Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday - Trick or Treat

I awoke at 7:10 a.m. this morning to little fingers poking my face. It felt great to sleep in. We scurried around this morning to eat breakfast, get showers in, and head to the clinic for Gracie's H1N1 vaccination. She came down with a cold on Thursday and still has quite a bit of drainage from her nose, so I was worried they might not give it to her. When they heard she had a cold they screened her for the injection. When they mentioned that they didn't have any shots without thimerosol, I had them screen her for the FluMist and we went with that. I hope we got some in her. She didn't cooperate and with her runny nose, it makes me a little nervous. Thimerisol is the preservative that some have mentioned may be linked to autism and other disorders. The studies were all flawed, so I really don't think I would have issue with it for a normal healthy child. Gracie's I.S. is thought to be possibly triggered by her MMR or Pertusis vaccinations. I just think a child predisposed to health issues needs to have special attention taken to these things. We go back after 28 days and will get a second H1N1 vaccination for her.

Gracie got to see her Birth-to-Three teacher at the clinic. I think she was confused that Emily was there, because that is not where we see Emily, she comes to our house. Gracie got some ghost stickers after her vaccination. That was a hit. Gracie LOVES stickers. They are used to reward good behavior at our house.

Gracie was a little more needy today. She wanted to be held alot and was quite whiny if she didn't have one or both of our undivided attention. She had some great moments too, but definitely needed a little more TLC. I rocked with her for awhile and she enjoyed that. She took a 75 minute nap this afternoon, but it should have been longer. We tried to lay back down later in the afternoon and she did rest, but never fell asleep.

I think I don't always give Gracie credit for getting as much as she does. I was not going to take her out trick-or-treating tonight because I just didn't think she would "get it" and I didn't want to expose her to any flu germs. Gracie made it known after the first trick or treaters showed up that she wanted to be outside where all the fun was. So we put her coat and mittens on and pulled her adorable lion costume on over everything and she traipsed outside enjoying the cool night air. She trick-or-treated at two houses -- thank you Diane and Nancy for treating our little lion to goodies and Bridget delivered goodies -- thanks Bridget. At Nancy's house she got to see Annabelle the dog...Gracie loves Annabelle. She also enjoyed Marti and Alvin's pumpkins and stood on their front steps enjoying the pumpkin lights.

When Gracie's cheeks got too cold we talked her into coming inside with promises of watching her video of Gymbo going to the Zoo. After that she got to eat some chocolate and then it was bed time. She was little smiley lovey girl when it was time to lay down. Oh that smile melts my heart.

She is now sleeping soundly after a very busy day.

Happy Halloween and for those of you on Daylight Saving Time -- don't forget to set your clocks back an hour.


Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, October 30, 2009


Gracie awoke at 2:00 a.m. and was wide awake and in a great mood. Mommy was not wide awake, but enjoyed all of the smiles. I decided I would walk and bounce with Gracie, which is how she is comforted. So her head is on my shoulder, I'm singing her sleepy song "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and I end the song and she is extremely snuggled in and still. I am just sure she has fallen asleep, when I hear her little voice make a pretend snore sound...and then she does it again and again. We do that to her sometimes when we are pretending we are sleeping. I had all I could do not to laugh. She finally fell back to sleep at about 3:00 a.m.

Daddy took our little lion to daycare this morning as they could wear their Halloween costumes. I was disappointed to find out that Gracie was the only kid this year that dressed up. Last year all of the kids did. I picked Gracie up at daycare, and she was having fun as she had Barb and Papa all to herself.

Gracie was a little whiny tonight if things didn't go her way. She did enjoy her bath immensely. She didn't do much splashing. Today she decided it was more fun to lay on her stomach and swim in the tub. She is so tall that when she is all stretched out, she is longer than the tub.

Gracie was more than ready to go to bed tonight and fell asleep quickly. Tomorrow we get her H1N1 vaccination. She has a few sniffles, so I hope they still give it to her. As always with vaccinations, I'm a little nervous, as we are pretty sure that some of her 15 month vaccinations are what started her infantile spasms a year ago. I'm still very pro-vaccine, I just won't ever give her more than one at a time.

If you have any extra prayers, please pray that Gracie does okay with the H1N1 vaccination. Thank you!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday - A Great PT Session & A New Friend

Gracie had a great night. Not sure if it is because she slept with her feet in my stomach all night, or if it was because she was really really tired. She awoke while I was in the shower, when I came out to greet her she did not have a smile to share. So I scooped her up, took her back to bed, and snuggled with her for a little bit. She needs that morning snuggle to put her in a good mood.

When I dropped Gracie off at daycare she was in a great mood, running back and forth and just being goofy. Jeff picked Gracie up at daycare in the middle of snack time, so they grabbed her snack and headed back to the clinic for PT. Gracie had a great PT session. For my regular readers, you may remember a couple of weeks back I mentioned how Gracie is growing and her legs were getting tighter and she was losing her balance. Well this last week that has really seemed to improve. Gracie's PT, Leslie, commented on how great and loose her muscles and joints were -- all those stretching exercises we are doing with her are paying off. Gracie had two huge successes today. They got her to go up on her tippy toes without holding onto anything and when running while holding onto Jay, the intern PT, her feet left the ground for a mili-second. Gracie is getting so much stronger. Before her appointment the clinical assistants who treat her like a princess, gave her a beautiful white teddy bear, and after her PT appointment she got a Tinkerbell Sticker AND a bag of M&M's for Halloween. I am so thrilled to see her get stronger and stronger everyday.

By the time we got home she was one tired girl. I think she was just exhausted from her workout. So we made it a pretty low key night. We did get our first trick-or-treater....our friend Laurie brought her son Logan over as he was trick-or-treating at a local nursing home. Gracie wasn't too sure what to think of him at first, but started to warm up to him. Then Logan, who is 5, read her a book...from there on out he was her new friend. He was so good and gentle with her.

She was one tired girl when I put her down to sleep and now this tired mommy is going to go kiss her forehead and go to sleep.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday - Please Don't Wake Me Up

Gracie had a great night, she slept very soundly and when it was time to wake up, she wouldn't. I could not get her to wake up for anything. She would flash an eyeball at me occasionally but go right back to sleep. I even turned the light on in her room and still she wouldn't wake up. Finally she awoke while I was dressing her. She was a very happy girl upon waking. Must have got some good rest.

When I dropped Gracie off at daycare she was having a great time. She would run from Barb to the gate where I was to head out. Then she would run back to Barb. She kept doing this over and over again and laughing the whole time.

Gracie wasn't too hungry for supper, but did help mom eat some of her Chinese food. Gracie was in a good, but tired mood tonight. She had a good time in the tub.

Tonight when it was time to go to bed, Gracie became a kissing machine. She just kept giving me kisses and kisses and kisses. So sweet. I told her thank you and then she signed "thank you".

She is sleeping peacefully.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday - Drinking Out of A Big Glass

Gracie had a good night last night and daddy snuggled in with her while I took a shower this morning. When it was time for Jeff and Gracie to get up, they looked so sweet, snuggly, and peaceful, that I didn't want to wake them. Gracie thought it was great fun to steal daddy's bagel this morning before he could put it in the toaster. She claimed it as her own and roamed the house munching on it. She did good until she took a huge bite. It was just too big for her to manage and when I pryed it out of her mouth there were big crocodile tears that I took it out.

Jeff dropped Gracie off at daycare this morning and she was happy to see everyone. Jeff also picked her up and she was tired and didn't give him the time of day. However, when I got home I got a very happy greeting. We always tell Gracie who is going to pick her up and I was supposed to today, but due to a change of plans, Jeff did. Does she remember this stuff or is she too young? I have no clue.

At supper tonight Gracie insisted upon drinking out of mommy's glass. It is a smaller glass glass and although it makes me a little nervous, she does really good with it. The pride on her face is priceless.

Gracie and mommy danced around the house tonight and that was great fun, but she was tired and so a few minutes before 8 p.m. I layed in bed with her. She suddenly got a second wind and was just the happiest giggliest girl. She finally settled down and is now sleeping peacefully.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, October 26, 2009


Gracie had a pretty good night, but occasionally would cry out in her sleep. She never really woke up, but definitely moved around a little more than usual. She awoke way too early -- abour 5:15 a.m.

Gracie's early education teacher and OT from the Birth to Three program came to meet with Gracie this morning. Michael, the occupational therapist, worked and played with Gracie while Emily, her early education teacher and I went through an assessment of her skills. Although there are still alot of areas we need to work on, it was fun because we've seen alot of progress too. You don't realize how much until you sit down and actually start assessing each thing. It also makes me aware of the things we really need to work on, but truthfully they were of no surprise to me.

When I dropped Gracie off at daycare she was looking mighty tired, but the energy of all the other kids and the music revved her up a bit. Jeff picked Gracie up at daycare tonight just as the "big" kids were going outdoors to play. So when Jeff and Gracie got home, they played outside for awhile too.

Gracie was tired tonight, but happy. I read her a book about a pig tonight and there is a bee in it. When I got to the bee, she made the sign like an airplane and said "BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ". I about fell over, Jeff nor I have made that sound or sign for the bee. I was reading the book to her this morning and she didn't say it. So I have no idea where she picked that up, but it made me proud.

We also took straws into the bathtub tonight to get Gracie to work on oral strengthening....she was able to blow bubbles through the straw into the water. YAY!!!

Gracie was more than ready for bed tonight. Sweet dreams.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday is a Fun Day

Gracie slept in this morning til 7:30 a.m. She was a happy smiley girl and that was the theme for today. Happy, funny, content, and giggly. As long as music is playing in this house, Little Miss Grace is a happy camper. If mom or dad happen to be dancing with her while the music is's even better. At one point today I was dancing and just being silly with her and she found it extremely fun and hilarious. She would giggle and giggle and giggle. When I went to hug her after the song was over she gave me a huge hug and then a big kiss on my cheek. Kisses are far and few between from Gracie, so I must have really deserved it.

Jeff was preaching at a church in another town, so Gracie and I stayed home and watched church on TV. She was very good during this with the exception of putting her shoes in her mouth and the more I told her how yucky it was, the funnier she thought it was.

Gracie ate a good lunch and was looking pretty tired since she didn't have a morning nap. We went to lay down and all of a sudden she had a second wind. Oh was she just a happy funny girl. She finally fell asleep at 1:00 p.m. and slept for an hour and a half.

Upon awakening we headed to Target for a family outing to get a cartload of necessities. Gracie was only to happy to help hold things, as she and daddy tooled around the store in her wheelchair. I didn't realize how late it was and when I went to put some crackers in the cart, Gracie had a fit that she wanted some...she really was hungry. So we had those rung up first and then Gracie and daddy had a little snack while they ran the rest of our stuff through.

When we got home our neighbor Nancy was taking her dog Annabelle out for a walk. Gracie loves Annabelle (who is super mild mannered), so that made her day.

Gracie decided supper was not to her liking tonight...I made baked chow mein. I think it was more about just being full from a late snack then truly not liking it. She was tired this evening but happy and hilarious. Both Jeff and I agreed that it was hard to put her to bed tonight, because we just wanted to continue playing with her.

