Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Brooklyn Tales

I was in the kitchen while Brooklyn was at the table eating her lunch.
I hear, "Mommy, I TOOTED.  I DID!  And it STINKS!!"
5 minutes later...
"Mommy, I BUPPED (burped)!  And that's so FUNNY!!"
She is her father's daughter.
The end.

Talking Videos!!

I think I've got these to work using youtube.  Blogger evidently finds my videos unacceptable. 
Here are the ones that were SUPPOSED to be on the previous post!!!  :)
Couple of things:
1) Most of my videos of conversations with B take place while changing her diaper or her clothes.  She knows it all takes awhile, with her velcro straps and everything, and it is the most still she is all day.  We have our little chats, and I love it.  Thus, she has no clothing on in these... mid-wardrobe change.  :)

2) She still has to work REALLY hard to get her words out.  It does NOT come naturally to her, and she really has to THINK about forming her words with her mouth and getting them out.  In therapy, we break EVERYTHING down with syllables and work slowly and carefully.  She works so hard!  But that is why it amazes me so much when she does just talk... she can use those little muscles to make her words come out at a pretty quick pace even though it is really hard and doesn't work the same as for you and me.  So, you'll see her mess up some words and say them over and over again until they come out right for her... part of her "thinking" process that we see so much in her speech.

3) EVERY TIME I get the video camera out, she asks to "see it."  She wants to watch on the screen.  So I am constantly moving her hands away to keep her from taking it from me!  Especially when she is cranky and tired.  Sorry.

4) In the last one, she has a green lovely bruise in between her eyes and oreos from dinner all over face.  NICE. 

And yes, I did take a video of Reagan "dancing" when this was over... good grief.  :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

All Brookie Brook

It's time for a good ole fashioned Brooklyn Update.  And y'all, I never get tired of these... because the good news with her just keeps on coming!  We went a couple of weeks ago for her 6 month check up with SB clinic in Dallas, and this past week she had her 6 month evaluation with ECI.  So, we've gotten plenty of "updating" done around here... thought I would pass the info along.  I have videos to post too, but blogger will NOT upload them.  No idea, but hopefully it'll work tomorrow.  And please forgive... this is just plain bragging.  But I know no one cares because it is all PRAISE WORTHY, and none of the praise goes to me!!!  :)

