Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday/Thursdsay - Tangled

Another exciting daycare adventure for Gracie yesterday. She got to go to the movie theater and watch the Walt Disney movie "Tangled". Gracie has never been to a movie theater before and she was a little nervous going in, but once she was reassured she LOVED IT!!!! She sat through the whole movie and thought it was great. She was in a very good mood last night and was just silly at times. I would ask her "Gracie, did you go to the movies today?" She would get a huge smile on her face and say very loudly, yet in a teasing voice, "NO"! I would then say "Yes you did!" and she would just giggle. She fell asleep quite quickly last night, but she was very restless from about 1:00 a.m. on. She awoke this morning and her first request was "Brock". She has a laminated class picture from school that she carries around and she has two names of kids that she picks out and says their name "Brock" and "Justine". It's so sweet to see her smile when she says their names. It was a fasting morning for Gracie today as we headed to the clinic to get a blood test. Her neurologist wanted to check to see how her system is handling the seizure med increase. Gracie got to see her friend Rachel at the desk and a few other friends. It's interesting to watch the dynamics that go on when Gracie gets her blood drawn. It is not the needle stick that makes her mad or cry, it is the fact that her arm has to be restrained. She fusses and fusses about that, but doesn't even flinch when the needle poke happens. Then as soon as her arm is released, she just starts talking in her sweet little voice like it never happened. I am so thankful for this, as I witnessed a child carry on and on and on before he was to go have his blood drawn this morning. I realized how lucky I am to have Gracie be such a trooper. Then we headed to a breakroom for her to eat breakfast and get her seizure meds. She was the social director in the breakroom, saying "hi" to everyone...many got "hi's" multiple times. She was very happy to eat. She kept asking for food all morning before we got to the clinic. She would be very mad when I wouldn't let her have any. I hate saying "no" to food when I know she is hungry. I think today was going to be a more mellow "stay-at-home" day at daycare. No big adventures - she certainly has had some fun ones this week. Love, Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday - Swimming, Splashing, and Smiling

Gracie had a fantastic day yesterday! Daycare took her swimming to an indoor pool along with another group of daycare kids. Gracie had the time of her life. She non-stop kicked and splashed in the kiddie pool for 2-1/2 hours. She was a ball of energy and smiles from head-to-toe. She was loving life!!! On the way home from the pool she fell asleep and when Jeff came to pick her up, she was in such a deep sleep, she cried because she just wanted to be left alone. Jeff didn't even put her coat on, just threw it over her and put her in the warm van. When I got home she was still sleeping and did not want to wake up. I would have left her guessed it, we needed to get those seizures meds in her. I knew those meds weren't going to go in a groggy tired girl, so we stuck supper in the oven and I took her to the tub and gave her a quick bath. She started to perk up and did eat a little supper and her meds. She started to get a second wind by bedtime, so it took her about 30 minutes to fall asleep, but she was so sweet. She just chatted with me and gave me hugs and kisses. This morning when she awoke her first request was for a cracker! She was in a great mood this morning too. I think today's adventure is going to be a movie at the theater. She's never been to a theater movie, so we'll see how she does. Love, Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday - OH SO MUCH FUN!

Gracie had a great day yesterday! She got to go to Oxbow Zoo with daycare and all of the animals were alert and moving. She saw owls and she informed me they say "hoot", she saw an eagle, which she knows the sign for, and she saw otters too. Her friend Aubrey also came over to play at daycare. Gracie and Aubrey get along so well and have alot of fun together. I love to see the two of them together -- their coloring and hair are so similar, they look like they could be sisters. Gracie had to give Aubrey a big hug before she left. Gracie is loving her new booster car seat. She can get in and out of it herself in the van. In my car she needs a teeny bit of help, but can mostly do it herself. She is very proud that she can be independent. Gracie was such a happy girl all night long. She was playful and giggly right up until bedtime and beyond. She fell asleep quite easily last night and was restful for most of the night. About 3:00 a.m., however, she screamed a very high-pitched scream at the top of her lungs. I'm guessing she was having a bad dream. I assured her that mommy was there and would keep her safe. She went right back to sleep. She was happy this morning as well. Her first request this morning was to watch Itsy Bitsy Spider on her iPod. This puts her in such a good mood in the morning, that there is no way I would refuse the request. A good mood means that I don't have any problems getting her to take her seizure meds. This week we've been eating them with applesauce and Tinkerbell fruit snacks (she calls them "fruit chews"). Today at daycare she is going to go swimming, so we packed her swimsuit and swim diapers and she is probably splashing away as I type this. Love, Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Weekend

Gracie had a good weekend. Jeff picked her up at daycare and I came home to the two of them talking to Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Russ on Skype (Gracie's request). Friday night was just a hang out at home kind of night and Gracie was in a really good mood, so that was fun. She was very tired though, so was in bed by 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, Gracie and I hung out at home and just got a few things done here and there. She took a 2-1/2 hour nap in the afternoon (so did I). That got us ready to party that night. We went to a surprise 50th birthday party for our friends Brenda and Scott. (Happy Birthday Brenda and Scott - we love you!) Gracie had great fun taking Brenda's nieces for walks. I did realize that I am a total Nervous Nellie when it comes to food for Gracie now that we've discovered her food allergies and been told we are not to give her anything without reading the label. Parties and get togethers make that a little harder to do. I brought cake along for her, so she could have some of that. My biggest fear is that she'll stick her finger into something and have it in her mouth before I can do anything about it. I'm not sure if it will get easier or harder as she gets older. We all had a great time at the party. Gracie stayed awake the whole ride home and wasn't quite ready to go to bed when we got home. She didn't fall asleep until 11:30 p.m. This is the child that is usually in bed by 8:00/8:30 p.m. That long afternoon nap helped her cause. Sunday was a snuggly day as Gracie was quite tired. She did take a short nap in the late morning, but wanted nothing to do with an afternoon nap. So she snuggled with Jeff and I quite a bit all day and was a little more emotional when things didn't go quite her way. I made one of her favorite meals for supper and oooh did that girl eat - pork chops cooked in the crock pot with BBQ sauce and chicken broth mashed potatoes. Yummy! Yesterday Gracie was listening to music and kept telling us and signing "bird". We couldn't figure out what she wanted. Finally she got frustrated and said and signed "bird music". It took us a minute or two to figure out she wanted the "chicken dance". She was all smiles when Jeff figured it out. She also informed me yesterday when I opened a Diet Coke that "I want some". For those of you wondering, she didn't "get some". We put Gracie's new (hand me down - thank you cousin Jason) booster seat in the van yesterday. This replaces the car seat that she had grown out of. She is so much happier in the booster seat and can get in and out herself. This saves Jeff and my backs big time. Last night Gracie had a horrible time falling asleep. I think the fact that she was overtired made her overstimulated. It took an hour for her to fall asleep and she was so restless. She had a mostly good night. This morning when she woke up, her first request was for her "iPod"...she wanted to watch "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" which is interactive. Both Jeff and I took Gracie to daycare on our way to work as my car is in the shop. I think she thought that was kind of weird. She is on spring break, so no school this week. Love, Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday/Friday: A Fun Day = A Happy Girl

Gracie had a great day yesterday. She got to go to the library for story hour where she learned about bears and also about weather. She got to do hand motions with the wind. Sometimes it would go faster and sometimes it would go slower. She also had to be reminded to use her listening ears and not interupt by saying "HI" loudly. I understand it only took a reminder or two and then she did fine.

Gracie also got to go to the mall for lunch and to play in the kid play area. She was so tired from all the fun that she took a 2 hour nap. In the afternoon she played and they read alot of books too. A favorite was about a drum and then she would get to drum on her legs. When I came to pick her up she was in a great mood and chatted on the way home. She was happy to see that daddy was home when we got there and she wrestled around with him for a while. We ordered pizza for supper and she ate and ate and ate.

Gracie was in a good mood all night long and went to bed a little later than usual. She slept good and was quite restful most of the night. She really didn't want to wake up this morning, but finally her eyes popped open.