We hope you all had a good weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday - Hanging with Mom & Dad

Gracie had a good night and even slept in til 7:00 a.m. What a treat! She awoke in a great mood and stayed that way throughout the day. I made chocolate chip muffins for breakfast and they were a big hit.

Our day was filled with reading, dancing, playing with toys, and Gracie taking mommy and daddy by the hands for walks around the house. She loves to do this and it has to be both of us. We also put the fireplace on downstairs to warm up the house a bit and Gracie was enthralled. I don't trust her at all to leave it alone. She knows it is "hot", but the temptation of the bright flickering flame it just too great.

Gracie was a good helper with laundry. Her primary job is opening and closing the dryer door for mommy. We got a lot of laundry done today.

I also made some cinnamon streusel bread that was a hit and Jeff and I (mostly Jeff) made some homemade chicken noodle soup. Both were well received.

Gracie took a morning nap and an afternoon nap, so she wasn't ready to go to bed until about 10:00 p.m., but I didn't really mind since she was in such a great mood. Just more time for us to play.

It was a great day of just hanging out at our house.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday - New Words

Gracie woke up and was a very happy and snuggly girl. She couldn't wait to watch Mickey Mouse Club House. That makes getting her dressed much easier for me too. She concentrates on that and doesn't fuss as we change clothes. The transition of changing her clothes is still one of her biggest issues.

Gracie was a good girl in the car on the way to daycare and we sang songs. It was raining at a pretty good rate when we got out of the car and Gracie was all smiles when she felt it hit her face. She liked that mommy ran from the car to the house too.

Jeff picked up Gracie at about 4:00 p.m. and came home in the snow. We had an inch or two of really sticky wet snow, so Jeff made a snowball and gave it to Gracie in her hand. She loved it and held onto it for about 5 minutes.

When I got home Gracie was in a great mood. She greeted me at the gate with a huge smile and she was a happy girl pretty much all night. She also had some new verbal words for us tonight. Jeff was reading her a book with a cow in it and he was telling her that the cow says "moo". She said "moo" and then kept turning back to that page so she could say "moo" over and over again. She was so proud of herself for saying it too. She kept looking back at me and smiling to make sure I heard her and gave her the appropriate encouragement and cheering. She also signed milk to tell us that is what the cow makes. I have been trying to get her to say moo for months and it finally clicked. Then she wanted another book about sisters read to her. Jeff told her to bring the book over and she repeated "book".

Grace was smiling pretty much until she fell asleep! Ahhhh, I love days like this.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday - A Visit to Great Grandma

Gracie had a great night and slept in til about 6:45 a.m. We got her dressed in a pretty pink and black dress and black leggings, put a barrette in her hair and put her in her car seat for a 3 hour ride to visit Great Grandma K. Great Grandma just moved to a nursing home as she has cancer in her bones and hip and cannot walk on her own. Gracie did good in the car on the way there til about the last hour -- then she got pretty ancy.

Gracie was in a very social mood today and enjoyed seeing Great Grandma, Great Aunt Ann and Great Uncle Denny. She also made lots of new friends with the residents at the nursing home. She helped push wheelchairs with people in them down the hall (for a while I thought they might put her on the payroll). She enjoyed visiting the fish (two aquariums full), the birds, and made friends with the resident cat, Sam. Sam was truly delightful and gentle. He rubbed up against Gracie's shoes. She thought that was great fun and then as he walked away, Gracie felt it was her mission to follow him. Gracie held some of the resident's hands. Some appreciated it, some did not. Gracie especially liked Mabel, Great Grandma K's roommate.

We all had lunch with Great Grandma at a private lounge area. My goodness did Gracie eat. She ate peas, potatoes, and all the meatballs from my plate. When she was done with those she started in on the meatballs that Great Grandma was too full to eat.

Gracie took a 30 minute nap on my shoulder while daddy did a magic show for the nursing home residents and staff. Gracie gave hugs to Great Grandma, Ann and Denny before we left. She also said goodbye to Mabel. I was so scared that Gracie would step on Great Grandma's feet with her big braces and shoes. Great Grandma is so fragile and thin, but enjoyed the visit with Gracie.

Gracie was so good on the way home until the last 40 miles. She screamed, cried, and hit herself in the face in frustration for the last 15 minutes. Nothing I did would console her. When we got home, I took her out of her car seat and just hugged and consoled her. After I got her calmed down I layed her on the bed to change her diaper and I said "Gracie, we're home!". She looked up at me with her big wet teary eyes and gave me a beautiful smile. She was happy to be home and move about. Of the six hours in the car, Gracie slept NONE of them. She was a tired girl tonight.

I'm a tired mommy too.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday - Tired Girl

Gracie had a very good night. She did not want to wake up this morning, but once she did was in a good mood. She was very upset with me when I put her in her car seat this morning, but by the time we got to daycare she was dancing from it.

Gracie played shy once we arrived at daycare, but got over it pretty quickly. She had a good day and Jeff picked her up at 4 p.m., only to come home and have her fall asleep. She slept from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. She awoke in a good mood and was in great spirits all night long.

I think I mentioned that Gracie copied me the other morning when I put my finger over my lips and said "shhhhhhhh". Tonight she was listening to music and I was talking to her. She looked up at me square in the eye, put her pointer finger over her lips and said "shhhhhhhhh" to me. My daughter shooshed me. She had a twinkle in her eye when she did it.

She sat for about 10 minutes just leafing through a magazine and tearing out pages here and there. She had a great time in the tub. Lots of splashing.

After bath she was playing downstairs. She had her pajamas on, but I hadn't gotten her socks on yet. It's cold in our basement this time of year. She sat down and signed "socks". I guess her feeties were getting cold. She was happy to have me put the socks on.

