Friday, February 25, 2011

Sick With a Virus

On Monday night Gracie came down with a fever and a pretty nasty, yet productive, cough. She was also very itchy. I wasn't sure if that was part of the virus or some remnants of her allergy itch. She also has a sore throat -- the telltale sign of this is that she walks around the house sticking her fingers down her throat to try and make herself throw up. For any of you wondering why I'm turning gray...that might just be it! :)

I finally took her to the doctor yesterday as the cough was persisting, as was the fever. The said it was very viral in nature. We did do a strep culture but it came back negative. They said they are seeing this going around. The fever can last up to a week and a residual cough for three to four weeks.

Gracie is finally fever free today and actually had a fairly good night last night. She did have a few restless times, but much better than we've seen in a while. Today she is a bit more spunky as well, so I think we are on the mend.

Seizure meds have again become an issue. She keeps spitting them out. Her appetite has been very small. I have been making her strawberry/orange juice/banana smoothies and they have been a hit. Matter-of-fact, she went to the blender today and requested a "smoothie"!

My throat is hurting today too and I'm feeling a bit under the weather myself, so I think I'm going to go join Gracie and take a nap. She actually told me she wanted to go "nigh, nigh".

Stay healthy!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Weekend - A Fun Playdate & A Not So Fun Trip to the E.R.

Gracie went to back-up daycare on Friday morning and I hung out with her in the afternoon. She had a good day and even got to go visit the baby room a couple of times, which she absolutely loves. On Friday afternoon her and I took a nap and then we headed to the shoe store to buy some new tennis shoes. The rest of the day we just hung out at home and watched Gracie's cousin Kayla dance at State competition on a live web feed. I love modern technology and Kayla did an amazing job. I wish I could dance like that and I think Gracie was trying to figure out what she needs to do to get that good. :)

On Saturday we had a playdate with Emily (Gracie's former birth to three teacher) and her daughter Kai. It took Gracie a little while to warm up, but Kai is a vivacious, extremely social and happy little girl and it is hard not to open up and want to play with her. Gracie and Kai played with their babies and pushed a stroller and shopping cart around with their babies among other things. I could definitely see an improvement in Gracie's social skills since our last playdate. There is still room for more progress, but I was very pleased to see the interaction. Gracie had a great time. So did I! Thanks Emily and Kai for a great morning.

The rest of our Saturday wasn't quite so fun. I was late in getting lunch on the table so I gave Gracie a few bits of a cashew wasn't even a full nut. Well...we spent the next 4 hours in the E.R. Seems our little one had a severe allergic reaction....vomiting, tongue thickening, throat narrowing (thankfully she was always able to breathe), and hives everywhere. She was one incredibly miserable little girl. So now we are equipped with an epi pen that travels everywhere with her and she is not to eat peanuts or tree nuts of any kind until we do further allergy testing. We have an appointment next week. This is proving to be a little more interesting than I thought...even fruit snacks and some cereals are made with coconut oil...a no, no, right now.

The rest of our weekend was spent reading labels, throwing out all foods that had any nuts in them, and trying to explain to Gracie why she couldn't have any of her beloved coconut milk yogurt. This did not go over well at all.

By Sunday, Gracie was spunky again and most of her hives are gone. She still had a rosy cheek (yes, just one) and a few hives here and there on her neck and tummy.

No school today, so Gracie is at daycare. Our daycare provider is an R.N. who has used an epi pen before and I feel completely comfortable with Gracie in her care. We sent a bag of food along that was "nut free".

I have a call into the school nurse and a note in to her teacher, so we need to get those who care for her there informed and comfortable with the emergency procedures.

I'm learning so much and am counting our of which is that the E.R. is only 5 minutes from our house!

I hope you are all staying well and warm. We had more snow this weekend. Everytime I would mention it to Gracie, she would look out the window and "ooooooooh" and "aaaaaaah" in wonder.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday/Thursday - New Shoes Needed

Gracie was in a great mood when I picked her up from daycare yesterday. She was dancing to Cheryl Crow music and loving every minute of it. It was like herding cats to get her out of the door and on our way home. She had to stop and point everything out as if she had never seen it before.

Once home she was in a good mood. Her school backpack was FULL of Valentine's cards and treats. We have not begun to go through them all.

Gracie didn't eat much supper last night, but later decided that she needed some Fruit Loops. She also went potty and poop in the toilet last night. I went to change her diaper and she signed "potty". I asked her if she wanted to sit on the "potty chair" and she said yes. We just keep getting closer and closer to potty training and her understanding the sensations. YAY.

Gracie talked to Aunt Cheryl on Skype last night, but thinks that she has to go pull things out of the fridge when we talk to Aunt Cheryl. I'm not sure if she just thinks its snack time or she wants to keep me hopping.

Gracie was a very tired girl last night. We read her Valentine Dora book three times at her request and then went to bed. She fell right asleep. She did take her hand and rub it down my face gently and said "nice". :)

This morning Gracie didn't want to take all of her meds. I finally got them in her, but not without effort. I discovered she does not like maple syrup. I also discovered she is outgrowing her tennis shoes. She's been in boots or stocking feet so much this winter that I didn't realize her feet had grown as much as they have. We'll be visiting the shoe store this weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday/Wednesday - A Big Appetite

Daycare took Gracie to the Old Country Buffet for lunch. I'm expecting a call from management anytime now telling me not to have her come back. Not for misbehaving, but for eating her way through the place. I'm told she was in her glory, she had fish, a corn dog, french fries, carrots, an icy, a fudge brownie and more. I think my "she's growing" theory is right on the money.

Last night was not her best night. We couldn't get supper on the table fast enough for her, she had a huge throw everything to the floor tantrum. She did ask to take a bath, which I think she is finding out is a huge mood alterer for her. She loves a bath and I think it does wonders for her sensory needs.

It has been a struggle to get Gracie to drink her soy milk lately. She's never loved it, even though she likes vanilla or chocolate a little bit. A friend mentioned how she had tried chocolate almond milk and really liked it. So I picked some up last night and it was a hit...Gracie even asked for more. Thanks for the great suggestion, Leah!

Gracie was so tired last night, I think it took her two seconds to fall asleep. She had a good night and awoke in a great mood this morning. She was so excited because she got to wear a dress to school. I also put new socks on with her leggings, well they were a bit slippery and as she went walking in the kitchen, slipped and fell on her butt. She wasn't too happy about that.

She got to play outside at daycare yesterday and I'm guessing she might get to today is mild out there and the sun is shining.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday/Tuesday - Happy Valentine's Day

Gracie had a great day yesterday and was in a fantastic mood last night when she came home from school and daycare. She had a bag full of treats from daycare, the ladies who drive/ride her bus had a treat bag made up for her, and a treat from her daycare buddy.

I picked Gracie up at daycare and she was all smiles, she talked all the way home and when it was time to transition from the car to the house, she was happy and we had NO meltdowns. Daddy brought home Italian food for supper and she was so excited for "chicken". After she was done eating her food, she plopped up on my lap and helped herself to my salad.

We gave Gracie a doctor kit and some dvds for Valentine's Day. The stethoscope in the doctor kit is so much fun, it makes the sound of a heart beat and then somebody coughing. She has been to the doctor so many times, she knew exactly what to do with it. She is now imitating the coughing sound. She also loved giving mommy "shots" and then I would cry exaggeratedly. She thought this was hilarious, so when I gave her a shot, she treated me to a fantastic fake cry as well.

She was a happy girl all night long and it was so much fun to just play!!!!

Gracie had a pretty good night, although she awoke at 2:00 a.m. and was happy and way too wide awake. She handed me her sock and showed me her bare foot. I put her sock back on, she giggled and then layed her head on my chest and after a bit (thankfully) fell asleep. She did not want to wake up this morning, but did awake in a good mood.

When it came time to leave for daycare, she decided to fall to the floor and be limp girl and tell me "no". This is happening way too often and I don't have time for it in the morning. Once we get to daycare she is all happy to be there...I think it's that transition stuff again. She's just having too much fun to have to leave.

I think I've mentioned it before, but I'm convinced she is growing taller again. Her balance has been way off lately. She loses her balance so easily and has had a few near falls. Just getting used to her rapidly growing body again.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Weekend

Gracie enjoyed her Friday at back-up daycare. A dental hygenist came in to talk and I'm told our little ancy pants sat very quietly and listened very intently. She also got to visit the baby room and really enjoyed that. She did alot of dancing too. When I got there she wanted to show me EVERYTHING!!!!!

On Saturday, cousin Jason came over to play. Gracie adores Jason and was thrilled to take him for walks (thanks for going around the island with her 100 times Jason) and just play. Later in the day Aunt Sheila and Uncle Chris came over and joined us for pizza. Gracie said Sheila's name and then pointed to her. Gracie absolutely loved having the company and was sad to see them go.

Saturday night was a restless one for Gracie and then she woke up at 3:00 a.m. and wanted a drink and some bread. After that, she couldn't fall asleep. So we rocked until 4:30 a.m., when she finally fell back to sleep. She was doing some back and forth head movements that made me think that perhaps she had an ear infection. I just wasn't sure and when I asked her if her ears hurt, she told me yes and then a little later no, so I figured we better get it checked out. The good news is that her ears look great -- no infection. We don't know about her throat as she wouldn't open her mouth, but I didn't suspect a sore throat. The bad news -- we waited at Express (Urgent) Care for over 2 hours. We made some new friends. One little girl who was quite inquisitive wanted to know why Gracie's skin was dark and mine was light. I told her that was a very good question (and saw her mother exhale in relief) and that Gracie's daddy's skin was dark and Gracie looked like her daddy. I wasn't even going to go down the "adoption" explanation with her or I would have had 100 more questions. She still wanted to know why my skin was light then. I told her I was born that way and that seemed good enough.

After Gracie's nap on Sunday we went outdoors to play. Gracie had a blast. We went for a walk, we made a snowman, we pulled her on the sled, but her favorite activity was shoveling snow with the shovel she got for Christmas. When it was time to go in, I had to literally carry a screaming, kicking child into the house.

Gracie did not want to get up this morning and she was in a mood. She refused her seizure meds a couple of times, but I finally got them in her. She mellowed out after a while. She looked so cute in her red and pink Valentine's shirt and matching "pretty" in her hair. By the way, did you know that St. Valentine is the patron saint of epilepsy/seizures. I knew I liked him for a reason! :)

Wishing you all lots of love today.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, February 11, 2011


Gracie enjoyed her morning at back-up daycare yesterday. She even made a friend named Lydia. She was a quiet little girl and the teachers were happy to have Gracie there so she had a friend. I was ecstatic that Lydia was there so that Gracie had a friend. They didn't talk to each other much, but they sat together at a table and played.

Jeff picked Gracie up at 12:30 p.m., stopped to visit a friend for a bit, and then headed home for a nap. They took a 2-1/2 hour nap, which means that Gracie was wide awake and ready to play when I got home. We had a very fun evening as Gracie was energetic and happy. She did get quite upset with us at suppertime and in anger or frustration overturned her almost empty bowl of soup and whatever else she could get to before we got to her. We calmly took her into her room, told her she was not in a timeout, but that she had to calm down. She could come out when she was ready. A little while later she emerged with sad little eyes, came over to Jeff and I and signed, as well as verbally said "sad". This is huge...I've been working with her alot on labelling her emotions. I got down to her eye level and told her I was sorry that she was sad and I gave her a hug. A little while later she came over to Jeff and I and signed (unprompted I might add) that she was sorry.

Gracie is growing again and has been eating a ton. Just for supper last night she had a bowl of homemade turkey noodle soup, a whole pear, a big hamburger bun, a container of yogurt, and some Hershey's kisses. I can tell that her legs are growing as her muscles seem tight again and her knees are bending more. We'll need to do some stretching, I think.

Gracie was in a good mood this morning. For the last couple of weeks, the only thing she wants for breakfast is Cinnamon Toaster Streudel. You could make her something else but she won't eat it. This morning, she surprised me by insisting she wanted a pear for breakfast and that is exactly what she ate. A pear, with a few bites of Toaster Streudel. The pear is definitely much healthier.

