Saturday, August 11, 2007

Veeka and the therapists

Well, there is one big challenge for our little pumpkin and that's learning English. Now, all she heard up until mid-February was Russian. Then she had me for six weeks and then she entered a daycare where half the time, she's addressed in Bulgarian. So, language process has been a tad slow, which is why three therapists from Fairfax County spent Thursday morning with us for that all-important assessment that gets her help sooner rather than later from a speech therapist.
I am proud to say that Miss Veeka impressed everyone with how quickly she was able to follow instructions, do complex movements and even throw a tantrum on command. They termed her "fun, alert, social and active," adding that she likes to "show others her toys and mosquito bites, expecting answers." They were very impressed with how she was able to spoon her cereal into her mouth using a medium-sized spoon without spilling any of the milk. When the therapist would build a tower of colorful blocks, Veeka would copy her.
So, we set up some goals, ie by November being able to follow directions without a gesture on my part. And by February she needs to have learned at least 20 new words. Soooo, the next day, I went out and bought poster board for all the flash cards we're doing to start working on.
We are also working lots of New Experiences for our little girl. Every other day I try to get her to the local pool where she has really taken to splashing about. She is absolutely unafraid of the water so I cling to her like a leech, as the girl keeps on striking out into water over her head. So I take her to within a foot of the ladder, then push her, so she can get that feeling of propulsion while also learning how to go for the side of the pool.
And today we visited the most amazing park I have ever been into in terms of playground equipment: Clemyjontri Park in McLean, Va. - if you want to take a look - truly amazing stuff. Very advanced play equipment is scattered over two acres, all placed on a rubber surface (for kids in wheelchairs) along with tons of ramps, swings, slides, balance beams, a maze, teetertotters and of course a carousel. Well, that's just one-tenth of it. Then we went out for dinner at The Family Restaurant, a comfy place in Mclean owned by Greeks where I ordered Veeka a children's plate. All she would eat was the French fries, as she was very fascinated with how one could pour ketchup onto the place, then dip a fry into it and - yum, yum! - eat it.
Veeka is pictured here showing off her little sheep purse. She now weighs 23 pounds and Mommy is having to visit the chiropracter more for help with all those sore muscles that come from slinging Our Rapidly Growing Pumpkin around.


Faith said...

Happy, busy days, Julia. Hugs to both of you.

Catherine said...

I'm glad you've taken her to a speech therapist. Trying to learn to talk in three languages would be very difficult.

She is a beautiful and adorable little girl, and you sound like a great Mom.

Bless you both, Julia.

Rob said...

Julia... hi! I here there is a good chance you and Veeka are headed this way soon. Can't wait to meet your little darling! Some of my favorite memories are of taking Carley at the same age to the park when we lived in the Bellevue Condo. Plant those memories deep for it is amazing how fast the time goes. Many blessings to you two and love, Rob