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