Thursday, December 29, 2011

Claritin is a Beautiful Thing

We gave Gracie a 24 hour Claritin yesterday and it did the trick, it kept the hives away for 24 hours.  She had the best night sleep (and so did I) that she's had in days.  She did have a few hives starting on her neck again this morning.  Jeff was going to keep an eye on it and give her more Claritin if needed. 

Jeff and Gracie had a good day yesterday.  They did some visiting and some errands and Jeff said she was very verbal all day and had come up with some new fun words which he couldn't remember (do you think dementia is setting in with his birthday just a few days away, hmmmm). 

When I arrived home Gracie jumped in my arms and we sat on the couch for awhile and just snuggled.  I could tell she was tired and she hadn't napped but was in mostly a good mood.  We ate supper, took a bath, played a little while, and she was ready for bed.  I really need to be better about putting her pajamas on before she gets too tired.  If I do it right before she goes to bed and is already too tired, it's a huge ordeal.  Last night she decided it would be much better to scream and forcefully hit her closet door over and over again rather than put on her pj's.  Of course with every few hits, she would say "owww" cause of course it hurt her hand.  I suggested she hit her pillow pal instead.  For some reason she found this funny and although she was still mad, every time I would direct her to her pillow pal there were a few giggles. 

Gracie and Jeff are hanging out again today and tomorrow I will join them.  We have an appointment at the clinic in the morning, but after that it's just errands and playtime.  I'm looking forward to some good family time.

Have a safe New Years Eve and weekend!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday - The Hives Return Again

Gracie and Jeff had a great day together yesterday.  Gracie was in a great mood, they did a few errands, and Gracie insisted she did not need a nap.  Her hives seemed to be under control through the day and by the time I arrived home last night she was in a great mood.  I got lots of hugs and snuggles and we had fun playing all night.  By the time we put Gracie to bed, I couldn't see much for hives, but they came back through the night and she had a very restless night. When I took a look in the morning light they were definitely back - her neck and stomach seemed to be the worst.  This morning we gave her some Claritin and we'll see how that effects her.  I would love to thank the manufacturer of this put it on your tongue and it dissolves.  It apparently must taste good too, because when I gave it to Gracie she asked for more. 

I think Jeff and Gracie plan to do a little visiting today.  As long as they have field trips they are both happy. 

Hope you're enjoying your day.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


On Christmas Eve day Gracie awoke bright and early to see that Santa had left presents under the tree.  She was so excited!  She was a bit spoiled and especially liked her princess castle tent!  She also got a power drill that is very fun to use, some Sesame Street figurines were a big hit too, as well as some other things.  We had a lazy day and enjoyed the Duncan traditional spaghetti and garlic rolls for our meal together.  We went to Christmas eve service at 4:00 p.m. and Gracie really enjoyed the music.  She also enjoyed when all the candles were lit.  We let her hold a candle too but hers wasn't lit.  She still found joy in holding it.

On Christmas morning Gracie awoke and was covered in hives.  I had no clue what the cause was...a food that she was allergic too?  Was it a new toy?  Something else in the environment?  We gave her Benadryl to help with the itching and she spent Christmas with my family in a bit of a tired stupor.  She still made the best of hanging with her cousins, but I did feel for her as she was so groggy looking.  We even had to forego her beautiful Christmas dress for something cotton and soft to make her as comfortable as possible.  By the end of the day Gracie's hives had pretty much disappeared.  She really didn't have much interest in her presents, it was all about being with her cousins and family.  That is until we got into the car...then it was like she was seeing her toys for the very first time.  She slept for about 30 minutes on the way home.  Just enough time to re-energize a bit so she could play with her new toys when we got home.

At 1:00 a.m., the itching began again and Gracie had huge welts of hives everywhere again.  I gave her some Benadryl and she ended up sleeping in til 8:00 a.m. - that was a treat for me, but I felt bad for her.  She was grumpy most of the day, but I couldn't blame her.  You just knew she wasn't feeling well and the Benadryl just made her tired and more grumpy.  I spent the day washing her bedding, new toys, and everything else that I thought might be causing the problem.  We did play outside for about 90 minutes and that was very fun for Gracie.  Her hives looked under control when she went to bed and she again awoke with them...but not quite as bad today.

When I got to work this morning, I contacted her allergist and he indicated the hives were probably not environmental or food related, he said they mostly see these with colds or G.I. infections.  Well Gracie has had a nasty old cold.  He also gave us some recommendations for some allergy meds to use that wouldn't interact with her seizure meds and that would not make her drowsy, so we'll try those today.  I talked with a colleague whose nephew had the same thing this weekend. 

Today Gracie and daddy are hanging out together.  They did come visit me for a little bit and Gracie was in a great mood.  She was running around and dancing.  I think she was happy to be out of the house.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday - The Cold Continues

Gracie definitely has a full blown cold, but I'm happy to say she is sleeping better at night and so wakes up in a good mood.  Gracie has had a good week despite her cold.  On Wednesday night she brought home a book that she made at daycare and was so proud of it.  The first page said "I love my mommy because she fixes my hair."  Gracie got to color on it.  The second page said "I love my daddy because he makes me smile."  The book is laminated and is very special.  She also brought home a puppet she made of herself at even has the perfect skin tone.  We've been having fun with that. 

Last night Gracie and Jeff were home when some carolers came to our door.  They scared Gracie and there were lots of tears.  They finished their song and quickly moved on.  I so wish I would have been there as I was just telling Jeff that caroling was a lost art that no one does it anymore. 

Rumor has it that Santa is coming to our house tonight while Gracie sleeps.  He just has so many children around the world to deliver gifts to that he needed to start a little early. 

Wishing you a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Grumpy Grumpy Grumpy

Gracie was a very tired girl last night and this not taking a nap at daycare thing does not help her cause.  When Jeff arrived at daycare to pick her up she was in her boots and mittens.  They had been outside and she didn't want to come in so refused to have either taken off.  I so appreciate her teacher's attitude of picking her battles and this just wasn't one to bother with.  We do the exact same thing.  She gave Jeff a pretty rough time til she was in the van headed for home.  I came home a little later as I needed to stop at the grocery store.  By the time I arrived she had been fed, but she was pretty grumpy from being tired.  We snuggled a little, we played a little, we gave her a bath and stuck her in bed.  She fell asleep immediately, but had a horribly restless night.  I think she is getting a cold and was all stuffed-up, which made it hard to breathe.  So she tossed and turned all night long and hollered in her sleep and woke up a hundred times and at 4:15 a.m. she announced to me that she was "awake".  She didn't fall back asleep either, but she was very grumpy all morning unless of course she was snuggling with mommy or getting piggy back rides from daddy.  She just looked droopy eyed. 

She perked up a little when she saw the babies at daycare and Ms. Alyssa.  I'm hoping she takes a nap today and I'm so thankful that today was not a school day.  Hopefully we can get some good rest in tonight too.  As with most kids, Gracie's mood is directly linked with how rested she is.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Daddy's Home

Gracie and I survived the week on our own.  Jeff arrived home from Chicago on Sunday night.  Gracie was very happy to see him only to give him the cold shoulder for awhile before becoming his best buddy again.  This is her typical style when Jeff travels. 

Our Saturday started out with a playdate.  Gracie was not into socializing and didn't want to play, so spent most of her time on my lap.  I think she enjoys herself, she just processes it a little differently.  She treated us all to a fall on the floor tantrum when it was time to leave and I pretty much dragged her to the car kicking and screaming.  (Not one of my most proud mommy moments.)  Thanks to our hosts for being absolutely gracious throughout!

Gracie took a long nap on Saturday afternoon and then didn't want to get out of bed.  So we did alot of snuggling.  Jeff Skyped with us for about an hour at supper time and that perked her up too.  On Sunday we had a low key day.  Uncle Chris and cousing Jason stopped by for a little while and that was fun for both of us.  We made a quick trip to Target after that and then we picked Jeff up at the airport. 

Yesterday (Monday) Gracie had an appointment with her neurologist.  Since our last visit 4 months ago she has grown two inches and is now 3' 10" and she weighs 56 lbs.  Her seizure meds are at a good level and we won't need to increase until she hits 59 lbs.  We've had no break through seizures since putting her on brand name meds about 9 months ago.  YAY!!!!  This is the longest we've gone with no seizure activity.  Dr. N. was thrilled with all of Gracie's verbalization, she even told her what Santa says "Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!"  We also talked about potty training, but Dr. N. feels we just shouldn't push it and doesn't think she'll be truly ready til age 5 or 6.  She just doesn't seem to have the sensation to know to empty her bladder.  So I'll be patient. 

