Welcome to my blog!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit! We hope to share with you our journey of raising a child with Achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism. If this is your first time here, please start by reading Caitlyn's Story. It will share the beginning of her life with you. Enjoy!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fun at the Fair

Like I had mentioned in one of my previous post, the state fair comes through Sacramento every year and this year we took Caitlyn. Scott's dad Ralph, aka Grandpa, came down from Reno to spend the night with us, this past Saturday (the 23rd) I already had plans to go to the fair with my friend Malissa that evening for the Gary Allan concert, so we just made it a family affair in the afternoon. Caitlyn enjoyed seeing the animals (cows, goats, mommy pigs and their babies, come chickens and even some miniature horses. We rode on a tea cup like ride and played a few games, which we came out winners of a smiley face basketball and Tommy the turtle (a stuffed one of course). Ralph is big into horse racing, so we met him there after roaming the fair grounds. We had the usual fair food for dinner, corn dogs and fried zucchini, then Malissa and I parted ways, and headed to the concert.

We met up with one of Malissa's co-workers, Jen and her husband Cody. Gary Allan took to the stage with one of his current singles "Watching Airplanes." He sang so many of the songs that I wanted to here - "Life Ain't Always Beautiful," "Learning How to Bend," "Best I Ever Had," "The One" and so many more. He put on a great show! The only downer to the evening was the $8 Miller Lite that we drank - an unbelievable $8!! I'm not even a beer drinker!! After the show, the 4 of us, strolled around for awhile, with the three of them trying to decide where to go after the fair. I felt like the old one of the bunch, as I am several years older than all 3 of them. Jen and Cody decided that they wanted to take Malissa to a country bar, but first she has to drop me off - luckily Scott met us halfway. Not sure how their night turned out after we parted, but I'm sure they had fun! Country bars are a blast, ahh the good old days, well nights spent at the Crazy Horse in Chico!

I look forward to the return of the fair next year for some more family fun and I'm sure another great country concert!

Petting some goats

That's one BIG cow!

Watching the horse races with Grandpa

Malissa was ecstatic that the #2 car was there! She had to have her picture taken with it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Guess what I got on video....

Caitlyn being whiny.

For those of you that don't believe that Caitlyn ever whines, cries, etc, here is a video of her whining about not being able to push the stroller. Okay, so it's not a full out tantrum, which do occasionally happen, but she does do some whining. At the very end, notice the teeny tiny little smile she gives when I ask her to give me a pouty face. One of these days I'm going to catch a tantrum on video and show all of you - it'll be a good laugh on the account of my daughter.


video

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Preschool update



Well, it's been a week now since our IEP and I figured it was about time to get my post types - okay, so I've been slacking! Thanks to Destini for jogging my memory that I hadn't filled everyone in yet.

So the bad news is that Caitlyn will not qualify for the Special Ed part of the preschool, which I guess isn't a huge surprise to us or any of you. The good news is that our daughter is way too smart, which isn't a huge surprise either. The standard IQ for her age group is somewhere between 90 and 110, and she scored a whopping 116 on the verbal, 102 on the performance and got a 110 on the full scale. We were not surprised. After her IEP, she and I went by the Co-op to chat with the teachers. When we originally visited, Mary (the special ed teacher) was so excited to meet Caitlyn and said she was looking forward to having her in her class. Then to have her say "I knew she wouldn't qualify" after the IEP. The children in the special ed classroom have both cognitive and physical delays, but hey it was worth a try. So I moved onto the other classroom to ask about getting her in there. The teachers name is Pat and it's funny, she and I used to work together before I had Caitlyn. We taught at the same preschool, just different classrooms. She is a wonderful teacher. She said that she had an afternoon spot available. I told her we would need to think about it, seeing as Caty does still take naps. After considering it, we've decided not to go ahead with getting her in this Co-op. For a few reasons, the nap issues, but mainly due to the amount of time that is required by the parents. As parents, you need to work 20 hours a month along with paying the monthly fee of $75. I know, it's really not that much time or money, but there is a BUT. Starting in a week and a half I am going to be watching one of Scott's co-workers daughters. The mom (hey there Brigette if you're reading this) teaches kindergarten, but not full time. She teaches Mondays, Tuesdays and every other Wednesday. Lauren is also going to be watched by her grandparents. Lauren will be with us 2 weeks out of each month, so it's not full time. On Thurdays I will be working at an in-home day care center that I have been at for a year now. It's only a 3 hour work day, but still. Between all of this, I don't know about putting in the time at the Co-op; I think I would be pushing myself to the limit. So we're back to looking at the Head Start Program. For those of you not famliar with Head Start, it is a low-income preschool, however 10% of their enrolled children have to be "disabled." I received a call this morning from a lady at their offices here in our area, asking if Caitlyn had had an IEP yet. She was glad to hear that one was already done, which would mean that we "might" be able to get on the list. I say "might" because Marie has to do some more researching to find out if Caitlyn will qualify. On there web site there is a list of the different eligibility criteria for specific disabling conditions - one of them being orthopedic impairment. Now maybe I'm wrong, but isn't this what our kids would fall under? I am hoping that we will qualify under those circumstances and that Caitlyn can get in soon, if she does indeed qualify.

It was decided at the IEP that Caitlyn would be able to qualify for help with speech, so she will be receiving those services, which is a help with possibly getting into Head Start. Marie informed me that she doesn't believe there are any openings as of right now, but kids come and go. We're not in a huge rush to get Caty in, however she is excited about going to preschool, so the sooner the better. I'll keep everyone informed. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Trip #2 to the cabin


I was looking through my posts the other day and saw that my post about our second trip to the cabin was missing, then I thought OOPS, I totally forgot to do it! So better late then never.

We spent 4 days up at the cabin with my parents. The weather was beautiful and we spent our time playing around the cabin - in the dirt, with the hot wheel cars, finding pine cones and even had a bon fire.
Creating her Pinecrest collage

OOEY GOOEY SMORES!!

Our family

Me and Caty

Playing catch with Daddy and Papa

We almost had to scrape the dirt off at the end of the day!

We spent the afternoons at the beach with Caitlyn playing in the lake.

She LOVES the lake

She would just hop into her floaty and take off swimming!


We made two fishing attempts, but I guess the Pinecrest fish had no desire for the bait on the end of Caty's dora fishing pole. We didn't even have a single bite! Oh well, she had fun and that is what counts. And I got a lot of great pictures while on the boat!

Caty and Daddy driving the boat

Looking for the perfect fishing spot

Trying to catch the big one, okay any one would have done just fine!

Caty and Nana

Me and my Caty bug!



We love what time we get to spend up there, as being in Pinecrest is so relaxing, not to mention that we had Nana and Papa there to help play with Caitlyn. It gives Scott and I some down time. We spent time reading; each of us finishing our books that we brought along. We'll be heading back up there over the weekend of September 5-7 for an LPA camping weekend. Okay, so we'll be staying in the cabin and everyone else will be camping, but still, it will be a fun weekend!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'm off to see another concert

Since we live near Sacramento, we are lucky enough that our state fair comes to town every August. They always have a HUGE line-up of FREE concerts set for each night - yes I said FREE. This year playing at the fair are artists such as: Smashmouth, the Doodlebops, Weird Al" Yankovic, Natasha Bedingfield, Air Supply, Vanessa Hudgens, Chicago, Jessica Simpson, and many others. But tonight is my night - country rocker Gary Allan. I have never seen him in concert and am really excited about tonight. My friend Malissa is coming with me, but first we (as in Scott, Caitlyn, Scott's dad Ralph (grandpa) Malissa and myself will spend some time at the fair. We mentioned going to the fair to Caitlyn and she said "I want to see the animals and play some games and ride on a ride." Now we have never really talked about the fair, let along taken her to the fair, yet she knew what was there. We do have a My Little Pony book about them going to the fair, so I am wondering if she got her info from the book. My child never ceases to amaze me.

Anyways... Malissa and I will part ways with everyone and head to the concert. You ask why aren't we all going - well Scott dislikes country music very much (to put it nicely) and Caty just isn't ready for her first concert yet. One of these days she'll come with me and with such a cute child, who knows maybe we'll end up with someones cowboy hat.

I am so excited about tonight show!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's Almost Preschool Time!



We have what is called a Co-op Inclusion Preschool in town and are wanting to get Caty in. Not sure if you know what a co-op is but it's basically a preschool program that the parents participate in. For the "average child" the parents have to pay a monthly fee of $75 and put in 20 hours a month - split between working in the class and attending parent meetings. Well the inclusion part is their special education classroom. There is the preschool class and the special ed class, which are not actually separated but the kids are all jumbled together between the two rooms. Since being a dwarf is conditioned a disability we figured that we would see what we could do about Caitlyn in, because if they assessed her as being "disabled" then she could get into the special ed class, without any cost to us and I will not have to put in the required hours. So I guess that we are trying to take advantage of this, but hey, why not!

