Monthly Archives: July 2011

Hello In There-False Alarm

Tonight Mayah and I were finishing up our school work together.  She is still working on shapes.  At first I was nearly in tears that she was remembering!! She was saying words like, “circa”, “schware”, “tri-gle”, “whe-gle”  (rectangle for those that don’t speak, “Mayah”)  I texted Nana, Aunt Mimi, Daddy (of course!) maybe facebook update and probably even tweeted about it!

Then we switched games.

It was then I realized unlike David, Mayah has the headphones on and I can’t hear them saying the shapes right into her pretty little head.  She was repeating. Yes, still a step forward from the blank stares, but I felt my heart sink a little.

“she’ll get there.”

“just keep at it”

“she may surprise you!”

What if she doesn’t?

It’s okay by us for sure.  We love her just the same.

I will not give up.

I believe she’s in there.


And if she’s not?  And this is all the Mayah we get?

God doesn’t make mistakes, He hand-picked her for our family and we’ll continue loving her.  Just like we were called to do.  We weren’t called to rescue or to change her, we were called to simply love her.

And we will.


While working on “whe-gle’s” proper pronunciation for a loooong time my heart began to break.

Would she have always been this severely delayed if we had gotten her right at birth?

Did neglect itself ruin our little girl?

Don’t take this the wrong way-I know God does NOT make mistakes-not in any way.

I was angry.

Not at God.  At the orphanage workers.

At her birth mother for never holding on to her long enough to see her beauty.

I worked and worked with Mayah, clapping her hands for her even-to get three syllables that remotely sound like rectangle.

Didn’t happen.

I gave up.

Not forever.  Just for the night.  I grabbed my little girl and just held on to her and cried.

Alexander was hugging us too-then he took a picture. I love that kid.

Am I finally entering into the “mourning” phase many parents feel for their special needs children?


His mercies are new every morning.


No School Friday!

That doesn’t happen every Friday-just today and last week.  We will be schooling on Sunday because I’m pretty sure at least one our days next week is going to be busy.  I try to remain proactive when I know we’re going to be busy.

I got a great deal on some Math-u-See from a new homeschooling group I joined yesterday.  We are picking our items up on Tuesday.  It’s curriculum for Mayah and David.  (And maybe even Alexander’s next year’s stuff)  I’m so excited and thankful the Lord provided exactly what we still needed for more than a fraction of the cost.

I got to enjoy some real smiles from Miss Mayah again this morning at the breakfast table.  While she can do rather big girl things, my girl is clearly a baby.  She enjoys baby activities and loves to be cuddled and talked to and treated like one.  The smiles were so beautiful and real I tried getting my camera out and I kept getting the fake smiles.   Hopefully I get a real one on camera soon, I can’t wait to share it!!

Presently Mayah, Gage and I are watching signing time (  Leah’s Farm.  Mayah didn’t understand yesterday when we started watching it together why the people were signing.  She understood we signed (the words we knew) but didn’t understand the concept of learning new signs.  Now she is getting it.  She process her thoughts much better with the help of signs as opposed to just trying to remember the words.  Remembering words (especially  more than 1 syllable) is extremely hard for our girl.  We are trying the best we can to learn the best ways to reach her and help her grow. We are looking forward to being able to buy the entire signing time set eventually.  We got this one from our local library.  We wanted to see how she did before we made that investment.

Even though we are not schooling tomorrow-Mayah is DEFINITELY going to be reviewing her shapes with her puzzle as well as spending time with time4learning.    David even asked today if he could do some work on it.  I simply didn’t have the time in between errands.  However that’s good news he wanted to learn;)

As for our trip, not sure if it’s going to happening.  Hannah’s parents didn’t agree to her going to our first destination and it remains to be seen if she can go anywhere with us.  Still hoping at best she is able to come and spend some time with us next week.

I’m also having a pampered chef party next Friday!

if you can’t come or don’t live close by, PLEASE order from this site:​z/cookingwlisa?page=home 

put my name TAMMY DZIAGWA in the hostess part to give me credit.  It’s really not for me anyways…it’s for Miss Mayah to get some free stuff!!  My girl LOVES cooking with her Mama.  And since we do a LOT of cooking from scratch in this house, supplies are always needed.  So please help my girlie out, wouldya?  kthanks!