After our appointment, Gracie and I did a few errands, but she was a very tired child.  I knew I was in trouble when we went to the post office and the line was all the way to the door.  Gracie's patience was wearing thin, I was doing everything in my power to keep a positive attitude and keep her entertained.  It really wasn't working.  I must say everyone around me was being very sweet.  When it was time for the man in front of me to be helped, he turned to me and said "I think your fuse is shorter than mine, go ahead."  I thought his gesture to be very sweet. 

When we got home Gracie was increasingly tired and impatient.  She told me she wanted some pudding, she even went to the fridge to get it, but I couldn't get to it immediately (with the 15 seconds she thought I should) and so in her fit of anger she knocked a half full pitcher of black cherry koolaid off of the counter.  Of course when it hit the floor it exploded and there was red liquid everywhere.  It covered the floor, the cupboards, Gracie (who just happened to be wearing light blue and off white) and me.  She knew immediately this was not good.  She stood in complete stillness looking at me for my reaction.  She has come to learn that mommy's silence is not a good thing.  I picked her up, sat her in a chair in the kitchen and she was told not to move and she didn't.  She had to sit and watch me clean the whole thing up (this was not quick in the least  - it was everywhere).  For her to sit anywhere for any length of time is hard, but she did good.  Afterward we had a talk about patience and anger.  Oh, she had to wait for pudding til later too. 

Gracie took a 2-1/2 hour nap and was a much happier child when she awoke.  We had a nice evening and she was a happy girl this morning.  It was back to school and daycare today.  I'm hoping she is having a good day.  She was all smiles when we arrived at daycare, so I hope that is a good sign.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Week in Review

Gracie's fever continued through Monday night and I stayed home with her on Tuesday.  She was very happy, just very very tired.  On Wednesday it was back to daycare for her and she had a good day.  They've been learning about families and have pictures of the daycare kids on a chart and then they get to add pictures of their family.  We are one of the few families that have carried through on this request, so all the kids seem to know me.  When I arrived the first day after our pictures went up, all the kids announced "It's Gracie's mom"! 

On Thursday it was back to school for Gracie.  We had a talk about how I really needed her to be a big brave girl and get on the bus.  I'm told she did great getting on.  She didn't want to get off once at school.  Once she did and they got into the routine I'm told she had a good morning.  Although it must have been stressful for her, because once back at daycare she was hitting the other kids if they got too close or looked at her.  Her daycare teacher does a nice job of redirecting her to a favorite book "Meoow" when she needs some time to de-stress.  I could tell last night that she was overtired.  A bath was great therapy for her and she was in bed by 8:00 p.m. and asleep by 8:01 p.m.

My heart melt moment for yesterday was that the kids learned about love at daycare.  Then each child was asked what love is and the teacher wrote their comments on hearts to stick around the room.  When Gracie was asked "What is love?"  She answered "Momma"! 

Today it was back to daycare and all the kids seemed to be having a hard time this morning.  Gracie was a little hesitant as her normal daycare teacher is off on Fridays, but there is another one that she knows that does a really good job with her too.  When I pulled up to daycare Gracie said "no".  I asked "Don't you want to go to daycare today?"  Gracie answered "no".  I then asked "Where do you want to go today?"  She answered "home".  I said "How about if we go to daycare today and stay home tomorrow?"  I held my breath for her response and was pleasantly surprised when I got a cheery "Otay!" 

Tomorrow morning we have a playdate scheduled and we're excited, then I promise we'll be home!  With the exception of maybe a stop at the store for Fruitloops...we're out.  This is not a good thing!

Have a great weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Weekend and Now a Fever

Gracie had a good weekend although she definitely had some behavioral issues.  Lots of hitting when she didn't get her way or things didn't happen fast enough for her.  I even got bitten once and she hasn't been biting for a while now.  So she spent a fair amount of time in time outs.  Consistency, consistency, consistency...right!  She also decided she didn't want to leave Target on Saturday evening and decided to show us this by sprawling out across the floor...of course the germ-o-phobic mom I am, this did not sit well with me.  Ugh.

We had some really great times this weekend too.  Gracie and I decorated the Christmas tree on Saturday morning and she loved doing that and seeing all of the ornaments.  Now she thinks she has a free license to take them off anytime she wants, so we are working on that.  We played outside on Sunday and that was a huge hit, she even hung out in her playset in the backyard and went down the snowy slide and got to swing.  She was smiles from ear to ear!

Gracie was also very loving throughout the weekend.  We got a lot of kisses and smiles and snuggles.  She was tired after all of the fresh air and fell asleep very quickly last night.  At 11:15 p.m. she was shivering uncontrollably and was very hot and running a fever.  So I gave her ibuprofen and she finally stopped shaking from the chills about an hour later.  Poor little one.  She had a restless rest of the night, and other than some extra gas, doesn't seem to have any other symptoms.  She is home with daddy today and is getting some extra TLC.  The fever creeps back once the fever-reducing meds get out of her system.  I'm hoping this is short-lived and she is healthy again soon.

Have a great week.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday & More

Gracie's first week at the new daycare center has gone so much better than I anticipated.  It's definitely an adjustment, but Gracie really seems to like it there and they are very good to her.  Her class size is growing, which I don't love, but knew it would happen.  She seems to be doing fine even with the increase in number of kids.  I love her teacher and so does Gracie.  Ms. Elissa happens to be fluent in sign language and uses it with her classroom, that is a big plus for Gracie who knows quite a bit of sign. 

We did have one major meltdown yesterday when she was supposed to get on the bus at daycare.  Needless to say they handled it beautifully and got Gracie calmed down, but they ended up keeping her at daycare and she didn't go to school.  I'm just not sure what the trauma of the bus is.  So I've got to do some thinking around this and how to make that transition less traumatic for her. 

Gracie has not been taking naps, she rests quietly while the other kids sleep, but she isn't sleeping.  This makes for a majorly tired girl at night.  This isn't all bad as she has been sleeping the best she's ever slept at night, but she's also a little more moody.  Last night on my way home from picking her up she fell asleep in the car, so I drove around for almost a half hour just to give her a little rest.  I thought it would make our evening more pleasant.  I was right. 

Her new daycare is amazed at how much she eats.  I'm not surprised, she is a very good eater - she has to be to keep up her growth rate.  She continues to be mondo thirsty when she gets home.  We actually have a glass of juice ready for her in the car when we pick her up.

Gracie misses her old daycare and talks about them alot.  We pretend to call them on the phone and that makes her smile.

I'm looking forward to spending some good quality time with Gracie this weekend. 

Have a great weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The New Daycare

So yesterday was Gracie's first day at her new daycare.  I think it went pretty well, with the exception of them forgetting to give her seizure meds at noon.  I got a call from the director at 4:45 p.m. with this information.  She was extremely apologetic and assured me it wouldn't happen again.  I had them give them to her then and we gave her evening meds to her much later.  They also gave her milk, she is outgrowing a sensitivity to milk and can eat most milk products now (aside from cream soups in recipes and actual milk to drink).  Gracie refuses to drink milk anyway, so I'm doubtful she actually drank it, but because water or juice wasn't given as asked, I'm pretty sure she didn't drink anything.  When she got home she drank 4 huge glasses of Gatorade.  I just couldn't give her enough to drink.  She also had the shakes, like she was cold, but she didn't seem cold and she didn't have a fever.  I'm thinking it may have had to do with the seizure meds being so late. 

We had some fairly strong behaviors in the evening, but I fully expected that.  Transition is hard for Gracie.  I even got kicked in the face while changing her diaper.  Lovely.  She just gets so worked up.  She was very apologetic once she cooled down and got some perspective. 

Today was a much better day, she hugged all the parents as they came into the room.  I'm told this was very well received.  She got along with her peers and tonight she was extremely verbal.  She was watching one of her signing videos tonight that she's watched before and they spell glue on it.  Well she spelled it before they did.  G-L-U-E!  She does have a very chapped chin and cheeks from the outdoors and her still drooling a bit.  There is a child at the center that is autistic that is in the room next to hers.  I'm told the two of them match hands alot through the window on the door between the room.  They seem to have a little connection. 

Today they gave her water instead of milk and although she was thirsty when we got home, not like yesterday.  I can tell she is alot more hungry at night too...and tired.  She is resting in the afternoon, but not actually sleeping. 

Hopefully it will continue to get better and better.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Weekend, New Daycare, and SNOW!!!

Gracie's last day at our beloved daycare was Friday.  I think it will be a tough transition for her.  She kept asking for her daycare mom all weekend.  This morning she knew she was going to a new daycare and she would be riding a new bus.  She was very sullen all morning and even bit her dad.  We were late getting out of the house, she was super grumpy, and I had a rock in the pit of my stomach.  As we pulled into the new daycare center, Gracie remembered it and started clapping.  She went to hold her teacher's hand and got a little upset with me when I wanted a kiss goodbye.  I think she thought I was going to take her away.  So the drop off went beautifully.  I'm still waiting to hear how the bus transition went.  I really like her teacher at the new center, she even told me she went to the library and checked out some books to learn about Gracie's medical issues.  How cool is that! 

On Friday afternoon, Gracie's teacher from school came for a visit.  Gracie is doing very well and we'll increase her preschool attendance from three to four mornings a week starting in January.  Gracie enjoys school, but is very much an observer.  She takes it all in and needs to sometimes be encouraged to participate.  She is becoming much more verbal at school, but her teacher did get to see Gracie in action as to how verbal she is at home.  It was no surprise to us to find out that she is very unmotivated when it comes to anything in the Occupational Therapy category. 

On Saturday we had a beautiful snowfall and the temps were very mild, so we bundled Gracie up in her boots, coats, snow pants, mittens, hats, scarves, etc., etc. and headed outside to enjoy it.  She loved it!  She is doing so good walking in the snow.  The ice is still tough for her, she just can't recover once she starts to slip and ended up on her butt a couple of times.  We were out for about 90 minutes and she did not want to come in.  On Sunday we went out again and played in the snow some more.  Jeff also pulled Gracie in the sled and that was a big hit.  Our biggest cold weather challenge is mittens.  Gracie has huge hands so it's hard to get her hands in mittens and if we get mittens with too loose of tops, they fall right off.  She just doesn't understand how to keep the mittens on.  We just put an order in for some zip up mittens, I hope these take care of that challenge. 

We also put up our Christmas tree this weekend with the lights.  We still need to put the ornaments on it.  Gracie loves having the tree up and when we first plugged in the lights she exclamed:  "It looks beautiful!"  I'm enjoying winter and the holidays this year as Gracie gets so excited about it all.  I just love that. 

Have a great week.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday - Eating with a Fork

Gracie had another good day!  She was in a good mood last night and was very very verbal.  The accomplishment of the evening was eating almost her whole supper using a fork.  That has always been hard for her.  I many times will load the fork for her or she'll start out eating with a fork, but it's too much work and short-lived.  Last night she ate almost her whole supper using the fork all by herself.  She did a great job and we were so proud...we let her know it too and she was smiles from ear to ear.

Gracie's speech pathologist at school sends us a word list every two weeks on the words they are working on and then we work on them at home too.  Yesterday she sent out the list and they are talking about different colors and rainbows, etc.  So I sent her a note back that said we have been working on identifying colors with Gracie, but she just doesn't seem to be getting them.  Her SP emails me back that in their group time Gracie pulled out two items out of the SP's secret bag and identified them correctly as "red plate" and "yellow banana".  I was thrilled to hear our hard work is paying off.

Almost every morning I ask Gracie if she will be my "sweet pea" today and she always tells me "no" and then she says a name of who's sweet pea she will be.  Ever since Thanksgiving she has been telling me she is Russ' sweet pea.  Russ is her you think he might have given her a little ching ching for her piggy bank to say that?   I wouldn't put it past him!!!  ;)

Hope you're having a great week.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday - A Happy Day

Gracie was in the BEST of moods last night.  She was fun and happy and chatty and silly.  I love it when she is in these moods.  We sat down to supper and Gracie had a glass of Gatorade with a sippy lid on it and I had just a little bit of the Gatorade left in a bottle that I was finishing off.  Gracie decided that mommy's drink was better and more fun, so she started drinking out of the bottle.  Of course every time I made a big fuss about how she was drinking mommy's drink, she just giggled and it made it that much more fun for her.  Before long she had finished my drink and the bottle was empty.  I, of course, start talking about how she has drank all of mommy's juice.  Gracie thinks this is very funny.  Then I use my sad face and ask her "You drank all of mommy's juice, now what will mommy drink?"  Without skipping a beat she says "Coke".  For those of you that know me well, know that I'm addicted to Diet Coke!  Does Miss Grace know her mommy or what?

Gracie had a great night sleep.  She awoke and was pretty restless for about 30 minutes around 2:00 a.m., but then fell back into a good sleep.  She awoke in a good mood again today and told me she wanted to go to school.  She even pointed out a bus to me on the way to daycare...I thought that was a good sign.

Hope you're having a good day too!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving - And More

Gracie is once again healthy.  She still has a bit of the cough at night, but it is thankfully shortlived.  We had a great Thanksgiving and a nice long weekend without too many plans.  So we got to spend alot of good quality time together.  We even played outside a few times this weekend when the temps weren't too cold.  Gracie is starting to play more and more with her toys.  She played alot with her playhouse, sometimes having made-up word conversations and many times just stacking everything she can into the house.  She interacts nicely when I sit down to play with her too.  She also has been much more interested in writing and coloring.  She also loves when she gets marker on her fingers so that she can tell me she is a "mess"!

We spent Thanksgiving Day with my family and Gracie was so excited to see everyone.  She wanted NOTHING to do with mom and dad.  There were just too many fun cousins, aunts, and uncles to play with.  It was my dad's 89th birthday and we celebrated with a cake and by singing.  Cake and singing the "Happy Birthday" song are two of Gracie's most favorite things.  Gracie was very sad when we had to go home. 

Friday was a total lazy day -- we took a long walk and just played all day, while daddy put the lights up on the house and fixed the clothes dryer (much to my happiness).  On Saturday, Gracie and I did a little bit of shopping.  Gracie was enjoying some women in santa hats singing and ringing bells by the Salvation Army kettle.  I gave Gracie a dollar to put in the kettle.  With her fine motor skills not being perfect she didn't get it right in and just then a wind came up and blew the dollar across the parking lot. One of the women ran after it, picked it up, and then brought it back.  She didn't put it in the bucket, she again gave it to Gracie to put in.  We had one proud girl and one extremely thankful mom.  The spirit of Christmas is alive and well. 

On Sunday we took Gracie to the Festival of Trees.  She is so into lights and decorations, I thought she would love it, but I think it was a sensory overload for her and she was very edgy and anxious the whole time we were there.  There were some children playing Christmas music on the piano and we sat and listened to that and she really enjoyed that.  Music has always soothed her...especially piano music.  Then we left and let her run through the skyways and we also went to Barnes and Noble.  With Gracie's love of books she was having a great time.  She kept telling us that she was at the "library"!

Today it was back to daycare and school.  I just got a note from Gracie's teacher that she had a great day.  She was very verbal and she went down the slide and went through the tunnel....but the biggest news is she went POTTY on the potty chair at school today.  YAY BIG GIRL!!!!!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and a great weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday - Back to School

Gracie had a good Monday.  Her nose is still runny, runny, runny.  She went back to school and she was a good little participator.  She especially loved the song "Sammy" at school.  We found out that they pulled it from YouTube so we listened to it again last night and her eyes lit up and she said "school". 

She did not want to go on the bus again and was quite resistant to go on.  Wish I could get that resolved.  She also didn't feel like taking a nap.  Which meant she was a bit of a grumpy pants last night.  When I picked her up at daycare she decided she didn't want to go home with me, she wanted to stay at daycare.  Too bad that mommy and daddy would miss her too much if we left her I insisted she come home with me.  Once in the car, she thought it was a good idea too.

We put Gracie to bed earlier than usual last night since she hadn't had a nap.  She fell asleep in two seconds flat and had a pretty good night.  She awoke a couple of times, but went right back to sleep and she awoke in a great mood this morning.  We sent her to school in a cute shirt with a turkey on the front.  She thought that was pretty cool.

I'm hoping she has a good day.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie - gobble gobble

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Weekend

Gracie is still battling her repiratory virus.  This weekend it started to all loosen up and her nose was constantly oozing, for lack of a better word, snot.  She was happy enough all weekend and Saturday she was such a good girl.  We kept her home all weekend, hoping some down time was exactly what she needed to get over this crud.

She is starting to play with toys more and it is fun to watch her and interact.  Sometimes she wants to play with someone and sometimes she just wants to play by herself.  I think both are such a good sign.  She also has been enjoying drawing and coloring quite a bit lately.  She informed me one particular scribble was our house!  She Skyped with Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Russ on Saturday night and she thought that was so fun, she wanted to do it again on Sunday.  We figured once a weekend was enough. 

We increased Gracie's seizure meds on Saturday and that seems to be going well.  I really haven't noticed any difference yet.  We usually see a cognitive burst when we do the increases. 

On Sunday, Gracie was a little more moody.  She had some pretty loose diapers and a lot of gas (she actually took ownership for her toots rather than blaming them on daddy), but had the appetite of a horse.  On Sunday, I hadn't even thought about lunch yet, when she took me to the bread around 11:00 a.m. and told me she needed a sandwich and insisted on it right then.  She gobbled down a full peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then asked for another that seemed to go down just as easily.  Then she ate two containers of applesauce, part of a banana, and "a treat" - a fun size bag of M&M's.  I know she would have eaten more had I let her.  She ate a good supper too and she is definitely growing again.  I had to add more clothes to the donate pile again.

Gracie was a bit restless last night, but awoke in a good mood.  She went back to school this week after being sick all of last week.  I have a feeling she will be tired tonight.

Happy Monday!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mommy's Girl

Gracie is still not feeling great.  This respiratory virus has certainly been a tough one.  She is so much more worn out, emotional, and the cough is a really hard one.  On Wednesday she went to daycare and had a very mellow day.  It was quite evident she wasn't feeling great.  On Wednesday afternoon Jeff went to pick her up at daycare and she had just started to have a bit of energy to play, well she had an absolute meltdown and only wanted mommy.  She was out of control, to the point that Jeff nor our daycare had ever seen her react quite like this.  She was so emotionally out of control that Jeff felt it best not to push it and had me come to pick her up.  By the time I got there she had calmed down considerably and we went home.  She did tell me she was "sad".  She seemed to do fine that night.  Jeff was doing magic at Hope Lodge, so it was just the two of us that night and she was good as gold.

On Thursday morning, we let her sleep in a bit as Jeff was on late shift.  I chose to send her to daycare, but not to school, thinking just a day with no pressure as she continued to get better was just what she needed.  Mid-morning I got a call from daycare, Gracie was not feeling well and was inconsolable.  I could hear her on the other side of the phone.  I could tell when I arrived, she was not feeling well.  So we headed home for an afternoon of TLC.  Once again she told me she was "sad".  She was very verbal all afternoon.  It was so much fun to have little conversations with her and understand what she was telling me.  She had a pretty good night, although she was up coughing here and there.  She awoke in a good mood this morning and once again she is at daycare.  Hopefully she continues to feel better.

Gracie has reached 55 lbs., so we will be increasing her seizure meds this weekend to accommodate the increase in weight.  Thankfully, we've seen no seizure breakthrough so we are being proactive based on her growth. 

I think we'll try to have a quiet weekend and let our little peanut heal a bit more.  We're hoping to have her healthy by Thanksgiving so we can enjoy some family time.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Not Feeling Well AND An Exciting Accomplishment

Gracie has come down with some nasty virus.  On Monday night she hardly slept at all as she was coughing all night long and it was hard body wracking coughs, where she had problems catching her breath.  I felt so bad for her.  I ended up keeping her home from school and daycare on Tuesday and giving her some good old fashioned TLC.  She needed it.  She would go play for a bit, then she would come and snuggle with me, then go play for a bit again and then it was snuggle time again.  She was in a good mood throughout and wanted to be happy, but you could just tell she felt miserable.

In the afternoon she took a 2-1/2 hour nap and woke up a new child, then she wanted a bath.  That is always good therapy for her too.  She didn't want much to eat for supper, but had eaten a good lunch, and seemed to have more energy.  She had a really good night sleep and only woke for 30 minutes with coughing at around 2:45 a.m.  She awoke with a smile this morning...a very good sign.

Now for Gracie's exciting accomplishment...puzzles are not Gracie's strength.  We have some wooden big piece puzzles, but Gracie has never been able to put a piece of the puzzle in on her own and she gets very frustrated with it, even when we try to help her.  We have a puzzle with all animals and when you put them in, the puzzle makes whatever sound the animal does.  Last night she put every piece in by herself and told us what each animal was.  Jeff and I were both amazed.  There was some celebrating at our house last night.  Gracie will do what Gracie will do when Gracie is ready to do it!  We were so proud.

Tomorrow we increase her seizure meds as she has reached 55 lbs.  I'm happy to say we are just being proactive and have not seen any seizure breakthrough.  YAY!!!!

Hope you are staying healthy!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Fun Weekend

Gracie was such a good girl all weekend.  She is a total and complete daddy's girl, but likes mommy close by too!  On Saturday morning she awoke at 3:30 a.m. and was up for a good 30 minutes, then awoke for the day at 4:50 a.m.  I  must have forgot to tell her it was Saturday and we could sleep in!  YAWN!

We played alot and she even got a little time outdoors.  She loves playing choo-choo, which is where she holds on to the back of my pants and we march around the house pretending we are a choo-choo train.  And if daddy is part of the train, it is even more fun.  She also loves making daddy lay down on her bed and covering him with every book and toy in her room. 

On Saturday evening some friends came over for pizza and Gracie absolutely loved having company.  She was all excited that we were all at the table together eating.  She was very good the whole visit and we had a great time.  (Thanks for a great visit Carl, Connie, and Jennifer -- come again soon!)

On Sunday morning Gracie was just not herself.  We went to church and she wanted nothing to do with Sunday school, she only wanted Jeff to hold her and listen to the music.  She seemed happy, but very needy.  She ate a good lunch, we played a little bit and then Gracie and I layed down for a nap.  She slept 3 hours!  I kept trying to get her to wake up, but she was out.  I even opened the curtains in her room to no avail.  When she woke up, it was very evident a cold had set in.  She has a nasty cough and her nose is pretty runny too. The three hour nap also meant that she was not ready for bed at bedtime.  She finally fell asleep about 10:30 p.m. and had a bit of a restless night.  As long as her head was laying on me, she slept pretty well, I think she just needed it propped up to help her breathe better.  Thankfully she doesn't have school today, so I know she'll get some extra TLC at daycare today. 

Hope you all had a great weekend too.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Busy Week

It's been a busy week with alot of things going on.  Gracie has been healthy and happy for the most part.  She's been a very good sleeper and I've really been appreciating this.  It gets pretty cold in our house at night and she has been snuggling under the covers.  I've found not to dress her too heavily at night - just a one layer set of cotton pjs...otherwise she gets too hot and tosses and turns alot. 

We found out last week that Gracie's daycare provider (who we all love immensely) is going back to her nursing career and we would need to find a new daycare for Gracie.  I'm thrilled for her as the job that she has taken will suit her perfectly.  I am sad for us, because she is AWESOME and we've been so blessed to have her taking care of Gracie this last year and a half.  She has provided so many learning experiences and opportunities for Gracie and she has blossomed with this care.  So the task we had was to find a daycare that could accommodate all of Gracie's special needs (seizure disorder, meds need to be dispensed, developmental delay, severe food allergies, etc.) and be open the appropriate hours to accommodate my work schedule.  This was not an easy task and we soon figured out that an in-home daycare was no longer an option.  I found a daycare center that I just loved and felt very comfortable with, only to discover that due to the set-up of the parking lot, the school bus would not pick her up there.  This caused a little stress for me. 

The next visit was to a daycare center that came highly recommended by a colleague.  We arrived and there was a group of kids lining up and Gracie was very adamant that she wanted to line up with the group.  When I wouldn't let her she was very upset with me.  The center was very accommodating and although Gracie would qualify to be in the pre-K room, they gave us the option to have her be in the pre-school room as there are only 4 other children there and they are sweethearts.  Gracie responded well to the director and to the classroom teacher.  The only real concern I had was all the buttons, pom poms, and other small crafty items that were a little too accessible.  Gracie is still very oral and they have choking hazard written all over them.  They were accommodating about those as well.  Gracie seemed to like this center, so we've reserved a spot for her starting December 5th.  Now I have a ton of paperwork to do, but I am relieved that we have found a place that I am happy with and I think Gracie will be too.  It is much closer to work for me to, so that will be nice.  Jeff hasn't given his stamp of approval yet, but he was immersed in a big conference at work with long hours, so he left this decision up to me.  I think he'll be pleased as well. 

Gracie has been very resistant to getting on the school bus lately.  This was happening at daycare, so I contacted her teacher at school and she said that Gracie was doing very well at school and was enjoying most activities (still refusing to do some things that are hard for her, such as cutting with a scissors, etc.) and seemed happy to be there and is becoming more and more verbal.  She did indicate that she is reluctant to get on the bus at school too.  Gracie's teacher was as concerned about this as I was and she suspected it may be do to some behaviors by other children that ride the bus.  She confirmed this today after talking with the bus drivers.  These are children she has in her class, so she will be working with the drivers and the para professionals that ride the bus to see if she can assist with some behavior modifications.  I'm thankful that she was willing to investigate and act on this.  Gracie used to love seeing buses, now when we see them or if I tell her she is riding the bus today she says "no".  She is always happy when I refer to school though, so that is a good thing. 

