Saturday, April 23, 2011

At what point…

…does it become more fun for the KIDS to dye Easter eggs than it is for the parents?

The carton was fun, at least…P1090538


…and she was intrigued by the eggs going in one color and out another.  She really wanted to play with the pretty blue egg. 

Catastrophe averted:P1090546

Daddy to the rescue (I was obviously too busy taking pictures to prevent the inevitable blue dye-y mess all over the floor…  My light maple hardwood floor…)P1090545

And then it happened.  She decided she’d like to play in the (pink, obviously) cup of dye, thankyouverymuch.P1090541

And with the swift hand of Daddy ensuring that it didn’t get tipped over came this face:

…and then this one…P1090548

…and this one.P1090551

Poor kid was devastated that she couldn’t get dyed like an Easter egg.  Pink and purple are her favorite colors, after all, so why can’t she be those colors???

We missed the Easter egg hunt for the Ds group this morning; we’re still trying to get over this gosh darn cold.  Oh, and it snowed.  A lot.  And hard.  Seriously?  Seriously???  SNOW?  The Easter Bunny is showing up to Nana’s tomorrow morning, so I hear, so she’ll get to “hunt” then and make up for it.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


We’ve been sick.  Again.  Second time in three weeks, which is definitely a new record for us.  Piper really NEVER gets sick, so we’re both very new to the how-to-make-her-feel-better routine.  This time it even came with a high fever, all night long, the other night.  It was NOT fun. 

But, even when she’s sick, she’s still, quite possibly, the funniest person I’ve ever known.  When we were told by the Perinatologist that she suspected either Down syndrome or Turner syndrome (where one of the sex chromosomes is missing or incomplete), Luke was doing some Googling (surprise, right?) and found a woman in Australia who’s a stand-up comic.  She has Turner’s.  The title of her act?  “Dude- where’s my chromosome?”.  Somehow finding this lady gave us a little glimmer of hope; Turner syndrome is nothing really like Ds, don’t get me wrong, but the idea that she could find the humor in her diagnosis must mean life ain’t that bad, right?

Piper is a crack UP.  I swear, some days we never stop laughing.  Mostly because if we’re not laughing, she finds a way to make herself laugh.  Literally.  To the point that she’ll lift up her shirt and tickle her own tummy if she’s desperate enough. 

So that I don’t forget some of the humor, and because I’m in desperate need for some funnies after the last few days, I wanted to document some of the daily hilarity that occurs at our house:

  • The other day I was changing Piper’s clothes.  She had zilch on as she ran away from me squealing.  This isn’t anything new, but after a few minutes, I wondered what she was doing.  I found her staring at herself, laughing, in the full-length mirror, marveling at all of her nude-y goodness.  Apparently she’s always wondered what she actually looks like.   
  • Piper’s a pretend-play maniac.  She has four or five little baby dolls, all of whom she loves and cares for.  Apparently they all have the same nap time, which is quite a conundrum because we only have one little baby bed.  And only three fit.  One is always naughty and keeps getting up.  She needed a bed for naughty #4 the other day, so she took the baby to the front room, found a little soft basket, and brought her back next to the others.  She kept a hand on her for a while to make sure she didn’t escape.  Apparently she’s a flight risk.
  • She also loves to pretend eat.  Most mornings I’ll get her down from her chair after breakfast, she’ll beeline to a baby, and feed her with a pretend fork.  Complete with “nom nom nom” noises.  How do you not laugh at that?
  • But the babies aren’t the only victims participants to Piper’s charades- the dogs are frequently force-fed with pretend silverware, cups, straw cups, tea pots…  One of our dogs sees her coming and goes the other way.  Invasion of personal space, or something.  The other dog will just lay there and play dead as Piper’s probing the inner linings of his face with a (thankfully) non-pokey plastic fork. 
  • Last week when we were sick with a cold, we taught her how to cough.  Surprisingly, it worked.  Now whenever she hears someone cough, she mimics it.  Even if it’s a stranger at the store.  Nice.
  • When we go to the store, we’re always on a hunt for something.  It used to be doggies; she’d just sit and sign (or say) doggy over and over and over again until we found a picture of one or a stuffed one- she didn’t care, she just wanted to see one.  Now it’s changed into bunnies and/or babies.  We went to the shopping center on Monday after my doctor’s appointment and walked into a Target that we normally don’t go in to.  Somehow she knew it was Target (even though we walked in through the “back door” mall entrance), and started looking at the ceiling for their Easter banners with the chocolate bunnies on them.  And until we found one, she was not amused.  Sometimes I want a sign on her that says “no, I’m not twitching, I’m talking”, because the enthusiastic and erratic arm flailing that occurs with some of her signs may be questionable to unsuspecting passers-by.
  • We’re having issues with her calling all kids “babies”.  Thankfully the eight-year-olds that she’s calling a baby have no idea what she’s signing.  Sometimes having a child with minimal speech skills isn’t all bad.  So we’re working on “boy” and “girl”.  Problem is, how do you teach your kid that some kids who are bigger than they are are babies, and some kids who are bigger than they are are not???
  • Piper walked out of my room the other day laughing hysterically.  When she came into view, I saw my little munchkin walking around with my pajama shorts around her neck.  And this, my friends, is why our dear therapists have no idea what they’re in for on a regular basis.
  • She also attempts to dress the dogs.  Yeah.  You can imagine how well that works out.
  • As much as she loves her dogs, she’s a pro at egging them on.  Her favorite place is at the back screen door, where she can look out and “bark” at them (yup- “woof woof”) until they bark back.  They, of course, can’t figure out why she doesn’t let them inside.  The other “I’m more important than you are” location is at the top of the stairs on the “good” side of the gate.  I think she likes that one because they’ll kiss her through the spindles until she can hardly breath she’s laughing so hard.
  • Her dad is a musician.  For those of you lucky enough not in the loop with “these” folks, everything is a musical instrument.  It has gotten exponentially better since Luke discharged from the Marine Band (holy moly) seven years ago (seriously???), but unfortunately the experience, I think, has vested the musicality into his genes.  Piper can make music of anything.  Including the old spacer we have from her inhaler last fall.  Apparently there’s a way to make a harmonica sound from it; I, of course, cannot replicate it.
  • On that note (haha), Piper likes playing her xylophone with a hula hoop.  Don’t ask me where that idea came from.
  • She’ll place her music cube on the far side of the coffee table, find the right song, go to the center of the room and dance until the song is done.  Then she’ll sit down and wait for us to clap for her.  When we’re done, she goes back to the music cube and starts the whole process over again.  The whole thing is made even more hilarious by the fact that the songs are only about 30 seconds long.
  • Everything is a phone to Piper.  If you’re actually on the real phone, though, she insists on listening for a minute to find out who’s on the other end.  This is fine if it’s my mom, or Luke, or someone I know.  It’s not so great when I’m on the phone with the doctor’s office, the tax man, or a myriad of other professionals who, I’m sure, could care less than to talk to my nonverbal two-year-old.
  • The kid is in love with her reflection.  Mirror, stove, fireplace, chrome faucet handles…  I like to think we’re fostering a healthy body image.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
  • She thinks it’s hilarious to be tickled.  If you tickle one foot, she holds up the other asking to be tickled there, too.  Or she comes up to you and just puts her barefoot in your face and you’re expected to know what she means.  If you start, it’s real difficult to stop.
  • My brother has an “evil” laugh.  You always know when he’s doing something he shouldn’t be.  Thankfully (maybe?) Piper has one, too.  If you see the squealing blur running across the house, you know she’s up to something…

I s’pose I should stop.  I need to do something a little more productive.  And less fun.  Like laundry.  And Luke’s going to a Maker Meetup tonight (Have you ever seen the Make: show on PBS?  Some things cost me a fortune, lol), so he won’t be home for dinner.  Which means that I have to muster the desire, energy, and creativity to make something for just Piper and me to eat.  And my house is a disaster after the last couple of days.  I’m so not in the mood…


Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Anticipation

Piper loves to carry things, right?

So why doesn’t she own a purse?

I mean, really.  Poor little squirt has resorted to carrying around the wipe/changing pad container for months.

Since Easter and her second birthday are just a few weeks away, I’ve been trying to keep my eyes open for a cute little purse for her to carry.  How cute would she be walking into church with a purse???

We (ie my mom…) found a beeeeautiful one at the store today; Piper had to try it on to see how it felt.

It was a success!

It passed the “Can it be carried?” test:P1090475

…it passed the “How does it look in the mirror?” test:P1090477

…and, of course, the “Will it help me in my purchases?” test:

Most importantly, though, it passed the “Is it appropriately sized to make for a quick get-away?” test:P1090483

Unfortunately, the wonderfully pink, soft, satin flowered purse had no price tag on it. 

The hunt is on.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring is in the Air

Easter has always been my favorite holiday.  Bunnies, flowers, candy, and pretty dresses- what more does a girl need???

Today the church had an Easter Egg hunt for all the little kids.  It was up to 5th grade, so I didn’t figure that Piper’d have much luck in the hunt, but “we” still wanted to pretend.  They started off with songs and dancing (which Piper loved, obviously), and then had a “magic” show.  And then everyone herded outside for the hunt.

But, much to my surprise, they actually had a tw0-and-under hunt!  Don’t know why I wasn’t expecting one, but it was SO perfect!  The had all the teeny-tinies in the playground area, which is small and fenced in, and made for a perfect spot.  They just had eggs scattered all over the ground, and when they started thinning out, they’d just throw more down, so there was very little “hunting” going on.  It was such a kick to watch all the kids with no idea why they were there, or what was happening.  They were just WAY cute!

Piper did pretty well until she figured out there was candy in the eggs.  Then all she wanted to do was open them all up.  My kid who never gets candy somehow knew that there were yummies inside the eggs.  Call it child intuition, I guess…

She also was very discerning about which eggs she wanted.  She’d pass eighteen eggs just for the ONE that she really wanted on the other side of the playground or in someone else’s basket.  We did lots of running after her!






By the end, she was spent.  Being the wonderfully prepared mother I am, I forgot her Easter basket at home, so we stopped by my parent’s house on the way up north from therapy at Regis.  She played there for a little bit, and then we headed straight to church.  By this point, we were way past lunchtime and way past naptime. 

Apparently candy-filled goodness is worth the work…

For anyone in the Denver area- One of the area high schools is putting on an Easter Egg Hunt next weekend for MHDSA- we’re going to attempt to get out of balance training a little early and run down to catch it, too.  Anyone else going???

Monday, April 11, 2011

What a GLORIOUS day!!!

I thought we were supposed to get an ultrasound last week at my OB appointment.  I was really looking forward to it to squelch my insecurities about finally getting past the point when Piper was born.  So I was pretty bummed when it was just an NST day; the ultrasound was this week.

It did make today’s visit more exciting, though.  The NST was the easiest yet (the first we had was excruciating- dumb technology; the second she only had one acceleration, but she’s too young still to guarantee reactivity on an NST, so it wasn’t anything to worry about, but still…)- she actually moved AND we had a reactive strip.  Quickly!  Then we did an ultrasound- everything looks great, which is so nice to hear.  She’s on the small side, but not bad, which is just fine with me.  My doctor put some (completely irrational, I admit) thoughts and fears to rest, so I left darn pretty happy and relieved.

Mom came with me to help wrangle Piper (who did fabulously today, by the way), so we decided to mess around before going home first.  We got a little shopping done (which, in total, including tax, cost me $3.25) and then had lunch at SmashBurger, which really tasted good. 

We got back to my house where I had a few minutes to get our front room put back together so that the piano movers could come and take the piano we had.  Woohoo!  Got it sold, quick!  Now we can get the piano I learned on up from Mom’s, and have a lot more space.  Yeah!

But none of that’s the best part.

The best part of the whole day?




I got pigtails to stay in Piper’s hair!!! 

That’s right, folks- at 23 months, Piper had her first ‘do.  Alleluia, Praise the Lord, let the angels rejoice!!!

She looks like such a toddler in them, I can’t believe it.  We were doing so good by the time we left the house- I bought her off with raisins to make her forget, in case you’re wondering- I got piggies in AND someone else was going to get to see them!!!  I actually got parking at the doctor’s (don’t ask…), opened up the door to the van, and one of her rubber bands had mysteriously disappeared.  And being the amateur hair-putter-inner that I am, I didn’t bring any spares.  And of course it had been long enough that she was sporting one really cute piggie and one really nasty devil horn without it.  Mom found a little clippy in the van which sufficed just fine, but still… 

That $3.25?  New rubber bands for Piper’s hair.  I honestly never thought I’d see the day…

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Balance Training

Last week, I (ahem) forgot my camera at the university, so this is a little past due.  But I wanted to post some pictures of Piper on the balance board that they’re using for the training sessions.

Last week was Piper’s first trip on the platform.

It did not got well, lol.

The meltdown began with getting her in the harness.  And just escalated until we were done.  Nothing would calm her down- not snacks, not Elmo, not Elmo on TV, not bubbles…  Nothing.  Poor kid.  It really was kind of heart breaking.  She subsequently fell asleep in the car a full 3.5 seconds after starting the engine.

Today was session 2 of 5.

It went marginally better.

Here’s what it looks like:

There’s just a little bit of equipment involved…

She has a harness on that’s not unlike a rock climbing harness.  The big strap across her middle holds a sensor that records her movement.  Everything is suspended from the ceiling at a height that allows her to squat fairly deeply, but not sit down. 

I had her in shorts this day because I thought that the sensors were going to be attached to her.  Today I brought a pair of legging pants to keep the belts from rubbing.  I also put her in a light weight hoody and pulled the hood up because I think that those top carabineers rubbed the sides of her neck and bugged her last time.  I’ve spent the week trying to figure out how to make her more willing to cooperate, and I think it’s (kind of) working.


…I said kind of.

Piper is a cautious child.  An overly cautious child.  Things like being out of balance scare the tar out of her.  And adding into that that she’s one of the very youngest (and teeniest!) kids they’ve got, they’re changing the protocol for her a little to help her feel more comfortable.  By the end of the session, we had the lead researcher kneeling behind her making her think that someone was holding her up.  And she was actually doing really well- balancing with minimal support for fairly significant periods of time. 

Next time, the plan is to let her sit on the board first, and then use the researcher for the actual standing practice.  I think this may work (!!!).

There are students working the main parts of this project, so I think it’s kind of important that they learn more than the basics of PT itself.  They all thought I was crazy last week when I insisted that Piper get to go out and play for a few minutes before we left.  We needed to end on a positive note if there was any prayer of her cooperating this week.  I know her well enough to know that.  Lo and behold, this week she was at least willing to walk into the main room (the little room with the board was another story, lol).  Today they knew that she needed to play first this time AND at the end, too.  Score one for me. 

We have three more sessions left, and then two post-test sessions afterward.  It’ll be interesting to see what she thinks of it all by the time we’re done.

It’ll also be interesting to see if my sanity comes into question by the end of this.  I’m pretty sure that Piper’s meltdowns are only partially legit.  The rest is an attempt at making me look like as big a kook as they come.  No one should be subjected to the high-pitched squeals and dancing that can distract Piper.  And my giant baby belly only makes it worse, I’m sure…

Friday, April 8, 2011

In Denver???

Thanks to Melissa for sharing this!!!  If you’re in or around Denver, check this out!

Rachel Coleman of Signing Time! fame is doing a concert in July south of Denver.  It’s after a family fair, apparently, in a big park.  How fun would it be to get a bunch of us Colorado folks together???  Just had to share!!!

You can get tickets here- and let us know if you’re planning on going!

Tips from a Toddler Foodie

Piper’s a pretty good little eater.  She tries anything, and really only has a few things that she does not like.  I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot in a lot of ways, because I was (and my husband would argue still AM) a terrible eater. 

The only thing that’s a little hit-or-miss are vegetables.  She really does well, and I can’t complain, but sometimes it gets hard to keep variety in this arena.  So I thought I’d share some of our tricks.   

Her go-to veggie is frozen peas (thank you, Costco, for selling them in giant bags).  They’re quick and easy, which suits me just fine.  Problem is, she gets tired of them quickly.  Or she likes to play dancing-fingers in the bowl and I soon have a floor scattered in little green balls (which my dogs are terribly inept at picking up).  This may sound gross to some (including me, I might admit), but our solution to peas? 

I get a can of Campbell’s cheddar soup and freeze in on parchment in tablespoon-ish heaps.  Then put them in a ziplock so when we need one, I just have to grab one out.  She LOVES cheesy peas.  And chicken, if we’re desperate.  Or any other kind of vegetable.  And it has the added benefit of a few more calories.  Score.

Her FAVORITE way to eat veggies, though, is having them roasted in the oven.  It’s MY favorite way, too, so this works well for us.  Carrots and parsnips are absolute favorites (she even looked in the oven the other night and said “’snip ‘snip ‘snip”).  That’s right- my kid eats parsnips.  Go figure.  A little bit of olive oil and some salt and pepper, roast until they’re a little browned (convection works wonders) and you’re good to go.  Asparagus, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, broccoli, essentially any veggie works here.  YUM.

On the non-veggie front, we also started something new for breakfast this last week.  Piper usually gets fruit, some kind of starch, and yogurt for breakfast.  We found whole-grain pancake mix (again, thank you Costco, even though you don’t sell this  any more) which she l-o-v-e-s.  I make a batch, freeze two-thirds of it, and keep the others in the fridge to microwave in the morning.  Works great.  Her favorite part of breakfast, though, is yogurt.  Last week, our local grocery store had Kefir on sale.  It’s a drinkable yogurt, essentially, but has a higher protein content.  I’ve gotten it for Luke and I lots of times, but decided to let Piper give it a try.  SHE LOOOOVES IT!  I can put it in her cup and it’s GONE without a break to breath.  She downs it.  IT has the added benefit of being super fast for first thing in the morning.  Piper often wakes up starving, and I frequently get yelled at until she gets to eat.  By giving her her yogurt first, I can actually go potty.  A big plus when you’re pregnant, lol. 

I’m always up for new ideas of how to get good food into the squirt.  Anyone have any fun food tips?  Please share!!! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

85 and SNOW???

It was somewhere around 85 degrees yesterday.  No joke.  I was ROASTING as we were trying to get the house put together AFTER our 9am appointment at Regis for the Balance Training Study because we had some of our local T21 buddies over for a group meeting early that afternoon (and then after that someone came to look at the baby grand piano we’re trying to sell).  More to come on the balance training- suffice it to say that it did not go as planned.

Hot.  It was downright hot.  Did I mention that it was HOT???  We had all the windows open in the house (which always feels so nice the first time of the season) and even slept with some of the windows open. 

Piper was up at ten-to-seven this morning, and the house was still toasty.  So I opened up the windows and let the sunshine in.  It was gorgeous, and such a great way to start off a Sunday morning. 

I should have taken the report seriously when it said “rain/thunderstorm/snow/windy” under today.  The high of 64 degrees happened around 10 this morning.  So when we left the house at about 10:30 to go to church, my choice of outfit for both Piper and I seemed appropriate.

Fast-forward to us walking out of church at about 12:15.  Imagine my consternation when it was SNOWING.  Like, great big, huge WET flakes kind of snow. 

The mommy guilt started to slip in as I watched my somewhat scrawny munchkin walking around the atrium in her sundress, socks (not even tights) and a sweater (thank GOODNESS for the sweater).  We still had to go to the other side of town to have dinner with Luke’s folks, and then to a 100 anniversary party for the local Grange Hall after that.  Aaaaand it was snowing.  (For the record, I had no coat, so I wasn’t neglectful JUST to Piper, I swear.)

So, anyway- we went to lunch, and the snow started to taper off when we were getting ready to leave.  It was dang cold out, but at least we weren’t getting soaked between the car and the restaurant like it did on the way in.  Oye.

We headed down the the Grange party, where Piper quickly fell into her role of “All of these people are here for me- and they’re so excited to see ME!!!”  Nana was busy cutting cakes for the day, and she was nice enough to find a piece that was missing some frosting so she kept it to the side for Piper.  Which was good, because this was Piper’s immediate reaction when she noticed that there were yummies up on that there table…



After the ceremony was over, Piper talked someone out of one of the balloons as she was busy greeting everyone and running around the hall like the Energizer Bunny.  Nana couldn’t get it off the ceiling (the really tall, industrial ceiling) when she let go, so sheee…  well…  She figured out alternative modes to affix it to my child.

You know those stores that have a big poll on the grocery carts so that everyone can see where they are?  I’m kind of thinking that the balloon-around-the-kid would be somewhat handy at our next venture out into public. 

It’s either that, or it looks (and acts) like a jet pack from the Jetsons.  I haven’t quite decided.   

DSCN1480(She’s laughing as hard as she can at herself here.  The balloon is hilarious, of course, as is her new-found love to march.  Like Hitler.  Lovely.)


DSCN1482(This is another of her favorite walking poses.  We call it “The Beauty Queen”.)


So many people, so little time.  Boy is it rough to be a little girl.

She slept during service this morning for almost an hour.  And then she fell asleep on the way home.  That was over four hours ago, and she’s still asleep.  Pretty sure she’s down for the count.

Either that, or I’ll be up at 2am with my kid who has refused to sleep longer than 10 hours at night lately.  It’ll be great fun when I show up to the OB at 9:30 tomorrow if we’ve already been kickin’ for that many hours.  Think good thoughts of sleep, would ya please???