Saturday, January 14, 2012

All Feeling Better

We are all doing much better now. Owen only missed 1 day of school (with the all-day everyday kindergarten, he goes to school Tuesday, Friday and every other Wednesday so he just missed school on Tuesday). Thank goodness he is alsp behaving much better although not sure if he will make it through tomorrow to get his 3DS back.

Clara did not miss any school since she goes to pre-school in the afternoon Tuesday - Friday. Better yet she had a really good week talking in the classroom. Finally she is talking more to her class mates and to the teachers.

Today was Rob's birthday...he is officially over the hill (I have 2 more years :)). Owen had to help me with measuring the ingredients for the cake yesterday evening and with the icing this morning. Then he insisted that the cake must be decorated. We had some purple icing left over from a b-day cake I had made Clara, then mixed up some powder sugar and milk glaze and made some red icing and some orange icing. Owen then had to add some sprinkles.

Owen insisted on getting a somewhat big piece of cake so the initial piece I cut for him I gave to Clara. They both ended up with way too much cake to eat. Unfortunately I finished off Clara's cake. Should of taken a picture of her chocolate cake face. It is always hilarious, she certainly enjoys chocolate cake!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What's been going on

Clara Rose Update:

So Clara Rosey started pre-school at the end of July. She is doing really good other than she refused to talk to the teachers for 8 month!!! She would talk to the PT, OT, speech therapist and her buddy Chasey who is in class with her but not her teachers. Finally, after Christmas I had one of her teachers come over to the house. That seems to have been a big help as last week when she went back to school after the long winter break she decided to talk to the teachers. Clara is starting to jump!!! It seems like it has taken forever but she is finally doing little jumps and it is hilariouse to watch her on our little trampoline. Our sitter got her kids a big trampoline for Christmas so I am thinking after this summer she will be a jumping fool. Still not running but is walking fast....I know she will get there. She has continued to get Strep and her tonsils are very large so they are coming out January 26th. She will have to stay in the hospital for th night. I had my tonsils out when I was 20 something and have been told her recovery should be much easier. We are working on potty training and she is doing pretty good. Doing a routine training with a timer set most of the time to remind us it is time for her to be but on the potty. We havestarted at 1hr 15 minutes and hope to move up to 1 1/2 hrs soon.

Owen Update:

Owen started Kindergarten!!! Wow seems like yesterday he was a little baby. He will be 6 in a month!! He really is enjoying school and is always on his best behavior at school...not so much at home. In December he started acting up a bit but figured it was related to the hussel and bussel of the season. I read something somewhere that this was common. However after Chirstmas it escalated and last week he lost his brand new nintendo 3DS from Santa, computer time, and the Wii. Sunday he spent more time in time out than not and lost almost everyone of his toys that are kept in the living room (still toys in the basement but he does not like to go to the basement by himself). Yesterday he succesfully had a good day and earned back one of his toys. Praying for another good day today.

As mentioned in yesterdays post we are all sick with strep throat. Poor Rob came hope from work late last night with a fever. Good thing I preemtively made him an appointment this morning for 7:30 am (he should be home soon). Clara got her first dose of antibiotic yesterday morning so she can go to school this afternoon, Owen did not get his until around 1 so he get to stay home all day with mommy (and daddy I am sure). Will be glad when Clara's tonsils are out, at the rate Owen is going his will be coming out next year. Hoping my sitter breaks down and has her 2 oldest get their tonsils out soon.
Now will end with a few more pictures from this past year (because I always like looking at the picturtes on other peoples blogs)

Owen's First day of School.... isn't he a handsome little man!!!
Visiting with cousin Abby in September. Little abby is about 9 months old here.... she is a chunk
Headed to Wisconsin at the end os October for my Uncle Dean's funeral. We had some time and went to the Greenbay packers stadium and checked out the cheese heads (nope, did not buy them...just tried them on) I love this picture.
While in Wisconsin we went to my cousins sons hockey game. After talking to a dad of one of Skyler's teammates whose brother has DS, turned around to find this beautiful little girl pplaying by the rink. Clara went right over and started playing with her. Still need to send a copy of this phot to the little girls mom.
Clara eating dinner I beleave with her Turkey hat she made at swchool. Silly girl!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Has it reall;y been that long since We last posted!!

Wow, hard to beleive it has been that long since I last posted anything. Obviousely Neither Rob or I have made this little blog a prioty and life has just gotten in the way. Lets start by posting a few pictures of the kiddos. Maybe can get another post in tomorrow while home sick with the kids (we all have strep throat...yeah!!)

Clara's First day of Pre-school end of July
Buddy Walk in Columbus, Ohio in September

Rob and the kids snuggled in bed watching Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer

Christmas Eve and heading to church. Owen has taught Clara how to "pose" for pictures.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Better Late Than Never

Way back on June 6, Miss Clara Rose became a three year old.  It's hard to believe how quickly the years slip by.  Read on - pictures are at the end.

Throughout this past year Clara has become a proficient walker.  Wearing hip helpers throughout the summer months helped to develop and good gait by forcing Clara to lift her feet and bend her knees rather than shuffling her feet and/or waddling.  She wants to run to keep up with Owen and the other big kids, but can't quite get beyond a fast walk yet.  Keeping up with the fast walking Clara can be challenging - I am not sure we are ready for running Clara yet.  Santa brought Clara a mini-trampoline this year and she so desperately wants to jump, but can't quite get her feet off the ground.

Clara has become quite the climber, getting into and out of her booster seat on her own, climbing onto and off of furniture, and even managing to scurry up the steep play set ladder in the back yard.  One day, I walked into the kitchen to find Clara sitting on top of the table.  She has also become a proficient stair climber, going up and down stairs safely with little or no assistance.

Clara has made it her mission to make sure that all doors and drawers are closed at all times.  When she sees and open door or drawer, she will drop whatever it is that she is doing so that she can rectify the open door/drawer situation.  Now that she is tall enough to reach the regular utensil drawer, she declared that she will no longer use toddler utensils and insists on using grown-up forks and spoons.

We reduced the frequency of physical and occupational therapies and focused on speech therapy.  As a results Clara's vocabulary (including spoken words and signs) has increased significantly this year.  As with most kids this age, "no" is certainly Clara's favorite word and she uses it emphatically.  Want, mine, stop and all done are also some of Clara's favorite words.  She is beginning to be able to communicate her wants or needs to us, although those instances are limited to communicating her choice from a list of options (e.g., Do you want eggs, cereal, or toast to eat for breakfast?).  She loves Signing Time and requests (verbally and with signs) that we put an episode on anytime we go near the TV.

Clara has become increasing interactive with her baby dolls - pretending to feed them, trying to put a diaper on them, talking with them, and taking them for walks in a stroller.  Okay, so she has colored on a couple with crayons too, but just to make them pretty.  To be fair, Clara has also colored her own face with crayon mimicking lipstick application.

Clara's love of all books continued during her third year.  She will happily leaf through books for hours even if they have no pictures.  At church, Clara loves to page through the hymnal and bible, an activity that generally keeps her occupied for most of the worship service.

Thanks to our good friends Lynn and Diana, Clara attended her first year of Sunday school and this summer will attend her first vacation bible school.  We are eternally grateful that our congregation sees Clara Rose and not just her extra chromosome.  We are also thankful for our Pastor who recognizes the readiness of children to participate in Holy Communion. Ellen and I are fortunate to be at the rail to witness the passion with which Clara takes Communion.

Thanks to Nana and Papa, Clara made her first trip to Disney World this year.  As you will see below, she loved the characters she was familiar with from Disney TV.  She was curious about the princesses but a little hesitant to interact with them one-on-one.  Cinderella was clearly her favorite princess though.  After the first day, Clara decided she was done walking and we were glad to have the guest assistance pass that allowed us to use her stroller as a wheel chair.

Happy Birthday to Me!

The awesome cake created by our friends and The Ribbon Box

Opening presents with Owen standing by to help if needed.

Playing in the fountain at Downtown Disney.

I think Pooh was worried that Clara was going to share her lunch with him.  Piglet stopped by later to help Clara eat her green beans

Meeting Mickey at the Tusker House restaurant in Animal Kingdom.

Playing the drums at Animal Kingdom.

Checking out the view from our balcony at Kidani Village.

This was the only picture I got with both Owen and Clara looking at the camera.

Clara wearing Nana's hat while waiting at Soarin.  If you think she looks tired, check out the next picture.

Clara passed out with Nana shortly after leaving Soarin.

Clara had her first haircut at the Magic Kingdom.  As you can see, she was not thrilled with the process.

Fist Haircut Mickey Ears!

Being cute and showing off the new hairdo.

Almost every day at Disney ended with Owen and Clara passed out in the stroller.  We were extremely happy that we rented this City Elite double jogging stroller from Kingdom Strollers.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Morning

Happy Easter!!!

Bright and early this morning (6:40 am) Owen comes in our room yelling that we had to get up right now, I told him 10 more minutes. He insisted we had to get up right now (mind you Monday -Friday we are usually trying to get him out of bed at this time). Surprisingly enough, it was not the Easter Bunny he was so interested in, he wanted to make sure we got up and ready for church so we could get to the youth breakfast that was being served at 8am!!! So up we got before 7 am, Owen went into Clara's room and started looking at her clothes to pick something out for her to wear, I told him I had a nice Easter dress for her to wear. When I got it out to show it to him, his question was "Why Doesn't it has Easter eggs on it?" Owen readily got dressed (a rare event) while I got myself and Clara dressed and Rob got ready, then on down the stairs we went, Owen was not really interested in the Easter baskets and the stuff in them but wanted to look for the Easter eggs that had been hidden. Mind you these were not plastic eggs filled with goodies, but real eggs that Clara and Owen had colored on Saturday. To me, this was an odd morning....1. Owen insisting we all get up, 2. Owen readily getting dressed and ready to go, 3. He was not motivated by presents, but by food (he is not the best eater), although it may not have been food, but fellowship.

No matter what the reason, we had a good morning, got up and ready, did our little egg hunt, then headed to church in time for some breakfast.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Clara's color is green...

The other week I was running around getting vehicles to and from the mechanic and came home to the following picture.

Apparently Clara decided Green was her color. Thankfully it was not a sharpie although it did initially leave a slight green tinge around her mouth:)

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I follow a number of bloggs of families who are in the process of adopting a child with DS internationally or who have already adopted, and of course check out Reece's Rainbow wishing Rob and I were in a position to adopt at this time, but for now I will just have to be satisfied with helping others adopt. On to the Victory. I was so excited to read yesterday morning that Clark and Angie Hook were approved to be Evan's mom and dad by the same judge that denied little Kiril his family just weeks before!!! Now praying that the Davis' apeal to the Supreme Court of Moscow will be successful and Kiril will be granted his right to a family who loves him very much and the Davis' will be allowed to bring their son home.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Brother and Sister

I just love these pictures

Clara watching bubby play a leapster gam while she eats her favorite thing ........grapes!

So bubby, watch ya doing and why did you move from the couch to the trampoline?

Oh, look momy is taking a picture!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kindergarten Registration for Owen!!

Wow, it is hard to beleive Owen is actually 5 years old and will be going to kindergarten next year. We finally made the decision that He will just attend the regular kindergarten at the public school district. The thing I hate about this is there schedule, instead of the typical half a day everyday, they do an alternating all day program with one group going Tuesday and Friday and everyother Wednesday and thr other group going Monday and Thursday and everyother Wednesday. Yesterday Rob and I took Owen to the Kindergarten registration, it started about 30 minutes late due to technical difficulties which was a bit annoying since we both needed to get to work but life goes on. They had a breif presentation and actually made a good case for their crazy kindergarten schedule (being that the kids get significantly more time in the classroom which I was really surprised at the amount of increase). While Rob and I were learning about Kindergarten Owen got to do a short vocabulary test which of course he excelled at (yep, Owe is too smary for his own good). When we got to the nurses station we got to talk with Josie who I was really glad to see...why you ask...she has a 13 year old daughter with Down Syndrome who currently attends the local middlr school. I had met her breifly the summer that Clara was born but had not seen or talked to her since.

Owen is very excited about kindergarten and they even already gave him "homework". They had bins to give to the kids with different school tools and a calender that goes from April through August with an activity for the kids to do each day. As soon was we got home yesterday Owen wanted to do his homework!!! After dinner I finally got everything out and read over it and got out the little writing book they put together and told him to write his first and last name , a pretty simple task since he does it every day at pre-school. Once he did that he asked what else he needed to do, he was very disappointed when I told him that was his homework for the day. Tonight, again he wanted to do his homework as soon as we got home, todays task was a bit harder, he had to find the letter Q in a newspaper or magazine.

And just for kicks here are some pictures of the big boy himself with his new cousin Abby who was born just before Christmas.

Yep, he likes to be a bit of a ham

While we have newer pictures (including those from his birthday party, aparently they have not been uploaded onto the computer yet.

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 :))