Gracie is such a funny kid. Last week all I needed to get her to take her seizure meds was a little bit of chocolate cake with them. Not so this week. Cake, her favorite thing (right after chicken) in the whole world, would be held in her mouth and not swallowed. I've now figured out that fruit snacks (or as Gracie calls them "fruit chews") work nicely. Especially if they happen to be Tinkerbell fruit snacks. I'm sure next week it will be something totally different. I think she just likes to keep me on my toes.

Here's hoping for another great day.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday/Thursday - The Med Increase

Gracie had a good day yesterday. She was back at her normal daycare and she also had school in the morning. When she got off the bus from school, she was so tired she didn't want any lunch and went right to sleep for 2 hours. When she woke up, she was hungry, happy, and ready to dance and play. She was in a great mood for most of the night last night.

She was super excited when Auntie Sheila called for her and was quite responsive to questions being asked. Usually she loves to listen, but doesn't want to talk. Yesterday morning we increased Gracie's seizure meds and we've already been seeing a slight increase in cognitive skills and are hoping that continues. We're crediting her responsiveness on the phone to this. As I was talking on the phone I mentioned how school had to use the extra set of clothes from Gracie's locker yesterday as she must have wet through her diaper. (NOTE TO SELF: Send bigger back-up clothes to school for Gracie, she's outgrown the ones we sent at the beginning of the year.) Gracie quickly piped up with the word "locker". So I started talking to her about her locker and asking her what items are in her locker. She informed me that these are the things in her locker...all of these responses were unaided: backpack, shoes, coat, boots. I was impressed.

Gracie was very restful from 9:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. and then she was a bit more restless after that. My theory of her restlessness at night being related to seizure activity might not be so far fetched. I also found Gracie's mood to be better last night than it has been for a couple of days. It could be because she was back at her normal daycare or it could be because of the med increase. She didn't seem as prone to purposefully seek out all the things she knows she is not supposed to touch. Again, I really feel that it may be seizure related...a restlessness that drives her to just go from thing to thing.

Gracie played the "hold my meds in my mouth and spit them out later" trick again this morning. I now have an additional gray hair or two.

Daycare was planning to take Gracie to the library today and she was very excited about this. She loves going to the library. I hope I get to hear all about it tonight.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Dentist

Gracie had a good day at back-up daycare. It was storytime when I picked her up and it was so much fun for me to walk in and see her sitting amidst all these other little kids on the floor enjoying the story. She gave me a big smile when she saw me, but I think she would have liked to have stayed for the rest of story time.

We headed right from daycare to the dentist. I was a little worried as she didn't take a nap. That is usually a sign of disaster. Not so. She was very tired, but she decided she would be the waiting area greeter and said "hi" a million times to anyone who came in, left, or just sat there. I realized that we need to work on getting her to understand the need for personal space as she would get right up into people's faces to say "hi" for the 10th time. Everyone was wonderful to her.

When the assistant came to get Gracie, she bonded with her immediately. She walked into the exam room with fish and turtles on the wall and marched right up to the dental chair and sat down like a big girl. I was so proud. She sat there all big and the assistant let her go up and down in the chair a few times -- big hit. Then the assistant left the room for a while and it got to be too long for Gracie. She kept asking about her and wanting to get down. I told her she would be back in a little bit. All of a sudden I looked at Gracie and she had big crocodile tears brimming her eyes and she was trying so hard not to cry. I asked her if she was sad and she said "no" as she continued to keep the tears at bay.

Gracie did a great job for the dentist too. She let her see her teeth this time around, but would not let her use the cleaning tool on them. The good news is that her teeth look good and seem to be healthy, despite the fact that she grinds them when she gets excited. No sign of wear yet. I was one proud mommy.

I forgot to mention that Gracie is sensitive to latex (i.e.: latex gloves) her cheeks were very red all of last night where the dentist had held her cheeks and chin during the exam. Oops...I'll remember next time.

We went home and had a snack, followed by supper. Gracie ate and ate and ate - some cheesy puffs and juice for a snack...then for supper she had a bowl of soup/stew, part of a bun, 1/2 an apple, 1/2 of a banana, 3 cookies, some applesauce and then later wanted some cake. Oh my.

Gracie was so tired she went to bed at 7:30 p.m. last night and was none to ready to get up at 6:00 a.m. this morning. She did have a restless night again, but not as bad as it has been. This morning we increased her seizure meds, so I'm hoping that might help. We'll see.

Today is a school day, so I have a feeling she will be tired again tonight.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Catching Up

Gracie had a good weekend and got to spend alot of time outdoors. She absolutely loved this. She even asked to swing, but it is a little too wet and soggy in the backyard yet. We also found out that Gracie has an absolute love of the band "Twisted Sister". She loves the song "I Wanna Rock" and goes to the computer and requests it over and over and over again and then dances and head bangs to it. It's really quite cute, but every time we go to capture it on video, she won't cooperate.

Yesterday Gracie had school and Jeff dropped her off and I picked her up as the baby at daycare is very sick and we don't want to have Gracie exposed. Gracie was very smiley when I picked her up. She didn't want much for lunch, but she did have applesauce as a snack at school and from the look of her face and shirt, not all of it made it in her mouth. :)

Gracie took a two hour nap yesterday and then we headed to the mall for just a bit. Gracie is growing and I needed some bigger basic black pants for her. We got those and on the way home she had a pretty big seizure in the backseat in her car seat. I think it was a pretty good thing she was sitting down, because I think this one could have knocked her down. So after the big jolt, she went into an absence seizure. I talked with her neurologist this morning and we are going to increase her meds, but due to the fact that Gracie seems to be needing more and more increases without as much weight gain, we are going to be doing a couple of blood tests after a week on the increase to check on blood levels and make sure there aren't any negative effects going on.

Gracie's streak of peaceful nights has ended. She has been very restless the last 3 or 4 nights and a little more defiant and aggressive with bites, hitting, and pinching. Thankfully this is still reserved for Jeff and I only. I do wonder if there is a correlation to this and her need for increased meds. I'm hoping once we increase, this will subside as well.

Gracie is at back-up daycare today and I will pick her up early to go to the dentist. We've been practicing saying "aahhhh" all week. Our last dentist (which was her first) visit was an absolute disaster, so I'm hoping this goes better. When I called to make the appointment, they told me they would like to do sealants on her teeth today. I about laughed out loud. I told them I didn't think that was going to happen. They told me they would give it a try. I'll let you know how this works out. Don't hold your breath!

This morning Jeff and I were telling Gracie something, I think it may have been that we needed to get her dressed or maybe it was her coat on. I don't remember for sure, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear her tell me "I don't wanna!" Her increasing ability to express herself is so good for her. I've been trying to work with her on telling me "I'm mad", instead of hitting or biting. We'll continue to work on that.

She is as loving as she can be as well. I can't tell you how many beautiful smiles, kisses, and hugs Jeff and I get through the day. It makes the more stressful time all worthwhile.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday/Friday - St. Patty's Day and More

Gracie had a great time at the library yesterday! Since it was St. Patrick's Day, they had an authentically dressed bagpipe player performing and Gracie loved the music. She also was so excited to participate in story time. I can't tell you how thrilled I am that she gets to participate in this kind of stuff. If it were possible for me to be a stay-at-home mom, I always envisioned myself taking my child to these kind of fun experiences. So even though I'm not that stay-at-home mom, she still gets to experience it. Gracie and her "big sis (8 yrs old)" at daycare drew a picture for us with leprechauns, shamrocks, and a rainbow. It was so cute and I'm told they had so much fun doing it together.

Gracie was in a good mood last night and for a treat (and since she has refused supper every night this week) I brought home food from McDonald's for supper. She took one look at the bag, got all excited, and exclaimed "chicken" as she ran to take the bag from me. She ate a yummy (if not healthy) supper of chicken nuggets, french fries with "boop" (that's what Gracie calls ketchup), and a fresh pear. She ate quite a bit. We snuck in a Shamrock Shake for daddy too.

