Sunday, August 26, 2007

"I want ..."

Jonathan has been doing some speech-therapy sessions this summer with Annette at Hotel Dieu Hospital. The goal is to get him speaking in two (or more) - word combinations, since at the moment he speaks mostly in single words, usually to comment on what he wants or what interests him: "Toast!" "Plane!" "Truck!" etc. Annette uses toys and games as incentive to try to get him to speak: for example, she will show him a picture card, say "Boy drinking," and try to get Jonathan to repeat the words. If he does, she rewards him, perhaps by letting him capture a toy fish or giving him a little toy sword to stick in a slot. As she gives him this reward she encourages him to say "I want red" or "I want fish." He is getting the idea, although sometimes he is so focused on saying "I want" that he uses it out of context; or when she tries to change it to "I got," he keeps repeating "I want." And halfway through our last session, as Annette was getting out another game, Jonathan sat back happily and said, "I ... want ... ba-ba day!" In other words, blue-box day, his favourite time of the week.

Whether in single words or the occasional phrase, he gets his point across, even if it's in kind of an unorthodox way at times. When we were in PEI, Rich would try to get him to thank Grandma for the meal. After one supper (when Jonathan had just eaten his sixth potato of the day), Rich said, "Say 'thank you Grandma.' " To which Jonathan replied enthusiastically, "Pay-toes! Good!" Grandma agreed that that was thanks enough.

Monday, August 20, 2007

PEI vacation

We just got back from a 2-week vacation in PEI. We had a very relaxing and enjoyable time there, as always. As soon as we arrived, Allison went looking for the old readers Grandpa & Grandma have on their bookshelf, and Jonathan went looking for toys--in other words, they made themselves at home.

This vacation was particularly special because I got to see all of my brothers--a rarity. We haven't all been together since May 2005. One lives in Maine, one in London ON, one in Fredericton NB (just moved from Edmonton), and one in PEI, so we are quite spread out. It was fun to see them, my 3 sisters-in-law, and my 2 nieces Meredith (14) and Sadie (almost 3).

The strangest thing that happened during our stay in PEI was a 2-day power outage. We should have paid attention to the small omen that occurred on Thursday night while we were staying at a motel in New Brunswick: the power went off for an hour in the middle of the night. Whether that was a portent of the coming storm I'm not sure but a big electrical storm hit different parts of PEI on Fri Aug 3 and Sat Aug 4. At 5 pm on the Saturday, just as we sat down to eat Allison's birthday dinner, the power went out--and it didn't come on until 3pm on Monday. There were many outages all over the Island; extra hydro crews from Newfoundland had to be called in to help get things up and running again. Meanwhile we had 9 people in the house and no lights, running water, or operational toilets. Enforced camping, you might say. We lit kerosene lamps, foraged for cold meals, did a couple of Tim Horton's coffee runs, went to a campground for water, took my parents' small freezer to plug in at an uncle's house ... in other words, we made do. These experiences always make you realize how much you take modern conveniences for granted! We certainly cheered when the lights came on on Monday afternoon.

Otherwise we had a lot of fun going on drives, playing at the beach, and doing touristy things. Allison and I went with my brother and his family to see the "Anne of Green Gables" musical--Allison's first time, my fourth, though I hadn't been in many years.

For me the best times were just sitting around in the kitchen or on the front lawn with family members, exchanging stories and laughing at the antics of kids and dogs. Bye for now, PEI--see you next year!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Happy 9th birthday Allison

Today, August 4, Allison turns nine; this will be her last single-digit year! Allison is growing up into a beautiful young lady with a creative imagination. Not only is she an avid (OK, addicted is a better word) reader, often having 45 books out of the library at one time, but she is turning into a creative and fluent writer who keeps a journal and a "Jonathan funny book" and is writing her own stories.

Happy birthday Allison!

We love you!