Caitlyn and I met with a school psychologist and speech therapist on Wednesday, August 13th. They went through a bunch of stuff with her - from building blocks into stacks - to her answering questions asked by the psychologist (out of the four animals show me the one that moos, etc) - to finding out from me some of the daily struggles that Caty might have (getting on the potty herself, to reaching things that are too high). These are just a few of the things we went over; we were there for an hour and a half. Now we are well aware that Caitlyn is not behind cognitively AT ALL!! If anything sometimes I think that she's too smart for her own good, but it's just the height issue that gets in her way - which isn't very often because she figures out other ways of doing things. The speech therapist commented on her speech, which she has no problem talking, it's just that some of the sounds don't come out as they should. Now some of that is because she is 3, but some of the speech issues are due to being a dwarf - the jaws lining up incorrectly and causing the sounds to not form as they should. So she will be able to get help with her speech.

Our next step is to get the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) done to figure out exactly what she is going to need in the classroom to allow her to do all the things the rest of the class will be doing. We will be meeting with the school psychologist, speech therapist, IEP coordinator and Ms Mary (the special ed teacher at the preschool) this coming Wednesday the 20th. We'll set up a plan for Caty - going over the things that she'll need in to class (step stools, etc) to helping her use the potty, etc. She is raring to go to school and we don't want to get in her way there, as she has always had such a hard time separating from me. If she's ready to go by herself to school, we don't want to wait much longer.

I'll keep you posted as to how the IEP goes.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Today is our...........

6th Wedding Anniversary!

6 years ago today, Scott and I had the most beautiful wedding. We had so many family and friends there to help us celebrate. Every single one of my extended family was there - it was the first time we had all been together since my grandma had passed away back in the summer of 2000. It was so unbelievably special to me.

Here is how our story began...

One weekend, back in May of 1998, I was home at my parents from college (Chico State). It was pretty late at night, after 11:00 or so and I was playing around on their computer. At the time I had AOL and up popped an instant message from someone that I had never met. I enjoyed chatting with people, so we started talking. Turns out, the someone was a drunk Scott who had just gotten home from the Bear and was looking to talk to some chick - that's how he puts it. We chatted that Friday night for quite awhile and again Saturday night. I drove back to Chico on Sunday and we talked some on the phone during the week. Thursday May 14th was our first official date, even if it was just him coming over and us watching the Seinfeld Series Finale.

Scott was just finishing up his degree in Liberal Studies and then he entered the credential program. He completed that in May of 1999 and we moved in together right afterwards. I was STILL in school, getting my degree in Child Development, meanwhile Scott got on every school districts substitute teacher list and subbed for the next year, until I graduated in May of 2000. We were both hired by the North Sacramento School District right after my graduation. We moved to Rocklin in July of 2000 and started our teaching careers.

During the summer of 2001, we took a road trip up to Montana to visit my family. Along the way, in Coeur d'Alene Idaho Scott got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. The wedding planning then began and here is what happened on one of the most special days in my life.



video

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Trip #1 to the cabin

PINECREST CALIFORNIA


My family has a cabin in beautiful Pinecrest, CA and so far this summer we have made two trips up there. Pinecrest is located in the Stanislaus National Forest about 30 miles east of Sonora. The cabin was originally bought by my grandparents (on my dad's site) back in the 60's I believe. After my grandpa passed away in 1996 and my grandma in 2000, my dad, his brother Bill and sister Claudia took over. We are very fortunate to have this wonderful cabin to visit.


Our first trip up this summer was only for a 1 night stay but we had a great time. My Aunt Barbara and Uncle Bill were out from Montana, as well as my cousin Jon and his wife Brooklin and their three boys - Justin, Logan and Ryan. Jon and Brooklin had not seen Caitlyn since she was just 3 months old. They live in Whitefish Montana and do not get out to California often or us back there. We drove up on Saturday morning and came home on Sunday afternoon. Barbara's dad, Joe, was also there as well as some other cousins (from Barbara's side), Chris, Wendy and their two boys - Giovanni and Dante. Caitlyn has a blast playing with the boys even though she wasn't too sure of some of their games. She had never played Ninja Warrior before, although the boys decided that she could be the Ninja Princess - very suiting. She got VERY VERY dirty because Pinecrest dirt is the best! We spent some time at the lake and made SMORES by the bon fire. It was a wonderful visit. We sure wish that Jon, Brooklin and the boys lived closer - love you guys!

Caty and Justin gathering pinecones for the bon fire

Playing Army with the boys

Playing ball - they all thought this was hilarious - she would throw the ball at them as they swung in the hammock

Caty and Ryan at the beach

Jon teaching the boys how to properly roast marshmallows (notice where his marshmallow is - you guessed it - he burned a couple)

Daddy helping Caty - a much better placement of the marshmallow

Before SMORES...

After SMORES!!!!!!!!

Caty and me

Caty, Justin and Logan