About Us

We are the Nieder family.  We live in the Bronx (no, it's not all scary) and generally enjoy life.  Here are our bio's:

Maya:  Basically the star of the blog, Maya is a 4 year old (!) delight.  She cracks us up, loves animals, other kids, being naughty, and life as a whole.  She loves to tell jokes, play with buses and princesses, and cause trouble.

Maya's health: She has global developmental delays of unknown origin (most likely linked to a rare genetic mutation discovered through exome sequencing, but we are not yet 100% sure).  She's been through a barrage of testing, but nothing was discovered until after her fourth birthday.  Prior to that, she had a normal brain MRI, normal karyotype, normal FISH, and normal microarray. She has had 2 surgeries: her adenoids were removed, and ear tubes were inserted.  Her hearing raises questions---in behavioral testing, she seems to hear normally (or close to normal), which directly contradicts a sedated ABR that said she had mild/moderate hearing loss.   She is making more and more attempts at speaking, but most of it remains unintelligible to folks besides Dave and I. She communicates through her iPad with the Speak for Yourself communication app, making sounds, using signs, gesturing, and using communication boards.

A few Maya milestone:
-August 2010 (2 years, 3 months): Maya had moved almost completely to "real" foods (not jars of baby food)!
-February 2011 (2 years, 8.5 months):  Maya walks!  (Check out the video on Feb 10, 2011)
-July 2011 (3 years, 1.5 months):  Maya's vocabulary doubles!   She learns to say the word "Done" (she already has the word "bye").
-January 2012 (3 years, 7 months): Our world is changed with the introduction of the Speak for Yourself app, which allows Maya's expressive vocabulary to explode!
-September 2012 (4 years, 4 months): Maya takes on her biggest role yet: big sister!

Will: Maya's oh-so-cute baby brother, who arrived on the scene at the end of September, 2012.

Dave: Dad extraordinaire, and 6th grade math teacher with a magical flair.  (If you read it right, that rhymes.)

Dana:  The author of this blog, former middle school science teacher, and now stay at home mom/therapy manager/dog trainer/video analyst for a grad school/blogger.

Parker:  2 year old standard poodle, raised with Maya as a therapy dog for her.  Puppy obedience class graduate, advanced obedience class graduate, and Maya's BFF.  She leans on him when she stands, catches herself from falling down with him, gives him giant hugs, and feeds him leaves. (His function has moved from service-y to therapy buddy, as she doesn't need his help to stand and walk anymore.)


Rabbits: Peanut and Gus, who primarily reside on the terrace during the temperate months of the year.  Family friendly and magical, too.  They're both dwarves.


This one is Gus.

Snakes: Started out as a rescue, then classroom pet, now she mostly hangs out at home with us.  She is an adult ball python.
Ramona is on top---our former snake, Kona, who now lives in NJ at her new home was on the bottom.