Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Sesame Street and Emily

While the Sesame Street DVDs contain enough warnings to ward you off ever letting your child watch them (apparently we're all brain dead retards for watching them in the 70s) it DIDN'T stop me buying some "old school" episodes on DVD for Emily.

While on holiday I put an episode on featuring the song "Exit" by Little Chrissy and the Alphabeats. It may be from 1974, but it didn't stop Emily dancing and singing along.

If that's what the warning was all about, I fully embrace ignoring it because Emily just loves that song, as well as all the other letters and numbers the episode are brought to you by.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Holiday developments

We've been with Emily every waking minute since we came on holiday last Wednesday.

Since then, the amount of words she's used has seemed to noticeably increase. Not only is she filling in more words in her books, she's also started saying the odd word in context.

She'll wander from adult to adult with a book in her hand saying "reeeeeed" to get you to read her the book. Unfortunately, she tends to want the same book read over and over again. We're trying not to extinguish her enthusiasm and using words in context, but there's only so many times you can read "The Gruffalo" in one sitting.

Apart from speech developments, Emily's holiday adventures has also featured her starting to hit out and both Sue and I. I'd like to think this is a phase she's going through, but as such it's a phase that needs nipping in the bud. I understand that she still can't make her needs and desires known and that can be quite frustrating, but to punch or kick out is not a viable alternative.

I just wish she understood the effect saying "read" with a book in hand had, and that she could extrapolate that to other needs like "drink" and "eat".

Small steps I guess, but in the last five days there's been quite a bit of progress.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Improved speech

It's happening, slowly, but it's happening.

Emily's actually putting words together and letting us know what she means and wants.

We were visiting John, our family friend, last night and an exhausted Emily hopped onto the sofa next to Sue and said "bed". It was VERY obvious what she wanted and a real leap forward in her getting her point across to us.

She's been improving in various other ways lately as well - she says "sit" or "sit right down" when she's sitting in her chair, but last night was really the first "request" she's made where she's actually been able to express herself clearly verbally.

Hopefully more speech comes soon and we won't be able to shut her up. I realise I am going to regret what I wish for when it happens.

Christmas presents and discounts

With Christmas coming and the expectations of "toys, toys, toys" from Emily, it's good to know there's a way to claw back some of the money I'm going to spend.

Voucher Hub is a site that gives you codes, specials and discounts for your favourite retailers so you can make sure you're saving every penny you can. The site's easy to use, and you can be shopping and saving pennies in seconds!

I know that with Emily getting older and wanting more "branded" stuff for Christmas it's going to get expensive. I'm looking to save a bundle getting stuff using Debenhams voucher codes, Ebay voucher codes and Littlewoods discount codes.

Here's hoping that Christmas 2010 is easy on the pocketbook and one for Emily to remember.

Christmas for Emily

It's always a parents' dilemma - Christmas.

Do we perpetuate the capitalist pursuit of (generally Chinese made) products and goods, or do we use the holiday to expand social awareness? If you're a child, I imagine it's "toys (the ones I want) and that's all". I guess a happy medium is ecologically sound toys - you please your kids and they're environmentally-friendly.

I found a site called Earthwhile that sells a lot of stuff including eco-friendly toys. There's something intrinsically satisfying knowing that you can please your child's blood lust for "more toys" and not impact the environment. They have wooden toys as well as a really cool model car (read "I want this!") that's powered by " a miniature solar-powered hydrogen refuelling station that converts water to hydrogen using energy captured from the sun".

How cool is that?

I doubt Emily's going to be lusting after a hydrogen powered car - model or otherwise - for a while, but it's nice to know there's places out there that you can satisfy your child's toy desire AND be good to the environment, and maybe even teach them a little something in the process.

Ain't Christmas grand?

Friday, 15 October 2010

Hearing exam

Sue took Em to have her hearing test today. We were hoping/assuming that it was more a rubber stamp exercise than anything else.

There was a problem though. Em's currently in the middle of a horrible cold, and like most people with colds, every orifice in her head is currently bunged up.

The doctors said, after a variety of tests, that Emily's hearing is slightly below average, but as her ears were bunged up, it's not conclusive. Thus, we have to go back in December and have a cold-free re-exam.

Funnily enough, Sue was chastised for bringing Emily in with a cold, but as we've waited THIS long to get the exam in the first place, there wasn't much that was going to stop Em getting looked at - including having a cold.

Hopefully December's results are mode conclusive and slightly better than this time's.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Random vocabulary

We went to Horton's Children Farm with Emily today to celebrate what could be the last finest Saturday of the year (blue skies, low wind, low 20s, amazing!)

While there, Sue and I ruminated on all the things we needed to work on with Emily - saying "more" when we feed her, playing more interactive games, playing "peeka" and the one thing we really needed to start, doing "ready steady go".

To our amazement, as we walked along the path, all Sue had to say was "ready" and Emily filled in the steady AND the go, and then she was off like a very slow Olympic sprinter.

This was incredibly funny and cute for us to watch as neither of us had ANY idea that she knew this. More to the point, we have no idea who taught her - Helen or Fennies. I can only assume there's not a third party involved here.

For the rest of the afternoon Sue or I repeated "ready" only to have Emily running off like a shot in front of us (actually, her sprint is about our NORMAL walking speed).

Not sure what's next in the "Emily pleasantly surprises us" book, but I can't wait!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Showing signs of improvement

Last night we played with Emily, using jigsaw puzzles and the farm play set she received for her birthday to bring Old McDonald to life. It was quite good and I think Em really benefited from the interactive playing with her mum and dad.

I went to bed feeling we'd really made a breakthrough.

When I picked her up from Helen's tonight, however, the day's events told a more sobering story.

Emily's begun putting her hands down her nappy and walking around with her trousers down by her ankles. Normally this isn't too much cause for alarm, and at least she stays in one place as she's pretty much hog-tied by the clothing around her legs.

Today, however, she had done some business and having removed her hands from her nappy, they were covered in business as well. I can imagine Helen's reaction seeing Emily walking around with hands smeared with poo and I really felt embarrassed to have such an "out of control" child.

All that progress I thought we were making, all the diligence to advance Emily's learning, and she doesn't something like this. If I didn't know any better I'd think she doesn't give a crap... to anyone but Helen.