Friday, December 9, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
|Obligatory first day of school pic|
|Don't let this look fool you, she always knows what's going on..|
|Just off the school bus!|
Friday, November 11, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Natalie and her friend Aliya are both going to be Olivia for Halloween. For those who are not familiar with her, Olivia is the star of Natalie's current favorite books and TV show. It was my creative friend Heidi (Aliya's mom) who came up with the idea but the fun really started when we decided to make the costumes ourselves. We did it, but not without a significant amount of help from my mom. So thanks to Heidi's creativity and my mom's sewing talent, we were successful! I will take credit for creating the pattern for the ears though - we are fortunate that I could at least do that because if we'd had to go with Heidi's "ear" pattern..well, you don't want to know!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Natalie has been reunited with her favorite horse, Shorty B, for the fall session of hippotherapy. She did a session this summer also but I neglected to post those pictures (will try to soon). Margie noticed that she is stronger and seems more grounded when walking than she did even a month ago. Yeah Natalie!
Monday, September 26, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
I think that Natalie's potty time today would have been more successful if she'd been able to read her talented Uncle Jason's first article for the Washington Post while on the potty! What a talented Uncle Natalie has!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Natalie adores Bop. Lately, when visiting Bop and Grandma's house she spends most of her time standing next to Bop's chair or sitting next to him just like this. Bop has always had a special connection with his grandkids and now he does with his great grandkids too!
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
My brave girl recently went on her first roller coaster ride and LOVED it(in the front car no less)! Instead of getting scared like I was worried she would, she smiled and giggled the whole time! Thank goodness my friend Heidi is still the only one that I have made cry by taking on their first roller coaster ride (sorry Heidi!)
Friday, August 26, 2011
This is the first time that Natalie's spent any significant amount of time coloring a picture. She's getting much better at holding a marker in a way that allows her to actually draw on the paper. For the longest time she just couldn't coordinate her hands well enough and she would give up quickly. Interestingly she used only her left hand for this picture. She tends to be better with her left hand when using a spoon too so she may just be a lefty.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
I can't believe it's nearing the end of July! The summer is going so fast and Natalie is getting close to turning 5! I still have updates in my head dating back to May or earlier that I plan to eventually post.
This week, however, I was at work and found myself looking at this 2 year old picture of Natalie (above). It's one of my favorite pictures of her so I've left it up on my desk at work even though it's outdated. Seeing it over the past two years has made me alternately happy and sad. It was taken on the Fourth of July weekend in 2009. The day I took the picture was a happy day and it was at a time when I was starting to feel more positive and confident that our lives would be fine, and that Natalie would be fine, despite her Cerebral Palsy diagnosis. Natalie has had a love for books since a very young age. On the day of this picture I found her during a quiet moment, "reading" her new Backyardigans book. I remember thinking that she looked like such a big kid and feeling so proud of her.
Up until that year, July had, for the most part, been a happy month. As a child, July meant no school and fun summer activities. I got engaged in July of 1997 and was busy planning my wedding in July of 1998. It was in July of 2006 that I was finally pregnant and an ultrasound revealed that both a boy and a girl would be arriving later that year! So, in July 2009, about a week after that picture of Natalie was taken, I was completely unprepared to be told, by the man who I had been with since we were both teenagers and married to for 10 years, that our marriage was over. For a long time after, that beautiful picture of Natalie just made me sad because it reminded me that one minute you can think everything in your life if going just fine, or even better than fine, and a week later everything can totally change. What I realized this week is that I am glad that I never took that picture down. I discovered that I can look at it again and not feel sad anymore. While it does still remind me of changes in life, I know that change, even unexpected and unwanted, can turn into happiness. This year, Natalie and I are having a very happy July and I expect that there will be many more to come.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Cook took Natalie, Carter, Kiernan and I to the Dragon's game last night. The kids had so much fun and were so good! They cheered for the Dragons, ate some pretzels, and took turns driving the fire truck(my brother works at the fire station across from the stadium and was working last night). The weather was perfect while we were there and it started raining right after we left.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Unfortunately, I received a letter in the mail on Thursday saying that the Hearing Officer upheld medicaid's denial decision. The reason? While Medicaid agreed that Natalie does need a communication device, they have determined that a "lower cost alternative" would meet her basic communication needs as they now stand. The problem is that according to her current and past SLP, Natalie would likely outgrow the device they are recommending within a year (if she hasn't already) and Medicaid only pays for a SGD (speech generating device) once every FIVE years! So she will have to use the one that they approve now until she is almost 10. Imagine how much her communication needs will change over that time period. I am so frustrated!
So, what are the options? I made some calls on Friday but have not heard back from several people I contacted so I am not positive yet. I'm pretty sure that I can appeal this denial and/or continue to submit documentation trying to get Medicaid to approve the Vantage Lite and I will probably do this. However, I hate so waste even more time that Natalie could be learning to communicate. She has an ipad with proloquo2go software on it but this is just not working that effectively for her due to access issues (touch screen sensitivity and motor skill problems make it frustrating for her to use the ipad very effectively right now). I can try to raise the money myself to just purchase the Vantage Lite but the total cost is $7,900 so that would not be an easy task!
Here's a video of Natalie's reaction when I told her that she would not be getting the Vantage Lite yet:
Ok, not really. This video is from February on a day when Natalie was not in a good mood. I think that it shows how important a communication device is for Natalie. She gets frustrated, like all 4 year olds do at times. The difference is that she cannot TELL anyone why she is sad/mad/hurt. It's frustrating for me but I can only imagine that it is 100x more frustrating for her to not have a "voice".
On a lighter note, she has been so funny lately with her letters. I can tell that she is so proud to be able to show me what she knows. She likes to get the "M" off the refrigerator and bring it to me. She does this at random times during the day, I think because when we practice her letters I always say "give me the M for Mommy".
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
I can't help but be amazed by all the knowledge that is inside Natalie's little head. I wonder how much more she knows that I don't realize - probably a ton! The first videos I took had the letters in order. I thought about it and wondered if that made it easier for her to pick the right one so as you can see in these videos I mixed them up just to prove that she could still get them right. As you can see, she sometimes has trouble with B and D, I think because they sound so much alike. I plan to show these video clips to her preschool teacher for next year so Natalie can't fool her. Just because she can't communicate with words doesn't mean she doesn't know what they all mean!
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
More updates to come soon about the cool stuff Natalie has been learning lately and about an advocacy training series that I've been lucky to be a part of recently.