Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween...

...from Jessie and Bullseye!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Preschool Halloween Fun

Yesterday was the Halloween party for Reagan's class at school.  First thing, they played some Sound Bingo using Candy Corn as the markers.  R is doing some serious listening in this picture.  The boy next to her is also quite excited!
 Melissa was sweet to hold Brooklyn for a little bit while I took pictures.
 Then the class got up to sing some songs and recite some pumpkin poems for us.  I am not sure what my child is up to in these:
 But her BF Caylie next to her posed for my camera.  :)

Singing songs that spell "orange" and "black."
 What's a party without some cookie decorating?!
 They rotate tables in her class each week.  This week she is sitting next to her cousin Brady again.  That makes for a GREAT week for R... they love each other.  Brady tells people at school that they are twins.  :)
 Brooklyn asked to "hold" James for a minute, and he sweetly said yes.  Here she is signing "candy".... little begger.

 Today was their costume parade.  Here is our little Jessie!!!

 Showing off her costume to her teacher.  I just had to put this one because it showed her back with her pull-string.  :)  And her cute hiney.  Her rear is too cute in those jeans. 
 Reagan with her BF Caylie, aka Ariel.   They struck this pose ALL BY THEMSELVES.  Cracked me up!  Love the feet...

 Cousin Brady as Robin.  And there were 4 Ariels in her class today!
I'm still not quite finished with Brooklyn's costume yet, so it is first on my to-do list now that Jessie is all done.  I love dressing them up, maybe a little too much.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Getting Our Words Out

Ninety-percent of the time I use this blog to shamelessly show off my beautiful girls.  And this post is about that too, to some degree.  But I've got a lot bouncing around in my head these days, mostly regarding Brooklyn, and I feel the need to get it out a little bit.  So bear with me.
A bit of an update on the Brooklyn front... she is seeing doctors next week for some big visits.  We are revisiting the bladder "thing"... she has been off caths for a 6 month trial, and we are retesting to see where she stands with that.  She still takes antibiotics daily to prevent UTIs, and by doing that has stayed well.  So, things look good, but we'll see what her urologist says.  She is also seeing an orthopedic surgeon for the first time regarding mostly her left leg.  She has tibial tortion to some degree in that lower leg, meaning her tibia bone is growing crooked and her foot faces in.  Her straps she wears help the hips (which also point her legs in, making the left one sometimes turn around backwards!!), but obviously can't help a curvy bone.  I doubt at this point they will do much about it, especially surgically, but this visit is just to see what he thinks.  We also hope to see the folks who made her braces and HOPE that they will try and "lift" them a little on the outsides.  She walks on the outsides of her feet, and she needs some help to level out those feet to a flat surface so she can WALK.  The girl takes up to 30 steps at a time now without her walker, if she has the space!!  HOLY MOLY!  But she is SO wobble-y because her bones are crooked and she walks like she's on ice skates with those crazy feet.  So, we've been told there are some options and we'll see what they are.  Overall, I'm looking forward to this trip.  Should be a "step" in the right direction for her.  Hee hee.  She is SUCH a rockstar.
Now, to the talking thing.  She is making a few more "sounds."  I mean, she says "aaaaaa" (short 'a') if she wants you to open your mouth so she can put something in it.  :)  She roars in the back of her throat when she sees a lion.  A couple things like that.  But NOTHING even resembling a syllable.  They have put her unofficially under an "apraxia" label.  She sees a speech therapist once a week, and she assures me this is all progress, but let's face it... it ain't much.  She's not even two, and I have to remind myself that.  But the girl is DANG SMART, if I do say so myself.  And she KNOWS she can't talk.  She KNOWS.  And I hate that.  So, I've gone the sign language route as I'm sure you've noticed from previous posts.  And the girl has RUN WITH IT.  The "Signing Time" videos are the best thing ever, and Rachel from those videos now feels like a personal friend of mine since she enters my living room daily.  (btw, I have a link to Rachel Coleman's blog... she is a-ma-zing, a mom to 2 daughters.  One deaf, one with SB.  And she is a kick-butt Mom.  I'm a huge fan now.)
I have counted the signs I can think of off hand that Brooklyn knows and uses ON HER OWN, not just with prompting.  And I'm up to over 65.  The girl can talk with her hands!!!  It's unfortunate since she also walks with her hands now too, but that's no biggie. So, I have to learn and learn quick so I can keep giving her as much language to use as possible.  If she doesn't learn it from me who is here 24/7, she doesn't learn it.  I'm looking into classes, and I have sweet friends from church who know lots (one is even fluent and works in deaf-ed!) who offer loads of help.  It's not what we envisioned for her.... we were told lots of things we could expect to be possible problems, and this was not one of them.  But hey, I'm cool with it... now.  Of course, we hope this is a temporary thing and her sweet little mouth will just open up to talk.  But, I have no guarantees of that at this point.  And I refuse to look back 5 years from now and wish we had given her a better language foundation.  SO, we go with what works for now, and this works.  She is SO proud when she signs and is SO HAPPY when she tells us something that we understand.  She beams!  It's awesome.  And pretty cute, I must say. :)  So, if anyone has helpful hints on the AmericanSignLanguage front, send them my way.  I'm clueless, but I'm learning.  And it's fun!
Please pray for this.
Pray for wisdom for David and me as we seek out the best for Brooklyn.  We ask that you pray that she does talk and talk soon.  But if that is not the case, we ask God to give us ALL the resources to make the best out of it.  And I thank the Lord for sign language!  She is flourishing with it... being able to "get her words out" has been a lifesaver!  She has gone from a 5-month-old level of expressive communication to about a 26-month-level (past her age) in less than 6 months time... all thanks to ASL!  Pray for Reagan, as this becomes something else to consume Mommy's time with Brooklyn at the focus.  Pray that she has understanding, and that she uses this as another tool to make Reagan a fabulous big sister and a compassionate individual to others who are "different."  I mean, Reagan is learning right along with us... how cool is that!?!?  She's a great interpreter already!
And I thank you all.  I know there are still so many who love us and pray for us, for our girls.  We are so blessed and so humbled.  I'll admit, I don't pray much for physical things with Brooklyn.  I never really feel led to, and I don't really know why.  I pray for her heart, that it falls in love with Jesus at an early age :) , that she loves and feels loved for who she is, that God is preparing a man that will love her unconditionally someday, that God SHINES His glory out of her very being.  Same basic things I pray for Reagan, although I pray other "big sister" stuff for her.  But physical stuff for Brooklyn, it just seems to "be."  But I know that God wants to hear my hopes and dreams for that stuff too... I don't know, I have to work on it.  I mean, Jesus made healing a HUGE part of his ministry for a reason... He cares about us in that way!  But I am SO THANKFUL because I know so many of you stand in the gap for me in this particular way.  Please keep praying for Brooklyn's body and now for her speech.  We covet your prayers, and we love you for it.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love my girls?  I do.  So. Much.  Sometimes it actually physically hurts.  I'm ridiculously in love with them.  In their own ways for their own reasons, they make me SO proud and SO thankful to be their Mommy.  But things are a bit different with Brooklyn, in a way that maybe only a special needs mom could understand.  I guess it goes back to the day that doctors told us she wouldn't BE HERE.  And now she blesses people and shows them the glory of God just BY BEING.  It is so humbling. 
This week I have come into contact (via internet) 2 different pregnant moms who have gotten the same SB diagnosis we got and are considering terminating.  It keeps me up at night.  I can not imagine a world without Brooklyn in it, and I pray somehow these moms realize that their babies are PERFECT gifts.  All I can do is pray, but DANG this knowledge hurts me.  And that decision is made all the time.  I don't even know their names, but I pray for Divine Wisdom for these moms.  Join me, please.
Ok, I think I'm done. 
Just like Brook, sometimes you just gotta get your words out.  :)  And if you haven't seen them, let me shamelessly ask you to scroll down and see the newest pics of my cuties.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yay! Here is "Stuff: Part2"

Thank you Rach, we figured it out, and I now have TONS of storage space for blogging.  So, this is the rest of the last post that got chopped off when I ran out of space.
Couple of these I put up on FB, but I have SO much fun playing outside with the girls now that the weather cooperates.  On days when we got nothing really going on, we'll stay out there forever.  It's great.
Little squirt LOVES to swing and slide.  Climbs up the ladder AND the slide now!

 You would think I would have told her to "give me sassy" with this pic, but no.  But I love this look:
 Artsy shot.
 See that excitement on her face?!
 Again, my girls' blue eyes make me SO happy.  I didn't doctor this picture at all...
 Again, Reagan "working" the camera...
 This is CLASSIC Reagan.  Very natural smile for her, which is hard to come by these days in photos.

 The girls were playing "Nite Nite" before naps the other day.  Reagan filled their chairs with blankets, they would stand next to their chairs, then Reagan would yell "NITE NITE!", and they would both plop down like this:
 It lasted for awhile, cracking me up.

 They get to watch one show together sometimes when R gets home from school before naps.  Last week, I found them like this, and didn't pose a single shot...
 Hand holding.  Love it.
 R was playing with B's hair and kissing her.  Be still my heart.
After taking this picture, I had to go clean my fridge.  Gross handprints everywhere!  But R's Silly Putty artwork was fun.  She made "herself," complete with fingers and toes, eyebrows, hair, and no body.  :)
Crazy crazy hat days!
 Both the girls love hats, Brooklyn in particular.  This is Reagan's Jessie hat for halloween, before I finished it.  But she crawled around like this for about an hour...
 (now you can see the finished Jessie hat)  Bob and Larry even got to wear their perspective hats this day!
 Goober.  Cutie!
 Brooklyn can now wear Reagan's Raspberry Beret that Aunt BB made her!

 I can't resist capturing any good shot of those eyelashes!  She didn't get them from me, so I brag on them often.  After last weekend, I decided she got them from my cousin Catherine.
Speaking of Catherine, wedding pics coming soon!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I finally hit the mark where I had to buy more space for my blog.  Totally worth it, super cheap.  But I purchased it about a week ago, it shows up as new space in my account, but blogger still won't let me add anything and says I still need to "buy more storage."  I DID!  But for whatever reason, can't use it.  Anyone have tips for me?  It says the storage is usable in gmail, picasa (which should be for blogger, right?), and other stuff.  Can't figure it out, and can't find any help under their "Help" page.  So, I go to bloggerland and ask for wisdom.  :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I title these 2 pictures
When The Cat's Away (big sister at school), the Mouse Will Play.

Brooklyn is OBSESSED with the potty.  She wants to sit on it multiple times a day.  Since nothing has EVER happened while sitting there, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't feel much with potty issues anyway and wouldn't know if she WAS successful, I've gotten where I just put her on it, clothes and all.  Before bathtime, she sits there naked, however.  She is so proud of herself, and I honestly don't think she even knows the purpose of the potty!
This is her "PUSH" face.
She does know how to push poopoo out, so maybe she does get it somewhat. 
But never pushed anything into the potty. 
Someday.  :)
She mostly just loves the Dora seat, I think.
Signing "potty."
This picture was from awhile ago, but it is to document her first time feeding herself her yogurt.  She is a MESSY eater, so I just now started letting her use her spoon herself with yogurt.  Still a mess, but getting better.
I was hurrying like crazy to take this photo and didn't realize that it was on manual focus.  Obviously, I didn't manually focus it.  Bummer.  But this was their  Daddy-Reagan date to Veggie Tales Live.
While they were gone, B and I got to hang out and shop together.  Then had  a snack of milk and Nilla wafers.  I gave her a sippy with milk, and she kept fussing and fussing, pointing at her milk and signing "milk."  I kept tasting her milk thinking it was bad or something since she was fussing so badly. 
Finally, she thought to sign "open" then "milk."  I asked her "Open your milk?!"  She EXCITEDLY nodded her head.  So, I'm thinking she's gonna want chocolate in it or something.  No, I took the lid off and she immediately dunked her cookie in it!  I laughed so hard.  I guess she has seen Reagan do that before, but it was a first for Brook.
Thank you LORD for her signing! (a blog about that coming soon)
Reagan already had the Larry Boy hat, and she came home from the show with a Bob hat for Brooklyn.  Bob is Brook's favorite.
And a Sweet Sweet Petunia for herself.  :)
I love this picture.  Although Sweet Sweet Petunia kinda has a mean face...
It's a puppet, and she loves it.  That is all that matters.... I guess.
She is getting so big and so pretty.  Now that the weather is better, we get to play and do therapy outside on Reagan's school days!
See?!?!?!  Check out that girl climbing the ladder!!!!  She still needs a LITTLE help, but not much!
In this one, she is climbing up onto her knee.  Which works for her.  But we're currently working on getting her WHOLE foot up to the next rung.  Hard because her little legs are still short!  But, she's doing it!  She works SO hard and makes me SO proud.  But it's great because when we're on a playground, it doesn't feel like work!
These are some of our attempts at cousin pictures with Austin and Jonathan during the TX/OU game.  Reagan was still getting over getting in trouble a few minutes before, so she took awhile to warm up.  Then, the toddlers lost it.  All in all, not the best pics, but we'll take them!  And they make me laugh!

How cute are they?!?!?
Hugs for Austin.
This is ONLY cute when you're under 2.
Family shot.  Brooklyn was too interested in Austin.
Think she loves him much?

Blogger chopped off half of this post. (i'm sure you're DYING for more!)  Not sure what happened, but I've got more random Stuff coming soon.