Monday, April 30, 2012

Stupid, Stupid Dog

See this slide?  See how tall it is?  That’s Piper down on the bottom, just to give you a reference.


This is what happens when a dumb dog jumps from the top of said slide:DSCN3604

Dang dog.  It was only heartbreaking because we like him so gosh darn much.

While Duncan grew accustomed to his new accessory, the girls took their nursing duties seriously.




They thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  Duncan?  Not so much.

Serves him right, I do believe…

Also, please excuse the leotard-esque nature of Addy’s shirt.  I didn’t realize I still had a three month onesie in her drawer.  Nor did I realize my 10 month old could still fit a three month onesie.  Go figure…

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

School Days

Piper turns three in about two and a half weeks.  Since Piper came home from the NICU, we’ve had one occupational therapist.  Our speech therapist has been with us for about a year. 

Why is this so significant?  When you receive services through Early Intervention, that third birthday is a biggie.  It means that she has aged out of EI and will be transferred to the school district to receive her services there instead.  It means that we’ll lose the therapists we have had for so long, and Piper will start a new chapter.

Because her birthday is so close to the end of the school year, we’ve chosen to not have her start until the beginning of the school year.  We’ll take the summer off and just enjoy.  I’m okay with all of this on paper, but I’m still not sure how it’s possible that my little munchkin will be starting school.

Piper had a “mini” assessment back in February.  Basically it was just a informational session with a couple people to make sure that it was “worth” their time to do a full eval.  I get that part.  But it did not go as I had anticipated.  We’ll leave it at I started looking into private preschools that afternoon.  We had about a month before her full evaluation in which time I worried myself sick. 

For those of you who have never been in this situation, let me explain.  It’s torture to see your child, your toddler, “graded.”  For people who don’t know your child to assess what they are and are not capable of doing.  There’s something innately unfair about starting your life having to prove yourself.  In a lot of ways, I feel like we’ve been working toward this transition for three years now- like this evaluation was her “final exam” and how she did was a reflection of how hard we worked, and how much we did (or didn’t do…) our therapy “homework.”  I also hate that the people doing these assessments are, in essence, determining the long-range capabilities of my child.  Up until this point, Piper received her therapies because she had a diagnosis.  But to get services through the school district, you have to show that she needs help in areas that affect her ability to learn in the classroom.  In other words, not having the extra help would deny her access to the same education as her peers.  So it’s kind of a double-edged sword- you want your kid to shine and show their stuff, but not so much so that they don’t qualify for assistance they need.

I could not have been more thrilled that both of Piper’s therapists and our EI coordinator came to the meeting with us.  When we walked into the room, Piper was swarmed by four ladies and was expected to “perform” and show them what she could do.  I hate the evaluation process- how it’s possible to see what a kid can do in that kind of environment is beyond me.  She wanted to get up, explore, and see why the heck we had brought her there- not sit down and build a train with blocks…  But what I didn’t expect was their willingness to utilize Becky and Jennifer to get more information about Piper.  So when Piper didn’t “perform” and do a three piece puzzle (she did a twelve piece puzzle in about two minutes this morning during OT…), they took our therapists’ word that she was able.  I’m so, so grateful that they took the time to come with us to her three hour appointment.

The special educator that was there said that Piper’s pre-academic skills were very good.  One thing I didn’t anticipate is that her class will be a mix of 3- and 4-year-olds.  This makes me pretty nervous because Piper is so. gosh. darn. small.  But the teacher said that she felt it was important for Piper to have 4-year-olds in her class because she’ll need them to have as models.  She said that Piper will be a model for a lot of her classmates, which was truly awesome to hear (and kind of made me tear up a little…)  The PT was next and said that Piper in no way would qualify for PT services.  Except that they wanted the PT to go out the first week of school and discuss adaptive seating options and accessibility issues because of her short stature.  She said that even the preschool chairs were just way too big, and they wanted to make sure that she could reach the sink and the potties.  And I didn’t even have to ask!  She’ll get OT because she’s at risk of falling behind.  The OT said that she just wanted to offer her a little more one-on-one help to make sure that she develops the skills appropriately and can keep up with her class.  She’ll get speech, too, which was obvious to me.  I haven’t seen her actual IEP yet, but it sounded like the speech would be more one-on-one and not group-based (my biggest fear was that she’d be stuck working on vocabulary- her strong suit), and very tailored to her quirks.  Perfect!

All-in-all, it wasn’t as traumatizing as I had built it up to be.  I was bummed that Piper didn’t cooperate and do the things that she’s totally able to do, but in the end it didn’t really matter.  They all oogled over her from start to finish and said that she’ll be loved in school.  That’s what you really want, right?  For you child to go to school, be accepted, enjoy it, and learn.  And as I’m getting over my hesitations, I’m starting to get excited for what her year holds.  I’m excited to see her learn and watch her grow.  I think she’s ready, and I know she’ll do great!P1130767-001

Anything you can do…

Addy has failed the lesson in “you are more than welcome to do things that are age appropriate.”  Instead, her motto is “anything Piper can do, I, of course, can do, too.”

My most recent venture into the world of scare-my-pants-off was today at the park.  I took the girls for a walk in the stroller and decided to take a detour to the park on the way home.  I let Piper out, then sat Addy on the grass next to me.  I figured she’d explore some, and we could go and see Piper when she got bored. 

Addy sat on the grass with me.  For 2.3 seconds.  At which point she crawled herself off of the grass and toward the playground.  It’s a good one foot drop from the sidewalk into the bark, but it didn’t phase her.  She scooted herself backward off the step and high-tailed it toward the equipment.

At this point, I told myself “Aw, isn’t she cute?  She’s trying to catch up to Piper…”113_PANA1

What I should have been telling myself was “Oh good Lord, I should stop her!”

Sure enough, the little pipsqueak climbed her way up to the top and chased Piper across the top.  April1

Then she found the slide.  She’d watched Piper do her signature start-and-then-flip-to-belly maneuver and I swear I could hear her say “that’s not so tough- I can do that!”  Thankfully, I was with her the whole time and prevented her from plummeting down the curly slide.  No pictures of that as, in order to save the life of the little dare devil, we were both on our way down the curly slide…

Adalynn thoroughly enjoyed herself.  That much is obvious.  But I think Piper enjoyed having Addy play with her just about as much.  You can see in some of the pictures Piper was saying “C’mon, Addy- do it like this!” (which makes me think of the “walk like this” line from all of the Mel Brooks’ movies…  Don’t judge…)  I don’t think she could believe that Addy was up top with her!  She even showed off her smooth dance moves and got Addy to dance along with her.

P1140017     P1140021

Yup, a good time was had by all.  Well, “all” meaning anyone under 3’ tall.  Me?  I had about 42 panic attacks in the 42 minutes we were at the park.  I’m sure I’ll be turning prematurely gray any day now…



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

…and the world’s worst blogger award goes to…

We’ll call it an unplanned sabbatical, okay?  Truth be told, I’ve been completely, utterly, horrendously overwhelmed the last few months.  Between Adalynn not sleeping (still), Piper’s preschool transition (crap), work, holidays…  Blogging just hasn’t been on the top of my to-do list.  And you know how it goes, the farther behind you are, the harder it is to start again. 

But I miss it.  A lot.  So, this is my attempt.  And because I’d feel like I was neglecting Addy’s first year if I missed a quarter of it, I’m going to go back and fill in the three holidays, my nephews baptism, a few parties, and whatever good stuff I’ve missed since February.

Sooo, yeah.  Hello, blogging world.  How I’ve miss you!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

11. Eleven???

This little mini munchkin of mine just turned 11 months old.  How is that possible?  I feel like I’ve been living in some dream world, or time warp, where all sense of passing time has been skewed by the complete lack of sleep that I’ve been allowed by a certain someone. 

It’s a darn good thing she’s cute.

While she IS getting better, she’s still up at least three or four times a night.  I haven’t slept longer than four hours in I don’t know how long.  And it’s starting to take a serious toll.  But, to be honest, when she snuggles into me in the wee hours, it just makes my heart melt.  And makes it worth it.  That, and the ability to sleep sitting up, rocking, and nursing all at the same time. 

But for her lack of sleep, she’s making up for it in most every other way.  She’s been stepping since February, and now can make it across the room when she’s sufficiently motivated (and confident that big sis won’t…  intercede…)  She’s even standing from plantigrade.  She hasn’t made the leap to full-time walker yet, and I’m not sure why.  I don’t know if it’s that she’s just not strong enough yet, if she doesn’t have the confidence, or if she just doesn’t realize that she could.  I’m totally fine with it in the meantime, however, because at least now I only have one set of teeny legs to keep up with.  This summer will be interesting, I’m sure!DSCN4057

The little twirp is ornery.  She can get herself into trouble in .2 seconds flat.  And I love it.  Most of the time.  We’re half convinced that she’s part mountain goat- the kid can climb with the best of ‘em.  I’m also half convinced that she’s already training for a career in the circus- you know, the ladies who stand up riding the elephants or horses?  We’ve caught her standing up, with no hands, backward, on a little wooden rocking chair.  We’ve caught her standing on the ottoman to the glider rocker.  We’ve caught her standing on my mom’s little rocking horse.  Between the lack of sleep and recurrent heart attacks, I’m not sure what my long-term psychological outlook is at this point.


Her favorite thing to do now is bounce.  On the trampoline.  With air.  The kid is a jumper, and it’s totally hilarious.  It’s like there’s nothin’ to it- she crawls up, starts bouncing, and gets enough momentum to actually get her feet off the ground.  This I like.  This, I hope will wear her out for bedtime.  It’s usually an exercise in futility, but a girl can dream (ha!  I don’t know the last time I actually had a dream, but I digress…), right?

Her increase in activity has had one benefit, though.  She’s actually, finally, truly eating!  My trick?  I gave up spoon feeding her.  She has to do it herself, thankyouverymuch.  She’s an independent soul, and it’s been a learning curve on my part to try and figure out how much I should help and when to bow out.  Her favorites seem to be pears, chicken, and peas right now (go figure…), although we tried blueberries tonight and I’m pretty sure she was cussing us out for withholding them from her for so long.  She’s pretty skeptical about new things, but I’ll take what I can get!

She adores Piper.  On the brink of idolizes, actually.  They have crawling races down the hallway (both squealing the whole time.)  They play on Piper’s bed together.  They play in the mirror together, laughing at each other’s antics.  They play pretend together (it’s really quite adorable to see them both playing dollies together- good grief, two little girls is so fun!), get into trouble together (frequently), explore together.  Not to say that life is always rosy- Piper pushes on occasion, Addy will pull Piper’s hair if she’s in the mood.  But for an almost-one-year-old and an almost-three-year-old, life is pretty darn sweet!DSCN3986

…Now.  With just a few weeks until Piper’s birthday, and less than a month until Addy’s, I’ve got to get all of the planning done for their birthday party.  It’s gonna be great!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

We <heart> our buddies!

I absolutely love getting together with Piper’s little buddies.  And when those buddies also sport that extra chromosome, it makes it even more special!

We met up with Sawyer from Wyoming and Claire from eastern Colorado for a play date in the park.  Sawyer was born the day after Piper, and Claire is about 8 months younger. 

The girls ate lunch, ran, played, swung, went down the slide, ran some more…  It could NOT have been more fun!

And because we had to document our get together with pictures, we attempted.

By “attempted” I mean we sat the girls down in a place where they couldn’t easily escape and tried to get them to look at the camera at the same time.  Getting them to look at the camera smiling at the same time did NOT happen.  But, good grief, how cute are they???  I couldn’t choose just a few pictures- they were just too sweet!

They were definitely cute…April10

Playing pattycake:April7

Giving lots of love…April8

…aaaaand then they got antsy.  They were outta there!April9

Thanks for meeting up with us, girls!  We had a ball- let’s do it again sometime!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So we were at the park…

Piper’s getting to be big enough these days that, while I get our gear settled when we get the park, I can let her go and I know that she’ll be okay.  I don’t do it if there’s a road nearby, I know generally where she is, and I don’t take my eyes off for more than a second, but I feel like I don’t have to be right with her all the time.  It’s kind of nice.

Imagine my surprise when I look up to see this:


Yeah- that little orange dot is my child. 

After I took that picture, I ran over to make sure she didn’t plummet to her death.  She got to the top, figured out there wasn’t anywhere further for her to go, and started coming back down (with a little encouragement from me- I think she would have played atop the tower of rock if she were left to her own devices…)



What happened to my timid little girl???  She has changed so much since last summer; the park scene is going to be a very different place this year!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter, the last

On Easter day, we have our big festivities with my parents.  Lots of food, tons of family, egg hunt…  You know the drill. 

This year, the weather was so nice, we ended up staying a lot of the day outside, which is rather unusual for Easter in Denver.  The girls got to hunt in the sunshine- what a treat!


And after all the goods were hunted, playing followed suit.  The slide is always a favorite at Nana’s house.


Lots of grandparent time completed the trifecta of Easter happiness.


Looking through my pictures, I’m realizing that I got not one picture of Piper’s face. Not one good one, not one bad one… I guess that’s what happens when you’re so busy you don’t stop running. Her, not me.  She doesn’t have time to slow down and smile for the camera, but she did make time to stop and have a conversation with her great grandpa.  He’s lucky like that.


Happy Easter!


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Egg Hunt, the Second

There’s a high school here in town that puts on a Halloween party and an Easter Egg hunt and invites all the kids through Mile High DSA to come.  I was so excited to take the girls this year!  Last year, Piper was really sick, and they happened to not do it the year before, so this was the first time we got to do it!

Piper liked to find her eggs and candy and put them in the basket.  And once the candy was all gone, she found herself a cute little boy that she would have put into a basket, too.  I finally figured out that she was so infatuated with the little guy (he was cute- like seriously) because he had an Elmo on his sweater.  High standards this little munchkin has…


Addy didn’t quite understand the “hunting” part.  Although she was pretty good at emptying Piper’s basket.  The finding-easily-accessible-and-shiny-candy part she had down pat

Neither girl was too keen, however, on waiting for us to open the candy wrappers.  And since neither child has perfected the fine motor skills required for such a task, suffice it to say that they didn’t eat nearly as much as they would have liked…  But they sure tried!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Dying to Dye

Piper begs for scrambled eggs.  I don’t know when the fascination started, or why, but she loves eggs.

So when Easter was approaching and she started to get chocolate eggs, I think she felt like she had entered  her own little perfect world.

And, as icing on the cake, I told her that she’d get to COLOR eggs, too. 

I think she thought I’d, finally, lost my mind.

But when she figured out what was going on, she couldn’t get enough.  She loved getting to pick what egg went into which cup and deciding how long they were going to stay.  She also loved to “’tir ‘tir ‘tir” (stir stir stir, for those of you not versed in Piperese) and watch us jump trying to keep dye from covering my kitchen.


We decided that, after the eggs were all brightly colored, it was time to get our brightly colored children into the bath.  When Piper was done, she couldn’t wait to see what her masterpieces looked like!


…and she thought that she could sample one as a bedtime snack.  Pink means yummy, right???


I had to explain that you don’t eat the pink part.  And then the only way I could convince her to go to bed was by promising her she could have one for breakfast in the morning.  I asked which one she was going to have:

The irony of the whole experience?  She downright, absolutely, positively refused to eat a single dyed egg.

Go figure.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Household First

Neither of my kids have ever spontaneously fallen asleep.

Sometimes I feel like my kids have never fallen asleep period

So imagine my surprise when, after getting a washrag from the hall closet to wash Adalynn up after lunch, I came to find this:DSCN3878

And yes, that is Piper stealing Addy’s glass of breastmilk.  You snooze, you lose, right?

But have no fear- I’m sure this is the only time in my life that this event will occur.  I’m sure that I don’t need to worry about this becoming any kind of habit…

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Start of the ‘Sicle Cycle

We love popsicles at our house.  And by “we”, I mean I.  But now that Piper’s figuring out that they’re tasty, we’ll have a delightful summer of frozen goodness.

We took the girls to the park, got back, and it was hot.  We were all roasting.  Perfect time for popsicles, right?

Piper enjoyed hers and had it gone in record time.P1130718

She even tried sharing with Adalynn.P1130701

…and then she was outta there to go play.

Addy, on the other hand, got the last half inch of mine and savored every drop.  Other than holding the wrong side of the stick, she did surprisingly well.P1130700



Down to the very last bit!P1130713

Riding Bikes

Piper wanted to take her “bike” for a ride the other day, so we took a couple outside so she could decide which one she wanted to ride.  P1130694

She picked, and off she went.P1130689


In true Adalynn form, she insisted on doing it, too.  So, to satiate her (because, really, when you’re 10 months old, you don’t really want to ride a bike…) I sat her on the seat and waited for her to sign “all done” from the boredom.  P1130699


I did not anticipate her doing it.P1130690

If she leaned as far forward as she could, she could actually get just enough grip on the ground with her tippy toes to move the trike.  And off she went- down the sidewalk. 

Only problem was that, since she was leaning as far forward as she possibly good, her little bottom kept inching further and further off the back of the seat.  P1130691

She wasn’t in the mood to stop, so she maintained this posture for a few minutes.  And chased Piper.1P1130687

And then she plopped off the back of the bike, very proud of where she’d gone.  Girl likes to move