Monday, September 17, 2012

First Day of Preschool

Hope started her first day of preschool today.  Another day of endless crying for mommy.  I know that most kids do have to go to school and I know Hope needs the social interaction and the in-depth learning she will get, but it is so hard.  She is my baby and the last one to start school.  I think knowing that today is the last first day of school for my kids was hard for me to grasp. 

Hope loved her first day of school and I am so relieved.  I will be driving her every day because the bus scares me...she is really little.  When she was dropped off this morning, they were waiting for her.  The assistant came and got her out of the Tahoe and then I sat and watched her walk into the school.  I promptly drove to the parking lot and cried my eyes out. 

I pray this school year will help her and that the illness, bugs, germs, etc. stay away from all of us.  The potential for scary illnesses is one of the biggest worries I have about her going to school.  My boys are in school and I know they bring stuff home, but it is different when she is in direct contact with other kids and their bugs.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday

Hope turned 3 today.  The excitement of this birthday is tangible.  It is a birthday that we know means she is getting ready to do 'big girl' stuff.  She is starting preschool, she will use the bathroom, she is starting to play games on the iPhone, she is gaining much.  She is amazing and the realization of how much she has gone through in 3 years amazes me more all the time.

Now for some cute pictures from her birthday:

Hope's PawPaw (my father-in-law) rented a pony for Hope's birthday.  This picture shows a scared little girl, but it didn't take long to warm her up.

Once she realized how much fun she was having, she wouldn't get off until the pony had to leave.  Now, she asks for one all the time...I keep telling her to ask her PawPaw (although I do worry that she may get one for Christmas from him).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hope's Last Day at Windfall

Here in Medina, Ohio we have an excellent program called Help Me Grow.  Hope has been enrolled since she was 6 months old.  She received physical and speech therapy at home for a long time.  We would have continued with her therapy at home, but it was suggested that she would be a good fit for their Early Intervention Program.  She started going to class on June 12th of this year and has done amazing.  All of her skills have improved, but especially her social skills.  She is willing to talk to people now...other than me.  She says 'hi' to strangers and smiles a whole lot more.  It has been the best experience I could have ever imagined.

Sadly, yesterday was her last day.  She can only attend until she is three years old.  She will turn three next Friday.  I will be in California all week and I really wanted to be there on her last day.  I needed to say 'goodbye' to everyone that has done so much for Hope and for my family.  They taught her so much and provided so much help for our family to help Hope develop.  They scheduled her IEP and attended with me and made sure Hope would get the services she needs in preschool.  They have been my champions, friends, teachers, and caregivers for almost three years.  It was bittersweet seeing everyone and knowing that Hope would not be seeing them every week.

Here are some pictures of the wonderful, amazing, talented, and caring people that have done so much:

Kathy Duncan is Hope's physical therapist and has been with us since Hope was 6 months old.  She is the best therapist and pushed Hope to do things I was scared to let her steps.  She also has two puppies from when our Labradoodle and Golden Retriever had babies.  She will always hold a very special place in our hearts.
John Lucic is the Occupational Therapist.  He has seen Hope since she was 6 months old as well.  He always brought good news when he came for evaluations.  Even though we didn't see him every week...Hope has always had good fine motor skills...John always had good news and always had great suggestions to help keep her developing.  He is also one of the genuinely nicest people.
We seemed to go through quite a few speech therapists.  Connie Hartman proved to be the best.  She could get Hope to talk more than anyone and the difference is remarkable.  Hope speaks in sentences and sings songs she learned in school.  I can't begin to explain how much she grew developmentally in such a short period of time.
Jennifer Howard is fantastic and such a caring teacher.  She is the Early Intervention teacher and works wonders.  I know she loves all the kids in her class and cares for their families as well.  She is the teacher that I want Hope to have every year in school.
There are no words for the way Hope and I feel about Cristal.  She is the assistant in class and is the most loving, caring, wonderful person.  She is the person that you know cares about your child when they are in school.  She genuinely loved Hope and I know that Hope feels the same way about her.  She is going to missed by all of us.
Dr. Jan is the Director of Early Intervention and one of the nicest women you could meet.  I am certain she is swamped with work, but she still takes the time to come to the classes and meet with the students.  She definitely loves her job and we are so glad Hope was accepted into the EI program.
Yesterday was bittersweet for so many reasons.  One of the nicest visits we had was with Dr. LaForme.  He is the Superintendent of the Board of Developmental Disabilities.  I wrote personal letters to all of Hope's teachers and I also wrote one to Dr. LaForme.  I wanted him to know exactly how I feel about the program and how much everyone has done for our family.  I wanted to thank him for providing the services and hiring the best staff ever to provide the services.  Dr. Jan took Hope and I to meet Dr. LaForme.  Hope delivered the letter personally and I know it had to convince him how much we have benefited from every person in his organization.  I am proud to say that I got an email letting me know that he personally thanked everyone that I mentioned in the letter...what a great guy to work for!
I know this post has been long and I haven't mentioned Hope's weight.  I will save all that for another post.  This one is totally dedicated to the WONDERFUL people from Help Me Grow, Early Intervention, and Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities!