Back in March, we lost Noa's beloved Blue Green Yellow Doggie. Doggie was one of Noa's first toys - she was only about a month old when Doggie came into our lives and for 14 years, they were inseparable. We lived in terror of the day that Doggie would disappear. That is happened at the start of the pandemic only made it even more challenging... and mysterious!
We knew Doggie had to be in the house. We hadn't gone further then our own back porch for over a week. We looked everywhere. We moved furniture. Looked in every pocket (so we thought.) Eventually, I convinced Noa to embrace a lessor "Doggie" we called "Greentail Doggie" (whose tail was green thanks to a permanent marker.)
On January 1st, just as Noa was getting ready for bed, I put on a hoodie that apparently I hadn't touched since March. The pocket felt heavy. I reached in, than there he was. I filmed the happy reunion and created this video to commemorate this amazing moment.
After the initial reunion, Noa and doggie shared some kisses with Mommy.
So much to share! Noa had a great holiday break. She was very communicative. She did well when the schedule had to change due to weather, or Mom & Dad's work schedule, and at times would suggest changes to the schedule that made it more palatable for her. For example, she decided that she liked to walk on the Treadmill Mill before breakfast, which turned out to be a great idea that became a regular part of our Winter Break schedule.
This was the first year that Noa seemed to genuinely look forward to the prospect of opening gifts. Because it was just the three of us, we were able to open gifts at Noa's pace which was great. We brailled tags for all the gifts and Noa did a great job reading tags and giving gifts to the appropriate person.
Below: Noa opens a present from Manny, a boy who lives a few doors down.
The Talking Hamster isn't new, but Noa spent quite a while with it one day experimenting with the different ways she could make it respond. This video is a bit on the long side, but I thought it was pretty interesting to watch her try to figure out what make this toy tick.
This tells you a lot about what our weekend was all about.
By the way, the sweater featured in this series was Mommy's sweater. Mommy was, in fact, wearing this sweater on Friday when Noa got home. She felt the sweater and said that she wanted to have a soft sweater. I told her I'd wash it and she could wear it Saturday.
Saturday morning she put on the sweater and declared it "Noa's soft sweater."
"Oh," I said. "I thought Noa was wearing Mommy's sweater."
Her answer: "Noa's sweater." So that was that.
Noa had a great weekend and there was something about her entire demeanor that seemed different this weekend - more engaged, more focused, though of course still super silly.
We were quite struck when, at horsey on Saturday, her trainer Margaret asked, "How many ears does horsey have?" When Noa didn't answer, she added, "Does horsey have 1 ear or 3 ears?" Immediately Noa responded, "Two!" We are so used to giving Noa options that include the correct answer, that we never considered what would happen if all the options we gave her were wrong! In any case, this turned out to be a fun game, and Noa seemed to like knowing the right answer that was different from the ones suggested to her.
Noa also seemed to really enjoy a rhythm (or maybe a short poem?) she came up with during her bath. It went like this: "hot water on hair and chair." She repeated it a number of times and later shared it with Daddy during breakfast.
In other news, Noa did a great job of reading her journal with Mommy and spelled out the few words that she didn't understand (usually because they were names.) She was also very happy that Mommy had followed her requested from last week and did shopping for shirts with shapes on them.
Noa had a great weekend at home. She clearly enjoyed all the Halloween festivities at school. She wore her big, funny glasses and bandana all the home and all through a long ride on the blue stroller. She finally took the glasses off once she was in the house, but she kept the bandana on until bedtime and then wanted to put the bandana on her walker overnight and made sure I understood that she wanted to wear it again on Saturday. She also wanted to wear the same shirt in the morning (a purple shirt with two bird embroidered on it.) She also wanted to spell bandana several times. She was thrilled Saturday morning to find that her bandana was still on her walker, and wore it around her neck all day.
Noa was also very attached to a pair of purple and blue socks that she wore to horsey on Saturday, so much so that she didn't want to take them off when we got home even though they were cold and wet. Ultimately, I convinced her that we should put them in the dryer and then she could wear them later. She even came with me to put them in the dryer and press the start button.
Saturday night, she told me she wanted the bandana on the walker again, and wanted to wear the blue and purple socks again as well. Unfortunately, I'd neglected to wash her purple shirt Saturday night (though I should have guessed she'd want it again) but she was agreeable - and settled for another shirt - when I told her I'd wash the purple one so she could wear it back to school.
In other news -
Some interesting new developments at home this weekend, two of them are featured in the photos below:
Another development: Noa agreed to get out of bed in the morning with Daddy (rather than insisting on Mommy.) This is another great development for home life... especially for Mommy's home life!
Noa also did great work at Horsey this week. Last week she really didn't pay attention to directions much (it was windy and she enjoyed that), but this weekend she was more focused.
Just a short note on this weekend - and with the knowledge that Noa will likely be talking about her Purple Zuzzy this week. Over the pandemic break, we bought Noa a purple vibrating travel pillow which she liked... but it just wasn't sturdy enough for the kind of workout Noa likes to give such things. But she keeps asking for it, so I took a gamble on a neck massager with a vibrating feature which arrived just in time for this past weekend and it was a big hit. You can see it pictured below. As you can see it's not purple....
Noa had a great long weekend and was in a happy and pretty agreeable (or at least negotiable) mood all weekend.
On Sunday we spent most of the afternoon on the road. We went leaf-peeping, and then enjoyed a stroller walk on the Northern Rail Trail. For Noa, it was mostly about enjoying having the windows rolled down. The great victory of the day was that Noa agreed to eat a lunch/dinner combo meal (she is generally agreeable to brunch, but has never agreed to lunch/dinner before.) There was a bit of negotiating - Noa won five pushes on her spinning swing.
Overall, Noa had a pretty great weekend. When we were brining Noa's things into the house on Friday, she actually managed to get herself out of the car and into her stroller AND close the car door by herself while we weren't looking. This something we've never seen her even attempt - so this was quite surprising! (The door was open and her seatbelt was off, but it usually takes a bit of back and forth to get her stand up.) I wish we had photos of this... I wish we'd seen it!
Noa also enjoyed spending time at her new desk and did was brailling using the manual brailler that we have at home. We found sentences on cards we already had that she wanted to transcribe. She would find one and then tell me to get lost. Then I'd come back and we'd pick another one. I asked her if she wanted to bring her "story" to school and she said yes, so I put in her backpack.
Noa was also very interested in playing with her sound machines. She asked for some old ones that she hadn't used in a while and really liked a button that makes a sound that sounds like "Bah-BAH." She wanted to know how to spell the sounds... so the "Bah-BAH" was the best I could guess. She spelled this all weekend (and sometimes pretended to braille it) so if she is spelling something that looks that this... that's probably why.
Unfortunately, we continue to have problems getting out of the stroller. All three stroller walks this weekend ended with stand offs over 30+ minutes. She seems to have stopped doing the mysterious sign - but this weekend would ask verbally for "purple zuzzies" (which we don't have have), while at the same time signing either "scarf." The pulling on her feet is something that often happens - I've tried doing stretches with her in the past to see if that helped but it doesn't seem to, she just keeps wanting more.
We are very much open to any suggestions regarding how we might deal with this situation. We know that going on a walk in the stroller is one of Noa's favorite things to do, but these stands offs are making it difficult for take her on walks because the aftermath is so disruptive and unpredictable.
Ending on a happy note, Noa is very happy with her new haircut. Since she was wearing her hair down, I tried to do something a bit more "big girl" and she seems to like it.
This blog is managed by Noa's Mommy, with editorial support from Noa's Daddy.