Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Enjoying my presents

I got some good things on Christmas Day. Books to read and toys to play with and learn with. I've been enjoying playing with all of it this week. Mommy only lets me have some of it at a time so I don't get tired of it all.

Grandpa J got me a great big bag of color balls, and they are fun! Mommy put the gate up in the hallway and closed all the doors so I could just push them all over and they couldn't get away. I played with them for a LONG time!

Here's a little movie of me playing with my color balls too.

I also got some drums to play with in the bath tub, and I figured out how to do them the first time I played with them! Here's another little movie to show you.
(Mommy note: There is a pretty impressive minute in there for us...she "got it" about the drums in a way we didn't expect. Can you tell what it was??)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

2008 Christmas #2

We had more Christmas today! This morning we got up and had some presents to open from some very nice ladies at Daddy's work. Since we didn't have presents at our house until these, it was fun to get up and have something to open! Isn't that super sweet of them?? I got a very fun puzzle that will be good for me to practice with. It has animals on it!!

Then we got dressed and ready to go to Grandma C's house. I played in the paper for a while, and that was tons of fun!

Then Mommy said it was time to go have even MORE Christmas! I couldn't believe it!

I told Belle all about it, but she just stayed home and napped.

I got some fun books and toys, and they'll all help me to learn and get stronger. And there was plenty of Elmo!! It was fun after it was over, but I didn't feel like opening the presents myself. I played with them later after things were quieter though.

Here's me and Shaylin. We only have a few weeks left to be THE cousins. My mommy and Shay's mommy are both having babies in February, so we'll have to share with them next year.

Shay got this cool chair, but she let me use it to watch some shows while the big people played games. I needed some quiet time and then I felt better.

Thanks for all my nice presents, Grandma and Grandpa!! And Santa and Uncle Ethon and Miss Cheryl too!
I hope you all had a good Christmas, or two!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2008 Christmas #1

Today we went to Grammy and Papa's house. Everyone was there again, just like back on Turkey Day. We got there and played some games before everyone else got there. I played with some fun toys that Grammy had. Mommy and Daddy played with the other kids and Papa some game about words.

Everyone laughed alot today, and I didn't like that. Sometimes people laughing alot bothers me and makes me cry. Today I didn't feel very good, and it upset me a few times when they all got silly and loud. Daddy and Belle tried to make me happy again.

We had a yummy lunch, but I only took one tiny bite of smashed potatoes and then I was "Done!" I took a nap while everyone else opened presents. It took a long time, but there was some good stuff. Papa got the most presents, and that was a pretty big deal! I got some neat things, like a REALLY big book! Kinlee even got presents, but she couldn't open them, so Mommy and Daddy did it. We got home, and I'm going to bed early!

Tomorrow we go to Grandma C and Grandpa J's house for more fun times.

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mommy report: Kick the sick!

Well, we're on day 12 of this crazy cough, cold, icky stuff. Braska's first cold, and it's lasting this long? I think there's more to the story. Since she developed a rash yesterday to go along with the rest of the stuff, I took her in to the pediatrician today, and the verdict is a sinus infection to start with. Then the rash is a strep rash, but the strep test came back negative. Many of you know that sometimes these goofy kids of ours can trick the strep tests and carry it to others without actually showing all the signs, like fever, themselves. So we're treating for sinus infection and strep, and hopefully this will prove to begin the end of this. I'm hoping that her getting better will mean I can finally start to get over my side of things too.

So we'll be hanging out for another couple of days and hoping that by the time we need to head down to my parents on Wednesday we will all be well down the path toward being all better.

Merry Christmas!

Moving a little faster

I've been working on crawling for a long time. I just don't see why everyone wants me to do it. I can scoot around pretty quick, so why bother, right? But I've been trying it out for a while, just a little at a time.

Last night, Mommy caught me coming down the hallway from my room. She thought I had been making it faster than usual when I went down there to play, so she went to see what I was doing. Take a peek at my new little movie!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm an UP girl!

