Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ba ba ba baba ba ba!

Ba ba ba baba ba baaaaaaaaaaa! Ba ba bababa baba baaaa!

Translation: Back off Mommy! I can and will do everything that others kids do - just when I want to do them!

God has certainly blessed us this week! Not only is Anna waving (see link), but she has also started to babble!

I wasn't sure the first couple of times I heard her, but then she kept doing it, and kept doing it. Won't her therapists be thrilled!! =)

Yeah! Praise the Lord!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Anna Waves!

After a lot of complaining and fretting and crying on my part this week, Anna has done something to bring legitimate tears to my eyes...she waves!!

It may not seem like much of a milestone to most people, but for us, and for Anna, this is a huge deal. She has been kinda, sorta waving for a couple of weeks now, but has just started waving deliberately and obviously this week.

In addition to waving, Anna has also started making some new sounds. Nothing like babbling, but every now and then you will hear a 'ma', or 'beh' sound.

Progress, albeit small, but progress!

Below is a video of Anna waving. Say Hi!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

God Doesn't Make Mistakes

As I was browsing the blogs of some fellow mothers of children with Down syndrome, I came across this video. It, of course, brought tears to my eyes.

But also, as you watch the video, check out the beach scene. I am fairly certain that is Old Orchard Beach, ME, where we go each year. Or, I could be wrong and all beaches look the same - but it looks like it to me =)

Anyway - enjoy!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Therapy: PT Evaluation...grrrrrrr

Ugh! I hate assessments and evaluations. As I have said before, it is one thing to know your child has developmental delays - it is quite another to see them quantified and qualified in terms of developmental months and skills.

Today we had a PT assessment for Anna (as per state requirements when adding a service), and it did not go well.

First of all, the lady who came to do the eval is not my favorite person. She has been here on two other occassions - she did Anna's initial assessment for her first IFSP a year ago, and she was here to instruct me on infant massage. Each time she was here, there was no warm fuzzy within 10 miles. Though I am sure she is competent and great at what she does -- her bedside manner is lacking.

Anyway, not more than a couple minutes into the assement, Anna started to whine and fuss a little, and the therapist says, "Oh my, what a fake cry. Does that get you what you want around here? I certainly hope not. If so, then that needs to stop right away." -----Seriously?!? Did she just come in here and tell me that my child is not developing more quickly because she thinks I spoil her?!

- And this continued throughout the session. Little remarks about what a faker Anna is and how she is not going to give in like Mommy does.

Grrrr....and to top it off, her assessment is that Anna is at about 6-7 months developmentally (she is 13 months old). Like I said, it is one thing to know they are delayed - a little harder to swallow when you see hard numbers like that.

I just feel like Anna has been stuck in one place for about 4 months, and that one day soon - she is going to bust out and do everything we have been working on all at once. It is just getting very frustrating and I am finding it hard to not cry my eyes out after each therapy session. And then, to have that lady come in here and tell me in not so many words that her delays are compounded by my spoiling her!

What am I going to go do right now? You guessed it! I am going to go hold, snuggle and absolutely spoil my little angel rotten!

Pool?

I mentioned a pool in a previous post, and more than one person has inquired about this pool - as in, " I didn't know you guys had a pool?"

Well, when I say pool, I roughly mean a puddle of water in the back yard that kids like to splash around in. But - they have fun and beg to play in their pool daily.

I love how easily amused kids are!

Great Deals from the Back of a Truck!

So, we were enjoying a Memorial Day lunch on the back deck with some friends who were passing through town when the doorbell rang. At the door was a man with a sweet Southern drawl who said that they had two trucks out front full of furniture from their North Carolina warehouse that they were selling at cost.

Curious, and amused, we decided to go take a look.

Inside, the two trucks were loaded with furniture - sofas, loveseats, recliners, grandfather clocks, dining room sets and bedroom sets. It was quite amazing.


We weren't really in the market for any new furniture, but happened across a bedroom set that looked nice. We have been talking about getting a king bed (currently have queen), but weren't actively looking for one.....but, we inquired about the price anyway.

Apparently the price was right - because we are now proud owners of a new king-sized bed and all the matching furniture! Really - it was quite the steal and too good to pass up. We said yes, and they came in right away - moved our old stuff to the garage and set up the new stuff.

We didn't (still don't) have a king-sized mattress, so right now our queen mattress is sitting on the king bed. Our new mattress will be delivered next Monday.

I can honestly say that I never imagined buying furniture from the back of truck is how I would ever spend Memorial Day!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Updates: Therapy

It's been a good week aside from finding out that Anna has to have surgery on her eye - and really, that is just more annoying than it is scary.

Anyway, we have been blessed by gorgeous weather all week, so we have been outside once again, and therefore, no blogging. Plus, there isn't a whole lot going on worth blogging about (even though somehow I have been crazy busy).

Therapy: nothing new
Not a whole lot to report from therapy this week. Our Wednesday session was canceled because the therapist had a family emergency. On Friday, Anna showed tiny, miniscule signs of progress.


Next week Anna will have a PT evaluation so we can start the additional therapy sooner rather than later.

....And it is time to go back out to the pool! =)

Monday, May 18, 2009

And the Word is - Surgery

Nothing serious, fortunately. But surgery, nonetheless.

Anna has a clogged tear duct in her right eye. Our trip to the pediatric opthamologist today revealed that her clogged duct has not gotten any better (in fact, it has gotten worse), and that the answer is surgery.

Most babies who have clogged tear ducts clear up on their own by the time they are 1. If they do not clear on their own, then surgery is recommended because the chances of them clearing on their own greatly decrease.

They recommend doing surgery before 18 mos because the success rate of the surgery drops off dramatically after that.

Clogged tear ducts are troublesome because they often cause infections.

The surgical procedure is only about 15 minutes, but Anna will have to be completely sedated for it.

So, we are waiting to hear our surgery date, and praying that Anna's eye heals on its own before then!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Updates: Therapy, Dentist, Brutus, Reading

Whew! We made it!

It has been a long week around our house. Jonathan was gone all week for work, and the kids were, well, kids! But, we made it and are ending on a positive note =)

Therapy: Adding more
Anna had two really good therapy sessions this week. She worked really hard each time, and showed some definite improvement in a few areas.

We are looking at (and most likely will be) adding a physical therapist (PT) to our weekly therapy concoction. We all, parents and therapists alike, would like to see Anna bearing more weight on her legs and, of course, crawling.

So, soon we will have a PT evaluation (required for documentation and procedures for State Early Intervention), and will be adding our third weekly therapy session. Three seems like a lot, but we all want what is best for Anna. Between the ages of 1 and 2 kids learn to do so much, so we want to make sure that Anna is getting every input that she needs so she can continue to learn and develop. Plus, we have some catching up to do!

Dentist: No Cavities!
All three kids went to the dentist this week. Charlie and Paige were excited to get new toothbrushes, and I was excited that they have no cavities! I rewarded them appropriately with a lollipop =)

Anna had her first dentist appointment. I know, she is only one and has only two teeth, but we have insurance for her, so we might as well use it. Anna was not overly thrilled with the whole dental exam. Mostly, I think she was just upset that I was making her miss her nap. Anyway, the doc. said her two teeth that she has look good, and that the overall shape of her mouth looks good. She saw a couple more teeth buds on top, so we might look forward to having more teeth soon.

Brutus: Looking Good!
Brutus seems to be back to normal. He is no longer 'sleeping' on the rock and is swimming around much more. I guess our little guy just has a sensitive stomach and we have to be careful not to overfeed him.

Reading: Charlie is a wiz!
Charlie has been doing really well at reading! He has earned three certificates from his teacher just this week! He is learning new words all the time and is now trying to read everything with print on it. I can't wait for Anna to sit on his lap and him to read a story to her - he can't wait either =)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Will SHE Flush?

I do not understand my daughter's fascination with the toilet!

I have mentioned before how Paige likes to put things in the toilet to see if they will flush (see link). And I have mentioned that nothing good can happen behind closed doors (see link).

But, have I mentioned that nothing good can happen behind closed, and locked, bathroom doors with Paige on the other side doing something in the toilet?

After lunch I sent Paige upstairs to go potty and get in bed for her nap, as per our usual routine. A few minutes later I went up to give her a kiss and tuck her in only to find her locked in the bathroom. I get the key and open the door. I knew I should have had a camera ready because what I found was too funny....Paige was giving herself a swirly!!

I am sure it was 'clean' swirly, but a bath and full-body cleansing were administered promptly.

Flowers

Yesterday was Mother's Day, and I am sure a lot of moms got a lot of flowers.

Charlie brought me home a potted flower from school last week. Yesterday, he brought me home another potted flower from Sunday School.

It really was a great Mother's Day. I had breakfast in bed, and then after church we went to brunch with some friends. Just a relaxing day where I didn't do any cooking! (I did fold laundry, though).

And today, I was surprised when the doorbell rang only to find that I was getting more flowers! These flowers were not for Mother's Day, however. They were from Jonathan in celebration of our engagement 7 years ago.

Seven years ago Jonathan took me for a picnic in Central Park where he proposed to me. That is where I made the 2nd greatest decision in my life (the first was to trust in Jesus), and I said 'Yes'!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Anna Video

For Anna's First Birthday, we created a time capsule. This capsule is to be opened on Anna's 16th birthday, April 15, 2024. (We also did this for Paige)

We asked everyone to contribute a little something to the capsule. Some things that people contributed include a letter, jewelry, videos, music from 2008, and a book. I think Anna will be very excited when she gets to open her box! She will see how much we loved her right from the start! =)

Jonathan made a video of Anna's first year titled Unwritten. The song he used is Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. Below is the video. Hope you enjoy!

Friday Updates: Paige, Therapy, Brutus

Paige: Growing Fast!
This morning Paige had her 3-year check-up with the doctor. As predicted, she is fit as a fiddle weighing in at 32 lbs and just over 37 inches (50th percentile for both - for those wondering). She can officially ride the rides at the carnival (36 inches being the minimum)!

Paige also asked the doctor for a glove to help her stop sucking her thumb =). The doctor found this to be quite funny and said if she thought it would help, he would be happy to give her a glove. In fact he gave her two - one for each hand.

In addition to stopping sucking her thumb, now that she is 3, Paige has decided that it is time to be Pull-up free! We have been three days now with no pull-ups at naptime or bedtime! Go Paige!

Therapy: Stuck
Anna had therapy this morning. She was grumpy because she got up early this morning, but we worked her anyway.

How is Anna doing? In a word - Stuck. She seems to be at the same place she was about 2 months ago. It is common for children to hit developmental plateaus, and then explode forward again, but it is frustrating to wait out those in-between times.

Ms. Jeannette said to me today that if Anna isn't crawling, or at least moving forward, by the time of our next IFSP (due up in mid-June), then she is going to recommend PT services for Anna - meaning, she will be getting 3 therapies each week.

We are also working really hard on getting her hold her own bottle or cup, as well as finger-feeding herself.

Praying for Patience!

Brutus: Signs of Improvement
Brutus is showing signs of improvement. He is swimming around more and seems all around more lively.

As per the instructions on multiple websites, we changed his water, and have not fed Brutus for the past two days. We have also tried to feed him a pea, but Brutus wasn't interested. We will try to feed him a pea again tomorrow and change his water again.

Hopefully he will be fully recovered soon!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

School Days Will Be Starting Soon!

Today was a big day for Charlie. We officially registered him for Kindergarten starting in the Fall.

At orientation today, Charlie got to meet all the Kindergarten teachers. They did a craft and had a snack. Charlie is very excited about going to school next year and wishes he could start today.

The parents also got to meet the Kindergarten teachers. We also met the principal, the school nurse and the president of the PTA. I, too, am very excited for Charlie to go to school -- but I can wait until Fall =)

This morning I met with Charlie's pre-school teacher for a parent-teacher conference. She had nothing but wonderful things to say about Charlie. I laughed because she said one of Charlie's strengths is his sense of humor...which we agree. We think he is hilarious -- we just weren't sure if other people 'got' him. Also, I mentioned to her how Charlie is learning to read, so she gave me a First Readers book to practice. He is supposed to bring it back to school and he can read to/with the teacher and get a certificate. Then she will give him another book. Charlie likes this idea a lot. He makes us so proud! =)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Do Fish Sleep?

Do they usually swim sideways? Do they ever just 'lay' on a rock?

If not, then Brutus is sick!

We haven't even had Brutus in our care for a week and already he is sick! We believe he has 'Swim Bladder Disease', known to us as really bad gas (what is it with my pets and gas?). Wish us luck in curing poor Brutus!

What were we thinking getting a fish?!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Paige!!

Happy Birthday Paige!!

Today Paige turns 3 years old! She is growing up so fast. We often tease that Paige is 3 going on 13.

Paige is such a lively little girl, full of spunk, personality and color. She is independent, curious and a leader. She is clever and cute and funny. She is all girl, yet can keep up with boys. She loves to sing and dance. She loves to wrestle and climb. She loves Dora and Little Einsteins. She has her own sense of style (if you can call it that), and she is cute as can be!

Paige is also loud and mischievous. She is stubborn and disobedient and outspoken. She is manipulative (or tries to be anyway), and she works on her own time schedule.

Paige may be the middle child in our family, but it was clear from the start that she would not be one to get lost in the crowd. She is her own person, and she likes to make herself known (often in a very loud fashion).

Everyone who meets Paige adores her for her outgoing personality, mega-cute crooked smile, crazy hair, and colorful outfit that she is usually sporting.

And as her mother, I admire her because I was always a shy little girl. She helps Charlie be bolder (because he is more shy, like I was) - she is often the trailblazer for the two of them. And, I am sure she will be a inspiration to Anna someday.

Because of her strong personality, though, I do fear her teenage years. She is only 3 and gives us a run for our money...13 is going to be interesting!

We love her to pieces, though! Nobody can make us laugh like Paige does!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAIGE!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Party Time!

Yesterday was a great day! We celebrated Anna's first birthday (4/15), Paige's 3rd birthday (5/4), and Jonathan's birthday (4/30).

I decided on a joint party this year, and will probably continue in like fashion until Paige gets old enough for a 'friends' party - something we have decided in our family will not happen until the kids get into at least kindergarten. We had a small family celebration for Anna on her actual day, Jonathan and I went to dinner to celebrate on his actual day, and I am sure we will do something special for Paige tomorrow, which is her actual day.

So, yesterday we had our family, minus Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Joel =(, over for a day of fun. The main attraction was the carnival. We told Paige that the carnival was just for her birthday which she thought was just awesome! Wasn't that clever of me to get the town to host a carnival just for her =)

Anyway - we had a lot of fun. We were blessed with great weather despite the ominous forecast. God gifted us with sunshine and warmth. The kids (Paige, Charlie, and cousin Eliza) rode a lot of rides (ferris wheel, roller coaster, giant slide, obstacle course, etc.), and wore themselves out.

Back at home we ate lots of food, opened presents, and had the traditional birthday cake and ice-cream.

I had fun! I hope (and think) everyone else did too! =)

And, in typical fashion, we took way too many pictures. Below are a few of my favorites, but click on this link to see all of them.




A few other noteworthy events from yesterday...
- Not related to the birthday party, but yesterday morning we signed Charlie up to play soccer in the Fall. He is very excited, and I can't believe he is old enough to play organized soccer already.
- Paige accidentally let two of her helium filled balloons go outside. I have never seen her so devestated before as she stood there watching her balloons drift higher and higher. In an attempt to stop her tears, I convinced her that the balloons would catch a ride on a passing airplane to Grandma's house in Arizona. This was a very exciting thought. It is a good thing Grandma called today to let us know that she found a pink and a purple balloon - which she will return the next time she comes to visit. =)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Brutus Moves In

Paige's birthday is on Monday (May 4). She will be 3.

We had no idea what to get Paige for her birthday. She has plenty of clothes. We have more toys than we have storage space. And she is too young to enjoy or understand tickets to a show or something of the sort.

We decided to get Paige a fish. Jonathan and Charlie both got fishing poles for their birthdays, so it only seemed fitting for Paige to get a fish =) After much discussion with the guy at PetsMart, we decided that a Beta fish was the best solution - low maintenance, and within our price range.



So, meet Brutus! He is the newest member of our family and we think he really likes his new home.




Look forward to more (fish)tales of Brutus. I am sure there will be many stories of how Paige tried to pick him up out of his tank, or how she thought he looked hungry and therefore fed him the whole food container, etc. And then, there is certain to be the story about how we have to explain to Paige and Charlie about death. --- What were we thinking getting a fish?!