1) One year ago today Ella had her kidney surgery. A few months ago she had her follow-up ultrasound and things are looking GOOD!! The deflux appears to be working based on the ultrasound images and the fact that Ella hasn't had any infections this past year. Whew!! We won't know for sure there is no urine leakage unless we do a more invasive procedure, but since things are looking good we decided not to do that at this point. We still need to keep a close eye on her and if it seems like she has an infection get her in right away, then next spring we'll do another ultrasound and go from there. Works for us, and what a relief!!
2) Zoe is still going to her speech class 1x a week (Ella goes too, though the focus is on Zoe) and has been working hard. She can now make the 'G' and 'K' sounds by herself, but it took quite a bit to get to this point -- she actually had to teach her tongue how to move the correct way! Since then she has been working hard to make the correct sounds while saying words that either begin, end or have those sounds in the middle of the words, and for a while it has been hit or miss. She can do it, but she has to stop and think about it and really focus to make sure she makes those sounds. For a few weeks her teacher wasn't hearing any progress, but since we've had a talk about how important it is to practice she's made some nice gains and is continuing now to move forward.
3) For the past few months Ella and Zoe have really been into looking at books, drawing pictures and doing sound spelling with me. Right after they turned four they asked if I would teach them how to read (their pal Jia, who is 6 months older than they are, has read fluently for about 6 months and has been quite the inspiration for Zoe and Ella). I always enjoyed teaching young kids beginning literacy skills but working with my own daughters has been THE BEST : ) I've kept their 'lessons' low-key, but they've had so much fun with it and are both reading at a good beginning level (Ella is into it more than Zoe is at this point) and both girls know over 30 site words (that's a guess, I haven't counted them). I also think it's funny they decided when I'm their teacher I'm not 'mommy', I am 'Mrs. Book'. I'll take that title any day : )
And even though these pictures were taken in May, I thought they were too cute not to post:
Zoe with her drawing of a pig ....
..... Ella with her drawing of a bird.
The same with this video, it was taken early last spring and the girls were singing their morning greeting song from preschool -- I thought it was a riot, especially the very ending.
I just watched it again and the ending that I found to be so funny was cut off, so it's not as funny as I thought it was. But if you use your imagination you can picture Ella slipping on the pile of books she was not supposed to be standing on and falling on her bum. She didn't get hurt and the expression on her face was great -- but it's pretty lame to have to explain why a video was funny : )