Saturday, February 26, 2011

Black eye, strep and up coming IEP meeting

Hello all, well 2 Thursdays ago little miss Clara Rose was practicing her stair climbing skills at the sitters and fell (potentially with the help of her buddy Chase, although he said he did not help her, but his mom is suspicious). Anyways, she fell just right that she hit her eye (well, right under her eye) on the bottom of the spindle (that is the hypothesis for where she hit). As soon as Beth (our day care provider and Chase's mom) got to her she knew it was going to become a nice black eye, which is has been. Later that morning while at play group with Grandma Lynn she also managed to hit her cheek on the corner of a table, thankfully that did not leave much of a mark or else people would really have been wondering what happened. On Sunday evening, she started with a fever, the first thing that came to my mind was strep as she also was not interested in eating (not even applesauce or yogurt which are 2 of her favorite things). So off to the doctor we went Monday morning (after I called Beth to see if her daughter Katelyn had strep since usually she gets it then Clara may or may not get it, Katelyn however was feeling fine). As soon as we were called back to the exam room at the doctors the nurse went ahead and swabbed her throat and by the time he was finished getting all her states, the strep test was positive. I have to tell you this, when Brian (the nurse) went to get the cuff out to check her blood pressure she immediately held her arm out in front of her (with a big smile on her face) so he could put in on, just like a pro :) It was very cute. Once the doctor came in she asked about her nice shiner which was clearly not what I was there for but what ever. I stayed home with the kids on Monday and Grandma Lynn was able to come over and watch the kids on Tuesday so that we could make sure Clara was not contagious before sending her and Owen to Beth's on Wednesday. Thankfully, no one else has gotten strep...just the head cold that Clara started with at the same time!!!

Now, onto the up coming IEP meeting. On Tuesday we have are first meeting regarding Clara going to pre-school next school year and to start the IEP process. I think I am a bit at an advantage compared to some parents starting this process, not because I have any background in special ed or anything (because I do not) but because here in Union County Ohio the Union County DD runs their own pre-school for kids with special needs. It is a great program and Owen has been going there as a peer model this year and went there last year as well. Why do I feel this is an advantage, well, I do not have to start to deal with a school district and what they want to do or think is easiest for them. The staff at Harold Lewis is all about the kids and making sure the students get the best start possible in school. However, I am still leery of starting this whole process, I think it is impart because my baby girl will be starting school and in part because I know this is just the beginning of IEP's and everything that goes with it. I have already laid done 1 ground rule, I refuse to sign the IEP without having sufficient time (I have told them 1 week) to review it and do some of my own research to make sure I agree with what they are saying or wanting to do or to make changes. I have told this to our current service coordinator (Erin) who will be involved in the IEP process and transferring Clara from the early intervention program to the pre-school program. Although I do not really feel I will need that extra time while Clara is at Harold Lewis, I have decided that I am going to set it as a standard operating preceder when it comes to the IEP. If anyone has additional ideas or tips on IEP's I would love to hear them (or I guess in reality read them :))

Friday, February 18, 2011

Help Bring Yana Home

For the past several months I have followed a number a blogs of families who were in the process of adopting a child with Down Syndrome or had recently completed such adoption. One of the blogs I have followed is for the adoption of Yana , a beautiful little girl in Eastern Europe ( Her family has really struggled to to gather money to pay for her adoption. They have multiple fundraisers going on including Puzzle Pieces, Coffee Sales, T-shirts. They have also had garage sales, and raffles for different items such as Pampered Chef items and book, but still are in need of $13,000 to complete the adoption. They are finally getting close to traveling (the process has been a bit longer than many others due to the region/country where Yana is at). To help in this effort another family is offering several items in a drawing including a brand new Xbox 360 Kinect. Please go to Lisa's Blog (Living in the Light) and simply make a donation to Yana's adoption and leave a comment (this is your entry). Yana deserves to be home with her family, and the other kids with special needs in her region are depending on her adoption to be successfully completed so that they may have the oppertunity at finding a forever family.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Almost Five..Correction, he is Five

I started this entry the beginning of this past week and never had time to finish it. so now need to change what a started and finish it. :)

It is hard to believe that my little boy turned five on Friday. It seems like it was just yesterday that he was born. Now he is writing and wanting to learn to read, he knows his numbers, letters and colors, is a great big brother to Clara Rose (most of the time) keeping an eye on her when I ask him too, and always proud of her accomplishments. While he is a great lovable and friendly kiddo, he has his moments just like any other kid. One thing that concerns me is his temper and his inpatients. He wants to be able to do something right the first time and when he can't he gets mad. My thoughts are, this is where Clara comes in at. She has such determination and when he starts getting so frustrated I remind him how Clara has had to work to learn to walk (and now to jump) and how she never got mad or frustrated about it. This seems to make him think twice about getting mad when he cannot do something right the first time and pushes him to keep trying. Makes me wonder how much more Clara Rose is going to influence Owen's life compared to a typical sibling. I have an older brother and while I know he influenced me (I took on an attitude of if my brother could do it I could do it too), and although I know my brother is proud of my accomplishments I do not feel I really influenced his life much. I believe for Owen this will be different, while Clara will hopefully have the attitude of "if Owen can do it I can too", Owen will also learn about determination and practice makes perfect from Clara Rose.

Owen at Birth 5 years ago

Owen being a Super Model for Family pictures just a few weeks ago

Where did all the time go? When did he get so big?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Update...a long time coming

Hi all, this is Ellen, Owen and Clara's mom and I am hijacking the blog.  While I hope Rob will stop by and put in his 2 cents somewhat regularly, I suspect you will hear much more from me and I hope to keep the blog a little more up to date.

Tubes and Tear Ducts:  Tubes are doing great, one tear duct is completely cleared now, the other one (the worst one to begin with) clogged back up in a about a week.  Honestly, we have not talked to the eye doctor about this.  Not a big concern right now.  At the time the tear ducts were probed, she indicated they could put a stint in to help keep it open if the initial procedure did not work. 

Christmas: Christmas was great, although took a little encouragement to get Clara to open her presents.  Santa brought her a small trampoline which now sets prominently in out living room and which Owen jumps on more that Clara.  Clara is still working on jumping, it is a slow process but she is getting there.  Owen got his favorites....race cars, race track, trains, train track.

January flew by and I cannot believe it is already February and Owen is almost five (birthday is the 11th).  We did get some great family pictures taken by a friend of mine here in central Ohio who just started her own photography business.  She has a traveling studio and came out to the house to take the pictures which was great!!  We will be starting the IEP process for Clara either last week of February or the first week of March.  We also need to decide what we are going to do about Kindergarten next year for Owen (Pay for all-day every-day or send him to the regular all-day alternating day program).  Decisions Decisions.  Since I know I love seeing pictures of the kids on the blogs I have been following here are a few from our recent family photo shoot.