Gracie is at back-up daycare again today. On the way there, we practiced saying our last name. Gracie now knows her first and last name. YAY! When we arrived at back-up daycare she was happy but quiet. That is until she spied the teacher named Gail next door. Gracie let out a scream of delight and sprinted over to Gail. I barely got a goodbye. It was a quick wave and I knew she would be just fine. They are so good to her there. I'm hoping that perhaps Lydia will be back there today too.

Have a great weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday/Thursday - Making Progress

Gracie had a good day at school yesterday and at daycare. She got to help make brownies at daycare yesterday and then got to take some home for her dessert. She was so proud of her brownies. She insisted on carrying them to the car and then to the house when we got home.

Gracie loved sounds when she was a baby...vacuum cleaner, dehumidifier, etc. Then as she got a bit older, she became terrified of the vacuum cleaner, blender, paper shredder, etc. So if you've come to our house when it wasn't's because it was a big ordeal and Gracie would go into hysterics. Last night I decided to tackle a big stack of papers that needed shredding, while Gracie was in the bathtub and being splashed by daddy. She came out of the tub and I was just sure she would be upset, but I kept going. She came over to me and started handing me paper from my pile saying "Here's some" every time she handed me a piece of paper. Then she decided it was so much fun that she sat on my lap while I continued on. When I would stop, she would tell me "more". She loved the sensory feeling of putting her hands into all the shredded paper when we were done. She would feel through it, then take a handful and throw it on the floor. I just let her have fun. Of course when we were done playing, it was time to vacuum. Well she fell in love with the vaccum cleaner last night too and wanted to vacuum herself, so we let her. Oh she was having a blast.

Gracie had a very good night and went to back-up daycare this morning (our daycare provider's daughter has a high fever and pneumonia). They are so good to her there. They were excited that she was added on this morning and even the cook was excited when she heard Gracie was coming. This makes me happy, because with Gracie's dairy intolerance, the cook always has to make her a different meal then the other kids. Gracie was a little tentative, but happy, at first. Then she saw Gail, one of the teachers, and she ran over to her, held her hand and I barely got a wave goodbye.

Back-up daycare could only provide care til 12:30 p.m. today, so Gracie gets some time with daddy this afternoon. I know she will enjoy that immensely.

Stay warm!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Midweek - Stuck to Daddy Like Glue

Gracie is adjusting nicely to our daily routine with daddy back home. Jeff has been able to pick her up at daycare the last couple of days so they have time together before I get home. This has been good and now Gracie is a major daddy's girl. She is stuck to him like glue! She follows him around like a little puppy. It's really quite cute.

Gracie got to talk to Aunt Chery & Uncle Russ on Skype on Monday night, then later to Grandma and Grandpa D. She didn't have much to say to G&G until we said goodbye to them and closed out Skype. All of a sudden she got a second wind and started talking up a storm. I think she loves to Skype, but is so enamored by it that she becomes shy at times.

On Monday night, Gracie went to the cd player in the kitchen and kept pointing to the rack of cds by it, saying "Santa", "Santa", "Santa". I had no clue what she wanted. There was a CD of Christmas songs she came to love at Christmastime that we hadn't played in a while, I thought I would give that a try. Yep, success! Big smiles that mommy figured that one out.

This morning on the way to daycare, Gracie was in the van with Jeff listening to music. A song by Cameo came on that has the following lyrics: "Wave your hands in the air like you don't care." I guess she does listen to the words of songs, because all of a sudden her little arms were over her head waving.

And the most exciting news...she pooped in the toilet again this morning. Unfortunately she isn't telling me she has to go...I'm just noticing the signs and running her to the toilet. We'll need to work on the telling me part.

Gracie is staying healthy and hopefully will stay that way for a long long time. We hope you are staying healthy and warm.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, February 7, 2011

Daddy is Home!!!

On Friday, daycare took Gracie to an indoor play facility and Gracie had a great time. She especially loved the merry-go-round that you pedaled and the little cars (which she had to squish her big body into). She ran into a friend from the pediatric floor who recognized her and played with her for a bit.

On Saturday, Gracie and I had a girls day out. We talked to daddy on Skype, then we headed to the mall for some retail therapy. The highlights for Gracie were getting to go up and down on the escalator and having lunch in the food court, where she got to suck a non-dairy smoothie out of a cup with a straw and she got to hold it herself. She was such a good girl the whole time. Then we went home and took a two hour nap...then played and played. At Gracie's request, we watched "Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue" for a while. She loves to snuggle up on the couch with me while we watch it. She can't make it the whole way through, because she gets tired. She's so funny, when she gets to the point that she is too tired, she says and waves "bye bye". That's my queue to turn it off. Then she says "nigh nigh" and we go upstairs to bed.

After being gone for 9 days to Hawaii (for work) daddy arrived home on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and Gracie is happy to have him home. So am I. Gracie was a very good girl the whole time he was gone, but it's just nice to have a second set of hands and Gracie asked about Jeff alot. She loved when she got to talk to him on the computer using Skype. Gracie gave daddy a big hug when we picked him up at the airport, then she wouldn't let him put her down, followed by a big ole headbanging tantrum. I think it was a little sensory overload. Once we got that calmed down all was well.

We did meet a little 3 year old at the airport that has Downes Syndrome. She was a sweetie pie and knew some sign language too. It was funny to see Gracie and this little girl together. Gracie looked like a giant and this little girl is super small for her age...she looked like a little Pixie.

After nap we headed to see Aunt Sheila, Uncle Chris, and cousins Kayla and Jason at their house and to watch the SuperBowl. We were spoiled with lots of yummy food. Gracie needed playtime with her cousins and we enjoyed our time there immensely. Lots of walks, piano music, and playing the drums were some of the highlights.

On the way home I drove as Jeff was tired from his travels. He sat in the back with Gracie, but Gracie wanted "mama". It was a long drive home. By the end she was in such crying hysterics she had problems catching her breath, I was a little scared she was going to throw up. Once mama held her all was well and she fell asleep not long after arriving home. After nine days with mama, she is definitely a mama's girl. Daddy is going to have to spend a little more time with her over the next few days I think.

Gracie awoke at 3:00 a.m. this morning and had a hard time falling back to sleep. She finally fell back into a restful slumber at 3:30 a.m. and slept tight til I had to wake her at 6:00 a.m. She awoke in a good mood and was ready to go find daddy. Every other morning while he was gone she would ask about him and then be sad when he wasn't there.

It's a school day, so I'm hoping she has a good day and learns a lot. Jeff really noticed an increase in speech while he was gone. I, too, have noticed it was a good week with increased verbal skills.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Proud Moments

Gracie has had a great week. She is feeling good and we're hoping February will be the start of good health for her.

We've had some proud moments this week:

1. Yesterday when I picked Gracie up from daycare I witnessed her having a conversation with a daycare buddy. Socialization with peers has been very difficult to non-existent for Gracie. Her daycare provider and school have been working on this with Gracie and we are seeing the benefits of their hardwork. We are extremely appreciative to both.

2. Gracie went poopie and potty in the big girl toilet yesterday. There were big cheers for that one. Thank you to all the people we called to share in our excitement. Your "woo hoos" and cheers made for a very excited little girl. I'm hoping the positive reinforcement will help in the training process.

3. Gracie was talking to daddy on Skype this week. She started to get bored with the conversation between Jeff and I and ran off to play. When we were ready to disconnect the call, I asked Gracie if she would like to say goodbye to daddy. She said "no". Then I asked her if she would like to tell daddy that she loved him. She usually signs, I love you. All of a sudden she pipes up with a very verbal "I love you!" I think that one melted daddy's heart. Mommy's heart was kind of melty too.

4. Transitions can be difficult for Gracie. One of the hardest transitions for her is when we arrive home at the end of the day. The transition of going from the car to the house 95% of the time results in a huge meltdown. We see head banging and she would just throw her body to the ground if I allowed it. It usually takes about 5 minutes of snuggling or holding to have this pass. Last night we came into the house (it was uneventful - no tantrums) and she sat on the bottom step waiting for me to take her boots off. She was very calm, then we went upstairs and she expressed rather urgently that she wanted "pasta", which was in our take out bag that we had picked up on the way home.

5. At 4:00 a.m. this morning, Gracie woke up, rolled over and kissed me on the lips, then rolled back over and went back to sleep. This mommy stuff sure is a lot of fun!!!! :)

We hope you are having a good week...stay warm!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie Good Girl