Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday - Daddy's Birthday

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday - Shopping with Mom

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

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

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

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

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

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


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

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

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

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

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday - Going Stir Crazy

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

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

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

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

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

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are so blessed!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday and Thursday

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

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

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

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

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

Merry Christmas!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday and More

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, December 16, 2010


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

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

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

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Weekend - Snow Bound

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

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

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

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

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Week in Review

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

It was a very good weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday - Silly Girl

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

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

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

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday - The Bloody Nose

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

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

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

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

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie