Saturday, January 31, 2009


Just as I pressed the button and published the last post, Leah cried out, "Mommmmmmmyyyy, Allison pulled out my tooth!" Upon further investigation, I found out that Allison had actually pulled out two of Leah's teeth. According to the story that they are sticking with, Leah had a cloth belt in her mouth and Allison yanked it out-along with two teeth. Several of Leah's teeth are starting to get loose, so it should come as no surprise that a couple of teeth came out with it, but we were all shocked. One of the teeth was already really loose. The other tooth was just a little loose. After they were out, it was apparent that both were ready to come out, thank goodness. I would send along another picture, but Mike took both cameras with him on his trip to South Carolina, for reasons unknown to me. Anyway, it wouldn't look much different from the last couple I have posted of Leah's snaggletoothed grin. It seems the Tooth Fairy's business has slowed down a little from a couple of weeks ago, because she actually made to the house last night and left Leah some loot. You never know around here......

Friday, January 30, 2009


The end to another week. This week seemed to last forever. I guess I have not yet gotten used to the girls being in school five days a weak again. It seems that every time we turn around, the school has another holiday, so since the Christmas break, this was only the second week the girls went to school for all five days.

I finally got around to going to school to visit with the girls during their lunch. They had been asking all week, and I had yet to make it. So, today I decided I would do it. The problem is that I was supposed to meet Rachel's PT at the house at 12:30pm for Rachel's therapy. We only meet once a month-I will use that as my excuse. Well, at some point in the morning I forgot all about the appointment and totally missed the therapist because I was with Allison at her lunchtime. I felt so bad for forgetting that. I had been doing so good with all of my appointments this week, and it was the last one for the week! Oh, by the way, my mammogram went well this morning, and the doctor said I did not need to come back again until my regular yearly appointment. Yea!!

I am proud to say that Leah was student of the month in her class. The teachers pick one student each month out of their class. This is the second time that Leah has gotten this award in two years. In five years at Suntree, Allison got her first award this year, so it is not just given to every child in the class. Leah constantly complains about having to go to school, but seems to be doing well.

Rachel made it all week wearing her "big girl" underwear! She did not have a single accident at school, and I think she only had two here at home-three at the most. I am so excited. Now, if she would just decide to go to the potty on her own, we would be set. She never initiates a trip to the potty. She will even say no when you ask her if she needs to go, but if you take and put her on the potty, she will go. If you wait too long between trips to the potty, she will go in her undies. She is making progress, though, and for that I am thankful!!

Have I mentioned that Allison wants a hamster? She has been begging for one for quite some time. Finally, after Christmas, we set up a rewards program for her to earn a hamster. She has been doing great with it and doing lots of things around the house to earn points. It has really been nice! I have been very proud of how grownup she had been behaving. I think she is starting to tire of the whole thing, though. This last week, she has been very argumentative and very defiant-back to her old self so to speak. This has resulted in a week of grounding-that started on Monday and went through today-and as of last night, the whole hamster thing got put on hold. Allison is a very difficult child at times and will refuse to give in and do what she is told to do. It is so frustrating to watch her dig herself into a hole. When it is all said and done, she blames me and Mike for the whole thing. "If we just wouldn't be so mean, she would not have to be grounded, yelled at, etc.......... I am so dreading the teen age years!

Mike called me at lunch today to tell me he had to make a trip to South Carolina and would be leaving this afternoon. As I type this, he is en route. Thank goodness I am not working and having to try to do something with the kids at the last minute. That was always so stressful!! He is not sure when he will be back. Right now, he says he may get back tomorrow or Sunday. Soooo, I guess it is just me and the girls for a night or two. We did not have any plans for the "big" weekend, anyway. I just don't see the draw of the Superbowl. I kept thinking I needed to call my sister and talk her into renting out her house to some silly person that travelled to Tampa to see the game. They were saying, on the radio, that people were renting out their houses for some pretty hefty prices.

Anyway, hope everyone has a great weekend.........after highs in the upper 80s yesterday, we are heading into a rather cool weekend. I hope it is not too cold when Rachel goes to her horseback riding tomorrow. I think they are saying we will be getting down around the 39 or 40 tonight! Yuck!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It Is Not Cold Anymore!

What a difference a week makes! Last week at this time the temperature was in the 40s. Today we are in the 80s. It almost feels like summer out there. We have stashed the jackets and sweaters and pulled out the shorts and flip flops again. I am not sure how long the heat will last, though. I think it is supposed to cool off again in the next few days. I hope all of you stay safe in the nasty winter winter weather that is hitting so much of the Eastern part of the country.

Our week is going by so slowly!!! I cannot believe it is just Wednesday. I have not been as busy as I thought I was going to be, because the volunteering at the school has was cancelled or changed. Tomorrow will be busy though. I am not sure how I will be able to work in a dentist appointment, a doctor appointment and volunteering for Allison's teacher all before noon.

I have almost forgotten to mention some of my biggest news. Rachel has been wearing underwear since Saturday!! She has had a few accidents, but has done well. I am putting her in pull ups for sleeping, though. I am so excited to think that in the near future, we will be done with diapers!!!! I have been changing diapers since August 19, 1998, and I am tired of it!

Allison has decided to try some of Leah's styling tips. Below is a picture of her as she headed out to school this morning.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Can You Do This?!?!

This is one of Rachel's favorite ways to sit! Looks comfy, doesn't it?!? I can't believe she can do that.
Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Our weather finally warmed back up. After two weeks of "winter" I am officially done! I was so glad to get back to the warm temperatures again. The girls had a good weekend. Allison had a slumber party to go to on Friday night. It started at 7:00pm. When I took her over and dropped her off, Leah went with me. The birthday girl has a sister that is Leah's age and they were in class together last year. Needless to say, Leah came home bummed out that Allison was getting to have all the fun and she had "nothing fun to do!!" Shortly after we got back to the house, Allison called from the party and wanted to know if Leah could spend the night too. After talking with the mom and Leah (as if I had to ask her if she wanted to go), we took Leah over to the party to spend the night with her little friend. There is no way I would have let Allison do that in first grade, but now that Allison has done it, it doesn't seem so scary to let Leah do it too. Allison was such a sweet big sister to let Leah go. I asked Allison if she would be okay having her little sister around her friends, and she said it was fine. Despite all their arguing and fighting I think they may actually like each other. Sometimes I really wonder.

Saturday morning was Rachel's horseback riding. It was so nice to get up and just have to deal with Rachel. It is so easy to just have to deal with one. I think I will try to work out another slumber party for the big girls!! The slumber party turned into "the party that would not end." Mike went to pick the girls up at noon when the invitation said the party was over, but the cake had not been cut, the presents had not been opened and the girls asked to stay longer. They said they would call when they were done. Finally, at 2:30pm. I went and picked up the girls even though they had not called. The birthday girl had still not opened the presents!! The girls did not not protest about leaving, so I think they were actually ready to come home.

Sunday morning we went to church. I assist in Allison's 3-4 grade class. They have it set up so that you teach a month and then off a month. This was my last Sunday to teach until March. That is a relief! Kids are such brats these days. The boys in the class could not sit still and be quiet if their lives depended on it. It makes for a long hour and a half. Sunday afternoon Leah and I went to the grocery store. I have no idea why Leah thinks she likes to go to the grocery store. I hope she keeps thinking like that, because when she get older I can send her to the store and not have to go! She had a good time taking all the coupons that are scattered around the store and taste testing all the samples of fruit in the produce department.

Today I got the girls off to school and then went to volunteer for Allison's teacher. At noon, I picked up Rachel and ran to downtown Melbourne to see about getting her glasses fixed. She had broken the little rubber nose piece....again. Fortunately, it only cost $5 to replace. Much to my dismay, the shop was closed for lunch, figures! I am not sure when I will get back down there. The rest of the week is busy with volunteering and appointments. I have to go back for my follow up mammogram on Friday, to see if the spot they notice in October has changed or not. It is going to be a busy week.............

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Did I Say It Was Cold!?!?

It is still cold here. We woke up to a frosty morning this morning. The girls thought that was really cool, and I had a hard time herding them into the car because they were so excited to see the ice on the cars and grass. This is the coldest I have seen it here in the 5 years we have been here. I hope all of my plants make it through. Driving the kids to school, I noticed some freeze damage to some plants in the area.

I had to laugh yesterday. The girls came home and told me that this cold weather sucks because they were not able to go out for recess yesterday and have been told that they will stay in again today. In Minnesota, the school sent a note home with Allison saying that the kids would be going out to recess until the wind chill hit -10 degrees. -10 degrees vs 45 degrees.......not much difference I guess. The girls' school is unusual, in that it is all outside. There are not halls. There is no gym. To get to another room, cafeteria, library, etc., you have to go outside. It was pretty chilly walking between buildings yesterday. Fortunately, this is not the norm!! Most of the time it is a pleasant walk around campus.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Okay, It Is Really Cold Now!

Wow!! It is chilly here! We have been in the 50s all day with strong winds, and it will be near freezing tonight. I guess I will have to bring a few of my plants inside tonight. Mike is always saying that he hates the cold. I keep thinking, "It's is not so bad." I think I am changing my mind, though. Standing out there in the cold wind this afternoon, I was wishing for warmer weather. I know so many of you are calling me a wimp right now, so I will just admit it......"I am a cold weather wimp!!!"

We had a busy weekend. Mike had to go into work Saturday morning. I got the girls out of the house around 9:30am. We ran and picked up a gift card and headed to a birthday party at 10:00am. Rachel and I hung out at the party until 10:45am, and then we went to Harmony Farms for Rachel's riding class. Turns out, a lot of people down here are cold weather wimps. It was a beautiful day, but it was in the low 60s and really windy. Out of about 15 students, only 3 showed up Saturday morning. A neighbor brought Allison and Leah home from the party for me. Rachel and I stopped by a local park on the way home from horseback riding and signed Allison and Leah up for spring soccer. They have never done soccer before, but they are both saying they want to try it. I was hoping I was going to be able to make it through motherhood without having to be a "soccer mom."

Sunday, we went to church. It was over at around 12:30. From there, we headed over to the nearby Catholic church for a Christening. After the Christening, the family invited everyone to the country club for brunch. It was nice and the kids had a good time hanging out with all the other neighborhood kids that were there. We got home from that at about 3:30pm. A little later the same family invited us over to their house to hang out. They had the hot tub going, so the kids were having a good time splashing around. We stayed over there until about 9:00pm. The kids were worn out! Good thing that Monday was a holiday.

Poor Leah.............Dentists don't take off for MLK holiday. She had to get up and go to the dentist yesterday. She had to have another tooth pulled. She had this done not too long ago, so she knew about "THE SHOT!" She was so worked up about having it done that the dentist had to keep taking a break and going on to other patients and coming back to Leah. Leah refused to open her mouth, and the dentist didn't want to be forceful. After an hour of trying to talk Leah into it, I was more than ready force Leah into it, but the dentist kept her cool. She is really nice and did not act like this was annoying her. I know she had to be looking at the time and thinking, "let's just get this over with!" Leah got the shot, finally, and the dentist got the tooth out in a nanosecond. Over an hour of bribing, bargaining, and pleading for a half second procedure.

Leah dutifully put her tooth under her pillow last night. As I was waking her up this morning, it dawned on me that she had probably put the tooth under her pillow. "D!@#$%!!! I forgot all about it!! If letting the kids play out in the rain does not make me a bad mommy, this surely does. This is not the first time this has happened. Actually, it happens with such regularity, that Leah was not too surprised to find her tooth still under her pillow. I hope that I don't forget it again tonight!!

The big girls got their report cards today. Leah got all Os for Outstanding!! Allison got all As and one B. The B was in math. It is her least favorite subject. I am sorry to say that I can't fault her for that. I was never really great in math either. I am very proud of both of them.

Leah minus another baby tooth. These pictures are starting to all look alike, aren't they?

This is a project Leah had to turn in today. She had to make a collection and label it. She decided to do seeds. We rounded up seeds from the kitchen and the neighborhood. When she was done it didn't look half bad.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Oh my goodness, I hope all of you up there in the frigid North are staying warm!!! Guess Florida did not want to get left out of the cold weather either. Fortunately, for us here in Central Florida, cold means lows in the upper 30s and 40s and highs in the 60s. It was so funny last night watching the local news. Believe it or not, this was big news on the newscast!! Some areas around here were going to get a freeze, but since we are on the coast, we are a little warmer. This is supposed to last for several days. Before it is over, I may end up having to bring in my pineapple plant that I have on my back porch. There won't be any kayaking or playing in the rain for the next week or so! Hope everyone stays warm and safe. Those of you with snow, enjoy it for us!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Am A Bad Mommy!

Well, if you can't play in the snow, you might as well play in the rain.........Yesterday afternoon, the girls wanted to go out to play. It was cloudy, but warm. A short while after they went out, it started to rain-nice to see rain, because it has not rained here in a very long time. At first the girls told me that they were playing in garage because it was raining. Not too long after that, I could hear little voices circling the house. I knew they were out there in the rain, but I thought... ....why not. They were having fun. They came in soaked, but no worse for wear. This morning was another story, though. Their shoes got soaked yesterday, so they were still wet this morning. That, as it turns out, was a BIG problem. It appears that Leah only has one pair of shoes that are "comfortable," and now they are wet. We were late getting out of the house because of the shoe crisis!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kayaking Adventure

Wow! Another week is over. Rachel and I made it to the Down Syndrome Center last Wednesday. After getting up and on the road before dawn, we were both worn out when we got home at 3:00pm. All the staff at the center think she is doing great, and the education specialist really encouraged me to put Rachel in kindergarten this fall. I was thinking about keeping her in preK one more year, but the specialist thinks it would be a good idea to get her into the classroom with "regular" kids and into a more academic setting. I was thinking that since Rachel only speaks in single words (very few that you can actually understand) and does not seem to know her numbers, letter, colors, etc....that I should keep her in preK, but the specialist told me that my thinking should be to put Rachel in the regular classroom with the assistance she needs and go from there. She says that Rachel is very bright, and that I would be doing her a disservice holding her back. I am somewhat excited about the idea because it would put Rachel in the same school with Allison and Leah. The thought also scares me to death, because Rachel just is so tiny and still looks like a toddler. She still has not broken the 30lb mark at 5 years of age. The school district will be doing it's testing in the next couple of months, and we will be meeting in May to plan for next fall. I am trying to psyche myself up for fighting for the best placement for Rachel if I have to.

As the weekend approached, the girls started talking about going to Seaworld. We had thought about going last weekend and didn't, so the girls were ready to try it again this weekend. I finally remembered to check the expiration dates on our Fun Passes, and sure enough, they expired December 31st....thanks for telling me to check on that, Jane. I am so glad that we did not get to Orlando and find that out. We would have had to turn around and come home! That certainly would not have gone over well with the girls, to say the least!

After that realization, Allison decided to start in on the whining. "We never get to do anything...........!" So we decided to go kayaking on Sunday. We have one kayak, but it just seats two, so we rented a second kayak so that all five of us could go and went up to an area called Thousand Islands. It was a neat place. We only saw a little of it because it is a really large area and we had three kids in the boats. "Why does it make a difference with three kids?"you might ask. Well, that would be because the kids want to sit in the boat and eat while the grownups paddle. Actually, Allison is a pretty good little kayaker, but Leah is not into the paddling at all. Rachel loved putting her hand in the water as the kayak cruised along. She did that when she was not eating. She also wanted to sit in my lap while I paddled the kayak. I don't have any idea how many times I clocked her in the head with the paddle. It didn't seem to bother her though, she just kept eating! We got to see some really neat birds and even a manatee. Actually, I am the only one who saw the manatee, and it was for only a brief second as it came up to take a breath. It was interesting kayaking too. For the most part, we were in approximately 6-12 inches-yes, inches-of water!! The tide was really low and it was difficult to find areas that were deep enough to kayak across. After a while of cruising around, I took Rachel's life jacket off. It just seemed silly to make her sweat it out in life jacket while we paddled around in 6 inches of water.

I almost forgot to mention the fun we had when we paddled up a narrow channel. We saw a spider web glistening in the sun and thought it was really was an omen, but we missed it! A couple of minutes later, I look up over my head to see bunches of spider webs spanning over the channel, just inches above our heads, and guess what was in all those spider webs?!?! Lots and lots of spiders. I HATE SPIDERS!! Turns out, Leah does too. We could not get out of there fast enough!! It is hard to maneuver a kayak when you cannot raise the paddle tip above your shoulders . Every time I tried to paddle I would hit the spider webs over my head and jostle all those spiders around. I just kept waiting for one to fall on my head.

At some points during the trip we let the girls get out a scout around. The had a great time playing around and looking for interesting things. We will have to go back there sometime. Below are some pictures from the trip.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Last Week of Winter Break

Well, winter break is over. The girls went back to school today. They were none to happy about it. On Sunday the 28th we went to the beach for about an hour. One of the neighborhood girls went with us. I was sure the girls would not get in the water, but they went right in! It is a little chilly, but it didn't even slow them down. As you can see from the pictures, Leah had a lovely time. She is never very excited to go to the beach, and she kept stepping on rocks in the water, so she was grouchy. Rachel loves going to the beach. She does not really care about getting in the water, but she loves to walk up and down the beach, and up and down the beach......and up and down the beach. I try to look for neat shells on our walks, but she is often so fast that I just have to try to keep up with her.

Monday and Tuesday Mike worked all day, so the girls and I just hung out around the house and took down Christmas decorations. Wednesday, Mike took off early and we all headed over to Tampa to help Jane celebrate her birthday. The girls LOVE to go over there to see their cousins!!! We got to Jane's, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and called it a night. We all managed to still be awake at midnight, but it was not because we wanted to be. The girls just get so wound up when they are together!

New Year's Day Jane had to work, so we stayed at her place and watched her girls. We loaded everyone up and headed to the zoo where Jane works. It is really nice and we saw lots of neat stuff. It is also fun to have a connection at the zoo to take you behind the scenes. We got to hand feed monkeys, check out the manatees in the zoo hospital, and watch Jane feed the chimps and orangs. It is too funny to see those great apes recognize Jane and try to get her attention. We ate dinner at Jane's and then headed home, getting home around 11:00pm. The girls were worn out!

Friday Mike was back at work. I kept telling myself that I was going to get some cleaning done around the house, but it never happened. Saturday was Leah's birthday. She turned 7!! We did a little party with cake and presents. At first we planned on going to Seaworld for the afternoon, but Leah decided she wanted to stay home and play with her new stuff-a new Wii game. Later Saturday afternoon, we all went biking to a playground nearby-sort of nearby, it take 45 minutes on bikes to get there, be it is a really nice little ride, and the playground is perfect for Rachel. Sunday after church we went to a nearby park and let the girls play on another playground and then we went on the hiking trails that wind around the park. Allison had a great time because she LOVES that kind of stuff. Rachel thought is was great, because she is so into that walking thing. She was walking and giggling. She was also trying to collect sticks. She managed to carry four, before she reached her limit.

Monday the kids just laid around the house dreading the start of school on Tuesday. This morning we jumped back into our routine! I got the kids to school and ran to a dentist appointment. Tomorrow, Rachel and I will load up before dawn and drive to Jacksonville. It is 150 miles away, we are supposed to be there around 8:00am. We are going to the Down Syndrome Center for a check up. They are a wonderful group of therapists and doctors who work exclusively with children with Down Syndrome. They are a great source of information!! They (PT, OT, ST, education specialist and an MD) will do an assessment of Rachel and mail a report to us in about six weeks to tell us the best thing to do for Rachel at this time. Should be an interesting, but long, day.