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!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just a few random things....

I thought it was time for another post and I don't really have much to share, but needless to say I'll find something to talk about.

Back when we went to the circus - it took place at Arco Arena where the Sacramento Kings and Monarch's play, so throughout the arena, they have poster of the players. The player nearest our section was Brad Miller, so I had Caty pose with him - talk about from one extreme to the other! She comes to right above his knees!

Preschool is going great! No more tears when I drop her off! YIPPEE!!! She is enjoying the class and everyday when I pick her up she says "I had fun today!" For some strange reason she will not have snack at school; she'll drink the juice, but won't eat anything. I have no idea why not and when I ask her she just says that she didn't like it or she wasn't hungry. Both of those answers confuse me because she likes almost anything, snack is usually something such as pretzels or fishy crackers. While we are home on any given day, she can snack all day long. So, there's got to be another reason, but she isn't saying why. I'm wondering if she's worried about having to go to the bathroom while there and actually asking a teacher to help her. I take her right before I leave and that is enough to get her through the morning. Her favorite snacks are fruit snacks and yogos and and we asked her if that was the snack for the day would she eat it, and she kinda gave us a smile and said maybe. I've told her that if she doesn't want to eat, then that is fine and just say "no thanks." Her not eating isn't too much of a concern, but mind boggaling.

Scott and I are getting a weekend to ourselves this coming weekend. One of Scott's best friends, Al, is getting married in Fresno, so we are leaving Caitlyn with my parents and getting some time to ourselves. Not too much time, as Scott is in the wedding, but what little time still counts! We're heading to my parents Thursday night, spending the night there, then heading to Fresno Friday morning. We'll then head back and get Caty on Sunday, then head home. It'll be a quick trip, but I'm sure a great one!

That's about it for now. I've got a few videos of Caty singing and dancing, so I need to get those into a blog, but not this one. So for now you'll just have to deal with a couple cute pictures!

Helping with the laundry

Riding the horse that my dad made for her Christmas 2006 (it's going with us this weekend as it needs some added height; she's actually grown some!)

Christmas 2006 when she got her horse

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A new favorite song of mine

I was flipping through the channels looking for something to watch last night, when I came across a new episode of Opry Live from the Grand Old Opry. I enjoy watching the show and when we travel to Nashville in 2010 for the LPA National Convention I can't wait to sit in the audience and listen to some live country music - hopefully one of my favorites will be playing that night. On last nights show, Darius Rucker, new to the country music scene, was playing. Now you might not recoginze his name, but he was Hootie from Hootie and the Blowfish. His country album is out - Learn to Live. His first single off the album is called "Don't Think I Don't Think About It." Last night he debuted his next single to be released. It is called "It Won't Be Like This For Long." Even if you are not a country music fan, this is a wonderful song. If you are a mother or a father, this song will touch you. Let me know what you think.

ps - make sure the volume is turned up, as the recording isn't incredibly loud.

It Won't Be This Way For Long
Darius Rucker

He didn't have to wake up
He'd been up all nite
Lay'n there in bed listen'n
To his new born baby cry
He makes a pot of coffee
He splashes water on his face
His wife gives him a kiss and says
It gonna be OK

It wont be like this for long
One day soon we'll look back laugh'n
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby just hold on
It wont be like this for long

Four years later bout four thirty
She's crawling in there bed
And when he drops her off at preschool
She's clinging to his leg
The teacher peels her off of him
He says what can I do
She says now don't you worry
This will only last a week or two

It wont be like this for long
One day soon we'll drop her off
And she wont even know your gone
This phase is gonna fly by
If you can just hold on
It wont be like this for long

One day soon she'll be a teenager
And at times you'll think she hates him
Then he'll walk her down the isle
And he'll raise her vale
But right now she up and cry'n
And the truth is that he don't mind
As he kisses her good night
And she says her prayers
He lays down there beside her
Till her eyes are finally closed
And just watch'n her it breaks his heart
Cause he already knows
It wont be like this for long
One day soon that little girl is gonna be
All grown up and gone
Yeah this phase is gonna fly by
He's try'n to hold on
It wont be like this for long
It wont be like this for long

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Caty's First Field Trip

Caty's preschool class went on a field trip to the Folsom Zoo today. Of course I went with her and I plan to attend all of the other field trips. We road over with her friends Hayden and Oliver and their mom Jan. Caty had a blast with them in the car - she's never ridden in the car with other kids, so this was a treat.

