend. I had put together the square one and intended it for the three kids in the kitchen. The longer one didn't mentally fit in the kitchen, but I didn't measure it either. While assembling this longer kid table, I told myself that if it didn't fit or was too awkward, we'd put it downstairs for Nikko's therapy sessions. As I assembled it, I found that it was totally possible to make it fit. And now, I can see it's the perfect size for the three kids. They certainly would not have been able to fit around the square table. Their drinks and plates would have been on top of each other's! I also put together some kid chairs, which will hopefully end up downstairs while I get another four chairs that are more kid-friendly and easy to wipe. After all was said and done, I removed the two big high chairs plus Nikko's booster chair-chair, put the long kid table next to the dishwasher and established a new norm for mealtimes. The kids were interested in this new layout as we bid farewell to the high chairs. Nikko sits next to Ronin and across from Audrey. I don't know if, tomorrow morning, he will forget our new table layout and possibly protest for his booster chair back, but I'm hoping he'll accept the table.

One last thing, and it's something that actually made my day. Maria told me that this summer she will be getting a few people, two girls specifically, that have something called "service hours" that they have to fulfill. She immediately thought about me. These girls would be able to come here for 2-3 hours during the week, or whatever schedule we figure out, and basically help out with the kids if I want, FOR FREE. How is this possible? Apparently, these girls are from St. Viator High School and they have to fulfill a certain number of service hours in order to apply to college. I don't know what their major is, but really, WHO CARES?? I was just thinking to myself the other day, and for a few weeks now, that it would be awesome if I could find a person to help me take the kids to play outside, to the park, ANY park, or on a grocery run like what I used to do with Brianna, and with my sister Chinny when her schedule permitted. They wouldn't have to babysit the kids alone, that person would just have to hang out with me and the kids so we could go places. This opens up a world of possibilities, because the ratio would be 3:2 instead of 3:1. If Maria does come through with these St. Viator girls for me, I will be SOOOOOOOO grateful. I almost don't want to jinx myself by talking about it because it sounds too good to be true. Please be true!!

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