Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Aquarium of the Pacific

Today, along with Gramma and Papa, Uncle Robbie, Auntie, and cousins McKenzie and Haylee, we had a family adventure to The Aquarium of the Pacific. It was a day of celebrating Papa's birthday as a family, and doing something fun! Rachel loves fish and goes crazy when we venture into the pet stores. Because of this, we had a feeling she would enjoy the aquarium. Out of the four girls, I think Rachel might have been the one most excited and interested in all the exhibits.
Rachel went crazy when she saw this exhibit.
Her favorite movie is Finding Nemo
Rachel watching the clownfish in the sea anemone.
In the Lorikeet Forest, Rachel didn't mind getting a little close to the birds, as long as Daddy was holding her.
Rachel didn't get any of her naps in today, and was a really good girl through the entire day. We had a great time, we hope the rest of the family did too!

Friday, April 28, 2006


Helping Gramma make the frosting for Papa's birthday cake.
And then enjoying the beaters.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Finally, Some Answers

Finally, after leaving five voice mails, someone from the Early Start office returned my call this afternoon.

She explained to me that at this age, speech can be picked up in so many different ways...through play, through interaction with other children, through just aging. At this stage of the game they focus on children who have cerebal palsey, mentally retarded, or another medical condition whereas they don't meet 1/3 of the requirements for their age. I was told if Rachel still was experiencing speech delays, to contact them again in August, when she is two. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and I her told so, but thanked her for at least getting back to me.

Thankfully, like I said in the prior post, this wasn't our only hope for speech therapy for Rachel.

And like a wise woman told me on the phone today, the Lord closed this door for a reason. Maybe the two therapies would have contradicted one another. But whatever the reason, it wasn't what HE had planned for Rachel at this time! (Thanks Mom for always reminding of what should be totally obvious).

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Speech Update

Rachel started speech with the Speech Therapist with our Craniofacial Team yesterday. Her speech therapy appointments are one on one, so the therapist can really zone in on Rachel and her needs. Rachel appeared to have fun. At this age, therapy is mostly playing with toys and word repeatition. Therapy will be once a week, so I would imagine over the next couple of weeks with the continued working with her, we might see some improvement in her speech.

However, on the other hand, we received a certified letter in the mail today from the local Early Start offices. The letter stated that "the request for Early Start eligibility has been denied because Rachel is not at high risk for developmental disabability". The letter also stated that if she still does not have 2 word phrases by the time she is 2 years of age, to contact them.

So they basically determined she wasn't eligible for services by the things I told the lady on the phone last week. Me telling her that my almost 20 month old only speaks at the most 15 words wasn't considered a developemental disability?? And they want us to wait until she is 2 to contact them again?? What's the purpose of the phrase "Early Start" if they don't do anything until "later"??? Needless to say this is frustrating. I've already left two messages on voice mail looking for answers.

Nothing is ever easy. LOL.

Thankfully, the Early Start services were going to be supplemental to the therapy she's getting through our medical coverage, and not our only hope. But I still plan on trying to get the services.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

Following going to the early morning Easter Church Service, we had a nice Easter dinner this afternoon. It was us, and my parents, and our friends next door. After dinner, Steven hid 70 empty Easter eggs in our backyard for the girls to hunt. Come next year, Rachel will be scoring big time on finding eggs. She was even better today than yesterday! I love this picture, she has her tongue out when attempting to get that egg!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Rachel goes Hunting for Eggs

Every year, on the Saturday before Easter, our Cul de Sac has a big Easter Egg Hunt. Last year, Rachel wasn't even walking yet, so she just sat out on the sidelines and watched. This year...she got into the action and hunted for eggs! All the eggs she found had chocolate in them. LOL. She loves chocolate and gets excited at the site of it. Just like her Momma! :)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Yummy Sucker

Gramma and Papa brought little Easter buckets for the girls. And inside were some minature Tootsie Pops suckers...a favorite of Rachels. She wasted no time in digging in and enjoying them!

Peep! Peep! Peep!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Let the Therapy Begin...

The Speech Therapist returned my call yesterday and Rachel will begin speech therapy next Wednesday morning. She's suppose to go once a week for an hour, hopefully we can just schedule the appointment and have a standing day and time for each week.

I hope the Speech Therapist will be impressed with her improvement in the last month. At least we think she's improved. LOL.

In addition to setting up therapy for next week, we got a call this afternoon from Early Start, California's Department of Developemental Services. The case worker had received our request for services and was following up on the referral. Upon answering questions, it was obvious that Rachel could benefit from services offered by the State. The next step is setting up an actual one on one evaluation with Rachel, a step that could take 3-6 weeks. But at least the ball is rolling and Rachel's name is in the system!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Starting to 'Click'

Something is starting to click for Rachel as far as her speech goes. The last couple of weeks she's been making new noises and sounds and the past couple of days she's really been trying to repeat words when we ask her to. We've been working pretty hard with her on saying what things are. The speech therapist told us she can teach her HOW to say it, if Rachel knows what it is. So we've been asking her where her eyes are, her nose, her ears, etc. And she's getting it.

Last night, as I was preparing dinner, I grabbed some cheese to grate, without me saying anything to her, Rachel noticed what I had gotten out of the refridgerator and came to me and said "chee" (cheese) and signed 'please'. She did it again when I brought her back to the office to show Steven what she had said. LOL.

We're still waiting for her speech therapy to begin. In fact I left a message for the speech pathologist in reguards to getting going. But meanwhile, all these little improvements are encouraging.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Hesperia Zoo

Last week on a trip to the local pet store, Rachel was overcome with excitment to see tank after tank full of fish, and was even more amazed at the birds in the cages, as well as the guinea pigs and little mice. Hannah was never this interested, or shall I say, showed such outward excitement. So it's fun to watch Rachel when it comes to new and exciting things.

Today we went to The Hesperia Zoo, previously called The Cinema Safari Zoo because all the animals at this zoo are in showbiz of some sort...commercials, movies, etc. It's a small zoo, maybe 50 animals, in cages and exhibts where you are rather close to the animal. We thought it'd be fun to take Rachel. Not to mention it's also a favorite of Hannah's. The zoo is around the corner from Gramie's house, so Hannah has frequented this zoo quite a few times. Needless to say, we called and asked Gramie if she wanted to join us at the zoo, and she did.

Just as suspected, Rachel loved seeing all the animals. She was more excited at the beginning of the tour than towards the end, but I think it's because she didn't get a nap.

Saying "Hi" from one lil piggy to another.

Alta Dena the Cow. This cow is MASSIVE in size!

CrackerJack the Camel gets a little closer

This is Safari. He sure had his eyes on Rachel. It was rather neat to see him crouch down as if he was going to pounce on lunch. LOL.
Thank goodness for cages!
She loved getting up close and being able to pet and chase the lamb.

Kazoo, eating a treat.
It was a great trip to the zoo. We were the only ones on this tour, so we had the animal trainer all to ourselves to talk to and ask questions. She even took a little longer on the tour for us. Rachel had a lot of fun, and I think if she had had a nap, she would have lasted til the end with her excitment over the animals.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yipeee!!!! This is Fun!!!

For some reason, Rachel loves this scooter of Hannah's. She found it abandoned for a few brief minutes this evening and hopped on it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Some Pics from Gramma & Papa's House

These pictures were taken by Gramma and Papa when Rachel and Hannah spent the weekend with them two weeks ago.

"I enjoyed the chocolate cake Gramma made, can you tell?".
Kicking back, relaxing, and watching her current favorite movie
Finding Nemo.

"I like suckers!"
Playing with Wendy