Another (free) request: My friend, Theresa Powell is competing in a photography contest and has 2 of her pictures entered.  Please go here:

why that didn’t link I have no idea…but PLEASE copy and paste the link all you have to do is LIKE the pic and leave a comment.  it can even be ONE WORD that’s it.  You don’t have to sign up for ANYTHING.

The contest ends tomorrow so please go there at least once and do this for Teresa.  She is so helpful to the entire world around her.  She is an awesome Mama and has 3 beautiful grandchildren she does not get to see regularly because her sons in law are both in the service.  Both Navy I believe.  Teresa’s Dad and my Mom both died of the same rare disease.  Multiple Myeloma as well.  Devastating and painful.  So PLEASE help this lady out, wouldya?  kthanks

ANNND once you’re done at that page please hop over this sweet Carter’s picture as well.

and do the same:  comment and like please!!!

Like I said, the contest ends tomorrow-please at least once today would be sooo appreciated by Teresa and her family.


I look forward to having some pics posted tomorrow!!!

Shapes and Hannah

That’s all we concentrated on today with Mayah on time for learning. And really-if it wasn’t for t4l I’d be ready to pull my own hair out. To say Mayah is a slow learner is a understatment.
She simply doesn’t retain it.
For Mayah it takes TONS AND TONS of repetition to get anything to sink into her pretty little head. Even if we do nothing else but shapes tomorrow-through the weekend and next week-it’s possible for her to know a few by then. We’ll see.
I don’t mind. So please know I’m not complaining. So many people think because Mayah happens to say, “okay” at appropriate times (and inappropriate) that she understands what you’re saying. Ask her to repeat it back and you have another story. Though she is getting better. Now, EVERY TIME she says “OKAY” I have to repeat what I was saying in some form or another.
David WOW David surprised me today. He is a Nintendo DS junkie-well he would be if we let him. HOwever today David asked to listen to another story (a few times) on a shocker indeed! He is even retaining what he is hearing. I really didn’t think he would soak in the stories. David seems to be so “hands on” he really surprised me in this area. If he flourishes with time4learning we will DEFINITELY pay the extra $14.95/month to get him to learn as much as he can (or wants to at age 4) I won’t push it.
As a whole, we’ve taken a few days off from Heart of Dakota’s prek program. I think the kids are missing the discipline. They love schedules. They love the songs and poems, and they love sitting together reading the Bible stories.
I love them too.
Doing both curricula combined is proving great opportunities for togetherness.
I love that too.
I’m incredibly happy we started our homeschooling year in the summer like we had always planned. Before we started I was very worried I was going to be a terrible TERRIBLE homeschooling Mama. I’m not! I love it! The kids have even asked why I don’t teach their classes at church. So I’ve been avoiding that for long enough-I finally called the church to volunteer. I kind of volunteer for lots of things-so it’s not as easy as just jumping on that bandwagon. We’ll see. I’m hoping to the possibility for sure.
Our most favorite niece, Hannah is coming to stay with us next week. I can’t wait. I’m hoping to get her Monday (or Sunday) and keep her for as long as possible.
Hannah de-throned me 14.5 years ago as the “baby” of the family. I’ve been deliriously happy ever since. Hannah has been so dear to my heart since the minute I held her. Though when Hannah turned into a teenager I just assumed she wanted nothing to do with her Aunt. Thankfully she would post quietly on facebook some things we used to do together and I could feel the love through the status updates. A few weeks ago I got to hang with her at my cousin’s house-it was then I realized she gets me. She really gets me. Hannah loves so many things I do-and best of all-she has the same sense of humour. I cannot wait to spend some time with her!!
We’re also hoping to take a special trip with Hannah as well. Though I’m waiting to hear back from her Mom…so I can’t say what quite yet;) (sorry, Hannah!)

I’ve got to get my kids to bed…I’m sorry this post is incredibly mundane. I’m just trying to get back into the blogging habit…please bear with me.

What’s Going On?

Things have changed drastically over the past few months in the Dziagwa household.  [mostly] all for the better, of course!

