Sunday, February 6, 2011

Zahra's First Jiu Jitsu Tournament

On Saturday, February 5, Zahra participated in her first in-house tournament at the Gracie Barra Academy where she began training about a month ago. We are so proud of her! She's only been training a couple weeks, but she got out on the mat and had two matches with two of the other little boys that take jiu jitsu classes with her. Willie has been attending classes here for almost a year and a half and we all really like the academy. It's a very family-oriented atmosphere and everyone is really nice. Zahra liked going to the parents-and-kids classes with Willie and we decided to try and enroll her in the kids-only classes. We gave it a test run for two weeks just to see how it would go and Zahra really seemed to take to it. We thought she might be shy and hesitant to get involved, but we were quickly proven wrong. At the beginning of class, she follows along with the warm up routine and then the instructor goes over specific skills and has the kids practice with each other. Most of the time, Zahra pays attention very well and follows directions.

(The video was taken on my cell phone, so I apologize if the quality or camera-work aren't great.) In the video, the referee is standing on the left and her instructor (who runs the academy) is seated on the right. He's offering support and helping her remember what things to do to get out of the little boy's guard. Since she's pinned underneath, she makes frequent attempts to "bridge" by pushing her hips up so that she can get him off balance. After she pushes up, she can slide out from underneath him and make another move. Although this little boy is small, he's quite skilled since he's been training for a lot longer than Zahra. We reinforced what the instructor had told the kids and made sure Zahra knew that winning the match wasn't important. We wanted her to get out on the mat and make an effort of participating and trying her best. She did just that and we were really proud of her!

Max's Birthday, et al.

Wow! I can't believe I haven't posted a blog since Halloween. I've been super busy and haven't had much time to pause and reflect. Right now I should be reading for school or putting laundry away or preparing my list for the grocery store, but I decided to take a small break to share a few things.

On December 26, we celebrated Max's 2nd birthday at home with family. I baked a cake and frosted it myself. Homemade cakes usually taste better than store bought ones... but I didn't make this until the last minute and then Willie didn't want to wait for it to cool completely before I frosted it, so pieces of cake got all mixed up in the frosting. It didn't look that good, but it was still yummy!

And, about a month after Max's birthday, he pretty much potty-trained himself in a day. No kidding. I'll spare details but basically he hated being in wet diapers and would insist you change him immediately. I gave him an opportunity to sit on the potty and voila! instant success. The next day Saige babysat for me and Max kept using the bathroom by telling us when he needed to go. Nights, nap times, and going in public bathrooms still need work, but for the most part, he's doing quite well. We didn't even need to use an incentive for him like we did with Zahra (no mini M&Ms necessary). He just seemed super proud of himself every time you would praise him. It seemed to be enough so it was really neat that it happened so fast. It wasn't even on my radar. I had no plans of potty training and didn't think he was ready since he doesn't talk very much and definitely still needs help pulling pants up and down. But he is still able to communicate when he needs help with the bathroom, which is enough.

I'm still interested in getting Max therapy for his speech delay, but I'm waiting for nursing school to kind of even out. Once I find myself used to the routine, I'll work on scheduling appointments to get him some help. It seems that he's getting more frustrated about not being able to communicate and I'd like to have some professional help.

Overall, the little guy is doing great and he's a fun, happy boy to be around... I can't believe he's 2 already. It doesn't seem so long ago that we took him home from the hospital and Zahra was calling him Max-and-Ruby.