Me and Mommy are still sick. Can you believe how long it's been?? I hope it's done soon. We've been mostly just resting and napping and playing some too. Here's a couple pictures from the last few days.

I'm having lots of fun standing up and playing with stuff that's not on the floor. Everyone says that it's good for me to help my legs get strong. My PT brought me a fun thing that I like to practice my steps with. I can go all the way down the hall with some help. I get to borrow it to practice for a couple weeks.

And I'm learning to get up on other things too, like the gate to the kitchen. Sometimes it is to keep Belle in there, and sometimes it's to keep me out! But I figured out today that I could hold on to it and stand up.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grammy!

Today's Grammy's birthday! She went home yesterday after coming to help us for a couple days since Mommy and I have been sick. We had a good time reading and playing and taking baths. I didn't even yell when she cleaned out my nose! She must just know how to do it right!

We didn't take any pictures, isn't that silly!?!

Have a good birthday, Grammy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tubs can be fun without water!

Today me and Mommy are hanging out at home. Daddy went to play cards with the guys back at our old town, but since we weren't feeling good we didn't get to go. I've had alot of stuff coming out of my nose, and it makes me grouchy. And I learned that when I'm grouchy, Mommy can get grouchy too. So we thought we better not go with Daddy this time.

Miss Julie, Jack's mom, brought me some medicine yesterday that works good for Jack, and it's helping me. Thank you Miss Julie!!!

This morning I went down the hall to my room, but I found out that the door to the bathroom was open, so I went in there instead. Mommy came looking for me when she heard me talking in there, and she found me. She must have thought it was good because she went to get the camera real quick.

The reason it's good is because I can't usually get up by myself. She even sat me back down and told me to do it again, so I showed her how I stood up all by myself!

I always like to play at the tub when Mommy puts me there while she's getting my bath ready. So I just thought I'd go play even though I already had my bath today.

And I always do my best side-steps when I'm at the tub, not at the couch like we practice. So while Mommy was watching, I just decided to show off how good I'm getting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Standing and splashing

Today I practiced standing alot. I'm working on helping my legs get stronger so I can walk by myself soon. I was a little grouchy though, maybe because my teeth hurt some, so I just did little bits at a time.

My friends Amber and Katelyn gave me these fun tables to play with, and Mommy put them close to each other so I could go from one to the other. It takes me a while, but I am getting better.

I also practiced my standing and sitting today, and I'm getting so much faster! Look at me go!

Then tonight I took a bath and Daddy helped me wash my hair. He is so silly, and he made me look silly too!

Mommy report: IFSP meeting 12/08/08

It's that time again... time to look at what we've accomplished and where we're headed. Or I should say what BRASKA'S accomplished, since I'm not working all that hard, but she IS.

Let me back up for the sake of those who are newer to this fun of acronyms. IFSP is the individualized family service plan that is initially done with a kid enters the EI (Early Intervention) system, normally soon after birth for kids with special needs. Every 6 months, or when a change needs to be made sooner (OR when you change states), it is reviewed and updated. This goes on from birth to the 3rd birthday. In our experience, it has included the service coordinator--who keeps everything in line and organized regarding all our services/therapies needed, the various therapists and service providers, and the parent(s). We basically walk through the various therapy categories relating to the goals that we set 6 months ago, discussing how she has done, what goals she's met, what she needs to work on now, and then specifying what goals to set for this next period.

We moved to Missouri right after Braska was 18 months, so it works out nicely now that her meetings fall close to her birthday and half-birthday. I like things nice and neat like that.

