Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday - Daddy's Birthday

Gracie had a very good night and didn't wake up til 8:00 a.m. I'm not sure she has EVER let us sleep in that late. I think it was her birthday present to Jeff. Gracie's morning didn't start out so good as she felt the need to bite into her room for a couple of time outs. She had a great time in the bathtub, but other than that it was a fairly rough morning at times. Once again the signs of going stir crazy were there.

At lunch time, she burned her mouth quite badly with some potatoes that were cooling. They had sat out for a bit and I didn't realize they were as hot as they were. I felt horrible and so did she. She got a popsicle for lunch to cool her mouth down and that was a hit, but afterward when she tried to eat anything hard, like the croutons in my salad she would wince in pain. She did finally eat a peanut butter sandwich with a very soft bun.

Gracie's mood continued to go down hill. So we took her to the clinic which was closed and let her run around the subways and play the pianos and just go crazy. She had a blast! It was just what she needed. We stopped at the patient cafeteria at the hospital and had some cookies and lemonade as a snack, but all and all, she ran around for a little over two hours.

It is Jeff's birthday today and Gracie helped me put the candles in his cake. For those of you who know Gracie well, she LOVES cake...and even more than her great love of cake is singing Happy Birthday, and if you happen to add lit candles to the mix, you have just made her day. She was smiles from ear to ear and we had to sing to Jeff at least three times. She had cake from head to toe and she enjoyed every morsel.

We skipped nap today as we need to get Gracie back on her regular schedule. She was one tired girl, but when bedtime came she got a second wind and wanted to play with her stuffed Baby Bop, BJ, and Barney. She also got to talk to Grandpa D. on Skype tonight...actually she waved a couple of times, but said nothing.

She is now sound asleep. I'm not far behind.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday - Shopping with Mom

Gracie had a horribly restless night. She was awake more times than I can count and awoke a very grumpy girl. Once she had some breakfast she mellowed a bit, then we headed downstairs for a bath. I filled the tub extra full and let her play, splash, and swim in the tub for quite a while. By the time she was done, there wasn't much water left in the tub. She had a great time and it was good exercise for her. That put her in a good mood and she and I played and played downstairs and had a good time.

After lunch Gracie and I headed to Target, so daddy, who is down and out with a head cold, could take a nap. The carts were wet from the rain, so Gracie couldn't sit in the cart and had to walk the whole time. She did great. She helped me push the cart and only tried to wander off a few times.

She got a snack when we got home and then didn't want to take a nap. She was sweet as we layed down, but as she became restless, she began to bite and hit me. After sweetness and reasoning on my part didn't work, I left her in the bedroom by herself to have some time by herself. That helped quite a bit. She did end up taking a nap, but was very groggy and had a hard time being happy upon awakening. I don't think nap was long enough. So her and I snuggled for quite awhile.

After supper, she livened up quite a bit and we played "chase" and "boo" games around the house. Gracie loved that. Then we watched part of "Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Escape" and my girl who sits still for not much, sat in my lap for just about an hour taking it all in. She loves Tinkerbell and fairies.

I finally put a very tired girl to bed at 10:00 p.m. Sweet dreams little one.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


After nap yesterday we put a bookshelf in Gracie's room and took a few other things out. It really helped to open the room up and give her more space to dance and play. We put a boombox on top of the bookshelf and that was a bit hit. Since this change, she has spent a lot of time in her room dancing and singing. We also made a little sitting area by her book shelf to snuggle in and look at books.

Gracie took a 2-1/2 hour nap yesterday and then wasn't tired at bedtime. With us home, her routine is being altered to sleeping in later, later nap, and then to bed later than usual. This is all fine now as we get more time to enjoy her, but will be rough to get her back on schedule next week.

Gracie slept in til 7:45 a.m. this morning. She got to have yogurt and sprinkles (seizure meds) in bed this morning as she should have them earlier than that, but I hate to wake her and struggle with her taking meds. She has had a good morning and after lunch I took her outside for a walk. At first she wanted no part of the walk and wanted to be carried. I insisted she walk and as soon as we got going, she enjoyed it. She especially loved putting her mittens, then her bare hands in the snow. She did not want to go in the house when we were all done.

Gracie is now napping...I'm going to go catch a quick snooze too. I could really get used to these afternoon naps.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday - Going Stir Crazy

Gracie had a good day with daddy yesterday, although she had alot of pent up aggression when I got home. It wasn't naughty aggression, you just could see the energy cloud around her. She got to see and talk to Grandma and Grandpa D on Skype last night, but played shy. We had a good night and Gracie slept in til 7:00 a.m. this morning. That was a great treat.

She was into EVERYTHING this morning and purposely would go for things she knows are "no, no's". She was in quite the mood as well, pulling hair, biting, nothing was quite right. She has come down with my cold, but it all goes back to being housebound and stir crazy. So I got her dressed and we headed to Kohls to return a dress that didn't work out for her and then to the mall to return a few things. Then I just let her loose to run with me a step behind her at all times. I took her to Herbergers to ride the escalator (she loves this) and we even found a couple of new dresses that were 70% off. This was a score because she is outgrowing most of her dresses and she LOVES to wear dresses.

Gracie ran and ran and ran and ran and was so excited to be running. I let her run until I could see her getting tired and then she asked to be picked up and that was my queue that it was time to go home. We stopped at McDonald's and picked up lunch for her which was another treat. She had that hamburger devoured practically before I got it out of the bag.

This was all a major mood changer. She has been in the best mood ever since. We also put a book shelf in her room and moved a few things out and added a boom box to the top of the bookshelf. She spent the last hour in her room listening to music, dancing, singing, and doing the actions to the songs.

Gracie is napping now, but I think we'll try to get outside for a little while after nap time too. This having to be in the house is hard for a three year old that likes to move. I also noticed she must be growing as her knees are very tight and bent again. Time to do a little stretching of those muscles.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

For some reason it is Christmas time from year to year that is so vivid in my mind. I use that as a marker of where we've been and how far we've come. Gracie is definitely coming into her own. She is a beautiful little girl that is incredibly smart. We don't always give her credit for how smart she is because she can't always verbalize, but growth in that area is remarkable as well. I saw Christmas this year through the eyes of a three-year old and what an awesome renewal of all the joys and wonders of Christmas. The excitement as she would see the lights on the tree or the ornaments that I allow her to touch, but not remove from the tree. Somehow, a few of them found their way off the tree. I wonder how that happened. :) Yet, I don't care. I marvel at the fact that she is interested in the ornaments, telling me what they are. This was also the first Christmas that Gracie realized it is FUN to open presents. A skill that was difficult for her in the past has become a great joy. There is nothing quite like the sound of a child discovering new and exciting things.

Jeff, Gracie, and I spent Christmas Eve day together and had our own little celebration with presents and music. Gracie was in a great mood and we all had fun. We went to Christmas Eve service at Jeff's church and Gracie was as good as gold throughout the ENTIRE service. That was my gift this Christmas. She did move to the other side of me on her own and found a spot where she could see through all the big people. She enjoyed the candle lighting during "Silent Night" and wanted to blow my candle out. At the very end of the service, everyone said "Merry Christmas" very loudly and that scared her. So we had hysterical tears for a bit. Aunt Kathy came over for supper after the service and we all had a relaxing evening.

