Really not much new going on here. Shawn is way up north in Maine tonight, so I am parenting solo. I told him no more overnights once April hits since it is getting harder and harder to keep up with Jamie and Clare all day, evening, and bedtime, then do it all over again the next day. Thankfully, I am blessed with a terrific husband, and he tries to keep the overnights few and far between. However, he has recently taken on some additional responsibilities with his job (after surviving lay-offs at his company - the call deciding his fate came in while we were in Disney. Thank goodness he was a survivor or that would have been a real bummer in the middle of Animal Kingdom!), so overnights are inevitable. I try to just keep on smiling!
Clare's OT and I have begun discussing the transition process of her end with Early Intervention and beginning with developmental preschool. (That's Clare and her OT, Jess, in the photo.) I still cannot believe Clare is going to be two years old in less than two weeks. There are many things that need to be done over the next year so the transition goes smoothly once Clare turns three. Many meetings, evaluations, that kind of thing. Figuring out the right setting for Clare in preschool, determining what types of services she will need to receive (such as OT, PT, speech), and how she will get to school. Right now, we are facing the decision that we may have to put Clare on the school bus. When I first signed on to the WS e-mail list, I remember reading posts from parents whose 3-year olds rode the bus to preschool. I was shocked and said to Shawn, "How can they even think of sending their 3-year old on the bus? I would never send my typical 3-year old, never mind my 3-year with developmental delays." Aahhhh... I may be eating my words. It's a logistical dilemma depending on what time school starts for Clare and how much Shawn can help out with transportation, since Jamie is going to a private preschool and I will have to drop him off. There is no bus option with Jamie. But I have since learned that riding a school bus to developmental preschool is vastly different from riding the big old yellow bus to school (something which I never had to do growing up since we always lived in walking distance of school). There are aides and helpers and all kinds of people to watch out for my Clare on the bus. It still is daunting to me, though.
Clare continues to expand her vocabulary. Her new favorite word is "money" and she knows exactly what it means (at least she knows what dollars and coins look like) and where it is. Like in my wallet, the piggy bank, Jamie's metal Batman container, and our Lenten rice bowl that sits on the kitchen table. Whenever she sees a receptacle that she knows contains money, all I hear is, "Money? Money? Money?" until she is allowed to open and play with the money. She is very good about not putting the money in her mouth, so I let her indulge. Developing her fine motor skills, after all! As for her gross motor skills, we're still working on those. Yesterday, she wanted something across the room and was trying desperately to get up on all fours. She couldn't manage supporting her weight on her arms by herself, though, so I held her by the waist and she crawled across the room. When I let go of her waist, she plopped belly down on the floor as if her arms could not hold her up. (Something to ask her OT and PT about this week, as well as the orthopedic surgeon next month.) But she definitely knew how to crawl with a little support. When I attended the WSA luncheon last weekend, I met another mother whose four year was walking at 14 months old, but he still did not say any words. It continues to amaze me how WS can manifest itself differently in each child. There is absolutely no predicting what challenges Clare may be faced with.
Jumping from subject to subject here, but I am definitely ready for winter to be over. Even though it was a pathetic winter snow-wise, it was still super cold at times. And very, very dry. We lost Clare's curls this winter due to the dry air and my pregnant skin feels it, too. (It was cute when we were in Disney because Clare's hair instantly became ringlets of curls again!) We've been dealing with cracked lips, sore noses, chapped cheeks, you name it. Last week, we had a brief, lovely taste of spring. It was warm enough that we could shed our heavy coats, gloves, and hats. All the snow melted. We took Jamie and Clare on puddle walks along our street. (Clare testing out the new wagon and loving it!) I even was able to bring them to the playground one afternoon. It was a little soggy from all the melting snow, but Jamie was in his glory for over an hour and even Clare enjoyed the fresh air. Sadly, over the weekend, we got buried under more snow and ice (and, even sadder, Shawn's snowblower broke before the big storm and he could not get it fixed in time), so we're back in winter again. Only three weeks until Easter, so we are hoping the snow melts again and our yard dries up in time for our annual Easter egg hunt. Otherwise, I feel bad for that poor Easter Bunny hiding all those eggs in our snow drifts.