Monday, February 27, 2012

The Antibiotics are Working

Gracie is finally starting to feel better.  The antibiotics are finally starting to kick in.  Her nose continues to run and she ran a slight fever on Saturday night again.  She had a very lazy Sunday morning.  She was happy, but didn't really want to do anything other than lay on her bed and read books or look at magazines.  She absolutely hates taking the antibiotics and I think they make her tummy not feel great too. 

By Sunday afternoon, Gracie had had enough of staying home.  She wanted to go "bye-bye".  I'm still not ready to take her anywhere that she can pick up more germs and the wind was just too cold to take her outside, so we all got in the van, cranked up the tunes, and went for a drive.  She LOVED it!!!  Because she hasn't had much of an appetite at all, I suggested we stop at McDonalds for an ice cream cone.  That was met with a HUGE smile.  She ate every morsel of that ice cream cone and asked for more.  She didn't get more, but seemed okay with that answer.  Of course, that filled her up enough that she wanted no part of supper.  I really didn't care.  It seemed to do wonders for her mood. 

Gracie was so tired last night, that I was surprised when she awoke at 3:00 a.m. and was wide awake.  She finally fell back to sleep at 4:00 a.m. and then didn't want to wake up when it was time to get ready for school.  It took her a while to get moving, but was happy when she did. 

Speaking of school, we're currently working on transitioning Gracie to a different pre-school class that has a few differences than what she is in now.  We have a meeting with her new teacher and the lead teacher for Early Childhood Special Education tomorrow.  Our plan is to have her start on Monday of next week.  More details on that soon.  Jeff and I are very excited about this change. 

And in closing, Gracie said to something to me this weekend that I have been waiting to hear for a couple of years and it just made me smile.  She took a spoon out of my hand that was stirring some of her food and she said "Gracie do it!"  She's becoming quite independent and I love it!!!!

The other event from the weekend was I cleaned out our refrigerator.  It needed it badly, but the reason it was done this weekend is that Gracie wanted to help take out a pitcher of orange Koolaid out of the fridge, but it wasn't shut tight and half of the pitcher went all over the refrigerator.  I think I got my floor's scrubbed a couple months back with a similar scenario.

Have a great week!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, February 23, 2012

An Ear Infection

On Tuesday, Gracie had a very rough day at school.  She did good in the afternoon at daycare and was happy for Jeff on the way home.  The minute she walked in the door at home, I knew her day had not gone well.  She cried and screamed for just about two hours straight.  We just walked and held her, but that wasn't enough to console her.  I even put her in the bathtub, the great equalizer for Gracie, and that did not help.  After the crying and screaming, she was so tired and worn out, but was still incredibly restless and couldn't fall asleep.  Her only request was to be "bounced".  This means we hold her and just that bounce her up and down.  This would have been fine, but she was so restless, that she would push against me as if to reposition herself, but she would do it constantly and well at 57 lbs., I can't hold her with the extra weight of her pushing back and constantly moving. I believe it was an act of God that we finally got her to take her seizure meds as she wouldn't eat or drink anything.  She even refused her beloved bubble gum flavored ibuprofen. 

Gracie finally agreed to let Jeff "bounce" her for a while and she did fall asleep on him, but she continued to be restless and would constantly wake up.  She slept like this from 10:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m., when she awoke and was still incredibly restless and upset.  She again wanted to be "bounced".  I can't tell you how close I was to taking her to the "ER".  Something was wrong, but I had no clue what.  We checked her body over for tenderness or problems and all seemed to be fine, no tenderness anywhere.  We had just been to the clinic for her ears two days prior and they checked out fine, so I didn't think it was an infection.  I finally got her to take some ibuprofen at 2:45 a.m. and she fell asleep at 3:00 a.m. as she sat upright on me as we rocked in the rocking chair downstairs.  I think the coolness of downstairs, the change of scenery, and the ibuprofen all helped to calm her.  I rocked her as she slept until 4:00 a.m. and then I carried her to bed where she slept until 7:00 a.m.  She awoke and to my relief was doing much better. 

As soon as the clinic opened, I made an appointment with her pediatrician.  When I told her we were going to see Dr. Deb, she told me she wanted to "see nurses".  What a little goofball.  Well she got to see nurses and Dr. Deb.  She indeed has an ear infection and more than likely a sinus infection.  So we started her on antibiotics yesterday evening and she had a much better night last night.  Although she still woke up grumpy and you can tell she isn't feeling perfect.  I did send her to daycare and she wanted to go.  I chose not to have her go to school.  Under the circumstances, I just didn't feel it was worth it for anyone involved to send her to school where it would be overwhelming for her not feeling well and for those who had to deal with an overwhelmed, not feeling well Gracie. 

