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Showing posts from April, 2009

Updated!! Flashcards available with weblink

**Bugs worked out, mostly...new links below** Some of you have had trouble with the file when I sent it, and some don't have PowerPoint, so I've uploaded this and it should work for any of you to access now. Again, if you've missed the previous info on this, this was a PowerPoint, like electronic flashcards for the alphabet, numbers 1-10, and colors. Braska just loves it. We're working on her controlling the mouse touch pad. She does well but she gets distracted and just wants to make the pictures go and not practice her letters and numbers, so for now, it's a joint effort, which is fine with me. Update: I've now broken them down into separate shows for each section. There is one more that's still not cooperating, and it has the alphabet with a picture for each letter. I'll try to get it fixed and up ASAP. For now, here's what's available. Enjoy! Flashcards for the Numbers with counting shapes. Flashcards for the colors. Flashcards for th

Sequenom test delayed

I just received this from my friend Missy, and I think it's worth sharing! Many of you know that Sequenom had been developing a new test that they claimed could diagnose a first-trimester unborn baby with Down syndrome with up to 95% accuracy. It was a blood test, so it surely would be used often by women, and the likelihood that abortion rates for babies with DS would increase was a very real concern. The news came out today that the test release is delayed due to “the discovery by company officials of employee mishandling of R&D test data and results.” I don't know what that means exactly, but I know that I'm pleased. Prenatal testing is a hot issue, and I'm not trying to debate that at this point. Just sharing the latest info on something that many of us have been watching. Here's Patricia Bauer's article.

About the PowerPoint Flashcards

For those that don't need the stuff repeated and just want once through of the alphabet (plain and then with pictures), 1-10, and colors, I've modified it. Let me know if you want it. I'm glad so many are able to use it! Yay for technology and learning combined!

Bare bones blogging

No frills, just stuff I've considered blogging. Key points are in BOLD in case you want to skim and read only some portions. See? I know how you are. There is a new Wendy's at the exit very near us. I didn't know it was there til today. I'm SO excited! Even though we don't do fast food hardly at all anymore, I do LOVE Wendy's and I'm pleased it's there if I get a couple extra bucks and a craving. I worked at Wendy's in high school, and though some people say when you work fast food you can never eat there again, I still love it. And I still dress my burgers in the same way they do, in the same order from the bun up. White, red, green, white, red, green. Mayo, ketchup, pickle, onion, tomato, lettuce. Mustard goes on the meat. Yum! Isn't it funny how I can't remember what I needed to get at the grocery store but I can remember the jingle from the training video that I watched in 1990! Yesterday at the mall, there was a pregnant woma

Photo evidence

This is not really news anymore, but I like this picture, and heck, Mark deserves some press time, so why not... A week ago Monday, the 13th, my pals, Jen and Mark, from C-U came down for an appointment at Children's, and they ended up with van trouble. (Their story was referenced in this post .) I took off in my PJ's/sweats to drop off my car for them to head back.. it all happened very fast. Since I didn't have a chance to write up a liability contract before handing over the keys, I took this picture instead. I kid...friends don't need liability contracts. Photo evidence works fine! Ha! In all fairness to Mark, there were no babies born in my car, thankfully, and no new dings that I could find, and he returned it FULL! Thanks!!!

Different States Early Intervention

Attention all parents involved in Early Intervention(EI): Help me out a minute, pretty please? I've talked to a few of you lately about a variety of issues related to EI (AKA, Birth to 3, Babies Can't Wait, First Steps, etc.) and I'm finding that alot of the states are really different in how they handle things. I had no idea that there was such variety in the services and the processes. So as a point of awareness for those who surf the web for this stuff, and just as a way to share with our fellow parents how things are where we respectively live (Maybe there will be something you didn't know about your own state!), can you take a minute a summarize a few points in a comment here? For the friends out there who have discussed this with me recently, can you still comment here so that we have the best grouping of info? Thanks!!!! If you've done a post on your blog on this, feel free to put the link in a comment too! 1. Some of you have mentioned looking for a presc

Like no big deal

I just sat in the kitchen with Braska in her booster chair, tray and bib in place. She ate an entire pudding cup, half chocolate (which she typically hates, but took willingly) and half butterscotch (which she apparently LOVES). She sat there, opened her mouth, even grabbed the spoon several times and fed herself. Then she finished, took almost an ounce from her cut-out cup of warm water (not on purpose, I just didn't notice it was warm--but she loved it) and then she was "aw dunnnn". In our world, we may just throw a big party for this kind of thing.

A little more about tea

I really do appreciate the responses so far to my pondering and pontificating about the tea party yesterday. Good points have been made, specifically that we never know what a child is dealing with outside of our current situation where we observe them. I do not mean to assume that a child that I deem as misbehaving is being "bad" or that that her parent is lacking proper skills. It is understood that there is always information that I'm not privy to, and that's why I did not think poorly of the moms there based on the daughters' reactions. There was a point yesterday when Braska started yelling, crying, tears and all. She gets upset when there is a piercing noise, especially a child's scream. One of the little girls, I think she's 5, did not want to sit in a chair when she arrived and became quite agitated to the point of screaming over and over. Braska fell apart, and even though this is a rare happening, it's no fun, as you can imagine. The

Mother Daughter Tea

St. Louis has a big DS organization, the DSAGSL, but it operates in several area support groups that meet throughout the metro area. Ours out here in St. Charles County has been a great source for community and information through the monthly meetings and other events, like the trainings on how to do an IEP, which I've been attending lately since we're just about to that stage. It's nice that the leader of the StC County group, Adrienne, is also a friend, online first and now IRL. And of course, Julie and I are undoubtedly two of the most important members of the group. I'm just sure of it. Right, Julie?!? Today the girls and I went to a Mother Daughter Tea that was organized by one of the ladies in our local DS group. It was supposed to be a day for just Braska and I, but M ended up working again. (He's working ALOT of overtime. Great for income, not so much for my sanity.) So Kinlee came along too. Braska wore one of her new spring outfits, thanks to the clearan

Healthy babies

Deborah posted yesterday about her feelings regarding the March of Dimes position on "preventing Down syndrome" and other chromosomal issues. She had a good post , points to ponder, so check it out if you haven't seen it. It reminded me about how I've been noticing this lately. Julie and I were walking at the mall recently when I noticed these in window cling form on several of the store entrances. I mentioned to her that they strike me almost, I don't know....misleading? That may not be the right word, but here's the issue. "One day...all babies will be born healthy." That sounds like a great idea. Of COURSE, we want healthy babies! What's not to like there? I'm wondering, though... What is the definition of healthy? What does a healthy baby look like? Maybe it's no heart defect, no GI issues, no respiratory problems... but there are many kids with DS that do NOT have those issues. So maybe it's related to the cognitive issue

Keepin' it real

My good buddy Courtney tagged me for an interesting assignment ... make sure you click over to see her response. That girl is crazy clever... I tell ya. The idea is to take a picture of yourself right now, no touch ups, no primping, no changing clothes, and post it before you can change your mind. I was a bit hesitant as, let's be honest since we're being REAL, my girls and I are still in PJs and it's almost 1pm. That's just the way it goes some days, and we don't have a car to get out anyway (loaned it to one of my BFFs Jen --she tells the story better than me.) so why make more clothes to throw in the laundry, that's what I say. But when I held up the camera after seeing the post with my assignment on it, this is what I got. Whoda thunk it?!? It may be one of my favorites in a while! Not only am I not hardly visible (always helpful!) but Braska's giving me a sweet smile and Kinlee's NOT fussing (SO rare these days). So in the end...thanks Courtn

Like we never left

We went back to C-U this weekend. (By the way, that's Champaign-Urbana, Chambana, or Shampoo Banana, depending on who you ask.) We haven't been back since June last year, and our pals Randy and Karen are moving away, back to Minnesota, so we thought we better go wish them farewell while they were only 3 hours away. I've got alot of things I want to document about our trip, so I hope to get a chance to do some of that later this week. It was a very busy couple of days, but that made for a good trip. We saw several old friends at the going away party on Friday night. Since we moved away so quick that we didn't get to say goodbye to most people, it was nice to kind of catch up again this weekend. Then there was the birthday party for one gorgeous little cowboy known as Hunter. We felt very honored to be "just friends" and invited to his super big family party on Saturday, though we were WAY outnumbered by all his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and bunches of cute

Then and now: Trim time

I'm so behind in everything! Blogging included.... and I don't like it one bit! Here's a quick something I can put up... even though neither of these pics is on my faves list. We'll have to keep it real. Sometimes pictures aren't great. Sometimes they are and we just have to deal with the reality we see, right?!? The before (3/21/09) And the after (4/4/09) I like the cut alot. I'm not much good at styling, but oh well. It's much easier to deal with, and of course, when all else fails or it's a crazy day, it still goes up in a pony tail in a flash. Can't live without that option in my house!

Out of our hands

Thank you all for praying for L and her situation. It appears that a difficult choice was removed from her hands. To summarize, purposefully vague as it may be, a young mother had just yesterday found that she was carrying a little girl with DS. She came to one of the forums that I frequent, and we encouraged her as we often do with moms dealing with a new diagnosis. Her husband was not in favor of her continuing to carry the baby and gave her an ultimatum. She was having to choose between her child and her husband, and she felt she could not give up her marriage. Her appointment was today, but she has reported now that as of late this morning her baby's heartbeat is not to be found. She has had many losses previously, but I'm sure that doesn't make this one any easier. She wanted her little girl, but her family all around was pressuring her to end her pregnancy. I'm sad that that precious baby didn't have a chance to come bring a bright light to their world. Ther

Prayers needed NOW!

I can't give you all the details. But it is a matter of life and death for a sweet child. Please pray for my new friend L and her horrible choice that is at hand this very day. Please pray. It's absolutely heartbreaking. I'm almost physically sick, and I admit I'm panicked for her. God knows the details, please just ask him to strengthen L and protect her baby girl.

Blog work in progress

I'm working on some blog things today, on all of them, so if you happen to be in a reader and seeing lots of re-posts of old ones, please disregard. When it's all done, I'll let you know what's up! While you're reading though, throw out some ideas for blog layouts. I need some fresh thoughts! Colors, themes, etc... whatta ya think??

Hindsight: Hints of DS, Part 2

If you are interested in Part 1, it's here . While I was in Dent County last week, in the midst of driving those memory-reviving roads , I passed a place a few times that held another bit of what I consider to be foreshadowing. Honestly, as I thought about this, I am missing alot of the details about this time in the file drawers of my brain. I don't know why that is. This little snippet of that era is foggy. What I do remember is for a short while I worked at the adult day care facility of what they call Enrichment Services for the county. I think that I had an aquaintence that worked for the ES, and she had asked if I had time to help them since they were quite shorthanded. I really don't remember exactly where this falls in the timeline of things that happened during my three-year period of living in Dent County. But I believe it was after my stint in Mrs. B's class, and I know it was before the opening of the after-hours clinic. During most of my time i

Need a caption please...

Remember the sweet, meaningful bouquet that welcomed us home last Friday? This week I noticed it had changed. I felt it was a special reminder... What do you see? Write me a caption, please. (It might make more sense if you refer back to the original post for the significance.) I'll tell you about mine in a day or two.

Answer to the itch

Today I dropped Braska off to hang out with her buddy Jack for a bit while I went to my final OB appointment. As I was driving through a residential area between point A and point B, I passed quite a few people walking, jogging, or just standing outside chatting with a neighbor. The weather was nice, and it always makes me smile to see people out just enjoying the simple things in life. But one sight made my smile even wider. On the sidewalk, across from the high school, there was a silver-haired couple, apparently out for a walk. They were both dressed in burgundy shirts and jeans. As I approached around the curve, their position in relationship to each other caught my attention; he was facing the road, and she was facing the house nearby. I did a little double take as I realized there was a strange moving lump in the back of her shirt, just beneath the collar. He had his hand up high and inside her collar, scratching her back as she stood there on the sidewalk. It didn't