Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Almost Wordless Almost Wednesday

In The Morning
Originally uploaded by sammi's mom
Okay, so there are a few words, and there's still an hour to go until Wednesday. I bought Sammi some pink mesh wings today and can't wait to get her outside in the tutu and wings to get some photos! Maybe on the weekend. Thanks for picking up the tutu, Linda--she and Lila will make the most perfect little princesses!

Ugh, I have sooooo much to say, but sooooooooo little energy to say it. It's always so late by the time I visit the computer at home every night. I want to talk about the wonderful surprise birthday party my step-father held for my mother last week. I want to talk about the progress we're making on the ESY (Extended School Year--basically, summer school with ST, PT & OT services) front. I want to talk about our missed appointment with Dr. Lewanda. I want to talk about things that I can't remember that I wanted to talk about, but hope I'll remember when the moment strikes me. I do miss unloading here.

Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Some Day I'll Have the Energy Again...

I've had a sinus infection for days now that followed a pretty horrendous cold last week, so my energy level has totally been in the toilet lately. I just started antibiotics yesterday, so I should be good as new very soon. It's like no amount of cafffeine that I ingest will make the teeniest bit of difference. I really need to get back into the swing of things here in blogland--I'm definitely missing out!

This weekend we got a wonderful and fun visit from my father and step-mother, who traveled down from New Jersey for the day, and we got a glimpse into all the fun activities that lie in store for us through the summer now that we live in Ashburn. On Saturday, after my parents arrived (and got the grand tour of our new house!), we decided to go into Leesburg, a historic colonial town about 10 minutes away, for lunch. We had no idea that there was a huge street festival going on that had many of the downtown streets closed off. It was an annual plant and garden event, with stalls all set up to sell some of the most amazing crafts, plants and other implements for gardens. We walked around for a while on what had to be the most gorgeous day of the year (sunny & about 72 dry degrees) and had sandwiches out on the lawn of the town hall, where a live band performed on a stage. Samantha had a blast, dancing (in her unique Samantha way) and eating PB&J and an ice cream cone. This was the first time we’ve ever given her a cone to hold on her own, and she did great, as you can see from the photo! My father questioned the mess she was making of her clothes (he was just looking out for me, since he knows what I’m like…), but heck, all her clothes are washable, and ice cream is supposed to make a mess.  I tend to be a little overly-neat with her sometimes, but mainly when we’re inside and I don’t want mess to go all over the place. I’m trying to relax a bit more about it, though, since I don’t want her to feel that she can’t try or touch new things. She’s so funny when she has something on her face—she’ll take a napkin and very gently, very carefully, hold it in both hands and pat her mouth. I can’t help thinking, “uh oh, what have I done?” Aren’t kids supposed to get dirty?

On Sunday we bought a car. My mom and step-father have been sooooooo gracious to have lent us one of their cars for the last year so I could commute back and forth to work. But it is definitely time to return it and get something slightly bigger that we can put a baby seat in (having a baby seat in only one car has proven to be logistically challenging). So we narrowed down our choices to a PT Cruiser and a Suzuki Aerio, and the Aerio won. It was an ex-loaner from a dealership that had only 6,100 miles on it, so it still has that new car smell. Love it! It’s nothing fancy, but has loads of head and leg room and is a very comfortable ride with just the right amount of bells and whistles to keep us entertained and happy. I’m very, very happy with it, and look forward to my horrid commute to work every morning!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

People First

I've taken some nighttime cold medicine and was just on my way to bed (you know, when you realize that you haven't closed your mouth in the last 10 minutes, your ears begin to ring, and you cease to feel any pain whatsoever) when my computer began calling me in that way that computers do...so here I am. Please do not hold me responsible for run-on sentences, typos, or just plain boring content.

This morning, Steve and I had a very long (2 hrs. 15 min.) but successful IEP meeting at Samantha's school with her teachers, therapists and Vice Principal. We received her preliminary IEP with the goals they all set yesterday, and so had little time to review it before the meeting (reading it after taking lastnight's dose of nighttime cold medicine was not such a good idea), but it looked like it was covering all of the bases. We had a few of our own to add to it, but the additions were met by all involved with enthusiasm. It has been decided that Samantha can go to school for 5 days a week, receiving 1 hour each of PT, OT and ST each week, which is exactly what we wanted. The specific goals and their timelines look appropriate, attainable, and measurable. We had a rather lengthy discussion about Extended School Year (ESY) services, and the fact that Samantha is not eligible solely because she has only been at the school for a month and they are unable to prove that she would either regress without services over the summer (they've never experienced her after a break, but heck, who has? She's 2, and just started school in September, after having had Early Intervention right up until school started!) or that she's on the edge of a breakthrough. Personally, we do really think that she's at a point, especially with speech, that could be a breakthrough. She's begun to use 2-word sentences more frequently, and has made more of an effort to try to mimic the correct pronunciation of words (we understand what she's saying with her word approximations, but it's crucial that everyone understand her!). We agreed on the IEP and signed, but with the provision that we would need to reconvene to discuss ESY again in a few weeks, after we can consult with Samantha's old school in Arlington for any kind of corroborating documentation to support a need for ESY. We'll see...

But back to the post title...the Vice Principal was talking about children with Down syndrome as "Down syndrome children", and Steve was VERY quick to jump in and correct him, saying "Children with Down syndrome". It was a very proud moment for me...when I first introduced the concept of People First to Steve, he didn't get what the big deal was. Which is fair enough. I understand where he was coming from, and am certainly not a person who would jump on someone for saying it, but as Steve said later, the VP is in a position that should really know better, especially as the person in a school who heads the Special Ed program. He did it a couple of times, and each time Steve corrected him. Finally, the third time, he got it right, second guessed himself and began to correct himself the wrong way, but we laughed and said he got it right the first time. I think he may think more carefully about his words in the future.

I'll end this (my brain is getting foggier and foggier with each passing minute) by saying a HUGE "Congratulations and Good Luck" to Michelle at Our Roads Traveled who has checked into the hospital this evening and will have a brand new baby girl (name yet-to-be-announced) tomorrow! I hope all goes well, and can't wait to meet her!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bits & Pieces from the Last Week

I don't have the energy to write right now, so here are just a few bits and pieces from the last week, in pictures:

Pre-Raphaelite Goddess

Reading With Grandpa

Blowing Bubbles on the Deck With Mommy at the Lake

Sitting on Grandma & Grandpa's Boat

Sammi & Grandma Down at Lake Anna

The Easter Bunny Visits Our Yard
Domestic God

Definitely More Than I Ever Wanted To Know About Wasps

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lots of Words for Wednesday

Mommy, Matthew won't let me drive!!

Leaning in for a kiss...

Sammi's turn...

One of the real joys of having a house is the smell of fresh cut grass in the spring and summer. Not like I’m the one doing the cutting, because I know it’s no easy task (cutting, weed-whacking, raking and bagging), but I do appreciate the scent of green. Not to mention, the yard looks so much better. Steve, quite possibly for the first time ever (or at least in the last 18 years), mowed the lawn on Sunday afternoon. It was a gorgeous day, the fluffy white cherry blossom trees in front of and behind the house were just past peak bloom, and neighborhood children were out and about, playing on scooters and bikes in the street. I love our location—in front of the house is a quiet street with sidewalks where Sammi will be able to play and ride her bike when she’s older, and behind the house is a school, with baseball and soccer fields, a large jungle gym, a biking/jogging path, and basketball courts. The neighbors all seem friendly so far, although we haven’t had too much interaction with them just yet. As the weather gets better and better, I’m sure that will change. I sat on the couch this morning watching the sun come up, the planes coming in to land, and drinking my coffee. On warmer mornings I’ll be able to do the same, only from outside on the deck.

Saturday, Samantha went to little Stella Ferguson’s (Audrey & Stella’s Playground) 1st birthday party. And what a party it was! Lots of people and kids (not like kids aren’t people, but you know what I mean), amaaaaaazing food (what a spread!), and another beautiful day. Unfortunately, Samantha was in the beginning stages of being sick and was very cranky. I didn’t realize she was sick until we got home, but she’s got a cold with a cough and a fever, and has hardly eaten since Saturday. I just thought she was tired and being a pain, but I apologize to anyone she was kissing at the party and hope nobody else got sick. I’ve attached some kissy-kissy pics of Sammi and Matthew above.

Samantha’s IEP meeting is next Wednesday. We have some concerns and a huge list of things we’d like to see happen, and hope that the teachers and therapists here in Loudoun County are as receptive as the ones in Arlington were last year. I’m a little worried, but will post more about this later. It’s been a little challenging reading blogs and posting on my own lately—it seems like I have so much less time to do it than I used to. I think the main reasons are that I have ½ hour less in the morning to myself (my commute is supremely crappy for the next couple of weeks, but will then get much better in May) and that our computer is now in a room upstairs, rather than near the tv in the living room. I used to be able to multi-task by watching my favorite shows and doing stuff online at the same time. I’m not complaining—I love having a separate office, but it means that I have to budget my time better.

More soon.