The kids had to wear matching shirts so the teachers could keep track of all of them. Let's just that Caty's was a tad too big!! The director has ordered another one for her, in the smallest size they come, but it hasn't arrived yet, so we made due with the one they gave us. Since they will need this one back, I couldn't chop it off and hem it, so a safety pin here and another there, okay I think I used 8 total, and it bunched up on the side with a rubber band, she would make it through today with it.
Caitlyn was so cute walking in line with her friends and following the teachers here and there. A few times her teachers just picked her right up and held her so she could see the animals. I tried to stay at the back of the group, as I had brought her stroller incase she tired out, which toward the end she did. Boy am I glad that I had the stroller or else I would have been carrying her along with our other things. If nothing else, the stroller is good to hold stuff.

We have never been to the Folsom Zoo before and I didn't know much about it. Come to find out it's a sanctuary for animals who are non-releasable back into the wild. Some of the different animals we saw were - bears, wolves, red tailed hawks, raccoon, cougars, tigers, and a few more.

After lunch, we stopped at McDonald's and the kids had fun playing together. Caty was pretty tired when we got home, so she took a good nap, yippee for me!

Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Caty's First Day of Preschool

Today was Caty's first day of preschool - as if any of you didn't know that already. She woke up this morning with a HUGE smile on her face. Scott took the day off - for two reasons, he had a wisdom tooth pulled after work yesterday and also because he wanted to bring Caty to school. He got her out of bed and when she walked into the living room she still held that HUGE smile and said "I'm going to preschool today." We work up at 7:30 so we had an hour before we needed to leave. We had breakfast together, which Caty didn't eat a whole lot of, nerves I think. We got dressed and ready to go. We snapped a few pictures and were out the door. It's only a little over a mile from our house, so not too far.

We arrived and on the walk in she was still smiling. We got into the classroom, I had to sign her in, find her apple on the board with her name on it and find out which color group she was for the day. After we figured this all out, we discovered that she was in the same group as Hayden and Oliver, her playgroup friends. They were starting out the day in the playhouse - a big favorite of hers. During the first few weeks of school, the parents are asked not to hang around too long, so we got her settled in and I took her to the bathroom. I still wasn't 100% sure if she would tell a teacher when she needed to go. We washed our hands and started to say our goodbyes. This is when she broke down; which I was TOTALLY expecting!! She cried and said "I don't want to stay, I want to come home with you." We told her that she would have a lot of fun and that we would see her after school. One of the teachers came over and helped her out as we walked out the door. As this point, you would think that I would have been in tears, but I held myself together. By the time we reached the door, she had stopped crying and the teacher was talking to her. We headed out and peeked in through the window. She was sitting on the teachers lap and not crying. This was a good sign. So Scott and I headed home - I did some sewing (gotta get Caty's fall/winter wardrobe ready) and Scott worked on a paper for his Masters class. I spent a little time on Facebook (Melissa, good chatting with you, even if it was just for a minute), then it was time to head back and pick her up.

We got to the school a few minutes before her class was over, so we hung out outside with the other parents. The door opened and we could go in. She looked so cute, sitting on her carpet square for circle time. She had a HUGE smile on her face - despite what she had been through. Now a little background on why she was so upset about us leaving - as you know, I am a stay at home mom and there is rarely a day that goes by that I am not with Caty. I might go out for a few hours, but that is it for my time away from her. So this preschool experience is going to be GREAT for her. We chatted with Ms Maggie, the director, and she said that Caty had done well. She had a few moments where she looked like she was getting teary eyes - one of those times being when snack was passed out (which surprises me, as Caty is a big snacker). Ms Maggie asked Caty is she would like to go on a little walk, and that seemed to do the trick. We gathered this things and went over to her. We got HUGE hugs and she said that she had fun. She said bye to her teachers and we headed out the door. On the walk to the car and the drive home, we chatted about what she had done - played in the playhouse, played with the train set (another big favorite), made dog puppets, had snack (she said that she just didn't want any, just juice), and had circle time. During circle time, they read a book, sang songs and the special helper for the day got to share her toy from home. We asked Caty what some of the kids names were and she could only remember the special helpers name - Madeline, but it wasn't "baby Madeline" who lives next door to us. She then told us about the field trip on Thursday - we're going to the Folsom Zoo, which I will be attending with her. She also said that she is excited about going back to school - YIPPEE!! Hopefully the next time, we won't have any tears. So the morning was a success!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Circus Adventure