  • Physical Therapy - Brook has been getting PT at least once a week since she was 2 months old.  Her therapist, Cheryl, moved out of the country (WE MISS YOU CHERYL!!)... so we have taken a little hiatus from PT for the summer while they found replacements, etc.  Plus, sweet girl started gymnastics and was LOVING it, so we figured that would do for now.  Well, with her eval, the new PT thought Brooklyn was amazing.  Pretty much caught up to age level with her gross motor skills.  There are a few things that are a little "off" (she has to hold onto something to actually get "air" when she jumps, has to go much slower on stairs, that kinda thing), but they are ALL to be expected, and ALL getting better.  So, for now, she is graduated from PT!!!  Good night, this is pretty much unheard of for a L4 SB kid (that is the vertebrae where her defect was on her spine)!  They think the gymnastics thing is GOLDEN for her... gets balance skill development, trampoline, core muscles, etc... along with social interaction with peers, teachers, that stuff.  So, we will see what they think when she has her next eval when she is almost 3, but for now, no more PT!!  Amazing.  God is so good.
  • Speech - Again, amazing.  Her progress with her speech is nothing short of baffling to me.  A little less than 4 months ago, she could say 5 words:  "Mom," "pop," "map," "oomf (oops)", "ow."  EVERYTHING else, she could/would only sign.  As of today, she talks like a 2 year old.  It's awesome.  Now, her speech is often that 'toddler-talk'... where she may leave out a consonant or two, leaves out small words in sentences, and maybe I have to translate so others can understand.  But honestly, last week at her eval... the therapist had never met B before, and she could TOTALLY understand her language.  She was amazed.  B talks all day, she sings ALL DAY, she tells Knock-Knock jokes :) constantly, she now calls me "Mommy Beaver Missy Pants" or "Mommy Silly Goose", she can count to 20 (although the last few numbers all sound like "us-teen, un-teen, un-teen, ine-teen, tunny!") .... it has been a busy and remarkable 4 months!!  I could go on and on and ON about how thankful we are about this, but I will just say this:  several months ago, I was DREADING her going to preschool in Sept.  Mostly because she could only sign, her teachers would have to learn her language, she couldn't talk to make friends... I was so very very anxious about it all.  Now, there is basically NOTHING that separates her from her peers.  Sure, her speech is still a little "off" because she is just barely learning this new skill, but it will be a cinch, and she gets so much better EVERYDAY.  I have NO WORRIES!  She is way better today than the videos even show, and some were just last week! (hopefully I can load them tomorrow... sheesh!)  Amazing.  God is so good.  (even Reagan will say "God really REALLY heard my prayers, Mommy, and helped Brooklyn learn to talk!!  It's just so great!!!"  Melt my heart.... so thankful.)
  • Potty - Basically, we aren't doing anything in the potty-training dept for at least another year.  Her SB has definitely affected her bowels and bladder, and it is still undetermined as to how much exactly.  Sweet girl still poops all day long, but the doctor said he isn't ready to do anything about it unless it is a problem for me, which it isn't (except we go through a ton of diapers, but we will soon get those paid for... yay!).  We are still not cathing her, and she is still off all meds except for some OTC laxatives... so all that is GREAT.  She has had a few UTIs since we went off antibiotics, but her urologist is not ready to put her back on... just yet.  He said if she gets another infection, then we might re-test and see what her bladder is looking like.  But for now, diapers are our friend, and we're cool with that.  When she is bigger, we'll see if the potty is an option.  God is so good.
  • Spirit - Ok, enough talk about her physical development.  :)  I have to write down for my own sake about the sweet spirit God has given Brooklyn.  She is Just. So. SWEET.  I mean sure, she has her defiant moments like any two year old, but for the most part, she is just SWEET.  She will hug anyone to death.  And we walk down the halls at the hospital, or church, or wait in the pick-up line at Reagan's school... and she is waving emphatically at every individual in sight... "HI GUYS!!  HI!! GOOD MORNING!!!  GOOD MORNING, GUYS!!"  And those other moments where she does get in trouble, she is SO remorseful.  It hardly ever has to go beyond a stern voice or stern look from me, and she melts to pieces... "SORRY MOMMY!!"  Now, doesn't mean she is always repentant!!  She'll go right back and do things again.  :)  But it doesn't take much to bring her back.  I pray she is always this sweet-spirited.  (side note, the other day she got a spanking for the first time in forever.  Found out that when she is crying that hard, she will go RIGHT back into signing so she can "talk" to me and cry at the same time. :) It was awesome.  My little bilingual child.)  God is so good.
  • Thoughts - More stuff to write, kinda for my own sake.  I say all the time how FUN it is to be Brooklyn's Mommy!  It is.  We go to doctors and specialists, and they are BAFFLED by her.  We go to hospitals, schools, church, etc, and she draws a crowd.  It is fun to be her Mommy, and my response is always "she is one prayed-for little girl."  Which is beyond true, and we are forever thankful.  However, I will never know really WHY God chose to answer our prayers for her... it is very humbling.  We are in constant contact with other kids with lots of needs that are JUST as prayed over as she is, but they struggle with way more than she does.  As crazy as it sounds, I find myself in those situations trying to down-play how great she is doing or even apologize for her success.  I ramble... point is, we do not know the Big Picture, but WE ARE GRATEFUL.  I look forward to each day as God's plan for our family unfolds, and I marvel at His Goodness and Mercy.
Just a few pictures to finish up the post:
A couple of weeks ago, when my parents were in town.  Grandmommy was reading Reagan a bedtime story, and Brooklyn was getting lovin' from Granddaddy.  LOVE her face!
 A rare moment.  They both zonked out. :)
 Excuse the mess..... She walked up to me, holding my ipod, told me to "Sit, peez.  Wite here."  I immediately sat down, she backed her little hiney up to me and lay down like this and started playing a game on my ipod.  We sat like this together for awhile....
 While Reagan was at her first day of Kinder, B had a day of "firsts" as well.  Asked for her toenails and fingernails to be painted.  I had never done this for her before, so it was fun.  :)  Check out those sweet feet!!!  (fyi, B has feet that are rather underdeveloped... has since birth.  very normal for a SB kid.  she still can wear size 6-12 month socks!!  her little toes are LITTLE, so her toenails are even LITTLER.  it was a feat to get the paint on those little toesies!)  Everytime her shoes and socks come off, she yells "TOENAILS!!  YAAAAY!"
 Light pink on the fingers... can't tell as much when it chips.  :)
 Also, this day was one of those days where I wanted to just EAT up my children and give them those hugs where you have to tense up your arm muscles to keep from literally squeezing them too tight?!  Know those days?!  Anyways, had to take her picture in her pigtails as a result... but these were the best I got. :)
Nowadays, she ALWAYS has to take a "funny face" picture.
 My attempt to "embrace the camera" with self-portraits.  Again, the best I got.

How I love this girl!  And enjoying our one on one time these days, even if we do really miss Reagan!

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of Kinder

I told David this morning (through some mega-tears that I did a FABULOUS job hiding from my eldest) that I am so happy for her, just so sad for me.  I can't believe how fast August 22, 2011 has come.  Seriously.  And I also know that we will BOTH love that she is in school... just not for me, today.  Maybe tomorrow. 
Brook had to get her happy self in the picture this morning.  Poor baby sister, walking around the house all morning, "Where Ray-gun Bee-vuh go?!"
  So happy!
 So sassy!!  :)
 Little kid + big backpack = such cuteness.
 Makes me cry just looking at it.
 Her teacher, Ms. Croft!  SO HAPPY to see her this morning! (more on that in a minute...)
 Found her seat....
 Found a pink crayon, off to work.  :)  She had one TINY "moment" as she blew me a kiss as we left... I could see it in her eyes.  But I know she is LOVING it!
Have to write this down to remember it... for when B is going to school and I have another freakout, I can remember the calm that was brought to me this morning.  :)
On Thurs, we were SUPPOSED to go meet the teacher, see her classroom, etc.  Found out when we got there that they needed another section of Kinder, and were going to have to interview and TRY to hire someone in 2 days.  And.... of course Reagan was placed in the new teacher's class. 
So, we didn't get to meet her teacher or see her classroom.  They told us they might even have a sub for the first few days, not sure.  I was a WRECK.  The thought of taking her in, not even know who I was going to be leaving her with, wondering if they would just hire some crappy teacher that was unemployed for a REASON... all of that was making me so nervous.
I told her yesterday that I was going to spend ALL day Sunday praying about Kindergarten... praying for her day to be great, praying for her new teacher, her new friends... that it would all just be perfect.  She says, "well, you can pray if you WANT TO, but you don't have to, Mommy.  I'm NOT scared, I'm really EXCITED!"  Annnnnnnnnnd, God gave me my answer.  Awesome.
So, still nervous but trying to be trusting, we take her this morning.  And my prayers were answered... again.  They DID hire a new teacher, and she was there waiting for us.  In an adorable room all decorated in lime green with brown owls and pink flowers.  She's young, adorable, enthusiastic, so obviously happy to be there, and had to have worked her tail off over the weekend to get everything ready.  Put my heart right at ease... thank you Lord.  We brought her a candy bouquet for a gift... never hurts to suck up a bit.  :)
So, it is quiet around here.  REALLY quiet.  Brooklyn is asleep (still have to try and figure out naptime schedule for her... sheesh!), and I am so ready for 3:15.  I realized I forgot to pack her drink in her lunch... CRAP!!!  Didn't want her to be thirsty on her first day!  So, had to drive back up there and ask them to deliver it to her.  *sigh* I miss her.  Can't wait to hear all about her day!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

NASA visits and other Summer stuff

 (stole some of these from Kendra... thought I should come clean first thing!)
When the Brooms came in July, Cason was certainly outnumbered.  But he didn't seem to mind, did a lot of dollhouse playing with Brooklyn. 

The big girls did LOTS of dressing up, of course.  :)
David took them on a Nasa tour, which I think was much more appreciated by the adults than the children!  (understandable...) Here are David, Cassidee, and Reagan overlooking the Space Shuttle Mission Control Room.  This was in the middle of the last shuttle flight, when Atlantis was up.  So it was cool to be there "in action."  Right in front of Reagan is the EVA chair, where David sits when he is on MC (no EVAs that day, no person in the seat).  She did like seeing where Daddy is when we see him on TV.
 No flash allowed, so these aren't great.  But here is the Broom fam.  :)  Kendra was talking to Cason trying to get him to look as I took this...
 Cutie girls.
 This Misson Control room is actually now an official national historic landmark... kinda cool.  All the Gemini and Apollo mission plaques are up on the walls and stuff.  Weird to think how antiquated these computers are!!!
 LOVE Cass's look here...
 Reagan, hitching a ride to our next building.
 Cass too!
 This was in the Astronaut Training facility where all the mock-ups of the shuttle, International Space Station, and other space vehicles are.  Brooklyn took it upon herself to go under the ropes... "my Daddy works here, I'm special."  I had to GRAB her.  Btw, anyone besides me think that the shuttle was bigger than this? 

 This was awesome.  David had taken Kendra and Jeremy up in the shuttle mock-up (no kids allowed), so I stayed down with them while they entertained themselves spinning until they fell down in a pile of giggles.  Typical.  :)  Anyways, right above us on the second floor is the glassed-in hallway that the "official tour groups" for NASA (that they pay for) walk by to just look down out the window at all this stuff, but not come in.  So, this picture was going on right as a tour group was walking by.  Yes, my little monkeys are spinning and falling on the floor while a group of about 50 people with paid tickets are watching them act like maniacs.  It was awesome. :)
 B checking out Daddy's space suit... or as she called it, the "robot."
Here is David, up there in the shuttle mock up platform.  Brooklyn spotted him... "Hi Daddy Hi Daddy Hi Daddy Hi Daddy!!!!!"  :)
 This is when I accidentally changed settings on my camera.  Woops.  And yes, the legs of the space suit are all bunched up at the bottom... looks like it is just for a super short person.

Family Photo.  I think Brooklyn had tears from just having gotten in trouble, but I love this picture anyways.
Jeremy and Kendra flying the shuttle!  Kendra went nuts and pushed every button and flipped every switch she could find.
 I wasn't thinking and wore a SKIRT that day.  Dumb.  Some places you have to wear closed-toe shoes, so I kept having to change my shoes.  DUMB.  But here is the one and only potty on the shuttle, right next to the "kitchen" and where they all sleep in one room.  Must.  Be.  Nice.   See all those black cylinder looking things with the colors on the left?  Each crew member has their own color, and their toilet paper is stuffed in there. No rolls... they would just unravel I guess. And the potty has stirrups and handles so you can anchor your feet down then push your hiney down to sit.  Hilarious-looking.  When I actually think about how this all works in zero-gravity, it just makes me chuckle.  There has to be suction of some kind... hee hee hee.
This trip David got it worked out to visit the moon rocks.  So boring.  They are in these cases behind like 6 inches of glass, set back about 6 feet from the window.  And they just look like rocks.  I mean, cool to see it, but look and move on.
 But we couldn't because this lady was giving us the "tour."  It took forever, and the kids (and the grown-ups a little bit!) were DONE.  So, I just sat and loved on them to keep them quiet... fine by me.  :)
After that, we drove over to the Natural Buoyancy Lab, the big pool where the astronauts train in an underwater mock-up of the space station.  It is unbelieveably HUGE.  Like 4 stories deep.  David worked there A LOT since he trained them on space walks.  They do all their practice runs in the simulated zero-gravity underwater.

 This is the office were David worked simulations.  The girls were mostly impressed with the chairs that they could spin in. 
During this visit, Brooklyn fell in LOVE with the Broom kids all over again.  Asks for them ALL THE TIME.

A couple of weeks later, David took my parents and Jerrod and Tracy on a tour as well!  I didn't have my camera or my children (score!  thanks again, Natalie), so Tracy took some pics for me.  Here is Daddy, the shuttle pilot.
 And Mom, the Shuttle Commander.

 This time, we actually got to go down into the Apollo Mission Control room... so of course we had to sit in the flight director's seat!

And call on the Bat-Phone direct line to the President!
 Omega watches makes a special watch for every astronaut that flies.  It actually works in zero-gravity, outside in space.  Super cool.  You can buy them, minus the inscripted mission patch that they put inside.  A few years ago, I bought one for David for his birthday.  He had always wanted one to have as a "forever thing" from this cool job, something he could pass down as well.  Then, one of his astronaut friends that he trained actually took David's watch up and flew it on a shuttle mission!  So, we have pictures of him wearing David's watch in space.  Way cool.  Here is the Omega display outside the Historic MCC...  might have to click on it to see it better.
 If you've seen the ever-so-scientifically-accurate movie Armaggedon, you've seen this place (and the NBL pool as well).  It is the huge vaccum chamber.  Can't see the chamber itself in this photo, this is just the HUGE DOOR swung open.
 The Edwards Fam flying the shuttle!
So weird to think that David has actually worked with all that super-cool stuff, really a part of history.  As happy as I am in some respects that he is done, it is also really sad too.  Glad we got to take the girls to go see it!
On to couple more things from summer...
David's birthday cake that R decorated.  He's 34, so there are 3 yellow candles then 4 blue candles.  :)
 Baby girl, excited for cake!
 I'm sure Daddy really needed the help with the candles...
A little summertime painting.  I wanted to remember this picture... she spend almost 2 HOURS painting this picture.  One tiny purple stroke at a time. Only two colors total. I kept asking if she was done... "Not yet, Mommy!"
 Reagan did I think 5 pictures to Brooklyn's 1.  I love this one in particular... all rainbows... all Reagan.  :)
Tomorrow I will wrap up the summer posts, finally.  Since school starts Monday *sniff... sigh*, it is time.