Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life as of Right Now!

So much going on in our lives right now, and I hope to catch up on the blogging soon. But till then enjoy some of the photos my dear friend Jessica took of my growing belly and my sweet family. So glad we have these wonderful photos to remember this time as a family of three and a precious reminder of Taylor growing in my tummy!

That is life as I know it right now! Love my hubby, my sweet daughter and the little kicker in my big belly!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What a difference a year makes!

The first photo is Emma now, walking and on her own, as much as she can!

This is last year at the end of school, at her fun run, notice she is using a walker with a seat as well.

Last Christmas program, Emma at the end her wheelchair!
As you can see in the photos a year is a long time and for Emma a lot has changed!!

Wow, we meet with Emma's IEP team the other day. I will be honest and say I hate these meetings. Most of the time, they have great ideas but it takes weeks to months to see things happen to get what she needs, so I tend to get very upset. This meeting went pretty well. Part of her team has worked with us for two years now, and knows we do not play around, and two member's actually worked with me in the classroom when I was still teaching:) I was just thrilled to see Occupational therapy in attendance it too since August to get her evaluated and I wanted to know what she thought. Just so you know these teams are made up of the support staff Emma needs to help her succeed in a school classroom, and they meet to make goals for the upcoming year.

I will say the first thing we discussed was so exciting, last year when we met Emma had just stopped using her wheelchair at school and was starting to just use her walker with her seat on it and was wearing leg braces. This year Emma is only using a walker as needed which is like less then 15% of the time, she does not use a seat or braces anymore. She walks on her own, crawls or holds a hand to get around. This is a huge step literally!!! We are so proud, her PT said she can go over 200 feet by herself!! We actually took mobility off her list of major concerns. They will continue to work with her on lowering and standing on her own and being more stable and going farther distances, but she has come a long way. Next year she will have to use her walker some more due to we are hopefully moving her to much bigger school and she will not be able to walk the long halls at first. (sad but a big move)

Speech has come a long way this year, but still lacking. Most who know her understand her pretty well but not strangers. She does speak in circle time and to her friends which is new this year!! Yeah!! She has upped her amount of words by quit a bit and has even more approximations, so we are pleased. They are hoping to evaluated her for a much more technical device to help her communicate more. We are hoping to maybe get her a funded by Metro IPad to help her be able to share more and more in class! Fingers crossed, Emma is very good at computers and computer games, but this will be a challenge to get approved but would be wonderful for her. There are great apps on the IPad for Speech.

She will be starting OT soon. She has some great skills, but still lacking fine hand strength. They will work on cutting skills, letter writing, and those types of skills. The teacher was thrilled that her pencil grasp was excellent even for a left handed child and that she was showing some positive signs towards writing and cutting. This will be a big help for her as we move her to a much more advance pre-k class next year. She will need more paper and pencil skills. It was a long fight to get this service but so glad it is finally happening.

We talked a lot more about goals, but I will not bore you with all those details. I just wanted to highlight for my own memories how much she changed since last year. We are looking forward to next year, and will meet in May to finalize those plans and hopefully get her approved for some summer help as well. We will announce that our goal is to hold Emma out of Kindergarten for one more year and to place her at a Pre-K class at our school of zone. It would be a blended class with both special education children and regular education kids as well. This would allow her one more year to grow, learn more speech and hopefully continue to walk more on her own. She is turning five but we feel this is the best choice for her and for us. It is scary to think of her leaving her safe, small preschool, but it is time to move up and move on to bigger and hopefully mommy can leave her in such a big place when the time comes.

So proud of her and we have come a long way in a year.!

Friday, February 18, 2011

PT, UTI's, IEPs, and OT Oh My!!

Be warn this is a post full of intials and information on what is currently going on in the life of my sweet Emma. I try to explain what each one means for those not familiar with special education terms. Enjoy catching up with Emma's life.

So I thought I would share a little bit of what Emma is working on at PT. I do not attend every week anymore, that became a Daddy and Emma event, when I started working some on Monday's, and to be honest with us both there she played more then worked. But I went this last week, since I have not been in a while and checked out what she is working on at PT. (physical therapy for those not use to the intials:) )

Working on stooping to pick up objects.

Climbing up to the top of the climbing wall.

Jumping off with some help!

Help I am stuck in the foam pit. Think I will take a nap!

Working on walking up Emma sized steps:)

Trying to walk up "normal size steps" using alternating legs, this is hard for someone so short.

Going down the slide after walking up the steps!

Jump, Jump, Jump!!

Playing in the waitng room before therapy:)

We are so proud of her and all she is working on at therapy. She is working mostly on steps, transistions (from floor to standing, from standing to the floor etc), jumping, and walking farther and farther. She enjoys PT most Monday's and also seems to be doing well with her Metro Therapist on Tuesday's, she actually meet all her Metro PT goals and we are meeting to make write new ones into her IEP (indvidualized Education plan).

On Wednesday Emma had to visit her favorite Peds Dr because I believed she had an UTI. Once again I was correct, but the drama to get her cathed for the test. Thank goodness Daniel left work to help hold her down, since last time I hurt myself. So, we are on a ten day heavy duty dose of meds to clear it up. I hate that I am always right when I think she has one. We see her urologist in April, and after the few UTI's we have had lately, I am sure he will order some test to see what is going on. YUCK!

This Wednesday we meet with the Special Education group to start work on her IEP for next year. We can only make new goals for the rest of this year and next year, but we can not formalize plans for next year or make Summer plans yet, the school's will not allow it yet. Which stinks since we will have to meet again, and I really hate meeting with them. I tend to get mad or annoyed by all the stupid hoops to get services. But she finally got an OT (occupational therapy) evaluation done this week, it only took from Augut till now to do it, and hopefully that means if she needs to start OT they will be at the meeting and we can finally start that.

Well, I think that is enough intials to throw at you in one post, so I will end there. But like my blog's name says, our life is different but oh so normal to us. Luckily despite it all Emma is full of love and laughter.

One last cute photo of my sweet girl!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thursday Pick Me Up!!

Thought I would share a few photos of my family that my dear friend Jessica took at a local coffee shop. I will update on life soon, but till then enjoy a little pick me up on this cloudy Thursday!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My surprise mom's group shower!

I am so lucky to be in a wonderful Mom's Small Group from my church. I joined in August and have been so blessed by getting to know this Godly women and share our joys, dreams, and fears. I have grown so much in my walk with God since joining this group and also have a wealth of mommy advice when I need it. These wonderful ladies threw me and another memeber, Debbie, a surprise Diaper shower last week. It was such a nice surprise and much needed diapers now fill Taylor's closet. Love the ladies in my group and will miss them while I deliever and heal, but will be back asap with Taylor in tow:)

The Cake for Debbie and Me! It was yummy! Taylor danced for hours after the sugar rush!

Cool present!

Much needed bottom cream!

The amazing amount of diapers, wipes, and other wonderful items I was so nicely given.!

The cute diaper cake!

So blessed by wonderful friends and family!

Awesome Baby Shower!

I was thrown the nicest shower by two very sweet ladies, My best friend from Lipscomb, Alicia and her wonderful mom, Doris. They worked so hard on making me feel like queen for the day. It was so nice to see Taylor's name everywhere and his upcoming birth celebrated with my wonderful friends and family. It was a room full of love and support! I loved looking around and seeing friends from High School, College, Church, the Library, my 90 year old Grandmother, three of my wonderful Aunts, my mom, sister, two sister-in-laws, and my mother-in-law (and if I forgot you I am sorry I was so glad you where there I promise). It was an amazing afternoon and we were blessed with wonderful gifts to help welcome him into the world.

Here are some pics from that day!!

Love this tiny hat from my friend Jessica!

Cute Clothes! We got some really cute stuff!

The Awesome Sign My Sister made for over his bed.

Tiny little Nike Socks!

A boy boppy cover, sorry Emma the pink one has to go.

My sis and mom!

My mom hiding behind me!

My adopted Mother and little Sister!

The lovely ladies who threw my awesome shower!

Piggy Bank and the homemade mints Alicia made!

More cute outifts

Storm Pooper Onsie!

The cute onsies Alicia found!

One of my many diaper cakes!

Cute Picture frame!

I hope you enjoyed a peek into my awesome shower. I loved every minute of it, and it made me so excited to welcome Taylor Daniel into the world and get to use all the wonderful items given so generously to us. I can not wait to put him in the tiny little outfits and use the diapers etc. I can not wait to meet him and have him become a part of this family. Soon the day will be here!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is...

Love is ......

in the everday princess moments..
visiting daddy at work....
in family...

and friends.....
in the future of my family...
in the small miracles...
loving our expanding family...
and just in pure loving moments!!
Happy Valentines Day from my growing family to yours!!!