Sunday, November 13, 2011

Allie at nearly (gasp) 4!!

Hello! We often get asked about gift ideas for Allie around this time of year (no surprise) so I like to talk about what she is doing so everyone can decide for themselves what they want to get for her. Of course, no gifts are ever required or expected!!

Allie is still the ever moving girl. She loves to dance and move and run and play. She loves music of all kinds. She is in a ballet class and loves to put on her tutus.  She loves things that make music or noise in general.  She also likes to be able to push a button or press a paw or a foot and get something to happen - something musical or talking.

She loves her dolls and can put them to bed like a professional!  I'm sure changing their clothes is right around the corner.

She is loving LeapFrog these days. We have 2 DVDs that she could watch continually - they are The Talking Words Factory and the Letter Factory. If there are more, I"m sure she'd love them. If there are flashcards or books with the Leap Frogs on them (Tad (her fave), Leap or Lilly) she would like that.

One of the things we are working on this year for her therapy include her attention span. It's really short right now. So, we are looking for a small desk that she can get in and out of easily so we can work on activities at a desk of her own.  We will be doing more coloring, playdough and things that use her small motor skill to build her strength and start getting her ready for writing and (yikes) kindergarden.  So, that leaves the want and need list wide open.

She is a computer/iPhone girl which is why we are looking at the LeapPad item. A big item, so our entire family is welcome to go in together. :-)

Another one of Allie's favorite things is the books I create for her - primarily through Shutterfly or Walgreens, so gift cards to those places are helpful. Stores we also love include: The Parent Teacher Store and two online stores we just found and  and of course, (still hooked on this more than anything - just ordered the new "Potty Time" to get ready for that adventure. Our favorite clothing stores are Gymboree and A Child's Place.

That's Allie in a nutshell.  She is very typically your sweet little girl. She is learning to pretend so much more than just a few months ago. She is very active and playful.  Thanks for thinking of her and asking about her!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Toys for Special Needs

I read an interesting article the other day about all those fancy catalogs that say they have toys for special needs. Most of those toys are just regular toys that someone thinks they will be good for someone with special needs.  In fact, some of them have far too many bells and whistles. I know with Allie, too much is often - well, too much. Sometimes the simpler the better.  It really depends on the special need and on the child. So, since you are at this site, you are probably wanting to know specifically what Allie is doing these days and what type of toys she may need. 

I base most of her toys on recommendations from her therapists. For example - from an occupational therapy perspective - Allie needs to strengthen her fingers and hands - so, play dough, coloring, painting are all good things.  Silly putty is also helpful for her.  We will be wanting to get her probably one of those new Crayola coloring/music toys - the faster she colors the faster the music goes. That will probably be great for her.  We will also want her to have a painting easel.  That will help her with standing for longer times as well as painting - which is great for her.  For coloring, one suggestion they had was the old Magna-doodle - or something like that.  I've seen several different types of this type of thing - a coloring pad with the pen attached. This will be used to help Allie practice circles, lines, drawing, over and over again - without a mess and independently. Not a bad idea if I ever heard of one! 

From a physical therapy perspective - we need to get things for Allie to climb on - like an indoor slide. She will need to practice climbing up, sitting on the slide - which requires lots of twisting and turning to get into place - and sliding down (which she LOVES).  We will also get her an outdoor swing/slide set - our aim is before next summer.  The rest of the PT stuff is really stuff we will do with her - get her kneeling, moving toys that require her to walk and push, etc. 

Speech Therapy - this is one we work on all the time while working on all of the other things, of course.  We basically use the toys she has to help her with this - we use flashcards and CDs and DVDs to help as well as pretend toys to get her to verbalize and follow instructions - which is a big situation for us these days.  We are still working to get her to recognize her colors, animals, shapes, etc.  She knows all the words and most many signs for these things, but basically doesn't follow the instruction when we ask her for the Red block or the Frog or something.  But, many of these things we do with her as we use the other toys. We are also thinking that a Mr. Microphone type of toy will help her to hear her voice and practice more.  Not sure where to find those these days, but I'm sure there is a newer similar microphone.

We need to get more large, kid friendly stamp pads to help her with her arts and crafts - okay, hand prints!!  Which I love.  We probably need to get some electronic toys with push buttons that help her learn as well- I've heard the LeapFrog LittleTouch Pad - which is no longer sold, but I seem to be able to find in second hand stores - will be great for Allie. She loves music and responds well to toys and books that require you to push to get the sounds. Again, her push ability is weak at this time and over time she will build up to being able to push any button I'm sure. We also need to increase our bath toys - if we can incorporate any of these skills/learning at that time, that is great. We do use the squishy animals that squirt water to help with her finger strength and I try to get her to follow simple instructions with the animals.

