Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We're HOME!

Alayna had a great night last night at the hospital. Her pain is managed well with Tylenol every 4 hours.

She ate a little breakfast and a lot of ice cream and they declared us ready to come home.

She is still not drinking as much as I would like her to but, she is eating lots of jello and applesauce that count as liquid. Praying that she doesn't become dehydrated.

Here are a few pictures from the day. As I grabbed her out of bed at 5:30am she was all smiles and calling for Aidan! In the car on the way to the hospital she was making silly faces and noises and cracking us up.

We played with her baby doll until she was taken back into surgery. She was an immediate nurse's favorite in the surgery area with her giggles and happy go lucky attitude.

She looked so pitifully cute when they rolled her out to us from recovery. It only took her about 20 minutes before she gave us her first smile and giggles then we really knew she was ok.

We are both really tired (exhausted!). She is going on a 2 1/2 hour nap now, I even woke her up to give her the Tylenol and she went right back to sleep.

Hoping that her recovery continues to progress well and that we both get rested up. Thank you all for the prayers, we definitely felt them and know that God is answering them. Please continue to lift Alayna up for a quick and easy recovery.

I will leave you with a picture from this morning. When I opened up the windows we realized it was snowing. Alayna crawled up onto the couch and into the window to watch it snow and giggled.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Alayna after surgery

Alayna came through surgery like a champ. She was in the OR at 7:30 and we were talking with her Dr. by 8 am! She had terrible ear infections in both ears (Yeah for the tubes that we really didn't think we needed but were doing because we were in there anyway).

She came out of recovery at 8:45 and moved up to her room. She slept for a couple minutes then woke up and ate 2 cups of jello and drank a bunch of water and is asking for more.

Her IV failed so they had to take it out but, because she is already drinking and eating well they are going to leave it out. WOO HOO!

Thanks for the prayers, we felt them and God definitely responded.
Please pray for an easy, pain free recovery for her.

If she continues doing so well and has no problems tonight we will go home after morning rounds.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Prayers for Alayna

Please help us lift Alayna up in prayer for a successful tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy and ear tube surgery on Monday morning.
We also ask for prayers for a speedy, painfree recovery.
Thank you!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday and the leftover tradition

The things that we most of the time take for granted are always those that deserve our gratitude. Be thankful to that thing or person today and make every day of the year a personal Thanksgiving one.

~ Kurt Avish

Last year on Thanksgiving we had WAY too many leftovers and didn't know what to do with them. On the spur of the moment we decided to make plates and drive downtown and pass them out to the homeless (click here if you want to read that post).

This year we purposely decided to continue our new tradition so we bought a 20 pound turkey knowing that we didn't have but a few mouths to feed at our home.
Now don't get me wrong, all four of us are very big eaters and can put down some food but, I think we will still have way more than we need.

After dinner we will make up plates and deliver them to the men and women who are homeless in our area. We celebrate the blessings that have been given to us by giving back to others as God commands us to do.

My thankfulness this week is all for God. I am blessed beyond measure and know that my life and all that is in it is a beautiful gift from Him.

We pray for a wonderful Thanksgiving for you. Safe travels to those of you who are traveling.

May you spend a few minutes and reflect on the blessings you have been given this year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
~Henry Ward Beecher

I truly am grateful for all we have been given, we are beyond blessed. However, I think these three are what I am most grateful for on a daily basis...

~Bedtime stories and snuggles. Aidan reads to Alayna then she wants to go lay down in his bed and snuggle with him. Melt your heart cute!

~Alayna continuing to drop signs and add more verbal words (potty is her new fav!) also, that she is answering yes/no questions on a regular basis.

~Sure step success - We picked up her Sure steps on Tuesday morning. It is taking her a little bit to become accustomed to them but, we definitely see a steadier girl while in standing.

~Alayna saving us money on diapers. She continues to do well on potty training. She always lets us know when she needs to poop (Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi is one of her favorite books now, go figure it was one of Aidan's favs during potty training too), and she is starting to have dry diapers, even after naps!

~My parents left last Friday for Brownsville for the winter and made it safely. Have a great, warm winter Grandma & Pop Pop!

Only one more week until Thanksgiving, can you believe it? What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Foreshadowing of preschool to come

Today at BSF I volunteered in the children's department and was blessed to be able to be in the under 2 classroom with Alayna (they usually don't put you with your own kids).

The program is fantastic. There is lots of playtime, but a definite Bible lesson and song time, quiet prayer time, snack time etc. It really was a glimpse of what a preschool environment will be like for Alayna with typical peers all around her.

I was one happy mama after spending the morning playing and watching Alayna interact with the other kids and teachers. She was the only child that sat and listened to the whole Bible story (my girl LOVES her books). She participated in music time, sat down on her mat for snack time, politely asked for more cheerios when she finished her first round, and laid down quietly on her pillowcase for quiet prayer time.

One of my jobs as a parent is to prepare Aidan & Alayna for independent lives beyond us.

It was nice to see how well Alayna interacted in this social situation and handled the routine and direction of a classroom setting.

I can breathe a little sigh of relief that she is on her way to becoming prepared to be a preschooler next fall. Now the hard part...getting ME ready for that transition.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Serving in the city

On Sunday, Jason, Aidan & I and about 150 buddies from our church spent the afternoon volunteering here in the city. Last year we stocked food at a food pantry and cleaned up an older church.

This year our small group chose to work cleaning up the yards at two safe houses.

After a few hours of gutter cleaning, raking and bagging we had cleaned up the yards with over 50 huge leaf bags!

The director of the safe house program said as soon as we get finished (we also had a crew inside repainting) that they were moving a family into these homes.

Last year, I equated volunteering as that ripple effect you see when you throw a pebble into water.

Even though we may never see the ripples our pebble of service will have on this family or the families to come, the fun, fellowship and life changing effects that volunteerism has on our hearts keeps us serving.

Where have you served lately?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn
that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart.
~Sarah Ban Breathnach

~Big brothers who play ring around the rosie over and over with their sister just because it makes her giggle.

~Celebrating 97 years with my grandmother.

~Sunny fall days that Alayna and I soaked up at the park. Swinging, sliding, stomping on crunchy leaves...

~Sweet kindergarten neighbors who come and read to Alayna.

~Our insurance is covering Alayna's Sure Steps at 100%! Woot, Woot (they are over $1000) Can you see me doing my happy dance?

~Jason's new route gets him home by 5:30 everyday! Blessings, blessings, blessings! (I know that in a few weeks his workload will triple and he will probably be out late so I am truly enjoying every minute we have with him in the evenings).

As Thanksgiving gets closer I hope you are contemplating what you are truly grateful for today, this week, this month or even this year...there has to be at least one, what is it?

I will leave you with a video of our silly girl after she got up from her nap yesterday.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Celebrating 97 years...

My grandmother turned 97 on Saturday. To celebrate we gathered around her, showered her with flowers and cards and a great ice cream cake.

Aidan played her happy birthday on the piano (then had to play all his whole repertoire of songs he has learned so far). Great grandma and the rest of the nursing home folks loved it!

Alayna had a few smiles for great grandma and a few giggles (note she was laughing in the picture with her eyes closed) then she was off to enjoy some ice cream cake with Pop Pop (a girl after my own heart =)!

Happy birthday Grandma, we love you!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

How many times do we miss God's blessings
because they are not packaged as we expected?

This week I am thankful for...

~Autumn. I truly love all the seasons and enjoy living in the middle of the country where we can enjoy a bit of each season. This week I am enjoying the crisp mornings, warm mugs of hot chocolate, the crunchy leaves and the need for an extra blanket on the bed at night to stay cozy.

~My neighbor who came over and jump started my van when my sweet 7 year old left the keys in the ignition in the on position (he was watching his piano DVD). I was running out the door to get to Alayna's orthotic appointment and realized I had no battery.

~Alayna's happy go lucky attitude - Wherever we go people always comment on her happy nature. I am sure we are only adding to the stereotype ...all kids with ds are SO happy! LOL

This is how she greets me when she gets up from her nap, legs out of the crib, kicking in rhythm to whatever song she happens to be singing. Sweet, sweet, sweet!

~Finally, I am very grateful to the ladies that teach Alayna at our Bible study on Wednesday mornings. Instead of babysitting they have a 2 hour curriculum for these kids where they learn songs, learn a Bible story and have tons of fun. It truly is a blessing.

What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sure Steps

Alayna started cruising at 13 months, could get into standing without holding onto anything at 19 months, and took her first baby steps at 20 months. Over the summer she has continued to take 5-8 steps at a time but, we haven't progressed much further than that.

She has a mild pronation (her ankles turn inward and her arch collapses) causing her to use more energy each time she gets up into standing and tries to walk than a child who does not pronate. She isn't able to build up her endurance for walking because she is using up all her energy to maintain her balance.

Her PT and we were hoping that the pronation would correct itself with her spending more time up on her feet but, giving it the summer to test that out it really hasn't so we have moved on to needing & wanting orthotics to give her a little extra support.

Today, Alayna was measured (yeah NO casting) for Sure Steps a small orthotic (created especially for children with down syndrome) that will go around her foot, inside her shoe that will help keep her ankles aligned. These Sure Steps will allow her to gain stability while allowing normal movement and function.

Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of her getting measured. She looked like such a big girl sitting in a cube chair on top of the exam table.

She has an appointment on November 16th to pick them up! We will let you know how she progresses.