I think I've rambled on long enough.  I hope you are having a good week.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Good Week

Here it is Friday already.  Gracie has had a good week, she has been in a great mood, and it feels like she is learning all sorts of new words and things.  I love getting home after work and seeing that beautiful smile of hers.  It just brightens my whole day.

On Wednesday Gracie had a fun day at daycare.  They had a campfire in the afternoon and roasted marshmallows and made smores.  Gracie attempted a smore, but she doesn't have the chewing power to get through the whole thing, so ended up eating alot of graham crackers instead.  She especially enjoyed sitting on a big chair by the fire with older kids.  She loves to hang with the big kids. 

On Thursday it was back to school for Gracie, although she didn't have much to say about it.  She did bring home a new library book and that is always exciting for her.  She asked me to read it, then escorted Jeff over to the couch and told him to sit, she wanted him to hear it too...actually I just think she wanted us all together.  She really seems to enjoy that time. 

Today (Friday), Gracie woke up at 3:30 a.m. and at 5:00 a.m. (my time to get up) she had still not fallen asleep, but was getting sleepy again.  She ended up falling asleep from 5:15- 6:15 a.m. and then was up for the day.  Gracie had an appointment first thing this morning with a speech pathologist that follows her.  Gracie is making good progress with both her receptive and expressive language skills.  She is still obviously delayed in both, but is doing well.  I was concerned about her articulation of words, but the speech pathologist was not.  She felt her articulation was right on for her developmental level.  Gracie was not super cooperative and really didn't display alot of her verbal skills at the appointment.  The S.P. put a book in front of her with pictures -- all words she knows, but she would not say any of them.  Her attention level was not great, although she did cooperate on a few things.  The S.P. felt that it would not be worthwhile to do individualized speech therapy at this time and that we should continue on in a group setting with peers at school.  She also indicated she could tell we are doing everything right with her, based on the interaction she saw between Gracie and I.  (That was nice to hear - validation is a good thing.)  So I felt good about the appointment. 

After her appointment, Jeff took her up to the peds floor to get her weighed.  She is 54-1/2 lbs.  Once she gains 1/2 lb. we will need to increase seizure meds.  I think it's getting to be time, she's had a few staring spells that have concerned me, although I wouldn't classify them as absence seizures as I could bring her out of them fairly quickly. 

To close today's posting, I worked late last night and when I got home I got a very warm welcome.  Later in the evening.  She was sitting at the computer, heard me come into the room, turned around, put her thumb on her nose with her fingers up toward the ceiling and wiggled know the sign for "na, na, na, boo, boo!  We have never shown her this, so I'm not sure where she got it, but it cracked me up.   Such attitude and she is only 4!

Have a great weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Gracie had a great weekend with lots of activity -- just how she likes it.

  • Saturday - Our day started bright and early at a local clinic where we got Gracie's flu vaccination.  We went with the FluMist for her and she decided not to cooperate, so we ended up with a battle on our hands.  We got the job accomplished this time, but as she gets bigger and stronger I'm not sure what will happen.  Then we headed to the grocery store where Gracie greeted each and every customer that strolled by.  So many of them were super sweet to her and stopped to say hello and give her a few kind words.  Later in the day, Gracie and daddy went outside to play so I could bake some bread and cut veggies for vegetable beef soup.  On Saturday night we dressed Gracie up as Minnie Mouse (a hand me down costume that my sister Cheryl made 25+ years ago for her daughters) and headed to "Trunk or Treat" at Jeff's church.  Gracie had a meltdown having to get her clothes changed, she was in a snit of a mood and I almost just said "forget it", but we forged on and in the end Gracie had a great time.  She enjoyed the music even more than the treats.

  • Sunday - Aunt Sheila and Jason came over for a visit.  Gracie had a great time and was thrilled with our visitors (Jeff and I were too).  As they were leaving, Gracie wanted her coat on to walk them out...we ended up saying goodbye and then taking a walk around the neighborhood.  Once she tired out, we put her in the stroller and continued on and weren't surprised to see that Gracie fell asleep.  Then we went and picked up some pizza and just had a quiet evening at home.

  • Monday - Gracie had school in the morning and I got a note that she became quite warm and they had to cool her off a bit with a cool cloth and a drink of water.  She seemed fine later, so not sure if perhaps she got too warm on the bus with her winter coat.  At daycare she decided a nap wasn't necessary and enjoyed the afternoon getting her fingernails polished and doing a craft with colored sand.  She also came home with some yummy treats.  Jeff picked Gracie up early and made sure we got some good food in her before trick-or-treating began.  We got her all dressed up as Minnie Mouse and she was pretty cooperative.  As soon as the first trick-or-treaters hit our door, she was ready to be outside.  Jeff and Gracie were out trick-or-treating for over an hour.  She had a great time and was even invited in for a visit at one house.  Gracie was so tired by the time she got home, she ate a lollipop, we read a couple of books and she was ready for bed.  She had a very restless night though. 

    • Tuesday - When it was time to wake Gracie up this morning, I could not get her to wake up.  I tried and tried, but she was sleeping so tight it was next to impossible.  When she finally did wake up she was in a good mood and went off to daycare.  I got a call from daycare shortly after she was to get on the bus, that she was having a really rough morning and pretty much refused to go on the bus.  She was very tearful and unhappy.  Our daycare provider made the decision to keep her there to give her extra TLC today rather than going to school.  A decision that I wholeheartedly support and I love our daycare provider even more for recognizing she needed a day with a little extra care. 
    Happy Halloween...hard to believe it's already November 1st.

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Friday, October 28, 2011


    Not too much to report today.  Gracie had a good day at school and daycare yesterday.  She got to play outside for a while yesterday afternoon.  She also had a baby visit daycare for a while yesterday so I got to hear all about the baby last night.  Gracie had a good night and slept well.  She did wake up a couple of times, but went right back to sleep.  I think the cooler nights agree with her. 

    There was remnants of chocolate pudding on my pillow and I knew it was from Gracie -- that's how we get her meds in her in the morning and many times she is still in bed when we give them.  Anyway, last night I said, who got chocolate pudding on my pillow.  She giggled and quickly replied "Jason".  Jason is her cousin that we hear alot about.  :)

    Gracie is not a big eater in the morning, matter-of-fact, she eats the pudding for her meds, but many times that is it.  Last night Gracie's daycare mom sent home some homemade banana bread that Gracie just loves.  Breakfast this morning consisted of 2-1/2 pieces.  Guess I'll be needing that recipe.

    Tomorrow Gracie gets her FluMist vaccination bright and early in the morning.  Hopefully that will ward off the flu germs for the season.

    Have a great weekend.

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Thursday, October 27, 2011


    Gracie had a great day yesterday and a great night last night.  She spent the day playing and just hanging out at daycare.  I think she needed one of those days.  She was a happy girl last night, but would get really irritated, like she was frustrated and kept rubbing her back.  I'm always hyper nervous when she rubs her back, because her meds can cause kidney stones if we don't keep her hydrated enough.  I finally pulled up her shirt to see what was going on and there was a big ole bug bite.  Now what bug exists in the middle of October that can get under two layers and bite her.  Good grief.  I offered to put some Calamine lotion on it, but she declined.

    The rest of the evening we just played and hung out.  She seemed extra tired and at one point, she took Jeff's hand and my hand and walked us to her room, pushed us onto the bed, crawled inbetween us and just relaxed...oh yeah, and requested a tent.  She loves when we all put a blanket over our heads and pretend we are in a tent. 

    Gracie slept great last night.  She did wake up around 1:30 a.m. with a coughing attack, but it was short-lived and she went right back to sleep.  This morning, she was all snug as a bug in bed and did not want to wake up.  When she finally did wake up, she was not ready to get up, so she was laying on the bed playing with a train car that has a conducter on it.  She kissed the conducter.  Shortly after that, Jeff came in the room and she gave him this huge smile.  I said "Gracie, you gave the conducter a kiss, you gave daddy a big smile, what do you have for mommy?"  Without missing a beat, she looked me right in the eye and said "Nuthin".  I didn't even know she knew that word.  Now how do you keep a straight face with that type of response? 

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Catching Up

    Gracie is doing well and has had a great week so far.  Here are some highlights:

    • She enjoyed a lazy morning with mommy and daddy at home.  She promptly dragged both of us to her bed and then snuggled inbetween us.  She was one happy little girl.
    • She visited Aunt Sheila, Uncle Chris, and Cousins Kayla and Jason who took care of her while mom and dad went on a date.  She had a great time.  When we went to leave she started to fuss because she thought we wanted to take us with her and was only too happy to say goodbye to us.  As bedtime approached she wanted to "See Mama", but when I actually returned to pick her up the emotions were a little overwhelming for her and she burst into tears.
    • Gracie was tired out from her fun day on Saturday and didn't have a ton of energy.  It was a beautiful afternoon but the only thing she wanted to do was be pushed in her stroller.  Jeff and I have been dealing with colds and I think Gracie was perhaps feeling a little under the weather as well.  A telltale sign that she has a sore throat is when she puts her hand down her throat and tries to make herself vomit and she tried that a couple of times on Sunday.  Other than a cough, she seems to be fine now though.
    • Gracie and Mommy just hung out as daddy was working all day. 
    • Gracie wore her pumpkin shirt to school.  One of the words on their word list this week is pumpkin and during story time, Gracie was the example of pumpkin.  She played outside at daycare and had a good day.
    • At bed time I asked Gracie what her favorite part of the day was, she told me "music" and "school".  I took that to mean she liked music time at school.  She also said "daddy" and signed "playing".  Jeff has been working long hours, so I think she really enjoyed playtime with him when he got home from work.
    • At school during story time they made a witch's stinky soup.  It was a song about how they would throw bats, or pumpkins, or scarecrows, etc. in the soup and after they would put the new ingredient in they would stir and plug their noses and say "P.U. Stinky Soup".  Gracie enjoyed that immensely.  We did it at home last night too and she really got into it.
    • Shortly after getting home we had some fun visitors that dropped off a pumpkin filled with goodies for Gracie.  Thank you to Julie and your three little goblins.  It made Gracie's night.  She was so thrilled to have little visitors that she kept giving them all hugs!
    Gracie hasn't been sleeping great as she is still coughing all night long.  Poor little bug -- although she has been in a great mood.

    Hope you are all having a great week.

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    A is for Apple

    Gracie has been having a really good week.  On Tuesday she had a fun day at school and at daycare.  She was in quite the happy, teasing mood when I picked her up at daycare and that just continued into the night.  Gracie, Jeff, and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary by ordering pizza and just hanging out and playing.  Later Gracie and I were talking about family and I told her that daddy, mommy, and Gracie were a family.  A little bit later she called Jeff into her bedroom where we were hanging out and she gave him a big hug, then she pulled me into the hug, and then her little voice said "family".  It was so sweet.  A little bit later, she signed the letter A and then verbally told us that "A is for Apple".  They are learning about apples at school this week. 

    Yesterday Gracie and Jeff joined Gracie's class for a field trip to an apple orchard.  It wasn't Gracie's day to go to school but she was invited along.  I am a little envious as I would have loved to have gone along.  She had a fun time, she brought an apple home, she also got to go on a wagon ride, pet bunnies and goats, and got to see chickens.  Jeff said that EVERYONE knows Gracie.  Jeff met the bus load of kids at the orchard and many of the kids and the adults too all greeted Gracie.  They also got to go through a corn maze and stamp a card at various stations through the maze.  The only thing that really didn't sit well with Gracie is that they were all sitting in an area to learn about apples, but the plan changed and they decided to have the wagon ride first.  Our dear Gracie doesn't do well with transition and she was very unhappy as she wanted to sit and hear about apples.  She made a fuss about getting on the wagon, but once there enjoyed herself.  The apple orchard was covered in walnuts....ugh.  So Jeff ended up having to be extra diligent about washing her hands after she pet the bunnies or touched anything. 

    Last night Gracie and I were home alone when she went to pull a crystal dish off of one of our stands, I very firmly said "Gracie no", but her listening ears weren't working and it fell to the floor and just shattered everywhere.  This on carpet no less.  I was so scared she would step on it with her bare feet that I picked her up and put her in a chair and I told her she had to stay there.  Gracie stays no where, she just doesn't have it in her to sit anywhere for any given amount of time and even though I didn't get mad, I think she thought she was in trouble.  It was quite a mess to clean up and it took a while and she didn't move a muscle.  When I was all done, I went over to her and I said "Gracie, I'm not mad that you broke the dish, it is just a thing, but I'm disappointed that you didn't use your listening ears when mommy told you no."  We've been talking alot about using listening ears and she touched her ears when I said this.  Her face was very sober.  Then I told her the reason she had to sit and not move is so that she wouldn't get cut while mommy cleaned up the mess and that I loved her very much.  I got a smile then.  I think this was a very good lesson for her and I don't think it is one she forget quickly. 

    Gracie is home with daddy again today and they went to the library for story hour and then came and visited me for a few minutes.  She was all smiles.  I think she is enjoying her time with daddy. 

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    The Weekend and an Allergic Reaction

    Gracie had a good weekend and got alot of mom and dad time.  On Saturday, it was just Gracie and I and we had a good day playing outside, we even did a little shopping for some necessities and some food.  Gracie kept telling me "store" and "food".  When I asked her what kind of food we should buy, she told me "chicken".  Which just happens to be her favorite food in the world.  She took all of a 20 minute nap and was ready to play some more.  We had a good day and Gracie was in a great mood. 

    On Sunday, Gracie was quite grumpy in the morning, so we sent daddy to church, as I was pretty sure that she wouldn't go to Sunday school.  We watched church on TV - the Sunday Mass.  It's amazing how she will sit on my lap for that, but doesn't do so well in actual church unless it is music time. We met daddy at the mall for lunch, helped him pick out a new winter coat -- which Gracie found to be very fun.  Gracie wanted to wear all the men's coats and walk around.  She was quite the little goofball.  We went home and took a 90 minute nap and she was in a good mood all afternoon.  When it was time to go to bed, she kept telling me she was awake and she was.  She finally fell asleep at 11:00 p.m.  This was a mere 2-1/2 hours after her regular bedtime.  I'm not sure what was up with that as she was in a great mood.  She was restless all night long, but awoke in a fairly good mood.

    On Monday morning as I was about to get her dressed, I noticed she kept itching her neck, then I noticed hives all over her stomach and back as I went to take her pj's off.  The hives had a welt like appearance as they were in big patches.  So her neck, stomach, and back were covered but nothing else.  I have no clue what caused them, the only thought that might be a possibility was that she wore Jeff's new coat around the house, perhaps there was something on that, although she was totally clothed when she did.  Knowing Gracie's history with anaphylactic reactions to some allergens, I kept her out of school and daycare to monitor and be ready to get medical attention if need be.  I gave her some Benadryl and other than it making her tired and grumpy that seemed to do the trick.  She didn't have much of an appetite at all for lunch.  She did inform me she didn't want her banana, but she wanted "pears".  So I got her pears and she ate some of those.  By about 2:00 p.m. her hives had pretty much cleared up.  We went outside for a walk, but she wasn't very energetic.  She enjoyed a stroller ride as well.  At one point she wanted to go "bye, bye" and was so tearful about it as she went to the car, that I put her in her seat and we just took a drive around town.  I even got her an ice cream cone at McDonalds and her appetite was nice and hardy for that.  She also was very talkative all day.  I loved that. 

    Gracie ate a huge supper last night and I could tell she was feeling so much better.  She still had a bit of a hard time falling asleep, but had a good night and did not want to wake up this morning.  She is back to school and daycare today.

    I hope you had a good weekend too!

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Healthy and Happy

    Gracie has been healthy and happy and we've had a peaceful existence the last couple of days.  She is so observant these days, just today on our way to daycare she informed me there was a flag.  I couldn't see any flag.  So when I questioned her on it, I was shown that it was way off into the distance and indeed there was the American flag flying proud.  Last night she was watching a hand me down video that she hadn't seen previously.  It had a couple of songs in it that are on a cd of hers, when she heard them she got all excited and pointed to her room, which is where she usually listens to her cd player of kids songs.

    Gracie has really been enjoying the Halloween decorations around town this year.   The other night Jeff and Gracie took a walk, she came running in the house all excited saying "Mom, see. Mom see." She was pulling on my hand that I had to go outside. I asked her what I needed to see and she said "Corn Candy." The neighbors two doors down have a ton of Halloween stuff in their front yard and one is this giant blow up piece of corn candy. So I had to go see it. Last night when we got home that was the first thing she wanted to go check out again. I love how excited she gets.

    Gracie has been sleeping pretty well, she was up alot last night coughing, but would fall back to sleep very quickly.  

    I have a hard time finding winter boots that aren't too heavy and awkward for Gracie, but offer good support for her.  I had been researching and researching online, trying to find something that would work for her.  I came up with this pair made by Crocs that looked like they fit the bill.  I ordered them online and they came yesterday...perfection!!!!  Gracie loves them too.  I just know we'll be spending more time outside this winter than we have previous years.  Now I need to find the perfect mittens...we've got some that will work, but I think we need some with zippers...her fine motor skills are a struggle for her so she doesn't do so well helping put mittens on.  I've found an online site that makes mittens for people with special needs - I think I'm going to check into those.

    Gracie got a new book at the school library yesterday:  "The Diary of a Worm".  Gracie really likes it and Jeff and I have found it to be a hoot.  I thought the humor of it was a little over Gracie's head, but she really likes it.

    We're looking forward to the weekend.  Have a great one.

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    She Slept the Whole Night Through

    Gracie has been having a good week, her nose has stopped running, she still has an occasional cough, but it is soooooo much better, and she has been enjoying her days at school and at daycare and enjoying the mild Fall weather.  We haven't been able to take our evening walks because it is turning dark too early.  By the time supper is done, it's dark out.  This does not sit well with Gracie and I've been letting her watch a DVD in the evening.  We're going to have to figure out some fun things to do indoors. 

    Gracie has been participating a lot more in school this week.  Not only repeating words when asked, but commenting spontaneously at times as well.  This is a big step for her and means her comfort level is increasing.  I wish her teacher and speech therapist could hear her talk at home, she is quite the jabber box when she wants to be...I love it.

    Gracie Skyped with Grandma and Grandpa D. last night and had a few things to say, but was mostly quiet.  She is so funny, she can't wait to Skype with them, then becomes very shy at times.

    The best news of the week for me is that Gracie slept through the night last night.  She did wake up briefly at 4:30 a.m., but that doesn't count because she immediately fell back to sleep and I'm up by 5:00 a.m. anyway, so I got a full night sleep for the first time in at least three weeks.  It felt AWESOME!!!!

    Gracie was in a great mood this morning and was so happy to see her buddy Kayla (9 years old) when she went to daycare this morning.  She was stuck to her like glue.

    Hopefully the week will continue to be a good one.  I just love having Gracie feel good!

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    A Weekend Outside

    We had a very fun weekend of outdoor activities.  We pretty much spent out whole weekend playing outside.  On Saturday we woke up and headed out the door shortly after breakfast.  We took a walk, we played in the leaves, we mowed the lawn and leaves and bagged them up for the compost pile. We took them to the city compost pile.  Upon arriving there, Gracie got all excited and said "a farm".  Well not quite. 

    After nap, we decided to take her to this little zoo and hiking area about 10 miles away, but when we got there at 4:10 p.m. we were disappointed to find that the zoo closes at 4 p.m.  So we hiked a little way to a picnic area with a playset that had a slide and swing.  On the walk through the trees I kept telling Jeff to watch for walnuts (I'm even more cautious about us even stepping on them being I saw Gracie licking the bottom of her shoe the other day).  We get Gracie up to the top of the slide and then Jeff spies a walnut right by where she would come down.  I of course go to investigate and find walnut guts smeared down at the bottom of the slide.  Okay there will be no sliding all the way down this slide.  We let Gracie go halfway down and let her go to the swings instead.  A little girl named Haley spies us and comes over, she goes down the slide through the walnut juice, now she is contaminated...Gracie is excited to see this little "friend" and goes to hold her hand.  We work so hard to help Gracie have peer interaction and here she is very social with Haley, and she is contaminated with walnut guts that could send us to the ER.  So I wipe Gracie's hand down and explain to Haley why I must do it.  Haley seems to get it and then points to a big allergic reaction around her neck from her necklace.  Haley asks if Gracie can talk and how old she is.  I tell Haley that Gracie is 4 and I watch Haley's eyes get very big.  Haley is 7 and a little smaller than Gracie.  We didn't stay very long and part of the reasoning was just my own nervousness with the whole walnut thing.  I hate that I have to be so careful about that.

    We were outside until well after dark, we did a little garage cleaning and Gracie had great fun just hanging out in the garage and listening to music.  We would occasionally have to take a walk to the end of the block and look at the big blow up pumpkin or the Halloween lights and decorations along the way. 

    On Sunday Jeff had to work, so Gracie and I went back to the zoo to see the animals.  Her favorites were the eagles that kept giving her a stern talking too.  Gracie loved this, she would laugh and give it right back to them.  The turkey vulture seemed to be putting on a show for Gracie and I think that might have been her most favorite animal of the day, followed closely by the owls and the cow that licked her hand. 

    After the zoo we headed to the mall to pick up socks, Gracie is outgrowing all of those too.  Then lunch and home for a 20 minute nap.  Then it was back outdoors, but it got too hot for Gracie.  I put her in the stroller and took her to the local schoolyard playset that she loves so much, but she didn't want to get out and play.  That never happens, so we zipped back home and I stuck her in the tub to cool her off a bit.  That did the trick, suddenly she had a ton of energy again.  Gracie was excited to see daddy come home for supper and she had a good evening. 

    Gracie fell asleep very quickly last night and slept through until 3:30 a.m., she was awake for 30 - 45 minutes and then fell back to sleep.  She is sleeping so much better and doesn't cough all night long.  She is breathing much easier too.  She did wake up with a bloody nose this morning and every time I thought I had it stopped she would blow her nose and it would start up all over again. 

    Gracie was excited to go to school this morning.  With smiles she told me "Gracie bus". 

    I hope you had a great weekend too.

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    A Six Word Sentence

    The most exciting thing happened earlier this week and I forgot to write about it.  Gracie, Jeff, and I were taking a walk.  It was almost dark out and there was a very loud continuous quacking type sound.  I'm pretty sure it's from some bugs, but it kind of sounds like ducks.  Anyway, I commented on the noise, Gracie thought it was ducks and said "I want to see baby ducks!"  A full six word sentence!!!  We were so excited.  We are hearing more and more 3 word combinations, but this was a full sentence. 

    Gracie had a good day yesterday.  When I went to pick her up she had her school pictures.  Could the photographer not have tamed her hair a bit...she has two pieces of hair sticking up on either side of her head that look like horns...or does my precious angel really have horns???  Hmmmm.  I don't think so.  I also want to know what is with her sort of stoned look.  She's not even really looking at the camera.  However, to you frequenters of my blog, you know what a hard time I had picking out her outfit...well I did great there, the color looks fantastic on her.  Anyway, she was very excited to show me her pictures so I made a big deal out of them and she was very excited to go home and show daddy them too.

    Ever since my boneheaded move of not buckling Gracie in her car seat early this week, Gracie and I have a chuckle when I pick her up at daycare and put her in her car seat.  She sits back in her seat and I say "Gracie, what do you think?  Should we buckle you today?"  She laughs and adamantly shakes her head yes!!!!

    Gracie's cough continues, as does her runny nose, but she slept much better last night.  I am so thankful for that.  She did wake up once to "chat" a bit, but it was short-lived, oh yeah and she also woke up to ask for her "blankie".  I thought she was cold so I covered her up.  She then looked at me and said "Gracie's blankie".  Ah-ha, yes, the very one that is tucked under you, girly-girl!  :)

    Gracie has a no school day, which I think will be good for her.  I think we are all ready for the weekend.

    Have a great one.

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    The Cold That Just Won't Go Away!

    Gracie continues to be in a good mood despite her cold.  She had a fun day at daycare, even got to go to the library to pick out some new books.  When I got to daycare to pick her up she was hanging with the big girls listening to tunes on the computer.  She loves hanging with the big girls (third graders) and they are soooooo good to her. 

    Gracie's nose continues to run and she sounds like a faucet with every breath she takes.  Her cough is still quite bad, although it continues to sound productive.  I just hurt for her though.  Last night we were taking a walk around the block when a coughing attack hit, she had such a hard time catching her breath and was doubled over, I was sure she was going to either faint or throw up.  I scooped her up and she got a piggyback ride the rest of the way home. 

    Gracie had only one pair of shoes that fit her and we realized that after she spilled water all over them the other night that we probably should have a second pair, so Gracie and I headed to the shoe store last evening.  We were the only ones there and it is the only shoe store we go can't beat Stride Rite in my they know us.  She ran into the store, ran up to the counter and was so excited to see both of the sales staff.  They treated her like a queen, she loved it.  We had our punch card full - which means a free pair of shoes so we got a plain pair of black dress shoes along with a pair of colorful tennis shoes. 

    Gracie slept very well last night until 1:00 a.m., then woke up and was little miss chatty.  She finally fell back to sleep at 2:30 a.m.  YAWN!  She awoke in a good mood this morning.  I hope she had a good day at school.

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    A Good Day, Despite Her Cold

    Gracie had a really good day yesterday despite her cold.  I got a note from her teacher letting me know that Gracie independently climbed up the slide at school and went down it all by herself...twice.  She said she wanted to do it more, but they ran out of time.  When I told Gracie that Ms. Linda told me she had done this, she got all excited and started clapping, so I'm pretty sure they made a big deal out of it at school too. 

    Gracie also brought home a picture that she painted using apples.  It was cute and she is always so proud of her projects.  It doesn't hurt that Jeff and I ooh and aaah over them.  Gracie also had a good day at daycare and when Jeff picked her up, she wanted to go for a ride and listen to tunes with daddy. 

    When I got home she was in a great mood, but wasn't very hungry.  She didn't want supper, but did help me eat my blueberry bagel.  Later she had room for applesauce and pudding.  I suspect with her cold, nothing really tastes all that great.

    I love laying down with Gracie at the end of the day, as that is when she is most talkative and I get to hear things about her day.  Last night she told me "It's Tuesday".  Yes, I said in shocked surprise, it is Tuesday!  I think they go talk about what day it is at school and she remembered.  Last night she also kept yelling "I love you" to Jeff who was in another room.  I will never tire of hearing her say those words.  Her pronounciation isn't perfect, but her tone is pure sweetness.

    Gracie slept a little better last night in that when she would wake up coughing, she would fall right back to sleep.  She seemed to be having a fair number of dreams or nightmares though.  At one point she let out a blood curdling scream.  I'm not sure she even totally woke up with that one.  I just assured her that mommy was there and she calmed down and continued sleeping.  The cough is still very intense and now she has some major nasal congestion too.  She seems happy though and awoke in a great mood.  The hug I got this morning was exactly why I love being a mommy.

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie "cough-cough" girl

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Cough, Cough, Cough

    Gracie has come down with another virus of some sort.  I initially thought it was the remnants of her last one, but she has a sore throat, congestion, a runny nose is starting, and the cough is just nasty.  She coughs all night long and if that doesn't keep her up, she has trouble sleeping because she can't breathe.  Last night was rough to say the least.  We slept with her sitting up on me for awhile, then we bounced, but her 53 lbs. is getting difficult for me to bounce too long.  Then we slept on the couch for awhile with her sitting on top of me, we tried different pillows, and the bottom line is we both got little sleep.  Thankfully she awoke in a good mood.  The first thing she showed me upon waking was her pretty pink fingernails.  Her daycare mom polished them yesterday (all except the thumb, since Gracie is a thumbsucker) and Gracie is soooooo proud of them.  They do look pretty. 

    Gracie came home from school in her "extra set of clothes".  Not sure what happened and school doesn't either.  They said she must have sat in something.  They also said she had a good day.  When she got off the bus she looked very sad and just not herself.  She ate lunch, took a nap, was pretty quiet for awhile and then started to be happy again.  We're not sure if the cold was just getting her down or if something else happened.  Oh how I wish she could tell us. 

    On the way home from daycare, I did a totally boneheaded move.  I put Gracie in her car seat and we headed down the road, all of a sudden Gracie stands up and starts coming toward the front seat.  Ahhhh yes, mommy forgot to actually buckle her in.  I said, "Oh no Gracie, did mommy forget to buckle you?"  Followed by a quick "Could you please sit down?"  Gracie was very obedient and sat right down.  She also found this terribly amusing.  So as soon as it was safe to do so, we pulled over and got her buckled.  This is a first for me. 

    Gracie had a good evening.  She ate a good supper and then we went out to play for a little bit.  She loves to stand up in her play set and drive it (it has a movable steering wheel attached) and play either boat or train.  She always asks us "tickets please?".   Our neighbors down the street have a huge lighted pumpkin in their yard - she loves that.  Next door to that is a ghost on a stick, she's not as fond of that.  Or maybe she's just not fond of mommy saying "boo" when we are next to it.  Hmmmm. 

    Gracie brought home from school a cute little tool box she made out of construction paper, it had a paper hammer, wrench, and paint brush in it.  She loves showing us her projects. 

    It's supposed to hit 80 here today, we'll have to get outside and enjoy it this evening.

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Outdoor Fun!!!

    It was an absolutely beautiful Autumn weekend with colorful trees and mild temps.  We decided to take advantage of it, forget any house work or projects that needed to be done, and just enjoy it.  You'll see from Gracie's face, she had a great weekend.

    We went to the pumpkin patch and picked out some pumpkins to take home, went through the corn maze, had a great time watching butterflies and grasshoppers, and just had a blast running in the open space.  At one point when in the corn maze some boys were running around (a little too closely for Gracie's comfort level as one almost knocked her down), one yelled who wants to be the corn maze monster now.  Gracie yelled "me".  Although they didn't pay any attention to her, mommy did.  So Gracie practiced saying "GRRRR" and pretending she was the monster.  It was great fun.

    On Sunday we were invited by our friend Carly to visit her family farm, complete with miniature horses, chickens, a dog, a cat, apple trees, and some wonderful people.  Gracie had a blast!  She loved feeding oats to the horses, even though in some of the pictures she looks a little tentative.  She enjoyed the chickens and the louder the noises the animals made the happier she was.  She talked about the horses and showed me how they ate out of her hand all night long.

    Then Carly treated Gracie to her very first convertible ride.  I wasn't sure how Gracie would respond to it, but she absolutely loved every minute of it.  To those of you who know her well, Gracie does a sort of happy dance when she is really excited, this consists of her sort of flapping her arms and legs.  Well she was doing the happy dance!

    We had a fantastic weekend!  Gracie has had some rough nights as she seems to cough all night long disrupting her sleep, but she must be getting enough rest as she is ready to go during the day.  I enjoyed all of the smiles I saw from her on the weekend.  I got alot of voluntary hugs and kisses during the weekend, I think that is another sign that she was having a great time.

    Enjoy the mild week!

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

    Friday, September 30, 2011

    Just Can't Sleep

    Gracie had a good day at school yesterday and she returned her book to the library, only to get another one about Fall and pumpkins.  I can't wait to read that one.  Jeff read it to her last night and said it was pretty good.  Gracie had a good day at daycare, but wasn't hungry and didn't eat much for lunch.  She did play outside after naptime and enjoyed the day, even though it was pretty windy.

    Gracie and Jeff were on their own last night while I was off getting some pampering at the hair salon.  First they checked out a couple of restaurants around town and went to talk to them about their food allergy info and if they make accommodations for severe food allergies, could they tell us the ingredients in their foods, etc.  They found a new pizza place and they tried it out.  Gracie LOVED it and ate three pieces of pizza!  I guess she was making up for not being hungry at lunch. 

    Jeff and Gracie also took a drive and ran into their friend Wayne. So they went to Wayne's house and visited for awhile.  I understand that Gracie was a very good girl.  When I got home, Gracie was very happy to see me and was in a good mood.  It wasn't long before it was bedtime and she looked tired, yet it took her a while to fall asleep.  Then at 1:30 a.m. she awoke and stayed awake until 4:30 a.m.  She tried to fall asleep, and occasionally she would for 5 minutes here or there, but she would always wake right back up.  She fell back to sleep around 4:30 a.m., but was still very restless.  Jeff came and layed down with her when I got up at 5:00 a.m. and at 6:00 a.m. she was sound asleep, there was no waking her.  Finally at 6:30 a.m., I began dressing her while she was asleep.  We have to leave the house by 7:00 a.m., so we needed to hurry.  She awoke during that and was in quite a good mood.  I hope she stays that way through the day.  Not sure if I should wish that she has a good nap this afternoon or if I should wish she wants to go to bed early tonight...I know I do! 

    Have a great weekend.

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie wide-awake girl

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Lots of Outdoor Time

    It was a beautiful day yesterday and Gracie got to enjoy a lot of outdoor time at daycare.  They went to the park and she enjoyed playing with her friends.  She did get a little grabby at one point, the frustration of not always being able to express herself comes out in this way.  So she got removed from playtime for a bit. 

    Jeff picked her up at daycare and wanted to go for a walk, but she wasn't in the mood yet.  When I came home I was disgusted to see a squirrel had brought another walnut to our house and deposited the debris on our driveway -- the very driveway that Gracie likes to sit and use sidewalk chalk on.  So I swept up the chunks and will have to soap and scrub the area yet.  I am so not happy with these squirrels thinking our house is the walnut party place.  GRRRR. 

    After supper Gracie was excited to go for a walk with Jeff and I and after that we put her in the stroller and went for an even longer walk.  I hate that it gets dark so early.  It cuts into our outdoor play time at night. 

    The night was pretty uneventful.  Gracie slept well until the wee hours of the morning and then had a more restless time where she kept waking up, but continually fell back to sleep.  She was grumpy when she woke up for the day.  I made her go back in her room and I snuggled with her a bit to get her in a better mood.  That helped immensely.

    Today is a school day and she had to return her library book.  Kind of a bummer because we really like this one about pumpkins crashing out of a wagon and the main characters having to make pie out of them. 

    Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie