I will start this post with an apology…..what a blog slacker…..I thought it might be a good idea to do an end of the year post to touch on some of the highlights (and not so “high”lights of the year. <this is a LONG post – you have been warned!>
January – We began the year with Brooklyn healing from both her broken leg and her Dec PICU stay with pneumonia, not our best start to the year but we were ON THE MEND! Boston was loving his preschool and weekly OT and Speech appointments down at HopeBridge!
February – Was possibly my most favorite month this year – We spent TEN DAYS in Disney and it was AWESOME! The first part of the trip was spent with Team GP2C for the Disney Princess 1/2 marathon and the second part of the trip was a family vacation. I fully admit I went into the race completely unprepared – Every single step was challenge – I was crying at mile 8 ready to give up but found encouragement and strength in Brooklyn – her day to day fight against Rett Syndrome was NOTHING compared to those 13.1 miles. Thank you to my amazing sister and my buddies Deesha and Niki for running with me! I also want to thank EVERYONE who donated to Team Brooklyn! We raised over $15,000!
Then there was vacation – it truly was MAGICAL! I was a bit stressed going into it – would it be too much on Boston? Brooklyn? Would it be all stress and no fun? Oh man- it was none of that. It was so much fun – so many smiles! An amazing week with Jon, the kids, and my parents! Plus I was pumped that Kristin was able to stay for the first day with us too! I think all of us are looking forward to going back sometime soon!
March – As AWESOME as vacation was, we came home and were admitted into the PICU within 48 hours of arriving back in Indiana :( We spent 11 days in the hospital and came home with some more medical equipment to be added to our daily routine. I am SO happy to say that doing the cough assist every morning has absolutely strengthened her lungs!
We also celebrated Word Down Syndrome Day! A day to honor my littlest love.
March also brought the last day of preschool and the start of ABA at Hope Bridge. It was a TOUGH decision for us because we absolutely adore everyone at the preschool but we also new it was time. We needed to have more of a concentrated effort on his communication and behaviors that have come along with the Autism diagnosis on top of the Down Syndrome diagnosis. It was a big change for sure but a good one. (and thank goodness for facebook to keep up with our favorite preschool staff!)
April – We had some awesome fun in April with things like a trip to Notre Dame for some spring ball, and of course lots of time on Brooklyn’s NEW swing platform which TOTALLY rocks! Thank you again Terry, Jeff, Brooke, and Jake!
Brooklyn of course continued to kick butt at school – I say it ALL THE TIME but inclusion has been the absolute best thing ever for Brooklyn – Her entire third grade team believed in her, they ROCKED and in turn Brooklyn ROCKED!
May – Brooklyn TURNED NINE!!! What? Where has the time gone? It just does not seem possible!
We had an AWESOME birthday party with her friends from school (One Direction theme of course!)
I was also able to share my Boston logos with everyone!! Anyone that knows me, knows my DEEP connection to the Girl Power 2 Cure organization – Rett Syndrome has been in my life for seven years now and the GP2C flower logo has become my symbol of hope, belief, and all things Rett Syndrome. However, my second little love also has a diagnosis (two actually) and until now I have not been able to find a symbol/logo to represent him/ his duel diagnosis of Down Syndrome and Autism and I have just felt a real need for one lately.
It is known by EVERYONE that the puzzle piece represents Autism, and in many circles the “Down Syndrome footprint – with the xtra space between the big toe” can often times represent Down Syndrome. But there is really nothing out there that combines the two…until now.
I reached out to my friend Duncan– who works absolute MAGIC with this sort of thing. I told him what I was looking for and he came through in a HUGE way!!! They are all absolutely perfect, down to the last detail don’t ya think???
June – meant celebrating my AWESOME dad as well as the blessing that Jon has become to our lives!
July – UGH. That is about all I can say. I was laid up after surgery, Jon was laid up with a broken foot. I would have never survived without the help of my amazing sister and parents!! I also need to give a shout out to Brooklyn’s nurse who was a HUGE HELP to all of us during this healing time!
That’s all I have to say about July :)
August – I was able to visit with some of my Rett Syndrome family at the Southeastern Rett Syndrome Alliance Conference in Alabama which is always an amazing time! There is nothing better than spending time with other mammas that just “get it.”
August also brought my 38th birthday……38 years of celebrating with my best friend! 2014 was no different – so many laughs and tears shared with Kristin – life just would not be the same without ya!
September – Brooklyn started fourth grade (EEK – I am a mother to a FOURTH grader!!) I had quite a few sleepless nights to be honest! Third grade was so awesome – she had my sister as her inclusion teacher and she had the most amazing connection with her 1:1 aide. EVERYTHING was changing – her entire team would be new. I felt good that a few of her close friends were in her class though :)
My worries were quickly erased! Her new team is FANTASTIC. She has a great relationship with her new inclusion teacher, her new special ed teacher AND of course her 1:1 aide. AMAZING! We have been so blessed with the start of the school year!
October: What a busy month! We moved! We moved back into the house that I owned while I was married. I took sole possession in January but Jon and his friends helped basically gut the house and update it so we worked on that throughout the year little by little. The result was beautiful! It is a completely different home now. The kids love their new rooms – I love the new bathroom for Brooklyn :) Thank you to EVERYONE who helped make this remodel and move a huge success!
November: Unfortunately November brought another PICU stay for Brooklyn – this time with a major UTI, dehydration, and kidney stones. We were able to get her healthy quickly thank goodness! It was also a month to remember all that I have to be thankful for. Such amazing friends (especially my special needs mammas who most I connect with on a daily basis – thank goodness for facebook!) and my family – I do not know what I would do without them. They are my strength when I am weak – they are my laughter when I lose my smile, they are my everything! Thank you!
November DID bring a fall photo shoot thanks to Denise and Geary Photography! LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures!
December: yep…another hospital stay. This one was planned. Two years ago Brooklyn had to have hip reconstruction surgery. It was time to remove the hardware that was placed. We decided to do it over Christmas break to minimize the amount of school she would have to miss. She of course was a trooper as usual!
One final addition to share with you is our latest member of our crew: Ashleigh! She is a Mini Goldendoodle. Brooklyn picked out her name – she decided to name her after herself (Ashleigh is Brooklyn’s middle name) I think she will be a awesome addition to our family (assuming we survive the potty training!!)
I am sure I missed all sorts of things in this recap of our year. I will end with a few more of my favorite pictures from the year as well as the promise to be a more dedicated blogger in 2015 so please check back – assuming you have not already given up on me!
Looking forward to a FABULOUS 2015!!!