Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday/Tuesday - Daffodil

Gracie was not at her best last night. The temps were hot and she was hot and tired and nothing really made her happy until the evening cooled off and we went for a walk, then a wagon ride to the local school playground where she went on the swings, slides, and climbed up the steps and over the arched bridge all by herself. She was so proud when Jeff and I told her what a big girl she is. We gave her a one more time warning before we left and to our amazement we had no tantrums when it was time to leave. She was ready to get into her wagon and head for home. She was not happy once we got home and had to go inside. There was a nice breeze last night and Gracie loved the wind in her face.

Gracie had a really hard time falling asleep, I think she was overtired. She had a very restful night though.

This morning she woke up a happy girl, but we had some issues at breakfast. I'm not sure why and as quickly as they arose, they vanished and she was my happy girl again. Our morning went something like this:

- One half mouthful of yogurt with seizure meds in it spit out.
- One half mouthful of yogurt with seizure meds being held in mouth along with orange juice and crackers…to be spit out at a later time.
- One plateful of pumpkin bread thrown to the floor.
- One cupful of orange juice thrown to the floor.
- One timeout.
- One attitude adjustment.

She was excited to see the heavy rain. She told me it was "rainin" - this was a repeat of what I had told her earlier. She took a book along in the car on the way to daycare and looked through that quietly. When we got to daycare, she promptly handed me the book and climbed out of her car seat. She took Mandy's hand as soon as we got her shoes off at daycare and they were off to read some books.

We have OT at the clinic this afternoon. I suspect it will be her last OT appointment at the clinic for awhile as OT will be incorporated in her curriculum at pre-school. Gracie loves going to OT, but hates the actual work. It is all the things that are very hard for her - putting pegs in slots, drawing circles, taking shoes off, and other fine work that just does not motivate her and is quite frankly difficult for her to do. She is very excited, however, that she can get her socks off mostly by herself these days.

Gracie loves a video on You Tube that has music that says "I love the flowers, I love the daffodils..." Gracie loves to sing these days and we hear words of songs come out of her mouth so often. I about fell over when I very clearly heard her sing along to the song the word "daffodil" in just the right place. There is no question that music is her motivator.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Good Weekend

Gracie had a good weekend with mom and dad. On Friday night I went to pick her up at daycare and she just wasn't ready to go home. She was having too much fun. I finally convinced her we needed to go. She was very happy all the way home. Daddy had a magic show that night, so Gracie and I ate a light supper and headed outdoors to play. It was a nice evening, but the mosquitos were not nice and Gracie ended up with a bite just under her eye and a couple on her forehead that have been driving her crazy all weekend. Dad got home a little later and he joined us outside too.

Gracie slept in until 8:00 a.m. on Saturday - what a treat for all of us. We stayed home most of Saturday and just played. We did run to the mall on Saturday evening for a short time and also to Toys R Us to pick up some sand for our Sunday project. Our walk on Saturday night was much later than usual, so it was starting to get dark. As we were walking there was a house with a big screen TV that you could see plain as day through the window and they were watching the Vikings game. Gracie didn't want to leave her viewing spot on the sidewalk. Gracie also loves to walk up driveways that aren't ours on our walks and wants us to chase her. On our Saturday night walk, she started to go up our neighbor Nancy's driveway, she stopped, looked at us and signed "game". I verbalized "game", she smiled and said "chase". She definitely gets her point across.

On Sunday we all went to my church and Gracie almost (the key word here is ALMOST) made it through the whole service without having to be taken out.

You may remember we put up a playset in our backyard for Gracie this summer. It had a spot for a sandpile and so we set that up while she was napping. When we showed it her she made this really cute sound like she was super excited. She loved getting in the sand and playing with some of the sand toys she recently got at our early Christmas with Jeff's family. Gracie has a sensory integration disorder, she can't feel things like you and I can and she is constantly seeking sensory input. This sandbox will be great in helping her with her sensory input needs.

Gracie slept through a short visit by Aunt Arlene and then later, Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Russ stopped by for a bit. Gracie showed them her playset and took them for walks in the backyard and down the sidewalk. After they left, she played in her swimming pool to cool off. She had great fun splashing.

Gracie was in a good mood, was feeling fine, but didn't have much of an appetite yesterday. She nibbled at things here and there. The croutons in my salad at lunch were a big hit - they always are. She plops herself on my lap and proceeds to help herself to ALL of my croutons soaked in raspberry walnut vinagrette. She also ate a little chicken at supper and of course her ice cream with meds went down fine. We took an after supper walk and then came back in the house for birthday cake (I turned 29 again) with candles. Cake is one of Gracie's favorite thing in the world. She loves to say the word, she loves to eat cake, and if you happen to light candles on it, it is even more fun. So she was in her glory. She was cake from head to toe. I took her right from the table to the tub. Cake and frosting squished between fingers is another great sensory treat.

Gracie's schedule was off kilter enough, that it wasn't but minutes after she fell asleep, she reappeared in the living room. So I went to lay down with her and she got her second wind. She was full of kisses and she was hugging all of her babies and stuffed animals, and I was treated to lots of kisses and hugs too. She talked up a storm too, pointing out the "feet" on her babies and the "teeth". I think this little happy time before she fell back to sleep was her birthday present to mom (even though her and Jeff had spoiled me earlier).

Gracie had a pretty good night and was a happy girl this morning. She also had a very full bladder that size 7 diapers wasn't able to hold. She was wet, her bed was wet, so I had to change her sheets already this morning. I think she was ready to get back to her routine and daycare. Jeff took her this morning and as he walked out the door with her, there was no sad face or fussing for mom, it was a big smile, a hand wave, and a loud "bye".

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday - A Much Better Day

Gracie was a little sleepy head this morning. She was sleeping so soundly I didn't want to wake her up this morning. It took awhile to finally get her to wake up and she needed lots of snuggle time. When she did finally get up she was in a very happy mood.

When I took her to daycare I picked her up to give her a kiss and a hug and she wanted down, she had other plans. She was ready to go find a book with Mandy so she could be read to. Jeff picked Gracie up and they played outside for awhile before I got home. When I got home, I gave her a hug and she immediately walked to the gate, pointed outside, and said "bye" which is her way of saying she wants to go outside. Even though it was time to make supper, I decided a walk wouldn't hurt any of us. So off we went.

We made homemade pizzas for supper and Gracie gobbled hers right up. We played downstairs for a little while tonight and she continued to be in a pretty good mood. She had a really hard time falling asleep tonight. Here's hoping for a peaceful, restful night.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday - Not Her Best Day

Today was not Gracie's best day. She was just irritable. She had a slice of American cheese last night. She opened the fridge and insisted upon one. I allowed her to have it and she wanted a second one. I did not allow a second one. Jeff and I had just been talking with the pediatrician about how we think milk products sometimes cause behavioral issues. So I'm putting the blame on either the cheese or her Hib vaccination. Not sure which or maybe both. Or perhaps neither, who really knows for sure.

She did fine at daycare, but was very tired and clingy with Jeff while I was at the grocery store. She was very upset when I walked in the door as she couldn't get to me fast enough and nothing I did could bring about a smile. I was immediately aware that she needed some sensory input. I snuggled with her for a bit, but it just didn't seem to be enough, so I put her in the bathtub. I'm finding that water does wonders for her sensory needs.

She mellowed out a bit and we saw a few smiles and she even danced a little bit to Barney, but she was very tired too...it took her a very short time to fall asleep.

Here's hoping we have a good night and a happier Gracie tomorrow.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday - Gracie's Well Child Visit

Gracie had an okay night. She awoke a couple of times, flashed me her big toothy smile, said "hi" and then would roll over and go back to sleep. I had to wake her up this morning. She looked so peaceful, I just sat and watched her sleep for a bit. There is something so sweet about a sleeping child.

Jeff wore a tie today that has Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Piglet on it. He's worn the tie many times and the Pooh characters on it are very small. Today Gracie noticed them and got all excited, pointed to the tie and said "Pooh"!

Gracie was feeling much better today and returned to daycare. We did have tears when I dropped her off this morning. One of the older girls, who I adore, wanted to play with her a little too quickly. Gracie needs a little transition time, so I think it was just too much for her. After I gave her some reassuring hugs, Mandy took her hand and off they went to get a book to read. All was well after that. They made the cutest little aprons at daycare today - pink and purple with her name on one side in glitter and "dancing queen" on the other side. Do they know her or what???

I picked Gracie up early today and we met up with Jeff and headed to her 3 year old well child appointment with her pediatrician. Do you know how cool it was to go to a "well child visit" rather than have something be wrong???? She is a healthy girl and everything looked good. Our pediatrician will be sending us to the allergy clinic to get a reading on Gracie's intolerance to milk. We want to know if it is a true allergy and whether or not she can eat things like cheese or other products made with milk. She can't verbally tell us how she feels after eating them, yet we think behaviorally we can notice a difference with some things. It will be good to have a for sure answer on what she can and can't have.

Our biggest dilemna at her appointment today dealt with vaccinations. She is behind on three of them. I'm a big proponent of vaccinations, however, I'm pretty convinced that it was the DTaP vaccination at 15 months, along with her epilepsy, that caused her to have Infantile Spasms. Vaccinations make me nervous for Gracie. She needed her last Hib and her second Hepatitis A. They have also come out with a booster for the pneumonia vaccination. I'm totally against that one for Gracie as it has some of the same contraindications as the DTaP. So we did the Hib today, will do the Hepatitis A in a month or so, and I'm still in discussions about the pneumonia booster. Her pediatrician still thinks it would be a good thing to get, I want a second opinion from our neurologist before proceeding. They will only give it to kids up to 4 years, 11 months - maybe we can wait awhile until she is too old to get it. Hmmmm.

Gracie did not like the shot at all. She gave a huge scream and as quickly as it started, it stopped when the nurse pulled out the kitty stickers. Gracie was not in a good mood for a while. She fought getting in the car seat. She was just on edge and very tired. A walk outside did wonders for her and some snuggle time at home reading and watching a video helped immensely. Just before bed, she insisted on holding Jeff and my hand and walking us around the house.

She had a really hard time falling asleep. I think it had to do with being overtired. She is sleeping peacefully now.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday - A Tummy Bug

Gracie had a pretty restless night and woke up at 5:00 a.m. with the diarrhea. I tried to give her some breakfast so we could get her seizure meds in. She took it in her mouth and held it. It ended up being spit out on my hair and the carpet. What a lovely way to start the day. The diarrhea continued. Gracie also only wanted to be held, upright. She didn't want to be rocked, she wanted to be carried and bounced, pretty much all morning. I did finally convince her to take a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt to get the meds down.

She fell asleep at 10:20 a.m. and slept for 2 hours...then just snuggled until 1:00 p.m. She did eat a little lunch and then some crackers later in the afternoon. The diarrhea stayed away this afternoon, although she still seemed to be experience some gas and cramps. We read alot of books today, we danced, listened to music, play ring around the rosie a few hundred times, and just sat and rocked. We watched a little TV, but it was mostly a music day.

Gracie was hungry at suppertime and ate a chicken patty and that seemed to sit okay. After supper we took a walk, although Gracie ended up on my back for a piggyback ride most of the way. Then I put her in the wagon and we took a little longer walk. When we got home, she decided she wanted to pull the wagon, so I let her pull it down the sidewalk. At one point she forgot to watch where she was going, tripped over the grass edge and fell right down, thankfully into the grass. Now she has a bit of a rash on her cheek and chin. Other than that, she didn't get hurt.

She got to see daddy for about 10 minutes before she went to bed. She was a very good girl all day and I'm realizing that she understands pretty much everything we say to her. We did put up some new butterfly clings on the deck window. She made sure to show daddy when he got home. Gracie loves butterflies.

She fell asleep very quickly tonight and seems to be very restful at the moment.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Very Fun and Very Busy Weekend

It's been a busy weekend at our house. On Friday, Gracie went to a hotel swimming pool with her daycare buddies to celebrate the birthday of her daycare provider's oldest daughter. They made an afternoon of it and Gracie had a blast in the water. I remembered to provide water shoes for this swim experience. The last time I took her to the pool she got huge blisters on the back of her feet where she kicked and kicked and kicked in the water.

On Saturday, Grace awoke in a great mood and was a very good girl all day. We went to Target to pick up a few things, then back home where we ate lunch and played. About 1:00 p.m., Gracie wanted up and to snuggle into my shoulder which is a sign that she is tired. She fell asleep and slept for 4 hours. I kept checking on her to make sure she was okay. We payed for this later when she didn't go to bed until 11:15 p.m. and then woke up again at 2:00 a.m. YAWN!!!

Grandma and Grandpa D. came over in the evening to have pizza with us and say goodbye as they are headed south until next summer. Gracie was in a great mood, she jabbered up a storm and we went out for a walk later in the evening. Gracie was Grandma's buddy.

Today, Sunday, we headed to Iowa to help Grandma B celebrate her 80th birthday. There was lots of family there and Gracie was in her glory. There was also Gracie's favorite food in the whole wide world there....CAKE!!! Even better, this cake had candles...with fire. Gracie loved when the candles were lit. Gracie had a great day other than two temper fits, one where she leveled a glass of lemonade all over Grandma and the second one she bit cousin Jason. We need to continue to work on that temper of hers.

On the way home she slept for about 20 minutes in the car, but when we got home was so exhausted that all she wanted was to be held and she quickly fell asleep...at 7:30 p.m. I think she is asleep for the night. She was sooooooooo tired.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday - Tired, But Happy

Gracie had a pretty good night until 2:00 a.m. when she became extremely restless. Finally I put her in the crook of my arm and she slept peacefully like that until 5:00 a.m. when I had to extricate myself from under her. I managed okay and she slept another 40 minutes. I was in the bathroom, just out of the shower and putting make up on and drying my hair, when I hear a little knock on the door. She loves to knock on the door and when I opened it up, I was treated to the biggest, sweetest, sleepy smile. I took her back to bed for a little bit, so we could snuggle and then she informed me it was time for yogurt or "gogurt" as she says it.

I took Gracie to daycare and she was a pretty sleepy girl on the way there. She was also tired on the way home. She did ask for "crackers" and when I put them in a bowl, she said "bowl" for the first time ever. We came home and ate some supper and played downstairs for most of the evening as it was cooler down there and because Gracie is in love with the baby swing. She HATED it as a baby, but now she likes to push the button for the music, load it up with her stuffed animals, papers, you name it, and then press the swing button. I think she likes the vibration of it too. She is happy as a lark, just standing there listening and arranging her menagerie of stuffed animals on the seat.

We are really enjoying Gracie's sense of humor. She is such a tease. Tonight she was eating a tatertot and it had ketchup on it and she was told she had to stay on the blanket (we were having a floor picnic). She would inch her way off the blanket, look at me, and say "yum" and just smile. Then she would move a little further and still say "yum" in a way that amused me. She was totally playing me.

She was very tired tonight, yet seemed to hold the tantrums at bay for the most part. We read Fancy Nancy books and "Nancy" was Gracie's request. Then it was sleepy time and Gracie fell asleep instantly. Now that I think about it, I'm tired too.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday - Sweet, Sweet, Sweet

For going to bed later than usual, Gracie woke up in a great mood and that was the theme for the day. She was sweet and happy all day. Jeff took her to daycare and she needed a little extra snuggle time with him before he left.

She had a good day at daycare, playing outside, and had a good nap. On the way home Gracie and I had a good conversation - which is a first. Usually I ask her questions and she might smile, but no words. Tonight we got in the car and the first thing she asked for was "crackers". So I gave her some and as she munched away, she was talking up a storm. Then she was kicking the seat. I asked her "who is kicking mommy's seat?" and she quickly replied "Mandy"! Mandy is her daycare provider. What a little stinker.

Daddy had supper all ready for us when we got home and Gracie was a good little eater, then her and I went for a walk while daddy performed magic at Hope Lodge. Gracie tired out on me quickly and insisted on a piggyback ride the rest of the way. Then we sat on our bench outside the front door. She just leaned on me and we enjoyed the nice evening.

Then it was bath time and she was quite the splasher. From there we snuggled in bed and read some books before she fell asleep. She fell asleep very quickly. Sweet dreams.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday - Good News

Gracie had an okay night, she was a little restless toward morning, but did sleep until 7:15 a.m. She was the sweetest, happiest girl all day. We all took showers and Gracie a bath and we headed to the clinic for Gracie's echocardiogram. She did pretty good, although she didn't want to lay down. Thankfully the tech was super patient and knew what she was doing. After she was done, there was no way she was going to stay on the bed. She wanted to be up and moving.

We headed home for lunch and tried to get a nap in, but since Gracie had gotten up late she wasn't ready for a nap. So we played for a little while before we headed to the hospital to meet with the pediatric cardiologist. We got good news. Gracie's echo showed a slight improvement in the thickened lining and also the leaky valve has closed a bit more, so it's not as leaky as it was. We were thrilled as we were hoping for status quo. Gracie was a little charmer through this appointment and made friends with the resident and was very cooperative for Dr. E. Dr. E. is another great member of the Gracie care team. Gracie was such a good girl other than the three times she pulled the emergency nurse cord in the exam room. She was way too quick and the room was way too small.

We came home and Gracie took a little over an hour nap to rejuvenate. When she woke up, Grandma & Grandpa came over and brought us supper. We had a nice visit and Gracie was in a very good mood. She did have a little bout of diarhea - not sure what was up with that.

Gracie asked to have her new Tinkerbell backpack put on her back. Then she walked around the house saying "backpack" over and over again. She showed daddy and beamed, then she had to go show grandma too.

I put Gracie to bed before Grandma and Grandpa left. She would hear Grandpa's voice from the other room and would say "Grandpa". Then I told her Grandpa should be quieter. Then she started to say "Grandpa, Shhhhhhhhh!"

She is now sound asleep. Sweet dreams sweet girl, sweet dreams. Dora jammies tonight for those who are interested...we started out with others...but had a diaper blow out. Ugh.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday - Good Girl

Gracie had an okay night. She cried out quite a bit through the night. As long as I was right there assuring her, she would calm down. She awoke at 6:00 a.m. and was a happy girl. She read her book "David Smells" while burping her baby all the way to daycare. She was a bit tentative once we arrived, but sat down to play without any fuss.

Gracie had a good day at daycare. There was alot of outdoor time and they even walked to the park and played. Gracie was in such a good mood this evening and was extremely talkative. She was either talking or signing almost constantly. She ate a good supper and then we headed outside for a walk. At one point during our walk, she stopped, pointed to my stomach and said "mommy", as if telling me who I was. After our walk, it was time to swing. Then daddy came home and we had to take another walk per Gracie's orders. Gracie stopped at one point during this walk, pointed to herself and said "Gracie".

She had a really hard time relaxing to go to sleep, but once she finally fell asleep, all is well.

Tomorrow Gracie has an echocardiogram in the morning and then we meet with her cardiologist in the afternoon. This is our annual check of her leaky valves. If you have any extra prayers, please send one Gracie's way for good news tomorrow.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Weekend

We had a very busy weekend! Gracie had her very first sleepover without mom and dad. Jeff and I attended the wedding of some good friends (Congratulations Mitch & Jeryl) and Gracie stayed with Aunt Sheila, Uncle Chris, and cousins Kayla and Jason. She had a great time. She enjoyed seeing their dog, she listened to music and danced, she watched a little TV, she played piano, she ate as if she was a human vacuum cleaner (Aunt Sheila is a really good cook), and was curious about a storm that went through, including hail and lots of thunder, lightning, and rain. She fell asleep as Aunt Sheila rocked her. Then it was slumber party time. She awoke a number of times through the night, just to make sure Aunt Sheila was close by.

She awoke this morning and was a snuggly girl. Then Aunt Sheila treated her to muffins for breakfast. YUMMY. I arrived at about 10:00 a.m. to pick her up. She was happy to see me and I got a priceless smile, but no hugs. She still had playing to do. She was a funny girl, she didn't want me to be out of her sight, but she wanted to continue playing. When we did leave, Gracie was so sad to leave that she had huge crocodile tears as she cried.

We headed right to Grandma & Grandpa D's for Christmas -- since they travel in the winter, we celebrate Christmas with Jeff's family in the summer. There was lots of yummy food. Gracie had fun playing the piano and chasing her cousins. She was so tired as we didn't get a nap in, so she was a bit more moody and we saw a number of tantrums. Gracie got alot of fun gifts that she'll have fun playing with. At 4:00 p.m. we headed home and took a two hour nap. I awoke her after that and it took her quite a while to wake up. She also wanted very little to do with Jeff today. He finally won her over after supper.

Tonight we took a walk in the nice cool evening air. Gracie did not want to come in, she was having a great time. She went to bed later than usual. I have a feeling morning may come a little too soon.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday - A Great PT Appointment

Gracie had an okay night, but I awoke at 3:00 a.m. to gurgling sounds. Gracie was having one of her bloody noses. Not the worse ever and I caught it before it got everywhere, we did have to change the sheets and pillow cases though. It took her about 30 - 45 minutes to fall back asleep and then when it was time to get up for the day, she was a major sleepyhead.

Baby had to ride along to daycare with us this morning. Gracie fed baby or burped baby the whole way there. Then we were greeted at the door by her 7 year old buddy. It was so sweet how she got a big hug.

Gracie had a good day at daycare and Jeff picked her up early to head to her physical therapy appointment at the clinic. It was a good appointment and Gracie did everything she was asked. She was very cooperative and extremely talkative. Her physical therapist was very impressed and she is doing so good that we don't have to go back until we have concerns or three months, whichever comes first. We do have some stretches to work on with her as she had some tightness in the muscles that she uses to sit criss cross applesauce. After her appointment we were talking with the desk staff, her PT, the PT student that worked with her today and Gracie was talking up a storm and everyone was having fun, when a physician whom I've seen on the floor before, but have never talked to, came up to Gracie and I and said "Hey, this is Gracie, right?" She then proceeded to talk to me and was just enjoying Gracie and her antics. Then one of the desk staff, who she loves, asked if it was okay if she gave her a cupcake. I said sure and oh my gosh did we have a happy girl. She had everyone in stitches with her majorly chocolate face and hands as she did the "cupcake dance". She was so excited as cake is one of her favorite things in the whole wide world. She danced and said "cupcake" and "mmmmm" as she ate this ooey gooey sweet treat. She had chocolate everywhere. After she was done, we marched her to the sink and got her washed up.

After this she made friends with a couple and their baby in the elevator. The dad of which tracked us down in the ramp and gave Gracie a brand new ball. I don't know what it is, but Gracie just has this charisma about her that charms everyone. I wish I could take credit for this, but this is a trait all her own.

We took a short walk tonight - it was just too hot to be outside. So we played downstairs most of the night and let her splash and swim in the tub.

She is restless tonight. I'm hoping she has a good night in her Spongebob jammies.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday - Another Good Day

Gracie had a bit of a restless night, but not the worst. She awoke at 4:45 a.m. and was bright-eyed and bushytailed and was up for the morning. She was a very happy girl and insisted on taking "kitty" along on the ride to daycare.

She had a good day at daycare, although it was just too hot to go outside today. So there was dancing and playing to be done indoors. She also took a really long nap and just didn't want to get up. I like these long nap days. It means an extra good evening for us.

Gracie ate a good supper - we made her homemade pizza with her new non-dairy cheese. It was a hit. She also sucked down the vanilla/chocolate mix soy milk like it was going out of style. Add to that yogurt and mandarin oranges. She was a human vacuum cleaner. We're also having a bit of a problem with constipation. So after a month of being off Miralax, we have started that up again.

After supper we took a walk outside, but it was still so humid and the mosquitos were terrible, so we came back in and played downstairs where it is much cooler. Gracie didn't even fuss about having to come inside...she doesn't like it hot either.

She had a hard time falling asleep and is still quite restless. Hopefully that is not a sign of the night ahead.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Good Mood Gracie

Gracie had an okay night, but woke up in a good mood after a little snuggling. She didn't think she really wanted any breakfast this morning, although she did eat the 4 mandatory bites of yogurt needed to get the seizure meds down. She fed her cereal to her baby doll. She drank her orange juice right down and of course, her favorite part of breakfast, her Flinstone vitamin was gobbled right up.

She was sober and a bit tired on the drive to daycare, wasn't sure she wanted mom to leave, but when her 7 year old buddy suggested they dance, she decided it might be okay. She had a good day and even colored a Care Bear picture. It is so cute and she was one proud little girl when I got to see it. Jeff picked her up and they got a little bonding time before I got home. She was happy to see me and snuggle, but she was daddy's girl tonight.

Gracie was very intrigued by the storm that blew through. It was the most aware she has ever been of weather. She pointed out to me that the wind was blowing. She blew with her mouth and signed "wind". Then said "rain" as well as signed it, when it started to rain. She got very concerned and a little scared when it thundered. We assured her it was fine and she gave us this "okay if you say so" face.

We stayed inside tonight with the wet stormy weather and had a great time singing, dancing, splashing in the tub, and coloring with markers. She was such a good girl tonight. She was so happy, ate a ton of supper, and didn't fuss about hardly anything. It was a good night.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday - Those Itchy Mosquito Bites

Gracie had a restless night and I think the mosquito bites are to blame. She was rubbing and itching her head where the nastiest of the bites were bothering her. She was one tired girl this morning and did not want to get out of bed. I think she was half asleep eating her yogurt and to top things off, they messed with the programming on The Disney Channel and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was not on during the time we get dressed.

Gracie spent a little too much time with mom this weekend and was not ready to let go of me when I took her to daycare. She didn't fuss or get upset, just wanted to stay snuggled in my neck all day. The promise of a story being read finally lured her away.

Jeff picked Gracie up and they had some time to play before I got home. Gracie was all smiles when I got home and sat in my lap for the longest time. She just snuggled while daddy cooked supper. After supper we headed outside for a walk. Since it was so hot out earlier, this was her first venture out to play for the day. She walked pretty much the whole extended block 20 steps ahead of us. Then she swung for awhile and went down the slide a number of times too.

She continues to amaze us with her words, imitations, and all of the things she understands. We didn't have to have any timeouts for biting tonight. She did have one meltdown when she went to the gate above the stairs and told me "bye". That means she wants to go outside. I told her it was too hot and we would have to wait til after supper. She fell to the floor in a fussy tantrum. I got down on her level, informed her that it was too hot for mommy right now and imitated what would happen if I went out into the heat. (I took two deep breaths and fell over.) She found this hilarious and tantrum was over. If you would have told me three years ago that I would be imitating a heat stroke to appease my child, I would have said you were nuts!! I guess we all know who is nuts now!!!

Gracie is now fast asleep in her pink and purple leopard spot jammies.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Weekend - Some Fun Firsts

We had a good weekend. Gracie was happy and healthy throughout. On Friday, Gracie was at back-up daycare again and she had alot of fun. The staff there are so awesome. Jeff worked late that night, so it was just us girls. She gobbled up her supper and then we just played.

On Saturday, Jeff had to work all day, so Gracie and I got up early and did some shopping. We got caught in the rain and got very wet. I actually think Gracie enjoyed that. She was a very good girl while shopping and then we headed home to make lunch. I recently found some non-dairy, non-soy cheese that is quite good and I used that to make Gracie's favorite lunch...macaroni and cheese. She also had two other favorites...peas and pears. She ate and ate and ate. Then she took a 2-1/2 hour nap. I snuck in and took a nap for part of that time too. When she woke up, we filled her pool and water table with water and she played and played and played. Daddy came home just before supper and she was thrilled to see him. We took a walk to the park after supper and Gracie is getting really good with balance and climbing up the stairs on the play equipment. On the way home, we stopped to let Jeff tie Gracie's shoe. As he was doing this she leaned over and was resting across his back as he was kneeling down, and totally unsolicited, she said to her daddy for the very first time "I LOVE YOU". That was a major heartmelter for both of us.

Her extra long nap made bedtime later than usual, but she was a happy girl and we were fine with that, although she was extra tired this morning. We had her favorite cinnamon rolls for breakfast this morning and she gobbled them right up. We went to Jeff's church today and as always she enjoyed the music, but was too restless to sit during the message. At the end song, Gracie went to the aisle and danced her little heart out.

Then it was home, lunch, and naptime. Gracie took a 1 hour 45 minute nap today, which was much needed. After nap, Gracie and Jeff were playing downstairs for a bit while I was doing laundry. Gracie informed Jeff she wanted to sit on the toilet. For the first time ever, Gracie went potty in the toilet. I think this child may potty train herself. She only went a little bit, but enough to know what happened. She did empty her bladder into her diaper a little bit later, so we still need to work on this a bit.

After this Gracie and I went shopping. She noticed a bandaid on my finger. She leaned over and kissed it. That's what mommy does for her owies! We are really see a huge cognitive burst with Gracie the last few days. She is talking, telling us what animals are and what they say. She is singing a lot of songs and hitting key words. She is telling us exactly what she wants. Sometimes it takes a little bit to totally figure out what she is saying, but we eventually get it.

For those of you wondering how the biting is going - we are making great progress. We still get bit occasionally, but many times when she goes to do it, we say, "Gracie, I hope you are not biting because you will get a time out." Miraculously many of these intended bites turn into kisses.

Later this afternoon, we played out in her swimming pool and with her water table again. She had a great time splashing. Then to the swing and slide. Later after supper and bath we took a walk but the mosquitoes were so bad, we didn't stay out too long.

Gracie is now fast asleep, rejuvenating for a fun week ahead.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Increase in Meds = Increase in Cognition

Gracie had another great night last night. I could really get used to these good nights. I was awakened by Gracie putting both of her legs over my stomach in her sleep. I guess she thinks mommy is a footrest.

We had sort of a crazy day today. Gracie's daycare provider's daughter was sick, so we really didn't want Gracie hanging out there and catching something, so we took her to our work's back-up daycare center. Gracie had a great day. She wasn't sure she wanted to stay, actually was pretty sure she didn't want to stay, but once mommy was gone all was well. She played outside, she played in the sand box, they took her for walks down the hall to see the babies, she had a great love of that room and signed "baby" and "milk". She also loved when they would shake the wobbly bridge on the playcenter. This surprised me greatly, since it usually scares her a bit with her balance difficulties. They said she did great on it and wanted them to make it move "more".

I did get a call around lunchtime to see if I had any tips on getting Gracie to eat. She wouldn't eat or drink anything for them. They were wondering if they could give her crackers to see if they could get something in her. I gave them my wholehearted approval and told them to scrap the milk for water too. It worked like a charm and she did end up eating her peaches too. Her appetite is decreasing and she is getting a little finicky at times.

When I picked her up she was all smiles. We headed to Target after that and she enjoyed being in the stroller, then to my hairstylists where daddy met up with us to take Gracie home while mom got pampered.

To those of you that know Gracie well, you know that he word "no" comes quite easily to her, and the word "yes" does not. Tonight on the way home, Jeff asked her "Should we go to McDonalds and how about chicken nuggets, fries, and a sandwich for daddy?" In her big voice, Gracie responded "YEAH"!

We are two days into her seizure med increase and we are seeing another cognitive skills burst. She is speaking so much more, she is telling us what pictures are. Tonight she saw a pig in a book, said "pig", then hopped off her bed and got her piggy bank off the dresser. Then she told mommy that she needed "money". With all that effort, she got to feed piggy some loose change.

Tonight I told Gracie we needed to change her diaper and go get ready for bed. As I started to lead her to her room, she wanted to go elsewhere, but I kept helping her along to her room. She was now getting frustrated, so I stopped and she signed "potty". I told her to show mommy what she wanted. She walked to the bathroom, I opened the gate and let her in. She walked right to the toilet. I took off her diaper and sat her on it and she was so proud. She even tried to go potty, but didn't quite get that success. Maybe next time. She is definitely getting the concept. I think potty training is getting closer and closer.

Gracie is now sleeping soundly. Sweet dreams.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday - A Happy Girl

Gracie had a great night, which means I had a great night. She awoke a little unhappy, but only until I carried her back to bed and snuggled with her for a bit. She needs that morning snuggle with her mom. I quite enjoy it myself.

Gracie enjoyed the drive to daycare -- she was singing in the backseat and reading her kitty book. She had a good day there and was a happy girl when I picked her up.

When we got home I took her for a wagon ride while supper cooked in the oven. She ate like a little piggy tonight. I don't see that so often anymore since her growth has slowed down. After supper, Jeff, Gracie, and I all took a walk and played outside. I went to the grocery store later tonight and Jeff put Gracie to bed. She was a good girl for him.

The fun word of the day: I ordered some shoes for Gracie online and they arrived today. I took them out of the box and showed her and she said "shoe". Usually she signs it, but today it was verbal. Yay.

She is now sleeping peacefully.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday - Another Absence Seizure

Gracie had an awesome night and awoke in a great mood. She was such a happy girl this morning. I took her to daycare and was not loving driving in the fog. It was so thick you could have cut it with a knife.

Gracie had a good day at daycare. She went to the park, got to swim in the kiddie pool, and run through the sprinklers. She also got books read to her and had fun with the other kids. I did get a call from our daycare provider later this afternoon, as Gracie had another absence seizure. So I contacted our pediatric neurologist and we have decided to increase Gracie's morning dose of seizure meds. We're not quite sure why her current dose isn't doing the trick, as she hasn't gained any weight recently at all. Hopefully this will take care of the seizure issue.

Tonight we had our neighborhood National Night Out party. We have great neighbors and got to meet a few new ones. We all had fun until Gracie wiped out on the cement when she was running. She skinned both knees and an elbow big time. I took her in the house and stuck her in the tub to clean everything. She is allergic to bandaids, so we had to leave them uncovered and a little oozie.

Gracie loved all the puppies and kittens at our party. The kittens she got to see through the window. The puppies were all hands on and she got lots of puppy kisses.

Gracie got to bed about an hour later than usual. She fell asleep instantly. Sweet dreams little girl, sweet dreams.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday - Happy Girl

Gracie had a pretty good night and awoke at 5:15 a.m. She insisted she did not want to go back to bed, but she also insisted she needed to be held and snuggled. She was in a good mood and was happy to meet some new kids at daycare today. She had a good day and even made mommy a pretty paper flower during craft time.

Jeff picked Gracie up and they were dancing when I got home. Gracie was in a great mood tonight. She was happy, interactive, ate a good supper. I am so excited as I found some dairy free shredded cheese that actually tastes pretty good, so I made Gracie a favorite...macaroni and cheese. She liked that.
After supper it was bath time, then we went outside for a walk. She had tons of energy, but when 8:00 p.m. hit, it was very obvious from her mood that it was time to go in and go to bed. It took her a while to calm down and go to sleep.

By the way, our consistency with timeouts and staying very calm with her is paying off already. I also tell her that she needs to calm down at times and she looks at me and repeats "calm down". So she is starting to understand.

Gracie had a little stare fest at the table tonight that I suspect was an absence seizure, but I'm not totally sure. I was feeding her yogurt when she just stared ahead. The only difference I saw is that her head went down as if she was falling asleep. That has never happened with an absence seizure before. So we will keep an eye on it and if we see anymore, we'll contact her neurologist.

I was having trouble loading some of her birthday pictures last night, so tonight I'll add a few more from her birthday weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Birthday Weekend

Gracie had an incredibly busy and mostly fun birthday weekend. Here's her weekend in a nutshell.

Friday - Her actual birthday: Gracie awoke in a crabby mood and it just never really got better. Our plans were to take her to the zoo. Her birthday cake had monkeys, bears, and tigers on it to continue the zoo animals theme. I should have realized that Gracie has a hard time with transitions and turning three must have been one of those tough transitions. So against my better judgment, we loaded her up in the car and headed to the zoo 70+ miles away. She was happy to be in the car for a while, but then became very unhappy and decided to gag herself to the point of throwing up everywhere. At the very moment that vomit was coming out of her mouth, one of her mondo nose bleeds started. By the time we arrived at our destination she was covered in blood and vomit and was still incredibly grumpy. I changed her clothes, cleaned her up, and we had a picnic in the back of the van. She didn't really enjoy the zoo. The few animals that she did seem to get into were the ducks, flamingos, fish, zebras, and some little goofy looking monkeys. We stayed a max of two hours and headed home. She napped in the car and again when we got home. She awoke a little happier, but still not great. She opened presents and our big surprise of the day was when she opened a card with money in it, got excited and said "money". We didn't even know she knew what money was. About 8:00 p.m. it was like a switch was flipped and she was in a great mood.

Saturday - More Birthday Cake: Gracie was in a GREAT mood, an incredible contrast from the day before. She was happy and cooperative and smiley and just so much fun to be around. We hung out at home for most of the morning, she took a long nap, and then Grandpa & Grandma D. and Aunt Kathy came over for supper and birthday cake. The theme of birthday cake #2 was Dora! We all played outside for awhile in the evening.

Sunday - A Birhday Cookie: Gracie was in a pretty good mood again today. We went to my church and she did pretty good for most of it. Jeff did need to take her out for a little while. Then we came home, had lunch, a nap, and Aunt Sheila, Uncle Chris (her Godparents) and cousin Kayla and Jason came over to help celebrate her birthday. Gracie loved playing with everyone and liked when Kayla and Jason would play with her in her room. We had a giant birthday cookie and today's theme was Tinkerbell. This evening we took her outside and she played on the swing and slide with our company and was very sad to see them leave.

I would say she knows how to celebrate!!!!


Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie