Preschool for Daniel

I had a meeting not that long ago with Daniel’s early intervention coordinators about transitioning him to preschool. Daniel! My baby boy! In preschool! See, early intervention provides services for children ages 0 to 3 years. At age 3 and beyond, those services are the responsibility of the school district. Obviously there’s a gap between age 3 and when school starts, which is where school district preschool comes in. Here’s what I learned about the preschool Daniel will attend:

Preschool will be Monday through Thursday, 8:30 to 11:30. They run on the district calendar, so he’ll have the same holidays and early release days as Kalena.

Classes are half students who need services and half typical students, or “peer models.”

Not all the elementary buildings have preschool programs in them, but the one we’re zoned for DOES, so he’ll be in the same building as Kalena (and Will in the fall.)

He’ll start most likely in February, because it needs to happen before he turns 3. I had wondered how this would work, since that’s the middle of a school year, but apparently he’ll start then anyway!

He’ll ride the bus! (I find the idea of this completely adorable.) The bus will pick him up and drop him off right at our house, and they have car seats.

We’ll have another evaluation before he starts, there at the school. I believe we’ll write up his IEP at this point. Our current plan has a PT as his primary therapist, because he needed the most work on gross motor skills when we moved here, but that will probably change to speech when he starts preschool. (We could switch it now, but that’s a lot of paperwork when he’ll only be with early intervention for like 3 more months.) He definitely needs the most work on speech these days. He is GREAT at communicating. He signs, he points, he is very expressive, but he still only says a handful of words, and those are really only understandable to Brian and me. So! Lots of work on actual talking!

I’m really exciting about him starting preschool. He LOVES being around other kids (church nursery is basically his favorite) and he loves going places so I’m pretty sure riding the bus every day is going to be like a dream come true for him. I’m hopeful that preschool will help with rules because so far nothing we’ve done at home works. He just runs around terrorizing everything and laughs when we tell him no. It seems crazy that it’s happening so soon though! It still seems like he’s our baby.


See? Baby in a bucket. How can he be getting ready to start preschool?!


Weeks 30 & 31

Still here. Still pretty in denial that I’ll be having a baby in like 10 weeks. I had my last OB appointment on Thursday. It was a little early, but she wanted to see me once more before we go. Everything is still looking good. I have no idea how much weight I’ve gained at this point, because I packed up our scale about a week ago. I feel like my belly isn’t as huge as it’s gotten with past pregnancies, but I’m decidedly waddling these days. Brian felt the baby kicking the other day (despite anterior placenta!) which NEVER happened with Daniel, so that’s kind of a big deal for me.

Here’s what I look like these days.




30 weeks



31 weeks

Room sharing

We figured Will and Daniel would be sharing a room eventually so why not start now? Mostly because now if there are problems we still have another room to stick Daniel in. (This is one of the joys of multiple cribs. Also Daniel still naps in his own room because no way would those two go to sleep at the same time for naps.) Anyway, it’s been a week or so and it’s been… okay? Definitely not great. It takes them a LONG time to go to sleep at night. Generally 1 1/2 to 2 hours. But it also hasn’t been terrible. Will LOVES to have Daniel in his room (really, he loves to have anyone in his room) and with the exception of a random wake-up from Daniel one night and a poop wake-up (also Daniel) another night, they sleep fine once they get to sleep. They also don’t wake up earlier than usual which I was worried about. (That’s why nobody can share with Kalena. She wakes up at the crack of dawn and thinks EVERYONE needs to be awake then.) I’m hoping that once the newness wears off it won’t take so long for them to get to sleep. We’ll see. Maybe next week I’ll be back here telling you how it all went to hell and we moved Daniel back to his own room. WHO KNOWS.

IMG_1937 IMG_1938

Seriously slacking

Here’s a confession: not only did I not blog for all of July, I barely read blogs either. I opened my computer only a very few times, and when I did it wasn’t to read. Part of my slacking there is that I still haven’t found a replacement for google reader that I like. I have a couple loaded with my subscriptions, but I’m not used to them so I’ve mostly been leaving them along. (Excellent strategy to get used to them, right?) I try to read posts when people link to them on twitter, but not everyone I read is on twitter, or links to their posts. Plus I’m not on twitter all the time, so I miss lots of them. AND I’m generally on twitter on my phone which makes commenting a giant pain if it’s possible at all.

Anyway, all of this to say I’m trying harder this month! I cleared my readers because there was no way I was going to catch up and I’m starting fresh! (Did I miss anything big last month?)

And now, happy Daniel (now with less hair!) to make up for my slacking.



(That *does* make up for it, right?)

Father’s day

I’m super behind on blogging, so hey! Happy Father’s day! (2 weeks late.)

Daniel was asleep when we took pictures, so here’s Brian with Kalena and Will.



I couldn’t ask for a better father for our kids.

Cake time

Well, Daniel’s birthday was the 11th, but we waited to celebrate, knowing we’d have family in town this week. Brian’s mom is here as well as my sister Kari, with her husband and 3 kids. So today was the day! If you’ve been reading here for very long you know that when it comes to birthdays, cake is my Thing. I don’t do fancy decorations or big parties or exciting gifts. I like to making fun cakes though.

Here’s Daniel’s:



It’s another one I found on pinterest (where else?!) I’m considering it a success since 1) the blog I pinned it from had no tutorial, just a picture and 2) the other blogger made it using fondant which I refuse to use because it’s gross so I knew mine wouldn’t look as smooth and pretty.

Daniel decided to go with the hands free method. (Same as Kalena when she turned one.)




He thoroughly enjoyed it.


End of the year survey

Alright, I’ve been out of town since December 27th, and just got back yesterday. In my head, January is just starting, which makes this a PERFECT time to do a wrap up survey of 2012!

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Had a baby with Down syndrome. It is amazing how the experience could be so much like having my other kids, and at the same time be so completely different.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Pretty sure my resolution at the beginning of the year was to have a baby. And I did! I have resolutions for this year, definitely.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 

My sister! And my good friend Laura.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Unfortunately, yes. Brian’s grandmother.

5. Whose behavior merited celebration? 

Brian’s. He was a super-hardworking student, but managed to also spend lots of the time with me and the kids.

6. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? 

Nobody in my personal life, fortunately. Too many in the media.

7. Who did you miss? 

Both my grandmothers. Friends who live far away. My sisters, who live down the street from each other and make me wish that all three of us could live on the same street.

8. Who was the best new person you met? 

Daniel, of course.

9. Where did you travel?

Nowhere far. Utah a couple times. Denver a couple times. Having three kids really cuts down on the traveling.

10. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

More hours in a day?

11. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 11th, Daniel’s birth. Obviously all my kids births have been memorable, but I imagine Daniel’s will remain particularly vivid.

12. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Staying sane with three kids? Does that count as an achievement?

13. What was your biggest failure?

Probably time management. I have a lot to work on in that area.

14. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Gestational diabetes at the end of my pregnancy. Nothing super serious.

15. What was the best thing you bought?

New yoga pants. Well, I definitely get the most use out of those anyway.

16. Where did most of your money go?

Insurance. Seriously, between sky-high premiums and Daniel’s delivery and subsequent nicu stay we payed more to our insurance than we did for Brian to go to school.

17. What did you get really excited about?

Daniel! (Man, having a baby gives a really easy answer for a lot of these questions.) Also, Brian got an interview for an internship. Very exciting! (The interview isn’t actually until later this month, but it got set up last year.)

18. Compared to this time last year, are you: Happier or sadder? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer?

Happier. Life’s been good. Thinner. But probably only because I was pregnant at this time last year. Eh, about the same.

19. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Creating healthy habits. I got down to my pre-pregnancy weight fairly easily, and then quit caring and gained back about 8 lbs.

20. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Time wasting.

21. What did you want and get? 

Third baby! (Seriously, how many times can I use Daniel as an answer here?)

22. What did you want and not get? 

I wanted to go to the Blathering again, but 6 month old baby plus zero funds meant that was a no-go.

23. How did you spend Christmas?

At home with family, my favorite way. You know the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band lyric, “The closest thing to heaven on this planet anywhere is a quiet Christmas morning in the Colorado snow”? Yes, that.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Downton Abby. Basically the only show I sit down to watch when it’s actually on. Brian and I also got totally hooked on The Vampire Diaries. And I continue to be a fan of Project Runway.

25. What were your favorite books of the year?

I really loved “The Fault in our Stars”

26. What was your favorite music from this year?

I don’t even know. I am so not up to date with new music. Probably doesn’t help that the local radio stations include songs that were popular when I was in high school in with the contemporary stuff.


27. What song will always remind you of 2012?

Christina Perri, A Thousand Years. Shortly after Daniel was born one of my friends linked to a video for World Down Syndrome Day and it included that song. Every time I hear it I think of Daniel. Especially this lyric:

“I have loved you for a thousand years, I love you for a thousand more”

(Here’s the video link, if you’re interested: Ace and Archie. It’s worth watching.)

28. What were your favorite films of the year?

I don’t watch “films.” I watch stuff like Pretty Little Liars on netflix.

29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 

None. I’m not big on celebrities.

30. What political issue stirred you the most? 

Let’s not talk politics on my blog.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 30! We…went out to dinner? I think?

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I don’t know. 2012 was pretty satisfying.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Yoga pants. But that’s probably true for every year.

34. What kept you sane?

The internet. Phone calls to my sisters. A baby who is a great sleeper.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Unexpected doesn’t mean bad.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today was a little weird. My parents went to visit my sisters and they took Kalena with them, so it’s just Brian and I here with Will and Daniel. We always have the turkey for lunch, but it was a late lunch so both boys were napping. So it was just the two of us.

We also made enough food for about 10 people. It’s Thanksgiving so too much food is basically a requirement. We had turkey (of course), mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade rolls (I made rolls! They were good!), broccoli casserole, stuffing, and pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream. Brian doesn’t mess around when it comes to whipped cream. We barely made a dent. Woohoo for leftovers!

How was your Thanksgiving?


With Hostess going out of business, we thought we ought to pick up a box of Twinkies! (And yes, I realize that Twinkies will probably be bought by another company and will still be produced.)

It was the kids’ first Twinkie experience.


They were pleased.


I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now, but I’m finding it hard to write. I think that’s partly because it’s not really my story, partly because it’s emotional. But there are things I want to say, so here goes.

Brian’s maternal grandmother, Nonnie, died recently. I didn’t know her all that well. In fact, I’d only met her once, when Brian and I had been married for about a year, and before I was pregnant with Kalena. I did keep in touch with her though. I get pictures of the kids regularly (1/3/6/9/12/18 months and then on birthdays) and send them out to relatives, so between sending out pictures and Christmas cards, and the occasional message on Facebook we were in contact several times a year. Brian was close to her, and called her regularly to talk.

When Daniel was born, Nonnie was especially supportive. She called and talked to us both, encouraged us, and reassured us about the things to come. See, Nonnie knew what we were going through, because she has a son who is mentally handicapped. The things she had to say meant a lot to us.  She was excited for us to have Daniel and thrilled at all the great information and help we were already getting. I often find it easy to dismiss what people say to us about Daniel, since they haven’t been in our situation. So it was great to have Nonnie, for advice, for reassurance, for stories. And now she’s gone. And I don’t think I’m eloquent enough to say just how much we’ll miss her.