Monday, December 21, 2009

Instructions for putting your winter coat on

Anne has learned how to put her jacket on by herself. Here are the lyrics to the song she learned at Peter Panda Preschool :)

You put your jacket on the floor, and you stand at the top. You put your arms right in and you do the "flippy flop". You do the zipper pokey and you're ready to go out. That's what it's all about!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rudolph-the-red-nosed Reindeer is sick

Today Mike and I planned to meet during his lunch hour at the mall with Anne and Whitney to see Santa and get their picture taken with him. I got the girls all dressed up and did their hair and we headed out to see Daddy and Santa. I even checked online to see when Santa takes his "break" so we wouldn't get there during his break and have to wait with a three-year-old and 15-month-old. Mike got there before us and called me on my cell as I was in the parking lot to tell me there is no one there --- the chair, tree, set-up, etc... is there, but no santa and no photographer. I thought "that's odd" - I even told Mike how I had checked to see when his break is, maybe he had to go to the bathroom and couldn't wait??? I then found a place to park, got the girls out of the car and headed into the mall. Mike met us at the entrance and told me that Rudolph is sick and Santa had to stay home to take care of him. I said, "very funny!", he said, "I'm serious" - apparently there is a sign near where the photographer is normally set up stating, "Sorry folks, Rudolph is sick. Santa is taking care of him. He will be back tomorrow." Mike is convinced that Santa had a little too much fun at the Indianapolis Colts football game yesterday and just couldn't make it in to work today to take pictures with little kids and find out what they want for Christmas. We decided since the set was there and Santa's chair was available that we were going to at least take a few pictures of our own with the girls all dressed up. Here are a few of the pics (minus Santa and Rudolph):

Sunday, December 13, 2009

D.A.D.S. Holiday party

This past Tuesday was the D.A.D.S. (Dads Appreciating Down syndrome) Holiday party. I guess every year they have their holiday party at Recreation Unlimited's showroom (which is a company that makes awesome playground equipment). We had a great time and even had a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus! Whitney was not scared of Santa or Mrs. Claus and was happy to sit with them! Anne was very funny about Santa - she was definitely not scared, but was in awe - Santa was really here at this party???!!! She just looked at him and couldn't believe he and Mrs. Claus were really there at the party with us --- when we left, she looked around the parking lot and asked us what car they drove to the party. Mike explained that they came in their sleigh, but we also told her they might have decided to drive their car to the party, we weren't sure. Here are some pictures Mike took with his cell phone (I could not believe I forgot to bring my camera!!!)
Whitney is on Mrs. Claus's lap and Anne is sitting on the ground just below her with the red and green hairbow.

Friday, December 4, 2009

funny comment from Anne

Last night as Mike took Anne to bed and was tucking her in, Anne said "Daddy, scrunch me up like baby Jesus" (we are guessing she meant swaddle/wrap in swaddling clothes like baby Jesus --- they have probably talked about when baby Jesus was born at Anne's preschool.) Mike proceeded to tuck the covers around Anne and apparently Anne did not think it was quite right because she said in an annoyed voice, "No! Like Jesus!"... Come on Dad, get it right! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Whitney's One Year Surgery Anniversary!

(Mike here) - It is hard to believe that it has been one year since Whitney had her open heart surgery. December 1, 2008, was a very tense, nerve wracking day. Around 4:00 p.m. that fateful day we were finally able to see our little Whitney post-surgery. She was lying there with tubes, monitors, machines hooked up to her, etc., and it was scary. In the end, Whitney came through just fine. She has made leaps and bounds since her surgery. She has really flourished lately. It took her about 6-8 weeks to fully recover from the surgery and since that time she really has taken off. In retrospect, we are so thankful to the doctors, Dr. John Brown in particular (her heart surgeon), the nurses and the entire staff at Riley hospital.

Without their knowledge, expertise, care and round the clock attention we don't know where or how we or Whitney would be. THANK YOU! Here are some picture to demonstrate the strides that Whitney has made since her one-year post open heart surgery. Doesn't she look great?!
What a difference a year makes!

Monday, November 16, 2009

We're So Proud

Yesterday, Whitney went from laying on her stomach and rolling around to sitting upright all by herself. She did this two times and both times we missed seeing it happen - we just knew that she had been on her belly and that all of the sudden she was in a sitting position. Tonight we were playing in her room just before bed and she started squirming around and looking as though she might sit up all by herself. She did it and so I called to Mike and Anne to come see if she would do it again. She did it 3 or 4 times and then I went to get the camera - this is what we captured (it is a little long and she only sits up one time, at the beginning, just to let you know ahead of time if you decide to watch the video.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Workin' Hard

Whitney has been working hard on getting up on her hands and knees. She first started getting up and rocking on her hands in knees in August (I believe it was late August) and she has been working hard on this skill and building strength to be able to hold herself up ever since. She seems to take each task or skill and work on it until she has it perfected before she moves onto the next step of the skill. She is now holding herself up on her hands and knees more often and for longer periods of time. It is so cute to see her really start rocking once she is on her hands and knees, like she is so proud of herself.

Our physical therapist, Miss Heather, had a baby in September and we had a great physical therapist, Miss Miranda, cover her maternity leave. We are happy to have Miss Heather back, but will miss Miss Miranda. We have been very lucky with our therapists, all of them are wonderful! Here are some pictures of Whitney working hard for Miss Miranda on her last PT session with us:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Las Vegas

Mike and I had the chance to get away for the weekend last weekend for a wedding in Las Vegas. It was the first time we had been away more than just a night out (which hasn't happened all too often, either) since before Whitney was born! One of Mike's best friends from growing up lives in Los Angeles and he and his new wife had their wedding at The Four Seasons at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. It was a BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL wedding! They closed the pool at the Four Seasons at 4p.m. to set up for the wedding - it was an evening/night wedding outside by the pool. The ceremony was beautiful (can't think of another word to use), cocktails and appetizers were WONDERFUL and the dinner and dancing were so much fun! We are so happy we were able to go to the wedding and the added bonus was we had a weekend in Vegas at a BEAUTIFUL hotel with friends, great weather, dancing, laying by the pool, seeing some of the different casinos on "the strip", some cocktails and NO feeding anyone except ourselves, NO changing diapers, NO getting anyone ready for bed, NO messes to clean up, etc... Thank you Bonnie and Papi (Mike's parents, Lynne & Dan) for watching the girls for us (+ our dog Maddie, too!) We didn't worry a bit about them while we were gone and although we missed them, we had a GREAT time and it was a much needed break!!! Although, I did not feel like we had too much of a break after we proceeded to stay out until 6 a.m. Indy time (3 a.m. Vegas time) on Saturday night --- there is truly no way to have a concept of time in Las Vegas!!!! We knew it was time to go up to the hotel room when the dealer at the table where Mike was playing black jack told him 2 X, "Excuse me sir, I think you are falling asleep!" (probably not the best gambling strategy) :) Our flight didn't get in until about midnight Sunday night, so it was a week of trying to catch up on sleep and readjust to "regular life" :)

Here are a few pics from our trip and the wedding - we took some touristy pics to share with Anne (and Whitney when she is a little older and more interested in pictures)

in front of the Paris

inside the Bellagio
in front of New York New York
the Excalibur

The Luxor

the Four Seasons pool

the wedding (poolside)

view at the reception of the pool and head tables
Text Color

Saturday, October 31, 2009

updates forthcoming

I am hoping to post some "updates" tomorrow... Mike and I were in Las Vegas for a wedding last weekend and somehow the time-warp that is Las Vegas seems to have followed us back to Indiana!!! Hope everyone had a fun Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween

Our little lamb and our wonder woman...

Monday, October 19, 2009

by the way...

Thank you Adrienne, from Our Unexpected Journey, for the adorable new blog header!!!

Why didn't I major in computer science?

Ever since our Dell laptop, which had the Microsoft Windows XP operating system, started having issues with holding a charge (to the point where it would not hold a charge at all and had to be plugged in at all times and have a book or magazine holding the part where it plugged into the computer in just the right place or it would shut down completely and then take 20 minutes to start back up) I have started to STRONGLY dislike (understatement) computers. We made the decision, after taking it to a computer repair place to see about fixing the charging issue, to buy a new computer because it was going to cost nearly as much to repair as it would to buy a new computer. The laptop we purchased came loaded with Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. It turns out, certain issues with Vista have been the root cause of the MANY issues we have had come up within the last few months that have required HOURS upon HOURS of calling technical support from our computer manufacturer, the online security company where we purchased our online security software (due to errors that could not be fixed regarding our online security software - they determined this was a vista error) and ultimately microsoft technical support (this past week). Microsoft technical support seems to have sorted out (or rather, walked me through the steps to sort out) the issues with our PC and at last it seems our computer is functioning as it should (with the exception of one error message we received this past Friday that we still have no clue what it means, but so far it does not seem to be affecting anything (I am keeping my fingers crossed). I wish we could have known to speak with Microsoft to begin with. All along, all of the tech support people have been very nice, but the steps they have taken me through have taken hours up on hours of time!!!! AGHHH!!! We are supposed to receive a free upgrade to Windows 7 (the full version is supposed to come out at the end of this month) but now I am afraid to do this upgrade, if it means the possibility of more time WASTED on working on the computer (rather than doing a million other things I should be doing or would like to be doing).

Sorry - I just had to vent... (I have seriously considered taking our new computer into the driveway and running it over a few times) I hate that I depend on the computer to be able to pay bills, check our bank/credit cards, email, blog, etc... I am so far behind on all things computer related, I will never catch up... maybe if I had majored in computer science, rather than Spanish, I could have gotten through this on my own (and/or much quicker???!!!)

Ok... enough about my computer saga...

As far as other things that have been going on --- Anne continues to run around at 100 mph with no stopping until bed time. She has never been one to stop and take a nap, and she seems to gain energy and momentum with every passing day, so she is a lot to keep up with (luckily, she is for the most part, very well behaved... although, 3 years old seems to be a lot "sassier" than 2 years old!)

Whitney is getting to be such a big girl, too! I spent the past weekend sorting through all of the clothes in her drawers and closet and packing away all that she had outgrown (sad and happy at the same time) and getting out the next box of clothes that were Anne's to see what will fit for this fall/winter. When I finally finished with her clothes, I moved on to Anne's and now both girls are set with clothes for fall/winter (at least for now) and it feels good to have some sort of organization in both of their rooms (I even sorted all of our books today - we'll see how long that lasts).

Whitney is drinking out of a straw really well (although, still not taking enough volume to switch entirely away from bottles). We are working on the straw hierarchy used by Talk Tools with the guidance of our speech therapist. Whitney is on straw #4 (of 8).
Last week our speech therapist gave us the lip block to get her mouth/lips/tongue into the right position when drinking from the straw and Whitney seems to have the hang of drinking from the straw even with the lip block on and close to the end of the straw.
Our genetics doctor suggested we start adding a small amount of miralax to her night time bottle to help alleviate any constipation issues... we had been doing this, but now after reading about Ruby's mom putting olive oil in her bottles to add calories/good fat + help with constipation, we have been doing this with Whitney and it seems to be working out very well. Whitney is also doing better with eating table food. We still have to make everything very little so she doesn't choke or gag, but she can do it. We realized part of her not wanting to eat food that was more "solid" than baby food was not ability, but ATTITUDE. She didn't like texture or the effort that it was taking to "chew" the food and swallow it. We kept working and kept working with her (often putting the textured food into yogurt or baby food fruit that she really likes) and now, she still makes faces, but she will eat things like Sunshine Burgers (in small bite size pieces), mac n cheese (1-3 noodles at a time, depending on size of noodle), broccoli (steamed and cut into tiny pieces), carrots (steamed and cut into tiny pieces), spinach, applesauce, frozen berries that have been thawed and made into tiny pieces (I usually add this to yogurt), sunflowerbutter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc... It is so nice to be able to feed her some of the same things we feed Anne (Anne's food is still somewhat limited at times due to her major allergies to egg and nuts).

Whitney's therapies seem to be going well, too. Although - she has been getting up on all fours and rocking for about 2 months now, but she collapses after holding the position for about 5-10 seconds and does not move forward. She can scoot backward and roll all over the place to get to something, but she does not seem to be moving forward with crawling. I know she will get it, but it is definitely on her terms (despite our work... she LOVES to roll out of the crawling position, or any position that she doesn't feel like doing... she is a "professional" at rolling!)

We are also working more on bearing weight on her legs, which does seem to be getting better (although only for a few seconds at a time... again, when she feels like doing and for as long as she feels like doing it).

Here is a little video of Whitney from two months ago (just before her first birthday). She is pretty quiet throughout the day, but is "chatty cathy" just before bedtime :)