We will start in age order:

Mayah is now in speech twice a week and occupational therapy once a week.  Her vocabulary has really taken off and she is asking appropriate questions.  About a month or so ago Dan and I introduced a sippy cup at bedtime for our girl.  She looked like she blended rather well right into the family; however, that was the issue…she blended.  She mimics everything around her and doesn’t know how to show herself.  In fact, she imitated peoples’ reactions to smells as well.  If we indicated something had a foul odor she made appropriate faces-if something smell good, she mimicked that face as well.  After some blind folded testing with extracts and other aromatic items, we learned she has absolutely no sense of smell.  We also had her evaluated in the neuropsych eval done a few weeks ago.  Mayah is almost 8 years old and functions more at an almost 3 year old level.  She tested above age 3 (age 4 and some extra months) on two items and below 3 on the rest of the tests.  We also started our homeschooling year a few weeks ago.  Mayah is basically present regardless of how I teach and nothing more.  She frequently spaces out and has absolutely zero reading comprehension.  She understands almost nothing said to her unless it is accompanied by cues. 

With all that said she is still progressing beautifully.  We are just using trial and error to figure her out. 

I was going to buy timberdoodle curriculum for Mayah and David next week; however, thanks to some more searching I believe I found an even better way to reach our girl.  it’s awesome.  As on my previous post I’m going to review the curriculum.  Hopefully I can get a day-by-day review in…but we all know how committed to blogging I have been over the last 4+ months.  So…definitely will post a review once a week.

Mayah started today, she’s doing great.  Thanks to the free trial, we were able to start right away.  Time 4 learning runs on East Coast time and we had access  before 11am.  We would have had it even earlier had I done the disclosure like I was supposed to.  OOPS! 

***MUCH later in the day***  Both David and Mayah have completed their day’s work with time4learning.  David loved doing the Heart of Dakota better than the computer work; however, I did also tear him away from playing his DS at the time  so that’s not a fair assessment.  Mayah LOVES it.  She doesn’t always know what is expected of her, so I sit with her and do the work—even when time4learning gives her a checkmark for the completion of that particular item, she and I go back to it and do it again.  This week I think instead of bouncing around to different lessons we are sticking with shapes shapes shapes and more shapes.  She doesn’t know her shapes-and the words are VERY hard for her to remember.  Verbal skills are extremely delayed for Mayah.  I think this is going to be the best way to work with these skills for her. 

As for Alexander, he started first grade in the beginning of July.  He skipped Kindy.  His reading skills are out of this world and he loves reading to us at the table daily.  He is flourishing with Heart of Dakota so I don’t think we’re going to add him to the time4learning list. 

David is doing very well.  He is still getting iron; however, I’m trying to find more natural ways to get it into his body.  I have chia seeds which all of the kids get on sandwiches daily.  I also have some yellow dock root which he gets in tea form a few times a week. 

Speaking of tea, Gage is an herbal tea junkie.  I make rise and shine tea for myself every morning (along with my herbalife tea concentrate) and I always make 2 cups:  one for me and one for G.  If I’m making any other sort of herbal tea that day, I have to always be sure G gets a cup.  Junkie. 

In other news:  Gage is allergic to cow’s milk and soy beans.  Soy is in EVERYTHING. e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.  So now I am relegated to making most of our dishes at home from scratch.  I don’t mind.  I’ve now grown to love it.  The children all appreciate the meals and they get to help prepare many of them.  Mayah is quite the bread kneader if I do say so myself! 

At the risk of taking this post all night to type up for lack of updates, I will close there. 

Changes Coming Soon!

I started a new post yesterday at speech…but for some reason (ahem, children!) my laptop was knocked out of the outlet and wasn’t fully charged and I ran out of life as soon as I started.

With the up and coming changes will come yummy soy free/dairy free recipes I continually use to accommodate Gage’s new allergy.

Life being the wife God created me to be! (That’s hard…but more than rewarding!!)

Of course being a Mommy to my fab-four.

AANNND…we started our homeschooling year on July 6th-Mayah’s recent evaluation shows she needs a different approach than what I started using with her. We’re sticking with Heart of Dakota for Alexander and bits of David’s…and we’re also going to be trying time4learning hoping it is able to meet Mayah’s special needs.
In this endeavor:

I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. Time4Learning can be used for homeschool

, afterschool

and summer skill sharpening

. Be sure to come back and read about my experience.