So Monday afternoon was the big day. I don't really fear these meetings like some seem to, but it's not like it's fun either. I like our team, so it's not their fault. It's just sometimes hard to sit down and plot out what you want your kid to accomplish in the next 6 months. And I knew that some goals would not change from the last 6 months, in our case. Thanks to Little Miss Refuse-to-Eat. In attendance were Miss C (best service coordinator ever!), the OT, PT, and ST(By the way, that's occupational, physical, and speech therapy...all the letters...), and the nutritionist. Oh yeah, and I was there too. Of course, they always sit on the floor! Come on, people, why do I have sofas and why did I clear them of laundry and toys?!? Silly girls. They humored me and sat on the sofas. Aren't they nice?

Overall, it went well. I was pleased that everyone seemed to largely be on the same page as far as what we're looking at for the next few months, and they were very cool about the changes I wanted to make. I won't go into great detail. If you're interested in the goals, I can add more on them when I get the official copy of the updated IFSP in a few weeks. But I'll just give you an idea of what we're aiming for and what we changed or tweaked.

Kiddin' Around-- This is a new thing for us. We actually went on Monday morning and observed; well, actually we got to sit in for a bit of class. It's what I call pre-preschool, for kids that are 2 and receive some kind of EI services (if I understand it right), but there are a variety of issues. There were 5 kids there, though the teacher told me they would be getting 4 or 5 more in January when Braska starts. Her buddy, Jack, is one of those...and we're very excited that they're "starting school" together. One of the little girls in the class now has DS, and she's adorable, of course. Quite a live wire too. So there will be at least 3 of 10, and that seems cool to me. Side note: Since we live only blocks from Jack and he's just less than a month older than Braska, I'm hoping that they can go through school together. That would be so cool for a kid of mine, since I never went to the same school for more than 3 years. Anyway, KA is a weekly class, I think for a couple hours, and the teacher, Miss A, seems very nice. Since we'll be adding this weekly, and due to Kinlee's impending arrival, we decided to make some other adjustments to the schedule. Braska will start KA at the beginning of January, and from what we saw for the short while we were there on Monday, I think she's going to like it. She liked sitting in the circle in her chair and singing songs. She picked up on the Hooray! parts like a pro. And the romper room....it's like toddler heaven in the form of a colorful, cool playroom! I feel good about it fitting well into what we're working on with her now, and I like Miss A's approach to the few things we chatted about.

PT--This has been weekly, and we're keeping it that way. Braska has very low muscle tone, even for a kid with DS, so she has to work VERY hard at gross motor skills like crawling, standing, and taking steps. This is probably her most difficult element. She's just getting to where she will cruise a little at the couch, more at the bathtub. She loves to take steps when she's holding our hands, but she's not strong enough to hold it together to stand or step on her own. She'll get there, but we'll keep working hard in the meantime. She tries hard...it just takes so much more effort than it seems like it should for her. Braska likes her PT very much, so that helps alot.

ST--This has been weekly for about the last year or so. As many of you know, this is Braska's strength, in my opinion, and I think the pros would agree. She understands instructions and minds them, for the most part, and she is loving adding more verbal communication every day. Since we know that right now she is very self-motivated, we are going to back off to every other week. This will help me in easing the schedule, and we do not feel it will harm her at all at this point. We'll continue all the work we do at home on these things, which is quite a bit of reading, singing, and practicing words, sounds, and letters. And the ST sessions will focus on labeling (like pointing at a picture of milk when asked which is the milk) and working on two-word combinations. Miss J has some good ideas of what to do for our next steps, so I think Braska will continue to do well, even with the change in schedule.

OT--This has been weekly, and it has varied alot. Our OT in C-U was also kind of our PT for the first year of Braska's life and helped her through sitting, and transitioning to sitting, and working on crawling. Once we came here, our first OT was all about feeding, which was what our goals were for that area. When we changed to our current OT, the approach changed, and it has been more about interacting with food but not so much eating. Braska's never had much focus on fine motor in the "classic" sense, and she's not making any great strides in feeding, so I decided that I wanted to let go of the food element for now and go with more of the fine motor in a play-based environment. Her issues with feeding are less about sensory problems with food and more behavioral. Plainly, she's stubborn!! Well, that might only be 95% of it, but still. The cool thing with scheduling OT is that our OT is based in the same facility location as KA, so she is going to see her for sessions there during KA every other week. I think that's wonderful, and I think Braska will probably respond favorably to that change. It will ease up our schedule too. Big thanks to the OT for doing that!

Nutrition--We've been seeing the nutritionist every other week for a few months, and she works on introducing foods and feeding. Braska cooperates pretty well considering her history, but it's slow going for sure. We're going to keep it the same for now and continue this part of her feeding work. Honestly, we are just not worried about this. She will get it. It may take watching kids at school and her little sister eat and enjoy yummy food to get her to take an interest. And that's fine. We're definitely at a no-stress point with the feeding thing. It's exhausting to make it a big deal. It will come. I've no doubt. In the meantime, it takes all of 5 minutes to feed her and there's no mess. What's to complain about?!?

So there you have it....that's the important part of the meeting. It was interesting to look back over the IFSP from June and see how type A I was, and then to note how nonchalant I am about this stuff now. Life changes, priorities change, and the kid's needs change. We're alot more laid back now, and I like it. Miss C did make mention of the transition meeting in the spring. What?? Do we have to talk about that already?? Actually, I tease her, but I'm not so worried about it. I've got faith in this bunch to get us where we need to go, and I like that we have a few options about frequency for when she starts preschool next fall after the transition on her 3rd birthday. We'll deal with that later... For now, I feel good about the goals we came up with, the plan for the next few months, and Braska's progress.

Oh yeah, and I did let them know that we'd probably be off a few weeks in February when we're trying to figure out how to have 2 girls to deal with. I've gained a bit of wisdom since planning only a few days off when I had Braska! Ha...little did I know...

If you have questions about any of this, feel free to ask!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Picture catch-up, November

These are some pictures that I didn't get put up when we took them. So I'll just put a bunch of them up for you to see.

I borrowed Daddy's hat because it matched my dress pretty good!

Don't you think it looks better on me???

We went for a quick visit with Miss Jessie and our friends at her church. Miss Melanie is so nice and she always reads my stories, so I showed her how good I'm getting at practicing steps. We all went to lunch together and it was pretty fun to play with the boys at Miss Jessie's house after.

For Thanksgiving, we went to Grammy and Papa's house. It was a nice day, and I just played around on the floor alot. We call it "chilling out." I made some funny faces when Mommy tried to take pictures.

The next day, we went back to the kids hospital so I could do another test. This time we got the nice lady who doesn't hurt me when she takes my blood. Daddy went with us this time and we got to look out the big high-up window by where we parked the car. I just love the wind!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My new old friend

Yesterday me and Mommy went on a little trip and came home with Belle. Remember our little dog when we lived in our old house? Well, I don't really remember her very good, and so I was pretty scared of her. Yesterday I didn't want to play on the floor or anything, but today we are doing ok. She just leaves me alone, pretty much, so it's ok.

This morning Mommy and Daddy fixed our back door so that Belle has her own that we don't have to open for her. It's pretty funny when Belle goes through it, but she doesn't like it yet. It's a little different than the one at her last house. She's getting better, but I'm trying to help her practice.

Here's me showing her that it's a happy thing to use her little door.

And then I showed her where to go out.

She will figure it out one of these days soon.

I'm trying to catch up on pictures, so there should be a bunch soon!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Digging for goodies

The OT came today to see me. I've had a couple of weeks off, so this was the day to remember what to do. First we did some really messy stuff with food colors that I got on my face and p-jammies. But then she gave me a box with rice in it that I liked to throw on the floor. There were little things hidden in there.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More birthday pics

There are so many good pictures from my birthday that we decided to put a few together to share in one spot. Remember, you can click on the picture to make it bigger to see better.

Thanks to everyone who got me nice things and sent birthday cards! I had so much fun with all those envelopes!!