Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 16: Describe My Dream House

I know some people can describe their dream houses very specifically.  There is only one feature that is certain on my dream house.

A giant wrap around porch!

I'm thinking something like this....

I love the porch and the varied roof line. 

I found this house on another site...and discovered it was a remodel of an old house.  Quite a transformation!

And I discovered a new food blog, written by the owner of this house. All in all, a very productive google search!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Swallow Study and Weaning

On Friday Claire and I headed to Denver for her third swallow study.  It had been six months since her last one, and we were hoping that she'd outgrown the aspiration.  If she was still aspirating we were hoping to have her drink more than a swallow or two.  For her first two studies, she would take one drink and then refuse any more of the stuff since it tasted so bad.  We were never really able to get her to drink once we thickened the milk to make sure the consistency was right for her. 

This time they had a new product that was apple flavored.  We started with Claire's yogurt and that went down just fine.  I haven't been worried about solids, so this wasn't a surprise.  We also gave her a small piece of cookie, and this was swallowed whole.  It was pretty hard, so that's what I was expecting, but it would have been nice to see her chew.  I forgot her string cheese in the car though, so there wasn't anything else for her to chew on, and we did the milk next.

We started with thin liquid in her straw cup and she did great.  She took a few swallows in a row and there was just very minimal penetration and no aspiration at all.  With her bottle she was still aspirating on thin liquids, and had pretty significant penetration even with it thickened like we have been.  So the verdict is thicken in the bottle (even more than we have been), but unthickened is fine in the straw cup.  The SLP thought it was the speed which she was able to drink by bottle, and the angle of her head that was causing the aspiration.

I'm not totally convinced that she doesn't need her straw cup milk thickened too though.  She will often get a little 'junky' sounding after she drinks, and I think I will continue to thicken it just a little bit.

So onto weaning from the bottle!  I've wanted Claire off the bottle for a little while now, but also didn't want to lose all my snuggle time with her.

For the last 10 days she hasn't had any bottles during the day, and hasn't had night bottles in about 4 days.  This morning I was going to skip her morning bottle too, but she insisted.  :)  When we were eating breakfast I would offer her straw cup, but she kept pushing it away and signing 'milk'. We finished her morning milk in the bottle and will try to skip it again tomorrow.  She's done so well with the transition this far that I think she'll off the bottle completely within a week or two. 

Sorry for the lack of photos...we lost power last night, and I still haven't pulled the Easter photos from my camera.  Hopefully tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I've gotten off track with my 30 days of posts...and have some other stuff that I need to post about or I'll forget, so bear with all my randomness...

* Claire's 15 month appointment was last week and all is well.  She is still growing right along her 50th percentile curve, and she weighs in at 18 lbs 10 oz.  Of course she started crying before they even gave her the shots, but the rest of the appointment was spent charming all of the staff.  She is still solidly in her 6-9 months clothes, with a few 12 months.

* My computer at home is acting up.  It's 2 years old, gets used only for our book keeping, the internet and photos, and yet something bad is going on.  Some days it won't even start.  This weekend it took about 15 times of restarting and patching/repairing to get it going.  I'm in the process of transferring photos off it so that if it does crash I won't lose them.

* I have a super cute video of Claire blowing kisses that I've been trying to transfer to my computer so that I can post it.  But since my computer issues started when I tried to install the video camera software I've been hesitant to install the software at work.  Don't want to break the work computer, and they have most of the video sites blocked...

* We bought a brand new car a month ago.  I don't go into big decisions quickly and this has been in process for years.  I also can't make a decision...Anyway, that brand new car has been in the shop for 2 of the 4 weeks I've owned it.  To say I'm unhappy is an understatement! I have the car back, but the bluetooth still isn't working right.  It's not the end of the world, but I'm peeved that there is anything wrong with my brand new car.

* I went to an awesome Ds symposium this past Saturday and came away with some great tips for school and IEPs.   I still need to get my notes together for a post though...

* Claire has turned into a ham.  When you bring out the camera, this is what you get...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 15: Share a Bible Verse

I had a different post planned for tonight.  One about Claire's 15 month appointment, complete with a cute video, but my computer is not cooperating AT ALL.  So, I'll just continue with these posts until I can get the glitches figured out...

Day 15: Share a Bible Verse

I shared one of my favorite verses (Isaiah 41:10) the other day, but another verse has been running through my mind a lot lately. 

Paisley, being adopted by the Tam Family
 I follow many Reece's Rainbow families.  Adoption, especially of a child with Down syndrome, has been on my heart a lot lately.  These children have been abandoned, left behind simply because they have Down syndrome.  Because they are like Claire.  And that hurts my heart.  These children need and deserve families.

The international adoption journey is hard.  While I haven't done it myself, I've talked to other families, I've seen them frantically fundraising.  And I know that adoption is a journey of faith.  And until, or even if, I am able to join them on a similar journey, I will support these families as much as possible.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 12, 13 and 14

So I didn't manage to blog everyday.  And this time I don't even have a good excuse like I didn't last time...

Day 12: Something you don't leave the house without

My phone.  Before my phone my answer would have been a book.  But my phone is able to be a phone, my calendar and a book all in one!  Our library has ebooks available for checkout, and now has an app so that I can read them on my phone.  This finally means that I will always have a book with me for those long waiting room visits at the doctors office.

Day 13: A photo that makes you laugh

We call this her hammy face. :)

Day 14: A website you love to visit

While facebook and babycenter are favorites, I'm going to have to go with Google Reader.  I don't know if this really counts as a website, but it is BY FAR the place where most of my online time is spent.  After Claire was born I found an amazing support group on babycenter, and from there met many moms who blog. 

Through these blogs I have friends all over the county.  Friends that I refer to by name on a regular basis, even though most of them I've never met.  Friends who celebrate with us, friends who understand my fears and friends who love Claire, just as I love their kids!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 10 and Day 11

Day 10: Something you're afraid of

It may sound trite, but I'm always afraid of losing those close to me.  After Brian's accident if anyone was more than a few minutes late getting home it just about sent me into a panic attack.  I knew in my head that more than likely everything was fine, but my heart was just scared.  These days I don't worry as much, but I'm still particular about checking in when people reach their destinations.

What I did learn from Brian's accident is to make sure you tell your friends and family that you love them, and what they mean to you.  Don't leave fights unfinished.  To this day I'm so grateful that my last words with Brian were "I love you.  See you tonight".

Day 11: TV shows that your currently addicted to

I won't call it addicted, but I do love reality TV.  I always watch Survivor and Amazing Race, but I've also been watching America's Next Great Restaurant and Top Shot.  I don't usually watch cooking shows, but Next Great Restaurant is interesting because everyone eats in fast casual restaurants (think Chipotle or Noodles) and I love seeing what concepts work with the investors. 

Top Shot is on History Channel and this is the second season.  It's hosted by Colby (of Survivor fame) and follows typical reality show format.  It starts with a team challenge, then moves to individual.  The contestents have challenges each week.  Some speed and accuracy, some just basic marksmanship.  The remainder of this season will be intesting as all of the contestants left have a military background.  The show is now casting for season 4.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 8 and Day 9...Playing Catch Up

We spent the weekend at the farm, and that means cows instead of internet access!  So, I'll be playing a little catch up for the next couple of days. 

Day 8: A Place You've Traveled To

When I was growing up we had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places.  We stated traveling to English speaking places like Kauai and Australia, and then traveled to some more exotic locations.  All of this travel lit a fire in me, and if I could I would travel a lot, especially internationally. (Aunt Susan if you need a traveling partner, please let me know!)  One of my favorite locations was Venice.  The buildings, the history and the food were all amazing.  We walked and walked though the winding streets, ate gelato, and rode the gondolas.  Of all the places we've traveled, I've love to go back to Venice and see if it is as amazing as I remember.

Day 9:  Your Favorite Quote Verse

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

When I was pregnant with Claire and struggling with her heart condition and the near certainty of Down syndrome my dad send me this verse, and it really spoke to me.  Whenever I was having an especially bad day this is the verse that I would repeat over and over.  It ran through my head constantly during my c-section, and has been a comfort to me on many bad days since.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 7: Favorite Books

As you could tell from my earlier post, I love books!

I always have.  I remember going to the bookstore when I was a kid for a new book and barely making it to the car before the book was open and I was reading.  Now I accumulate books much faster than I could ever read them.

Even with all the books in my house I easily have a favorite.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

To get a couple of things out of the way, first if you've read the book, no my Claire wasn't named for the Claire in the book.  I liked the name long before I read this book, but the association didn't hurt.  Second, if you go to Amazon and start reading the info on the book, one of the first descriptions of this book you will see is "600-page time-travel romance".  Don't be put off by this!

Yes, the book is long.  Yes, there is a little time travel, but more than anything I hate this book being described as a romance.  I don't read romances.  To me those are the bodice rippers with Fabio on the cover.

Outlander is different.  There is romance, there is sex, but the context is different from other "romance" books.  In Outlander it's all within an ACTUAL relationship.  Romance, sex, arguments, laughter. All of the things that we all experience in our relationships.

In addition to being set in the fabulous Scottish countryside, Outlander is meticulously researched.  There are so many layers to this book that it really doesn't get old, even after many readings.  And, if you prefer audio books to print versions, the UNABRIDGED audio read by Davina Porter is amazing!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 6: A Random Picture That Makes Me Happy

About a month ago Claire participated in a photo shoot through Tiny Hope Project.  Tiny Hope was started by a local photographer and is sort of a spin off of The Littlest Heroes Project.  Tiny Hope isn't just about the pictures, though, it's about advocating and celebrating too.

And while these photos aren't exactly random, and while there will be more than 'a' photo posted here...I don't know how you can look at these and not be happy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 5: A Song That Means A Lot To Me

There are a few songs that mean an awful lot to me.  There is the song I danced to at my wedding (Making Memories of Us by Keith Urban), and the song that ran through my head constantly in the days leading up to and following Claire's heart surgery (What Faith Can Do by Kutless), but I decided to go with the song that came to mind as soon as I saw this day's topic.

This song will ALWAYS remind me of Brian.  For months, even years, I couldn't hear it without crying, but these days I can smile knowing that Brian is in a good place.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 4: (Not So) Weird Hobby or Collection

Well, I don't think any of my collections are all that weird, but I do have a couple of them.  (Sorry for the poor pictures.  It's getting late and I'm tired, but I'm not going to fail on this challenge on day 4!)

First is my BearFoot collection.  I think I got my first one about 10 years ago and have slowly added to the numbers over the years. Right now I have about 40 of them all together, but here are a few of my favorites.

My second, and largest by far, is my book collection.  I have 4 book shelves in my house FILLED with unread books.  3 of the 4 shelves are double stacked and I have no idea how many books are on the shelves.  I don't have much time to read these days, and it might honestly take me the rest of the life to read the books that are in my house right now! 

Both of the these collections are going to be down sized.  Our annual library sale is coming up soon, and I am purging my shelves of those books I know I will never get around to reading.  My bear collection needs to shrink too, as you call tell by the dust in the pictures!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 3: Photo From My Wedding

If I'd started this challenge just a few days earlier I could have posted this on our anniversary, which was March 31.

I'd originally planned on posting more than one photo, but I can't find the candid photos from our wedding.  They are safely on a flash drive somewhere, I just don't know where....It bums me out because there is a great one of Darren dancing with his grandma.

I scanned this photo while I was at work the other day, so it's the only one I have ready for this post.

This is one of my favorites from the wedding.  It was taken at the end of the night, when everything was winding down.  It was a perfect day, and this was the perfect ending.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 2: Random Photo of My Day

We spent the weekend with my mom and dad, and today we came home a little earlier than planned.  A lot of our day was taken up with driving home, and a nap for me (Claire didn't sleep well last night, so neither did I), but we were still able to get some play time in.

Claire's OT brought some new toys over for her.  My favorite thing about new toys is to see which parts she really enjoys and picks up right away.  This is a toy where you hit the ball from the top, it rolls through the toy and comes out the bottom. 

Right away Claire has figured out that the pink ball is the easiest to drop down and she goes for it right away.  Her other favorite part of the toy is the first ball.  It's clear ball, with smaller ball inside and makes quite a racket when she shakes it.  She takes all of the balls off the top of the toy, shakes them, and throws them aside until she finds the one she wants.  It's a small thing, but I love seeing how her mind works.  She is one smart cookie!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 1: Meaning Behind Your Blog Name

I created this blog before Claire.  I pictured it as a place to keep family and friends updated about what we were up to.  Just like the moose crossing sign marks paths traveled, this Moos Crossing was going to be a place to journal our travels.  I never expected to have much to talk about, or to actually have anyone really reading this, but that extra chromosome changed all that.  I thought about changing the name, to more reflect Claire and Down syndrome, but never did.  Now I'm glad I didn't change the name.  This blog is still about US and our path through life, which just happens to include a little extra!