Monday, August 31, 2015

Beach Fridays

This past Friday, we went to the beach for our last beach day of the summer. We seem to have found our favorite beach which is Palmachim Beach close to Rishon L'Tzion. It is beautiful with soft sand and turquoise water, but also kept very clean and seems to be very family oriented. We have also discovered it takes us only 54 min to get there from our home!

For the first time ever, Tehilla was not afraid of the water!!! As soon as I walked up to the water with her in my arms, she started to whine, but I sat down with her in the water. We brought containers to collect tons of seashells. So, I plunked a container down next to her and showed her what to do. She was so preoccupied with finding seashells, she forgot all about the water. Soon, when the water would come in and go up to her stomach, she squealed and said, "Weeeeeee!" She even started wandering into the water and didn't react when the water would splash her face.

Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera up to the water, so I have no photos of that. But I do have plenty of pictures of her on the beach and some videos.


More Updates

Last week, we were out and about every day. Thank G-d, the heatwaves have finally seemed to stop, which allowed us the opportunity to take Tehilla out.

One of our day trips was to the Teddy Park splash pad. Tehilla had fun running around in her little bikini (and sunscreen), but was terrified once the water turned on. I had to hold her and inch close. She finally stuck a hand in but then freaked out. Tzviel and Mechal had a blast, so it was well worth it.

Here are pictures from that day. You can see the walls of the Old City in the background of the splash pad.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Busy, Busy, Busy

My goodness!  I haven't posted in a very long time. This past week was packed with outings and fun.

Tehilla has been doing very well. Her speech has skyrocketed! She is now saying Hello, yellow, purple, window, blue, beach, animals...and more. It's amazing!

I will be posting lots of pictures and videos to make up for last week.

To get you started here are some pictures from the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. Tehilla is now at a great age for the zoo and squealed when she saw all the animals up close.  She had a great time and loved every second of it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hearing Test

Today, Tehilla went for a hearing test. It was something necessary to check into with a speech disorder such as Apraxia. The appointment started off with me giving Tehilla's medical history. That always forces some raised eyebrows and jaw dropping. I explained that Tehilla was born with half a heart, and the woman stopped me and said, "What? No, that doesn't make sense. What do you mean?" So I explained that Tehilla was born with half a heart, and it's a condition called HLHS and she's had 3 heart surgeries to reconstruct her heart. Some heart awareness was made and the woman couldn't stop staring at Tehilla. I ran through the rest of her medical history.

Tehilla was not cooperative. She wouldn't stay on my lap in their hearing lab and they had to accommodate her demands to sit on a little kid chair. At one point, she wanted to play with the technician and kept showing her a ball and saying, "Ball!" over and over and got frustrated when she wouldn't respond. She ignored purposefully or not (?) many of the sounds. When the technician said "No!" to her when she stood up and walked away, Tehilla burst into tears. I had to advocate a bit and have them do things a bit differently to get Tehilla to cooperate.

In the end, they felt that overall her hearing was fine, but since she was uncooperative, they couldn't fully assess her. They felt that she should be "under observation" until an older age, where she can get a full assessment done. Their reasoning was because it's Tehilla. They want her to come back when she is two and a half.

Talking and Singing

On Friday, we went to Palmachim Beach with some of our dearest friends. We all had a wonderful time. I wish I had taken pictures, but I completely forgot to. In any event, Tehilla was terrified of the water again. In fact, she didn't even like it when I held her and walked to the water's edge and got my feet wet. We tried several times, but she was freaking out. However, she was completely content to throw sand on everyone and everything. We brought back the sandiest toddler.

I managed to record two videos of Tehilla talking and singing from yesterday and today. Tehilla is now trying very hard to imitate words and if we slow down and show her how to say things, she has been pretty successful in imitating a lot of words. She is also using the words she knows constantly and trying to put two words together, like "no more". It's great to see her making progress like this!

Enjoy the videos!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fun Out of the Heat

This summer has been challenging in caring for Tehilla.  Israeli summers are intensely hot to begin with, but we've had a few heat waves here, that have brought temperatures way up.

For Tehilla, it is difficult for her to properly regulate her body temperature.  So if she is a little overheated, she begins to soak herself in sweat. It is extremely easy for kids like Tehilla to dehydrate and it can become dangerous very quickly.

So, this summer has been spent indoors and going from air conditioning to air conditioning. 

Today, we went to an indoor gymboree for a few hours. Tehilla had a blast running around, climbing on the climbing toys and trying to collect all the run away balls from the ball pit. Ultimately, she would fill her little arms and then all the balls would spill out. She said, "Uh-oh!" And then would go around trying to collect them again.

We finally put her into the ball pit. She was so excited! She kept belly flopping into the balls and lying back. She has really become fearless and had a blast today.

Additionally, she has started babble singing to herself. Often, she will be playing with her toys and we hear this cute little high pitch voice singing in babble. Whenever she notices us or we say anything she stops singing and screams, "No!" I will try to capture a video of her singing. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Enough is Enough

We had enough of Clonidine and Tehilla's reaction to it. She had been on a third of the dose for nearly two weeks at only twice a day, as opposed to four times a day, and was irritable and cranky. Nearly anything we asked her or was offered to her was met with whining and shrieking. So, we stopped the medication. I messaged our cardiac nurse, Yifat, and told her that we were done with the medication. She called our cardiologist and he agreed with our decision. He is now considering which other medication to start Tehilla on.

In the mean time, Tehilla has been making huge progress with speech therapy. Ilana has worked with her on key words needed for basic needs, such as: yes, no, up, in, off, on, out, boom, more, uh oh...etc. Tehilla is now nearly exclusively using these words and has even started to try to say words on her own. She is doing very well.