Friday, April 30, 2010

Sara can read!

Last night Sara, my mom, and my nephew Brian were sitting at the dining room table working on Brian's homework.  They were working on the flash cards my mom has made with all his sight words on them, and they were going through them one at a time.  Mom would show the card to Brian, who would read the word, then Sara would repeat whatever Brian said.

After about half the words, Brian reached a word he didn't know.  Sara told Brian to "hurry up and read it."  Brian told her that if she was so smart she could read it herself.  So my mom set the card down in front of Sara, and I walked over to help out.  Sara told me all the letters in the word, and then I asked her what sound each letter made (which is what we have been working on when we read together at home).  She told me all the sounds, so then I just asked her what the word was.  She stared at it for a few seconds, and then said "book." 

She read the word all on her own.  No one told her the sounds or the letters; I just asked the right questions to help her to retrieve the correct information she needed that she'd already learned.  It was awesome, and I'm a proud mama!

Sara's had an amazing week this week!  First on Tuesday she walked the whole length of the house using her walker completely unassisted!  That was a big first; she's never walked that far before.  And then last night she reads her first word!  A week of milestones for sure.  If she keeps this up, I'll miss something important for sure!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Time in the Wild

Sunday I took some time off from being a mom and went with a friend for a drive up to one of our great nation's parks, Rocky Mountain National Park.  Its located near a small mountain town called Estes Park, CO.

It was so relaxing and calm.  And you could tell it was spring because the animals were out and about every where.  The views were stunning, and the weather did everything from be sunny to windy to snow in the several hours we spent there.

There is a rather large Elk herd that lives in the park.  It has about 200 members or so, and we were able to find it.  I didn't get any close pictures since they were down in the valley a ways, but the females were looking pretty close to calving.  We agreed to go back in a couple weeks and see if they had.  Here are the pics of the heard I was able to take from the road.

We also came along a group of Big Horn Sheep.  I believe there were about 7 or 8 in this group, and we even got to see a couple of them ram horns a couple times.  It was really neat because they were on this ledge up a ways right next to the road.  These animals were my grandmother's favorites, so it was a real treat to see them and reminded me of how much I miss her.

We also got the chance to see some Mule Deer and a black squirrel that had big ears like a rabbit.  My friend told me what it was called, but I can't remember now.

After hanging out in the park all day taking pics, we headed into the little town and had dinner.  Then we walked the main street (tourist section) eating carmeled apples and just chatting.  I also stopped and bought Sara a new fleece jacket.  Its pink of course!

It was wonderful to be able to have a nice relaxing day doing some of the things that I love; hanging with friends, taking pics, and enjoying the wonderful mountains.  I really do hope we go back in a couple weeks to see the new calves like we said we would.  And if we do, I'm sure I'll be posting some pics with some really cute baby Elk in them. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

AuNaturAlice 7

Every year the radio station I listen to holds two concerts that they call AuNaturAlice. I went for the first time back in Oct last year, and it was incredible. So when tickets went on sale this time, I really wanted to get some. They're super hard to get; you either have to win them off the radio or pray you are one of the few that actually get the chance to buy them. I was lucky enough to have a fast browser and was able to buy a pair this time around. It sold out in 31 seconds they reported later.

At the concert, they make the bands play all acoustically (well, their suppose to anyway). And then after all 4 bands are done, you get to do a Meet and Greet with all the bands, take pics and get autographs. Its totally awesome, and totally cheap for a concert ticket. We sat at a high table in the third row. And with a guaranteed chance to meet all the bands, how can you go wrong??

Here are some of the pics that I took while we were there. It was great! I can't wait for the next one; hopefully I can get tickets then too.

This is Angel Taylor. She is an up and coming young artist, and she was amazing! I will go and see her again given the chance, and the tickets aren't too much.

Next up was a band called The Rocket Summer. Some of you may have heard of them, well its really just this one kid...who is really easy on the eyes. His name is Bryce, and he is super talented. If you get a chance to go and see The Rocket Summer, don't waste it.

Third up was Matt Morris, and I know that some of you must have heard of him. He's a local boy from Denver, and just hit it big. They used his song at some point in the American Idol Gives Back Show that was on recently.

And last, but certainly not least, was Blue October. They were awesome, and did an encore for us (which apparently has never happened at this type of concert before). They also bailed on the Meet and Greet session, so there were some really pissed off fans (also a first time occurrence at one of these shows).

I'm not a big concert goer, but this is totally worth it. I will go to all these shows as long as I can get tickets. And when Sara's 21 and can come along, I hope their still doing them.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Princess's New Room

These last few days I have been working hard on a new room for Sara. I decided to make her a bedroom, and also a playroom. Her playroom will be the room that used to be her bedroom, and Sara's new bedroom will be the smallest room my sister was staying in.

Here's what the room looked like before I started. It was in desperate need of a redo. The wallpaper was old and faded, not to mention falling down. There were holes in the wall, and it was just not in good shape. It was the only room left in my house that I had done nothing with since I moved in 8 years ago.

This project included ripping down 2 layers of wallpaper (people living here before me were lazy), texturing the wall that was exposed drywall once I got the wallpaper off (that was a surprise), painting and all that comes along with that, and then adding all the art and furniture (and working on the closet). It was a lot of work and it put my handy skills to the test, but it was fun and rewarding. Sara loves it, and I love it too! It will make it much easier for her to get around because her toys will be in a different room and she will have the space she needs now to move around with or without her wheelchair.

And this is what it looks like now...

Above the closet it now says, "Be your own kind of beautiful." I thought it was fitting for my baby's room.