This past Saturday Caty had her first circus experience. Scott was heading out of town for Saturday night and his mom, Caty calls her Tutu (grandma in Hawaiian) and his sister, Auntie Christine came to spend the weekend with us. I had an LPA officers meeting in the morning, which they graciously watched Caty for me. After the meeting, we had lunch, then headed out the door. Caty lucked out on this day as she wasn't going to have to take a nap. I had wanted to find something exciting for us to go and do on Saturday and luckily enough the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus was going to be in town. So the four of us went to see the Greatest Show on Earth, which I hadn't been too since I was a little girl. We arrived an hour before the show started as during that time they allow the audience to come down to the floor and see some of the acts close up. Caty got to sit on a motorcycle and dance with clowns on stilts - that was a site to see, talk about two extremes!! We went and found our seats, which were in the upper level, but the second row - we had a great view of the floor. The show started and Caty was so excited about seeing everything - the lights, the acrobats, the tigers, the clowns. She was dancing in her seat and held a HUGE smile the whole time. She really wanted to see the elephants, but before they took to the stage she fell asleep. I tried to wake her up, but she was sound asleep. Now how she could sleep with all the noise going on around here, I have no idea, because at home, she wakes up at the slightest sound. So she got about a 20 minute nap in while we watched the rest of the show. I was finally able to rouse her when the lights came back on and the show was over. Even though she missed what she had been asking to see, she said that she had a fun time. Maybe next year we'll see the show again and hopefully she won't sleep through part of it. Enjoy the pictures!

Watching the clown on stilts (notice how you can't even see his waist, that's how tall he was)

Watching the elephant paint a picture
The Greatest Show on Earth
With Auntie Christine

With TutuCaty crashed out

Friday, September 12, 2008

Preschool Here We Come (for real this time)

Caty will FINALLY be starting preschool on Tuesday. YIPPEE!! She will be going to a preschool run through the parks and rec department - the one that we visited last week. We chatted with the teachers last week and again yesterday when we dropped off Caty's paperwork. I am very pleased with them and what they are doing to get the room ready for Caty. Ms Maggie, the director is going to go out this weekend and purchase a potty and stool, just like what we have set up at home - one that we know Caty can get on and off of. With written permission, the teachers are willing to help her with undressing and dressing when using the potty. They don't normally help the kids out, but are willing to with our case. Caty was able to hoist herself up into the chairs, but the tables were just a tab bit too high, so they will lower them for her. These teachers are just so willing to make the room accommodating to her, it's wonderful.

Caty is excited about starting, however we will see what Tuesday morning will bring. Luckily two of her playgroup friends, Hayden and Oliver, are also in the class, so that might help out a little bit. I'll take pictures and fill you in on the details afterwards!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

September 11th, 2001 will always me etched in my mind as well as every other person around the world. Scott and I were getting ready for work and turned the television on. We were shocked at what we saw, as was everyone else. I will never forget the feelings that I had that day and in the days to follow - from immense sadness to such pride in being an American. I cried every time the song "God Bless the USA" came on the radio. And today, 7 years later, it still brings tears to my eyes as I watched this video.

It is difficult to believe that so much time has passed -- it seems like yesterday -- since we heard those first unbelievable reports that a plane, then another plane, had crashed into the buildings of the World Trade Center. The anniversary of the terrorist attacks offers a time to remember, to reflect about this unforgettable moment in history, and to reconsider the effect that September 11 has had on our country and the world.

A video with the music of Alan Jackson
"Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning"

A video with the music of Lee Greenwood
"God Bless the USA"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

LPA Weekend in Pinecrest

This past weekend we hosted an LPA weekend up in Pinecrest, where my family has our cabin.. Scott decided, at the last minute, to stay home, due to the fact that he had just started his class for his Masters on Tuesday. Yep - he's gone back to school to get his Masters in Education with an emphasis in Math. Anyways, he had a paper due Sunday evening and needed to work on it. The Masters Program is through Walden University and it's all done online. So back to our weekend adventure....

Caty and I left Friday morning and got up to Pinecrest around 2:00. It took longer than our usual 3 hour drive, as we made a stop to get out and stretch our legs. During out stroll around Longs Drug Store, Caty said that her nose was hurting. We had spent Thursday morning at the in-home day care center and several of the kids had runny noses. So I thought that it might be a good idea to get some cold medicine - I sure am glad that I did. As the day went on, her nose got worse - poor thing! We got into Sonora and it was lunch time - we stopped and then hit the road again, luckily for only another 30 miles. We arrived at the cabin and started unpacking. I thought that it might be a good idea to walk down to the general store and get some chicken noodle soup for Caty. On our walk home (which is through the campground), we checked out where the sites were for the 2 families camping. The sites couldn't have been any closer to the cabin. Like I just mentioned, there were 2 families camping and I had invited another family to stay with us. Gerrie is our chapter president, Jim being her husband. Gerrie uses a scooter most of the time and I didn't see that happening around the campground, so I offered up a room at the cabin, they greatly accepted. I digress... We got back to the cabin and did some major sweeping on the front porch - think of what a months worth of pine needles might look like.

