Saturday, October 29, 2011


We have three days left of Down Syndrome Awareness Month...and for the most part I've been pretty focused on raising awareness for some very special children on Reece's Rainbow this month. Poor little Lily has been a little neglected as far as blog attention goes~ in real life she has been anything but.

We've added two physical therapy sessions in a month, along with her regular Early Intervention therapy. We've also concentrated a lot on sign language, and it has paid off- she has literally had a language explosion the past few weeks, mastering over 25 signs and working on about a dozen more. My cousin Kate sent me a Baby Signing Times video last year, but Lily wouldn't really stay focused on it for more than a few minutes.

We tried it again last week and to say that she is OBSESSED with that video would be putting it mildly. She looooooves watching and signing along with the video, and as soon as the music starts she is head bopping and waving her hands excitedly. And an added bonus: I now have the signing-time-with-Alex-and-Leah tune permanently lodged in my brain, never to be replaced- apparently - with any other song. I think I've fallen asleep the past 6 nights humming that tune, and I wake up doing the same. Come and play.....come and play...come and....   

ANYWAY, Lily is just amazing us with all she's been learning, and I was able to catch the bulk of that on video. A word of explanation: if she gets stuck on a sign we just move on to the next one, as you'll see in the video. Also, some of the signs she nails perfectly, others look like a primitive form of the actual sign. For instance, she doesn't tuck her third and fourth fingers under when she signs "airplane" but if you look closely she's trying! Even if she attempts a sign and comes close, we give her lots of praise, unless she just totally gets it wrong. Sometimes she gets really stubborn (like when she gets distracted with a hairbow!) and sometimes she just draws a blank, so we show her the sign and then move on. Mostly we just practice, practice, practice, and often the very next time we practice, Lily shows she was absorbing everything we said- even if it didn't seem like it.

One more clarification (in case Lily's therapist is reading!) - we typically don't teach a sign or ask for one without a context for it. If we're signing milk, it's while we're offering her a cup of milk, and if we're asking her to say "cat" we're pointing to a cat in a book or our cats outside. For the video I just asked her one sign right after another, but that isn't how we teach them day to day.

Hope you enjoy the video, and if you can't see the player, just refresh the webpage and it should come up. If not, you can click on the OneTrueMedia link and it will take you to the source.

So proud of our girl!!

In other news....

Olga's mommy emailed me last night with some exciting news!!!

Someone has agreed to MATCH DONATIONS UP TO $500 for the next five days!!! 

If you have somehow missed it, we are hosting a giveaway to help Olga's family finish the job of fundraising. So far they have $1,572 of the $2,895 that is needed to submit their paperwork and get their first date to travel to see Olga. Olga has almost $20,000 in her grant fund on Reece's Rainbow that will be available to the Abells once they get their travel date.
(And a HUGE thank you to all of you who made that happen!)

We are giving away three autographed copies of Ann Voskamp's fabulous book, One Thousand Gifts:

and my sweet friend Julia has donated two $50 gift cards to Target and

You can be entered to win simply by donating a dollar to Olga or to Artem. You read that right- one dollar.

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, every dollar you give to Olga (on the Abell's Chip-in located at the top of the sidebar, labeled Breaking Starfish Free) will be DOUBLED for the next five days!

So if you're homeschooled... (KIDDING. my kids are.)... that means IF you give one dollar, Olga will get two. If you give ten dollars, she gets twenty. If you give $100 she will get $200...all the way up to $500 !!

Winners will be drawn by November 1st . Please spread the word:

Let's finish the job for Olga!!


My Little Wonders said...

Oh so cute!!!

Becky said...

We did signing times too so that song in your video brings back memories. How neat to see her exploding with sign! If you do not have it yet, the colors and ABC signing times were two of our favorites! She is really cute! :)

cathy said...



Ginger said...

My Julia's the same age as Lily and she felt the same way about Signing Time until the last month. Suddenly she LOVES them and repeatedly asking for "Sigh Dime". It's hilarious to see her try to sign "Signing Time".

LOVED the video of Lily!!

Jennifer said...

What a great video! :) Love it!!

cara said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the video of Lily!!!! She is TOO smart!! Once again, my kiddos ran over to watch Lily. They all adore her. Any time they hear something on the computer, they run and ask me if it is Lily.

teal915 said...

It's really good how she verbalizes with some of her signs too. She's doing really great! Kamdyn has been signing Daddy and saying dadadada and signing Mommy and saying nananana. I guess I'm nana, but I'll take it : )

Gretchen in HB said...

Holy crap, to see her signing (and saying!) so many words with such rapid fire speed is AWESOME! Way to go, Lily!!

Lori said...

sooooo impressed!! love you Lily!!

Mrs. K said...

Oh my Lily, you are one smart little cutie. Cannot wait to hold you. Love you my precious, please give Abbi and Mommy a kiss from Grammi.