Last night we went for a walk outside. Gracie was such a little trooper, she walked and walked and was having a great time. At one point she stopped, stooped down and looked at a muddy rock and I was sure she would pick it up, as was the practice last year. This year, she made me proud, she got in real close and said "Ick". :)

Usually when Gracie gets tired when walking she will asked to be held, but last night she went to lay on the sidewalk. Since they are wet and muddy, I caught her just in time and told her that she couldn't lay on the sidewalk. She looked up at me and said "nigh, nigh". I think she was just tired out and her legs had been working so hard. Daddy carried her the rest of the way home.

Gracie had a pretty good night and this morning she wanted to read through a baby magazine while we got ready. She just layed on her bed and looked through the magazine and a Dora book. I even let her have breakfast in bed - she thought that was funny.

We were in the car on our way to daycare this morning and I asked Gracie if she wanted to listen to music. My sweet girl responded "please" and smiled. And you all know, I smiled too!

Have a great weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday/Thursday - Daddy's Girl

Jeff has been picking Gracie up from daycare this week, so they have been able to spend some good quality time together. This also has turned Gracie into a major daddy's girl this week.

Gracie had school yesterday and got to be the weather helper. She also enjoyed singing "The Ants Go Marching". I'm sure she did, as we sing that one at home and march around the house. Gracie was sent home yesterday on the bus all dressed in her was almost 50 degrees when she went home. Gracie overheats very easily due to her seizure meds, she can't sweat like you and I, and when she arrived at daycare she was ready to explode from heat. The para on the bus even mentioned she was hot and that was something they know to look for. So I now wonder why she was left in her snowpants?

Gracie tried mightily to take a nap at daycare, but couldn't fall asleep. When Jeff picked her up she fell asleep in the van and continued to sleep for over an hour until Jeff woke her up. She readily ate her seizure meds, but wanted nothing to do with supper. This would be the third day in a row that supper was refused. I'm not too worried though, she is eating a good lunch and gets a snack of yogurt or applesauce with her meds. She's not wasting away by any means. I think she is actually coming off a growth spurt.

Gracie informed Jeff and I that she wanted to go "outside" last night. Jeff had a magic performance at Hope Lodge, so he had to leave, but I took her outside. Gracie was not happy at all that daddy wasn't coming on our walk with us. Suddenly she was the most tired girl in the world. She did walk most of the way, once I established that she would have to walk for a bit before she could be carried. She was quite observant and pointed out the dogs, the trees, a flag, and some birds. She was happy to be back home and we read books for the rest of the evening.

Daddy came home about 8:30 p.m., just as she was about to fall asleep. She was so happy to see him. She signed "home", then "smile", then "happy". And her smile was huge. She had a good night last night too.

This morning on our way to daycare we put in a new cd that daddy made for us. She was having a great time listening to the music and rocking out when a Bon Jovi song came on. She got all excited and made a big gasp of excitement. I was proud...maybe she is mommy's girl after all! :)

Today Gracie is dressed in a St. Patrick's Day shirt that says "Mommy's Lucky Charm" and that she is! Today at daycare they were planning a field trip to the library. She will love that.

So wear your green today...but get your purple ready for March 26th - National Purple Day. This day is set aside for Epilepsy Awareness.

Go have a green beer or a Shamrock shake and enjoy your day.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I was right! Gracie was a tired little girl last night. She had a fun day at daycare and even got to help make brownies. Gracie LOVES to help. She got to put sprinkles on them and everything. Yet, she was too tired to eat them last night. She didn't even want much of anything for supper. We have those days when she just isn't hungry at night. Perhaps her growth spurt is slowing down. I know she is outgrowing some of her clothes again. Or she is making up for eating everything in sight this weekend. :)

She talked to Aunt Cheryl on Skype for a bit, but decided that running around the house would be a good idea...I think it was more to keep herself awake than anything.

Gracie was in bed by 8:30 p.m. last night and it took her about two seconds to fall asleep. She had a great night, which means so did I. I've had a number of those lately and it feels so good.

This morning Gracie was in a very good mood. Jeff was in the bathroom brushing his teeth and gargling, while Gracie and I were snuggling in her room. Gracie was imitating the sounds that Jeff was making in the bathroom, it was hilarious.

Gracie will no longer drink milk of any kind for us or for daycare. Having talked with her pediatrician briefly, I'm trying to use other things to get calcium in her rapidly growing body. If all else fails, we'll start using a supplement, but I would rather not knowing that she can easily have constipation issues if not monitored and diet altered. So I have been giving her orange juice with lots of pulp and lots of calcium to drink. She loves it. This morning she told me she wanted juice, but not just any kind of juice, she told me she wanted "orange juice". It was pretty exciting that she could verbalize exactly what she wanted.

On the way to daycare Gracie read a catalog of all sorts of outdoor playsets. She loves this catalog and is constantly asking me "what's that?" Sometimes it's a slide, sometimes it's a girl. I always answer, she repeats what I say and then merrily continues to look through it.

The sun is shining today and I think there will be some outdoor play time.

Enjoy the sunshine.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Weekend

Gracie and Jeff had some good bonding time on Saturday. I went to a funeral (rest in peace Uncle Delphin) while Jeff stayed home with Gracie. They had a good day and Gracie was very good for daddy. They even went out on a field trip looking for strollers that have a 75 lb. weight capacity. Most only have a 50 lb. capacity and well with Gracie at 45 lbs. she has totally outgrown her stroller. We have her wheelchair of course, but we are looking for something that is light and easily folds up. We just needs something for when we are out and about and she tires of walking. We have found one we would like to order, but it is quite expensive. So we'll keep looking.

My sister Sheila and I travelled to the funeral together, so Gracie had some bonding time with Aunt Sheila when we returned. She was very happy to see her and share some snacks and some walks.

On Sunday, cousin Jason came to spend some time with us and Gracie was thrilled to see him. Although she took a three hour nap on Sunday afternoon, so slept up some of her play time with him. I knew I was going to be in trouble with her sleeping that long. With the time change and her long nap, she didn't fall asleep until close to 10:30 p.m. This from the girl who is usually in bed by 8:30 p.m. Aunt Sheila and Uncle Chris joined us for supper too. So Gracie was loving all of the attention and company.

Gracie was very tired this morning. I was feeling thankful that she doesn't have school today. On the way to daycare, she usually talks or sings or reads a book. Not today. She sort of sat there in a zombyish state. When I would whisper "Gracie are you asleep?" She would whisper back "no"! She livened up a bit when we got to daycare though. They were planning a little field trip this morning and this afternoon another little girl that Gracie loves to play with was going to come over to play. I think she is going to be a tired little girl tonight.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, March 11, 2011


Gracie passed the "coconut challenge" at the allergy clinic today!!!! Coconut can now be returned to her list of things she can eat. This is huge for a girl who eats coconut milk and ice cream for her calcium intake. Not to mention all the foods that have coconut oil in them.

She was as good as gold for the whole thing. The nurses and her doctor were great. It took 3-1/2 hours, but she was a trooper. One of the nurses even asked me if she was always this good. She amazes me with how she always comes through when we need her to in a social setting.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Good Week

Gracie is having a good week. She has been healthy and has been sleeping very peacefully. I cherish these nights and I've had at least 5 of them in a row! This makes for a happier mommy too! :)

On Monday, Gracie was the calendar and weather helper at school. Her teacher sent a note home that shared this information, so I asked Gracie about it. Oh my was she proud that she got to do this and when asked if she did a good job, I got an adamant "yes". School is also working with Gracie on either saying or signing "please" and then holding her hand out when she wants a toy that another child has. Gracie has always been one to just let another child take her toy and not do anything about it or to stand up for herself, so this is a great step in her development.

On Tuesday, Gracie was the only daycare kid at daycare, so her daycare mom, her 10 month old and Gracie went on a field trip...they went to the mall and played in the play area, they also visited daycare dad at work and got to have fun with all the other workers, and they got to eat out too. She came home with a big pink balloon that one of the mall workers gave to her. She LOVES this balloon. When we got home it was quite nice out, so I suggested we go for a walk. She would not go for it. I couldn't believe my little outdoor girl refused and wanted to go inside. She was sad that she didn't get to see daddy this evening. He has been working a conference with very long hours.

On Wednesday morning Gracie awoke at 3:45 a.m. and was wide awake. She did fall asleep for about 20 minutes, but then got up again and was ready for the day. It is no surprise that she took a 2-1/2 hour nap in the afternoon. She was a happy girl last night and was happy to see daddy come home. She also requested that we call "Russ" on Skype. So she got to see and talk with Uncle Russ and Aunt Cheryl last night.

Today she was going to go to an indoor play facility. Her little daycare pal is leaving daycare and today is her last day, so to make it special they were going to the indoor play gymn. Gracie will be the only daycare kid at daycare for a little while, so they are planning lots of outings and field trips. This is right up Gracie's alley...she is such a little social butterfly. I love all the one-on-one attention she is getting and they are working on counting, ABC's, and colors. There is alot of reading of books too. I think the library is on the list of upcoming outings.

Tomorrow we go to the clinic for Gracie's coconut challenge. This is where she will be fed small amounts of coconut milk yogurt and ice cream to see if her system can tolerate it. Gracie's allergy testing came back showing a very low rated allergy to coconut. Since this has been a big staple in her diet since she doesn't tolerate milk, it was suggested we undergo additional testing where she is monitored in the allergy clinic the whole time. So we are praying that she does not have an allergic reaction.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Weekend

Jeff worked all weekend, so Gracie and I got some good quality one-on-one time together. On Saturday we headed to Target in the morning, then picked up some lunch at McDonalds (one of the restaurants that are tree nut allergy friendly) and headed to work as I had forgot some meds there. When the drive through handed me the food they said "Have a Nice Day". The little mimic in the backseat then repeated that a few hundred times...all while smiling and being silly. We did stop and visit daddy for just a few minutes. Gracie asked about him all morning. Then back home where she took a 3 hour nap. That 3 hour nap worked to our advantage as Jeff didn't get home til close to her usual bedtime, but she was wide awake and they got some play time in.

On Sunday we watched mass on TV and Gracie was very into it...singing along and even doing a little dancing. Then we headed to the store to buy hand soap as I discovered all of ours has coconut in it...and Miss Grace is a soap eater. I also picked up a few summer clothes items for her. There was a solid color shirt in a number of color selections. I let her pick out which color she wanted and I was shocked that she picked out pink. Here I thought she would have to be in counseling when she was older because mommy always dresses her in pink.

On the way into the store, I was holding Gracie's hand and all of a sudden I felt her little lips kiss the top of my hand. The smile that followed was so sweet too. Ahhh, those are the precious moments that I cherish.

We ordered Gracie's Medical Alert bracelet this weekend. It was highly recommended that we get one for her nut allergies. We also added her seizure disorder to the info too.

All in all it was a good weekend. We hope you had a good weekend too.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, March 4, 2011

Thursday - Ear Appointment

Yesterday Gracie had her 6-month (actually more like 9 month) post-operative check on her ears from having ear tube removal surgery. Her ears have been fine, so I didn't expect any issues. I was kind of hoping they would say you're dismissed from our care. Well, her ears did look good for the most part, but her eustachian tubes aren't as flexible as they would like them to be, so we need to keep a watchful eye on her ears. We'll schedule another hearing test and follow-up in July and then decide if anything needs to be done or if we just need to keep a watchful eye on it.

We waited a long time for her appointment as they were pretty backed up, but Gracie was a trooper checking out all of the lobby computers, taking walks around the lobby area, and watching a show on TV that mommy didn't love her watching (Hannah Montana). She did good in the actual exam room and as we waited there she made a request of me...she said "sunshine"...she wanted me to sing "You are my sunshine".

Gracie is amazing me with her verbal skills, she is learning more and more new words and it just makes our life so much easier with her telling us what she wants and needs. Last night when Auntie Cheryl called us on Skype, Gracie went running to the refrigerator exclaiming "applesauce, applesauce"! Gracie thinks she needs to share a container of applesauce with Cheryl every time she calls. It's hilarious. She never forgets.

Gracie had a pretty good night again last night and woke up a pretty happy girl. Once again she got "cake" for bite of a brownie, one bite of applesauce laced with meds, one bite of brownie, one of bite of applesauce...well you get the picture.

Daddy has to work all weekend, so I'm thinking Gracie and mommy may have to go to the mall! :)

Have a great weekend.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday/Thursday - Happy Girl!!!

I've mentioned before how evenings are the hardest time for Gracie. It has been explained to us that she keeps everything together and is well-behaved at daycare and school, but by the time she gets home to us she can just let it all out - home is what she considers her safe place and we wouldn't have it any other way. This has gotten better as she gets older, but evenings have always been a little more difficult, some worse than others, some not all that bad at all.

Last night, however, was a huge treat! Happy girl Gracie was there all night. She was agreeable, playful, silly, talkative, and just plain fun ALL NIGHT LONG. Jeff and I just kept looking at each other in disbelief, yet cherishing every minute of it.

At 8:30 p.m. she announced she wanted to go "nigh, nigh" and she went right to sleep. She had a restful night and woke up happy again today. This morning she insisted upon "cake" for breakfast. Cake consists of a chocolate brownie. Yes, she got it...a little piece intermixed with applesauce and her seizure meds. She thought it quite funny when I would tell her she couldn't have another bite til she ate a bite of applesauce.

This afternoon we have her 6 month post-operative ear check (from having her tubes removed). I foresee no issues. Her ears have been doing great. I have no question that she hears fine.

Have a great day!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Allergy Test Results Are In!

Gracie is healthy again. She still has a crazy cough, but it's productive and we were told to plan on it lasting for 3 - 4 weeks. I also came down with the crazy virus, so I was going to bed at night at the same time she was, therefore no blog updates. Sorry. Last night Gracie had an awesome night. She had such a peaceful sleep and slept the whole night through. That was pure bliss. She awoke with a big smile this morning.

Yesterday, Jeff, Gracie, and I met with an allergist regarding Gracie's recent anaphylactic reaction to a cashew. Gracie was so good, other than wanting to touch everything in the room. We loved the allergist, who is now considered a member of "Team Gracie"! He gave us so much great information, resources, and then ordered a blood draw to test to see what Gracie is and isn't allergic to. He also indicated we needed to have two epi pens in all locations for Gracie as one many times doesn't do the trick on it's own. So we now have two at daycare, two at school, two at home, and two that travel with Gracie wherever she goes.

Daycare, school, the bus staff have all been so awesome about learning how to use the epi pen, going through snacks to make sure nothing is given to Gracie that she shouldn't have. It is so heartwarming to see everyone pull together and do what is needed to keep our sweet little girl safe.

I just received a call with the allergy results (drum roll please) and she is extremely, extremely, over the top of their ranking allergic to cashews and pistachio nuts. Her tests also came in with a medium allergic response to all other tree nuts (walnuts, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, etc.) She had a very low allergic response level to coconut, yet their is a positive allergy result. Since we rely heavily on coconut milk yogurt and ice cream as part of Gracie's daily diet, we have decided to go back to the allergy clinic to have a monitored observation of coconut milk yogurt. This is where they give her small amounts at a time and monitor for any reactions. That will help us to know whether we need to eliminate this totally from her diet or if she can continue to have coconut. The bottom line here is Gracie cannot have TREE NUTS.

We also got some good news. Gracie is not allergic to peanuts, so peanut butter is back in the picture for her and she is not allergic to milk. She continues to have an intolerance to it, but it is not a full out allergy. So I have this little hope that one day she may be able to tolerate milk products again.

Once again feeling blessed to be surrounded by a great team of professionals at the clinic, at school, and at daycare.

Lisa, Jeff, & Gracie