On Christmas Day, Gracie enjoyed spending time with Grandma & Grandpa B. and all of my family in Iowa. She was the littlest one in attendance for most of the day, so she gets the undivided attention of all her cousins, aunts, and uncles and she loves it. She was spoiled with lots of fun presents, taking everyone on walks around the house, enjoyed dancing to music on cousin Brent's cell phone -- I think it may even have been ringtones she was dancing to. She took her new little stuffed puppy along and had Grandma B babysit…er...puppysit it for the day. She would return to pet it and check on it occasionally, but left it for Grandma to care for.

Yesterday, the day after Christmas, was a little bit rough. Gracie was tired and grumpy from all the excitement the day before. Add to that fact I was nursing a head cold and not feeling great, so the two of us were grumpy together. We both took a two hour nap in the afternoon and it did wonders for both of us. Gracie did have fun playing with her new things, watching some new videos, snuggling with her new piggy pillow pet, and her new Tinkerbell sleeping bag is a sensory delight. It's slippery and she loves to carry it around or have me lay it on her bed and she would take little breaks throughout the day to go snuggle on it and rub it for a few minutes.

Last night Gracie asked for some M&M's. So I put some in a little bowl and had her sit at her little table to eat them. She motioned that Dora (her stuffed Dora doll) needed to sit closer. So I scooted Dora's chair right next to hers. It was so sweet to watch her eat M&M's and every so often feed one to Dora.

Gracie is at home with daddy today and I'll join them for some vacation time the rest of the week.

We are so blessed!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday and Thursday

Gracie is feeling better and was able to go to school yesterday. She came home with a lot of fun things in her back pack....a construction paper gingerbread man, a reindeer made out of cut outs of her hands and a foot, a library book about Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and a treat bag from her bus drivers.

Gracie did not feel the need for a nap yesterday, so was a very tired little girl last night. She also thought that candy would be a good supper last night. Jeff and I didn't quite agree. Gracie opted for nothing, a little later she decided that some pumpkin bread would make a good supper, although I don't think she was too hungry because she just nibbled at it. She sat at her little table, sharing it with her Dora doll. By the way, she is VERY into Dora the Explorer these days. I don't mind a bit. She learns good things from Dora.

Gracie went to bed at 8:00 p.m. last night, giving me time to decorate our Christmas tree. I think she will be excited to see all the decorations on it tonight. I love seeing all the lights and decorations through her eyes. She gets so excited about it.

Gracie has never enjoyed opening presents or anything really. I think it has been a challenge to her motor skills so it just isn't fun. That has changed. Gracie discovered she could open up an envelope this week and found it to be fun. She now insists on opening every Christmas card envelope we receive. I can't wait to see what she does with the presents.

Gracie, Jeff, and I are celebrating Christmas with our little family tomorrow - we'll start out with pancakes for breakfast. We realized we've never made pancakes for Gracie...I found a batter mix that doesn't have any milk products in it and we can use soy milk to moisten it. I hope she likes them. I think we may need to add some crispy bacon too...another treat she hasn't ever had. She's getting a little more finicky these days, so it will be interesting to see if she enjoys these new treats. I'm almost certain she will love the syrup.

Merry Christmas!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday and More

Gracie had an awesome weekend. She was in a good mood, was happy to have both mommy and daddy around and even had times when she would just go off and play by herself. She is definitely maturing. We've been working alot on helping Gracie to listen to the full story before reacting and although this is very difficult for her, we are seeing some progress. For example, if she wants to go downstairs and we can't immediately go down, she would go into a full tantrum because her request wasn't immediately honored. So we are working on helping her to listen to why she can't immediately go...such as we are cooking food on the stove now and we have to watch it, but after it is done we can go down.

Gracie has been counting (we know she can count to 4 all by herself unaided in any way), knows alot of the words to favorite songs and continues to hum the ones she doesn't know, she has a couple of favorite videos that she says many of the words before the characters do, and surprise, surprise, she is growing. I look at those long legs and can hardly believe she is only 3. She is too tall to totally stretch out lengthwise in the bathtub.

We took Gracie to see Santa at the Mall on Sunday. He was doing a bell jingling act for all the kids when we walked up and that scared Gracie and she wanted nothing to do with Santa or the area. As soon as he was done, she snuck a peek at him and enjoyed seeing him. The lines were just too long and we all know that patience is not one of Gracie's strengths so we opted not to wait.

Gracie woke up at 4:30 a.m. yesterday morning with a fever. She had incredible amounts of intestinal gas all day as well, but did eat, although she didn't have a big appetite. She was definitely more tired, but happy. I stayed home with her in the morning and Jeff came home in the afternoon so I could go to work for awhile. She had a fever again last night, but did well through the night, although she was stuffed up and slept most of the night with her head on my stomach. I'm sure the elevation helped her to breathe. Jeff is home with her again today and I'm guessing that by the time I get home tonight she will be a total daddy's girl.

Yesterday was Gracie's official adoption day. I kept telling her that it was a very special day, that daddy and I already knew she was part of our family, but this was the day the judge said "I now officially pronounce you a family." She would smile and repeat "family"!

Hopefully Gracie will be well enough to go to school will be her last school day for 2010!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Here it is Thursday and I realize I haven't posted at all this week. The only excuse I have is very busy and very tired.

Gracie has had a good week and nothing too eventful going on. She went to back up daycare today and had a good day. They had a visit with a couple of babies and Gracie loved them. The staff couldn't get over how gentle she was with them and how enamored. Other than that she had a good day, loved the music and the sensory table filled with oatmeal.

I knew immediately upon picking Gracie up she was tired. She didn't take a nap and that was quite evident. She fell asleep on the way home but awoke in a very grumpy mood. We got her seizure meds down with a few treats and then I gave her a bath while Jeff made supper. Supper that she wouldn't eat, because she fell asleep just as it was done. She was very moody and had a hard time being soothed. I sat down in the rocking chair with her and rubbed her palms and soon she was 6:45 p.m. She has been sleeping since and I think she is asleep for the night. It's a little too quiet here tonight.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Weekend - Snow Bound

Let me start with the important information. We increased Gracie's seizure meds on Friday night and we thankfully have not seen a seizure since. Prayers answered. What I have seen is another burst of cognitive skills. She is singing and hitting a good majority of words in the songs and hums through the words she doesn't know. Yesterday she was dancing to Michael Jackson and took big jump and had lift off. I was so excited and so was she.

We got 16-20" of snow this weekend with blizzard conditions. Jeff was in Chicago til Sunday night at 9:00 p.m., so Gracie and I just took the opportunity to stay inside all weekend and play. She was in an awesome mood all weekend and we had a good time reading books, playing with her Fisher Price Little People, singing, dancing, playing with her stuffed Baby Bop and getting in a few videos too. We are very thankful to our neighbor Diane who cleaned out our driveway time and time again...and to our neighbor Jim, who helped on Sunday with the big pile of snow the snow plow left in front of our driveway. We so appreciate this great kindness.

