Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Case Of The Missing Teeth

Rachel has taken it easy this afternoon sitting on the couch watching her favorite movies.  I even let her have the little DVD player so that she can go forward or backward as she pleases.....which she 'pleases' A LOT!  But I figured it was the least I could do since she is recovering from having two teeth pulled this morning. 

Ouch!  She is a real trooper about it all. She does very well for the dentist and doesn't complain as the anesthesia wears off.  She still won't smile for the camera for me!

Rachel was referred to the orthodontist over the summer to see about a palate expander as she has a very small mouth and very crowded teeth.  Her dentist was not totally comfortable trying to do an expander for Rachel.  Turns out the orthodontist was not too comfortable doing it either and referred us to another pediatric dentist.  This dentist did some of her residency with children with special needs and seems quite comfortable working with Rachel. 
We went last week and had xrays done.  This was the first time that Rachel ever attempted to do the bite wing xrays and the first time she had a successful panoramic xray.  She usually moves at some point and makes areas of the xray pretty blurry.  She is definitely getting better at following directions, and she stood very still for the whole procedure.  Not sure we could have gotten her to stand still for another, but one was all we needed.  The panoramic xray showed that Rachel is missing five adult teeth.  I have had them tell me three times which ones they are, but I still cannot remember, LOL!  I do know that two are on top and three are on bottom.  I knew that missing teeth is common in the Down syndrome population, but I was surprised to hear that she is missing so many!  It works well for her, though, because it means that she will not need the palate expander after all! 
Even though Rachel will not have to have the palate expander, the dentist did think that some baby teeth needed to come out now, to allow her two front teeth to move forward, so we went today and had the two teeth pulled.  Six months from now the dentist is planning on pulling two teeth on the bottom.       

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sweet Home Alabama 2012

These pictures were taken with my camera after it started malfunctioning, so some of them are pretty blurry, but they capture the fun on our trip home to Alabama this summer. 
Rachel LOVES to swing!!  And she loves it even more when Daddy Hawk does the pushing.  She would not let anybody else push her.

Taking a break from the summer heat.  I swear it is hotter in Alabama than it is in Florida.  At least to our part of Florida. 

More swinging!  I love all the trees in Alabama.  Yes, we have trees here, but a lot of them are palm trees and here on the coast, even the trees that are not palms, do not get very big. 

Rachel learns to drive the tractor.  Daddy Hawk has all kinds of cool things to drive.  The hard hat was too big and was slipping off her head, so she did not like wearing it!

Getting some assistance from Daddy Hawk.

More swinging.........

My fellow classmates from 1982!  Not everyone attended, but yes, I graduated with a very small class.....sixteen to be exact.  It makes for fun reunions, because you know everyone.   We only did the name tags, because we did a school wide reunion. 

We celebrated Hannah's 12th birthday will we were there.

The girls go to experience some rural Alabama, and got to ride in the back of a pickup.  We were just riding around on some land that used to belong to my grandfather and now belongs to my uncle.  It sure brings back lots of memories to see that place again.

The girls got to see the horses!  The highpoint for Rachel, of course.  She is actually in this picture, but all you can see are her pink sandals.  The was getting a treat to give to the horse. 

Ask to girls to pose for a picture and you get a bunch of whining about it, but try to pose in a picture with just your sister and cousin and this is what you get!  LOL

I wonder what was going on in her head!  She was thinking this is really cool, or these people are crazy to be riding in the back of a pickup. 


The girls thought it was sooo cool to ride around in the pasture with the cows!  Funny, we grew up doing it, and never thought that anyone could think of it as a treat.  Usually if we were riding around the pasture, we were heading to do some work......pick blackberries, muscadines, etc. for my grandmother to can.  Wish the girls could get to do that too!

We made our annual trek to the cemetery to put some flowers on my mom's grave.  I cannot believe she has been gone 25 years.  I used to wonder why my grandmother had pictures of headstones, and now I am taking pictures of them.  I guess it is a sign that I am getting old!

The trip is over and we were headed back to Florida.  Looks like everyone was just a little bit tired! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rachel's Photography

Rachel loves to take pictures, as I have mentioned in the past.  Below are some of her latest shots.  We recently had to send off our 'less than one year old' camera because it was not focusing correctly.  Canon just replaced it without explaining what the problem was, so we will never know if it was a defect or if our little photograher had anything to do with it!  The new camera is now off limits to little hands, so we might just have to get her a camera of her own for Christmas.  I always enjoy checking out the pictures she takes.  


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Roughin' It

In September we bought a camper trailer.  Mike loves to go camping and has been dragging me (kicking and screaming!) tent camping once a year for the last couple of years.  The kids love it too, but no matter how hard I tried, I could just not get into the camping spirit.  It always seemed like such a chore!  Last month we decided we would buy a camper so that we could go camping without it being so difficult.  We have already gone camping twice, and I must say, it is so much nicer camping with a few of the amenities of home.  I think I most enjoy having a bathroom, but the refrigerator is a very close second.  The air conditioner is a nice touch too.  Last weekend, the girls had a three day weekend, so we headed over to the west coast of Florida.  It was a nice trip!  Lots of things to do.  We went kayaking and saw a small group of manatee and four raccoons.  It seemed there was a fish jumping out of the water every five seconds and there were birds everywhere!  The cousins got to come down Saturday and spend the night, so the girls had a great time hanging out with them.  The camper site was within site of the playground, so Rachel spent a lot of her time there.  I really need to teach that girl how to swing herself!  
The new camper!

Rachel plays in the "surf."  I love the Gulf of Mexico!  It is not rough like it is over here on the Atlantic side of the state.


The west coast allows for some beautiful sunsets.  I am sure we have beautiful sunrises over here on the east side, but I am never at the beach at sunrise!

Leah practices here cartwheels.

Rachel rehydrates after a round of swinging and sliding.


Friday, October 19, 2012

She's Nine!

Last week, Rachel turned nine!  I cannot believe my baby is nine.  It is so cliche, but the time really does just fly by.  There have lots of changes with her the last few months.  She has started using a lot more words and sometimes will even put two or three words together.  She has become very bossy with her sisters and does not hesitate to tell them to turn off the TV or go to bed  :-)   She is also playing with her sisters now.  She has spent years contentedly playing alone in her room and asking anyone who entered to leave, but in the last two months or so she has spent a lot of time playing with Leah.  Not only is she playing with Leah, but she is initiating the play and asking (well, actually, telling) Leah to go upstairs to play. 
In August she started at a new school.  She had spent the last three years at our neighborhood school.  She was in the Varying Exceptionalities (otherwise known as special ed) class and spent some of her day in a regular classroom.  We had her in a regular classroom for almost 50% of the time last year.  I was hoping that she would develop some social skills with her regular peers, but at the end of the year she still would not talk to her classmates, even when they talked to her first.  She was not progressing in her reading and math at this school either, so we decided to make the change to a different school setting.  She is know in a special ed classroom 100% of the time.  It is not a VE class so the kids in her classroom are more like Rachel in their learning challenges than the kids were at the last school.  She really seems to be picking up things better in the new setting.  We were at the grocery store this week, and while we were standing in line, she pointed to the register number and said, "Three!"  She was right!  She would not have done that last year.  Parent conferences are next week, so I am looking forward to getting to talk with the teacher and really see how things are going in the classroom. 
Below are some pictures from Rachel's birthday.