Monday, December 3, 2012

Adele is 3!

Today is Adele's 3rd birthday. The last three years have flown by and she has really changed and learned a lot in the last year. It's been wonderful to watch her learn and grow. Here's an epic look back over her last year.

One year ago in December she had just been given a walker by her physical therapist and was practicing walking with that. She was not taking any steps alone at all.

She was just starting to talk more and was a happy, easygoing little girl, who didn't really like to sleep.

By January though, she was starting to insist on having her own way in decisions involving clothing...

February came with a visit from my Mum and Adele took her first unassisted steps!

And discovered that she liked to make art...

In March she read books and rode on her tricycle for the first time.

Her legs were too short for the pedals but she did a great job balancing on there while I pushed her around.

In April she finally started earning her keep...

And in May lots of fun things happened!

Fiona and Adele started becoming friends who could do fun stuff together...

And Fiona taught Adele about the wonderful world of all things creepy crawly.

Adele practiced building with duplo and making more art...

And in the same day she learned how to walk across the wobbly bridge and walked all the way home from our local restaurant holding my hand (more videos here). 

Adele also started speech therapy every two weeks to help her with some sounds she was having trouble with.

In June we enjoyed the warm summer days and Adele got over her fear of carousels. After this photo was taken ;-)

In July we hung out with friends and family, and met cousin Virginia...

And she generally exhausted herself with fun!

In August we went corn picking and Adele ate the freshest corn ever...

And became obsessed with hugging animals.

Both girls started at a wonderful new preschool that has 1/3 special needs kids and 2/3 regularly developing, so she can have some extra help where she needs it but also gets to hang out and do everything the other preschoolers are doing. So far she absolutely loves it, and is very happy there.

In September my parents visited and while they were here Adele figured out how to stand up in the middle of the floor. This has been (and still is) a big challenge for her.

We also all went to the zoo to visit the dinosaurs and in this video you can see how well she is doing with her (new, shiny, 4 wheel) walker, and the improvement in her speech!

In October she had a blast celebrating Halloween - decorating cookies, carving pumpkins and trick or treating with her cousins.

And of course we spent some time raking, throwing, and jumping in leaves.

Adele began to insist on walking longer distances without holding a hand or using her walker. On one occasion she just stopped and toddled off, leaving her walker behind. She has been doing this in bare feet too, which is tricky. Once she gets going she has a hard time stopping and she falls a lot but is undeterred. She still has a hard time getting up on her own but during the last week she's been getting up unassisted more and more when she doesn't have her braces on. Ben tells me that she managed to do this with her braces and shoes on for the first time yesterday so she's making great progress! Here's a video of her walking around in Best Buy.

As if that wasn't enough, October was the month that Adele was day-time potty trained!! We took a long weekend when the girls were off school for conferences and just went for it. The first day was messy but the rest of the weekend was awesome, and she has not looked back. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to be almost diaper free!!

November was another month of fun. In November she went from walking to dancing!

Here she is doing some dancing. The girls heard this song on the radio and loved it. They both sing along. Don't blame me :-/

At Thanksgiving dinner she graduated from the high chair to a big girl stool at Grandma's house. She hasn't fallen off yet :-)

And that brings us to December. So far she has had a birthday! We celebrated on Sunday with Ben's family and my friend Emily (who brought a delicious cake!).

She got a Dora doll and backpack from Grandma and Grandpa and a doll stroller from the Tennants, and the obvious next step was to put Zak the rat in the backpack and then take him for a ride...

Today she took cupcakes to school to share with her friends and then we picked up Daddy from work and went to the mall for some dinner and fun. Her favourite foods are rice and broccoli so we found somewhere that had those foods, menus you could colour on, and happy hour beers, and everyone was had a great time. The tropical paradise theme was just an added bonus.

After that the girls each chose one ride and we headed for the carousel and the Diego rescue bus. 

And then home for cupcakes. 

And that's it! A year of Adele. She has worked so hard this year and is doing so well. She is a lovely little girl who continues to be happy and smiley and although she has to work extra hard in many physical ways, she never gives up, she just keeps going. When she manages something new, or difficult she looks at us with a big smile on her face and Ben, Fiona and I cheer for her like crazy. She loves animals, both furry and buggy, and is very creative. She has also found her voice in the last year and talks much more in conversation, and in standing up to Fiona which is a good thing! She has opinions and she wants to share them. She cares about Fiona very much and sticks up for her and worries about her if she is upset. She is quick to share, and has a large, kind heart. 

I re-discovered this song a few weeks ago and in the past it's been a nice song, but now when I hear it I can't help but think of Adele. So if you've made it this far, here you go :-)

We are so very lucky to have this sweet little love in our lives and could not be more proud of her. Happy 3rd Birthday Dell!