I did take Gracie out in the snow for a little while on Saturday and she enjoyed that. When we came in her boots were filled with snow and Gracie thought it would be fun to eat it. Thankfully it wasn't yellow!!!

We are happy to have Jeff back home and Gracie looked so sweet sitting on his lap this morning as she was bundled in about a hundred layers of clothes.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Week in Review

It's been a busy week, thus the absence of updates this week. First off, Gracie has been experiencing seizures this home, at school, at daycare. They are presenting differently than the absence seizures we are used to. She had a pretty hard one at daycare yesterday that lasted over a minute and she had a hard time coming out of it. Have I mentioned lately how thankful I am to have a daycare provider that is an R.N.? Unfortunately, Gracie's neurologist is out of the office this week, but her nurse was able to talk through the issues with me and get a med increase approved by another pediatric neurologist. We're hoping this will take care of this issue. If it doesn't we will need to add an additional epilepsy med. I really hope we don't have to go that route. So if you have any extra prayers, could you please offer one up for Miss Grace?

On Tuesday, all three of us attended the funeral of my aunt Lucina (my mom's twin sister). It was a beautiful service, but more than a bit of a challenge to keep Gracie contained. She did feel the need to repeat the last word of each sentence that the priest said during his eulogy. Needless to say, Jeff took her to the church basement shortly after that. One of my dear sisters (you know who you are) thought we should employ the priest as Gracie's speech therapist! :)

It was a long day for an active three year old and we had to deal with alot of aggressive behavior - biting, hair pulling, face scratching, hitting the rest of that day and into Wednesday morning. In retrospect, I suspect that part of this was also due to the fact that Jeff was leaving for Chicago and Gracie saw that he had packed. Alot of the aggression on Wednesday morning was geared at him. This has thankfully calmed down and she has been thrilled to talk to daddy every night on the computer (via Skype). Last night she must have felt that she had talked to him long enough as she said "bye" and closed the lid of the laptop. What a little stinker.

Last night Gracie walked into the house after I picked her up from daycare, went straight to the TV and requested "Da, Da, Da, Dora". She is becoming quite the "Dora the Explorer" fan.

Gracie has had some good nights, so I am very thankful for good rest these last couple of days. It sounds like we have a winter blizzard coming our way, so we'll just hang out for the next couple of days and Jeff comes back home on Sunday...we are anxious for his return.

Have a great weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Weekend

Gracie had a good weekend. Friday night she enjoyed the snowfall. She's had really peaceful sleeps the last couple of nights which have been great for me too.

On Saturday morning we had a play date (thanks Emily and Kai). Gracie wasn't her social self and took a while to warm up. Gracie has a hard time socializing with children around her own age. She does great with babies, older kids, and adults, but she has a hard time interacting with peers. We are working on that.

Gracie took a two hour nap on Saturday and woke up too late for us to venture outside in the light, so we didn't get out in the snow. Gracie was in a great mood and her appetite has returned with a vengeance. She is making up for lost time in the food department!

Last night while Gracie was sleeping Jeff and I put up the tree and strung the lights. When Gracie woke up this morning and saw the tree, she was so excited. She just kept saying very animatedly "tree" and then "lights".

Gracie was in a very good mood today and was going a little stir crazy, so we took her to the store with us for a little bit. Then back home for a nap, but the nap was a little later than norm and wasn't long enough, so she just wanted to be held and rocked, then she insisted that I needed to walk and hold her. She wanted to be held a great deal the rest of the night. She did do some dancing too.

It was a very good weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday - Silly Girl

Gracie did not want to wake up this morning, did not want breakfast either. When we got to daycare I asked her if she wanted to go in and see Mandy. She usually shakes her head yes with a big smile. Today she shook her head "no", but still had a big smile. We walked in the door, there was a rockin song on and Gracie went to dance. I was free to leave, I barely got a kiss.

I went out Christmas shopping after work and Gracie and Jeff hung out at home. Sounds like they had a good night. I got home a little bit before bedtime and Gracie got a second wind. She was a silly girl tonight. Just full of fun.

When I layed down next to her in bed tonight, she would tell me she wanted her boots. When I would say that you don't go to bed with boots, she would giggle and giggle and giggle. Then she would lean over and give me kisses. Oh so sweet.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday - The Bloody Nose

Gracie had a good, but eventful day. Her diarrhea has finally stopped and her appetite is back with a vengeance. I'm thrilled that she is finally feeling better. YAY!!!

Today at school they painted all the kids feet then they held hands and made footprints. My little sensory seeker thought it hilarious and would have loved to take more turns making footprints. On the way home, Gracie fell asleep on the bus and had one of her mondo bloody noses. The individual that rides the bus with the kids didn't notice until it was time to wake Gracie up and have her get off the bus. He got quite the surprise! Gracie and her coat, mittens, hat, and pants were full of blood. Our daycare provider is so awesome, she cleaned Gracie up, calmed her as she gets scared when she sees the blood, and then called me to bring her a change of outerwear when I came to pick her up.

Gracie had a good day and was a very happy and hungry girl tonight. She also had a great time dancing to "Michael" - she loves Michael Jackson music. Tonight Jeff and Gracie were dancing to it and she kindly escorted her dad to the couch and had him sit down so she could have the "dance floor" all to herself.

She is now sleeping, but a little restlessly. Hopefully she will have a good night.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday - To the Doctor

Gracie awoke in a good mood, but didn't really think getting dressed was a good thing to do and let us know adamantly that this was the case. Other than that, she was excited that daddy made chocolate chip muffins for breakfast, she ate the top off and then asked for a piece of cinnamon swirl bread.

Gracie had a good day at daycare, had a good nap, and I picked her up early and we headed to see a pediatrician. Gracie has had the diarrhea for two and a half weeks. I called the pediatric nurses line on Monday, just to see if we should be concerned. They went through a list of questions and indicated we should be seen within the next couple of days. I made the appointment for this afternoon and yesterday Gracie had no dirty diapers...but this morning she did again and at daycare as well, but it's starting to look a little more healthy. So I figured we better still get her checked out.

Gracie was a complete angel and cooperated so well with the exception of having her ears checked. Gracie has had 14 ear infections, tubes, and her ears checked so many times, it is quite traumatic for her. I explained to her as she was sitting on the exam table that now it was time to have her ears looked at and it wouldn't hurt. Each time previously I explained what was going to happen and she fully cooperated. At this explanation, she literally launched herself down from the exam table. She was going to have NOTHING to do with this. True to form, I had to hold her down for this part of the exam and it is not as easy as it used to be. She is one tough little girl.

Gracie checked out fine, they told us to continue doing what we were doing with her diet, etc. They told us warning signs to keep an eye out for, but since she was so active and is starting to get her appetite back little by little, there really wasn't much they could do for us. We need to keep forcing the liquids, which is quite easy as Gracie loves Gatorade.

Gracie understands pretty much everything these days and responds appropriately to questions. Tonight we were in the bathroom brushing our teeth, so I had her attention, and I started asking her questions about school.

Mommy: Do you like to go to school?
Gracie: Adamant head shake yes
Mommy: Do you like Miss Sarah (this is her teacher)?
Gracie: Adamant head shake yes
Mommy: Do you like Miss Kat and Miss Cassidy (the paraprofessionals in her room)
Gracie: Adamant head shake yes
Mommy: You get to go to school tomorrow.

I guess I'll take it that she likes school.

We had a good night at home just hanging out.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday - Happy Girl

Gracie woke up in a happy mood this morning and was good natured but wanted nothing for breakfast, including her meds. I then signed "please" and she opened her mouth and took the first bite. Of course, it wouldn't be that easy, because she decided not to swallow them. So I got out some Smarties candy and everytime she took a bite (we have to get four down) she would get a Smartie candy. I never dreamed I would be giving my child candy for breakfast and on a school day no less.

I don't know much about Gracie's school day, but I do know she did not fall asleep on the bus ride home and did take a nap which made for a fun evening at home. Gracie was just plain silly. She was full of giggles and teasing. She also enjoyed the Christmas tree at daycare and I'm told she was very good about not touching it.

She is becoming so much easier to reason with and talk to as her comprehension levels continue to increase. She pretty much understands everything we say.

Gracie is starting to have opinions on things she never had opinions on before. She has her winter coat from last year a cute brown coat that still fits...but won't for long. She also has a pink sparkly coat that is the next size up just waiting for her. She loves looking at the pink sparkly coat and today she insisted that was the one she needed to wear.

Gracie is now sleeping soundly. Hopefully she will have a more peaceful night tonight...last night she kept talking in her sleep and at one point, while she was sound asleep, started clapping. I would LOVE to know what that dream was about.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday & Sunday - Lots of Time with Mom and Dad

Gracie has been an absolute delight this holiday weekend. We've had a few tantrums, but most of them have been very minor. Gracie has been happy, agreeable, helpful and just plain fun!

We spent most of our weekend at home just playing and having fun. Gracie's cousin Kayla gave her a stuffed Barney, BJ, and Baby Bop from when she was a little girl. These three have been a huge hit. Gracie sleeps with them, wants to eat with them, watches tv with them, and all three have to sit with her in the rocking chair when she rocks. She had great fun watching a Barney DVD with all three of them.

Gracie did do a little shopping with me on Saturday afternoon at Target. We didn't stay long, just got what we needed and left. She was very well behaved and the only trauma we had was when a baby doll in an aisle started to talk -- she got very scared. On that topic, she gets scared much more frequently lately of sounds and commercials. I'm guessing it is the age and her heightened awareness of everything around her.

Today Gracie and I took a walk around the block in the morning and I think she just loved being out in the fresh air. We had to take it pretty slow though as there were a lot of slippery icy patches and Gracie doesn't do well on that.

Gracie and I did alot of singing of Christmas music and dancing today. She also took a three hour nap -- that is almost unheard of. I snuck in a few winks with her too.

Gracie continues to have very loose stools and I'm not quite sure why. Her appetite is still lagging, but she is drinking plenty of fluids -- but only Gatorade and water. I had her drink some milk on Friday and since she has refused it.

She is now sleeping and storing up energy for school in the morning.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving and More

Gracie had a great Thanksgiving Day. We travelled to Grandma & Grandpa B's and she had a great time playing with and being spoiled by cousins, aunts, uncles, and of course G & G. She was very verbal all day and enjoyed the yummy food. Her favorites were the potatoes and gravy and stuffing. We also celebrated Grandpa B's 88th birthday with cake and candles and of course singing Happy Birthday. These are a few of Gracie's favorite things.

When we were leaving Gracie kept running back and forth to Grandma and Grandpa giving them hug after hug after hug. I think she would still be there going between them had we not finally escorted her out the door.

Gracie did pretty good in the car on the way there and we were hoping she would sleep on the way home as she was very tired. She had other ideas and didn't fall asleep until we were pretty close to home.

Gracie woke up bright and early this morning at 6:00 a.m. and was ready to start the day. She was pretty clingy to me this morning for a while. I think she was just tired from getting to bed late. She enjoyed a fun bath and then daddy put together her tricycle that we had gotten this summer for her and just hadn't gotten put together. So she was having a great time with that in our basement.

Gracie got an owie today. She has been going up and down the steps like a pro lately as long as she hangs onto the rail. So I decided we could keep the gate open at the top of the steps. I was upstairs and Jeff was downstairs and I felt it would be fine for her to go between the two of us if she wanted. I ran down the stairs to check on some pictures Jeff was hanging and Gracie was hollering at me, so I told her to come down. I didn't see how it began, but she fell down a flight of steps. She hit pretty hard and even sort of did a flip. I think it scared her more than it hurt her, but there were lots of tears over that one and of course I felt horrible. Needless to say, we'll keep the gate in place for awhile longer. Gracie and I snuggled big time after that and daddy was right beside us to offer comfort. I kept her awake for a while after that to make sure she didn't have a concussion.

Gracie did take a good nap this afternoon and then Baby Bop appeared in her doorway. Cousin Kayla gave Gracie her Barney, Baby Bop, and BJ stuffed animals from when she was a little girl. Gracie loves them and gave Baby Bop a kiss. Gracie is a big Barney video fan. We had fun playing with Aunt Sheila, Uncle Chris, and Cousins Kayla and Jason. They stayed and had pizza with us and Gracie was very excited to have others at the table with us.

She was one tired girl tonight and fell asleep quickly. She is loving all of this family time and so am I.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday - Feeling Even Better

Gracie had a great night and didn't really want to wake up this morning. She had no appetite this morning and I was a little scared we were going to have problems getting meds in as she didn't want any yogurt or toast or juice or anything I offered her. I finally pulled out some Smarties candy and she even refused those at first. Finally she ate one and I gave her a yogurt and med chaser. After that we got everything we needed in her.

Gracie had a good lunch and even ate a little more for supper tonight. We also had a no dirty diaper day!!! To celebrate Gracie decided she did not need a nap. She was super tired when Jeff picked her up and fell asleep in the van on the way home. The nap was shortlived as her teacher, Miss Sarah, came for a home visit with us today.

Gracie was soooooooooo excited when she saw Miss Sarah and escorted her into the house and sat on her lap and danced with happiness. It was good to hear about all the progress Gracie is making at school. She is following routines very well. Miss Sarah indicated that at the beginning of the year Gracie wouldn't stay in line with the other kids and there was always someone close by to help her back into line. She now lines up beautifully with everyone else. She also shared that she is making some progress in playing with other kids. She indicated that if Gracie is just left to find her own fun at free play she will find an adult to play with, but if they have her do puzzles or something else with others, she is happy to do so.

Miss Sarah also shared with us that Gracie sometimes finds things very funny and it just cracks up the whole class. Yesterday they got to pass around a stuffed turkey and when it was her turn she thought this was so hilarious. She would say "turkey" and then just laugh and laugh.

Gracie is doing better with sitting in her chair at circle time. They still use a bumpy pad for her to sit on so she can kind of bounce in her chair.

It was a very good visit and it was fun to hear of all her progress at school. We are certainly seeing so much here at home too.

Gracie was so tired, she fell asleep at 6:37 p.m. and I put her to bed. I wonder if she will sleep all night through. I hope so.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday/Monday - Slowly on the Mend

Gracie had a much better day on Sunday and had no dirty diapers...although today she had three. She has a ton more energy, but the appetite is still way below normal. She continues to drink alot of fluids and eat a little bit here and there.

Gracie did go back to daycare and school today and did good at both, although she really didn't want mom to leave her and was quite clingy.

Jeff picked Gracie up at daycare today and Gracie was daddy's girl tonight! She was a happy girl, but tired. She is now fast asleep and so very peaceful.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday-Playdate Reschedule Due to Stomach Bug

Gracie woke up a little before 5:00 a.m. this morning with diarhea again. That was the theme of the day. At last count I think we had 6 nasty diapers and one total blow out that sent her clothes to the washing machine.

The good news is she seemed to have a little more of an appetite today and her energy level definitely was increased. She was dancing and running around the house. She also had times when she just wanted to be held or lay on her bed and snuggle.

We ended up canceling her playdate for today and rescheduling. We just didn't want to pass this bug to others. I was bummed as I was really looking forward to it and I knew Gracie would have had a good time too.

We did end up taking her for an outing to Shopko late this afternoon as she was just going stir crazy at home. I think that helped a bit and she had fun being out and about, although the transitions from the car to the house and vice versa are major tantrum causers. We've been seeing that more and more frequently.

When Gracie wants me she calls me "me mama" or sometimes she'll say "need me mama", but she says it so fast and linked together it sounds like "mean mama". It cracks me up when she says it.

We're hoping for a healthier day tomorrow.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday - On the Mend

I stayed home with Gracie again today and she is on the mend. Her energy level and appetite are on the way back. She still had a few funky diapers, but I'm told to expect that for up to a week or more. She started out pretty cranky this morning, but had a really good day. She was funny and talkative. We had some good quality time together playing, just laying around, dancing, etc.

We have a playdate tomorrow and I was worried that she would have to miss it, but I don't think that is the case. It will be good to get her out of the house, I think another day at home will drive her stir crazy. I, on the other hand, could very easily become a stay at home mom. I am a total homebody.

Have a great weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday - Stomach Bug - Day 2

Gracie continues to battle the stomach bug, although she ate a little more today and I didn't have any problems getting the seizure meds in (thank heavens). That is always my biggest stresser. The diarhea is still going on and she still isn't back to her normal activity level, but she did get up and move around a bit more today.

Gracie saw daddy for a few minutes this morning and then he worked a long day, so she was in bed before he got home. This didn't sit well with her. She asked about him all day. At one point after supper she burst into tears and stood at the top of the steps by the doorway. She wanted her daddy. Then tonight she was totally teasing me. I asked her what her name was and she wouldn't tell me. A little later, I asked her again and she told me it was "daddy". All night long whenever I would ask, she would tell me "daddy" and then she would smile.

On top of the stomach flu, Gracie is now coming down with a head cold. She's being a trooper though and has been very good. Let's hope tomorrow is a healthier day.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday - The Flu Bug Has Hit!

I stayed home today with Gracie as she has a stomach bug of some sort. She has major diarhea and refused to eat most of the day. You've heard it before and I'll say it again...that makes getting the needed seizure meds in her a bit of a challenge. I'm happy to say eventually we got them all ingested, but not as timely as we would have liked.

You could tell that Gracie felt pretty rotten as all she wanted to do was lay on her bed and have me talk to her as her Mickey and Minnie Mouse figurines. You know, after a while you run out of things to say and she wouldn't allow me to sing with them very often. We literally spent hours today sitting on her bed and talking. She was very sweet all day and even cooperated for diaper changes -- thank heavens because well today was not the day for a wiggly squiggly girl.

Gracie did eat some supper tonight, but I think she may have regretted it later. She acted like she wasn't feeling well again. I suspect we may have another day at home tomorrow. We'll see what the morning brings.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday & Tuesday

Gracie has had a good couple of days with the exception of very loose stools and her appetite hasn't been so great either. She seems fine otherwise and doesn't really complain that she isn't feeling well. I'm just not sure what's up with that. Tonight I made her some chicken noodle soup thinking that would be good for her tummy. She ate a couple of spoonfuls and then decided she didn't want anymore, but instead of telling me this, she would just open her mouth and let it slide out.

Gracie's delayed motor skills have always kept her from climbing on things. She just didn't have the skill, strength, balance, or confidence to do it. This is how I found her last night...I think perhaps our no climbing days are gone.

Jeff picked Gracie up at daycare tonight and I worked a little late. I got a frantic call from home - did I know where Mickey Mouse was? Gracie has an extreme obsession right now for her Mickey and Minnie Mouse figures. She loves for them to talk to her and she plays with them as well. She was refusing to do anything, including a diaper change, until they could be found. Gracie had a doctor's appointment this morning and I had taken them along to entertain her. They were still in my I had to get on the phone and assure her that mommy had them and would be bringing them home soon. Gracie was VERY happy to see mommy, Mickey, and Minnie walk through the door.
Gracie continues to talk and talk. She was half listening to a "Dora the Explorer" show the other day while she was sitting at the computer. On Dora they were talking about how to get to the top of the mountain and were repeating "bridge", "door", "top of mountain". I didn't even realize Gracie was listening when I heard those exact words come out of her mouth. While in the waiting room at the clinic today she asked me "What's that?" She was referring to the front desk. She also made friends with a couple at her appointment. They asked her how old she was and without missing a beat she said "three". I about fell over.
Gracie and I played with her Jack in the Box over and over and over again tonight. She thought it was great fun for Jack to go back in the box.
My sleepyhead is now snoozing away.
Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Weekend

Gracie woke up on Saturday and was in a good mood. Gracie and daddy hung out together in the morning and I got back home a little after 11:00 a.m., just in time to head to an adoption celebraton at Catholic Charities...November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Gracie had a good time, but it was a little hard to socialize as Gracie just wanted to walk the halls. We did chat with some families we knew and met some others. There were games for the kids and seeing the other children her age, we were reminded that she is definitely about a year younger developmentally than her actual age. She charmed many with her smile, her love of dancing, and even though she wasn't able to understand the concept of the games, she was given prizes and treated very well. Her favorite prize was the mini cupcakes.

Gracie was very tired as the party interfered with her naptime, so we headed home for a few z's. Gracie was very moody after she woke up. We did run out for a quick errand and Gracie got to see light up Santa's and snowmen and she loved it.

Gracie's tummy started acting up. Not sure if it was something she ate or a bug of some sort, but the diapers got so nasty that at one point, the Pampers that we swear by didn't hold it all in. The poop was EVERYWHERE. Daddy got to clean that one up.

Gracie was very much a mommy's girl and wanted to be held ALOT.

Today Gracie was mommy's girl again, but was in a good mood. She needed alot of snuggling this morning and I suspect her tummy might have still been bothering her a bit. She was a very good girl today and amazed us with her words and awareness. She was watching Dora on a video and was drinking juice out of her Dora sippy cup. She had to point out to me that Dora was on her cup too.