She didn't go to bed til about 9:30 p.m., but fell asleep very quickly. I have a feeling it will be an early morning for her.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday - Fun Visitors

Gracie did not want to wake up this morning. She was all snuggled in her prayer quilt that she got when she was suffering from I.S. This quilt by the way, just makes me smile everytime I see it. To know every knot tied on it represents a prayer that was said for Gracie. To know that love and caring came from such special people. When I see her wrapped in it, it brings me such contentment and joy. I just watched her sleep for a few minutes...ahhh such peace and innocence.

Gracie was a good girl this morning and we were running a little late, so we "marched" our way down the stairs to the garage to the car to make leaving a little more fun and fast. Gracie was a little clingy when we got to daycare, but that didn't last long. Soon she was waving me out the door and blowing me kisses.

Jeff picked Gracie up at daycare and then zoomed back to the clinic for occupational therapy. I don't look forward to OT as this is much harder for Gracie and she doesn't seem to enjoy it. We love her occupational therapist, but it is just evident this is more work for Gracie and she struggles more trying to accomplish goals. Early on we worked very hard on purposeful release, a concept that took Gracie a long time to get. Now we are working on targeted release. Putting a circle into a circle hole, putting objects into a container, or balls though pvc pipe. She did a number of these items today at OT. She didn't get nearly as frustrated when she was made to finish a task. She got to play with chocolate pudding on the mirror. Not only is is fun to play in, but it is fun to lick too. Jeff and I were thrilled with her progress, as was her OT. We really felt good about today's session.

Shortly after we arrived home, Aunt Arlene and Grandma and Grandpa B came over for a visit. Gracie played shy at first, but warmed up after a bit. She loved when Auntie Arlene would bounce her on her knees and make horse sounds. Gracie even signed "horse". When Arlene was ready to leave, Gracie signed horse again...she wanted more rides.

Gracie is sleeping now, but was quite restless. When she falls asleep she has many twitches..big twitches. Some days worse than others. It always makes me nervous because of her seizure activity...but they are nothing to worry about according to her many EEG's.

Sweet dreams to all. To all our family and friends who are sick with the flu, or with any other ailment...our prayers are with you for a speedy recovery.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday - PT & ECSE

Gracie awoke at 6:00 a.m. and was ready to start the day. After a brief snuggle with mom and dad, it was time to get moving. Gracie was a very good girl this morning and was a little card once we arrived at daycare. She was hamming it up good. When I left she waved "bye, bye" and blew me kisses.

Gracie had a good day at daycare and when Jeff picked her up, the kids were enjoying the nice day and were playing outside. When I arrived home, they had just pulled in the driveway and Gracie looked very tired and really grumpy. I thought her session with the physical therapist and early education teacher would not be a good session. Thankfully, after some snuggling with mom and a couple of bunny crackers, her mood changed.

Sandy, Gracie's PT, brought a trampoline with a bar on it for Gracie to jump on. Gracie was a little tentative at first, but really started to enjoy it. Sandy would get the bounce going for her and Gracie would give us a big smile and sign more...that is until it went really fast and she would lose her control, then suddenly it would be time to sit down. Gracie's ECSE teacher brought some new simple books for Gracie that assist with speech. So we'll work on those and Gracie loves them. These versions even had cheat sheets for mom and dad with examples of how to sign some of the words. Gracie really enjoyed Sandy and Emily's visit.

After they left we played outside for awhile. She ran and ran and ran down the sidewalk while holding onto Jeff and my hands. She thought that was great fun. She didn't want much for supper, but was very thirsty.

After supper it was bathtime. She was a wild girl in the tub. The splashes were sky high and after she was done splashing, she would but her head in the water and blow bubbles. She is such a little entertainer. The first time she did it, I laughed. Then everytime after she would do it and then look at me to see if I was laughing. If I laughed (which how could I not) she would smile and do it again. (Definitely her father's daughter!)

All the running and splashing made Gracie a very tired girl and she was in bed by 8:00 p.m.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Weekend - Shhhhhhhhhhhh!

Gracie woke up bright and early on Saturday morning. I think she forgot that mommy told her she could sleep in. She was a very good girl in the morning, then took a 2 hour nap, got up at 1:00 p.m., had some lunch, and then turned into a very moody child. Nothing was quite right. We took her to the store with us and she did great when she was in her wheelchair zooming around, but when we transitioned her to and from the car seat or she was in the store trying on snow boots, it was a different story. When we got home she was still overly emotional about everything, so about 4:30 p.m. both Gracie and I layed down for a nap. We awoke at 7:00 p.m. I guess we both needed our sleep.

The long nap was just what Gracie needed. She was in a great mood the rest of the evening. We read books and there was a book that had socks, birds, and cars in it. She signed each of those words at the appropriate times We went to bed a little after 10:00 p.m. and she had a restless start to her night, but had a good night.

This morning she awoke around 7:00 a.m. and was in a great mood all day long. It was just Gracie and I all morning as daddy was playing in the band at church. She repeated a lot of words and did a lot of signing. Gracie and I watched mass on TV this morning. At one point she was getting a little loud and I put my pointer finger to my lip and said "Shhhhhhhhhhh". She didn't hesitate for a second and did it right back to me. I haven't ever used that before, so I'll have to ask daycare if they do, because it was like she knew exactly what that meant. Tonight Gracie and I had fun telling daddy to "shhhhhhhhhh", just for the fun of it.

At one point today I saw Gracie sprawled out on the kitchen floor digging for something under the fridge. The treasure she came out with was a half eaten cracker that has been sitting there for who knows how long. I took it from her just before it got to her mouth and said "yucky"...she repeated me and shook her head and kept saying "yuck". It was so cute.

Gracie, Jeff, and I took a nice walk around the big extended block today. Gracie walked most of it herself. She is getting so observant. She got excited when she saw pumpkins, enjoyed pointing out trees, and picking up leaves. For the last little bit, she got to ride on daddy's shoulders. That was great fun. Later she climbed up the deck stairs with a little help, but got very upset when she saw her water table and was told that it was too cold to play in water.

Gracie amazes me with her willingness to taste all new foods. I'm not sure there is anything she doesn't like, although she definitely has her favorites. Tonight I was eating a lettuce salad, Gracie had already finished her supper when she came up to me and wanted some of mine. I took a very small piece of lettuce with italian dressing and gave it to her. She chewed on that for awhile and came back for more. Not wanting to give her too much lettuce, I gave her part of a crouton with dressing on it. Yum, that was well received too.

Gracie had lots of hugs and snuggles today and was such a good girl. She had fun teasing me too. She has such a great sense of humor. She just makes me laugh and her eyes just sparkle. We are so blessed.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday - Beep! Beep!

Gracie has been having some really great days. The changes in routine that we have made in the evening have really been helping Gracie not have as many meltdowns and the ones she does have are pretty short-lived. We haven't had a plate of food hit the floor in weeks. The fusses that she does have in the evening are more typical of what a two year old would have than it being sensory integration issues.

Gracie has really been saying alot of new words the last two days. Yesterday they were just coming out so frequently I had to make sure Jeff didn't give her an overdose of her seizure meds. Whenever we up the dose her cognitive skills make a leap, but we haven't made any changes in dosage and Jeff assures me that he hasn't given her any more than she is supposed to get.

Gracie's pronounciation of words isn't perfect and you really have to listen to know what she is saying, but it will come. New words she is saying: up, down, go, stop, Heidi (the name of the daycare dog), papa (our daycare mom's husband), and eye (as she pointed to my eye). Tonight she was listening to the song "The Wheels on the Bus" and Jeff and I were cooking. It took us a minute to register that when they were singing about the horn going beep, beep, Gracie was saying "beep" "beep". She is also doing really good with sign language. Tonight we were reading a counting book that had birds, cars, and socks and she signed all three of those words.

Gracie is also finding great fun in sitting at her Little Tikes table and playing her piano. Sometimes she also reads a book at the same time. She is becoming quite the multi-tasker. She will sit there for 10 minutes at a time. For those of you that know Gracie, she doesn't sit anywhere for 10 minutes at a time.

I can't wait to spend the full day with her tomorrow and see what new things she comes up with.

She is sleeping now and I think I'm going to join her shortly.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tired Thursday

Hi it's Jeff the dad. This is going to be a short one. Everyone in the house is really tired!

It was a great night. Grace was in a good mood and jabbered like crazy. Some new words and lots of laughter (for all of us).

I am the only one that is currently awake & my status will be changing soon. So this is the end of tonite's update.

Have a great night!

Jeff, Lisa, and Gracie

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wednesday - Getting Beauty Sleep

Gracie awoke at 3:00 a.m. and was wide awake. She tried to fall asleep, she tossed, she turned, we snuggled, we rocked, finally I picked her up and we bounced as I walked the floor with her. She finally fell back to sleep at 4:00 a.m. She was up bright and early at 5:45 a.m. She thought it was great fun to come into the bathroom and sit on the closed toilet while daddy brushed his teeth and mommy was blow drying her hair. Daddy left for work and while mommy curled her hair, Gracie was busy brushing her teeth and smiling at herself in the mirror.

Gracie had a good day at daycare and took a really long nap. She slept from 12:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Making up for the hour that she was awake during the wee hours of the morning, I think. When I picked Gracie up she was in a good mood. When Papa from daycare came home from work, Gracie greeted him with a smile, a "hi", and gave him five.

Gracie was thrilled to see that daddy was home when we arrived home. Daddy was taking a quick rest on the couch and Gracie went over and layed her head on his chest and just snuggled for awhile. We all had a nice dinner together and Gracie was a very good girl throughout.

After dinner it was splish-splash bath time. She was a wild girl in the tub. After tub time daddy, mommy, and Gracie all snuggled on her bed and read lots of books. She snuggled in and was very content and happy to have mommy and daddy hanging out with her.

She fell right to sleep tonight and seems to be sleeping peacefully. Hopefully she will have sweet dreams and a calm night.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday - Happy Girl

Gracie had a good night and woke up a little before 6:00 a.m. Jeff went to lay with her for a few minutes when she called out but couldn't get any smiles out of her. Mommy stuck her head around the corner and got a great big huge smile. Everyone knows that mommy is "it" in the morning.

Gracie was a little tease this morning. It was time to go to daycare and she had her coat on and we were ready to go. She is standing by the couch looking at picture books. I tell her to come on over we have to go. She doesn't budge. I tell her again and see that she has this gleam in her eye and she's not coming over because she is teasing me. I finally say "Gracie, are you teasing mommy?" She gives me a big smile and came on over.

When I picked Gracie up at daycare she was snuggling with Michelle. She did a project at daycare where they glued cotton balls onto a picture of a sheep. It is so cute and Gracie was so proud of her work. She just beamed when I looked at it and oohed and aahed. We put it on the fridge at home and she was thrilled to show it to daddy when he got home.

Gracie was a very good girl this evening. She was excited to see daddy when he came home around 7:00 p.m. and her first order of business was to get a piggy back ride from him. We read books and looked at magazines and then she was ready for bed. She was a tired girl tonight.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday - Physical Therapy

Gracie woke up bright and early at 5:15 a.m. this morning. I guess she was just done sleeping or she is figuring out that if she wants time with daddy, she has to get up early. When I got out of the shower and saw that she was awake and running around, she gave me the biggest smile. She was a good girl all morning and even was cooperative when I put her in her car seat on the way to daycare. It was snowing on the way to daycare and when we got out of the car, she loved it falling on her face. I also showed her some snow on a plant, but I'm not sure she quite gets what snow is quite yet.

She played shy for a minute when we got to daycare and then marched right over to Michelle and sat on her lap and snuggled in. By the time I left her eyes were getting heavy. The daycare kids got to eat in the dark today as the electricity went out for awhile. A tree had fallen on some electrical lines. I picked Gracie up at 3:20 p.m. and we headed to the clinic for physical therapy. She was in a super mood and did great. Gracie's PT concurred that Gracie's muscles are tight again and she is walking with her knees very bent again. This is a sign that her bones are growing and her muscles aren't keeping up. We will just need to do more stretches with her and really work on those muscles.

Today at PT, Gracie walked on the treadmill for a long time, she did really good on it. She also walked up the stair steps to the slide all by herself using her feet and hands and not being helped at all. Gracie ran up and down the hallway. They use the hallway that goes to the clinical assistants. Do you know how proud a mother can be, when her daughter runs as fast as she can up the hallway and all 4 of the clinical assistants stop what they are doing and clap and yell "Yay Gracie!!!!" Gracie was beaming, I was beaming, and pretty soon from around the corner, Gracie's neurologist (who we all love) peeks her head around the corner. Dr. N said she heard everyone cheering for Gracie and thought "Hey, I think she is one of mine!" So she came to see. Sure enough Gracie gave her a great big hug. Dr. N. marveled at how well she was doing.

Gracie also sat on a scooter and was given a rope to hold onto. The PT pulls the rope, Gracie holds on, and then she gets pulled down the hallway. This is really good for her core strength. Gracie has never been successful with this, she lets go of the rope almost immediately. But not today, the first three times she let go and on number four the concept sunk in and she got it. Gracie also did some bouncing on a half exercise ball. We are trying to get her to jump. It was a GREAT day.

On our way back to our car, we ran into Auntie Sheila. So Auntie Sheila decided she was going to push Gracie's wheelchair and give her a fast ride, complete with "zoom" sound effects.

Gracie had a great evening too. She was happy and cooperative. I'm content and happy as I marvel over our successes today. It's hard not to be just bursting with pride.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday - The Duncan Girls Solo Again

Gracie had a good night and I think she was happy to have the nice warm fleece blanket that I added to her bed last night. She awoke at 5:45 a.m. and had a little time to spend with daddy before he left for work at 6:30 a.m.

Gracie and mommy spent the morning doing laundry, playing Mickey Mouse Playhouse stuff on the computer, attending mass on TV, and reading books. Gracie was a very good girl today and was very happy, smiley, and quite content just playing, dancing, and listening to music. Gracie took an hour nap this morning and a rather restless 45 minute nap this afternoon.

She ate a huge lunch and her favorite food was the green beans. She couldn't get enough of them.

This afternoon Aunt Sheila and cousin Jason came to visit and play. Gracie had a great time playing and chasing Jason. She would squeal with delight as she would try to catch him as she ran around the island in our kitchen.

I think Jason tired Gracie out as she was pretty mellow the rest of the night. She was plain tired. She sat on my lap and rocked for the longest time. Daddy got home around 7:00 p.m. and Gracie was excited to see him. The first order of business with daddy was a piggyback ride. :)

Gracie is now peacefully sleeping after a fun weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday - Time With Mommy AND Daddy

Gracie had a pretty good night with a few restless periods, but for the most part a good night. She awoke at 6:30 a.m. and was quite snuggly and happy. Her smile got bigger when daddy joined us in Gracie's bed. Gracie is most content when mommy and daddy are both at home with her. We had a good early morning eating muffins, playing, and watching Disney's Mickey Mouse Club House.

I left daddy and Gracie for a hair appointment and a badly needed trip to Target as we were out of everything. Gracie and daddy had a good morning together. By the time I got home they had eaten lunch and Gracie was napping. Grace only slept about 45 minutes and then was up for the day.

Then Auntie Kathy came over and took daddy out for the afternoon to go car shopping. Gracie and I took a walk outside and she got to pet a big neighbor dog. She wasn't too sure at first, but then voluntarily put her hand out to pet him. It was too cold and windy to be out for long, even though she had on her winter coat and her brand new Dora hat that she loves. When we went back inside I zipped some of her neck skin in her jacket zipper as I was unzipping it. Oh she felt that and cried. I felt absolutely horrible.

Gracie was such a good and happy girl today. She talked up a storm and just jabbered and jabbered all day. I attribute this to the fact that Jeff and I both were home today.

Gracie is definitely on a growing spurt again. She loses her balance so easily and just falls over. Her leg muscles are so tight, especially on her right side. We've been doing stretches twice a day and we can't get her right leg stretched out.

Gracie went to bed about 9:00 p.m. and was a tired girl from all the activity.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday - Snuggling with My Dad

Gracie had a fair night, she had times when she was so very restless. Daddy came in to lay by her this morning while I took a shower. When I came in the room to wake her to get ready for daycare, she was snuggled in with Jeff and I hated to wake her up, almost as much as she hated me waking her up. She whined and fussed, but finally realized that there was a new day ahead for adventures and of course, her favorite show these days....Mickey Mouse Club House.

Gracie was happy to get to daycare and I don't even know if she realized I was leaving. Bye mom! She got birthday cake at daycare as one of the babies turns one this weekend. She also had a couple of really cool tatoos on her arm. When I picked her up she seemed really tired.

When we got home she immediately signed that she wanted music...and then some yogurt. She also guzzled down two big glasses of Gatorade. That's been our new ritual, she has a tub of yogurt before supper. I use it to give her meds and tied her over til suppertime. She loves to sit on my lap as I feed it to her. It's mommy time! Gracie hated yogurt as a baby and then couldn't tolerate it for awhile -- she's my soy girl. She seems to be tolerating it just fine as long as we only have one tub of it a day and she LOVES it.

Daddy came home and brought us Chinese food. Gracie had some leftovers too and then shared mommy's Chinese food. I have to be careful what I give her as the veggies aren't cooked soft enough for her. Gracie doesn't mind sharing food from my plate. She really likes the rice and the crab rangoons. Let's be serious here, what food doesn't Gracie enjoy? She really seems to enjoy just about anything I give her to eat.

Gracie had some great snuggling moments with daddy tonight. After supper she climbed up on him and just wrapped her arms around his neck and snuggled in. All the long hours working have taken their toll on Gracie. Tonight she snuggled in with him on the couch too.

Gracie enjoyed her bath and the splashes were going over our heads. I think I filled the bathtub a little too high. Fun, fun, fun.

Gracie is now asleep and seems to be very restful.

Have a good weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday - PT

Gracie had a terribly restless night. She just couldn't seem to find a comfortable position. This went on most of the night. She woke up while I was in the shower, so she got a few minutes with daddy before he went to work. I got big smiles when I walked out of the bathroom to say good morning.

Gracie had physical therapy this morning, but was very clingy and didn't want anything to do with Sandy for a few minutes. Once she warmed up a little she worked on stepping up onto mats and stepping down. This is a hard concept for her little muscles to register. We're taking it slow. I've been thinking that Gracie's knees are really tight again and Sandy confirmed my thoughts. I'm pretty sure she is growing again. Gracie also bounced on the exercise ball and did sort of a wheelbarrel move over the ball to work on core strength.

When I dropped her off at daycare she did not want to stay...that is until Barb turned on the music. Suddenly it was "mom who"?

When I picked Gracie up at daycare she didn't want to put her coat on. She finally did, then went upstairs to say goodbye to Papa and we headed home. She helped mommy make supper by putting noodles into a pan. She ate a good supper and was thrilled when daddy arrived home about 6:30 p.m.

It was bath night, which is always a hit. She was a tired girl and fell asleep very quickly this evening. She already seems to be more calm and restful this evening.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday - Back to the Routine

Gracie had a good night and awoke bright and early at 5:45 a.m. After a little snuggling she was ready to hop out of bed. She was happy to eat her pear sauce with her "sprinkles" (seizure meds), but wanted nothing to do with milk or a waffle.

When I dropped Gracie off at daycare it was evident that she had spent the last 4 days hanging with mommy and was really clingy and a little weepy when I left. That just tugs at my heart strings, even though I know she is fine after I leave.

Gracie had a good day at daycare, although her appetite was down quite a bit still. When I arrived to pick her up, she was in a great mood and was watching the Twins game.

Gracie was very clingy when we got home and just wanted to be held. She ate a pretty good supper and was tickled when daddy arrived home a little earlier than expected. She was so tired tonight that her mood was unpredictable -- one minute she would be smiling and the next she would be having a meltdown. Yet, as tired as she was, she had a hard time falling asleep.

She is now sleeping soundly.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday - Feeling Better

We are now 24 hours fever free! Gracie was even a little stir crazy having to stay in the house today. She was a good girl and had some good successes. I pulled out the Memory game and used the cards as flashcards for words. I pulled out the picture of the dog and Gracie said "dog". She also of her own accord leaned over and gave me two kisses today. Kisses are few and far between. We get lots of hugs, but rarely kisses.

We read lots of books today, sang lots of songs, did a little dancing, and played "shoo" Gracie away from the dishwasher. She loves to open the door, even though she knows she is not supposed to.

Gracie did have an accident and fell into the tv stand and gave herself a bloody nose. There was blood everywhere. She didn't fuss until she saw her hand covered in blood. We got it stopped, cleaned us both up, gave lots of hugs and TLC and all was better.

Gracie, once again, was thrilled to see daddy come home. She wanted to hang out with him instead of go to bed tonight. So they got to watch the end of the Twins game together.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday & Tuesday - The Fever Continues

Gracie had a rough night on Sunday night. She ran a fever of 101 all night long even with Motrin. She couldn't sleep, so I spent most of the night holding, bouncing, or cuddling her. At 4:45 a.m. I gave her some Tylenol and that brought the fever down.

Gracie slept from 7:45 a.m. til 10:45 a.m. and I snuggled in with her. Although I was tired, I couldn't sleep. Perhaps it was mothers' worry.

Gracie had a pretty good day. You could tell that she wasn't her normal self, but we did alot of snuggling and read about 10,000 books. No we don't have 10,000 books, but we read the same ones over and over. I think I've got the record for reading "Barnyard Dance" 10 times in a row. We also listened to alot of music and did some dancing.

Gracie's appetite was pretty light, but thankfully she drank plenty. Perhaps it was that I was allowing the orange Gatorade to flow freely. That is a great favorite of hers.

Gracie took a 90 minute nap in the afternoon and this time I slept too. It felt great.

Gracie didn't want anything more than yogurt for supper and then her fever came back. So we gave her more Tylenol which helped. Gracie was thrilled to see daddy when he came home. He's working long days, so she isn't seeing much of him lately. She greeted him at the gate over the stairs with "Hi Daddy". Her first request was a piggyback ride. Whee!

Gracie had a hard time falling asleep. She got to watch some of the Vikings vs. Packers game with mommy and daddy. I'm almost sure I heard her say "Go Favre!".

Gracie had a good night and this morning her fever is gone. She's been a good girl, a little clingy and her color isn't back quite yet. We've cancelled her OT appointment today and PT yesterday. We don't want to pass her germs along. Hopefully she'll stay fever free today.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday - A Girl with a Fever

Gracie awoke in a good mood and again got to see daddy for a few minutes before he left for work at 6:30 a.m. Gracie was a good girl all morning. She even took an hour long nap. She wasn't too hungry for lunch though.

After lunch we headed to the mall as I was in need of some new shoes. Gracie was good as gold while we were shopping. She made a new friend (a three year old boy named Riley) while I was trying on shoes. I did take some pants into the dressing room to try on and looked horrible in them so I said "yucky" and Gracie thought that was great fun and kept saying "yuckkkk" to repeat me.

When we got home, she felt hot as I took her out of her car seat. Sure enough she has come down with a fever. I'm guessing it is a result of her flu vaccination on Friday afternoon. The literature indicated that could happen. Some Motrin helped to bring it down, but she's been running warm. Despite being pretty snuggly for awhile she has been in a good mood and interacting. She got to have chicken nuggets for supper and gobbled those right down.

When Jeff came home from work around 7:30 p.m., she was absolutely thrilled to see him. She hopped on his back and was ready for a piggyback ride.

I just put her down, but will have to check on her frequently during the night and keep that fever under control.

Have a great week.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday - Visiting is Fun

Gracie woke up at 5:45 a.m. while I was in the shower this morning. When I came out, she was all smiles helping daddy eat his bagel. Daddy left shortly thereafter for work and it was Gracie and Mommy for the day. Gracie was a very good girl all day long. We played, we danced, we sang, we made and ate chocolate chip cookies and even had a half hour nap while snuggled on mommy's lap. Oh I treasure those times.

After a good lunch, Gracie took an hour nap and then we headed to Aunt Sheila and Uncle Chris' house. Gracie had a great time playing with her cousins, Kayla and Jason. They treat her like a princess and play lots of fun games with her. She got to play the piano and loves when Kayla and Jason play it with her. I actually think she enjoys it more when they play and she can sit by them and listen. Jason played the trumpet for her and she had a great time clapping for him when he would finish a song. Kayla was wearing slippery pants and Gracie thought it was great fun to slide down her legs.

Auntie Sheila made a yummy supper and Gracie ate and ate and ate. She fell asleep in the car on the way home and was surprised to see that daddy was home from work when he took her out of her carseat. Daddy sang to her for awhile, but when it comes time to sleep, mommy is "it". So mommy sang her to sleep. With all the running and playing she did today I think she will sleep well tonight.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

P.S. Cousin Jason loaned Gracie her Halloween costume for this year. Any guesses on what Gracie is going to be for Halloween??? :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday - Flu Mist

Gracie awoke at 5:55 a.m., just before daddy left for work and was all ready to snuggle with mommy for a few minutes. Then she was up and about and in a good mood. She was hilarious at the breakfast table, just being goofy. For the first time in about a month she didn't fight me when I put her in her car seat. I hope she is realizing that mommy always wins that battle. Although if she grows too much more, I'm not sure I'll continue to win.

Gracie had a good day at daycare and when I picked her up about 2:30 p.m., she was still napping. I had to wake her up so we could make our flu vaccination appointment. We made it in time and I was surprised to find out they suggested the Flu Mist that you inhale rather than an injection. This is a live virus vaccine, so I hope all goes well. Gracie did really good with it from the perspective of inhaling it. We had a few errands before we headed home and Gracie did really good throughout. Our very last stop was Baker's Square where I picked up a couple of pies to go. Gracie was getting pretty hungry about this time and was eyeing all of the pies in the glass case. When it was time to head out the door with our purchases, she insisted that we couldn't go because she wanted some pie. She kept signing to me that she wanted pie. She wasn't whiny about it, but very insistent. Good thing I had some cookies in the car to take care of my hungry girl.

Gracie was a good girl for the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening. We did have a little supper incident when she started to choke on a banana chunk that she put in her mouth that was way too big. After that I cut the banana in fourths the long way. Well that was just not how she thought they should be, so attempted to throw her plate on the floor. But as luck would have it, mommy is getting a pretty fast arm and it never made it to the floor.

Jeff got home about 7:00 p.m. from work and Gracie was excited to see him. His days have been long lately, so she misses him. While he ate supper, she just sat on his lap. She loves her daddy, no question.

Gracie was a tired girl this evening, probably because I woke her up from her nap. It didn't take her long to fall asleep at all. I think I'll go snuggle with her.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday - Silly Happy Girl

Gracie awoke in a bit of a grumpy mood this morning, but as soon as I snuggled with her a little bit, the happy girl returned.

Jeff and I are pretty sure she is in the growing mode again. She is walking with her knees bent more than she has of lately. This is indicative that her bones are growing, but her muscles aren't keeping up. We've also noticed her losing her balance more frequently. This is a sign that she is figuring out how to work her body again. She also discovered that she can reach all of the light switches and thinks it's hilarious to turn them off and on and off and on and off and on.

Gracie had a good day at daycare. She took daycare mom Barb and Papa around the house for a walk. She also blew Papa kisses. When I arrived to pick her up, she was just plain silly. She had a big smile and was having a good time. That was pretty much the theme for the night.

She was sitting on my lap when Jeff came home tonight. She literally jumped off my lap in one great big leap to run to the gate to greet him. We had a pretty good evening, that is until mommy put some soft socks on Gracie for bedtime. I didn't even think about them not having grippers on the bottom and she slipped and fell in the kitchen. She just doesn't have good enough balance to maneuver without the gripper socks. She was not happy about the fall.

It took Grace about 1,5 seconds to fall asleep tonight. Sweet dreams.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie