Thursday, September 24, 2009


So, we all know my love for Lera.

No, I haven't stop thinking about and praying her. Not for a one single minute.

Each week, I check the Reeces Rainbow site in hopes to find that she found her forever family. Today was no different. I went to the site, clicked on Russia, then region II and there she is. She has always been the first one on the page. This sweet little face:

But not today. OMG, my heart skipped a beat! OMG! OMG! She found her family!! With tears rolling down my face, I quickly jumped to "new committments" but no Lera. What is going on? Where is she?

Then I went back to Region II. RR switched it up a little. Lera is still there. Darn! {{There's still hope for me, I guess}}. The best part--there is a NEW picture of this Russian princess!!!!!!!!!!

She looks sooo grown up!! What a big girl. It's heartbreaking knowing she is growing up in an orphanage!

Any takers? Anyone have an extra 20 grand laying around to put in my bank account so I can bring her home?

Love her!!

Molly's IEP is ready!!

It's been a good week. After a very frustrating first week of preschool, I got everything Molly needs to succeed in preschool! It's a great feeling! These people truly care about Molly and it shows. They really went to bat for her and I couldn't be happier!!

Highlights from the IEP:
  • Her very own paraprofessional every minute she is in preschool
  • Speech 2x/week for 20 minutes (She is in preschool 2 days a week)
  • Occupational Therapy 1x/wk for 20 minutes
  • Adaptive Physical Education: Still needs to be evaluated.
  • Will perform all daily tasks independently and such

We will meet as a team monthly to review how she is doing. Molly has a "communication" notebook that tells me about her day, what she did, what made her happy {or sad}.

To a great school year!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Step Up For Down Syndrome Pic's

{{Almost ALL of}} Molly's Team 2009
  • It was great day for the Walk for Down Syndrome (now called Step Up For Down Syndrome).
  • Molly's team had around 50 people
  • We made our financial goal
  • It was 78 degree's and sunny
  • We had no melt downs
  • Met a few new families blessed with an extra 21st chromosome!

I considered doing a slide show but there are time restraints. So I just edited a few of my favorites from the day. (and really, I was too busy focusing on the cause so didn't take that many anyway)

I was so excited to see Molly "WALK" at her own walk (last year she wasn't walking quite yet)

The Front and back of Molly's Tishirts

Friday, September 18, 2009

First Day of Preschool

Molly's first day of preschool did NOT go as I had planned. Not even a little bit. It was a total disappoint and induced anxiety. Anxiety that no one needs. Sigh.

Here is how her day went:
  • Got on the bus with no FIVE POINT HARNESS!!! Just a lap belt for my 2 1/2 foot tall, 25# preschooler!
  • Got to school and her Birth to Three teacher that told me that she was going to be there ALL DAY (you know, she cleared her calendar so she could be there all day) was only there for 1/2 hour.
  • Discovered there are 9 children in her class, with only TWO paras. Nope, there is not one dedicated to just Molly.
  • She doesn't have an IEP (Which I did realize) which means no OT, PT, ST until one is written up and signed off on.

After all of this, I was ready to pull Molly from preschool until all of this was straighten out. I felt so bad for my baby going into a classroom with chaos everywhere. I didn't see the point in sending her if she wasn't going to get any services and have to share the para with the other students.

After talking to the bus company, I got my 5 point harness for her.

After talking to her Birth to Three teacher (whom was there ALL DAY Thursday!), Molly's IEP will be written up by next Tuesday AM with a one on one para!! I told her that I refused to sign the IEP if there was not a para designated for just Molly. She needs that sooooo much and I wasn't willing to give that up.

You see, a couple of weeks ago, I just happened to run into a group of para's from another school district (BTW: I believe that EVERYTHING happens for a reason) and they informed me that it was our legal right to have a one on one para but parents of special needs children do not realize this. I was like, "Oh, with a DS diagnosis, she will have a one on one para". Nope! There were THREE DS children starting in their school with one para.

Really? Molly is mentally and physically disabled. She needs help pulling her pants up, going up the steps, coloring, cutting, she needs constant reminders, etc. Maybe in a few years when she can be more self sufficient I will allow her to "share" a para but for now, she needs someone to help her every. step. of .the.way.

Oh, what a day that was. One that I hope I never have to repeat. Something tells me though, I will have days like this.

On a side note, Maggie Jean had a hard time leaving her sister. She had a hard time understanding why Molly was going to preschool and she wasn't. Our conversation went something like this:

{{through many, many tears}} "But, I am three, too. I am a big girl, right mom? I have my backpack just like Molly. But I need to help Molly. But why can't I go with?"

My poor sweet girl just couldn't understand and it broke my heart to see her so sad.

Next year, Maggie. I am so sorry you can't go this year. Love her.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Molly walks to the bus...

... With her twin sister in tow.
With a very heavy backpack that has diapers, wipes, and a notebook. All too heavy for Miss Molly and makes her unsteady....

...And down she goes...

.."Up, Up, Up Molly"

..And back on her feet again!!
Geez! Her short little legs just are not long enough, but she does it!!

A proud, proud mommy with her Queen and Princess

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vitamins. {{It's a BLOG A MERCIAL}}

I am not sure what has inclined me to blog about this but I am just so excited about my "discovery" and wanted to share in case there are others that have been under a rock like me.

There is a "special" vitamin therapy that is especially designed for individuals with down syndrome. It's highly controversial. For me, (being a nurse that lives for "evidence based" findings), I couldn't convince myself that there is enough scientific research to back it up. And frankly, the expense was a huge driving factor.

So, after discussing it with the Down Syndrome Doctor at children's hospital, we have opted to give Molly the old, run of the mill multi vit. I have been satisfied and comfortable with this. Until....

Then talk of fish oil/omega three came to surface in several conversations with co worker and my on line groups. So, my research has lead me to believe it would be a safe and effective therapy for Molly (and well, the rest of Velander children for that matter).

The Problem:
1) The dose in the capsules at health food stores seems extremely high for Molly(as the dose is based on adult not weight and Molly only weighs 25#)

2) The smell of fish oil is horrid! I did find a liquid form that taste like citus. Again, way too expensive for my budget!

While shopping for a refill of the Multivitamins at Target, I found this:

Is it has effective as the expensive one? I don't know.

What I do know is that it works for me as far as dosing and efficacy and so excited that I found something that will satisfy me for the moment.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Maggie and Molly are turning THREE (OMG! I don't have babies anymore!!) in a couple of weeks so we have been talking about what kind of birthday cake we are going to have.

Maggie wants a Dora cake with Dora cupcakes. Soooo....

For the past two weeks before every naptime and bedtime (I must emphasize "EVERY" here), Maggie says to me, "When I wake up, will it be time for my Dora Cupcakes?"

No Maggie, mommy will let you know.

Lesson Learned: Three year olds do NOT grasp the concept of time, therefore, the talk about a birthday should be discussed MUCH closer to the day. LOL!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's Just the Begining

Of a brand new school year. Gavin is starting first grade. He got to meet his teachers and see all of his friends tonight at open house. Oh, how exciting for him!
Gavin says, "I get to meet all my "new" friends tonight!!"

I just remember being scared I wasn't going to know everyone in my class and that I was going to be seperated from my BFF.

Not Gav. He is sooo excited to start another new year with all new people and a new teacher.

To be 6 again!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Great MN Get Together!!

Today Mike and I took Maggie and Gavin to the state fair. (Austin was working and Molly would have melted so we kept her at daycare today--next year she'll go with us)

What a fun filled day!!

Really, I love the State Fair. So much to look at, to eat, and sooo much for the kids to learn! It's a place for memories and traditions to unfold:

We must always start the day by having a REAL corn dog.

Followed by a ride (or two) on the big yellow slide! Our kids are at the perfect age for this ride (BTW: The ONLY ride we go on at the fair)

We then decided to do something new. We went into the "Little Hands Farm". Where the kids did a lot of "chores" around the farm.

Hauled the hay to the cows....

...Fed the sheep....

...Planted the seeds for the vegetables....

....and milked a cow...

Got a bucket of the best cookies on earth!! Sweet Martha's Cookies. They are to die for!

The day (of course) did not go without a melt down. Maggie went without a nap today and towards the end of the day, for a reason that is unknown to us, she refused to eat at our table. She literally stood in the middle of the crowd (as I watched many people walk by wondering who this child belonged to) and did not speak one single word for about 10 minutes. What. Ever. Maggie. Jean!!

Silly picture...

We really enjoy the animals! We saw MN's biggest pig. That's a big deal in our family since I grew up on a pig farm.

There is a "Miracle of birth" barn dedicated to all kinds of animals, well, giving birth. We had to privilege to watch a calf being born. Well, it was a privilege to us. Gavin was fascinated. Maggie could have cared less.

We got home after a 7 hour day at the fair to find Molly in a little line backer shirt! Apparently, she had a "blow out" at daycare and I didn't have any extra clothes for her. I thought she looked pretty "tough"

Until next year....