I did talk with the Early Childhood Special Education coordinator yesterday and shared my concerns about school and how it really is overwhelming for Gracie right now.  We're going to meet tomorrow and discuss some options.  One of which might be to move Gracie to a different program with a smaller student count.  We'll also talk through plans for next year, as we've chosen not to send Gracie to kindergarten, but keep her in preschool for another year. 

On a fun note, Jeff and I are hearing alot of "I love you, mommy" and "I love you, daddy" from Gracie these days.  We're getting lots of spontaneous hugs and kisses too.  All are heart melters for sure.  She's been very talkative lately too and is singing songs or parts of songs on her own.  Yesterday at the clinic I went to throw a kleenex away in an outdoor trash can and she began singing the Oscar the Grouch rendition of "I love trash!"  That cracked me up. 

Oh and Auntie Sheila....Gracie hates her antibiotics and last night spit them out.  This morning I used the trick you used to use with your kiddos...marshmallows.  It worked!!!!  A little squirt of antibiotics, a marshmallow, a little squirt of antibiotics, a marshmallow.  :)

Oh and on an unrelated note...remember how I mentioned in a past blog that Gracie is out growing all her clothes...well she lost 2-1/2 does that work?  She must be getting taller.  She wouldn't cooperate for getting her height checked yesterday, so I'm anxious to see how tall she is.  I keep telling Jeff that her legs look longer.

Stay healthy!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fever is Gone, Cough Continues

Gracie's fever remained through Friday and on Saturday she was finally fever free.  That's about the time her nose started draining and it hasn't stopped.  She has quite the cough too.  On Sunday, she kept pulling at her ears and when I asked she said they hurt and that she wanted medicine.  Of course, she loves medicine!  We ended up taking her in to Express Care to see if she had an ear infection.  She did not, but they indicated her ears were very red and irritated. 

Gracie was so excited to get out of the house after being cooped up for a week.  When we put her in the van, she had the biggest smile and kept clapping her hands.  She was Miss Social when she visited with the doctor.  When it was time to leave, she didn't want to.  To make the outing fun and since she hasn't had a very big appetite, we stopped at McDonalds and got her an ice cream cone.  She ate every little morsel.  Then when we drove the van into the garage at home, she got very upset as she wanted to "drive" more.  So Jeff and Gracie drove around the city listening to tunes while I went grocery shopping.  I didn't want to take her in the store with so many viruses going around right now, she has a tendency to pick them all up. 

On Monday, Gracie went back to daycare and she was happy to see all of her friends.  She was in such a good mood.  She still has a lot of nasal drainage, but it's good it's coming out.  She came home with a big bag of Valentine's cards and gifts.  Gracie was in a very good mood last night, although she was tired. It took her about two seconds to fall asleep and she slept the whole night through without waking up.  It's been a long, long, long time since that has happened.  I even had to wake her up this morning.   She was in a great mood this morning and had hugs for everybody at daycare.  She is back to school today, so I hope that went well.

Gracie had a reduced appetite last week, but that didn't stop her from growing.  I tried 3 pairs of pants on her yesterday morning before we found some that fit.  It's really hard to find pants that fit her right now.  She's so long waisted, add to that she is still wearing a pull-up, and she is into big girls sizes now (7/8) and they cut them low.  Time to shop!

Have a great week!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Nasty Little Virus

Gracie has been sick all week.  She has a nasty little virus with fever, chills, and a pretty nasty, yet productive cough.  She gave us quite a scare yesterday morning.  She had done well through the night, but when I got up in the morning to take a shower, Jeff layed in bed with her.  Pretty soon there was a knock at the bathroom door and there was definitely something wrong with her, she was visibly shaking (her teeth were even chattering), her breathing was terribly labored, and she was burning up.  So we gave her some ibuprofen, I wrapped her in a big fleece blanket and held her for over an hour before she finally stopped shaking.  Her breathing continued to be labored for a while after that.  It was a little reminiscent of when she had pneumonia a couple of years ago.  We were contemplating taking her to the E.R. when she finally stabilized.  The rest of her day was pretty good. 

Jeff and I have been taking turns staying home with her and he is with her today.  Her temp was up to 100 again this morning and she was feeling pretty funky, but the magical ibuprofen has now brought it down again.  I'll be home with her tomorrow and I'm hoping we can get her healthy.

On a fun note we have some mini-valentines cupcakes at home and whenever I give her one or two she tells me it's a party!  :)  She hasn't had a very big appetite...but that's not a surprise.  We're just forcing the fluids.

Stay healthy.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Rought Times at School

Gracie, Jeff, and I had a great weekend together just hanging out and having fun.  Gracie loves family time when we are all three together. 

On Monday, Jeff and I took the day off of work to install a ceiling fan in Gracie's room (Jeff to do the work and me for moral support).  This gave me the luxury to take Gracie to school and pick her up.  She has been having a really rough time at school, so I wanted to see what me dropping off and picking up would add to the equation, as well as it would give me the opportunity to talk to her team at school.  Gracie was in a great mood until it was time to leave me and then she had a mini meltdown.  We were able to get her to go with the rest of her class, but she had a rough time and most of her morning was spent in tears.  When I went to pick her up, I found her sitting on one of the para's lap in tears.  She didn't want her coat on, she didn't want anything.  I got down on the floor to talk to her and after a few minutes she cheered up.  Then as we headed to the car, she saw the bus and thought she had to ride it and immediately fell to the floor in a meltdown.  I talked her up from that and we headed to the car.  That afternoon after nap time, we did some role playing with her playhouse and family figurines.  Suzy "the little girl" told Gracie how she sometimes gets sad at school and we had a great time role playing.  That night Gracie had a horribly restless night.  She awoke at least 20 times and just tossed and turned all night long.

On Tuesday morning, I asked Gracie if she could try to be "a little bit happy" at school.  She thought she could.  She was in a great mood otherwise.  Well she had a much better day at school.  Not perfect, but better than she has had in a while.  When she got to daycare, her friend Ana brought cupcakes in for her birthday and her mom found some that were made in a nut free facility.  THANK YOU!!!!!  They are nearly impossible to find and cupcakes are Gracie's most favorite food in the world (besides chicken).  She had a great day at daycare and was in a very good mood last night.

Last night we increased Gracie's evening dose of seizure meds.  She had the best night sleep she has had in weeks!!!  Usually up at 5:00 a.m., I had a hard time waking her at 6:30 a.m.  She was in a great mood upon waking and told me she wanted to go see Miss Alyssa (her teacher at daycare).  On the way to daycare I asked her if she could be a "little bit happy" at school again today and she thought she could.  I then said, "you know Gracie, you can be alot a bit happy at school too, how about trying that?"  She wouldn't commit to that.  I just heard from school and she had a great day!!!!  I am so thankful for the school team I am working with through all of Gracie's transition difficulties.  They have her best interests at heart. 

I'm hoping for a great rest of the week.

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Crazy Week

It's been a crazy week at our house:

Monday:  I received a call from school mid-morning that Gracie had thrown up, was in the office, and needed to be picked up.  When I went to pick her up, she seemed a little too happy for a girl with the flu.  The first thing she asked me for was juice.  When we got home she went to the freezer and pulled out chicken nuggets and told me she wanted them.  While they were cooking she proceeded to eat anything she could get her hands on.  She was more mellow all day and had a little more gas than usual, but seemed happy enough and with an appetite.  I'm not sure what caused the vomiting.  I do know she had been outside at recess and had gone sledding down a hill, but would only do it once.  Perhaps that was too much for her tummy.  Who knows!

Tuesday & Wednesday:  Gracie had some very rough days at school and was just not herself.  She was outright refusing to do things, very unhappy, and on Wednesday she screamed and cried for mommy and daddy and it took school staff 20 minutes to calm her.  Her teacher is on an extended leave of absence and I think it was just too much for our little one who loves her routine to handle.  I am so thankful to school staff who reached out to me so we could talk through the behaviors and perhaps try some different techniques.  One of which is using a Mickey Mouse figurine (Gracie's most favorite toy) for her to move from one activity to another.  They also now have a substitute teacher in place, so I think a new routine will be made.  Once she would get to daycare, she would go off in a corner by herself for awhile before she would eat lunch and engage with the other children.  Daycare is a good place for her that she is enjoying immensely.  On Wednesday she got to listen to the ocean in a big seashell and she LOVED that.  She also got to hold a shark's tooth which she thought was great. 

On Thursday morning at 3:25 a.m., Gracie had a seizure.  It was fairly short, but she did struggle for breath and she did stop breathing for a short time.  She came out of it fine, but I do contribute it to the stress of her previous days.  She's not quite at the weight where we would give her next med increase (we're a 1-1/2 pounds away), so I have a message into her neurologist to see what we want to do.  Gracie seemed to have a better day on Thursday and she did great at daycare in the afternoon.  She even ate soup using a spoon all by herself!!!!!  Her teacher at daycare videotaped it and Jeff has gotten to see it, but I haven't yet.  I'm told she was very proud and all smiles.  She was in an absolutely great mood last night and it didn't hurt that we stopped and got food from McDonalds for supper.  She ate and ate and ate.  I'm convinced she is growing again.  Many of her pants are starting to get short. 

Friday (today):  Gracie woke up at 4:20 a.m. and told me she was awake...and she was!  As much as I tried to help her go back to sleep, she was truly awake.  So we got up and played.  She was in a great mood at daycare and as I was talking to her teacher this morning, I got to watch her interact with another little girl that was there.  It was so much fun.  The both were holding stuffed animals and the other little girl was singing and talking and Gracie was following her around with a big smile on her face.  All seemed right with the world.

Have a great weekend!

Lisa, Jeff, and Gracie