Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday - Visiting Grandma & Grandpa B.

Gracie had a restless night last night, but still managed to sleep in until 8:00 a.m. I'm pretty sure she woke up on the wrong side of the bed because nothing seemed to be right with the world this morning. I guess turning two is harder than I remember.

It didn't help that about 2 minutes after she got out of bed the exterminator was at our door to take care of the nasty ant population that has moved into our house, but won't leave. They also took care of the abundance of ants outdoors as well. She was enthralled by the bright yellow VW bug they drove and felt the need to say "hello" to the nice gentleman who sprayed the indoors.

We also put up Gracie's new toybox. She is pretty sure that this toybox is supposed to be climbed on. Mommy is pretty sure it's not, but am encouraged that she is starting to be intrigued by climbing up on things. She can now get up on both the couch upstairs (which is poofy) and the downstairs normal sized one. Now we need to work on getting down with out cracking our head open.

Lunch was almost too much for her to handle, so we washed her up and wisked her back to bed. She slept for about 75 minutes. We quickly dressed her and headed to my parents for the day. We had a great visit and Gracie sang with Grandma and banged on the table with Grandpa. We hung out outdoors for a while (it was a beautiful day) and indoors proved to be more of a challenge as she likes to touch and hold everything. She challenged me quite a bit with turning the TV on and off. She knows it is a "no no", but likes to push my buttons.

On the way to my parents, Gracie was flipping through a book and all of a sudden looked up at me and started signing "fish". I looked in the book and sure enough, there were fish. She is really starting to pick up on the sign language. We'll need to continue to encourage this. It will make life less frustrating for her and us too.

Our little two year old is quite the tease. She thought it would be great fun to play with Grandma's answering machine. I told her it was a "no no". Pretty soon she was back at it. I again told her "no". A third time she went for it. This time, I said, "what did mommy say this was" and she answered "yeah" (which is her "yes"). That little brain is working -- this does my heart good.

Gracie cried about half of the way home, she was so tired, overtired really, and just couldn't wind down. She awoke when we got home and again had a hard time getting back to sleep. She is snoozing now and I plan to join her shortly. I do believe Gracie had a small myoclonic seizure today, but they happen so fast, that by the time I realize what is going on, it is over and then I question myself. I'll continue to keep a watchful eye on her.

Thanks to all who are sending prayers our way. They are very appreciated.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday - Turning Two

Gracie awoke at 8:00 a.m. this morning - oh how her schedule is way off -- but we all enjoyed sleeping in. Our little girl turned two today. Oh where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital and now she is a little girl with a mind of her own, a great sense of humor, lots of love, and even a little "attitude". I sang "Happy Birthday" to her upon awakening and she smiled, then she hopped out of bed in search of daddy.

We had a lazy morning and let Gracie watch a few PBS kids shows this morning. Gracie loves TV way too much and we limit it, but today we let her watch a couple of shows since it was her birthday. Then it was bath time and we dressed her in a pretty dress and leggings. You have to look pretty on your special day.

Gracie ate a good lunch, played a little and then took a nap while mommy frosted and decorated her birthday cake. Angel food cake with light pink frosting and two candles. Then we headed to Toys R Us and she got a new toy box and a musical book that is a big hit. It cleared up a bit outside after that and we went to a park that has adaptive swings that Gracie can sit in and you snap a harness type thing over her so she can be free to swing without fear of falling out. She was in her glory. Her legs were kicking and she was giggling and jabbering, and basically just loving life. She also went down the small slide a couple of times. She enjoys that too.

We came home and Gracie fell asleep before supper and took quite a long nap. When she woke up, we presented her with her cake. We knew we had to do it before she ate supper, as when she is done eating, she is DONE NOW. Not in two seconds...NOW. So we handed her the cake and let her squish her hands in it and taste it. She was in her glory. We got some great pictures. After she ate some cake, we fed her supper to counteract the sugar high.

The increase is Gracie's Topamax (seizure meds) is going well. She doesn't seem to be going through the foggy groggy stage this time around. I saw no seizure like episodes today, I thought I felt one when I was holding her once, but I can't confirm it.

After supper we all just hung out. This is when Gracie is the happiest, when all three of us are home, just hanging out. It is like she doesn't have a care in the world.

Gracie was showered with birthday cards, songs, and wishes...thank you to everyone who made her day special. To those of you keeping her in your prayers, we thank you so much.

It was a good day for all of us. Life is good and we are blessed.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday - Pediatric Neurology Visit

Gracie had an incredibly restless night last night. She tossed and turned all night long. We let her sleep in til 7:30 a.m., she ate a little breakfast and then she was visited by Emily, her early education teacher. Gracie was happy to see Emily and her time with us went by very quickly. Emily was pleased to see Gracie is continuing to make progress.

Gracie seemed incredibly tired today. We tried going down for a morning nap, but she wasn't tired enough to fall asleep so we just snuggled and giggled a little bit and then got up to play. Gracie did take a 45 minute nap shortly after lunch. I was hoping for a much longer one since she had her pediatric neurology appointment today and I wanted her to be well rested for that.

Gracie had an absence seizure today and with the odd little movements going on, we were happy to have her appointment today. Gracie loves her neurologist, Dr. N. Immediately upon entering the room, Gracie climbed onto Dr. N's lap and that is where she remained for most of the appointment. We explained that we were seeing some odd movements and have had two absence seizures in less than a week. Gracie always seems to come through with showing off her seizure issues and she had one of her odd movements in the office so Dr. N. could witness it. Here is the plan, we are increasing her nightly dose of her current seizure med and are hoping this takes care of things. I will touch base with Dr. N. in a week. If we see the seizure activity go away, we'll do a follow up EEG in 1-2 months and will have a follow-up with Dr. N. at that time. If the med increase doesn't help the situation, we will be back in the hospital for a 24 hour EEG. I hope and pray the med increase takes care of things for us. It was a good appointment and I got some other questions answered. I love Dr. N. too!

On the way home from her appointment, Gracie fell asleep and is still snoozing. I'm going to go eat some pizza and then I will awake her so we can get her meds in her for the night. If it weren't for the meds, I would consider letting her sleep and see if she would sleep the night through. Since I'm sure we'll be up later with her tonight...I'm writing the blog early.

We would still be extremely appreciative of any prayers for our dear sweet Gracie. By the way, today is the LAST day of her being one. Tomorrow our little girl turns two. Where did the time go?

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday - PT

Gracie awoke this morning at 8:00 a.m., yes, you read correctly, 8:00 a.m. She slept for over 12 hours straight. This just NEVER happens. She did awake briefly at 7:00 a.m., lifted her head to look at me with a very grumpy look, shook her head no, layed back down and went back to sleep. It was quite comical to watch.

Gracie was very needy today. She needed constant attention and wanted to be held alot. I'm sure this has to do with having constant attention on vacation, so we tried to give her lots of attention and ease her back into home life.

Gracie had PT at the clinic today and had a pretty good session. She was much more moody and strong-willed today and didn't always cooperate, but she had some good successes too. Her legs are getting stronger and straighter and our daily stretching exercises have been changed a bit. She did great walking up the stairs to the slide and she zoomed down the slide as we took off her tennis shoes and let her sail. She loved that! We also need to work on strengthening her neck and arm muscles.

The strange little movements that I mentioned in yesterday's blog seemed to have disappeared for the most part. While she was having her night bottle I felt some rhythmic arm movements against me but they were done before I could see them. Then tonight after she had been sleeping for about an hour, she awoke crying. When I picked her up to "walk" and "bounce" her back to sleep, I felt some weird movements again. They were short-lived, different than her former I.S. spasms, but still a bit worrisome. It'll be good to see what her neurologist thinks about these movements tomorrow at her appointment.

Prayers welcome!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, July 27, 2009


We've missed writing for a few days as we were off vacationing at the Wisconsin Dells. Gracie had a great time there and enjoyed the undivided attention of some of her cousins, aunts, and uncles.

Gracie enjoyed the water the first day, but had come down with a cold and kept shivering, so we didn't stay in it too long. The next day she seemed very tired and really didn't want to go in the water at all. I had come down with a cold by this time too and didn't really want too much water action. We had a great time visiting and people watching though.

Gracie's sleep schedule was way off because who wants to take a nap or go to bed when there is fun to be had, add to that a head cold too. Lack of sleep for someone with seizure disorders is not a good combination and we noticed a few odd involuntary movements in her arms. We've been watching her pretty close and praying that this is a reaction to lack of sleep and not the infantile spasms returning. We would appreciate any extra prayers you might have for her. We've got her back to her bedtime routine today and will be careful to do so for the next couple of days and continue to keep an eye on her. We also have a very timely appointment with her pediatric neurologist on Wednesday, so hopefully we'll know more or have a game plan should we need one.

Gracie had some great successes this weekend. She said "bye" for the first time. She jabbered and was extremely engaged all weekend. She used sign language and was just a very happy girl. We didn't experience any major tantrums, a few vocalizations of dislike, but was overall very content and loving all of the attention.

Grandma and Grandpa D came over tonight for supper and Gracie enjoyed the company. She was tired but happy. She fell asleep before 8 p.m. tonight and is sleeping peacefully. I'm about ready to join her in sleepy land.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday - Hanging with Mom & Dad

Gracie awoke in a great mood this morning and was ready to start the day. While daddy went out golfing with grandpa, Gracie and I headed to the prosthetic lab to get measured for new othotics for her feet. I think I mentioned in previous posts that she has outgrown hers. I guess that is all part of having an overgrowth syndrome. Gracie did great for the most part and then we ran a few errands around town before coming home for a nap.

It was so much fun to just hang out with Grace today. She has the greatest sense of humor. She has started sharing her food. Today she held out a bite size cracker for me to eat so as my mouth goes toward it, she takes it back and then just giggles her little head off. She is also jabbering and singing almost constantly these days. She is mimicking alot of words and sounds too. She also is getting very good at the word "hi". We hear it all day long and it is so sweet. I'm also noticing that she is becoming so aware of the world around her. She loves looking at the grass and trees, etc.

Tonight we worked with Gracie on walking up and down inclines in the grass outside. She is doing so good with this. We had a good family day.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday - Thirsty

Gracie had a pretty good night and slept in so that we had to wake her up to get ready for daycare. It took her a little bit to want to get her lazy little bones out of bed. I snuggled in with her for a bit and didn't want to get my lazy bones back up either.

Gracie was in a great mood on the way to daycare. Everytime I would look back at her she would have a big smile on her face. Jeff picked her up from daycare and came home to play. Gracie was a thirsty girl. She drank a bottle of milk and then a big glass of water when she got home. She must have played hard.

Tonight Gracie and daddy were on their own for supper as I stayed a little late at work and then needed to get groceries. When I got home Gracie was pretty indifferent to me, which is not like her at all. Usually she can't wait to get a big hug. Come to find out she took a snooze and was having a hard time waking up. She didn't want her supper and was pretty sober. It took her a while to come around and when she did, she really did. She helped mommy eat a bagel and then had some more milk, so she didn't go to bed hungry.

We let her stay up a little later tonight since she had taken an early evening nap. She is now asleep and the house is quiet.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday - Occupational Therapy

Gracie had a good night for the most part and wasn't quite sure she wanted to get out of bed this morning. After a little snuggling I convinced her it would be okay. I think I've mentioned before that she picks out a book or toy in the morning and that is what she wants to carry around all day. Well this has extended to taking it to the table with her to eat . She has a complete fit when I take it away. Since breakfast was just cereal I let her have it this morning. She looked like a little old lady reading her book while she was munching on cereal. She's such a little goofball sometimes.

Gracie had a good day at daycare and got an early birthday present. It's a little brown baby with a bottle and carrier that has a motion sensor and makes noise. It is the cutest little thing ever.

Jeff picked Gracie up at daycare and headed to the clinic for Occupational Therapy. Gracie was just wired today and didn't have much of an attention span. However, she had two big successes, the first was with pulling pop beads apart and the second was with purposeful release. They have a big slide in the PT/OT gym and she sat at the top sending little toy cars to me at the bottom. We had tried this when she had first started therapy and she would have nothing to do with it. She's come a long way.

Gracie was a very tired girl tonight. I guess she just worked too hard today. She fell asleep quickly. Sweet dreams is my wish for her.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday - A Great Physical Therapy Session

Gracie had a good night with the exception of a doozie of a night terror at about 12:30 a.m. Once we finally got her calmed down, she slept well. She was pretty drowsy when she woke up, but singing the banana boat song brought a smile to her face.

Gracie was a happy girl in the car and when we dropped her off at daycare. When I arrived at daycare to pick her up I didn't immediately see Gracie and as I was talking I felt someone hold my hand and there was my girl with a big smile on her face.

Gracie had a great physical therapy session. We worked on having her stand up from the floor and tried a new technique that we hadn't used before. It worked really well and Gracie was doing great with it. She was really engaged as Sandy was working with her and really paying attention. Sandy would put her in position and Gracie would do the work. She was so proud each time she did it, she would have a huge smile on her face and come over and give me a hug.

Gracie had a good supper and then we went out for a walk with her wheelchair. When we got back home, we took her out of the chair and let her walk the sidewalk. The neighbors had their sprinklers on and Gracie thought it was great fun to walk the sidewalk that was being sprayed and get wet. She was darn right mad when we took her away to go in the house for a bath.

After bath, Gracie was just plain tired and fell asleep in my arms drinking her evening bottle. Come to think of it daddy was sitting next to us and he fell asleep about the same time.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday - Happy Happy Girl

Gracie had a good night and awoke in a good mood and that was the theme for most of the day. The exception is when we went to church. Since Jeff was leading worship at his church, Gracie and I were solo at my church. The trouble started when she decided she wanted to go visit the band. She was very insistent that I let her do this and I was very insistent that she stay in the pew with mom. This lead to verbal expressions of her frustration, as well as bodily force. After a few seconds we pretty much had the full congregation's attention, so I figured we should go out to the narthax and finish out mass from there.

Gracie took a nap when we got home and was in the best of moods when she woke up and ate lunch. She repeatedly said "daddy", she pointed to the kitten in the book and said "MeeeeeeOW", she did some beautiful purposeful release, she pulled pop beads apart, she sang, she laughed, she signed "more", and she meandered around the house and would periodically break into a dance.

After Jeff got home, all three of us went to Target. Jeff and Gracie wheeled around the store like maniac's in Gracie's wheelchair while I shopped. Gracie thought this was hysterical and everytime they would hit the aisle that I was in, she would very plainly say "Hi".

Tonight we went out to eat with Grandma and Grandpa D. Gracie was a good little eater, especially when it came to things covered in ketchup. French fries seemed to be the favorite. We ate outdoors, so after we were done, she tooled around and played and danced. Gracie had a late nap, so when we got home, she wasn't ready for bed. She was hilarious and playful. So we held off bedtime. I have a feeling morning will come way too early.

Have a good week.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday - Fun with Family

Gracie had a great night and when she woke up, looked at me, said "Yay" and clapped her hands. I'm not sure if her cheer was because she had a great night or because she was happy it was morning. Gracie hung out with daddy this morning while I got my hair cut and the gray removed! Then it was daddy's turn for a cut so we exchanged Gracie at the salon and I headed home.

Gracie must be growing as she ate a big lunch. Then she took an hour nap to prepare for a visit from her Aunt Sheila and cousins Kayla and Jason. Gracie was happy to see them and they couldn't come up the stairs to see her fast enough. She played and played and had a great time. She even watched "Signing Times", one of her sign language dvd's with them.

Jeff and I have decided to step up the sign language with Gracie. We see her starting to catch on to a few signs and have decided we need to be better about consistently signing things. We don't like for Gracie to watch much TV, but have decided that we'll let her watch the sign language dvds with us a little more often, that way we can coach her. We also just bought the Signing Times for babies. She really likes that as well and signed both "mommy" and "daddy" today with prompting.

As Gracie gets older, she has definite wants but is getting increasingly frustrated that she can't tell us what those wants are. So we are hoping this helps alleviate some of the frustration, especially since we know speech is delayed and sometimes difficult for individuals with Sotos Syndrome.

When I put Gracie to bed tonight she was quite the comedian. She would lay down for a little bit, then she would pop her head up and shake it "no" and smile. I would then say "yes", and shake my head yes. She would lay down again and moments later her head would pop up again and she would shake it no. Again, I would say "yes" and shake my head yes. This got to be a game and everytime I would say "yes", she would giggle out loud. It was so funny, that I would laugh and that would make her giggle all the more.

She is now sleeping soundly. I'm hoping she has sweet dreams.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tired Friday

Well, it's 9:05 on a Friday night and I am the only one that is still awake. This tells me 2 things:

#1 - Blog duty has fallen upon me (Jeff)
#2 - We really know how to party at our house!

Well, I have no idea what time Grace got up this morning, because I was out the door for work before she awoke. I can tell you that she didn't fuss much during the 5:00 - 6:00 a.m. time frame. She also slept soundly during my numerous checks on her and then hugging her before leaving for work.

Gracie had a good day at day-care today, and wasn't really too happy to see dad this afternoon because I arrived during the "Cookie Monster Song". Cookie Monster starts out with 10 cookies and then eats his way down to none - then he's sad, but someone brings more cookies, then he's happy . . . until he starts eating again. I think it's like "100 bottles of beer on the wall" for kids.

We got home and played for a while, and then mommy came home. As usual, Grace snaps to attention (no matter how tired she is) when she hears mommy's key hit the front door. She runs to the gate and screams until Lisa comes up the stairs and gives her a hug.

During the evening Grace would switch off between being dad's girl, to mom's girl, to nobody's girl, then back to dad and on and on. She finally ended up snuggling with both of us on the couch being everybody's girl.

Finally off to bed, where Lisa snuggled up to her, and then "accidentally" fell asleep.

Have yourselves a great weekend.

All the best,
Jeff, Lisa, and Gracie

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday - New Shoes

Gracie had a good night. When Jeff came to wake me up this morning she was snuggled close. When she woke up this morning she was a little grumpy grundy. It took her a little while to get over the grumpies, but when she did I was rewarded to a happy girl.

Gracie and I have this thing we do where I hold out my arms and ask her if she's hugged her mom today. She always comes and gives me the biggest tightest hug. I do this periodically throughout the day. Well this morning she is circling the kitchen island and I ask her this and hold out my arms. The little tease smiles and does a walk by and doesn't hug me. Now it has become a game. So over and over again, I ask for my hug and over and over again she smiles at me and walks as quickly by me as possible and giggles.

Gracie had a good day at daycare and got to go outside and enjoy the nice day. Jeff picked her up, then I met him at home and we headed to the shoe store. Gracie has outgrown her orthotics and she doesn't get measured for her new ones til late next week and then it will take a couple of weeks to get them. Her shoes are the size to accommodate the orthotics, but she has none that fit her now without the braces. So we needed shoes for her and badly. So we got her a nice pair of pink and white Stride Rites. It's amazing what a good fitting pair of shoes can do for her stability.

Gracie had a good night and was a happy girl, but was very ready for bed tonight. She fell asleep in less that two seconds.

Wishing you a good night.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Gracie had a somewhat restless night, tossing and turning. She awoke in a good mood and was ready to start the day. She ate a good breakfast and insisted on holding the box of cereal while she ate.

Gracie was a little reluctant to let me leave when I dropped her off at daycare, but she had a good day with her friends. Jeff picked her up and they played outside for a while, read books, and just hung out til I got home. Gracie was very intrigued with her belly button tonight. She kept having to check it out, over and over again. Unfortunately, her fingernails needed clipping, so now she has scratches on her tummy from her little exploration. Gracie was happy to see me when I got home and she snuggled in for a while. Then we read a book (twice) before we ate supper. She was very upset with me for not letting her hold onto a DVD case while she ate supper.

Jeff had a magic show at Hope Lodge tonight, so Gracie and I hung out. We went outside for a little while and worked on our "running". Then it was bathtime. Gracie wasn't as thrilled to be in the tub tonight. So we made it a quick bath and then went upstairs to play for a little while before bed. She was so tired, she fell right to sleep.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday - Physical Therapy

Gracie had a good night after a night terror early in the evening. She slept pretty peacefully the rest of the night and once again awoke while I was in the shower. I was treated to a big smile when I greeted her.

Gracie insisted upon taking her book "Raindrop Plop" in the car with her on the way to daycare, then insisted upon taking it with her to daycare. I'm not sure how long she carried it around today, I'll have to find out in the morning as Jeff didn't realize it was there, so it stayed there.

Jeff picked Gracie up for physical therapy at the clinic and she had a great session. She was happy, cooperative, and had some good successes. She got to go down the slide a couple of times and enjoyed that. One of the other physical therapists who hadn't seen Gracie in a while commented on how straight and upright she was walking. She has made great improvement in that area. Her leg muscles were well stretched, although her hips are still tight. We also got a prescription for new orthotics for her feet. She officially has outgrown her others and we are no longer using them as they cut into her feet. We'll need to get molded this time around.

Gracie had a good evening, but was very tired. I think the PT workout tired her out. She was in bed before 8 p.m.

Have a great evening.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday - She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy

Gracie had a great night last night. I'm happy to report that she did not have a night terror as I suspected. She awoke while I was in the shower so I'm not sure if she awoke in a happy mood, but she definitely had smiles for me when I came out of the bathroom. She wasn't real happy about getting dressed. I'm realizing she doesn't like transitions, such as changing out of her pajamas and getting dressed for the day.

Jeff had music on in the van on the way to daycare and the song "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" came on. Jeff was ready to skip over it when he looked in the back seat and Gracie had her hands in the air and a smile on her face, rockin out to the music. Gracie's cousin-in-law Jeff would be proud!!!!

Gracie had fun in the new kiddie pool at daycare. She loves water! When I went to pick her up she was playing on the deck, just happy to be outside and enjoying the day.

Gracie got her first time out at home today where she actually stayed where I put her. She has an obsession with opening the dishwasher door, even though she is well aware that is a "no-no". After about the fifth time, she was warned of a time out if she did it again. She did and she got a time out. I was shocked that she actually sat where I put her. She didn't touch the dishwasher for the rest of the night. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Gracie had a ton of fun in the tub tonight, splashing away. As with most of her baths, the bathroom was pretty wet by the time we were done. She was a tired girl tonight. She fell asleep shortly before 8:00 p.m. and hasn't moved since I put her in bed.

Sweet dreams little one.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday -- Too Much Fun For One Day

Gracie woke up at 5:40 a.m. this morning, but I coaxed her to stay in bed and snuggle til 6:30 a.m. Truthfully, she's a snuggler and it doesn't take much convincing. Our morning was rushed as we left at 10:00 a.m. for the Johnsburg Jamboree and 150th celebration. Just prior to our departure, Gracie tripped over daddy's foot and fell on the driveway. She mostly caught herself with her hands, but hit her nose and lip. She now has a fat lip and her nose bled everywhere.

Much like yesterday Gracie let us know that she did not need a morning nap, nor did she sleep in the car on the way there. So by the time we arrived, she was tired. We waited about an hour for the parade to start and Gracie really didn't enjoy it. She was tired and the sirens were too loud. So everytime they would run the sirens she would cry. I ended up walking away from the parade with her for awhile. She did enjoy the Llamas -probably didn't hurt that I started reciting her book "Llama, Llama, Red Pajama" that she likes so much. She became more hot and tired as the afternoon continued, but there was too much activity to fall asleep. Finally about 3 p.m. we put her in the van with a cold bottle of Gatorade and took her for a drive. She fell asleep immediately and slept for 40 minutes. That did her wonders.

After that we returned to the festival and visited. She still looked tired but had more pep. Gracie loved the polka music and danced with daddy for quite awhile while mommy was off visiting with friends and relatives she hadn't seen for a long time.

Gracie started to pep up a little when we stopped at my uncle's house for a bit and wanted to snuggle with Auntie Mary. Matter-of-fact when it was time to leave, she wanted to stay with Auntie Mary. Gracie was a good girl all the way home and was very happy to be home. Matter-of-fact, she was all smiles to roam the house in her jammies. It took her two seconds to fall asleep. I'm hoping that she doesn't have a night terror. We usually see those on days where she doesn't get enough sleep.

Have a great week.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gracie - Splashing in the Toilet

Gracie had a restless night, but slept in until 7:00 a.m. She actually awoke at 6:00 a.m., looked at me, smiled, and then dozed off. She did this on and off until 7:00 a.m. Gracie was in a GREAT mood today. She was a happy and very busy girl today.

Her morning bath was a hoot, she was a wild splashing girl. After that she stayed home and played with dad while I ran to Target. When I got home she was a busy little girl with all the packages. She wanted to help and carry and hold. She put away the elbow macaroni on her play table. I found the pasta dinner under a chair, the soup can was rolled under the counters, but she had fun and that is all that matters.

Today I got her lunch a little late and she was hungry. Her food was still a little hot, but she wanted it because she was hungry. I explained to her that it was too hot that we would have to blow it and she began blowing. This is huge as we have been working on blowing with her for a couple of months.

Gracie didn't take a morning nap, and only took a little over an hour nap this afternoon. Is my big girl starting to reduce nap time? After nap time, we took a walk to the neighborhood park and Gracie got to swing. She had a great time. Her little legs were just kicking and her smile was a big ear-to-ear smile.

When we got home I needed to check the laundry in the dryer. I left Gracie in the downstairs family room to play while I went just two rooms away to check the dryer. The clothes were still wet, so I restarted it and returned to the family room in less than a minute. Gracie was no where to be found. Then I heard splash, splash. I hadn't shut the bathroom door and there she was up to her elbows in the toilet having a grand time.

Gracie was very hungry at suppertime and after that we read books and then went outside for a leisurely walk. Gracie has officially outgrown her orthotics, so I put her in just tennis shoes today and I think she liked the freedom. On our walk she was actually running. She will be getting new ones, we are waiting for her PM&R physician to get back from vacation to order them. I think she will need her foot molded this time around.

Gracie was tired out and barely stayed awake until 8:00 a.m. I'm going to join her shortly.

Good night!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday - A Kiss for Mommy

Gracie had a restless night last night, and was not ready to get up this morning. I had a very hard time waking her up, she was just so tired. She was quite grumpy through the morning routine, but we did get a few smiles out of her.

Gracie had a good time playing outside in the water at daycare again today. Anything with water makes her a happy girl. I think she might be part flower, because with all that water, I think she grew today. She just looked taller today for some reason.

She was a hungry and thirsty girl tonight. She downed a glass and a half of Gatorade and a fruit and grain bar before we even started supper -- she just couldn't wait. After supper she played with her pop beads and is getting good with pulling them apart. After supper she leaned over to me and very gently kissed me on the chin. This wasn't a big wet slobbery kiss, this was a light sweet "I love you, mommy!" kiss. It melted my heart.

We had been invited to a "Welcome to baby, party" for some friends tonight and we both would have liked to go, but Gracie goes to bed quite early and we never know how tired she will be or how much she will tolerate when tired. I think our difficult decision to not attend was the best decision for Gracie today. With all the sun and fun, she was one tired girl. She fell asleep on my lap and is in bed sleeping peacefully.

We are ready for the weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday - Water Fun

Gracie had another great night. I woke up at 4:10 a.m. and realized I hadn't woken up all night. That rarely happens. About 6:00 a.m. I walked into Gracie's room to wake her up and there she was laying in bed, eyes open, contemplating her day. This is so unlike Gracie, usually the minute she wakes up she needs to let us know she is unhappy that we are not in the room. She saw me walk in, gave me a huge smile and that was the tone of the day. She was a happy girl.

When Jeff and I picked Gracie up from daycare she came out wearing an adult size T-shirt and she thought she was pretty cute!!!! She and her daycare friends got to play in big buckets of water on the deck and they had a blast. Gracie's clothes were soaked, just reiterating how much fun she had.

Gracie ate a good supper. I gave her a pink plate with Sleeping Beauty on it. She fell in love with this plate. She would look at it and smile and pick it up and smile. She was very upset when I took this plate away to be washed.

We went outside after supper and worked on running and climbing up and down grassy inclines. Gracie is making remarkable improvements in her balance and confidence. We even played ball for awhile, but Gracie thought eating the ball would be more fun than throwing it.

Gracie was one tired girl, but started out very restless in her sleep. Perhaps she was too tired from all the fun and fresh air. It was a good day.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday - Blowing Raspberries

Gracie had a good night again -- I'm sounding like a broken record and I'm liking this. She wasn't quite ready to get up this morning, but once again I sang the banana boat song to wake her up. She rolled over and looked up at me with sleepy eyes and a big smile.

When we arrived at daycare there was a big yellow bus parked outside, Gracie was fascinated by this bus. I think she could have sat and looked at it for an hour. She had a big smile on her face. This is a good sign since she'll be riding a bus to school in about a year.

Gracie had a good day, daddy picked her up from daycare and when I walked in the house she had a HUGE smile on her face and I think she and daddy had been dancing. Hollow leg girl showed up for supper. She ate and ate and ate. We took a little time after supper to play, but then it was bath time. She had a blast in the tub. She splashed and splashed until we were all soaked.

I took her into her room after bath and was putting lotion on her legs and she kept trying to lick one of her legs. So I start trying to discourage this. Then she locks her lips on her leg and does the biggest loudest raspberry I have ever heard in my life. It was hilarious. I, of course, laugh hysterically which makes her deep belly laugh. Since I found this so funny, I was treated to a number of these.

Gracie had an easy time falling asleep. I think her splashing action in the tub wore her out. The cooler weather probably helps too.

Have a great night.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday - A Good Day at OT

Gracie had another good night and awoke in a good mood. Of course mommy snuggled with her for a few minutes before she got out of bed, thus insuring that she would be in a good mood.

I dropped her off at daycare and she wasn't sure she wanted me to leave, but I gave her an extra hug and soon she was snuggling with Michelle. When Jeff picked her up she was snacking on Cheerios and getting her energy up for occupational therapy.

Gracie had a really good occupational therapy session today. Kathy, her OT, was very proud of the progress she is making with "on" and "off". She did some good purposeful release, and even did a little coloring on the whiteboard. We will continue to work on having Gracie help us to dress her and remove her own clothing. We also need to work on pulling things apart. I need to find some pop beads. If anyone knows where I might find some, please let me know.

Gracie ate a good supper, then we played, listened to music, and danced. Gracie had a very hard time falling asleep. I'm hoping that she has a restful night.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday - PT/OT/ECSE

Gracie had a good night and daddy had to sing her awake this morning. Singing to her to wake her up works like a charm and is guaranteed to put her in a good mood.

Jeff dropped her off at daycare and she was in a great mood. I picked her up at 3:30 p.m. and we headed home. Gracie's physical therapist, early education teacher, and occupational therapist (new to us through the Birth to Three program) came to work with Gracie at 4:00 p.m. Gracie signed "ball" and when read a story about "up", would put her hands up. Gracie's PT confirmed that Gracie needs new orthotics for her feet, she has outgrown hers. She has only had them three months. Most kids never outgrow them. But then our Gracie is on a growth scale all her own. Gracie's occupational therapist gave us some things to work on to teach Gracie to blow. The thought is that if we teach her to have more control of her mouth, she will also have more control over her drooling.

We had taco's for supper. I thought Gracie might enjoy them, but I was wrong. The meat was too spicy for her and she promptly decided that was not her thing. What was I thinking?

After supper we went for a walk and Gracie sang pretty much the whole time. She was in a great mood. After supper it was bath time and she enjoyed splashing and screaming.

She was one tired girl and quickly fell asleep. She was very much daddy's girl today.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July Weekend - Happy, Social Girl

Gracie had a great Fourth of July weekend. She had great nights (other than a night terror on Saturday night) and awoke in great moods. I can tell that she is more at ease now that Jeff is home. She is still a little clingy at times, but slowly that is getting better too.

We had quite the social weekend. On Saturday we went to Aunt Sheila and Uncle Chris' house to celebrate the 4th with family. Gracie loved spending time with her cousins and some of her aunts and uncles. She also enjoyed their yellow lab. She was a good girl all day long and had fun playing with everyone. She had her music therapy on Aunt Sheila's piano too. The weather wasn't great, but that didn't stop us from having fun.

Today Grandma & Grandpa D., and Aunt Kathy came over for lunch and to hang out for the day. Gracie enjoyed the company and got to play outside with her water table. Grandpa helped daddy carry Gracie's new mattress up to her room. Gracie was super excited with her new bed tonight. It's higher than her old one, so she has to re-learn crawling off and on. She almost had a face plant tonight, so now we have pillows around the outside until she gets used to it.

We played outside today and Gracie's confidence with walking in the grass is really improving. Tonight she walked across half of the backyard to the fence to watch the neighbors sprinklers. She did this a number of times and does really well.

Tonight Gracie was drinking her night bottle while sitting on my lap, Jeff sat down on the couch by us, closed his eyes and pretended to snore. Gracie thought this was hilarious and would giggle. So tonight I am walking with her and singing her to sleep. She is resting her head on my shoulder and is nice and calm...and then she started pretending to snore. Oh my gosh, I could barely hold the laughter in. What a little card.

She is now snoozing on her new mattress. I hope she thinks it is comfy.

Have a good week.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday - Daddy's Home!!!

Gracie had a great night and awoke at 6:30 a.m. Gracie was in a snuggling mood, so we stayed in bed and laughed and snuggled til about 7:00 a.m. Gracie was in a fantastic mood. We got up and had breakfast together and we talked. I had actual words and she jabbered on and on -- I'm sure she knew what she was saying.

After breakfast we played and read books. Or should I say, we read A book, just over and over and over again. Gracie selects one toy or book and that is the key toy or book for the day. Today it was her "Wake Up Papa Bear" book. It went everywhere with her. Including our trip to the butcher shop to pick up some meat. Usually I can talk her into leaving said toy in the car...not today. However, when the nice lady offered her an M&M cookie, it was okay to let go of the book.

Gracie took a 45 minute morning nap and that was just what she needed to be in a great mood again. She was still very clingy, but happy. She ate a great lunch, from the amount of food she put away I am just sure she has a hollow leg. We are working on biting and pulling when we eat items like cookies, etc. This is teaching her how to bite portions off of a larger item, such as a cookie or toast. Gracie has had a hard time with that, so puts way too big of chunks in her mouth. So we are working with her on that so that her food doesn't have to always be cut in bite size pieces. Drinking out of a straw has not been intuitive for Gracie either, but we are working on that and I think she got it today.

About 2:15 p.m. we headed to the airport to pick up daddy. I was scared she would give him the cold shoulder as the last day any time I would mention him or show her a picture, she wanted nothing to do with him. She fell asleep in the van on the way there and since we were a little early, I let her sleep for about 20 minutes and then woke her to go inside. Jeff had just come off the plane as we entered. Gracie gave him a smile, held out her hands and snuggled in!!! I don't think she let go of daddy for a good hour afterward. On the way home, Jeff sat in the back with her and she smiled and jabbered and giggled and held daddy's hand the whole way home. I could tell that daddy was happy to see his girl too!

As we were out of everything at home, I left daddy and Gracie to play and I went to the grocery store. They laughed and danced and sang while I was gone. Since Gracie's afternoon nap was only 20 minutes...rather than the normal 2 hours, she went to bed early. She was overtired and had a harder time falling asleep.

I can tell Gracie was most content and happy when all three of us were home together. All was right in her world.

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday -- Still No Daddy

Gracie had a great night last night and of course that means I did too! :) Gracie awoke in the greatest mood this morning. She was happy and snuggly -- two of my favorite things. I asked her if she wanted breakfast and she shook her head "no" and smiled, but was only too happy to eat some.

Gracie had a good day at daycare but was very quiet and mellow all the way home and through the evening. She had been so excited earlier in the day that daddy was supposed to come home today. Unfortunately, due to travel problems, he is stuck in Amsterdam and won't get home til late tomorrow afternoon.

Gracie is becoming quite the pro with feeding herself with a toddler fork...she can't load it herself, but if I give it to her loaded or help her load it, she hits the bullseye (her mouth) every time. Sorry daddy, but I think she is gonna be a righty!

Tonight Gracie and I were reading her book "Llama Llama Red Pajama" and at the end the baby llama goes to sleep. Every time I read it to her and we get to the end, she smiles and shakes her head no. I think she thinks that means it is time for her to go to bed.

Gracie is peacefully sleeping. I'm hoping for another good night.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday - A Good Day

Gracie had a great night last night. She had a very short bout with restlessness and tossing and turning and fussing. She didn't awaken through this and slept in just long enough to allow me a shower. She awoke in a great mood and was even quite silly this morning.

Gracie's clinginess with Jeff being away continued today. I actually think it is getting worse instead of better. It makes it a little difficult to go to the bathroom, but otherwise I don't mind. I did cheat for dinner tonight though, as it makes it hard to cook when she wants to be held constantly. I picked up pasta with marinara sauce and breadsticks. Then I supplemented with fruit at home. I figured the veggie could be the tomatoes in the marinara. This was a big hit with Gracie, my pasta lover.

Tonight at dinner Gracie and I are interacting and I am talking to her. I said "Gracie, did you know that daddy is coming home tomorrow? We are going to the airport to pick him up and bring him home." Not only did she smile at this, but she started giggling. There is no question that she misses her daddy.

The night flew by. After dinner it was bath time and the splashing was at an all time high. After that we put our jammies on and read a book. We had lost a favorite book of Gracie's "Llama Llama Red Pajama" for a couple of days and we found it under the couch tonight. So, that was the book I got to read numerous times this evening. She got a stuffed llama at Lark Toys this weekend, so he got to sit beside her while we read.

Gracie fell asleep quickly this evening and is very peaceful. I'm hoping that continues through the night. Well "the girls" made it through the week without daddy, but we'll be very happy to have him home again.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie