Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday - Another Head Cold

Gracie had a rough night last night...she awoke at 2:30 a.m. and was up for a bit, then again at 3:30, 4:00, and 4:30 a.m. She never really went back to sleep after that. Seizure meds were a challenge as she wasn't feeling well. The first bite of yogurt laced with Topamax sprinkles went in her mouth and was promptly spit right back out. Uh-oh! We waited a bit, then I lured her in with fudge striped cookies and chocolate coconut milk yogurt.

Despite having a nasty head cold and looking totally miserable with a constantly running nose, Gracie had a good day. She got to go to the park and even got to have Happy Meals and eat at the park.

Gracie was a good girl all night, despite not feeling well. She is getting very good at telling me she has a sore throat. This is actually a relief for me to know...I hated the guessing game. I'm going to cut this short as I'm pretty sure it's going to be a rough night. She's having a hard time breathing with her runny nose....and she's already awoken once and daddy is snuggling with her now.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday - Growing Again???

Gracie had a pretty good night, but awoke at 4:30 a.m. for the day. She hung out with daddy for a little while just snuggling in so that I could get a shower. She needed some daddy time. She must have been hungry, for breakfast she ate: 4 pieces of toast with jelly (crusts removed), a half bowl of Cheerios, some yogurt, a glass of orange juice and a half of glass of Gatorade. Could she be growing again????

It was a school day today. I let her teacher know that she might be more tired as she got up an hour early. Her teacher let me know she had a good day, but around 11:15 a.m. during story time, she was looking pretty tired. Gracie fell asleep on the bus ride home again, so although she layed down at nap time, she did not fall asleep. I was afraid we were in for a rough night, but I was wrong. She was tired, but delightful. She was very chatty and tonight she asked me to put her Tinkerbell fleece blanket on the floor. Then she lays on it and it is cuddly soft. I think it is a happy comforting spot for her.

Jeff came home shortly after 7:00 p.m., so the two of them got some play time. Jeff flew her around the house. He would hold her out straight and she would put her hands out and pretend to fly. She wants to really fly so bad. I think it is a freeing thing for her.

Gracie ate a good supper....coconut milk ice cream, spaghetti and meatballs (she can say "spaghetti" quite well), corn, a half of an apple, and a fudge brownie (that she called a cookie) for dessert...and a glass of soy milk. I think she might be growing again.

Gracie fell asleep very quickly tonight.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday - A Good Day

Gracie had a great night and slept pretty much through the night (she did wake up for a very short time to tell me "hi" a couple of times) til 5:45 a.m. Oh what a treat that was!!! She was in a great mood and even got to see daddy for a few minutes before he headed to work.

Gracie had a good day at daycare. Got hit in the head with a flying toy that made her cry, but no marks were left and it was all pretty minor. Nothing too wild and crazy about her day other than she was very verbal tonight. She is also getting very good at adding "yes" and good head nods to her vocabulary to answer questions. That is so helpful. We are also working very hard at getting her to say "help" when she needs help rather than fussing or crying. She knows how, she just sometimes forgets.

She wasn't fond of the rice and chicken dish I made for supper. She ate a little bit, but chowed down on the mandarin oranges and then had a waffle and some crackers instead.

Jeff came home from work about 15 minutes before Gracie went to bed and she was very excited to see him. She is now fast asleep.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday - Making Friends at School

Gracie had a great night until about 4:00 a.m. when she awoke. She finally fell back to sleep at about 4:30 a.m. and then was awake for the day by 5:30 a.m. She was in a happy mood and after eating her waffle for breakfast, she took me to the cupboard and informed me she wanted a "bun". So she munched happily on a plain hamburger bun. How weird is that?

Gracie was a little hesitant to let me leave when I took her to daycare. That is until Mandy suggested they go find a book to read.

Today was a school day and here is the note Gracie's teacher sent home for me. I think my little girl is making friends.

Grace had a big smile coming off the bus today. Her friend Brock was glad to see her and held her hand for a minute. She didn't seem to mind and even smiled at him before taking her hand back a minute later. Grace was the calendar helper today - she held the pointer and helped count to the date and point to the day/month for her friends.

I love getting little glimpses into her school day. I picked her up at daycare and it was a rough night. She screamed, cried, fussed, whined all the way home. Once home not much made her happy and what did make her happy was short-lived. I finally put down her Tinkerbell Fleece blanket, turned on a music dvd and layed down and snuggled with her for a while. If I even moved to go check on her supper she would get very upset. She needed to be held close. She was very happy to see supper. She ate a chicken patty, a whole pear, part of my waffle, two cookies, and yogurt, with a glass of juice and part of a glass of milk. Not a morsel was left on her plate. She was a little happier after she ate, but that spiraled downward quickly. Finally I put on her jammies, picked her up and sang to her. She fell asleep in less than a minute. So my little one has been in bed since 7:15 p.m. I hope that doesn't mean she'll be up early tomorrow.

Jeff is still working and the house is too quiet.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday - Just Mom & Gracie

Gracie had a restless night and awoke way too early and was extremely grumpy. Nothing was right. She had a tantrum when I asked her if she wanted juice for breakfast. She had another meltdown when I asked her if she wanted milk for breakfast. A simple "no" would have been sufficient. I knew we were going to have problems with meds, because nothing was right. So I made her favorite cinnamon rolls, put her Tinkerbell blanket down on the floor in the living room, and we had a picnic breakfast. Suddenly life was good...yogurt with meds slid down beautifully. She was very clingy today and wanted to be held a lot. She did pull at her ear a bit today and indicated to me that she has a sore throat. She now rubs her hand on her neck to tell me this...which is so helpful to know.

We did get out for a few errands today -- we were low on her coconut milk yogurt, etc. Gracie was good as gold when we were out and about.

Gracie took an almost two hour nap and awoke happy but still didn't seem to have a great abundance of energy. She wanted to go outside for a walk, but when it came to walking, she wanted to be held. At 42 lbs., I'm finding that to be a difficult task for long periods of time, so I put her in the wagon. She did help me pull the wagon at one point and she also gathered some leaves from the sidewalk. Our neighbor boys were outside as we headed to our backyard so we invited them to play with Gracie on her playset. She loved having them play, she didn't interact with them so much, but loved to watch them.

Gracie got to pick ice cream or making a smoothie for her meds this evening. She picked smoothie, so much healthier and yummy. Then we had supper. Gracie decided that she was done with her plate, jumped up on my lap and decided to help me eat my sandwich....a bbq pork roast from the just melted in our mouths. Yum.

Gracie heard daddy come home before I did...she jumped up off the chair and went running. She was so happy to see him. We had a good night, complete with splashing wars in the bathtub. To anyone who sees her crooked piggytails tomorrow, I did the best I could.

She fell right to sleep tonight, she was a very tired girl. It was nice having a day to snuggle and just hang out.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday - Visiting

Gracie had a good night and woke up about 6:30 a.m. this morning. Initially was in a good mood, but was very clingy and if she didn't get her way she would make a big fuss. We spent the morning just hanging out and getting a few things done at home. By 10:00 a.m., Gracie decided she had enough of that and got her coat and told me "bye". That's her way of saying we need to get out of the house. As it was cold out and her hair was still wet from her bath, she couldn't go outside and she was not happy to hear that. After her hair dried we did go out for a walk/stroller ride in the light rain.

Gracie ate a good lunch and then took a nap. After that we headed to Aunt Sheila's house to play with her and cousin Jason. We had a good time and Gracie loved playing music with Jason and taking Sheila and I for walks around the house. We had supper with them and Gracie always thinks Aunt Sheila's cooking is fabulous (I tend to agree).

Gracie was sad to leave and as tired as she was stayed awake the whole way home. She would fuss everytime a commercial came on the radio because she wanted music. She was very happy to see daddy when we got home as he had been working all day. She was very tired though and went to bed shortly after we got home.

Now she is sleeping peacefully.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, September 24, 2010

Catching Up

Gracie came home from school on Wednesday and had a little booklet they made in her backpack. I could tell instantly they were working on their cutting skills. This is something Gracie enjoys. I think she likes the power she has with a scissors in her hand. She was in the best mood Wednesday night. Come to think of it, Gracie has had an incredibly awesome week of being mostly cooperative, funny, happy, and just plain in a good mood.

On Thursday, Jeff was off of work and hung out with Gracie all day. They took a field trip to visit friends, met me for lunch, and just had fun playing at home. When I got home she was still in a great mood and we had a great evening.

Today it was back to daycare for Gracie. I picked her up early to get our church directory pictures taken. Gracie was for the most part cooperative and very happy. She just didn't want to take her thumb out of her mouth. As we waited for the photo shoot, we were walking in a part of the church that Gracie has never been before. She surprised both Jeff and I when she looked at a picture she hadn't seen before and informed us it was "Jesus". She was right! We talk about Jesus and God to her, but I'm never sure how much she retains. I did ask her again a little later who the picture was and she again answered "Jesus". I think there is some divine intervention going on here.

Gracie's understanding and language skills continue to progress nicely. I'm notorious for saying "who knew" when something silly or different happens. Tonight we are in the car and Gracie pipes up "who knew". It was very cute. She is also singing more words to songs and LOVES the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese song...whenever the word "cheese" is supposed to be sung, she sings it for me.

Gracie's favorite toys right now are her baby dolls. They have always been called "baby" at our house. Last night Gracie picked up one of her babies and informed us it was "Kaiden". Interestingly, that is the same name as the baby at daycare. That name has stuck through today as well and Kaiden goes everywhere in the house that she does. The Kaiden at our house has a pink bow in his (her) hair.

We've had a good week and are feeling very blessed.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday/Wednesday - Meds Increased

Gracie had an incredibly restless night on Monday & Tuesday night, but I'm happy to say no night terrors. Last night she kept calling out in her sleep. I would calmly tell her that mommy was there and pat her back and she would calm down for a bit, only to get restless again a bit later. She awoke this morning in a happy mood. I snuggled with her for a bit when I got out of the shower and when I told her I had to go get dressed, she gave me a huge hug around my neck and decided not to let go. I guess she wanted me to stay. When Jeff told her he was going to take a shower, she told him to "go". Then as he headed out the door she changed her mind and wanted him to stay. So silly.

We increased Gracie's seizure meds yesterday and already are seeing a bit of a burst in her language skills. When she wants to read a book, she will tell us "book" and sometimes she will sign the word book. Last night she told me "read book".

Gracie was a complete riot last night, she would lean her back on the couch cushion and slowly slide down until she fell on the floor. She thought this was hilarious and did it over and over and over again. Each time she did it, she would giggle and giggle. I love that sound.

Yesterday at daycare they played outside and caught bugs. They caught some grasshoppers and a butterfly. I just love that they do this at daycare. Such a good experience for her and I don't have to do it, because I hate bugs!

Today it is back to school. I can't wait to hear what she learned today.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday - Animal Actions

Gracie had an okay night. She did awake at 2:45 p.m. and had trouble going back to sleep, so I got up to "bounce" and walk with her. She fell back to sleep about 45 minutes later. She awoke in a good mood, but wasn't very hungry this morning. I think it is because she was such a little piggy last night.

Gracie had school today and one of their activities was singing the "Animal Action" song, which we watch on YouTube with her. They did ASL signs for the animals that they knew, which Gracie loved. Her favorite was no surprise to me..."bird". Gracie had an absence seizure at school today. It was short, but definite. Good thing I warned her teacher she could be seeing some.

Gracie's neurologist is away this week, but I was promised a call back from her nurse. Unfortunately that call didn't come today. I will get a bit more pushy if I don't hear anything early tomorrow.

Gracie did not take a nap at daycare today. We don't know if she fell asleep on the bus or not, but she was soooooooooooo tired tonight. She ate a good supper, but then we saw some tantrum behavior. We layed her down in front of the TV with her blankie and a calming music video. She just layed there taking it all in and sucking her thumb.

Gracie was so tired, she had a hard time falling asleep tonight. I fear conditions are great for a night terror. I so hope we don't have one of those.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday - Another Seizure! Ugh!

Gracie had a great night and woke up at 6:30 a.m. We got up, had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and headed to church. Gracie was a little more moody today, but still alot of fun. She did great during the music at church, but I had to take her out during the message again. At greeting time, Gracie greeted the woman behind us with a big hug and decided to hang out with her for a good part of the service. She couldn't have picked a nicer person -- Brenda has a heart of gold.

After church we ran to ShopKo real quick and before we got out of the car, Gracie was acting real spacie and then she had an absence seizure. Jeff and I both witnessed it and yesterday she has some tremor like movements that I suspected were seizure activity as well. Oh I hate seizures. At any rate, we have a note into her doctor and I'm sure we will increase meds again as our peanut just gained a couple of pounds. I think her legs are growing!

Gracie took an hour nap today and then we played outside for the rest of the afternoon. We drew ghosts and pumpkins on our driveway with sidewalk chalk and Gracie helped me color them. We took a walk to the school playground again, and just hung out.

We had BBQ Country Style ribs for supper and potatoes and crescent rolls...all favorites of Gracie's. She ate a good supper, then had a chocolate chip muffin and later a rice krispie bar...she must be growing.

She had a great time splashing in the tub tonight. As for new fun things from Gracie, she now points out her shadow to us on the wall of her bedroom and says "shadow", she can make this pig sound in the back of her throat that just cracks me up. When I ask if there is a pig in the house it cracks her up. When I ask her about the picture she made in school (which is a 'G'), she tells me it is a "G", she initiated drawing on the driveway with chalk, made me open up the garage door so she could get it, says "llama" only it sounds like "mama", says "boo" for a ghost, and can say the word "pumpkin" and knows what a pumpkin is...she loves pumpkins and is drawn to pumpkins in the store.

It's back to school for Gracie tomorrow.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday Night/Saturday - More Fun

Jeff picked Gracie up at daycare yesterday and she was in such a great mood, which lasted all night long. She initited a wrestling match with her daddy and he can still take her now, but she is a force to be reckoned with. She was on top of her game with talking and we played chase and just played and had fun.

This morning Gracie woke up at 5:00 a.m. I was able to get her to snuggle with me until 5:30 a.m., but she was ready to start the day after that. We had a fairly lazy morning, although we did run to Sam's Club and Target to stock up on a few things. Gracie thought it was great fun to sit in the big portion of the mondo sized carts at Sam's Club.

Gracie took a three hour nap this afternoon and I joined her for part of it. Once she woke up and had a snack, she brought me her coat and indicated it was time to go outside. So we walked to the local school playground and played for a while. Then back home to play in the yard for awhile. Gracie was NOT happy about going back in the house for supper. She also wasn't real thrilled about eating supper. She finally ate some yogurt and some pineapple. I did get a little rice in her and a veggie or two.

We played around the house tonight and she was more than ready for bed at 9:00 p.m. She was very tired again. She has a very runny nose...not sure if it is from her cold earlier in the week, if she is getting another cold, or if it is allergies. She seems fine otherwise.

Gracie was very verbal again today and so cooperative and quite happy. She spent time today going through her toy box and pulling out toys and playing with them. This is such a switch, Gracie loves books, babies, and videos, but has never had a lot of time for toys. She was very into them today. Also, we've been working for years with Gracie on putting shapes in a shape sorter. We have one that has tubes with a vacuum gravity pull so that the shapes make noise as they go down the tube. She has NEVER put a shape in it by herself. She will with help, she is so not motivated by these toys. We now know she can do she put her banana down one of the tubes today. I couldn't even be disgusted...I was so proud she did it.

She is now fast asleep, rejuvenating for another fun day with mom and dad tomorrow. I think she is enjoying having both of us home and giving her undivided attention.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday/Friday - Happy, Happy, Happy

Gracie had a great day at daycare yesterday. She was happy, she took a good nap, she had fun. All in all a good day. Jeff picked her up and she was in a great mood for us all night long. She was so on her game, talking, laughing, playing. She told me she wanted to play ring around the rosie - she loves that game. Then Jeff joined in and it was a hoot. We played and played it. She used to go round with us, but then not fall down as her legs/knees were too stiff to make it fun. Not so anymore. She is down right with us.

We read books, we watched You Tube, we played downstairs, we didn't want supper, but we did eat our fresh pear. She didn't really want her ice cream, but took just enough bites to get her meds down. She did however want lots of Oreo mint cookies. That's the daddy influence on her.

We took a bath last night and she did some splashing, but we are finding that baths aren't the thrill they used to be. She is just so busy she doesn't want to take the time to sit. So we are in there just long enough to get our hair combed out and a good scrub down.

Gracie slept so soundly last night and Jeff informs me she even slept through my snores. Hmmm!

Gracie awoke in a good mood this morning and was a happy girl. She was wearing her Hello Kitty shirt today and she kept telling me that it was a "kitty".

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday/Thursday - Second Day of School

Wednesday was Gracie's second day of school. From all indications I think it went well. She got on the bus okay and on the way home she fell asleep on the bus. So that little catnap was her nap for the afternoon.

Jeff, who was in Chicago all week, picked her up at daycare. She was so excited to see him "daddy, daddy, daddy", and then she remembered, oh yeah, I usually give him the cold shoulder when he has been away too long. She proceeded to do just that. When they got home, Gracie fell asleep on Jeff's shoulder, so he put her in bed and the two of them slept from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. until I got home. Knowing that she had fallen asleep, I knew getting her meds in her were going to be tricky due to tiredness and moodiness. So I picked up McDonald's chicken nuggets, chocolate chip cookies, and Chinese take out...all favorites...on the way home. (Can you tell that our biggest stresser is trying to get capsules of seizure sprinkles in her??) She was grumpy as she woke up. I was holding her when she spied the chicken nuggets. She got down so fast and into her chair and she ate and ate and ate the chicken and a pear. I snuck in some yogurt with her med sprinkles, and we were good to go. Surprisingly she wanted nothing to do with the Chinese food.

The rest of the night we just snuggled and watched a Barney video. Daddy went off to perform magic at Hope Lodge and Gracie and I just hung out reading books. She was back in bed by 8:30 p.m. and slept soundly through the storm until about 10:00 p.m. She awoke again, but fell asleep pretty quickly.

She had a great night and awoke with the biggest most beautiful smile this morning...a smile of a refreshed and rested little girl. For being a happy girl, she put up a big fuss when I put her clothes on this morning. She was wearing her pj's with frogs, monkeys, and kitties on it and they are favorites, so maybe she wanted to go to daycare in her pj's.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday/Wednesday - Missing Daddy

Gracie had a good day yesterday and thankfully a much better night last night. Her cold is starting to ease up a little bit and she had a good day at daycare. Mandy made her BBQ boneless style ribs, potatoes, and corn for lunch -- her ultimate favorite and her appetite came back. She ate every little morsel.

Gracie is missing her daddy big time. She asks about him constantly. Last night she sat up to the computer and wanted to talk to daddy (via Skype). Daddy wasn't available and when I told her that we couldn't talk to daddy tonight she had an all out kicking and screaming tantrum. Poor Pumpkin. Her first words to me this morning were "daddy", then a brief pause, and then "Chicago".

She was very clingy this morning. Didn't want breakfast, just wanted to be held. So I held her for a while, then all of a sudden this little had came out and grabbed my piece of toast. We won't mention that she had toast on her own plate too. Mommy's must taste better.

It was picture day today at school, so I dressed her in hot pink leggings, a jean jumper dress, and put some hot pink polka-dot barrettes in her hair to tame the curls a bit. I told her she would have to say "cheese" and she practiced. I'll await pictures to see if she remembered.

On the way to daycare she saw a big yellow bus and got excited, so I hope that means she was anxious to go back to school, even though when I asked her yesterday if she wanted to go back to school, she told me "no"! Today will be a new adventure at school as Wednesdays class is bigger. There will be 10 kids in all and it will be a mix of mainstream kids and those with special needs. I have a feeling she will be tired again tonight.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday - The First Day of School

Monday was Gracie's first day of preschool. She was excited and I was nervous. We have been reading the "Dora's First Day of School" book and it is a favorite. We read it before she went to sleep on Sunday and again upon awakening -- at Gracie's request. Everytime we talked about her going to school she would smile.

Gracie gets on the bus at daycare and as much as I wanted to be there the first time she got on the bus, I wasn't sure she would go for me. So I went off to work and Gracie's daycare mom got her on the bus and took the awesome pictures you see in the blog. Mandy talked with Gracie before the bus came also. Gracie was very excited to see the bus, she went right up to it with no problem, but did look quite nervous when they put her in the seat. There were no tears. She was my big brave girl.

When she got to school she was very hesitant to get off the bus, but did so and got into line with the rest of the kiddos and performed their arrival routine of washing hands, putting backpacks in their lockers, etc. Gracie had a very busy day. It was no surprise that she enjoyed music time and story time the best, followed by snack time. She got to go swinging with the physical therapist, she participated with some appropriate "no" responses during story time. She also had some good physical exercise of going down the slide. She also picked out colors and colored a "G" for Gracie. When I took that out of her folder last night and oohed and aahed she just beamed. It was no surprise to us that at free play she found a spot on the matt away from the other kids. She is so social with older kids and adults, and loves babies, but does not interact well with kids her own age. This will be something that the preschool teacher will slowly work on with Gracie.

When she got off the bus she was tired and looked like she had a busy morning. It was past lunch and nap time so both of those helped to rejuvenate her. It didn't help that she has come down with a nasty cold, so her nose was constantly running and you could tell she was not feeling perfect.

When I picked her up at daycare she was having fun and didn't want to go home with me. I finally talked her into it and she fell asleep on the way home. That never happens. She awoke in a majorly grumpy mood when we got home and it took some talking to get her to eat her ice cream (our vehicle for getting seizure meds in her). After spitting one spoonful out, the rest went down okay.

She was so tired she didn't want supper, but I wanted her to have some food in her, so I loaded her up in the stroller and put some apple slices and peanut butter crackers in the tray, as well as some juice and we headed outdoors for a stroll. She did eat a little. Then back home to read books, but she was so tired and in such a bad mood that we only read one book and then I put her to 7:30 p.m. She awoke 45 minutes later wanting to be held. We snuggled until she fell asleep again. She had such a hard time sleeping as she couldn't breathe. So I spent the night holding her, bouncing her, rocking her, laying on the couch with her, sitting up in bed with her propped up to me. Needless to say it is a double caffeine day for me. She fell asleep very soundly at about 4:00 a.m. and got a couple of good hours of sleep. Surprisingly, she was in a great mood today when she woke up. The first thing she told me today was that her baby had "shoes" and pointed to them.

So I sent my runny nose girl to daycare today to rest up for another day of school tomorrow. Tomorrow is picture day and because of her cold, Gracie will look like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.

So all in all, a good first day of school. I'm so proud of my big brave girl.

Proud mommy Lisa, Proud daddy Jeff, and Big Brave Girl Gracie

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday - Missing Daddy

Gracie had a good night sleep, but awoke at 4:00 a.m. and it took about 30 minutes for her to fall back to sleep. She was sleeping so soundly that it was tough to wake her up at 6:00 a.m. She looked so peaceful, Jeff and I just had to sit and watch her for a bit.

We ate some breakfast and loaded Gracie into the van to take Jeff to the airport, unfortunately the van wouldn't start. So we tried jump starting it and all of this commotion made Gracie beyond hysterical. Huge tears and uncontrollable crying. She kept referring to Jeff, I think she could sense his stress. I held her and hugged her and she wouldn't let me go. Once Jeff was freed up, he came to give her a hug and that calmed her greatly. Then we took her out of the van and loaded her in the car, because the van was not going to cooperate.

Gracie fell in love with a big statue of a goose at the airport. We got to go up to the gate to see the airplanes. Gracie is very into flying, she often puts her arms back and pretends she is flying. Then her and I headed to Target to buy frivolous a Halloween flag, some Halloween slippers, and a few other fun things. Then home to play and have some lunch.

Gracie took a two hour nap and when she woke up we headed out to buy a new battery for the van. She was a very good girl. Then it was back home to play. We played outside for a while, but Gracie was just too hot and the mosquitos started to come out. They love Gracie, she is so bitten up on her cheeks and neck. We made a peach/banana/strawberry smoothie to help her meds slide down and made semi homemade pizza for supper.

Daddy called us from Chicago on skype, so Gracie got to see and talk with him and that helped her miss him a little less. She asked for him all day. When we were done talking Gracie said "love you daddy". It was so sweet. Gracie also went around the house today saying "daddy" and "Chicago".

Then to the bathtub to splash and play. Gracie was one tired little girl tonight. It didn't take her long to fall asleep at all. Tomorrow is a big day for her...her first day of preschool.

She is sleeping soundly in her Tinkerbell pj's.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday - A Very Very Good Day

Gracie awoke bright and early at 6:30 a.m. and I should have known from her big smile that it was going to be a good day. We had a fairly lazy morning and then Gracie and I headed out to see if we could find a pair of boots that she could walk in (winter is coming). We ended up buying some more enclosed shoes and ordering some lighter boots online. Then we headed to the mall to return some pants and I picked up the cutest little dress for Gracie. She was being such a good girl riding in the stroller, when all of a sudden something was bothering her and she was agitated, she wanted out. Then I spied what she wanted...the escalators. She LOVES escalators. So we went up and down a couple of times and she was all smiles.

On the way out of the mall we ran into cousin Maci and her grandma. We also went to see Maci's mommy Brittany, who was getting her haircut. Gracie LOVED Maci and Maci treated us to smiles. Gracie would touch her, then take my hand and want me to touch her too.

We came home, had lunch, and Gracie took a nap. After nap we played outside the rest of the afternoon. The weather was perfect. We took a walk, wagon rides, played ball, played on our swing, drew on the driveway with sidewalk chalk, played chase, took neighbor Nancy for a walk, and visited with neighbor Diane.

Gracie was in a great mood all day and is learning so many new words. She can tell us words of songs, she can tell us who Tinkerbell is without us telling her first. Today in the car she told me she wanted a "drink". Her frustration level seems to melt away a little bit with each new word she can say.

We made strawberry smoothies this afternoon and Gracie helped. She loves to be right where the action is. She also was a human vacuum cleaner at supper time...we had pork roast, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. She couldn't shove that broccoli in fast enough. She also fell alot today. Hmmm..eating alot + falling alot = she must be growing again.

Tonight we went to the local school playground and Gracie met a 9 month old named Charli. Charlie was walking around with her mom and Charli is as social as Gracie is. They hit it off very nicely. Gracie didn't want to leave her side.

Gracie is now sound asleep in her Dora pj's. She had to point Dora out to me about 10 times before she could go to sleep.

Sweet dreams.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Gracie had a good night and slept through til I awoke her at 6:00 a.m. She was a happy girl for the most part, especially when she got to go downstairs. She is obsessed with the baby swing. She likes to stack as much stuff on it as she possibly can while it swings back and forth with the music playing. She stacks it so high and then stuff comes crashing down and then she starts all over again. To watch her makes you wonder if she has some obsessive compulsive disorder. Since she has never liked to stack blocks, I feel like she is getting some sort of beneficial skill from this.

Gracie took her musical fish sensory toy in the car to daycare this morning and that kept her occupied for the whole ride there. She had a good day at daycare and Jeff picked her up this evening. When I got home she came running to the gate and before I could even open it was getting hug after hug after hug. Then came kisses. I am one lucky mommy.
Gracie was not into her ice cream or much of anything tonight until Jeff reheated some soup we had made earlier in the week. She couldn't get enough of that. I thought she might have a sore throat, but she let me look in her throat and it looked good. Jeff on the other hand has a throat that doesn't look so good.

Tonight she had moments of great happiness and of great unhappiness. She had a really hard time falling asleep, but is finally in la-la land.

Since I don't have much to say today...thought you might enjoy some pictures from the summer.

Gracie with Grandma & Grandpa D.

Playing in the sand can make a girl very thirsty. Do you think mom will notice if I take a sip of her Diet Coke???
One of Gracie's most favorite things to do...take mom and dad for a walk. Do you think she is pretending we are puppies??? Hmmm.
Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday - Meet the Teacher

Gracie awoke at 4:15 a.m. and was awake for the day. She was a trooper and tried to go back to sleep, but it wasn't happening. Sadly she was quite moody as we got ready this morning. She really needed more sleep. She enjoyed the ride to daycare and was in a good mood by the time we got there.

Gracie had a good day and only took an hour nap. Jeff picked her up midafternoon and we headed to school to meet with Gracie's former Birth to Three teacher and her new teacher for preschool. Her new OT and speech therapist were there too. I love them all!!!! She will have 5 students in her class on Mondays and 10 students on Tuesdays. They are so well organized and Gracie had a great time playing with toys around the room. I just know she is going to love being there.

Gracie was so excited to see Emily, her former Birth to Three teacher. She spied her walk in the door and went running to her and gave her a big hug. They held hands and away we marched to her new classroom. Grace even has her own locker with a picture of a green frog on it. Very appropriate! When Gracie was so sick with I.S. we looked at the frog as a symbol:


So appropriate that would be the symbol as we start this new experience in her life.

Gracie was a good girl tonight. We stopped at the local Kwik Trip tonight to pick up some bananas, donuts, and a few other things. Gracie INSISTED on carrying the bag home all by herself. Actually dragging the bag home would be more appropriate. The bananas have grass ground into them and big scrape marks from being drug across the sidewalk. She was a trooper.

Gracie was so tired tonight. I think it took her two seconds to fall asleep.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday - Much to Do!

Gracie had a horrendously restless night where she never stopped tossing and turning, until 3:30 a.m. that is, when she totally woke up and try as she might, couldn't fall back to sleep. It took her an hour of walking, snuggling, getting a drink of water, etc., until she fell back asleep. Then when it was time to wake her up, she was so peaceful and didn't want to get up.

We had an appointment at the clinic bright and early this morning. This was to meet with an allergist regarding Gracie's allergy/intollerance to milk. We know that milk and milk products cause Gracie much misery if consumed, but we wanted to have her tested to see if it is a true allergy and to see how careful we need to be regarding milk products. Since she can't tell us when she is not feeling well, we rely on signs, grumpiness, etc. We just felt it would be beneficial to all of us to know. Jeff and I were both very disappointed with our appointment. First we saw the resident who didn't connect with Gracie at all, didn't even acknowledge her until it was time to do an exam. No surprise that she wanted NOTHING to do with him. Then he came back in the room and told us he forgot to look in her mouth and nose. Next we met with the staff doctor who gave us a lot of allergy jargen (good thing I've done a bit of research on this myself or I wouldn't have had a clue what she was talking about). Without any testing she informed us it wasn't an allergy that it was an intollerance specific to her. I would have felt much better had we been given scientific proof of this...such as an allergy test.

So when I asked about how careful we needed to be, she just said we can try to introduce things over time and see what her reaction is. I reiterated that she can't always tell us when she doesn't feel well and she told us we could read the signs. At this point, Gracie bumped her head on the desk and went to Jeff for some comfort. The physician indicated that we could tell much as we could tell she wanted comfort for her bumped head. It's not that simple and most of the time Gracie doesn't want comfort when she bumps her head...I think she wanted comfort because she didn't want to be there. I also asked about behavioral issues that accompany the ingestion of milk products and she said there was no scientific info to back that up, but many parents of autistic children (she quite abruptly told us she had never heard of Sotos Syndrome and made it seem like a bother to have even brought it up) indicate behavioral differences with gluten and dairy elimination from the diet. She told us to do what we felt was best.

I have so many good things to say about the medical care we've experienced and the medical professionals that give such great care to Gracie. Jeff and I were both thoroughly unimpressed with our experience today and felt it was a great waste of time.

After this appointment, we had an appointment to get Gracie's wheelchair adjusted...she's grown! Gracie's physical therapist saw her running and told us how impressed she was with how good she was doing. The wheelchair people were awesome as always too. They commented on how much Gracie's face had thinned out since they last saw her and how awesome she is doing.

