Thursday, October 30, 2014


So sweet to see them work together tonight. 
Ella made Aubrey a robot costume. She was excited to wear it. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Growth - Day 29

I can't express how proud I am of this girl.  She has made tremendous strides in the last 6 months, and is thriving in school and in life.  Part of that is maybe that she has hit her stride, but we have also been doing something to assist her in being her best person....we've started using essential oils, and I wanted to share a little bit here about that.  I'm not trying to "fix" or "change" her Down syndrome, but I want her to thrive and be at her best and be healthy and active and eager to learn and engage in life.  We have seen such positive results in our whole family and I want to share that, because it has made a big difference for us.
Last March, this girl was super sick.  The sickest we had ever seen her.  I had a friend text me about trying something "a little different" to help her feel better.  Sure, why not!  We've just about exhausted everything else here at the hospital.  So she brought me two oils....and it changed our lives.  This was the FIRST hospital stay that we have left without the use of oxygen at home, AND they weened her off 2 liters of oxygen in ONE day!  (that would have taken at least a week before)

That is when I NEEDED to learn more and wanted to learn more.  I did a bit of research and talked with friends and decided on Young Living Essential Oils for our family and Aubrey was my main reason.  I dug into the research on respiratory oils and staying healthy oils.  And I'm always looking into learning more about these oils that have helped her so much and continue to help.

We have a daily routine of oils that we use (think about taking a multi vitamin every day).  I line them up and apply a drop of this and that to her while she gets ready in the morning and off she goes.  And then I have a stash that we use when she is sick or if we are treating something.
Before oils, Aubrey was NOT social at school and after three years there, it was becoming a very big concern with Kindergarten on the horizon.  But she is social now and she has lots of friends and she talks about them at home.  She asks to go to their house to play!  And she has this friend that she apparently does fist bumps with in the morning at her locker!  It has been amazing to see her grow friendships and blossom.
 It used to take a lot of crying and bribery to get her to do any homework or projects for school and now, she actually carries her back pack in from the car, hangs it up, gets out her folder and does her homework!  And when there isn't any homework, she asks for some.  She is writing letters and making people.  Before we could barely get a circle out of her and now her people have bodies and legs!  She has taken off with her learning and it is so exciting to see.
We've been able to keep her healthy!!!  She had one little cold this summer that we took care of naturally, with our oils, and I'm finally getting super comfortable with using them and not freaking out when she has a little cough or sniffle. 
She is getting super active in her life.  She used to spend her afternoons laying around (super tired) and asking for the same show OVER and OVER and OVER.  Now she sets up the tea set, gets her baby out and plays, or asks to help in the kitchen.  I don't have to occupy her time.  She is able to do that herself.
She's giddy in the morning:)  And more verbal.  And I love when she whispers in my ear that she loves me, instead of just jibberish:)

These oils have been such a blessing to us.  I could go on and on with testimonies about how these oils have been so helpful to us.  It has been a way to enhance her life and her health in a very natural way.  So glad that we are able to help this girl be the best that she can be!

(some of the oils we use daily: Thieves, RC, Magnify Your Purpose, Vetiver, Citronella, Lavender)

*If you have questions about using Young Living Essential Oils to enhance your life, helping your kids focus or have more confidence, keep you healthy or help ease sickness and pain, I would love to share my experience with you.  Just send me an email or message.   

Monday, October 27, 2014

Vital Stim Therapy - Day 27

Aubrey gets Occupational Therapy at school as well as Speech Therapy.  The Physical Therapy, we do outside of school (she doesn't qualify at school anymore) and we also do Vital Stim Therapy, with a Speech Therapist.
One thing that we discovered last spring when she was so sick, is that she aspirates liquids into her lungs.  We are hoping that by "fixing" this, she will not get so sick anymore.  The way they do that is by strengthening her swallowing muscles.  They put these electrical pads on her neck and we eat lunch and drink and play for an hour.....twice a week.

It usually takes about 20-25 visits to graduate.  But in typical Aubrey is being done in her own time.....longer.  We pasted the typical time frame a month ago, and I have stopped asking them to guess how much longer.  We just keep plugging away at it.

We are doing absolutely everything we can to speed this up and support the work being done and part of that includes ADDING the Physical Therapy to work on her core muscles and upper chest muscles that also support the swallowing.  It is one more thing, and she misses school some more, but we really felt like it was important to add in and they were able to get her a session that was right before her vital stim.  

This girl continues to amaze me with her ability to roll with the punches and goes with the flow.  Not every session is awesome for her, but for the most part, she just does it.

Planning out my day for tomorrow and it includes a lunch date at therapy with Miss Megan and the Vital Stim!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Physical Therapy - Day 26

Thought I would share a little physical therapy with you. We are working specifically on core strength which will also help in so many areas. We meet every other week. And Jen is so creative. 
Aubrey does sit ups to get puzzle pieces. She can do 4 pretty good before she gets tired and they get sloppy.  
These are tiny road cones. She had to tap each one with her toe, and with each lmStarted with one and worked up to three. 
The swing is her "reward"!  After she does an exercise, she gets a rest on the swing. She works so hard and does EVERYTHING that Jen asks her to do. 
There is not a lot of interest in speech therapy at this place now that Aubrey knows they have such a cool gym too!  Sorry Megan, but your tools are not as much fun:(

Saturday, October 25, 2014

No Fear - Day 25

Do you remember the post about the lost tooth and how ODD her reaction is?  I got another one for you:
This girl had a MAJOR fall last weekend that included being knocked out, an ambulance ride downtown....and red Popsicles:)

It was a scary day and one that will live with me for a long time. The physical scars are mending and I'm trying not to be a helicopter mom....but it's hard.
Any of my other kids would have freaked out at being strapped to a board and carried of by the fireman. Scared of the fast ambulance ride and being in the ER surrounded by strangers. Not this girl!

You would think that doctors and hospitals would scare her because she's there so much, but she isn't. She was calm and cooperative. Her biggest concern was a bandaid for her head!  
She never got a bandaid, but she talked that sweet resident into a second Popsicle after I said no. (He was so sweet signing to her....and THAT was the ticket....cause she signed it to him and he just went and got it without me knowing!)

There are some things that I will never understand about how Aubrey thinks. And sometimes that can be really challenging, but this week I'm choosing to be GRATEFUL in my confusion. I'm GRATEFUL that she wasn't traumatized any more than she already was. I'm GRATEFUL that she is resilient and healing. I'm GRATEFUL that she's ready to climb and jump and play again....even if it makes me nervous now. 

I'm GRATEFUL she's mine...extra chromosomes and all!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Healing day 22

For those wondering where we's a long story, but the short version is she fell and we are busy recovering.   But I wanted to share a really cool set of books I came across. Excited to order these and read them and then share them! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Teeth -day 15

Tonight Aubrey lost her 3rd tooth. And this is her excitement level....tears. Her first tooth was lost over Christmas vacation, in the car, somewhere between Wisconsin and Minnesota.  (She swallowed it, we think) Her second tooth, she lost while in the hospital last March.  Zero interest in that tooth. 

For most kids, losing teeth is a right of passage. "I'm one of the big kids!"  Aub is different. She doesn't care. She doesn't understand. And in some ways it is traumatic I guess. She kept signing for me to call the dentist. 

It can be a challenge to understand her thought process and console her. Some days are like that with our girl. 

So we dried the tears and I pretended to call the dentist and told her they were closed and sleeping. She seemed to understand and I assured her I would call tomorrow. 

Some days are like this....