Finally we were situated and Caty went to play in the dirt with the cars and I pulled up a chair. Jim and Gerrie showed up around 5:00 and we got them settled in. Now with Gerrie's scooter I wasn't sure how she would get it up onto the porch, but out came the ramp and at a 45 degree angle, up she went with just a little help from Jim. After dinner, Caty, Jim and I took a walk over to the campground to see the Chase's and the Coehlo's. We chatted for awhile, but needed to head back as it was getting to be Caty's bed time and we had left Gerrie sitting on the porch. Caty went to bed when we got home and that was about it for the night.

Saturday morning Caitlyn decided that it was a great morning to sleep in; I think she eventually woke up around 8:30, thank goodness!! We spent some time playing around the cabin - mainly Caty playing in the dirt. The Chase's and Coehlo's came by for a visit. Around lunch time they all headed back to their campsites and we decided to meet up at the beach later. After our lunch the Marick's showed up. Paula and I were talking and I learned that she grew up in Sonora and went to school with my cousins (Jon and Eric) and a co-worker of Scott's (Brigette). Paula and Eric were in the same class and one year ahead of Brigette. What a small world! We headed to the beach, met up with everyone and the kids had a BLAST!!! The kids splashed and build sand castles and just had so much fun playing together. After the beach we walked back and then the other families joined us for a pasta dinner followed by a bon fire and SMORES!! The kids got incredibly sticky, especially mine, who luckily could go straight into the bathtub! The kids were getting a little tired so the Chase's, the Coehlo's and Marick's headed their own directions. The night ended with everyone exhausted and into bed early.

Sunday morning was spent at the cabin getting it cleaned and straighten up. We headed home and boy was I glad to get there! After chasing Caty around all weekend, by myself, I have a new found respect for those of you that are single parents. SHE EXHAUSTED ME COMPLETELY!!

We had such a great time sharing Pinecrest with our LPA family and I hope to make it an annual event! Thanks to those of you that joined us!

Enjoy some pictures!

Caty showing you her dirty feet (they were almost black by the end of the day)
Caty and Ashleigh playing in the dirt
Aidan, always with a vehicle of some sorts in his hands

See what I mean
The girls reading some books
Caty, Sarah and Shane playing in the lake
Caty and Aidan (I met Aidan's family on the Parents of Little People Yahoo Group,
come to find out that they live only about 20 minutes from us and Caty is just 6 weeks
older than Aidan. We are so lucky to have the so close by!)
All the kids playing (I was pretty lucky to get them all in one shot)
Caty, Ashleigh and Isabel
Caty and Sarah
The girls!
Roasting marshmallows!
Brian helping his kids out
Want a bite?!!!
The group

Caty wants to thank everyone for coming!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Another Preschool Update

Well, there is good news and there is bad news:

The good news - Caitlyn qualified for the Head Start Preschool Program
The bad news - It is MANDATORY that she attends 5 days a week from 7:30-11:30

So we obviously are not going to be going with the Head Start Preschool - bummer.

I called Child Action after getting off the phone with the director at Head Start. They took all of our info and were able to give me a list of several preschools in our town, both Child Care Centers and Family Centers. Well, the good news here is that there are so many near us, the bad news is that most of them run about $150 a week for part time - way more that we wanted to or are willing to spend. Back to square one. I then decided to do my own looking. We have some playgroup friends that are in a preschool program through our local parks and rec department. So I called the office and got some info about their program. There are several different school sites where they run these preschool programs. The one our friends go to is a 3 day a week program, however we are just looking for a 2 days per week. Luckily one of the other school runs one that fits our needs and it's only $18 a day - for a month it's roughly about $145, a much better sounding number. We're going to make a visit to the site to check them out and see if it is something that will work for us. Wish us luck (again)!!

On another note, Caitlyn qualifies for Speech Therapy and we will be starting this coming Friday. I'll let you know how it goes.

Playing Go Fish with Savannah
Helping Savannah ride on the horse

Trying the slide out