Friday, March 30, 2012

Hannah's Fairy Garden

The little garden is showing green sprouts! I think it's the clover. Spring is sprung!

iPad Update

We now have 290 apps. And while I know how I lived without an iPad, it is easy to exaggerate, "How did I ever live without an iPad?"

Most of the apps are free, and I appreciate free. Even the ones that are lite versions, meaning to get the full spectrum of the offering, you are offered "in app purchases," at least lite lets me try before I buy and decide if I want to put out actual money. Fruit Ninja is one Jeff decided we needed the full version of.

I am grateful to Carisa at 1+1+1=1 for the heads up on App Shopper. This handy free app lets you keep a wishlist, and lets you know if the price drops on your desired app! We have downloaded so many free and on sale apps because of this. Sometimes the sale is a day or less, making it difficult to keep track of all the apps. And, the app is not perfect, sometimes the price is wrong. Caveat emptor.

We have tons of ABC, number, animal, and pre-school apps. How will I know which ones will strike Elinore's fancy? So I download free or lite versions, and delete them if they don't work. It's so much cheaper than buying CD-Rom based software that you can't return once opened. We also have oodles of books.and a few things for Hannah. Hannah, unfortunately, can barely get a turn.

So I will end with a free app I found on Pinterest: Singing Fingers It records your voice while you finger paint, and plays it back when you trace the drawing. Only it's not just your voice, it's any sound you can record. Fabulous!


Elinore has new foot orthotics!

I am a little concerned that these new orthotics will not help her ankles any, but her therapist feels she is ready for a step down from her Sure Steps AFOs (ankle foot orthotics).

Given a choice, Elinore chooses the new ones, and now she has her first pair of pretty shoes since she started wearing braces. And since she is a fairy, princessy, girly girl, she is very, very happy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March Highlights



Therapy ten more times.

On March 14, Pi Day, we had pi pie. Two pies actually. Chicken pot pie for dinner, and blueberry pie for dessert. I think I could eat blueberry pie every day.

On March 15, we went to Mount Clare's morning meeting for a special drama presentation by a group called Faith on Fire. It was funny, it was thought provoking, it was deeply emotional. It was actually so deep, it's hard to share about.

Elinore has started Sunday School this month. So far, no bad reports. She wears clothes the Sunday School hour. Then she takes off her shoes and socks before worship. When we get home she strips down. So we are making progress in social skills, knowing you need to wear clothes in public.

Elinore is now on lesson 19 in Pre-K. The struggle is still to sit still, follow directions, and cooperate. I don't mean in preparation for public school. I just mean appropriate for her age. If we sit down for school, and then go to the computer for starfall, she is distracted within the 5 feet from the table to the computer. If  I go to fetch supplies that I should have gathered earlier, she leaves the table to turn on the television. This leads me to want to all the lesson in one sitting which is also not always productive.

Hannah planted a fairy garden and it's already showing some green. It includes clover, evening star, thyme, and great blue lobelia.

Friday, March 9, 2012


We took the plunge, we made the jump,
The cost of it made my heart thump.
The iPad's here, and it will stay,
Elinore improves her skills each day.

Elinore's speech is so much clearer since we started engaging with the iPad. Her special instructor brought it for her therapy, and in one week, things had already begun to change. Matching games made no sense to her, and in the second iPad session, she understood the concept. Colors that we have been working on for months with no apparent success, suddenly are being identified with 75% accuracy. Her speech is more understandable. Maybe it was just time for another leap in development, but I personally believe the iPad had a huge impact.

So, deep breath, we bought one.

We chose the iPad over another brand tablet from the heavy chatter in the homeschool universe about educational apps, autism apps, and speech apps. Although Elinore does not have a diagnosis of autism, she still has some quirky, autism-like traits. Just like exercise does not benefit only fat people, autism strategies and apps can still be helpful to those with a different diagnosis.

Elinore has become a very techy tot. She knows how to open and close apps, find the ones she wants, and watch movies on Netflix.

Here are some apps she enjoys, in no particular order:

Angry Birds- I still can't believe she can play that (free version)
Easy Bake Oven- Even grown-ups enjoy designing cupcakes, and there are oodles of options (free)
Miss Spider's Tea Party- It's a book, it's a movie, there are puzzles, matching, and painting; many toys in one app (currently free)
Monkey Preschool Lunchbox- Our first app purchase, used in special instruction, and wow, she shows off her skills in puzzles; this is the one that helped her gain skill in identifying colors ($1)
Trunky Puzzles- I downloaded the free version, and Jeff bought the whole pack; Elinore adores these (free and pay options)
Lego Duplo Zoo- Follows a story line, and you can construct small duplo items in the story; we also got Lego Creationary (free) and Lego Harry Potter (bought on sale for $1)

Elinore is now capable of clearly saying, "Mom, Hannah took my iPad!"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sad, But True

It's sad, but true.

Elinore is no respecter of crayons.

I like my crayons new, fresh, sharp.

 Elinore likes hers broken, naked. Her saving grace is that she loves the smell of them.

She also loves the taste of them.

And the feel of them between her toes.

She will color with them anywhere: on paper, table, wall, steps, television, clothes, pretty much anywhere that will accept pigment.

I have learned to give her only Crayola washable crayons. She also has separate sets for school and less supervised coloring.

I try not to cry when she breaks them on purpose.