We need to help Allie learn to play with others a bit more, too. This is not uncommon for children with hearing loss. It is important for us to help her be interactive more than she might be if we don't intervene.  There probably aren't toys that will help with that and she isn't going to get a younger sibling, but we do have some play dates set up that should help.

I hope this helps you understand Allie a bit more.  Gifts and toys are not necessary for you to give her. I know many of you just want to understand more and more about what she is doing and how she does it all.  If you do feel the need to buy her something, please know that we believe second hand toys - in good working condition - are wonderful.  Paying full price for the latest fancy gadget is not necessary.

If you have suggestions of toys or things to do with Allie to help her and us with her, please know I am always open to advice.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Almost 3 Already?

Wow!! I'm not sure where the time goes... but, it goes by soooo fast! 

Allie opening birthday presents from Uncle Kevin

We celebrated an early birthday party for Allie last week while her Granny and PawPaw were in town.  We also had other out of town visitors - Leah and Sheila. It was a wonderful gathering and Allie had several of her friends to celebrate. I'm sure we will do a play date or another fun gathering on or around her actual 3rd birthday, but for this year the big birthday party is over. We celebrated at a nearby indoor playground and everyone had a lot of fun.  One common thing I've heard is "what does Allie need?" Several have checked this site and caught me red handed at not updating it. So, I thought it best to update it for those that want a hint at what Allie is doing and needing these days. Of course, as most children - Allie really doesn't "need" for much. We do try to give her things that her therapists recommend so we can combine play with learning and when we see something she seems to gravitate toward, we - like all parents - want to give it to her. 

Some of things we do these days are pretend.  We have started using the "Loving Family" doll sets to help her in her speech and in following instructions. "The mommy is tired, what should she do?" "Sit in the chair?", etc.  It is fun and helps her learn to speak and think through things.  We are also about to start using more interactive toys like the LeapPad products or Fun2Learn things.  Anything that really helps her learn and keep up with everyone else is what we like to do. Of course, finding things that keep her interest or spark her interest are anyone's guess.  She still loves the tissue paper, bows and boxes more than anything. Baby Dolls are often close by and books and videos are fun for anyone!  Allie is learning to walk and we have a parking lot full of little bikes and push toys.  What can I say, Mom's a thrifty shopper and always looking for ways to help and encourage Allie to do what she is ready to do. 

As of very recently, Allie is starting to stand on her own and take a few steps!! Yes.. you heard me... I pray I'll find time to update the blog and upload some of our videos very soon.  She is so wonderful to watch! 

Thanks for inquiring about what Allie needs/wants. Please remember she really doesn't need much and we'd love to hear from you all - no gift is EVER needed. 

The Lovell Family

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Birthday Parties are Fun!

Hi everyone!

I had so many people come to my birthday party and send me wonderful cards and presents. Thank you all so much! I didn't get to open my presents at my party because Mommy didn't think we'd have time and that I'd pay attention. So, we opened them between my party and my birthday. We would have opened them sooner, but I got sick and didn't feel like doing anything but sitting with Mommy. I hope you understand. Here is a picture of me and all my cool presents. Thank you all so much!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Birthday is Coming!

Whoo hoo! I'm going to be 2 really soon! I'm so excited about it. I'm not able to sign that I'm two yet, but Mommy tells me I have another week to work on it.

No one has to get me any presents for my birthday, but Mommy said people have been asking what I want, so I thought I should update my list. So, My Wish List is officially updated. As you can see... I've got a lot of Winnie the Pooh's, but not too many of the other characters from the 100 Acre Woods. Mommy says I'm going to be a Disney Girl. Hmmmmmm.
Please come play with me. I love company!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Thank you everyone for making my Christmas
so wonderful! I'm on vacation from school this
week and now I have lots of time to play with my
toys. I'm hanging out with my Aunts Tammy and
Trisha. I'm having fun showing them my toys, too!

Aunt Trisha brought me cool presents!

Me, Aunt Tammy and Dexter

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanks from Allie!

Allie got some wonderful things for her birthday. She now has a dolly to hug, blocks to build with, cool clothes to wear including Santa outfits, books to read, toys that beep, bang, sing, rattle and blow bubbles! She has puzzles to learn to put together and toys that tell her the alphabet, shapes, colors, animals and her own Little Al elephant puppet and tea set. She is one very lucky and very loved little girl. Thank you so much for being part of her first birthday.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Allie and her Mommy and Daddy
It's an Allie present!