Saturday, June 25, 2011

Drive By

Today we went out as a family to get several errands done. We had lunch off of Fry Road, and I navigated Daddy on a surprise detour. We turned down Kingsland, went through another light and...

Me: Ta-daaaa!
Daddy: Uhhh, ta-da what?
Me: Audrey's school!!

I can't believe I am sending you to school next year.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sleepin' In

This week has been a fun, but busy week with VBS at our church. You had a good time with the sweet grandma’s who took care of all the babies. Grandma’s who just want to sit and cuddle are some of your favorite people!

Everyone was so worn out fromt the week that we all slept in until 8:30 this morning. Happy Father's Day to Daddy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our First ARD

I want to tell you about our great ARD meeting at your new school last Wednesday! We met the principle, the teacher of your class, and the nurse in your class. Once again, eight ladies sat around one large conference table to discuss your little self. We read the report from your eval which essentially said you were eligible to be in the TIP program. We decided how often you would receive PT and OT in the classroom. The nurse asked great questions about your needs and our methods of doing things that showed me she is knowledgeable and experienced. The nurse and teacher both clearly have a heart for kids like you. Your mornings (class is from 8:20 to 11:20) will be full of activities to help you grow and develop, but at the same time they will respect your cues on days you just need to rest. Everyone appears to be thrilled to have you next year!

It is hard to imagine putting you on a school bus and sending you off each morning in just about two months. I never thought school would be a possibility for you. And it wouldn’t be, if it weren’t for this program. So while I am a little anxious and a little sad (just because I will miss you—you have been my constant companion for 3 years), I am also very excited. I think you will get so much out of it and that is exactly what Daddy and I want for you—to grow and learn. I am praying it will be a great experience for all. And in the meantime, we will enjoy our summer!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Some Birdie is Turning Three!

Today was your birthday party! We held it at First Baptist at the Rec Center. They have two huge playscapes, bowling, pool, foos ball, air hockey, and a room for our snacks. Almost all your friends were able to come, and we really had a great time. It was very low maintenance for me…no games or activities. We just sang happy birthday and let everyone play!

I chose a theme to match your bedding…birdies in pink, brown and lilac colors. It turned out way cute (if I do say so myself). And the best part was that I spent $4 on tablecloths and that is absolutely all for d├ęcor. I had leftover plates/napkins/utensils from your first birthday party and everything else I brought from your room. I wish I had a picture. But with only 30 minutes set up time, I finished the moment everyone walked in, and never looked back. Which was good—I wasn’t stressed one bit and was able to enjoy the party.

I’ll describe the set up so that I don’t forget. On a lilac tablecloth I had the pink wooden flower pots of various sizes from your bedroom. Those held plates, napkins, and utensils. I had a three tiered plate stand that held your pink strawberry and chocolate cupcakes with the birdie toppers. In the middle were three apothecary jars that each held a “Sweet Tweet”: chocolates in lilac wrappers, pink Starbursts, and chocolate covered mini donuts. I had “Chickadee” shaped cheddar crackers in a white bowl, and on the other side of the table “Cheep-Cheeps and Dip” (creamy jalapeno and salsa from Chuy’s). We kept drinks super simple with bottled waters, Capri suns and cans of coke. Two bird figurines on sticks (that sounds strange, but really, they are cute) and your framed invitation rounded out the decor.

There was a table for gifts and a table for party favors. All the kids received a bag of gummy worms with a sticker that said, “The early bird gets the (gummy) worm!” and a bag of birdseed that said, “For the Birdies at your house.” Daddy helped me assemble these. Boys got a bird whistler that warbles when water is added to the bottom, and girls were given a bath fizzie with birds on it. For the babies I attempted to make these cute bird softies I found HERE, but it would have gone much better if I began my endeavor sometime before Party Eve. Live and learn. (Who am I kidding? I doubt I will ever learn. I wait till last minute for everything. It’s in my DNA.) With a lot of help from Mema and Sam, they came out decent. But I have plenty of leftover fabric. I am going to give it another go, even though crafty is most definitely NOT in my DNA. All the gifts went in paper bags that Daddy drew impromptu birds on.

We did get this one family photo and considering Liam was fighting to play rather than pose, it turned out pretty good! That’s all I’ve got in the way of photos. Sorry chica. But we have memories.

**If anyone else has pics from the party, please send them my way!**

**Invites by Chelsea Davis. Super sweet gal who did an amazing, quick and affordable job! My picture is horrible but the invites are precious!**

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Birthday Girl!

Audrey Lee is turning three! (That’s our birthday mantra.)

Oh Audrey. Where has the time gone? Three is so big. SO BIG. Officially not a baby, no matter how deceiving looks can be.

Our plan was to take you to an amazing amusement park in San Antonio designed specifically for special needs children and adults. (You can check out Morgan’s Wonderland here.) I thought it was a brilliant idea to take you there on your actual birthday. We rarely do outings..I should clarify…we rarely do FUN outings just for you. Usually it is something Liam will enjoy and so you tag along. And to be blunt, there isn’t a lot you like to do. You are most content sitting at home being loved on by someone. But this is place was built with your comfort and entertainment in mind. And then we were going to take Liam to Sea World on Friday, making a mini-vacation out of it.

Best laid plans. Sigh. We were sick all last week and still completely drained. Daddy and I could have powered through the exhaustion. But the forecast called for triple digit temps in SA today. Much of Morgan’s Wonderland is outside, and although the playgrounds have UV canvas shades, you would have been miserable. I kept trying to convince myself that if we went early and took enough breaks and packed hand fans and cool packs, you would be comfortable. But I knew deep down every minute would have been spent with you in tears and us in metaphorical tears that you weren’t happy. And even though I surely would have gained “cool mom” points to take you somewhere so perfect on your birthday, it really is about you. Not my great idea and mom ego. So back to the drawing board.

Eventually we decided to go with the Children’s Museum. It is inside, cool, and there are plenty of lights, sounds, buttons and textures to hold your interest. It worked out wonderfully. You and Liam had a blast and Daddy and I had enough energy to enjoy it also. We became members so that we can go back throughout the hottest days of summer. Happy birthday Audrey! I am loving the big girl you are growing (albeit slowly) into and can’t wait to see what God has in store for the next year of your precious life!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mrs. Liza

It is bittersweet graduating out of ECI. Sweet in that it means you have made it to three! Bitter in that we are going to miss our weekly visits with our ECI family.

Today we said goodbye to Mrs. Liza, your ECI physical therapist. Liza was a crucial player the last 6 months or so in getting your orthotics, seating system and stander adjusted ideally for you. In the game of your equipment needs, she was definitely the quarterback. Without her connections and insistence on perfection for your equipment, we would have had a much more difficult battle in this area. We enjoyed having her be a part of our lives and are grateful for her help on this journey. We love you Mrs. Liza! Keep in touch!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Too Cool for (regular) School

Yesterday was your Katy ISD eval to see where you are best suited to attend SCHOOL next year.

SCHOOL. Does that freak you out a bit like it does me? Surely not.

Several months back I attended the orientation class for PPCD. At that time I decided that although it is probably a fabulous program, it wasn’t a good fit for you. For one, they don’t group children by ability’s or developmental age. They just stick the first ten in a class and when it is full, start another. I imagined you in a class full of children with simple delays such a speech problems, and you getting lost in the hustle and bustle. Plus they do things like centers and circle time. Which is great for most kids. But your vision won’t allow you to see the board or the pictures in a book that is being read to the class. And even if you could, I don’t care if you ever learn seasons or numbers or letters. I want you to be able to sit on your own. Push buttons on toys. Those sorts of things. Most importantly I was concerned about your safety. In a room of 10 children with special needs, I would never expect the two teachers to constantly keep their eyes on you. However, with your vomiting, that would need to be the case in order to prevent choking and aspiration. For these reasons I declined to pursue public education for you.

Mrs. MB, your VI teacher, later told me about the TIP program. It sounded so perfect for you. I think she said this year they had 3 teachers and 4 kids, so almost one-on-one. And one of those teachers is a nurse, trained in g-tubes, Epi-pens, suctioning—the works! It is only for medically fragile children with vision problems. But we needed to go through KISD and PPCD to be placed in the exclusive class.

Which brings us back to your eval yesterday. We went to the building right by Rhodes Stadium where the PPCD office is located. There were probably a total of 7 ladies there, a mix of therapists, teachers and coordinators. All of us crowded around tiny you. They played with you on a mat to see what your tricks and how you reacted in certain situations. They asked me questions about your social, gross motor, fine motor, self help, and eating skills. And they allowed me to ask questions about the program as well. Knowing I had reservations about PPCD, they asked me to explain those. I stressed my concern for your safety in a large classroom. They understood my apprehension, but assured me that they have many kids in the program with similar issues. They felt that a regular PPCD class was where you should start off and if necessary we could later move you to the TIP program. These ladies were very sweet, approachable and reasonable. I could have pushed my case. But I just felt like I should hold my tongue. We said our goodbyes and headed to the car.

I called Daddy on our way home, and he asked me how it went. I told him that I was disappointed, because I didn’t feel like I did a good job expressing and insisting on what I felt was best for you. Daddy and I are really the only voice you have, and if we don’t speak up, who will? As he and I talked, I tried to figure out why I didn’t push for TIP. Maybe it was because I knew I would have time to fight that decision later. Plus, I now reasoned, it would probably be best to wait until Mrs. MB was present so that she could back me up and fight on my side. (She was at her daughter’s HS graduation, that’s why she wasn’t there for the meeting.) Even though these all sounded like great rationale, I couldn’t convince myself I handled things well. I was bummed. Daddy and I resolved to pray that doors would open and shut so that God’s will for you would be clear.

Today I got a phone call from a lady who was present for the eval. She said that after we left, they had some more discussion and decided the TIP program would in fact, be more appropriate for you. I was thrilled! Whether my silence at the meeting was at the Holy Spirit’s prompting or if God just worked it out in spite of my failure, I have no idea. But regardless, we have an ARD meeting set up for next week at your future school!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dr. Dentist

Today you went to the dentist. Last time we saw him, Dr. C really upset me with the way he handled you. I warned him that you were very orally aversive and to go gently. He promptly stuck his fingers way back in your mouth, causing you to immediately vomit. As I suctioned you, he took his gloves off, told me your mouth looked normal for a g-tube fed baby, and tried to walk out the door. I stuck my head down the hall and told him that after waiting two hours and then disregarding my child’s well being, he could at least give me two minutes to answer some questions. Ok, I didn’t say that. If only I could be so confrontational and honest. But I did tell him I had some questions, which he hastily answered in the hallway.

I spent two years looking for a new dentist. But what it comes down to is this: he is the only dentist at TCH, and from what I have heard, amazing at what he does. Dr. L won’t sign off on you to have dental surgery anywhere other than a hospital, and it is just simplest to keep all your medical history at one place. So we gave Dr. C one more chance. I don’t need a good bedside manner. But I do need him to respect your boundaries.

This time we waited under 10 minutes—off to a good start. I gave him a summary of what happened last time, and told him that your aversion has decreased in the past two years. I knew if he went s-l-o-w-l-y, you would allow him in to see what he needed. He went slow-ish. But to his credit, he sees what he needs quickly so that you didn’t have to tolerate much. You had “gag” face near the end, but didn’t get sick at all. He explained what he saw thoroughly and allowed me to ask questions. Much better experience. Maybe he saw that I came ready to fight if necessary.

And the results? Pretty decent. You have a complete over bite. None of your teeth match up whatsoever (which shows what a clever girl you are since you somehow you to manage to grind those back teeth when distressed). Several teeth have only come partially down, which is common for kids who don’t use their teeth for chewing. And they are odd sizes, shapes, and colors, but we have known all this since they came in. Basically, everything is fine, come back in a year, no dental work necessary at this time.

That’s a great reason to flash those pearly whites (or yellowish whites in your case…just keeping it real).