I will be continuing to work on my home, so expect to see more in the coming weeks. Next on the list is her new playroom, which was her old bedroom, and then on to my room. I won't be doing much in my room decorating wise, mostly just getting organized so I doubt there will be any pics to see.

And here is my baby, sound asleep in her princess bed (that's what she calls it now) for the first time!

4 rooms down (Sara's new room, living room, dining room, and bathroom), 2 to go (Sara's new playroom and my room)!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sara's Newest Accomplishment

I got an email this week from Sara's therapist at her preschool that works with her in regards to her PT and other physical needs. She had this to say; and I quote...

"In terms of the classroom setting, Sara has definitely blossomed in terms of her independence as it relates to her mobility and transfers. On Wednesday she independently transferred herself from the chair at the small group table to the floor and from the floor to her wheelchair for playground time."

The fact that she can now get in and out of her chair all by herself opens lots of doors for her, and offers her opportunities that she may not have had otherwise. Plus, it makes it easier for her to keep up with the other kids in her class.

I'm so proud I could cry! My little girl is finally starting to do all the things I knew she could. I guess its a good thing that I'm working so hard to reorganize her room (and give her a new one) that will work for her to keep encouraging her to work so hard!

I wonder what she'll be learning to do next! Only time will reveal what she will accomplish next that the doctors said she would never do. She truly is my miracle baby in every way.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Changes for Us!

The family moved out yesterday. We all lived together for 18 months, so it is a big change for us. It will be nice for it not to be so crowded, and that I will be able to be more organized, but it is sad to see them go. All the kids, including Sara, are struggling with the change. Sara came home from her dad's last night to an empty (of people) house. No other kids to play with, and she asked me where everyone was. She especially was upset when she realized that my sister went with them and her bed was gone. I expect that the next couple weeks will be hard and confusing for her, but she will still see them 3 days a week since my step-father will still watch Sara when I work. I think that it will make the transition a little easier for all the kids that we will continue to see each other so often.

What this really means is that I can finally start my redecorating as well, so those pictures will be appearing here in the next couple weeks I'm sure. Many of you have asked how that's been going, and it hasn't because I couldn't start yet. But now that I can, I'm excited to get going. I worked some on the dining room last night, and my hope is to have Sara all situated by the end of the weekend. I can't wait for you all to see what I have planned for her new room!

And on top of that, I found out this morning that my baby has a boyfriend!!!!! What?!?!?!? I guess I'm just out of touch with the school thing since I rarely take my daughter to school because of my work schedule. She is cared for by my step-father and sister during the day, so they are the ones who drop her off and pick her up. My sister called me today after dropping Sara off at school to tell me. Apparently he's a cute little thing, small in size like Sara. He ran up to see her today when she arrived, and they were super happy to see each other. Sara lets him push her when she's in her wheelchair (which few people can get away with besides me), and the teacher reports that they play together every day!

My baby's growing up! How did this happen?? I can't wait till next month when I get to go to graduation, then I can meet the little guy for myself. I'm sure he's amazing in every way if my baby approves. I sent her to school so that she would socialize and make friends, but I wasn't prepared for what that really meant I guess.

And lastly, I booked tickets today for Sara and I to fly and see a good friend of mine in MN. She has a son just a month younger then Sara, and it will be wonderful to finally get them together after 3 years of trying to do so. I'm really looking forward to all the fun we'll have in June while we're there.

Mary, I can't wait to see you and Jack!!! I know we're going to have a blast together!

So there are lots of changes for us right now, and I'm sure there will be a fair number of trials along with them. It will take some adjusting, but I'm looking forward to the future. I can't wait to see where life takes us from here, and what other wonderful things will be brought into our lives!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter events!

Easter at our house was nice and relaxed. The rest of the family was out of town, so it was just Sara and I at home for the weekend. Of course the Easter Bunny came and brought Sara a whole basket of things, and then we spent the rest of the day playing with all the goodies she brought.

Here's all the goodies that the bunny happened to bring this year. The basket included 4 books, a Curious George notebook, Nihao Kai-lan bubble whistle, 2 Disney Princess books for the bathtub, 2 bouncy balls shaped like eggs, a chocolate bunny on a stick, a marshmallow sucker with a lamb on it, 2 packs of barrettes, a packet of stickers, M & Ms, and finally a new Leapster since Sara's broke on Thursday.

Here is Sara playing outside with her new bubble whistle. I like it because it keeps bubbles from being to messy, and then she doesn't end up with it in her mouth either from blowing on the typical wand.

It was beautiful outside, about 60 degrees! We had a good time just hanging out and playing. And since we're talking about Easter, here's the picture the girls took at the mall with the Easter Bunny a week ago. It's the first time Sara has seen the Easter Bunny or Santa and not cried while sitting in their lap.

And lastly (but definitely not least), here was my Easter gift!  My baby standing up nice and straight, and taking a few steps all by herself.  She's so big and tall when she stands up!!

Happy Easter everyone!!! I hope that you had a wonderful day filled with friends and family.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Let the redecorating begin!

On Friday afternoon, at work, I decided that I wanted to redecorate my bathroom. I was tired of its theme and dreary color scheme. So after work I hit up Home Depot (one of the best stores ever) with a picture out of Sara's room that I thought would make a great new theme for the bathroom. Sara and I picked out paint, a new towel rack, a new shower curtain, and a new rug. The rest was already in the bathroom or scrounged up from another room in my house.

Here are the before pictures of what my bathroom used to look like. It was suppose to have a slight safari theme, which is why there are elephant hooks.

Here are the after pics! Its bright and colorful, not to mention just a whole lot more fun.

I'm so glad to get it done. It only took me about 5 hours total, which I figure isn't too bad. I painted last night after Sara was in bed, then put up all the accessories today. One room down, 5 more to go!