04 December 2013

Welcome to my favorite part of the year :)

Merry Christmas!!!
It's the most wonderful time of the year...and so the song goes...and I agree!

December and Christmas time is always my favorite time of the year. It brings out the child in me. Now that we're celebrating Christmas away from Pinas (which has the longest Christmas season, I believe), it takes some adjusting.

But we have our Christmas tree up. Gifts for the kids are ready to be wrapped. Difference nga lang, Christmas here is in summer time, so medyo mainit :) but it's the spirit that counts!

They have a lot of Santa booths, but only the little boy goes near Santa. Ayaw ni little girl. She knows Santa and calls him "Ho Ho Ho" but she doesn't want to go near him. Maybe it's the suit hehe.

The school year is about to end for Ethan and I've been hearing a lot of "he's changed a lot, there's a big difference from when he started school and now" from his teacher and even the principal. They don't say it in a negative way, and I don't get offended either. Because he has changed in some way.

I guess the changes can be observed more in school wherein they see how he interacts with his classmates and schoolmates. Here in the house, he's still the same Ethan - joyful, malambing (though at times a bit babyish hehe), funny with his out-of-this-world jokes, and he still has that habit of not regularly using his listening ears :P

In their End of Year assembly, we got a note saying that he's going to receive an award, we're not sure what it is yet. But I think it would be his certificate for completing the Premier's Reading Challenge - that is, they have a program where kids are asked to read 25 books within a certain time period (kahit hindi marunong magbasa pero binasa ng parents, pwede pa rin).

He has been attending Year 1/2 classes for 3x a week since Term 3 because he's advanced than his class. In fact, he can even read faster than kids in the Year 1/2 class! And he knows big words, according to his teacher. His mind is like a sponge that just remembers everything. It's amazing actually.

He's due for an IQ test (cognitive assessment) on the 19th to formally assess his capabilities. It would also help us in talking with his school and inform them so that they can plan accordingly, in terms of the support they would provide for Ethan. But according to his teacher, he will always be "extended". It means he will always be advanced in his lessons.

His Speech Assessment results say he's Above Average in his speech and language. So his therapist, would focus more on the social aspect of language - maintaining conversations, staying on topic, keeping eye contact, waiting for your turn, etc.

His Occupational Therapy Assessment results say that in his Gross motor skills, only his balance is not age appropriate (so that needs work). But his fine motor&handwriting skills, visual motor integration, motor functions, cognitive age assessment are all age appropriate. In his Sensory Profile, it showed that he needed some help in his sensory processing and integration (the way sensory info is interpreted from the environment) - particularly, auditory, vestibular, and oral. So his sessions will target these areas.

He's also attending a Social Skills group once a week. It gives him a chance to interact with other kids his age (aside from the school environment), and it's where they are taught skills like - processing their thoughts, dealing with bullies, learning teamwork, etc.

He is enjoying these sessions, and we're really glad that he does. He looks forward to these, and we just hope that it would really benefit him. But we find it helpful when we find him acting up at home sometimes, we can pull out these learnings as an example, and it's easier for him to understand what we're saying.
The little girl is still learning new words. Some of her new ones:

Santa = Ho Ho Ho
Ianna = NaNa
Kuya = Eebo (previously Yabo)
Uncle = Cuh (pronounced with a short u sound like Duh)

A: Who is your favorite monster?
Ianna: MoMo (Elmo)
A: Sinong ayaw mo na monster?
I: Co Co Ki (Cookie Monster)

She loves watching Eeyo (Rio). And her favorite drink is "Pep". That's Pepsi. Patay na. Parang si Ethan dati, favorite naman Cok (Coke).

Dora = Tatajee (sometimes shortened to Tajee)
Tikkkk-ko = Tico (Dora's friend, the squirrel)
Heesa = Isa (Dora's friend, the iguana)

Her favorite fruit is Nanani (Banana). She says "O-o" for yes and "Ne" for no.

Rowing motion = boat
Rolling her arms = drive or a car

She loves reading before going to sleep. Is terrified of Peleda and Coraline (they look scary with their button eyes) hehe. Loves chips and chocolate (uh oh). Can eat rice and ulam with a spoon. She sits with us during dinner time, we give her food on her plate and she can eat by herself (unlike Eebo who needs constant prodding unless he really loves the food like sinigang, menudo, nilaga, or anything soup).

She's funny and is so maarte. She loves dressing up, and takes a long time to choose what she's going to wear - whether her clothes or shoes! So when we're in a hurry, I don't let her choose haha.

We've come up with actions to the "Down by the River" song and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". She likes to dance and sing. And we love her noisy kisses and tight hugs.

She also loves swimming, and takes a long time taking a bath because she has to play and "swim" in the bathtub. When she sees us painting, she also wants to paint, and we let her because it's good for her to learn to appreciate art.

Ianna is in that precocious stage, where everything is just precious. She can get really hard headed at times, but we can manage to distract her. She even has this "tantrumy" action where he slams her body onto the floor when she wants something and we don't give in. When she does that, we don't pay attention to it. And she knows that it doesn't work hehe. She's so attached to me, but thankfully, deals well with going with Papa while I go with Ethan to his sessions.

That's Ianna's progress report for now :)
Another thing to look forward to is our summer holiday! Uncle Abet generously booked all of us tickets for a 4-night stay in Queensland and our planned itinerary is Sea World, Warner Bros. MovieWorld, and Wet'nWild. I'm sure the kids are going to have fun (and us too!). I just hope there won't be too much people although I doubt it a bit, because it is summer vacation after all.
Still job hunting...but all in God's time. He knows what is best.

Have a blessed Merry Christmas everyone!

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