Now please stop waking up at night. Seriously. You're three now! You can do this!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

So most of you (or those of you who do the facebook anyway) are probably aware that Adele had a scary (for me) issue on Sunday and had to go to the emergency room. She had a rectal prolapse which basically means that the inside of her butt fell out. Yeah, really. It was not fun.  Luckily it seems that it was most likely caused by constipation and having general muscle weakness anyway, and by treating the constipation it should hopefully not happen again, but we're still waiting for the blood test results to rule out a variety of much worse possibilities. She seems to have recovered from the experience though I'm still anxious every time she goes to the bathroom! In more positive news she has been working on potty training and is doing a really incredible job! She's a superstar.

So after that was this week which contained today - the most wondrous of all days - Halloween. Fiona has been extremely excited for Halloween and wanted to decorate and carve pumpkins and watch scary stuff on TV and anything else halloween-y. So we did. On Monday we made cookies, and on Tuesday we frosted them...

And decorated them...

And then we carved some pumpkins... the girls made some delightful faces as they scooped out the guts!

 (Adele is refusing to let me remove her hospital bracelet and I don't care enough to fight her on it)

Fiona designed the face and I wielded the tools. The girls were pretty happy with their creation!


Then today was the big day! The girls got to wear their costumes to preschool and that was very exciting. Then this evening we headed down to Apple Valley to trick or treat with the cousins.

On the way there is this house... we pass it a couple of times most days and the girls are fascinated by it. They call it the spooky house. After preschool we stopped and got out of the car to have a closer look at all the spooky stuff. Fiona was nervous but Adele reassured her and told her there was no monster. This guy has been setting up for weeks and goes all out with the creepy decorations including tableaus of real flattened roadkill squirrels being pecked at by real taxidermied birds. I would not be in the least surprised if he has the corpse of his mother in his basement. We didn't linger long as Fiona was becoming increasingly agitated, but the amount of scary stuff packed in there was impressive!

The sun set while we were driving and I took this picture from the bridge over the Minnesota river on 77. 

Then... trick or treating time!!

The whole gang...

Adele waked the entire way, including up a large hill. At one of the houses there was a guy in a really impressive home made robot costume handing out candy and as soon as Adele spotted him she froze and refused to go any further. She squeaked out a "no, thank you"  when he took off the head and offered her a treat and backed away immediately. She's still talking about the "scary robot that was too scary".

Fiona somehow remembered that I love almond joy (bountys with a nut on top for the Brits) and she specifically picked one out to share with me. As soon as she got it at the house she was at she showed me and told me about it. She's awesome. 

Happy girls!

In the end Fiona changed her mind about the mermaid costume and wore her cat costume from last year. She really loves that cat costume!

We had a great time! Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Afternoon project

This afternoon Adele refused to take a nap so after a couple of episodes of Dinosaur Train I forced myself to turn off the TV and find some kind of project to entertain the girls during what was going to be a long afternoon. Both of them love to paint but due to the extremely high mess potential we don't do it all that often. Today was the day though. Fiona has been really interested in Dinosaurs lately so I thought it would be fun for Fiona to make a Dinosaur world for her Dinos to play in. I cut up an old box and set her to work painting grass and sky etc., to make a prehistoric background.

Great! Ok, now let's get Adele painting...

Perfect! Ok, now they are both occupied, I should empty the dishwasher!

I turned back after opening the dishwasher door and... please don't paint in your hair Adele!

Thirty seconds later... Adele! Paint goes on the paper!

Adele... what are you doing?!

How's Fiona doing? Just fine. Ok, great. 

I refocus Adele on painting on the paper instead of herself and assist Fiona with some parts of her project. I look up and realize Adele is painting the chair next to her and when I walk around the table I found that she's also quietly peed all over the chair she's sitting on (yep, potty training). 

I clean her up and pop a diaper on her (yep, giving up, maybe she'll be potty trained by high school). I walk to the bathroom to deal with the laundry and on my return I find... this. 

Adele has now decided that her mouth tastes funny and she's done with painting. So... now what? Adele's covered in paint but Fiona is having a great time and needs some help with the rest of her project. Where do you contain a very painty child when you're trying to pay attention to her sister too? The sink!

At which point it seemed like a good idea to have a one of these. 

YAY! Sink bath!! 

Fiona and I made some more things for Dino Land and then she got to work adding the lava.

After Adele started eating all the bubbles sink bath was over. Fiona put the finishing touches on Dino Land and the Dinosaurs got to check it out. They were too excited to wait for the paint to dry so got to have some fun stomping around making footprints. The Dinos needed a bath later too, but Fiona took care of that for me. 

Despite the incredible mess we all had a lot of fun :-)

And no, I never did manage to get the dishwasher emptied!