Thursday, May 29, 2014

Good-bye Lions...

Today was the day.  My punkin horsie had her last day of Early Childhood education.  She got on the bus and strapped into her car seat and off the bus for the last time today.  I still can't believe that she's done.  I remember her first day like it was yesterday, she turned 3 on a Saturday and the following Monday she started school.  I cried along with her.  I was sad to be leaving all of her wonderful Early Intervention therapists to embark onto an adventure to an unknown school (for us).

I can't say enough good things about Juli's preschool.  She has progressed so much from the time she was 3 until now, and it is due to the wonderful therapists and her teachers.  Juli was blessed to be a Yellow Lion for the past 2 years and a month.  She was able to work with the same speech therapist and occupational therapist the entire time she went there.  She had the opportunity to work with 2 different physical therapists and both women were wonderful with her.  She had two different classroom teachers who worked very well with her, especially the one she had this year- she worked wonders with Juli!

Tonight, we went to Family Fun Night at Juli's school.  It's a night where you can bring your family (I bet you were surprised by that, right?) and all the teachers and therapists are there organizing a plethora of entertainment from bouncy houses, to face painting and tattoos, to a magic show, to the "Race to Kindergarten" for all the students going to Kindergarten.  My kiddos had a blast, and I was able to take pictures of Juli with each of her special people (except for her PT from last year- we couldn't find Ms Jackie or Ms Abby the TA).

This is Ms. Meghan, Juli's fabulous teacher this year.  In her class, Juli learned to write her name, count to 15, follow directions, & so much more.  She brought home so many papers with pictures that she drew and art projects she made that our art boards in the stairwells were constantly being changed out, because she was so proud of her work.  Every day she would come home bursting to tell me what she learned from Ms. Meghan.  Ms. Meghan, we wish you taught Kindergarten too, you are fantastic!
Ms Meghan
This is Ms Ryane, Juli's speech therapist.  We were fortunate to have Ms. Ryane for the past two years.  Ms. Ryane was great for Juli because she knew when Juli was trying to pull a fast one and get out of doing her speech work for that day.  Juli saw Ms. Ryane twice a week, and we would work on her speech homework every night (and will continue to do so over the summer).  With Ms. Ryane's help, most people can now understand about 80% of what Juli says when she talks to you.  Also, with Ms. Ryane's help, she will answer questions, instead of saying, "I can't know" a large amount of the time.  Juli still has a way to go speech wise, since she doesn't like to use "is", "the", "he/she", etc, but she has made big gains since starting preschool.  Ms. Ryane, we are going to miss you!

Ms. Ryane
This is Ms. Danielle, Juli's Physical Therapist for this year.  Last year, Juli had Ms. Jackie (we couldn't find her in the crowd of people, but she was fantastic too- trust me).  Ms. Danielle worked Juli hard.  Juli likes to "W" sit, and Ms. Danielle has worked hard on Juli's core to get her to stop "W" sitting.  We still catch her doing it from time to time, but it is not as frequent as it used to be.  Also, with Ms. Danielle, Juli achieved one of her goals that she is most proud of- hopping forward with both feet.  She is still working on hopping on one foot, but she is so very proud to be able to jump off the ground.  The day she came home from school and showed me that, we celebrated like it was her birthday.  Ms. Danielle, you rock!

Ms. Danielle
This is Ms. Karen.  Juli got to have Ms. Karen for the past 2 years, and she has brought Juli a long way, especially sensory-wise.  Juli can now focus in large and small group for longer than 2 minutes without being redirected.  She can cut with scissors in a straight line and follow along on a pattern fairly well.  She can also complete 2-3 step tasks with redirection.  I don't know what we would have done without Ms. Karen, because Juli would have been hopping from one activity to the next to the next.  We will definitely miss her next year as well!
Ms. Karen
I have to say, I was nervous sending my then, 3 year old, into this unfamiliar territory.  I am so glad that I did.  The girl who has emerged from there has changed so much and I have all of the amazing therapists and teachers to thank for it.  They work so hard at their jobs and they don't get much recognition.  And now, I have Kindergarten looming in the future and wonder what it holds for my girl.  What therapists will we meet on our journey this time?  Will they be as wonderful as all the ones we have had so far?  They sure have big shoes to fill...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Juli is our "extreme" child.  Everything she does or that happens to her always is at an extreme.  For example, Noah falls off a swing, he gets a cut or a bruise.  Juli falls off a swing, and she knocks a tooth loose.

Two Monday's ago, Juli woke up and said she didn't feel good and started dry heaving in the bathroom.  Ryan worked from home and stayed home with her.  She had a low grade fever for most of the day.  Just before bed, I noticed she was more lethargic than usual and took her temperature.  It was 106.  Ryan took her temperature.  Still 106.  Since Juli tends to have febrile seizures when her temperature is high, we knew we were in trouble.  Our pediatrician, as well as Juli's neurologist, had told us what to do when her temperature gets that high: cool her down (they also told us that if we took her to the ER, all they would do is give her Tylenol or Ibuprofen unless she had a seizure).  So, we stripped her down and put her in a lukewarm bath.  Then, she vomited, and the screaming began.  After 20 minutes we had her down to 102, she was done vomiting and I was able to get her to drink some Tylenol.  Needless to say I called in to work for that day.

I took her to the doctor the next day, and after being tested for strep and having her ears and chest checked, we were told it was just a virus that had to run its course.  Awesome.  She ran a fever for the remainder of the week, mainly 103.  It finally broke on Saturday, and then she passed it on to me, yay!

I can say that after staying home with her for a few days, I now have the following movies memorized: Frozen, Monsters University, and Despicable Me 2.  I also got to have some precious snuggle time with my girl who is always on the move, and that was worth all the sleepless nights that I had that week.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Today was the last day that I will have my "driving to school buddy" riding shotgun with me.  Tomorrow, for the first time in a while, I will drive to school alone.  It's the end of an era in many ways, Ally's graduating high school, and her mom is closing her day care.

I met Ally when I first went back to work after having Noah.  Her mom watches my kiddos.  She was going into 6th grade at the time, and Noah was almost 6 months old.  Here's some pictures of her and Noah at his first birthday party.  As you can see, she was already part of the family by then.

When she entered high school, she started riding to school with me.  It seemed dumb for her to take the bus since we were both going to the same location from her house.  Ally became my "driving to school buddy".  Sometimes we would talk on the way to school, other times we would ride in the quiet.  She could read my mood and I could read her mood.  I learned a lot about her and she became like my little sister.

Before the end of her junior year of high school, Ally joined the National Guard as a means for college.  What that meant was, she took all her final exams early and spent her entire summer in boot camp.  Not your typical teenage girl, eh?  She's amazing.  That's what she is.

Leaving for boot camp
Ally is a senior this year.  She is president of the National Honor Society.  Besides doing Guard duty one weekend a month, she also works another job, all while maintaining a GPA of over 4.7.  She is one of the most down to earth, grounded young ladies you will ever meet.  When we had to send Finchy across the Rainbow Bridge, it was Ally who came and stayed with the kids and refused to take babysitting money.  When Ryan passed out at Red Robin, it was Ally who came and watched my kids while I stayed at the ER with Ryan. This summer she is going to spend 10 days in Costa Rica on a trip that she paid for with her own money and when she returns home, she will leave for the remainder of the summer for her job training for the National Guard.

Ally, we may not be actual sisters, but I love you like we are.  I am so proud of you and everything you have done.  I'm going to miss driving to school with you.  Congratulations on graduating!