Monday, October 31, 2011

31 for 21: Last day!

I didn't envision my last post of this challenge coming from my phone, but when you are stuck in a ditch with a flat tire, you make do with what you have. Waiting on the tow guy from triple a to get here when I should be hitting the bed. Oh well. That's life. What I loved about triple a was when I called them, the first thing they asked me was if I was safe. So thank you Lord--I am safe.

I had a simple post thought out for tonight-kind of like some closing remarks about this challenge, but I will save them for Wednesday. Might blog tomorrow, but highly unlikely since I am exhausted!

Bug is not feeling well at all. She was very fussy this afternoon when I got home. I tried to put her in her costume, but she was very unhappy. I didn't even get a picture of her standing in her outfit because she was miserable. I guess I tried because it was what I wanted, not what was in her best interest. Trying to make a moment happen that was not meant to be. I took her outfit off and that was the extent of her Halloween. She will feel better another day and we will try again for pictures. If not, we can just buy a new costume and try again next year. I just want my bug to feel better.

Blake wanted to dress up this year, but he wanted to be something inappropriate. I have always had this clash of the minds with him over costumes. I don't care for the scary type costumes--he always wants to be one of those. We have always settled for great outfits like Buzz Lightyear, Batman, and Tigger. His second choice was the army man from Toy Story. The outfit that came in the mail was an adult xl. So, we end up at Walmart today and he became Superman. We both liked the outfit, so I was happy that in the end he got to be something he liked and I got another "cute" costume out of him. Maybe we won't have a battle next year--yeah,as if it could be that easy!

I am hoping that the guy gets here soon and gets my car out of the ditch so I can go home! Happy Halloween! I guess I got a trick instead of a treat this year! Oh well, I could have gotten a bag of rocks. Such is life....

31 for 21: Day 30—Almost there, Q is for Quotes

I love quotes, Bible verses, and almost anything that packs a punch with a few words. I find inspiration in many different places. Sometimes it is in someone’s signature line with their e-mail, sometimes it is a saying on a mug or picture, they are all over my Facebook wall, and they even have good one’s in my Dove chocolate candy wrappers. My favorite Dove one has to be the one at my desk at work: Chocolate therapy—oh so good! True words for sure! Good one Dove candy wrapper inspiration team! I know that had to come from a woman—I haven’t really seen many men go nuts for chocolate. I love quotes from famous people such as Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, and Eleanor Roosevelt to name some of my favorites. I find inspiring words on Facebook pages such as Hopelights and An Angels Love. My love of quotes can be found just about anywhere. On logos, in magazines, favorite passages in books, in cards and gift shops. Chances are you usually see a quote when I am writing too. I just thought I would share with you some of the quotes around my house.
Can’t remember where this came from, but it is a magnet that hangs on my fridge.
Books such as these have a lot of inspiring words in them. Book on the left has great pictures to go with the great words.
These hangs in the kitchen.

This hangs in Kaitlyn’s room.

These are on Katie’s hutch. Please note that yes there is that much dust on her curio! Embarrassing, but this is real life here. Good thing Katie doesn’t sleep in her room—she would have some serious allergies!

This is a quote I painted on her wall after we came home from the NICU. I put the vinyl words up, taped off the the rectangle shape, painted inside the square and when the paint was dry, pulled off the vinyl words. Her wooden letters came from eBay. They were painted to match her bedding set.
Another plaque in Katie’s room.

I keep this in the kitchen where I drop all my junk when I come home. I like to look at it everyday to be reminded that life is a miracle and a gift.

I do have many more items such as these around the house, in my journals, and bookmarked on my computer. I guess I like to be uplifted by encouraging words and sayings. I love captions with pictures too. I recently found this one on Facebook and I had to share it.


And inspirational Bible verses such as this one.
I believe in these words. I believe in the power of words and the meaning behind the words. Just wanted to share some of what lifts me up. What inspires you?

Tomorrow completes the blogging challenge! I have almost made it! Whew! Katie is going to be a special little bug tomorrow. Will share tomorrow night what she dressed up as. Have to share these two pictures tonight. Love the Peanuts gang and Snoopy is the coolest dog of all time. Period. And this is a nice big tub of candy I will put on the front porch tomorrow night for the trick or treaters. I know, some of you are saying that someone will come by and dump the whole tub in their bag. So be it. I feel better having it out there whether we are here or not. Kiley bought a ton of candy today. You can’t really see how big the tub is, but it is a nice big stash! Happy Halloween and for those who don’t participate—Happy October 31st!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 for 21: Day 29 Q is for Quiet

Today has been a really nice quiet day for this old girl.  Weekend plans had changed by the middle of this week for us as we had an opportunity to get some tickets for the big Florida/Georgia game today in Jacksonville.  Thanks again Erin!  4 tickets were perfect for the family, but I really don’t think Katie is ready for 85,000 fanatics of football.  So, I elected not to go along with Katie.  Sent the boys off with my dad and my uncle to the big game today.  Kiley even went out and bought him a Georgia Bulldogs shirt and when he put it on this morning, he said it pained him to wear it.  He should have just worn his LSU or Kentucky gear.  The fans would have taken pity on him (Kentucky) or been in awe (LSU).  One thing I can say about that boy—he is a die hard fan, never wavers regardless of what his teams do and has been that way since the day I met him.  Of course Blake is a die hard Gator fan.  I don’t remember when he really started liking the Gators, but he wore his colors proudly today.  For the record—Georgia won 24-20.  Blake sent this message out earlier---“At the Georgia/Florida game, surrounded by red, and probably some drunks. Like seriously there’s this dude in no shirt, his body is painted red and he has some messed up shoulder pads on with a Viking helmet.”  Gotta love your kids!  So before they left this morning I snapped a few pictures. 


Kiley wearing a Bulldog shirt—probably first and last time that is happening!  Blake in his Gator shirt and Katie in her Kentucky cheerleading outfit.

Daddy, do I have to wear this outfit?  You know this isn’t my team!

Katie and I just stayed home and relaxed.  Katie is not feeling well actually and stayed in bed all day today.  She has had a nasty cough and it just seems to keep hanging on.  She wouldn’t eat until tonight, so I am hoping that this doesn’t get any worse.  She has been eating and drinking fine until today, so I am thinking that she just needed a day for her body to rest.  Praying that this doesn’t turn into anything worse!

Friday, October 28, 2011

31 for 21: Day 28 The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Today was character day at Katie’s school.  Katie’s class dressed up as part of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

 Ok, I took this image from if you couldn’t tell!  Thanks Amazon!  I love Amazon too.


I have to admit, I have never read this book.  I knew it was a classic, but it had not been a book that I had ever picked up before to even glance at it.  I was at the store the other day and I did read the book once I knew that was what we were going to do as a class project.  Very cute book and I will have to get it for Katie as a Christmas gift.  I will write in it and tell her a story about her class and this day on the inside cover. 

So, I am not at all a crafty person.  I love crafts, but they are always bought.  The only thing that I have ever really gotten into is scrapbooking.  Now I keep pinning all these pins over on Pinterest with the great hopes that I will do some of these crafts!  It doesn’t matter if I don’t.  I like looking at them all regardless.  Now I have made a few food items from there and I can’t wait to try some more of the recipes I have gathered.  Anyway,  back to this story….

The paper came home with a list of possible suggestions on what Katie could be out of the book.  A leaf, a strawberry, a watermelon, an ice cream cone, a cake, an apple and the cupcake which she was,  along with a few other things I can’t remember.  I told Kiley we had to do the ice cream cone or the cupcake.  I googled images of homemade costumes thinking how am I going to come up with an outfit!  Not this un-crafty girl.  But….the debacle over my son many years back in kindergarten not dressing up for the Fairy Tale ball or  something like that still lingers with this momma.  I  will have to you the story about this someday, along with a few others….like the time I forgot to pick up Blake on the last day of school that same year as the fairy tale ball and the school calls me.  As soon as I hear my name on the overhead hospital paging system, I jumped up from my cafeteria chair and ran out of the hospital!  I knew what I had done right at that moment.  Needless to say, he was the last child there.  How embarrassing!  Oh well….stories of a failed momma another night.  Back to this story…..

I went to work and told a few people what I was going to try to do this past weekend (make a costume) because I was looking for some suggestions on how to do the costume.  Well, I am saved that night.  My friend sends me a message that they have cupcake costumes on sale at Old Navy for the grand total of $12.50!  I knew what I was going to do first thing in the morning!  And VIOLA!  The cupcake she was, courtesy of Old Navy.  Now, I would have loved to have made some of the outfits I saw such as these, but I happily took the easy way out. 


I got home this evening and I see that Katie’s teacher has posted a video.  I copied all of these images from her video, so thank you Mrs. Amy.  I can’t tell you how much I love her teachers and their para pros.  I can tell they genuinely love our kids. 



Katie looking so cute sitting with the scarecrow earlier in the week.

 image Watching with a little skepticism in her eyes as another child is getting his hands dirty.


imageimageimageKatie looks like she didn’t really like this. Her faces is saying yuck!  Good sensory stimulation Katie—I love your hands in this!



imageMrs. Marge is the apple, Mrs. Amy is the caterpillar, and Mrs. Cathy is the watermelon.  Now they are crafty!



A picture of the class today.  Please excuse the red blurs, but I do not want these children’s faces posted without their parents permission. 


Going for a class walk.  Not sure where to, but of course they needed to parade themselves around.  They are too cute not to let everyone see their handiwork.  



I just met this little boy on the left a few weeks ago.  Very sweet.  The one in the middle is wonderful with Katie.  He loves her and I love when he says her name. 


It looks like they played some great games too!



I would say my bug had a wonderful time these last few days!  What a wonderful story that came to life today for The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

Note to self, why did you get the 2t-3t costume when you know she wears 4t and it was available for purchase!? Duh! The cupcake liner kept riding up on Katie---momma thinks you were adorable regardless.

Gearing up for a nice, relaxing weekend as we go into the final days of October.  Other things were planned, but a great offer came up, so plans were changed and we are relaxing.  I’ll share those details later.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

31 for 21: Day 27—Fun after therapy today

A diagnosis of Down syndrome usually means some form of therapy for our children at some point during their lives.  For some it starts shortly after birth, some a half year into the journey and for some even later.  Of course there are probably exceptions to this as there are with all things in life and they take therapy for a short time or never.  For Katie, we were in contact with Early Intervention services as soon as we got home from our NICU stay.  We didn’t actually start any therapy until she was 6 months old and then it was a monthly thing, then bimonthly, then weekly and now we are even doing triweekly services with speech.  (just to clarify—2 days of speech are private and the other day is public with the school)  She has never had an actual session with a physical therapist, but occupational therapy did the job of both.  People ask me all the time how come we didn’t have a physical therapist.  At the time we were getting evaluations, there was a waiting list to get a consult with the therapist and I didn’t push for the services like I should have.  I didn’t even ask to be put on the PT list for a consult.  My OT, Missy, did a great job with Katie.  She would show me what to work on with Katie PT wise and she did just fine.  Therapy won’t work if you don’t apply what they are teaching your child.  You can’t expect your child to work an hour in therapy and that is it until the next week.  You have to apply everything they are teaching BOTH of you.  Learning never stops for any of us.  So, as we continue to move forward with therapy, we are steadily working on old and new skills and I don’t feel that therapy services will be stopping for us anytime in the near future.

For the first three years of Katie’s life, the therapists came to our home.  (It was lovely too!)  Now we go to them.  She loves therapy.  Those first initial visits were rough.  Katie has to grow into things I’ve noticed.  She screams and cries like her whole world has gone to pieces (and for her it has)  until she adapts after a few days or weeks in the new routine.  Just like school was at the beginning of the year.  Everyone at the therapy clinic can tell a big difference in how she was when she first started.  We started with new therapists last year when she turned 3 and moved out of Early Intervention.  My girl loves her therapists!  I have been lucky in that Katie has loved them all past and present.  Today they had a bounce house, hay rides, games and treats for the kiddos at the clinic.

Katie woke up at 1 am last night, stayed up for about 15 minutes, back to bed until 3 am.  Then she proceeded to stay up the rest of the night.  So, come therapy time today, she was exhausted.  She still had a great time, but was ready to go after she had an allergic reaction to the bubbles solution.  Here is some snapshots from today’s event.


We have to be appropriately dressed for these type of fall festivals! 



Katie and her speech therapist Mandy.  We love Mandy!




Fun things like the bounce house and the pumpkin ring toss!


Going for a hayride with Mandy. 





Katie doing her favorite thing ever—bubbles!! This girl loves bubbles. Pop, pop, pop,pop, pop!  That’s what Katie says. 



Note that Katie is wet and that she has her hand (both at different times) in the soap dishes.  She had soap all over her.  You can’t see it, but her hair is slicked down with soap on her right side.




Love this game!  Pin the “stache” on Mr. Frank, who also sees Katie as her OT.  We love Mr. Frank too!  Katie is like what the heck on the middle photo.  Mr. Frank is hanging sideways.  Kiley found it amusing and of course pinned it perfectly.  Great game for those who are looking for a twist on pin the donkey!

Okay, so remember Katie got her hands in the bubbles several times.  She ended up with bubbles in her right eye.  You can’t see it here, but her eye is really red and she had a rash pop up on her right cheek.  She was miserable by this time.  It was time to go.  She fell asleep about a minute after we got in the car, took a nap for a few hours (remember she had been up since 3 am), and when she woke up, the picture on the right tells how she was still feeling! 


My sweetheart did ok after an hour or so once she fully woke back up.  Her eye is no longer red and the rash is gone.  She is ready for more fun tomorrow!  It’s character day at school tomorrow.  She will be a character from the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, along with the rest of her classmatesStay tuned…..