Then off to wait while I got my license renewed. We dropped daddy off to go golfing and we headed to school to meet with the school nurses. They were AWESOME. I really feel so confident that they have Gracie's best interests at heart and are there to make sure she is safe and well cared for.

Then home to have some lunch and a nap. Gracie took a 2-1/2 hour nap. She awoke in a great mood and was a happy girl all night. After supper we took a walk to the school playground and played for awhile before coming back home, reading books, and heading to bed.

Jeff and I were sharing a giggle tonight. Today when Gracie and I were out and about on our own, I was asked if she was adopted. This never happens when all three of us are together, but when it is just Gracie and I, this question comes up occasionally and my first thought is why would they even think this. It takes me a while to come back to the realization that our coloring is very different. I forget that my little girl looks like her daddy and nothing like me. I'm totally fine with that as she takes after her mom in loving all things "girly"!!!! :) We love ruffles and lace.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday - Labor Day

Gracie awoke at 7:45 a.m. this morning. Ahhhh, that was awesome. She was in a great mood. We played with her "babies" (dolls) and her stuffed animals for a bit, then she informed me we needed to get up for some "juice".

We had a fairly lazy morning and went out furniture shopping (looking for a new tv/media stand) at 4 stores in town. Gracie was very good in all of them as long as we kept moving. There was a big German Shepherd in a SUV at one of the stores that Gracie fell in love with.

Then it was home for lunch, more playing, and then a nap. Gracie slept for 2 hours and woke up in the best mood. Then it was time for a walk. She wanted to go to the school playground, so we did inbetween the rain showers. It did rain on us a little, but Gracie didn't seem to mind. She just sat on the swings going back and forth for the longest time with the most content, happy smile.

Gracie's language skills have blossomed again and she is talking so much. She has a lot of independent words and still copies alot of what we say. On her walk, she lost her balance and started to fall. Jeff caught her and I said "Daddy saves the day!" Gracie then repeated that for a while. It was so cute.

Gracie wore a new shirt today that she got for her birthday with ballerina's on it. Everytime she looked at the dancers, she had to dance too. She also had fun playing with her Mickey and Minnie Mouse figures. A while ago I had put a sticker of Goofy on the ketchup bottle and forgot all about it. Tonight Gracie was eating ketchup, looked at the bottle and said "Goofy". She is getting so good at recognizing familiar characters, animals, and body parts. Gracie also is starting to have great empathy for others. She has a sign language video that talks about how to say "cry" and "sad" and it shows kids crying and sad. We have to fast forward it because it upsets Gracie terribly. The first time I thought I could just talk her through it, but each time she watches it gets worse and worse and she gets so worked up about it.

Gracie's great love, other than books, these days are her baby dolls and her stuffed animals. At night if we don't have the right baby dolls in bed with her we have to go get them. The bed is full of dolls and stuffed kitties, dogs, elephants, bears, and even a llama.

Gracie had a hard time falling asleep tonight. She got to bed later since her nap was later. Unfortunately we have to be at the clinic tomorrow bright and early for allergy testing. We may have a grumpy or tired girl.

Gracie is now all snuggled in...and wearing her Tinkerbell pj's.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Gracie and I both were experiencing some weird stomach bug? We weren't all out and out sick, but Gracie had many nasty diapers through the day and my stomach just hurt. We didn't venture out other than to the playground at the local school. Gracie worked on climbing up the playground equipment holding onto the rail and she had fun sliding and swinging too. We did spend a fair amount of time outdoors. Gracie had two crashes on the sidewalk yesterday. The first one was pretty minor, the second gave her a friction burned knee, a little bit of a bump on her forehead, and a big ole fat upper lip. You can tell it just hurts when she falls like that, but she doesn't want any sympathy....she gets mad and then wants to walk it off.

Gracie surprised us with a few new sentences. Jeff wanted to change her diaper and she was fussing and carrying on and all of a sudden out of her screaming little mouth came "I don't wanna". Later in the day, she was downstairs and I dropped something upstairs. All of a sudden a little voice hollered up the stairs "you okay?"

Gracie awoke at 4:00 a.m. this morning and try as she might, couldn't fall back asleep. So we walked and bounced for a while, sat on the couch and snuggled, and I let her play with her babies and stuffed animals in bed. She finally went back to sleep at about 5:30 a.m. YAWN.

Today we both felt a little better, but still not great. Gracie's diapers were still nasty, but that is slowing down. She didn't have much of an appetite today. I even made some of her favorites, so I know her tummy still wasn't perfect.

We did go to Home Depot and Target today and she was a good girl in both. Then home for a nap and we played outside most of the rest of the day into the evening.

I bought Gracie some new mittens today. She found it quite fun to walk around the house wearing them. I wonder how she will feel about them this winter. Last year she never kept them on.

Gracie continues to amaze us at her awareness to her surroundings. We take lots of walks around the block. If we take a turn at one of the sidewalks, it means we are headed toward the school and the playground. Today on our walk around the block, Gracie wanted to take that turn in the worst way. She's never shown an awareness of that turn before. She was SO mad when we didn't go that way. For a good block, she told us over and over again in a very mad voice "NO!"

Gracie's schedule is way off this weekend. Our 8:00 p.m. bedtime girl went to bed at 10:00 p.m. tonight. I'm loving it, but it will be hard to get back on the routine later in the week.

Good night all.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday - A Happy Girl

Gracie had a good night until 2:30 a.m. and was pretty restless for the next two hours. I'm finding that 2:30 - 3:00 a.m. is the prime restless time for Gracie. I belong to an online support group for families affected by Sotos Syndrome. I'm finding out that many people with Sotos tend to not sleep through the night and have restless times around the 3:00 a.m. hour. Hmmm.

Gracie woke up in a good mood, was a happy girl all morning and that was the theme for the day. She was very cooperative and enjoyed the day. She did get a little sad when our daycare provider had to go to an appointment and her sister watched her while she was gone. She was kind of sad and somber, but music helped to make her feel more comfortable.

I picked Gracie up from daycare and she was in a great mood. She got to see Jeff for about 20 minutes before he had to leave and the rest of the evening was Gracie and I playing. We took a nice walk outside and when she tired of walking, I put her in the wagon and pulled her. It was a cool evening and we both had to have long pants on and we wore our fleece lined coats to keep up warm. Gracie's fingers were very cold when we came in.

Gracie was a happy girl most of the night. The only thing that even remotely resembled a tantrum was when she had to wait for me to put our leftover supper away before we went outside. Waiting and patience are not Gracie's strong points.

Gracie was a tired girl. We read a couple of books and then she gathered her babies and stuffed animals together (I think we now have 4 baby dolls that we insist on sleeping with and a puppy dog. Sometimes kitty, elephant, and bear get in on the action too) and fell asleep very quickly.

She was excited to wear new pajamas tonight...we went with long sleeves and she outgrew hers from last year.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wednesday/Thursday - Animal Sounds

Gracie had a good day at daycare and did indeed enjoy herself at the park. She was in a good mood when we got home and her first request was to go outside to the backyard and play on her playset. She sat on the swing for a while and also played in the sand box with Jeff while I made supper. That is where the good mood disappeared. I made pasta in a tomato sauce with groundbeef. Usually a favorite...that obviously was not the case this time. She had a complete meltdown that turned into an all out tantrum. After many tears, flails, and screams we discovered she wanted peanut butter. Obviously that is the next two words we have to work on. So Gracie had apples and peanut butter for supper with a few crackers added into the mix. After she finished that, the pasta looked pretty good and she had some of that too.

The next tantrum started because we had to wash the peanut butter off of her hands. I got a bite on my hand out of that one. So after I got her cleaned up, she was banished to her time out spot for two minutes.

The evening got better after that. I asked her if she wanted to go for a wagon ride outside. Of course she was agreeable to this. She would live outdoors if she could. So we are pulling her in the wagon and she is talking and singing and we hear a dog barking. She tells me it is a dog and I ask her what the dog says, she responds "arf, arf". Perfect! I decide to take this one step further. I asked her what the kitty says. The response was "meow". Excellent. I ask her what the duck says. The response was "quack quack". This is going well so I ask her what the cow says. The response was "moo". She did get a little stuck on the pig and had to be reminded that it was "oink". Once she was reminded, she said it. She was so proud of herself and was all smiles. Jeff and I were pretty proud too.

She had a pretty good night. She was restless and awoke for a while around 2:30 p.m., but went back to sleep within 15 minutes. The allure of chocolate chip muffins once again got her up and out of bed. Muffins are even more fun to eat if you sing "Do you know the muffin man?" while eating them.

We headed off to daycare and Gracie was ready to play.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tuesday/Wednesday - A Great Night

Gracie had her last session of occupational therapy at the clinic yesterday. This is a relief to me. She hates being there, doesn't cooperate, does everything she can to not have to do what is asked of her. It's hard work for her, so she doesn't have the patience to concentrate on one thing for long. When Gracie starts school in two weeks, her OT will transition there and will only be for 10 minutes at a time vs. a full hour. I think that will be beneficial. We've definitely seen progress, we loved her therapist at the clinic, but I'm relieved to be done -- unless of course any concerns crop up. We are always welcome to come back. We did try an interesting experiment yesterday at OT. I give Gracie alot of encouragement and praise, it motivates her. However at OT she uses "mommy comfort" as a crutch. If she doesn't want to do something she will come to mom for comfort. So the OT had me disengage - not make eye contact, not look at her, not give any comfort. She did everything in her power to get me to engage and not do the task at hand. She eventually did what she was asked.

We usually see behavior problems in the evening after an OT appointment and it started out to be a rough evening, but I stripped her down to a diaper as she was quite warm and then Jeff and I took turns finding musical You Tube videos for her to watch while she sat with us. She got both the musical input and the human touch input that she needed and the rest of the evening was great. She sang and danced, bath time was a treat, we read a book or two, she just really engaged and we all had a good time.

She had an awesome night's sleep. I swear she didn't move all night. For the first time in years (three to be exact), I slept the whole night through without awaking. That was so nice. Gracie wasn't quite ready to wake up this morning and we snuggled for awhile. Then I told her that I had made chocolate chip muffins for breakfast and did she want one. You've never seen a child pop up quite as quickly as she did and she was shaking her head yes big time. So she got to eat a muffin for breakfast. She also helped herself to part of mine.

Gracie was in a good mood when I dropped her off at daycare and quickly went over to check on the baby. She barely gave me a kiss to say goodbye. She was ready to play. Rumor has it she was going to the park to play today. She walks the whole way there herself and I'm told sometimes she even runs there sometimes.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie