Friday, September 30, 2011

Watch Out World - Brooks Babes are Kickin' Boot-Tay!

Just have to brag about what an awesome week the girls have had.  And here is why:

1. Olivia got her red balloon at school.  They have all the letters of the alphabet grouped into 5 "balloons".  When they can identify those letters and tell the sound they get a balloon.  She now has 4 out of the 5 balloons!
2. Juliana took 325 steps at school one day this week (and over 200 another!)
3. Livi has memorized her 3rd prayer and quickly on to her fourth (she currently knows the Our Father, Hail Mary and Act of Contrition - working on Glory Be)
4. Juliana answered "where" questions with her teacher with 100% accuracy - Go Ms. Morton and her awesome team!!!
5. Olivia is training at school for a Fun Run Fundraiser.  She comes home exhausted everyday.  Today she fell asleep on the couch before dinner and decided to call it a night.
6. At Music Therapy Juliana accurately identified all colors of shaker eggs
7. Also at Music Therapy she attempted to sing with Che Ho several times and picked up and shook the tambourine!
8. When asked after Music therapy was over if she thought she had done a good job, Juliana firmly answered, "YES!"  I would say so!

It's so easy to get bogged down when something doesn't go as planned or you hit a little bump in the road.  But boy, you have a week like this and you feel like you can take on the world.  These girls are truly amazing and we are so lucky to get to be their parents!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Follow Up to - Juliana is a Rebel

So, for those of you keeping up with my rebel daughter, I thought I would share the outcome.  So, she got home and I asked her with her yes/no buttons if she had a good day.  And she quickly said "Yes".  I asked if she was a good girl and did she listen to her teachers and she quickly responded "Yes".  Then I asked if she had apologized and she immediately broke eye contact and would not answer.  I thought this might just be a fluke, or maybe she was tired of answering questions.  So I let it go and go find her notebook that her teacher and I correspond it and this is what it read, "We turned on her computer and asked her if she had anything to say to us and she quickly responded, "I was just kidding""  What do you say to that.  Typical five year old.  OMG!!!  Did I just say that?  Can you see me smiling?!!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Juliana the Rebel - isn't it ironic. . . . . .

So, it's official.  Today, Thursday, September 15, 2011 is the first day in her entire life that Juliana got in trouble at school.  And I have to say, I couldn't be happier!  Why?  You may be asking.  Well let me explain.  Juliana's teachers are very good at writing me daily notes in her notebook.  Usually they tell what they did that day or what she did well so that I can talk about it with Juliana each night.  But today. . . .  today, the note read and I quote, "Juliana was very stubborn today.  She refused to make ANY choices."  Can you guess why I'm happy?  Well let me tell you, I'm happy that for once SHE chose to not do anything.  Not because she fell asleep or because she had a seizure or because she was anxious.  She didn't make any choices simply because she chose not to.  She was a typical 5 year old today and CHOSE to disobey.  And I know some people may be thinking that I am encouraging her to be bratty, but I'm not.  In fact, her and I had a serious conversation about what she had done.  I didn't praise her for it, but I did secretly celebrate inside.  And in addition to all of that, what absolutely gave me chills is that when we were having our serious discussion about school she continued to nod at me when I asked, "Do you understand me?"  And then I told her that she was going to have to apologize to her teachers tomorrow.  I told her "Let's go to your computer and let me show you how you are going to say you are sorry for wasting the day."  So I show her (Turn the page, I'm sorry for my PODD buddies), I ask her if she understands and she nods YES!  And then, wait for it. . . . ..   I asked her to show me and she said "I'm sorry" with her computer!!!!!  I love it!  And the last and final reason that I am so excited about her misbehavior today. . . .  . . .. I am soooooooo happy that her teachers know her well enough to know what she is capable of and know that this is unacceptable.  Thank you for pushing her everyday to be her best and never giving up on her. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

This is Juliana with her Music Therapist Che Ho.  She absolutely loves her time with him.  What is awesome is that in addition to loving the instruments, she often times tries to sing.  Of course, I never manage to capture those sessions on film, but I think this video is very telling.  You can clearly see her wanting to make a sound but not being able to carry it out.  You can see her taking a deep breath and moving her tongue but nothing happens, then the frustration hits and she starts putting her hands in her mouth.  Come on science - my little singer needs a cure!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Juju's 5th Birthday!

It is so hard to believe, but my little girl is 5!  In some ways it feels like a few days ago I was pregnant with her and in other ways it feels like a lifetime ago.  She has grown and matured in so many ways, and we have learned so much.  Some things we've learned by trial and error, some things from our amazing doctors and therapist, but most of what we've learned in the past 5 years has been from my dear sweet daughter.  The most valuable, to name just a few have been in the way of patience, perseverance, love, faith, strength and a positive attitude.  She has proven to us that all things are possible (both in good ways and bad) and that you can get through just about anything with her amazing laugh.  I'm still not sure why God chose us to be the parents of this amazing girl, but I thank him everyday for the honor.  Happy Birthday my little Sweet Pea!  We love you so much and we are so very proud of you!

This was her first party that she had for her friends:

 This is Mrs. West's Cannon Ball - Pretty Impressive!

 Hello Daddy!!!!  I think she's thirsty!

 This was her favorite gift that day.  Thanks Jack & Patrick!
 Check out that fro!  This is what happens to her and her Auntie Laura's hair when wet.  I swear they could be twins!

This was her second birthday party this year for Mommy and Daddy's friends and all our family!
 The Aunties
 Baby E - We love him!

 Okay, so I must admit, these pictures are from the tail end of the party.  Apparently no one had enough sense to take out a camera.  There were many more people than we captured in the last half hour of the party but here's what we got:(

 Juliana and her favorite friend.  I know I've mentioned this before, but it is unbelievable how Auntie Laura and her just connect.  Although they don't see each other but a few times a year, the minute they are together it's like they were never apart.  She laughs the loudest and hardest when she is with Auntie Laura.  I really think they are twins - they both have afro's when their hair is wet, they generally look alike in the face, they both love pizza, they both love Mickey Mouse, the list could go on and on.
 Here she is opening her new Twinkle Toes from her shoe fairy (aka Omi)  She always gets the best shoes!

Happy Birthday to my big girl.  Many many more to come!