Thursday, August 27, 2009

OT visit

We saw Kira's OT today. It was a great visit and I can't believe we only have 3 more. I'm just going to bullet point, so I won't forget anything.

-I mentioned the suggestion we rec'd from the clinic OT re: pushing golf tees into styrofoam to work on hand strength. She thought it was a good idea and also suggested using playdoh.

-She also suggested hiding small things in balls of playdoh (small pegboard pegs, buttons, etc) and then letting Kira try to dig them out. Jackson played with it while we were working on other stuff and L varied the activity by asking him to do it with his eyes closed. It's an activity that works on both hand strength and cognitive/memory skills - pretty cool.

-We've been working with putting things like crayons, q-tips, etc into a shampoo bottle - to help Kira practice the hand positioning she'll need for writing. L wants to take it further by having Kira pour the items back out in a more controlled fashion and use her opposing hand to catch and then pull the item out, rather than just pouring everything back out onto the floor. She suggested working on this in the bathtub by putting counting bears and water into the bottle and letting Kira pour it back out - catching the bears as they come out.

-She suggested getting some flat stringing beads - or making some out of heavy cardboard or thick foam (I have a salt dough recipe that I think I'm going to try - I'll post if it works). Kira totally gets stringing the bead onto the needle and that she needs to pull the needle through, but she always ends up pulling the needle and the string coming out of the other side of the bead and not the bead itself. L thinks if we have totally different beads she might get past that. She pointed out that stringing beads is a three step process that is similar to the skill set Kira will need for buttoning.

-We need to keep encouraging Kira to do activities with her left hand. I swear she came out of the womb right-handed, she always leads with her right hand and stabilizes things with her left. L wants to make sure that her left hand is doing as well as her right.

I think that's about it. We discussed the clinic and a little bit more about our upcoming transition. Overall, a really enjoyable hour!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


We ended up on some mailing list that resulted in a catalog of children's Halloween costumes arriving yesterday. Jackson is sitting on the couch with his dad circling the ones he's interested in. Every so often he comes in here to ask me, "Mom, do you think you can make this one?"

Here he is last year. He was Glutterman - a superhero of his own creation.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

100 and 22

Ok, this really is my 100th post! And 22 is the final tally on the number of wasp stings Jackson ended up with yesterday. Yes, really, 22 wasp stings.

While I was outside hanging out the laundry, Jackson and Kira were playing in the yard. They started trekking through a flower bed area that has tall ground cover grassy stuff. All of a sudden, Jackson started screaming "OWW OWW OWW", I turned around and he was in a cloud of wasps. I ran over to him, knocked the one off that was still on him, grabbed him and Kira and ran into the house. I can't believe Kira didn't get stung; she was only about a yard away from him.

I started slapping baking soda and water all over him and gave him a dose of ibuprofen. I had to call the dr to find out what dosage of benadryl to give him. All the while, I am freaking out internally. What if he had been allergic? 22 stings!!

Final tally:
17 stings on his leg
2 on his back
1 on his arm
1 on his hand
1 on his face

Poor baby! He kept saying, "I wish I didn't walk through there!" I asked him if his leg felt like fire and he said, "I don't know what fire feels like." Good point.

I was amazed at how he handled, though. It had to have hurt like hell, but he quit crying after about 10 minutes. He hung out in a benadryl induced haze and watched tv all day. I think the only time the stings bothered him was when Kira would pat them while trying to mother him.

Needless to say, they aren't going back into the backyard until we bomb the holy living out of it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I'm tearing up every time I see my Ted post, so I need to get something else up here. How 'bout some random?

- Things that crack me up: The little password thingies that Google puts up when you comment on someone's blog. I swear I'm going to make up definitions for them some day. Also, the suggestions blogger's spellcheck gives me. What? couponing, scrumbled, and whatcha aren't real words?

- Jackson and I were reading a book involving monkeys, you know, monkeying around. I told him it was time for him to rest and that I wanted him to lay down, be quiet, and he said, "and not start personing around?" - he kills me, that one.

- My friend, Michele (Hey Michele!!!), very thoughtfully reserved Amanda Soule's new book for me when she was going through the new books at work (She's a librarian) - I've been enjoying it so much and can't wait to get started on some of the projects.

- This has been such a strange month for us. Lots of ups and downs. But mostly, this month has shown me how very blessed we are with dear friends who love us and who are there for us no matter what.

- And, Dancing with the Stars starts on Sept 21! I can't wait!! (Hey Michele!!)

See, random, don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

RIP Sweet Ted

We had to say good-bye to our sweet Big T on Monday night. He was a good friend and we will miss him terribly.

Ted 7/4/96 - 8/17/09

(Ted - please tell Rocco we miss him, too.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Big week

So much has happened this week, it's hard to know where to start. Today, we welcomed Jackson and Kira's brand new baby cousin. I'm not sure if his parents want his name all over the blogosphere, so we'll just call him "Bandit" - Jackson's suggestion for his name when he was still in utero.

He's beautiful and very courteously arrived on a day that worked out nicely for everyone. Kira was FASCINATED with him. She sat and looked at him forever and even shoved Jackson out of the way when he tried to get a look. She was saying, "Baby! Baby!" Then she started cataloguing him for everyone, "Baby hat. Baby eyes. Toes" - she'd look up at us every other word to make sure that we were noticing that yes, the baby did have a hat, eyes, and toes. Then she asked Bandit, "Baby? Eat? Bites?" and "Baby bath?" - I think she wanted to make sure that he had everything he needed. When the nurse came to check his blood sugar, she started pointing out all of his assets to her, too. I hope that they end up the best of buds and give the big kids a run for their money.

Other big news this week - Jackson is reading! Really reading. He's been pointing words out to me forever, but I assumed that he was sight reading. We were at the library Tuesday night and I saw a set of Bob Books. I told Jackson that we could check them out and start working on reading, if he wanted to. He was so excited that he wanted to sit down and look at them right then. And then he read the first three books, just like that. Sounded out words, everything. There are 12 books in the set, he read 11 of them when we got home that night. Crazy. While we were waiting to go in to see the baby, he read to his grandparents and to a random gentleman also waiting. He made sure to hold the book so that Mr. Random could see it, too. That kid cracks me up.

On Thursday we went with friends to the Modern Art Museum in Ft Worth. They were hosting a kids film festival and we went to see The Velveteen Rabbit. It was a version I hadn't seen before and we all really enjoyed it. The cultural district in Ft Worth is really lovely and there is a gorgeous swath of lawn between the Kimbell and Amon Carter Museums. We had a lovely picnic and then all of the kids played in the fountain in front of the Kimbell. Very cool. I wish I would have remembered my camera. At one point, Kira was sitting on the edge of the pool, kicking her legs in the water and munching on an apple. She was so cute, just enjoying a beautiful summer day.

Also this week: Kira's first visit to the Down syndrome clinic went really well. I hit Kroger's super doubles on Saturday. And we enjoyed visits with 3 different aunts. Busy week and weekend - I think we'll have a take it easy day tomorrow.

I hope y'all had good weekends, too!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Down syndrome clinic

phew - I am worn out! We had Kira's first visit to the Down syndrome clinic today. She's seen our geneticist annually up until now.

This was our schedule:
9:15 arrive
9:30 OT consult
10:00 geneticist
10:30 PT consult
11:00 Hearing eval
11:30 Speech consult
12-1 lunch
1:00 - summary meeting with geneticist

I was so nervous. Kira has always had her therapies once a month and I feel that that is just right for her. But, I was so scared that all of these second opinions would show that maybe I should have pushed for more. I was also so worried about her hearing eval.

I had nothing to be worried about, though! All of the therapists agreed with Kira's current stable of professionals. The PT recommended having her fit for shoe inserts (not the full ankle kind) - more for later development. Her current PT has been on the fence about it. The PT also agreed that at 3 we should get her involved in 1 or 2 community based programs, like tumbling, soccer, or dance. Kira walked up and down the stairs for her and showed off her "blast-off" skills. Jackson was with us and left the PT room saying, "I LOVE the Down syndrome clinic!"

The OT was impressed with her skills and gave me some more ideas on increasing her hand strength. She suggested letting her push golf tees into styrofoam. She also said we could start working with a small pair of tongs - to get started on the motions needed for using scissors.

The Speech path wants us to work on the "guh" and "kuh" sounds - and was really happy with Kira's language development. Interesting factoid - she said that at Kira's age (almost 3) 10% of the child's vocabulary should be verbs. I didn't know that - I need to think through Kira's words and see if she's there.

Kira's current therapists feel that there is a chance that she might not qualify for PPCD (our 3-5 program). She may not be "delayed enough." The therapists at the clinic agreed and offered me lots of suggestions for what we can do if she's not in PPCD. Her geneticist suggested letting her stay up all night, the night before the assessment. ;)

The geneticist also said that if she does qualify for PPCD, she thinks we should do a few months in the program and then transition her into a typical pre-k. I'm not sure what our options are with the school district, so I've got some work to do.

AND Kira totally passed her hearing test!! No fluid in her ears! I was so happy.

Good day all around and I'm so thankful to have access to such great resources. And now I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Golden Advocate Award

My dear friend, Tara, has honored me with the Golden Advocate Award. Tara - thank you so much! And Kira, thank you so much for letting me be your mama. I am blessed beyond belief.

The award: The Golden Advocate Award is given to bloggers who have gone above and beyond to educate and advocate for people who have special needs. It was created in honor of my daughter Sophia who has Down syndrome, but it is not limited to the Ds community as all special needs count. The recipient may be a self advocate or a loved one, caregiver, therapist, teacher, community member, etc. to a person with special needs.

The recipient of this award has demonstrated courage, strength, and wisdom, and has used their blog to show the world how amazing people with special needs truly are. Recipients of this award do not shy away from speaking out against ignorance, cruelty, or injustices related to people with special needs. They can sometimes be found making phone calls to elected officials, signing petitions, attending rallies, and blogging about issues that are important to our community. On most days they educate by sharing their everyday experiences with us, allowing us to see how people with special needs are more alike than different. They wear their advocacy hat well and the world is a more beautiful, diverse, and inclusive place because they are in it.

To accept this award: Simply accept it with the knowledge that your work is appreciated. Feel free to post it on your blog, or not. It's up to you with no strings attached.

I would like to pass this award on to Megan at Audrey & Stella's Playground. Megan is a fierce warrior mama and I'm thankful to get the chance to honor her!

Thank you again, Tara!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

this...oh and how 'bout some of that, too.

Thought I'd do a random pics and updates post.

Jackson randomly wanted to do a family portrait about 3 weeks ago - here's the best shot (pardon the red eye and ink on J's face):
I did the free Glidden paint offer that was making its way around the couponing blogs awhile back. Derek decided to re-paint the front door. Apparently blue is good feng shui for our door - just a happy accident. Derek and Jackson putting on the primer:

And here are two crazy children and Ted posing by the new blue door (pardon the messy painting on the handle/lock - we're putting in new hardware in the next couple of weeks. If you know us, you also know that it would look like that even if we weren't putting in new hardware in a couple of weeks.):

We attended the birthday party of beautiful Mia today. It was a great party! Mia's mom and dad did a wonderful job. The party was held on a very toddler friendly playground with a great pavilion - yummy brunch with delicious cupcakes and tie-dyed t-shirts for party favors. So much fun! (If it's ok with Mia's mom, I'll link to her party post when she does it.)

I've done some crafting, too. I made gift bags for Mia's gift and for cutie-pie Trevor (whose b-day party we had to miss). I also made Kira a pair of shorts out of the fruit fabric and Jackson another pair of jammie bottoms (like the ones he's wearing in the pic above) out of the striped fabric. They put them on and immediately covered them in chocolate ice cream stains. If I can clean them up, I'll post pics of those, too. So, anyway, gift bags (with books already in them):

The kids and I are starting to do letter-crafts similar to (and sometimes exactly like) the No Time for Flash Cards ones. First up, fine feathered friends:

We have Kira's first visit to the Down syndrome clinic this week. She's seen a geneticist since she was 3 months, but it's time to switch over. I'm a little nervous. She'll have her hearing tested and then we send those results on to the school system. I can't believe she's almost old enough to transition out of ECI and into the school system. Again, I'm a little nervous.

So, that's what's happening around here! Hope y'all had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

rock star

Last night Kira was singing.

Jackson: "Kira that sounds really great! You should be a rock star when you grow up!"

Me: "Yeah, she really should."

Jackson: "She can be Kira Montana!"

An award!!

Mary Ellen at Living On Love gave me the Sisterhood Award! Thank you so much! Mary Ellen is an awesome mom, a fellow couponer, and a big inspiration to me. I'm so thankful for her friendship!
The rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link the person from whom you received your award.
I'm excited to pass this on to 5 bloggers who I think show great attitude and gratitude. Two are bloggers who I have the pleasure of knowing IRL, too.
Without further ado, I'm passing the Sisterhood Award on to:
  • Kam at The De Leons - I've known Kam for over 10 years and am so thankful to be on this motherhood journey with her.
  • Tara at The Kristofs - a new friend, thanks to Kam, who shares a similar outlook with me on so many things.
  • Beverly at Adventures of Homeschooling Noah - Homeschooling Mama to the handsome Mr. Noah
  • Monica at Monkey Musings- Supermama to 4 including the adorable John Michael
  • Brandie at Livin for the Love - Mama to 3 gorgeous girls and expecting a sure to be gorgeous boy - calmly handling it all.
Thanks for blogging y'all!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

whatcha been doing?

I haven't felt much like blogging lately. We've had lots going on and I've been scrambling to catch up.

But today's a new day and I'm feeling Christmas-y! I think we're going to have a largely handmade Christmas which means I need to get a move on.

Anyone else going handmade this year? I'd love some ideas.

Here's what I'm thinking so far:

for my kids:
doorway puppet stage and puppets
felt board - I'd like to make a couple of character/prop felt kits to go along with some new books.
for Kira - doll clothes, blankets, etc. She's all about the babies right now.
for Jackson - some kind of detective kit - magnifying glass, note pad, hat - I need some more ideas here.

for my nieces:
I'm thinking about making little purses and filling them with these.

for my showing up any day now nephew - I'm crocheting a blanket.

for my little cousin who's like a nephew - possibly make some fun shaped crayons and some kind of art kit.

What else?? Help!

Also, my blogging/TMMO friend Mary Ellen gave me a lovely award and I promise to accept it officially in the next couple of days. Thank you, Mary Ellen!