Gracie LOVES when her Mickey and Minnie Mouse figurines talk to her. She wants either Jeff or I to hold both of them and do the entertaining. Today I noticed her a couple of times with both of them in hand and she was doing the talking for them. Mostly sounds rather than words, but her imagination is starting to blossom.

Auntie Kathy and cousins Maria and Josh came to visit for a little while today. Gracie was happy to visit and especially enjoyed spinning Auntie Kathy in our computer chair.
After nap it was a pretty lazy afternoon to play and just hang out. I think we all needed that.
Gracie LOVES money! She gets excited when she sees it. She has a book from school that she pretty much knows by heart and she says alot of the words. It is a book to help with speech. Anyway, the book repeats "Natalie likes..." with different items such as a ball, swing, daddy, etc. So Jeff is reading it to her and so he reads "Natalie likes...", the answer was supposed to be a ball. Gracie as confident as can be says "money"! Nowhere in this book is money mentioned. We both cracked up and she was pretty proud of herself.

Gracie got to have a sucker tonight. She loved that.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday - So Many Words

Gracie had a great day both Thursday and Friday. She is talking up a storm. On Thursday night she sat on my lap and we had a conversation. It was so much fun. I couldn't understand everything she said, but I caught alot of it. She was responding to my questions.

Today we took Gracie to back up child care through work and Gracie had a great time. They treat her so awesome there. They usually require the kids to stay in one room, but they let Gracie take them for walks and let her go between the two preschool rooms today as she liked to go visiting when it was music and story time. Go figure. She wasn't very interactive with the other kids, but loved the adults. She ate and ate and ate at lunch time. Now I know why those legs of hers are growing so long!!!

Gracie had a great night tonight and was a very happy girl. Tonight when we layed down for bed, she all of sudden said "money". I asked her what she needed money for and she told me "pig". Of course she wanted to put money in her piggy bank. I told her we would have to wait til tomorrow. Silly girl!!!

She is now sound asleep. She has to rejuvenate and get her energy stored up. Tomorrow we are going to an adoption celebration. November is National Adoption Month -so we are going to party.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday - Great Mood Gracie

Gracie was in an exceptional mood this morning. She was silly and happy and goofy and bright-eyed. I just love those happy days. The only hiccup in our morning routine is when she didn't want her diaper changed so she bit me. So not only did she get a diaper change, she got a time out to go along with it.

Gracie had school today. I don't know many details about her day, but she did come home with some fun projects that she made in school. Gracie loves looking through her take home folder with me.

Gracie fell asleep on the bus ride home which means no nap. Mandy said she had a meltdown this afternoon so she had her just lay down for a while, but she never fell asleep. Then she got up and got a second wind. She said she danced and played and talked using words she didn't even know she knew.

Gracie sat me on the couch tonight and snuggled in on my lap, she told me she was "snuggling". She had a pretty good night for being extremely tired. She is now fast asleep. It took her about two seconds to actually fall asleep.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday - Smart Girl

Gracie had a good day today. She was on top of her game! She got to go to the park at daycare and was very interactive with the kids and the playset. Usually she just wants to swing, but today she went through the tunnel (they just did this at school, so I'm thinking that gave her confidence), and was climbing all over things. Mandy said she was even climbing on things that she really doesn't quite have the skill level to do without help, but she was going for it.

On the way home from daycare Gracie wanted music, but it is now dark, so I didn't see that she must have been signing music to me. All of a sudden out of the back seat I hear her request "music" verbally. She also decided that mommy is not allowed to sing along to any music. Every time I start singing a song, she tells me "no".

Tonight Gracie informed me she wanted milk -- chocolate milk. So we put some chocolate syrup in her milk and she decided she would do the stirring. She did an awesome job. She was so proud of herself too. After a while she just got silly and started blowing bubbles in the milk. By the time she was done, she was covered in chocolate milk, as was the counter and the floor. It was worth the clean up to hear her giggle. Plus I was so proud as I remembered the days we tried and tried and tried to get her to blow bubbles.

Gracie was extremely verbal tonight, she helped read a number of books. She knows so many words that she has memorized from hearing the books over and over again and she identifies many of the pictures. You should hear her read us "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?"

Tonight Gracie made up for the supper she didn't eat last night. She was a human vacuum cleaner. It didn't hurt that we had chicken, her absolute favorite food in the world. She also scarfed down broccoli and mandarin oranges. She ate a little pasta, but wasn't as in to that. She did try to feed her pasta to a picture of Baby Bop on a DVD case.

Gracie was the splashing queen in the tub tonight. She was overall a very happy girl tonight.

She is now fast asleep storing up energy for her day at school tomorrow.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday - It's a School Day

Gracie had a pretty good night and woke up in a good mood. I find that if her Minnie Mouse figurine is in bed talking to her when she wakes up, it puts an instant smile on her face. Minnie will have to be there in the morning more often.

Gracie had a good day at school and was happy to be there. Took a very short nap at daycare and got frustrated with the other little girls at daycare today when they were playing on the mini playset. Gracie decided to pinch them. Mandy gave Gracie a timeout to re-group and get the frustration level down. This helped immensely. I just love that Mandy is consistent with us in how she handles these kind of situations. Consistency is key for Gracie.

Gracie was a dancing queen tonight when she got home. She didn't want supper, although did eat a part of a banana a little later. She was very tired tonight and had moments of being very happy and moments of being very sad. She liked when daddy would hold her and sing to her. We were going to let daddy keep holding her and singing her to sleep, but she decided only mommy would do at sleepy time. It didn't take her long at all to fall asleep.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Weekend

Gracie's Saturday was not the best of days. She had happy moments, we saw smiles, but she was very needy. She wanted to be held alot...but not just by anyone, it had to be mommy. At 43 lbs., it's getting harder and harder to hold her while standing for extended periods of all morning and when she wants to be held, she wants me to be standing up and walking with her. My biceps keep getting stronger! We did take a walk outside, but the wind was pretty raw and we all got cold.

Gracie did think it would be fun to wear mommy's shoes. I love when little kids do this and this was an especially exciting thing for me. Gracie struggled with walking for so long that I never really thought the day would come when she would actually be able to put on my shoes AND be able to walk in them. I just have to remember...Gracie gets to all of the milestones...she just gets there a little slower than others. She thought she was hilarious and the more outraged I pretended to be that she was wearing my shoes, the funnier she thought it was.

Sunday was a new day. Gracie had an awesome nights sleep and was in a great mood all day. She played with lots of toys. She is really starting to enjoy toys, we played alot with her playhouse and her Mickey and Minnie Mouse clubhouse. She loves when you talk for Minnie and Mickey Mouse. Gracie also sat on the floor today in the kitchen where I could hear her, but not see her and she was signing just about every other word of a Brad Paisley song along with the cd. Music is her thing. I wish I would have been able to record that. Gracie did alot of dancing today. She was wearing a frilly dress, so that just made dancing even more fun.

This afternoon we went and donated all of Gracie's old shoes that don't fit anymore to charity, then we went to Target and picked up just a few things. Gracie was having such a good time that after Target she lead me to Dick's Sporting Goods, so we went in there and tried out the bicycles with training wheels. Let's just say it's going to be a very long time before she masters that.

We played outside late this afternoon and went for a walk. Gracie was very sad that we couldn't walk to the local school playground. Actually I think the word is mad, rather than sad.

She ate a big supper tonight and was the splashing queen tonight in the tub. She is now asleep. The time change is throwing off her schedule. It usually takes her about a week to get used to that schedule.


Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, November 5, 2010


Not too much happening in our world the last couple of days. Gracie has been a great tease all week, even her daycare provider indicated that she has been a bit of a tease there as well. Every morning I take our bags out to the car before we head out (she's just too much to handle with bags in hand too) and I say to her "Gracie, I'm going to take our bags out, I'll be right...." and then she finishes my sentence by saying "back". So this morning I say this to her and she ignores me, I say it again and again nothing, so the third time I say "Gracie" and she turns her head with the biggest smile on her face, sees me and then laughs.

When it was time to actually leave she was of no help putting her coat on, she was looking at a magazine and didn't want to be bothered. I told her it was time to go and she wasn't moving. I turned off all of the lights in the house and told her I was leaving, did she want to go with, again she totally ignored me. I walked out the door and stayed in the garage for a few minutes, nothing. I finally had to go back in, pick her up and bodily help her toward the door. If she grows too much more, I'm not going to be able to bodily help her anywhere.

Speaking of growing...she is! I put on size 5 sweatpants yesterday and they were snug. Size 5 shirts are on the way out too.

Gracie had a great night last night...I think it is because she is growing, although she did have some jerks in her sleep....which is usually an indication that a seizure med increase is in her near future. These aren't actual seizures, they are electrical discharges from the brain, indicating some possible seizure activity in the near future.

Gracie has been enjoying some afternoon time with daddy this week. He's been on early shift, which means the two of them get a couple of hours together before I get home from work. That has been enjoyable for both of them.

For those of you that listen to Garage Logic (a radio talk show), Gracie no longer wants music on in the van on the way home with daddy, she tells him she wants "Roycie". This is the end of the world as we know it. Daddy is elated....mommy, not so much.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday & Wednesday

Gracie had a good day for the most part on Tuesday. She got to play outside at daycare and daddy picked her up at daycare and they spent a little time outside too. Gracie has been missing daddy. Matter-of-fact, she kept waking up through the night and was quite concerned that "daddy" was "bye bye". I would tell her that daddy was just sleeping. She would be okay with that for awhile, then wake up and do the same thing over again. Then this morning she was so scared daddy would leave before she would see him. Daddy went and snuggled with her before he left for work.

Gracie had an injury yesterday. She loves to stand up on the couch and she knows she is not supposed to. We had just got done telling her to sit down, which she did, but somehow she fell off the couch from a sitting position flat on her face and chest. I heard the thump, but didn't witness it. Jeff was in the room and did witness it, but wasn't close enough to cushion the fall. Our tough little girl who NEVER cries, cried and cried. She has a skinned up nose and upper lip. She kept telling me her tummy/chest area hurt too. I believe it did as she fell on that too.

Gracie had school today and they had an obstacle course that Gracie enjoyed going through. She went through the tunnel, jumped on bear prints, over the bear, around a spinner and jumped on a trampoline. I understand that Gracie thought the tunnel was pretty funny. Gracie also made bear ears in school. She was very proud to put them on tonight to show mom, but she didn't want them on for very long.

Gracie had a really good night. She talked a ton. She was absolutely thrilled when she saw mommy walk in the house with a McDonald's bag and when she saw I had brought her a "hamburger" she was even more thrilled. She had fun splashing daddy in the bathtub, we had a long story time tonight reading books, and Gracie was just a very good girl. She had an extra long nap at daycare to the point that Mandy had to wake her up. I could tell that she was much more rested -- it makes for a much easier evening.

Gracie and daddy are both sleeping. Daddy isn't feeling well, he got his flu vaccination today and is feeling a bit under the weather with it.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tired Monday!!!

First of all let me start out by informing you that November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Wear your purple!!! This years theme is "Get Seizure Smart". According to, in America, epilepsy is as common as breast cancer and takes as many lives.

Gracie slept well until about 4:00 a.m. She awoke and asked for daddy. I told her daddy was sleeping, she sat up for a little while and then went back to sleep. Then when 6:00 a.m. rolled around she did not want to wake up. It was slow moving this morning. Jeff took Gracie to daycare this morning and she was very clingy.

Gracie had school today and I let her teacher know she was extra tired today. Here is what her teacher had to say about her day:

Grace was tired today, she tried to crawl in the doll bed when we were using it for a speech activity.

Today Grace was the calendar helper and helped point to the day/month/date with the pointer. She loves helping.

I'm finding that she just loves to help at home too. If you acknowledge what a good helper she is, she just beams.

Gracie got to play outside at daycare, fell asleep on the bus after school and then didn't take a nap. Tonight she was so tired, I had a heck of time keeping her awake until 7:30 p.m. I was able to get her to eat some soup, pears, and bread, then we did a quick bath. We read lots of books and she really enjoyed that as we snuggled with her head resting on my chest.

I read her a book I haven't read to her in a while. It used to be her favorite that we would have to read a couple of times a day about going to the dentist. I read it to her tonight and she remembered a lot of the the words, she was saying them before I even got to the point of reading them. I was amazed.

Gracie is now sound asleep all cozy under her Pooh blanket.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Weekend

Gracie had a Halloween party at daycare on Friday and I think the girls had fun. They dressed up in their costumes, they made paper pumpkins, and came home with the cutest little kitty treat bag, complete with stickers, a black spider cup, a Halloween picture frame that had the cutest picture of her and Kayla all dressed up in it, glow bracelets, and a book. We did have one little hiccup, daddy picked Gracie up at daycare and it was supposed to be me picking up...Gracie is not happy if daddy picks her up when she is told it is going to be mommy. She was very mad at daddy a good part of the evening. I finally took her aside and told her that I was sorry that I wasn't able to pick her up, that something came up so I asked daddy if he would pick her up so we wouldn't be late and it was very nice of daddy to do this. She listened intently. Then daddy came downstairs to where we were and they were best friends the rest of the night.

On Saturday Gracie was incredibly clingy to me all day. She just wanted to be held. She didn't seem sick, just needed alot of attention and alot of snuggling. We did take a walk to the local school playground and played on the swings and went down the slide for a bit, but it was just too cold to stay long. Gracie had mittens and ear muffs on, but the wind was quite cold. On Saturday night we went to Jeff's churches Fall Harvest Party. Gracie made some new friends and was one tired girl by the time we came home.

On Sunday Gracie slept in til 8:00 a.m. That was an incredible treat. Gracie was good as gold this morning. She was very content to play by herself at times, interacted well with me, played with toys, listened to music, and was just a sweetheart. She took a very short nap, but was in a good mood and since she slept late, I'm sure she just didn't need a long one. After nap she watched daddy mow the lawn through the window.
So we needed to get a urine sample from Gracie and since she isn't potty trained, I was going to have to use an adhesive bag and stick it to her bottom and then put her diaper on. I knew this would not go over well. So I brought the little potty chair upstairs and I said to Gracie "We need to get some of your potty and we have two ways to do this, you get to decide which we do. We can stick a bag to your bottom (she was listening intently and as I said this she patted her bottom) or you can go potty in the potty chair." I then asked her if she wanted to go potty in her chair and she said "no". I then said "How about if we give it a try?" She was good about sitting on the potty. I read her a book while she sat and sure enough, she went potty. Yay!!!!
Our friend Laurie and her 6-1/2 year old son came over this afternoon and we had a great visit. It took Gracie a while to warm up, but she had a great time and she really took to Laurie. By the end, she was having fun, rearranging the face on Logan's Mr. Potato Head costume.
Trick or treating was not the pleasant experience I envisioned. She had some major sensory overload going on. She didn't want to get dressed in her kitty outfit (we nixed the fairy outfit for this evening as it was too cold), she wanted to see who was at the door, but then the fact that any one was at our door made her fuss, I sent her out the door with her daddy and she was a crying kitty. She did enjoy being outside and trick-or-treated at a few places, but mostly just wanted to walk outside. She was very proud to show me her treats. Please remind me next year NOT to let her eat very much candy. I let her pick three pieces and it was too much sugar overload. She had a heck of a time falling asleep.
She is now fast asleep. Sweet dreams little kitty.
Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday - Good Mood Girl

Gracie had a good night. She got to sleep in a little later this morning as she got to hang out with me this morning. We had a doctor appointment with a pediatrician who specializes in gynecology. We were a little concerned that Gracie might be starting puberty early, which happens quite frequently with children diagnosed with Sotos Syndrome. She has had a number of symptoms that were quite concerning to us, one of them being some major hair growth on her knees and legs. I'm beginning to think she might be part monkey! ;) The good news is that she had a thorough check up and she is not at this time starting puberty. Whew. They are a bit concerned about the hair growth, but it could be something as simple as an ethnic trait. An endocrinologist who is also a geneticist was called in and he didn't feel this was related to Sotos, but we will keep an eye on it and have her checked again in 3 to 4 months. We will also do a urinalysis to rule out any other possible ailments. She also suggested that this would be a good time to tap into behavioral psychiatry, although she did find it very encouraging and very normal that all of Gracie's extreme behaviors are at home. That is where she feels the most safe and secure.

That being said Gracie has been such a good girl lately, she loves to be helpful, she loves to talk, her receptive and expressive communication skills are both just blossoming. Tonight when I was unloading groceries, she brought me a big carton of orange juice from the bag to put in the fridge. It was so sweet, she could barely carry it, but she loved thas she was helping.

After her appointment I took her to daycare for lunch and the afternoon. She had a good nap and was happy to spend time with daddy tonight while I was spending an arm and a leg at the grocery store. We needed everything. She was in a great mood for Jeff and said she only asked for me once. Usually she fusses that she wants mommy if I'm not home by 6:00 p.m. and she continues until I get home. She was very happy to see me. We all had a good evening.

Gracie has been very good about saying the ending word of a sentence or a song. Tonight I said "Do you want me to smother you with ....". The answer was supposed to be kisses. The little stinker was in tease mode and said "money" instead. We are in so much trouble. Last night she told daddy she needed money. She likes to put coins in her piggy bank.

Gracie is now in bed and sleeping peacefully in her fleece froggy pj's.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday - The Character Parade

Gracie had a pretty good night, although she did wake up to the sound of the strong winds a couple of times and seemed worried. I snuggled with her and assured her it was just the wind. I'm pretty sure it was the wind that woke her up while I was in the shower this morning too. Daddy scooped her up and comforted her then.

The wind was so crazy, I could hardly get her out of the car at daycare. Once I did get her out, her Dora stocking hat flew right off of her head. She kept gasping like she couldn't catch her breath. I scooped her up then and we ran to the door.

Today at school Gracie had a character parade...I'm guessing it probably isn't politically correct to have "Halloween" festivities. I dressed Gracie in a black kitten dress, a gift from her Aunt Sheila and family, and sent her to school looking absolutely adorable. I've included a couple of pix, although she wasn't very cooperative in letting me take them.

I think she was a busy girl in school. She came home with a library book, a pumpkin booklet that she made, and a follow the leader poster that she made with a duck following Gracie. She also had two pumpkins in her bag. One was very tiny and the other they drew a face even had earrings drawn on it. I'm pretty sure she had help with that. That would also explain why her bag was so heavy. Her two female bus drivers also gave her a Halloween treat bag with a few sweet treats, a pumpkin bubble container, a pencil, a notepad, and a few other fun little things. There was also a sucker in it...I realized that Gracie has never had a sucker. We might have to try that with lots of supervision. I thought it was so sweet that they would give her a treat bag.

Gracie fell asleep on the bus ride home and didn't take an afternoon nap. As tired as she was all night, she was still in a very good, if not mellow mood. At one point she and Jeff just sat on the floor playing with Legos. For those of you that know Gracie well, she doesn't sit still for anything but books, music, or tv. Most of the time she can't even sit still for a meal for long...but here she was on the floor just playing with Legos. Incredible. I know Mandy has been working on that with her at daycare. I can tell all of her hardwork is paying off.

Gracie fell asleep in about 2.5 seconds tonight and is tucked in underneath her fleece blanket. Snug as a bug in a rug.
Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday - A Good Day

Gracie had a fairly good night and slept well. She did wake up and sit up for a while around 2:30 a.m., but the next time I woke up she was sleeping again, so I guess she must not have been up for long, as she most certainly does not like me to be asleep if she isn't...she goes for the eyes.

Gracie was such a good girl today. She had fun at daycare and her buddy Aubrey was there today. Gracie and Aubrey get along so well. Aubrey is younger than Gracie, but is much more talkative, yet she gets Gracie going a bit. Today all of the kids at daycare practiced saying "trick or treat" and then Mandy gave them a treat. Gracie didn't say it, but got her treat too...I think her smile won her over. So tonight on the way home from daycare we practiced saying "trick or treat". Gracie has decided saying "treat" is good enough! Perhaps we'll have to work on a "please" to follow the word "treat".

Gracie was such a sweetheart tonight, very helpful, and mostly happy. I think we may have conquered the biting situation. We hardly see Gracie bite us anymore, she has changed the bites into kisses unless she is really mad. Well tonight she was very mad at the computer and when I came to help her, her teeth hit my hand, but before they could sink in, she thought better of it and turned it into a kiss without a reminder from me. I hope this positive progress continues. Timeouts are a beautiful thing.

Gracie had a major meltdown when Jeff came home. She was so excited that he was home, but I think it was just too much to process and she suddenly just started having a tantrum and didn't want him anywhere near her. Once she calmed down, all was fine and she was only too happy to give him hugs and have him hold her.

Gracie was very aware of the wind tonight. It even seemed to scare her a bit. She would get a very worried look on her face. I explained quite frequently that it was just the wind blowing and nothing to be scared of. She knows what wind is, so that would make her feel better for a little bit until she would hear another gust.

She is sleeping very peacefully right now. I think we may need some extra blankets on the bed tonight. BRRRRRR.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie